Review: “Cunning Punts” by xygrbryrx

Pronounced zye-ger-bry-rex you could be forgiven for thinking that xygrbryrx was the Death growl of the beast that lurks beneath your bed or a cheat code for a PlayStation III game. It’s actually the name that multi instrumentalist Michael Jon White has given to his Extreme Metal meets Grindcore down a dark alley with a baseball bat of a solo project, one which has already spawned a debut full length album in “Grindstone” released in August of this year. Now just five months on, he returns with “Cunning Punts“, a EP  produced in conjunction with Clarie-Marie Hampton and with a guest appearance from Joe Tal…

When it comes to an Extreme Metal record, if you see the word “Lullaby” in a song title, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is what is says on the tin. However playing with our poor brains Michael Jon White introduces his latest burnt offering with “Lullaby For The Undeserving“, a creepy piano piece accompanied by trumpet and strings that paints a nightmarish vision of what could be about to happen. Sounding like the violently birthed bastard child of Zebadiah Crowe and Anaal Nathrakh “The Bigot They Are” confirms the worst fears you had with a brutal slab of industrial fuelled Death Metal as primitive and yet ruthlessly cathartic as they come. Put simply, Michael Jon White spits vitriolic venomous black bile across these tracks, his twisted view of a narcissistic World unapologetically choking the life out of everything it touches like a plague against a backdrop of riffs as jagged as the rocks onto which he is about the throw himself when the music stops. Haunting background notes behind the staccato riff break power of “Beaten to Death With an Opinion Pole” prove that you can do atmosphere in 203 seconds if you put your mind to it and then comes the monster. A fretboard smoking guest guitar solo from Joe Tal (Crown Compass, Illucinoma, ex-Textures) hits like a chainsaw to bare flesh on “A Fiscal of Dollars“. A restless assault on the senses that will have you grinning from ear to ear at the insanity of it all, battering the skull and yet leaving you craving more, it’s a primal roar that finds no end. Last but not least comes the evil treat that is “TERF Wars“, a blood and thunder with an earth shattering breakdown section that approaches the current Nu-Deathcore scene like the Grim Reaper. An antidote to the fake plastic reality that we see on our screens, Michael Jon White isn’t afraid to tell it like it is [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Lullaby For The Undeserving
  2. The Bigot They Are
  3. Beaten to Death With an Opinion Pole
  4. A Fiscal of Dollars (ft. Joe Tal of Crown Compass, Illucinoma, ex-Textures)
  5. TERF Wars

Cunning Punts” by xygrbryrx is out 12th December 2022

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