VIBRATIONS OF DOOM MAGAZINE
BY: STEVEN CANNON
"That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the
height of wisdom in the next." -- John Stuart Mill
This has been a very crazy and hectic few months! We lost our entire web site
(see the end of the magazine for details) and gained a new one! The digitized
videos won't be going up, unfortunately, but the classic albums section is
alive and kicking! Many have already written to us telling us what a great
section this is, and though the soundfiles can only be a maximum of 3 minutes
10 seconds in length, this give ample opportunity for those of you to hear
bands you might otherwise never had a chance to hear! Those out of print and
rare classics are now up! The web site, incidentally, is now being designed
and run totally by myself, so there will be no more unnecessary delays in
putting issues out. So, with that in mind, here's all the relevant info you
need to stay in touch as we bring about more exciting changes to the 'zine:
Vibrations of Doom Magazine
c/o Steven Cannon
1133 East 53rd Street
Savannah, Georgia 31404 USA
web site: http://members.spree.com/vibrations
Before I go, I wanted to clarify something to the readers. Some of you have
asked me just HOW I come up with the numerical rating system I use. In the
most simplest of forms, it breaks down to something like this:
100 - A true masterpiece! This will stand the test of time...
75 - A good record, one that you'll spin for more than a few songs...
50 - A bit average, nothing great but nothing terribly awful either...
25 - Damn! Quite poor, maybe this CD would have one or two good songs but
that's probably about it...
0 - Not even as a coaster would this CD have any value whatsoever!
Now I do use a grading scale like, okay 10 songs, 9 are good, so a 90. Well,
while I try to get the points close, I go with more of a feeling. So if
mathematically the album is a 95 but I feel it's more of a 92, then I go with
that. I do find it difficult to grade an artists's hard work strictly by the
As a late note, this entire magazine is dedicated and lovingly crafted in
honorable memory of Jasmine, who passed away April 12th. Those who knew her
knew of her as a very loving and adored cat who brightened up the worst of my
days and who has torn apart my heart by her passing.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- LETTERS FROM DA MASSES
- BISHOP OF HEXEN "Archives of an Enchanted Philosophy
- C-TEC "Darker"
- DARSHAN "Awakening"
- EVILS TOY "Illusion"
- EXCITER "The Dark Command"
- INCANTATION "Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish"
- JAI UTTAL "Shiva Station"
- KRAFTWELT "Retroish"
- KREATOR "Outcast"
- LONG WINTERS' STARE "Cold Tale Eternal"
- LORD BELIAL "Enter The Moonlight Gate"
- MAINESTHAI "Out To Lunch"
- MENTAL HOME "Vale"
- MOBY TRIP "NKU"
- MORBID ANGEL "Formulas Fatal To The Flesh"
- OLD MAN'S CHILD "The Pagan Prosperity"
- TODAY IS THE DAY "Temple Of The Morning Star"
- TRANSMUTATOR "Take Over"
- VANDEN PLAS "The God Thing"
- VARIOUS ARTISTS "Songs From The Wasteland"
- VARIOUS ARTISTS "White Trash Gangsta Trance"
- VELVET ACID CHRIST "Church Of Acid"
- NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- EDITORIAL NOTATIONS
Letter writing has been kinda slow lately, but there's been some interesting
happenings for me in the music world, so I thought I would share some of them
From: Thanassis E. Ballios (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hello there! I am writing you from Athens, Greece in order to express my
feelings about your web zine, which I feel is one of the best on the entire
web. Also, I'd like to make the following proposal. I can provide you with
interviews and CD reviews from any band. My experience is quite big since I
was writing for two years in the Greek edition of ROCK POWER and for three
years in the Greek edition of METAL HAMMER, not to mention a few interviews
with European bands for the Japanese EAT Magazine. Please advise if you are
interested in the above and I will supply the latest news of European bands
in the death/thrash/black/power metal scene as well as with interviews
(original ones, not copies.)
Steven: I am very pleased at the readership base we seem to be picking up in
various parts of the world. ANYONE wanting to submit anything for us drop
me a line in email or postal mail, though I must advise ANYONE (as I already
have advised Thanassis) that since we make 0 profit and get no advertising
help from the record labels, we cannot afford to pay anyone, however if this
works out Thanassis' credentials are quite impressive and I feel he would be
a valuable asset to the magazine. How he rates and evaluates other genres of
music will be the deciding factor as to the frequency of his submissions
(since it is my indication that he wants to become a regular writer.)
From: Scott (antiUS@twave.net)
Subject: Sister Machine Gun leaves TVT Records
(Editor's note - this is referring to a USENET posting I made about how I
wasn't sorry to see Sister Machine Gun leave TVT Records, especially after
their VERY disappointing performance headlining the Hanzel Und Gretyl show in
Columbia. The letter follows)
Haha! You took the words right out of my mouth. I saw them in Asheville
North Carolina and I was really disappointed. Hanzel Und Gretyl was damn good
though. On my webzine I have an article about the really bad show that
consists of two live reviews. Check it out, you should find it humorous. It's
in the articles/archives section at:
Steven: Thanks for that little bit of info. The funny thing about the SMG/HuG
show was that I TRIED to get into Sister Machine Gun, but once they started
in with that Beastie Boys cover I lost all interest. They haven't released
one good album since their debut some years ago, and have strayed VERY far
from their industrial roots, almost to the point of being JUST another rock
From: Robert Lindsey (email@example.com)
Hello! I saw your page of Exodus lyrics for "Bonded By Blood." I believe it's
the only one of it's kind in existence. Good stuff! Do you know where to get
a copy or an original video that came out years ago featuring Exodus, Slayer
and Venom? I would be greatly happy to find this video. Where else could I go
ask more people, I am not even sure of the name of the video?
Steven: The official name of the video was "The Ultimate Revenge Volume
1." and it's probably out of print. It was put out by Combat, and they even
went so far as to do a Volume 2, which featured Dark Angel, Faith Or Fear,
Raven, Forbidden and Death. Anyone here reading this drop this guy a line!
Also, we will be expanding the lyrics section quite a bit, there should be
more updates every couple of weeks, we're going to try and have lots of
From: Michael Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks for the review of "Unleash The Beast" by Saxon. I've been a fan of the
band for years and am off to buy this latest release.
Steven: Thanks for the thanks! Being a longtime fan of Saxon, I was wondering
how you would compare this release to their past works. I for one have never
had a chance to hear older Saxon material, but if older discs are anything
like this one, I gotta hear more! (though I have a feeling it's not.)
From: Jordan Varela (Carcino1@aol.com)
Hey my name is Jordan Varela and I was just scanning the death files to see
some e-zines. I am fairly happy with your magazine. I like the review on
Centinex (I definitely will check out their album) it was very clearly
written. I REALLY liked the Nile review, my score however would be 99/100. My
band has played with them before, they are really great guys and excellent
musicians as well. My band's name is Carcinogenic and we play philosophical
death metal. Take it easy.
Steven: I must agree, Nile is a good band, I saw them live with Incantation
in Atlanta some time ago. Being a new band they have shown lots of promise in
a short amount of time, so much in fact that they are now being distributed
and promoted by Relapse Records! Their new CD should be out now and is called
"The Caverns of Nephren-Ka" and should be a real scorcher! (The death files?
What is that, like the X-Files or something?)
Coming out of the "holy land" of Israel comes one of the best black metal
bands I've heard in quite some time. But damn, those LONG song titles! Like
'Crossing The Borders Between Light and Darkness,' and 'To Begin The Quest
Towards The Noble Dark Cause.' I must say the keyboard and synth compositions
are some of the most beautiful and haunting at the same time that I have ever
heard! The vocals are typical ghoulish and screeching black metal sounds,
but there are also some deep spoken male vocals as well, rather reminiscent
of Cronos'chanting on Venom's classic "At War With Satan." These songs are
rather long as well, but it's hardly a complaint since the rich orchestration
and varied use of different sounds and samples keep things very interesting!
My only REAL complaint was with the song 'When A Witch Becomes A Pale Bride,'
and it's a minor annoyance: The vocal/drum/instrumentation arrangement on a
few lines was really weak, plus the vocals are sometimes hard to follow when
you're reading the lyrics. However, these are VERY minor complaints when you
consider how intelligently the music, vocals, and even the lyrics are laid
This interesting side project pits Cubanate madman/vocalist Marc Heal
alongside veteran Front 242 "front"-man Jean Luc Demeyer. While the album
title states darker, there is not always a dark overtone throughout the whole
CD. In fact, I'm actually questioning WHAT this side project is supposed to
showcase, as there is not a whole lot of aggression or any of Marc's other
trademarks, in fact his vocals, when they are presented, are usually barely
audible and you don't hear much of his voice. Jean Luc's vocals, for the most
part, really take some getting used to and don't always work, a fact which
is painfully obvious especially when there is a lack of music (which happens
quite a bit here.) The brutality stops after the first few tracks, I guess
Jean Luc and company wanted to showcase some diversity and less aggression.
'The Lost' and 'Stateless' are easily the best tracks on here, and Jean Luc's
singing goes along great with the well written and less-like-random-noise and
electro instrumentation. Most of the instrumentation as I said was electro
distorted notes that weren't always consistent. The two mentioned tracks
along with 'Epitaph' (though in limited quantities) would make for good club
play but the rest of this is really hard to get through.
Over in England there's this small record label that I just started servicing
and they have put out some great techno/trance music, this one being no
exception! The brainchild of Grant Collins and Mark Robinson, this CD is 8
tracks of fantastic danceable techno with some beautiful space landscapes and
good danceable layers built in! The songs however are all no less than 7
minutes in length, but like on the opening track 'Awaken' there's lots of
nice instrumentation and trance notes. 'Sun Probe' has a really cool sampled
dialogue not to mention some heavy trance beats! The songs tend to lead into
one another but DJ's should have no problem finding at least 4 or 5 songs to
please happy ravers or club goers anywhere! Quite a majority of the tunes are
very heavy, in fact my favorite track 'Kyma' has really deep and energy laden
instrumentation, so you get ambience, heavy instrumentation and deep space
themes all rolled into one! Great release, however my only gripe was with
'Neuroscanner,' though a good song (and also having dark and heavy trance
notes) it had some annoying sounds in it, what seemed like some warped record
scratching sounds and the ending was a bit too long (this song clocked in at
around 10 and a half minutes!) Minor annoyances, though, really!
Damn, I had to listen to this CD twice, cause I couldn't believe I was about
to give it a 100!! Any words I say really fails the scope and magnitude of
such a diverse piece of ambient/industrial. (Oh, but what's my job again?
Doh!) First of all, ONE thing that becomes apparent is that no matter how
harsh the vocals or how heavy the beats, the ambient and electronic
landscapes are absolutely beautiful and breathtaking! Secondly, NO song is
over 4 and a half minutes in length, and it amazes me just HOW they can put
so much into each song! Thirdly, NOT ONE song on this CD could ever bore, or
disappoint me. As for the specifics, there are a few instrumental pieces on
here, especially the last track (simply entitled 'Bonus Track 92.') which has
some very mellow piano notes. 'Psi' is probably the track that will impress
people with the way they write the music to fit their lyrics, or vice versa.
You can almost feel the alien horizon surround you and you know without even
hearing the lyrics exactly what this song is about. Brilliant masters of
songwriting and one of the best blends of serene atmosphere and danceable
harshness/heaviness I've ever heard. I kinda wondered too about 'Prevision'
as well, the opening notes sound JUST like a Front Line Assembly song from
the "Hard Wired" album, maybe they are poking fun at their critics? If you're
looking for "intelligent" industrial music, look no further, as Evils Toy
are masters at shaping and crafting their music, lyrics, and their vocal
It was quite a surprise to me to hear that this Canadian legend that released
great albums like "Unveiling The Wicked," "Violence And Force" and "Heavy
Metal Maniac" were back. Unfortunately, the only original member still left
in Exciter is guitarist John Ricci, and I must say there is still a lot of
trademark guitar work coming from this guy. This is however NOT the Exciter
of old, in fact their new vocalist has some polishing up to do on some of his
vocal work. The thing that annoyed me to a big extent was the composition of
some of the songs, in fact there are presented some of the weakest chorus
lines I've ever heard in music, especially on 'Executioner' and 'Suicide
Overdose.' On the positive side though, 'Ritual Death' was very interestingly
done with Jacques alternating between Rob Halford like screams and absolutely
brutal hardcore yells almost bordering on death metal! Their drummer
really shines too on 'Screams From The Gallows' and 'Executioner,' and of
course some of their faster songs are good moshing pieces, but nothing great.
In fact, I'd venture to say that if Exciter in the 90's wants to become a
musical whirlwind, they could if they spend more time collaborating on their
next studio effort.
Being an important part of the Cleveland death metal scene, Incantation shows
that death metal is still alive and stronger than ever with this release.
Every song on here (well, I have the import version, so help me out Steve!)
pounds out blasts of intense fury and blasphemy. Really speedy, and really
heavy! Starting out with 'Shadows Of The Ancient Empire,' Incantation kicks
into speedy intros and brutal vocals that increase in strength throughout
and set the mood for the CD. The grinding blasts throughout this disc are
incredible! And so are the few moments of just nothing but face smashing,
brutally slow melodies. Most of the CD tends to be very speedy, but they know
how to utilize it! 'Triumph in Blasphemy' is pretty cool, lots of sonic
feedback with low blashphemous rants and it sets the mood for 'Forsaken
Mourning.' Though it seems a little monotonous at times with all that speed
(but it's fun to listen and mosh too) there is a treat that I think you will
REALLY enjoy: a cover of Death's 'Scream Bloody Gore that kicks major ass!
I think Chuck Schuldiner would be really proud of this one. My only complaint
(besides the ones mentioned above? - Ed.) I have is about the 'Outro,' too
many bands try making a song out of fiery furnace sounds and touches of bells
and expanding it 5 minutes (but then again, if they didn't do that, this CD
wouldn't have that "anti-christian" edge would it? Are there any amongst you
who remember Onslaught's 'Flame Of The Antichrist' from their "The Force"
album? - Ed.) Other than that it is nothing but intense and godawfully brutal
(pun intended) (sheesh, that was a REALLY bad pun. Incidentally, the Relapse
version of this CD which initially came out on Repulse features some extra
tracks which makes the Repulse version more like an EP of sorts. - Ed.)
-- Review by Chris J. Waters
With this release, Jai Uttal marks the first review of World Music that this
publication has ever done. World Music, for the uninitiated, comprises of
music that is not easily categorized by specific genre or style. It's more or
less dealing with lyrical concepts and instrumentation specific to one
country's culture and origins. With that in mind (and no, Black Metal that
uses Viking lyrics and influences don't count as world music!) let me just
say that this particular release blew me away! I wasn't sure what to expect,
but there are more instruments utilized here than I can even count, much less
pronounce! Jai Uttal's voice is a very powerful and at times soulful
(reminiscent of the late Marvin Gaye in places) but even though the lyrics
for the most part are in Hindu, revering the gods and goddesses of his
culture, there are some very untraditional and interesting arrangements in
his music. 'Rama Raghava' starts out very mellow with beautiful flutes and
acoustic arrangements, but later on blasts into a heavy, powerful uptempo
piece, and I tell you I have never heard a stronger presence from mere
trumpets before in my life! 'Calling You,' one of only two songs sung in
English, is a simple but mellow acoustic piece inlaid with smooth vocals and
a strong chorus. You will find some banjos and a dotar which make up the
Hindu/Indian influence which can be very soothing at times and rather strong
of presence at others. 'Shiva Station' has some nice female backing vocals on
the chorus lines, and 'Bhajore' showcases something that I found to be very
interesting with most of his songs: His lyrics aren't very long and drawn
out, in fact he arranges simplistic structures that force you to concentrate
on the music rather than the wording. The trombones on the end part of
'Bhajore' sounded a little off though, and I didn't care much for the sampled
Hindu vocals on 'Never Turn Away,' but overall there's mellow passages, cool
heavy pieces almost danceable, and a spiritual vibe that really permeates the
soul of the listener! If this is what world music brings to my ears, let it
flow with regularity!
I never thought I would hear a more beautiful album than Hacienda's "Sunday
Afternoon, or a more perfect album, until this third full length release from
an amazing electro outfit! The nig difference between this album and Hacienda
is that this is more club friendly beat wise, but don't let that fool you:
cuts like 'R.T.F.2,' 'Retroish,' and 'Slipstream' you can hear some extremely
well crafted, beautiful instrumentation that is relaxing and rather mellow!
Some tracks are really cool in that when you first start them, you'll hear
some rather strange and wierd sounds that once the track gets underway just
blends in perfectly with the background! Some other interesting cuts (and
trust me, I had a difficult time deciding what to digitize) are 'Beautybox,'
which takes a unique approach by utilizing what sounds like music box notes,
and 'Back East' which sounds like Oriental style music. 'Metro' is a bit more
aggressive music wise, but still retains a mellow feeling. This album is a
far superior release compared to "Electric Dimension" their second album,
which I felt had some good tunes but only hinted at the potential that
this well crafted masterpiece so easily displays.
They're back and what a kick ass record! Most tunes start out slower than
what most Kreator fans are used to; this ain't no speed metal platter but
there is so much aggression and thrashy guitars that this whole disc oozes
heaviness! And I must admit Mille's vocals have never been better, in fact
some of his screaming parts are rather lengthy and very intense. Except of
course those awful sung vocals on 'Black Sunrise,' those almost totally
lost that whole song for me. Though the guitar riffs are rather simplistic
they kick serious ass for most all the songs present, of course Kreator this
time around doesn't have to rely on intricate solos or 5 million notes a
second to keep one's interest. They know what they are doing and they do it
well, so definitely be on the lookout for this one! Hardcore to the front
I must say I have to give points for originality: What appears to be a doom
metal style band in the vein of Winter or Disembowelment with hardcore style
vocals and the occasional death metal rumblings. Plus, they use pianos,
violins and acoustic guitars as well as the normal guitar riffs. For the most
part though I liked a lot of what I heard but some of their songs had lots of
really quirky touches. For instance some of the violins on 'Paranoid' and
'Sigh' sounded a tad off on their notes, and the female backing vocals thank
god were almost buried on 'Sigh' as they were very out of place. Some of the
guitar instrumentation seemed rather simplistic and it's a good thing the
songs weren't very long for I'm afraid they may not have held the listener's
interest. However, there aren't many bands like this, at least not utilizing
these rather odd crossovers in style, and for tracks like 'Enter,' 'Eternal
Slumber' and 'Anastasia' they certainly know how to make some beautiful and
heavy sounds... Hopefully the next album will see them perfect this style,
though I must say there was a bit that caught my ear.
Death Records. I remember when this subdivision of Metal Blade was devoted to
mostly hardcore/punk type acts. They seem to have resurrected it for the big
wave of black metal bands they have been signing from overseas indie labels,
and so far they have been distributing black metal bands that show promise.
And while Lord Belial relies mainly on fast riffs and hellish screeching
vocals to convey their dark message, they also utilize flutes, a cello,
Marielle's unusually beautiful backing vocals, and acoustic guitars played by
none other than Lord Belial vocalist Dark himself! The first three tracks did
not really peak my interest that much, however they do utilize playing styles
that do not always rely on breakneck speed, in fact they do try to inundate
their songs with some slower pieces. However, on tracks like 'Realm Of A
Thousand Burning Souls' and 'Belial - Northern Prince of Evil' they do have
some riffs that are borderline thrash, in fact the latter track has some cool
choppy riffs that kind of stop the faster paces. 'Forlorn in Silence' is a
very beautiful acoustic guitar only piece, and 'Lamia' had cool use of flutes
and the cello, something I wish they had utilized more, as it was extremely
unusual to hear flutes being played so well while the rest of the band is
blazing away! And those inhuman double bass drum riffs, VERY impressive! That
drummer is able to speed away and suddenly slow it down without so much as a
pause! While I didn't like every single moment (and the last track was waaay
too long) and they're not the most original black metal band around, there's
enough here to please most everyone.
The liner notes on the CD state clearly that this work is written with live
performance in mind and doesn't translate well to CD. They can say that
again! This has to be one of the worst things I've heard come from Metropolis
since I started getting serviced, but it's not totally terrible. (Besides,
most of the Metropolis record I review usually get high marks anyway) What we
have is a semi industrial project, and I use the term loosely, since most
of the instrumentation, especially on the first few tracks, is so bizarre and
has rather unconventional beat structure (the track 'Y' sounded like someone
banging on soup cans!) on some parts. And that vocal structure, which halfway
through the disc started to get better, had some bizarre effects tacked onto
it which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, like when he was screeching
horribly, but the alien sound effects and distant echo notes were cool. Like
I said, the first half of this disc was really bad, and the rest was okay,
there was maybe one or two pieces that I could really get into, and given
more time to really construct the songs this could have been good. A prime
example of what I mean is the track 'Y' (the second version of it.) which had
good instrumentation to start off but the song never went anywhere! It never
picked up tempo and the aggression factor was simply lost halfway through the
song. On the plus side, tho, the better mixes of 'Dollars and Sins' and 'My
Animosity' had great instrumentation but no vocals, and his lyrical topics
were very insightful. Written with demential thoughts in mind, it didn't
translate well to my ears...
From the frozen wastelands of Russia of all places comes a stunning and quite
refreshing band who mixes atmospheric Tiamat style instrumentation and vocals
with touches of black metal via some rather interesting vocals. Let me
just say that on tracks like 'Stranger Dove' and 'Southern Calm Waters' the
instrumentation is at times absolutely beautiful. Those keyboard riffs are
qutie atmospheric, and the black metal style vocals really don't detract from
this, in fact they help to add an air of melancholy that is so nicely done!
I really can't say enough good things about this release and I know most of
the other fanzines will agree with me. Only a few weak points, especially the
song 'Their Finest Voyage' which had some very off key instrumentation which
sounded more like an improv jam than anything else. And 'My Necklace' I
thought could have been written a little better, but there's no denying the
strong sense of instrumentation here, and I must say these guys are defintely
ones to watch out for!
From waaaay over the oceans to New Zealand comes Cranium Music's first CD
release! This label is dedicated to psychedelic, space, and progressive rock.
Now I must say I did have a hard time with the vocalist for the most part,
and some of the instrumentation sounded at times a bit off, but those 1970's
guitar effects were cool in most tracks. Some of the lyrics were interesting,
but they sounded rather wierd on 'America,' and it took awhile to really
grasp the conecpt. 'Floating' however was a tripper's dream, on par with
stuff that Hawkwind could write, and those guitar melodies were just
beautiful! Some of their instrumentals and guitar riffs were way cool, I DO
wish they had utilized the keyboards a bit more. Definitely had that garage
psych rock band feel, but tracks like 'Cosmic Caravan' and 'Waves' might give
you something to listen to again.
Once again, the Lords of All Fevers and Plagues return with yet another
breakthrough effort! Much has changed with this band ever since 1995's
"Domination," including of course the addition of bassist/vocalist Steve
Tucker, and while I am more fond of David Vincent's vocal style since it had
more clarity, I must admit Mr. Tucker fills in his shoes very well and helps
to make this one of the most powerful Morbid Angel releases yet. According to
the interview that Steven Cannon conducted with Trey, they have moved in a
completely different conceptual direction embodying their new philosophy,
which is full of hope and rebuilding of what they broke down on their first 4
CD's. (Actually, their lyrical concepts seem to deal more with the rebuilding
of man's hope after tearing down the hypocrisy and ludicrisy of Christianity.
- Ed.) So now they praise the gods that Trey (and possibly the rest of the
band) worship and condemns all other religions that do not follow in this
path. I myself am a bit unsure of their points of view because I haven't done
much research on it, but the concept itself is extremely powerful and allows
Morbid Angel to once again stray from the death metal norm. A key point for
these changes is the guitar style Trey utilizes, and most fans will remember
how insane and incredibly random his solos and rhythyms were. Now many of the
songs in "Formulas..." have a bit of this style but there is added a new
dimension to his solos, one that gives us a feeling of harmonious peace and
comfort that he wishes to present to us as he allows us to envision his
reverence to his gods. (PEACEFUL feelings in death metal? Chris, I'd hate
to see the feelings you get from playing a Barry Manilow disc! - Ed.) And of
course Pete Sandoval still is able to help Morbid Angel pound out their fast,
furious drive with his machine gun style drumming.
-- Review by Chris J. Waters
For the first three songs I wasn't really moved at all. Black Metal should to
me sound a little more raw than this, especially with those kick ass vocals
they do! Thanks goodness I didn't lose interest, as the remaining tracks had
a lot more to show me! The beginning of 'Soul Possessed' sounded a LOT like
Metallica's 'Orion' from "Master Of Puppets" to me as well. 'My Demonic
Figures' started to really peak my interest with some majestic keyboard riffs
and though they do vary the playing style of fast/slow melodic, I thought the
drums needed to be brought out more. 'Doommaker' was really cool, with a
pounding bassline and really cool vocal delivery and just a catchy song
overall! Those male spoken/low Type O sounding vocals did get a tad annoying
though, but thankfully they didn't utilize these much. 'Return Of The Night
Creatures' had some really vicious vocals and those guitars did have some
good driving riffs, even the more power metal sounding ones!
Crafted from the twisted and cultlike visionaries who dwell in the most
unholiest of places (Tenesseee!) comes a rather unique and bizarre recording.
Track 1 starts things off with an acoustic piece and rather low male sung
vocals with harsh and barely audible death vocals in the background. This
first piece would be great in the TV show Millenium! The rest of the CD has
hardcore/death metal style vocals, and shows an interesting mix of not only
acoustic/electric guitars but some Winter style fuzzy, choppy and downright
killer guitar riffs. The vocals did give me problems on quite a few tracks,
where they sounded wierd and warped. 'Hermaphrodite' had some of the coolest
bass lines and riffs, and though they have a very heavy and mostly slow,
overpowering feeling, there's quite a few tracks that got rather annoying,
for instance 'Satan Is Alive' seemed to have no real direction other than
showcasing some bizarre warped guitar noises, and I couldn't always
appreciate their vision. 'I See You,' however, struck me out of nowhere with
some beautiful acoustic playing and synth-based flute compositions! This did
have interesting potential, it's just that lots of their brutality and
heaviness wasn't consistent throughout the entire CD. Oh, and the lyrics to
'Pinnacle' sounded rather juvenile and bland.
Transmutator will no doubt be "taking over" the dance floors after releasing
a stunning collection of hard edged techno gems. Actually, they do have some
industrial influences in their music but there's no doubt that this is quite
an innovative techno album! 'A Fifth Of Beethoven' does that famous piece of
his in a danceable techno style, and even though this has been done already
THIS particular version is quite a hit in it's own right. 'Macho Man' is a
cover of the Village People's big hit, and though the vocals did get a little
annoying it was interesting to hear such a hard edge to this song! It's quite
obvious to me that they had fun making this, but there were some downers,
like the tracks 'Maximum' which had a bit too much of a jungle influence
ruining it for me, and the Children of Dub mix of 'My Wonderful Friend' was
too basic and left much to be desired. However, the title track starts off
things with a harsh and heavy sound, even the track 'Cyberium' (oddly
reminiscent of Cubanate's "Cyberia" CD in style and vocal sound) had some
tough beats and harshly distorted vocals. All in all it's quite a heavy
CD, and one that would make for good club play.
WOW! What a CD. This comes to us through Limb Music Publishing in the States,
a label that has been distributing and releasing some fantastic progressive
and power metal. Vanden Plas is TRULY a great band, and this CD would have
gotten a 100 if it had not been for the quirky vocals on 'Salt In My Wounds'
around the chorus. Minor annoyance really, because this band KNOWS how to
write mellow pieces with pianos and nice synth layers, but at times showcase
HEAVY and well written guitar pieces like on 'Rainmaker' and 'We're Not God.'
Their usual way of doing songs is to start out mellow, with some amazingly
good power metal singing (though not overtly high pitched like some bands)
and then pull out the heavy guitar riffs, at times bordering on thrash. Many
songs here were so good I really couldn't pick favorites, but there's mellow
tunes, heavy tunes, all in a progressive/power metal vein and these guys most
definitely should get more attention!
Even though I have never heard anything from the Mission, I do know that it
involves Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams from Sisters of Mercy, and that in
itself gives me enough reason to want to check out this group more. Legendary
in goth circles even though at times they weren't always goth, this CD shows
us that most of these bands really appreciated the spirit of the band and
bring us some stunning covers... Though there are like 5 bad songs, out of 15
songs on a CD I say not bad, especially considering that those other 9 are
great tunes! One of the bands really disappointing me here though was goth
newcomers Stone 588. While they had a great CD release with "Door In The
Dragon's Throat" I don't think the vocals and instrumentation mix worked well
at all. Cruciform's "The Grapes Of Wrath" is one of the worst songs of ANY
genre I've ever heard! But enough about that, let's talk about the strengths
of this album. The incredibly beautiful and sexy and mellow 'Severina' by The
Shroud was the alltime highlight of this, and a great slow goth club piece
as well! Fahrenheit 451 has an instant club hit with 'Wasteland' and this
sounds like it could become a radio hit. The Last Dance had 'Deliverance' as
well sounding like a cross between older Sisters and Ikon, and everything
about this was great! Great vocals, great chorus lines, and a great club song,
though the shocker of this disc was Tungsten Coil's 'Serpents' Kiss,' which
was extremely heavy industrial and almost sounds out of place here if it
didn't kick so much ass with those dark ominous beats and vicious guitar
riffs! Chase and company did a good job with this one, I must say.
Moonshine is well known for their great trance, ambient and techno CD
compilations, which they have produced in abundance. This one falls far short
of the mark which, incidentally, features songs compiled from Bottom Heavy
Records. The only three redeeming tracks here are 'Indian Summer' and 'Lift
Off' by Danny Saber, and 'The Odyssey Continues' by The Odyssey. Saber's
tracks are very uplifting and trippy, utilizing tweaky electro synth guitars
and some waaay cool acid trance beats and sounds, the whole vibe of his works
are quite intense and just a little psychedelic. The Odyssey impressed me a
little with their Berzerk coin operation arcade speech synthesized samples
inlaid with some cool beats and trance notes. As for the rest of this CD, I
couldn't really get into the rest of it. The sonar notes on Ghettoelectro's
'www.dubmarine.com' were interesting but the song, like most others on this
disc, were too bland and basic and had very little musical complexity. On
another note, Supersoul's 'Botanical Blipz' had Run DMC's 'Sucker M.C.s' beat
sampled all throughout the song, and was interesting but nothing special.
There ARE better compilations out from Moonshine, this isn't one of them.
I'm noticing a trend in industrial music these days, and that is most bands
of this genre are mixing harsh and heavy instrumentation with beautiful
atmospheric keyboards riffs and layers of beauty over harshness. So it came
as quite a surprise to me to hear this band utilize such a style, going so
far as to bring acoustic and barely distorted electro guitars into the mix!
Discovered by Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly, there has been quite a stir
caused by these Canadian miscreants, and I can see what's been causing it!
They create quite a few good club hits, especially with the tracks 'Sex
Disease,' and 'Hell Two.' I did notice on a few songs they did a really
sinister reworking of 2 Unlimited electro lines from their hit 'Twilight
Zone' which was rather fascinating. Despite their overall strong songwriting
and harsh beat oriented material, I did find some flaws in their music which
may drag the score down for some, though keep in mind this material is pulled
from various works of theirs between 1994 and 1995. 'Dead Flesh' for starters
got rather rundown towards the end, and the cool guitar and tortured vocals
(the latter of which is a cool trademark of theirs) comprising 'Hell One'
was a great way to start the disc, yet there wasn't much variety for a song
almost four and a half minutes in length! Finally, was it REALLY necessary to
stop 'Repulsive' midstream for some vocal samples? I could have possibly
forgiven them if they hadn't ported over the aborted child vocals from the
:Wumpscutt: album "Embryodead!" (See last issue for details - Ed.) However,
their sound is quite infectious and even downright tortured, even on a track
like 'Pain' which features some rather surprising singing vocals his tortured
side comes through to take you through all that is unholy... Not for the
faint of heart or the closed minded among you!!
Slayer fans, the word is out: Their newest album will be released on June 9th
and it is going to be produced once again by none other than Rick Rubin.
According to guitarist Jeff Hanneman, the album is said to be "kind of like
Reign In Blood and Seasons In The Abyss. It's more in your face, but also
more diverse, with a lot more going on." Song titles include 'Love To Hate,'
'Overt Enemy,' 'Bitter Peace,' and 'In The Name Of God.' Incidentally, Slayer
will go out on the road this summer carrying Clutch and System Of A Down with
them starting in mid May.
Some news from Diehard Records over in Denmark: Konkhra and Grope, both
Diehard artists (the re-release of Konkhra's "Weed Out The Weak" will be put
out by Metal Blade and a review will be forthcoming next issue) got nominated
at the Danish Grammy Awards for Best Metal album of the year. Unfortunately,
according to the official press release, "Pretty Maids, who is virtually non
active and boring, got the award. Several newspapers complained in their
Monday issues that this was unfair and ridiculous, claiming the Grammy should
have been won by Konkhra and/or Grope." We send our condolences to Grope's
bassist Jimmi Thorso, who died of Leukemia at in January. Many of Diehard's
bands are on tour or getting ready to tour Europe, so look out for shows in
various parts of Europe from Barcode, Captor, Grope, Dominus and more...
One other interesting note, James Murphy is releasing his solo album through
Diehard in the summer of 98. This album will see guest appearances from Chuck
Billy (Testament), Ray Alder (Fates Warning), and Deen Castronovo (Ozzy).
James has been Konkhra's guest guitarist lately.
REISSUES!! Many labels are climbing the walls to acquire and release many
classic metal masterpieces. The biggest news so far is that Century Media has
acquired the rights to the entire Combat catalog outside of the U.S. and of
course this includes such stellar acts like Death, Dark Angel, Agent Steel,
Possessed, and more. They will release roughly 10 records per month over the
course of 6 or 8 months. Metal Blade brought to me some wonderful news in
in reissues, Liege Lord's "Burn To My Touch" will be made available 3 days
after my birthday (June 20th) along with their third CD "Master Control."
They're also redoing many GWAR CD's along with Obsession's "Marshall Law"
and Witchkiller's "Day Of The Saxons." Finally, in other reissue news,
Axekiller Records out of France has plans to reissue Assassin's "Interstellar
Experience," Destruction's "Eternal Devastation" and Anvil's "Forged In
Fire." More info on reissues as they become available. Lest I forget, let me
me remind all of you that the Century Media reissues are going to most likely
be import available, since Relativity owns the rights to the Combat catalog
here in the U.S.
New signings to Slipdisc Records (the label responsible for bringing us N17)
are 16 Volt and Voivod! Voivod's "Phobos" which was released through Canadian
label Hypnotic Records (not to be confused with the Cleopatra division of
trance & ambient music) will finally see a U.S. release. And 16 Volt's first
release through Slipdisc should surface around August of 1998. Finally, on
May 12th Clay People will release their newest self titled album.
In Earache news, Iron Monkey have completed work on their first full length
album for Earache entitled "Our Problem," a seven song disc scheduled to be
released sometime in June. The Haunted, a Swedish based band, which has been
described as a mix of prime Slayer with hardcore vocals! For those that don't
know, The Haunted is made up of former members of At The Gates, an ex-Seance
member and ex-Mary Beats Jane vocalist! Their debut album is self titled and
also has a June release date. Finally, The Elysian Fields will release their
debut album though a release date has not yet been set.
Something else I forgot to mention, Earache has planned for the Summer two
compilation CD's: "Statements Of Intent" and "Hellspawn." "Statements" is a
compilation of Earache's new sublabel Wicked World, which is going to focus
on signing "the best in underground metal talent without placing boundaries
on style, sound or image!" "Statements.." will feature previously unreleased
and rare tracks from these bands:
The Haunted 'Shattered'
In Flames 'Goliath's Disarm Their David's'
Arch Enemy 'Black Earth'
Opeth 'Demons Of The Fall'
Gandalf 'Carry The Torch'
Dimmu Borgir 'In Death's Embrace'
Dark Tranquility 'Razorfever'
Thy Serpent 'Traveller Of Unknown Plains'
and more! The OTHER compilation is one that we will represent quite well upon
it's release and "Hellspawn's" theme is extreme metal meets techno! Some
tracks are as follows:
Napalm Death VS. Delta 9 'Breed To Breathe'
Brutal Truth VS. DJ Freak 'Regression Progression'
Godflesh VS. Justin Broadrick 'Wake'
Morbid Angel VS. Berzerker 'Abominations'
Ultraviolence VS. Hellsau 'Strangled'
Some rather interesting news from Cranium Music over in New Zealand, our
newest distributor of Psychedelic/Space/Progressive Rock; Slovenian sensation
Terra Mystica, a band that mixes ambient, ethnic folk, jazz, rock and
symphonic music has been nominated in 8 different categories for their
country's "Golden Rooster Awards." This is, of course, the most nominations
for any one group in the history of the awards, probably the most for any
group anywhere in the world! What makes this all the more unusual is the fact
that many of the judges never heard of the band before at all! Their album
"Carsica" was made Cranium's album of the month for February; hopefully we
will be able to review and digitize this for you in the next issue. One of
Cranium's readers (Cranium incidentally was the first label to make this epic
CD available to people outside of Slovenia) has stated that "This is clearly
one of the finest symphonic albums of the decade." Here's the categories they
were nominated for:
The best alter band (we assume Solvenian abbreviation for alternative?)
The best alter album
The best folk ethno album
The best instrumental album
The best instrumental band
The best sound realization of the album (they have no progressive category)
The best jazz performers
The best album in a foreign language
The band admits, however, that they decided not to enter themselves into the
last two categories.
Cranium Music also advises fans of the American band Discipline to check out
Canada's own Dagmahr and their release "Unfolded Like Staircase." They have a
review online of this album but they regret that they could only have picked
one album that month for best of...
It's official and probably old news by now, but Death have signed to Nuclear
Blast Records. It's a world wide deal, and both Death and Meshuggah are
confirmed for the Milwaulkee Metalfest in July. Other releases for Nuclear
Blast are as follows: May 5th will see new progressive acts get released,
with Narnia's "The Awakening" and Children of Bodom's "Something Wild."
Benediction will release "Grind Bastard," Am I Blood will bring "Agitation,"
and Evereve's "Stormbirds" all are set to walk the earth on May 5th, and of
course the one we've all been waiting for: Therion's follow up to "Theli" is
due out on May 26th and is entitled "Vovin." In other NBA news, Hammerfall is
currently in the studio working on their follow up release to the highly
successful and critically acclaimed "Glory To The Brave" CD, and with a
release date tenatively set around the fall of this year, many will be most
eagerly awaiting this one! The working title for the new album so far is "The
Legcay Of Kings."
A rather sad event has taken place in the music world... From the mailbox of
V.O.D. correspondent Chris Waters in Atlanta comes a true tragedy in every
sense of the word. Rozz Williams, founder of legendary goth band Christian
Death, hung himself in his apartment April 1st. He was found by his roomate
in his bedroom and no note was written nor can his closest friends figure out
why this has happened. William Faith of Faith And The Muse passed along a few
words which I would like to share with you all...
"I am beyond grief and so fucking steeped in disbelief and mourning that I
fail to find the words for it... I am in tears as I write this. I just felt
that those of you who knew him or cared should know. Know in your hearts that
the world has lost one of the most brilliant and wonderful people who ever
bothered to walk its ground - I will miss him in a way I can never hope to
explain to any of you."
As many people stateside may or may not know Savannah, Georgia has the second
largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the United States. Unfortunately,
this year's celebration was marred by cold and rainy weather, but it didn't
stop people from crowding the cobblestone walkways of mighty River Street to
drink and party! I involved myself in much of the activities as I could, but
having to work through most of it was not much fun. What does this have to do
with music? Hell I dunno, I don't care!! Partying and music go hand in hand I
guess. This year's floats for the parade were mostly dominated by advertising
moguls who wanted to show the world their name. There were quite a LOT of
wireless telephone companies with floats this year, which brings me to yet
another point that I guess I can tie into music: Crass Commercialism!!
Thanks the gods for Chris Waters in Atlanta! Due to the sudden and sad demise
of my automobile, I have missed many shows this past five months. However, my
buddy Chris was able to do interviews with Entombed, The Damned, and Skrew,
and give me the footage I so desperately needed! (Okay, and wanted too!) So
instead of moshing and slamming in pits in Atlanta, I had to settle for
moshing around my room and bumping into the bed, couch and other inanimate
objects. It wasn't as fun, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do! What is it
about the South lately that keeps us from some of these great tours? Damn,
maybe I should move to Texas or California or New York!!
I'm gonna conserve space here and discard the usual greetings since there's a
lot of stuff for you to read this time around. However, to those I love and
respect my eternal gratification and thanks, to those I hate and despise my
eternal damnation of your pitiful existence! Thankfully the hate list is very
few and very far between. And since we near the 6 year mark let me also thank
the various labels and bands who stuck it out with me, providing me with the
info my readers want. And thanks finally to my legions of readers worldwide,
may the world's archives constantly provide your ears with fresh, new and
exciting sounds and enchanting philosophical ponderings for your minds...
Though I hate to end things on a sad note, I hope and sincerely pray that
every one of you NEVER has to go through pain of losing someone so dear to
you that life becomes painful. There is enough suffering in the world
without death adding to it, no matter what your musical preferences or belief.
Life is short, VERY short indeed, so we must do the best we can with what we
have WHILE WE HAVE IT... Jasmine lived barely three years, that's actual 365
days a year type of time, but I do know that she loved me with all she had,
and I returned the same. There were some great times between us that will
never be forgotten and hopefully someday soon we shall be reunited. It's all
that we as lowly humans can hope for, to be reunited with those we care about
and love free of the bastardizations this world hurls upon us.
Before I go finally, I have to send hatred and disgust to two people: First
off, to Marc Engel for being a fucking coward and deleting my web site
without even having the decency or the manhood to tell me our partnership was
at an end. After all the hard work I did for the Musikbahn web site, I feel
like I was betrayed on all fronts. Marc, you are less than a human being than
anyone I ever had the unfortunate displeasure of working with, may your music
venture fail and fail miserably. Finally, to Shannon Brown of Kansas City, I
must say I am appalled by your cold heartedness in my hour of deepest darkest
despair; when I needed a friend you wouldn't lend a sympathetic ear, oh, and
thanks for stringing me along needlessly for months. I can forgive the latter
but someone who said they were my friend should have tried to help me through
a crisis, something which you seemed to care naught about. I find that at
times we all make enemies in life whether we want to or not, but I would
not wish terrible harm to come to them; they will get theirs in the end whether
I give it to them or not... :> GO IN STRENGTH...
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