When it comes to grindcore, what makes it work best can be put into a nice little checklist. Instead of a long, flowing dissertation or deep analysis of an album’s merits, let’s just do a bit of a rundown:

Unintelligible screeched lyrics? check!
Truly insane drumming? Indubitably!
Actual riffs amid the madness? Oh yell yeah!
Loads of distortion and feedback? Naturally!
Vague song titles in support of progressive politics? Presumably!
Does it make your headache worse? You betcha!
Is it awesome old-school grindcore? Fuck yeah!
Do I want to hear this album played live? More than a kid wants candy.

The very-long-awaited sophomore record from Finnish band Death Toll 80K is righteously pulverizing in all the right ways. Sure, individual songs don’t exactly stand out, and the vocal style doesn’t leave much room for nuance or clarity, but holy Hell does Step Down deliver everything you could want from a throw-back grindcore record. Fast, furious, pissed-off, and just plain fun, Death Toll 80K are the real damn deal, and this excellent sophomore release is a joy to those who loved grindcore when it was purposely filthy. This record is as delightfully dirty as it gets, savage and unrelenting. Death Toll 80K are out here making some of the best pure grindcore around.

Purchase the album here.

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