[Calgary Underground Film Festival] Documentaries: Slave To The Grind (2018) - Reviewed

Slave to the Grind screened at CUFF

A couple of points before I give my review of Slave to the Grind.

First, I am going to try to be as unbiased in this review as I can given that the music genre this film focuses on (grindcore) is one of my favorite genres of music, and one I am quite knowledgeable in.

Secondly, some of the language from here on to the end of this review, by no fault of my own, has the potential to be VERY strong. You have been warned.

Grindcore, having its roots firmly set in hardcore punk has been called on several occasions by people considered to be journalists as "the most extreme music on the planet". There is a thick fog around the answer of who exactly played grindcore first. However, per Slave to the Grind, Flint, Michigan’s Repulsion (which I am very proud of seeing that this music was written and recorded an hour away from where I live) has popularly been referred to as the first band to play grindcore.

Slave to the Grind spares nothing on putting the best people, places, and bands that shaped the genre of grindcore in front of us. The film is a great introduction to a layman who is new to this genre, as it weaves the history of grindcore through the excellent interviews we get to see. Slave to the Grind is also a terrific nostalgia trip for veteran fans of the genre. I could not stop smiling seeing all of the familiar faces that I was obsessed with in my youth as I gobbled up every record I could find in the genre.

Even for a veteran of the genre of grindcore, Slave to the Grind still delivers some exceptional information. With a genre as vast and global as grindcore, I do not think everyone can know everything about it. So, Slave to the Grind really offers up some education to everyone.

Slave to the Grind also serves as a dedication to some of the fallen key members in grindcore such as Jesse Pintado (Terrorizer, Napalm Death) and Seth Putnam (Anal Cunt). But, this is not a fluff piece that is part of Slave to the Grind. The interviews surrounding these men are honest and in a lot of ways not very complimentary. But, it is honest, and that is what makes this documentary so amazing. In the end, it is definitely required viewing for fans of extreme music.

I guess, this wasn’t as filthy as I thought it was going to be.

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-Scott W. Lambert