Sunday 17 February 2013

Blockheads - The World Is Dead (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 21/1/2013
Label : Relapse Records

This World Is Dead, tracklisting

1. Deindividualized
2. Already Slaves
3. Born Among Bastards
4. Final Arise
5. Bastards
6. Awaken
7. This World Is Dead
8. Hidden Terrors
9. All These Dreams…
10. Media Warfare
11. Be A Thorn To Power
12. Human Oil
13. Poisoned Yields
14. To The Dogs
15. Buenos Aires S.C.
16. Crisis Is Killing The Weak
17. Famine
18. Sell Your Flesh
19. Look Down
20. Take Your Pills
21. Digging Graves
22. Pro-Lifers
23. Follow The Bombs
24. Doctrine Of Assured Mutual Destruction
25. Trail Of The Dead


Brutality, consciousness, doggedness, these are some of many terms suited to describe the music and the story of BLOCKHEADS. Since about twenty years ago, the combo skims France and Europe, hurling continuously ultra violent grindcore to the listeners.

In 1992, they were teenagers who, after many hours of listening of Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower and Godflesh, among others, decided to take instruments … Brutality, extreme style, grindcore is dissected, digested by the band, a music of the most violent kind. Not dogmatic or demagogic, but with a social and healthy consciousness, in front of a crawling individualism and a rotten world which reduces individual to a simple goods. After hardly a few months of rehearsal, a demo tape came out in ‘93 and the band supported Loudblast and Carcass in Nancy in 1994. The year after, their first album LAST TRIBES was released on their own label «Blockheads Tribe». The band played more and more gigs then to support this new record. LAST TRIBES has the fury and the ardor of a first album, a shout in the shape of outlet, a Punk-Grind fury without concession...

The reputation of the band started to grow out of the French borders and BLOCKHEADS was from then actively involved in the «International grindcore scene». It was in 1997 that their first Split 7inch EP with the Death/Grind Austrian band Mastic Scum came out.

At the same time, the band met the Swiss band Nostromo with whom they will share lots of gigs and multiple parties… This friendship with Nostromo will become a concrete reality in 2002 with a Split 7 inch EP which was released by Molar and Shogun Records. The band shared gigs with lots of different bands coming from different scenes like Obituary, Soulfly, Knut, Inhumate, Deranged, Krisium… In 1998, after heavy line-up changes, the band self-released its second album called WATCH OUT and BLOCKHEADS will not stop moving forward. The band signed up with Bones Brigades Records in 2000 who suggested to them to compile LAST TRIBES and WATCH OUT albums on a single CD called FROM WOMB TO GENOCIDE. The original editions were totally out of stocks and are now today collectors. A new step is reached.

It was also on Bones Brigades that the third album will be out in 2001, a grindcore masterpiece called HUMAN PARADE. The evolution towards a more mature and more personal grindcore is then clearly noticed by the critics. From squatts to festivals, from clubs to bars, BLOCKHEADS delivers its grindcore to the listeners. We were at the beginning of the new millennium when the band met Overcome Records, who proposed them to play with… Napalm Death and Nasum! They could not refuse and BLOCKHEADS delivered a memorable concert. The band continued to play in front of a public with every time more people, played at the Fuck The Commerce in 2002 or at the Fury Fest in 2003 and the name of BLOCKHEADS will appear in lots of chronicles, interviews and other bands’ thanks list... In 2004 and 2005, the band composed and continued to perform live, sharing stages with Nasum, Converge, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cephalic Carnage, among others…

2006 was the year of the 4th album, SHAPES OF MISERY, produced in the famous LB Lab Studio (R.I.P.) by Stéphane Buriez, also well known as the Loudblast guitarist/singer. Twenty tracks of devastating grindcore where BLOCKHEADS manages to register its trademark, with new influences and a much better technical execution. This aggression is supported by ultra tight drums, a guitars’ wall and the vocal power of Xav surrounded by hysterical backing vocals... After the Obscene Extreme Festival, BLOCKHEADS began the «Blasting Tour» with Mumakilconcretize this friendship, a split with both bands came out in 2008 on Bones Brigades who will also repress and distribute SHAPES OF MISERY after the demise of Overcome Records. The vinyl version will be released in 2009 on Up-To-Eleven Records, label of one of the guitarists. The band takes part in the tributes to Nasum and Repulsion and continues to hurl its grindcore to Europe, sharing stages with Brutal Truth, Ingrowing, Skitsystem, Yacopsae, Sayyadina... During the summer of 2009, the band experiences a great moment, on the Hellfest Terrorizer stages along with Napalm Death, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Soilent Green, Brutal truth and lots of other great bands...

After some line-up changes, which postponed the recording of the follower to SHAPES OF MISERY, the band worked very hard and get out in 2010 the GRINDCORE OVERDOSE DVD, a highquality DIY piece of grindcore gathering 2 gigs as well as a retrospective of the band. In 2010, the Split with Mumakil was re-released in a vinyl version by Relapse Records.

In 2011, BLOCKHEADS slows down the rhythm of its live appearances to focus on its 5th album, THIS WORLD IS DEAD which was recorded during the second semester of 2011 in Geneva with Jéjé from Mumakil. The band is now very excited to spit its grindcore to the face of the world, and it will be done this summer for its second participation to the Obscene Extreme festival who will then have its 20th years of grindcore, still and always furious and without concessions... TO BE CONTINUED...

Line up
Xavier Chevalier (vocals)
Fred (guitar, background vocals)
Erik (bass, background vocals)
Nico (drums, backing vocals)


Fans of no nonsense grindcore will be very pleased to hear that Blockheads have returned with their 5th full length album.  Having recently signed to Relapse Records, Blockheads seriously deliver the goods with this release titled "The World is Dead.”

The world is indeed a scary place and this could very well be the soundtrack to our demise. The album clocks in at just over 40 minutes and features 25 songs in total, so no surprises as to what you are going to get! Opening track "Already Slaves" sets the tone nicely with classic grind riffing and manic crust punk energy. The performance of drummer Nico throughout this entire album is astounding, manic blast beats are delivered with precision and tons of aggression.

The album is helped along hugely by a top class production job from Jerôme Pellegrini of fellow Grindcore band Mumakil.  All instruments are clearly audible in the mix (something many other grind releases suffer from is a poor production). The guitars and bass are driven to the max but are very clear in the overall sound, all four band members deliver throat ripping intense vocals throughout.

Lyrically ‘The World Is Dead’ deals with lots of the usual subject matter associated with grindcore and punk etc, but hey these thing need to be said as the message doesn’t seem to be getting across! There is enough variation throughout the 25 songs to keep you seriously entertained here, with some slight changes of pace, d-beat style riffs and some seriously groovy napalm mid paced moments. ‘Pro-lifers’ starts with a huge crushing riff  before heading off into punk / grind territory , all delivered in 2.14 seconds!  Blockheads are going to be gigging around Europe in support of this release so go check them out. Ear plugs recommended.

Written by : Niall Gregory

Thanks to Bob @ Relapse Records for the hook up. Check the links for more info on the band. Record is available to buy via the Relapse Records store or at all good stockists.  Album is available for DD at the usual places. 

Bandcamp/Facebook/Relapse Bandcamp