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.
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!
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Suffer “On Sour Ground” 7″ EP, technical early not-so-swedish Death Metal with agonizing vocals from Sweden, 1991 New Wave.
I picked out this 7″ randomly from the box but I am glad I can say something about it. The label on which this damn good EP was released wasn’t really known for a high quality roster, I would just mention the classic Loudblast/Agressor split plus a few sparse hardcore/thrashy/punkish crossover records among the few things worth spending a few bucks on. However, they managed to score a good point here. Suffer had a few elements of distinction that separated them from the rest of the Swedish Death Metal bands of their time, tending more towards an American Tampa sound than the mushy swedish HM distortion. They remind me a little a less refined, more visceral version of “Soulside Journey” with that rare kind of painful, heartbreaking vocals a la Morgoth or Dark Millennium. Blasting but not grindcore, with shitloads of tempo changes and solos, this is an EP made by musicians that arguably took their time and effort to put together a song. By the way, this sounds really SO 1991!
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Sacrocurse “Destroying Chapels” 7″ EP, blasphemous raging southern Death Metal from Mexico, 2016 Iron Bonehead
This breed of blasphemic whirlwind of apocalyptic Death Metal expanded from South America upwards to Mexico where the seeds planted by bands like Domain/Ravager obviously grew up to the new standards of Chilean-like barbarity. This EP is probably my favorite recording by the band so far and is nothing short of devastating, it lashes like Abominator or a less guitar shredding version of earlier Angelcorpse with an extra dose of south American intensity, think of the late 90’s Brazilian wave taken to newest standards of production. The Bathory cover closes reasonably well side B but the opening Destroying Chapels is really “a fist in the face of God”, I am really a sucker for these savages of the southern lands, there is a huge need of this music today. A collaborative work between the tentacular Hell’s Headbangers and Iron Bonehead since the beginning the band released a second album two years ago. Go get this 7″ as it’s still quite cheap. It comes with a nice insert and it has something you seldom see anymore these days: lyrics!
Oggi il Dottor Marciume ascolta: Satanik Goat Ritual/Vomit Angel “Cacodemon” split 7″, breathless demonic Black Metal vs ugly and metallic Grindcore, Blasphemous Arts (2019)
What do you get when you assemble rotting shit expelled from Morbosidad and Sadogoat/Sadomator? A hell of a good 7″ I can guarantee with a certificate of sickness. The care taken to release this vinyl is vibrant, it comes with a poster and insert other than a black innersleeve, and the cover itself is a piece of art by none other than Paolo Girardi this time in b/w, I personally love the fact that the art has some reminiscence of old 70’s horror comics and the layout is genuinely simple. The only thing I don’t like is the color on the logos, they could have gone entirely black and white and the final result would have been twice as good, two colors is way too much for the music of Satanas.
Other than that, Satanik Goat Ritual is a monstrously sick creation of grinding southern blasphemy, they have the choking, hyper-saturated sound that locks you in one-inch face to face eye contact with the demons of the Abyss. They have such a suffocating sound that when you turn to Vomit Angel they get a little displaced. I have the whole discography of Sadogoat since day one, but never managed to hear this band before, they sound like a more punkish incarnation but with rotting influences of early grindcore like Gut or Gonkulator, and that vaguely garage atmosphere of late ’80s protodeath metal bands (think of the earlier Nihilist) I am not entirely sold to be honest, they’re certainly raw and I appreciate the uncontrolled attitude but there is some extra alcoholic fun I prefer not to have in my tea. All in all the idea of combining the bands was excellent anyway.
I feel on discomforting ground as I can’t exactly describe the music Sickening Horror is playing on this sophomore album. It might be I haven’t been listening to much stuff lately and my writing is getting progressively rusty with time but I can’t find any acceptable resemblance to make comparisons. Even if it’s another galaxy entirely, we can imagine a cross between late Carbonized or Oxiplegatz (only to give an idea of how freaky the songwriting is) with touches of Immolation (hey there’s even Dolan doing backing vocals here on one track!) or Disincarnate here and there. Overall, it’s quite unusual for a band to reach this level of asymmetry without sounding like a patchwork of riffs (see my previous review on Deny The Urge). I won’t disregard this band as just another technical death metal project since playing skill is certainly not the end here, but a mean to create a weird sound landscape. A jagged landscape of trippy angular and dissonant Death Metal for sure, yet I can’t say all this is extremely brutal nor aggressive which is the reason I can’t really rate it astonishingly high. Let’s face it once and for all: Death Metal is not about samba. I certainly do appreciate that these guys are able to create something unique, and I really like the fairly muddled obscure production that makes me go back to the earlier days of Disharmonic Orchestra but I prefer something a little bit more straightforward today. My best suggestion however would be to listen to the whole album before giving opinions because there’s something highly operatic working on here which can be enjoyed only in its entirety. It doesn’t happen often that I am not bothered by warped melodies and swirling solos, but here we’re on really capable hands. These guys play the only way I can actually appreciate extreme variation. This is very good work even if I am not entirely in my element. Of all the records I have reviewed recently, this might be one of the few I actually encourage you to buy.
Good things can be said about the packaging as well. The booklet is a 16 page monster with rather good lyrics worth a read (quite conceptual), and while I skipped a bit on the cover art in the beginning, I now find it fitting the concept as the whole thing has this hypnotic stile like an Origin booklet made well (and blow up my house, but I find this band more interesting that Origin as well).
Please give me some minutes to recover from the extreme pain of watching this thing, because this is possibly the worse album I have seen in SEVERAL years. As for the music, hey I will not start spoling the fun here. Let’s just stick on the horrendous layout for a few seconds. First and foremost, the logo is only mediocre but succeeds in looking even worse with an effect of INNER shading, a shade that goes from GREEN to ORANGE. Did I forget to premise that this album is supposed to be a Death Metal album? After the summer ice cream poster color scheme, my eyes move on to the cover where an appalling work of computer tricks awkwardly glue together, in order: a pair of forearms with the logo (thus repeated twice) tattooed on, two tiny pixie feti, an upside down cadaver with crotch hair on the head and a sunset over a red sea plus random stitches, eyes and corpses. Now this is really something that could compete to the first pressing of Broken Hope’s “Swamped in Gore” (the almighty cover with the chessboard).
The greatest part of this layout however lies not on cover, nor on the multi-colored and multi-font inner spread with its amazing arrangement of graphic files with different hues of black and randomly placed corpses, but… the tray! I can’t describe this thing clearly enough, you have to see this thing: I haven’t mentioned it before, but this is a ONE MAN BAND. Just to make it clear that our Napoleon Dynamite rocker-edition is playing everything he took care to have pictures of himself playing all the instruments, subsequently arranging the photos close to the logos of the companies like he is getting an endorsement from Yamaha or Ibanez! Please note he has gloves when playing drums and a cap while playing guitar. Oh, what an clever trickster he is, what a sly deceiver!
Please have a look at the fonts and the color of the spines! PURE DEATH METAL!
Having reached this point, NOT skipping Einstein quotes and statements of intent on how this one man band from Wyoming is going to contribute to the glorious history of Death Metal, I am now braced to hear it.
It starts out with George Carlin making clever statements on how ridiculous religion is. Not my idea on how to start a Death Metal album but let’s go on! Rob/Dynamite actually smashes all by playing his own kind of death metal in the same genuine vein of the Italian Metal college bands I heard when I was a teenager, with mid-atrocious tarantella tempos going on forever and flat vocals that just follow the same pace of the aimless (but technical!) chugging over and over. Not happy with this slab of sloppiness however, Rob/Dynamite is daring enough to make it even worse with some spine-chilling accelerations, merry epic metal melodies, keyboard sweeps, phone call samples and much more. I am impressed since all that should NOT be in a good Death Metal album is neatly arranged here for convenience save, apparently, for the drum machine, (Rob takes pride in playing a real set!). The funny stuff is that this album even has a BARCODE and a punch-hole, just in case I was lucky enough to get some retard buy this thing for 1 euro you know. Man I haven’t finished to hear it once and I am already freaking out. Is there no end to the pain? He continuously manage to place arpeggios, epic guitar shreds with lyrics that could compete with Metallica’s incredibly aggressive radio track “Escape” and to top it off – a fucking KISS cover! This is a real masterpiece of not-awesomeness, goes straight between my demo tapes of Mototronko and Die!