Dead In The Dirt have been one of my current favorite heavy bands since I heard their excellent debut EP Vold a few years ago, as well as witnessing their intense live show. The band's intense combination of grindcore, powerviolence and crust on Vold reeled me in the second I heard it and I've been hooked ever since. Their follow up 7 inch Fear was a huge step in sound, and unsurprisingly, their debut LP The Blind Hole is an even greater record than its predecessors. Even saying that, I can't say I was quite prepared for how incredible this debut LP is.
In roughly under 24 minutes, the band tears through 22 songs with a white knuckle intensity rare in most bands. Drawing from influences such as Dropdead, His Hero Is Gone and Left For Dead, the band has honed their craft to perfection, going from short and unbelievably satisfying grindcore to crushing sludge in the drop of a hat."Suffer" opens the album with a furious punk riff before spilling into an intense grindcore section and is over before you know it, while following tracks "The Blaring Eye" and "Swelling" are even more of a blink and you'll miss it affair. It's on the 4th track "Strength Through Restraint" when you are hit with an unbelievably crushing feedback filled sludge riff that you realize the band is clearly at the top of their game on all levels and expanding their sound into different and slower paced territories to great success. This is readily apparent in the lengthier tracks on the record such as "Will Is The War" and "The Pit Of Me" and ridiculously heavy closing song "Halo Crown", the latter reaching an almost Khanate/Sunn level of slow paced sludge that closes out the album in perfect form.The recording (provided by Andy Nelson of the also excellent Weekend Nachos) is also outstanding, precise and clear while still capturing the raw intensity of the band's vicious live show. The only real let down is having to wait until I get a physical copy of the LP to read the lyrics. Dead In The Dirt has always had a strong vegan, straight edge and atheist stance lyrically, and from what I can make out from my initial listens this looks to be the case once again with The Blind Hole, and I can't wait to read along while listening when my physical copy hits my mailbox. I am always a huge fan of bands with something genuine and sincere to say, and Dead In The Dirt lyrically are about as sincere as extreme music gets.
All and all, Dead In The Dirt have crafted an triumphant display of extreme music with The Blind Hole. It's an emotionally intense and wholly bleak record that contains what will undoubtfully end up being some of the outright heaviest and vicious material released by any heavy band this year. It's a record that has continued to hit me as hard as it did the first time even after dozens and dozens of repeated listens over the past week, and I'm sure there are many to come. This is a record that will turn the heads of even the most jaded extreme music fans, and proves itself an essential listen. Expect to see it on my (and most likely many others) top ten list when the year finishes out.