Monday, December 23, 2019


Article by M Teresa Clayton (from a post on Facebook)

We have all been advised to not discuss money, religion or politics. Don’t discuss it with family, friends or strangers. Don’t discuss it in public (or in public forums). But, we do it anyway.
For the past three years, we have been discussing politics at a fever pitch. We are deeply divided. We are critically polarized. We have come to see the other as an enemy, as lesser folks, as idiots.
So, why do we continue to discuss, debate or bully those that have a different take on the process? Could it be to hear ourselves think? Could it be that we love a fight? Could it be that we love the attention? Could it be that we want to publicly display our political prowess? (Oh boy, wait till I get into it with this guy and show him how intellectually superior I am!) What I do know is this, arguing causes a severe case of selective hearing.
There are always going to be people who disagree with us. There will always be people we do not agree with. There are always going to be those who believe one thing while the other believes something else. I could go on and on. Where is the truth? Where is the absolute correct side of the issues?
Using the above as a diagram – there are two deeply polarized positions on the political scale (maybe more, but for argument’s sake, we’ll only look at two). We tend to become zealots when attacked, or what seems like an attack. Another way of looking at this is to view the synonyms – fanatic, radical, maniac, extremist, nut. The truth does not solely exist on the extremes – it is, indeed, somewhere in the middle… finding it is the problem.
We all see a gross amount of news, posts, pictures, and written arguments to know how the other side sees its truth. We all have similar beliefs on who did what to whom and how the other side is lying or covering up something. It becomes even more evident in a public debate/argument. “What about what so-and-so did?” Gaslighting. Cherry Picking. Distracting. Etc.
Little do we know what is fact and what is fiction. It really depends on our own needs, wants, fears, prejudices, religious affiliations, family affiliations, so on and so on. Even where we live can have a great influence on our views of right and wrong, truth and lies.
So, how do we proceed? I don’t have an absolute to offer.
I liked you before I knew about your political views so why can’t I continue a friendship while respecting your choices?
Perhaps one way to better have this conversation is through a positive rather than a negative approach. I cannot change your mind while debating you, arguing with you or hating you. But, maybe I can affect your position by offering information passively. I can post articles, cite sources for my position, ask questions and invite you to ask me. No judgment.
One thing we can all agree on is this – the world is becoming more and more complicated every year. The world is an ugly place for beautiful people to coexist without incorporating some of that ugliness ourselves. But there are ugly and beautiful souls on both sides. There is no remedy in becoming more divided and polarized. We need to stop attacking each other and learn to dance. There will always be yin to our yang.
If you think that this world is close to collapse, let me remind you that life itself breathes in and breathes out. There will always be a time of struggling, of being broken down in order to rise up better and more enlightened. For some of us, this is a time of darkness and we fear it. For others, it is a time of light. That will change and those who felt the darkness will stand in the light and those in the light will come into their darkness.
People, we NEED to be on opposite sides in order to protect those the truth and our salvation. Falling into one mindset eliminates those checks and balances and we would find ourselves living like Eloi to the Morlocks (Time Machine by H.G. Wells – maybe we should all go back and watch this movie again – or for the first time. It is a good predictor of the future – according to Wells).
We must not be distracted by being separated into two camps that cannot get along. We must find a way to be critical thinkers and to remain our neighbor’s brother/sister. No room for hate.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Full Length Review: STRAIGHT HATE "Black Sheep Parade" (Deformeathing Production) by Reggae

Location: Chelm/Lublin, Lubelskie
Country: Poland
Genre: Grindcore, death metal
Full Length: Black Sheep Parade
Format: CD, streaming
Release date: September 21st, 2019
I've heard Straight Hate before and even reviewed one of their releases once. They set a rather high standard for their last release and now the time has come to review their next album. I have to say, it's really cool to see a band like this that I really liked last time come back with another really strong release. In fact so strong, I think I like it even better than their last release. For those that don't know Straight Hate combines a rather addictive mixture of hardcore and grindcore, and maaaannnnn it feels good to see a band do this stuff so well!
For those that don't know the lads hail from Poland, and fuck me, these dudes are angry. With the benefit of the modern age Straight Hate has managed to combine the riffage and pummeling drum sound of early Napalm Death (first few albums) with hardcore sensibilities, simple riffage, and some great breakdowns and made it sound really good. The crystal clear production means you can hear the riffage and the drumming perfectly and this allows the listener to fully appreciate it.
The songs themselves are no bullshit grind attacks. Most songs fall into the 1:30-2:30 minute range so there's no time for wanky crap.... just straight down to business. Delicious riffage with flawless execution is the order of the day. In my humble opinion, there is absolutely nothing bad that can be said about this band. The vocalist reminds me of the original vocalist from Terrorizer. This is addictive stuff, and I have to say I got drawn right into it from the start of this release. I know it sounds like I'm blowing smoke up these dudes’ asses, but this release really is that good. I would even say it goes beyond being good for the genre; it’s a great metal release full stop. Whether you like grind or not you won't be able to deny how good these guys actually are.
All I can do is implore you to look these guys up and see for yourself!!!! -Reggae

Kuba Brewczyński: Vocals
Kamil Nowicki: Guitars
Przemek: Bass
Wizun: Drums

Track list:
1. Pawns In The Game
2. Meaningless Trash
3. The Kneaders
4. Fuck Divisions
5. Uncontrolled Hypertension
6. Insurance Policy
7. Turn On Thinking
8. Patostream
9. Above The Law
10. Black Sheep Parade
11. Lost In Greed
12. Gnijące Istnienie
13. Degraded Modern Society
14. Bastard
15. Nosedive
16. Cribe Contest

Monday, December 16, 2019

Demo Review: Y3M "Demo 2019" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Y3M
Country: Korea, USA
Genre: Mincecore, goregrind, noise
Demo: Demo 2019
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: December 2019
During my usual Youtube search, I scrolled upon Demo 2019 by Y3M. It was listed as a fusion of mincecore, goregrind, and noise, so obviously I had to hit the play button to see what this was all about.
First and foremost, I need to say that this demo is highly unique. Although there are hints of goregrind and mince, the aspects that stand out the most are all elements of noise. Harsh feedback paired with various off-the-wall audio distortions are rampant amidst sporadic and intense vocalizations, guitars, and tight drumming. This short release may not be for everyone, but for me, I find these tracks to be quite pleasurable.
Another thing worth mentioning is that I feel like I am on drugs when I listen to this. The "music" is so out there that it almost makes me high in a supremely dysphoric way.
As stated within the bio provided by "Gore Grinder" on Youtube, this is a "Fresh bi-national, noisy mincing grind'n'gore duet featuring Austin Eller (Ulcerating Noise Eruption) from Baltimore, USA on guitars/vocals and Yuying Lee (Sulsa, Little Puppy Princess) from Seoul, South Korea on drums." The only mentioned project that I have heard of is Sulsa, but after checking out this demo by Y3M, I am intrigued to hear more from this seemingly iconic duo.
"Demo 2019" is the first release by this pair, but hopefully they have more noises up their sleeves. Awesome distortions, Y3M! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Austin Eller: Guitars, vocals
Yuying Lee: Drums

Track list:
1. youtube is skynet
2. anti anti antifa aktion
3. 2bucks beat
4. i feel noise
5. 有錢無罪 無錢有MINCE

Friday, December 13, 2019

EP Review: INTREPID CORPSE "Human Scum Waste Pile" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Pape'Ete
Country: French Polynesia
Genre: Mincecore/grindcore
EP: Human Scum Waste Pile
Label: Independent
Format: Digital
Release date: October 21, 2019
As I was writing some fiction and various true stories tonight, I came to the realization that it has been a while since I wrote a music review. After finishing up the editing that I had planned, I decided that it was time to remedy this.
As always, my first thought was to hit up Youtube and check out the newer grindcore and goregrind releases that have been posted. During my usual search, I came upon “Human Scum Waste Pile” by Intrepid Corpse. I clicked play on this short EP, and I was immediately transported to a realm of ping-snares and caveman riffs. Goddamn... I fucking love grind!
First off, I need to mention that I was instantly reminded of Autophagia and (older) Captain Cleanoff. This project has its own style, but there is without question similarities between Intrepid Corpse and these well-known grind projects. I let this release play through a handful of times to get a feel for the music, and I did so without complaint. This stuff is damn good!
Down-tuned guitars, vicious drumming, and violent, spastic vocals assaulted my ears as I listened. Grindcore touches my soul in a way that few other genres can, and Intrepid Corpse is no exception.
Intrepid Corpse is a one-man project from Pape'Ete, French Polynesia formed in 2019. This is his third release, so I am now inclined to check out his previous offerings. As I am writing this, I decided to let the EP play through one more time just for shits and giggles. Amazing, brutal, and raw. Epic mince, homie! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Mind Boggling Thrust Advice
2. Mince Prince (Boom Snap Clap)
3. Thank God for Anal
4. Yippy Play Time
5. Fortunate Murder
8. Horse Man
9. Sean Needs to Turn Down His Guitar
10. Morally Frowned Upon (Bob Plant cover)

Single Review: AUSTRALASIA "Mercurio • Argento" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Country: Italy
Genre: Blackened post rock/electronica
Single: Mercurio • Argento
Label: Independent
Format: Vinyl, digital
Release date: November 5, 2019
Since 2012 Australasia has existed on the outer fringes of black metal, post-rock and synth/electronica, shaping them into something exclusively its own, adding piano, strings, female vocals and other sounds. When Frank Garcia reviewed Australasia’s 2013 full length “Vertebra” (released on Immortal Frost Productions), he commented on its striking balance between clear instrumentation and clear production. I’ve been listening to each of Australasia’s releases to get a broader picture of this project, and found their albums to be theatrical (“Sin4tr4”), futuristic and atmospheric (“Vertebra”), and mournfully contemplative (“Notturno”). Australasia’s latest single from last November, “Mercurio • Argento” is a departure of sorts from those albums. While the sounds still vary greatly, they’re mostly based on keyboards and synthesizers. There are guitar and drum sounds added, but their function is to complement the keys and synths when keys and synths usually complement the guitars. There are also no strings or vocals of any kind. This approach turns Australasia’s electronic themes to a multi-faceted soundscape you can’t tell is the ethereal plane or virtual reality. It allows you to decide for yourself where you are, how long you want to remain there and how far you want to travel. The music is smooth, distorted, stark, cold and dark without lacking vibrancy. The greys, maroons and dark blues you experience here are neither depressive or overly abstract but rather profound and dramatic. I see a lot of artistic devotion without the snobbery. I thought I may have been reading too much into this; but after reading fan feedback on Australasia’s Bandcamp profile I realized other listeners reached similar conclusions. While listening to this single I was reminded of the writings of Sylvia Plath, and the paintings of Giger and Goya. Whatever you perceive of this single, you’ll be exercising your imagination to its limits. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Mercurio
2. Argento

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Flash fiction: NOXIOUS LOVE by Devin Joseph Meaney

Flash fiction by Devin Joseph Meaney

One eye of newt, the tears of three virgins, and the tail of a spotted salamander. These were the main components necessary for the noxious brew that Evanora was concocting within her pewter cauldron. She added the blood of a love once lost to the mix, to help ensure that her spell would ensnare the target her cold black heart so desired.
The gruesome mixture began to bubble and froth, changing colors as she whisked the foul contents with her bare hands. Evanora's heart danced in her chest as she pondered over her lust for a muse that rejected her longing. Evanora was a fetching beauty, but her love was as vile as the deeds she committed to quench her yearning for intimacy.
The woman she adored had a heart of gold, and her embrace felt like woven silk on Evanora's icy skin. Sadly, that heart of gold cherished another, and rage now consumed Evanora's body and mind. There was no true love for the wretched. There would be no soothing touch for the loathsome. Only by the power of strong magic would the pure relish the damned. But only by the light of the pure would the damned ever be saved.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Single Review: WILLOW WYNTRE "This Day" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Richmond, Virginia
Country: USA
Genre: Eclectic Vampire Metal
Single: This Day
Label: Independent
Format: Digital
Mixed by: Greyson "Queen Gene" Goodenow, Sound Of Music studios
Mastered by: William Bruce Smith, Sound Of Music studios
Release date: October 31, 2019
If you reside in New York City or Los Angeles and think your hometown has a monopoly on eclectic music, there is a solo artist from Richmond, Virginia who will explode and fragment your perceptions. I’ve read a little about this city and the local entertainment mostly ranges from rap to country to DJs. There’s also an underground scene giving more opportunities for DIY artists (rap and punk bands) to be heard. There are bound to be musicians in cities like this whose mode of thought and expression is far removed from everyone’s, and Willow Wyntre who breaks every mold imaginable is among them.
Having worked with the experimental project Nekrotrampz with Paul Munster, Wyntre (aka Danielle D. Everett) recently went solo and released a number of singles and covers streaming on Soundcloud (including She Wants Revenge’s “Tear You Apart” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”). She has been promoting her new single “This Day” just about everywhere online since it came out in October 2019, just in time for Halloween. Given what compels her songwriting, it’s anyone’s guess what incorporeal nocturnal beings would be summoned if you listened late at night… but I can imagine.
How to describe this and Wynter’s music in general? If you have an equal appreciation for musical theater, spirituality, vampire legends, occultism, horror literature, goth, hip hop, symphonic metal, synthpop and classical with touches of opera and commerciality, Wynter is worth noticing. On Facebook, she defines her music as “eclectic vampire metal”. This description may sum it up on a basic level but for a full understanding of what she means you have to immerse yourself in it.
“This Day” opens with a glacial mood, with keyboards, haunting background vocals, and a piano-driven gothic feel. A beat is suddenly added to generate an effect best described as trippy. It’s likened to hip hop, but not your usual hip hop. It’s slightly distorted with more percussive notes and additional effects. I consider it safe to say it goes far beyond anything Linkin Park has done crossing metal and rap over. I think both “camps” are going to be confounded hearing it for the first time. And this just the first thirty seconds or so.
Wynter’s vocals are ethereal and seductive as she alternates between rap flow, a melodic style likened to Tarja Turunen and Cristina Scabbia and agonized near-screeching. This is a riveting vehicle to describe a troubled childhood in which existence is the result of a drug-addled “momentary lapse of reason.” From there she describes being the odd girl out in school with angst that would have made Kurt Cobain swell with pride. Her intonation suggests the brutal honesty of daily existence.
As the song continues its gothic premise with its myriad of instruments from her backup band (including emotional violin passages) Wyntre relates how her salvation was found in occultism and dark magic. She does so in a way that makes her journey into darkness sound convincing and beautiful until she finally finds her heaven in the darkest afterlife. She now fears no evil as she passes into the realms of shadow and death. She has already experienced the hell of human existence, and has made peace with her demons within and without. She is now a succubus of medieval legend, reappearing on earth to inspire others on society’s outer fringes.
“This Day” is an exquisitely crafted tale in which alienation is a badge of courage and every night creature is welcomed as a personal friend. There’s no need to sell one’s soul since it has already found its home… in the shade of twilight. -Dave Wolff

Willow Wyntre: Vocals
Gabriela Midday: Violin
Eliza Vaughan: Piano
Geoff Vaughan: Lyrics
Emmanuel Artis: Drums
Andrew Halligan: Drums

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Full Length Review: REVERORUM IB MALACHT "Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas Innoble" (Annapuma Productions) by Reggae

Location: Uppsala
Country: Sweden
Genre: Experimental black metal/dark ambient
Format: Vinyl, CD, digital
Release date: May 11, 2018 (World), June 15, 2018 (USA)
This is some bizarre shit.... this would fit into the black metal niche but to me fits a more experimental / dark / doomy vibe. This is not going to be for everyone. Some will like it, many will not. The rather grim production values displayed on this recording serves to keep the whole thing underground, the guitars are barely audible in some of the tracks, more a buzz and texture in many places, but when you can hear them it’s obvious these guys are good and the guitar player shows off some extreme shred skills in the vein of Sadistik Exekution or Blasphemy. I'm not sure how to feel about this, as it would be good to hear more of the guitars, but the production does give the band an identity and sound of its own.
The songs are lengthy and uncompromising, the drums are relentless (not sure if a human or machine) but they are punishing, the vocals fit squarely into black metal territory utilizing some gut-wrenching screams, chants and growls and throat singing. The songs tend to be underpinned by keyboard / organ sounds and some creepy gongs and other percussive instruments. The whole concoction fits together rather well in my opinion (despite the lo-fi production) In between the songs there's some kind of ritual church type sounds which give the whole affair some rather sinister overtones. This is EVIL nightmarish stuff. Soundscapes that musically really seem to re-create hell. Here-in lies the problem the band describe themselves as ”Roman Catholic Black Metal” and while I don't have a copy of the lyrics (all the titles would appear to be in Latin anyway) it’s hard to picture something as sinister sounding as this band producing anything that has any roots in Christianity.
I know a lot of metal elitists will dismiss this upon hearing they have Catholic undertones to the music but if you give them a chance this is some of the most hateful and evil-sounding music to be spewed from the underbelly of the black metal genre. And hey, at least the band are doing something original both sound wise and theistically, they deserve major kudos for that. -Reggae

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Where Escapism Ends
3. Incompatible Molokh
4. Cloud of Unknowing
5. E va um da
6. Etia si omnes, ego non
7. Skin Without Skin
8. (Natten inuti) en tagg som sticke
9. Outro

This review is also uploaded at Reggae's blog Metal Mixtape. -DW

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Single Review: 6HOST WITHASIX "Sleep Intoxication" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Cape Breton Island
Country: Canada
Genre: Hip hop
Single: Sleep Intoxication
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: December 6, 2019
It has been a while since I spoke on the topic of 6host WithaSix, but today 6host has sent me another vicious banger. Personally, I think this new track ''Sleep Intoxication'' is one of 6host's best tracks to date, which is a lot to say, as the majority of his previous tracks are top tier quality. I highly encourage everyone to give this new track a listen! Remove the wires from the back of your brain stem, awaken your third eye, and swim in the lyrical flow that is emitted from 6host! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Single Review: AYUMI ANIME "Get Me High" (Bong Mines Entertainment) by Tony Sokol

Location: Los Angeles, California
Country: USA
Genre: Urban pop, R&B
Single: Get Me High
Label: Bong Mines Entertainment
Format: Digital
Release date: November 1, 2019
Ayumi Anime's smoking debut single “Get Me High” is sure to put you in the zone. Co-written by Alexander Frazier and Olena Kim (Anime's real name), the song is pinch of urban pop, a bowl of contemporary R&B, and totally chill. Director Togeze inspires some mad love for Anime in the accompanying “Get Me High” music video. "Let's fall for each other, in deep conversation," Anime sings in "Let's Get High." Autoeroticasphyxium zine had a light chat with the singer-songwriter after the song dropped a few days ago, and we fell into deep trance.
Ayumi says she "didn't want any heavy lyrics in 'Get Me High.' This song aims to let people chill, relax and stay positive, because this is so important nowadays." She told us she was inspired to write about "getting high in L.A." when she "first got the joint just to get rid of the stress and got flown into the universe."
The mesmerizing musician found a muse in marijuana, but not pure nirvana. "I think the only mystical property that it can have is relaxing your mind," she told us. "So when you're totally relaxed, you forget about all your problems and just focus on yourself or the things you really love and that make you happy."
Keeping us very happy, Ayumi also discussed her next moves. She revealed exclusively to us the she will release her second single, "Everything I Need," in mid-January.
Anime is probably best known as Penthouse magazine's Pet of the Month for October, 2017. Captivating as she is, the performer, who was born and raised in Kheron, Ukraine, is no mere eye candy. She says songwriting was always her "ultimate and planned goal."
Ayumi was 15 when she when got hit one too many times by the sounds of Britney Spears. When she was 20 she moved to Russia, but don't worry, she's not a sleeper agent. Her only K.G.B. connection is Killer Green Bud. According to what you can find online, Ayumi speaks our language, and many others. She graduated from Shevchenko Media Television High School in Kiev as a TV reporter with a degree in Philology.
The charismatic Korean who has appeared in shoots Nike, Armani, and Chanel, "strives to empower women and the Asian community to break the glass ceiling, become leaders and overcome any obstacles they may face."
And what better way to relax while pursuing lofty ambitions? Musicians have been separating stems from seeds since the Ink Spots' "That Cat Is High" came out in 1938. Even Woody Guthrie, the guy who wrote This Land is Your Land" invited the world to “Take a Whiff on Me.” So hotbox the room and play some music. Roll it up, burn it up, smoke it up. All night.
"Get me high" is available on Spotify and Apple music. -Tony Sokol

Friday, December 6, 2019

Full Length Review: HHOOGG "Earthling, Go Home!" (Crystal Space Bricks) by Dave Wolff

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: USA
Genre: Psychedelic space rock, jam
Full Length: Earthling, Go Home!
Label: Crystal Space Bricks
Format: Digital
Release date: February 25, 2019
Frazer Jones of Desert Psychlist recently made a loose comparison between Hhoogg’s “Earthling, Go Home!” and classic Star Trek. As much as I prefer avoiding comparisons, this one seems to fit, if it was an episode of Star Trek as seen from the perspective of the Doors or Pink Floyd who were given free reign writing the soundtrack. I also thought of Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey with special effects made under the orchestration of hallucinogenics. Forget CGI and massive explosions; what’s wrong with science fiction movies that look like an acid user who just graduated from art school remade Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon with psychedelic stoner rock that’s completely improvised. Improvisation is strictly trial and error; it either works or it doesn’t. But if it does work it comes from a place that’s timeless and unrestricted by money, genre or popular opinion. Many bands looked into this place and that’s exactly why they’re remembered years later while trends die and are forgotten. What Hhoogg bring back from the ether is a piece of that universe as cold and strange as it is monumental and eternal. The smallest piece can irrevocably change the way you look at music. That void is the canvas on which they painted, and even the brightest and most reassuring colors are distorted and warped beyond imagination. Yet you seem to anticipate where they’re going next if you’re attuned to their sudden impulses. I got that feeling more than once, for example, when listening to the first track and those that came after with their narrative overtones, repetitive bass lines, opiate guitars, frenetic percussion and astral keyboards. Whether the mood is euphonious, pensive, probing, uninhibited or seething, the personalities represented by each instrument piece together to create a whole that towers far above what would have been expected from a psych-rock band. Hhoogg sounds like they can only become more profound with each album they come out with. -Dave Wolff

Yig Narub: Synthesizer
Paul Yu: Guitar
Xtina Porcupine: Bass
Tom the Ninth Universe: Drums

Track list:
1. Ccoossmmooss
2. Rustic Alien Living
3. Journey to the Dying Place
4. Star Wizard, Headless and Awake
5. Eaten on the Frontier
6. Recalled to the Pyramids
7. Infinitely Gone

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Full Length Review: CINEMA CINEMA "CCXMD" (Nefarious Industries) by Dave Wolff

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Art punk
Full Length: CCXMD
Label: Nefarious Industries
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: November 1, 2019
It may be a rare occurrence for a punk or post-punk band to cross the line and venture outside their boundaries (and I don’t mean the kind of mainstreamized, reconstituted pop punk we hear too often). But when a band comes along and does so, the same motivation exists and it usually becomes something memorable. “CCXMD”, the sixth release from Brooklyn’s Cinema Cinema, crawls from the begrimed, trash littered streets of the five boroughs to contend with the experimental jazz/noise of the early 2000s. While checking it out I was engrossed enough to check out the band’s discography all the way back to their early releases. From “57” and “Shoot The Freak” to their 2017 full length “Man Bites Dog” the band investigated many different auditory impressions looking for what would eventually set them apart from their Sonic Youth/Clash/PJ Harvey-inspired provenance. It sounds like it was a measured, deliberate process of trying different ambient sounds to settle into the freeform avant-garde jazz, seemingly incoherent musicianship and premelting noise of their new album (“A Night at the Fights” and “Man Bites Dog” were particularly crucial to their growth). Those ambient sounds, or rather the sum total of those ambient sounds, play a part in how “CCXMD” turned out. Their hard work is apparently paying off as “CCXMD” has been recognized by Big Takeover, Invisible Oranges, Brooklyn Vegan, Pop Matters, Aural Aggravation and The Village Voice among other publications. Pop Matters said Cinema Cinema are torchbearers for the part of NYC’s music scene populated by unsigned bands who mix urban frustration with intellectual experimenting. The band says their disjointed song structure with its shrieking saxophones, wandering guitars, scrambled percussion and manic vocals (as well as some Doors and Jethro Tull influence) resulted from learning to play in an improvisational style and listening to bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra. Going into the studio and improvising as they went along, having come to know each other’s playing inside and out, is the only way they could make “CCXMD” sound spontaneous and voluntary. What’s more, the band’s arrangemernts leave it a mystery as to the direction they’ll decide to take on their next release. -Dave Wolff

Ev Gold: Guitars, vocals
Paul Claro: Drums, percussion:
Matt Darriau: Wind, loops, vocals:

Track list:
1. Collective Outpoint
2. Cyclops
3. Revealed
4. Colors
5. Radio Ready
6. Ode to a Gowanus Flower
7. Cloud 3

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Interview with Andrew MacDonald of GET REAL! by Devin Joseph Meaney

Interview with Andrew MacDonald of GET REAL!

Devin Meaney: Hey Andrew! Please take a minute or two to introduce yourself and your band!
Andrew MacDonald: My name is Andrew MacDonald and I sing and play guitar in a three-piece alternative rock band called Get Real! (note the fancy exclamation mark). Drew Hawboldt plays drums and Jeremy Devoe plays bass. Fun fact, those two cats have the same birthday. Different years though.

DM: How long has Get Real! been a band? And what are some of the inspirations behind the music?
AM: We’ve actually been a band for a pretty short time. Drew and I started playing music together about a year ago. I met Jeremy when he started working at the same company I work for, and he joined on bass shortly after. This would’ve been around June of 2019.

DM: How did you guys come up with the name ''Get Real!''?
AM: Drew and I went through a few different iterations before deciding we liked the name “get real” the best. We were originally going to go by “Backseat Driver”, or “Social Divide”, both of which I still kind of like, to be honest.
Just around the time we started the band, the two of us had both had a falling out with a mutual friend. I think one of the last things that was said in this dialogue was “get real, dude” or something to that effect. Drew brought it up as a potential band name. He also was the one who came up with the idea for the exclamation mark. It’s kind of cheesy, but I like to think of it as the icing on the cake. Hey, that’s one of our lyrics!

DM: How many shows have you played? Any plans on touring, within Nova Scotia or elsewhere?
AM: We’ve played an average of around 2 to 3 shows per month since we started. They’ve been smaller shows for sure, bar shows mostly. We put our all into it. It’s been harder to schedule shows lately since Drew moved to another province temporarily. We still make it work though. As for shows out of province, we may be looking to do some shows in New Brunswick in the coming year.

DM: You informed me over Facebook you record your own music. How long have you been dabbling in sound engineering?
AM: I’ve been recording my own music almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar. I record pretty much everything I play, because I’m too nervous that I’ll improvise a cool guitar riff or a catchy vocal melody and then forget it five minutes later.
I really got into the thick of the whole recording process when I was in high school, making music for my project “Every Other Aspect”. I did a lot of the recording myself, but always had a revolving set of members. A lot of those guys are currently playing in bands around the Halifax area, namely Cyrus Robertson-Orkish (Cyrus R.O Quartet) and Jesse Macleod (Electric Spoonful/Matt Steele and the Corvette Sunset/Rudy & The Pacé Family Orchestra). Taking the stage with those guys was real fun.

DM: How much is it for a copy of your latest EP, and where can a person purchase one?
AM: Right now our EP is on Bandcamp for $3. You can also stream all the tracks on services like Spotify and Apple Music. We’re also working on some physical copies of the EP as well, made DIY style just like every other aspect or our music (I did the self-reference thing again). They’re pretty modest but they do the job well. Because they’re so simple and affordable to make up, we’ll be able to sell them for $3 as well.
For now, there isn’t anywhere online that you can buy the physical copies, but we will be selling them on our site at once they’re ready. You could also send us an email if you would like to be notified when they’re available!

DM: If given the choice of having two giant penises for arms, or a giant third arm for a penis, which would you choose?
AM: This was a hard one. Really coming in hot with the phrasing here. Anyway, after consulting with my bandmates: all of us, collectively and as separate human beings with our own ideas, thoughts and desires — the third arm option is the way to go. We gotta play our instruments somehow, and I have a feeling that penis arms are not the way to do that. Plus, a third arm lets you have an arm that is always making a fist, ready to take out your enemies. Perfect level, too. Get ’em where it counts.

DM: Any final comments?
AM: I’d have to say thanks for doing this interview with me and the GR! crew. We’ve got a short history but it’s great to have the opportunity to lay out the details of what we’ve been working on.
To the reader, thanks for tuning in! To learn more about the band and what we’re up to, you can check out our website at, where we just launched a blog to give “updates from the attic”: a glimpse into the recording process of our second EP!

DM: Thanks for talking with me, Andrew!

-Devin Joseph Meaney

This interview is also being published in issue #73 of Lights Go Out zine. -DW

Monday, December 2, 2019

Band Review: OLIGARKII by Kelly Tee

Location: Newcastle
Country: Australia
Genre: Black metal
I'm discovering some absolute gems from my home town of Newcastle, Australia. Keep your ears to the ground for Oligarkii, blackened extreme metal band who are set for big things in 2020.
To date they have released two unique, weighted, menacingly dark and eerie tracks and here are my thoughts:
Let's start with Plague Masked Reaper. As I listened loud with my headphones on, this track truly engulfed me with its largely grim and malevolent sound. The vocal style projected here is extremely low, guttural and fucking beastly. It's impossible not to screw your face up to this sound with sheer heavy metal delight. The bass is absolutely off its face, prominent and opaque to a backdrop of ominous symphonic elements, drum tracks causing chaos and haunting lyrics around death, decay, and delightful darkness of course! Riffage is deliciously intense, creative and attention-grabbing. This entire composition excites me! The mash-up of tempo changes throughout this track worked so well creating good suspense and surprise, with striking movements of guitar solos and soundscapes crafting an unearthly and haunting ambiance.
Forest Of Ancient Graves is equally as prophetic, yet offers a difference from the track before, with the musicianship leaning toward even more doom, showcasing a tight and heavy groove flow of callousness with hymns void of any light and vocals that growl, spit and hiss across this track in a ritualistic manner. This number spirals deep down into an abyss of heavy as hell riffs, gothic sounding synth, thumping big drum tracks with an overall stunningly intense atmosphere. Oh, this is dark, this is very dark, carrying foreboding and emotive melody and a powerful metal injection as it ramps up to hectic and fast from time to time. That bass... that bass... so intrusive and threatening. A killer listen.
Both tracks are blackened, deathly and immaculately executed with a very crisp production and if this is a sign of what is to come from Oligarkii, well, then shit... I can't wait.
Guys, take a listen - these two tracks are on Spotify and please share your thoughts. -Kelly Tee

Monday, November 25, 2019

Full Length Review: FROSTMOON ECLIPSE "Worse Weather To Come" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Dave Wolff

Location: La Spezia, Ligury
Country: Italy
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: Worse Weather To Come
Format: CD, vinyl, streaming
Release date: October 25, 2019
Frostmoon Eclipse has been active in the Italian black metal scene since the first Norwegian bands made headlines, and today they are considered one of Italy’s oldest established black metal bands. I joined the party late, having heard of them only last month, and missed their entire catalog from 1995 to the present, including albums like “Gathering The Dark,” “Another Face Of Hell” and “The End Stands Silent.” While I have loads of catching up to do should I decide to and trace their evolution, listening to their new full length “Worse Weather To Come” is not a bad way to get started.
Though the band is technically classified as black metal, their songwriting can be attributed to melodic doom, goth metal, post-metal, even progressive rock, psychedelia, early grunge, and classical guitar. It’s a welcome vouchsafing that musical revision comes from within, and the band doesn’t try to cram several labels together in a single breath. After all, labels say so much about how underground bands express themselves. Bands with similar classifications have their own perspectives and techniques, and one listen to “Worse Weather To Come” should be enough to convince you Frostmoon Eclipse are standing on their own merit.
While “Worse Weather To Come” has a raw sound, it doesn’t depend solely on rawness to get its point across. Frostmoon Eclipse has a way of conveying profound, intense feelings through constant variations in feel and tone presented in every song. This album is so complex and multi-layered it keeps you guessing as to which soundscapes it plans to enter. The compositions can’t be pinned to the 1990s or 2000s any more than a single genre, but the passages from one emotional state to the next are cleverly devised. The band’s strength is in writing and composing songs with their own distinct personalities and temperament, depending on what best fits each of them. Ice-covered, delicate or trance-inducing, no two tracks sound exactly the same on this album.
The band’s raw sound has something for fans of Bathory, Mayhem, Enslaved, and Satyricon, and you’ll likewise hear elements for listeners of Sear Bliss, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, Necrophagia and Black Sabbath. This multiformity and distinctiveness capture the essence of black and goth metal at its most arcane level, and the histrionic overtones Frostmoon Eclipse achieve are far more penetrating than you would expect from a band drawing from so many different genres. The band has taken great pains to compound on the antediluvian themes we have heard countless times. Even the clean guitar and bass sections sound as if the strings are caked in the dirt of ancient crypts if you have the resoluteness to enter.
“Worse Weather To Come” convinces me that Frostmoon Eclipse and bands like them will be making more headway for black metal to progress in the 2020s. Contact Immortal Frost Productions for more information. -Dave Wolff

Lorenzo Sassi: Vocals
Claudio Alcara: Guitars
Davide Gorrini: Bass
Gionata Potenti: Drums
J.J.: Guest vocals on “Song To Darkness”

Track list:
1. I See the Void
2. A Room, a Grave
3. All Is Undone
4. Sunken
5. Brother Denial
6. Sleep
7. Song to Darkness
8. Resignation

Friday, November 22, 2019

EP Review: GET REAL! "Anger Management" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia
Country: Canada
Genre: Alternative rock
EP: Anger Management
Label: Independent
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: November 5, 2019
Every second Wednesday, I do my best to attend a writers group titled ''The Story Forge Writers Collective.'' One of the members of this group is Jo-Ann MacDonald, Who I was featured alongside in a story collection ''The Good, The Bad, And The Funny.'' Jo-Ann recently informed me that her son Andrew MacDonald is a member of a new local band (from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) who have chosen the moniker ''Get Real!'' as their band name. Earlier in November 2019, they released their EP ''Anger Management.'' Andrew happened to email for review just as I was sitting at my computer to do some writing, so obviously, I lunged at the chance to help promote some music from my local area.
First off, this is a bit of a stretch from what I normally listen to. Death metal, grindcore, goregrind, black metal, punk, and other related sub-genres are my usual listening choices, but after checking out this EP I can say with sincerity that Andrew and his bandmates are a talented group of young individuals. I let Anger Management play through twice, the second play through being just as enjoyable as the first listen.
Vocally, this is top tier. Pure talent is emitted from the music, and I can add that this group might have a shot at mainstream success. Most bands I review are strictly underground and are often condemned to the underbelly of the music industry. Get Real! has a sound that is much more commercial, and I would not be surprised to see this group make it far within the local scene and elsewhere.
Musically, everything is put together very well and is brought to fruition with clarity and genuine tightness. Both rhythm and lead aspects of the guitar work are on point, and without question, a smörgåsbord of skill can be heard emanating from the licks and riffs. As for the drums, they are played with elegant fervor, bringing the whole thing together in machine-like fashion. I think it is safe to say that Get Real! has landed themselves a new fan.
The production quality of this EP is also of high quality. This is not something recorded on a tape deck in a dusty attic. I can really tell that time, passion, and effort were put into the recording process, and I think I can make a stab that the effort has paid off. Get Real! now has a brand new EP that is nothing but pure audio splendor, and I highly suggest that you get in contact with them to attain a copy.
There is not much more to say except that I was very glad Andrew sent me these tunes, and honestly, I am very content to know that the local scene of Cape Breton is still absolutely pulsing with talented new artists. Maybe someday soon I can make it out to a show, but only time will tell. Either way, Get Real! has been a pleasure to listen to, and I can conclude that buying this EP is a great idea. -Devin Joseph Meaney

Andrew MacDonald: Vocals, guitar
Jeremy Devoe: Bass
Drew Hawboldt: Drums

Track list:
1. Molotov
2. Seeing Red
3. Hold Me Down
4. Martyr
5. Afterglow

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

EP Review: URINOPHOBIC "Escaping To The World Of Permanent Drug Abuse" (Almorrana DIY Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Podolsk
Country: Russia
Genre: Gore noise
EP: Escaping To The World Of Permanent Drug Abuse
Label: Almorrana DIY Records
Format: CD-R, streaming
Release date: January 15, 2019
On my usual Youtube gore-noise bender, I came upon this release, “Escaping To The World Of Permanent Drug Abuse” by Urinophobic. Featuring just over six minutes of unbearable (in a good way) audio distortions, I was consumed by machine-fueled percussion, gurgles, and an intense desire to go get high in my porch.
Urinophobic is a gore-noise one-man project from Podolsk, Russia that formed in 2016. This is the band's latest EP, and although I have never heard of this project before, I am now intrigued to hear more from this guy. Released January 2019 (CD-r format, limited to 40) by Almorrana DIY Records, the gargle-fest that is this album has me shook!
I can tell that the context and topics held within are meant to be tongue in cheek, and just like most gore-noise, it is all brought forward with a not-so-serious vibe and potentially a crack pipe. I'd offer you all a hit of what I am smoking, but I can make a guess that ''you'll cowards don't even smoke crack!''
Alright, alright. I don't smoke crack. But I will for sure be indulging in this addictive noise-fest known as Urinophobic! This is gold stamp gore-noise at its finest, and fans of the sub-genre should be more than happy to do the same. Come on, give it a listen! You know you want to!
...Please? -Devin Joseph Meaney

Roman Efremov: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Committing Nuclear Jihad In The Name Of Viper The Rapper
2. Decreasing Life Expectancy
3. Let The Bodies Pile Up In The Streets
4. When Delusions Replace Reality
5. Defecating In Your Wide Open Rib Cage
6. Getting High On Dog Shit
7. Laughing At Cowards Who Don't Even Smoke Crack
8. Viper The Rapper Is The Only Real God

Full Length Review: PLASMA "Ethical Waste" (Rotten Roll Rex) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Frankfurt, Hesse
Country: Germany
Genre: Goregrind
Full Length: Ethical Waste
Label: Rotten Roll Rex
Format: CD, streaming
Release date: June 20, 2019
Ah, the legendary goregrind band known as Plasma! This band was actually part of one of the very first goregrind CDs I ever owned! It was a three-way split between Plasma, Spermswamp and Radikalis Amputacio! I bought it along with a Patologicum album at a Fuck The Facts show in the early to mid-2000s. I also purchased a copy of Backstabber Etiquette, an older release by FTF.
Those were the days! Back when I had nothing much better to do than sit in my living room all day perusing various goregrind and grindcore releases. (Nothing much has changed). The last Plasma album I listened to was 2016's ''Dreadful Desecration'' and as always, it was a genuine blast of splattery gore-filled delight. Now, it is time to see if this newest installment is as solid as previous releases from this well-known grinding monstrosity.
First off, I can say that the vocals are just as good (if not better) than they ever were. Splattery, gargling, gurgling bursts of vileness are vomited forth from the ''singer'' and I can honestly say that this is just how I wanted it! Nothing is more enticing to my ears than an eruption of watery pitch-shifted gutturals, and this release is hitting the sweet spot that only a few others can. Goregrind is life, and today, Plasma has made it worth living!
Pounding drums penetrate my brain with spastic fury, ranging from blasts to rolls, to tight and groovy awesomeness. The guitars are just as they always were, down-tuned and chugging. The sound quality overall has been improved upon, as this album is in no way lo-fi. This is studio quality goregrind, the likes of which being a rarity within the scene these sounds permeate.
Plasma hails from Germany and has been active since 1995. This is their fourth full-length album, and honestly, it is one of their best in my humble opinion. Featuring twenty-four tracks and clocking in at just under forty-five minutes, as far as goregrind goes, this is a pretty long album. I normally prefer shorter releases, but Plasma manages to snag my full attention, so listening to everything they have to offer is far from a chore!
As I sit in my bedroom with my headphones on I can conclude that this newest output from Plasma is nothing less than a gore-grinding masterpiece, and every second of Ethical Waste will without question go down in the annals of grind history as a sincere and genuine winner. Nothing more can be said, except that I have always been a fan of this band, and to date, this still holds true.
Plasma fucking rules! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Ulfinator: Bass, vocals
Smoke: Vocals, guitars
Schnaps: Drums

Track list:
1. Pitchgrinder
2. Feasting on Freshly Fermented Female Genital
3. Lethal Semen Injection
4. Pusfilled Vaginalcanal
5. Chewing on Purulent Sordes of Vaginal Iissue
6. Gushing over Fresh Amputated Teats
7. Embedded on Putrid Chunks from a Decapitated Whore
8. Slime Stained Gore Miscarriage
9. Intercourse with a Deboned Corpse
10. Pus and Blood Was All She Got
11. Abusing a Slimefilled Rotten Body
12. Dick Flapped, Head Cracked
13. Grinding Sorefretted Dicks
14. Abnormal Cervix Extirpation
15. Choking on Purulent Spunk
16. Sailing the Seas of Menstrual Perversitys
17. Gagging on Dislocated Labium
18. Snotlubed Pussy Penetrator
19. Boltgunned to Massextinction
20. Purulent Thyroid Consumption
21. Exposed Penile Muscle
22. Not Dead Yet
23. Pulsating Blood Bladder
24. Transmorphed Hemipenis

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Demo Review: CHTHONIC DEITY "Reassembled in Pain" (Carbonized Records) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Location: Denver, Colorado
Country: USA
Genre: Death metal
Label: Carbonized Records
Format: 7” vinyl, cassette, streaming
Release date: October 31, 2019
As stated on their Bandcamp page, "Reassembled In Pain" the debut demo from Chthonic Deity contains four songs of energetic and heavy death metal/punk from members of Scolex, Ascended Dead, and Blood Incantation. I did not know what to expect when I was sent the link for this album, but I can say after listening that it was a nice little blast of chugging carnage.
The vocals on this release are put together very well. The same could be said for the guitars and the drums! In fact, everything about this is top tier! Personally, for me, the bass is the best part of these tracks. With a tone that reminds me of the local band (from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) Infernal Region, it adds a certain low-tuned finesse that brings the whole thing together with malicious ferociousness.
I sat back for a few moments and tried to decide a favorite track on this beast, but honestly, I enjoy all of them equally. Not too long, not too short, the length of this is perfect, and offers just enough brutality to entice my ears and elicit a second playthrough.
A co-release with Woodsmoke, this album is limited to 500 7" Copies, with a poster and download card included. 300 cassette copies were also pressed by Lunar Tomb Records. Needless to say, this is a limited release, and you should run to get a fucking copy!
In closing, this album is a vicious blast of truly malignant, heavy, audio assault. Great music... a great band... and a great experience! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Erika Osterhout: Bass, guitar, vocals
Paul Riedl: Guitar, vocals
Charles Koryn: Drums

Track list:
1. Drained
2. Disintegrating Organs
3. Echoes of Death
4. Blood Ritual

Single Review: THE FRAOCH COLLECTIVE "Manitou" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Long Island, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Alternative rock
Label: Independent
Release date: November 7, 2019
Released on Neat Records in 1984, “Manitou” was an unusual single even for Venom. This was the year they were expanding on the shock value of “Welcome To Hell” and the Renaissance-era occult themes of “Black Metal.” “At War With Satan” was a full-blown epic inspired by Rush, the Book of Revelations and Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” “Manitou” saw them experiment with Native American folklore, specifically that of the Algonquian peoples. While simplistic, it brought you to sweeping deserts untouched by European expansion years before second-wave black metal. For its time it was a bold move for Venom and thrash metal in general.
Fast forward to 2019 and “Manitou” has been covered by the likes of Samael, Rotting Serpent, Ceremonial Castings and Antiquus Scriptum. While those covers show a different interpretation of the original, from what I’ve heard The Fraoch Collective’s interpretation is the most divergent. The cover was recorded for a possible Venom tribute, which may or may not be released. To make a long story short, the organizers declined to remain in contact with them so they decided to release it anyway, uploading it independently to their Facebook community page. Venom fans interested in checking it out can go there and give it a listen.
Covering Venom was an unexpected move for The Fraoch Collective after the proto-punk noir of their album “Oh, The Things We’ve Done,” but their version of “Manitou” is tightened and generally cleaner compared to the original. There is a dramatic contrast between the drum, guitar and vocals, so much of a contrast that it’s less a cover and more a reimagining. While the drums depict the Algonquian spirit much like the original did, the guitars and vocals sound like they were processed through a fuzzbox during the recording process. This effect gives the song an industrial metal feel, a step apart from The Fraoch Collective’s previous work.
Heather Dawson’s approach to the vocals radically reinterprets the song’s Algonquian mythos. Her tone and inflection suggest a manifestation of the Witch of Endor consulted by the shaman to invoke Manitou’s birth in human form. This dynamic makes the cover dangerously enchanting next to Venom’s straightforward, chaotic version. Her vocal technique in the chorus is concurrently transfixing and disquieting. You can visualize those ancient spirits roaming the sweeping deserts I gave reference to earlier. After hearing this I’d be interested in seeing what they do with “Warhead” or “In League With Satan.” -Dave Wolff

Heather Dawson: Vocals
Gregg Gavitt: Guitar
Marc Del Cielo: Bass, drums, backing vocals

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Book Review: NINE MICMAC LEGENDS (Alden Nowlan, Nimbus Publishing) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Author: Alden Nowlan
Illustrator: Shirley Bean
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing, June 1, 2008 (first published 1983)
While I was rummaging through old magazines and ancient school material belonging to an older member of my family, I stumbled upon a few books. One of these books was ''Nine Micmac Legends,'' a collection of nine stories (obviously). It was originally released in 1983, but went through a series of reprints over the years. I could not sleep last night, and by five in the morning, I decided it was time to do some reading.
I am well aware that the spelling and pronunciation of ''Micmac'' has been changed a few times over the years, but aside from this, Nine Micmac Legends was a neat little collection of legends of indigenous nature. Written by Alden Nowlan and illustrated by Shirley Bear, I am now more than content to have this within my reading collection.
The stories included in this short anthology are The Star Brides, Three Boys and the Giants, The Man Who Hated Winter, The Invisible Boy, The Captive, The Snow Vampire, The Chief Who Refused To Die, Brother to the Bears, and The Man Who Wanted To Live Forever. They were all fronted by a short introduction. Five of the stories in this collection were previously published in ''The Atlantic Advocate.'' One appeared in ''Toboggans and Turtlenecks,'' and another in ''Hockey Cards and Hopscotch.''
The legends were not intended to be children's stories, although a handful DID appear in children's books. They were stories told by adults to other adults, ''The nearest a people without a written language could come to creating a literature'' as stated within the confines of the introduction.
This was a great story collection, and I am sure I will read it again. Featuring under sixty pages, it is not a very long read. Excellent material! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Friday, November 15, 2019

Full Length Review: NECROPANTHER "The Doomed City" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Denver, Colorado
Country: USA
Genre: Melodic death/thrash
Full Length: The Doomed City
Label: Independent
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: November 15, 2019
Dystopian concepts aren’t new to metal. Since Voivod and Queensryche experimented with them in the 80s to reflect the state of the world at the time it became increasingly common for other bands to follow suit. Necropanther draw on a dystopian sci-fi novel for an album as relevant and challenging as the novel was fifty years ago. Although many years in the making, “The Doomed City” belongs in a category with albums like “The Key” (Nocturnus) and “Demanufacture” (Fear Factory) for drawing comparisons between an unsung classic and modern society. With modern society becoming more dystopic than ever, it isn’t much of an effort.
Published in 1967 by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, “Logan’s Run” spawned five sequels (two unpublished). The film version of 1976 was the last of the dystopian sci-fi movies of the 70s (“A Clockwork Orange,” “THX-1138,” “Soylent Green,” “Death Race 2000,” “Rollerball”). While the novel and its sequels critiqued youth culture, overpopulation and resource consumption, the movie centered primarily on youth culture and hedonism, adding that rebellion benefits not from decadence but “ethical beliefs that undermine authority and power.” “The Doomed City” does the same while warning us to avoid contemporary society’s distractions.
Metal bands need more recognition for creating concept albums with a basis in literature and original stories as many are intelligent and reveal the work involved. Being conscious of the world and having something worthwhile to say has become rare in the field of popular music. Bands like Necropanther are still thinking instead of responding to the daily stimulus we’re bombarded with. What’s more, they express their viewpoints without empty preaching or threatening to shame the listener.
“The Doomed City” is Necropanther’s third CD, following their 2018 EP “Oppression.” The band has a fair amount of experience writing concept albums. Their debut (self-titled) was based on “The Terminator,” their second “Eyes of Blue Light” (2018) was based on Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “Oppression” tells of an artist imprisoned by a fascist police state. Reviewers think crossing metal with “Logan’s Run” works because of compatible plot developments: a computerized society trusted to run everything, a mindless police force enforcing computer decree, a disaffected minority questioning the system and the question of whether mankind can survive “outside.”
While “The Doomed City” includes elements of the novel and the movie, tying them together convincingly, I would suggest reading Nolan and Johnson’s novel for the frame of mind needed to appreciate it. The chapters move at visceral, breakneck speed that fits the condensed length of the songs. The songwriting’s tense caliber creates an effect similar to “Oppression.” Here you experience the protagonists’ mortal fear and desperation as they seek to escape from their mechanized world. It constantly reminds you you’re not only fighting computers dictating life and death, but the police force carrying out its directives and a controlled populace.
The guitar duo of Paul Anop (vocals) and Joe Johnson exhibit inch-perfect musicianship, carrying out mid-tempo thrash, melodic riffing and lead harmonies with equal accuracy. Think of melodic death metal bands like In Flames, At The Gates and Amon Amarth with a more generous helping of thrash and classic metal. There are no keyboards or elements of metalcore like some melodeath bands are incorporating, but many of the riffs seem to reflect on the movie’s futuristic theme and the futuristic overtones of the novel. It’s like the material the band had in mind for this album required them to push forward and mature, disregarding the rules of past releases.
Anop’s dual guttural/rasp approach to his vocals helps represent the imagery of “Logan’s Run” as effectively as the music. There is a contrast between blind acceptance and the desire for freedom adding a lot to the narrative quality described above. All this is designed to hit the proper nerve as the album progresses through key moments in the novel and movie. I don’t want to give any of those away if you’re not familiar with “Logan’s Run,” except to say they’re integral to the storyline and keep everything moving. Suffice it to say “The Doomed City” is heavy on theatrics, takes its subject matter seriously and may lead you to want to watch or read. -Dave Wolff

Paul Anop: Vocals, guitars
Joe Johnson: Guitars
Marcus Corich: Bass
Haakon Sjogren: Drums

Track list:
1. Renew
2. Death at Hand
3. Arcade
4. Cathedral
5. The Doomed City
6. Hell
7. The Thinker
8. Paid in Flesh
9. Parricide-Genocide
10. Tiger
11. Sanctuary
12. Deep Sleep
13. Argos

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Demo Review: GUNN "Demo 2019" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: GUNN
Location: Orange County, California
Country: USA
Genre: Hardcore punk
Demo: Demo 2019
Label: Independent
Format: Cassette, streaming
Release date: April 18, 2019
On another journey through the vast wasteland known as the underbelly of Youtube, I happened to scroll upon this release, “Demo 2019” by GUNN. Recently I have been on a sincere goregrind/grindcore kick, so this demo was a nice little change of sound.
When listening to this release, I automatically think of The Meatmen. With a flurry of noises that would make Tesco Vee proud, GUNN pushes forward with sincerely catchy punk-rock riffs, primal drums, decent bass, and vocals that make me want to smash everything in my room.
Two more bands that I am reminded of would be The Shithawks and The Abusive Stepdads. These are two very talented local (from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) punk outfits. The Abusive Stepdads are now defunct (R.I.P.) but The Shithawks are still raging to this day. Now that I think about it, I really need to get to a Shithawks show soon. This demo has really put me in the mood!
In an attempt to stop from going on a long-winded spiel about how much I enjoy this demo, I will make this quick. The music presented on Demo 2019 is what I would consider real genuine punk-rocking¬- just as it should be. This is a short release, and it is very lo-fi. In my humble opinion, this is how it is DONE! GUNN has put forward five tracks in just under eight minutes, and after listening to it on repeat a few times, all I can do now is send them two huge thumbs up! Excellent work, GUNN! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Shane: Vocals
Tony: Guitar
James: Bass
Nason: Drums

Track list:
1. Eyes
2. Fuck My Mind
3. Can’t Stop
4. Thin Blue Line
5. Circles