I was supposed to review these releases from the great label Unholy Domain, generous sly offered as promos by the label, a long ago. Better late than never, they say, after all.
I don’t know if it’s my tape deck that it’s getting decrepit and possibly oxidized in several components, but the sound on this tape is rather bass-heavy and confused. Which might fit, being a demo (or better, a repress of a demo originally on CD-r), but I definitely need to give it a try on a different set one day.
The tracks on this cassette are quite old and represent a rather immature version of the band, who in my opinion will give their best in their debut album on Hellthrasher the following year. I haven’t really followed their releases but it seems to me that the second album is a bit underwhelming. Here, as well as in the debut, the sounds are more similar to that of a certain Swedish Death Metal a la early Therion, but it is the vocals on this demo that will really give the best in the 2012 album.
Nothing particularly exciting, but worth a listen.
Another throwback of eight years to complete a review of a record that was released thirteen years ago, how’s that for dedication? And to make things even more old school, the Shub-Niggurath tracks are taken from a rehearsal from 1990! I didn’t really write much at the time, but as I picked up the CD from the shelf and started to listen to it I found myself why I was actually losing any time on this recording.
To be honest, let’s say it straight away, this split is fucking useless. It’s just crap made up to use the logos of two great bands. Let’s be clear, I’ve loved Shub-Niggurath since the demo tape, and I think Necroccultus is an excellent band as well despite their relatively young age (sigh, I just realized they formed 19 years ago), but I can’t stand live and rehearsals unless they’re included in a full discography or as bonus tracks, let alone in a split. To make matters worse, three different labels for three different formats, including a vinyl whose significance I don’t really understand. And even the audio is too poor to justify such a pressing, these are things that you can accept for a band that has played very little for which every live show is a jewel to be recovered, but this is not the case, or possibly for a big band, like Slayer, of which you want to collect every single release. But not here, I don’t think we’re there at all. Even the cover was one of the artist’s early works and on tape/CD it is what it is. Leave this release alone.
I really forgot about these in the previous articles, but I have to make amends because Tyrannizer Order with the dieresis on the “o” in Motorhead style is actually one of the best early Marduk style Black Metal bands we have left, a band featuring Max from Natron, a band who I have to admit I started to lose interest in after the sophomore record. This band doesn’t rely on chilling atmospheres typical of the genre, but goes towards the spear-point massacre typical of bands like Black Witchery, even if without that depth of field. More than good in my book.
Known absolutely by chance, these Lebbra from Salerno were a pleasant discovery, as they prove that not only Americans like Gruesome can make their own reference to early pre-masturbation Death, those Deaths that many of us old fuckers grew up with. Leprosy don’t play a plagiarism, opps I mean tribute, like the band above, but are more generically inspired by that early 90’s Death Metal that has its roots in bands with distinctive vocal tracks like Morgoth, Asphyx, Obituary. The songs are few but decently recorded, more than anything else I find it interesting that they sometimes indulge in such banal structures that in other formulas might be overly adolescent but that in the sphere, let’s call it OSDM, have their interest.
Here, however, we are missing the point. These Pugnale, from Bergamo, show how you can do formally perfect homework at the art academy but fail to express anything interesting when you go to exhibit in a proper gallery. There’s nothing formally wrong here, if anything it’s a band perfectly capable of fusing crust, powerviolence, even certain black/death metal atmospheres into a single sound that however resolves, on the whole, to be a completely forgettable track after track, as often happens with bands from Eastern Europe or Germany. Add to that a singing as bland as boiled rice and no matter how hard I try I can’t find anything interesting. There’s a live show on YouTube, though, that shows they’re good on stage, so we’ll see how that develops.
This wonderful little gem is intolerant’s Soul Devourer solo project and it’s objectively a small bijoux. Probably recorded in a Pakistani 7/11 store, with a martial minimalist layout seen a million times and a general blurring of sound like early Beherit, this is overall a work of heart and you can hear it, especially because you can hear actual songwriting going on within the chaos. By the way a full-length was released by local label Extreme Chaos this year, unfortunately only in digital format, but we hope to see at least a tape soon.
Here instead is a band that works great, in my opinion. Also from Rome and also on Extreme Chaos like the band before, but this time it’s the right combination of punk instinctiveness applied to a form of putrid Black Metal that would fit on a seven-inch with a photocopied cover of some shitty punkabbestia label at Leoncavallo, and boy, I would invest my euro I saved on warm beer cans for it, any day. Not as filthy necrotic as Gonkulator but some of those vibes are here. I really like it when these genres so distant and yet so close mix well.
My rotten heart silently and manly approves when he hears this shitty attempt at playing Black Metal while high on acid. Everything falls apart and goes its own direction in these tracks recorded on lo-fi noise/grind label Olivia. This is a band that makes Derelict sound like Sabaton. Actually what I heard is probably just a late-night intoxicated jam session and I love it: think Goat Vulva after overeating spaghetti alla trabaccolara and cold wine + various psychotropic drugs.
Sublime rotting sewer sludge-slimy grind, wherewith grind I use the term in its most ancient of acceptions, there is an eerie echoing vibrancy in these tracks that pair obscenely with the slightly out of place rehearsal sound texture. What it doesn’t deliver in massiveness it does in sheer nightmarish opera. Top release where sound and aesthetics fuse in the perfect balance of true Death Metal with the due doses of horror, garageish noise, and the sensation of writhing maggots writhing under your tongue. Few tracks released so far but they have a solid base.
I don’t know how they managed to do it but this recording totally sounds like a demo from 1992 and I mean it as a compliment. It has some of the chaotic roughness of early Deranged, Goreaphobia and a hint of Autopsy morbidity in properly placed corners. I also love the shitty logo here. All in all this is a complete win for me. Top notch band, deserve proper release soon.
Little precious from Despise the Sun records, a limited batch of fifty musicassettes brought this band from the ancient cracks of Rome’s cemeteries to its postapocalyptic unlife. Certainly nothing new or excessively intense for a genre that relies on sheer savagery (check Totalitarian or Intolerant for that), but definitely an interesting listen with its obsessive barrage riffs, multi-layered vocal blasphemies and so on.
CONTINUUM OF XUL
While I definitely support the idea of playing that nowadays rare typology of infernal themed Death Metal I could never force myself to like the previous project called Hellish God which I just found completely aimless and without a clear direction, you know, the John Travolta meme. You have plenty of south american bands conceptually closer to this approach that unleash the powers of Hell upon Earth that you could prefer over that band.
Yet, things have clearly improved here with the name change and while I still have the feeling that the music convolutes endlessly in spirals, without ever bursting out, after a few listen I realized this might actually be a conscious approach from the band: to recursively wind spires upon spires of demonic hordes rending themselves to pieces in a spiral of bottomless sin. This is no easy listening, even compared to other bands in this list that raised the bar of songwriting sometimes bordering on wanking.
I never review variants of grindcore that don’t deal strictly with horror of death or better yet gore ♥ on this fanzine, but Jesus fucking Christ, this stuff is AMAZING. These guys have all the nuclear aggressivity of the original second world grindcore that labels such as Rotthenness or Grinding Madness used to harvest back in early ’90. Top distorted bass backed grindcore of the finest quality, highly recommended. By the way I appreciated the fact that their logo makes the Congenital Deformities one look like Unleashed meet Dark Throne. Total favela illiteracy here! Thumbs up.
An interesting new band that plays really good Brutal Death Metal with a general approach that is more organic and has more “feeling” than the average mid-eastern product that always sticks to the same sound, same lyrics, and same artwork since Amputated Vein crystallized the whole brutal guido slam aesthetics. Cinerarium does have its share of trademark Enmity-like squeaks but the final product is more complete with a big dose of darker, tighter ideas. It is an evolutionary pattern similar to that followed by countrymates Blasphemer of late, for instance, and I like it. Part Liturgy part Krisiun part Reincarnacion, the band gors for the throat and comes out with an overall impressive product that however creaks violently on the slower parts. There is a whole riff at the end of the song below that makes me want to turn off the computer (I admit it, I am not reviewing records when I make these reports). They should really get rid of the slow-mid tempos and go full speed all the time because they really perform very well there (and the slow tempos suck badly, don’t do that).
Interesting if somewhat vanilla Death Metal with a shitload of influences that range from old Bolt Thrower to old Gorefest, basically a salad of Death Metal from the early 90’s glued together with a strong dose of dark heaviness. Initially the sound was way more on the early swedish side but turned darker and darker over time. Now we are left with a genuine breed of Death Metal that is basically a sum of everything that was morbid and obscure in the beginning of the genre.
When I heard the few first minutes of Hadit on their bandcamp page I told msyelf “I bet either this band is from Rome, or they signed to Terror from Hell, or both.” For some reason our capital seems to have become a catalyst for the most complex exercises of Death Metal with a brain, and TFH just seems to have an affair with bands that defiantly pierce the membranous barriers of reality with hints of ancient esotericism.
Obsessively melodramatic and hypercomplex long songs that are a cosmogonal voyage through infinity riding a million riffs of parallelly eerie and brutal Death Metal. They have some hints of that bardo method-o’malley hipsterism I generally hate when overly intellectual writing overcomes the primal savagery and horror that this genre is made for, but somehow I liked it anyway. Shall I start trimming my beard, chop off my fingers in a Zoidberg fashion and start yelling about inclusivity in metal?
Hell, how did I underestimate this band! I reviewed a tape not too long ago (for this zine standards) and now it feels as if I am listening this recording for the first time. Honestly this stuff is even better that I recalled. The finnoscandian inspiration is clear and the massive, crunchy, sound is accurately reconstructed assembling among the best of elements of the genre. All riffs properly placed, with long, breathtaking incursions in the depths of space and sick mind trip, more akin to Krypts than Hadit (above), however.
Whoah! Three full-lengths already, really? I heard this band name before but always forgot to check them out. They play good solid Black Metal with some structure and attention to sound, yet nothing particularly memorable for a genre that is supposed to live upon its filth and hateful spirit. Nothing wrong here but hardly sucks you in.
Huronian decided to take the hard path (again) of playing a genre that basically everyone misinterpreted and was initially thrashed by precursors like Kaamos and definitely obliterated by the new renaissance of Swedish Death Metal. Huronian plays what could be properly called “melodic Death Metal” in which however the “melodies” are not necessarily soft and mellow – think Unanimated, Eucharist and so on. The world might not be still interested in a genre that was overexploited years ago but at the same time, who the hell still understand how things work nowadays? Their music is complex, extremely well written, vicious and yet has that thin veil of harmonies that makes everything work properly. Not a band I would sign on Nuclear Abominations, but do yourself a favor and check them out because close to nobody play this styule anymore!
Spiky, acidic Death Metal with a strong militaristic vibe inspired by the post Conqueror / Order From Chaos movement that over recent years produced bands like Diocletian. Order of the Iron Fist plays everything in line with expectations, including the caliginous recording typical of other eastern noisier experiments like RotUGF or Tsalal. I really like this newer branch of Death which someone defines as Black/Death, although I can’t really see what “black” one could find here besides the vocals, which to be honest, I find here plain and lacking punch, and yet I don’t think a vocal style could strictly define either genres, I think Black Metal in general is more about the feeling of “something else, something wrong, something from the other side creeping in”. Whatever. This is a good band even though it doesn’t really deliver 100% yet in my opinion, the path they chose is narrow and inhabited by generally top level bands already. I would buy their new stuff when it’s out but I expected to be blown away, I didn’.t.
This is music that makes you hate yourself. BUY IT.
Nuclear Wargod recently released an advance tape on Despise the Sun and they fucking shred. They’re on the Blasphemy side of gasmasked Black Metal (is that, think about it honestly, a fault?). They completely lose it when the slow down but if they manage to fix it this is a band that really would deserve a full-length release. Suffocating and miasmic, this is a band that drags you across a nuclear wasteland with sore-covered cannibal mutant priests of Satan. Not surprisingly they have some links to Sadomortuary and they actually play a very similar game. Can’t wait to hear more.
This is a one man band that hardly would fit a list on this fanzine you’re reading in normal times, but I found this solo project honestly flawless. It’s just a bunch of slow riffs and guttural vocals the likes we’ve straight out heard a million times recently (last 10 years or so when Doom Death has become a thing again), but you can actually feel her agony. In total fairness I have found this EP, recorded during the first wave of this world pandemic, perfectly fitting the mood of this period and impeccably inspired. Manly nod to this good job.
Ultra down tuned, raspy and guttural Death Metal with that obsessive, coagulated sound and the fragrance of bloodspattered torture cellars. Hearing tenebro Today gives me today more or less the same feeling of hearing “Butchered at Birth” in 1992, only gore – no air. They have a repetitiveness that borders on drone sometimes, like a slowed down version of Deranged played 18 rpm, which is great but a tidbit too still for me to listen for too long. Natheless, I’d definitely place their recordings in a good position if I had to dub a compilation tape of italian bands in 2021.
Interesting liquid-amphibian goregrind with lyrics about volcanoes. I am generally not particularly attracted by such liberal SJW deviations from the sacred conservative duties of splatter and pathology, but gorenoise has been lacking a bit in this country and to be honest this one is also of superior level compared to a gazillion other bedroom projects. To his credit, the themes are actually about destruction and consequence of horrible burns and death by lava.
Solo project of Hornhammer, not the most intense of releases but worth mentioning in this report for several honest and interesting ideas. There is some Nifelheim inspiration here and with a proper line up there could be a real interesting follow up.
I am afraid this is a band that hasn’t aged well, probably because the field of Brutal Death Metal is unlike its older brother, extremely sensible to the passing of years, when drummers blast harder, riffs get ever more complex, and sound production crispier and heavier. I am sad to say don’t like this new incarnation of Bastard Saints and believe me I have known these guys for 25 years now – listening to these new tracks give me the same yet opposite feeling I had when listening to “Hanged For A Blessed Masturbation”: unripe for its time.
Might be the lack of their trademark guitarwork that kinda glued every piece of this madman hallucination together, and it certainly doesn’t help that some of the tracks are in Italian, including the terrible name they opted for. Either way this time the music doesn’t click for me. The Brutal Death Metal soul is here predominant and yet not as brutal as it used to be when it was just an opaque ligament to connect all fragments of a sick psyche together. The drumming is overly martial and mechanically cyclical and cold but that was a problem I had with latest Broken Hope records too so maybe it’s just me. That said it’s a good band, really, just not special as Bastard Saints used to be.
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Abruptum “The Satanist Tunes” demo tape, unholy black misanthropic glossopoeia from Sweden, 1990.
What do you get when you put together an evil dwarf and an alcoholist? You get the best of combinations for some of the best Black Met.. well, Music, ever from Scandinavia. The interior “mal de vivre” of these two guys on this tape is so thick and real you could almost feel it on your skin. This Abruptum recording is not just music, it’s an experience in the misanthropic folly of lost deviated humanity. It’s dissonance and distorted melodies, an unholy abandonment in the shores of suicide, it’s noise/grind meets dungeon ambient, with the best alcoholic vocal performances by the guy who calls itself All (who did basically nothing of interest ever again besides Abruptum, if we exclude some Ophtalamia). Listening to this tape even in the best of your days is guaranteed to fuck your mood bad. A tribute to a shapeless horror lurking within an unholy beyond and a true (probably involuntary) masterpiece of glossopoeia. Pure Black Metal at its finest.
PS: Please if you want to get this, get Sound Pollution represses, do not buy anything by Southern Lord, BOYCOTT beard hipsters!
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Corpse Molestation “Descension Of A Darker Deity” demo tape, chaotic brutal madness of Death made in Australia, 1992.
I understood you like me reviewing older stuff so here it is, one of the biggest jewels of Australian extreme metal and one of the greatest demos of the genre: pre Bestial Warlust in all its gory and dismal schizophrenia! Jesus fucking christ, this stuff is so savage and at the same time so intense and raw it feels like the sound of a million deranged butchers cleaving flesh in a dungeon cellar. You know aussies can be out of their mind but here we got that formula transfixed to some of the heaviest, ghastlier Death Metal of all time, still scary after almost 30 years. The overall sound is massively choking and uncontrolled, heavy and deep and vaguely Autopsy/Goreaphobia in feel, but then things get out of control and all the folly of primitive Oceania stirs in chainsaw in hand. The vocals are a sink that grinds human waste, the guitars vibrate with sheer madness, the drummer is just fucking possessed and to top it off, the production is ugly, dense and filthy as every black/death/grindcore release is supposed to be. There is really little to add besides everything here is perfect, including those handful of samples and slow grinding moments of demonic despair. A classic among classics, and to think this is 1992???? It’s fucking un-be-lie-va-ble!
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Schizo “Total Schizophrenia” demo tape, ultrafast metallic crossover from Catania, 1986.
A classic extreme metal/core recording from my country by a band that in all honestly could not survive its reputation after the year 1990. Over the years I have heard this demo being labeled as the very first grindcore recording in this country, but well, no, I don’t think so. As much as I think this demo is amazing, I won’t label it as anything close to the sound that would evolve into the first instances of grindcore. This demo might be considered part of that combination of elements that grew up to that genre, but despite it’s incredibly fast for its time I would describe it as a more metallic slayerish/vadeirsh version of Cryptic Slaughter and Septic Death. This demo really showed the band’s full potential that would crystallize into “Main Frame Collapse” with superior songwriting and really crazy vocals (rag. Filini was singing here for the last time) and when the songs speed up, it is there that the band blossoms into a unheard before, ultraviolent instance of hardcore massacre. The slower parts are a bit naive and cheezy but that was the point with the whole punk/core movement at the time, huge when things are fast, sloppy when they slow down. The thrash/core crossover was really like a shark, it could give its best only in full movement. There is not much to say about this classic: it is a great example of hybrid proto thrash/grind/core, and really deserve the reputation it has. Do not expect darkness or sickness here, we’re talking about speed force violence!