Jun 122013

UPDATE: This tour has now been confirmed. After the jump you’ll find the official flyer and all the dates.

I guess you could call this gun-jumping, since I’m posting it in advance of any official announcement. Not long ago I noticed a series of coincidences: Dying Fetus, Devourment, Exhumed, and Abiotic — four ass-kicking bands I follow on Facebook — all posted similar statuses.  For example, Dying Fetus posted: “major tour announcement 4pm EST today”.  And Abiotic posted: “Check back here at 4pm EST for a HUGE announcement! \m/”

Being the impatient sort, I googled those four bands’ names plus the word “tour”. And lo and behold, what I discovered were three widely separated venues in the US and Canada offering tickets for a show involving those four bands. Using the superior deductive skills for which I’m widely known, I deduced: NORTH AMERICAN SKULL-FUCKING TOUR!

Actually, I don’t know for sure that it will be called the SKULL FUCKING TOUR, but that really should be the name. Here are the dates and places I’ve found so far: Continue reading »

May 022013

(Here’s another in Andy Synn’s irregular series of things that come in five’s.)

That’s right, with this edition of the column I’m going to try and convince you that your opinions are wrong, and break the Pavlovian conditioning that has led you all to unfairly loathe some genuinely fine albums.

But… this is the internet… so none of that’s probably going to happen.

A little context first off though. A couple of days back I was listening to the new Cryptopsy album (still stunning btw) and suddenly thought to myself, “You know what, I haven’t listened to The Unspoken King in forever… surely it’s not as bad as I remember?”.

And you know what… it is. Ok, so it has a couple of solid songs, and a few that would be pretty good if they weren’t Cryptopsy songs, but overall… wow… it really is bad.

But it did get me thinking about albums towards which the general public consensus is largely negative (often influenced strongly by prevailing media portrayals, and sometimes out and out misrepresentations) but which I think deserve a renaissance, now that the initial furore has died down.

So here I present five of my picks for albums which have been castigated and criticised by the metal community at large, sometimes seemingly without even listening to the actual music, but which I think are actually pretty brilliant, once you get past all the politics and preconceptions. In fact, having spoken to several people about some of these albums, it seems a lot of folks “remember” the albums as being bad, but can’t tell you much about when, or even if, they’ve actually listened to them. So here I intend to rectify that. Continue reading »

Jan 112013

Welcome to the lucky 13th part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (almost) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re getting deeper into death metal territory today. There will be plentiful bludgeoning. Internal organs may be damaged. Massive head trauma may result. But cretinous smiles will be left at the end. Or maybe I should just speak for myself.


If you were looking for pure, unadulterated, unforgiving, horrific death metal in 2012, you couldn’t go wrong with this multinational band’s album, Macabre Kingdom. This second full-length collaboration between Dave Rotten of Avulsed and Rogga Johansson of Sweden was, for me, the 2012 counterpart to the previous year’s debut by Disma, Towards the Megalith: an unstoppable battle tank of metal that  was both catastrophic in its atmospherics and also strangely addictive.

I wrote a notice about the album last April after seeing Juanjo Castellano’s stunning cover art, but I failed to review the album. I was too scared. Continue reading »

Sep 262012

Yours truly is on the road again, and by “road” I mean in airports and on airplanes and therefore spending hours of tedium separated from the internet. As a result, the postings between now and Monday are going to be scattered and probably fewer than normal. I did have time last night and this morning to survey what’s been happening over the last 24 hours and found the following nuggets of interest.


I started posting about this tour when there was no official announcement and just a few dates had surfaced, because I was so fuckin’ excited about it. Yesterday it became official. I saw on Metal Sucks (which is co-sponsoring the tour) that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Cerebral Bore will indeed be touring the U.S. in November and December.

But this official announcement has revealed something I didn’t know: Malignancy will be taking the place of Cattle Decapitation during the last week of the tour. The two bands are very different, of course, but they’re both just excellent at what they do. If you want a taste of Malignancy’s forthcoming album (which is amazing), check out this post. Tour dates are right after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 222012

A week ago we reported the early hints that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Scotland’s Cerebral Bore would be embarking on a U.S. tour later this fall. We still haven’t seen an official press release, but a more complete schedule of dates has surfaced on the PRP, and most of these dates also now appear on the Tour page of the Dying Fetus Facebook site.

Looking at these dates, I see a gap at the end of the tour between the Dec 13 date in Boise and the Dec 22 date in Baltimore which suggests that the schedule might not be complete, and that could explain why we don’t have an official announcement yet. Swinging through cities in the northern tier of the country would make sense since the bands have to get from Idaho to Maryland and they’ll be crossing the southern tier on the front part of the tour.

My heart also rose when I saw that the tour would include a Seattle appearance, and then it fell when I saw the date: 12-12-12. That happens to be my wife’s birthday, in addition to being the day the world ends. So, for either reason, I’ll be missing this show. However, some people think that according to the Mayan calendars the 13th Baktun will end on Dec 21, 2012 instead of Dec 12, so if you make this show, you might still have time to let me know how skull-fuckingly great it was before everything goes kablooie.

The schedule is after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 202012

(Andy Synn journeyed to Birmingham, UK, to take in The Womb To Waste Tour and wrote this review of the experience. Andy has also provided us with video of each band’s performance.)

So here’s the thing. Myself and my good buddy Tim (also of Bloodguard fame) decided, kind of at the last minute, to head to this show over in Birmingham (those who pussied out know who they are, but I won’t shame them by naming them…). Now Birmingham isn’t all that far from where we live, except in rush-hour, which pretty much doubles your travelling time. I’m telling you this to explain why we missed Cerebral Bore, who I know have a fair few fans on this site. As it stands, we got there just as they were starting their last song, so I took the chance to hit the empty bar and check out the merch stand, before finding a good spot to watch Revocation.



Revocation being the only band I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing live before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, particularly as the band’s insane fusion of day-glo techno thrash, proggy song-structures, and black/death hybrid heaviness is the sort of foolhardy mixing and matching that often leaves me cold in the live arena. Thank god then for the band’s boundless confidence and enthusiasm, which certainly helped each song come across as more than just a series of good ideas thrown together, every track delivering an array of heavy, head-banging riffs, wild, madcap drumming, and sizzling solo work, while jumping around all over the metal map. Continue reading »

Sep 142012

One last post for this Friday, with a focus on recently announced U.S./Canada tours.

First, it was announced today that Nachtmystium will be headlining the Dawn Over the Ruins of America tour, which also includes Jarboe (featuring Baleyyg) and Canada’s Weapon. All of the dates have not yet been released, but the ones that have are after the jump. Also, although I know Jarboe used to be in Swans, that’s about the extent of my knowledge about her work, and I know zip about Baleyyg. So if anyone has any insights, leave a comment. Nachtmystium and Weapon, of course, are must-see bands for yours truly. (Thanks to Utmu and Vonlughlio for the tip about this one.)

Second, Boston’s mighty Revocation will be headlining a tour, and A Life Once Lost and KEN Mode will be along for that ride. I’ve almost lost count of how many times I’ve seen Revocation, because they tour like there’s no tomorrow, and every damned show has been killer. And if you saw tomorrow’s earlier post about ALOL, well, you know how I feel about them. KEN Mode is another band I am very interested in seeing. Those dates are also after the jump.

Third, Lambgoat is reporting that Dying Fetus will be touring late this year with Cattle Decapitation and Cerebral Bore in tow. There’s been no official announcement, but Lambgoat has ferreted out three venues where this line-up has been announced so far. I’ll just sum up my thoughts about this tour as follows: HELLS FUCKING YEAH! Continue reading »

Jul 272012

Good morning class. Our subject for today is that well-known romantic ballad by Cannibal Corpse, “I Cum Blood”.

Of course, many of you know this gentle ode like the palm of your hand. But please raise those hands — how many of you have ever read the lyrics?

I thought so. This is the problem with our instant-gratification society. You consume music so quickly and superficially. You get the quick headbang and then move on, without delving more deeply into the philosophical underpinnings of the artist’s inspiration and the nuances of the lyrical message. You miss the opportunity for personal growth that comes from a thoughtful exegesis of the words. You hear the noise and miss the poetry. This will not do.

To correct your shortcomings in music appreciation, we are privileged to have with us today Professor Big C, who will deliver for us a spoken-word recital of the lyrics to “I Cum Blood”.

It goes without saying that you have also neglected the heart-felt lyrical message in that classic Dying Fetus song, “Homicidal Retribution”, with its passionate protest against a justice system that allows killers to escape their just deserts. This tune, which appears on War of Attrition (2007), is one of your instructor’s favorite Dying Fetus ballads, and we are fortunate that the Relapse Records label has uploaded to YouTube for the first time a high-quality version of the official video for this masterwork. It was filmed at Philadelphia’s historic Eastern State Penitentiary. You will wish to familiarize yourself with its environs, because many of you are undoubtedly headed for similar accommodations.

After you have reflected upon Professor Big C’s rendition of “I Cum Blood”, your next assignment will be to absorb the “Homicidal Retribution” video and write a 2,000-word essay on what it means to you. You may not use the words “fuck”, “fucking”, “awesome”, “shit”, “cum”, or “splooge” in your essay. Continue reading »

Jun 252012

(In this post, TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album from Dying Fetus.)

Let’s just face it: Dying Fetus are the shit.  I mean, this band has it all:  bestial vocals, explosively propulsive drum work, and utterly punishing grooves and riffs that drive listeners into every possible brain-suffocating convulsion imaginable.  Everything that good death metal should be has always been contained in the package that is Dying Fetus.

We all know this band has endured some membership changes, of course. John Gallagher has had a hard time maintaining a consistent lineup to assist in his brutality crusade.  The only member who’s been long-standing since the departure of the Destroy The Opposition lineup has been bassist, and now also high-end vocalist, Sean Beasley, who joined the band at Stop At Nothing and has soldiered on since.  Gallagher and Beasley have really become the focal point of Dying Fetus.  Trey Williams, drummer on Descend Into Depravity, is still here as well, the first drummer Gallagher has managed to keep for more than one album since Kevin Talley.

I admire Gallagher’s iron will to press on and persevere; the music he writes is still some of the most technically apt, precision-guided, hammer-to-the-skull death metal I’ve ever heard.  I don’t think there is a single Fetus album I would tell you is bad, mediocre, or even merely good.  They’re all excellent. But Reign Supreme is, in few words, a perfect album. Continue reading »

Jun 212012


(Last night . . . June 20, 2012 . . . Seattle . . .)

Met some old friends and some new ones at The Honey Hole after work (yeah, that’s the name of the place, no lie).  Shot the shit. Had some adult beverages.  Had half a samitch , made on a crusty French roll with sliced steak, goat cheese, peppers, pesto, and some other shit. Awesome.

The new friends urged me to try a soup with a name I can’t pronounce. Had a cup of that. Was made with hot curry, coconut, cream, veggies, chicken, and I don’t know what else. Extra awesome. Had a second cup, with more adult beverages. Told the pretty lady from the kitchen who made it that it gave me an orgasm. May not have actually used the word “orgasm”, but same concept. She brought me a cup of cheese soup with broccoli in it. And people say men can’t have multiple orgasms.

Reluctantly left the Honey Hole before trying the third kind of soup on offer.  Drove with the old friends to Studio Seven. Got there in time to have a beer and a shot before Revocation’s set. Fourth time I’ve heard them, never gets old.

Listened to a couple of songs from the balcony bar while taking pics, then went down to the floor and locked myself in about two feet from the stage in front of David Davidson. Whole band was firing on all cylinders, and then some. Realized again what a fuckin’ wizard Davidson is. Pretty sure I levitated. Pit would start up and then kind of stop, cuz people just couldn’t help but stare. The downside of being so damned brilliant.

Bought a Revocation shirt, so they can eat. Plus the shirt is awful fine. Went outside with the friends to smoke cigarettes and watch the beautiful people in all their black finery. More beer afterward. Then Dying Fetus began to crank it up. Continue reading »