Episode 10 – Darker than the Swoon of Sin

Episode 10 – Darker than the Swoon of Sin (right click to download)

“Imagine some foul and putrid corpse that has lain rotting and decomposing in the grave, a jelly-like mass of liquid corruption. Imagine such a corpse a prey to flames, devoured by the fire of burning brimstone and giving off dense choking fumes of nauseous loathsome decomposition. And then imagine this sickening stench, multiplied a millionfold and a millionfold again from the millions upon millions of fetid carcasses massed together in the reeking darkness, a huge and rotting human fungus. Imagine all this, and you will have some idea of the horror of the stench of hell”.*

This episode has the stench of rotting human fungus and is dedicated to James Joyce who, we know for a fact, was the biggest Slayer fan.

PLAY IT LOUD! We’ll be back with more sonic corruption on July 22nd.

Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.

Episode 10 – Darker than the Swoon of Sin

“They told me, when I have these bad dreams, to try and put endings… on the dreams, like I come out a winner. But every time I try to do that… I just can’t get anywhere”. There’s no fiction, as evil and satanic as it is, that can beat the sheer horror of reality: post-traumatic stress disorder, anti-depression pills, lack of empathy, absence of self-love, sexual repression, passive-aggression, suburban dreams and disappointments, TV dinners, family life.  You’re reminded of precisely that when you listen to this harrowing piece from the enormous Butthole Surfers, masters of reality distortion, genre fusions, drug intake. And, at least for one half of SATAN MADE ME DO IT, “22 Going On 23” features the greatest guitar solo ever. A stinging, perfectly narrative-embedded example of how, when put in context, beauty and melancholy can be the most grotesque thing you will ever see or feel.

Prior to this we had “Nar Mattaru”, the one track from Morbid Angel’s virtuoso “Covenant” album that doesn’t sound like played by a technical pyromaniac on steroids who also suffers from germophobia. We know how influential and critically acclaimed “Covenant” was, and we get it, but for us it feels more like an argument for “less is more”.

Dream Death proves that while there’s plenty of great new music being released every day you can rest assured that there are still some amazing acts from the old days waiting to be properly discovered and worshiped. Dream Death remains a band that deserves your undying attention. Doom (not the boring kind) and thrash metal can, in fact, coexist.  And if that wasn’t enough reason to spike your interest there’s also that exquisite Tom G Warrior-styled riffing where everything sounds so simple and yet oh so tight. It’s still hard to explain after all these years and that’s exactly what’s so special about it. By way, don’t hesitate to give a listen to their comeback album, “Somnium Excessum”. It’s brilliant.

Now, about Poison from Germany. A thrash metal track is usually as good as its riffs, but even then it’s no easy task to pull off 7+ minute long songs without listeners start yawning “BOREFEST!” Keep in mind there’s nothing inherently wrong with tracks that run for 7, 10 or 15 minutes. But the fact remains: most “extreme” metal bands flat out fail when attempting to come up with significantly longer tunes. But Poison is special. Their early demos were characterized by classic Hellhammer/Sodom worship, but once 1986 kicked in these guys got their shit straight and recorded one the very best metal demos of all time. No shit, this is as good as it gets deathrash/first-wave black metal. With songs ranging from 7 minutes to 9 minutes (!), it’s almost miraculous how it all sounds so fucking intense all the way through TO THIS DAY! Remember, at this point in time there still wasn’t much in the way of metal “flavors” and that is noticeable here. There’s a timeless ingenuity in the way these guys played their instruments and that’s just one of the reasons why there’s nothing quite like 80s metal. There will never be.

We decided to pick up the nerve-wrecking soundtrack for “Last House on Dead End Street” and go back to a setting capable of producing brain boiling anxiety, over the shoulder paranoia, shrinking of the skin fear. Perfectly complemented, we must argue, by Celtic Frost’s ominous “Os Abysmi Vel Daath”. We won’t even dwell on talking about Celtic Frost. It was just a matter of time before they crept up on one of our episodes.

There’s no shame in bashing most folk metal. Seriously, 90% of it is hot garbage. Vetter falls into those magic 10% because of how the band toys around with so many genres to create something fresh and, more importantly, actually great! There’s some folk, sure, but there’s also noise, doom, black metal (the Norwegian kind, specifically Burzum) and even Viking stuff thrown in for good measure. The whole album is pretty good. Check it out for sure. One of 2012s best surprises. Shouts to Fenriz’s Band of the Week. We follow it up with one of Ildjarn’s bite-sized black metal harmonies from the band’s second 1992 demo.

The curtains go down. We end up by getting back to the suggestion that beauty is often the most effective way to emphasize horror. This theme is one of the most beautiful and gentle songs ever. It is also part of the soundtrack for one of the most cursed films in cinema history – a precursor of the modern found footage films, displaying extremely graphical brutality (including real death of animals), sexual violence and a colonialist tone. Or, as other people argue, it’s a tour de force of horror realism and social commentary. Anyway, everyone knows about “Cannibal Holocaust”. We pay our respects to Riz Ortolani, the soundtrack author, who passed away earlier this year.

* – in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, by James Joyce.

Tracklist

  1. Nar Mattaru| Morbid Angel (USA) | Covenant, 1993 http://www.morbidangel.com/
  2. 22 Going On 23 | Butthole Surfers (USA) | Locust Abortion Technician, 1987 http://www.buttholesurfers.com/
  3. Bitterness and Hatred | Dream Death (USA) | Journey into Mystery, 1987 https://www.facebook.com/DreamDeathSludge
  4. Yog-Sothoth | Poison (GER) | Into the Abyss, 1987 http://www.discogs.com/artist/1386030-Poison-9
  5. “Last House on Dead End Street” OST, 1977
  6. Os Abysmi Vel Daath | Celtic Frost (CH) | Monotheist, 2006 http://www.celticfrost.com/
  7. Brattefoss | Vetter (NOR) | Vetterkult, 2012 http://folknoise.com/
  8. Track 4 (Untitled) | Ildjarn (NOR) | Seven Harmonies of Unknown Truths http://ildjarn.bandcamp.com/
  9. Cannibal Holocaust (main theme) | Riz Ortolani (ITA) | Cannibal Holocaust OST, 1980 http://www.discogs.com/Riz-Ortolani-Cannibal-Holocaust/master/61282
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