Sunday, June 29, 2008

Intestine Baalism - Bad Name/Good Music

Been on a heavy metal kick of late. Told everyone I was re-dedicating my life to metal. So, I go to Newbury Comics and scrounge through the "[insert letter of choice] Misc" bins looking for metal cds - the semiotics of extreme metal are pretty well-defined, it's hard to know what will succeed, however, within the discipline and rigor of the genre - and buying anything that looks obscure and cheap. Thanks to this aesthetic foraging, I've come across some great stuff. Right now, I'm listening to Intestine Baalism. It's totally awesome!

Death metal, of the Swedish variety, but from Japan, and broken up by epic "melodic" moments - which are more psychedelic than anything, and Maidenish - then back to thrashing death. The 1990s were THE decade for death metal (this one comes from '97), a time of purity and simplicity. A time of honor and focus. Truth.

Everything now is an adventuresome and reverent pastiche (I'll write about Hammers of Misfortune later), not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anyway, I had already flipped by this one a few times in search of Inquisition or something, now that I have all the Immortal cds I could ever want, when I saw it today. I almost bought it and I didn't (though I did pick up something by Blood Ritual that was quite impressive, albeit from the 21st century).

I wasn't sure. I'll bet a few bucks ($4-ish) on music I've never even heard of if there is the chance that it will be surprisingly awesome. Anyway, this cd on that score is amazingly brilliant. Crushingly brutal, death-grunt morphing into blackened, tortured screeches. Then, and this is what all the Amazon reviews tell you, it veers into a grungy take on NWOBHM.

But also like I said, the melodic parts sound more progressive and psychedelic than metal. There's even a really spacey acoustic intro on one cut.

Bottom line, the thing is this: as I type these words, and listen to this music, it consistently catches my attention, surprises and astonishes me. Intestine Baalism, extreme and sublime masters of this weird art.

I bow to their excellence.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ripping Corpse, "Dreaming With The Dead"

Saw Ripping Corpse listed on some death metal lists and got their amazing Dreaming with the Dead.

I was expecting something heavy, but not exactly this. The highly processed/phased guitar reminds me of Euro-metal like Coroner, but the drums have some real thrash elements, and the vocals are fairly hardcore. Maybe it qualifies this as grindcore, I don't know.

I do know it's good. Real good. Strange chaos moments, heavy moments, psych-wank soloing, and those vocals. I guess the mainstream version of this would be Pantera, if that makes sense.

I was intrigued by the participation of Erik Rutan, who has played off and on with Morbid Angel and co-founded (founded?) Hate Eternal (in which Ripping Corpse guitarist Shaune Kelly now plays. If I'm not mistaken, the first album was recorded with one of the guitarists from Suffocation, Doug Cerrito). I'll address the question of Morbid Angel in another post.

Final Analysis: Dreaming with the Dead is an artefact of a bygone era, the sign-post to a path not taken by metal, and by extension, the world.