Howling Giant/Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned To Stone: Volume 2 – Masamune & Muramasa

Howling Giant/Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned To Stone: Volume 2 – Masamune & Muramasa
Ripple Music
Running Time: 40.56
Released: 31/07/2020
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good afternoon, my screaming hordes of the undead! It is I, Dark Juan, and I have returned to share the benefit of my syllabification with you all. I apologise for my lack of communication over the past few weeks, but I have been in a dark place for a while. It happens. A lifetime of debauchery, defiling the House of God and his attractive younger followers (old Mrs. Williams from number 48 can just FUCK OFF! I have no interest in her withered dugs…) and generally being Ever-Metal’s resident libertine and sex pest takes a mental toll, and combine this with a job that requires considerable mental fortitude and colossally long hours and my ever more speedy entropic rush towards the grave (yes, for I have now passed the halcyon days of my mid-forties and am now skidding towards the grave. If my mother had crossed her legs I could be two weeks younger!) and a dog who seems determined to kill himself and simultaneously cost me a fucking fortune at the vet (Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar has eaten something that does not even qualify as food YET AGAIN!) I have been compelled to deal with some next level depression and anxiety. It has now been beaten back into its little hole in my mind and the lid slammed and padlocked shut.

As this has happened to me, it makes it even more imperative that you all follow My gospel. Love each other and look after each other. Ask the normally garrulous friend who’s being unnaturally quiet whether they are well. Make sure your people are safe and well. Love without measure. And do it without constraint. Thus spake Dark Juan…

Now all that tedious nonsense is out of the way, I am listening to a very interesting split from Howling Giant and Sergeant Thunderhoof based on the legend of two Japanese swordsmiths, Masamune and Muramasa, who once competed to create the finest sword there has ever been. Now, if you’re me, this is a fucking awesome concept and already this record has my interest simply because I’m a simple twat who is easily distracted. Each song (there is only two on the record) clocks in around the twenty-minute mark. Which tells you immediately you are in for some sprawling, experimental stoner rock.

First up is Howling Giant with ‘Masamune’. This is not the kind of music you expect to emanate from Nashville, Tennessee, where this power trio are from. Instead of old-fashioned rock and roll, you get dirty DIRTY fuzzed out grooves and huge drums. The song, although lengthy, does not drop away from your interest for a second. It is an epic composed of several easily readable parts which flow easily into each other and make for a mightily satisfying whole. The guitar work is solid, if unexceptional, but the sheer majesty of the riffs in every part is absolutely undeniable. The riffs are colossal. Absolutely fucking massive riffs, mate. The vocals are impassioned, clear and the lyrics interesting and easily heard (too much stoner depends solely on the power of the riff and to fuck with everything else) and the bass and drums are more than adequately meaty. I have been seated upon the sofa, sipping upon a glass of absinthe, with my eyes closed and have been transported into galaxy sized cosmic green-tinged soundscapes and it has to be said I have been fucking enthusiastic about it. Howling Giant have written a fucking good song and you should all check them out. My bank account is protesting already.

Next up we have Somerset based British psychedelic bruisers Sergeant Thunderhoof. Rather more experimental (emphasis on the mental) than Howling Giant’s more polished take on stoner/ doom, this bunch of cosmic time travellers have taken the more elemental parts of psychedelia and rock and fused them (in the heart of a red dwarf star) into the kind of metal that’s heavier than a pair of titanium underpants. ‘Muramasa’ is less of a song and more of an event horizon. Absolutely saturated in fuzz and possessing a bass sound that surely has cost the souls of a number of members of the band, this song is a much more single-minded entity than Howling Giant’s. Whereas the Nashville band opt for loud and quiet parts and obvious movements in the song, the Hoof (this is what they are going to be called because I simply cannot be arsed to type Sergeant Thunderhoof every time) go straight for the jugular and their track is one long, long cohesive entity. One long drug fuelled, incredibly heavy experience, underpinned with some truly amazing vocals from Mr. Dan Flitcroft. The drums are also noticeably more prominent than in Howling Giant’s song.

So, here we have a battle royale between Americans and the Brits. Who comes out on top? It’s a riff-off! Howling Giant have the songwriting chops – their song is the more intricately written of the two and has interesting composition on its side, but the mighty Hoof have the galactic heaviness required for this style of music. Vocally, Sergeant Thunderhoof trample all over Howling Giant’s Tom Polzine. Guitar wise – the skills are pretty equal, but the edge goes to the Hoof simply because their sound is so much more massive. As a cohesive piece of work, I’d give it to Howling Giant as their song is the more expansive of the two, willing to go and explore outer ranges of the stars, while the Hoof boys are content to eat a shitload of shrooms and explore innerspace. Both bands employ absolutely majestic riffs that are brutally magnificent and if you’re looking to get into stoner or doom, this is the perfect place to start. A fucking brilliant record, even if I can’t decide whether or not it is an EP or an album because of the forty-minute running time.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System would seriously fail a drug test right now and offers the record as a whole 9/10 for some almost perfect stoner and doom. Howling Giant get 8/10 for their song and Sergeant Thunderhoof 9/10 for theirs. Victory goes to Muramasa!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Howling Giant – Masamune
02. Sergeant Thunderhoof – Muramasa

HOWLING GIANT ARE:
Tom Polzine – Guitar and Vocals
Zach Wheeler – Drums and Vocals
Sebastian Baltes – Bass and Vocals

SERGEANT THUNDERHOOF ARE:
Dan Flitcroft – Vocals
Mark Sayer – Guitar
Jim Camp – Bass
Darren Ashman – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/howlinggiant
www.howlinggiant.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/sergeantthunderhoof
www.sergeantthunderhoof.co.uk/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Virus – Evilution Apocalypse

Virus – Evilution Apocalypse
Combat Records
Release Date: 24/04/2020
Running Time: 55:14
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good afternoon, my shining black children of the night. What sweet music you make… You find me reclining upon my black leather chaise longue, idly sipping Lapsang Suchong tea and racking my poor abused grey matter for words as they are reluctant to come forth and entertain you all. I am not, surprisingly surrounded by nubile young virgins and having my all my whims taken care of today. Instead I have been to buy dog food. Even the Ipssisimus of All Things Groovy must feed the dogs. It is apparently socially unacceptable to feed humans to them anymore. Shame, it would be much fucking cheaper. Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover is as usual quixotically tilting at windmills and shouting at either a) ghosts, b) the distant howls of anguish in my torture chamber (I have it on a timeshare arrangement with a man who shoots the most depraved gay porn on Thursday afternoons. Lovely chap, he’s called Dave, although he is a disturbingly dab hand with a household spatula), c) passers-by or d) absolutely fucking anything (real or otherwise) because he is an absolute tit. I’ll allow you to make the choice as to which point is factually accurate. I have also just had my computer buried under an avalanche of Primaris Space Marines I have yet to build which has been mildly inconvenient.

Anyway, this review has been a long time coming because My Dread Master, Sir Richard of Tilley keeps sending me lots of interesting other stuff tailored to my somewhat esoteric tastes. I can only apologise to Coke and the boys for this but I always get there in the end… We are taking a hard (fnarr fnarr), critical look at the first new Virus album in THIRTY FUCKING YEARS!!! Virus first came to my somewhat misguided and misanthropic attention waaaaaay back in 1989 when I rushed home from Vibes Records in Bury with the Metal Hammer Best Of British Steel double LP clutched in my grubby and teenage hands. Completely ignoring the entreaties of my parents to “Turn that fucking rubbish down!” I played it at maximum volume and a tune called ‘Testify To Me’ came on and I just sat there stunned. It was by Virus and I played it again and again and again because it simply was a thrash metal masterpiece, well up there with the likes of Kreator, Destruction, Sodom and the like as it had that most European thrash sound – the one that lacked the penchant for over-production that American thrash bands seemed to enjoy. Anyway, to cut a long story short, this excited teenage wannabe Team Satan enthusiast excitedly recounted everything he knew about Virus to a pair of extremely uninterested parents including that Coke Finlay (or McFinlay, as he was then!) played the same Charvel guitar I did and that they were from Dundee, Scotland. To which my dear, sweet mother (this is abject creeping because my mother is quite the most formidable person I have ever met – she once got cut up in traffic after a Manchester United game in Trafford and loudly and with absolute sincerity threatened some five thousand Manchester United fans with violence, one at a time or all at once. I should point out she had got out of the car to remonstrate with them at the time) replied, “Tell the noisy Scottish twats to stop making so much noise! Otherwise I will go to Dundee and do…..” At this point I had lost interest in anything she had to say and disappeared back to my sanctum.

Virus, then.  A favourite of my youth. How do they stack up today against the likes of other thrash luminaries releasing new stuff like Sacred Reich? It has to be said that they are still cutting a very visceral thrash figure. Coke appears to have got increasingly angry as he has got older and the music, while by no means the heaviest metal ever recorded, is pissed off to fuck and appears to be composed of barely contained violence. Which is exactly what thrash is meant to sound like. The record reminds me greatly of being fucked off my face on Thunderbird wine at 2am in a park with thrash blasting through my walkman, aged 17 and a half and throwing violently up into the nearest bush. Good times then… Opening tune and title track ‘Evilution Apocalypse’ starts off gently enough with some cracking thrash soloing before the metaphorical door is thrown completely open and ‘The Hand That Feeds You’ comes slamming through it and instantly eviscerates you without so much as a by your leave or a greeting. This is speedy, DIRTY thrash metal and I fucking love it! Track after track is face meltingly good and it’s a solid listening experience. I am not so happy about the production, however, the cymbals are barely audible and the guitars sometimes overpower the songs as they are quite high up in the mix – however this was a characteristic of most Euro thrash way back when so it all just kind of adds to the nostalgia of a youth lost to me… Otherwise, the musicianship is excellent, cutting thrash riffs give way to glorious thrash metal solos and beatdowns. Virus offer us lots of variety and tempos – there is also a very Lawnmower Deth –esque sense of humour at work in the utterly hilarious ‘Defective Detective (The Ballad Of Inspector Gadget)’ which manages to inject a laugh or two into the otherwise utterly serious thrash proceedings. Which can only be a good thing considering that thrash metal has always had that slightly outré sense of humour lurking just beneath the surface and certain thrash bands have always been a little po-faced, especially North American bands like Annihilator. ‘Force Recon’ even offers us some blast beats and some whammy bar work to die for as well as a dual guitar solo that’s simple yet brutal. Fucking hell, I love thrash metal so much. It doesn’t matter that Coke isn’t the world’s greatest singer – thrash vocalists were never that good as it always was a musically driven genre but by god this is a good record. Coke hasn’t lost it and this new incarnation of Virus fucking slays. There’s even a guest solo from one of my heroes, ex-Carcass string slinger Carlo Regadas!

If you’re a fan of classic European thrash, the more punk influenced American thrash like Nuclear Assault or “Natural Order” era Hellbastard, you’ll absolutely adore this record. If you’re new to the genre, you could do a lot worse than obtain this and begin your education forthwith. Speedy, violent, aggressive and powerful and fucking good!

Oh, Coke, remember that my mother wants a word with you.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has just been frantically pogoing around the room and had forgotten briefly that he is now a man of a certain age and will be paying for it in the morning. 9/10 for an almost perfect thrash record. One mark deducted because I couldn’t hear any cymbals.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Evilution Apocalypse
02. The Hand That Feeds You
03. Basement Conversion
04. Goat (Father, Scum and Unholy)
05. Multiple Wargasm
06. Defective Detective (The Ballad Of Inspector Gadget)
07. MBG
08. Force Recon
09. Release The Dead

LINE-UP
Coke Finlay – Vocals, lead guitar
Rob Edwards – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Stewart Grassie – Bass, backing vocals
Liam Hastie – Drums

LINKS:
www.virusthrash.com/
www.facebook.com/virusthrash/
www.instagram.com/virus_thrash

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Protosequence – A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene EP

Protosequence – A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene EP
Lacerated Enemy Records
Release Date: 19/05/20
Running Time: 44:54
Review by Dark Juan
1000/10

It appears that I am unable to stop writing today. Fresh off the words I have shared about Black Vatican, I am now sitting here quietly wondering where the fuck my face has gone after it has just been blown clean off. I’m not ready to face the world gazing out of a naked skull and it will make obtaining new followers somewhat more challenging if I am not able to rely on my suave good charm and devastatingly handsome and desirable looks. I mean, my face was an absolute work of art, enough to render a Botticelli angel meaningless and drab in the background of my shining and beauteous visage. And thanks to Canadian supertech death metallers Protosequence, I don’t have it anymore. The absolute bastards have torn off my face and stamped all over it and left me a bloodied ruin. This, you’ll be surprised to know, is a Very Good Thing indeed.

“A Blunt Description Of Something Obscene” is the latest EP from these Canadian madmen (they didn’t even say please or sorry when they lacerated my face. So much for the vaunted Canadian politeness) and, as is my wont with EP’s, I shall describe it to you track by track… Strap yourselves in.

Opening song ‘Savagery In Fundamental Behaviours’ starts off immediately as the band mean to go on with some ultra complex jazz influenced drumming before the face tearing begins and you are just plastered against the far wall with the supertechnical riffing and drum work even before the deep, guttural and sepulchral vocal from Josh Hahn attacks you as well. I have seldom heard such technical mastery and complex musicianship, yet with the music still remaining accessible and listenable. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

The title track comes next and starts off with some clean singing over gentle guitar work. Don’t be fooled. I was and it cost me limbs as they suddenly activate all weapons and turn the song into a flailing, sharp edged war machine and proceed to bludgeon me into absolute submission. More crushingly heavy complexity is the order of the day here, with an added order of extra speed just because they obviously got bored playing insanely complicated technical music at a mere 140 bpm. Clearly 200bpm is where it’s at for Protosequence. There’s a beautiful bit of drumming in the middle eight where Logan slowly speeds his tempo up flawlessly. I have just flooded the house with sex wee. Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover and Hodgson Biological-Weapon are whimpering piteously as they struggle against the tide to safety on the high ground across the road. Send help. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

Track three is ‘Bleeding The Alienist’ and is just fucking spectacular. The mastery this band have over their instruments defies description, especially drummer Logan Vars, who appears to have been genetically fused with an octopus, as it is impossible for a human with a normal number of limbs to do what he does with a drumkit. Also, his double bass drumming. What’s he using? A fucking pneumatic drill? His playing is physically fucking impossible, butty bach. There is no hope for Elland anymore. Protosequence are causing extinction level amounts of sex wee. Most of the Calder Valley is flooded and the levels are rising. My trousers are a sodden mess. My car has floated away. The Army have been called in. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

There’s only one more song to go and that’s called ‘The Pale’. It is at this point that Protosequence decide they aren’t fucking about anymore and aim for lightspeed. Every single demented, possessed person in the band dials up their already extraordinary talents up to 11 and just fucking kills the listener stone dead with some of the most brutal music I have ever heard. There’s a new calendar after Protosequence caused me to destroy the world with emanations of sex wee in proportions never before encountered. The year is 1AP (After Protosequence) and humanity is clinging perilously to existence. Cities have crumbled, Hodgson, Igor and Sir Zeusington Zeus KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar, Croix De Guerre are all curled around a fire in North Dean Woods, where Mrs. Dark Juan berates me for destroying the world and making it hard to create the felt badger she has been commissioned to make. This song is absolutely fucking brilliant.

So there we have it. A group of egregiously talented Canadian madmen make the music that caused the apocalypse….. Hang on a minute!

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

I think I am going to spontaneously combust. They’ve only gone and fucking put INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS OF EVERY FUCKING SONG ON HERE AS WELL!!!! There’s going to be a fucking cosmic sex wee singularity here in a minute!

Fucking transcendent supertechnical death metal. I AM DONE. I am more spent than Austin fucking Powers. It’s a waste of time any other band releasing any more music ever. Nothing can top this, surely. Protosequence are the band that Necrophagist fans have been dying for.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is now utterly redundant. There is no hope for humanity and none of you can read this because when the sex wee explosion happened you were either all killed or there is no electricity anymore but in the interests of preserving the old ways it awards Protosequence 1000/10. Yes, I know the scoring system is wrong and you can’t get more than 10/10. No, I don’t care. Just buy the fucking record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Savagery in Fundamental Behaviours
02. A Blunt Description of Something Obscene
03. Bleeding the Alienist (ft. Joe McKee)
04. The Pale
05. Savagery in Fundamental Behaviours (Instrumental)
06. A Blunt Description of Something Obscene (Instrumental)
07. Bleeding the Alienist (Instrumental)
08. The Pale (Instrumental)

LINE-UP:
Jacob Teeple – Bass
Josh Hahn – Vocals
Dylan Parker – Guitar/Vocals
Logan Vars – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/protosequence/
www.instagram.com/protosequence/
www.laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/1lFTm0bEh8bX8YfiUS9ACz
www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRvg9SxQT9c6MJu1WLmj5g
www.facebook.com/laceratedenemyrecords/
www.laceratedenemy.bigcartel.com/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Black Vatican – Arcana Lament

Black Vatican – Arcana Lament
Self-Released
Release Date: 18/01/2020
Running Time: 47:01
Review by Dark Juan
7/10

…As I continue to whip the poor wretch in front of me, the bands of pain across my back increase, iron hot and tightening across my shoulders, although the pain I am suffering must be nothing compared to the glistening red stripes of agony across her slim, trembling back. Her blood runs in rivulets down her back and stains her skirts a deep scarlet. Yet, still she does not cry out. This wretch, this WITCH, this doer of evil! Thankfully, the Most Holy Inquisition came across her in the commission of her crimes and all that remains is confession before we pass sentence and she goes to meet her dread maker in the bowels of the most awful hell, far from the eyes of the Lord my God, her saviour and saviour of all mankind. How I love him as I do his august work on this evildoer, this hellion! With renewed vigour from my faith in the Lord I swing my bullwhip and open up another vicious wound upon her soft flesh. The red of open slashes now has flecks of white bone showing through. Rib cage and spine are becoming gradually exposed. My Cardinal motions for me to cease my Holy ministrations upon the person of this servant of the Devil. He places his hand under the chin of the witch and raises her face to gaze into his. He speaks kindly to her.

“My child, repent of your sins and confess them and I promise you a quick and clean death and you can go forth to the forgiveness of the Lord our God and live eternally in Heaven. I beg you to confess and end your pain. Only the cleansed can go to the Lord.”

The witch spits blood flecked defiance straight into his face. Her dark, liquid eyes narrow and flash hatred and she whispers, hoarsely because of injury and pain as she replies, voice choked thick with agony and disgust.

“Never. I never acknowledged your God. Your prayers were never for the likes of me and my kin. You seek only domination and dominion over all. You crave new demesnes. Look at your wealth in the silks you wear, how well fed you are, how your skin is unmarked by pox. Yet you want more. You will not hear me scream even as I burn and I WILL NEVER DO YOUR BIDDING! I follow the Left Hand Path and I am a member of the congregation of the Black Vatican!”

Four hundred and thirty six words just to make a tenuous link to Black Vatican, an American two-piece hailing from Kansas City, whose latest offering I am currently listening to, entitled “Arcana Lament”. And a strange, ill-proportioned beast it is too. An arabesque with unsuited limbs. Beauty and perfection subtly distorted in ways that render you uneasy and afraid. Like an elegant, beautiful hand whose fingers are just that tiniest bit too long and thin, and the nails look rather sharper than normal. Black Vatican have taken Paradise Lost, Rotting Christ, Cradle Of Filth and KMFDM and early Ministry and performed gross, disgusting medical experiments upon them and fused them together in some horrific kind of gothic black metal industrial chimaera. This, as you might imagine, makes for an interesting listening experience as these are all fairly disparate influences at work. The song structures and lyrical content lean very much into the dark gothic wonderland that Dani Filth appears to inhabit but then suddenly a song will go cold and industrial and bleak. It’s surprising how well that sort of segue works even if Black Vatican relies on it a little too heavily. Equally so with the short, sharp, choral single note chants that appear on at least three songs. Still, everyone knows that Dark Juan is a sad old goff and this sort of thing is enough to worry West Yorkshire County Council because of the possibility of sex wee flooding. Again. I have to say I am really enjoying the album despite the fact that Black Vatican appear to have used a fucking Bontempi drum machine with the most appalling cymbal sounds and shitty drum tones ever. It sounds like a fucking toy monkey bashing cymbals together over a fat man hitting an upturned bucket with a drumstick composed of rats with rigor mortis. Painfully obviously sequenced does not even begin to describe how shit the drum machine is. Get an Alesis SR-16, chaps, and do it properly, please.

Vocalist Erik Ramos boasts a broad range of tones, from guttural belly rumbling through to a very engaging Dani Filth-esque howl which is regretfully sparsely employed considering this is what Erik excels at. Production wise, it’s ok – everything is clearly heard although everything can be somewhat smothered by keyboards and drums at times. There is a distinct lack of production finesse, however, and there are some unusual breaks in the arrangement of the music and the record clearly sounds like it has been recorded on a budget of 37p and a packet of fags. The guitar sound used by Cole Roberts varies wildly from Akercocke like lo-fi razorwire single string work through to full bore metal riffing with a sound not unlike the guitars on “Cruelty And The Beast” which fits the kind of cold atmosphere the record projects rather well.

I love anything gothic or industrial and to have something that is both is a real treat for me. Fans of gothic metal might find this a challenging listen because of the industrial sounds BV use – most goth metal is a warm and intimate experience closely in touch with the darker parts of your soul whereas BV operate out on the fringes. They are occupied with the darkness and the cold outside of you. The terror without rather than the horror within. Industrial fans will appreciate the cold and dispassionate feel of the record and might also enjoy the slower numbers. Stand out tracks on the record are ‘Morrigan’s Forest’ and ‘Vampiric Combat’. Special mention for unexpected comedy gold goes to ‘Witch Of Scarborough Fair’ which is a gothic rewrite of the notable Simon and Garfunkel classic. Listen, lads, if gothic doom metal gods My Dying Bride can fuck it up royally (their cover of Scarborough Fair is execrable) then you don’t stand a chance with it! Leave Simon and Garfunkel alone!

In conclusion – I totally get what Black Vatican are trying to achieve and applaud them mightily for it. I feel that they might have a problem by having a foot in the camp of both gothic metal and industrial. A judicious lean in one direction or the other may well pay dividends, because the middle ground they inhabit is a sparsely populated one indeed. Also, for the love of god buy a decent drum machine because the one you’ve got is shite! Niggles aside, I’m a fan and I’d love to see what Black Vatican could achieve with a decent recording budget.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has regrettably only ruined one pair of trousers with a modest amount of sex wee and awards Black Vatican 7/10 for a record that impresses with the scale of its thinking, but is let down by execution.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Loss, Greed and Necromancy
02. The Alchemist
03. The Vistas
04. Witch Of Scarborough Fair
05. Dreams Of Hecate
06. Morrigan’s Forest
07. Vampiric Combat
08. Again, The Vistas Again
09. Reincarnations Of Dreams

LINE-UP:
Erick Ramos – Vocals, Bass
Cole Roberts – Guitars

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/blackvatican6/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4kpB2ccJ7queKwRZfc2qOm
www.instagram.com/vatican.black676/
www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_g8qpFwPhU

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Bull Elephant – Created From Death

Bull Elephant – Created From Death
Eat Lead And Die Music
Release Date: 14/08/2020
Running Time: 40:24
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

“”Bull Elephant” is the story of a slain African elephant that occultist Ahnenerbe SS attempted to bring back from the dead as a new form of battle asset. However, before re-animation could be completed it was intercepted by a mysterious witch-shaman, pursuing her own agenda and redirecting the undead creature’s purpose.

Think of the background concept as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” set to a progressive doom soundtrack where Judeo-Christian mythology is replaced by the even more sinister universe hinted at in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft…. with Nazi assault wolves.”

The somewhat uncommon (and remarkably disturbing) words I have just quoted above come straight from the band’s own PR blurb and the first thing that strikes me is that this band are clearly dangerously deranged and are nearly as batshit insane as your good reviewing buddy and somewhat mental sex offender and Hellpriest, Dark Juan. Remember my review of Esoctrilihum, aeons ago, and how I told you I didn’t think his level of derangement could ever be reached again? How fucking wrong I was. How fucking wrong….

Nazi assault wolves…NAZI ASSAULT WOLVES! The only way that idea could be improved upon is if they were ZOMBIE NAZI ASSAULT WOLVES, but considering there is already a fucking ZOMBIE BULL ELEPHANT murdering Nazis under the command of some kind of really pissed off practitioner of magic in a parallel universe I think zombie Nazi assault wolves might be overegging the pudding… As if it couldn’t be any more fucking insane. Oh, wait. Reading further along, Bull Elephant are an anonymous musical collective based in London, in the UK. So we can’t even take steps to fucking well defend ourselves from these madmen as no one knows who they are or what they look like. Well, that’s just fucking peachy, isn’t it? Somewhere in the capital there are a number of clearly unhinged people with a distant and scant regard for anything even approaching reality and they have been left unsupervised. I am concerned for the safety of the larger public… Thank fuck they found guitars instead of chainsaws, is all I’m going to say…

Anyway, this record, entitled “Created From Death” is the second part of a trilogy concerning the story of said zombie bull elephant, the clearly deranged witch-shaman (I mean who just happens across a bunch of Deutsches Ahnenerbe Schutzstaffel troopers reanimating a dead fucking elephant that they just happened to find lying about?) and her subsequent Nazi -splattering adventures.

Can you tell that I am jealous that I didn’t come up with this story yet?

Let us consider the music on the record – we have some fucking big ass doomy riffing here. And vocalists who are all clearly intent on rendering themselves mute, such is their full throated and committed (in every sense of the word, they fucking should be committed!) delivery. Taking their launch point from a progressive doom baseline, they then cheerfully proceed to break every single rule they can think of by flinging in some classic death metal, old Van Halen riffs and busily attempting to tear new arseholes in every single piece of equipment they possess. The sound of the record is expansive and huge as befits the scale of the batshittery of their concept. I haven’t even started about the Lovecraftian aspect yet and neither am I going to because I get the horrible feeling bull elephant girl is going to slaughter her way through hordes of Hitler’s finest before finding her way to the Great Old Ones and doing unspeakable things with a youthful Nyarlathotep (now there’s a sentence I never ever thought I would have to write)and I don’t want to ruin the story because holy fucking Jesus I want to hear part three so bad it is hurting because I want to see whether this band of merry nutcases are going to bring space aliens and fucking ancient Greeks and chariots made from RSJs and yogurt and pulled by genetic copies of Sleipnir into it somehow… I mean, with a narrative like that opening couple of paragraphs you can’t really go any further over the top, can you?

So, yeah, big, fuck off, tasty slabs of doom riffage underpinned by a bass sound that I imagine will cause spontaneous bowel movement among the audience in a live setting. The drumming is tight and accurate but marred by a fucking awful snare drum sound that sounds like someone has miked up a large bean tin and told the drummer to hit it with an oscillating piece of metal. It is a distraction from the fine sludginess of the music and vocal styles that run the gamut from gravel piped rock superstar to man who is making noises with the very pit of his stomach and regurgitating last night’s egg and chips. It is a varied listen too – the doom majesty occasionally gives way to almost black metal speed, full on rock and roll, death metal and encompasses most genres along the way. Frequently in the same song. This entire record is so magnificently deranged I can’t help but love it, even though there’s rough edges that need smoothing off in the mix and the guitar sound, which can be a bit scratchy in parts. The bowel-tremblingly intense bass sound is right on point though.

Again, as with previous releases like the equally knee-trembingly fucked in the head Bofo Kwo, this is a concept record and each song tells a linear story so I can’t really pick out a song that stands out as they are all part of a (barely) coherent whole. All you need to know is that I fucking LOVE Bull Elephant and their batshit craziness, and so should you. Oh, hang on, that is a gig of DREAMS, baby! Esoctrilihum, Bofo Kwo, Bull Elephant and P.H.O.B.O.S on the same bill. That would be fucking spectacular…

Get this, and witness the birth of something glorious and magnificent. And I don’t mean my erection. I command thee. Quickly. There’s sex wee everywhere. Again. No one will insure the house or my car and the residents of Elland have fashioned a noose for me and put it in a tree across the road as Bull Elephant have caused me to flood the town again.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is in a priapic state of indiscretion right now. It awards Bull Elephant 9/10 for a crushingly entertaining record.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Created From Death
02. Onieromantic Rites
03. Lebensraum
04. Cult Of The Black Sun Nemesis
05. Last Defilement
06. Perverted Science
07. Escape To The Arctic
08.Wayfarer

LINE-UP
They do not want you to know who they are. All that they want you to know is that they are clearly a danger to society.

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/bullelephant
www.instagram.com/bullelephantmetal/ 
www.twitter.com/bullelephant2
www.bullelephant.bandcamp.com/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Static-X – Project: Regeneration Vol.1

Static-X – Project: Regeneration Vol.1
Otsego Entertainment Group
Release Date: 10/07/2020
Running time: 40:36
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hiya, you dark and seething proud beauties! I am Dark Juan and I am here to use this very powerful electric cattle prod to force you all onto the path of righteousness. What was that, Miss O’ Brien? The cattle prod? No, won’t hurt a bit. What? The Geneva Convention? What about it? No, Miss O’ Brien, it doesn’t count because we are not at war. Now, get in line or so help me, Satan, your arse is going to smell like a Burger King kitchen when I use this prod on it at some length. I’ll even supply my own special sauce…

Do forgive me, my most loyal and tolerant readership. I had recalcitrant neophytes to deal with. I doubt Miss O’ Brien will be troubling me again soon.

We are here for a most somber occasion. It is to review the last works of Wayne Static before his untimely death, which robbed me of one of my favourite vocalists. This record (“Project: Regeneration Vol.1”) features the last vocals recorded by Wayne and new music that was in production at the time of his death. Laudably, the rest of the original Static-X line-up (Tony Campos – Bass, Koichi Fukuda – Guitar and Ken Jay – Drums) spoke to Wayne Static’s family and were given their blessing to create and release this album in honour of him. Now, Static-X always had an utterly unmistakable sound and whether you’re a purist or you’re open to new (s)experiences, you’ll instantly recognise the music. It is a staccato, industrial tinged, danceable melange of pop hooks and crushing metal with added electronic flavours. It is a highly polished stiletto shaped attack vessel painted in the shiniest reds and blacks letting loose with directed energy weapons. It kills but it kills cleanly, cauterising hideous wounds instantly with directed laser beams. The guitars are sharper than a diamond edged sawblade, flaying skin and flesh from bones with surgical precision and Tony Campos’ bass is a particular point of note (on previous releases the bass tended to be suppressed in favour of more sexy guitar based stuff) as it sounds just like the ominous rumbling just before that mountain side over there comes crashing down in a glorious welter of destruction. This immediately adds a new level of heaviness to the familiar glacial, crystal clear sound that Static-X normally employ. The record sounds exactly as you would think it might – A heady mix of “Wisconsin Death Trip” era howling and spitting and the later, more considered sonic fury of “Cannibal” and “Shadow Zone”, where Wayne got to spread his vocal wings and actually proved he was a very good singer instead of just an extraordinarily coiffed howler.

A nice touch on the record is on the intro track “Regeneration” where the famous “Yeah, it was very stupid” sample that started “Push It” (the band’s first single) creeps in. Honestly, I nearly cried (Lies and slander! I have no emotions and to say otherwise is patently libellous!) I have loved Static-X ever since they first broke through and their technology-fuelled metal spoke to me in a big way and satisfied a need that was gnawing at me at the time, the need for originality. Metal was a fairly stagnant place back in the nineties (nu-metal and rap crossover were the common flavours of the month back then) and Static-X didn’t just break the mould, they booby trapped it with a metric fuckton of gelignite and rode the resulting blast wave of destruction to ever greater heights. Everything that was great about Static-X has been distilled into this album – the metronomic and complicated drum patterns, the extremely highly produced and distinctive guitar tone and the unusual vocal patterns of the verses and choruses with added thunderous bass and much more electronics then previous releases. You know what I’m like for electronics… Static-X always sounded arctic and cold and this is not the case for this album. This is warm and almost intimate compared to other releases. I wonder whether this was a deliberate choice, reminding us that we have lost a friend…

Standout songs? Ah, fuck it, the entire record is fucking brilliant. It is literally everything I loved about Static-X. It’s big, it’s bombastic, it’s shockingly danceable. It’s metal. It’s electronic. It’s evil disco! It’s strobe lights and Gatling guns and tracer bullets and mirror balls and laser beams. It’s glittering and lethal and beautiful and unique and special and Static-X will always remain one of my favourite bands. Every song is a perfect Static-X song, from the out and out rapid fire insanity of ‘Otsego Placebo’ and ‘Terminator Oscillator’ through to album closer and the nearest Static-X will ever get to a ballad, ‘Dead Souls’ with Wayne dialling back his usual rabid delivery in favour of an almost croon (don’t worry, the man still sounds like he is being tortured with anguish and uncontrollable rage.) It is also produced by the man that understood the band best, Mr. Ulrich Wild – the man responsible for the antiseptic sound Static-X primarily employed on “Wisconsin Death Trip”.

I can’t help thinking the brevity of this review is not doing the record justice. It’s an absolute fucking killer 3am blast down the motorway record. It’s an ultra-polished, original sounding heavy metal record from a true band of innovators. Without Static-X there would be no King Satan and that would be a very bad thing indeed. It’s machine music for organic lifeforms and it twists genres and metal itself into such interesting new shapes I can’t help but have my breath taken away by it. Even if I wasn’t already a fan, this record would have turned me into a squealing fangirl instantly. The guitar riffs are things of deconstructed perfection. Yes, metal purists will whinge their fucking studded leather panties off that it is “not metal” but which motherfucker set them up to be the arbiters of taste and judgement? I AND MY FELLOW REVIEWERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE THE ARBITERS OF TASTE AND JUDGEMENT! They are still listening to fucking Accept records from 1986 and not seeing the irony in slightly homoerotic lyrics such as “Surprise attack, coming from the back…” and refuse to accept that metal is a diverse and exciting genre encompassing all kinds of sounds and influences – Christ, Static-X list everything from Mortician to The Crystal Method and the Sisters Of Mercy as influences and a style of music that evolves has to be better than one stuck in the 1980’s, in a corner of a bar, beer belly straining over the skinny jeans and biker boots it is still wearing, and the same Motorhead Bomber t shirt, lamenting how metal stopped when Metallica released the Black album. Give me cyber metal like Static-X any day over the tired rehashing of the same songs again and again. Metal has grown into so many different new things. Give Static-X a go if you haven’t before. It’s heavy and it’s violent and oppressive but it is also shiny and fresh and exciting. Kinda like the first time you discover you’re incredibly submissive and you need a Dom/ Domme…

Static-X – music to have disturbingly kinky and violent sadomasochistic sex to involving shiny black PVC and lots of oils and unguents. It is the perfect soundtrack and I am quite sure Wayne would approve!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has listened to this album so many times he will be singing it when he’s dead. Static-X are awarded an untouchable 10/10. Absolutely flooding the local area with sex wee ready for Vol. 2. RIP Wayne. You were taken from us too soon.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Regeneration
02. Hollow
03. Worth Dyin For
04. Terminator Oscillator
05. All These Years
06. Accelerate
07.Bring You Down
08. My Destruction
09. Something Of My Own
10. Otsego Placebo
11. Follow
12. Dead Souls

LINE-UP
Wayne Static – Vocals
Tony Campos – Bass
Koichi Fukuda – Guitar
Ken Jay – Drums

LINKS:
www.static-x.org
www.facebook.com/staticx/
www.twitter.com/OfficialStaticX
www.instagram.com/staticxofficial/

Photo by Jeremy Saffer

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s With ‘Dark Juan’ (You Poor Things)

EMQ’s With ‘Dark Juan’ (You Poor Things)

What is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

I am the mighty, puissant and devilishly good looking Dark Juan, and I am a libertine, Hellpriest and sometime senior wrangler of young gentlemen who are recalcitrant, frequently use the coarsest Anglo-Saxon language and appear to be a lovable, yet rough around the edges bunch of miscreants. I do that because of my gentlemanly ways. I teach these young gentlemen the ways and means of gentIemanly conduct, which wines to choose with which meal et cetera (the 1922 Chateau Yquem is a particular favourite) and how to conduct themselves in a becoming and winsome manner so they will be eligible bachelors. I also used to play the guitar very poorly indeed in a Welsh band called Doomcrow. Being an utterly shite guitarist led me to try to write spectacular pieces of short fiction, masquerading as record reviews. These have proved to be disturbingly successful, proving that it’s not just me that’s mad.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I was born in Chacarita, Argentina in 1779 – it was over a century before the first wax cylinder phonographs appeared but I do remember being quite captivated by The Ride Of The Valkyries by that most metal stalwart, Richard Wagner. Having not been back to my homeland in two hundred years, I couldn’t tell you what the extreme music scene is like. I imagine there will be a lot of pro- Islas Malvinas punk. Argentinians never let a grudge die easily. As you know, having been subject to many a rant of mine when I have been describing the needlessly violent and endlessly baroque revenges I plan to perpetrate on people. Where I currently reside in West Yorkshire, however, I am in doom metal central and have the pleasure of living near various members of Doom, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Extreme Noise Terror, Gods Of Hellfire, Chorus Of Ruin and others.

What is your favourite latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

So far it is “Verminous” by The Black Dahlia Murder. A splendid record. Perfect for dinner parties, sophisticated soirees or the filthiest of quickies in your mother’s bathroom. But not with your mother. That would be icky. I mean if it were ME with your mother, that might be OK. But you with your mother? ICKY ICKY ICKY.

Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?

In music I have always been drawn to performance as art, preferably masked – Kiss and Mushroomhead were big influences, obviously the (re)birth of Dark Juan when in Doomcrow, and latterly Papa Emeritus in Ghost. I like concepts and I like it when things are over the top. I love Rammstein-esque vast explosions and huge robots crawling around a Rob Zombie stage. One of my main musical influences will always be The Berzerker. He’s as mad as I am. And every bit of him spits fury and vitriolic hatred of everything and everybody. I want to be him so much it hurts.

In life, I am driven by an unrelenting hatred of mainstream religion. I despise the idea of a beneficent and munificent God providing me with intelligence and then having a man in a strange hat and a sillier dress ordering me to forgo its use.  Even though I’m Team Satan through and through, I don’t even like him very much and when I get to hell I’m going to kick his bollocks up into his throat and rip his nipples off, because no made up being from a storybook is going to dictate to Dark Juan. I’ll nut the smugger into oblivion first. Even though I wear the collar of a priest, it is to subvert the message of the Christian Church to my Gospel. I command all of thee to love. That’s my Gospel. If nubile young ladies would like to love me first before anyone else, that’d be great. Form an orderly queue to the left.

What first got you into music?

By the time I had passed into the modern era (Victorian England was so dull, all those New Puritans denying any form of pleasure. Thankfully, there were opium dens and I happily spent 20 years of dissolution in the less salubrious clubs of the capital. There were also ladies of considerably less virtue than the population above stairs, let me tell you…) rock and roll had impinged itself upon my consciousness. I heard the music of Presley, Little Richard etc and it left me cold. Then came The Beatles. A more overrated bunch of floppy haired dandies there has never been. Poor songwriters and “blessed” with a drummer (who was much more suited to narrating Thomas the fucking Tank Engine than tub thumping) that wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles, they moistened the gussets of many a teenage girl. Mainly the teenage girls just gave me a headache from all the screaming. The first single I ever bought, however, was Camouflage by Stan Ridgway. This was the story of a ghostly Marine saving the life of a young grunt in Vietnam. It was an execrable record. The first record that I bought that led me to the righteous path of metal (and goth, my love of which has evolved side by side with my love of metal) was Grimly Fiendish by The Damned. Then I swapped my vinyl copy of a Pet Shop Boys Best Of compilation for Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of A Seventh Son. My soul was lost from the second Brucie crooned “Seven deadly sins, seven ways to win….”

Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?

I would like to see industrial powerhouses Godflesh team up with French nutjobs P.H.O.B.O.S.  A World Lit Only By Fire and Phlogiston Catharsis are two of my favourite industrial records and they would make a fucking hell of a racket if they joined forces. I’d also enjoy The Berzerker (that guy again) team up with the more black metal tinged, but considerably more unhinged Escotrilihum. Holy fuck. They would just make a noise like a never ending buzz like the buzzer on UVB-76. Throw Anaal Nathrakh in with them too and I think we would have just made the sonic equivalent of a) a colossal and world threatening nuclear detonation or b) a one hour long, continuous, powerful and unrelenting orgasm.

If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I am famously misanthropic and socially awkward. Immortality is difficult to manage when you are constantly having to learn new trends and fashions. Thank god for metal, as combat trousers, t shirts and leather are timeless. As are my priestly vestments. The best festival for me would be one where my retinue and I could be seated, surrounded by delicious viands and sumptuous beverages, away from the piss soaked riff raff and can hear the music without all the tedious standing in massive groups, desperately needing the lavatory and paying £47,000,000 for a cone of chips that look like they were cooked in the grease of a man’s dodgy wig and a beverage that could loosely be described as beer by the simple expedient of it being pale yellow and fizzy.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

At the moment it is a thirty minute recording of me being a dreadful fangirl over Trevor Strnad. Before that it was my Uncle Brian. He is BJ Cole, a splendid pedal steel guitarist who has played on Elton John records and with everyone from Bjork to Richard Ashcroft. He also was in Cochise in the late 60s/ early 70s. I also have an extremely rare and unreleased alternative mix of Hellbastard’s Natural Order album given to me by Scruff of Hellbastard, after we had been communicating for a few months and I hadn’t realised who he was, and then went totally Hello Kitty at him when I had a moment of revelation about his identity. He’s a good lad, is Scruff.

If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?

Don’t believe a fucking word that comes out of my mouth. Especially when it’s about me. Although I will say that the more outlandish tales are the ones that are more likely to have happened. But do trust my record reviews, for they are finely crafted pieces of writing, packed with useful information and the scores at least are honest. The various stories of church burnings, my dogs, Mrs. Dark Juan and my other adventures may or may not be true. It depends on my whim. And whether or not GCHQ are watching.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Without question it would be Ronnie James Dio. That voice, man. That voice. And the Lord My God Lemmy. Music just is not the same without the enfant terrible that is Lemmy wryly giggling in the background. Yes, I know that’s two. No, I don’t care and I’m going to be upset with you, Mr. Tilley, if you dare edit this bit…

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’d make it so bands make a decent living from their talent. I’d do it with all art. Art and especially music has been destroyed by unscrupulous record companies and managers who have left musicians with an almost unsustainable business model whereupon they have to tour virtually constantly in the hope of making enough money to survive. Some bands rely on day jobs. I do not like the rapaciousness of capitalism. I am a Socialist Hellpriest and I pledge myself to the cause of making music pay fairer.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Does it have to be just one? “The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh” by Cradle Of Filth. I was utterly blown away by it when I first heard it. I’m still blown away when I hear it. It was so avant-garde…

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I like CDs. I like the clarity of sound and I like having physical records to hold.

What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?

This is easy – Anthrax and Public Enemy in 1992. When two cultures collided and it was all a bit dodgy at first, but by the end of the night there was leather and spike clad thrash kids dancing like madmen with hip hoppers and b-boys. And Anthrax were fucking brilliant and then Public Enemy came on and were even more fucking brilliant and then everyone ended up on stage to do Bring Tha Noize together and the fucking roof came off the Manchester Apollo that night! I think Wolfsbane were the opener that night and bless ‘em they tried but they were on to the world’s biggest loser…

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?

I refute the word of God, defile holy buildings irrespective of faith and piss upon a fragment of the True Cross I have in my possession. I do my real job of wrangling young gentlemen, write more outlandish shit than I do for this website in story form and currently have a half-finished model of a Potez 540 WWII medium bomber next to me. I love Mr. Hobby aluminium paint.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I wouldn’t. They would eat all of my food. For conversational purposes I should invite Mr. Henry Rollins, Mr. Stephen Fry and Mr. Akala as they are all erudite and intelligent gentlemen just like me. For a more feminine perspective I think the delectable Gemma Arterton and Madeleine Seydoux. They could say whatever the fuck they liked and I’d just nod and smile and carry on dumping GHB into their Chateauneuf Du Pape.

But seeing as that particular dinner party isn’t ever going to happen, an evening in the company of the Ever-Metal team will be more than adequate. At least then I can be naked and no-one is going to say a damned thing to stop me. Some of the Ever-Metal team had best watch their drinks for GHB. In fact ALL of the Ever-Metal team had best watch their drinks for GHB. I’m nothing if not inclusive.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They are the work of Shaitan unless they are cherry flavoured.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I am a supporter of LGBTQ+ people, anti-racist and virulently anti-fascist. Doesn’t mean I won’t make shitty jokes about them. But I’m saying this because, all joking aside, Dark Juan is all about love. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarised and unsettlingly grim, friends and people who care are going to become an increasingly scarce resource. Love each other and love each other hard. Make the effort to reach out to the quiet, the young, the timid and the antisocial. You might be the difference in their lives that changes them from inward focused and depressed to the confident person they always were. I don’t care whether you’re drunk, black, a trans person, gay, straight, poly or anything. I don’t care about colour or creed or religion. You have a friend in Dark Juan.

YOU PEOPLE ARE HEAVY METAL. YOU ARE THE BIG, FRIENDLY, DRUNKEN FAMILY WHO HAVE COALESCED AROUND THESE LONG HAIRED HERBERTS IN TIGHT PANTS PLAYING GUITARS TOO LOUD. LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER! The music couldn’t happen without you. You couldn’t be who you wanted to be without the music. I love you all.

Nos da.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Bofo Kwo – Space/ Time Carnivorium

Bofo Kwo – Space/ Time Carnivorium
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 30/06/2020
Running Time: 44:36
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good evening, my good brethren and sorority of the Church of The Poisoned Mind. I trust I find you all well, hale and hearty, or are you dying gracefully on your silken chaise-longues after a weekend of drug fuelled wanton debauchery? I myself have been sharpening my wits on the skulls of hapless former victims and putting ignorance about our Lord and Master, The One Who Walks Backwards, to the sword. Normally with a foul snicker, a gallon of aviation fuel and a match. There are some right ignorant bastards out there, boys and girls. It is your duty to educate these motherfuckers and sharp sticks just ain’t gonna cut it. You’re going to need to go full on Highlander on these arseholes and use claymores. You don’t cut with a claymore, you hew. Like Conan the barbarian did – “Sweat dripping from his bulging sinews and from beneath his square-cut mane of black, shoulder length hair, Conan hefted his impossibly large two-handed broadsword (fnarr fnarr), roared a challenge to his heinous foe before plunging his extraordinary blade to the hilt (fnarr FNARR!) into the soft groin of his enemy. Tearing upwards with a sobbing gasp (what the FUCK was it about Robert E. Howard and his obsession with Conan’s weapon and what he was doing with it?), a welter of entrails and blood coated his hands and the vile beast shuddered its last, to fall stone dead by his sandaled feet.”

Quality writing, that. I’m sure you were just as entertained and edified as I was by that little pastiche. As usual there is a point to the madness. What? What do you mean you don’t believe me? You absolute SHOWER!!! ANYWAY, to drag you all back to the point of all this, I am listening to a magnificently barmy Finnish band called Bofo Kwo, and the record is entitled ”Space/ Time Carnivorium”. This is a concept album by some Finnish mentalists from Helsinki, detailing the journey of three cannibals (Bofo Kwo, Bomari and Wamufo) among the stars and their adventures as they leave trails of devastation, murder, and probably a lot of half eaten meals behind them, before graduating to eating alien flesh (hope they had a sophisticated lab setup to test for pathogens – imagine contracting some mental new form of alien hepatitis) and then performing a last human sacrifice before hoping to attain the power of immortality via mystic teachings of the ancients and becoming the Golden God. Oh, and they appear to arbitrarily start a war against Rex Talpas, The Rodent King, because fuck you, Rex, your people are fucking delicious with a barbeque glaze and a nice Caesar salad. This is spectacularly insane stuff, not out of place on an Esoctrilihum album, and that worthy Frenchman is seriously fucked in the head… Bofo Kwo aren’t quite as demented as Esoctrilihum but they are close. I should tell you about the main characters in the band as each band member plays one and then we have this strange kind of meta-black death metal hybrid where the members of the band perform as the characters while playing the music – it’s not like Coheed and Cambria where the story was told from the point view of a narrator in Claudio Sanchez. We have Bofo Kwo , The Cannibal King and his associates. They are Wamufo and Bomari, albino twins, one male and one female and they follow/ are dragged along in the wake of Bofo Kwo and his abundantly clear cannibalistic psychopathy.

So, a cut above the usual Satanic bollocks that BM bands normally spew out then. I imagine Bofo Kwo listened to Emperor’s “Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise” and thought that they could come up with a more insane concept after drinking a shitload of something potent. While the musicianship is by no means close to Emperor’s lofty standards, this is a mighty fine blackened death/ deathened black metal record. It’s rather less frenetic than traditional black metal, but this to your advantage as there are many little things and other genres of music that creep around the edge of your cognition. There’s little touches of industrial music, or goregrind and my personal favourite – Bofo Kwo have rediscovered power electronics. Don’t panic, metal purists, they are kept strictly as mood enhancers, although I’d personally like to hear Bofo Kwo take BM in a whole violent, new direction and meld power electronics with black metal and see what kind of carnage that bastard chimera could wreak among an unsuspecting populace…

In the spirit of this being a concept album, it is going to be impossible to choose a favourite song as it has to be listened to in sequence in order for you to follow the story effectively. The songs do stand out as individual entities though – I particularly enjoyed ‘Green Leviathan’ as a stand-alone song. But then the lyrics reference previous songs and you need to go back to understand it fully. It’s not so much a listening experience, as much as a get horrifically fucking stoned, buy some expensive headphones and sink into your mind’s eye while you get bludgeoned to death by chronically insane Finnish people experience. It is a bleak musical picture that Bofo Kwo paint. The music is cold, barren and steely and the performances excellent. Main vocalist Ted (playing Bofo Kwo himself) alternately roars and howls and shrieks in an entertainingly deranged fashion that fully meets with Dark Juan’s approval. The music is intricate and interesting and the mix passable. It’s difficult to hear cymbals and the producer appears to have not been able to make his mind up about whether he wanted to embrace the purity of the traditional lo-fi black metal sound (guitars sounding like they have been recorded in a Norwegian forest in a gale force wind by a microphone that has been fashioned from razorwire, sputum and polystyrene cement. From a submarine off the Swedish coast) to the warmer, thicker aesthetic of death metal and dare I say it, grunge (guitar and bass sounding like they have been recorded on equipment created entirely out of meat. In a slaughterhouse. In the unrefrigerated bit) and this leads to a sometimes confusing sound. However, the bass is enough to eviscerate you cleanly at twenty five yards, and the riffs are just simple and effective killing machines without embellishment.

And I think that’s where my main problem with Bofo Kwo lies. They should have gone BIGGER. With the overarching tale underpinning the songs and the aesthetic, I think Bofo Kwo have been too reserved with the music. They should have thrown the entire fucking kitchen at it. You’re telling a story about intergalactic cannibals – you simply can’t go too big. It’s not fundamentally possible. Anyway, I’m being churlish. This is that rare thing, a record that is interesting simply because of how many norms it breaks. It is musically adventurous, not afraid to delve deep for influences that might escape you on the first listen, and let’s face it, Dark Juan is a fucking sucker for concept albums. I love them. There are many things you will miss during the initial listen of this record and by jiminy it rewards repeated attempts at it. Just to hear Whitehouse-esque power electronics. Add to this that Bofo Kwo are doing this on their DEBUT album, and you have to conclude that once the rough edges are knocked off, this bunch of maniacal cannibal holocaust Finnish mad bastards are going to do great things. I think I am in love.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System(Patentoitu tumman Juanin verihiutausluokitusjärjestelmä – fuck it, close enough!) awards Bofo Kwo a splendidly bonkers 9/10 for a record that is a gnat’s wing away from greatness.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Plate Of Hate
02. Second Sun
03. Epic
04. New Destination
05. Green Leviathan
06. Bullets of Despair
07. The Massacre

LINE-UP:
Ted Egger (Bofo Kwo) – Vocals
Janne Winther (Bomari) – Backing Vocals
Kimmo Lindholm (Wamufo) – Lead Guitar
Elmo Winther (Lord Elmonioz) – Backing Vocals

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/BofoKwo/
www.bofokwo.bandcamp.com/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Basement Torture Killings – Lessons In Murder

Basement Torture Killings – Lessons In Murder
Bizarre Leprous Productions
Release Date: 22/05/2020
Running Time: 33.45
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Ah, the sheer joy of murder. That release you get when the first jet of arterial blood sprays your face and then the completion you feel when you watch the light and the terror fade from the eyes of your victim, mainly because they have refused to be turned on to the Left Hand Path and away from their False Prophet and his strange dad in the clouds. The One Who Walks Backwards requires nothing more but adulation and the occasional blood sacrifice, which isn’t too much to ask, is it? Children are a burden anyway. Turn towards where all the cool kids are going and embrace Shaitan and piss off all manner of upstanding, elderly Christian neighbours! If you do it with the prodigious power of Basement Torture Killings played at a similar volume to a Saturn V rocket lifting off then it will be entirely to your credit when you take a trip downstairs and the Horny Old One is assigning you your own personal Hell. Which in my case would be no virgins, No alcohol, endless boy bands and K-Pop (and FUCKING BABYMETAL! WHO THE FUCK THINKS BABYMETAL ARE A GOOD IDEA UNLESS YOU HAVE STRANGE AND DISGUSTING IDEAS ABOUT TINY, PSEUDO TEENAGE JAPANESE GIRLS?!? Oh, wait…) and meat dishes all about the place. Delicious, aromatic viands that I can’t eat because animal flesh does not pass my lips.

Basement Torture Killings (for the rest of this review will be being referred to as BTK because I am fucking lazy. Just realised they share the same initials as good old neighbourhood stalwart and dedicated family man Dennis Rader) hail from that bastion of good taste, manners and politeness known as the UK and already I am a fan simply because of Beryl. Now there’s a lass after my own depraved black heart if there ever was one. An acid growling lady who’s just my type – deranged, homicidal and covered in gore up to the armpits. In fact, so far I love the lot of the demented fuckers – Tarquin is an accomplished death metal guitarist and appears to have three arms, such is the speed of his playing. Dr. Krause clearly has time on his hands after exploratory surgery to hit the bass like a man possessed and The Faceless Killer is clearly an insane mutant with many more limbs than are required for a normal life. All are absolutely batshit crazy and Dark Juan desperately wants them to be his new best friends as we all share similar interests…

The music on this record is classic splattercore, a la Autopsy and early Carcass, complete with the warped sense of humour that runs through every Carcass release. It’s also nearly as brutal as The Berzerker. I said nearly. Nothing can touch the brutality of The Berzerker’s debut record. However, just the thought of a BTK and The Berzerker tour has given me butterflies in my tummy and sent a tumescent explosion of sex wee clear out of the window of Dark Juan Terrace, much to the chagrin of my neighbour Leon and his dog, Shadow. Shadow seems less concerned than Leon. Call the underwear ambulance, Dark Juan has utterly fucked another pair of pants.

Now, you are all no doubt aware that I like a bit of death metal and splattercore because I incessantly bang on about how amazing Carcass are and BTK are most worthy contenders for the throne. Lessons In Murder is a fucking terrific classic DM record. It ticks all the boxes and I even like the slightly ropey production because it lends itself better to the music than the Morrisound clone jobs that most DM bands use. My only real complaints are that the cymbals are too high in the mix and the bass is extremely quiet. I love Beryl’s vocal style, although she is more proficient at the more highly pitched Jeff Walker-esque phrases, but she is a very good DM vocalist and the lyrics are dark as fuck too. We have murder, rape, torture, snuff and all other kinds of things that make me want to show the Christian virgins of the parish just what damnation feels like. The guitar phrasing of a number of the songs are very Cannibal Corpse like but it all still sounds fresh as fuck because it is played with passion, and dare I even say that there are a couple of bits where melody creeps in and adds a whole new dimension to the horror. Otherwise, the use of more crunchy guitar tones than usual for the genre lean the whole aesthetic more towards Carcass than the American classic DM bands like Morbid Angel and Death.

The songs are all short, sharp and utterly lethal blasts. If you want something to drive down a late-night road to, don’t listen to BTK. You’ll be picking up the most unfortunate whores at truck stops and butchering them to the point of not being recognised as a human being. Not good when you are delivering a load of bathroom ceramics to Motherwell. The whole record clocks in at a speedy 33 minutes long and this is a Very Good Thing because death metal should always be the aural equivalent of several sharp and fast stabs to the gut with a serrated knife. Each song starts with a small vignette from serial killer interviews or from educational films about murder before proceeding to remove your face, trample it into the dirt and then stamp on the raw flesh left attached to your skull with fucking big ass hobnailed combat boots. This is death metal with the pretension fucked right off. BTK exist for one reason, and that’s to kill each and every last motherfucker in the room with them, which will harm merchandise sales, but if it makes Beryl happy then I’m down with it.

I can’t pick a standout song because I have been transported back to my happy teenage days of discovering new levels of brutal music and how it made me feel happy when I was dreaming of eviscerating innocent religious folk on their own altars. Basement Torture Killings remind me of why metal is great – the simple happiness of listening to people just like you playing their hearts out and just living it, you know? Every song is crisp and razor sharp and deadly in the extreme. There should be warning signs around it and an exclusion zone. It’s infectious, heavier than a pair of plutonium underpants, faster than an airline asking for a bailout and so much fun it hurts my poor, blackened heart. I love BTK. I really do. A future classic death metal/ grindcore record.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has had to temporarily change from Blood Splats to Blood Gallons as splats just don’t seem to cut it right now. It also recommends this record to your attention if you are one of the young, new neophytes to the Protectorate Of The Faith because by God it will have your parents worrying about you and just what you get up to in the churchyard at night, you filthy little perverts. 10/10 for the most fun I have had with my clothes on in ages. Now to get Beryl out of hers…. Be seeing you!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Armchair Psycho Or Pure Predator (A literal description of the fans of BTK.)
02. The Three Step Hit Formula (I did a four-step once. That was at the Grand Hotel in Llandudno before it set on fire. I fainted dead away. Then my appendix exploded, and I had to have it out in Gwynedd Hospital. It’s a salutary experience waking up in a foreign country’s hospital with Pobol Y Cwm on the TV and a small, wiry and clearly homosexual nurse with a gold tooth called Dafydd asking whether you are OK… Er, yeah, what the fuck’s going on?)
03. DIY Store Murder Kit
04. Exercising Your Dominance (Dark Juan has no trouble with this.)
05. Erotophonophilia (Lust Murder) (Sexual arousal or gratification contingent on the death of a human being, fact fans! Otherwise known as a normal Saturday night around Halifax. Especially around the back of The Acca…)
06. Public Displays of Aggression (Generally giro day in Aldi when there are only two bottles of white cider left.)
07. Psychoflage
08. Resolving The Body Problem (Just don’t call Dyno-Rod.)
09. The Pen Is Mightier Than Another Splayed Corpse (It is not mightier than the sword, otherwise I’d be spending the rest of my days in chokey.)
10. Objectification (Something Dark Juan DOES NOT do…. No, fuck off. I don’t.)
11. The League Of Extraordinary Killers (I SOOOOOOO hope this is a thing and they are taking applications for membership. People are always on at me to extend my circle of friends.)

LINE-UP:
Beryl – Horrific Goratory Of Perverse Verse
Tarquin – Hideous Sermon & Manipulator Of Ripped Sinews
Dr. Krause – Low End Bowel Rupture
The Faceless Killer – Beater Of Human Skins

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/Basementtorturekillings/
www.basementtorturekillings.bandcamp.com/
www.instagram.com/btksnuffgrind/
www.youtube.com/user/BTKMurderTV

www.facebook.com/BizarreLeprousProductionCz/
www.bizarreleprous.bandcamp.com/music

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines EP

Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running Time: 19.43
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hello again, ladies and germs. I appear to be compulsively communicating with you this evening. I can’t stop listening to metal and spewing words out. It’s not like I have even had any Bolivian marching powder today. Unless they have shoved a metric fuckton into this bottle of Sol beer I am drinking. It’s been a testing day at Dark Juan Terrace and I still haven’t made it to the supermarket for the weekly shop. Yes, even hellpriests need to do the weekly shop. I go through a fearsome quantity of oils and unguents – they are so much better for conducting the electricity, you see. You can’t go around torturing nubile young things without lubrication and blood is a shockingly bad lubricant… not to mention it doesn’t smell as nice as moonflower and ylang ylang…

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be writing about records. This time it is a five track EP from the estimable Sertraline, progressive technical metallers from the grim streets of Stoke On Trent. Don’t mock them. Someone has to live there. More than one of the populace of Etruria has claimed to this hellpriest that the best thing about Stoke is the A500 out of it towards either Nantwich or Stafford, depending on whether you run North or South. It does have its advantages though. There are many convenient service stations on your way to Alton Towers through it…

So, “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines” is the EP I am currently enjoying. I’m going to do this review a little differently than normal and do it song by song, if you’ll permit me, with a brief overview at the end. Let us plunge up to our necks into some British heavy fucking metal…

Track one is ‘Inside Out’ and it opens with a gloriously soaring vocal from Lizzie before she demonstrates that she has some serious chops at the lower end of the range as well, switching from clean and waspish to gravel throated vocal martyrdom with no discernible effort. Backed by a band of some quite frankly breathtaking musicians, this song effortlessly sets out the Sertraline stall from the opening moment. Almost impossibly technical and superbly produced, this is a fucking brilliant song.

‘Mean To Me II’ is next, and is a kind of sequel to a song off the 2017 EP “Guilty”. More mid paced than the opener, this song gives the players of instruments time to shine, with some freakishly delicate and complicated guitar work involving distended harmonics and choppy, deadly riffing and Lizzie swapping between a guttural roar and a blank eyed, lost little girl voice before they all launch into one of the finest middle eights I have ever heard. We are talking goosebumps and sex wee everywhere. Gallons of sex wee everywhere. The carpets are ruined. All my pants are utterly destroyed. I haven’t seen Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover since he disappeared down the stairs just in front of the sex wee tsunami. This is a fucking brilliant song.

We are three songs in with ‘2205’ and my enthusiasm for Sertraline is beginning to look like a localised ecological disaster. Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar is looking unfavourably upon the mad, half drunk human cavorting wildly around the room, despite the fact he has been permitted to sleep ON MY BED and Hodgson Biological-Warfare is shouting at me because he got hit full in the face by sex wee and he doesn’t like it. Mrs Dark Juan is also displeased, because a) the carpets are ruined, b) the carpets are RUINED, c) she can’t find Igor either and d) she’s just remembered it was my turn to make tea and I have been seduced by Lizzie and Sertraline. Rather more uplifting in lyrical content than the previous two songs, it slides effortlessly into the lugholes and gives your poor, drug addled brain what can charitably be described as a right good seeing to. This is a fucking brilliant song.

Song four is ‘Screaming For Sleep’ and it’s more fast paced than ‘2205’, but again the musicianship is remarkable in its richness and complexity. Another song with a fucking amazing middle eight and frankly Sertraline are draining me dry, right now. The pressure wave has just blown the front door off the hinges and the street is filling up. There’s animals and furniture heading in all directions. Mrs Dark Juan is screaming about divorce again. Send help. Please. This is a fucking brilliant song.

Fifth and final song is ‘Isolation’ and frankly there is no hope left for humanity. Even though I am now a dried and withered husk, the sex wee just keeps flowing and a number of countries are reporting seismic activity due to the weight of fluid. Iceland is particularly worried because they are having lots of tremors and think that the emanation of millions of gallons of sex wee might have destabilised their already energetic geological fault and that there may be a volcanic eruption. There’s talk of Dark Juan being put on trial for crimes against humanity at The Hague. My defence is literally going to be, “ITS ALL SERTRALINE’S FAULT!!!!!!” This song is notable for the fact that Sertraline don’t seem to give a fuck who they are hurting anymore and just go in for the kill like the seasoned assassins they are. Everything wonderful about Sertraline is distilled into this one piece of musical mastery. There’s polyrhythms. There’s guitar riffs that only 18-fingered mutants can play. There’s syncopation and drumming that can only be performed by supercomputers thanks to fractured time signatures and the vocalist reaching ever further into her vocal range. And the ending is sublime. Fractured riffs play over a single held keyboard note and the virtuosity of guitarists Mike and Tom, and bassist and Keeper Of The Sacred Sauce Hendo is displayed in such a way that I am never picking up a stringed instrument again. There’s no point. This is a fucking brilliant song.

This was supposed to be a quick review. Instead it has turned into another 1000 word epic. Sorry, not sorry. Also, why the hell aren’t Sertraline ABSOLUTELY FUCKING MASSIVE RIGHT NOW?

Buy Sertraline records from now on otherwise I am going to find and execute every single last fucking one of you.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System thinks Sertraline are fucking brilliant and offers them a prostrated 10/10 because they are just too awesome to be mere mortals. Maybe I have found my gods at last. A contender for record of the year, in my humble opinion.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Inside Out
02. Mean To Me II
03. 2205
04. Screaming For Sleep
05. Isolation

LINE-UP:
Lizzie – Vocals
Mike – Guitar
Tom – Guitar
Hendo – Bass (keeper of the famous Northern relish?)
Si – Drums

LINKS:
www.wearesertraline.com/
www.facebook.com/WeAreSertraline/
www.twitter.com/wearesertraline
www.instagram.com/Sertraline_Official/
www.youtube.com/user/wearesertraline

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.