Sunday, April 24, 2016

APOCALYPTIC RITES 8 (2016)





April 2016, 56/A4, xeroxed, Polish, hand-numbered, interviews: SKELETHAL, AUTOKRATOR, CATACOMBAT, INFERNUS SERPEST, ISRATHOUM, GOAT SEMEN, ADRIAN (R’Lyeh zine), SEPULCHER, TORMENTO BESTIAL, CEMETERY WHORE, TILL YOU FUKKIN BLEED.

I started to read this newest still hot issue being really high-mettled. Well, not only because of decent work with the previous piece of Apocalyptic Rites, but also my beloved Valencia beat Barcelona at Camp Nou. But let’s leave football since a mistful scytheman is coming near.  A fast perfunctory examination and all is clear: nothing has been changed. The style is continually the same (layout and general facies), maybe Robin painted it more white comparing to #7. The first cannon-shot is made by French Skelethal and, as opposed to Nechbeyth that opened the heptad, they are verbalize experts. But don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched, just look at their answer concerning the Islamic world. Nothing new in this topic…

This time Robin decided to inject his child with Polish ptomaine. No doubt, these chats belong to the best ones here. But from the beginning, very interesting Catacombat, a bit weaker Cemetery Whore. In turn another different dimension reaches friendly causerie (however Robin wastes his breath in editorial writing about it) with head representative of nice R’Lyeh community on Polish underground burning issues. It’s not an usual as always, Adrian and Robin spatter themselves with facts, arguments, and opinions, entering the ground of commercial tv world, lofty aspirations and money, presenting real stars of the underworld. The whole sucks in like a walking through the swamp. And one more thing, as it has culinary touch appetizing for dumplings, but guys, I prefer these ones filled with sauerkraut and mushrooms (boletus only). Till You Fukkin Bleed also brings something to eat, however I don’t like blood sausage at all. Focusing on the core, and except for Bartuus does a great job with his small label spewing all these tapes, it becomes a friendly fire-side talk and simply another interesting piece to read. Well done! As for world outside. Not as good as mentioned above, but definitely not a donkey ride, so there’s no need to be ashamed for. Autokrator gives really good stuff to be familiar with, just like very long Goat Semen. Sepulcher isn’t a cripple as well, but when Robin asks about printed press, Norwegians presents… five dots. Fuck, is the question about zines too difficult to get along? Fucking no, it has nothing in common e.g. with the Higgs boson and vascular endothelial growth factor. Or maybe Robin insisted to see everything in Polish due to being so lazy to translate it? Ok, going further through apocalyptic rites domain, one interview has to be mentioned as it has been rolled by Sentiel. The start isn’t easy for him, it’s pretty tough and bluff, yet the machine moves forward eventually despite of some laconism here and there. From the other hand two last shots from South America: decentish Bestial Torment and the hero from Robin’s article Infernus Serpest, which are next American bands that do not like football, I know that proctologic vigour of Gonzalo Jara isn’t the thing Chile should be proud of. Hm… strange. Anyway, metal prevails, right?

The review section isn’t as large as afore, but all is served in white. This time 23 portions of zines (still great it isn’t treated unfairly) and 141 of music. No changes of the Robin’s style, but mentioned Sentiel did write several of them as well. I didn’t even notice a lack of live reports, probably due to another interesting survey. The subject is as fresh as a daisy and deals the recent gigs of famous bands and their thematic tours. Not sure if everything is kept in sincere way, yet I saw Iron Maiden in Poznań in 2014 during Maiden England 2014 travels and they crushed me completely showing one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. It was planned to play old stuff only (up to “Fear of the Dark” album exclusively), but what about Morbid Angel or Samael executing whole old (!) albums? No surprise, opinions are divided, everything depends on personal feelings only. But Death to All? For me a complete misunderstanding! And I agree with Robin opinions just like with Marcin C., his Death to All parallel to speedway turning right is a killer, I felt down from my chair roaring with laughter on the floor. I couldn’t term it more precise. But the question is: who will be the next one?  Motörhead to All? Marketing dabsters, don’t waste your time and go to work!

Fine, while totalizing the content of the Eight: for sure it is better than the previous number. You know, less bands fructified quality merchandise in each aspect. I treat it maybe not as a superiority apex, but definitely one of high-powered significant titles in Polish zine kingdom and absolutely safe buy for all and sundry rooted deeply in the underground. Believing that Apocalyptic Rites won’t become webzine, I wait for the ninth rite. Hope next year.  

apocalyptic_rites_zine@wp.pl

9/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2016)
  
     



Saturday, April 23, 2016

APOCALYPTIC RITES 7 (2014)




November 2014, 58/A4, xeroxed, Polish, hand-numbered, interviews: NECHBEYTH, RAPTURE (Mexico), ISTENGOAT, JUST BEFORE DAWN, ANCIENT CRYPTS, ZOM, POSSESSION, ETERNAL ROT, ABYSSAL, MORTIFICY, PRAISE THE FLAME, DARK MANAGARM, BÖLZER, STRANGE FACTS IN THE SCALPEL CASE, SHE’OL.

Even if the bowels of Polish underground don’t expectorate let’s say ten zines for a month, I missed this title inexplicably. What is more, the Robin’s child as a name itself, is well-known for me, cause it has been reviewed in every Polish zine I have read in this century. Finally, seeing that another issue saw the day light, I decided to give it a chance and with the newest piece, I bought the previous one. Well, tidy and modest front-cover, touched by unidentified Lovecraft-like image, invites to the apocalyptic rites. Layout is simple, clear, without any additional graphics, band pictures mostly well-marked, all in mathematical dimension, sunk in the kingdom of right angles.

Concerning the interviews, I am a bit surprised. Mind you, all the line-up is a foreign blood and now it’s very hard to me to remember any title from my country with no Polish crew inside. Yes, maybe Eternal Rot is a half of Polish, yet it’s based on English soil. Anyway Robin made a good search bringing many totally unknown bands for me, even if the zine was born two years ago. And his choices fit to my taste in overwhelming majority. All right then, let’s factorize first hero that has been served by Robin’s kitchen, Singaporean Nechbeyth strikes. Strikes? No, it does not strike. It becomes the biggest mistake here, luckily the only one in such a lame way. The whole is like a parody of common interview, reaching nursery-school level and supported by mighty caps lock button and Superiority Apex definition. If they wanted to crack a joke for Polish zine, they fuckin’ failed, turning out into “yyy… my mother made me to do it, if not she hides my Lego Basic kit, yyy…”. Ah, let’s leave these warriors, because next pages are… simply normal. Quoting classic words, the Mexican Rapture gives a good change! As mentioned, it wasn’t easy to bring this alive, questions in English and Spanish (!), so Robin was forced to make a small compilation. Maybe questions should be written in Nahuatl? Yeah, it would be a real challenge, a real Superiority Apex. Anyway, I don’t wanna describe each chat in detail, but: the best on the board is Eternal Rot I guess, with rather long, comprehensive answers.  Almost equally good is She’ol. There’re some chats pretty promising, smoothly flowing, to read suddenly cult answer “yes” only or line of dashes (Bölzer, Ancient Crypts, really poor ZOM). Or in Praise the Flame, kept in third-rate manner, when guy copied (!) his answer from another band’s interview. What a smart ass! Then, I kept my watchful eye on Just Before Dawn, but if the first half is just good, the latter seems to be a really pain in the ass for Anders being a master of laconism. On the opposite side of barricade, Belgian Strange Facts in the Scalpel Case with the name more correct for any Haemorrhage tribute crew. Anyway, answers on a good level. And the last I want to mention is Brazilian Mortificy, maybe not because of rather decent answers (with another plea about football corruption and other shit in Brazilian football), but the Robin’s opinion about Krisiun and Rebaelliun: simply he doesn’t like them. Believe me, I didn’t meet anybody with such taste in the underground, however during She’ol intie, editor confirms he likes Chilean and Brazilian (!) scene. Hm…  am I stickler in this case? Concluding the subject, Robin as an experienced metal-maniac, strikes with good, not seldom very good studied questions, not avoiding difficult topics (Islam mainly). He uses various notes in the interviews, simply necessary in many answers…

All right, reviews, with total quantity of 198 music and 35 underground press. Good score, indeed. It’s easy to describe Robin’s taste but let’s start with zines section, as they are explored mostly in precise and scrupulous method. And it is perfect stuff, I liked it a lot. About music: some of them in rough draft way, and such descriptions are too short for me; others more complex and they are simply better. Generally I have an impression that this column has been subsidized by the state administration of Chile. Yep, there are plenty of titles coming straight from this not large land of the Mapuche. But let me call two of not Chilean stuff. The first one is Horrorscope and their last “Delicioushell” album. It is one of few reviews fully written in a positive way I have read in paper press. The second one is Necromantical Screams and “Deadly Frost” Ep. Robin uses varying metaphors while describing the sounds, here giving drug name of Rutinoscorbin, he perfectly aims at me (my branch) and the title. Ok, what else? One orphan live report and opinion poll referring to exorcisms, interesting piece with introduction and fruitful deductions of Celej which tickled my fancy right-down. Especially his visions concerning inquisition-like tv show and Robin as accused. All is completed by an article describing complaints during ‘fights’ to take the answers back.

To sum the thing up: Apocalyptic Rites zine is a piece of really solid underground work, unfortunately several bands simply failed to present themselves in a positive way. Then I can’t define the content as superiority apex. Well, few typos enclosed, yet it has no meaning while giving a final mark. But the most important: Apocalyptic Rites pulls its weight, as new bands and their releases need to be checked out by me.     

apocalyptic_rites_zine@wp.pl

7,5/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2016) 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

ALCOHOLIC BUTCHER 2 (1999)





1999, 58/A4, xeroxed, Polish, interviews: NEUROPATHIA, ODIUM, ELIGOR zine, PSYCHONEUROSIS, ETHELYN, NEW AGE OF BRUTALITY distro, IMMEMORIAL, NECROSCOPE zine, WOJTEK CHAMRYK Judas Priest Fanclub, UNDER FORGE, INCARNATED, SUCCUBUS, DESASTER, YATTERING, TRIVIAL THORN.

Quetzalcoatl is dead, long live Alcoholic Butcher! Looking at the masthead, there’s a need to heckle Daniel all the time: why did you bury the Deity? Why you were so infidel? Well, the answer has been revealed very quickly on the start: new name is easier to be remembered and effable by folks, and it isn’t… fucked-up (?!!!). Yes, it isn’t fucked-up! I can only imagine the face of Quetzalcoatl and his wrath. So the unfaithful ones, stand in articulo mortis!!! Forget about any mercy!!!

All right, I boiled myself a bit… A new born child is definitely in more Polish style. So, can I write one word? Of course: changes! Changes , from the size itself and front-cover with some old once metal band Metallica (do you remember, guys?) and naked nice bitches to the handmade layout and cut’n’paste method. Everything seems to be quite chaotic and strowed this time, with possible smallest font, yet it perfectly fits to the zine name. And if the menu is smaller as compared to issue #1, quantity went to a better quality. Simply, the interviews with the blast of drum-fires struck another higher level. They are mostly very long with studied and interesting questions, most of them turned out into a friendly chat just, bringing a portion of (sick) humour. The only thing that irritated me was too often used Daniel’s remarks, in most cases, short and useless showing nothing but an unwanted discontinuity. Another change is the foreign raisin in the Polish family, Desaster. Infernal did a good job, though. But what is the best here? For short, two of them, Necroscope zine (intie made by Krzysiek / Arachnophobia) and chat with Wojtek Chamryk. And believe me, amid metal you will be bathed in urine, feces, emesis, and tons of alcohol. This vulgar, blasphemous, churlish, full of women gynecology and one kvlt picture put on page number nine, something for fishing worshippers. If the previous issue was like a polite secondary-school pupil keeping physics book, here I give the works with immodest seductive slut. Or something like this, young devout altar-boy before his first mass and ribald, unbridled bishop parading with the pot-belly. See the difference? I hope so.

If the reviews are the salt of each zine, Daniel salted the dish properly, I mean, it doesn’t refer to the number of it all, as he offered 82 pieces, unfortunately with sounds solely. The style is what I want to write about. And once again, it is simply better, more to the bone, more penetrating (yesss!!) and like a scythe cutting the innocent skin. When stuff is weak, the opinion is harder, when stuff is shitty, you can imagine the final mark. No mercy and nice words, indeed. All right, what else on the plate? Seven live reports splashed by products of distilleries and breweries, few flyers, bios and articles (“Only for Slaves”, “Dick in Your Asses, Motherfuckers!!!” to name the most memorable ones or this which shows up a swindler called Hellchrist), one opinion poll on gigs, again translations, this time with five metal (!!!) songs of Metallica and again I treat it as redundant shit. It’d be better to put another women’ anatomy, wouldn’t it?

To cut the story short, even nowadays I had a pleasant time to read all the stuff once more, pity it hasn’t been hand-numbered. And one advice for non-Polish readers: learn this language if you don’t wanna miss the title ha, ha. You know, it’s not only for Slavs!   

8,8/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2016)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

QUETZALCOATL 1 (1997)





1997, 64/A5, xeroxed, Polish, hand-numbered, interviews: INCARNATED, LUX OCCULTA, DEVILYN, DEMISE, CICATRIX, DECEMBER’S FIRE, KAT, VADER, HATE, TENEBRIS, BLAMEWORTHY WARLOCK, STONEHENGE, NOMAD, IMMEMORIAL AGES, TRAUMA, HERMH, SCREAM OF THE DARK, MORTUUM, MORSUN DIABOLI, QUO VADIS, UNKNOWN DIMENSIONS.

I bought this zine not only because I am trying to support the underground (press) scene, but mostly because of its name. For over thirty years I am familiar with the subject: pre-Colombian Mexican history, archeology and mythology. Unfortunately this Białystok based title didn’t bring anything on it. Keeping on, instead of Quetzalcoatl touch, I got very short tale called “Przeznaczenie” (in English: “Fate”) and three Sodom lyrics translated into Polish. Well, the first thing is a complete waste of my time, just like the latter, with even some translating mistakes. Although the start is neither good nor cheering, the rest is better. The editor duo informs that Quetzalcoatl is made just to support Polish scene only. And great they managed to collect both famous names (Vader, Kat, Trauma) and completely unknown crews. But this is the main task for zines, right?

Released in A5 format with nice front-cover and computer layout inside, it looks really gorgeous. The whole is easy to be read, pages pass pretty smoothly in spite of misprints and spelling errors. But if the interviews are concerned, it’s easy to observe it is made by the rookies. They are short, with standard kind of questions, sometimes it works, sometimes doesn’t, supported by bands pictures of rather poor quality. That’s true, Lux Occulta, Devilyn, Trauma (it’s a pity there are no more well-thought questions…), Tenebris or Hermh gave rather comprehensive informations, quite interesting live chat with Vader (Docent and Mauser), as opposed to Kat, where I read about 15 years of band’s activity only, bringing nothing special as a whole. Besides, I have mixed feelings about Quo Vadis, and still I don’t know why. Good questions, however answers should be kept in more ‘fluent’ and full way. But the worst in the Polish family is December’s Fire, mostly with really lame answers. What else? There are several short articles on bands (like Damnable, Yattering, Trivial Thorn, Nokturn or Sceptic to name a few), one live report from three-days’ Metal Monsters Festival ’97 in Białystok served in a really good form, some graphics. Then reviews. Decently written with only music stuff, but the number is rather poor (24). Yes, the review of Vader’s third album “Black to the Blind” is an exception, as it contains three words (of ecstasy though) merely. And that waste of space in this section, where paper clips and drawings of guitars are enclosed! Not a smart idea, indeed.

Anyway, as I remember it had mostly positive response. Amongst the pages I could see something promising, yet I can’t (couldn’t) give it more than average score. Ah, this Nahuatl name… With the issue Quetzalcoatl has been buried for ages finally, but another name took his place. More mundane I’d say… 

5,5/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2016)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

UTUMNO - Across the Horizon (1993)

Emotions Run Flaming


A glance into the booklet: produced, engineered and mixed (with Utumno) by Tomas Skogsberg, recorded at Sunlight Studios. Everything clear? Yes, Utumno is another band coming from Swedish land. And another band which has been buried many, many years ago and which failed to record a full-length. Even now, after all these years when I know the stuff by heart, everything seems to be incoherent. Let’s take the band’s name, Utumno, which was the first fortress of mighty Melkor in Tolkien’s world. Yep, it fits in with any true black metal executors. Going on, the fab front cover painted by Kristian Wåhlin which I really liked isn’t a norm for death metal outfit. And what about Utumno members picture in the booklet? They are nothing but a group of common secondary-school pupils! With such inconsistencies the first song “The Light of Day” clunks. It clunks without a mercy, showing the effective power of death metal.

If the production is concerned, you won’t find a bungle here. I mean, I wouldn’t dare to name it as another pure copy produced by Sunlight Studios in early nineties. It is different a bit, yet nobody can be mistaken. Musically the whole seems to kowtow to one recording originated from the Swedish soil. Its name is “Clandestine”, however Utumno explores more atmospherical side of death metal with the best example in “Sunrise”, or ending parts of the last three songs which are splendid moments indeed. Not only fast scathing riffs (like in “In Misery I Dwell”, the beginning of “Saviour Reborn” especially or the ending “Emotions Run Cold”), but some whiles of reverie supported by good spoken clean parts as well. That’s true Jonas Stålhammar shows his talent through the songs providing quite good kind of growls and not stupid lyrics.

There cannot be any complaints about instrumental layer. The rhythm section wedges off the sound in a really devastating way. Bass lines are the next factor to praise the Sunlight work, it’s perfect. Johansson and Lindahl duo doesn’t waste my time and generates pretty memorable riffs and (rather short) leads, touching a trashing madness hither and thither. It makes I can’t go wrong with the tracks. About the highlights, I lean towards the absolutely fantastic tercet: the opener, “I Cross the Horizons” and “Sunrise” strikes.

Even if “Across the Horizon” was a strong impact into the underground, something went wrong and Utumno (just like with the Melkor place) just split up, probably due to problems with Cenotaph Records. What is more, only Jonas decided and to continue his musical crusade, the rest left the deathly side of metal for good. My tape edition released in 1994 by Carrion Records is still in a good condition, but “Across the Horizon” has been re-issued several times on cd, tape and vinyl formats. This is simply great stuff, not only for ears of Swedish death metal maniacs. And sometimes I catch myself singing both aloud and in my mind memorable words from “Sunrise” song: “watch the sunrise once again, distant echoes now profane!”.  Aaaarhgggg!!!!  
     
90/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli
(written in April, 2016)