Toilet Pals Music Roundup: Axes of Evil, The Heads Are Zeros, Straight Hate, Northumbria, Arthedain
Every now and then we’ll get a Facebook message or email from a band wondering if we’d be willing to share their music with our devoted slaves fanbase. Most of those bands are lolbuttz. A few, however, meet our porcelain standard and are found worthy to sit the bowl. Below I’ve collected five band submissions for your listening pleasure.
The Axes of Evil
Hailing from Baton Rouge, these throwback warriors have dedicated themselves to fighting the good fight to remain independent and create glorious, Viking-themed metal. Although guitar warrior Ryan describes their music as “progressive viking metal,” his Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian comparisons are not inaccurate. Combining stampeding riffs with killer solos and chest-pumping, maiden-swooning vocals strong enough for the hardiest men among us, this band writes anthem after anthem of battle-hardened traditional metal. They have plenty of shows booked for the Baton Rouge and beyond area, so grab your longsword and check them out if you can. If I haven’t yet convinced you to saddle up and ride into the sunset with these warriors, check out “Torn Asunder by Thunder.” If you can listen to that song and not feel an urge to use antlers in all of your decorating, you’re a liar.
The Heads Are Zeros
You all know by now how much I like grind, so you can imagine how delighted I was when our old pals The Heads Are Zeros reached out to us to promote their new 7″ split with Neck First. All of the elements I dug about this band are still here in full force, only this time, the gang cranks them up to 11. Olivia Henry’s vocals are somehow even more tortuous and deranged, the schizophrenic shifts are even more breakneck and guaranteed to leave you in a padded cell, and the instrumentation is beyond furious. I love grind that is content to dwell on a song and let the riffs and ferocity really swell and build, and this split delivers. Plus, these Neck First tracks aren’t too shabby themselves and perfectly accentuate the unkempt chaos of the first half. You can nab the split on Bandcamp, and don’t forget to give The Heads Are Zeros and Neck First likes on Facebook.
Poland may be a shining necropolis for death metal, but based on this submission from Straight Hate, the sewers there might very well be teeming with vicious grindcore as well. On this Born to Grind split tape with Indonesia’s Speedy Gonzales, Straight Hate brings an unrelenting, indomitable blast-beat assault. Guitarist Kamil slices and dices with a tone you don’t usually find in grind to provide the nasty backdrop for Kuba’s vile belches and squeals. The whole package is wrapped in a rock-solid rhythm section, and the vile and memorable riffs are just the icing on the cake. Speedy Gonzales are no slouch, either, and the two combined make for a putrescent dynamic duo. Revel in filth and die in obscurity while you choke on the dank bludgeoning emanating from the Polish septic system. Check out the split on Bandcamp and give Straight Hate and Speedy Gonzales likes on Facebook.
When was the last time you were truly content and at peace? Find that place somewhere in the quiet confines of your consciousness and allow your thoughts to drift back there. Perhaps you were reading a book in a log cabin and watching the snow gently fall to earth in a silent haze. Perhaps you were meditating in the stillness of your suburban home. Or maybe you’re like me and think back to the last time you were in the ocean. As the gentle rolling waves rocked your limp, floating body, you could hear sea gulls chirp and feel the warm coastal air caress your skin. You close your eyes as you float and feel the welcome warmth of a halcyon sun press lightly on your eyelids. You breathed easy, and life made sense. Such is the image that is conjured in my mind while listening to Bring Down the Sky by Northumbria. Slightly distorted chords swell and break as the atmosphere carefully, calmly washes over you. Post-rock/metal is usually hit or miss for me, but when I make the time to slow down and need an ambient soundtrack to calming my troubled mind, the strains of bands like Northumbria do the trick. This won’t be for everyone, but if you need a mental vacation to set your world in order, close your eyes and press play on the stream below. Just don’t forget to check out the album on Bandcamp and give the band a like in process.
(Joe Thrashnkill) Arthedain is a one-man black metal project from fantastic musician and man of terrible timing, Charles Wofford. Right in the midst of the clusterfuck-ish holiday season I received an email about Arthedain’s latest release Arias Exalted. I gave it a listen and I was immediately blown away. I couldn’t wait to share this record with the Toilet ov Hell but unfortunately, the end of the year is crazy for the blog world with year-end lists, vacations, and awful family visits. It is a new year, and I’m thrilled to share Arias Exalted with you. Within the brief confines of this 4-track EP, Arthedain moves skillfully between hauntingly melodic black metal, emotional post-rock, and blistering death metal (the pinch harmonic-laden groove breakdown on opener “Through Immolation Sparked” is worth the price of admission alone). Go like Arthedain on Facebook, find him on bandcamp, and then kick me in the ass for not writing about this sooner.