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Release Date: 7th December 2018

Label: Self-released

Genre: Death/Grind

Spanish quintet Ernia serve up a brutal cleanse of hyperspeed aggression with the re-release and remaster of their self titled debut. Written between 2013 and 2015, the record sees the group of underground misfits tear out thirteen of the most violent, mind-bending bursts of audio assault you’ll hear this year. Tempered with old school death metal riffs, dark experimental passages and moments of jazz-fusion like something off Gorguts Obscura, this album bursts with juicy necro goodness for any lover of extremity to devour.

In the spirit of true grindcore you’re battered with waves of unrelenting snare hits at impossible speeds, underpinned by classic buzzsaw guitar tones and unintelligible howls. This is perfectly demonstrated by the initial flurry of ‘The Limits Of Purity’, blasting you with a minute of furious deathgrind before morphing into a twisted groove punctuated with alien slapped bass notes. The opening riff of ‘Sabbath For The Zionist’ is pure European death metal before giving way to manic tremolo picking and triplet rhythms, shifting gears faster than you can blink and barely holding itself together in the process. Perhaps the most experimental cut ‘Random Discordant Actions’ features a wash of disorientating noise that gradually increases in tempo until you’re thrust into what is easily an album highlight, ‘Heroes Of Withdrawal’. Guitars slam and groove with a seizure-like intensity, blending styles with effortless control and ease, comparable to the best work of Massachusetts’ oft-forgotten masterminds, The Red Chord.  

As with the overwhelming majority of bands peddling this style, Ernia aren’t about to appeal to the masses any time soon. Even for seasoned metalheads this record will present a challenging listen and will no doubt turn a great deal of people off. Grind-purists may also take issue with the abundance of sonic detours taken across the runtime as a result of the band’s wide pool of influence. For the rest of us that aren’t quite so fussy however, this presents a white-knuckle aural rollercoaster that rewards plenty of repeat listens. Admittedly tracks often whip by into a pulverising mush leaving a little to be desired in terms of memorability, but if you’re just after piercing wild aggression then you can’t go wrong with this. In a time where it seems every other subgenre of underground metal is gaining a massive resurgence, it’s awesome to hear such a formative style presented in a modern and exciting way. If you’re going to reach for some new grindcore, make sure Ernia sits at the top of the pile.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Track: ‘Heroes Of Withdrawal’

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