Posts Tagged ‘Manowar’

Oh wow! This week’s guest is huuuuuge! Yes, my friends, ROSS THE BOSS is on the LGL Rock Show this week talking about heaps of wild stuff and awesome stories. A very honest and genuine interview about growing up in NYC when the first wave of the punk explosion happened. We talk about all of that, his time with The Dictators, about him joining MANOWAR, about his departure from MANOWAR, about joining the French band Shakin’ Street, etc. There’s just so much great stuff in here and I feel that this conversation could have gone on for hours but unfortunately, time is limited. It was conducted backstage at the Croxton Band Room before his show which I have to say was amazing and seeing Ross play those MANOWAR tunes was completely out of this world. I was stoked to do this interview and I hope you enjoy listening to it. Let’s hope we can get him back sometime in the future.

You can hear this show right now by clicking on THIS LINK. (more…)




So on Halloween 2016, The Bronx played at Festival Hall and that’s when the idea came to my mind to organise this week’s guest, the lovely and talented Rebecca Schlappich, to come on the show and talk about her incredible career in music, most notably her work with Mariachi El Bronx.

So while it took a long time to get happening, the good news is that it’s here right now and it’s heaps good. Topics mentioned include things like discovering punk, Alternative Tentacles, My Chemical Romance, Murder By Death, Eyeball Records, Electric Century, Jello Biafra, Richard Wagner, and I even found a way to slip some Manowar into the conversation. And why not?

We also discuss her work with Kiss Kiss, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, The Age Of Rockets, Quartet 405, Mariachi Divas, and of course Mariachi El Bronx. So as you can see, it’s an action packed episode of radness and you can hear it right now by clicking on THIS LINK. Feel free to subscribe by clicking that link on the left. Enjoy! (more…)

Death Angel

How good’s heavy metal?!?!?! This week we feature an interview with none other than thrash metal shredder, Rob Cavestany from Bay Area legends, Death Angel. This is a fun chat filled with songs from throughout their whole career including their latest album The Evil Divide which is out today, May 27th and it is awesome and you need it. So to get the lowdown on all things Death Angel including that time I saw them at some ungodly hour in a shed somewhere in Germany, listen now by clicking on THIS LINK.

You can buy a copy of The Evil Divide at Nuclear Blast right here.
You can buy all the merch your credit card can handle right here.
You can visit Death Angel’s official website here.

Here’s a photo I took of the band playing live at the Magic Circle Festival in 2008. So awesome!

Death Angel

Growing up in the ’80s was one of the best experiences a kid could ever go through. Forget what those who never experienced it have to say. Let them slag off the ’80s as much as they want and praise the ’90s. Let them deal with the reality that their so-called great era was responsible for: commercialising punk rock, forcing us to deal with the horrors of rap metal / nu-metal, and not to mention the whole Nirvana deal and the grunge explosion. I hope you’re happy with that you ungrateful brats. But for those of us who grew up then with glam rock by our side, teased hair and an appetite for destruction, we knew what was up. We got to experience MTV when it played music, we know who Punky Brewster was, and we sure as hell remember when Bon Jovi was all about hair metal debauchery and not about Captain Crash having a nice day.

For those who don’t remember, or for those new kids on the block who due to the slackness of their parents doing the horizontal bop just weren’t conceived early enough and therefore unable to experience such a great era of music, I have come up with this guide to take you on a journey through 10 of the greatest music videos by ’80s metal / rock bands. Strap yourselves in because for the next 40 minutes, you are going to be re-programmed into something a little more respectful than your hippity hop jump metal that you hold so dear. Throw away your Adidas tracksuits that your bought because Korn told you it was cool, grab a drink and start watching because this is what it’s all about, my friends.

10. MOTLEY CRUE – “Wild Side”
Ok, this would have gone further up the list if it had more pyro, alas, it sits at number 10. Still though, it does have a bitchin’ spinning drum kit which was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen when I was a kid. I mean, who wouldn’t want a spinning drum kit? Besides, the proof is right here in this video that spinning drum kits = females in skin tight leather singing backing vocals which = epic amounts of awesomeness.


9. WHITESNAKE – “Here I Go Again”
Not only is this a bitchin’ tune but the video is cool cos it stars the infamous Tawny Kitaen who ended up becoming David Coverdale’s mistress for Christmas. Proof that you too can marry the girl who stars in your music videos and if you’re lucky, possibly get her to do the splits on your crappy car. Apparently there’s a nipple slip in this video but I have never really payed enough attention to notice it because I’m more impressed with Coverdale’s hair and how when she pulls him into the backseat they don’t crash and blood flies everywhere and Tawny goes through the windscreen and her body flies through the air like Rose McGowan’s does in Death Proof and then Coverdale needs to have surgery because he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and then the cops fine him for that and he loses his licence for six months and then they release Still Of The Night and the whole world is perfect again.


8. TWISTED SISTER – “I Wanna Rock”
What better way to fight for your right to party at school than with the help of Twisted Sister. Stickin’ it to the man as these rockstars come to your school and cause chaos and havoc all because some fat kid defaced a defenceless textbook. If heavy metal music means I am destroying my life then so be it, let me destroy the fuck out of it, grenades and all. Twisted Sister were the one band that kids could feel good about. They stuck up for us, regardless of the fact they looked like clowns. This video is a classic example of awesomeness and the obvious basis for which Steel Panther’s ‘Death To All But Metal’ was founded on.


7. MANOWAR – “Blow Your Speakers”
There isn’t much that is more metal and bitchin’ than a MANOWAR music video. This one is especially fab. We got four guys who are sitting around in mum’s basement, bored with TV when a mate suggests they listen to metal’s chosen warriors. Once playing, it’s too much for their turntable to handle and they immediately become possessed by the defenders of black wind, fire and steel and they mime their way through the next three and half minutes of pure power and heavy metal might. Drummer Scott Columbus even shows that drum sticks just aren’t enough for the brutal force of MANOWAR and decides to break them in half and use his fists instead. Nothing screams ’80s metal like that feat of strength does. My favourite part is when the kids go into some video store armed with a record and a VHS tape and gather round a TV and crank it up. Blow your speakers indeed! This video has all the cliche’s and more. Also, I wanna sword fight with guitars when I play my next gig.


6. RATT – “Body Talk”
I have included this for two reasons: 1) This song was in the movie The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy and that ass-kickin’ babe, Charlotte Lewis, and 2) I want to perfect every single stage move that guitarist Robin Crosby (the blonde one) does so awesomely. Seriously, if I can do those, who knows what else I could achieve?! Oh, this song is awesome and much better than Round & Round (which you probably only know because of its inclusion in the movie ‘The Wrestler’ starring Mickey Rourke. Yeah, I’m onto you!)


5. MOTLEY CRUE – “Same Ol Situation”
Their second appearance in this list and rightly so. Hell, you could probably fill all 10 spots with Motley videos and it would be totally acceptable but I am trying to be diplomatic here. This video is everything you want at your rock concerts; Pyro, hot babes in red tank-tops, the nasty habits, Vince Neil singing, and a drum kit that comes out over the audience. Although what the fuck is up with Tommy Lee in his underwear? Surprised he’s not hitting the drums the same way he beeps horns on boats. Great song and a classic video with some bitchin’ mullets in the crowd.


4. POISON – “I Won’t Forget You”
Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like CC Deville sitting on a bed confessing how much he misses his girlfriend while footage of the band surrounded by hot ’80s babes with big hair lust after them for some unskinny bop. Yeah, it’s lonely at the top. Life must have been really hard for CC and his buddies. All that money, all those girls, all that hair. It sure looks like touring in Poison back then would have been the worst experience for any red blooded male to have put themselves through. Ever. I sympathise with you Mr Deville, I really do.


3. W.A.S.P. – “LOVE Machine”
The classic tale of nerd girl turns sexpot because of W.A.S.P.’s love machines in nurses outfits and heavy metal music. These days a video like this would be quickly dismissed unless it was for a hip hop group or some R&B shit, but in the glorious ’80s (years before the internet and Google), this was as close to porn as our adolescent underage minds were able to go. Unless your parents kept a stash of porn in the house that you accidentally discovered whilst searching for birthday / Christmas presents then this would have been PG by your standards. I still haven’t worked out why singer Blackie Lawless walks like a crab or why that dude has tubes of flowing water around his legs.


2. GUNS N ROSES – “Paradise City”
This video shows everything that was awesome about Guns N Roses and gives you an indication of everything that’s wrong about the line-up these days. Mainly the fact that none of the original band are on stage with Axl anymore. Regardless, this video depicts GNR at the boom of their popularity and is packed full of stadium rock footage and other candid moments. A great video for one of 1987’s best songs. Fact.


1. BON JOVI – “Lay Your Hands On Me”
Nothing screams ROCK! like this video does. The opening drum beats sound all tribal n shit and it builds up to the climax. Just watch as Jon Bon Jovi comes up through the floor and that pyro goes off. Have a look at all those girls with big hair! Why aren’t all music videos this awesome? Pyro is the key. When in doubt, add more pyro. If I ever get to play an arena, my goal in life is to hold my mic out to the audience 15 metres above them so it makes no difference if the mic picks up the audiences screams or not and sing “Just a little bit louder now!”


Of course there are plenty more but this is where you come into it. I gave you 10 of the best. From here, you can ride like the wind. Fight proud, my son. You are the defender god has sent. Ok, I may be taking my Fighting The World lyrics a little too far but trust me, the ’80s was bitchin’. Growing up with the ’90s as your soundtrack would have really sucked. Watching punk rock become a commercial mainstream commodity was just weird. In the ’80s, punk rock was still considered dangerous and uncool. Rock N Roll was about partying and having a good time. Then grunge happened and ruined everything. Except Mudhoney. They were awesome. So were Green River and Mother Love Bone but that’s kinda where it ended.

Long live rock n roll!

I love Japan. It’s without a doubt one of the best places in the world. It’s full of crazy neon lights, machines that yell at you, bizarre sacred temples, koi fish, and hot women. Like this one time, I had just left Bar Current and it was like 7am. I was walking along the streets of Shinjuku and this extremely gorgeous woman was walking towards me, smiling, she came straight up to me and asked if I wanted a special musashi. Now, for those in the weightlifting world, you are no doubt familiar with musashi. I, personally, have no idea what musashi is, let alone special musashi, but I do remember seeing it written on a banner behind a weight lifter once during the Olympic games. Anyway, I eventually worked out that what she was offering me was a special massage. You know, nude and stuff? She was like super hot and I should have accepted her offer cos my back was killing me from all the walking I do when I am in Japan but when I found out that she wanted money in exchange for this special massage, I kindly declined, said “kawaii” and went on my way, killing time before I had to rush to the airport to catch an ongoing flight to Germany for some Manowar viking ship burning goodness. So, yeah, Japan… how could you not be into it?

Well, little did I know that beneath the politeness, niceness, and special massages of the Japanese people lies a band as brutal and chaotic as Defiled. Like what the fuck? I couldn’t tell one song from the next but bust this, people who listen to this sorta stuff don’t care and neither should I, really. I mean, it’s just chaos. Like it’s so fast and full of riffs-a-plenty that I can’t make any sense of it. None at all. I had no idea when one song finished and another started. It was all over the shop. Crazy stuff. I’m not even gonna begin to tell you which song was my favourite cos these songs all sounded the same… even more than the songs do on AC/DC’s “Stiff Upper Lip”. Huge call to make but that’s the truth. And of course you should take everything I write with a pinch of salt.

What I can tell you about Defiled though is that they can play like motherfuckers. Shred like crazy, drum faster than that Top Thrill Dragster ride at Cedar Point (which is pretty fuckin’ fast) and can scream at you in death metal growls for extended periods of time; this album clocked in at just under 45 minutes. That’s a lot of time to be subjected to blast beats, thrashin’ riffs and slap bass. Yes, SLAP BASS! Ha! I kept that secret, didn’t I? The bass is, at times, slappy and twangy yet so brutal and they have confusing song titles like “Lethal Agitator”, “Paradoxical Chaos” and my personal favourite, “Behind You Pray” which seems to make as much sense as the subtitles do to those old Jackie Chan movies. Again, you gotta love Japan. Best place ever.

I am not sure what else to say about Defiled only that I am sure that in between episodes of Ultraman, they’re probably listening to Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. Fans of Brutal Truth, Autopsy and Okonomiyaki will dig this. I think I prefer Guitar Wolf. Just sayin’.

Japan is the best. I have a headache.

“In Crisis” hits the streets January 17th, 2011.

DANKO JONES – “Below The Belt” (Bad Taste)
How good is this dude? I mean, really? Oh, if you live in any country that isn’t either in Scandinavia or Europe, you probably have no idea who Danko Jones is and that’s a shame. Mr Jones seems to play primarily in those regions these days… kinda like how Manowar don’t play in the USA or any other country where English is a first language. The mind boggles… I am not sure why DJ isn’t one of the biggest names in rock. He has it all; the songs, the style, the live show… it’s a great combination. Maybe it’s cos he’s Canadian cos nobody really knows who Devin Townsend is either these days.

I remember when Danko Jones toured Australia on the ‘We Sweat Blood’ tour. My band, Muscle Car, got to open for them. There were around 30 people there. Serious! A measly 30 payers! Granted it was a Wednesday night and it was in Adelaide, but still, I knew right then it was going to be one of those gigs that people would talk about and people who didn’t go will say the usual “Yeah, I should have gone to that… I dunno why I didn’t” Um, cos you have no fuckin’ taste? Yeah, exactly! ANYWAY, I remember watching the show and being completely blown away. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. For a trio, the power coming from the stage was just over the top. It just sounded unlike any other band playing live at the time, and to this day, Danko still sounds like Danko. He’s one of those artists that keep on releasing quality albums, one after the other. It’s like the dude just knows how to write a good tune.

‘Below The Belt’ kicks off with a quality balltearer titled “I Think Bad Thoughts”; a lyrically awesome track of guts and glory. I have felt and thought the same things. It’s good stuff. “Tonight Is Fine” brought back shades of KISS for me which is cool cos at least Danko’s albums aren’t filled with filler and his lyrics are 1000x better than Gene’s will ever be. Really, the dude’s a lyrical genius. I used to think he hated women but further investigation had me realize he doesn’t hate them all, he worships them; just not those lying, cheating bitches who like to fuck up people’s heads and cause bullshit. But I could be wrong. This is just speculation, after all.

There’s a song called “I Can’t Handle Moderation” which I found amusing as I have always believed Danko to be straight-edge. When we did that show with him, we never saw him indulge in anything except awesomeness. He stayed calm and collected and most quiet after the show while everyone else was in party mode. I think my favourite tune on this album is “Full Of Regret”; I love that use of the cowbell. I’m a sucker for good percussion, plus, the song kicks serious amounts of ass.

I gotta hand it to him, Danko Jones is one talented guy and ‘Below The Belt’ is another fine edition to his catalogue of cool. If you’re a fan of rock, no, I would go as far as to say that if you are even a fan of music, you are already diggin’ his shit, am I correct? If you answered ‘no’ then you seriously need to re-evaluate your loyalty to the rock!

Side note: I wonder why he has never recorded the song ‘Mountain’ on any of his albums. If you don’t know the song, here’s a YouTube video. He played this at the show in Adelaide and I remember my drummer’s girlfriend freaking out when he started hitting himself. Good times!

KLONE – “Black Days” (Season of Mist)
Whenever I see a band line-up and a dude is credited as to playing “atmospheric guitar” I know I’m gonna be subjected to a bunch of arty wank. Well, I had never heard Klone before (that’s a terrible band name although I am thinking Klone probably means something weird and wacky in their native tongue… which is French. Trop bien!) but I read the back of the promo disc and immediately saw in capital letters the word TOOL. Now, I am by no means a TOOL fan so I was getting’ kinda worried. What was I getting myself into here? Still, I had to have an open mind so the disc was played with open ears.

Some describe this band as prog-rock, others call them a stoner rock band, and well, to me they’re kinda both but I also hear a lot of 90’s grunge in there too. A weird mixture of Neurosis meets Pearl Jam cross genre heavy music. I like Neurosis but never got Pearl Jam. I know, I was one of those guys. I did like Green River though and Mother Love Bone were heaps awesome, and of course, Mudhoney were the cream of the crop, but I digress… this is about Klone! These guys started in 1999 and I had no idea they existed until today when this appeared for review. I’m glad it showed up too cos it was good to hear something so different to the blasts of grindcore I was also sent (which you can read about following this review).

For me, this album was a bit long to sit through. Yes, I know it’s a bit double standard of me to say such a thing after praising Watain for their 80 minute long opus “Endless Lawless” but you gotta understand, they’re heaps evil and might stab in the neck with an inverted cross. I would have preferred more of an EP cos this album’s 54 minutes long and you gotta keep in mind that I think Screeching Weasel’s “My Brain Hurts” is one of the most perfectly crafted albums of all time with it’s fitting nicely on to one side of a 60 minute tape. Still though, I toughened up and sat through all 54 minutes of it. I found that some of the songs just dragged on a bit. Like they mean well and they have the right ideas but I guess you need to be in the right mood to enjoy Klone at their best… or a hippie stoner (of which I’m not).

I was quite impressed though with what they did with the Bjork cover, “Army of Me”. Even though I went to University and studied an arts degree, I am not a fan of Bjork’s music at all but I do think she’s an interesting character and her music videos are always unique and something outside of the standard music video formula. This cover by Klone made me want to check out the original just so I could see how different it sounds. I like it when that happens cos it gets me listening to other bands and I may end up liking it (although this is Bjork and I doubt I’ll be rockin’ away to the Icelandic princess anytime soon).

This Klone album was alright. It wasn’t a smashing success but it will get a bunch more plays around the office, albeit in parts. I think fans of grunge and stoner rock will really enjoy this one.

LENG TCH’E – “Hypomanic” (Season Of Mist)
I always know I am in for a big night when a Season of Mist release winds up on the desk and this one comes from grind kings, Leng Tch’e. You see, when I was in highschool, there was this dude named Stuart and he had a holiday in the UK and came back with this video that had this TV program hosted by Elvira that was about the history of metal. The buxom beauty sat on her couch and told us random facts about the metal bands she played. The highlight for me was a double header segment on Slayer and Napalm Death. Especially the Napalm Death segment. This was the real deal line-up of ND. The one that I believe was the best one; Lee Dorian, Bill Steer, Mick Harris and Shane Embury. Keep in mind that I haven’t ever seen ND live (this will soon change though come September), but the line-up has changed so much that I am sure it isn’t at all like what is seen in this video. It’s brutal. They’re all so young and they only play songs from “Scum” and “From Enslavement to Obliteration”. The real brutal stuff! ANYWAY, my point of this is that there’s this dude down the front trying to light a cigarette on the monitors and this proves unsuccessful but he doesn’t care and starts headbanging anyway with the unlit cigarette in his mouth. Oh and I should point out that there is usually more people on stage than in the crowd while ND pound out songs like “The Kill” and “Control”. So why all this Napalm Death malarkey? Well, that is how I discovered grindcore. All thanks to that video tape.

Leng Tch’e I am sure listen to tons of ND. Probably not so much the “Scum” record but no doubt the “Massappeal Madness”-era. And I am guessing Pig Destroyer are one of their favourite bands too. But hey, who doesn’t list Pig Destroyer as one of their favourite bands? I mean, isn’t that the given thing? Like, you go to a bar and you see a nice lady having after work drinks with her friends so you strut up to her and say “Why hello there… I saw you from across the room and was wondering if you’d like to come back to my house and listen to some Pig Destroyer?” I am sure it works everytime. That’s like heaps sexy. Well, my friends, now you can use the new Leng Tch’e to add to your pick-up lines and draw the ladies in. This stuff will hook ‘em by the truckloads. Not that I have tried it or anything but I’m sure it works. How could a girl resist the chance of a night at your house while “Death’s Head Cockroach” blasts through the speakers at breakneck speeds? Or what about the soothing sounds of “Refined Torture”. Sure, they’re clichéd song titles for a grind band but if it’s fine for Manowar to use hammer or steel in every song title then it’s ok for Leng Tch’e to crank out happy numbers like “Anthropocentric Suicide” or “Corrosive Rotgut”. The latter has me just itching to say to someone “you’re a rotgut!”

Leng Tch’e are one of those bands that you either love or hate. There’s no sitting on the fence with this one so don’t bother trying. It’s grindcore metal; fast as fuck, full of riffs, and indecipherable lyrics. Yep, you love it.

SEVERE TORTURE – “Slaughtered” (Season Of Mist)
This album was heaps funny. It was grindcore death metal from some Dutch dudes. Very well produced / recorded with a big beefy slick sound n stuff. I totally don’t listen to this type of music unless I am sent it to review so sometimes sitting through an album like this is a hard task for me. This was one of those times. I am a big fan of harmonies and melodies (of which this album has none) so when I just hear a bunch of fast riffage and lots of gruffy vocals that I can’t make out a single word from, I do kinda get bored and just phase out. I know, totally not cool of me and I should be paying attention if I am writing a review but I can’t help it. I’m a fan of Cheap Trick and Redd Kross, not Severe Torture. I ain’t saying this band is terrible or anything, it’s just not doing it for me. I need more variety in my grindcore; especially if I am expected to sit through a song that goes for 4 and a half minutes. That’s a real chore for me. My attention span is too short and I usually find myself shopping on eBay for Motley Crue action figures or a new skateboard deck. It’s a bit like that Leng Tch’e album, only not as good for some reason. The drummer plays like a motherfucker though. So fast and his blast beats are out of control. I wish I could steal him for my band. I am sure live this band would be pretty good. I like seeing grindcore live cos the sheer power of it is something to witness. As for this album? Well, I made it about half way and needed a break from it; just after the guitar solo in the album’s title track (which I might add was about the most melodic thing on the whole album).

All of these albums can be purchased from Riot! Entertainment.

You know, I have to admit, I am definitely not the biggest fan of the Black Metal genre. I mean, sure, anyone who knows me personally will tell you I am a huge fan of Venom, the Viking anthems of Bathory and have been known to fly to Germany to watch as Viking ships are set on fire and sent to Valhalla. Not that Viking ships at Manowar shows in Germany have much to do with black metal other than the fact that bands who live in Norway like to kill each other, burn down churches and sip glasses of wine whilst uttering the words ‘freedom’ and ‘Satan’. Hey, I’ve been known to do the same thing on those lonely nights in front of the wood fire during Winter storms as I hang out in my secluded cabin in the middle of a forest. Actually, not a lot of that makes sense. Ignore it and let’s move on.

When I was in highschool, I used to listen to Venom all the time. Like over and over again. Each weekend was spent scouring through vinyl stores looking for albums I didn’t have (yes, even the period when Cronos wasn’t singing in the band; “Prime Evil” really is a great record). My obsession with Venom got to the point where these idiots came to my house one night and put crucifix’s all over my front yard with notes of Christian scriptures attached to them. I punched one of the dudes out cos he was a dickhead and disrespectful to my mum’s front yard. ANYWAY, the moral of the story is this… actually, I have no idea. It happened and I remembered it related to people thinking I was evil. My name’s Damien so obviously I attracted remarks like “the Omen!” and “The Devil’s child!” and all this other lame shit. It all came to blows one day when one of them, Tommy, said to me “Hey headbanger, show us how you bang your head!” and smacked my head against the wall. It was kinda like a scene from the movie “Trick Or Treat” (1986) with me as Eddie Weinbauer, Tommy as Tim Hainey and Venom as Sammi Curr. So I retaliated the same way and it appears I won as Tommy never came back to school. Yeah, take that Tommy! Note: If you haven’t seen this remarkable film, I suggest you do so immediately if only to remember such great record covers like this one from Exciter.

ANYWAY, Watain’s latest album, “Lawless Darkness”, was actually my introduction to the band. I mean, I knew of them. Hell, I think I even saw them at Wacken in 2008 (3 days of metal can become a bit of blur when you forget what sleep is like). But this was the first time I have sat through some studio offerings from Sweden’s sons of Satan. And sat through it I did. From start to finish. I didn’t burn down a single church, set fire to a crucifix or burn a cross into my forehead each Sunday. Shit, I didn’t even turn the record backwards (or in this case, use a audio program to reverse the MP3’s) which is something I did upon hearing the garbled nonsense at the start of Venom’s “In League With Satan” (off their “Welcome To Hell” album – which is pure genius by the way, no one can sound so shit yet sound so awesome at the same time. Venom are gods!)

“Lawless Darkness” kicks off with a track called “Death’s Cold Dark” and mate, I tell you now, it’s pretty full on. It’s pure black metal, but kinda like punk black metal, which I am sure no Black Metal fan wants to hear this band described as but the attitude is very much punk. The whole “we couldn’t give a fuck if you like it or not” attitude is very much in place. How do I know this? Cos if you want to make a shitload of money, you don’t start a black metal band. Well, maybe you did back in the day but probably not now. Still though, this shit’s pretty intense. Like those early Bathory records before Quorthorn (R.I.P.) started singing about his ancestors, Viking mythology and making groundbreaking albums like “Hammerheart” (which I have to say is one of my favourite metal albums of all time and anyone who likes good music should own a copy). Watain’s barrage of heavy guitars, melodic solos, and screaming vocals reminds me a lot of early Celtic Frost and Possessed (remember them? They had the dude from Primus in make-up, nine inch nail arm-bands and blood). Even early Entombed or the comical Death Breath I would say are similar and I actually like both of those bands.

ANYWAY, like I said, black metal isn’t my forte. I own a few records (vinyl only so I can keep it heaps more evil) and even own a Gallhammer DVD but to sit down and listen to this kind of music is a real chore for me. But like the trooper I am, I gave it a shot and I didn’t mind this at all. I mean, I can’t see me cranking it up when I invite some sassy lass over for some romantic loving but if I want to annoy the neighbours then this would definitely be my first choice. It’s pretty gripping stuff and I can’t work out any of the words but I am sure I did hear the word “whore” a few times and the word “horror” was heard during the song “Wolves Curse” (that’s a heaps good song title). The latter also has a killer breakdown in the middle and a wolf howling in it. Aaawwwooooooooo!

Watain, to put it mildly, is brutal. More brutal than the brutalist music you have ever heard (I am sure that sweeping statement will bring in some disagreements but I don’t care, this is coming from a dude who also listens to Poison, Great White and I even own a Kix LP so it’s quite clear I have no clue about anything.) I must say that for the production, it’s really punk rock; raw but not lo-fi. Just straight to the point. Like you know what you’re getting when you pick this album up. It’s not misleading, you get what you pay for. It’s pretty epic and the songs go forever; this album is a whopping 80 minutes long with no song shorter than 5 minutes and the longest being “Waters Of Ain” which clocks in at 14 minutes and 28 seconds (and is the only song on the album that has non-screaming vocals, albeit only for like 3 lines, but you gotta hear the guitar solo after that bit, totally like RUSH or “Sleeping In The Fire”-era W.A.S.P. or something). That’s some serious value for money.

Fans of that book with the church burning on the cover and those who like rehearsing in a cave, playing with candles, swords, corpse paint and changing your name to something Nordic and strange will absolutely love this. Actually, I don’t do any of that and I still enjoyed it cos musically, I gotta give these dudes props. They know what to do. They have the whole package going on here. And if I remember correctly, their live show was pretty chaotic. If you like people, happiness and calling your cats cute names like Tickles or Socks, you’re probably not gonna like this.

Watain’s latest offering hits the streets June 7th, 2010. Click the link below to secure your copy.

Watain on Myspace
Season of Mist Records website
Order “Lawless Darkness” from Riot! Entertainment