Suffocated by Metal #6: Whipped by the Editor Edition
My apologies for the lack of content lately, the last five weeks have taken a toll on me what with the invasion from my kin for the majority of their summer break. Alas they have now departed from the rolling plane of Corn in which I reside leaving me with a little more time on my scribblin’ digits, amassed piles of detritus to unclutter and a tear in my eye until I see their smiling faces again.
Shock horror! When I finally found a sliver of time to divulge my senses in delicious audio I found I was being attacked on all fronts, bombarded in fact from all angles with plethora of emails. On all manner of subject, promises of pills that will increase my libido, offers for sparkle encrusted credit cards and even propositions for a wide variety of things I will never use. Better than all of that…metal, metal and more metal. If only I had enough time to immerse myself fully. Tragically the temperament of my PC adds to my frustration, fuck it! I’ll soldier on.
This is for the DrunkinaGraveyard.com editor collective. But most of all this is for anyone with an open mind and a thirst for fresh metal.
NoothGrush/Corrupted (USA/Japan) SPLIT – Reissue/remastered
Release – August/25/2017 through 20 Buck Spin
(clear or black vinyl and digital)
Original release – 1997 through Reservoir Records
With only three tracks lasting thirty-five minutes the listener doesn’t have to be an Einstein to work out in which genre this release dwells. Doom, Sludge, Crust and house shaking distortion are the order of the day here. Noothgrush (from Oakland, California) take very little time to pummel the listener with their devastating approach (on the first two tracks; Hatred for the Species and Draize) on a genre that though relevant hasn’t changed much in over twenty years. Gary snarls and rasps (he commands bass and second guitar duties as well as vocals) complementing Russ and Chiyo’s down tuned, menacing often lazy paced, percussion. One thing that can’t be ignored is their style which is distinct, heavy as a Mack truck and punishing, immediately I can place where I’ve previously experienced it. Plainly heard are hear hints of Acid Bath (both acts were very active around the mid-nineties) and EyeHateGod with whispers of a darker more vicious nihilistic “harshness”, an unrestrained punk element, a much younger version of a style commonly referred to now as ‘Crust’.
These two tracks make me want to delve into the works of Noothgrush and discover how loud my stereo will play until it dies of exhaustion as my neighbors gather to discuss what it will take to extradite my boisterous self-post-haste.
Corrupted are quite the enigma. Apparently, they refuse to do interviews and have pictures taken, although a few do exist taken by fans at concerts. Wait, it only gets even more intriguing. Corrupted are from Japan though sing in mainly Spanish though have been known to perform tracks in both German and English.
Inactive is the track they boast on this reissue/remaster. It’s dirty, nefarious and wickedly sluggish, the production is raw to boot. Throughout I’m reminded of Brujeria, even though this is played at a slower tempo it still oozes with darkness and foreboding. Over fourteen minutes in length it still manages to captivate as it tosses the listener unceremoniously back a few decades to the unpolished roots of the extreme scene.
I can see the appeal of the reissuing of this split, it delivers in its devastating heaviness and confidently holds up even after its twentieth anniversary. especially recommended for those who prefer their music blisteringly heavy with a ‘homegrown’ rare vibe.
Krossfyre (Spain) – Burning Torches EP
Rather a funny location for a skull, I’m left wondering what happened to the jawbone?
Release – September/15/2017
Hells Headbangers Records, Inc
Krossfyre on Bandcamp
Krossfyre are made up of members from a slew of bands found across Spain, most notably Graveyard, Insulters and Suspiral. The style heard here is what you might likely find if you whipped speed, black, punk and thrash metal together in an industrial sized whirly thing capable of such a feat. Then added liberal sprinklings of eighties attitude and production values ala vintage Venom and Bathory and a dash of NWoBHM.
Naturally this isn’t ‘pretty’ or especially melodic but it does have a certain familiar factor and flair all its own. This will likely appeal to those who prefer short straight to the point track composition and the rawness associated with demos rather than the overly produced albums of todays metal forerunners.
Favorite track Tabellae Defixionum. I’m lost as to the translation, but it has a definite black metal vibe with a galloping pace to get static limbs moving. Also, worthy of note is the final track, The Great Masturbator, I’ll not dwell on its moniker or spend time pondering upon its meaning but I will state that it’s a well-executed and quite diverse track, that traipses into several genre boundaries, to finish an album of this caliber.
Keep an ear out for Krossfyre to leave a mark with a full length in the future. 8/10
Poison Blood (USA) – S/T EP
Release – August/11/2017
Poison Blood Bandcamp
A collaboration of sorts spawned from the appreciation of Beherit’s Drawing Down the Moon and experimental deathrock brings Jenks Miller (Horseback) and Neil Jameson (Krieg) together for what Miller terms an outlet for more of a straightforward kind of musical aggression.
The opening track leads the listener into a realm that’s unexpected, blanketed in synth the album plays out quite unlike what I admittedly predicted. Nevertheless, elements of deathrock, the occasional nod to blackened metal and crust and melodies infected with groove hinting at folk influence rather than what one might have initially thought, based on the albums artwork, keep the interest level and curiosity peaked for what other surprises the album might have in store.
Strangely the diverse style that composes this album makes me reflect on Vallenfyre’s output (more so Splinters than their more recent), although the music here is far from the level of brutality they possess, this still boasts an occult aura that some will no doubt lean towards because of its overall uniqueness.
Helvetestromb (Sweden) – Demonic Excrements Cursed with Life
Release – October/13/2017 CD through Aural Music Group July/28/2017 Digital through Wormhole Death/The Orchard
Worm Hole Death PR
Originally called Skoll this threesome changed their moniker to reflect the success of their first recorded EP, aptly named Helvetestromb – furious tornado of Hell. Taking pride in creating fast and raw punk tainted by heavy, speed and black metal influence they take pride in playing in opposition to (an alternative of) the modern metal scene.
I’ll admit my initial thoughts upon witnessing the albums cover art was something akin to dread. I’m going to want to get this outta’ the way real quick I thought to myself. But this attitude soon changed after I depressed the nifty triangle looking icon on my desktop.
Helvetestromb play with reckless abandon, in a slightly familiar style with nods to raw power with roots in the scene. Displaying a sense of dark humor, with band member monikers and through their disdain for organized religion, and music heavy with melodic that’s addictively infectious and often reeks of homage to the Gods that carved extreme metal into what it is today (Bathory, Venom, Afflicted and a slew of early thrash standouts) they instantly pull you in.
Anal Desekrator boasts an impression vocal assault that fits the mood (as it veers from Punk to Black to Heavy and Speed/Thrash metal often even in the space of a single track) of the rawness of the band’s style perfectly. And although the style is unpolished the production bears a quality where one can clearly detect tempo changes with each damaging riff and (“gnawed leper bone”) drum beat.
Restless Satan and Bog of Eternal Stench are early favorites of mine, both have the ability to possess to control my torso in a strange manner leaving me wondering where it is that I’ve woken up after they are through weaving their wicked spell.
Warmongo is another track that never lets up leaving the listener bruised and battered when its time is through. However, after finally being unable to separate myself from this deliciously jaded chunk of audio I’m proud to attest that there are no ‘fillers’ in the album’s track list, there are a few tracks that might pull you from a projected path, Sifting Excrements and Kloakerna under Hel but nothing to warrant a slamming of the STOP button in haste.
Highly recommended for those that really haven’t found their way with the more recent direction of the metal spectrum, for those with their tastes firmly committed to the style of the scene’s yesteryear this is the cure to all that ails you.
Give it a spin or thirteen, if you’re anything like me, this is addictive!!
Necrophile (Japan) – Awakening Those Oppressed
Beware, the sky boils with rage
Release – September/16/2017
Awakening from a slumber lasting two decades Necrophile, widely considered one of the first death metal acts in Japan, are at it again performing what drew them so enthusiastically to the genre some thirty years previously. Amazingly this is the band’s first full length following a history of splits, demos and an appearance in the 1989 Mutilador compilation volume II.
Necrophile have a strange talent. Truthfully, it’s as if time has stood still. The collection of tracks in this release make combine for a veritable throwback to a style performed within the early years of extreme metal when grindcore and death crawled sluggishly from the rotten womb of the unlikely coupling of a slew genres due to twisted audio issuances which puzzled many, intrigued more by defying traditional genre conformity.
Awakening Those Oppressed runs the gamut in sporting punk and grindcore qualities, a heavily utilized drum obliteration attack, as well as elements reeking with the pungent aroma of vintage death/doom stylings. Tikaaki Ohkuma adds to the percussion ingredients with a vocal style that’s very reminiscent of early Repulsion. Altogether a wicked concoction that offers the listener something to digest, be it unmistakable nods to Morbid Angel (found especially in Dissociation) melodies that bring to mind Terrorizer’s groundbreaking World Downfall album or the all-out groove assault delivered in Desire for Asphyxiation, an early favorite of mine, there’s plenty to incite an uncontrollable mosh pit paradise. However, it has to be mentioned that Necrophile aren’t copycats, and that this isn’t an album in homage, as they were composing and carving the genre alongside the ‘greats’, those that first come to mind whenever the origins of the scene are discussed. Necrophile are back, reinvigorated are more than prepared to represent.
Highly recommended vintage brutality.
Crafteon (USA) – Cosmic Reawakening
Is that a bird? a plane? Nope it’s something unfathomably “different”.
Release – August/25/2017
Distribution – CD Baby
In the words of the band themselves…This recording prudently recounts an antiquarian bundle of peculiar short stories authored by the famed American horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, featuring a blasphemous potpourri of amorphous black metal enmeshed with spurious, assonant passages of hope juxtaposed and vanquished by discordant strains of utter despair and madness.
With very little to no experience of the ‘masters’ works (shame on me), apart from minimal cinematic output, namely Re-animator and From Beyond, bearing cult status, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of how the music compares/flows with the original ‘texts’. I can however comment on the complete package, the CD with accompanying artwork and the nature/quality of the tunage itself.
The layout of the CD includes lyrics to each track complete with an artist’s snapshot of each (associated tale) as a backdrop. Vivid and executed with style this is a great touch showing surprising promise and compassion for the subject matter.
When the album commences I’m drawn into a wicked amalgamation of several styles, all of which are blessed by Lord Mordiggian’s vocal prowess. His is a style that’s part growl, part wail highly suggestive of early Swedish black metal influence, namely standout works from legendary scene forerunners Dissection. Hard not to appreciate is how the cadence of his voice complements the mood of the music and in turn the tale upon which the track is based.
The music itself is highly commendable, well executed, especially so as this is in part somewhat of a concept album and displays great understanding of the both the subject matter and musical composition. Hinting at influences from as far afield as Iron Maiden and Cradle of Filth the style herein boasts moments of melancholy, infectious melody, passages of black metal inspired intricacy, introductions with intriguing progressive tendencies and atmosphere aplenty. The White Ship even invokes a pagan vibe to further the enjoyment of an album that plays out like as I wasn’t expecting. This is good, beyond solid in fact, excellent doesn’t go far enough. Suffice it to say that this is an act who have an unfathomably bright future in store if only the Ancient Gods find a brief instant to smile down upon them.
I’m spent! In lieu of making this article annoyingly longer than it really has to be I’ll cut this short and consider picking up where I left of in…wait for it… another article, the ‘sequel’ you might call it. Until then keep the senses open to be fully able to appreciate all that metal has to offer,