Thursday, July 28, 2011

Total Fucking Destruction/Skat Injector- Ubi Nihil Vales, Ibi Nihil Velis

Here we have a split of between Total Fucking Destruction and Skat Injector. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Total Fucking Destruction. For those out of the loop they have been together for quite awhile and have released a few albums and a slew of splits since their formation. Skat Injector is a self proclaimed "electro splatter gore" band from London. They are fronted by a  masked transvestite and have a had their fair share of releases and splits as well. Though the pairing of bands here may seem a bit odd this split is pretty enjoyable.

Total Fucking Destruction's side of the split is completely made up of live material. There are four previously released tracks on their side and they are "Human Is the Bastard", "Monsterearth Megawar", "Wounded Unit", and "Youth Apocalypse Right Now". The fact that there is no new material is a slight disappointment. With that being said the recordings here will make you want to go out and see Total Fucking Destruction live as soon as possible. The sound quality on the live recording is excellent aside from the vocals being a little low in the mix.

Now for Skat Injector, this cybergrind trio is actually more appealing than the others I've encounter since getting into grind. Still nothing overwhelmingly good but it has it's moments, but when compared to my previous introductions to the genre this plays out like Citizen Kane. Skat Injector's side has two tracks and comes out about equal in length to TFD. The first song "Anal Suicide" is an insanely catchy tune. The sickening shrieks of Zara Skumshot fit the music well and the lows on the first track add a solid variety. The electronic elements in both tracks are reminiscent of a soundtrack of some terrible 80's horror flick (which oddly enough isn't a bad thing by any means). Luckily, rather than just coming across as random noise like most of the other bands that fall into this category, Skat Injector actually has a fairly unique sound going on and it is worth a listen.

Overall this split is worth a look for those in search of good electronic influenced grind. Fans of Total Fucking Destruction won't find anything new here but the diehard fans may want to give it a look. As soon as I was told Skat Injector played a "cybergrind" of sorts I wasn't looking forward to hearing this at all but I sucked it up and listened and enjoyed it quite a bit. That should say something I suppose. This is worth at least one listen and has convinced me I need to give some of Skat Injector's other material a look.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nightbringer- Death and the Black Work

Nightbringer is a black metal band from Colorado that formed back in 1999. This is their first full-length released in 2008 after a slew of demos and splits. As a whole when comparing this to their past work there are obvious similarities. The style itself is pretty much unchanged, but everything has grown. This full-length is a much more dense experience than any of their previous work and it seems to flow without flaw. All the tracks on the album exceed seven minutes in length and the total playtime between the seven songs comes out at around an hour.

The album opens with "Capuf Draconis- Black Saturn" which opens with some subtle sounds that slowly grow more intense, then you begin to hear the distant cries of people in pain. This goes on for about three minutes and then after a brief silence the music comes in. Already, just over three minutes into the album, the tone is set. From this moment on you will be completely infatuated by the sounds coming from the speakers.

Right off the start Nightbringer lets you, the listener, know that you're in for a hellish ride. Some moments featured here are quite haunting but peppered within there are also moments that almost count as relaxing. Though the album never strays away from the grim, evil noise that one would expect it does have quite a bit of variation. The pace changes frequently and there are very doomy moments to be found throughout.

The sound on Death and the Black Work is absolutely gigantic. It is drenched in distortion and reverb but it all comes together perfectly and forms one huge wave of overwhelming black metal mastery. The main thing that makes this so appealing is the atmosphere it creates. Not one track comes to mind in recent memory that matches "Feast of the Wanes" in terms of capturing such a sinister sound. The drumming on this record doesn't call for the typical nonstop blasting. The pace changes frequently throughout all the tracks featured here and this makes the drumming featured a very unique listen. The vocals aren't anything too special, the normal tortured shrieks are used almost exclusively. They are particularly convincing but nothing to write home about.

Overall Nightbringer's first full-length Death and the Black Work still proves to be their best effort thus far. The band still releases quality material but those looking to get into them should start here. Anybody remotely into black metal should give this a listen, fans of black metal with a heavy use of atmosphere should definitely add this to the top of the to get list. Give it a shot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bones- Bones

First things first, holy shit! Bones is from Chicago and they are raw as hell. Fans of black/thrash veterans Usurper may notice that this dirty trio is made up completely of members of the now defunct group. Don't go into this album expected a carbon copy of their past work. While some comparisons can be made it is clear when listening that Bones is a very different beast.

This album kicks off immediately and grabs you by the balls and doesn't loosen its grip until you can't take anymore. This isn't just typical death metal it is a melting pot of heaviness. They deliver their music with punk attitude, thrash your brains out and have some crust elements, they are doomy at times and on top of that they are drenched in sludge. Sounds like everything you could want in an album? If so forget about reading the rest of this and just listen to it.

The production for this album is booming and the guitars just roar. The guitar tone is the definition of heavy. The album runs off pure adrenaline and simple riffs that simply tear the listener to shreds. Imagine a concoction of Motorhead, Toxic Holocaust (Evil Never Dies era), and some old school Master thrown in for good measure and you'd have a general idea of what Bones is all about. This is the perfect example of no holds barred metal. There is no comfort zone to be found. Many death metal bands have the ability to be "heavy" but Bones takes it a step further with their brand of aggressive, sickening grime, by incorporating all of the energy humanly possible in this blast of fury.

Though for the most part Bones runs strictly off brute force, when they slow things down and do more riff driven tracks the outcome is just as good.  Necromancer's vocals have that uncontrolled sound. There isn't a huge amount of variation but considering none of the vocals have that generic "fabricated" sound it shouldn't bug anyone in the slightest. He delivers his harsh vocals with a great amount of power and anger. In the end all of the elements featured on this album mesh together perfectly and form the ultimate fit of death metal rage.

Overall Bones rips a solid portion of the competition to bits. This really is a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the newer death metal bands coming out, they're just here to tear you a new asshole and then leave you there to bleed out. By the end of this album your ears will hate you forever and fear the next time you bring headphones near them. This is the sickest debut of the year thus far, if you don't check this one out you will become the laughingstock of the metal community. Get on it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Basement: 5 Films On DVD+VHS Tape

The Flicks:

The Basement (1989):

The Basement has a strange story behind it. The film was made back in 1989 and has sat on the shelf collecting dust ever since. It is a shot on Super 8 anthology film directed by Tim O'Rawe (Ghoul School). After the film was made it was planned to be released by Camp Pictures but unfortunately the footage turned out too dark to use. With the technology they had available back then there wasn't much they could do with it but shelf it. The film was recently dug back up by the folks at Camp Motion Pictures and is finally getting a release. They went all out and got Chris LaMartina to create a soundtrack for the release and packed the disc with special features.

The story starts off with a group of four strangers that are all in a basement together. We don't know quite how they got there but they are met soon after by The Sentinel. The Sentinel then proceeds to show them some of the horrible things that will occur in their future. So with that being said we get four stories, one for each of the individuals in the basement. The first tale is titled "Swinging Pool". This segment centers on Victoria, she is a real bitch living the life and soaking up the sun out by the pool. Her significant other dives on in and is soon battling for his life with a strange creature that dwells beneath. After witnessing this, our main lady does what anyone would do and invites all her enemies over so she can sacrifice them to this water demon. Out of all the sections in The Basement this one went by the quickest.

The second part is "Trick Or Treat", it follows a bitter school teacher who absolutely despises Halloween. He might have a sudden change of heart though when a few monsters show up to pay him a little visit. "Zombie Movie" follows the director of an independent zombie film. He doesn't take criticism well and he treats his cast and crew like shit. Luckily for him he has a member of the crew who still cares about him enough to warn him that zombies are roaming the area. The director is too stubborn to listen and continues to go hold "auditions" for two fine young women in his trailer. Sadly the directors cocaine sexfest is interrupted when the zombies finally reach his door.

The fourth and final story follows an ambitious young man who has just purchased his dream house after spending plenty of time searching. He is warned about the haunting past of the house and the torture and killings that occurred there but he still makes the decision to take the place. Immediately when he gets there his mind begins to play tricks on him. Soon after him and his friend start drinking some Jim Bean the blood starts to paint the walls

Given that the film was pretty much worthless due to how dark it was I'd say the picture quality is actually decent. Some moments are still dark and it is most noticeable in the final story "Home Sweet Home". The dialogue is pretty hilarious at times and the dubbing can be a bit humorous. While the stories may not be the most original in the world they still are entertaining enough to get away with it. The attempts at humor are actually funny, like when JR Bookwalter holds up a picture of George Romero and it works as a defense mechanism against zombies, and the gore and creature effects are excellent.

Overall this is a pretty good low budget anthology. Sure it doesn't compete with the huge ones like Creepshow, Tales From the Darkside, and Body Bags but it certainly has that independent charm. If you need a perfect picture to enjoy a film stay as far away as possible but if you are searching for an ambitious early attempt at movie making this is right up your alley. It is clear tons of hard work was put into the making of this movie and it is a shame that it took it this long to be seen by the masses. If you are into any of the other classics that Camp Motion Pictures has released you will dig this just as much.

Captives (1987)
(Mama's Home is the only cover I could find)

Captives is another release featured on the set that is making it's DVD debut. Many of you may know it by the name Mama's Home. This is yet another film that doesn't get as much praise as it should. The movie was directed by Gary Cohen (who is fairly well known in the horror community for the classic SOV films Video Violence 1 & 2) and it is very different than what he is known for. This is a very serious movie when compared to his other films and it is very well done.

When Nicki is released from prison after serving a twelve year sentence for a crime she did not commit she breaks into the house of her ex-husband's new family when he leaves for work. She is looking to get even for all her pain and suffering and she has brought her two brothers with her (one of which is mentally challenged and the other is just a scumbag). Once inside they force the family to watch some home  videos and explain what happened that got Nicki locked up. It turns out her ex-husband started a fire at their house and left their baby behind when he ran from the inferno, but Nicki was blamed for what had happened and was charged with murder.

All is good until the babysitter shows up and sees the family dog dead in the aquarium. After seeing this she attempts to get away but the psychopath, drug dealer brother stabs her in the gut before she even makes it out the door. In order to save her child the mother plots an escape plan with the mentally challenged man who feels bad for the murder that had occurred. Little does she know the other two are hearing the plan over the baby monitor and soon a bloody battle ensues. Meanwhile we see how Nicki's  "clean" ex-husband lives day to day when he is at work, coked out of his mind and beating on hookers.

One pleasant surprise about Captives is the great acting for a low budget flick. This aspect was completely unexpected but each and every actor was very convincing. The story works and keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The character development works and you actually care about the characters when all is said and done. There is a little bit of gore here and there but that isn't what this film is all about. When it does pop up it looks pretty good though.

Overall Captives is an extremely engrossing movie. Don't go into it expecting something like the Video Violence films or an all out gorefest (even though the Majestic Home Video release "Mama's Home" would suggest otherwise). If you are in search of a solid, thrilling film and don't mind a low budget film than this is definitely for you. Check it out.

Cannibal Campout (1988)

Next up in the set is an absolute classic SOV flick. Cannibal Campout was directed by Jon McBride who also did Feeders and Woodchipper Massacre. I've seen this movie countless times and it is without a doubt one of my all time favorite cheese films. It is the film that got me into shoestring budget movies and fueled my love for all things gory. The film has slowly gotten a cult following and is now one of the most well known out of all the SOV films. Sit back, prepare to laugh, and enjoy the ride!

The story follows four teens that decide to go on a camping trip to escape the stress of everyday life. Even though a few people mention the recent disappearance of a family in the area they are traveling to the group still continues with their plans. On the way into the woods they are blocked by a nearly stopped car, they honk multiple times until the two gentlemen inside get angry and confront them. One of them pulls a knife and the campers speed away to safety. Little did they know the two individuals they bumped into are hungry cannibals in search of their next meal!

When the cannibals come out to play the campers must fight for their lives in order to prevent themselves from being the next dish. More victims are added to the menu as well when a two friends go out to play a prank on the campers. Finally all the campers get rounded up by the cannibals and the gore begins to cover the screen. If you are easily offended the dialogue is packed with offensive things

First things first, this movie is PACKED with gore. The effects are actually pretty well done and there are some very gruesome moments. Also, Chris (one of the campers), is one of the least emotional actors I've ever had the pleasure to witness on screen. The camerawork is impressive too, it isn't often you come across a cheesy gore flick with little to no budget and get something nicely shot. Rich (the cannibal with the gruff voice) has some of the funniest lines in movie history. Whenever he opens his mouth everyone in the room is sure to explode with laughter. Did I mention The Toxic Avenger makes an appearance towards the end of the film (or what appears to be his evil twin at least).

Overall Cannibal Campout is such a fun ride. The movie delivers in every way, the humor works, the gore is served up in massive amounts, and even though the plot is simple and not very original it holds the viewers attention. I can't imagine anyone who isn't a fan of b-movies enjoying this film, but if you're a fan of the cheese this is where it's at. For a film that essentially was almost completely crafted by one person (hell he even did the music) this is a great effort and while it may not be "good" so to speak, it is a ton of fun and really when you go into a movie like this that is what you are seeking.

Video Violence... When Renting Is Not Enough! (1987)
"Cut it clean, and then take it to the slicer and give me a half a pound of arm!"

Video Violence is another of the most infamous SOV horror flicks. Gary Cohen directed this low budget gem. The concept was pretty unique and original for it's time and it goes beyond just being your average slasher flick. The gore is unflinching for the time and the cheese isn't completely overwhelming.

Mr. Emery has just moved into a new town to open a video store. Business is booming and the people in can't get enough of the horror. He normally works alone at the store with Rick who is also fairly new to the town, unfortunately neither of them have gotten a warm welcome from anybody in the neighborhood. Aside from people giving them the cold shoulder everything seems to be fine. That is until a blank tape ends up mixed in the pile of the return drop box.

Rick practically begs Mr. Emery to play the tape and finally curiosity gets to him and they pop it into the VCR. They are horrified when they discover that this tape contains a snuff film of the murder of the local postman who supposedly left for Florida not too long ago. Emery heads off to the police station and Rick stays behind. When he arrives him and the chief head over to the video store and by the time they get there Rick is gone and the tape has been replaced. The chief writes it off as Emery having an overactive imagination and leaves angrily. Soon after another tape of Rick being strangled ends up on the counter and Emery personally takes it to the chief to show him, when loading the tape the officer records over the murder on "accident".

Now that it is clear that he isn't going to get any help from the police Emery takes matters into his own hands and starts an investigation. After digging a little deeper it seems that Mr. and Mrs. Emery might be in over their heads. Some of the scenes of torture in this movie are surprisingly realistic, but you do get the occasional bad gore effect (see an arm turn into what is clearly some kind of lunchmeat). There are a few familiar faces from Captives starring in this movie as well.

Overall Video Violence is actually extremely well done for a no budget flick of its kind. Once you finish this boxset you'll be wishing Cohen would have directed more films. He certainly came out with some solid ones in the late 80's and seeing him have a comeback would be great. Anyone looking to check out some of the SOV horror flicks should be directed towards this or Cannibal Campout. Movies like 555 and Spine are good as well but these two seem to be the easiest to digest for your "average" movie viewer.

Video Violence 2 (1988)

Video Violence 2 basically continues where the first left off. Rather than just having tapes dropped off at the video store this installment focuses more on the actual Howard and Eli show. It is broadcasted on the television now and has blown up in a way. The whole town is involved and things are crazier than ever. Prepare for gore, torture, and heaps of that signature Howard and Eli humor!

The plot here is paper thin. Aside from the torture going down there isn't really much going on. That being said it delivers on the gore (though the eye pop is very funny). The movie essentially is just an entire episode of the Howard and Eli Show with a twist thrown in at the end. There is also a great deal of humor in this one. Much more so than the original. The twist is actually hilarious but I won't give it away here.

Overall this is an entertaining watch if you take it for what it is. Should there have been a Video Violence 2? Probably not. The original stands well enough on it's own but this is by no means bad. The idea of making a Video Violence 3 is mentioned in the special features, which is something I honestly wouldn't mind seeing. There are tons of things one could do with this concept. Video Violence 2 takes the cheese of the first to a new level and is the least serious of Cohen's films. If you dig this kind of stuff, or enjoyed the first this one is definitely good for at least one watch. Not much else to say about it, simple film, simple plot, simple review.

DVD Features:
Each film featured in the set comes with it's own commentary. All the commentaries are very good and informative the only gripe I have (and it is very minor) is that the Captives commentary is just an episode of the Alternative Cinema podcast (which is great but mainly focuses on theatre rather than the film). I'd love to hear more of the story behind Captives from Cohen. The Basement disc is the one that really packs in the features. Included are awesome short films and a few episodes of a tv show produced by Michael Raso, the episodes on the disc all feature ,members of some of the movies in the set, these shows are also very entertaining and contain some very cool music videos (and have me searching like a madman for more of Purple Bishop's material!). The Video Violence 1 & 2 disc contains the same features as the original Camp Motion Pictures release of the movies. If you are interested in SOV films or just independent cheese at all this set is the perfect thing to pick up. Did I forget to mention the bigbox packaging and the VHS copy of The Basement included? Get it.... Now! One of the best sets I've seen in a long time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Reign Of Vengeance- Disemboweling Swine

Reign of Vengeance brings the chaos with Disemboweling Swine. The band formed back in 2005 and released an EP in 2007. This is their first full-length and it is clear with song titles like "A Massacre Of Mormons" and a cover displaying an officer of the law being robbed of his insides that the band isn't out to make any friends. On top of all that it is released by Brain Damage Music, so,  needless to say this album is a big slab of horrifying brutal death metal. 

Reign of Vengeance music is very complex and technical without a doubt. They don't take it too far like many other bands out today though. They still keep their focus on creating a solid song and not just writing a series of crazy, over the top tapping moments. It can at times be chaotic but it is always very calculated and done with a major amount of precision. The tone works wonders and can be crushing when needed but also very sharp and clear. The solos featured on the album are always highlights. Gibbons can set the frets on fire and he makes it very clear with this release.

Not only does this album feature some great guitar playing, the bass also shines throughout. This is to be expected when you have Nick Schendzielos (of Cephalic Carnage) plucking away. The majority of the tracks wouldn't be nearly as interesting without some of the basslines that are scattered throughout. For the most part the tracks are short and to the point (the longest is 4:14). Even the tracks that break four minutes fly by and the album flows incredibly well. This is one of the rare albums that can be listened to start to finish over and over again without growing old.

There are a slew of different vocal styles used throughout the album. This really adds to the intensity. As does the drumming, the kit is constantly being pummeled throughout and it gives off a very unrelenting feeling when listening. Some of the more tame tracks here are also excellent as well, the first one that comes to mind is "A Tradition Of Bloodshed" which, when compared to the rest of the album is much more traditional. These tracks focus more on crushing the listener rather than melting what is left of their brain. Overall they really help the album flow better and are infectious as hell.

Overall Reign of Vengeance is definitely worth a look. The band is clearly made up of badass musicians and there is not one dull moment on the record. This may not be anything extremely innovative but they do what they do well and fans of the style will enjoy. Any fans of Cephalic Carnage and similar bands should find something worthwhile here. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brutally Deceased- Dead Lovers Guide

Brutally Deceased may come from the Czech Republic but for the most part their music would have you thinking Sweden in the good old days. They have been together since 2007 and this is their first full-length. The band is named after a song from Grave's classic album You'll Never See, so they are setting the bar pretty high for expectations. You get nine tracks of filth packed into this thirty three minute filthfest and it seems to fly by in no time.

If there is one thing that can ruin a old school death metal "resurgence" album it would have to be squeaky clean production. You're not going to find any of that bullshit here, the tone is thick and nasty and everything comes across just as filthy as it should. The riffs are groove based a good portion of the time but there are a also quite a few moments of really fast unrelenting attacks. When the band speeds up at times it can sound pretty bland but for the most part they hit the mark.

There are a few real standout tracks on the album which is always a plus. "Demise Of the Human Swine" has an epic buildup that is unforgettable and "... And Here I Die Forsaken" has some of the best soloing on the record along with one of the catchiest riffs I've heard in a long time. Another thing that increases the replay value of the album is how well it flows. "All That Rots And Withers" seems to pick up right where "Demise Of the Human Swine" left off. The vocals mesh with the music almost flawlessly. There is nothing flashy to be seen here, just that deep, guttural roar that has been heard a million times before. It is done well though and that is all that matters.

Overall Brutally Deceased could very well be lumped in the towering pile of newer old school death metal bands. The fact of the matter is that if you made a blank tape dub of this album and gave it to someone unaware of the band they would have a hard time pinpointing the year it was made. Fans of newer bands like Demonical and Morbider will dig this just as much and obviously fans of old school Swedish death metal (who could give a fuck less about the date it was made and just want great music) should check this out as well. Brutally Deceased is definitely a band to keep your eye on. Let's just hope their next release is up to par with this.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Odinfist- We Are Gods

Odinfist is a four piece power/thrash metal band. They formed back in 2006 and have since released two full-lengths and two EPs. We Are Gods is their second full-length and the band shows some serious promise. Their brand of thrashy power metal isn't quite perfected but they are on the right route. The first thing that sticks out when the album starts is the energy. They capture the old school sound better than most of the competition without a doubt. Obviously there are a few more modern sounding things involved in Odinfist's sound but overall that throwback vibe is always there.

While the music is energetic it never really comes across as "heavy" so to speak. This may be because the guitar tone doesn't pack much of a punch. The album is mainly riff and hook based. In addition to this there is also a vast amount of odd melodies incorporated in sections that at times makes things seem a bit scatterbrained. This may turn many people off at first (as it did with me) but after a few listens these moments grew on me and actually is one of the few things that separates Odinfist from the mass amount of bands that are playing a similar style. The solos featured here melt faces as expected with a band like this. At times the solos seem a tad sloppy but it is never enough to ruin said solo.

The vocals are a healthy mix of clean and harsh, there is a wide range of different styles used and it really keeps the listening experience as fresh as possible. It is amazing that so many vocal approaches could be used on one record and still coming across relatively cohesive. The delivery for the most part is extremely catchy and is the type could imagine a crowd chanting along to.

Overall We Are Gods is a fun ride. The band is clearly having a good time with their music and it comes across when listening. Coming from someone who normally doesn't dig power metal much, this is a solid album. I feel that if they expand on the positive things displayed on this album they could release something superb. Whether you are a thrash fan, a power metal fan, or just a fan of metal in general this one is worth a few listens.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reign Of Vengeance Interview

Reign Of Vengeance's new album "Disemboweling Swine" was released July 7th, 2011 on Brain Damage Music. In this interview we get Tommy Gibbons and Marshall "Fucking" Beck's thoughts on the new album, the drummer situation, and horror among other things.

Foul Feast- Could you tell us a little about how the band came about?
Marshall- REIGN OF VENGEANCE was originally started by Mark Kozuback from Vehemence and myself with the intentions of doing one concept album "Revenge By Bloodshed" and not performing live shows. After Mark's departure, Tommy and I decided to carry the band onwards and write another album.  REIGN OF VENGEANCE has since written and recorded the"Disemboweling Swine" album and has done many extremely brutal,bloody, gore packed live shows.

FF- Paulicelli recently left his spot in the band as drummer. Did you guys part ways on good terms? Also, how are you going about finding a replacement?

Marshall- Yes, we are still on good terms with Paulicelli.  Samus is an extremely busy guy.  However, we would still drink beers and chill with the dude if we ever crossed paths.  The band is simply moving onward for its own progress.

FF- How have things been going in terms of doing gigs lately?

Marshall- We have been doing well with that up to this point but not as steadily as planned.  It will be much easier to perform and tour constantly once we have our new and fully committed drummer.  When we do get ourselves onstage we put on the most bloody and intense live show in death metal that I'm aware of.  

FF- How does the experience in this band compare to past or current experiences in other bands?
Tommy- Well first off this is a pro band no local yocal bullshit!....... I guess what I'm trying to say is most local bands want the rewards without doing the work. They want to get paid when they bring no one to shows and they think if they become local heroes it makes them bigger than everyone else. Working with local yocals was a pain in my ass. They never wanted to tour, never wanted to pitch or help out in anyway. It's pretty pathetic.

 FF- When did the writing process for Disemboweling Swine begin?

Tommy- I'd have to say about a year and a half to two years ago.

FF- A good portion of your music is very complex. When writing the record was it more of a group effort or did everyone write their own parts?

Tommy- I wrote the song structures, pre-productions, and formats. Then Nick and Samus came out and recorded their parts around the structures. 
Marshall wrote the lyrics and concepts.

FF- Do you like how the album has turned out and the response it has gotten so far?

Marshall- We are very satisfied with how the album has turned out.  That is all that matters. We do not care about the response.

FF- What are you hoping to achieve with this project in the next couple of years?

Marshall- We look forward to touring extensively and writing more music.  Those are the plans, those are the goals, they will be met.

 FF- I've read that one of your "Band Principles" is fun. Is fun something that you feel is lacking in the modern death metal scene?

Marshall- The point of making music is for personal enjoyment.  Unless you are a pop artist with a million dollar budget and expecting a million dollar paycheck there is no other reason to make music.  REIGN OF VENGEANCE takes itself very seriously when it comes to the creation of our music and the ability to put on a technically sound live show.  When we as individuals stop enjoying what we are doing then there will be no reason to continue. Death Metal does not get the bills paid, it is that simple.  

FF- I noticed you guys are on Brain Damage Music, are you all big horror fans?

Marshall- Yes, that is why we are signed with Brain Damage Films/Music.  BrainDamage Films is the world's largest distributor of horror movies and as THE horror movie death metal band we figured the alliance was perfect.  Having also helped launch countless very well known bands with their "Traces ofDeath" soundtrack REIGN OF VENGEANCE knew that Brain Damage Films/Music would be able to effectively assist in getting the band's goals met.

FF- What are some of your favorite horror flicks?

Marshall- I could go on for hours... Instead, I'll give you some must see and easily obtained mainstream horror films/movies in different sub genres.  There is a lot of really bad horror out there but you cannot go wrong with the listbelow.
Comedy Horror- "Dead Alive"
Shockumentary- "Traces of Death"
Show-  "Masters of Horror"
Exploitative-  "Cannibal Holocaust" 
Realistic and Disturbing-  "The Girl Next Door"
Old School but Updated (much like the music of REIGN OF VENGEANCE)-"Hatchet"
Supernatural-  "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch Project 2"

FF- Any final thoughts?

Marshall-  No. That is efficient.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer

The Flick:
Dahmer. One of the few serial killers that has become a household name. Many films have tried to tell the story behind the Jeffrey Dahmer killings and plenty of them have failed completely. Out of all the films that were made about the story and how big the story was no one would've assumed that the low budget flick with a no name cast would hit the nail on the head when it came to accuracy. The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer essentially just gives the cut and dry story of the Dahmer murders and it does this quite well. The film doesn't contain any huge fight scenes or action packed moments because it simply does not need it to get the point across.

The story starts with Jeffery narrating, and throughout a solid portion of the film this continues. He is living with his mother and brings home a hitchhiker who he hopes will join him in his "fantasy". Unfortunately after doing a couple sets on the weight bench the hitcher wants Dahmer to take him to his girlfriends house. If Jeffrey can't have the young man nobody can, so he cracks him in the skull with one of the weights and chops him up. After a fairly big gap Dahmer strikes again, supposedly without even being aware of his actions. He has been living with his grandmother for quite some time at this point and his urges to kill are growing at an alarming rate. He has even kept the skull of one of his victims and is convinced that it is his "friend". Not long after all this occurs Dahmer gets a call from his father. His father is upset with him mooching off his grandmother and bringing his gay lovers into her house and tells Dahmer he needs to get his shit together and get his own place.
This is when Dahmer gets settled into his new place and the killing spree really kicks off. He lures in his unsuspecting victims by offering them cash to pose for pictures. Armed with a Polaroid camera the victims don't ever see it coming until it is too late. Dahmer not only begins to kill more often but he also keeps pieces of people in his freezer and does odd experiments with his victims involving acid. As Jeffrey gets more sadistic as time goes on the movie gets progressively more unsettling. Even though the film doesn't contain much gore it definitely still packs a punch in terms of brutality. Given that the majority of this movie features the killer narrating the events the movie really gives off that "into the mind of a serial killer" type vibe.

Many picky people could complain about the acting in this film, but in all honesty for the most part the main character and many of the others do a good job with their role. The voice actors on the phone are horrible but aside from that the acting really works once you get into the story. Carl Crews (who plays Dahmer here) should be a familiar face to seasoned horror fans. He does an excellent job playing the oddly calm Jeffrey Dahmer depicted in this film.

Overall this Dahmer flick delivers. It doesn't stray away from the story at all and it is clear that much time was spent to make sure it stayed as true to reality as possible. This is probably the most raw, bleak depiction of the Dahmer story ever put to film. Though it does shy away a tad from the sexual side of Dahmer it is able to remain disturbing without including all of the gratuitous sex and over the top gore. This is without a doubt the only Dahmer movie that should be considered "essential viewing" to all of those who are interested in the life of Jeffrey Dahmer and the murders that he committed.
DVD Contents:
Unlike Intervisions other DVD releases thus far this disc isn't quite packed with features. It does have a great commentary featuring star Carl Crew and director David R. Bowen. It is extremely interesting to hear Crew (who also wrote the film) express his thoughts on the other Dahmer films and how much he studied to make the film as accurate as possible. With all that being said the picture quality is decent and the sound quality is pretty good as well (excluding a few moments of quiet dialogue).

Special Features:
Audio Commentary With Carl Crew and David R. Bowen

Monday, July 11, 2011

Things (1989)

"Oh! The blood is just dripping like maple syrup!!!" 

The Flick:
Here we have a whopping heap of "Canuxploitation". Things is the first shot on Super-8 Canadian gorefest that was released for the VHS market. This is much more than your average cheese flick. Not many films use the same approach to storytelling as Things. The people who go into this movie not knowing what to expect are going to be thrown for a major loop upon initial viewing. Nothing could prepare you for the viewing experience you are about to witness; it is truly something has to be seen to be believed. Even the people who hate it won't be able to look away, once the movie is popped in you are in for the longhaul because it is simply too crazy to ignore.

The movie opens the way any film should, with a naked woman in a devil mask (take notes aspiring filmmakers!) After we see this odd sequence Don and Fred are introduced. They are on their way to pay Doug (Fred's brother) a visit at his cabin. Upon arrival Doug isn't present and some strange items are found inside the fridge that may lead one to believe some kind of satanic ritual had taken place. Soon after Doug arrives and fixes up some sandwiches (one of which has a special, foul treat inside).
 All the fun is interrupted when Doug realizes his wife is having some issues with the pregnancy. A strange creature pops out of her and the house is infested with these Things in no time. Doug explains that though they wanted a child they were unable to conceive one on their own so they got help from the insane Dr. Lucas. In what seems like a blink of an eye Fred is gone and leaves quite a bit of blood behind. Don writes it off as spontaneous combustion and is not phased much by the weird event.  It is now up to Doug and Don to kill these creatures with the help of some power tools that are at their disposal.

Things tosses the viewers brain into a blender and then serves it up to them with an eyeball where the cherry should be. The odd lighting is sure to have you feeling a little funky and the scatterbrained film being shown on your screen probably doesn't help the situation. Throughout the entire movie random clips of Amber Lynn reporting news are spliced in. About 99% of the time these news broadcasts have absolutely no relevance to what is occurring. So many classic moments can be found in this cheesy gem. One of the first that comes to mind is when Dr. Lucas arrives at the house. The overacting is a delicious moment for all the fans of cheese and is sure to give just about anyone a laugh.

Overall Things is far from conventional. The main plot takes the backseat for the most part and long drawn out sequences of things that appear to mean nothing are abundant. It is obvious that the film is made up of a bunch of horror fans that put a large amount of hard work into this project. While it may not be every viewers cup of tea it is truly something unique and I think it is safe to say that you won't see anything like this again.
DVD Contents:
What Intervision is doing here is excellent. They clearly pour tons of time and effort into each and every release, when in reality it is a B-movie fans wetdream that these films are even seeing the dvd treatment. Intervision going the extra mile time and time again is really what puts them so far ahead of the competition. Don't go into this release expecting a nice, crisp picture, the quality here has the charm of the original format Things was released on, and in all honesty I wouldn't have it any other way.

- Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Jordan and Stars Barry J. Gillis, Jan W. Pachul and Doug Bunston
- Audio Viewing Party With The Cinemafamily
- Interviews With Tobe Hooper, Jason Eisener and Rob Contterill, Paul Corupe, and Joseph A. Ziemba and Dan Budnik
- 20th Anniversary Cast & Crew Reunion
- Behind the Scenes With Amber Lynn
- Vintage Barry J. Gillis TV Appearances
- Original Trailers

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brutally Deceased streaming entire debut album online!

Czech death metal quartet, Brutally Deceased, is currently streaming online all 9 tracks of its first LP entitled "Dead Lovers' Guide". If you cherish raw, old school death metal - fast & brutal with no frills - in the genuine Swedish tradition you can check out the music by heading over to band's Bandcamp ( or Soundcloud ( page.

The album was recorded in April, 2010 and consequently released on CD format by Lavadome productions in September. Furthermore, a vinyl release of "Dead Lovers' Guide" is scheduled for Fall/Winter 2011.

Album track listing:

1. Lustful Sodomy In The House Of God 2:50
2. Dead Lovers' Guide 2:23
3. Blissful Desecration 4:23
4. They Shall Feast 3:29
5. ...And Here I Die Satisfied 4:29
6. A Life Once Aborted 3:00
7. Demise Of The Human Swine 4:38
8. All That Rots And Withers 3:09
9. Override Of The Overture (Dismember cover) 4:48
Total time: 33:10
Current line-up: Zlababa - vocals, Tomas - guitars, Burak - bass, Stefy - drums
Some of the members also pursue other musical activities in Heaving Earth, Psychotic Despair, Jig-Ai.
For more news and information about live appearances, visit band's Facebook or Myspace page.

Astrum- Tales of Witchlore

The mighty Astrum is back again for their second full-length. They have been at it since 2000 and have released a slew of demos along with the full-length. Since their inception they have stuck to a similar style but expand on it and make it better with each release. Those familiar with the band know what to expect here, eleven tracks clocking in at near twenty nine minutes of riff oriented insanity.

As usual one of the major highlights on this record is the riffs. Catchy riffs are abundant on this album from start to finish. Sure, this isn't the most technical or unique thing ever put out but the playing style used here turns out to work well. The solos used here fit well with the songs and never seem out of place. The bass has a very bellowing tone and pounds furiously being the guitars. The combination packs a nice punch and makes this album excellent for a good ol' headbanging session.

This album also features Timpaler's signature vocal style. Those who have heard any of the previous Astrum or Kosmokrater releases know whether they like this style or not. For some reason it seems his vocals on this record are easier to digest than on previous releases, there is no major change in the approach but at first listen it seems like they may have a little less "snarl" in them.

As expected the vocals can be a make or break for some people, they work for me but are quite outlandish to say the least. Keep in mind even if Timpaler's pipes don't do it for you that this is a riff-driven album and the focus while listening is mainly given to that aspect of the album. This vocal approach also allows every single lyric used to be heard and understood clearly. The lyrical themes aren't mindblowing by any means, and at times on the cheesy side but they work. The production on the album is excellent for an independent release. The balance of all the instruments is nearly perfect for the style and has that very thick, deep sound. Every note can be made out from each member.

Overall you are going to get exactly what you expect out of the new Astrum release. Things have gotten a bit more solid for the band all around and the music is a tad more persistent. That being said, if you didn't dig their previous releases Tales of Witchlore most likely won't change your mind. So, if you are up for it kick back and let the "Master of Rock" throw some tasty riffs into your earhole.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nocturnal Fear- Excessive Cruelty

Nocturnal Fear is a thrash band from Detroit, Michigan. The four piece formed back in 2000 and have been consistently mangling metalheads since. Excessive Cruelty is the band's fifth full-length and they still show no signs of fatigue. One glimpse at the song titles alone should give those who aren't familiar with the band a good idea of what they are all about. This is high class wartorn thrash of the highest degree that is sure to make every head in the area bang forcefully.

The guitar playing on the album is fairly memorable. There are many riffs here that will linger in your head long after the listening experience is over. There is also plenty of variation to go around, the slow epic section in "I Am War" is one of the first moments that comes to mind. The interesting songs structures and riffs manage to make this near 50 minute album fully engaging from start to finish. The bass is also audible for the most part, while it does do it's part beefing up the sound the majority of the time it just follows along with the guitar.

The drummer, Witchhammer, is a force to be reckoned with to say the least. The powerhouse of blasting showcased here without a doubt proves that the man has the stamina of a machine. The drumming here gives the album that extra push into excellence, it is certain that many other people behind the kit wouldn't fit quite as well. The vocals featured on this album are nothing to write home about. That being said, they do fit the harsh brand of thrash Nocturnal Fear plays perfectly. The lack of variation in this aspect of the album doesn't effect the overall experience much, Devastator delivers his nasty snarls with more than enough power and confidence to make them much more than adequate.

Overall Nocturnal Fear prove that they still reign supreme against most of the competition when it comes to the "thrash revival" trend. When one thinks about this album it is almost hard to consider this "thrash revival". Excessive Cruelty ups the ante in terms of brutality and is just a straight up, ass kicking thrash album, plain and simple. As usual it is very clear where the group draws influence from, but it is still an extremely solid onslaught of vicious thrash metal that will not disappoint. Fans of old school German thrash should have a good time with this release and fans of previous Nocturnal Fear albums will certainly not be letdown. The album finishes the way it starts, with all cylinders firing and still showing off that "pounce and kill" attitude. Give this one a look, it is worth many listens.