In our new monthly feature, which will show up here on the 15th of every month and run over the next few days, I (Angry Metal Guy) will select 5 bands at random (usually those who have followed my directions and have bandcamp accounts) to get blurbed by every member of the AMG staff. The idea is to do at least a bit of our part to point out that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal. While we simply don’t have the manpower to produce regular reviews of unsigned bands, this is my attempt at a minor mea culpa if nothing else. So enjoy Angry Metal Guy’s Unsigned Band Rodeo and our very first entry ever: Bill Pulmonary Embolism!

Bill Pulmonary Embolism is the musical avatar of the Sith Lord that arose from Iron Thrones‘ demise in 2012. Indeed, while the nerds among our readers have an in fight about whether it’s possible for a Sith Lord to come from Westeros, I will quickly move along to the band’s bio. Made up of Peter Clarke, who played drums for Iron Thrones and does all of the music on this 17 minute EP, and vocalist Nathan Holland — whose only noted accomplishment appears to be that he left Iowa; a mighty feat indeed — BPE‘s debut EP tells the story of Nastidious, a Dark Lord who apparently consumes the galaxy. Recorded at Signaturetone Studios, engineered by Steve Heningsgaard and mixed and mastered by the genius Adam Tucker. You can check out their Bandcamp here to get the EP for free or their Facebook here to see a video of Peter showing off a reworking of the amazing Battletoads theme here for a forthcoming EP called Segadeth. Awesome. Hate fun? You’ll hate this. Let’s see how many of the writers at AMG hate fun!

Bill Pulmonary Emoblism - A Galaxy Consumed

Angry Metal Guy: Wait. Fan fiction Star Wars grind!? Hard to say no to that, eh? In any case, arising from the ashes that is the mighty Minneapolis progressive metal act Iron Thrones, Bill Pulmonary Embolism‘s A Galaxy Consumed is a mightily entertaining, tongue-in-cheek ode to Star Wars. Produced at Signaturtone by the amazing Adam Tucker, these guys sound huge and their writing — while admittedly weird at times (see “Undulations of Hatred”) — sparks my imagination and really walks the fine line between interesting, technical and fun to listen to, something lots of bands can’t seem to figure out. The vocals work well, but I’d actually like more cleans. These guys really hit their stride on the final track “A Galaxy Consumed,” genuinely fun and cool. 3.5/5.0

Steel Druhm: This just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t the Star Wars theme (but help, that did not), but the ill-conceived mish-mash of screamy vocals, metalcore breakdowns, chugga riffing, Voivod/Atheist style time shifts and Strapping Young Lad stop-start writing. The whole thing feels goofy and off the cuff, which is okay if it works, but this never seems to gel. There are some good ideas scattered about and the band is quite capable, but the overall product gets annoying faster than a Times Square Elmo with boundary issues and it made me long for a quiet weekend on Dagobah. 2.0/5.0

Madam X: All consuming Bill Pulmonary Embolism offer a combination of Star Wars tainted proggy grind that’s well described as technically aggressive pure raging fuckin’ metal. Nathan Holland holds nothing back in his vocals, repeatedly assaulting you with his massive yells, shrieks and growls that exude barbarity. There are tempo shifts aplenty and oftentimes Peter Clarke’s aggressive and chaotic attack on the instrumentation left me very disorientated and though I can hear he’s a technically skilled multi-instrumentalist, the chaos of A Galaxy Consumed does nothing to draw me. The only track I feel any desire to hear again is “A Requiem of Evil” …  “so long and thanks for all the fish.” [No, that’s Douglas Adams, not Star Wars. – AMG2.0/5.0

Fisting Andrew Golota: Bill Pulmonary Embolism just edged out Dr. Acula as the stupidest band name I’ve ever heard. A Galaxy Consumed kicks off with some idiot-friendly death metal, complete with breakdowns and generic yelling-skinny-guy vocals. Thankfully, the latter tracks involve some serious prog composition, and a better grasp of melody than the opening tunes would lead you to believe. 2.0/5.0

Happy Metal GuyAs very obviously evident from the album artwork, this is a Star Wars concept album. The music is vicious techgrind that suits the sci-fi theme, but it suffers from having inapt harsh vocals that sound too raw and primitive to sound convincing enough to be the voice of a soundtrack to the feel-good space epic that is Star Wars. Interestingly, the track titles look like stuff that Devin Townsend would have come up with. Maybe this EP would have turned out better at HevyDevy’s hands. 2.5/5.0

Natalie Zed: There is a single descriptive line on this band’s Excyclopedia Metallum page that reveals a great deal about what you need to know about Bill Pulmonary Embolism (which is also a hilarious band name in it’s own right): “This Band is heavily influenced by Star Wars.” This is confirmed by the very first track on A Galaxy Consumed, “Hello Galaxy, Meet Nastidious!” which begins with a line of dialogue from Return of the Jedi and ends with a lightsaber sound effect. Though the band aren’t actually from a small agricultural planet – they hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota [Practically the same thing – AMG] – their commitment to their galactic concept as well as their refusal to be defined solely by it is impressive. Once the space opera elements are stripped away, we’re left with a strong piece of technical death metal, whose rhythms carves deep grooves into the songs. There’s a solid contrast between the frenetic drumming and frantic, complex guitar work and the slower, deeper rhythms that can change the pace of the song. “Undulations of Hatred” even features some grand, impressive clean singing. Plus, it’s impossible not to grin when Admiral Akbar warning, “It’s a trap!” is folded in between frantic riffs. 3.0/5.0

Alex FranquelliBill Pulmonary Embolism are a nasty but lovable creature. “There is no demise of Nastidious / It is time to die / You will die, you will die / You will suffer,” they say. This fine example of grindcore poetry pretty much sums up what this duo is all about: blast beats with a Voivodian imagery and a touch of European crust to top an awesome cake anyone fond of post-apocalyptic entertainment shouldn’t miss. Because, whether one likes it or not, we all need some controlled violence. 3.0/5.0

Share →
  • I’ve always hated fun in all it’s forms.

    • Even when it comes in the form of beer?

      • That isn’t for fun, that’s anti-anger medicine.

        • Really?? I gulp it down for fun! Also, whenever I’m having trouble starting a term paper.

        • Madam__X

          I’ve approached it all wrong then. If it helps with term papers I wonder if it will help with reviews… the bottle of wine I dosed myself with didn’t help worth a damn.

          • If it’s not dated 666 B.C., maybe that’s the reason why it is not working its magic.

  • This was pretty fun to read. I’d love to see more of these!

  • Brilliant idea. I too, am looking forward to more of these

  • I find your lack of a good band name disturbing…

  • That is an amazing band name! “Pfft” to the haters…

  • They’re already better than Zuckuss. Though can anyone ever top an album title such as “Titfucked by Tauntaun”?

  • Kathleen Turner Overdrive > Bill Pulmonary Embolism.

    • Sonic Death Monkey > all

      • Barry, you are over 30 years old. You owe it to yourself, to your friends, to your parents. NOT to play in a band called Sonic Death Monkey.

  • I love the format of this! I would love to see some of the higher profile releases get this treatment (ie. Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, etc)

    • Madam__X

      That thought crossed my mind too :) It was actually a fun exercise, I’m looking forward to the next round.

  • I’m realizing now I should’ve said “this is not the space grind you are looking for.”

  • Wait, Iron Thrones broke up? What a shame.

    • Bill Pulmonary Embolism Pete

      It is a shame.

  • Bill Pulmonary Embolism Pete

    Thanks for doing this AMG staff! This is awesome. We had a lot of fun making “A Galaxy Consumed” and can’t wait to put out future releases.
    I’m happy knowing there are people who get the band name (like it or leave it) and can apprecieate the concept of this E.P.

    A quick note:
    The band itself will not be solely based on Star Wars. Nate and I did this record for fun and decided to release it after the fact. It’s hard to say what kind of music we will create in the future, but we will be releasing a quick E.P. entitled “SEGADETH” soon. We will also be a full band very shortly.

    A quicker note:
    We will not solely be releasing nerdy E.P.’s.

  • Good to see my boys Pete and Nate getting a little love. Those guys are both great, and I have high hopes for their future. Pete is an extremly talented guy, and i can only see good things coming out of him in the future.

  • Not seeing any relationship lyrically or musically, but I still can’t help but wonder whether the song title “Hello Galaxy, Meet Nastidious!” might be an oblique nod to the Beastie Boys’ album “Hello Nasty” (on which appears the song “Intergalactic”)…

    • Bill Pulmonary Embolism Pete

      That’s awesome! We didn’t even think about that when we came up with that song name. I don’t know if that makes it better or worse.

  • I remember reading somewhere that Pete did all the instruments on this, which is laudable in its own right. I love funny conceptual albums like this such as Austrian Death Machine and Devy’s Ziltoid saga.

    • Bill Pulmonary Embolism Pete

      If you like that, very soon I’ll be putting out (probably) my last E.P. under the Bill Pulmonary Embolism where I do most of the instrumentation. I’m calling it SEGADETH and I’m taking a few heavy Sega songs and making full tunes out of them. It’ll be fairly similar to The Minibosses and Powerglove, but I intentionally chose more minor and ‘obscure’ songs for the title. Thanks for the nod to Ziltoid. I know “A Galaxy Consumed” isn’t quite on the same level but it’s awesome to be lumped in with that project.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply Pete, I will sure check your next EP, I like the idea behind that concept. And congrats on making a full band again, I hope if you have the time you can keep doing music like this, it has the clear sense of being made for the sheer fun of it and I think everybody can appreciate that.

        • Bill Pulmonary Embolism Pete

          Thanks man, and I agree, if you’re not having fun then what is the point?

          • Madam__X

            True that.

  • MetalMartin

    I tend to be of AMG’s opinion (i.e. 3.5/5). It’s really weird indeed, but interesting. And this is the second album I know of that features a Star Wars theme cover art. Just look up Vondur’s Striðsyfirlýsing on Metal Archives.