The projects that cybergrind veteran Aaron Spectre has brought to the table as Drumcorps have embodied chaos and dissonance. From the beginning, their music has exhibited the high octane intensity of breakcore while incorporating elements from the worlds of industrial metal and mathcore. Thus, the release of Creatures feels like a celebration of Spectre’s history in cybergrind and all of the cacophonous noise surrounding it.

Drumcorps’ Creatures is the conclusion to a trilogy of projects beginning in 2021. Better Days and For The Living were shorter and provided a sample of what was to come in 2022. Built upon a cybergrind foundation, fans of djent and metalcore will find themselves gleefully enveloped in visceral guitar riffs and glitched screams of rage accompanied by complex passages of noise and unforgiving breakbeats.

The album varies in tempo and techniques yet the end result is cohesive. “Style Transfer” and “Cut & Grow” are home to heavy drums and deep, rhythmic riffs that invoke sludge influence. These tracks are slower and methodical, filled with electronic distortion that permeates throughout the instrumentation. Vocals are feral and animalistic, like the screams of an enraged machine driven beyond the peaks of insanity by stutter and stretch effects.

The same can also be said about songs like “Fungus!” or “Antebellum”, although faster and more densely packed with complex time signatures and breakcore-adjacent drum patterns. They forgo any groundings of genres like sludge metal and instead fully embrace mathcore elements. Dissonance takes hold here, with circuit-bent noise filling any possible gaps between chords and drums. Amid these tracks is “Definitely, Fire”, which opens with a searing riff and features pulverizing drums across its mere 50 second runtime. While shorter, these songs are brutal, rapid-fire assaults on the eardrums that leave a lasting impact.

“1bit” stands out as being unlike the rest of the project, featuring no traditional instrumentation. Rather, it is a noise track, starting with a simple and rhythmic beat made up of incredibly bit-crushed sound effects. It doesn’t take long for this Game Boy inspired track to erupt into an electrical fire as more and more layers of discordant noise begin to surface. At its peak, “1bit” is a wall of harsh noise and computer glitches that surround and crush the listener before fading into oblivion. It’s a display of Drumcorps’ skillset and the immense sonic palette that the artist is capable of outside of cybergrind and similar genres.

Creatures is a violent machine let loose upon the world and I am all for it. The DNA of digital hardcore runs deep in this album, and in Drumcorps as a project. I absolutely crave hearing music that is this raucous and energetic. I’m eagerly awaiting for Spectre to return with more of this style in the future, and to continue to pioneer the field of cybergrind.

Creatures is out now on Bandcamp, with physicals released by Big Money Cybergrind

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