Norway’s BEATEN TO DEATH are a Grindcore band that refuses to meet everybody’s expectations about Grindcore – musically and aesthetically. Their amazing debut record Xes and Strokes, also covered here on Cvlt Nation, hasn’t left my iPod since I got it and when I was asked if I’d be into reviewing a live DVD of BTD, I really couldn’t say no. Bringing new ideas and sounds to a genre whose boundaries seemed to be set into stone over 20 years ago, BTD are a more than outstanding act. One could argue if a live DVD is something necessary, especially for a quite new band, but on the other hand BTD don’t seem to give too much of a fuck about other opinions and expectations anyway, so why the hell not?!
The set was filmed in Oslo, June 17th, when BTD supported Killswitch Engage – funny to see the basically non-existent crowd reaction of the KSE-worshipping whimps when confronted with the relentless grind-fury of BTD. Although the live-sound is just roughly mixed and not edited, mastered, triggered or otherwise polished for the DVD-release, it really ripps your head open. Be sure – these guys definitely know how to play their instruments. Speaking of which, of course their choice of guitars plays a huge part in the specific sound of BTD: Thanks to the Fenders (or something similar) the sound has very rich mids, and for that isn’t wading through indefinable low ends. Just like on the record, this works astonishingly good live. The drum sound is pure aggression and makes you table-blast-beating instantly. After 25 minutes of headbangin’, blast-beatin’, tremolo-pickin’, moshin’ “Melodic Grind” (I read that somewhere, what a stupid word haha), the show’s over as suddenly as it began, leaving a mostly distraught crowd – well done!
You’ll get to hear mostly material from the debut record Xes and Strokes, and in addition to the live set at the Rockefeller some bonus material like all the band’s video clips and some other live videos from smaller club shows. I especially dig the latter, in my opinion BTD fit way better into sweaty, small and dim clubs than on big stages like on a KSE support slot – but most bands probably do.
This DVD is available in only very limited quantities (250 pcs), so if you dig BEATEN TO DEATH as much as I do better act fast to save your copy!