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Beaten to Death - Agronomicon

Beaten to Death
by Martin Knap at 08 January 2019, 9:31 AM

BEATEN TO DEATH are from Oslo, Norway and I’ve seen their music described as Melodic Grindcore (on their own fanpage) or even Avant-garde Grindcore, which is just a pretentious way of saying that what they play isn’t quite ordinary Grindcore. I’ve known them since their last release “Unplugged” (no, it’s not an acoustic Grind album in case you’re wondering), that had had truly mesmerized me with songs like “Don't You Dare to Call Us Heavy Metal” or “Papyrus Containing the Spell to Summon the Breath of Life Enshrined in the Collected Scrolls of Sheryl Crow”. As you can tell these guys have attitude and like to take jabs at Metal gimmicks. I assume that the song with the extremely long title mentioned above is making fun of NILE, there are song titles parodying Death Metal on the new album as well, such as “Eternal Punished Septic” or “Extremely Run To the Hills” (I assume an IRON MAIDEN pun – if that’s the case it’s hilarious).

BEATEN TO DEATH play a bewildering mix of different styles form Hardcore, Grindcore, Death Metal, Death Core, and Math Rock, and they will even ironically incorporate Black Metal. Mixing brutality and aggression with nice melodies is not new: this kind of contrast is a cornerstone of Melodic Hardcore for example, but BEATEN TO DEATH take it to another level. In a number of songs they throw together the most brutal Death Metal or absolutely deranged Grindcore and very melodic, exhilarating angular Math Core riffs – and it works perfectly. BEATEN TO DEATH are a very skilled band that can match NASUM in terms of technicality. There is constant development in the songs, oftentimes the progressions come completely out of left field. And what is most important, the grooves and melodies can be catchy as hell. The song on the album seem to purposefully blend together, so it can be listened to as coherent piece (that reminds me of NASUM too btw.).

A highlight on the album is “Bjørnstjerne Ibsen” (I have no idea who that is or what the song is about, even though I’ve looked the name up on Google), which leans towards Melodic Hardcore. It has super catchy melodies and grooves, a nice bridge and great vocal parts with a bit of a Screamo feeling to them. “Gå, Snuble, Bli Liggende” is also one of the more Hardcore songs here, it starts off with blast beats and harsh vocals but soon a driving melody takes over, there even is a more relaxed section in the middle of the song. “Extremely Run To the Hills” has a harsh Death/Grind verse and a melodic Pop Punk chorus – I think that tells you enough. “Havregubbens Dolk” has one of the most euphoric melodies of all the songs on the album, but the closer “Eternal Punished Septic” has to be my absolute favorite. The beginning has a catchy, groovy Hardcore vibe, but then out of the left field comes an evil Black Metal riff and the singer also does a great job at parodying the Black Metal vocal style. The song finishes with mid-tempo beat-down Hardcore grooves.

Only highly skilled musicians can throw different things in a pot and come up with something that so smooth and coherent. I’ve been a fan already, but this release made me extremely happy. If you want something a bit off-kilter, don’t miss out on “Agronomicon".

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

1. Grind Korn
2. Dere er herved oppløst
3. Catch Twentyfvck
4. Bjørnstjerne Ibsen
5. (Intro to the Next Song)
6. Agronomicon
7. Gå, snuble, bli liggende
8. Extremely Run to the Hills
9. Boy George Michael Bolton
10. Havregubbens dolk
11. Livet tar, og livet tar
12. Eternal Punished Septic
Mika – Bass
Anders – Vocals
Christian Svendsen – Drums
Tommy – Guitars
Martin – Guitars
Record Label: Mas-Kina Recordings


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Edited 08 February 2023

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