Article by Devin Joseph Meaney
Goregrind music. It is stated on Wikipedia that ''Goregrind is a fusion genre of grindcore and deathmetal. British band Carcass are commonly credited for the emergence of the genre. Goregrind is recognized for its heavily edited, "watery"-sounding vocals and abrasive musicianship rooted in grindcore.'' Either way, it is something that I know and love, and have for a very long time.
The gurgling gargling vocals, pitched to the point of no return. The abrasive and down-tuned guitars aiding in the creation of a flurry of noise, set alongside vicious pummeling drums and an overall chaotic atmosphere. Stomach churning lyrics and imagery that would make the little old ladies at the church bake sale cringe and catch a slight to moderate case of the vapors. It is not for everyone, but for a small community online and around the globe, it is a much loved hobby... and sometimes, a lifestyle.
Back when I was a pre-teen, I loved the sound of anything heavy. At around the age of 11, my cousin Mike gave me a grocery bag filled with thrash metal tapes. Metallica, Sabbat, Metal Church, Testament, Wrathchild America, and Meliah Rage were a few of the bands that were included. Needless to say, to my young brain, this was monumental when it comes to the formation of my personal taste of music... even as an adult.
Later, at around the age of 13, a friend introduced me to the band ''Dying Fetus.'' I had been listening to extreme metal for a while now, but nothing like this. With my first few listens, the hair stood on end on my arms and a deep chill ran down my spine. At this point, this was a new level of heavy for me, and again, my taste in music was darkened and perverted furthermore. I thought this was the end of this rabbit hole. But after about another year, I once again found something to top my current listening choices. This is when I found goregrind.
I was perusing the internet half way through the age of 14. I was looking for deathmetal, as I had exhausted my current-at-that-time playlist. I don't remember which site linked me there, but at some point I came to the homepage for Braindead Webzine. It spoke of things such as goregrind and grindcore, which I had never heard of before. I did not realize at this point, but it was this website that had the most effect on me as both a music fan and a musician. Goregrind and grindcore (leaning more to gore) are my two favorite types of music, with black metal coming in just behind. It was all because of this website, and to Pierre (the guy who runs Braindead) I thank you for sending me on this journey.
I found bands such as Last Days of Humanity and Dead Infection. I also found Gut, Regurgitate, Gruesome Stuff Relish, Haemorrhage, Blue Holocaust, Impetigo, and many other grindcore and goregrind bands, some really extreme ''brutal'' deathmetal, and one man projects. This is when I really started vibeing with drum machines as well, as a lot of the projects and bands I found did not have a live drummer. I had already been playing in garage bands at this point. But it was very clear to me that I wanted to do this. I really fucking wanted to grind.
My first attempts at making grind were only somewhat successful. Not many people heard them, but they laid the foundation for the style of music I would chase for the rest of my life. I recorded a demo under the name ''Scissorfuck Commando'' with my cousin Mike. We had like three short songs and printed out like 10 copies. The whole demo was recorded in my Aunt's living room. Shortly after, I started my one man project ''Coathanger Abortion.'' Again, one demo was made, and the project was kind of left for a while. Due to finding out there were like 3 bands already called Coathanger Abortion, The name was changed to ''Proctophobic.'' There were a few other projects, but honestly, I forget the names of both the projects and the songs.
At this point I had just entered highschool and I was making new friends. One day in the hallway I ran into a weird looking guy with really long hair and a black t shirt. His name was Neal. He also had a love of the heavy and the obscure, so I invited him over to jam some tunes. This lead to our first two releases together as Proctophobic, ''Cannibalistic Roadside Massacre'' and ''Revel in The Gore.'' These releases were rough, and locally, not many people got it. But thanks to the internet, we amassed a small following on Myspace and other places on the interwebs.
Our first two demos together vocally were entirely pitch shifter oriented, and the guitar was simple chugs and rhythms set alongside a drum machine. Gory as hell, but it was kind of cliché. We started messing around with our sound a bit, and Neal's black metal influences really started taking a hold on the music. This is when one of us (I forget who) coined the term blackened goregrind. (Or somewhere along these lines. My memory is hazy). During this period we recorded ''The Smell of Detritis'' and shortly after ''Solipsism,'' two short Ep's that would really chisel out our own brand of music. Again, local response was minimal, but the internet was kind. Not long after we recorded a session in a friend's basement, which was later released on a split with Zombie Raiders, and then again later on down the road with Sapraemia. Things were starting to amp up for Proctophobic. It was now that we started playing live and releasing on small time record labels. We were kind of legit now. Again, locals hated us, mostly, but we did gain a few fans and friends. Around this point I started my solo project ''Meaney,'' but it was short lived and never had a proper demo release.
During this period Proctophobic played a slew of bar shows and house parties. We had no live drummer, but the lineup (usually) consisted of Charlie Gnomington (the gnome that programmed our drum machine), myself on guitar, Neal on vocals, and Seagull Stoddard on backup vocals. We sometimes played live with Sean Macintyre of Nightfall and Thaumiel (at that time he was in Moxham Castle) and were known to summon the horned god Cernunnous from the depths of the underworld, who would then ravage the stage (or kitchen) with black metal and black magic.
Honestly, we were a better project than a live band, but we had a lot of fun. During this period we released ''8 Tears in Time and Space Left Unmended,'' ''The Meat Forest,'' ''The Kingdom of Perversity,'' ''Castrate the Sky,'' and ''The Wriggling Crown.'' We also re-released The Smell Of Detritis as a split with Shit Fucking Shit in Italy on Distrozione and No Tomorrow Records. (I forget in what order exactly). Locals still hated us, but by now the internet loved us. We were backed by a handful of small time labels such as SBT Records, Tornflesh Records, and many others, and were getting downloads in the multiple thousands. I never made a penny. But I felt like a real grinder now. It was also during this period Neal and I met up online with a guy named Moe to release a splatter goregrind demo. The project was short lived, but we did release one demo under the moniker Casket Sludge. Our first demo was ''The Contents Within Permeate With Necrotic Reek,'' and it was our only demo ever.
The next phase was re-releasing old material, which I continued to do up until a few years ago. A few splits were made. Many compilations, too! In fact, last time I tried to count up everything we were a part of, if I include compilation albums, it is ''more than 20.'' We did write a handful of new songs, but they were lost to the void and were never released properly. Which is a shame... they were pretty good! This is the time Neal started talking of moving to Halifax. We played one final show, but by this time I had developed severe anxiety. I had to turn my back to the crowd (like 15 people) because I was too overwhelmed to play otherwise. I did not know it then, but this was pretty much the end of Proctophobic. I compiled the majority of our material to a ''Greatest Hits'' Cd, released it on a few labels, and that was it. Proctophobic was done. Neal moved to Halifax, formed a few bands up there, and I went on my own way. I produced one gorenoise demo under the moniker ''Acute Onset Psychosis,'' and aside from a few un-released recordings with friends, this was my last musical output for a few years. My mental health at this point was not the best, so a few years of recovery was needed to return me to my desired state. This is when I really found my love for writing, but this is not about writing. This is about goregrinding, so I will leave that story for another time.
Eventually, I came back to my goregrinding in full swing in 2018. I teamed up with Jeremy Kirchner of Arabian Death Mask to put out a demo under the name ''The Nosebleed Section.'' We wrote four short songs, posted them online, made a Youtube video, and a small run of hand made cassettes. As always, local response was not the best, but there were a handful of people around the globe who digged it. This demo was eventually re-released in 2020 on the ''Gorenoise Sucks'' compilation, which can be found on the Gorenoise Sucks Bandcamp page. We have yet to release new material for this project, but it is not completely out of the question. If Jeremy wants to do up some Nosebleed, I would be more than happy to apply myself to that.
Now that we are in 2020, I am teaming up with my friend Henry Peachey from New Zealand to bring you some new tracks. We will keep the name of the project to ourselves as it is still in the creation phase, but it is going to be gory as ole' fuck. We have a handful of songs in our current roster, but they are not complete. They need to be honed. They need to be great. Still, this is something I am looking forward to being a part of, and I hope the people that listen to it will feel the same way. Also, one of my older Acute Onset Psychosis tracks is going to be re-released on a compilation in South Korea for Ulcerated Flesh Records! Things are really picking up, and I really want to know how things turn out from here. (Especially now that we are currently dealing with the spread of Covid-19).
Either way, goregrind is something that I hold close to my heart, and it has been there for me at times where I felt like all was lost. Like a loud, splattery, security blanket, it has comforted me. This writing does not function as an essay on the history of goregrind... or its uprising. It is more me explaining my history with it, and how and why I love this sub-genre of music so fucking much. The classics are great, and the new up-and-coming artists are just as good. For some, goregrind is a tongue in cheek joke. For me, it is love. That's right. Goregrind is love. Goregrind is life.