This title is two years too fucking late. Decimated by the winds of plague somehow humanity still marches on yet not unscathed: lives have been claimed, lands have been swept up by the tides of war, and in the UK some buffoon runs rampant with work events and other intolerable forms of blundering boobery. Perhaps the time has come to reinstitute an old custom – grant them The Blitzkrieg Tapes! For those who haven’t the foggiest, The Blitzkrieg Tapes is a run-off from Hellbound Sounds – lighting the torch in the metal underground and casting an infernal death racket unto the ears of the unsuspecting public – where the focus lies on the splits, EPs, demos, and other unholy abominations. And since this post is already at least two weeks late thanks to my own blundering boobery, let’s just dive cranium-first into the cesspit!
January has already been and gone but the noisemongering from the past still rings triumphant and true into the godforsaken night. This first, aptly-titled volume of the year comes to you courtesy of Kerasfóra, Malefic Throne, Possessor, Skinliv, Tangent, and Vermisst.
Armed to the teeth for what could only be a full frontal assault of the pearly gates Malefic Throne lay waste without any fucking haste, unleashing a torrent of mecha-shredding bullets the moment you dare push play; no surprise given the infantry is comprised of noneother than Gene Palubicki, John Longstreth, and Steve Tucker, a trio who frankly need no introduction whatsoever. Decimating everything in their path, these mercenaries among men cleave through the masses with maniacal precision, triggering quakes along every imaginable fault line as the likes of ‘Deciding the Hierachy’ and the skull-splitting ‘New Hand Upon the Blade’ mercilessly wreak havoc on the frontlines. Overpowered and verging on indestructible, this is one war machine you seriously do not want rolling down your neighbourhood. Who the hell would have thought it’d only take 20 minutes to reduce heaven to rubble!
Why suffer the rancid plastic of whatever passes for radio fodder these days when you should be running rampant and free in the streets of Melbourne with the wild stallions of Tangent instead! Metal for Muthas may be old enough to be your grandpa now but courses through this trio’s veins like some newfangled adrenaline shot (as it bloody should yours too) as testament on the four songs kicking up a storm on this here eponymous EP. Exuberant opener ‘Spellbreaker’ gallops ahead with tremendous vigour, trampling all who stand in its way like the cavalry charges of yore, matched only by the Maiden-esque dynamism and raw passion of closing belter ‘Sabotage’; imbued with tough-as-nails bass attacks and enough riffs to power their city for nights on end (particularly that triumphant lick surging throughout ‘Come Back from the Light’) Tangent don’t need to be trailblazers to be mighty as all hell – just be sure to pack enough lighter fluid in yer leathers to catch their gloriously high-spirited wave.
You’ll need yer lighter fluid for completely different purposes altogether for where Chilean hellmongers Kerasfóra are poised to send you – and believe me, that lighter will do you no damn good: straight from the icy rooftop of the South American spine, Denn Die Todten Reiten Schnell (For the Dead Travel Fast) gazes down upon mortal denizens with cold eyes and howls with deathly intent. Instead of luring you into its chambers with wanton desire this ghoulish slab of vampiric grimness leaves you frozen under the winter sky not unlike Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining, dead in a tundric forest where the echoes of eerily Romantic synths guide your ghost deeper into the blizzard. Or something to that effect anyway. If you love Stoker more than Coppola did (which you should), this spectral outing and its frostbitten production might just bewitch you, now in 12″ format!
If for whatever you have been unscathed by Possessor‘s feral onslaught over the past decade then you’ve lived a sheltered and utterly fucking boring life. Never for the squeamish, the kings of sleaze frollicked night after night in endless debauchery and sordid carnage, drunk on their own sardonic contempt for all that is wholesome and pure on this shit smear of a planet, and their swansong revels in nothing less than this. Foaming for blood, The Speed of Death is an all-out rabid frenzy of low-end nastiness and immoral degeneracy reeking of whatever the BBFC left locked up some 30 years ago. Relentlessly eviscerating until only dust is left to snort through a £20 note, these three-and-a-bit twists of the knife leave no nerve unsevered, no headbanging head left on the shoulders, and no surface free from whoever partied here. It’s all too brief, but their legendary shindig will live on until only cockroaches remain.
What ho? A cacophonic milieu of raw isolation in the middle of goddamn nowhere? Denmark’s Skinliv and Poland’s Vermisst join forces to steer you all down one endless deathmarch, shovels in hand, to dig your own graves amid the permafrost. This is the end of the line, a record offering little in the way of salvation – only the distant memories of warmth will comfort you as you dig through the snow. While Skinliv channel their haunting melodies within an ethereal avalanche of despair (grandiosely so I might add) Vermisst whip up something nefariously nightmarish: a forlorn chamber of unstable terror where the sound of life spilling from lacerated throats seeps through the cracks of its relentless walls of noise. Though the latter half dissipates back into the comforts of the dungeon, the harsh landscape both outfits conjure up is unprecendentedly primal, stark, and void of the basic elements needed for existence. Thank fuck, for this is a truly bleak mirror of the world on its knees ready to succumb to the inevitable. Y’all better get shovelling!
Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for other unearthly sights that came before this already sanctimonious month, who knows what you may have missed! Who knows, another plague could sweep the earth before one returns to this corner of insignificance. Not bloody likely. Whatever happens between now and then, don’t let the bastards grind you down.