Relapse Records: Unkind + Mumakil + Coffins


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Reviews by Jason Guest

Three more releases from Relapse Records up for review:

  • Unkind – Pelon Juuret
  • Mumakil – Flies Will Starve
  • Coffins – The Fleshland

Unkind – Pelon Juuret

There’s something about Unkind’s brand of hardcore punk that, though it’s as ferocious and pointed as you’d expect from any band producing the same, it’s got a river of dark rage running beneath it’s already barbed surface. With sludge and crust blended into the mix, this is utterly filthy, the kind of album that puts up a fight, and a dirty one at that. There’s a maturity to their sound that makes their wrath simultaneously intellectual and visceral, both aspects in direct opposition with each other, antagonising their counterpart in the atmospheric passages of the album until they explode in a bout designed to create further reasons to fight.

With hardcore providing the album’s foundation, it’s not afraid to branch out into the unexpected and unorthodox. The first three tracks pretty much stick to the tried-and-tested – and do a great job in doing so – but with track four, ‘Viallinen’, the tempo is dragged down and the track lumbers its way across a wasteland scattered with debris, broken glass and jagged stones piercing its fragile skin in every laboured-yet-determined step. Grief stricken and grievous, ‘Olemisen Pelko’ breathes black smoke from its lead-lined lungs while the ultra-hardcore ‘Kehtoon Tapetut’ leaves us battered and bruised before closing instrumental ‘Saattokoti’ surprises us with a folk-infused banjo at its centre. Malevolent as much as it is mournful, and as brutal as it is embracing, what Unkind have done on Pelon Juuret is exceptional.

Unkind - Pelon Juuret8 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Pelon Juuret
  2. Vihan Lapset
  3. Valtakunta
  4. Laki
  5. Olemisen Pelko
  6. Kehtoon Tapetut
  7. Saattokoti

Mumakil – Flies Will Starve

If there’s anything that can be said about grind, it’s that the band’s aren’t mean when it comes to the number of tracks on their albums, and neither do they beat around the bush. Switzerland’s Mumakil are no exception. Album number three and Mumakil have swamped us with twenty four tracks with only one of them breaking the two minute barrier. Abrasive and sadistic, the band has dubbed their music “blastcore”. Press play and you’ll hear why. There are blast beats all over the place! There must have been a sale on or they were being given away at a political rally or something because Mumakil give new meaning the word “hyper”. Honestly, they could put the Brazilian police to shame with the amount of brutality they dish out here. Okay, so Mumakil do tend to rely on blast beats for these two-dozen salvos, but they never drag out a riff for more than is necessary or play with anything less than 100% conviction. Grotesque, savage, and punishing, Flies Will Starve is a necessity for grind freaks everywhere.

7 out of 10

Mumakil - Flies Will Starve

Track Listing:

  1. Death From Below
  2. Dawn Of Slugs-
  3. War Therapist
  4. Fucktards Parade
  5. Built Of Lies
  6. Shit Reminders
  7. Designed To Fail
  8. Get Exorcised
  9. Fresh Meat For The Grinder
  10. Repudiate
  11. Army Of Freaks
  12. Hailing Regression
  13. Cockroaches
  14. Wrong Turn
  15. Let The World Burn
  16. Piss Off (Part 2)
  17. Waste By Definition
  18. Unfair For Whom?
  19. Bring Them To Ruin
  20. Begging For The Obvious
  21. Redline
  22. Blind Disciples
  23. Betrayer
  24. Behind The Mask

Coffins – The Fleshland

Together since 1996, you’d be right to expect something a little more individualistic than what we find on The Fleshland. Opener ‘Here Comes The Perdition’ sets the tone for the album and quickly presents all of the parts that the band will be re-arranging for the rest of the album: vomited vocals are spewed over muddy and murky guitars and drums, the impact of which is diluted by the mucky production. Juxtaposing the punky ‘Hellbringer’ with the doom-ridden ‘The Colossal Hole’ may present a notable variation in approach but what you get with the first three tracks is what you get for the remaining six. It’s not a bad album. It’s just, well, standard. Coffins can throw together a pretty convincing track and can bash all kinds of mangled repulsion out of their instruments but by now, you’d think that they’d be able to stand alone among the mutilated mass. Besides the occasional riff that stands out, there’s little to mark this out as anything other than another, albeit decent, doom/death metal album among the many.

Coffins - The Fleshland6 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Here Comes Perdition
  2. Hellbringer
  3. The Colossal Hole
  4. No Saviour
  5. The Vacant Pale Vessel
  6. Rotten Disciples
  7. Dishuman
  8. The Unhallowed Tale
  9. Tormentopia