Can you believe we are drawing to the close of yet another decade already? Time really flies when you do nothing with your life! Any-who, we at Blast Worship Industries have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of the 50 best grindcore and powerviolence records released in the past 10 years. The only parameters used in compiling this list is that the album (or EP or split) had to have been released between 2009 and 2019 and has to fall under the general umbrella of grind/pv.
This past decade was a fairly strong one for fast music and, as a result, no band appears on this list more than once. Looking at the list you can start to see the trends that dominated the decade in the tiny micro-world of grindcore spanning everything from the rise of tough guy powerviolence to the wave of Discordance Axis-worshippers, these past ten years had something for everyone. So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
Relentless Persecution (2014)
A pummeling tour-de-force of thuggish grindcore that predated the wave of beatdown inspired grind bands that would dominate the second half of this decade, Relentless Persecution is relentless in its execution and features some of the most mind-numbingly bombastic floor toms I’ve ever heard on record.
Favorite Track: “Destined To Destroy”
Patrickviolence Demo (2015)
I’m getting this one out of the way early since I know a lot of the people reading this column will be rankled by it’s inclusion, but this is a really good record damn you! I normally despise any type off “themed” band but I really feel like the spirit off Spongebob infuses so well with the punky powerviolence here that it creates something entirely original and refreshing. If you can’t get down with the surf track that closes out this demo, maybe YOU are the problem.
Favorite Track: “Goo Lagoon”
No one outside of Iron Lung did the whole “artsy powerviolence” thing better than this Brooklyn based duo. Water Torture definitely had a profound impact on the decade, providing an influential example off what happens when a hardcore band gives themselves the space to emphasize it’s more surrealistic capabilities while still retaining it’s bowel-churning heaviness. “Shellfire!” simply proves you can maintain your caveman sensibilities while also working on that arts degree.
Favorite Track: “For Nothing”
Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter (2013)
If you are familiar at all with this column than you know damn well Bryan Fajardo is gonna be featured quite heavily on this list. Any grind nerds lamenting the fact that Insect Warfare haven’t released any new music in over a decade can have this record to find spiritual salvation in. Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter is an absolute masterclass in thrashy, riff-salad grindcore that can open a circle pit in any dedicated listener’s heart.
Favorite Track: “Grinder of Fools”
Plague Widow (2012)
Easily one of the most atmospheric albums on this list, Plague Widow is as much an experience as it is a slab of misanthropic death/grind. Suffocating blast attacks like “Mabus Incarnate” and “Void” are interspersed with eerie interludes, most notably the spoken word sample of “Abyss II.” This is basically the musical version of the first season of True Detective and I for one am all about it.
Favorite Track: “Mabus Incarnate”
Kill the Client
Set For Extinction (2010)
Bryan Fajardo’s SECOND appearance on this list and we aren’t even 10 deep. Kill the Client are one of the many notable grind bands to emanate from Texas in the late aughts and early 2010’s and their music always felt particularly intense due to the overly dry production and vocalist’s Champ Morgan’s raw, burly approach. Set For Extinction, the band’s swan song, really ramps up the noisy productions and opens up just a bit more than their previous efforts to allow some truly ball-busting grooves infiltrate their usual maelstrom of blast beats.
Favorite Track: “As Roaches”
This (sort of) D.C.-based grind power trio had the unenviable task of trying to follow up one the prior decades landmark grind albums, their self-titled effort from 2009. Crusher essentially allows much of the formula as their 2009 masterpiece: HM-2s, D-beats and Chris Moore’s insane drumming. The Scion label might have folded but at least they gave us this gem before doing so.
You could very easily make the case that this is the most ignorant powerviolence album of the past 10 years, or ever. Yes, the breakdowns here are jaw-dropping and seismic, but the fast parts are not to be ignored either. Album opener “Get In The Bin” perfectly encapsulates the band’s trusty formula: opening salvo of tight punk blasting followed by a breakdown so incredibly ignorant it might as well come with a dislocated shoulder.
Favorite Track: “Pretzel Limbs”
Raiz Del Mal (2018)
When putting this list together I was very conscious about avoiding any recency bias and as a result there are only a few albums from this year or the last that made the list but I just could not possibly ignore this bad boy. Raiz Del Mal was a debut that set the band instantly on the trajectory of taking over the grindcore world because it focused more on crafting good songs rather than strictly adhering to the the standard grindcore formula. One of the few albums on this list that I feel would appeal to people outside of the usual grind/pv realm, this one is a true banger from start-to-finish.
Favorite Track: “Fuck You”
Agents of Abhorrence
Agents of Abhorrence are one of the most artistically important grindcore bands of our young century, even they still remain currently less-heralded than some of their contemporaries. 2007’s Earth. Water. Sun. is a landmark record in emotional grindcore and the band’s follow up nearly 10 years later, 2015’s Relief, is just as stunning while also crafting an identity of its own. The band’s sound is enmeshed in a similar noisey production style as Kill the Client while laying down the law with some hyper-serious katana riffage that would make even Jon Chang blush. There are many bands out there who play grindcore, but few do it with the organic emotional passion that these Australians generate.
Favorite Track: “Everything Fails”
Catch us next week as we count down albums 40 through 31!