Blue Mountains grinders deliver the goods
Having seen Blue Mountains based Beyond Terror Beyond Grace live a couple of times now and being impressed by their highly charged shows, I was quite pumped to receive their debut long player in the mail and was curious to see if they could channel that raw live energy into recorded format and, for all intents and purposes, that is exactly what they have done with Extinction|Salvation.
For the uninitiated BTBG are a no frills old school grind/punk/death metal act very much in the vein of Napalm Death. Whilst the music may not be overly groundbreaking, the band manages to separate themselves from the multitude of other bands in the genre by applying a little carefully placed discretion and thought into how they present themselves artistically - if not by the understated and deceptive artwork then surely by their intelligent and somewhat introspective approach to their lyrics.
BTBG aren't a band that wants to please you with lots of melody or variation in their songs; it's all about ripping you apart with hard, fast and loud music, and over the course of just under 26 minutes, that's exactly what they accomplish. With the exception of two or maybe three songs, the album screams at you from the speakers at blistering pace with blasting drums, razor wire guitars and unintelligible vocals - this is grind through and through.
It took me a couple of listens to realise that the production is a little rough and trebly because the band have probably tried to harness and capture their live sound for the album, maybe to help draw in new fans in some way or to provide familiarity to existing fans. In any event, it may take a couple of spins before the sound sits well with you. Now that I'm used to it, I couldn't imagine the album being done in any other way.
BTBG and the grind genre in general aren't to everybody's taste but anyone who likes their music rough and abrasive will surely enjoy what this young Aussie band have to offer. After cutting their teeth on the live circuit, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace have definitely arrived with the goods.