Who keeps the flame of true Hellenic Black Metal alive? Kawir, that's who. Here is an early EP from one of my favorite Greek Black Metal bands. Kawir uses a very traditional approach. The old Olympian gods (Varathron, Rotting Christ, and Necromantia) are invoked in their mid-tempo trudge, liberal use of archaic keyboards, and lyrics singing the praises of Zeus. All that and and an excellent flying space Parthenon make for a truly epic release.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Venus Gang was another creation of French superstar genius producer/composer Jean-Pierre Massiera, who was affiliated with Cosmic Hearse favorites, Rockets. For three decades Massiera masterminded a number of brilliant conceptual musical entities with a fondness for schlock sci fi and funky beats. Venus Gang was Massiera's attempt throw his beret into the ring of disco. Galactic Soul was Venus Gang's only album, but a number of minor hit singles ensued. Play this at your next future-of-the-seventies coke party and watch silver space panties hit the dance floor.
Friday, January 29, 2010
There have been dozens of metal bands calling themselves Majesty, so finding any real info on this obscure band pretty futile. However, that doesn't detract from how epic this 1995 demo (titled The Natural Architect) is. I know that this Majesty was from Finland, and they bring some serious downer doom ala Vitus or Forest of Equilibrium era Cathedral with a very obvious drum machine. The sentiment is right on the money though, this is a fantastic listen. Did they release anything else? Anyone?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
This was requested by one of my favorite people in the world, Anthony aka "Chubby," Hickey's original bassist and all around wonderful dude. Crom are oft associated with the Southern California Power Violence scene but this album is so much more than the herky jerky blasting barky PCP-core you might expect. The Cocaine Years is an amazing pastiche of various badass cultural nostalgia, heavy metal zeitgeist, and snarky in jokes. It is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the grandiosity and pomp of metal, the sort some might find patronizing, but I think it comes from a genuine place of reverence. This record astounded me when I first heard it in 2001 and it is still a fun and funny listen. See if you can figure out all the references this record makes. Thanks, Chubby, for reminding me about this.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Here's a great record that was released not by a label, but rather the General Administration of Congolese Cultural Affairs with the intent of promoting national arts. The nation's best and brightest young talents were enlisted to write, arrange, perform and record these fantastic songs singing the praise of the Congo and it's people. Nationalist propaganda never sounded so good or funky. It's like they were running a Quinn Martin country. I don't think a volume two was ever made.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Black Twilight is the union of the best and most dedicated Black Metal bands in Southern California. The Worship Black Twilight compilation acts as the group's official sonic mission statement. The bands include Ashdautas, Volahn, Arizmenda, Kallathon and Axeman. It would be hard to name a favorite here (perhaps Kallathon,) this is truly excellent from beginning to end and has me dying to hear more from The Black Twilight hordes.
Monday, January 25, 2010
These tough New Wave of Brit lasses weren't content to push prams or be mere spadgers in some cold, grey slough. These birds were leather-clad femme fatales on a collision course with the Lad-dominated world of 'eavy, and Hit and Run was the pinnacle of their recorded output. Evokes images of fast cars, hot city nights, and leather-pantsed yeast infections. Critical shit.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I think their name is Swedish for "The Penises" and they came from a boring town called Falun which is best known for being the hometown of Sweden's most beloved bogeyman, Tommy Quick. Great glue-huffing styled punk rock, no hardcore here. You honestly think you are too good for this kind of shit? Well you aren't.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Hoataamcradiu was the first demo by the band I have called the Korean Abruptum. Gormantatinus became a reader favorite back when I posted the follow up to Hoataamcradiu, the fiendish and bizarre Sersavina Declan Anden Plaust. Essential.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Time has shown that the coolest member of Public Enemy was by far Terminator X. He never scapegoated jews, debased himself with a disgusting reality show, and he never sued Notorious B.I.G. This isn't so much a proper solo album as it X attempting use his recognition and skills to launch the careers of some young rap hopefuls in 1991. Perhaps not the most successful venture. I mean Andreas 13, Celo, Dubmaster, and Chief Groovy Loo aren't exactly household names, but this is still the best PE offshoot record out there, mainly because Terminator X was so unique in his approach. This might have been better as an instrumental record. Still, it can rock bells.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
One of many bits of Carcass ephemera to be released in the interim between Necroticsm and Heartwork, The Tools of the Trade EP. You get the title track which sounds like it could have been on Necroticism, a version of "Incarnated Solvent Abuse" mislabeled as "Incarnate Solvent Abuse," and updated versions of older songs, "Pysosisified" and "Hepatic Tissue Fermentation." Very fucking cool.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Grab yourself a handful of this sleazy biker rock boogie goodness from a band called Betty. Handful was the Los Angeles band's only release and it came out in 1971. Saddle up your sled, put your favorite ol' lady on the cooch pad, and live free, motherfucker, live free.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
By now you all know the tragic story of Euronymous, the fallen godfather of Norwegian Black Metal, and eventually a big Hollywood movie will have throngs of muggles in the know as well. But before that happens, allow me to present this excellent primer in early Scandi-Dark, The Necropolis Records Tribute To Euronymous compilation. The idea was to gather the forerunners of the budding Norwegian and Swedish Black Metal scenes in order to showcase this exciting new happening in the north of Europe, however before the comp was finished Varg Vikernes struck that fateful blow (23 times) that forever changed the course of Black Metal and the focus of this record. The end result is a tribute to Euronymous that doesn't include Burzum or Darkthrone. This was my first experience with Thorns, Abruptum, and Mysticum, it came at a time when there were few chances to hear real Black Metal records in America, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to find this used at Record Finder in San Francisco. I'm sure some of you have these songs on the band's releases or various bootlegs but this is one of those seminal, genre-defining comps, like Jellybeans was to Punk, and that makes it an interesting document. R.I.P. Euronymous.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
You know how when you see those VH1 specials about some coke metal band from the 80s and there is always some doughy has-been who blames the decline of his shitty band on some flannel-clad slacker from Seattle? I always find that amusing. Anyways, Green River, being one of the earliest grunge bands, still had some of the last vestiges of gritty Sunset Strip glam dickbaggery, but also had a sort of sinister "end of the party" thing going as well. Perhaps Green River were proto-grunge? Anyways, kind of sad to think of these guys very known drug problems, but even sadder that at least one of them ended up in that paragon of collegiate '90s blandness known as Pearl Jam. I guess grunge is due to come back ironically, then the kids in the retro-thrash bands can whine about how nobody cares about real music anymore. Now that would be ironic. Here's Green River's 1988 album, Rehab Doll. Just so you know, the band's version of "Queen Bitch" was left off of this CD reissue due to legal hassles from a certain thin white duke.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Hey, wossamatta you? You don't want to hear some fuckin' metal from New York in the '80s? And what is more New York or Metal than a dominatrix and a handcuffed dude in a diaper? Here we have another regional compilation of young metal hopefuls. The comp starts off with the track "Whore" by Warhead from Rochester. Warhead sound like a poor man's W.A.S.P. ( I know what you are thinking: W.A.S.P. is a poor man's W.A.S.P.) Cities is up next doing "Still Of The Night." Cities is known to some for having AJ Pero of Twisted Sister on drums, but this doesn't make me like them any less. Takashi are the coke-metal contribution to this comp, sounding like an anemic Poison on their track, "Live To Rock." Perhaps the best known band on the comp (along with Overkill) Virgin Steele get two tracks, the awesomely titled but useless solo wankery of "Guitar War 84," and their epic theme song "Virgin Steele." So this band Teazer has a shitty name but the crappy guitar tone and overall production of their track "Day Zero" a surprise charmer. Blacklace is the token female-fronted bar-metal/hard rock band that seem to appear on almost every regional Metal comp. A very young and plucky Overkill contribute "Feel The Fire." Another female-fronted band, Deathslayer step up with "Journey For Light" which reminds me of some of the cool early Swedish metal bands that have been featured here on the Hearse. The whole NY Metal party comes to end with the best track, "We Rule The Night" by Frigid Bich (their spelling, not mine.) This trashy anthem has so much attitude and balls it almost makes you forget those pussies in Takashi almost ruined the party. Pretty cool.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
By the time Toxik got around to recording Think This, the follow up to their debut World Circus, they had grown leaps and bounds as players and replaced original front man Mike Sanders with new duder, Charles Sabin. In my opinion, this is the better of the two Toxik albums. You know what's up, technical thrash not nearly as cool as Coroner, but still 99% better than most of the puffy white tennis shoe bands of the time, even with that weak "There Stood The Fence" song. You will like this, I don't know, I'm not here to tell you what to think.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Betrayed were a Phillipino-American punk band in the '80s who drew inspiration from early UK punk and Oi music and reggae. The band's history is very complex with members moving back and forth between New York and The Phillipines, and changing line-ups many times along the way. The whole story of Betrayed can be read here. This cassette was released in 1986, six years after the band formed. It has fourteen spunky, punky anthems addressing all the usual subjects:Unity, the kids, fighting, life in the city streets, y'know, punk things.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Cythraul hail from Lorraine, France and play the sort of bizarre, distant, and poorly recorded evil you've come to love from all these frequent trips on the Cosmic Hearse. This 2001 demo is called Back From Darkness, even though the title implies some kind of comeback, this was Cythraul's only output. The vocals are much louder than everything else, giving this a weird, disjointed feel. After the release of this cassette the two members of Cythraul, Lord Arawn and Warspirit, formed the more politically motivated Sacrificia Mortuorum.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Take a look at that cover, an austere English home is ravaged by fire, no one is around, or perhaps they are still inside drinking tea as flames engulf their anglo way of life. It's a fitting image to accompany The Swell Maps debut album A Trip To Marineville. The Swell Maps formed in Birmingham back in 1972 by a pair of brothers with really cool names, Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks, and some mates with equally cool names like Phones Sportsman, Jowe Head, and John Cockrill. It wasn't until 1977 that The Swell Maps got it together and cut a single called "Read About Seymour," which has appeared on numerous punk retrospective comps over the years. A Trip To Marineville was released in 1979. Like the house on the jacket, The Swell Maps are unmistakably English, and seem determined to set alight all conventions before them. The Swell Maps (like Wire) were the reaction of UK punk going stale and having too much in common with the boring geezer rock it initially set about to destroy. This boredom and disillusionment incited a slew of innovative young bands who added wit and art sensibilities to their vocabulary. The Swell Maps took a looser approach than Wire, even having some distinctly Kraut Rock influences at work. My friend Robert Price of the band Kreamy 'Lectric Santa turned me on to this record when we were much younger. I was immediately drawn to its eccentricity and humor (despite most of the lyrics being beyond me.) It also came to me at a time where I too was bored with formulaic punk. The album kicks off with a an adolescent English voice declaring "Say, that's a swell map" and then we are dragged off into The Swell Maps universe. A trip indeed.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The response to Brutality's debut full length Screams of Anguish was quite positive, so I thought you may be interested in hearing some more by them. Here is their 1989 demo, Dimension Demented. This was back when the band was a much rawer three piece concern. Some of these songs were pressed to a 7" titled Hell On Earth in 1990.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
For a cassette, the Charred Remains compilation was pretty widely distributed. This tape, released in '81 by Version Sound, compiled some of the best hardcore bands in the U.S. Standout tracks from Void, Husker Du, Rebel Truth, Violent Apathy, Die Kreuzen, and Articles of Faith, as well as a bunch of other lesser bands who still kick ass. I used to skate to this tape.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This is almost like two records in one. On one hand you get some gritty blues rock stoner psych served raw like sushi, and on the other hand you have some hopelessly tepid AOR corn. However, this album from Japan's Too Much is worth the price of admission alone for the heavier numbers dripping with the gooey hash-oil guitardation of Junio Nakahara and singer Juni Lush's soulful pipes. This Japanese afro of an album was released in 1971.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Argenraza are nationalist Black Metal band from Argentina of all places. I'm not sure how they incorporate their Third Reich fetish into their own South American national myth, but whatever, the music is harsh, scraping, and chaotic. This demo is titled Primera Conquista Total Del Hemisfero Sur and it was released in 2004.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Remember that Shevalreq bit of weirdness I posted some time ago? Well the mad genius behind the Hekaloth label, and it's utterly bizarre pantheon of History Channel guitar-synth Jazz Black Metal projects is back with Xynfonica. This time around Vikings and Norse mythology provide the inspiration. Like I've said before, so confusing, and seemingly insane, either you instantly will be a fanatic follower of all things Hekaloth, or you just be puzzled and somewhat disconcerted.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Genocidio, another balls-out barbaric Brazilian horde in the grand tradition of Sarcofago and Sextrash. So now you know what to expect, breakneck speeds, cruddy guitar sounds and plenty of chuckle-worthy ESL lyrics about Satan and violence and tons of other bad things. At times the members of Genocidio seem to be in a race to the end of the song, or clinging for dear life as the whole thing careens out of control into a darkened abyss, but such was the style for many young Brazilian bands in the late '80s, speed was everything, speed and Satan. This self-titled EP was unleashed in 1988. That art would look pretty cool painted on a van.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Twenty-two tracks in just over sixteen minutes, and everything from War to pigs to capitalism to the government to society is laid to waste by one of the most hostile and potent hardcore bands of all time. Still holds up and an excellent way to kick off the new year.