Episode 19 – Metal On Metal (right click to download)
There’s basically no Metal on this episode.
There, we said it. There’s even a little clubbing thing going around. EBM stuff. Noise rock. Yeah, we can almost hear you: these guys are selling out! What about the “no plastic, no triggers” statement stuff? Yeah, we’re selling out. We don’t have anything to sell, or anyone to sell it to, but nevertheless we’re selling it. Because this is the way of the new world we’re living in, and selling out is the new keeping it real. And you will buy it.
You may be shocked. And you should be. Because this little baby is a real monster. The way we did it was simple. We were flying to Madrid, listening to “Metal on Metal”. Not the Anvil song. The one by Kraftwerk. Boring flight, nothing to do… And we wondered: what would happen if we started the next episode with this great song?
That’s how this is gonna roll. Kraftwerk will start playing within your ears. It will sound strange and perverted. And then something fucked up and evil will happen. And then… you’re just going to have to listen to it, won’t you? We can just promise you: in the end, everything will make sense, and you will just hit replay.
SELL IT LOUD!
Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.
Wold is an Old English term for a forest or an area of woodland on high ground, according to Wikipedia (and dictionaries). It is also the name of one of the most interesting, misjudged, anonymous outfits of the last decade. Wold is basically this guy from Canada, going under the moniker of Fortress Crookedjaw, with some guests here and there. Some people are questioning if Wold’s music is indeed “music”. Others are questioning if this is black metal. Well, these are dumb questions but at the same they’re proof of Wold’s unique vision. While using electronics and drone/noise influences for layering and texturing purposes, Wold creates his distinctive brand of black metal. And while Fortress Crookedjaw claims he does not feel part of any scene, he acknowledges he couldn’t sound anything else BUT black metal. After all, the geographical context is there (Canada’s wintry forests are probably the closest place in America to that icy Scandinavian isolation that spawned some of the most malevolent music ever recorded) as well as the ideological background: no Odinism, but a lot of Nietzsche, Hegel and Schopenhauer. And we know where these influences lead to… If you watch an interview with Fortress Crookedjaw, you will understand that the guy sounds extremely smart, but not right… in the head. ANYWAY, the great thing is that Wold sounds extremely disturbing BUT good. “Throwing Star”, the opening track from this year’s album, is a monster in its density, as thick as a log. But it’s always evolving, almost a breathing, living thing, to the point where, when you get to its closing moments, you almost feel it will take off somewhere. Really good. Wold captures that sense of adventure and menace of early Scandinavian black metal – which at that time could be considered… yes, experimental.
In case you haven’t noticed by now, Youth Code’s “Keep Falling Apart” is a more than obvious indication that this is episode is fundamentally different from any other we did in the past. There’s absolutely no metal in this track. There IS a New Order rip-off in the intro there though ahah but that’s ok. The song kicks real ass. They are still relatively new, but their hardcore-heavy industrial sound has reached the right ears already. They were the first band outside of Psychic TV to be put out by PTV’s label “Angry Love Productions”. That’s street cred right there.
Khthoniik Cerviiks also command a significant level of respect for a band with just three demos. The reason is simples: Iron Bonehead picked them up. And for good reason! As the name might suggest this is YET ANOTHER black/death metal band. The cross has been on a roll as of late if you’ve been paying attention. But good news! These guys definitely have their own sound going on, and 2014’s “Heptaedrone” is easily one of the year’s best. Between ZOM, Bölzer and now Khthoniik Cerviiks, black/death might just be the thing to hear for the rest of 2014. We’re not sure which one we prefer, but Khthoniik Cerviiks has by far the coolest track names: “Colliding Spheres Bend Solar Years” (the song we went with for this episode by the way), “Magmatiik Moil”, “Black Hole Neurotransmission”… Fucking poetry!
We continue to take unexpected twists into foreign territory and next up is Liars. Yeah, Liars. They can be masters of haunted atmospheres and it’s with that purpose we introduce them to you, just ahead of some really heavy beating from London-based Dethscalator. We knew nothing about these guys before they caught our attention while listening one of those brilliant “Witching Hour” shows from NTS Radio (so thanks for the tip, guys). We got so hooked to this song we had to share it with you. This belongs to their debut album from 2013. 35 minutes long. Sounds like a messy, sludgy and fuzzy but unconventional and chaotic as fuck aural assault.
Moving on, no holding back.
This is pure and unadulterated anecdotal evidence, but we feel Repulsion neither gets the credit they deserve, nor are actually as popular as they fucking should be. This is insane. And if you swear by their 1986 recordings you’ll agree. So who the hell is Repulsion? Well, besides being one of first bands to introduce and popularize blast beats in metal, they are one of the great innovators of the grindcore genre, preceding Napalm Death (who covered Repulsion and whose Shane Embury cites as one Napalm Death’s major influences) and Carcass (who compiled and released the band’s 1986 tunes in 1989 in the form of “Horrified”). Amebix probably takes the cake when it comes to bands combining punk and metal in a seamless way. But Repulsion did something similar. They just did it in a much more abrasive and harsher way. Speed and distortion were never the same again.
Totalitär is neither an originator nor an innovator, but SATAN MADE ME DO IT ranks the band high up there when it comes to D-beat styled hardcore punk. There isn’t one track – NOT ONE TRACK – that isn’t great. These are some of the most energetic, outgoing and powerful fellows you can hear in heavy music. TOTAL SUPPORT!
Totalitär have released via Prank Records and so did Talk is Poison. We just realized that after picking up both tracks. In other words, more FIRST-CLASS hardcore punk here. Talk Is Poison was a really short-lived project with a small fan base, but do not skip the opportunity to dig them out. You won’t’ regret it.
It’s funny. Earlier in this episode we considered sliding in a track by Wiseblood, eventually giving up just picking up “Diabolus in Musica”, by Foetus, later on. Common to Wiseblood and Foetus is one man show, all out sonic terrorist J. G. Thirlwell. This is some crazy, scary, extreme industrial shit, again exploring Thirlwell favorite themes of murder, totalitarianism, incest, masochism, political and sexual abuse, technology, power and misanthropy. In other words, he’s great company for the black metal aficionado. The way he does it is by basically taking rock music and pulling it apart until you can no longer recognize it as such. We won’t elaborate much (go google him, he’s fascinating reading). But we can share his own recommended listening conditions to his music: “blackness, oxygen at listener’s discretion, extreme stereo or headphones, large volume mandatory”. Hell, it’s basically all that SATAN MADE ME DO IT demands of you as a listener.
We got this next track from one of the historic Tellus compilation tapes. Meaning we didn’t really know the band in question before listening to this song. So after a little digging we found out that Maybe Mental is quite formidable. What we have here is a really atmospheric/cinematic industrial piece of work. Quite interesting. We’ll be sure to listen to some more ourselves. Shouts to the people that made Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine possible.
It must be said. This is one of the best episodes we’ve ever done. Maybe the best one. The next and final track might just ruin it for some people because of the gothic flavors, but you’ve come this far. So please, keep an open mind. The infamous “Sunshine Ward” by Amebix.
- Metal on Metal | Kraftwerk (GER) | Trans-Europe Express, 1977 http://www.kraftwerk.com/
- Throwing Star | Wold (CAN) | Postsocial, 2014 http://wold-klan.blogspot.pt/
- Keep Falling Apart | Youth Code (USA) | Keep Falling Apart (Single), 2013 http://youthcode.bandcamp.com/
- Colliding Spheres Bend Solar Years | Khthoniik Cerviiks (GER) | Heptaedrone (Demo), 2014 http://www.discogs.com/artist/3988337-Khthoniik-Cerviiks
- It’s All Blooming Now Mt. Heart Attack | Liars (USA) | Drum’s Not Dead, 2006 http://liarsliarsliars.com/
- It’s What They Call the Clubhouse | Dethscalator (UK) | Racial Golf Courses, No Bitches, 2013 http://dethscalator.com/
- Pestilent Decay | Repulsion (USA) | Horrified, 1989 https://www.facebook.com/Repulsion
- Slagen Av Sanning | Totalitär (SWE) | Sin Egen Motståndare, 1994 http://www.discogs.com/artist/307040-Totalit%C3%A4r
- Floor | Talk Is Poison (USA) | Straight to Hell (EP), 1998 http://www.discogs.com/artist/423125-Talk-Is-Poison
- Diabolus in Musica | Foetus All-Nude Revue (AUS) | Bedrock (EP), 1987 http://foetus.org/
- Look At The Clown | Maybe Mental (USA) | Animism II, 1984 http://www.discogs.com/artist/90994-Maybe-Mental
- Sunshine Ward | Amebix (UK) | No Sanctuary (EP), 1983 https://www.facebook.com/Amebix