What did you think of Wrestle Kingdom 12 and New Year Dash? Sound off in the comments!
It feels like it’s been forever since we last heard from The Sun Through a Telescope, but in reality it was just last year that the ultra-demented Canadian drone/metal entity unleashed the fascinatingly bizarre Summer Darkyard EP across a variety of outlets; you might even recall that I interviewed TSTAT mastermind Lee Neutron extensively following its release. The YouTube clip above is for “Mr. Yawning Infinity Chasm/Superinfinity,” the first taste of TSTAT’s forthcoming new full length I Die Smiling, to be released digitally via Bandcamp, as well as on cassette through Dwyer Records and on CD through Mutants of the Monster Records.
Singapore’s Wormrot might just be the best grindcore band on the planet right now. I myself had been pretty burned out on the genre until I heard their 2009 debut full length Abuse. That album was an adrenaline shot of pure grinding ferocity that made me stop and take notice. Wormrot’s sound is rooted in tradition, but what sets them apart is craftsmanship. Taking a genre like grindcore, where songs and bands have a tendency to blur together, and being able to write interesting, distinctive songs within its short sharp shock set of parameters is an art, an art that Wormrot have mastered.
The trio has just finished recording their 2nd full length, Dirge. It won’t be released in North America until May 3rd, but the fine folks at Earache have provided us a teaser in the form of “Manipulation”. Listen to the track and check out the album art below.
Behemoth’s music videos of late have been delightfully, unapologetically over the top. Their latest clip for “Alas, Lord is Upon Me” from last year’s Evangelion is no exception. You know the drill; breasts, blood and blasphemy, but Behemoth presents these tried ‘n’ true metal visual accoutrements in a way that is at least somewhat fun and interesting to watch. Besides, anything is better than yet another drab performance clip. There aren’t too many bands out there doing much of anything to justify the existence of music videos in the post-“real MTV” era (by “real MTV” era, I mean back when the channel was relevant and actually had quite a bit to do with music), but at least Behemoth are giving it a shot. I also recommend their equally entertaining video for “Ov Fire and the Void”, which features Nergal and the boys feasting on angel’s wings.
In other Behemoth-related news, frontman Nergal was recently rushed to the hospital, to be treated for an undisclosed illness. This has forced the band to cancel all upcoming tour activities. THKD wishes Nergal a speedy recovery.
It took the combined might of Columbia Records, Earache Records, Marvel Comics, MTV and Sweden to bring death metal to a 13 year old boy attending Catholic school in Central Iowa.
At that age, staying up late on Saturday nights to watch Headbanger’s Ball had become a weekly ritual. It wasn’t like I had a life or anything in that weird, awkward period just before high school. This was a golden age for MTV, as they were playing stuff like Metallica, Megadeth and Danzig during the day, but I craved more. Oftentimes I would fall asleep during the Ball, but it seemed like the later into the night the show went, the heavier and stranger the bands got, so I always tried my hardest to stay up and take it all in.
That’s when I witnessed Entombed’s video for the title track off of Wolverine Blues. To be honest, at that age I was probably more excited about the X-Men character Wolverine appearing in the video than I was about the music. In addition to be being a budding metalhead, I was a full-blown nerd of the comic book collecting, Dungeons & Dragons playing variety. Yes, the first time I heard death metal I was on the fence about it. I think it was probably the vocals that threw me off. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I was accustomed to actual singing, or at least vocalists who tried to sing… the whole growling thing didn’t really set well with me at the time.
Fast forward a few years and I found a copy of Wolverine Blues at a used CD store. Seeing Wolverine on the cover and remembering the video, I bought the damn thing even though I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it or not. By then I owned some albums by “gateway” bands like Sepultura, Slayer and Pantera so it seemed that the time was right.
Sure enough, I ended up loving Wolverine Blues and it remains to this day one of my favorite metal albums. It might have started “death ‘n’ roll” for better or worse, but for me it opened up another door to the world of extreme music far beyond what I was comfortable or familiar with at the time. In retrospect, it sounds more like ultra gnarly punk rock than pure death metal, but at the time it seemed like the meanest, heaviest motherfucker of an album on the planet.
Of course, from what I gather the members of Entombed were none too pleased about being forced to partner with Marvel Comics, and the Columbia/Earache deal wasn’t the platinum-selling success that the two labels had hoped for. But nonetheless, for a brief moment the planets aligned and my life’s path was irrevocably changed forever.
So thanks Entombed… I definitely owe you, big time.
Danzig’s video for “Mother ’93” is my favorite music video of all time. And with a new Danzig album coming out this week, I figured now was as good a time as any to wax nostalgic about it.
Four bad motherfuckers sweating it out on stage for a rabid crowd. Defiance and rebellion personified. In just 3 minutes and 30 seconds, this video defines what heavy metal is all about, the things that we must never lose sight of.
To the average viewer, “Mother ’93” might appear to be the typical band performance clip. But, there is so much more. The footage comes from the night Danzig played Irvine Meadows and fans broke down the barricade, you can see the security guards straddling the stage to hold back the crowd. The video is a testament to the mesmerizing effect Danzig’s music has on the willing listener, as well as the cult of personality surrounding Danzig the man.
Then there’s Chuck Biscuits, sitting high atop the Skullthrone of Satan. I would have killed to see Danzig on that tour for the drum riser alone. I wonder what the hell became of that thing? To my knowledge, enormous set pieces in heavy metal shows had gone the way of the dodo at that time (I didn’t get to go to many big metal shows when I was 12 or 13, mostly because they did not come to my town… they still don’t), but that giant devil skull looms over the stage like a giant “fuck you!” to the grunge/alt rock trend that ruled MTV at the time.
Danzig went against everything that was considered “cool” back then, yet this video still wound up as a fucking “Buzz Clip”. This alone speaks volumes about the timelessness of heavy metal, and its ability to survive and flourish even in the most unfriendly musical climates.
These are just some of the things that make “Mother ’93” such a powerful video. Yeah, the music might just be the original studio recording with some crowd noises added in, but I’ll be damned if it matters.
And don’t even get me started on how bad I wanted that fucking belt buckle.