The Best Grindcore Album - Metal Storm Awards 2017

Hostage Animal is more of a blunt instrument than your typical caustic, razor-sharp grindcore; fuzzed-out and indebted to the tremolo-picking, lo-fi cruelty of black metal as much as the unsound surging of traditional grind, this album nonetheless shreds ears with all the salt and vigor you'd expect out of this category. Six of these songs are over three minutes and the shortest track is a whopping 52 whole seconds in length, so perhaps All Pigs Must Die are learning to take more seriously the composition side of being brutal as heck, but they sure ain't losing their edge.

Antigama has always been a quirky band among its peers in this savage genre. The Polish grinders do not shy away from introducing modern touches to a genre that can be one-dimensional at times. Depressant confirms that the futuristic, groovy, and highly technical sound is Antigama's very own. You'll be sonically assaulted by bizarre chords, twisting riffs, and frenetic drumming. Being an EP of less than 20 minutes, there is a risk that you'll blink and miss it, but subsequent listenings will only highlight the experimental nature of this band.

For a genre that tends to go for an all-encompassing aesthetic and sound due to the short lengths of their albums, it's refreshing to hear a band that puts so much effort into the songwriting of each track. The Greek Dephosphorus will make you pay attention to each one of the 24 minutes they have, using black, hardcore and sludge influences to pummel your head into stardust.

This album is called Through The Mirror because listening to it feels like getting thrown into a plate glass window. From the makers of Boris, Dir En Grey, and Merzbow (that is, Japan), we present to you Endon: something like a combination of all three, but in grindcore format (because why not go all-out in sculpting musical armageddon?). Comprising horrifying screeches, destructive riffs, and unrelenting noise bounded by inordinately melodic electronics, Through The Mirror is more than your average grindcore album because it's more than any one genre. This is one of the rare bands that can perfectly capture hatred in the guise of music.

After a couple of collaborations, the imposing squad from Full Of Hell return with their first full-length in 4 years. Their take on powerviolence is as tight as ever, barely letting you breath once in a while during their sickening noise interludes. Don't get your hopes up though: the layers of disorienting effects, raw riffs, savage drumming and maniacal vocals will surely suffocate you by the end.

Implore is now 3 for 3 with MSA nominations, and with the steady increase in production values and songwriting, it looks like they'll be regulars in this category for a long time coming. Subjugate is a proud exemplar of grindcore, a perfect mix between chaotic energy and technical competence - like performing open-heart surgery in a hurricane. Subjugate is a great title; this is the kind of furious, metallic grindcore that will beat you into submission.

Leng Tch'e lays heavily on the death metal side of grindcore, even toeing the deathcore line at times; their mid-paced and slower grinds are just as brutal and deadly as the asphalt-tearing ones. Serge Kasongo utilizes a wide range of vocal techniques, bringing more dimensions to Leng Tch'e's template. It's not as though Razorgrind needs those brief forays into adjacent genres to maintain its hold, though those are nice; Razorgrind is a record of compact violence whose phasers are always set to kill.

Still all-star grindcore, but with slightly different stars - former Brutal Truth vocalist Kevin Sharp took over for Tompa Lindberg in 2014, making his Lock Up debut on Demonization. Leave it to the celebrities to give us a pro demonstration of grindcore in the classical sense: hardcore punk in all its blunt aggression played 1,000 times faster, rawer, and more haphazardly. This is only Lock Up's fourth album in 20 years, and while it was six years between Necropolis Transparent and this album, it only takes about one track to be sure that the result outweighs the investment of time.

Dios Carne is a very compact, abrasive stuff from Spanish grindcore machine Looking For An Answer, whose sound emphasizes a lot of variety in tempo changing - not that typical grindcore all-out speed and blast, yet still very strong, ferocious and "old school-ish"-coated above all. This maddened piece of an album will pump you all the way, offering only beating and grinding of your aural sense.

The raw blur of crust, grind and death metal that is The Haunting Fear of Inevitability was dropped by The Drip very early in 2017 and violently kicked the unsuspecting in the teeth. Screaming and growling vocals, intimidating and hard-hitting drums and chaotic riffs played with a humongous guitar sound will inevitably haunt you with fear in this uncompromising, merciless and ferocious debut.


Write-in votes

Broken Hope - Mutilated and Assimilated
Cenotaph - Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions
Cursed Earth - Cycles of Grief
Death Toll 80K - Step Down
Exhumed - Death Revenge
Haemorrhage - We Are The Gore
Igorrr - Savage Sinusoid
Lil Pump - Lil Pump
Lock Up - Demonization
Marginal - Total destruction
Mincing Fury And Guttural Clamour Of Queer Decay - Thousand Years Of Emptiness
Origin - Unparalleled Universe