Monday, December 27, 2010

鞠螺千世 [kiKURAChiyo] (Canada/Croatia) - sketchgrind (2010)

鞠螺千世 (KiKurachiyo) no. 2, much faster and noisier and goddamn sketchy (open the blue schematic above for the tracklist counting ten minutes & forty-four seconds). I can't promise that you'll like it, even if you liked Satan Samurai ¤REC Pirate Force, 'cause, while it's still punk as fuck, it has gone a bit into the abstract and came to be with a somewhat specific approach in the first place, one that we dubbed "sketchgrind" ('cause I'd rather use a term made-up a bit less predictably than post-grind, hahaha... just kidding). Specifically, what if one could play / act-out grind in stream of consciousness, much like writers such as Woolf, Kerouac, Faulkner attempted, or, perhaps much more similarly, what the alleged surrealist application of "automatism" claimed to apply (e.g. Breton). I mean - in regard of using a blank piece of paper, the page of some notebook, as the point upon which one can develop / form and develop expression - what if one's canvas was... the blastbeat?

How successful was the attempt? Well, can't do much but let others be the judges, albeit they inherently cannot do this objectively for reasons other than "music is subjective, d'oh!" 'cause these songs are egoistic, self-indulgent, pertaining completely to a feeling for a less decided, more free approach to grind, the realization of which does not necessarily happen in the finished product, but in the very process of becoming; i.e. it's a given that only me and Orfee can consider whether we've accomplished our grind-needs in accord to our expressive notions, like with any other self-reflecting band / project. And hey, the point of the whole thing was still expression, sincere and emotionally releasing and everything that I had found in the extremity that is grind in the first place. That said, there's a whole essay on sketchgrind inside.

Nah, that wasn't a joke. The final product that entailed the first KiKurachiyo had also contained a load of shit (the nicer, selected portion of which [sketchgrind] you see in the post) along with audio tracks, so let it be known that this one's even worse! So eh, we did what we did and we take full responsibility. The download link is at the bottom, anyhow. Not sure what I could say about the directed listener-base seeing as there is none, but certain Discordance Axis fans might like certain elements, and, uh, Swarrrm empathizers could feel similarly about the screaming and yelling 'cause those are the bands that have definitely and significantly influenced us two. I complicate unnecessarily; just don't expect nice(ly produced) music or black metal and you'll be fine. Also, no low volume listening! Bye~



P.S. Have fun and all; I'll be back in the early days of January, 2011.
P.P.S. The front-cover-art is derived from the book cover of Tsuji Jun's 1920 translation of Max Stirner's "Der Einzige und sein Eigentum".
P.P.P.S. Any people / blogs / zines that want to review / criticize / do whatever they want to do with sketchgrind, are encouraged to do so if they, uh, feel like it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

His Hero Is Gone-"Monuments to Thieves"-USA1997




What up folks , its been a minute since I done posted up. I saw that Wedge gave me a thumbs up on my 9shocks post so it inspired me to post something. uh, yea.

Ok, I don't think Ive posted this before, or I hope not. His Hero Is Gone were one my favorite bands ever and this is the album I like the best. These guys later became Tragedy, which I'm not into as much. What I liked about HHIG is that the combined elements of various "extreme music" styles into their punk rock, better than a lot of other bands who have tried. Their composition was technical but simple at the same time, its the perfect mix.

Seriously, I think the intro part of this album is still my favorite of all time. It's crushing when it drops, so bad ass.

The first download link is "Monuments to Thieves LP". Since it's a holiday I added "everything else" to one zip file. The bonus zip includes "15 counts of Arson LP", "Fools Gold EP", " The Plot Sickens LP" and " The Dead Of Night EP". So, other than those I think there is only comp tracks, split 12 w/ UoU and demos you will be missing.





Friday, December 24, 2010

Mortalized (Japan) - Absolute Mortality EP [no. 1] (2003)

mortalized absolute mortality 1

Tracklist
:
1. Destruction (Adagio)
2. Dark Side
3. Speed Satan
4. Rapture
Total running time 4:29

Notice how it's not absolute morality - it's mortality!
Fuck Christmas, anyhow, and especially masses, be they white & holy or black & upside down. But Mortalized is certainly one of the best grind bands to ever exist, owing to the uncompromisingly disciplined approach building upon the concept of speed and Satan. If grind strives for over-the-top speed inside of a physical possibility (sticks in hands, I mean), the whole aspect of "displine" is merely realizing a berserk-to-go potential by theory put to practice over time, will, work. Also, I never signed up for some dude dying for me.

And I think that you guys who did might be assholes. (Mediafire)


Orfee recently posted Absolute Mortality #2 so I figured that this one would be at least as welcome.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Assück (USA) - Misery Index (1997)

Tracklist:
1. QED
2. Salt Mine
3. Corners
4. Dataclast
5. Blight Of Element
6. Talon Of Dominion
7. Unrequited Blood
8. Wartorn
9. Sum And Substance
10. Riven
11. Reversing Denial
12. Lithographs
13. Intravenous
14. A Monument To Failure
Total running time 15:10

Assück is a band that pushed grind where it hadn't been, to places it didn't know how to reach, no matter how incredible it may seem today that people in the 90s didn't really comprehend that relentless blastbeating could get you, well, anywhere! The trademark thing about Assücking is - the groove? the rhythm? - the organically tight mass of sound that it spews, owing very much to Proctor's (who also played for Discordance Axis when Witte wasn't around) all-out drumming, clockwork snare fills & dissonant, sludgy sing-a-longs, which is why one of the often irreplaceable grind rules shows as clearly as possible without dabbling into noisecore: always the whole album before individual songs. But really, song-lengths considered, that certainly ought to be goddamn obvious from the start - irrelevant to Assück's perplexing yet bulletproof songwriting wrapped in a Morrisound sound (being more or less intertwined with the unmistakable Florida death metal scene) akin to a collapsing skyscraper - and I can't help but feel a general dislike to all the writers, reviewers, whatever, complaining about songs in grindcore being too short and destructive. I mean, go listen to kitschy rock'n'roll; quod erat demonstrandum (eh). The lyrics are cold, untouchable monuments to the machine-aspect of humanity that is civilization: desperate, existentially bleak, yet existing because of an irrational tinge of hope in the first place, the absurd, Sisyphal power of conscious Being, or, more likely, the last bit of animalism left in man - the will to live. Is the daily grind not the reason why we have such great grind albums?

Economics aside, this album is where the Misery Index from Baltimore took their name from, a band that I kind of like, but not really, 'cause I can't comprehend how ultimately generic metal without innovation, without destruction, with guitar solos, came to be under the influence of a band like Assück, the latter often given the already predictable, pretty vapid description of "hardcore kids playing death metal". For fuck's sake, they're not playing hardcore or death metal - they're playing GRIND, a genre with potential much too intense to be infinitely tangential to its mom & dad genres. Is it not obvious, even natural, that a violent uprooting of oneself happens toward emancipation? Assück, here, is one of these progressions.

"Only one sunrise will tell." (Mediafire)

You know, Plutocracy have a song titled "Suckass", possibly poking fun at their Assücking palls. Also, today my age counts twenty according to the Gregorian calendar, but to hell with time and all that shit. Along with general blastbeat enthusiasm, a few Cephscope staff releases will be posted before New Year's Eve, while the annual year-in-retrospect post might be expected a bit later (from me, at least).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mortalized & Guilty Connector (Japan) - Concerto for Harsh Noise Grind #3 (2006)

mortalized & guilty connector #3

Tracklist
:
1. Babylon, Burning
2. Parallel
3. A Planet
4. Work For Ever
5. Home, Sweet Home
6. Beer Can
7. Untitled
Total running time 7:51

I remember when Burek of Terror Noise Audio (& the stochastic Flying Teapot) told me all excited about how he found some Mortalized / Guilty Connector collaboration on soulseek. My reaction was the only possible reaction, i.e. "Fuck yes," and you can add an exclamation mark to that. So it's been posted over at TNA for a while now, but the repost of such a beauty can only create the opposite of hurt + this is a thing comprised of the fluffiest, nicest Japanoise and Nippongrind meaning that about 99% of Cephscope readers will appreciate its form with earblood, earsweat, and eartears. I mean, from my experience. This is, in fact, not Concerto for Harsh Noise Grind #1 (like the title on TNA says, 'cause that one's an older three-song tape / later 3" CD), but the Concerto for Harsh Noise Grind #3 MCD! It is not really a split release, but a full-blown collaboration akin to some those new powerviolence ones that so many of you like to drool over. But there are more blastbeats here, so you ought to know the winner.

And don't embarass me, son(s & daughters), 'cause there'll be a greater number of (cyber)demons a-growlin' than the member count of the entire Satanic Hell Choir of (Death and) Slaughter employed for this very Concerto, and next thing you know I'll be posting Colemans, Coletranes, Dolphies, Jamals, Hills and Minguses.

Takafumi Matsubara for World President (Medifaire)

Anybody up for some noisy emoviolenza and shit? Oh and hey, you know that Japanese screamo band that took their name from a Converge song, Heaven In Her Farts?

Forgive me, but I needed to write that down.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Parade of the Lifeless & Noisear (USA) - SPLIT 7" (1999)


Tracklist:
Parade of the Lifeless
1. Doug Flutie Loves His Kiddie Porn
2. Myriad Mindset
Noisear
3. Surgeon General
4. Free to Maim
5. You Must Comply
6. Morrocan Hash Block
7. Shorty Shit Stain
Total running time 10:47

If this 7" ain't a match made in Heaven, I don't know what is. Or it could've been that, at least, if the Noisear side had, well, better quality recordings. That said, kickass grind is kickass grind. Parade of the Lifeless isn't anywhere near as insane as on the 2000 jazzgrind masterpiece The Anatomy of a People's Bondage, but they still deliver some top quality tech death-grind projecting a macabre fantasy of Doug Flutie's excessive (downright unbelievable) love for children, while Noisear bring the usual spazzbeats, beautiful noise and typographical errors.

Feed Ear Mire (Me Dia Fire)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Insect Warfare (Texas) - Gulf Coast Infestation DEMO (2004)

Tracklist:
1. But Now You Die
2. Hurricane Death
3. Amphetamine Psychosis
4. Negative Appeal
5. Death To False Grind
6. At War With Grindcore
Total running time 10:25

The first Insect Warfare demo is but a recording of a rehearsal where Beau gives a lecture on how "haircuts make not a band grind". For the general idea (I do like impressionism), here are all the nice words from the songtitles:
1. Die
2. Death
3. Psychosis
4. Negative
5. Death
6. War

Keep Death to False Grind Alive! (Mediafire)

I've always had a thing for demos, and this one has blastbeats, riffs, noise... Sounds like grind.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Noism (Japan) - ± (2008)

Tracklist:
1.Man-I-C02:03
2.DTM01:30
3.Zaporojets02:07
4.Death-Meta-Logic02:04
5.BPM01:31
6.Noismetal01:31
7.No, Cuts and Drag01:34
8.Computer Illiterate02:02
9.Yesism02:12
10.I'm Not in a Band01:03
11.Noist01:34
12.Adhdhda01:54
Total playing time 21:38

Crucial Blast infamously (re-)released this one in 2008 (so that's the new cover above), a very goddamn chaotic construct, a flurry of noise on the first of all listens. Well, unless you already heard it. Noism was already featured on Cephalochromoscope with one 2000 release, the other 2001. That aside, I talked to the guitarist of the duo sometimes around the release of this very album and an interview was agreed upon, so I sent in my start-up questions, but never got my answers...

WHY, YOSHIRO? WHYYYYYY?!

Just kidding. I got over it, I swear. Seriously. No, really. Anyway, here's Noism's absolutely insane debut full-length, extreme in every goddamn aspect, brutal to the fucking fuck, fuck, 'cause that's how brutal it is. Technically, it's breakcore + brutal death metal sped the fuck up; for what it's worth, it could probably be pigeonholed as one of the "best" cybergrind albums for the extremity that it is + full-on realization of the project's entire concept of, well, pushing the envelope of "brutality and complexity" (with speed, at that).

It's over 9000 BPM! (Mediafire)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rise Above & Machetazo (Japan & Spain) - Split 7" (2000)


Tracklist:
Rise Above
1. Forward
2. Discord
3. Stand Point
4. Scientific Abuse
Machetazo
5. Abducción
6. Humillado y Descuartizado Por Mongólicos
7. La Flema
Total playing time 10:38

If a Japanese band called "Rise Above" doesn't ring a bell (i.e. instant grind-mind Napalm Death songtitle associations), let memories be refreshed! They released one of the goddamn best, noisiest, most destructive grind albums ever back in 2001 (as a 3" CD, at that), I Love To Relax. Orfee posted that one back in May of 2008, and he came back in September, 2010, with some older, more metal shit of theirs, Sound Systematic Grind. Cephalochromoscope's history with Rise Above summarized, here's a fairly shit rip of their 2000 split with Machetazo, the latter certainly being among the more prominent deathly, greasy grind bands ever to come from Spain, going since about 1994.

These Rise Above recordings are from 1999, explaining their less explosive, pre-I Love To Relax disposition toward grinding.

Backward (Mediafire)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hellnation (USA) - Dynamite Up Your Ass 12" (2002)

Tracklist:
1 Dynamite Up Your Ass 00:39
2 Martyr 00:26
3 Game of Death 00:59
4 No More Favors 00:25
5 Um Bando De Filhos da Puta 00:26
6 Not Smooth Jazz 00:46
7 I love Punk I love Thrash 00:41
8 Outsider 00:32
9 Cold Sweat 00:39
10 Drinking With Friends 01:01
11 Dengue's Mosquito 00:27
12 Army of God 00:52
13 Punk For Dummies 00:48
14 Signup 00:29
15 Easy Sell 01:10
16 When In Rome 00:18
17 Ride With Me 00:42
18 This is Progress ? 00:32
19 Best Behavior 00:18
20 Glory Days 01:12
21 Again and Again 00:50
Total playing time 14:12

Fastcore / thrashcore defined.

And deified.

Not smooth jazz. (Mediafire)

A band from Kentucky got me into thrashing. If you don't like it, better give up on fast music altogether.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the Dreadful Eardrum Assault a.k.a. Teizoku Komaku Bohkoh [CAN] - Occultist for the Nullified [2007]

After listening to this recently I'm considering changing my project's name to "the Playful Eardrum Assault a.k.a Yuugiteki Komaku Bohkoh" [PxExA] because for one, I'm not nearly as comfortable strutting around a DEA t-shirt anywhere in the united states as I was In Canada, it's just not happening.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesus Egg & Grimsby (USA) - Split CDr (Year Zero)

Tracklist:
Jesus Egg, Tracks 1 - 12
Grimsby, Tracks 13 - 23
Total running time 16:25

Big thanks for the release go to Kunal of SuperFi Records, as he's the one that sent it in! That said, Kunal also awesomely put out the Swarrrm / Dimlaia split, a fact that takes me way, way back (well, alright, a year and some), when Sgt. Batguano of the excellent Fugitive Equilibrium ripped the 10" for me 'cause I hadn't yet heard it at that point.

Yeah, time is an asshole for so many reasons.

The actual asshole might be me, though. But fuck time, anyhow.

So anyway, more Jesus Egg?! Not really, 'cause what you get here are the twelve tracks from the two demos that I already posted (five from one, seven from the other, but set in reverse). Doesn't matter 'cause we haven't heard the eleven Grimsby tracks, have we? We most definitely haven't.

They're a band that might share / might have shared some band members with Jesus Egg, drama actors whom I will not name out of fear for a backlash of "real life drama on the internet." They also share their bandname with a port town in England, and another town on Lake Ontario, while they play nice 'n' fast as fuck hardcore, owing its charm / anti-charm one part to the recording quality (i.e. anti-quality), the other to cool sludge trudging & thrash-a-thrashing. Powerviolent, lovely, sweet. Bring on the angry unicorns. Or the even more dangerous tricorns. Or some goddamn rhinos in the middle of their mating season, if you can't take a joke.

But what in Jaysus' name is a "Grimsby"? (Mediafire)

Rhinos, you are sweet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kasatka (Belgium) - Scene Slaughter Mini CD (2010)


Tracklist:
1. Lemons
2. Cosmetic Pandemic
3. Empathy/Disability
4. Orifice
5. Surpassing the Boundaries
6. Proposition Jock Abolition
7. Scene Slaughter
Total running time 4:34

Belgium's own Kasatka start it off with a short Army of Darkness sample, a tidbit certain to make quite a few of you jump. Next thing you know, they blast the fuck away. I'll skip right to the point and point out that the band pretty much kicks (i.e. thrashes) all sorts of ass. They are, at once, a cute killer whale (known to display aggressive behavior toward humans), a Russian transport helicopter (erm, well, it's a goddamn military chopper, developed by Kamov at that, which is, coincidentally, the surname of apocalyptic prophet-poet Janko Polić Kamov of Rijeka, Croatia; oh, how I pity you for not knowing Balkan things!), and a relentless thrash band with a penchant for Japanese aesthetics.

"We are disgusted my main scene mentality, dress codes, ungrounded elitism, friendship politics and overall retardation and self-proclaimed punk attitude. Our influences range from Japanese thrashcore and Houston powerviolence to global fastcore, amongst other derivatives of the punk/hardcore spectrum, and from noise, to postrock and free jazz abroad," says Owen, the drummer.

They're a drum 'n' guitar duo, the one on drums being but eighteen still (major kudos for those blastbeats, my good man), with the guitarist some nine years older sawing off traffic lights with his guitar. Noise is nice! They both yell and they thrash in all the right ways and what else can I say!

But how can you play extreme music without super-nice haircuts? How? HOW? (Mediafire)

I just don't understand. But Owen also said: "Everything was done strictly DIY. We're aiming to build a home studio in order to piss off everyone that clings to the "music has to sound as if recorded by a tape recorder, otherwise it's not punk anymore"-concept. Front cover done by Jasper "Infested Art". Layout and stuffs by myself, no lyrics included. Limited to 50 self-produced copies," and that's cool, but watch out for becoming elitist anti-elitists! I kid, I kid... or do I? But he's definitely not joking about the DIY part, as their graphic artists and recorder (sic) Jasper, Owen's brother, is considered a bandmember judging by the info on their myspace.

Rat Corpse (USA) - S/T (2010)

Tracklist:
1. Survival Of The Worst
2. Hope This Hate (Will Never Heal)
3. Jumbled
4. My Craft Is Crap
5. Living With Yeti
6. Dirty Frenzy
7. The Ballad...
8. PS I Hate You
9. Hate You Like A Hurricane
10. My Two Dads
Total running time 22:54

"For fans of The Locust, Melt-Banana, Butthole Surfers, Wolf Eyes, Boredoms, UFO Or Die, Big Black, Holy Molar, Man Is The Bastard, Fantomas, An Albatross, Arab On Radar."

I needn't really talk more, but since I like to write just so much...

I'd exchange the infamous three blind mice for three, erm, four deaf rats any day if this was their soundtrack. Some people like nightmarish things! Rat Corpse is a disgusting quartet, and not only soundwise. I mean, not even their mothers could love those costumes. And musically, well, what sense does it make to describe a noise band with an adjective like "musically"? I mean, they do have some instruments, like a bass guitar, some synths, and drums, but.... eh? Fuck me. Fuck Boston and its rat population. Fuck Rat Corpse. But... but why do I like them? What in God's name is wrong with me? Rat Corpse, I Hate You Like A Hurricane. You stamped all over my Dreams (you know, the Cranberries song).

"Noise is not music but noise." (Megaupload) OR (Mediafire)

I read that somewhere on these idiotic internets a long time ago and it still cracks me up. I mean,
really?

P.S. I Hate You is my favorite.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mortalized [JPN] - Absolute Mortality #2 [2004]

I hear there's some funky good grindcore on this blog [some of the time], I also hear every single form of life in this galaxy think that MCDs are cute and it don't get any cuter than MCDs with pentagrams on them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gods of Grind & Gate (Japan) - Split (2007)



Having babbled far and wide about Gate (who provide their tracks as a duo on this particular split, Kobori + Otake) in the post of their three demos right here, I dedicate this post to Gods of Grind, a four-piece from Nagano doing it just right despite owning a somewhat pompous bandname. I found it most interesting how they have exactly one (!) mid-paced, thrash part (on "Scum Members) to these (in total) six tracks of music, the drummer (Sunohara) not really tending toward the whole thrashing part of the deal. What he does instead is simply blast the fuck away 90% of the time, sweet & short chugga-lugga breaks in-between. Microphone-wise, the growling (snarling?) man (Tamai) positively sounds like someone had him un-muzzled and un-caged purely 'cause Gods of Grind needed a vocalist. Makes you wonder how he hasn't killed the rest of the band during recording. I conclude that Japanese grind is to the rest of the world what the Heavens are to the Earth. Holy? Nonexistent? A cool place to chill at? Nothing short of a religious experience, that's for sure (making grind in itself the only true religion, putting in question how the Christian dudes in Rehumanize can even start explaining their whole "religion in a religion" thing, seeing as they obviously worship the God of Grind; I hope it's nothing similar to the tedious and immortal-like-Christopher-Lambert [there can be only one, and the one is certainly him] discussion about grind being a subgenre of punk, or even - God / Satan / Your Mom forbid - metal [Christianity is a subreligion to Grindcore? Someone needs to blastbeat those ideas out of you!]).

...And so Gate did an Impaled Nazarene impression, putting a frown on the face of every kid in the room. (Mediafire)

Alright well, I'm off to other corners of the Balkans for a bit. You people seem to appreciate your Gate so I posted this one (while it's openly downloadable elsewhere, too), but I'm pretty sure it's still in stock over at the most excellent Bloodbath Records (this particular CD being catalogued under "BIMI058"), so have no qualms about sending those ten bucks (or, erm, thousand yen bill) of yours that way. Also, a round of applause and a big Thank You to the guy(ette) who scanned this stuff, whoever and wherever you are, and may you be or, in case you're already there (don't wanna jinx it!), stay in the grace of our lord and savior, Bill Murray.


Ni dieu ni maître!

Monday, October 25, 2010

324 (Japan) - DEMO Tape (1997)

Tracklist:
1. Lowest Level
2. New Rotation
3. MOC
4. Melting Way
5. Cobalt
6. Glenghost
Total running time 8:15

Continuing the War on Ignorance About Grind Demos™, here's 324's 1997 tape, a release just as excellent as anything that came later, really, a thing not that surprising considering the near-identical line-up. However, notice the info on the cover! Masao Yamamoto, certainly among the most continuously resolute vocalists in punk, did not only yell here, but also played bass. Rumor has it, though, that 324 lost one of their members, got a new one. Could anyone fill me in and all; precisely what is up? I only heard this from Mr. Childers and I do not read Decibel (or any other music magazine, for that matter), so I have no means of checking out the interview in question.

But they've been relentlessly blasting away to this very day! (Mediafire)

And how awesome is that cover art? I guess you really can't separate the people of Japan and gigantic mechas.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gate (Japan) - This is Fuckin' Grind (2001) & Two More Demos


Gate is a Japanese grind band. Plain fact considered, I understand that it is fairly questionable whether I should even continue writing, but humour me, or do this.
The buzzsaw duo (currently, that is, being a guitarist / vocalist + blastbeater, although basses were known to be slapped) hails from somewhere in the Tochigi Prefecture of Japan, the proper place to go for shrines and temples, with a total population around half the population of Croatia (how's that for a bloody obscure country? I mean, I certainly wouldn't know).

Back in 2008, Orfee posted their "Soon To Be Sodomized" EP, soon after I posted the still goddamn excellent three-way "Crushing the Grindcore Trademark" split comprised of Hutt, Noisear, and Gate here. In the comment section of the split (as you can see for yourself), some cool anonymous dude(ette) commendably left a link with more Gate material. The upload in question has since ceased to be, so I decided to re-up the joyous demos that had graced it. All in all, there's three of them, and not one is half bad.
To quote myself in a tad more eloquent fashion than two years ago: "If we chose to compare and pair, Noisear would be paired with Discordance Axis, while Gate would be paired with Assück. Yes, Gate's dissonant side does remind of early DxAx, but the overall sound is a wholly different, heavier, slower, simpler, pounding Japanese tremolo hell. That almost sounds like Corrupted or something, but Gate is grindcore, and grindcore is fast." That said, Ben from the tragically vanished blog Condensed Fresh (scanned setlists from gigs that took place in the land of the rising sun, all with relevant, awesome stories) mentioned how Gate bored his pants off in the comment section of that STBS EP post. I, on the other hand, would gladly shove Gate in place of, for example, the ever prolific Unholy Grave (ironically, a band that Gate covers on Demo no. 1, and a great band in its own right, numbering 21 relevant posts on Cephalochromoscope) in the very interesting Battle of the Grind Bands over at Grind & Punishment, but I sure as hell haven't seen 'em play live. Gate has been a grind band with a brutally strict blast-policy for quite some time now, so where's the first full-length release? Seriously.

Demo 1 (Mediafire)
Tracklist
:
1. Collapsed
2. Scars Remember
3. Torso
4. Humiliation
5. Hewhoisasshole[cut]blahblah (jeez, Gate...)
6. Anti-Terrorism (Unholy Grave cover)
7. Crux of Flagellant
8. Fundamental Human Condition
Total running time 11:10

Demo 2 - This is Fuckin' Grind (2001) (Mediafire)
gate this is fuckin grind cover
Tracklist
:
1. Scars Remember
2. Torso
3. My Anger To Whom?
4. Humiliation
Total running time 4:02

Demo 3 (Mediafire)
Tracklist
:
1. Radiant Arkham (Discordance Axis)
2. The Inalienable Dreamless (Discordance Axis)
3. Desperate
4. Fundamental Human Condition
5. Nadir
6. Emancipation of Yourself
Total running time 11:03


Check out the surf-grind on "Nadir" & the classically Gate way of covering "The Inalienable Dreamless."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phone Home (USA) - S/T EP (2010)

Tracklist:
1. Meds
2. Cozy Attack
3. Two is a Crew
4. Panda

Here's the super-nice, chill as fuck "debut of the Vallarelli brothers of suburban and urban New York." The Michael of the bros is on synths + keys, while the John is on the kit, and together they Phone Home and yell like a much bigger band. Seems like enjoying punk rawk is a requirement for all things Cephalochromoscope. They do that too, irrelevantly.

Fairly difficult to tag (/unnecessarily pigeonhole), contrasting the minimalist number of band members, the music (and Michael said this himself) is maximalist and (this say I: it is also) properly flowin'. "Rich piano harmonies, warm synth washes and relentlessly driving percussion," seals the whole descriptive part of the deal, really. Unlike shitloads upon shitloads of generic, cold, empty post-rock bands, these two dudes pull off a warmth that makes one want to roast a bunch of chestnuts and be extra nice to his/her mom for the rest of the evening. The non-threatening shouting (it's how it feels when friends yell greetings at you) on "Cozy Attack" reminds me of a most excellent French post-rock duo, John Makay (those two are more classically drums + guitar based, but just as awesome). Is there like an awesome band that pulls more of this sort of stuff (with determined yelling, howling, shouting) off that I've not yet heard of? Sweet stuff, really.

If that sounds up your alley, stuff's free and all right here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jesus Egg (USA) - Erm, some presumably newer stuff (around 2004)

Tracklist:
1. Track 1
2. Track 2
3. Track 3
4. Track 4
5. Unorthodox Transaction
6. Track 6
7. Track 7
Total running time 4:02

I'm not really gonna say whether I enjoy this more than version 1.0, but it's some newer stuff and it is obvious that the band has tightened up heavily. If I must trace their grind / metal / punk lineage in order to define Jesus Egg's sound, bluntly put, both releases / demos come from Discordant Axis' orbit, yet, as they got older, the band tended to do things from a more Human Remains angle. A great thing, too, considering how well they found themselves in the whole abrasively austere stop-start riffin' business. Ever so lovingly and completely un-jokingly, ska-punk also makes an appearance in-between bursts of manic thrash. And that's it! Nico (Hypoptalasias) provided this one too, seven more tracks, 40 seconds less than the five-track version 1.0, and that's all I have. Regretfully, I just recorded the first utilisation of the dreadful "ska" tag, making the blog die a little on the inside. Just kidding, ha, ha... ha.

Not kidding. (Mediafire)

My compatriot (well, near enough) Thethirdchildren provided an excellent link with some Jesus Egg info! So here's their purevolume page (check out the Chang-as-fuck lyrics to "Censure"). The band is apparently composed of J
on Vinson, Cole Martinez, Ryan Wes(e?)ling, and Jamie Bibbs. They're - get this - "a 4 piece from cleveland, ohio blending death metal, grind, ska, and jazz into one." The description's heart is at the right place, but it misses "reggae".

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1(Xbox 360)



Hello, Ceph-chums. There now follows a review of this game, written by a man who grew up clutching a Megadrive. Indulge me, I'm extremely bitter.


I waited all morning, I did. I couldn't find any information on when Xbox Live Arcade updates the game catalogue, and vaguely remembered Rez being released around 8.30am, so I waited. Did some writing, drank a lot of tea, refreshed the Marketplace, repeated. As it turns out, they update at 12pm dead these days, so at 12.03 I had a lovely, pristine download of Sonic 4: Episode 1 booting up, presenting me with the legendary SEEE-GAAAAAA! sample, the Sonic Team logo, a title screen that hit every nail right on its excited little head and said to me maybe, just maybe, they got it right this time.

Illusions can be shattered quickly, readers. Very quickly indeed.

Imagine, if you will, a tennis game. Say, Virtua Tennis 3, a decent example of the genre; it looks like tennis, it plays like tennis, it sounds and feels and reacts in a tennis-y way. It's tennis, is what I'm trying to say. Not Sega Superstars Tennis, or any idiot novelty nonsense: TENNIS. Now imagine that the programmers forgot to put a ball in. Rather defeating the purpose, no? Completely destroying the mechanic that tennis is known for, like that Dredd game for the original Xbox that included a Lawgiver but no ammo for it, forcing the inimitable, epically-chinned Judge to rely on scavenged weaponry from fallen crims. Taking something known and expected, nay demanded, and removing it whilst preserving the notion, the hint that it should be there. That's Sonic 4.

It starts off well enough, the Splash Hill zone essentially being a shiny remake of Emerald Hill from Sonic 2 but this is clearly simply in order to spark the nostalgia glands of anyone playing the trial. from Act 2 onward, there is nothing but hateful design, vexing enemies, absurdly easy bosses and horrendous graphical problems. Much of the time, you'll be hit by an enemy you had no chance of spotting. Obviously, this has been placed in order to reward repeat playings; learn where the enemies are, and press the jump button before they appear. However, the experience of being repeatedly hit by something you couldn't conceivably know was there is such a joyless, frustrating task that you'd have to be an idiot to subject yourself to repetition. Shmups are based on this principle, replaying and memorisation, but the difference is that in for example Dodonpachi death is your fault. Rarely does enemy fire come at you off-screen, or appear from nowhere, or arbitrarily change its rules so your hitbox is larger for no reason. This consistency, this set of rules obeyed totally is what Sonic 4 lacks.

Sonic's physics have altered from the classic 2d games of the early 90's. In Sonic the Hedgehog, pressing the jump button whilst moving caused Sonic to describe a parabola in mid-air - you had a degree of control over his momentum, and could affect where he landed, but once you had leapt from a platform you were committed to whatever happened next. In Sonic 4 no matter how much momentum is carried into a jump, it can be cancelled and Sonic dropped straight downward by letting go of the directional button. Now, for someone used to skipping back from left to right to left to correct a trajectory, this is so jarring as to completely break the game; doing so results in a bizarre zig-zag of total direction changes. It's possible to leap outward from the edge of a platform, change direction in mid-air and land behind your original position, a manoeuvre dubbed 'the curly muffin' by Amiga Power and ridiculed in the early 90's.

The cave levels(don't remember the name, am blanking this from my mind) include an act where the main gimmick is darkness. Sandopolis did this well in Sonic 3 & Knuckles; the 'oh-no-there-are-ghosts' thing being the most enjoyable aspect of a tedious, badly designed level. Sonic 4's Stupid Cave Level reduces the player's vision to an area immediately surrounding the character, meaning any oncoming obstacles are not visible until bumped into due to the speed at which the player moves. It's one of the most frustrating things I've played since that bit in Halo 3 on Legendary in the corridor, and exemplifies the nature of this game entirely - it's for the 'hardcore', the savants that post speedruns, people that don't have anything else to do with their lives.

There are many other things; the card game level that grants insane numbers of extra lives(twenty-three on my first go), the bland, forgettable music, the incredibly easy bosses, the horrid special stages, the single save slot, the occasional frame rate problem - if I went on, it would be six times as much text as I have already written. Almost literally everything about this game is subtly, slightly wrong, resulting in mediocrity.

To me, that is the worst crime Sega could have committed with Sonic 4. Sorry, Sonic, but it's over. I've suffered at your hands long enough. It's time for us to part.