Bong-Ra: Grindkrusher
Ad Noiseam

Larvae: Empire
Ad Noiseam

Add two bruising 12-inchers to the Ad Noiseam catalogue: Grindkrusher, a grindcore metal homage from 'Necro-corpse Mutilator' Bong-Ra (Dutch electronic musician Jason Kohnen), and Empire, a Star Wars-inspired drum & bass set by Larvae (Matthew Jeanes). Not surprisingly, Grindkrusher is the more harrowing ride, with grinding guitar riffs and deathly growls duking it out with hammering jungle beats for supremacy. Sick, raw, and incendiary, the disc features 'Putrid Nun Slayer' Kriss (on 'screams' and 'hairballs' no less) plus remix contributions from Doormouse and Sickboy (Kohnen's originals 'deranged,' 'devoured and dismembered,' respectively, by his guests). Though grindcore thrashers like “Ram Waster” and “Painkiller” roar mercilessly, Bong-Ra spares a moment to quietly survey the smoking embers of bombed ruins during “Dstrctv.”

Simultaneously playful and macabre, Empire is split into 'Light' and 'Dark' sides though, in truth, both seem equally intense. Lifelong Star Wars fan Larvae plunders Lucas's movies for inspiration, lifting a voiceover here and a soundtrack orchestration there, though they're ultimately more a springboard for the pummeling drum & bass that dominates the disc's six tracks (including two remixes). Swooping orchestrations and intricate arcade melodies try to keep pace with the title cut's steaming groove while a crushing bass tsunami barrels through Enduser's wicked “Empire” overhaul. Bong-Ra soaks Larvae's rabidly seething “Hayden's Ghost” in fulminating rhythms and a bass line so heavy it could sink ships. On the B-side, the comparatively more restrained “Solo Shoots First” adds a strolling funk feel to Larvae's scurrying breaks while “Sith Witch” steps out in an expansive, funked-up groove of itchy splatter and orchestral samples.

September 2005