For quite some time now we haven’t released a really mean episode through and through. Maybe it has to do with the summer. The increasing daylight hours made us weak, perhaps. We’re ending it NOW. This episode will make afraid of your own shadow from start to finish. It’s so thick that Leatherface’s chainsaw wouldn’t be able to cut it through. It’s so loud you’ll want to listen to Delibes afterwards. This is where we separate the men from the boys and send away all the poseurs who THINK they like SATAN MADE ME DO IT. No more happy thoughts, no more warmth inside, no more singing along or wandering about. This one comes from our cold, dead hands.
Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.
We found out about Message via some interview from Rich from the incredible The Day After Sabbath blog fame. And it’s amazing. This is black metal long before black metal. We know we’ve said it before and we don’t want to make it sound like a cheap slogan, but it’s true, except german-british Message belong on their own league. Compared, for instance, with Icecross, this sounds much more atmospheric, melodic, rich in composition and way more evil, a mix of occult rock, prog and nice keyboard arrangements. You can relate it to outfits from Mercyful Fate to Ghost. We’re featuring the opening track, “Sleep!”, but the whole album is stunning. And look at their kick-ass cover artwork!
From obscure band from 1973 to yet but not for long obscure band from 2015. These basically anonymous Norwegians released their EP in February and it must be one the most promising and exciting debuts in a long time. It’s black metal from Norway but it doesn’t sound like black metal from Norway at all. Even with just 4 tracks it was really hard to pick one for this episode. We went for “A Necromancer’s Lament”, featuring one of the most monstrous riffs of the year. If you know SATAN MADE ME DO IT for some time, you know we’re on a quest for the perfect riff, and if this is any example to go by, we believe we will be spending some time with Nachash in the future. The whole track is a triumph of composition, a lengthy, moody but heavy-as-they-come track with skeleton-vocals and smart changes of pace.
Inter Arma’s post-metal may not be the most obvious choice to follow, and you’re right, but somehow they snug in nicely right after Nachash, probably because they can do “post-metal” while keeping it organic and dirty thanks to a very satisfying production. Quite a feat. We love how they use “industrialistic” rhythm in claustrophobic crescendo here.
“Madagascar: Famadihana” from Death Karma belongs to another 2015 release. Death Karma is basically a side project from two of guys from the more well-known Cult of Fire, so you’ll not be surprised to know that “The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I” is quite a conceptual album, touching themes related with esotericism and systems of beliefs dealing with death from different places in the world (as implied from the album title), from India to Egypt or Mexico, although they’re not immediately discernible on the songs themselves. Drumming as crushing and distorted as we’ve rarely seen since featuring Asphyx, stitched together with “ritualistic thrash” riffs and melody shaped by choruses, singing and atmospheric keyboards who never get in the way like so many awful folk and paganistic metal bands thanks to the chaotic production make this quite an interesting listening.
Atmosphere is something completely lacking on “Conquest”, from Irish favorites ZOM (except for the first seconds that sound like a flushing toilet). This is straightforward black/death metal done viciously and with a serial killer precision to devastating effect. At this point of this episode your ears are probably hurting already, and that’s why we’re throwing you a couple more heavy-hitters from two bands we already featured in the past. First is “Supposed to Rot” from Nihilist’s debut demo from 1988 (Nihilist would later turn out to become Entombed) and second comes “Back From The Dead” from Dream Death with their Tom Araya-like vocals (we love how Brian Lawrence screams “BAAAAAAAAAAACCCKK” as he’s commanding the dead to rise from their tombs!) and amazing doom/death sound and production back from 1987. So many bands these days are trying to sound like this.
This is probably one of the loudest episodes from SATAN MADE ME DO IT so far: we’ve kept twitching the sound, lowering levels to make it bearable, but the fact is most of these bands WANTED to sound REALLY LOUD. Not a problem, as one of us absolutely loves music IN THE RED. So for those of us who really enjoy getting their hearing smashed, this has been a pretty cool ride so far, hm?
So it’s telling that a song by Fenriz is, for the first time, showing the soft spot of this so far unbreakable dragon of an episode. This is Fenriz but it’s not Darkthrone. “My Ship Sailed Without Me” belongs to his short-lived one-man doom project, Red Planet (in fact, it only lived in the form of a split with Nattefrost). We can understand why Fenriz canned the project. It has its flaws, specifically, at least for one of us, his all over the place vocal work, ranging from something who sounds like a bad impression of Black Sabbath-era Ozzy to his questionable forays into goth, and the unconvincing phrasing throughout the chorus. The drumming, bass and fuzzy guitar sound are stunning though, and makes you wonder of what could have been. The song structure variations are quite interesting too, even though one cannot stop feeling that so much of it sounds like an “homage” to “I Bleed Black”. It’s uncanny! We felt tempted to finish it precisely with that Saint Vitus’ song, but we already had featured it on Episode 16 – Graves in the Water, so we go for the closest thing with Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s The Obsessed, calling the day off with a dead-pan finale.
- Sleep! | Message (GER/UK) | From Books and Dreams, 1973 http://www.discogs.com/Message-From-Books-And-Dreams/master/182019
- A Necromancer’s Lament | Nachash (NOR) | Conjuring the Red Death Eclipse [EP], 2015 http://nachashband.bandcamp.com/
- ‘sblood | Inter Arma (USA) | Sky Burial, 2013 http://www.facebook.com/INTERARMA
- Madagascar: Famadihana | Death Karma (SVK) | The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I, 2015 http://www.discogs.com/Death-Karma-The-History-Of-Death-Burial-Rituals-Part-I/master/798637
- Conquest | ZOM (IRL) | Flesh Assimilation, 2014 http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZOM/195971213790266
- Supposed to Rot | Nihilist (SWE) | Premature Autopsy [demo], 1988 https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nihilist/id277792045
- Back From The Dead | Dream Death (USA) | Journey Into Mystery, 1987 http://www.facebook.com/DreamDeathSludge
- My Ship Sailed Without Me| Fenriz’ Red Planet (NOR) | Engangsgrill [split], 2009 http://www.discogs.com/Fenriz-Red-Planet-Nattefrost-Engangsgrill/master/232575
- Inner Turmoil | The Obsessed (USA) | The Obsessed, 1990 http://www.theobsessed.com/