Seventy one tracks on one album is, quite frankly, ridiculous. No album should be seventy one tracks long. My iTunes account nearly had a stroke when I tried to load the entirety Die Tonmeisterei Sessions, the most recent release by Rotterdam-based grindcore duo Jesus Crost.
These granddaddies of grindcore certainly know how to hammer home a point, with the album itself being so utterly rammed full of harsh, shouty vocals, ludicrously fast guitars, and tinny-sounding drums that it is spilling out at the sides. However, once you get past the insanely daunting amount of music that Jesus Crost have crammed in to Die Tonmeisterei Sessions, you begin to peel back the first layer into what the album, and the band themselves, are actually all about.
Before venturing into Die Tonmeisterei Sessions and what makes Jesus Crost so unique in their music, it should first be understood what purpose the album actually serves. Die Tonmeisterei Sessions is a collection of all of Jesus Crost’s previous work. Yes, all of it. The album is, at its core, a bringing together of over twenty years of ultra-violent, intensely quick, thuggishly heavy, occasionally football-related, extreme metal. The band themselves have a saying: “No slow, all go”, something which is instantly (and I mean as soon as you even consider hitting play) noticeable. The Dutch duo throw everything they’ve got as soon as they can, creating an album which really can only be summed up as balls to the wall!
Now that we know a little more about the album itself, we can really delve in to what makes the album so different from that which surrounds it in extreme metal’s most extreme genre. Firstly, it is important to understand that Jesus Crost are not simply a grindcore band; they are so much more. While the duo objectively stick to the grindcore style of play, occasionally crossing in to powerviolence (study up on your sub-genre knowledge if these are new terms to you), the Dutch duo seem to dabble in every other genre available, even the lighter, less furious ones.
An example of this can be found on the thirty first track “Cocoloco”, where a break is taken between the violent, angry rampages to demonstrate an intriguing bass riff which slows down the entire track, accompanied only by a relatively average paced drumbeat. The song, of course, returns to its normal, grindcore routine shortly after, but this difference is not a standalone moment. Sixty fifth track “Claudio Caniggia” spans a whopping one minute and twenty three seconds, a length which is amongst the few that actually exceed the one minute mark, basically becoming a progressive rock track at that point. The song itself is far more in line with traditional, old school death metal; fast-paced and angry with incomprehensible lyrics, yet manages to come off as crystal clear in comparison to the rest of the album.
Overall, Die Tonmeisterei Sessions is an absolute must-have for any fan of grindcore or extreme metal in general, containing enough vicious tracks to leave you mauled to death if you listen to the full thing in one sitting. However, I would certainly also recommend this album to fans of metal who would usually tend to avoid the more extreme side, as while the album is primarily a grindcore piece, there is enough diversity and unique moments within it, that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Grindcore is, like many small sub-genres of metal, heavily dictated by metal elitists as to what actually constitutes as grindcore, so for a band to defy conventions as Jesus Crost has, and play in a style which, at times, deliberately goes against the grain is truly something special.
Die Tonmeisterei Sessions is out the 11th of August and can be pre-ordered via Give Praise Records.