Tuesday, February 28, 2012

RAM - Death CD review



RAM - Death CD

Metal Blade Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Here's another Swedish act who have taken the late 70's / early 80's heavy metal scenic route as an influence. Death is their third full length but first for Metal Blade who already have a few similar styled acts in their stable. I totally missed out on their previous releases so I'm wondering into their present territory. Straight to the point these Swedes like their PRIEST, MAIDEN and of course MERCYFUL FATE. This release of theirs is hell bent for leather as well as a few other things.

Oscar Carlquist is not in the category of the frontman who led the above mentioned acts but still has a decent enough vox. The duel guitar interplay (ala Tipton and Downing) works well on most of the cuts. There's little nuance on this release. Basically if you're not a fan of early heavy metal then you're not going to like this (and you'll be taken behind the building and shot for it). On the other hand since I am a fan, obviously since I lived through those years there's some real standouts on here. Songs like "Release Me" and "Defiant" are favorites but "Flame of the Tyrants" is the definitive PRIEST like anthem.

RATING: 4/5

Label: http://www.metalblade.com/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/rammetal

MOVE OVER MANOWUSSIES, THESE SWEDES ARE TRUE METAL! This is the video of the year as far as I'm concerned


TERRORIZER - Hordes of Zombies CD review


TERRORIZER - Hordes of Zombies CD

Season of Mist

Genre: Death Metal

This was another one of those "most anticipated albums of 2012" although I believe the anticipation was more about whether or not it was gonna suck. Now I'm not gonna get into the fuckin official history of TERRORIZER. If you're reading SFM666 then you know it but if you don't then go look it up yourself. I'll just point out that if you're an extreme type then you remember their 2006 comeback flop, Darker Days Ahead. The irony of that was guitarist Jesse Pintado had lost his fight with diabetes and died shortly after that album's release. So from a logical standpoint the band should have been laid to rest with Jesse.

Well somebody decided not to (?) so enter TERRORIZER 2012 featuring the only original member Pete Sandoval on drums, David Vincent on bass (who was actually a session bassist who simply assisted on the recording of 1989's World Downfall because the original one was in jail), Anthony Rezhawk (who sang on Darker Days Ahead) returns on vocals and filling in on guitar is Katina Culture who also plays with the punk band RESIDENT CULTURE. I'm not gonna use the word replacement because you can't replace Jesse Pintado. Personally it would be better to look at this not as TERRORIZER but considering the people involved and they did re-use the name I've got no choice.

Without going into every freakin detail about this album lets just keep with the basics (don't wanna do any editorializing now). First off Hordes of Zombies is a better album than their last comeback. It's also faster which you could chalk up to Sandoval feeling a whole helluva lot better. Also credit goes out to Katina Culture who does a damm good job creating some sick and vicious riffs on here. Jesse Pintado would definitely approve since she keeps within the band's original sound and fury. As far as Vincent goes who cares you can't really hear him. I really didn't care for Rezhawk's vocals on the last album. Six years later he's still soulless most of the time sounding like a zombie singing. It's only when he shuts the fuck up that you can enjoy the music on here.

Now with that said and the talents of Culture and Sandoval dearly noted, this album is fairly average. I'd say a third of Hordes of Zombies is pretty good. Songs like the title cut, (but not the opening intro cause that blew) "Ignorance And Apathy", "Broken Mirrors" and "Forward To Annihilation" all have that some what exciting TERRORIZER feel of old. As far as the rest of this album is concerned it's all filler. The material blends so close together that I don't know why they even bothered to stop in between songs. They could've put two or even three cuts together and shorted the song list. The only thing good that could come out of this is if Katina Culture gets another gig with a band that would allow her to show more of herself instead of following a legend. Also as far as this band's legendary status goes, get the first demos and World Downfall will take a backseat.

RATING 2/5

Label: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Official: http://www.terrorizergrindcore.net/



CHRISTIAN MISTRESS - Possession CD review


CHRISTIAN MISTRESS - Possession CD

Relapse Records

Genre: Heavy Metal


The more I listen to this release the more I scrap everything I've previously written down for notes and start over. I'm sure there will be a lot written about this band with references made to NWOBHM, female fronted bands of the past, metal guitar duels, et al. I'm going to cut away from all of the dense crap which will be filling up future webspace and give you a quick an honest rundown. CHRISTIAN MISTRESS are the type of band who I commonly refer to as "sounding like they have stepped out of a time machine". Sure any band could pull influences from some past act and be a copycat but that's not the case here. This Olympia, Washington five piece have grasped the essential elements of mid to late 70's metal greatness and are repeating it beautifully today. Genre purists and wanna-be journalistic taste-makers are probably pulling their hair out (and not necessarily from their heads) trying to pigeonhole this band. I'll make it easy for everyone, CHRISTIAN MISTRESS are a Heavy Metal band, nuff said on that topic.

On Possession, their second full length, CHRISTIAN MISTRESS repeat as well as enhance some of the strengths they showed on their 2010 debut Agony & Opium which came out on 20 Buck Spin. The band plays like a well oiled unit leaving plenty of room for everyone to shine. Musically I disagree with all those who wanna tag this band as NWOBHM revivalists. When I listen to this I think of two bands from the 70s, UFO and JUDAS PRIEST, who were cranking out great music prior to the genre term creation. CHRISTIAN MISTRESS follow a template forged by those two acts. They create a diverse mixture of songs with varied rhythmic flourishes and dueling guitar showmanship by guitarists Oscar Sparbel and Ryan McClain. Vocalist Christine Davis is more than just a front woman / singer. You would be hard pressed to find someone in the metal realm who compares to her vocally. I was looking at soulful punk acts or garage bands from the 90s for comparative singers since Davis's style is so unique and powerful.


As far as songs go, in my not so humble opinion, Possession is perfection from start to finish. You learn that quick when opener "Over & Over" comes flying out at you like a man on fire. Notice that CHRISTIAN MISTRESS's music is not about the riffs either, albeit there are some decent flurries, instead it's about the solos and the licks. Witness this on cuts like "Black to Gold" or "The Way Beyond". One big surprise on here is that the title track is actually a cover from an obscure Swedish band FAITH. (For you collector scum look for the Hymn of the Sinner 7"er from 1986) As for all out old school rocking "Conviction" fits that bill in a UFO type of way. While on "Haunted Hunted" Davis adds some strong sultry swagger to her already amazing vocal repertoire. When the final cut "All Abandon" fades out you will be pleading for more.

RATING: 5/5

Label: http://www.relapse.com/



Official: http://www.christianmistress.com/


Scum News: Black Metal greats INQUISITION sign with Season of Mist


Black metal powerhouse INQUISITION just inked a deal with Season of Mist! The Americans' sixth album will be released on the Underground Activists division.


HERE'S A FAVORITE OF MINE FOR YOU TO LISTEN TO WHILE YOU READ:





Frontman Dagon issued the following statement: "For many years INQUISITION has loyally walked upon the path of Black Metal deeply devoted to its spirituality and magic while growing and maturing our craft, yet always preserving the essence that ignited us since our beginning, always keeping us rooted in the elements that make us what we are now and who we were in the past. Time is relativity and this relativity is affected by choice and selection during our time of existence as INQUISITION. Therefore our careful choice of a new label as a means to take us further into our journey, and your journey, extending this path we walk upon into deeper dimensions and allowing us to heighten our potential will be placed in the hands of Season of Mist. At this time we are heavily devoted to the composition and arrangement of our next opus. We know what we want, we know what you expect and we look forward to 2012 being the year of creation and production of this upcoming ritual. With pride we announce this new relationship and with pride we will continue to deliver INQUISITION at its finest... Hail the cult."

Scum News: VATTNET VISKAR Announce March Tour



New Hampshire's darkest export, blackened doom alchemists VATTNET VISKAR, will be hitting the road in support of their Broken Limbs Recordings debut, a self-titled EP that marks the band's first foray onto vinyl. They'll be winding their way down the East Coast, playing with the likes of WOE, TOMB & THIRST, and more, rampaging through the Southeast, then looping back up to wrap things up with an album release show at NYC's Lit Lounge on March 19th. Catch them while you can!



The record officially drops on March 15, 2012, and is graced with ethereal cover art from San Francisco artist Bryan Proteau, whose gorgeous creations have illustrated DEAFHEAVEN, PALLBEARER, ATRIARCH, LYCUS, and OBOLUS. The album was recorded and mastered by Brett Boland (HETFIELD & HETFIELD).




VATTNET VISKAR MARCH TOUR DATES:

March 8, 2012 @ Ralph’s Rock Diner :: Worcester MA
March 9, 2012 @ Elm Bar :: New Haven CT
March 10, 2012 @ Pickwick Pub :: Poughkeepsie NY
March 11, 2012 @ Kung Fu Necktie :: Philadelphia PA
March 12, 2012 @ Garfield Artworks :: Pittsburgh PA
March 13, 2012 @ Tommy’s Pub :: Charlotte NC
March 14, 2012 @ Slim’s :: Raleigh NC
March 15, 2012 @ The Muse :: Nashville TN
March 16, 2012 @ Underdogs :: Lexington KY
March 17, 2012 @ 130 Jackson :: Blacksburg VA
March 18, 2012 @ Crayola House :: Harrisonburg VA
March 19, 2012 @ Lit Lounge :: Manhattan NY

VATTNET VISKAR recently joined forces with underground music portal Cvlt Nation, who cemented the bonds between the two entities by inviting the VV camp to create an exclusive "mixtape" as part of Cvlt Nation's ongoing Sonic Cathedrals Mixtape Series. ". The site also recently premiered a track off of the band's upcoming Broken Limbs Recordings debut, streaming at: http://www.cvltnation.com/weakness-vattnet-viskar-new-track-premiere/




"When you hear VATTNET VISKAR's music, you realize that something is special about this band..." - Cvlt Nation

"If they were from Vermont I'd probably hold something against them. Then again Vermont would have disowned them anyway for sounding too good, plus liberals in Vermont think the term blackened doom is considered a racial slur." SCUMFEAST METAL 666






The band's previous release, a two song demo, was met with praise by both fans and the press, landing on several "Best of 2011" lists including American Aftermath's "Top 5 Demos of 2011." Their new material continues the momentum and malice, as VATTNETVISKAR ready themselves to take their place amongst the best and brightest of a new breed of USBM acolytes.





https://www.facebook.com/vattnetviskar?sk=info



http://www.vattnetviskar.com

Scum News: CORROSION OF CONFORMITY: New Album Out Today!


“The Moneychangers” Video To Premiere On Headbangers Ball; U.S. Tour To Commence This Thursday

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s self-titled new studio offering is out NOW. Released via Candlelight Records, Corrosion Of Conformity was recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in Los Angeles, produced by the band in cooperation with long-time collaborator John Custer, mixed by John Lousteau (Foo Fighters) and features artwork by Seldon Hunt (Melvins, High On Fire). Featuring the esteemed Animosity lineup of vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman, and drummer/vocalist Reed Mullin, the album’s release closes a six year recording gap and completes over a year of concentrated writing and recording for the band.



Said SCUMFEAST METAL 666: "The band combines sludge, stoner grooves, real hardcore and raw metal into one huge monstrous beast. I think this release will appeal to old fans as well as brand new ones which I think is cool as fuck. For those of you who got into COC in the mid 90's well maybe not. Either way this new revitalized and retro-fitted COC release shows that these guys have a new lease."



SCUMFEAST METAL 666 also gave CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's self titled release a 5/5 rating which also means it's one of the best extreme metal releases of the year.



In conjunction with the record’s release, the Raleigh, North Carolina legends will embark on a full U.S. headlining tour beginning this Thursday at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. The trek will hit 16 cities including two performances at this year’s SXSW Music Conference in Austin. The band will be joined by Torche, Valient Thorr and A Storm Of Light unless otherwise noted.

And the fun doesn’t end there! Coinciding with the tour kick off, a video for “The Moneychangers” will make its worldwide premiere via Headbangers Ball on Thursday, March 1. The video was filmed in Raleigh by Charles Cardello and features the band in a storyline that brings the song’s lyrics out visually (even Jesus makes an appearance). To check out the video, visit Headbangers Ball at http://www.mtv.com/shows/headbangers_ball/series.jhtml on Thursday!


OR IF YOU THINK HEADBANGERS BALL IS STILL FOR LOSERS YOU CAN JUST WAIT 5 MINUTES AFTER IT'S POSTED ON THERE THEN LOOK FOR IT ON YOUTUBE.


http://www.coc.com



http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity



http://candlelightrecordsusa.com

Scum Video and News: AUTOPSY release All Tomorrow's Funerals


Brand new studio recordings from the death metal gods, plus newly remastered collection of all the classic Autopsy eps & rarities.

All Tomorrow's Funerals', is the latest chapter in the history of the death metal legends. This monstrous release contains four new studio tracks recorded late 2011 - including a re- recorded version of classic oldie 'Mauled to Death' - plus all of Autopsy's past EP's and rarities, which have been specially remastered by the band themselves, totalling 22 tracks all together, resulting in over 73 minutes of sickness.

Everything from 'Retribution For The Dead' & 'Fiend for Blood', to the now sold-out EP 'The Tomb Within' is present, including liner notes from the band and new cover art from renowned artist Matt Cavotta (also responsible for the 'The Tomb Within' cover).




Autopsy have influenced a whole generation of extreme metal bands, from Entombed and Dismember to Darkthrone, and are among the biggest and most respected names in the genre's history.

Release Date 20th February 2012

TRACKLIST
1. All Tomorrow's Funerals (NEW TRACK)
2. Broken People (NEW TRACK)
3. Mauled To Death (NEW TRACK)
4. Maggot Holes (NEW TRACK)
5. The Tomb Within
6. My Corpse Shall Rise
7. Seven Skulls
8. Human Genocide
9. Mutant Village
10. Horrific Obsession
11. Feast of the Graveworm
12. Funereality
13. Fiend For Blood
14. Keeper Of Decay
15. Squeal Like A Pig
16. Ravenous Freaks
17. A Different Kind of Mindfuck
18. Dead Hole
19. Retribution For The Dead
20. Destined To Fester
21. In The Grip of Winter
22. Sign of the Corpse

Scum Video: RAM Flame of the Tyrants

Meet Sweden's latest Heavy Metal Kings.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Scum Video: Deicide Release "Conviction" Music Video

Deicide have just premiered a new, claymation-style music video for their song "Conviction." Watch it below.

The clip features Glen Benton chasing after Jesus in a bizarrely animated world. The clip was directed by David Brodsky and Tim Kellen, with Kellen handling the animation.

"Conviction" comes from the band's most recent album, To Hell With God, which was released last year on Metal Blade.


Scum Video: Chainsaw Guitar Solo

I'VE GOT PLENTY OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE WITH A CHAINSAW ON AND OFF STAGE BUT THIS GENTLEMAN HAS ME BEAT. TAKE HEED OF THE WARNING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE VIDEO. ALTHOUGH IF YOU DO PLAN ON COPYING THIS GUY WITH YOUR OWN YOUTUBE VIDEO DON'T FORGET TO SAY THE MAGIC WORDS "HEY GUYS WATCH THIS".


Scum News: Thrashtastic Party Brigade IN DEFENCE Hit the Road for US Tour


Profane Existence is proud to announce that Minneapolis defenders of the faith... er, defenders of tacos & circle pits, IN DEFENCE, are headed back out on tour. This time they are bringing their destruction and mayhem to the Southeastern section of the United States. This is an area of the country they have not been to in several years and the boys are excited to get back in town. They will be touring in support of two new albums 'Party Lines and Politics' and 'Don't Know How To Break Dance', both recently released on Profane Existence. If you live in or near one of the towns they are playing we highly recommend checking them out as their live shows are a lot of fun!

IN DEFENCE TOUR DATES

Feb. 25 - Maplewood, MN @ Deans Tavern
Feb. 27 - Minneapolis, MN @ Memory Lanes
Feb. 28 - Des Moines, IA @Vaudeville Mews
Feb. 29 - Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin
March 1 - Fayette, AR @ JR's Lightbulb Club
March 2 - Dallas, TX @ Queen City Tattoo
March 3 - Austin, TX @ The Annex
March 4 - Houstin, TX @ The White Swan
March 5 - Lafayette, LA @ JP's Hookah Lounge
March 6 - Pensacola, FL @ The 309 Haus
March 7 - Tallahassee, FL @ The AF Haus
March 8 - Gainesville, FL @ TBA
March 9 - Sarasota, FL @ The Darn Barn
March 10 - Fort Meyers, FL @ Cool Hand Luc's
March 11 - Miami, FL @ Churchill's Pub
March 12 - Tampa, FL @ Transition Art Gallery
March 13 - Savannah, GA @ The Orphan Cage
March 14 - Chattanooga, TN @ Sluggo's
March 15 - Birmingham, AL @ Spring St. Fire House
March 16 - Nashville, TN @ CoCo Cafe
March 17 - Bloomington, IN @ Fort Vegan
March 18 - Milwaukee, WI @ CCC

FOR MORE TOUR INFO VISIT: http://www.facebook.com/indefencepunx

FOR IN DEFENCE RECORDS & T-SHIRTS VISIT:

http://www.profaneexistence.com/search.php?search_query=in+defence&x=0&y=0

Scum News: High on Fire To Release New Album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3


High on Fire will release its new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3 via eOne Music (and we hope it's not a soulless turd like their last one.)


Recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, the 10 song effort -- touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" -- is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow up to 2010's Snakes for the Divine which debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been called "wonderful" by The New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by The Chicago Tribune. (yeah those are two huge purveyors of everything extreme.)

De Vermis Mysteriis (or "Mysteries of the Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft mentioned De Vermis Mysteriis as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man". (please note that H.P. Lovecraft is to modern metal band influences as water is to thirst.)

The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes." And that's just scratching the surface!

Musically, De Vermis Mysteriis is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. High on Fire construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar.

Over the course of forty-five minutes, High on Fire have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. High on Fire is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.

When asked for comment on De Vermis Mysteriis, Pike somewhat cryptically replied, "Prepare for your dark journey."

The track listing for High of Fire's De Vermis Mysteriis is as follows:

1.) Serums of Liao
2.) Bloody Knuckles
3.) Fertile Green
4.) Madness of an Architect
5.) Interlude
6.) Spiritual Rites
7.) King of Days
8.) De Vermis Mysteriis
9.) Romulus and Remus
10.) Warhorn


WE'LL SEE?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scum Video: ANGEL ROT live 2000


ANGEL ROT was guitarist Tom Five's band after leaving WHITE ZOMBIE. The style is the obvious precursor to WHITE ZOMBIE's pre-MTV sound. Here they are live at a Raleigh, NC club called Kings 9-21-2000. That's Gyda Gash, now of JUDAS PRIESTESS, on bass. I was at this gig and the place was dead. Two reasons for that, first off the QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE were playing in Chapel Hill that night which meant that everyone who hung out at this club went to see that other crap. Two this was a real indie rock loser / poser club which preceded hipsters by a few years. Another thing contrary to now popular hype, people (aka: indie rock losers) in the Raleigh, NC area were not into Doom just MTV hype bands.


CASKET ROBBERY - Shrouded In Darkness EP review


CASKET ROBBERY - Shrouded In Darkness EP

Self Released

Genre: Death Metal

I had a choice tonight to either blast this band's EP or the new one by TERRORIZER in the purposes of writing a review. What the hell these guys are from the Midwest and they're new while Dave Vincent is a douche so here we go. CASKET ROBBERY, their name conjures up images of a horror punk band clad in Goth make-up and MISFITS t-shirts all purchased at Hot Topic. Fortunately they're not one of those. This band hails from the great Midwest aka: Madison, Wisconsin and would probably beat up the goths. Musically this is the band's second EP and with just four songs to fill a long evening of listening. First off CASKET ROBBERY is not doing your typical brand of DM. Although the bludgeoning factor is there these guys are experimenting with non traditional time signatures, core melodies and industrial beats plus sample additions.

Personally they need to be thinking about how to fill a full length release because true weirdness in death metal is in need. MACABRE can't have all the fun. CASKET ROBBERY is actually a two piece DM act featuring Cory Scheider who performs all the instruments, plugs in the drum machine and his claim to fame is that he was once in a band with a chick lead singer. Dustin Foesch is the vocalist and self described Pabst Blue Ribbon beer drinker. He'd probably shit if he knew who was reviewing his release. Either way I think the name dropping of MACABRE speaks volumes which is more than what's on here. Midwest American death metal bands always have a sickness about em and CASKET ROBBERY follows suit.

RATING: 3/5

Bandcamp: http://casketrobbery.bandcamp.com/album/shrouded-in-darkness

Facebook: www.facebook.com/casketrobbery




Scum Video and News: FDA Rekotz to Release Revel in Flesh's Deathevokation on March 23rd



German Deliverers of Death FDA Rekotz have set March 23rd as the date on which REVEL IN FLESH's Old School Death Metal will be introduced to the world with the release of Deathevokation. The album will also be available as a digital download on Amazon, I-Tunes, Spotify and others. Featuring members and former members of IMMORTAL RITES (R.I.P), DAWN OF DREAMS and APOPHIS, Germany's REVEL IN FLESH formed in 2011 to pay tribute to the impure way of classic 90s European style old school Death Metal!

The album was mastered by Dan Swanö who had this to say about Deathevokation: "An excellent offering to the Gods of SweDeath, complete with one of the most accurate re-creations of the crushing guitar tones of the early Sunlight era."


Deathevokation is about pure passion for the style and features 10 tracks defined by an addiction to the way Death Metal was meant to be: ferocious and filthy! Recommended without hesitation for all fans of Nihilist, Entrails, early Entombed, and Dismember!

Check out this promo clip for their song "Wings of Death":




REVEL IN FLESH was formed to pay tribute to the impure way of classical 90's European old school Death Metal! The line-up consists of former IMMORTAL RITES (R.I.P), DAWN OF DREAMS and APOPHIS members.

The band's debut album Deathevokation was recorded during several sessions in the autumn and winter of 2011 at VAULT M. Studio. The songs themselves were written in a period between 2007 and 2011. Deathevokation is about pure passion for this particular style and features ten tracks addicted to the way Death Metal was meant to be.

Deathevokation was mastered DAN SWANĂ– at UNISOUND Studios (Sweden) in January 2012. Cover artwork comes courtesy of Spanish underground artist Juanjo Castellano (VOMITORY,BLASHPERIAN, SATHANS).



https://www.facebook.com/pages/Revel-in-Flesh/304228902958414?sk=wall

http://www.fda-rekotz.com/gx/


DRUDKH - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel CD review


DRUDKH - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel CD

Season of Mist

Genre: Black Metal

If you've been a long time fan of DRUDKH (aka: from 2003 to 06, their classic early era) than when the announcement for their new release came out late last year you probably had a presence of deju vu. Over the past six years you've heard that announcement many times. So when the day finally came you listened to the new release and you were questioning (Songs of Grief and Solitude from 2006) satisfied (Estrangement from 2007) surprised (Microcosmos) and down right disgusted (2010's Handful of Stars). That latter one even garnered accusations of selling out to the post black metal / non metal crowd. I thought that Handful of Stars sounded like a blackened version of SONIC YOUTH. Therefore I had to agree with the naysayers that DRUDKH had indeed left their early dense, earthy black metal riffs which was more about the land and atmosphere then appeasing some hipster retards / indie rock losers who believe the local city park to be woodlands.

So what's the early verdict of Eternal Turn Of The Wheel? I can put your fears to rest by telling you that the Ukrainian underground legends do well with their ninth album. The release starts off in typical DRUDKH fashion, "Eternal Circle" is a short yet beautiful acoustic instrumental opener closed with nature sound samples. The first of the four long epics (another DRUDKH tradition) is "Breath of Cold Black Soil". It's mere seconds into the cut when you realize that DRUDKH has reached back into their icy past for inspiration. At once the song's brisk riffs and blast beats create a storm which lifts up into it. The furious waves of atmosphere assault your body, ripping away clothing and leaving you naked to be carried away on the frozen wind like melodies. That beautiful guitar and keyboard created blizzard is back with the ever memorable caustic screamed vocals as our guide.

"When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls" brings out the pain and sacrifice where as "Farewell to Autumn's Sorrowful Birds" sorrow. The latter cut has a melody reminding me of KING CRIMSON's "Epitaph". Both cuts ground you in a place of cold solitude where all of the world's sadness, which once flowed free, is now frozen solid and locked in place. The next cut gets bled into by the footsteps of someone walking through snow. Welcome to the finale "Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-Haired Stars" another epic of brooding grimness, icicle beauty and North wind riding which carries you along in a catatonic state over the frozen landscape back to the dark iced crypt. Eternal Turn Of The Wheel might have the concept of seasonal change although that final sound you hear is the wind. The end is never pretty also the only return to form I care about was DRUDKH's. They're back.

RATING: 5/5


Label: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Myspace: www.myspace.com/drudkhofficial



BADR VOGU - Exitium CD review


BADR VOGU - Exitium CD

Memento Mori

Genre: Stoner / Sludge

These days a stoner sludge band coming from Oakland, California is about as surprising as finding Chinese food in China. Former home of stoner / sludge vinyl oddities, Man's Ruin Records, called San Fran home which is just a little ways away so I'm sure their influence flowed a bit on the wind or club scene to Oakland. Whether or not BADR VOGU is a devotee of that former label's catalog, their sound is far from average. Any fledgling musicians out there in this not so wonderful world who plan on starting a stoner sludge band should pick up this release prior to them taking the plunge. What we have here is a learning tool or teacher's aid. This is how you create a unique off kilter take on a well worn music genre and get away with calling yourselves some what original.


To the oblivious music listening bozos out there, whom may or may not be some of my close yet jaded friends, what BADR VOGU is actually doing on this their debut full length might seem like just basic stoner sludge. Thankfully my well trained music instincts say otherwise. BADR VOGU do have all of your basic genre tools ie: Sabbathian blues song structures, down tuned despondency and an eclectic song pace equal to that of watching a bunch of fucked up hippies in a foot race. The differences they add in are actual song writing chops, barked bellows throated vocals, samples pinched from movies or the local college audio department that actually fit the songs (good job on "Nomad", is that Emperor of the North Pole?) and finally they're more crusty aka: more ASBESTOS DEATH than SLEEP, more southern hostility than southern sludge and comfort.


All of that thrown together plus BADR VOGU manage to create almost fifty minutes of music in 7 songs, without tapping the boredom setting. Frankly I find that freaking amazing considering what usually passes my way when it comes to stoner sludge is equal to drinking a cup of sleepy time tea to wash down the handful of barbiturates. Then again when you have fierce sounding riffs paired up with thundering bass and self flagellating vocals it's hard to nap out. The last two cuts on here, "Slumlord Blues" as well as "Barons of Filth" is where that prior assessment meets this band and sets them apart from the chattel. Definitely a band to keep an eye on who has not been caught in the hype light.

RATING: 4/5

Label: http://www.memento-mori.es/

Bandcamp: http://badrvogu.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/B%C3%A4dr-Vogu/110102062369701?sk=wall



GRIMNESS 69 - The Bridge CD review


GRIMNESS 69 - The Bridge CD

Xtreem Music

Genre: Death Metal / Grindcore


While listening to the opening cut "White Room" along with staring at the cover art work of this release I couldn't help but get this unnerving feeling about the whole thing. GRIMNESS 69 might be a death grind act but their doomish down tuned sensibilities along with the vocalist's affection for inhuman vocal patterns makes listening to this release equal to an uneasy sickness. Hopefully this Italian band doesn't take that last comment in a bad way. I doubt their goal when recording such bestial non-ballads like "Illheaven Hells" or "Chariot of Acrimony" was to leave listeners cheery.

I could also chalk up my present uneasiness to something I ate as well which brings up another subject. Is it safe to listen to this type of extreme ugly music after eating? Maybe not since The Bridge, which is GRIMNESS 69 's third full length since starting out back in 2001, is a sickly affair. While the band's grind parts have been simmered it's the putrid filth of their death metal pedigree which is like poison overwhelming the body. GRIMNESS 69 employs a barrage of complex riffs, tech death structures and beastly growls / screams to entice the healthy into extreme albeit sickly pleasure.

The material on The Bridge is an enticing brutality. Yes I know it sounds weird but there's addictive nature to GRIMNESS 69's sound. Old school sounding death metal brutality meets technical grind proficiency. Although it's nothing new under the sun it can be an intriguing listen for the first half of the album. I kinda missed the purpose of what's going on in the second half. After an instro cut the song patterns seem to be repeated then lost to silence. The album's finale "Doomsday Carillon" is it's saving grace. All in all GRIMNESS 69 are a deadly contagion which could spread to all areas of the world.

RATING: 4/5



Label: http://www.xtreemmusic.com/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/grimness69




Friday, February 24, 2012

ABAZAGORATH - Self Titled EP review


ABAZAGORATH - Self Titled EP

NoVisible Scars

Genre: Black Metal

Well here's a band I haven't heard a sound from in ages, although the reason is obviously my own. I have their full length from 1997, Tenebrarum Cadent Exsurgemus, but while I slept they continued on to produce a few more releases. This is their latest release but before I even get into it I must say this. (oh no he's editorializing again) Many in the present day metal music media are clueless to the greatness which was the early days of USBM. I mean most of the crayola scribbled notes by present day scribes in the media never make mention of the black metal acts of yore which came out of places like Texas, Florida, North Carolina or in this band's case, New Jersey in the nineties. By the late nineties the old European black metal guard was mellowing out. In the states you had a handful of really good bands who were playing music which equaled or exceeded what their overseas peers were doing. ABAZAGORATH's Tenebraum Cadent Exsurgemus debuted in 1997 and quickly became a landmark album for USBM.

So here we have their latest release, a simple self titled five song EP. That's as far as the simplicity goes because this surpasses their past release I have easily with intensity born from Europe but honed to perfection here in the states. ABAZAGORATH comes off sounding like a retro fitted version of EMPEROR with the battle hardened ambiance of cascading melodies meeting the pummeled survivors out around the blasted bomb craters in no man's land. Only bassist Nyarlathotep and drummer Warhead have returned from this band's past. Half of the old band is better than one but I must mention how the newest member with a guitar in his hand,
Maelstrom, is incredible. The riffs this man has created are just as savage as the thing on this release's cover. The solo work he adds sounds sick and macabre like. This is raw, melodic black metal which ABAZAGORATH was always known for but there are no keyboards on here. That's definitely a change along with a harsher vocalist in Nihilist.


All in all this EP floored me literally because of it's monstrous sound quality. It starts off with a subtle entrance on the beginning moments of "Conjuring". Twenty five seconds into the instrumental the onslaught has begun. The thing has arrived and loosened upon all the unsuspecting. To me this EP sounds like a concept piece about an apparent demonic summoning gone wrong. Then again the question begs to be asked, is there a right outcome for a demonic summoning? I'll have to look that one up later. While the various cuts on here come forth like detonating artillery explosive ordinance it's the final cut, "Storms of Destruction", which is an absolute masterpiece. Be all of that as it may by the end of the cut I had to have more from this second coming of ABAZAGORATH. Unfortunately all I was left with was a hope that this would not be the last. This self titled EP has set the bar so high for this band that going back to their debut full length would be punishment.

RATING: 5/5


Label: http://nvslabel.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abazagorath666


COUNTESS - On Wings Of Defiance CD review


COUNTESS - On Wings Of Defiance CD

Barbarian Wrath

Genre: Black Metal


The Swedish had Quorthon, Norway still has Varg but the Netherlands has Orlok who since the early nineties has made his act COUNTESS the in between band to BATHORY and BURZUM. To his credit Orlok, who performs all instruments and sings, has kept COUNTESS not only alive for close to thirty years but has released over a dozen full lengths as well as other material on short format. Plus there are countless numbers of rare unreleased material always lurking about. For the most part Orlok has also always stuck to the traditional black metal template. That of course has made him a man with no middle ground dwellers between those who like COUNTESS and those who don't. I'm one of the strange ones who has liked his material ever since The Return of the Horned One. Therefore any new COUNTESS is probably going to be interesting as well as expected.


On Wings Of Defiance is another COUNTESS release which will not surprise anyone who has been keeping up with Orlok's more recent releases. The man is growing more epic in his age these days and it shows on here with a release moving closer to BATHORY territory. For starters the cover art is amazing and everything you wanna know about the music lies within what you see on the cover. Instead of vikings Orlok concentrates on the barbarianism of older European tribes and the battles they fought. I believe Wings Of Defiance is more of a concept piece heaping praise on the pagan. Of course this could not be carried out successfully if it wasn't for the key elements, Orlok's harsh inhuman vocals joined with his sweeping guitar leads as well as hornets' nest atmospheric rhythms and plenty of keyboards to hold everything together. That's something the drum machine Orlok employs on here can't do.

Just to ruin your groove On Wings of Defiance slowly builds up over the first seven tracks till the two most important ones, "An Emperor's Stand" and the title cut leave you pounding your chest readying yourself for a real battle. May I suggest joining the Army. Look how well I turned out. Speaking of which after all the battlefield carnage is done with there's two more cuts. Both cuts are covers which bring about the feeling of a celebration. Although I thought the sixth cut on here, "Foggy Dew", was also a cover as well as being an old Irish folk tune. Either way Orlok lets loose with a DEMON cover of "Night of the Demon" followed by the most filthiest cover of VENOM's "In League with Satan" I ever heard. The thing was so raw you could get a piece of bread and soak up the blood from the plate.

RATING: 4/5

Label: http://www.thebasar.org/

Order info: http://www.witches-brew.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=2792



OVERLORDE S.R.- Medieval Metal Too CD review


OVERLORDE S.R.- Medieval Metal Too CD

Heaven and Hell Records

Genre: Heavy Metal / NWOBHM


This is for those of you out there (that would be fans of the music and not collector scum) looking for obscure metal bands from the 1980's. The purveyors of everything classic, North Carolina's Heaven and Hell Records, has dug up another dirty diamond from the past. Overlorde was a band from Fayetteville, North Carolina (not to be confused with the one from NJ) who in the mid-80s released a four track demo titled Medieval Metal. That release would gain the band enough attention to get their song "Keeper of the Flame" placed on the Metal Massacre VIII compilation in 1987. OVERLORDE sound was based on the twin guitar attack, layered vocals and catchy rhythms all of which was key to the whole NWOBHM influence.


As always with bands determined to having cult status OVERLORDE disappeared from sight. Then again by the late 80's their style of metal was out of sync with conventional tastes since NWOBHM was dead, thrash was dying out and death metal was on the rise. Fast forward to the present day and now we have this gem. Medieval Metal Too contains the band's four song Medieval Metal demo, which during it's original release sold 10,000 copies. Along with the earlier mentioned "Keeper of the Flame" that demo also had the upbeat head banging "Full Speed Ahead", the more classic 70's metal stylings of "Enchantress of the Night" as well as the Zager & Evans cover from 1968 "In the Year 2525". The release is filled out by a few unreleased cuts plus the Metal Massacre compilation version of "Keeper of the Flame". By the way the S.R. at the end of OVERLORDE's name means Still RockN and to differentiate them from the NJ band of the same name.

RATING: 4/5


Label: http://www.heavenandhellrecords.com/


Official: http://overlordesr.com/home/



ASPHYX - Deathhammer CD review


ASPHYX - Deathhammer CD

Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

Not all legendary bands from the past put out Goth records or water down their sound in order to appeal to the lesser contagion. In fact this could be looked upon as a worship or die pronouncement from these Dutch death metal masters. That's pretty amazing considering the fact that it's been only a few years since half of the band's classic early 90's lineup got together. They added two new members and resurrected the band from a silence which lasted over five years. Then in 2009 the silence was finally broken with Death The Brutal Way, a full length that shattered both fan expectations and naysaying critics. ASPHYX was back with a vengeance.

Making a follow up to Death The Brutal Way was a formidable challenge. If you think a band putting out it's sophomore release is a challenge then multiply it by two. So ASPHYX took their sweet time with this one and give us what I consider an absolutely solid release in Deathhammer. This thing holds true to their past efforts not only faithfully but devastatingly. Modern day ASPHYX produces crushing Death Doom and fast paced headbanging crusty riffed death metal like few others. The sound on here is as raw as modern production standards can muster. 2011 might have been the year when all of the OSDM (old school death metal) newbies strutted their audio stuff. Now it's time for another veteran act to show off.

Martin van Drunen's tortured vocal style is still incredible sounding. Guitarist Paul Baayen 's (also in HAIL OF BULLETS with Drunen) biggest credit is that not only are his riffs as well as soloing very good but he has stepped into former guitarist Eric Daniels' role perfectly. Baayen not only recaptured this band's death doom sound on their previous release buts adds a sharper edge to Deathhammer. Former PULVERIZER bassist Alwin Zuur takes over for departed Wannes Gubbels and adds a little heavier assault with fellow rhythm partner drummer and longest original member Bob Bagchus. These four guys deliver ten blasts which I could say are skull crushing but that would be redundant.

This release is one of the best things you're going to hear this year in the death metal realm. Whether it's the fast yet diabolical slashers like opener "Into The Timewastes", the d-beat insanity of the title cut, sluggish doom ridden beasts "Minefield" and the hilariously titled but punishing “We Doom You to Death”, there is not one poor track on this release. So the question is are you going to bow down in respect or are you going to receive the Deathhammer with extreme prejudice?

RATING: 5/5


Label: http://www2.centurymedia.com/

Official: http://www.asphyx.nl/



Just for the hell of it here's a second video for the Asphyx vs. Thanatos split. Asphyx covers Bestial Vomit by Majesty.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scum News: Razorback Records signs LOATHSOME


How could I not help out a band whose Facebook url has a few 666's in it.


Of course I checked out their music first, I'm not a fuckin boob. So should you if you like, I MEAN REALLY LIKE extreme sounding old school death metal. Go to their Facebook page and give the two songs they have streaming, "Into the Sanatorium" and "Alone in the Woods" a listen.


https://www.facebook.com/Loathsome666666


LOATHSOME was created from a jam session between DECREPITAPH members. (a SFM666 favorite) After several tracks were recorded the band then asked members of KAIJU and WOODENSTAKE (another SFM666 favorite)to add their talents to record the Lepers of the Loathsome demo.



LOATHSOME is currently working on their debut full length which will be released via Razorback Records.




http://www.razorbackrecords.com/

Scum News: Neurotic Deathfest, March 2-4, Tilburg Netherlands


NOW THAT'S A FUCKIN DEATH FEST!


Craving bludgeoning death metal? Look no further! Neurotic Deathfest, set for March 2-4 at the 013 venue (home of Roadburn), Tilburg, Holland, will send you into a total headbanging frenzy!

Neurotic Deathfest is Europe's leading indoor festival for extreme metal and this year's lineup is massive, including Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Napalm Death, Suffocation, Origin, Asphyx, Cattle Decapitation, Legion of the Damned, Blood Red Throne, Gorguts, Misery Index and Morgoth.

What do you mean you want to go but can't due to prior commitments? Just tell 'em you're sick...very sick... See you there!


For tickets go here:


http://www.neuroticdeathfest.com/



For tentative running order go online here:

http://www.neuroticdeathfest.com/timeschedule/index.php

CRIMSON CULT - Tales of Doom CD review


CRIMSON CULT - Tales of Doom CD

Label: Pure Legend Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

There's a horror / satanism movie from 1968 called The Crimson Cult. It was also called Curse of the Crimson Altar and starred Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee plus the incredible Barbara Steele. Yes I'm a huge fan of hers. Unfortunately this Austrian band is not influenced by that movie as far as I can hear. Although this band has a lot going for it that makes for a decent metal listen. The band has got the title right for the most part. CRIMSON CULT meld progressive power metal, yes there's keyboards, with basic doom. Walter Stuefer has a powerful voice invoking comparisons between Dio and Messiah Marcolin. Guitarist (and also keyboardist) Gunter Maier is the virtuoso as he pairs down-tuned riffs with piercing solos that fire out and into your skull like laser beams. Gunter has that classic metal touch part Yngwie part Blackmore. You can't go wrong with that.


Tales of Doom is this band's second full length. Their first one, a self titled release, came out in 2009. I have no idea how that one was but I'd say this is pretty good. I don't know how they pull these songs off in concert without a live keyboardist and peddles or background taped music doesn't cut it in my not so humble view. As far as their music highlights go this release opens fairly well. "State of Fear" is an all out rocker, very powerful and melodic. This is definitely a kick back to the 80s. Later on the release "Second Life" is almost a fast tempo reprise of the opener. On "Behind the Curtain" is where we immediately get that doom feel thanks to Gunter's mammoth riffs. He pulls the same magic on "Choshinja". The Dio factor kicks in strongly on the nine minute "The Long Way Home as well as the doom laden battle hymn "Warrior Son".

Unfortunately not everything is so epic and rocking on Tales of Doom. My disdain for ballads was resurrected when the band brought out "On the Edge". Impressive soloing by Gunter still couldn't change my mind. The same went for "Crimson Empire" and "Institution Christ" which wasn't bad just out of place. The closer "The Inquisition" is an Yngwie inspired instrumental which would fit nicely in their live set prior to their closing number of course. The CRIMSON CULT are the kind of band that gets that miserable middle slot of a gig. They do grab your attention enough to stand there in awe for most of the time which ain't a bad thing either.

RATING: 4/5

Label: http://www.puresteel-records.com/

Official: http://www.crimsoncult.com/



PACT - The Dragon Lineage of Satan CD review


PACT - The Dragon Lineage of Satan CD

Moribund Cult

Genre: Black Metal

Well it's a brisk twenty five degrees outside and I'm inside, where it's slightly warmer, blasting some new black metal from the USA. The things I do for the cause. Any way this is not your typical new USBM that gets swooned over by hipster numb nuts. It's actually good since they stay away from the silly avant garde experimentation and stick to the template. The Dragon Lineage of Satan is the debut full length by PACT an act who hail from Pennsylvania but sound like they're Norse. This is not far from Panzer Division era MARDUK territory with it's blitzkrieg assault. From opener "Litany to Satan" to the final salvo of "A Vast Eternity" the PACT are relentless on this forty seven (close enough) minute attack of full on blasting. Most notable on here are Wretch's riffs which sound like one huge pissed off hornet's nest. Also Heg's vocals are truly sick as if his throat has been burned with acid. This is a total hate fest and I love it.

RATING: 5/5


Label: http://www.moribundcult.com


EREVOS - Descensus Ad Inferos CD review


EREVOS - Descensus Ad Inferos CD

Orkestral Promenade Productions

Genre: Black Metal


The legacy of the Greek black metal scene is that the prominent bands always had a unique take on the genre. Think of bands like ROTTING CHRIST, NECROMANTIA, DEVISER, old SEPTIC FLESH and ASTARTE as well as my favorite anti human friend DODSFERD. All of these bands took outside influences (who doesn't?) and melded them with their own heritage. I could name more who really pushed the uber Greek heritage thing but I'm not gonna go pull em all out. I'm making that point because EREVOS is from Greece and their sound on here is cliche symphonic black metal with other baggage which I'll get to later. Yes I know symphonic black metal is pretty cliche to start with but this band goes one further by having a chick on keyboards. Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against women in metal. Hell I blushed the first time I met Doro. Then I asked what her policy was with male groupies and she blushed. But having a female keyboardist in a symphonic black metal is a page out of Hot Topic. At least this woman,Tisiphoni, isn't wearing a push up bra with a dress opened deep down front to emphasize her cleaves. Not that there's anything wrong with that either but let's call it what it is, eye candy.


EREVOS' brand of the black leans heavily on Norway 1996/97 with hints of straight up metal, thrash and melodic death metal. That latter influence must be from one of their guitarists, Abraxas, who was once in the Greek blackened death act INCEST IN HEAVEN. (great band name) While going through this band's songs it's more of an endurance test to not make rude facial expressions. "Under the Wings of Thanatos" is more under the influence of DIMMU BORGIR minus the Greek Philharmonic Orchestra of course. Throughout most of Descensus Ad Inferos the keys are in charge of the atmosphere. "Kires" is actually a decent cut for a hard rock number goth-ed out with mild blast beat action. "Kerveros" is somewhat enjoyable but that's about it. I remember some band from last year that I called blackened power metal. Sorry I forgot their name (go figure) but EREVOS is fairly close to that example. They throw everything at you that they carry in their luggage except the keyboardist's panties. Then again I haven't seen em live yet. This is the band's debut full length after being around since 2005. How they missed out on the late 2000's symphonic black metal bandwagon I'll never know. Chances are they will turn out to be huge when they hit the European metal festival circuit.

RATING: 3/5


Label: http://www.orkestral.gr/



Official: http://www.erevosblack.gr/


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scum News: Angel Witch New Album Details Revealed New Track Available For Streaming


Legendary British metal act ANGEL WITCH is set to release their new album As Above, So Below on March 20 via Metal Blade Records. The CD unites newly-penned yet timeless-sounding material such as 'Geburah', 'The Horla', 'Brainwashed' and 'Upon This Cord' with four long-lost tracks from the classic-era. 'Dead Sea Scrolls' and 'Witching Hour' both date back to 1983 / '84, while 'Into The Dark' and 'Guillotine' are older still. Both were live favorites during Angel Witch's late-1970s heyday; indeed, 'Guillotine' was actually intended to have appeared on the ANGEL WITCH album.

Take a listen to "Dead Sea Scrolls" below.

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F36904104&show_artwork=true

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scum News: ELIZABETH - Artwork and two tracks off "Where Vultures Land"


NOW THAT'S AN ALBUM COVER!


Switzerland's ELIZABETH have posted two tracks of their upcoming EP "Where Vultures Land" to be released on 4th April. This hardcore/crust outfit (for fans of Rise And Fall, The Hope Conspiracy, Converge), led by ex-NOSTROMO vocalist Javier Varela, will release this 8-tracks EP on 12" vinyl on via Throatruiner Records and I For Us.


Free download and pre-orders will start on early march. Discover those two new songs here : http://throatruinerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/where-vultures-land

KING - Forged by Satan's Doctrine CD review


KING - Forged by Satan's Doctrine CD

Deathgasm Records

Genre: Blackened Death Metal


The world of extreme metal can always use another Satanic South American Death Squad. This one here, KING, hails from Colombia and likes their torture treatment under strict blackened death guidelines. After the obligatory conjuring of blackened hell demons opener, "Summon Shub-Niggurath Ye Black", these guys go straight into punishing territory earlier plowed by KRISIUN, albeit much more crude. Beware of the crunchy jack booted trudgery of "No Pray, No Mercy, Just Death" (Unpromised Satan) which reminded me of the wedding vows from my first marriage. "Kill the Posers Like Fucking Christians" is thoroughly devastating along with being cliche. From that point on it's your average growls and squeals, chugging riffs and blasted drum pounding. A slight step above the brutal for the sake of brutality variety.

RATING: 3/5


Label: http://www.deathgasm.com/



Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/kingbathroz



CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - Self Titled CD review


CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - Self Titled CD

Candlelight Records

Genre: Metal

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina so I've had the pleasure of seeing COC quite a lot. To just give you a rough estimate I'd say well over a dozen but less than twenty. Of course the majority of those shows was when they were a three piece (aka: Mike Dean on bass & vocals, Reed Mullin on drums & vocals and guitarist Woodrow Weatherman) doing a few songs from Eye for an Eye but most from Animosity. I also saw them with Simon Bob singing during their Technocracy era. All of those shows were at a club called the Brewery which has recently been torn down. I also saw their Blind era lineup once at a larger local venue back in the day. I never saw COC after that which I refer to as the "Pepper years". Moreover I was not a fan of that material as well since for me COC's best record was Animosity.


This brings me to an obvious point which is that most bands who have been around for a long time (COC has endured for 30 years) will have fans who favor one era over another. Ever since COC returned to form it's obvious that old fans from their hardcore days (that would be me) are excited, whereas those fans who got into them during their later years ask "where's Pepper?" I've even (by accident of course) had the displeasure of catching two early reviews of this new one. The first by an obvious later years fan because the writer spent the whole first paragraph complaining about Pepper not being on this release. (And people say I editorialize) The second one was from the local indie rock paper where the hipster douche bag scribe submitted three paragraphs of dense, pretentious and barely readable analysis of one Soundcloud preview cut. Thankfully I'll give you something better but beware I've already admitted my bias. I've also listened to this for ten hours straight.


First off when I interviewed Woody in December he said that this new one will have influences from all of their eras. Well he was right about that. On opener "Psychic Vampire" is SABBATH on speed with a few bong hit mellow breaks and ending it with their modern era Southern groove. This is followed up with "River of Stone" a complex song with enough time changes to snap a vertebrae which is pure latter era COC. "Leeches" is a little over two minutes of Animosity era ferocity. A warning for old fucks like me, don't do any stage dives off the furniture. Next up is what I call their experimental moment. "El Lamento de las Cabras", which translates into The Lament of the Goats, is a doom instrumental which shows the band stepping out of their traditional element. I was surprised to see them include "Your Tomorrow" as a regular track. It's a great song but has already come out on the 2010 EP. "The Doom", one of two early leaked cuts, is another melding of SABBATH riffage with hardcore break outs. It's my favorite cut on here.


The latter half of this release is more of the same great material. Not taking each one in order let me just say it's an assorted bag. Songs like "The Moneychangers" and "What We Become" are latter era influenced classics with grunge accented rhythms. "Rat City" is another hardcore pit starter. Were as "Come Not Here" and "Time of Trials", another leaked song, display more of the band's modern (as in now!) direction. When it came to defining this eponymous release I just had to call it metal. The band combines sludge, stoner grooves, real hardcore and raw metal into one huge monstrous beast. I think this release will appeal to old fans as well as brand new ones which I think is cool as fuck. For those of you who got into COC in the mid 90's well maybe not. Either way this new revitalised and retro-fitted COC release shows that these guys have a new lease.

RATING: 5/5

Label: http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/



Official: http://www.coc.com/




NOCTURNAL TORMENT - They Come at Night CD review


NOCTURNAL TORMENT - They Come at Night CD

Deathgasm

Genre: Death Metal

What Hell has the Midwest wrought to have vomited this upon unsuspecting listeners? I was literally knocked back when this thing initiated it's diabolical start. From that point on I was glued to my seat until all fifty minutes of They Come at Night played through. Then I played it again just for fun since I'm into that shit. Indiana's NOCTURNAL TORMENT are not your typical OSDM (old school death metal) revival act. You won't be pummeled once again with INCANTATION left overs or treated to more ENTOMBED tribute band recitals. This band harnesses the good ol' American Midwest death metal spirit (slight flashes of thrash) with some lessons from an old Buffalo, New York gone to Florida act (who still sounds good today) MALEVOLENT CREATION and one technical Dutch DM legend of yore (yore is right cause they ain't of late) PESTILENCE.

Of course much of this band's sound can be attributed to their history. Yes this is NOCTURNAL TORMENT's full length debut but they originally formed in 1988. Prior to that they were a thrash band (hint hint) and then afterwards concentrated on other side band projects (I'm guessing death metal as well). Now with all of that history under their belts this comes forth like the gates of the underworld exploding open and unleashing every fucking nasty bastard from that address. I'm sitting here listening to this screaming "holy fuckin shit"! This is pure fuckin face ripping percussive blasting death metal dammit! Think of everything you like about death metal all combined on one release by one band. They Come at Night is a feast of maniacal vocals, artillery percussion, filth encrusted riffs, and piercing solos. It's progressiveness and old school bluntness joining forces for an almighty battle. Perfection.

RATING: 5/5

Label: http://www.deathgasm.com/



Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/eternalnocturnaltorment


Scum News: MC5 bassist Michael Davis dies aged 68



Michael Davis, the bass player of the legendary as well as influential MC5, has died of liver failure at age 68. The announcement was made by his wife Angela Davis who said plans for a memorial were pending. Along with his wife Davis is also survived by their three sons and a daughter from a previous marriage. Davis died at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California, on Friday following a month of treatment for liver disease.

I was a big fan of MC5, first getting into them back in the early 70's when I was a kid. Even to this day their music still electrifies the senses. What follows is the obligatory video music remembrance. This was always my favorite song by the MC5 although I liked all three of their LPs:


Thursday, February 16, 2012

HARD RIOT - Living on a Fast Lane CD review


HARD RIOT - Living on a Fast Lane CD

Pitch Black Records

Genre: Hard Rock

This reminds me of WHITESNAKE from back in the 80's minus the power ballads and Tawny Kitaen meets NIGHT RANGER plus another pop rock / metal act to be named later (although I doubt it) from that same horrible era. I had to go to this label's website to see if this German band looked like something I would have seen in the back pages of Kerrang circa 1984. They don't but still that doesn't change the fact that Living on a Fast Lane completely embraces the sound of 1980's hard rock / heavy metal in the pop vein. Once in a while they will toss in something palatable, like an ACDC riff or a Klaus Meine vocal melody.


HARD RIOT is a band who sound like they stepped out of a time machine. This eleven song release is a throwback to the MTV / radio friendly days of the early 80s. Even the production, done by someone named Vagelis Maranis, is perfect in recreated quality. Give that guy a cookie. Now don't get me wrong this band is talented. Obviously if you still yearn for those days gone by like the three guys from VH-1's That Metal Show then this is for you. Who needs a tribute act when you've got four guys willing to bust out some new hits. This is definitely for fans only and Tawny Kitaen who's a notorious cougar now when she's outta drug rehab.

RATING: 2/5


Label: http://www.pitchblackrecords.com/


NEOANDERTALS - Australopithecus CD review


NEOANDERTALS - Australopithecus CD

Self Released

Genre: Primal Jazz Fusion

I was just telling someone today that doing SFM666 was cool because every once in a while I learn about a new exciting band from somewhere I've never been. I should be more careful of what I wish for. On first listen the NEOANDERTALS sound like Estonia's Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. For those of you who don't know that's the rhythm section for the Discipline jazz fusion era of KING CRIMSON back in the 80's. The NEOANDERTALS are a two piece act consisting of Rain Pohlak on bass and Sandra Vungi on drums. (although when this was recorded Roland Seer was on drums) This is an instrumental jazz fusion release albeit with a twist.

While I was absorbing all of what Australopithecus had to offer I was also doing some research on NEOANDERTALS in order to get an understanding. Musically it's fairly tribal as well as primal in structure which goes with what I found. Essentially this duo are back to nature types who live in their own self built cabin out in the country. (there's a documentary clip filmed by the Estonian National Television on Youtube) Ironically you need electricity to plug in your amps as well as record your music but that's neither here or there. The band has two previous full length releases: Neanderthals Were Master Butchers in 2007 and Ebu Gogo Gutting the Child from 2010, both of which had vocals.

This new one has no vocals then again I'd be hard pressed to imagine applying vocals onto any of these tracks. If I was a toker (you know what I mean) then I could see relaxing, spacing out while listening to these neolithic jams fill the air with eclectic rhythms. There are times when the bass rumbles like the bubbling of primordial ooze. The drumming is a sort of long range tribal communication from pre-language times. Yeah I'm giving this my best shot at objectivity although I can just wonder what others have said about this band. In all honesty I didn't know how to exactly describe this.


After multiple plays you do feel relaxed as the beats make for a decent background atmosphere. I had it playing for three hours tonight. Near the end I stepped outside for a smoke along with enjoying the foggy night atmosphere. While out there I thought I saw Bigfoot dancing in the tree line. My thoughts were "oh great I better turn the music off before it brings all the primates out of the woods. The next thing you know is that I'll have a whole back yard full of em dancing in a hairy hoedown." NEOANDERTALS are definitely unique, good at what they do and for fans only.

RATING: 3/5

Bandcamp: http://neoandertals.com/



Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/neoandertals



Here's part of the documentry on the band


ON TOP - Top Heavy CD review


ON TOP - Top Heavy CD

HPGD Productions

Genre: Heavy Metal

"Hello Philadelphia we are ON TOP and we're here to rock your world!" Yeah I'm sure that's been yelled from a South Philly bar's stage a few times by this act. If you haven't already guessed ON TOP are from the place I affectionately call Hostile City USA aka: Philadelphia, PA. But I won't hold these guys back by calling them just a South Philly bar band. I'm sure they've done the whole Wilmington, Delaware, Upper Darby and Lehigh Valley, PA nightclub circuit. ON TOP are a proto thrash meets Ted Nugent sounding trio whose goal is to bring 80's metal nostalgia in your face.

Top Heavy is their debut album and just from that above mentioned standpoint alone yeah it's decent. This sounds more like a self produced demo than an actual full length. Then again if you're cruising down the mainstreet of your local burg in the Nova with the music blasting to impress the chicks who cares right. Of course they have all the 1980's tribute band attributes working for em. They've got a guitarist who can rip a decent solo, a hard pounding drummer and a bassist who can also slip in a solo as well as keep a rhythm. The vocals are what remind me of the Nuge which are sung by the bassist.

When it comes to this modern day revival of vintage 80's metal, ON TOP are not far from what CAULDRON are doing. Don't expect a variety of sounds when blasting this one. Then again that is what it all was about back then. Loud blasting sounds, edgy vocals, wild guitar soloing and hot young chicks in front of the stage pulling up their shirts which unfortunately you don't see anymore. I'm talking about that last part of course. Plus they've already got their radio approved hit with "Into the Night".

RATING: 3/5

Label: http://hpgd.comoj.com/index.html



Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ONTOPOFFICIAL


Scum News: IDES OF GEMINI To Release New Full-Length Via Neurot Recordings


THIS SHOULD BE SUBTITLED "When Journalists step out from behind their keyboards and become Musicians."


IDES OF GEMINI is a collusion of musical forces precipitated by the haunting and inimitable vocal prowess of singer/bassist Sera Timms, also of Los Angeles dark-psych alchemists BLACK MATH HORSEMAN (who are great by the way). The compositions are the long-simmering mental fallout of veteran music and film journalist J. Bennett (guitar/backing vocals), who has spent most of the last 14 years writing for such publications as Decibel, Terrorizer, Revolver, Alternative Press and Thrasher. (Editor's Note: I'm a big fan of Bennett's journalistic ability especially from his work in Decibel.) The third and final corner of the triangle is Kelly Johnston, whose martial drumming techniques and soaring backing vocals literally brought IDES OF GEMINI to life as a performing entity.



Last year, Timms and Bennett recorded and self-released IDES OF GEMINI’s four-song EP, The Disruption Writ, which was anointed “My Favorite Demo of 2010” by the highly influential music blog Invisible Oranges. (well that figures) Lyrically, the songs detailed the terrifying permanence of dismemberment in all its unsettling forms: psychological, emotional and physical. Musically, though? Someone on the Internet called it “dream doom.” (which is fairly ignorant and hipster retarded) Nobody likes to be pigeonholed, but IDES OF GEMINI will gladly take up temporary residence in that particular nook for the sake of shorthand. Which is to say that “dream doom” will do the trick for now. And now is nothing if not fleeting. Mostly because IDES OF GEMINI are about to unveil their full-length debut, Constantinople, via Neurot Recordings.

Set for North American release on May 29, 2012 (May 28th in UK/EU), Constantinople’s nine-tracks were produced by IDES OF GEMINI, engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Skeletonwitch) at Sunset Lodge Recording in Los Angeles and features striking cover art collaboration by Timms and Bennett.

Comments Bennett of the soul-searing offering: “To say that this album is the result of blood, sweat and tears is the understatement of the year. This record exists only by the sheer will and determination of the three band members. Personally speaking, I wrote about half the music during the five months of 2011 in which I was unable to walk. Constantinople means many things to Ides Of Gemini, but it is primarily an example of victory over horseshit.”

Look here people I took all of my bias outside and went to their Bandcamp site here: http://idesofgemini.bandcamp.com for a listen and loved what I heard. Screw that "dream doom" tag this is female fronted psych and doom which is haunting. I think it's damm good. You should check it out.



Here's another cut for you to savor





http://idesofgemini.blogspot.com



http://www.facebook.com/IdesofgeminI




http://www.neurotrecordings.com

Scum News: WINDHAND Announce March Tourdates and Updated Release Info for Forcefield Debut



Finally the time has come! After myriad setbacks and issues beyond their control. the mighty WINDHAND have set the release date for their debut LP in stone. On March 21, 2012, their critically acclaimed eponymous album will be available for purchase from Richmond, VA's Forcefield Records (with UK/European distribution handled by Mordgrimm).

Richmond, VA may be known primarily for its wicked thrash and crust punk scenes, but there's something evil lurking within that doomed old capital. Psyched-out ultra-Sabbathian amplifier worshippers WINDHAND, who boast ex-members of heavy riffters FACEDOWNINSHIT and ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY within their ranks, have risen. Slated for a March 21, 2012 release, the record will be available in a limited gatefold pressing of violet wax, and was recorded/mixed by Garrett Morris (PARASYTIC, BASTARD SAPLING) at the Dark Room with Slipped Disc Audio's Bill McElroy (PENTAGRAM, AVAIL, ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY) handling mastering duties.

SCUMFEAST METAL 666 has touted this band from the onset. WINDHAND was formed in 2008 in Richmond, VA and self-released their first demo in 2010, which I raved about here on this site. Original drummer, Jeff Loucks, parted ways with the band in early 2010, with current drummer Ryan Wolfe joining shortly thereafter. Their mammoth debut LP will be available on March 25th - stay (down)tuned!

The band have also announced a short run of dates up and down the East Coast alongside PILGRIM (Metal Blade) and NATUR (Earache), as well as a string of additional gigs come March. Dates are below:


WINDHAND ON TOUR:

2/29 Baltimore MD- The Sidebar w/ The Pilgrim (MD) & Heaviness of the Load
3/1 Brooklyn, NY - Public Assembly /w Natur, Pilgrim, & Magic Circle
3/2 Philadelphia, PA - JR's w/ Natur, Pilgrim, & Pagan Wolf Ritual
3/3 Washington, DC - St. Stephen's Church /w Ilsa, Natur, & Pilgrim
3/4 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter /w Natur, Pilgrim, & Humungous
3/5 Savannah GA - Orphan Cage
3/6 Gainesville FL - The Wayward Council
3/7 Tallahassee, FL - AF House w/ In Defence & Dickkicker
3/8 St. Petersburg FL - The Fubar w/ Set and Setting
3/9 Atlanta GA - Archive Gallery w/ Halmos
3/10 Raleigh NC - Slim's w/ Balaclava

Just a reminder on how great this band is:






Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Windhand/115952841804204?sk=info



Bandcamp: http://windhandva.bandcamp.com/

MAZE OF ROOTS - Maze of Roots and Earthen Castle EPs review




MAZE OF ROOTS - Maze of Roots & Earthen Castle EPs

Self Released / Satanica Productions

Genre: Doom

A friend of mine who also does a music website posted something today on Face Crack about being bored with writing and didn't know what to do. I commented that I too get that way every few months. I mean lets be honest here. My criteria for music on SFM666 is pretty ridged. Readers pretty much know what they're gonna find on here. It's not like something completely off the wall is going to find it's way on this page. So yeah boredom sometimes sets in but then out of nowhere a release will come my way which brings back that excitement as well as reasoning behind why I do this website.

Case in point, MAZE OF ROOTS, a one man doom act from Finland. The mainman multi instrumentalist / vocalist behind this project, Joel Aukusti Peksujeff, sent me both of his acts EPs to check out. He probably wasn't expecting to make my day but he did. The first one I checked out was the most recent Earthen Castle EP, a four song release from 2011. What emanated from my speakers was this macabre occultish sounding doom which trudged along like a fiend dragging a body from a graveyard. His vocals were even more bizarre like some wailing inmate from an asylum. That was just from the first cut "They Came from Below".

All of Earthen Castle follows a similar pattern with the song "Goats Do Roam" adding a little more bombast. The key to this release is Joel's perfectly arranged instrumentation. The keyboards are perfect as an atmospheric back drop for most parts while at other times becoming a solo instrument like some macabre carousel tunage. The riffs have that crispy electric crackle. The bass and drum work is overwhelmingly monolithic. This was also a low-fi recording which adds to the creepy vibe that permeates this release. Although the title cut was decent it's the final piece "Timeless I Am" which was like a call from the ancient crypt of the dead. This is definitely a haunting release.

The self titled EP, released in 2010, is far more bleak than Earthen Castle. Joel must have been having a bad year. Although this release is slightly longer it comes across like one long agonising cut. The highlight for me was opener "Where Only Rats Claim Their Home". Certainly rough around the edges with the production bass heavy and the vocals more subdued. The whole release has an atmosphere of a torture victim's soliloquy. I'd like to find the intercom system of some huge mall, remove the elevator music and placed this thing on just for laughs.

I believe Joel needs to find a way to get both of these EPs placed and packaged on one CD. After which take all of them then bury everything in a grave for about a year to get the earthy scent. After that put them on the market. This is full on gothic / occult doom for the perpetually grim. The self titled EP is decent but the Earthen Castle is excellent.

RATING: 4/5


Label: http://www.satanica.org/


Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/mazeofroots