Better to Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees

So the band Liberteer came to my attention after reviewing the recent Beaten to Death album, a grindcore album that was grindcore with a difference, and so is the debut album from Liberteer.

Comprised of Matt Widener, the grindcore lineage is certainly here considering Widener’s involvement in the likes of Cretin, Citizen, Exhumed and The County Medical Examiners. But Liberteer sounds nothing like any of projects and to some extent turns grindcore on its head by injecting tons of riotous melody and  folk/Americana injections into the down tuned, mid range grindcore (think the Swedish tone and ferocity as Nasum, Gadget and such as well as Magrudergrind) and anarchistic anti-establishment themes.

Apparently it’s called something like ‘scathing melodic anarcho-grind’.

Whatever the fuck its called, it rules and those simply ready to blindly crown Napalm Death‘s upcoming opus as the year’s best grindcore album, had better hold the fuck on.

As mentioned the tone and production shares the same basic sound as the Swedish grindcore scene, with a down tuned, mid range buzz and that alone is done very well, with some truly savage blasts littering the album and has  a traditional grindcore brevity (17 tracks in 27 minutes).  Also, in grindcore tradition, Liberteer eschews all things governmental, religious or corporate as titles like “Class War Never Meant More Than It Does Now”, “Build No System” and “Feast of Industry” show. However, the message of these themes is delivered in truly unique fashion as Widener, along with the surprisingly melodic (but still brutal) bursts of grindcore  and fierce bellows, has added banjos, horns, brass and strings into the mix to create to create a rousing, revolutionary, anthemic atmosphere that would make the sound track for the Sovereign Movement/Freemen. At times, it’s got a Southern, civil war vibe, and I expected a grinding version of “I Wish I Was in Dixie” to belt out of the speakers – though “Usurious Epitaph” comes really close.

As it stands, the album’s highlights are the ones that mix the melodic grind and the rousing folk elements. Opener, the TAPS-ish intro “The Falcon Cannot Hear the Falconer” pretty well sets the tone before bleeding into “Build No System” which explodes from the speakers. The same melding occurs for the banjo driven  “Rise Like Lions After Slumber” and “That Which is Not Given but Taken”. Though instrumental “Sweat For Blood” imbues the Rocky theme/training montage a little too closely, it’s a nice breather before “Barbarians at the Gate” rips your throat out. That duality arises again for “I am Spartacus” with a banjo close out that transitions to blistering closer “Feast of Industry”.

Yup- “Scathing  melodic anarcho-grind” sums it up perfectly. As does “One of the most rousing, revolutionary, unique and entertaining grindcore albums of the last few years”.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 20th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I heard a song off this. Bananas. totally fucking bananas.

  2. Commented by: theorifice

    Yea just listening to this on Spotify now and it’s off the wall. In a very good way. I haven’t been this engaged throughout a grind album in a while.

  3. Commented by: extreme grinder

    You guys should check out the band powercup if you dig grindcore

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