With Knoll and Full Of Hell sparking interest from new quarters, and legendary acts such as Napalm Death and Wormrot hitting the road relentlessly, grindcore appeared alive and well during 2023.
And the scene gifted us some seriously powerful records last year – as Rushonrock’s best grindcore albums of 2023 shows.
Want it fast? Jump on board…
10. Atomçk – Towering Failures (SuperFi Records/Eggy Tapes)
Psychotic, chaotic and tonnes of fun, Towering Failures was a towering record for UK grind unit Atomçk.
The band’s third album lurched from the spasming Francis Bacon and Robocop 2 to the (slightly) lengthier, full-force attacks of Road Warrior and Disk Warfare, while keeping you on a constant state of alert.
You never knew what was going to hit you next.
It was fucking exhausting.
And it felt great.
9. Eyeteeth – Straight Edge Violence (Then and Now: Essex Hardcore Records/4238607 Records DK)
Learning heavily towards powerviolence and HC, UK quartet Eyeteeth were in no mood to fuck about as they spat out 10 globules of steaming anger.
Snappy tempo changes, sinewy hardcore and slick blasts peppered songs like Chain Whipped, Flesh Trade and the unhinged Wage War.
Hell, even Shane Meadows’ revenge flick Dead Man’s Shoes was brought to bear on Premium (discontent) – and that’s surely the sign of a band who know their shit…
8. Horrible Earth – Weakened By Civilisation (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)
Boston’s Horrible Earth gave us a welcome dose of old school, crusty grind back in February, as they raged against inequality and injustice.
Corrupting Morals, Pyrrhic Victory, Pay for your Hubris rampaged into hardcore turf, Surrounded by Obscenities was a frantic, raging rant, Extinction Through Violence rocked to a torching riff, and well, Jazz Odyssey was as bizarre as the title suggests.
Topped off by the pummelling groove of the title track, Horrible Earth’s second full-length album was a planet slayer.
7. Walking Corpse – Our Hands, Your Throat (Transcending Obscurity Records)
An infernal fusion of gnarly death metal and dissonant grind, the second Walking Corpse album was claustrophobic, suffocating and downright nasty.
This Swedish crew (below) tore at your senses with the likes of Born In Hell, a nerve shredding tune from the depths of Hades.
And they were adept at throwing you off course, just as soon as you’d settled into a groove – The Wheel and Malediction were perfect examples of the band’s MO.
Our Hands, Your Throat gripped on tight.
6. Kill The Con Man – Militant Minority (self-released)
Kill The Con Man’s Operation Just Cause was one of the grind highlights of 2021.
And Militant Minority arguably topped it.
Significantly heavier than its predecessor – and displaying more of those death metal influences – this opus was an unstoppable onslaught of double kicks and filth riffs, spearheaded by guitarist Wesley Richards and roared on by the demons that lurk in his throat.
Invent The Future, Nothing Stops and Monopoly of Violence were certainly grind anti-anthems for the 21st century, but in truth, passion and sheer quality seeped from every pore of Militant Minority.
5. Organ Dealer – The Weight Of Being (Everlasting Spew Records)
It may have been eight years since their debut full-length, Visceral Infection, dropped, but Organ Dealer have lost none of their early bite.
On The Weight Of Being, the New Jersey crew hit us with 21 pinpoint grind strikes, and their vicious delivery brought to mind Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer.
For every blast onslaught, there was an infectious stream of riffery that got deep under the skin – just experience Blue Terror or Recurrence of Nightmares if you want the evidence.
Indeed, with this album, Organ Dealer demonstrated why they’re gaining a rep as one of US grind’s most exciting acts.
4. Rotten Sound – Apocalypse (Season of Mist)
Rotten Sound’s first full-length in seven years certainly lived up to its moniker: 18 sub-two minute nukes detonated back in March and reminded us all of the Finns’ mastery of Def Con One level grind.
With new bassist Matti Raappana lending both grimy bottom end and back up vox to Apocalypse, and Mika Aalto bringing laying down that HM-2 filth, Rotten Sound sounded fresh and hungry. Just the title track alone could level a continent or two, while the discore-powered Fight Back was a rousing call to arms.
3. The Arson Project – God Bless (Selfmadegod Records/Here and Now Records/De:Nihil Records)
The Arson Project ignited the grind scene in 2023 with this politically-charged blast wave.
The Swedes’ clever mix of full throttle grind, Scandi hardcore and chilling samples was scorching: they harnessed chaos, channelled it and let it loose on flayers like Crumbling Grounds and Voluntary Human Extinction.
The Arson Project weren’t afraid of changing things up either, with For The Worms To Feed veering into caustic noise rock and sludge, and the complex Tai-Atari reminiscent of Full Of Hell’s sonic carnage.
It may have taken the band six years to follow up on their debut album, Disgust, but by Christ, God Bless was worth the wait.
2. Suffering Quota – Collide (Lower Class Kids Records/7Degrees Records/Tartarus Records)
Groningen crew Suffering Quota (pictured top) have been ploughing a crusty grind furrow since 2011, and Collide – their third full-length – was a real statement of intent.
Erupting with viral riffery and underscored by a sinewy rhythm section, Collide hit like a cyclone, and pulled us deep into its vortex.
Rights was particularly impressive, incorporating OSDM, flurries of noise and whiplash rhythms, but whether the quartet were on full blast (see Time) or diving into the crust (check out Scorn), they did so with flair and ferocity.
1. Gridlink – Coronet Juniper (Willowtip)
Back in 2014, it appeared that Longhena would be Gridlink’s final record.
But they returned in 2023 with this masterpiece of technicolour technicality, an album that, like its predecessors, seemed to have one foot planted in the future.
Guitarist Takafumi Matsubara – now thankfully recovered from the brain infection that caused paralysis in his left hand – showed just what he was capable of through an album of contorted melodies and dazzling dexterity, and joined former Discordance Axis vocalist Jon Chang, inhuman drummer Bryan Fajardo and Maruta bassist Mauro Cordoba in an all-star reignition of Gridlink.
As soon as Silk Ash Cascade burst forth, you knew that the band’s extraterrestrial DNA remained intact… and that Coronet Juniper was going to fry you like a solar flare.
Few bands can build works of grind like Gridlink: songs such as Pitch Black Resolve and the dense, tense Octave Serpent were simply phenomenal.
What a comeback.
Enjoyed our Best Grindcore Albums of 2023 list? Check out our Best Death Metal Albums of 2023 here.
Suffering Quota picture by Richard Postma.