I have been all about this one lately, The Tuomittu Elämään seven inch EP by Varaus from 1983. Varaus was one of the best Finnish hardcore bands there was. They sounded a bit like Discharge but with something more personal and somewhat depressing in their sound. Any Finnish readers want to translate the band's name or song titles? Että olla erittäin avulias, Kiittää Te.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Gravestone, a brilliant German hard rock outfit buried by time. Doomsday was the group's first outing, and though it was released in 1979, it sounds like it could have been made in 1972. The album is quite melancholic with oodles of delicate guitar playing and warm vocals that are reminiscent of another Cosmic Hearse dark psych fave, The Wicked Lady. Another lost treasure chest of moody proto-doom for you, my beloved readers. Enjoy.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Immortal's 1993 album Pure Holocaust. Perhaps the most perfect example of true Norwegian Black Metal there ever was. This is the album I would give to someone who knew nothing about Black Metal but wanted to know more. You have it all here...corpse paint, a bitchin' illegible logo, icy melodies over blizzard-like riffs, lyrics about really cold places, and a mysterious Grieghallen studio production. Really what more could you ask for? And who could resist that cover? It's like a fucking Black Metal Kabuki prom photo, their perfectly coifed manes cascading like waterfalls upon their most formal gauntletry. This is Black Metal in its purest form, yet there are still Pure Holocaust revisionists that say this album never happened, or that it isn't as great as people say. If you already have this, may I suggest you spend some time with it today? If you don't have it, well, what the fuck?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Back when I posted Rocket's "best of" collection titled Galactica, some of you expressed some interest in hearing more from the greatest French new wave, space rock band ever... so here is their debut album from 1976. This one shows Rocket's more prog and hard rock leanings than their later '80s stuff. Perhaps this is why it is the Rockets album I reach for most often.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Man, what the fuck happened to these guys? Dawn from Sweden were heralded as the heirs to Dissection's Black/Death Metal throne when they released Slaughtersun: Crown of the Triarchy in 1998, then they just disappeared. While I wouldn't exactly hold these guys in the same regard as Dissection, the praise showered upon this band was not entirely undeserved. Slaughtersun is a brilliant record from beginning to end. Perhaps the problem was that it was released by a label run into the ground by a little, heavily-cologned man who often spoke of himself in the third person and with a fake British accent. Like all of that particular label's releases this is probably a bit hard to come by. So if you have an affinity for Swedish metal ala Dissection, and you missed this the first time you'd do wise to get it now.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Perhaps you already know Gai. If you don't, this might be a bit confusing. Gai were another noisy Kyushu hardcore band under the tutelage of fuzz punk legends, Confuse. Gai were responsible for starting the great Violent Party label that released tapes and flexi discs by Confuse and Gai, among others. At some point the members of Gai started operating under the name The Swankys and playing more '77 style punk rock. Both bands existed at the same time for a period, often playing the same songs. This, as well as many bootlegs with misinformation, only added to the entanglement of the band's history. Granted, I could be spreading more misinformation myself. As far as I can tell, Damaging Noise was Gai's debut and was first circulated throughout the Kyushu scene in 1983 on home-dubbed cassettes. Later it was a 12" vinyl. Gai, like Confuse, weren't overly concerned with musicianship or any kind of production values, just noisy, chaotic hardcore on the verge of exploding into complete white hiss. Gai, unlike Confuse, seemed to have a bit of a sense of humor at times. Both bands created a scene, a sub-genre of lower-fi racket in the already truly fucked up Japanese Hardcore universe. There is a reason people go nuts for Japanese punk and hardcore records and it starts here with Gai's Damaging Noise. For a more academic rambling on the merits of Gai, Confuse and other far eastern ear pollutants check out Shit Fi's excellent piece on the subject. In the meantime, get this.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sometimes when you're in a black metal band, rehearsals can get very evil, so evil that people may die. I'm certain this must be the inspiration for the title of this very limited tape from Greek cult, Heptameron. Though we have proof that they rehearse, Heptameron aren't very good, but being good isn't everything. Sometimes it's just enough to be evil and violent and ready to kill for Satan. I ripped this myself from the original tape, don't get all pissy because there is no track list, it was fairly confusing.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"UFO JAMS" Those two words seem to be graffittied all over my hometown of Hollywood, Florida. Behind the 7-11, on the pier where the Haitian men would fish, and under the bridges where the older kids smoked their brown weed. UFO JAMS? What does it mean? my young mind wondered. If UFO was a band, I certainly wasn't aware of them, or the magnitude to which they jammed.
When I was about sixteen I was at a party at Bruce's house. We were doing gravity bong hits and I had a seizure and banged my head on the table. When I came to I had an icepack on my head, and I heard this song playing, and it sounded so fucking good. It was "Mother Mary" from UFO's 1979 live album Strangers In The Night. I asked Bruce who it was, and like a wizard answering a thousand year old riddle he said, "UFO, they jam."
Some twenty-two years later, Strangers In The Night is the only UFO album I own. Their studio albums are good but usually suffer from a couple of straight-up lame tracks. With Strangers you get all their best songs played extra high. Recorded over the course of a string of shows in the midwest supporting Blue Oyster Cult, the album is the last recorded performance of the classic UFO line-up complete with Michael Schenker (not including the '93 reunion). This album marks the end of the '70s, the end of "UFO JAMS." I can think of no better live album (Thin Lizzy's Live And Dangerous comes real close). Oddly enough, I see this record quite a bit in thrift store bins or sidewalk sales and I always wonder "What kind of empty motherfucker wouldn't enjoy this. Why is this here? UFO JAMS!"
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Heather Leather, three fresh-faced, teenage Mexican-American sisters from San Antonio, Texas. Ruth Garza played bass and sang, Sylvia Garza was on guitars, and Sandie Garza played the drums. With a a passion for the classic heavy metal of Judas Priest and their heroines, Girlschool, the Garza's adopted the name Heather Leather and began rocking in their parents' garage around 1980. In 1984 they were featured on the great Texas comp Metal Moo Cow (anyone out there have this?) alongside Scratch Acid, The Offenders, Fearless Iranians From Hell, and The Hickoids, among others. A privately pressed 7" was produced in 1985 with money borrowed from their father who was sure the girls would skyrocket to the top. One listen to the two songs here will reveal why Heather Leather isn't exactly a household name today. While the girls were brimming with enthusiasm, they were a bit short on talent. Nonetheless, little, self-produced records like this are exactly why the Hearse exists, so without further ado, I present you...Heather Leather.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Here's some gritty, caveman psychedelia from Bunalim (sometimes called Bunalimlar or Grup Bunalim). The band was at the forefront of the fertile Turkish scene alongside bands like Mogollar and Erkin Koray. I don't really know much about the deep world of Anatolian Psych, but this record from 1970 (Bunalim's only release) speaks to me, and I love what it says. This shit is hairy as the cover suggests.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Dvnaèbkre was another twisted entity from the mind of Vordb Dreagvor Uezeerb, the industrious Les Legions Noire figure who also was a member of Black Murder, Brenoritvrezorkre, Dzlvarv, Susvourtre, Torgeist, Vzaeurvbtre, Zelda, Moëvöt, Chambre Noir, and Belketre. The only release from Dvnaèbkre was this limited tape called Dvnaèbkre Zuérkl Mogovtre. It was released in 1995, and is no less fucked or brilliant than any other LLN artifact. You all have been going nuts for this stuff. I'd say "enjoy," but that seems very inappropriate when it comes to LLN matters. You get my drift, Vzurzvorkle.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Here's the Asunder/Like Flies On Flesh split CD released by Life Is Abuse in 1999. This is Asunder before the addition of former Weakling guitarist/vocalist John Gossard. This early incarnation of Asunder contributed three tracks to this album. The first, "The Fall Of Elders" is a more Bolt Thrower-like track, while "Tides Of Ruin" hints at the colossal doom the band would later become revered for. The band closes with a somber piano outro composed and performed by their drummer/vocalist Dino Sommese (formerly of Dystopia.)
Like Flies on Flesh were a fantastic, somewhat hard to define band from Ft. Worth, Texas. Fronted by bassist/vocalist Jamie Myers who went on to play with Hammers of Misfortune. Like Flies On Flesh played a sort of hybrid of melodic Swedish Black/Death and crust. This was released on vinyl as well. Another jewel in the Life Is Abuse tiara of exceptional releases.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
A while back Cosmic Reader devotee, Vugelnox, requested some Aussie metal in the vein of Destroyer 666. Well, here is Destroyer 666 themselves with their somewhat rare Terror Abraxas EP. This limited CD was recorded shortly after the lads relocated to Holland, and released by German metal purist label, Iron Pegasus. I think this shows D666 at their peak, ferocious, unrelenting, but also reflective, and melodic at times. In my book this band can do no wrong.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Do yourself a favor, if you should ever come across anything released by the defunct Canadien Black Metal label Autistiartili Records, pick it up. Before calling it a night, the label released some of the best CDs and tapes of raw, lo-fi, hateful Black Metal from the likes of Branikald, Akitsa, Sturm, Verivala, The Shadow Order, Draugurz, Evil, Volkurah, Sputum Lunae, Kristallnacht, and Stella Polaris.
The label was founded by F. the sole member of the band Malveillance. Que La Morte Vous Emporte (Autist 008) Malveillance's second offering was released on CD in 2003 in a limited run of 500. It is a harsh, buzzing, assault of mid-tempo, punkish Black Metal. Imagine a nastier Akitsa (if that is even possible). The very sparse layout of the insert reveals little more than the quote: "THERE IS NO AUTHORITY BUT YOURSELF. MALVEILLANCE-RAW ANTI-ZIONIST BLACK METAL." Later on F. would shed NS trappings in favor of a more crust punk aesthetic and sound, as well as a weird obsession with playing Ramones covers. Strangeness.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The second album from The Hanatarash, sometimes called "Maw" bears the provocative statement in the liners "Kill all noise artists! We hate Whitehouse. Piss off N.W.W. Asshole C 93. Suck P.T.V. Fuck Coil. We love disco sound. Vomit eat shit noise music." Indeed.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Have you ever pissed off a whole lot of people at once or been jumped into a gang? If so, then you know what it's like to receive a volley of vicious blows about the head and body. If you have never experienced the sensation, may I recommend that you check out Seance's Saltrubbed Eyes. It's ultimately the same thing with less hassle. Seance was Swedish and Death Metal, but this, their second album, shows them ditching the Entombed/Dismember/Grave/Unleashed school of unthought, and creating something way more bare-knuckled, stripped down, and pummeling. Saltrubbed Eyes is a retarded, beserker neanderthal awoken from a deep slumber with a kick in the balls. And as if just kicking your ass wasn't enough they also want to rub salt in your fucking eyes? Fuck.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Al (Flipside): What's going on on the "Conquest For Death" cover?
Todd: It's supposed to be a guy fighting himself...
The Necros Conquest For Death 12 inch. When this came out some folks were disappointed that this wasn't as crazy as the 7 inch of the same name and that The Necros had started to grow their hair out. I remember people thinking this was an attempt to "sell-out," but what the fuck? This record is one of the finer moments in hardcore and was the inspiration for me to paint their logo on the leather I had, but could never wear, because it never dipped below 80 degrees where I grew up. And though I can't really put it into words, there was something really haunting and appealing to me about that cover. Hardcore rules, and this record exemplifies why it did, and why it always will. Fuck the haters.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Back when I posted Buffalo's third album here, I referred to their sound as "proto-metal-throw-down dude rock" and "ham-fisted," "hairy-chested," and "macho." Volcanic Rock was Buffalo's second album, and my personal favorite from these guys. More jammy and drawn out than their rather mediocre debut, and not as straight forward as the follow up Only Want You For Your Body, but every bit as manly. Play this in a room full of skirts and see if you can't smell the panty pudding by the end. Seriously.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
What the fuck is going on in Saarland? The German state is home to some strange Black Metal bands, Grausamkeit, Corneus, Old Pagan, Staub, Blod Besvimelse, and Birkabein. Birkabein was made up of Black Son of Darkness (Grausamkeit) and Machosias (Old Pagan). The band played the same kind of no-fi kvltitude as Grausamkeit. The Land Der Ewigen Nacht tape was limited to 131 copies. Why that number, I don't know.
Monday, August 11, 2008
That's right, old school hip hop from, of all places, Connecticut, a state not generally known for much of anything. This compilation collects 14 amazing cuts recorded between 1979 and 1983, you know, when hip hop was playful and fun and not full of macho posturing assholes. The majority of the work here was the product of scene linchpin, Mr. Magic. Mr. Magic was a Fagan-like character who owned a record store and a label, both called Magic Records. The tracks aren't far from what their New York counterparts were doing at the time, just with a dash of Constitution state naivete. My favorite bits have to be the pre-pubescent Pookey Blow's "Get Up and Go To School" and "Ventriloquist Rap" by Willie Brown & Woodie. Willie Brown believed that rap and vetriloquism make for an exceptional cocktail of goodness, unfortunately the world wasn't ready. Are you?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
What could be more perfect than doom metal and whales? German band Ahab have modeled their sound and concept around Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, and seeing how it is one of my favorite books, I was drawn to The Call of The Wretched Sea. Taking a cue or two from Thergothon and Worship, Ahab's sound is as colossal and lumbering as the white whale itself. Of course it would be impossible to cover all the nuances and various themes covered in Herman Melville's original tome, but like Melville, Ahab do a fine job in capturing the absolute peril and vastness of the ocean. Doom metal and whales.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I can't thank former Roach Motel/current Drug Czars guitar man, Jeff Hodapp enough for the awesome package he sent me full of rare Florida punk, including this lost gem, The Doldrums demo. The Doldrums were a fantastic punk band from Gainseville, circa 85-86. I saw them once in Miami. I don't really know anything else about them. Maybe you do and want to tell me. Maybe you want to send me cool stuff.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tenebre, another Dario Argento horror classic. Like most Argento work, it marries a great soundtrack to amazing visuals and buckets of gooey red sangre. I found Tenebre to be a bit confusing and unclear about who the murderer is, but who fucking cares when you get flawless cinematography, beautiful interiors and more than a few stunning Italian babes. Oh, and that funky, creepy accompaniment of Goblin conspirators Simonetti, Morante, Pignatelli. Let's not forget about that, it's why we're here.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Fatherhood has many joys. Seeing your child's first step, their first words, their first day at school. All of these milestones fill you with immense joy and pride. Recently my own little seven-year-old wrathchild, Ezra, discovered the sheer rocking rulocity of Iron Maiden, and he is hooked. And watching his tiny, unjaded ears hear the Maiden classics has reminded me of what excited me upon hearing them for the first time around 1982. All fathers have traditions they will pass on to their sons, some not so cool, but a love for one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time is as valid and important as fishing, riding a bicycle, or sports, at least at my house it is. So I welcome and foster this obsession of Ezra's, giving him all my Maiden CDs and watching the Live After Death DVD with him as if it was Finding Nemo. Ezra has been bugging me to pay tribute to his favorite band here on the Hearse. So here is Iron Maiden's earliest recording known as The Soundhouse Tapes. You get primitive versions of "Iron Maiden," "Invasion," and "Prowler" (Ezra's favorite Maiden track.) Four songs were recorded, but there was not enough money to finish "Strange World." Weird to think that now they have their own jet (another detail that Ezra finds beyond cool.) So this is for you, little man, and for the band that brings both of us so much joy.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
What we have here is either the heaviest novelty record ever made, the goofiest psych album ever made, or both. Icarus hailed from the UK and released a few forgettable singles before recording their only LP, The Marvel World of Icarus, a conceptual album based on the Marvel Comics universe. Imagine if Three Dog Night or Blood Sweat & Tears sang about The Fantastic Four and The Hulk rather than world peace and spinning wheels and you get a pretty good idea of what this sounds like. Rumor has it that Stan Lee never gave permission to Icarus and the record was subjected to a cease and desist, so all existing copies were destroyed, making it a record collector's wet dream. These rumors have been neither substantiated nor denied. So if you have been waiting your whole life to hear rather generic psychedelic hard rock with lyrics about superheroes, today is your lucky day. So goofy and ill-conceived, you'd have to be pretty fucking square, or one of those tight-assed DC comics fans not to enjoy this.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Durch Ruinen und Dustere Kriegsfelder is the title of the split CD of two of France's most hardline NSBM bands, Sombre Chemin and Ornaments of Sin. I picked this up for Sombre Chemin. Their fuzzy, melodic dirges remind me of Akitsa's more reflective work. Sombre Chemin are avid Third Reich fetishists, but they seem to be coming from a rather despondent place, as if they are saddened by the fact that the Thousand Year Empire barely lasted a dozen. While Sombre Chemin lament what could have been, Ornaments of Sin just seem bent on being mean. Ornaments of Sin are attracted to the more brutal and sadistic nature of fascism, and this is reflected in their songs. They are more rocking in their approach, even a bit punk in a way. While I appreciate Ornaments' gut-level malevolence, Sombre Chemin wins for being far more elegant in their themes, and far more sonically bizarre. You might feel otherwise. You might also be sensitive to this kind of glorification of fascist ideals, but I don't really give a fuck.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I'm not going to tell you too much about this one, don't want to ruin the surprise. Just trust me on this. I will tell you that Satan's Massacre were from New York, consisted of members King Evil and Black Legion, and they released Robbing the Graveyard and Raping the Dead, their only output, in 1986. This rip is unfortunately missing a track, but it is too amazing not to be posted. I have to thank Dave G. of the righteous Rocket Science blog for this gem. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
You know that you've reached the craggy peak of Mount Shred when someone is willing to release a CD of just your guitar solos. And seriously, why not? Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth's solos are unlike anyone elses, they are expressive, fluid and oh so fucking weird. Take the solo in "Angel of Disease" from the 1993 album Covenant, you know, the one that sounds like a flock of possessed seagulls descending to peck your eyes out. Or the one in "Rebel Lands" from Blessed Are The Sick that sounds like a snake charmer, you can almost see a cobra rising from a Pier One Imports basket ready to bite you in the sack. In 1999 Morbid Angel released a special limited edition bonus CD of nothing but the solos from Formulas Fatal To The Flesh, called Love of Lava. The solos take on new life here. Love of Lava is more of a collection of abstract, experimental pieces than a metal album. This is the European version with extra tracks. Love that lava.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Absurd, the Swedish punk band not the murderous teenage Black Metal band of the same name, released Blodig Stad in 1982. It's a sloppy, fun, mess of record. I think the title means "Leech Town," I could be wrong, but it does remind me that alot of you download stuff and don't bother to leave comments. What the fuck is up with that? Love Ya!