mercoledì 22 marzo 2017

Privilege Of Evil

Some saturday afternoon of 1993 I was, as usual, digging through New Zabrinskie Point's grind/ death/ black metal lps crate, looking for a way to spend the few money I've saved during the week. Instead of buying bus tickets or food, I used to save every lira I got to buy an lp during the weekend. I had just discovered death metal a few months earlier and everything was new and exciting to me and my friends. We usually bought records basing ourselves solely on how cool an album cover was or on the sporadic suggestion of older metalheads that were lurking around the shop. I bumped into a copy of Amorphis debut lp "the karelian isthmus" and was immediately intrigued by it. I liked the logo & the artwork and the guys on the back cover looked cool as fuck. Then I timidly asked to Stiv (the shop owner) if he could play it for me. While he usually blasted only Oi! or hardcore bands (and I've always suspected he hated metal in general), he was always extremely kind and friendly and played whatever we asked him. After the melancholic intro, "the gathering" erupted in all its slow brutality and a few seconds later I was immediately a devoted fan of this unknown finnish band. Flash forward to one year later. As soon as I found they just released a new album titled "tales of the thousand lakes", I immediately bought it. Of course again on vinyl simply 'coz back then they were cheaper than cds. Loved every single notes out of it just like every one else. While being weird and experimental, it was still brutal as fuck death metal! Expectation for the following album were of course high but when "elegy" came out in 1996, I was extremely disappointed. It wasn't metal enough for me and I simply lost interest in the band.

Recently I've been playing Amorphis first two full lengths a lot. While checking their discography on discogs, I've discovered their ep from 1993 titled "privilege of evil" that I've never heard of back then. It has just being reissued by Relapse in 2013 for the very first time on vinyl. After a quick listening on youtube, I immediately ordered a copy. While it came out one year after "the karelian isthmus", it has been originally recorded one year before it and was supposed to be a split lp with Incantation (!!). Here Amorphis doomish death metal was extremely raw and the melodies that characterized their sound were just outlined. The result indeed is not too far from other finnish death metal institutions from the same era (Demigod, Convulse & Disgrace above all). Three of these tracks are indeed a rougher version of songs that would be featured on their debut full length. Cherry on top, an Abhorrence cover, "vulgar necrolatry" with Jukka Kolehmainen (Abhorrence singer) doing vocals!! While you basically get only 2 unreleased tracks, this is an essential listening for all early finnish death metal maniacs! 

mercoledì 15 marzo 2017

FINAL EXIT (japan) interview 1996

Japanese premiere crazy noisecore heroes. 20+ years later, they're still around! Short but informative interview from their early days. Taken from Coroner's Report #3 from 1996.

mercoledì 8 marzo 2017

Excrete Your Own Shit!

Time to fill in some embarrassing gaps in my collection of two heavyweights of 90s grindcore. You know them since I've talked a lot about them in this blog: Warsore & GBN. Let's start with the australian undisputed kings of grindcore. Their split with Nee!, released in 1997 by Mortville Rec. was the last piece I needed to complete my Warsore collection (well, not considering all the posthumous releases that keep coming out). Scored it for cheap from a swedish dealer. Here these melbourne hillbillies have been captured at their peak: everything is balanced so perfectly without being overproduced that the final result is probably one of their best studio performance ever. Can't praise this band enough. As far as I know, this is their only release that came on coloured wax (or was the lathe cut with Egrogsid on clear?). On the other side,  dutch noisegrind  band Nee! pales in comparison. Poorly recorded and badly mixed (drums are way too high!!), they are just another number in the endless list of forgettable bands. 
I've been listening to Gore Beyond Necropsy a lot lately and since I still enjoy them as much as I did 20 years ago, I've decided it was about time to finally complete my collection. I've started with their split with tasmania's Egrogsid, released by Dry Retch twentyone  years ago. GBN was and still is one of the most extreme noisecore band ever. Started as another mere Carcass clone, they quickly morphed, or I'd better say mutated, into something deformed, scary & unique. Their ultra downtuned putrid sound, surrounded by a constant wall of feedback noise, mixed with some of the lowest growls ever and insanely fast drumming shaped what has become their trademark sound. Here they still used a drum machine and it fits perfectly in the gloomy atmosphere they created, making these eleven tracks sounding even more extreme. Not only GBN were a true aural butchery, their records also always looked damn cool. They had one of the most putrid logo (and band name) ever, all their artworks were dark and filthy and they used the coolest font ever for all their inserts/backcovers. No band pics were in their releases, adding more mystery to surround these japanese maniacs. The only one I saw in the 90s was a very blurry one featured in a zine. They simply built the perfect iconography for the putrid noise they played. Eighteen years old me was impressed just as much as forty years old me still is. Egrogsid performance on the other side aint bad at all. Filthy grindcore not too dissimilar to Warsore (with whom they shared some members). Overall, a very solid split release!

mercoledì 22 febbraio 2017

Shotgun

Over the years, there has never been too much bands outta Rome that caught my interest. The roman scene always seemed to me more youth crew & Oi! oriented. And I've never developed any interest in these two sub-genres. That being said, there are a couple of classic roman bands from the early 80s that played pure hardcore in the classic crazy italian style. One of them is Shotgun Solution. The best HC band that ever came outta the capital city. They released only a four songs EP titled "shotgun" in 1983 on High Rise Production. Simply a masterpiece. High-octane, fast & unpredictable hardcore that resembles a bit Negazione but, like all the italian bands from the golden era, simply sounds unique. Scored this record via a trade with a guy that I've met a few times at some gigs more than 10 years ago and then completely lost touch with him. Ahhh, the internet era! Cover has seen better days but this is what I call "italian EX conditions". For some reasons it's almost impossible to score local hc classic that weren't used to party hard back then...

domenica 12 febbraio 2017

Demo Tapes 1991-1995

As far as I remember, there has always been an inappropriate use of the term "noisecore". I still have vivid memories of me & my friends going to this anarchist squat in milano in the mid/late '90s to see a gig of unknown bands tagged on a flyers as noisecore. It turned out to be kinda of grunge bands with some feedbacks a la Sonic Youth. Needless to say we were all quite disappointed. Then it was used to describe crappy metalcore bands in the early 00s'. That kind of popular shit that was on Hydrahead Records. In more recent years I've seen it used also to describe noisy hardcore influenced by Kyushu bands. Stuff like Control, Isterismo & the likes. Not totally inappropriate but "noisepunk" is a more appropriate word to describe this scene. Indeed, true noisecore has to follow quite strict parameters: songs must be ultra-short, uber-distorted & with blast beats, lo-fi production & the "singer" must screams his guts out like a dying pig. It has to be released on split 7"s or, even better, DIY tapes. Bands attitude must be radical and dogmatic. This is what true noisecore is all about. Perhaps the only underground subgenre that has never turned mainstream and probably never will. And Noise outta Brazil fits perfectly these rules. They are indeed one of the undisputed pioneers of this style, being active since 1991. As the title suggests, this lp compiles the early demo tapes from this incredible band. Not only their music is radical and truly applies to the "caos non musica" mantra, their political attitude is even more drastic. They indeed follow a hardline anti-capitalistic politics so the only way to get their records/tapes was via trade. Even if you can actually buy this lp, they would be proud of me for getting my copy via a trade that I did with Dan/SPHC. So glad they did this reissue since, while their vinyl outputs are quite easy to find, the early tapes are extremely difficult to get. Not for everyone, but if 7MON, early Cripple Bastards, GBN and similars are constantly on your playlist, you won't be disappointed. 

martedì 31 gennaio 2017

Mutha Records flyers

Here's some awesome flyers (stolen from the net) of one of my fave american hardcore label ever: the mighty Mutha Records! Also a couple of old articles/reviews of Chronic Sick masterpiece...

mercoledì 25 gennaio 2017

Severed Survival

I think I've already mentioned here the big metal records purge I did in 2001. One of my biggest regret ever. Anyhow, a dozen metal records that meant something special to me avoided it. One of them was my copy of Autopsy debut full length "severed survival" released by Peaceville around 1989. To be more accurate, a copy of the second press from 1990 with the different (and way better IMO!) artwork. One of my fave death metal album ever, that I bought in the early 90s' from the legendary Stiv Rottame's New Zabrinskie Point record shop in Milano. This record survived several minor purges until 2014. Had to sell it in order to buy a more expensive record. Regretted it immediately, of course. Recently I've decided that it was time for it to come back in my collection. Found a copy for the same price I had sold mine and it was even in better conditions!
 1989 was a crucial year for death metal. It erupted from the underground to become a recognized genre worldwide. And Autopsy debut album can be included for sure in a top ten of death metal album from that seminal year that had a huge role in shaping and defining this new way of playing metal. Like everything that came out in a creative and experimental period, it has its own unique putrid sound that makes it a masterpiece. Of course songwriting is not yet your formulaic and boring US brutal death metal formula. It's a mix of death metal and doom, all dressed with perverted gory lyrics. A masterpiece, all superbly packed in a sick artwork and a printed dustsleeve with one of the coolest collage of pictures of the band.