I’m pretty sure Iron Bonehead put out a new album every day of the year. Considering that the label releases some very, very extreme stuff, I have no idea how the finances of this work (and I’m curious, believe me), but we’re glad they continue to spread the good word of extreme death and black metal.
So, when I got the daily promotional email from them talking about the three newest records they were putting out (all on the same day, of course: June 22), I knew I just had to listen to them all in one sitting and go full-on into the realm of Iron Bonehead.
Atomicide – Furious and Untamed 7”
This label is furious and untamed, and I love it, releasing records like this great two-song slab from Chilean extremists Atomicide as if it ain’t no thing. With a classic South American blackened-death sound, Atomicide also deal in some surprisingly musical leanings: the opening title track has an alarming amount of dynamics for a South American black/death band, given that field recordings from the area generally show a history of complete disregard for musical norms. Now, that’s why South American extreme music rules, but here Atomicide prove that not only can they add in a bit of smarts to song structure, but they can also get someone to produce their music who can make it sound both huge and crystal clear, also not necessarily norms of the sound. Side B has a great song title—“Flagellant Rust/Outro”—and another long playing time: five minutes (side A’s track was six), the band defying expectations all over the place, and leaving me very satisfied as I make the trek from Iron Bonehead June 22 release one to release two.
Musmahhu – Formulas of Rotten Death 7”
If one has to choose between black or death, it’s death every time for me, but I’m always glad for blackened death, black-influenced death, and black/death, so I’m happy this debut from Musmahhu leans deathier than it could, given the press material that accompanied this refers to a whole slew of black metal bands that Musmahhu’s Swartadauþuz has been involved in. But it also warns me that this is going to bring the listener down to the murkiness of the caves of death, and it does, Musmahhu getting down with the primitive early-death/early-Death sounds and then taking those cassettes on a spelunking adventure to try to find out exactly why Immolation rule. That answer, of course, remains elusive to most bands hunting for it, but these chaps do a great job of bringing a certain chaos to their sound that none of the above references would hint at: side A’s title track alternates between fast chaos and, well, a slower chaos, the band not even considering allowing any breathing rooms into their songs, not even considering taking out the noise of the neighbour’s weedeater that seems to permeate every second of these two great songs. Another winner: two for two so far, Iron Bonehead. Well played.
Axeslaughter/Cadaveric Incubator – split 7”
Not going to lie to you, myself, or my editor: I thought it would be funny to review all this in one sitting because it would all blur together into one absurd ball of noise that I could try to sort out. But, in reality, these are three very different records. My head is starting to spin here as I go into the third and final, but I see that one of these bands is named “Cadaveric Incubator,” which, because I’m a normal 41-year-old dude, means I’m going to love it. But, first off, Axeslaughter (also: I’m going to love it). This Finnish band drag their knuckles all the way over to Paul Speckmann’s merch booth to slobber some praises to the man, spitting beer in his beard before walking away mid-conversation to go jam some more. Not that all that practice is manifesting itself in supreme musicianship or Schuldiner skills: these two songs are barbaric, backward-looking simplistic death that look to legends like Celtic Frost for heavy inspiration, Axeslaughter’s eight minutes of representation here working just fine thank you very much, although those attempts at clean, Frost-ian vocals don’t exactly work. Flip it over, and here’s Cadaveric Incubator, who, clearly, enjoy listening to early Carcass as mood music, the band—also from Finland—looking backward like their split comrades here, but looking back to gore-grind’s roots with their punky material on this record, the production being surprisingly crisp, but the band still totally bubbling up from the bottom of your toilet, and you’re toilet’s clogged, and man, I love gore-grind, and, yup, I love Cadaveric Incubator. Divebombing guitar solos, insane guttural vocals, and a mixture of faster and fastest bpms, with brief stops at sludge paces along the way: these guys know the gore-grind rulebook, honor its history, and have no qualms whatsoever about writing songs that have basically already been written, which myself and other gore-grind fans the world over should be very happy about. Good work, Iron Bonehead.