Archive for 2024

Six Feet Under – Haunted (1995)

July 17, 2024

Even from the start, if evidenced by Haunted, there wasn’t much chance of Six Feet Under ever achieving the heights of greatness that Cannibal Corpse had. Barnes’ new project was on a much more “meat and potatoes” level (that’s really saying something when comparing against Cannibal lol), delivered perhaps one of the most cut-and-dry metal performances I’ve ever heard. From the production, to the utilitarian riffing, to Barnes’ very own trademark growls, Haunted beats you…

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Ragnarok – Nattferd (1995)

July 14, 2024

Entirely serviceable and well produced black metal that unfortunately fails to light a fire for me, despite the number of people with torches on the cover. I feel like Ragnarok really came into its own as a project with its sophomore record. Don’t let the goofy ass cover image fool you, this is worth checking out if you’ve not heard it, but there’s far better black metal out there.

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The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (2011)

July 13, 2024

For those who found the Caretaker through the “Everywhere at the end of time” series, they will no doubt find An Empty Bliss Beyond This World an excellent companion piece; coming several years before Caretaker’s magnum opus, and consisting of similar elements both thematically and sonically, yet feeling more concise (although barely lol) and less demanding than its gigantic big brother, An Empty Bliss can almost be considered an enjoyed listening experience. Imagine that, would…

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Midnight Configuration – The Kissing Skull (1995)

Not sure what I expected in regards to returning to the very first album of Midnight Configuration: as if heading back to the debut would give me some sort of explanation for the crazy Cookie Monster on smack vocals, the cheesy beats or the token “female backing vocals”. Alas, I was very much mistaken, and I am just as perplexed by this record as I was its follow up. Truly, one of the most bizarre…

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Gitane Demone – Love For Sale (1999)

I can’t speak for the original live album / EP but the “compilation version” of Demone’s Love For Sale is a test of patience. The recording quality isn’t so bad but the songs are bland and grating on the nerves, which is a real shame.

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Tangerine Dream – Sorcerer (1977)

This soundtrack recording is a bit of a novelty when approaching Tangerine Dream chronologically, because Sorcerer is far closer to a “traditional” album than anything they had done before. Short, isolated pieces of work make up the runtime instead of the longer, sprawling tracks, and it feels like a more active approach was taken to instrumentation; more anxious and suspenseful use of melodies and electronic noises sometimes create an almost hellish and frightening listening landscape….

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Midnight Configuration – Funeral Nation (1997)

July 12, 2024

Gooooooooood fuuuuuuckkkiiing griiiieeeeef this has to be one of, if not the worst thing, that I have heard all year. It’s mere existence beggars belief. Imagine Mortiis’ Smell Of Rain, but strip out most of the guitars, make the songs repetitive and annoying (inb4 “its danceable!”) and give THE WORST POSSIBLE vocal performance you can imagine over the top of it. Honestly, I’m not sure what the vibe here is, but Jesus fucking Christ those…

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Fortress – Seize The Day (1993)

July 10, 2024

2.5 stars for rudimentary ability to play and construct basic rock songs, which, honestly, the production kinda saves. The bass pops through the mix nicely and in a strange reoccurrence with RAC bands, the drumming is surprisingly tight. It’s just a shame that the vocalist sounds like as if Danzig’s neck got so fat that he was permanently swollen up like a bullfrog. Not great.

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Sacrificia Mortuorum – Les vents de l’oubli  (2005)

The guitars on this thing seem set on scraping out the contents on the inside of my skull one layer at a time. Fuck, this shit is harsh. One could even say minimalist, even. But, as with a lot of stuff in this vein, this obscure gem can put you into a hypnotised state of bliss that is unique to a good raw black metal record. My French is useless enough that I can’t even…

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Sarcofago – Rotting (1989)

The first thing you’ll no doubt notice about Rotting, at least if coming at the works of Sarcofago chronologically, is that the band really seem to have gotten their shit together musically by this point. This is mostly explained with the presence of a new drummer, but generally the whole band sound far more on point than they did on INRI (not that INRI was bad, not at all). Rotting is thrash at its core…

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Moonblood – Blut & Krieg (1996)

July 9, 2024

I hope it is not too cringeworthy to suggest that this is a beautiful piece of black metal. In fact, it’s one of the best pieces of work that I’ve ever heard in the genre. Now, I guess this is subjective, but it’s the perfect mix of rawness and obscure production, with enough balance in the warmth of the sound to ensure all elements are present and accounted for. The songs on Blut & Krieg…

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Bilskirnir – In Flames Of Purification (2002)

A fucking magical collection of songs, which may or may not come from different sessions (perhaps the fidelity of the files I have are not great, I could be wrong on this front). In Flames Of Purification (potential yikes on that title) is a raw yet entirely coherent and incredibly well written piece of black metal. You’d never think this came out in 2002, it sounds ageless, timeless (or at the least from the early…

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Murderman – Body Disposal Expert (2020)

July 8, 2024

Lives up to the copious carnage proposed by the sleeve art. At six minutes you’d best be paying attention to this shit otherwise it’s gonna sail you by. Expect guitars reminisce of brutal death metal, with the most excellent expected staple of pots and pans drumming, as well as vocals that sound like some sort of demented toilet monster. Fabulous.

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SPK – Leichenschrei (1982)

July 5, 2024

Often heralded as one of the best / most terrifying pieces of industrial / noise music that can be found, Leichenschrei is a dark and twist trip through a seemingly endless patchwork quilt of disturbing samples, clanking noise and dense atmospheric intensity. Personally, I don’t find this all that terrifying or disturbing, but it’s incredibly well made and an absolute pleasure to listen to. The freeform tracks unfold expertly, drawing you in to their thick,…

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Agonal Lust – Hideous Salvation (2019)

Very surprised to see the year of release on this thing, it feels older than time and from an early (and better) era of power electronics / death industrail. Expect cold, wailing atmospheric drones and noises, part introspective and part absolutely terrifying; an analogue, rough and ready journey through an electronic hell. Great stuff.

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Funebre – Cranial Torment (1989)

Brutal, bludgeoning, primordial Finnish death metal of pedigree from the very early year of 1989. I know that the formative years of death metal were far earlier than this, but not so much for this particular blend of crushing death. The Cranial Torment demo presents 20 minutes of incredibly solid work, for your listening displeasure.

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Barathrum – Sanctus Satanas (1993)

Raw, unforgiving, brutally Finnish (lol) black and or death, of course in dusty and disgusting demo form. Don’t expect the world (and deffo you should expect it to kind of sound like shit) and Sanctus Satanas will reward you in spades filled with black, diseased metal.

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Vampyric Winter – Realms Of Spectral Darkness And Eternal Despair (2021)

Very enjoyable and very well made raw black metal buried beneath layers of time and dust. However, unfortunately, nothing seems to “stick” with me after multiple repeat listens. If you like lo-fi wampyryc blvck mvtvl then you may do well to check this out, but I failed to develop a connection with it. This is not a sleight against the composers / performers!

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American Head Charge – Trepanation (1999)

Trepanation is the debut full-length album of industrial / nu-metal act American Head Charge. They were another one of those bands to quickly “forget” their original debut as soon as they got signed, and a considerable number of these tracks ended up in re-recorded form on the Rick Rubin produced The War Of Art. It’s easy to perhaps fall into the trap over wondering which is better, this or the major label debut that followed?…

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Grimblood / Calling Of Phasmic Presence – Split Tape (2022)

Grimblood are a difficult listen: with distortion bordering more into noise territory than black metal, making out what the hell is actually going on – if anything – is nigh on impossible. Thanks then, to Calling Of Phasmic Presence, who save this split. Their super lo-fi dirge of monotonous black metal and atmospheric conjurations feels almost like the sweetest, most intricatley composed jazz piece next to the distorted mire of Grimblood.

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Last Days Of Humanity / Morgue – Split 7” (2001)

July 3, 2024

Let me preface this review of this legendary split by saying that this is not the best material on offer from either of these bands. Why then, do I still suggest you check it out? Well, When it comes to the original run of LDOH in particular, I feel that the many styles / sounds that they went through had such an important impact on the various offshoots / approaches to goregrind that we still…

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Haemorrhage / Rompeprop – Split 12” (2016)

July 2, 2024

Love or hate J-Dawg, he’s 100% right about one thing: Haemorrhage are one of the greatest goregrind bands of all time. This shit fucking slaaaaaays, brah brah (or is that “flays”?). 3 traxxx of stunning medical sickness for you to ram down your gullet. At first it doesn’t even sound like Rompeprop are even trying but some decent grooves and riffs do emerge, as well as that legendary pitchshifter vocal attack. What a beauty! I…

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Last Days Of Humanity – Rest In Gore (2007)

A cool compilation that I used to own, rendered entirely fucking pointless by the fact that the band reformed a few years after it dropped. Another downside is that disc 1 just took a few songs from each album, if I recall.

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Rompeprop / Guineapig – Split 7” (2017)

Forgive me if I’m way off here but at the time this release kinda felt like there was some sort of “passing of the torch” ceremony, what with Rompeprop winding down and GP looking like one of the up and coming heavyweights in the groovy goregrind scene. CBT haven’t done anything in years, TDEBN are very hit and miss, so the genre needed a new face. I don’t think that all quite went to plan…

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Phobia – Random Acts Of Violence (2008)

Smooth, well-produced, effortless violence from legendary hardcore/pv-tinged grindcore maniacs Phobia. 22 Random Acts Of Violence has enough mosh riffs and blasting drums facing off against each other to create what are no doubt the most incendiary of pits. The band have rather nicely contained all said carnage here onto one little CD for you to enjoy at home, and for that we can only thank them for their efforts. Yeah I dunno what the fuck…

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Bathtub Shitter – Angels Save Us + Mark A Muck (2005)

Compilation CD of both EPs which I’ve already reviewed so pointless publishing this review to RYM. Comes with a shitty bonus live track as an extra fuck you.

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Bathtub Shitter – Mark A Muck (2001)

First of all, this EP comes on an awful lot like the later Angels Save Us, but the differences are there for the eagle-eared grindcore consumer. Also, what in the actual fuck is that artwork?

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Bathtub Shitter – Angels Save Us (2002)

This is crackers. The call and response opening of “B-A-T-H-T-U-B… Shitter!” was not something that I knew I needed to hear in my lifetime, but I feel like my entire existence on this earth is richer and more meaningful for having heard it. On top of that you’ve got a fairly long 7” EP, chock full of bonkers grindcore, with prominent bass, weird angular guitars, and gruesome vocal attacks. Tidy!

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Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone (2008)

Lures you in with fake promises of the band’s very prominent death metal influences / roots, but very quickly devolves into boring ass plodders and big hit singles. “Gehenna” has to be a career low for this band, up to this point. On top of all of these different vibes you’ve still got vestiges of nu metal groove like a second rate 2000s+ Sepultura, and fucking DJ cutting. Nobody needs fucking DJ cutting. Get that…

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Calderum – Lord Cramridor (2023)

I genuinely believe that Calderum is some of the best black metal that I have ever heard. With perhaps the exception of the closing track here, which is just a moody outro piece in the dungeon synth style, Lord Cramridor is stuffed to the gills with raw, organic-sounding black metal, full to the brim with melodies, hypnotic riffs, moody synths and incredible drumming. Honestly, this is fucking fantastic.

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Weedeous Mincer – Brain Devoured By Mincegore (2016)

LOL the cover image to this one gets me all the time. Back in the “mincegore” boom of the late 2010s, I was always on the hunt for more shit like Hyperemesis and Haggus, and Weedeous Mincer’s Brain Devoured By Mincegore was always a fun listen. Asburd, of course – but fun nonetheless. If you’d rather your goregrind to be about the sticky icky rather than someone’s head exploded across a freeway, then look no…

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Cavalera – Schizophrenia (2024)

A cool, fun listen, especially for those who are a fan of Igor Cavalera’s drumming. We get the thrash of olde here but with a bigger, more modern production, which doesn’t always work, but for the purposes of appreciated said drums you’re absolutely laughing! Complaints about the overuse of reverb on the vocals are not without merit, but as someone who listens to a ton of black/war metal I’m totally OK with the reverb vocals….

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Belial – Never Again (1993)

I must have been living under a frigging rock to get to July 2024 without having heard this masterpiece of messy primitive black metal. In my head it’s like Impaled Nazarene meets Beherit (and no, not on a live split LP lol), with scuzzy electronics from gory video games like Doom used to intersperse the tracks of sonic metal carnage. This shit is unholy as fuck, heavy as fuck, and the production is oddly crystal…

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Graveland – In The Glare Of Burning Churches (1993)

July 1, 2024

An ear-raping but also somewhat endearing early effort from Graveland. This particular demo is considered a classic because… reasons? I guess it’s cool to hear Graveland in its infancy but there’s some shaky shit here, specifically in the drumming department. One for the true black metal cultists only, I’d say.

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Graveland – Impaler’s Wolves (1999)

Bursting forth like the Impaler himself setting upon your village to uhh, slay your men and uhh, impregnate your women, this two track EP wasted no time in cutting to the fucking chase. Considering the songs are 10/12 minuters, there is no better “quick fix” in regards to the meandering, hypnotic, repetitive works of Darken’s Graveland. If you don’t mind the fact that this is once again recycled material (Graveland are like the Agathocles of…

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Drudkh – Microcosmos (2009)

I’ve yet to hear a bad Drudkh release but the band loses me a bit on this one. There seems to be an abundance of proggy elements at the forefront of the compositions, whilst the hypnotic wall-of-guitar approach takes something of a little side step. The best example of this is the excellent bass work in “Далекий крик журавлів (Distant Cries of Cranes)”. It’s not a complaint per se, and it’s all excellently played, but…

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Drudkh – Forgotten Legends (2003)

I don’t even know how to put this shit into words, which isn’t great for someone who spends so much of their time listening to and briefly reviewing music. But I guess Drudkh has a whole “if you know, you know” thing going on: once it clicks, it clicks. Truly, this is beautiful, hypnotising black metal. I’ve only heard it a handful of times and I am already completely in love with it.

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Graveland – Hour Of Ragnarok (2021)

I initially didn’t like Hour Of Ragnarok. I found the overall sound to be a bit weirdly “modern” for Graveland, but over the last few weeks it has really grown on me. Until I became familiar with the individual songs, I could have sworn to you that this thing loops over. This is because of the no doubt intentional over-usage of a certain violin / cello style keyboard patch file (I don’t think it’s a…

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Akhlys – House Of The Black Geminus (2024)

I genuinely do not understand the hype around Akhlys. This is some overproduced, overcompressed, lost in the reeds kinda shit. What does Akhlys actually sound like? Because their music has been massaged so much by this smothering blanket of a production job I still feel like I have no idea. This album sounds like it’s been generated by AI. Dreadful shit.

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Hate Forest – Justice (2024)

June 30, 2024

I’m sure there’s a decent set of Hate Forest tracks here but they are buried beneath a super modern, slick, overcompressed production job. Don’t get me wrong, the drums sound fantastic, but that’s about it. This thing would be much better if it was just allowed to breathe.

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Cunt Grinder / Satan’s Revenge On Mankind / Hymen Holocaust – Split CD (2007)

I’ve had this CD for like 17 years now so I should probably review it. The Cunt Grinder stuff takes a while to get off the ground, taking Gut-inspired procrastination tactics (ie Atmosphere lol) but we’re all secretly hoping they’ll just get to the point. When they do, intros and samples aside, this is some chunky, riff-heavy stuff. Offensive and abrasive, but with a well-rounded and sharp production, there is genuine heft to their material…

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Devastation – A Re-Creation Of Ripping Death (1986)

An interesting (re)creation. For this EP the band have chucked an extra 2 letters into the title, and rerecorded their older songs in a thrasher style, rather than a death metal one. For the most part, to be honest, this works better than I would have thought. The songs have more “go” in them, probably helped by an increase in speed as well as a slightly clearer production. However, unfortunately, the vocals aren’t as good…

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Devastation – A Creation Of Ripping Death (1986)

No frills early daze death metal (in the days where thrash became death) not too dissimilar from others at the time. The most interesting thing here is how heavy this is for 1986. It almost sounds as if the guys in Autopsy listened to too much Slayer before recording any songs.

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Morbid Angel – Heretic (2003)

It’s hard to see why this thing gets such a pasting. Yes, it’s not Altars Of Madness, but it’s a well made, well composed slice of lightning fast death metal. The album loses its way towards the end, descending into a series of pointless and distracting tracks, but the core “metal” songs are absolutely fantastic. Tucker sounds rabid as hell and Pete “the Feet” is a machine on the drums. Riffs. For. Days!

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Saint Pepsi – Hit Vibes (2013)

June 29, 2024

Wasn’t feeling this one. It’s like a shittier vaporwave version of Daft Punk. I mean, it’s probably great if you’ve had a few too many expensive cocktails and you wanna dance, but otherwise it’s a no from me, dawg.

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Old Sorcery – Dragon Citadel Elegies (2022)

Magical dungeon synth. Yes, there are parts of this where it feels like Mortiis should be seeking legal advice but those moments are confined to the first two tracks alone. As Dragon Citadel Elegies sprawls, as does the pool of sounds from which it draws from, creating a dark and forboding atmosphere. Despite this, track 2, “Inn at the Borderland” is an absolute bop.

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Robot God – Portal Within (2024)

Wow, imagine being able to make stoner / doom / prog / jam style music and to NOT make it boring as shit! Come on in Robot God, sit down, you can stay a while.

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Guttural Secrete – Reek Of Pubescent Despoilment (2006)

I don’t usually like brutal or technical death all that much. It can become a brute force attack of cardboard cutout drum triggers with a side serving of riff salad. But not Guttural Secrete. This shit is fucking outstanding. Punishing is probably the best way to describe it, but an enjoyable and satisfying listen for those on the hunt for new levels of savage barbarity. The production job is fucking glowing, which doesn’t always work…

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Esham – Sacrificial Lambz (2008)

June 27, 2024

Stronger than most albums in this “era” of his career but goddamn this thing is longer than War & Peace. Despite this, it definitely feels like Esham got back on track here, with the spirit of the wicked shit coursing through this long set of songs. There’s a bite to proceedings, an edge to the lyrics, and an extra stomp to the beat.

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Dark Fury – Vae Victis! (2004)

A solid early effort from the excellent Dark Fury. Not their strongest, and the tone / production is fairly “middle of the road” which gives everything this kind of drab air to it. Despite this, there are some great riffs and tracks in general. The atmosphere is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

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Wolfnacht – Heidentum (2002)

Black metal can be frosty as hell but fuck me this production is beyond brittle. Despite this ear-scraping setup, the Wolfnacht debut sets the tone for the rest of the project’s trajectory – as in, there was zero fucking about from the beginning. This shit is ridiculously good. The compositions are fantastic, the drumming is great, the synths add the perfect layer of atmosphere. THIS is fucking great black metal.

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Esham – Purgatory (2023)

Purgatory would be a decent later-career Esham offering, if it was not for the dreeeeeaaaaadful metal tracks pulling this thing down. Honestly, they truly, completely, totally, suck ass. Otherwise, this thing is pretty good. Some interesting ideas and vibes. Lead single “Bro” was an interesting choice, as it’s easily one of the weaker tracks on the album. The majority of the “Circle Of…” tracks having interesting concepts (unless they are metal tracks lol). But yeah….

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Inquisition – Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult  (1998)

Good heavens (below), this album has some fucking diiiiisssgguuuuuusssting riffs. It’s not often you’d pull a “stank face” when listening to black metal (and in this case for once it’s not because of Dagon’s browsing history), but there are so many moments here that are just too downright satisfying. Absolutely savage stuff!

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Esham – Amuse-Bouche (2024)

June 26, 2024

Crikey, before I can even think about getting around to review Purgatory (I’m slow, I know), Esham The Unholy drops another slice of wicked shit for us. The man is clearly on a roll, between the recent solo drops as well as the 3HM records that came out recently. I’m glad to see him back on the game! You probably shouldn’t expect the world from the man this far into his career, but this is…

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Evoken – Atra Mors (2012)

June 25, 2024

I’ve got nothing really special to say about this one. I don’t think funeral doom is for me.

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Cannibal Corpse – Gore Obsessed (2002)

Pure fucking head crushing death metal! I’ll level with you, I expected Cannibal’s records to get worse as they went along, but fuck, this record is up there with their best shit. Gore Obsessed? More like Riff Obsessed, brah brah. Production is par for the course but the soundstage is huge and the balance of instruments is fantastic. Alex Webster’s bass clanks away maniacally underneath the razor wire riffage. Straight banger after banger after banger….

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Darkthrone – A New Dimension (1988)

Solid early demo from everyone’s favourite Norwegian (now) dads. Even at this primal point in time, the band were cooking up their own super interesting brand of death metal, and the complex drumming is of particular highlight.

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Mortiis – Transmissions From the Western Walls of Time (Live 1997) (2021)

Frankly, a pointless release in every sense of the word, despite the lovely new artwork. Pretty sure this was available as a bootleg for many years. Truly, it should have stayed as such. I feel like I’m at a house party and some dork has put Crypt Of The Wizard on the stereo and the only effect it’s had is causing all the twats in the room to shout at each other a little louder….

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Von – Satanic Blood Angel (2003)

Von’s name is legendary. I remember a friend gave me some Von stuff on CDr many, many years ago but I couldn’t get into it. Over the last 15 years or so however I’ve come to appreciate the looser / noiser end of black metal, and in the timeline of such releases, the early Von demos are essential listening. I don’t think they are all that great; as in, stuff that came a little later…

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Agathocles / Blood – Split 7″ (1991)

AGx stuff is more lo-fi than you’re average lo-fi stuff but fuck if early 90s AGx doesn’t blow your fucking sandals off – proper muffled, treble-heavy blow to the face. Like a brick is a sock. But there’s like, bits of fuckin glass in the fibers of the sock. If you like barely audible, grimy tape recordings, look no further! Blood has a clearer production but instead draws you down into bogs of heaviness and…

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Sick Sinus Syndrome – Rotten To The Core (2021)

Maggot-infested, swarming gore from Czechia with an insane pedigree (in the form of members of Malignant Tumour and the excellent Pathologist). Expect blasting drums, sinister riffs, watery vocals, oh and lots of cool cover songs such as Regurtitate’s “Vulva Fermentation” or Carcass’ “Oxidised Razor Masticator”. Either way, solid fucking production reigns supreme, allowing the sick display to be fully consumed in all of its glory.

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Bathory – Destroyer Of Worlds (2001)

Nowhere near as confused or as eclectic as I went into it expecting it to be. Destroyer Of Worlds is yet another strange u-turn in the meandering back-and-forth river-like discography of Bathory. There are some hold overs that sound like they are from the Blood On Ice sessions here, such as “Lake Of Fire” (although I do appreciate there was like a five year gap between albums), but for the most part Destroyer Of Worlds…

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Bathory – Blood On Ice (1996)

An interesting return to something of a form from the later-career era of Bathory. I’m not scholar of Quothorn’s works so I have no idea why he’s whiplash u-turned back into fucking viking / norse stuff again after two albums of balls-to-the-wall blasting thrash, but here we are. My main complaint, at least initially, with Blood On Ice is that the production feels permenantly distant and far away, like I’m listening to a 192kbps mp3…

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Morbus – Diabolikalrites & Nekrosexlust (2010)

There is something about this injection of raw bestial energy (I suppose not bestial as in, proto-war metal, bestial as in, deeply perverse sexual energy) that is just what the corpse-paint wearing doctor ordered this morning. Expect necrotic production but with a fat low end, something that is always a treat in the more tinnitus-inducing mires of underground black metal. Composition-wise, I find the tracks compiled here to be very excited, and far better than…

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Operation Cunt Destroyer – Slam Before Time (2015)

June 24, 2024

Fucking stupid as fuck but good clean fun for the whole family. Originality? Purleease. Brain slam nonsense is what you’re getting, and you’re gonna be fucking pleased about it!

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Rectal Smegma – Because We Care (2011)

You gotta hand it to these guys, they have some of the most ridiculous and absurd vocals ever. Easily one of my favourite pitchshifter vocal performances of all time, regardless of which album. Because We Care (lol) is like a bigger budget version of Keep On Smiling, which is not quite as bogged down as the later more “death metal” focussed stuff. Because We Care still retains plenty of that trademark early daze silliness to…

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Paradise Lost – Gothic (1991)

Beautifully crafted, mournful yet crushingly heavy doom metal in that imitable UK style that seemed to proliferate in the early 90s. Comparisons to early Anathema and early My Dying Bride are perhaps a bit lazy on my part, but Gothic has a gorgeous lineup of monolithic songs that hold up well against the other greats of the time. Production is clear, heavy and crisp. Brilliant!

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Virologist – Ameliorating Vicissitudes (2024)

June 23, 2024

That bass crept out the damn speaker and slapped me in the whole face. Darkness and evil, brah brah, pure roughness and toughness.

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Witchfinder General – Death Penalty (1982)

Death Penalty sounds like it came from a decade earlier than its actual release date. Witchfinder General bolt from the gate with “Invisible Hate”, which for my money is the best track on this gorgeous sounding analogue romp through doomy traditional metal. The ending one-two punch of “Burn A Sinner” and “RIP” leave a great impression, and the short run time only encourages me to spin this again. Brilliant feel good metal of olde!

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Thorns – Trøndertun  (1992)

Far more dusty, forgotten and ancient than the main Thorns record, this earlier release is a fantastic example of the Norwegian wave of black metal. Snorre’s riffs are incredible; mesmeric and transfixing, not unlike early Burzum material. Odd how these two who were linked by one of the more infamous events of black metal history are also peas in a pod when it comes to six string dexterity.

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Old Man’s Child – In The Shades Of Life (1996)

Well composed, mystical and interesting black metal from the mid 90s. OMC almost sounds like a clone of Dimmu Borgir at times, but these early records are their own special beasts. My favourite tracks on this EP are the fantastic “The Old Man’s Child” and the closing synthesizer piece, with all sorts of dark accents and flourishes. Great stuff!

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Cystgurgle – Exquisite Macerated Tissue Slippage And Full-Body Degloving Under Extreme Circumstances Of Accelerated Putrefaction  (2023)

June 20, 2024

I guess this is what the inside of a slaughterhouse sounds like if you speed it up like a 100 times? There is no compromise, only blastbeats on bin lids, meat grinder bass and a torrential current of liquescent gore (the vocals, in case you’re wondering what the fuck I’m talking about). Truly a band after mine own heart!

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Bathory – Octagon (1995)

Never thought I’d ever hear Quothorn screaming such lyrical ditties as “Eat my shit / Suck my dick” but Octagon exists, and here we are. It is perhaps not hard to see why this album is so reviled compared to the other Bathory records. It’s like a poor man’s Requiem that should actually work on paper, what with the frantic guitar work and song structures and the flurry of drums, but is just a shittier…

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Goat – Requiem (2016)

June 15, 2024

The main problem Goat have is that they will never be able to top their debut album, World Music, which is wall to wall, front to back, banger to banger – a total classic. Requiem is much the same as Commune before it in that it is an absolute pleasure to listen to; the production is glorious as is the various instrumentation (in particular the percussion) but none of the songs hit home with the…

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Hole Dweller – Returns To Roost (2020)

I discovered Hole Dweller around the same time as that RuneScape.wav dungeon synth project and to be honest I often conflate the two, even though I’m clearly an idiot because they both have entirely different vibes! Granter, more ambitious and more involving than the cult classic Flies The Coop (which has now been re-recorded or something?), Returns To Roost is an interesting set of songs that are led by synth melodies that toe the line…

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Mushroomhead – Fall In Line (2024)

June 13, 2024

If you ever needed proof that Mushroomhead is now a dog that needs putting down, then look no further than this single.

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Sperm Gurgling Necro Fetus – Stuffing Her Stoma With Dog Cum (2020)

Surprisingly cognisant and well put together pornogrind, which is yknow, not something you can say very often, I’ll be honest with you. If you’re here reading a review about a band called Sperm Gurgling Necro Fetus then I hope you know exactly what you are in for and yes, this release does deliver the goods, if I can call it that. Definitely and exclusively for sleazy grinders too far down the rabbit hole to even…

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Absurd – Grabgesang (2021)

Absurd gotta be one of the best black metal bands out there when it comes to vocals. Whether we’re talking the Wolf-fronted version (in this case) or the JFN-front version (such as Schwarze Bande), the way the vocals sound are both second to none. This is a peculiar release, though. I don’t want to say it’s a “knock off” version of Absurd, but it’s a curious lineup. Maybe I’m getting confused (it’s easy to when…

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Electric Masada – At The Mountains Of Madness (2005)

The concept of “Grails” is probably overused in this record collecting renaissance age (or should I say over-memed?). This Electric Masada album however, was a grail of sorts for me. It has always remained tantalisingly out of reach; a mysterious Zorn-led experimental jazz supergroup consisting of a who’s who of the avant-garde elite which I could not ever hear. I refused to pay £25/£30 for a Tzadik import, it wasn’t available on streaming services, and…

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Graveland – Wotan Mit Mir (2008)

June 12, 2024

A considerably well made entry into the ever-flowing stream that is the Graveland discography. There is a lot of Graveland. Not all of it is good. Wotan Mit Mir is fantastic however, in both terms of production and songwriting. It is an EP that feels long enough to be a full length album. The only thing that’s a bit shite is the artwork, but even that looks great from far away.

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Infester – Darkness Unveiled (1992)

Drab, disgusting, low, infinitely dark death metal from a short lived yet revered project. Expect the usual death metal demo tape dustiness and lo fi production, but tunes that absolutely crush you.

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Van de Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts (1971)

Gorgeous, bright, vibrant, incredible, exciting, exhilarating – these are some of the words I would use to describe the absolute aural treat that is Pawn Harts. I’m no prog guy, as you can probably tell, but this was an incredible experience.

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Sigh – Infidel Art (1995)

June 11, 2024

On Infidel Art, Sigh really begin to expand their sonic wings, which is incredible because the Requiem… demo and Scorn Defeat were already incredible pieces of work with unique character and instrumentation from the off. Even when Sigh are silly (“the Zombie Terror”, anyone?) they retain all experimental integrity and flair. Highly recommended!

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Haggus – Mincecore Agenda (2016)

June 10, 2024

What is the Mincecore Agenda you could ask? Cheap beer, weed, vegan food? Black caps with saggy patches stitched on for all? Who gives a fuck, just wag a finger in the air and roll down your balaclavas, this shit fucking rules.

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Melvins – Ozma (1989)

More refined and streamlined than the Gluey Porch debut, and infinitely more punishing for it. Ozma is a dry heave in direct blunt force heaviness (with some mandatory Melvin’s groove, of course). That’s more like it!

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The Exploited – Let’s Start A War… Said Maggie One Day (1983)

Solid fucking effort from Wattie & co. You can really feel the absolute loathing for Thatcher on this one. It is incredibly relevant still in a time where such hatred for the Conservative Party is once again rife amongst the community conscious of the UK (some cunt is voting for these twats though). Anyway, this album is fucking great. Not the best, but still fucking great. Fairly heavy for punk, full of hatred and bile….

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Negro Terror – The Voice Of Memphis (2019)

June 9, 2024

Banging single, especially the A side, which hits like a truck. “We Need Support” on side B has its moments, but both the production and songwriting for the title track are far better. The video is great too. Top street punk / skate punk style stuff.

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Melvins – Gluey Porch Treatment (1987)

June 8, 2024

Fun, but pretty directionless and seems to be lacking any real purpose or direction. A mere shadow of what was to come. Gluey Porch Treatments is notable however for being considerably ahead of its time for “sludge” metal.

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Sigh – Requiem For Fools (1992)

Considering this is a demo it is beyond fucking excellent in every possible way. The instrumentation on early Sigh is just second to none; raw black metal with incredible playing of traditional instruments in a timeless blend of sounds. Not many can do it this well!

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Graveland / Nokturnal Mortum / North / Temnozor – Split CD (2007)

Graveland and Nokturnal Mortum stuff is great, if a little typical on Graveland’s end (I could be listening to one of what seems like 30 recent albums). Fantastic mix of folk elements in the NM track. North lose me a bit in the sheer fucking headache that is their track, before Temnozor bring their olde worlde pagan metal to the conclusion of this split. All in all, a mixed bag.

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Bathory – Requiem (1994)

A strange side step in the chronological order of Bathory’s evolution. After several records expanding and refining on the Viking themed epic metal, Quothorn side steps his project into a mid-90s mire of sheer sonic brutality. Gone are the epic 10 minute tracks, instead we get an unique brand of super intense thrash metal, where the riffs are so fast they are crazy blurs, where the bass is so loud and clanking that it almost…

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Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols (1977)

People say that the Sex Pistols can’t play, but this thing has always sounded far more put together to me than most punk from this era. On the other hand, you have the nay sayers who suggest that the Sex Pistols are just a pop band with distorted guitars. As is often the case, the reality is somewhere in the middle. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of the hype around these guys, in…

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E.A.G.L.E. – Above It All (2024)

A noticeable improvement from the Autumn Hearts stuff, E.A.G.L.E.’s oddly morose yet triumphant riffs lead us through several more tracks of DIY black metal rawness, but this time with more maturity and evolved songwriting.

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Black Sabbath – Forbidden Remix (2024)

I was very dubious of the Forbidden remix. Why, you ask? Well, remixes, generally, aren’t usually that great. If a band decides to do it, there’s usually a reason – and it’s easy to see why in Forbidden’s case. On top that, most if not all remixes that I’ve heard of controversial albums have failed to improve on the original. This, I’m happy to report, is where Forbidden differs. The changes here are night and…

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Der Sturmer – Areifatoi (2013)

With the ceveat of putting the NS themes to one side, musically this is exactly what I look for in my black metal. Raw production, but clear enough to make out what’s going on (with prominant bass), awesome vocals, hypnotic yet sinister riffs…. I could go on, but its a short EP so it’s probably easier to just listen to it rather than watch me waffle on. It’s great, though.

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Yuzo Koshiro & Motohiro Kawashima – Streets Of Rage 3 OST (1994)

Feels noticeably different from the first two soundtracks, no doubt in part because of additional composer Motohiro Kawashima. That being said, SOR / Bare Knuckle 3 was also a markedly different game than its predecessors, so perhaps also called for a slightly different approach. But hey; I’m no video game journalist or historian, I’m just an idiot with a RYM account. What I can tell you for certain that whilst this isn’t as legendary or…

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Anti-Nowhere League – We Are… The League (1982)

A raucous collection of tunes with that trademark cheeky ANL “we’re up to no good” vibe shot right through them. I would say the usual matters of working class British punk are addressed, but so are less tread topics for early punk such as being a sexual pervert, the excitement of waiting for the “Snowman”, or how much the band hate rock and/or roll. We Are… The League is well written, well performed, and a…

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Haggus – The Masked Mincer (2016)

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh (mince commences). It’s really cool looking back now to see just how fucking great early Haggus was. This shit has the mega groove, the mega fucking mincegore STOMP. Combine those irresistible mosh parts with blasting, grinding carnage in a loose goregrind style, and you’re on to a winner. Some of the strongest Haggus tracks are stacked back to back on this EP, making it well worth your time. It’s only a few minutes long…

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Exhumed / Nyctophobic – Split 7” (1998)

June 7, 2024

Far from the best material from either band, but still a fun little split. You’ve got gory early daze Exhumed and three cuts from the super under rated Nyctophobic. It’s hard to argue with that!

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Dead Infection – Corpses Of The Universe (2008)

An unfortunately very uneventful later effort from the legendary Dead Infection. In isolation, the drums, downtuned guitars and crazy shifted vokills are fantastic, but the end product is kinda mid, with none of the songs popping out at me and the general theme being rather ridiculous and plain stupid. Dead Infection can do no wrong, in reality, but this was one of the weaker releases they ever did. RIP Cyan.

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