Sunday, November 29, 2009


With Illogical Contraption currently on the fritz and Yours Truly currently scrambling to re-up a whole shitload of files for y'all (see post below), it hasn't been the most productive time for us here at I.C. Branch Headquarters.
But Luckily, there are Bros like Jon H. from Milwaukee out there (not to be confused with John D. from Milwaukee, who also rules) looking out for the best interests of this blog at our weakest moments. I found a link to Jon's band Truthdealer in my inbox the other day, along with an additional link to download their as-yet-unreleased (hence the lack of cover art) LP The Contrarian and an open invitation to share it on I.C.
This doesn't happen very often, but let me tell you: When it does, it fucking pumps my nads. Especially when it's a band as killer as Truthdealer. I've been spinning The Contrarian almost constantly since Jon hooked me up, addicted to its catchy blend of blazing hardcore, goofy humor, cool guitar effects, and metallic crunch. These guys are mean as fuck, but FUN as fuck too, as evidenced by songs like "Nice Fucking Voice - Please Stop Singing" (it's about Bob Dylan) and "Homicide, Suicide, or Billy Joel - Your Choice". Go check out their Myspace page (link below) and then get The Contrarian immediately. This shit is white hot.

Download HERE

Below: Jon = Bro.

PS: Thanks for 100,000. I was hoping it would fall on I.C's 1 year mark (Tuesday), but you guys blew it again. Way to go.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Bad news, Contraptioneers.
For some reason, all of the files I had stored on MediaFire were deleted today, without warning or explanantion. I only switched over from Rapidshare a month or so ago, so not all links will be lost. But it will definitely take me some time to re-up what I had on there already. Any suggestions on dependable file-sharing sites?
Here's the kicker: I had just finished re-upping EVERY DEAD LINK EVER from I.C. yesterday, a total of over 60 albums. It was gonna be a 'One Year Anniversary' present for y'all. Bummer.

Fuck you, Mediafire.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Essential for so many reasons. Not just the well-worn stuff from Carcass, Morbid Angel, and Napalm Death... What about Spazztic Blurr, Mighty Force, and Intense Degree? What about Sweet Tooth? This thing is like a heavy metal time capsule, containing just about everything good going on in the world of meathead-metal circa 1991.
Actually, for the record, a limited version was released by Earache in 1989, and the extra tracks were added to the Combat/Earache version two years later for much wider distribution. So there you go.

1. Morbid Angel - Chapel of Ghouls
2. Repulsion - Radiation Sickness
3. Carcass - Exhume to Consume 
4. Godflesh - Streetcleaner 
5. Terrorizer - Dead Shall Rise
6. Hellbastard - Justly Executed
7. Carnage - Malignant Epitaph
8. Naked City - Osaka Bondage
9. Filthy Christians - Extremely Bad Breath
10. Old Lady Drivers - Colostomy Grab Bag
11. Intense Degree - I've Got A Cure
12. Sore Throat - Horrendify and Kill
13. Napalm Death - Malicious Intent
14. Entombed - But Life Goes On
15. Nocturnus - BC/AD
16. Bolt Thrower - World Eater
17. Lawnmower Deth - Satan's Trampoline
18. Cadaver - Hypertrophian
19. Sweet Tooth - Fat City
20. Mighty Force - Thrashing a Dead House
21. Spazztic Blurr - He-Not-A-Home-Me-Marco
22. Heresy - Release
23. Unseen Terror - Divisions
24. Napalm Death - You Suffer

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


... And manages to make it entertaining.

Stolen from Rad Dudes.



Noisy post-punk math weirdness built on a shaky, stuttering foundation cascading in and out of consciousness on shimmering waves of atmospheric feedback and electronic buzzing. Fuzz bass, Zornlike sax, jangly guitar and repetitive drum patterns spiral into either utter chaos or total harmony. Sort of like a more trance-inducing Dysrhythmia or a doom metal Sun Ra. Their words: "BRUTAL PROG: SPACE JAZZ: AMBIENT METAL". Sure.
For some reason, this seems like something Peter might like.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Combat Astronomy on Myspace

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



STALLION has quickly ascended the ranks of my Hero Scale since I first discovered his work yesterday, and now lies somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and Rob Cranny in overall accumulation of Hero Points. STALLION is a Force of Nature, a self-described "world class magician, mentalist, ice dancer and escape artist" who has "left a trail of spellbound victims across the United States and Europe." He has developed his own martial art (Majudo) and also teaches traffic school. STALLION is a champion, a warrior, a friend of the downtrodden.
You should probably go to his website immediately and have a look around.
Go ahead. I'll wait.

But there is some confusion as to who STALLION really is. The only evidence that he ever existed (internet-wise) comes from 2005, almost as if he vanished into thin air afterwards (or possibly ascended to a higher plane of existence....?) and his website has only received 35,400 hits in the last four years (right). Failed internet prank or real-life awesomeness?

A little bit of both, if we are to believe this article that appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian four years ago. As it turns out, STALLION is the alter-ego of Ted Ellison, bass player of the long-running Bay Area art-rock band Fuck (I'd love to give you a link to their Myspace page, but YOU try Googling "fuck myspace"). While Ted's all-encompassing love for magic and theatrics lends quite a bit credence to the STALLION mystique, it's also quite obvious that his tongue is placed firmly in cheek.

And of course STALLION is a musician, too. Check out the awesome jams on the web page for STALLION's traffic school or the page entitled "For Lovers Only" ("Edgy Sex Ninja Role Play!"). Totally rippin'!
He'll even teach you " to treat your lady like a Golden Squaw with (his) 5 point simultaneous 20 digit massage."
Maybe you should go have a look at his website now.

Let STALLION teach you about The Magic of Giving:

What does STALLION think about women?:

Above: Majudo can be spelled with or without the "E", because STALLION is mysterious like that.

When STALLION isn't busy reading minds, kicking ass Majudo style, playing sweet guitar solos, motivating high school students, quoting the Bible, or hunting deer, he still finds time to train COLT (right), the youngest member of Team Cherokee and the inheritor of STALLION's magical legacy. Colt is "Red Hot". Don't believe it? Watch this video.
Then watch this trailer (?) for Fogstorm, STALLION's upcoming (in 2005, at least) movie/stage production/all-out media invasion:

There are many more STALLION videos on YouTube, all of them with somewhere between 200 and 3,200 views each. It seems that most people have not yet encountered the STALLION Legacy. Illogical Contraption wishes to put an end to this ignorance. Go check out STALLION's website forthwith. Together we can give this legend the respect he deserves, and possibly even get his hit counter up to 35,500!


I got your "Austrian Death Machine" riiiight here, buddy.
Coming straight out of Klagenfurt is the bizarre creation known as Disharmonic Orchestra. Go ahead and categorize this album along with Cancer's To The Gory End and Carnage's Dark Recollections in the "brutal primitive death metal albums from 1990" bracket, alongside their fellow countrymen Pungent Stench in the "1991" file. These guys were playing some great thrash-influenced semi-experi-metal way before Earache or Roadraunner started dominating the market, and broke up after the release of 1994's Pleasuredome just as death metal's popularity ceased. But the always-strange Orchestra re-formed years later, and are still around to this day. I can't say I 100% understand where these dudes were coming from artistically, but I dig this album and some of their other early stuff, despite the fact that they put out albums with covers that looked like this and posed for band photos that looked like this or this or this or this or, worse yet, this. What gives, guys?

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

This version of Expositionsprophylaxe is a 2000 re-issue that also contains extra tracks from their legendary split album with Pungent Stench. You can also get said album here.

Disharmonic Orchestra on Myspace

Monday, November 23, 2009

HUMAN REMAINS - EP'S (1992/1996)

For my metal dollar, it doesn't really get much better than New Jersey's Human Remains.
Despite a minimal, spotty discography comprised of a couple demos, a couple singles, and a couple EP's, these guys forged a truly unique and inspired sound before disappearing into the grindcore ether well before their time was up. When I try to imagine what the PERFECT death metal band would sound like, my brain comes up with something pretty goddamn close to Human Remains. Weird, atonal guitar riffage with plenty of rapid volume knob manipulation, strange harmonics, and kind of a 'Middle Eastern' feel, blasting drums, schizophrenic changes, early-90's-Florida vocals -- A truly freaky and cacophonous concoction, superbly crafted without sounding the least bit pretentious or artsy-fartsy, blazingly speedy and crushing without falling into any of the well-worn conventions of the genre. So good. So, so good.

Human Remains' two most accessible recordings were released in 1992 and 1996, the first being an EP entitled Admirations Most Deep And Foul (shown above), and the second another short-player called Using Sickness As A Hero (shown at right). While the 3-song Admirations suffers from the expected lack of decent production, it is nonetheless a crippling mission statement from an obscure and multi-talented band, and the 7-song Sickness follows up nicely, with better production and improved songwriting.
These guys definitely share some common ground soundwise with Obscura-era Gorguts (although HR is more dynamically challenging and less repetitive), and could probably even be compared, evolution-wise, to bands like Brutal Truth or even a jazz-less Cynic. Guys from this band went on to play in such disparate and successful metal groups as Municipal Waste, Burnt By The Sun, and Discordance Axis, which led to a Relapse Records re-issue/discography called Where Were You When... in 2002.
This shit KILLS, straight up.

Download both EP's in ONE handy file right HERE
Buy the Relapse discography HERE

Human Remains on Myspace


First off, I've got to give respect to Mr. Seth J.G. Goodkind, creator of the awesome blogs Progression Toward Something of Questionable Significance and Lost Video Archive, for hipping me to the existence of 1981's Contamination aka Alien Contamination in the first place. Seth is a guru of all things low-budget, gory, and ass-kicking in 1980's VHS lore, and his contributions to the field of Obscure Gorror Blogematography cannot be overestimated. Thanks for the heads-up on this wonderful film, Bro, and thanks for doing such a great job documenting all those other forgotten gems from our videotaped past.

That being said, let's watch the trailer:

Contamination was the brainchild of Mr. Luigi Cozzi (right), who I like to think of as the Godfather of the Italian Knockbuster. You see, Cozzi was also the director of the supremely amazing Starcrash, which was basically his 1978 attempt to piggyback on the success of Star Wars a year earlier. But in creating Starcrash, Cozzi actually surpassed the film he was ripping off in greatness, setting a precedent for all terrible/brilliant Knockbusters to follow.
Contamination was his next attempt at riding the coattails of a popular film to success, and this time his target was Alien.

While Contamination's plot bears little resemblance to that of Alien, there are several details which provide a direct link. Luigi didn't have the budget to set his film in space or the ambition to set it in the future (well, technically I guess it's set in the "near" future), but the homage becomes obvious rather quickly. The story in Cozzi's film is centered around a bunch of eggs from space, which end up in a warehouse in NYC and begin multiplying. These eggs (which are near doppelgangers to the "alien eggs" from Alien) tend to explode from time to time, which is unfortunate, because they are filled with alien acid-blood (Alien), and when you get splashed by said blood it makes your stomach explode (Alien). And let us not forget the "Cyclops Alien" which makes its only appearance at the end of the film, a creature that seems suspiciously analogous to the "Mother Alien" (Alien).

All of which really brings us to the crux of this wonderful film. Despite some truly fascinating dubbed dialogue written by an obvious non-English speaker, Contamination can be kind of a snoozer. It crawls along at times, mired down by some sort of conspiracy plot involving a coffee company and a trip to Mars, but the seemingly random shots of exploding bodies, interspersed tastefully throughout the duration of the film, make it all worthwhile.
Seriously, the gore in Contamination is some of the most over-the-top stuff you'll ever see, and the sight of a guy in a low-budget, early 80's HazMat suit clutching his guts as they explode into a fountain of orange-ish (?) blood and meat clippings is pure cinematic wizardry. Forget the plot. Forget the cinematography. Just suspend your boredom/disbelief and revel in the glory of a whole SHITLOAD of splattering organs and rupturing viscera, delivered via screaming actors in white suits and gas masks.

"Pure gut-busting horror!":

Aside from the exploding stomachs, Contamination has its share of charming side-dishes as well. Cozzi obviously spent about 80% of his budget on the creation of the "Cyclops Alien" and the film's 60-second "trip to Mars" (shown below), and I've got to admit that it was money well spent. The Mars sequence (the only clue that this movie is set in the future...?) has sort of a space-movie-circa-1961 feel to it, with a couple guys walking around in broad daylight in costumes that resemble cardboard and tinfoil. Their arrival at the alien "cave" is both a study in absurdity and high art. The scene in which the "Cyclops Alien" devours one of the main characters with one of its gargantuan appendages is a keeper, too. No homo here, but it's basically a huge, green, uncircumsized phallus chowing down on that poor guy. Yikes.

Oh, and did I mention the soundtrack?
Unsurprisingly, it's another winner from Claudio Simonetti and Goblin (credited as "THE GOBLIN" in the beginning of the film), and adds an ever-present, uniquely Italian funk vibe to background of the movie. Nothing wrong with that.
All in all, a tasty combination of gore, camp, awkwardness, and unintentional comedy make Contamination a must-see. It doesn't quite surpass its inspiration the way Starcrash did, but I challenge anyone out there to name a movie better than Alien.
That's what I thought.

Netflix Contamination/Alien Contamination here. Buy it here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Talk about an impressive debut album.
The first from Santa Cruz, California's Decrepit Birth, ...And Time Begins, is an absolute, non-stop, pummeling declaration of total war, from the opening drum fill to the nine minute closing track. Comprised of composer/guitarist/vocalist Matt Sotelo, lead vocalist/homeless weed farmer Bill Robinson, Vital Remains/Deprecated/Dying Fetus bassist Derek Boyer (who left to join Suffocation), and blast-fiend extraordinaire Tim Yeung (former skinsman for Hate Eternal), Decrepit Birth was the perfect blend of death metal star power and small-town hessianism -- and it shows here.
By the release of their Cynic-y, overthought second release Diminishing Between Worlds, Decrepit Birth was back to only two original members (Sotelo and Robinson), absorbing three members from like-minded Santa Cruz/SF tech-metallers Odious Mortem. Which left Time Begins as something of a singularity, an amazing, flash-in-the-pan slab of utter brutality without precedent or equal. Plus, cover art by Dan Seagrave. So everybody wins.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Decrepit Birth on Myspace

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Just Wanted To Make Sure Everyone Was Aware That The Band (Hed)P.E. Has Officially "Gone Juggalo"...

And no, I'm not joking.


In case you didn't get quite enough Opera Metal back here, let's check out a couple more opera/classical/symphonic-themed European metal bands, shall we?

First off we have Haggard, from Bavaria, Germany. Haggard plays a very interesting version of chamber music-meets-death metal, and at last count had at least 19 members. Led by guitarist/vocalist Asis Nasseri, their complex and oddly medieval compositions alternate back and forth between crushing brutality and ethereal fantasy, and incorporate such instruments as oboe, French horn, bassoon, kettledrums, harpsichord, and crumhorn. Awaking The Centuries is their second of four full-length releases, and showcases their ability to shred from the orchestra pit to the mosh pit.

Haggard on Myspace


Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Okay, okay... Nevermind the horrible band photo up there. Sweden's Therion has gone through a multitude of changes since their formation in 1987 -- for better or for worse. They started out playing thrash metal, later moved on to death metal, and afterwards proceeded to a more symphonic sound (which is what we're here to talk about today). 22 years and at least 34 band members later, Therion has evolved into the latex-and eyeliner-clad beast seen above, but in 2001 they were doing some pretty killer shit, as evidenced by the semi-concept album Secret of the Runes. Basically a mid-tempo death band fronted by a eight part, male/female, alto/soprano/tenor/baritone vocal ensemble, Therion's sound on this album is singular and enchanting, and the whole idea behind it is pretty sweet, too. 
Ever heard of Uthark Theory? You know, the idea that ancient runes hold a deeper, hidden meaning, which can only be deciphered through esoteric studies and mysticism? It was pioneered, of course, by Swedish professor Sigurd Agrell in the 1930's, and Secret of the Runes is Therion's own personal contribution to the study. Want to learn more? Go ahead.

Therion on Myspace


Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Friday, November 20, 2009


Chaotic, thrashy, female-fronted hardcore, which rose from the ashes of South Carolina's Antischism. The band relocated to Austin, Texas, after their quasi-dissolution, reforming under the Initial State banner and releasing only one album before parting ways again. This is some pretty amazing stuff, especially for 1994 -- forward-thinking, aggressive, angular, and harsh. Sort of reminds me of Submission Hold with more balls or Calloused with more dynamic variety. Kinda rare.

Download HERE

Initial State on Myspace
Antischism on Myspace


Above: A high point in the history of bad computer graphics, 2002's Hulk.

You know, I used to really hate bad CGI in the late 90's and early 00's. But somehow, something has changed. I don't know why, but I find it very easy to really appreciate some really poorly-done CGI at present. It's the "good" CGI that irks me nowadays. That whole Lord of the Rings/Dark Knight school of high-budget, hi-tech SFX is what inspires my rage, not the 8-bit hacky stuff that was featured in my 'Knockbuster' post last week. I think that sort of stuff is actually pretty great. I mean, if you're going to give us giant, rampaging robots from outer space, shouldn't they actually look sort of fake? Maybe it's just me, but I sort of feel like "well done" CGI effects are kind of trying to pull a fast one on me, and at least the super-shitty looking stuff is being honest. I'm not 100% sure why, but I've gotten to a certain age and point in my life where I find terrible computer graphics to be supremely entertaining -- maybe it's nostalgia for my formative years in the early-to-mid 90's. Maybe it's my innate belief that the film industry peaked at Road House and Point Break and has been on the decline ever since. Maybe I'm just getting old and senile.

Right: Another bad-CGI classic, Tobe Hooper's 2000 release Crocodile.

But the entire history and evolution of bad computer animation/special effects can be traced back to one man: STEPHEN KING.
For some reason, television and film adaptations of King's books have ALWAYS featured the very WORST CGI effects available, from the humble beginnings of the art circa Jurassic Park to the present and beyond. Something about the shocking fakeness of some really terribly-rendered computer animation seems to be sublimely conducive to King's work, although a coherent explanation for this phenomenon doesn't seem to be readily available.
Let's take a look at several examples, and see if we can't get to the bottom of this puzzling quagmire once and for all...


Stephen King's first venture into the realm of awful computer animation was also the only film that he entirely disowned. The film version of The Lawnmower Man (starring Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Fahey) bore absolutely NO resemblance to the King story of the same name, which led to a lawsuit in which King demanded his name be removed from the film.
But Lawnmower will always be remembered as a King endeavor, and it marks the beginning point of his career in bad CGI. I mean, take a look at this shit:

I fucking LOVE this movie, and my love is based almost entirely on the horrible Tron-meets-Lazer Tag-meets-the Crayola drawings of a drunk kindergartener special effects.
This movie was made to cash in on the whole "virtual reality" craze of the early 90's, but it works on so many more levels than that. Get a load of the 3D-rendered computer sex scene (right) if you don't believe me. This is the future as seen through the eyes of a wristwatch calculator, drenched in neon and played on an Atari. Virtual Reality RULES.


Also released in 1992 was King's Sleepwalkers, a really terrible movie starring 90's it-girl Madchen Amick. Sleepwalkers took full advantage of that whole "digital-morphing" technology that was so popular right around '91/'92, using it in several transformation scenes of people turning into cats (or cat-like creatures). Michael Jackson was pretty fond of this particular effect as well, if I'm not mistaken.
Another bad CGI triumph for Mr. King. Check out the trailer, paying special attention to the car-and-face-morphing that take place at 1:00 and 1:05:

Bonus points for this scene:


While the TV-miniseries adaptation of The Tommyknockers didn't contain a whole lot of CGI, it is notable for both its earliness and also the very, very poor (aka "TV quality") nature of said effects. Rather than just using green lights, the producers opted to use CGI to produce lots of the eery green glow that permeates this film, and the results are catastrophic. In a good way.
Also of note is the scene in which Jimmy Smits shouts "You... You and your precious Tommyknockers!" Truly chilling stuff.

Go to about 1:35 for Jimmy's timeless line. It will be immediately followed by some pretty terrible CGI.


Another made-for-TV goody, this one starring Bronson Pinchot and Dean Stockwell. It's actually hard to believe that CGI effects this BAD were still being produced in 1995. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any video footage of the laughable "monsters" from this one (left), but watch the trailer and pay special attention to the "airplane" scenes in the first 20 seconds and then again at about 0:38. This is some truly groundbreaking made-for-TV-movie fail:


All in all, a pretty "blah" movie.
But it carries on the tradition/evolution of bad CGI in King adaptations nonetheless.
Take a good look at the "animation" on the bad guy's cane at 0:45 and 1:06. Subtle, but Stephen King was obviously still on top of his game in 1999, which meant he was at the bottom of the heap CGI-wise:

THE MIST (2007)

After several years of relative dormancy, the King legacy struck back in 2007 with the release of The Mist, an effects-driven psuedo-monster movie that left just enough lacking in the CGI department to be completely AWESOME. Heavy on the gore, dinosaurs, giant mosquitos, and sappy melodrama, Mist's strongest point was the confusing nature of its graphics, juxtaposing live action actors with CGI monsters in a complete mish-mash of absolute cognitive dissonance. Check it out:

King once again proves that he is not only the Master of the Macabre but also the Master of Computer Animation Gone Wrong -- a position that he has held for almost two decades. This clip is basically ALL of the bad CGI in The Mist boiled down to just a couple of minutes. Astonishing:

So what can we expect next from Stephen King adaptations, and what will it mean for the evolution of bad CGI in general? It's hard to say, but I'm willing to wager that the PET SEMATARY remake, coming in 2010, will be an integral element...

Here's another fun fact: Did you know that the only film or TV adaptation that Stephen King EVER had an issue with (besides The Lawnmower Man) was Kubrick's The Shining? It's true. Not even the made-for-TV remake, but the original. It was a personal issue -- Kubrick felt King was a hack, and in turn Stephen talked shit on his movie.

For another uncanny "Evolution of Bad CGI" film paradox, see also:

ANY Batman movie made in the 1990's.