Wednesday 28 September 2011

A Fist in the Face of God presents... Thrashing Rage, Vol. II

That's right, lady, eat the baby. It's been three months and over 1000 downloads of their first collaboration, but Brad and Cato have composed another trans-Atlantic mix of forgotten ancient metal all for your listening pleasure, or displeasure, depending on how you feel about obscure 80s thrash. Words from the mixmasters below...
Unheralded thrash got a shot in the arm with our first mix, so Cato and I decided that we needed to take another journey into the thrash underground, though this time it would be darker, more obscure, and ultimately more dangerous! When our two sets of selections were united I was left battered and bruised. So once again, I'll let the music take no prisoners as it shreds your eardrums.
BEWARE as another Thrashing Rage comp sweeps across the land leaving only the tormented screams of those who dare to hear it left... This is the eve of darkness!!!

1. Sabbat (Japan) "Bring Me the Head of Satan" (1986)
2. Sentinel Beast (USA) "Sentinel Beast" (1986)
3. Heathen (USA) "Goblin's Blade" (1987)
4. Slaughter (Canada) "Eve of Darkness" (1985)
5. Meliah Rage (USA) "Beginning of the End" (1988)
6. Carrion (Switzerland) "Demon's Child" (1986)
7. Kublai Khan (USA) "Mongrel Horde" (1987)
8. Znöwhite (USA) "To the Last Breath" (1988)
9. Violent Force (Germany) "Sign of Evil" (1987)
10. Vectom (Germany) "Open the Coffin" (1985)
11. Viking (USA) "Do or Die" (1986)
12. Warrant (Germany) "Scanger's Daughter" (1985)
13. Debustrol (Czech Republic) "Apocalypsa" (1988)
14. Sextrash (Brazil) "Seduced by Evil" (1990)
15. Schizo (Italy) "Epileptic Void" (1989)
16. Xyster (England) "Die on the Cross" (1989)
17. Fingernails (Italy) "I Don't Ally with the Devil" (1987)
18. Energetic Krusher (England) "Thrash Ritual" (1989)
19. Demolition Hammer (USA) "Corpse Content" (1988)
20. Sadus (USA) "Desolator" (1986)

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Interview with Scott of Maim

Maim are one of many, many Swedish death metal bands. In fact, there are so many Swedish guys playing "old school" death metal that they have their own X Factor just for the genre. One of the bands to emerge from the steaming dung pile like a magic mushroom in season are Maim, whose second album is one of the finest releases of the year so far.

I caught up with guitarist Scott, who's also a live member for previous interviewees Morbus Chron. Both acts will be playing at this year's Live Evil festival, which takes place in Camden next month.

AFITFOG: Hey, you free yet?
Absolutely! Home from work, have had my dinner and a beer so all set!

Nice. Gotta start these things on the right foot, eh. So, where should we start?
Maybe some background info since there seems to be a very old biography out there which says that we are influenced by Defleshed and the death 'n' roll scene. No idea where that came from.

Yep! Me and Chris started the band back in 2006 and I pretty much invited my old friends Rikard and Otto. Rikard and Otto are cousins and NOT brothers like many seem to write. We started writing material basically straight away at the same time as we rehearsed some old death metal tracks—some Autopsy, Morbid Angel, etc. Then we had a quite long hiatus because Otto moved to Oslo. But when he got back towards the end of 2007 we recorded our first demo—which have never been released properly—some people got homemade copies on tape and a few songs ended up on MySpace, that was it.

Were you surprised by the underground being so kind to you from the off? I mean, its not like there was or still is a shortage of 'old school' death metal bands out there, particularly from Sweden.
Yeah. Out of the blue we got a comment from Scott Carlson of Repulsion on our MySpace saying something like "old and grimy death, just the way I like it", which was amazing, especially back in 2007 when the whole "retro death" scene was still in its cradle. Then we got the offer from him to release a full-length via Soulseller, which we were super-thrilled by as he had just released Epitome Of Darkness by Repugnant.

But it went from a MySpace comment to "let's release your record"?
Something like that, yes. Everything went so quick, a bit too quickly, actually. We did initially plan to release the demo recording as a full-length, but it was too short for an album so we decided to re-record some of the songs from the demo and add a few new ones. Erik Danielsson from Watain did the artwork and so forth, so we basically went from 0-100 in a few months.

So tell me, what got you guys making death metal?
We didn't have any particular ideas on what we wanted to play except that we wanted to keep it raw and straight when we first got together. It could basically had been anything from 80's punk—G.B.H., Discharge—to whatever. But it seemed like the death metal thing the way it used to sound back in the late 80s and early 90s was the one the we agreed on since we all were into that kind of music and that's what it naturally started to sound like when we wrote our first songs together as Maim. You know I'm a session guitarist in Morbus Chron, right?

No, I wasn't informed of that.
Did a show with Morbus Chron in Finland with Autopsy. Shared a spliff with Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles, and Eric Cutler - how insane is that?!

Yeah man, that is insane, ha ha - critical madness! So, what other bands are you into at the moment? What do you make of the Uppsala scene?
So many good bands out there: Obliteration is definitely one of my favourites. Nekropsalms is one of the best releases in years, can't stop listening to it. Miasmal is another great band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Great guys as well, played with them in Copenhagen, last year, at an awesome festival called Kill-Town Death Fest. Obliteration played there as well. Then you have Entrapment from Holland—Entombed/Dismember style—and Vanhelgd, a bit of a different approach to death but still great, also from Sweden. Regarding the Uppsala scene, I like the demos from Katalysator and Degial, but I must say I'm not really into the Watain/Dissection approach to metal, it's too pretentious for me. I'm more into the DIY punk/crust attitude. It lies closer to our easy-going approach to music and way of life in general, I think.

So, your second album, for me, was actually better than your debut. How do you feel it compares?
Deceased To Exist is way superior than From The Womb. As said, From The Womb was made in a bit of a rush. We didn't initially have enough material for a full-length when we were about to release the debut, so it's basically a bit patched together. Deceased To Exist is well thought through from the beginning—we knew how we wanted the album to sound like and the songs fits together a lot better. We also had the LP format in mind this time and "Crematory" is such a good break for the A-side and the title track "Deceased..." is a solid starter as the first track on the B-side, etc.

Say, on "Resurrected from Hell" there's, like, a gladiator crowd roar or something on the third chorus, is that correct?
Ha ha! Yeah, it sounds like a gladiator roar, but it's just Rikard going crazy! [I] Like the vocals on that one.

So, let's now talk about Live Evil, it is a helluva line-up again, huh?
It's great! Antichrist, Maim, Morbus Chron, In Solitude, Aura Noir… Nekromantheon as warm-up—can't wait! Such a killer line-up!

You psyched to play your first UK show?
Oh yeah! I lived in London for a couple of years so got a lot of friends there and have been to many gigs at the Underworld. Can't wait! Hope we come back for a whole tour sometime.

I notice you guys don't play in any other bands—well, you mentioned you play live in Morbus Chron—that is kinda unusual for Swedish metal musicians.
We have played and are playing in various unimportant projects, but nothing major, no. But yeah, I play live with Morbus and Chris has recorded some solos on the new Bastard Priest record, so you could say it's a nice death metal collective around here!

What stuff do you listen to outside of metal.
I listen to a lot of different music, but have been listening a lot to old American hardcore and 82 British punk over the last few months. Stuff like Inepsy, GBH, Negative Approach, Minor Threat, Antitode etc. Along with that, Blue Öyster cult and Jethro Tull. A nice mix in my world! He he. Metal got a lot to learn from punk!

And you Swedes got some great bands like Anti Cimex, Bombanfall etc.
Mmmm! Anti Cimex! Great!!! And Totalitär—best one! You should listen to it if you haven't had the chance.

Is there any friendly competition between your guys and say, Bastard Priest and Morbus Chron? Like, did you hear their album and go "FUCK! We need to come back harder next time"?
Yeah, a bit like that! I think that's why there are so many good releases out here and many to come. Good sparring!

Good to hear. Any last words? Not that I am going to send a death squad now I am done interviewing you or anything.
Well, a big hail to all the dedicated people out there! And fuck racism, sexism, and idealism! The terrorist attack in Norway is just a big proof that something needs to be done. People need to start communicating over cultural and social borders! We are not very political—leaving that to the punks—but want to take the opportunity to say something 'cause it matters!



Photos by Fredric Sommer