Monday, January 31, 2022

HUMAN HARVEST ~ Flesh Sermons (2022)

Listen to any album featuring Jonny Pettersson and Jon Rudin of  Wombbath among many others, and you can be pretty certain that your eardrums are in for a harrowing test of endurance. Thankfully, the gruesome twosome's latest incarnation Human Harvest doesn't disappoint. Flesh Sermons is a merciless abominate of mutated grind and Swedish death metal. The duo's utter disdain of the Human Race permeates every garrotted chord struck and drumhead demolished, spattered by gargolyan bile spewed from Petterssons throat. Its a thoroughly savage, relentless album made great by the many breakdowns that steamroll right through your head. These aren't your usual breakdowns where everything slows down into chunks of riffery, instead the tracks accelerate to insane velocity without losing their mass of  bloodied matter.

Prepare to be culled!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Rhino Body Lover: A Tribute to Shallow North Dakota


There’s a predictable thing that happens when bands of a similar sound first get together. They talk about other bands. Specifically, what inspired them. What blew their minds. What got them believing that there was a place for a sound like theirs. 

You go into those conversations expecting to hear certain names. The big ones. The canon. The touchstones. That’s all well and good. But what really hits home is the moment when you find out that a band that felt like your own private discovery is just as special in someone else’s heart as well. And hold on, that person knows about them, too. And that one … 

For many of us in the noise/sludge/heavy music scene, that band is Shallow North Dakota. Despite a relatively slim recorded output through the 90s, capped by a self-released double LP swan song in 2004 that was barely promoted and never toured, this trio left behind a Velvet Underground-sized impression on those who heard them.

Part of that was their monolithic volume, a seismically registering force that dealt cannon blows to anything not welded in place. But more significant was their inversion of the classic power trio format. The axemen—guitarist Dan Dunham and bassist Michael ‘Biff’ Young—neither pounced nor preened. Instead, they faced inward, eyes trained deeply on the fulcrum of the group’s might and character. Drummer and vocalist Tony Jacome. With Jacome acting as the accelerant, the three men spat particles of ionized sound into their own core—a reactor sealed by focus, bearing the brunt of their own nuclear force. Sound bonding and breaking. Over and over. 

Near the start of this year, it was announced that Jacome had pancreatic cancer. By the end of September, he was gone. In the months between, many musicians found themselves engaged in that conversation all over again, but this time with an added dimension. The true breadth of Shallow North Dakota’s influence seeped to the surface, rapidly and passionately. Still somewhat secret, but now known. And with all of this knowledge, came a sense of urgency to cement this shared experience. 

That’s what Rhino Body Lover: A Tribute to Shallow North Dakota is. This 29-song tribute covers the majority of the band’s catalogue—an honouring of the fact that if the SND catalogue was a touch slim, that was only because it was fat free. Every tune had its advocate—and this advocacy came from far and wide. From Finland’s Throat to Vancouver’s Bison, Montreal’s The Great Sabatini to Minneapolis’ Asbestos Worker and Texas’ Grasshopper Lies Heavy, the assembled bands reflect the expansive respect the band still commands to this day. 

As a show of that respect, all proceeds from this compilation will be going to the Jacome family—longtime soulmate Cheryl and their two young children.


This is a tribute album of 29 covers of  Shallow North Dakota's catalogue. 29 bands from around the world have paid homage to the drummer and vocalist Tony Jacome who sadly passed away last year from Pancreatic Cancer. 

I have to say, I'm blown away by the quality of the tracks each band has put forward. This is one pissed off sounding album of noisy, booming sludge, angry at the injustice of the world. There are some bands I recognise but many I don't and such is the quality of each one, I'm in the process of checking each new band out and becoming reacquainted with the ones I already know. 

This isn't just a tribute to one of the fallen, but also to the days when 90's sludge was full of grit n shit and at its most obnoxious.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

DEATHRATTLE PODCAST ~ Dirty Dozen (Best Of 2021)

 My top 12 albums of 2021


Six lamentations of morose doom death contagion shroud the new album Spew Forth Odium in a sallow, sickly pallor. Six Pallbearers hunched under a leaden casket.


It’s the guitar tone that’s done it for me, moist and saturated in so much fuzz that if you could squeeze each track, gelatinous riffs would drip through your fingers.


Stoner doom riffs spitting sludge and acid before collapsing in on itself under the immense weight.

It’s the harmonies that do it for me, it’s really magical the way the soaring vocals hitch a ride on some of the smoothest yet heaviest stoner doom riffs ever laid before the Sabbathian altar.


I started playing this and my innards fell out of my a**e! Bottomless doom with limitless hate.


One of the most consistent of death metal bands. Never has brutality sounded so groovy, with riffs as fresh as the air from a recently exhumed casket.


The stoner doom foundation comes down hard, licks cut deep, encapsulated by a heavy/hard rock crunch.


Blood soaked riffs twisting and tightening like a tourniquet around your neck. Eyes bulge, tongue swells before the noxious doom death atmosphere sucks the last, gasping breath from your throat.


Never has something as corpulent as this album moved so fast. If these guys entered a ‘Drag the Bloated Corpse’ race, they’d grab first place every time, but then again, maybe not seeing as they wouldn’t be able to stop playing with it.


The rise of the zombie horde! Frenzied death metal with a caustic HM-2 sound backed up with keyboards for added horror.


Dark, endless, psalms of sorrow to play at your wake. Each track pays homage to your bereavement.


Picking away at the crusty scabrous top layer reveals a snarling, rabid and thoroughly relentless death grind mass punished by Godly Celtic Frost style breakdowns.

Monday, January 10, 2022

THE JOE DAVIS BAND ~ You Can't Stop Me (2013 Remaster)

I'm always scouring the web for new guitarists to love. For me, there is a dearth of them on Bandcamp unless you're a shredder and those guys tend to sound samey and bore me after a short time. Show patience, dig a little deeper and the gift that is Bandcamp will eventually reveal its secrets, such as The Joe Davis Band. Straddling the boundaries set by the likes of Jared James Nichols and Zakk Wylde, The JDB is a juggernaut of Southern style heavy rock/metal. Open up this particular album and it sounds like you've stepped right in the middle of a full on bar room brawl, guitar shrieks like a spoiled kid clinging to its mothers skirt, backed up with drums of rolling thunder and bass that sounds like a Trench Rammer.

It appears that the band's full catalogue is now available digitally on Bandcamp. Pick any one bar 'Little Songs' which is acoustic, and you're subject to some of the most raucous, belligerent, Southern fightin' talk, tempered by the occasional foray into delta blues swamps, a cooling off period before you step back into the fray.