Thursday, April 30, 2015
The Beatles. Michael Jackson. Nekrogoblikon. Icons of popular music. It is with great pleasure that I've been granted the opportunity to review the already award winning new release, Heavy Meta, by the Los Angeles based, supernatural music consortium.
You've no doubt already been swept up in the hysteria of goblin metal that was unleashed back in 2006. Classic records like Goblin Island and Stench, along with the Power EP captured the hearts and minds and guts of the public. To be a fan of Nekrogoblikon is to acknowledge your love of quality art. To question Nekrogoblikon's musical prowess is to be labelled a fool, and ostracized by peers, family, and random strangers at the grocery store.
Heavy Meta represents the apex of goblin metal. It displays the band at a new peak. Unleashing the most face melting riffs, skull crushing drums, and throat shredding vocals in recent recorded history. Also, there are goblins.
Throughout the entire album, the group simultaneously blasts through each track with their trademark sound of shredding guitars, keyboards, and goblins. However, this isn't just metal for the sake of metal. Each song represents an opportunity for the listener to learn something about the world, and maybe even a little bit about themselves. "Atlantis" explains the true origin and history behind the fabled sunken city, finally putting to rest the need for all those faux documentaries on the Discovery Channel. "Full Body Xplosion" is a musical lesson in the physics of bodies fully exploding. There is even a duet with noted self-help guru and keyboard enthusiast Andrew WK.
Perhaps the most important track on the album is the self-titled "Nekrogoblikon" that serves as a sort of mission statement. It's the band telling you "Hey, we're here, we play it loud, and we've inadvertently stumbled upon ancient evil creatures that will eventually destroy the human race."
A new standard in the genre of heavy music on all fronts, Heavy Meta is an album you and your family can enjoy time and time again. Buy it. In fact, buy several copies and hand them out at your next dinner party or other formal social gathering. John Goblikon will thank you.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Have you ever thought "Man, I'd like to go replay a classic game, only jazzed up with an obscene amount of brutal violence?"
Brutal DOOM has you covered.
While not exactly new (it's been in development since 2010) this new v20 coming out June 5th, 2015 looks absolutely delightful with a bunch of new features including the ability to kick severed limbs and 30 additional maps!
You'll want to scrounge up a copy of one of the original DOOM titles to play it (I humbly suggest DOOM 3: BFG Edition to just get all the games for cheap) and then you can install this insane mod and "prepare to RIP AND TEAR GUTS" as creator SgtMarkIV inspires you to do.
While you wait, enjoy this trailer that will wet your whistle with gore that would make Game of Thrones a little uncomfortable.
This made my hour/day/week/month/year/millennium.
Look at that cover art! ORANGE!
Phantom City Creative is re-pressing the original motion picture soundtrack to Phantasm, one of my favorite movies of all time.
I will own this. Unfortunately, I won't be in Texas when it's actually released, so I'll need to figure out a way to get it from the internet somehow. Hopefully at retail price...
Here's the (not Lydia) deets.
The PHANTASM soundtrack returns to vinyl after a long 35-year absence with stunning new art by Phantom City Creative.
Commenting on the enduring appeal of PHANTASM’s iconic score, director Don Coscarelli said, “What amazes me is that the score has continued to gain traction as the decades have passed. I have met literally thousands of fans who continue to praise Fred Myron and Malcolm Seagrave’s work to this day. I want to thank the terrific crew at Mondo for dreaming up the idea of re-releasing this score in warm analog vinyl despite us all now living in a cold digital world.”
The vinyl and screenprint (artwork by Mike Saputo) will be available on Thursday, April 30, at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson’s screening of PHANTASM. Cast members Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, and Kat Lester and filmmaker Don Coscarelli will be in attendance. The vinyl and poster will also be available at the Texas Frightmare Weekend and online at a future date.
Texas Frightmare Weekend runs May 1-3 at the DFW Hyatt Regency.
Phantasm screen print
Artwork by Mike Saputo
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP
Music by Fred Myron & Malcolm Seagrave
First pressing on vinyl in over 35 years!
Featuring new liner notes by Don Coscarelli
Pressed on 180 Gram Vinyl
Artwork by Phantom City Creative
01. Main Title (3:55)
02. Welcome to Morningside / Hand in Box (2:41)
03. Mineshaft Chase (2:53)
04. Phantasmagoria / Silver Sphere Disco (3:16)
05. Hearse Inferno
06. Cemetery Spectres (0:56)
07. Spacegate to Infinity (1:08)
08. Jody at Morningside / Just a Dream? (3:03)
09. Phantasm Atmosphere (1:11)
10. The Tall Man on Main Street (1:35)
11. Funeral Organ / Dwarf in Hearse (1:45)
12. Under the Car (2:21)
13. Mike on the Road (1:02)
14. Hearse Chase (1:11)
15. Overturned Ice Cream Truck (2:18)
16. End of the Game (1:13)
17. Or is it? (Outtakes) (3:28)
[Originally posted on DreadCentral]
Thursday, April 16, 2015
It's not often that I describe an album as "crushing". But if someone asked me how I'd describe the latest release Vænir by Monolord, I'd say "Hey someone, this album is CRUSHING."
Doom metal is really popular right now. Like, maybe even a little, TOO popular. The term gets bandied about and applied to a lot of heavy music releases that don't quite fit the bill. Monolord is NOT in this group. These guys are the real deal.
There was pretty much a collective circle jerk around their 2014 release Empress Rising, with good reason. It was a great record. Not only that, but a great record by a band that started as a side project. Incidentally, I always enjoy it when musicians get together without a group even being their primary focus and create excellent material. Now we have a follow-up with insanely high expectations, but have no fear, because Vænir is here, and it's going to blow your mind.
At the time of this review, I've listened to the supplied promo six times. Seriously, I liked this album enough to listen to it six times prior to writing about it. I enjoy it a little bit more with each session, because there is so much to love from this slab of Swedish sludge.
It's just a great example of what a doom album should be. The trio combines the type of heavy, detuned riffage you'd expect, but they aren't afraid to throw in some leads and a little wah guitar here and there to keep it interesting. It's REALLY difficult to write an interesting 3 minute song, let alone an 8 minute one, but they manage to pull it off in opener and first single 'Cursing The One'. Things are crushingly oppressive right from the get go, but Monolord never commits the sin of overdoing one lick or groove. They smartly switch things up to keep you engaged for the entirety. Even the 17 minute title track doesn't feel that long thanks to strong writing.
Thomas Jager's reverb-drenched "I'm trapped in a hellish eternal void" vocals are the icing on the blackened cake, adding the final morose layer and complete the vibe. If I can levy one minor criticism about Vænir it's that the vocals sit a bit lower in the mix on a few songs than I'd like. Again, a small ding for an otherwise outstanding album.
My favorite track by far was 'Died a Million Times'. Go listen to it now on their Bandcamp page and let a slow headbang begin to come over you. The track kills.
Vænir has made a strong case for itself to become my frontrunner for 2015 metal album of the year (and we got a new Acid King release this year!) and is sitting right next to Dopethrone in my playlist right now. If you are a fan of doom metal, this is a must own. No excuses. Even if you're reading this saying "What the hell is doom metal?" I'll tell you "It's what people think Ozzy invented before he had a reality TV show" and then say YOU should still go check out Vænir because it's that good, and you may dig it if you enjoy any kind of heavy music.
P.S. - Bonus points are awarded for having a song named "Nuclear Death", and cover art that reminded me of Dark Souls for some reason. Now enough reading, go listen!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Scream Factory is just hitting it out of the park lately.
After their recent Blu-Ray release of Invaders From Mars, they just doubled down by dropping a Class of 1984 Collector's edition, and a Ghoulies/Ghoulies II double-feature.
'84 is an awesome cult classic that teaches an important (and relevant) lesson about the perils of teaching at inner-city schools full of splatter punks. It laid the foundation for the documentary Class of 1999, that gives us a historical look back on the year all inner-city school teachers were replaced with vicious androids.
Ghoulies is an awesome cult classic that teaches an important (and relevant) lesson about the risks of accidentally summoning creepy Muppets while you try to communicate with Satan. Ghoulies II has more of those Muppets.
I picked up the DVD version of the Ghoulies pack on the by-and-by at Walmart during a Black Friday some years ago. I'm glad to see I'll be able to snag an enhanced Blu-Ray on a subsequent Black Friday.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Confession time. I bought The Evil Within on a sweet discount last Black Friday, and I still haven't taken the plastic off of it. I had (have?) every intention of covering it on the blog, and I read generally positive reviews, but this might make me unwrap it sooner than later.
Our friends at Dread Central are reporting that The Evil Within is getting a comic book prequel.
While I don't normally run out to read comics or graphic novels (Walking Dead aside) I'm a sucker for cross-media add ons. Like that time Dead Space had a creepy animated movie that looked like Aeon Flux. Anybody remember THAT gem?
The thing I like about a well executed prequel is that I COULD hold off on playing the game and just read the book first, to whet my appetite. Or not. So many choices after it drops today!
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
This month's Terrorphoria book is The Blessed Man and The Witch by David Dubrow. If you're in the mood for an apocalyptic thriller with some horror elements this is for you.
It's a dark book and the first entry in a trilogy David is working on. The thing to keep in mind here is that there are a LOT of characters. Plenty of narration shifts, adult situations and plenty of graphic violence. The type all you Game of Thrones fans are always talking about on Twitter.
It has taken us a while to get through this one, but it's well worth grabbing for the price of a coffee on your e-reader, or checking out for free if you have an Amazon Prime account.
Go give it a read and tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Monday, April 6, 2015
Oh Tobe Hooper, you loveable scamp. One of your more maligned movies is getting a solid Blu-Ray treatment from the folks at Scream Factory!
Invaders From Mars was a staple of the weekend horror double-feature scene on 1980's cable TV. I loved it so much. It combined Hollywood's Karen Black with middle-aged women eating frogs. What's NOT to love?
It warms my heart to know that I can get a cleaned up copy of this campy re-make classic on Blu-Ray starting tomorrow for less than $20.
If you've never seen it, I'll give you a short synopsis.
"An annoying kid sees a comet and tries to tell everyone that evil Muppets are turning the town into zombies. Karen Black is the school nurse who believes this annoying kid and tries to help him stop said invasion. Most likely because "school nurse" is the only trustworthy authority figure the aliens DIDN'T think to zombify."
Excited to spend sixteen dollars on this? Yeah you are...
Friday, April 3, 2015
There's something frightening about old photos. There's also something frightening about the hidden agendas of seasonal mall employees.
Click the jump for a gallery of ghastly Easter Bunny photos guaranteed to haunt your eyeballs.
Happy Spring. Happy Easter. This is the stuff of nightmares...
Thursday, April 2, 2015
I enjoy black metal. That old school sort of black metal that evokes images of a dude's guitar falling into the snow because wolves tore his arms off. I also enjoy noisy, ambient bands like Neurosis and the modern psychedelic sludge of outfits like Kylesa.
The fine gentlemen in Crowhurst shot me an advance copy of their self-titled album, and it's kind of blowing my mind this week.
If I could sum this album up in one sentence, it would be "expertly executed experimental black metal". Other music blogs may have more readers, but they do NOT have our alliteration skills.
The guitars and soundscape textures on this album just wash over you. Sometimes haunting, sometimes oppressive, every track is an intense layer cake of noise. It's like disturbing abstract art in musical form. One minute you get psychedelic tangents, and the next you're being assaulted by a wall of overly distorted guitars. Sometimes projects like this turn into a complete cacophony of garbage, but the guys in Crowhurst know how to execute some restraint in their tracks, and it keeps the songs from devolving into pure noise.
If you have ANY interest in ambient/noise or black metal (I've seen "post-black metal" thrown around but I hate saying "post"-anything) do yourself a huge favor and go check out their Bandcamp page and while you're there, buy this album. There are a bunch of formats available and they feature some totally sweet artwork by Johnny Ryan and Nicole Boitos.
This is easily one of our favorite releases in heavy music of early 2015.
Let's do some word association. When I say "horrifying mutant bear fetus", what's the first thing that pops into your mind?
If it's "holy crap the image you posted up there is TERRIFYING", then you're officially not crazy.
Prophecy (no, not THE Prophecy starring national treasure Christopher Walken) is a late 1970's sci-fi/horror/environmentalist flick where a logging company dumps a bunch of toxic slime all over a forest and it spawns a giant killer mutant bear.
That said, this box art absolutely scared the crap out of me as a kid. So much in fact, that I was literally too freaked out to look at other movies on the video store shelf if this movie was physically near them. Even now as an adult, I felt a little uncomfortable doing the Google image search to put this post together.
It's that eye. Staring. Judging. Plotting...
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
So you may have noticed a lower volume of posts recently on the blog.
Jeff and I have been having lots of internal conversations, and the ones that don't revolve around poo poo'ing Hollywood's incessant need to rape the Ghostbusters franchise are about how we keep this little horror blog afloat.
2015 is all about change here, and one thing we've realized is that a "structured site" doesn't really jive for us. Therefore, we'll be taking a bit more of a conversational tone and posting structure moving forward. Boy, how ironically corporate did that sound?
We're still going to review things, and be snarky. In fact, we hope to turn the snark factor up a bit. Allowing ourselves to be a little less rigid should hopefully lead to better content that you guys will enjoy reading and commenting on.
To that end, if you're out there reading this, is there anything you'd like to see us focus on more? Drop us an email or a tweet or a comment or something.
Smell ya later!
-Ben and Jeff