Escuela Grind
Dddeeaatthhmmeettaall EP

There’s very little I enjoy more than grinding my Escuela. I became an instant fan hearing their debut full-length, Memory Theater. However, where they truly shine is on stage. I’ve seen them in multiple venues and will again in February. They’re a “can’t miss” for me. I struggle to find a band with more energy, especially Katerina, the vocalist. I’ve uploaded so many pictures and videos of them that it made an acquaintance jealous, stating that the only reason I enjoy the band is because they have a cute, petite frontwoman. Firstly, to acknowledge the obvious, that is factual. However, it ignores one important fact; The rest of the band is hot as fuck, too!

Speaking of “hot as fuck,” the band’s new death metal EP, titled Ddeeaatthhmmeettaall, an all death metal collection, is coming in scorching. I’ve seen some of these songs live, and to say they’re great is an understatement, fitting in perfectly with the rest of their set. “Ball and Chain” will have been heard by anyone interested well before this is published. It’s nearly 4 minutes, which is about double the length of the longest tracks on Memory Theater if my memory theater correctly serves. The heavy riff, pinch harmonics, and deep vocals could be on the latest Sanguisugabogg and few would notice. That nearly “pinging” drum sound cements it. It’s far bouncier than that band’s material, however. There’s a killer, but short breakdown at the end, too. So far, Escuela Grind does death metal just as well as grindcore. It’s natural.

That continues onto the next track, “Punishment Ritual.” Kat’s vocals are slightly reminiscent of Barney Greenway (Napalm Death), which may be confusing later. Of note also is the drum performance by Jesse Fuentes, switching tempos on a dime, and bringing his all to each hit. This one’s still not far from the 4-minute mark, bringing their signature, unmatched energy every moment.

The next track, “Abyssal Plane,” is my favorite. Luckily, the others are tied for second. Its main riff is bouncy and downright danceable. I see twerking, perhaps on the horizon. I particularly enjoy the section with around 40 seconds left, which may be one of Krissy Morash’s best riffs. That’s a high compliment since all of them are excellent.

Finally, the shortest song is last, which is “Meat Magnet,” featuring Barney Greenway. The first section of note is the breakdown around a minute in. The short bridge section into another windmill-inducing riff with nearly a minute left, makes way for the repetition of the song title. Here’s the confession, which is a compliment of the highest order to Katerina; I can’t differentiate between she and Barney. I think I know in which phrases he appears, but I am not 100% sure.

With that, 4 songs and 14 minutes makes up the total EP. Escuela Grind has released EPs of their other influences, but this one is my favorite, considering my love for death metal. It’s available digitally and on vinyl soon, but unless I can get signatures from the band on the vinyl, I’ll stick to digital. I believe this is only a mere appetizer at the buffet of grind the Escuela has for us this year, and I’m first in line to see them obliterate 2024.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
January 19th, 2024

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