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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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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THKD T-SHIRT SALE!

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Hey friends, now that we’re all moved it’s time to clean out the closet. I have a ton of band shirts that I never wear, sizes M, L and XL, most are in excellent condition (unless otherwise noted) and have barely been worn, some probably never worn at all. Below is the master list, all shirts are $8.00 each PPD unless otherwise noted and if you don’t like the price make me an offer! Feel free to spread the word and help a brother out. I will be happy to supply photos of any shirts you might be interested in. Message me here or e-mail me at jjhaun@gmail.com (serious inquiries only). US customers only please.

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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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Hocked my brains, packed my bags and headed west.

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As those of you that have the misfortune of following me on social media may know, Mrs. THKD and I have packed up the fortified bunker and are moving halfway across the country from the bowels of the Midwest to Sacramento, California.  The truck is loaded, the house is sold and we’ll be leaving in less than a week.  I’m still waiting for it to feel real.  Right now it feels like a dream.  I tried so hard to get the hell out of this state after college, and all I got in return were some nice rejection letters to show for it.

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