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.
Slam is one of the most over-the-top subgenres of metal and they don’t come any more absurdly OTT than Taipei City, Taiwan’s Gorepot. The brainchild of ubiquitous slam god Larry Wang (Facelift Deformation, Fatuous Rump, Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, Maggot Colony, Umbilical Asphyxia, Coprocephalic, Fat Tub of Lard Records), Asian Stoned Effect is the band’s seventh album and it’s also one of the most ri-goddamn-diculous slamming death metal albums you’re ever going to hear.
North of Hell has been a long time coming for Japanese goregrinders Butcher ABC. Formed in 1994 and leaving a bloody trail of demos, EPs and splits in their wake, it took the band over twenty years to finally release a full length. But was it worth the wait? Thankfully, it only takes a few listens to North of Hell to determine that the answer is a resounding “yes.”
I recently had the opportunity to check out The Godfathers of Hardcore, a documentary about NYHC legends Agnostic Front focusing on the lives of vocalist Roger Miret and guitarist Vinnie Stigma. Of course, you can’t talk about Agnostic Front without also talking about Madball, the band fronted by Miret’s younger half-brother Freddie Cricien, which began back in 1988 with a then twelve-year-old Cricien being backed by the members of Agnostic Front.
Split releases can be difficult to review due to the competitive vibe they give off. Although it’s likely not the intention, it always feels like a battle between the bands involved. Indeed, Onset of Horrendosity is a slamming brutal death metal death match between two up-and-coming acts, Fetor and Crepitation, and both are young, hungry contenders. Which band will put the slam smackdown on the other and come out on top?
From Hour of Penance to Devangelic and beyond, Italy is one of those countries that’s just ridiculously good at brutal death metal. Perhaps it has something to do with having the Vatican skulking around in their collective backyard, but whatever the case, the country shaped like a boot continues to kill it year in and year out.
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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