Mumakil - _Behold the Failure_
(Relapse Records, 2009)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8 out of 10)
As a materials engineering student, I was made aware of a process called Shot Peening. Allow me to elaborate. Shot Peening is a process carried out to increase the hardness of a specific material. The hardness of a sample is increased by firing numerous miniature steel balls at very high velocities at the sample. These balls induce multiple compressive residual stresses, thus considerably slowing down crack propagation in the sample. The reason I'm mentioning this to you, my brothers in grind, is that Mumakil's _Behold the Failure_ is the exact musical equivalent of Shot Peening. This twenty seven track, thirty five minute relentless punishment will treat you like that Shot Peening sample. Their contact is brief, their impact is profound and they'll make you walk out stronger than before.

The average song length is approximately 1.3 minutes, which gives you an indication of how 'to the point' this effort is. Like many other records, it does require many listens, but not because it needs time to grow on you or sink in. You'll need to spin it a few times to start making sense of its brutality and cut-throat speed. This angry bunch from the un-angry city of Geneva best manifest their musical violence as the riffs on "Let There Be Meat", "Without Grief" and the uncompromising "State of War". Some odd times were also included in a couple of tracks like the opener "Brothers in Slavery" and the dexterous "Worms of Chaos".

If you thought that the ferocity of _Behold the Failure_'s music was its highest moment, then you definitely didn't read the lyrics. "Pisskeepers" is an insult to police officers all around the world; "In Cold Blood" shows how much these guys hate the upper class; "I-Bomb" presents a derogatory take on terrorism and suicide bombing; and of course, there's no clearer statement of intent than "Wish You the Worst". "Daily Punishment" and "Doomed" handle the topic of how weak the human race has become under its own rules and governments and how man made systems have reduced the average citizens to mere sheep in herds.

That giant mammoth on the cover that is looking down on two armies about to engage into battle is probably considering humanity (the leading race on earth) to be an utter failure for all the reasons explained in the lyrics. My humble postulation aside, it is a damn good album cover and _Behold the Failure_ is an equally damn good grindcore album. It will violently impact you with its twenty seven supersonic non-conformist tracks, and will leave you pondering a few social dilemmas and some indubitable failures of modern civilization.


(article published 2/4/2010)

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