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Grinding Across Canada – 20 Grindcore, Deathgrind, Goregrind and Pornogrind Bands from Canada
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Still slaving to the grind with the same handful of bands? Look north for an assortment of bands ranging from politically-based grindcore to Star Wars-based pornogrind. Often, bands will come and go faster than one can comes to terms with and truly appreciate them. Therefore, other than the bands listed here, check out some of the defunct bands who made their mark on the Canadian grind scene – Kataplexis – deathgrind from Calgary whom featured WAKE vocalist Kyle Ball, Dahmer, the Quebec-based serial killer-themed grind band known for their full-length, Dahmerized, Mesrine, the Quebec based grind band who called it quits in 2018, Exit Strategy, a Calgary-based socially conscious grind band who have been on-hold since 2017 and Expression of Pain, whose sole 2012 was recently re-released by Blast Addict.
Fuck the Facts
If there is one band that comes to mind when the words grindcore and Canada were put in the same sentence, it would most likely be Fuck the Facts. Created in the late ‘90s by Topon Das, the band was joined by Mel Mongeon in 2003, who contributed artwork and vocals for releases thereafter, with Mathieu Vilandre currently providing drum duties. The band have a number of releases to sift through, with Pleine Noirceur being their latest. Whether in Canada or elsewhere, it would be a dumb decision to miss Fuck the Facts when they come to your town.
While Wake have certainly evolved outside of being straight grindcore with their latest string of releases, one shouldn’t discount their earlier work as the albums are stunning examples of top-tier work in the genre. Any grind fans just learning about Wake should give their back catalogue a listen – from 2011’s Leeches (featuring former vocalist Shane Hawco) to 2018’s Misery Rites, you can hear what exactly brought them to the dance before their continuous evolution that has made them the beast they are today.
Whorrify are a Calgary-based grindcore band who have been tearing up the scene for the greater part of 2022. After releasing their self-titled EP, the band has gone from doing streaming shows from the jam room to opening for Cradle of Filth in quite a short time. However, don’t say it wasn’t earned. Their songs are vile-filled but earnest and the performances are sweat-filled and cathartic. Look forward to a new release by the band in 2023. Also, Dune lovers should be aware that this band does indeed have a song about the masterpiece.
Squamish, British Colombia has a new claim to worldwide fame with the henriously brutal Hacked Apart. Featuring members of Massgrave and Kanker, Hacked Apart made their debut with the 2021 self-titled EP – a clinic of vile riffs and nauseating growls, sounding like Sasquatch joined up with the Squamish boys.
Soil of Ignorance
After a baker’s dozen or so EPs and splits, the Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada-based Soil of Ignorance finally released their first full-length in 2020, Stop the Madness. The album scrubs hard on the stains caused by the delinquents named the human species – a socially conscious lesson taught over 26 tracks. To cap it off, they cover Napalm Death’s “You Suffer” – a song that still stands as a testament that sometimes what is said in less than a second has more impact than a 20-minute opus.
Here’s another putrid pile from Toronto – deathgrind maniacs Grotesque Mass. The band is designed by Daniel Bonofiglio, who provides all instruments and programmed drums, with partner in crime Jae Vizcaya doing the lyrics. Their Inexorable Barbarity EP is a four-song, five minute round in the lion pit.
Hey kids, did you remember to eat your vitamins, drink your milk and juice up? Let’s get big! Bigorexia is a condition in which people obsess about building muscle on their bodies. Does John Cena suffer from it? Who knows, but Edmonton’s Bigorexia have slapped his bloody mug on the cover of Goregrind for Chets album anyway. This could be a perfect workout album if you were a cyborg… Their full-length, Extemporaneous Expirations of Existence progresses beyond roid rage with tracks like “Tampering with the Deceased,” though those big, sweaty WWE superstars come to mind again with tracks like “Bludgeoned by Beefcakes.”
St. Catharines, Ontario sounds like such a nice place. It would be unfortunate if a band called Shit Liver were to form there… This crust/grind/death metal band sees the world as the toilet and the countries as big pieces of dung (as shown on the cover of their self-titled debut album). Musically, shit hits the fan every single second with Shit Liver – with their lyrics being the toilet paper to societal issues. “Food on your table isn’t worth this. Leeching away for feeding your kids. Turning our lands, our future to shit.”
Who are Jisei? “Falsegrind, deathcore, hardcore, queercore” are a few of the terms the band has thrown out there to help classify just what we are hearing when we push play on their Bad Representation album. There is a lot to ponder within in the few songs they have thrown out there – titles like “He Was Asking For It” and “Horny Married Man” explore uncomfortable issues, while the band also references Hong Kong hardcore band King Ly Chee. If still uncertain about where they are coming from, the band has said “Queer as in – fuck you.”
Grotesque Organ Defilement
Have you ever listened to G.O.D.? Well, with Grotesque Organ Defilement, now you can say that you have. From Peterborough, Ontario, G.O.D. formed in 2006 and released an onslaught of splits and EPs before their first full-length, Body Horror, in 2015. If you know Canada, you know body horror is one of its greatest exports, via the films of David Cronenberg. Now, with G.O.D., you get more soundtracks to your body falling apart or disfiguring itself into the form of a fly.
Mental Mutilation’s first track on their split with Ivan Ooze and Hit-Run Drivers is titled “100% Carnage, Always.” Fitting, for a band who hail from the “murder capital of Canada,” Winnipeg, Manitoba. Actually, Mental Mutilation isn’t quite a band at all, but the project of one Ripley Morden. While there are no others helping his spree, he has some friends in this scene, as MM has released split after split since 2018. The latest is with Molten May, where both bands contribute enough carnage to make the 8:25 album length feel like an hour in a meat grinder.
Time for yet another lesson. What is beaver fever? Giardiasis (beaver fever) is an intestinal (bowel) illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia lamblia. It is a common illness that causes diarrhea (loose stool/poop). Okay, and what is the grind band named Beaver Fever? Beaver Fever is an Edmonton-based project masterminded by Tsunami Nagasaki, who takes care of the guitar, bass, vocals and drum programming. The project is a ferocious one, with moments of absurd humor mixed in with the loose stool to keep it interesting, like little pieces of corn. Time will tell if Beaver Fever reaches cult-level like similar bands such as Japan’s Sete Star Sept.
Mechanical Separation hail from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – a place where farm equipment is what comes to mind when thinking of something mechanical. The band has been going since 2003, though releases from Mechanical Separation are as sparse as signs of life when driving down the highways in the Canadian prairies. Still, As You Can See is all that is needed to prove that grind is a sleeping giant of a genre in Saskatchewan.
Zuckuss is a bounty hunter in Star Wars, seen in that famous scene where Darth Vader is briefing the boys about Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. The band takes the name and adds pornogrind themes, with album titles such as Titfucked by Tauntaun, Rancor Rimjob and Gamorrean Gangbang. This may be my only opportunity to write about Zuckuss unless I make a Star Wars-themed band list so I’ll use this opportunity to tell a story about them – I saw Zuckuss during a huge comic convention in Calgary, and thought for sure that Star Wars fans would come to the show later. I was wrong – it was just the same metal dudes I’d seen at other shows. It was a disappointing realization that subcultures, though similar and even crossing over into each other in a thematic sense, are often more segregated than I naively assumed.
Chadhel are a four-piece grindcore band from Saguenay, Quebec. After releasing a series of splits in the mid 2010’s they made a mark to be remembered with their 2019 full-length release, Controversial Echoes of Nihilism. They followed that up with this year’s Failure//Downfall. Chadhel is all you could ask for as far as being a pure grindcore band – crushing songs with cool titles without the feeling that they are preaching to you about something or other. Truly, it can be as simple as “Eat. Blast. Die.”
“Mincing goregrind from the Pacific Northwest.” Hyperemesis formed in 2009 and looked to have all of their medical and real-life death photos already saved on their hard drives for eventual album covers. The band is sick all-around – from the music, which is as repugnant sounding as they could possibly make it, to the album covers to even the samples, which come from films such as the classic Gummo.
Vancouver’s Mass Grave have rightfully earned the respect of the grind, punk, crust and metal communities by being an extreme fixture since 2002. Through relentless grinding via bands like Mass Grave, one can hope for a world of peace, with animal liberation and class oppression. It looks like things aren’t getting any better, though, so just turn on this album and rage.
Another “murder capital” representative, Archagathus have had a prolific career so far, emerging in the mid 2000s with Mincecore Demo 2005 and releasing a handful of splits every year since. Among the madness you’ll find a few full-length releases to sink your teeth into, with Coffee Grinder and Canadian Horse merging a Canuck aesthetic with the universal language of unhinged violence.
Gourmet are the third Winnipeg-based band to be a part of this list, which should certainly entice anyone who had second thoughts about moving there to rethink their living situation. Featuring members from Archagathus and Flash Out, Gourmet offer a food-themed feast with the album Blast Supper, which is harder to digest than Terrible Meal. Not hungry? Give a listen to Sounds Like Shit, a compilation featuring Gourmet and a bowlful of other acts. If you do live in Winnipeg, make sure to check out Gourmet’s revolting live show.
Toronto’s Protovirus describe themselves as an “old school death/grind duo.” Forming quite recently (2021), they may have an old school mind, but this band is still just a baby. Nonetheless, they recently released a split with Nyctogaphia entitled Grotesque Monument to a Fallen Species, contributing more than a few skulls to this ghastly moment with songs like “Fuck the News”, “Cry Me a River” and “Parasite City.”
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