venerdì 12 gennaio 2018

Danger Situation

Αντίδραση"Κατάσταση Κινδύνου". No, I'm not trying to improve the intellectual level of this blog by throwing down random greek letters to get rid of you dumb punks. I'm talking about one of the highlights of the greek punk/hardcore scene: Antidrasi (reaction) debut lp "Κατάσταση Κινδύνου" (danger situation). The greek scene has always been not well-known outside of their borders. I guess  the main reason was the language barrier: their peculiar alphabet made it simply impossible for non-greek speaking fans to remember the band's names. Nonetheless, in the early 80s' greece had a strong punk scene with incredibly solid bands such as Stress or Γενιά Του Χάους (Chaos Generation). While hardcore was already sprouting all around europe, over there it erupted only around mid/late 80s'. One of the first band doing it was Antidrasi. Their 1989 debut ep "Αίμα Στους Δρόμους" (blood in the streets), released by Wipe Out! Records, is unanimously recognized as the very first hardcore slab of wax that ever came outta greece (one of my TOP WANT, by the way). Their debut full length was released the following year on the same label and it's a milestone: rough, without compromises and energic HC with a sound and songwriting that remind a lot hc/punk bands from mexico & south america from the very same period. You know I'm a sucker for this kind of sound so I immediately felt in love for Antidrasi as soon as I discovered them recently (never paid attention to the greek scene until recently, shame on me!). The artwork features a zombie-cop with a greek flag dripping blood so, even if you don't understand a single word of their lyrics, it's not too hard to figure out that they are not talking about tzatziki or moussakà. Greece has always had a strong political protest tradition (as we saw as well in recent years), so of course it's not a big surprise that its punk/hc bands are extremely political.
There are three presses of this record: the first one from comes with a 'zine, 2 posters and stickers (if you can provide scans, please get in touch); a repress from the same year without inserts and different labels (the one I got) and a third and final press from 1993 on red wax. I've got mine for very cheap so it's not that hard to find a copy for a good price if you look around...

sabato 30 dicembre 2017

2017 End Of The Year list

Haven't posted anything this month even if I made some great scores recently. Being busy/not feeling inspired were the main reasons for the lack of posts. Anyhow, 2017 has been a decent year I guess. About record collecting, my trend of not caring about new releases is stronger than ever. I've bought very few new releases and only four of them made an impression. Do I have missed something worth checkin out? On the other side, there has been some long due awesome represses and I've managed to delete from my wantlist lots of stuff that was on it for way too long. It's also worth mentioning that the best score this years were made via trade. I haven't done as many trades as this year in 10+ years. I hope this will keep going in the future. Nothing better than scoring a rare record without shelling out a single euro!

New releases:

Represses/ Discographies:
-ATOXXXICO demos lp + punks de mierda 7"
-GAUZE lps
-EKHYMOSIS & NEMESIS 7" (keep rare colombian metal represses coming!)
-NURSE discography lp

Scores:
-WRETCHED "in nome...", NERORGASMO 7", INDIGESTI "osservati.." lp & SHOTGUN SOLUTION 7"
-Got back tons of classic death metal/grind from my teenage years: TERRORIZER, CARBONIZED, AUTOPSY etc...

martedì 28 novembre 2017

In Nome Del Loro Potere Tutto E' Stato Fatto

Over the years, I've managed to slowly cover pretty much the entire Wretched discography in this blog. Considering that I will never own a copy of their split with Indigesti (unless I get pretty lucky or rich), their only record that kept eluding me was "in nome del loro potere tutto è stato fatto" (in the name of their power everything has been done) 7", self-released by the band in 1983, even before their own legendary Chaos Produzioni label was born. I was tempted by the recent offical box repress but, since it was the only one I was missing, I decided to wait. Of course it could have been easier if I'd shell out the  money that sellers on discogs ask, but it was always way too overpriced. Recently I was setting a trade with a japanese friend who I know has multiple copies of it (!!).  I asked if he wanted to part from one copy and, when he agreed, I couldn't believe my quest was finally over without shelling out a single euro. Coming from the land of the rising sun, of course it is in immaculate conditions. It misses the italian insert but, oh well, I can definitely survive without it.
Here we got early Wretched finest moment. From the legendary artwork to the matrix, everything is simply perfect here. The eight songs featured here are some their most iconic: "la logica del potere", "spero che venga la guerra" & "non posso sopportare" are some of the highlights of their entire discography in my opinion. The sound is perfectly balanced in its roughness: not too raw like the Indigesti split ep material but also not too well produced like in their full length. The perfect recording for a hardcore/punk band. One of the few reasons to be proud of my hometown.

venerdì 17 novembre 2017

SPEW interview 1998

Here's a well hidden japanese grindcore secret: The Spew. As far as I know, they recorded only 6 tracks that can be found here. Essential short noise/grind for all the maniacs out there! This is probably their only interview ever, taken from spanish 'zine Ironia#4 from june 1998. (my scans do not suck, Ironia'zine low quality pixelated layout does!)

venerdì 10 novembre 2017

Tales Of A Pretentious Asshole#007

Let's talk about a local well hidden secret this time (perhaps due to their jawbreaker name?): the mighty Sagatrakavashen. This was a name that kept popping up occasionally on local 'zines during the '90s, but I've never managed to get a copy of their demo. Then oblivion removed this name from my mind. Until recently. Some japanese friend posted about this band on instagram, and suddenly my interest in this band resurfaced even more intense than back then. And, unlike 20+ years ago, we now live in an era where every information is virtually just a couple of clicks away from you. I indeed ended up finding Pentacolar (the mastermind behind this band) phone number extremely easily. I immediately called him and we got a long and interesting talk about his band from back then. He also provided me a couple of copies of the recent repress of "Sexual Lust" on 7" and even a copy of their extremely rare last tape titled "Borealis".
But let me put everything in the right context before I start. It's the year of the lord 1989. Black Metal, as we know it today, doesn't exist yet. An unknown band hailing from a small mountain town just a couple of hours away from where I live, managed to create that exact music a few years earlier than most of the well known norwegian names.  Pentacolar himself told me that their main influences were Celtic Frost "morbid tales" & Bathory debut album, so it's not a big surprise that they ended up sounding like Dark Throne or Immortal before they even existed. And please don't lemme start talking about their look: corpse-painting, leather pants and studs? Ok, Pentacolar's shoes look more like they were stolen from a Kiss cosplayers meeting, but I guess you got the point. These guys were simply way ahead of their time! Expecially the opening track "necromanzia" is just pure second wave of black metal from the first to the last note under every point of view. The extremely raw production (we're fully in the shit-fi department here) just gives it even more atmosphere. There's an 8mm video of them playing this song in their crypt (their only gig ever) that I hope will see the light one day. Sagatrakavashen started as a solo project, but for this tape Pentacolar was joined by Satanic Drums (worst nickname ever!) so the band became a duo. This brought a strong '80s italian hardcore influence. According to Ugo (Pentacolar's real name), songs on side B were composed with the support of the aforementioned drummer who was mainly a hc kid. Indeed both "reincarnazione" and "lussuriosa" (my fave Saga track!) sound like an incestuous mix of Bathory and Wretched. The band indeed consciously defined itself "black-core" and I think they totally nailed it. The shit-fi production makes it also sounds a lot like early mexican hardcore or ultrametal & punkmedallo from Medellin that was recorded on the other side of the globe in the very same period. And that's not a big surprise since the conditions were pretty much the same: shitty equipment, same influences in almost the same catholic and latino cultural background. 
"Sexual Lust" was originally released on tape in 1989. Two versions of this tape exist: one with 4 tunes plus the intro and a second one with an instrumental track and an extra one. Originally they were supposed to release the first version on 7" as well in 1990, but for some obscure reasons only 100 copies were made back then. 23 years later, due to the attention the band was getting, Pentacolar decided to print 300 more copies of it under the flag of his label Umbrella Records.
In 1991 Saga went back to the one man line-up (if I remember correctly, it was due to Satanic Drums' conscription). So Ugo recorded their third and last demo "borealis" before disbanding forever. (Yes, there's a first demo titled "forza arcana" recorded in 1988 as a solo project as well. But I've been told the production is so raw that is unlistenable). Here you'll get another unhealthy dose of their black-core with the same uber-raw production that I totally love! Not a lot of copies of this went around and I've been lucky enough to get also a couple of unreleased tracks recorded on it! That being said, the title track, "alba tragica", "notte di salem" and "I am the sign" turned out to be pretty solid tunes with all the trademark Saga elements but maybe with a bit more of metal and less hardcore influenced. "Marilou", a weird mid-paced, almost stoner rock tune, close the dances. The unreleased ones do not reach the same level of greatness so it's totally understandable why they had been cut off. All in all, a pretty solid follow up to "sexual lust", their masterpiece in my opinion.
Trivia note: on the lower left corner of "sexual lust" cover, you can notice a crushed box. It's from a very well-known biscuits brand from Valtellina, the valley where Saga came from as well.   

sabato 28 ottobre 2017

Hymn To Abramelin

Last week I went to the local record fair. My main goal was to conclude an already settled trade. Once the trade was done, I started lurking around the various crates. A first press of Blasphemy "fallen angel of doom", exposed on the wall of a stand that was mainly selling dad-rock, captured my attention. I decided to check it later since I thought there was no one around that could be interested in this particular record. After visiting a couple of overpriced dealers (300 € for a Declino ep in shitty conditions, lol), I went straight to the Blashemy one with no hurry at all. Of course, as soon as I arrived, I immediately noticed the record wasn't exposed anymore. Then I saw, right in front of me, a bloody metalhead buying it in that exact moment. Well, this time I've had to bite the bullet since it was nothing but my fault. As soon as the lucky bastard left, I started to talk with the dealer to only discover that the price was  good too, damn it! Then he told me "well, check these 3 crates, there's good stuff in here as well!". So I hopelessly started the process of flipping through endless piles of records. Of course there was nothing I was looking for so I gave up after the second crate. While I was quietly leaving, hoping of not being noticed, the guy told me loudly: "what, you don't check the last one?". I felt forced so I submissively went through it as well. While I was almost done with this crate as well, I finally found something I was looking for: a copy of Messiah "hymn to abramelin" with the red cover (it's the second press but I like it more than the first one on black). I briefly negotiated the price with the dealer so I ended up paying a fair price for it.
What can I say about this record? Perhaps one of the most underrated and overlooked band ever. Hailing from Switzerland and featuring a future member of the mighty Fear Of God, these guys got unfortunately overshadowed by Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. But in 1986 they released this monster of a debut album that was way ahead of its time. While there's still an undeniable slightly thrash influence going on, the main ingredients are definitely more closer to the first black metal wave and even proto-death metal, I'd dare to say. Something not too far from another classic album released during the same year on the other side of the globe: "Morbid Visions". With whom it shares also the same kind of raw production that would soon become a standard for the second wave of black metal. For sure a pioneering band that set the standard for the bands to come and still sounds relevant today. Too bad they never got the attentions they absolutely deserved.

venerdì 6 ottobre 2017

Pulidores De Tumbas

I didn't want to buy this record at first. Their debut ep was good fast hardcore but nothing far away from your average hardcore band. Plus, I was scared that they turned "goth" like most of the mexican hardcore outputs of the last two years. And both artwork and title presumed that everything went exactly in that direction. But since it was released by SPHC, basically the only modern label that's releasing new bands I care about, I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did it since this is a huge improvement compared to "juvetud descerebrada". Sacrificio debut full length "pulidores de tumbas" has a perfect recording: everything is balanced smoothly so you can hear distinctly every instrument. The songwriting has improved a lot compared to the ep. It's an awesome riff after another. Like for Tercer Mundo, the only other modern mexican band I'd dare to compare to Sacrificio, they didn't rip off the classic mexican hc sound. They created their own style which is always a nice touch in an era where hc/punk has became an endless repetition of the usual boring clichés of the genre. I don't think I've heard another 2017 hardcore release that sounds so fresh without upsetting the rules of the game. A serious contender for the best lp of the year if you ask me.