I usually try to keep up with current events and what’s going on in the world, but admittedly, I have very little clue what the hell is going on in Turkey. Well, let me step back a bit; I know what’s going on in Turkey – it’s hard to ignore images of mass demonstrations, military/police heavy-handedness, blood-stained streets and tear-gas stained air – but I don’t have a real understanding as to why what’s going is going on. It would appear that the original protest/sit-in to prevent the destruction of a park in Istanbul was the straw that not only broke the camel’s back, but shattered it in a hundred pieces. What does any of this have to do with metal? Well, as Turks fight against their government against reported freedom of speech/press/etc. clampdowns, they might as well be fighting for individuals like Ozgur Altinkatnak and his Coffinfeeder Distro/Label.
Historically, any time there’s been a governmental reining in of freedom and/or a nation’s drastic shift to the right on the political spectrum, one of the first things that get singled out and clipped at the knees are the arts. Think the PMRC of the Ronnie Reagan-era if you think “democracies” are immune. Coffinfeeder is a fairly new multi-limbed beast that includes distribution of a variety of label’s music and merch throughout Turkey, a half-sized zine that has previously been featured in Decibel‘s Zine Police column and a label that releases and licenses stuff, including, according to their website, recently becoming Nuclear Blast’s Turkish distributor. With the idea of territory meaning less and less with time in the digital age, I’m not really sure what this means in the grand scheme of things and Altinkatnik’s English is about as good as my Turkish (hence, the lack of explanatory interview here), but dude sent me a few of his latest releases (and co-releases) and I figured I’d throw a mention to him and the results of his hard work.
ANTISEPTIC/NSOA – RETROPOCALYPSE SPLIT 7″
Damn, there way too many Antiseptics in the world and by description, most of them seem to play hardcore/punk. This particular Antiseptic is super gruff and ruff around the edges; sort of like what Paint it Black might sound like if they were bipolar bikers. Pretty furious stuff. New Society of Anarchists have been around for what seems like forever and play their balls off in a style similar to all branches of classic NYHC. In fact, I thought they were Noo Yawkers, just from they way they sounded, but are actually from Milwaukee. There’s a heavy Sick of it All feel to what they do, and they do it well enough that you might even put down your SioA albums for a minute.
HECATOMB – FACE THE LIVE CHAOS DVD
This Turkish death metal outfit has been around since the late 90s and has a handful of releases to their name and credit. It’s death done the classic way, a la Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse and caught live and in the rotting flesh for the purposes of this DVD release. Recorded in late 2012 at a show/fest in celebration of the first birthday of what appears to be a venue in the city of Izmir, Face the Live Chaos is edited as quickly as the music and strobe lights from source material captured by three or four stationary cameras. At first, it’s a pretty entertaining look at death metal seen though a different lens, but it quickly becomes clear that Hecatomb is happy sticking to formula.
SATANIKA/REVENGE – SADISTIC PERVERSIONS SPLIT CD
This split release sees not-the-Revenge-you’re-thinking-of joining forces with Italians, Satanika for a rollicking fun time rooted in old-school thrash metal. Just to give you an idea where these bands are coming from, Satanika’s previous releases include the Metal Possession and Re-animate the 80s EPs and have more songs about witches, metal and various forms of sodomy than anyone I can remember off the top of my head. Revenge hail from Columbia, are one of the 70,000 bands in the world named Revenge and in a decade have amassed a huge number of releases. Plus, their lead off song of this split is called “Metal Rules My Life.” You can’t bottle this sort of love and determination; neither can you listen to it very much without thinking you’ve heard it all before. Both bands have contributed to a fun CD, but for the same reason you don’t listen to the same comedy albums over and over, you probably won’t be listening to this over and over.