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**************** * XENOCIDE 5 * **************** Hello and welcome to Xenocide 5! This issue is larger than ever and contains a LOT of stuff. It’s long, you might want to print it and read it later. Speaking of which, printed copies are available, and the printed version is a bit different than the email version. The layout is a lot slicker than issue 4, it is a ‘magazine style’ layout with center-stapling and a real cover and there is a lot more artwork. Printed copies are available for $3 in the US and $4 foreign. I’m happy to welcome a lot more guest writing in this issue, but I am still looking for artists and people willing to do reviews! If you are interested, drop me a line. I’m also looking for distributors, if you can even sell a few zines in your area, write me. As always, I do zine trades and I’ll mail out your fliers if you do the same. Hope you enjoy this issue! Jon Xenocide c/o Jon Konrath email: jkonrath@indiana.edu 414 S. Mitchell Suite 13 Bloomington, IN 47401 USA *************** * UNLEASHED * *************** In March I saw a mighty performance of Unleashed, the Swedish gods of Death metal. I was with Ray Miller of Metal Curse magazine and we enjoyed a very brutal performance by Johnny Hedlund and his band. After the show we got to go back to the hotel with Johnny and speak for a while about music and life in general. One of the big surprises of the evening was when Johnny mentioned songs from a third album while he was on stage playing, and we got a chance to hear some of this new material live. When we inquired about this, he revealed a lot about this new LP. “Well, it’s not recorded but the music and the lyrics and everything is ready.” He told us. “[There are] nine songs and one acoustic part. We’ll probably record it in the middle of the summer and then it should be released like September or October hopefully. We could do it right after this tour but our manager wants us to do the festivals and stuff” he explained. He continued by telling us song titles “To Asgard we fly, Open Wide, I Am God, In the Northern Lands, Forever Goodbye, Captured, Execute Them All and The General”. One of the impressive things about Unleashed is they are a Swedish band that decided not to record in Sunlight studios like most Swedish acts. When asked about studios, he confirmed that they would be recording in Germany again. “The German studio again, Woodhouse studio, the same place we did the first two albums” he mentioned. “We’ve developed it, the first album was good for the time being but I think the second album has developed. I think the third album will progress the same.” On the topic of recording, Johnny had some pretty fresh views on Death metal production. “Most Death metal bands out have pretty weak production if you compare them to heavy metal bands and so on. That is what you have to do, is compare to other bands that are more popular and sell more. Otherwise, I think it will be hard to explain to people why you like Death metal, because if the production is very weak, almost demo-like, then people aren’t going to listen to it, they aren’t going to get into it. But I think its going to get better.” We of course had to ask about ‘Countess Bathory’ on the current album. “Well, Venom has been an old influence of ours, I mean all four of us since a long time back, and we played that one for many times in the practice place and we thought ‘hey why don't we put it on the album’ because its been an old influence of ours and a lot of people that get into our kind of music are also into this kind of music. It could have been a Slayer song or a Celtic Frost song, but we decided to do Countess Bathory.” Ray asked about his singing style on the song and the similarity to the original song. “I sing ‘Countess Bathory’ in C, and it sounds different. I try to play songs in key, because a lot of bands try to sing just one tone.” Johnny explicated his writing of music, and he told us a bit about how he works out his songs. “The way we make music is we just sit down wherever and play. The songs I come up with I make when I’m home or actually I can come up with a sing just sitting in the subway station or picking my nose or any time. There isn’t a special time for me to write music. The only thing I write down is the lyrics. Music wise we just play the riffs and memorize it, if you don’t memorize it then it isn't good, and then just develop from that.” Ray asked about his choice of writing instrument and he attested “I always write songs on guitar. Bass isn’t the same feeling. I probably could write a song if I think of a riff in my head but it’s more fun to play guitar when writing songs.” The Shadows In The Deep t-shirts had a set of runes on the back, and we were curious about the meaning of them. “In the song Onward Into Countless Battles there is a part where I sing in Swedish for four lines in the slower part. The 4 sentences are what we wrote in runes: brothers we shall conquer or die, blood of my enemies shall flow, Odin take us to Valhalla, from the horns of pride we shall drink.” This led to a discussion on one of the cool parts of their stage show, when Johnny drank from a horn of pride on stage and then sprayed the audience with the water. “Our ancestors always drank from horns like that. Sometimes smaller, but they had it with a strap and they always when they went to festival or a sacrifice they always brought the horn. I got this one from my father. My father bought this somewhere and gave it to me on my 21st birthday, which was 3 years ago and I always bring it to every show sortof as a salute to those who come.” We laughed after he said “I’ll probably do it until someone breaks the horn, I’ll probably get a hard case for it.” I knew that Johnny followed Norse mythology, and Ray had discussed this with him before. We asked about his religious beliefs in mythology, and he explained this to us in great detail. “I personally don’t call it a religion. 1000 years ago Thor, Odin, and Freya meant something different than they do now. 1000 years ago people thought Thor was this man in the sky holding a hammer and they prayed to him for luck when it came to weather for the harvests and for luck in battle. Its the same with Freya, they prayed to Freya for luck and to be healthy and for a wedding to be successful. Odin was for luck and battle, and for other things, but sometimes Odin wasn’t trustworthy and would turn on someone. Nowadays we know there isn’t a person up there in a sky holding a hammer, he’s not sitting there because I don’t believe in anything I can’t see. But we can still believe in the same kind of symbols and have these feelings toward mother nature. This Thor hammer for example [a Thor hammer on a necklace] for me is a symbol of power and strength. It was 1000 years ago and now we know there is no man there. And there is no bible saying what you can do which is good because no matter what year it is you can translate what it means. If I say something about Thor I mean something strong. I don’t mean some man in the clouds. But 1000 years ago people weren’t as intelligent. Nowadays we know better but we can wear the same symbols. For example if I tell someone I want to have a lucky wedding with my girlfriend I can wear a Freya symbol and that way I’m marked that I have strength and mean it from the bottom that heart. It means I really don't see this as any girl or someone I’ll exchange in a year. That way I can use the symbol to show I really mean it. Its the same way with the Thor hammer, the people in Sweden that see me wearing a Thor hammer know that this is a guy with a strong spirit that won’t give up because someone is blaming him for something, or in battle if someone wants to pick a fight and they see a Thor hammer, he knows that I’m not going to turn the cheek, he knows I’ll fight if I have to. This way all these symbols all come back to us.” Johnny also had a few words about the evils of other religions. “I think most religions are a big joke but I know for many people it means a lot. I know a lot of old people that wouldn’t have a very good life without Christianity. They would not have known what to do with their lives so I know it has good influence for some people. But I still can’t see the hypocrisy in it. If other people believe in Christ that is OK, but I don't see why they should push it on people. If they want to they should prove it to me. Me and Tomas had a debate with a Christian band, it was a five hour debate but it didn’t give answers. They were saying one thing and doing another.” The topic of blind following brought about a lot of talk about European politics too. “What did the Russian people know before this whole coup? They didn’t know anything, they barely had a pair of jeans to them. Its the same with the Polish people and the East German people, they didn’t know how it looked on the other side, because there’s a big wall. I don’t think it’s a problem with the people, I think its the fault of their leader. We shouldn’t necessarily blame the people there.” We continued to talk about politics by comparing the US and Sweden. “For example, here you can drink liquor when you are 21. In Sweden you can drink when you are 18, but you cannot buy liquor until you are 20 but you can go into pubs if you are 18.” He also mentioned “In Colorado you can carry a gun, but you can carry nothing in Sweden. You can barely carry a knife. There’s a lot of differences.” Another strange law is the way TV is handled in Sweden. “You can say a lot in Sweden [on TV] you can’t say something that is really racist, and you can’t say something that is very accusing about a special type of people. What is funny though is that you can claim for example that people with long hair who listen to heavy metal are idiots and you can print that in big magazines and you can say they are all stupid, or you could say all skinheads are Nazis, but you can’t say 70% of the immigrants coming in the country are raping people, even if it is a fact. You can’t do that because it is racism. The government has its strange laws.” We had to ask about the scene in Sweden. “It ain’t that big.” He proclaimed. “I can see why people think its so big because there are so many bands from there. But if you think about how many that just sound like some bands that are already out, and there’s not many clubs to play in. Stockholm isn’t that big of a city, there’s not many clubs to play in unless you’re a glam band. Stockholm has a big scene if you're Unleashed, we pull big crowds, or Entombed, they pull big crowds, but if you're a small band you’ll have a lot of trouble. There’s not a club where you can sit down and have a beer and watch the local death metal bands play in front of 29 people. That just doesn’t happen.” Johnny did seem to really like Sweden though. “Overall it is a very nice place to live, it is very calm compared to Germany, Holland or America. Then again there are only 8 million people living there and it is a big area. Sweden is a very clean country I would say. Its definitely one of the richest countries in Europe, but it has its strange laws and I think you can’t do as many things which is good in some ways and bad in other ways. I prefer that now, but when I was 18 and couldn’t buy liquor I couldn't see that.” Another topic hot on everyone’s mind is the European Community, and Johnny had a lot to say about that. “Now Sweden wants to join the European Community which means more drugs and more violence, because on the borders you will be able to bring in anything. I don’t think its gonna happen, but if it happens it means more problems. It means more cost and it means ghettos for the first time. I don’t see why Sweden would go in because it would mean it would make it just another country. I could see why Greece and Italy and Spain would want in but I couldn’t see why Scandinavian countries would want to give in money to them.” He told us “In our next show in Stockholm, we’re gonna burn a huge European Community flag, and I know the newspapers will be there and I know they’re gonna take pictures because that’ll raise hell. Its very hot stuff now.” Back on the topic of music, we asked about any future videos for the band, and we asked about the last video also. “In Europe they played it [the video], there’s gonna be a video for the third album. Century Media in Germany promised us a video for the second album too but it never happened, as well as other things that were promised. Now we have very good management so we’re sure we will get the video. We haven’t agreed on a song, that will be a tough choice. We will at least have 30 or 40 percent live shoots, because we are a live band. None of us are really into a video that is like some kind of theatre or something.” Ray asked if he considered the last Morbid Angel video bad because of its conceptual theme, but he exclaimed “The Morbid Angel video is great, it really fits the lyrics and everything.” When we mentioned this was on Headbanger’s Ball in the states, he commented “I think it is really good promotion for Death metal if any of those videos get played.” But, he did have some things to say about the Entombed video for ‘Stranger Aeons’. This video has a girl in it from a popular Swedish pop band called Army Of Lovers, and a lot of people say she doesn’t quite fit in the video. Johnny agreed, and explained the situation with the girl’s status in Sweden. “What would happen if you saw your favorite American band, like let’s say Deicide, and all of a sudden you see Michael Jackson in the video? A lot of people would be pissed and would think its ridiculous. I don’t think it fit in at all.” The topic of touring was inevitable, and I questioned if they got to do any sight-seeing while here this year. “We saw Niagra Falls.. We didn’t plan this tour though, Cannibal Corpse’s managers planned it but we did have some time off for tourism.” We also asked about the fact that they didn’t headline this tour. “The first time we were here we were the first band on the bill, and this time we are second. Maybe next time we will be headlining. I think if we headlined this tour, there would be less people every night, and even if its 50 people less every night, it would help to draw in more people.” He did explain their popularity in Europe however. “We had twice as many people on the European tour as Entombed, and we had the same tour manager.” I asked for any opinions on Cannibal Corpse, the headlining act, and Johnny seemed fairly enthusiastic about them. “I like them, they are a cool live band. There’s a lot of American bands that have too many riffs in their music and its harder to memorize. I’m not accusing them or anything though, but I want to have a lot of fun. I want to have as much fun as the crowd, I want to feel the music. I want to feel what the crowd is feeling. I don't want to be thinking of what riff I have next. There are a lot of bands that are good with complex songs, but there has to be a good reason how it all fits together. There’s a lot of bands that have 20 riffs in a song just put together. Its like they get to the practice place and go ‘OK, this is the next song, its gonna have 18 riffs..’ There’s no structure. I like that old fashioned structure. Bands that play more technical like Bolt Thrower or Morbid Angel do a good job at it. Its just perfect. If Morbid Angel does a song with 15 riffs in it, I know why they are there, I can feel how they come from one another. We continued the discussion on musical styles and how they relate to Unleashed. “Its not because we can’t write riffs, we have material for the fourth album, that’s not a problem. There’s nothing that I like more in the whole universe then when the whole crowd screams my choruses because then I know they feel the same way I do, and they can listen to the album a couple times and remember it. And then when they go to a party and drink beer and put on the album, everyone screams it. That’s what I did when I was younger, and still do. Ya know, put on Reign In Blood, Slayer or whatever, any band, Venom or whatever. There are Death metal bands with this kind of thinking, that's why I like their music more than others, its easier to listen to.” He continued talking about guitar solos. “I enjoy good guitar solos, especially if they have something to do with the music and if they’re just not flipping out, I don’t like that. But there’s a lot of good death metal guitarists, solo guitarists and some of them really make their solo fit the music. If you can feel why the solo fits alongside the riff, then I think its good. But if it’s a solo just because of the fact there should be a solo then it’s bad, I don’t like it. For example Slayer solos, I actually whistle them to myself, that’s the way i like it. The third album is gonna have a lot of good solos like this. I don’t like to have too many solos, I don’t enjoy it as much as the pure beat of the music. I asked Johnny what kind of music he did like. “I listen to a lot of rock and roll from the 50’s. I like a lot of the older heavy metal stuff, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and some older hardcore punk like the Sex Pistols. I listen to Death metal, that's why I said I like the bands I was mentioning.” He also mentioned a few demo bands. “Necrophobic is a good band, there are so many bands. Deathstorm from California too, but there are so many bands out there.” We wanted to know if the members of Unleashed still worked regular jobs in Sweden. “I’ve lived on social welfare for about 1.5 years because we didn’t make so much money on the first album, but as of January of this year we can live from what we can make on music. Cause now we have the same manager as Morbid Angel, he's doing a lot of good stuff for us, and he went into the contract and changed it for us so the record label wouldn’t be taking any of our money. Like on the first tour, they took all of the t-shirt money and they could because it was in the contract we signed. When you sign a contract with only a demo, when you're at that level you can’t say much of what’s in the contract, especially when the contract is 27 pages of very hard language that even people who think in English can’t understand. Gunter has done so much for us, he’s the reason we are still doing this.” One of the big fears these days is a band “selling out” or recording weak albums for the money. When I asked Johnny if he would want to sell on a large scale, he said “actually yes because that means i would never have to go back to work. Resisting success is stupid and has no part in the law of nature.” He further justified his answer with “I know we will never turn into any other musical style than Unleashed, and I don’t think fans will be disappointed. I wouldn’t care if we got as big as Metallica, it just means more and more people like what we do and like the lyrics. Bigger doesn’t mean you are selling out. There are bands that get better without selling more, and there are bands that get wimpier and sell more copies, but if they didn’t sell that many copies they still would have got wimpier anyway.” We wondered if there would be any surprises in production or anything experimental. “No, the sound on the new album will be the same as shadows in the deep. the production on this album was perfect, so its gonna be small levels if any and nobody will notice it. It will stay the same, nothing major.” After we got some stuff signed, we asked Johnny how he spends his off-time. “Watching soccer games, and watching ice hockey games, spend more time with my girlfriend, and go to parties. We practice about 3 times a week but ill write new material. We’ve been touring since Jan, 60 shows in 80 days, so we’re gonna relax a little.” Johnny closed by telling us “a big thanks to everyone who came to the tour, i had a great time and the crowds were very dedicated!” Johnny was one of the most articulate people I’ve talked to in the business and one of the nicest people also. Best of luck to him and all of Unleashed on the new album and many more to come! ******************* * Paradise Lost * ******************* I had a chance to chat with Greg MacKintosh, guitarist of Paradise Lost while he was in New York promoting their new EP. Greg started with a discussion of the Shades Of God Tour in the US. “Its going to be May or June time when we come over, but I don't know who we will be touring with yet. We basically just finished touring Shades of God everywhere else in the world just about, and we’ve worked on writing new material and demoing it for the new album” The new EP will be released in April, shortly before the tour. “The EP track is 'As I die' from the Shades of God LP, and its just basically a sortof revamped version of that. The second track on it is called ‘Rape of Virtue’ which was recorded at the same time as Shades of God, but not released.” The EP also includes a live version of “Eternal” and the track “Death Walks Behind You” The progression from Gothic to Shades Of God is staggering, and Paradise Lost seems to be a band that experiences constant change. “For ourselves we aren’t a band who writes with a view to sales, which is what we feel is right. But we like to evolve and use fresh ideas which is probably why we sound different from LP to LP and possibly from song to song sometimes. Its just a question of we like to use fresh ideas and keep people fascinated rather than change for the sake of change. On Shades of God we have been more settled than we have before, but we’ve already written and demo’ed 7 new tracks and we’ve changed again quite a bit, but its still very settled.” Greg continued, “We don’t like to cover ground that we covered before, we like to use fresher ideas. Gothic was something that we did at one time, and it was quite popular in Europe and a lot of bands have done similar things since, but we’d never go back and do it again unless a song demanded it. I’m not saying won’t ever use keyboards again, or we won’t ever use any other kinds of vocals again, but we like to experiment with other things, and we like to stretch the limits of our own instruments before we start using anything else.” On the topic of the direction of new material, he explained, “The new stuff is a lot more Gothic but not in the sense of the LP Gothic we did, more Gothic in the sense of more early death type stuff mixed with Shades of God type stuff, so its quite interesting” Shades of God is the first LP to be released by Metal Blade Records, while Paradise Lost’s first two LP’s were released on Peaceville. Greg explained to me the situation with the label change. “Well we signed with Peaceville when we were very young, and we signed for 2 LP’s and we did the two LPs. When we finished those, we decided to move on to someone with more input. Distribution was a factor, and having more money to spend on the LP, production, advertising, tour support. We are just taking another step forward, it is in everyone’s interest to promote yourself, we just needed to promote ourself more. Metal Blade is been giving us the most artistic support” When discussing the last LP, the first observation was recording studios. “Its a private studio, it used to be owned by the Queen, its a big building converted into a studio in the middle of nowhere, it was a good sort of inspiration for the LP. We really enjoyed recording there, but I think next time we’re going to move because we got as much as we could out of that studio.” We also discussed the central theme behind Shades of God. “The emphasis was trying out different ways of getting as much emotion and atmosphere into a song as possible but doing it in different ways, subtle ways, melancholy themes, rather than this obvious morbid thing, because we like to be more subtle than that. On the last LP, lyrically and otherwise it was based on emotion and provoking thought. I’d say all of the songs have a lot of meaning, but we like people to use their own minds. We like people to make up their own minds on what things are about.” Greg also said “Life is quite a big influence on our lyrics. Musically, there are a lot of the early bands like early Judas Priest, early Black Sabbath, and things like that, and a lot of the early Gothic stuff, and more contemporary stuff like Dead Can Dance.” The topic of American culture came up a few times, and Greg explained to me his feelings on his first visit to he US. “The UK as a whole is very different from America. I’m quite surprised really, the way of life is very different. I suppose though politically, we have the same problems, that are going on here, like crime, drugs, race, violence, the recession, joblessness, all of those problems happen, but the way of life is much different, the music scene is much different.” He continued, “I don’t know what the underground is supposed to mean anymore. To me, underground now is totally different from underground when we first started. The underground then meant a certain group of people and bands who wrote letters to each other and traded tapes. The underground now, being an underground band means you have a certain cult following. The audience could be totally different to another band’s cult following. I mean, our audience has changed so much in the last few years, we have more older people and more females going to shows.” The subject of political difference also led to the topic of censorship. “Censorship seems to me more in the headlines in the US than in England. Obviously because of the PMRC and such. I don’t agree with censorship, but then I don’t agree with a lot of the Death metal bands using stuff as a gimmick to sell records, they should be selling records on integrity and musicianship, not on gore. And then there is MTV, they have such a strange outlook on what is a good video and what isn’t, they focus so much on the mainstream. They have these videos with half naked females and a lot of metal won’t get played, I don’t understand their line on censorship really, they just see mainstream rock bands as the thing, even if some people don’t want to see that, but MTV just isn’t interested. They have a certain image to keep, a teenage pop magazine format, its too bubblegum pop oriented. I prefer a more down to Earth style.” Greg finished up by telling me about the band’s future work. “We plan on continuing songwriting in our own method, but we’re not trying to go too far in that direction. Some bands like VoiVod and Celtic Frost went too far with their personal tastes and failed, we’re trying to avoid that” The As I Die EP will be out in April, and the American tour will follow. Look forward to checking out this European supergroup soon! ************** * Defiance * ************** Defiance is a brutal band from the San Francisco bay area. They have had three releases on Roadrunner records since 1988, with Product of Society, Void Terra Firma and Beyond Recognition. They have since added guitarist Brian Wenzel, and went into the studio in March. We had a chance to have a few words with them, thanks to Whiplash for the brief interview. X: First of all, if you would tell us a little about the new album and how does it stand up to your earlier albums? D: Much better production for one, Rob Beaton really took the time out to make sure we’d put out an album both he and the band could be proud of. X: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard the band but is interested? D: Heavy, fast, somewhat melodic (at times) and downright brutal. X: Do you have any tour plans for 1993? D: No, we pretty much got screwed out of that because of the combines problems of a poor economy and a downright flake for a booking agent whom we’ve just fired, but if the new album is done in time we could be touring by the end of 1993. X: How do you see the heavy metal scene and thrash scene today and how do you feel it has changed? D: The metal scene is just like any other in the music business, it has its ups and downs. X: Well this is short but please tell everyone how to contact the band and if you would like please leave some last comments to your fans. D: Yeah, keep your ears out for us in late ‘93 or early ‘94 and thanks for your support! Write to Defiance c/o Morgan Kennedy Mgmt., 8033 Sunset Blvd. #4005, Hollywood, CA 90046 Thanks again to Whiplash for the interview and look forward to the new Defiance soon! ********************* * TYPE O NEGATIVE * ********************* I talked to Pete and Josh of Type O Negative this summer after the release of the Origin of the Feces EP, and decided to reprint the interview because of the upcoming release of the new LP, and because a lot of you missed the first printing of this in Xenocide’s infancy. Check the news section of this issue for more up-to-date information on the album, since this is slightly dated. X: Lets talk a little bit about your new EP, The Origin of the Feces. Now this said it was a semi-live recording. Exactly what does that mean? P: What it means exactly is that we did this recording to rip off the record company. X: Was it actually recorded live at Brighton beach? P: No, of course not. We totally made everything up, we got a $100,000 budget, and we spent approximately $2,000 on this piece of shit recording and we went out and we all bought Harley Davidsons and we’re gonna kill ourselves just like in Cyclemania. You ever see that cool movie? X: Oh yeah, I based my life on it... P: That is the agenda. We did this not just to rip off the record company, but to rip off the fans as well, because we know the average person is a moron... Sorry fans, but we had to rip you off because we need your money. X: Now you guys are working on a new LP right now, is this gonna be a similar setup there? P: Well, this LP is gonna be much worse than anything else that we’ve done before... If people don’t hate us already they’ll hate us after this next LP. And right now its titled Things Worse Than Death (And Other Acts of God) X: Any songs done for the LP yet? P: Well, we have them all written... Right now we’re trying to find the best way to scam the record company out of a lot of money, so until we figure out just exactly what our plan is.. We’ve got 2 or 3 plans we might go with, we’re gonna narrow it down and see which way we can get the most bucks out of ‘em and then give them some piece of shit, some piece of garbage that they’ll try to push on people like bad dope or something. X: OK, you had a little difficulty with the cover art on the EP.. Did anything inspire you to do that? How did they approach you on that, did they say no right away or what? P: I dunno Josh, how did that come up, how did we think of that? J: Well, I dunno, we figured it looked a lot better than our faces so we went for it. P: Well, that is my best side. J: We didn’t have trouble at all. The record company loved it. P: They loved it. And I think right now that thing is banned in Germany, and England. X: I know some US distributors refuse to carry it... P: Well, they don’t know art when they see it. X: Exactly... I heard rumors you were thinking of recording a Carnivore song for the EP or, do you plan on playing any Carnivore stuff live? P: Yeah, well, see there were one or two songs in the set, and we were gonna do one on the EP, but we’re really trying to push the Type O Negative stuff now.. If people want to hear Carnivore they can go and buy a Carnivore disc, but right now we just wanna stick to our stuff.. Maybe some time in the future if we pull some other scam maybe we’ll do a Carnivore song, or maybe a Partridge Family cover or something. X: As for your live touring, do you know what’s going to go on after the album supporting it, are you going to do a headlining tour or a split bill? P: Yeah, we’re just going to do a New York tour, we’re going to do a five venue tour, and make it expensive and like a year long, and spend like a month or two at each club. X: Will you do anything elaborate on stage? P: Killing ourselves... No, we don’t like to do much on stage. Sometimes if we come out and we don't like the looks of the audience, we don’t even play. We just walk back out and say “Well, you paid your 15 or 20 dollars and that's too bad, so, goodnight.” And then there will be like a riot. Or sometimes we’ll actually play one or two chords. We just like to say “We don’t feel like playing, so we’re not gonna play. And if you don’t like it that’s too bad because you already paid us. And you can go home and you can think we’re assholes but we’ll be out tomorrow spending your money and laughing at you!” X: Lets talk about musical influences. Do you look toward anything for musical inspiration? P: I guess when I was younger I did. But now, I don’t, ya know, I like to write how I feel, I mean, I don’t try to follow in anybody’s footsteps, and nobody in this band tries to sound like anybody. We are just trying to establish our own crummy identity. Just like even though vomit has the same basic smell, if you put four cups of real hot vomit next to each other, they would smell slightly dissimilar depending on what was eaten for dinner, or lunch or breakfast, too, with all that shit in your stomach. X: Do you look toward any movies or books or political sources when writing lyrics? P: No, I just look into my Swiss cheese soul, because my soul is very blackened and has many holes in it, and there is a lot of powerful things lurking inside of me, following me everywhere I go and I don’t have to look to TV or books or anything for any really bad ideas because I'm full of them. X: OK, you did mention you’re trying to get everyone to hate you... P: Umm, let me clarify here. We aren’t trying to get everyone to hate us, we’re just trying to be really honest with people, trying to tell people we are only in this for money, and that we are trying to rip you off. If you want to come along for the ride, and laugh with us, or at us.. It doesn't matter, as long as we get to spend your money. X: Have you been approached by any censorship groups? P: Actually, if I had kids, I would not let them listen to Type O Negative, so I guess I’m totally for censorship. X: I talked to a few people who wanted to write-in Pete Steele for presidential candidate in the fall. If by some freak chance you got elected in the fall, what would be your agenda? P: I would kill anyone under 6 feet six inches. X: Why? P: Because I’m 6 foot 6 and a quarter, and I like to look up to people. X: Do you still have the same day job? P: Yes. I am a human feces remover. I make $100,000 a year on my job, I do not have to use my mind on my job, so I get to dwell on the things that disturb me greatly, I let these things torment myself and I let them burn holes in me like acid dripping on me, so by the time I get home, I’m really pretty wound up and looking to hurt myself, not so much the other people around me, but because I don’t have the balls to kill myself yet, I must supplimate, and I must take these aggressive feelings out in socially acceptable ways, such as transforming these thoughts and feelings into music. X: I noticed reading through your liner notes mentions of Prozac, Xanax and Doctor Whittaker, is this mention to actual psychotherapy? P: It is. He is my psychotherapist, who did not help me. He told me I was crazy and threw me out of his office. I won’t waste my money now, because I have come to the conclusion that I am not fucked up, this world is fucked up, I am the sanest person I know. X: If you really hit it big would you move out of New York? P: I think ultimately I would like to be real rich so I can get out of this city, because I don’t like what is going on here too much, as far as what is going on with crime and where my tax dollars are going to. I don't think I would move until I made my fortune and then I would move somewhere isolated like Iceland and never be heard from again. X: Going back to touring, you toured with a few bands.. What happened on last tour, it got cut a little short... P: What happened is we were out with Exploited and Biohazard, two bands that we were good friends with and like very much, but we felt it wasn’t a very good matchup because we’re not a punk band and we’re not a hardcore band, we’re more like a Gothic band, and a lot of the skinheads we encountered on tour didn't like us too much, and we had problems with them, and over in Germany and Austria we had problems with the left wing over there. But, ultimately that turned out great because it was kindof planned, and we had set the whole thing up ourselves... We had spread rumors that we were the fourth reich coming over to Germany to retake the country, and we took plenty of time to make preparation, and when we got there we phoned in bomb threats to the clubs that we were supposed to play at so the shows got cancelled and we got paid for nothing. We just went out chasing German women, Austrian women, we just went chasing women. X: If you tour with any bands on the next tour, any ideas on who? P: I don't think anybody in their right mind would tour with us, so it would have to be someone very desperate. X: We’re gonna have to wrap up here.. Is there anything we should look forward to on the new album? P: It's gonna be worse than the other stuff, no doubt about it. And I'm sure its gonna be overpriced. X: Any last words to your fans? P: Yeah I think you should get your hearing checked. X: OK, we’re gonna cut to the first track on Origin Of The Feces. P: No I don't think you should. Don’t you have anything better to play? X: Well, lets go into the first track here. I’d like to thank Pete and Josh for talking to me. P: I'm sorry I wasted your time. ***************** * SHOW REVIEW * ***************** I got a chance to see Unleashed, Cannibal Corpse and Epidemic in March at Bogart's in Cincinnati, and although I really enjoyed Unleashed, I was disappointed by Cannibal Corpse, and I was very frustrated with the way the venue treated us and everyone else at the show. First of all i have to say i might have had a bad attitude going into the show since the venue just FUCKED me over in a major way. I went with Ray Miller, of Metal Curse magazine, and we waited for an abnormal amount of time after being told conflicting information by the people working the ticket booth. This is the dialogue that took place at the doors: Me: Is the list ready yet? Bitch at counter: What list? Me: The zine list. Bitch: What's a zine? Me: A magazine. The list the record company gave you should have my name on it, the guest list. Bitch: A magazine? You can't sell magazines in here. Me: Look, you have a guest list. Its in your hand. Give me a ticket before I kill somebody. Bitch: You mean like Kerrang? That kind of magazine? Me: Kindof. But not really. Bitch: I don't see Kerrang on the list. Me: No. I'm Jon Konrath. Look on the list for Jon Konrath. Bitch: What list? (Repeat 7 times) So we couldn't bring zines in. Then when we were going in, they nabbed my recorder, and after a lot of arguing, they said I could keep the recorder if I gave them every cassette tape on my person, which consisted of a cool demo I just got in the parking lot. (Luckily they didn't take Ray's and I dubbed a copy.) Then they said they wouldn't give them back but I could bring them to my car if I paid full price to get back in. Great. Oh, and when we got in, we got no passes, and if it weren't for a lot of bullshitting we would not have gotten the one of three interviews we were promised. Epidemic started, they were OK. The pit was decent, they got like a 2 second soundcheck and their guitar sound sucked, but then I was told they got there late and the only reason they had any sound at all was that them and Unleashed shared a drum setup. They were OK live, they didn't suck but their sound wasn't great and I think they were just really rushed since they opened and this really held them back. Then Unleashed. I saw Johnny before the show and he recognized Ray, so only because we knew him he said OK to an interview later. They were one of the best bands I've seen live, they were tight, the sound was good, the pit was frantic, and it looks like they were having a lot of fun on stage. Johnny did a lot of talking between songs and also at a point he pulled out this giant horn-type drinking cup and threw water out into the pit. They played a lot of their old stuff and stuff from Shadows In The Deep, plus stuff from their forthcoming 3rd album. It was cool as hell, it made the trip worth it. Before i mention Cannibal Corpse, let me talk about shirts. A million people told me, "man, those prices aren't the venues fault" before the show. Well, you're wrong in a big way. I don't care if your venue in the middle of Kansas doesn't add a 40% shirt markup, all the rest of them in the states do. The tour promoters selling shirts told me this, there were signs at the booth apologizing for the fact that the venue was screwing people, there were people that worked at the venue who admitted they were screwing people out of money and I had a 3 hour talk with all of the members of Unleashed and they mentioned it too. What sucks even more is that if you directly buy it from the label, the band gets almost no money. Point of reference: Unleashed long sleeve shirts, $35 at the venue. Johnny offered to sell me one for $15 and he’d make money off of it, and that was one with a cooler back design too, it wasn't the one they had there. Also in Europe they sell the shirts for $15-$20 each. Go figure. So anyway, Cannibal Corpse. Their sound was good, the pit was violent. That's about it. The performance had a lot of energy but you just can't claim there are an abundance of memorable riffs and sing-along lyrics in their stuff. Now i have heard they really suck live compared to the studio work, and i disagree, it was cooler than the album. But it wasn't something that sticks in your head or something you hum on the bus or something. And yes, Chris did seem a little hokey between songs. I wont go off on it too much, I'll just say i sat in the back of the venue and talked to a tour manager about Max Cavalera’s new kid and didn't even pay attention to a lot. I do have to say though that I had the coolest interview ever with Johnny... Ray and I went back to the hotel with him and hung out and talked until 3 in the morning about EVERYTHING, he sat and talked about the third album forever, we talked about Sweden a lot, and mythology too. I'm really looking forward to the release of the 3rd album. It is all written, and they will record it this summer and it will be out in the fall. I don't entirely mean to go off on Cannibal Corpse because they were OK and I got into one of the most violent pits I have ever seen before so it was cool. But it was really overhyped, and if someone gory and non-flashy as them did a live show, they should have done something really fucking cool like sprayed blood in the front row or lit something on fire or hosed the place down with smoke or something to make it more rememberable. Just my opinion.. My main bitches were having to do with the venue: the passes and the recorder, and the shirts. I know the bands worked extra hard on this tour, and all three of them were cool about that, and I know the people at Metal Blade and Century Media were extra cool to me about interviews, and the people at World Management went way beyond the call of duty on the Unleashed interview. But a big fuck off goes to all the assholes at Bogart's in Cincinnati. From the people I talked to before and during the show, the management has been real shitty about the sales of demos and 'zines, something important to the underground. They pull in some cool shows, but they are just real assholes. From their $2 Cokes to their asshole bouncers to their 40% plus markup on merchandise, they really know how to fuck up a good time. If you are in the area and have a choice, don't catch a show there, go somewhere else. You'll be glad you did. ***************** * BLOODY MARY * ***************** Bloody Mary is an aggressive thrash band from the North Carolina area, known for their tight sound, and lasting impression on the underground. Randy Robinson (vocals), Craig Baker (lead guitar), Joe Charles (drums), Bill Vasil (rhythm guitar), and Barry Hannibal (bass) have been shaking the fans of extreme metal with their newest release, “Bitch Needs Psychotherapy”. I got a chance to catch a few words with Bill Vasil before the unsigned band started work on their next release, and heard a lot about their most recent successes. “Bitch Needs Psychotherapy” was recorded here in Charlotte, NC at Reflections Sound Studios, the same studio where Confessor did their ‘Condemned’ LP for Earache” guitarist Bill Vasil explains. “...An excellent studio that hosts a lot of label projects from across the music industry. The best thing about the place to me is the main room, studio A, which produces a killer drum sound” continues Vasil. The recording has a very sharp feeling to it, and doesn’t have the ‘muddy’ sound that is so apparent in demos. “As far as an official number of copies, 1500+ at least that have been sold, given away or traded” exclaims Bill. This is a band that almost everyone in the underground has heard of, because of the vast amount of publicity work and flier distribution the self-managed group does. The strength of the underground is a big factor in this band’s success. “The bottom line: we don’t want your money; we want your respect” proclaims Vasil. “I encourage a lot of people that get our tapes at shows to make copies for their friends” he continues. “We give out small packages of underground stuff to people who buy our tapes at shows. We have found that people really do appreciate the information about the underground” When it comes to work, this band seems perpetually busy. Between being the hardest working band in the underground scene of the East coast and demo work, it seems they are always busy with some project. “We took January off from shows to write new songs for our next release, “Blood Core” and that’s mostly done” Bill explains. “Some of the songs have already been performed live and others have just been fleshed out. We are shooting for late spring for our next release. We’d like it sooner, but there’s no reason to hurry on a recording.” After eyeing a Bloody Mary 1992 schedule, I could see why they necessitated taking time off for the recording. The “Blood Core News” newsletter printed in January shows the grueling list of close to 45 different gigs the band had, basing their operations in the North Carolina area, but also venturing down into Florida. There is quite a scene in Bloody Mary’s home court, although the southern area is biased against underground metal at times. “[we play with] Regional bands and locals here in the Southeast. Some are known in the underground like Aftermath AD, Anti-Seen, False Prophet, Raped Ape and some not so known like Misplaced Aggression and Sudden Dismissal to name a few. The larger club scene here in Charlotte is fucked up, where they totally treat area bands like shit. We don't deal that way, and really don’t give a fuck about all the hype associated with opening for label acts. We’ve earned everything on our own”. Every band has their roots, and when Bloody Mary is labeled a thrash band, it would be assumed their background wouldn’t be as diverse. But when asked about influences, Bill offered a different opinion. “[That’s] the one question that I really hate, because we draw upon a lot, or none at all. I listen to all kinds of music, whenever I have time, and it all comes out sometime later. I’m really influenced by some of the better bands that we play with here, maybe because we have gotten to know them. A lot of times it has to do with respect”. The mutual respect issue comes up again when I ask Bill who he would like to work with. “Anybody that’s good (in our opinion!) and has brains. And anybody that’s really hungry for this - they tend to take the necessary risks to get things done. The band that I feel would benefit us, as well as themselves, is Anti-Seen, who are signed to Rave Records. We go together very well, and we try to offer them shows wherever and whenever we can.” Although the band does plan to break out of the minor leagues and work with a label, they hold rather unique opinions on the matter. “We’ve really just started doing the things that will shape this band for preparations to a major label, and there’s a lot of satisfaction that we get when we achieve our goals. Having a lot of control of what we are doing is real important to us. When we demonstrate how much we can accomplish on our own, the more control we’ll have. With no disrespect to labels in general, I don’t care too much for all the hype that signed bands get. That's all I hear, and it gets so old. I’ve known tons of bands wasting their time trying to get signed, when they should be out there promoting themselves to the very people that will buy their music.” Vasil does seem certain of the bands ability to sign with a label, however. “I know the right label with the right offer will find us. Like I said - we’ve just started, and we have a lot of confidence in how we promote ourselves”. The natural question of how the dying genre of Thrash can still survive came up, but the band seems very confident in retaining this style. “I’ve been asked that question for a few years now, ever since Death metal’s emergence into the scene. To me, it’s not that a particular style of music dies, its the new different trend that starts up, and then everyone jumps on that bandwagon. I don’t believe the style of music that a band plays has anything to do with their popularity. Its how they do it. If its good, fresh, original - people will come. I don’t think anything else dies, but that something else thrives.” Of course, the quintet isn’t relaxing for long. “Well, let’s see.. Finishing new tunes is the first priority. We have a loan pending for $5000 for our next recording, and when that comes through, we’re going to release “Soul” from the “Bitch Needs..” tape on a split 7" with Raped Ape for radio promotion. We’ve recently received a bulk mailing permit, so its economically feasible to send out a large number of records at one time. This is all pre-promotion for our next release, and we’ll do another song off that for radio as well. We are booking shows to keep us busy until the next recording as we tighten up the songs, and once “Blood Core” is out, nothing but shows everywhere and anywhere to build our following on. There’s a lot to be done.” A question on my mind that the group had good insight on was that of the religious right in the area. Bill did agree with me on some of the music censorship issues. “I agree with the view that labelling interferes with free speech, and the kind of control is plain bullshit, but on the other hand, I’m more likely to check out a recording that has “objectionable” material on it than one that’s been tamed down to suit the PMRC.” As we closed, Bill continued on about the area’s tyranny. “No, not any problems from the bible thumpers around here. Some of the local music scum in this area have tried to intimidate us and the clubs we play at because we don’t kiss ass, or “fall in line”, but they can’t keep us down.” Bloody Mary have proved themselves to be a strong contender in the world of the underground, and their next release should be killer. If you want to contact Bill or any of the rest of the band, drop a line to Bloody Mary, POB 560938, Charlotte, NC 28256. ************** * PUNISHER * ************** Punisher is a dying legacy in the metal world, a band that still puts out a brutal form of the Thrash sound, and doesn’t try to wander to the new schools of Death or Industrial. The Detroit scene-based band sent their “Go Nukes” demo over the summer, and I was very impressed by its tightness, quality and trueness to the roots of extreme metal, such as Coroner, Venom and Exodus. However, when I spoke with Garrett Brown, the group’s drummer, he started off with some somber news on Punisher’s latest work. “Well, right now, we’re trying to replace our guitar/player singer [Bruce Schwiebert]” says Garrett. “He doesn’t want to sing anymore, and we haven’t played out since July. So, I joined another band and I’ve been trying to keep Punisher together”. Andromeda, the Toledo-based band that Brown has been working with, is more of a club scene oriented band than Punisher’s raw metal format, even though the members have strong metal roots. “As a matter of fact, the guitarist and the bass player are the people who first started Punisher.” However, it is no replacement for the faltering trio of speed. Garrett continues “We play more older stuff, and some slower stuff. Some stuff gets a little faster, but its not thrash. We’re gigging out now to save up money, and we’ve got a decent following going”. This split-personality in musical performance became more evident as Garrett explained his listening taste, and his involvement in the music business as a drum instructor. “I listen to a lot of trash and heavy metal, and I try to keep on top of all of that. I like to listen to about anything though. I work at a music store, and I pulled this instructional cassette and booklet on African drumming, its more polyrhythmic oriented. But, I really don’t care for people that put labels on stuff, and I have to tell them ‘oh yeah, we’re a thrash band’ or whatever, but to me, its just all music. I listen to whatever I want. But people ask you what you listen to and you say ‘well not Death, and not grind’ and all the categories can really make you sick. Whatever I hear, 50’s and 60’s stuff, lighter rock, or whatever.” However, the strong basis of thrash did show up in the discussion of ascendants. “Well, Coroner. Coroner is our big influence. Its a big influence for all three of us, the way they write. That’s what we really like. Nuclear Assault too, they’re someone we listen to a lot” One of the most common remarks about the Punisher demo is the recording quality. For an unknown studio, it had an uncanny precision and professional style to it. Garrett credits this both to practice and to the studio itself. “We were polished, we went in there and put the songs out right away, and we did all the stuff in like 10 hours. We went in there and recorded 4 songs and then went back later and played with the vocals”. Garrett was quick to praise RT Audio and their production staff. “Rob [Tylak] is really good, he’s got a 24 track now, he had a 16 track when we recorded. If we go anywhere, that’s where we’re going because he really knows what he’s doing. He’s really easy to work with, whatever you want, he does it.” The Detroit scene hosts many underground bands, and is occasionally the playing ground for larger acts. “We’ve opened up for Cyclone Temple, and Immolation. We play with Damien a lot but that's no big deal, they're good friends” In fact, Brown mentioned the scene in Toledo is also growing and has a lot of musical talent. “..A lot of Thrash, a lot of Death.. Actually there are just a lot of good musicians in general. When I work in the store, a lot of older guys come in, really good Country/western players. They do this finger picking stuff on guitar, it is just incredible how much skill is there”. As we closed and talked more about the music scene and the industry, Garrett touched upon a facet that might have a lot to do with Thrash’s fading away. “Its like a popularity contest, not the talent. A lot of the records that are sold, people don’t know why they buy it. You know that Billy Ray Sirius song, ‘Achy Breaky Heart’? A guy that went to my high school wrote that song, and he’s not the one making money off of it. The whole thing, all of the greed is terrible” Although the current situation looks bleak, Garrett mentioned a lot of plans to keep punisher alive. If you wish to catch up on his current exploits, drop a line to Punisher, 1301 Woodville Rd., Millbury, OH 43447. ******************* * OLIVER MAGNUM * ******************* “Real fuckin ugly metal. Hard as nails, twice as rusty.” That’s what guitarist Monte Humphrey says about Oliver Magnum, the northern Oklahoma metal band. Their bassist Dan Kurtz further evaluates their uniqueness by stating “Our sound is very punchy, with lots of driving bass and guitar. I don’t want to categorize us but if I had to paint a picture it wouldn’t come out correctly. So to shorten things I would have to say our style is... Brutal music with a singer!” The band is certainly a change from the sound of modern Death metal or the style of Thrash. Their melody and punch is reminiscent of older Living Color or Fishbone, but their speed and edge sound more like that of older Queensryche, which is further built by vocalist Mark Mueller’s singing style. Officially, they are described in their biography as “a serious, malicious attitude with aggressive, intelligent songwriting combined with an adrenaline-induced stage show” This and their energetic, fresh production style make this band’s newest effort, ‘Drive By’, a very worthwhile addition to the metal world. Monte continues about the origin of the band. “We formed in ’85 in after-school detention. We jammed and jammed, skipping school. After Dan’s mom ran over his big muff he switched to bass with me on guitar. Curt could play ‘Fast as a Shark’ double bass in high school so that was bad ass. We Jammed instrumental shows, which introduced us to Mark Mueller who became our vocalist - and we made out ‘01986’ demo, unleashing to the world the ugliness of Oliver Magnum” This recording lead to a nationwide tour, appearances on some compilation tapes, and signing to Colossal/Restless, which led to their self-titled LP. Oliver Magnum’s latest release is a 5 song EP called ‘Drive By’. Monty explains “We recorded ‘Drive By’ ourselves. We did 6 songs to send to some labels, and we put 5 out for our fans. We did it in our own studio, the ‘Vamm Room’ and recorded it on an eight track. It was engineered and mixed by our own fifth man Mr. Howard Worthen. It was great recording because we did it all ourselves and the mistakes we made were ours - not someone else tellin’ us what to do or sound like.” Dan adds “If you people out there haven't got ‘Drive By’ yet -It’ll blow your fraggin mind out... Like a bullet to the brain, a wake up call from hell, a half-woman, half- alligator ripping your flesh....” The band is currently searching for a new recording deal with the EP, although they recently joined up with Transworld Music in a management deal. Although the band does travel frequently, Monte praises the surprisingly decent scene in Oklahoma. “Yeah, the scene in OK is cool. Lots of great fans and some good bands. We travel to Colorado, Missouri and Texas lots to play, and a couple of our tours have taken us all over” Dan adds “Oklahoma is a happening place... Lots of national acts and the locals are all really killer. We do travel a lot for other shows, we are fortunate enough to be able to travel rather cheap so we do it often.” This extensive roadwork has provided some interesting billing partners over the years. “Well since ‘Drive By’ has been out, we’ve done shows with Pantera, Savatage, Lizzy Borden and Nuclear Assault to name some cool ones. Most shows we do with bands from this area” says Monte. He continues on about past shows “Some of the greats we’ve shared bills with besides the ones I already mentioned are Armored Saint, Jag Panzer, Megadeth, Anthrax and Metal Church. Death Angel and Forbidden were real cool as well. One real great show was the Troubadour in Los Angeles, where King Diamond’s Mikkey Dee sat in with us and we did ‘Welcome Home’ it was a fuckin mind blower man!!!” Dan tells of his favorite experience too. “Last band we played with was ‘Cold Gin’. a Kiss tribute band! What a good time!! The Gene Simmons looking guy was great! I’m a true Kiss fan so it was a blast.” He continues, “I’ve enjoyed Wrathchild America, that was a good time for us. We enjoyed Pantera, they’re the nicest fellows in the world and the crew is just a killer so that eases things quite a bit. I liked Arcane, also Forte, Mystik Force and others so its always fun but some bands just have asshole crews. Lizzy Borden’s crew was cool as fuck yet Lizzy (Lazy, Smizzy, Wizzy) was a jerk-off.” The influences this group has are very diverse. “This week? Robert Johnson, Ramones, Marillion, Brutal Truth, Type O Negative, Sick Of It All, Wrathchild America and the new Flotsam.” says Monte, explaining his listening tastes. “Right now, Alice in Chains. I’m also into a lot of St. Vitus, LL Cool J, Rollins Band” replies Dan. He also continues, mentioning bands he would work with. “The Ramones, Sepultura, AC/DC, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Trouble, anyone is good for me. I just like to rock. It doesn’t matter national act or a local thing, its all balls out rockin’” As work on ‘Drive By’ promotion continues, the band is keeping very busy. “Well, I’ve been workin’ on tons of interviews from the ‘Drive By’ campaign! And we are doing new studio work this week - on 10 brand new tunes, so my fingers have been burnin’ the new ones up.” exclaims Monte. Future goals? “To get a full length CD out this year, plus a video for the song ‘Worlds of Peace’ and to do some tour dates with Nuclear Assault in March” says Monte. Dan adds “Writing songs, practicing, staying sober, and looking for rare LP’s!” Oliver Magnum is definitely a unique force in metal, and a bunch of pretty cool guys as well. If you want to check out their EP, or their ‘Force Fed’ fan newsletter, drop them a line! **************** * JACKHAMMER * **************** “JACKHAMMER is a good mix between death metal and hardcore music”, says J.W. Baker, vocalist of the Indiana band. Baker, plus Andy Snider as drummer, Edward Baun on guitar, and D.J. M on second guitar make up the troops of crossover hardcore metal. “Austin and I live in Bloomington, but the band is based in Indianapolis” says Baker. The Indiana area hasn’t always been known for its thriving underground scene, but the band seems to get by. “Yes actually we have lots of opportunities to play... This month (march) we are playing in March in Louisville at the Enterprise, in Dayton, Ohio at the New Space and Indianapolis.” “Indianapolis is okay, take it or leave it...” He explains. “The hardcore scene is cool, could be better, could be worse..” A host of other bands are in the area of Indianapolis and Louisville, some of which Jackhammer works with. “[We hang out ] with Split Lip, a band from Indianapolis.. The new Kinghorse from Louisville, and Endpoint from Louisville..”. But he explains the Bloomington scene quite simply. “Sucks. Bloomington is just a bunch of fuckers listening to John Mellencamp and REM. The only music scene are these ‘college rock’ bands playing Nirvana covers at bars with overpriced drinks. If I ran into someone in the streets listening to Death metal, I’d probably shit my pants.” He adds “my only friend is Jon Konrath, i hate all other human beings.” The first Jackhammer demo is a nice mixture of metal and hardcore, with a tight sound and a good amount of energy to it. “Our demo was recorded at the Sonic Iguana, in ten hours... JACKHAMMER produced the tape itself and it is pretty good, but we do have our complaints.. We really could have used someone who really knew what the fuck they were doing. All and all the demo was a pretty good beginning for us as a band...” Baker adds “Austin was releasing the demo on his label Catalyst Records, but now anyone can write me and have one for a big three bucks.....” “JACKHAMMER has really made a good name for itself and the response we have gotten has been incredible...” states Baker. In fact, Recently, Jackhammer was given a deal to record a seven inch that will get decent distribution. “On April the 18th JACKHAMMER is going back to the studio to record for a record, that will come out on ‘C and J’ records which is a division of Doghouse and will be distributed by Cargo.” One problem in a small scene has been keeping a consistent lineup who is willing to rough it through the bad parts of the band’s development. John, explaining some of his lineup maladies, says “yea, we gave our old guitarist the boot because he was just too fucking lazy.. As JACKHAMMER became more serious Clay, our old guitarist, started to drag behind. so now we have DJ and he is working out really well and he is excited to be in JACKHAMMER” There were also other problems. “Yeah, our bassist Austin decided to quit and that really fucked us over. He was a real jerk-off about it, and just ‘didn’t like the direction we were taking’ so he just fucking leaves while shows and recording is scheduled. Luckily this dude named Damien is playing now, we didn’t know how good he was but when he rehearsed with us he was fucking awesome! Plus its killer to have someone named Damien in your band.” John was eager to detail the differences between his work and that of more generic hardcore bands. “All of our songs are about my life basically, things i have done or seen.. You will not find pointless lyrics in JACKHAMMER songs, all the songs have real meaning..” He continues “I write all the songs.. Well, I work out the lyrics. Sometimes having a band split between two towns can make me distant from the musical end. But it does work out cool, I mean the band can practice out shit while I’m not there, then on the weekends we can all jam together.” When discussing influences, he continued to explain their originality. “our influences are really varied.. Mostly JACKHAMMER tries to make music that is really original and that can not be easily labeled.. JACKHAMMER has the theory that people look for something new, and we try to give that to them..” Baker does add “well, one big influence for me has been that of serial killers. I have this book about serial killers and I read it all the time, and I think this sways my writing style. I figure if I don’t make music my life, I’ll probably become a mass murderer. Maybe like that dude in Waco. Did you know he fucked all those chicks he was holding hostage? That’s pretty rad.” Back on the subject, he explains his musical tastes. “I listen to nothing but death metal, not anything else... I like bands like Entombed, Carcass, Dismember, Desultory, Nuclear Winter, and Sepultura” The Jackhammer frontman continued to discuss other aspects of the industry. “What pisses me off the most is that the music industry is that it is run by politics.. It is all who you know or whether you can make the label big bucks with stupid gimmicks.. I hate MTV and Ricky Racktman and Headbangers Ball can fucking blow me. Fuck all glam rock trash.” Before we closed, Baker continued about his direction. “I don’t know what I’m going to do, I really don't want to continue school, I really just want to be in a band and hang out and do nothing. See how much of an out and out loser i can become.. Get lots of tattoos and just hang out and be in a band. I’m sick of working in a fucking bagel shop” If you are interested in Jackhammer, drop them a line at 300 N. Bryan St., Bloomington, IN 47408. ************************** * SCENE REPORT - EARTH * ************************** Hello and welcome to the news article that says "Who really gives a fuck?" Lots of stuff has been up, lots of bands are in the studio now or are hitting the road. Morbid Angel is currently working on their new album, Covenant, with Flemming Rasmussen, and is aiming for a late spring/early summer release.... Sepultura are in pre-production of their fifth album, with a release date of fall 1993 expected.... Type O Negative entered the studio in January to record their third album, Bloody Kisses. The album will be produced by their keyboard player Josh. Working titles include “Christian Woman”, “Kill all the white people” and “I fucked your mom”. Look for a spring release.... Atheist is currently working on material for a new album.... Exhorder is also working on a new album.... The original lineup of Mercyful Fate has reformed and signed to Metal Blade records. King Diamond, Hank Shermann, Michael Denner and Timi Hansen started recording February 1st at Dallas Sound Lab Studios, and are working on “a heavy, disturbing recording very much in the vein of Melissa and Don't Break The Oath”. A US tour is expected to follow.... Death will have a new release in June and a US tour sometime in August. Pestilence will soon be recording their 4th release, replacing temporary bassist Tony Choy with Jereon P. Thesseli. Speaking of Tony Choy, Cynic will be recording their debut album Focus this March. Vio-gression vocalist Brian DeNeffe has been working as a fifth member to the band recently. And, because Sean Reinert will be playing drums for Cynic, Gene Hoglan, formerly of Dark Angel, will be filling in for him on the next Death recording. Bassist Skott Carino will be involved in the project, which will start in Morrisound in early 1993....Paradise Lost will have an EP called As I Die, featuring the title track, “Rape of Virtue”, “Death Walks Behind You”, and a live version of “Eternal”. There will be a coinciding US tour....Benediction’s third album Eye of the Rubicon will be out soon.... Both Entombed and Dismember have finished recording new LP’s at Sunlight. Entombed working titles include “Heavens Die”, “Hollowman”, “Demon” and “Eyemaster” while Dismember has cuts named “Fleshless” and “Sorrowfill”. The two groups switched off studio time in two week intervals for the projects. Revenant, who were dropped from Nuclear Blast, recently signed with Rage records.... Sadus has been dropped from Roadrunner records.... Asphyx broke up due to personal differences. Martin Van Duren will replace L.G. Petrov in Comecon.... Sin Eater and Butchery have both broken up.... Cyclone Temple have replaced Brian Troch with vocalist Marco Salinas.... Bob Rusay of Cannibal Corpse recently left the band due to personal conflicts. Guitarrist Rob Barrett of Solstice and Malevolent Creation is filling in for their Tomb of The Mutilated tour.... Malevolent Creation have been reformed by John Rubin, guitar, and drummer Mark Simpson, they have a live EP but it isn't available on their label. It includes the "Piece By Piece" studio cover and is available from Flesh Fest distribution. Broken Hope were pulled from the Grindcore International deal by Metal Blade records. Look for a new release by them on MBR in the near future. Gwar was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Music Video - Long Form for their “Phallus in Wonderland” video. They are also in negotiation with producers for a feature length film... Brutal Truth recently released the world’s shortert video at 2.5 seconds, consisting of 64 frames of political footage whizzing by on-screen. Sepultura’s Max Cavalera and girlfriend/manager Gloria Bujnowski are the proud parents of a baby boy born January 19, 1993. Zyon Graziano Cavalera will have a cameo appearance on the forthcoming Sepultura album; ‘dad’ brought his DAT to the hospital and recorded newborn Zyon’s heartbeat. Bolt Thrower will be touring the US in April with Benediction and Disincarnate... Also there’s a spring tour with Deicide, Vader, and Dismember.... and I'm outa time! Keep up to date and away from CNN!! -Jon ******************************* * SCENE REPORT - CALIFORNIA * ******************************* The California Scene: From the way I’ve seen It in the past. The Facts: California concert tickets are purchased through the bass ticket outlet. Also, northern California tickets run through three major clubs that I know of: Santa Clara’s “One Step Beyond”, Oakland’s “The Omni”, and San Francisco’s “The Stone”. As far as Southern California is concerned I don’t know. A lot of bigger bands that come through get paid a certain amount at these Clubs. How much they get paid I will never know. Hopefully the acts get paid a fair chunk of money, especially, if they pack these clubs. Unsigned local California bands such as Pax Mortis, Unprovoked, Exhumed, Immortal Fate, Habeas Corpus, Phobia, and Mutilus Mucus (just to name a few) are forced to sell tickets to play these shows. For instance, at the Omni there is a 70 ticket minimum that a band has to sell. The tickets usually sell for around $8 each with the club claiming $5 profit and the bands getting $3. If you don’t sell all of your tickets you will go in the hole. Some bands, such as Exhumed, Immortal Fate and possibly many others sell their tickets for $5 instead of $8 in hope of getting rid of the tickets for the opportunity to play in lieu of profit for the band. Rich, the guitar player from Immortal Fate told me straight up what he thought of it. As of right now they aren’t playing gigs at the Omni because of having to “pay to play”. In other words, there are not many opportunities for unsigned bands to play. For our band Pax Mortis it is especially tough to sell tickets, not only because it’s hard to sell 70 tickets but that we live 2 hours away. Who the hell is willing to drive 2 hours to see us play at $8 bucks a pop? Our other alternative is to travel to other shows and try to sell our tickets for upcoming shows. Hopefully one day Pax Mortis and other bands can work out a deal with the clubs to let our bands open for signed bands just to get recognition. Then we could get a mailing list started. You figure that the signed act or headlining act should draw the crowds in the first place. A lot of clubs in California are great healthy places to play at. The security is good, the bands are good and the crowds are nice. Its just frustrating for Pax Mortis to have to pay out of pocket to play at some of these clubs if we don’t break even on ticket sales. Just to play this type of music is gratifying in itself for us. Enough bitching!! As I say these were the facts as I know them. -Aaron Copelan ******************************** * SCENE REPORT - ELKHART, IN * ******************************** Satan help us. The only thing even close to a scene here is the band Afterlife, who are picking up a lot of momentum and will be releasing a new album real soon now. Besides this it’s just people in lowered pickup trucks listening to little boys with their pants on backward. The next time I see Jon I’m killing him for making me write a scene review for this hellhole. -Ray Miller ************************** * DEICIDE BOMB THREATS * ************************** Deicide and Glen Benton had a few problems on their European tour last December. In early December, the band was playing at Fryshuset Club in Stockholm, Sweden, and during a set being played by Therion, a bomb went off near a fire exit. The bomb would have gone off during the Deicide set, but due to delays, they were still waiting to play. The explosion tore apart an entire wall and a piece of the roof, and injured several people. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt, and Deicide got to play a short set before the police cleared the place out. The whole deal got front-page news coverage plus TV news looked at it too. The following letter showed up at Roadrunner records for Deicide: ANIMAL MILITIA MANCHESTER CELL AN OPEN LETTER TO GLEN BENTON AND DEICIDE. WHEN YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT TO PERFORM AT MANCHESTER’S INTERNATIONAL 2 AND LONDON’S ASTORIA ON 16TH AND 17TH OF DECEMBER, YOU EFFECTIVELY SIGNED YOUR DEATH CERTIFICATE. NOT EVEN SATAN HIMSELF WILL PROTECT YOU ONCE YOU SET FOOT IN ENGLAND. R.I.P. Benton’s reply to the European press was “Crush the Christians! Kill me if you can. And if I meet the guy who’s been making those threats, I’ll rip his tongue out of his throat. That’s no threat. I mean it!” A week later the following showed up at Roadracer’s London office: ANIMAL MILITIA MANCHESTER CELL RE: DEICIDE STOCKHOLM WAS JUST A TASTE OF WHAT IS TO COME. BENTON IS LIVING HIS SCHOOLBOY FANTASY BUT WON’T SUFFER ENOUGH, WE’LL TRY OUR BEST! WEDNESDAY 16TH DECEMBER AT A VENUE WE KNOW INSIDE OUT, THIS IS GOING TO BE ARMAGEDDON. THIS IS THE FINAL WARNING, SHIT, IF SALMAN RUSHTIE HAD BENTON’S BRAIN HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD YEARS AGO. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME Security was increased during the UK dates, and at the Manchester date, someone threw what was thought to be a bomb. After calling in a bomb squad and evacuating the club and surrounding homes, the police found a false bomb made with a clock and some wires. Deicide finished the remainder of the European tour without major incident, and are currently in the states rehearsing before their third Roadrunner records release. ************* * REVIEWS * ************* AT DEATH’S DOOR II compilation (Roadrunner) This is a pretty decent showcase of Roadrunner’s talent and variety, and has a lot of neat stuff on it, whether you are a new fan looking for a good sampler or an old guru looking for new rare tracks. There are 12 tracks on here, and you get some LP material from Fear Factory, Gorguts, Sorrow, Atrocity, Skin Chamber and Immolation. But also you also get half an album full of unreleased stuff. Disincarnate does a demo song, Suffocation does a song from their upcoming LP, and Cynic has a cut from their demo. Also Death does a so-so Kiss cover, Malevolent Creation covers Slayer’s “Piece By Piece”, and Brujeria has a track from their 7". I liked the variety on here, but I did find that the 12 tracks made a kindof short compilation, especially if half of them are old songs. However this is still something to look for, especially if you like a variety of stuff. -Jon BOLT THROWER - The IVth Crusade (Earache) Bolt Thrower returns with their heaviest album to date. Precision lead guitar soars above, entices, and then hangs over exceptionally heavy grindcore rhythm guitar and thundering death metal double-bass hell drums, augmented with inventive bass guitar palpitating. Chords flow into one another with the fluidity and confidence of a prowling boa constrictor, over which roar the raging winds of terror hurling forth abstract lyrics about the fantastic. A tremendous ambient heaviness emanates from this music, whether emerging from drifting bass tones or from purely tremendous rhythmic pulsating apocalyptic battering guitar. This album sounds like the fibrillation of a dying heart; even in the slabs of monster distortion-build chords which achieve impact and then resonate in the stillness there is a sense of urgency and despair. Overall, it is beautiful. Bolt Thrower bring to us a world of fantasy that overlaps far too much onto real world problems and emptiness to be frivolous, and sings it with the conviction of the already executed. An amazing sense of purpose and conviction pervades this album. -S.R. Wow, I didn't think anything would match Warmaster's power, but this not only reaches the mark, but avoids redundancy. Brutal integrated drums and grinding guitars set the scene for agonizing riffage and deadly vocals. This is definitely one of the top ten for the year. -Jon CANDIRU - Unloved and Weeded Out (Release) I don’t know if I’m starting to like industrial more over time, or if some of this stuff is just getting a lot more metal influenced. At any rate, Candiru would be classified as an industrial band, but I think a lot of metalheads would like it too. This 10-song LP is really automated and repetitive in places, and it really has some bizarre stuff in it. It even breaks off into prose with synth background in places. There are really excellent samples all over the place, and it has a really high-tech feel to it. It isn’t metal, but it has a lot of power and precision. It feels like a future world soundtrack, something violent in the same context that nuclear weapons are violent. It isn’t straight heads-up terror, it is an implied heaviness from the technical feel. Great stuff... -Jon AUTOPSY - Acts Of The Unspeakable (Vile) Autopsy’s newest and sickest! 18 tracks to mangle your mind. Although they have mostly been known for slow to mid-paced Doom/Death on their 4 previous releases, the bay area quartet crank it up to a good fast grind on many of these tunes, notably “Tortured Moans of Agony”, “Battery Acid Enema”, “Blackness Within” and “Skullptures”. But on other selections such as “Your Rotting Face”, “Funereality” and “Pub/Rot” Autopsy continues the approach found on their classic older material. There should be something here for both old and new fans (me being a new fan). As for the production, it is excellent, the band handling it themselves at Starlight Sound. There are, however, a couple of glitches in the engineering that you will notice if you listen through headphones. Also, all gore freaks should check out the “Deluxe ultra-sicko edition” which includes lyrics and a horrific painting by Kent Mathieu. Chris Reifert handles drum and vocals well, his guttural growlings repulsive throughout, and Danny Corrales’ guitar work is technical, yet not overbearingly so. This is an excellent release from some Death metal pioneers! -Adam I guess someone has to compete with Cannibal Corpse for sickest cover art and lyrics. And like the Corpse’s Tomb..., this album comes in a “clean” no lyrics version and the “Deluxe, Ultra Sicko edition” If you buy the censored version, I’ll personally hunt you down and kill you slowly ya fuckin douche. Anyway, musically this varies from slow Death to a near Grind. The lyrics are kinda silly and I’ve never been a huge fan of Reifert’s vocal style, but this is brutal stuff. Autopsy may not be my #1 favorite band, but you can fucking count on ‘em to be totally sick and heavy. And they continue to expand their style a bit with each release. That’s a strong point. In this case, strong enough. -Ray DEATH IS JUST THE BEGINNING II compilation (Nuclear Blast America) This compilation is a hefty source of new metal for any fan. We’re talking 21 tracks of unreleased material by pretty much every Nuclear Blast America band. From Benediction to Pungent Stench, from Deceased to Disharmonic Orchestra, from Fetish 69 to Dismember, there is a lot of ground covered, and a lot of variety. There isn’t much bad to say about this thing, there is so much stuff that the cassette is hard to reference, you really need a CD and its index. Besides that though, this is money well spent, a very good investment into Death! -Jon DEICIDE - Amon: Feasting The Beast (Roadrunner) I really liked both of Deicide’s LP’s, but I saw little point in this. This 10 track album is a reissue of the two demos that Amon made. (Amon was Deicide’s original name) Every song with the exception of this intro track can be found on Deicide’s LP’s, and they also include two versions of “Sacrificial Suicide”, further adding in the monotony. Some of the songs vary a bit from the album versions, but the concept is a lot like that of a live album that sounds basically the same as a studio album with no new tracks. Imagine Deicide’s first album, recorded in a garage, with less talent and not as much harmonizer. Now take away the cool artwork and mystique behind Benton’s Satanism and you have this. Actually one of the demos was recorded in Morrisound, but you really realize how much production goes into a Deicide album after hearing this. Yeah, it might make a good collector’s item or whatever, but I think they just wanted a fast buck. Don’t waste your cash, get their other two albums with your money and you won’t miss much. -Jon GENERAL SURGERY - Necrology EP (Relapse) Although this was recorded in November, 1990, this was only recently released by Relapse Records. This is basically a Swedish “supergroup” of death, featuring members of Dismember, Afflicted and Creamatory, plus Exit-13. The 5 songs on this musically draw a lot from old Carcass, but with a more direct, straight-forward feel and much better production (courtesy of good ol’ reliable Sunlight Studios and good ol’ reliable Tomas Skoksberg). Lyrically, the quote on the back cover pretty much sums it up: “Murder is the only way to kill time”. “Severe Catatonia in Pathology" is the sickest on the disk, with the happy overtones. Also the opening instrumental “Ominous Lamentation” will be of interest. With nice packaging and production, this is a worthy addition to any Death/Gore metaller’s collection! -Adam DESULTORY - Into Eternity (Metal Blade) GO BUY THIS NOW. PUT DOWN THIS MAGAZINE AND GO BUY THIS ALBUM NOW, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO KILL PEOPLE GO GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Desultory are new Gods of metal straight from the capitol of the underground, Stockholm, Sweden. This 9 track prophecy of the art was recorded at Sunlight studios and is probably one of the best albums I have heard leave the hands of producer Tomas Skosberg. Every song on the debut release is a perfect example of the power, rage, and speed of a brutal Swedish group, but the music stays a step ahead of the rest of the generic crowd of Entombed-wannabe’s. The songs talk about depression, hate, pain and negative feelings. They aren’t overly satanic like Entombed, or gory like Dismember (actually Dismember’s vocalist Matti Karki sings backup vocals on the song “Depression”) The feel of the album isn’t that it is a copy, they are their own sound. And the entire album is just a library of new sounds, they don’t cop any of the cliche riffs or fills like so many other bands. My only complaint is if you listen to the demos a lot and then listen to the album, it is a little different. It isn’t as raw, it has a thicker sound, not as sharp but then it is well produced. I don’t have a favorite song, I’m still listening to the entire album all the way through every day. I suggest you do the same. -Jon MY DYING BRIDE - As The Flower Withers (Caroline/Peaceville) Well, the Latin lyrics threw me, but other than that, I'm reasonably impressed. Eerie violin adds to the Doom element and poetic lyrics (when in English) add credibility. I still like their EP better, but this is growing on me. The power and emotion behind the vocals make me think of Nick Holmes (Paradise fuckin' Lost), although Aaron is rawer. I'm anxious to hear more from this band, but I have to wonder if they can pull it off live (like the violin parts). -Ray DISMEMBER - Pieces EP (Nuclear Blast) My immediate disappointment on this was that the American version has a different back cover than a European version I saw. But the original cover is there, a cool picture of the 5 member’s heads severed with their hair all tied in one knot. Aside from that bummer, I like this six song work, I thought the production was a bit cleaner than the stuff on “Like An Everflowing Stream” and some of the stuff seems way heavier too. "Pieces” is really fucking pounding, and “I Wish You To Hell” is also majorly vicious. My favorite track is probably “Torn Apart”, which isn't on the European version. This is a pretty decent deal, and is a good supplement to their recent LP, it was awesome to get this because I couldn’t get enough after the album. This is a must-have. -Jon SAINT VITUS - C.O.D. (Nuclear Blast) Hmm, I'm not a real big fan of doom metal. This band used to be on SST, and they have been around forever. They are a good alternative band, they are really tight, and have a unique sound. The album is a decent progression from their older stuff, the recording is clean and the songs are cool and all. But, even though they have a bit of a metal edge to them, they are neither fast nor tearing, and they are probably not that appealing to a lot of people into metal. If you are into alternative and doom, and get into that kindof stuff, it isn’t a bad album. But if you’re the world’s biggest Morbid Angel fan, don’t rush to the stores and buy this expecting a really grating, speed packed album. It isn’t. -Jon WINTER - Into Darkness (Nuclear Blast America) Feel the winter grind you away.... This New York City/Long Island group is SLOW, and I don’t mean that as an insult. They would be best described as ultra-heavy, ultra-slow doom metal. They start their sonic attack at a heavy, crushing stride and slow to a pummeling subsonic terror. There is so much low end in this recording, I wouldn’t recommend listening to it on a weak stereo, and I seldom listen to this while walking to class, because my feet strangely become atomically heavy and it takes me an hour to get there. These guys aren’t Death, or thrash, but are a totally separate breed that refuses to be labelled. The lyrics talk about how screwed up the world is, all the problems with oppression and certain destruction are the topics. They have decent musical ability, and the recording is great. This is something really unusual that I don’t think everyone would get into, but on those days when you wake up and feel like the end is near, remember the harshness of Winter, it sets the scene for certain doom. -Jon GOREFEST - False (Nuclear Blast America) This is a pretty fresh sound in the underground. The content of this soundscape from Holland touches on a lot of different aspects of groups I like, but also has a good original feel to it. Jan-Chris de Koeyer sounds a lot like Barney from Napalm Death, but doesn’t directly cop it. In fact, a lot of little things here and there remind me of Napalm Death. But there are a lot of reminders of Pestilence, and Carcass too. Colin Richardson did do the mix on the album, giving it the high-end sound that Fear Factory and Carcass obtained. Lyrically, the title says it all. Some of the stuff is reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse, but they aren’t as shocking, it all blends in very well. But the striking thing is there is a lot of originality in places, working with stuff we all love now, which makes it something I really keep picking up and hearing over and over again. And you gotta love some of their sound samples.... -Jon AFFLICTED - Prodigal Sun (Nuclear Blast America) Psychedelic Death metal? Well, yeah, that sums this up. This sure doesn’t sound like something I’d expect from Sunlight. There are places that are very stock Death metal, with the Swedish grinding guitars and galloping drum and bass frenzying the beat. But, there are spots that the group goes off on a tangent, really deeply drawing on their roots in older 1960’s psychedelic rock. The result: a truly unique and entertaining blend of Death with a truly new source of influence. The recording is tight, and overly deep, it has a great sound. Although some people might find this a little far out, I found that it had enough Death in it that it was brutal and great to kill to, but it had enough strangeness to it to keep me on my toes. Truly a unique recording. -Jon GORGUTS - The Erosion of Sanity (Roadrunner) Hmm, this group is just a bit TOO influenced by Cannibal Corpse at times. The Canadian group produces a Deathly mix of tunes depicting the gruesomeness of the world. Its a really tight recording, and the playing on it is much better than their earlier stuff, they have really refined their stuff. But, I did find this to sound a LOT like Cannibal Corpse, it didn’t have that extra punch to put it above the mark. -Jon DISEMBOWLMENT - Dusk (Relapse) This is part of Relapse’s “Underground Series”, which I guess is supposed to be a sort of label-released, demo-feeling line of recordings. At any rate, the album has 3 tracks. Two tracks, “The Tree of Life and Death” and “A Burial at Ornans” are from Disembowlment’s 1991 demo Deep Sensory Procession Into Aural Fate and a third track, “Cerulean Transcience of All My Imagined Shores” is a previously unreleased item. These songs are pretty slow, in a Winter-style grating, but I wouldn’t say they have the same approach or style. There is a certain amount of power behind this work, but it doesn’t come across real well. I was very dissatisfied with the production of the album. First of all, it sounds like it was in the worst room acoustically possible; it sounds a lot like it was recorded at a gig or something. It isn’t a poor quality of recording though, it is just not very punchy or powerful. In places during “The Tree of Life and Death” where there was a break and the guitar should have jumped out and grabbed you, the guitar level was abnormally low and it didn’t do anything for the level of energy. There is just a certain amount of sharpness missing in production. The last track picked up a bit, and the constant, clear eerie rhythm guitar really stood out ok, and the drums sounded a bit better. But this production, plus the fact that the songs dragged on forever, really made this of little interest to me. I think with more powerful production and less of an emphasis on long musical essays, the talent shown here could really come out. But I’ve got to give a thumbs down to this entry in the Underground Series. I wouldn’t want to pay label price for a cd that gave me demo-price quality. -Jon MASTERS OF MISERY - Black Sabbath: an Earache Tribute (Earache) If you’re in the states and can find this, do whatever you have to do to get a copy of this. This is licensed to Toy’s Factory records in Japan, so an American version can cost you in upwards of $35. But.. The big deal is this is an 11 track compilation of Black Sabbath covers by Earache bands. Pitch Shifter do a cover of “N.I.B.” that is tough as hell, but sounds NOTHING like the original slow and grinding Sabbath song, it is an automated, punching rhythm with screaming precise vocals and sampling. Fudge Tunnel takes the slow and soothing ballad of “Changes” and start with business as usual, then all hell breaks loose and its a triple-fast screaming rendition that pushes the 70’s tune to future speed. Scorn does an eerie ten minutes plus version of “The Wizard”, with haunting effects- laden lyrics and dissonant guitars in the background, adding to the mystique. Lee Dorian of Cathedral does what I think is his best lyrical appearance to date on “Shock Wave” and Ole Bjarkebakke’s lyrics are the coolest addition to Cadaver’s near-stock recording of “Sweet Leaf”. Add appearances by Sleep, OLD, Godflesh, Confessor and Brutal Truth and you’ve got one hell of an interesting mix of stuff. This is probably one of the coolest collector’s items I have next to my Haunted Garage double 7" with 3-d cover and read an blue clear vinyl disks, and If you see this, it is worth it. -Jon TOUCH OF DEATH compilation (Cargo/Black Mark) This ten track compilation gives you a feel for what kind of metal Black Mark has to offer, and is a great mix of music. It's worth the price just for Edge Of Sanity's Enigma, and having Blood and Iron by Bathory on the same CD makes it really worth your while. Black Mark has a lot of bands with a good European sound but without the cliché Swedish sound you hear so much of. Stuff like Fleshcrawl, Seance, Cemetary and Necrosanct give this a really good variety and make it something that is almost necessary in anyone's collection. Even though it is only 10 tracks, with Bathory coming in at almost ten minutes, Fleshcrawl at almost seven, and Rossicrucian doing their 6:15 Within The Silence, you're talking about a damn long disk. Cargo stuff is still hard to find in this part of the country, but push your retailer for this, the compilation and the bands within are something you're going to want to get familiar with in the world of brutal music. -Jon AMORPHIS - The Karelian Isthmus (Relapse) Amorphis is a balanced speed of Death metal, with a brutal attack of powerful guitarwork intertwined with a Gothic blend of synthesizer. The Karelian Isthmus is a historic battlefield in Finland, and is the perfect name for this pummeling 12-song work. This has a lot of smoother, mystical intros and backing work, but the quartet keeps the ferocity of true Death up front. The recording is very demonstrative of the work at Sunlight with Skoksberg at the board, and the mixture of guitars and the occasional synth nicely preface the pounding rhythm of bass and drums, with a perfect growling of lyrics by Tomi Koivusaari. This is a pretty decent recording, pretty technical but still brutal and worth it. -Jon SKULLCRUSHERS compilation (Relativity) This doesn't feature any newer stuff, but is more of a 'historical' compilation. It showcases "ten selections from ten very different bands who all staked their claim to fame as leaders of the aggressive underground movement of the Eighties." It goes as far back as early Megadeth with Skull Beneath the Skin, and highlights include Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Prong, Death, Voivod, Obituary and Celtic Frost. Like I mentioned, no real new stuff. But it is a cool combination of sons, and I really enjoy listening to the mix of old favorites. -Jon GOD IS LSD - Spirit of Suicide (Century Media) Thomas Ludke is the German equivalent to Al J from Ministry, a techno- pop wizard that is into project work in the industrial world. God Is LSD is his latest project, using 3 other studio musicians. This album has some of the heavy feel of a lot of older industrial, but it also is one of the more dance-oriented albums I’ve seen from this genre. There’s digital drumming and keyboards with a lot of guitar sampling and the overall mix is really precise, really snappy. But this is really not in the metal realm as much as it is pop-oriented, so unless you are a true industrial fan you might not get into this. But it is a great recording. -Jon SOULSTORM - Darkness Visible (Metal Blade) This Canadian three piece is an industrial act that is exported from Epidemic Records. This is pretty harsh lyrically, basing its sound on industrial. It isn’t really dance oriented because the structure of the 8 tracks can be surprising in places, and it doesn’t seem as Death metal based as it claims. The guitars aren’t as prominent as something like Malhavoc or Fear Factory, and the drums seem pretty automated. I’m thinking they might be more morbid live, playing shows in the past with Grave and Massacre. This does have a good sound to it and is an over-par industrial recording, even if it isn’t as crossover as some bands are. -Jon SOLSTICE - Solstice (Century Media) This is another product of the ever-popular Tampa scene, recently signed to Century Media. This is recorded in Morrisound with Scott Burns if this tells you anything right away. The music is pretty fast Death metal, with brutal lyrics and speedy soloing. The sound isn’t really cliche or repetitive. This didn’t totally jump out at me, but after listening a few more times it becomes much more appealing. Its still a pretty tight recording though and worth looking into. -Jon ANACRUSIS - Screams and Whispers (Metal Blade) This is the fourth release from St. Louis’ claim to progressive metal. These guys aren’t a Death or Thrash band, they have some of the accent and meter of a doom band but they have the balls and sharpness of a hard rock band. Its like Cathedral meets Fates Warning or something. Kenn Nardi’s lyrics are strange, they are sung in places and the phrasing is abnormal, but it gives the album a good feel. The drumwork by Paul Miles and John Emery’s bass lay down a really offbeat and unique foundation for the lucid guitarwork by Nardi and Kevin Heidbreder. The guitars blend pretty decently into the mix except for a well planned jump out of the pit for a sharp, distortion-clear solo of precision, or a harmonic, dual guitar chorus. Don’t forget the clear standalone guitar passages here and there. This concept probably won’t sit well with most fanatic headbangers, and even some more broad-tasted individuals may have to give it a second or third spin before it catches. But to me, it was worth it. -Jon *********** * DEMOS * *********** ANGELS IN EXILE (demo) This demo is a pretty thrash-influenced Death band, that has both a good original feel and enough ties to their roots to make something a lot of people can really get into. The New Mexico band has had a lot of work behind the demo, it is very well recorded, and is really tight. The songs are on the level of Sepultura, not terribly fast, but a lot of energy. There is a cool use or two of keyboards, and a really neat intro too. This is a pretty well done demo, there are parts that sound a tad cliche, but overall its got some power. Write to POB 3712 Albequerque, MN 87190-3712 -Jon HELLBOUND - Apocalyptic Visions (demo ’92) Although New York’s Hellbound call themselves a Death/thrash band, I tend to disagree with that. To my ears, they sound more like a thrashier version of Atheist or Sadus, possessing the prominent bass guitar & screaming vocals, respectively, of those bands, but with the simpler, less technical approach of bands like Vio-lence, D.R.I., or Exodus. Their drummer, however, has his own very cool style that “demands to be heard”! Amazing that this is their debut! Hellbound showcase their professionality in both instruments & songwriting throughout the four tunes on Apocalyptic Visions. The last two songs, “My Guilt is Silence” and “Infernal Ecstasy”, absolutely rage!!! And the icing on the cake is the stunning production - recorded on a 16-track machine, all instruments can be heard clearly, with drums and bass shining through especially! Quite a debut! HB should have a new demo out by the time you read this, but get their brutal first effort by sending a blank tape and return postage, to: J.D. Valladares 35 E. 208th ST., # 1J Bronx, NY 10467 -Adam DAB - Alice In Horrorland (demo) This French band is the prime example of a good Death metal band. There are no stupid gimmicks, and no weird cross-over influences, these guys just play straightforward vicious Death. The four song demo has speed, excellent guitarwork, great vocals, and is really tight. Its a really good recording, and has a really good color cover. This is a really good demo if you’re looking for a new Death metal band that has a good, unique sound. Write DAB c/o Richard DeCastro, Le Roudour, Servel, 22300 Lannion, FRANCE -Jon OLIVER MAGNUM - Drive By (demo) This Oklahoma band has a really cool sound to it, I would say they sound a lot like a white version of Living Color, maybe a little harder and not poser-ish, with a cool sound to them. Progressive metal might be another label. But then we all hate labels, don’t we? It’s kinda speedy, has a lot of energy, but its not too thrashy or Death-like. It has a really good sound to it though, the songs are really interesting, and they aren’t a bunch of posers or anything. In fact, they mentioned that Duff from GNR showed up at the show they hooked up with their current manager at, and he left after 2 songs. Cool enough for me. This is a well-produced album, very professional packaging and a lot of cool, informative, and humorous promo material. Like I said, these guys aren’t extreme metal, but they pack a punch and aren’t just another clone bar-band. Send $7 US/$8 World to Oliver Magnum, POB 3951, Enid, OK, 73702, USA -Jon PHANTASM - The Abominable (demo) I’ve heard a lot about this band ever since the Milwaukee Metalfest, and I’ve been seeing their fliers for this tape all over, so I’m glad I finally heard what its all about. This death band from Wisconsin has a really brutal sound, very grinding with tearing vocals and really awesome song content. "The Abominable” is about a guy who is severely burned and is trying to get surgery to cover his fucked up face. They do a cover of The Yardbirds’ song “For Your Love” The recording quality is great, and check out the incredible artwork on the j-card. Great demo! Send $6 US or $7 World to Phantasm c/o Doug Schoeneck, 3433 S. Wollmer Rd #209, West Allis, WI 53227 -Jon ENRAPTURED - 7 Song Demo ’92 (Demo) This is actually a combination of the unreleased 5-song Reconstrued Malfeasance demo and a new 2-song demo. Although the “Reconstrued” tunes, recorded as a 4 piece (Tino Lesicco on drums/vocals, Pierce Totty on Bass, Jason Smith on guitar and Justin Jones on guitar) and “included as bonus tracks because of the poor sound quality”, the 2 newsies with 2 new members (Dan Stoops, vocals and David Smith, 2nd guitar) actually have about the same sound and production. While Enraptured improved their musicianship in the 4 months between recording “The Downfall of Christianity” and “Abortion Consumed”, they show a decrease in songwriting skill, The older tunes like “The Execration” and “Probe the Flesh” contain headbangable Slayer/Carcass type riffs and deep, growly Karl Willetts/Barney Greenway style vocals. The new tracks, however, are generic highspeed Cannibal Corpse or Obituary-esque noise with annoyingly loud vocals and incessant double bass drumming. My advice: pick up this demo for the 5 excellent bonus tracks and ignore the 2 cheesy commercial fag songs. -Adam LANDFILL - Face The Insanity (Demo) Landfill is a three-piece industrial outfit consisting of Steveo (vocals), Todd (Guitar, drill) and Brian (bass). The demo uses a drum machine, and is 5 songs of pretty original industrial stuff. Yes, the band is names after the song by Pitchshifter, and their style is pretty reminiscent of their namesake. This wouldn’t be considered a metal crossover band of any sort, but the members have a lot of interest in areas outside of industrial such as Death and thrash. The structure is really techno and full of energy, with seldom a slow or simple moment throughout. Production is mediocre, there is a lot of ground covered and there is thick use of sampling and production tricks, but as with most industrial demos, it really needs to be hauled into a high-tech studio with a 5 digit budget to get the mastermind songwriting flawlessly executed. The present recording tends to be a bit thin and sounds a bit too ‘artificial’ in places. Hopefully their efforts will not go unnoticed and money from playing out and demo promotion will make this kick-ass work really shine. If you are into Godflesh, Ministry, NIN or any other industrial, check this group out! Only $5 (anywhere) to Landfill, 2904 “R” St., Vancouver, WA 98663 USA -Jon TIMEGHOUL - Tumultuous Travelings (demo) Perhaps the best demo I’ve heard since I began listening to Death Metal/Grindcore less than a year ago is Timeghoul’s debut 4-song, Tumultuous Travelings. Mixing elements of Immolation, Cathedral, Brutal Truth and Suffocation, this Foristell, Missouri quartet rage through “Rain- wound”, “The Siege”, “Gutspawn”, & “Infinity Coda”, with unmatched intensity and style. All the songs run over 5 minutes (“The Siege” is the longest), and much variation is contained within. Drummer Tony Holman can go from a high-speed “blast” beat, to a slow rhythm, and back to a fast part in the blink of an eye! Jeff Hayden’s vocals are brutal but different: Check out the singing part on “Siege” and the special FX on “Infinity Coda”! The band’s instrumental ability is second to none, as are their song writing skills, but this otherwise top-notch tape is marred by bad sound. There’s much flutter and warble, and the volume is rather low. With Timeghoul’s excellent musicianship, it’s a wonder that they haven’t been signed yet!! So hey! If anyone from Earache or Relapse or whoever is reading this, come on!! Pick up a pen and ink ‘em right now! It would be a shame if Timeghoul broke up before recording at least one album professionally! But until then, we’ve got this masterpiece! Write to vocalist/guitarist Jeff Hayden and send $4.00 U.S./$5.00 world for Tumultuous Travelings POB 32, FORISTEL, MO 63348-0032 USA -Adam WINDHAM HELL - Complete Awareness (Demo) Do not fear, for hell is here! This is probably one of the most bizarre releases I have received, but is really hip. L.T. Windham is a one man prophet of music, and his word is a strange, ethereal presence executed by the sole performer. This music is really far out, with some of the guitarwork being tranquil, soliloquy of the strings, and some being searing, grinding chords. This isn’t straightforward melody and lyrics, and it isn’t noise either. It is something that really has to be appreciated, but it has a lot of feeling and message to it. I guess if I was pressed to describe it, I would say try imagining an art-oriented guitarist like Steve Howe and making a solo work with the soul of a metal-oriented individual and then tape 7 unique songs on a tape. This isn’t something the tried- and-true headbanger is going to get into, but if you appreciate a lot more theoretical music you’d like this. Oh, include about a jillion pages of lyrics, pictures, stories and about everything but 2 forms of picture ID in the promo packet. If you want the most unique and enjoyable demo you’ll ever hear, send $5 to L.T. Windham, 9405-384th ave SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065 USA -Jon CANDY STRIPER DEATH ORGY - Alter Nations (Demo) This is a rather unique crossover band from the New Hampshire area that incorporates hardcore drumming and grindcore singing, plus a wild mix of song structure for a really unique sound. Eric Park and Eric Paone mix vocal duties for a decent variation of the thrash growl, and Jim Mazarakis has a great snappy drum sound that occasionally breaks into a faster death-like pounding. Basil Clarke and Paone combine guitar duties with Park’s bassmanship for a varying pattern of death metal riffs and hardcore styles. This, plus an occasional glance back into older Thrash really keeps your head reeling. The 4 songs are nicely produced and recorded, and talk about war, genocide and nuclear power. I guess the guys want to extend a big “fuck you” to the Seabrook nuclear power plant. Overall this is a good recording, but you’ll probably have trouble finding one unless you’re quick, they go fast! Send $5 to CSDO c/o Eric Park, 601 Washington St., Haverhill, MA 01832 -Jon DAMNATION - Volume Two (demo) San Diego, California trio DAMNATION have been playing together since late 1990, and Volume Two, their second effort (naturally), is a professionally done, musically mature release that, unfortunately, is lacking in the songwriting department. The two-song tape features rather boring lyrics about insanity and nightmares, generic Sodom/Kreator style thrash/death, and monotone Jorgen Sandstrom-style vocals. That said, the songs do grow on you after a few listens, but I haven’t had the urge to constantly replay them, as I did with, say, Timeghoul!! As I said, the cassette is pro-packed and recorded, with excellent production (this is the sound Timeghoul should have had) courtesy of a 24-track studio and a great purple logo on the cover! Fans of Possessed and other early Death/thrash will dig this. Send $3.00 for the tape, to 926 St, George Ct., Spring Valley, CA 91977 -Adam CROSS FADE - Ruined (Demo) This New York State band’s 3 track demo is pretty much straightforward grindcore metal in the style of Cannibal Corpse, but more oriented at Death metal’s evil lyrics then the typical gore lyrics a band with their sound might use. The three tracks, “Ruined”, “Rape For Profit” and “Born Against” are all full-speed, tearing metal, with decent production pulling in a great guitar sound, and some really pounding drum work. There are some interesting time changes and it isn’t boring or dragging. I like how they occasionally break into a strange acoustic guitar part then jump right back into high speed moshing, the guitar work on here is great, John Tinger, their guitarist really knows what the hell he’s doing. But the reason I love this demo is the cover picture of a bombed out church... $4 (US) /$5 (World) Cross Fade, 191 Mastic Blvd. , Mastic, NY 11950 USA -Jon ETERNAL TORMENT - (demo) This is a DAMN speedy demo. This 3-piece have a lot of things that really remind me of an American version of Carcass that has a strange Napalm Death influence. Al Costa sounds enough like Barney to remind me of Napalm Death in spots but in others he abandons the growling yell for a sicker battle cry. The Buffalo, New York trio takes some of the gore of their New York ancestors Cannibal Corpse but add more riffiness and style to the music. Dan Nelligan slaps the music in place behind the drum kit while Carl Pace’s guitar jams away a decent assortment of music. Like I said, a lot like Carcass, damn straightforward, but not lame 2-riff songs that put you to sleep. The four song demo is well recorded, and is definitely something to look into. Contact Eternal Torment c/o Al Costa, 454 West Delavan, Buffalo, NY 14213 USA -Jon SKELETON OF GOD - Hideous Corpse: Demented (demo) Hideous Corpse are now called Skeleton of God even though their new demo Demented doesn’t reflect this. This demo was recorded five months after the band’s formation, and Jeff, their vocalist and guitarist assured me their next effort would be much better. However, I thought this demo really kicked ass! Jeff’s singing is pretty basic, and blends in with the rest of the music except when he jumps out with a horrifying death scream. The drums are pretty speedy, but aren’t just straightforward banging, and the guitarwork is pretty riffy. This was mastered by Scott Burns at Morrisound, and the recording is really professional. This is a pretty tight band and worth checking out. Write to Skeleton Of God, POB 156, Nederland, Colo 80466 USA -Jon SNAP JUDGEMENT - Hey! Soul Classics (Demo) These guys are a pretty tight Hardcore sounding band, although I don’t know if they classify themselves as that. The music is pretty speedy, the drums are really tight and snappy like a Hardcore sound, but the vocals can get kinda raw and harsh more like a Death band. The bass is really impressive, and the guitarwork isn’t bad either. The lyrics are funny as hell, but sometimes get serious too. If you’re looking for something funny in the vein of SOD, but also want something that isn’t just more noise, check out this demo. Contact Snap Judgement c/o John Tekiela, 12901 Escanaba, Chicago, IL 60633 USA -Jon MASS PSYCHOSIS - Face (Demo) These guys used to be called just Psychosis, so don’t get confused. This stuff is pretty deadly, and is one of the best demos using integrated keyboards, females vocals and other Gothic elements. Most demo bands don't have the budget or skill to pull this off, but these guys do so beautifully. The 7 song work is a great recording, well mastered and all, but also the songwriting is complex, yet brutal, with lots of speediness that breaks into complex and interesting stuff. This thing is complete with neat intro work composed of acoustic guitars and eerie backing female vocals. Don't forget the killer artwork. This thing is definitely an impressive demo. Write to Mass Psychosis c/o Doug Grandon, 313 Broad St., Keyport, NJ 07735 USA -Jon NECROLATRY - Within The Shroud Of Misery (demo) This 7 song demo showcases the skill of a pretty decent band. The three piece seems pretty skilled at their instruments and the music is pretty decent fast grindcore metal. The lyrics are a pretty basic, deep grunting tone, but the bass is all over the place and the drums are pretty complex, not just a straightforward scathing beat, but also adding some pretty intertwined complex patterns. The production isn’t real hot, but it is a good effort. I’d like to see these guys work in a high-tech studio and turn out some really tight stuff. They sound musically capable, so support them and help ‘em move to a good studio where they belong. Write to Necrolatry c/o Ash Thomas, 3657 Woodsong Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45251 USA -Jon DELUSION - Autumn Dawn (Demo) This is the second demo from the New England band, and is a pretty decent recording of a Death band that sounds like it has the upstate New York feel but also with a lot of European influence. The 4 track is pretty tight and is basically slower stuff, but it builds up to speed in spots. The lyrics are basically a lower growling but in places it gets to a Morbid Angel-like chanting. My complaint was 4 songs really left me wanting a lot more, but nothing at all wrong with the content, its definitely something worth having. Send $5 US/$6 world to Delusion c/o Brian Bergeron, 2 Sapling Circle Apt 8, Nashua, NH 03062 USA -Jon SOUNDSTORM (Demo) No, this isn't the same Chris Poland that used to be in Megadeth! I thought this as I listened to this thing, since I just got the other Chris P’s solo album and thought the slick guitarwork was one and the same. This thing is faster technical thrash, kindof like if you got Geddy Lee stoned and paid Steve Vai enough and had them sit in with Nuclear Assault. Speaking of bass, you almost never see a bass solo integrated into a song just like a guitar solo, but it happens here. There’s some pretty impressive 4- stringing by Pat Hamel and it fits in nicely with the advanced rhythm on the skins by Rob Youells. Pat’s old band Insaniac was the source for singer Tom Nolz, who’s style is progressive metal sounding and pretty decent. This five song production was recorded on 16 tracks and while I thought the production was muddy in places, it is overall pretty decent. This demo is worth the cash, and I know they are offering it for free with their shirts (see ad elsewhere in this issue) so get in touch with them! Contact Soundstorm c/o Chris Poland, 295 Cortland St., Belleville, NJ 01709 -Jon BRAIN - Blasphemous Odd Fellows (Demo) This is the first demo I have received from Japan, and I’m pretty oblivious to their music scene there, but I thought this was a pretty decent demo. Brain is four-piece thrash band that sounds like the Far East’s answer to Pantera. It isn’t all straightforward thrashing, but it has some more groovin’ parts and some pretty unique musicianship in it. The demo is very well produced and the songs are kindof socially oriented lyrically. The four song recording does come with lyrics in English and Japanese, which is pretty neat, but at only four songs I really wanted to hear more. Maybe they’ll release more stuff later. At any case these guys are pretty friendly and if you want to try out something a little different, drop them a line at Brain c/o Norio Hayashi, #102 25-2 Hiraike-Cho, Neyagawa-City Osaka 572, JAPAN -Jon INCEST - Misocyny (Demo) This recording is just plain damn scary, and I mean that as an ultimate compliment. This four song demo makes Deicide look tame. The four-piece composes music that could be compared to Deicide but more elaborate in places, especially considering this is only a demo. They make use of eerie Gothic background vocals and have a full-time organ player. I swear it sounds like they took Agonaces, the vocalist, drove a nail through his arm, and recorded his hideous deathly screaming as he bled to near death. That is when he isn’t doubling over on a low unearthly growl behind his other lyrics. As for the lyrics themselves, does “God of the dead, drunken the soul of the ogers blood which falls from the mouth of my decomposed death” This tape is plain fearful, and worth checking out. Write Incest c/o Janie, 8314 Glen Court, San Antonio, TX 78239 USA -Jon THE DEAD HORNETS (demo) This Ohio band shares management with Decay, so I thought it might be a ultra-death band of some sort, but really it is a fairly alternative sounding setup. I’m not going to say there isn’t ferocity here, tracks like “Thank God I’m an Athiest” are pretty grinding and Mike Waters’ vocals get pretty raw. But then the song starts out with riffage that is really modal and sounds like it is based on either contemporary Jazz or the ‘Dead. I mean stuff like “Midnight Noon” is really basic college-rock stuff with a really snappy, bright sound, but then some stuff is bordering on underground hardcore kinda stuff, like “8-feet deep” that has sharp off- beat drumming like Biohazard or something. I’m not going to complain though. While your average only-faster-is-better Death fan might hate this, I really liked the musicianship and variety here. And living in an oversaturated college town, when I say I like a band that could be labeled as such is great, its saying a lot. Contact The Dead Hornets c/o John Craig, POB 37, Englewood, OH 45322 USA -Jon DECAY - Atrocities (demo) Whenever I think I’ll never find another band in this area of the country that is cool, I get a tape like this one. This Ohio-based four piece really has their shit together, and is probably one of the tightest bands I’ve seen from the Ohio area. The six song effort is a very well produced work of speedy Death, with grinding subsonic descents marked by savage double bass, then taking off into speedier stuff with a really good beat. Dave Jefferis’ vocals aren’t the cliche growling that can get really monotonous, the lyrics (about pain and hate) are really clear, but also aren’t sung in an annoying fashion like some bands that don’t sing death-style do. There are a lot of very catchy riffs and the songs aren’t as predictable as a lot of unsigned material is. The mix does seem to lack a bit of low-end in places, but the bass is there - maybe it’s just the guitars are a bit too clear. In any case the recording is great, and the tape is very professionally packaged, copied and printed. Its really worth it, this band really seems to have a handle on things. Write to Decay, POB 37, Englewood, OH 45322 USA -Jon SEPTIMO ANGEL - Total Genocide (Demo) This band is pretty much what I picture the Mexican Death metal scene to be like. This five piece from way down South puts out a pretty harsh five- song demo. The lyrics are in English and are pretty cool stuff and all deal with either nonconformity or violence. The band seems pretty proficient in their playing, and the songs are a faster, somewhat grindy sound with pretty much Death metal lyrics. I did find the quality a little lacking, however, I expected this since most Mexican bands can’t seem to find very good recording technology in their country. This tape is now available through Cursed Productions here in the states, and even though this ‘91 demo is a bit old, it is still great. Send $4 (US) or $5 (world) to Cursed Productions, POB 302, Elkhart, IN 46515-0302 USA. -Jon PAX MORTIS - Fear ‘92 Demo (demo) This cannot be a four track recording. I cannot see how this sounds so excellent on a Tascam Portastudio, I have never heard one do something this clear! Well, I’m not going to complain, because the excellent production of this demo just adds to the fact that I really get into what Pax Mortis is doing. This four piece from Auborn, California play a style that is a pretty fierce Death metal with a lot of little extras and twists. There’s a lot of complexity to the songs, yet they are still very memorable and fun to listen to. There are cool intros, outros, and sampling in the background, plus some keyboard and solo guitar stuff there too. Don’t get me wrong though, this ain’t any pussy stuff or industrial, the songs are really pounding, fast and Chris Crites’ vocals go from a thrash-like singing to a low Death-style growling. My favorite track of the four is probably “Created Equal” although I like the whole demo. And once again, I can’t say enough about the production, I can’t wait to see what these guys do with 16 tracks. Get off your ass and send $4 to Pax Mortis 11484 Sherwood Way, Auborn, CA 95602 ********************** * EDITORS’ CHOICES * ********************** Jon’s top ten weapons of destruction: 1 - Desultory : Into Eternity. Great Swedish metal with mega power. A lot of originality and a really great sound. 2 - Gorefest : False. Pounding low end and clear production. Brutality with good, unique riffs. 3 - Oliver Magnum : Drive By. Progressive metal, a little off the beaten path. Very lively and upbeat, a lot of energy. 4 - Snap Judgement : Hey! Soul Classics. I love the humor behind this, and it has a fast beat. Good hardcore production, and great variety for a demo 5 - Candiru : Unloved and Weeded Out. Futuristic industrial that makes me feel like a Terminator T-1000. Excellent recording, and really innovative structure. 6 - Masters Of Misery Compilation. Black Sabbath covers by your favorite Earache bands. Hard to find but well worth it. 7 - Malhavoc : Premeditated Murder. Killer psycho industrial. 8 - Bolt Thrower : The IVth Crusade. I didn’t think anything could top Warmaster, but this continues on the tradition. 9 - Pax Mortis: Fear ‘92 Demo: This is a four track? It sounds better than most 16 track stuff. Catchy as hell, too! 10 - Dismember: Pieces EP. It made my neighbor move out. 'Nuff said. Spinoza Ray Prozak’s top ten: 1 - Amorphis: The Karelian Isthmus. Intensive progressive fantasy death metal from Finland, with beautiful melodic touches to the lead guitar. 2 - Affliction: The Damnation of Humanization. Simple straightforward speed metal a la Exodus with melodic vocals (at times). Local to la area. 3 - Bolt Thrower: The IVth Crusade. A study in how heavy to make an album. 4 - Desultory: Into Eternity. Progressive Swedish metal, fairly refined, rather potent. 5 - Afflicted: Prodigal Sun. Progressive psychedelic Swedes playing death for their souls. 6 - Agthocles: Theatric Symbolisation of Life. Grindcore returns, artistically. 7 - Asphyx: Last One On Earth. Power swedes, brutal grating songs. 8 - Impetigo: Horror of the Zombies. Horror-cheezball-death, goofy as hell but essentially good. 9 - Comecon: Megatrends In Brutality. Swedish collaboration from hell, extremely good. Lyrics a plus. 10 - Cemetery: An Evil Shade of Grey. Intellectual crush-0-rama death metal. (Hear ‘em on kspc, 88.7 FM, 6-9 Fridays inna la area.) Ray's Ten recordings to fuck and maim to: 1) Gorefest : False. 2) Dismember : Pieces EP. 3) Unleashed : Shadows In The Deep. 4) Pax Mortis: Fear Fuckin’ 92 Demo. GODZ! GODZ! GODZ! 4) Grave : You'll Never See. 5) Nuclear Winter : Inverted Cross Up a Nun's Cunt. Extremely rare because of 47 country ban, but still lethal. 6) Desultory : Into Eternity. I only included 6 to pay tribute to our great master. *********************** * NONE OF THE ABOVE * *********************** This section is for all of the little things that just don’t fit in place elsewhere in the fanzine. I’m getting more and more interesting things in the mail, and I’ve also been spending money on even more things, so I thought I would tell you about them. I’ve started reading a lot of other fanzines lately, and I wanted to provide insight to readers on what else is out there. I’m reviewing each zine I get on a trade basis. If you have a zine, or if you are a regular reader of one I don’t have listed, I’ll swap a copy of Xenocide for it and review it too. CHAINLETTER - A long runner (12 issues strong) this features some of the most bestial artwork around, and is packed crowded interviews and reviews. Mark is a musician himself and always seems to get very esoteric underground interviews. Sometimes the typed layout can get a tad sloppy, and it is Xeroxed and corner-stapled, but its still worth the cash. Chainletter c/o Mark Gonce 3611 Woodlea Ave. Baltimore, MD 21214 USA $4 US/$5 world FACTSHEET FIVE - The God of underground publication. This is a highly professional 100 page magazine featuring reviews of other zines. Not just metal, but all music, art, environmental, radical, news, comics, technology, hobbies and about any other kind of zine you could or couldn’t imagine. With an 8000 copy distribution, you can’t lose getting reviewed there. If you run a zine, mail in a copy, and read this thing like the bible, because it has enough info on distribution and publishing that your copy will be sitting around getting read on a daily basis. If you are a fan of zines and want more, or if you want to check out some other area besides music, like politics, or humor, or anything, its worth the 4 bucks. You might even be able to pick this one up at the local newsstand! Factsheet Five c/o R. Seth Friedman PO Box 170099 San Francisco, CA 94117-0099 USA $4 bulk/$6 priority/$6 world surface/$7can.-mex air/$8 Europe air/$9 other air METAL CORE - Well, when I look at this ‘zine, the thought of ‘why?’ pops into my mind to a lot of Chris Forbes’ decisions. There’s a total lack of quality in layout, but then he could defend himself in saying he doesn’t have a computer. Well, he could at least afford some more time, or someone to correct his choppy and awkward writing. I was stunned on a really blatant mistake in the Desultory interview, and also the short as hell record formats seemed way cheap. And why is the back cover just blank? I don’t know. There are a lot of interviews here, and I guess a lot of purists will be yelling at me saying “It’s got an underground feel!”. Whatever. Chris Forbes 13 Carriage Lane Marlton, NJ 08053 NO GLAM FAGS - “Our father, who art in hell, Marco be his name”. For those of you who don’t know King Marco, he works out at Metal Blade, but he also runs his own little distribution service, and prints out this 68 page tome of the metal world. This thing is really professionally printed and has a really surgical layout. I noted at least 25 interviews before I lost track; the roster just looks more like a record bin at a store than a list of interviews (Entombed, Unleashed, Morbid Angel, Death, Obituary, Massacre, Epidemic, Grave, Suffocation and more and more..) There are a shitload of well-written reviews and a lot of other stuff too. This is really worth the money, it takes you days to get through all the reading in here. If I wanted to nitpick I could find some rough areas in the writing department, and the publishing schedule makes Metal Curse look speedy, but those are very minor tradeoffs for the end product. This is truly the best zine I have ever seen. No Glam Fags c/o Marco Barbieri 1626 N. Poinsettia Pl. #208 Los Angeles, CA 90046 USA THE WILD RAG! - This is kindof a fanzine, but also kindof a catalog. See, Richard C. does Wild Rags Records and his catalog of underground demos, shirts, EP’s and records is in here, but its also a ‘zine with news and feature articles talking about signed bands and stuff. Its supposed to be the largest circulation of anything at around 16,000 and it is very nicely printed with 2-color stuff in it and lots of clear photos. Now there are a lot of people out there with a serious vendetta against Richard C., and there’s a lot of talk about him being a rip-off. I’ve heard a lot of stories, but then in the limited amount of business I’ve had with him, he hasn’t ripped me off, so I’m not going to start spreading rumors or anything unless he did rip me off. Although it’s great for the catalog, its also great for the articles, so even if you don’t trust him with your money on demos, you can waste the $2 on the zine, it is worth the effort. send $2 US or 4 IRC’s, for subscriptions: $5/6 issues $7 Canada/Mexico $10 world. The wild Rag! POB 3302 Mtb. Hills Sta. Montebello, CA 90640 METAL CURSE - The Godslayer of all zines. Ray Miller dishes out so many reviews it isn’t funny. (200+ in issue 7) There are always a bunch of primo interviews, and this thing is a treasure chest of addresses and contacts. Excellent layout, offset printing, center bound, and a very authoritative presentation. Isn’t as frequent as some, but worth the wait. Send $3 US/$4 world to Metal Curse c/o Ray Miller, POB 302, Elkhart, IN 46515-0302 NEXUS SIX - The Cybernet Neurojack survival guide. A short newsletter featuring reviews, ads, addresses and editorial. It is short, but it is unparalleled, especially if you’re into cyberculture, and its free. Nexus Six c/o MBR 18653 Ventura Blvd. #311 Tarzana, CA 91356 Free, a trade suggested though. SKULL SESSION - This Canadian punk/metal zine has been around since Metallica was a demo band. (24 issues and counting) Cool artwork, a hilarious parody of Calvin and Hobbes that alone makes it worth the time. Short reviews with both Death and hardcore bands, but very long in depth interviews of people from DRI to the Ramones to Dead Horse. The layout can get a little weak in places, but there’s enough stuff here to make you look over it. Send $1 or a trade to Skull Session 3280 Bobwhite Mews Massasauga, Ontario L5N 6G1, Canada HOLOCAUST - Christians beware, this Polish based zine is your enemy! Tomasz Krajewski brings forth a very dark, satanic, black metal zine that is incredible. It is folded letter sized paper but don’t let the size fool you. This is a very nicely printed zine and has tons of reviews and interviews. I really loved the use of old woodcuts and other satanic drawings in the fanzine, it gives it a really excellent look. Send $4 to Tomasz Krajewski, POB 12, 86-105 Swiecie 5, Poland. PUNCHLINE “Static Elect Trickery” zine I got a copy of issue 13 of this zine, and its pretty cool - it is a political zine, and this issue is about the elections. It comes out of England, and it is visual-oriented; like it’ll have a picture of two men hauling dead cattle tied on poles with a caption of “Another vote bagged for the system”. Its really catchy stuff, kindof artsy, and some ads for indy labels in the punk scene. Its only a buck, you can’t beat that. Take a look at it if you’re really into politics and against the New World Order. Punchline Communication Station, POB 460683, San Francisco, CA 94146 THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY CIRCUS I got issue 6 (Grandma's Started to Sprout!) of this book, but with no letter, and no return address, just that it came from Buffalo, NY. I wish i knew who did this, because its funny as hell and I know a dozen people who would pay money for this. Its basically a bunch of Family Circus cartoons with altered captions. They change the cartoons to have sadistic, perverted, demented meanings, and its great! The mom is screwing Billy, PJ is screwing Greek sailors and dad's off practicing necrophilia. Its a blast. I don't know how to get this or who its from, but I really want to know so I can get other issues. Mail if you know more!! MURDER CAN BE FUN -This is a rather interesting fanzine that talks all about murder, death, violence and conspiracy. Issue 14 has a cover story on postal worker rampages, completely researched with a table and blow by blow descriptions of all of the slayings. There is also a nice article in this issue on the top twelve riots in American history. There's a calendar available, with 365 deathly events, and back issues cover natural disasters, Disneyland casualties and much more. This thing is morbidly humorous yet the research and journalism is superb. The 8.5x11" doubled over size and short length was kindof a bummer, I really wanted more; however the back issues and calendar look like they might help there. Great stuff though! Send $1.50 to John Marr, POB 640111, San Francisco, CA 94109 I’ve also been getting a few 7” EP’s in the mail lately. I haven’t become a militant 7” collector yet, but I have been growing my collection. Here’s some recent stuff: BURIAL 7" Burial recently released a 7" on Rage records. It’s got 2 great cuts of Death, “Presumed Dead” and “Unnecessarily Executed”. This Florida 4 piece really hashes out some killer stuff, the songs are pretty lengthy and have a decent amount of time change to make it feel like you’re getting a lot more than just 2 songs. This thing is really well produced and is on clear gold vinyl, its a cool thing to have in your collection. Probably one of the best Death-oriented 7"s I’ve seen this year. Burial POB 20633 Sarasota, FL 34276 USA TUMOR CIRCUS - Meathook Up My Rectum 7" (Alternative Tentacles) This single features good ol’ Jello Biafra, and the single song is best described as something comparable to the really old, really harsh Dead Kennedy’s stuff. I’m not a big fan or follower of punk, so I can’t tell you guys a whole lot about these things that I get in, but this was a pretty hip piece of vinyl. The catchy thing is the Clive Barker sleeve art and (get this) etching on the b-side of the record. No, I didn’t try to play it. I’m glad Jello is still putting stuff out, if you’re an old fan you might want to get a copy. Alternative Tentacles POB 424756 San Francisco, CA 94142 Special Limited Edition DANZIG III How The Gods Kill Boxed set (Def American) The first thing you’ll notice about this cd is the long box sized boxed set is graced with H.R. Giger’s “The Master and Margarita” just like the regular CD, but in molded, raised plastic! When I opened the box, I was greeted by a copy of the new album, but all of the packaging was different. The booklet is different, and is on white paper so you can read the lyrics now. The cd itself has a cool picture on it, and the back cover is different too. The album is identical, however.. bummer they didn’t include any bonus tracks or anything. Also, there is a video cassette of the title track’s video. I don’t understand why this is the ‘uncensored’ version because I didn’t see anything offensive at all. MTV can be a bunch of assholes sometimes I guess. Once again, no neat special stuff on here like rare footage or extra shit, just the one song. I can’t say this is a good purchase to make if you are just starting to get into Danzig or you are just looking for a good buy. But if you are a collector like me it is a cool thing to have just for the bragging rights, and I seem to spend a lot of money on that kind of shit, so I really like it. -Jon ********************* * CARNAL LEFTOVERS * ********************* Once again, this issue draws to a close. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did... This issue was a lot of fun and went by very smoothly. For all you techno-heads out there, I sat on my new 486DX-33 and hacked out a lot of the text using emacs. I used Omnipage to gather up all of the scanned artwork, and Ed gave me his stuff in GIF format. It was all dropped into PageMaker 4.2 on the Mac and dumped to its final form, which was assembled thanks to the cool people at Kinko’s copies. A big thanks to RMS for the emacs program, thanks to everyone responsible for the EDB database program, and also thanks to Linus T. for the Linux operating system my PC is now running. Well, a big thanks goes to all of the people at labels that helped me out. Thanks to Marco and Metal Blade, Dominick and Shreddomatic Records, Bill and Relapse/Nuclear Blast America, Roadrunner, Ivette and Century Media, Relativity, Rage Records, and A&M. Bigger thanks to all of the bands I reviews demos from, and extra appreciation to John Baker from Jackhammer for free food and for being the only other cool person in Bloomington, Bill and Bloody Mary, Garrett and Punisher, Paradise Lost, Chris and Cannibal Corpse, Johnny and Unleashed, Monte and Dan from Oliver Magnum and Stefan and Desultory. I had a lot of extra production and promo help and I’d like to thank Ed Stastny for his Godly artwork, Seth, Jerod and all at Factsheet Five, Chris “S.R. Prozac” Blanc for advice, help, writing and prose, Ray “I fucked her corpse” Miller for the concealed firearm and the shallow grave, Adam Gadahn for all of the writing work, Whiplash for all of his help too, Jeff Whitmer and Jeremy Niemann for layout and artwork advice and help, Joe Husk for help with the DocMaker program, Tom Loos, Mark VanHeyningen, Andrew Violette, Bill Perry and all of my other CS friends for a good working atmosphere and lots of caffeine, Mark Gonce, John Woods and Rock Out Censorship, and everyone else I forgot. Lastly, I want to give a very big thanks to T.M. Houghton for help above and beyond the call of duty in an emergency that could have screwed up this issue in a major way, and for putting up with my shit in a way no other human could. Well, that's it for this issue. I’ll be taking a 3 month vacation, and Xenocide will be back in the fall with a new address and a newer look. But look for me at the Milwaukee Metalfest and at a pit near you!

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