With some industrial elements, Stillbirth are a Death Metal/Grindcore band from Germany. Annihilation of Mankind marks their fifth studio album since 2015’s Global Error. Despite the raw aggression that tends to accompany many Grindcore acts, and the short song structures that accompany their absolute burst of balls-to-the-wall power; this isn’t the end all formula for these bands. The precision and technical proficiency can take some bands from a Blast Beat fast, hard-and-everything approach into something with more versatility. Perhaps the framework of Death Metal is the emergence of Stillbirth’s music.
What proceeds with their fifth album, shows a confidence and sheer joy for their sound. Songs dance around burst of energy in the typical Grindcore fashion but with walls of stop start riffs. This is then layered with deep shrieks and a reliance on guttural forms of vocals. These vocals employ pig squeals taking these deep sounds to another form of instrument. Whilst riffs are bridged with drum fills and melodic guitars or even some sounds that hint, as aforementioned, hints of industrial, such as with ‘Plague of Warfare’. This adds another layer to their music and keeps a versatility otherwise lacking in sheer aggression alone.
For a base sound, accomplishment through superior firepower, songs like ‘Enemy of the Enemy’ finds energetic, brutal and downright precise but dirty riffs to keep a focused energy. It all comes together so well like a murderous rampage, rehearsed and performed musically for a fitting apocalypse. There aren’t moments where anything is particularly off set or reduced or distracted by anything else on the album. Songs like ‘Highest of Malice’ reflect how the drums not only keep a sheer aggression going but a support network of rising and sustainable power.
Stillbirth are part of the growing underground circles of sheer brutality. Refining elements to keep brutal music relevant and focused. Annihilation of Mankind prove to be a brilliant example of their efforts pulled together to deliver a piece of ear blunt force trauma to be taken home and to digest. With strengths like this it’s hard to understand how it keeps so underground but it is, after all, extreme music for extreme people. Brutal for brutal’s sake. Aggression for aggressive musicians. Relentless and demanding. Not for everyone, but insistently there, none-the-less; and undying.