20 years of the Misfits’ American Psycho

For the most part, everyone already knows the scoop on American Psycho; after years of bitter legal disputes with Glenn Danzig, bassist Jerry Only was finally given the rights to record and perform under the Misfits name.  Recruiting new drummer Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves along with longtime guitarist/Only’s brother Doyle, the resurrected Misfits signed with Geffen records and released their first album in nearly a decade-and-a-half.  End of history lesson.

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Internal Bleeding – “Final Justice”

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.

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Sepultura – Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast, 2017)

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.

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Melt-Banana’s joyful noise.

035It’s been a few weeks since I saw Melt-Banana at Harlow’s, and for some reason I just can’t get their set out of my mind.  Part of this is no doubt due to the fact that I actually got to see Melt-Banana; sure, they’ve toured the states many times, but keep in mind that I was living in the middle of Iowa up until a year ago, not exactly a hotbed for extreme and/or experimental music.  Since we’ve moved to Sacramento, I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing a handful of bands I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to see without traveling great distances (Sargeist and Ufomammut immediately spring to mind), and the Japanese duo are probably number one on the “holy shit, I can’t believe they’re actually playing where I live” list so far.

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Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat (Century Media, 2015)

Napalm-Death-Apex-Predator-Easy-MeatHow good is the new Napalm Death death album?  Against all odds, this band continues to age like a fine wine, and Apex Predator – Easy Meat continues the unfuckwithable fifteen-years-and-counting roll they’ve been on since 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business.  I pretty much said everything I have to say about the band’s late-career renaissance in my review of 2012’s Utilitarian, but it’d be downright shameful if I neglected to spill at least a little bit of digital ink on the stunning piece of work they’ve unleashed in 2015.

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Human Bodies – No Life (Caligari Records, 2014)

a3067155656_10Caligari Records has only been active since 2013, but in that time the label has released an ungodly slew of excellent metal with no allegiance to any particular subgenre.  Indeed, the only thread that seems to tie Caligari’s releases together is an ear for quality, and that quality continues to run over the cassette label competition, this time in the form of No Life, the second demo (first EP?) from Boston black metal bruisers Human Bodies.

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Full of Hell & Merzbow – s/t (Profound Lore, 2014)

a2883873483_10Few bands have captured my attention in 2014 quite like Full of Hell.  I had the pleasure of witnessing the quartet’s devastating, show-stealing live set back in August and was blown away by their combination of relentless intensity and determination to push the envelope of grind/hardcore deep into the realms of harsh noise.  It was like someone had thrown Jane Doe-era Converge in a blender with Release Records-era Merzbow and set that motherfucker to liquefy; easily one of the most simultaneously challenging and exhilarating live experiences ever.  Needless to say, when I caught wind of the announcement that they had signed a deal with Profound Lore and their debut for the venerable label would be a collaboration with the aforementioned Japanese God of Noise himself, anticipation was through the roof and then some.

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