Articles Reviews

Comecon: A Retrospective An under-appreciated Swedish metal band gets some love.

It’s not exactly the stuff of legends: a name derived from a Soviet-era economic pact, two musicians (Rasmus Ekman, Pelle Ström) who handle guitar, bass, a drum machine and other instruments across three full length albums with three different singers on each album. But that’s COMECON. Most of us can name-check Swedish metal bands like Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember, Hypocrisy, At The Gates, Arch Enemy or Amon Amarth. Comecon isn’t a exactly as well known, having…

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The Golden Years of British Extreme Metal: The Other Guys Of pubs, pain, and pulverizing power.

Much ink has been spilled about the blossoming of extreme metal around the world. The United States – particularly the Florida scene which spawned so many great bands – has been well represented. Sweden/Norway gets plenty of love, from the chainsaw guitar tone to the unchained hedonism. That’s all fine and good as those were the blood-stained birthing grounds of our beloved genre. What about England, then? In those glorious pre-Internet days of tape-trading and DIY promotion, metal…

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Reviews

Cannibal Corpse, “Butchered at Birth” (1991)

Imagine for a minute that you grew up in the musical suburbs, in an unpretentious little subdivision called Death Metal; you know, right down the road from Thrash Town but a long way away from Rock City and on the other side of the freaking country from Country Burg and the glittering excess of Discolopolis. Just a few houses down from where you live are the guys who like to play a lot of fantasy-based…

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Cannibal Corpse, “Eaten Back to Life” (1990)

I’m at work far too early this morning because some fart-knocking network engineer (less of an engineer than a hapless offspring of Booji Boy, created in a tube from genetic material scrapped off the wall outside Booji’s crib) made me get up at this unholy hour just to stab a console cable into a firewall server. I’ve spent 15 years in this industry aggressively resisting any learning opportunity but I came dangerously close to “figuring…

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Entombed, “Left Hand Path” (1989)

Nostalgia is a wet dog. I still love her, she’s my dog and all that, but she smells like the bottom of a zombie port-a-potty and insists on drying out by rolling on the couch of Corinthian leather. One of the cool things about listening to these old albums is getting that weird feeling that comes from taking a deep, long hit of pure nostalgia. Mmmm, so good! Yes, yes… remember? I was in college…

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Unleashed “Where No Life Dwells” (1991)

1991; let the sink in for a moment. Fuck that was a long time ago. Like, pre-cell phone era, when people had “mobile phones” with batteries that could fry bacon or produce a cancerous brain tumor that whispered evil shit in the subconscious. It was so long ago, I was a wee grub of a collegiate human, feasting on the excrement of those higher up the academic food chain. The world was consumed with fear…

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Righteous Pigs, “Stress Related” (1987)

No fucking clue when this entered my life, it was that fuzzy time in the late 80’s early 90’s when Bush Da First was still in power and all seemed bleak and cold in the world.  But maybe that was just the roofies.  So this is Mitch Harris on guitar and vox, better known these days as a stalwart member of Napalm Death and Defecation and side projects galore. On Stress Related we’re also treated to…

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Morbid Angel, “Gateways to Annihilation” (2000)

I admit to completely overlooking Morbid Angel’s Gateways to Annihilation when it came out in 2000. I was probably too busy listening to In Flames’ Colony or something equally less-than-good. After Dave’s departure, MA rebounded in 1998 with the Steve Tucker-fronted Formulas Fatal to the Flesh. While Formulas… has certainly improved with age, at the time, it appeared to kick off a downward slide into awfulness. Gateways to Annihilation followed in 2000 with an equal thud and the unbelievably erratic and…

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