Review Summary: A powerful grindcore release.
Assück really hit the nail on the head with this album. 1991's Anticapital's
seventeen tracks come in at just over fifteen minutes, but in those fifteen minutes, the listener is treated to one of the most enjoyable grindcore experiences I've ever had the pleasure to discover.
One thing I quite immediately noticed about Assück and this album is that you can pay attention to each instrument, guitars, drums, or vocals (sadly, not so much bass, which is a bit lost in the mix), and it'll hold your interest. It seems too often in grindcore there's really no point in paying attention specifically to one instrument in particular: sometimes the musicianship just doesn't hold the listener's attention--whether it's the drums just being a frazzle of frantic blast beating, or the guitars seem to be little more than a wall of four different chords being ground out as hard and as fast as possible. And there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that as long as you can still enjoy the music when you listen to the overall product, but that isn't so with Assück.
Each of the band members is clearly very skilled with their instruments, and it never devolves into the territory of frazzled noise that some bands seem to think is all there is to playing grindcore. The drumming is laser-precise and very sharp, with every snare drum strike, every bass drum beat, and every crashing cymbal clear and easy to distinguish; the guitar is similarly quite impressive, combining power chord brutality, excellent usage of pinch harmonics, and slowly, doom-inflected riffs to maximum effect. The singing was also impressive; Paul Pavlovich delivers low, guttural, rapid-fire rasps, though his voice tends to sound pretty much the same throughout, and has little variation to it. That's a small qualm, however.
As far as the song-writing itself, one can find no complaints. Here one can find punk-inflected brutality, nihilistic fury, typical grindcore it would seem--but it's always a controlled assault and never becomes chaos. Each song in its own right is a joy to listen to--but the majority are under a minute, and none make it to a minute and a half. This is typical for grindcore, but Assück manages to make the listener enjoy that one riff, or this particular lick, so much so that you find yourself wishing the songs were just a little longer so you could enjoy them longer. This is the only qualm I have with Anticapital
and Assück in general, as I feel if they made their songs just a little longer it would be so much more enjoyable (I wouldn't end up listening to one song on replay because I'm addicted to its absolutely awesome riffing, which is abundant on Anticapital
). Conversely, the songs never become derivative of one another, and you can clearly distinguish between them--a quality quite a lot of grindcore bands lose sight of.
is shocking in its depth. The lyrics, delivered rapidly over the course of the album's quick-fire songs, are remarkably piercing in their truthfulness and quite beautiful despite the morbid, bleak situations they describe. Piercing statements such as "A nation born blind should have been terminated in its infancy" and "Kneel before the altar of inequality/bow your head, close your eyes" are clear demonstrations of Assück's lyrical prowess and ability to weave within their bursts of grindcore fierce, brutally honest statements about politics, religion, and society.
So that's Anticapital
--a hallmark of grindcore, one that no fan of the genre should be without. I won't say it's flawless (nothing can ever be), but it's damn close to it and it's a powerful release from an excellent band.