Label: Splatter Zombie Records
Country of Origin: Canada
Let me think for a second on this…Hell yes! I replied.
Anyone with any knowledge of the horror genre and cult films might immediately recognize the title a possible homage to FX guru Screaming ‘Mad’ George (Inc) famous for unforgettable creations in such films such as Society, Bride of Re-Animator and Nightmare on Elm Street (parts three and four) I’d like to think so.
Ranging from various grisly topics such as being eaten alive by creepy crawlies, the after-hours sordid activities of a lycanthrope, getting ‘smushed’ into paste by an oversized Tokyo based radioactive lizard, zombie infestation and a dreaded fear of falling asleep lest one encounters a clawed burnt looking fellow in a striped sweater (to name only but a few) VHS have again proven they have the genre knowledge, the humor and the musical chops to entertain those of a widely splayed open metal mind.
Whilst Hairspray and Bloodspray sports appreciative Judas Priest and NWOBHM stylistic leanings the gutter vocal accompaniment remains and surprisingly still does not seem too ‘out of place’. The remainder of the album varies in style wavering from death/doom (From Inside) to a delightful ‘crust’ concoction showcasing this is a favorite of mine Radioactive Rat Attack.
Room 36 is by far the longest track on the album, coming in at just over an epic four and a half minutes, and reminds me in part of Macabre (whose lyrics are heavily influenced by the most infamous serial killers, for example Albert was worse than any Fish in the sea). The introduction to this track is ripped directly from the juiciest excerpts of The Exorcist and doesn’t get old no matter how often I hear it spat from the demonic crusty lips of Linda Blair.
Demons is another favorite of mine, if truth be told nestled comfortably amidst a collection of naught but killers (pun intended!) it gleefully displays a blackened speed metal vibe; a blistering new spin on the old school.
What can I possibly say, a full length chock full of mischievous evil embellished with soundbites clipped from the cheesiest low budget gross out schlock fests with vocals and musical stylings that do more than cheekily pluck at my metal loving heartstrings.
Suffice it to say I can’t recommend this enough, for anyone whose life overflows with metal, black humor and childhood memories that spill over with numerous celluloid nasties (like me) or perhaps you just like metal that oozes extreme diversity. Either way this is a must listen!
Available on Bandcamp (above) and also a physical copy direct from the SplatterZombieRecords site HERE
Label: Indie Recordings
Country of Origin: Norway
Instantly upon pressing play there’s an undeniable aura, a style found elsewhere. This location is easy to pinpoint ‘newer’ Satyricon. Blatantly heavy (and unapologetic) throughout it leads one to think of why it may be the case. There’s a simple answer three of the four members in Sarke are from, or have performed with, said band, all but the bassist in fact. If the vocals sound somewhat familiar it’s because Nocturno Culto also lends his throat to Darkthrone.
Complementing the mid paced majesty is a somber atmosphere ala Swallow the Sun though it doesn’t stop there Sarke offer much more for the listener to sink their teeth into. Tracks are fluid and burst at the seams with well-timed tempo changes adding effective emotion. As if that’s not enough Dawning is an amazing example of what can be achieved with an ethereal female voice accompanied by classical instruments achieving an overall poignant and haunting tone. It’s a great break in the album followed by the doom-esque riffs in Evil Heir a wicked mixture of (South of Heaven era) Slayer and Candlemass.
However, it is The Wicked Transient Sleep that steals the show with its upbeat tempo, curious drumming and uber catchy grooves an epic track that lifts the album far from its blackened sludge mold.
An outstanding find that stretches the parameters of black metal wide. In my opinion easily a contender for album of the year.
Label: Battleground Records
Country of Origin: Phoenix AZ
In regards to the music itself, to put it in a few words it’s far from what one might expect. Its better. Of course it’s taken Shane close to ten years to be able to lay down a release he’s happy to toss out into the unforgiving landscape of the metal cosmos. Fear not though as I’m happy to report that the vocals only add to the overall appeal in supplying emotion, angst and spite complimenting the music itself.
The whole package fits together perfectly producing a tightly wound remarkable slab of dense fury that though often simplistic conveys volumes that many four pieces are unable to achieve.
Damn impressive doesn’t come even close to covering what I wish to convey.
This need to be experienced to be appreciated, as I’m sure does the live show.
Show Via Vengeance some love (and ‘green’) on Bandcamp and help keep the local metal vein pumping with healthy, fresh life.
The Indie scene is often where it’s at!
Label: Napalm Records
Country of Origin: Sweden
As if placing a cherry on top of a mountain of something especially bad for your health (did you not know metal was bad for you, sod it I’m a lifer!) and really, really, yummy there’s a wicked sense of humor prevalent throughout. At times I’m reminded of both MOD, SOD and then even some hints of GWAR. Be sure to wait for the credits to gain a better understanding of where the band believe, or would like to believe they reside, on the genre scale.
In essence I deem this a must listen, a ‘must have’ to add to your collection and an album any fan of the genre will be proud to excitably recommend.
Label: Vicisolum Productions
Country of Origin: Norway
A great example of the Norwegian (thrash) metal scene.
Label: Comatose Music
Country of Origin: USA
In no way ground breaking but an excellent example of the genre.
Label: Profound Lore Records
Country of Origin: USA
More black metal in nature than merely thrash or even death this is surprisingly quite the epic journey of an album. Combining soundscape elements of Neurosis and a sound closer to progressive black than drone it provides a style you can lose yourself in while also providing in moments beats and rhythms that you whip your hair around too (unless like me you have very little!).
Overall a great find if you have an open mind to a style that isn’t afraid to cross genres to leave a lasting impression on the listener.
Label: Athens Thrash Attack/Secret Port Records
Country of Origin: Greece
This is what thrash is all about, uber-catchy melodies, raspy vocals and no frilly nonsense. Highly recommended for old school and new school fans alike this will not disappoint!
Country of Origin: USA
This will start a riotous pit and leave the listener with slight soreness in the joints the morning after. Highly recommended for those with hyper speed and diabolical riff old school hankerings. Be prepared to break shit!!
Label: Shark Records
Country of Origin: France
Blistering speed, gnarly vocals and diabolical riffage ala Morbid Angel it’s all here, what’s not to love?
Rediscover a classic released before it’s time that still grabs your attention with ease.
Label: Dark Descent Records
Country of Origin: Finland
Day of Reckoning is a fantastic track amongst an album of brilliance, one of my favorites in fact, it’s slightly faster than most and features a groove you can easily act like a complete headbangin’ simian to.
An undiscovered classic that demands attention!
Release date May 7
Also be on the lookout for a supporting video ‘Gone’ due April/23