ASTRAL BUTCHER Jan 2020 cassette

ASTRAL BUTCHER

Demo Cassette Tape Jan 2020

A Great Bad Transfer

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I got this tape in the mail on Friday and it made for a great start to the weekend.  I had zero knowledge of who these guys were and had never heard them before so I had fun digging around “the google”, while listening to this metal rawness.  The tape was packaged like it came straight out of the 1980’s and a hesher handled it from start to finish and dropped it off to the post office on his way to the mall (to score weed).

Upon the first listen I could hear some demo styled Possessed from like 1984 or something.  Straight up noisy and raw blackened metal that sounded kind of like Chuck from Death had come back from the grave to help them record it in a ’85 sorta way (you know… on a boom box).

Upon the second listen I could hear black metal in the bands sound, but that comes straight from the vox.  Not much can be determined about songs, and the titles etc… this is done pretty mysteriously.  I love the solos that basically hover over the entire recording, and after some digging I found out it was Shaun from Annihilation Time, Gordon Solie, Wetbrain, Midnight, etc. was partially to blame for this nastiness.   The rest of these guys are lifers from Life’s Halt, Annihilation Time, Holier Than Thou?, California Love, Letcherous Gaze, Yarrow etc.  Again, after scouring the inter web I found the bands bandcamp, and can honestly say the band sound totally different than on the cassette tape I got in the mail.  First off, the vox are way to loud for my tastes on their bandcamp and everything sounds cleaner there.  The tape is/was done 100% how it should be done.  It sounds so old, real, and raw that it seriously leaves me wondering how they accomplished this feat.  I was tape trading in the early 80s and this tape could have fooled me.  Do yourself a favor and figure out how to score the actual tape… don’t listen to the digital until after you listen to the tape mix.  Email addy on the tape is Denimyeti83@yahoo.com.  Otherwise try to contact them on their bandcamp. (NW)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

HELL BENT • Apocalyptic Lamentations LP (2019)

HELL BENT • Apocalyptic Lamentations LP (2019)

Armageddon Label

Atomic Action

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This is some raw as fuck hardcore punk disguised as metal.  It rarely slows down and has elements of crust, D beat, traditional metal, thrash, black metal (at times)… I think it’s safe to just call this poor man’s metal or some type of crossover.  It’s like a lot of the stuff that I heard in the 80s and didn’t really get right away due to rawness and production. Well, I get it now.  This will resinate well with fans of extreme metal music for sure.  My favorite song on this was the slower one called “Ichthyosis” (track three).  It reminded me of Destructor.  Dudes cover a Znowhite tune as well.  

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I hope these Rhode Island freaks keep at it putting out more records and playing some shows in NJ near me.  The band features members of Dropdead, and Ulcer.   I’m pretty glad I got this one on wax.  Great cover art as well.  (NW)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

TOTALED • Lament CD

TOTALED-Lament CD (2019)

Profound Lore

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I’ve been driving around listening to this on repeat in my work van for two weeks and I must say that I’m pretty surprised at how long I’ve been digging on this without becoming totally burned out on it.  It has actually made me want to hunt down the vinyl (but we all know how much we must shell out for a new metal record these days).  

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This album starts off with some really cool and mellow acoustic guitar playing. These parts come back a few times throughout the listen.  Straight after the mellow intro things immediately rip into a blasting frenzied black metal style that I’d say reminds me of really early Watain, Mayhem, Dark Throne, etc.  Personally, I’d have lost interest in this album if it just continued down that road but it doesn’t.  There is a very cool epic crust style that is also happening with some obvious Swedish and Japanese Hardcore influences.  Along with all of that, Tragedy immediately comes to mind with some of this bands riffs and parts.  I really like how Totaled have been able to successfully merge crust with BM.  It works for them and sounds catchy and melodic, yet still retains its heaviness and speed. The record has major balls.  The production is pretty killer too.  Profound Lore put this out and have been at it forever churning out some super listenable metal.  (NW)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

DARKTHRONE • Old Star LP

Darkthrone – Old Star LP

Peaceville Records 2019

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I just picked this up on vinyl today after listening to a streaming version that a buddy sent me recently.

What’s incredible to me is that these guys are still at it and have 18 LPs to their credit now. In my opinion this record took a lot of courage to make. Dudes straight up have let their 80’s hair metal roots shine through on much of this beast. In the riffage I can hear the likes of Motorhead (the first song), Wasp, Crüe, AC/DC, Kiss, Armored Saint, Ratt, etc.. I think a lot of black metal fans might not get it, and the only saving grace to them might be the vox (which have a very strong Celtic Frost vibe cutting through). Don’t get me wrong, this is still heavy… just has some other influences I haven’t heard by them in prior releases.

What I love about Darkthrone is that they could give two fucks if they lose or alienate die hard BM fans (or any fans for that matter). They seem to only care about what they like or would want to listen to at a particular moment in time. I think thats pretty awesome. You can tell that both these gentlemen are super open minded when it comes to music and life.

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I love the first four albums, and for that time period they were radical innovators of that second wave of BM. As odd as it might sound to some I would rank this album right up there after the first five (coming in sixth). Its so catchy, and daring that I haven’t been able to stop listening to it or get the tunes/riffs out of my head.

As I stated earlier I think that it took a lot of courage to play/write riffs like these when they know that their fans can be a pretty closed minded group of individuals. It seems people who follow the genre will usually just want more of the same, and you don’t get that here. You don’t get the rawness, crudeness, or hate that the first four have going for them. You don’t have the crust punk element that seems to have influenced them over the last ten years. This is big sounding (those fucking drums). The production is unbelievably good and I think Fenriz and Ted are able to prove that they are still innovators with this full length. I love everything about it. (NW)

 

HEAVY TRIP (2018)

HEAVY TRIP (aka Hevi Reissu) (2018)

Directors: Juuso LaatioJukka Vidgren

Starring: Johannes Holopainen, Samuli Jaskio, Antti Heikkinen. Max Ovaska, Minka Kuustonen

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This is a silly comedy that my friend Bill Florio was raving to me about a few months back. It finally came up on Prime so I ditched trying to make it through Adios Texas to watch Heavy Trip.  Its sort of trying to be a modern (This is) Spinal Tap that is set in Finland.  The story is that of a Heavy metal vocalist who lives in a quiet little town in Finland.  He works as an orderly or something at a mental hospital… but when he’s not cleaning up shit he is rocking out in the barn with his fellow dorky band mates in a group called Impaled Rektum.  The dudes have been practicing for twelve years, but have never played a live gig or written an original song.  After they mistakenly write an original, they some how end up getting a invitation to play Norway’s largest Metal festival.  Lots of bad slap stick comedy occurs throughout the flick.  Most the time it can be painful to endure, but the brutal music and story keep me watching.  Also love spotting obscure metal t shirts, patches etc.  I wouldn’t watch this again, but It was okay.  (NW)

NW: Nate Wilson    DC: Devon Cahill   MA: Matt Average