Mini Reviews From Around the Toilet Bowl VI

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Bite sized little review nugs for bite sized attention spa

Iron KobraIron Kobra | Might & Magic
Dying Victims Productions | March 6, 2015

You know what I miss?  When metal bands sang about frightening creatures of hell, swords, hot women, and leather, and it wasn’t mocked endlessly by wieners wearing jerseys talking about how swole they got at the gym today while practicing their finest spinkicks to the umpteenth Madball worship song [Editor’s Note: u fucken nerd]. There has been a sort of revival of this strain of metal with bands like Enforcer, Skull Fist and Revenge (Not that one silly, the one from Columbia.) Germany’s Iron Kobra may be one of the least known of these type of bands, but may also be one of the best. I’ve been a fan of these scoundrels since 2010’s Battlesword, and they have since further honed their brand of Running Wild influenced riff palate into a fine dish, culminating in this, their third full-length. All the great hallmarks are there; the soaring leads, the galloping riffs, the evenly paced drumming with occasional bursts of speed. What sets them apart from other revivalists is the attention to detail in songwriting, and the fact that Sir Serpent and Lightning Lord Python’s vocals don’t go stupidly high like other frontmen in these type of bands. The dual vocal attack adds panache to the over the top nature of the music and they show their range well on songs like the alien invasion yarn “Watch the Skies” and album highlight “Spirit Archer”. While most of the album is mid paced air guitar material there are nuggets for you speed maniacs such as opener “Tomb of the Stygian King” and the aptly named “Born to Play on 10”. If you feel like I do and miss the fist pounding days of metal, put this album in your record player or on your music player, grab a cold beer, gather your vest wearing friends or perhaps that fine lady you’ve been eying at the bar, and headbang to this. –Simon Pheonix

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ANAL-VOMIT-Peste-Negra-Muerte-Negra-LPAnal VomitPeste Negra, Muerte Negra
Icarus Music Argentina (extraordinarily NSFW) | May 5, 2015

If you like blackened thrashy death (or even thrashy blackened death) as much as I do, then you’re probably just a casual fan at most and tire of it quickly. Hm. That said, Anal Vomit scratch an itch that I didn’t even know I had. Their first album in six years- Peste Negra, Muerte Negra– is an unabashed tribute to the oldschool, brimming with tremolo-picked diminished riffs and enough whammy screams to fill two Slayer albums. The production is rock-solid here, too; the guitars have a nice crunch to them, the bass is prominent without being overpowering, and the drums (though I suspect they might be canned) pack a punch. Check out “Brejabe de Muerte.”Spear

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gra gnosis of the witchGrá / Gnosis of the Witch | split 7″
Iron Bonehead Productions | April 27th, 2015

I have a passing familiarity with Iron Bonehead Production, from my time reading and ostensibly blogging for the Toilet Ov Hell. Our community likes Iron Bonehead Productions, a lot. You could say they are more than friends – even friends with benefits. I pushed play on the promo for this split between Grá and Gnosis of the Witch without knowledge of either band. I was instantly glad I did. Glad meaning I dig straight forward, punishing black metal which both bands amply provide. Grá’s track is filled past capacity with blasts and esoteric vocals. Gnosis of the Witch’s song is even more enveloped in darkness. I agree with Toilet Ov Hell writer/editor MasterLord – the split is an underrated medium. I managed to discover two very solid bands in the span of about twelve minutes. Black metal fans and vinyl heads, keep an eye out for this gem. –Edward

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Decline of the IDecline of the I | Rebellion
Agonia Records | February 27th, 2015

We live in a post-Sunbather era. Disingenuous journalists belittle bands like Ghost Bath after a change of heart, referring to them as “Deafheaven-lite”. Post-black metal is a dirty word in certain circles. Decline of the I‘s Rebellion came to me labeled as such. Here’s the thing – this sounds a hell of a lot like black metal. This is a concept album based on the works of Henri Laborit. Cryptic samples of French voices play in and around harrowing riffs. Band leader A.K. makes use excellent use of negative space as well, with songs fading into almost nothing before they pick back up again. Electronics play a role too, but not in the campy crossover attempt you might be thinking of. This is smart and dark, and it’s pretty killer. I haven’t heard much about Decline of the I here in the United States, Rebellion is the kind of album that could change that. This album is out already. Give it a listen on Agonia’s Bandcamp. –Edward

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Verneri_Pohjola_BullhornVerneri Pohjola | Bullhorn
Edition Records | February 9, 2015

Pekka Pohjola was God. He could have played one note and let it ring for hours and I would have called it a masterpiece (and I’m no Molenaar). So naturally it has been hard for his sons (both of whom are musicians) to transcend his shadow. Bullhorn may just see Verneri do that. His touch as a trumpet player is soft and devoid of the screechy quality so many have. Each song here is performed by masters of their trade, but there is still much room to breathe on these songs. If you want to try, start with “Cold Blood”.  –Karhu

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1423407080_frontJanne Westerlund | Marshland
Ektro Records | January 30th, 2015

The Circle frontman’s second solo album is one of the few to live up to it’s name. An acoustic mixture of americana and Finnish forests, occasionally evoking a little psychedelia to accompany it’s murky-ness. Every song from It Takes A Strong Jesus to Love Is The Point is great so gake your pick freely. This album may be dark but it never quite lets go of it’s swing, which pleases me greatly. This is no folk nor country but shades of both are audible and I imagine quite a few of you could enjoy this. –Karhu

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Action_Bronson_Mr._WonderfulAction Bronson | Mr. Wonderful
Vice Records | March 23, 2015

Action Bronson has been blowing up for a good while now. The Internet has been hotly anticipating the debut LP from this larger-than-life character for years now. Based on the strength of several mixtapes, expectations were sky high for Bronsolino’s eventual full length on Vice Records (where Bronson hosts his own food show). The result? Utter nothingness. If you put your ear up to this album you can hear the ocean. You could use this album to fill bubble wrap. If you were to drop this album and a feather from the same height in a vacuum, the feather would hit the ground first. This album’s lack of substance bends the very rules of physics. At times I honestly couldn’t remember if I was still listening to Mr. Wonderful or if I had accidentally paused it. This album embraces the void so hard that it has become nothingness itself. “Only in America” has a cool beat though. –Joe Thrashnkill

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Ill OmenCompendium Melificarum – Esoterica
Nuclear War Now! | January 2, 2015

The ever intriguing NWN! is issuing more old material from the enigmatic Ill Omen, this time in the form of a compilation of previous tracks. Due the fact that this release is a collection of older material rather than a fresh offering to the Demiurge of the Abyss, the tracks lack some cohesion and general flow. However, when the songs are this sinister, that matters little. What we do have is a blasphemous tome of creeping, crawling death and doom that quite often touches the bizarre and obscene. I was blown away by this band when I covered them previously, and I’m enjoying these tunes just as much. Plus, there’s a Bathory tune. Can’t go wrong with that! Pick it up on Bandcamp. –  W.

 

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