It's been a while since we did full coverage of a grindcore album, but the time has come. Swedish veterans Gadget are back with their first LP in over a decade, The Great Destroyer. The band has been recommended to fans of Nasum, Rotten Sound, Napalm Death, Nails, Misery Index, and Wormrot. I've never been a huge believer in the genre. It's just that the short songs and breakneck speed often feel more like a gimmick, and those same restrictions lead a lot of groups to sound the same to my ears. Even so, there are the occasional standouts, like my personal favorite Pig Destroyer's Terrifyer. While I may not quite give the same accolades to Gadget, I still found it to be something that grabbed my throat harder than the competition.
This is probably another album where it's better to just go ahead and press play rather than try to glean what the album sounds like from my words alone. Every descriptor I use will apply to pretty much every album in the genre: machine gun punk rock drumming, racing power chords caked in dirty distortion, acerbic shouts of violence, etc. Do yourself a favor and start with "Dedication." That track does an excellent job of summarizing how Gadget takes these elements to a higher threshold.
And as tends to be the case with most grindcore releases I end up enjoying, there are a number of styles turned out in the short time it takes to hear the whole album. There are some Converge-y soounding tracks, a little southern rock fused with metallic punk, a few thrashy-sounding moments, and even a few sludgier moments. This last element is most obvious on the over 5 minutes (that's like 2 days in grindcore time) closer, "I Don't Need You-Dead And Gone," but also shows up on the gloomy, doomy "In the Name of Suffering."
In the end, regardless of the style they are playing, Gadget do what they do well and with plenty of energy. Out of the dozens of promos I sample on a daily basis, it tends to be the ones that jump right out at me immediately that end up getting reviewed. The Great Destroyer was one of these albums. From the first track, I was clotheslined to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the ribs. More importantly, I'm sure these lads put on a hell of a show.