A podcast that interviews musicians and provides in-depth, and at times zany, reviews regarding the latest albums from the obscurer corners of extreme metal, dark ambient, and noise.
#207 | Album Review | Evil – Possessed by Evil
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadHello hello! It’s been a minute since I’ve written one of these, but it’s a welcome, albeit short-lived, return as Connor is pre-occupied this weekend lighting a set for an experimental short somewhere in San Jose. That being said, I want to briefly reiterate that we’re now publishing our podcast episodes on a biweekly basis, as opposed to the previous weekly frequency. With that out of the way, let’s shift focus to the album of discussion in this week’s installment.Evil is a black/thrash metal quartet from Tokyo that has existed since 2011. I was an apex curmudgeon when I saw their band name land in our promo inbox and essentially wrote them off for a couple of days because… well, in retrospect, my reasoning was supremely doltish, but I found the name so generic that I figured the tunes couldn’t be terribly intriguing. However, don’t let the simplicity of their name fool you as it did me. After a day or two of plundering the deluge of soon-to-drop albums, I struggled to find a record that hooked me, and thus, I decided to spin their sophomore LP, aptly titled Possessed by Evil, for the hell of it (pun partially intended). Not even ten seconds into the opening track, “The Cycle of Pain”, I realized I had made an utmost critical error.Possessed by Evil is an excoriating cluster of belter after belter. Be it the searing melodic leads, galloping drum rhythms, or the infrequent, but exhilarating power metal shrieks, each track exudes contagious energy that only evaporates as the album’s final track lopes into a blistering sunset. Twinges of black metal permafrost most tracks, imbuing streaks of malice amidst otherwise electrifying compositions. And although we did not have access to lyrics prior to recording this episode, we perceived a narrative-driven momentum felt through the ebb and flow of the album’s track sequencing. All that being said, we had quite a few words to exchange over this LP.We are much too early into 2021 to stack this record against others that will come out in the months ahead, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this floats somewhere in the reaches of my year-end list, at least as it pertains to releases that are an absolute detonator to listen to. I’ll halt my word vomit there and urge you to spin this record if an iota of what I’ve said piques your curiosity. Thank you all for your support and we sincerely hope you enjoy our rambling!
* * * * * *You can snag a physical copy of Possessed by Evil via the Nuclear War Now! Productions Bandcamp page (cassettes and CDs; vinyl coming later). Be sure to follow the quartet on Facebook to stay in-the-loop on new developments from them.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its offici...
#206 | Album Review | Beaten to Death – Laat maar, ik verhuis naar het bos
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadHello, fuzzy sentient creatures of the void! This week Ryan and I delve into the latest Beaten to Death album Laat Maar, Ik Verhuis Naar Het Bos, which roughly translates to Never mind, I’m moving to the woods. This is an idea I’ve been pondering since I was a child (in the episode, I also poorly recommend the book, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit). I’m just a little forest obsessed dude.Beaten to Death originally made this fifth LP of theirs a vinyl-only release. Unfortunately, it is sold out at the time of this writing. Fret not, however, as the melodi-grind crackpots separated the record into four EPs, with each connected to a forested area on the blue marble. One of these was Endor, aka the Northern California redwood forests. And, as you could likely surmise if you’ve listened to just one or two of our past episodes, my undying love for hiking and Star Wars instantly compelled me to want to review this album based on the existence of the Endor EP alone (I’m sure Ryan just loves me bringing up Lord of the Rings and Star Wars all the time!).Interestingly, Ryan (who bought the vinyl) and I discovered that the album’s tracks flow much smoother if you follow the vinyl’s track sequencing in contrast to listening to each four-track EP in isolation. Irrespective of this quibble, we absolutely adored the zany riffs, sun-gilded melodies, and meaty bass protrusions throughout. I poorly attempt to sound out some of the riffs via mouth mumbles and although I undoubtedly fail, something about the harsh yet rambunctious grindcore vocals pairs lovingly well with the melodic surges, grooving bass lines, and bum-blasting drum patterns. They also incorporate many textures into their compositions to keep their succinct outbursts dynamic and entertaining. Hell, one track ends with the sound of zombies snarling as a psychopathic murderer sews together a costume for us to wear. In other instances, you get punky gang vocals or sludgy atmospheric flourishes that just make you want to move. I can’t tell you how many times I got amped on the track “The Night Is Young And We’re All Out Of Nekro”. With that song alone you can tell these unique dudes know how to have a fun time!Beaten to Death is an experimental grindcore quintet from Oslo, Norway that has existed since 2010. We reviewed their fourth studio album, full of what sounds like melodic tractor noises, Agronomicon (2018), back in 2019. Laat Maar, Ik Verhuis Naar Het Bos officially released September 25, 2020, with each EP dropping in November or December of 2020. They even comically state that band bios are boring and that you just want to hear the music. That being said, go stick your gourd in the sonic wood chipper that is Beaten to Death and experience the brain-scrambling that is their music.
* * * * * *If you like getting audibly beaten to death, then support the band!
#205 | Album Review | Crowning – Survival/Sickness
Download this episode by clicking the arrow to the right of this player: DownloadHello kiddies! The other Ryan (formerly Woody) here. This week I had the great privilege of sitting down with Ryan v1.0 and C0NN0RB0T to discuss one of 2020’s eleventh-hour monster releases, the new LP Survival/Sickness by Crowning.Though it doesn’t break the 20-minute mark, this record expertly blends black metal spaciousness into Crowning’s pounding hardcore-tinged skramz. The melodic guitars wind up the emotion in the songs, only to release it in sudden flurries of heavy drumming and wrenching shouts like a spring-loaded bear trap snapping shut. Plus there’s plenty of potty-humor weirdness to turn your stomach, so toke up, turn it up, and let this record snap against your eardrums.Crowning is a five-piece skramz/(melodic) hardcore outfit from Chicago, IL. Their debut EP Funeral Designs definitely f****d my shit up when it dropped in 2017. Their next two releases, a split with Swallows Nest in 2018 and another with Marée Noire in 2019, saw the band move towards darker, uglier tones, making their LP an interesting synthesis of melody and madness. Crowning demonstrates more maturity, growth, and fearlessness with each new record, and I am certain you will find something within these eight tracks to delight or destroy you, whatever you fancy.
* * * * * *You can stream Survival/Sickness on Bandcamp or Spotify, or grab yourself a physical copy via the almighty Zegema Beach Records. For all things Crowning, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @crwning.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server (it’s a desolate tundra currently, but you can help enliven it). In next week’s episode, we’ll be chatting about four fresh EPs from the weirdo melodi-grind quintet Beaten to Death that dropped at the tail end of 2020. The title, Laat maar, ik verhuis naar het bos, roughly translates to Never mind, I’m moving to the forest.
#204 | Album Review | Kammarheit – Thronal
Download this episode by clicking the arrow to the right of this player: DownloadHello, fantastical individuals of the endless space void. This week Ryan and I eject ourselves in a doomed escape pod! This pod (hehe podcast) heats us up like an overcooked bag of popcorn as we find ourselves entering the atmosphere of what remains of Earth. In reality, we are actually going into a deep conversation on the dark ambient album Thronal by Kammarheit. As per usual when we talk about ambient music, we get rather descriptive with the imagery the atmosphere inspires, including abandoned post-apocalyptic landscapes, cyberpunk-like rotting temples, and random dorkery in spacecrafts.Thronal crawls with rumbling drones, enchanting tones, and complex atmospheres. One moment I find myself deep within space (possibly in cryo-sleep) listening to the hum of an engine. On another track I find myself leaving a derelict apartment complex and wandering into a frosty, overgrown forest; or, I find myself balancing on the crumbling remnants of a concrete overpass with rebar daring to stab me with one misstep. Kammarheit gives a brief description that may influence these thoughts. He talks of space travelers returning to the remnants of human civilization on Earth. The music he has composed as the soundtrack for urban explorations works quite perfectly. You truly feel as if you are on a morose yet exciting (maybe even calming) adventure. Just today I explored the wetland waste of old fishing communities that once occupied the South Bay Area. I thought back to this album as I gazed upon the rotting wood jutting out from the muddy bog. The colorful bits of plastic mixed with bones of various avian creatures, foreshadowing what may come for all of humankind. Man, I’m being a total bummer!Kammarheit is a Swedish dark ambient project by Pär Boström. The project was formed in the year 2000. From what we have discovered (mostly Ryan)… Pär has an absurd number of musical projects. Thronal is his fourth full-length title under the Kammarheit name. It was released on December 21, 2020, via Cyclic Law. I truly recommend checking out this eight-track masterpiece.
* * * * * *You can purchase Thronal via Bandcamp and you can locate more of Kammarheit’s music and physical products via his website,
#203 | Album Review | C.O.F.F.I.N – Children Of Finland Fighting In Norway
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadOi, yah beautiful bums of the void! This week, Ryan and I invited our pal Tarek (vocalist of Intercourse) to chat with us about last year’s C.O.F.F.I.N release, which is a non-abbreviated self-titled album known as Children of Finland Fighting In Norway. We last covered these Aussies back in the summer of 2019 with their EP Be Gone, and we used that as an excuse to cover their Piss~Up LP (2018) as well. After getting so jazzed on the sound of Piss~Up, it took us a while to warm up to this new album, yet once we abandoned our preconceived expectations that this record would be Piss~Up: Part Two and embraced the sharpened rock ‘n’ roll sound it harbors, this record became an enlivening romp. In the episode, we dissect their lyrics, go on random tangents, talk about Australian wildlife, and listen in awe to Tarek’s uh… fascinating stories (Facebook marketplace is a lovely place to shop for underoonies FYI).Once again the vocals stand out in the band as Ben Portnoy lets out his drunken grunts and groans galore! Punky back up vocals only heighten the awesome choruses permeating the LP’s duration. This time around the guitars bring on a fun party time rock jam in each track. This includes well-placed guitar leads that will have you finger wank widdlin out of car windows. Some tracks give you a totally different flavor of the week in general, such as the slow and bluesy bar tale in “Ransack Blues”, or the heavier thrash track “Average Death”. My personal favorite, “Dead Land”, has a solid ambient opening that brings us into charcoaled doom riffs and tribal drum beats. Let’s hope the world is wild fire-free this year across all continents. Save the damn koalas!How about I just rip off the background info Ryan posted last time (deal with it Mr. Knapp)! Children of Finland Fighting in Norway (C.O.F.F.I.N) are an Aussie pub thrash quintet from the shores of Sydney. Founded back in 2005, they formulated when they were school mates, and in 2011, they crafted their first LP while in high school. From there C.O.F.F.I.N went on to produce two more full-lengths, a handful of EPs, and a live album with a myriad of international gigs along the way. This self-titled release came out on September 17th, 2020.
* * * * * *If you enjoy these dudes and the delightful noisy music they produce, go support them! Grab a digital copy or a vinyl before the sellout again at Bandcamp! (Update: The vinyl is now sold out).
#202 | Album Review | Miasmatic Necrosis – Apex Profane
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadHey there, yah bubonic blistering bile warts! This week Ryan and preform some auditory surgery on a rather gruesome goregrind album. Just take a glance at the grotesque, yet medically verbose track titles of Miasmatic Necrosis’ debut album Apex Profane and you will know exactly what I am talking about. We both bolstered our vocabulary only for it to already leave my mucosanguineous mess of a brain. Talking about brutal ways to die has become quite the staple on this podcast so of course, there’s plenty of that to be had. I also get pretty worked up about the mass-produced “healthy” garbage buffet-style eateries of the past (I’m looking at your Fresh Choice). You will also encounter the tale of Salhalla, the planetary zit cleaner, within the episode. However, if you do happen to be repulsed by the album cover, maybe you should sit this one out (it’s a nasty one-hundred-ish minutes).Like the album’s track titles suggest, Miasmatic Necrosis delivers a barbarous, scalpel-sharp album. Many tracks are brief, but man do they obliterate you like a white head (let’s call it a Melvin) growing on the tip of your nose. Destructive noise whip lashes you like an old wooden rollercoaster that should’ve been retired a decade ago. Despite the grinding noise, you will notice some slick riffs and bodacious bass grooves throughout the duration of this ride. If you ever wanted to participate as a human whack a mole, well then this is the album for you too! The drums will mallet you into a red-hued puddle of beef pudding all while the vocalist annihilates you with gnashing pandemonium. I’ll take two tickets to Apex Profane, pack my bags, and leave tonight!Miasmatic Necrosis is a goregrind/deathgrind quartet from somewhere in the eastern reaches of the United States. There is not much information to be found about the band as of yet (I can’t even find a cute band photo). Apex Profane dropped on October 31st, 2020 (a fitting Halloween release).
* * * * * *Like what you hear? Head over to the Miasmatic Necrosis Bandcamp page and grab a digital copy of the album. At the time of this publication, vinyl copies from P2 are sold out, but there are talks for a second repress. You can also follow the composers of gory grind on Facebook.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our a style="background-color: #ffffff; font-s...
Customer ReviewsSee All
An excellent podcast where you will discover music from the underground as well as hear ground breaking interviews with today's leading voices of many different genres. Highly recommended.
Met Ryan at Fire in the Mountains festival in Wyoming. He has a deep knowledge of obscure, heavy music and this is a great resource for discovering new bands. Keep up the good work!