Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chaos in Rumah Api 2

With a dozen Russians, almost as many Australians, and twice as many Indonesians in attendance, Chaos in Rumah Api is officially an international fest.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Bandcamp Picks: 2014 Stocking Stuffer Edition

Tis the season...here are some stand out Bandcamp releases that came to my attention that may have slipped under the radar, and are available as free or "name your price" downloads unless stated otherwise.

It's been exactly a year since we checked in with DoC faves War Wolf; in that time, they've released an 8 song EP and a split cassette with fellow Brits Crossburner (who should probably rethink their band name). I'm happy to report that War Wolf are still putting that classic Sunlight Studios tone in the service of no frills power violence, and still hitting nasty grooves in between bouts of feedback like a slightly less terrifying Nails. See you guys this time next year, then?

Similarly, Madrid's Teething take that classic Swedish guitar sound and strap it to some classic Napalm-era grind. You know what I want for next Christmas? A War Wolf/Teething split. As a "name your price" download, of course.

Aussie black metallers Wardaemonic are making their first trip to South East Asia in a few months. Their first album is a decent release that follows the same template that's characterized black metal since the first Emperor album, with occasional excursions into a more atmospheric, droning style. But it's their most recent release, the three song Proclamation EP, that's really impressive, as they give themselves in to death metal riffing for a blackened death sound reminiscent of Zyklon and Cadaver Inc. We could definitely use more bands like this around here.

Tankcrimes have made Dystopia's legendary Human = Garbage available on their Bandcamp page. Metal presented these crust punks with a blank canvas with which to experiment, much like Neurosis - and the similarities don't end there. The band combined sludgy doom, mood-setting samples, and off-kilter Voivod riffing just as Souls at Zero did before it. The resulting album still stands as a landmark in the history of punk kids giving in to the joys of metal.

Milwaukee's Protestant - great name btw - features Halo of Flies Records boss Cory von Bohlen and have been playing ultra heavy metallic crust for a decade now. They've recently wandered on to a more blackened path, but their early releases are still commendable for their filthy, crusty, bare knuckle simplicity. All their releases are available as "name your price" downloads, except the two most recent (which are available for a very respectable $5).

Corinth from Leeds take the Sword's swagger and Kylesa's forward thinking sludge, resulting in some phenomenal songs. They're still not quite at a place where they've carved out their own identity, but their talent is undeniable.

Stick Lecherous Gaze on a mixtape between the Dictators and Motörhead; they play the kind of greasy gutter rock that made the Supersuckers so many friends over the years, and throw in a little Black Flag for good measure. Everything on their Bandcamp page is available as a "name your price", with the exception of their full-length On The Skids.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

By Request: Sludge Mixtape

My buddy Jef asked me for some sludge metal recommendations, based on this band; as is becoming my habit, I decided to make a compilation for him and upload it to Mixcloud. I'm not actually a huge sludge fan; going through my collection brought home the fact that too many bands rely on sloppy chord progressions and have no real knack for writing riffs. In that regard, Sea Bastard is head and shoulders above virtually everyone else in that scene.

I previously made Jef a Mixcloud compilation after we first met, and had a good laugh about the homophonic implications of the term "black gaze".

I make a damn good mixtape

UPDATE: Jef says "it's all a bit cleaner and tighter than what i was looking for." Looks like sloppy chord progressions would have been the way to go. Oh well.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mixtape 16: Chaos in Rumah Api 2

Here is the 16th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, focusing on the upcoming DIY punk and metalfest Chaos in Rumah Api 2. I sat down with the organizers Man Beranak (of Sarjan Hassan, xCrimescenex, WHHIRR, and Annihilation Turbo Kids) and Emi Norazalli (of Tools of the Trade and WHHIRR) to talk about last year's installment, the logistics of organizing an international DIY fest in Kuala Lumpur, and what people can expect from this year's fest.
My thanks to Man and Emi for taking the time to talk to me.

Chaos in Rumah Api 2 Event Page

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bandcamp Picks: Desecravity, Veiyadra, Corpse Cook, Crucifixion BR

Led by superstar drummer Yuichi Kudo, Tokyo's Desecravity is one of the most impressive tech/death acts coming out of the Far East. On their sophomore album Orphic Signs, the Cryptopsy parallels from their debut are still evident, but the band has apparently decided to brush of some old Yngwie Malmsteen tutorials to add a healthy topping of widdle widdle wahhhh to the proceedings. If they played any faster, your minds would blow up. [$8.99]

Elsewhere in Tokyo, Veiyadra won't waste time showing off their chops when simple brutality will suffice. Despite a truly obnoxious sounding snare drum, Gehenna is a great addition to the global brotherhood of slam. The subwoofer-rupturing vocals and chunky breakdowns should make any fan of Disgorge and vintage Dying Fetus happy, but the songwriting is sharp enough that even someone like me who has little patience for the style can hesh out to this on a regular basis. [¥1,200]

Hell Is Empty, All Devils Are Here isn't the most original title, but truth be told, Beijing's Corpse Cook aren't the most original band - their meat and potatoes approach to death metal owes a lot to Cannibal Corpse (as, I can only assume, does their name). Still, this is commendable stuff - the production is top notch, and the songs are fun and unrelenting. Plus, how can you not love an album peppered with this many Evil Dead samples? [$10]

Destroying The Fucking Disciples Of Christ is the long awaited (by me, if no one else) debut album from Crucifixion BR. BR of course is short for "Brazil", which itself stands for "take no prisoners give no fuck death metal". Early Sepultura and Sarcofago are obvious reference points here, but this is no retro album - if anything, the singleminded worship of blastbeats and Satan herein is too timeless to be restricted to one era. The album includes the three songs from their debut EP and a Venom cover; it's safe to say this isn't going to change anyone's life, but their blasphemous exuberance brings a smile to my face. [$6.66 - because what else would it be?]

Monday, December 1, 2014

Death Metal World Cup

2014 has been a banner year for death metal; some of my favourite bands released a new album, and most of them were outstanding. Rather than do a conventional year end list, I decided it would be more fun as a ladder match, just like the glory days of Pride's Grand Prix.