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.
Six Feet Under, the death metal band that critics love to hate. I’ve never really understood why all the cool kid metal writers are so intent on using SFU as a punching bag, especially when there are far more worthy targets scattered across the metal landscape.
I can think of few bands that have managed to battle their way back from the edge of oblivion the way Sepultura has, yet get so little credit for doing so. It’s no secret that following a major lineup change, the boys from Brazil spent several years in the wilderness, but what isn’t talked about is their defiant return to relevance after many had written them off. Their comeback began as early as Dante XXI, but with 2011’s crushing Kairos they regained much of their lost footing, and by the time the woefully underrated The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart rolled around in 2013, Sepultura were once again firing on all cylinders.
Much has been made of the woefully varying results of long-running metal bands deciding to re-record their classic material; let’s be honest, ninety-nine times out of one hundred the results are nothing short of disastrous. Typically, they fail to capture the same magic that made the original recordings such classics to begin with. Rarely do they bring anything new to the table and seem to exist largely to fulfill the artists’ contractual obligations to whatever label happens to be screwing them over at the time.
Formed in 1997, Wroclaw’s Dark Fury is one of the longest-running and most infamous bands in the Polish black metal scene. Their ninth album, This Story Happened Before, sees the group shifting their contempt away from the traditional targets of Judaism and Christianity in favor of an all-out black metal assault on Islam.
I discovered Long Island, NY’s Heisenberg recently while trawling Bandcamp for new bands. I was immediately drawn to them because they took two of my favorite things, Breaking Bad and ignorant slamming death metal and mashed them up to great effect. Although I’m not entirely sure if Walter White would approve of their guttural brutality, here at Doomsday Device I can safely say that their latest EP The Empire Business is one of the most engaging pure slam releases I’ve heard in a long time.