1 May 2012

This is the Way, We're Unleashed

Unleashed (Sweden)
Where No Life Dwells
May 1, 1991

Death... the Norse way. Somewhat of a Motörhead in the world of death metal, Where No Life Dwells sounds like anything Unleashed could come up with today in demo format. But this was 1991, and heavy chunky old school death metal with the viking focus was a fucking cool idea. Sticking to a no-frills showcase of the ideal classic Swedish death metal sound as an offshoot of an early incarnation of Entombed (songwriter/bassist Johnny Hedlund formed Unleashed as a reaction to his mates in Nihilist reforming themselves as Entombed without him), this thing packs a mighty fucking punch and is quite overlooked by other prominent, though no less badass, hometown merchants of death. Amidst all the battle axe mayhem and glorious rides to Valhalla (not to mention the obligatory early-90's Christ-baiting) are some sick groovy riffs and enough killer ideas to carry legitimate esteem and recognition. They pillage through wailing screams of guitar feedback and gallop up storms of bloody beatdowns, even "...And the Laughter Has Died" heaving down on some Autopsy-like grimy haunting doom atmospheres, a personal highlight. Choose this path for some violent ecstasy and into glory ride.

30 April 2012

Scenes from the American Hard Rock Underground


This is a documentary I first saw a few years ago, and as far as I'm concerned, is a must-see for any fans of hard rock. It does an awesome job of tracing the evolutionary steps originating with the music industry and state of heavy (i.e. not popular) music that began taking root in the early 70's, to the rise of indie labels and DIY ethics rising in the 80's, and right through the 90's with the continued paradoxical segregation, yet continuity of various sub-genres and styles that all kept the genuine spirit of creative freedom with dignity and esteem. Plus, it opens up a Pandora's box of underground bands worth digging into alongside the standard heavyweights like Saint Vitus, Sleep, Kyuss, Sunn O))), High on Fire, Acid King and Dead Meadow, among many others. Interesting sidetracks include a look behind the music scenes, the day to day lives and inspirations of these artists, and coverage of the leading artwork designers and journalists within the whole stoner/jam/psychedelic/desert/grunge/hard rock scene over the last half-century. Read more to watch the entire documentary, pack the bong and get comfortable, it's time to do some homework. Don't forget to support the artists and buy the DVD.

27 April 2012

Parasight, Pure Sight, Parasite, You will See

Mitochondrion (Canada)
January 18, 2011

Cavernous occult death metal supreme. Absolve your will to this plague from within. Drink to the blood of stone, thirst to the bile of ash, feast on the flesh of iron, and reap and ignite the impure. The tomb from which this emanates consumes with vitriolic wisdom, pure deathly spirit that curses the crescent below the cross. The spear of Satan shall strike down Saturn, and the purity will melt your lead idol. Omnivorous and omnipresent teacher for the adept of high agony to transcend parasanity. Only pure order can come of this infinite consuming of the nature of the beast, the throne of the worm, the blood and sperm of God and the hallowed parasite. The All parallels the Fall. Much like the world's favourite beverage of consuming blackness, Parasignosis is for Strength. I'm catching these diabolical alchemists live tomorrow night, and this album has been on repeat all week. Take a listen and transcend this vile earthly realm. Become one of the eleven.

26 April 2012

Always Upon You, Light Never Ceases

Isis (USA)
October 19, 2004

The electric eye is all-seeing. No matter what you do, an electronic trail is left behind. Someone, somewhere is keeping tabs. Watching. Cold, distant and clinical voyeurism. Panopticon is the zenith of post metal. After tribal space sludge (Celestial) gained new life through a crash landing in the seas of the bermuda triangle (Oceanic), the invasion takes form as a transparent entity of modern artificial sourveillance and control over societal behaviour, conforming the path of mankind. However, the human touch is all but forgotten, as there is delicacy to be found here, a gentle touch that can only come from warm blood, as showcased particularly on the provocative crowning achievement of "So Did We" and the heartfelt transformative power of the instrumental "Altered Course." Distortion comes encrusted with a binary residue, a film of luminescence that is all seeing, and yet unseen. We cannot hide ourselves. Our souls rain down at the foot of authoritarian towers. Eyes unseen, they may be watching, perched upon grinning mouths and cancerous tongues. Resist. Listen. Read more.

25 April 2012

A Lesson in Violence

Exodus (USA)
Bonded by Blood
April 25, 1985

What if there was an album that had the recklessly driven enthusiasm of Kill 'em All, the gang mentality attitude of Fistful of Metal, the ambition and workingman class of Killing is My Business..., and the razor sharp murderous insanity of Haunting the Chapel? Well you get all that and more from Exodus' debut Bonded by Blood. Kirk Hammett-style (and -written) riffs chug out midrange pits of bloody slaughter-mosh, solos wailing back and forth, conversing with the screeching tongues of satanic demons. You know what you're getting with this, it's furious, it's youthful, violent as fuck and often overlooked. Highly influential Bay Area 80's thrash metal, over the top subject matter and stage presence contributed to style slowly emerging as death metal. Besides, get a load of that amazing cover artwork (which apparently may be what delayed the release for this for many months)! Now get on your knees and bow, or learn a lesson in violence!

24 April 2012

Where Only Spirits Walk Upon the Overgrown Paths

Walknut (Russia)
Graveforests and Their Shadows
April 24, 2007

Keep moving forward. What's done is done. Iron dreams propel momentum under grey skies heavy with ghosts and mystery. Death and tragedy lay as long forgotten songs, pungent with the smell of graves and autumn soil. Only the vast horrid woods speak out over endless fields and riverside barrows. Only the truths of their neverfading memories are heard. Acceptance will be granted to those who embrace the deadmen, the ghostmen, the wolfmen, the murderous haunting spirit of winter in us all. Martially driving rhythms command glorious ashen monoliths of pagan melodic sorcery. The constant forward motion from beginning to end anticipates a spiritual progression that awakens the senses to the silent witnesses of the grim woods throughout the rises and downfalls of the past. A thrust of stellar grief spills from the horned moon, illuminating the titanic ruins, cold as the hearts of men who have forgotten their roots. This solitary introspection is not a breezy meandering aloof self-analysis, it's a surging gale of empowerment and grounding force. The best Russian band I've ever heard, a project growing out of the obscurely influential Forest. For fans of nature based eastern European nationalistic black metal loosely along the lines of Drudkh, Hate Forest, Astrofaes, Burzum, etc. Just like Guinness, this is for strength. Read more for a listen.

23 April 2012

Alien Speaks

Oranssi Pazuzu (Finland)
Muukalainen Puhuu
April 22, 2009

Thrusted through the cosmos, a parallel universe, a mirage from 1968, but utterly alien. Raven guides the way, a black creature of ominous portent as wormholes engulf all that was thought of as real, swallowed through a vacuum of primordial consciousness, leaving nothing but a swirling halucinogenic maelstrom of Astronomy Domine fermentation, residing within a gaping black void of dark matter and cold atmosphere of Danjo's Zero. Cascades from the heavens occasionally strike amongst the stars with a disorienting feverish aura, while marching rhythms sweep forth out of extraterrestrial insectoid origins. Emanations of THC storms brood with ghostly calm and krautrock sessions of improvisational jam shuffles through extrasensory states of nodding astral dub, haunting visceral tribal trances and bleary malicious rave. Let this alien transmission speak to you, and travel to where evil has no name. You will trip hard on this black acid. The music sounds like what the cover artwork looks like.