Kill The Client – Set For Extinction Review

As I listen to this record, one word keeps coming to mind: “destructive.” That word gets tossed around in reference to many a record by all types of metal acts. I myself am guilty of using it—or, more accurately, over-using it—in reviews of bands to some of whom it is far less applicable than this one. But as Extinction sets in, it’s the only word that seems to accurately sum up Kill The Client.

Of course, these Texas grinders aren’t new to the game—this record is their first for Relapse after two on Willowtip and an EP release before that. 2005’s monstrous Escalation Of Hostility served as my introduction, and even as this one pounds my skull, that one remains my favorite. Escalation was a savage piece of grind that balanced its blitzkrieg speed with a few tracks of sludge-coated ugliness, mixing its abrasive punk fury with practiced and tight performances at both tempos, brawling and occasionally crawling. 2008’s sophomore effort Cleptocracy was good, rightfully praised here and elsewhere, but I hold it to be not as good, a lateral move that was still pummeling but a bit underperforming compared to Escalation, not as interesting or perfectly sharpened as that which came before it. Nor, as we see now, as sharpened as that which comes after. While Extinction doesn’t quite topple Escalation as my foremost client-killing record, it’s nevertheless a swift kick to the skull, a blast-happy attack that spares next to nothing in its path.

Like most grindcore records, there’s little deviation here—Extinction is full-on, blast-tempo madness, with only a scant few deviations into groovy mid-paced bashing and even fewer drops into that sluggish sludge that helped separate earlier Kill The Client efforts from the grindcore pack. These riffs aren’t technical, but they’re powerful, abrasive, truly vicious. In the scattered instances when the tempo drops, the guitar-work shines through—the opening moments of “No Leaders” sports a pounding and squealing riff before jumping into overdrive, and the latter half of “The Walking Dead” sports a brief moment of relief that almost swings. Vocalist Morgan still sounds more than a bit like Barney Greenway (Napalm Death) when in his usual lower voice, but he’s added more variety to his attack, with moments of a midrange hardcore bark, a goregrind / deathcore-ish inward gurgle and even some higher screeching here and there. Drummer Bryan Fajardo, also of fellow Willowtip-to-Relapse grinders Phobia, delivers another stellar performance—his blasting tight as hell, his attack positively… well… destructive.

All in, the same primary influences are prevalent as on Kill The Client’s first two full-lengths—the Napalm Deaths, Brutal Truths, Nasums… But Kill The Client has always been more than just the sum of their predecessors—their lineage may be clear, but they’re a beast unto themselves, raging and pillaging with a fury equal to the best of grinders, unrelenting, unyielding, unstoppable.  2010 hasn’t been rife with major grindcore efforts, and here’s a latecomer to year-end lists, a last-minute top-tenner for me and another success for Kill The Client.

Destructive.  Absolutely destructive.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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