Various Artists
Three Way of Armageddon

No, I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining why grindcore is so excellent; if you tend to get sick of my polemicizing, believe you me, I get sicker quicker. So I’ll confine myself to remarking that grind roolz, and death metal (for the most part) droolz.

Now on to the album at hand: what a fucking beast! Oblit Recs has assembled an absolute goddamn all-star team of the finest musical confrontationists on the planet, an album so heavy, so warped, so (just say it) grindy that it’s taken me a couple of weeks to even begin to digest it. Now, Nuclear Devestation is a band I’ve heard of, but never heard, so I was a little curious as to how they would fare against the two total giants who round off the thing. No worries. N.D. start the proceedings with a full-on deathgrind roar, occasionally tossing in some weird sounds and whatnot, but for the most part making like a basement Napalm Death, riff-roar-blast-squeal-end. A little more straight-forward than I normally like, but still groovy. They’re French, but I shan’t hold that against them. Very nice stuff.

CSSO are next, but I’ll save my applause till the end, thank you. Total Fucking Destruction is the third band here, and they are (along with Unholy Grave) my absolute favorite pure grind band. No death tendencies here at all, y’all, just pure crusty unraveling punk lunacy. If bands in the ’80s had known it was possible to play this fast, this could totally have been on SST Records, and I don’t know of a higher compliment. Snotty, rotted vocal squalling and weird tremolo guitar lines (think Cartoon Network black metal) and a drummer who almost always breaks his fucking BASS HEADS at gigs, it’s just perfect. Plus, “Fear Of A Black Metal Planet” is a great damn song title.

Now, CSSO. Clotted Symmetric Sexual Organ is quite possibly the most unhingedly brilliant band currently making rock-based music. I don’t know why the Japanese in general are so deliciously wacky (manga, “Iron Chef,” the Rape of Nanking), but god bless their little Nipponese hearts. CSSO seem to have little if any interest in rocking or being heavy, they just wanna blow minds. Spaghetti western whistling, theremin noodlings, psych guitar solos, a goddamn KAZOO, all squirming around in the band’s patented lo-fi torture boogie. Anytime things get even close to “normal,” CSSO finds a way to foal a little more fuckery, and the end result is as close to hallucinogenic as I’ve heard music get. Absolutely essential, as is the whole album. Three Way of Armageddon is an indispensible primer on truly underground extreme music. It crushes. It destroys. It roolz.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeff Lamb
April 10th, 2001

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