NOISEAR  Subvert The Dominant Paradigm (TRANS COBALT BLUE)  LP   (Relapse)   15.99

I've been doing a dive back into the Noisear discography, haven slept on this ferocious tech-grind outfit for the longest time. The first on my pile is this 2011 album from the Albuquerque avant-blasters, their debut release for Relapse. Despite the amazing pedigree (these guys have cumulatively played in cult underground Southwest squads Laughing Dog, Kill the Client, P.L.F., Cognizant, as well as major grindcore heavy-hitters Gridlink and Phobia), it seems like they have remained something of an obscurity in the global grind scene.

This insanely tight, precision-grade blurr-metal spits out a cavalcade of methamphetime math-metal riffs, berserk discordant chord shapes, nausea-inducing tempo changes and so many time-signature shifts that my legs are buckling, each instrument performing at an insane level of speed and technical exactitude. But like Discordance Axis, a band that Noisear has often been cmpared to, these guys also know how to deliver on the riffs, creating a mouthwatering mass of undeniable brutalizing grooves and bizarre, progged-out soundcraft. There are massive chugging, off-kilter grooves that crush you beneath their treads on tracks like "Fraudulent", "Inevitable Extinction", "Gestapolis" and more, massive downshifts into cudgel-heavy riffs that suddenly break out of the pell-mell fingertapped solos and impossibly intricate needlesharp shred and hyper-angular chord progressions / rhythm changes. There is so much wonky guitarwork and baroque riffing on here, Dorian Rainwater's axe-work keeps blowing my mind. Just nonstop labyrinthine fret-damage backed by the insane energy level of the rhythm section, which stands out on its own with Bryan Fajardo's speedfreak clockwork drumming and Joe Tapia's mix of skull-blasting bottom-end and these almost fusion-influenced bass runs splattered all over the joint. There are parts where the music breaks off into a kind of psychedelic sludginess ("Life Consumed You"), and swiftly dive into monstrous crustcore ("Poisonous Cure"), the Dillenger Escape Plan-meets-Human Remains math-metal instrumental "The Perpetual Downfall Of Man",

as chaotic as it gets, every single piece of this sounds carefully calculated and crafted, which makes the album that much more mind-boggling

But Noisear maintain a feral, slavering ferocity and aggression throughout the album that definitely harkens back to the members' time in Phobia and Laughing Dog - as experimental and mathy and riff-geeked as this gets, it also sounds like the band members (especiall the singer0 are barely human; there is this awesome, gnarly guttural griminess and ugliness to everything on Paradigm that delivers the best of all worlds. I can't figure out why this band isn'y huge among fans of the far-flung fringes of fucked-up grindcore; the stylistic connections to Gridlink, Mortalized, Human Remains, the later more avant-garde Brutal Truth material, and the aforementioned Discordance Axis is unmistakeable - this is about as nerdy and technical as grind gets, in the best way possible. If any of these other bands I'm mentioning do anything for you, I can't recommend this album (and everything else that Noisear has done) enough.

Obnly caveat for me is that the vinyl edition does not include the twenty-minute harsh noise piece that closed the CD edition - if the reviews are anything to go by, that's a plus for some grind fans, but i personally (and no doubt unsurprisingly) really dug that epic blast of Merzbowian electronic chaos. So if you're listening to the vinyl, you're just getting the stripped-down-to-the-grind version of Subvert The Dominant Paradigm .

Track Samples:
Sample : Waiting To Be Born
Sample : Stress Pandemic
Sample : The Blackened Sea