Subvert The Dominant Paradigm

Written by: PP on 17/01/2011 02:32:02

When it comes to grindcore, leave it to Relapse to provide the best bands. They have a ton of excellent bands on their roster playing this particular style, spearheaded by the legendary Brutal Truth, but despite the wealth of excellent grindcore on the label, I'll still have to go ahead and call New Mexico, US-based Noisear's take on the genre one of the most original - and simultaneously one of the best - I've come across to date.

The album title already hints at their self-proclaimed brand of "forward-thinking" grindcore. Translated into layman's terms, "Subvert The Dominant Paradigm" roughly equates to overthrowing a generally accepted agreement on how something works, the something being grindcore in this case, I'd imagine.

Forward-thinking might not be a descriptive enough term to explain what's really going on here, though, a phrase like refreshingly experimental and fucking lunatic interpretation of the genre is much more suitable. On surface, the basic elements seem to be in order: relentless pace, and a bloodthirsty beast dressed as the mother of all blast-beat hells is let loose on the listener, just like in any conventional grind output. But where Noisear really set themselves apart is in the guitar department. Because let me tell you this:

The guitar playing is fucking insane throughout the album.

It's not enough just to call its level of technicality stupendous, although that it certainly is. They spazz, they jangle, they tangle around the atmosphere in a way that ridicules conventional songwriting, all while keeping a logical and intricate structure to each song. But the guitar tone in a great number songs...just what in the hell? Remember how Psyopus became famous through their instantly recognizable 'insect' sounds on "Odd Senses"? Well, Noisear take it a step further, and combine similar 'insect' sounds with complex melody that I have an immense amount of difficulty understanding how the two can possible interact in such a creative way while still making perfect sense. You have a song like "Global Warming", which incorporates said oddity, and then executes it using a BOUNCING rhythm (think pop punk at the speed of 100 fold). I can't say I've ever heard that being done in grindcore before, a huge part of the reason that makes the song one of the best I've come across in my grind endeavours.

Then almost straight after, "Fraudulent" arrives with an almost oriental, traditional Indian-sounding tone laid on top of blast beats and a breakneck tempo. It's simply too strange to properly describe in words, you'd have to hear it to understand it.

These two tracks alone make "Subvert The Dominant Paradigm" succeed in its mission statement as described before. It's too bad not every song on the album re-uses the ideas from those two songs, because it would give the record a much more uniform sound, a signature one, if you will, pushing it over the solid mark to the highest ratings offered on this site. There are 30 tracks in total, of which the guitar insanity makes up about half of the record as far as I can recall. The rest disappointingly fall towards traditional/conventional textbook grind, preventing Noisear from dropping a real bombshell at the scene. Still, you can't argue against "Subvert The Dominant Paradigm" being one of the most original grindcore albums of recent years, one that pushes the envelope to an almost breaking point, and isn't afraid to think well outside of the box, for once.


Download: Global Warming, Fraudulent
For the fans of: Discordance Axis, Brutal Truth, Psyopus, Napalm Death
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.01.2011

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