the good the bad the
METAL REISSUES GALORE XII
Brutality, Mortification, Diamond Head, Exciter & More.
A JOYFUL NIGHT WITH
Dodsferd, I Shalt
Become, Horna, Azaghal, Necronoclast & More.
TALES FROM THE
The Hidden Hand,
Wurdulak, Gobblehoof, Insult II Injury, Master & More.
Mortification, Rigor Mortis, Chronical Diarrhoea & More.
Illapa, Necrosis, Mystifier & More.
RICH HOAK - TFD
Scene: Awesome Bands From
Leviathan, Defecation, Tusk, etc.
Unseen Force, Impulse Mansluaghter, Slaughter, etc.
Arizona: Desert Oasis or
An Ideological Autopsy
New York City Report
UNDERGROUND REISSUES IX
Jetsam, Control Denied, Disgust, Acrophet, etc.
THE DEVIL AND THE SEA
Relationship W/ Their Van and Tour Diary.
Today Is The
Day Tour Highlights & Lowlights.
UNDERGROUND REISSUES VIII
Abomination, Winter, Macabre, etc.
Industry May Be in
Shambles But We Feel No Guilt.
TAMPA: A VERY VERY
Current State of Our
some Brazilians, some Christians, some weirdos walk into a bar...
some Brazilians, some Christians, some weirdos walk into a bar..
with Pil Trafa vocalist of the
Argentinean punk legends.
TALES FROM THE
CUTOUT BIN VII
Ones Get Resurrected
From the Can.
METAL REISSUES V
Naglfar, Gorguts, Dark Funeral,
Blessed Death, etc,
The Story of
Italian Thrash Metal Band
THE GOOD THE BAD THE UNSIGNED
bands; all the potential, all the delusion. I got a pile
of demos, and self-released 'official' recordings
sitting here in my desk. The ones I picked for this
piece are not the best of the bunch. They just happen to
be on top of the growing pile. After a few spins their
obvious shortcomings rise to the surface; most bands
lack a good vocalist. Those wiser, just growl like
motherfuckers. But let’s not look down on these cats
just because they are unsigned. Let’s not forget that
once upon a time even the Beatles and the Stones were in
search of a label.
a first pick Misericorde kick my night into gear with
much downtrodden ease. I ain’t bothered by this Brit
trio. Especially by the music. This recording is very
organic and basic. It has a true live feel to it. Gotta
love those guitars and how vocalist/guitarist M. Geddes
(himself a veteran of Year Zero, of whom I know nada)
bends those notes. There is the groove and Sabbath-like
spirit and then there are the riffs that seem to lean
much more towards a quick on its feet funeral doom
style. If that’s even possible. Somehow, in the end,
Soundscapes for the Disenchanted doesn’t come
together. Some of the songs seem fragmented. They sound
like ideas still taking shape. It is the same to say
that I am sure Misericorde have a lot of potential and
most is not in display here. Weak link? Yeah, Geddes
himself is a sucky vocalist. He puts no emotion. He
sounds half –assed and he barely speaks his lines. Is he
just temporary? I fucking hope so.
London’s, Ahymsa already know that a package is bound to
get some eyes on their product. So Synaesthesia,
their fourth recording, comes in a nice psychedelic
digipack. Yeah man. Bands that invest in their art do
it because they believe in what they are doing. And they
usually believe in what they are doing because people
have responded to their music. If people have responded
to their music it must be because they are good, right?
Sometimes. So what’s the problem with Ahymsa? The songs
are not that good. These foursome can play. The leads
for instance, are professional and by that I mean, they
could be placed in a Trouble song and that would be
fucking righteous. And some of the bass playing is
fucking sick. But once again, there is some funk to
Synaesthesia that really bothers me and that makes
me think of badly dated mid 90’s alt-rock. And then
there is the vocal problem. Ahymsa’s vocalist does not
match the power of the music. Not even by mid 90’s alt
Ethereal Dirge is the doom project of J. Christopher
Springer. I admire his low fi/tacit production values.
Clearly, Springer has taken his time. He has crafted his
songs like a dedicated carpenter and has come up with
some sort of hybrid between funeral doom and gothic
metal. Not gothic in a cheesy I wear fishnet stockings
way. Springer must be a Paradise Lost, Anathema, and
My Dying Bride fan. And I mean that as a compliment. The
dude should be proud that this very neat five song EP (Warm
the Globe) immediately takes you back to the early
Peaceville doom days. The first two recordings I checked
for this piece got me thinking about how difficult it
must be to find a suitable vocalist. Well, Ethereal
Dirge suffer no problem. Springer has filtered and
distorted his vocals until they sound superhuman. There
is a second female voice going along which aides in the
gothic front. And then there are the vocals that seem
like samples (“New Funeral Idea”) and those that are
just plain strange (“Expedite the End”). Tagged at the
end Springer covers Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye Cruel World”.
Nice way to end. Nice touch with the bells and the rain.
No doubt Springer is ready to be signed and exposed to a
Moloch Horridas has to be one of the strangest monikers
ever bestowed onto a stoner rock band. Here is the funny
thing about this Finnish band. Upon checking out the
first verse of the first song “Star Trucker” I was truly
irked by the vocals of Patrick Ellison. I thought this
dude had no business getting near a mike. A few minutes
later that impression was gone. Ellison’s terse voice
blends in and you even realize that he is quite the
adept vocalist. In “Witches’ Sabbat” he sounds actually
like a more manly and senseful Ozzy Osbourne. Certainly,
he is better than most stoner rock frontmen. Moloch
Horridas is another band ready to be signed. They won’t
break the charts, but their tunes are solid and manage
to groove and rock with their cocks in their hands. The
guitars have some salacious feel and drop plenty of
hooks. Molloch Horridas remind me of bands like
Acrimony, whose rock has a lot of crunch, a lot of rock
and roll, a lot of hair and even some classic rock.
Solid songs. Definitely watch for these guys as their
stoner rock is easily digestable.
Unless technical death metal bands find a way to
incorporate hooks amongst their million notes per song I
prefer listening to bands like Nameless Grave, who craft
thoroughly enjoyable, downright dirty groove oriented
melodic death metal. Every time I hear the phrase
‘melodic death metal’ I think of In Flames and
that’s not what I am trying to say here. Definitely a
band like Six Feet Under is muck more akin to what these
Canadians are doing. Albeit, I absolutely hated the last
Six feet Under album and this EP (5 Songs From the
Grave) is much more solid and consistent. Now, I
gotta be frank, if these guys were to get signed and go
too professional I think they would lose some of their
deathly charm. I favor hiss-heavy recordings like this
one, where the vocals are neck-deep in mud, the guitars
sound like they are being electrocuted and the drummer
is so addicted to his sitcks he is about to overdose on
French metallurgists End. (this Toulouse band just
signed to Metal Blade and extended its name to Eryn Nin
Dae. – still with the period.) are a tight hermetic
unit. Theirs is the kind of metal that does not sound
generic but somehow comes off so mechanical it’s hard
not to think it was manufactured in an assembly line.
Jagged rhythms, radical shifts, angular structures. So
intricate, it’s hard not to bring the jazz genre as an
allusion to their forward thinking prog-laden technique.
The vocalist sounds powerful. Like a man willing to rest
his tonsils in the line of fire. Like a shaved headed
dude venting his anger into your nostrils. Sounds
familiar? That’s because End. sounds 99% Messhuggah-like.
That’s good news to some, bad news to others and cause
for indifference to others. I classified myself among
the latter. Messhuggah sure can pummel but I could care
less. When I listen to a band like End. I am convinced
that there is enough talent in the world to beat
Messhuggah at their own game. End.’s four track EP
The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion is not
interesting because it sounds too familiar but it’s just
as good anything those Swedes ever wrote. Blasphemy?
Perhaps but who gives a shit?
Spain may just be the most overlooked land as far as
stoner / sludge / doom is concerned. The last few years
have seen impressive releases from the likes of Moho,
Adrift and Unorthodox. And judging by the quality
displayed by Cuerno (pictured above) in their 2008 demo,
they may just have enough chutzpah to position
themselves alongside their countrymen. The first four
tracks (none of them under eight minutes) show a band
with an instinctive gut for angry anti melodies,
downtuned mayhem and all around grim ugliness. The
vocals are appropriate. By that I mean nothing
spectacular. And by that I mean underwhelming. At times
the vocalist falls short and gets buried in the mix.
It’s pretty monochromatic and bleak music. My only
complaint is about the last track. It’s filler. About
eight minutes of pointless jamming, where the band drops
the heavy and plays the guitar effects as a silly way to
verge into the psychedelic. But there is no structure,
just fucking around. Keep it focused and Cuerno may be
getting somewhere very soon.
think I may know why Salt Lake City’s Old Timer adopted
that moniker. Vocalist Maxx sounds either like an old
creep at the end of his rope, or like a dirty elder
that's about to do the nasty. His voice is rough. Not
soulful but spent and blown. To a degree, tired. As if
the young lad had seven decades and about four million
cigarettes on his back. The dude’s voice is almost
shattering. It’s impressive for several reasons, but
doesn’t leave the same mark that his band does. What I
like about Old Timer the most is what I liked about the
stoner rock genre in the first place. Their tunes are
distorted blues. The rough stuff. Loud, and yes soulful.
With feeling and passion and a sense for the melodic.
Live at the Tombstonery is the obvious result of
jamming. Beyond that, this recording shows a band that’s
gelled together, a unit where the musicians understand
each other without talking much. The density of smoke is
more than enough.
Heading down to carioca land comes Undefined, an
impressively professional Brazilian three piece that has
way too many targets to hit the bull’s eye. This four
track recording comes in a very nicely designed slipcase
and the songs in this recordings are just as glossy as
the package. They don’t call themselves Undefined for
no reason. The brief intro into “The End of History”
hints at bossa nova only to be followed by some melodic
technical death thrash metal. That’s fine and all but
then, I guess they undefined themselves by offering a
pretty turd-like pop punkish tune. I guess they weren’t
being ironic when they mentioned Blink 182 in their
Thank You list. That left turn reminded me of that
horrible German band Pyogenesis. But then Undefined
follows through with more brutality, some nu metallisms
come through and some futuristic metal that reminds me
of Fear Factory. If Undefined only defined themselves
they could do something. Until then, they’ll struggle to
form a respectable identity. Maybe, it just comes down
to their influences. Blink 182 for fuck's sakes!