Well it's the end of the year and I figured I'd post some "various" material on here now. This video in particular is a favorite of mine. I see it as genius.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 2010 HIPSTER METAL
As I mentioned earlier in the Doom metal Favorites, stoner rock and sludge became the new Indie Rock of 2010. Hey don't laugh too hard since last year it was the progressive sludge stuff and in 2008 in was black metal. But whatever genre gets tagged by the pretentious it's always going to be "hipster". Sooner or later the hipster crowd will latch onto something else, hopefully suicidal jazz or at least some type of music that creates high rates of drug related deaths. But till that wonderful day comes we're stuck with them liking certain metal. Although you must remember that hipsters only assimilate metal which is really not very metal or it's something which was done years ago or now they're just getting into it and calling the style new and exciting which it's not. In a way calling a band as well as their release "hipster metal" ain't a bad thing. The fact is that the term "hipster" was created by the Indie Rock community years ago as a term of endearment, therefore they made their bed now it's time to sleep in it. The Scumfeast Metal 666 top 3 Hipster Metal releases were chosen, not for whether they're good or bad, but for what a multitude of hipster sources had to say about them and the circumstances involved.
1. COUGH - Ritual Abuse CD (Relapse Records)
2. HORSEBACK - The Invisible Mountain CD (Relapse Records)
3. HOWL - Full of Hell CD (Relapse Records)
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 FOLK/PAGAN/BATTLE METAL FAVORITES 2010
Yes I know it's a genre that gets little respect especially the "battle metal" bunches who are looked upon now as "melo-death furries". In all honesty I'm not one for the plastic horned helmet sect myself. I did celebrate Leif Erikson Day on October 9th, had a party but I wasn't dressed as some early Halloween reveler. The bands of this genre bring forth more than tales of battle and Odin. Many bands sing of folklore from their countries of origin and to me that's historical. Not all of the bands sing about getting drunk and swinging Thor's Hammer but sometimes that's cool as well. Scumfeast Metal 666 presents it's top 5 Favorites in Folk, Pagan and Battle Metal for 2010.
1. FINNTROLL - Nifelvind CD (Century Media)
Sooner or later singing about trolls will pay off.
2. HEATHEN FORAY - Armored Bards CD (Black Bards Entertainment)
The blood of their enemies taints their steel.
3. HEIDENVOLK - Uit Oude Grond CD (Napalm Records)
Dutch Folk Metal that will have you charging out the door with a battle axe in hand. Warn the neighbors first.
4. FOLKEARTH - Viking's Anthem CD (Stygian Crypt Productions)
Their most accessible release by far for true fans of history.
5. THULCANDRA - Fallen Angels Dominion CD (Napalm Records)
DISSECTION worship that could've been part of the Death Metal category as well as here.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 POWER METAL/NWOBHM FAVORITES 2010
My love for Power Metal is known far and wide, hah! Well be that as it may of all the manly tales of dragons, heroes and fairies by Power Metal releases in 2010, Scumfeast Metal 666 actually found one we liked. Add to that the New Wave of British Heavy Metal genre tag might be old but it's still alive and well with some bands out there in 2010 flying the flag of the almighty "heavy metal scream". Scumfeast Metal 666 recognizes these stalwart warriors of old.
ENFORCER - Diamonds CD (Heavy Artillery Records)
This is the result of parents with cool taste in music. Nostalgia worship done right.
SABATON - Coat of Arms CD (Nuclear Blast)
This Swedish Power Metal institution likes their warfare more modern as in World War 2. They root for the Allies of course.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 HARDCORE/CRUST FAVORITES 2010
Because of the lack of greatness this year I was tempted to place Thrash, Grind, Hardcore and Crust together but that would have diminished the value which the specific bands brought to their respected genre. Now in the past I never recognized the terms "crust" or "d-beat" because they are revisionist terms towards Hardcore, came long after it in order to separate bands and not in a good way either. But, and this is important, since I use the term "extreme" to differentiate metal then I can recognize crust and d-beat which does separate itself from alot of stupid generic sounding hardcore acts. Just like in the Grindcore category. Scumfeast Metal 666 Favorites in Hardcore/Crust are just two releases but both are equally number one.
BLACK BREATH - Heavy Breathing CD (Southern Lord)
DISCHARGE and POISON IDEA retro fitted for modern tastes.
DISHAMMER - Under the Sign of the D-Beat Mark CDEP (Parasitic/Armageddon Records)
In case of bad music lovin zombie apocalypse place in stereo and push Play button.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 GRINDCORE FAVORITES 2010
I think most grindcore is annoying tripe therefore over many years since it's existence I've only heard, and seen as well, a handful that would even make it in the Scumfeast Metal 666 Essentials. To be in the top end of year listings a release has to go far beyond average pseudo angry noise and political/social slogans. Last year there was a top 5 in the Scumfeast Metal 666 Favorites for Grindcore. This year there are only two but both equally share the top spot.
FITCAGE - Pigumanity CD (Soul Flesh Collector Records)
From Russia with no love, grind and death that makes you angry.
FUKPIG - Belief is the Death of Intelligence CD (FETO Records)
It's crusty, black and grinds it's teeth at night.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 THRASH FAVORITE 2010
Let me put this bluntly. Thrash sucked in 2010. Yeah I know that's going to piss off some people and hurt their feelings (well boo hoo!) Last year Scumfeast Metal 666 had a top 10 of Thrash releases in the end of year Favorites. But all of those bands didn't release anything in 2010. That's one reason and another would be that of the bands who did put something great out in 2008, they either didn't do anything this year as well or they did and it blew. BONDED BY BLOOD put out a crappy release there's no question about it. I admit that I did not listen to alot of Thrash in 2010 as opposed to years past. Of what I did hear from some bands well it was all mediocre at best and at it's worst it was paint by the numbers copycat bullshit. I'm sure I missed one or two that would have made it in the top listings but it just didn't happen. Therefore Scumfeast Metal 666 Favorite Thrash release of 2010 is....
WARBEAST - Krush the Enemy CD (Housecore Records)
Texas Thrash vets get together to kick some ass and take some names on Phil Anselmo's label.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 DOOM FAVORITES 2010
When it came to Doom metal in 2010, the critics, magazine editors and website bloggers all had one thing on their minds and that was when will the new ELECTRIC WIZARD release come out. It's one thing for a band to have pre-release hype, which they did, but it's really bad when magazines and music websites all place the release in their end of the year "best of" lists when the damm thing wasn't even out yet. But that wasn't the only joke of 2010 as far as Doom metal was concerned. This year stoner rock & sludge rock became the new Indie Rock with pretencions hipsters all riding on the coattails of anyone they were told was the "next big thing". The fact of the matter was that the so-called "next big thing" sounded average, stale and copied. MASTODON and BARONESS from years prior helped create the cacophony of this year's hipster sloth but obviously from our choices, Scumfeast Metal 666 didn't buy into it. Not only are the Scumfeast Metal 666 Doom Metal Favorites of 2010 great releases in this category but they're great releases all around. Here's the top 10.
1. APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE - Last Sunrise CD (Profound Lore Records)
Pass the bong I think I’m Wino or Rod Evans from CAPTAIN BEYOND, whoever floats you off the couch first. Actually this is former GATES OF SLUMBER dude, Chuck Brown, with his band’s sophomore effort. Yeah what a way to recycle old TROUBLE and PENTAGRAM riffs which are actually recycled SABBATH riffs but by this time in the game who gives a shit anymore.
2. COFFINWORM - When All Become None CD (Profound Lore Records)
They hail from Indianapolis, Indiana, which surprisingly enough is a mecca for extreme metal or so I’ve heard from the people who live one town over and complain about the fuckin noise. To make matters worse all their milk cows have dried up and their utters have turned into sharp spikes.
3. HOODED MENACE - Never Cross the Dead CD (Profound Lore Records)
They’re like some spiked prehistoric slug from hell that slithers along secreting acid as a trail. Wanna know what real Death/Doom sounds like?
4. RAMESSES - Take the Curse CD (Ritual Productions)
This is CELTIC WIZARD or if you prefer ELECTRIC FROST. There is absolutely nothing new as far as originality when it comes to their interpretation of the Doom/Sludge template. But to their credit RAMESSES are extremely good at it and that’s what I’d rather hear than some avant garde innovative fart fest.
5. TRIPTYKON - Eparistera Diamones CD (Century Media)
Monotheist II, Tom G. is a dying human growing into god-like flesh.
6. THE WOUNDED KINGS - The Shadow Over Atlantis CD (I Hate Records)
Mushrooms, a box of razor blades, a Gibson SG (Tony Iomni playing it optional), sitting in an opium den, black lights and some cough syrup.
7. YEAR OF NO LIGHT - Ausserwelt CD (Conspiracy Records)
Over 47 minutes of French Drone without a word spoken. Now that's dark.
8. ACID WITCH - Stoned LP (Hells Headbangers)
Like some seventies B-movie soundtrack about a hippie death cult high on acid and out to kill for thrills. "Stoned" is a fuzz wave of seventies proto-doom plus more Hammond organ to knock your head back.
9. SOMINAE - Forever More CDEP (Self Released)
One of the year's better surprises as this Seattle band walks along side the footprints of English Death Doom giants and makes a deep impression of their own. Keep an eye out for them in 2011.
10. EA - Au Elia CD (Solitude Productions)
The funeral procession of the year.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 DEATH METAL 2010 FAVORITES
As far as 2010 was concerned Old School sounding Death Metal was the choice for Scumfeast Metal 666 Death Metal Favorites of the year. And while the critics try to write it off as some type of "revival" or a "retro movement" by young Swedes and Americans, it's not. Old school sounding death metal is DEATH METAL. Bands that play a more technical progressive style or are part of the "core" style with it's silly dance moves are the real sub-genre. To say I'm bias is an understatement when it comes to these choices especially considering the "blackened death" within. Be that as it may 2010 saw old timers as well as young guns holding the high ground as well as a huge surprise.
1. GOD DETHRONED - Under the Sign of the Iron Cross CD (Metal Blade Records)
So how does this Dutch Death Metal band surpass the greatness of last years Passiondale? They drag the listener back into the trenches of World War One for a counter attack. The eight tracks on here will drag you away from whatever joke of a reality you're in and thrust you into a hell only man could create, the hell of war.
2. VASAELETH - Crypt Born and Tethered to Ruin CD (Profound Lore Records)
This US Blackened Death duo have a sound that roars forth from the depths leaving your ears scarred and burned. Play this one for someone you don't like. They'll swear you threw sulphuric acid in their face.
3. IMMOLATION - Majesty and Decay CD (Nuclear Blast)
This whole release is like walking through a gauntlet of pain but once you’ve traversed through you turn around to do it again and again.
4. MALEVOLENT CREATION - Invidious Dominion CD (Nuclear Blast)
After these veterans recorded this fast blast of DM hate the studio burst into flames.
5. HAIL OF BULLETS - On Divine Winds CD (Metal Blade Records)
Their second "war metal" instalment places the flag of Death Metal upon Mount Suribachi.
6. BEYOND HELL - The Sleeper Awakens CD (Dark Descent/Skeleton Plague Records)
When a band sounds like the bastard offspring of DEATH, OBITUARY and INCANTATION we take notice.
7. NOMINON - Monumentomb CD (Deathgasm Records)
Old School Swedish Death Metal with thick riffs that will hit you like spiked baseball bats. Aggression is the key here.
8. FATHER BEFOULED - Morbid Destitution of Covenant CD (Relapse Records)
Your neighborhood church down the street will spontaneously explode into a ball of burning debris after playing this one. Yes this is evil very evil and I like it. The band carries along with them what could be construed as more INCANTATION worship which is very evident amongst US Death Metal's newest cadre.
9. DECREPIT BIRTH - Polarity CD (Nuclear Blast)
Tech Death that won't give you ADD.
10. DIOCLETIAN - War of All Against All CD (Invictus Productions)
DIOCLETIAN are that type of band who live deep in a cave somewhere under a mountain. Whenever they wake to practice the ground shakes which causes herds of animals to stampede, flocks of birds to fly off and crops die.
AUTOPSY - The Tomb Within CDEP (Peaceville Records)
Big surprise and looking forward to the full length in 2011.
SCUMFEAST METAL 666 BLACK METAL FAVORITES 2010
The biggest highlight for me in 2010 was hearing releases that overwhelmed the over-hyped ones. While the push for the genre this year was "post black metal" (aka: not really black metal at all). There were a good number of bands, some new and some past greats, who showed that it's much better to do what you know best. The biggest problem with post black metal is that by covering so much ground you also spread yourself thin. Traditional black metal is called by it's critics stale or lacking in experimentation but the irony is that post black metal has now become an easily copied formula. There will always be a few decent bands performing that style but the greatness of the genre as a whole is all of it's variety. The Scumfeast Metal 666 favorites in Black Metal for 2010 are definitely a variety. Here are the top 10 although it could've been a top 20 with ease.
1. PROFANATICA - Disgusting Blasphemies Against God CD (Hells Headbangers)
Simply put, the most hateful release of 2010. One listen and you'll be covered in black shit.
2. BLASPHEMOPHAGHER - For Chaos, Obscurity and Desolation LP (Nuclear War Now Productions)
The torture artists of the Spanish Inquisition seem tame in comparison. BLASPHEMOPHAGHER’s brand of blackened death grind is not music, its punishment. If you are still sitting in the kindergarten class of brutal (brootal) death metal extremism, it’s time for you to graduate up to this. That’s if you have the tolerance level of course or a good supply of pain meds.
3. BURZUM - Belus CD (Byelobog Productions)
I'd also give Varg a comeback artist of 2010 award because he literally came back from being the most despised man in BM. Belus is musically a return to the ferocious past of Black Metal’s Second Wave but with a more mature and determined composer at the helm.
4. SATANIC WARMASTER - Nachzehrer CD (Werewolf Records/Northern Heritage Records)
A cold and cruel return to form by this Finnish master.
5. SARGEIST - Let the Devil In CD (Moribund Records)
Colder than a well digger's ass in the Arctic.
6. ENTHRONED - Pentagrammaton CD (Regain Records)
Second Wave era black metal with a thick sound that’s relentless and performed by an old master. Underated by the elite but loved here.
7. KERASPHORUS - Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn 12" EP (Nuclear War Now Productions)
I really get off on hateful music so this four song hate-fest was pure unadulterated joy to my black heart.
8. NACHTMYSTIUM - Addicts: Black Meddle Part Two CD (Century Media)
Blackened Punk, Blackened Garage, Blackened Psych! Call em a hipster band and you'll get Blackened Eyes.
9. SIGH - Scenes From Hell CD (The End Records)
Blackened Thrash meets avant garde symphonic metal. After four listens you'll get it.
10. TERATISM - Via Negativa CD (Negativity Records)
USBM done right.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Paracletus CD
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
In the past ten years DEATHSPELL OMEGA has gone from being a great French Black Metal band to an Avant Garde Black Metal band and now with this latest one they're frankly annoying. Don't get me wrong now I was touting the greatness of them as well as alot of French BM long before it became cool and hip. I'd even place their Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice from 2004 as an BM essential release. My biggest complaint is that they've taken an experiment which worked and expanded on it to the point where they just sound ridiculous. While their last one from 2007, call it "Fas" for short, might have been the final installment of the trilogy which started back in 2002 with Inquisitors of Satan. It was a pitiful way of ending things. I was hoping maybe they do the right thing and just move on. OK I'm being overly nice, they should have died. Unfortunately they lingered on like a bad cold. This latest one doesn't even sound like Black Metal. Three years ago I thought Fas was pushing the limits of the genre and, as if on cue, people who don't like Black Metal loved the newer DEATHSPELL OMEGA sound. Now on Paracletus these guys sound like progressive death metal with a dash of pepper thrown in to give it some color. I can't even take this release serious as well as the people who have fawned over them over the past few years. What a fuckin waste!
TOMBS - Fear is a Weapon CD
I described this band's 2009 release Winter Hours as English shoegaze meets NYC post rock and I pretty much hated it. Little did I know at the time that TOMBS would become a critic's fave aka: Indie Rock Loser's liked it. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a "revival" in Indie Rock circles. Even if the music was once huge for a five year span over a decade ago it doesn't matter because they (the Indie Rock Losers) believe it's new in the now. So to them what TOMBS is doing is new and exciting. Well here's their latest which actually isn't. Fear is a Weapon is a compilation containing the material the band recorded before you were told by the Indie Rock Loser press to like em. It's got their original EP, songs from their split with PLANKS who suck, plus some demo tracks. I give props to Relapse for releasing this since they need to recoup a few bucks from the loss of HIGH ON FIRE. Plus TOMBS won't be releasing anything till 2011. Musically it still sounds the same on here as their last full length and yes I still don't like it.
BLACK WITCHERY - Inferno of Sacred Destruction CD
Osmose Productions/Hells Headbangers
This USBM band has been around for a while now, going through two previous names IRREVERENT (1991) and then WITCHERY (1996), before finally settling on BLACK WITCHERY in 1999. Along with PROFANATICA and KULT OV AZAZEL, they are one of the few USBM bands that still carries the torch of pure evil and filth proudly amongst a throng of others who are trying to "find themselves". Since one of their previous releases "Desecration of the Holy Kingdom" from 2001 is a full on favorite of mine I knew what to expect. Inferno of Sacred Destruction doesn't waste any time with intro enticing atmosphere like other BM acts. I will say that this release is quick at a little over twenty minutes in length. I have CDEPs that are longer. Something just as sick is that the first four songs bleed into each other so closely that you would think it's one long torturous cut. The vocals croak, the music cranks along like some hell spawned conveyor belt and your headed towards blasphemy. Sounds like fun right?
FATHER BEFOULED - Morbid Destitution of Covenant CD
Well my first thought is who lost the bet at Relapse? I mean seeing that this is so far away from the hipster sludge, the new Indie Rock, that they've been vomiting up of late I have to wonder. Well whatever the case may be this is certainly something that the typical hipster crowd will run away from in a panic. FATHER BEFOULED have only been around for a few years but quickly put together an impressive catalog of releases consisting of a full length, a couple of EPs and splits. They already released a three song EP this year on Nuclear War Now Productions. That one had a PROFANATICA cover on it "Weeping in Heaven" and one cut "Testament of Unholy Essence" out of the two originals also appears on here.
You know I've just gotta laugh at the thought of some hipster clown who saw this was on Relapse in a store and figured it would be similar to (choose one: COUGH, HOWL or HORSEBACK). Then of course when the bozo got home to play this CD it would be as if someone took a big shit in their mouth. Yes that's a great image to wish for but unfortunately these songs were on Itunes and MySpace prior to it's release date so they most likely learned ahead of time it was not for them. Which is too bad since Morbid Destitution of Covenant would have ripped them a new asshole to replace the one they have stuffed up with (choose one: gerbils, kitchen utensils, or a wine bottle). I already had the EP which came out this past summer so I knew what I was in for.
Morbid Destitution of Covenant is pure unadulterated Death Doom that will haunt the unsuspecting. The intro "Inno Sepulchrum" with it's gothic keyboard interlude will throw you off for forty seconds. Afterwards "Sacrilegious Defilement of Deranged Salvation" kicks in and the neighborhood church down the street spontaneously explodes into a ball of burning debris. Yes this is evil very evil and I like it. The band carries along with them what could be construed as more INCANTATION worship which is very evident amongst US Death Metal's newest cadre. I don't have a problem with it since it destroys that deathcore garbage which has permeated the scene worse than the aftermath of the high school slut having herpes. FATHER BEFOULED like their Death Metal face ripping and their Doom at a maggot's crawl. I'll say it now that this release is one of the better ones of 2010.
The band is just another in a ever growing list of acts who are benefited with the talents of drummer Elektrokutioner. Along for the destruction is guitarist/vocalist Ghoat from the USBM act HILLS OF SEFIROTH who gives an incredible cavern throated performance. Another name I'm familiar with is their bassist J. Kohn of BLACK FUNERAL fame. Unfortunately you can barely hear his bass over the hellish racket made by guitarist Ghoul. When this fearsome foursome gets moving with some speed on songs like at the beginning of "Idol Defamation" you're thinking hell yeah this is fierce. But right in midst headbang they come to a complete stop as if getting caught running in quicksand. Right before your head sinks below the surface the ripping commences again. The short sludgy sloth of "As Reverence Descends" sounds better than anything this label's cadre of hipster impostors has put out all year. This cut is something of an intro to the thoroughly pummeling of "Paradise of Desecrated Nothingness" and "Testament of Unholy Essence". All in all an incredibility fierce sounding release. Bands like FATHER BEFOULED are making Death Metal threatening again one sick riff at a time.
DIOCLETIAN - War of All Against All CD
This New Zealand four piece is made up of a few WITCHRIST members and take their name from a third century Roman emperor whose claim to fame was being extremely nasty towards Christians. They sound similar to Australia's PORTAL the difference being that DIOCLETIAN actually have faces and names, plus a few more which I'll get to later. The PORTAL reference should give you a good idea of what to expect when you blast this one. To my surprise I didn't know that I left the volume on my stereo so loud last night because when I pushed play for this one I literally screamed "Holy Fuckin Shit". I suggest you start off at a medium range then after various playings you slowly increase the volume to your preferred torture. Don't forget the safe word.
DIOCLETIAN are that type of band who live deep in a cave somewhere under a mountain. Whenever they awake to practice the ground shakes which causes herds of animals to stampede, flocks of birds to fly off and crops die. Their sound is blackened death with the cavernous vocals that will shake your home loose from it's foundation if you're not careful. You could always place the stereo speakers in your windows and clear out your neighborhood of residents. On here DIOCLETIAN actually have structured songs where as PORTAL is sheer noise. Their songs range from fast head pounding tortures to slower atmospheric doom dirges. DIOCLETIAN are not human. They are subterranean beasts with instruments. Trust me, just listen to "Kingdom of Rats" or "Death Tyrant" at high volume if you dare.
GOATPENIS - Biochemterrorism CD
Satanic Skinhead Propaganda
GOATPENIS? Well you know a sick twisted individual like myself is not only going to enjoy a release by a band with this name but I've got a whole section in my CD stacks devoted to artists with the word "goat" in their moniker. As far as this Brazilian nightmare goes (isn't it strange they're always from Brazil?) are not new to the world of Extreme Metal. GOATPENIS have been questioning people's sanity and common musical sense since 1991 but in the late nineties the band split up for a few years. I'm guessing incarceration how about you? Unfortunately, tragically, or just pick your own reference, they are back with this their second full length. Actually it's not even the original band unless they've changed their names for legal reasons of course. I will say they have progressed musically since their 2004 full length, Inhumanization, which I originally thought was a hard thing to swallow, pardon the pun. GOATPENIS? It's what you would love to scream out loud when you're viewing the menu at a restaurant while on a blind date that you would love to end quickly.
Ok I've done something similar but getting back to the music, GOATPENIS are really nothing special when it comes to their cross genre pollination. This trio disseminates everything from their (supposed) jungle hideout as far as Extreme Metal goes. Black and Death Metal are incorporated into a Thrash template albeit a brutal one. The biggest constant are the vocals which are vintage "cookie monster" plus a guitar tone that's high on the treble and annoying after repeated listenings. Some bass sound would've helped. After which you come to the conclusion that GOATPENIS could have shortened the length of this release (pun intended) and came away with a decent EP. "False Equinox" would make the cut just for shere brutality alone. "Perfect Prototype of an Apocalypse" was probably written after IRON MAIDEN's last Brazilian appearance to which these guys couldn't get into an eighty thousand seat area to see. Although I'm guessing soccer hooliganism is part of their past time. The third cut I'd pick and is my favorite out of a whole release's worth is "Infinate Paths to the Land of Suicide". I know the irony is so thick here but it's actually an incredible cut a machine gun like riff that penetrates throughout. This is furious South American Black Metal on one fuckin song. It also has a penetrating solo which will behead the weak. The bottom line to this release is that there's too much length and not enough girth. One song is great out of eleven. Ladies & Gentleman, and you others, I give to you Brazil's next one hit wonder. There will be no dancing involved.
BEYOND HELL - The Sleeper Awakens CD
Dark Descent/Skeleton Plague Records
This band sounds like the bastard offspring of DEATH, OBITUARY and INCANTATION. Now if that sentence alone doesn't get your puss infested brain working overtime than I think you just need to move along. That's right nothing to see for you here because bands like BEYOND HELL are not part of some superficial "retro" movement. Stuff like this has been lurking in dark places for a while. The names of the players might change but the intensity and attention to detail has never left. This might only be the band's debut full length but one of the players on here is a devotee to everything extreme. I'm talking about this guy Elektrokutioner who plays drums on here. I've already reviewed one of his other bands, the horror thrash of TOMBSTONES and I like his Doom two piece act WOODENSTAKE. He's also in FATHER BEFOULED who I haven't gotten to yet as far as reviewing their latest release. This guy is also in alot more bands, too many to name here. As far as this one goes, it's a decent into the raw and disgusting realm of old school sounding Death Metal.
The Sleeper Awakens could be a long lost demo from 1989. First off the production is perfect as in old school sound and each performer jells equally. The guitar has that sick sounding crunch to the riffs and the soloing adds a crack of light into a world of pure abysmal darkness. Guitarist Tony P. is no Chuck Schuldiner nor is he trying to be which is a good thing. Elektrokutioner's drumming is REAL. I've said it before and I'll say again, I'm just fuckin sick of the trigger drum mania going on within newer Death Metal or just Metal in general. One of my best friends is a drummer in a Thrash band and he feels the same way. It's a fake sound which ruins the music. There's nothing fake about BEYOND HELL. Finally there's vocalist Supreme Sicko and his name fits his singing style.
Listening to this release, which also contains the band's And Evil Crept Through EP, I just can't help but find greatness in everything about it. I'm sure there are plenty of anal babies out there who can find faults as well as mock the whole concept of revisiting a sound so firmly rooted in the past. I cannot look at this as a revival thing because what BEYOND HELL is doing makes me wanna blast this till my stereo speakers explode. Some assholes will say that listening to The Sleeper Awakens will wanna make them shake the dust off of their past Death Metal collection and spin a few for old time's sake. To me that sounds stupid because BEYOND HELL could just as easily sit next to any of those bands.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I THOUGHT THE MAN HAD AN INCREDIBLE VOICE AND HE WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SHOWCASE IT WITH SOME INCREDIBLE TALENTED MUSICIANS. I FIRST SAW RONNIE JAMES DIO PERFORM WITH RAINBOW IN THE 70'S. HERE'S A VIDEO REMEMBRANCE OF IT WHICH IS VERY CLOSE TO WHAT A WILD EYED KID SAW THEN.
AND THEN CAME THIS OUT OF NOWHERE. DIO REVITALIZED A BAND THAT WAS DEAD. YES SABBATH WAS DEAD TO MOST PEOPLE SINCE OZZY HAD BEEN FIRED. I REMEMBER READING IN CIRCUS MAGAZINE ABOUT DIO JOINING SABBATH. THEN ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN 1980 I HEARD EARLIER IN THE DAY THAT THE LOCAL RADIO STATION WAS GOING TO DEBUT A NEW SONG BY THE DIO FRONTED SABBATH. THE STATION PLAYED "NEON NIGHTS" AND AS WE ALL KNOW THINGS IN METAL CHANGED FOREVER. I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE SEEN THEM ON THAT FIRST TOUR..
AND FINALLY DIO SOLO. UNFORTUNATELY I NEVER SAW DIO THEN BUT THIS LIVE VIDEO IS BETTER THAN THE VIDEO OR IS IT????
IF THERE'S ONE THING ABOUT RONNIE JAMES DIO THAT WAS NON MUSICAL BUT COOL WAS HIS ATTITUDE. HE FLEW THE BANNER OF METAL LIKE FEW HAVE DONE AND HE ALWAYS STUCK UP FOR IT. HERE'S AN INTERVIEW FROM 2006 WHICH JUST SHOWS THAT THE "NICE GUY" OF METAL ACTUALLY HAD AN OPINION ON MAINSTREAM MUSIC.
FINALLY I END THIS PIECE WITH RONNIE JAMES DIO GOING OUT ON A HIGH NOTE. FIRST OFF A CUT FROM THE SABBATH WITH DIO ALBUM, DEHUMANIZER, AN UNDERRATED RELEASE AS WELL. THIS IS WHEN THEY WERE HEAVEN AND HELL. EXCELLENT!
AND NOW HERE WE SAY GOODBYE
WITHERED - Dualitas CD
There's a Metal Forums site I visit every once in a while which has a post topic called "Bands Everyone Else Gets Into Except Me". My contribution to the post was adding WITHERED. I just can't get into em and trust me it's not for a lack of trying. I've seen them live twice and reviewed their two previous full lengths. I wasn't thrilled with either as opposed to all those in the metal media who were getting tingles up their legs from them. I'm serious, many of the reviews of their releases I read were like a creative writing class's thesaurus exercise in excess. You would read four paragraphs of bullshit and within there would be two sentences describing the music. I've always described WITHERED as kitchen sink metal and no that's not a new sub-genre. They pack so much into their sound as far as musical genres go plus the kitchen sink. I don't know if they're just adding a contribution from each band member or trying to please a wide audience variety. You've got your black metal for pussies who don't like traditional black metal and constantly whine about it. There's some death and grind thrown in for the long hairs in leather jackets at the back of the club. Finally there's the sludge because they are from Atlanta, Georgia and sludge is the new Indie Rock for hipsters. Plus they can also name drop WITHERED as their fave black metal band so they can look risque.
WITHERED seem to be more of a critic's band than anything else but I'm only going on what I've experienced seeing at their shows. The last time there were more people walking away from the stage then toward it. I don't think there was a bum rush for the toilet going on either. I actually felt sorry for WITHERED that night and stood there through their whole set and no I was not impressed. They even ended their set with some sour feedback probably to show their disgust at playing for fifty people while over two hundred were outside having a smoke, in the rain. Now why I keep trying to find something great to say about one of their releases is another story. Their latest, Dualitas, is another walk for me through the valley of shadows where I will not pay attention to any hipster bullshit at least not until I'm done with my review. My first reaction to this was holy shit they're trying to be a black metal band although more to the "post BM" side of the aisle. It's kinda like looking at a hipster guy's girlfriend and seeing that it's really a crossdresser. I know it's a guy in a dress, everyone in the bar knows it's a guy in a dress and probably the hipster guy knows as well. But he doesn't consider he's with a guy in a dress instead he's "post female". Now in no way am I implying that WITHERED are into crossdressers. I'm just trying to point out the fallacy (there's a pun) of the term "post" which actually means "not really".
Dualitas showcases WITHERED at a stage where they're moving away from the kitchen sink metal cacophony and expanding their creative forces in search for that plateau which has no bystanders but only musical individuals standing tall in their own identity. You know like every other bullshit "post" band out there. Yeah yeah, why don't I just take the CD out to the back yard and shoot it. Well I am a sadist by nature and Dualitas does have a few things going for it which saves it from eating hot lead. The opener "Extinguished with the Weary" starts off well with it's blackened death sound and screamed vocals but dies a doomster death by the end of it. INCANTATION they are not but it makes a perfect segue into the following cut "Residue in the Void" which showcases the band's artsy doom sensibilities which I find superficial. "Seek the Shrouded" is one of the better songs on here for it's sheer will to force some actual metal aggressiveness down the throats of the unsuspecting. A few decent doom standouts "From Shadows" and "Aethereal Breath" showcase the influence producer Phil Cope of KYLESA had on em when putting this release together. There's also an Interlude and an Outro on here which is like dumb and dumber. So that's three out of a possible six songs that I liked on here. I don't count the interlude/outro shit. So this dink is saved from getting a bullet in the back of the case. That's mainly what I've thought of their previous releases.
SORRY NO VIDEO BUT THIS IS AS CLOSE AS IT GETS
CULTED - Of Death and Ritual CDEP
This band's debut ended up being on the top spot of Scumfeast Metal 666 Favorite Doom Metal releases of 2009, a high honor indeed. This new one slipped under my radar for some strange reason until now. How did I miss it back when it was released in the Spring? Maybe I missed it somewhere amidst all of the other news of the label's hipster band signings and crumby releases. They'll redeem themselves in my book once the new PIG DESTROYER release comes out, well maybe. Till then here's the latest from a band who I thought would've had a better home on Profound Lore Records. There's four cuts on this EP. The best one by far is "Black Cough, Black Coffin" which starts off with hair standing on the back of your neck haunting vibe. Daniel Jansson's screams jump out of the darkness like some maniacal ghosts for the whole ten plus minute length. Within all of that is a mix of spacey drone and machine like riffs. It's a seriously twisted nightmare and something to play in the morning to start your day right. "Spirituosa" reminded me of their full length with songs sounding like they could've been influenced by Amphetamine Reptile bands from the 90s but blackened. "Dissent" is fairly straight laced Doom/Sludge and the last cut "Whore" is a SWANS cover so I'll leave it at that. Maybe we'll get another full length from em in early 2011.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
ACID WITCH - Stoned LP
You know what, fuck WITCH, fuck THE SWORD and fuck all of those hipster bands which losers have been slobbering over of late. You want some real DOOM that carries influences from the past thirty years and yet still sounds fresh then here's ACID WITCH. Warning, they're not from Europe or some hip American town either. ACID WITCH hails from Michigan and there's some obvious influence in their sound from there as well. They've been around for a few years now and have a few releases under their gruesome belts. But here we have their latest dink. What makes ACID WITCH stand out from the pack is their way of mixing death, doom and horror concepts together plus it just fuckin rocks.
The opening intro cut with it's haunting keyboards and movie sound bite with the narrator repeating the words "children of satan, children of satan, children of satan". Then the opening cut "Witchfynder Finder" kicks into gear mixing satanic cultish seventies rock with death/doom vocals sung by a throat cancer patient. The guitar sound on this cut and throughout this release has more fuzz than a collection of seventies porn flicks. "Trick or Treat" adds some thick sludge and a macabre sounding Hammond organ solo. "Thundering Hooves" is laced with samples as the stoner grooves roll over the land. "Live Forever" sounds like a more fuzzed out and cancer ridden GATES OF SLUMBER with a dueling guitar and keyboard solo.
ACID WITCH leave some of the more stranger tracks to the latter half of the release. "Whispers in the Dark" is a frightful with a Mike Oldfield style keyboard interlude along with some drone. "If Hell Exists" sounds like the theme song from some seventies B-movie about a hippie death cult high on acid and out to kill for thrills. "Stoned to the Grave" is a fuzz wave of seventies proto-doom plus more Hammond organ to knock your head back. "Metal Movie Marijuana Massacre" sounds like KILLDOZER really fucked up and laying down some stoner grooves. The final cut "Sabbath of the Undead" sounds like a continuation of the previous one except more sinister. All in all Stoned sounds like it was recorded by some stoned out of their minds, disgruntled cemetery workers. This is just their sophomore release as well so I'm looking forward to more. ACID WITCH might not find themselves in the hall of Doom greatness but for pure sickness value they're far better than all of the polished man/boy Indie Rock Sludge wannabe crap floating in the cesspool of modern doom.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
SALOME - Terminal CD
Profound Lore Records
I'll give you three reasons why I believe this one release will have alot of people salivating over it in 2010. It's on Profound Lore, it's sludge which is the new Indie Rock and it has a female singer. This is Katherine "Kat" Katz's other project aside from her work in AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED which is a band that no hipster in his superficial existing life would touch. Hell I'll be surprised if any of em touched their 2008 self titled debut. That fucker had four songs on it including the over twenty minute ass dragging "Onward Destroyer". I liked the other three cuts plus the songs from their two splits. SALOME remind me of a band I saw back in the 90s called CRISIS. They too had a female singer, Karyn Crisis, who also howled and grunted (which Kat does) but musically they were more on the crusty punk side of sludge metal. They also smelled of potrulli. SALOME fits into the gap between CRISIS and THORR'S HAMMER, who also had the incredible Runhild Gammelsaeter on vocals.
Signing on to Profound Lore Records is definitely a step up for SALOME since the label is no slouch and they command respect from the in the know crowd, like myself of course, but not you. As far as this new release goes it has a more accessible sound when compared to the band's previous stuff which had a real sinister atmosphere. The problems with accessibility is that you not only water down your sound but you also water down the reaction from "hanging onto every note astonishment' to "sounds good I'm going to the toilet". Terminal is longer than their debut as in slightly over a full hour's worth. There's seven cuts this time around but the longest one "An Accident of History" is a few seconds over seventeen minutes long. The band still commands the high ground by interweaving the doom laydened riffs with their drone adventures. The drums and guitar compliment each other so perfectly on Terminal. To a point it's too perfect since previously Rob Moore had a guitar crunch just as vicious as Kat's shrieks. Aaron Deal's drumming was more reckless but not sloppy.
Obviously it's Kat who commands the most whether it's her high pitch wails or low growls which creep out of her as she were possessed. Linda Blair could've taken lessons. Her growls are now as deep as Moores low end guitar tunings. He almost sounds like he's playing a six string bass and after a while it gets tiresome. Just like their last full length I couldn't get into everything. The meat of this release lies with the songs "Master Failure", "Epidemic" and "The Witness". The rest is hit and miss with "An Accident of History" being the biggest miss of em all. Whatever acolytes given to this release from wild eyed hipster man/boys should be subject to scrutiny because of their wishful thinking clouding their judgement. What SALOME is doing is certainly nothing new unless you've just gotten into this genre after spending years lusting after the bass player of SUPERCHUNK from afar.
KVELERTAK - Kverlertak CD
I thought this was going to be more BARONESS worship by first glancing at the John Baizley style cover art (soon to be hipster wallpaper I hear) as well as the one word band name and release title. Strangely enough this act is from Norway and sounds like they raided someones late 1990's/early 2000's Punk CD collection for inspiration, of which there had to be a TURBONEGRO release in there. Plus they add a hint of Black Metal which is obvious since they're from Norway. They also sing in their native tongue which really doesn't matter considering the style of music being forced. For some strange reason I'm getting the distinct feeling of a LORDI bowel moment coming on. These guys don't sound like those Finnish fakers (who never heard of GWAR) but this has the smell of the continued bastardization of modern sounds. Take an easily recyclable sound, add some artwork that's presently recognizable to the ignorant hipster lemmings then push it off as something excitingly fresh and new. Musically this really sounds like a rip off of TURBONEGRO with some trademark Black Metal tremolo runs and blast beats tossed in on the cheap. Add to that a vocalist who sounds generically caustic in that he's not angry but his pussy hurts and is a whiner. I'll bet my signed vinyl copy of Apocalypse Dudes that the unknowing will eat this up and praise it like manna from mainstream street.
PROSANCTUS INFERI - Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation CD
The joy of blackened death metal is it's audio inhumanity brought upon the unsuspecting listener who checks it out in order to get a thrill. Unfortunately the music inserts a maggot into the unsuspecting listener's skull which commences to consume all brain matter. That's why when you look at anyone whose spent a significant amount of time listening to it they have that painfully grim facial expression. We can all thank INCANTATION for various platters which were really weapons of brain mass destruction. PROSANCTUS INFERI follow a similar pattern albeit not as technical and there's no doom. PROSANCTUS INFERI is J. Kohn on guitar and vocals, an alumni of such other not so happy bands like BLACK FUNERAL and FATHER BEFOULED. Strange as it may seem I also consider those two bands favorites of mine. Thankfully I know what to expect so no maggots need apply.
Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation is the first proper full length by PROSANCTUS INFERI which doesn't spend much time seducing the listener. It's very fast with it's twelve tracks which doesn't give much time to breath. Kohn spent more time coming up with the titles of the tracks then recording em. Songs like "Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonious Pyx", "Pontifical Undulations of Blasphemic Gesticulation" and "Sacreligious Desecration in Excelsis" look like things you'd see on a restaurant menu in Hell while the waiter treats your dinner date to a satanic sexual sacrifice. Well there goes his tip. In all honesty even someone like myself, who has listened to enough blackened death blasphemies that churches explode into flames by just my walking past them, I kinda find this a little rough on the nerves. It's not the type of music being played but how the titles might be different but some of the songs sound alike. The drumming on here has a machine like momentum that doesn't deviate especially on the snare pounding. The guy had to of changed heads after recording each song which don't fall over the two minute mark by much.
Kohn's choice sick rhythms are akin to someone throwing scolding hot mud in your face and his solos are like hot pokers. I've listened to this seven times in a row while composing this review and I feel a little singed. I'm afraid to turn away from the monitor thinking that I'd see my office in flames behind me. You know technically that's a good thing but sooner or later I have to take the CD out of the melted stereo. I wanna save it to torture friends with. By the way I didn't mention Kohn's vocals because I wouldn't call what emanates out of his throat as singing by any means. He's not brutal sounding like so many of those kiddie "brootal" death/grind bands. Instead Kohn sounds ghastly as if his throat was the unwashed ashtray that your two pack of smokes a day hundred year old granny has on an end table by her favorite chair. OK so this dink is about to make it's eighth pass in my stereo and I'm about ready to run out my front door screaming "masochism, masochism" at the top of my one pack a day smoking habit lungs.
LES DISCRETS - Septembre Et Ses Dernieres Pensees CD
Well I'm a stupid fuck. So I'm checking this debut release out by LES DISCRETS because it's mainman, Fursy Teyssier, was in AMESOEURS and ALCEST. Both of those bands have questionable Metal merits to start with especially ALCEST's latest release. So I was hoping it would be more towards AMESOEURS and their JOY DIVISION goes Black Metal style. Wrong! I thought ALCEST's last release was shoegazer hell but this is even further into that realm of air fart sounds. How mellow can you go, along with plenty of folkish acoustic guitar strumming, before you draw the line and say it's not metal? This could be played in French elevators if that gives you an idea. I'm getting the feeling of wanting to make a crape now. Look with all due respect to Fursy this release has a very beautiful ambient sound, it's what the hipsters call dark folk and there's some hints of Metal within but this is just so fucking boring.
DEATHHAMMER - Phantom Knights CD
I guess it's time to drag out that tattered DESTRUCTION t-shirt and get your hesher on. No it's not a new revival you stupid poseurs. Speaking of which DEATHHAMMER are the ones who back in 2006 released the infamous Savage Poser Hunt demo. Since that release coincided with the Thrash revival it also drew a line in the pit on what was cool sounding angry thrash metal and what was paint by the numbers of the past crap. Their Facebook page says "Death To Posers........This Is True Metal" plus you can see below what their MySpace link is. So here we have the first official full length by this Norwegian two piece. Yes they are just a two piece with Sergeant Salsten on vocals, guitar and bass plus Sadomancer on drums as well as backing vocals. Also I say "official full length" because their two releases from 2009 were compilations featuring all of their demo recordings and their 2008 release Forever Ripping Fast, which was also on Witches Brew, was a fast 13 cut EP with older material as well.
DEATHHAMMER's brand of thrash/punk is colored filthy and has one speed which is fast but not without borrowed signatures from the past. The Sergeant likes to remind everyone what Tom Araya use to scream like on almost every cut. Add to that the speed of his vocal delivery reminds you of KREATOR and POSSESSED. Musically it's the same way as with those latter mentioned bands. To me that takes away from their anti-posuer bravado unless they're talking about TRIVIUM and MACHINE HEAD fans then I say kill em all. The best thing about Phantom Knights is that it sounds authentic like a demo tape from the 80s. That's the line which separates em from the posuer pack. I'm guessing when they showed up to the studio to record this, one of their buddies held the engineer by knife point out in the hallway while they had their way inside. Maybe another buddy of theirs, whose only experience with running the lights at the local dive bar, was the producer. That would explain why there's no bass what so ever on here. Turn it up if you dare.
SODOM - In War and Pieces CD
I give respect to Tom Angelripper for still keeping his long time band alive and for carrying the torch of Teutonic Thrash for close to 30 years. Now with that said I can't say all of what I've heard from them after the late 80's has been terrific. In fact most of the time it's been average to painfully bearable and finally horrible. Much of my complaint comes from liking their first handful of releases which started out as blackened thrash to full on thrash. So don't hate me for being around when that stuff came out. Since 1990 they've been musically all over the place finally trying their hand at straight forward thrash again. Secondly Angelripper didn't have a consistent line-up to make things jell for a while. His present guitarist and drummer have been with him since 1997 which is a record by SODOM band member standards. The strangest part of all is that SODOM has a huge younger fanbase nowadays part of which stems from their self titled 2006 release and the re-recording of In the Sign of Evil in 2007. Personally I don't consider that a credit since these same people love MACHINE HEAD and TRIVIUM.
Whatever the case this new one is more of what you heard on their 2006 release which is in tune with the modern Thrash crowd. I take that back since I should say "the modern mainstream Thrash" crowd. With the exception of Angelripper's well kept vocals I wouldn't of known this was SODOM. There's way too much melody at certain times on here. Guitarist Bernd Kost breaks into his Slash imitation on some cuts but hey the drumming and sound is top notch. The opening title cut plus the Hardcore/Punk influenced "Hellfire" start things off well but after that it's hit and miss, definitely more miss. There are times where they sound like a silly metalcore band. I was expecting Angelripper to break into a rap at some point. Talk about being shocked, they're even borrowing from METALLICA with the riffs and whatafuck another "god" song titled "God Bless You". Yeah I know it's a song about war. They've been singing about war since 1989. The only thing going for this package is the bonus Live at Wacken 2007 disc. But that's only if you're a true diehard SODOM fan.
Monday, December 20, 2010
(Ok we all know that most Metal videos SUCK. You either have some MTV like crap or just the band playing live. But once in a while you find a good one and that's what this section is about plus This monthly section is dedicated to Metal Music Videos that are halfway decent)
This month's entry is from the band MALSAIN from Norway (Bergen, Norway that is). This video/song is from their 2005 release They Never Die, on Dark Essence Records, in fact this video was part of the extras on the CD. The band is a cross between melodic black metal and what is now called "dark metal" meaning it's not to be confused with goth. Of course what gets my vote for being a cool video is vocalist Skumring. Not only does she have a mighty set of pipes to growl like that but her look in this video is actually cool. Toss in the way the video flips around with quick flashes of action amidst the band playing and it's dark atmosphere.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
this wasn't the only turkey in 2010
DIARY OF THE WOLFMAN: Dec. 2010.
commentary by Mr. Wolf
THE MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2010 THAT WEREN'T
Twice a year readers of Metal publications get treated with the "best of" lists at around this time year and the "most anticipated" releases in January. I always get a kick out of comparing them to each other. Most of the time they do match simply because of the magazine's taste makers already have it in the bag for certain bands. My fun is looking at and comparing what these publications call "most anticipated" releases and the truth about them. What do ELECTRIC WIZARD, HIGH ON FIRE and WATAIN all have in common? They all had releases which were considered "most anticipated", which could be considered early predictions of greatness, but turned out to be lackluster in my not so humble opinion. It has nothing to do with taste either since I like the three bands mentioned. Of course those three bands all got magazine covers when their releases came out which is another reason for my laughter at the predictions. But just for the record here's a quick rundown on what SCUMFEAST METAL 666 thought of the so-called Most Anticipated Releases of 2010.
ANTHRAX - Worship Music (Megaforce) This never even came out besides they suck and only avid watchers of VH-1's That Metal Show give a rat's ass.
ATHEIST - Jupitor (Season of Mist) Who gives a shit.
ELECTRIC WIZARD - Black Masses (Rise Above) Over hyped to hipster standards and was average. How typical.
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - Option Paralysis (Season of Mist) Anyone who likes this band is a loser in the first place. We wouldn't review crap like this.
DARKTHRONE - Circle the Wagons (Peaceville) This was the same as their last two releases. Average.
DIMMU BORGIR - Abrahadabra (Nuclear Blast) The only people who anticipated this anticipated it sucking so they could write about it sucking. Guess what? It sucked.
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini (Indie Recordings) These former Black Metallers could fart in the studio for an hour and some bozos would call it greatness. We Didn't.
ZOROASTER - Matador (E-1 Music) Sludge Metal is the new Indie Rock for Indie Rock Losers. This release was boring.
UNEARTHLY TRANCE - V (Relapse) Their split eps were better.
IRON MAIDEN - The Final Frontier (EMI) Hopefully it was their final release. PRIEST learned and are calling it a career, take the hint.
GENGHIS TRON - unknown (Relapse) This band sucks, who doesn't think so?
FEAR FACTORY - Mechanize (Candlelight) Groove Metal still sucks.
LUDICRA - The Tenant (Profound Lore) HOLY SHIT WE LIKED THIS ONE ALOT. THAT'S ONE!
NACHTMYSTIUM - Addicts (Century Media) HOLY SHIT WE LIKED THIS ONE ALOT. THAT'S TWO!
The SWORD - Warp Riders (Kemado) The only reason this was anticipated is so hipsters could write that The SWORD have lost their "hipster metal" tag. They didn't.
So you can see what we think here, only two out of fifteen made our cut. The fact still is that the most anticipated releases of the year are the ones by bands that surprise you.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
BASTARD PRIEST - Under the Hammer of Destruction CD
Listening to this is the equivalent to injecting yourself with werewolf blood, then running out of your house, down the street and ripping the first stranger you see to pieces. After which you sit there howling while bathing yourself in the blood of the fresh kill. Is that a little too much information? Well here's some more for ya. I first learned about BASTARD PRIEST in 2009 while reading an article on young bands from Sweden reviving the sound of old Swedish Death Metal, now commonly referred to as the New Wave Of Old School Swedish Death Metal or NWOOSSDM for short. At that time the band only had two demos out but now we have a full length debut but not so fast. This dink is really re-recordings of three tracks from their 2007 demo plus the five tracks from their 2008 demo remixed and remastered and three new tracks. At the end of the day you really don't fuckin care. You just wanna blast this loudly, inject the werewolf blood and run amok in the neighborhood.
BASTARD PRIEST is actually a two piece consisting of Inventor on guitar, bass and vocals plus Matt Mendoza on drums and vocals. I'm sure they're two nice respectable Swedish gentlemen until you give em the werewolf blood and then they rip you a new asshole with songs like "Visions of Doom", "Power of Death" and the insanely incredible "Evil Pain". Their sound, which is basically old school death metal crossed with crust, is nothing new under the blackened sun. Although in a genre overwhelmed with death-core babies (with bad dance moves) on one side and ADD tech death zombies couch-gazing while playing the newest video games on the other this is like fresh water to someone dying of thirst. Yes me, Me, I'm dying from hearing all of that other crap. This is real death metal because it's threatening from start to it's thirty-three and a half minute finish. The production is raw like a bloody steak with sick twisted sounding riffs. The vocals sound like violently growled rasps as if in the throes of lycanthropy. Where did these new jacks learn all of this greatness? Try pulling out some GRAVE, ENTOMBED AND DISMEMBER for reference along with some old Swedish hardcore.
ELECTRIC WIZARD - Black Masses CD
Rise Above Records
Listening to this new release by Dorset doomsters, ELECTRIC WIZARD, is like spending the night in an opium den with a Lovecraftian whore. Along with the haze and sex there's white shards of light blurring your vision from that window-pane acid you dropped earlier, just for the hell of it. To put it in other words, you feel like you're in a comfortable and familiar place but something is just not right. Seeing that everyone (especially on the hipster sites) had their reviews of this written, sans pertinent details like song titles and actually listening to it, many months ago when this was cited as "one of the years most anticipated releases". I've had to actually listen and think about whatafuck is really going on with Black Masses. The biggest mistake I made with their previous full length, Witchcult Today, was that I reviewed it too fast. That resulted in a review I later regretted posting since months later, after continuous late night playings, I found it to be a pretty damm good release. But for those of you who haven't taken into all the pre-release hype, the collective hipster suckoff or even the early reviews then you're in for a surprise.
Black Masses is a little bit of old and a little bit of new. As far as the old goes the band once again took clear advantage of all the cool analog gear at Toe Rag studios to drag their sound back to 1972. It's kinda like BLACK SABBATH partying in Jinx Dawson's bedroom. From that point on everything is sort of newer including their bass player. Gone is Rob Al Issa, who might've found religion and joined the Taliban, and in his place is tattoo faced Tas or Tasos. For some people he might be a weird choice since his past efforts were playing drums in two Spanish bands GREAT COVERN and the EIGHT HANDS OF KALI. Although in his last band SABBATH NAVAHTHANI he was pulling bass and vocal duties. Another thing new to this release is that it's loud. With their past stuff you turned the volume up but on Black Masses it's the opposite. The first cut on here "Black Mass" will shock you out of that cough syrup haze, remember the previous mentioned window-pane? While the cut sounds filthy musically it's Jus Osborn's vocals that pierce through it all along with the ending feedback. This is followed by the early leaked cut, "Venus in Furs", which quite frankly sucks. It sounds like they recorded the track in another room three doors down with King Buzzo. There's two much drunken guitar noodling, no bass and is that Liz Buckingham screaming to open the song or did Shaun Rutter shove one of his drumsticks up a cat's ass?
Things really don't get going until the third cut "The Nightchild" which kinda reminds me of a stoner rock version of BAUHAUS. The song has an excellent SABBATH-ian riff and Osborn's other worldly cry of a vocal style is past perfect. There's a point where you think he's gonna leave off with just a torturing guitar soloing but he keeps repeating the words "under the black sun" till it bleeds into the next cut "Patterns of Evil. This the fourth track is something closer to Witchcult Today than Dopethrone. Like having your head sandwiched between the huge breasts of two obese, naked Wiccan lesbos high on schrooms, the naked Wiccan lesbos on the shrooms that is. "Satyr IX" is another good track with the exception of there being no heavy bass. Shaun Rutter's drumming fills in for that plus there's some choice soloing, first pure "wah wah" pedal playing then thunder chords like giant boots and finally everything thrown in sounding like the symphony of the bizarre. There's that window-pane kicking in again while a plethora, a word from an ex of mine's lexicon, of feedback dances upon your synapses. The riff in "Turn Off Your Mind" will have Tony Iomni checking for copyright infringement, not that ELECTRIC WIZARD hasn't borrowed more than their fare share from the SAB-Four before. On here it's just overstating the obvious and trying to mask it with psychedelic guitar pyrotechnics.
"Scorpio Curse" is probably the absolute best cut on Black Masses since it has a character sound that represents this band's career body of work. It's a slow dragger like a snail pulling a ten pound weight behind it's tail, oozing filthy slime across the floor that adds to the guitar soloing wildly. It's definitely a perfect cut for being next to the end of the release but why did ya have to wait so long to actually hear primo ELECTRIC WIZARD on a goddamm ELECTRIC WIZARD release? The final cut on here, "Crypt of Drugula", is the band's salute to Stephan O'Malley and Greg Anderson. That line alone should leave hipsters in suspense. Speaking of which I can only imagine the facial expressions of the hipsters upon first hearing this and wondering what to do with their pre-conceived opinions. (Oops? Fail? Dick in Mouth Again?) The only thing which would've been better is if Osborn dragged THY GRIEF ETERNAL out of the ashes and slapped an ELECTRIC WIZARD logo on it. Black Masses represents the sound of a band too comfortable with themselves to actually care. Their past greatness was based upon inner band conflict, strife and drugs to cover it all up. That's why you had their excellent debut, plus Come My Fanatics, Dopethrone and to some extent Witchcult Today because Jus Osborn was still in a past hangover. This is not a bad release but it does follow the same fate that all of the other so-called "most anticipated releases of 2010" faced once you actually heard them and that's "hype" but nothing else. I'm sure Osborn's ex-bandmates in RAMESSES are having a good laugh now.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
VON GOAT - Septic Illumination CD
Nuclear War Now Productions
Before I delve into this release I'd like to put some things into perspective about the original band named VON. They emerged from San Francisco in 1992 with their now cult status demo Satanic Blood. Although they reportedly started out in 1988 and had a 1990 demo, Satanic. It's their Satanic Blood demo which is routinely referenced or name dropped. Over the years, especially after so many CD and cool vinyl reissues, they've become a major topic of debate within extreme metal circles as well as a subject of fascination on hipster metal forum sites. I believe VON's significance and influence in the realm of black metal is somewhat overstated. Bands like Brazil's SARCOFAGO, Canada's BLASPHEMY and Sweden's BATHORY all released raw lo-fi style black metal prior to VON and I might add with better quality.
If VON made any significant influence it was by showing people you could create and record minimalist primitive sounding black metal in a basement/bedroom with little or no musical talent. I know my saying that is the equivalent of shitting in some VON worshipers mouth but some people need to stop striving for enlightenment and try achieving consciousness. There was nothing surreal, atmospheric or ground breaking about VON. If you look past the imaginary mystique being portrayed by sycophants with dubious motives you find some extremely sterile and repetitive sounding material. The bands who came afterwards, who cite VON as an influence like Finland's BEHERIT, took the style and expanded upon it with better results.
So here we are now many years later and the mastermind guitarist/vocalist of VON, S. von Goat aka: Shawn Calizo is back. Technically this is a side project since sporadic reports state that VON has reunited, there's a 7" EP out and some sort of drama concerning the VON Music Group. Whatever the case may be Wrest of LEVIATHAN fame is involved on here and I suspect is responsible for dragging Calizo out from whatever hole he was in to bring this to the forefront. To put it bluntly this is VON gone psychedelic which is not very surprising since psych black metal is all the rage with hipsters. Now before I go on a tangent equal to punching a hipster in the face I will say that Septic Illumination is interesting. It will take four or five listens to get to that position because at first you just might turn this into a frisbee. Secondly there are some decent cuts on here that will pique your interest long after the hipsters leave for whatever the next fad band turns out to be.
Like I mentioned earlier this is blackened psych damage which is far beyond what Calizo stumbled with years ago. I dare say this was recorded in an actual studio but made to sound low quality. Wrest's drumming sounds fairly mechanical early on which keeps with the VON theme. Songs like "The Gathering" and "Thru Your Skull" are nightmarish. It's not till you get to "My God Your God" that the mood is far more doom laden-ed with highly distorted guitars laying down a background foundation and Calizo gurgling out lyrics incohesive. "Syringes" actually involves melody amidst it's battery of blast beats but has a cool 60's guitar psych intro. "Spiders" is one of the best tracks by far with "Voodoo Word" a close second and anyone into PROFANITICA, TEITANBLOOD or PERVERSOR will agree. As far as the rest of the material on Septic Illumination, I kinda look at it like entering Hell while still high on narcotics.