So it's over. Well, we think it is. You never can tell whether to believe it when Death Grips make an announcement. But by now you should know to always take Death Grips seriously. These are three men that never smiled at us during their short lifespan. They were angry, ferocious, scary motherfuckers from the outset, a band of Sacramento-based anarchists that changed the hip-hop landscape over just four years.

With a prolific five albums, some terrifying music videos and always punk-rock performances, they stood out from the crowd, merging industrial music, noise-rap and alternative, experimental styles of hip-hop to create mind-melting, apocalyptic sounds, often with retina-scorching visuals in accompaniment. Their live shows were crazy, myself being lucky enough to witness one of them. That's when Death Grips actually showed up to their gigs; they became notorious for no-shows, and loved to fuck with the music industry and their fans in equal abandon with publicity stunts, some petty, some original, and some humorous.

The whole thing began when Death Grips put out their first releases, being their debut EP Death Grips and their first LP in the form of a mixtape entitled Exmilitary. Even the titles alone told you that these guys meant business. I remember hearing the mixtape as soon as it was out, that perfect sample of Link Wray's 'Rumble' in 'Spread Eagle Cross The Block', and wondering to myself who this fucking mad man was, screaming and yelping obscenities about having sex and taking drugs over a classic rock'n'roll track.

The fact that they sampled David Bowie's 'The Supermen' ('Culture Shock') and namedropped Jim Morrison ('I Want It I Need It') caused me to fall in love with them from the off. This first offering from Death Grips leant more to the side of hip-hop but was also heavily punk-infused, with MC Ride rapping throughout the majority of the tracks, as opposed to his possessed avant-garde lyrical style and delivery in their later releases. Exmilitary was a noisy, brash and bold opening sentence from Death Grips, and things only got heavier.

2012 was a big year for the trio; in fact, it was their biggest. They signed to Epic (unexpected, I know) with the plan to release two albums on the label. The Money Store came out and saw them go even darker than before. The album cover was obscene: a sex slave that looked like a man but with tits, DEATH GRIPS carved into his/her chest, wearing a gas mask shaped like a dog's head, on a leash being held by a leather-bound, chain-smoking vixen.

There was no huge change in direction for Death Grips on this record, and The Money Store featured more jittery electronica, with those familiar sounds of industrial and elements of noise. MC Ride reached new heights of "psychotica", but this time it was interesting to hear hooks throughout. Hell, there were even fairly conventional choruses (see 'I've Seen Footage' and 'The Fever'). Maybe Death Grips did play by the rules sometimes. But however you may describe it, it was still as intense and eye-wateringly raw as ever.

After announcing a massive North American tour, Death Grips swiftly cancelled every single date. Outrage from the fans was inevitable, but things calmed a little when they explained that dropping the live shows would give them the time they needed to finish their next album. This was just the first of Death Grips' "we don't give a fuck" moves, with more to come. The next record was announced in August, entitled NO LOVE DEEP WEB, also to be put out on Epic. But what followed was a grade A example of band/label unrest, as Death Grips claimed their new LP was going to be pushed back further and further, much to their rage.

It seemed that a lot of behind the scenes pettiness was under way, and it has to be said that Death Grips were fucking awesome for doing what they did: sharing the album themselves, online, for free, months before it was legally supposed to be released. The ultimate "screw you" to Epic, indeed it was. Obviously they were dropped for it, but did they care? Of course not. And so the world had another fantastic Death Grips effort to damage their hearing with; a cold, hard, sparse, evil album filled with serial killer madness via MC Ride and fully live, unprogrammed drumming courtesy of Zach Hill. Oh, and the artwork is worth mentioning too. An erect, caucasian penis (apparently Hill's) adorned with NO LOVE DEEP WEB in black magic marker. Perfectly fitting, really. I wasn't too shocked personally: if anyone was going to splash a photograph of a hard cock on their record, it was always going to be Death Grips. The boys actually followed up on their tour dates this time, so the fans were super happy with them in late 2012. Two new releases, a tour, and a gigantic, not-so-grand gesture to a huge, mainstream record label. ice.

Things were quiet for Death Grips (I never thought I'd say that) through early 2013, apart from gigging and the launch of their label, Thirdworlds Records. In August, the band decided not to show up for their Lollapalooza set in Chicago. Instead of appearing, they left a small drum kit on stage with a projection of a fan's suicide note addressed to the band. When the fans finally realised they weren't going to see one of their favourite bands that night, they tore the stage to shreds and destroyed the drum kit.

Thirteen months, thirteen hours and thirteen minutes after NO LOVE DEEP WEB, Death Grips released another free LP. Government Plates is possibly the most stripped back of their back catalogue, less layered and more beat-oriented. The production is minimal and as sinister as ever. MC Ride is less present than usual but there are still some bangers on there for you to shake your ass to, like the opener (with a very long Bob Dylan-referencing title), 'I'm Overflow' and 'This is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong)'. All in all another great Death Grips release, making them a pretty prolific band at this stage in their career.

Summer of 2014 arrives and out pops another free full-length, called Niggas on The Moon, the first of two parts that form The Powers That B, and it features Björk on every track. But not like you'd expect, as backing vocals or a guest spot. Björk's voice is used more like an instrument, a sampling tool to add texture to each track. Basically, it's very fucking unusual and demands to be listened to. Niggas on The Moon is probably the weirdest thing Death Grips ever released, and takes a couple of listens to fully appreciate. It's rewarding though, something which I have recently discovered. Some of the songs really stay with you, namely 'Black Quarterback' and the brilliantly titled 'Have a Sad Cum'. It's a strange, upbeat, coked-up party record with a twist. Jenny Death is the name of part two, which is set to drop later this year. That will be their final word, their swansong. Or should that be deathsong.

They announced their disbandment via a scribbled napkin, telling us they were and always have been "a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision. Above and beyond a band." They have left us with a small and important legacy and hopefully have inspired musicians from all genres to change the way that they think about and create music. Some people might see them as pretentious. Maybe they are, the extreme art they gave us has is necessary and always interesting. We need martyrs like this in the world, to give it their all and offer something new. It's been worth paying attention. Thanks for the ride Death Grips, it sure was fun. See you around... or not.