MACHETAZO (spa): “Ultratumba” collection Cd 2007 Living Dead Society

|Machetazo - UltratumbaI just finished reviewing that cool Haemorrhage collection on Power It Up and now I have another excellent Spanish band doing a similar release. This Cd holds tracks taken from 6 years from Machetazo‘s tormented existance (1998-2004) of Eps and singles. There is not a big advancement between the various tracks that I can perceive, at least not as evident as on the full lengths, but this is a real good complement to the Razorback albums: get them all and this, and you have every Machetazo track released thus far, including five killer covers by great bands like Massacre, Repulsion, Venom, Carcass and Impetigo (plus sadly, two covers by the terribly faggot shit bands that are Black Sabbath and… sigh… Saint Vitus – oh my shit, you read it well it’s not a joke – Saint Vitus). All of these tracks have be a remastered for the occasion, but luckily the sound has been preserved thick and grisly raw, not polished at all. Whew.

MACHETAZO (spa): “Ultratumba” collection Cd 2007 Living Dead Society

Machetazo - UltratumbaI just finished reviewing that cool Haemorrhage collection on Power It Up and now I have another excellent Spanish band doing a similar release. This Cd holds tracks taken from 6 years from Machetazo‘s tormented existance (1998-2004) of Eps and singles. There is not a big advancement between the various tracks that I can perceive, at least not as evident as on the full lengths, but this is a real good complement to the Razorback albums: get them all and this, and you have every Machetazo track released thus far, including five killer covers by great bands like Massacre, Repulsion, Venom, Carcass and Impetigo (plus sadly, two covers by the terribly faggot shit bands that are Black Sabbath and… sigh… Saint Vitus – oh my shit, you read it well it’s not a joke – Saint Vitus). All of these tracks have be a remastered for the occasion, but luckily the sound has been preserved thick and grisly raw, not polished at all. Whew.

If the layout generally looks better than the Haemorrhage haematology, there is one big problem with this collection compared to that one, and it’s that there are no liner notes AT ALL. Just the release covers, one per page. Tsk tsk. Also there is a nice collage of posters inside, but images tend to become too small to read all crammed in one fold. I guess the general item arrangement could have been studied better (what about a folding booklet that opens like a poster?).

None of this however compromises the fact that the songs are killer. If you know Machetazo you know they’re no Insidious Decrepancy (just to say a fag band) sissies. Real raw – almost punkish – grooves, roaring vocals, grime encrusted chords – all influenced by the old school feel of all the bands covered here. There is surely some Repulsion rawness, some heavy Massacre riffing, and some of Impetigo‘s old school grinding style. Of corpse, none of this is extremely advanced. They stick to they right riff and go for the throat, and that’s all we need. And the intros are just so nice. Old classic horror movie, not Hollywood blockbusters.

Musically all of this is a must have, but the packaging could have definitely been somewhat better.

APOCALYPSE COMMAND (USA-Fl): s/t Cd-r 2007 [demo]

Apocalypse Command - demoCough cough.

Might the gods of the underworld electrocute me with lightning if this is not one of the most fucking brutal violent blasphemic fucking shits I have heard in the last five fucking years. There is some mystery around this band which I cannot completely unwrap, but I like it this way, it’s like getting a new Von – like puzzle.

Just a 1 page blood red booklet with a goat, a raw logo and title tracks like “Evil Necromancy”, “Blasphemy in Darkness” and “Mayhemic Overkill”. Can you ask for MORE than this?

As for music, there is really nothing better I can thing of either. Take Blasphemy, Archgoat, Centurian, Demonized, old Sarcofago, early Sodom, Vulcano “Bloody Vengeance” and some early Morbid Angel demo era riffs and mix the whole thing up. The vocals are a raspy, serpentine, echo-filled thing which spew insults to god with a hate only the morninstar could parallel. I so fucking love their huge reverb, it’s so damn vintage. And the best thing is definitely the riffs – twisted and powerful, but stripped to the basics. There are just 2 or 3 of them for each song plus some Slayer-ish solos, but they’re just the right ones, they have a flow which I only heard in Angel Corpse. Everything in this demo fits the picture perfectly, I cannot test any weak spots. Even the rough, acrid sound has its role in creating the sulphuric mood.

So far, best release of the year.

ORAL MUTILATION (hol): “Soldiers of Sickness” Cd-r 2007 s/p

|Oral Mutilation - Soldiers of SicknessOral Mutilation strikes back after a couple of months from their other demo, and this time things are getting slightly more in order, but not necessarily much better. The medium is still Cd-r and this time it has a somewhat horrible but otherwise colorful cover – honestly the other one in black and white was much better. This one looks like Macromedia Flash cartoon but I guess it’s ok for a cybergrind project.

ORAL MUTILATION (hol): “Soldiers of Sickness” Cd-r 2007 s/p

Oral Mutilation - Soldiers of SicknessOral Mutilation strikes back after a couple of months from their other demo, and this time things are getting slightly more in order, but not necessarily much better. The medium is still Cd-r and this time it has a somewhat horrible but otherwise colorful cover – honestly the other one in black and white was much better. This one looks like Macromedia Flash cartoon but I guess it’s ok for a cybergrind project.

The vocals here are still very deep and gurgling, and the recording level is good enough , but the music itself is extremely unripe, and not just as far as composition goes. The sound is good enough to tell the riffs but it seems it’ only made of medium frequencies without any bass or treble vibes, and it sadly gives the whole work a “live” effect which spoils most of the moshing goregrind fun. Imagine Cock and Ball Torture or Plasma with a recording sound like this. It just doesn’t click. The problem is that recording quality is really mandatory in this genre and if you strip it away you get just a bunch of sloppy redundant riffs. This is not Death Metal, and it’s not even grindcore – it’s much closer to pure electronics if we have to make a comparison and I know you know what I mean when I say filth is Ok but the sound has to be FAT and not FLAT.

That said, training and practice have done their work, even if I still really cannot rate it anything more than a political average. Structures are taking form, and you even get a SOLO on song “Zombiegrinding Braineater”. But that said, this is really little more than frog croaks and repetitive chugs halfway from extremely barebone death metal and goregrind. Let’s see where this band is leading to…

HAEMORRHAGE (Spa): “Haematology – The Singles Collection” compilation Cd 2007 Power It Up

|Haemorrhage - HaematologyPower It Up has been a surprisingly active label of late, I have gotten ahold of several interesting releases by them, and this excellent singles collection by the band Haemorrhage is a real high quality thing. That’s what you manage to do with a collaborative band, a serious label and a honest artist to assemble the whole thing (curious thing is this collection cover features the original artwork that should have been used on their split with Christ Denied – am I only one who doesn’t like Luisma’s cartoonish drawing style?).

HAEMORRHAGE (Spa): “Haematology – The Singles Collection” compilation Cd 2007 Power It Up

Haemorrhage - HaematologyPower It Up has been a surprisingly active label of late, I have gotten ahold of several interesting releases by them, and this excellent singles collection by the band Haemorrhage is a real high quality thing. That’s what you manage to do with a collaborative band, a serious label and a honest artist to assemble the whole thing (curious thing is this collection cover features the original artwork that should have been used on their split with Christ Denied – am I only one who doesn’t like Luisma’s cartoonish drawing style?).

In biology haematology is the name of the branch that studies the behaviour, coagulation and flow of blood, but in this case it’ stands for the complete dissection and reconstruction of the Spanish band’s long list of excellent Eps. Apart from a couple of covers from Dead Infection, Carcass, General Surgery and a less famous Spanish punk/ska band called Kortatu (which I honestly didn’t know), all the rest are Haemorrhage songs taken from various album recording sessions. But even if one already has all the singles, you have some added vanilla: one bonus track, liner notes (hell yes, these are MANDATORY in every re-release) and a completely remastered sound. This is one of the nicest recollections I got so far. Even if vinyl is still the real shit, it’s good to have this on Cd for car stereo purposes. But don’t miss the Eps if you find some of them, they all look quite killer (IIRC the first one was on blood red vinyl, I always thing of the old Atrocity logo – the one with the eyes – every time I see that cover).

It’s also very interesting to hear how the sound becomes more and more claustrophobic and heavy with every release, and how the short haired singer gets more and more confident with the vocals, starting from basic harmonized roars but moving inclreasingly towards malignant phlegm filled ripping snarls.

There is no point in describing how Haemorrage sound like maybe, but for those who don’t know… they have started out as a Death Grind band highly influenced by the Carcass Xysma General Surgery movement (hear “Decom-posers” for a good sample) but then developed in something definitely more groovy and somewhat less purely grinding. Their latest works are full of crusty moshpit riffs and a more definite overall structure with more Death Metal but also more punkish reflections – but the blood obsession remained intact all the time, thanksfully, and so did the vomiting vocals and all the rest. You get a good spectrum of the band’s abilities by getting this Cd. Good shit.