Thursday, December 16, 2010

Playlist 12/16/2010

‎1. Don Felder - Heavy Metal Motion Picture Soundtrack - Takin' A Ride
2. Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling - The Dungeons Are Calling
3. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Circle The Wagons
4. Accept - Blood Of The Nations - Locked And Loaded...
5. Briton Rites - All Hallowed Vengeance
6. Unleashed - Hammer Battalion - Hammer Battalion
7. Morgoth - The Eternal Fall - Pits Of Utumno
8. Steel - Heavy Metal Machine - Heavy Metal Machine
9. Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse - When
10. Iron Hearse - Iron Hearse - Rocktopus
11. Midnight Priest - Rainha Da Magia Negra - Juzio Final
12. Anticosm - Alcoholic Darkness - The Reaper Comes
13. Clamfight - Free Shit - Viking Funeral
14. Chastain - Ruler Of The Wasteland - Fighting To Stay Alive
15. Chastain - Ruler Of The Wasteland - Angel Of Mercy
16. Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness - Lord Of All Fevers and Plague
17. Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption - Siege Of Power
18. Mortal Decay - Forensics - Razor Slice Decor
19. Mandatory - ...Where They Bleed - ...Where They Bleed
20. Mystifier - Goetia - Aliester Crowley and Ordo Templi Orientis
21. Masacre - Ola De Violencia - Sangrienta Muerte
22. Living Death - Protected From Reality - Vengeance (Horrible Infanticide Part II)
23. Lordamor - Lordamor - Region Of Death
24. Maegashira - The Stark Arctic - Caribou Crossing
25. Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism - Call Of The Wintermoon
26. Apolion - Hungry Of Souls - Sacred Mass Of Bodies
27. Auspicium - Dawnland - Cold River
28. Immolith - Hymns To The Countess - Slaughter The Legions
29. Mercyful Fate - Dont Break The Oath - A Dangerous Meeting

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Been slow here because I have been busy with work and such. I am still active just haven't had time to devote to new reviews and such. I have some I have to finish up still though (I'm terribly sorry Winterrealm, you've been waiting like... 5 months now) but they will be done. Also, I've started to work a little more on the next zine issue. Just finished up an interview with Neftaraka. So, there will be another issue in the future, though when is a mystery to all including me at this moment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From The Megavault

Found this in a off-the-beaten-track record store over the weekend along with another obscurity - the Metal Concussion Compilation from Bandit records.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Playlist: 08/25/10

01. Anthem - Anthem - Blind City
02. Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation - Warzone
03. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Infamia
04. Briton Rites - For Mircalla - All Hallowed Vengeance
05. Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction - Harder Than Steel
06. Tank - Filth Hounds Of Hades - ShellShock
07. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Shell Shock
08. Slauter Xstroyes - Free The Beast - Syncopated Angel
09. Steel Horse - Wild Power - Run To Survive
10. Enforcer - Diamonds - Live For The Night
11. Valkija - Avengers Of Steel - Son Of Thunder
12. Paul Chain Violet Theatre - In The Darkness - Mortuary Hearse
13. Black Sabbath - Headless Cross - Black Moon
14. Primeval Realm - Doomed From The Beginning - Galaxy Lifter
15. Altar Of Oblivion - Sinews Of Anguish - Stainless Steel
16. Dekapitator - We Will Destroy... You Will Obey - Haunted By Evil
17. Razor - Custom Killing - Going Under
18. Pestilence - Malleus Malificarum - Chemo Therapy
19. Living Death - Protected From Reality - Vengeance (Horrible Infanticide Part Two)
20. Dark Angel - Darkness Descends - Merciless Death
21. Sabbat - Dreamweaver - Wildfire


22. Iron Maiden - Maiden Japan EP - Innocent Exile
23. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier - Isle Of Avalon
24. Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
25. Iron Maiden - Dance of Death - Face In The Sand
26. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier - Mother Of Mercy
27. Iron Maiden - Maiden Japan EP - Killers
28. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier - Starblind
29. Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time - Wasted Years
30. Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind - Quest For Fire

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paul Chain Violet Theatre - In The Darkness

Italian magister Paul Chain has created, maybe, one of the most indiscriminate legacies to ever exist in the nether regions of underground metal. No one has heard of him, even though he’s released more than fourteen albums under the Paul Chain and Paul Chain Violet Theatre brand. Maybe it’s the lack of label notoriety - I’ve never heard of Minotauro before looking into this guy - or maybe it’s that his mix of doom and psychedelia has both ostracized both doom fans and fans of the more experimental and trippy psychedelic sounds of the seventies. I think, it has something to do with being Italian - one of the most overlooked countries in metal output. Being Italian and releasing a metal album is almost a sure-fire ticket to destruction and failure. Whatever the reason, people are missing out on prime and optimal listening experiences and there should be a concerted effort to raise the awareness of Paul Chain to more than those interested in Death SS.

“In The Darkness” is like watching Rocky Horror Picture Show if it was scored by Claudio Simonetti and Goblin with a perpetually drunk novice version of Alice Cooper on vocals. Obviously, a strange and marginal atmosphere is present here. Creepy is an easy way out of describing it, a word that will pop up continuously however there is something more here: a violence akin to a little girl stabbing dolls with pins while staring in your eyes. A deep seated sadism is present through the album, especially on opener “Welcome To My Hell,” a drifting piece that could be the soundtrack to the bullied kid in the fetal position rocking in the corner. Early Death SS vocalist Sanctis Ghoram contributes these wailing, lost vocals which sometimes get caught in his throat and are delivered as screeches instead of a crooning.

With second track “Meat” we get the first of a series of more doomy songs. Paul Chain has kept the songs compositionally simple. “Meat”, “Crazy”, and “Woman And Knife” all play out structurally like typical compositions with recognizable bridges and verses and choruses. Crazy is definitely single material, simple, some great rock licks, and a definite Ozzy era Sabbath vibe akin to “Paranoid“ with it‘s short quick solo, and catchy yet inconspicuous riffs. Though they remain awkward due to the inclusion of Ghoram’s vocals and certain off-putting details and elements, they allow the album to have what may be deemed as “singles.” “Meat” sounds a bit like the more experimental Sabbath tracks mixed with other doom of the period like Vitus, Pentagram etc. but to blanket label this as “another of those” is foolish.

“War” gets the largest chunk of time of the individual tracks. An odd choice, especially at this period of the album - only three songs in, breaking the momentum with a seven minute long psychedelic / ambient / moody track. It’s got the pulse of a heart-attack victim and the mood of the aftermath of their death. It’s like sitting in a hospital room around the dead body after the doctor told you they’re dead. To say it’s an ugly sad song wouldn’t be truly accurate, it’s got some breathy and cosmic moments mixed with aloe coated keyboard melodies.

“Grey Life” sets the pace for the second half of the album which is much more of a rock and roll styled side than the more psychedelic / experimental A side. It’s got four tracks which all pound home the Paul Chain style into your brain like an LSD trip from hell. It’s a monumentally heavy track with a ton of high pitched feedback revealing a hammer-like main riff. Ghoram adds some mentally wounded vocals atop the riff to the effect of some of Lee Dorian’s vocals in early Cathedral such as some of his more exotic grumbling on Soul Sacrifice. “Mortuary Hearse” easily is my favorite track on this - it’s almost in the style of early speed metal, like Razor slowed down with a hazed out guitar distortion. While it’s structured pretty simply it also contains some more classy guitar moments such as the melodies after the first movement. It purveys a dreadful uneasiness. “Woman and Knife” also end up on the B-side of the album.

The title track ends out the release, starting with a noisy clatter, then trudging through abandoned riffs into vast flowing movements. Thomas “Hand” Chaste, another of Paul Chain’s Death SS buddies, provides one of the most massive kick drum tones in the history of music during the second verse, Ghoram is once again demented, and Claud Galley’s bass dips in and out of rhythmic consciousness throughout, dynamically altering the song so that it’s like being chased by Jack The Ripper and feeling your heart beat rise and fall with every fleeting image of the killer darting in and out of dark and dreary passages. In a sense, that’s how this whole release is, just a dynamic vast maze full of hidden sounds and effects in corners and crevices you simply won’t see the first time you listen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playlist: 08/18/10

01. Burning Starr - No Turning Back - Road Warrior
02. Slauter Xstroyes - Winter Kill - City Of Sirtel
03. Iron Man - I Have Returned - Run From The Night
04. Iced Earth - The Dark Saga - The Hunter
05. Candlemass - King Of The Grey Islands - Of Stars And Smoke
06. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence - Sudden Fall
07. Dark Angel - Darkness Descends - Merciless Death
08. Watchtower - Energetic Disassembly - Tyrants In Distress
09. Intruder - Live To Die - Live To Die *
10. Cannibal Corpse - Tomb Of The Mutilated - Hammer Smashed Face *
11. Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction - Licensed To Kill *
12. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier - Mother Of Mercy
13. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Infamia
14. Enforcer - Diamonds - Katana
15. Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones - In Shrouds Decayed
16. Hatred Embraced - Suffering Of The Holy - Suffering Of The Holy
17. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
18. Crucifixionhammer - Graveyard Lust - Evil Wishes
19. Slaughter - Strappado - Tales Of The Macabre
20. Obituary - The End Complete - The End Complete
21. Dismember - Like An Everflowing Stream - And So Is Life
22. Hammerfall - Renegade EP - Renegade
23. Omen - Battlecry - In The Arena
24. Forefather - Steadfast - Mellowing Of The Mains
25. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Traitors Gate
26. 1349 - Demonoir - Pandemonium War Bells
27. Arphaxat - Loudun La Maudite - Regne Eternal
28. Akercocke - Choronzon - Valley Of The Crucified
29. Tales Of Dark - Fragile Monuments - Towering Grief Behemoth
30. Hail Of Bullets - Of Frost And War - Berlin
31. WinterRealm - Ouroboros - Spring

* Requests - Tony

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

08/11/10 Playlist

01. Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather - Delivering The Goods
02. Steel Horse - Wild Power - Run To Survive
03. Chastain - Ruler Of The Wasteland - Angel Of Mercy
04. Heathen - Breaking The Silence - Prey For Death* (Request: Tony - Paterson)
05. Enforcer - Diamonds - Run For The Night
06. Enforcer - Diamonds - Midnight Vice
07. Burning Starr - No Turning Back - Call Of The Wild
08. Burning Starr - No Turning Back - Road Warrior
09. Valkija - Avengers of Steel - Son Of Thunder
10. Slauter Xstroyes - Free The Beast - Battle Axe
11. Shadowkeep - A Chaos Theory - Believe
12. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic - Feeling Free Again
13. Briton Rites - For Mircalla - Vampire Hunter, 1600
14. Mortal Sin - Mayhemic Destruction - Lebanon
15. Vektor - Black Future - Asteroid
16. Forbidden - Forbidden Evil - March Into Fire* (Request: Tony - Paterson)
17. Razor - Custom Killing - Going Under
18. Morgoth - Odium - Resistance
19. Nominon - Monumentomb - Kevorkian Exit
20. Genocrush Ferox - The Sepulchre Strangulation - Death Is Just This
21. Morbid Angel - Covenant - The Lions Den
22. Burial Invocation - Rituals Of The Grotesque - Through The Void Of Obscurity
23. War Master - Thrones Of Tyranny 7" - Undead War Machine
24. Possessed - Seven Churches - Burning In Hell
25. Crucifixionhammer - Graveyard Lust - Ghouls Desecrate
26. Crucifixionhammer - Graveyard Lust - Evil Wishes
27. Hell Rot - Vomit Altar - Goat Chapel
28. Kaarmekristus - Ajan Lopun Alku - Kutsu (Invitation)
29. Kaarmekristus - Ajan Lopun Alku - Hanen Tyonsa
30. Winterrealm - Ouroboros - Spring (Consecration)
31. Winterrealm - Ouroboros - Winter (Banishing)
32. Absu - In The Eyes Of Ioldanach - Hallstatt
33. 1349 - Demonoir - Demonoir
34. Highgate - Shrines To The Warhead - Of Ruins

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Playlist: 08/04/10

01. Blind Guardian - Battalions Of Fear - Majesty
02. Steel Horse - Wild Power - Run To Survive
03. Steel Horse - Wild Power - Burning Soul
04. Slauter Xstroyes - Winterkill - City Of Sirtel
05. Midnight - Complete And Total Fucking Midnight - Hot Graves
06. Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather - Delivering The Goods
07. Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak - Angel From The Coast
08. Dio - The Last In Line - I Speed At Night
09. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Fast Taker
10. Ross The Boss - New Metal Leader - Matador
11. Midnight Priest - Rainha Da Magia Negra - Rainha Da Magia Negra
12. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Legion Of Grey
13. Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian - Fata Morgana
14. Control Denied - The Fragile Art Of Existence - The Fragile Art Of Existence
15. Death - Leprosy - Open Casket
16. Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness - Evil Spells
17. Dream Death - Journey Into Mystery - Black Edifice
18. Razor - Evil Invaders - Iron Hammer
19. Razor - Custom Killing - Going Under
20. Sodom - Obsessed By Cruelty - Obsessed By Cruelty
21. Morbid Saint - Spectrum Of Death - Scars
22. Burial Invocation - Rituals Of The Grotesque - Through The Void Of Obscurity
23. Dismember - Like An Overflowing Stream - Override Of The Overture
24. Evoken - Shades Of Night Descending - Towers Of Frozen Dusk
25. Burzum - Det Som Engang Var - Lost Wisdom
26. Drudkh - Autumn Aurora - Fading
27. Drudkh - Autumn Aurora - Summoning The Rain
28. Drudkh - Autumn Aurora - Glare Of Autumn
29. Candlemass - Nightfall - Mourner's Lament
30. Black Sabbath - Paranoid - Electric Funeral
31. Apolion - On The Altar - On The Altar
32. Pentagram - Pentagram - Sign Of The Wolf
33. Pentagram - Pentagram - Relentless

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Playlist: July 28, 2010

01. Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell - Neon Knights
02. Slauter Xstroyes - Free The Beast - Battle Axe
03. Slauter Xstroyes - Winter Kill - City Of Sirtel
04. Slauter Xstroyes - Free The Beast - Syncopated Angel
05. Chastain - Ruler Of The Wasteland - Angel Of Mercy
06. Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith - Freewheel Burning
07. Overkill - Taking Over - Wrecking Crew
08. Helstar - Nosferatu - Harker's Tale (Mass Of Death)
09. Faith Or Fear - Punishment Area - The Shadow Knows
10. Vektor - Black Future - Forests Of Legend
11. Sodom - Agent Orange - Magic Dragon
12. Onslaught - Power From Hell - Damnation / Power From Hell
13. Razor - Custom Killing - Forced Annihilation
14. Demolition Hammer - Epidemic Of Violence - Epidemic Of Violence
15. Crucifixionhammer - Graveyard Lust - Ghouls Desecrate
16. Nominon - Monumentoumb - Kevorkian Exit
17. Obituary - Slowly We Rot - Intoxicated
18. Obituary - The End Complete - Sickness
19. Obituary - Slowly We Rot - Words Of Evil
20. Mandatory - ... Where They Bleed - Where They Bleed
21. War Master - Thrones Of Tyranny - Undead War Machine
22. Dismember - Like An Everflowing Stream - And So Is Life
23. Maegashira - Maegashira / Sowbelly / OSSM Split - The Man Who Named God
24. Grand Magus - Grand Magus - Never Learned
25. Grand Magus - Iron Will - Fear Is The Key
26. Solitude Aeturnus - Alone - Burning
27. Candlemass - Nightfall - The Well Of Souls
28. Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness - The Coffin Ships
29. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Traitors Gate
30. Negura Bunget - Maiastru Sfetnic - A-Vint In Abis

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kaarmekristus - Ajan Lopun Alku

This is a pretty simple, straight forward review for a pretty simple and standard black metal demo. Ajan Lopun Alku (Finnish for "The Beginning Of The End Of Time - I assume) is the first release from Kaarmekristus, the sole energy of one Ophiuchus Caedo. The tape contains four songs and a long intro piece appropriately titled "Kutsu" or "Invitation." For an intro to a black metal demo, I find the three minute plus track exceptionally beautiful. A chant of sorts, almost Gregorian except for the accompanying orchestration, "Kutsu" beckons you in. It says, "Welcome to my sanctuary... feel at ease here... for a moment." The play between the multiple vocal patterns and timbres is captivating and very well done. It creates a sense that you are not merely listening to music but that you are an onlooker to a spiritual event of sorts.

The first two tracks here are the least impressive - not that either of four tracks are "impressive" but the first two are less impressive than not impressive at all. Though all the tracks sound like Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger, "Uusi Aikakausi" is the least hungry of the tracks. It offers little. It's like going to a fast food restaurant and getting napkins as an appetizer. Though the demo doesn't quite worship early Darkthrone, the influence is immense but fails to succeed in the most important part of the formula - the hypnosis. And without that all that's left is corpse-paint which Ophiuchus Caedo has down pretty well judging from the image on the insert. To be blunt, there is little impact on either this track or the slightly less interesting second song "Unohduksen Verhon Lapi." Between these two tracks there is little to identify them. While "Unohduksen Verhon Lapi" has more initial kick than the opener, it has a far less interesting structure and repeats for what seems like an eternity with no vocals, no change or variation in the barely audible drums...The two later tracks have more depth, and are more mature. Though the cyclical "Hanen Tyonsa" is slowly gain my interest, mainly due to a peculiar extended slow moody part, final track "Totuuden Etsija" is full of urgency. It has a purity to it that rekindles some of the feelings I have when I listen to Transilvanian Hunger - feelings of introspection a desire for solitude from existence during it's playing time. "... Etsija" feels like it is going somewhere, that it SHOULD be heard. This feeling is noticeable immediately. The connection between the instruments is stronger. The drums and bass and guitar fall on each other in a beautiful collapse. While other tracks sounded confused at times, there is no doubt on this track as to where to go next, what rhythm needs to exist for notes to ascend to a level above repetition. Vocally, I wish I had lyrics to follow along with his wall-of-static style of vocals in this track.

I get the impression that this was the first song Ophiuchus C. wrote and it means to most to him. One of the most enduring strengths behind black metal demos, specifically demos from single people is that, the are so personal. There is the sense that with this music, you are being allowed to witness it not just of your choosing but at the artist's discretion. One of the intriguing aspects to demos of this sort is that, if, for instance, Ophiuchus did not decide to release it, who would hear it? No one. It would be lost to time. His rituals and compositions would not exist to anyone but himself. It's a strange idea. Even if it is generic, mediocre and trite, it's honest and it means something to someone. Even with demos like this, we can discover the "one hit wonders" of underground metal. "Totuuden Etsija" is that kind of a song - a stand out amongst unnecessary tracks.

Final conclusion: typical demo, especially for black metal. Some added textural depth would help differentiate some of the rather monotonous melodies and rhythms but with a great intro and excellent final track, not all is lost. I'd be interested to see progression in the next release but more of the same just isn't truly necessary. A few tracks like "Totuuden Etsija" and to a lesser extent "Hanen Tyonsa" would make a decent demo. A less amateur guitar tone would also help a little though in this stage, production concerns are not important at all in my opinion. The production on this isn't BAD but it's definitely not for those unfamiliar with listening through demos. Polished is the last word I'd use to describe Kaarmekristus. I would use rough and rugged instead but smooth high-quality production doesn't fit Kaarmekristus' music anyway. Ajan Lopun Alku has charm but then again, when doesn't when something is this personal?

Perhaps this was once a dub of Thirst's Per Aspera Ad Astra album? Once again, a very personal release. More likely though is that it is simply a recitation of the Latin phrase "To the stars through difficulties."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Enforcer - Diamonds

Regression is a word that's been tossed around a bit the past few years, with a seemingly ammonium perchlorate aided ignition of old school thrash, massive interest in Darkthrone's last few albums and now with a rise in traditional metal's appearance. But regression assumes that the whole of metal has come to a point in which the old way of thought had been entirely ousted in the minds of metal fans in favor of new trendy modern ideals in production and songwriting. I don't believe in regression. There's been a sway of old and new since the day Sabbath played that first infamous note - and the true thunder roared. What the hell does this have to do with Enforcer? Some may say that they are regressionist but I think of them as an entirely different class. It would be much easier to label their latest release, Diamonds, as youthful revisionism. The influences of early metal mainstays like Maiden, Priest and - daresay I - a little glam, have been combined with Enforcer's infectious excitability. It's like metal never encountered Possessed or Venom. As if the most extreme in metal was a hard hitting Dokken track.

With Diamonds, Enforcer seem to have clearly set out to make a more consistent and rounded album than debut Into The Night and with Diamonds Enforcer seems to have caught stride of their goal. Albums are made of songs, and Diamonds has a few. From opener "Midnight Vice" the sleazy vibe of a raucous night on the town with nothing to lose sets in, a feeling stolen from Anthem's self titled debut. Tracks like "Nightmares" or the awesome "Live For The Night" are almost straight off Dokken's Tooth And Nail, a combination of rougher songs like "Don't Close Your Eyes" and Iron Maiden's Killers. Though duds like "Roll The Dice" and "High Roller" break the momentum, the majority of songs keep the album's pace set at pedal to the metal.

Title track "Diamonds" is a three and a half minute instrumental highlighting the band's instrumental prowess and also a desire to progress in the face of their revisionist tendencies as the song ends in a strange, Floydian ambient rock jam like Meddle meets Sabbath's more experimental moments in a bed under a blanket with the cover to Return To Forever's Romantic Warrior printed in perfect detail. Grasp that one. Still, the abilities of this band as musicians are apparent throughout the disc. Tobias Lindkvist's takes an almost singular influence from Steve Harris - gallops, fills, even the tone I can hear him trying to achieve is all Harris circa 1980 just a little more gooey. Jonas Wikstrand is capable on the kit, utilizing everything possible to yield maximum metallic volume. Sadly, though his playing is tight and very traditional - basic and simple during verse and chorus but spreading out when the opportunity arises - it sounds lifeless often, and I can't determine whether it's him or the production. Guitarists Joseph Tholl and Adam Zaars are, as on Into The Night, phenomenal though I would've liked their guitars to be mixed louder.

Olof Wikstrand (I can't find any information on if he is related to drummer Jonas Wikstrand though by the looks of them, I am going to wager this is the case) is undeniably the force behind Enforcer, and I think you can hear in his voice that he really loves this music. His vocals are heartfelt first and foremost. Across the album he really prefers the higher ranges but never really wanders into a battle with those dreaded nasally high pitched wails. It may have something to do with age but he doesn't have that rasp to his voice, and its edge would definitely help add some intensity to the album. Regardless, there is some sort of strange grit there, a certain harshness which is unmistakeably metal in every way. I think he sounded more aggressive on Into The Night though. I also love how under produced his vocals are. There are no imposing effects added though Olof's voice is not totally parched either. At the most, there has been a lot of layering done. Most parts are dubbed it seems, to thicken up the vocals during choruses especially. The chorus in "Katana" has at least four vocals dubs itself.

Speaking of which "Katana" would be my favorite track if "Live For The Night" just wasn't such a hit and run, left then right, crush and kill classic metal track. The only thing that could make this song better is if Razor or Motorhead or even Midnight had recorded it instead. Without being too critical though, "Katana" is easily the most complex track on the recording and it hurts. Aside from a pig-sty sloppy digital edit at 4:14 - not the only one on the album either - coming out of the solo just making me shake my head at, the song is flawed. It is held back by a strangely un-metal mid section, jostled around like a rock climber, struggling to gain a foothold on what seemed to be such an easy face. The first two trade of solos sound tired; rehearsed twice too many times. Luckily, the second solo is doesn't quite disappoint. The thing is that, the longest track on the album, and the most involved has to be damn good. And this one just isn't up to par. Also, completely unrelated but "Walk With Me" really sounds like it should be a bonus track on the re-release of this album fifteen years down the road from now.

For revisionist heavy metal with some character, Diamonds is a strong candidate for anyone's collection looking for something new but not too far from what the genre has grown up with. This is truly a classic styled metal release, quirky, mired in controversial issues (I've been accosted by metal fans for wearing a black metal band's t-shirt while playing Keep It True... how do traditional metal fans in some countries feel about the guitarist for Tribulation playing in a traditional metal band?), a controversy waiting to appear. I would never put this next to some of the newer albums which I feel really convey that classic metal fist in the air, air guitar to the heavens posturing like Metal Inquisitor's Doomsday For The Heretic - an album I've overlooked and underrated for the past few years but which has enamored me now - or Shadowkeep's Corruption Within - a nod to Fates Warning's Spectre Within but placed in a modern context. Diamonds may have been up there were some of the filler removed, like the ungodly "Running In Menace" and the production was just a bit less 'dull.' What I really think Diamonds is though is a prelude a great third album.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Live Doom - Decaying Citadel / Mortum / Gorematory / Pharaoh

Though my involvement with my college radio station forces me to censor the price for this gig, it's less than getting fast food. If you REALLY want to know, email me and I'll let you in on the price or you can check it out at Decaying Citadel's myspace. Should be a good time.

Anyway, a few reviews coming up. A review for Enforcer's new album Diamonds has been written, I just gotta type it up. Also, reviews of Kaarmekristus' Ajan Lopun Alku and WinterRealm's Ouroboros soon as well. More stuff seems to be trickling in so there should be some more activity as far as reviews goes in the next few weeks.

I may or may not do a review for Infinitum Obscure's Sub Atris Caelis also but it depends on how I feel... It seemed like a pretty average release after three listens but maybe a few more will change my mind.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Speed Merchants: A Thrash Fanzine Vol. I

For a twenty-four page thrash fanzine found underneath my front passenger side tire, there is a certain sentimentality to Speed Merchants volume I. Sadly the sentimentality of finding something in a completely illogical place doesn't negate the fact that this fanzine is not very in-depth, has about seventeen minutes of interesting reading and just doesn't really delve into the emerging thrash scene all that well. It's a given that Bonded By Blood, Gama Bomb, Toxic Holocaust and Evile would be included and not at all that exciting to see Municipal Waste and Merciless Death listed also. Some bands are in fact appreciated such as Dekapitator and Decadence, mainly for the fact that they are not all that well known but I'm still not won over.

The zine is written by Terrorizer journalist Ian Webster. I'm not intimately familiar with Terrorizer, probably the most trend-obsessed hard rock magazine to exist, and I'm not familiar with Mr. Webster's writing but if this little magazine is anything to go by, he is more concerned with promoting the concept of "New Wave Of Thrash Metal" than promoting really good bands. Maybe it's just me but I've listened to Evile, Municipal Waste, Fueled By Fire etc. and "generic" is a more appropriate genre tag than "thrash" for these bands. Some people like generic though. This magazine just doesn't seem to expose anything other than what someone would discover trolling the internet threads for twenty minutes. It's got a cool layout, old school vibe - other than the bands - and is a REALLY quick read... it's just so surface. It does have four pages of demo reviews also but sixteen, one page interviews with no more than five questions each doesn't allow much room for a whole lot of banter. I think the best thing about the zine is that it might be named after a Razor track...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ancient Obliteration - Destruction From The Past

I don't know what the hell "street metal" is or is supposed to sound like but I DO know it has taken me one hell of a long time to decide how I feel about self proclaimed street-metallers Ancient Obliteration and their EP Destruction From The Past. In some respects it's a really interesting listen and in other places I can't find enough ceiling tiles to count. Yet in other places, I am left scratching my head till there are red streaks across my forehead where my index finger has left a permanent gaping wound. Destruction From The Past was released practically a year ago and contains five songs interluded with ambient sections and eerie moody atmospheres. Three of those songs are older and two are newer songs written and recorded with the current line-up of Geoff Olson (Vocals), Leslie Hurteau (Bass, Vocals), Jacob Absolon (Guitar) and Marcell Fraser (Drums).

What I think I find so confusing about this release is how Ancient Obliteration make it seem so vital to keep the ambient moody sections out of the real tracks and instead as just introductions to all the tracks. Not following? Haven't heard the disc? Of the five songs on display, each track is separated by an ambient introduction / filler track. A prime example of this would also be this year's 1349 album, Demonior, where 1349 have done the exact same thing. While Ancient Obliteration have make a conscious effort to remove all atmosphere from the tracks, 1349 have carried the moods into and across their songs. I side with the later in this case though if Ancient Obliteration did use some of that ambiance in their songs, the layering would create a strange effect of thrashy uneasiness. It would at least elevate the generally mediocre riffs into a territory that hasn't been explored much in thrash. I don't think the result would be unlike a very amateur Mithras.

Ancient Obliteration tackle subjects such as monsters, strange phenomenon and occasionally feel tempted to toss in some occult imagery. Basically a strange Japanese styled monster flick written by H.P. Lovecraft and backed by a thrash soundtrack. What I like about the way that Ancient Obliteration approach these subjects, which could easily sound tired and childish, is that they simply don't. There is enough care taken to prevent their themes from sounding like a gimmick and anyone who knows me also knows I don't find gimmick bands in the least bit enjoyable. Case and point - Ancient Obliteration sound way less forced and tired than at least a dozen nameable newer thrash bands talking about zombies and beer - coughGamaBombcough - or any band writing songs about red-bearded one legged pirates raping your mom and pillaging your meager and pathetic record collection on a mission to destroy all your other pirate themed metal.

With opening track "Tokyo Tower" paving the way with some subtle far-eastern influences (particularly in some of the percussion), the songs start of rather strong though "Of Wisdom and Madness" contains a main riff akin to watching a very chaotic washing machine and dryer doing battle. Leslie Hurteau's bass is also quite loudly mixed... everywhere... and overpowers other instruments. Cool Leads near the ending of the song make up for dueling appliances but only slightly. "Portal Beast" comes next and is almost my favorite song but it is performed a little too sloppily and just doesn't seem to flow as well as "Tokyo Tower" or my favorite track "Shogun." At times the vocals in this song seem like a total afterthought. Speaking of afterthoughts..."Defiler" is so forgettable that I almost forgot to even mention it though a pretty sick bass solo rounds out the track.

But "Shogun" makes this demo worth hearing. It has great intensity, urgency and most importantly, great riffs that make the other songs seem trite. The guitar solo is awesome. The track simply ends the release on a high-note. My only complaint comes with mixing. Leslie is once more a bit too loud for my tastes - heresy being a bassist myself I know - but at other times, the mixing is really good so, I don't know... The last forty or so seconds are my favorite moments of the whole release and are the closest Ancient Obliteration come to creating atmosphere within the songs themselves. While this song is really good, it also is so far superior in quality to other tracks that I wonder why some of the older songs would even be considered. Being a newer song, I would have loved to see more newer material on the disc (I'm willing to look past "Defiler" in a hope that other songs would be as good as "Shogun.") This all said, I'm not convinced the "street metal" tag will catch on or even makes sense at all, but I like the music these guys are conjuring and with some more time to ferment and more attention to details I'm pretty sure Ancient Obliteration will raise a few eyebrows.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Playlist - 06/09/10

Something like this:

01. Enforcer - Diamonds - Diamonds
02. Enforcer - Diamonds - Live For The Night
03. Enforcer - Diamonds - Midnight Vice
04. Primititve Graven Image - Traversing The Awesome Night - Design
05. Neftaraka - Raw Ist Law - The Knoll
06. Dio - Dream Evil - Night People
07. Dio - Dream Evil - All The Fools Sailed Away
08. Savage Death - Deadly Playground - Social D
09. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence - Skeleton On Your Shoulder
10. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence - Masked Jackal
11. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Thane Of Cowder
12. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - Wicked Mystic
13. Razor - Evil Invaders - Iron Hammer *
14. Mystifier - Goetia - An Elizabethan Devil Worshipper's Spellbook *
15. Neglektum - Beyond The Frozen Mist - Beyond The Frozen Mist **
16. Faith Or Fear - Punishment Area - The Shadow Knows
17. Manowar - Defender EP - Gloves Of Metal
18. Overkill - Taking Over - ElectroViolence
18. Whiplash - Power And Pain - Spit On Your Grave
19. Eliminator - Breaking The Wheel - World Obliteration
20. Valkija - Avengers Of Steel - Son Of Thunder
21. Briton Rites - For Mircalla - The Right Hand Of Doom
22. Zeke - Devil's Island - Kill The King***
23. Znowhite - Act Of God - War Machine
24. Wolf - The Black Flame - Steelwinged Savage Reaper
25. War Master - Thrones Of Tyanny 7" - Undead War Machine
26. Watain - Sworn To The Black - Underneath The Cenotaph
27. Watchtower - Energetic Disassembly - Meltdown
28. Nyctophobia - Beyond The Pillars - War
29. Bolt Thrower - In Battle There Is No Law - Forgotten Existence
30. Dictator - Dysangelist - Sanctus

* Tony - Paterson (Thanks for listening and great requests!)
** Mahvtoole
*** I am never listening to you again Lumberjack

Monday, June 7, 2010

Decaying Citadel - Split Update

Check out the Decaying Citadel myspace page to hear a pretty terribly compressed Bathory cover which will appear on the upcoming split.

Monday, May 24, 2010

News - Rhythm Pit - The Matter of Opinion

A few this to mention. This week, my radio show may not happen due to some issues with our antenna. If the case, my Dio - tribute show will be postponed until next Wednesday.

Also, Decaying Citadel's side of the Autumn Reflections / Decaying Citadel split is finished. I think it sounds like the slab of doom it was meant to sound like. Three songs including a cover of Bathory's Satan My Master and a re-recording of Dread Saviour Arise, Decaying Citadel's split will be sure to make fans of anything doom glaze over.

Also, Ancient Obliteration - Destruction From The Past review should be posted in the next few days some where. It's coming, just a really difficult review to write.

ALSO, I need help. I can not find any information on this demo tape. I am looking for a release date:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playlist 05/19/10

01. Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell - Heaven And Hell

Tune in next week, for a three hour dedication show to the legend who is Dio.

02. Sammy Hagar - Heavy Metal: The Motion Picture Soundtrack - Heavy Metal
03. Exciter - Heavy Metal Maniac - Iron Dogs
04. Possessed - Beyond The Gates - Phantasm
05. Blind Guardian - Batallions Of Fear - Run For The Night
06. Gorguts - Considered Dead - Stiff and Cold
07. Gorguts - Considered Dead - Bodily Corrupted
08. Death - Human - Together As One
09. Darkthrone - Soulside Journey - Neptune Towers
10. Asphyx - The Rack - The Rack
11. Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism - Crytpic Winterstorms
12. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Frozen Rapture
13. Eyehategod - Take As Needed For Pain - Blank
14. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Midnight Rider
15. Icarus Witch - Capture The Magic - Capture The Magic
16. Demons And Wizards - Touched By The Crimson King - Beneath These Waves
17. Primordial - Journey's End - Cast To The Pyre
18. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Traitors Gate
19. Dark Fortress - Eidolon - Analepsy
20. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
21. Iron Man - I Have Returned - Fallen Angel
22. Maegashira - Maegashira / Sowbelly / OSSM - The Man Who Named God
23. Valkija - Avengers Of Steel - Hatchet Blade
24. Valkija - Avengers Of Steel - Son Of Thunder
25. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Brann Inte Slottet
26. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
27. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
28. 1349 - Demonoir - Atomic Chapel
29. Infinitum Obscure - Destruction Of The Heavenly Realm Vol. XI - Messenger Of Chaos, I

LP / MC: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 21, 25, 26
2010: 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

Monday, May 17, 2010

Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel

A demo that is not trying to be anything modern or trendy? If you seek one, Axe Battler have a demo for you! They have created a demo which sets itself from the pack in its honest-to-the-roots metal approach. But does this translate into quality? Axe Battler show that for them, the old school sound of the early 1980's heavy metal has never subsided and NWOBHM is still alive in their hearts. In general, there's not much to complain about but also, not a whole lot to talk about. Axe Battler's "The Wrath Of My Steel" has good riffs, a great vibe and is an easy listen to anyone who grew up on Iron Maiden or 70's Judas Priest and is seeking obscure heavy metal. The fact that is is a tape demo, for me at least, makes it even more endearing. A lack of traditional metal bands release on the format and to get my greedy hands on a demo tape like this, with it's black and white cover, and plastic case which continually falls apart and has to be put back together, takes me to a time when I existed only in the foresight of the great Greek gods. If you want to feel what it felt like to grow up in 1982, then grab a copy of this demo, preferably by post. It's like being an adolescent and having to go down the block and get dubbed copies from the weird guy down the block with a strange obsession with Rob Halford's crotch.

Opening track "Killers Of The Night" is as classic sounding as it is benign. Though it's sure to put a smile the face of anyone who like's Iron Maiden's first two albums, past that it's pretty average in quality. Though Axe Battler use few leads throughout the song, the instrumental section of the track is full of dual guitar harmonies and a great solo courtesy of Axe Battler's guitarist Chris. J.P Battler's vocals are charming, emotional and amateur, I would chose him over any of those "top tier" power metal bands that are touted by the metal media. He doubles on bass adequately, mainly following the rhythm guitars. Second track, the title track, "The Wrath Of My Steel," follows the opening song's style closely though is a bit long-winded. It drags like a two-legged dog. Third track, "At The Backstreet" is basically a ballad (remember that 80's vibe?) and is the weakest song for me on this release. The lyrics are the least interesting, about being in love with a hooker or something... and then she has a knife? I honestly don't know and can't figure it out... But the triplets during the fast part lag and are all over the timing map. Still, JP gets my admiration for singing a ballad and he does a dashing job with it."Minotaur's Labyrinth" is my favorite on the release. It's pace is perfect, it's memorable, the lyrics are simple but excellent, recounting the Greek tale of the labyrinth. When JP screams "The minotaur is thirsty for their flesh!" I just nod my head, feel elated and relish in the moment and the passion he has for Axe Battler's music. The lead section is great, dual leads, harmonized riffs once again in the Maiden style. Some notice to kit-kicker Manuel A. He is solid across the whole demo. I like the natural sound to his drums which seem to be free of studio trickery and actually played really well - something many drummers can take a lesson from; you don't need to have triggers to sound good... just play your drums properly! I think it has something to do with bands constantly aiming for exponential extremity, drummers are pushed past what the vast majority of human drummers can play.

The Witch Cross cover is cool. I never heard the original but if it sounds as good as Axe Battler's version, I'd be in my glory. It's amazing how much more there is to discover. Axe Battler however did not escape my vigilance and I'm glad. Axe Battler are a great band, still in formative stages but given time and a chance to grow with their music and their ideas, I see them becoming a great underground metal band. I think a slightly thicker guitar sound would really help Axe Battler. "The Wrath Of My Steel" is a good demo, nothing totally outstanding but still worth listening. I see myself playing "Minotaur's Labyrinth" or maybe "Killers Of The Night" on a bi-weekly basis. This is a great find for anyone looking for current bands playing really classic sounding metal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Playlist - 05/12/10

01. Cheap Trick - Heavy Metal The Motion Picture Soundtrack - Reach Out
02. The Rods - Heavier Than Thou - Make Me A Believer
03. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Fast Taker
04. Blind Guardian - Battalions Of Fear - Run For The Night
05. Iron Savior - Unification - Forces Of Rage
06. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
07. Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory - Azrael
08. Anthem - Anthem - Warning Action!
09. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - W.T.Y.D
10. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Frozen Rapture
11. Grand Magus - Wolf's Return - Blood Oath
12. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Brann Inte Slottet
13. Venom - Welcome To Hell - Witching Hour
14. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Serpent's Blood
15. Immolith - Hymns To The Countess - Slaughter The Legions
16. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
17. Burzum - Det Som Engang Var - En Ring Til Aa Herske
18. Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism - Cryptic Winterstorms
19. Dark Fortress - Eidolon - Analepsy
20. Ancient Horns - Profano - Eternal Vengeance

TRILOGY - 1349
21. 1349 - Demonoir - Atomic Chapel
22. 1349 - Hellfire - Sculptor Of Flesh
23. 1349 - Demonoir - Demonoir

24. War Master - Chapel Of The Apocalypse - Chapel of The Apocalypse
25. War Master - Thrones Of Tyranny - Undead Warmachine
26. Asphyx - The Rack - The Rack
27. Deathevokation - Blood Demo - Embers Of A Dying World
28. Defuntos - Florestas De Perpetua Solidao - Do Dundo Da Minha Alma...
29. Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation - Reign Of Fire *

MC / LP #'s: 01, 02, 03, 06, 09, 10, 11, 12, 14, 25, 27, 28,
2010 #'s: 06, 12, 14, 21, 23, 25,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Playlist 05/05/10

01. The Rods - Heavier Than Thou - Heavier Than Thou
02. The Rods - Heavier Than Thou - Make Me A Believer
03. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Dark Avenger
04. Midnight Priest - Rainha Da Magia Negra - Juzio Final
05. Iron Maiden - Powerslave - Powerslave
06. Faith Or Fear - Punishment Area - The Shadow Knows
07. Blind Guardian - Battalions Of Fear - Wizards Crown
08. Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle Earth - Time Stands Still
09. Ross The Boss - New Metal Leader - I Got The Right
10. Ravage - Freedom Fighter - Grapes Of Wrath
11. Shadowkeep - Corruption Within - Corruption Within
12. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Those Treasures Will Never Befall You
13. The Hookers - Speedwolf / Hookers Split - For The Master
14. Black Sabbath - Vol. 4 - Supernaut
15. Deep Purple - In Rock - Speed King
16. Maegashira - Maegashira / Sowbelly / OSSM Split - The Man Who Named God
17. Candlemass - Candlemass - Seven Silver Keys
18. Dominus Praeli - The First Battle - Waves Of War
19. Thou - Black September / Thou Split - Smoke Pigs
20. Morgion - Solinari - Nightfall Infernal
21. Asphyx - The Rack - The Rack
22. Asphyx - The Rack - Pages In Blood
23. Sapremia - Existence Of Torture - Spawn Of Desolation
24. War Master - Thrones Of Tyranny 7" - Undead Warmachine
25. Immolith - Hymns To The Countess - Slaughter The Legions
26. Burzum - Det Som Engang Var - En Ring Til Aa Herske
27. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
28. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Failures Burden
29. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise

MC/LP Rips: 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 18, 23, 24,  29
2010 Releases: 12, 24, 29

Saturday at Champs in Trenton: Haethen, Sapremia, Immolith and Blasphemous. Cool show for those interested. I'll be there in my normal capacity. Feel free to say hello!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Decaying Citadel - Split Update

Today, Myself and Decaying Citadel's Z.S have finished recording the vocals for their upcoming split with Autumn Reflections. All that is left is basic editing and mixing. Three songs of excellent doom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Haethen On The Vault Tonight

Tonight on The Vault, NJ black metal band Haethen will join me in the caverns of WP887 to discuss their blackened art, their favorite bands, their recent show with Alcest, Woe and Velnias, their upcoming show with Immolith, Sapremia and Blasphemous and a host of other interesting stuff.

Their demo, Wanderer is available via their website:

Tune in from 9pm-12am EST to listen in on what is sure to be a great interview and a host of great black metal as well.

Tonight's Playlist, small due to Haethen's appearance but, quality of course!

01. Venom - Black Metal - Black Metal
02. Aeternus - Beyond The Wandering Moon - Vind
03. Apolion - Necro Black Elitist Split - Primordial Hunger
04. Fornication - Stab - Evil Sperm
05. Fornication - Stab - Les Handicapes Du L Er Rang
06. Hell Rot - Vomit Altar - Goat Chapel
07. Ihsahn - After - A Grave Inversed
08. Haethen - Wanderer - Wanderer
09. Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism - The Call of the Wintermoon
10. 1349 - Demonoir - Pandemonium War Bells
11. Burzum - Det Som Engang Var - Naar Himmelen Klarner
12. Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows - Hrimfaxi
13. Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows - Skinfaxi
14. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Breathed
15. Sacramentum - Far Away From The Son - Blood Shall Be Spilled
16. Sepremia - Existance of Torture - Spawn of Desolation
17. Alcest - Écailles de lune - Écailles de lune [part ii]
18. Hate Forest - Sorrow - Night Harvest
19. Black Sabbath - The Wizard
20. Black Sabbath - The Mob Rules - The Mob Rules
21. Black Sabbath - Vol. 4 - Snowblind
22. Haethen - Wanderer - Hearken the Breath of Solstice Calling
23. Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi - Norvegr
24. Bathory - Blood Fire Death - A Fine Day To Die

Saturday, April 24, 2010


So, picked up some stuff down at the wonderful world that is Englishtown Auction today. Take a peak!
So while nothing too spectacular, a few personal notes. The Heavy Metal soundtrack is a gatefold with a pretty nice selection of screenshots from one of my favorite movies of all time. My only issue with the soundtrack is that it leaves out the score music which, in my opinion was part of the allure of the movie for me. Elmer Bernstein's original score is genius, particularly the entire Taarna scene. The Manowar LP is a double for me, I have the CD but I've always wanted the original LP. I asked my mom to get me it once for my birthday along with some other stuff but she opted to purcahse Cirith Ungol's Frost and Fire instead. I also already have the double disc release of Doomsday For The Deceiver but I can't pass up the LP from one of the most overlooked thrash releases. Jason Newstead is phenomenal on the record. It's a shame the crap he went through with Metallica and while I can understand the emotions from their point of view, I would really have liked to hear what ...And Justice For All would have sounded like with any audible bass at all. That recording is just downright disrespectful to Jason Newstead. I'm sure even Cliff Burton would be pissed to hear that album. The two discs were two bucks each so even though I could care less about both them pretty much, I figured "eh, why not!" The one release I am really kind of giddy about is The Rods album.
I remember reading about the band in this issue of Music For Nations from back in 1984 and just kind of wanting to check them out but never getting around to it. Looks like the wait is over. Hopefully they are as good as I hope they are. Love that album art too.

Take a look at the article. I left the attached article about Tank for the little extra something I like to give you all.
Otherwise, the haul included the following:

Fear Factory - Demanufacture (CD)
Skid Row - Slave To The Grind (CD)
Flotsam And Jetsam - Doomsday For The Deciever (LP)
Manowar - Battle Hymns (LP)
Motorhead - Another Perfect Day (LP)
Heavy Metal - Motion Picture Soundtrack (LP)
Judas Priest - Unleashed In The East (LP)
The Rods - Heavier Than Thou (LP)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Playlist - 04/14/10

Sorry about last week's playlist... never uploaded correctly for some reason... Those who missed the show, will never know what amazing songs I played.

01. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Metal Daze
02. Cydonia - Cydonia - Great Soul Of Steel
03. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Midnight Rider
04. Judas Priest - Point Of Entry - Hot Rockin'
05. Shadowkeep - A Chaos Theory - Beware The Signs
06. Valkija - Avengers Of Steel - Son Of Thunder
07. Anthem - Tightrope - Tightrope Dancer
08. Exciter - Heavy Metal Maniac - Iron Dogs
09. Exciter - Heavy Metal Maniac - Mistress Of Evil
10. Speedwolf - Denver 666 - Denver 666
11. Indestroy - Senseless Theories - Living In Filth
12. Overkill - Ironbound - Bring Me The Night
13. Sodom - Tapping The Vein - One Step Over The Line
14. Mortuary - Blackened Images - Sacreligious
15. Mortuary - Blackened Images - Asphyxiation
16. Iniquity - Grime - Bullet's Breath
17. Akercocke - Rape Of The Bastard Nazarene - Marguerite & Gretchen
18. Bestial Warlust - Blood And Valour - Legion Of Wrath
19. Bahimiron - Pure Negativism In Allegiance With Self Wreckage - Terror Division Bloodstrike
20. Besatt - Triumph Of Antichrist - Intro / Witch Night
21. Burzum - Belus - Glemselens Elv
22. Burzum - Belus - Belus Doed
23. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Autumn Twilight
24. Clamfight - Free S*** - Viking Funeral
25. Decaying Citadel - Ruin Of The Wooded Realm - Dread Saviour Arise
26. EyeHateGod - Take As Needed For Pain - Blank
27. Catacombs - In The Depths Of R'Lyeh - Dead Dripping City
28. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise

2010: 10, 12, 21, 22, 28,
MC / LP Rips: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20, 23, 28

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Megadeth - Testament - Exodus

Driving... to Scranton PA. The trip took about 3 hours. Playlist on the way to the show: Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons, Annihilator - Alice In Hell, Motorhead - Live At Hammersmith, Silent Force - Infatuator...

We thought the show would be good because it was inside what was once a Masonic Temple AND because it was a nuclear fallout shelter...

Cool little record store a block away. I didn't have a chance to really scavenge around but it seemed like a neat place. Small but a decent selection. Some of their product seemed a little over priced though

Exodus... I've never been so bored at a gig in my life before. Even though I woke up slightly for "Piranha" and for Duke's absolutely disgraceful between song banter, I would have much rather seen Lee Altus perform selected Heathen solos.


Testament were alright, I enjoyed them to some extent... they were more interesting than Exodus at least and played a strong set with older material. I didn't hear one song off their recent album, Formation of Damnation. In general, they suffered from the same problem that I find their albums to suffer from - unbreakable mediocrity. I just think they are a pretty bland and generic thrash band at this point. If I heard "Souls of Black" in their set, maybe I would have a different opinion.


What were you thinking? "She Wolf?" You'll play "She Wolf" but not "Wake Up Dead"...

Anyway, Megadeth were exactly as I expected. They played all of Rust In Peace and even though I would have liked to hear "Dawn Patrol" three more times, I was happy enough to hear "Five Magics" and "Rust In Peace... Polaris."

After the show, we spent the night at my mountain house in PA. Relaxed, took a walk by the lake, talked about random crap for a little while and then went to bed. We ate at Apple Valley restaurant for lunch the following afternoon. That's pretty much it.

Playlist - 03/31/10

"There is nothing worse than a good samaritan coming to your rescue after a car accident and puking all over you after seeing your rotting festering body curled into a cylindrical mass of death."

01. Echoes Of A Red Empire - Russian Songs Of Struggle - We Shall Go Bravely Into Battle

02. Aspid - Extravasation - Intro / It Came (Aspid)
03. Aspid - Extravasation - Towards One Goal
04. Aspid - Extravasation - Where The Night

05. Coroner - Mental Vortex - Pale Sister
06. Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation - Damned To Serve
07. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
08. Embrace Of Thorns - ... For I See Death In Their Eyes - Tyrant Goat (Crowned In Glory)
09. Bestial Warlust - Blood And Valour - Legion Of Wrath*
10. Hellwitch - Storming Steels - Opiatic Luminence
11. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - Alison Hell
12. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
13. Battleaxe - Burn This Town - Dirty Rocker
14. Manilla Road - Mystification - Haunted Palace
15. Axemaster - Death Before Dishonour - Destiny
16. Dokken - Tooth And Nail - Don't Close Your Eyes
17. Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Rising Force - Far Beyond The Sun
18. Cydonia - Cydonia - Legend In Time
19. Blind Guardian - Follow The Blind - Banished From Sanctuary
20. Shadowkeep - Corruption Within - Meta Morale
21. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. I: Future World **
22. Confessor - Unraveled - Cross The Bar
23. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Golden Blood (Flooding)
24. Iron Man - Submission - Run From The Light
25. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Circle The Wagons
26. Immolith - Hymns To The Countess - Slaughter The Legions
27. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Failures Burden ***
28. Apolion - Hungry Of Souls - Winds
29. Burzum - Anthology - Jesus Tod
30. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise****

Tape / Vinyl #'s: 7, 11, 12, 13, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30
2010 #'s: 6, 7, 12, 25, 30

* I can't help myself. Such a glorious track from the Australian masters... oft- copied but never exceeded.

** Great request from Lou! Thanks for listening buddy!

*** Request from Zach, brethren to the word wizard.

**** 33rpm version courtesy of myself. I love the sound of this slowed down. I shall continue to play it at this speed until Beleseth comes and physically removes the 7" from my hands.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Acrassicauda - Star Ledger Article

My ever vigilant mother saw this in the New Jersey Star Ledger. I thought it appropriate to post it for all to read since there are people who may find it interesting and be unable to see the article in the newspaper. I would suggest opening each picture in a new window or tab so you don't have to keep hitting the "back" button and waiting for the page to reload...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Playlist 03/24/10

New Intro, Still waiting for the perfect "Welcome To The Vault" sample. I'll find it eventually.

01. Deep Purple - In Rock - Speed King
02. Samson - Before The Storm - Dangerzone
03. Judas Priest - Killing Machine (Hell Bent For Leather) - Running Wild
04. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
05. Anthem - Tightrope - Tightrope Dancer
06. Iron Man - Submission - Run From The Light
07. Iron Man - I Have Returned - Fallen Angel
08. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Autumn Twilight
09. Maegashira - Maegashira / Sowbelly / OSSM Split - The Man Who Named God
10. Clamfight - Free Sh*t - Viking Funeral
11. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - These Treasures Will Never Befall You
12. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - WTYD
13. Faith Or Fear - Punishment Area - The Shadow Knows
14. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence - Absorbed
15. Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos - No Stone Unturned

Exodus / Testament / Megadeth Live Rant!

16. Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation - Damned To Serve
17. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Serpents Blood
18. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
19. Embrace Of Thorns - ... For I See Death In Their Eyes - Tyrant Goat (Crowned In Glory)
20. Mandatory - Where They Bleed - Where They Bleed
21. Ancient Horns - Profano - Eternal Vengeance
22. 1349 - Liberation - Evil Oath
23. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
24. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
25. Burzum - Anthology - Lost Wisdom
26. Negura Bunget - 'N Crugu Bradului - Colo-n Jos Catre Apus
27. Lordamor - Lordamor - Region Of Death

Vinyl / Tape #'s: 02, 04, 05, 07, 08, 11, 12, 13, 17, 24, 25, 26,
2010 #'s: 04, 11, 15, 16, 17, 24,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation

Hong Kong unveils Aortic Regurgitation, thrashy, capable and well composed (aside for their chaotic charm) on this first EP who prove themselves keen to release speedy, infectious (not unlike SARS) and intricate onslaughts of a slightly slanted sort. Tracks such as "Infestation" contain a twisted sentiment assembled from at times awkward phrasings and transitions but even though Aortic have this going for them, at times there is a drudged up sentiment, as if everything is just a little too "safe" or "commonplace." Aortic are not too retro to try new ideas, such as the mid-song sample in "Infestation" which, when they occasionally don't work, are at least thought provoking. The tracks DO work though, especially opening salvo "Damned To Serve," which rumbles on like a beastly blackened dragon dropping blistering corpses into your town thus spreading disease and filth. It's just a matter of time before you've caught fourteen terminal illnesses can't move and begin pleading with everyone who passes to kill you because you can't get the sounds of dying out of your mind.

Influence wise, thrash is the instigator here and though its difficult to pick out specifics with Aortic Regurgitation, I think a comparison to largely unknown bands like Hallow's Eve being appropriate. In this case both bands are passionate though don't really come across that way on record. Melodically speaking, I hear Voivod but then again, Aortic could be influenced by any number of melodically awkward bands. The whole EP is layered with a 90's dying thrash scene sound too, which is odd. It's like Aortic have tried to capture the bands recording records during the demise of their own era. The vocal delivery reminds me of thrash bands that were combing the death metal waters vocally for inspiration such as Coroner or even some of the German bands which may have influenced the harsher vocals in bands after them. The vocals are harsher than those found in the Bay Area scene.

Aortic haven't left out influences from the blackened thrash of this decade either... Basically, a lot of different bands are here blended like your father's suit in a food processor.... with your father still inside. It's at once refreshing and also quizzical in the sense that while the blending of these styles is done well, there is this aura of mischievous laughter in the background telling me what I am listening to is just slightly ridiculous. That thought occurs a few times though it's fleeting. Aortic are both throwback with their riffs, experimental like some of the modern bands in the underground and also colorful... like a clown in a shag-van. It's like biting into a new fruit and sloshing the juices around in your mouth before you decide if you like the textures and flavors.

While not all the tracks are prime cuts, "Alien Worlds" for example being a bit too vast and far-fetched, there is enough to make Aortic Regurgitation's first time enjoyable for somebody. It'll appeal to thrash fans looking for more than the next atomic holocaust retro band with Repka artwork. At the very least, it will be more interesting than another new Exodus record. With some extra attention paid to packaging - nice matte card-stock, professionally printed foldout inserts with lyrics, pro-printed CDr label and a sturdier-than-normal CDr case (CDr Deluxe?) - though not quite enough to get some more interesting cover-art, Aortic are doing almost everything right to make me want to know what's going to happen next with these thrashers. Where they take their strange thrashcoction is anyone's guess.

Oh! I forgot to mention the musicianship and playing/programming on this puts many to shame. The production is clear and well mixed though still one-hundred percent underground. I love the intro to "Damned To Serve." As soon as I put it on, I thought "I hope that the release doesn't sound like this the whole way throu... Ok, thank god." Charles Wong (Guitars / Bass / Drum Programming) and Cynthia "Sin" Yim (Guitars / Vocals (Yep, Read that again - I wasn't going to Gallhammer Aortic with the whole "girls in a band" gimmick) / Lyrics / Drum Programming) are raising the bar in modern thrash inspired by classic bands but never worshiping anyone else. So while everyone's job just got harder, Aortic Regurgitation have left themselves on the high ground with plenty of ammunition and an ill equipped populace closing in on them. I smell total destruction. If Aortic Regurgitation's next release is at least as good as this release, I'm sold.

*As a total Aside, this was another of those irritating releases to spine-label for me. Usually I cut a strip from an index card to label the spine of my CDr's (I use clear packing tape to hold it in place and it works great) but with this release, the spine could not be labeled as such. I had to physically write the title on the spine with a fine tipped sharpie. While I know that the vast majority of people aren't as anal about their music collection as I am, I just wanted to throw that out there. Anyway, all is well now that I have have my case labeled properly.