Archive for the ‘Paul PMZ post’ Category

Far from the Everyday…Grind

grindcore band logos

So, here I am pondering upon a new segment. Admittedly, it takes me a minute to write even the smallest article so why not comment on something brief, blunt, honest and straight to the point while using the same criteria as the audio under scrutiny? I’ve enlisted help on this one. It comes in the form of the editor of Sixintheheadzine. Why, because apparently the genre in question is one of his favorites also. As if you haven’t guessed yet, the ‘arena’ in question is “Grindcore”. Bursting with releases which are short though overflowing with a laundry list of tracks it seems the ideal pool in which to dip the senses and base a new segment upon if you’re anything like me and wish to get something done quick(er than normal). Naturally a brand spanking new ratings system for a new segment seems appropriate, it makes sense (why rehash the same old crap, seriously). And after much mulling (Paul’s word not mine, though I like it) we think we’ve happened upon a few criteria which fit:

Artwork – I can’t not include a few words here; this is part of my “schtick”.

Initial Impact (obviously – does this grab you from the get go?)

Viciousness – Does this seem like it’s performed by a bunch of relaxed Grannies in their wheelchairs in the local OAP home or by a collective of seemingly rabid, fiery, angst-ridden individuals with something to say?

Melody/Groove – Do I really need to explain this?

Darkness – Just how diabolical, raw and wicked is this? For example; is it closer to Black Metal or as easy going as Ambient/Post -Metal.

Sickness – I’ve included sub headings here to make this easier to comprehend:

1 – Sparkles, Fairies and Rainbows. Nothing ominous going on here in the slightest.

2 – A Walk in the Park. Whoops. I think I stepped in something

3 – It’s dark, I think something is following me. I’ve fallen and my heel just broke. Fug!

4 – Apparitions. Imps. Goblins and evil looking dwarves. It doesn’t sound too horrific but I’ve just realized they’re in my parent’s bedroom invoking something else to join in on the orgy.

5 – I’m scarred. Listening to this makes me look at the world in a different light.

Humor – similar to most other genres, though often more prevalent, this genre has a great many acts who prefer to add a little silliness to their style be it through percussion or the lyrical content. And I’m of the mind that this element might be the ‘turning away point’ for many.

Final Thoughts – Exactly as it sounds.

Ratings are on a 1 through 5 basis. With 5 being the highest; the most vicious, the darkest, the sickest, the most melodic, the most humorous. You get the point. What say we mention we tackle this on a trial run basis (this is the first in the series after all). And to make it more interesting Paul will pick three acts and I’ll pick three. we’ll comment first on our own and then on each other’s picks.

Paul’s Picks;

Onisirige

Onisirige – कयूटनेस से मर रहे हैं (dying from cuteness)

https://onisirige.bandcamp.com/album/dying-from-cuteness

There are several reasons why I chose this album as one of my picks to review. I’ll come onto them in more detail shortly but pretty much all of them are bad. In fact, they’re worse than bad. They’re completely and utterly fucked up in the head… But that’s what we want from Grind is it not? Politics or porn. There is no middle ground. Eat the rich or eat… Actually, I won’t finish that sentence I’m scared where it might end up.

Here we have, कयूटनेस से मर रहे हैं (dying from cuteness – in English apparently), the 18-minute debut album from, “Groovy Goregrind/Cybergore one-man band from Japan since 2016”, Onisirige. What is Cybergore? I have no idea but they say that this release is recommended for fans of, “S.C.A.T, Hentai, Nintendo and dogs”. I’m quite partial to two of the things on that list so I might like it. I’ll let you decide which two. (Thank must be given to the Goregrind channel on YouTube for the inspiration and quotes here).

Artwork – The cover artwork on the album’s YouTube video is blurred out but I have looked up the original online and all I can say is that I highly recommend you don’t look it up (all respect due to the artist Nyakyagawa). If flaunting social media terms of service were a dance then this front cover would be the Macarena. Horrific and disgusting in the, “cutest”, way possible – it is done in the bright and garish hand drawn style that I generally love. So, I’m giving this a 4/5.

Initial Impact – See-sawish guitars fuse with fairground melodies like something out of a nightmare/bad acid trip, juxtaposed with traditional old school “rock n roll” elements and weird samples from foreign (to me) films and cartoons. It sounds something like Chuck Berry being pushed through a meat grinder by Cartman. Or, imagine that bit at the end of Back to Future when he plays Johnny B. Goode, except everyone is chopped to pieces on the floor and Marty’s lost his fucking mind. Nevertheless, there are some very nice and groovy sections on the first half of this. 3/5

Viciousness – I wouldn’t say this is vicious as much as garish, gory and all in the worst possible taste. The music sounds vicious to the untrained ear of course. But I don’t think you can take song titles such as, “C**shotting In Your Bible”, and, “Does My D*ck Smell”, as serious threats. 2/5

Melody/Groove – There’s an overtly childish sense of melody on this that I don’t really know how to score…  I suppose it is Nintendo-esque in places but I’m pretty sure if Nintendo ever heard about their connection with this album, they would cease trading immediately. A lot of it is like something out of children’s television programming gone bent. If that is the kind of genre you like then you’ll like this. There are a couple of sniffs of Vaporwave here and there which I find odd frankly… I’m not sure whether I think this is novel and interesting or simply irritating… In the latter half everything loses its way a bit and becomes like Atari Teenage Riot produced by an actual circus clown smashing cymbals together… Also, there is what seems to be incessant preset pig snorting and dog barking being triggered all over the last few songs, which led to me being triggered also. 2/5

Darkness – Uhhh… I think I’m going to have to say, “No”, to this category from a musical point of view. However – the places my mind goes to when I think about what may well have been the “niche” Internet inspirations behind this makes my mind go to very dark places indeed so I’ll give it a 4/5

Sickness – Considering that everything about this album, from the artist’s logo to the artwork to the tracks themselves, would be considered unacceptable anywhere in a civilized society I’m going to have to give this category a high score. Although surprisingly I don’t think they really went as far as they could (or should) have done on this, which is somewhat disappointing based on what I assumed was in store. Almost a 4/5 but actually a 3/5

Humor – I can’t really laugh at this to be honest because I’m genuinely concerned for the mind behind it. The reason 4chan should be shut down basically and I suppose I mean that as a compliment 2/5

Final Thoughts – The main reason 4chan should be shut down basically and I suppose I mean that as a compliment. 3/5

Cults thoughts;

I can see the allure with this. Childlike animation juxtaposed with unapologetically deviant and jaded adult context. I’m curious.

Artwork – Tits, penises, pot plants, a hand floating in a to go lunch sack, severed appendages, a logo comprised of spilt semen, a crushed kitty and a huge smile affixed to a face slathered in man chowder. This is Hentai bordering on the extreme and most definitely not wholesome family entertainment in the slightest (although I guess it all depends to which family we’re referring). If the music is even somewhat as close to being as bizarre as this it’s time to grab a bucket and ensure the seatbelts are securely fastened. Here’s to diving in blindly… 3.5/5

Initial impact – This isn’t half as bad as I imagined it might be with the assumption of Goregrind and Pornogrind floating around in my head. Although the vocals are an assortment of burps, squeals, grunts, bree’s and other throaty issuances making little sense there’s a playfulness here which is tickling my curious bone. I believe I might even be able to sit through this until its climax (pun intended). 3.5/5

Viciousness – Hardly malicious in its intent this is more satirical and bizarre and not to be taken at all seriously. Although I’m sure it’ll offend most. 0/5

Melody/Groove – Blast beats aplenty amidst rhythms to make any dance floor jelly (the kids are saying this instead of jealous. I’m only left to wonder where peanut butter fits in?) in rage. Admittedly this isn’t designed to move to but it bears a spastic frenetic aura I’m falling for…hard, (again with the puns!) Against my initial presumptions. 4/5

Darkness – This is as bright as a picnic on the sun’s surface. Rainbows, unicorns, sparkles and fuzzy bits everywhere. Too damn much of everything if truth be told, to the verge of nausea. You get the point. It isn’t dark, in the slightest. 0/5

Sickness – Playful as this is it boasts a no holds barred, anything goes approach (which one has to admire if not appreciate) and pokes fun upon/embraces with a filthy embrace pretty much everything in Japanese Pop culture. Manga, Nintendo, Cutesy and most everything else I’ve yet to learn the name for, it’s all here and lovingly basted in either synth or extreme beats and a myriad of vocal emissions to scare the elderly. 4.5/5

Humor – This is a word which about sums this release up. Obviously, it’s undeniably extreme audio bordering on experimentational with most nods and references which demand research but it seethes with an aura which screams Over the Top zany, bonkers and unabashed silliness (I’ve used that word one too many times here, I apologize). Whether you get it or not, this overflows with a sense of juvenile which yanks the corners of the mouth upwards. 4/5

Final Thoughts – As much as I’d love to hate this, it’s actually grown on me. Sure, it’s silly, and makes little sense as my Pop culture lexicon is severely limited, but its fun, oozes absurd silliness and for some reason makes me smirk like a loon. And we all need a little something of that in our lives, don’t we? 3.25/5

piss shtter

Piss Shitter – Beef the Meanness

https://pissshitter.bandcamp.com/album/beef-the-meanness

Piss Shitter is a name that hugely appeals to me because I think if you’re going to be offensive then you should be as offensive as possible. So, this is from the school of thought that I like. Take two swear words and smash them together. Doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. I won’t give further examples of what I mean as I’m not sure Cult wants this piece to descend that far down the toilet.

Anyway, bearing in mind that I chose this release solely off the band’s name, let’s see what this just-shy-of-17-minutes, “Noise/Grind/Sludge” debut EP is like…

Artwork – It’s black and white. There’s the band’s logo in the corner. There are skulls and flies and there’s a man in a glass bottle nailed to an upside down cross. All the usual stuff. Don’t know what any of it means but it’s like a Grind cover designed by Salvador Dali… Can’t really complain about that, although it is more on the “trad” side of the scale than what I reviewed above. 3/5

Initial Impact – Very muddy, sludgy, lo-fi sound to the production but there’s definitely some very early Grind, anarcho-punk fighting to get out underneath. Pessimistic and deranged vocal samples and noise passages are interspersed between a screechy/low double vocal attack and very super -fast playing. Misanthropy is the order of the day with nihilistic/hilarious song titles such as, “FUCK CAPITAL”, “FUCKTHE POSERS OF THE STATE”, “FUCK BEING ALIVE AND EATING AND BREATHING AND SHIT”, and, my favorite, “FUCK BEING ALIVE AND EATING AND BREATHING AND SHIT 2 – STILL FUCK BEING ALIVE AND EATING AND BREATHING AND SHITTER”. 3/5

Viciousness – It’s vicious from both a musical point of view and a humanitarian point of view. It’s very clear that the message of this EP could essentially be distilled down into, “Fuck Everything”. Which is about as vicious a mindset as you can get when taken seriously… 5/5

Melody/Groove – Not so much of this here because of the Noise/Sludge elements inherent within it. Grinding, screamy and shouty and (in parts) droney, but not groovy at all really baby. Maybe in a couple of bits (one that stands out particularly in Track 9) but that’s not the selling point here. 2/5

Darkness – It won’t leave you feeling full of the joys of spring I’ll say that much for it. 4/5

Sickness – Not really… What’s sick about wanting everything to fuck off? I think that’s a perfectly understandable mindset given the current state of affairs. 0/5

Humor – Within the music, none at all. Within the band’s name and the song titles, a lot. For that reason, it’s a 4/5 from me.

Final Thoughts – If you want everything to fuck off, which is totally understandable right now. This is the ideal music for you. 3/5

Cults Thoughts;

As if the name of the act doesn’t grab ya, perhaps the word “fuck” in every track might. Regardless I’m curious. Just how bad can this be?

Artwork – Zombies buried on the beach, an inverted crucifix and a storm on the horizon and all in lovingly penned black and white inks (is ‘white’ really an ink though?) A tad cliché, but I’m still camouflaged in intrigue. 3/5

Initial Impact – Much like being sucked up into a rampaging tornado this grabs you abruptly with its intensity and ferocious nature. This has my attention! 4/5

Viciousness – This hits like a dump truck falling from the sky to the skull. Abrasive doesn’t even come close to covering the style here. 4.5/5

Melody/Groove – Distortion, noise and pummeling unmitigated brutality about sums this up in midget bursts. The melody and groove are there but you might need to dig for it (using the most expensive industrial equipment money can buy) 1/5

Strangely, the longest track here oozes with a passage of rhythm sandwiched by apocalyptic white noise (which lasts seemingly forever).

Darkness – There are zero, frilly, shiny bits to be found here. This is distortion ville sludge abetted by noise, angst and a nature one would hope not to come across in a dark alleyway. 4/5

Sickness – Rather than concentrate on a nature which is depraved, grisly, gory or vile this revolves around angst, everyday concerns and the adoration of the word “fuck”. 0/5

Humor – A few of the utilized soundbites elicit an unwarranted smirk, but that might be because I need to see a therapist, otherwise this is devoid of humor, apart from the use of the word “fuck” and the Napalm Death “parody” which closes the album 1/5

Final Thoughts – Short, blunt and to the point with enough dense nature to level small farming communities this is unmistakably devastating audio though it lacks the movement I personally desire. A tad more experimental than most, but no less harrowing. 3/5

Bitchy Rackmore – Bitches and Brothers

bitchy rackmore album

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCmsLBo03RA

Bitches and Brothers, I present to you my last pick of this review segment. Hahaha, I made a joke. I think this whole album by Bitchy Rackmore is entire series of “jokes” that are either very funny and post-something-or-other or very unfunny and below juvenile, depending on your own personal position on the humor spectrum…

The whole thing is just over 10 minutes long, which is all that is needed for a Grind album let’s be honest. If you can’t say everything you need to say within 10 minutes on a Grind album then you should put a cloak on and go and join fucking Yes. There are two girls and one guy in this group apparently, so we have to assume that this is all ironic, don’t we? I just wanted to make that very clear before you read any further assuming this whole thing is a dick-swinging bro festival.

Artwork – When I was making my picks, artwork featured very heavily in my decision-making process. I thought I had chosen this purely for its artwork (the lurid cartoon style that I love more than perhaps any other style of art) but as I skipped around to some of the other possible choices I had in the running I realized that I also chose this because I like the sound too. Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. From an artwork point of view, I give this 4/5. Almost a 5/5

Initial Impact – This thing opens with a short Glen Benton interview sample (he of Deicide and the reluctant-looking recipient of Slash’s, er, romantic attentions on the front cover) before you are hit with a pummeling, non-stop aural assault. It grinds, it swirls around, the playing is insane and the vocals are truly guttural and barely audible. I think it sounds fucking great. 4/5

Viciousness – Practically everything about this is vicious in one way or another and at least one of the song titles is so vicious that it’s unprintable in a family music blog such as this… But, as I say, we have to assume that this album is all one big joke so it loses points for that. 3/5

Melody/Groove – When it’s not shooting you in the head with a Gatling gun music-wise or kicking you full force in the bollocks with its offensiveness then there are some undeniably groovy sections that pop out here and there. 3/5

Darkness – It’s not at all dark in my opinion. The front cover alone tells you that. This is ridiculous, fucked up, fast, (I am reluctant to say) “comedy” Grindcore at its finest. This is very much for those who are into the Seth Putnam/AC type of stuff but who maybe don’t want it made by someone quite as notoriously c*ntish as he was 0/5

Sickness – It’s definitely up there on the sickness scale. Almost off the scale for me… I’m an, “anything goes” type of guy when it comes to this sort of extreme art (if it’s done with the right intentions) but the title of Track 11 flirts with an area of “humor” that makes me wince somewhat… 5/5

Humor – In terms of humor, this is worth the price of admission for the Ozzy Osborne sample alone. 4/5 pushing 5/5.

Final ThoughtsIt’s obvious that the girls and guy who put this album together don’t take themselves very seriously and the whole package, in terms of the area of Grind in which it resides, is put together expertly. 4.5/5

Cult’s Thoughts;

The obvious parody in the band’s moniker is enough to garner the attention of my senses.

Artwork – At first glance this looks like a cover to any run of the mill underground romance novel. However, on closer inspection one might come to the conclusion it’s far from that but rather Slash helping the front man of Deicide with a very specific blockage. I have no idea why there’s an on looking angel type creature.  Perhaps they might need additional ass(pun)istance? 3/5

Initial Impact – The albums opening soundbite makes great sense and about covers everything anyone has ever hoped to censor (fuck censorship!) The music is surprisingly decent (Brutal death meets Grindcore) and the vocal accompaniment are growls of the variety I can subscribe too. 4.5/5

Viciousness – This is fast, unmerciful, blast beat heavy but drips with humor. A fantastic combination which isn’t in the slightest scary. 1/5

Melody/Groove – Beating my initial assumptions to pulp, this overflows with rhythm and melody albeit pulverizing and played at hyper speed. 4/5

Darkness – Although draped in parody this does bear a certain ominous nature, a smidgen of Doom to the riffs exists but it’s far from cavernous or the audio of nightmares. 1/5

Sickness – Hardly grotesque in any resemblance this is more parody material pushed to the extreme (yes, it will offend those who openly admit to having a sense of humor) bearing zero taste. In that respect 5/5 but otherwise 0/5

Humor – If the track titles don’t get ya smiling there’s little point giving this a listen. Admittedly it’s funny but only if you have a sick/twisted sense of humor. Knowing the referrences comes as a bonus. 4/5

Final Thoughts – I wasn’t sure what to expect, it wasn’t this! This is surprisingly listenable with soundbites which add to the pleasure of the overall listening experience. Short, sharp to the point with rhythm and brutality. This is damn good if like me you insist on groove and rhythm rather than cataclysmic noise in your extreme audio. This album proves that you shouldn’t “judge a book by it cover”. 4.5/5

feastem

Cult’s Picks;
Feastem – Graveyard Earth

https://feastem.bandcamp.com/album/graveyard-earth

I’m not gonna lie (the famous words of every politician) it was the name which grabbed my attention. Seriously, what does it mean especially in relation to the accompanying art.

Artwork – It appears all hope is lost. Piles of the dead crowd a statue of the Virgin Mary, isn’t she supposed to instill confidence and faith? All this rendered in glorious black and white. I’m sold. Here’s to hitting play blindly. 4/5

Initial Impact – This grabs the attention and quickly. A wicked, concise, amalgamation of precise Grindcore, Death, Brutal Death and Doom that hits the spot immediately. 4.5/5

Viciousness – Partway between go for the throat and rhythm oriented (leaning more towards out and out sensorial assault) this counterbalances angst and discernable rhythm delicately, and even dips into more ominous Doom waters in instances. A varied approach hinting st varied influence. 4/5

Melody/Groove – Plenty on offer, rather than apocalyptic noise this boasts decipherable arrangements, rhythms and riffs with commendable production. 4.5/5

Darkness – There’s an undeniable ominous nature here as opposed to the typical Grindcore in the face approach. Also, an underlying old school Dirge and Crust aura complementing the typical lyrical against the hypocrisy of the system. 3.5/5

Sickness – Admittedly more angst than Gore. There’s no mention of zombies, cadavers or twisted serial killer shenanigans here. 0/5

Humor – Nope. Nothing, not even a smirk. 0/5

Final Thoughts – “Graveyard Earth” hits the spot and fast. Far from monotonous this delivers a collection of somewhat individual tracks bearing discernable tempo changes, groove and wicked vox as well occasional stylistic deviation which only adds to the fun. I honestly can’t enough of this, I’m adding this to my collection! 4.5/5

Paul’s Thoughts;

Onwards I slog through the mire of Grind to tackle Cult’s three picks. There will be less chat up front on these ones because I don’t why he picked them so can’t offer anything of value on that front. Let’s just get stuck into the categories with no further ado…

Artwork – Fantastic. Black and white with a nice, “Xeroxy”, feel to it. Sums up the album’s title perfectly. This is exactly what a Graveyard Earth would look like. Let’s see what it sounds like… 4/5

Initial Impact – Wow… This comes out of the speakers like a punch to the face and keeps on punching you in the face throughout its entirety. Had my head nodding vigorously from the beginning. Early, punk sound to this one as well. Unrelenting. One song after another comes at you at a ferocious, manic pace. 4/5

Viciousness – Very vicious in terms of the playing and delivery although it loses points for having a song on it called, “I Will Not Kill”. You will not kill? Why not? What’s wrong with you? 3/5

Melody/Groove – Gets you moving despite its ferocity and a serious amount of credit goes to the band for that.  I’ll mark it high on this category. But that’s not to say I’m personally a total fan of what is here. 4/5

Darkness – Following on from my thoughts immediately above – any element of darkness I thought this release might’ve had is diluted somewhat for me by a very subtle hint of metalcore that puts me in the middle of an outdoor festival in Europe somewhere wondering whether or not I should queue up for another overpriced, flat pint. A bit more Kerrang than Kerrazy in my humble opinion… Not knocking it. Many will love it. As far as darkness though, for me it’s a 2/5

Sickness – I’ve definitely heard sicker. There’s not a concept or idea on here either sonically or in the track names that made my stomach twitch, let alone turn. 1/5

Humor – Zilch. 0/5

Final Thoughts – Not knocking it. Many will love it. Not me really. 2/5

bowelfuck

BOWELFUCK – Decades

https://bowelfuck.bandcamp.com/album/decades-2

A biker gent with a huge grin on his face. This wouldn’t normally grab my interest but in this case half of mentioned face appears strange. As if, as if…well the radioactive sign in the background hints at the reasoning.

Artwork – A happy guy on a bike with a melted visage really doesn’t give much away as to the music within.  But the band’s name and spatterific logo certainly does. 3/5

Initial Impact – Fast, intricate and well produced with old school heavily accented vocals. All the boxes are checked. This promises to deliver! 4.5/5

Viciousness – Bordering on a well shaken concoction of Crust, Brutal Death and Hardcore this is pummeling audio. Tight, precise and impactful but with enough bounce to keep it from subterranean vicious realms. 3.5/5

Melody/Groove – If this doesn’t make you want to move you might want to check your pulse! 5/5

Darkness – There’s enough Dirge and Crust elements here to suffice but hardly anything of sufficient nefarious or dastardly intentions to cause nightmares. .5/5

Sickness – Not much here to please gore fans or those with a penchant for the earliest of Carcass material. Although some might find the humor offensive and immediately put this under a certain categorization on account of the vocal style this is far from sick in any way. .5/5

Humor – From the Skinless-esque intro, a few track intro soundbites, to a number of the track’s titles (namely “Lobotomobile” and “Nap”) this drips with humor though not of the distracting, silliness kind, rather that of a darkly humorous and sarcastic tone. This is miles from the typical angst against the unjust system material. 3.5/5

Final Thoughts – When I think of Grindcore this isn’t usually the type of audio which comes to mind. With that in mind however this has the undeniable chops to elicit a smirk, raise the blood pressure and get one up and moving. Quality from start to finish, blunt and straight to the point, an exquisite mixture of a slew of extreme styles. There’s not a boring moment to be found here, and to think this is the first I’ve heard of the band. Lay the senses on this, you can thank me later. 5/5

Paul’s Thoughts;

Artwork – A piggy-looking motorcyclist riding his bike out of town, smoking a cigar with half his face being torn off? Is that what’s happening here? I don’t know… But I like the color palette and I like the band’s logo so it’s a decent 4/5

Initial Impact – Cult always picks things that undeniably rip. I don’t know how he does it which such a high rate of success but, unsurprisingly, this rips… Proper headbanging, moshpit stuff this. Insanely fast. Nicely mixed. Riffs aplenty. A collection of very good and strong songs by what you can tell is an extremely capable and experienced band. 5/5

Viciousness – Sounds vicious. The band’s name is about as vicious as it gets. Song titles are disappointingly non-vicious though. 3/5

Melody/Groove – Had me moving throughout the 23-something-minute duration so if that’s what you mean when you want me to score this category then it’s a 4/5 approaching a 5/5 (because it doesn’t get too tuneful or melodic at any point, which for me is usually a turnoff, especially in this genre).

Darkness – Hard to tell from what’s immediately apparent to me from the artwork, music and song titles but the album doesn’t seem that dark in terms of subject matter or sound. But then I might be wrong… Maybe it’s a concept album about pig motorcycle gangs taking over the world, which is a pretty dark thought. I’ll score this down the middle – 3/5.

Sickness – Again, there’s nothing here overtly sick here apart from the band’s name. That is pretty fucking sick though to be fair. 4/5

Humor – Pigs on motorcycles are pretty funny but apart from that mental image (which let’s be honest I’ve invented myself) the humor is thin on the ground. Nevertheless, a great album. 1/5

Final Thoughts – Great album. 4/5

meth leppard

Meth Leppard – Woke

https://methleppard666.bandcamp.com/album/woke

Yep. It was the sleight of hand on the bands moniker which got me intrigued. I’m left wondering how many have picked this up instead of the famed Scottish rock acts material. Oh, the Hysteria it must have caused.

Artwork – A koala looks on, safely out of harm’s way, as a plethora of World leaders are escorted away from an avalanche of discontent; a populace already exhibiting the tell take signs of the apocalypse. Exquisite details and a myriad of intricacies throughout this image. There’s no doubt as to the time of the audio within. 5/5

Initial Impact – For those demanding a relaxed immersion this delivers an introduction to sate. Following this it’s an unapologetic descent into Grindville, hardly as chaotic as most but thoroughly enveloping and dense. 4/5

Viciousness – This initially connects like a punch to the esophagus and continues to admonish quite the pummeling. Production with a raw edge aids in its impact and aura but it’s a more controlled approach than many though highly enjoyable. 4/5

Melody/Groove – Discernable riffs and rhythms rather than apocalyptic chaos. This boasts plenty of groove and movement as well the traditional ingredients one would expect. 4/5

Darkness – Undeniable dirge, a dense aura but other than that this doesn’t exhibit any signs of menace which might keep one up at night. 1/5

Sickness – There’s little mention of anything gruesome here, there’s s few “zombie” looking creatures on the cover but that’s about the extent of the sickness on offer. .5/5

Humor – The track titles are the most definable give away as to the bands sense of humor and the way this album plays out. Though the audio is more within the Napalm Death vein than the avenue Elbow Deep take. Little “silliness” resides here other than the titles this is mostly business. 3/5

Final Thoughts – Solid throughout, this brings all to the table that one would hope for in a release of its ilk. Uncompromising rhythms, groove, the occasional blast beat, plentiful nods to the old school and an overall vibe which is difficult not to appreciate. My only qualm are the vocals; fantastic for the first half their appeal trends to wear thin as the album reaches its conclusion. A personal gripe which might not sit well. Nether the less, an album which is sure to garner a large fanbase based on its overall quality and the inclusion of a fantastic take upon a Melvins track. 4/5

Paul’s Thoughts;

Artwork – Brilliantly drawn. Cult is obviously a fan of black and white album covers based on these three selections but this is a superb bit of art. It’s very politically charged (as are the album’s buzzword song titles) and that’s not the reason I like it per se… I tend to think all politics and politicians are bullshit so I’m rating this purely from an artistic perspective and this is very well drawn indeed. Let’s see if the music behind the cover is equally opinionated. (Who am I kidding? Of course, it will be). 5/5

Initial Impact – For a debut album from a two-piece band this is intense, immense stuff. As raucous, fast and noisy as any classic Grind album with a very interesting, almost beastly, vocal tone. Very impressive. 5/5

Viciousness – Musically yes and there’s plenty of violence on the cover but this isn’t anywhere near Goregrind levels of viciousness so I’ll give it a 2/5

Melody/Groove – Little bit, yeah. Definitely got me moving. No skippable tracks on this album. You’ll be nodding the whole way through I would wager. The vocals are especially effective in this regard, placed as they are in the perfect pockets of each track and really adding to the overall “vibe”, for want of a better word…  4/5

Darkness – It is dark, in as much as you can hear the frustration and political/class/economic rage that is clearly visible on the cover. Dark times we are living in and this music wears that darkness on its sleeve. 4/5

Sickness – Not particularly sick no… Based in everyday reality I think, sadly… 0/5

Humor – Songs here called Dead Kardashians, Sixty-nine Feet Under, Endless Prawn and Thrash Sucks. So yeah, works for me… 4/5

Final Thoughts – No skippable tracks. 4/5

And with that I reach the end of my thoughts on this first selection of Grind albums for Cult’s brand-new feature. Hopefully it will be a semi-regular thing because I’ve really enjoyed doing it. Thanks for having me on board, thanks for reading and if you haven’t already, please check out my tabletop gaming/music zine (to which Cult regularly contributes his own brand of wit and wisdom) at sixintheheadzine.com and follow me on Twitter @paul_pmz

Thanks, and happy grinding!

grindcore growl

Well, there you have it. The first entry in a series which was intended to be (short, blunt, to the point) similar to the style it’s covering. I’m guessing Paul didn’t read the memo, and I merely went along with the way in which he ran. Regardless, it was fun and I hope you, the reader, enjoy it and the albums we’ve covered. There’s always time to discover something new and plenty of time for Grindcore (there’s a pun, or something in there someplace). Until next time.

Cult

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Special Edition; Part the Last (for now)

(Yet another collaborative effort with a few friends)

Abrasive Audio Special Ed 2020 part 2

This installment is the third in a Special Edition Series. And again, sees a collaborative effort with friends (whose opinions I respect) from as far afield as the releases featured within. But first a few words from a co-conspirator, the SixintheHeadZine editor and someone whom I bother with suggestions, recommendations and silliness on a more than frequent basis.

sixintheheadzine

The “Original”

I was honored to be asked to write the intro for this – the last installment in a truly epic collection of reviews – because ever since I discovered your man Cult and Abrasive Audio, I haven’t got my metal recommendations from anywhere else. I probably should read other metal blogs but I find so many good n brutal listens on this one that I barely have the time to listen to any of the other music I like, let alone more bloody metal.

In fact, I’ve been spending so much time recently investigating the releases on here that I’m completely out of touch with all the latest pop groups, jazz singers and contemporary composers. I normally pride myself on knowing what’s happening in all the main genres – pop, jazz, classical and blues. Metal as we know isn’t a genre. It’s a way of life, a religion. Very similar to vaporwave. (and what’s that, prey tell. – Ed*)

Anyway, I suppose if Cult wanted anything from this introduction it was for me to impart some of the valuable knowledge I have gained after a long and storied career in the music business. So, my advice to you is this – whatever you do, do it 110%. You can achieve your goals and dreams. You just have to believe in yourself.

I really hope that helps you on your way as we reach the end of this “Odyssean” Abrasive Audio feature together. If it doesn’t, oh well. Here’s the final three recommendations (one of which I happen to have written something on) to put into your headphones, turn up to max and drown the world out with. Keep it up Cult, your services to metal are very much appreciated.

Onward to this installment’s selections dedicated, yet again, to a few which apparently…

Slipped Through the Cracks
(Releases of 19′ which I have somehow missed)

Obviously, this isn’t all or even close to those I’ve failed to cover before but rather a handful which have fallen under most radars though still deserve attention.

Tyrmfar

Tyrmfar (Switzerland) – Renewal Through Purification

https://tyrmfar.bandcamp.com/album/renewal-through-purification

Release- June/22/19

MTAF Records

ARTWORK- 84

A malevolent sky is the backdrop to a godlike figure comprised of many (forms) scrambling to become a part of ‘the whole’. An interesting image with a myriad of intricate details and a meaning which will likely spark discussion.

FIRST TRACK- 90

The album starts with an introduction that’s likely to accompany a cinematic scene in which those on screen are recuperating, thriving and finally overcoming insurmountable odds to stand triumphant. Par for the course in this genre to be blunt, though this is better than most. A blast beat rhythm takes up the charge when the introduction dies. Add industrial precise drumming, a dual pronged vocal approach and rhythms dipped in both black and melodic death qualities and to album is off to a highly satisfying start. A fantastic introduction to the band for any yet to lay senses upon them, like myself.

INITIAL LISTEN- 88

Melodic, yet far from what many might visualize with the term in mind. This bleeds with blackened majesty and an atmosphere which brings to mind a giant of, and still a huge influence within, the melodic black scene (and undeniably a variety of others) Dissection. Melodies and tone channel a myriad of top tier influence (Eucharist, Necrophobic and Amon Amarth, among others) add depth, unmistakable catchiness and fit amazing well nestled with the prowess of the percussion and stunning vocal accompaniment. Overall, this held my interest from its start through its final notes but leaves me pondering upon what could possibly be in the Swiss water supply. I’ve heard a few releases from the region in the past few weeks and this is as good as the impressive standard the others have set, if not better. Discovering this a few months prior would have resulted in its inclusion in my Best of Years list, it’s too late for that but it’s not too late to preach the good word. Make room in your collection for this. You won’t be disappointed!

Favorite Tracks; Crank this up, it delivers from start to finish!

FFO; Dissection, Amon Amarth, Necrophobic, At the Gates, Stortregn, Eucharist.

Need a Second Opinion?
six in the head zine iss 2

Issue the Second

 

Here are a “few words” from Six in the Head Zine creator Paul_PMZ (on Twitter) and if you haven’t already please check out the mag here; https://sixintheheadzine.com/ for general gaming silliness, recommendations and tips and tricks on painting, gaming and where’s the best location to hold the ‘event’ itself.  Currently on its second issue this publication is heading to heights scary for even the most rambunctious toddler to contemplate. Without further ado…

The Cult Himself has asked me to review an album for him. No doubt that will be a relentless, hellish racket. Just what I don’t need right now… Why can’t he ask me to review some Tibetan bowl music or whale song for once? Still, being a man of my word (most of the time), I opened Bandcamp, stuck the kettle on and the headphones in and pressed play on the album he’d suggested. There was a long blurb about it underneath the tracks but I didn’t read that. I never read stuff like that before doing a review. I don’t want to cloud my judgement with unnecessary facts and useful background information. I liked the title and I liked the cover art. I thought this might be up my street as far as metal goes, even if I wasn’t feeling particularly in the mood for someone screaming at me.

The album began, like all metal albums do nowadays, with an instrumental opening that immediately struck me as sounding very, “Warhammer”. As a big tabletop gaming and hobby fan this is always a positive for me. For the first 30 seconds I imagined a vast, planet-sized spacecraft slowly moving into view as opposing forces of the 41st Millennium engaged in fierce battle underneath. Then, disappointingly, I heard some piano. Oh FFS (Fer Fuck’s Sake – Ed*). Don’t tell me this is “piano metal” … I can’t listen to a whole album of piano metal Cult.

Thank the Emperor (not the band I think – Ed) though, when track two kicked in I was delighted by a barbarous and pummeling auditory assault without any trace of Rick Wakeman-like activity. Chunky, choppy riffs and fast fretwork, machine gun drumming and an abominable, interplaying combo of both low and mid-register vocals that I hoped would set the tone for the rest of the album.

Much to my delight, it did. So, by track four my head was enthusiastically bobbing along to the determined and merciless drumming that I refuse to believe it’s possible for an actual human being to perform. If there truly is a man (or woman – I didn’t read the blurb) behind the kit on this then perhaps humanity isn’t quite so worthless after all.

Overall, this is a quality piece of work from top to bottom. It never gives up, slows down or dips in quality and the actual sound of it is top-notch. I think it’s a perfectly balanced death metal record and that the man (or woman – I didn’t read the blurb) who is responsible for mixing it is quite clearly a genius. Then again, what do I know? I’m not a sound engineer or musician.

What I do know for sure is that “Renewal Through Purification” is fucking great and when came to an end and I had to write this review I put it straight back on again without hesitation. Then I listened to it again for a third time. Totally brilliant!

hellknife

Hellknife (Germany) – Dusk of Doom

https://hellknife.bandcamp.com/album/dusk-of-doom

Release -December/13/19

Phobia Records, Ecocentric Records and Wooaaargh

ARTWORK- 86

Skulls, maggots, a pentagram looking thingy and a masked kultist (for the record a dead ringer of the lead vocalist from Ghost) with Lovecraftian creations sprouting from his spine. And the whole concoction is in black and white. Does it get any better than this? Probably, but not by much.

FIRST TRACK- 82

No introduction, no soundbites and certainly not even the slightest indication of “frilly bits”. This leaps straight for the throat! Crust coupled with D-beat and sprinkles of hardcore showcasing bludgeoning riffs complete with sub-woofer annihilating bass. Keep a digit on the volume button when this puppy starts else something goes POP and your further enjoyment of the extreme audio arena is held at bay until the meds start to work.

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

This is unapologetic Crust (with the punk vibe often more pronounced than other elements) slathered with D-beat complete with angst-ridden hardcore vocals (I feel like I’ve said that before, but it needs repeating!) The similarities to Motorhead and WolfBrigade are unmistakable as well the indelible imprints the sheer amount of groove here will leave on the senses when this is through. To keep this short and sweet if the pulverizing nature of this and the ‘catchier than catchy’ aura doesn’t make you wanna’ get up and break shit odds are you might be missing a pulse. Jump on this at your next given opportunity! But be prepared to apologize to everyone beforehand for this will leave a mess as your torso unceremoniously jerks you around like a marionette at the whim of an inebriated puppet master. Need I mention this grew on me the more I listened? (Probably not, but I did anyway.)

Favorite Tracks; Dusk of Doom, Violence, Burn it Down, The End.

FFO; Wolfpack, No/Mas, Martyrdöd, Napalm Death, Disrupt, Terrorizer.

Need a Second Opinion?

 

Here are a few words from synth maestro Werewolves in Siberia (who I can’t thank enough for putting up with my constant badgering and allowing me in this case to bent his ear). I highly recommend checking into his varied discography, especially if you have a soft spot for cult soundtracks with a Goblin or Carpenter-esque edge. His godly manipulation of electronic beats into an often suspense-laden soundscape can be found here; https://werewolvesinsiberia.bandcamp.com/

werewolves in Sioberia header

I hadn’t heard of Hellknife before this.  In all honesty, I’ve only recently started catching up with a bunch of metal bands I used to listen to.  I really haven’t paid much attention to the metal scene at all in the last 10 years or so; minus the few exceptions of those bands I absolutely have to listen to.

That said, my first thought was that if Hellknife is an American band, this is a terrible name.  If they’re from Europe or a Scandinavian country (anywhere English isn’t the primary language), somehow, it’s an awesome name, though.  Turns out they’re from Germany, so the name checks out and it sounds tough.

Werewolves In Siberia2

I’ll sum up the sound of the music to me; basically, they remind me of The Crown doing a d-beat record with a bunch of thrash meets Norwegian black metal influence in the guitar riffs.  I feel like there’s something missing from the songwriting to make it that standout it could be but this is still a killer record and I’m finding I like it more each time I listen.

Apparently, these guys even worked with a dude who has worked with Wolfbrigade for this album.  If you’re going to make d-beat music, working with people who have made some of the greats in the genre is always going to help you out.  They obviously had the same epiphany.

I’d be happy if the snare was louder in the mix but that might just be me nitpicking.  It’s kind of a crustcore staple to have that gritty guitar super loud in the mix and drowning out the drums, but I think that snare could cut through a little bit and really dive home how killer this band is.  Either way, I’m glad Cult sent this one along to me as I now have a new d-beat/crustcore band to listen to.  With how much it’s grown on me in just a couple listens, I’m sure I’ll be liking this one even more by next week.

novarupta

Novarupta (Sweden) – Disillusioned Fire

https://suiciderecordsswe.bandcamp.com/album/disillusioned-fire

Release- April/29/19

Suicide Records

ARTWORK- 76

Uh, oh, this image gives off a vibe as though the words “Post” (something or other) might appear in its description. It actually looks similar to an image on a couple of shirts I own when I went through a brief not wearing metal shirts all the time phase. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued.

FIRST TRACK- 83

Sludge sensibilities, mammoth riffs and angst fueled vocals. And something… else. Wicked pace transformations and a malevolent nature, a lurking, as if there’s something on the horizon which might soon pounce (but only when it’s good and ready to do so). A brilliant start seething with monstrous weight which leaves me eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

With a different vocalist highlighted in every track (with talents heard in bands such as Entombed, Dark Tranquility and The Moth Gatherer, to name but a few), the third track boasts three guest throats, this album boasts a smorgasbord of identities. Hard to describe without listing a diatribe-esque list of styles which often intertwine and or tumble over each other (in a surprisingly controlled manner), easier to enjoy, the styles herein are varied (feel like I’ve mentioned that before now) yet passages of a grandiose nature run rampant alongside riffs which could topple Godzilla and bring even the most wicked of dictator to his knees. The atmosphere here is undeniable, often overpowering, and adds a priceless quality to the album’s depth and aura. This truly is an album one can get lost in and to think that it’s not normally of a genre I often frequent makes me ponder upon that which I might be missing out on. Call this post, blackened sludge, atmospheric, doom, call it what you will but be sure to give it the time of day and I’m sure you’ll agree it far surpasses that which most might assume when faced with a description utilizing said genres. Place this between the ears post haste!

Favorite Tracks; Pyroclastic Flows, Mare Tranquillitatis, Only the Dirt Will Know Our Graves.

FFO; vintage Katatonia, October Tide, Tool, Nuerosis, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost.

mix tape action

Scribbling like one possessed, but it’s still not fast enough, dammit!

This concludes the sites first foray into having invited guests take the reins. A huge thanks go out to all involved. If you wish to become featured in a future endeavor of the same type feel free to drop me a line. Otherwise, feel free to comment, share and spread the word as eye-opening, ear carnage audio is meant to be shared – #SupporttheScene

As always keep those ears open for audio which might normally be foreign to the senses.

Your slave to audio in many of its extreme forms,

Cult

Abrasive Audio…Best of Year Lists #3

sixintheheadzine

Taking a break from the monstrous endeavor which I’m referring to as divine punishment for listening to tunes which are decidedly not wholesome in nature, I’ve decided to post the last of the Year End Lists to roll into my email. ‘Lists’ which a pair of friends have pondered over for, much like myself, weeks. Admittedly, it’s a daunting task. Without further ado.

 

 

A few selections which have rocked Paul PMZ’s (@paul_pmz on Twitter) world
star devourer
Star Devourer
Contact

https://winterdynasty.bandcamp.com/album/contact

An album unlike anything I’ve ever heard, this falls into the category of, “Sci-Fi Black Metal”, which is a new one on me… A concept album that is as whacked-out f**king insane as it is compelling. Contact combines spacey (couldn’t think of a better word sorry) synths with KILLER vocals and guitars to achieve something utterly bonkers and utterly brilliant. A truly epic black metal space opera in the truest sense of the word.

Bitter Lake
New Branches on Old Trees

https://officialbitterlake.bandcamp.com/album/new-branches-on-old-trees

Before I joined Twitter again in Summer 2019, I got all my music from iTunes, Spotify and Boomkat. I didn’t really understand Bandcamp. I’d bought a few things on it in the past (a Gucci Mane album, a Perc album and the Minecraft soundtrack) but I wasn’t aware of the sheer amount of jaw-dropping talent waiting to be discovered there for just a few quid. This album is an example of the kind of jaw-dropping talent I’m referring to.

catafalque
Catafalque
Catafalque

https://catafalque.bandcamp.com/album/catafalque

I have a vivid memory of listening to this album drunk, pacing around a kitchen on my own at about two in the morning listening to it on headphones full blast. An overwhelming, crushing, grinding beast of an album. The eleven-something-minute second track is like being dragged into a piece of hellish machinery to your death in a way that is hugely enjoyable. Like most of the albums on my list, the people who made this deserve to be millionaires but they’re probably not. I have a feeling I’ve used that line before in something else I wrote for Cult… Anyway, I dunno. It’s a fucked up, unfair world and this is the perfect music for it.

Blood Incantation
Hidden History of the Human Race

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hidden-history-of-the-human-race

Why is this on my end of year list? Because it’s everything a death metal album should be. Everything about it is perfect. Also, it was on everybody else’s list and I just copied them.

Tomb Mold
Planetary Clairvoyance

https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/planetary-clairvoyance

Listen, I’m not like Cult or K-MaNriffs or all of you reading this who have an encyclopedic knowledge of metal and all of its sub genres and can go on about so-and-so plays a down-tuned this and Deep Purple recorded that in 1970-whatever. I just like f**king good music. And this is f**king good music and it deserves repeated listens. That’s all there is to it. That’s why it made my 2019 list.

wintercrown
Wintercrown
Northern Lights

https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/northern-lights

Everyone who knows me knows I love this album. Like, I really love it. And I feel honored to have interviewed Danthor from the band in the first issue of my zine SIX IN THE HEAD (working link elsewhere in this article). “Northern Lights” was very unfairly left off many ‘end of year’ lists but we won’t go into that… Simply put, this is perfection from start to finish and if you can’t recognize that I don’t know what to tell you.

Vastum
Orificial Purge

https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/orificial-purge

I put this on my list firstly because I like brutal death metal and this is most definitely that. And also, because the cover, album title and song titles remind me of Carcass and Carcass was one of the first bands I got into when I first started delving into extreme metal music. If you’re going to be brutal, then be brutal. Don’t half-ass it. Cut the ass off with a scalpel and stick a load of knives into it.

Texas Hippie Coalition
Texas Hippie Coalition
High in The Saddle

https://texashippiecoalition.bandcamp.com/album/high-in-the-saddle

Some people would call this a guilty pleasure but I don’t. It’s as simple as can be in about every possible way but the second I discovered it I wanted to put on a ten-gallon hat, grab a shotgun and drive my truck to the local bar and do bourbon shots with a load of chicks in “vest” tops who think that sort of behavior is perfectly acceptable. They can take this album when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

So those were my favorite “metal” albums of 2019. Follow me on Twitter @paul_pmz and download the launch issue of my tabletop gaming and music magazine SIX IN THE HEAD at https://sixintheheadzine.com/

Cheers.

fistful pof doom logo

Finally, here are a handful of releases (actually a ‘Top Ten’) which have caressed and molested the pleasure sensors of Fistful of Doom (@flatulentFuzz on Twitter) for the past couple of months.

No need to read up on thoughts on any of these, just dive right in.

KUBLAI KHAN- ABSOLUTE

https://open.spotify.com/album/6klYyVkzntFBjJch93UB6y

GROND/GRACELESS- ENDLESS SPIRAL OF TERROR

http://rawskullrecordz.bandcamp.com/album/grond-graceless-endless-spiral-of-terror-rsr-036

tort void addiction
TORT- VOID ADDICTION

http://discosmacarras.bandcamp.com/album/void-addiction

THE HANDS RESIST HIM- STONE HANDS

http://thehandsresisthim.bandcamp.com/album/stone-hands

RED BEARD WALL – THE FIGHT NEEDS US ALL

http://redbeardwall.bandcamp.com/album/the-fight-needs-us-all

do astral death cult
DO- ASTRAL DEATH CULT

http://doofficial666.bandcamp.com/album/astral-death-cult

CYCLES OF THE DAMNED- A TIME TO SURVIVE

http://cyclesofthedamned.bandcamp.com/album/a-time-to-survive

OGRE- THRICE AS STRONG

http://ogrereal.bandcamp.com/album/thrice-as-strong

SIFTING- THE INFINITE LOOP

https://open.spotify.com/album/20uNba0tEcRPrXjYwqAPKJ

HOUND THE WOLVES/GLASGHOTE- HOUND THE WOLVES/GLASGHOTE SPLIT

http://monochord-records.bandcamp.com/album/hound-the-wolves-glasghote-split

But let us not forget the link to the ‘Fistful of Doom’ show which deserves attention (apparently he likes bacon).

https://www.mixcloud.com/jameymorris/

That’s it. Thanks to all involved, in this and past lists. And to those who I’ve interacted with throughout the year. I’ve made a few friends and probably pissed of a great deal more with my inane questions and intolerable personality. Here’s hoping this, and the lists before it, introduced new acts and albums which might otherwise have been ‘ignored’ (for want of a better term).

Animal - music is meant for sharing

After all brilliant audio is meant for sharing, new genres to be explored no matter how scary they might initially seem. And this is a community. #SupporttheScene.

Here’s to another fantastic, mind-blowing, 365 days, unless it’s a leap year then I guess Hallmark will be rolling out a new line of movies for my wife to lose herself in.

Cult