BATTERED INTESTINE (Hol): “Hacksaw Brainsurgery” Cd-r 2008 demo

Where do I start? I don’t remember anything about reviewing records ah ah! After a cold beer tonight I just picked out the old box of Cds and tapes yet to review and wiped some dust off a multitude of cool things. Unable to decide where to start I just picked up this one randomly. The letter is date october 14, 2008. Wow Ricky, I must extend my first apologies for reviewing this album almost 4 years later. Eh.

I think I always started by giving some clues on the packaging. Nothing to say here, reeally, it’s just a CD-r with some tracks in it. Still better than downloading mp3s from the Internet of course. The font used may not be the best in the world but sticking to black and white and old horror lartwork reminiscent of old Tales from the Crypt is a sure shot. I have seen professional packages done worse than this (see Extreem records reissues).

Letting the disc spin, I have to say Battered Intestine is not the most outstanding goregrind band you can hear either. It’s always a fine line you’re walking when you try to play mid tempo gore stuff: plainly said CBT are good at it, this “band” isn’t. The record neither noisy nor sludgy nor heavy enough to stand out of the murky waste of gore sludge the scene proposes, it’s just a run of the mill bedroom recording with that metallic drum sound and buzzing guitarwork we heard many times, and honestly the guitar riffs themselves, taken singularly, are atrocious. Better than latest Samael for sure, but not a must buy.

Just in case you want to give it a chance, the full demo can be downloaded from their MySpace page.

BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE (Aus): “Still Human Still Humane?” MCd 2005 Grindhead

This is Beyond Terror Beyond Grace‘s debut, a young band from Australia’s Blue Mountains, and it consist of four short tracks of a non-defined mix of extreme music styles. The opening riff is a total killer hyperfast blast of violence strongly influenced by Rotten Sound, Jigsore Terror, To Separate The Flesh From The Bones and the likes and made me hope for the best… if things were following that line all the time we could have had something real interesting if not overly complex or catchy. However there is a big flaw that I spotted almost immediately,and it’s that these songs are made up of riffs so eterogeneous that it feels like hearing Praxis or Mr Bungle (well not exactly to be honest but you get the point). While that opening blast was full of energy, the mid tempo Death Metal slam that follows close is among the most boring I have ever heard, kind of Internal Bleeding stripped down to play even more basic sloppy death. The vocals are a schizoid chamaleon which vary completely timbre from grunt to screams according to the underlying riff, and something weird happened when those got higher: a cold, pine smelling breeze entered my room and I could hear the penguins approaching from beyond the mist… Ah! No really they sound more new black metal than Grind, but that’s just a matter of perspective, I guess I could get used to them if we get over the bigger flaws. To tell the truth, I hate the Death Metal slam mid tempos in here, but the faster riffs range really from average to excellent. They should really drop the useless parts where the vocals become guttural and keep the faster parts only, or just try to improve songwriting of the slower bridges, becouse those are real lame. As it is, this is neither fish nor meat as they say here. The Cd has a very short duration, just like 9 minutes or so, but I guess it explores clearly what the intent of this band is. The guys look very young so we can expect some serious improvement I think. I hope the singer is just growing his hair, and not keeping that cut on purpose, though (ah ah, j/k). Nothing much to add to this, working a good layout when flames are involved is real though and well, it doesnt work in here either, but this is an Ep so things might have been made with some hurry. The cover depicts a man or a scarecrow shrouded in flames, and little else. At least the quality of the pics is sharp.

BATHTUB SHITTER (Jap): “Shitter at Salzgitter” live Cd 2008 Power It Up

From my point of view, after years and years passed listening to Metal and Core, the sum of all the live recordings that deserve to be bought easily stays in the finger of a hand. And I am pretty much afraid this live 2004 isn’t in that list. Honestly, I like Bathtub Shitter, I really do… I have bought all their 7″ and listened to all of them a few times, but my narrow Doberman cranial box struggles to understand why I should listen to these songs with a broken sound and crowd shouts in the middle. I am probably the last person in the world to ask about live recordings, and well, I assume for a live it is good quality after all, but I just find live recordings completely useless.

The Cd looks pro, it has a color booklet, lyrics, photos collage and all the routine stuff in its place, but I really find it difficult to recommend something like this. You know Bathtub Shitter, right? Noisy at times, musically proficient at others, with that little touch of Japanese madness. If you’re a record collector and find challenged by this band’s huge list of releases here it is, get in touch with Power It Up.

BLOODRED BACTERIA (Ger): “Kiss the Goat” compilation Cd 2008 Power It Up

Okay, this time I prefer not to read anything about this new release before actually hearing it from start to finish. I remember this is the band who also released a split with Abscess some years ago and according to Power It Up‘s info sheet it’s a collection of Bloodred Bacteria singles. I am not hugely versed on this kind of  new grind core, but it seems to be a genre immensely popular in Germany, eastern European countries and in the far north. I personally never got big into it, and according to the sales of my shop back in the days, it doesn’t seem to stick very much in Italy. Maybe I didn’t push it enough… whatever.

The label is doing a good job with reissues in general, starting from a nice packaging with full lyrics and a couple of meaningless drawings, to a careful re mixing of these old songs for an even, better balanced sound. I lost myself halfway in the lyrics, some sort of generic rant that goes from moaning about how liberalism is bad and generic fun stuff. This definitely not the kind of lyrics that stick in the head like Fugazi‘s or Minor Threat if I must be honest. Also I would consider them a little more if they came from a Chilean band, instead of Germany.

From the musical standpoint, the Cd starts out a bit slow. Mostly that boring brand of run of the mill grind you can find on that big box of 7″ with nonsense covers you always find in average punk gigs. You know, the one sold by that guy with the army cap with Warsore patches, yellowish vegan skin and that brand new Driller Killer shirt. However even with the worst cynicism I admit there is good shit in the remaining half of this collection, though. The band seems to have gained some awareness somewhere in 2003-2004 starting out with the Swarrm split (that one is a great band by the way). The vocals are kinda strange, they are not particularly extreme, but their use of multi-layered recordings make them quite personal. The guitarwork has become more contorted without falling in that mathcore shit, but also not purely derivative of Discharge either. I must say there is some personality in this work. What seems to lack however is a good punch. The chemistry seems to have stalled to good levels, but none of these songs gave me even a fair shake. Mostly fast chugs and repetitive shouting. Could be a good choice for those into generic grind, I personally found it quite avoidable.

BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE (Aus): “Extinction|Salvation” Lp Cd 2008 Grindhead

The super shitty cover made me fear for the worse since the beginning. Math-Nu-Post kind of shit a la The End, you know, that kind of intellektual wannabe kind of photography full of shades and blur that guys with emo haircuts like so much. All in all the packaging is not bad, but is so desperately clichéd it gave me headaches.

I remembered the name of the band so I dug back into old Nuclear Abominations reviews and picked it up so I could remember what I thought about them. Uhm. I wasn’t exceedingly critic so maybe something good might come out of this one. If you wish have a look at what I thought of their previous Ep, check that old review I just imported into the new website.

I don’t know in what kind of mood I was back then, but surely the fact I just came back from a Revenge/Angelcorpse gig yesterday won0t help them much. When I attend good gigs, my temper for generic bands tends to shorten. I keep this short: this new BTBG album is boring. The vocals are just as generic as you can imagine. Same old formula of the raspy shrieks meet guttural growls, but neither of them sounding special, both basically a single note “baaah baah baah”… there is some good blasting coming from the drummer but these riffs seems just repeated over and over. If I struggle to isolate the instruments I realize what an impressive kind of shit work the singer made to ruin what could have been a decent grindcore album. Put one capable of even minimal modulation and it could have just made this album another story entirely. This is an album that could appeal some grinder that started with Nasum, but I am pretty sure 1st generation ones will be shrugging their shoulders and go after Heresy and the likes.

BLASPHERIAN (USA-Tx): “Allegiance to the Will of Damnation” Ep 12″ 2007 Die Todesrune

BlaspherianOh my, I am really getting tired of listening to only good bands these days (ah ah)? Seriously speaking, Blaspherian is another of those bands you really do now want to miss from the freshly renewed scene of real Metal of Death: a band that walks the fine line between doomish Death Metal a la Autopsy and Winter and Brutal Satanic Death a la Imprecation, Incantation, Vital Remains, Hibernus Mortis etc. Deep, infernal vocals creep out of a wall of sound made of sludgy riffs and nastily twisted, low tuned distortions – these songs are glorious hymn of blasphemy, obscure and foul, no frills or guitar wanking, just blasphemy. As usual, we’re reminded that you don’t need overly complex guitarwork to make the Death Metal alchemy work – most of these songs are relatively straightforward, but at the same time full of grim dark force. You got all the powerful crunch without the shitty slam wiggerish shit if you know what I mean. This is definitely how Death Metal is meant to sound like. Maybe it is just lacking a little bit of that eerie, disturbing feel of early Incantation to be really perfect (you know, that hidden, malicious vibration), but we’re definitely splitting the hair. If we talk about American bands, this is definitely one of the best I heave heard lately, as the real Death Metal movement seems to be mostly an European thing recently. Blasphemous, deep Death Metal for lovers of dark sounds and guttural brutality.

This album has been released by Die Todesrune, an otherwise pretty inactive label for what concerns true Death Metal, apart from Crucifier from what I remember. They also have a split 7″ out right now on Hell’s Headbangers, sharing vinyl with the excellent band Evil Incarnate. Next to be released is another 7″ by the name of “Unholiness Unleashed” and a second full length by the name of “Infernal Warriors of Death”. No need to say this is the stuff for which is worth spending your money.