Welcome to the 11th edition of our ever-ongoing series. In keeping with the tradition of this column, this would be the part where I, the submitter, most openly mock my readers, but since I realised that no-one reads these introductory things anyway, let's come to the point... as a final note, I'd like to add that neither UG nor the writers of this article are in any way affiliated with or responsible for the actions of the distros and labels mentioned in this article - we generally assume them to be safe, but the point still stands: buy at your own risk.
Bio: Modern thrash is a touchy subject around these parts. Nekromantheon should stand apart from the debate however as they just play really, really good filthy thrash. Nekromantheon may be young but they are far from amateurs, with two members of Obliteration (a band that also deserves to be in one of these articles) there is no lack of talent here, just some great drink yourself into a coma and wreck your neck thrash.
Sounds like: Destruction, Sadus, Kreator.
Why listen? That's why:
Bio: Born from the twisted mind of French musician Vaerohn, Penses Nocturnes is a one-man black metal project that separates from the legion of bedroom bands by introducing classical, jazz, and blues into the coarse aesthetic of black metal.
Sounds like: One could say Burzum's Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem shine through on the metal sections, as well as Gris and bits of other DSBM, but there is also (I would say more) influence to be had from Romantic Era composers such as Chopin.
Why listen? The interesting combination of such radical aesthetics is merged seamlessly and flawlessly; you forget the stark contrasting lines between your pre-existing notions of primitive black metal and classical, and begin to take in the grandeur and beauty of a sound that echoes the plight of a twisted soul.
Bio: Arising from the same industrial wasteland that spawned such metal titans as Black Sabbath, Carcass, Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower (Birmingham, if you're wondering), Fukpig were formed in the early noughties by Mistress members Drunk, Misery and Migg (also one half of Anaal Nathrakh). After recording a few demos the band went on hiatus in order to concentrate solely on Mistress. However, following the demise of Mistress, Fukpig quickly wrote, recorded and released debut Spewings from a Selfish Nation in 2009 to reasonable acclaim. 2010's follow-up Belief Is the Death of Intelligence took the raw black metal/crust of the debut and systematically shattered every barrier in terms of songwriting, production, speed and sheer aggression. Despite a considerably large and ever-growing fanbase, Fukpig continue to adhere to a strict DIY-mentality, with all merch and music available only directly from the band.
Sounds like: If song titles such as "Britain's Got Fucking Aids" and "All of You Are Cunts and I Hope You Die" don't give the game away, Fukpig sound rather angry. Put into more musical terms, imagine the simplistic assault of punk such as Discharge or Extreme Noise Terror filtered through men who spent their youth listening to Mayhem and Darkthrone, sprinkle on a healthy dose of old-school grind in the vein of Napalm Death and you might come close. Simply, this sounds like getting mugged in a back alley and left piss-covered and bleeding whilst modern society walks past and laughs.
Why listen? Did you not just read what I've written? They sound like Discharge bumming Mayhem. Get to it bawbag.
Bio: No, not the 70s prog-rock band of the same name (although they admittedly nicked their name off them), Warhorse is a stoner/doom metal band from Worcester, Massachusetts that formed in 1996. After a series of demos and EPs, the band released their (sadly only) monolithic full-length offering As Heaven Turns to Ash... on Southern Lord records in 2001, which has unfortunately gone out of print since. The band split up shortly after releasing the befittingly titled I Am Dying EP a mere year later.
Sounds like: This lot play the kind of stoner metal that has both feet planted firmly in doooom territory, yet there is much more to this band than just snail-paced riffs. Every so often, they will break up the dark atmosphere established by these generally suffocating songs with psychedelic, at times whimsical interludes, only to come back again with another hymn of doom that gives one "the feeling of being beaten slowly with a wet mattress", as the band themselves put it: it is this emphasis on dynamics that really sets Warhorse apart. Vocals are mostly of the gruff variety, sometimes displaying chanting qualities, while the lyrics rarely veneer into the realms of typical stoner fare - as it happens they are absolutely worth reading for once! To draw a comparison besides the obvious Electric Wizard, there are distinct nods to the death/doom classic Forest of Equilibrium by the mighty Cathedral, and fans of bands such as Grief and Eyehategod will also get their money's worth.
Why listen? "See the beauty in evil, see the evil in beauty..."
|Once again, here comes a band that doesn't conform to one's expectations of this column... or does it?|
Bio: Jacula are named after a 60s Italian soft-porn comic... that is probably their least weird aspect. An experimental band formed by an organist, violinist, vocalist and spirit medium in Milan in 1968. The first album, In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum, was produced in extremely limited quantities. The second album, Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus, received a reissue recently and is in much wider circulation. The band formed the basis for the progressive rock band Antonius Rex. Although progressive rock was slowly gathering steam around 1968/9, Jacula were far darker and more obsessed with the occult than the Pink Floyds and Gentle Giants of the time. Both albums share the same cover, one in colour and one in black and white.
Sounds like: There is no comparison with another band I can make to Jacula, really. The first album, In Cauda..., relies heavily on organ instrumentation and eerie female vocals to create a mournful, oppressive atmosphere. Tardo Pede... incorporates what we know today as more recognisable progressive rock traits, yet still manages to intertwine them around riffs reminiscent of Celtic Frost and Hellhammer in one or two tracks - and this in 1973! Flutes, organs, and violins paint the rest of this masterpiece.
Why listen? The first 'cult band' ever perhaps? The only other contender would be Bobby Beausoleil's (of Manson Family fame) 1981 opus 'Lucifer Rising' for sheer obscurity. You can hear the influence in bands like Abysmal Grief, Paul Chain, Death SS, Mortuary Drape, etc. etc... Like all good music, the mood must suit to listen to this band. The perfect dark prog rock band or a few bored, talented youngsters playing a horror soundtrack? You decide.
Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus is available from some eBay stores.
So, yadda yadday yadda, see you next time.