Assück – Anticapital/Blindspot/+3 (Sound Pollution, 1994)

2009 was the year I accepted grindcore into my heart. I've always been a fan of Napalm Death and Nasum, but I never became a true believer of the genre. Thanks to the word of some righteous preachers and a wafer of Wormrot, I'm born again. Rest assured I'll be focusing my musical obsessions on grindcore this year with a religious fervor.

One of my first points of reference in exploring grind was Andrew Childers' Dirty (Baker's) Dozen. Assück stood out of this exegesis of grind canon for several reasons. First, the band's name is more than a little striking. Second, I've been seeing people at shows in Assück T-shirts for 15 years and never heard a minute of their music. I decided to rectify that situation.

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon wishlists, I was able to acquire ABS+3 as a holiday gift this year (along with Misery Index). The album is out of print, and that's just not cool. The songs on this compilation were recorded between 1990 and 1992. The album is comprised of the Anticapital LP (1992), the Blindspot EP (1992) and a trio of songs from a split and compilation (circa 1990).

ABS+3 was an immediate and immense revelation to me. The music bears obvious resemblance to Napalm Death of the same era. The 17 tracks representing the Anticapital LP alone are worth the price of admission. Anticapital derives grind doctrine from Mentally Murdered era Napalm Death, but lacks the spastic chaos that Bill Steer spewed on his last Napalm recordings. In many ways, Anticapital also distills the austerity that we get from Napalm's next generation on Harmony Corruption. The songs are imbued with the crushing guitar sound of “If Truth Be Known,” but also display some of the massive groove Bill Steer bestowed upon “The Missing Link.”

But enough about Napalm Death; Assück dance to the beat of a different drummer. Rob Proctor's performance on this album is nothing short of legendary. By eschewing Mick Harris' hectic obsession with speed, Mr. Proctor displays a patience and precision that casts this grind in a different light. There are, of course, blastbeats and speed a-plenty. It's just a different kind of speed. I'm no expert on drumming, but there's something organic, flowing and fierce here that you can't find anywhere else. Mr. Proctor's skills often makes me think of Keith Moon; I love the idea that you can suddenly be completely surprised by the drumming in the middle of a song. You have to stop for a moment and think, “Did he really just do that?”

The incredible drum sound is part and parcel with the production. Whereas Napalm Death recordings of this era feel compressed into a tiny and explosive sonic spectrum, Anticapital sounds wide open and free. There's a nice stereo separation to the instruments that gives the thing an intimate feel. I feel like I'm sitting in a room with these guys.

Steve Heritage is a grind riff machine. He squeezes an amazing diversity of ideas from the traditional grindcore palette. The guitar sound here is perfection – this is the bottomless and razor sharp tone I crave. There's an incredible synergy between the crushing guitar sound, atonal chordage and never ending plethora of rhythms. I don't think Assück deign to use the same riff pattern twice on the album.

Paul Pavlovich barks out these lyrics like a highly articulate canine. His perfect diction ensures that the righteous poetics get their due. Anticapital is the real deal, one of those rare metal albums you can sit and listen to while following along with the lyrics and not be embarrassed for humanity. I'm a lyrics guy; it's part of my schtick. I like to know what the music is about (see blog sub-title). It gets me in trouble sometimes. That said, Assück deliver an engaging treatise on the flaws of society, religion, government and politics. They hit up all the important talking points. “Along with the art of conquest and domination, we have developed the absolute science of ignorance and bound it in text for generations of the unthinking.” Right on.

The +3 songs come in the middle of the album, out of chronological order. These tracks are a bit more raw, but also have more stylistic range. “Suffering Quota” features an amazing descending riff that spins down a detuned toilet; it's a match for any demented Carcass riff. “Parade of the Lifeless” features some of the more amazing drumming to be found on the compilation.

The Blindspot EP rounds out the album with material that's just as strong as Anticapital, but it suffers from less articulate production. It's unclear, based on the liner notes, which parts of the compilation were recorded at Morrisound studios and engineered by Scott Burns. Based on the reduced sonic spectrum of Blindspot, I'm most inclined to suppose it got the Morrisound treatment. Nevertheless, tracks like “Blindspot” are still incredibly edible bits of grind.

It's always a good day when I can add a classic album to my music collection, and ABS+3 is every bit a classic. And it doesn't suck one bit of ass.

95/100

Labels

Absu1 Acephalix2 Agalloch1 Agrath1 Altar of Plagues4 ambient1 Amon Amarth4 Amorphis1 Ancient Wound1 Anhedonist1 Animals as Leaders1 Aosoth1 Apostasy Records1 Arsis1 Assück2 astrogrind1 At The Gates1 Atakke2 Augury1 Aural Music1 Australia1 Autopsy1 Avantgarde Music1 Backslider1 Bandcamp4 Baroness5 Barren Earth1 Batillus2 Be'lakor2 Beansidhe2 Beaten To Death3 Bindrune Recordings3 Black Anvil10 Black Cobra1 Black Metal66 Blender Theater3 Blood Harvest3 Blood Incantation1 Blood Music1 Bloody Panda1 Blue Record1 Blut aus Nord2 Bolt Thrower2 Bosse-de-Nage1 Botanist1 Bowery Ballroom1 Buckshot Facelift1 Burning World1 Burst4 Cake Shop2 Candlelight1 Cannibal Corpse2 Captain Cleanoff1 Carcariass1 Carcass3 Castevet8 cats1 Century Media1 Chepang1 Chronicles of Chaos1 Chuck Schuldiner1 Cloud Rat2 Cobalt2 Code6661 Coffinworm1 Concussion1 Coney Island High2 Converge1 Convulse1 Convulsing1 Creator-Destructor Records1 Crom Dubh1 Crucifist1 crust2 Curandera2 Cynd1 Cynic1 d-beat1 Dååth1 Dark Descent Records6 Dark Tranquillity1 Darkane1 Darkthrone2 Deafest5 Death2 Death Angel1 death metal68 Death Toll 80K1 Deathspell Omega1 Debemur Morti2 Decibel2 Decrepit Birth2 Defeatist8 Demilich1 Denmark1 Dephosphorus1 Disappearer1 Discordance Axis1 diSEMBOWELMENT1 Disma3 Disrotted1 Dissection2 Don't Give a Fuck1 doom28 Down2 Dream Theater2 Drugs of Faith1 Dunkelheit Produktionen1 Duplicate Records1 Dying Fetus1 Dystrophy1 Earache4 Eight Bells1 Eluveitie1 Emperor1 Enslaved3 Entombed2 Epoch1 Europa3 Exhumed1 Explosions In The Sky1 Falls of Rauros1 Fen3 FLAC1 Flaming Tusk4 Flourishing6 folk1 folk metal2 From Exile1 Fuck the Facts5 funeral doom6 Funeral Moth2 Fuoco Fatuo1 Gattaca1 Gaza1 GetOverHere1 Gigan1 Gilead Media3 God Dethroned2 Gojira5 Google Music1 Google music beta1 Gorguts3 Gorod2 Gramercy Theater2 Grand Ballroom1 Grave Miasma1 Graveyard Hill Records1 Grind and Punishment1 grindcore30 Grindcore Karaoke1 Guns N' Roses1 Gustavo Santaolalla1 Gwynbleidd1 Gygax1 Handshake Inc.1 hardcore8 Heaving Earth2 heavy metal2 Hells Headbangers2 Hellthrasher Productions2 High Water Media1 Highline Ballroom1 Hivelords1 Holy Grail1 Hooded Menace2 Horrendous3 Horror Pain Gore Death Productions2 Howls of Ebb2 Hreilia1 Humanity Falls2 Hybreed Chaos1 I1 I Abhor1 I Voidhanger Records1 Ill Omen1 Imbroglio2 Immolation6 Immortal4 Impiety1 In Flames2 Incantation3 industrial2 Infernal Stronghold1 Infestus1 Ingrowing1 Inquisition2 Interviews1 Intronaut2 Inverloch1 Invertia1 Invictus Productions2 Ipsissimus2 Irkallian Oracle1 Iron Bonehead1 Iron Bonehead Productions1 Iron Maiden4 Irving Plaza4 Isis1 Katatonia3 Khthoniik Cerviiks3 King Giant1 Krallice10 Kreator4 Krypts3 Kylesa4 Lamb of God2 Landmine Marathon3 Last Rites1 Laster1 Latitudes1 Lavadome productions2 Lay Down Rotten2 Legion1 Listenable Records1 Lit Lounge1 Ludicra4 Lychgate1 Madison Square Garden1 Magrudergrind2 Man's Gin1 Manipulator1 Marduk1 Marty Friedman1 Martyrdöd1 Maruta1 Maryland Deathfest2 Mas-Kina Recordings2 Masonic Temple1 Mastodon6 Megadeth1 melodic death metal4 Melvins2 Metal Bandcamp7 Metallica1 Mikael Åkerfeldt1 Milwaukee Metalfest1 Mind Mold1 Mirovia1 Misery's Omen1 Mithras2 Mitochondrion1 Moksha1 Mollusk1 Mono2 Moonsorrow1 Morbus Chron1 Mortician1 Motörhead1 Mournful Congregation1 Music Hall of Williamsburgh1 Mutant Supremacy5 Mutiny Within1 My Dying Bride4 Nachtreich2 Naisian1 Napalm Death5 Nasum1 Necrophobic1 Necrosemen1 Necrowretch1 neo-classical1 Nephelium1 Nerve Altar2 Neuraxis3 Neurisis1 New Zealand1 Nile2 Nirvana1 No Fashion Records1 noise3 Nokia Theater1 Nordvis2 Nuclear Blast3 Nuclear War Now!1 Nucleus2 NWOBHM2 Obscura4 Obsequiae2 Ogg Vorbis1 Opeth5 Order of Orias1 Osmose Productions1 Owen Hart1 P.L.F.1 Pact Ink Records2 Pagan Records1 Pallbearer1 Pantera1 Paroxsihzem2 Peaceville4 Pelican6 Phantom Glue1 Phil Anselmo1 Pinnacle of Bedlam1 pirate metal1 Plebeian Grandstand2 Poland1 Polluted Inheritance1 Portal1 post-metal2 post-rock2 PRC music1 Priapus1 Prisoner of War1 Profound Lore9 prog11 Prosthetic2 Psychic Limb3 Pulverised Records1 Qrixkuor2 Quorthon1 Radiation Blackbody1 random playlist3 Red Album1 reissue1 Relapse8 Revocation5 Ritual Chamber1 Robert Johnson1 Sabre1 Saint Vitus Bar1 Sarcasm1 Sarpanitum1 Satan1 Scion1 Scrotum Jus Records1 Selfmadegod Records1 Sentient Ruin1 Sesecresy1 Setentia2 Seventh Rule1 Severnaya1 Shadow Kingdom Records1 Shea Stadium1 Siberian Hell Sounds1 Skeletonwitch6 Slough Feg1 Sludge17 Slugdge1 Social Distortion1 Soilwork3 Soulseller Records1 Southern Lord3 Spectral Lore2 speed metal1 StarGazer1 Streetwalker1 Suffering Hour1 Suffocation5 Sulaco1 Summer Slaughter1 surf1 Swallow the Sun2 Swashbuckle3 Swedish Death Metal1 Swimming1 Swords of Chaos1 Sydney1 Symphony X1 Taake1 technical death metal7 Temple of Abandonment1 Temple of Void1 Thantifaxath1 The Absence1 The Acheron3 The Ajna Offensive1 The Binary Code1 The Bowery Electric2 The Chance4 The Charleston2 The Communion1 The Faceless4 The Fucking Champs2 The Knitting Factory3 The Path Less Traveled Records7 The Rolling Stones1 The Ruins of Beverast1 The Secret2 The Studio at Webster Hall5 Thou1 thrash10 Thrawsunblat1 Throatruiner Records1 Throne Records1 Tiger Flowers3 Toad's Place1 Tombs6 Triptykon1 Union Pool2 Unmen1 Unspeakable Axe Records1 Urfaust1 Vancouver1 Velnias1 Vendetta Records1 Vex1 Via Nocturna1 Vic records1 viking2 Vit1 Vitriol Records1 Vore1 W.T.C Productions1 Wadge1 Wake2 Warbringer2 Weakling3 Weapon1 Weedeater1 What We All Come To Need1 Willowtip4 Withered5 WITTR1 Woe3 Wolves In The Throne Room5 Woods of Ypres4 Wormrot9 Writhing Mass1 Xaddax1 Xantam1 year-end list2 year-end-list1 Yellow Eyes1 Yith1 Zhrine1 Zosimus1
Show more