Monday, January 31, 2011


What's more cult than reading a black metal-packed fanzine by candlelight while blasting a copy of the accompanying 12" of rehearsal-room deathrash from Norwegian legends Morbid? Why, taking an evil dump at the same time!

Yes, it's black metal bathroom reading time, with the latest (and according to the zine's introduction, possibly final) issue of Slayer Magazine, one of the longest-running publications to claw its way out of the bowels of the metal underground. Slayer XX is an incredible read, put together by Metalion, a long-time Norwegian metal maniac. First published in 1986, it's most famous for its early 90s issues, which documented the spectacular emergence of his country's groundbreaking black metal movement.

Issues of Slayer have become increasingly sporadic, released basically whenever Metalion feels like it rather than on a set schedule (issue 19 was published in 2004!), but issue XX makes up for the long wait by being more of a book than a fanzine. It's hardbound, with glossy, thick pages and professional print quality. However, despite the stunning presentation (including some awesome graphic design from Watain frontman Erik Danielsson) the writing style is totally in the style of a fanzine, with the editor interjecting his opinion and of course his unique sense of humor into each feature. The layout for many features is in the old-school cut and paste style -- you can even see razor marks on the pages.

This down and dirty approach befits the bands featured -- you will find no slick mainstream garbage here. There are interviews and articles about Watain, Destroyer 666, Pagan Altar, Sadus, Nifelheim, Funeral Mist, Whiplash, Sunn O))), Grotesque, Kreator and many more, including remembrances of dead black/death metal pioneers Quorthon of Bathory and Jon Nodtveidt of Dissection. The quality of the interviews is generally top-notch, with the bands really taking the questions seriously, something that you don't really find in some zines. Since Metalion is a die-hard death/black metal fanatic with roots stretching back to the very beginnings of the extreme metal movement, he garners a lot more respect for his subjects than some snot-nosed kid making fly-by-night zine in his bedroom. To top it all off, a 12" record of unreleased Morbid material from the mid-80s is included with each copy, Morbid of course being the first band of legendary black metal suicide Dead of Mayhem.

All in all, Slayer XX will keep your eyes glued to its pages while your ass is glued to the toilet seat for many, many BMs to come. Two plungers up!!!

(Apparently this is sold out from the publisher but poke around in distros in the coming weeks and you will probably will be able to find it -- 2,000 were printed so they should be around)

Friday, January 28, 2011


The Surf Punks were a horrible band. Really fuckin' awful. Poor songwriting. Inane lyrics. Doofy synth noises spewed all over their albums. In other words, a perfect punk band.

These guys were pretty much a novelty band but they were capable of occasionally puking up some of the best punk schlock in my record collection (as well as a lot of weak filler). All the good stuff is contained on the first two albums, My Beach and Locals Only, which you can probably find if you keep an eye on the dollar bins.

Fun fact: from what I've heard, Drew Steele's skateboard guitar was actually rideable!


John Seabury

artist unknown

James Flames

Tetsunori Tawaray

Kade Burt

Monday, January 24, 2011


So no review this week: just a couple of videos from Czech black metal legends Master's Hammer. Evil, occult and totally weird, these freakos puked out three albums in the early/mid 90s before reforming recently to release another disc... here's a couple of classic clips from their Ritual album (1991). Worship the Master...

BONUS: Curious about what their guitarist Necrocock is up to nowadays? Well, since I mentioned his name is Necrocock, I'm guessing you are. So here's a little treat... prepare to get a confusion boner.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Iggy Pop & James Williamson - Sticky Fingers Kill City

As I understand it, Kill City was originally a set of demos that the Iggster recorded in ’75 with James Williamson in an attempt to get a record contract after the Stooges imploded. The demos were released in ’77 despite Iggy’s protests. The “album” was notoriously poor quality and I personally had never bothered to listen it. It was remixed, remastered and rerelease by Bomp late last year and I’ve been hearing a lot of hype so why not check it out:

1. “Kill City” – Best track here. Basically a typical Stooges riff alternated with the the Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” Nothing wrong with that. Some (most) of the best songs in rock history are lifted from someone else’s tune.

2. “Sell Your Love” – Could be an alright song if you cut out all that wanky-ass sax.

3. “Beyond the Law” – What the fuck? This is “Brown Sugar” again.

4. “I Got Nothin’” – A slow one. Kinda got a “first half of ‘Freebird’” vibe. Not too bad.

5. “Johanna” – See #2. Sounds like the fucking SNL theme song.

6. “Night Theme” – Very nice little instrumental interlude with guitars and noisy saxaphone. Only about a minute long.

7. “Night Theme (Reprise) – This is the exact same track with some backwards drums tacked onto the end.

8. “Consolation Prizes” – This sounds like another Stones song but I can’t quite put my finger on which one. “Honky Tonk Woman?” Nah. It’ll come to me later.

9. “No Sense of Crime” – “Gimme Shelter”

10. “Lucky Monkeys” – This is what happens when you slow down “Brown Sugar” and give it a stupid song title.

11. “Master Charge” – Another instrumental. Slide guitars and cheesy synths (in a good way). Uh oh, here comes the sax again.

Overall, Iggy’s performance is pretty good but there’s no sign of James Williamson’s razor blade guitar sound that I’ve come to expect from Raw Power and Metallic K.O. And what is up with the sax? Where the hell is Steve Mackay? Did you lose his number?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Roy G. Biv

David Dandrea

Luke Oram

Stacie Willoughby


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Me ranting about music as illustrated by Ryan the Truck.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Travis Coster

Silent Giants

Shelby Hohl

Jesse Philips


Alan Forbes

Saturday, January 8, 2011


If D.A.R.E. really wanted to keep kids off drugs, they'd get them super high and make them watch Ryan Trecartin films.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


In my Black Metal Monday segments for the mighty Archers’ Guild, I try to stay on top of shit; that is to say, I’d rather review/highlight recent releases than stuff that has been blogged to death by dozens of other metal websites/zines/message board warriors. However, this album slipped through the cracks for me, so here it is: The Ruins of Beverast, “Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite,” released in late 2009 on Ván Records.

A one-man army of darkness hailing from Germany, The Ruins of Beverast specialize in a very evocative, almost cinematic brand of black art. Long songs, meandering structures sometimes with repeating musical motifs, strange samples, choirs, pseudo-industrial “clangs” and “plonks” – these tools are all at Ruins mastermind Alexander von Meilenwald’s disposal. This is a very dense, very long record. The CD version tips the scales at around 80 minutes – the maximum amount of time the format can support – and the double LP is even longer thanks to a nine-minute Tiamat cover! (I would like to hear that cover, but I just have the CD…) Most of the songs are over 10 minutes, and this isn’t always Burzum-esque riff-repetition style black metal. There is a LOT going on in this record, which makes it pretty hard to fathom. I think that’s the idea however. This has the feeling of a musician’s magnum opus, a real labor of love (hate?) and intense creativity. That’s not to say it’s a perfect record, but it does have some pretty incredible and awesome moments.

The music on “Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite” – cool title, eh? – ranges from tremelo-picked blast fests ala old Mayhem, to doomic crawls along the sludgy pits of Hades, but definitely favors the slower tempos. I guess they give the music room to breathe a bit more, though with the claustrophobic atmosphere present here fresh air is a rarity. I find the slow pace pretty cool for the most part, but I wish it were broken up more regularly with faster sections a bit more often to keep it from getting monotonous. The middle of the album sure feels like a trudge with so much slow, doomy stuff, only picking up after about 20 minutes of constant pounding with the second to last track, “Blood Vaults II,” which throttles you with some wild thrash tempos for six minutes before slowing it down again.

The good news is, although the lack of speed is kind of a drag at times, there is always something interesting going on musically. Though the tempo remains in first gear most of the time, the riffing style changes up a lot with some death-doom stuff, some plain slow black metal and some more traditional doom riffs. This guy can really play, and spices things up with interesting leads, solos and guitar licks along with some tasteful drum patterns. The recording is not piss-raw, not too dense, but with enough gray areas to lose yourself in the kind of haze that good atmospheric black metal strives for; I would say the production job is just about perfect here.

The vocals favor low, almost death-metally rasps – not too much shrieking going on – with a lot of clean passages that recall Enslaved. You may notice I’ve been dropping a lot of old Norwegian names in this review, though don’t think this is just a ripoff of that all-too-aped style. Ruins of Beverast has its own thing going – professional, passionate, heavy as a bag of donkey balls (to quote Obituary), and DARK black metal. There are many layers to this record and I think I’ve only really scratched the surface.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Roy G. Biv

Stefen Fahler

Stacie Willoughby

Wayne Coyne

Nini Sum