Review: Escuela Grind ‘Memory Theater’
In my mind, once you hear or see their name it becomes instantly familiar. It’s very attention grabbing for someone from a Spanish speaking country. Escuela Grind is a vicious hardcore/grind outfit consisting of Katerina Economou on vocals and guitar, Krissy Morash on guitar, Jesse Adan Fuentes on drums, and Thomas Sifuentes as touring bassist. The band is currently out on tour ahead of the release of their new album, Memory Theater, coming out on September 30th via MNRK Heavy.
Produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, and coming after several split records, a handful of EPs and the full-length, Indoctrination, Memory Theater offers a tripped-out journey to the soul of grindcore and power violence.
The art for this album is, frankly, nightmarish. It’s a composition made up of bizarre visions, detailed in a garish psychedelic palette, that are captivating all on their own. The madness and danger felt in some of the tracks brings back to mind this art and its depictions, which is the trademark of a really good album cover.
The opening track Endowed With Windows opens on loud feedback and crunchy guitars that are super fucking loud in the mix, reminiscent of EyeHateGod as the album kicks off around simple riffs that lend themselves to the band’s sudden and intense speedups and slowdowns. Escuela Grind’s sound is raw and fierce, aggressive but warm.
Escuela Grind’s sound is raw and fierce…
My Heart, My Hands is very catchy in all its grinding glory. Cliffhanger is a hooky beast, with some old school sounding riffs in there. Strange Creature Of Nothingness is a metallic banger, with a breakdown that is a classic moshpit get down moment.
Faulty Blueprints is classic grind power, clear and loud without being overproduced. All Is Forgiven splits the impact between the lyrics and blast beats. Little is better than the mix of intense grinding with sincere emotionality soaring over it. Forced Collective Introspection is a powerful track that has some cool, different sounding vocals.
The riffs in general are, if not always particularly memorable, always in service of the collective sound. Escuela Grind are nonstop grooving through it all. Crusty beats abound across the album, and blast beats are masterfully deployed for maximum effectiveness. Vocals are crisply layered, and pretty easy to understand. That said, it’d be really great to have the lyrics for this and their other releases made available.
The album closes with two bonafide grindcore epics, reaching lengths of over 3 minutes. The Feed is a dizzying power violence chaos number. Visceral to the end, the final title track, Memory Theater, is a trippier version of the band’s sound, brutally ripping through a rhythmic attack spearheaded by loud, crunchy guitars, and led into battle by emotional, powerful screams. Memory Theater is nine tracks of scorching underground rage in the form a metallic hardcore monster packing the dose of basement style mayhem you need.
Label: MNRK Heavy
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Scribed by: Goro Riffs