Just around the corner from the Camden Underworld, the BrewDog bar is exhibiting all the signs that tonight’s show is going to be over-subscribed despite Napalm Death’s much-anticipated and completed new album, Utilitarian, in cold storage until the New Year. The Scottish independent brewery’s own titular tribute to the Dead Kennedys’ anti-fascist anthem, the 7.8% ABV loosener Hops Kill Nazis, is all sold out.
But then it is Black Friday, the last payday before Christmas, when excessive drinking makes Romero-esque flash mobs in plastic ‘n’ felt reindeer antlers a common sight, and emergency calls go up over 25 per cent on your average Friday night. It’s carnage. But then maybe the office parties, the tramp outside the venue who’s ejaculating snot out of his nose onto passers-by, the brutal cold, the sleet, the sirens… Maybe all this is just the perfect environment to showcase Britain’s finest, top pedigree grind band and one of the country’s up-and-coming facerippers, The Atrocity Exhibit; both make a lot of capital out of chaos.
Northampton’s fastest sons, The Atrocity Exhibit spend their set needling the red, a set during which the jams exit any sort of song structure, reach a white-noise terminal velocity before spiraling into horrible, feral moments of localized fury. It all depends on where you stand. Getting a view of the action is tough, and behind a wall of bodies The Atrocity Exhibit’s speed and intensity seems more abstract than the point-blank focused salvos of their superlative 20-minute driller Grind Over Matter. Still, it’s enough to start spreading the adrenaline round and get limbs and sinew ready for the rough and tumble so customary when Napalm Death are in town.
The sound’s kinda rough in this clip but fit for purpose
There’s little in the way of front-of-house stage policing at the Camden Underworld so it’s kind of a free for all as soon as Barney’s throat embraces the invective in opener “Downbeat Clique”. A reinforced steel pillar might kill the dancefloor buzz for those looking to stretch their legs in a pit but all the action’s headed to and from the stage, a massed tangle of limbs obscuring Barney Greenway and co. “Unchallenged Hate” ups the ante early on, and it’s a momentum that Birmingham’s grind progenitors refuse to cede until they’ve closed everything up for the night in storming through the multi-riffed death/grind hulk of “Suffer the Children” and a weirdly ecstatic “Silence is Deafening”.
“Nazi Punks Fuck Off”
It’s a greatest hits set, all the favorites, plus two covers (sorry, three, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” is almost their own by now). Mitch Harris’ scream is uncannily like Bill Crooks when tearing through Cryptic Slaughter’s “Lowlife”, while Siege standard “Conform” sounds like it was made to be articulated through Napalm Death’s incorrigible, savage aesthetic. “Social Sterility”, “Scum” and “Lucid Fairytale”: none have lost any of their power. But special mention must go to “Quarantined”, a new song that suggests that their forthcoming album will be worth the wait, bassist Shane Embury’s promise that “it’s pretty ferocious” is one sure to be honored.
What do you get when you cross prime German thrash — Sodom, Kreator, specificially — with the unparalleled gravity of Brazilian thrash, which was influenced by prime German thrash? Norwegian noisemakers Nekromantheon.
Formed in 2005 in the same town (Kolbotn) that birthed the mighty/Deci-approved Darkthrone, this power trio from the North is perhaps one of the most potent post-nu thrash entries since new thrash pre-dated nu thrash by about seven years. And, by new thrash, we’re talking fellow Norwegians Infernö, Swedes Bewitched, Nifelheim, Cranium, Gehennah, and just about any side project signed to Osmose and/or Necropolis.
Imbibe in the furious attack that is Nekromantheon’s “Blood Wisdom”:
Nekromantheon – Blood Wisdom by Decibel Magazine
** Nekromantheon’s new album, Rise, Vulcan Spectre, is out January 2012. Order it HERE, or die by the sword in endless pain by Norse madmen with morbid visions. Got all that?
Wow, the end of a year, huh? New beginnings, resolutions and, well, hopefully some good metal releases coming in the next year. The release schedule is drier than Betty White’s cooch right now, so since I don’t have too much to peck about, I’m basically going to trash Metallica in this column. I know it’s not too topical, but what the fuck, I get paid by the word.
LULU: Have you heard this? James Hetfield is the “table.” This is probably the worst record in the history of music. The riffs are stale and boring, the vocals wander in out in an extremely annoying manner that makes little to no sense. Understandably, the lyrics are based off of a pair of German plays, because it’s a pretty metal topic to write about. TONS of metalheads are lined up at their local production of “Mama Mia” and ‘Tallica wanted to tap into that market. This is proof that the band that changed the face of modern metal has too many “Yes Men” around them. And what was Lou Reed even thinking when he signed up for this? Is this the definition of where to place your angst when your stock portfolio goes down 3%? Although hilarity SHOULD ensue when one listens to this, it kind of just makes me want to vomit in my own beak. This has the stench of some demo material that was lying around that Lou Reed just kind of rants over incoherently. Hetfield—perhaps once the best vocalist in metal—now has the same enunciation as Randy Macho Man Savage .Torbin Ulrich is probably stroking his beard and laughing at his son for this utter piece of shit. This is a catastrophic failure on every beaking level.
BEYOND MAGNETIC: Ever hear bits and pieces on Mission Metallica? Me either. Ever wondered what happened to the extra songs that were written and recorded for Death Magnetic? Me either. The wheat and the chaff aren’t separated much here as this left over material from the DM sessions is equally as wretched as Death Magnetic itself. Stale, bland, boring, predictable and pedantic, Beyond Magnetic is just plain bad. I’m sure these releases sell, but to whom? I mean who can look at themselves in the mirror after listening to this? This is the aural equivalent of AIDS.
Hater gonna hate.
Maybe it’s the straight-to-video action movie genre or the rising popularity of MMA that’s to blame, seeing that both seem to love setting action to metal guitars and electronic beats, but despite metal remix albums almost always sucking they’re not disappearing any time soon.
On February 24th, Morbid Angel will release Illud Divinum Insanus—the Remixes, a double-disc compilation of their most controversial album, the album which put the camp ‘90s industrial goose-step a la Marilyn Manson and weird, bangin’ techno to the Tampa quartet’s formidable dual specialties of riff and blast, and y’know, the typical fare of that once-radical genre death metal. Of course, Morbid Angel have form with the remix album; in ‘94 they released a four-track EP with set standards “Sworn to the Black” and “God of Emptiness” reimagined by seminal Slovenian industrialists Laibach. And hey, that turned out all right.
If you want to discover your own sound, Guide to Online Schools can help you find a music production degree.
Morbid Angel “God of Emptiness” — Laibach mix
The merits of Illud… are irrelevant when it comes to the remix. Ha! Yes, you could ask yourself how can it be any worse? But whether or not you dig Illud… or not, 31 dudes have had their hands on the soundfiles and have done their worst. Some of the names will be familiar—Treponem Pal resonate somewhere, though possibly in the narrative of a long-held nightmare—but others may need some introduction. Morbid Angel’s attitude to the whole project is refreshing, in that they just handed over the tracks and let whoever was doing what do whatever. Umm, and though hardcore techno DJ/Producer chump Scott Brown having his hands on a Morbid Angel track better it’s “I Am Morbid” than “Chapel of Ghouls”, right?
“Well it’s interesting, Trey and I chose a group of artists that we would like to see involved,” says Morbid Angel frontman/bassist David Vincent. “ But not all of these were able to do it because everybody’s got time constraints and whatever. The label chose some…. It was actually a very Bohemian effort; we made the tracks available, said ‘Do what you want to do’. We didn’t micro-manage in any way. I haven’t heard all of them yet; I’ve heard a number of them. I’ve heard some stuff that I thought was very interesting. I heard some stuff that would even surprise me a little bit, but again: it’s just art. At least with the folks that we chose—micro-managing, let’s say if you’re working for a video game company, and say, ‘I want something that sounds like this for this fight scene.’ So you’re writing specifically for that fight scene, specifically for something. Or even if you are writing a jingle for a commercial, then something like that has got to be targeted. But generally speaking, with paintings and music, new culinary experiences, I love it when things are unexpected, and I just allow it to be what it wants to be because it adds more spice to life for sure.”
Morbid Angel Illud Divinum Insanus — the remixes
If that trailer/teaser worries or excites you unduly, consider the critically acclaimed but frankly fucking awful Fear Factory Demanufacture remix album. 1997 was a year when Burton and Dino would be talking incessantly about the merits of electronic music, techno and so forth, to any magazine that’d listen, yet at the same time went on and commissioned some of the blandest, most gauche nonsense to effectively vandalize the coolest album they ever made. This came at a time when the Prodigy were championed as bastions of this rock/metal/techno crossover, and relevant, required listening for metal fands when really they just made awful music for idiots who liked to vamp up shitty production model Fords, tint the windows and drive right to the edge of the speed limit in suburban towns—that’s what happened in the UK, at least.
Fear Factory “Remanufacture” — Rhys Fulber mix, from Remanufacture
Melvins’ Chicken Switch was at least an interesting concept, turning over the whole album to producers to remix. But the results were questionable, well, kinda dreadful albeit abstractly inoffensive.
Melvins “Linkshänder” — Matmos mix from Chicken Switch
Out of all of these the Morbid Angel/Laibach project was the most worthy, and maybe Illud… will scrub up OK? Hey, can’t be any worse than this:
Sorry: cheap shots, but really does anyone care for remixes? And how come they never sound like Ministry’s Psalm:69?
Wither Lightning Bolt? The Providence bass and drum duo – not that type of bass and drum! – noted for their infectiously catchy and immensely noisy songs as well as their steadfast refusal to play on stages, employ a guitar player, use more than one cymbal and anything less than 2400 watts of bass amplification in even the most cramped of venue situations, seem to have somewhat disappeared off the face of our melting shitbox. After a couple of decent albums in 2005’s Hypermagic Mountain and 2009’s Earthly Delights – “decent” in the sense that they didn’t live up to the unfuckwithableness of 2001’s Ride the Skies, not an easy task for the best of careers – the band toured a ton and have since seemingly gone into long spells of periodic hibernation, only emerging to work on a variety of projects that don’t involve writing a kick ass new Lightning Bolt album.
Someone is needed to take the baton/torch/glass dildo and run with it! This isn’t to say that Portland’s Wizard Rifle is a band who simply fills a void Lightning Bolt has ignored on and off for too long a time by ripping them off titless, but it’s very obvious from whence they take certain amounts of influence. But they also cherry pick from the likes of Big Business, Karp, Torche, Kinghorse, the Melvins and Nomeansno and to these ears, that sort of sonic stew is gooey goodness to the ears. But why not hear what they have to offer for yourself? The advance track offering below, “Tears Won’t Soften Steel” comes from their debut full-length, Speak Loud Say Nothing, scheduled for release on March 13th via the fine folks at Seventh Rule Records. The duo consists of drummer/vocalist Sam Ford and guitarist/vocalist Max Dameron and has been blowing eardrums, and judging by the photo above, offending ocular and fashion sensibilities since 2009 to the tune of an EP from 2009, Kitties and Pie, tours and opening slots for the likes of Arabrot, Thrones, Atriarch, Yob and, yes, Lightning Bolt as well as the forthcoming album.
If you’re digging it, check out the links for info on their past and future music and shirts designs that are hopefully a little more understated than their own wardrobe selections.
Wizard Rifle – Tears Won’t Soften Steel by seventhrule
“Tears Won’t Soften Steel” is taken from Speak Loud Say Nothing, due out on Seventh Rule on March 13th, 2012.