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The Bastard Within – Better Dead than Friends

The Bastard Within
Better Dead than Friends
by Liam Easley at 28 December 2019, 8:17 PM

Featuring former DYING FETUS and MISERY INDEX drummer Kevin Talley, THE BASTARD WITHIN unleashed their debut full-length, “Better Dead than Friends,” on Dec. 5, 2019. With technical and brutal riffs abound, this new Grindcore act delivers 22 fresh cuts of ferocity. Despite being just under 30 minutes, the record covers a lot of territory. Starting with “Dead End,” the album is introduced as a technical and dissonant riff salad, a perfect representation of what is to come. It is followed by “Loser Division,” a Brutal Deathgrind track that goes hard and fast while avoiding the use of original riffs.

Originality is something that this album attains, but it is not common, nor is it very necessary for Grindcore. Nevertheless, “Varosha” provides a look at the band’s fierce side with a dual vocal attack. One voice is the normal, guttural one, but the other one is unique to the track, and it is very harsh and bleak, but not quite like that of Black Metal. The two vocal styles play off each other with intriguing and unique chemistry.

“Aware of Slavery” provides something completely new to the table. Near the beginning of the track, there is a very brief, yet very noticeable Jazz fusion section. It lasts mere seconds, as it is quickly absorbed back into the Grindcore body of the track. The transitioning in and out of such a different genre was interestingly flawless, which shines a light on the band’s ability to write music.

This being said, the variety of the record alone keeps the listener engaged. Albums like this, while they are short, can easily become background noise. The Bastard Within provide enough variety to keep the listener wondering what will come next. “Cui Podest” is just 23 seconds long, but it is the only Mathcore song on the album. This is just one more example of the diversity of this release.

Outside of diversity, the album also has a great structure. Throughout the album there are interesting riffs and passages. Multiple songs showcase notable groove breaks and breakdowns like “Shaman 3.0,” “Thinks” and “The Solution.” “Pay,” one of the best tracks on the record, is within the last four tracks of the album, giving it a strong ending. The track delivers groovy riff after groovy riff with plenty of dissonance and even Progressive techniques.

As far as music goes, “Better Dead than Friends” is pretty uninteresting and easily avoidable. However, as far as Grindcore goes, this album is very technically proficient and interesting. It offers a variety of styles from Mathcore to Brutal Death Metal to Jazz fusion and even different vocal styles here and there. This is truly a unique Grindcore release, something I do not find myself saying very often.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dead End
2. Loser Division
3. I Don’t Give a Fuck
4. Formless Mess
5. This Is a Fact
6. The Solution
7. Varosha
8. Worthless Existence
9. (Anti) Social Network
10. Cui Podest
11. Thinks
12. Better Dead than Friends
13. Aware of Slavery
14. Boredom
15. Shaman 3.0
16. Irrational Mania
17. Money for Rotting
18. Mankind
19. Pay
20. Affective Dificiency
21. If
22. Reset
Lineup:
CN Sid – Vocals
Gianluca Sulpizio – Guitars
Davide Stura – Bass
Kevin Talley – Drums
Record Label: Immortal Souls Productions
     


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Edited 29 September 2020
 

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