Album Review: ‘Magrudergrind’ the heaviest album ever made

“Magrudergrind” is the epicenter of American hardcore punk



‘Magrudergrind’ sends a political message through their heavy metal music.

COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer

Score: 9.7/10

Once thrash metal became a staple of music in the ‘80s, it would only be a matter of time before bands would try to push the genre to the extreme. There was death metal in America, grindcore in England, and black metal in Scandinavia. Most of the bands in these genres try their hardest to be edgier, darker, and more evil than the other. 

However, over time, it would not be until 2009 that humanity was given the heaviest record in existence.

Magrudergrind’s self-titled record.

“Magrudergrind” is a grindcore band hailing from Washington D.C., which is usually considered the epicenter of American hardcore punk. Grindcore and hardcore punk go hand-in-hand, as both genres are about pushing anti-authoritarian messages and heavy-hitting riffs. 

Grindcore fuses elements of hardcore punk with thrash metal, creating an obliterating sound of pure chaos. The genre originated back to the release of Napalm Death’s “Scum” in 1987. The genre is known for blast beats, incoherent screaming, and short-songs.

As the genre hit the new millennium, some bands began to utilize elements of math rock. Bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge became well-known for their grindcore influence; incorporating weird time signatures, chromatic melodies, polyrhythms, and heavy dissonance.

Magrudergrind combines influences from math core and traditional grindcore to create a unique mixture of both sounds. Magrudergrind encapsulates traditional grindcore with blast beats galore and plenty of screaming. Their consistent use of start-and-stop rhythms embodies the chaos of mathcore.

Immediately when starting the first track, “The Protocols of Anti-Sound,” the listener is sent into a waterfall of guitar feedback that lasts around thirty seconds. The song then plays a sample from a Japanese film, “Tetsuo: The Iron Man,” over a looming down-tuned power chord progression. 

The song then suddenly explodes into one of the heaviest-hitting blasts beats I ever listened to. Every time drummer Chris Moore hits his snare, it sounds like a machine gun, pelting the listener with audial bullets. The crusty guitar work of Mourice Alvarado complements the drums. Vocalist Avi Kulawy lets out a scream straight from the depths of hell. 

These snippets are laced all around the album, helping invigorate the project’s political aurora. The samples work well alongside the tracks, as they help remind the listener why Kulawy is screaming at the top of his lungs. He isn’t screaming about demons, death, or any other ominous taboos. The band is trying to provide ammo to a population already fed up with the American government.

The sheer volume of Kulawy’s high-pitch screeches alone carries more weight than any lyric he could write down. Kulawy’s screaming works better than a lot of other vocalists in other metal genres. Even though Kulawy’s lyrics are completely incomprehensible, the listener can still walk away understanding the weight of what he is trying to say. Kulawy’s screams embody the anger of American citizens toward the government, hate groups, and far-right extremists.

Every song on the record averages only a minute run time. Yet, every song feels longer. The transitions between most tracks are seamless and quick, making the album consistently stutter. The stop-and-start of the songs adds fuel to an album already burning in a flame of existential anger.

Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou engineered the record, and Pig Destroyer guitarist Scott Hull mastered it. The two are no strangers to producing some of the most unhinged and insane metal the world has ever seen. Their production style creates a constant barrage of noise, yet is enough to still sound audible. 

The album has a unique aspect that separates it from other metal records. As seen in the title track, the band utilizes a wide variety of sampled audio clips. In “Fools of Contradiction,” the band samples a clip from the movie “Boyz in the Hood” talking about gentrification. The track “The Price of Living by Delinquent Ideals” utilizes samples of a man angrily confronting a politician.

Each one of these details culminates into a metal record unlike any other. It has the perfect blend of chaos, political theming, and volume to enable listeners to punch a hole in their wall. The overall sound and flow of an album are what make it heavy. Simply wrapping a metal album with occult themes can only do so much in terms of sounding heavy.