Reviewed: November 2020
Released: 2020 Grind to Death Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Just when you think you’ve seen or heard it all – pornogrind, pirate metal, pitbull metal, fucking parrot metal – you can now add “Swedish Beaver Grind” to the list. Indeed, Planet of the Beavers is actually the second release from the Swedish duo Belarus Beaver – which I suspect is a reference to a freak 2013 incident where a Belarusian fisherman was killed after a beaver bit his thigh and opened up an artery when he attempted to take its picture. So Swedish Beaver Grind has been around at least since 2019, when the duo’s debut DAMnation was released.
That managed to slip under my radar screen, but the Planet of the Beavers promo ended up in my inbox, and I have to admit was instantly curious – if not more than a bit dubious. So I gave it a spin not really knowing what to expect – but girding for the worst – and was quite surprised that it was actually rather entertaining.
“Swedish Beaver Grind” is exactly as advertised: two Swedes playing grindcore songs about beavers – or more specifically a planet where humanity has been vanquished by beavers. Or something like that.
Anyway, despite the novelty act trappings, Belarus Beaver are a bit easier to take than, say, Hatebeak or Caninus which featured parrots or pitbulls as “vocalists,” and certainly more interesting than pornogrind’s regrettable over-the-top perversity. Despite the porn connotations of their moniker, these guys stick to dealing with buck-toothed varmints and the havoc they can wreak, real or – in most cases here – wildly imagined, as on “When God Made Beavers He Fucked Us All” or “Beavers Killed Jesus.”
The songs are, as you can imagine, utterly ridiculous, but often rather amusing – though less so with repeated listens as the joke grows old rather quickly. But the music is top-notch, as these guys – LG and David “Pos” Mauritzon current or former members of such luminaries as Pissboiler and RazorRape – can grind with the best of them, recalling fellow country men Nasum, Brutal Truth and more vintage Napalm Death or Carcass.
There are gritty, hard-charging riffs and beefy, chugging hooks by the truckload here, all dispatched with vicious efficiency atop a fusillade of blast beats. Twelve songs, 20 minutes and see you next time – assuming these guys can, or want to, keep this schtick going.
But despite some wacky segues and snippets, Planet of the Beavers is actually less schticky than DAMnation, where the band essentially “Beaverized” a bunch of Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Iron Maiden, etc., song titles – “Beaver Smashed Face,” Two Beavers To Midnight,” “Papyrus Containing The Spell To Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From Beavers Who Are In The Water” – so who knows.