Boston thrashers RAMMING SPEED are back and have used their trials and triumphs of the road to hone their sound. AL BULMER asks JONAH LIVINGSTON about being the bastard child of Disfear and Thin Lizzy
It’s not that Ramming Speed’s Prosthetic debut ‘Destined to Die, Doomed to Destroy’ is unfathomable, you know damn well what’s assaulting your aural senses, but it’s the effortless finesse that such a hybridised mishmash is executed. Not that these Bostonians are attempting to forge gold from lead through some contrived reggae-black metal or similar hypothetical nonsense, it’s their genius smelting of a revolutionary yet idiosyncratic alloy: neo-thrash, a blistering tour-de-force of NWOBHM-meets-grind-meets-D-beat bound to a thrash carbon base, which, put in layman’s term, fucking rules.
As skin-thumping timekeeper Jonah Livingston elaborates, the push from a party thrash band releasing a 7” followed by touring to the contemporary beast we witness today was the laboured result of a forced pragmatism. “The biggest catalyst for us as a recorded band was losing a couple of band members two or three years ago,” he explains. “We used to jump at any chance to tour, like, ‘some dude wants us to play a fest in the middle of the woods in … Read More
With our friends in Sweden and Belgium tantalising us with tales of KING DIAMOND‘s recent European Festival tour and the fact that ‘MELISSA’ is rarely off our stereo in the run up to its 30th Anniversary this Autumn, we knew that we wanted to interview the King of all evil. We sent GREG MOFFITT off for a dangerous meeting with the man himself to talk about his whole career from BLACK ROSE to BLOODSTOCK and most importantly the fate of MERCYFUL FATE…
How and when did you first get into music? “I had a little transistor radio with a cassette deck built in and I used to listen to rock programmes in the afternoon and record some of the songs. Then I saved up from my allowance and eventually got a reel to reel tape machine, which was great because I could even record from the TV with that! Then in ’71 I got my first turntable, which I could plug into the reel to reel machine. That was stereo and that was a big deal! The first three vinyl albums I bought were Deep Purple’s ‘Fireball’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Master Of Reality’ and Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’. Obviously I’d already heard ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Black … Read More
Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich and SAINT VITUS… ubiquitous, right? Wrong! According to Iron Fist’s resident doom archivist OLIVIER ‘ZOLTAR’ BADIN the sole album with CHRITUS LINDERSON and the final album from original singer SCOTT REAGERS deserve a place in the hallowed halls of metal just as much as ‘Born Too Late’…
There’s a black hole in Saint Vitus’ story. No, not the early days when spat on by punks and metalheads alike in the mid-’80s at low-key shows in shitty clubs, where they still delivered the goods and released all-time classics like ‘Saint Vitus’ or ‘Born Too Late’. Nor during that 12 years silence when their legend kept growing, despite the band’s lack of activity. We’re actually talking here about the first half of the ’90s when everybody seemed to be against them, including their core fanbase and even of some their own former members. Sitting in the accusation chair is 1992’s ‘C.O.D.’ and 1995’s ‘Die Healing’: while the first has gained the rare status of being their less-revered album, right next to ‘Mournful Cries’, the second split opinions with the return of their melodramatic original singer Scott Reagers and it’s very-metal production. The fact that the latter would turn out to … Read More
“This is the end”. At least so croons Master Motorsåg of warlusting black metal maniacs BESTIAL MOCKERY. Coming straight of stage at New York’s Marytrdoom Festival and into the inquisitive lair of KIM KELLY, she finds out about best-laid plans and how it’s better to burn out than fade away
It’s a clear, humid night in one of Brooklyn’s many warehouse districts, and you’re sweating like a whore in church. The concrete maze you and a few hundred other leather-clad, sticky longhairs have crowded into smells of sulphur and swamp-ass; the air conditioner’s broken, the toilets are backed up, and the drinks are overpriced. This is Hell, and fittingly so, for the murderous apparition that’s just stalked onstage demands nothing less. Martyrdoom, NYC’s nastiest annual underground black/death metal festival, is upon us, and the reason we’re all suffocating ourselves and clutching $10 whiskies is about to begin. This is fucking Bestial Mockery’s final live performance, and they make sure it’s one to remember. Gasoline and chainsaws and ragged, hoarse howls punctuate the rapacious din, as some of Sweden’s most demonic souls hurl themselves towards oblivion and we hurtle down alongside them. It’s hard to believe that this night marks the end … Read More
Friends since their school daze, CC Company is yet another infectious rock ‘n’ band outta Stockholm, in the vein of Hellacopters and Motorhead, but with some recognisable faces at the helm. It makes sense that the three-piece should consist of Enforcer guitarist and bassist, Joseph Tholl (also of Black Trip) and Tobias Lindqvist (also of Dead Lord) – after all there is that throwback vibe that all three of their other bands showcase so perfectly, but CC Company is pure, unadulterated rock swagger this time around. They’re joined on drums by Tribulation vocalist Johannes Andersson, but don’t call this a supergroup.
“We’ve had lots of side projects with this line-up during the past ten years,” weighs in frontman Joseph about the band’s formation. “It’s been all kinds of different stuff, depending on what we feel like doing for the moment, just for fun, you know?
This latest incarnation of their jamming habit was born last summer and they’ve already racked up gigs at the infamous Pussy-A-Go-Go bar and caught the attention of new label (and Fist cohorts), Bad Omen Records. “The songs came out very natural with a sound of rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal,” Joseph explains. “Our first 7” is … Read More
“It does not derive from the G.I. Joe character,” corrects Venomous Maximus guitarist/vocalist Gregg Higgins when asked about the band’s unique moniker. Oops…
“It comes from a tattoo that Jerry Collins (aka “Sailor Jerry”) created for Vietnam vets to get tattooed as a badge for those who are not afraid to dive into the unknown,” he explains. “It has nothing to do with venom. It has to do with the planet Venus. But just like everything else that’s a whole other story.”
Venomous Maximus call Houston, Texas home and the heavily inked quartet formed from the tattoo shop Gregg once owned.
He and his band mates: guitarist Christian Larson, bassist Trevi Biles and drummer Bongo have forged a self-described “dark heavy metal” style noted for its massive, sinuous riffs and Gregg’s unique vocals. If you are a fan of Age Of Taurus, Slough Feg or Hour Of 13 then it should not take much for you to dive into Venomous Maximus’ recently released debut full-length, ‘Beg Upon The Light’.
Venomous Maximus are but one of the growing list of artists, and there are sure to be more, contributing to the recent resurgence in traditional sounding heavy metal.
“Yes, I would defiantly put us as part … Read More
Oakland death dealers Scolex seemingly came out of nowhere with their debut EP, ‘Torn From Beyond’, but they’re far from green. In early 2012, past and current members of Ghoul, Population Reduction, Lycus and Worm Ouroboros found themselves drawn together, helpless against the malevolent forces of destruction to which they’d soon swear fealty. “Catchy, lingering riffs and heavy tones are addictive,” bassist Erika Osterhout admits. “Justin [drummer/vocalist] and I were buddies and always talked about jamming together. He and I played together for almost a year before we recorded ‘Torn From Beyond’. We had a couple songs we wanted solos in and asked Danny Coralles from Autopsy and Abscess if he would be interested in doing some shredding on the record. He came in and knocked out some ripping solos for us. It was amazing! After that we tried out a few guitar players until we found Dylan and Yusef and started playing shows.”
Scolex trawl the dankest, dirtiest sewers of classic knuckle-dragging, doomhauling death metal and slap a nice coating of grime and crust overtop the snarling guitars, mangled d-beats and cavernous roars. In keeping with their DIY roots, the whole thing was self-released, though Osterhout’s not opposed to forming … Read More
Horror-obsessed and death metal maven VANESSA NOCERA has been on our radar these past few years, whether it’s been through her death/doom band WOODEN STAKE, trashing death ghouls HOWLING or simply through running the ghastly Razorback Records. Now with a new splatter platter from SKELETAL SPEKTRE on the loose KIM KELLY caught up with her to find out how she has the time for all these nightmares
When I was a tiny tyke, I remember singing along to my dad’s Hank Jr. tapes and pretending to interview Tina Turner with my little Fisher-Price radio. Not the most auspicious of beginnings for a budding metal journo (though do I remember throwing a few hardballs at my imaginary interview subjects) but then again, we weren’t all ripped from the womb clutching a Massacre album. Some of us, however… “I have audio tapes of me at age three singing made-up songs about monsters named ‘Shitbones’,” multi-instrumentalist and hellacious vocalist Vanessa Nocera laughs, thoroughly shutting down my nature versus nurture argument. “I’ve been singing since I was able to talk. According to my parents, I have always had a crazy imagination and I’ve always been vocal. I took inspiration from all kinds of musicians and … Read More
According to their Facebook page, Segregates play “Motörpunk rock ‘n’ roll straight outta Jorvik” and they ain’t wrong! Motörhead worship is an understatement when it comes to this band. These amphetamine-paced punkers are headed by Smell on bass/vocals and Fast Elliot on guitars, who at the end of last year went around Europe in a beaten van, staying in the dingiest hotel rooms money could buy, following Lemmy and Co on AAA passes. Meeting them on their journey when Motörhead rocked up in Wolverhampton it was easy to see they meant business. A homemade copy of their EP was handed over straight away and the drinks began to flow.
Authenticity and honesty is clearly something important to this band; it’s audible in their loose playing style and is carried through to the production of their four-track EP ‘No Regrets’, which we’re informed is an “all analogue” affair. You can almost smell the sweat and puke in their music, it drips from the riffs. Fusing the speed and energy of bands like Discharge with an old-school attitude and rock and roll excess make it a heady mix, and a catchy release.
As if their credentials weren’t solid enough, Smell and Elliot are paid-up … Read More
“I had actually planned an indefinite break from making music, but the idea of forming a band together seemed the right thing to do.” Hey Kzr (also of Deathcult and Witchrist), not only was that right thing to do, it was the best thing to do. Hailing from Switzerland, this duo – HzR on drums and KzR guitars and vocals – met by chance and resulted in the creation of the unholy beast that is Bölzer.
“Bölzer is first and foremost a death metal outfit with the atmospherical aesthetic of black metal and doom metal,” KzT explains. “Atmosphere is very important for us and far supersedes technicality in songwriting. Everything is very primal in Bölzer, something which, for me, denotes strength and sustainability among other things and lies at the very heart of our philosophy.” He further explains that their music isn’t just about the sound; “I believe the visual aspect of a record can be as important as the music itself, given that it can play a huge role in the overall atmosphere of the release and the way in which the listener experiences it.”
Having released a demo, ‘Roman Acupuncture’, in 2012, this year saw the release of ‘Aura’, a … Read More
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