Kadath is a giant castle where menacing gods reside. Mortals can not enter its gates, but Catacomb, an obscure Death Metal band from Toulon France, gained entry in 1993. The result was this obscure treasure of an EP titled In The Maze of Kadath. On that cold and misty day the Old Ones reveled in murky guitars, shredding solos, and guttural vocals belching forth lyrics singing their unholy praise.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Leather are a new school Hardcore band from Philadelphia. Anchorite is their debut 7" and it cooks with all the fury of the '80s bands. Reminds me a bit of the Nip Drivers faster, harder moments. So there is nothing new under the sun, I get it, you're jaded. Relax your curmudgeonly sphincter and be glad that some kids are mining Negative Approach for rage rather than Earth Crisis. This record is awesome.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Graveland's career resembles Bathory in that both bands had two very distinct periods. Following the Voice of Blood marks Graveland's transition from raw, clumsy Black Metal into epic viking soundscapes. I personally believe this is the band's finest hour. It is a strange record, poorly performed, masterfully arranged, and littered with numerous bizarre flourishes. Listen to the main rhythm guitar, it's lack of distortion, it's rickety jangle. Listen even closer for the almost Hawaiian style pedal steel accents, listen to the barely coherent drumblings of a hate-filled man named Capricornus. And despite Following The Voice of Blood's obvious shortcomings, the songs are still excellent. It stands as one of the Black Metal records that I reach for the most, and it still reveals new elements with each listen. Now I am aware of mainman Darken's politics, I am aware of his provocative statements. As I have stated many times before, this site is not political, it is musical, and Graveland doesn't reflect my worldview any more than Star Wars, Manowar, comic books, or anything else I may find enjoyable. If this causes you concern, then perhaps Cosmic Hearse is not for you.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Heart of Snow were a short lived Bay Area band that wore their Siouxsie influence on their sleeves. The played a few shows, released this phenomenal EP called Endure or More, and disappeared. The drummer, Scott, is now bashing buckets in Oakland dude rockers The Saviours, while the singer, Cynthia, keeps it dour in Swann Danger. This record is just too good to let slip into obscurity.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Jackie McLean didn't make a record during his life that didn't absolutely move me. I regard him as one of the most expressive and astute alto sax players to ever live. It was hard to choose which of his many great albums as a leader to feature, but eventually I settled on his 1963 record Destination...Out!. Maybe not the best choice as much of the material here was penned by the amazing Grachan Moncur III, but it is McLean's muscular playing that drives this session, the presence of Roy Haynes, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Ridley, and Moncur don't hurt either. McLean led twenty four dates as a leader for Blue Note but his output between '62 and '67 remain as some of the most evocative Jazz records of all time. I urge you to look further into those, especially One Step Beyond, New and Old Gospel, Action Action Action, and Let Freedom Ring. Jackie's work ethic, openness to the avant garde, and willingness to take on younger up and coming musicians resulted in a varied and completely fascinating body of work. McLean died in 2006 in Hartford Connecticut, and if that city has any heart or soul at all we will see a statue of him in the center of town before too long.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Hetsheads started their run as a jokey Swedish hardcore band in 1988 under the awesome moniker of Hetsheads with Hetsfaces and the Fuckfaces of Death, but much like Hearse favorites BLOOD, Hetsheads eventually decided to play the morbid Death Metal that was rising in popularity at the time and the clumsy name was shortened. Throughout the early '90s the band made a few recordings but only released one limited demo called Remonstrating the Preserver. In 1994 the band called it quits and some members went on to form the infinitely more polished Blackshine. In 1994 Repulse records stepped up and released this CD containing the demo and a few extra tracks. It's Swedish Death Metal, so you should already have a pretty firm understanding of what Hetsheads sound like, the shocker is that these kids were really fucking good. We Hail The Possessed holds it's own against some of the better known records of the genre. Blow the dust off this obscure relic of ancient Scandi-death and hail the Hetsheads.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Plague were a relatively obscure (but excellent) Hardcore band from Ohio. In their time they released this EP Just Say No in 1987 and an LP titled Chain Sawng Massacre. This little record rages in the vein of early Poison Idea. Highly recommended, unless you are a square.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Donald Byrd made quite a few records, some great, some not so great, but Royal Flush is my personal favorite. This album dropped in 1961, it features Pepper Adams, Herbie Hancock, Butch Warren and Billy Higgins. No need to overanalyze, dissect, or wax pseudo-intellectual about Royal Flush, it's just hard bop, played well and played vibrantly. Settle into it, perhaps with a Beefeater Gin martini in hand, and let it do its work, baby.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
If AIDS was a record it would be Dizzy Bitch's 1986 LP In The Pink. Even the title is gross. And if that wasn't enough, the three petri dishes that made up Dizzy Bitch had names like "Tim Tation," "Hondo Blackout," and "Johnny Lust." I think these guys may have been from Vegas, which would make sense, but I really don't know, and surprisingly, there aren't tons of Dizzy Bitch fan sites cluttering up the interwebs. Even though I could probably write a tome on the band's aesthetic choices and missteps, let's talk about the music, shall we? The album opens with Dizzy Bitch's theme song "Dizzy Bitch." Immediately you are taken by the wafer thin guitar tones, the spunky clunky drum performance, and the nasal vocals of one of these shameless gender-bending poppinjays. The follow up track, "Insane by Mother," is a mess. Next up is "Goin' Down" which I am going to go ahead and assume is about a particularly memorable blow job. Oh, check it out, I was right. Halfway through and we get the perky party anthem "Double Time," in which Th' Bitch (as fans called them for short) address the perils of rising to the top without compromise. Interestingly enough, they also address their stupid name in the song. Things get serious on the next cut, "Don't Push The Children," not sure what the point behind this one is. Who are these children and why would we push them? Finally, in the album's close, we are urged to rock with Dizzy Bitch and their song "Rock With Me." Problem is nothing here really rocks and I wouldn't want to even share an elevator ride with Dizzy Bitch, much less rock with them. Jesus fuck, with this and the last post I am starting to wonder if the Cosmic Hearse even gives a fuck anymore.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The EAT ME tape was one of scores of compilations released by BCT tapes in the '80s. Kind of a random collection with bands from Southern Califonia, Mexico, the Midwest, and Seattle. The ubiquitous White Flag kick it off with some of their best material (as opposed to that 4 bands monstrosity from last week.) Deranged Diction from Seattle play generic but enjoyable hardcore. I don't know where the hell Corrupted Service were from but they are pretty forgettable so what does it fucking matter? I remember not liking Killroy back in the day but these songs aren't bad, melodic mid-tempo almost 77 style punkers. The Wallflowers suck and contribute two Stooges covers and a jokey funk song, completely useless. Solucion Mortal are one of a few bands from Mexico's hardcore scene of the '80s that I had heard of. Their sloppy, atonal hardcore might be more interesting if it were better recorded but probably not. No Response from Wisconsin sound totally unhinged and cool, doesn't even really matter that this was obviously recorded on a boombox in their garage. So there you have it, the EAT ME tape is pretty much a shit sandwich with standouts White Flag and No Response kind of saving the day.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I guess it was young Marcus Norman's calling to make Satanic Black/Doom/Death Metal as an entity known as Ancient Wisdom. Mr. Norman cut his fangs as a member of the early Swedish Black Metal band Throne of Ahaz. As the logo suggests, Ancient Wisdom was originally called Ancient but added the wisdom upon becoming aware of a Norwegian band also calling themselves Ancient. The Calling was released in 1997 and is the band's second, and best album. Not really Black Metal, not really Doom, not really traditional Heavy Metal, but managing to incorporate all those styles into the fold without sounding manic or confused. The songs and pedestrian Satanic atmosphere of The Calling are so damn delectable that the album can't even be marred by some pretty terrible tones. Another great album to play loud at your next party.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Johnny Griffin was a shredder, when he came on the scene in the early '50s people were astonished at his speed and dexterity. Blue Note scooped him up and put him in the studio in 1956 for his first date as a leader, the result was this record, Introducing Johnny Griffin. In 1957 Johnny joined the Jazz Messengers performing on the Messengers session with Thelonius Monk. Monk so impressed with Griffin, gave him the slot vacated by John Coltrane in his own Five Spot Quartet. Griffin was an adept player, fluid, and ridiculously nimble, even on this, his first session as a leader. Introducing... features six standards and three excellent Griffin originals, an excellent rhythm section of Wynton Kelly, Curly Russell, and Max Roach, and of course, that excellent Frank Wolff photograph of Johnny Griffin at Van Gelder's studio rocking some kind of crazy loud shirt and talking smack. Get this and get to know one of Jazz's most underappreciated shredders.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Here's a self-released 7" from Savage Circle, an early NYC Hardcore band that never really got much attention. Savage Circle's Hardcore was sloppy and urgent, a bit generic, but to the point of being ridiculously cool. The band crashes through terse songs that are actually about nothing at all, kind of feat really. Savage Circle sort of remind me of the bands you would see on punksploitation episodes of '80s TV shows. I love this.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
As far as I can tell, the name Rautarutto means "Iron Pestilence," which is a pretty heavy name, right? The band Rautarutto hail from the bullshit town of Kuhmo, a town known mainly for chamber music. The band so far has released four interesting demos, Monument of Despair is the last and was released in 2005. Rautarutto play a sort of dissonant and plodding Black Metal that reminds me of trudging through snow. The band rarely blasts, but they never seem to resort to the Burzumic melancholy of the slower Black Metal bands. And while Monument of Despair doesn't exactly have top notch production values, it does have some great tones and atmosphere in its sound.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Despite having three teeth and no working eyeballs and a life that was harder than Chinese arithmetic , Reverend Gary Davis still loved his Jesus. Gary was born in 1896 in South Carolina, he was the only of his mother's eight children to survive to adulthood, and he lost his sight before he was two. His father was killed by a cop in Birmingham when Gary was just ten. In his late twenties, Gary up and went to Durham, North Carolina, which was sort of like the Williamsburg of it's time for black folk who wanted to "make it" playing the blues. It was there he struck up a friendship with another sightless bluesman, the ever-randy Fulton Allen aka Blind Boy Fuller. Fuller introduced Davis to the heads of The American Record Company who immediately set to recording Gary Davis' unique voice and picking styles. Around this time Gary became an ordained minister, motherfucker loved Jesus. By the 50s the Durham scene was on the wane and Gary relocated to New York. While there, he experienced a resurgence in popularity from New York's hippest of caucasian folkies. In 1962 he dropped one of his best recordings, Say No To The Devil. On this brilliant record Gary warbles and wails about the various evils and temptations the devil uses to fuck you up, the wonders of an awaiting heaven, and of course how much he loves his Jesus. Really, the blues just don't get much better than this album full spindly guitars, and Gary's distinct ashen voice giving stolid warnings of the perils of hell and damnation. Satan is a fucking dick.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
These pub-weary blokes hailed from Cirencester, which also happens to be the home town of Cozy Powell. In 1983 Dealer dealt their first single "Better Things to Do b/w Suspected Foul Play," and it is an awesome bit of NWOBHM that doesn't contain that pesky AOR ballad b-side that we've come to expect. Pretty cool deal, Dealer.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The four bands that could've changed the world (and ultimately didn't) were 7 Seconds, F, Adrenalin O.D., and White Flag. This was released as a tape and an LP in 1987 by Gasatanka Records, which was the concern of White Flag's singer Bill Bartell. The proceedings kick off with 7 Seconds, who never changed the world, but did change into a shitty U2 type alterno-rock band around the time this material was recorded. If you really want to endure the pseudo-reggae version of "Walk Together Rock Together" be my guest, I am skipping it. Next up is White Flag, and for all the derision this band reaped with their terminally jokey attitude and constant desire to fuck with the "rules" of punkness, they were a pretty great band, however this is material doesn't really demonstrate that fact. Next up is F, who I have boldy claimed were one of the greatest hardcore band to ever come from Florida and maybe the USA, but again, the material they contribute to this comp is pretty forgettable. Interestingly enough, the cover art was provided by F bassist Eddie Nothing and shows F singer, Phil, about to stick a pin in a world balloon. Adrenalin O.D. turn in some lame covers and a poorly recorded live version of one of their best numbers "Rock n Roll Gas Station." So basically what we have here is four great bands showcasing their laziest, most uninspired material. Not sure how anyone involved thought this was a good idea or even remotely world changing. Why the hell did I even post this? Cosmic Hearse has jumped the shark.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I must thank Hearse reader and friend, Ian Lynch, for pointing me towards this little-known, early Black Metal band from Ireland called Carnun. The band only managed to eke out one great demo called Malkuth in 1996. They obviously paid close attention to the Norwegian bands, for over the course of Malkuth's running time of twenty-one minutes, I hear shades of the early work of Manes, In The Woods, and Satyricon.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
The Hearse has been around long enough that I am starting to forget what has been posted and what hasn't. I was pretty sure that I had already waxed moronic on this absolute gem of Canadian Speed Metal, but alas, nope. You may know Razor but in case you don't: these crazed canucks hailed from the very nice town of Guelph, Ontario. Guelph is situated right on the Speed River, which may explain Razor's fixation for velocity (they had songs titled "Fast and Loud," "Deathrace,"and "Speed Merchants"). The band's first studio LP, Executioner's Song may not exactly be considered fast or all that hard by today's standards, but in 1985, Razor was pretty cutting edge (pun fully intended). The track "Fast and Loud" presents Razor's mission statement, which Canadian enough, seems to be to "please the crowd" with metal fury. Later , on the track "Hot Metal," Razor remind us once again of the power of Metal, and their rightful place as leaders of the genre. Well, not sure that Razor were exactly leading the way or innovating in any way, but fuck me if Executioner's Song isn't a damn great metal album , completely devoid of fluff or filler. Play this loud at your next party.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Right up there with Life Time as one of my favorite avant-jazz albums, Don Cherry's Complete Communion is another "must hear" for anyone who considers themselves a fan of strange and difficult music. The arrangements and musicianship on Complete Communion defy logic, motifs come and go, hooks and grooves are alluded to, return, shift, and twist into other ideas and forms. At times their is a feeling of improvisation but then the order is revealed in another head-scratching turn. Trying to describe Complete Communion to someone who hasn't heard it is kind of like taking a class in how to be in a car accident. I will shut up now, and let the music do the talking, and it does a lot of talking.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Here is a solid compilation containing four groups of backwards thinking Norwegianocidal maniacs. The title and cover are a rather obvious and adorable tribute to one of the greatest Death Metal records of all time. Execration kick things off with their knuckle drag number "Entheogen." Obliteration are probably the best known of the four due to their stellar album Nekropsalms. Their track, "Envenomed" also happens to be the best on here. Lobotomized are fucking cool trashy, punky primitive Death Metal with two songs about pee pee (one being a Mentor's cover) and one about poo poo. Diskord play angular, mathy Death Metal that kind of reminds me of Black Flag's Process of Weeding Out meets later-era Death, and I am way okay with that (also look out for their fantastic Doomscapes album). Oslo We Rot is about as great as compilations get, I only wish it was longer.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Chronaexus are a fairly new Black Metal band hailing from Sacramento, California. This year they managed to squeeze out a pretty impressive debut album called Algedonic Awakening, even cooler is the fact that they were quite open to sharing it here on the Hearse. Algedonic Awakening brings to mind the second wave of Euro Black Metal bands with its swirling keys and towering atmosphere, I am reminded of ...And Oceans, and Admiron Black-era Gehenna. Now I know these guys play live, but the drums on this recording sound artificial, however it doesn't really detract from the experience for me. Can't help but feel that their next outing will absolutely rule.
Monday, June 6, 2011
I have to thank my bandmate Jessica Way for pointing this one out to me. Cortex formed from the smoldering ashes of Swedish post punk outfit, Likit Lever, however Cortex went towards a darker schizo Death Rock direction. The band's debut album Spinal Injuries is pure black gold from start to finish. Oh, and I apologize for the lack of song titles. Maybe someone wants to post those in the comments.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
About as typical a hard bop album as you will ever find, Soul Station, is perhaps my favorite Hank Mobley bit for it's sheer purity of intent and it's dedication to the craft of swing and cool. Much of the album's merit can be attributed to the ubiquitous skin-crusher, Art Blakey. Mobley (along with Lee Morgan) is the artist most associated with Blue Note in their most productive period. The tenor sax player recorded twenty-five albums for the label as a leader, and probably another fifty as a sideman. Hank's own records never really strayed far from the formula, no risk taking, the man was a workhorse focused on the task of tone and performance. Soul Station was one of the first Blue Note albums I ever bought, having been struck by its cover in a thrift store bin. Mobley appears a bit baked, in the grip of a sublime sense of accomplishment, a smile creeps across his face as he lifts his horn as if to utter a soft, barely audible "fuck yeah." Mobley didn't need to wildly squonk discordant notes like Coleman or Dolphy, he didn't need to play faster than Johnny Griffin, he didn't need to out cool Coltrane. Motherfucking Mobley knew he was bad ass, Soul Station was just one of many reminders.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Cianide are another seminal American Death Metal band that don't get their due. The band formed in Chicago in 1988 and can boast over two decades or putrid, lurching tuneage. The Dying Truth was Cianide's first full length album, it was released in 1992, and it is a greasy behemoth of pummeling riffs and grotesque, funereal midwestern guignol. You need this in your life, you stupid fucking asshole.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Brave New World, in addition to being a futurist novel by Aldous Huxeley, is a punk record by an obscure band from Atlanta, Georgia called D.D.T. They kick things off with a bouncy cover of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood," very cute. "Girls Girls Girls" follows, a weird hardcore number where the singing dude spits forth a staggering amount of lyrics about his bad luck with ladies. The title track speaks of a myriad of modern ills in under a minute. The most interesting track is the more post-punky number "I'm Walking Down the Psychopath." This delicious EP wraps appropriately with "The End." D.D.T. crammed a lot of information into an eight minute record. Brave New World was released in 1983, the band followed up in 1984 with a great LP called Broken Toy.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Purbawisesa are a particularly aggressive Black Metal band from Singapore. Their second demo Glorification of Terror Disharmony is a massive swirling wind of bad vibes and chaos, and I love every minute of it. These far east freaks don't give a fuck about dynamics, the drums seldom stray from extremely fast blasts, the vocals are a constant demonic rasp, Purbawisesa seriously put in the work to terrorize their listener. Despite this demo's cover, this is no forest frolic candy ass nonsense, this is pure misanthropic violence from guys with names like Zaalgoroth, Mace ov War, Spyralz, and Daimonus, dudes that couldn't give a fuck about your feelings, your thesis, or the woods by your house.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I had some other shit on deck for today, but then this came in from Hearse reader and brother, Perry Shall. With The Process of Weeding Out...Brother, Perry has put together something that will amuse and delight Hulkamaniacs and Black Flaggots alike. Thanks again, Mr. Shall.