May 30, 2014


With the new category and all it seems to me that now is the time for all of you to be amazed by the sheer flair and simplicity that these musicians display. I've reviewed the album before, however I urge any of you that didn't had the chance of an audition to maybe take a hint and give this live session a go (sorry it's not HD, but the audio is as good as you can get):

  • Probably my favorite non-metal album of all time
  • Definitely my favorite non-metal live show of all time
  • Lyrics that come close to actual poetry
  • My God, Guy Garvey can sing!

May 29, 2014

New WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Song: "Celestite Mirror"

My lords!

Great news comes forth from the throne room! Marco black metal stalwarts Wolves in the Throne Room have just unveiled a song from their upcoming album Celestite. This is set to be a departure from their old sound, yet still a familiar venture for WitTR fans: the duo's new album is going to be an experimental, instrumental work tethered to the themes and vibrations of their seminal 2011 opus, Celestial Lineage. The newly released track, called Celestite Mirror, sounds extremely promising: a vast, expansive ambient journey through dense woods, thick fog and bone-chilling blizzards; atmospheric synths, discrete bits of noise and barely distinguishable electronic ambiances all layer one on top of the other to create a magnificently beautiful work of art. 

You can consider me stoked for Celestite, which comes out on July 8th. This is going to be one of the best albums of 2014. Can't wait to hear it all! Check out the new song below and let us know what you think.

May 27, 2014

LIVE RITUALS: Order of the Owl


Today I'm kickstarting a new feature on our beloved website that's all about amazing live (preferably HD) videos of bands and musicians tearing shit up. I noticed I spend a lot of time staring in awe at full concerts or just really good live performances and I though hey, why not share them with everyone else? I've decided to aptly name this feature LIVE RITUALS and I will also give you my notes on why exactly you should watch each video.

  • We're starting off with Order of the Owl, a bitchin' sludge metal band from Atlanta, Georgia
  • They play some of the noisiest, most head-smashing sludge I've heard in a while
  • Grinding rock'n'roll riffs and distorted bass lines = FUKK
  • Holy shit that drummer knows his way around those toms
  • That song is called Cocaine Super Demon and features the bassist hunched over the microphone and screeching like a banshee on crack
  • They're really good at using feedback as an instrument - my ears bleed, but it hurts so good!
  • Oh, you might also remember Atlanta as the home of noise-rockers Whores
  • It's funny how people are just casually walking by outside while these dudes are tearing down the venue around them
  • The bassist's posture is metal as fuck - why aren't more vocalist doing it?

May 26, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK PART VII: Hour of Penance - Regicide (2014)

Looks like Tech Death Week has taken a sudden break just before its end - whoops! Relax, nothing bad has happened. I just got caught in a vortex of job interviews, friendly drinks, gawking at paintings, sailing the seven seas (or at least wishing I was) and more friendly drinks. All of this has barely left me any time to listen to music, let alone batter my ear drums with devastating tech death. But I think it's fair to wrap the series up nicely, so here I am, back with the final installment of Tech Death Week

For my final trick, I've lent my ears to one of the most highly anticipated tech death albums of the year, Regicide by Italian juggernauts Hour of Penance. They are a consistent act, having churned out a constant stream of albums since they started out in 2000, taking steady but small steps towards refining their sound over the years. With Regicide, the band offers 11 songs of world-shattering, devastating tech death that leaves very little to be desired. The album is an onslaught of tight, bulldozing riffs, piling one on top of the other like an endless stream of artillery strikes, and precise, destructive drumming that's both brutal and varied, while going hard on those blast beats. The guitars sound, simply put, MASSIVE: he chugging, meaty guitar tone is the perfect vehicle for conveying the band's apocalyptic, anti-religion message and its mere sound is enough to cause towering boners and furious headbanging. Vocally, things are good. Vocalist/guitarist Paolo Pieri doesn't have a huge range, but his delivery is spot-on, with just the right amount of reverb to make his growls sound powerful and dominating. The occasional choirs lend Regicide, at times, a monumental atmosphere that will make you feel tiny and intimidated. There is not a lot of variation across the songs and there are basically no breaks from the PLAY FUCKING FAST school of thought, even with the subtle changes in pace, so the album becomes kinda tiresome after a while and it seems to lack a lasting appeal, in spite of some truly excellent songs, like Spears of Sacred Doom, Reforging the Crowns and Sealed Into Ecstasy (which starts off with some skin-crawling recordings of a men's choir).

Hour of Penance keep true to their reputation of a solid, talented and dependable technical death metal band, but I really feel it's time for them to start pushing the envelope and explore some different paths on their next efforts. Regicide is a great addition to their discography, displaying tight musicianship and a stellar production. However, it is also a very "safe" album, relying on a tried-and-true recipe that doesn't leave much room for innovation and pushing the genre forward. 


- solid tech death album
- dat guitar tone
- sounds fucking massive


- too safe and predictable

May 25, 2014


Another tight swedish death metal release is brought upon dissection at the TZEEEAC coffee table. This time it's the bellbottom jeans and dirty workshirt-wearing hooligans that form UNDER THE CHURCH, an ugly ass death metal spewage coming directly at you from underneath tempered soils.

It's an ugly release, but it sticks very close to its source material consisting of AUTOPSY, GRAVE and CARNAGE (Swe) demos, and it pretty much delivers what it sets up to. The band is now slowly releasing an EP and a new Tape upon us, which are due sometime these weeks.

Get down with dirty death metal here!

May 24, 2014

Burn Water

How about we take a break from all the death metal going on and you let me show you some music made by a dude who lives half way around the world from our HQ?

Evidently, random clicks around the internets brought me to his soundcloud page and then this song here caught my attention.

Anyway, I think I haven't featured this kind of stuff since I did the piece on Lorn; yet this is quite different, as the mood of the songs gives out an overall melancholic and chill vibe, perfect for listening to under the quietness of a clear night sky.

He even put together some of the tunes in the same style and released an album, available on bandcamp.

Yep, I think someone might enjoy this. I know I do.

VAMPIRE "Vampire" (2014)

VAMPIRE is a swedish death metal trio that is the pure manifestation of the new wave of swedish death metal. This new wave has been both very good hits (REPUGNANT "Epitome Of Darkness", TRIBULATION "The Formulas Of Death") and some misses (MORBUS CHRON "Sweven"), mainly due to people either being way to "true" to their source material, or meaning to take it into strange places, which doesn't always work.

Yet VAMPIRE seem to sound fresh as fuckkkk.

I don't really know what's making them sound so amazingly refreshing in this whole new scene, but it's really a thing of beauty. Simple yet infectious riffs gallore allover this LP, it's like they were born to write this sort of shit. Some songs aren't so memorable, yet the triumphant ones here are really asskickers through and through, like "At Midnight I'll Posses Your Corpse", "The Fen" and "Under The Grudge".

There's really not much to say about this LP. It's a slice of swe-death for you to hold onto until the next best thing. I gotta mention that VAMPIRE have gotten theirselves a place in the Century Media Records roaster, alongside MORBUS CHRON and others, which might be the cause of the semi-polished sound of this record, a thing that does not do it too much justice, but you can get over it if you want to. This is a pretty hiped up band that a lot of people have started to hate because they supposedly aren't doing swedish death metal justice, but I find this type of crap just as justifiable as some bedroom black metaller branding them as "not true enough" for his EMPEROR and GORGOROTH infused tastes.


May 17, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK PART VI: Gridlink - Longhena (2014)

As Tech Death Week is drawing closer to its inevitable end, I think it's time to bend the rules a bit. Today's feature is not exactly a technical death metal band - more like a technical grindcore band. The sci-fi concepts and imagery might  not be as in-your-face as some of the other bands I've showcased this week, but this American/Japanese outfit is well worth your attention. 

Of course, I'm talking about Gridlink, featuring members of Discordance Axis, Mortalized, Phobia and Kill the Client. Longhena is the band's final album and it is a 22 minute grindcore opus that brings new, unexpected elements to the table. The absolute highlight of this album is Takafumi Matsubara's insane and precise guitar playing, which constitutes the backbone of this release. As soon as you hit play on the first song, Constant Autumn, you know this is not going to be your typical grindcore album: you're greeted by a melodic riff that brings to mind the orthodox-tinged post-black metal of Liturgy and, a few seconds in, a drum roll signals the beginning of the artillery barrage which will permeate the rest of the album. 

Gridlink are extremely adept at creating a wall of noise that's at once impenetrable and appealing, sucking you in like a black hole made of noise. The hurricane of discordant riffs, the relentless drumming, the desperate shrieks of Jon Chang, trying to cut through all the racket - everything combines into the sort music that feels like being strapped in the chair of a crashing space ship.Your vision becomes blurry, your heart is racing, your brain is disoriented, your entire organism is going into overdrive - Longhena is one of those rare albums that elicits actual physical reactions. Brief moments of relief, like Thirst Watcher, with its clean guitars and violins, are only making you more vulnerable as the sounds once again escalate to unbelievable levels of sonic violence. And this is exactly what the lyrics deal with, too: melancholy, loss, feeling vulnerable, admitting one's insignificance in the grand scheme of things but still opposing the Universe through any means available, no matter how futile the struggle ends up being. 

Longhena was Gridlink's way of going out with a bang. They took their patented cybergrind skeleton and grafted new elements to it, crafting a grindcore album like no other. Complex, highly technical, violent beyond reason, yet surprisingly emotional. Highly recommended.


- unbelievable technical skills
- amazing atmosphere
- harsh and abusive, yet emotional and melodic


- this is the last Gridlink album you'll ever hear

May 16, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK PART V: Alterbeast - Immortal (2014)

It's day 5 of Tech Death Week and today's feature is the debut full-length album by Alterbeast, who just happen to come from Sacramento, California, just like The Kennedy Veil, which was the focus of yesterday's tech death post.

Immortal is yet another slab of modern death metal with a technical edge. The 8 songs on this album are all lurching juggernauts of frenzied guitar riffs, killer drumming, a vocalist which brings to mind the planet-pulverizing screams of Rings of Saturn and more sweeps than you'd find at a janitor's convention. The production is spotless and the playing is tighter than that jar of pickles you can never open.

For all the impressive skills these guys have, though, it's a shame they're not used to craft more memorable songs. Technically, there's not anything wrong with this album, but you'll have a hard time remembering any of it 5 minutes after you're done listening. But hey, you'll definitely have your fun with this!


- flawless production
- tight musicianship
- sweep-picking and blast beating to last you for a lifetime


- entirely forgettable
- that cover art + logo looks like a promo for a free2play Korean MMORPG

May 15, 2014

SATAN'S SATYRS "Die Screaming" LP (2014)

Greetings, Dear One, 'tis we.

Having heard the single off of this LP about two monts prior to its release, I said "Gee wiz, the greatest band since sliced bread sure has changed their sound a little. The vocals are clearly different and the production is a bit more polished. Excuse me while I grab the bits of my dick off the floor, it seems to have exploded while I was auditioning this." The single ruled, but not in a particularly Satan's Satyrs way, it was a bit different to what we were used to hearing from them, so the main question was: "Would they be able to pull it off?".

You bet your sweet ass.

When the album was uploaded to the Internet here and I finally got to listen to it, I found it to be... just so good. Like, everything you could ever want from a promising band's sophomore record: even better riffs, even better songwriting and experimenting with all sorts of vibes. I can't stress enough on how good the riffs are on this LP, they just keen delivering and delivering from the minute you drop the needle. And the vocals are just something very unique here, and by that I mean that you either learn to love the hell out of them, or they are a dealbreaker for you (yet so far I haven't heard anyone complain). Claythanas is just one of the most talented musicians out there and a personal hero for me. If my band is ever going places, it's going to be stepping on the steps of Satan's Satyrs, which means getting well-known in the underground by means of stupefying riffage, great songwriting and no-trend vintage vibes.

The only thing this album lacks a little for me is the cover art. I love the skeleton thing, but given the music we're dealing with here and the always-awesome previous SS artworks, this one could have used a little more sass in my opinion. Still, watch out freaks and fiends, we're dealing with one of the best albums of 2014.


TECH DEATH WEEK PART IV: The Kennedy Veil - Trinity of Falsehood (2014)

Tech Death Week is plowing along at a steady pace here at TZEEEAC HQ and today's feature is a band from Sacramento, California called The Kennedy Veil. Not to sure what kind of veil JFK used to wear (wasn't that more like Jackie's thing?), but I'm not going to question the band's name when they come out with this insane cover art. That thing is on par with some of Pathology's best artwork. Awesome choice of colors and tons of cool details turn Trinity of Falsehood into the album with the most impressive cover art of Tech Death Week so far.

What about the music? Well, The Kennedy Veil deal in fast, aggressive, high-octane modern death metal and they're extremely adept at their craft. This is the kind of shiny, contemporary metal sound most metal purists hate with a passion. The polished, high-gain guitar tone is used to fashion a whirlwind of fast, grinding riffs that, in conjunction with the diverse, machine-like drumming, is enough to trigger involuntary head movements. The vocals are your standard deathcore grunts, but they're flawlessly executed, which mitigates the fact that there's little to no variation to be found. The 11 songs on this album, while they're all pretty entertaining on their own, tend to blur together into one big incomprehensible mess after extended listening. However, they all hover at around the 2-3 minute marks, which I think is ideal for this kind of sound. Shorter songs means lower chance of getting bored, especially since there aren't that many technical flourishes or solos to keep things interesting in the long run.

The Kennedy Veil are a band to watch out for in the future. They've got the sound and the writing chops to make a name for themselves in the scene. I just wish they'd actually veer more into technical death metal territory and give me some mind-warping cosmic solos.


- excellent production
- short songs
- great drumming


- gets a bit repetitive after a while
- more solos and/or breakdowns plz

May 14, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK PART III: Artificial Brain - Labyrinth Constellation (2014)

I'm gonna phone this one in a bit because I spent all day chilling and had no time for horrific death metal, but that shouldn't deter you from checking out today's tech death band.

Meet Artificial Brain, hailing from New York. This band gets one thing right from the get-go: the cover art is an accurate depiction of the music itself. Just look at this massive Warhammer 40.000 inspired monster: you've got some cybersoldiers looking a lot like Necrons battling weird robot insect-like creatures on a crumbling planet with explosions and solar flares going on in the background. I was sold instantly just by looking at the cover.

And the music is just as crushing as the cover suggests. Take the dissonant, angular riffs of Portal, further mangled through a futuristic filter, replace the Curator's otherworldly vocals with some bowel-churning, gravel-throated vocals fit for a cosmic war between hostile races, drench all instruments into cavernous reverb, add a ton of crypto-scientific lyrics about colliding planets, cyborg sentient molecules and billions of worms exploding out of human carcasses and you end up with Labyrinth Constellation. Technical death metal to invade haunted, barren planets to.


- That fucking Warhammer 40k artwork
- Strong sci-fi lyrics and imagery
- Recommended if you like cavernous death metal with a technical edge


- Necrons were my favorite race but idk they were kinda expensive and too god damn slow

Get The Shot - No Peace In Hell (2014)

What would you do if part of the building where you happen to work is blown to bits and pieces and you suddenly get some unexpected time off? I'd listen to some hardcore punk, of course!

Which is exactly what 'Get The Shot' deliver throughout the course of twelve angry songs that focus on, well, basically shouting at anything or anyone that stands in their way, hoping to prove a point. 

Which they do. I don't know exactly what that is, however they have big-ass choruses where you feel compelled to scream along and throw your fist into the air in approval. And I'd say that's pretty much all that you need from this kind of music, right? With an occasional shred here and there, 'No Peace In Hell' is the kind of album to which all hell would break loose if played live (get it? the intended pun?).

And by that definition alone, they deserve a place on Tzeeeac. Mosh on!

May 13, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK PART II: Aeon of Horus - Existence (2014)


Tech Death Week continues with a new album from an old favorite of mine, the Australian band Aeon of Horus. Existence is only their second full length album, even though they've been active since 2006. The first impression the new album left on me wasn't particularly good: it sounded kinda muddy and same-y and rather uninspired. I was a bit bummed out, but I decided to keep going and gave it a few more listens, hoping it would click along the way.

However, my initial thoughts haven't swayed much in the album's favor. I must give credit where it's due: the guys are obviously highly proficient with their instruments. The playing is tight across the board and the highlights are all the little futuristic synths and keyboards that pop up in the background. You must pay really close attention to hear them, but once you do, you realize just how big of an effect they have on the sci-fi atmosphere of Existence. The guitarist also has a knack for punctuating his playing with enough melody and variation to break through the monotony that otherwise plagues most of this album.

He can't save an entire album single handedly, unfortunately. Like I said in the beginning, the songs tend to sound very similar, which I think might be due to the unfortunate mixing which puts the interesting melodic riffs and futuristic synths in the background while making sure the drums (the drummer is very competent, but the kit sounds flat and lacks the power to really propel the music forward) and vocals (which are, simply put, boring, with very little variation from standard, run-of-the-mill growling) are right in your face. I feel like the most exciting parts of this album have been ignored by accident and the band has put their capital on elements that fail to help them distinguish from the mass of death metal bands across the world. The lyrics are pretty cool, though.

Forever cycled through the absolute zero
Warping, twisted through the mental fabrication
Stemming from star fused active biochemistry
....then spiral, centre, radiate
This new state of matter... its conscience

While its intentions are good, listening to the entirety of Existence becomes tedious, with memorable moments being few and far between. You're better off listening to early Aeon of Horus, like a true IMN.


- Some interesting guitar work

- Cool futuristic synths (if you listen very closely)


- Horrible cover art; where are the robots and aliens??

- Lacks variety and exciting moments

- Uninspired vocals

- Flat mixing, conveying no sense of power and motion

- "i liked the demo better"

MUSIC NOTES: The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is There (2014)

  • Anti-pop anarcho-punk-emo thingie outfit from Worcester, Massachusetts.
  •  Home, Like Noplace Is There takes cues from numerous midwestern emo and screamo acts, both mainstream and independent, such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Jimmy Eat World, Crash of Rhinos, to name a few.
  • Consequently, the album has a timeless feel; it's so rich in influences that you can place it in basically any period of the emo timeframe.
  • The obvious drawback that comes with being so tied to its roots is that it doesn't push the envelope in any way. Not that I have a problem with that.
  • The energy on this damn thing is mind boggling.
  • Top-notch production and instrumental work.
  • Emotional and highly introspective lyrics that deal with issues such as losing friends, coming from broken homes, anxiety, depression, etc. It's been done so many times that it has become a staple of the genre by now, but who cares, right?  
  • Brilliant writing and storytelling. The lyrics are so rich in details that they might as well turn them into a script and make a movie starring Michael Cera and Ellen Page.
  • Your Deep Rest, which is about a guy who's trying to invent excuses to not go to his best friend's funeral is the most creepy and uncomfortable up-beat song I've ever had the chance to listen to.
  • Life is a Drag is a two minute long scream-a-thon about life being a drag. Who would've guessed, eh?

TZEEEAC RATING: would listen while smoking a blunt and contemplating on my life/10

May 12, 2014

TECH DEATH WEEK Part I: Archspire - The Lucid Collective (2014)

If 2013 was the year I got back into black metal via the advent of Marco black metal, 2014 is shaping up to be the year I once again become interested in technical death metal. It looks like a ton of tech death bands have put out new albums while my back was turned, including some old favorites of mine, so I think it's time I got back in the game.

Having said that, we're kicking off a week-long series of daily articles, each focusing on one tech death album released in 2014. For the first time, I will be using a pro/con system to rate every release, so it's easy for you to figure out which albums you're most interested in. 

So if you're a fan of technical death metal or just looking to get acquainted with the genre, join me for a week of dick-snapping drumming, mind-bending guitar wizardry, gut-puncturing bass lines, throat-ripping vocals and lyrics so science-y they would make Stephen Hawking's head spin!

This Monday, we're blasting this series off in full force with the sophomore album by Canadian tech death neuromancers Archspire, entitled The Lucid Collective. The original "sweet bros" initially made their name known in 2011 with their first album, All Shall Align, which was an enticing cut of quality technical death metal constructed out of sweep picking, cargo shorts and shaved heads. The Lucid Collective sees the Vancouver outfit upping their game every way imaginable: this whole album is an outstanding display of technicality and aggression.

The sci-fi theme of the album is a perfect vehicle for showcasing the band's skills: there's pretty much non-stop drum kit abuse, with blast beats and interesting fills flying around like shrapnel; their guitar-work is more creative than ever, with numerous tempo and mood changes, ranging from futuristic guitar lines to artillery-like riffs that pound away at your very sanity; the bassist lays down intricate grooves to compliment the spaced-out atmosphere and the vocals are the most impressive element of this album. They're very varied, with percussive, violent barks, growling and high pitched shrieks constantly rotating across songs, providing even more dynamics to the tracks. You only need to hear the song Fathom Infinite Depth to know these guys are really on to something: it starts off with what I can only describe as death metal rapping, moves on to all-out sonic warfare, morphs into an atmospheric ambient piece then quickly resumes the carnage. All in all, The Lucid Collective is an awe-inspiring album and one that will surely place Archspire in the great pantheon of tech death masters. 

Oh, and they've also included a song which references I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Nerd status: confirmed.


- amazing cover art 
- sci-fi themed songs that RIP
- jaw-dropping technicality
- next-level vocals
- br00tal snare sound


- ????

May 7, 2014

Ornamental Headpiece - Masks of Ash (2014)

Man, I love bands with weird names - it's actually one of the things that draws me ever deeper into the extreme metal hole. Imaginations run rampart and bands sometimes land on the craziest, oddest possible choices to represent themselves as one musical entity. 

And it doesn't get much weirder than naming your band Ornamental Headpiece. I could maybe see this name fitting a goofy, spazzed-out electronic outfit, but these guys play ass-ripping war metal infused with some good old punk tinges. And make no mistake: there is way more to this band than just their name. Their music is some of the best and most honest metal I've heard recently. They manage to masterfully go from blast-beating and all-out sonic warfare one second to some the catchiest, punkiest riffage to ever disgrace your ear drums, pretty much forcing you to pull your t-shirt over your face, run outside and scream at people like a maniac. 

Boots on the Ground is hands-down my favorite track from this 4-song release. It starts off as pure Immortal worship and, at around the 0:35 mark, the song suddenly turns into a groovy punk anthem urging you to pray to death. The filthy, lo-fi vocals are the final nail in the coffin. Or is it maybe the fact that midway through the song, the band switches gears again and does a smooth, almost ambient passage, only to go back into bulldozer-mode a few second later and lay waste to the battleground once more? These dudes know how to craft a good song. 

So if you're a fan of trippy blackened punk and enjoy people asking you in bewilderment "what the fuck are you listening to?", you should definitely blast some Ornamental Headpiece. These guys rip!

May 6, 2014

MIDWEST NOSTALGIA: The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter - Self Titled (2014)

Are you having a nice day? Is the sun shining down on your face? Are kittens and rainbows dashing out of your ass and you feel like the whole world is a beautiful place and everyone is part of one global family? ARE YOU FEELING OKAY ABOUT THINGS?

Then meet The Feel Bad Hit of The Winter, a three-piece group from Kansas City that will make you feel nostalgic for virtually every past moment of your life, including the most mundane of them, like that time when you accidentally washed your teeth with shaving cream. Not even the best weed in this world will make you feel better after listening to this damn thing. They're also big fans of Queens of the Stone Age, as their name indicates. 

The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter reminds me of every coming-of-age movie I've watched in the months preceding my high school graduation. You know those montages that show random moments of one's life that we always dismiss for being too cheesy or tear-jerking, but we watch in private whenever we feel like shit? That's how this album feels. It'll leave such a bittersweet taste in your mouth that you'd wish you were a kid again, when you could easily solve that problem by taking a sip from a bottle of Gatorade and digging a hole in the backyard. It won't make you cry, but it'll surely bring you into that awkward mental state when you can't decide whether to cry and eject all the misery out of your system, or to stubbornly plunge yourself even deeper into the depression by munching nachos and watching Louie in your underwear for the remainder of the weekend. It's good, is what I'm trying to say.

The production is as lo-fi as you would expect from a garage album -  distorted guitars, vocals soaked in reverb and craaazy drumming. Although the album kicks off with the adrenaline rush of a track, Lend A Hand, it gets progressively slower and more experimental. The three minute long jam-a-thon, Chato,  is the perfect example on how to build a song in such a way that it tells its story through the power of sound and rhythm. Weirdly enough, that's also the biggest complaint I have with Feel Good - the vocals are, let's just say, not really on par with the instrumental work. It feels like they went out of their way to create this dark, almost cinematic atmosphere by piecing and polishing the instrumental aspect till exhaustion and they couldn't decide which way they wanted to go - fully instrumental or not. This issue becomes blatantly obvious once you reach Mind The Monsters, a track with which they might as well have taken the ''fully instrumental'' route - strewing an otherwise great instrumental with tiny bits of vocals makes it really distracting. It's not like the lead can't sing, don't get me wrong - it's more of a quantitative issue rather than a qualitative one. 

Still, Feel Good Hit of the Winter is a solid debut and it's surely worthy of your time. Just keep in mind that no matter how gloomy and depressing this album might get, it doesn't shy away from giving you a nudge and a friendly ''it's gonna be okay'' pat on the back. But don't worry, it'll still leave you with a general feeling of sadness inside.


RUDIMENTARY PENI - Death Church (1983)

"Rudimentary Peni are a band so fucking good that no one will ever understand them; I doubt they understand themselves." - Steve Albini, 1993 

Cold hard facts first: this is the fourth Rudimentary Peni re-release on Southern (after Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric, Cacophony and Archaic), remastered and repackaged. And while it's about fucking time that these classics are being made available again (if you don't count the, yes, agreed, very well done - to put it nicely - "fan club releases“ on the notorious Noise Not Music label)... well, to quote George R.R. Martin: “There is strong shadow where there is much light."

Death Church was originally released in 1983 on Corpus Christi, the sister label of Crass Records, home to UK Decay, Conflict, Icons Of Filth and even Crucifix, and quickly became a heralded underground classic and influence to artists as diverse as Chelsea Wolfe and US Black Metal legends Krieg (who will soon release an EP of Rudimentary Peni covers). Primarily the brainchild of Nick Blinko, Rudimentary Peni did not only push the barriers of punk itself, but created a world of their own through sound and vision. It's hard to imagine their morbid and haunting sounds without the stark black and white nightmarish art of Blinko - all part of the package, a Gesamtkunstwerk. It really comes as no surprise that Rudimentary Peni and Death Church in particular sound the way they do: at the time of the recording, Nick Blinko was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder and guitarist Grant Matthews was struck with cancer.

"No longer want to listen to your insane lies, or call for the blood of those who've died, or lust for the tears of another to be cried, no longer want to suffer this pain inside. No longer feel the need to crush all in sight, or play any part in a cruel and bitter fight to maintain a blood stained curse of pride, no longer want to suffer this pain inside. No longer want to suffer this pain inside."

Nick Blinko creates his art when he is not on medication, letting his inner demons run free, creating visual nightmares that would scare the living shit out of Goya and Bosch, a macabre world of disfigured spectres and skeletons. The music of Rudimentary Peni sounds just like that: it's punk, yes, but it's so much more. The songs explode with sheer energy and lunacy, part early 80s UK anarcho punk with angry diatribes against religion in general and the plague of Catholicism in particular, part spaced out "art rock" for lack of a better term, not in a Cream or King Crimson kind of way, but more like the more experimental moments of (of course) Crass.

Death Church does not serve as a vehicle to exorcise inner demons, it proudly wears on them on the sleeve, quite literally. The Socialist Patients' Collective proudly demanded "Turn illness into a weapon" in Germany of the 1970s, and along with the homonymous Australian industrial pioneers, Rudimentary Peni might just be the soundtrack for it.

Now speaking of the reissue here, at least the CD version that I have here is fucking terrible. I am not a friend of remastered classics to begin with. If a record sounded good in the first place, leave it the fuck alone. If ain't broke, don't fix it. A good song is a good song is a good song, and it will remain a good song, no matter if you play it on an expensive audiophile high fidelity stereo system or an fucking wax cylinder. Yes, I have to agree, there are a few nice touches to the "new" sound, everything sounds a bit cleaned up, but please... if you re-release a classic album, stay true to what it was. And while the "improved" sound is just a minor complaint here, it's the packaging that is pure garbage. The once amazing full fold out cover artwork has been reduced to a meager 5 x 5" piece of toilet paper. However, that does take away from the genius behind the madness.

To this day, 31 years after it was first released, Death Church remains one of the greatest albums ever written.

May 5, 2014

Tumbleweed Dealer - Resurrected Yet Again (new single)

No idea how I've managed to miss this, but the bongriffic (it's a combination of the words bong and riff and terrific, get it? I'm a wordsmithing genius, the voice of a generation) weedians from Montreal, Quebec's Tumbleweed Dealer have released a re-recorded version of Resurrected Yet Again, the final track from their excellent debut EP, Death Rides Southwards. It sounds better than ever, with crispy guitar lines and perfect mixing. It really breathes new life into the track. The song comes with a sweet poster to go along with it, designed by Alexandre Goulet. 

Tumbleweed Dealer are actually gearing up for the release of their second full-length album, for which they just finished recording. It is now in the mixing stage and, if this new single is any indication, it's going to be their best work yet. I'm psyched to hear it and if you haven't heard this amazing band yet, it's high time that you do! For fans of Earth, stoner rock and bluesy grooves. 

We have a new Tumblr and it's about band shirts!

Well, the title of this post pretty much says it all. 

I was bored at work the other day and seeing how I catch myself looking in awe at various band shirts a surprising amount of times, I decided to dust off my old Tumblr account and repurpose it as yeahbrobandshirts! - basically a photo dump of cool band shirts. Useful for design inspiration or simply gawking at all the cool merch floating around the world. I usually try to include at least a Bandcamp or Facebook link to the band, so if anyone ends up actually buying a shirt or listening to the bands I post, all the better! 

Here is the link to yeahbrobandshirts as well as the official TZEEEAC Tumblr page. If you like what we post, follow us and spread the word. Thanks. 

PS: I'm preparing a special series of posts that will run for one straight week, so be on the lookout for that.