Born on September 12th, 1970 in Wolverhampton, UK, guitarist/vocalist Alex Newport is responsible for some of the most unique and interesting heavy music of the 1990s and early 2000s. Although his discography is far from vast, what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality, encompassing metal, hardcore, noise rock, industrial and beyond. As a producer, mixer and engineer he went on to work with popular acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, but there was a time when Newport was an underground innovator, responsible for some of my favorite heavy music of all time. So without further ado, let’s take a quick look at the discography of the man who convinced me to go on a creep diet and never look back…
One of the things I miss the most about the nineties is the willingness major record labels had to release totally off-the-wall shit. From Reprise unleashing the Boredoms’ utterly mind-fucking Pop Tatari on the unsuspecting masses to Columbia striking a deal to market and distribute Earache’s catalog full of ear-shredding death metal and grindcore records, major labels in the nineties exhibited a bizarre fearlessness that was oftentimes downright shocking, flying in the face of the notion that they were corporate, soulless, blood-sucking musical widget factories where underground bands went to sell out, get screwed over and die.
Well friends, it’s been nearly eight months since the last Oodles of Brutals, which means we’re long overdue for another deep dive into the world of all things brutal and slamming. So without further ado…
Born of an unholy union between members of Killgasm and Gloriam Draconis, Sacramento black/death warlords Defecrator have been pillaging their way across the California metal underground since 2014. After nearly half a decade of existence, they have at last dropped the tactical nuke of an album that is Abortion of Humanity on the unsuspecting masses and make no mistake, this aggressive yet atmospheric slab of total annihilation was worth the wait and then some.
When I first saw the animated music video for “Blackened Call” I was not aware of Finnish artist J.P. Ahonen or his popular web comic Belzebubs. As such, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of a cartoon black metal band romping about the woods, “Call of the Wintermoon” style. I’m more than a bit ashamed to admit that my first thought was “Oh great, a corpse-painted version of Gorillaz,” yet there was something about the combination of quirky comic book visuals and frostbitten yet catchy and melodic black metal that made me want to see/hear more.
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.