Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XIV

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I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that big things come in small packages. That’s a physical impossibility, and it would be dishonest to say otherwise. It’s bullshit. Small packages can’t even hold medium-sized things. That said, it doesn’t mean good, informative, and interesting things can’t come in small packages. They can. As long as they’re also small. 

outreOutre – Ghost Chants
Third Eye Temple | April 14, 2015

About halfway through Ghost Chants‘ second track it was clear that the promo stork delivered this baby to the wrong doorstep. It’s not that I didn’t love it; I was completely sold when the very first eerily-chanted words graced my earholes – “Upon the great night sky /
When the time comes…”
. But even as I held it in my arms, its dissonant and jarring cries called out for another. They called out for W. I felt a single pang of what I can only assume to be what some refer to as “guilt” before it was wiped out by the blasting of strident black metal. It felt good to let go. Outre’s Ghost Chants is poised to overtake Devouring Star‘s most recent offering as best Deathspell-like experience of the year in my book. Musically, it’s a perfect blend of discordance, mood, and groove. Vocalist Stawrogin (currently filed under “guest/session musician”) makes sounds that almost certainly require insect parts, and they make up only a fraction of his insanely diversified approach to vocals. Check it out on Bandcamp. — Masterlord

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mothersatandontputoutthelightMick Barr | Mother Satan Don’t Put Out The Light
Handshake, Inc. | May 7th, 2015

Mick Barr (Krallice) composed this eleven minute piece of music as the film score to Mother Satan Don’t Put Out The Light, a short film created by David Hall of Handshake, Inc. Armed with a twelve string banjo, assisted by Caley Monahon-Ward on violin, and recorded by the insanely prolific Colin Marston, Barr composed the film’s score with no other information than its title. Like Burial Hex’s The Heirophant from last year, this score is heavier than your favorite metal song in 2015. Barr and Molahon-Ward create high tension using only the instruments mentioned, and add drama with thrilling tempo changes and a startling use of negative space. There are more twists and turns here than The Prestige. I have not seen Hall’s film; this score could easily serve as the soundtrack to any southern gothic night terror. You can check out the song on Bandcamp. — Edward

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thosedarngnomestheyearsThose Darn Gnomes | The Years
Self-Released | May 12th, 2015

Does the title of The Years point to the collective experiences we have gathered on Earth in our lives so far? Does it point to an untold number of years that looms large over our horizons? Whatever its meaning, The Years is a hell of a debut album from a young band. Its opening call to WAKE UP brings to mind System of a Down, but this is not music for the pop charts. It’s an elegant deconstruction of death metal’s parameters. It’s brawny and aggressive, but matches those traits with a penchant for softness which reminds me of post-metal champions Isis. “Nothing But A Burden” and “Crustacean Eulogy” eschew traditional song structure, and play with such dissonance it calls to mind a Gorguts cult favorite. The operatic intro to “Admission” belies the tale of paranoid ramblings; those ramblings are interrupted by sultry horn playing which makes an appearance again on “Consequence”. “Fault of the Sun” takes us on a twelve minute roller coaster ride, and does not fail to bring The Years to a satisfying conclusion. — Edward

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a0143951965_10Viajando – Counting Days EP
Independent | March 31, 2015

 In Counting Days, the Charlotte, NC band managed to perfectly reproduce the feeling of a great sparring session. There is something oddly satisfying in hitting/getting hit by a friend in a controlled environment. It takes a while to kick in, but once it does, every punch, parry, dodge or kick is met with a smile from both sides. All the sweat and exhaustion is justified as the endorphin storm hits your bloodstream to numb the remnants of your aching body. Viajando‘s punk-inflected stoner metal delivers a wide variety of deadly blows, but their crafty songwriting is so instantly enjoyable and memorable you won’t feel your face getting caved in. In fact, you’ll be grinning through the whole thing. — Dagon

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Pa3530214409_10sychedelic Witchcraft – Black Magic Man
Independent | July 4, 2015

When I reached the end of the debut EP of one-woman project Psychedelic Witchcraft, I was intrigued. While Virginia Monti sings about not falling prey to Black Magic Man’s… hm, magic, I could not help but feel that I was the one under a spell. Every track showcases a slightly different side of the project, but they all capture that 1970’s vibe perfectly. What elevates this release to an upper echelon is the sheer quality of the guitarwork and Virginia’s golden voice. How she manages to sound smooth and powerful at the same time, I don’t know. What I do know is that she made me miss the feeling of falling in love – or lust. There is no black magic man. There is only one black magic woman, and I am helpless to her enchantments. — Dagon

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Spylacopa Parallels
Rising Pulse Records | March 31st, 2015

Rare is the occasion when I find myself listening to a band whose genre I can’t quite pinpoint, even if it’s something broad and all-encompasing like just plain “metal” or even “rock”. Brooklyn’s Spylacopa are one such band. The brainchild of Candiria‘s own John LaMacchia, Parallels is heavy, electronic, proggy, atmospheric, groovy, melodic and everything in between. This is a really strong and diverse offering, and a fitting tribute to late drummer Troy Young. Get Parallels here and do not skip this, chances are you’ll find something on it that’s to your liking. – MoshOff

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nekrogoblikon-heavymetaNekrogoblikon – Heavy Meta
Mystery Box/Razor & Tie | June 2nd, 2015

I’m sure most of you only know Nekrogoblikon as that band with the video of a goblin getting high and mulching a guy’s face, but the band has come a long way since then. Not much has changed stylistically – they still tread a fine line between melodeath and metalcore and they still sing about goblin shenanigans – but everything is much tighter than before. The songs on Heavy Meta are far catchier and more coherent, clean vocals are both performed and placed better, and the overall mix and production are vastly superior to everything leading up to it. They are a band with a gimmick, yes, but I don’t think it’s fair to call them a “gimmick band.” The music would be good regardless of their image and the lyrics are far cleverer than other novelty bands (I’m looking at you, Steel Panther). Check out “Full Body Xplosion” and “Atlantis.” — Spear

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Into the DivineHarbinger of Entropy
Self-Released | June 9th, 2015

Potential. That’s the biggest word that pops into my head while listening to this Indiana melodic death metal quintet. They’ve got the blazing guitars, machine-gun drums, and burned-at-the-stake vocals. Harbinger of Entropy has plenty of heavy headbanging moments and plenty of fun, memorable melodies. So why does this album only garner the descriptor of “potential”? Production. In the right hands, a crisper-sounding Harbinger of Entropy would garner the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, in it’s current form, the album sounds too much like a bedroom demo that someone would hand to you as you leave a show. With a little more focus on song structure and the guidance of a professional with a good ear for melodic death metal, Into The Divine has true potential. RIYL: The Black Dahlia Murder, Arsis, The Autumn Offering. — 365 Days of Horror

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UnmotheredU M B R A
Crowquill | May 26th, 2015

I am a dick. That’s the only explanation I can offer for sitting on the latest release from Unmothered for a whole month and neglecting to write fancy word clusters about it. There are three reasons you should listen to this jamming little 3-song EP: (1) U M B R A is a bitching ride that shifts effortlessly from headbangable sludge to dark, almost new-wavey rock. (2) Unmothered is from Austin and they DON’T have ironic facial hair or shitty 70s rock costumes. (3) Cuz I told you to, dweeb. You can stream the opening track “Magnetar” right now. Listen to it and try not to try not to make some awkward head bobbing motions, I dare you. Download the full EP here and thank me later with booze and cookies. — Joe Thrashnkill

Nervous Impulse – Time to Panic
Blast Head Records | February 10, 2015

When an electronic press kit describes the enclosed band as heirs apparent to the throne of Cryptospsy, any red-blooded metal reviewer would be foolish to not take notice. Unfortunately, the actual content of Time to Panic failed to to deliver on that promise. Yes, this band blasts, batters, and bludgeons with aplomb, and yes, there are some genuinely interesting things going on in several tracks, specifically “Overwhelming Positive Vibe”, but realistically, this is just a meat-and-potatoes deathgrind album. Not bad, but there are other bands making more interesting music in this style. — W.

Lamentations of the Ashen – Libertine Cyst
The Evergreen Spires | February 24, 2015

When last I wrote about Lamentations of the Ashen, I had only born witness to a glimpse of his terrible power. However, after pressing play on Libertine Cyst, I was swept along by the eldritch scurrying of fiend-born rats, always questing for new horrors. They determined to lead me on even unto those grinning caverns of earth’s centre where LotA, the mad faceless god, howls blindly to the piping of his own amorphous idiot guitar-playing. Lamentations of the Ashen is the crawling chaos that haunts my waking dreams and draws me ever close into the eternal torment of the abyss. — W.

  • Stanley

    M is a busy man. He needs to quit mixing and mastering and start making new Mgla.

    • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

      In a recent interview, Mikko Aspa mentioned that a new Mgla album is coming down the pipeline at Northern Heritage. So it appears the album is at least started (and maybe more).

      EDIT: Here’s the interview:
      http://foreverslainzine.com/2015/04/interview-mikko-aspa-clandestine-blaze-from-finland/

      • Stanley

        I think you (or someone else) mentioned that before. No Solace is putting out some really good stuff lately. Infernal War’s Axiom is a case in point.

        • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

          Infernal War is a fucking buzzsaw of brutality. Axiom is pretty sweet.

          • Stanley

            I think there’s one 30 second section where it goes less than 3000 bpms.

  • StudmanGetYourPull666_69

    Gotta love Nekrogoblikon, for the camp factor than anything. Not nearly as good as Steel Panther, though, or as funny.

    https://33.media.tumblr.com/e918f19bbfae94b1289caa9ff3b2a8ec/tumblr_mrkq62TVaV1rm3j71o1_500.gif

    Now THAT my friends is high art!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I LOVE STEEL PANTHER BRO HA HA SONGS ABOUT FUCKING SLUTS, HEY LET’S GO TO BDUBS TOGETHER

      • Dagon

        GET IT FUCKING DONE MATE
        WINGS ON ME
        TAG TEAM THE WAITRESS
        WOOOOOO RIC FLAIR

    • The W.

      Steel Panther, and their fans by extension, are just the worst.

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    Nekrogiblikon needs Mose DAKKKA.

    Or actual riffs.

  • Hubert

    I’m going to listen to Those Darn Gnomes just for the band name.

  • 365, you’re the man (or the zombie)!

    This is what I needed blasty american melodic death merol!

    You’re right about the production and that they got potential.

  • Hubert

    What will happen when all of the faces on the banner image have been replaced? Will the earth collapse? Will the void tears us apart? Will toilets flush for eternity?

  • Dagon

    Ed brought the flame with his minis today. Don’t miss those releases.

    The Mick Barr score made me feel like there were tiny people multiplying inside my brain and repeating the same phrase over and over until it was too loud and I had to put a power drill through my head and end it.

    And I loved it.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Shoutout to the homeboy Masterlord for running them both ❤

      • Dagon

        Double s/o cause he ran 2 of mine as well.

    • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

      I’ve gotta be the contrary voice to that Mick Barr score or song or whatever it is. NegroD said it was heavier than one’s favorite metal song of 2015. I don’t see/hear it. At all, to be honest. I don’t think it was heavy in the least bit. It’s pretty flat. It feels like every music score I’ve ever heard before.

      Scores and classical arrangements and acoustic stringed passages CAN be heavy sometimes, but this one felt like the intro piece that accompanies a montage of foliage shots at the beginning of an impotent psychological thriller starring Michael Douglas. Next shot would include a showed scene with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer, and than an awkward and contentious dialogue over breakfast about their conflicting work/life schedules (Michael Douglas is an investment banker, Pfeiffer an editor for a large urban newspaper). Soon, somewhat finds a body, the police investigate, the acting deteriorates, and the audience is left wondering why they didn’t stop the movie after that jangly, irritating intro music.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        I’m glad you took the time to check it out HD. I should have just run that as the mini-review, lol ❤

        • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

          Seriously, I don’t check out everything that is discussed in the toilet (or really, most of what’s discussed, to be honest) but I listened to that score out of morbid curiosity while I sat here and ate lunch. Maybe I’m just not the listener for something like that. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t filled with the typical Mick Barr accoutrements–weedles, deedles, half-eaten black bean burgers and microbrew IPAs, and ironic vintage clothing.

          • Dagon

            Black bean burgers terrify me. Unless they’re feijoada burgers, which means it’s black beans with several (in quantity and diversity) pork bits thrown in it.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            That sounds pretty bomb, with the pork bits I mean.

          • Dagon

            My city goes through several phases. Right now it’s fancy hot dog spots, but right before it was gourmet burgers. There’s a place that serves burgers mixed with traditional Brazilian and Amazonian cuisine. It’s bomb.

          • StudmanGetYourPull666_69

            Sadly, I know very little about Brazilian cooking and recipes, but would love to learn.

          • StudmanGetYourPull666_69

            Lol, there’s a thing where Jim Baker (televangelist who got busted for a number of things back in the day and went to prison) is selling duffle bags full of that shit for the upcoming Doomsday.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Farts. Farts everywhere.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Have your feelings about Mick Barr worsened in the last couple of weeks HD? We were talking about him a week and a half ago and it sounded like you liked dude.

          • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

            Haha, no, not really. I don’t feel really strongly about him in anyway, except that I’m not a huge fan of most of his music. I enjoy some of Krallice (mostly the S/T debut), but I tend to think it’s due to Colin Marston’s contributions more than Mick Barr’s (basing it on their other musical endeavors).

            I remember the conversation we had about Krallice. I basically said that they got unfairly thrown in with the Brooklyn Vegan/hipster/Pitchfork crowd for a few reasons, one being the indie media’s crowning of the band as “the next great thing/revolutionary band in black metal,” and because Mick Barr is kind of a hipster darling. That’s why I made the comments about the microbrew IPA and ironic vintage clothing.

      • Dagon

        I didn’t think it was heavy, at least not in a traditional way. However, I did find it rather unnerving and enjoyable in that sense.

        The mental short film that played in my head while listening to it was very different from that microwaved Michael Douglas “unthriller” haha.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I’d really like to watch David Hall’s short film. I’m not familiar with his work in films, but if dude’s ear for music (Handshake Inc) is any indicator dude can probably make a good frickin’ movie.

      • Guacamole Jim

        I suppose one person’s heavy stout is another’s bud lite. Since the concept of “heavy” is unique and individual (I think W. did a Think Tank on that), it’s hard to say what it’s defined as. But I’d probably agree with you that it’s not heavy. I’d say that the statement “It feels like every music score I’ve ever heard before” is an unfair comparison, because I can’t think of any other music scores that sound like it at all. Typically, unless you’re thinking solely of art films, music scores are heavily orchestral. I can’t think of one musical score that utilizes twelve-string banjo and violin. But, like I said, musical responses are entirely personal, and one person’s Michael Douglas Whatever Flick is another person’s Citizen Kane.

        • The Beargod

          Cave & Warren scores>>>>>>>>>>

        • “FUCK OFF!” -Howard Dean

          To me, it sounded like all of the other string-based (orchestral or ensemble) “unnerving/tense” scores that I’ve heard. You can find them during the tense, “chilling” parts of psychological thrillers and horror movies, or running throughout “art-sy” films about neurotic doll collectors or transvestite hookers or people who grow a rash when they come in contact with mustard or some other shit like that.

          For me, with this Mick Barr score, nothing really stood out. It doesn’t necessarily sound fresh, different, or potent. It may use “exotic” instrumentation, but had one not been prompted about it beforehand, one would not likely say “wow, he’s using a twelve-string banjo!” It sounded like odd, angular strings with crescendos and varying degrees of intensity and all that stuff–the very thing one hears all the time in film scores. That’s why, to me, it was the film score to the “Michael-Douglas-is-the-highly-successful-professional-and-womanizer-who-is-accused-of-murder-but-who-is-also-trying-to-repair-his-fragile-marriage-in-a-tense-but-predictable-standoff-during-the-climax-of-the-film” type of movie.

          “Every film score I’ve ever heard before” was hyperbole, of course, since it doesn’t literally sound like EVERY film score I’ve ever heard. But it sure didn’t sound like something I’ve never heard before.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Interesting. Yeah, that’s fair enough; I do see where you’re coming from. I liked the angular aspect of the banjo, not even just for its 12-strings, but more for the combination of the staccato plunking from it contrasted with the sweeter, smoother tone of the violin. It’s also very likely that I don’t personally watch enough movies that would incorporate a soundtrack like this, so it still feels new and fresh to me.

      • Max

        Comment of the day.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Hillary Clinton/Rockefeller mafia did 911–
    technically “the heart of evil” on this earth–kabbalah and technology–as misuse against the world population
    controller of nuclear death–and the magic tv world controller–cult

    collision of religion and technology and hate—-
    or perhaps the only hope—to take down the rockefeller’s secret world empire
    (all 3 at once–full vol)
    https://youtu.be/yxSyBSqFrTc

    -https://youtu.be/GfF1lt8qAhk

    -https://youtu.be/CWpHQ0VEdwQ

  • KJM

    Psychedelic Witchcraft >>>>>>>>

    • JW(E)G

      Played at last once a day every day since I first found the EP on bandcamp. Don’t yet see a point where I’ll stop.

      Its two videos are excellent time-burners too.

  • That’s too bad about Nervous Impulse. That song would actually be enjoyable if the drum perfomance/recording wasn’t a total shit job. Can’t tell who’s fault it is so I blame the drummer and engineer.

  • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

    Outre >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Lamentations of the Ashens is pretty good too.

    • Hubert

      That’s a lot of ‘>’s.

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about that album, going to check it out.

  • Dagon

    @joethrashnkill:disqus that unmothered is hitting all the right spots. That drumming is intense.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I checked out that band a little while back when I used to follow more writings from Andy O’Connor, he is also from Texas. Shit, I should check out that EP.

    • I wish I could do the musics like that.

    • Lacertilian

      sounds like he breaks many a stick though, must be costly

  • I listened to all of that gnomes just to find something to talk shit about and I left empty handed

  • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

    -Dat Spylacopa record tho. I was hooked after hearing “Hexes”. It’s like a trippy Sepultura with Alice In Chainsy vocals. And the rest of the album is just as good. A lot of variation. “Insolent” is my favorite song from it right now. So glad to hear Julie Christmas’ voice again <3.

    -Never heard of Outre before, but I'm really liking this. Finally a DsO-like band that doesn't sound like DsO completely. And the vocals are quite Ihsahn-esque at times. Haven't really been as much into the blackened side of metal, but this renews my interest.

    Here's my mini-review/recommendation:

    Eisbrecher – "Schock". It may not tickle everyone's fancy here, but fuck it, do it live. If you enjoy Rammstein or Neue Deutsche Härte-type music, or industrial rock, this is for you. It's a damn fine, meat 'n potatoes German metal/rock album; big, polished, and every track is catchy. Sometimes I just need to veg out to a fun album (It can't all be doom and gloom. I'm not King Fuck Ov Shit Mountain.), and this fills the bill exceptionally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udO0hWyumhE&list=PLrXo4e1ggTvprTco6ZnnVpujUfn68XqxC

  • Stockhausen

    I love that Outre album. I’m surprised you absolutely hated it with every fiber of your being, Masterlord (which is clearly what you said).

  • Lacertilian

    Fuck, this U M B R A had me immediately.
    Good stuff @joethrashnkill:disqus

  • Lacertilian

    The vocals on that Nervous Impulse weren’t Overwhelmingly Positive for me at all Dubya.
    Only impulse I had was to push stop unfortunately.