On these fine digital pages, we once wrote that “… most rational humans hate grind.” This remains an accurate statement. Grind is what “normal” people hear when you play them any sort of metal.
“He’s just yelling.”
“The guitar… is that even guitar? It’s just a distorted wall of noise.”
“You seriously like this? What’s wrong with you?”
To which we reply, “Yes, yes,” and “Well, you see, grindcore is actually…” as our audience walks away in search of actual human interaction.
But the abnormal, irrational among us realize that grindcore distills all the best extremities of heavy music and scratches an unreachable itch. Furious drums, ripping guitars, inhuman screams; these are the only tools of the elusive grindbeast, and they are all pushed to the extreme in short blasts known as “songs.” Grind is all lean muscle on meth, with no wasted effort on melody, dynamics, or other such cowardly pursuits.
Intellectuals are always welcome in metal, and experimentation should be as embraced as distorted guitars and maximum volume. But grindcore? This is lifers-only territory, the back of the seediest dive bar, where even the roaches are armed. Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s Transcendental Grind Manifesto doesn’t exist for a reason.
In the four minutes it takes NOKWTDT to get through two songs (ease up, Opeth!), the pace is relentless. The riffs are brutal, albeit with an intricacy for those bold enough to look closely. Then “Dagger Before Me” begins with similar fury, but midway through the riffs open up. They chug along slowly, a single rhythmic chord atop devolving, naked drums as the song closes. I might have exaggerated slightly about the lack of dynamics in grindcore. Slightly. Marton and Nakano only slow down to show how fast they can keep going. If Chang weren’t so damn vitriolic, I would consider praising their music as spirited and lively. Screw it, this is a spirited album, full of lively songs written and expertly performed by seasoned veterans. Grindcore for the lifers. Despite my hilarious joke up there, most songs are between 1:30 and 2:30, with just enough time to make their point and develop their own identity.
Plug No One Knows What The Dead Think directly into your lizard brain. Let it reveal its full nature to you through eight razor wire tracks. Pause and take a deep breath as “Red Echoes” samples ambient noise and Japanese spoken word, and stay seated while “Dominion” rips your head off one last time. Then do it again and again. It’s only 19 minutes, and we have long since established that rationality is not one of your strong suits.