Friday, November 11, 2011


Fifteen years ago this week, Excruciating Terror played at Gilman Street for the second time. Also included on the bill were Man is the Bastard, No Less, Noothgrush, and Benumb. Many things happened at this show. Actually, it is probably more accurate to say that many things did NOT happen, such as Man is the Bastard no-showing yet another Gilman gig. A new chapter unfolded in the Agents of Satan/Gilman beef too, but that’s another story for another time. One thing that did happen was Excruciating Terror were as fuckin’ mind-blowing as the Napalm Death Peel sessions. Another thing that happened was Max Ward happened to record their set right off the Gilman Street soundboard. The tape came out sick as fuck, so Max released it as a seven-inch on his 625 label.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Live at Gilman is the most sought-after item in Excruciating Terror’s discography. It is, after all, the best representation of their sonic intensity. I should know, since I was right up front while it was being recorded and all that jazz. The funny thing is that, live and in person, Excruciating Terror was twice as good as this record is. That’s right—twice as loud, powerful, and heavy. Supposedly, they smoked PCP before their sets. The stage lights would be turned off and you could feel the mood quickly change in the crowd. Bodies would begin flying to and fro, with little regard for personal safety. I don’t remember anyone being seriously injured at an Excruciating Terror show, but it is safe to say that those pits were violent.

It has been said that Excruciating Terror never had actual lyrics, but they were the real deal nonetheless. They weren’t a bunch of white suburban goofballs making noise to upset Mommy and Daddy. Grindcore in their hands sounded as violent and hateful as it ever could. Yet, Excruciating Terror had a groove and rhythm to their craft that most bands lacked. Maybe that’s why I continue to go back to this record while dropping something warm and brown on what passes for today’s grindcore and powerviolence. On the other hand, perhaps it is that I remember them and others too vividly to accept a newcomer’s attempt to ascend to their throne.


Anonymous said...

MITB did play that gig. I set it up. 11.9.96 MITB cancelled 2 shows at Gilman.

Brian said...

i have this already but that is an awsome write up. would love to hear stories of the AOS/gilman beef please! awesome blog, thank you and cheers!

The Evil Eye said...

Thanks, Brian. Check back in a few weeks for some stories about the Agents/Gilman beef as they were told to me.