Found Sounds and Frig You Friday, Vol. 1

Fuck me, there is a LOT of music out in the world.

Welcome to a Found Sounds & Fuck Yeah Fuck You Friday. Is this the start of a recurring feature? Is this a dismal one-off? Who the fuck knows? The point is, although we cannot hope to keep up with the Niagara Falls-sized firehose that belches out new music every single day, we can sometimes pick up a few stones that we found in our travels and skip them over towards your pond.

Fuck you, why not go listen to some of THIS music?

Pestigor – Baptized in Pus

Brothers, sisters, I don’t know what motivates you. I can’t say what puts gas in your tank, pep in your step, jingles in your jangly bits. Heck, a lot of the time I can’t even answer that question about myself. In a famous obscenity case, even US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (who, let’s assume, was hoping for a deluge of viewing material to exhaust his thirst for… research) said that while he could not define “hard-core pornography,” “I know it when I see it.” Pestigor’s Baptized in Pus is also not, by most definitions, pornography. But I knowed it when I seed it, and what I had seed is that it is crust and it is thrash and it is very good.

[a voice from the back of the room]: Less funny, more “fuck you”!

Okay! Fuck you, go listen to Pestigor! This Danish band’s debut 12” is a riotous, rumbling, apocalyptic, thrashingly great time. Because of the Warhammer theme and overall crusty muck, you will surely think of early Bolt Thrower, but the feral, wildly mangled female vocals hollering and wailing atop city-leveling crunchy crust/thrash puts this right in the same sweet spot as Sacrilege’s Behind the Realms of Madness (or perhaps a scuzzier take on Détente’s Recognize No Authority). Will you find splashy cymbals, cuttingly precise riffs, reverb-drenched vocals, bits of early Slayer, gobs of Hellbastard, jets of more straightforward Discharge-style punk (as on “Chronicles of Blood”), and plenty of other gruesome goodness? Thou willst. Thou shouldst. Thou mufft.

Vampyric Winter – My Last Vampyric Winter Among these Ruins

I guess the album title sounds a little like an episode of My So-Called Life but I am pretty sure Claire Danes has never used a nom de guerre like Grief Kommando or Sanguinous Moth.

Fuck you, go listen to Vampyric Winter! My Last Vampyric Winter Among Hey Did You Know Wilson Cruz Is On Star Trek Now? is, jokes aside, the Spanish trio’s second album, and more to the sharpened toothpoint, is a blazingly tight blast of black metal classicism.

The thing is, I’m sure I love a sad-sack Bandcamp black metal loner as much as the next person who doesn’t love that kind of thing very much, but Vampyric Winter is a band. You listen to these blistering songs and you feel the raw energy of hands and feet and hearts in motion. Yes, this is raw black metal and yes, it might look “very Bandcamp,” but the production is powerful and the performances across the board are absurd. The riffs and songwriting fire on a consistently satisfying tone of melancholy, but the real things to watch here are the excellently diverse and the absolutely insane power in the drum performance.

And you know what, the finest compliment I can pay is that sometimes the whole thing sounds an awful lot like a raw black metal album-length version of “Funeral in Carpathia,” which, fuck you, is an incredible thing.

Praying – True Hellman

Did you know that Richard Nixon once tried to launch a frozen orange juice business called Citra-Frost? Imagine how the course of history might have changed had he not been foiled in his citrus-based entrepreneurial ventures. Similarly, I wonder what would have had to go differently in the lives of the miscreants behind Oakland’s Praying to spare the world the hideous, jaundiced sludge they have pumped out with this album.

Breaking news: in general, fuck sludge metal. I don’t like it very much! Or rather, I don’t like that there are so many bands out there playing very bad and very boring versions of it. But Praying? Hell, man, these California cats are doing the dirty blues right. True Hellman is mean and it lunges and it quivers with feedback and the suggestion of very poor life decisions, but it also knows how to get to the goddamned point. 

Whether they’re dabbling in noise rock or laying back into fuzzed-out drone or hardcore sass or extremely surly Sabbath swing, Praying has crafted an entire album’s worth of focused, dangerously to-the-point songs. I mean, “Hellshine” could almost be a Boris bliss-drone, while “Pink Hell” wobbles one of the finest riffs in this, ahem, vein since Type O Negative’s “Pyretta Blaze.”

Put it differently: in a world of “Fuck You, Sludge,” Praying’s True Hellman is “Fuck Yeah, Sludge!”

Scalp – Black Tar

Does an album called Black Tar by a band called Scalp make you envision the Marlboro Man dropped into the middle of the most graphic scenes of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian? If you said yes, you have to go to jail.

Scalp doesn’t sound like that, whatever that is. Scalp DOES sound like a small army of gorillas fed a simultaneous buffet of methamphetamines and tranquilizers. Except, not really. These are human musicians! Please keep up.

So, Black Tar! This is the California band’s second EP. It has eight songs and twelve minutes. So, fast? It is fast. But… slow? It is also slow sometimes! Scalp plays a pointedly rude type of grinding metallic hardcore that paints its corners with feedback and corrosive noise but also indulges in some of the most ludicrously enjoyable beatdowns one can imagine. The Fuck You-balls on the grooving swagger of “Endless Relapse” is basically like Scalp’s version of a “Where the heck is Wall Drug?” bumper sticker, in that it will probably both piss off and mystify your neighbors. Did you ever wish that Entombed’s Wolverine Blues built a time machine and kidnapped Nails’s Unsilent Death and then came out as a split on Victory Records but also came out of New York’s early 80s no-wave scene with Swans? If you said yes, you are probably already in jail.

Fuck YOU, this is heavy stuff.

Anathematise – Bizarre Tales from the Past and Future

Sometimes the diseased ramblings and misfiring synapses of an addled mind make connections where there are none. Does Anathematise’s Bizarre Tales from the Past and Future sound very much like Sabbat’s History of a Time to Come? Not particularly! But does this specific addled mind keep spazzing like it split the g.d. atom thinking that it found some hidden synchronicity? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Bizarre Tales from the Past and Future is the debut full-length from the Chinese band Anathematise, and the most important thing – and please bear with me here if this gets a little academic – is that it fucking kicks ass. Anathematise plays raw, ragged, roughshod thrashing death metal that pays loving tribute to some of the earliest pioneers of the style. (Case in point: the cover of Possessed’s “Death Metal” and the band’s calling out of early hell-raisers like Morbid Saint and Massacra.)

Of note is the fact that alongside lead guitarist TormentoRx, one of the principal songwriters here is drummer Speed Scum Dog. Anathematise don’t sound particularly like Autopsy or Deceased, but there’s a rhythmic sensibility to the songwriting that bears witness to the drummer’s compositional input. Also of note? Anathematise’s vocalist 89 has a hoarse, snarling assault, but sometimes she sits so far and almost whispered against the music that she sounds a little like the death/thrash analog of the vocal approach on Beherit’s Drawing Down the Moon.

Do you know what to do with that? Fuck you; I don’t. Truly we are living in the church bizarre. But throw five bones at Anathematise on Bandcamp, won’t you? It can’t be easy playing death metal in China, and these folks are just doing it anyway, because sometimes you gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser.

Posted by Dan Obstkrieg

Happily committed to the foolish pursuit of words about sounds. Not actually a dinosaur.

  1. fuck you this new section kills (you’re already in jail, hahaha). Excellent


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