Metal!: Nunslaughter, Palms, Full of Hell and Integrity
On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called Popdose. Join him in his quest.
Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth
If there’s one thing you need to know here, it’s that the Hellgoat is a huge Nunslaughter fan and collector of their music. Since they started in 1987, Nunslaughter has released well over 100 things on LP, 7″, cassette and whatever else they could find. Most of the releases are in very limited quantities but the records were also often special colors, picture discs, cutout, shapes etc. Releases appear out of thin air and get snatched up by fans immediately. The Hellgoat has about 70% of the releases at this point but some of the rarer pieces are almost impossible to find at this point.
Sure, so there’s a little bias in the Hellgoat for these guys but he understands that not everything they release is gold. Some of the early Nunslaughter material is downright wretched and the band has said that in interviews before. But they got better over time and have long been a cult band for many.
Nunslaughter is really two people right now – Don of the Dead on vocals who founded the band back in 1987 and drummer Jim Sadist who joined him full time in 1995. The other pieces of the band are constantly rotating and you really never quite know who’s going to show up on the next record.
Despite playing what they call “Devil Metal” which is simply very listenable Death Metal, they are actually kind of a fun band overall. Don and Jim seem to have a great rapport on stage together and are constantly playing off each other to create a great experience and no matter how much they worship the devil, they seem to be quite humble dudes that really appreciate the fans they have.
Nunslaughter has released just three full LP’s in their existence and frankly, they are only okay. Don and Jim seem to create better songs when they are doing it two or three at a time for a new split EP or split 7″ with another band they dig. And that’s where The Devils Congeries Vol. 1 comes in. This is a 2CD set with more coming that is going to compile every one of their non-LP record tracks. This includes studio tracks and the many live tunes they have released over the years, with the main ones being the Hell On…series of recordings they released from various tours across the world. As a collector, the Hellgoat usually gets pissed off about this type of compilations because the fun of collecting the releases for exclusive tracks is then gone but this particular one doesn’t bother me since there are simply so many pieces in the catalog.
Many of Nunslaughter’s iconic tunes are on this first volume, like “I.N.R.I.” “It Is I” “Death By the Dead” and “Killed By the Cross.” And the “highlight” of the first disc is the inclusion of 1990’s Killed By the Cross EP, which is the worst sounding release in their entire catalog and maybe one of the worst sounding recordings ever made. (It’s classic for that reason, actually)
Disc 2 contains most of the Hell On... series featuring Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and France. Their many live records are fantastic to listen to as they really help to give you a picture of what the band is like on stage and how intensely they play. The great part about these tracks is that you can tell they are raw recordings but moreso the crowd reaction to them. Sometimes they play to a very vocal crowd and other times there are points where I swear the crowd is booing and yet Don of the Dead’s stage banter with Jim Sadist continues on no matter if the crowd is into it or not. They key is, that no matter how good or bad you think the track is, listen to the very end of the track or the beginning of the next one to catch that interaction. Many times it’s totally priceless.
If you’ve ever heard of these guys and were curious, this is probably the right place to start. You can get the LP’s Hell’s Unholy Fire or Hex pretty easily these days but they aren’t the greatest representation of the band as a whole. These two discs are what the band is all about and you really can’t go wrong with The Devils Congeries Vol. 1 at all.
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Press: Two of the American scuzz underground’s most prolific and longest-running bands team up for a split 7″ – none other than Nunslaughter AND Antiseen! For this hotly anticipated split, both bands spit out two brand-new and exclusive studio tracks each. Equally signature, Nunslaughter impale trendies with their punk-minded death metal, exhorting you to choose sides during “The Burning Times” and get “So Vile,” while Antiseen rock hard and Motorcharge, railing against the “Air of Opportunity” and get “Down the Bone.” Get in, get out, get gnarly – see if the scuzz washes off!
The Hellgoat’s Take (9/10): First of all, the collector in the Hellgoat loves the fact that this is on split red/brown vinyl. Music wise, Nunslaughter took a queue from their pals in Antiseen and added a bit of punk to both their tracks, with “The Burning Times” flying by with fists in the air in a brief 1:45. Antiseen, who are just as prolific fit in nicely with Nunslaughter even though it’s a different style of music. Nunslaughter blasts you with devil worship and Antiseen kicks your ass with some politically charged tunes. Overall, it’s a brief four tunes but one of the best of Nunslaughter’s recent splits.
Press: The Los Angeles heavy, stargazing rock outfit Palms was forged out of an explosive collision too, as Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno joined forces with critically-lauded post-metal group Isis, venturing into bold sonic territory that careens from kinetic churning guitars to quiet, atmospheric moments mining rich emotional environments.
The Hellgoat’s Take (6.5/10): This is probably the most straight forward record you’ll ever hear from Ipecac and unless Faith No More ever releases another record, maybe the most anticipated of any of their releases as well. Three-quarters of Isis meets up with Chino from the Deftones. One paper and in practice it’s a pretty perfect match. The Deftones have dabbled in what could be considered post-rock before and Moreno’s unique voice can carry both a slow crooner and a vicious rocker. Palms falls on the softer, more atmospheric post rock side of the spectrum and Hellgoat has no complaints about the members of the two groups blending together. However, most of the tunes are simply just a little boring. The six tunes as a whole lack a little bit of a pulse. But for the fan of the pure post-rock side of Isis, this is probably what you’ve been waiting for for ages. For those looking for any moments of rocking out, it ain’t happening.
Press: Responsible for releasing an epidemic of demos, singles, splits and a previous LP constantly since their inception only four years ago, Full of Hell create a barrage of whiplashing metallic hate, psycho-drone feedback holes, and wall noise-drenched pedal attacks a noxious brew of Converge, Cursed and Pageninetynine gone the ways of Bastard Noise, early Napalm Death and Discordance Axis. The young crew performs their live shows with incredible conviction, catapulting their energetic hatesurge into the audience and inspiring all-out melees amongst the humans. Rudiments Of Mutilation captures more of these aspects than any previous recordings, penetrating with the most corrosive blasting attacks and noise infiltration from Full of Hell yet, recorded with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Old, Phantomsmasher).
The Hellgoat’s Take (7.5/10): Now this is a little different. These guys range from hardcore, to sludge, to doom, to death metal, often connected by walls of feedback. For a group that is as rowdy as these dudes, there are certainly some slow doom-y moments throughout the disc. Full of Hell move quickly through their songs and as is the mark of a good album in this vein, the Hellgoat’s adrenaline is certainly pumping after listing to this. Different and intriguing for sure.
Press: Legions of converted souls worldwide have hailed the name Integrity for two and a half decades. Formed in 1988, the band surged out of the Cleveland underground with a seething style of metal hellbent on murder, revenge, the occult and beyond, and has continually drawn more flies into the flames every step of the way. As one of the more prolific acts of the blood-boiling mid-late ‘90s metallic hardcore scene, and having toured most inhabited realms of the planet, Integrity has not only become a household name over the years, but its devotees have helped maintain the name as one of the most notorious and revered. Amidst countless eras and lineup shifts, founding member Dwid Hellion continues to carry the band forward, forming his own Holy Terror Empire, and becoming as iconic within the extreme music underworld as David Koresh, Jim Jones and Pol Pot are to population control.
The Hellgoat’s Take (6/10): The Hellgoat is sad to say that Metallic Hardcore really is not his forte so Integrity is a band he’s only heard of before but never listened to any of their music. I’m pretty sure Suicide Black Snake isn’t going to make him want to go back into the catalog either. The Hellgoat is not a huge fan of the vocals nor does he think the production is that great on the record with a track like “Into the Night” just blasting these quirky noises way too loud over the vocals and riffs. This album is really the best with the blistering tracks like “All Is None” and “Detonate VVorlds Plague,” rather than with the more experimental tunes.