26 January, 2012

Eventually a review of Dodecahedron's much-hyped debut.

It is no secret I am an impetuous fool. That sentence could serve, at once, as my resumé in full, the working title of the biopic that will never be filmed based on the worst, un-selling never even written autobiography bearing the same title, my epitaph and, by switching "is" and "I" to "was" and "he," - wait . . . say it outloud to make sure it's right: It was no secret he am an - Shoot! Anyway, I'm an impetuous fool. And when you put an impetuous fool like myself with idle hands on the internet. Well . . .

Let's just say there's really no gauging what he's capable of. This morning, for instance, after lacerating my middle finger very badly (not pictured above) while doing stupid dishes, I felt I deserved a reward, even though I didn't actually "do" all the dishes, but still handled getting cut like a big boy, and what's better for a new booboo than a new present? So I went out and bought Dodecahedron's self-titled debut, which came out on Tuesday, the 24th. Called Eide's on Wednesday to see if they had it and was gonna see if Marge could pick it up for me on her way home, but she was already on the bus. So I went down today and picked it up as well as a mint condish used copy of Incantation's Diabolical Conquest. Stoked on the latter. 

The former, however, well . . . the former, I'm sad to say, somewhat caused me to impetuously, and quite foolishly blast off on the poor, unassuming RICHARD who reviewed the Dodacahedron album for Lurker's Path, which review, as you might assume, only exacerbated my fixation on mustneedsing to jamz it. Sure, I could streamz it all I wanted on a number of websites, but something about really hyped albums just drive me wild! I go into the same mode I was in when I used to swoon in the middle of the G.I. Joe aisle at Big Wheel such was my "tizzy," or fit, after a toy was withheld from me. Okay, maybe not quite like that. And I only did that once, to be honest. And it was actually over a troll, a Santa Fey Troll, to be more specific, and I was probably cranky because I was hungry, as we always stopped at Arby's after we went shopping and never before, probably because of my mother's bowel movement patterns which I know because 1.) I inherited them, and 2.) she kept a daily log (no puntended) concerning each BM and its various attributes, and also her menstrual cycle, which daily log I would read at length, even at a very young age, as I've always had a proclivity for reading while I BM'd, doing so, I should not fail to mention, in the Forbidden Zone, which is what I used to call my parents' bathroom, where sat a true porcelain throne with an honest-to-God plush, somehow cushion-y seat, like the kind I'm sure one of your relatives had. Something about hyped records, though, I gotta own them. I can't even listen to them before I do. Okay, I streamed "Allfather" on Deciblog or somewhere and didn't pay much attention, but I heard what sounded like some Burnt By The Sun in there. As you may or may not know, BBTS is one of my fav. Bs O.A.T. So, Dodecahedron (who used to go by Order of the Source Below and somehow figured that Dodecahedron was a more "marketable" or "memorable" nom de guerre for this Dutch quintet), became the most recent record I had to hear, had to own, had to talk about with Margaret all the time, and had to read every review of it floating around the vast underground metal internet. (Even Obstkrieg was telling me to buy it; in my dreams, approaching me in a desert at night, heavy brume curling like so many loving ghostcats around our ankles, whispering: "The old sounds are the safe sounds; cut loose your moorings and get hurt by the new noise.") See also: Mitochondrion's Parasignosis, Encoffination's O' Hell, Shine in Thy Whited Sepulchres, Krallice's Diotima. Anticipating an album you KNOW in your freaking HEART will be great and not having heard it yet and going to the record store and buying it and listening to immediately thereafter is a rare pleasure in this day and age, I think we can all agree. So when the drive home lasted only two songs worth, and those two songs were awesome, I couldn't wait to jam the rest. By now, I'll assume you've read my comment on Lurker's Path. You know that I listened to "at least 6 times," which was half-true, by the way, meaning that I'd listened to it about three times, counting the two songs I heard in my car in the way home as one time, heh heh. But what else would you expect from an impetuous fool? Really . . . Remember my review of The Hunter?

Truthfully, this record is a work of art that can only be understood after many listens over the span of several days. It will grab you on the first listen, but it might also disappoint you in the beginning as it did cranky ol' Dutchy. It's got layers, ya know? I think DhOk puts it best when it he speaks of " its shimmering black layers and chest-wracking vitriol." It's not a good thing we can listen to Darkthrone demos without flinching or even noticing how scathing and terrifying of a sound it is to most people. This record only bored me at first because it was, at first, inaccessible to me. It's way too complex to be ingested and immediately appreciated for all it's worth upon merely its introductory listens. But Dodecahedron's self-titled debut is worth your time many times over.  Sure it's rooted in a sound already pioneered by Deathspell Omega, but mere clones DSO clones they are not. Besides DSO is so enigmatic they defy any hope some poseur might have of ripping them off. Really, this is kind of a cause célèbre for metalheads in the year of 2012: A record by a new band, containing a relatively new sound that's actually worth buying*.

Eventually, I hope to learn how to write proper album reviews. For now, I'm hungry. But I am awaiting the new Ptahil in the mail. I'll give it another shot with that one. 

Question to self from self: Is this hype - possibly - all in your mind?
Answer to self from self: Fuck you!

*Leave a comment if you want me to email you (my own) link for the mp3s to check out.

25 January, 2012

Attention: Surviving members of Generation Hexxx

Nordic Surf legend Raze s, pale of spirit and wicked at heart, born under the Schizophrenic sign when the moon was held hostage in the house of Mars, god of war, has risen to average-to-proficient at slaying guitar-cum-screamsinging, and continues to progress and learn more every day, feeding off of pigs' brains for strength and mindpower, consuming piglet, gilt and sow the same, braking for nothing on his path to global sonambulation, and is now seeking a (1) bassist and a (1) drummer for punk band, whose influences include, but not limited to Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon, Sonic Youth's Sister, and Wipers' Over the Edge, sailing beneath the infernal banner of  DEEPWATER HORIZON. //All applicants must be average-to-proficient-to-downright-fucking-insane. Be prepared to rock, unworthy applicant. Be prepared to become unimaginatively intimate with parts of yourself, dark, hidden away, scary parts, you were completely unaware existed. Come explore and experiment with the human spirit's capacity to endure malignamous evil and invoke the foretold apocalypse of mortal earth, or at least be playing a show, incidentally, when it happens, - so that means we'd better get on it!

Ben? Mike? Anyone?

24 January, 2012

Adrenal Rebuilders is people!

Well, not quite. But close: Porcine. Which is the delicate way of saying pork. More specifically, the main ingredient is "Porcine glandulars." Pig brains, y'all. Been taking little capsules of ground pig brains for ≥ 2 years! Holy shit. Kinda feel like a zombie.

"Gonad?!" Really?


19 January, 2012

A Community College-Made Renaissance Man

Here's my first completed assignment of the semester. It's funny how shamefully honest I am when I write hungry. This was written yesterday afternoon. I had been (unintentionally) fasting for the past 12+ hours. Both Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway write about the advantages of "working" hungry. Actually, I think Ernest Hemingway just talks about going to the Louvre while he's hungry and how it gives him a much keener vision and awareness, and appreciation, too, I bet. Man, I love the idea of a gaunt, eurotrashy Hemingway leaning over the railing of some footbridge in provincial Paris staring at the "pebbly-colored" fish swim around in the clear, "pebbly-bottomed" river.

Here ya go . . .

David Pearce
English Literature – ENG101
Mr. Anderson
January 18th, 2012

“Why am I taking this course.” in looping cursive. Below that “I am running over the hills -” and then I couldn’t read what it said; the hand apparently lost control and went looping along on its own accord, having ventured too far from the body, it seemed. My fourth class of the day - the first being English Comp. 102, incidentally; then Pre-Calc., and then Intro. to Astronomy, then, next thing I know, I’m sitting in a little room in a part of the library I was unaware existed, after being led in - and led on - by a bespectacled young lady who walked as if merely doing so pained her very much.
“218D?” the bespectacled young lady asked me, having overheard me ask two other students who were “dillydallying” between the escalators if they knew where I could find Room 218D.
“That’s my class,” the young lady said, and nothing more.
 I can’t recall if I spoke in those moments before we came upon the classroom. My whole day had been a swirling maelstrom: so many of my old classmates to “catch up” with, so many future assignments to ignore for the time being, so that they stand together as one ominous, brooding monolith in the back of my mind. Thank God for my latest mantra: “I can only do one thing at once.” (Also, while I’ve got ya on the line, God, I ask that You please have mercy upon all whom appear before You today.) So, to be honest, I really could’ve been spewing fragmented thoughts to the helpful young lady the whole half-minute walk to the classroom and not even known I was doing it. Like, what’s just happened here for instance! I’ve gone and rambled away a full page already. Well, I could spend the next several hours sketching my hour experience in your class today, Prof. Anderson, but instead I’ll sum up why I’m taking your class in the next few lines, and then promptly return to Plato and his ascetic wisdom.
I’m taking your class, Prof. Anderson, for the same reason Faust took Mephistopheles' “bargain.” I am hungry to learn and to be educated, and to step out from my cave of autodidactic ignorance and base sensuality. Allow me to be ingenuous: I realized a long time ago that immortality is up to oneself, and the best shot I’ve got at having people remember my name – and let he among us who does not yearn deep in his heart to be remembered cast the first scoff  - but the best shot I have at being remembered is by telling great stories. Stories that people will remember even after I give up the ghost. Stories beneath the banner of my name. Does that make me a little megalomaniacal? Probably, but, luckily, the DSM no longer recognizes Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a legitimate mental illness. So, then, besides being (read: fancying myself as a regular) Faust/the Master from The Master and Margarita/Ivan Karamazov/Dr. Frankenstein, it’s clear that I’m also Narcissus, staring into the stagnant pond, unaware of the vast panorama beyond my own reflection. Enter Plato . . .

17 January, 2012

Also, this happened.

Take a lil' trip . . .


Get ready to shit your guys' pants. Here's a handful of truly haunting, seriously demon invoking (somewhat) recent USBM(-ish) records to keep warm by. Cuz I know your apartment's probably cold as a tomb just like mine. (But I hope you've also got a lil' snugglebunny you can go to on the especially cold nights; and possibly your lil' snugglebunny also lives in the same apartment complex as a rheumatic old Jewish woman who keeps the whole building at a suffocating, feverish heat -  talkin' like 87°F - year round.) So put these records on, in succession, or mixed up in a playlist like I do, and sit and wait for that brain fever [dower: Bug, don't watch that if you click it) to start cooking in your head. Before you know it, a whole retinue of friends will be headbanging beside you, having appeared, as it seems, out of thin air, and why shouldn't they have? for the air around us is the essence of His kingdom. And though He wants most of all to help, He is condemned, like Atlas who keeps the world on his back, to wield and work Evil behind the guise of working good, to spread the Qelippot seed and offer Its fruit to the willing and unwitting alike. So don't be frightened when you're jamming these records as loud as they'll go and suddenly an "impossible" looking man wearing a pince-nez taps you on the shoulder and asks if you'd "be so kind as to turn it up, just a smidge, thank you, darling." Remember, they're only hallucinations, they can't hurt you.

Von Goat - Septic Illumination

 Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations






Even though they're outside the States and not really Black Metal per se . . .

 Saturnalia Temple - Aion of Drakon

And it's always mandatory to include a classic record . . .


If anyone thinks I should've or shouldn't've included any albums, please let me know. 

16 January, 2012

Show review: SKVLT (MA), Drug Lust, & Liebestod

Went to a show at Roboto III last night, which, incidentally, is less than two blocks away from my apartment. It's funny, ya know, when I first started going to shows, living with my parents in Burnside, I'd have to drive almost an hour to get to "local" shows. Now, over ten years later, I can simply walk to a show, and it takes me less than a minute if I take long strides. So what does that have to do with anything? Nothing. So on to the show review then . . .

I missed Man Behind the Moon because I was eating pizza and waiting for Chris to be ready to leave. Bummed I didn't get to see them cuz, according to Skyler their guitarist who also cooks at the Quiet Storm, they're like Black Metal with Jacob Bannon vocals. Quite a lofty claim, but I take Skyler for his word. He's a good man, and thorough.

I did not, however, miss Liebestod, another new-ish band from the area. I didn't know who all made up this band, but once I saw the members setting up I knew it was guaranteed to be good: Craig (who's basically like the Crust Gosling) on guitar, his brother on drums - whom are also the sole members Möwer; Luke the singer of Drug Lust, unmasked and on bass; and Krystyna from Red Fox on vokills. The Brothers Möwerovich play like they've been jamming 'Head records since they shared a womb. And they're so tight! The kind of tight that comes only from a real, bloodhonest fraternity. And Luke's bass playing was not at all surprisingly competent, as I've known him since he was, like, 12 and coming to shows and, if nothing else, he's always taken music very seriously. That and getting fucked up. He takes getting fucked up very seriously, too. Suffice to say, I eagerly await getting my hands on a demo of theirs should they exist long enough to produce one.

Next was my roommate Chris' band, Drug Lust. These guys started out as a joke band, - they wanted to be the absolute antithesis of a straight edge band - but have since developed a real cult following and every time I see them, it's like a punch-in-the-face reminder as to why: They're fucking intense. Okay, at any given show with the exception of beatdown hardcore shows, I'm typically one of the "biggest" - that is one of the "tallest" and usually somewhat one of the "largest" - dudes there. But truly, I'm a bitch. And the Drug Lust guys really bring out that otherwise hidden cowardice in me. They play in black ski masks, with very minimal lighting, and their sets are always violent. But it's a weird, disturbing sort of violence; somewhere between The Stooges and Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, I'd say. Most of the harm is self-inflicted, e.g. Luke battering and bloodying his face and skull with the microphone at every show they've ever played, oftentimes even knocking himself legitimately unconscious and laying face down on the floor while his bandmates laugh and half-seriously attempt to rouse him. Last night, Luke didn't knock himself out; in fact, despite repeatedly slamming the microphone against his forehead, and, in doing so, making a THUD over the PA louder than his snarled vokills, he seemed rather reserved, subdued even. I split a hash cookie with Chris, but I'm not sure what Luke might've been on. Could've been anything, honestly. He alone earns the band its moniker. At one point, - even though I was way in the back, where I can still see cuz I'm tall, but am safe from, like, getting my front teeth knocked out, or whatever other horrific largesse Providence might bestow upon me - Luke parted the crowd and ventured to the back and, from behind his mask, - which, incidentally wasn't a black ski mask this show, but a grey mask of some dude's face in black paint with holes cut out for the mouth and eyes, that was far more unnerving than the simple anonymity of a regular black ski mask - and screamed in my face and got so near to my vulnerable olfactories that I could smell the rank microphone and feel his hot breath and spit flecks on my chin and mouth.  Readers of the Dower, I would've shrank away in fear had a roomful of people not been watching me, awaiting, as it were, my reaction to this confrontation. Eventually, the song ended and Luke sulked away as if nothing had happened. Great set, though. Supposedly they're last. I'm dubious. They've said that several times before. Check out that link above to download their two demos. Both are great, but Leather Blood, their latest, is the best.

After Drug Lust, SKVLT, from Massachusetts, played. So, terrible name, right? Kind of makes you think they're ignorant poseurs even before you check 'em out. And maybe that was the case, - what with the bassist having an Akitsa backpatch and all the people who showed up in Darkthrone patches and new Burzum shirts, probably exclusively to see SKVLT, and acted like Liebestod and Drug Lust sucked - but they weren't too bad. They're just the obvious result of bands like Deafheaven and Liturgy. Nothing against either of those bands, but maybe, just maybe I have got something against their progeny. SKVLT weren't bad. Certainly they were competent musicians. And they're sound was kinda like a dumbed down Krallice with Nick McMasters screaming. At least that was the first song. Then it just kind of veered off into directionless, frenzied, chaotic hardcore. I had a good time, found myself headbanging, but was never actually impressed. I spent a lot of their set daydreaming, reminiscing playing shows. Also, my feet were cold and I wanted to get off them and into a warm loveseat with my girl.
SKVLT's 2011 demo. They had another cassette for sale last night that's, like, exclusive for this tour only, and the collector in me wanted to buy it, but the true metalhead didn't give two shits whether I owed it or not, and money's tight, so . . . just listen to it on their blog, I guess.

Confidence Men played last, but I didn't stick around because I was tired, cold and Margaret made vegan potato "chorizo" soup for lunch and my mouth was watering thinking about how good it would taste after it had been given the chance to sit in its flavors for a while.

Good show. Props to T-Bird for setting it up and keeping it cheap. Check out Drug Lust. I really think you'll be into them.

Thanks for reading, friends. I start school back up tomorrow, but I hope to still have time for the Dower and its myriad suppicants.


15 January, 2012

For Steve

Since you asked . . . Here're some of my favorite records of last year (in no particular order, nor by any means conclusive):

(Also: none of these links are mine. I own [nearly] every album, [c'mon, I'm poor] but nothing was uploaded by me.)

Seems obvious to most metalheads at this point, but the first time I heard this album, I was devastated. I think that's exactly what good Doom should do, too: it should leave the listener feeling pummeled, and drained, and on the verge of sickness. This record will make you play air guitar, it will make you punch your steering wheel, but, most importantly, it will break your spirit, man. It's heavy, tragic, and, actually, pretty freakin' beautyfull

Supplication is hard on the knees. 

Somewhere between Neutral Milk and Bates' Hotel. Surprisingly great.

This lil' demo blew me away a few months ago when I reviewed it, and as soon as you listen to this, you'll know why. 

I sat in Friendship Park at like 3 am and listened to this EP on repeat one night last Spring. One of the best and least talked about records of the year. Check it out, man. 

One of the most original sounding bands I've heard in a while, not to mention one of my favorite records of the year. Librarian (Post)Metal, heavier than you expect, catchier than you can handle

"Shit Incantation clones." That's how Darylkahan described these guys from your side of the country, dude. You're gonna love this shit. Must be listened to loud. That goes without saying for all of these I think, but this really, really must be listened to loud.
Imagine if Buried Inside were a technical DM band from New Zealand. The first couple spins, you'll only catch the noxious ether floating at the surface, but after enough listens - and believe me, you'll keep returning to it - this masterpiece will reveal itself to you.

 " . . .Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
And lead thee hence through the eternal place,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
Who cry out each one for the second death;"

That's good for now, I think. Of course there's, like, fifty more albums I'd like to post about, but . . . yeah, this is good for now. So, my friend, "you like that?"


13 January, 2012

First snowfall.

First snowfall and my baby was off before dawn; coughing as she was about to leave, so as to not depart without first a kiss, and had she not, I wonder, hesitated and coughed at the threshold of night and day, thus rousing me to call out for her; had she not, I wonder, come running in for that kiss, but had left, stifling her cough, would she now, I wonder, be lying cold in a morgue, waiting for someone, "anyone at this point" to answer their phone to come and identify her, having been, as it were, afforded the few seconds she would've used by running back into the bedroom and kissing me, thus giving her plenty of time to get run over by that SUV she texted me about after nearly getting run over by at 7:12 am. No. I guess not, because she took a bus downtown, so the bus acts as an agent which creases, folds and divides time. Still it's nice to imagine a cough and a kiss saved my baby's life today.

The First Snowfall
by James Russell Lowell

THE sun had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl. 

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara 
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,
The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky.
And the sudden flurries of snow birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn,
Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?"
And I told of the good All-Father
Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snowfall,
And thought of the leaden sky
That arched o'er our first great sorrow
When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

And again to the child I whispered,
'The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall!'

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
And she, kissing back, could not know
That my kiss was given to her sister,
folding close under deepening snow.

by David Berman

Walking through a field with my little brother Seth

I pointed to a place where kids had made angels in the snow.
For some reason I told him that a troop of angels
had been shot and dissolved when they hit the ground.

He asked who had shot them and I said a farmer.

Then we were on the roof of the lake.
The ice looked like a photograph of water.

Why he asked. Why did he shoot them.

I didn't know where I was going with this.

They were on his property, I said.

When it's snowing, the outdoors seem like a room.

Today I traded hellos with my neighbor.
Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.
A room with the walls blasted to shreds and falling.

We returned to our shoveling, working side by side in silence.

But why were they on his property, he asked.

Jam these today:

Best sledding music ever!
Curl up by the spaceheater with someone special.

12 January, 2012

"Man, I hope Funeral Spirit's okay . . ." DEMO REVIEWS!

(Some of the following demos were lauded on other, inferior blogs and will thus have every scruple of their miserable existences hereby scrutinized by the Man behind the Dower of Refuse himself:  Professor Raze Crosses, former autodidact turned learned pedagogue in the arts of Heavy Metal Bloggery, whose sanguinary arrogance can be traced all the way back to Cain, Cultivator/Idolatör.)

Also, it's been, like, almost a fortnight since Funeral Spirit updated. I don't want to jump to any paranoiac conclusions, but maybe think of him in your nightly blasphemous incantations, just to be safe. His name is Funeral Spirit. His name is Funeral Spirit. His name is Funeral Spirit x ∞.

Taco Bell's Beefy Crunch Burrito (2011), Yum! Brands

"What coward among us doesn't love potato chips on his sandwich?" was, I bet, the opening line of the presentation which proposed this new product to the board members in charge of executive decisions at Taco Bell. The man giving the presentation probably went on, saying something like: "I was at a branch location, in St. Paul, and you know what I saw? This fat, little dipshit, couldn't've been any older than 7, unroll his burrito and dumps a snack size bag of bar-b-que chips on all that gooey, melty, soggy mush. 'Why are you doing that?' I asked the pudgy, little bastard. And do you know what he said to me, folks? Do you pukes have any idea how he responded in earnest with big wet eyes? No, of course you don't; because you're all too busy golfing, and cheating on your spouses and fucking up your children so that they'll turn out just like you; and each one of you has lost sight of what it's like to be poor and hungry. None of you have anything in common with our customers anymore. And, honestly, how many of you poseurs have eaten at a Taco Bell in the past five years?  That's what I thought. But I've derailed - the kid, he looked at me with a melty cheesy smeared face and said: 'It gives it flavole.' And my heart broke, you sonsabitches. And then my balls started tingling, and they sort of yo-yo'd. And then my genius blew its load all through my mind: Ladies and gentleman of the board, I give you Taco Bell's latest jaw-dropping innovation - not since Reese's married peanut butter and chocolate have we seen such a concoction of dream and reality: the Beefy Crunch Burrito , rolled with Frito's ® Flamin' Hot Corn Chips™. Acherontas movebo!"
(While jamming the new Embrace of Thorns.)

Shroud of the Heretic's Boiled to Death (2011), indie

You might ask yourself: What makes Dower of Refuse different from any other blog out there specializing in the review, proselytization and piracy of underground extreme Metal? Well, for one, Professor Raze Crosses is not shy of occasionally giving out an "unfavorable" or "average" grade to an otherwise good student. See, fellow blogger, Coffin Psalms posted this demo sometime last year, stating simply: "This is my band. We play Death Metal. So check it out, Mikey." I'm not sure who "Mikey" is, and I also won't be able to tell you what Coffin Psalms does in the band, nor do I know how I even feel about it! The production is fantastic, but only serves to confound me further. The guitar tone sounds as if it's being unearthed as it's being taped; the bass has that thunderous rumble that very few records can tastefully achieve; the bass drum and cymbals are punchy and sharp, respectively; and the vokills are given a shallow grave in the mix from which they moan and befoul all six tracks.  //I have stated many times that I have no problem with derivative work, however there must needs be a certain palpable amount of yourself left behind; something that occurs (like in Harold Bloom's theory of "misreading") in which the musician, having been inspired by the likes of Incantation or Entombed in Shroud of the Heretic's case, has re-written a song that's basically an Incantation or Entombed song, but has been altered somehow and even made relevant based on the theory that when the said musician first heard that Incantation or Entombed song that would later be copied and rewritten, he heard "incorrectly," as it were, he heard his own perceived version of it, and not the version as perceived and understood and purveyed by the original artist. And this, according to HB, is how art is supposed to progress and change, through misunderstanding and misinterpretation. So what's wrong with Portland's Shroud of the Heretic's first demo? Well, it doesn't sound like Incantation or Entombed, that's what. Instead, it sounds like other contemporary bands like Morbus Chron, or Vasaeleth, or Ritual Necromancy (also from Portland), all of whom are already aping and misunderstanding said earlier acts, and so there's not a long enough timespan for the bastardization to ferment, and what we get with bands like Shroud of the Heretic is pure facsimile. At this point in the world of music, poignancy has become reliant on punctuality, and . . . Man, I feel petty and pretentious. That's not what this shit's about. So, nevermind then. Forget everything I just said. Originality is overrated. This demo rules! "Boiled to Death" has an especially great part. Total refuse! 

Blut Der Nacht's Demo MMXI (2011, duh!), Fallen Empire

Remember when I met Fallen Empire Mike at Inquisition last month? He told me about this cassette and made it sound pretty cool. Now fold time like a stick a gum and chew on this: suddenly this shit's all over the internet; JC's even implying it'll resurrect the great days of underground analog. Well, I don't know about all that. But it's a decent demo, sure. Kinda sounds like Darkthrone's Hate Them. To be honest, that last review really took it out of me, and I'm feeling pretty hungry. Gonna go grab some Thai food or something.

10 January, 2012

For Sam

Who knows it's best to stay active during Proserpina's sojourn into the depths of Satan's bed; Whose blog is consistently great and pleasing to the hemingway in all of us - (damn, them green beans look good!); and Who will appreciate the following song:



Can I scream?

It's finally actually seriously fucking happened. And the sixteen yr old in me couldn't B more 'SYCHED!1* As for the 26 year old, well . . . I've never been to Coachella before; never really had the urge nor the money to go, despite there always being a solid line-up. But how can I miss seeing Refused play together? Even if I don't usually support bands getting back together as it's usually just for reasons of monetary gain.

In other news late 90s awesomecore news, Nathan Gray formerly of BoySetsFire has started a band with his 17 year old son. And they're not half-bad.


*Told ya,

08 January, 2012

Symptoms of the Multiverse

 Cuz I forgot my Metalreview.com password . . .

This monthly piece by Jordan Campbell is consistently the worst part about Metalreview.com. Usually it's just the (Obscure)Headbanger's Ball version of a Us Weekly magazine - you know that Hollywood gossip tabloid moms read in nail salons - but this month JC really goes too far. Recently this band I've never even heard of called Nygoblaestitzomething got kicked off Chaos in Tejas cuz this dude drew attention to the fact that they're on Satanic Skinhead Propaganda - which label also houses the very boring, but very blogged Heresiarch, incidentally. In his latest article, JC succinctly expounds all these details, but in doing so, possibly outs himself as a bigger numbskull than had been presumed! //Jordan says, "these 'Nazis' aren't fearsome foes, by any stretch, and while attention-whoring bloggers are chipping away at easy targets (dower: *tugs on collar*), greater issues are being ignored." All this after boasting that "there's a reason you (dower: in which he means you and I, as it were, and  probably anyone who has a problem with Nazis, I guess) have to settle for Hunter Hunt-Hendrix and [he] can listen to Grand Belial's Key cover Chaos 88 without shitting [his] pants." Dude, so can I. I love GBK. I feel as ambivalent about their upcoming reissues as you ought to. Cuz they are the definition of guilty pleasure. See also: Burzum and Graveland and any other numbskulls who align themselves with an ideology that at its most efficient was responsible for over 12,000 deaths a day, and that's just fucking Auschwitz. That's the thing about being an American, my fam. We live in the greatest country in the known multiverse, but we must do so with a conscientious guilt. For ours is a nation built by slavery and maintained by a willful ignorance; our major exports are American jobs and war. Still it's a great place to call home. But re: this whole thing, and the Nazi presence that has always pervaded aggressive music in general, I feel ultimately nothing at all. When I really sit down and try to figure out what my feelings are I get confused and start feeling alienated from the world around me. Which is why I listen to Metal in the first place, as a soothing balm/leaden yoke-like pall in response to said omnipresent nausea and alienation. And yeah, the good stuff is like ichor in the veins for sure. It personally makes me feel like the Undertaker or sometimes Eddie Murphy in Vampire from Brooklyn. But you won't catch me calling someone a coward or, -even worse - a poseur for not wanting to chug goat's blood at a Black Metal show, or for being a little offended by seeing someone in a band they like sporting a swatiska patch. Cuz, hey, maybe that person that's getting offended, that has loved Metal all his life, - or even if he just got into it last week - but maybe that person's grandfather is a survivor. Or maybe that person just has a different sensibility? Don't try to sound like an elitist bonehead, ya know? This country's great because we tolerate it all. (In that case, shouldn't Nygostuff have been allowed to stay on the fest? Perhaps, but ain't my call to make.) And, despite the fact that what I'm about to say completely undermines this whole post, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.

But, anyway, what are these "greater issues" people like myself are ignoring? Christian Deathcore bands. Jordan hits a deep profound three pointer when he hypothesizes what if "a young, gay kid [goes] to a church looking for salvation and happiness, only to be thrust into a world of confusion and guilt?" Swish. Seriously, though, if JC's not watching out for America's gay tweens, then who is? Talking Jordan Campbell now. Cause everyone knows Jesus Christ is very selective in his love, and that he went to the cross strictly for heterosexuals only!


"I mean, I ride it, sure." Demoz Revuu'd: Black Feast, Black Monolith Fading Sun, Lycus, Yama

(Some of the demos reviewed hereafter were featured on Best of MMXI lists. Well, we'll just see about that . . .)

Yama's self-titled demo (2011), independent

I remember the first time I heard "When the Levee Breaks." Of course I'd listened to it countless times as it was played (in a truncated form) when local radio stations would need to "get the Led out," -but the first time I really heard it I was in Herbivore, the DRWT tour van. I sat shotgun behind tortoise shell Ray-Bans a French girl gave me, my bloody foot* out the window with the gentle Green Mountain sun on my bare chest and a good, sizzling pressure cooking in my head. We'd all just jumped off Red Rocks Cliffs into Lake Champlain and were then (slowly) making our way out of the woods and onto the highway to play a show in Boston. Lurks put on LZ, "When the Levee Breaks" specifically, and never in my entire life have I heard a song so perfectly accompany a moment and a feeling. The second track, "Seaquake," on this warm, fuzzy demo from these four Dutch potheads really puts me back in that moment, while at the same time, hurling me headlong into a speculative future in which Rock once again rules the world. Check this demo out. When the heavy breaks . . . 
*Cut it on one of the jagged rocks around the beach of the lake.

Fading Sun's Yawning Void EP (2011), BeBlessedTheCursed 

Belarusian Eschatological Funeral Doom with Death Metal tendencies seeks souls to devour, asses to possess, minds to warp and any other unwilling somatic faculty looking to get FUBAR. All interested parties please inquire within. //Seriously, light some candles, kill the lights, turn off the space heater, lock your bedroom door, wash some Adderall down with some liquid LSD and then put this 18 minute, single track EP on repeat and let the good times roll! Actualy don't do that. The Dower don't need anymore blood on its hands. Cuz this cassette has a stench that'll befoul even the cleanliest, chastest of souls. A very heady, palpable malodor; like a dad-on-camping-trip fart that lingers for damn near twenty minutes. //Dude behind this is also in Doomslaughter, whose demo I still haven't gotten around to reviewing, let alone even checking out. Needles to say (yes, NEEDLES!), I'll be getting 'round that to that - well, if not right away, then as soon as this installment of demo reviews is completed and the next one is taken up, barring some horrible accident that leaves me without ears or fingers or a life. (See what this demo is doing to me?! It's awesome!) Anyway, a lot of times with one man bands, like Fading Sun here, what you get is a dude who's really good at one instrument and at least somewhat competent at the others; or some dude who downloads a drum program and starts layering riffs and screams over top shitty Jiffy Pop beats. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate programmed drums? I ain't a Luddite or anything, but I'd rather listen to a one armed six year old girl try to blast than the world's best drum machine, with some exceptions e.g. AxNx and Anaal Nathrakh). However, such is not the case with Fading Sun. Granted, the flame is set to a slow boil, but dude is adept at every instrument heard playing during those abysmal 18 minutes. Definitely worth checking out!

 Black Feast's Worship of Darkness (2011), independent

Frank over at Midnight Mass seems to have the same appreciation for demos as Funeral Spirit and me. Dude is always posting goodies in high quality. I've gotten quite a few from him in recent times, but this little Finnish turd I couldn't resist checking out and reviewing immediately. This is not the first release from Black Feast, nor is it their first demo, but it is the latest, - and even though I've only heard a few of their other demos and rehearsals - I gotta say Worship of Darkness is their best yet. Obviously, this - unlike Yama - is something your dad probably won't be into, unless your dad is Fenriz. This is finely-honed, sincerely evil, soul-scathing, blood ejaculating Black Metal played by three Finnish dudes* who've been "at it" for a while now. And they still DGAF about production. Sure they can set the mood & 'sphere with church bells chiming 'neath a heavy synth drone, but the mixing and production is still raw and true.  You can get Worship of Darkness at Analog Worship for cheap as hell. Or you can get it here for free, because stealing is a sin, and if my review doesn't tempt you to take it, then committing a sinful act surely ought to! 
*Sick Sarcofago hoodie!

Lycus' Demo MMXI (2011), Graceless Recordings

I'm a product of my age, but I'd like to think I'm also an old soul. I'll tell you what I mean by that, Dower. I have almost no attention span whatsoever, but I strive to overcome great obstacles and, as a result of this awkward betrothal, my ambition is born: a staggering monument to self-delusion, built atop a shaky, attention deficient foundation according to the blueprints of Nimrod himself. This is a common disorder. Probably especially amongst young American males of lower to middle class upbringing. It's sort of like a regular looking Narcissus staring into a stagnant pond that sends his image back to him as a total babe. (I'm sure there are some women who suffer this also, I guess.) //One way of - well not overcoming, because to truly overcome this self-constructed farce would be to commit suicide - but one way of recognizing this tendency in yourself is the very same method by which it can be eventually harnessed [and perhaps cured]: learning. Read some books. Actually read as many books as you can, but not all at once. Not at first, anyway. If you set out tomorrow to start reading books and you try to read a bunch at once, I guarantee you won't finish one of them. Take it slow. Bird by bird. Also, listen to people who are older than you when they talk to you. They have wisdom to impart even if it means extrapolating that wisdom on your own, i.e. "don't wind up like me, kid." //Trick is to get smarter. In learning more about the world around you you will learn more about yourself; and in learning more about yourself you will learn what a hideous social blemish you are, and, if you're lucky, this notion will become a vacuum in your mind and the only thing you'll have are your books and your taciturn, but worldly intelligence. And maybe the occasional stranger who completely understands you. Without either of you saying a word. Just a nod between two souls. "Yes, this is paradise, but it is also damnation." 

Black Monolith's Demo EP (2011), bandcamp.com

Alright, say it with me now: "I'm not the only one who likes Darkthrone and Cursed and Neurosis." Once you get past the initial hate/resentment that always comes with finding out someone who's not you being awesome at something and getting hype that you are also doing or wish you were doing, simply by reminding yourself that you too are only a humble follower (and a blogging one at that!), you can start to appreciate things like the pastiche that is Black Monolith's demo. Which I can best describe as East Coast crossover played with the breeziness of West Coast dudes, and somehow they work an occasional Americanized Dissection riff in there. And even though the iciness of these "blackened" riffs is ersatz - a "dry" iciness, if you will - they stand as the most interesting moments on the demo, even if they're "hella" out of place. Really, it just sounds like Cursed b-sides that occasionally drop out and you hear Wolves In The Throne Room coming from your roommate's bedroom. But don't get me wrong: it does work somehow. And it's worth ten minutes of your life at the very least. Not as good as Pale Chalice (West Coast, also); definitely not as good as Mutilation Rites (who probably released the best American demo of MMXI; East Coast represent!), but somewhere between the two. With a lot of Cursed in there. Can't stress that enough. Cursed, lil bit o' Piggy D, and all those other aforenamedropped acts. But hey, you know, that's fine. We gotta start somewhere, and this demo is a damn fine demonstration of what's to come.