Tuesday 31 January 2012

Non-Remasters Of Evil, pt. III

Sodom (Germany) Obsessed By Cruelty (1986) Steamhammer [SPV 08-2121]

Okay. So I am sure any of you reading this with half a brain burned by metal will already know there are two totally different versions of this album. Apparently this version was rejected by Metal Blade in favour of the thrahier one more readily available nowadays, which actually has its moments. This one is very much black metal, sounding almost at times as if it were played in the dark, with some slightly sloppy drumming, etc, but it really conjures up the most metal of feelings. It also has an extra track. If you're used to the other version this will maybe seem like a waste of time at first, but persevere cos it really is a classic and for all the right reasons. And the artwork, fuck, what a sleeve! But hey, what is that on top of the skull, a condor's claw trying to steal away the skull? Fuck knows, but thanks to Lockjaw or wherever this rip was attained from.

1.Intro (The Rebirth...)
2.Deathlike Silence
3.Brandish the Sceptre
4.Proselytism Real
6.After the Deluge
7.Obsessed by Cruelty
8.Fall of Majesty Town
10.Pretenders to the Throne
12.Volcanic Slut

Protector (Germany) Misanthropy (1987) I Hate Records [IHR CD 004]

Okay, this was actually taken from the 2003 comp Echoes From The Past, which comprises of this, the excellent demo, and the not-so hot (imo) full-length, Golem. HOWEVER, having thoroughly examined the liner notes (no mention of that hateful eight-letter word) and having listened to it several times, I can hear no bombastic bass etc. normally found on remasters. If you like the usual Teutonic masters, Possessed, Slaughter, etc. then you will love this. If you don't then why the hell are you here/reading this??? "Ago-ra-phobia" makes ME sick—literally! Best track on there, for me.

2.Holy Inquisition
4.The Mercenary
5.Kain and Abel

Deathrow (Germany) Raging Steel (1987) Noise [cd 09-4439]

This is another great post 86 Deutsch behemoth. Buy the vinyl, which seems to go cheap enough on eBay, if you play your cards right, and sounds FANTASTIC. If you haven't already got this then hurry up and click the link below before Medifire goes the way of Megaupload, et al. Maybe Medifire has its own "Im-mor-tali-tyyy"... Always thought Antichrist's already-classic Put To Death demo had a lot of this in it, personally. Front and back scans included.

1.The Dawn
2.Raging Steel
3.Scattered by the Wind
4.Dragon's Blood
5.The Thing Within
6.Pledge to Die
7.Mortal Dread
8.The Undead Cry
9.Beyond the Light

Friday 20 January 2012

Interview with Kick & Sindre of Nekromantheon

Norwegian thrashers Nekromantheon have just released their second album, Rise, Vulcan Spectre—an album about "offering virgin's blood to the beasts, defeating your enemies with might and learning the wisdom of the dead". So it's a ritual, of sorts. Since I last spoke to them, the trio have inherited a live guitarist, enfeebled London two Octobers running, and made a name for themselves by lacerating live audiences all over Europe and America. The ancient metal-hailing Sindre (bassist and sometime vocalist) and Kick (drummer and studio wizard) chatted to me about their new album and drinking the blood of murder victims.

AFITFOG: So tell me, what have you guys been doing since the release of your debut record?
After the release of Divinity Of Death, we were keen to write new stuff as soon as possible. We'd been playing live as Obliteration quite a lot at the time, so it was more fun for us to write new stuff with Nekromantheon. I guess you could say we learned from our first album and instantly wanted to make something faster, dirtier and even more evil.

So how does this differ from the first record? Did you change any of your ideals and were you at all fazed by it coming out on the prestigious Indie Recordings?

I guess you could say we gave every aspect of the music more attention. The arrangements are more thought-through, and we were really picky about what parts we decided to use. Our ideals didn't change, they just got even darker and more screwed up, now that we've grown up, haha. When we made the songs and recorded the album we didn't have a record contract at all, so no, we weren't fazed by anyone but ourselves. We would never let a record label affect our music anyway, how should anyone else know better than us what kind of music we want to make?

Well put. So tell us about this tour you have coming up with Aura Noir and, also, I just saw you're playing Death Doomed The Age festival with Death Strike in September.
Yeah, that tour is gonna be awesome. It's a part of a concept organised by Metal Hammer Norway and Amber Booking called "Fire Walk With Me", kind of an equivalent to the Jägermeister tours you might have seen in Germany. Touring with Aura Noir is gonna be the fun part and on two of the gigs we're even joined by fellow Kolbotn thrashers Condor and our buddies One Tail, One Head. Death Doomed The Age in Germany is probably gonna kick ass as well. I mean, fuckin' Death Strike! Don't know how they're gonna perform live in 2012, but they've been a huge inspiration for us, and you probably remember us covering "Pay to Die" in London both times we've played in your neighbourhood. The lineup at DDTA seems really cool, lots of great underground bands – it'll be a treat for sure!


Definitely. How is it playing with bands you grew up listening to? Are you over it by now, or is it still exciting?
It's still strange, mind-blowing and freaky. Fortunately, the scene is still made up of down-to-earth people and most of the people we've hailed since we were kids are really cool guys with no rockstar attitude at all. And it's really cool to see when our old heroes continue to support the underground, that's something we really appreciate.

Yeah, the support is there in the underground, which is nice.
Absolutely. But the most important thing is to support real, honest, quality music, no matter if it's a demo band from Bosnia or a major act from the US.

Indeed. So who is blowing your mind, at the moment?
Almost the entire Swedish scene, haha! Antichrist, Maim, Morbus Chron, Invidious, No Future, In Solitude, Bastard Priest... It's all fantastic stuff! But we do have some superb shit going on in Norway as well, like Condor, One Tail, One Head, Black Magic, Mare, Dødsengel, Deathhammer... The list is endless, really. Funereal Presence is awesome, check them out. Occultation as well. Plus, we keep supporting the bigger acts that still do things the right way – Autopsy, Aura Noir and Darkthrone. Eternal hails!

kolbotn thrashers union, kolbotn thrashers union

Can you explain what the 'Kolbotn Thrashers Union' is to people who are yet to encounter the concept, please?
It's an unholy coven of bestial thrashers from Kolbotn, Norway, basically. The concept was formed before our time by Fenriz or Einar 'Necrodevil' Sjusjø, but it was nothing 'official' before we manipulated the logo of the Kolbotn sports team and put it on our records. For some reason, every musician we know from the area is extremely talented and has an amazing understanding on how to write good music. Don't really know why, but we suspect it's because of all the corpses that have been dumped in our drinking water over the years.

So that is actually true, huh?
‪H‬ell yes. Our drinking water is probably the first place the cops would search for a corpse – people have been dumping all kinds of murder victims there for years.

Ugh! So, what else you have got planned for 2012?
No more releases are planned. I mean, we will write new tracks, etc, and the Nekröthrash 7" split with Deathhammer, Black Magic, and Carniwhöre on Duplicate Records is still on, but as for releases there is nothing else planned. We will write stuff for our third album and we'll be playing a lot live. We're gonna play Inferno festival in Switzerland, and in Norway, and hopefully a lot of other shows throughout Europe and the Earth, in general...

Do you think there are perhaps more bands nowadays reverting to the old, more traditional recording methods laid down by the 80s metal gods than there was say, five or ten years ago?
Definitely. It might be a counter reaction to the madness that was going on in the late 90s/ early 00s. People have started to realise what music is about and it sure as hell is NOT about who had the most audible kick drums or how many douchebags you can get to sit on the floor and jump up and down simultaneously. Right now, people in the underground are really into music with a lot of soul and feeling, and hopefully it will last for a while. That's basically the concept of our new album—we want the spirit of the ancient metal gods to come back to life.

Rise, Vulcan Spectre is out now on Indie Recordings.

Monday 9 January 2012

Unleash The Demos

Hirax (USA) Demo (1984)

Just look at the song titles—pure anthems, all of them! Killer speed metal, right here.
1.Born in the Streets
2.Battle Cry
3.Stand and be Counted
4.Believe in the King

Hellwitch (USA) Transgressive Sentience (1986)
This is another obscure gem I think I found on Lockjaw, sometime last year. There are some absolutely INCREDIBLE riffs on this, mainly on the second and last tracks. Real weird proto-death/black/thrash metal shit here, from 86 too. Wasn't so into the other demo or the full-length either, but this is highly recommended and well worth making an impression on your hard drive, then your life.
2.Satan's Wrath
3.Torture Chamber
4.Fate at Pain's End

Massacre (USA) Chambers Of Ages (1986)

More deathrashing 86 lunacy here. Can't really put into words how good this is in parts. Man, the intro is also something else, reminds me of early Cure, no lie.
1.Chamber of Ages
2.Clangor of War
3.From Beyond
4.Symbolic Immortality

Merciless (Sweden) Behind The Black Door (1987)

Swedish assault! One for all deathbangers and those who have somehow missed this legendary band or have worn out The Awakening.
1.Total Destruction
2.Bestial Death
3.Satanic Slaughters
4.Behind the Black Door