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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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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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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Eyehategod – s/t (Housecore Records, 2014)

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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.

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Bog of the Infidel – To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters (Eternal Death, 2013)

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I typically try to give priority to the bands and labels that still go to the trouble of sending me physical promos, but even with the CD sitting here on my desk, I somehow managed to sleep on Bog of the Infidel.  How does that happen?  What can I say, I totally fucked up and the EP got lost in the stacks of CDs and other ephemera that clutters my sorry excuse for a work space.  Fortunately, I recently managed to unearth To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters, and I’m glad I did because it’s an entertaining slab of USBM that strikes a deft balance between grit and melody.

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Cassette Label Summit 2014

 

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I’ve spent a lot of time covering cassettes here at THKD, not just because I dig them, but because I truly believe that some of the best and most interesting heavy music today is being released by smaller labels who have embraced the format as an affordable way to bring the underground to the masses.  As such, my relationship with several of these labels has become far more personal than just receiving an e-mail blast from some faceless PR company; their owners have proven to be incredibly personable and genuinely appreciative of the coverage I’ve given them.  But, as deeply as I’ve delved into cassettes and as much as I’ve chatted with those who are in the business of releasing them, I still had many unanswered questions.  What motivates them?  What brought them to the format?  At the end of the day, does the format even matter?  In an attempt to answer these and many other questions, I gathered the gents behind the labels for a virtual round table discussion of all things tape-related.

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