Tengo una especial predilección por bandas que vienen de Italia. Mi entrada por la puerta grande (o por la escotilla) en el metal extremo la marcó la Universidad, el intercambio de cintas y la revista Grind Zone, por entonces sempiterna y cubierta de polvo en los Kioskos sin tener yo la más remota idea de a qué sonaban todos aquellos grupos de caras pintadas y pose ultramaligna. Mal traducida (corrector automático de la época), a España llegarían unos 10 números que atesoro como una Biblia (siempre que las ojeo descubro algo nuevo en una esquina, un anuncio o una reseña que me lleva a otra). Dentro del apartado internacional que abarcaba la Revista, hacían mucho hincapié en la escena Italiana, con bandas que para mí hoy son de cabecera... descubriría a Opera IX, Evol, Mortuary Drape, el viejísimo sello Polyphemus Records o los Black Thrashers de culto Schizo.
Desde Palermo (Sicilia), otrora cuarteto y actualmente un power trío, ERASER se han marcado todo un cañón con Mutual Overkill Deterrence tras Erasing the Society (Split con Rats of Society) y el primer Ep Fuck Off and Grind de 2015. En temas biográficos no voy a entrar, porque más adelante incluyo una pequeña entrevista con Anselmo "Krosty" que espero sirva tanto para poner bien las coordenadas genealógicas y todo eso.
Mutual Overkill Deterrence se graba en los Tone Dear Studio por Spadino. La cubierta es de Giuliu "Huere" y Ecumenicus mientras que la trasera es obra de Andrezj Art. A mí lo que me llega es una preciosa cinta azul profesional a cargo de Bloody Scythe Records y Barbarie Autoproduzioni, aunque me consta que la edición principal es una Coedición en vinilo de esas en las que colabora hasta el charcutero de la esquina (Zas Autoproduzioni, Bloody Scythe Records, Night Animal Records, Hecatombe Records, Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records, Dead Red Queen Records, Sedation Records, Inmundo Records, Dirty Needle Records y Barbarie DIY Records).
A nivel sonoro los italianos suenan como un cañón. Sonido vieja escuela en el sentido de que se parte del uso de una base rítmica muy marcada como las viejas bandas de Thrash.... y es que si tuviera que etiquetar a Eraser el Grind Thrash les vendría de perlas. Lejos de velocidades de vértigo y voces agorrinadas, prima temas cortos, melódicos pero brutales adornados con dobles juegos vocales trabajadísimos y con los contrastes clásicos (voz gutural y las pig shrieks se deslizan con una fluidez magnífica).
Así, sin darte cuenta entra "Go Primitive!". Toques decadentes, producción embarrada pero nunca sucia (los instrumentos perfectamente discernibles) y un temazo detrás de otro. "Scorn Path" con algo de regusto hardcorizado a lo Repulsion, arranques velocísimos como "Stream of Decay" propios de los viejos Autopsy o los ya extintos Vallenfyre (sin las partes Doom aunque alguna que otra bajada de tempo brusca sí que hay), algo que se nota muchísimo en "Natural Born Prevaricators". Es difícil separar un tema de otro... se suceden sin solución de continuidad. Detalles a lo Pugent Stench, Napalm Death o Extreme Noise Terror, dejándose bastante de lado las melodías a lo Carcass en favor de un sonido (al menos para mis oídos) nada sueco (no sé si me explico).
Doy la vuelta a la cinta y entra "29", himno Old School que huele a Machetazo(s). Doble bombo muy bien metido que da paso sutilmente a "Stomping Your Grave"... por cierto por alguna razón se me viene a la cabeza Mortician. "Blast Beat Voodoo Cult", "Bad Boy" o "Genocindustry" exudan una fuerza bestial que si bien a estas alturas no van a remover los (de por sí inamovibles) cimientos del Grind, sí que recuerdan a la mala baba de Terrorizer y primerísimos Napalm Death. Cada tema sigue una estructura similar, sus mini riffs infecto contagiosos y partes donde la desnudez de la base rítmica es la que marca la vértebra.
La putridez fosforescente de las bajadas de ritmo, el contenido romo y oxidado del antiguo Hardcore Punk y sus contrastes hacia afilados pasajes velocísimos en la final "Discostù" definen perfectamente a Eraser.
Os dejo con Anselmo (entrevista en inglés, lo siento... el italiano lo dejo para la próxima reencarnación):
• Ok, let´s start with the beginning that was Chaos, and chaos was Grind… can you introduce the band to the readers?. If I am not wrong this is your first full lenght after an Ep and a Split with Rats of Society so it would be nice to know how the hell ERASER was born in Palermo. Tell me about the musicians involved and bands you play with.
- Hi Antonio, thank you a lot for this interview, we really enjoy La Muerte Tenia Un Blog and its contents!.
Eraser was formed by Dario “ramses” and me (Anselmo “krosty”) during highschool in 2014, for boredom or frustration, we could say, but always with the only deed of playing grindcore how it should be, oldschool and thrashing. I don’t want to bore you and your readers to death with the many line up changes we went through, simply consider that actually half of the band has changed 3/4 times through the early relaeses you mentioned, Mutual Overkill Deterrence line up, until the actual line up that is a power trio; I (bass and vocals), Dario (guitar) and “mighty” Vinz (drums) – that I think is the best one – and hope the last ahuahu!
• I think there is a strong vibe of Thrash in the way you play Grindcore. Different than a lot of triggered bands that only enjoy quickness and lacks of that old smell of putrid productions of Death Metal. I mean… you play Old School Grind with no traces of clean sound. Can you define your sound or better… how would you explain what Old School is to a young Grinder?.
- You listened well! Our roots are for sure in 80’s thrash and primitive death metal, and of course in hardcore punk too!. In the end grindcore is just a term that Mick Harris and some others used to point out extremely fast metal-punk music. When all this stuff came out for sure there wasn’t, at least musically, a huge difference between grind, crust, death metal and even what we call now “black metal”.
And so we try to do: we use our personal taste and the influences from our favourite bands/records, channeling them all in our own way to write riffs and songs and taking care of sound production of the releases. About what is oldschool, I’m nobody to tell anyone how to play music/express themselves, I think that catchiness and “balance” are the keys for creating oldschool grindcore but everyone has its own way to create their antisound, so... only passion and knowledge are needed in the end!.
• Your sound is not original in a sense of moving the pillars of the genre, but you fucking sound as Napalm Death, Terrorizer or even old D.R.I., S.O.D. and stuff like that… which are your aims as musicians?.... maybe an orchestal Grind Opera album?.
- You cited only bands that we’re in love with!. Yes the grindcore unholy trinity of ND, Repulsion and Terrorizer is our belief, D.R.I. I think is one of my favourite bands ever and we are GENETICALLY influenced by them and S.O.D., as well by Slayer and Cryptic Slaughter, speaking of high speed thrash!.
About a future musical evolution of the band i don’t know if there is so much new to say. For sure the more we play - above all with this new line up - the more we get tight and precise, but our aim is always to play as obnoxious and aggressive as possible. The new stuff we’re working on right now is maybe a tighter/faster version of what we already did in MOD, with maybe some more death metal vibe, some kind of grotesque Autopsy/Pungent Stench appeal adding to the o.g. grindcore stuff. Anyway just details, i think that who has liked us till now will appreciate also the newer stuff, as well who hated us will keep on doin’ it eheh.
• What are the lyrics about?. Are you in politics or religion?..... anyway, is a pleasure to me to avoid those porno grind and gore grind lyrics. I work at a hospital and I really think a lot of Grinders will stop talking bullshit the first time they would smell an anal bleeding or a pseudomone infected wound.
- Well, we could say that politics and religion are everywhere, once that history is everywhere. For sure a lot of lyrics from Mutual Overkill Deterrence are based on the imaginery of cold war and nuclear warfare, and talk about social injustice and sickness.
I would also add that we don’t disdain gore and horrific themes, and even if on the full lenght there is less of this and more dead serious stuff, there’s always a dark humoristic and nihilistic vibe into it.
• The name of your bass player is KROSTY, and there is a KRUSTY in FORGOTTEN SILENCE, a Czech Band playing Avantgarde Doom. What the fuck is happening here?.... where is the name story?. By the way, bass and drums are stronger than hell…. Another reminiscence of Old school Thrash so… what bands are you influenced by?.
- Aauhhuah, well i got a really stupid nickname, simply in various occasions it happened that i didn’t shower or came from the beach or some party, covered in sand and dirt, and so I was “crusty” (from this krosty... i said that it was stupid) – gonna check these Forgotten Silence asap anyway!.
About the rhytmic section of MOD, I agree about drums, i really enjoyed the style of Fulvio when he played with us, he played grindcore like a thrash metal drummer, not a brutal death metal one, that is something i really care about – by the way i’m not so happy about the bass sound on the records cause i used a different equipment from now, and it’s not as distorted as i would like it to be.
We’re influenced by many bands, as i mentioned before, some of which are: Mick Harris-era Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Defecation, Unseen Terror, Repulsion, Impetigo, early Carcass, Nihilist/Entombed, Autopsy/Abscess, Machetazo, Death Toll 80k, Modorra, Realized.
• As in Sudamerican Grindcore, there are a lot of labels involved both the vinyl and tape. How difficult was finding a label for you and how is working “Mutual Overkill Deterrence” in the Press and Sells?. I know for sure you are receiving good reviews.-
Yes coproduction is largely practiced in the genre, in my opinion it helps out a lot in distribution of the copies, you get in the DIY “conspiracy” very fast and get more contacts to deal with about trades/orders etc.
It wasn’t that difficult to find labels, we got a lot of delay on the release because the main label that was going to release MOD (prefer to not tell who is here) wasted almost one year of our time, that’s also why we preferred looking for some more labels and taking direct care of the pressing process.
The record is going well on the sale side, even if we’re not obviously playing live for now (we managed in doing a release show this summer though), about the press side we’ve never been much into it, I sent copies/mails to some zines and blogs like yours that I liked specially, someone directly contacted us and made reviews of the record, I think it’s fine for our standards of laziness uaahuhu.
• An stupid question by a stupid reviewer…. What´s the meaning of the (chinese perhaps) letter below your logo in the cover?.
- Auhauh great, you’re the first one who noticed it and asked till now. It’s a japanese ideogram which stands for “Death”, this one was an idea of Dario, who is a lot into japanese and oriental culture in general.
• If I am not wrong, you play live. What are your future plans?. Can you tell me more about Death or Grind italian good bands?.... I am a lot into old Schizo, not Grind but Thrashers as hell……
- About the future... we want for sure to play out of our hole as soon as this covid madness will come to an end. We have a split ready to come out with a super cool deathgrind band, soon you’ll see, and we’re also in the writing process of new material, for sure now that line up is more stable we don’t want to waste too much time between each record... in a few words recordings/releases/gigs/rec/releases/gigs and so on till we decompose.
Schizo is one band that will always make honor to our devil’s island of Sicily eheh...
About old grindcore and death metal bands from Italy, without touching the usual bigger names (Cripple Bastards until 2002), I would suggest to check out demos and eps by Ass Ache, Cerebral Disfunction, Dark Season, Lumaka Inferocita and Dogfight.
New or decently recent terrornoisistic cells are, more or less in activity, Haemophagus, Terror Firmer, Repulsione, Necro, Boia, Crisis Benoit, One Day In Fukushima, Beelzebeat, Miscreance, Anal Slaves Of Satan (¡!!!).
• Do you know something about Spanish Grind or Death metal bands?. I know for sure several ones that should be nice for a Split!.
- Yes of course! Personally, since I discovered Machetazo and Violent Headache during highschool, I started digging spanish extreme scene more and more in search of death, grind and hardcore bands. Some favourirtes are also Looking For An Answer, Rato Raro, Convulsions, Machetazo some of other Dopi’s bands/projects and Nashgul.
About splits actually we’re working on new material properly for it so feel free to send contacts of these fittable bands eheh!
• So that´s all folks, feel free to say what you want. This is your sparse place.
- Thank you a lot for the space you gave us on your blog and for your interest and passion, many thanks also to anyone who will spend time on reading about our idiocy eheh,
Go Primitive, bleeaaaurgh and cheers!.