Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: December 2023

Young Scrolls – Zoom (2018)

Young Scrolls – Zoom (2018)

The beats are fantastic, the rhymes are really clever, and as I’ve stated on other YS releases the effort involved in pulling this off is massively commendable. Unfortunately, Sheogorath’s Zoom outstays its welcome very quickly, and I’ve never been able to make it to the end.

Young Scrolls – Saint (2019)

Young Scrolls – Saint (2019)

I have endless respect for the sheer effort involved in pulling this off, and the rhymes that have been written for the Juib character are outstanding. Unfortunately, objectively, the musical execution of it all is pretty poor (only so much chopped audio vocals you can listen to before your head starts to hurt).

Esham – Bootleg: From the Lost Vault Vol. 1 (2000)

Esham – Bootleg: From the Lost Vault Vol. 1 (2000)

Not sure if this was supposed to be some sort of off-cuts compilation or a best-of? Either way it kinda fails at being both, and I 100% recognise tracks off Esham records but not so much some of the others here? Fuckin’ bizarre. Anyways, this is some good old school acid rap shit from the king of the genre. There’s just no need to come here until you’ve been to all the other albums first (and perhaps no need at all after all of those).

Luniz – Operation Stackola (1995)

Luniz – Operation Stackola (1995)

Great, super entertaining old school west coast gangsta rap for the whole family to enjoy. Drugs, bitches and getting dat paper more or less totally envelopes the entire subject matter. but that’s OK. Expect smoooooooth but aged-tae-fuck gangsta rap synthesizers and boom bap beats (the beats have aged quite well, those synthesizer lines maybe not so much).

Bizarre – He Got A Gun (2022)

Bizarre – He Got A Gun (2022)

Wanted to rate this higher because I haven’t listened to Bizarre for years and years and this fucker was supposed to be some sort of super serious return to form. “Uzi” and “Hecker” out the gate makes you think shit, they might be right about that. Unfortunately, an hour of this shit and the shine wears off. There’s some fucking awesome peaks on this album “Desert E with Dope D.O.D.)” and “25 with Nems and Young Zee” are two great examples (Nems’ verse is so good). Whilst there aren’t too many low points, or any particular nadir of sorts, the rest of the album is pretty mid, I’m afraid to report. By the time you get the end it even feels like he’s recycling rhymes (Amazon deliveries and Covid lines come up multiple times for some reason). Either way, if you enjoy Bizarre there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy this.

Graveland – Creed Of Iron (2000)

Graveland – Creed Of Iron (2000)

The art is shite (developers of barely functional early 2000s photo editing software called, they want their crappy effects back), and at times this record reminds me of Mortician (never thought I’d be writing that on a Graveland review) what with it’s bizarre production. Despite these drawbacks (not that sounding like Mortician is always a drawback but for fucking Graveland it should be) Creed Of Iron is a very well made black metal record. What I’ve learned about Graveland over their albums is that whilst I may not like all of them, I cannot deny that they stand out on their own, doing their own thing, with their own unique approach and evolving sound.

Kaevum – Natur (2011)

Kaevum – Natur (2011)

Stunning black metal, that ticks all the boxes of what I look for from the genre (could take or leave the apparent NS element but there we go). On top of this, you’ve got the fucking trash can snare sound of goregrind! Surely not intentionally done, but the dustbin snare drum works very well here. But yeah, no fooling around, this shit is fucking fantastic. The riffs walk the line between sinister and majestic, and the vocals are hideous. You can’t go wrong.

Intrepid Corpse – Desolate (2020)

Intrepid Corpse – Desolate (2020)

What is this tuned to? Drop Z? Heavy as fuuuuuck tunes here from this elusive goregrind project. Is Intrepid Corpse no more? I’m not sure! Maybe we should find out. But when it was around and active, this project dropped some amazing records. This release reminds me of earlier Dead Infection, some Blood, perhaps Black Clouds Determinate era of Agathocles (but that might be the artwork talking).

Devourment – Butcher The Weak (2005/2006)

Devourment – Butcher The Weak (2005/2006)

(Original:) Mmhhmmm de-fucking-licious brutal death metal with the mandatory slam passages that make you wanna beat your chest like a gorilla and throw some mad fucking shapes, dawg. The original mix of Butcher The Weak is much muddier than the remaster but it makes up for that in spades. Likewise the drums are lower in the mix here but I don’t know how it just somehow works far better. The guitars are walls of sludge. Sick as fuck. (Remix): Today on Unnecessary Remixes, we address Devourment’s fucking excellent Butcher The Weak. Now, it’s worth mentioning that I heard this newer version of BTW first. I have no idea how, guess I’m living under a rock because I’ve heard all the other Devourment albums but I mad fucking snoozed on this one. So there is the possibility I am biased with my appraisal of both mixes. Anyway, I don’t prefer one mix over the other. They both have their own merits. The drums are remixed and feel more triggered here, and definitely louder. I don’t know if “more triggered” is exactly the technical term to explain what they did here, but if you do a side by side comparison you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Other bits worth mentioning is that the balance between the guitars and the vocals seems different, probably to accommodate the fresher drum sound. The guitar sound is also a little clearer than the original. All in all, this set of songs slays whichever mix you listen to. It’s just weird that we have a choice. If you’re familiar with one version and not the other then I wouldn’t really say the other warrants a full listen through unless you are genuinely super curious about the differences.

Hawkwind – Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)

Hawkwind – Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)

Rock music that sounds like it was recorded inside a wind tunnel. There we go, that’s my expert opinion. Nah, for real though, this is some chilled out shit. Beautiful old school production, well balanced and infinitely repeatable (just let the album play over and over!). A highlight for me is “You’d Better Believe It”. Great stuff.

Suffocation – Human Waste (1990)

Suffocation – Human Waste (1990)

This is my shit right here. The cover art is just *chef’s kiss*, and the tunes ain’t too bad either, you dig? Back when old school death metal was the new school, Suffo was hitting it out of the park with releases like this. Dry, but organic production holds the framework for rigid but punishing cases of songwriting.

Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard (1995)

Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard (1995)

Markedly different from pretty much every Electric Wizard release that would follow, the self-titled walks a different path to the fuzz-laden doped up dirge that the rest of the discography plods along to. Nevertheless, the band’s debut is still unmistakably Electric Wizard, with riffs heavier than all the matter in the universe and of course Jus’s immediately recognisable vocal style.  Don’t be fooled by the Dave Patchett cover art (as awesome as it is), this shit is still heavy as fuck. “Stone Magnet”, “Black Butterfly” and “Electric Wizard / Wooden Pipe” are all up there with the greatest tunes from the Wizard.

Killing Joke – Pandemonium (1994)

Killing Joke – Pandemonium (1994)

Make no mistake here, Pandemonium is a punishing listen. Doubling down on the rejuvinated sound of Extremities…, Killing Joke fall further into the world of industrial metal. Their sound is always unmistakably theirs, wherever they take it, but the industrial influences are hard to ignore. Geordie’s riffs are still dissonant, angular and strange, but there’s a repetitive chug to them in leui of the abstract post-punk approach on older records. Pandemonium finds a band which sounds a million miles away from Outside The Gate or …Thousand Suns. Yet, with the absense of a perma-drummer, the line up is only changed here by the prescence of Youth on bass. “Communion” sounds like “Invocation” from Hosannahs but from a forgotten age, and “Whiteout” is a contender for the best song on the album, for sure.

The Kill – Speed Freak Killer (2015)

The Kill – Speed Freak Killer (2015)

The Kill play some fuckin’ meaty grindcore. All your desired grindcore traits are here, i.e. ferocious blasts, rabid vokills and harsh production, but daaaaamnnn The Kill also brings the riffs. Case in point being the end of “Digestion”, which breaks out a passage that fucking dares you to not throw down (if I had to do one of those cringe “try not to headbang challenge” videos to this song I’d headbutt my camera into a thousand pieces, throw my desk out my window and start swinging from the ceiling light).

Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Man that cover art is eye-catching as fuck. I’ve kinda become desensitised after years of listening to grindcore and death metal but there’s something about this one that just hits you right on the “disturb.exe” button (or is that “disturb.dmg”?). Anyway, this shit pares down the harsher elements of crust punk like Doom, Discharge etc and fills the void with the harsh, deep tones more associated with thrash and early death metal. The d-beat roots keep things moving at a decent pace however, making this disgusting gory music that you can have a lovely little dance to. Oh, also check out “Skåneland” in particular, that track is really a moment of surprise in this whole turbid bag of death and hate.

Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst (1999)

Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst (1999)

Is it just me or does Cannibal’s art just get sillier and sillier as time goes on? Haha Either way, this album bounces back a bit, not that the previous albums were bad or anything, it’s just that the songs on Bloodthirst seem to be more enjoyable. Opening with one of Cannibal’s best tunes, fucking “Pounded Into Dust” (also the shortest song on the album) absolutely smokes 99% of the bands in this style, sick vokills, sick drums, and my fucking lord the riffs! We are not worthy, etc etc… Honestly, I slept on this one a bit thinking it was just another mid-career Cannibal album released in the tour-album-tour-album cycle, but this is one of my favourite’s of the Corpsegrinder era for sure.

Killing Joke – Night Time (1985)

Killing Joke – Night Time (1985)

Killing Joke argueably hit their commercial peak with Night Time, an album that contains a lot of the dissonant sounds of their earlier works but also a much more accessible style of songwriting. Songs like “Eighties” and “Love Like Blood” put these guys into the mainstream, if only for a short while. It’s odd because, well, other than the softer side to Coleman’s voice (when he’s not using his gravelly growl), none of the music here seems forced. It’s just like the commercial viability of this record came naturally. RIP Geordie Walker.

Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990)

Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990)

I’m no Megadeth expert so what I can offer here is only going to be fraction of what other writers can and have already put down, so I’ll keep this brief. Thrash, innit. Rust In Peace is an extremely well produced album, to the point where you could time a watch to these songs. Even if Mustaine’s voice is an acquired taste, this thing fucking seriously rips. Production wise, the whole thing is in perfect balance, and every performer is firing on all cylinders. Oh, and it gets bonus points for having a song ripped off by Bobby Prince for the Doom soundtrack.

Revenge – Scum.Collapse.Eradication (2012)

Revenge – Scum.Collapse.Eradication (2012)

As I’ve no doubt said before, it seems almost ridiculous to try and review all of the Revenge albums. They are so similar that it’s almost funny, but the saving grace is that every single fucking album is just absolutely fucking unstoppable. Seriously, this shit is just so fucking relentless. The sound is huge, and the music is savage as fuck. It is hard to criticise this level of consistency across all outputs.

Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

Libido Airbag has a dank fucking sound at the best of times, but the few minutes on offer here seem extra sleazy for some reason. Maybe it is the artwork and archaic format (the CD is super fucking easy to lose as its so thin – glad to see there’s a digipak version now available). CBT of course do what CBT does best, with their bludgeoning, dry-heaving gore clashing horribly (in the best possible way) with the toilet bowl sloshing that is the vocals. “Tapir Tits” (like… what?) is one of my favourite songs from the band too.

Blue Holocaust – Flesh For The Cannibal God (2019)

Blue Holocaust – Flesh For The Cannibal God (2019)

Now this is what I’m fucking talking about, lads! Ahhhh my life! This is how you do grindcore properly. Rooted firmily in the genus of Impetigo, Blue Holocaust takes the project’s already killer sound (2004’s Twitch of the Death Nerve is also great) and updates it 15 years later with another stupidly good album. If you like exploitation films, big riffs and toilet bowl vokills, then look no further. This shit is up there with the goregrind greats.

Satanic Warmaster / Clandestine Blaze – Split LP (2004)

Satanic Warmaster / Clandestine Blaze – Split LP (2004)

Starts off really strong with the collaberation tracks, but then peters out considerably towards the end. At first I thought perhaps I wasn’t paying attention, but subsequent relistens has indicated to me that this just kinda falls apart towards the end. The tracks don’t seem to go anywhere, and by the time you get to SW’s own “To The Legions”, this release has totally lost me. Production wise, this is fairly raw but everything is audible in the mix. I commend the interesting concept of this release being both a split and a collab at the same time, but I can’t see me coming back to it all that often.

Grausamkeit – Christenschmähung (2000)

Grausamkeit – Christenschmähung (2000)

Rawer than a cheesegrater to the balls, but more authentic for it. Don’t mistake autenticity for a seal of quality however; a lot is lost to the background hiss and flutter on this one. Whilst it does have its moments of genius, at other times it seems a bit listless. If you appreciate the art of music production, I’d avoid this one.

Candlemass – King Of The Grey Islands (2007)

Candlemass – King Of The Grey Islands (2007)

If I had to sum up King Of The Grey Islands in three words it would be chunky, doomy and consistent. Robert Lowe takes a little time to adjust to after the departure once more of Messiah (bye bye). King Of The Grey Islands is also one of those albums that I really enjoy yet doesn’t actually pop off the page for me with its cover art nor particularly thrill me when it’s coming out of the stereo, It is, by all accounts, dependable, heavy doom. Consistent, like I said.

Judas Priest – Turbo (1986)

Judas Priest – Turbo (1986)

Prime rib pussy shit. Goddamn is this a let down compared to the other shit that came out in this era by these guys. How all of a sudden have we transitioned into this artificial boring-ass stadium rock? I mean, JP always has mainstream appeal, let’s not pretend otherwise, but this is like a fucking Kiss record. This is some cornball Alice Cooper shit. Objectively it is a well made album, in regards to production and musical skill. As far as my personal taste goes however, this GTA Vice City sounding-ass piece of cheese belongs in the fucking bin alongside JP’s debut.