Monday, October 31, 2011

Dennis Dread's Halloween Mix Tape

Well it would seem that Cosmic Hearse now officially has a time-honored holiday tradition; The Dennis Dread Halloween Mixtape. I always look forward to his eclectically spooky grab bag of razor-infused apples and cianide-laced candy corny gems of obscure sonic fright. For those of you who don't know the man, or dare to doubt his creepy credentials, Dread is the man behind the great Battle for Art blog, Destroying Angels Magazine, and most notably the twisted artist behind all great album covers for Darkthrone, Autopsy and a few other notable noisys. So sit back and let Dennis Dread haunt your dreams.

Children's Black Mass ~ Quintessence
Quintessence was comprised of the entire Mazzei family: Michael, Edith, Francine, Terese and Loretta. The gang’s all here. Who are they? I have no idea. To the best of my very questionable knowledge, this score for John Russo’s 1982 “thriller” Midnight is the only thing they ever recorded. Our All Hallows Mass has begun, brothers and sisters....

One/Werewolves On Wheels ~ Don Gere
Meandering hippy evil from the best genre-bending satanic/werewolf/biker flick ever made. Recorded in 1971 and recently re-issued by the fine audiophiles at Finder’s Keepers. “Hey, we all know how we’re gonna die, baby! We’re gonna crash and burn!”

Sinister Purpose ~ Credence Clearwater Revival
Put me in coach. I’m ready to play. Today. Look at me. I can be. Centerfield.

God of Darkness ~ Bum
Bum was formed in 1964 in Essex, England and released this occult rocker in 1967 shortly before changing their name to Iron Maiden in 1968. Relax, their other jams are mostly longwinded and not nearly as menacing as this wild invocation would suggest. An altogether different bunch of limeys would go on to have much better luck with the name Iron Maiden. Catchy isn’t it?

Voyage Of Darkness ~ Jagged Edge
Street metal from Cleveland, Ohio circa 1982 that will kick your ass and make sweet love to your woman in the Chinese take-out parking lot. Punk upstarts like Minor Threat are often celebrated for hand gluing their records and booking their own shows but there was a whole microcosm of “privately pressed” hard rock that doesn’t get enough credit for keeping the D.I.Y. spirit alive during the 70’s and early 80’s.

Prince Of Darkness ~ Omen
Omen did everything right on Battle Cry. This is a perfect heavy metal record from the fucking awesome album cover art to the hyperactive ode to nocturnal emissions ‘Be My Wench’. If you’re in a band that professes to play “heavy metal” and don’t listen to Battle Cry on a regular basis you should probably reconsider your genre. And reason for living.

Werewolves On The Hunt ~ Stormwitch
Thanks to the musical genius and sheer determination of Steve Harris and Dave Murray, nerdy longhairs can waste the rest of their lives on youtube turning over obscure stones of NWOBHM and watching bands like Stormwitch clamber into the light. This is the lycanthropic power anthem from their 1984 debut LP.

Dead Of The Night ~ Demon Flight
You don’t see many Demon Flight patches sewn onto metal vests. That’s probably because their entire catalog consisted of three songs, including this shrill castle stomper featured on the very first Metal Massacre comp in 1982 that gets in and gets out without wasting our fucking time with moody intros, meditations on trees or general progression. Play this in a room full of black metal symposium types and watch ‘em squirm…

I Am The Skull ~ Danava
Danava has come a long way since their humble formation as a Goblin cover band back in 2003 and emerge from the theatrical basement prism as one of the most potent bands in the Northwest. Their new album Hemisphere of Shadows is one of the best records of the year. Ignore all the inevitable “hipster” and “faux retro” bullshit and enjoy some righteous banging.

Satan’s World ~ Crysys
More exceptional heavy rockin’ from Portland, Oregon! The mostly unknown and unfortunately spelled Crysys self-released one LP called Hard As Rock on the mysterious Long Street Records and it’s a smoker. I’d love to find the boulders along the Sandy River where they painted CRYSYS ROCKS and raise a few Budweisers from an inflatable raft in their honor.

Witches ~ Doomed
From the 1992 Doomed To Death 7” but widely heard for the first time this year thanks to Aphelion’s green vinyl comp, Doomed was an Autopsy side project featuring Chris Reifert, Danny Corrales and Petri Toivonen of Funeral. Corrales is one of the most underrated guitarists in any genre (and one of the nicest dudes you’re likely to meet) and if Reifert didn’t actually invent death metal he certainly twisted it to its greatest, goriest heights. Essential!

Buried Alive ~ Deathrash
Here’s a fun ripper from New Jersey’s Deathrash circa 1986 featuring Tony “Whiplash” Scaglione on drums! These dudes are actually back together and my talented pal Rich Rethorn did the cover drawing for their 2010 compilation Thrash Beyond Death which features a hapless mosher who is banging so enthusiastically that his grinning skull has exited his face. If this sounds too happy for a Halloween mix tape, go read some Edgar Allan Poe and fuck off.

Satan Theme ~ The Nightriders
The classy title theme to Al Adamson’s 1969 biker classic Satan’s Sadists, a “wild new movie all about the wave of revolution and anarchy sweeping the U.S. today.” Composed and conducted by Harley Hatcher and performed by The Nightriders. I just looked up Satan’s Sadists on IMDB and the Plot Keywords are: “Biker, Stabbed In The Throat, Female Nudity, Russian Roulette, Gore.” What else do you need to know?

Ballet ~ Michel Polnareff
If your ears feel as though they’re being molested by this creepy little synth number, it might be due to the fact that it’s the score to a creepy little 1976 film about a serial rapist. Side two is a queasy concept composition that plays like a bummer meth binge titled, fittingly, ‘The Rapist’. Fortunately overlooked by miserly record collector types due to the incongruous cover art, this one can still be salvaged from Goodwill bins.

The Hungry Moon ~ Xander Harris
Justin Sweatt is the enigma behind Xander Harris, one dude with a laptop, synthesizer and taxidermied raven who gets Italian horror soundtrack disco right! I scored this Contamination cassette a few months ago at a Portland gig in support of his Urban Gothic LP and was thrilled when he turned out to be a totally nice guy who can carry a conversation. I admittedly expected some greasy Klonopin addict with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and pointy shoes.

Halloween ~ The Coffinshakers
Tonight the graves are opening up! The beautiful baritone of Swedish Johnny Cash/Lon Chaney disciple Rob Coffinshaker beckons the bad moon rising and summons the children of the night. For fuck’s sake, can someone please tell Mr. Coffinshaker to drop me a line? I really want to draw a cover for this guy.

Little Black Bag ~ Gene Moss and the Monsters
1964 was indeed the “year of the monster” and this little ditty summarizes the ghoulish zeitgeist pretty well. There were tons of novelty records like this but Dracula’s Greatest Hits is distinguished by outstanding artwork by none other than Jack “EC” Davis! My copy still has the monster fan cards insert and, predictably, the drawings are far better than the actual music.

I'll Cut You Down ~ Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
They have a dumb name and recently signed to Rise Above records so I can already sense a Ghost-like backlash on the horizon but this catchy dirge perfectly invokes the urban malaise of Whitechapel circa 1888. Enjoy it while you can.

Spell Thrust ~ Cult of Daath
Cult of Daath don’t seem terribly active and didn’t bother responding to my adoring e-mail last year informing them that this tune from their 2010 Doomed By The Witch cassette is an instant classic. In fact, it’s one of the best metal songs of the past decade. “Ring the astral bell!”

Golem ~ Protector
In Jewish folklore the Golem was a hulking creature made of mud, sorta like Frankenstein with a kippah and an overbearing mother, so I figured I could slip this German thrash homage into my Halloween mix without stretching the parameters too much. “Myth? Truth? Who knows?”

Excrement Exorcist ~ Cross
I imagine these dudes living together in some filthy Seattle punk house that smells like moldy bong water. As weird as it sounds, I hear influences as disparate as Hellhammer and Integrity on their 2010 Never Ending Death demo and I actually mean that as a compliment. One of these guys was in Wormwood who played at my house back in 1999 and I remember them sounding vaguely like mid-era Neurosis but that’s mostly gone on this three track offering.

Halloween Queen ~ Acid
Some fans consider this third/final album the band’s weakest link and it certainly lacks the cool cover art of their preceding LP’s and Black Car EP, but it’s still a total rager. The Halloween Queen married Satan when she was 17! Is that even legal? For those who don’t already know, Acid was a Belgium rock band which boasted musicians named “T-Bone”, “Anvill”, “Demon”, “Dizzy Lizzy” and of course the beautiful Kate De Lombaert. Class act!

Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess ~ Ultimate Spinach
To my untrained ears this groovy epic perfectly echoes the CCR tune we opened with and merits the 8+ minutes it has usurped here. These mild mannered New England “heads” recorded a few albums of mostly lite rock back in the late 60’s but somehow managed to nail this sexy psychedelic death ballad in the process. Great Von-esque intro too!

Munster Mosh ~ Virus
Yup, the third-tier UK thrash band with some of the most poorly executed artwork to ever disgrace 12 square inches doing their uncredited 1988 rendition of the Munsters theme song. It’s not like I could put this on my Thanksgiving mix tape. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sacred Alien

Here's a rare NWOBHM single that is sweet as diabetes and hotter than a poop. Sacred Alien hailed from the bullshit town of Manchester. A town known mostly for football hooligans and Joy Division. Both songs on this single are worthwhile rockers made better by the charismatic voice of a jerk named Sean Canning. This is one of those rare instances where both sides leave me wanting more. Shame these lads didn't make a full length.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


With Jazz the prevailing notion was that a player needed experience to truly excel at his chosen instrument, but when Clifford Brown was tragically killed in a car accident after a gig, it was a young Lee Morgan that filled his ginormous shoes, and caused people to question if experience was requisite to great playing. Lee Morgan was so impressive and prolific a musician it is impossible to think about Blue Note or Bop trumpet playing without Morgan immediately coming to mind. He was an integral part of Art Blakey's best and most noted Jazz Messenger's line up, as well as leading twenty-five sessions as a leader for Blue Note. Morgan's drug use was also the stuff of legend, and in 1961 it led to his dismissal from The Messengers. Morgan cleaned up and in 1963 struck pay dirt with his most successful album The Sidewinder. Over the next decade, Lee was unstoppable as a leader and a sought after sideman. Like Morgan's life itself, his death was dramatic, tragic, and completely unexpected. On February 19th 1972 Morgan's common-law wife, Helen, shot him in the chest on stage, killing him instantly. She served six years for the crime. The bulk of Lee Morgan's massive discography is brilliantly executed standard hard bop, though Morgan was not opposed to more avant styles (Search For New Land). It was incredibly challenging to find a single album to share here so I opt to go with Lee Morgan Indeed, his first session as a leader for Blue Note. Why not start at the beginning, right? The album features a great band: Horace Silver (piano), Clarence Sharpe (alto sax), Wilbur Ware (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The album kicks off with the vaguely sinister, oddly latin number "Roccus" penned for the session by Silver. Note how the whole rhythm shifts to a fast paced shuffle for Silver's adept solo then returns back to its original creep and lope. "Reggie of Chester" is a classic Benny Golson tune, it was these lilty metropolitan boppers that Morgan excelled at, immediately after the opening riff, he's off hot dogging the valves and showing the haters who the fuck he is. For me, the album's crescendo is the ballad "The Lady." Here Morgan and Sharpe's notes billow and coil around one another like trails from a lonely cigarette in a shitty dive, but then around the 2:13 mark, something (though I am not sure what) happens to the lady. It is a story told through brass and wood, and in a sense, isn't that is what a great Jazz ballad should be? "Little T" is another uptown scorcher this time written by Donald Byrd (that guy had riffs). Philly Joe Jones does a pretty spot on Blakey impersonation on the opening of "Gaza Strip," and Sharpe delivers some of his best soloing on the album. "Stand By" is another peppy Golson arrangement that showcases the talents of Morgan and Silver both. Indeed is a magnificent, but somewhat typical hard bop affair, it is also a great jumping off point to examine the career trajectory of one of Jazz's most beloved and skilled trumpetizers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wijlen Wij

Cosmic Hearse supporter and friend, Dirk "Dino" Noben is a stand up motherfucker, and hands down my favorite Belgian on the planet (my apologies to Jean-Claude Van Damme and Plastic Bertrand). Over the years Dirk has turned me on to more than a few cool bands (and beers) from his country. The lastest was this masterpiece that so perfectly sated my recent thirst for devastatingly fucked up Funeral Dooooooooooooom. Wijlen Wij (I have no idea how it is pronounced) unleashed this hulking shoggoth of an album in 2007. Spiritually and sonically akin to Esoteric's colossal Epistemological Despondency. My sincerest thanks go out to Dirk and Wijlen Wij for sharing this behemoth.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sluggo were a Hardcore band from Cincinnati Ohio in the '80s. They were kind of like a sloppier (these guys were really young) Minor Threat with a lazier vocalist. Contradiction was their only release and it does everything an '80s HC 7" is supposed to. Apparently these guys got older, and went in a more metallic direction, recordings were made but never released? Anyone want to share those?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Swallow, Swoum, Dissect

Dissect were yet another overlooked Dutch Death Metal band. After a couple of promising demos, Dissect signed to Cyber Music to release their debut (and what would be their only) album, Swallow Swouming Mass. For the record, there is no such word as "Swouming." Dissect were not innovators, or risk takers by any stretch of the imagination. The fare here is just no-frills, old school DM pummel, and that is exactly what makes this album a favorite for me. Swallow this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Myth & Ritual

I don't know a whole lot about Life Cycle or their EP Myth and Ritual. I do know they were from Wales, they were associated with the UK anarco-crust scene, and they loved Celtic Frost. This fucking rules.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Papa Charlie

Born in 1885, Papa Charlie Jackson eked out a modest living playing his Banjo/Ukelele hybrid and singing his ribald songs at medicine shows and on the streets of Chicago. In the 20s, several recordings were made. In 1972 an LP compiling these dusty delights from a bygone era was released by the brilliant Yazoo label. Most of these recordings were made with an audio horn rather than a microphone, and the technology of pressing records was still very new at the time, so almost needless to say, their is layers of hiss that often eclipse the music, but for me, this adds to the experience,and lends a ghostly, otherworldy feel to the whole thing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Dark Misanthropic Woods

Aeshma was the infernal collaboration between two Brazilian fiends, Impuro and Nocturnus Tepesh. Both have operated in several other devout Black Metal bands around their area. The Dark Misanthropic Woods is Aeshma's sole release, it was released in 2003. As you might have guessed, the production is terrible, the playing is sloppy, but the vibe is there. Some guitar overdubs and spooky keyboards seemingly added to a boombox practice room tape, not sure if there is bass, not sure it matters in these woods.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kick Me

This self=released single by an obscure Heavy Metal band might be just the thing to cure your blues. There isn't a whole lot of information about Satin Steel coursing through the tubes of the ol' interweb, but my searching did yield this: "The only website dedicated to the '80s rock band from Erie, PA....Satin Steel." The site has plenty of information regarding the history of the band, some great photos, and even a track that didn't appear on this single, the only official Satin Steel release. The a side "Kick Me Where It Hurts" is a slunky, hooky rocker. The b side kicks it up a notch with the oddly titled "Let's Not Die." Despite releasing a great little record that got some airplay and critical acclaim, and a move to Hollywood, Satin Steel never cracked the big leagues. Seriously, bro/sis, I know shit has been getting to you lately, just sit back, pop open a brew, and let Satin Steel make it okay.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Brutal Aggression

Here's some mega-fucking-evil death/thrash from Spain and 1989. There were about a million metal bands in the '80s calling themselves Aggressor, most were pretty aggressive as I imagine, but for my money you can't do better than these venomous Valencians. They only managed to eke out one demo, Brutal Aggression, before they aggressed no more, but damn, what a demo it is. You get some Kreator style thrashing, proto-Death Metal vocals from some guys named Captor, Animal, Pelufo, and Chapa. Also want to add that this Aggressor has perhaps one of the coolest logos of all time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Before we delve any deeper into this Jazz classic, let's get a gander at the cast of characters, the pantheon of absolute bop deities that "star" rather than simply play. Yes, this was the pinnacle of super group and all under the guidance and leadership of Oliver Nelson. So is it as good as one would expect? Absolutely, maybe even better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Certain Death

Killing Children, were they children that killed, or is the name a verb? Not sure, and not sure it matters. These uncelebrated punkers hailed from Indiana, but this could have come from Southern California circa '81. Killing Children would've fit right in on one of those Posh Boy comps. You know, one of those bands that sits between punk rock and hardcore. When Tim Yo reviewed this little record in 1983 he so eloquently stated, "I really like this" I am inclined to agree.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Fuck yeah Torsten. By now you should know the deal. Torsten, a hopeful young Swedish Heavy Metal band from the bullshit town of Loddekopinge, releases one great single, and then fades into obscurity. The singer sounds kind of punk as he sings about how he is "the best" on the a side "King of the Nest." The b side, "Are You Ready" is a balls-out rocking call to arms. The two tunes here are excellent, spirited, and just plain cool rocking Heavy Metal numbers. Like most of these one-off FWOSHM singles, this is more fun than you should probably be allowed.

Monday, October 17, 2011


The Bay Area scene is interesting. It seems that every so often a whole crop of great new bands spring up but then a year later, maybe only one or two still exist. Lately we have been lucky enough to see the formation of such bands as Owl, Hell Ship, Badr Vogu, Pale Chalice, Lady of the Lake, Pins of Light, and one of my personal favorites, Lycus from Oakland. Lycus plays expansive doom with melodic flourishes. There is enough quality material to make this a regular listen. I imagine that Lycus, if they managed to stick it out, could potentially make an album that dominates and eclipses all other bands doing this sort of doom. Watch for them. And you can secure a copy of this tape here.