Phalloplasty – Systematic Mutilation (Gore House Productions, 2014)

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Los Angeles, CA’s Gore House Productions has one of the most insane release schedules of any of the independent labels I regularly work with.  Seriously, they pump out such a constant stream of awesome slam, brutal death metal and goregrind that you’d think this shit grew on trees.  The latest GHP onslaught comes in the form of Systematic Mutilation, the second album from Vegas-based one-man wrecking crew Phalloplasty.  Taking bits and pieces of all the aforementioned subgenres and hammering them into a bloody slab of brutality, Phalloplasty in many ways sums up everything GHP is about.

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Killgasm – A Stab in the Heart of Christ (Moribund, 2014)

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I’ve always believed that there’s something to be said for staunch traditionalism, especially when it comes to black metal.  I often tire of the progressive tendencies the genre has picked up in recent years, especially here in the US; sometimes I just want to scream “cut the shit and get to the ear-raping already!”  Fortunately, Sacramento, CA’s Killgasm exists, and their second album A Stab in the Heart of Christ is the ultra-corrosive antidote to the overly pretentious, meandering mess that much of the current crop of USBM has degenerated into.

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Extremely Rotten – Zombification of the Masses (Gore House Productions, 2014)

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If you’re into brutality, Southern California’s Gore House Productions have been killing it in 2014, putting out a slew of excellent brutal death metal, slam and goregrind releases with no end in sight.  Among their latest is Zombification of the Masses, a quickie EP from Florida’s Extremely Rotten, featuring two tracks of slamming brutal death metal.  Clocking in at just five minutes, it is the very definition of all killer, no filler.

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Sons of Famine – Alcohol and Razor Blades (self-released, 2013)

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Just as I’ve started to settle into life on the West Coast, along comes a band from the Midwest to remind me that my home region can kick serious ass when it wants to.  That band is Chicago’s Sons of Famine, who’s stock-in-trade is pummeling oldschool death metal with a blackened edge.  Their debut demo, Alcohol and Razor Blades, is a musical battering ram of ungodly filth and fury that beats and bludgeons the living hell out of just about every other demo I’ve heard of late.

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Across the Swarm – s/t (self-released, 2014)

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I’ve been covering quite a bit of brutal death metal of late, but Italy’s Across the Swarm stand out even among the standouts I’ve been touching on throughout 2014.  What makes the band so special, you ask?  First and foremost they write great songs, but what sealed the deal for me is the way in which they seamlessly integrate electronic elements into the brutal death metal framework.

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Street Sects – Broken Windows, Sunken Ceilings (self-released, 2014)

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2014 will be remembered as the year that actually got me excited about extreme music again.  I haven’t exactly been bored, but it seems like this year I’m finding so many exciting young bands that are doing something truly interesting within the genre paradigm.  One such band is Austin’s Street Sects, who are releasing the second part of their “serial album” in the form of Broken Windows, Sunken Ceilings.  The duo creates what can best be described as electronic hardcore; violent, jarring and noisy as hell, like a factory full of automated machinery going haywire and collapsing on itself, the machines still trying desperately to function however imperfectly amidst the burning wreckage.

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Sleeping Peonies – Opal (self released, 2014)

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At thirty-five, I don’t often have epiphanic moments while listening to music anymore. It’s typically more along the lines of “been there, done that, no alarms, no surprises, etc, etc.”  But when I stumbled upon the UK’s Sleeping Peonies during one of my increasingly frequent trawls through the depths of Bandcamp, it happened.  This was music I had been waiting my whole life to hear.  I realize this is already sounding like hyperbole to the nth degree, but the band’s mix of black metal, shoegaze, synthpop and noise really is as close to perfect as these ears have heard in what seems like forever.

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Immaculate Poison: A Profound Lore roundup.

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Trying to keep up with Profound Lore Records is no easy task.  Every year it seems that the label bombards us with more and more quality releases, and being a one man show here at THKD, I often find myself stretched incredibly thin as far as my ability to listen to and write about as many new albums as possible is concerned; some stuff inevitably slips through the cracks.  In an effort to prevent that from happening, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recent PL releases in one place.  What follows is a brief rundown of each one.

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Reek of Reviewtrefaction: A Gore House Productions roundup

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As I sat at my laptop thinking about what to write about while unthawing THKD from its brief cryogenic slumber, it seemed only appropriate that my first post from California be used to shine the spotlight on a California-based label. I’ve already covered a few releases from Los Angeles’ Gore House Productions, but the label has been cranking out such an impressive slew of quality slam, brutal death metal and goregrind albums that I wanted to do something that would serve as a good overview of what this great label has to offer.  What follows is a trio of GHP’s recent releases not already covered in previous posts, not for the the faint of heart, not for the easily offended and most definitely NSFW.

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Body Count – Manslaughter (Sumerian Records, 2014)

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It’s weird to think there’s a whole generation of kids who only know Ice-T as “that dude from Law & Order” and have never even heard the man rap, let alone heard his metal band Body Count.  In spite of being young at the time, I remember when the band released their self-titled debut and the controversy surrounding the song “Cop Killer,” which was eventually deleted from all subsequent pressings of the album.  I was only twelve when the album came out and didn’t hear it until a few years later, but it was evident that lost amidst the controversy was the fact that Body Count was an incendiary album of hardcore punk-fueled heavy metal that should’ve garnered acclaim for making mainstream heavy metal dangerous again thanks to Ice’s willingness to express himself in whatever way he saw fit without giving a fuck about who he might offend, rather than being a target for uptight and out-of-touch folks who believe the average American isn’t intelligent enough to distinguish fantasy from reality.

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