dimanche 21 décembre 2014

Cultfinder - Hell's Teeth (EP 2014)

Skip the useless intro, then listen to All Conquering Death and I dare you to avoid finding you later in the day singing its chorus. This first song of Cultfinder's second EP Hell's Teeth is a masterpiece in D-beating black thrash metal. The young band from the UK is also doing a good job in the rest of the EP in blending primitive black metal, thrash, speed metal and D-beat. The lo-fi but put forward in the mix drums sounds demo but I think that it suits the style well. I like the drums mixed forward when it's combining blast beat and d-beat, powerful combination that is the key to this kind of metal in my opinion. If you're only into sophisticated metal that sure won't be your stuff but if you like your black metal raw and spiced with a healthy dose of thrash and punk then Hell's teeth will be a piece of choice. Simple but really enjoyable music!

Their BC page 

mercredi 17 décembre 2014

The Cretin interview

After my review of their excellent comeback album Stranger, in which once again they prove how exiting old school death / grind can sound, here's the interview we did by mail with two members of Cretin, Matt Widener (bass and backing vocals) and Marissa Martinez-Hoadley (lead vocals and rhythm guitar). read it below :

- Cretin's back after a long time, how do you feel about it? were you a bit anxious (would the Cretin "alchemy" work as well as it used to be?) or was it just excitement about reviving Cretin and playing this music together again?
Marissa: I was definitely excited to get going again. This band really exists as an extension of our friendship. So, the chemistry between us is strong. It’s always a great time when we can get together. Even if we’re just arguing over the deeply held beliefs that a riff should have a blast beat behind it or not. Hahaha!

  -Can you say a few words about the band members involvement in other bands during the time between the two Cretin albums?

Marissa: After releasing “Freakery” Matt went on to release “Olidous Operettas” for his band The County Medical Examiners in 2007, and then “Better to Die on Your Feet Than Live on Your Knees” for his anarcho-grind band Liberteer in 2012.

Col Jones recorded drums for Dekapitator on “The Storm Before the Calm.” He also joined Mortuous and recorded a demo in 2012. Throughout that time he played drums for Repulsion.

Elizabeth Schall started her band Dreaming Dead and released two albums: 2009’s “Within One” and 2012’s “Midnightmares.”

In 2011 - 2013 I played second guitar in Repulsion.

  -The nightmarish lyrics are far more sophisticated and more "psychological" than usually it is in death metal songs. how was it written and what are the sources of inspiration? real stories, books or movies, or a mix?
Matt: I wrote them just as I’d write any short story. I had to be careful about length, but I eventually got pretty good at guessing how many words to write for each song. Then I’d carefully find ways to fit the words to the meter. My inspiration is literature. I went to grad school for fiction writing. I read a lot. I didn’t think about movies at all for the songs, I just wrote stories.

  -The contemporary paintings on the cover and booklet are also very different from the usual death / grind art. did you wanted to have create a contrast between the more sophisticated lyrical and artistic elements and the "barbaric" music?

Matt: That’s an interesting way to frame it. That wasn’t really our intent, though. The paintings came from our artist friend. I saw him every week and told him the stories I was writing for the album, and he’d paint some of them. At a certain point, I couldn’t stop imagining the paintings as the album art. I asked him if we could use them, then talked to the band about it. Everyone liked the idea. We weren’t trying to be clever or anything. To me, many of the paintings are ominous. The figure of a silhouette is dangerous because you can’t see the detail of the person. This fit the theme of “Stranger” exactly.

  -Seems to me that many riffs of Cretin sounds inspired by trash metal and especially Slayer, have you listened to a lot of trash metal or is it just a reflection of the fact that early death metal started as trash metal pushed to the extreme?

Marissa: Metallica was the first band to get me into metal. I was a thrash fan for a few years before Matt got me hooked on death metal and grind. There was definitely a period of time when I abandoned thrash for extreme metal, but I came back around to it eventually.

We’ve always bit from early Slayer in Cretin. Not only do we love a lot of their music, but for our first album we were trying to recapture Repulsion’s sound. Repulsion was heavily influenced by Slayer, and their goal was to make it faster and more extreme. So, if you’re trying to play like Repulsion and ignore “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits”… I don’t know how close you’ll get...

For “Stranger” though, we really wanted to grow Cretin’s sound. We consciously cut down on the Repulsion worship in this album, and pulled in other influences we’ve always had.

Matt: I like the thrash classics because I grew up with them. I’m not a huge thrash follower these days, but Slayer is one of my favorite bands. Marissa kept bringing in those types of riffs, so I threw in some as well. It just sort of happened.

  -Which are your preferred songs in Stranger, and why?

Marissa: My favorite song has changed a few times, but currently I really like “Knights of the Rail.” That’s the only song on the record where Matt and I both contributed riffs. On all of the other songs Matt or I wrote all of the riffs for each individual song.

I think the song rocks and has a good mix of grind, death, and thrash riffs. The breakdown sounds massive, and I really like the culture that Matt created in the lyrics. The song is about two warring hobo gangs. Matt found an online dictionary of hobo slang, and used it to write the lyrics.

Matt: Mine changes all the time. The lyrics were written at the very end, sometimes the night before we recorded vocals, and a song can change when you first hear vocals over music you’ve been rehearsing dry for a year. “The Beast and the Drowning Bucket” was like that. The song was a little tricky for me to play bass too and made me grumpy. Then the vocals just made everything click, and now it’s one of the best. Besides that, “Ghost of Teeth and Hair” is something I like to listen to. It’s about as epic as a Cretin song will get.

  -Was the writing and recording / producing process very different from what you did for the Freakery album?

Marissa: Yes and no. The writing process has always been similar. Matt and I go off separately and write a song, and then bring it to rehearsal. The big difference is that last time I was really strict on how each song had to be played, what drum beat had to be behind each riff… I was really controlling. This time, I was way more open to collaboration. It was way less stressful this time, and a lot more fun.

Matt: It was way more fun this time.

  -What does grindcore means to you? has your relation with it evolved with the time? and what do you feel about how grindcore is evolving?

Matt: Good question. I guess listening to grindcore for so long, I don’t really think of it in analytical terms. I do end up listening to as many new bands as I can find. I love old grind and I love new grind. There’s this band called Piss Vortex I just heard tonight that I love. I like all the technicality and jazzy chords, same thing for bands like Gridlink. But I love rougher more punk-driven grindcore, too. That last Death Toll 80K album was great. I’d probably say that my tastes in grindcore have grown along with all the experimentation. When I was young, I was a purist, a traditionalist. It’s a conservative mindset. Nowadays, I listen to it all, I love all of it. I can’t say that about any other style of metal. I only like some types of black metal, only some types of death metal. But grindcore, I like everything.

  -Which bands from your area would you recommend?
Marissa: There’s actually a pretty good collection of bands in the Bay Area currently. Obviously, I’d recommend Autopsy, and Exodus always put on a fun show. But, definitely check out Necrot and Scolex. They play some sick old school death metal.

Matt: I’m such a hermit, I never leave my house so I don’t see many shows.


  -Which evolution would you like to see happening in the underground scene?
Marissa: Nothing would make me happier than to see “Stranger” go platinum. Let’s make it happen!

  -What is planned for Cretin in the coming months? are you already preparing a next release?

Marissa: We don’t have any plans for another release. The main focus right now is deciding on a setlist, so we can get out and play some shows.

  -Something to add?

Marissa: 1+2+3+1+1+2+3+1=? (Hint: Title of our Decibel Flexi disc track)

Thanks to Matt and Marissa for answering my questions!

vendredi 12 décembre 2014

Six brew bantha - Intravenously commodified (2014)

The cover art of their new LP pay hommage to "Scum" and Six brew bantha sure are worthy followers of the good ol' grind traditions, Intravenously commodified is proving again that they are in full possession and control of the grind basics. But they are playing it in their own way and with all the firepower of modern grind. The nine songs are grinding furioulsy all over the place, fast, sharp, raw and with all the riffing and rythms changes that are needed to keep the intensity (and intense it is!) lively and the listener hooked. they are delivering the grind with a nice trashy crossover touch while keeping it grind brutal. Even the longer closing track is good and not another poor attempt at mixing grind with sludge or whatever, it's not even slower in fact, just trying a more complex song structure. Six brew bantha (as well as a few others canadian bands) is doing a very good job at strenghtening the grind scene and Intravenously commodified is one of the finest grind blast of 2014.

The BC page.

samedi 6 décembre 2014

Cretin - Stranger (2014)

In the end of the eighties trash metal and hardcore punk were getting more extreme, giving birth to death metal and grind (but of course the lines were more blurred back then). It was really exiting times, and records pushing forward the extreme style sounded really genuine and fresh (eing born in '82 I wasn't into metal yet, but just play one of those records and you'll hear this exitement blasting through your speakers). in the 2000' (with a demo and the Freakery album release by Relapse) Cretin did a really good job of reviving that feeling and sound, influenced by the aggressive trash of Slayer, primitive death bands like Autopsy and early grind like Napalm death and even more Repulsion. They now are back with Stranger, an album that can stand proudly side by side with Freakery. Don't expect any evolution but expect another feast of barbaric death grind beating with a primitive groove, simple but deadly efficient and so damn cool.

The Bandcamp page.

vendredi 5 décembre 2014

Nashville pussy - Up the dosage (2014)

Up the dosage is "only" their sixth album but it seems that Nashville pussy gained a long time ago a well deserved status of one of the best hard rock band around. Some might regret they didn't stick to the punkier, rawer and faster syle of their first album ("Let them eat pussy"). It was and still is a very enjoyable record but i'd say I prefer the less one-sided and groovier sound of their next albums. This diversity and this groove is well represented in the new one. You'll find in it some fast tracks ( "rub it to death" or "spent") that would easily fit in Let them eat more pussy, some more rocking rhythm and blues, soul, blues ("before the drugs wear off"), southern rock,  or country("hooray for cocai, hooray for Tennessee") , and of course classical AC/DC style hard rock (like in "till the meat falls of the bone" and nearly every song of the album) influenced songs, you'll have the guitar solos, the girl backing vocals (and even some lead vocals from one of the girl on the short "takin it easy", something new that is working really fine ), the meat and the potatoes. maybe Up the dosage is not as good as "High as hell" or "Say somehing nasty" but it's a very cool album, and a new Nashville pussy is always welcome anyway..

their website