Depending on who one is, there’s either mostly a disinterest in the grindcore genre, or it’s a landscape of blast beat barrages and every damn nook and cranny needs to be investigated. The genre invites a lot of love it or leave it attitude when it comes to purity. There are some bands that break into the wider discourse though, Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer being two of the best examples. I don't know if Caustic Wound will ever reach those levels, but I can tell you they could level a city with their sound.
Comprised of three of the four members in Mortiferum, one of Magrudergrind and one of Cerebral Rot/Fetid, Caustic Wound is a cocktail of death and brutality distilled into one ugly bastard. Their 2018 demo Grinding Terror is an apt description of their sound. Shorter songs, wholly ugly, fast and blasting. And their latest record, Death Posture, is an expansion on that, melding grind and brutal death metal into a skin shredding cocktail.
Caustic Wound isn’t immediate to jump in and grind once Death Posture starts spinning. A little build up more like a death metal record with some noise and background screeching guitars sets the tone for the record. And ultimately, the title track starts out blasting like a banshee about a third of the way into it. It’s not the kind of punk addled grindcore that some might come to expect. No, this thing is metal as hell.
Guitar solos? Check. Blast beats? Check. Insane drumming? Check. Ugly, raw vocals? Check. Old school death riffing? Check. Caustic Wound nail their blown-out sound on every front. From tracks like the grinder “Blast Casualty” to the death dealer “Visions of Torture” or the monstrous “Cabal”, the band knows how to aurally strangle a song. Most tracks have some form of solo, but some like “Cataclysmic Gigatron”, “Acid Attack” or “Guillotine” play them out a little longer.
Committed to keeping it old school, as Profound Lore’s press release says, the album isn’t supposed to sound like anything past the 1992 era of death metal or grindcore. Mission accomplished. This album would have sounded right at home during the death/grind era of Earache alongside Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness-era Carcass. The distorted, sometimes blown out sounding vocals and the harsh treatment of the recording do nothing but favors for Caustic Wound’s brutality. The guitars sound like they’re buried under speaker fuzz at times and the whole record feels like it could have been recorded in a room made only of concrete. The attention to sound on this record is stunning and, speaking modernly, sounds a lot like a Pissgrave album.
What might trip some people up about this record is the atonality of grindcore. Though Caustic Wound does a lot more than most bands in the genre and pepper in plenty of death metal, some will end up dismissing it as too samey. But old death metal and grindcore were like that and plenty of it still is. Those on an old school kick will feel their intestines shift while others will stand there either slack-jawed or disinterested. And in fairness, Death Posture is a very fast-moving album and the first few listens might not have a lot of standout moments for plenty of listeners.
Like a lot of bands, Caustic Wound isn’t playing to reinvent the wheel of death or grind, they’re just playing it the way it was meant to be: loud and raw. Death Posture is a savage debut LP for the band. If you heard the songs that premiered before this dropped, you probably already knew if this was for you or not. If you haven’t, it’s time to take a blast to the past once more.
Caustic Wound Order