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

OK, after about a month I’m back. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed too much. Thanks to my human counterparts at Decibel for letting me slip this long. This winter has been a trial for your tropical friend Waldo — too cold. Anyway, this is about that time of year where the releases actually start picking up, unlike the doldrums that happen from early December until now.  So, I guess I’ll be picking up, too.
Not really sure where I should start with this first one. Bobby Liebling and company (or most of some part of an early iteration of Pentagram) put out the short-lived BEDEMON on Relapse.  Getting into the history of this would be a nightmare, and Decibel pays me by the word, so let’s just say this is a compilation called Child of Darkness that features mostly demos and rough tracks from whatever the band did whenever they did it. This, for the most part, is heavier and ploddier than Pentagram, and even though they don’t sound exactly alike, comparing the two is inevitable.  The job of “cleaning” this up is pretty good, although some of this stuff is rough, and I mean rough. Overall, this is a pretty cool piece of history, albeit slightly unnecessary, and there are some great moments here… and some moments where you can tell the ideas laid down haven’t come to fruition.  This is mostly for hardcore fans, but a noteworthy release. 6 Fucking Pecks.

FETID ZOMBIE is the one-man death creation by Mark Riddick, illustrator for Coffins, Morbid Slaughter and, like, every band on the planet. So, let’s discuss the music on Grotesque Creation, shall we?  This is a throwback to early death metal, and I mean early death metal. There are some melodic moments, some thrash (proto, of course), some keyboard passages here and there, some elements of techy-type death… you kinda get the idea, right? This is HEAVY metal, and that’s one of the best ways to describe it. This isn’t some genre-hopping hipster affair, Riddick does what he does, and doesn’t seem to care if you like it or not.  All of the different genres of metal present here blend into one nasty, semi lo-fi package, making this a cohesive effort. If this birdbrain had one complaint, it’s the vocals are a little too loud at some points, or the music is too quiet. But this is cool. Dust off your bulletbelt and get into it. 6 Fucking Pecks.

Do I love LOVECRAFT? I do, so much that I’m reviewing ITHAQUA’s Initiation to Obscure Mysteries on Iron Bonehead. Well, this is “black metal”… as in old black metal. I think this firmly fits more into the metal category, and this isn’t burning any barns here (or would churches be a more appropriate metaphor?). The fact that this is a new band and not some obscure demo baffles me. Think Hellhammer, set to a moshier-type tempo with raspy vocals over it. The bass here is either REALLY low or nonexistent. This is kind of cool; sounds like something that some teenagers would’ve written in their basement 20-30 years ago. Maybe Greece is that far behind the times. I like it, can’t say I love it. 4 Fucking Pecks.