For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

The most important thrash band to ever come out of Germany, KREATOR release Phantom Antichrist on Nuclear Blast. WHOA, this thing rips; seems like the old thrash stalwarts are hungry as peck again. This record is blistering; they bite down hard and don’t let go. They’re on their 13th release and, trust me, my friends, it’s like they never stopped. Remember the dark days of Kreator? Like the bird poop-y NIN days? Well, those are gone. Petrozza’s trademark bark and angular-style riffing are here, and the drumming is fast and furious. The production really picks up on the raspy vocals and the razor-sharp guitar tone, and is a HUGE complement to the overall sound. Easily the best thrash record of the year, and maybe in recent years as well. Endless Beaking Pain indeed. Younger bands take note. 7 FUCKING PECKS

Speaking of old, PHOBIA dust off the crust on Remnants of Filth. Here’s a direct quote from the press release: “[Remnants] offers up 18 pile-driving, socio-political grind hymns in 19 minutes.” Boy howdy are they right. There are no pretentious moments of awkwardly trying to introduce other elements of varying genres here, just fast and furious grindcore, which is good because it’s what Phobia excel at. This isn’t a total barrage of blast beats, though; mixed in are some sludgier, slower-paced breakdowns that Phobia are known for. I read an interview with singer Shane “The Pain” McLachlan, where he states that this is the first Phobia record he doesn’t play an instrument on, and you know what? it preening works. CHECK THIS OUT. The filth remains. 8 FUCKING PECKS

What is a BLACK SHEEP WALL? A wall of black sheep? A wall FOR black sheep so they cannot commit the above atrocities? Well, Black Sheep Wall is a three-to-five (?) piece doom/sludge band from California, and they are releasing a record entitled No Matter Where It Ends on Season of Mist. Is your old boy REALLY that out of the loop? How did these guys escape my attention? I wanted to hate this on name alone, but it’s pretty pecking punishing. Slow doom/sludge riffs that really go for the gut. Definitely a more minimalist approach to the genre, but extremely effective. Apparently, they have a couple of other releases out. This is standard fare for this type of music: down-tuned riffs, growling vocals, but the drums and cymbals sound really weird here, almost like a drum machine. This is awesome, though. BSW, get in touch. I’d like to know more about you so I can bang my beak to this. 8 FUCKING PECKS.