Nails – Unsilent Death (southern lord lp)
I know this has been around for a while, but a good friend sent this to me the other day and its simply too good not to write about. Its obvious to mention the words ‘brutal,epic & raw’ but thats exactly what this is. Killer metallic hardcore riffs played at break- neck speed without sounding over processed or generic. The sleeve is striking and in-your-face, a back & white silhouette of a man hanging from a tree. The sleeve starts off as the music goes on… Nasty adrenalin black fuelled filth that will literally throw you across the room ‘poltergeist style’.
Prurient – Wrapped In The Flame Of Illusion , Masked In The Clay Of Behaviour (dais 2 x 7″) / Prurient – Stun Gun (quasi pop 7″)
If you havent heard of Dominic Fernow’s ‘Prurient’ project by now, you’ve probably being living in a cave. ‘Prurient’ have released primarily noise & power electronics over the last 14 years; but to pigeon-hole this manhattan based Italian/American as a ‘Merzbow’ clone would seriously be giving him a disservice. Over the years Prurient have toyed with pretty much all perimeters of the noise genre occasionally flirting with black metal and more recently synth based material. These two 7″s I’ve recently picked up illustrate yet again that Dominic is a total master of atmospherics. Music ranging from the most troubled haunting desperate power electronics, to more minimal almost drone like ambience. These two projects are very different musically but are perfectly executed displaying a quality that keeps me coming back to everything and anything they release.
Poison Idea – Darby Crash Rides Again / The Early Years (southern lord – reissue cd)
Southern Lord records continue to lead the way and show the world why they’ve been held in such high esteem over the years. When I heard they had the rights to ‘Poison Idea’ rare & deleted catalog I could barely wait to get my grubby little paws on what they’d serve up. This cd doesn’t disappoint, compiling 29 tracks from the band’s earliest days – featuring the ‘boner’s kitchen’ demo from 81 / ‘darby crash rides again’ demo from 82 / the ‘ kboo live on air set’ from 83 / outtakes from the ‘record collectors are pretentious assholes’ recording session. You don’t have to be an old sea-dog like me to dig these punk pioneers. This music is timeless, ageless and essential to anyone thats ever had a penchant for U.S hardcore.
Teitanblood – Purging Tongues (norma evangelium diaboli lp)
Hailing from Spain, this black metal band have been on the tip of everyones tongues for a few years now. This their latest opus is quite simply one of the best BM records I’ve heard in recent years. Focussing on the satanic side of the track, ‘purging tongues’ could be a soundtrack to a modern day ‘Omen’ film. The magic with Teitanblood doesn’t necessarily lie with the riffs or even the music itself, it’s the production and dubbed out vocals get me transfixed into their world of chaos and mayhem. Its difficult to analyze what exactly is going on within a Teitanblood track – everything is messy and unorthodox – this somehow really works and transpires to an unholy racket that you cant help but get lost in. For those into the aesthetic elements of BM pick this record, up the sleeve in itself is worth handing over your money for not even mentioning the incredible etching on one side of the vinyl.
Leviathan – True Traitor, True Whore (profound lore cd)
Jeff Whitehead the man behind Leviathan and the incredibly dark and psychedelic Lurker of Challice, delivers his new and long awaited album. I became aware of Leviathan and a lot of the u.s black metal scene through Sunn 0))) member Stephen O’ Malley in 2004. I discovered bands like Xasthur, Grand Belial’s Key, Judas Iscariot and of course Leviathan. 7 odd years later this new album sounds as dynamic and interesting as Leviathan did in the early 2000′s. A lot of the current European and especially Norweigan black metal bands have become parody’s of the whole early 90′s movement. Its boring, stale and I have no interest in hearing a modern BM band from Oslo trying to sound like Darkthorne when you can listen to Leviathan doing their own thing and taking the genre to much more interesting and higher levels of creation.
All Pigs Must Die – God Is War (southern lord lp)
Another superb Southern Lord release. I know very little about this band other than the drummer is Ben Koller from ‘Converge’. What I can say though is the album in its entirety is an utter pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Perhaps more youthful and clinical than most of the current Southern Lord releases. ‘All Pigs Must Die’ are all about the riffs in my opinion, not too dissimilar from bands like Trap Them and Black Breath. The intense vocal delivery almost reminds me of power violence / hardcore but the musical structure definitely lies within a metal foundation.
Napalm Death – Scum (earache 2012 reissue cd)
25 years ago John Peel played ‘songs’ from ‘scum’ on his legendary bbc radio one show. I was transfixed.. I mean i’d never heard tracks that were 2 seconds long before. It wasn’t speed, thrash, death or heavy metal – it wasnt hardcore, it wasnt punk rock… Some ludicrously fast crushing music that just destroyed anyone that came into contact with it. I rushed out and bought probably what is, and quite righty the king of all ‘grindcore’ albums.
Fast forward to 2012 Earache records have re-issued this classic but with 28 bonus tracks!!! Essentially these are the same tracks but unreleased bonus rough mixes. They sound gnarly as hell and are a welcome addition to the 6 or 7 other versions I have in my pedantic collection. This record was groundbreaking in every way and launched the careers of other bands incuding Godflesh, Carcass & Cathedral amongst others.