Beaten To Death: Dødfest!

Norwegians push grindcore’s boundaries to the outer limits

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It only took 18 minutes of their Xes And Strokes debut – and, actually, only about a minute into the album – for Beaten To Death to prove they were different and special. At the heart of the matter, they’re grindcore; blastbeats, throat-shredding and short songs back up that estimation.

However, as with their debut, Dødfest! accentuates the customary with a barrage of elements that push this band towards a leftfield occupied by The Locust, Melt-Banana, Graf Orlock, Brutal Truth and Drugs Of Faith. The dizzying tempo changes of Krepsekamp and Nazi Slippers are matched by the many different chameleonic guises of Anders’ vocals and disorienting mixes of hardcore chug, Kångpunk and a crack-binging Agoraphobic Nosebleed.

The uncanny trick is that, regardless of the existing chaos, BTD always have a tune in play. The clipped, distortionless guitar tones breaking off suspended chord melodies with a sound closer to 90s basement screamo and Dag Nasty’s Field Day are the decisive cause. They may be pilloried for throwing convention out the window, but for anyone wondering how grind’s boundaries might be further pushed, wonder no longer.