Episode 16 – Graves in the Water (right click to download)
Ocean waves may scare you, crashing wildly and loudly into the shore, making you lose your balance, pounding you uncontrollably into the sandy bottom. But as powerful as the roaring waves are, you know that the greatest danger, the scariest violence, the hungriest of deaths, lays down deep below the surface. There’s a sense of menace when you look at the vastness of the deep-sea; it’s what you don’t know, what you can’t predict and control that terrifies the most.
Such is life. There’s nothing more frightening that what lies under the surface, in the abyss, masquerading as the ordinary, lying there under the ripples of everyday life and everyday people. Remember this when listening this week’s episode. And trust us, it’s gonna be much easier on you if you just PLAY IT LOUD!
Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.
The first couple of songs are accidently related in different ways. Both are Japanese. Both share water as a common element. And both are scary as hell. We start off with a theme taken from the terrific ghost movie “Dark Water”. Kenji Kawai makes a remarkable job here (he also contributed with music for “Ring” and “Ghost in the Shell”): this is genuinely creepy and wet, so much so that you can almost feel your room’s temperature drop. And then Coffins returns to a SATAN MADE ME DO IT episode with a track from their split with Noothgrush (we intend to include these guys in a future episode).
Time and time again we make it our responsibility to express true love for 80s metal. Look at where we are today. Death metal is all the rage and that’s fine! Plenty of great bands out there if you know where to look. But at the same time there’s now plenty of guidance. Don’t get us wrong: it all comes down to “do you have a cool riff?” It’s all it takes to have a great song (cool production is essential too, of course). But you look back at the 80s and it’s baffling just how many bands were out there doing their thing, template free for the most part. Take Necrophagia. Their 1987 effort sounds like nothing else at the time. It’s in the little things: the almost spoken-word zombie-like vocals, horror movie themes, clean bass sound (not unlike “Morbid Tales”) and all around amazing riffs. It was great then and it’s great now. Total support. We follow it up with another underground death metal classic. Treblinka is not for all ears, but if you enjoy discovering old first wave black/death metal bands these swedes are mandatory. Fans of Morbid, Mefisto and Nihilist: feel free to worship.
Couple of hardboiled tracks now, no time to lose! First we have the HUGE “F.O.D (Fuck of Death)” from death-trash canadians Slaughter. What a FUCKING GREAT RIFF. This is how a guitar is supposed to sound: deep toned and raw like a big heavy zombie motherfucker. And that fat bass and throbbing drumming: sexy as hell. Just like Dave Hewson’s hoarse growling. Shame this is from their only album.
Celtic Frost and Motorhëad both rear their ugly heads on Salute’s rock ‘n roll metal nugget “Leathered”. This is so bouncy and infectious it could almost be considered uplifting music (btw, great album cover…). Pure, savage, life threatening fun. More recognition for these Bristol guys!
Samael’s first album precedes the beginning of the Norwegian black metal assault and it shows. Being from Switzerland, Samael get a lot of their “attacking the riff” from Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, but there’s also some traditional Heavy Metal in the name of good taste. What’s interesting about this band is how it’s positioned right between what we can now call the first wave and the second wave of black metal. There is plenty of stuff here that you could later find on Scandinavian bands, and plenty of stuff that you could already hear from before on bands such as Sodom. Other aspect worth mentioning is the fact that the songs here are never actually, well, fast (very different from what you could hear on “Master’s Hammer” 1991 LP, which had plenty Bathory inspired thrash). The rhythm maintains a doomy slow-to-mid-pace that works like wonders when you’re aiming for an occult ambience and the vampiresque vocals don’t hurt either. Fucking essential. We then travel to 2014 and welcome Mayhem’s new “Esoteric Warfare” album. It’s… ok. It maintains Mayhem’s knack for dissonant chords and double kicks while adding a bunch of tempo breaks and weird structures. Not our favorite, but worth a listen.
We’re not letting of your throat now. Gore/death/grind lords Autopsy should have featured on a SATAN MADE ME DO IT’s episode by now, we’ll give you that (as it should their spawn Abscess – we’ll fix that later). But fuck, they’re here NOW with probably the grooviest (yep) doomy track of the episode and vocalist/drummer Chris Reifert growling like Chuck Schuldiner’s zombie (heck, he played on “Scream Bloody Gore”). They released an album in April, through Peaceville, that we haven’t listened to yet, but feedback is coming up good.
Saint Vitus up next, with downbeat heroin trip “I Bleed Black” starting our way down to the end credits. Not much to say here, these guys are doom legends. They’re touring Europe right now (with nice guys Orange Goblin), so check it out at their website! We’re likely gonna be at their Lisbon show.
We bid you goodbye and ‘till next time with one of Burzum’s dreamy keyboard pieces. The song is called “Den onde kysten” (Norwegian for “The Coast of Evil”). It just made sense.
- In the Flowing Waters | Kenji Kawai (JAP) | Dark Water OST, 2002 http://www.discogs.com/artist/142685-Kenji-Kawai
- Drown In Revelation | Coffins (JAP) | Noothgrush / Coffins split, 2013 http://www.coffins.jp/
- Mental Decay | Necrophagia (USA) | Seasons of the Dead (1987) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Necrophagia-official/138659442831318?ref=ts&sk=wall
- Crawling in Vomits | Treblinka (SWE) | Crawling in Vomits (1988) http://www.myspace.com/earwigsinyourveins
- F.O.D (Fuck of Death)| Slaughter (CAN) | Strappado, 1987 https://www.facebook.com/pages/SLAUGHTER-Canada/12169425739
- Leathered | Salute (UK) | Above the Law, 2007 http://salutes.bandcamp.com/
- Worship Him | Samael (CHE) | Worship Him (1991) http://www.samael.info/Above/index.html
- Sec. | Mayhem (NOR) | Esoteric Warfare (2014) http://thetruemayhem.com/
- Service for a Vacant Coffin | Autopsy (USA) | Severed Survival, 1989 http://www.autopsydeathmetal.com/
- I Bleed Black | Saint Vitus (USA) | V, 1990 http://www.saintvitusband.com/
- Den onde kysten | Burzum (NOR) | Det som engang var, 1993
Pingback: Episode 41 – Family Happiness | Satan Made Me Do It DJ