It might be ten years since Sweden’s Gadget vomited their brilliant last album The Funeral March (Relapse) all over our collective faces, but it’s safe to say that time has most definitely not mellowed them. Charging at you with all the subtlety of a lobotomised orangutan swinging a lead pipe, their third full length release The Great Destroyer (Relapse) lives entirely up to its name.
Not so much carefully combining elements of Hardcore, Grindcore, and Death Metal as mashing them together by stamping on them repeatedly until a fetid brown liquid begins oozing out from underneath, Gadget’s only intention is to get in, get out, and leave you feeling like you’ve gone twelve rounds with a runaway steamroller.
But it’s not just unrelenting speed they hit you with. Oh no, there are other types of lovely auditory pulverization to endure here as blastbeats and frantic, slashing riffs turn into mid-paced grooves and thundering breakdowns at the drop of a hat. And just when you think you’re getting a reprieve, in comes another whirlwind of attitude, led from the front by vocalist Emil Englund, his singing style a cross between a walrus having its throat ripped out and an exasperated geography teacher venting his rage at a class of disinterested teenagers. And if that isn’t enough for you, Napalm Death‘s Barney Greenway stops by to punch you in the face with a guest appearance on the thirty eight second ‘Violent Hours (For A Veiled Awakening)‘.
If you enjoy music which leaves you with a sore head, ringing ears, a big grin, and a string of drool hanging from the corner of your mouth, then The Great Destroyer is the album for you. Got Attention Deficit Disorder? No problem. The lengthiest track on here is the five and a half minute closer ‘I Don’t Need You – Dead and Gone’, while the others rattle in around the sixty second mark.
The production is dense and claustrophobic, but also clear enough to hear the individual skill from each musician. Guitarist Rikard Olsson may sound like his arm is about to come off at the shoulder and hit someone in the face but there’s control and definition amongst the blur of speed, and rhythm section William Blackmon (Drums) and Fredrik Nygren (Bass) make playing this fast seem almost effortless.
Listening to ‘The Great Destroyer’ is like having the Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket spitting abuse into your face for half an hour. It’s like having to watch a repeated loop of that part in American History X where Edward Norton tells that kid to bite the kerb and stamps on his head. It’s like trying to catch a cement mixer between your teeth, and it’s like watching an enraged gorilla hurl itself against the safety glass after beating its keeper to death with the bones of its former keeper.
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