Species at War (Relapse)
By Mike Delano
Inspired by the brutal efficiency of this EP (six songs, eight minutes), I was going to try to capture that same spirit of fleeting immediacy in this review. Unfortunately, the only way to really do that idea justice would be to boil this text down to a string of subhuman grunts that don’t translate well to the page. Despite that failure on my part, this bullet train of a record made me appreciate when artists don’t waste your time, so I won’t waste any more of yours: This is first-rate grindcore from Finland. It’s a raw meat slab designed to keep the wolves at bay between the band’s 2011 album Cursed and their next full length. Species at War is faster than a heartbeat, but it plays like a full piece. The blastbeats scorch the earth when they need to (“Cause”), the riffs rear their heads when it’s time to groove (“The Game”), and the band isn’t so addicted to speed that they can’t slow things down for a crushing intro or outro in the good name of texture and balance.