Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ophidian Forest/Haeresiarchs of Dis – Darkest Origins Split CD (UW Productions 2012)

Well the split lives up to its title with both bands infusing new blood into some of their unreleased and classic songs remixed that definitely, given the nature of both bands, represent their mystical and occult roots. Ophidian Forest reminds me of a blend of early Satyricon and a VERY raw Summoning on a superficial level. They first deliver the symphonic “Densest Green” , an 8-minute raspy vocals and blistering echoing power chords amidst a phantom mist. You can’t really get more old school black metal than “Densest Green”, “Fear Bloody Wings” , and “Verschwiegenheit”…this stuff will freeze your soul in an instant, especially the vocals on “Fear Bloody Wings” , which almost literally feel as though they are some paranormal sermon evaporating as spoken. There’s just this intangible texture to Ophidian Forest that is spectral and cold, AND beyond physicality. Although Ophidian Forest only contribute three out of thirteen songs on here, they still consume roughly 30 minutes of life as they suck out your soul leaving the mind and body in a limbo of confusion. Very pagan and Very ethereal stuff!!!!

The majority of the nine HoD songs on this split, the first four of which are remixed from the earlier Dis demo, represent a more heavy crunching guitar rhythm tendency that reminds me of the raging pulses and tones of Horna’s Sotahuuto, early to Blood Fire Death era Bathory, Dethroned Christ, etc. That true Heavy Metal meets black metal sledgehammer riffing combination of tinny and distorted early heavy metal rhythms with speed and thrash afflictions creating a vortex that is as nasty and maniacal as say Blood Feast, and even bypassing buzzing swarms of just power chords cranked up on treble for flesh stripping leads and actual rhythm progressions that embody “Kill”.

“Black Prophecies” is a good example of that just said, as is “Choas Plague”, which really breaks up into an avalanche of addicting rhythms sort like Immortal’s “Cryptic Winterstorms” or “Call of the Wintermoon” with the lead guitar portions and vocals laid out in the front of the mix giving them an extra sonic kick and clarity that really gives it a vicious punch. Cernunnos (HoD) has not lost his touch for atmospherics though: “Manifestation” is a classic semi-raw melodic atmospheric storm that will invoke flashbacks of Denunciatus Cinis, but still builds on that template; “Wolfmoon” is a brief keyboard instrumental soaked in weird electronic analog effects like a clip to a classic made-for-tv horror film; “Blood and Souls” is a strange analog horror ambient that sounds like an EVP during a paranormal investigation with some weird organ in the background; and the grand infernal ending of “Circle of Sodomy” with that Emperor meets cleaner production sound and feel, including clean chanting vocals, that adhere the haunting elements together into a possession of the mind as much as the condemned soul. “Circle of Sodomy” is also re-recording of “3rd Movement: Circle” from his Overture debut, which I will have to pick up in the near future.

With this split Cernunnos intended to revisit and reinvest life into his early work and Demo period and ,in my honest opinion, was his best period judging from what I’ve heard of them now and in original form.  HoD should also have another full-length, Thirty-Eighth Sermon of the Unborn, out this fall as well so grab this one…and that one…and the Demo….AND Overture if you don’t have it either!!!! Ophidian Forest’s essentiality is self evident, i.e. MUST HAVE.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hellige – Demo ( Kunsthauch Promo Series 2012)

This Argentinean band was sent to me by the incipient Argentinean label, Witness Hell Productions, whose sole proprietor is involved in the long running death metal band Prion and this alongside a few other intense listenings has already made my essential black metal releases of 2012. This Demo is brutal, epic, monstrous, well-produced, well-written, unique, stand on it’s own and takes your head off with rusted pruning shears in the blood curdling vocal delivery alone, whereas the rest of the band tortures your soul with their own concoction of metal extremities.

“Degraded to Mortals” is a soul raping opening track!!! The black death doom assault is vicious and revolting, but they crank out some really gritty barbaric doom riffs smothered in death metal tones that morph further into hideous black metal territory.

Next comes “The Rotten Waste” which is truly a magnificent beast!!!! The drums are very crisp and sometimes almost jazzy in their high hat/snare work, the vocals are extreme doom death growl mildewed black and reeking of “rot”; there’s a lot of eerie melody in long, border lining on out-of-tune, stretches of atmosphere that remind me a bit of the angular wailing Deathspell Omega guitar tones, and some claustrophobia inducing moments of bastardizing chaos that makes me think of watching myself as I’m actually burning alive while trapped in my car.

“A Philosopher’s Crown” showcases the similar Hellish atmospheres as it’s predecessors BUT they have this great siren-like guitar lead that I’ve heard in black metal many times before and loved, but it seems to stand out so distinctly on here. The vocals are more blood thirsty apocalyptic black metal than death, but the atmosphere is quick again to deliver a fatal blow of hatred and leaves nothing in question in terms of want or need. If you want something that is as grim as the cryogenic black hordes but as nefarious and cutthroat as death metal can get all combined in a whirlwind cyclone of mile high flames than Hellige is exactly what you seek.

“Obnubilum” is a fourteen-minute hymn to treachery reminding me of what the scene would look like after a nuclear apocalypse. It’s really lonely and simultaneously explosive, sort of like the soundtrack of that moment flashing back through your mind of the bright flashes of light and sudden incinerating heat photographing bodies silhouettes in the surfaces where their, now barely anything but fine ash bodies are strewn as the warhead actually detonated. There’s that sense of isolation, unconceivable horror, and vindication from all of those who died still trying to move on but can’t. The planet is now a haunted burned out Hell still the third eyesore from the sun and this is the sound of its murder and vendetta.

Hellige's Bandcamp site doesn’t specify if this is a self-release or not, but it’s a free download and stream, and it’s a nasty black “perfect storm” of funereal black metal, black death, and black doom. The hard copy can also be bought from the Kunsthauch Label for 5 Euros, which I’d recommend as this is no way an average Demo!!! It also supports the bands and small labels too, which I’m totally honored to work with and buy from.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Death Ghidrah - Rebirth of Devastation Tape (Subhumanoid Soundscapes 2012)

Sci-fi/industrial mastermind Ray Rivera, also behind such notable black metal/noise/power electronics atrocities such as: Fellatrix Morgue, Putrescent Fog, Anuus Altaar, and large number of others; brings us this 90’s techno pumping muscular spasm meets sci-fi courtesy of Death Ghidrah. Loaded like a colon at a chili cook-off with cheesy 50’s and 60’s sci-fi film samples and alien apocalypses accompanied by an electro/techno base, this Demo is explosive and deadly, but certainly not silent (….had to make a fart joke there).

“All Resistance is Useless” is a throbbing plasma of well placed Atari-like detroit/berlin electro/techno beats and sci-fi horror with a slight nod to Eye Gouging Mayhem (that same individual responsible for EGM is also responsible for this monstrous damage).

“Rebirth of Devastation” is an electronic powerhouse of rhythmic pulses and robotic percussion with classic sci-fi horror film clips sampled and mixed in with the arcade hubbub of squiggly bleeps and blurps with an almost 80’s –early 90’s industrial feel (Front 242, Frontline Assembly, Cabaret Voltaire, Revolting Cocks).  

The third and final licking from the Ghidrah is “Nuclear Pulse”, a song that fits the same MO as the prior two, leaves me feeling cheated in that I just get into the groove and then it’s OVER!!!!! Aside from the shortness of Rebirth… this is nonetheless essential and I REALLY look forward to hearing a full length from this new project of his in the near future. This seriously, without a doubt, some of the coolest shit ever!!!!

Contact info/Audio Links:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Moloch - Stiller Schrei Des Winters (2002-2012) (Metallic Media 2012)

Recently I’ve been back into the cold majestic old ways of black metal with revisitation of my Summoning collection, some Lutomysl, Forteresse, Borgne, and now Moloch.  Moloch is a solo artist from the Ukraine who has garnered a somewhat legendary status over his decade long existence and for good reason too. With the wailing and grisly emotional outbursts of vocals similar to 90’s era Burzum, inundated with nebulous guitar buzz and the explicit tempo kept by the drum machine songs like “Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt I and II” can’t avoid being compulsive for those who genuinely love the classic black metal sound that was atmospheric and bitterly aggressive.

Stiller Schrei Des Winters is yet another collection/compilation of Moloch material, but for those who haven’t picked up every EP,Demo,Split,etc. of his then this one is a solid must have as both an introduction and/or a way of picking up a few unfamiliar and hard to get/OOP tracks spanning his still active career. Sometimes his stuff is extremely ambient and rooted in pagan atmospherics and instrumental passages like the epic 22-minute saga “Abgrund Meinnes Wesens” on his Illusionen Eines Verloren Lebens, but Stiller Schrei… skips over the ambience (with the exception of two of the last few songs) and digs into the howling distorted uproar of emotions and shearing buzz chord songs instead.

Listening to the ghostly symphonic hints on “Meine Heidnisch-Spirituelle Reise Durch Die Walder Der Gefallenen” play out like a soundtrack to a Robert Wiene film (The Hands of Orlac, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) blending the supernatural, psychological probing, and gothic horror all in one feral mind fuck of a cocktail. There’s also a great acoustic guitar sounding passage and thunderstorm clips that capture that sense of need for isolation and self-introspection that is a Moloch trait seen in his song titles and felt in his songs moods.

Other songs such as “Ljosalfaheimr” have a mixture of Germanic expressionistic black metal that closely resembles a mixture of Todesstoss and Dutch act Urfaust, maybe with hints of Xasthur  on “Depressive Visionen Eines Sterbenden Horizonts” or the dreary distorted instrumental “Sterben Unter Der Blasse Der Unvermeidlichkeit”.

Last year WOHRT released the cassette version of Der Schein Des Swarzesten Schnees, long sold out since but still available on CD, that made my best of list and was also the release that fully engaged me in Moloch both sound-wise and content-wise. Anything Moloch is an absolute must, but if you’re not much into the ambient then grab the comps, but if you like the cinematic lunacy of:  Xasthur,Todesstoss, 90’s era Burzum, etc. then Moloch is an essential.

I know for a fact (at this moment) Hells Headbangers has a bunch of Moloch releases in stock including this one. Disclaimer: I do not work for HHR in any way, shape, or form officially, aside from giving them my hard earned cash because they have a massive selection in stock and the prices are a steal is about as connected as I am to almost everything (laughs). I write reviews, not ads. Forbidden Records also had a split in stock of his too.

US GoreGrind Horror Freaks "Your Kid's on Fire" spill their guts a bit.

DOTDR: Your tunes are absolutely great, but I have to say that the name really sold me also. I tell people about you and they bust up laughing and show interest instantly

YKOF: Haha, that name came from a conversation I had with the guy who was going to play guitar for us back in the beginning, regarding some kid who managed to set himself on fire while making his own movie. I don't think at that time we were even trying to consciously distance ourselves from the proliferation of "disease entity/anatomical" death and grind names, but I'm glad we came up with something that set us apart a little.

DOTDR: I recently have been really into the sleazy gore/porno grind and industrial sludge/grind stuff so I know all about names, anything with Anal is pretty much taken and some are even lame enough to turn me away although Anal Cake is a keeper and I’m damn sure that my diseased mind can deliver up some really good ones. Anyway, I’ve had Chainsaw Devil on advance around here for some time and one of your other releases as well, it’s great that CD is finally seeing its Haunted Hotel release date. So aside from the name history, from what spawn of ideas and minds did YKOF evolve from?

YKOF: Kill Moe Dee and I met each other in high school.  I was already into metal but only just then getting into the more extreme end of it.  He introduced me to a lot of great bands like Terrorizer, Macabre, Repulsion, Napalm Death, Carcass, etc.  He was doing vocals in a death metal band with some friends, but he wanted to play grind and most of them didn’t want anything to do with bands who weren’t produced by Scott Burns.  We decided we’d just do our own band and try to write the craziest music we could. 

DOTDR: I’ve been on a huge Obituary, Cancer, Nocturnus kick so Scott Burns is engrained in my brain, or at least his “sound” heard in those recordings is. Aside from the hilarious band name and insanity that is definitely heard in YKOF, what are some of the influences that provoke the YKOF spirit (bands, albums, books, films, interests)?

YKOF: YKOF is an amalgam of a lot of morbid interests.  KMD and I were friends foremost because we were both long-time horror movie fans.  This was back before the ready accessibility of a lot of the most depraved films, when you would expect Japanese subtitle characters on a movie if you wanted to see it uncut in 4th or 5th generation dubbs from a laserdisc.   Movies with zombies, cannibals, black-gloved killers, monsters, and over-the-top sadism and carnage – Don’t Go in the House, Anthropophagous, City of the Living Dead, Torso, Maniac, Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, Zombi Holocaust, Pieces, Tenebre, Bay of Blood, Mark of the Devil, New York Ripper, Ilsa, She Wolf of the S.S., Coffin Joe movies, Blind Dead movies, The Thing, The Fly, Burial Ground, Nightmare City, etc.  We also had an abiding interest in books about serial killers, mass murderers, cannibals, anything of that nature.  The collages from our album covers are based around these ideas foremost – horror movie stills, catalog excerpts, and snippets from crime magazines.  As for bands, we draw a lot of inspiration from Napalm Death, Regurgitate, Repulsion, Terrorizer, Carcass, Death, Dark Angel, Celtic Frost, Unseen Terror, Mortician, Autopsy, and many more.  Raw and oftentimes relentlessly violent music, which of course tends to be the YKOF template. 

More of an inspiration than a direct influence on any of our lyrics, but we’re both big on Lovecraft.  Sometimes just the presentation of horror films is a big inspiration – the old VHS artwork and the old press kits with great tag lines (like “The pleasures of the flesh, the horrors of the grave” from Vampyres, “It’s exactly what you think it is” from Pieces, and “The blood runs in rivers, the drill keeps drilling” from Driller Killer).  And sick humor in general is something that informs a lot of our approach.  Something bizarre and funny in a degenerate way, not cartoonish.

 DOTDR: I’m a huge fan of those films you’d mentioned, especially Maniac and the New York Ripper. Currently I’ve been on a HUGE Herschel Gordon Lewis binge so Gore Gore Girls, Gruesome Twosome, and Wizard of Gore have been recent favorites. I also love Bloodsucking Freaks and picked up the two-for-one of Satan’s Black Wedding and Criminally Insane, crazy fat Ethel had me in tears that movie was so ridiculously brilliant and bad.

YKOF:  Kill Moe Dee passed along Criminally Insane to me here recently, so I will be checking it out.  He played me a clip where Ethel got to hacking away at her sister.  The prolonged screaming was hysterical.  That’s the kind of thing that has us thinking “sample.” Bloodsucking Freaks is a depraved classick!  We will have a song about that one soon, probably on the 3rd YKOF album (Horrorcaust).  I just bought the HG Lewis BluRay with Wizard of Gore and Gore-Gore Girls, which are my personal HGL favorites.  They’re both so over-the-top and morbid.  “Are you certain you know what reality is?”

DOTDR:  That ending was classic and unexpected!!! It threw in this intellectual/philosophical mind bender at the end that was a cliffhanger...it made you question the whole film again. I know that you have Chainsaw Devil released, Bill hooked me up last summer/early fall with it on CDr, so how did you come in contact with Bill and what are some of your future plans with NVS? You also share members with Elders of the apocalypse, right?

YKOF:  I met Bill through Devon from December Wolves.  I had sent him the YKOF and Elders recordings we had done to that point, and he passed them along to Bill.  Bill turned out to be a like-minded sicko and we were fast friends.  He wanted to interview us for Mental Funeral and he wanted to be the one to put out the EOTA album on NoVisible Scars.  He’s great to work with and we’ll keep doing releases with him as long he wants to.  We will do our first one with YKOF this year, hopefully.  It will be called Jackings in the Morgue, a collection of recordings we did in 2009 and 2010, demo tracks for songs that were ultimately on Chainsaw Devil, a raw 8-track recording we’re working on now, and then one or two alternate mixes from Chainsaw Devil.  This was going to be a CD release initially, but probably is going to end up being a cassette.  The cool thing about the NVS cassettes is the cover art is more like a 7” EP, which will be great for another collage.  KMD and I are both in EOTA, and the former guitarist of YKOF is also in EOTA.

DOTDR: Nice!!!! Bill and I came together because he saw my profile on Hellride as liking much of the same stuff like noise/power electronics and the fact that I reviewed non stoner/doom metal on there and it still got a great response, since then we've bonded and even chat over the phone like normal folks. How long has YKOF been active? 

YKOF:  We started writing lyrics and musick back in 1996 right out of high school.  “Hunchback of the Morgue,” which will be on Jackings in the Morgue, was actually written circa 1996/1997. 

DOTDR: How did Elders of the Apocalypse get started?

YKOF:  Kill Moe Dee and I are big on Blasphemy, Beherit, Sarcofago, Bestial Warlust, etc.  We talked about doing a band that was comparably violent, something even more merciless than YKOF.  It started with me on guitar and him playing drums, then I moved to bass and we brought in Masked Jackal from YKOF on guitar.  The level of violence has increased in YKOF since then, but Elders is probably still the most chaotic musick we are involved with. 

DOTDR: You can’t go wrong with any of those!!!!! I’m on a HUGE cassette binge right now, thanks to Bill and Kenny (over at WOHRT), and have been picking up some crazy goregrind/ black doom/ and ugly stuff like PEST, Herpes, INRI, Diseased Oblivion, Reclusa, Colostomy Filter, Anal Throne, Cemetery Piss, etc.  Being one of the hoodlums involved with EOTA, you’d love Cemetery Piss!!!!

Back there you mentioned serial killers, I’m a huge true crime nut, and it never fails that when that theme comes into play on a track or album, it instantly gratifies me. As an aside:
I’ve been really into two documentary series from Investigation Discovery, Deadly Women and Wicked Attraction; both are available on Netflix streaming and highly recommended.

YKOF:  I haven’t seen those…they both make me think instantly of Karla Homolka, though.  Was she mentioned?  We will have more serial killer songs eventually.  I wrote some lyrics for one about Richard Chase for Cannibal Rites, a death metal band KMD and Masked Jackal are in.  As for true crime, we want to do a song in YKOF about the Wonderland Murders on the next album. 

DOTDR: Sadly no on Karla Homolka on Deadly Women, but she was the first case on Wicked Attraction. They had some real good ones though, but their names slip my mind and Google is worthless. Casey Anthony is a hillbilly tramp, but they won’t list some of the more gruesome ones!!! I also recently  saw the first part of the very first and only interview with Dahmer in prison, but it played mainly off the drama between his parents and very little on the crimes or his reasoning…probably because his dad was there next to him, so I can't recommend that one. Definitely scope out Most Evil, that's one of the best SK series put to DVD!!!!

Anyway now back to the main subject. How did you guys come up with Chainsaw Devil? I personally love the horror clips, but read a review that ripped on it while I was trying to find the track titles to get a review going for it.

YKOF:  Chainsaw Devil is an alternate title for Pieces, a movie that obviously deserves an album title homage.  I think I know the review you mean.  Some people just don’t seem to enjoy the samples the way we do, but it was something that we always liked on the Mortician, Impetigo, and Gut albums, to name a few.   It’s our trademark to have a sample on all of our original songs on the albums, and this will continue on the Horrorcaust release when we do that.  My biggest complaint with the review was that it described us a mix of Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse, which reads like some of sort of mad-lib blanket comparison by someone who doesn’t know very much about grind at all.  But at least he reviewed it.  Most of the zines/blogs I’ve sent it to still haven’t and I suspect won’t. 

DOTDR: Yeah, you’re way more in the Mortician vein than ND and CC doesn’t even play into your sound anywhere. As for most ‘zines, they won’t bother, they’re too busy reviewing Relapse titles and the recent trend of dime-a-dozen hardcore/crust metal crap. It really sucks for good smaller bands and labels even. All that I get is PR shit most days that I try to ignore because it’s the same stuff day in and day out, with few exceptions I haven't reviewed anything they've given me links to in months. Many bands that are on “better” labels that can pay for a middle-man to push reviews and such are real dickheads to some of us as well, it’s as though they are doing us a favor by letting us like and review their stuff.

Also LOVE Pieces!!!!!

Honestly, in this day and age it’s nice to bullshit with people of similar interests.  How do you view the current grind bands/labels? I’ve found that classic labels such as Selfmadegod and classic acts like Squash Bowels just don’t have it anymore, they’ve weakened their sound/standards.

YKOF:  I’m sure it’s the way it usually is … there are great bands doing crushing music, and you just have to get past some uninspired grind to find it.  That said, most of what I have heard lately doesn’t impress me as being especially violent or harsh, though.  GRIND CRUSHER from Norway deserves mention as a band worth checking out.  We have a split EP coming out with them soon. 

DOTDR:Thanks for the heads up on those guys, I’ll be checking them out for sure!!!With your third release in the works can you spill a bit of insider info about Horrorcaust?

YKOF:  We’ve had plans to do this album for several years, actually.  It was intended to be the 2nd album.  The first half of Chainsaw Devil was just meant to be a split CD on Haunted Hotel Records, but the other band fell out of contact and we worked it out with Ralph to just record some more songs and release it as a full length, so Chainsaw Devil became our 2nd .  (We underestimated just how much material we had for the 2nd half.  KMD somehow recorded the drums and two guitar tracks + solos for that in one session.) Not much of Horrorcaust is written at this point, but I think it is safe to say it will be more like the 1st half of Chainsaw Devil than the 2nd.  Most of the songs will be about some of our favorite horror movies – Burial Ground, Nightmare City, Torso, Maniac, The Fly, Black Sunday, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, Jungle Holocaust, etc.  Probably between 20-30 tracks.  Only one or two cover songs this time, but one will definitely be Repulsion.  I hope we can record it in 2013 at long last.  It should be the ultimate YKOF album.   

DOTDR: All of the horror/Giallo talk reminds me...I actually have a huge oil painting based on the razor-blade breast cutting scene from NY Ripper that is half done but looks freaky. I'll send some images of it soon. Now back to grind bands and funny names. Over the last couple of years I’ve really gotten obsessed with the Japanese grind stuff like Bathtub Shitter, Unholy Grave, 324,etc. I actually discovered Bathtub Shitter because of the name. It’s an inside joke about an incident when I was about 3 and crapped in the bathtub because I was playing with my Gilligans Island floating island tub toys and didn’t want to get out to go. The very moment that I saw that name I knew that I had to have/hear it!!!!

YKOF:  Haha…the former YKOF drummer Ultimo Z2K shared his own bathtub shitting anecdote when he noticed the name in a Relapse catalog.  I believe his brother was taking too long in the bathroom so Z2K had to improvise.  I guess it’s a band name that really speaks to a lot of people.

DOTDR:  Ha!!!! I knew it wasn’t just me. They came up with that name for a reason too and I’m sure it wasn’t because two words fit well together. Have you checked out any of the crazy Japanese stuff? Their noise/power electronics stuff can get really intense as well…lots of violence, sexual sadism, and fecal fetishes.

YKOF:  That’s something I don’t know very much about, admittedly.  Bill has offered to recommend some choice offerings from noise/electronics to me, though it’s hard to conceive of having the time to investigate.  I just took on the role of mixing the YKOF recordings and a lot of time goes into that now. 

DOTDR: I’d say start off with the weird grind take offs of Vomitoma/Colostomy Filter/Anal Birth/ Gruesome Toilet/ Putrephilia/ Geist/ Brownfilled Human Race. With many of those acts there’s a lot of mixing and sampling done that’s incredible. Maybe even venture into weird grind styles like noisecore, I wholly recommend Finnish nut jobs Nihilist Kommando and the US based Arseterror. That might prep you for the noise stuff because it plays off grind and noise really well.

Grind is horribly underrated and misused as a label. Bands like Impetigo, Mortician, Carcass, Cripple Bastards and the more technical death grind stuff like Malignancy and even later Carcass are fucking amazing!!!!

Again I digress. So how is the mixing going and do you foresee YKOF becoming more evolved in song structure?

YKOF:  Cool, thank you for the recommendations!  I’ll have to look into those.  When you think you are well versed on most everything that’s out there, it’s always good to discover new avenues of sickness to explore.  The term “grind” seems to get thrown around a lot here for bands that are no such thing, so it has become quite the misnomer.  It’s weird how it has evolved that way.  When someone says something is black metal, you have a very clear idea on what to expect.  With grind, you could expect Regurgitate and get Fleetwood Mac.  People don’t seem to know what the Hell they’re talking about.  I’ve heard us categorized as brutal death, which is even more inaccurate than “Napalm Death meets Cannibal Corpse.”

The best word to describe the mixing is “painstaking,” haha.  A LOT of trial and error.  It would have cost us a small fortune to experiment in the studio with getting the proper balance of sound in as many hours as I’ve put into it, and still a long way to go.  It’s so different for each recording, too.  I plan to remix the Elders album at some point as well.  I think I can make it sound a lot better while still being very raw and annihilating (e.g., being able to actually hear all the guitar riffs).

More evolved in song structure?  No.  Haha.  We are not a structurally complex band and don’t care to be.  Very few of our songs evolve beyond 4 riffs, at the most.  You may notice that though we repeat riffs, we don’t actually play them a lot.  It’s very rare that we’ll play one more than 4 times before moving to the next and coming back to it.  It’s a way of trying to keep it from getting boring while still hopefully making it something you will remember hearing.  Also, we don’t get to rehearse our songs as a 2-man band.  Unless it’s an older YKOF song we played with the Aught Six line-up, we don’t actually know how it will sound until we record it.  We come up with riffs, agree on the structure, and Sam might show me what he plans for the drums, but there is no true rehearsal.  You don’t want to get too adventurous with that approach, but even if we had a full line-up and a place to rehearse, we wouldn’t do it any differently.  That’s just the style we like.  It should be swift and shockingly violent, like a giallo murder.

 DOTDR: Stick with what makes you YOU and as long as it ain't broke why break it?  Sadly, I used to really love black metal but everyone in it now are way to self absorbed and even now I loathe it when yet another album comes out in the style. I heard one the other day sent as a digital promo that was hippie Euro trance/pop with BM vocals (?)!!!! I was horrified.

Oh shit, now while I’m thinking about it, have you ever heard early General Surgery? Great stuff!!!! I also really love the highly underground Gore Obsessed releases as well, many of which are free downloads off his MySpace site.

YKOF:  Oh yes, we are fans of that first General Surgery EP.  I’ve used some variation of the phrase “an orgy of flying limbs and gore” in a couple of our songs, haha.

DOTDR: I know you guys are busy and this interview has taken aeons to get finished as a result of schedules on both sides so I'll end it here with a massive thanks for your time and sounds. I know we'll be in touch.

Band links:

Larvaefilled lung – Dead Body Lover cassette

Here’s yet another reason that we need small distros like Degenerate Slime to stay alive, because honestly, where the Hell else can you find these weird under the radar polished turds?

LFL is Japanese horror inducing, industrialized, distorted, and vomited up gore noise like bacteria infested fungal Kim Chee splattering like a fire hose out of control. The drum machine sounds like machine gun with a massive fit of  “roid rage” as the goopy pussing maggot worms of inhuman vocal sludge ooze forth through the rotted esophagus eaten away with caustic acid erosion as the decomposing meat spews forth fresh nauseating forms of life. Much like Arthropox, the feeling is controlled chaos and fluid, viscous fluidity like that of curdling bile, and something very insect/maggot-like, but here there’s a hint at power electronics as well. Much of the actual sonic sounds are compressed and manipulated into massive tectonic plates of fuzz that slowly maneuver back and forth to create a colossal sense of anti-rhythm.

I have no idea if this is really a Japanese based act or just Japanese themed, but it’s not like it really matters, the material is still awesome. It looks as though DSD still has it in stock so spend the $4 and get all of the action of full-fledged dysentery without actually shitting and puking yourself blind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ataraxy – Revelations of the Ethereal (Memento Mori)

Ataraxy are a young Spanish Death Metal band with a prior sold out EP Curse of the Requiem Mass (Memento Mori 2010) and now their first full-length Revelations of the Ethereal has been cut loose this month. I’ve been listening to this one for two days straight and am completely infected to the point of being ridden with disease from their sheer ferocity which stems from a take on the old Finnish and Swedish Death Metal Scenes (two of my favorites) with their own gruesome touch to stake claim in the cadaverous death metal soil.

As expected given the whole Finnish/Swedish mention the physicality of the sound here is indeed punishing, but unlike other classic death metal styles that may go more for a thrash whiplash or a blackened flagellation in tone and delivery, the punishment inflicted by Ataraxy is that of being buried alive by molten lava = Incinerating, heavy, flesh searing, bone evaporating evil spewing from Hell below. The vocals remind me of a mixture of Paul Speckman (Master, Deathstrike,etc.) and hints of Chuck Schuldiner. As for the rest of the band, they have the stylistic imprints of classic death metal across the board from Swedish beasts, Finnish ghouls, to the U.S.  masters…Ataraxy don’t imitate they emulate Death Metal bestiality so don’t expect anything less than mandatory death metal here!!!!

This release just came out in September and Hells Headbangers has their two other EP’s, Rotten Shit and Curse of the Requiem Mass, so check them out periodically for this to appear in their catalogue otherwise it’s an import at ridiculous Euro prices if you’re in the Americas, but still worth it. If these guys were around in the early 90’s they’d be legends so why not give ‘em that deserved status now as they still annihilate most others out there today anyway?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Kolp – The Outsider (Temple of Torturous)

The Outsider is the second full-length from the lesser known Hungarian act Kolp, set to destroy the light of day November 12,2012 with an addicting spin on traditional and experimental black metal that’s impressive to say the least. I just heard this album this morning and have managed to not only keep it in play, but intentionally shun all others for the sake of keeping it in motion simply because it’s that good. Kolp take the A-melodic buzzing guitar sound that is standard for black metal and the black macabre psychedelia of Xasthur, add some muscle under the hood with some diesel motor rhythms that occasionally explode out from beneath the clanging percussion and treble sonic haze, freezing poltergeist vocals, and in the end creating an entire alter dimension beyond reality and the penetration of light.

The sound isn’t new, but the way the album feels definitely IS. Songs like the catchy laidback rhythmic sleeper “Drowning” just keep a rhythmic hook going while the feedback washes back and forth like a tide over it. There’s a nice shrill arpeggio melody present as well, but the dominating presence is that main rhythm that just swings like a pendulum back and forth hypnotically while you feel the swoosh of it’s mass getting heavier with each swing. Eventually most the of the air is sucked out of the room leaving one feeling like an air tight black leather hood was suddenly pulled over head and tightened around the next like a noose, that’s how dark and intense Kolp can feel on one of their more atmospheric endeavors. “Interface Has Dissolved” is another addicting hook delivery with an infectious intro that cascades in time with the calm- angry-calm-angry fluctuations in mood and tempo throughout this songs duration keeping both the turmoil and the addictiveness at full strength.

Kolp create something that avoids cliché and drone, creating something that is dark and heartless, gray and desolate just like the cover art but actually is more like a Charnel house or abandoned mental asylum, where there’s a lot more treachery behind the grim and dead exterior than can be seen or even heard and it will get inside you and it will infiltrate your mind for a while. The songs just stick to your skin like thick humid night air comprised of beings that refuse to cross over.


DOTDR speaks with the Communion

DOTDR: Hey Nick, I’m glad you enjoyed the review…the LP is killer!!! So for starters tell me a bit about the history of the band and where you are now.

Nick: thanks. Very happy that you like the LP. In brief, the band formed in the early 2000s by Lee Altomare and Bill Groody. I joined in 2004. We went through several bass players until Jimmy Aly came along in 2007. We went through even more drummers until Joe Branciforte came along in 2009. In 2010 Lee passed away after complications from eye surgery, so needless to say that knocked the wind out of our sails. But we picked ourselves up, for him just as much as for ourselves, and kept it going. Jimmy switched to guitar, and figured out he could split the signal in his guitar and feed one of those signals into a bass amp, dropping it down to mimic the sound of a bass. So except for the sudden loss of our great friend Lee, the line-up has been very stable.

DOTDR: Bummer about the loss but I’m glad you stayed with it. Aside from the powerful sound of each song I also managed to read the lyrics and was amazed at the writing (I tend to look through an albums entirety once I get my hands on it). Are they actually meant to be like spoken word poems? They read like a horror/crimescene description and some amount of true crime confession but abstracted and love it, but what did you want the lyrics to be about and how did you choose them?

NICK: Thanks so much. I’m the same way when it comes to records. I’ve always had prurient fascinations and morbid interests in addition to social anxiety and paranoia, and find that the most satisfyingly potent outlet for them is in writing and screaming. The lyrics emerge from stream-of-conscious musing, emotional turmoil brought on by not getting who or what you want, and extreme cultures as catharsis. I started listening to music at the height of the “alternative” boom in the mainstream (listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness as I type this), where the music was catchy but also had a morosely existential quality to the attitude and lyrics… it felt like it was okay to be a nihilistic outsider, so I still carry that mentality with me, even though it’s now status poison. 

I feel like our music is a composite of everything we love about underground metal/punk/noise etc., so in that respect the lyrics are a collage of every kind of writing I like. You mentioned true crime confessions and crime scene descriptions already (reading list: the Shoemaker by Flora Rheta Schreiber, the Limits of Sanity by Larry Still, Lustmord: the Writings and Artifacts of Murderers). I’ve been fascinated by crime and serial killers since I was about 10… right around the time the serial killer trading cards came out. I’m interested in the psychology of these individuals, how they view themselves and the world and I find that sometimes it crosses over with my own views… though I have no intention of killing. I adore experimental/ transgressive literature more than most anything, the kind that combines visceral terror and hardcore sex in poetic fashions (reading list: Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers and Eden, Eden, Eden by Pierre Guyotat, Cows by Matthew Stokoe, the Eyes by Jesus Aldapuerta).

I choose the lyrics after the music is written. I write all the time, so I always have stuff to pull from. I’ve only tried once to write lyrics to the music, and it was embarrassing. I get a feel for the song and find words that seem appropriate. As for the particular lyrics on Desired Level of Unease;

MARBLE HUSK: lyrics came about right before our first west coast tour in early 2010. I hadn’t been on the computer for about a month, and killed the time by watching the Biography Channel and reading about Herman Nitsch. A special on Richard Speck and images from Nitsch’s Aktions swirled in my head and these lyrics came out of the drain. The opening lyric “this is not a message of hope or reassurance” was actually from Jimmy Carter of all people. We’re not a political band, but I thought it was funny that a president said that.

STIRRUPS: the first lyrics I wrote after Lee had passed away. All the hurt, anxiety, confusion, bitterness, and other tragic-comic ballyhoo. I think a Lady Gaga interview was on the TV during one of my sleepless nights, so that’s where the opening lines about not knowing “horror, disease, or revenge” came from.

ATROCITY CONDUIT: the second lyrics I wrote after Lee died. More uncertainty… more that needed to be said.

GASH LADDER: written after a nasty fight with loved ones. Was listening to a lot of Bloodyminded at the time of writing this, so I think some of that viciousness might be there…or not.

GARBAGE ISLAND TECTONIC SHIFT: trash fetishist fight song. Achieving emotional and spiritual clarity through group masturbation in a junkyard. Karim Hussain (writer director of films Subconscious Cruelty, Vision Stains) did a promo for a film called Filthy about people who are sexually aroused by rolling around in garbage. Harmony Korine jacked the idea for Trash Humpers.

RABID BATS: what happens when sexual frustrations are left to simmer. “Rabid Bats” is a nick-name I made up for a room full of sexually aroused women (hint; wet vaginas). There’s this hilarious book I just read called the Gas (Charles Platt) that sort of has the same idea this song has; when you repress your reptilian desires, they’ll eventually become impossible to control. See also the comic book series Crossed and the pornography of Belladonna.

THE INVALIDIST: a composite of lyrics from 2009. classic “girl did me wrong” angst. One of the many songs I’ve written about this one girl. That’s all this particular individual is good for; angry grindcore songs. Don’t know why I bother… it’s not like she cares enough to listen to my band, let alone read what I write… but maybe that’s the appeal; the relief of getting this off my chest with the safety of no one knowing. Except now they know. Whoops.

DOTDR: SHIT Nick, now you got me wound up and excited with all of those subjects you just threw out there!!!! As per the alternative boom…my favorites are still: AIC-Dirt,Facelift, Jar of Flies, Pearl Jam-Ten (fuck anyone who didn’t get the seriously political and brilliantly emotional lyrics), all of Soundgarden up to and including Superunknown, anything Butthole Surfers, and Smashing Pumpkins-Siamese Dream. Everything changed for me though when I first heard stuff like exodus, Testament,etc. Most of the 90’s for me were a mixture of death rock/ real goth/industrial after ’96 then back to metal in the 2000’s fully.

NICK: yeah I’m with you on all that. Not too big on Pearl Jam, but I dug all the other stuff you mentioned. Billy is really into a lot of that, especially Soundgarden. eventually that burned itself out, and I sought out heavier things.. that led into discovering underground metal. In the late 90s the bands that got me into that were Neurosis, Eyehategod, Soilent Green, Brutal Truth. It just exploded from there. I was into a few death metal and black metal bands big time, but I really loved the weird metallic hardcore bands like Starkweather, Rorschach, Human Remains, Integrity, Bloodlet, Unruh, Cattlepress… I still listen to all that kind of stuff regularly.

There’s this sick band from France called Kickback that is in that vein. Their last two records are unreal. I loved those bands because they were heavy and all that but were also genuine outsiders in their presentation and aesthetics, even in their own genre. That really had an impact on me.  I also like a lot of the post-punk, no-wave, death rock, and noise rock that took place between the first wave of Punk in the late 70s and the Alt-Boom of ’92. shit like Laughing Hyenas, Jesus Lizard, early Melvins, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Naked City, Boredoms, Big Black, Swans, Brainbombs, and on the goth side Christian Death, Fields of the Nephelim… I could go on forever. 

DOTDR:  Big Black!!!! I love that stuff, Shellac is pretty good too, but not quite as essential as BB though. Steve Albini really had something great there!!!! For goth/death rock stuff Christian Death, Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, Fad Gadget really did it for me.

NICK:  his post-Big Black band Rapeman was cool. Anyone into Godflesh or Minitsry or that whole era of 90s industrial metal needs Big Black – Songs About Fucking in their collection. I love a lot of that 90s industrial metal (Skin Chamber, Dead World, Spine Wrench). Swans pre-Children of God is also a must. That style of heavy industrial seems to be coming back in a new way with bands like Sewer Goddess, Author and Punisher, Circle of Animals… I love the bleakness of that sort of stuff.

DOTDR: Yeah, the Play it again Sam/Wax Trax was an addiction of mine alongside Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, and a billion others as well. I do LOVE Sewer Goddess, Spine Wrench, Diseased Oblivion, the heavy industrial stuff was sadly missed on my end as well.

In terms of out similar interests, the serial killer stuff for me was a weird fear that I had growing up, I showed early signs of a sadistic personality disorder, but somehow I managed by sheer luck to go the other way, or at least keep fighting to stay there. Sometimes though, I have to fantasize while angry about vengeance to vent my frustrations and those images can be pretty nauseating, it does make me lift more and run faster-longer during my workouts.

Serial Killers are interesting because I understand them to a certain extent as well, minus the sexual thing though, it’s the anger and adrenaline rush, the psychological toll that you can take on a person (that, as I know first hand, can be worse than death because you have to live with it every second, especially when you close your eyes it'll creep up on you the most). How these people become what they do…is it nature or nurture or both? Why am I fairly well adjusted and successful as opposed to them but we had similar urges? 

The Biography channel is great!!!! I don’t have it, but through Netflix I’ve been watching several great series: Most Evil (so good that I bought it), Disappeared (fascinating look at real unsolved cases of missing people), Forensic Files (own it too, the Serial Killer one is great because it goes through the forensics used to catch ones that we never hear about as they are recent and less gruesome, but just as interesting from the psych. stand point), and Deadly Women.  I seem to spend my “watching time” on true crime more so than films these days.

NICK: books and the Bio channel are the best place to go for true crime. Films never seem to get the real stories right. There was a good movie recently called Dear Mr. Gacy that was an adaptation of the fantastic book the Last Victim. There are great serial killer films, but the ones that are fiction seem to always be better than ones based on real killers. Like Maniac is invariably a better film than Ed Gein. Although Van Bebber’s Manson Family is fucking brilliant.

I’m pretty nihilistic about almost everything, but one thing I do believe in is Chaos. You can psycho-analyze these people and their acts, and there may be some truth to the notion of upbringing molding these individuals into what they become, but then you have to look at people who come from a similar if not worse environment who flourish, and others who come from good backgrounds who do unspeakable things. Some people do make a choice, others can’t help themselves.

DOTDR: Absolutely!!! Maybe it’s the science/math nerd in me, but the universe really does tend towards chaos, aka entropy, and humans are very much prone to this. It’s not to say that there isn’t direct cause and effect or some sort of fate, but ultimately fate changes with every passing increment of time and we are open to take any path. Nothing is ever set, it's our reactions to things that continually change our courses.

Maniac is great!!!!!!! I really didn’t care for the biographical Deranged (1974), but Psycho will always reign supreme in my mind (and not just for the Ed Gein theme).

I also just added Trash Humpers to my Queue!!! That sounds like a John Waters film in a way. I love that guy and have most of his stuff form Mondo Trasho on VHS, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble (my favorite), and even Multiple Maniacs DVD transfer I bought from some cult film place online over ten years ago.

NICK: Well Korine is sort of the waifish hipster version of John Waters. His films are entertaining, though, and I think the first black metal and noise I ever heard was in Gummo. I gotta like a dude who put TWO of the most fucked up Bethlehem songs ever on his film soundtrack, especially in 1997 when no one outside of this subterranean non-culture knew of the existence of such music.

I worship at the altar of John Waters. I have a Pink Flamingos t-shirt that I wear a lot. He’s definitely one of my favorite minds; an intelligent, genuinely funny guy with a blend of artful and perverse tastes. He spoken word shows and books are fantastic. The dude just has an incredible talent for appreciation of the grotesque and absurd.

DOTDR: Same here, I have his books, saw his live stuff, AND even have an autographed copy of a mag cover from the 70’s of him French inhaling!!! I need to frame it!!!! In fact Defecation on the Divine is a take off on the dog shit eating scene at the end of PF, fused with the idea of perverting things that are considered sacred or simply culturally admired. Hell, in some countries public farting could land you a jail sentence and/or beating, so who’s to say what’s “sacred” let alone “normal”.

NICK: it’s amazing to me that the guy who filmed an overweight transvestite eating dogshit now has a hit Broadway musical of one of his films. But that’s what great about him; he never changed who he was or what his interests were, yet somehow he managed to find incredible success. I guess it’s the “spoonful of sugar” theory. He’s so likeable and personable and speaks with such joy that you sort of just come over to his world of human monstrosities. Maybe I’ll learn that someday.

DOTDR:  If you're looking for some great serial killer books then I highly recommend you get Serial Killers The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky!!!! I got this one for X-mas some years back and read the entire thing in two days and it’s about 1.5-2 inches thick. Vronsky was a freelance documentary/video journalist who ran into the Times Square Torso Ripper and Chikatilo before they were caught even!!! It’s such an animated read!!!!

NICK: I’ll look into that one. I’ll read anything that you’ll find on an FBI Watch List. Someday I’d like to start an FBI Watch List Book Club. We could read the latest Peter Sotos yarn while sipping tea and touching ourselves.

DOTDR: That'd be great actually. I’ve always wanted to find and talk to people who actually have weird perversions like feces and such. I used to work on my junior college campus before transferring to UCSD as a teaching assistant for chemistry and my boss at the time told me some wild story. She went to UNLV in the 80’s to get a masters in business, she’d spent most of her career up to that point working in banks and was working at one of the major ones in Vegas and going to classes at night.
She said that every Monday the line to get in the bank would be wrapped around the block before they opened and was mostly prostitutes and “entertainer/escorts” depositing wads of large bills into their accounts. One day one of them felt compelled to tell my boss during the deposit about something interesting that happened to her friend that week/end. Apparently Engelbert Humperdink has a fetish that creeps the women out so the hotels have to mask him as a client and the prices he will pay are ridiculous as a result, but he HAS to have it. It turns out that he has a large glass table and pays the girl to shit on the table and rub herself in it, completely naked, while he jerks off lying directly underneath.

NICK: That sounds like something he’d be into. I mean I don’t know much about him, but I’m never surprised when you find out some big star is really a degenerate libertine. It makes them a lot more interesting, and it puts a new spin on their body of work. The silent film star Clara Bow was into bestiality and incest. A more recent example would be Mel Gibson. You and I remember him being hailed as “the sexiest man alive”, but today he’ll best be remembered as this verbally cruel sadist who makes these fetishitistically violent films that are supposed to be testaments to his spirituality, which makes them even more lurid and insane. It’s the duality of L.A. in corporeal form; the glamour and material wealth layered over a city teeming with violence and sex.   

DOTDR: The whole Humperdink scandal actually sent a panic wave through the adult entertainers in the city/county for some time too. Just the smell of someone taking a shit makes my vomit reflex kick in.

NICK: It just seems so messy. It doesn’t really bother me that much, as long as I don’t have to clean it up. They don’t show that part in scat porn; the clean up. It’s just *plop* then fade to the next scene. Like cumming on a girl’s face in real life is no where near as hot as in the movies. In the movie, her eyes are wide open, she flicking her tongue, begging, lapping it up etc. in real life her eyes and mouth are clamped shut, like she’s bracing the pus-launch of a lanced abscess. Then you have to find a towel, clean her off… just kills the moment.

DOTDR: Yeah, it's definitely an aversion of mine. I once worked at a local healthfood store chain my first year in college and had to clean up after some old lady with dementia wandered into our womens bathroom, dropped her diaper and shit all over the place. Being the only girl on the closing shift I was stuck cleaning it and I almost cleaned out a weeks worth of digestion doing so, I CAN'T handle the smell. 

Anyway, speaking of banned books and oddity novels.I recently took an art class my graduating term and came up with the idea of carrying a camera with me to take pictures of peoples plumber cracks. I see peoples cracks all the time and it’s seriously nasty!!! I thought it’d be great to enlarge all of the images of just the butt and pants (to avoid legal issues) and present it as a wall covering or “installation piece” titled “Crack is Whack” or “Smile…Your on Candid Camera”, maybe it'd be a good book too?

NICK: That would make a nice coffee table book. I think calling it just “Smile” would be more mysterious and artsy. Some girl that was friends with Joe said she wanted to take pictures of our feet during one of our shows. That’s what she did; took pictures of musicians’ feet. I think she said she just did PJ Harvey. I don’t think she came out to our show, but then again no one does *rimshot*.

DOTDR: Feet are nasty!!! I’ve gotten the whole foot fetish thing and also can’t stand people wearing flip-flops, but to actually take pictures of peoples feet seems a bit odd even for my tastes.

NICK: I’m an ass man, myself. Ass and beauty marks.

DOTDR: That's really funny as a friend of mine, Adam, also has an ass fetish!!!! He likes 'em big and heart shaped.
Anyway, I have to force myself to cut this off here or we both will go on forever and it will never post. Is there anything you’d like to add in closing?

NICK: Sorry we got off the rails here, but interviews where the band talks about nothing but themselves are boring anyway. THE COMMUNION’s latest LP A Desired Level of Unease is available now from Prison Tatt Records (http://www.prisontatt.com). At the end of September we’ll be playing a showcase for the label @ the Meatlocker in New Jersey. Earlier this year we also released a split 3 inch CDR w/ GECK through the label Petite Soles (there’s feet again) (http://petitesoles.blogspot.com/). Fair warning; the 3inch is a complete noisecore release on our part. We recently slapped together a CDR sampler of material from recent releases (and one cover tune) called Pornography. Satan. Abuse, and we’ll be doing a little sprint of East Coast dates in mid-October. We’re looking to hit the recording studio towards the end of the year to put several new songs to tape, one of them hopefully being our first tried-and-true attempt at a doom song. Next year we’re planning to hit the road a couple of times and maybe get a new record out. And last but not least we have a few splits in the works; a tape with industrial noise act Winters in Osaka  and another big one that can’t be announced just yet. Be sure to hit us up on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-COMMUNION/109389099107127) , bandcamp (http://thecommunion.bandcamp.com/) , big cartel (http://thecommunion.bigcartel.com/), and tumblr (http://rosestemcatheter.tumblr.com/) for constant updates on shows, releases, and so forth.

DOTDR: It’s been a fucking hoot doing this with you!!! You gave me too much info in the start that I just had get in on it all.

NICK: You too, Janet. Thanks for the interest. Keep this site going!

DOTDR: I will by dogongoddamnedest to keep it running.