A few years back, I wrote a piece about Release Entertainment, the long lost sub-label of Relapse Records dedicated to experimental sounds of all kinds, from dark ambient to noise to death industrial. One of the the most extreme albums to come out under the Release banner was Merzbow’s Venereology, a salvo of pure, corrosive sound that would serve as a gateway for many metalheads (including yours truly) into the world of harsh noise. I previously bemoaned the fact that Relapse seems to have no interest in preserving the legacy of Release Entertainment, but perhaps they’ve come to their senses at least somewhat, because in honor of Venereology‘s twenty-fifth anniversary, they’re giving the album a rather lavish-looking vinyl reissue, replete with remastered sound and re-touched artwork, as well as three previously unreleased bonus tracks.
WARNING: This is not one of my usual videos of me sitting in front of the camera and talking. This is a 5 minute “micro documentary” celebrating twenty-five years of Merzbow’s harsh noise masterpiece, Venereology.
Listen and purchase: https://merzbow.bandcamp.com/
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I’m sure some of you have noticed that I’ve been doing less writing of late and focusing more on making YouTube videos. I’ll get back to writing eventually, but I’ve decided that I need to challenge myself with a new medium, as well as expand the THKD empire beyond blogging. It’s been a fun, refreshing change of pace and I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me while I try something new for a while.
I wasn’t terribly familiar with Harm’s Way prior to getting the promo for Posthuman, but I was somewhat aware of the buzz their previous album Rust had garnered, so I decided to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Posthuman is a burly-as-fuck collection of non-stop mosh riffs mixed with electronic elements that wouldn’t be out of place on a late-nineties Godflesh record. It’s an odd combination to be sure, but I’ll be damned if Harm’s Way doesn’t make it work.
Beginning life as a traditional-sounding Norwegian black metal outfit, Oslo’s Dodheimsgard have evolved drastically with every release, to the point that if you were to play each of their full-length recordings to someone who was completely unfamiliar, they’d likely attribute them to several different bands. This near-constant state of progression and reinvention has made DHG into one of the most exciting groups to emerge from the Scandinavian second wave, the lengthy periods of inactivity between albums doing nothing whatsoever to dull my anticipation of their next move.
In early December, I decided I wasn’t going to do a year end list. It isn’t that I’m all of the sudden anti-list; I still love lists, but this year I just wasn’t feeling it. I gotta be honest, after five years of doing THKD I’m fucking weary, and laboring over a list just felt like yet another metal writing chore. Besides, if you read the blog regularly and follow me on social media, you already know what I liked this year.
Many moons ago Relapse Records introduced me to noise. That’s probably a bit hard to imagine for younger folks that only know the label as the beard metal stronghold it is today, but trust me, way back when Relapse was releasing some seriously bonkers shit. You see, Relapse used to have a sub-label called Release Entertainment and it was to noise, dark ambient and experimental music what Relapse once was to death metal, grindcore and the like.