Written in blood written in a newspaper.

Written in Blood: Hard Music for a Hard World


Corner record cover of blurry people.

Noise Records 

This is a sad day in the metal world. I just found out Coroner’s latest release will be their last. This, as with any good eulogy, will reflect on the greatness of a life. The life being one of the greatest bands that ever existed. The self-titled release is a greatest hits of sorts. It really is so much more though. The album contains Coroner classics, seven new songs, never released songs, a live radio cut, a couple of covers, and a wild techno remix of their song “Grin: Nails Hurt.” Techno, wow, this band can do anything. You won’t be able to accuse these guys of skimping on vinyl. The total playing time is 73:47! The band released their first album in 1986. Since then they’ve experienced a limited U.S. acceptance, which I guess has been a factor in their demise. DO NOT discount this band as just some mindless metal band. I also wouldn’t suggest getting this release if you’re a close-minded speed/grind freak. Get this album to experience the trio’s awesome (and I’m not using that word lightly) musicianship. CORONER (R.I.P., 1995)


Transylvanian Hunger
Fierce Recordings

The band Darkthrone is freakish, evil and quite unbelievable. I really can’t figure these guys out. Partly, due to the fact that there are onlyTransylvanian Hunger record cover with a screaming face. two songs on “Transylvanian Hunger” that are written in English. Oh, by the way, the band is from Norway. The remaining songs are written in their native tongue. The band’s history is different from the norm. Because of Darkthrone’s alleged ties with a cult called the “Satanic Terrorist Inner Circle,” the group has been linked to church burnings, murder, etc. A song on this release was written by cult leader Count Grishnackh, who is now serving a 21 year prison sentence for the murder of a rival band’s vocalist. (How does a person go about becoming a count anyway? Count Forgach, I like it.) With accusations flying, the band has totally removed itself from the public eye. No interviews, no photos, nothing. The band won’t even play live for fear that the potential chaos of the show would take away from the message of evil that the band wants to deliver. The recording, well, sounds like crap. The band has given up the big production of earlier releases for a much more raw sound. I’ve recorded better sounding music on my four-track. I guess when you’re delving out a message of evil, sound isn’t everything. This recording is, plain and simply, pure evil.

Record cover of a floating eyeball and skeleton hands holding two bodies up.Death’s new release “Symbolic” should be added to any metal aficionado’s collection. Death has been changing the metal scene since their debut album “Scream Bloody Gore” in 1987. The group originally formed in 1983 as the band Mantas. The band has taken many different forms over the years. Death has been at the forefront of death metal and thrash and on the last couple of albums, progressed into a realm that one label would never do justice. The band centers around “brainchild” Chuck Schuldiner, who happens to be the only original member. He writes all of the music and lyrics. Chuck usually employs different people to be a part of the band with every new album. Each person involved with the projects have been stellar musicians, each adding something special and unique along the way. Past M.V.P.’s have included Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal of Cynic, Steve DiGiorgio of Sadus, Andy Laroque of King Diamond fame, Gene Hogland of Dark Angel, etc.. “Symbolic” is definitely a keeper. 

Once Upon the Cross
Roadrunner Records

Satan, Satan, Satan, Kill God, Satan, Satan…..Kill God…Well, that pretty much covers the lyrics on Deicide’s latest release, “Once Upon theRecord cover of a person laying on a soft, white surface. Cross”. Actually, it pretty much covers the lyrics on all of Deicide’s releases. These guys have used CD format as their own personal weapon against God. “Once Upon the Cross” is Deicide’s third release on Roadrunner Records. Labeling these guys as satanic or black metal would probably be appropriate. I’m sure they wouldn’t have it any other way. I always hated bands like Stryper because of their sickening, goody-goody messages. If I wasn’t such a hypocrite I should probably feel the same way about the totally opposite message. No chance. Evil, gore, and sickness are just too damn cool. The music is as heavy as a ton of bricks, and good too. I guess there’s something to be said for selling your soul. The vocals are sick. You would swear the singer, Glen Benton, was the devil himself. The overall production is great. This is a good album if you don’t mind the message. Just one listen to this one, and your good to evil ratio will be whacked for months. There is one good thing to remember: If these guys ever get knocked off by some crazy religious group, at least they’ll have a job in hell as the house band. 

Progress of Decadence
Fierce Recordings

Record cover of a circle saying "Progress of decadence".Overdose has finally made it to the United States, and if the success of their Brazilian counterparts Sepultura is any indicator, you’ll be hearing a lot from them. The band has been around for the better part of ten years. Due to contractual obligations, they have been forced to only kicking Brazilian-butt for the last decade. I saw the band live at Star Studios when they were on tour with Skrew and The Spudmonsters. Overdose’s live performance was right on target. “Progress of Decadence” is full of lyrics dealing with political corruptness, poverty, and other topics that are so common in Brazil. Musically, they are somewhat Sepultura-esque. It must be the Brazilian influence I’m hearing. The drummer and singer of the band often throw in various percussion instruments that are used in Brazilian music. Live, the singer has a set of electronic drums set up at the front of the stage. Overdose will be taking part in the NOizeFest ’95 summer tour. The line-up will also include Testament, Crowbar, and Pro-Pain. I was told by the Fierce recordings to expect the show in Salt Lake. 

Earache Records 

The band Scorn is a bit of a departure from the usual style of music delivered from Earache Records. The band is an electronicRecord cover for Scorn. experimentation testing the boundaries of music. Scorn was formed in 1991 by Mick Harris and Nic Bullen. If the first name sounds familiar it’s because he was drummer for the band Napalm Death. Don’t get this release expecting to hear Napalm Death though, the music of Scorn is actually pretty mellow. I found I got a lot more out of the CD when I listened to it with headphones. There are many layers of this music that can be lost otherwise. “Ellipsis” is a collection of remixes which originally appeared on their ’94 release “Evanescence.” Performers Bill Laswell, Meat Beat Manifesto, Coil, Germ, PCM, Scanner, and Autechre helped out on the remixes. 

Pierced from Within
Roadrunner Records 

Dark gray with white squiggly lines.Suffocation has been a heavy-bitter on the death metal scene since 1988. The band has gone through various line-up changes including the recent departure of founding member Mike Smith. The band returned to music stores on May 23 with the release of the third album on Roadrunner Records, “Pierced from Within”. The band chose the “far from out of work” producer Scott Burns to help them capture the power of the band. What band in metal hasn’t this guy worked with? The final result was clearly a success. The band is brutal, extreme, and heavy as hell. “Pierced from Within” alternates from a slow, grinding, methodical bashing to full-out grind core ravings. 

At the Gates
Terminal Spirit Disease

At the Gates burns through their latest release “Terminal Spirit Disease” with fierce intensity. The recording is their third full-length release and appears on Peaceville/Futurist Records. At The Gates came into form in 1990 and calls Sweden home. The band displays definite musical prowess. The rhythms are intricate and ultra-melodic and wind into a chaotic quagmire of notes. At the same time, the band maintains it’s heavy edge. The vocals almost remind me of early Kreator. Maybe it’s just me. The band takes time on track three to show their experimental nature. “And the World Returned” is an acoustic composition complete with a cello and violin. 

Read more from Issue 78 here.