SLUGNUT - All The Splendor and Rot CD
label: Self Released
2. Blue Wall
4. Red, White, and Who?
5. Placenta Diablo
7. Aggressive Front
9. Stranger Image
10. Gut Feeling
11. All the Splendor and Rot
12. Road Rage
When the history of North Carolina Music is written by honest people and not the revisionists. There will be a page or two featuring SLUGNUT. To me they are the Unsung Heroes of North Carolina Metal. No they didn't get a chance to open up for METALLICA on tour. But if they did then they would've gave em a reason to see a shrink. No they were not nominated for a Grammy or an award on MTV. They were too busy playing some club and driving fans into a fuckin frenzy. Hey look I'm not trying to make this into a "Could've, Should've, Would've" type commentary. I believe TESTAMENT still owns that one. All I'm trying to say is that SLUGNUT were musical equals to anyone who somehow made a bigger name for themselves from the state of North Carolina. They've just recently called it a day after over a decade of decibel destruction. I was at their last show and it was not a fuckin swansong by no means. In fact it was the fuckin opposite, a celebration of great fuckin Metal, from a band that were like the working class heroes of the Extreme Metal Scene.
This release is their best example of what Extreme Metal was all about. The band themselves would always tag themselves as Thrash. But to me they were too exciting to be pigeon-holed into only one genre. In fact it was in this three piece line-up that SLUGNUT really surpassed mediocre genre limitations. Maybe this is what Thrash was supposed to have evolved into instead of the thing which I refer to always as "crap". It's 2009 and the Thrash Revival is in full swing. Bands today are going back to copying their heroes of the 80s, which I don't have a problem with. But if you listen to this CD you'll hear the sound that didn't go Nu-Metal or Groove Metal that alot of Thrash influenced bands did move onto. SLUGNUT simply took things to a level which made their music infectious and accessible to all types of Extreme Music fans. Every song on this CD contains a twist that's equal to a neck breaking. I definitely have my favorites like "Placenta Diablo", my favorite song of there's of all time, "Smear" which is pure Punk/Hardcore, "Aggressive Front" which has more life threatening twists than being lost in a funhouse on fire and "Revoked" is more Hardcore/Thrash fury to smash your body into another like-minded individual. Ah fuck it, every song on here is a classic.
2008 marked the end of SLUGNUT as far as a full time band. Bassist Nate has moved to Florida. Guitarist Keith has a new band H.o.w. and runs a successful rock club in Raleigh, NC called Volume 11 Tavern. Drummer Jason plays for a few other bands including KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS. I was fortunate enough to catch some of their final shows and they didn't burn out in the end. It was quite the opposite in fact. SLUGNUT simply kicked the audience's ass one last time. All The Splendor and Rot is an essential for real fans of NC Metal. But it's also an important release for Thrash fans, Punks or Metalheads, who crave innovation within the genre that's not bogus.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
WHAT DO WHISKEY, EXTREME MUSIC & SATAN ALL HAVE IN COMMON?
ROT GUT LIKKER
Intro and interview by mr. wolf
North Carolina's ROT GUT LIKKER are not satisfied with your typical Extreme Music Genre terms. What they do is best charactorized as "Shreditizations for Satan". I found that term on their website describing one of their live photos. The Scumfeast Metal staff was in Fayetteville, NC one night weeks ago to see our friends ANTISEEN. But our biggest surprise of the night was seeing ROT GUT LIKKER who were one of two opening bands. For the first time ever all three zine staff members came to a unanimous agreement, "Holy Fuckin Shit They're Fuckin Great".
Next up came a review of their Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey CD which also received a resounding "Hell Fuckin Yeah" from the three of us. One thing you've gotta understand about us here at Scumfeast Metal. We've seen and heard almost everything and anything. We're not jaded since we see and here alot of great bands. But every once in a while we see or hear a band that literally jumps out at ya. In ROT GUT LIKKER's case, it's like a crazed drunken metal dude wielding a broken Jack Daniels' bottle and screaming "Hail Fuckin Satan"! I believe we'll take this one seriously.
So I sent the band a few questions trying to be as serious as possible. They answered all of them and added a note that "they had a little fun with the interview". A little? But what I realized is that this interview is exactly the same as seeing them live or listening to their CD. It's an unpretencious in your face type of attitude which to me is refreshing. ROT GUT LIKKER will play your club, drink all of your whiskey and then have their way with your female bar staff. ROT GUT LIKKER will peel your face off and replace it with a Jack Daniels' label. ROT GUT LIKKER will blow your local town heroes off the fuckin stage and you will like it. The three most important things in ROT GUT LIKKER's lives are Whiskey, Satan and ROT GUT LIKKER. After reading this interview you will head right over to their website (provided at the end of the interview). When they play your town you will buy them drinks, purchase their merch, and eventually worship Satan.
SFMZ - You call Fayetteville, NC aka: Fayette-Fuckin-Nam home. Is that where everyone in the band is from?
Chris: From the hills of Centertown KY, got here in 93.
Joe: From Collegeville Penn, got stranded at a Cafe Risque exit 70 off 95 in 2004 and liked it so much he stayed.
Derek: Military brat, born in Nebraska, grew up in England and got stuck here in 96.
Andy: Born in Womack hospital Ft Bragg, spent 5 years in Boone, came back in 2005.
SFMZ - Many years ago I once called Fort Bragg, which even today I lovingly refer to as "Fort Dragg", home. I didn't spend much time in Fayetteville since I was too busy defending all of you from the communist menace. But do you have much contact with the troops at clubs during shows?
RGL - You can't be in a club in Fayettenam without seeing GIs. Support the troops and hail Satan.
SFMZ - I think it was last year I read an article in a UK Metal mag about the U.S. Southern Rock/Metal Resurgence/Revival. If you blinked you might of missed it. But there is a Thrash Revival going on. Are you part of it by design or coincidence?
RGL - What the fuck do brits know about Southern Metal? We worship Satan by design and kick ass by coincidence. We have a hard time seeing ourselves as part of a thrash resurgence because we really don't end up playing with that many thrash bands. Also, Motley Crue kicks ass. Satan.
SFMZ - Getting back to that Southern Rock/Metal Resurgence article. To me it was more like a media generated story in order to mask their suckfest with ex-PANTERA related bands like DOWN, HELL YEAH, CROWBAR, etc. I doubt their love of the South and believe they all celebrate Lincoln's birthday in Febuary. From listening to your CD and seeing you perform you're not wrapping yourselves in the Confederate Flag as if there was anything wrong with that. But through your music, especially the instrumentals and lyrics, your heritage shows in an uncompromising manner. What do you have to say about that?
RGL - From Andy: Not speaking for any other member of Rot Gut, I actually love the shit of the New Orleans metal scene and consider it one of the most genuine. DOWN is my favorite band and I would say that DOWN, CROWBAR, EYEHATEGOD, SOILENT GREEN and ACID BATH are all more near and dear to me than PANTERA, and that I consider them more southern.
RGL - From Rot Gut: What we have to say about that is good, and hail Satan. Chris is down for glorifying the South in any way and actually often wears Confederate flag suspenders at shows. We also like the SQUIDBILLIES. We think it is gay that we live in a world where cool people have to consider it strange that someone would love the South. It is a testament to intense faggotry and hail Satan. People should take shots of whiskey and learn some appreciation for the fuckin South.
SFMZ - While reviewing your CD I couldn't help but take a shot at bands and musicians from the South who worship at the altar of Metalcore. I've seen way to many Southern bands with talented musicians who follow into that genre like a family religion. ROT GUT LIKKER walks a different road which I call Thrash with plenty of Southern swagger and Hardcore Punk grit. How did it all come about?
RGL - Satan spoke unto us in a bourbon-filled haze and said do not engage in faggotry. The sound came from listening to good music and staying away from crap. Also, we hate fucking floor punchers. If it is hardcore to look like you are in fucking river dance while some fag oinks like a pig to drop W tuning, then you are probably 16, and a faggot.
SFMZ - According to your booking info and I quote, "We don't ask for much at all but we won't play a bar that doesn't serve whiskey." You've never played a beer joint or a keg party?
RGL - We have played at Kill the Pig, which had just kegs, and we brought our own whiskey. Non Alcoholic gigs never have happened and never will. Rot Gut Likker is in the name. If you don't have liquor we won't show and you probably have a shitty establishment. You can have a shitty bar with whiskey but at least then you can drink away the shit. So yeah, fuck that, and the faggots who invented nonalcoholism.
SFMZ - Since I'm on the subject of shows and liquor the question needs to be asked. Do you get liquored up before a set?
RGL - Every time.
SFMZ - Getting back to the CD review, I described an image I got from one of your songs. It was "I Don't Give A Shit" and I had this thought about bottles and bodies flying around in a club setting. You guys would be playing on through the chaos that your music had created. Has something like that ever happened?
RGL - Actually, we played a show at the Gaslight here in Fayettenam and the guy who booked the show was an asshole and a drunk, but somehow made being drunk seem not good. We spent the whole set dodging beer bottles and mixed drinks that this piece of shit was throwing at us. He was also spitting PBR in our faces. He was pretty much a perfect 10 douchebag. He tried to steal a drink from some dude who had to be in his sixties and the geezer beat the ever loving shit out of that guy. It was the only good part of the evening, as the girl passing the tip bucket around also stole almost all of the tips, and the door guy took the door money home with him.
SFMZ - Who's responsible for all the lyrics and is it all from personal experience? I mean you take a song like "Grudgefuck" and lyrically it's about a failed relationship.
RGL - Satan is personally responsible for all of the lyrics. Grudgefuck is not only about a failed relationship, it's about fuckin someone you're pissed off at.
SFMZ - When I read the lyrics of "Kidney Killer" I can't help but think what if Charles Bukowski was into Hardcore Thrash? Wouldn't he write a song like that? Is that more personal experience or demons being exercised through your music?
RGL - If he was cool he would. "Kidney killer" is about drunk driving for years and years. Bukowski may have hated more people than we do and definitely hated his kidney. PS when we learn to read we will check out Bukowski.
SFMZ - I forgot to mention in the review I did for your CD, Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey, is the sound quality and production. First of all it sounds great as if it was a recorded live in the studio type production. That's why in the review I pointed out that what I was hearing through my stereo speakers was what I witnessed at the club. How close am I as far as describing the recording process?
RGL - Honestly, Uncle Satan was recorded on a ten year old computer, as in like a Pentium III with 128 MB of RAM. All of the recording was done with an effects footpedal straight into the stock soundcard into the program Acid 4.0 in Windows 98. The drums are all samples lined up one by one and the vocals were also run through the foot pedal. As was the bass. No shit. It just shows what you can get out of a bunch of old shit if you really take your time to worship satan. Hail Satan. Drink Whiskey.
SFMZ - One thing about Hardcore Thrash which people have stated for years is that only the really good bands can keep their live and in studio sounds relatively close. These days with some of the new Thrash acts that idea has been tossed under the bus. Studio technology can turn a pile of shit on a paper plate into roast beef on a silver platter but when the band plays live it's disappointing. What are you doing to keep your sound relatively equal?
RGL - We drink whiskey, worship Satan, and we all don't suck at our instruments. Not sucking at playing your instrument makes you a better live musician. If you do suck playing live you probably shouldn't be a musician. Also if you fuck up playing live and the audience is sober enough to notice then that's pretty gay. The footpedal used to record all the guitars is also used live, run straight into the Power amp section of Chris's Marshall.
SFMZ - I wanna discuss the three instrumentals on the end of the CD. THe total time elapsed I believe is around twenty-four or twenty-five minutes. What was the reason behind it?
RGL - Some of our favorite albums from bands we like are the band's most diverse album. Take Great Southern Trendkill. There is lots of different pockets of different shit going on there. Sometimes the space between notes is as important as the actual notes.
SFMZ - The three cuts "Lunis", "Dying Inside" and "Kronos" to me sounds like ambient Black Metal. Atmospheric with Southern Gothic touches in the guitar notes/tones to emphasis where you're from. What else do you have to say about those songs?
RGL - "Lunis" is kinda like inspired by Pink Floyd, David Gilmour type shit. "Dying Inside" is about having a miserable fuckin life. "Kronos" is about Chris's hometown in Kentucky being strip-mined.
SFMZ - The first time I played your CD and heard those cuts it suprised the fuck out of me. The first one "Lunis" didn't because you had a few instrumentals which appear throughout the CD. They break up the momentum but this time it's followed by another then another much longer one and I wasn't expecting that. So I looked at your website hoping to find some mention or name dropping of a Black Metal band. I didnt find any so where did these ideas/influences come from? Do you like Black Metal?
RGL - When Chris wrote those songs he really wasn't thinking about black metal at all and he doesn't really listen to it. It is really more related. While the actual amount of black metal influence is pretty small, there is definately some musical kinship in those songs with the styles of BURZUM or MORTIIS. But with no Lord of the Rings references. It's hard to be frostbitten while being grim in the middle of swampland.
SFMZ - Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey is your debut CD. Now do you have a follow up in the works and is it really going to be titled Southern Sabbath?
RGL - Yes. Also, we aren't trying to say sabbath as in we're like BLACK SABBATH. We mean sabbath as in something holy to the South, like going to church to worship the fucking Confederate flag. Hail Satan.
SFMZ - Wait a minute Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey was really recorded at a place called Sacred Heart Studios? Whiskey drenched Satanic tales of woe was all being recorded at a place called Sacred Heart Studios? I think an explanation is in order, care to elaborate? So you're going to record Southern Sabbath there to?
RGL - No it was recorded at Chris's apartment. As to where we will record Southern Sabbath we aren't sure yet.
SFMZ - After we left the club that night when you played with ANTISEEN. We passed by The Rock Shop on our way home and their parking lot had some police cars and an ambulance in it. You know anything of what happened? Because KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS played there once and we all thought it was a cool place.
RGL - The Rock Shop is a really great place. We're not quite sure what happened that night but if you're curious just ask Shawn.
SFMZ - Does guitarist Andy Lame always crack jokes from the stage at every one of your shows? Has he ever pissed someone off in the crowd who didn't have a sense of humor?
RGL - Yes, we are Rot Gut Likker and we tell jokes, even though some bands do not. People have definitely gotten pissed and left. But for the most part, we feel that the audience is like a woman. If you treat her like shit she will just keep coming back and asking for more.
SFMZ - This is probably the lame-est question of this interview but what should people expect in 2009 from ROT GUT LIKKER?
RGL - Satan, and whiskey, and out of town shows. The foundation being laid for a Satanic Southern Empire. Whiskey shits.
SFMZ - When I was checking out your upcoming show listings on your site. I saw your April 11th gig is KILL THE PIG 2009 in Parkton, North Carolina. Ok I'll bite, what's KILL THE PIG 2009?
RGL - Kill the pig is an outdoor all day whiskey and barbecue live metal event. It is the satanic state fair with elephant ears of bourbon and satanic bear claws.
SFMZ - Last question, you plan to shop your new CD around to labels?
RGL - We're gonna do what we want. We really don't see the point of pursuing a label when we do all the work. You can make 8 cents a CD or you can make a new fan by giving it away free, which is what we've done with Uncle Satan. Why make no money and also get told what to do? We do what we want and don't make money at this point but at least we get to say Satan, faggot, and whiskey. A lot.
CHECK OUT THE BAND'S WEBSITE AT:
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
BLOODSWORN - All Hyllest Til Satan CD
According to their website, BLOODSWORN consider themselves cursed because the two previous labels they were supposed to release something with folded. Obviously entitling your release, All Hail Satan, had nothing to do with it. But you know what they say, the third times the charm and here it is in all of it's Satanic glory. Timing is not on this Norwegian band's side but you've gotta give them credit for persistence. They recorded this in 1999, finally releasing it in December 2008 and that's something which makes All Hail Satan unique in a way. This two piece band consider themselves Black Metal but this sounds more in the vein of Blackened Thrash flying out of control. This is chaotic to the point where songs start blurring together and one could at first think it's repetitive. I blame that on their use of a drum machine. Thankfully there's some important aspects to this which keep everything from being monotonous. First off while many bands today strive to get that authentic early Black Metal sound. These guys have it without having to fake it. Also I like the distorted vocals which sound as if blood is spewing out of the guy's mouth with every verse. Maybe it is? Next it's the guitar solos that stab out at you like a maniac with a knife. I'd say there's a more traditional Metal influence flowing through some of the songs since the riffs are less tremolo picked. At first I wasn't about to give this a favorable review. But after a third listen All Hail Satan won me over because it's not fake or forced sounding. It's not for those who only respect the modern production values of today but then again neither am I. This CD is simply a time capsule for those of us who appreciate looking back into the dark past and grin.
CANDLEMASS - Lucifer Rising CD/EP + Live
Nuclear Blast Records
This came out late in 2008 as a teaser for fans awaiting the band's next full length. It's technically a CD/EP with two new cuts, a re-recorded classic plus nine live cuts taken from a show of theirs in Athens, Greece. Like I said, technically it's a CD/EP a 70 minute CD/EP. And you wonder why I like this band. The title cut is full on Metal from the past, my past at least. It might turn off older fans but then they just need to get over it. "Lucifer Rising" is a fast paced number which I was waiting for CANDLEMASS to knock out. But just to satisfy ya the next new cut "White God" is pure signature Doom which you expect from CANDLEMASS. But then comes the biggest surprise of all. A re-recorded version of "Demons Gate" from the band's debut Doom pioneering Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. It was one thing for Robert Lowe to step in the shoes of former singer, Messiah Marcolin. But to go back to the beginning and retrace the steps of original vocalist Johan Langquist. Yeah that just shows you the last original band members, bassist Leif Edling and rhythm guitarist Mappe Bjorkman, have so much confidence in Lowe. Speaking of which the live cuts are a mixture of more recent past classics like
"Mirror Mirror", "Samarithan", "Gallows End", and "Solitude" as well as material from their last one King of the Grey Islands. The live material isn't perfect as far as sound quality. On some cuts the Athen's crowd simply takes over the vocals. But if you figure that it's an add on in order to make the studio cuts a worth while deal for this package then who cares. It just makes me what to hear their next full length even more. And isn't that what it's all about.
GRAVE DIGGER - Ballad of the Hangman CD
Unfortunately I'm not familiar with this band's previous work which goes back to the halycon days of 80s Metal. Plus I really couldn't get any info out of some friends who are fans of TRUE EIGHTIES OBSCURE METAL DUDE!. I mean REALLY liking TRUE EIGHTIES OBSCURE METAL DUDE! Although one friend described them as being like HELLOWEEN, a German band too, who I knew by one record and never cared for. So after some short research, which included checking out a new video from this release. Whoa someone call VH-1 we have a video for you to replace all that other crap you put on Metal Mania. So I come to find out that GRAVE DIGGER were this huge German Metal band back in the 80s. TRUE EIGHTIES OBSCURE METAL DUDE! Now looking back to those times the biggest band I liked from Germany was ACCEPT then later it was KREATOR, SODOM and the list goes on. I totally missed out on THE greatness of GRAVE DIGGER. Obviously while I was thumbing through the Import Vinyl rack at the headshop I missed something. Then again they did break up in 1987 only to reform in 1993. So now it's 2009 and I'm sure someone will believe I need redemption for not knowing all about GRAVE DIGGER. You know what I say, redemption is for losers.
Now I do like Ballad of the Hangman since it's TRUE EIGHTIES METAL DUDE! I'm sure it's labeled Power Metal nowadays but fuck all that shit. This thing is Heavy Fuckin Metal with a killer vocalist, Chris Boltendahl, whose voice has obviously seen better days or screams. But to me that's perfect since Dio can't hit the high notes like he used to either although he's still a great vocalist. Boltendahl reminds me of him in that he's an old dude who's unstoppable. Then again so am I. Boltendahl is also the last remaining original band member. That's persistence which I can also respect. Musically how could you not like this? It answers the question, what would they sound like if a cool Metal band from the 80s was transported in time from then to now. Good powerful riffs driving dual guitar stuff. First time the band has ever had two guitarists so yeah bang your fuckin head. Good songs, no they're great songs "Grave Of The Addicted", "Sorrow Of The Dead" and especially the title track. Big surprise here was the guest appearance of BENEDICTUM’s vocalist Veronica Freeman. The song she guests on, "Lonely The Innocence Dies", is a ballad but hey it's TRUE EIGHTIES METAL DUDE so get with the program. All in all this is one fantastic release. And as always great cover artwork to boot. Power/Heavy Metal bands always have cool covers to stare at while the music is blasting away in the background.
H.O.W. - Fiends in High Places CD
So I'm standing next to the bar at Volume 11 Tavern one evening when my friend Ed, zombie movie actor & bass player for the band KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS, walks up and hands me this CD. So I asked him where did this come from. He told me that he got it in the club's men's room. That's when I had to remind him never except things from strangers in public restrooms. You never know when a congressman might be in the stall next to you. Now be that as it may I accepted the CD in order for reviewing purposes. After one listen my first thoughts were "Past the bong I think I'm Geezer Butler!" Which would probably make for a great song or album title.
H.O.W. are the latest inductees into the realm known as Bands Inspired By BLACK SABBATH's Master of Reality LP. Or more commonly known as Stoner Rock with an emphasis on the word "stoner" What did you think H.O.W. means, Hump Our Whale? No you coke headed spazz it's HOOKED ON WEED! I give H.O.W. credit and respect for holding to the Stoner Rock theme. In other words there's a drug reference of some type in all of their songs. For the past couple of years there's been a few "well known" bands dragging their love of SAB into the Sword & Sandal category. Personally I think that's a little fucked up but then they are geared towards the Indie Rock Loser crowds. On the other hand H.O.W. are rocking out to the children of the Metal. I know I mentioned SABBATH but I'm hearing some TROUBLE in here as well. Now this CD is only four song's worth but each cut is like getting the munches with only a buck in your pocket. You wish you had more. The opening cut, "Tonight" and the third cut "Trip" sound like outtakes from Master of Reality. Well with the exception of the vocals that thankfully don't sound like someone trying to copy Ozzy. Remember that TROUBLE reference? Great vocals, clean sounding stuff, this guy should be commended for the effort.
"Cryptic Thoughts" is pure 70s Metal, not Power Metal, this is Never Say Die territory. Plus there's a section in this song where the vocalist could've let loose with a falsetto scream right before the guitar solo. But no he held off something that would've made it sound interesting. It's the shortest cut on here at three plus minutes, the rocker. By the way great guitar solo their dude, now where did I put my air guitar? That's right air guitar and wanting cheesy falsetto screams. I'm picturing myself in the front passenger seat of my friend's Nova in 1980. Cruising down the town's mainstreet with the windows rolled up to keep the "fog" in while this is blasting on the 8-Track. "International Drug Trade" is like a stripped down HAWKWIND opus. By "stripped down" I mean just guitar, bass, drums and vocals that jump from being up front to falling back into whispers. When you're high everyone seems to be whispering. Can't wait to hear a full length by H.O.W. in the future. I might even get "oriental" just to enhance the atmosphere.
HUMAN MASTICATION - Grotesque Mastication of Putrid Innards CD
I've got a friend who right now is working in the Philipines where this band is from. I'm gonna send him an email to check these guys out live. I'm optimistic on how he'll like em but then again he makes twisted underground movies. This is HUMAN MASTICATION's debut full length although they have been on a bunch of split releases and compilations. Sound wise these guys are Brutal Death Metal with a bellows for a vocalist and a penchant for thinking up interesting song titles. Now I could write paragraphs about this band's music. But just mentioning one of their song titles for example, "Sodomize the Lacerated Rectum", should give you the idea. Or how about the opener, "Your Rotting Body is My Art", now you're not going to think this is some Christian Metalcore band are you? More likely these guys ground up a bunch of SIX FEET UNDER and CANNIBAL CORPSE CDs then injected the dust into their veins. It hits ya faster that way than snorting the shit, ah atleast that's what I heard. But the end result is brutal and sick. Personally this ain't my type of fun but the sheer extremeness is enough for me to say good job guys. Now go into the jungle and play around one of those haunted trees ya got over there. If this band was from say Orange County, California I'd probably be giving them a hard time. It's one thing to be brutal for brutal's sake. But atleast come from a place that's influentially "brutal". Not finding a table at the food court on a Saturday night just doesn't cut it.
IRON FIRE - To the Grave CD
Years ago we just called bands like this simply Metal or even Heavy Metal but that was around thirty years ago. In that time span sub-genres were created either to redefine or denigrate. The latter seems to have happened to the bands who fall into the Power or Battle Metal category. It's been written in various mags and websites that this genre shouldn't be taken seriously or that it's one big cliche after another. And what Metal genre doesn't have some sort of cliche in it? Yeah I thought so and I also thought that IRONFIRE's last release, Blade of Triumph, was pretty good. So I'm glad to see them return with this their fifth release full of songs about monsters "The Beast From The Blackness", demons "The Demon Master", and epic battles "The Battlefield". Once again the strength of this band is with the voice of Martin Steene. The man's vocals convey power and passion which is something extremely important with this genre. The music behind Steene is pure Heavy Metal power. Heavy handed guitar riffs and solos to invoke air guitar mania, along with a impressive rhythm section which keeps everything together. The production on To the Grave is another key to the importance of this. While other genres have no problem with shiny polished overdone sound quality which makes bands sound phony. This carries an almost late 70s/early 80s feel and still epic. Plus this has the first Metal anthem of 2009, "Kill For Metal". Now how could you be critical of that?
KREATOR - Hordes of Chaos CD
I was already looking forward to seeing KREATOR on tour this year. But after listening to
Hordes of Chaos my anticipation has grown ten fold. This is a damm great fuckin album! The first thing you notice overall is the production which is very raw 80s style. That's because producer Moses Schneider had the band practically create a live in the studio recording. This is the ingredient which was lacking in a few of last years releases by Thrash veterans returning to reclaim their thrones from the new school crowd. Now in 2009 KREATOR doesn't have to prove shit as far as I'm concerned. This is their twelfth studio album. They helped create the whole fuckin genre with essential releases like Pleasure to Kill, Terrible Certainty and Extreme Aggression. All of which have been used by the new school crowd as templates for their own new Thrash noise. Not that there's anything wrong with it. So I was expecting a quality release here. What we get is an incredible one with
guitarist/vocalist, Mille Petrozza, showing us that he's still pissed off as all Hell and wants to scream his head off about it, well to a degree. Better yet you're not going to forget it since these songs are catchy angry anthems. Be prepared to sing along when you see KREATOR play your neck of the woods in 2009. Now don't get me wrong because this isn't a trip down memory lane. Along with the fast bursts there's some melodic pieces, with excellent guitar work throughout. I'm happy that the band didn't go into the studio in order to recreate the past, shine it up with studio tricks that the younger set is so used to nowadays, and toss it out with a big "Eat This" tag. Hordes of Chaos proves that KREATOR are true to themselves as musicians, songwriters and Thrash veterans we owe alot to.
LEGION OF THE DAMNED - Cult Of The Dead CD
Euro Thrash bands have always been reliable in having a Satan friendly evil streak in sound, style and attitude as opposed to most of the U.S. brand name stuff. Our biggest export in Hell spawned Thrash will always be SLAYER. And on this release these Dutch metallers have tapped into some Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits. But in no way is this template copying to jump on the new Thrash bandwagon. LEGION OF THE DAMNED have been around for a few years which pre-dates the hype. Yeah I know some people will be like, "oh we've heard all this before." Yeah and it frightened you then didn't it? Check out the cover art, does it offend your inclusive sensibilities? Good now go back under your rock, boy. Personally I much rather listen to something "retro" than that politically correct for college radio indie rock pseudo-metal. This release is stick to the basics style Thrash for people who still have control of their neck muscles after years of head banging. Unfortunately after forty plus minutes of Cult Of The Dead there will be neckbrace fittings for some of you. Relentless pounding percussion and catchy continuous guitar riffs with no room for guitar noodling is what you'll receive. The vocalist sounds like he was weened from the tits of a succubus. All of which is layered in black filth which masquerades as production. The perfect release for slaughtering lambs to.
ROSE FUNERAL - The Resting Sonata CD
Metal Blade Records
On my first observation of the band name and CD title I was thinking "goth band". Ok sure this is from Metal Blade but they've got a christian band in their stable so anything is possible. Plus the CD intro cut "Exordium: The Fall Of Christ" didn't help any. But once the next song "Sodomizer" got going well all doubts were gone. This is Death Metal with more breakdowns than a baptist funeral for a gangbanger killed in a drive-by. I see them on the news alot, they're really pathetic. But anyway if you want some melody or actual song structure then you've got the wrong band atleast for most of The Resting Sonata. The sad truth is that there's a band like ROSE FUNERAL in every town with a Metal scene all across this country. Their saving grace (ouch! that's gonna hurt) are the vocals. This guy, Tim Russell, alternates between screams, growls and those low monster burps in a decent way. But musically most of this is brutality for the sake of being brutal. And bands from South America own that fuckin style. Where's this band from, Ohio? Whatafuck's so brutal about Ohio to influence ROSE FUNERAL? It's definitely not their pro football teams.
ROT GUT LIKKER - Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey CD
The Scumfeast Metal crew were in attendance one night in Fayetteville, NC (aka: Fayette-Nam) to see our friends ANTISEEN put on another kick ass showing of Destructo Rock. Little did we know that the highlight of the damm evening was going to come from one of the opening bands, ROT GUT LIKKER. James At 15, zombie movie actor & singer for the band KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS and I were up front. He turned to me, throws up the horned fist and screams, "these guys are fuckin great, Old School Thrash!" I couldn't agree more and even better is that this CD sounds pretty close to what we witnessed on stage that night. Yeah there's alot of Thrash in their sound plus healthy doses of Hardcore and Southern Rock. Typically in the South those three musical elements are a prescription for another PANTERA wannabe. In the past the kids in trailer parks used to learn to walk by watching chickens but nowadays it's listening to Metalcore "breakdowns". Thankfully ROT GUT LIKKER used the chickens in a ritual sacrifice and then kicked the shit out of the Metalcore kiddies.
After the Southern Pride of the opening intro, "Stars N Bars Forever", Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey turns into a dual guitar assault and battery. There's more soloing on this dink than you'd hear during a week long stint at a guitar store. The difference being this shit rips flesh from your bored out hide. Plus this invokes images of a drunk Satan torturing another guitar store geek who dared to play (Choose One: "Freebird", "Stairway to Heaven" or "Sunshine of Your Love") one more time. My memory is not what it once was, because I drink. But for the life of me I can't think of an actual Southern Fried Thrash band. And don't even try to toss out COC as a reference. I knew those guys and the Confederate flag to them was like sunlight to Dracula. ROT GUT LIKKER revel in the idea of being Southern and scare Baptists with screams of "Hail Satan". The actual opening cut on here is "Start The Show" which should mean start the fuckin pit! This is followed by "Kidney Killer", a song that opens with a face peeling guitar solo. Also I need to mention that the vocals on here are harsh screamed. Or in other words Daugherty, guitarist/vocalist, sounds like a pterodactyl after smoking a carton of Lucky Strikes and downing a jug of some Johnston County shine. It's really evident on the cut "Southern Justice" which contains a hint of BLACKFOOT and it's about as true Southern Rock as ROT GUT LIKKER gets on this dink, with the exception of three short guitar interludes which break up the cuts. Cause from there this thing takes off like a bar room brawl.
While "I Don't Give A Shit" is blasting I'm picturing bottles flying, bloodied bodies and these guys playing on through the chaos their music has created. "Grudge Fuck" and "Shitface Fever" carry that same kicked in the head again power. Once more it's the guitar solos slicing and dicing like a fuckin coked out chef at a Japanese Steak house. Count your fuckin fingers these guys are on the attack. Better yet, check your throat for scars and your skull for dents because the rhythm section gets in their hits too. But just at the point where I had these guys pegged as Thrash merchants out for thrills and kills on a Southern state murder spree, they toss out a surprise. Actually it's three surprises because the last cuts on here "Lunis", "Dying Inside" and "Kronos" are ambient Black Metalish instrumentals. Imagine good o'l Varg Vikernes of BURZUM in "Bib" overalls sitting on the porch of his shack out in the woods. He's worshipping Satan, making shine and cranking out this stuff which keeps his hounddogs happy as they lay underneath the porch. Gooooood Dammmmmm! Hell I'm not even worthy enough to give this band the kinda praise they deserve. I'm a yankee by birth but a southerner by divorce. Hopefully they won't hold it against me because I have given up my evil yankee ways. So while we're in an era of Metal that rewards clone bands and shrugs at originality. ROT GUT LIKKER's Uncle Satan's Straight Whiskey is truly a blaze in the Southern sky.
TERMINAL FUNCTION - Measuring the Abstract CD
Swedish Progressive Death Metal with some horrible sounding keyboards which they use to break things up. There's too much jazz in their sound for my tastes and not enough aggression or intensity. Like a Progressive version of fellow countryman MESHUGGAH but I don't care for their technical tricks of boredom either. This is TERMINAL FUNCTION's debut CD and all eight cuts are totally unlistenable. Actually they're not songs at all but various "abstract" pieces fused together to drive people away with. How do they keep an audience from walking out? This is so lifeless that if I were at one of their gigs I'd be hanging out at the bar till they finished. This is for all those "progressively minded" types who listen to this stuff on headphones, alone in their apartments, on Saturday nights.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NOMTRON interview by wolf
One of SCUMFEAST METAL's Top Ten Bands to check out in 2009. Virgina's NOMTRON are far from being pigeon-holed into someone's sedate safe genre characterization. Far be it for me to try and nail down a description worthy of them. I checked in with Bob, the band's singer/frontman and old friend, to find out what they call themselves.
SCUMFEAST - I heard that you had a run in with a hoofed and horned creature while driving home one night?
BOB - Yeah man, I was driving home from practice on a rainy night in the middle of the city when outta nowhere a deer came rolling down a steep hill to my right, bounced across the street & slammed into the rear panel of my truck. Dented the hell out of it.
SCUMFEAST - When Andy told me about it I was like, "Was it a Bigfoot, a Virgina Woodland Demon or a bum? Speaking of which have you ever seen anything weird in the woods?
BOB - Oh yeah, I've definitely seen some weird shit, but then I used to take a lot of acid. In all seriousness though I once saw a Polish immigrant set fire to a pair of pink underwear in the woods, but that's a long story.
SCUMFEAST - So when are you going to post some of NOMTRON's music on the myspace site? Yeah I know there's some on your BOBTRON site but not the official one.
BOB - New stuff is being recorded now & should be up soon. There is a link on our site to CD MAXIMUM where we have a couple of old songs up. Like you said, you can always check us out on my site.
SCUMFEAST - The words on your site which you use to describe your music are Metal Experimental and Ambient. Do you think it works to answer the question of "what you sound like?
BOB - When you break it down yes, because we don't follow the typical metal song structure. It's kind of like prog rock applied to modern extreme metal. It's more rock oriented riffs played very heavy & very fast. We also have a lot of melodic intros, spacey leads & often use ambient soundscapes & samples between songs.
SCUMFEAST - I obviously remember your days in JERMFLUX, a band that had crossover appeal to fans of Hardcore and Extreme Metal. NOMTRON seems similar in that you don't fit into a specific musical genre niche. So does NOMTRON also have crossover appeal?
BOB - Probably not in the general sense, however I have many times had people come up to me after a set & say that they don't usually listen to this type of music but they really liked us. I mean people that don't listen to metal. So in a way that's crossover appeal. Yeah we don't really fit into any "sub genres" because we have our own thing going, but we got the chops & the aggression to hang with the best.
SCUMFEAST - Did you read the piece I had written about NOMTRON in SFMZ's "Bands To Check Out In 2009"? I described your sound as MORBID ANGEL and the DEAD KENNEDYS crashing head first into a wall of BLACK FLAG and CARCASS. I called you fuckin insane Metal which is exactly what I was thinking when I watched your set at the club in Richmond.
BOB - Insane metal sounds good to me. The only band we've ever been compared to until now was VOIVOD. We are definitely fans of all those bands as well as Meshugga & a list that could go on for days. We used to cover Wiggly World by DEVO.
SCUMFEAST - How did NOMTRON start? Did you seek out the other guys or did they find you?
BOB - We all met during the last couple of years of JERMFLUX. We used to hang out & record on a 4-track for fun doing noise stuff inspired by BASTARD NOISE, SUPPRESION & SUBKLINIC. Eventually we just decided to form a real band. James was already a badass drummer without a band & Evad was already a badass guitar player without a band, so I thought we should go out & kick some ass. In the begining we played real short super fast songs & it just progressed from there.
SCUMFEAST - With a few obvious exceptions, I've noticed that there's alot of eclectic styled bands from Richmond, VA area. Especially the ones who came down to play the Caboose years ago. So what is it about Richmond?
BOB - It's the home of VCU the nations best art school so it attracts a lot of free thinkers & a lot of punk kids first time away from home, ready to go wild. Lot of people forming bands & putting on house shows. Lot of creativity in one small place. It's the kind of place where you can look as weird as you want & nobody thinks much of it. Even the normal people have tattoos.
SCUMFEAST - Have you set plans for future recording and releasing something in 2009?
BOB - We are recording right now down in Moyock N.C. @ SNIPER STUDIOS with our good friend Vince Burke (BEATEN BACK TO PURE/LUNCH/SOUR VEIN/HAIL HORNET!). We hope to get a full length cd out by summer.
SCUMFEAST - The last time I saw JERMFLUX was in 1999. So what have you been doing since then and singing for NOMTRON?
BOB - Well I backpacked around Europe for a while then cooled my heels down in the Bahamas doing caricatures on the beach for nickels. Nah fuck that, we've been working on this band since the end of JERMFLUX. We never sleep. We played & recorded under a different name until ..08 when we had to change it because of copyright issues. During a hiatus I sang for a band called IGON & released a cd on SATAN ROCK called PEOPLE.
SCUMFEAST - Will 2009 be a year of "hope & change" according to our new president. Or are you just hoping to Have Some Change Left In Your Pocket?
BOB - I've said that it would be funny if the worst thing that happened was that everyone was brought down to having to live like me & nothing got any worse for me. Then it would be like " Haha welcome to my world bitch". But lets face it; the rich will get richer & the poor will get poorer. Much poorer. It's also looking like we may see World War 3 sometime soon.
SCUMFEAST - What's Invein Productions?
BOB - That's a booking agency run by a good guy named Rocky. If you're looking to play in Hampton Roads you should hit him up. If you're looking to play in Richmond you should contact the VIRGINIA METAL ALLIENCE.
SCUMFEAST - So whatever happened to the infamous ARMISTEAD ASYLUM punk house which you lived at? Hey that wasn't that place in Newport News which a few of us from Raleigh stayed at when we came up to see the PIMPS years ago?
BOB - Yeah that's the place. We put on a lot of crazy shows there, all free. We broke bottles on the floor & danced in glass. We hung barbed wire inside the house, even wrapped it around the hand rail on the staircase. It was a great place but after a while every one started to move out for one reason or another & those of us left couldn't affored it anymore.
SCUMFEAST - Did you ever sacrifice an animal to a Pagan God of your choice there?
BOB - Nah, we were all animal lovers. We had a freakin zoo. Dogs, cats, fish, iguanas, a ferret.
SCUMFEAST - Are you still in touch with all those people who were in bands like THE STRAP- ONS/PIMPS, GNOB and NOBODY?
BOB - Not so much. Everyone kind of moved on. Lot of marrying & breeding. Still talk to most once in a while.
SCUMFEAST - Alright here's the last one and I'll stop bothering ya. There's a saying, "You are nobody in the music business unless someone hates you". Can you add to that on a personal level from where you're from?
BOB - That may be true because most people seem to like us & yet we are not yet famous. Most good bands I meet are under appreciated in their home town. It has been said that we sometimes go over people's heads, but I refuse to believe that metal fans can't appreciate something new & different that still has all the heaviness & aggresion they are looking for.
Monday, January 12, 2009
THE ESSENTIALS ARE RELEASES THAT HAVE TRULY LEFT MARKS OR SCARS ON MY LIFE. AND STILL TODAY I CAN PLAY WITHOUT EVER BEING BORED BUT STILL KEEP ME EXCITED AS IF I'M PLAYING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. THEY'RE FROM THE VARIOUS METAL GENRES AND OF YEARS PASSED. SO TAKE A TRIP DOWN MY MEMORY LANE AND HOPEFULLY REMIND YOU OF YOUR OWN.
ARCH ENEMY - Wages of Sin CD
label: Century Media Records
1. Enemy Within
2. Burning Angel
3. Heart Of Darkness
5. Savage Messiah
6. Dead Bury Their Dead
7. Web Of Lies
8. The First Deadly Sin
9. Behind The Smile
10. Snow Bound
11. Shadows And Dust
Wages of Sin might start off with some nice piano on the opening cut "Enemy Within". But by the one minute twenty-five second mark, after the guitars have burst forth. The face and sound of Death Metal, Swedish Melodic Death Metal, would change forever. You would have to be a misogynist, a homosexual or a complete utter fool (aka: a disgruntled AT THE GATES fan) to disregard the fact of what happens at that 1:25 minute mark on this CD. Because it's there that Angela Gossow enters into the picture and things would never be the same afterwards.
We all know the story. Arch Enemy was brought together in 1995 by guitarist Michael Amott after his previous band, CARCASS split up. He already had his stoner rock band SPIRITUAL BEGGERS but wanted something a little more on the Death Metal side of the musical spectrum. The original bunch of musicians that accompanied Michael Amott were his brother Christopher Amott (guitar), Daniel Erlandsson (drums), and ex-CARNAGE vocalist Johan Liiva. In 1996 this band released their debut album Black Earth. As the years passed there were some line-up changes and more releases. In 1999 their Burning Bridges release garnered the band high praise but for Michael Amott it wasn't enough. The one major problem was Johan Liiva who was not willing to go all out as a participant in the band. Despite what some modern day eager young assassins of musical revisionism would have you believe, the guy was not into doing long tours. So out went Liiva and in came a replacement who surprisingly became the German blonde Angela Gossow. Like I said earlier, things changed.
ARCH ENEMY were already a good Melodic Death Metal band displaying fast yet intricate guitar work by the brothers Amott. Along with that you had the very impressive drumming by Daniel Erlandsson. So with Angela Gossow on vocals they became a great band which over the past few years has only gotten better which each release. But it all started here on a release where at first people didn't believe it was a woman doing the vocals. Even today I've played ARCH ENEMY to people not in the know and they have a hard time believing it. Once they realize it they are intrigued by the whole band's sound. Gossow's vocals whether it's her guttural growls, raspy screams or that sinister semi-whisper were far more exciting than the man she replaced. Sound-wise this release was not much of a jump away from their previous work. The music on Wages of Sin was all written before Gossow joined the band with the exception of some lyrics. But still with her vocals this release really twisted the traditional Gothenburg sound. Which by this time was pretty boring and in need of some excitement. Some people were happy with the repetitive circle jerk sound which was bleeding out of post Slaughter of the Soul Gothenburg. Thankfully ARCH ENEMY were ready to expand.
Wages of Sin is far from being a pure Swedish Melodic Death Metal release which to me is a good thing. At times it comes off like Thrash with excellent soloing by the brothers Amott. There's also some NWOBM influence (IRON MAIDEN especially) in the melodies/solos that threw some Melodic Death Metal purists back in the day. Actually they're still thrown by it and I refer you back to my first paragraph for an explanation why. Gossow's ability to use varied vocal styles, while still keeping things harsh, was also a needed change. And yet it never once went to the pathetic examples of today. I'm talking about this modern day singing with death growl vocals on one verse then switching to normal vocals for the next one. The bottom-line here is that Wages of Sin is/was/and will always be a release that still kicked ass. Strangely enough there are some that still cry about being kicked in the face. WELL GOOD!
Yeah well what more can I say. This is a Metal album for people who actually like Metal. One thing I mentioned earlier is that each of the band's following releases did get better and better. That's true I'm even a huge fan of their last one Rise of the Tyrant. To me all of the Johan Liiva versus Angela Gossow shit is childish. To still cry like a baby about it all these years later proves one thing. You're a ignorant loser. Michael Amott did something you are incapable of doing, taking a huge chance to be successful at your craft. The past few years have proven him right and all of the detractors so miserably wrong. What is it like to be miserably wrong all the time? Could someone please explain how it feels because I sure as hell wouldn't know.
DESTROYER 666 - Unchain the Wolves CD
released: Modern Invasion Music
1. Genesis to Genocide
2. Australian and Anti-christ
3. Satan's Hammer
4. Tyranny of the Inevitable
5. Six Curses from a Spiritual Wasteland
6. Rome Wasn't Destroyed in a Day/Unchain the Wolves
7. Damnations Pride
8. Outward to Arktoga
Some of you are probably wondering why choose this one as an essential over a BESTIAL WARLUST release. DESTROYER 666 was never intended to be a serious full time band. It was simply going to be a side project for K.K. Warslut to kick out some Thrash driven cuts. Fortunately he continued on and made a full time band that's still with us today. So in the future you might see something about Blood & Valour. But for now we'll place K.K. Warslut's post BESTIAL WARLUST band's second full length in the Scumfeast Metal Essentials file. For me the choice is easy because this release is a perfect example of Australian Extreme Metal. It's the best DESTROYER 666 release of their few to choose from career. Although the jury vote might have to be retaken because of a supposed release in 2009. It's also a prime example of what Blackened Thrash is all about. Strangely enough it reminds me of BATHORY in the sense that the sound on Unchain the Wolves is both savage and epic. This is especially true after listening to the first song "Genesis To Genocide" with it's tolling bell, howling wind sample and eerie syth opening. Then the guitars kick in and it becomes this hypnotic Black Metal epic lasting just over ten minutes in length. I love how the guitar solos on "Genesis To Genocide" seem to walk in from a backroom like an uninvited guest. They're very melodic in style and yet convey power. It's really an anthem for anyone who is willing to embrace the dark side of the Extreme Metal realm. The lyrics are calling to the listener, "What if we called in the dead of night? Would you leave your woman and fight? Would you join us?" I already have my friend.
The following cut, "Australian and Anti-christ" has this great opening sample of a crowd screaming "Confess Confess" to which K.K. Warslut screams back "Fuck You Fuck You". Not as good as Barbara Steele's comeback in the horror movie classic Black Sunday but it does suffice. This is a great full on Thrash number simple powerful and spewing of political incorrectness and Satanic philosophy. Plus it has a catchy as all hell chorus. "Satan's Hammer" is another speedfreak number with some haunting soloing in it's early moments. The damm riff driven brutality, the hatred, the pulverizing heavy as fuck metal sound. It makes you want to grab hold of Satan's Hammer and pound some loser's head in with it. And I do know some well deserving individuals in need of some pounding but then don't we all.
"Tyranny of the Inevitable" kind of has this haunting Western sound quality. I can imagine them playing this at some ghost town in the outback of Australia. The cut is paced slowly but still an epic masterpiece none the less."Six Curses from a Spiritual Wasteland" is another Thrash favored number perfect for banging one's head to. The title song is another long epic number and it's also my favorite cut on here. How could I not go insane when you hear lyrics like "Summon the werewolf blood! Summon the wolves to war! UNCHAIN THE WOLVES, UNCHAIN THE WOLVES, UNCHAIN THE WOLVES! SET THEM FUCKING WILD"! The song is fantastic. The same with the following cuts "Damnations Pride" and "Outward to Arktoga".
Unchain the Wolves represents a balance of all Extreme Metal genres and yet it still holds true to the Blackened Thrash side. It's a call to arms for anyone with a strong dark side. It was reissued in 2005 so it's easy to find.
RAINBOW - Rising LP/CD
label: Polydor Records
1. Tarot Woman
2. Run With The Wolf
4. Do You Close Your Eyes
6. A Light In The Black
Of the three Dio-era Rainbow studio releases this one, the second, will always be my favorite and definitely an essential when it comes to medieval inspired epic metal. It also proved to the music world at the time that Blackmore could create greatness without DEEP PURPLE. In fact Rising was light years better than the last two DEEP PURPLE releases that Blackmore appeared on, Burn and Stormbringer. And the post Blackmore DEEP PURPLE LP, Come Taste The Band was simply a fuckin joke. Even Blackmore's first solo/RAINBOW release, Richie Blackmore's Rainbow, was better than that piece of garbage. And I'm a huge DEEP PURPLE fan. Rising also contained the best RAINBOW line-up of all their career. Consisting of Dio on vocals, Blackmore on guitar, Jimmy Bain on bass, Tony Carey on keyboards, and Cozy Powell on drums, this line-up would go on a world tour in 76 in support for this release.
All six cuts on Rising are incredible. "Tarot Woman" opens with swirling synthesizer passage provided by keyboardist Tony Cary. Blackmore takes over afterwards with typical blistering riffs. And of course Dio's vocals shine through this whole rocker. "Run With The Wolf" is a signature Blackmore bluesy cut reminiscent of his DEEP PURPLE Mark II line-up days. "Starstruck" is also in the same vein and tells the true story of a stalker in Blackmore's life. "Do You Close Your Eyes" is considered by many as the album's lone throwaway track. I disagree of course since it contains a strong powerful vocal performance by Dio. In fact each band member's performance combines together as a unit on this track more than other. As opposed to the others which give time to each in order to perform a solo.
Of course this album will always be known for it's two over eight minute long tracks which close it. First off "Stargazer" is the LP's masterpiece and shows off the classical elements this line-up had in hand. Cary's spacey syths, Powells powerful drum solos, Blackmore and Bain's guitars cranking in and of course Dio's majestic vocals. The song is flawless and contains one of Blackmore's longest and elegant solos put to tape. For it's time the production and arrangements on here were perfectly in sync. Cary's keyboard playing sets this otherworldly atmosphere while Blackmore bends notes to soaring degrees. Near the end Dio sings "I see a rainbow rising" and chills just run right through you. Whenever you listen to this it becomes debatable which LP showed off Dio's talents better as a vocalist, this or BLACK SABBATH's Heaven and Hell.
The final climax of Rising is "A Light In The Black", a rousing number which contains the best guitar/keyboards duel since Blackmore's DEEP PURPLE days. In fact the song is so reminiscent of DEEP PURPLE. It's as if Blackmore is telling his former bandmates to stick it. I'm sure he did it many times but on here it's a recorded slap in the face. And speaking of slaps whenever I read or hear someone attack "Power Metal" I think of this LP. For all intensive purposes this era of RAINBOW is the beginning influence on the genre. Years later other bands like SAXON and MANOWAR would really define it. But the early beginnings were paved on Rising.
I know there are a few "Best of RAINBOW" releases out there for people to pick up. I've got one from 1981 the double LP compilation on Polydor Records. But your best bet will always be to get this original in all it's glory on vinyl or disc. It's also been remastered on CD and you can find it cheap over the internet if you look for it. For all of you true collectors I've also got this on CD titled RAINBOW Rising Rough Mix Bootleg. It's a recording put to CD which was directly copied from the original pre-mixed tapes that belonged to drummer Cozy Powell. It's exactly the same as the original but you can hear a few missteps in the openings of two songs. Plus "StargazerI don't want to talk about my RAINBOW live at Budokan 1976 double CD boot, which is slightly different than the official On Stage live LP from 1977. Oh did I mention it? Sorry about that atleast I didn't mention that I first saw RAINBOW during their 1978 Long Live Rock and Roll tour in 1978. I saw them a few years later during their Joe Lynn Turner pop faze too with RIOT and the SCORPIANS (doing Blackout). RAINBOW did do "Smoke on the Water".
Sorry to say this but there are no RAINBOW official band sites but here's a treat for ya.
RAINBOW LIVE FROM THIS ERA
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness CD
label: Earache Records
1. Immortal Rites 4.04
2. Suffocation 3.15
3. Visions from the Dark Side 4.10
4. Maze of Torment 4.25
5. Lord of all Fevers & Plague 3.26
6. Chapel of Ghouls 4.57
7. Bleed for the Devil 2.23
8. Damnation 4.10
9. Blasphemy 3.32
10. Evil Spells 4.12
11. Maze of Torment (Remix) 4.24
12. Chapel of Ghouls (Remix) 4.56
13. Blasphemy (Remix) 3.22
Altars of Madness is the most important release in the history of Death Metal. Not many bands can have that said about their full length debut. But in MORBID ANGEL's case it comes easy. There are many things about Altars of Madness which makes it an essential for anyone into Extreme Metal. First off there's the production/sound quality which by today's white washed standards would in all intensive purposes be considered crap. The sound on Altars of Madness is simply "unclean". Most people won't understand that but the extreme ones do. It's completely heathen in it's approach to sound and style. Complete unadulterated filth and we love it. The raw unpolished quality is what makes this extreme. Can you just imagine the faces of the unaware when this onslaught was turned on them?
"What is that", they ask?
Another important part are the vocals by bassist David Vincent which are unmatched in their terrifying hatred of everything. Vincent's vocals are simply inhuman sounding. The guy was possessed during the recording session. Listen to his voice on "Bleed for the Devil". It's as if he's singing in the first person not just reciting lyrics he'd written. That's freaky and I don't care how much Black Metal you've numbed yourself with. Vincent is the Devil on Altars of Madness.
"What is that", they ask?
What more could be said about the demonic guitar duo of Richard Brunelle and Trey Azagthoth? The riffs/rhythms on here are monsters running wild amongst the sheep. The solos are fiery meteors raining down upon the unshielded fools. On "Chapel of Ghouls" the solos sound like unleashed flaming bats on the attack. The rhythms are haunting like actual zombies are rising up. You can't run because they have you by the ankles.
"What is that", they ask?
Pete Sandoval was a sadist when it came to the drumming on here. Be it the steady pounded rhythms or the torturing blastbeats the guy was getting off on inflicting pain. All through this album here was this mad man delivering S&M styled beatings without any "safe words" to be uttered.
"What is that", they ask?
You really wanna know what that is? It's your end fuck face!
Like I said earlier, this is the most important Death Metal release of all time. If you've grown tired of it or are one of these pussy boy, indie rock, snobs who only likes Death Metal that has progressed from what they consider it's "neanderthal" beginnings. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN READING THIS LOSER? GET OUT!
MR BUSH SAYS GOODBYE
My fellow Americans, aw screw that. Part of you don't even like America and the other bunch are just plain stupid. How about this, to all the Americans who still believe in freedom and not those lying bastards from MSNBC. Well it's down to the short hairs. Soon Laura and I will be out of here. I mean the Whitehouse although some of you out there would rather something worse would befall us. Yeah ha ha and fuck you too. I've done my two terms and you're all welcome. Even those who wanted me impeached. Some people think defending the country from terrorists is worse than lying about boinking an aide. Well screw you because in a few days I'll be back home in Texas and you'll be stuck with the new guy. Hell I was in office for over 3 months before being accused of a scandal. This one hasn't even taken the oath yet and he's involved in three. And these weren't made up by the N Y Times. Well good because I'm done, I've had it with all of ya. But before I go there's just a few things I wanna get off my chest.
Alot of you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world and in this nation of ours. Then there are others who are just too damm lazy to do some homework and figure it all out. Hell just take a look at the guy you elected and why. You know mistakes can be forgiven but stupidity is forever. The most dangerous thing in any nation is an ignorant populace with real grievances. And half of this country are stupid. You've been sold a bill of goods from liberal politicians and their buddies in the media. Look at the housing crisis. You all wanna blame me for it. Say it's all my fault that the whole damm thing happened. And yet Barny Frank was in charge of watching over Fannie and Freddie. No you won't blame that cocksucker. You people are stupid. And now the economy is in the tank. Wow remember when the economy was great and unemployment was lower than it was during the Clinton administration? Naw you don't.
When gas prices went up you blamed me, why? I don't have control of the price for a barrel of crude. The price shot up because of increased demand in other parts of the world. Then there's those idiots who were yelling about the Iraq war was all for oil. Well then where did all that oil I supposedly secured go? And speaking of the Iraq war I have something to say to all of assholes who said I lied about chemical weapons. I didn't lie. The intelligence was faulty and I admitted it. If I was this evil guy you've all accused me of then I could've hidden plenty of chemical weapons in the desert to be found later. Did any of you morons think about that? And I just wanna remind you idiots that it wasn't just me. The world thought Saddam had chemical weapons. Another thing as far as regime change in Iraq goes it was official U.S. policy before I came into office. Bill Clinton established that policy but I guess you must have missed that one. As far as the whole War on Terror, I told you early on that this was going to be a long fight. These bastards aren't like enemies of the past. Back then we were fighting countries with official armys. These bastards don't have countries. They're whacked out religious nuts from all over the world and they wanna kill you. But you're too stupid to believe it. Plus your ungrateful of the job we've done protecting this nation since 9/11.
You know if every dumb ass liberal hated the terrorists just like they hate me. Then those fuckers wouldn't have a chance. But no you hate me and want the prisoners down in Gitmo freed. Well fine lets free em, any takers? How about you assholes out in Frisco do you want them? No because you're all a bunch of asshole hypocrites. Hell even your man Obama has changed his position on closing Gitmo. Are you gonna complain to him about breaking his campaign promise? I won't hold my breath. Hell some of you people are too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level even when a hurricane is heading straight for it. And I get blamed for that too. Hell if you tossed a bucket of cold water on a sleeping liberal they'd wake up cursing my name. Now that's stupid. Fine, go ahead and have your new non profit police state. You wanna talk about lies or torture? Listening to all the lies spewed forth every day on CNN and MSNBC is real torture. And to all of you global warming nuts here's something to remember. Al Gore is a watermelon head. He's environmental green on the outside but commie red on the inside.
Well just fuck it. I tried and the news media lied. I know that years from now I'll be looked upon as having done the right thing. But if you wait a little while, everything a liberal tells you will be wrong. That's the difference between them and me. Pioneers take more of the arrows. And I've been slandered, smeared and besmirched more than any President in modern history. Atleast Nixon actually did something he was accused of. Hell some loser in Frisco gets herpes and wants to blame my administration for it. That's just stupid! Supposedly I stole the election from Gore in Florida, yeah right. But ACORN actually helped steal this past election and you liberals defended it. Al Frankin, think about it. But that's the problem. Alot of you people don't think for yourselves. You swallow every slogan that's handed to you. Well fine I'm out of here. But I'm sure whenever the new guy screws up I'll be blamed for it. So for my final act as President I'm giving my last executive order. To all of you Real Americans, a year from now if things start looking bad for the new guy. Find a liberal and back slap the asshole.
Goodbye and Fuck Off,
Saturday, January 3, 2009
genre: Black Metal
label: Nuclear Blast Records
band website: www.immortalofficial.com
ABBATH - Vocals/Guitar
HORGH - Drums
APOLLYON - Bass
Well we're still waiting for the Bergen boys to release their long awaited opus of indignity. Is the title "The Battle Rages On"? We were expecting it in 2008 but hey you know how genius works. Whatever happens Abbath and company promise extensive touring for 2009 & 2010. Please do because if I see another 16 year old kid at a show wearing an IMMORTAL shirt he bought at Hot Topic, I might have to hurt some people. My friend James At 15, singer for the band KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS, told me that goth people are now getting into IMMORTAL. Beautiful just fucking beautiful maybe the band should hold out for the hipster crowd also. Our expectations for this new IMMORTAL release are ??? Will the last Black Metal fan of IMMORTAL please turn off the fuckin light when you leave? It'll probably be us.
genre: Black/Folk Metal
label: CCP RECORDS/SPV DISTRIBUTION
band website: http://www.wolfchant-metal.com
Lokhi - vocals, mouth harp
Derrmorh - acoustic guitars, rhythm guitars
Skaahl - acoustic guitars, lead guitars
Norgahd - drums, vocals, recorder, accordion
Bahznar - bass
So who doesn't like Epic Pagan Metal from Bavaria whose band name reminds you of this zine's editor? Yeah I'll admit it a little self indulgence on my part. But ever since we first heard WOLFCHANT in 2008. We've been waiting for info on a new release and hopefully a tour in the US. Their 2007 release A Pagan Storm was an incredible piece of Pagan Folk Metal. We expect the same when WOLFCHANT releases their next one DETERMINED DAMNATION scheduled for spring 2009. Too bad they won't be on this year's Pagan Fest tour. They would've been a perfect addition.
band website: http://www.hammerband.net
Ricchard - Bass Guitar, Harmonica & Vocals
Christian - Guitars
Arlek - Drums
Near the end of December this band's 2007 self released CD, No Way Out, arrived in our mailbox. After one listen by me (Wolf) I kept the CD in my leather jacket and carried it wherever I went from December 24th to January 1st. I'm talking about going to parties, shows, driving around doing errands, etc. And every chance I got to place it into someone's CD player, I did so. I turned it onto two NWOBM uber-fans James At 15 & Dracutard both of the band KNOWLEDGE IS FOR FOOLS. Those two guys went apeshit when they heard it. HAMMER are Heavy Fuckin Metal as if they stepped into a time machine back in 1980 and out they came 21 years later. This is Drinking Metal, Partyin Metal, Fighting Metal and of course Fucking Metal. Let me tell you something, if a average copycat band like AIRBOURNE can make a decent sounding record and tour in support for it. A band like HAMMER can surpass that mark by miles. We're looking forward to it.
genre: Black/Pagan/Folk Metal
label: Trollzorn/SMP Records
band website: http://www.gernotshagen.de
S. Jung - keyboards
T. Volker - drums
Damien - bass
Askan - vocals
Diabolus - lead & acoustic guitars
Daimonicon - rhythm guitar
"The place once lying in the Thicket thuringian of the forest, in the shadow of the castle wall-tower, is definite lost. He just lives in our thoughts, in our hearts and in our blood! He just lives in our thoughts, in our hearts and in our blood! We tell stories about the days where glory, freedom and grief were dominating. We tell stories about the glory days where, freedom and grief were Dominating. The days of Gernotshagen." The days of Gernotshagen are as of this writing being spent on the Light A Pagan Fire Festival tour in Europe. Their sound is part reminiscent of other greats in this genre of Black/Pagan Folk Metal but another part is totally original. We here at SFMZ hope that after touring the band will start working on their follow-up to 2007's Märe aus wäldernen Hallen release. Although a mighty feat to try we feel a worthy challenge to this band is all they want.
from: United Kingdom
genre: Death Metal
band website: http://www.detrimentum.co.uk
Jonathan Butlin: Guitars
Paul Wilkinson: Guitars
Luke Robinson: Vocals
Phil Williams: Bass
Steve Powell: Drums
Who says there's no great Death Metal coming out of the UK? Ah no Grindcore doesn't count. Well we here at SFMZ learned about Detrimentum last fall and decided to keep an eye on em. We were hoping that some decent label would have signed em up by now, their second release would be in stores and they would be part of some Death Metal package tour. So far nothing like that has happened as of yet. The key word there people is "yet". You see Detrimentum specialize in old school Death Metal with touches of Black and Doom Metal. If you remember our Death Metal faves list for 2008 then you saw that we marinade dead burnt bodies in that kind of stuff. So yeah along with SFMZ we expect all of you to check out Detrimentum. Hopefully by the end of 2009 we'll be choosing their release as one the the favorites of the year.
THE 1%ers: words from mr.wolf
"How can you listen to that crap?" That was a former employer of mine commenting on the music that was playing at work one afternoon. She had come in unexpectedly one Sunday afternoon while I had IRON MAIDEN's Number of the Beast CD playing on the stereo. My answer to her was, "Knowing that it disturbs you makes it easy." She obviously didn't take my comment very well but then that's just too bad. Some people of lessor intellect might call our verbal sparing just trading insult for insult. But the fact is that the truth is never an insult. A similar circumstance happened with a roommate once. He was addressing the merits of the music he liked to listen to compared to mine. Once again my musical tastes were referred to as crap. The answer I gave him was that my music was supposed to be crap to him. I said that what he liked was also what the majority of people listened to. But my music was exclusive to the few. So to him it should be crap because he wasn't suppose to like it. The artists who created it did so in order to disturb people like him or should I say "common people." It wasn't worth debating what was better of the two. What he considered to be good music is what 99% of other music lovers call good. And that's fine by me because I'm part of the 1% crowd. And I don't care what the other 99% think, I don't have to.
Years ago I stopped using certain genre specific terms to describe what types of music I liked to listen to. The main reason was that there are always two sides to the same coin. You have the mainstream/common side and the Extreme side even though it's all part of the same musical genre. Now I know this zine is all about Metal but I'm still partial to other styles of music. The key factor that all brings them together is that they're all part of the Extreme side of things. So if I were to say Metal to someone and they started talking about the new METALLICA release. I wouldn't know what to say since I couldn't care less about METALLICA. Actually my neighbor did ask me about it and I told him I don't care about it. When he asked what I was listening to of late I told him HATE from Poland. Obviously he had no clue because they don't play HATE on the cheesy mainstream radio stations he listens to. And once again that's fine by me.
You know some people,losers, would think of me as an elitist or a snob. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just wait till you see my Favorites of 2008 list. You'll notice that I'm meat and potatoes Metal, not avant-garde snobbery. The real snobs are the people listening to Prog, Post Rock, Noise and Indie Rock. They're calling all of that crap Metal nowadays. They're calling TORCHE's release the best of 2008. That's a fucking joke but it makes sense to them. Just like the guy who likes hearing the new METALLICA CD on the radio. It's comforting to him. And so here you have these college radio losers who actually hate aggressive music. But they wanna call what they like Metal and also be elitist about it. Obviously they're just part of the 99%ers because they want to water everything down in order to digest it. They can't stomach the hot stuff. The local free weekly liberal newspaper even chose TORCHE's CD the best Metal of 08. Now this paper is notorious for being elitist snobs, loving Obama and hating Metal. They think the term "Death Metal" has too much emphasis on violence. As far as "Black Metal" well they think that term is racist and rather call it Metal from Scandinavian origins. Now I don't care what a bunch of liberals, gender confused or dorm room homosexuals think. They are all part of the 99% bunch. In any conversation I'm involved in when it comes to Metal they just don't matter. Personally I think all of that liberal ilk should be executed by howlizer. But hey I'll leave that to another opinion piece.