Al Kikuras

Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram Review

Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram Review

“On my desk as I claw at this review with a case of writer’s block so bad it’s like I chewed and swallowed an entire roll of Bubble Tape, is a copy of Necrophobic‘s 1991 Unholy Prophecies demo. A benchmark in Satanic death metal that I am hoping will be the Metalmucil for my literary constipation.” Get regular for Satan.

Skelethal – Of the Depths Review

Skelethal – Of the Depths Review

“Heavy metal, despite primarily being a possession of what we proudly call the underground, is not impervious to the revisionist proclivity of plucking from the past with genres like re-thrash, Even Newer Wave of British Heavy Metal, occult rock, and currently on the chopping block, retro-Swedish death. 2014’s EP, Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity was my introduction proper to Skelethal and it just about made me turn my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory. At just 21 minutes, it was a perfect little window to the days of yore when Entombed and particularly Carnage were all.” The Play Doh Fudge Factory is not as fun as it sounds.

Nargaroth – Era of Threnody Review

Nargaroth – Era of Threnody Review

“Occasionally a promo in the list sparks some crusty old memory of an album. Nargaroth rang no bells on that front though I did marginally enjoy 2001’s Black Metal ist Krieg (A Dedication Monument), and Ash (aka “The Artist Formerly Known As Kanwulf”) is generally considered one of the forefathers of the second wave of black metal and had always been a staunch proponent of tradition and those three albums were no exception.” Old musician/older writer. FIGHT!

Crimson Moon – Oneironaut Review

Crimson Moon – Oneironaut Review

“Let’s be honest. The internet has simultaneously made everything better while absolutely fucking ruined it. Yes, we can get music and movies instantly, order pizza online, and buy embarrassing shit like hemorrhoidal cream without handing someone money face to face. At the same time, any mystery about life has been sucked out of our consciousness like an effeminate Brad Pitt in Interview With A Vampire chomping on some pale, lame white girl.” The internetz are for porn (and butt balm).

Deranged – Struck By A Murderous Siege Review

Deranged – Struck By A Murderous Siege Review

Cannibal Corpse opened the gates for the pornogrind bukakke blast to come (sp) in the mid 1990s, they were and are a death metal band. Granted, Germany’s Gut was wallowing in depraved and murksome waters for a few years, but they always had more in common with a band like the Meat Shits dashed with a touch of Macabre than anything remotely malevolent. It was with Deranged‘s debut, 1995’s Rated X, that the menace Cannibal Corpse lost appearing found a new, grindier and even more perverse host.” Glove up, peeps, this one is venal and vile (and sticky).

Mercyless – Pathetic Divinity Review

Mercyless – Pathetic Divinity Review

“First, we have Fronch fries. And Fronch dressing. And Fronch bread. And Fronch death metal. And to drink, ta-da! Peru! As with most bands with old guys like me in them, I have a long history with Mercyless. I received a cassette promo of 1993’s Coloured Funeral right after losing access to a free copy machine that put a nail in the coffin of the print version of Unchain the Underground. While I never got around to reviewing it, that particular slab of adventurous Fronch death metal stayed in regular rotation and made the cut through upgrades to CD right into the digital age.” Mercyless is about to activate your dental plan.

Ghoulgotha – To Starve The Cross Review

Ghoulgotha – To Starve The Cross Review

Ghoulgotha make their death metal intentionally unsettling and uber-ugly to the point that even a seasoned crusty fucker like my brothers in arms, Grymm and Dr. Fisting, couldn’t wrap their iron-laden arms around their debut, The Deathmass Cloak. I started to listen to it out of morbid curiosity and found that it sank into my brain like a cancerous strain to the point that it wound up in my year end top ten list.” There really is no accounting for taste.

Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam Review

Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam Review

As a dumb 16 year-old I turned away from bands when the glass-shattering high notes that were a trademark of many vocalists went the way of the dinosaur, either by design or age inducing the testicles to drop. As a dumb 35 year-old, Alan Tecchio raved to me about Flotsam and Jetsam‘s then new album, 2010’s The Cold. As one of my favorite metal vocalists (Hades, Non-Fiction), Alan’s word was bond, James Bond, so I picked it up. At first listen it made me turn my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory.” Enter the Age of Incontinence!

Abhomine – Larve Offal Swine Review

Abhomine – Larve Offal Swine Review

“Pete Helmkamp’s varied projects over the years have one special unifying quality: there is something unsettling about them all that transcends music and hits the core of your being, reminding you that the world is an immaculately fucked up place and our tenure on it is tentative at best. Larvae Offal Swine, the debut album under the moniker Abhomine, is Helmkamp’s first true solo effort in which he wrote and performed all of the music with the exception of the drums. How does this nigh legendary extreme metal front man stand when on his own?” Offal before swine?