The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper. After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.
Back in 2014, Body Count emerged from eight years in the shadows with all guns blazing in the form of Manslaughter; one of the year’s best metal albums, not to mention one of the year’s biggest surprises. It was a bludgeoning yet precise aural assault that deftly mixed mosh-ready riffage with lyrics that were by turns over-the-top violent, darkly humorous and delightfully un-PC.
Those of you that follow the brutal/slam death metal scene are likely well aware of the fact that Asia has been positively killing it for the last few years. While many of the continent’s most celebrated acts hail from Japan (Vomit Remnants, Gorevent, Infernal Revulsion, Medic Vomiting Pus, etc), neighboring China is no slouch either, as evidenced by Deformity of Human Consciousness, the second album from Tianjin’s The Dark Prison Massacre.
I had been looking forward to writing about Internal Bleeding’s new single “Final Justice,” but given recent events, I now find myself doing so with a heavy heart. On April 20, 2017, IB’s drummer and founding member William Tolley died while serving his community, battling a two alarm blaze as a fourteen year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, who had previously assisted with the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts as a volunteer fire fighter. “Final Justice” is to my knowledge his last recorded work with the band.
Ever since releasing the underrated classic Supreme Entity back in 1999, Japanese brutal death metallers Vomit Remnants have been something of an on again / off again band; Metal Archives lists their years active as 1997-2001, 2001-2005, 2015-present. This might explain why it took them nearly two decades to record and release a follow-up in the form of this year’s Hyper Groove Brutality, but rest assured it was more than worth the wait.
L7’s Bricks are Heavy came out twenty-five years ago today in 1992, the same year that I became a teenager. Needless to say, when I first heard the Los Angeles based quartet they were a goddamn revelation; my Midwest-living, Catholic school-attending ignorant ass didn’t even realize that women who liked heavy music existed, let alone women who played heavy music.
According to Metal Archives, Grand Belial’s Key’s first full length, Mocking the Philanthropist, was released sometime in 1997 (I’ve been unable to track down an exact date). The Virginia-based band recorded two well-received demos and an EP prior to their debut, but the removal of drummer/vocalist Lord Vlad Luciferian (who would go on to join Ancient) would signal the dawn of the band’s classic era; GBK were about to become one of the most infamous and instantly recognizable bands in US black metal.