Posts Tagged ‘Grindcore’

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 Part Five

black metal gif

And its time for yet another instalment in the ongoing series which explores the spectrum of Extreme Audio showcasing releases both fresh and not so much (obviously this would have been the ideal place to add “rotting” but I felt it cliched so left it out). This installment is shorter than most due to other duties I’ve put off until the very last moment but have demanded completion. Without further ado I present a few releases which I consider worthy of praise.

February Releases

primeval mass nine altars

Primeval Mass (Greece) – Nine Altars

https://primevalmass.bandcamp.com/album/nine-altars

Release – February/21/2020

Katoptron IX Records

ARTWORK- 90

There’s certainly something sinister going on here. An altar, or nine, human debris and plenty of skulls. I’m left wondering though what or whom is he/she hoping to invoke?

FIRST TRACK- 92

Grin inducing silly paced riffs, mischievous rhythms, passionate solos, an undeniable diabolicalism (that’s a word now!) and a venom dripping vocal approach. Every blackened speed metal fan’s wettest dream come to fruition. Now, where are my wet wipes?

INITIAL LISTEN- 91

One moment you’re being dragged through murky blackened speed waters, the next crystal clean on the back of a vehicle propelled by a fuel garnered from the finest Maiden esque rhythms and solos. And then, when you start to feel comfortable, a chaotic narrative takes ahold, technicality in a blender, and whips you around to the point of utter disorientation. And then… Well I’m not gonna ruin it, apart from to say that the fourteen-minute closer will leave the listener panting for more. Black, Power, Speed, hypnotic atmosphere it’s all here but molded in such a way to keep the entire collective grinning with the digits poised on the repeat button. Expect to see this mentioned a great deal more (based on unmitigated reasoning) as Year End approaches.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers frequent stings (in this instance, and the purpose of this analogy, a good thing) much like I would imagine an unwanted caress of the “hair” of Medusa. “Fuckn’ ouch! But it stramgely felt good, I think I’m gonna do it again!”

FFO; Hellripper, Wraith, Inculter, Hellish.

asarhaddon

Asarhaddon (Germany) – Reysa

https://geisterasche.bandcamp.com/album/reysa

Release- February/29/2020

Geistarasche Organisation

ARTWORK- 85

Those poor birds. I’m guessing they were in the wrong place at the wrong time but at least now they won’t be cursed anymore for spreading discontent through aerial fecal assaults.

FIRST TRACK- 90

Grandiose yet majestic, ferocious yet atmospheric. A wicked concoction of styles here resulting in audio which is downright mesmeric and (it gets better yet) it’s topped off with my weakness (in the extreme audio world); feral female “vokills”. A fantastic start. I’m all ears!!

INITIAL LISTEN- 91

I have a weakness for female “throats” (hopefully that doesn’t sound wrong, though it might sound “funny”) and thankfully this wasn’t promoted as that, else it receive/garner special attention based on that factor alone. As honestly this deserves attention based on its caliber. It delivers! Riffs are melodic yet harsh and the lyrics although in German (?), delivered in a feral approach, add an enigmatic archaic quality which elevates this to another level entirely. In part it reminds me of vintage Katatonia, Dissection while also boasting numerous other elements from across the blackened spectrum, including passages of what could be described as “post” sporting surprisingly hypnotic rhythms. Doom is present as well plenty of atmosphere making this at times menacing, often ferocious and thoroughly ominous. The production is clean though there still remains a primal edge to the audio’s composition to sate those with more the “traditional” yearnings. Overall a stunning release with a quality I wasn’t expecting in the slightest. This is black metal I, truthfully a newbie to the scene, can subscribe to!

Favorite Tracks; This delivers throughout!

FFO; vintage Katatonia, Dissection, (Columbia’s) Lucifera, Mist of Misery, newer Satyricon.

March Releases

nexorum

Nexorum (Norway) – Death Unchained

https://non-serviam-records.bandcamp.com/album/death-unchained

Release- March/6/2020

Non -Serviam Records

ARTWORK- 86

A nest of snakes cradles a bronzed skull.

Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the details and colors which makes this image pop.

FIRST TRACK- 77

Grandiose riffs, groove and a touch of darkness. This is undeniably Blackened Death shot through with veins of melody and mischief. A utilized sound bite seems to be, at first, an odd touch though soon feels more comfortable as the track wears on. An intriguing start.

INITIAL LISTEN- 83

Undeniable dirge, ala Bolt Thrower, drives this beast. A creature with a blackened soul spawned from the melding of many minds and influence. This is sure to please many this showcases a style whose radius covers both Death and Blackened arenas with a splash of Thrash and diabolical nature tossed in for effect. And it works; the atmosphere is superb and the overall feel isn’t one that depends on keyboards and reeks of over-dramatic/anti-Christian silliness. Overall this is a fantastic debut sure to whet the appetite of those with a penchant for a style that’s neither Death or Black but both drenched in top notch archaic qualities.

Favorite Tracks; Saligia Moralis Codice, Antidiluvian Purification, The Luciferian Descent.

FFO; Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Abysmal Dawn, Bolt Thrower, Septic Flesh, Noctem.

medium (argentina)

Medium (Argentina) – s/t

https://mediumgrind.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-grindcore-crust

Release – March/6/2020

Transcending Obscurity Records

ARTWORK- 78

Blunt, somewhat simple though at the same time hypnotic, but eye-catching.

Is this the Sun, the Moon, an eyeball? Or a combination of all three? A stunning image which hints at perhaps multi layers of audio for the listener to lose themselves in. However, this gives absolutely zero away in relation to the type or style of content within.

FIRST TRACK- 90

Whoa, just whoa! This is a wicked mash- up of genres bound together by angst fueled vocals, rhythm and a Grindcore/Crust undercurrent which isn’t at all overwhelming but is utterly present. A fantastic start for those who haven’t yet taken the plunge to fully immerse themselves in any one extreme genre.

INITIAL LISTEN- 89

Under twenty minutes in length and boasting seven tracks, this certainly has a Grindcore/Crust aura to it, although it’s admittedly longer than most it still delivers all the aggression one would assume. But wait, there’s more. Each track boasts its own identity, though not so wildly as to make this a release that hurtles without care toward Avant Garde territories. This is carefully constructed, meticulously crafted with plentiful nods to a wide radius of genres without over-saturation of any one in particular. In instances “Medium” yields a comfortable, hardly brutal approach while in others it displays a more in your face assault all the while rooted upon a dark foundation which only adds to the albums appeal. Not to fret however as this isn’t too different, or experimental as to be foreign, it’s strangely familiar in fact and will most definitely appeal to those with a wide array of audio interests, one might even call this a pallet cleanser of a type for those not fully committed to stepping away completely from their extreme audio realm of choice. Prepare the body for movement for this will yank you around like a marionette at the whims of a drunken puppeteer.

Favorite Tracks; Incites an immovable grin throughout its length. There’s not a dull moment to be found here.

FFO; Illivilja, NoMas and a plethora of acts who experiment with the boundaries of Grindcore and Crust.

holiday drumming animal

Bang the drum, bang the drum, bang the drum and keep a happy face

And much like something frustratingly short this is done, and I’m heading back to other duties which collectively leer at me, impatiently, from across the room. Until next time, don’t fear discovery of that which would normally be foreign to the ears,

Cult

Abrasive Audio – Musing for a Minute on Metal (part the third)

stopwatch

 Musing for a Minute on Metal (part three)

 What say we try this again? Yet another foray, an experiment of sorts, which might, or might not, prove that one can base an opinion on an album upon a single minute of immersing oneself in the audio it offers. But it’s not quite as simple as all that! In this instance we, I say “we” as I have a co-conspirator in this exciting endeavor, will dissect not only the initial track (only the first minute, that’s what makes this so exciting) but also two others (there’s seriously no science to this) deeper within the release. That and differing opinions, as there are two of us and we aren’t joined at the waist (or any other appendage, to set the record straight) or have any reason to venomously agree on everything, should give more a complete impression of what an initial listen (or the first minute of a trio of tracks) will offer.

Without further ado I’d like to introduce this segments third entrant (or that which I commonly refer to as “victim”).

Jig-Ai – Entrails Tsunami

https://jig-ai.bandcamp.com/album/entrails-tsunami

(Czechia)

Release – July/3/2019

Bizarre Leprous Production

Jig -Ai

 It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to the realization that this release could have been designed especially for this exact purpose. The first track runs roughly a minute in length (as do a number of others if one is taking notes) so what say we place this intriguingly titled release between the ears.

But not before, however, a customary few words on that which adorns the audio package itself.

The image is exactly that which might come to mind if hearing the term ‘entrails tsunami’. Gruesome, but of course, and exquisitely depicted the imagery includes many a form writhing in agony as the suffocating crimson wave crashes against an undisclosed Japanese shoreline. But the question remains is this anything compared to what Godzilla must secrete daily. Have you ever wondered where that ends up? Do you ever purchase spring water from Japan? I would think twice before doing so again.

“Hey shopkeep, this has floaties in it. They glow a violent green and they’re winking at me.”

I have designed an especially devious rating system, somewhat like that seen in the Attack of the Compilation series but different, for occasions such as this;

the one minute review confused header

Huh?

Worst/Avoid this like the proverbial plague – I’d rather spin a vintage Judas Priest album backwards in an insane asylum but not before letting the inmates loose and arming them with bendy straws and plastic sporks.

Ugh – This is like that one jug of milk in the fridge which you can’t for the life of you decide whether it has an odor or not (the date is indecipherable), it’s best not to drink it and you won’t if you have an alternate nearby.

Has Potential – There’s a certain something which elevates this above ignorable. It’s not great but, with a little work, future efforts could well be. “Mmm, suck you do not. Potential you have” in my finest Yoda voice (which isn’t that good).

Impressive – There’s no doubt about it, like a train full of hardened criminals (rapists, murderers, politicians) careening off the tracks into the gaping maw of a smoldering volcano, this is going places (whatever that means!)

Fuck me, this is Good! – Like finding a $50 note on the ground, stop what you’re doing and grab that shit, before it’s gone!

 The First Track; “Fujiculate”

drew infared avi

Drew’s Thoughts – The first thing to grab me in this offering is the cover. From a quick “scroll glance” it almost looks some twisted pile of SpaghettiOs. “Is this one of the rejected covers from The Spaghetti Incident?” I ask myself.  On further (and much closer) inspection, I quickly realize those are bodies and entrails. And lots of them. Almost a “Tsunami” of them, if you will. Say what you want about this cover, but the band certainly delivers on a promise.  And with an album titled “Entrails Tsunmai” I’m left only to speculate on what musical adventure awaits. Will it be a mix of country love ballads? Or perhaps some Jay-Z/Kardashian side project? Or will this be straight up metal brutality? I’m leaning heavily towards the latter.

Let me say in the interest of full disclosure that I am not the biggest grindcore fan. But I can appreciate the effort dedicated to such speed and tempo changes and will be judging solely on those premises. And the opening track “Fujiculate” comes at you and comes at you hard (pun kind of intended.)

Normally with this “one minute” endeavor, you find yourself struggling to get a real grasp of what’s in store.  By the time your average metal opener is done with the howling wind effects and slow-building guitar crunches, a minute is long gone leaving you with no clue what kind of actual music awaits. This certainly isn’t the case here. In fact, in a new twist that almost spits in the face of this effort, the opening track is actually less than a minute. In true and brutal grindcore form, this tops out at a nice 55 seconds. 55 seconds of pure, unadulterated speed. Definitely something that “Has Potential”.

 Cult’s Thoughts – As one might assume the audio gets right down to business. The drumbeat is akin to a ninja slicing up an enemy in wicked fast fashion and the vocals are varied; a hybrid of what sounds an abruptly awakened bear might make if poked in the rectum by a sharp stick accompanied by howls, shrieks and burps. However, with that in mind there are actual lyrics one might/will most definitely struggle to make out (one might comment this is a trademark of the genre to which I’d agree). Rhythm shifts, surges and an unrelenting inhumanely precise skin-pounding tattoo approach drive the track and its raw production values keep it from the ain’t I cool/poser “I like grindcore” territory. An undeniable injection of groove ups the intrigue ante some. In short, this is brutal, unforgiving and blunt much the same as a cement block to the forehead. I’m stamping this with “Has Potential”.

Drew’s pick – Boobzilla (track six)

I picked “Boobzilla” because it has the word “Boob” and I’m perpetually 12.

It’s fast. It starts out fast and then gets faster. This style of music is generally great if you just want to punch the shit out of a wall or kick your neighbor, and “Boobzilla” well definitely help in that regard. As for the lyrics? No clue. There could be a reference to tits. There could also be a recipe for peanut butter blondies for all I know. This kind of music isn’t exactly world-renowned for its discernible vocals and it doesn’t really need to be. It’s about energy and aggression and you won’t have trouble finding any of that here.

I stick with my same rating of “Has Potential” only with my previously stated disclaimer that it’s not my preferred genre of sound. Don’t love it but don’t hate it. But if you’re the type that can’t get enough grind, then there’s plenty to be had here and I have a feeling based on these last two minutes that you won’t be disappointed.

 Cult’s pick – Certificate of Perversity (track sixteen)

This track opens boasting much the same effect as placing one’s face into a blast furnace (an action which obviously isn’t recommended, even in the most excitable of circumstances). As it progresses it’s pace builds to become reminiscent of vintage Napalm Death output (though not quite back as far as the Lee Dorrian era) with numerous tempo and timing shifts albeit still showcasing the grindcore motif and pissed off (just awakened by a sharp stick in the rectum) formidable woodland creature vocals. In short this is grindcore which is both ‘abrasive’ and humorous though wouldn’t appeal to one whom has little knowledge/experience of the genre.

As I’m submerging myself more and more (this reviewing one minute of audio lark isn’t quite as easy as one might assume) it’s becoming more and more pleasing to the senses (“tolerable” probably isn’t the right word!) With this in mind I’m stamping this with the “Has Potential” label leaning heavily towards Impressive, which I’m sure it will be once I lift these one-minute parameters.

excited animal gif

Grindcore, grindcore, GRINDCORE!!!!

Well, there you have it. Another exercise in futility. We might not arrive tat concrete conclusions with these short and sweet assessments, but this is fun and I’m sure another will grace this space in the near future. My thanks go out to Drew for his patience and willingness to open, or even read, my constant badgering emails and for his humoring me by even replying.

Until next my inane scribbles grace your retinas.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – Part Nineteen (late July 2019)

head explosion cavity colors

 

Part nineteen, are you serious? And there’s, most, probably more to come. I’m adding “For Fans Of” (for those who need something similar to relate to) and I’m also trying something new with the ratings system. Why? Because, occasionally, I like a little change, I like bigger numbers 1 – 100 (without getting silly I won’t go higher, although ‘out of 666’ is tempting, it’s already been extensively covered) which I believe will give a more ‘precise’ rating (whatever that means!) Only one question remains; was there enough use of parentheses in the last couple of sentences?

Onwards, the flow of metal doesn’t stop and there’s seemingly no end in sight.

disowning human cattle

Disowning -Human Cattle
(France/Canada)
Release – July/12/2019
Xenokorp
https://xenokorp.bandcamp.com/album/human-cattle
ARTWORK – 78

This is Invasion of the Body Snatchers type schiite right here. I’m only wondering if this is for clone, Intergalactic takeover purposes, or for a seemingly limitless source of nutrition (…” a taste sensation to sweep the galaxy”. Extra points if you can tell me which movie this is from) An ethereal glow gives the image outstanding ominous qualities.

FIRST TRACK – 86

Straight into the brutality from the very first. But this is controlled chaos. Light-years from mere noise this is tight with influence coming from a multitude of familiar directions, styles which are excellently handled, transformed then twisted into an audio concoction which garners immediate attention as it graces the senses. An excellent commencement. I’m excited and eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 92

A myriad concoction of styles assaults the listener herein but most dominantly influence channeled by way of Morbid Angel, Abysmal Dawn (what happened to those guys?) and Cannibal Corpse. Add a splash of technical expertise, undeniably excellent production and the album offers ten tracks any fan of the genre can readily consume without complaint and each with their own identity. Rhythms are mostly mid-tempo though slathered in ominous, diabolic, qualities. Leads and abrupt dynamic pace shifts take the music to another level, far from mere chuggery ville. Add vocals which fit perfectly and the album rockets into unforgettable realms, obviously the style has been captured before but it must be stated that this an exquisite representation. To say that the audio here is tight is an understatement, not a sequence, note or passage seems out of place. The album begs to be played again and again. Jump on this at your next earliest convenience!

Favorite Tracks; Battle of Neverness, Another Piece in my Collection, The Serpent of Chaos, Alone on This Dark Path, The Storm Before the Storm.

FFO; Incantation, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Deeds of Flesh, Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Abysmal Dawn.

sadokist

Sadokist -Necrodual Dimension Funeral Storms
(Finland)
Release – August/30/2019
Hell’s Headbangers Records
https://sadokist-finland.bandcamp.com/album/necrodual-dimension-funeral-storms
ARTWORK – 78

Gloriously old school and gruesome. Lots of crimson and the carnage ritual vibe leads me to believe this isn’t going to be radio friendly in the slightest.

FIRST TRACK – 76

The album’s introduction is eerie, atmospheric and dense, it concludes and the listener plummets unceremoniously into audio that’s somewhat unexpected, especially based on the introduction, this isn’t death metal. But instead a raw speed metal attack heralded by snarling black metal vocals. There’s no hiding the fact that this oozes with a vintage aura albeit one that’s chaotic and compiled from a slew of varying sources. Riffs traipse over each other, nodding to a slew of influence pulled from the speed, thrash and vintage black arena, all aided by a symphonic keyboard accompaniment which remains in the background. An interesting start which promises familiarity yet also a certain air of mystery.

INITIAL LISTEN – 82

Dizzying frenzied riff salvos draped in a diabolical shroud are displayed under a primitive production banner. But don’t let this fool you as this is intricate and (somewhat) multi-layered with undeniable homage front and center crowned by an energy and exuberance one might not have initially expected. Certainly not for everyone but for those who enjoy a spot of primitive audio bordering on chaotic bestial/thrash/black metal this should come very close to hitting the spot.

Favorite Tracks; Enter the Devil, Driven by Disgust, Beater of Children of God, I Will Fuck Tonight.

FFO; early Bathory, vintage Slayer.

funeral storm

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries
(Greece)
Release -May/31/2019
Hell’s Headbangers Records
https://funeralstormgreece.bandcamp.com/album/arcane-mysteries
ARTWORK – 78

Alright, alright. Which one of you gits threw the ‘breaker’. Damn it! It’s the most important Twister competition since the dawn of time, it’s my turn and I can’t see the bloody mat now. Mark my words next time there will be no pizza rolls, popcorn or Kool-Aid.

FIRST TRACK – 92

A synth, heavy ritualistic drum laden introduction complete with ominous spoken word passages opens this album and leads into infectious, melodious, rhythms oozing with atmosphere and an undeniable Gothic nature ala Rotting Christ. Enunciated vocals, rare in the genre, add to the overall depth and enjoyment of the track. I’m excited for what’s to follow this is a fantastic start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

Somewhere between early Moonspell and Rotting Christ with applaudable ‘dungeon’ synth tossed in. The whole affair is steeped in atmosphere accompanied with a deliberate, precise, vocal delivery which only elevates the already exemplary Gothic aura. Melodies are enchanting, hardly brutal, hypnotic swift paced riff assaults, think Rotting Christ. Elements of folk, doom and synth interludes aided by a commendable production result in this overflowing with atmosphere far from the normal rawness that a typical black metal affair might offer, spoken word passages add depth to the already considerable audio narrative. All in all, this is a damn sight better than I was expecting and has a great deal to offer even a casual fan to the scene.

Favorite Tracks; Ego Sum Filius Draconis, The Martyr of the Lake, Necromancer (both pts.), Origins of Utter Evil, Flowers of my Youth.

FFO: Moonspell, Rotting Christ.

vomit angel

Vomit Angel – Imprint of Extinction
(Denmark)
Release – July/19/2019
Iron Bonehead Productions
https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/track/vomit-angel
ARTWORK – 74

An intriguing image, I know not what it is although I’ll take a wild guess and say a collective of maggots frolicking in technicolor vomit against ancient imagery on a cave wall. Yum!

FIRST TRACK – 70

There’s no doubt what the listener is about to get into with the introduction alone; a soundbite which seems as though it’s been torn from a Human Centipede type celluloid affair if the participants had knifes and tussled in what sounds like slop. “Concussion”, the next up, is vintage Napalm Death in nature (under a minute in length) and displays the bands style as bass and drum driven primitive, raw, simplistic, grotesque, yet fun, crust grindcore with zero family values.

INITIAL LISTEN – 66

One can and will have fun with this recording especially more so if their sense of comedy is gutter deep and jaded, and depraved and deplorable are the words most frequently used to describe their audio of choice. In short, this is raw audio (albeit with groove) with barks, grunts and guttural vox, surprisingly sans bree-bree-brees, to match. For some this might be a tad too much. Case in point two tracks concentrate on bodily functions (everyone poops, and vomits. Wait wha-?) and are unflinching in their audio depiction of such. You have been warned!!

Favorite Tracks; Hobo in the Woods, U.S.G, Petard, Freezing to Death.

Sempiternal Dusk

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation
(USA)
Release – September/27/2019
Dark Descent Records
Clawhammer PR
https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cenotaph-of-defectuous-creation-2
ARTWORK – 87

Well, apparently, I get to mention the same depraved film franchise yet again in this installment. The similarities to this image and the Human Centipede films (although with a deviant H.R Geiger touch) are undeniable yet this also seethes with an ancient diabolical nature as well a smorgasbord of details one might need more than a few moments to fully digest (Yuck! That was a silly attempt at a pun).

FIRST TRACK – 93

Like an abrupt plummet into the yawning abyss, only to grab a handhold (of something as if to gain purchase in hopes to clambers upward). Hope sparks then you look at your dangling feet only to see that something is leering beneath you. Its advance permeates menace, an unhurried approach resulting in every second transpiring into deeper depths of palpable tension. This is something like this. Excellent texture and fantastic build-up bode extremely well for the remainder of what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

Catacomb-esque mid-tempo rhythms with subtle nuance and oodles of archaic, cinematic quality, atmosphere in the form of an unmerciful steamroller assault. Suffocating audio with a slight funeral doom aura, dense yet also flirting with a blackened vibe, a myriad of tempo and time changes under epic skies offers the listener plenty to chew upon, though a second listen might be required to pick out that which might have been missed upon initial submergement. Highly Reccd!

Favorite Tracks; Excavated Filth from Dimensional, Orgiastic Feast Upon Martyred Flesh, Spears of Pestilence.

FFO; Nile, Incantation, vintage Bolt Thrower, Tomb Mold and Cthelist.

ribspreader

Ribspreader – Crawl and Slither
(Sweden)
Release – June/6/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/crawl-and-slither
ARTWORK – 73

Over-sized parasites, or what I can only assume are such, (perhaps alien entities with a Geiger esque slant) look lovingly upon a form’s open veins. Is it feasting time, or are they confused as to the whereabouts of a Band Aid which might stop the life ebbing flow of claret?

FIRST TRACK – 82

Straight into the riffage with zero preamble. Make no bones about it this is Stockholm influenced buzz saw audio although this has accompanying slight groove, (more than most) and Rogga’s trademark vocal attack, which makes it especially eye opening. A great start with a style that makes me ponder on how this may be different than every other Entombed/Dismember influenced outing currently on the market.

INITIAL LISTEN – 74

Although this offers very little in terms of a ground-breaking approach to the scene it’s still delivers that which fans would hope, for an outing in this genre and the quality one would assume based on the association with the names within the band, and is a great example of the style to place between the ears. In short, this is mid-paced death brimming with an air of familiarity, which doesn’t disappoint, to get the listener moving. No qualms here apart from it realy isn;’t anything which hasn’t been done before. This is another safe entry in the genre.

Favorite Tracks; Breeder of the Dead, Horrid Ascension, Dead Reign Rotten, Times Heal Only Flesh, Blodarsjuk.

FFO; Vomitory, The Grotesquery, Revolting, Entombed, Dismember, LIK, Master.

That’s about it for another installment, I’m attempting to keep these compact, short and sweet.

Until our paths of audio interest cross again,

Cult

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses Part Seventeen

head explosion cavity colors

It’s been a while folks. Please excuse the absence. The kids are in town, it’s the summer holidays, so admittedly my attention is divided. Alas, the word of metal must be spread so I find myself making time (stealing it if you will just like those vertically challenged folks from Time Bandits) in order to preach on my most recent of stellar audio procurements.

 

 

 

Freighter – the Den
freighter the den
(USA)
Release – July/12/2019
Self-Released
Dewar PR
https://freighter.bandcamp.com/album/the-den
ARTWORK – 7.5

A secluded shack/cabin (that really doesn’t look like so) surrounded by a copse (like that word!) of trees with a Post It (trademark name right there) note attached to the image. There’s something going on here folks and this art really doesn’t give much away in regards to that which might grace the ears when the PLAY button is pressed. Regardless I’m intrigued.

FIRST TRACK – 8

Hard to describe, even harder not to instantly like. There’s truly something unique and utterly mesmerizing about the style, or rather the mixture of styles here. To be honest I was thinking I was about to be introduced to college rock of sorts but this threw for a complete loop. The lyrics are comic book-esque and fantastical in their scope with a style that’s somewhat comical and the audio is a hodge-podge of styles which are familiar yet hard to instantly place. Riffs here and there leer at the listener with an air of arrogance as if to say I dare you to pair me with an act, track and album. I dare you to tackle the quest. I’ll try my damndest to do so as I let the remainder of this album frolic between my ears.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Like the result of a head on collision between coaches leaving a musical festival of sorts transporting SOD, Mr Bungle, Polkadot Cadaver, Meshuggsh, Gojira and SOAD with a sprinkle of Mike Patton creative genius and the experimental madness of Crotch Duster the audio here is rather hard to effectively define though incorporates elements of punk, alternative, nu-metal, djent, thrash/hardcore crossover and a slew which haven’t even been truly defined yet. Varied and assorted vocal styles bring to mind Billy Milano (“Bigger Than the Devil” era SOD), Serj Tankian (SOAD) added to by a plethora of growls, grunts and bellowed passages. Get ready, though truly nothing can really prepare you as this is an orgy of audio which is wild, frenetic, dynamic, unpredictable, often chaotic but always a truck load, a freighter full (to coin a phrase) of fun which one will only want to repeat again and again. Suffice it to say one will need a rather large notebook, a whole lot of time on their hands and an encyclopedic knowledge of metal, rock and similar genres to even begin to tackle the quest set forth.

Favorite Tracks; Future Duke, Hot Car Death Dad, King Pigeon, Harbor of Dieppe.

Don’t sleep on this album as you will hear a great deal upon it following its release.

dogbane

Dogbane – Idylls of Woe
(USA)
Release – July/19/2019
Heaven and Hell Records
Clawhammer PR
https://dogbane1.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 7

A tad simplistic. A dog’s skull and a barbed wire crown. This really doesn’t do much for me, it feels more like a sticker, perhaps the music will…?

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

The audio’s tone instantly struck me. A definite late 70’s, early 80’s feel with a style to match. This is traditional heavy metal with a heaping helping of doom accompanied by clean vocals. Melodious and vintage in aura I have a feeling this is going to garner a great deal of attention.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8

Think early Iron Maiden, Candlemass with carefully woven Paradise Lost melodies, soaring leads and song structures all ingredients that combined will alight a grin on any traditional metal fans visage. Paired with passionate/dramatic (love them or hate them) traditional vocals this is a treat for those who welcome the resurgence of traditional heavy metal with open arms.

Add to the album an introduction (“Blood in the Snow”) that’s reminiscent of “Fast as a Shark” by Accept minus the yodeling and riffs which recall the earliest of Rainbow (With Dio) material and you have all the makings of audio which will delight while making the listener reminisce upon albums they should most probably save from the ravages of being lost to merely memory alone.

Favorite Tracks; Blood in the Snow, Land of Shadows, Sin Eater.

anticosm call of the void

Anticosm The Call of the Void
(USA)
Release – August/16/2019
Hell Kill Destroy Records
Clawhammer PR
https://anticosm.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 8

Quite the dramatic departure from their last efforts art (which depicted the band traversing a lava field in heavy machinery with their logo emblazoned upon its blade) This is more an exercise in optical illusion territory an approach which hopefully doesn’t turn/drive long-time fans away. Am I to expect audio of an experimental nature, only one way to know for sure…?

FIRST TRACK – 9

Undeniable is that Anticosm have significant chops in the rhythm department. This track encompasses atmosphere and blackened values whilst also offering riffs which produce instant appreciation. For some reason this track also puts me in mind of Atheist output lyrically not so much technically although this track is miles from mere ‘chuggery’. A fantastic commencement and introduction to the album and the band.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Dynamic, ever evolving, melodic, passionate and draped in atmosphere yet miles from what could be termed traditional, both in rhythm and vocal departments. This is thrash (bordering on death) and shrouded in traditional heavy metal values (especially the albums final track, “Never Enough” which showcases inciteful melodies with undeniably more a ‘rock n roll’ leaning) with a decidedly darker approach and it works, tainted by melodic black nuances this is sure to appeal to a wide audience. And for those who aren’t quite wiling to fully immerse themselves fully in any one genre this is great location to start a life-long exploration drenched with realms of amazement and wonder which is guaranteed to set the senses on fire.

Favorite Tracks; Viral, Scorched Earth, Call of the Void, Never Enough.

pestis inferos

Pestis Inferos – Beyond the Veil of Light (EP)
(USA)
Release – June/24/2019
Self – Release
Clawhammer PR
https://pestisinferos.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-veil-of-light
ARTWORK – 7.5

It took me a while for me to understand, or gather an assumption as to what, might be going on here. I believe angelic forces are taunting earth bound spirits as Eve (?) in all her uncovered glory (she’s nekkid!) looks on somewhat amused. Archaic somewhat primitive black and white imagery which doesn’t give much away as to the audio within, although I’m of the believe that this isn’t going to be traditional heavy metal in the slightest but something ‘slightly’ darker in tone.

FIRST TRACK – 9

Clear production bolsters a style which is firmly staked in the blackened death arena, albeit with an added gothic aura (by way of the tracks introduction). Furious drumming, of the somewhat technical variety (think Misery Index), stands out in the mix, rhythms which are sure to make one want to move as well the riffage which is somewhat Morbid Angel in nature though drip with wicked intent of the blackened variety. Traditional ‘clawing at the air’, snarling, black vocals add to the mix making for a track which has my attention and bodes extremely well for the remainder of this release.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Chock full of majesty, fury and an overall style which borders on black metal meets punk meets death meets speed metal (what a mouthful) with oodles of atmosphere tossed in for effect this is sure to drum up some attention (I’m surprised it hasn’t yet!) The black element is front and foremost here and though this is far from primitive in its production it still drips with an archaic nature and familiarity fans (can and will instantly fall ass over tits for) which only adds to the overall listening pleasure. On a personal note it’s the drum sound and style in the mix which makes me a salivating fool who hits the repeat button like a hopeless addict.

Don’t miss out on this!

Favorite Tracks; From Throne to Funeral, Invoking the Sigil, Poison Falling Star.

VHS were gonna need some bigger riffs album

VHS – We’re gonna Need Sime Bigger Riffs
(Canada)
Release – July/26/2019
Rotten Roll Rex (CD) Horror Pain Gore Death (Digital)
Anubi Press
https://vhshorror.bandcamp.com/album/were-gonna-need-some-bigger-riffs
ARTWORK – 8.5

Fun, and obviously a tongue in cheek nod to everyone’s favorite prehistoric California beach terrorizing, boat chomping, Spielberg creation complete with other iconic imagery which evoke the 80’s. I’m sold! (Did I mention I’ve been following these guys since their first release?)

FIRST TRACK – 8

A whole sixteen seconds dedicated to a nonsensical scene in a Fulci classic like only theses guys can pull off! I don’t believe anyone’s going to argue this album’s track list proves this to be a release firmly rooted in grindcore values, VHS are known for the style. This, folks is going to be a bumpy ride. But you can forget the seatbelts, it’s more fun that way!

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Leaping from the more traditional into more murkier depths finds VHS concentrating more on sea creatures (Jaws, Lake Placid, etc.) and the carnage they often evoke rather than land-bound knife wielding maniacs and the like. Another change comes in the form of a number of tracks lasting more than a single minute. Truthfully the bands style truly hasn’t evolved much since their earlier output. If anything, it’s been polished some, but thankfully not too much. Grindcore is the audio foundation and still frolics, cavorts and playfully teases a number of other genres to great effect. Punk is front and center also as too is undeniable humor (which could well be called “splatstick” if this were the celluloid equivalent) that’s difficult not to appreciate, obviously this style, and the bands output, would look rather silly without it being present. The production is still a tad muddy but it fits the style perfectly and I don’t believe the fans would want it any other way. I certainly wouldn’t! I’m excited for where the band will turn their attentions to next, perhaps the unfathomable vast expanse of space?

Favorite Tracks; Voracious and Violent, An Old Lady and her Crocodile, Death and Carnage, From the Murky Depths, Marine Monstrosity.

 This installment is a tad shorter than normal (it’s cold here what can I say?) my apologies though I did manage to sneak in some audio which I deemed deserved of attention in the time I’ve managed to put aside. Now back to chores, the demanding brats and gardening. Summer, how I loathe thee.
Until our paths of audio interest intersect again,
Cult

The Eldritch Truth Interview

(Would the “Great Old Ones”, and/or the” Elder Things” approve?)
The Eldritch Truth album art

Release date May/17/2019

 I recently had the pleasure of being able to listen to, and put a few words upon, a release which is drastically different than what could be considered a normal run-of-the-mill extreme audio affair. Sanguinary Origins is an EP consisting of only two tracks and runs barely eight minutes in length. Eight minutes? One might ponder; that’s hardly enough time to whet the appetite. And that’s where one would be wrong. That amount of time is more than sufficient to leave the listener dazed, disoriented and flummoxed (what a wonderful word!) I’ve attempted (in my own words) to describe what can only be experienced when hitting PLAY; “A kaleidoscope of styles assaults the listener instantly inciting disorientation, discombobulation, a state leading to madness I would only predict following a slew of repeated listens.” But mere words alone cannot come close to what the audio offers. What better way then, than to delve into the minds of those responsible to get a better understanding of the audio, of what it is they hope to achieve, and what the future might bring.

Let’s start things off;

Tell us a little about yourselves and how The Eldritch Truth came to be?

The Eldritch Truth consists of myself (Caleb Johnson, Guitar player/Bass/Drum & Synth programming) and Justin Cook who handles all lyric writing and vocals. I had a previous project that was moving too slow for my liking, so I took it upon myself to start something new. I whipped up a 20 second clip to share and posted in a couple Facebook groups looking for a vocalist. Justin was one of the first to comment and seemed super enthusiastic and we hit off immediately and have been 100% on the same page ever since.

(Justin Cook- vocals, lyrics): I’ve always been a huge fan of the most extreme styles of metal. I used to do throat percussion for a band when I was younger. I eventually went full-time into the cannabis industry and didn’t make music for ~10 years. The urge to create had gotten to a boiling point a few months back. I found Caleb’s post on FB and liked the sound immediately!

Lovecraft by Hartman

Lovecraft by Hartman

 

Why the fascination with all manner of things Lovecraftian in tone?

(Caleb): This one is hard to put in to words. I loved Lovecraft before I even knew who he was. The concept of extra dimensional cosmic horrors living in the same space as us but beyond our mortal sights intrigued me. Though I should mention the music is also very inspired by Bloodborne the video game which itself is heavily inspired from the works of Lovecraft.

(JC): I am an avid reader, and Lovecraft was among my favorites, so when Caleb presented the theme, I was excited to have an excuse to re-re-re-read a lot of Lovecraft’s writing! I have to say that studying the video game, Bloodborne, has been fascinating too!

 How about your influences? Those of us who have laid ears upon your audio can attest to your music channeling influence from across a huge radius of extreme genres. Can you elaborate on your decision to adopt the ‘unconventional’ style which you have?

(Caleb): To be honest the most thought I put in to what style I wanted to make was basically “I want to make technical metal with breakdowns and Lovecraft”. Other than that, I listen to a wide range of music, and have never been one to learn other bands songs so I don’t have a singular underlying influence. My music taste leans heavily on the prog/experimental spectrum so I’m sure that’s where the quirkiness comes from.

(JC): My influences are a kaleidoscope. I listen to everything from Coltrane to Disgorge, etc. I like music that is challenging in terms of structure and play-ability, so as soon as I heard what Caleb was brewing up, I was 100% in!

Lovecraft The Great Old One

This is not an artists rendition of SLC. Or, is it?

 The obvious elephant in the room; your location. The area has quite the rap based on its founding and undeniable religious elements how is the ‘scene’ in Salt Lake (Utah)? Wouldn’t it just have been easier to don a shirt, tie and go door to door preaching the ‘good book’?

(Caleb): You’d be surprised actually. SLC has a great music scene that is ruined by the laws and religion of the land. People don’t go to bars so great bands in the area will go unheard, but I could find a “sub”-scene for every genre of metal from deathcore to doom. Where there’s oppression there’s also rebellion and Utah is rife with it.

(JC): I actually live in Boise, ID.

 What have you planned for the future, anything you might be able to tease? Where might you want to be in like say a years’ time?

 (Caleb): We don’t plan on waiting too long to release a 2nd two-track E.P. which is gonna’ have a surprise or two that we are sure people are gonna’ lose their shit over, and that’s planned for a mid-August release. As for a year or more? Man, who knows. The reception we’ve had has already exceeded our expectations considerably, all I can say is we won’t stop releasing music.

(JC): Wherever we organically end up in a year is exactly where I’d like to be! Just as long as we’re making music, I’m happy!

Lovecraft The Deep Ones

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat”

 

 If you had the chance to set up an ideal tour or collaborating artist(s) who would you include and why?

 (Caleb): A sick tour which won’t ever happen unfortunately would be Rings of Saturn, Infant Annihilator, Berried Alive (sp?), and us. For maybe obvious reasons, but these bands were a clear inspiration for the project.

(JC): What Caleb said.

Let’s try a Quickfire round:

Favorite Black metal Album?

(Caleb): Enslaved – RIITIIR

(JC): Naglfar- Harvest

Naglfar- Harvest

Thrash Album?

(Caleb): Rust in Peace (Megadeth)

(JC): Seasons in the Abyss (Slayer)

Death Album?

(Caleb): The Sound of Perseverance (Death. Perhaps I should have phrased the question better? *Ed)

(JC): Anomalous – Cognitive Dissonance

Movie?

Yoda-Quotes

Because no article is complete without the inclusion of the wise ‘old green one’

(Caleb): Star Wars in general

(JC): There are too many movies in my

favorites list to say definitively, but 2001 A Space Odyssey, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Into the Wild are definite standouts for me

Book?

(Caleb): Does my complete works of Lovecraft count?

(JC): Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted, Palahniuk’s Rant, and Jeffery Lowenfel’s “Teaming With” series (yes, I’m a nerd).

Happy! Comic

Need it deserve mention that the series kicks ass too

Comic book?

(Caleb): I could talk your ears off all night about my favorite comics so best not get me started (ha-ha). Though it’s the cosmic stuff that I read more than anything.

(JC): Happy! By Grant Morrison (Author) and Darick Robertson.

 

Insult?

(Caleb): I can’t say I’ve got an answer for this one. If I insult someone it usually has something to do with the context of the conversation.

(JC): I don’t have a favorite. It’s definitely an “in the moment” type of thing for me.

That’s about it, I’ve tried to keep this as painless an experience as able, what better way to finish an interview than by” handing over the mic”. The floor is all yours; Is there anything you wish to add; anyone you’d like to thank or anything you’d like to promote?

(Caleb): Words cannot express the level of gratitude we have for anyone who listens to our music. It is truly surreal and humbling to say the least.

Love craft indeed

Indeed!

(JC): I’d like to reiterate what Caleb said already, words aren’t capable of scratching the itch that is my desire to shower our listeners with gratitude! I’d like to thank Caleb as well. He’s an open-minded guy who writes amazing music that I get to place obnoxious noises and words on, and for that I am grateful! I’d also like to throw out a quick “Thank You!!!!” to my wife, too! She’s very supportive of our project and allows me the time and space to write/record/promote any time I need to!

Thanks again for your time guys. All the best for the future, I’m excited for where it might lead.

The Eldritch Truth (audio and assorted goodies) can be found on many social media platforms including twitter @EldritchTruth

on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/1Ju6x4EUKOAQNqr4nUUQjX?si=ms6iPbeOQGO5lY97-9japw

Bandcamp – https://theeldritchtruth.bandcamp.com/album/sanguinary-origins

And YouTube https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLycUdrBq-bDtsfSTN8mwDj51nTVAssgAn

 Cult

Hopefully my adoration of Lovecraft themed art wasn’t too obvious.