In union, we make a final stand …

Another holiday season, another Metal album to review … besides buying my first pair of glasses in my life today (just reading glasses for now, thank Santa) little has changed besides the ravages of time on this bag of flesh I carry around.  So I wonder: what connection,
if any, exists between aging and Metal?  I see friends fall to the wayside and hide their darkened light under a bushel, while
most others still proclaim from the highest hills a love of Manowar and Manilla Road.  Where do you fall on the scale of fandom and why on these waning days of 2013?  No judgment, just curiosity: post your playlists/comment and let us know if you’re just another face at the kid’s baseball game, or if you’re still trying to convince your golf buddy that he won’t burst into flames by listening to Burzum … And oh yeah, read and enjoy reviews of Altar of Betelgeuze (and no, we don’t reference the damn movie … oh shit), Church of Disgust (in which we are all death metal deacons), Cold Crypt (bedroom BM strikes again), and Omnivore (I promise we won’t say ‘thrash attack’ … double shit).

Jim Clifton Playlist
Waldgeflüster – Meine Fesseln
White Medal/Caïna split 12”
Alcest – Shelter
Arnault Pavle – s/t
Arghoslent – Galloping Through The Battle Ruins/Hornets of the Pogroms
Ligiea – In Death Overshadow Thee
Mystifier – Wicca
Nocturnal Graves – …From the Bloodline of Cain
Summoning – Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
Slugathor – Echoes From Beneath
Tony Rice Unit – Manzanita

Marty Rytkonen Playlist
Overkill – Feel the Fire (A timeless classic. Love this album. So many great memories attached to early Overkill!)
Overkill – Taking Over
Overkill – The Years of Decay
Falls of Rauros – New 2014 album
King Carnage – Ounce of Mercy… Pound of Flesh
Vex – Memorious 2LP
Mutiilation – Sorrow Galaxies
Morticious – Genetic Blur 1990 Demo
King Diamond – The Eye
Marduk – Panzer Division Marduk

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~ by cliftonium on December 18, 2013.

40 Responses to “In union, we make a final stand …”

  1. Ostensibly, twenty three years after hearing Iron Maiden for the first time, I’m still a massive metalhead. I usually listen to metal for 13+ hours a day; obtained over 300 records this year (with more coming as Christmas presents); and went to 53 gigs in nine countries (with one still to come). And yet, metal has come to occupy a much smaller role than it once did. It’s just a matter of shifting priorities. I didn’t go to two festivals even though the line-ups were killer, because I couldn’t be bothered organising yet more transport and accommodation. I have a lot of unread paper zines. I’m less focussed on my listening matter, due to spending a lot more time writing fiction (which sends me into a bit of a trance) and trying to figure out what to do in the future. And next year, I can’t go to many gigs or buy many records at all: earlier this year, this would have seemed horrible and impossible, but now I think I’ll manage it no problem.

    I miss the sense of devotion, and feel a bit of an impostor besides others who still have it, but I know it’s just being channelled into creativity instead, which is, for various reasons, a better idea. And while Slayer still never fail to cheer me up, there’s no real danger.

    Jim: Really must get hold of that White Medal/Caïna when I have money again (being British myself and all). Nocturnal Graves is coming for Christmas, thank goodness.

    Marty: I get to see Overkill for the first time next year! Huzzah!

    Plague Rider – Plague Rider (local band)
    Warbastard – Principia Thrashmatica (another local band, slightly ridiculous but utterly addictive)
    Drawn And Quartered – Feeding Hell’s Furnace
    Goatmoon – Tahdon Riemuvoitto
    Slayer – Hell Awaits
    Exodus – Bonded By Blood
    Warbringer – The Inexorable
    Peste Noire – La Sanie des siècles
    Angelcorpse – The Inexorable
    Gehenna – Unravel

  2. Huh, that should be Warbringer – War Without End. Serves me right for writing in numerous 2-second bursts while at work.

  3. I just saw Overkill with Kreator. Overkill killed it and stole the show.

    Satan’s Host – Virgin Sails
    Thou Art Lord – The Regal Pulse of Lucifer
    Catuvolcus – Voyageurs De L’Aube
    Take Over and Destroy – Endless Night
    Code – Augur Nox
    Bill Callahan – Dream River
    Satyricon – Satyricon
    Glorior Bell – Gator Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
    Imperium Dekadenz – Meadows of Nostalgia
    Carpe Noctem – In Terra Profugus
    Csejthe- Réminiscence
    Oak Pantheon/Amiensus – Split
    Amorphis – Circle
    DMG – Momentum
    Occultist – Death Sigils
    Kvelertak – Meir
    Paradox – Tales of the Weird
    Audrey Horne – Youngblood
    Avantasia – The Mystery of Time
    Hessian (A.D.) – Manegarmr

  4. Thanks for giving your thoughts on the passing years as it relates to Metal devotion. The variance between one fan and another in terms of the space this beloved, crazed genre occupies in anyone’s life as time flitters by always intrigues me.
    I believe White Medal to be some of the most important music in terms of black metal’s evolution. YORKSHIRE!!

  5. White Medal, really? Them some tall words there brosaphino. I guess I should listen again.

    Too many promos, friends professing the greatness of various new acts, all intermingled with my own urge to buy and support what I like, and now I pause and figure out what to do. Well, file away all the promos, ignore my friends and just listen to what I have bought over the last month. And that would be:

    Grave Miasma -Odori Sepulcrorum LP

    People rage about this album. What is the hype-blurb on HHB website describing this record – ‘One of the most important Death Metal albums ever’. Geez? Really? Come on now. I don’t buy it, BUT I did buy the record, so I could give this thing a real listen, and partially, because I am in love with the art on this here record, uh-huh. After listening to this thing 4 times, I must say, I do really enjoy it and love the production, yet, there is nothing I can still tangibly grasp on to in way of anything catchy, hooks, choruses or whatever there is to normally grab on to. That is okay of course, but it reminds of when read a book I am interested in, read 10 pages, and then think back right after reading, and don’t have a fucking clue what I just read. The only difference is I am actually paying attention when listening to Grave Miamsa. I don’t ‘buy’ the hype around this album, I however and very pleased I bought it and will enjoy it more in the future.

    Blizaro/Wooden Stake Split – Yeah baby. Give me some more evil horror-movie Doom loves!
    Summoning – Nightshade Forests & Dol Guldur (yeah, whatever Marty, i heard that! : )
    Bethlehem – Dark Metal (you ripped off Tiamat’s Where the Serpents Ever Dwell and don’t credit it you dopes)
    IC Rex – Valonkantajan Alkemia
    Preludium – Redemption (flashy fast two guitar work black death metal. Fun!, but not long lasting)
    Church of Disgust – Unworldly Summoning
    Vex – Memorious 2lp 45rpm in your face bitches
    Divine Eve – As the Angeles Weep
    Divine Eve – Upon These Ashes Scorn the World
    Obliteration – Black Death Horizon (thinking not as good as Nekropslams after 5 or 6 spins. If you like this new one, B.D.H, then get you a copy of Nekropslams, if you haven’t already. There is more Death Metal in that one and notably less a Nekromantheon sound to it. This new one touches too much in the aforementioned project just a tad too much. But the drummer is just fucking amazing no-matter-fucking-what!

  6. My love for metal hasn’t changed much…but I’m much more selective when it comes to what I listen to. Maybe that means I know exactly what I want to hear? Or that I guess better…

    As far as a playlist goes…I’m steadily going through all the old(er) Iron Bonehead releases, the entire discography, searching for neglected treasures. But for a new one:

    http://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/possession-his-best-deceit

  7. >White Medal, really? Them some tall words there brosaphino. I guess I should listen again.

    Mostly this album, for me:

    http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/White_Medal/Guthmers_Hahl/385767

  8. Possession ‘His Best Deceit’ is fucking great; I’m already looking forward to a full-length from those Belgians \m/
    Shameless review plug here: http://wormgearzine.com/2013/09/25/possession-belgium-his-best-deceit-tape/

  9. Thanks UA. I check it out.

  10. Also UA, enjoyed reading your interview on THKD – I always appreciate artists with candor in interviews; helps to appreciate their art even more!

  11. Guthmers Hahl was my introduction, and inspired me to pick up more of their stuff. It’s infusion of nigh-industrial/raw punk elements make it very fresh-sounding to me. Jake’s great review here: http://wormgearzine.com/2013/09/25/white-medal-guthmers-hahl/
    Also, read the comments on this one. Freek has an interesting discussion with another reader, who I’m not sure visits the ol’ WG any longer :)

  12. Re the Possession – the 3rd ‘s/t’ song they used for the promo prior to the release of this tape is most certainly the best of the 3 songs. the others 2 are not near as catchy, but stale versions of the ‘s/t’ song. I would prefer to go back to Sarcofago’s INRI and Impaled Nazarene’s ‘Tol Compt Norz Norz Norz’. Same with the Iron Bonehead Sheol release. The promo 2 songs are by far way better than the other songs on the MLP they released.

    UA – a great release by Ironbonehead (besided the well known Beyond LP and Bolzer) is the Sepulchral Temple EP. That is really good! Other than that, I think the label is a bit overhype. I am tried of hearing about how cult this band is, or how cult that band is, or why their music is so cool because of the lyrical content. Fuck that, give me something original and good musically ya fucks! This old man don’t get suckered into that childish shit. Yeah, you are Anti-Cosmic, or Anti Anti are ya? Okay, well show me a good song.

  13. >Also UA, enjoyed reading your interview on THKD – I always appreciate artists with candor in interviews; helps to appreciate their art even more!

    Ha! Well I try to be honest…maybe next year I’ll pretend to be a troll living in a forest. :) Thanks, though, I’m glad you read it.

    >UA – a great release by Ironbonehead (besided the well known Beyond LP and Bolzer) is the Sepulchral Temple EP. That is really good! Other than that, I think the label is a bit overhype.

    Yeah, maybe they are overhyped? I don’t know. I think once I’ve gone through about 5 years of their/his back catalog I’ll know for certain. :) They’ve released some awesome stuff this year, though. Thanks for the suggestion…

  14. Oh, also…with that Sheol release my favorite part of it is just the guitar sound, it’s beautiful…

  15. Yeah, the promo tape guitar sound is from HEELLL. However the MLP toned it waayyy down and took out all the meat of the guitar sound. i was disappointed. its really thin now.

    Yup, there isn’t there much more good stuff on the label I think. A few more releases, but thats it. But honestly, they have done an incredible job sourcing good bands in the last 2 years, no question about that!

  16. I’m glad IB put out this thing again…because it’s an extremely cool album, IMO. I hope more people get into it:

    http://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/ketzer-satans-boundaries-unchained

  17. I like the new cult of fire release, haven’t heard the prior. what do yo uthink of that ?

  18. The new one? I really like it…a lot more than the one before, that’s for sure. But the earlier one is definitely worth listening to, of course.

  19. i meant the one before. yeah, the new one is decent.

  20. they look goofy as all hell with the get up they wear. bands are getting way out of hand now with the dress up and accessorizing on stage. they are like my fucking 4 year old daughter.

  21. Been playing the hell out of the 777 trilogy by Blut Aus Nord, took a very long time for me to get into but now I’m adicted.
    Apart from that:
    Alcest – Écailles de Lune
    Alcest – Voyages de l’Âme
    Pre-ordered the new one, what do you think of it Jim?
    Helrunar – Frostnacht
    Helrunar – Gratr
    Les Discrets – Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées
    Dordeduh – Dar De Duh
    Falls of Rauros – The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood
    Skagos – Anarchic
    Inquisition – Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (fucking AWESOME!)
    Arckanum – Antikosmos
    Arckanum – Fenris Kindir (still contender for album of the year to me)
    Hail of Bullets – On Divine Winds (aaaah Martin van Drunen, our national treasure…)

    …and thanks to Marty I’ll soon be playing some Overkill!!! Such a fucking great band! \m/

    My metal fandom still runs deep but it’s a quiet, secluded fandom for the simple reason that I don’t have any metal friends. I’m the only one in my social circle that digs extreme music, somehow my earlier metal brothers and me parted ways long ago. My long hair has been gone for ages, and although I own some band tees they’re no longer the bloody, unreadable bandlogo kind. I hardly see metalbands live because there’s no one to go with plus the metal booking dude at my local concert venue seems to think metal is all about Five Finger Death Punch and Dillinger Escape Plan and the likes (although I see Exhumed and Toxic Holocaust are coming to town in februari!). I love lots of other kinds of music though and I go to concerts on a regular basis. Because of my other musical tastes metal isn’t always on the menu, I can go without for a couple of weeks but I´ll always return to the stuff that got my blood rushing and adrenaline flowing and fists pounding and head banging more than 20 years ago…

    Re: White Medal; I’ll give him another try, didn’t really blow me away earlier. And yeah, all that political correctness… Fuck it.

  22. New Alcest – even less metal than the other albums, really not metal at all, but I still like it. I can’t go without the heavy for two weeks, but when I do take breaks, albums like this perfectly suit the mood. Back in ’07 I really started exploring the extreme side of things again, and my Metal buds in GA really weren’t interested in hearing about those sorts of sounds (though we’ll always share the classics), so I began to keep my new discoveries and re-discoveries to myself. When I moved to MI I was certain I’d be alone in my tastes, but I met Marty, Jake and Jack (ex-Seidr) and, well, here we are ;) Anyway, I understand the feeling of carrying the torch on the lonesome – kudos to you for doing so. ps – cut my hair in 2000, but now I work from home, so the long (completely gray) hair and black shirts are back everyday, haha \m/

  23. Ah as long as I got you guys I’m not all that lonesome hehehe…

    I expected the new Alcest to be like you describe, looking forward to it. Shit man, all you guys with your advance copies, listing and, even worse, reviewing stuff that us mere mortals will have to wait a while longer for… Curious about that Waldgeflüster, I suspect there will be a review soon? It’s on Bindrune, right? I got a soft spot for these German pagans (like Helrunar), german is a great language for black metal me thinks.

  24. I talked to Marty about it the other day (making sure there were no conflicts of interest), & I probably will take a crack at the WF unless Jake wants to. It’s pretty unique stuff \m/

  25. That’s an interesting topic on aging and metal. Something I have actually thought about before. I feel I am still going strong with my metal listening habits, although I have changed in may ways over the years and with age. I am much more selective on what I purchase and what I listen to anymore. I have way too many albums that are mediocre or just decent from when I used to try to stay on top of hearing all the new stuff coming out and I simply do not listen to much of it anymore. I usually try to wait until the dust settles on an album before making a purchase anymore, unless it is something I know I will probably like.

    I have actually had some periods in my life where I started to wonder if I was losing interest in metal. Some of this was due to changes in life going on at the time, being to busy with other interests, and simply not having extra funding to use on purchasing albums. However, after the periods of lost interest I have experienced I ended up coming back around and totally enjoying metal with a new perspective. I am old enough and have listened to metal long enough now where I don’t think there will ever be a day where I completely walk away from metal. I feel like it is something in my blood that I cannot escape even if I wanted to.

    I am also like ikbenfreek where I really do not have an metal friends I socialize with on a regular basis any more. Most of of my metal friends from when I was younger have either relocated or become busy with family life and some have even lost interest in metal all together. My friends I hang out with now don’t listen to metal at all and I don’t even bother bringing up the topic with them. I’m actually totally cool with all of this because I’m not really active anymore in the metal “social” scene. I’ll attend some shows from time to time but that is about it. I enjoy metal as a solitary escape and don’t feel I need anyone else’s approval of it or really feel the need to share in the experience with anyone else. Posting and reading opinions on this page is probably is my main social interaction for metal and I am grateful for it.

    Bolzer – Aura
    Impaled Nazarene – Ugra Karma
    Coroner – Mental Vortex
    Gorguts – Colored Sands
    Infera Bruo – Desolate Unknown
    Manilla Road – Mysterium
    Some random Judas Priest and Deep Purple albums

  26. Shawn, well said! I don’t have but a few Metal friends locally, and only see them at shows in the Bay Area, which happen about 5 or 10 times a year. I really don’t have any close friends where I live. We moved here 5 years ago, and I have a great busy job, married with 2 kids, so I really don’t have much time to hang out with anyone. And if I did, they damn well better like Metal, and my kind!!! Or, at the very least, be a rotten misanthropic evil creep! I would rather not waste my time with anyone else and feign pleasantries. In any case, I love being home more than anywhere else. As far as the appearance thing, I love buying Metal tees of bands I like and that look cool. I wear those often. I listen to Metal often at work, so those two combined would indicate I don’t have any issues with people knowing that it is a huge part of my passions and interests.

  27. I hear ya Shawn.

    Haha while I’m listening to Hail of Bullets’ latest (which is fucking excellent as usual) in between songs I hear Beyoncé blasting and my girlfriend singing along from upstairs… She hates metal with a passion and I don’t care.

  28. There have been times in my life where I kind of left listening to metal behind for a little while…I got into other stuff, started exploring other types of music, hung out with people who were into totally different forms of music/lifestyles/whatever, but…I always return to what I love. I’ve been 100% into metal since about 1986 and I know now that this is never going to change. If someone slaps on Reign in Blood I’m just a teenager all over again, it’s timeless for me. There isn’t any real “nostalgia” in it for me outside of my own past and I can blink that away easily…it’s as relevant for me now as it was back then. Any of that music. All of it. Someone once told me, “The music you love passionately when you’re young…you’ll love all of your life” and so far that has proven true. I’ve seen that with other people too, of course…just different kinds of music. The only difficult part for me, now, about playing this kind of music is that it hurts more. :) I’m into all different kinds of music, of course, and I’m constantly exploring all the forms music now takes or has taken in the past…but metal is always there. Enjoyed deeply, without irony, without the strange embarrassment that seems to have seized other people my age. Why? Because it’s a beautiful, timeless, creative, free, incredibly passionate and powerful form of music that still seems honest and true to me. I hope that never changes.

  29. Happy holidays to the wurm crew :-)

    Love ‘Feel the FIre’. Bought it on a used cassette tape in Atlanta in the summer of 1990 along with Iron Maiden’s ‘Maiden Japan’ and thought it was one of the coolest, wickedest albums ever. The Iron Maiden tape got sold to a cute gal at a yard sale years ago; the Overkill tape probably landed with a friend in WV when I purged my cassette collection.

    ‘Years of Decay’ is my second-most favorite album ever, and has been pretty much since I got it the Christmas after it came out. It was my first Overkill album. They were actually interviewed in one of the glam metal zines my sister had bought in an article entitled something like “Does Bobby Blitz Really Hate You?”. I knew right away this was no hairspray band and I had to check out the album they were discussing :-)

  30. Re: Iron Bonehead – I think it is about as good as any label out there. Is it a little over hyped? Yes, it could be. I think more than being overhyped it is more of a trendy “buzz” label within the underground right now. However, they have released several quality albums just within the last year. I don’t think everything they release is necessarily a classic or even great album like the Beyond or Bolzer albums, but they at least consistently release good albums. I really like the new Cult of Fire album. I was a little skeptical when I first saw it reviewed here with the album cover and the title font, but found it was a great album after listening. The Asian or Buddhist influences on the album are pretty interesting and work surprisingly well. I like the new Possession too.

    When thinking of consistently good metal labels Iron Bonehead and Dark Descent instantly come to mind for me. What do you guys think are some of the top and most trustworthy labels out there for quality metal releases?

  31. Dark Descent, Debemur Morti, Memento Mori (great reissues of obscure or forgotten but always high quality albums) and recently I’ve grown to like Prophecy a lot.

    UA> Amen brother.

  32. Well, you can’t beat Eihwaz. They are one-for-one on good releases. That is consistency there. hehe. I would agree with Freek on Dark Descent + add I,Voidhanger.

  33. I have never been ashamed to consider myself a metalhead, although I have been at concerts and seen how others conduct themselves that made me sometimes feel like I wasn’t the same as others who claim to love this music. I guess there are different levels of connected when it comes to this music. I’ve always found a deeply personal fascination with it, and when I see others using metal mainly as their excuse to party and act like a moron at a live event, it doesn’t sit well. Sure, I like to have a few drinks with friends and sing along with Manowar, but fighting, violence and other questionable behavior isn’t part of it. Perhaps I’m sounding my age?

    Appearance… if you know me, chances are you have seen me wearing a metal shirt almost everyday since Jr. High. Again, I’m sure the world around me sees this as a serious example of arrested development, but I really don’t care. It’s going to be interesting to see how I’m treated by faculty when we have to make appearances at our sons school.

    I embraced the culture of the metal scene early on and haven’t really thought much about it since. I’ve tried hard to reach out of the traditional career that befalls a man of my age by writing about the subject (Worm Gear/Metal Maniacs) and releasing it (Bindrune and Eihwaz Recordings), desperately attempting to expand further on my interests and passion for music and the arts. Perhaps it’s all 20 years too late, but it keeps me feeling young and eager to get out of bed everyday (So does the kid, but we’re talking about music here).

    I remember talking to a man named Alan (forget his last name) back in the late 90′s in INternet chatrooms. He was in his mid 60′s, alone and a lonely guy, but was a metalhead since the birth of the genre. He wore metal shirts and attended shows in Florida, but was depressed ad felt out of place at them as he felt like he stood out. We tried to encourage him to not give a shit and go out and enjoy himself, but I think the fact that heavy metal socially, is largely seen as a young persons game. Maybe it is. Again…. I try not to care.

  34. And as far as listening to metal is concerned…. we have a 3, almost 4 year old, so my listening/enjoyment time these days is minimal, though I am fortunate that I can listen to the ipod at work all day. But this isn’t “quality” listening time as I’m performing a task with countless interruptions. I will say that I greatly miss the days I would put on an album, sit in the chair and stare at the speakers as it played. I do that in this era and I can’t relax…. feel guilty almost as if I should be doing something.

    Over the years, my interest in certain genres goes up and down. When Worm Gear began in ’95, it was the redundant height of the brutal death medium of expression. Everything that came in was Internal Bleeding meets Cannibal Corpse meets Suffocation. It was a trying time that was killing my love for death metal, much in the same way the overpopulation and popularity of thrash burnt itself out. I really needed a change and got it in the form of black metal. The Norwegian style seriously saved and inspired me on many levels. I was excited about it again.

    These days if I get burnt out, I have enough music from other styles to substitute for a breath of fresh air. Industrial, goth, punk, OLD Kiss, Hardcore, experimental, IRON MAIDEN (they always recharge the batteries!), folk, etc….. the list is endless. A week or so of straying off the metal path does the soul some good on occasion!

  35. I also want to say thanks from both myself and Jim….. seeing that you guys take the time to interact and say that Worm Gear has become a place that you look forward to seeking out on a weekly basis is a pretty huge statement for us to hear. It is an honor for us to be able to to do this, and even more rewarding to know that it in some way is helping people out. So yeah…. thanks and stuff.

  36. Alan/Nightsblood…. Oh man…. I still get excited listening to Feel the Fire. To me, that was their defining moment, though they moved away from that sound almost immediately for more of a trademark thrash tone. the songs. the spirit. Blitz’s vocals. so completely great!

  37. On the aging metalhead thread…
    I’ve always felt people who outgrew metal were listening to metal for the wrong reasons, eg. rebellious posturing, anger, iconoclastic behavior, “shocking” imagery, etc— rather than the music itself, which is why i’m here…as well as all of the metalheads whom i care to deal with. How do you outgrow a riff?
    Often, people get lazy and stop seeking out new music when they get older and just listen to the shit that they enjoyed in high school or college, during their “glory days” before life and responsibilities beat them down and murdered their imaginations. If you don’t like what the big labels are pushing, dig deeper— there’s always good stuff to be found.

  38. >If you don’t like what the big labels are pushing, dig deeper— there’s always good stuff to be found.

    Yep. It’s as true now as it ever was…and the internet only helps with this. There is so much good music out there…

  39. Couldn’t agree more on all points, Z. Fuckin’ well said \m/

  40. Nothing is hidden. The imagination and one’s ‘mood’ is really the only limit to finding new and great things. While nothing is scared and secret anymore, like the ol’ days, I’ll glady trade that for unfettered access and the ability to dig deep down to fucking the bowels of Hell! For ye, therre is treasure there, ARGHHH!!!

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