Rotten Sound "Abuse To Suffer" (Season Of Mist): Magrudergrind "II" (Relapse)

For this 'battle of the long-anticipated new grindcore albums', furious Finns Rotten Sound's fiendishly fast, molten noise is galvanised into a thick, rich abstraction of groove-laden, bass-riven music and sunken growls that along its merry way co-opts everything from the looping riffs of Unsane to the deadening powerviolence chords of Weekend Nachos as their LP, some 5 years in the making, ricochets between minute-long blasts of post-hardcore adrenalin and longer, slower, slugs of primal gutter-metal. Feverish, frenetic and fantastic.

By comparison with the somehow glorious surround-sound ugliness of "Abuse To Suffer", Brooklyn's Magrudergrind take their turn in Relapse's revolving door grindcore roster with a musically thinner, treblier offering (marshalled inevitably by go-to producer Kurt Ballou, the Scott Burns of the genre) although their ear for toe-tappingly punkish riffs remains finely honed - we can go wild for "Hara-Kiri" or "Husanyi/Handschar" any time you like - and their lyrics indisputably spot on (see "Sacrificial Hire", dealing with the sadly topical theme of suicide bombings, or pro-gay rights piece "Regressive Agenda").

We do understand that it's seven years since their last full-length, and that all things done changed. But we must confess that we miss the ragged sense of fun (and hip-hop interludes) featured on earlier outings, those little touches that nicely leavened the rawness and red mist of yer all-guns-blazing Magrudergrind.