Various – Grind Madness At The BBC
Representing a very fruitful period for extreme metal/grindcore, this release will be something of a historical document to many. In a time when mainstream metal was arguably at it's peak, a handful of young bands from England were garnering the interest of legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel, a man very enthusiastic in exposing these new bands, who were eschewing the commercial sounds of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne, taking the hardcore metal templates laid down by Metallica and Slayer and pushing the boundaries of extemity further than had been done before.
Spread across three discs, the 118 tracks on offer here showcase the best of the sessions that Peel hosted during the period 1987-1990. Free from the restrictions of having the latest, top-knotch, cutting-edge producers, these sessions say more about the bands of that era than any studio album ever could. Probably the best known of these bands was Napalm Death, who along with their spiritual brothers Extreme Noise Terror and Carcass make up over half of the compilation, and will probably be the main reason most people would even look at this, but the last half of the album is made up by no-less-worthy tracks from war-obsessed death metallers Bolt Thrower, industrial pioneers Godflesh, Unseen Terror (featuring Napalm bassist Shane Embury), hardcore punks Heresy and the lesser-known Intense Degree, and is a real snapshot of an important musical movement in its infancy. Including liner notes from Napalm Death's original recording drummer Mick Harris, who is universally credited with inventing the term 'grindcore', and some cracking artwork, this is a really great package for anyone with an interest in how underground punk and metal developed from total obscurity.