Episode 17 – The Moon Shone With a Fuller Red (right click to download)
Last time we dug graves deep in bottom of the ocean. This time we whisper our sorcery to invoke the reddest of moons. The bloodiest one we can possibly conjure. The kind of moon that rouses that which should not be. For while there’s a devastating beauty in losing yourself in thoughts and feelings under such a celestial body, do not be fooled: there’s nothing blue about this moon.
Fall to your knees and PLAY IT LOUD! Possession is at hand!
Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.
If you’ve been reading our show notes from before it’s clear where we stand on so called funeral doom acts. We feel they’re generally pretty fucking boring basically. But the few bands that do get it right certainly make an impression on us. We’ve talked about Mordor in the past and those dudes can take us deep into Mount Doom any day of the week. Thergothon, the band opening this here episode, lacks the unholy charm of the former, sure, but more than makes up for that with some truly moving pieces of music. The band’s sole LP, “Stream from the Heavens”, is ‘atmosphere maximus’ and while Thergothon are one of the originators of the genre their sound has never quite been replicated. Not easy to hear, but totally worth the effort.
We’re not ready to bid goodbye to doom just yet. Faustcoven have mastered the delicate art of fusing doom and black metal (and that count first wave stuff!) into one thing by now and the result is often glorious. We just couldn’t leave these Norwegians fellows out of this episode. We went with a track from their second album, “Rising from Below the Earth”. If you like it slow and black as sin here’s one for you to sink your teeth into.
Pelican are a bit more “post metal” than desirable for our own taste, but they’re very good at what they do. “Terminal”, the opening track from last year’s album “Forever Becoming”, is spacey enough to carry out its role as an instrumental intermezzo before we move on to darker psychedelic pastures of Vanilla Fudge’s rendition of “Season of the Witch”, originally from the sparkling folk singer Donovan (check him!). This is brilliant, both cosmic and spooky, heavy and cold. And it’s a perfect midpoint before we open Act II of this episode with the next track.
We have ambivalent feelings when it comes to Swedish death metal. We’re not particularly fond of the more melodic and technical releases and this testimonial right here certainly excludes some big players in the game so to speak. The classic, mostlsy old school, hardcore punk infused Swedish death metal on the other hand is a gift of Gods and that makes Nirvana 2002 a hell of a birthday present. In 1990 they released “Disembodied Spirits”, one of the best death metal demos of all time. Certainly no worse than Necrovore’s “Divus de Mortuus” or Obscurity’s “Damnations Pride”. Try to get a hold of 2009’s compilation of recordings released on CD, vinyl and digitally on Relapse Records. We follow it up with Necrowretch’s “Ripping Souls of Sinners” from their 2013 effort. A modern death metal classic, no doubt. And can you believe they’re French?
Ok, we have to admit we didn’t give much thought about the next one. Looking at Nirvana 2002’s “The Awakening of…” on the tracklist, Kreator just popped up in our heads. Fortunately, they fit nicely into the set. It’s not an easy feat to come up with a seven minute thrash song and not make it sound boring or flat, but these Teutonic warriors are masters of the craft and know how to keep things rolling smoothly and smart enough to never let us lose interest. “Awakening of the Gods” is Kreator in their best form. There’s so much to love here, but we have to highlight Ventor’s low key but effective work in the back. Kreator: we love these guys!
We follow up with short-lived Sanctum, from Seattle. This is one sweet song from their only album, “On The Horizon”, released back in 2008. A shame they didn’t live to crust another day, as they sounded rock-solid and, who knows, could have gone places.
Funny story: we got in touch with G.I.S.M. thanks to Dylan Hughes’ Maniac Monday (now called Midnite Madness) show. Now that might not seem a very funny story at first, but in truth the episode where he played “Anthem” from the 1984 “Detestation” album is a big reason why SATAN MADE ME DO IT exists today. It was a 100% black metal show that opened our eyes in quite meaningful ways in terms of sheer amount of incredible bands we had no idea existed. So that’s that. We pay our tribute to Dylan with none other than “Anthem”. He’s absolutely right: this shit sounds like black metal. Darkthrone’s “Summer of the Diabolical Holocaust” sounds like black metal too. Fuck, it sounds like the best black metal. One half of SATAN MADE ME DO IT would put this here track in his Top favorite songs of all time without batting an eye. Much has already been written about “Under a Funeral Moon”. We just ask you to listen closely to that world destroyer floor tom. Jesus fucking Christ!
G.I.S.M. and Darkthrone are a perfect set-up for some old school hardcore punk (yes they are!) from the mighty Dicks (ah!). Fronted by Gary Floyd, one of only a few openly gay singers in the 80s punk scene (and hailing from Texas, no less!), the Dicks were one of the most influential bands at the time, releasing records by SST and Alternative Tentacles (where they could join the like-minded Dead Kennedys) and addressing issues of homophobia and sexual identity, as well as the most common punk themes of police authority, fascism and politics at large (from a socialist point of view). Piece of trivia: SATAN MADE ME DO IT faves, Butthole Surfers, closed their “Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac” album with the song “Gary Floyd” in tribute to the Dicks’s frontman.
- The Unknown Kadath in the Cold Waste | Thergothon (FIN) | Stream from the Heavens, 1994 http://www.myspace.com/thergothon
- Throne of Bones | Faustcoven (NOR) | Rising From Below the Earth, 2008 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faustcoven/333265176249
- Terminal | Pelican (USA) | Forever Becoming, 2013 http://pelican.bandcamp.com/
- Season of the Witch | Vanilla Fudge (USA) | Renaissance, 1968 http://www.vanillafudge.com/
- The Awakening of… | Nirvana 2002 (SWE) | Disembodied Spirits, 1990 http://n2k2.bandcamp.com/
- Ripping Souls of Sinners | Necrowretch (FRA) | Putrid Death Sorcery, 2013 https://www.facebook.com/NecroWretch
- Awakening of the Gods | Kreator (GER) | Flag of Hate EP, 1986 http://www.kreator-terrorzone.de/
- In the Shadow of Death | Sanctum (USA) | On The Horizon, 2008 http://www.discogs.com/artist/1293897-Sanctum-3
- Anthem | G.I.S.M. (JAP) | Detestation, 1984 http://www.discogs.com/artist/1061856-GISM
- Summer of the Diabolical Holocaust | Darkthrone (NOR) | Under a Funeral Moon, 1993 http://www.peaceville.com/darkthrone/theundergroundresistance/
- Kill from the Heart |The Dicks (USA) | Kill from the Heart, 1983 http://www.discogs.com/artist/262965-Dicks