Sayyadina - The Great Northern Revisited
Relapse Records
30 songs (35:25)
Release year: 2010
Official Myspace, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Charles
This is a new band for me, and the promo information from Relapse is a little oblique. It features members of Victims, General Surgery and a former member of Nasum (Jon Lindqvist) but this is really all that is given away. Their myspace is a bit more informative, citing their influences as the familiar list of grind heroes, Brutal Truth, Terrorizer, and so forth. The Great Northern Revisited is a compilation of songs mostly from myriad split releases, but also contains four new songs. No idea which ones the new ones are, but given that I’ve never heard the band before, it doesn’t seem to matter…

Within the grind spectrum, this leans less towards the pulverising metallic approach of Lindqvist’s old band, and more towards the super-fast, almost experimental drive of bands like Brutal Truth, and probably isn’t too far off that band’s latest, overall. It’s like a bag of sweets; short tunes (the average length is about a minute) impress themselves upon you and then are gone. Because the majority of the tunes here are intensely up-tempo blasters- impressive and energetic, but nothing you haven’t already heard from however many grind acts- it’s a relief that there are some changes of pace. Like Prozac Generation, which alternates straightforward blasting with sludgy, punky riffing. Or All This Fear, which has a doom metal feel, in its introduction at least, giving the following grindcore rant a bit of a dramatic prelude. These semi-regular diversions into slowness are a welcome counterpoint.

Despite the ultra-fast energy that infests this, it is evident that these tracks have been drawn from different places. Some of them have an ultra-low budget feel to them, like the scuzzy Razor Discipline which could be some garage crust punk band, whilst others have a riffy, Antigama-like forcefulness (e.g. Someday I Will Kill). This isn’t necessarily a problem if you want to listen to this through as an album- the variety is welcome, to be honest. I’d say the only tune here that really grabs you as something original is Retaliation, with its sleazy, alt. rock grooving becoming the base for a ferocious, almost black metal tirade.

So, a worthy compilation of decent grindcore. There is plenty to find here, and some really good tracks lurking among the blistering noise. It certainly won’t convert anyone, but it hardly seems like that’s their intentions. Personally, I would tend to go for something either with more of a sense of fun (like Wormrot) or more of a artistic, technical sheen (e.g. Antigama), but this is vicious enough to deserve a listen from grinders.

Killing Songs :
Retaliation, Someday I Will Kill, Razor Discipline
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