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Birdflesh - Extreme Graveyard Tornado

Birdflesh
Extreme Graveyard Tornado
by Martin Knap at 02 July 2019, 8:15 PM

Like individuals, bands develop their own character, and as with characters in stories we can detect correspondences to certain recurring archetypes like the “martyr”, “saint”, “trickster”, or “hero”. Power Metal with their love of war and quests for glory could be seen as related to the hero archetype, Goth Metal who stylize themselves as tortured souls could correspond to the martyr archetype and so on. Well for some reason many Grind or Death/Grind bands are the tricksters of Metal music. Take bands like CEPHALIC CARNAGE, BEATEN TO DEATH, MINCING FURY, or the band whose newest album we’re examining here, BIRDFLESH: they subvert, they jest, they play tricks. It’s in the nature of extreme things to get turned on it’s head, so it was only a matter of time before the righteous, indignant rage of NAPALM DEATH or the morbidity of CARCASS (or just gore-obsessed Death Metal in general) would be subverted and used as a vehicle for absurdity. I’m not sure who started this absurdist combination of brutal music and humor, I would put my money on ANAL CUNT, but BIRDFLESH is certainly among the pioneers of funny/outrageous Grindcore or Death Metal.

BIRDFLESH are Grind veterans from Sweden, they were formed in 1992 and debuted in 2001 after releasing a couple of interesting demos; “Extreme Graveyard Tornado” is their fifth full-length album. BIRDFLESH always stuck to the classic “let’s put thirty songs on a twenty minute album” Grind formula, and they haven’t changed anything this time around (the album has 24 songs and is 27 minutes long). To “normies” this may seem whimsical and annoying, but if you are familiar with classics like NASUM’s “Inhale/Exhale” etc. you know that it is possible to create an album with short songs that has a flow and coherence to it, and BIRDFLESH are able to do exactly that. Their sound is super eclectic, the songs can be a wild mix of Hardcore, Death, Thrash as well as Black Metal riffs. Grind bands have been parodying Black Metal for a very long time, Seth Putnam had a Black Metal parody band, CEPHALIC CARNAGE did that as well, as did BEATEN TO DEATH on their latest album, so this is nothing new. What comes as a surprise are the nuances that one can find here: for example a part of one song sounds like Melodic Death Metal– it’s very strange and surprising to hear different styles like this meshed together. The songs are entertaining, they usually shift between super aggressive, in-your-face Death/Grind and some more bouncy, groovy riffs – the variety is key here. Of course the lyrics are totally hilarious, like the story about two brothers who start a band in “Grind Band,” a song that sounds intentionally crappy; or there are funny little details mixed in like a burp in the song “Milkshake” or a zany harmonica intro in “Garlic Man”.

I wasn’t too familiar with the band, before hearing “Extreme Graveyard Tornado,” but I see that I was missing out. BIRDFLESH are really one of the most original Grind bands out there. Unfortunately we can’t have any more NASUM, but at least we have BEATEN TO DEATH and these crazy Swedes!

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


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Towards Insanity
2. Are We Great Again?
3. Crazy Train Decapitation
4. Grind Band
5. Home of the Grave
6. Milkshake is Nice
7. Another Pig
8. Guacamolestation of the Tacorpse
9. Crazyful Face
10. Thank You for the Hostility
11. Crazy Nights
12. Botox Buttocks
13. House Guest
14. Accused of Suicide
15. Black Hole Jaw
16. Amish Girl
17. The Rise of Stupidity
18. Pub Night
19. Pyromaniacs
20. Bite the Mullet
21. Almost Aggression
22. Garlic Man
23. Mouth for Gore
24. Land of the Forgotten Riffs

Lineup:
Smattro Ansjovis - Drums, Vocals
Count Crocodelis - Guitars, Vocals
Willy Whiplash - Bass, Vocals

Record Label: Everlasting Spew
     


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