Liberteer - Better To Die On Your Feet...

A side-project for Cretin/Citizen’s Matthew Widener, Liberteer’s debut album “Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees” regurgitates the maniacal and unhinged grind Widener is renowned for, albeit with a experimental edge that surprisingly creates an interesting and captivating sonority .
One listen to the 17 songs will be enough to conclude that not only Widener, who plays all instruments, is seriously committed to crafting some vile and ugly grind, he’s also determined to push boundaries and forge a sound that is distinctly their own. As such, “Better To Die…” is grind like I never heard it before, it’s wacky as Exit-13 and Antigama, yet it doesn’t delve into jazz or noise experimentalism, and it’s raging and vile like Nasum and Brutal Truth, yet it also features the sounds of trumpets, banjos and horns. Take a song like “Build No System” for example, it surges with a raging grind fury but soon takes a left turn into some odd instrumentation filled with trumpets and flute sounds that wouldn’t sound out place in some spaghetti western movie. Then, there’s “Rise Like Lions After Slumber”, a highly invigorating and infectious instrumental that you surely wouldn’t expect to hear in a grind record, which is followed by “That Which Is Not Given But Taken” where the guitars rehash the same harmonies, but in a faster pace and harsher tone. In “Usurious Epitaph”, the relentless grind onslaught ends with some traditional instrumentation that could certainly soundtrack the battles of civil war. Then, I swear if I don’t want to mimic Rocky Balboa and run the stairs to Philadelphia’s’ City Hall when I hear the epic and appropriately titled “Sweat for Blood”.
Even tough “Better to Die…” is full of weird-ass experimentalisms, this is still a viciously crushing grind album and at just 28 minutes, it feels like a guerrilla raid, they get in, beat you senseless and steal all your belongings and then, they get out. (8/10)

David Alexandre

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