So I learned a lot this morning by deciding to review Mumakil’s upcoming album Flies Will Starve today. First, they’re named after a fictional Tolkien beast, those six-tusked two-hundred feet tall elephant creatures who royally fuck shit up in Return of the King. I found a poem written about one by Samwise the Hobbit and he has a totally amateur grasp of poetic forms and rhyme schemes, incapable of capturing their enormous fury the way this band has. I then researched the life cycle of flies and discovered that most don’t live for more than a month, and can starve after just a few days. This confirmed my disdain for these pesky little jerks for buzzing around my eyeballs during the summer, as if they have nothing better to do with their thirty days on this planet.
The members of Mumakil use their time alive with a higher purpose: Blistering their fingers and snapping your neck with ferocious grind that will pry your ear canal open and funnel in anthrax. From the confident first blast of “Death From Below” you can tell this ain’t Mumakil’s first ride at the rodeo. They’ve been assaulting the world from their Swiss lair in Geneva since 2004, releasing several split albums and three full-lengths, including Flies Will Starve, their second with Relapse Records. They have used every moment of the past nine years conceiving ways to injure you with the sound screaming from their amplifiers and off their percussive devices. With 24 tracks it would require a manifesto of Tolkien proportions to accurately describe all of the lethal techniques used on this monster, but some highlights of their multi-faceted attack include: The stop’n’start trauma of “War Therapist,” the thrashing groove of “Waste By Definition,” and the technical death wizardry of “Fucktards Parade.” There’s definitely more than a pinch of tech-death here, as the riffs often have as much in common with Nile or Decapitated as they do label-mates Brutal Truth or Rotten Sound. But Mumakil really is its own (six-tusked) animal.
This is the catchiest blast of 200+ BPM sonic anger I’ve heard in an elephant’s age. Elephants live a long time, right? About a billion times longer than flies? My lazy internet searches and lazier math confirm this is true. It’s just exciting to hear a band building grind on riffs rather than blastbeats (but if it’s blastbeats you want, good lord, does Kevin Foley not disappoint you) and actually forming these crazy things called songs. Somewhere along the way, a group of near-sighted people obsessed with guidelines and mind-numbing consistency decided there were rules for grindcore, and those rules are only allowed to be broken if you increase the average song speed by X amount. By its nature, grindcore is a genre that should be forever evolving, restlessly searching for new weapons. Thankfully, all of the bands worth a damn took that rule book, said “No thanks” as impolitely as possible, and set it ablaze with a mouth full of bathtub bourbon and a lit Molotov. They may not challenge perceptions of grindcore (and reality) as defiantly as someone like Pig Destroyer, but Mumakil is absolutely one of those bands.
This album releases in late June, right around my birthday. This will definitely be spinning while I blow out my cake candles, lit from the same burning grindcore rulebook.
Check out more information on Mumakil over at their profile on Relapse Records, including how t pre-order this beast: http://www.relapse.com/label/artist/mumakil.html
And follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Mumakil