Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reviews 9.28.13

Dead Man "The All Too Well Known" (s/r Tape?) 7/10

This tape looks like a good home made demo, but sounds quiet more powerful than it looks production wise. Not to say it is pro sounding, and it would only be a distraction if it was "better." To me, this is the perfect balance for such destructive, tormented music. It has a heavy Weakling feel in terms of the sound and song dynamics. There's the promitive apocalyptic Black Metal sound mixed with a Neurosis sort of orchestral heaviness that is not easy to pinpoint exactly. But it's a very good peice of genuine dark heaviness. Vocals are quite tormented and music just sort of swirls around into various stages of hell. Drums have more death/doom elements than the music alone suggests,and to me this is a plus. As it is very easy for music like this to be a carbon copy of something else. At times it tries too hard to be "true Black Metal" but then it does something a little unexpected and keeps it interesting. I keep hearing Weakling for some reason. SOme good hellnoise, this. Live they are as dramaic as they sound and I recommend seeing them if you can.

Exhumed "Necrocracy" (Relapse) 6/10

The current drummer Exhumed has (I think it's the dude from Vile) makes them sound tighter and more like Cannibal Corpse. This is both good and bad. It's solid Death Metal for sure, and is full of solid riffs without getting lost in over technical changes. At the same time, for me Exhumed always had a little bit of a sloppy "garage" sort of edge, and I guess they are trying to get away from that. It's a tough call because since it is not "more extreme" than other bands, yet "not as raw" as, say, the classic swedish or grind sound - it's in an area where it only can rely on great songs to stand out. It reminds me of the latest Six Feet Under. There's a few moments (like the riff on "Dysmorphic" where I go WOW, that's a brutal riff!) And the solos are great, but pass you by without really slapping their own signature. Overall, I would say this is very solid, but not amazing in any respect. Dare I say, this has more "groove" than previous exhumed albums? And I'm going to blame the drummer. This is not what I am used to from Exhumed, but in my opinion this is a good thing. I would recommend this to fans of Death metal without any bullshit. Just straight and killer, nothing really amazing. More groove than you'd expect. Mosh it up!

Nekrofilth "Devil's Breath" (Hells Headbangers) 8/10

Well I'm gonna call this album cover "Splat." Because it basically looks like some dude smashing his face against a wall where we are on the other side and can see through it. Anyway, the music has a very Punk vocal approach and the music is just straight ahead nekro Thrash hardcore. Uh, yeah. This band is pretty much EXACTLY what you think. Only a little better than you would expect. Conjures up images of particularly fearce mosh pits with a stench that could not be created by posers. Piss, sweat, b.o., and maybe a hint of whiskey and garbage. This crowd does not take showers and they drink every day. If DRI is too old school, try this. A touch of Eyehategod and perhaps Carnivore. In fact, Exhumed used to kinda sound like this. This was what I was talking about in the other review. Anyways, what band was I reviewing? Oh yeah, Nekrofilth...buddy, if you like it raw, aggressive, and filthy look no further!

Nocturnal graves "From the bloodline of cain" (Hell's Headbangers)6/10

SOunds like a slower Angelcorpse. I was never a huge fan of Angelcorpse. I mean, they have some awesome songs - but a slower Angelcorpse could potentially be better. When Angel Corpse sound "Morbid Angelly" these guys are a bit more "old school Death Thrash" Some very good sketchy ass death thrash riffs. The music here is some old school fucking fury. Uh...yeah, this is some aggressive shit. South American, german, Swedish, sure...all of the above. Nice and violent. Drums sound kinda plasic. That's the main drawback. I hear some Slayer in here too. Lot's of Slayer. Old school. Not quite old school enough in production. SOme good violent shit. Slaughter? Yes, Slaughter from Canada is what this sounds like! Repulsion? SOme of that. You get it by now.

Profanatica "The Kingdom Cum" (Hells Headbangers)8/10

Nice fukking album kover! I mean, cliche as all hell, but rarely does a scene of a hot naked grey chick laying on a throne surrounded by Satan and his green half goat buddy look so stylishly midaeval cool! The skull emblem on the ground kinda ruins it with it's vaguely "Harley Davidson" looking eagle wing design, but overall very badass. Or should I say "kult." I may have heard this band or maybe not - but the sound I have heard. I think on "Foul the Air with Blasphemy" I heard the same riff from Necrovore's "god of the dead." In fact I will almost call it a rip off. But if you are going to rip someone off, Necrovore is a good one for those super evil "backwards" sounding riffs. Of course Morbid Angel perfected this long ago. But Profanica is now surrounding me in some great backwards demon resurrecing riffs. And this is a rare skill few band excel in. Keep it koming guys! Frantic old school Slayer riffs, more Necrovore, and some nice "you're in deep shit" Possessed "nigity nigity ning!" riffs. Vocals are of the "black shit" variety. (that's a kompliment by the way. It means it sounds like the speakers have been covered with shit so the vocals creep out with a grotesque splat) AKA "wet vocals." As if they croak and screach out from some slimey abyss. This stands out. This is not your average kult ripp off. As the tracks go skittering by, it becomes true that Hells Headbangers has NOT deceived us and this is WORTHY musik!

Rude "Haunted Demo" (s/r tape)9/10

Now here's something interesing. A band from Oakland which almost literally sounds like a classic first album by some early 90s Death Metal band. Well to be more specific, this sounds like "Scream Bloody gore!" It almost seamlessly draws from that album, the infamous Necrovore demo, and Morbid Angel's first official album (do I really need to name it?) I'm seriously confused how these dudes managed to create something so literally devoid of all the crap that basically ruined Death Metal. These dudes did their homework. Really studied and listened to early classic Death Metal and avoided lisening to shite and created an album that sounds like a lost early Death Metal classic. But, as The Wolf famously stated, "now let's not start sucking each other's dicks yet." This is not really original by any means. But these days, I'd rather hear a good homage than a futile attempt to be original. There is a solo on here that caused me to flinch. I stopped and went, "no way, what the fukk?!?" I mean it really sounded like some dude from early Pestilence or Suffocation jumped in and I was shocked. How in the fukk did these guys come up with this??? (true story, mate!) So I look into the inner notes to discover Patric Mameli from Pestilence literally does a guest solo here! There is also a song with a riff of note here. Now due to the fact it's a tape and I am too lazy to figure it out, but I believe it is the song "memorial." It contains a genuine classic Death Metal riff. This riff is above average and will make the most jaded old Death head stop in the middle of his shitty job and wonder, "what the fukk is up with that riff? I have to hear that riff again, I still can't believe my ears!" Anyway, this is something I can truely recommend to any old school Death head who is fukking BORED TO FUKK with this screamo nu-tech art death shite...

Shitfucker "Sucks Cocks in Hell" (Hells Headbangers)7/10

Ok, well there it is. Uh...album cover kinda looks like a Nazi flag, but the Swastika was altered to look like an "S" and an "F." What a clever joke! Anyway, let's go see what cocks bein sukked in hell sounds like! Hmmm...angry person just woke up outta bed. Or was that the introductory "here we are!" vocal? Ah I see...this guy kinda sounds like Nocturnal Culto on "Under a Funeral Moon." In fact, the guitars kinda do too. I guess these guys are taking the super cult Black Metal, focussing on the "punk" part of it and just adaping it to their own folk lore. Which would be Swastikas, Linda Blair, and a daily dose of Darkthrone? Seriously though, a punked out "Under a Funeral Moon?" Ok, I'll take that. I'm glad Hells Headbangers started sending me these promos. I was begining to think I just hated everything new. But I guess I was just listening to shite promos from shite labels for too long! Would I wear the shirt from Shitfucker? Probably not. Nor would I wear a gg allen shirt. But I like some of his music. Even Shaxul has his limits! It seems Midnight has sort of taken the credit of being the "drunken venom worship blackened punk band" but clearly there is much more shit out there, and this is easily as good, if not better. It draws from more influences, and frankly sounds crazier. Sick of Midnight? Check this shit out.

Zemial "Nykta" (Hells Headbangers) 7/10

What is this, a "Blood of my Enemies" cover? Oh wait, ok this is just a grooving old school Metal song. Yikes, these are some shite amateur vocals! Is this guy singing or screaming? These drums sound like shite. Damn, go back and record this again guys! Second song is much better - keeps it more simple and Thrash. Sounds more like classic Celtic Frost now, complete with death grunts. Fucking strangely cheap guitar solo on this one, followed by cheap ass 80s prog synth solo. I kinda like this actually, but god it's cheap as Manowar's "gloves of metal" video. I'm not sure what to make of this, but I like the fact that it doesn't try to stick with just one sound. It's really an interesting hybrid of thrash, traditional, and trippy random shit they throw in. I imagine with about 25 more listens I will call this amazing, but for now it's just kinda odd and interesting.

Monday, September 2, 2013

What the hell is up with Shaxul Records?

I'm glad you asked! Well, you didn't really, but here's what's up anyway...

As some of you may or may not know I relocated to Southern California since closing the store back in late 2011 for both personal and professional reasons. It's taken a long time for me to settle in but I'm glad to say that time is about here.

The Shaxul Records website is getting a long needed face-lift, which will usher in the new era of Shaxul Records. It's going to focus mainly on Shaxul Records releases and a few I have obtained from friends/trades. I've built up a humble, but killer selection of vinyls and cds, and will of course have those listed as well. I'm not going to be so focused on trying to make sure everyone has "Kill Em All" or any usual household name type bands. I mainly wanna focus on...well, the bands I've either been in or that I would have in my own collection. But as usual my ears are always open and feel free to inquire about trades or whatever. I'm a FAN first and foremost!

I wanna thank everyone and anyone who is a Facebook friend, people in bands who correspond with me, reads my blog, bullshits with me online about music, agrees with my politics ;) etc...seriously, Shaxul Records is important to me and I wanna keep the spirit of the store alive in any way. So I appreciate the support, whatever form it takes. I still am tryin to crack LA - I wanna have a metal DJ night, promote shows, play more music, etc...all in good time! Of course, if you have any help or suggestions I am all ears! I am still quite new to LA and so far it seems in dire need of the Shaxul influence!

Now I DO have some actual news to report thankfully...I plan on going into commercial embroidery may have noticed me dealing with patches here and there since the store closed. I've even done a few bands already. Crucifixion, Insanity, Cruella, Fog of War, and a few others. Without boring you with technical embroidery is a bit of a specialized process. And although I can churn some good looking shit out, it takes FAR too long to take on any sizable order. In other words, I really can't do much more than make a few cool looking patches for hobby on my current basic home machine. But I'm going to take a leap in the next few months and go professional with Shaxul Designs/Embroidery! Not exactly sure on the name yet, but just keep in mind that VERY soon I will be able to make embroidered patches and hats in a much faster/cost effective way. So whether you have an idea for a patch/hat or you are in a band and you are gonna need a mass of patches/hats anytime soon, OR you work for a company that may need embroidery on something - I would encourage you to stay tuned for my update. I've long wanted to advertise this, but haven't really had the capability to do anything significent on a competitive scale or rate. But in the coming months, I will have professional/commercial embroidery capability, and I want your shit to look KILLER!

That's it for now. Cheers!