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Tentacles of Influence Album Review

Written By Lindon Faynes AKA AUselessPileofFlesh

Let the tentacles of influence envelope you – It scored 88% out of 100

When it comes to brutal death metal & grindcore, Czechia owns the playing ground. Yes Poland, Sweden & Germany are top contenders HOWEVER it cannot be overstated how high quality and quantity the Czech scene truly is. With festivals like Obscene Extreme, Thirst For Grind, Groove & Stinky, Metalgate Czech Death etc and bands like Alienation Mental, Melancholy Pessimism, Jig-Ai, Lykathea Aflame etc Czechia has cemented itself the home base for extreme metal and punk. 

Needful Things are a 20+ years veteran status grind band with a 15 split & 3 full length album discography. The band’s chosen style is fast-paced metallic grind with a hefty death metal groove. Picture post-Earache era Napalm Death, “Murderer” era Rotten Sound and the entire Nasum catalogue. This style of grindcore is great because even at its most unoriginal form, will still provide an aesthetically pleasing sound. It’s that freight-train, “no holds barred/stop for no bitch” adrenaline pumping grind that gets your fist pumping and your legs running in a circular fashion. The riffs are a solid take on death metal forward grind and the aforementioned death metal grooves which still contain a frantic persona due to the incredibly adequate and supersonic drumming. Songs like the album title, “Constricted” & “Fallen Into Darkness” flow together effortlessly compiling of aggressive 2000’s era grindcore riffs that both punch and grab you, no time for powerviolence/hardcore/sludge metal breakdowns or brutal slams, just fast tremolo and chorded riffs, with the intro of “Party of Killers…” having the slowest groove on the entire album. Once again I have to commend the drummer for his technique and skill, the drums are very much so the spine for all present songs. 

One thing that definitely requires highlighting is the recording & production. It sits perfectly within the boundaries of a crisp, clear yet bass heavy production with all instruments shining brightly, yet still sounds organic and like an actual live band. You could tell me that the album was recorded live or layered and I would believe it. This gives the listeners an easy-to-digest production whilst also giving of an authentic feel. I would put this album as having one of the better productions in the grind genre, it’s that good! Now former vocalist Tomas has a pretty rambunctious vocabulary. His style alternates between the echoed screams (not unlike JR of Pig Destroyer) and your more typical death bellows which, whilst don’t go too deep or guttural, are a fit for the unrelenting barrage of blasting discourse. Of course the lyrics take swings at despotic dictatorships and (dis)organised religion which I’m all for, despite no lines really catching my fancy (PD’s “the chameleon is my favourite animal” is one to remember). 

Grindcore is a genre not too well known for being overtly original, this applies to Needful Things who are very much in the same vein of their influences, as both debut “Dead Point” and the more recent “Deception” are in a similar key, however I will say “Tentacles of Influence” takes this sound and perfects it, with genuine song-writing and top-notch production to boot. I don’t consider this to be a landmark album but it is a personal favourite for what the genre can offer. 

https://youtu.be/NpZpehCekHk?si=XoCsk5GNM8aHRKuM

Track Listing:
1.Intro – Tentacles of Influence
2.Constricted
3.Fallen In Darkness
4.Deprogrammed
5.Predator
6.Worshipper Of God
7.Money In God´s Hands
8.Collateral Existence
9.Narrator
10.Corrupted
11.Decision Points
12.Party For Killers / Massive Killing
13.End Of Your Life
14.Remains Of Life
15.DNA Freak Number
16.One Day Hero
17.Mask Of Arrogance
18.Firewall
19.The Mass

Best tracks: 
First 3 opening tracks, “Worshipper of God”, “Party of Killers…” & “One Day Hero”.

Needful Things Online

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By Metal Lair

Propter Music Connoisseur, music for refined taste.

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