Thursday, December 22, 2011

Exhale - Festerfiction

More Czech grind without the goof. Crusty and extremely violent and aggressive; think a Czech "Inhale/Exhale" or F.A.M. with more blasting. It's tight and minimal in the style of "Scum" but with an added slice of bitter intensity that you didn't see back in the day. Recommended.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Puritas Virginum - Decenie De Souffrance

Incredibly French, very experimental "black metal." Some tracks are protracted neoclassical ambient pieces, others are minimal drum and bass numbers, but the bulk are punk and '70s prog rock-infused black metal; a somewhat saucier, more refined Nuit Noire, in a way. It could absolutely be bullshit or a joke, but I prefer to think of it as celebratory and brilliant. Be prepared: it's a doozy at almost 80 minutes. 1000 copies, 999 of which are probably still available.

Incarrion - Into the Exposed Abyss

Worthy tech death because it's deliberately abstract and weird. Yes, it obviously follows the mold of late Gorguts, but manages to be superior by dropping the navel-gazing conservatory aspects of "Obscura" in favor of a sort of Malignancy-style dementedness. It's tempered by its substantial atmosphere, which is sort of ominously grim and Lovecraftian; it's like diving into the Marianas Trench on acid and feeling the breathing of something enormous below you. Highly recommended.

The bassist was also nice enough to email me about a review I did for this EP. Give this a DL and check out what might have been.

Four Seats For Invalides - Defy

There's a greater than zero chance that this is actually Czech grind's greatest achievement. Sleek, chromed off, heavily industrial in nature- it's at once a very natural musical idea and also one you never expected anyone to actually pursue. In a very weird, tricky space between The Berzerker, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and particularly burly, militant skinhead hardcore, Four Seats For Invalides makes incredibly aggressive, violent, short songs with smashing drum machine (?) rhythms, ripping, modernized, hardcore-derived riffing, and a high/low vocal performance that comes across like a curbstomp. There's a very direct line from "Scum" to this. If you wanted to see a very stereotypical idea of "grind in the future," this is it, and I wish it actually was the future of grind.

Not sure whether to call this cybergrind or not, but I'll choose not to since that label tends to scare people off.

Midwynter - Four Seasons of Frost

Fairly technical, very melodic, slightly folky, lightly orchestral black metal from Colorado. The sort of thing that viciously demands your attention to fully appreciate it. Shifting textures, brilliant introductions of new melodic motifs- it's advanced listening that can easily be shrugged off if not given the necessary time. Very worthwhile. If anyone knows where I can find a copy of this band's self-released full-length, let me know- it seems lost to time.

It - Wolves of Winter

Been a very long while, hasn't it. In my defense, I was doing some things, and also some stuff. If it makes it better, I will say that I've been dealing with a crippling addiction wherein I snort lines of my own ejaculate. You think you're disgusted? I'm the one snorting cum all the time.

On the run up to Christmas, expect me to make up for lost time with some of the most deranged, retarded, and sexy music you've ever heard.

It is a one-man project from Canada that's very hard to refer to. He cranked out five demos that got distributed on the dearly departed Rusty Axe Records and supposedly also made a full-length that I've never seen proof of existing. His style developed over time, but this is the first demo. I'm not sure what to call it. Heirdrain with a more competent musician, maybe, with big chunks of old (old, old) Beherit and maybe Sort Vokter thrown in as well. It's ugly and sounds like it's made by rapist clowns.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fetocide - Redefine

Tech death the way it should be: convulsing, abstract, brutal, but oddly lacking in the ornate, frilly quality of its contemporaries. It never loses sight of the ultimate goal; it just uses more elaborate tools to use it. For fans of Wormed more interested in the actual music behind the novelty.

Lordamor - Lordamor

Funeral doom that's blackish without sounding like Nortt and tortureish without sounding like Wormphlegm. Lordamor dovetails the more extreme and more melodic styles of funeral doom into a pretty amazing whole, with the churn-and-grunt brutality of most of the big torture names alongside a remarkably fluid and dynamic sense of lead melody cultivated from bands like Mourning Beloveth but with a more unique and personal touch. Emotive, sort of psychedelic at times- essential for funeral doom fans.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Brick Down - This is Tribalcore

Mid-'00s metalcore mixed with "tribal" influences- hand drums and such ala "Roots." What sort of tribe is never specified, so I assume it's the same tribe that generic folk metal bands follow- not attributable to any particular nation or ethnicity. The references to mid-era Sepultura and Soulfly are clear, but somehow this comes out more than the sum of its parts and not as odious as the description sounds. Still basically a novelty listen, and it's probably best that this demo is only three tracks long, but I have many worse things in the metalcore that inhabits my collection.

Maggot Infested - Aborted Fetus

Idiot, brackish noisecore with hints of death/grind in fits and starts. The sort of thing that would have been released on a blearily Xeroxed tape in '92 with a shit-smeared toilet on the cover. Sent a letter to Seth Putnam looking for a split 7" to no response sort of stuff. Fun for what it is.

F.A.M. - Bullet(in)

Very Dutch, in a similar vein as Bloodbastard but a bit more consistently uptempo and grinding. As the Dutch are wont to do, you can expect vicious, imprecise death/grind spiced up with heavy doses of porngrind grooves and Neuropathia-style rockouts. It's hardly something I would describe as delicate and beautiful, but it is indeed pretty fantastic. Inspires headbanging regardless of individual taste.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ezurate - Infernal Dominatio

Hey look, it's the album you keep not buying because you think you're too good for it, spending your money on... I don't know, fucking Negură Bunget vinyl instead. Well, now you don't have any excuse. Ezurate is basically the American corruption of black metal taken to an insane degree. Think the most pitiably cheesy moments of "Panzer Division Marduk," "Midian," and probably some other no-name USBM bands that never got a demo about and you have the right idea. Ezurate is basically the Lady Gaga of black metal, vomiting up semi-digested chunks of older, more revered artists and recombining them in some horrible, gangly, puke-stained form. And, like Lady Gaga, you can't help but just dance.

(For real though, the riffcraft is formidable and there's a youthful exhuberance to this sort of music which makes me remember all the games of D&D I never played.)

(Also I have no idea what's up with the album name. I honestly think it was a typo that they played off as the right thing and kept reprinting it with the error.)

Invasion - Berserk Artillery Barrage

Quite simply one of the greatest post-2000 thrash albums ever released. A slightly sloppier, less refined "Tapping the Vein" meets a uniquely American style of frantic, seemingly grind (ala Drogheda) influenced pacing, topped with as much death and black metal as you can before you have to put a backslash in their genre description. Massively recommended, an absolute must-download even for thrash haters like myself.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hacksaw to the Throat - Wastelands

Overly hostile name juxtaposed with pensive naturalist cover art, running time of well over an hour, "progressive death metal"- a hideous combination of elements that would make this record impossible to recommend if it weren't actually quite good. It's sort of amateurish in its delivery- they're trying really hard to play a sort of idealized Big Boy Music- and it's way more overtly prog than most of the progressive death I enjoy, but there's a simple elegance to the songwriting, an excellent pacing of non-metal elements, and a surprisingly narrative full-album experience to enjoy. It's worth a look.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

King of the Dead - King of the Dead

Stoner metal with a drum machine, like a super heavy, primitive Clutch. Somewhat hesitant vocals and earthy, fervent riffs make this an obviously homemade release; this is what underground metal actually sounds like in places like North Dakota, where these guys originate. Amidst all your Amon Amarth albums you might have forgotten that this is what metal actually is.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dead Meat - Gory Artwork

Brutal death that reminds me of the weird, fringey brutal death artists I'm in love with who never go anywhere: shit like Dismal Divinity or Exhumation (both of which will probably end up on this blog at one point). Not tech but not slam, not sloppy but not refined; barbaric, punishing, angry. Worth a listen from everyone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Raise the Shield - Release Yourself

It's terrible that these guys haven't done anything since this album; it's easily one of the best power/thrash records in my collection (admittedly there's not a lot of competition). Raise the Shield combines a great sense of traditional USPM (tempered and streamlined with hints of Japanese shit ala X-Japan) with an aggressive, burly thrash presence. It's got a ton of energy, sick, catchy riffs, and a surprisingly solid rhythm section as well. Unsigned, unknown, unappreciated- exactly the sort of thing I want to get out there.

Bodies in the Gears of the Apparatus - Simian Hybrid Prototype

I suppose this is pretty close to white belt, but hell, it's good, so why not. Bodies were sort of local heroes in my region of FL, with members later going on to form Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky. Their particular style of death/grind is as influenced by post-hardcore as it is Napalm Death, but the riffs and deranged, technical song structures speak for themselves.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not Fragile - Yesterday's Heroes

Speed metal should be fast, technical, melodic, face-melting, virtuosic, traditional, unchanging, cheesy, absurd, metallic, hilarious, endearing, nostalgic, proud, and utterly, irrevocably German.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Knokkelklang - Kalk & Aske

What separates good depressive black metal from bad is usually a pretty thin, nebulous line, and this is exactly such a release. Knokkelklang plays slow, crawling depressive black metal laced with ambient and noise that's stylistically similar to most of the most generic tropes of the genre, but carries with it a particularly apocalyptic, sardonic atmosphere that gives this music a very different feel from its contemporaries. Less "I'm going to kill myself," more "we're all going to die anyway."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Memorium - Triumph of the Origin

Before Suicide Silence and Impending Doom consolidated deathcore into a defined Thing, this is what we had back in 2006: a primordial mixture of Deicide and Hatebreed wrapped up in a distinctly anti-modern aesthetic. It's highly unusual, sort of dead-end music that never really went anywhere- after this demo, the band broke up a couple years later. It's definitely interesting and worth a look for anyone interested in hardcore-influenced metal that's far from the norm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maegashira - The Inner Workings of Block Time

Stoner metal isn't something I willingly recommend in most cases since it's usually stupid and not as good as Sleep, but in this case I think you should bother listening. Maegashira plays a stoner/sludge combo that reminds me a bit of an ultra-heavy Clutch or Kyuss; basically, it's stoner rock amplified to crazy degrees rather than "metal" proper. Either way, the music is absolutely crushing and has a simple, hook-laden songwriting style which is most impressive for a debut CDr demo.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Satanize - Dead Orations

A curious little Portuguese 7", "Dead Orations" includes two tracks of bleary, ritualistic black metal cut from old Bathory and contemporaries in the Portuguese scene like Morte Incandescente. Rough, unrefined, and hardly the most creative thing I've ever heard, its ugly, occult atmosphere like a stripped-down Inquisition is worth a cursory listen at the very least. Only 200 copies of this 7" ever made their way to earth.

Misanthropy Legion - Alal

For the inaugural post of Always Unprotected, I've decided to whip out one of my favorite somewhat recent black metal CDrs: Misanthropy Legion's "Alal." A propulsive, combustive mixture of Taake, chaotic USBM, and oldschool Scandinavian black metal, the band straddles a fine line between Conqueror or Revenge-style madness and a more articulate, refined melodic style. It's deep, engaging, and rewarding, and it's limited to only 50 copies on CDr. Definitely worth just about anyone's time.


Always Unprotected is the sister download blog to Trial By Ordeal, my main metal blog. Instead of the usual writings you'll find there, on Always Unprotected you'll get a chance to download and explore a variety of extreme music, focusing mainly on metal but also periodically dipping into other styles. Unlike other download blogs, there's never going to be any posts about leaks of major albums, bootlegs of well-known bands, or anything else that concentrates on the mainstream of the underground music scene. You can find that elsewhere. What you'll get here: weird Chilean black metal CDrs, ambient/industrial from the Ukraine, or gorenoise tapes from Iowa. In short: everything you've come not to expect from extreme music. Enjoy.