WORMPHLEGM - In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious (Retrospective)
Village stalwart Izzy is delivering a fresh retrospective review every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Get out your rubber spiders, fake blood, and dollar store fog machine--it’s October 30th and tomorrow is Halloween! It’s my favourite holiday, probably unsurprisingly if you know me, and so I wanted to make a special review for you all this Hallow’s Eve. I thought about it for a bit, and decided I would review the scariest album I’ve ever heard, now for most people that might take some thinking, but for me I immediately knew the one and only album deserving of that title for me.
Wormphlegm’s debut project… *ahem*, In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious, a 32 minute single track demo which for the sake of brevity I will refer to shortened as In an Excruciating Way.
Written by: Izzy
It’s time for Sleeping Village trivia hour again. I’ve mentioned this on occasion, but let it be known: I think Iceland has the best current black metal scene. Every year there seems to be a new album coming from over there that blows my mind with their love of claustrophobic yet hypnotizing harmony and low commanding growls rather than icy shrill shrieks. While I do have a soft spot for Poland and Sweden as well, Iceland is where it’s at.
So, you’d expect me to have been all over this band by now, right? Well, I listened to their collaborative release with Wormlust last year and thought that was good, but I never listened to their solo stuff until around a month ago when their third album, fittingly named Skáphe³, was suddenly the latest talking point around all my black metal loving friends, so I listened to it and well…holy shit.
Written by: Izzy
Ah, Anaal Nathrakh. You’re one of the oddest relationships I have with a band. You’re capable of making incredible music, but it only seems to happen by pure coincidence. I loved Codex Umbra and The Whole of The Law, I was bored by Vanitas and A New Kind of Horror, and the album of yours I most expected to love, In The Constellation of The Black Widow, was made utterly unlistenable but a mix so unrefined and muddy it gave me a migraine on my first listen.
There’s so much potential present within Anaal Nathrakh, but there’s no rhyme or reason for telling when they’ll make another album I love. When it’s straightforward and sticking to their palette of blackened grind, it might end up feeling like bland retreading of the same ground; when it’s more adventurous and innovative, adding elements of industrial or symphonic sung choruses, it can just as easily feel like they’re trying too hard. So all I can do is wait and listen to their new releases every couple years, hoping I get another unexpected gem.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
For Los Angeles industrial noise rock band HEALTH, the album cycle has two distinct parts. First, there’s the studio album with all-new material, and typically it will be different from the last one, but a lot of the major HEALTH components will be there. Then, a year or so after the studio album comes another album with the word “disco” in the title. This will have remixes of the tracks from the studio album provided by other artists such as Crystal Castles, Toxic Avenger, Tobacco, and Purity Ring. The band followed this pattern for three albums, but for the fourth cycle, they decided to change it up. Rather than remixes, DISCO4 contains entirely new tracks created in collaboration with all the contributing artists.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Earlier this year, I touched on Thirsty Demon’s debut demo from 2019 titled Waning Death, which was a pretty exceptional taste of death/thrash that fits the Chilean scene. This year, they’ve brought forth a full-length record, something I’ve been anticipating for a bit. Titled Unconscious Suicide, this one mostly does away with the thrash influences and focuses on death metal crisp.
To go along with that, the songwriting itself is tightened up regarding clarity in guitar leads, and overall it’s less chaotic in delivery. Pretty normal moving from the demo stage, but all three of the main tracks from the demo made it here (hold the interlude track). “Sadistic Desire,” “Waning Death,” and “With Them You Will Rot” blend in very well, and the grueling touch to the vocals and a different production significantly boost this. If there are any real signs of the thrash roots showing, they’re gonna peak out here.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Hello once again! The next album in Necrophagia's stellar discography is The Divine Art of Torture. (If you missed the first and second review in the series, be sure to check 'em out! - Ed). After the previous lineup broke up, Killjoy would recruit the help of guitarists and brothers Frediablo and Fug, former Immortal bassist Iscariah, drummer Tita Tani, and keyboardist extraordinaire and Sigh's genius mastermind Mirai Kawashima. This lineup would end up being the most active in the studio, releasing two albums and an EP all within the span of three or four years. But it all starts with this album.
One thing that's noticeable from the get-go is that the new guitarist's styles are a little bit more refined. More melody, more technicality, but still keeping true with that Necrophagia sound. "Blaspheme the Body" starts the album out on a more brutal note with blackened sinister riffs, thrashy drums, and the voice of KIlljoy. "Upon Frayed Lips of Silence," however, is the first highlight on the album. This decrepit, groovy number instills that sense of catchiness for which Necrophagia was always known. This song is pure filth, the riffs ooze with decay. Though this isn't the most keyboard-centered Necrophagia release, this is the album that begins the process of adding more keyboards and synths to their sound. The subtle and spacey synths of Mirai Kawashima act as a juxtaposition to the rotting hymns of the band itself, which I give major praise to.
Village stalwart Izzy is stepping up the retrospective game, and will henceforth deliver a fresh one every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Have you ever wondered what John Zorn sodomizing a saxophone at a Godflesh concert would sound like? Well, if so, firstly let me say you have excellent taste, and secondly, I think it would sound a hell of a lot like God’s 1992 cult classic Possession.
For the shamefully uninitiated, God are a strange and short lived band formed in 1987 with an expansive list of semi-notable underground musicians that have occupied its roster. They employed a rather bizarre and grotesque blend of industrial metal, avant-garde jazz, and noise rock, resulting in an aberrant creation I truly feel no reservations in calling one of a kind. A frenzied and insane concoction of influences, Possession is an album that, if released today into the musical landscape of streaming and accessibility, would no doubt in my mind be hailed as a masterpiece.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
So here we are again! I'm just gonna get straight into it.
Holocausto de la Morte is the second album (not counting the bootleg release of what was supposed to be their first album) from Necrophagia. Notably, a lot had changed for Necrophagia since Season of the Dead. For one, the band broke up in early 1987, in which Killjoy subsequently began a few other projects including his solo band Killjoy and the ever-underrated (and previously reviewed by your's truly) Cabal. After Cabal broke up, Killjoy retired from the music industry to focus on taking care of his family, but in 1998 something changed. Killjoy was approached by none other than Philip H. Anselmo of Pantera fame. Philip and Killjoy had been in contact since the 1980's and Phil always showed his appreciation for Necrophagia.
So, to my knowlege, the story goes that Phil asked Killjoy if he'd reform Necrophagia...and he originally declined, But, due to the persistence of Phil, he gave in, under the condition that Phil write the sickest, most horrific, and deranged horror metal album of all time. Within a month or two Phil came back with this entire album written. Killjoy was so impressed that he agreed and thus the reformation of the greatest band of all time came to be, and therefore Holocausto de la Morte was vomited forth from the gaping womb of extreme metal.
Written by: Izzy
I’m noticing a bit of a trend in the world of metal music recently. Maybe I’m just oblivious and this has been happening for a while, but in the last two years especially, I’ve noticed what I’d dare say is an old-school deathcore revival.
In 2019 we had Knocked Loose, Fuming Mouth, Vatican, Serration, and Venom Prison (the lattermost being one of my favourite albums of that year), then just out of 2020 so far we've got Gulch, Xibalba, Year of The Knife, Umbra Vitae, and…Venom Prison again? Maybe 2020 isn’t so bad after all. At the very least, this will be a great opportunity to talk about one of my favourite and most underlooked styles in metal!
This review was originally published in January of this year. Moribund Kingdom's forthcoming physical release via Trepanation Recordings, however, is an occasion worthy of republication. Since the time of writing, my appreciation of this album has only grown, and it remains a frequent companion in the many, many times throughout the day where more extreme music simply won't do. Pre-order here! - Ed.
Written by: The Administrator
If you, much like the ravens lurking outside our drafty scriptorium, are on the hunt for something new and shiny, I'm happy to present an alternative from our standard fare. Today on the docket: a healthy platter of horror-tinged gothic dungeon synth, conjured from the mind behind the (equally stellar) Order of the Wolf. In this newfound context outside the underground black metal sphere, he goes by Spectral Child. Moribund Kingdom is the first haunted creation of this alter ego.
I like to think of Spectral Child's Moribund Kingdom as an alternate soundtrack to the horror-themed action games that (only partially, I swear) defined my adolescence. While it certainly isn't a sonic match to, say, the grossly high-octane riffage of the equally high-octane Painkiller series, the mood is similar. Consistently menacing, in a word. Frightening in a sincere sense--like if the more intense moments of the soundtrack to Amnesia were distilled and reproduced in synth-based form. That comparison, again, is a bit of a stretch, but the fact remains: there is something about Spectral Child that feels intrinsically attached to the world of video games wherein a lone protagonist braves a world designed exclusively to confound and cause harm.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!