Sarcofago – Rotting Reissue

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Note : Check out more reviews for the online magazine I write for at http://www.metal-temple.com/start.htm

Originally released in 1989, “Rotting” was considered one of the most extreme records by authorities – even having it seized by them just down to their now harmless cover (let alone at their lyrical content and the fact authorities were getting out their crosses and arming water pistols up with holy water).

During the crossing overs of Black, Thrash and Death metal in the 80’s, SARCOFAGO were a familiar trio who were pushing the boundaries of just how extreme they could push themselves, the authorities and terrified parents of listeners. After the release of “I.R.N.I” the band had a lot to exceed in terms of expectations, considering it was thought of as one of the albums that helped shaped the Black Metal genre.

Despite “Rotting” being majorly underestimated in terms of the bands abilities, passion and views – it is possibly their best release and one of the most important records for the Black/Death/Thrash genres.

SARCOFAGO created a ton of controversy in terms of their lyrical content which themes such as anti-religion, death and necrophilia. These can be most noticeable in the iconic track “Tracy” with lyrics such as “Your rotten flesh is now so sweet, too cold you are driving me to a intense orgasm, licking your body I realize my dream, why did you force me to kill?” – Such lyrical content is noticeably influential in Death Metal unless you take routes from “Rotting” in which it is influential for Black Metal or “Alcoholic Coma” for Thrash.

“Rotting” is iconic, inspirational and the best release of SARCOFAGO in my opinion.
If you’re faint-hearted, highly religious, easily offended or just a plain fuddy duddy then you’re not going to take to this masterpiece but come on, this record wasn’t created to please you guys now was it?

Overall Rating 10/10

 

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Metal Temple

Hi guys, I haven’t posted at all since I said I would the reason for that being is that I have now been recruited to write for Metal Temple (Go check us out) and i’m writing reviews all the time for them now however i’m in the process of getting permission to use those reviews I write on here too.

Thank you for your understanding ect and support you’ve given me if you read my reviews.
Jess.

Lost Society – Band of the Day interview featured on Terrorizer.com

Hi guys! Sorry i’ve been away a bit again, started a new job and wordpress has been a bit naff with letting me actually log in, had to create a new password about 10 times! So as you can imagine I have lots of new reviews coming up, i’ll try post them daily to get back upto speed or at least 1 every couple of days. I also have some exciting news! I had an interview with one of my favorite bands Lost Society and it got posted on the Terrorizer website with thanks to their writer Kez Whelan!

So to kick things back off i’ll post it on here as i’m so proud of it!
If you want to read it on the official Terrorizer website then check it out on the link below :
http://www.terrorizer.com/news/botd/lost-society-band-day/
For those who can’t click on links ect here it is, here!

lostsociety

Jyväskylä, Finland 2010 – the year Thrash/Speed Metal band Lost Society was born to raise hell. In the past 4 years, these young metalheads have already gained a brilliant reputation in the metal community with their love of thrash seeping through the seams in their music. They have already shared the stage with thrash legends Suicidal Angels and have been signed to Nuclear Blast after they self-released their self-titled demo, to bring out their debut album ‘Fast Loud Death!’ Since that release, they have a new album, ‘Terror Hungry’, due out today, which gave us more than enough reasons to catch up and see where they are…

WORDS: Jess Howkins

WHO ARE THEY: Lost Society
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Jyväskylä, Finland
FOR FANS OF: Anthrax, Testament, Municipal Waste
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Terror Hungry’ (Nuclear Blast)
WEBSITES: Facebook & Twitter

As a band, you are possibly one of the freshest and most up to speed bands in the modern Thrash scene – I want to know what made you decide that was the road you wanted to go down and how did you guys come about each other to form the band?
Well thank you very much! My road towards thrash and speed metal basically started when I was about 7 years old and my brother played me the track ‘The Prisoner’ by Iron Maiden, because after this track, I just got hooked on Maiden and a bit later on all heavy metal. All the music I listened to at the time was basically only from the 80’s and 90’s so it was pretty much a given that I found all the awesome thrash metal bands from that era too. The first ones were Anthrax and Slayer and that’s how the whole thing started! It’s just the honest and pure attitude that thrash has, it ain’t pretty and it’ll make you bang your head! Me and Ossi met through another band I was in years ago and I basically just snatched him in, then some months later just by chance Arttu came to watch our practice sessions and I heard his guitar playing and snatched him in too. Mirko came in the band because Arttu had known him for years and knew he kicked ass so he came in too!”

So, it’s been a year since the release of ‘Fast Loud Death’! And may I just say how incredible the album is, what have been the highest and lowest points since recording and releasing the album to date?
It’s sick that it’s been already a year, crazy! And once again, thanks a lot! It’s actually crazy how up ‘til this day there really hasn’t been any downsides or low points, we’ve been just enjoying our asses off, cause this is what we all love to do. But the high points, damn there are a lot! One of course would be the moment when we hit the stage in the Loud Park 13 in Japan, that was probably the ultimate most awesome thing ever!”

‘E.A.G’ is a pretty aggressive song towards the emo stereotype, is there anyone or anything in particular that added the fuel to the fire with that track or was it just a general attitude towards the stereotype?
“It was actually one of the first songs we ever made together, and we just figured that, hmm, what’s one of the most clichéd subjects to write about, and we just chose to do this one. None of us are the kind to just piss off emos for no reason. They can live as they want to, it’s just mainly the music we really don’t understand for the most part! But none the less I love the song!”

So, you’ve just toured with Suicidal Angels – what was the weirdest thing that happened to you on your adventures with them? Surely some fangirl got her best pair of thrash knickers and launched them at you?
I think the weirdest thing was when we were somewhere around Germany at a show, and after we stopped playing, some girl and guy just ripped Arttu’s shirt off of him and stole it! It was a fuckin’ awesome Judge Dredd Anthrax shirt haha! Believe me, we’d be lucky if the shows had even any chicks haha!”

‘Terror Hungry’ is released today, what are your hopes and ambitions for this album?
“After FLD came out, just about all of our wildest dreams came true, so I really don’t even know what will happen with the next one, it seems like nothing is impossible anymore! But of course I hope that we can just hit the road and play these new songs with the crowd going nuts! That’s always the coolest thing that could happen. Hopefully people will love this beast as much as we do!!”

You guys like to drink a lot, but who’s the strongest and lightest weight drinking wise out of you guys?
“Well basically the last ones standing are usually either me, Arttu or Mirko, mainly because Ossi just doesn’t drink that much! But when he does, he probably goes down first! But it’s probably Arttu who’s the strongest because I just get pissed quick and go pass out somewhere weird. We should really LEARN how to drink, haha!”

What’s expected from you guys after ‘Terror Hungry’? Any tours planned or are you going to jump straight into the recording studio and tour alongside it like with ‘Fast Loud Death!’?
“Once the album comes out, we’ll be touring Finland for about two months, mainly weekend shows. We’ll also be hitting Spain and Germany and some other places during the spring and summer! One thing is also that we’ll be constantly practicing, and constantly making new material, so I wouldn’t say it would be totally impossible that we’d hit the studio in the end of the year. Either way, this year will be awesome!”

‘Terror Hungry’ is available now via Nuclear Blast Records. You can order the CD here, orpurchase the album digitally here.

Divide and Conquer – Suicidal Angels album review.

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Formed in Greece, 2001, Suicidal Angels immediately set out to take on the world and give nothing less than some pretty good Thrash Metal and well, sore necks after all that Thrash Metal until you press the repeat button. Divide and Conquer proves that these guys step up their game each time they release any new material. For those who don’t really dive into the realms of Thrash Metal then these guys are perfect examples of what they’re missing. It is difficult to find bands that take on an old-school approach to certain genres and this band does just that. Divide and Conquer is filled with fast, furious and face melting riffs from the very beginning with tracks such as Seed of Evil, Terror is my Scream,  Kneel to the Gun and White Wizard. Each track has different elements that make Divide and Conquer stand out and provide a strong structure to making this album possibly the best they have released to date. More so than any other Suicidal Angel album, Slayers’ influence on these Thrash machines pushes through in tracks such as Marching Over Blood and Pit of Snakes and whilst Slayer have always been a Marmite band (you either love them or you hate them) you can always count on the fact their music delivers and gets your blood pumping and they have passed on that to Suicidal Angels making their music constantly deliver a furious, fast-paced and beastly side.

As a whole, Divide and Conquer is one of the hottest new Thrash records out – It is hard to fault, easy to love and impossible to not bang your head too. If you ever get a chance, check them out at a live show also as they’re mindblowing. What the music industry needs and what the metal fans need, these guys can deliver.
Rating 8/10

Gama Bomb Interview.


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During the time of when Philly [Byrne] had to undergo throat surgery, was there ever a time when you guys thought to yourselves about what would happen to Gama Bomb if something went wrong or it wasn’t the same as beforehand?

Of course, that was a major factor when I lost my voice – for both us as a band and especially me as an individual. We had to accept that in the immediate term at least, things would have to change. I couldn’t continue to just sing the way I had, nor was I really capable of it. It’s now two years later and I’m only regaining those portions of my voice. I think that anxiety, the fear of this change and the fear of loss, was a big motivator to be honest. Sure, we probably argued a lot because of it during that whole time, but in the end I think it spurred us on to make a better album. When you have to go under the knife to get into the studio, it makes you appreciate the opportunity much more.

 Tales from the Grave in Space was the first album to be released for free by a signed band, what made you guys want to do this and what were the outcomes of doing so?



 We did it because not only did we get all our personal music for free, and illegally as a result, but moreover because we realized the band was kinda stuck on a treadmill.

We’d released one album through a small imprint, and then another on a large indie label, and we got a taste of how it all worked. At that point we knew that our songwriting was improving constantly, but the support to push it out there, the money and the man hours to make it a big deal, would either stay the same, or inevitably shrink. Labels are like a fickle girlfriend: they lose interest in you pretty quickly if you’re not a massive success straight out the gate.

So yeah, we saw that kinda happening and wanted to create a real story around the album, a big buzz that would get it the attention that it deserves. We wanted to break the box, and the label we were on wanted a band silly enough to experiment with giving their music away.

From our perspective it worked perfectly: we got excellent PR out of it because we were doing something new, we got to play in places where our music is not normally released physically, and it won us a lot of respect from fans. We also physically outsold the previous album which was only physically released. Free content meant we sold more.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the release scared the ‘traditional’ digital music people. There were chains of stores in the US who refused to stock the album because we’d partnered with a filesharing service like Rapidshare. Basically people saw their slice of the pie threatened, and they closed ranks. That’s what happens – they’re the very people who should be innovating, but instead they act as a guard against progression.

Again though, once you commit to changing the game you need to stick to it: that free album has undermined our ability to be distributed in the US to  this day, but we have to be unconcerned about that. Our music is digitally universally available, and people eat it up. If the industry won’t profit from it, that’s their loss.

  Obviously most people would turn around and say that releasing a free album wouldn’t make you any money to live on, were there ever concerns about this when the idea came across or was it a no-brainer to you guys?

 Well as I say, we actually outsold our previous album, so financially in a purely spreadsheet universe it was something of a success – but that doesn’t factor in the reality of a record deal.

Basically, a record contract is a guarantee that you’ll be in the red forever: it’s not a game, especially now, where you can ever earn a living.

This wasn’t only a no-brainer, it was our only sane choice: we could either adapt or wither on the vine. And while our spreadsheets might not say we’ve boomed in size or profit, those things don’t matter at the heels of the hunt. We’ve got the respect and support of our fans, we write cool music and go cool plaes and we’ve never compromised ourselves to win that. We win.

 What have been the weirdest things to have happened to you on tour? Or actually perhaps in general, any crazed fans posting you their genitals or maybe not?



 We’ve met a few weird people, but to be honest they’re usually more kinda drunken or a bit slow on the uptake, as opposed to mad people. Toothless lads wearing a box of beer as a hat who really need to tell you something but are too drunk to talk, that kinda thing.

I met a woman who was in porn when we were in America, and there was this whole weird scene where she was telling us all about her life and all the crazy, degrading shit that had happened to her. She had no perspective on herself, no moral compass. It was fascinating and terrifying. I suppose it counts as a crazy story because she was in porn, but to be honest most of our tour stories involve someone vomiting or pulling pranks on each other – not really drugs or sex or any of that. We’re quite innocent. Joe sprayed me in the face with Cif one time. I remember that quite well.

  It seems in the past few years there’s been a massive resurgence in Thrash Metal, has this ever put you guys under more pressure to make albums that’ll push all of these new kids out of the water or did it help you guys gain more recognition and respect?

 The thrash revival happened to us completely by accident to be honest. We pre-dated it by a few years and weren’t expecting to become even remotely popular. We were pretty much playing a dead genre of music for kicks, because we were nerds about it.

In that way, and probably because we’re egotists at heart, we’ve never considered ourselves as competing with any other band. We’ve made many friends in that new wave of thrash, but we never pinned our fortunes on it. We’ve been popular and we’ve been nobody and neither particularly scares us more than the other.

Also, we’d never write music based on what other people are doing: that’s a major lesson from the ‘first wave’ of UK thrash in the 80s – copy other bands and you’ll kill your own good ideas. Of course we’re delighted thrash came back and helped us reach more people, get a record deal, all that: but we never considered ourselves as part of it. We’re a thrash band, not a new wave of thrash band.

  It’s obvious you guys make music for the fact that you love it and not for the money and fame but when you guys formed was it just a matter of making music for the fun of it and if you got spotted then you got spotted or did you make it a goal to be spotted and recognised all over the world for your incredible music?



 Well at first our goal was to play a gig for our mate Kevy’s birthday. Then the goal was to play a gig outside our hometown, in Belfast. Then it was to have t-shirts, and a demo, and badges – and then… so yeah, we got into this for fun. We did it just to make each other laugh, to play music we love, and to get drunk, but I suppose we gradually did want to develop it more and more, any time we saw a way to do it.

We made sure we were doing stuff off our own bat before we got signed. No record label has the money to sign a metal band and build them up: you need to turn up fully formed and functioning before they’ll work with you. We self-recorded an album, demos, did gigs in the UK, got a little press where we could, got stage clothes, all that.

So we were in it for fun, and I suppose we still are. We’re not earning here. We do a lot for the love of thrash metal.

 If you wasn’t in Gama Bomb or musicians at all, where do you reckon you’d all be now?



 Probably in much the same place! We’ve always made a point of developing our real lives as well as the band career thing. We all either study or have careers outside of the band.

I reckon if we had never been in the band, we’d probably be working in the same kinda thing, Joe and I would know each other, but we wouldn’t have met Domo, or Paul or John, which would be tragic really. We’re talking about a kind of family in our band.

 Also, last but not least, what is the future for Gama Bomb after The Terror Tapes?

 More of exactly the same, man. We’re writing an album and we’ve decided to take our time about it, to record it when it’s ready, when it’s good enough. Aside from that we’re arranging some euro shows, possibly a South American tour for fun. Basically we’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done: gigging, recording, maybe drinking a bit too much, for as long as our old bodies will hold out. From here to eternity, you know what I mean?