Genre: Grindcore/Goregrind | Label: Behind the Mountain
Location: Winnipeg, MB/Białystok, Poland| Listen: Bandcamp
Grindcore, mincecore, goregrind. If those three terms mean anything to you, then read ahead, as this split between Canada’s Archagathus and Poland’s Meat Spreader will likely interest you. Archagathus’ side is their only release for 2020, which is kind of bizarre when you consider this is also their 70th release. Meanwhile, Meat Spreader is a new goregrind band that features members of two of Poland’s most well known bands in the genre, Dead Infection and Squash Bowels. Both bands have teamed up here for a 12″, giving us a little more material than the usual 7″ duration.
Winnipeg’s Archagathus need to introduction, but if you haven’t heard them yet, their material on this split is an excellent representation of the band. This recording sees them as a power trio, with the usual suspects of Dan and Joe handling guitar and bass respectively, and of course splitting up the vocals. This recording also features Andy from Nak’ay on drums, who have also released a split with Archagathus (which I just recently reviewed). These are some of the blastiest songs in the band’s discography so far, as they pretty much eschew the typical mincecore polka beat. It does show up on tracks like “Disgusting Thing,” but only for a brief moment. There’s a lot of focus on brutality here, with plenty of death metal style riffing and punchy punk riffs. The dual vocal attack between Dan and Joe is absolutely disgusting, with lots of pitch shifters, but they still do a variety of voices with it. This is also some of their best sounding material, as Dan’s recording ability has been constantly improving over the years, and everything sounds well balanced.
This split is the only material I’ve heard from Meat Spreader, but as a fan of their previous bands, it’s pretty much what I expected to hear. The vocals sounds exactly like Dead Infection’s “A Chapter of Accidents,” with usage of pitch shifters, and the songwriting isn’t too far off either. However, these songs aren’t as much of a blasterpiece as either Dead Infection or the Archagathus side of this split. There are plenty of blasts, but there’s enough switching up between punk and thrash beats. I always liked Squash Bowels’ distorted bass tone, and no surprise, it’s also present in Meat Spreader. The band flexes some musicality into the song “Sound of Knife Entering Flesh” by slowing things down briefly and throwing some lead guitar into the mix. It’s a much needed breath of fresh air among all the brutality. Their side of the splits ends with a Regurgitate cover, and it fits in perfectly with the rest of the material here.
Archagathus never fails to make my year end lists, and despite only having one release this year, this split with Meat Spreader is definitely a stand out release for 2020. Both bands bust out some ridiculously vile grindcore, complete with low tunings and pitch shifters, and present their material with quality production values. Each band contributes about 9 minutes per side, so it still goes by fairly fast, but considering the fact that most of Archagathus’ releases are simply split 7″ records, anything in longer format is worth looking into.