What The Hell Is Grindcore?


Grindcore is a little infamous, and I think anyone who has spent more than 5 hours on an internet forum that was somehow relevant to metal has come across as a Grindcore fan. Grindcore fans are like cross-fitters, and within 5 minutes of knowing them, they will tell you that they listen to Grindcore, more than once a lot of the time. Either way, that leads to the million-dollar question-

What the hell is Grindcore?

Now granted, since there aren't a lot of sources on the internet to be able to just look it up and get an explanation, I'm going to be talking to a few of those people online who are die-hard Grindcore fans.

Basically starting where the genre was born, the first 'Grindcore' band was considered to be Napalm Death. The essential birth year of the genre is 1987, but you could also say that the mid to late '80s were the true time of Grindcore being established. This is the essential early releases, being Napalm Death's 'Scum' in 87, Extreme Noise Terror's 'A Holocaust In Your Head In' 89, Terrorizor's 'World Downfall' in 89, and Carcass's 'Reek of Putrefaction' in 88. Repulsion being another early release with their release, 'Horrified'.

Now, when trying to pinpoint the genres that merged and birthed the genre of Grindcore, it gets a little messy. So people tend to agree to disagree that the 'parent' genres of Grindcore are Hardcore Punk and Death Metal. Hardcore Punk plays into the emphasis on the shocking lyrics, social message,  show, and imagery used in albums, merch, and promotional content. And Death Metal feeds into the genre's fundamental musical aspects- complex drum patterns, and the overall speed of the music. 

Grindcore stems out into two sub-genres, Goregrind and Pornogrind. Goregrind is the much muddier, gurgly & low-quality sounding, and an emphasis on gore within the lyrics. Pornogrind is nearly the same, but with an emphasis on porn in their lyrics rather than gore. 

Goregrind is known for it's obsession with essentially gore photography in it's branding, it's a part of the "shocking" image. The first goregrind album was Carcass's 'Reek of Putrefaction' which came out in 1988. Dead Infection is also a well-known brand in this subgenre, their albums "Surgical Disembowelment" and "A Chapter of Accidents" are considered other landmarks in Goregrind.

Pornogrind follows the same themes as Goregrind, but rather than gore as its focal point, it is porn. Gut is considered the fathers of pornogrind, forming in 91 with their first album coming out in 95, with another early one being Cock and Ball Torture (CBT) formed in 97. Torsofuck is another notable example, which was formed in 95, and released their first album in 2004. 

An infamous band, either known for its shocking name or the memes about the band that circulates on the internet- Anal Cunt, and the debate of where it falls on the genre spectrum. The band itself wasn't as focused on its music as it was its image, basically pushing everything as far as it could go on the 'extreme' scale. I have been told that the band's music quality is unmatched, but they've been memed to the equivalent of Trapt's existence and it's just something the band's reputation can't come back from. 

Also bringing up AC,  a common theme for the Grindcore & its subgenres is the lack thereof bass players within the bands. Pig Destroyer, Anal CuntDiscordance Axis, and Wormrot.

Now going onto the modern era of Grindcore, with the joys of the internet, the genres have essentially been popularized in their own niche groups, and bands continue to make music in the genres to this day. Some of the bands in this group of 'newer' bands (this first group is 90's to 2000's) are Pig Destroyer, Nasum, Discordance Axis. Newer than that (2000's on) are Insect Warfare and Wormrot. However, along with the newer bands that are releasing new music into these genres, people keep coming back to it with an overall love for the classic albums that define the genre. 

Special Thanks to Plug for helping me with the specifics of this!



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