This month has been slow what comes to good music. There have been well-done re-releases like Varathron compilation (Nuclear War Now!) and Isengard’s Vinterskugge (Peaceville) but only few (see below) new outputs have taken my death breath away. So this month’s menu includes both music and words.
ASYMMETRY: Ashes into Wood (Kuunpalvelus 2012)
It’s always uneasy to say good things publicly about friends’ band, but good music is always good music and that’s it. Many were already charmed by Roman Cross’s primitively ingenious and original black metal, but I can assure you that this new seedling, rising from RC’s corpse, is as good as its predecessor. Asymmetry isn’t Roman Cross, that should be keep in mind – Luxixul Sumering Auter’s (from Cosmic Church) presence has brought colder and more melodic nuances to Sandess’s messy rumblings, and the result is a good mix of both: you can feel laconic atmosphere similar to Austere, skull-pounding stubbornness and some occult shades too. All elements are in a good balance, and crunchy and straight-to-the-point playing and production give the final blessing to Ashes into Wood. Like the title says, the death of Roman Cross has created a new strong entity.
But how does the original member Sandess describe his over-Atlantic relationship to Luxixul?
– While such a bond most certainly exists, I would not feel comfortable discussing this topic in public. As for how the bond manifests in Asymmetry’s music, consider the following anecdotes: A Strange Grease was arranged and recorded within hours of meeting Luxixial Sumering Auter in person. Ashes Into Wood was recorded under rather extreme time constraints, both recordings with very little rehearsal. I feel the relative ease (though not exactly easy) we had recording both demos is evidence of said bond, and can be heard by a critical listening to both demos, and by the atmosphere conjured by doing so.
CORPSESSED: The Dagger & The Chalice (Dark Descent 2011)
Finland’s Corpsessed’s The Dagger & The Chalice came out long time ago in 2011, but I didn’t pay any particular attention to it. But when my ears were infested by the new track Demoniacal Subjugation (from their coming 7”), I was possessed to purchase their debut EP. And a wicked little beast it is: mixing different sides of death metal, Corpsessed knows how to blast like Deicide, rumble like Incantation and create fierce thrashing like Entombed. All this is dragged through a heavy and down-tuned blender, which is quite common with old Finnish death metal and modern, ‘serious’ death worship. But these six songs are more like sketches what comes to Demoniacal Subjugation: this piece of battery throws itself from the kick-ass start to more midtempo massacres, and the ominous veil hovers over all this – and this song is just three and half minutes long! A decent rival to Cruciamentum, methinks.
But what the heck does ‘Corpsessed’ mean, and what is your favourite ‘-ed’ death metal band? The band answers:
– There is no secret to the fact that the name is totally made up by us, basically by combining the words ‘corpse’ and ‘possessed’. Sure, the name has some morbid sense of black humour to it though it’s not really meant to be taken as a joke. The state of being ‘corpsessed’, how we see it, is the draining of all Will and being possessed to a corpselike state in the grip of death, a zombifiement of sort (or the feeling on Monday morning at work after three days of drinking) … or being possessed/obsessed by corpses & death – you can decide for yourself!
– Now, selecting a favourite from all the -ed bands, that’s a tough one! Entombed would probably be a too obvious choice but there are other greats as well like Unleashed, Possessed, Drowned, Drawn & Quartered, Sentenced on their early releases, Molested, Corrupted … the list goes on! Hard to pick one favourite.
HORRIBLE EYES – The Fourth Morbid Knocking (2012)
Horrible Eyes #4 is an epitome of dedication – devotion shown to both extreme metal and old school metal magazines. The magazine’s Xerox outlook is 100% authentic, and Horrible Eyes’ way to fill every square centimetre with pictures, phrases and details is just amazing. The content is also over-whelming, but sometimes these interviews are just (tight) scratches which just leave you to hunger for more. But that’s how it is when you have about million bands featured. The longer interrogations like Grave Miasma and The Ruins of Beverast steal the show here but also ‘less is more’ phrase is valid in Horrible Eyes’ case, especially when the big boss Ronald and his not-so-merry henchmen throw some clever wits and epiphanies into the boiling cauldron. Not pure gold from the page one to page eighty-eight but still, a total Isaac’s church of metal journalism. This is how Ronald describes the workload of the issue four:
– That’s quite hard to say, really. Nothing of that matters anymore now that no. 4 is out. I remember that I had gradually turned into a sullen recluse during the one and a half years before finally submitting it to the print shop. The idea of eventually finishing it had become more and more abstract. I guess the damn thing had been with me for too long, like an abscess or something. No matter how much you would squeeze it, it wouldn’t open. You squeeze it and squeeze it, already forgetting that it might open — and then, out of a sudden: SPLASH!! You’re covered with loads of warm, rancid puss. That’s a bit what I feel like now.
– Of course it is in this sense difficult to describe what was easy and what was troublesome during this endless process of typing, cutting and gluing. I think this all depends very much on motivation and inspiration: When both are in order results are usually easily gained and pleasing, often leading to further achievements without much effort. That can become a great and dangerous drug.
– External factors such as the interviewees’ lack of willingness to answer our questions weren’t a big deal, because none of the interviews was conducted anywhere close to release date of The Fourth Morbid Knocking. Pressure of time was never an issue. I guess most bands were rather surprised in the end to really find a copy of the rag in their mail boxes. If they hadn’t disbanded in the meanwhile already! Besides, if a band rejected our attempts, we wouldn’t mind printing the naked questionnaire alone, assholes that we are.