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.
Hard to believe it’s been fourteen years since Eyehategod’s last full length, Confederacy of Ruined Lives. That album was my first Eyehategod experience; I admittedly came late to the band (keep in mind I was twelve when In the Name of Suffering came out), but it was a true case of love at first listen. Sure, I was well-versed in metal by the time I picked up the album at my local Best Buy, but I had never heard anything quite like their ultra-corrosive Black Flag meets Black Sabbath in a dark alley blues, and I couldn’t wait for my next fix.
When most of us think of the Misfits, we’re thinking of the legendary Glenn Danzig-fronted lineup that walked among us from 1977 to 1983. The band that single-handedly invented horror punk, and went on to influence a slew of heavy metal bands from Metallica to Marduk. But what about the other Misfits? In 1995, Misfits bassist Jerry Only and his brother Doyle re-activated the group sans Danzig after a protracted legal battle with the singer ended with Only retaining the ability to record and tour using the name, while he and Danzig split the merchandising rights. The brothers recruited drummer Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves and set out to re-establish themselves as an active band over a decade after the Misfits’ heyday.
There are few things that please me more right now than this resurgence we’re currently seeing in the gothic sounds of the 1980s within the realm of heavy music. It appears that metal musicians have taken a shining to the the stuff of late, or maybe they’re getting bored with metal, or perhaps they always had it and are only now allowing themselves to cut loose and release the bats. Whatever the case, Helsinki’s Beastmilk are absolutely killing it with their debut album, Climax.
At this point, my status as a Glenn Danzig maniac is far beyond well-documented. Between the Misfits, Samhain and Danzig, I’ve devoted more digital ink to the man’s music than to any other artist I’ve covered here at THKD. The last time I took stock of my music collection, the Evil Elvis dominated it with over twenty releases, not to mention all the t-shirts and other random paraphernalia I own. My one and only tattoo is based loosely on “Thirteen,” the song Danzig wrote for Johnny Cash (my favorite metal singer meets my favorite non metal singer). Cosmo Lee, the founder of Invisible Oranges, even based a post around my admission that I celebrate Danzig’s entire catalogue in my review of 2010′s excellent Deth Red Sabaoth.
In the world of heavy metal circa 2013, making a comeback is harder than ever before. There are so many bands popping up out of the woodwork and so many albums being released on a weekly basis, that fans are faced with a constant avalanche of new product, which in turn means it’s difficult for any band to stand out from the pack, whether new kids on the block or crafty veterans. Furthermore, with the internet now being such an important part of spreading metal to the masses, things move so fast that even going a year without releasing new material feels like an eternity. But it is still possible for a band to rise up from the ashes of inactivity and recapture their rightful place amidst the metal pantheon, as the following trio of bands has proven.
Given the players involved and the label putting it out, it’s quite surprising that there hasn’t been more hype surrounding the release of Vhöl’s self-titled debut album. I mean, we’re talking about a band that includes current/former members of the likes of Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra, YOB and Agalloch on the goddamn mighty Profound Lore for chrissakes; if ever there was a modern band that should be having the term supergroup lobbed at its feet, it’s surely Vhöl. And while I (fortunately) haven’t seen too many folks chucking the dreaded “s word” about in reference to this quartet of West Coast killas, their opening salvo is nonetheless pretty gosh darn super.
I don’t know that I have a favorite band anymore; in my old age I’ve become more of a favorite album guy. But, if I was forced at gunpoint to pick a favorite band, chances are the first one that would spring to mind is Darkthrone. They’re one of the few that can do no wrong in my eyes, whether we’re talking about the twisted death metal of Soulside Journey, the genre-defining pure Norse black metal of the A Blaze in the Northern Sky/Under a Funeral Moon/Transilvanian Hunger trilogy, or their current incarnation as a black/punk/traditional heavy metal hybrid. Even Goatlord, by far the worst album in their entire catalog, has its charms. No matter what direction Darkthrone take their sound in, they do it more than competently and with plenty of attitude, and I in turn always seem to find something to enjoy in whatever they do.
In a time when both black metal and punk rock are about as threatening as a switchblade comb, The Beyond are bringing back the danger and showing us how to get rude, crude and evil as hell with their debut full length, Frostbitepanzerfuck, which is being released tomorrow by the mighty Horror Pain Gore Death Productions (you can purchase the CD HERE). From the gnarly Murder Junkies-esque assault of “Roto-Cunt” to the zombified crawl of “Exterminate Humanity,” the album is a twenty-eight minute lesson in violence that wastes no time in slitting your throat and sodomizing the bloody corpse.
THKD is excited to present an exclusive stream of Frostbitepanzerfuck in its entirety; you can find the stream after the jump, as well as a brief interview with vocalist/guitarist Danny Starkiller. Enjoy or die.
Pennsylvania-based miscreants The Beyond bill themselves as a cross between punk rock and black metal; picture for a moment GG Allin fronting ’90s Profanatica and that’s almost exactly what you’re getting with the band’s debut full length, Frostbitepanzerfuck. When the first song on an album is called “Roto-Cunt,” and two tracks later you’re getting bashed in the skull by a cover of the aforementioned Allin’s own “Cunt Sucking Cannibal,” with “Goat Sodomizer” sandwiched in-between, you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. This is gutter-piss punk metal that wants to fill your every orifice with sticky black jism; PC police, enter at your own risk and prepare to get fucked.