Monday, 29 October 2012

Magic Bullet October Madness Part III - Pale Creation/Hessian split

Part III of my series of Magic Bullet Records reviews is the magnificent split between Belgium's Hessian, and Cleveland's Pale Creation. This split marks the debut release from Hessian, and Pale Creation's newest work since the split with Abraxis last year.
As 'I Am Heresy' were, Hessian are a completely new band to me. Being privileged enough to feature on a split with the almighty Pale Creation had given me high hopes for this band, and they have not disappointed; the songs are purely unrelentless.
I've heard they share members with Amen Ra, and this can be seen in some of the heavier elements throughout the five tracks they contribute. Their side of the split wastes no time getting straight into crushing guitar riffs with "Torch", which instantly reminded me of "Seizures in Barren Praise" from Trap Them. At times throughout the whole split the guitar work sounds very similar, albeit considerably slowed down.
That's not to say these guys don't know how to play fast, tracks like "Sang Froid" and "Rabhas" show these guys certainly know how to trash their instruments to the limit of their ability. The latter also has some perfectly vicious vocals that sound just like a tiger under siege. 
Some of the songs are re-recordings from an earlier EP released by smoke and dust records. I'll embed the tracks below so you can get a taste of Hessian's own brand of musical madness. 

Of course I had much more of an idea of what to expect from the Pale Creation side, although there were still a few surprises thrown in there I wasn't expecting. This side starts out with "Forgiveness Fails", which actually sees the band employing more trash-style elements than what we've seen for a while.
Next is "Red Chromate", which is probably my favourite track from the entire split. It starts with an intro that I can only describe as being beautiful, and is unlike anything I've heard from the band previously. Pretty soon this transitions into the heavy guitar riffs that any PC FAN would be more familiar with. It's got one great guitar solo about half way through too.
"Force the Madness" is a track I've been privileged to be able to listen to for a wee while now, although surprisingly I knew it as "Force of Madness". This is quite classic Pale Creation, incorporating all kinds of irregular beat structures and seeming to twist in and out of your ears.
Finally we finish with "Forever Illusion". From what starts out as what sounds like a siren running through the water, PC have crafted another perfect track displaying the true prowess of the band.

This too will be available digitally through iTunes on the 30th of October. And for those who, like me, prefer to have physical copies of their music, Magic Bullet records will also be handling the LP release. Whether you are looking for something ridiculously heavy or are just a returning FAN of Pale Creation, you don't wanna miss out on your own copy.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Magic Bullet October Madness part II - I Am Heresy - S/T

Here is part II of the Magic Bullet Records October release reviews; the self-titled album from "I Am Heresy". This is the first release from the band, and Magic Bullet has been known to have quite a diverse release schedule so I was not entirely sure what to expect. 
"The Sycophant" starts out with a slow piano intro, with the first key instantly bringing to mind "Alfadanz" from Burzum's Umskiptar. I thought perhaps this was the sort of sound I'd be expecting, but after a slight bit of feedback began to build behind the notes I started to change my mind. Even with this sudden change of anticipation, I was not adequately prepared for what was to come...

"I Am Heresy" is really quite a diverse album. After the slow piano intro, the initial track explodes into a fury of hardcore guitars and screams. Several of the other tracks, such as "BUTCHERS!" and the self-titled track follow in the same ferocious suit. But then there are times where the band take the complete opposite approach. Songs like "Seven Wolves and the Daughters of the Apocalypse" and "And Yet it Moves" combine more traditional hardcore elements with clean singing and ambient sections, while "Prince of the Flies" and "Jesus Doesn't Work Here Anymore" are entirely sung with either piano or acoustic guitar in the background.

There is also one track which stands out even amongst the already diverse range, and for that reason is probably my favourite of the album. "Osculum Infame" starts out with a tune sounding like it should belong more in a creepy haunted house than on your standard hardcore album. When the drums and vocals eventually kick in they are nothing but vicious and distorted, which just fits in perfectly with the creepy tune. If anything, this track brings to mind  the obscurity of "Rosa Italia" from Roses Never Fade. It doesn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the tracks, but in some strange way that makes it all the better.

Much like the Kill Life 7", this will be available via iTunes on the October 30th. Magic Bullet Records are also releasing the CD and LP, so you can enjoy this diverse album on just about any format you desire.

Magic Bullet October Madness part I - Kill Life - Snake Kills Whole Family

I've been privileged enough to be a part of the reviewing team for three of Magic Bullet Record's upcoming releases. There is some pretty exciting stuff, with the first of which being the brand new 7" from the ever obscure Kill Life. 
Entitled 'Snake Kills Whole Family', this EP brings you 2.5 brand new tracks from the hardcore meets powerviolence mystery band. Much like their first release with 33, Dwid is back on vocals, although this time he is listed as sort of surplus to the band. The rest of the band members are still entirely unknown, but may comprise members from  FUCKED UP, LEAF HOUND, and THROWING UP.

It seems the band have continued in the direction of "Chimpanzee Eats Friend" from their first split. That was definitely the most interesting track from that release so this is very welcomed. The title track starts off with a chilling baby's cry before bursting into the catchiest drum beat and riff the band have produced so far. Dwid's vocals are great as usual, and he finishes the track with one last howling scream.

Track two is titled "S.I.L (Sharks Invade Land)". In fact this continues very nicely from the first track, again starting off with shrill screaming and "Oh My God"s. Although from then on this sounds quite a darker track than the previous one, and is back to the chaotic wall of hardcore noise that anyone familiar with the band should know of by now. Whoever is playing guitar ends with a blistering solo.

Last of all is the half track; "Drink Blood From Human Skull". I say half of a track as it only lasts 24 seconds, and doesn't even really start until the 6 second mark. Although despite its short life span, the track is utterly chaotic, filled with all kinds of guitar and drum work and of course, Dwid's vicious screaming.

Perhaps best of all you only have a couple of days to wait to hear this all for yourself. iTunes will have all three tracks for you to download on 30/10/12. That's just in time for you to petrify the whole neighbourhood this coming Halloween. The Magic Bullet site will also be having physical copies of this before too long, so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on a copy too.

Here is a wee bit of what to expect;

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pulling Teeth / Frightener split 7"

As I said on the first of the Witches Sabbath posts, I've been trying to collect more of Pulling Teeth's back-catalogue of releases. Of course that includes the band's first split 7" with UK's Frightener. Originally released in 2008 on A389, this features 3 tracks from each band, with Pulling Teeth contributing the tracks "Stone Throwers", "Basically Dead" and "Sick and Tired". These are obviously now classics, but were what I assume to be early versions of tracks from "Martyr Immortal". To be honest, the tracks from Frightener are not really for me. I've got a copy of their LP "Guillotine" that Dom sent me for free a while ago, but I never really got into it. That 12" sure does look impressive though, maybe I'll post some pictures one day.

Quite a few different versions of this have been released now. According to Deadformat, the first pressing included 500 black/gold splotch, 350 white/black and 150 clear/black specs, which is what you see above. I picked up my copy through a bid on Ebay, and the seller was actually selling a couple of different variants. Of course I went for the more limited version, even if it did end up costing me quite a bit. There is also a test-press version out there, with 20 copies made. From what I gather this has alternate cover art as well. The record has proved so popular that there has also been a second press with 350 on silver and 150 on black and gold.

The artwork is really well done on this too; it features a skull ridden form of medusa. The snake theme is also continued on the inside of the cover. This inside also contains the lyrics to all 6 tracks, with the different bands displaying them in opposite orientations.

There are still quite a few Pulling Teeth records for me to get. I've realised I actually only have Martyr Immortal on CD, so perhaps that'll make its way onto my record shelf before long. Plus I'm keen to get a copy of the live performance with Dwid, "The Blackest Curse". Although that might have to wait a while until I get more funds. Those seem to be sought after, and thus pretty expensive.

As kind of an aside, A389 has put their entire catalogue online via bandcamp. That means you can listen to anything released by the label completely free! Of course this split is included, so I've embedded it along the bottom. I've put links to this and various other things on my media page, so feel free to check it out.

Monday, 22 October 2012

GOUM - Noise Sap CD

I've been hooked on GOUM since I first heard Rensa from their demo CD. I haven't been able to track down a copy of that yet, but got their demo tape and first 7" as soon as I could. These were just great and left me desperately wanting more from the band. Well after about a year since 'The Motherfetus", GOUM released their first full-length album - "Noisesap". Of course I desperately wanted a copy, but most of the sites selling were Japanese and thus poorly translated by google. Luckily I emailed Kotaro from Cyclone records/ Narm Discos and he was able to sort me out with a copy in a couple of days. Sadly it is only on CD so isn't quite as exciting as a nice new 12", but it's really all about the quality of the music right?
Noisesap brings 8 new tracks, spanning just over 32 minutes. All the elements from their previous work are still present; from the beautiful acoustic pieces such as 'Own Sins'  to the furious thrashing of 'Live to Live'. I don' think there's a point throughout the album that I wished wasn't there, it's all just excellent. And I still find it difficult to believe this band has a female vocalist!
 The CD has the usual band logo imprinted on the front, and comes with a nice lyrics booklet full of illustrations as you see above. 
I had a nice chat with Kotaro about how great the band is, and how much of a fan he is. If you're keen on this band (or similar bands like Parasite) I'd recommend getting in contact with him, it's probably one of the easiest transactions I've made.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Classified Resistance - Thee Compilation 12"

This one is jumping the gun a bit. I've been excited about this record for quite a while now, and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival when I pre-ordered it what feels like a long time ago. It only came yesterday, and has taken priority over other records that have been patiently waiting for their own post. Thee compilation marks the third release from Classified Resistance, the relatively new record label from Hope Guzzo. This is the first record released by the label, but I think a couple of exciting things are planned so keep your eyes peeled

So where to begin? It's a pretty big release, but the best place to start is probably with the artwork. If any of you have been following the Oede tumblr you may have noticed some artwork of similar style to this. You'd be right in thinking there was some connection, the artwork was designed by Thomas; the brain-child of the one-man black metal blues band. 
 On the back the artwork is continued and you get a glimpse of the bands contributing to the release.
 The version of the LP I purchased is clear blue, which I chose for several reasons. Firstly, I don't have any clear blue LPs yet, so it's nice to have one to look at (Blue is probably my favourite colour). There was also a clear red and plain clear version available which I don't have LPs like either, but that;s where the other points come in. This is limited to 100, while the clear red is out of 300. I know, I'm a sucker for thinking it matters but when you've got the choice you may as well. But what about the plain clear version? Well that was also limited to 100 copies, so I had to make the tough decision between blue and clear. I do like the clear vinyl, but clear blue just has that extra edge.
It may have been difficult to read the back of the cover, and it's probably no easier to read those centre labels. So here is who is on the LP; Thee High Priestess (Of course, right?), Oede, Strigoi, Vermapyre, VVegas, Cape of Bats, Broken Cross, Hedorah and Shane Speal. This ends up being quite a diverse compilation once you've listened to it all. The first side is almost entirely instrumental, starting with THP, who plays an eerie instrumental track. This is probably the best thing she's released to date. Oede provides a harsh black metal noise track, not dissimilar to "Stygge Faen" from One Man's Trash. Strigoi break the pattern on this side of the record and provide three and a half minutes of blasting fury. Vermapyre start out with a very harsh sounding guitar and play their signature style of black metal noise.
 On the flip side we start out with VVegas. Honestly I wasn't sure what way the band would go with this LP. Half of me was expecting something instrumental like the split with RIH or Moutheater, while the other half thought they'd bring out their unique style of metallic hardcore. Turns out the second half of me was right, the track is brilliant and sounds like the song from the recent Abraxis split
Next is Cape of Bats who play another classic black metal punk track. Broken Cross continue the hardcore theme of the side with 'Poison Blood'. I've said it before, but considering this is a one man band the songs are very solid. Hedorah is a band I've not heard of before, but a band that definitely offers something interesting. It's by far the heaviest track on the LP. Lastly there is Shane Speal; the 'King of the Cigar Box Guitar'. I've seen some videos of this guy on the internet and I was surprised by the track he played. It does fit in well with the rest of the compilation though.
As an extra with this release I also received a 20-page zine with artwork from each band. WOW!
 The cover is one of the pieces from Hope's Bones collection, which is really something else. I'd say the first page is part of 'Layers" but it looks like a newer photo than what's on the website.
 It'll take too long to discuss each piece of art, so you can just have a look at them for yourselves. It should be pretty obvious which piece belongs to who.
 All in all it's a great record that was well worth the wait to get. It hasn't disappointed in the slightest. Some of the bands have even been kind enough to put their songs online. I've embedded the player just below.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Pulling Teeth - Witches Sabbath VI 7"

Recently I posted about my goal to collect the Pulling Teeth Witches Sabbath series. Well that goal is still going, and here is my next in the series. This is number VI, which marks the end of the series of cover records by the band. I was initially going to get a copy from Discogs, but then I saw a copy going cheaper on Ebay. I was all set to place my bid, but then I saw an even cheaper copy for sale. This was actually from Firestarter records, who released the record in the first place. It just goes to show that people will try to rip you off wherever they can..
I don't really have a lot to add from the previous post; everything is pretty much the same as before. Much like number IV, the artwork is a piece from Francesco Maria Guazzo's Compendium Maleficarum, depicting people interacting with the supernatural.
Again, this is a one-sided reverse groove record, containing just one song. I'll have to be extra careful to keep the records with the correct artwork, I'm not sure there is any other way to physically distinguish between them. Of course audibly there is a major difference. Instead of 'Teenage Lobotomy', this time around Pulling Teeth cover 'Crawler' by Ink and Dagger.

Also like number IV, this was part of a special pre-order package. This was bundled with the Firestarter records exclusive CD version of Pulling Teeth's monumental album; 'Funerary'. In fact, as far as I know this bundle package is still available to purchase if you desire.
What's nice about getting this record directly from a label is the goodies that come along with it. First of all I received two stickers, which is always appreciated. However, a bit more exciting is the free demo CD-R I also received. I'd never heard of The Separation before, but for a short demo it isn't all that bad.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Misery Business

I just saw this and reckoned it worth sharing. It may be a Paramore Cover, but Eddie Brock have created something that really rules.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Cult of The Seven Crowns Mixtape I - Land of Screwdom

When I first heard (or perhaps read is more appropriate) this tape was going to be released, I was keen to pick up a copy a.s.a.p. Surely enough I ordered one as soon as I could, and it arrived rather promptly. Now I knew the sort of songs I'd be expecting to hear when I first played the tape. In this way the tape wasn't a surprise, but in another way I haven't been more surprised by a release in a long time. When I first played it recognised a beat coming from Mobb Deep, although something was different about it. It seemed painfully slow and distorted but soon enough the signature Gehenna-style madness flooded the speakers.
And that's what the whole tape is like really, it's great. It's an interesting take on the usual metallic hardcore, I'm not sure of another mixtape in this style that has taken this approach. But it certainly makes some of the tracks sound particularly menacing. To get a taste of what I mean perhaps try loading up Audacity and messing around with 83%. If you slow it down from 45 to 33 rpm you may just get an appreciation of what I mean.
As you can see we've quite a diverse range of tracks on this tape; ranging from Gehenna and Sangraal to The Discreet Doll Band and Fog Spectre. It certainly makes for an interesting mix of 'genres'.
Only a mere 100 of these tapes have been released in a joint effort between Idonuem Bello and Fuck Yoga, with mine being lucky number 72. It seems these are now all sold out, so if you're keen for some COT7C action you'll have to hit up Ebay in the hope some foolish person is willing to let go of their precious copy.
One of the more interesting tracks on the tape was the very last one, 'Fog Mistress' by Fog Specter. I've heard nothing of this band before, and can't seem to find much information on the internet apart from a rumoured 7". Even Evan (who has written a great review of this tape himself) didn't have any more information than that which was surprising. If anyone else can enlighten me on this band I'd greatly appreciate it.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Rot In Hell / Horders split 7" - Blue

My last post was about a second-copy pick up, and it was pretty quick and easy to write, hence I thought I'd do the same again. This time around I've got something I think is a little more exciting; a copy of the RIH/Horders split on blue wax. I initially wrote about the black version I got a while ago, but was recently trawling the discogs marketplace and came across this copy selling for really cheap. Funnily enough, reading the old post it seems I somewhat predicted the existence of this post. I've always liked the look of the blue version, so thought there would be no harm in getting one for myself.
This is pretty much exactly the same as the black version, all except for two reasons. The first is the most obvious and has already been mentioned about 4 times; the colour. The vinyl is a lovely blue colour that matches the font on the cover art great. As a nice touch the inner sleeve is also the same kinda sky blue. Oh, and this version is limited to just 100 copies.
The inside of the artwork is exactly the same once again. But it's really well done so it deserves another photo.
Here is the second difference between this version and the black version, this one comes with an HT planchette just like the one on the cover art. This ties in nicely with the whole Ouija board theme of the release (which I'll admit I didn't pick up on until Gavin mentioned below). In all honesty this was probably the main reason I was after one of these blue copies, I love getting the little things.
When I actually ordered this the seller didn't mention if it was included or not. It was pretty cheap,so I didn't get my hopes up but thought it was worth a shot. Of course once it arrived I checked to see if it was the plastic sleeve, and I couldn't see anything. I was a bit disappointed, but what can you do? Anyway, after taking everything out to have a good look I noticed something small slip out of the inner record sleeve and onto my bed. I'll leave you to guess what it was....
I've recently mentioned how good the acoustic incarnation of Rot in Hell is, and if you are a fan of the band I strongly suggest getting your hands on a copy of this (even if its only digital). Plus the horders side is something that'll really grow on you. Well it has on me anyway, so much so that I've also picked up their latest 12" LP that I'll be writing about very soon....