One of the hardest working grindcore acts in existence, Canada's own Fuck the Facts return once more with Desire Will Rot, the band's ninth full-length effort since forming in 1999. Fans of the group wll be well aware of their discography that largely consists of an extensive list of split releases over the years, though that has been toned down a bit as of late. Since 2013, aside this new outing, there has only been one release per year including the Amer EP in 2013, the Abandoned EP in 2014, and a split with Fistfuck for 2014. But has this limited release schedule helped in a quality control department (though that's always been top notch the way it was, really), or has the growth within the band taken a step back, leaving fans wanting a little more from this new album?

Much like previous recordings, Desire Will Rot has more of an analog touch to it that adds a little more grit to the mix. The guitars are your traditional grindcore distortion of being somewhat cleaner, but still rough enough to pummel the listener when accompanied with the deep twang of the bass and loud, crisp drums, as well as abrasive shouting in the vocals. But, much like any Fuck the Facts release, all of this is meerly a basic template to the grindcore journey, as there are plenty of other elements thrown in that remind listeners of the somewhat experimental, even artistic side of the group's signature sound.

Things start off innocently enough with "Everywhere Yet Nowhere". This stands as a well executed mixture of grindcore fury and hardcore attitude that takes advantage of the recording's relatively raw elements, especially with the deep bass guitar presence. There is a great deal of complexity strewn about that will get the blood pumping, as well as some strong grooves that will immediately have your head bobbing along. This mixture ends up more like an extensive introduction, really, as you head into "Shadows Collide". This far more technical offering treads the line between grindcore and mathcore thanks to some of the intricate chords between the bouts of blasting fury which, while a welcome mixture, doesn't do much to make the performance as a whole all that unique. That isn't to say it's bad though. In fact, this is one of the better songs that feels more like a traditional "-core" experience, at least until later on when some subtle middle eastern flair can be felt in the riffs as the pace slows for a brief amount of time.

Meanwhile, in contrast, you have the dark and brooding "False Hope". The opening drum solo introduces the listener to a sludge filled hardcore presence that quickly pushes the bass guitar more to the forefront between some of the eccentric hooks and bouts of grinding blast beats and technicality on par with a swedish death metal effort. Of course, ranging between off-kilter and incredibly eerie isn't enough for the standard grindcore template, as the two-step drum patterns about two-and-a-half minutes in give way to a barren breakdown that paves the way to an unsetteling doom metal pacing that is as cold as it is intimidating, eventually including an odd swamp soaked Pantera-esque groove to the depressing funeral march, all leading to the ambient-fuelled instrumental "Circle" that will surely have the little hairs on the back of your neck standing on end the deeper into this catacomb-recorded performance you get.

If anything, Desire Will Rot actually stands as a creation that slowly morphs between styles in one fluid motion, which is thanks largely to the shifts between tracks. Things start off traditional, but, before you know it, that typical hardcore and grindcore sound slowly becomes twisted and distorted the deeper in you get. For example, "La Mort I" plays up the hardcore attitude you could feel on "The Path of Most Resistance", but adds some gloomy doom metal leads to the mix, once again jumping back into the typical grindcore blast beat riddled sound for "La Mort II" for a brief time, acting like the start of the changes that occur in a coccoon before the butterfly breaks through, something that the somewhat vile, briefly elogant "Prey" becomes the breaking point for.

But, hey, nobody said what would come out would be beautiful, did they? The closest this comes to it, outside that momentary elogance, of course, is the song "Storm of Silence". While one could argue some of the riffs carry a bit of a post-hardcore touch to them, there's more of a metalcore or metallic hardcore presence thrown about with some of the moody hooks utilized. Again, the attitude is present, though more with a punk rebelliousness than an authoritive assertion, which only makes the atmosphere far more glorious, even empowering throughout. That latter element comes through the most at the end with the moving guitar solo that elevates the listener higher before ultimately letting him/her go, sending them barreling towards the ground for the darker, heavier track "Solitude", a song title that lives up to its name given the isolated atmosphere and the madness that often comes from it.

Fuck the Facts are essentially the Pringles potato chips of the hardcore/grindcore world: You can't eat just one. And that's true, but not in the way you think. This is a band that, when creating beyond the limitations of a split recording, is able to create something that absolutely needs to be heard in full in order to completely enjoy what they are doing. Almost any track on Desire Will Rot is good for what it is, as well as enough to have you coming back for more. However, when you sit down to the full course and not just an appetizer, it all lines up in a way that greatly transcends what that singular performance brought to the table. Dashes of doom, sludge, southern swamp infested grooves, brooding atmospheres, and hints of mathcore, are all woven into a tapestry that retains the band's own signature grindcore template that meets and surpasses the expectations that fans of the band, or even the style in general, have come to know and expect. If you haven't heard a Fuck the Facts release before, get ready for a treat, as Desire Will Rot stands as yet another feather in the band's cap you won't soon regret.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.