Saturday, September 20, 2014

New blog

I started a new blog, exclusively for my movie reviews. I will probably be posting more frequently in it than I do here:

Obscuro Films

Saturday, September 13, 2014

More incredibly strange metal

Here are a few more of these oddball metal releases I've collected over the years...

First, two non-classics from the Metal Enterprises label. See this post and this post for more info on that fiasco...

Kalaschnikov, like the other artists in the ME stable, probably just wanted distribution for their mediocre album ('The Torture Never Stops') but got ripped off like so many others when the label did a fake 'follow up' record with their own in-house musicians/producers. Unlike the other groups (such as Killer Fox, whose original recordings were just unlistenable garbage) Kalaschnikov's sound was at least weird on its own.

The whole album kinda feels like it was written in a day, including the lyrics, which are so over-the-top 'evil' you have to hear them to believe them. It's like somebody told the vocalist to just sing about stuff that was the opposite of the Bible, so you get classics like 'Kill Your Neighbor' and 'Devil's Your Hero.' Despite the crappy production, it's a pretty good time, and you can't really hate songs like 'Rockin' By the Graveyard' and 'Video Monsters.' The lack of musicianship also seems to have resulted in some unusual guitar riffs in a kind of Voivod-ish way.

So, then, enter the ME staff's version of Kalaschnikov, present on their second (and final) album 'Desert Storm.' It sounds like they weren't even trying on this one. Two long tracks of obvious space-filling 'ambient' stuff, a few songs that sound a little too musically competent to be the ME guess is that they got hold of some Kalaschnikov demos for a second album, and dubbed their own awful vocals over. Then there are a handful that are obviously the same people responsible for the second Killer Fox and Thrash Queen albums. The ridiculous female operatic vocals and the snarly cartoonish male vocals, bad drum machines and totally non-metal guitar tones. Oh yeah, and whistling solos.

Yeah. Fucking whistling solos on what is essentially a thrash metal song ('Czarewitch').

Well...basically, if you're for some reason collecting all the Metal Enterprises releases, these will be of use to you. Otherwise, probably not? Oh well, the first album is enjoyably funny at least.

Kalaschnikov - 'The Torture Never Stops'

1. Devil's Your Hero
2. The Haunted House
3. Rockin' By the Graveyard
4. Kill Your Neighbor
5. Chosen One
6. Demon's Rebellion (Instrumental)
7. Video Monsters
8. Hell's Runnin' Wild
9. Demon's Rebellion (Vocal)


Kalaschnikov - 'Desert Storm'

1. Czarewitch
2. Siberian Werewolf
3. Homage to the Holocaust
4. Headbanger
5. Stinking Shrine
6. Scull Scratcher


Lastly, here's a release that might not be EXACTLY metal, but it definitely has metal influences (mostly from the doom genre) and it's certainly fucked up. While there are quite a few bands calling themselves Warning, this is the 1982 release by the German synth-doom group. Actually, the vocals here wouldn't sound too out of place on a Metal Enterprises release...they're like...death metal growls? I guess? But put through all sorts of effects to make it sound like aliens. The music is literally a head-on collision between OG doom metal (think Sabbath and Witchfinder General) and euro-disco synth stuff.

It's pretty goofy, but it's also very enjoyable, and occasionally really creepy. One review compares them to Rammstein, and I guess that's not far off, but WAY WAY more 80's than that description lets on. It really does sound like Kraftwerk playing satanic metal before that kind of metal even existed. If you read this blog, you'll like it I'm sure.

Warning - S/T

1. Why Can the Bodies Fly
2. Magic Castle
3. Wild Roses for the Exit
4. Darkness
5. Out of Tune
6. The Door (Pt. I)
7. The Door (Pt. II)
8. A Message
9. Warning
10. Lost in Time
11. In the Crowd


Sunday, September 7, 2014

2 classics of 'incredibly strange metal'

Here are a couple relics from my days as a metal radio guy. Hopefully I will put some other stuff like this up here in the near future.

First up, an experimental death metal band from Italy called Trifixion. Apparently they only put out this one album, in 1995, although there is at least one other band with the same name.

It's way more varied than pretty much any other death metal release out there...atmospheric keyboard passages lead to psych-rock jams, which lead to trebly black metal guitar and psychotic screaming. I'm not really sure what kind of audience these guys were going for, and maybe that's why they only did one album.

I guess some of the experimentation could be called similar to Voivod (my favorite metal band) but basically if those guys were death/black metal instead of thrash. It isn't particularly well-recorded, but all the musicians are super-talented so you never really notice. The artwork is fairly creepy, too. Probably more out there than most experimental metal fans can tolerate, but outsider/weirdo music appreciators will dig this.

Trifixion - 'Abschurfungepoch'

1. Fear, Is All That I See
2. Col Heaven
3. Litanie
4. World Called Truth
5. Immortal
6. You Breed
7. Abschurfungepoch


Next is a release that isn't nearly as challenging or intelligent. Actually, it's not intelligent at ALL. You may remember me posting about Killer Fox and the awful Metal Enterprises label. Click that link, please, so I don't have to recap.

This is another outing from the producers of the second Killer Fox album, and it's just as awful, if not more so. There are some very distinct (and completely out-of-place) reggae influences, and it also has the WORST Beatles cover I've ever heard. The female vocalist who is present on the Thrash Queen album is on this quite a bit. Also, it seems like they included some demos by the original Godzilla band, as if the album wasn't inconsistent enough already. Just terrible, stupid, and entertaining.

Godzilla - 'II'

1. Ingoz
2. Helter Skelter
3. Ass of the Prophet
4. I Followed the Zombie
5. Cinderella Rockefella
6. Halfbreed
7. Killing Joke
8. Foul
9. Outgoz


Outsider cinema, vol. 2 - 'Hawk Jones'

First off, this post does NOT include a download link for the movie, BUT, it is extremely affordable from the creator's website, and I'd encourage all of you to support them.

This is one of the most bizarre things to come out of the 1980's VHS era that I've ever seen. We will start off with a quote from the director's website:

"Hawk Jones was the brainchild of Tor Lowry.  Tor got the idea for Hawk Jones when he saw a Bill Cosby Jello commercial in which all the kids were dressed as adults.  Tor thought that would make for an interesting movie to have an all child cast and his brother, Rico, agreed.  "

Yep. The only film I'm aware of with an all-children cast...but it's also not FOR children.

The plot is not very good, and the script isn't's your basic thriller/crime caper with 40's film noir references. Obviously, though, that doesn't matter, because it's ALL CHILDREN.

So, it's an hour and a half of kids smoking cigars, driving cars, shooting each other up (yes, there is blood), hanging out at bars, and talking like 1940's adults ('The streets are no place for dames!'). All of which makes for an incredible viewing experience.

One review I read claimed that this is the type of film you couldn't get away with making in modern times, which is definitely true. I'm surprised that they found a whole cast of children whose parents were cool with this back in '86 or whatever. I mean, some of it is borderline creepy. Judging by the info on the director's website, they did have trouble finding a distributor, even in the anything-goes VHS era.

What's weirder is that it's actually well does look to be shot-on-video, but the editing is flawless, and all the sets are well-decorated. My guess is that an extremely wealthy person did this, and had enough sense to hire people for production than do it himself. Somehow, he also found some pretty decent child actors...I mean, a few of them are REALLY good for how old they are.

Here are a few highlights:

-A kid hitman named 'The Eliminator' who wears some bizarre homemade sunglasses and a golfer hat.

-A lengthy, awkward scene where two kids 'make eyes' at each other.

-Multiple kid gangsters with drawn-on facial hair who keep asking their boss 'want me to waste him??'

-The music, which is gloriously 80's but also would be more appropriate for an early Olsen twins film or something.

-A kid playing an old man, complete with a walker and grey wig.

Yeah, it's great. I also wonder if any of these kids went on to become 'real' actors?