Over the course of ten years, four albums, 11 EPs and splits, and a live album, Cloud Rat have proven themselves to be one of the more adventurous bands in grindcore.

While, their sound is a hardcore, punked-up version of the genre, it also touches on such genres as black metal, noise, doom, goth, folk and many other forms of music that the band have managed to seamlessly combine with their blasting attack. It makes for a thrilling listen, as each is radically different from its predecessor, putting them as one of the top bands in their genre.

Pollinator is no different, meaning that the band has once again crafted another masterpiece of punked up grindcore, merged with subtle twist and turns. From opener “Losing Weight” to closer “Perla,” the band, which features vocalist Madison Marshall, guitarist Rorik Brooks, and drummer Brandon Hill, go for the jugular, unleashing a torrent of music that is visceral and connects with the listeners on an emotional level.

Marshall’s vocals really do a great job hooking the listener. Her screams and roars are all-too-human, filled with pain and catharsis. It’s cool to hear a grindcore vocalist to let their humanity show through instead of just bulldozing the listener with inhuman death growls. (In fact, their music stays more to the hardcore punk side of grindcore, while many of their peers choose to go full on deathgrind. It makes for a refreshing listening, at least to these ears.)

Pollinator is another masterful album from a band known for releasing masterful albums, easily making it one of the better extreme releases of the year. Don’t pass up on this one.

Purchase the album here.

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