Scourge of Mankind

German grinders Mindflair have been around a helluva long-time.  Their dirty dozen, blast beat carnage dates back to 1994.  That’s a couple of lifetimes in grind years because only a few bands have managed to last for such a long period of time.  My only experience with these guys to date was with the ’02 release Green Bakery.  It was an okay piece of stoner/grind with big grooves and a lot of chunky violence but I left it behind pretty quickly; competent if nothing special.

2015 sees a brand new LP Scourge of Mankind and right from the punk-encrusted d-beats and muck mired sludge churns of opener “Black Frost,” it’s obvious these guys have gotten a fuckload better.  The recording is tight and powerful; giving weight to the crusty murder moshes, doom-y dominance and soiled shorts blast movements.  Vocally, we’ve got a high-pitched weasel in a bear trap squeal and a shouting, moonshine wasted caveman battling it out in a tightly tied burlap sack.  Schizoid, machine gun snare and hardcore yellin’ conjure up Benümb on the loose cannon limbo of “Sun Protection Factor 13.”  This shit makes the Roadrunner look like a slow asshole.  Between the bouts of power-violent grindarrhea there’s a motherload of catchy, lightspeed punk riffing and deadly, doom-y downshifts.  Yeah, it’s no fuckin’ question these maniacs have improved tenfold from the olden days.

“Greed” and “Unconditional” have toxic, swamp sniffing lurches kicking things off.  While not totally Southern like Soilent Green, there is a definite Sabbath lashing felt across the spine cockles.  Whenever they aren’t dropping riffs like an avalanche of mud, the crippling, catchy punk-rock chaos and virulent grind blasts are the central focus.  Growls, screams and generally inhospitable vocals trade-off and work in tandem for control of the game board and your soul.  Napalm Death, Discharge, Regurgitate and Deadbodieseverywhere fans will probably hug this shit like a big, fat carnivorous hog.

The band shows that they don’t know what the fuck a statement like “Slow down,” means on “Flow,” a tune where these fuckers don’t come up for air even for a second.  “Unkrautbekämpfung” barely knows what those words mean either, but it does take a few turns into gnarled sludge with those hardcore Neanderthal vocals (similar to Deadbodieseverywhere and Benümb) sounding great atop the nasty, slug tuggin’ riffage.  Similar thrills are dished on “Ideal of Stupidity,” so if you were already enjoying yourself you aren’t going to want to press the skip button.

Stops n’ starts aplenty mark “Unlearned” with a dangerous edge that’s totally unpredictable in its trajectory.  Your head’s the desired target, though you’ll find it impossible to guess from which direction the bullet is coming.  The outro is the kind of godless, landfill dirgery Grief would have plied in their heyday.  Every song from here on out mixes the most circle-pitted, antigravity-blasted speed insanity with interjections of groovy, scab pickin’ doom n’ gloom…they really know how to hammer home memorable down-tempo into an aural trainwreck so cacophonic that it somehow sticks with you.  Impressive!

I wasn’t so hot on Mindflair in the past and to be honest, I pretty much forgot about them.  Who would have thought they were still kicking 13 years after I first heard them?  Even more shocking, who would have thought that they had the potential to morph into a top-tier grind act?  The answer is “not me” on both counts.  Scourge of Mankind is a fuckin’ ass kicker that’s recommended for diehard jackhammer freaks.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
May 12th, 2015


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