Zaklon is mysterious one-man Black Metal band from Belarus. This self-released 2006 CDR titled Zrujnavanaja Velich (Ruined Greatness in the Belarussian language) is a cold and repetitive piece of Slavic pagan misanthropy. The rather obvious drum machine hammers out rolling mid-tempo throbs under melancholic distant guitars. Listening to Zrujnavanaja Velich is not unlike trudging through snow for the most part, occasionally there are moments of greatness as the title suggests, but it could have been so much greater had Zaklon's sole member, Temnarod, had a drum kit. Still way kvlt and well worth your time.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Proto-death from '86, Sweden's Obscurity were among the first of many sad-eyed Scandi-teens to follow Bathory into sonic Nifelheim and create Sweden's greatest export, Death Metal!!! Their debut, Ovations To Death. was pure primitive exuberance, and pretty extreme for the time. When this was released you were a fucking fetus, poser.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
These guys are part of the super kvlt Black Twilight Circle operating out of Southern California, but Axeman, as the name implies, are Amebix worship and not a Black Metal band. Like Japan's Zoe, Axeman do little to rebuff the comparisons, hell, even some actual Amebix riffs appear on Arrive (get it? It's like Arise.) Like I said back when I posted Zoe's The Last Axe Beat EP, There are worse bands to emulate than Amebix.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This split CD pits Hungary's somber masters of atavistic ritual music, Hunok, against Finnish kvlt Pagans, Ancestors Blood. Hunok was featured not long ago on The Hearse with their hypnotic opus Gesta Hungorum, so I may be coming to this bout with a slight bias. Hunok kicks things off the piece "Vagyakozas," it is separated into two parts. The first is very reminiscent of Savage Republic, tribal rhythms and native drums accompany jangling glassy guitars. Part two sees Hunok building on the atmosphere of the first part, adding louder distorted guitars that rise into a pagan crescendo. Another strong Hunok release. Ancestors Blood hail from Finland. They sound very much like a more adept, mid-era Graveland. However, nothing they do seems very memorable. They are the kind of band that, while I can find no real fault, I can't find much to grasp onto here. They play well, the production is misty and atmospheric, but there are literally thousands of bands that could make that claim. Sorry, but Hunok totally owns this one. Ancestors Blood didn't stand a chance.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"Attack!!! Are you ready for U.S. Speed Metal Attack?!?!?" Good, because Harbinger from Lansing, Michigan aren't fucking around, well maybe a bit. Their ritalin hyper metallic assault is too giddy to not have a tongue somewhere in a cheek. The album, titled Doom On You kicksoff with the track "Drivers To Hell," a spazzed out call to the troops of metal to unite to kill hardcore boys and white belts.Over the next half hour you get plenty more infectious throwback riffs and lyrics about epic metal things, the elimination of posers, and the triumph of metal. I am totally cool with that.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I have often whined about hardcore getting away from the punks and falling into the meaty hands of the jocks but this absolutely takes the proverbial cake. Dead Lift, who hail from Michigan, literally cut the fat with their 7 Minute Workout Demo. Eight songs to get you psyched up to pump some fucking iron! Fucking stupid.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Does Satan really care if you masturbate in his name? Doesn't much matter to Apator, he's going to beat his meat in blasphemous tribute to the dark lord of the infernal abyss no matter what. Apator is the nom de evil of Robert Van Arnhem, a Dutch devil worshipping maniac who claims to have recorded a number of unholy demos between 1988 and 1995, Masturbate in Praise of Black Satan is the only one I have found (huge thanks to Funeral Stench.) Other utterly unchristian demo titles include: You would love to suck Apator's cock. He won't let you do it!!!, Apator's Stiff Cock Points At The Heavenly Sky, One Hell Of A Homo, and Apator Barks the Smile off Stupid Heterosexual Face. This demo contains no actual music, just Mr. Apator all alone ranting in his most evil effected voice about raping Christ. Not terribly unlike Hearse alum Lord Asmodeus. Play this loud at your next picnic.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sometimes you find yourself on tour and you realize that the booker in whatever backwater town your in doesn't really give a fuck about what you do, he has just offered a show to any band that happens to be rolling through Chump Junction that night. He might round out the bill with a couple of local loser bands that he assures you "have a killer draw" which means their fat girlfriends will show up, drink the few beers backstage, snap some photos of their boyfriend's stupid porno grind band, and leave. Such was the case on Ludicra's recent stop in Little Rock, Arkansas. The first band was a group of knuckle-dragging jocks whose name evades me, I do however remember they had a song called "Six Dicks In One Chick," yeah, this night was looking bad. The second band wasn't much better. The pleasant surprise of the evening (outside of the gunfight in front of the venue) was Davenport, Iowa's own Mondo Drag. Mondo Drag were more out of place on this bill then us, they seemed miserable and confused and this is when we bonded. Mondo Drag follow the same retro course made popular by Witchcraft, their attention to detail is reflected in their gear, their clothes, and the cover of this album titled (oddly enough) New Rituals. Needless to say, Mondo Drag's set was quite a welcome surprise, especially after almost two hours of fat, pimply kids screaming about bukakke over gravity blasts. So at this point I'd like to thank the guys in Mondo Drag for making an otherwise unbearable night somewhat bearable, and I'd also like to thank them for giving me this CD, I have been loving it. New Rituals is a thoroughly enjoyable record of delicious atavist psych-rock from start to finish. The songs and production are authentic and the vibe is completely kitschy witchy cool. Usually this kind of revivalist nostalgia falls short of the mark, but Mondo Drag have put in the work and it shows.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Not eco-friendly metal but rather metal from the emerald isle, Ireland. Another regionally specific metal comp that probably never got much attention outside it's country of origin, probably due to the fact that it isn't very good. Let's break it down. Assassin kick things off with some wimpy party pop metal. Poorly recorded and corny, Assassin doesn't leave much of an impression. Blackwych play some street tough NWOBHM style biker metal. Nothing extraordinary but having a song called "Metal Maniac" can't hurt. April South have a female vocalist, also worth noting: there first track "Oro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile" is sung in Gaelic and has a distinctive Irish feel, like a proto-Cruachan. Their second song "Rock n Roll Rodeo" is a feckin' mess. Up next is Kruger, and not to reference an old stereotype, they sound drunk. Kruger aren't great or anything but there is a charm to their sloppy approach to classic, fun heavy metal. Stonesnipe only get one track on the album, a ballad called "A Change From Yesterday." Totally forgettable. Speed contribute a track called "A Real Live Wire" apparently about a lass who is bad news. The song is made enjoyable by it's ham-fisted drum beat, corny overdubbed drum fills, and the banshee like shriek of the singer. Trojan kind of owns this comp based on the performance of vocalist Eddie Kenny and the driving chug of their track "Soldier's Song." Overall a fairly mediocre comp with a few highlights (Trojan, Speed, and Kruger.) I'm sure Ireland had better bands in 1985 than these.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When Ludicra played in Ft. Worth, Texas some years ago we had our minds blown by The Great Tyrant, a crushing synth-doom entity containing former Yeti members Tommy Atkins and Jon Teague and their most unnerving friend Daron Beck. The band defied description and stood as a towering monolith against your tritest categorizations. They may have hinted at influences buried in Krautrock, The Birthday Party, and towering Doom, but really they were just The Great Tyrant, it's all they knew. There Is a Man In the House is the band's unreleased full length. I imagine it will go unreleased as the band immediately morphed into Pinkish Black following the untimely death of Tommy Atkins on February 24th of this year. Darren and Jon's determination and drive for sonic obliteration in the wake of tragedy is truly inspirational. I was fortunate enough to see Pinkish Black perform in April, Tommy's bass cabinet on stage in memoriam screaming forth phantom sounds. It was a somber and beautiful (and very loud) tribute . The Great Tyrant is dead, long live Pinkish Black. Thank you Daron and Jon.
Link removed at the behest of the band, apparently a release IS pending. Sorry, gentlemen.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Legend (not to be confused with the NWOBHM band of the same name) hailed from the USA, (New Haven, Connecticut to be exact,) and straddled the line between '70s hard rock and the Heavy Metal scene that was developing at the time. In 1979, Legend released their one and only album From The Fjords through Empire Records. This fascination with vikings and Norse landscapes predates Enslaved by thirteen years. Musically Legend had quite a bit in common with another unknown proto-metal band some thousand miles away, Manilla Road. From The Fjords is pure rocking bliss from prow to keel, the laid back vocal delivery of Kevin Nugent, the great songs, and you can't talk about this album without a mention of drummer Raymond Frigon's electrifying performance. Sadly, Kevin died in his sleep in 1983, before he could see this fantastic album become a sought after cult album. From The Fjords has been bootlegged, repressed, and dubbed over and over again. Slough Feg, America's greatest active Heavy Metal band paid tribute to the genius of Legend with a cover of "The Wizard's Vengeance"on their 1999 album "Twilight of the Idols." It is through such noble efforts that the Legend remains alive.
Monday, May 17, 2010
One of the best (and generally unknown) '80s hardcore 7"s from the midwest. Mecht Mensch hailed from Madison, Wisconsin and only managed to eke out this hostile little record before some of the members went on to form the more art damaged The Tar Babies. Mecht Mensch, like most hardcore bands, were angry youth taking on the usual culprits with their lyrics, conformity, violence, war, and the subjectivity of truth, oh and zombies, there's zombies too.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Brocken Moon is a German Black Metal band that showed much promise through a handful of tape releases and then kind of lost me with the full length Das Märchen vom Schnee Perhaps Humanhater, the sole member of Brocken Moon, had effectively ran out of ideas at this point. However, this tape called Schattenlicht des Mondes showcases the band's earliest recording and it is genius. Cold and reflective genius from atop Northern Germany's highest peak, a lonely mountain where witches and warlocks meet to plot nefarious deeds and record demos.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Another great Zambian psych gem for you. The Ngozi family first came to my attention through their amazing 1974 collaboration with guitarist Chrissy Zebby Tembo. The Ngozi family was led by Paul Ngozi. In 1977 Paul brought his fine family into the studio and the result was the album, 45,000 Volts. Interestingly enough, Ngozi means danger, and you, my friend are in danger of having your mind blown by this records fuzzed out greatness. Rumor has it that a scant 600 LPs were pressed, making this collector nerd boner bait right here. It would seem that the good folks at Normal Records of Germany have been reissuing some of these lost Zambian treasures (Amanaz, Witch,) maybe this one is on deck. Until then...
Friday, May 14, 2010
Word on the street is that Mick Barr is some kind of genius. I know he is a guitar player. I watched him get locked out of his van once. Annwn is his bizarre landscape of layered guitars for you to wander in. My girlfriend hates this record, that just makes me love it more. Also the CD contains several pages of Mick's fucked up doodles, so you should buy one or twenty. Mick won't care if I post this, he seems to not really care about much. I like that about him.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The dirthead bangers of Deteriorate resided in the bullshit town of Penndel, Pennsylvania. In 1993 the band entered Snugfit Studios (no kidding) in Rochboro, PA and laid down what would be their debut album Rotting In Hell. Weird thing is, it's a really great slab of primitive Death Metal from start to finish. Nothing technical or elegant, just the moronic pummel of gore-obsessed youth festering in the corpse of a tiny town like larvae with guitars. Later these guys would add keyboards and try their hand at the Black Metal that was forcing out interest in Death Metal. After the band deteriorated, vocalist Jack Gannon went on to create some pretty interesting Black Metal on his own as T.O.M.B. Rotting In Hell is a sadly overlooked classic that really should be reissued perhaps by a certain big metal label that also originated in Pennsylvania but has since aerially circumnavigated a certain aquatic predator. Seriously, I think the public needs this more than another Brian Posehn record. Just fuckin' sayin'.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Pandemonium were from Holland and like fellow Dutch punkers, Lärm, they seemed to have an affinity for fast. Friends since kindegarten, they formed Pandemonium after having their minds blown by a U.K.Subs show (never cared for 'em myself.) The band frequented a punk house called Limbabwe and eventually started a label called Limbabwe Records. Who The Fuck Are You? was the band's first 7" release. It was released in 1983. Pandemonium were one of the greatest Dutch punk bands of all time, so who the fuck are you?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Fell Voices bear the elite distinction of being one of a handful of bands in the last ten years or so to remind me how absolutely religious and cathartic just seeing a band can be. They are indeed special and have elicited much gushing on my part. They hail from Santa Cruz, California and play mesmerizing Black Metal. They opt for a luddite approach favoring rickety gear, a simple three-piece line up, and an aversion to CDs, labels, and press.When they play live they don't use vocal microphones, Mike the drummer just howls into the air immersed in an unseen Oskorei. They may not even be keen on being featured here on my trendy blog, but fuck it, I love them too much to let them fade into a self-imposed obscurity. Art this beautiful demands to be shared. Here is their full length EP. You can argue their kvlt credentials all day, you can have your pithy debates as to whether they are "hipster" or not (although this isn't Last FM,) doesn't change the fact that a thousand corpse- painted clowns could never make something this deep. I have spoken.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
You might think the "yellow" in this record's title refers to Power of Idea's origins in Japan, but the fact is that it is yellow as in a fucking sentient evil fucking bulldozer knocking you into the dirt and ripping your fucking tits off. Don't come to me weeping and titless, you have been warned, asshole.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I'm back, and while it was awesome meeting so many appreciative Hearse readers out there in the world, we got a lot of lost time to make up for. So without any further hesitation here is the best Dissection record not made by Dissection themselves, Necrophobic's Darkside. Enjoy.