Toilet ov Hell Turns 1000!
It’s the New Toilet Millenium! Join us as we celebrate our 1000th post. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve insulted each other in the comments and listened to stuff normal people hate. Join us in celebrating this momentous milestone.
“Papa” Joe Thrashnkill posted our very first entry on July 14, 2014. For those keeping score at home, that means we’ve been a blog for approximately 10 months now. 1000 posts in 10 months, and all of that is thanks to you, our loyal readers. You guys are the best, so we thought it would be fun to thank you by recounting some of our greatest hits, all in one neat package. Let’s relive the drama, the triumph, and the just plain weird together.
One of the first series we ever published came out of the minds and butts of the Masterlord and yours truly. We know you dudes and dudettes dig Lovecraftian horror, so in case you missed it the first time, here’s a snippet from the Masterlord’s summary of Thergothon’s characteristic creepiness from our three part series, Lovecraft and Heavy Metal: A Macabre Love Story:
Thergothon‘s funereal dirges are often characterized by sustained empty space between notes. Plodding drums and effects-drenched chords echoing out into nothingness reflect the immeasurable vastness of vacuous space. By the time the eerie synth kicks in at around 4:00, you’re floating through the fucking void all by yourself. OR ARE YOU? The phlegmy snarls and growls that undulate in the distance suggest something cold and inhuman calling out from behind the farthest star. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!
Last winter, Ed took us on a journey through the heart of darkness as explored the limits of musical extremity. In part 4, he left us naked, blind, and vulnerable at the doorstep of the most grotesquely horrific music available. Let’s take a trip back to Soundtrack to Your Annihilation and drown ourselves in the darkness.
I have found power electronics to be the most oppressive, corrosive, oppositional, and violent genre of music I have yet to experience. Power electronics bleed hatred through whatever device you choose to consume it with. To say that it is “difficult” would be a radical understatement. Information about the genre is limited, even on the internet, where casual searching will reveal little. Just compare the wiki of power electronics to the wiki of black metal. This is the heart of darkness. This is the “rabbit hole of what the fvckery” mentioned in the first installment. This place is reserved for only the bravest and the most foolhardy.
This Toilet Tuesday has been one of our longest running series, and for good reason. Shining Spear horrifies us with his mortifying tales of pootrocities week after week. Let’s relive one of the most terrifying moments.
You wake up alone and confused, not knowing where you are or how you got there. Your head is spinning; you feel hung over, but you know you weren’t drinking last night. A quick glance of your surroundings suggests that you are in the attic of an old house. Molding boxes and bits of debris are illuminated by the sparse pale light streaming through the floorboards beneath you. Dazed, you get to your feet and make your way down the narrow staircase before you. The lower level is similar in appearance; old shattered furniture litters the floors and hallways, and tattered paintings of people without faces adorn the walls. You shudder and move on, eventually making your way to a door with a much brighter light shining beneath its crack and a low thrumming coming from beyond.
As you open it, you are greeted with a rush of air and a revolting stench. Black mold has filled the cracks in the ceiling and tiles of this bathroom, the shower curtain shredded, the broken mirror caked with dust. A desiccated corpse slumps over the bowl of a smashed toilet, its finger pointing to the wall opposite. You follow its direction with your eyes and, scribbled on the wall in what you assume to be the corpse’s feces, read:
IT CANNOT BE FLUSHED
IT CANNOT BE FLUSHED
IT CANNOT BE FLUSHED
IT CANNOT BE FLUSHED
Next to the hastily scrawled message, you notice a small window. Trying your best not to vomit, you step into the small room, over the corpse, and peer out. You see now that this shack sits at the edge of a tall cliff. Far below you lies a vast, barren wasteland, sickeningly yellow sands and small hills stretching as far as the eye can see. In the blackened sky above you, galaxies and stars swirl, explode, reform with unnatural speed. But what catches your eye is what lies directly ahead: an unfathomably tall monolith of shit. This fecal column stretches upwards further than you can follow; it also appears to be the source of both the light and the now-deafening droning sound from earlier. It is physically painful to behold, your body screaming at you to look away, but your mind is enthralled. Upon the gargantuan turd’s surface are folds within folds within folds, massive canyons of impossible shapes; every now and then you swear you can see a pained face emerge from one side, but it vanishes as quickly as it appears. Finally unable to withstand it anymore, your eyes burst, and you slump back against the wall. Exhausted, your body’s muscles all loosen, and you feel your pants fill with filth. You feel the jellied remains of your corneas slide down your cheeks and drip onto your chest, but it doesn’t matter; the repugnant glory of the monolith is etched permanently upon your sightless eyes. As you feel your last breath approaching, you reach your hand into your soiled trousers and add your own line to the shit-script on the wall:
THIS IS TOILET TUESDAY
As Toilet Tuesday has consecrated your early week, so also has Tech Death Thursday provided you a needed jolt of energy to push your work week off the cliff. Get your weedily deedily on with Jack as he recounts the tale of First Fragment.
First Fragment is mind meltingly technical without letting themselves get lost in simply being technical. Each of their songs has a clear song structure that is different from the song before it. If you ask me, this band is on another level than most other bands that are at this stage in their career. Mark my words, their new album is going to make top ten lists.
Our good pal Tyree has also spent a significant amount of time leading you into temptation with fair lady Bandcamp, and his Getting Laid at Bandcamp series has been a hallmark of musical discovery for many toileteers. On the 8th edition of GLAB, Tyree wrote what may have been the quintessential description of the infernal music written by Yhdarl.
There is no comfort, no savior, no help, no hope… There is only suffering and sorrow. Screams and shrieks of torture are echoed and layered upon beautiful distant echoing female chants that complicate and infect my mind. Am I in hell? I feel the usual pain that is sometimes associated with hell, but no… This is different, these screams are driving me insane; they won’t stop. I sense others’ pain and suffering now. It is layered upon my own. It slowly decays my body and eats away at my soul. There is a monster’s voice talking to me now, but… I can’t make it out. It is more distant than the others. WAIT! NO! I hear it much clearer now and it’s so beautiful. The screams of suffering are gone but something doesn’t feel quite right. This monsters voice is chanting now. It sounds ritualistic. I’m ripping off my fingernails. What is going on? I can’t stop this act of self mutilation. OH GOD! OH GOD! NOOOOOO! SATAN! YOU HAVE COME FOR ME! Now I’m screaming with the others and this horror has become monumental. I am now surely in hell, and the suffering is timeless, so I shall make it glorious. These screams no longer bother me. I realize I belong among them. And they are the soundtrack to my misery which I’ve always somehow desired. Around me I see flesh in flames, and the flesh of others is melting into mine; the pain of others has been merged into my own. Lying on a bed of flame while those around me cry for God’s help, I open my mouth for one final scream of agony. A man beside me reaches for me as he is skinned alive, offering comfort as I lay burning and scalped. It is in this very moment that I find I have just finished listening to Ave Maria by Yhdarl.
Reviews have been a part of our lifesblood here at the ToH; this is only natural and expected for a music blog. We’ve covered a wide swath of bands, from AEvangelist to Visigoth, but one of the most monumental reviews published by ToH came from mad politician Howard Dean. Recall his killer introduction to Memoria Vetusta.
Blut Aus Nord mainman Vindsval has zero interest with the norm. The norm is a place for many bands, but not for Blut Aus Nord. The norm is the current, the pulse of the art, the trend. The norm is inclusive, variable, and amorphous. The norm is the prevailing zeitgeist. It need not be a tangible scene or a self-aware movement aimed and executed in a certain direction. The norm is also the reaction to scenes and trends. The norm is the anti-trend. The norm is embracing the opposite. The norm is reactionary.
We’ve also had some wonderful interview opportunities. Our chats with Luiz Mazetto and Shawn Vriezen were both extremely interesting, but one of our very best interviews was with Doug Moore of Pyrrhon. If you missed it, here’s one of the more intriguing snippets from that conversation.
Edward: Musically, Growth Without End seems like a logical continuation of The Mother of Virtues. Was writing shorter songs a product of writing an extended play rather than a full length album? We have talked before about you being a big fan of Botch, and the intro on “Cancer Mantra” sounds a lot math-ier than your previous material to me. Did you draw from a different set of inspirations on Growth Without End? From some of your previous interviews, I have read Pyrrhon’s influences range from some of the more obvious heavy metal bands i.e. Gorguts, to stuff outside of heavy music like jazz and King Crimson.
Doug: As I see it, Growth Without End draws on the same basic set of influences that producedThe Mother of Virtues, but we approached the writing process very differently. The The Mother of Virtues writing sessions were extremely work-intensive and iterative. We basically had to learn how to play such challenging material as we went, and all of the songs underwent numerous rewrites and revisions before we recorded them. We still felt like we had a lot of creative momentum when we completed the album, but we didn’t want to go through the same draining process again right away. Instead, we challenged ourselves to write as quickly & spontaneously as possible, and to focus on producing short, compact songs. The original idea was to record a whole EP of sub-2-minute grind tunes, which didn’t end up happening, but we still feel like we accomplished our goal with the end product.
In addition to our many outstanding series, we’ve also had some brilliant one-shot runs that have brought critical topics, thoughtful evaluations, and blooming discussions to the table. One of the best of these was easily Max’s recent rally to venerate the merits of the oft-maligned Illud Divinum Insanus.
At this point it needs to be established: Contrary to conventional wisdom, Illud Divinum Insanusis, at the very least, a 50 percent death metal album and 100% a Morbid Angel album. Anybody who ranks it as an artistic misfire on the level of Cold Lake or, say, Lulu, is patently incorrect. The only way it could be that is if Lulu featured a token bunch of songs which sounded like they came from Master of Puppets and Lou Reed wasn’t singing on them.
I’m not sure about you, but I have spent many nights yearning for the return of Stockhausen’s SCP Database entries. Pairing spooky metal with spooky stories? That’s a match made in heck, and this collaboration remains one of the best pieces we’ve posted.
If the world “brutal” describes our first example, then “dark” is what applies to this one. SCP-231 is shrouded in mystery. We know that some sort of cult was involved, and that seven females were rescued when a violent ritual was raided. We know that six of the seven have since died, and the circumstances of each were questionable at best. We know that a certain procedure is essential to the containment of SCP-231-7, and that failure to go by said procedure can result in the birth of something very, very bad. Many SCP files block out sections of text, claiming that data has been redacted or expunged, giving a realistic and officially confidential feel to the piece. This one uses that effect in a masterful way, casting a mysterious shadow over this particular case and leaving a terrifying amount to the imagination. The nature of Procedure 110-Montauk is pretty obvious, but the reasoning, specific results, and details are fascinatingly vague. As if to taunt you even further, the author left a mysterious trail of poetic breadcrumbs in the source code of the page. Spend some time in this one, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself in a dark place.
The accompanying song for this one had to be appropriately horrifying. I probed the depths of the internet and found a track entitled “All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity” by Gnaw Their Tongues. This project is the work of Maurice de Jong, AKA Mories (of Cloak of Altering fame), whose formidable discography boasts dark, twisted interpretations of everything you thought you knew. Gnaw Their Tongues specializes in monumental walls of ghostly, misshapen masses that loom on the horizon, casting sinister shadows much farther than should be possible. There’s a band in there if you really listen for it, but leagues of blackened noise, tortured screams, and primal fear are standing in your way. Check out the track, and buy the album here.
The Golden Throne
A celebration of our victories would be incomplete without acknowledging our most-read article of all time. The record-setting post is actually officially held by Randall Thor and his examination of the brilliant career of Blind Guardian. Coming in at a whopping 14,000 views, Randall threw down the gauntlet to which the rest of us must aspire.
The venerable Masterlord Steeldragon and I have had many a discussion about the most grandiose of all genres: power metal. Few genres have such a rich and varied history that can be so clearly explored and discussed. We also noticed a big problem: far too many of you nerds don’t seem to know anything about power metal. We’ve decided to try to educate you losers instead of slamming you into lockers over and over again. Let’s begin with, arguably, the biggest power metal band of them all. I will now present to you the highly revered power metal masters from Germany.
Finally, we must bring special attention to CyberneticOrganism’s award-winning series of short fiction, The BDubs Bro Saga. Through the initial three–part run and two special editions, we’ve laughed and cried along with adventures of a young man with a drinking problem and penchant for Buffalo Wild Wings. Though comparisons can be made to the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the richly detailed characters of Toni Morrison, CyberneticOrganism stands in a literary class of his own.
*iPhone alarm playing Nickelback goes off at 3PM*
*rolls out of bed with head-splitting Saturday afternoon hangover*
*changes out of sleeping basketball shorts into frat logo basketball shorts*
*reaches for unopened can of Keystone Light on nightstand*
“UGH, TIME FOR SOME HAIR OF THE DOG, BRO!”
*slams full beer minutes after waking up*
*reassures self this is a normal thing to do*
*accepts that not doing so means admitting to being a total poser*
*admires soft, shitty body in stained bedroom mirror…*
Well, that’s enough self-congratulatory reminiscing. Really, we’d like to end this by saying thanks. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing articles. Thanks for being there. Having people read the stuff we write is the whole reason we do this, and we look forward to another 1000 posts thanks to you.
If you’re a regular, tell us your favorite post in the comments. If you’re a lurker, say hi. If you’re one of the many underground artists we’ve covered, introduce yourself and let us tell you how awesome you are.
From the bottom of our black hearts, thanks.