Speak Chinese or Die! 11 of China’s Top Grindcore Bands
No genre of music in China remains more underground than grindcore. Thrash, black metal, deathcore and folk metal have been catching on and branching out, but grind remains a DIY force within the country, with small, sweaty clubs showcasing these bands to a rabid audience who feel like they are part of a special community.
But the scene is growing: Rectal Wench’s Filthy Parties have been emulating the Obscene Extreme Festivals recently, while Impure Injection continue to put on Extreme Mind and True Noise Day events, bringing all the grinders together like a big, happy, filthy family.
You won’t find dozens of grindcore bands in China like you can in Japan, but I have dug into the depths and found 11 for you to sink your cavity-filled teeth into.
Chinese grindcore veterans Delirious and their self-titled 2012 album set the precedent for grind to come in China, influencing much of the small but brutal and committed scene you see today. Mental illness and suicide are not topics to bring up at the dinner table in China, but Delirious aren’t what you’d call “traditional.” Like grind bands from all corners of the world, Delirious also have a fondness for splits, recently releasing one with Suicide Forest.
猝死 – Sudden Death
From Zhengzhou, Henan province, Sudden Death add a little brutal death metal into their grindcore hot pot. The band has been at it since 1999 as one of the first acts who fucked with the brutal grind sound in the country. Since their arrival onto the scene, they’ve released only two demos, staying firmly underground but attracting audiences who wish to see these legends wherever they show up. Unfortunately, Sudden Death’s drummer Wang Qiang passed away in 2019. The rest of Sudden Death hope to soldier on in order to honor their fallen brother.
Disciples of goregrind are finding their chapels at concerts put on by Chinese heroes Rectal Wench. The Beijing-based, luchador wrestling mask-wearing band has brought out the best in people; at their concerts, named Filthy Parties, people dress in wild costumes (or sometimes nothing) and unhinge themselves from the humdrum of normal society. Their latest record is a Titanic sized goregrind epic, Judgment of Whore Labia From the Sewer Throne, 73 minutes of toilet-found treats.
Cave Have Rod
The now defunct Cave Have Rod deserve to be mentioned as they certainly influenced the current wave of grind musicians making a name for themselves in China. With bloody maxi-pads attached to their microphone stands, they gleefully performed brutally playful goregrind while their vocalist wore summer dresses and pink inner tubes. You would think this band would be right at home at the Obscene Extreme Festival, and they did play it back in 2013, which marked the arrival of extreme Chinese music overseas. Who will be the next band to follow the rod?
From Zibo, Shandong province, Gore Geng’s Impure Injection is a one-man grind machine which has been injecting the Chinese underground with filthy riffs for nearly a decade. In 2019, Impure Injection’s Genetically Modified Utopia album was a ferocious piece of what was to come from the band. The recently released Gore in the North EP is four tracks of unrelenting grind that’s more discomforting than any Covid-19 vaccination side effect. Impure Injection are a swirling tornado of guts and gore with bits of glue that keep the pieces of the scene together.
If you’ve wondered what a band would sound like with Ganon from The Legend Of Zelda on vocals, then Pig Cage, a one-man band from Inner Mongolia, can put your curiosity to rest. The sole member, Maihem, utilizes actual pig sounds instead of human vocals in order to portray the metaphor that he’s as lowly as swine within the communist nation. Screaming Pig in China is his debut full length, and follows the fine examples set by the many slam bands that use cat or dog vocals.
From Xi’an, Shaanxi province, this brutal death/grind band labels themselves “opera grind”. If you have listened to the music in a Chinese opera, you will be familiar with the vocal samples layered within Salvaje’s music. One second there’s beautiful female opera singing, and the next there’s pig grunts, which is to be expected on a song titled “Piggy Pussy.” The song comes from their upcoming debut album. Get ready for a full three-part opera grind epic.
Globularcyst are a “vomiting pathological goregrind band” who are scholars of the Carcass, Disgorge, and Viscera Infest school of grue. Dressed to impress in doctor’s scrubs and Jig-Ai shirts, they are a textbook example of new mutations within the Chinese goregrind scene. For their live appearances, they prefer to hail from Mexico, though everyone knows they’re Chinese. Their debut album is a hodgepodge of medical waste you wouldn’t want to touch without wearing a hazmat suit.
The music scene in Tianjin is growing like a spot of bacteria on a neglected piece of bread. From this scene comes TKD Orgasm, a one-man gore grind/grindcore project poised to chop, kick and, most likely, ejaculate. The extreme dojo is accompanied by a Taekwondo outfit on stage as the riffs aim to roundhouse kick the listeners. Have a listen to the debut EP, Masturbate to This, which features a Gutalax cover of “Dick Dip.”
News often inspires music, and in China, the news of an attacker named Wu Huanming who killed seven children with a cleaver at a kindergarten in Hanzhongo in 2010 inspired the Xi An-based grind band Psycho Killer. Their Hunt in a Kindergarten EP talks about those grave incidents at schools, but unlike many bands living in the country, Psycho Killer aren’t afraid to get a little political either, with the song “稳定压倒一切” alluding to the infamous Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, while another called “I Shot The Brothertao” is a sly innuendo to political assassination.
Speak Chinese or Die. As Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world next to English, perhaps this album title — a play on S.O.D.’s Speak English or Die — should seriously be taken into consideration on the geopolitical stage. If you don’t feel like taking late night language classes, though, S.C.O.D.’s 2014 album can give you a few phrases to work with, if only you can understand blood curdling shrieks. The album cover is a nostalgic look at school children wearing typical sport uniforms with one child putting a hand over his mouth, wary of speaking out in class. The album has reached somewhat of an iconic status within China. Listen or die!
Tragedy struck S.C.O.D.’s Ben recently as he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and just went through surgery. We here at MetalSucks wish him a safe and speedy recovery.