Noisear – Subvert the Dominant Paradigm

By Sarah Kitteringham

Grindcore tends to be exciting – at least for yours truly— when it incorporates elements that stray from the traditional blast beats, grunted/ squealing vocals, and blinding-quick tempo guitars. You know those [ahem] beautiful little detours into sonic exploration favored by Pig Destroyer, WAKE, Rotten Sound and Discordance Axis? It is those moments that define grind and makes it stand apart.

On their second full length and first album for Relapse, Noisear frequently venture into interesting territory, though it’s easy to miss because the songs are so damn short. Subvert the Dominant Paradigm features a blistering 30 songs in 47 minutes – the last track being 20 minutes of screeching noise – and multiple songs feature brief interludes of experimentation alongside the traditional grind elements. “Gestapolis” features a groovy second half where the time signatures briefly slow down; while “Fraudulent” has a rock oriented interlude with its clean guitars that weave throughout the shrieks. “Deformed by Society” opens with robotic guitars that peak and trough, while follower “The Rail” features clean, relatively subdued high riffing and simultaneously maniacal blast beats complimentary of grind master Brian Fajardo (Kill the Client, Phobia, Gridlink). “Borealis Storm” strengths lie in the vocals, which are a consistently piercing shriek throughout. It is only when the album closes with “Noisearuption” that things get boring. The beginning of the track features a schizophrenic sample of someone exploding over the evils of society, than what is presumably their breakdown is chronicled in the piercing mess of chaos that ensues. One quarter of the song was enough to get the gist.

Overall, Noisear is an obvious fit for the Relapse roster that has released a fine grind album. It will be interesting to see their next output, which will hopefully feature slightly longer tracks with even more detours into the unknown.


Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.