mercoledì 27 aprile 2016

888 Metal

When it comes to colombian bands, I usually go for the original only. But in this rare case I gave up since the original has been eluding me for years and I didn't even own it in any other format. Since Nuclear War Now! Records recently reprinted Reencarnacion double lp discography (well, "kinda of" since all the demos are missing), I've decided that it was about time to get this while still looking for an orginal first press of the lp. And I must admit that I'm quite satisfied with it since they've done an excellent work as always at the NWW!HQ. Comes with a huge poster, a booklet full of pics, infos and interviews all housed in a beautiful gatefold cover with both lp & 7" artworks. If you're not familiar with them, here we are talking about a legendary band that had a huge role, along with their townmates Parabellum & Blasfemia, in shaping the ultra-metal medallo trademark sound. It's a primitive and raw mix of speed, trash & death metal with a huge hardcore vibe that could be considered proto-black metal. Euronymous itself cited Reencarnacion as a huge influence in creating Mayhem, just to give you a vague idea on how important this band is! First lp contains their "s/t" lp from 1988, their best work in my opinion. Second one has the "acompaname a la tumba" ep from the same year (where Piolin played all the instruments) which is a bit inferior compared to the full length and a live recording. The appeal of colombian metal is that they used satanic imaginary as the easiest way for frustrated teens to refuse the rules of the uber-catholic environment they grew up in (something I can totally relate to), not just as a mere shock factor to impress their audience. It's not indeed a sheer coincidence that, when this scene disbanded, they all had a huge role in creating the medellin hardcore scene and went to form bands like Restos De Tragedia, Herpes and few others.

mercoledì 20 aprile 2016

Promo pics

In the 90s', I've always used to get promo material for the crappy zine I did back then. Yes, labels sent you free stuff to review even if you were a 16 years old kid who printed 30 copies only of your shitty zine. Ahhh, the good ol'days. Anyhow, these parcels often included promo pics for the bands. Here's some of my fave that I've found online.

giovedì 14 aprile 2016


Another good one taken from Not Guilty 'zine #3 from 2010. Sent my copy of this zine back to its editor Beau since it ended up without a copy for himself. Before packing it, I've scanned this great interview with Meatdog of the mighty Reckless Aggression.

giovedì 7 aprile 2016

Into Darkness

I might have missed the whole 80s' scene because I was too young, but I'm old enough to have lived through the whole 90s'. They were my formative years and for sure a great period to get into extreme music. While in the last two decades we got nothing but legions of mere clones of the well known names from the glorious days, the 90s' have been the last decade where bands were trying to do something new and innovative just by pushing it to the extreme. Winter were a perfect example of this. Their were around for just three years but they spawned a new sub-genre. While everyone in the rising death metal scene was just trying to play faster than everyone else, Winter chose to follow the opposite path. They indeed decided to play it at the same speed tectonic plates collide with each other to create the most oppressive and gloomy music ever made. This is so dark, heavy and hopeless that could be just the sound of the world collapsing to its final destruction. They melted perfectly Celtic Frost midtempos with Amebix slowness but played it with a death metal sound. Even the artwork gives you a sense of alienation and no hope for the future. Of course at that time dumb metalheads weren't simply ready for something like this. This ain't stuff for slam-dancing! While being almost ignored there, they found their niche in the NY crust/hardcore scene of that time (Nausea, Rorschach ecc) which is not a surprise considering Winter's apocalyptic vision of the future.
I think I first listened to Winter "into darkness" lp around '93 or '94. I have a vivid memory of a picture of Kevin Sharp wearing a Winter shirt (band pics and thanx lists were a huge source of information in the pre-internet era) so, being a broken teenager always hungry for new music, I asked to a friend who had this to tape it to me. I was floored after the first listening. While I was all about grindcore and fast stuff, this had a huge impact on me and my friends. It was just the opposite side of the spectrum, but its sheer brutality was the slow equivalent of the fiercest grindcore band. I'm quite confident I still have that tape (of course with the logo and the title of the album roughly handmade on the j-card) in a box somewhere in my parent's garage. My policy back then was to invest the few money I had on new stuff, no matter how much I loved a record, so I kept listening to it on that tape. As the whole internet thing erupted, I slowly upgraded my whole tape collection to mp3s. Recently I've finally decided that I need a real copy of "into darkness". I scored this first press on Nuclear Blast for relatively cheap on discogs. If you know the pressing infos about this and the clear wax version, please drop a message or a comment. As soon as I saw the Nuclear Blast logo, I wished that I didn't sell my whole death/black metal collection back in 2002...
While the music is obviously metal, this insert explains perfectly why they were more popular among crusties and hardcore kids than metalheads...