Mumakil - Behold The Failure
Relapse Records
Brutal Death Metal, Grindcore
27 songs (35:28)
Release year: 2009
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat

Let’s face it, any band that features former members of underrated Swiss Sludgsters Knut is more than worth checking out, and Mumakil is definitely worth the time of any Grind-devotee out there. Named after the ‘oliphaunts’ from Lord Of The Rings, the band mix a liberal amount of Brutal Death Metal into the mix but avoid the typical Suffocation-esque mid-paced crawl that most Deathcore bands seem to ape and keep the pace fast, not a single song on Behold The Failure going past the two-minute mark. Those that heard the band’s 2006 debut Customised Warfare will be in familiar territory for the most part, although Behold The Failure goes a step further than its predecessor by upping the brutality even more.

To be honest, the first few listens will be one long blur, the band playing at speeds faster than light – Nasum plus a mild amount of Sludge being the easiest way of summing the album up. Knut fans beware, there is little musically here to suggest that the guitarist and bassist once belonged to that august group, although with more listens there are little technicalities that become clearer. In many ways, drummer Seb (formerly of no-I’ve-never-heard-of-them-either Death/Grinders Deceit) is the most impressive here, his blasts and various beats adding the diversity that the speedy guitars either lack or hide with their speed.

It’s a cliché, but the cover art does reflect the music on the album, or what I imagine an enormous elephant stomping all over hordes of men would sound like were it to be reproduced in Grindcore format, anyways. I dare you to try picking highlight moments; although moments like The Eye Of Wrath may seem to stand out more than others, further listens reveal other little intricacies hidden behind the brutality until it’s hard to avoid just giving up and saying that the album is one long awesome song. Unfortunately it’s not quite that good, although Grindcore fans should have very little to complain about. It’s one of the heaviest Grind albums I’ve heard in a while, the sheer pounding heaviness relentless, tiring rather than tiresome, and the complex songwriting reveals a band who have put some thought into the process. They could have quite easily pumped an album full of Punkish conformity out, and kudos to them for going the Brutal Death route and making this something that newcomers to Grind will have real trouble in enjoying without lots of patience.

Still, moments like the whoop that opens Useless Fucks will cause plenty of grins, and there are doubtless a few masterpieces to come from Mumakil in the future when they ‘mature’ and start to write songs over three minutes. Few people will be playing Behold The Failure over and over due to the sheer heaviness, but there are many who’ll like it from time to time, and we all feel the need for a bit of mindcrushing brutality every so often, don’t we? Mumakil provide exactly that with enough individuality to keep the critically-minded happy, and that’s more than enough for me.

Killing Songs :
The Eye Of Wrath, Useless Fucks, Without Grief, Daily Punishment, Pisskeeper, plus many more!
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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