Thursday, September 30, 2010

BREAKING NEWS - Danzig in a Danzig shirt buying kitty litter.



Not to be confused with Engorged Vaginal Abyss, Cerebral Engorgement, Guttural Engorgement, Engorge, Engorgement In Veins, or the Vomitous/Inhuman Dissiliency split album Supreme Engorgement of Exquisite Disembowelment, Portland's own not-at-all-generically named ENGORGED were something like godfathers to the PDX Goregrind/Splatterthrash scene, popularizing its basic tenets of gore, cheese, and fun all the way back in the mid-to-late-90's. Engorged's (say that out loud) penchant for 70's and 80's horror, along with their obvious fondness for G.I. Joe villains COBRA (see album cover, song titles, live photo), and Lovecraft (they list their lyrical themes as "Horror, Death, Lovecraft/Howard/Clark Ashton Smith") have made them perennial favorites here at ICHQ, and their live show is not to be missed. Members of this band have gone on to play in such previously-mentioned Portland grind units as Frightmare and Fall of The Bastards, so you know their black little hearts are in the right place. Enjoy their first two proper full-length albums, 1999's Death Metal Attack 2 and 2002's self-titled affair, as responsibly as possible.

DEATH METAL ATTACK 2 (1999) (Includes 1997 Death Metal Attack demo)

Download HERE
Purchase HERE


Download HERE
Purchase HERE

(It must have taken him forever to get his hair to do that.)


Speaking of Manowar....

There has been a lot of talk about Manowar around these here parts for quite some
time, but I have to come forth and admit that I refuse to toe the party line where they're concerned.

I just DON'T get it. I never have, and I'm guessing I never will.

I know that makes me a Metal heretic, and probably marks me out as a wimp and a poseur who should probably leave the hall, but, well, fuck it. I just find them ridiculous.

I mean, for a START, they look STUPID. They claim to be the loudest, fastest and heaviest metal band on the planet but, well, I guess they never heard of Motorhead, Vader or Burning Witch, to name THREE bands that outclass them in all of those categories. As for their lyrics......well....'nuf sed.

Finding out that they weren't actually SUPPOSED to be a parody was like the day I found out from my teacher that people actually BELIEVED all of the stories in the Bible were, like, REAL.
I was confused, then amazed, then actually felt a little sorry for all of the schmucks out there who bought into it - in the case of Manowar, most of mainland Europe, and in the case of the Bible, well, you guys in the U.S of A.

So, when i came across a band called NanowaR (Of Steel), well, I felt COMPELLED to tell you good people about 'em.

I hope you're sitting down...

...yes. NanowaR (Of Steel). An Italian parody of Manowar with a gay agenda and a tenuous grasp of the english language.

I genuinely cannot tell the difference between the parody and the original source material, other than that the parodic lyrics are INTENTIONALLY lousy. Sorry kids.

Why not download a copy of their new record 'Into Gay Pride Ride' here?

If you feel compelled to dig further, their website is here and their MySpace is here...heck, you can even find 'em on Facebook!

For all I know, the gay agenda may ALSO be a double-bluff, I mean, you never can tell with these Europeans.

Anyhow, I guess I'd better leave the hall, I hear the sound of angry Euro-metallers with pitchforks at the castle gates...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


First off, apologies for my own inexcusable absence lo these past few days, Real Life has once again reared its ugly head and managed to keep me from the digital world for the most part, a fact which may or may not be construed as a "good thing". Hm.
Second: HOLY FUCK, SLAUTER XSTROYES RULES! Do people know about this Chicago-based prog-metal juggernaut already? Because I didn't until recently, and I'm not really sure how they stayed under my radar for so long. Is it just me?
This band is kind of like a chaotic clusterfuck involving Mercyful Fate, Slough Feg, Brocas Helm, and maybe even a touch of primordial Confessor--an over-the-top, histrionic, and pleasingly angular adventure in the outer fringes of Wizard Metal. The band themselves pressed 500 copies of Winter Kill, their debut masterpiece, all the way back in 1985, keeping largely silent until the release of their next full length in 1998. The black metal forest trolls can talk "kvlt kred" 'til they're blue in their little corpsepainted faces, but the truth is that Xstroyes has outculted everyone, ever, for all time.
This record has it all: Weird changes, backwards-masked spoken interludes, corny vocal effects, flappy, too-loud bass riffs, a synth intro that sounds exactly like the "THX thing" (pre-THX, mind you), lyrics about mountains and winter and chicks and magic and shit, and a song titled "Mother, Mother Fucker".
I dunno, maybe everyone else has this already. But if you don't, FUCK. GET ON IT.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE


Speaking of awesome rock, WOMANOWAR (featuring myself, Manslaughter, and Cory) make their triumphant, long-awaited return at Winter's Tavern in Pacifica (???) this Saturday. So, you know. Go to that.

The OTHER Holocaust that cannot be denied...(Part Two)

*cough**cough**splutter* So, I was slightly waylaid in my intention to post the second part of this EPIC post up sooner by a stinking cold. I'd apologise, but I really don't think you care, heartless fiends that you are! *COUGH**SPLUTTER*

Aaaaaaaanyhoo, moving on with MORE Holocaust.

It seems that the common consensus is that NO-ONE knew that Holocaust had reformed after their initial NWOBHM period, let alone released four albums and an EP of top-notch WEIRD PROG METAL.
Frankly, this is a damn shame BUT not a surprise - I was not aware of their LAST two releases until comparatively recently myself, due to what appeared to be a total lack of advertising. CRIMINALLY, their 1989 comeback EP 'The Sound Of Souls', its followup full-length, 1992's 'Hypnosis Of Birds' (AKA 1996's 'Spirits Fly') and their 1998 concept album - yep, you HEARD me, a CONCEPT ALBUM - 'Covenant' are all completely unavailable outside of paying collector scum prices via Discogs/Ebay/Amazon Marketplace.

This saddens me greatly, MOSTLY because I don't actually OWN 'Hypnosis of Birds/Spirits Fly' OR 'Covenant', but also because it means that the world is deprived of some Class-A WEIRD PROG METAL, and we frankly need ALL the WEIRD PROG METAL we can get our grubby paws on.

So, where were we? Ahhhh yes....

...1997 saw the release of the 'Covenant' album. A concept album based upon the book 'The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever' by reknowned fantasy writer Stephen R Donaldson

Having never read the book myself - I'm basically Elf intolerant - I couldn't honestly say whether it is a good and faithful adaptation or not, but hey, the book is ABOUT a leper, and the first track on the album - as seen above - is called 'Leper's Progress', so I figure they at LEAST got THAT part right. I'd give you a synopsis but, frankly, I can't be bothered. Go click on the book title to read it on Wikipedia...I mean, do I LOOK like a library??

On the whole, 'Covenant' is some very EPIC WEIRD METAL, and hell, who doesn't LOVE a concept album?

Get it HERE, and dig another track from the album, the very Obsessed-sounding 'Salt Heart'...

.....yessir, that track puts me strongly in mind of The Obsessed's mighty opus 'The Church Within', which is a VERY good thing indeed.

2000 saw the release of the much more aggressively METAL 'The Courage To Be'...

...a very SOLID and consistent record which, along with the more aggressive tone, featured a return to the WEIRD METAL of 'The Sound Of Souls'...


Now, this CD is STILL available for CHEAP on Amazon and if you dig what you hear here I would advise that you buy it ASAP as I don't know how many of these are left floating around it there. UK/Euro folks can get it HERE, and septic tanks can get it HERE. Of course, it goes without saying that you can also get it HERE fer nuthin' too. Cheapskates.

Okay folks, we're into the home stretch now, and I just want to thank you for sticking with me on this one, I know it's been a chore for some, but i like to think that the aural rewards MORE than compensate for wading through this waffle and blather.

Released in 2003, 'Primal' is the most recent Holocaust album, and things have been completely silent for them since then.
More straight-forwardly METAL than the other releases of the reformed band, if it turns out to be their swan-song, then they went out on a good note.

Mortimer's vocals here are more along the lines of his Mille Petrozza/early Mustaine snarl as deployed on 'The Sound Of Souls' EP, which seems to have alienated a few people. Not me though! I dig it ALL. Here is the opening track 'Iron Will' for your listening pleasure...

...and here is my favourite track, 'Colossus' - LOVE that massive lumbering riff!

...again, THIS is still available HERE for very little money (only on Amazon UK this time though, I'm afraid. Hey, suck it up Yankee Doodle Dandies!), and HERE fer NUTHIN'...

And THAT, my friends, is THAT. All that remains for me to do is to direct you toward the official Holocaust website, which hasn't been updated since 2003, sadly, and also to direct you to an interview with Holocaust mainman John Mortimer from just before the release of 'Primal'. He's a smart and interesting man who claims that his three interests in life are music, theology and chemistry.
Makes a LOT of sense to me when you listen carefully to his music and lyrics.

I hope some of you dug the choonz I put forth on here, and feel compelled to pick up any of the available Holocaust records. It warms the cockles of my heart when i get to share stuff I really dig with folks and those folks get to diggin' it too.

Next time, something infinitely less metal from me, but still KILLER...BRIAN ENO ROCKS OUT.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Solo Piano

There’s an old lols,

“knock knock, who’s there, knock knock, who’s there, knock knock, who’s there, knock knock, who’s there, knock knock, who’s there, knock knock, who’s there, Phil Glass”

It’s no secret this blog is run by a bunch of minimalist glass-holes. So here’s some more.


Also, has anyone noticed that Philip Glass has a signature pose?

This post was inspired by someone who is epically bummed. Save this record for late nights and play air piano on the edge of your bed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Hello again. Some of you might remember the series of posts about Sun Ra and his Arkestra that I was, at one time diligently, working on earlier this year. Well, I never really brought that series to a conclusion, for which I apologize, especially to the few hundred people that showed an interest in Nuclear War. Belated as it may be, I intend the next two things I post to serve as the conclusion to that series.

Here is a television interview that Sun Ra did in 1986 with WTZA 62 (now WRNN) in Kingston, NY to promote a nearby gig. It is notable for a few reasons. First, after the Sun Ra story the news anchors announce the death of "The King of Swing" Benny Goodman (thus dating the broadcast to June 13, 1986). Second, the female anchor, Nancy Cozean would later become the mayor of Poughkeepsie, NY. And, most importantly, it's one of the few instances in which Sun Ra explains in fairly plain terms what exactly all of this Sun Ra stuff is actually about. There's no talk of aliens or spaceships or anything like that, and whether this is due to clever editing or Sun Ra just being in a bad mood is (obviously) unknown.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The OTHER Holocaust that cannot be denied...(Part One)

Hot on the heels of Seanford's recent post featuring the NWOBHM band Holocaust, I'm throwing MY cap into the ring by posting up the lesser-known, and mostly unappreciated, LATER Holocaust releases for your delight and delectation. I'll also be doing this in two parts because, well, it's a bit of an EPIC POST.

Okay, soooooooo, brief history lesson - following the release of 'No Man's Land' in 1984 (which I haven't posted because, well, you don't NEED it) the original line-up of Holocaust called it quits.
Don't ask me the ins and outs and the whys, I don't know, they just DID, OKAY?!


After a li'l respite, original guitarist John Mortimer stepped up to the microphone and took over as guitarist/vocalist, along with drummer Steve Cowan and bassist Graham Hall replacing the other original members. I'm GUESSING that Metallica's cover of 'The Small Hours' on the 'Garage Days' EP had a LOT to do with the reformation AND the subsequent change of direction. In 1989, the band released an EP entitled 'The Sound Of Souls' to.....not much attention, but much critical praise.

I was 16 at the time and DEEP into a technical thrash thang, so I bought it entirely based on the fact that one of the reviews I read mentioned 'Voivod' in it.
This is a repeating pattern throughout my life that continues up to this very day, *cough* Vektor *cough*.

'The Sound Of Souls' was markedly more aggressive and experimental than the older Holocaust material - DEFINITE traces of Celtic Frost and Kreator in the more aggressive material, and, well, the sweet stink of Voivod was ALL over the whole darned thing.

In the interests of illustrating the straight-up total AWESOMOSITY of this EP, rather than JUST giving you lucky, lucky people a download of it, I have ALSO included the ENTIRE thing below in the form of YouTube clips. If it doesn't melt your damn face off, well, you are a raging false and will NEVER be allowed to entry.
Sucks to be YOU, Nigel.

Go on, fuck off back to your Isis Live albums.

The whole damn thing just floats my boat in the most colossal way, from beginning to end - The TOTALLY Frosty 'This Annihilation', the WEIRD METAL of 'I Smash the Void', the FURIOUS Kreator/Mustaine snarl of 'Dance Into The Vortex', the arty semi-instrumental 'Curious' and the EPIC WEIRD PROG METAL religious meditation of 'Three Ways To Die'. IT'S AAAAAALL GOOD.

If you disagree, then you 'n' me are gonna have a PROBLEM bucko. Capiche?

Next up, in 1992, Holocaust released a full-length album entitled 'Hypnosis Of Birds'. This was a more measured, introspective record, true, and it DID have a bloody AWFUL sleeve, also true...however, it was chock full of WEIRD PROG METAL.

Now, if I had been asked to come up with a cover design for 'Hypnosis of Birds', I personally would have gone for this -

 it works on TWO levels, both LITERAL and FIGURATIVE - the dude with the wig is LITERALLY hypnotising the bird* in the chair, but ALSO, and here is the clever part, it REPRESENTS the IDEA of 'Hypnosis of Birds' as a concept. Just call me Roger Dean.

No? Pfft. Well, maybe you'd prefer THIS -

.......BASTARDS. There is NO pleasing some people. Here, have a listen to an EPIC track off of 'Hypnosis Of Birds' -

Better? Another?

NOW, I can hear you murmuring 'But Paul, why haven't you given us a download link for 'Hypnosis Of Birds???'. Well, I'll TELL you........because it was actually reissued in 1996 by Neat Records (remember them?) under a different name, with EXTRA tracks - the reissue was entitled 'Spirits Fly' and featured an INFINITELY BETTER cover...

....and YOU can get it HERE, my fine feathered friends.

This record DOES come with a warning, though. For some unknown reason, Holocaust decided to re-record a few classic tracks for this release, including 'The Small Hours'. These versions are...well....not AWFUL, but not as good as the originals. Don't let their slight crappiness spoil your enjoyment of this wonderful slice of WEIRD PROG METAL, 'kay?

'Spirits Fly' (AKA 'Hypnosis Of Birds') is a complex, involved album with a much different feel to the other Holocaust material. I see it referred to as 'gloomy' often, which I guess it IS at times, but I have ALSO seen the acccusation levelled at it that it is lacking in riffs. To THOSE people I say this - FUCK YOU. This is WEIRD PROG METAL, it's not ALL about the RIFFS. Suuuuuure, a killer riff is awesome, but you know, a tasty song need not be a rifforama to be toothsome, yes?

I feel that I've talked at you enough for now, and I worry about overstaying my welcome and wearing you out with AWESOME, so I will bid you adieu until part tieux and leave you with the opening track off of 'Spirits Fly', 'Into Lebanon'.

See ya in Disneyland!

*bird is British slang for 'lady'. So, d'you see what I did there?

Friday, September 24, 2010



Last we checked in with the Bastards was HERE, where I offered my professional opinion on their 2004 album Dusk of An Ancient Age (I was in favor of it). While not exactly deserving of the "Splatterthrash" moniker, Fall of The Bastards nonetheless belong in this series due to their inter-breeding with bands like Splatterhouse, Lord Gore, Menacer, and Engorged (more on them later). FOTB's sound was delivered with a little more Norse crunch than their contemporaries, and a focus more on darkness, death, and melancholy than gore, blood, and horror flicks. To quote myself: "Apocalyptic, thrash-y, death-y, crustcore/black metal is what I would call it, delivered in a flurry of dreadlocks, malevolence, and fists thrust triumphantly skyward." Indeed.
While I consider Ancient Age to be the superior album between these two, Trees is still a stunning mission statement, a raw, sinister, and at times haunting crescendo into utter blackness and oblivion. Plus, you can dance to it!

Download HERE



Awhile back I mentioned that I was planning on creating a Tumblr page dedicated to heckling that most false and bogus Bay Area bogeyman, The Common North American Burner. Well, I got as far as reserving the domain name before I realized, shit, I don't have time for another blog. Fuck that. I'll just make fun of those stilt-walkers right here on IllCon, as I always have. No need for a Tumblr page.
So here you have it. Part 1 of a (possibly) ongoing photodocumentation series studying the lowest of the low, the yuppiest of the yup, the "playa" dirt-covered specimens of human shame known as "Burners" in their native environs. It's been a couple weeks since these rave-culture hangers-on returned home to San Francisco in their dusty Subaru Outbacks, and I apologize for lagging so long. But the Burner scourge must be addressed forthwith, via ridicule and disdain.

Here are the first dozen doozies.

I get it, dude. You were shooting for Beyond Thunderdome. Unfortunately, this looks a lot more like Far Short of Thunderdome.

Celebrity Playa sighting: Check out Hugh Jackman over there on the left.

Speaking of celebs in the BRC, apparently James Hetfield made it out there, too.

Let's see, you get one week of vacation per year. How would you like to spend it? On a beach somewhere tropical? Skiing in the Hamptons? Nah. Let's do the usual: Ensconced in a homemade Hazmat suit, choking on dust, sweating out some bad acid and shitting in an overflowing Port-O-Potty.

Humor me for a moment by imagining this dude, naked and sweaty, mashing his balloon knot against that bicycle seat for seven days straight. Now imagine sniffing said seat.

His name is Jeff and he works in Accounts Payable.

This fucking Burner is totally on the "cutting edge" of "modern music". Right now, he's totally singing lyrics to a song by this really obscure Gypsy band from New York called Gogol Bordello. You probably haven't heard of them yet.

Did you know that there's a Scat Porn Appreciation Society on Facebook?


Desperate, desperate cries for help that will never come.

I know you paid for all the gas to get out here and everyone else drank your distilled water, but aren't you taking this a little too far?

Jesus Christ, even Burning Dan looks at this fucking Burner and says "LOOK AT THAT FUCKING BURNER!" Harsh.