Beaten to Death
Xes and Strokes

You know if I’m reviewing a September 2011 release here in 2012, it has to be good, and holy shit is this good.

Hailing from Norway, Beaten to Death consists of a few of Norway’s veteran players from short lived or middle tier bands like Insense, She Said Destroy, oh and drummer who has played in Tsjuder and Grimfist. But they play grindcore, but its grindcore like you’ve never heard before.

With 9 songs and only clocking in at about 18 minutes, you’d initially think this was a typical grindcore record full of short blasts and grunts. But Beaten to Death are far more than that. Armed with a burly Belgian/Dutch sound (think Aborted/In-Quest), at times remind me of Benighted with their massive grooves and snarling blasts (and dual vocals) , but there’s something else going on something clever, addictive and perfectly executed that will surprise grindcore fans; melody.

Mixed in with the impressive, grinding blasts and huge grooves are moments of truly enjoyable shreddage and melody, not gimmicky or piecemeal but killer moments of harmonic insanity. At times it reminds me a little of the title track from the second Neuraxis’ record, Truth Beyond…., but with more burly grinding heft. And it’s not just a fleeting moment in a song or two as virtually every song has some sort of catchy, attention grabbing bridge, solo or segue amid the throttling chaos, and its often even mixed in.

Whether it’s the slick melodic blasts amid the rumbles of “Winston Churchill”, short sharp harmonics of “On Running”, shimmering opening canter and atmospheric segue¬† of “A Soulless Alarm”, or my two personal favorites “‘Cat Olympics” (do I detect a subtle hint of Lykathea Aflame here?) and “Groundhog Day” which are both so brutal yet melodic its downright silly. And speaking of silly, you can tell by the song titles (and press photos) , these guys aren’t out to be a brutal and serious as possible, and their lighthearted yet brutal vibe comes across in their music.

Seriously, Xes and Strokes will be the most fun you’ll ever have while being sonically brutalized (or is it Beaten to Death?) . Just fucking get this , OK?



[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 30th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Jesse Wolf


  2. Commented by: Jobby

    Great find – fucking awesome band

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