While scrolling through a list of records to be reviewed, my eyes were drawn to the band name Beaten To Death. Upon some further investigation, I discovered this grindcore/deathgrind act hails from Norway, and has a couple records out dating back to around 2011. I checked out a track called "Don't You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal" which is the lead single for their new album, Unplugged, and this shit is weirdly devastating in a much different way.

First and foremost, the guitar tones typically associated with the grindcore genre are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. No obnoxiously distorted wall of noise against chaotic blast beats and non existent bass guitar, it's very much the opposite. The guitars are so low in distortion that there's a clean clarity that is almost twangy and possibly pulled from earlier Ceremony albums. The bass guitar at times is much more prominent then the guitars, and it sounds awesome. The drums are the most faithful to the grindcore genre, pounding away at every minute and change track on the album. From frantic blast beats to tom heavy grooves, the lack of distorted guitar allows for the drums to really shine in the mix.

Vocalist Anders Bakke is a man possessed throughout the 21 minutes that comprise Unplugged. His high pitch shrieks and guttural growls alternate quicker than tempo changes and parts throughout the songs. It's very odd how heavy the cleaner guitars can sound while tremolo picking on the uptempo intro to the aforementioned "Don't You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal" or "Papyrus Containing The Spell To Summon..". There are melodic elements sprinkled here and there, and even some ambience to really make this album unique amongst it's peers.

Unplugged is available now via Mas-Kina Recordings and is definitely worth 21 minutes of your day, if only to hear this whacky ass guitar tone i've been harping about.