This is where I chain-smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, listen and discuss about the latest underground metal jamz, and write about stuff that is currently clogging up my FB newsfeed or whatever is swirling around in my brain at the moment. Grab a chair and have a seat….this is going to take some explaining to do.
Do you feel that? The cold chill in the air. Do you see your breath in front of your face? Do you smell the formaldehyde preserving your blue-ing shell of a human body. Do you taste the moist dirt in your mouth? Do you hear the cries of your loved ones saying their final goodbyes? If you do, then prepare yourself for the worst part of all…..the grave-robbing fiend know as Salem, Oregon’s Haunt.
Spooky visual aside, you would think to yourself “Oh this is just more death metal” based on the book cover. Nope. This is hands-down the most rotting black metal I have heard in fucking forever. Take the best parts of old-school Mayhem, demo-era Gorogoroth, and throw in a shitload of Bathory riffs to measure and you have something that while on paper seems like total textbook black metal. But actually listening to Haunt is a completely different experience all together. For one can we talk about that sound production? It’s the very definition of black metal. It just sounds like it was recorded in some dank mausoleum in the middle of a graveyard in the middle of a chilly Autumn night. The riffs combined with the sound production give it a complete and total reminder of “The Return…” by Bathory and other old-school ‘necro’ Black Metal albums.
Vocally-speaking, the gentleman sounds like Dead of Mayhem reincarnated. At times I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t listening to Mayhem. Listen to the gentleman in Haunt and then listen to Dead’s screaming in the legendary “Live In Leipzig” album, and the comparison is pretty fucking spooky. On top of one of the best killer combination of vocals, riffs, and sound production, you also get some creepy and eerie instrumental/sound clips of z-grade grainy horror films from the 70’s/80’s which gives the Haunt’s version of black metal a very rotting and spectral feel to it, which is definitely outside of the usual subject matter that black metal deals with. I would usually complain that a band like Haunt is doing nothing different than what has come before….but for 2017 this is pretty radical stuff. Where as most people have tried in vain to re-capture the sound and spirit of the late 80’s/early 90’s Black Metal sound, Haunt perfectly captures it. Captures it to the point of it seeming like a time-capsule suddenly dug up out of the earth and freshly exhumed for examination.
I can’t say enough about this band. Truly something special. Check out Haunt on Bandcamp and support them.
Let’s get one thing nice and sparkling clear: As an opening statement, I fucking HATE Groove Metal. It has always been the bane of my existence as an extreme music fan and overall music fan. It’s the one thing that I feel insults my intelligence as a listener. Groove Metal for the most part off started promising and exciting with it’s birth given to us by Exhorder, and even Prong to certain degrees. But the second Pantera recorded their 1996 opus “The Great Southern Trendkill,” the Texas titans threw that entire genre in the fire. As a nice way to nicely give it’s would-be-pretenders-to-the-throne and wannabe-usurpers the middle finger. And to also give every pint-sized wannabe-tough guy who has shaved his head(or given himself an undershave), thrown their tantrum on stage, and failed to achieve the standards set by the masters of Groove. That’s like the first of my many complaints with a genre of music that has failed to progress in the least bit in the past 15 years. I would go into more reasons, but I’ll spare you the complaints and grievances for a personal one on one if you ever want to hit me up on social media.
But with the damn-near death of one thing, it also begins to lead to it’s possible re-birth: “The Art of Retribution” by Central Florida’s Burial At Sea is not only Groove Metal’s underdog, but might just be an overall Metal band that could very well put Florida Metal back on the map as far as crossover mainstream appeal WHILE showing that it has more to offer than a pair of baggy olive drab shorts and some re-hashed riff from 1992. For one, the riffs here are abundantly clear that no this isn’t your grand-pappy’s “Walk.” Take the groove of the masters of old and then plop them down somewhere between 2003-2006 where it has Metalcore/New Wave of American Heavy Metal influences. Instead of focusing solely on chugs, there’s also the melodies that are directly from Swedish side of the pond. Think of In Flames when they were actually a band worth a fuck. There’s plenty of dominating breakdowns and double-bass to lure in the unsuspecting listener. Basically this picks up right where Groove Metal started to suck major balls and is determine to correct it’s past sins. I mean, it’s a hell of a starting point in 2017 considering that particular time period is one that a lot of people don’t look back on with fond memories, but you know what? If Nu-Metal/Rap Metal of all fucking genres can survive in some unexplained way, then why not Groove Metal/Metalcore? I say let the dog have it’s day.
Vocal-wise, yeah you’re going to get the aggro yells. You’re going to get the flying spit in the face from the mic-holder. You’re going to get lyrical frustration of someone who has enough conviction to sound like he fucking hates his life and surrounding environment(s). You’re going to get a taste of what came before. Somewhere by the 2nd or 3 track I thought to myself “Damn dude, you really had me going!” But the vocalist has more than just being a whiny honky motherfucker crying about god knows what. You get the good cop/bad cop vocals, but his good cop is more of a take on Fear Factory‘s very own Burton C. Bell. Speaking of the Decibel Magazine’s HoF inductees….there’s parts where you get a certain Industrial ‘clang’ and ‘ping’ to the drums which is also a bit of fresh air. Sound production it’s very crisp-clear so you don’t have to worry about it being too dirty for your virgin ears. I’m looking at you Lamb Of God/Killswitch Engage fans.
But instead of where Groove Metal succumbed to an embarrassing fake-patriotic mainstream failure with Five Finger Death Punch, Burial At Sea goes back to the drawing board of the mid-2000’s and says “Fuck that!” and completely drafts-up a new pitch to the genre as a way to save it from it’s own comical leanings. Oh I’m sure Burial At Sea are not the ONLY band trying to do so with their bold statement of a debut album. But damn it, if they aren’t the loudest then I would be a fool of a human being to believe otherwise.
Burial At Sea’s “The Art Of Retribution” is now available on Itunes, and Spotify. Check them out on Facebook as well.
As the old saying goes “Whatever is old is new again.” The saying can be applied to music in 2017 that is influenced by the dark, medieval-inspired ambient music of Norwegian black metal artists such as Burzum, and most of all Mortiis(ex-bassist of Emperor). Of all things to pop back up on the radar of 2017, this is probably the one that I am having the most fun with. Not just listening to, but writing about as well. Definitely in terms of this newly coined sub-genre, carefully and aptly called Dungeon Synth, it does not take itself oh-so-seriously(Not yet anyways!) but still sticking to the core sound and ethos of all those great pieces of music that I more or less grew-up listening to and letting my imagination run wild in total nerd-like fashion in the 90’s. Pre-Internet era had some major fucking advantages – as well as disadvantages – when it came to music, especially this kind. Much like 90’s black metal, this was all wrapped in a shroud of mystique and a veil of obscurity. Where as most of my classmates where out doing god-knows-what, your favorite blogger was in his bedroom trying to find and read as much as I could through Metal Maniacs and fanzines ordered. Totally left me day-dreaming on sunny school afternoons in the hot Florida weather about stuff like castles, dank moldy dungeons, and all sorts of cool nerdy shit. Yeah I may be eating member berries here but in all honesty, it’s the most fun I’ve had with member berries. It’s also a breath of fresh air from the now over-saturated Synthwave fad. Plus this is all one giant excuse for me to break out the jamz and NERD THE FUCK OUT!
I also need to note that not only will I discuss the importance of Norway in this series, but also delve into what led up and inspired Norway to start tapping on their Casio keyboards as well. I’ll also discuss the primary Norwegian artists who took from a previous generation and gave birth to what is happening now in 2017. Also I always give credit where credit is due and there are several other websites that have touched upon this subject and gone further into it more than I might possibly. Bandcamp.com were the first to break open the pandora’s box on this new form of music earlier this year. No Clean Singing has done a really excellent job and has their own series going for them and I highly recommend checking them out. NCS even named shit that I never even heard of back then, so while reminiscing of old times, I also got a good history lesson on a sub-genre that expanded way past the fjords of Dungeon Synth epic-center in Norway. So let us begin this discussion with some pieces from of this new explosion of sp00ky music. Starting with it’s origins and roots:
ORIGINS OF AMBIENT SYNTH MUSIC IN BLACK METAL:
Possibly the earliest example of the concept of an extreme metal band using dark ambient influences in their music. And what other artists besides the mythological and legendary Tom G. Warrior (Hellhammer/Celtic Frost/Triptykon) to fucking look decades ahead of him with his usual visions of mortality? If anything this track from the classic “Morbid Tales” EP is more Goblin-inspired. It sounds like it was taken from the “Susperia” soundtrack than anything Tangerine Dream did in the 80’s. More horror-based than fantasy if anything. For 1984, I’m sure this was truly terrifying.
Canada’s Blasphemy are another black metal artist who more or less was ahead of the curve. The intro to their 1989 “Blood From The Altar” demo was less soundtrack inspired, and way more ritual chant-ish. And the said can be said for the even better “Winds Of The Black Godz” intro to their classic 1990 “Fallen Angel of Doom” LP. It could be noted that the Nords took more influence from these rabid Canucks in terms of direction in the early days than trying to worry about how synths could be tied in with cheesy symphonic elements that would later happen and completely water the effects of synth keyboards and fucking up the entire concept of ambiance and atmosphere. Hell, even Mayhem weren’t this spooky ambient-sounding with their “Silvester Anfang” intro to their “Deathcrush” demo which itself was released in 1987 a mere two years before Blasphemy. Which now brings me to the discussion of Norway of this series.
ROOTS OF DUNGEON SYNTH:
Although not what one would think of Dungeon Synth, Mayhem‘s “Silvester Anfang” would be the earliest usages of ambient music used by a Norwegian band done in a very dark nature and made none other than Conrad Schnitzler of the ever-influential Tangerine Dream. This track was the opening song for the now legendary “Deathcrush” demo by Norway’s Mayhem. For all intents and purposes, Euronymous was definitely forward thinking even during Mayhem’s most rawest and primitive form. In fact, because of Euronymous….this was the green light for 2nd wave Norwegian Black Metal artist to pry and use ambient pieces and passages to use in their music that still happens to this very fucking day.
Burzum‘s “Han Som Reiste” is probably the next piece of dark ambient music to come into existence. Released around the same summer as the first Mortiis demo, Burzum’s take is less military-esque drum march sounding and more dreary-sounding giving is a more ominous vibe. Again for only one or two songs and not an entire album of this. Even though Mortiis would be the first to release an entire demo/album of synth music, for Varg to release such a feat that would come years down the road. It also should be noted that next to Mortiis, his ambient material was the best. The major difference between Varg of Burzum and Mortiis was that Varg’s ambient material was more historically and culturally-influence as opposed to the straight out fantasy landscape that Mortiis created.
Wongraven was a side-project of Satyricon members. By 1995 just damn near every Norweigian musician had an ambient side-project or every Norweigian band were using synths or ambient passages in their music mixing it with black metal. This album never really popped-up on my radar that much back in the day. People knew about it, but it didn’t get the amount of speak as say Burzum, Mortiis, or even Summoning.
Austria’s Summoning was probably one of the bigger names outside of Norway/Sweden that was mentioned when discussing about Dungeon Synth at the time. Over time Summoning would go more orchestral and symphonic-sounding. Think of a black metal version of Sweden’s Therion for that particular period. But for their first handful of releases, they were strictly ambient/synth. A big thing was that while Mortiis stayed more strictly to mythological Norwegian creatures and moldy castle basements, Summoning picked-up on what Varg was doing in Burzum and went full-force and saying “Yeah it’s total Lord Of The Rings/Dungeons & Dragons nerd shit going on here. Nothing dark about us, we’re just trying to roll a 7 or 8 in hopes of defeating the Swamps demons so our horses don’t get stuck in the Marshlands.” I’m sure if my fiancee’ were to read this, she would hang her head in shame and think “God he is such a fucking NERD!” Sorry Babe
Germany took a stab at the whole Norway thing with Depressive Silence. Both their “The Darkened Empires” and “Depressive Silence” demos are interesting in the fact that this was pretty obscure even to me. In fact I will note that while doing this, I had to do my detective work to find more earlier 90’s pieces of Dungeon Synth music. Depressive Silence is still medieval, but it’s a shade or so lighter that the Norwegians. Not as dark and brooding. Still very troll-y. There’s even parts that are very classical-inspired as well. I’m pretty surprised and proof positive if I had heard this as a teen in the 90’s, I would worship this next to Mortiis’ discography.
Neptune Towers was Darkthrone‘s very own Fenriz’s take on Norway obsession with dark ambient synth music. Only he took his to a more psychedelic/classic Tangerine Dream route possibly keeping it closer to the roots at what Mayhem did on their “Deathcrush” demo than Mortiis or Burzum did. I wouldn’t say that Neptune Towers is a direct influence but it should definitely be noted as well for future reference. Going back and listening to this, has it aged well? Meh. It’s still good, but this is definitely geared more towards proggy nerds and the like.
Varg had been toying with ambient music on his albums tastefully and wonderfully for years but never going into full-album delivery. He finally did with the 1997 release of music he originally wrote in prison in late 1994/1995. The first of two releases he did was titled “Dauði Baldrs” which originally was not well-received and seen a bit as a dud. Then a year or so after that release, here comes a second full-length dark ambient album titled “Hliðskjálf” which in turn is the better out LP out of the two. The second song, “Ansuzgardaraiwô” is wallet-worthy and a testament to Varg’s ability to craft better music than actual life decisions whether you agree with him or not.
That is the end of the first part of this series. I know what you are thinking……where the fuck is Mortiis? I know I’ve name-dropped him several times already and haven’t posted any pieces by him. I guess you will have to wait until the next part of the Dungeon Synth Series where I dedicate an entire section to the artist and go into all-out nerd fandom mode. Until then, keep it creepy, ooky, and all-together sp00ky.
Neill Jameson (who I’m sure you’re by now familiar with) wrote a think-tank piece about the continuing entropy-like process that is happening to the concept and abstract idea of having a logical and mature adult conversation on social media on just about ANYTHING one says. He also spoke of some artist which I am still very confused with and having conflicting feelings about. Much like your Dad when he was having a tough time deciding between purchasing Swank Magazine and “Guys Butts Drive Me Nuts Vol.8” on VHS back in the 80’s. Anyway, crass humor aside, Neill explains that now we’re getting to the point where discussion is all but a meaningless futile high school debate team class in session, but fuck if high school kids aren’t at times more mature than adults in 2017. He says that “These days, trying to have civil discourse—especially in the realm of metal—is like attempting to force feed a newborn an entire watermelon. I’m sure it can be done, if cartoons taught me anything, but the baby will just bitch that it wasn’t in season.” I for one cannot argue with this statement. But that got me to wondering; if the idea and concept of an actual discussion is going out the window then what the fuck is happening to the language that we are using? Don’t worry, I won’t lecture you about any bullshit preferred pronouns or anything dealing with the politically correct. I’ll leave that up to Metalsucks along with the white guilt. You won’t find any of that here.
This particular think-tank piece Neill Jameson wrote was inspired by an artist who parades around with the label “black metal” but is nothing except the pure hipster irony- full of sassy wit – much like fucking everything in 2017 with the exception having accidently been diagnosed with an infected scrotum. The said artist’s MUSIC wasn’t terrible by any means but was still fucking lazy and uninspired even though the music could have passed off at a C- in my book. And in the lengthy 300+ comment conversation that inspired Neill’s article, all I read were the same old comments and excuses and defenses, etc. about “tr00 kvlt” and “elitists.” Constant finger-pointing and jabs at things that don’t really fucking exist in 2017. And it made me again ask the ol’ question that ever since I started this blog, I have been asking which is loudly screaming in my mind “WHERE ARE THESE SO-CALLED FUCKING ELITISTS?” and what the fuck exactly is “kvlt” in 2017?
This lead me to realizing not only discussions are in danger of extinction, but language in and of itself. When we start tagging certain words onto anything we don’t agree with we not only end up in an upside down world where Donald Trump is President, and fully grown adults believe that the Earth is actually flat. It’s also where loudmouth toxic cis scum such as myself take a step back and starts calling bullshit on everything. Much like using the word “racist” in 2017 where it’s damn-near lost all meaning and value through over-usage. You can add words such as “elitist,” “kvlt” and just about any other preferred snub at the underground that you can think of to that list. Any word that can be used against die-hards and maniacs in the underground, or anyone that is extremely passionate about non-mainstream forms of music are constantly targeted as the bane of music’s existence. Which is funny to me because given my age (I’m hurtling towards 35 in March btw), because a lot of these words meant something completely different 20 years ago when I was 14 going onto 15. Yes I understand I’m reaching my old man yelling at the clouds stage in life, but there’s a point to what I yell at.
“Oh you don’t like Sacred Son? Sorry that not everyone can listen to tr00 kvlt bands 24/7 such as you, but a lot of us see the irony in it and that’s what mainly counts in music these days nevermind that the music is worth fuck all.”
History Lesson: In 1997 the word “elitist” didn’t even fucking EXIST for the most part. Nor did it find it’s way into the magazines such as Metal Edge, Circus Magazine, or Hit Parader. “Elitist” use to mean that you were or you considered yourself of the same quality of music as Norway. That was strictly a black metal musician’s term. And if you used it improperly you were given death threats or had dead rats sent to your mailbox as a way of calling you out on your bullshit. “KVLT” was originally “cult” which originally meant something pretty obscure. And in pre-Internet times, obscure was abundant. It was something that you HAD to go out, do your detective work, search for the clues that lead to whatever it was that you were looking for. Now anyone with a WiFi signal and access to Youtube can find anything at a click of a button in less than a second. Completely bypassing the time and patience it took in a generation or so prior to search out and develop an honest and passionate fan level appreciation for the artist. Nowadays, any two-bit mainstream deathcore band that wears white belts and vintage Death Row Records shirts from Hot Topic uses “elitists” as a way to lash out at their fans who basically say “Your new album sucks balls and you’re full of shit if you are trying to fool anyone by saying that you are ‘progressing’ and ‘evolving.'” Or if you are a fan and you think something is horseshit, you are called an ‘elitist’ and thought of as some basement-dweller that only listens to crappy NSBM bands that only has 50 copies of their demo on cassette form. Or some other over-used stereotype like that. But why Metal? Noise genre musicians are the leaders in terms of obscurity if we are comparing apples to oranges. In fact Noise artists puts Black Metal to shame as far as limited releases and obscurity. Nobody gives Noise artists any shit for such genre characteristics. And on top of that if there is one thing I have noticed is that if there are actual elitists of the metal kind out there, then they are keeping to themselves. Why? Because someone who is actually something doesn’t go around professing it and telling everyone. And if you a person who does the opposite, I can personally see thru your transparency. It’s like some chalk-white, stock motherfucker going around saying “I’m a funny dude’ and has the comedy level of Amy Schumer. In other words; you are NOT funny. So if you are a self-proclaimed “elitist”…..I can assure you that you more than likely listen to 87th rate bands that sound worse than the 50th rate bargain bin bands I listened to when you were still in your Avenged Sevenfold phase, dude. In the amount of time that I’ve been listening to underground Metal for the past 20 years, I can honestly fucking say that I have met/talked to possibly no more people than what I can count on my right hand that actually defined the term “elitist.” That’s about 5 total. These individuals for one do NOT even remotely talk to people on social media, let alone jump into a fucking Youtube comment section and argue with some snot-nosed 18 year old who is trying to revision the past.
“Despite all of your valid points, I just called you a tr00 kvlt elitst through the usage of my wit. I win the argument. I was born in 1994 btw.” – Metal Discussions in 2017
And it doesn’t stop there. The word “kvlt” is a meme as well. That word went from being regular ol’ ‘cult’ to having a shitload of tourists come in, steal and use it in the cringe form of “kvlt.” Don’t even get me started on the word “tr00.” “tr00” use to mean “true” which again use to actually meaning something. It meant you were getting the real deal Holyfield of music. When used in terms of black metal, it usually meant a band with real convictions, a dedication to general negativity, and all-around fucked-up individuals that made everyone around you think you beyond any help. Now, along with “kvlt” it’s also used in meme-worthy internet jargon. It doesn’t mean jack shit outside of someone replying to your statement. A good example would be “Oh you don’t like Sacred Son because you are some tr00 kvlt person that only listens to horribly produced music that sounds like it’s from 1998.” Which is sad because how does one differentiate between something that is OBVIOUSLY watered-down, plastic, disposable crap and something that is more durable, time-worthy, wallet-worthy, and actually DOES deserve the music fan’s support. The same goes for words such as “real.” Hell even the word “Metal” is associated with a couple 12 year old Japanese girls who’s record label’s A&R executives should be fired and sent to prison for promoting a disgusting new form of kiddie porn. A lot of the coded language that the underground redefined itself with for the majority of the 90’s has sadly become nothing more than euphemistic wording that is associated with memes. And two-second wittiness and cheap jokes. And some people don’t actually know the difference between what’s real and authentic and something that is fake and a fucking joke.
If there is a resolution I can propose to this minor problem that continues to force me to yell a what seems like a brick wall, is to basically do this: treat others with respect and not sound like an insufferable condescending butthole. Yes, I understand that most of what I write may come off that, but the main difference I try to do is to possible educate, look for alternatives, and try to get people to have a better understanding of certain things and hope for the best. I know that is a pipe dream at the end of the day, but like I said; it’s 2017 and anything is fucking possible. I mean if Sacred Son can come along and try to pass his music off on those of us who know better then I know we as the collective Metal underground can find ways to be the better man, use our heads and try having a civil discussion even when you have people throwing words out at us because they simply disagree with us despite our conservative stance on things. All while us saying “Fuck you” nicely. It’s possible and it’s it’s one of the things I am being optimistic about. Reason being is that regardless of my age and weird fucking time-frame I currently live in, I still love the underground. I still love black metal. I still love bands that use the whole corpse paint and spike-y image even though I would prefer that Americans leave that shit to the Euros when it comes to black metal imagery. I still do get giddy whenever I see younger generations take an actual general interest in black metal for the right reasons. I’m not completely without optimism.
Aside from my complaints and grievances, I’m not actually worried. The underground does have one thing to it’s advantage, and that it has a way of re-defining itself to go against the grain. It has it’s inner machinations that keeps itself at a relatively safe distance from mainstream society despite seeing the masses of Slipknot fans in FB comment sections worrying about Kim Kardashian wearing a fucking Morbid Angel shirt. These are the types of people turn around who laugh at terrible Metal memes that have Abbath from Immortal in it standing next to a cat in a bathtub and it says something fucking facepalm-inducing such as “This cat is about to take ABBATH!” (No I didn’t laugh btw) Bottom line: If you go by the words used by people who don’t listen to Metal (that statement is directed at mainly certain websites, not naming names btw), but still try to govern what you are and are not allowed to listen to, then yeah you’re lost on that one and I really can’t help you. But if you are a logical and rational human being who enjoys critical thinking and doesn’t hop onto one of the many online social media dog-piles, then congratulations for getting this far into 2017: You’ve already proven yourself worthy to talk to on FB. Believe it, Comrades.
As most of my readers know by this point, I as your ranting loud-mouth blogger, reside in Central Florida. Which means for the past 2 weeks I and everyone around me have been dealing with the now historic Category 5 Hurricane Irma. Which means my neck of the woods got slammed pretty good by the time that bitch went down to a Cat 1. But before I go any further….lemme back up a week and go about how Floridians actually got shook by this bitch of a hurricane.
A couple of weeks ago, I was a mere mild-mannered recently-engaged blogger who is currently working both part-time as a custodian in a Youfit Gym in Brandon, Fl while at home I talk about jamz and look for any opportunity as a contributing free lance writer to anyone willing to take a gamble with my big mouth. I had also dealt with coming back from an appointment at my nearest VA hospital in Tampa which I was told I would be going in for to remove a rather literal pain-in-the-ass cyst removal via surgery. My doctor was nice enough to give me a nice-sized bottle of Percocet which means I’ve probably been buzzed/high since then. On September the 4th, Florida State Governor and cancer patient/Valdemort-looking bitch, Rick Scott, declared state of emergency and told everyone to start getting the fukk out of Florida? My initial reaction was usual in typical Me-fashion whenever that cancerous-looking bitch opens his mouth:
:NOTE: Was not wearing bullet belt when first heard about State Of Emergency btw
Seeing how for the past 12-13 years Florida has not had one serious hurricane, I wasn’t immediately fretting. That was until my fiancee gave me that worried look and she told me to look on the local news. I saw with my own eyes that it was a Category 5 and 400 miles in diameter. My first thought that popped into my dazed and dank mind was “Yeah dude you might want to listen to her.” So I said to her “Ok, let’s keep our eyes on the news and track this sucker and see how bad it gets.” To give you a cliff note version of the next few days….it’s steadily went from bad to worst. Gas Stations begin raising and gouging their prices to just now there being absolutely no gas what-so-ever. Didn’t even bother looking for bottled water. Flashlights were another rare commodity as well as food and duct-tape. But the worst aspect of the total experience was seeing people good into panic-mode while they are on the road behind the wheel.
TFW PEOPLE ARE MANIAKKS ON THE ROAD
Yesterday I did managed to stop by a couple spots and scavenge some much-needed supplies, so that made me feel rather confident that I could hunker down and ride this sucker out. But, what about jamz? If the power goes out….what would I do without music to listen to??? Then it hit me: LISTEN TO SADISTIK FUKKING EXEKUTION AND TELL THAT FUKKING KUNT OF A HURRIKANE TO GO FUKK ITSELF. FUKKING KUNT!!!! What better band to blast during a chaotic Category 5 Hurricane than the equally destructive and kaotic Sadistik Exekution?!?!?!?! The perfect plan….ok outside of actually listening to my fiancee and putting down the awnings and shit, but riding out a hurricane with Percocet in my system and blasting the almighty Aussies? FUKK YEZZZ!!!
FUKKING KUNTS! FUKK!!
It all made perfect sense to me. Their music is about as loud as a hurricane. And just overall a giant mess to deal with so I said “Fukk it. I’m going to go listen to their entire discography as a way to pass the time.” I had been slightly pinged due to the chaos of everyone running outside like chickens with their heads cut off so I put on their first album “The Magus” to start the process.
On top of listening to jamz by the mentally-deranged Aussies, I started to become a bit fukked in the head myself so then I decided to do something really fukked and go outside during the hurricane and taunt hurricane Irma in typical Florida Man style!
Yes, that is me you’re favorite online ranting loudmouth redneck from Florida telling Hurricane Irma to go fukk itself. Btw, I was completely sober when I did this, believe it or not.
After some hours went by the winds picked up even more until the wall of the hurricane started plowing through my neck of the woods. The electricity went out and I had to start lighting candles in my house. The winds were blowing so hard that it blew my front door open about 4 or 5 times through the night. And the sheer NOIZE of those winds. Lemme tell ya, Hurricane Irma was putting up a good fight outside. On top of all this and the door being blown open and me having to hold the door closed by the handle, I was getting a bit tense. I won’t lie about that. So then I remembered “Oh shit I have a bottle of good high-grade Oxycodone on the table. I WILL NOT DIE SOBER!.” So I rushed over to the table and popped a few Percs to keep me calm during the hurricane. While doing so, the door blew open again. This KUNT meant serious business.
This is basically Hurricane Irma summed up in one song
Time passes by and I started feeling the effects of those Percocet. After the eye of the wall passed over my house and things began to quiet down outside, I started getting rather drowsy and decided to crash on my couch. A few hours later I woke up at the crack of dawn, blurry eyed and groggy and my fiancee and I opening up our front door to gauge the damage done. Here’s what a merely simple Category 1 Hurricane can do to your surroundings when you piss it off enough.
DON’T COME TO FLORIDA BTW.
Now I gotta clean this shit up. FUKK!
Now that I’ve given you a nice little visual of what it’s like to deal with a Florida hurricane. Imagine all of this destruction plus on top of having NO electricity. NO wifi. And worst of all; NO air-conditioning meaning I’m sweating my hairy ass off 24/7 and even when I tried to catch a few hours of sleep at night. My fiancee and I stayed at my house a good 2 or 3 days before I looked at her and said “We’re getting a hotel room.” Which we had to because I had cyst surgery to be done the next day and keep my wound clean and disinfected. It was an ironic musing twist that I have to go through all that hurricane shit just to put under the knife and get massively doped-up in the hospital, but goddamn was it worth it. After coming out of surgery and be given pain medication to take with me and having the week off from work, I basically went back to my hotel room I was staying at with my sweet-heart and proceeded to do the ONLY thing I could physically do at that time: GET FUKKED UP!!!
NEVER STOPP THE FUKKING MADNESS!!!!
But the story doesn’t quite end there. The following few days I learned that an out-of-state contracted electrician damn near started an electrical fire to my house which completely fried my meter box. Dealing with that and having to get a hold of my local city’s actual electrician only to be told “You need a private electrician/contractor to replace your meter box, weather mane and weather head.” Well that put a damper on my quest to come back home from the hotel. Somehow, someway, my fiancee and I managed to do so and restore electricity and A/C back into my 1950’s concrete bunker-built house. I’m just happy I can say that I can now officially get chill in my own living room while typing this.
If this story sounds a bit like somewhere between “Wolf On Wall Street” and “True Detective” in the level of insanity, drugs, and all-around destructive force of mother nature then yeah you would be right. Life itself is generally chaotic, especially mine. If anything I learned from Sadistik Exekution and this damn hurricane is that at 34 years of age I’ve grown to accept it. Because I live in Florida and I am a certified Florida Man and quite honestly….I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t know what fucking normal is or how to deal with it. So until the next completely FUKKED moment happens in my life as a Floridian, I’ll simply leave you all with a nice hearty McConaughey-esque “Alright, alright, alright” gesture.
P.S. Stay away from Florida. Don’t come down here.
Neill Jameson: He makes beautiful family-friendly music. I can assure you.
This is something really special that I am glad I got the opportunity to do: Decibel Magazine ranter, Krieg frontman, and all-around black metal father figure Neill Jameson is having a rather busy summer. On top of just releasing a new side-project Poison Blood thru Relapse Records, he just recently announced that he was re-releasing music from Krieg as well as new music from other bands under his new label, aptly called Black House Industries. So in light of all those releases, I decided to do an artist spotlight reviewing the releases he’s been hacking away at. Starting this spotlight will be the first release under his record label. For the uneducated, this isn’t the first time Neill has released music under his own record label. He originally ran Blood Fire Death Records starting in 1998 and unleashed a slew of releases by artists such as Xasthur, Loss, Demoncy, Pest, Archgoat, Lugubrum, and a few others. Fast-forward to 2017; in typical Neill fashion, he announced the first release of Black House Industries in a rather bluntly and sarcastic-like fashion that he is known to . Already he has one release that is going to get the ol’ razzle dazzle treatment on his label. Me being a long time fan of Mr. Jameson was granted the honor of reviewing these various releases. Admittedly, I started boofin’ pretty hard whenever I got the promo(s) in my Gmail account. But enough of my fanboy nerding-out and let’s see what jamz he has prepared to be shat in everyone’s ear canals during this extremely humid and stormy summer shall we?
Future Terror – We’re All Fucked (2017) Black House Industries
First up we have the very first release on his new label which is Future Terror, a Hardcore Punk band based out of Richmond, Virgina. Without listening to the actual music and judging by the artwork, I already knew what I was in for: Hardcore Punk in the vein of Discharge/Tragedy/Extreme Noise Terror/Doom(UK). I’ve been on a bit of a Hardcore drought since last year’s excellent “Never” LP by Withdrawal. That album and the new Integrity LP are the only albums that have registered on my radar in the past year or so when it comes to that specific genre. But within the first 10 seconds of the wonderfully and sardonically-tiled “Conned By God,” I am lost within the noise. Not in a bad way by any means. Whenever I loose myself in music, it’s always a good thing. It’s there that I personally feel at peace with the current tense climate of a dysfunctional society. Understanding that the UK-influenced US band might not exactly be doing anything as outside of the box as Withdrawal pulling in post-punk/goth rock influences, or even Integrity dabbling in black metal influences. But then again I’m not some stickler for needing something original each and every time I listen to a new band. Hell, I am just happy there are still bands like Future Terror carrying on the traditions and ethos of the UK noise-making bunch and act like they have a sense of urgency. An urgency that screams either play riffs or die and get the fuck out of the way. Especially when you take into account with a song title such as ‘You Think You Are So Special.” A total un-PC iron fist-in-the-face of modern-day society. Bottom line: This is the shit I like and would highly recommend these jamz to anyone who is needing a good shot of adrenaline-speed Hardcore Punk. Definitely made for those who are still pissed at the last Amebix album for not being crusty enough or not sounding like it’s 1985. “We’re All Fucked” will be released this Friday, September the 8th and is limited to 100 copies on clear yellow cassette w/1.5″ pin.
Krieg – Sono Lo Scherno (2017) Inferna Profundis Records
Originally recorded in 1998, but never released until 2005, “Sono Lo Scherno” was meant to be the follow-up to the first Krieg album “Rise Of The Imperial Hordes” but for whatever reason, frontman Neill Jameson decided to keep it in the vaults until sometime later. To be completely honest with this one, I had a copy of this I got waaaaaay back in 2008 or 2009 that I purchased but I never got around to fully listen to. I’ve been very familiar with Krieg since first hearing the US Black/Thrash band Blood Storm name drop them in Slayer ‘Zine issue #15 in the early 00’s. Outside of that trivia bit about myself, I couldn’t give you a legit reason or excuse why I never listened to this album. As I am writing this, I’m experiencing it for the first time, and I’m legit a bit blown away by how it sounds absolutely nothing like what Krieg is known for, especially from the time period it was originally written. It’s weird because listening to this now in 2017, it sounds completely alien yet familiar. There are parts that sound like old-school Krieg as far as the raw production goes. There are a number of samples and ambient passages that provides moments of unique atmosphere among the 90’s Profanatica/Judas Iscariot/Beherit/Bestial Summoning riffs. The song “Ruin Under The Burning Skies” is not what one might be thinking of in connection of what is found on the legendary “The Black House” LP. It’s the polar opposite. Even some of the song titles such as “Maelstrom,” “Plague Waltz,” and “Hypnotic Decay” sound as if they would be found on an 80’s Thrash album. That’s not an insult or slur, it’s just something I wouldn’t expect from the creative demented mind of Neill Jameson. The entire album for the most part is a giant curve-ball. It’s also noted that this indeed was part of the early years of Krieg and to see how far Neill has come as far is nothing short of the making of one of the father figures in the USBM scene and genre overall. After having enough time to listen to this and take everything in, there is something strangely luring about this album. The more I think about it, the more I am becoming more and more favorable to this offering from Krieg. There’s also a killer fucking Nunslaughter cover included. Overall, it’s something unexpected. It’s different, yet it retains a lot of familiar traits that Krieg is known for. I would definitely recommend this for die-hard Krieg fans and not someone who just picked up a copy of “The Black House” or “The Isolationist.” If you’re like me being someone is more familiar with past Krieg albums and experiencing this for the first time, go into it with an open mind. “Sono Lo Scherno” will be released on September 25 on Inferna Profundus Records. Pre-orders are up on the label’s official store and can be found here.
Poison Blood – self-titled (2017) Relapse Records
I had been meaning to review this album earlier before it was released. Long story short: I was busy with my first Noisey piece and learning the ins-and-outs of becoming a legit freelance writer took up some of my time from making an honest attempt to review this. Seeing how the news from Neill came about, I decided to go ahead and add it on to this as an artist spotlight moment and rectify that issue. Also seeing how much output Mr. Jameson does, it’s falls into the add-on department of this particle review article. Poison Blood‘s self-titled album is probably the rawest thing Neill has done in a good while. It’s a collaboration with Jenks Miller of Horseback that deals with the obsession that Neill Jameson has with the desert landscapes and all the mysteries that lie within the shadows of the wastelands. If anything should be noted is how much ground these two beautiful bastards are covering in such a short time frame as far as a release goes. It clocks in under 19 minutes, but what they accomplish is a perfect balance of both the ugly, depraved, and beautiful. The album starts out right out of the gates of nanna with the song “The Scourge And Gestalt” which is almost like The Velvet Underground covering Beherit in total Rudimentary Peni -fashion; psychedelic, dirty, seductive and black-as-fuck. The Beherit influence is so apparent and so well-done that quite honestly Poison Blood is really the album that Beherit should have done in between “Drawing Down The Moon” and “Engram.” While I don’t dislike the Beherit electronic/ambient albums, if this were an alternate universe that existed, Beherit would have fared better in that that era of their music had they gone the route and played more in the vein of what Poison Blood does. Past the Beherit-isms, what really sticks out the most is the psychedelic textures of the album. The Moog synths of Jenks Miller adds the entire “desert vibe” that Neill Jameson said he was going for with this album and his fascination with it. At one point (“The Flower Of Serpents”) it makes rember all the great ambient synth pieces by Burzum, Neptune Towers, and Era 1 of Mortiis. That’s not to say it’s a rip-off of 90’s Norway, but ambiance-wise for myself it makes me wanna break out all those Casio keyboard songs that were at one point a legit thing within Black Metal. It’s well-rounded and tastefully done on how they really mix it extremely well with the dirty blackened guitar style. If anything it leaves you wanting more. Having just listened to Krieg‘s “Sono Lo Scherno” LP pior before deciding to add this review into the article piece, this side-project seems like a future cousin of it, only slightly less deranged but fucked-up nonetheless. It’s just another testament to how Neill Jameson is able to spread his wings over different types of side-projects and bands and cover so much ground, including past side-projects such as Twilight(RIP), Le Chant Funebre, N.I.L., and a host of others both active and defunct. It’s also a testament that for all intents and purposes, Neill’s words and blackened heart has always been strict dedication in producing some of the more interesting moments in the US black metal geographical location amidst the muck that gets slung around on other Metal news websites. You can order Poison Blood‘s self-titled LP from Relapse and they also have some killer band merch as well.
There is also the announcement of the re-issue of the 2013 out-of-print demo from New Jersey’s Hardcore sons of darkness The Banner as an upcoming release for Black House Industries. Anything else Neill decides to release either through Black House Industries or elsewhere will definitely be supported and spread here at Esoterica Codex. If you would like to give Neill hails, do so by checking out and clicking ‘like’ on the official Black House Industries Facebook Page. And if all else fucking fails and none of this interests you, go buy some shit from Neill Jameson on Discogs.com so that he can purchase cat food and kitty litter for his cats. Friendly reminder tho: Just don’t invite them to like your band.
My personal favorite punching bag and Shia LaBeouf’s younger siblings aka the doofuses at Metalsucks are picking up where they left off last summer with their witchhunt against extreme Metal. It’s been relatively quiet from their end for the past several months. I guess ever since everyone called them out on their bullshit with constantly posting about dead celebrities and making bank while previously talking shit about said dead celebrities, didn’t exactly work out. So now they are up to their old tricks, taking shots, and throwing shade at the Metal underground. Which I guess they didn’t learn their lesson when Destroyer 666 told them to properly shut the fuck up and their fans sent them death threats. This time they are directing their bitch-move and hypocrisy towards world-known underground metal record label and low cost distro Hells Headbangers Records. It’s the next step in their personal witchhunt against the underground that will more than likely lead to them targeting Nuclear War Now! Productions (That particular move and future article hasn’t happened yet, but it will I guaran-fucking-tee you) or some other record label/distro site that actually provides a service to underground metal. Something that Metalsucks does nothing of which is providing any type of service what-so-ever except capitalizing off Chester Bennington’s death and hanging off Corey Taylor’s nuts every 5 seconds he opens his fucking mouth.
In an article that they posted, Metalsucks was contacted by some proclaimed “metal musicians” who identified themselves as The Anti-NSBM Working Group or something hokey along the lines of that. This group asked Metalsucks to publish a letter directed to Hells Headbangers to “cease releasing and distributing Nazi propaganda.” I’m not going to post the actual letter because it’s mind-numbing, but here’s a link to it and instead I’m going to focus on what Metalsucks says.
Right before Metalsucks had a chance to NOT open their stupid fucking mouths, they went full retard and said this:
“Recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere are a striking reminder of the danger and threat the extreme right poses. Metal and other underground music genres are major venues for neo-Nazis and fascists to propagandize and recruit. This is unacceptable to us, and so we are taking action to remove them from our community.
It’s important that we make a distinction here: the owners and staff of Hells Headbangers are not, as far as we know, white supremacists or far-right extremists. The vast majority of the labels they distribute and the bands whose records they release aren’t either, and we’re not condemning any of those. We’re simply calling on Hells Headbangers to stop participating in the spread of hate through tacit endorsement and participation, and to eliminate the extremist labels and bands from their roster.”
Keep thinking that ol’ Matty. I’m sure that will win people over.
“Our community” he proclaims. I don’t know what community you are talking about but if it involves goofy fucking mainstream metal, then you can keep it. I don’t want to have anything to do with such. The fact that Metalsucks thinks that Metal and other underground genres are major venues and breeding grounds for neo-Nazis and fascists to propagandize and recruit is nothing short of just full blown-out paranoia and stupidity at this point. And it’s a page taken straight out of the PMRC/Satanic Panic/Video Nasties-era of horror films of the 80’s. At this point I am fully convinced that these gentlemen were not old enough to remember that particular point in time nor do they remember the 90’s in which mainstream society looked at metal as either a joke or dead. If they did, they would realize that what they are doing is nothing short of the PMRC. They obviously don’t know horror movies were scapegoated in the 80’s as well because they would know how UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980’s went on a morality-based witch-hunt of her own and forced video stores in the UK to shut down and close due to letting people rent gory Italian/Eurohorror films such as “The Evil Dead,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “The Beyond.” Also by the brilliant fucking logic that Metalsucks uses everything time they feel they have a valid case, what Metalsucks is doing is the equivalent of saying “All librarians, book shops, & book sellers with Mein Kampf for sale ARE NAZIS and support Nazis and incite Nazism” – this is quite literally their logic. It’s not only stupidity, but dangerous stupidity. Let’s read what else these fucking un-circumsized penises wrote shall we?
“It’s important that we make a distinction here: the owners and staff of Hells Headbangers are not, as far as we know, white supremacists or far-right extremists. The vast majority of the labels they distribute and the bands whose records they release aren’t either, and we’re not condemning any of those. We’re simply calling on Hells Headbangers to stop participating in the spread of hate through tacit endorsement and participation, and to eliminate the extremist labels and bands from their roster.”
Who the fuck gave YOU the so-call right to tell a record label what they can and cannot sell? Last time I checked, you weren’t exactly a paid share-holder on HHR’s stock or paying their fucking bills.
“MetalSucks would also like to request that Hells Headbangers add a fucking apostrophe to its label name where it fucking belongs, fer chrissakes. OK? Thanks.”
On behalf of the metal underground of all colors, genders, races, and preferred pronouns, we would like it if you took your own advice and fucking spellcheck and have someone proofread half the shit you post on your own damn website. The fact that you went to college is appalling when you go back through your past writings and see so many grammatical errors. I understand nobody is perfect, but seriously stop projecting your own website’s flaws onto a record label.
What Metalsucks fails to realize is the fact that Hells Headbangers Records sells roughly about over 28719035902103749 Crust/Grind/D-Beat/Anarcho-Punk/etc vinyl LPs/EPs/Splits/Cassettes. Compared to the minuscule number of obscure extreme Metal records that just so happen to be NSBM. I’m not a mathematician but that’s roughly about 400,000 to 1. That’s a minor fucking number of sketchy jamz they are carrying and selling. It’s fucking stupid on Metalsucks’s part because now HHRs are going to get an overnight increase in sales and more money in their pockets just by them making a stink over absolutely nothing. I love how they throw weight around like they can extort a company, too. Talking about how they’ll front a boycott. All they’d do is draw more attention to the company by boycotting it. It’s also a massive bitch move also on Metalsucks part seeing how the website themselves has covered Hells Headbangers Records very own music festival, Hells Headbash, in the past and even named more than a dozen artists that HHR themselves have put records out by. Hell, Metalsucks hyped HHR fest last year which had fucking Grand Belial’s Key headlining, with not a word about white supremacists. Hells Headbangers Records has NEVER, EVER been an issue ever until now. So why all of a sudden the stab in the fucking back for a label that Metalsucks has NO part or be it financial support, employment, or otherwise? Because the truth is that Metalsucks at this point in the game doesn’t give a fuck about anyone or anything besides the monetary gain they get by the amount of clicks they get. And from what I know and understand, fellow music journalists who are actual jounalists and not wannabe TMZ writers as well as musicians who make serious jamz to fuck with are NOT very fond of them either. Metalsucks are using the current tense political climate that has everyone paranoid and at each other’s throats to push their OWN political agenda which is to keep Metal a safe, user-friendly, commercially-viable, plastic tool that is easily arm-twisted behind it’s own back and ultimately conforms to today’s standards which is lukewarm dribble called “Metal.” Just as long as as it’s goofy fucking Behemoth/Arch Enemy/Tool/Mastodon/Machine Head/Deathklok/Slipknot/Lamb Of God/Deathcore/Metalcore/terrible groove metal etc. then it’s ok. But what the fuck do I know at the end of the day right?
I do know this, I am not shocked by all of this. I am beyond that point in the game of dealing with the stupid mutts at Metalsucks. I do know that prior to the past handful of years Metalsucks never once gave a single flying rat’s-ass about bands such as Nails, Destroyer 666, Pantera, Bolzer, Inquisition, Emperor, or even labels such as Hells Headbangers. If they ever mentioned any of these bands, they were always fond words of support and they encouraged Metal fans that weren’t in the know to search them out. Only in the past few years have they gone full retard with caving into the masses, stabbing said bands in the back with their false accusations and making obtuse generalizations of metal fans by proclaiming that they are racist/homophobic/sexist/misogynistic/transphobic etc. I don’t see this changing. I don’t see their holier-than-thou fucking moral crusade and modern-day witch-hunt stopping any time soon. At this point they might as well go jerk themselves off to whatever Robb Flynn, or Corey Taylor has currently to fucking whine about. And they won’t stop until they have influenced enough people to ultimately censor Metal and underground Metal. Which I don’t give a fuck who or what you are, what political party you side with, what major news network TV you watch, there is no censorship in Metal. Understanding that Metalsucks by all means has the right to voice their dumb-ass opinions and make false accusations and write their stupid manifestos all they want. That’s their American right which I will respect. But I won’t respect their constant attempts at weak jabs at an underground culture who bite is FAR worse than it’s actual bark. Aint that right Axl and Vince? Again just ask the gentlemen in Destroyer 666 and they’ll tell you about it. At the end of the day how about the good old “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it” rule? But that would preserve too much freedom, and stifle authoritarianism. And who wants that ?<end of sarcasm>
This may or may not be related to what I am talking about, and for all I know has fuck-all with the topic at hand. But it fits the general idea and spirit of what this blog and underground Metal is as far as the spirit of it. I am going to quote a recent book I got in the mail from Decibel Magazine. It’s the recently released “Metal Gods: A Tribute To Judas Priest” edited by extraordinaire graphic artist Mark Rudolph. There is a paragraph that should always be a daily reminder against downright bullshit such as the crap the Metalsucks writers spew. It goes something like this:
” Judas Priest gave heavy metal it’s attitude. Their music is tough, defiant, and inspires us to take no shit. It’s the only kind of music you could make growing up in bombed out industrial city, because to make it out of Birmingham, or any anonymous strip mall suburbs in the States, you have to be tough. You have to be defiant. To be a fan of heavy metal is to be defiant. To those that don’t understand, no explanation will ever satisfy. For us, an explanation can go get fucked. Every single one of us has had to defend ourselves or a friend over this music, and every single one of us found this music for a reason. It boils down to the fact that the outside world is lacking something for all of us. So we take the black, take the blows, and defend the faith.”
With that said, here’s my reminder to both Vince and Axl: