Pig Destroyer may have helped make it seem normal for grind bands to do away with bassists completely, but bands such as Water Torture have demonstrated that the opposite route can be successful, making grind with no guitars. Italians Repulsione feature two bassist within their line-up, making Desecrating a record that’s full of low-end weight, that works incredibly well with their powerviolence-esque energy, bursts of speed, and old-school grind feel. This is a record that sounds like an infected blade, with a dirty fuzz to the production, and an aura of festering decay. It’s nasty, it’s fast, and it’s pretty great.
Grind can sometimes come across as being excessive to the point of monotony, with high speeds and bursts of violence plowing through any potential dynamics until the record becomes some strange, twisted form of loud, fast ambient. That’s not the case with Desecrating. Repulstione are grind veterans, having been together since 2004, and as such there’s plenty of intelligent song-craft on the record. Sure, opening tracks such as ‘Vomero’ and ‘Junkyard Dog’ may charge ahead with the kind of reckless abandon found in powerviolence. But there’s also songs like ‘An Infamous Beast’, which shifts and changes form and tempo across its four minute duration; and ‘Last Man Standing’ shows that the band know how to keep the tempo high whilst moving through a variety of textures. Over these longer songs, it almost starts to feel like a Godflesh record where the instruments have been recorded at the right tempo – there’s a similar feeling of indsutrial precision and groove, conjuring up dystopian imagery.
Initially though, Desecrating is all about the rush of energy, and the dirty low-end fuzz of the bass guitars. They have a real growl to them, which works very well with the raw drum production and vocalist Mosh’s barks and growls. And as you’d hope for from a grind record, there’s a lot of energy and speed packed in to the 30 minute duration of the album; it’s a real rush of adrenaline on early listens, whilst the clever song-writing keeps it interesting as time goes by and the initial burst of excitement starts to naturally fade. The double bass guitar assault does give it a notably different sound than most other grind and powerviolence records, but that would be for nothing if the song-writing wasn’t up to par – which it definitely is. Desecrating is a fine album, that will give you that kick to get going at the start of the day.