Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview with Wilhelm Lindh (The Gardnerz)

The Gardnerz just recently had their debut full-length The System of Nature released via Abyss Records. The album definitely makes The Gardnerz a standout act in a style that is all too often filled with dull, uninspired music. Here we talk to guitarist Wilhem Lindh about the album, the history of the band, and what the future holds.

 Foul Feast: Tell us a little about how The Gardnerz came about.

Wilhelm Lindh: It all started in the summer of 2008 when I came home from a stint in Florida where I had been studying for a semester. Since I had not played guitar seriously for six months, I had to get the poison out. I got in contact with and old girlfriend about starting a band playing something similar to old katatonia but with a more death metal touch. The idea was to have female vocals but that didn't pan out. And after searching for about a year for another female vocalist I gave up that idea and went with a dude. And since then I have had some different members. But since I joined forces with Francisco Martín on bass and Niclas Ankarbranth on vocals I have had a solid foundation. The drummer situation has been the tricky part, on the system of nature Joan Pablo Donoso played session drums and now we are working with Vedran Bencic as our new drummer.

FF: I'm sure you get this often, but what is the meaning behind the band name?

Wilhelm Lindh: You are correct, that question arises often, but that is sort of the point. The main idea came from pre Socratic philosopher Epicurus, who talked about how all you need to be happy in life is a garden, some good friends and simple food. He also talked about how it is virtue to live a simple life. He was a very interesting guy. So from him I got "The Gardeners", but I thought that sounded a bit prententious and also there were many bands with that name. And also if you googled it you got something like 9 million hits. So I dropped on e and changed the s for a z for good measure. We have gotten a lot of shit for the z but I like it, it is a reminder that you shouldn't take everything to seriously. I guess I should point out that the z is taken from Swedish dance music, think mellow country music with really cheesy lyrics. In those bands it is commonplace to replace the s with a z.  Take a listen to this kick ass band!

FF: The album was mixed by Dan Swanö, how did you guys get into contact with him?

Wilhelm Lindh: Actually the album was mastered by Mr. Swanö. our bass player Francisco had been in contact with him for some reason that I don't remember but he had asked if it would be possible for him to master the album, and he said yes. So I emailed him and set it up. I must say that it was a real pleasure to work with him, he did it really fast and the result was killer.  

FF: When did writing for The System of Nature begin?

Wilhelm Lindh: It started in the summer of 2008, that was how I started the band, just writing songs. My idea was to do a demo in the fall of 2008, but since I didn't have the members I just kept writing. When Francisco joined the band he insisted that we should do a full length album instead of a demo. So that is what we did.  

FF: Did the writing process seem to flow naturally?

Wilhelm Lindh: Yeah I think so, with this band my idea was to do whatever came to my mind. Since I have always felt a bit limited in my previous bands, having had members who not wanted to do the same thing as I or had the ability to play some of my riffs. So just having myself in the band while I wrote most of these songs, I could do precisely what I wanted. And I wrote a few riffs to as exercises, writing stuff I couldn't play so I had to practice and get better. And now with the guys I have in the band I can continue doing it since I know that they can handle whatever I throw at them.

FF: How did your deal with Abyss Records come about?

Wilhelm Lindh: Dan from Abyss records wrote me after finding us on myspace. We were talking with him and another label and we decided to go with Abyss since they had better distros and such. Dan is a really great guy as well so I'm glad we went with Abyss.

FF: The sound displayed on your debut manages to maintain an aggressive feel that is typically lost when blending death metal with doom. Was this something you set out to do or did it just come naturally?

Wilhelm Lindh: Well as I wrote earlier the idea was to mix our style with female vocals, since in my mind most metal bands that have a female as a vocalist have a tendency to be really polished and kind of lame (as for most music these days). I felt that I wanted to do something dirtier, and when I had to give up that idea and go with a male vocalist (not that I'm disappointed about it, Nicke is a amazing singer and a great dude) I just kept it the same way. So Answer your question I would say it was a natural thing.

FF: What influences you most musically?

Wilhelm Lindh: As for bands the top bands are Katatonia, Bolt Thrower, Acheron, Broken Hope, Death, old Nile. I wanted to do slow and heavy stuff but to try to not do it the same as most people do it, you know a few slow power chords and the just riding those chords. I like allot of brutal bands but I have always prefer when the drumming is more down tempo. So I wanted to have some fast riffs but with a more groove oriented and doomy tempo on the drums.

FF: re there any reoccuring lyrical themes on the album?

Wilhelm Lindh: There are a few songs that are antireligious, and the rest are me venting various things that annoy me or that I think should be more talked about. We have songs about: our consumption crazed society, Sweden's sordid part in the field of racial biology, tabloid journalism.

FF: Do all of the members of The Gardnerz have previous experience in metal bands?

Wilhelm Lindh: Yes we have all played in a few metal bands, we are in or have been in Toxodeth, Tristitia, Kanatran, Vandöd, Pandemonium, Insomnis, Savage Harmony. There are more to mention, but my memory lets me down.

FF: Are there any tracks on The System of Nature that stick out to you the most?

Wilhelm Lindh: The first one I wrote was The art of suffering, so that one for sure, I also really like how that one came together, I think everyone added some killer stuff to it. Maybe it's time also turned out really good, good mix of harmony and brutality. Confusion as well, I really like the vocals on that one, and my clean guitar solo is one of my highlights.

FF: How has the album been recieved thus far?

Wilhelm Lindh: It has mainly gotten good responses, allot of people has given it really good feedback. And since we have got it officially released is a big pat on the back for me.  

FF: Do you guys gig often?

Wilhelm Lindh: We have never played live with this band. Since we didn't have a drummer for a long time we couldn't play live. But now when we have Vedran we are trying to set up some shows, but that is not the easiest thing to do. But hopefully we will do some shows next year.

FF: Has there been any thought put into the next release yet?

Wilhelm Lindh: Yes we are planning to put out a ep next year, we have ten songs written but we thought it would be better to do an ep. And the new songs are keeping with the same style as for the system, some might be bit slower and longer but, if you liked the system you will like the new songs as well.

FF: Any final thoughts?

Wilhelm Lindh: Thanks for this interview! And for those of you who haven't heard us head over to were you can listen to the entire album.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Resurgency/Desolator split

This split brings two up and coming old school death metal bands together courtesy of Hellthrasher Productions. Desolator and Resurgency are both in their early stages and have yet to release full-lengths. Both bands play old school death metal but it is evident that they aren't just carbon copies of one another. This split is a superb testament to the fact that the old school is still alive and kicking. Clocking in at just over thirty minutes this gives the audience just enough of a taste to have them eagerly awaiting more.

First up is Resurgency, from Athens, Greece. Their side consists of the four tracks from their debut demo Dark Revival. Influences from bands like Resurrection, Morbid Angel, and Malevolent Creation can be spotted upon first listen. While these influences may be easy to spot at times Resurgency still have a few little quirks that set them apart from the pack. These guys cater a bit more to the catchy side of things as opposed to the band joining them on this album. Riffs featured on tracks like "Psychosis" give the vibe that an impending doom is about to be thrust down upon you. During Resurgency's four tracks there are a few solos thrown into the mix. These prove to be simple but effective to say the least. The bass is pretty dominant here, creating a decent balance between a chunky and thin sound. The production here also seems to be a tad cleaner than Desolator's.

Next up is Desolator hailing from Sweden. Their end of the split completely consists of new material, and it's great to hear that these guys have improved since Gravefeast. Their section starts off with a spoken word intro that is sort of reminscent of something you would hear on Embalmed Existence. Definitely a sinister way to kick off the slab of death metal that is about to tear you to pieces. Right when "Mass Human Pyre" kicks off this much becomes evident, Desolator are in top form and have really locked in their sound. Armed with the filthy Swedish guitar tone and riffs that will never leave your memory these guys certainly brought their A game. Everything Desolator puts out has this ancient atmosphere going for it, and it just simply works. All the way down to the killer bass section in "Feeding Frenzy" these guys show their solid songwriting ability from start to finish.

Overall this split is everything one would want it to be. Old school death metal done right, no frills, just an all around memorable effort from both bands. Going into this split I had high expectations for the Desolator side. Those expectations were met and then some. Gravefeast was one of the best demos of 2010 without a doubt and hearing a follow-up just as strong is promising. This also put Resurgency on my radar and has me kicking myself for not checking out their material sooner. Keep an eye out for both of these bands because they certainly have the potential to put out some excellent material in the near future. Fans of death metal should make this a mandatory listen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Various Artists- Rebellious Damnation Theories Compilation

Rebellious Damnation Theories is an online exclusive compilation featuring many bands from extreme metal/punk scenes all over the world. Featuring twenty five artists of various styles you are sure to find something here to your liking. All of this is packed into just over an hour of what will be new territory for most metalheads. Like all compilations there are a few duds here, or just tracks that simply don't sit right, but the final product still brings quite a few mosh worthy moments.

The compilation opens up with the monstrous Jugga from Nepal. Their track "Vultures Will Feed" proves to be the perfect way to open the compilation. It comes in, beats the listener down and flees from the scene of the crime. There are plenty of excellent tracks to be found here. One example would definitely be Dementia from Pakistan, a band that plays a healthy blend of thrash/groove metal. These guys have a very professional sound going for them and have fairly developed writing skills. Not long after Dementia's track you have the polar opposite Bvlghvm. Also hailing from Pakistan these dudes pack one heavy as hell punch with their brand of filthy, hate-filled sludge. There are also a few familiar faces to the website that we have covered before. Bands like Sledgehammer Autopsy, Death Inquisition, and Foreskin hold their own up against all the other bands crammed onto this thing.

Naturally, given the fact that the bands are from completely different regions of the world and have completely different recording situations, the sound quality varies a great deal from track to track. This may throw some listeners off but after taking some time to get used to it you adjust and it is barely noticeable. Unfortunately the production value of bands like Chillar Killer and Masturbate take most of the impact out of their music. Playing goregrind with such a flat sound just doesn't workout well, it lacks the punchy tone that this style of music thrives for. Due to this little problem a few tracks towards the middle sort of slow down the pace of the comp.

Overall Rebellious Damnation Theories is sure to introduce anyone who listens to some solid, new bands. These compilation covers touches all the major extreme subgenres. Death, thrash, black metal, crust, sludge, crossover, hardcore, groove, it's all here at one point of another. Definitely worth getting if you're a fan of metal or punk in general. There is a gigantic slew of bands out there just waiting to be heard, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Amputation Spree- Three/Inferno EP

Amputation Spree is a one man brutal death metal band from North Carolina. We've covered all this projects releases in the past and have heard them grow consistently over such a short period of time. Having only been around since 2010 this marks their third EP and they even managed to squeeze a split in between all of that. Even though it seems just like a blink of an eye since their last EP, the material here does not falter in anyway. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

With each release Amputation Spree's sound seems to get more epic. This EP is no different, it takes everything heard previously on Terminal Velocity and takes it to a completely new level. The tracks here just seem more focused overall. The way they are written just seems to flow much more naturally than on previous releases. The brutality the project has had in the past is still in attendance. "The Whore of Babylon" has a section that slams your brain to mush, reinstating that the music hasn't been watered down, it has just evolved. Every track actually features a moment like this, it is made certain that Amputation Spree hasn't completely abandoned it's roots.

The experimentation gets taken a couple steps further on the track "The Age of Reason". It all starts out normal, blasting your eardrums senseless for the first thirty seconds or so, and then out of nowhere things stop and everything changes so rapidly it is almost hard to digest at first. The song bounces back and forth quite a bit and never really sticks to one thing for too long. Showing off some electronic experimentation this track is definitely the most interesting of the bunch. It is clear when listening to this that if Amputation Spree ever had a comfort zone in the first place it is long gone at this point.

"Messiah" has such a gigantic sound. Built around an extremely simple structure it is honestly surprising how well this seven minute track holds up. Hands down the heaviest track that Amputation Spree has putout thus far and possibly the most infectious. This track also brings to my attention how well the drum programming works for this release. Typically if something doesn't feature a live drummer it gets on my nerves after a few listens. With that being said, in this EP's case it may actually work as a positive thing. The robotic feeling the drums give off works almost perfectly with the sound created on this release.

Overall Three/Inferno displays Amputation Spree making all the right moves. Continuing to build on the solid foundation of previous efforts there is absolutely nothing to complain about here. The sound on this EP may be an extremely different animal when compared to what we heard on Addicted to Beheading Children, but if you dig deep enough some elements are still intact. Fans of brutal death metal that aren't afraid of a little experimentation being thrown in the mix NEED this. Even those who don't typically journey into the world of slam will find this EP to be an intriguing listen to say the least. Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.

Girls Nite Out (AKA Scaremaker)

Girls Nite Out is a horror flick that was made during the heyday of slashers. It is directed by Robert Debeul and to this day is still his only feature film (aside from a TV movie he did around this time). Originally sporting an enticing trailer that made it appear this film would feature tits galore I'm sure many people who watched when it came out were very disappointed. This flick is squeaky clean in the regard of nudity, but I digress, onto the story.

Girls Nite Out follows a group of college students taking part in their annual scavenger hunt hosted by the campus radio station. Unfortunately there is a cold blooded killer on the loose. Armed with blades for fingers and dressed as the mascot for the school (a wide-eyed bear), this mysterious murderer is looking to create a body count and cleanse the campus of all the "whores". As everything unfolds, the radio station DJ begins getting odd calls from Yogi dropping some hints regarding the murders.

The killer sporting a bear costume originally sounded extremely hilarious to me. After my first viewing I was actually fairly surprised at how well it worked. I won't say it didn't make for a few laughs at first but went the murders start taking place it makes for a badass slasher. Literally mauling victims with its handy blade fingers in a few scenes. This unique Krueger/Grizzly hybrid makes for one of the most memorable killers to come out of the 80's slasher genre to say the least. There aren't a ridiculous amount of kills but when they do come up they are executed well.

The cast is made up of fun dimwits for the most part. Hal Holbrook has a decent sized role in the film playing the security officer, he does a solid job with his part as usual and I was pretty surprised to see him pop up. Many other slasher fans will recognize Lauren-Marie Taylor (Vickie from Friday the 13th Part 2). Girls Nite Out is very slow moving the first thirty minutes or so. The cast being young and fun helps out a bit but their shenanigans are only entertaining for so long. Around the thirty minute mark I was actually considering shutting it off but luckily right around that time it began to pick up. When the film does pick up there is plenty of fun to be had. The film gains a sort of gritty tone mixed in with the comic relief of the students and it makes for an interesting watch.

The first section of the film does do a good job creating a solid lineup of possible suspects. It also sets up various subplots and for the most part these end up going nowhere. The first thirty minutes could've easily been cut into a ten minute segment, because little to no character development takes place during it. The film has a pretty decent twist ending that most people seem to complain about. I thought it worked in it's own right. Don't expect a twist of Pieces proportions but it was good enough for me.

Overall Girls Nite Out is a nice little hidden slasher flick. While it may have a slow first half it more than makes up for it later on. It has a couple of nice touches that you don't normally see in your run of the mill slasher flick. Fans of the old school 80's slasher films should get a kick out of this. It isn't the best of its kind but it could easily be called underrated. So if you've watched all of the "essential" slashers and are looking for something a bit more obscure Girls Nite Out will prove to be a fitting watch. You can find this one pretty cheap on DVD in the Bloody Schoolgirls boxset from Shriek Show, definitely worth picking up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Gardnerz- The System of Nature

The Gardnerz is a four piece death/doom band from Sweden. All four members have pretty solid backgrounds in the extreme metal scene. The group formed back in 2008 but this marks their first release together. The first thing about The Gardnerz that will grab your attention is their ability to incorporate doom elements but still pack a mean death metal bite. Many bands playing death/doom these days lose that impact and most of the time it makes for a dull, uninspired sounding record. Luckily that isn't the case on The System of Nature. This clocks in at one hour and has you on the edge of your seat for every second of it. Not a dull moment is in attendance, even with the lengthy playtime it still manages to leave you wanting more.

The sheer amount of amazing riffs on this release is astounding to say the least. Enchanting melodies are abundant and hard hitting riffs run rampant on every track. Tracks change direction out of the blue in a very cohesive manner making for an absolutely enthralling listen. The writing is very strong throughout and the structures vary a great deal, rather than just switching things up the same way every track in a desperate attempt to sound "edgy". Occasional "softer" moments like the intro to "Incident" really do an excellent job at spicing up the flow of the album. Said clean moments mesh with the distortion quite nicely, and during the few moments where the two clash amazing things occur (see "Confusion").

The vocal approach used on this album is much more menacing than what you'd normally hear from the average death/doom band. Ranging from gutturals to sinister screams there is a decent enough variety to keep things interesting. The production is very polished and even. On most occasions squeaky clean production bugs me but on The System of Nature it fits the sound like a glove. Having a big name like Dan Swanö handling the mastering on the album certainly isn't a con either.

Overall The Gardnerz are playing a brand of death/doom that will even appeal to those who aren't typically fans of the genre. The System of Nature is an extremely successful debut. In fact, it is possibly the best debut of the year. There is an endless amount of memorable moments to be found here and the replay value is beyond through the roof. Sure to be found somewhere on most top 20 of 2011 lists this is certainly an album you're not going to want to miss. The Gardnerz has definitely set the bar high, it will be interesting to see what their next move will be. Get.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Entormus- Promo One

Entormus is a one man black metal project from Gainesville, Texas. Texas has become one of the best locations for US black metal, claiming great acts like Absu and Teratism. Having formed in 2010, Entormus is fairly new to the scene to say the least. This is the first release from the band and it flourishes some good ideas within its thirteen minute run-time.

Essentially the tracks on this promo show three completely different sides of Entormus. None of the three songs are bad by any means but some standout more than others. Given this is a promo it's good way to go about showing the amount versatility the band is capable of incorporating into their sound. Featuring a pretty straightforward black metal track ("Even the Mighty Fall"), a track almost radio friendly in terms of structure ("All that we Get"), and a final track that closes things off perfectly to say the least, it would be a lie to say that Entormus isn't doing their best to put out quality material.

Embracing the laid back sound that has previously been perfected by bands like Summoning in the past, "Desert Infernus" proves to be the highlight of this promo. Starting off slow and building up with a certain grace that gives the listener a feeling of pure nirvana. This is where Entormus leaves their impression. Unlike many other bands that give off this sort of vibe, Entormus throws the listener for a loop and comes back with a hard hitting groovy closing for an otherwise calm, relaxing track. The contrast works well and ends up making the track all the more entertaining.

The guitar playing is a bit simplistic and focuses more on building an atmosphere and instilling emotion more than anything else. That being said catchy riffs are still thrown into the mix as often as possible. The vocals vary a little bit throughout. Consisting mostly of gravely screams and throaty growls. The vocal performance is solid for the most part, but on the track "All that we Get" they come across as very forced. Luckily this isn't a problem on the other two tracks but it definitely takes some of the impact out of that particular song.

Overall this promo is a nice sample of what is to come from Entormus. Though each track may not be as memorable as the last Entormus still leaves a lasting impression. Considering this is Entormus's first effort it is fairly impressive. Featuring one track that will definitely be stored in my memory for awhile and has already been revisited an endless amount of times. Fans of the genre should be able to find something to their liking here. Hopefully we will see more material from Entormus soon. Hearing more in the vain of "Desert Infernus" would be superb to say the least. Worth a listen.

Interview with Dave Gregor (Morta Skuld, 9MM Solution)

We are pleased to post our latest interview with Dave Gregor, former vocalist/guitarist of death metal veterans Morta Skuld! After a long period of inactivity Morta Skuld have released a compilation of their demos through Relapse Records and Gregor is looking to get back into the heavy side of music. In this interview we discuss a little of Morta Skuld's history, the demo compilation, and what Gregor's future holds in terms of music.

Foul Feast: How did you guys get into talks with Relapse about the compilation?

Dave Gregor: Well we didn't, my lawyer (Eric Greif)  was at Relapse and mentioned what we were doing and they agreed to release it.

FF: With the recent compilation getting some attention is there any chance we may see a new Morta Skuld tour or possibly new material?

Gregor: Right now it's early in the game and we really can't say. We all have commitments and jobs, it's not easy to leave a job that pays your rent and bills and child support or home payments. I'd like to see some new material and J and I have been talking about  using some songs we wrote that were never recorded, but again too early to tell.

FF: When you guys were putting out these original demos were there many other extreme metal bands or any kind of scene to speak of in the Milwaukee area?

Gregor: Oh hell yeah, the scene had some great local acts tearing it up. We all felt that something cool was happening and that we might be part of something big so to speak, in our local area.
FF: What caused Morta Skuld to quit putting out material after Surface?

Gregor: We went on the road to support that record and are drummer at the time was having his first kid and his first home. And after our opening night for Slayer we went to FL and when we got there, he got sick and just slept, we took him to the hospital and got him good and full of liquids and he just refused to play. Even two songs and he just wouldn't do it. We came home lost label and everything. We still wrote after that in hopes of bouncing back.

FF: Was there any Morta Skuld material written post Surface that never got released?

Gregor: Yeah about 3-4 songs and they were geared with a Morbid Angel type of  sound.

FF: How do you feel about the current state of metal? Do you think the scene is stronger than it was in the early/mid 90's or do you feel it has been cheapened by the Internet?

Gregor: I think it is at it's  weakest form, it's not about the music at all and the business could care less about the bands and their evolution. How can they continue and make good music and sustain the way of life to bring new music to life. I don't feel the Internet is the issue, it's people, they know to not steal music or to buy it.

FF: You recently put out a great video for the track "Prolong the Agony". Was this the first video ever done for a Morta Skuld track?

Gregor: Yes it was and after 21 years of the song being out too, I didn't really know what to do, I have been a guitar player in 9mm Solution for the last 8 years, so it was strange and now that I know the song again I wish the whole band could have filmed with me. But at that time there wasn't a line up at all.

FF: Were the demo recordings cleaned up at all for the compilation?

Gregor: Indeed they were, Jef cleaned up and we just re-mastered the rest. But I feel the original demo's still sounded good. But the outcome does sound a lot better.

FF: Is 9MM Solution still active?

Gregor: I'm sad to say no, the band broke up after a festival show in our home town. We had put out two albums and did a tour. Just like MS we took each other for granted and let the differences get between us.

FF: What can we expect to see musically from you in the future?

Gregor: I'm not sure but it will be heavy that is for sure, maybe some new MS stuff, and if 9mm ever would happen again that would be fine by me. However I'm finding my way home with the MS project.

FF: Any final thoughts?

Gregor: For sure, please support your bands go by there Cd's and go to the shows, we didn't build this by itself or ourselves, it was and always will be the FANS, thank you for this interview and go buy the album people, Cheers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

100 Tears

100 Tears is a killer clown flick directed by Marcus Koch. This was the first film Koch had directed in nearly a decade and he pulls it off like he has been doing it his whole life. It's not like Koch had stepped away from the horror scene since his last movie Rot. He has been credited doing amazing special effects in quite a few films. He wore many hats in the making of this movie and the hard work has definitely paid off considering this has become somewhat of a modern cult classic for fans of the genre. Highly sought after by gorehounds due to its overwhelming amount hacks, slashes and stomps, 100 Tears puts all other killer clown movies to shame.

100 Tears follows a killer clown named Gurdy that is known as the "Teardrop Killer" to the general public. He gains this moniker due to his habit of leaving tears of blood behind at the scenes of his many murders. He is still on the loose and causing chaos in the area and our two main characters (Mark and Jennifer) see it as the perfect opportunity to put themselves back on the map with their careers in journalism. After doing a little bit of digging around and chasing a midget, the story behind Gurdy's murderous ways unfolds. Soon after a couple of unexpected twists come along and it all ends in a climatic bloodbath.
As usual Marcus's special effects are top notch. The gore is served up in heavy doses and not one effect looks half assed. He is easily one of the best effects artists of this generation and this film is just further proof of that. The kills throughout the movie are executed with a great deal of intensity. For the most part they aren't the most inventive, relying heavily on decapitations and hacks. This doesn't work against the film too much though, because while these may be kills we've seen before the sheer vicious feeling more than makes up for it. Deaths like the decapitation at the top of the stair case come across as flawless because Koch knew how long to let the scene go. Seeing Gurdy towering above the wheelchair comes across just as iconic as Leatherface slamming his big metal door in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The casting for this film is excellent. Scream queen Raine Brown plays role that is very out of the norm for her. She pulls it off well and gives one of her best performances to date. The joking nature between Joe Davison and Georgia Chris works as solid comic relief. There seems to be a real chemistry between the two and I couldn't imagine anyone else playing their roles. Jack Amos does a phenomenal job playing the bruting Gurdy. He plays the role perfectly and whenever a killer clown is mentioned his character immediately comes to mind. Rather than being a bright clown covered in glowing colors, Gurdy is dressed in dull clown rags and is armed with an intimidating, emotionless face. Small touches like this really add to the creepy factor. While the colorful, joking clowns in many other movies don't come across as scary, Gurdy just seems like someone you'd want to keep your distance from even on a good day.

Overall 100 Tears is one of the modern greats when it comes to low budget horror cinema. Even those of you who aren't big on low budget movies should give this a watch. It really doesn't have a "cheap" feel to it and is actually driven by a solid story along with surprisingly good acting from everyone. It's packed with plenty of splatter to please the gorehounds and has enough plot to please average movie watchers. Marcus Koch is definitely someone to keep an eye on. This movie proves that Koch isn't just an effects guru, while this flick does rely on quite a few effects it also shows off some pretty damn good directing. Highly recommended, find a way to get your hands on it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thirst Of Revenge- Annihilation Of Races

Thirst Of Revenge is a one man brutal death metal band from Spain. Some may be familiar with Carlos Mejias from the first two Human Mincer albums (on which he took on vocal duties). This is the second Thirst Of Revenge full-length since the projects inception back in 2006. Originally in 1999, the project was named Cerebral Torture but due to the other band Carlos was involved with no material ever surfaced. The album clocks in at around thirty minutes. Ultimately the perfect runtime for a brutal death metal album.

Essentially Annihilation Of Races is a concept album about the end of the world, or the human race that is. The story basically opens up with some mysterious sightings and it becomes evident the aliens are among us. They visit and begin experimenting on humans. Eventually they find a way to blend their blood with ours and form a hybrid alien to wipe-out the human race whilst going undetected to the untrained eye. The lyrics are very simple but the concept comes across well and it actually makes for an interesting story. Considering the fact that these lyrics were translated to English for the album it is fairly surprising that nothing got lost in translation.

The pace of the album is very fast for the most part. This makes certain sections start to blend together at times. Luckily this doesn't happen often enough to be a large detriment to the albums overall replay value. The riffs don't really come off as memorable but they have impact while listening. Tremolo riffs are dished out in large amounts along with pummeling grooves. Nothing overly technical but it is far from a constant chug-fest.

The vocals mainly consist of gutturals. An occasional scream in thrown in the mix to spice things up a bit, but the vocal approach is extremely primitive all around. The drum machine works much better on this release than it has in the past. They sound more convincing all around. On the previous EP they were far too high in the mix and almost made it a chore to listen to. Here, while they are still fast and intense they fade more into the background and it is easy to focus on the other aspects of the music.

Overall Annihilation Of Races is a decent record. There isn't really anything groundbreaking going on here but it is enough to keep ones interest. In terms of more recent brutal death metal releases this one falls somewhere near the top of the stack. There is plenty of room here for improvement, but considering the endless number of low rent, one man brutal death bands out there this is quite the breath of fresh air. Brutal death fans should give this one a listen, you're going to get what you expect. No frills, barbaric one man blasting brutality.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Without Waves- Scab Platter

Without Waves is a four piece metal band from Chicago. With an album title like Scab Platter it wouldn't be a stretch for someone to assume this is some sort of pornogrind/goregrind band, if that is what you are in search of you will be majorly disappointed. The members have all played music with one another for years and started the project in hopes to make natural experimental music. They blend various styles together in order to create a unique sound all of their own and manage to keep it cohesive for the most part. This being a feat in itself they have already fought half of the battle. Clocking in at a brief twenty five minutes, Without Waves has your attention for just long enough to leave a lasting impression.

The fretwork on the album is most definitely the highlight. It is clear when listening that these guys have been playing for a long time and are well rounded in their influence. The playing ranges from fairly simple, almost radio friendly tracks ("The Way To Crash & Burn" and "Dhyana") to frantic tracks filled with a certain amount of rage that rivals Dillinger Escape Plan. Even during the albums most technical moments each note is plucked with the utmost precision. The band also shows off their already matured songwriting skills, maintaining a sense of direction without losing their overall intensity.

Vocal style vary quite a bit throughout. The track "Dhyana" that consists entirely of clean vocals and they are surprisingly well executed. Unlike many metal bands that just throw in cleans for the sake of variation Cwan actually has a decent voice. Harsh vocals are used pretty often and he mainly sticks to mid-ranged screams/growls. Even though the harsh vocals don't branch out much there is still a fair amount of vocal diversity on the album, enough to keep your interest to say the least.

The instrumental track "Sativa Sunrise" is hands-down one of the best instrumentals of 2011. Easily matching the instrumental beauty that was featured on Scale the Summit's "Carving Desert Canyons". These guys finally show of their niche for writing excellent music and truly let the music speak for itself. The main gripe to be had about Scab Platter lies in its length. The album is less than thirty minutes long. Essentially Scab Platter only consists of five actual songs, an intro, and two interludes. With the style being played here that goes by at what appears to be the blink of an eye. There is certainly room for more material here, they could double the length of this release and they still wouldn't be overstaying their welcome. There is also a little bit of an issue with the overall flow of the album. While the tracks themselves are cohesive, some tracks don't lead into others so well.

Overall Scab Platter is an extremely good debut. These guys definitely have something to work with here. There is still some room for improvement, but given the fact that this is the bands first release they have plenty of time to workout the kinks. Hopefully we will see another release from Without Waves soon expanding on the already solid sound they have established here. Fans of metal in general with a bit of an experimental sound should give this a listen.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Living With Disfigurement- Thrill To The Terror Of Death

Living In Disfigurement is a three piece death metal band from Britain. They classify their music as "sickening old school gore metal" which proves to be a pretty fitting term to say the least. This is the bands first release since their debut demo in 2006. Clocking in at just under twenty minutes it still only offers up a small taste of what Living With Disfigurement is all about, but it is enough to get the point across.

You know you're in for a good time when you pop in a CD and the first thing you hear is a clip from a Hershell Gordon Lewis flick. The Wizard Of Gore sample kicks off "The Dissemination Of Human Suffering", a track that features lyrics that confront our vicious obsession with violence. Apparently Living With Disfigurement is catering to what the people want because the rest of the lyrics are drenched in gory detail.

The guitar playing on the album is solid throughout. Catchy tremolo picked riffs run thick along with the company of plenty infectious grooves. Each track features a solo that is crafted with a certain level of fret mastery that leads me to believe Spengler is a perfectionist. Also fitting in miraculously with the songs these solos prove to be one of the highlights of the EP. The band does an excellent job blending the old school vibe with their own modern twist. The pace tends to change quite a bit on each track. While a good portion of the time they are blazing a trail in your ear canal they will occasional slow things down and show some off some of their Autopsy influence.

The bass is audible the entire duration of the record. For the most part it just follows along with the guitar parts. Nonetheless it thickens up the sound a great deal. On "Grotesque Side Effects" it plays a vital role and hits particularly hard, easily making it the heaviest track of the bunch. The vocals alternate between shrill highs and bellowing gutturals. Throughout the short length of this release a healthy amount of both styles is used. The way they are delivered is very reminiscent of something you'd expect from Exhumed. The vocals fit perfectly with the music Living With Disfigurement is churning out.

Overall Living With Disfigurement have captured a sound that is impossible not to dig. It may be fairly simple but it is delivered in a way that keeps you coming back for more again and again. Due to the fact that Thrill To The Terror Of Death is only eighteen minutes long it definitely leaves you with your mouth watering, begging for more. Fans of Exhumed, Carcass, and bands alike will dig this without a doubt. Living With Disfigurement isn't reinventing the wheel by any means, but they're using the old one and rolling over the competition with it. This EP will do a good job tiding you over until Living With Disfigurement drop their next slab of greatness. Get it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Venereal Messiah- Bleeding The Humans

Venereal Messiah is a brutal death/goregrind band based in New York. The band has been around since 2005 and have released a few demos and splits during their time together. The band features Barret Amiss II, the owner of the very prolific death/grind label Sevared Records, on vocals. This release features eight tracks and clocks in at just under twenty minutes. Though the album may be short plenty of time is given for Venereal Messiah to get their blunt point across.

Unlike many bands of this nature Venereal Messiah doesn't just hide behind a wall of noisy, half assed grooves. There are plenty of heavy grooves to be had on Bleeding the Humans but they rarely come across as half assed. The guitar tone featured here is kind of detrimental to the overall sound, it just seems kind of flat most of the time. Adding some thickness to it would help give the riffs more impact in the future. Luckily the lack of power in tone is made up at times with catchiness (see the repetitive but effective "Oral-Fistula Transmission").

One thing that is unique about Venereal Messiah is that they feature a dual bass assault. Getting audible bass is a rare occurrence in the first place, having two different bassists plucking away is almost unheard of. Bass heavy tracks like "Gynacide" definitely come across as a breath of fresh air when they make an appearance. With the bass being so high in the mix the way they mesh with the guitars is almost reminiscent of early One Step Beyond (though they are worlds apart in style). The lack of power in the guitar tone is pretty much completely redeemed by the fat, creeping bass lines that are so prevalent in the overall sound.

The vocals are made up mostly of guttural burps and gurgles. These are the type of spews that are sure to trigger violent flashbacks to your last case of explosive diarrhea (in a good way of course). There is a major lack in variation but fans of the genre should be used to that at this point. That being said an occasional more traditional growl is thrown into the mix keeping things from growing entirely stale in the vocal department.

Overall Venereal Messiah has a solid chunk of brutal death on their hands with Bleeding the Humans. This is far from being groundbreaking by any means but they deliver the goods and fans of the genre will be more than pleased. If you find yourself enjoying most of the stuff Sevared puts out this will most likely sit nicely in your collection. This is a band that is worth keeping an eye on, they show quite a bit of potential here and with some minor tweaks they could definitely put out an excellent, punishing release.