lunes, 30 de abril de 2012

TWISTED SISTER "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" (1983, Heavy Metal)


Tras un auspicioso debut en un pequeño sello que apostó por el muy interesante "Under The Blade", la banda - tras sufrir muchos ninguneos de sellos norteamericanos - se focaliza en Inglaterra. Twisted Sister siempre tuvo una historia dificil y esforzosa. ¿Cómo explicar que Atlantic Records de Inglaterra les ofrece contrato cuando la filial de Estados Unidos los rechazó varias veces?. Grabado en The Sol Estudio (Berkshire) y producido/mezclado por Stuart Epps (Ingeniero de sonido del álbum también) ... es un buen disco, muy querido por los fans acérrimos como yo, pero no me pregunten por qué: es de los tradicionales el que menos me engancha. Y que conste que Dee Snider acá está más metido en la NWOBHM que en el Hard Rock que harían con más énfasis más tarde. El "Lado A" (Lo tuve en cassette importado allá por 1994) es pura dinamita, el gancho de "The Kids Are Back", la velocidad en "The Power And The Glory" y el estribillo casi épico de "Ride To Live, Live To Ride". El celebrado "I Am (I'm Me)... me parece OK y nada más. 




Dee Snider (Que como siempre compone todo) tiene esa voz distintiva y el resto de los músicos sin mayores malabares logran un trabajo energético y pesado. A. J. Pero en especial con la batería (Pese a lo que comento más abajo del productor). El "Lado B" es más irregular que al "Lado A" y cae un poco la cosa. Los temas zafan pero hay irónicamente el que es el mejor tema del disco: el tema título (Que no falta casi en ningún show en vivo de la banda). Algo para remarcar, no me gustó la producción de Stuart Epps, las violas pudieron haber tenido más peso, y la batería suena muy latosa. Eso no quita lo bueno de los temas pero tanto en el cassette como en el CD que poseo siempre el sonido final obtenido nunca me convenció. Me debía esta review, tanto que los fans adoran este disco... para mí es un disco más. Que irónicamente fue un punto de inflexión para ellos: Inglaterra los apoyó mucho, hubo un clip de "You Can't..." y tanto ruido, al final llego a Estados Unidos concluyendo con que la gente que los había rechazado buscara saciar su "hambre".

Calificación: 7.5/10

PROAGRESSION "Ciega Realidad" (2011, Demo, Thrash Metal)


Descubro a este quinteto al ver a Exodus el sábado pasado... ¡Anteayer!. Terminan de tocar - Eran los primeros teloneros de la grilla - y me aterriza este demo en la cara entre varios que tiraron al público. ¡Guau nunca me pasó que me cayera algo así!. ¡Más a alguien que tiene un sitio de reviews!. Lo escuché ayer, Proagression es un quinteto de Villa Dominico, se formaron en el 2006. Una intro y tres temas conforman el demo, los chicos hacen un thrash machacoso y veloz - Muy "Bay Area" - que si te gustan Testament y Exodus, no deberías ignorarlos. 


En especial me quedé con la velocidad y riffs de "Las Caras De La Muerte" y los toques de thrash con algo más de groove en "Enemigos Del Destino". Muy buenas voces de Terry en especial ya que canta además de raspar con su voz. Sonido muy bueno y prolijidad sin sacrificar ataque. Creo que están para aún más y les veo condiciones. Espero con interés un futuro primer álbum para no cabecearlo sino pararlo de pechito.

Pueden descargar este demo gratuitamente en el sitio web de la banda
http://www.proagression.com.ar/

(De muy buen diseño, dicho sea de paso)

Calificación: 7.5/10

lunes, 23 de abril de 2012

SODOM en Argentina (Domingo 8 de Abril 2012, Teatro de Flores)


 Setlist: 

1) In War And Pieces
2) Sodomy And Lust
3) M-16
4) Outbreak Of Evil
5) Surfin’ Bird
6) The Saw Is The Law
7) Proselytism Real
8) The Art Of Killing Poetry
9) Napalm In The Mourning
10) I Am The War
11) City Of God
12) Iron Fist
13) Blasphemer
14) Eat Me
15) Agent Orange
16) Sodomized
17) Ausgebombt

Bises: 

18) Among The Weirdcong
19) The Vice Of Killing
20) Remember The Fallen
21) Bombenhagel

 Estaba muy entusiasmado, me los perdí la vez anterior e iba decidido a no perdérmelos ahora. Aterricé demasiado temprano y ví a los teloneros. Bien todos pero Dark Warrior y sus ataques a lo Kreator encendieron los primeros cimbronazos entre la gente. Aunque no habría más de cien-cientocincuenta personas en todo el recinto cosa que me pinchó un poco. ¡Es Sodom!. 

Pero al aproximarse el show unas quinientas personas poblaron más el lugar que así y todo si deseabas estabas cómodo donde se te cantara. Muchos thrashers de esos con chaleco más cinco mil parches, jeans de chupín, zapatillas blancas, y una porción de gente con canas (Mi caso claro que sí). A las 21:30 masomenos se apagan las luces y con un telón de fondo con la tapa de “In War And Pieces” largan con ese tema. 

El publico (80% thrasher prendido fuego) lo percibía como “esperando” los temas para armar círculos y chocarse/aniquilarse con todo. No me equivoqué: “Sodomy Of Lust” y “Outbreak Of Evil” fueron una masacre. En esos dos desde un flanco miraba tímidamente, pero este trío me hizo saltar la cadena. La base de Tom AngelRipper y el nuevo batero Markus "Makka" Freiwald (Acaso lo mejor de esa noche, y se ganó una merecida ovación al ser presentado por Tom) demolió por completo a los presentes. Y en “Surfin’ Bird” mandé todo a la mierda, a correr en círculos con todos los demás locos de remate. Y me duró casi todo el resto del show (Una hora y media estimadamente) 

Insisto que el público estaba mega al mango, cantándole a la banda, Angelripper miraba realmente sorprendido y filmó a la audiencia (Luego lo haría un asistente de él). Fueron alternando temas más a medio tiempo con viejas perlas como “Proselytism Real”, el “Iron Fist” de Lemmy y vuelta a la masacre en el campo con “Blasphemer”, “Agent Orange” (Juro que en esta sentí que me moría entre la violentísima ronda) y “Ausgebombt”. 

Los tipos te tiran todo a lo Slayer, poco hablar y una piña tras otra. El sonido fue bueno, con demasiado volumen, y la única salvedad de que la viola de “Bernemann” estaba un tanto por debajo de la base, sin ser algo grave. Hora y cuarto devastadora, se van. Un cierre GLORIOSO con uno de mis temas favoritos de “Agent Orange” (“Remember The Fallen”) y el tiro de gracia con – creo – todo el piso del Teatro mancomunado en una masacre. 

¿Qué podés esperar si te tocan “Bombenhagel” aún más a los gomazos que la versión original?. Un show demoledor, eficiente, caras sonrientes y cansadas por el intenso ejercicio físico a la salida, y un trío que prepondera el mazazo a la técnica, se les ve con cuerda para rato. Un auténtico festín de thrash. 

Calificación: 8.5/10

domingo, 15 de abril de 2012

NUCLEAR DEATH "Bride Of Insect" (1990, Thrash/Death)


Me encuentro ante una review especial. Por los noventas me comentaban de esta banda como algo realmente muy extremo, algunos hasta osaban decir que eran lo peor que habían escuchado en su vida. Siempre me despertó curiosidad el extremismo llevado al límite y eso me llevó a bandas como Cannibal Corpse. Mis primeras audiciones de este trío oriundo de Arizona fueron gracias a Internet (¿Recuerdan un programa llamado Audiogalaxy? luego de el liquidado Napster), allá por el 2000. No me parecieron gran cosa PARA NADA aunque sí "especiales" así  y todo fuí a la Disquería Jackflash y compré este disco que de yapa trae el que le sigue en su edición versión 2000 por el sello Extremist Records ("Carrion For Worm" el cual tengo en su edición original de Wild Rags y comentaré aparte). Acá la cuestión es simple: thrash tocado a 100.000 km/h con una viola tan disonante que realmente me cuesta distinguir un tema de otro (Y vaya que escuché disonancias de todos los calibres... a esto no hay con que darle). Por momentos realmente todo es un caos inentendible y la producción en vez de ayudar suma a que todo sea más bardero. Y una mujer que canta y toca el bajo (Lori Bravo) que si no te dicen de que sexo es pensás que es un tipo.



Doce temas mayoritariamente mugrosos, palerisimos MAL (Ni quiero pensar para 1990, la velocidad del primer Napalm Death amalgamada con el thrash/death más viscoso que te puedas imaginar), con efecto de "bola de ruido" (Para esta banda ese término calza como "anillo al dedo"), rescato a "Necrobestiality" el tema título, "Fetal Lament: Homesick" (¡Que tiene hasta una intro calma!) y "Vultures Feeding" (Que tiene algo de.... ¡melodía en un riff!). Insisto, todo lo demás es demasiado lineal, parecen todos temas iguales (Pero mal... para que a mí me dé esa impresión es raro) y recontramegaquilomberos, aunque me impacta por su violencia y "algo" que tiene la banda (¿Peculiaridad?), es como que te tiraran el CD por la cara al ponerlo en los parlantes (Que realmente atronan), en especial por la bata de Joey Whitfield y la viola cuasi ininteligible de Phil Hampson. Nuclear Death con los años me cayó más simpático por captar esa crudeza tan visceral de las ediciones del sello Wild Rags, que eran verdaderas bombas atómicas grabadas en bajo presupuesto y casi en una toma (Cosa que creo advertir aquí aunque no hay detalles de que así sea). Recomendable para alguien que se quiera derretir el cerebro con un thrash/death fangoso, muy pero muy abrasivo, y transpirar en menos de media hora. No me malinterpreten al ver la calificación, pero la esposa del insecto es un laburo muy pero muy particular.

Calificación: 5/10 (Pero no deja de ser un CD muy "único")

jueves, 12 de abril de 2012

Interview with Mike Usifer (PRIME EVIL)



  
MARTIN: Mike, thank you very much for taking the time to answer this questions. Let’s talk about the origins of Prime Evil. You´ve started in a growing underground thrash/death metal scene, how the band was created? 

MIKE: Thank you Martin; it is an honor. Well…you can get our whole bio on our web site www.primeevil.net … but basically, Gary & I were playing together in 1984 in a band playing Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden covers. When we started writing original songs, they were coming out faster and heavier. We started adding some early Slayer, Motorhead, and Celtic Frost; that’s when Andy joined the band in 1985. From there, we just kept playing as many shows as we could and writing new songs. We went through a couple of drummers and bassists until we found Mary and Tad in 1987 and recorded out first demo. 

MARTIN: You’ve released three demos during the early years. Which was the response of them on the scene of that moment? 

MIKE: I must admit, we were taken back by the responses of each demo. We never expected such great responses from the zines, radio, clubs, fans, and other bands. The scene treated us very well from the start, and we were extremely honored to have been a part of it. Everybody was breaking in back then – Death, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, etc. It was an awesome time to be a Metal band. 

MARTIN: While other bands of the scene get signed for their first album, Prime Evil didn’t get the proper recognition in my opinion. Do you have an opinion of why the labels didn’t notice the music of the band? 

MIKE: There are many reasons…I think the biggest reason was because we didn’t send the first demo out to any record labels. We only sent it to fanzines and occasionally to radio stations when requested. That was our mistake. We were completely unhappy with the sound, and we were embarrassed to shop it to labels. So, while Death & Sepultura were getting signed, the labels didn’t have any representation from us. In hind sight, that was a mistake on our part. We thought that by waiting, and sending out a more polished demo like The Manifestation, we would grab the labels attention. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. We never had management, so it was extremely difficult for us to get the demo in the record exec’s hands. By the time we did the Industry Demo in 1990, the labels were telling us we were too technical. Even with Gene Hoglan of Dark Angel and Steve Reynolds of Demolition Hammer pushing for us to get signed to their respective labels we couldn’t get a good deal. We did however get about 6 or 7 contract offers throughout our existence, but we had politely turned them down. The one staple that PRIME EVIL have always stood by was that we would not give up any of the rights to our songs. That’s probably the 2nd biggest reason why we weren’t signed. It is a principal that we still stand firmly by today…and always will!

 
MARTIN: Ed Farshtey released a 7” on his label Rage Records. How did you get contact with him and what are your impressions of that record? 

MIKE: We first met Ed when he did an interview with us for his zine The Book of Armageddon, and we became friends immediately. When he and Joe Pupo started Rage Records, they approached us with the idea, and we gladly accepted. That 7” is my proudest achievement to date. It features 2 of our best songs from that time, and it received extensive college radio airplay, landing us on the CMJ Loud 100 Chart for some time. It was an amazing achievement for us that I am still very proud of today. 
 
MARTIN: You are mentioned on Glorious Times book (The Bible of old US Thrash/Death Metal). Thanks to the editors (Alan Moses and Brian Pattison), I discovered the band and read some interesting histories. Please if you want share with us some of them, specially about your first shows. 



MIKE: There are so many road stories and stories about the early days… One that comes to mind was in 1987 when we played in a religious hall. I didn’t really know anything about the show except when and where. I didn’t care where it was, I just wanted to get our music out there; so I made up a flier using the demon on the cover of our first demo and Andy’s sister started hanging them up in the high school. Apparently, one of the teachers thought it was sacrilege, and started a whole big controversy trying to get us off the show. She went to the local newspapers and radio stations pleading her case. In the end, we still played the show to a packed house because of all the publicity; and we literally “Haunted the Chapel” that night! 

MARTIN: Which more known bands did you support, or share shows with them? 

MIKE: We shared the stage with so many great bands! We played a lot of shows with fellow New Yorker’s Immolation, Demolition Hammer, Incantation, Suffocation, Morpheus Descends, Mortician, Brutal Truth, Winter, M.O.D., Lethal Aggression, Murphy’s Law, and Cro-Mags, as well as many shows with Death and Cannibal Corpse. We also played with Sepultura, Carcass, Pestilence, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, Obituary, Goreaphobia, Deceased, Ripping Corpse, Profanatica, Death Angel, Sacred Reich, Watchtower, Devastation, Cynic, Exmortis…sorry if I can’t remember them all! 

MARTIN: I’m from Argentina, and obviously didn’t live those years. How was the thrash/death underground scene in terms of bands, venues/clubs and the audience?. Did you have some shows with more “intensity” and maybe violence, because of the crowd reaction (I mean pits and situations on a gig)? 

 MIKE: When we first started, there wasn’t Death Metal yet; there was just Thrash Metal. Back then, the scene in NY was a mix of a few Thrash bands and a lot of Hardcore Punk bands; so almost all of our shows were a mixture of both types of bands and fans. There would be fights in the pits when skinheads would get pissed at Metal heads playing “football” and not slam dancing. But once Death Metal came around, the scene was awesome! The bands, venues and fans worked together to make it the best music scene there ever was! 



MARTIN: You have Mary (Ciullo) on the bass. I can remember Lori Bravo of Nuclear Death as another woman (Or Jo Bench of Bolt Thrower) that played on a extreme band. How was the relation with her talking about the band exclusively?. The audiences accepted her without any absurd prejudice?. As you know, some metalheads didn’t like a woman on a metal band. 

MIKE: Well, Andy met Mary at a Slayer show, and once Gary and I met her, we knew right away she would fit in. She was just like us; a Metal Head! We never had any prejudice that I was aware of. Mary is actually the most popular member of the band! 

MARTIN: Why did you split up in 1992? 

MIKE: By then, any good record deal we had fell through; and we were all young and struggling to make a living, so we didn’t have any money of our own to record and release our own album. Without being able to release material of our own, we decided to retire the band at that time. We kept getting small offers and requests to reunite, but the timing was never right…until now! 


MARTIN: During your first years did you get demos, tape trading with south American bands? As you know specially Brazil had an huge underground scene at that moment. 

MIKE: Well, Andy & Mary used to handle all of the correspondence back then; but I do remember them bringing a lot of different zines and tapes from South America. I don’t remember most of the names (Sepultura, Mutilator,…), but the scene was huge back then! 

 MARTIN: Let’s talk about “Unearthed” CD, it is an awesome collection of your demos, the EP plus live performances. How was conceived and how did you see it after all this years? 

MIKE: Like I said before, even after we broke up, we continued to get some offers. One of those offers was to release the first demo and The Manifestation demo as a vinyl Ep. That fell through, and we were sitting with all the Master tapes of our 3 demos; so we approached King Fowley of Deceased about releasing it on his label, Battlezone Records. He agreed, and the rest is history. 

MARTIN: But Prime Evil returned last year!. Please tell us how the five of us get in touch again to revamp the band. 

MIKE: YES! We have returned! Well, we have all gone through various things in the past years that prohibited us from all getting together at once. But, in 2010, Todd had posted a PRIME EVIL Facebook page. None of the rest of us were on Facebook at the time, but our spouses were, and they had stumbled across the PRIME EVIL page, and we all decided to get together in the Summer of 2010. Andy brought with him copies of Glorious Times for everyone, and Todd took pictures to document the event. It was then that we decided we wanted to do PRIME EVIL again! 

MARTIN: Do you have any plans for record a first album?. 

MIKE: We are putting the finishing touches on songs right now for a 5 song Ep to be released at the end of May. Once that is completed, we will start working on a full length that we hope to release in November. 

MARTIN: I’ve seen on Glorious Times book pictures with DEATH. Could you tell us some words about the band and specially Chuck Schuldiner (RIP)?. And what about Dark Angel? 

MIKE: Back in the early days, when Death was still a demo band, we had a connection with Chuck through our drummer Tad. At the same time, Mary was friends with Gene from Dark Angel, so we all knew each other early on in our careers. I think we played more shows with Death than any other band! We played with them every time they were in NY, and we even played with them up in Buffalo with Carcass and Pestilence. It was amazing to see the progression of Chuck as a musician and songwriter. I truly believe he is the Father of Death Metal. He became one of the greatest guitarists in our genre, and he was also an amazing human being who left us with an incredible legacy! We sadly miss him, but always fondly remember him. 


MARTIN: Outside of music, do you have works?. As it happens in Argentina, I assume that a musician didn’t live from their art. Any hobby apart from the music? 

MIKE: As for me, recording music is my hobby. I have been building up my home studio over the years, and I am currently up to 24 track digital recording. I hope to continue to build up and have a full blown recording studio soon. Gary does custom auto painting for work, and Andy is a production manager at NBC Universal. 

MARTIN: About music, being and old school outfit, what do you think about this Pro Tools thing, and use of triggers for a performance or a recording?. Do you love a natural sound or believe that could bring the sound of a band to a new label? 

MIKE: Being an apprentice engineer, I believe in technology, and anything you can do to enhance the sound is great. However, technology can be abused, and when it is used to cheat, instead of enhance, then it is kind of like lip-synching. I believe a Metal band should be able to create their sound and performance live, without cheating! 

MARTIN: Are there any plans of doing more shows on US? 

MIKE: YES! So far, on May 26th we are playing on the Dark Ascension Fest with Artillery and Deceased in Brooklyn, NY; on July 27th we are playing on the Mortal Extinction Fest with Mausoleum and Funerus in Poughkeepsie, NY; and on October 27th we will be playing at A Day of Death in Buffalo, NY. 


MARTIN: Mike, please choose your ten favorite records, no matter what genre they are. 

MIKE: It’s really hard to break it down to just ten, and my favorites change all the time…so this is my current list of favorite albums; in no particular order: 1. Goreaphobia – Apocolyptic Necromancy 2. Immolation – Providence 3. Autopsy – Macabre Eternal 4. Atheist – Jupiter 5. Psyopus – Odd Senses 6. Cannibal Corpse – Evisceration Plague 7. Macabre – Grim Scary Tales 8. Napalm Death – Time Waits For No Slave 9. Entombed – ALL! 10. Whitechapel – A New Era of Corruption 

MARTIN: Ok, this is it. This interview is published in English and in Spanish. Any words for the fans or people that are reading this?. Feel free to say whatever you like. 

MIKE: Thank you Martin for the interview! These were great questions, and we appreciate everybody’s interest in PRIME EVIL! Please look for our EP to be released at the end of May, and check us out at these web sites: 

www.primeevil.net
www.facebook.com/real.prime.evil
www.youtube.com/primeevilmu
www.twitter.com/PRIME_EVIL_ny

Thanks!

Support Metal!

\m/\m/