As you’ll find out in this review and the following two, Angry Metal Guy really screwed me over with their picks for records of the month last October.
Beaten To Death is…well, they’re something. They’re Norwegian. They’re grindcore, but I also think they’re kind of mocking grindcore. Which I think is funny to like seven people…you’re not really punching up here. Their song titles are weird. For examples, see tracks one and six below. Then there’s “‘Death To False Grindcore’,” with its weird quotation marks around it, “Robert Sylvester Kelly,” which is the full name of R. Kelly, and “Knulleviser For Barn,” which, well…. I know that “for barn” means for kids, because when I was in Norway there was a big barnesex scandal going on. Bing Translator didn’t know what to do with Knulleviser, though maybe it just didn’t want to given Tay’s recent troubles. Google Translate, though, was willing to tell me it meant “fuck shows.” So they’re outrageous.
And they’re outrageous, not just titlistically, but also sonically and probably lyrically (I’m not even sure when they’re singing in English or in Norwegian). And I feel like this kind of extremism is just boring now. After Brujeria, it all seems played out.
In another flavor of extreme, every song is between 1:03 (“I Keep Stalling,” and is it a coincidence that that’s one of my favorites?) and 1:56 (“Promise Catharsis”). The entire album, at 13 songs, clocks in at one second shy of 19 minutes. So at least you’re not listening for too long, though of course since you’re suffering the whole time it feels a lot longer.
I said that Gloryhammer’s silliness didn’t work because the music wasn’t very good. In a very similar way, if you’re gonna be this extreme in so many ways, you’d better be really good. Otherwise it’s not justified, and I just feel like you’re covering up a lack of talent with extremity. Though the album isn’t entirely without merit (there’s the aforementioned “I Keep Stalling,” album closer “Troll,” I love the strumming parts of “Robert Sylvester Kelly,” and there are a few other dozen-second-long stretches of enjoyable riffage throughout), this is pretty much a solid waste of its listeners’ time.
Like: “I Keep Stalling,” “Robert Sylvester Kelly,” “Troll”
Meh: “Papyrus Containing The Spell To Summon The Breath Of Life Enshrined In The Collected Scrolls Of Sheryl Crow,” “Til Himmels (For Å Gjete Gud),” “Menstrubation,” “Don’t You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal,” “Promise Catharsis,” “Greenway/Harris,” “End Of An Error,” “‘Death To False Grindcore'”
Dislike: “Home Of Phobia,” “Knulleviser For Barn”
Song Notes: After the jump
- Papyrus Containing The Spell To Summon The Breath Of Life Enshrined In The Collected Scrolls Of Sheryl Crow
- I Keep Stalling
- Home Of Phobia – say it fast
- Til Himmels (For Å Gjete Gud) – too long, and yeah, since it’s 1:54, that’s pretty crazy that I’m saying that.
- Menstrubation – starts cool and the last 15 s are cool. The title seems misogynist to me, but I can’t be sure
- Don’t You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal –
- Promise Catharsis – different…guits at start are really slow and then they continue that way kind of defying the grindcore bass and drums.
- Greenway/Harris – is this about an intersection? has one good part in the middle
- End Of An Error – starts off with a legitimate melody, and a majestic one at that. It’s on pace for Like for the first 36 seconds, and it has a good ten second stretch about one minute in, too.
- “Death To False Grindcore” –
- Robert Sylvester Kelly – It’s R. Kelly’s full name
- Knulleviser For Barn – sorry I translated this one
- Troll – the explosion halfway through is awesome