We do our best to keep up with news in the world of extreme metal. We read a few web sites every day that collect news items, we get press releases via e-mail, and we get alerts about MySpace and Facebook posts by bands we’re following. Put it all together, and it’s a daily flood of words — almost all of which are just completely forgettable, or worse. Usually, we find items that are either intentionally or (more often) unintentionally funny. Rarely, we find something we think is worth writing about on this site.
We’re kinda behind on putting together reviews of new music we’ve been cranking, and that may have lowered our newsworthiness threshold today, but whatever. Today, we’re just gonna dump a bunch of news on you that we read over the weekend, including one of those funny items and one new video that put us in a party mood. Not a lot of rhyme or reason to our choices, but there’s not much rhyme or reason to anything we do, so what the fuck?
Our topics? They involve Heaven Shall Burn, Hour of Penance, French Bat-Shit Grindcore, All Shall Perish, and The Ghost Inside.
Last Friday, German death metal and hardcore fusionists Heaven Shall Burn announced that their new album Invictus, which has already been released in Europe and will be released in North America tomorrow, landed on the official chart in Germany at position No. 9. According to the announcement, this marks Heaven Shall Burn’s and Century Media Records‘ first-ever Top 10 release in Germany.
The press release included this comment from guitarist Maik Weichert: “Top Ten! This is insane! It is a dream come true and we thank everybody who had something to do with it! Everything will be awesome! However, when the police stopped my car yesterday they were still quite unpleasant to deal with, so I am assuming they hadn’t heard the news yet . . .” (lots more after the jump — stay with us . . .)
This is one more reminder that many things separate European countries from the U.S. besides different languages. Can you imagine any extreme metal album, particularly from a band like Heaven Shall Burn, landing in the Top 10 in U.S. album sales? For comparison purposes, the album that occupied No. 9 on the Billboard list of Top 200 albums for the U.S. as of this morning was Live at the Troubador by Carole King and James Taylor. What we said.
A few other tidbits about this new album, which we’re really stoked to hear: As on Heaven Shall Burn’s previous albums, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds created the atmospheric intro as well as the album’s outro — and the album includes a duet called “Given In Death” that features guest appearances by Sabine Weniger from Deadlock on vocals and Sebastian Reichl on guitar. We’re reserving judgment on that one . . .
Last month, we posted breaking news about the apparent disintegration of ass-kicking Italian band Hour of Penance. In our last post (at this location), based on a message from the band’s departing vocalist Francesco Paoli, we speculated that maybe the band wasn’t dead after all. Now, we’ve got confirmation of that via a Facebook post yesterday by HOP’s guitarist Giulio Moschini and bassist Silvano Leone:
“To everyone out there asking what’s next in the future of Hour of Penance – well, we’re still alive and breathing and we’re actually auditioning new members and writing new songs already! More news to come – Thanks for your support! Giulio & Silvano”
No doubt, we’re looking at a major line-up change from the band that produced this year’s awesome release, Paradogma, but this still qualifies as very encouraging news.
There’s an outfit in France called Putrid Attitude. We can’t tell whether this is a label or a couple of speed-freaks living in a basement (granted, we haven’t tried very hard to find out). The MySpace page describes Putrid Attitude as: “The Audiophonic Evil Encyclopediae of French Gore Grind, Sadistic Cannibals, Brutal Death, Maniac Butchers, and GrindCore Serial Killers.”
Whatever Putrid Attitude is, they’ve assembled a music compilation called French Faces of Gore that’s available for free download at this location. We found out about this thing from a Toulouse band we like a lot called Zubrowska (see our most recent post about them here). The compilation includes a track from Zubrowska, plus songs from a jillion other bands we’ve never heard of.
We haven’t listened to this compilation. Based on the names of the contributing bands, we’re afraid the music would make us bleed from every orifice, like ebola, except worse. But you gotta get a big smile from the list of names. Our favorites are Bong Ejaculation, Your Ass Is On Fire, and Vaginal Cassoulet. Here’s the whole list (and don’t worry, we have a few more items, including that party video, at the end of this list):
BORN WITH WORMS INSIDE
CASTRATED SENILE BASTARDS
ANAL GERIATRIC INFECTION
INSANE CONSANGUINEOUS FARMER
THE BITCH PROJECT
YOUR ASS IS ON FIRE
CARNE DE PUTA
DEFECAL OF GERBE
HAIR COLOR ANOMALY
FOIRE NEPHRETIQUE EXHIBITION
If any of you have the balls to download and listen to this whole thing, feel free to leave a comment and let us know about the experience, assuming you’re still able to type. For now, here’s the track on the compilation from Zubrowska:
All Shall Perish is one of our favorites bands here at NCS. We thought their last album, Awaken the Dreamers, was ass-kickingly brilliant. So we tend to pay more-than-usual attention when we read news about them. And here’s the latest:
First, the band has had a change in drummers. Matt Kuykendall is gone, and his replacement is Adam Pierce (Sea of Treachery). That’s not the only change. In a game of musical chairs, the band’s most recent guitarist, Jason Richardson, has left to join Born of Osiris.
His replacement, at least for the band’s next touring season, will be a guitarist from Treviso, Italy, named Francesco Artusato. Don’t know anything about him yet. We do know that All Shall Perish will be part of this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, which promises to be an honest-to-god, no-shit summer slaughter.
THE GHOST INSIDE
And that brings us to the video entertainment we promised. It’s from an L.A. hardcore band called The Ghost Inside. Those dudes have a new album (their second) due on June 8 — which is looking like one of the biggest new-release days in recent memory. It’s on the Mediaskare label and it’s called The Returners.
The band has just released the video for one of the new songs, called “Unspoken”. The song is a catchy bit of head-crushing fun — and making this video must have been a bit of head-crushing fun, too. In fact, we’d bet money that a video of the making of this video would be even more fun than the video itself. See what you think. And have a nice fucking day.
The Ghost Inside “Unspoken” Official Video
THE GHOST INSIDE [RETURNERS 3 DAYS!] | MySpace Music Videos
Downloading that compilation now. What the hell, might as well give it a shot.
Goregrind isn’t my thing, but occasionally I find something I like. Here’s hoping I can say the same this time around. Some *ahem* interesting band names. I wonder what some of the corresponding logos look like. Hopefully someone else reading this takes the plunge – and is someone with more of a taste for this corner of metal, that way you can get a better (and more fair) assessment.
As for Hour of Penance continuing on, that’s good to hear. Still haven’t gotten around to taking a listen to them, though. Still, it’s always nice when a band moves forward after longevity threatening lineup changes.
I don’t know about extreme metal, but some less obvious metal choices have come near that mark or crossed over into Top 10 territory. One would have to go back to take a look though, but I’m sure there are a few to be found, probably more in the last 5 years or so than before, changing industry trends playing a part of that.
You definitely win the “balls of steel” award for risking a dive into the deep water of “French Faces of Gore.” I do hope you’ll share your reactions, even though you’re not a goregrind afficionado. Like you, I also hope someone who is will weigh in on this comp. I’m sure you’ve found by now that the download includes some interesting artwork — not band logos, but uh, well, you’ll see . . .
First impression: Ummmm….
Some rather interesting song titles.
I’ve noticed that the quality varies greatly and the songs aren’t all the same bitrate – some are encoded at 320 kbps, some at 128, and some probably somewhere in between. And only a handful of the 77 songs (I think) cross the three minute mark, and if I remember correctly, the majority of the songs don’t even cross 2:00. But I suppose that’s par for the course with goregrind, just as with some breeds of hardcore.
I haven’t had much time to listen to more than a couple songs randomly selected. Some are okay, some are, well, I don’t know. There are a few in there that are incorporating hip-hop elements. I think.
But not being a big fan of the genre (or the stuff that might get lumped together with it), that makes it harder to make a fair assessment of this comp or of the bands involved. But gotta give them credit for joining in. And to get 77 bands together (well, as far as albums go) is impressive enough on its own.
When I get home, I think I’ll have to brave some more of the songs. Please, pray to whomever may be listening to you….
Unfortunately, no one listens to me. Or at least no one who has the ability to rescue you if your listening experience goes south.
I also thought it was cool that someone was able to pull together that many bands and songs — and it just boggles my mind that so many bands within reach of Putrid Attitude are creating this kind of music. In a weird way, it gives me hope for mankind. 🙂
Please, excuse the review-like writing. I was in one of those kind of modes.
Well, I survived the French goring, relatively intact.
As I mentioned before, the production quality varies from song to song (to be expected) and they don’t all use the same bitrate (not a deal breaker). Unfortunately, some of the songs aren’t nearly as loud as the others, so if you’re listening through from beginning to end, keep that in mind, especially if you’re pushing the volume up to hear the quieter songs – even more so if listening through headphones or ear buds. Given the length of most of these, you may find yourself aurally assaulted after a minute or two because the next song is louder by default.
Quite a few of the songs are fairly straight forward as far as metal goes, while several include sound clips, electronic elements, hip-hop and even some sorta trippy stuff that sounds a bit awkward combined with the other stuff under it. There’s more to be found, but I’ve had a hard time making it through uninterrupted – not that I haven’t tried. I wouldn’t say they’re all goregrind-y songs (Zubrowska’s contribution at the end comes to mind, plus a couple of those that I’ve picked as highlights below), but the bulk of the material is what you might expect with a compilation like this. Lots of gurgly and/or pig squeal vocals, and some that make such vocal stylings seem operatic by comparison. And that’s putting it nicely. Oh, Kenny (from South Park) seemingly makes an appearance in Zombi Gang Bang’s contribution around 0:23 to 0:29 or so.
As can be expected with the genre, some of the band’s names and the titles they have given their songs… well, I don’t know how to put it nicely, but I will say this: it’s not always necessary to thumb through a medical book or porn site’s metatags to generate a band/song’s name (or both!). I suppose a cocktail of Google, Wikipedia and WebMD may help you get through this collection if you’re curious about a few of the terms and Babelfish might help if you don’t know French.
I’m surprised there isn’t a song about jerking off an elephant in here (at least, I don’t think so), but I’m sure some band somewhere has done one. “Pachydermal Happy Ending”, anyone? Then again, there are two songs that reference sheep, at least as far as the song titles go, so there’s that. I advise that you try not to think too much about some of the other titles, otherwise you may need to scrub your brain with some steel wool, preferably not from one of the sheep defiled in this compilation.
Since I’m not a huge fan of the genre, only a few caught my attention as being something I might actually find enjoyable in my usual musical listening habits, while a few others could join them if they had better production or the vocals were closer to being something comprehensible – or at least if I could tell that there were separate words and not a stretch of noise with some fluctuation to it. Then again, maybe it’s better than I don’t know what the vocalist is singing saying doing, just as with some death metal or black metal – some lyrical subjects, I’d rather not be listening to.
To wrap up, here are a few that I found to be highlights, at least according to my tastes, listening habits and what I’ve been exposed to so far. Not all top notch songs, but in my opinion they’re still better than the rest – no offense to the other guys. I’m not going to single anyone out on the other end; I’ll play nice since this isn’t my usual breed of music.
In no particular order…
Untamed – “Gore Party”
Darkall Slaves – “Feeding”
Purgorified – “Plan 9 – Forbidden Art”
Deviant Surgeons – “Before They Eat”
And some comments on a few of the others I liked…
Wiolence Conjugale – “L’Ordre Des Membres” is one of the more interesting tracks, combining drum beats, strings and goregrind vocals. And it actually works out surprisingly well. With a different vocal approach – even just moving a bit closer towards lyrical comprehension – and this song could have stolen the show. Of course, it’s not a brutal track, so others may end up hating it for breaking away from the norm. This is the song I’ve listened to more often than any of the others. For me, it may be the best track here.
Prostrator – “Eat Shit On The Dancefloor” is one of flavored with some cheesy sounding keyboard effects, but they don’t dominate the song, unlike a few of the others. There’s a strong punk-ish feel to the song and they use more than one vocal approach, including stuff that you can probably understand if you pay attention to the song (although it’s hard to mistake the “eat shit” that repeats several times in between the rest of the lines).
Your Ass Is On Fire – “Push The Feeling On” is another song that sounds a bit different, and I’m not sure how to describe it. It goes through a few different sounds over the course of just over 2 minutes and is one of those tracks that’s probably out of place with the majority of the offerings on this comp, especially with its Europop beginning. Worth checking out, at least once.
Well, I’m just fucking blown away by what you’ve written. In fact, so much so that unless you object, I’m going to just put it up as a guest post tomorrow. And beyond that, you’ve now inspired me to listen to this comp myself, particularly because one of the 3 bands whose names I liked the best (“Your Ass Is On Fire”) made your mentionable list. Thank you for caring enough to give this so much of your time.
No problem. Not like I had a whole lot going on anyway. My other writing was done and I needed to unwind with something other than the stuff that usually finds its way into Winamp, a CD player or my iPod.