Artist: Pulmonary Fibrosis / Archagathus
Title: Grinders of Darkness
Release: CD / Digital
Label: Left Hand Patches
Grinders of Darkness, released on June 6th, 2023 by the Left Hand Patches label from Poland, is a split between two undisputed legends of grindcore. Pulmonary Fibrosis from France have been unleashing their superbly crafted goregrind brutality on the world since the late ‘90s, and Canadian grinders Archagathus have been perfecting and resurrecting the mincecore subgenre since the early 2000s—being one of the bands that were later very important in its sudden revival, inspiring hundreds of bands and doing countless splits with them. They may even have started the mincegore phenomenon, which is getting a lot of new momentum right now. Not unlike older legends like Agathocles or Rot, both bands have been very active in helping a lot of local and smaller bands by releasing splits with them.
As for the material, Pulmonary Fibrosis present their signature brand of mincy and groovy goregrind with an absolute crushing onslaught of brutal riffage, unstopping and impeccably-timed blastbeats and middle-paced rhythm parts and one of the best goregrind vocals you will ever hear. They continue to evolve and get better at what they do with their particular brand of grindcore. Their side of the split and their recent show at Fabrika Avtonomia in Sofia is a perfect testament to that, as they absolutely crushed their set and left all of us grindfreaks exhausted, but hungry for more. And they delivered—it was a total massacre of sheer musical terror. All this definitely means that they won’t stop releasing brilliant stuff and we can’t wait for their next endeavor.
Archagathus occupy the second half of the split with seven songs, starting with “Rehumanizer”, a song that encapsulates all the best parts of their sound—ultra fast, angry and as brutal as ever. As a huge fan of the band, I can’t say they’ve done anything particularly new here, but the tracks are so well done compositionally that I believe no mince fan will remain dissatisfied after listening to them. The mixing and mastering is very clean, allowing us to hear their majestic blend of gore and mince in all its almighty thrash madness. They seem to have developed a very fine formula for creating songs and it works perfectly for them. Especially since even though the style is the same, the compositional progress they have shown here is undeniable.
Archagathus seem to be constantly improving themselves to the point where, along with Haggus and maybe a few other bands, they are probably the most important and influential mincecore band of this generation, unleashing their anti-fascist fury since around 2005. And considering the amount of collaborations and splits they’ve done lately, it’s for sure that they’ll continue to provide us with more material to quench our thirst for excellently done political grindcore.
NOISE NOT WAR! GRINDCORE IS PROTEST! Ⓐ