Deliriant Nerve – Contaminated Conscience

2022 was a year thoroughly blessed by the grindcore gods. If you didn’t have your ear to the crusty, grimy, cheap beer-soaked ground, you missed one of the strongest grind years in recent memory. Perhaps you’re interested in catching up, in which case I would recommend starting with my and Mr. Edmunds‘ year-end lists to find phenomenal albums from the likes of Wormrot, Antigama, Triac, Cloud Rat and MANY more. Should you scroll far enough through those lists, you will also find kind words about the band whose new EP is being reviewed right here, right now. Here you are reading about Deliriant Nerve because you are a person of impeccable taste, just like all of us pea-brained oafs at Last Rites.

Release date: November 2, 2023. Label: Self-released, vinyl on Malokul soon
Yes, Deliriant Nerve gifted grind freaks not one but TWO releases in 2022 in the forms of debut EP Uncontrollable Ascension and the Domed demo, both of which were re-released earlier this year on a self-titled compilation. Deliriant Nerve’s 2022 output combined for only about 15 minutes of music, but they were some of the most fun 15 minutes available last year. 2023 has not been quite as kind to grind fans. Granted, to think it would be is setting some oftly lofty expectations on the metal scene. There have been great releases from Cognizant, Chepang, Vomi Noir, Moiscus and several others, but getting another 10-minute shot in the arm from this D.C. trio is a much-welcomed treat.

As before, the variety of influences, focus on songcraft and ability to write memorable riffs continue to help set Deliriant Nerve apart from their other modern brethren. “Chronophobia” kicks in the door with pure grind bliss in the form of short-lived build-ups that burst apart, a well-placed divebomb and battering drum roll fighting against a wiggly beast of a riff that’s pure strut toward the end. The opening track sets the tone and solidifies that expectations will be thoroughly met, but the band is not content to be a one-trick pony. “Face The Knife” lets the band’s hardcore background take center stage with little dashes of punk seasoning. “Soulless Leach” comes across like every riff is trying to get in a fistfight. “Psychosis Plague” has the type of pit-friendly mentality that will have many an arm windmilling and innocent faces getting clocked with a sweaty fist, and that only takes us to the halfway point of the EP!

The second half kicks off with the 25-second barnburner “Neurological Devastation,” which leans into a more techy approach with a stuttering intro and a skronky assault toward the end. The band’s interest in varying their attack becomes even more apparent as things unfold. “Rust Side Horizons” pairs a more mid-paced chug of a riff with full-tilt blasting drums that create a violent counterpoint. A personal favorite has “Tapped Vein” allowing drummer Aidan (no last name listed) putting on a damn show. The 49-second track is so dominated by his maniacal performance that it might as well be a drum solo live. They also close out the album on a bit of an unexpected note by slowing things down to a Godfleshian pace with a repeated crushing passage. There are still moments of speed and blasting, but it’s very reminiscent of Napalm Death’s cover of “Avalanche Song” in terms of pacing and how it flows.

One 10-minute EP is not going to magically make 2023 an exceptional grind year. Still, Deliriant Nerve’s steady and consistently high-quality releases are certainly making a case for them becoming required listening in the genre. Creating a year-end contender for best EP two years in a row is one hell of a statement for a band that only formed in 2021. These violent appetizers have been delicious and I eagerly await the day we get a main course.

Posted by Spencer Hotz

Admirer of the weird, the bizarre and the heavy, but so are you. Why else would you be here?

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