I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with fresh and interesting ways to describe grindcore records. Even with the surprisingly wide scope of what’s often dismissed as a very limited sub-genre, there are still only a finite number of accurate descriptors, so I’m as guilty as any (and far, far more guilty than most) of overusing many of those, be they “razor-sharp” or “pulverizing” or “crushes” or whatever.
But one thing that I very rarely get to say is, “Hey, this grindcore rocks!”
Enter Spain’s Nashgul and Oprobio, their third full-length in just over two decades…
Last week, I declared tech-grind maestros Cognizant’s newest, Inexorable Nature Of Adversity, to be one of 2023’s best grindcore albums, and I stand by that. This week, I am declaring Oprobio to be one of 2023’s best grindcore albums, and I absolutely stand by that, as well. Within the fact that the two are only really directly comparable based on stylistic categorization and a handful of basic precepts, well… there’s that surprisingly wide swing I mentioned above. One is more of the brain, and one is more of the body, and both are totally of the heart, both pissed off and smart and pulverizing (there’s that word again) even as they come at all of that from different angles.
Still, much more important than my faux-highbrow takes on grindcore overall, is this simple fact: Oprobio is an absolute blast, in terms of generous usage of the drumbeat, of course, but also in the colloquial sense of “So.Much.Goddamned.Spirit.” And most importantly of all, it’s damned near mandatory listening for anyone with an interest in grind, in fun, and especially in thrashing about your immediate surroundings, breaking things and banging heads, and in doing that all in every one of the best possible ways.
Crack a beer; crack a smile; crack your skull. This grindcore rocks.