Cannibal Ferox Gatefold

Soundtrack: Cannibal Ferrox LP

Cannibal Ferox LP front cover

The cover art is awesome!

“I detest Cannibal Ferox… it’s the only movie in the bunch of horror/gore/splatters that I was in in the ’80s that I regret and wish I didn’t appear in.”

- Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Actor/Writer/Director, Cannibal Ferox)

If ever there was a movie that could be termed controversial, it is the 1981 exploitation horror Cannibal Ferox. Directed by prolific Italian film maker Umberto Lenzi (Eaten Alive, Nightmare City, The House of Witchcraft), Cannibal Ferox is a tale of cocaine, academic curiosity and death.

And I love it! (more…)

sabbathassembly

Review: Sabbath Assembly – Eno Ot Derotser Ltd edition cassette tape

Sabbath Assembly Eno Ot Derotser

Photo © 2014 Svart Records

I stumbled upon this limited edition cassette while looking at vinyl on the Svart Records website – I was there to order a copy of their Witch Mountain - South of Salem LP reissue, which I will post a review of soon.

I don’t normally go for cassettes, but when I saw the link to this recording, I knew I had to have it. Limited to only 300 copies, this cassette features the original Sabbath Assembly recordings from 2009, with Jex Thoth on vocals. I can imagine this selling quite well and becoming hard to find in no time at all. With this in mind, I made a digital copy of mine the day I got it so my original will stay in pretty much mint condition.

The songs are all Process Church hymns, later versions of which appeared on the band’s debut album Restored to One. Here, they are presented in a raw, experimental form, with sparse bongo percussion (by the band’s founder Dave Nuss, credited here as Xtian) as opposed to the full drum kit used on the bands full albums and live shows. The arrangements are a little different, too, showing some of the early psychedelic influences and ideas that were later molded into the form long time fans will know.

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Future Learn, or ‘Why I haven’t posted anything for a while’

Future Learn logoFollowers of this blog may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in the last month. This is because I have been taking part in a short course with online learning provider Future Learn.

They offer short introductory courses on a wide variety of subjects from art to science and are run in conjunction with universities from all over the country.

The course I’ve been taking is called ‘Start Writing Fiction.’ Presented by author and academic Dr. Derek Neale, it is a free course provided by The Open University (with whom I also did my BA a while back) and runs for eight weeks. (more…)

Black Sabbath cover

Black Sabbeth – Gonga Featuring Beth Gibbons

Bristol, UK doom rockers Gonga have teamed up with fellow Bristol-based singer Beth Gibbons (of Portishead fame) to record a cover version of the song that started off the debut album from the most important band in doom metal – Black Sabbath. They’re calling it ‘Black Sabbeth’ for obvious reasons. The video is made up of footage from the classic 1963 Mario Bava film Black Sabbath, after which the band were named.

Review: Sabbath Assembly – Quaternity

Sabbath Assembly-Quaternity-cover

“Humanity is doomed.”

Quaternity is the third album from Sabbath Assembly, a bizarre rock band that formed to recreate the hymns of apocalyptic 1960′s religious cult The Process Church of The Final Judgement. Their first record (Restored to One) caught my attention because their original singer was Jex Thoth, which was enough of an endorsement to at least check them out, even if they did sing about God and seemed more than a bit ‘churchy’. Spend a little time with this band, though, and you will soon discover that there is nothing traditionally Christian about their music or philosophy.

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Review: Iron Hearse – Deal With It

 

Iron Hearse Deal With ItIt’s always a pleasure to get hold of a new Iron Hearse release, specially as they have only made us wait a year since the last one (Get In The Hearse, released March 2013).

As the 40-second preview video above shows, the band haven’t deviated from their usual horror-film inspired lyrical themes, and with any luck, they never will. All 9 tracks on offer here stand up to their previous releases and while they don’t do anything amazingly different, they manage not to sound like they are aping their earlier material (even though they are, like AC/DC and Iron Maiden have done for 30-odd years, but it’s still possible to enjoy listening to them).

Iron Hearse don’t do anything unique, but they do play some of the best straight up pub doom-rock you’re ever likely to hear. We’ve heard it all before, but now it’s heavier, the playing is tighter and everything is a bit louder than last time. (more…)

Resistance and The War of Art

The War of ArtFor the past twelve months, I have been writing a novel, which I intend to self-publish. I spent the previous twelve months jotting down ideas in a notebook – these notes got me to the stage I’m at now: five chapters in, and progress has slowed. The thing is, I have a story with a beginning, middle and ending. What I am finding difficult, is sitting down to write it.

Last year, I bought a book by author Steven Pressfield called The War of Art, and I’ve finally got round to reading it (apparently I was too “busy” until now). The book promises to help readers “break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.” Pressfield does this by defining the invisible force that causes creative people to procrastinate: Tweet, check Facebook, masturbate, smoke, drink coffee, play computer games (Steam, anyone?) - ANYTHING but writing!. He calls this force Resistance:

“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Chances are, if you have broken off from your daily routine to read this post, you are experiencing some level of Resistance right now. So what can be done about it? (more…)

Roadburn Festival

So… I’m Not Going To Roadburn This Year

2013 was a landmark year for me. I achieved three lifetime ambitions in twelve short months. My band recorded their debut album (which I’m proud to say will be released soon by an actual record label!), I completed a degree in English language and Literature and I attended my first ever Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland with four friends.

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Soundtrack: Paul Ferris – Witchfinder General

Paul Ferris Witchfinder General soundtrack

The world famous De Wolfe Music Library are re-issuing some of the rarest and most sought after soundtracks from their 100 year history. Among them is Paul Ferris’ soundtrack to the 1968 classic Witchfinder General which starred Gothic-horror legend Vincent Price in the title role.

The film was directed by Michael Reeves (The Sorcerers, Castle of The Living Dead, She Beast), who died suddenly in 1969 aged just 25. Witchfinder General was his last film.

Telling the story of the sadistic and brutal Matthew Hopkins (the eponymous Witchfinder General), this was a controversial film upon its initial release, with many of the more graphic scenes of violence being cut. The director’s tragic death added to the film’s notoriety and helped forge the cult status it has today.

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