Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: December 2022

Hellripper – Complete And Total Fucking Mayhem (2016)

Hellripper – Complete And Total Fucking Mayhem (2016)

Hellripper are fucking class. Taking from the uhh, Midnight / Abigail / Naked Whipper school of thrashy, punky black metal, imagine Darkthrone’s late 2000s crust output pushed up to 11. A compilation, but a good section of material to get your jowls dripping for more. The record’s title gives you all the info you need on whether to press play or not. Personally, I think you should.

Deicide – Once Upon The Cross (1995)

Deicide – Once Upon The Cross (1995)

As much as I love Legion I find the production so dense and impenetrable I can’t help but prefer both the self-titled and Once Upon The Cross to it. Legion is arguably more brutal, but there is more nuance here, and I think the record works better for it. The band are firing on all cylinders here. Thick and chunky with a dry, unforgiving production. Not as viscerally decimating as Legion, but still an infinitely brutal attack of the senses. Absolutely classic death metal in every sense of the term. I would be wasting words by pontificating further. As with most early Deicide, this is essential.

Death In June – The Rule Of Thirds (2008)

Death In June – The Rule Of Thirds (2008)

Solid later-career effort here from everyone’s favourite Third Reich fetishising grandpa. Even after my own in-depth analysis, I still have no idea where Di6 stands politically, at least not in regards to the music that the project creates, but thankfully the overt and endless Nazi references are somewhat subdued here on The Rule Of Thirds (unless of course I’m just too stupid to notice the dog whistles). Honestly though, after an experimental period it was nice to see Douglas return to the acoustic guitar (and not much else). “The Perfume Of Traitors” is probably my favourite off this one. I love the cover, too.

Nächtlich – Satanas Solum Initium Est (2021)

Nächtlich – Satanas Solum Initium Est (2021)

Intense, dusty and archaic black metal from one of the guys involved in Morgue Tar (which is excellent by the way). I love how this thing juxtaposes between lengthy keyboard pieces (not in the Cradle Of Filth way, these compositions feel more in line with horror movies and are buried behind a million layers of dust) and intense, raw black metal. Things aren’t “raw” to the point of being unlistenable or becoming the dreaded wasps-in-a-jar black metal, but proceedings are definitely rough around the edges. Cool shit. Hope they do more.

Haggus / Fentanyl Surprise – Split Tape (2017)

Haggus / Fentanyl Surprise – Split Tape (2017)

Haggus, despite being a fairly new band in the lifespan of “mincecore” have gotta be the ones who are holding that gold standard up high (along with Archagathus and Hyperemesis (RIP)). This split with Fentanyl Surprise is no different: intense, super bassy and chunky production underpins the sickening toilet bowl vokills and insane dustbin drums. It’s just so gooey and disgusting! I love it.  Fentanyl Surprise have a bit more of an old-school grindcore sound to them, but also slip in and out of (fairly bloody fast) mincecore stomps, like a mutant trying (and failing) to climb out of the slippery, radioactive sewers. It’s the first time I’ve heard these guys, so I need to check out some more. Great shit.

40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky (2016)

40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky (2016)

As much as I want to be a grown-up music reviewer and as much as I want bands and artists to naturally grow and evolve, I simply gotta say: goddamn I miss it when 40 Watt Sun was heavy. Distortion-filled 40 Watt, both live and on-record, is some of the best stuff that I have ever witnessed.  Not that I do not appreciate what Patrick Walker is doing here, of course. I saw 40 Watt Sun live before this came out, and the stripped back sound initially took me aback, but I was confident that things would work out. I’d be lying, even through my own distortion-loving prejudice, if I said things didn’t work out for 40 Watt Sun on Wider Than The Sky. It is, if I may say so, a damn fine album.  It is however, an album that is dominated by it’s colossal opening tack, “Stages”, which I didn’t get past during the first three or four listens. The album has grown on me however, and I would say “Another Room” and the closing track “Marazion” are some of my favourites. Marazion is also a really cool place, you should visit it if you get the chance.

The Berzerker – Broken / Untitled (2000)

The Berzerker – Broken / Untitled (2000)

The earlier Berzerker stuff just got harder and harder the closer we got to the “band” Self-Titled (although, to be fair, Luke has always gone hard). Broken (or Untitled EP, depending on your source), is a harsh and head-pounding listen, where all the speedcore craziness gets dialled up every further.  It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of the earlier full-band stuff but don’t expect any grindcore or death metal here. It’s straight up annihilation by speedcore beats.

Malad / Inopexia – Split Tape (2015)

Malad / Inopexia – Split Tape (2015)

Malad are great. I had a cassette of theirs once, but I’ve lost it or traded it away. Useless!  Anyway, I love the rumbling noisecore carnage here. Not much that can be said, but if you love warm, distorted, horrible old school noisecore on cassette then look no further.  Inopexia have (dare I say) a slightly cleaner sound, and more of a goregrind vibe, but it’s still car crash noise craziness.

Das Racist – Relax (2011)

Das Racist – Relax (2011)

Excellent production, but one that is kinda typical for this 10s era hipster hip hop stuff. Like I said though, excellently done, especially in the beats department. For all the vibes here the beats are consistently great.  Lyrically, things are quite clever, but there are some stinkers (like the forced reference to MBV’s Loveless). Likewise the guest spots are equally so-so, with some excellent verses from Danny Brown, El-P and Despot. I’d never heard Despot before so that’s really cool.  Shame these guys never did another album.

Other Dimensions In Music – Live At The Sunset (2007)

Other Dimensions In Music – Live At The Sunset (2007)

Raw, fearless and endlessly unfolding live and free jazz! Everything about that sentence sounds amazing, but in practice, between a third and a half way through this two hour twenty minute chungus of a set, I threw in the towel. There’s free jazz, and then there’s FrEe jAZz. The absolute mental breakdown that is “Desert Dance” had me going spongebob_ima_head_out.gif – like, I’m into some wild shit but who wants to hear a twenty minute track that sounds like a snake charmer on methamphetamine.

The Berzerker – Demo’s 1998 (2000)

The Berzerker – Demo’s 1998 (2000)

Interesting take on some of the self-titled stuff, with a completely different running order and some omissions / changes. The funniest thing about this for me is that the original working title for “Ignorance” is “Black Metal”.  This little disc is definitely one for the die-hards to hunt down though, and everyone else should go straight to the excellent self-titled release from 2000.

The Berzerker – Inextricable Zenith (1998)

The Berzerker – Inextricable Zenith (1998)

Inextricable Zenith is a notable entry into the evolution of the Berzerker because it was on this EP that the cover version or remix of Deicide’s “Once Upon The Cross” first appeared. It starts to make more sense, upon hearing this, and the EP in general, which is super aggressive, as to how the Berzerker migrated from being a gabba project into a grindcore band. If I had one complaint about this EP though is that a lot of the tracks seem like they are just a little bit too long, especially when they veer over the 5 minute mark. But hey, like I said, speedcore isn’t really my thing and it could just be my tolerance in regards to this kind of thing wearing off.

Reverend Bizarre – II: Crush The Insects (2005)

Reverend Bizarre – II: Crush The Insects (2005)

I’ve always loved the production on this record and that super chunky yet warm sound works when the band are playing rousing party-doom or even the slowest, bleakest musical creation that they can conjure up. Speaking of both of these styles, II: Crush The Insects is comprised of both of them. Be fooled not by opening trio of “Doom Over The World”, “The Devil Rides Out” and “Cromwell” (watch out for the bass chords in “Cromwell”, oh my Lord!). Track four, “Slave Of Satan” is like hitting a brick wall and the record continues much in this vein to completion.  If the slower pace is not bothersome to you, then it is well worth joining Sir Albert Witchfinder for the full journey in doom. No doubt this is considered a classic of the genre nowadays.

The Handsome Family – Odessa (1995)

The Handsome Family – Odessa (1995)

I may be something of a novice when it comes to the Handsome Family, getting into them through them being featured as the theme song to the first season of True Detective, but damn, this stuff is unsettling. I’ve enjoyed the band’s misty, unnerving country music immensely, so I was shocked to fire up Odessa and find a brand of music more in line with the grunge. The guitar work hits incredibly hard though, and punctuates a playful yet menacing song writing style that continues though-out. The more acoustic elements typical of the country style do bleed through now and then but this was a whole new journey for me. Bizarre, and highly enjoyable.

Phlegethon – Visio Dei Beatifica (1989)

Phlegethon – Visio Dei Beatifica (1989)

What a dingy composition! I was expecting early black metal but instead got something a bit more, idk, Possessed? Is that a correct comparison? I’m not sure. That’s what listening to random shit at 2am will do to you! I guess this thing predates most black metal anyway so I should have realised. Visio Dei Beatifica has that early tape demo feel about it which is just beautiful. Oh, and I will say, the drummer is one busy badger. Fills, fills and more fills! Tidy.

Jeffrey Nothing – The New Psychodalia (2011)

Jeffrey Nothing – The New Psychodalia (2011)

Solo album from ex Mushroomhead frontman, although this was put out when he was still in the group. This starts off a bit like, how are you still making nu metal in 2011 but then it opens up around the half way point into some absolutely fantastic tunes. Well worth a listen and I am massively late to the party on this one. It’s a treat for MRH fans too, as even though the majority of this thing was put together I think by Dr. F and Nothing, additional guitars are played by Gravy, Skinny does the drums and even MRH’s first ever bass player from 1993 to 1995 does some bass on this thing (Mr. Murdernickel).

Sulk – Tennis Elbow (2021)

Sulk – Tennis Elbow (2021)

One of the best bits of grind / powerviolence records I’ve heard in quite some time. I find this channels Gets Worse kinda energy, with incredibly crisp and clear production but without sounding overworked. It really allows the carnage to breathe, and you can feel every blast, every blurry riff and every shredding vocal with equal intensity. Super recommended.

Wormrot – Hiss (2022)

Wormrot – Hiss (2022)

Hiss is to grindcore what Cattle Decapitation’s Harvest Floor is to death metal. I appreciate what the guys are doing here, pushing the boundaries of grind in the way that many greats have before them (Nasum, Pig Destroyer, Antigama, Assuck, Discordance Axis and so on). There’s a lot of dissonant guitar playing here, which is lovely. The drums are absolutely bonkers yet very precise, I forgot how good this guy was, and it’s been a while since I heard the Voices album previous to this. Arif’s vocals are the icing on the cake. They, or he rather, have come a long way. The range here is fantastic. It’s a crying shame that he’s quit the band so soon after this album release. Couldn’t do one more tour to say goodbye? Guy has a small family now, so I understand that for sure though. “Seizures” is probably my favourite song here. I love the art too and the closing track is just, idk, chefs kisses all round haha

Meat Shits – Whoreible Vol. 1 (2009)

Meat Shits – Whoreible Vol. 1 (2009)

When you look past Meat Shit’s ultra misogynistic and homophobic subject matter (if you can actually look past it, as some of it has aged like milk), there’s actually a really dank grindcore / death metal band underneath. Definitely these guys have influenced everyone from Gut to Lividity and plenty in between. This is a compilation of old demos and tons of splits, which I’ll cover separately in order to catch the other bands contributions. Featuring art from Lou Rusconi, I believe Vol 1 stands alone – I don’t ever remember seeing a Vol 2 coming out.

Mortiis – Crypt Of The Wizard (1997)

Mortiis – Crypt Of The Wizard (1997)

Ah, Crypt Of The Wizard. It is of course probably typical for something as nerdy as “Dark Dungeon Music” or dungeon synth to have such a complicated history. Folk will often mistake this for an album, but Crypt Of The Wizard is a compilation of a series of 12″s released by Mortiis over 1996 and 1997. Despite the LP format, these 12″s contained much more short-form style tracks than what Mortiis was known for at the time. Later in 1997, these 12″s were pulled together onto Crypt Of The Wizard, under several labels (including Mortiis’ own). Later in 1999, when Mortiis signed to Earache, they also re-released this, with the hammiest artwork known to man. (You can see the original art at the bottom of this post). Musically, Crypt Of The Wizard is not as epic and grandiose as the man’s earlier works. The short-form, active instrumentation cheapens the experience somewhat (due to the quality of the synths used). However, there is something endearing about this – and despite all of these tracks coming from different sessions, there is an overarching theme or feel as if they came from the same recording sessions. My favourite songs are too numerous to mention but I want to give honourable shout outs to “En Sirkel Av Kosmisk Kaos” and the sublime “Stjernefødt”.

Morgue Tar – Immersed In Mortiferous Enmities (2022)

Morgue Tar – Immersed In Mortiferous Enmities (2022)

Ah, wow. Now this is just a glorious fucking mess. I mean, the cover art kinda tells you that before you even press play. Morgue Tar mix the bottom of the sewer style goregrind with d-beat , which is just glorious. I’m not talking about a bit of mince here that’s leant a little heavily into it’s punkier roots, I’m talking 100% d-beat crossed with gore. They should have called this Dismorgue.

Current 93 – Thunder Perfect Mind (1992)

Current 93 – Thunder Perfect Mind (1992)

I did a lot of digging into Death In June’s politics recently and a lot of people pointed me at Current 93’s “Hitler As Kalki”, which is on this album. It contains a lot of wishy washy references to Kalki and places Hitler in there as the one who will come to destroy the world (or whatever), but for the most part this stuff is so esoteric and dare I say rambling I see no coherent point to this nor would I ever have considered Current 93 to be a fascist project. Colour me naive perhaps, but this sits worlds apart from some of the dodgier acts that Di6 can act as a gateway to. Musically, Thunder Perfect Mind is a million miles away from the other C93 stuff that I’ve heard, and despite its floaty artsyness (lol) I did enjoy the compositions and the production immensely. I will say towards the end I started to lose interest, and at some point, particular due to Tibet’s interesting approach to narration, some songs started to blend into one. I enjoyed, but I don’t think I would listen to it again.

Eminem – Relapse (2009)

Eminem – Relapse (2009)

Relapse is probably the most “modern” Eminem record that I look on fondly. A lot of the songs are recorded in this weird accent (just check out the first track “3AM”) but that aside, this is pretty solid. The misogyny and homophobia is enormously high as per usual. The bonus disk, Refill, isn’t really up to much (as soon as I heard Lil Wayne my expectations plummeted). Also, for all the years I’ve listened to this, I never realised it was The Wire’s Dominic West (McNulty) who voices the doctor in the albums intro track (even though the track is fucking called “Dr. West”).

Macabre – Dahmer (2000)

Macabre – Dahmer (2000)

Macabre have a strange and twisted genius to them. On the surface, it seems like silly, childish takes on the disgusting and horrifying works of serial killers, much like Pungent Stench and their comedic view of sex and violence. However, listen just a little closer, and you can appreciate the true genius of Macabre. True – if you don’t like grindcore or death metal you’re fucked out of luck before you start, but this stuff is amazing. It’s surprisingly intricate, not to mention catchy and also super heavy, which is why we are here. Truly extreme music.

Rainbow – Rising (1976)

Rainbow – Rising (1976)

Rainbow’s Rising perfects the formula (or should I say recipe) that was put down in the 1975 self-titled, and builds and expands on the excellent song writing that we saw there. Adding the legendary Cozy Powell on drums, Rising is more ambitious, and is wrapped in a warm analogue production that really signs, seals and delivers this thing across the line.

Festerdecay / Crash Syndrom – Split CD (2020)

Festerdecay / Crash Syndrom – Split CD (2020)

Festerdecay’s demo was amazing old school gore, so I was pretty stoked to get around to listening to this split, which has more of that gooey sickness. Blasting away with a better production job, it’s still easy to get lost in the primordial soup that is Festerdecay’s riffing. What a glorious, dusty mess! Really great stuff. Crash Syndrom I’ve come across before (one of their EPs, I think), and are noticeably sharper and more dynamic than Festerdecay, by comparison. The drumming is tighter (and so is the snare tuning!), the riffs are more nimble and the production is less bassy and more clear. However, in this split-off competition, I gotta say I prefer Festerdecay, although both bands are brilliant.

The Locust – New Erections (2007)

The Locust – New Erections (2007)

In 2007 locust released what would be their final studio album to date. It’s actually incredible how much time has passed since this final studio album and it still even now feels kinda weird to be talking about the band in the past tense. Even from the first few notes, you can tell that New Erections is a different beast to what has come before. The record is full of the bleeping blooping batshit crazy synthesizer madness that we know and love, but the overall tone is different. To say that the pace is slower would be incorrect I think, but the more spacious passages on Safety Second Body Last indeed were portents of what was to come with New Erections. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still under 25 minutes long, which is a bit cheeky for a full length, but this is still grindcore in some capacity so it gets a pass. I remember New Erections getting a bit of stick at the time of release, I was heavily involved in the MySpace cyber grind scene and there was a lot of chatter about how the songs on New Erections were too long or, New Erections wasn’t as crazy as the older stuff. All of which is complete nonsense, if you give this album a few minutes of your time you’ll soon realise it’s just as boundary pushing as anything else the band ever did, but is just a slightly different flavour.

Guineapig – Bacteria (2014)

Guineapig – Bacteria (2014)

I’ve never been too hot on Guineapig, as at first listen it seemed like a much more polished and easily digestible version of what CBT has been doing for years. But this was narrow minded and stupid. Bacteria is a very chunky album, slow and chuggy, but with a few blasting passages too. What makes this thing pop for me though is the insane pitchshifter vokills, which are some of the best I’ve heard in a good while.