Brainchoke - Introspective
Grindethic Records
16 songs (32:15)
Release year: 2008
Grindethic Records
Reviewed by Goat

It doesn’t take many listens to realise that Brainchoke are not your everyday, run-of-the-mill Grindcore band. The intro piece builds up menacingly for a minute before 2012 bursts out, about as Black Metal as it gets, flowing seamlessly into Learn The Hard Way’s Napalm Death meets Cannibal Corpse blast. The British five-piece have been in existence for the last eight years, Introspective being their debut full-length, and it’s obvious that the band have spent a good deal of that time refining their techniques, as this is a skilful exploration of Grindcore past and future. With a production by Danny B of awesome Thrashers Criminal that gives the music a live feel without obliterating the bass, Introspective should appeal to old-schoolers everywhere, especially once the album really gets going with the Punky likes of Leave This Place.

What takes this above and beyond the call of duty is the frequent experimentation, such as IVth Time Lucky’s Prog Metal vibes, Square One’s whirlwind riffs, technical drumwork, and Drum N’Bass finale, Delusional Patriotism’s banjo, Past Six Years’ atmospheric repetition… Seemingly every track on the album has that added bell or whistle, something to make it memorable, and it works. Blue Blood just wouldn’t be the same without the ridiculously over-the-top soloing, even though the underlying Grind is pretty damn good throughout the album – it would stand up on its own without the frills. It’s clear that Brainchoke have the technical chops to make the likes of Spiritual MedicationDeath meets the Blues – even more technical and impressive than they already are, and it’s not unreasonable to expect even greater things from the band in the future.

As it is, Introspective is a great listen, the only criticism being that what with all the various elements being bought to play, it doesn’t feel so much as of a unit, an album, as it does a grouping of songs. It’s a pretty minor concern, however, and given that most modern Grindcore bands are content to make a racket without much thought for the progression of the genre, Brainchoke are one of a special few. All they need are some dodgy right-wing beliefs and we could call them the British Impaled Nazarene; as it is, we’ll have to settle for calling them a pretty damn good band.

Killing Songs :
Learn The Hard Way, Leave This Place, IVth Time Lucky, Square One, Delusional Patriotism, Blue Blood, Upwards Spiral, Spiritual Medication
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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