Japanese grindcore band Viscera Infest have never been known for their restraint. Since 1999, they have offered extremity in gushing, steaming gut-piles, flailing away at already dangerous speeds while covered in blood and howling about some weird/gross medical bullshit (there’s a song on their last album, 2015’s Verrucous Carcinoma, called “Diffuseintrinsicpontnebrainstemglioma(DIPG)Placental-SiteTrophoblasticgnathopalatoschisiserosivegastritisoccultmaculardystrophyschistogloss-
ismyxoedemaempyesisuremicpneumoniasphingolipidosisglioblastom”). How can you top a band who gets their fashion tips from those utterly insane Mexican gore magazines? At this point they can’t get any uglier or weirder, so they’ve taken on an alarming new shock tactic: they keep playing faster. Faster than any black metal or grindcore or thrash metal band ever has. I remember nearly panicking at the velocity of Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill album in the 80s. Viscera Infest make Kreator’s speed metal sound like lumbering funeral doom.
Caught in a (cockroach) mosh
So, how are you supposed to react to their 350+ beats per minute blur-core insanity? Headbanging would land you in the hospital. Traditional pit moshing at that speed would probably cause you to just disintegrate on impact. So hardcore Infest fans have created a new dance/coping skill: the Cockroach Mosh. It’s exactly what you think it is. Just get on your back and wriggle.
Watch these sick videos of Slayer’s Tom Araya performing covers of Mötley Crüe, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Dio along with his brother John Araya on guitar. Al Messi plays Bass and Jake Alvarado is on drums. Dimitri Galeos, the uploader of these clips, plays second guitar.
One of the clips dates these performances at November of 1983, which would have been a month before Slayer’s Show No Mercy dropped. Slayer themselves had included covers of bands like Priest and Iron Maiden in their sets, playing small clubs and parties around Southern California.
It seems a bit odd, in retrospect, to see the singer of one of the quintessential American thrash bands performing songs that would be considered more “pop metal” by today’s standards. It should be noted that in the early ‘80s metal encompassed all of metal and metalheads often tended to embrace the full spectrum, much like punks in the early ‘80s tended to embrace anything under the banner “punk rock.” Once the mid ‘80s rolled around, you begin to see more splintering in both metal and punk scenes with offshoot genres springing up and fans gravitating toward their favored pigeon-holes. These clips represent a time of purity in the scene when basically anything went... as long as it was METAL (Insert falsetto wail here).
Pussy Riot fans, check this out - Divorce have just released a three track teaser for their upcoming, self-titled debut album, and damn, it’s good!
If you don’t know Divorce, then let me direct you to the links at the bottom of this post for some introductions. In a nutshell, this majority-female band make a ferocious racket that takes all the best bits of experimental music, noise-rock, thrash and doom and blends it into a unique, powerful sound that is guaranteed to blast the cobwebs out of your ears.
Divorce will be released on vinyl and download through Night School label on September 17th, and the limited edition records run will be printed half on purple vinyl, and half on green vinyl. The label says:
“Divorce” is the culmination of four years of uncompromising noise-rock brutality. Long-time friends of ours, it is an honour to be releasing the debut full-length statement from a band who have set new standards in underground extremity. Since their formation in 2008 they have progressed from no wave dirge practitioners to an unique cult that blurs the boundaries of what ‘punk’, ‘noise-rock’ or ‘metal’ are presumed to sound like. Remaining slippery in definition but relentlessly focused, Divorce have evolved into a singular, incomparable unit.
Recorded by Ali Walker at Glasgow’s Arc Studio & Devil’s Own Studio, “Divorce” finds the band pushing their furious sound further than ever before; a torrent of pummeling rhythms and serrated, overdriven riffs, extended freak outs and ecstatic push and pull dynamics. They have also explored their experimental tendencies more, incorporating power-electronics, white noise and, on the track “Stabby (Stabby) Stab”, free-jazz saxophone (courtesy of guest musician James Swinburne). All this, combined with an over-arching determination to take their music to new limits structurally and sonically, makes “Divorce” a unified audio experience. Divorce are Jennie Fulk (vocals), Vickie McDonald (guitars), VSO (bass) and Andy Brown (drums).
Divorce are one of the best live acts in the UK just now, and if there is any justice in the world, they will make their way Stateside to slay you guys pretty soon. These debut album recordings have done the trick of capturing a great band’s live energy, which is no mean feat. You can pre-order Divorcefrom here, and in the meantime, here’s some tracks to whet your appetite:
So Coachella is happening. Everyone with even a passing interest in live music knows this (and most likely from the holographic Tupac performance that has become quite the meme already.) And yeah, Coachella looks cool and all, but what if that’s not your kind of thing? What if you want music that’s a bit darker, a lot heavier, basically more extreme? Well, while you are definitely in the minority there, don’t worry because you are not alone.
Happening over the same weekend as the first part of Coachella, but thousands of miles away (both literally and metaphorically) Holland’s annual Roadburn Festival is a celebration of all things doom, drone, experimental, noisy and heavy. This years festival saw performances from Michael Gira, OM, Voivod, Doom, Sleep, Kong, Yob, GNOD, Bongripper, The Obsessed, Jucifer, Black Cobra, Urfaust, Electric Orange and the very fun-sounding Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation.
Roadburn takes place over four days in the Dutch town of Tilburg, and has been steadily attracting a growing fan base over the last few years, enough to start its own record label (affiliated with Burning World Records.) Next year’s headliners have already been confirmed, and it will be industiral legends Godflesh performing their classic album Pure in its entirety.
Here’s a statement taken from the Roadburn website (which also features details on travel and booking tickets):
Holland’s very own Roadburn Festival has become Europe’s leading underground festival for psychedelic, avant-garde, doom or any other variation of leftfield sonic pleasures that push the boundaries of music.
Originally a spin-off of the Roadburn website, the Roadburn Festival has emerged as an event in its own right. It brings together bands, fans & media from around the world. Despite it’s international acclaim, Roadburn Festival retains an underground vibe and ethics, but with seriously big-league production values.
In addition to the music, Roadburn has earned a reputation as having a unique camaraderie between the festivalgoers, bands, organizers and staff, and ranks as one of the best and most laid-back festivals to be experienced. It is one of the festival’s primary goals to make the Roadburn experience second to none, not only for the fans but for the artists as well.
Check out the Roadburn website too for video and audio streams of past performances, and details on travel and tickets.
And while, ok, an extreme music festival is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste (I think I’d have trouble listening to non-stop doom and drone for four days solid), it warms the cockles of the heart to know that something like this exists. Or maybe chills the cockles would be a better phrase?
Super 208 Productions have uploaded a series of video reports on the festival, one for each of its four days. Here’s part one, featuring music from Aggaloch, Michael Gira, OM, Red Fang, and Voivod:
After the jump, Roadburn video reports parts 2-4 featuring live music from Sleep, Celestial Season, Bongripper, Purson, Kong, Valiant Thorr, Barn Owl, GNOD, Wino & Conny Ochs, Nachtmystium, Urfaust, Black Cobra, more Voivod and many more…
Ah, the delights of hair metal. Marc, you have really opened up a can of glam worms with that post on vintage Poison! Here in its engorged entirety is still the best document of the mid-80s spandex metal years I have seen, though how most of these bands qualify as “metal” is beyond me, as is the fact that most of these men were considered red-blooded, macho heterosexuals! This whole world has been undergoing a re-appraisal in recent years, possibly as being the last time mainstream rock was this fun, stupid and thoroughly enjoyable. To quote Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler “And then that pussy Cobain came along and ruined everything”.
Decline… Pt 2 has lots of recognisable faces (Kiss without their make-up, a surprisingly lucid Ozzy Osbourne, the Toxic Twins from Aerosmith, wisened elder Lemmy) but the real stars of the film are the musicians and fans plucked straight from the Sunset Strip who we have never heard from again. The “where are they now” pathos, especially at the end, is almost heart-breaking. But don’t let that detract from the fun, especially the sight of Paul Stanley on a bed full of groupies, and Chris Holmes from W.A.S.P. pouring fake vodka into his own face while floating in a swimming pool and shouting at his mother:
Like holy crap, you guys. The Internet just told me there’s actually such a thing as dinosaur metal for kids. Apparently the band’s called “Hevisaurus,” a lot of the members used to be in Dio (!?!?!?) and their songs are in Finnish—although I would say the concept carries in any language, wouldn’t you?
Hevisaurus was a band made up of members from legendary band Dio and Sonata Arctica. Their goal was to recrod heavy metal for children. After an intense brainstorming session, someone thought of buying a bunch of dinosaur suits and the idea stuck. The music itself is in Finnish, but the lyrics usually deal with popular children’s stories and, you know, dinosaurs. Because that’s the heart of metal.
And now I can’t get their song, linked below, out of my head. Damn you Hevisaurus!
Lucifer’s Friend was a seventies prog-metal band that… OK, you stopped reading at “prog-metal.” I know, I know. But hear me out… these guys were one of the best of the whole lot, and are criminally underrated. I heard their album Banquet a couple years ago, and it’s irresistible, like Sammy Davis Jr. fronted Traffic or something.
A German outfit fronted by a British singer, Lucifer’s Friend first gained minor notoriety, and later major cult status, as both early practitioners of heavy metal and progressive rock. Formed in 1970 Hamburg, by former German Bonds members Peter Hesslein (guitar), Peter Hecht (keyboards), Dieter Horns (bass), and Joachim Rietenbach (drums), the group was initially dubbed Asterix and recorded an entire album’s worth of material before connecting with singer John Lawton, whose then band, Stonewall, was playing a residency at the city’s famed Top Ten Club. Lawton’s vocals would grace Asterix’s only, eponymous album later the same year, and all involved were excited enough by the results that they immediately began collaborating on more material with which to relaunch the band under the provocative new moniker of Lucifer’s Friend…