Release Date: Aug 6, 2013
Record label: Southern Lord Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk/New Wave, Hardcore Punk, Death Metal, Black Metal, Grindcore
Annihilating, bludgeoning and crushing are the ABCs of hype words used by critics to establish the next heavy record as exactly that: heavy. While these verbs would all be appropriate for Dead in the Dirt's debut full-length (following four- and ten-song EPs), they also wouldn't do nearly enough to describe the sonic onslaught held on The Blind Hole's 22 songs. The band's crusty grindcore is, at times, sludgy, almost always fast and ridiculously heavy, in a way that must be heard to be fully understood.
After getting slowly warmed up with two EP releases, Atlanta-based grindcore trio Dead in the Dirt's first full-length, The Blind Hole, serves as the brilliantly heavy culmination of the band's development. Their short, furious songs are a rainbow of different shades of black, mixing grindcore blastbeats, long segments of squirming sludge metal, some grim crustpunk/powerviolence vocals, and even elements of late-'90s hardcore. Even further, Dead in the Dirt find a way to very subtly employ some of the hypnotic repetition and relentlessness of black metal, but they add it as such a fine detail that it could speed by unnoticed on first listen.
You've got to love a straight-up hardcore band. The Blind Hole is Atlanta natives Dead in the Dirt's first full-length, yet it clocks in at less than 24 minutes - shorter than most other bands' EPs. However, 'short' doesn't mean 'worse'. The Blind Hole's 22 tracks constitute a finely-crafted slice of hardcore punk.
A blind hole is a mining term relating to a drilled hole that never breaks through to the other side. But, when used as a metaphor, it’s an idea that takes on a somewhat darker guise. Figuring out just what Dead In The Dirt mean by The Blind Hole is anyone’s guess. Although the band’s political and ideological viewpoints are ordinarily a massive factor in what they write (they’re straightedge and vegan) they’ve decided to try and make this album slightly more universal in tone by tackling subjects that are familiar to everyone.
It was a strange night at Peter’s Room in Portland, Oregon, on the night of December 14th, 2012. The mighty Sunn 0))) had returned once again to the City of Roses, and in tow the drone duo brought their Southern Lord labelmates Fontanelle, Loincloth, and Dead in the Dirt. The genres represented in that amp-rumbling show—drone doom, power metal, grindcore, and fusion jazz—made for an eclectic concert unlike anything anyone in the audience had likely seen or will ever see, even considering diverse festivals like the ubiquitous Roadburn.
In the middle of Dead In The Dirt’s debut LP, The Blind Hole, you’ll find a recording of Jim Harrison reciting a poem of his called ‘Barking.’ The poem ends, “Yesterday I got a call from the outside world/ But I said ‘no’ in thunder/ I was a dog on a short, short chain/ And now there’s no chain.” Those words sum up this band rather effectively: DITD make a racket akin to a raving dog that the neighbor kids have been tormenting for years because of its leash. Now liberated, it’s free to return the torment. Though “audio terrorism” might be a more apt description of what this Atlanta-based trio – consisting of guitarist/vocalist Blake Connally, bassist/vocalist Bo Orr and drummer Hank Pratt – does.