Passion of the Grind
When you’ve been playing grindcore since Reagan was president, you can safely say that you’re passionate about the scene. Started by vocalist Giulio The Bastard and Alberto The Crippler as an attempt to keep heavy music alive in Italy, Cripple Bastards have turned into a grindcore mainstay. Since 1988, Cripple Bastards boast over six albums and countless EPs and compilation appearances. They have appeared at several US-based metal festivals, including Maryland Deathfest, and have been touring tirelessly throughout Europe since their inception, bringing their flavor of grindcore to the masses. Their newest release, Nero In Metastasi (Metastasis In Black for those non-Italian speakers in the house), released on metal heavyweight Relapse Records, is exactly what you’d expect it to be. A bullying listen, full of blast beats, guttural screams (in Italian, no less!) and songs that are about as long as a regular Pepsi commercial, Nero In Metastasi fires on all cylinders.
From the outset, we’re dragged kicking and screaming into the world of the Bastards. The first song on the album, “Malato Terminale,” is the longest on the record, clocking in at a killing 2 minutes and 45 seconds. That’s practically an opus from them. The intro builds into a complete stop and then it’s just a full-on assault. Blast beats rage underneath a speed-fest of riffs, which in turn allow for the guttural bellows and screams from Giulio. Make no mistake about it, they’re still pissed about something, still passionate.
By the time we get to the album’s third track, “Strage Di Ostacoli,” we’re greeted by more blast beats and more controlled chaos. The riffs in this song are huge! The drummer, Al Mazzotti, churns away at a pace that’s maybe a touch slower than Superman on a meth binge.
Every so often we’re given a few moments to breathe. Those sections, like in the fifth track “Lapide Rimossa,” where a simple hardcore breakdown slows the groove a little bit, are few and far between.
Longevity in music is a tough thing to come by, especially in metal. For this band to be going this long, you know they must be doing something right. One thing is for certain, though: they still have passion for the music that drives them.