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Meathook Seed "Embedded" CD

Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2005 @ 6:27am » permalink

Meathook Seed - EmbeddedI simply cannot fucking believe that this record never got more attention all around. It just makes no damn sense to me whatsoever. The year is 1993: Death metal is starting to get more and more popular, Obituary is pretty hot riding the wave following "The End Complete", Napalm Death has recently peaked with "Utopia Banished" and is preparing to do a major label stint, and members of the two bands join together for one of the greatest side projects of all time in Meathook Seed. Napalm Death's Mitch Harris led the band on guitar, bass, and backing vocals; while Obituary's Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres rounded things out on drums and vocals, respectively. The result? "Embedded": 11 tracks of raging material that combines elements of hardcore, death metal, and industrial with absolutely impeccable songwriting and a totally scorching vocal performance from Peres (why he never sang for another band is beyond me, because he's an amazing frontman). I loved this shit when I was a kid and I still love it now.

Of course, all good things must come to an end. Harris returned out of nowhere six years later with an entirely new lineup (including fellow Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury) on the rather scarce "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth", which was a complete and utter disappointment. In fact, when I finally tracked down a copy a few months after it came out, I was violently disgusted by how terrible it was compared to "Embedded", so in my opinion the second record has no right to bear the name Meathook Seed, as it simply tarnishes the otherwise painfully overlooked level of quality that the debut delivered. I'm sorry, I love both Napalm Death and Obituary, but this first Meathook Seed record is better than anything that either of those bands have ever done individually. Call me crazy, but it's true. I mean, why the hell did this band not receive more attention back in the day? See for yourself. Just try and tell me this shit isn't totally amazing. I had such a hard time narrowing it down to only four songs:

Meathook Seed "Visible Shallow Self"
Meathook Seed "Focal Point Blur"
Meathook Seed "A Wilted Remnant"
Meathook Seed "A Furred Grave"

In true moronic fashion, you can grab used copies of this fucker for less than $2 a pop all over the place, so you'd be nuts not to have at that shit. I say fuck anyone who's ever sold this, though. People have no fucking taste, man. No fucking taste. But, hey, benefit from it:

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

Morgoth "Odium" CD

Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2005 @ 1:20am » permalink

Morgoth - OdiumHere's another quick one due to my inevitable lack of time. Morgoth formed in Germany in the late-80's and was initially a pretty standard death metal band that sort of blended the American and early Swedish sounds of the genre – nothing to write home about, but decent. Of course, they ended up being some kind of weird pseudo industrial/electronic tinged death metal band before they broke up in the late-90's, but somewhere in the middle of all that relatively mediocre work they dropped one kickass record – "Odium" (1993) – that suffered only from a tinny recording. Even as a kid I can specifically remember how it always killed me how weird the guitar tone on this record was, it just lacks density and sounds kind of hollow. The record would've been an absolutely crushing slab of midpaced atmospheric death metal had they used a warmer and more natural distortion, but having become very familiar with the songs over the years I can easily get past those shortcomings these days. Regardless of the production there are some excellent songs on this disc, and the overall feel is really interesting. These two tracks definitely still hit the mark big time:

Morgoth "Submission"
Morgoth "Drowning Sun"

Like it? You can find this puppy for average used prices as well. Century Media released a "best of" collection for Morgoth this year, but I really don't understand why to be perfectly honest. They only did two EP's and three full-lengths, and "Odium" is all you need…

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

I'm on a major black metal kick lately and I'm having trouble finding some of the records that I want to buy from bands like Ofermod, Tsjuder, Ondksapt, and Nasheim. If anyone knows a few good non-obvious sources for black metal in the US please let me know, preferably those that don't ask $15 or more for a fuckin' CD, 'cause I ain't buyin' shit at those prices. And recommend some solid black metal bands to me as well! I prefer either the classic raw sound ala Bathory, Burzum, Darkthrone, etc. or the cleaner yet still relentless ferocity of bands like Dissection and Dawn. I fucking hate Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir and all that shit, but any new or old material from bands like the aforementioned or Xasthur, Deathspell Omega, Nortt, etc., would be great. Thanks!

Seaweed "Spanaway" CD

Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2005 @ 6:05am » permalink

Seaweed - SpanawayI have to admit something right off the bat here: I never fully appreciated Seaweed. I got into this band for one reason and one reason only: "Magic Mountainman". What the fuck is that, you ask? It's the fifth song off of "Spanaway" – the band's lone major label effort from 1995 on Hollywood Records. You see, 10 years ago when I was a freshman in college, my roommate was basically a good for nothing stoner douchebag who did nothing but sleep, run track, sleep more, and be an inconsiderate dick. He was a nice guy, oddly enough, he was just too damn stupid to realize that he was an inconsiderate dick (I'll spare you the countless details on that one). Anyway, I had never really heard Seaweed at the time because I was too busy listening to "Systems Overload" in headphones 500 times a day and despising all existence, but apparently Seaweed was one of the only good bands this dude liked, because he woke up to "Spanaway" every day for like three months straight and it drove me nuts. But you see, every time that fifth song rolled around, I woke up too, thinking to myself, "Holy shit… this song is amazing." But that was pretty much the end of it. A few months later he decided that waking up to Morphine every day would be a better idea and there was no longer a four-minute reprieve from my morning misery when his alarm would go off. I couldn't actually buy the CD back then… it would've cut into my "Systems Overload" time, right!?

Well, years went by and I did eventually buy the disc, because I never forgot how incredible "Magic Mountainman" was. From the liner notes I discovered that Matt Cameron from Soundgarden drummed on the track (whoop-dee-doo), then listened to the CD a few times and filed it away as usual. I'd still listen to it every now and then, but other than that one song, it never really clicked with me for some bizarre reason. But recently it finally happened: I decided to toss this puppy in on the way to work one day, and for the entire ride I was like, "Holy shit, the recording's a little thin, but most of these songs are fuckin' great!" And here I am on a quest to go ahead and grab all of the band's other records.

For anyone that cares, Seaweed formed in the late-80's Seattle-ish scene (specifically Tacoma and Olympia) and initially did a bunch of recordings with Jack Endino, along with several records for Sub Pop. For some unknown reason their brand of catchy, angular indie rock/post-hardcore type of stuff tanked big time when they hit the majors, so four years later their last record came out on another independent label in 1999 with Alan Cage from Quicksand on drums. They broke up soon afterwards.

As with many indie bands that bombed on the majors, there was a time when you could score this disc for dirt ass cheap anywhere you looked, so while it's not so favorable for purchasers (though it's certainly not bad), it could point towards a good sign for the band's belated appreciation that these days this one seems to go for pretty average prices in the used bins once you factor in shipping costs:

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

Merauder "1993 demo" CS

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 7:20am » permalink

Merauder - 1993 DemoNew York again? Yeah, I can't help it, but you'll thank me anyway. You see, I've been buggin' my man Johnnyvic for literally years to hit me up with this demo, and he finally pulled through like a true champ last weekend. Like many, I've never really had the chance to hear Merauder with their first vocalist, Minus, so here's their rare 1993 demo with Minus fronting what became the "Master Killer" lineup: Minus (vocals), Sob (guitar), Anthony (guitar), Rick (bass), and Vinnie (drums). "Life is Pain" and "Besiege the Masses" were re-recorded on "Master Killer", and "Final War" was redone on "Five Deadly Venoms", but I actually think these demo versions sound harder musically for whatever reason, with added chugging fury and a little more of a classic moshy vibe (as opposed to the token Merauder sound that the band honed in on over the next couple of years). In other words: I fuckin' love it!

1. "Life is Pain"
2. "Final War"
3. "Besiege the Masses"
4. "Fear of Sin" (only appears on some copies of the demo)

Oh, and coincidentally, right after my post about Leeway dropped, there's suddenly a shitload of news about the band circulating all over the place. Here's the gist of a comment that was posted regarding all that:

"Leeway is coming back. Eddie Sutton is currently working on a new licensing deal (that will give the band better distribution), and Leeway will be playing again in 2006. They never had a website, but all of that is changing now. You'll also be glad to hear that they'll be releasing a live CD that will be recorded in New York City at a future show. Eddie is also working on a new DVD series called 'Eddie Leeway's Haunted Hardcore' and the first volume will feature Leeway consisting of two live shows and some mp3's as well. Other bands are to follow. And if anyone is curious, Eddie has also become a historian on organized crime in New York. He has a walking tour in New York City that has become one of the most exclusive walk/talk tours that New York has to offer, and he maintains relationships with some of the former real wiseguys that became famous from movies like 'Goodfellas' and 'Donnie Brasco'."

In fact, in addition to all of that, Leeway's even rockin' a MySpace page now. Who knew!? But welcome fucking back!

Solstice "Pray" CD

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2005 @ 2:22am » permalink

Solstice - PrayFlorida will always be looked at as the original death metal capital of the entire fuckin' world, and with good reason. But amidst all of the top-notch death metal bands in the region throughout the 90's boom of the genre, a few killer bands got swept aside for no good reason. Hence the title of this post is twofold: On Solstice's first record in 1992, Rob Barrett (Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, etc.) handled guitars and vocals (he was replaced by Christian Rudes on "Pray"), and the mighty Alex Marquez (Malevolent Creation, Demolition Hammer, Divine Empire, etc.) drummed on both of their records; while their second and final offering, "Pray" (1995, Steamhammer/SPV), sounds almost exactly like a 50/50 split of Cannibal Corpse and Malevolent Creation.

Now, I'm not saying these are particularly classic records or anything, but they're both excellent slabs of textbook death metal chock full of the meaty riffs and chunky thrash breaks that I so enjoy. You'd think the lineup connections alone would've gotten 'em more attention, but for whatever reason that wasn't the case. They broke up once after their first record, and again shortly after the second. There were rumors floating around that they were going to do a third album with yet another lineup around 2000, but nothing ever came of it. Here are a handful of tracks from "Pray", which is my personal favorite from their back catalog:

Solstice "All Life Lost"
Solstice "Closeminded Failure"
Solstice "Bleeding Unborn"

I didn't really discover these guys until four or five years ago when doing random research on the net, and I honestly had a bit of a hard time tracking down both of their CD's, but "Pray" at least seems a little easier to come by these days:

@ Amazon.com

The core of Solstice, guitarist Dennis Munoz and drummer Alex Marquez, also played in a hardcore band called Anger sometime between the two Solstice records. They released at least one album, but I've never heard it. So if anyone knows whether or not it's any good, please let me know. My guess is that it could go either way in terms of overall quality.

Sindrome demos…

Posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2005 @ 11:06am » permalink

I'm short on time and feel like shit, so I won't have a new post ready until next week, but someone tipped me off that you can download both of Sindrome's incredible demos online. For those unaware, Sindrome was a ripping thrash metal band from Chicago that formed around 1986. Despite being an amazing band, they sadly never did more than the following two demos – of which "Vault of Inner Conscience" is the better of the two and absolutely kills. Members were also involved in Laaz Rockit, Master, Deathstrike, Broken Hope, and Soil (among others). You can sort of see pics of the demos' cover art here, and also be sure to email the band and tell them how much this shit rules! Both of these demos were released on a bootleg CD and I need that shit 'cause I hate mp3's, so if anyone knows where I can score one, fucking let me know. Thanks, and enjoy the thrash!

Sindrome "Vault of Inner Conscience" CS – 1991
1. "Descending Into Madness"
2. "Extra Sensory Warning (ESW)"
3. "Astral Projection"
4. "Against Infinity"
5. "Exit Screaming"

Sindrome "Into the Halls of Extermination" CS – 1987
1. "Into the Halls of Extermination"
2. "Rapture in Blood"
3. "Precognition"
4. "Cathedral of Ice"
5. "Aortic Expulsion"

Dmize "Backlash" CD

Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2005 @ 5:13am » permalink

Dmize - BacklashI've been on a big NYHC kick lately, so back to New York we go, and oh man, if ever there was a band that needed to stick around longer and do a little more damage, it was fuckin' Dmize. It seems like a lot of people have never actually heard Dmize, but along with Madball (whose bassist Hoya was actually in Dmize prior to joining Madball) Dmize was one of the first bands to really push the whole DMS angle (it's the title and the first thing they all shout during the intro on their first demo, for example) – and damn were they great at what they did. Please note that I've edited the hell out of this post as one of the band's former vocalists, Chiqui Rodriguez, has posted a comment and gotten in touch with me via email with some corrections and additional information about the band.

Anyway, first off, the Lost & Found Records CD release called "Backlash" is a bootleg, and it contains a lot of false information. The band recorded three demos, not two, and all of the songs are included on the bootleg, but several of the track titles are wrong and the demos do not appear in chronological order. The first two demos were recorded in 1990 with Don Fury, but the final demo was tracked in 1992 at Wildefire Studios in New Jersey. The band's first lineup was Ray (vocals), Hoya (bass), Beto (guitar), and Richie (drums). It's actually Richie whose head appears under the "Backlash" CD tray with "Dmize" shaved into the back. Their final lineup was Chiqui (vocals), Hoya (bass), Beto (guitar), Steve Petit (guitar), and Jon Rosado (drums). Dmize played their final set opening for Agnostic Front's initial farewell show. Hoya of course later joined Madball, while Beto (a.k.a. Rob Rosario) went on to a stint with 25 ta Life and later did some time with Madball as well. The entire recorded output of Dmize is as follows:

Demo 1: "DMS", "Backlash", "Feeling Inside", "Nation", "Us Against the World", "No Way Out"
Demo 2: "From Reality", "Trapped", "Short End"
Demo 3 (the final recording session): "Soul Search", "The Dawn", "Mizery"

As one might expect for the time period, the band's style was hard as nails hardcore with just a hint of a crossover edge to the first demo – somewhat comparable to a few of Agnostic Front's earlier metallic flirtations on a musical level. But then the later demos brought with them longer songs and a heavier, more thrash influenced approach (without abandoning the band's true sound) – perfectly exemplified in "Soul Search", which is an outright fucking classic. Trust me, if Dmize had become a little more known, this song probably would've been covered a million times by now, alongside "Backlash" from the first demo, which is another surefire keeper. I can only imagine how awesome a full-length from these guys would've been had they continued on. In fact, I believe "Soul Search" was the only Dmize song that was officially released, probably posthumously, as it appeared on the original "East Coast Assault" compilation. Here are a handful of songs from the three demos:

Dmize "DMS"
Dmize "Backlash"
Dmize "Soul Search"
Dmize "Trapped"

Read the comments for a few other Dmize tidbits. The "Backlash" CD always seemed insanely hard to come by, but I lucked out and scored a copy in a used bin for $5 maybe four years ago or something like that, but I've never seen another one since… not even on eBay (where "Dmize" is a popular search tag). But keep trying, maybe one will turn up someday.

Also, Chiqui would like to see some video footage of any of Dmize's later shows if anyone out there has recordings that they could share or get their hands on. Hit him up at [email protected] if you can lend a hand on that, it would be greatly appreciated, I'm sure.

Taiho "Chugalug" CD

Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2005 @ 7:10pm » permalink

Taiho - ChugalugI'm short on time as always, so here's another band that I know very little about. Taiho is a Japanese trio and has released at least three full-lengths, but "Chugalug" was released in 1999 and I haven't heard a damn peep about the band ever since. Part of that's because Howling Bull's American division slowly started to disappear shortly after this thing hit the streets, and it always seems to be pretty rough to find information on Japanese acts as it is, so… who knows? Whether or not the band is still active is beyond me, and I couldn't even tell you if they've done another record in the last six years either. What I can tell you is that this CD cranks out 12 tracks in 30 minutes and throws down a shitload of thick, sludgy, quirky rock type stuff that's heavy on the energetic vocal tradeoffs and crunchy rhythms that mess with everything from thrashy picking patterns and funky slap bass to grinding crossover chord progressions and Helmet-esque odd time signatures with lots of dissonant post-hardcore textures. It's damn good stuff, basically – and complete with an onslaught of classic "Engrish" lyrics (just check out the post title).

Taiho "Past"
Taiho "Breathe"
Taiho "Chugalug"
Taiho "Gnat"

I've never been able to find any of their other records, and like I said, information is scarce, so speak up if you know anything. These cats were underappreciated on American shores, so you can often find this thing for cheap as shit all over the place:

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

Yo, if you didn't download the Leeway tracks, do it. Seriously, we're talking one of the 10 best NYHC bands of all time, people… show some love!

Oh, and my bandwidth was dangerously close to its limit last month for the first time ever, having more than doubled since July, so… be aware that I might start removing songs faster than I have been. You snooze, you lose!