Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Megadeth - Testament - Exodus

Driving... to Scranton PA. The trip took about 3 hours. Playlist on the way to the show: Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons, Annihilator - Alice In Hell, Motorhead - Live At Hammersmith, Silent Force - Infatuator...

We thought the show would be good because it was inside what was once a Masonic Temple AND because it was a nuclear fallout shelter...

Cool little record store a block away. I didn't have a chance to really scavenge around but it seemed like a neat place. Small but a decent selection. Some of their product seemed a little over priced though

Exodus... I've never been so bored at a gig in my life before. Even though I woke up slightly for "Piranha" and for Duke's absolutely disgraceful between song banter, I would have much rather seen Lee Altus perform selected Heathen solos.


Testament were alright, I enjoyed them to some extent... they were more interesting than Exodus at least and played a strong set with older material. I didn't hear one song off their recent album, Formation of Damnation. In general, they suffered from the same problem that I find their albums to suffer from - unbreakable mediocrity. I just think they are a pretty bland and generic thrash band at this point. If I heard "Souls of Black" in their set, maybe I would have a different opinion.


What were you thinking? "She Wolf?" You'll play "She Wolf" but not "Wake Up Dead"...

Anyway, Megadeth were exactly as I expected. They played all of Rust In Peace and even though I would have liked to hear "Dawn Patrol" three more times, I was happy enough to hear "Five Magics" and "Rust In Peace... Polaris."

After the show, we spent the night at my mountain house in PA. Relaxed, took a walk by the lake, talked about random crap for a little while and then went to bed. We ate at Apple Valley restaurant for lunch the following afternoon. That's pretty much it.

Playlist - 03/31/10

"There is nothing worse than a good samaritan coming to your rescue after a car accident and puking all over you after seeing your rotting festering body curled into a cylindrical mass of death."

01. Echoes Of A Red Empire - Russian Songs Of Struggle - We Shall Go Bravely Into Battle

02. Aspid - Extravasation - Intro / It Came (Aspid)
03. Aspid - Extravasation - Towards One Goal
04. Aspid - Extravasation - Where The Night

05. Coroner - Mental Vortex - Pale Sister
06. Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation - Damned To Serve
07. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
08. Embrace Of Thorns - ... For I See Death In Their Eyes - Tyrant Goat (Crowned In Glory)
09. Bestial Warlust - Blood And Valour - Legion Of Wrath*
10. Hellwitch - Storming Steels - Opiatic Luminence
11. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - Alison Hell
12. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
13. Battleaxe - Burn This Town - Dirty Rocker
14. Manilla Road - Mystification - Haunted Palace
15. Axemaster - Death Before Dishonour - Destiny
16. Dokken - Tooth And Nail - Don't Close Your Eyes
17. Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Rising Force - Far Beyond The Sun
18. Cydonia - Cydonia - Legend In Time
19. Blind Guardian - Follow The Blind - Banished From Sanctuary
20. Shadowkeep - Corruption Within - Meta Morale
21. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pt. I: Future World **
22. Confessor - Unraveled - Cross The Bar
23. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Golden Blood (Flooding)
24. Iron Man - Submission - Run From The Light
25. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Circle The Wagons
26. Immolith - Hymns To The Countess - Slaughter The Legions
27. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead - Failures Burden ***
28. Apolion - Hungry Of Souls - Winds
29. Burzum - Anthology - Jesus Tod
30. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise****

Tape / Vinyl #'s: 7, 11, 12, 13, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30
2010 #'s: 6, 7, 12, 25, 30

* I can't help myself. Such a glorious track from the Australian masters... oft- copied but never exceeded.

** Great request from Lou! Thanks for listening buddy!

*** Request from Zach, brethren to the word wizard.

**** 33rpm version courtesy of myself. I love the sound of this slowed down. I shall continue to play it at this speed until Beleseth comes and physically removes the 7" from my hands.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Acrassicauda - Star Ledger Article

My ever vigilant mother saw this in the New Jersey Star Ledger. I thought it appropriate to post it for all to read since there are people who may find it interesting and be unable to see the article in the newspaper. I would suggest opening each picture in a new window or tab so you don't have to keep hitting the "back" button and waiting for the page to reload...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Playlist 03/24/10

New Intro, Still waiting for the perfect "Welcome To The Vault" sample. I'll find it eventually.

01. Deep Purple - In Rock - Speed King
02. Samson - Before The Storm - Dangerzone
03. Judas Priest - Killing Machine (Hell Bent For Leather) - Running Wild
04. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Minotaur's Labyrinth
05. Anthem - Tightrope - Tightrope Dancer
06. Iron Man - Submission - Run From The Light
07. Iron Man - I Have Returned - Fallen Angel
08. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Autumn Twilight
09. Maegashira - Maegashira / Sowbelly / OSSM Split - The Man Who Named God
10. Clamfight - Free Sh*t - Viking Funeral
11. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - These Treasures Will Never Befall You
12. Annihilator - Alice In Hell - WTYD
13. Faith Or Fear - Punishment Area - The Shadow Knows
14. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence - Absorbed
15. Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos - No Stone Unturned

Exodus / Testament / Megadeth Live Rant!

16. Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation - Damned To Serve
17. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Serpents Blood
18. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
19. Embrace Of Thorns - ... For I See Death In Their Eyes - Tyrant Goat (Crowned In Glory)
20. Mandatory - Where They Bleed - Where They Bleed
21. Ancient Horns - Profano - Eternal Vengeance
22. 1349 - Liberation - Evil Oath
23. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved
24. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
25. Burzum - Anthology - Lost Wisdom
26. Negura Bunget - 'N Crugu Bradului - Colo-n Jos Catre Apus
27. Lordamor - Lordamor - Region Of Death

Vinyl / Tape #'s: 02, 04, 05, 07, 08, 11, 12, 13, 17, 24, 25, 26,
2010 #'s: 04, 11, 15, 16, 17, 24,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation

Hong Kong unveils Aortic Regurgitation, thrashy, capable and well composed (aside for their chaotic charm) on this first EP who prove themselves keen to release speedy, infectious (not unlike SARS) and intricate onslaughts of a slightly slanted sort. Tracks such as "Infestation" contain a twisted sentiment assembled from at times awkward phrasings and transitions but even though Aortic have this going for them, at times there is a drudged up sentiment, as if everything is just a little too "safe" or "commonplace." Aortic are not too retro to try new ideas, such as the mid-song sample in "Infestation" which, when they occasionally don't work, are at least thought provoking. The tracks DO work though, especially opening salvo "Damned To Serve," which rumbles on like a beastly blackened dragon dropping blistering corpses into your town thus spreading disease and filth. It's just a matter of time before you've caught fourteen terminal illnesses can't move and begin pleading with everyone who passes to kill you because you can't get the sounds of dying out of your mind.

Influence wise, thrash is the instigator here and though its difficult to pick out specifics with Aortic Regurgitation, I think a comparison to largely unknown bands like Hallow's Eve being appropriate. In this case both bands are passionate though don't really come across that way on record. Melodically speaking, I hear Voivod but then again, Aortic could be influenced by any number of melodically awkward bands. The whole EP is layered with a 90's dying thrash scene sound too, which is odd. It's like Aortic have tried to capture the bands recording records during the demise of their own era. The vocal delivery reminds me of thrash bands that were combing the death metal waters vocally for inspiration such as Coroner or even some of the German bands which may have influenced the harsher vocals in bands after them. The vocals are harsher than those found in the Bay Area scene.

Aortic haven't left out influences from the blackened thrash of this decade either... Basically, a lot of different bands are here blended like your father's suit in a food processor.... with your father still inside. It's at once refreshing and also quizzical in the sense that while the blending of these styles is done well, there is this aura of mischievous laughter in the background telling me what I am listening to is just slightly ridiculous. That thought occurs a few times though it's fleeting. Aortic are both throwback with their riffs, experimental like some of the modern bands in the underground and also colorful... like a clown in a shag-van. It's like biting into a new fruit and sloshing the juices around in your mouth before you decide if you like the textures and flavors.

While not all the tracks are prime cuts, "Alien Worlds" for example being a bit too vast and far-fetched, there is enough to make Aortic Regurgitation's first time enjoyable for somebody. It'll appeal to thrash fans looking for more than the next atomic holocaust retro band with Repka artwork. At the very least, it will be more interesting than another new Exodus record. With some extra attention paid to packaging - nice matte card-stock, professionally printed foldout inserts with lyrics, pro-printed CDr label and a sturdier-than-normal CDr case (CDr Deluxe?) - though not quite enough to get some more interesting cover-art, Aortic are doing almost everything right to make me want to know what's going to happen next with these thrashers. Where they take their strange thrashcoction is anyone's guess.

Oh! I forgot to mention the musicianship and playing/programming on this puts many to shame. The production is clear and well mixed though still one-hundred percent underground. I love the intro to "Damned To Serve." As soon as I put it on, I thought "I hope that the release doesn't sound like this the whole way throu... Ok, thank god." Charles Wong (Guitars / Bass / Drum Programming) and Cynthia "Sin" Yim (Guitars / Vocals (Yep, Read that again - I wasn't going to Gallhammer Aortic with the whole "girls in a band" gimmick) / Lyrics / Drum Programming) are raising the bar in modern thrash inspired by classic bands but never worshiping anyone else. So while everyone's job just got harder, Aortic Regurgitation have left themselves on the high ground with plenty of ammunition and an ill equipped populace closing in on them. I smell total destruction. If Aortic Regurgitation's next release is at least as good as this release, I'm sold.

*As a total Aside, this was another of those irritating releases to spine-label for me. Usually I cut a strip from an index card to label the spine of my CDr's (I use clear packing tape to hold it in place and it works great) but with this release, the spine could not be labeled as such. I had to physically write the title on the spine with a fine tipped sharpie. While I know that the vast majority of people aren't as anal about their music collection as I am, I just wanted to throw that out there. Anyway, all is well now that I have have my case labeled properly.

Faith Or Fear - Live

This Saturday, for those looking to rock out at a good show in the area... due to my radio station guidelines, I am not allowed to post prices but I can assure you, it's less than the cost of a beer at PNC Bank Arts Center for doors. The venue is a pretty decent place too. Also, Chris sent me a link to a recent article about Faith Or Fear and the show.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Playlist - 03/17/10

So after having some computer problems the last few months, I am back up (mostly) with half my record collection re-imported into my computer the way I always intended it to be imported. When I get the second half in, I will post a link to my record collection for the curious to poke around, recommendations are always welcome of course. I give everything a listen at least once... usually. So, with the easy ability to pick through all the releases at my disposal, I should be back to doing playlists a bit more varied and deep and dare-say-I, out of left feild.

01. Wolf - The Black Flame - Steelwinged Savage Reaper
02. Silent Force - Infatuator - Hear Me Calling *
03. Orphaned Land - The Neverending Way Of ORwarriOR - The Path Part I: Treading Into Darkness
04. Exxplorer - Symphonies Of Steel - Exxplorer
05. Exxplorer - Symphonies Of Steel - Metal Detectors
06. Anthem - Tightrope - Black Eyed Tough
07. Black Sabbath - Vol. 4 - Under The Sun / Every Day Comes And Goes
08. Clamfight - Free Sh*t - Viking Funeral **
09. Electric Wizard - We Live - Another Perfect Day?
10. Candlemass - Chapter IV - The Ebony Throne
11. Overkill - Ironbound - Bring Me The Night
12. Aortic Regurgitation - Aortic Regurgitation - Damned To Serve
13. Speedwolf - Bark At The Poon - Death Ripper

14. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - These Treasures Will Never Befall You
15. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger - En As I Dype Skogen
16. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons - Stylized Corpse

17. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
18. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Serpent's Blood
19. Carcass - Choice Cuts - Exhume To Consume
20. Genocrush Ferox - The Sepulchre Strangulation - Death Is Just This
21. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
22. Haethen - Wanderer - Wanderer ***
23. Haethen - Wanderer - The Light Bereaved ***
24. Benighted In Sodom - Dismal Ethereality: Stellar Celestial Void - Gray Flowers
25. Lordamor - Lordamor - He Eivat Elaneet Kauaa
26. Hell - Hell - Tyranno ****
27. Sunn o))) - Monoliths And Dimensions - Hunters And Gatherers (Cydonia)

Vinyl / Tape #'s: 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 26
2010 Releases #'s: 3, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18 21, 24,

* I HATE the song's conclusion, it has nothing to do with anything. Still, the rest of this song is practically perfect for a hard-hitting modern heavy metal song. The song itself reminds me of Iron Savior's Coming Home.

** Awesome local band from Jersey, worth checking out. I sincerely hope these guys get a full length out soon. Luckily I grabbed a copy of their promo at a show with them and Maegashira. Seriously, catch them if you can.

*** Another great local band from southern New Jersey, not far from where Faith or Fear are actually located. Their demo is great and I'm really looking forward to hearing their next release. I expect it will be really great. The melodies on Wanderer are unique and captivating.

**** Thanks Zach!

Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens

Where "Tongues Of Death," Imynvokad's debut demo could be akin to listening to a television evangelical preacher of the demonic persuasion, "Ad Ordines Descendens" is being in the chapel, staring into the gloomy eyes of the sinister priest no more than a foot in front of you as he condemns your souls to hell for eternity. I love everything about this slab of vinyl, Pale Horse Records' first go at a release on the medium, and it has been done with the same conviction as anything else PHR has put out. Imynvokad take to the wax really well, holding the 7" in my hand, especially with the excellent album art, evokes feelings of obtaining a hidden occult treasure, and with a doomier reworking of "By Blood Does The Beast Arise" as the B-side, I wouldn't be so keen to dismiss this release holding true mystical qualities.

The atmosphere across the whole release is just so perfectly ancient and claustrophobic that crawling through catacombs and exploring mausoleums might actually be less uncomfortable than listening to this release. With opening track "To Ascend To Darker Haunts" preserving the blackened framework which the demo tape was built off, Imynvokad have created space to work this new ritual. "...Darker Haunts" is a windswept dirge, airy and open. It's traversing the moist earth in an ancient cemetery under gray clouds and a hidden moon, creeping upon the last tombstone, hidden behind the ivy and pushing the leaves aside to read the epitaph to your own grave. Imynvokad do this so well - tell a story with sound. Even though the lyrics to the two tracks are available - what beautiful lyrics they are - I find myself running lost through the atmosphere across the two tracks more often than not.

With The reworking of "By Blood Does The Beast Arise," warlock Beleseth has taken one of the best black metal tracks I've ever heard and crystallized it's glorious strengths to create a song I will listen to for the rest of my life, over and over, for no reason other than to experience the haunting and chilling murk of this ritual. I applaud the increased contrast between the doomy intro section and the faster, blackened intensity that works through the whole track. Combined with a melody more addictive than a cocaine dusted sex doll, I can't replay the track enough times to be completely satisfied. The tone on both tracks is deep, dark, foggy and obscure. The guitars are covered in crust. The drums provide a depth to the tracks, by being both audible and distant. This release though is another great example, much like Apolion's Hungry of Souls demo, that the bass can really be the factor that makes a stand out release. On both "To Ascend To Darker Haunts" and on "By Blood Does The Beast Arise" the bass really is the backbone of the songs, building the melodies and, at times, also the rhythms.

I really hope that within a year, Imynvokad will be able to put together enough material for a full length, I really need to hear a long player from Beleseth's greatest endeavor. This is not to demean his work with Thra'el because I enjoyed every moment of "The Baneful Spirit," but Imynvokad is the better of the two projects. I am ready for him to release a torrent of blackened ritual upon the world, so that it leaves a giant stagnant rotten trail of coagulated blood across the underground.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Okketaehm - Maggots Release

Recently worked on some noisy insane black metal with the band Okketaehm. Will be released in April. Here is the promo flier:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playlist - 03/10/10

01. Anthem - Tightrope - Victim In Your Eyes
02. Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian - Fata Morgana
03. Icarus Witch - Capture The Magic - The Ghost Of Xavier Holmes*
04. Thin Lizzy - Jailbait - Angel From The Coast
05. Andromeda - Extension Of The Wish - The Words Unspoken
06. Hammerfall - One Crimson Night - Steel Meets Steel
07. Grave Digger - War Games - Let Your Heads Roll
08. Axe Battler - The Wrath Of My Steel - Killers Of The Night
09. Crimson Glory - Transcendence - Red Sharks
10. Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory - Dragon Lady**
11. Dio - Holy Diver - Stand Up And Shout

12. Iced Earth - Iced Earth - Iced Earth
13. Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings - Burning Oasis
14. Iced Earth - Night Of The Stormrider - Mystical End

15. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger - Transilvanian Hunger
16. Imynvokad - Tongues Of Death - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
17. Taake - Hordalands Doedskvad - Part V
18. Apolion - Necro Black Elitist Alliance - Primordial Hunger
19. Benighted In Sodom - Dismal Ethereality: Stellar Celestial Void - Ether And Rust
20. Koltum - The Story Of Death - Torments In Grave

21. Opeth - Morningrise - Advent
22. Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse - The Amen Corner
23. Opeth - Still Life - The Moor

24. Morgion - Cloaked By Ages, Crowned In Earth - A Slow Succumbing
25. Heathen - Evolution Of Chaos - No Stone Unturned

Cassette / Vinyl Rips #'s: 01, 08, 16, 17, 18, 20,
2010 Releases #'s: 08, 19, 25

* This track from IW features Frank Aresti on guitars, hence my playing it following Fata Morgana, cool song and great to hear Frank doing something recent in this style.

** Meh, Why not? I can't just listen to one Crimson Glory song...

*** Surprised? Yeah well, Their early stuff is excellent. Sadly the mediocrity of their recent output has overshadowed the spark their earlier material had.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Playlist - 03/03/10

01. Anthem - Tightrope - Tightrope Dancer
02. Anthem - Anthem - Warning, Action!
03. Dokken - Tooth And Nail - Don't Close Your Eyes
04. Liege Lord - Master Control - Feel The Blade
05. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic - The Riddle Master
06. Exxplorer - Symphonies Of Steel - Metal Detectors
07. Overkill - Taking Over - In Union We Stand
08. Overkill - Taking Over - Powersurge
09. Iron Man - Black Night - Black Night
10. Black Sabbath - Vol 4 - Supernaut
11. Old Bones - Old Bones / Ars Goetia Split - The Wizard
12. Midnight - Farewell To Hell - Black Rock And Roll
13. Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos - Control By Chaos
14. Sodom - Agent Orange - Magic Dragon
15. Coroner - Mental Vortex - Semtex Revolution
16. Morbid Angel - Covenant - The Lion's Den
17. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Desecrate The Night
18. Desolate One - Desecrate The Night - Serpents Blood
19. Besatt - Hail Lucifer - Black Banner
20. Aeternus - Beyond The Wandering Moon - Sworn Revenge
21. Nachtmystium - Instinct Decay - Circumvention
22. Neftaraka - Raw Ist Law - The Knoll
23. Negura Bunget - Om - Tesarul De Lumini
24. Mystifier - Goetia - An Elizabethan Devil Worshipper's Spellbook
25. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger - En As I Dype Skogen
26. Imynvokad - Ad Ordines Descendens - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
27. Apolion - Hungry Of Souls - Winds
28. Lordamor - Lordamor - He Eivat Elaneet Kauaa

Tape/Vinyl Rips #'s: 1, 6, 17, 18, 22, 24, 26, 27,
2010 Releases #'s: 11, 13, 17, 18, 26,
Background Music: Hyponic - The Noise Of Time