At the risk of not sounding very PC, I was a pretty big fan of Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay when I was in high school. I still have something of a soft spot for his 1990 movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, which I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen over the years. The film’s plot, such as it is, involves the Diceman’s rock-and-roll detective character trying to solve a music industry-related murder, but the film is more memorable for some of his quips. My favorite is his description of conversing with a particularly dim character, which I still find myself using in conversation from time to time – he says it’s like “masturbating with a cheese grater: slightly amusing, but mostly painful.”
Obviously, the line wasn’t meant as a compliment. However, with a slight rewording, I think it could be a compliment. In fact, it’s a pretty apt description of how I feel about my favorite grind: enjoyable, but mixed with a fair amount of pain. I mean, how else would anyone want their grind to sound? After all, it’s arguably the ugliest, most extreme sub-genre in all of metal – especially if you’re doing it right.
So believe me when I say that I mean it as the highest compliment possible when I say that listening to “Tarnished,” the track we’re premiering today from Texas-based grinders Daggra, is a lot like masturbating with a cheese grater. Taken from their forthcoming sophomore full-length Setsuna, which will be available on July 13 from Horror Pain Gore Death Records (preorder here), “Tarnished” is a perfect microcosm of what you can expect from the rest of the album. And I do mean ‘micro’ – it’s a 67-second blast of brooding, techy riffing and lurching tempo shifts that make it seem like the ground is constantly shifting under your feet. Any of our loyal Vault Hunters who are prone to motion sickness are strongly advised to pop a dramamine before hitting play on the Bandcamp embed below. And if that weren’t enough to entice you, “Tarnished” also features a guest vocal from grind legend Leon del Muerte (Impaled, Murder Construct, Terrorizer LA, ex-Nausea, ex-Phobia, ex-Exhumed).
Aside from being an absolute rager on every level, Setsuna is noteworthy for two additional reasons. First, it’s their final recording with original vocalist Phillip Acevedo, and he turns in an absolutely feral performance. It also features a guest appearance from ex-Gridlink/current Retortion Terror guitarist Takafumi Matsubara–aka the most creative guitar player in the history of grindcore–on the title track. Bottom line: this one is essential.