Toxic Bonkers—Seeds of Cruelty (2004)

Toxic Bonkers—Seeds of Cruelty (2004)

Toxic Bonkers—Seeds of Cruelty (2004)

Details

Recorded at P J-Reda Studio in April 2003. Mastered at Kutno in February 2004.

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Band

  • Qboot—Vocals
  • Mumin—Guitars
  • Sme—Guitars
  • Grela—Bass and vocals
  • Klimer—Drums

Tracks

  1. Seeds of cruelty
  2. Homeless
  3. TV god
  4. Wrong way direction
  5. Weep
  6. Poisoned
  7. Can you see
  8. Free world
  9. Liars
  10. Don’t be afraid
  11. Vision

Review

Seeds of Cruelty represents album number three of five for Polish death/grindcore  metallers Toxic Bonkers and it is quite tremendous.

They sound like a perfect fusion of Florida’s Entombed with Brummie grindcore pioneers Napalm Death, certainly from the turn of the millennium.

The production on the album is a little poor, it’s very quiet which I particularly noticed while switching between Obituary, Napalm Death and Toxic Bonkers albums to compare them. The better supported artists certainly enjoy a clearer sound. But it’s nothing that turning up the volume doesn’t fix!

But the playing is fabulous. Not a note out of place. The bass and drums are tight, the guitars produce a wall of sound, which Qboot yells over.

The whole album weighs in at just a little over half an hour and it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. I would quite happily have listened to an album twice its length.

Conclusion

While I’m not overly fond of the band name, or the album cover, the music is fabulous and that, after all, is what it’s all about. If you like your grindcore to have a socio-political and anti-nazi slant, then I thoroughly recommend Toxic Bonkers.

Other than the production, I really can’t fault this album. It’s going up there with my favourites from this project.

Review score: 100%

Seasick—Bestie Mensch (1998)

Seasick—Bestie Mensch (1998)

Seasick—Bestie Mensch (1998)

Details

Produced by Tom Tom and Seasick. Tracks 1 to 10 recorded at Exit Section Zweinbrücken from 23 to 27 May 1998; mixed from 16 to 18 July 1998.

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Band

  • Chain—Vocals
  • Mingo—Guitar
  • N.O.—Bass
  • Nussi—Drums

Tracks

  1. Was ist ein Menschenleben wert
  2. Macht
  3. Mutter Hure
  4. Only Agression
  5. Bis das Blut gefriert
  6. Endstation Hass
  7. Erst geboren schon verloren!
  8. Meins!
  9. Human madness
  10. Nazi bastard
  11. Perfection (bonus track)
  12. Born for chaos (bonus track)
  13. Children of paradise (bonus track)
  14. Track 14 (bonus track)

Review

There is a curious thing going on with this album: like your average Rammstein album, the lyrics are almost completely in German. But the packaging is almost entirely in English!? Anyway…

This album has a very old school thrash feel to it, right down to the lo-fi, raw-sounding early Sepultura-style production (think Schizophrenia). As such, the album sounds better a) played loud, and b) played on something with a half-decent graphic equalizer.

If you’re looking to improve your German, there are plenty of spoken parts scattered throughout this release, which gives it a bit of a European, indie film feel in places.

Tracks 1 to 10 belong to the Bestie Mensch album (which you can still hear for free on Bandcamp). The remaining four tracks are bonuses. Only tracks 11 to 13 were listed on the CD sleeve notes and appear to be their demo promo from 1995.

Conclusion

There is nothing particularly innovative to be found on this album. It sounds for the most part like rather generic old school thrash played on a cassette of a cassette of a cassette.

But as such it does rather have a bit of old school charm about it. It is raw, it is passionate… it’s human. And I really cannot criticise it for that. In a world that tries to be too polished and squeaky and clinically professional I really admire the honesty and earthiness of this release.

Incidentally, Bestie Mensch is German for The Human Beast.

Review score: 75%

Sayyadina—The Great Northern Revisited (2010)

Sayyadina—The Great Northern Revisited (2010)

Sayyadina—The Great Northern Revisited (2010)

Details

Tracks 1 to 8 recorded at Mart’s House, Tumba on 24 February 2001; engineered by Mart Hallgren. Tracks 9 to 17 recorded at Studio Sunlight, Stockholm from 2 to 8 September 2001; engineered by Tomas Skogsberg. Tracks 19 to 30 recorded at Studio Sunlight, Stockholm from 16 to 19 February 2002; engineered by Tomas Skogsberg. Mastered by Scott Hull. Released on Relapse Records.

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Band

  • Jon Lindqvist—Guitars and vocals
  • Andreas Eriksson—Bass and vocals
  • Ove Wiksten—Drums and vocals

Tracks

  1. Nothing
  2. Prozac generation
  3. The revenge
  4. The awakening
  5. Their control
  6. Min onda bän
  7. Instrumental
  8. Instrumental
  9. Someday I will kill
  10. Sort them out
  11. From ashes
  12. När fag faller
  13. Black rose
  14. Mid livet som insats
  15. Swallow
  16. All this fear
  17. Downfall
  18. Civilized control
  19. Retaliation
  20. Civilization
  21. Automation
  22. Compulsion
  23. Stagnation
  24. Confrontation
  25. Outrage
  26. Oppression
  27. Future digits
  28. Razor discipline
  29. Solitude
  30. Last days make the least

Review

I’m quite sure what it says about my personality that I find this kind of music unusually relaxing. Perhaps it’s simply that genres like grindcore contain a lot of white noise: “a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all hearable frequencies” (Source: Popular science).

Sayyadina (which means “friend of God” in Chakobsa, a fictional language used by the Fremen people of the Dune universe) are a grindcore band from Sweden, and are rather oddly not featured at all on Metal Archives.

This collection gathers together six individual releases, (a combination of individual and split 7″ EPs, LPs and CDs) as well as a handful of unreleased tracks. The sleeve notes documents the releases, offering insights and anecdotes about the recording sessions.

The music, rather inevitably, is brutal. A wall of guitar and bass, thrashing and changing direction on a whim; drums and cymbals that sound like a bag of jangling cutlery; vocals that are grunted and screamed. I shouldn’t like it, but it works.

The songs are short, between 12 seconds and 2′ 29″. And there are a lot of them.

Any discussion about grindcore would be incomplete without at least a passing reference to the godfathers of grindcore, Napalm Death. So that was it.

Conclusion

These is little to criticise about this release. It has just about everything you would want from a grindcore album. If you’re into early Napalm Death and haven’t checked these guys out then I urge you to do so now; listent to it on their Bandcamp page.

Review score: 95%

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Details

Recorded in the year of your Lord MCMXCIX [1999] in Sheffield, north England. Calculated Risk products. Catalogue number: Risk #3.

Band

  • Koreisch — Lyrics, music, noise, tape hiss, backward programming, experimentation and improvisation

Tracks

  1. Justification by faith
  2. Forced attrition
  3. Submerged Tao fixation
  4. A premonition of life’s erosion
  5. 1 inch stab wound
  6. Caress this violation
  7. Eclectic powder burn
  8. Preordained incarceration
  9. The Kevorkian solution
  10. Evolution through pessimism
  11. Archaicathodemission
  12. 4,000 years of suppressed dissection
  13. Bleed like Christ
  14. The eating of food sacrificed to idols

Review

Encyclopaedia Metallum classifies Koreisch as “doom metal/grindcore”. But not in the traditional sense are they. While this album contains elements that lean in the direction of doom and grindcore, it is predominantly an experimental album.

I think I have only one other CD in my collection that comes close to the experimentation that permeates this release and that’s Faith No More / Fantômas / Tomahawk front man Mike Patton’s 1996 album Adult themes for voice.

My four year old, Isaac describes the music as “naughty music”. He said while cowering in the corner of the room, through hands protecting his face. “Put it off! It’s horrible!” he exclaimed.

To be fair, I did play him perhaps one of the creepiest tracks on the album “The Kervokian solution” which sounds like a series of Jurassic Park dinosaurs break through a plate glass window while a motorbike purrs in the background, only to discover themselves in a choir rehearsal.

The album is a hotchpotch of noise, hiss, screams and shouting, blasts and riffs. It’s more art than music, at times it feels like it’s almost verging on therapy.

Conclusion

The compact disc itself has a white label with a black ink scribble. This seems to be also a perfect analogy for the music it contains.

It’s certainly not an easy listen, and as much as I appreciate what they’ve done I’m not sure I would choose to listen to this terribly often.

Review score: 50%

 

Joe Pesci—At Our Expense! (2009)

Joe Pesci—At Our Expense! (2009)

Joe Pesci—At Our Expense! (2009)

Details

Music recorded at The Afternoon Gentlemen’s Practice Rooms, Leeds, April 2009. Vocals recorded at Unit 28, Newcastle, June 2009. Mixed and mastered by Dan Pesci. Released on Bones Brigade Records. Limited to 500 copies.

Band

  • Stu Bartlett — Vocals
  • Dan Pesci — Guitar and vocals
  • Rich — Drums and vocals

Tracks

  1. Sticking my carbon footprint up your arse
  2. Stagnate
  3. I’m not a pessimist (it’s just that we’re all fucked)
  4. Scorn of humanity
  5. Beating Robert Mugabe to death…
  6. Hyper-real
  7. The old stats test
  8. Funkhouser
  9. Mindless zombified fucks
  10. Wasting your life in a dead end existence
  11. Cure vs profit
  12. Despair is setting in
  13. Brain-dead beer bong, is Stino’s epitaph
  14. Plato complex
  15. Be quick or be dead
  16. Project 2501
  17. Smelly John Pierre

Review

Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, grindcore band Joe Pesci  (I’m guessing) take their name from the American actor, comedian and musician of the same name (Joseph Frank Pesci).

I’m not entirely certain what I think about that. Surely there are an unlimited number of names they could have chosen: Plateaux DepartmentHuglfing, or Automated Refraction System for example.

Talk about grindcore and it won’t be too long before you stumble on Napalm Death who really laid the groundwork for the genre, and ex-Anthrax / ex-SOD / ex-Nuclear Assault bassist Dan Lilker’s outfit Brutal Truth. There are a couple of acts you wouldn’t want to have to follow.

It’s clear that the band didn’t have a massive budget (not a judgment, simply an observation—not everyone can pick up a mainstream record label recording studio bill). The production is quite raw, quite punk-y — which may attract some, and alienate others. It does mean, though that the volume balance between the various film audio clips that are scattered throughout the work isn’t consistent with the music that follows. It doesn’t bother me too much but I imagine that it may annoy some.

(Having got this far in writing my review I have report that the album has already finished. All 17 tracks. Back to the start again…)

I read on a blog somewhere that when the album was sent to be mastered the rough mix was burned to CD rather than the final. Sure, it might have been nice to have a little clearer production but what we have still conveys the attitude and the skill required to write and record such a technical, heavily distorted, down-tuned, throat-ripping album.

And so to the music. It’s grindcore. It’s British, high-speed, blast-beat-happy, growl-tastic grindcore. If the song titles are anything to go by then I imagine the lyrics are humorous (but all I can hear is “Waaah! Wah!”). There are no microsongs, as such, but the shortest track is 38 seconds and the longest 1′ 22″.

There are some really nice riffs like the one that opens “Funkhouser” (track 8) and “Smelly John Pierre” (track 17). And a lot of just-get-me-through-the-track blasts of noise and shouting. But hey! that’s grindcore.

Conclusion

I’d quite happily listen to this album. It’s the kind of music that I do rather enjoy going to sleep to (note: not because of). It’s a little bit ‘high-pitch shouty’ for my liking—I prefer a good solid, deep roar, but it’s not out of keeping with the rest of the music.

The one thing I don’t really get are the audio clips from films. I just find them a little distracting, but I guess each to their own.

Review score: 70%

Desolatevoid / The Last Van Zant / The Parish—A Crimes Against Humanity Split Release (2010)

Desolatevoid / The Last Van Zant / The Parish—A Crimes Against Humanity Split Release (2010)

Desolatevoid / The Last Van Zant / The Parish—A Crimes Against Humanity Split Release (2010)

Desolatevoid

Recorded by Jamie Hansen, November 2008. Mixed throughout 2009.

  • Andy Howard—Vocals
  • Mark Stolp—Guitar
  • Brent K—Guitars
  • Nick Carroll—Bass
  • Tim Smith—Drums

The Last Van Zant

Engineered by Matt Morgan at Sit N Spin in June 2008.

  • D Dill—Vocals
  • B Leslie—Guitars
  • A Glenn—Bass
  • C Leslie—Drums

The Parish

Recorded at Garagemahall, Appleton, WI fall of 2009. Tracked and mixed by Grp.

  • Ryan—Vocals and guitars
  • Grp—Guitar
  • Jon—Bass
  • Fred—Drums

Review

The CD says “A Crimes Against Humanity split release” but I can’t decide if this is supposed to be a true split album or more of a label-released taster to generate more sales. (It’s hard work being this cynical.) Whatever the truth I can’t help thinking that The Parish got a bit of a raw deal with only two tracks on the disc. (That said, their two tracks do last 14′ 43″.)

I reviewed  Desolatevoid in October. Their album was oddly prophetic: No sign of better times. I mean, it’s not awful but then again it’s not that great, either. More forgettable riffs, shouty vocals and  more than half-decent playing.

The Last Van Zant are a band that I had never heard of before. On balance, I don’t think I’ve missed out too much living in ignorance of them until now. They have quite a punk feel to them with the kind of guitar solos that I was able to pull off after only a few months of picking up a guitar. They have a big sound: rasping distortion leaking out of those poor amp cabinets, and a lot of shouting. A lot.

And so that leaves only The Parish. Only two tracks but boy! did they leave the best ’til last. “Suffer” opens with a southern groove-style riff that is shortly joined with growling death-metal vocals. It’s like Down and Gorefest jamming together. It’s wonderful!

“Dark Days” proves that the previous track was not just a one off. It opens with a mournful Black Sabbath-style riff that slowly builds to a trundling groove. This track lasts 10 minutes but not once does it overstay its welcome.

Conclusion

I wish I could split these EPs and review them one by one. If that were the case then The Parish would score considerably higher than the other two; perhaps even in the low- to mid-90s.

As I need to take into account the other 11 tracks on this release I will use a simple average: Desolatevoid: 50%, The Last Van Zant: 40%, The Parish: 90%

Review score: 60%

Eyetofuk/Putrid Whore—Drufuked and Pornified (2007)

Eyetofuk—Drufuked (2007)

Eyetofuk—Drufuked (2007)

Details

Recorded at Pussylifted Studios during 2006. Produced by Xlip.

Band

  • Xlip—Growls, vomits, masturbation, programming, samples, sickmind
  • Troll—Massiv riffz
  • Krilaz—Bottom bazz

Tracks

  1. Drufuked
  2. Unifuk zombie
  3. In fuk I thrust
  4. Fat fuk burger
  5. Ate her fuk
  6. Porno pulp
  7. Pussy seed waste
  8. Be fuked
Putrid Whore—Pornified (2007)

Putrid Whore—Pornified (2007)

Details

Recorded and mixed during autumn 2006.

Band

  • Francesco—Guitars, bass, vox and effects
  • Mattia—Drum programming, effects and electro

Tracks

  1. On your face I shit and cum
  2. Involontary eyeshot
  3. Dirty transvestites
  4. Rectal teen masturbation
  5. XXX: the number of the bitch
  6. Please, fuck me!

Review

I’m going to be honest here: I very nearly didn’t review this album once I took a closer look at it. But after a moment I decided to be true to my promise to review all 195 CDs, and decided instead to censor the second album cover of this split album.

I have to be honest and say that I quite liked the music. Not the samples, but just the music itself. Eyetofuk sits in firmly the electrogrind camp, a sub-genre of grindcore that features electronic noises and samples (in this case, obviously, from porn!). Eyetofuk has a industrial thrash-like sound with drum machine. It’s like Ministry or Circle of Dust but with more samples. Putrid Whore, on the other hand sit much closer to the grindcore … well, core (think Napalm Death).

The music aside, I found pretty much everything else about this split release uncomfortable and distasteful.

The cover artwork, song titles (and I can only assume lyrics, given that both are pretty much incomprehensible apart from the samples lifted from, I can only guess, pretty extreme porn flicks) are both misogynistic and really badly spelt.

Both strike me as being the kind of material that teenage boys might dream up while trying to be shocking and adult. I find it disrespectful and unnecessary. There are better ways, in my opinion, to challenge and push boundaries in an artistic way. Grunting about different sick ways to violate women and stigmatise transvestites is not big and it’s not clever. I find it quite pathetic, to be honest.

Conclusion

If I was reviewing this album on just the music (sans samples) then I’d probably give it a 40%.

But regarded in its entirety—music, samples, track titles, (self-censored) artwork, misogyny and spelling—then I’d have to give it big fat 0%.

This could have been so much better. I don’t really care what you sing about, I don’t mind you singing about sex, or porn; I’d even tolerate blasphemy if it was truly what you believed and you were saying something meaningful in the lyrics, but there is absolutely no place in any style of music for this kind of demonstration of how you want to treat women. None!

Review score: 0%