Here I am again for another 15 minutes of rants about older shit.
Here I am again for another 15 minutes of rants about older shit.
Here is another video for consumption. As always my spoken english sucks more than my written one ahah. But what the fuck.
Yeah might sound naive, but at the moment it looks like the fastest way to update this website and drop some review of older shit while I put together material for the paper zine. Hypotetically, the printed version will hold only reviews of records released in 2014 to 2016, while I’ll save older stuff for YouTube. Let me know if you like the idea.
Metal is Death, Death is Metal
Nunslaughter Death Metal
This might certainly sound like the single weirdest article you might read on the departure of Jim Konya/Sadist/Lasagna, as I won’t hide the fact I never met this guy in my life. I cannot really understand why I never had the chance to talk with him, by chat or letter or face to face, as exploring the dozens of posts and memories that have popped on the Internet recently we certainly had a lot to share. In any case, putting together all the pieces of the puzzle from the various sources, not to mention some interviews I have read/watched lately, there is a lot we can learn from this guy. He definitely knew how to live this life properly.
I had a friend like him once who died of liver cancer just a couple of years ago. Still today he is my greatest if not the only role model I have ever had, the person I think of when I am going through difficult times. What would he do if he was in my situation? Something just reverberates correctly when I think about the passion and generosity of such persons. It might sound unfair to file them under a common roof as each one of them was certainly unique, but I find so many similiarities I just find it impossible not to. Luckily I know a couple of other people with that spirit. Not more than five or six, and they’ve been the only ones I have kept in touch during the long time during which I was basically out of the whole music “scene”. Unsurprisingly, they’re the ones who always manage to drag me into this “scene” every time.
“Scene” is a word the guys in Isten (most possibly just Mikko I guess but bear with me) just could not stand. Over fifteen years ago it (I’ll talk of Isten as a single, free willed entity) realized that things were not aligning properly. Scene demands proper form. Scene demands brotherhood, blindfold support (even of shitty bands), demands proper attire and as much homogenous thinking as possible. Weird stuff, for a music apparently created by the Devil, rebel card number 1. I personally mostly skipped the habits of scene-dom for the most of my life, save probably my very first years into it, could not care less you know. Every couple of years a new trend sets in, some I like, some I don’t, hell sometimes I just don’t care about listening to music at all for weeks.
But basically, are people like Jim and Isten on the opposite sides of the spectrum? I personally believe not. Isten certainly has its snobbish halo, and that I never liked, but it was undoubtedly spot on regarding the whole “Scene” thing: scene is glossy, big cumbersome and glossy as national metal magazines can be, all of them aligned to lick the ass to the same people. But above anything else it is false, it is form above content, and I could set my balls on a grill if Jim was into punk and metal for anything else but content. Obviously in metal appearance and aesthetics ARE content as well, but that is another story entirely. I am not talking about patches and metal vests here. The question is now: can you be as well liked like him without being a “scene queen”? Your answer resides in a couple dozens of articles like this that have been written ever since Jim’s departure.
I have never lived music as a religion. My passion and interest wanes and grows in cycles and it always did. When I am into it, I am really into it and that is the single most important lesson I have learned from people like Jim and my old friend. Life’s to short to live anybody elses life, even if it’s called “scene”.
Passion, honesty, truth, sharing good music for free, actually listening to the records you buy and not fearing to say an album is shit when everybody else is praising it. That is the lesson I believe we all should learn from these people. Since Jim is no more, it’s really up to us to fill his void by trying to live a little bit of his legacy, I certainly will try to. This time, this is really a call to arms.
Sorry pal for having never managed to meet you on this Earth, we have a lot of sick shit to trade down in the pits of Hell, wait for me.
In one of my previous posts I mentioned that the trip to Finland gave me some renewed energy and hope for the whole music “thing” going on today. Since I came back I recovered a few habits I almost lost over time: I listen to music more carefully, I truncate bullshit as soon as it turns out, I also have some creative ideas I cannot wait to put into effect. basically there is some good shit going on nowadays. Certainly way better than that obscure period that went from 1994 to 2000. I am not entirely sure about 100% of this “old school renaissance” but for sure I can tell you there are some ripe fruits here and there and certainly some sincere enthusiasm which is basically what we all should focus on, I believe.
The first project I have in mind is to go back to print. I came back home with a couple of flyers and some ‘zines and caught in a stream of consciousness I went back to my old fanzines, and started browsing for hours. Ten it just clicked.
In the past brewed the idea to collect all the reviews of the last 10 years or so that appeared on the webzine/blogzine on paper, but at the moment the idea doesn’t sound to me as satisfying as writing new ones, possibly with stuff not older than two years (time in this brand of music moves slowly after all, and I already stressed enough the fact that nobody reads paper zines anymore for “fresh data” – just have a look at Compilation of Death, the various opera omnias of Isten, Voices from the Darkside or Slayer, or this recent Reborn from Ashes). Yet again just going through old zines and copying and pasting other people works definitely does not suit me. And on top of that, I can think of very, very few fanzines that covered goregrind extensively, Impaired from France was possibly the only one with some regularity. There are a few good fanzines today, but I found many of them either too glossy and too professional looking, or too thin and amateurish. And then there’s the clones, they stand in a category of their own. What I seldom gather today is passion, reading these recent fanzines is seldom entertaining. I am not sure if I can win the challenge of doing something different, but I will try.
So that is why I will be busy in the next weeks. Hopefully not years, although with fanzines you’ll never know. Wisdom heartily invites me to work full time on the distro so to collect money for releases long due, but at the end of the day, like Morbid Angel say, “you only die once”, so let’s just go with the wind.
After the long afterparty that culminated in drinking vodka and random liquors with Polish and Estonian headbangers I had the clever idea to sleep straight to noon (drinking water to limit hangover) and skip tourist traps for a day. Might have been relax, might have been the fresh weather, I woke up completely fit, rested and with no hangover whatsoever, ready for another day of sickness. Yay.
A quick walk with a bleeding foot and the ever present thought of the via crucis and the passion of Jesus Christ brought me to the day of the main events. Happy I was to arrive just in time to see… (personal ratings between brackets, I still like to do that shit, sue me!).
This band completely blew me to pieces. Part Massacre, part Carcass, part “The Day Man Lost” era Carnage, and an ever-clinging Repulsion feel, everything blended together and with some of the best, most crushing sounds I have heard during that day: this band was a complete surprise, whoah! I heard some stuff on recording but I was not ready for the complete massacre that they were able to wreak on stage. Carcass inspired music is cool per se but when you bastardize everything with elements from other old school masters you really get *the* shit. Of all the “new” bands I saw at the fest, this is with Krypts definitely the one that impressed me the most. I certainly didn’t see it coming.
I did dig Festerday on studio recordings. Actually I somehow enjoyed their re-recordings of older songs on the Svart collection even better than the original tapes (which admittedly I never owned in original form, just dubs), something that happens very, very rarely. Yet for some reason that escapes me I wasn’t completely taken by their live performance, might be that Cadaveric Incubator did such a great show beforehand, who knows, they just did not have the same punch as I was expecting. Nevertheless the was intense and left me with the lingering desire to sit down on my couch this weekend and listen once more to the Svart collection with some more attention.
I can’t conceal the fact that this band intrigues me like very few others recently. Their approach to music is basically the same I always searched for my fanzine as well. This is a band that only recorded stuff on tape so far, and distilled the filthiest aspect of everything sick in the classic old School Death Metal sound into a twisted, gruesome monstrosity. Autopsy for sure, but also a lot of other raw sickness, too many and yet none in particular influences to mention. I am pretty certain that the show hid something I could not appreciate completely as I still had no chance to listen to the songs before and the drummer which I asked for copies is not answering my emails since August. If someone who reads this blog could dub their releases to me, please do get in touch because I really dig this stuff (info @ nuclearabominations dot com thanks).
This band was a joke, period. I could (yet again, maybe not) get over the Sunday morning old bored husbands doing plumbing work attire. but I cannot stand these terrible, terrible vocals and happy as lark riffs. I still maintain that this band was not that special even in the pre-Nookleptia days, always retaining that slight tongue in cheek humour I basically find annoying in this music (unless you can properly handle it but there are so few bands capable of that). Not a fan of the records, I found them two steps worse on stage, and I had to suffer through them TWICE. Argh. Whatever. This was probably the only bad spot I could remember in the whole festival. Sometimes the Emperor is just naked, you know.
This is the band of Pekka and Saku from Pestigore, and they’re good, in a maybe more modern kind of “honest solid Death Metal” good. I can’t really find anything to complain about their show, as everything was in place, maybe lacking that darker, dismal touch one could expect from a Finnish band. Dem plus Gorephilia could be a good show.
(live 2013, no cr)
I was expecting something more from this band actually, but then sometimes exceedingly long time spans somehow alter your perceptions. I loved the vocals of Necropsy on their older stuff and honestly I heard the two albums they released after the reunion just for a few seconds and with limited attention, as I always do with online music (I prefer to give full attention only when I listen to the physical stuff with a booklet or lyric sheet in my hands).
This is basically what I was expecting
Hear the phlegmy, gargling throat? The muddy, muffled sound? The twisted and slightly dissonant riffing? Well I couldn’t hear any of that at the show. Mostly a lot of chugs for which I have no special love. So what could I say? I really was into Necropsy 1.0, not so much sure about Necropsy 2.0.
A surprise for most everybody at the show where (we) attendants were mostly in the 30-40s range with somebody even slightly above that bar. There was certainly some kind of enthusiasm in seeing such young people playing with such passion and full blast force. I recognize most of us were that young or younger when we all had our own small local bands in the past, but seeing them in the middle of such geriatric wasteland was super cool. Even with eyes closed, this band gifted the festival with a great show, perfectly capturing the vibe with an interesting concoction of Finn/Swedish Death Metal with some grinding flavour (read “grind” as in pre-Nasum filthy “grind”, not that shit that goes as “grind” today).
(not that show, but I forgot to take pictures, sorry :v)
The festival was interrupted in the afternoon to give everybody the chance to eat a bite or two and move to this Bar Kino for Lantern/Lubricant (sigh)/Rippikoulu. I stopped at a local Thai restaurant and arrived late at the venue, so I completely missed…
I am still pissed off for having missed this band, fuck. On studio recording they’re so twisted with all that spiraling guitarwork I could not decide whether I liked them or not. I was hoping in a live show to understand if the band was an act or genius or just another attempt at something different. I guess I’ll catch them some other time, I have time, I am immortal.
I give this band two ratings because I have completely opposite opinions on their older and newer stuff. First off I was immediately hooked by the beautiful horse jockey cap that the hipster guy that turned out to be the singer showcased on stage.
In any case, the venue was big, clean, and the sound crisp and loud. Also the waitress that collected empty beer glasses was the most beautiful girl I have seen in my life and I had the urge to rip my eyes out with my hands every time she walked close to my couch, but with a couple of shots I could move my attention back to the stage. Jesus. Dat… Never mind.
Like I mentioned before, the old stuff was great. Crushing Death Doom of top quality and performed with no fallacies. The vocalist despite the terrible hipster outfit actually had some powerful vokillz, the songs had that vaguely drone-like hypnotic pattern, and combined to the theatre-like set up they were given the end result was memorable almost as much as the ass of the waitress.
What I didn’t like though were the new songs, which somehow sounded completely different from the old stuff to my ears. It’s like they dared a couple of times in that same ground walked by bands like Skepticism, and believe me, you DON’T want to fight Skepticism in their own element. Doom/Death is fine and welcome any time, as Solothus showed later with impressive taste and dedication, but do not dare to play symphonic “funeral” stuff when you play just before Skepticism or believe me it’s really going to be embarrassing. And it was.
Did I mention the waitress in this venue was otherwordly? I should write a review for her on Tripadvisor.
The walk back to the Annis was mostly uneventful, lots of sticky beer all over the toilet floor, somebody collapsed on the streets. Nothing noteworthy.
I still believe “Silence of the Centuries” is the most representative Finnish Death Metal album (EP actually) ever. If someone asked me how Finnish Death Metal sounded like, I won’t blink for a second and shove that one in his hands. Yet the show wasn’t exactly the way I expected. As with Necropsy, I had probably way too high expectations. Sometimes you get “romantically” attached to an idea which just doesn’t turn out the way you expected. Who knows. The show was flawless from what I can tell but I just could not connect the way I expected. In any case, great songs.
Another big surprise in the new fertile ground of Doom/Death, give me Solothus over any new Rippikoulu any time. Certainly they walk very safe, widely familiar ground and I could not really gather any exceedingly original ideas, but what the fuck, as far as it’s well played and has all the right elements, I am totally in for this kind of Death/Doom. And they don’t have that shitty 70’s sound mixed in either, which is a big big plus in my book. Flawless stuff that could turn into something interesting in the future if they manage to “have it”.
The bomb dropped in order to close the festival. Even before leaving I found it a perfect choice to close the event with Skepticism, but never I could imagine such a live show. That one has really been one of the most intense, heart rending performances I have seen in my life. They have all the bullshit of a symphonic band, but the way they arrange everything, the end result is something completely unpredictable, these guys are Artists with capital “A”, you really feel like being part of a masterpiece when they play. I have been into this band for a long time, but live, they are from another planet, like the ass of the waitress at the Bar Kino. Tired, drunk, with the lingering awareness that I would be back to my country the day after, I completely abandoned myself to the sea of sadness and abandonment that the band brought to the Annis. There were moments they were so intense I was actually shivering. I was shaking for minutes after the show ended, I swear. There is no way I could describe what is going on then Skepticism play, if you ever manage to see them live, especially in the same mood I was, you are going to remember it.
I skipped Exthenia, Retaliatory Measures, Cannibal Accident (the first two bands were horrible from what I listened online anyway) preferring to finish my bottle of Terva on a bench in the park with an headbanger from Turku with an Autopsy sweatshirt that was waiting for the train.
That convivial drinking and subsequent moderate hangover in the truest metal tradition concluded my experience at the Finnish Death Metal festival, the best festival I have ever been to, bar none. Perfect location, right amount of people, completely relaxed atmosphere, everybody in there to have good time AND listen to the bands, which is something I seldom find nowadays anymore. Great music for music’s sake, from headbangers for headbangers. Save for some bullshit like my bleeding foot, everything went the way I expected and even better. Rumors linger about a possible second in the far future, if I will still be alive, I will certainly be there.
Also do yourself a favor and check these great, great pictures of the event: http://www.cvltnation.com/cvlt-nation-covers-the-finnish-death-metal-maniacs-fest/
Imagine a warm place by the seaside. Hot sand like flour, a large cup beside the hammock brimming with sweet ripe fruits and grilled fish. Drinking white rum with a straw from a huge coconut. Now reverse that: Finland is the exact opposite. From a mediterranean perspective, it’s a stern, unassuming place. Compared to our cuisine the spectrum of taste is relatively narrow, mostly from what I could experience about cream, herrings, salmon and vodka. Yet, once you calibrate your tastes there are a lot of interesting variations ready to be picked up. The morning after the warm up event I went to the city hall and market to buy something that looked like local food. The first thing I noticed was that they consume a lot of soup. Soup’s Finland equivalent of pasta fpr us pagliaccio-italianbaffi-neri-mandolino-pizza, soups over which they pour solid slabs of cream, just to make it all the more unhealthier for your cardiovascular system. Considering I am an obese person I was totally in my element as that city had the largest number of overweight people I have ever seen. Thick boned maybe, but I have seen very few skinny guys, and girls were mostly lovely smooth and curvy *deep breath*.
Raw fish is probably a blessing in these places as it helps maintaining arteries clean out all that saturated fat floating in a lot of dishes. The old fishmonger probably had a soft spot for me as after buying some random herrings she offered me a nice potato and salmon soup which was nothing short of delicious.
Another mandatory stop when I travel abroad is the supermarket. I am a freak for colored, disgustingly sweet sodas and drinks: to me the more artificial and chemical looking the better and this supermarket was like ridiculously filled with that shit – from fruit flavored water (what the?) to a wall of yoghurts and milk derived random things I could not decrypt (oddly, very few labels had english translations and the 4G signal was feeble so I could not check),
We had the chance to drink a couple of beers at the Monttu pub (which actually looked way cooler than what I could tell from Google Street View before the show started especially considering there was another bigger place downstairs where the afterparty shows took place.
More drinks right out of the venue were accompanied by meeting a few new friends from all over Europe and Americas. It was cool to see people I only had written letters of paper and ink decades ago, and was also nice to meet new people. The atmosphere was so laid back and relaxed I felt like being on vacation. Cheers to all the guys I met from Spain, Poland, Estonia, USA, Chile, Germany and a couple more from Italy as well! The merchandise rotated a bit and I was tempted to buy a couple of books but some of them I already owned in different editions, other were frighteningly expensive, the shirts were too small for me and vinyl I didn’t want to carry so I just got some more tapes and let it be for now.
The real event starts out in full blast with one of the bands I looked forward to see live the most. Let me state two things before I start:
Seeing Witchery live was a little bit like being in this land in 1990 for a few minutes. The pure bestial necro-bastard suffocating sound, the raspy, phlegmy vocals, the distorted and bass-soaked crackling sound was like a whirlwind of old school blasphemy in an ageless venue. Despite the very simple structures the result was impressive. Black, like Thash metal, is all about the riffs after all (as well as aesthetics, let’s not dismiss that). You certainly could go unnoticed with a bad Death Metal riff, but there is no hiding in this branch of music. Total 8+ performance for me, everything was just as it should have been, including the ugly corpsepaint. Brilliant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEqQ8AIy1CQ (video not mine, check the channel)
This is a band I was obsessed with during my old tapetrading days. Like I wrote on the pre-festival rants, I was a role playing nerd (well I still am, but bear with me) and the name Pestigor(e) stuck because it was the name of a pestilence demon in the Warhammer fictional setting. Pestigore certainly had some solid Bolt Thrower influences in sound, so why not in the looks? At the time IIRC Bolt Thrower even had an endorsement from Games Workshop (together with a terrible HM band whose name I can’t remember). So I finally managed to see this band live after over twenty years (by the way the average age at the festival was way higher that I even imagined thanks Pestigor this time I was not the older fuck around!) and it definitely delivered. Impressive show chock full of adrenaline, you could really perceive when passion still drives fingers and throat I guess. I am not a big fan of heavy chugging but framed in a contest of blasting and BTesque sound everything was in order. Pestigore basically gave me what I was expecting, nothing more nothing less, honest stuff. I shall rate this as 7.
I mostly compare Gorephilia as the Morbid Angel – “Formulas” era – of Finnish Death Metal, plus a couple of other more traditional stuff like Diabolic. Their sound is atypical for a Finnish band but not slamming cricket vocals kind of American. They started out with “Black Horns” and shot 7 tracks of pretty much intense, well structured stuff. This is a band of 10+ years of experience so it shows. Flawless but maybe without that dark touch that makes the Finnish sound stand out. I’ll say 7 here, maybe a little more.
What can I say, this band has been in my top favorite three ever for a long time. Actually I still do believe they’re one of the greatest bands of all time. There is something cryptical and yet completely AWARE in their sound which sounds just touched by some cosmically evil grace (more possibly a cenobite-like kind of divine), Demilich is the gate on earth to the sixteen-sixth regional dimension. A work of art of twisted guitar structures, trippy names and classy artworks. It is a MASSIVE concept, sculpted with micron level precision. Shit, even their logo is unique. I can’t hold back the claim that this was also my favorite band at the festival, a band that also showed to be able to play their songs flawlessly AND faster than recorded on album. Singing along like a teenager, I drank avidly every second I was there in front of the stage staring at a piece of time collapsing into itself in a swollen ball of encrypted signals. Not only the show was perfect on EVERY single aspect, including the low ceiling and flashing lighting that just continued to eat itself at every frame, but it was also beyond cool to meet these guys I have been in touch for so long after the show ended. They’re also quite different from what I expected, from some interviews I thought Antti was some kind of anti social guy but that turned out to be quite the opposite, he’s a nerdy guy with a black and bleak sense of humour just like me, ah ah. The drummer Mikko was the coolest, most laid back man I have met in all my staying. Seeing such an amazing band being made up of such amazing people was just the perfect peak of the whole trip to me and still makes me wonder about all that shit about rock stars and all the fuss ordinary people go through for their shitty bands :D. This is a show that oscillates between 9 and a 10 in my book.
Meh, wish I could like this band better. I do like the doom-death idea, hell some of my favorite bands could be filed as “Doom/Death”, but I cannot stand the “70’s Doom” vibe i find on some of Cemetery Fogs riffs. I am not a Black Sabbath fan, I do have some albums of course but I am definitely not a diehard freak. But I definitely loathe everything that tries to come close that wailing distorted sound. Influences aside, there is a thin line between unripe and minimalist and I somehow believe Cemetery Fog are kinda unripe as well. They oscillate between barely OK to No-No for my tastes. Their performance to me was a 5.
Maveth is a good band, like with Gorephilia if I had to find them a place in a record shelf I’d go with “American Death”, with some strong Swedish crunch added in. Maveth’s sound is elliptical, riffs that churn and swallow themselves in cycles dragging you into the vortex. The show to me was quite impressive for its hypnotic properties, few bands manage to be heavy as fuck and create long waves of crushing sound like them, good stuff. 7 in my book too.
Let’s try to forget the 1994 album “Reflections”, some blood clot must have hit these guys brains back then. But I heard the new album “Evil Prevails” several times before giving up to Convulse, because “World Without God” was solid shit. And honestly speaking, I was not completely inspired by their live show either. From what I could hear they mostly did stuff from the first album and just one song from the braindead period and just two from the last one. Whatever. I just could not get much energy at all – I would not go beyond a 5.
Now find a good riff here and tell me, because I could not find any:
There are bands like Convulse (or the Swedish Sorcery for instance) that just can’t make it to capture their old feelings no matter how much they struggle, and then there is Archgoat, which are every inch as good as the day they recorded “Angelcunt” almost 25 years ago. If there is a better Black Metal band existing today, let me know because the two shows I saw by them were earth shattering. Archgoat live is a forced trip to hell with your body submerged in broken glass. The only time I saw anything this mesmerizing recently was Anatomia and that was another genre entirely. Not only they play the perfect form of Black Metal / “Metal of Death” but they do it just as good on record than live. Powerful show with a huge punch and possibly in the top three I have seen at the festival. I really like this band, but it really is even better than I can describe, if you ever have the chance to see them live, DO IT. Full 9 to the show.
This bands places in between the two before in terms of keeping the flame alive. Pre-reunion “Drowned records” Purtenance were in my top list with their unmatched brutality and powerful sound and you know what the last album is also good I think, not exactly as good as the old one, if not for a crisper, cleaner, more modern sound (which I do not like, obviously), but almost as good as “I’d buy it”. On stage however I was not hooked at all. I could hear a lot of chugs and a lot of crunch but no feeling at all. I’d go for a 6, just because there was nothing systematically wrong with the show in itself, but you know, I was expecting something better.
We were drinking and frolicking during the after-show so I watched the three bands playing at the Monntu just a little, mostly listening to them on a seat while doing else. I remember Axeslaughter being somehow fun with their vicious, raw sounding thrashing Death, the rest however was mostly to forget, not to say shitty *wink*.