mercoledì 24 maggio 2017

As Statues Fall

They must have printed the wrong logo on the cover, that's the only reasonable explanation. A band composed by Joe Denunzio, Matt Domino and Bob Deep Six is essentially the Infest recent line up minus Chris Dodge. I don't know why they have chosen to release this ep under the Exit Unit monicker and, honestly, I don't even care. This is the new Infest ep and it bloody rules. Unlike the last Infest ep "days turn back", which was rejected songs from "no man's slave" recording session, these are all brand new tracks composed and recorded between 2011 and 2015. The sound is crispy and powerful, all the trademark elements that made Infest one of the best hardcore band ever are all here. Those guys are unstoppable. Not only they are touring everywhere in the world, they've been also able, in their late 40s, to assemble the BEST ep of the year. On side A we got eight perfect powerviolence butcheries, played like only the godfathers of this genre can do and dressed with some of the most negative lyrics I've read in recent times. Side B, to maintain another Infest tradition, has a long midpaced instrumental stomper that will make you want to smash your head against the wall again and again. This record is basically the most awesome riff ever, instantly surpassed by following one, for the whole time it lasts. I was about to say that the current state of HC is quite sad if a bunch of old fat dudes has just released the ep of the decade. But, honestly, I don't care. It's nothing new of course but when you've invented a new sub-genre more than 25 years ago and you're still able to nail it down perfectly, you've won everything.    

lunedì 15 maggio 2017

For The Security

Let's talk about a forgotten jewel from the golden era of swedish death metal: Carbonized debut full length "for the security", released by Thrash Records outta france back in 1991. Considering that it's one of the best five album EVER that came from that scene and that Lars Rosemberg from Entombed and Christoffer Johnsson of Therion were part of the band, I cannot really understand why people don't praise it like they should. My guess is that this album is quite peculiar for your average death metal fan. It doesn't follow strictly the classic swedish death metal formula, it goes beyond it. It's full of blast beats (making Carbonized probably the first swedish grind band ever?), riffs are way far from the classic swedish DM recipes and there are a lot of tempo changes and weird song structures in general. The final result is something unique in its greatness. Death/grind with an almost psichedelic vibe going on for the whole album. If you can image a weird mix of Nihilist, Repulsion & Voivod, then you'll get a vague idea of how Carbonized sound. If they were on a bigger label than Thrash, they would have probably gotten all the attention they deserved. Essential classic. Scored this copy easily and for a very good price, too. Later stuff is too weird for my taste, but this and debut 7" are mandatory!

sabato 6 maggio 2017

CROSSED OUT interview

Great and informative posthumous interview with californian powerviolence legends Crossed Out. Taken from Bloody Ways 'zine #1 from 201?

lunedì 24 aprile 2017

Sangue Inutile

If you happen to dig a bit in the the early 80s' hc/punk scene from my hometown, Kobra is one of those name that, sooner or later, will pop up. It's one of those quite obscure bands that's mainly known between the collector nerds for their only release, 1985's "corri nel sangue dei tuoi nemici" (run in the blood of your enemies) self-released 7". Like it frequently happens, obscure doesn't necessarily mean great. It's like how Wretched would have sounded if they had a poor guitar work and were influenced by bad metal. Not even the fantastic cover could save that ep from its mediocrity. Apart from that, Kobra are mainly known for their 1983 UK tour with Wretched. Recently I was reading in General Speech #9 about a great live recording captured during that aforementioned tour. I usually avoid live recordings but this one intrigued me. I've asked around but since I'm not cool enough in the tape trading circuit, I couldn't get my hands on it. Then this bootleg ep, pragmatically titled "live queen's walk community centre nottingham 13 aug 83" surfaced in a distro. Recording is of course raw but not bad at all for being captured on stage. What really surprised me is that you can hear a completely different band here. While "corri nel sangue..." totally lacks of the trademark urgency of italian hardcore, songs here are more energic, faster and direct compared to the material they released 2 years later. It reminds a lot the Wretched side of their legendary split with Indigesti. All the eight songs featured here were also completely unknown to me. Perhaps material for a demo that unfortunately never got recorded? Anyhow, this bootleg re-evaluated completely Kobra in my books. A great piece of history for Milano and 80s italian hardcore in general.

martedì 18 aprile 2017

Seasons Are Going And Going...And Lives Goes On

A couple of weeks ago, while I was listening to the recent SPHC repress on wax of Final Exit 2008 "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" 3"cd, my partner suddenly came in the room. While she sporadically appreciates some hc/punk music, she usually hates grind/death/noise and everything in the middle. To my surprise she said: "I like this band. Who are they? They remind me Melt Banana. No wait, how was called that John Zorn band?". "Naked City", I promptly answered with my heart full of pride. "Yeah, Naked City! They sound like them". And I think she nailed it perfectly. It would be indeed too reductive to tag this album, and this japanese duo in general, simply as a noisecore band. 
I've been enjoying Final Exit since they released their first split eps in the mid 90s. They've always been an unique band that was able throw in their low-fi noisecore assault a lot of weird and unexpected parts. But on "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" they've outdone themselves to assemble their masterpiece. In barely 10.30 minutes, they melted perfectly their aural decimation with NWOBHM, Death Metal, HC/Punk, Pop, Doom, Surf, Rock, Industrial and Jazz parts. While they've obviously taken clue from Anal Cunt and Meat Shits (they are indeed named after the last ones), both Hisao and Ryohei are excellent musicians who could play whatever genre they wanted but consciously choose to stay loyal to their roots and keep gracing us with their wonderful noisecore. They've been able also to avoid the usual clichés of the genre: "SAGAGALGO" is a twelve tracks concept album about the flowing of the time. Tracks are named after the 12 months and the artwork reproduces perfectly the four panels of the cd version. It's housed in a full-coloured gatefold cover with a beautiful picture to represent each season. SPHC has given this reissue all the attention and quality it needed.

lunedì 3 aprile 2017

Muerte Convencional

Recently I've been finally able to cross off from my wantlist one of my mexican top wants. I've scored it again from that endless pit of insanely hard to find south american records that is my friend Jum's collection. I'm talking about the Desgarracion Brutal/ Regimen Democratico split 7", the only vinyl effort by both bands (DB also released a demo tape). Released in 1992 by Producciones Septima Regione (a label run by the Hereja guys), this might not be as well known as other mexican punk/hardocore classicos, but it's on the same level of greatness. Both bands offer two tracks each. DB are the undisputed winner here, uber brutal & wild mexican hardcore with guttural vocals in the vein of Atoxxxico or M.E.L.I. This sounds way better than their demotape. Regimen Democratico plays a more controlled & predictable style of hardcore/punk, but still with an unquestionable mexican flavor. Solid band as well. Scored this copy in immaculate conditions for a great price. The artwork looks like it has been draw by a 8 years kid and I love it for this reason. An awesome split that should be in every south american hardcore fanatic's collection, good luck finding one!

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!