Monday, May 2, 2011


High school, like the RC zeitgeist, was winding down though certain ritual trappings retain/ed their allure -- church in a box! -- as were, unbeknownst to both me & my fellow geeks, the hard lines of Colorform bodies, bulbous monstrosities & the careful oscillation of fleshy pastels & vomitory hues of Erol Otus' illustrations that accompanied twilight marathons of D&D, carbonated beverage IVs (& the occasional beer when the host's folks weren't home & that's how I became such a revolutionary), classic Maiden, Danzig &  speed metal.

Woe to you who suffer a merciless DM helming this sonofabitch.

Separate ways may be both a cliché & an awful Journey song but I repeat myself, yet such a college-bound teenage conundrum seduces one to matriculate down a different left hand path. Of course I'm not referring to the diablerie of chickdom (& fatherhood a scant year later, what mind-altering substance was I on), but death metal, dudes & said succubi, specifically, the Morrisound sound -- first hinted at on Earache's mailordered Grindcrusher fin-de-80s sampler -- of, among many [ed. note: how the hell did you not arise for the anniversary of Arise only the album of that year you stupid fuck soundtracking the finest electrical storm in North American local your history I plead senility], Obituary's unintelligibly subterranean gurgling; Death's ever more intricate riffwork; Deicide's supersonic blasphemy; Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness, all festering their sun-blasted viruses -- Tampa? everyone shuffleboarded in unison -- soon to infect in varying levels of wretchedness, but it was the atonal bastard linchpin of Lovecraft & ziggurats that of the Floridians burrowed the deepest. Even the cover correctly reflected, as sadly few covers do to the contents within, the devilish splatter/Hammer horror sorcery buried in the grooves, a slimy, metallic ooze, the oxidation of this grey, liquefied rust replaced by a terrible sentience bursting through dying, astral ocean blue at 666 RPM.


A religious experience to be sure, but that May jaunt to Perry's Rockpile (R.I.P.) twenty years ago today brought something soft at first glance -- angular band logo notwithstanding -- hallucinatory, yet equally violent & maybe more lethal. It was that cover, Les Trésors de Satan by Jean Delville as the liner notes kindly told me, a heady disdain of gratuitous gore, faux-clever thrills or Frank Frazetta barbarity as common as black t-shirts at a metal show. France (Delville actually hailed from Belgium as later library trips informed yours truly, lazy, languid days before instantaneous electro-access, you punk ass kids don't know how good you've got it, cloud-yeller said mailordered), birthplace of film, home of loose women, occult orgies, lubricated lit & a socialist prez.  

Oops, wrong trésor, though probably not to you non-metal weenies. At a particular rate, there's a regal quality to the painting & this spirit is shot through Blessed Are The Sick, individual riffs cohering in a whole of deeper majesty & greater power, aided by the beauty of occasionally slowing things down.

March, title track, march through grime & the disease-ridden corpse of Dionysus or whatever I was calling that journey into the bone- & joy-splintering gears of the infernal machine, never accurately labeled as such & lurking just over the horizon. A warning transmuted into a hymn, horizon long out of eye shot. Oh yeah, all couched in suspended disbelief doses of Satan, assorted bleorghs, fuck you big cheesy bearded throne & permutations on grrr.

The LP's meisterwerk & thematic overlord, the first section of our Fall From Grace [0:42 to 1:02] always manifested in my head as a spatial push against the domineering flow above, something I imagine would be extra mind blowing if either tripping or blessed with synesthesia, before reversing [1:19 to 1:27] & carrying the listener on its undertow towards sweet nepenthe on the rocks.

Desolate ways? Highbrow ways.   

Looking-glassing the postmodern curse of compression, the terror here's a thin, tinny grit that saps some of the cheese-grater-on-internal-organs spell inherent to the best produced death metal. Like wearing on onion on the belt, the style at the time? Perhaps, but the incense of Monster Manual irreverence wafting out of a thirteen-song temple complex proved to be one of the messiahs -- syncretism, motherfuckers -- less rapt contemplation of introspective musing, more Weird Tales lifeboat glee hee hee in a (still) expanding sea of routine, this horns-throwing itself a routine, a clockwork reply to the tides. Huh. Heaven & hell, always the twain shall meet, after all.


Nunly said...

"you non-metal weenies"

Yup....that's me! But I still like reading your stuff, kinda like a foreign language only more flowery and scary at the same time. ;-)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What did he say, Nunly?

Beach Bum said...

What, no mention of Osama feeding the fishes? Commie.

Nunly said...

ifthethunderdontgetya asked: What did he say, Nunly?

He said....

"High school, like the RC zeitgeist, was winding down though certain ritual trappings retain/ed their allure -- church in a box! -- as were, unbeknownst to both me & my fellow geeks",.....blah blah blah blah...."A religious experience to be sure,"....blah blah blah blah...."& this spirit is shot through Blessed Are The Sick, individual riffs"....blah blah blah...."of deeper majesty & greater power"....blah blah blah..."A warning transmuted into a hymn,"...blah blah "all couched in suspended disbelief doses of Satan,"...blah blah blah..."our Fall From Grace"...blah blah blah..."the incense"...blah blah..."Heaven & hell, always the twain shall meet, after all"

That Randal is a very spiritual guy doncha know. ;-)

Randal Graves said...

nunly, you liar. I know you come here for the death metal. And we've all got our olde tyme religion in one form or another, mine's simply Lemmy-ian, everything louder than everything else.

if, stop leaving your decoder ring on the bus!

BB, being the 13,446,197th person to post on Osama is one thing, but to be the 13,446,198th? That's just fucking crazy.

Nunly said...

You've got me pegged, Randal. You know that under my Habit I'm wearing a Skull Fist t-shirt. :-D

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Thank you, Nunly.


Randal Graves said...

nunly, now that's just randy!

susan said...

'the terror here's a thin, tinny grit'

Emmanuel Goldstein and I both chuckled over this line.