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Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

For Nearly 30 fuckin years……damn, I have been a fan of Brooklyn based hardcore band Life of Agony. When I heard they were coming to my town, and then found out it was on a Friday night…OH WE ARE GOIN!I spent many of my younger years, listening to , and going to as many shows that i could when ever the band came around, well its a few years later and I sure as hell didn’t want to miss it!

The show originally was slated for Friday September 13th, the same night we were supposed to get hit with a hurricane. Just my damn luck! Luckily the tour rescheduled for the 30th…a Sunday….SUNDAY, REALLY?!?! Fuck it, I’m still there!Baltimore Soundstage here we come!

The night started off being fortunate enough to have been able to schedule a video inter with bands bass player, Alan Robert, who talked with us about being on the road, meanings behind many of the lyrics, his artwork and him doing laundry! We spoke and hung out for close to 30 minutes. My wife Steff and I had such a great time talking with him, very hospitable, genuine good person! I must also admit, having been such a huge fan of the band, i was actually a bit shaky when he first entered the room with us.

As the show got under way, local Baltimore Hardcore band End It All kicked things with a short, but very powerful set! These guys are doing a few shows in the west coast soon so show support and get your ass to see them, they are so worth it!

Next on stage, and pretty much arriving and jumping on stage due to car issues, Silvertomb. Many of you were or like me still are fans of the once great goth rock band Type O Negative. Silvertomb is comprised of guitarist from Type O Negative Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly as well as Joseph James from Agnostic Front. I knew of the band, but sadly hadn’t actually heard their work yet. I’m here to tell ya, after the somewhat short set, I am a fan! Kenny fronts Silvertomb so perfectly, and the band is just tight as hell!! Great emotionally strong sound and lyrics with a very strong stage presence made for a very memorable show. It was also great to see the guys playing again since TYPE O Negative was such a huge part of my life.

Then the time came for the moment we were all waiting for. Now mind you, this is now on a Sunday, the crowd about 1/3 its capacity , so that was kind of upsetting, but they were true fans and were just glad to see the band! The band came on stage and everyone went nuts, even the band. The band kick it right in to high gear from the get go. Playing such a perfect mix of old school, and all thru the years. We were up front for a while then slowly made our way back so we could just relax and take in the show it self.

The energy pouring out on stage is incredible! Many bands after this many years of playing just start slowing down. Not the case with Life of Agony! They were all over the stage, and totally giving love to the fans, and further most, to each other. You can easily see that after so many years together they are so much more than just a band, they are family and that made the show even that much more enjoyable! But still, when they played River Runs Red, the place still goes nuts!!

 

This was the last show of this leg of the tour, everyone was going home, then they were off to conquer Europe . So that made it kind of a special show. What really made it though, was when Silvertomb came out on stage while during ‘s. Life of Agony set with a birthday cake with lit candles and all to sing Happy Birthday to Alan. The entire crowd  joined in as we all wished Alan a Happy Birthday!

 

 

All and all do i wish there had been a larger crowd, only for the band’s sake. As far as I was concerned it was perfect, a more intimate show if you will, and the guys are just as good now if not even better live than they once were! They killed it!!!

Be sure to take a minute, actually 15, and check out the great video interview that Alan Robert did with us prior to the show! Thanks again Alan!!!

www.lifeofagony.com

 

John and Steff w/ Alan Robert of Life Of Agony

 

Keep It Evil

 


Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EVENT REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment
Danzig 30th Anniversary

Danzig 30th Anniversary

Here we are again, giving some news on the good ol’ Mr. Danzig. This time, we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of..uh..Danzig. The first album released 30 years ago was a pivotal point in the music industry. We all grew to love the Misfits and Samhain, this time though Danzig came to us with something completely different. Blackest of the black, darker than night, yes this album really did what Mr. Glenn always does and set a new standard for evil. He took punk into a new direction, took postpunk/goth and death rock into a new direction. So he said, “Fuck it, I’m going to use the Danzig name and we are going in this direction now”. Thusly we were gifted the first album, Danzig.
Danzig
Danzig has retired from the touring life but makes his appearance at random festivals and one-off shows here and there. Just to give a taste of the true lord of darkness that has warmed our hearts. The wonderful part of the Danzig scene is that the bands he has played with him are always vastly different from what you would think would be opening for such an act. This 30th anniversary is no different.

November 3rd, 2018, at the Five Points Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA, Danzig will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first record with a fine list of different acts. Punk Rock legends The Damned, Black metal originators Venom Inc. (bet someone got sued for the name..now they have to put the ” Inc” at the end),O.G. Psychobilly band The Meteors, Thrash Metal band Power Trip, and some band called Mutoid Man(no clue what the hell style they are playing). So as you can tell there is quite an array of musical enjoyment here guaranteed to please anyone.

Tickets go on sale: July 27th, 2018, so wake your asses up and get online to get these bad boys. Visit www.danzig-verotik.com for more details. In the meantime please enjoy these videos from all the bands playing this event. So you can understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Danzig:

The Damned:

Venom Inc:

The Meteors:

Power Trip:

Posted by Schock in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE: Review of Ritual by JXV & Interview with Rikk R’Treat

EXCLUSIVE: Review of Ritual by JXV & Interview with Rikk R’Treat

JXV Ritual Album Art, courtesy of JXV

I’m no stranger to the world of underground metal, punk and hardcore. When I listened to and reviewed the last JXV record (formerly known as Jason X Voorhees) record Horror Edge, I was excited by that album. You can view that review here: Jason X Voorhees: Horror Edge.

With the sophomore and, sad to say, final album for JXV, I was not only excited to hear it, but Rikk reached out during the recording process. I was honored to be able to throw out opinions and just hear what was going on during the production of the album.

This new record Ritual has really got me thinking that there is hope for the underground music world after all. There are some better-known acts out there touring and playing festivals, which is fine and ultra cool, but we can’t forget that some festivals are specific to particular areas. Those of us whom cannot get to them have to rely on the underground local scene to get us by. JXV, hailing from San Diego, California, is far from local for me, but for their area and for music lovers in general, they’re worth seeking out. This is a hardcore band that has 98 members…okay, six members, but they really complement each other perfectly with each vocal style betwixt the two vocalists as well as having two guitarists, bass, and drums. Each person compliments the other perfectly. Ritual, truly shows how they take from each other and throw it in the recipe for a perfect blend of every influence.

The album opens up with a title track “Ritual”, with a super ominous and creepy tone that sets the pace for the whole record, even some keys up in this to give that overall ultra horror sound. Track number two we get into “Trick x Treat”, which the band recently released as a single accompanied by a music video (see below). This song definitely is a perfect way to introduce everyone to what they’re getting into. This track alone gives us metal, hardcore, and horror punk. Literally, everything you need for a good song, right here. I’ve been telling everyone I come across; “This song, “Trick x Treat”, is the perfect song”. So if you’re going to get into this band, this song is out right now and the video below will give you the taste of perfection. Slide from this into “False Patriots”. My damn god this track also. I don’t know how to get into this except, if you’re a metal fan and like to slam hard, this is the shit right here.

The following track is “Devil’s Night”, a gang-style Hardcore/Horror Punk number with a lot of spooky to it but also gives us some upbeat vibe. The track features vxDEDxv, a fellow straight edge rapper. I think this track will make you all very happy as well. Then we have “Bath Salt Zombies”. I’m not sucking dick here because JXV and myself are in this horror edge game. I am actually truly passionate about this album. We all know, even if we are homies, I’ll tell you if it isn’t good, but this song is probably my favorite on this whole album. Punk as fuck and fast break your neck thrashin’ shit, another track featuring a straight edge rapper SE Frank. The last three songs are pretty awesome, too. “Living Dead” is pure PUNK ROCK with two minutes of circle pit action. “From the Plague We Come to an End” — solid black metal meshed with beatdown hardcore like goddamn..what are they doing? The mix of genres is insane yet put in these songs with perfection. Finally, the last track, “Noose”, is a great way to end the album. JXV gives us the hardcore breakdown for most of the song and signs off beautifully.

I know I said it four million times, but this record is solid from start to finish — heavy, fast, and diverse with the different genres that are portrayed in each song. I strongly believe if you’re more a fan of any metal, punk, or hardcore, this album will please you and may spawn some interest in whatever isn’t your main listening pleasure. Each member really shined through on this album, and the influence is there in each song.

Unfortunately, JXV has decided to call it quits after this record, life gets in the way of art sometimes, and unfortunately, that is the case here. I’ll say this though: this band has not only been great colleagues in the horror, straight edge and music areas of life for myself and many others. They have been great friends as well. We all share the same passions for music and life, and I’m honored that I’ve had the chance to befriend this group and hear their music — music that has PROVEN it’s not just, “Hey we’re a hardcore band”. No, this is a band that has taken every inch of what they love and placed it into this record and has shown that the underground still has acts out there that need to be heard. In true DIY fashion, this band has set out to prove something even if they didn’t know they were doing it. I wish them all the best of luck on future endeavors and I know if they each put the type of heart and soul that this record has then whatever they do it’ll be just as amazing.

RITUAL Will be released July 6, 2018, SO BE READY TO GET THIS ALBUM! YOU WILL NEED THIS IN YOUR COLLECTION! Please check out JXV on bandcamp as well as Optimist/Pessimist Records all of which can be found at the end of the interview with Rikk R’ Treat, drummer of JXV.

JXV Ritual Band Photo : Courtesy of JXV

House of Tortured Souls: When you guys started JXV what was the intent, or sound that you were going for with the band?
Rikk: When I originally came up with the idea for JXV, I had just discovered The Jasons, and although I enjoy them, at the moment I wanted to find something heavier in the horror scene. I also watched Freddy vs Jason that night and realized that JASONxVOORHEES would be a rad heavy straight edge band name…sometime after that I began writing our first song “Immortality Rates”. Oddly enough, at the time I wanted the band to sound like early Aiden, My Chemical Romance, and Atreyu — horror punk based but a bit more aggressive. Obviously, that didn’t exactly happen. After Drink Blood Not Booze came out, Callen, Devon, and I began looking for committed band members. Once Lalo joined/ we wrote the music for lyrics I had written for a song called “HxC” (“Human Centipede”) and then began to work on other songs off of our album Horror Edge. We had troubles with our original bassist but eventually got Jacob on bass, who has been involved in the band since before we released Horror Edge. After over a year of playing as a five-piece, we added out second guitarist, Yako, who helped us get to where we are now sonically. As a six-piece, we have been able to add more “beef” to our old songs and push ourselves to write heavier songs for the new record.
HoTS: Horror Edge was a great album. Did you find it hard trying to market the music and style within the horror punk scene?
Rikk: Thank you. I think overall JXV has been hard to market. Horror punks don’t always get the heavy vocals, and hardcore or metalcore kids don’t understand the horror part. Unfortunately, I’ve often heard about how incoherent we are, but I never understood that because to us it all makes sense together. Sure, surf and death metal don’t mix often, but why not experiment?
HoTS: Your influences are vast across the board. Does the rest of the band share these common influences?
Rikk: As you can hear in our music, our influences vary quite a bit. I think we all overlap in certain places but not in other spots. If you knew our specific influences you’d be able to tell which songs were written by whom on Ritual.
HoTS: This album Ritual is produced perfectly. How long did it take to record this album?
Rikk: We began recording drums in November and finished all mixing and mastering in early June. So quite a while. This was mainly because we hadn’t finished writing all tracks when we started recording, and we all had very different schedules to work around to get into the studio.
HoTS: Was there any clashing of ideas when writing/recording the record?
Rikk: I wouldn’t say there were major clashes while writing, however, it has been more difficult for us to write music off the cuff as a “jam”. A good portion of our music has usually been written and structured before we meet to hash it out with instruments. The songs that were more free-form usually took the longest but, regardless, still came out great.
HoTS: The collaborations with fellow straight edge rappers. How did this come to pass and did you feel this was a bold move within the genre of horror/hardcore?
Rikk: A number of us have always loved nu-metal bands like Linkin Park and Korn. A lot of us also really love hip-hop. I have a lot of respect and love for my edge brothers SE Frank and vxDEDxv, who have both been big supporters of JXV. I had been in talks with them about working on something together, so all it took was finding the right songs they could fit on. As far as the particular genre, I rarely hear rap involved in horror, but traditional hardcore and hip-hop seem to flow together often so it just made sense to us.
HoTS: The song “Trick x Treat” is the single you chose to release. Why is that?
Rikk: “Trick x Treat” was the second song written for this record. I was very inspired by it to draw some artwork, so it was in part because I put a lot of work into the cover art. Once the whole record was written, it ended up being the track that mixed both the heaviness that half the album has with the campy horror that the other half has. So it’s a good representation of the full record.
HoTS: How did you guys find the balance when writing? By this I mean, each track is blended perfectly with punk, hardcore, metal, even rap/hip-hop.
Rikk: We didn’t really think much about the balance of sounds; we just wrote and structured what made sense to us. One may likely argue that none of the album is balanced at all, but to each his own, right?
HoTS: What spawned the idea to call it quits after this final show in July?
Rikk: As mentioned earlier, it is hard to match schedules in a six-person band. For some of us, it also just seemed like time to shift focus on other things. It’s been great working together with my bandmates, and I love them all, but we have to be sensitive to the needs of each member – even if that means we aren’t going to be playing anymore.
HoTS: What’s on the plate for each of you after the finale?
Rikk: Most of us have projects in the works. Once they are finalized or official we’ll share more! From what I know Yako, Devon, and Jake are each hoping to start heavy bands, respectively. Lalo has plans to start an indie project and I will be continuing to play in The Writhers for the rest of the year. As of right now, Callen does not have any musical plans, but when he does we will be supportive of his goals.
HoTS: Anything you want to share with the readers? Words of wisdom?
Rikk: In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other.” We in JXV have always appreciated all and any support we have been given and will continue to be grateful well after we’re done. Also please be on the lookout for our album Ritual to be released in July!
HoTS: Even as homies within the scene of edge, horror, hardcore. Being a musician myself we together have made our music with a heavier tone and yet still pimped hard to a scene that doesn’t really have a lot of bands that dare try D/C tuning or metal vocals, so sharing all this with you all and being hardgore/horror edge brothers has been a true honor. I want to say thank you for everything you have done with Optimist/Pessimist records, and for sharing JXV with the world. Believe it or not, you guys’ music has inspired me to just keep doing what I do, and I’m positive once people hear Ritual they’re going to want more, and if you’re not playing out. They’ll have to make their own music, so the inspiration is definitely there and going to spawn a new generation of horror music.
Rikk: Thanks, man, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You have been a huge help and your support has been a motivation to keep going. I don’t mind if people don’t go out and spawn new horror music – however, I do really hope people will listen to the album and try to understand our vision.

“Trick x Treat” video:

Posted by Schock in INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, VIDEOS, 0 comments
MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

Horror rock is still kickin’ these days. For the longest time, it was all I ever knew and by far the most fun subgenre of punk and metal. Nothing was off limits in horror rock, and what made it more of a fun time than most other genres was the actual all-inclusiveness of everyone. Not saying other genres/subs don’t. You go to a hardcore, metal or OG punk show, you’ll see 90% white males…even though we don’t hate…that’s what’s there…the other 10% is scattered among women as well as other ethnicities so with horror rock/punk how it differs is a wide rainbow of a crowd as well as on stage. Did you know there are also Christian horror punk bands? That’s…odd. Yes, it is; however, it’s a testament (no pun intended) to how this particular subgenre is pretty open to anything. I guess no more odd than Christian black metal now that I think about it, but we’ll discuss that later.

The Chicago-area band Sinister Fate came to us with their album BLOOD PACT. I didn’t listen to the album at first; I did a little research on the band and watched some videos. My first impression was far from what I normally get from horror bands. Their videos are very reminiscent of the 90s style Gwar videos. Ya know, handheld shaky camera, choppy editing, Tromaesque splatter effects. So I instantly fell in love with this style. I also was impressed that there are female participants in the band. Again, this is rare for a lot of other genres but in horror rock, it’s very normal.

What really sealed this band for me was the guitarist. This chick really wails on this thing. Her playing is absolutely amazing, from just riffs down to solos. She really takes it and shows what’s up with guitar playing.

The music begins and this is definitely horror rock. BLOOD PACT is just an EP-style, 6-track short album. However, it gives you what you need to know about this band. The album as a whole is executed beautifully. I can say that if you’re a fan of any horror business, then this is a band to definitely check out.
Sinister Fate - Blood Pact
Track by Track (not in order as they appear on the album):

  • The Monster Within: This track is like a solid break down style track, a lot of palm muting and kind of a slower pace. However, it gets the point across on what the song’s feel is all about. Lyrically very dark, and a nice look into the writer’s head, that guitar solo though…Just listen and enjoy this.
  • Trust/Obey: Another slower, heavier/slow paced track. Vocally reminiscent of older Frankenstein Drag Queens, lyrically super intense and “demanding”…yeah we’ll say demanding. Very catchy and fun.
  • Decay: Starts out very spooky sounding musically, almost like they’re going for an epic battle in a back alley. Not like “Beat It” style, but more like A Clockwork Orange vs. The Warriors type of battle. Then carries on in the same fashion, maybe my imagination just sees images too much I don’t know, but this is what I get from it.
  • Kill the Pain: I don’t care, I love this guitarist. This track is pretty straightforward, I listen to lyrics and wonder if there’s more of a personal meaning behind them or if someone is just trying to fit the genre. However, it sounds very personal and has the same feeling through the music.
  • Six Feet Under the Big Top: Oh circus style and creepy on the intro, then some crunchy heavy stuff happening. A very cool number that, tells a fun story of murder and mayhem
  • Sympathy from the Devil: A more upbeat almost poppy tone with this song, and catchy as all hell, If you’re going to listen to this band then listen to this song first.

Overall, BLOOD PACT is great to listen to, the band as a whole are all talented and know their stuff very well. About the album: It runs together from track to track a lot of them being so similar it’s hard to tell them apart musically and vocally. By this I mean, musically it’s the same arrangement, not the same notes and so forth but the same blueprint for each track. Vocally flows the same way, same influx like before a chorus and so forth notes carried out, blah blah musical mumbo jumbo. This works well for some bands, and if it works don’t fix it, is the common consensus. However, I can see a lot more coming from this band maybe some faster tunes and a bit of a change in arrangement from track to track. This would really send this band into outer space and put them up there in the horror world.

Sinister Fate - band

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Joe Becker-Monster

Joe Becker-Monster

Another artist of the underground world got with us and wanted us to hear what they have to offer. Remember in my last review I stated that the underground is home to me, so I love seeing new faces and hearing new and original works.

A fellow by the name of Joe Becker got with us here at House of Tortured Souls with an album Monster that he described as Death Rock. This is an honest description and I respect that, I’d call it something like mind fuckery rock…and here is why.

The album as a whole is well produced musically, not a lot of vocal singing, but plenty of vocal dialog and storytelling over an accompanying musical background like a narrative. Joe’s way of interpreting what he’s got going on is like listening to the thoughts of an asylum inmate’s thoughts or better yet, what this inmate did to get where he is.

Each track is like a tale of a different victim and how they either asked to be murdered or just how this absolute insane person took it upon themselves to give the victim a release from life. Going into this being told it was death rock. I was expecting something with a lot of synthesizer, deep Peter Steele style vocals and a lot of vampiric sex. However, I was surprised at what I did here. As I said, each track is slightly different from the next on the tales told within them.

A few pointers to note: where Mr. Becker does sing or attempt to do so, it was a bit off key from the music and that very well could have been the intent. If not the intent, then this did not work out as planned. I feel like this record is fine how it is with the narrative style of vocalizing the poetic, goth, yet murderous lyrics. However, if singing is something you want to achieve on a record..for anyone..find that note you’re on and match your voice to it. I am NO singing vocalist…I yell fast and violently. However, when I do make my attempts at singing I hit that first note on the guitar and find it in my voice before carrying on.

Overall this is a great album to listen to if you really want to fuck someone up…keep it low in the background while friends are over just to fuck with their heads a bit. They will hear music and be like, “okay, whatever”, then dude starts in on his vocal track and it will subliminally mess them up, probably cause a nightmare or three. Another option, any one of these tracks will be good to send as a single (oh..oh showing what time period I’m from, yo) to basically say “I hate you, and this will happen if you contact me again”.

I highly recommend listening to this record at least once even if just for curiosity. It’s not something I’d recommend for driving, jamming out to or if you’re suicidal or a sociopath. For fun and “horror on tape” kinda deal, then definitely have a go at it.

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment
Review: S.H.O.U.T. Set Your Drinks Down

Review: S.H.O.U.T. Set Your Drinks Down

I’ll start with this little history lesson in why I do music, and why it means a lot. My roots of music and the “scene” are deeply rooted in punk rock. I have listened to music from bands that were recorded in shitty garages on a Talkboy (throwback…woot), I’ve heard bands demos that were so grainy and poorly produced that you can barely make out the vocals and maybe half the instruments. BUT production quality never mattered to me on if the band was good or not. IF the band and their songs were good, it showed through all the shit they did to record. I respect the underground with more regard than I do the highly paid production bullshit because I am the underground; it’s where I’m from and what I call home. From garage handheld recording to studio- to self-recording on computer software, I have been through it all myself; I’ve heard it all and talent is talent no matter what the quality of the recording.

So what I have been chosen to take on the task of listening to anything and everything that comes through the Tortured Souls realm.

Sometimes we are asked in the multimedia, journalistic business to do things as part of our job. The thing about this line of business is that we are tasked with watching movies, reading books, listening to music that sometimes makes us rethink our position in the world. Sometimes it makes us wonder why we even tell people, “Yes, you can do the thing you’re doing!”. We receive many different things in our mailboxes ranging from music, Indie films, even art review requests. Not always is what we are presented with great and fun and amazing. So now I’m going to present to you an album that was sent to us here at House of Tortured Souls by a band called S.H.O.U.T. Now let me say up front, this band came to us, with a warning that we would be honest in our reviewing. They wanted to be reviewed, so they’re getting reviewed.

At first look of the people making this music, I thought to myself, “Why’s this guy look like Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. raped Nikki Sixx while wearing a Power Rangers villain costume?” Instantly I judged by the cover. Which we are taught not to do as children, I did though and I soon figured out that I was right in my judgment. The first track on this album was LOUD super loud and sounded like a karaoke mic with too much reverb. You ever watch the episode of The Venture Brothers where some alien comes from space, and the team has to find pieces of Jonas Venture’s lost machine to put together, just to kill this guy? Well, it sounded like the alien. With that said, I thought, “Intros are always a little weird. I’ve made some myself that made no sense so whatever.” Song 2 plays, and I’m hit with something less than to be desired. The production of it was very unclear, and that’s fine usually but this was like hitting record while the garbage disposal was broken and stuck in the ON position.

I don’t know how to describe this music other than if the Decepticons decided to fight giant cats instead of the Autobots. As they stepped on their tails the screaming from Megatron was so fierce all of the pots and pans in the world that are placed in cabinets with loose doors fall to the floor of every household was used for the drum line. The guitars almost felt like the speakers were punctured with Skeletor’s voice. I decided to skip ahead to the next track, and it was just as unattractive. Then I got to thinking, maybe this is a band that does this on purpose to get a rise out of people? Perhaps they’re the kind of band from a rural area where they are the only band at all in the vicinity and thus the Amish tell them they are awesome? I am truly unsure what they are about I can say for certain though. The example I was given was less than to be desired all across the board. People sometimes get their hands on some used gear, plug in and play without even learning how to tune an instrument. These are called 12-year-olds, so as adults I’m not sure what was happening here.

As an independent musician, I can offer this: The world is a cruel place, I have had bad reviews in my day, and soon John Roisland here with House of Tortured Souls will be reviewing my whole discography (I just volunteered him for that). I do not at all expect praise. I expect honesty and that’s what you get when you toss your album out there. So Take note S.H.O.U.T.: Practice Practice Practice. Take time to learn the trade instead of throwing on some Mercyful face makeup and strumming an untuned guitar thinking rock stardom is next. Maybe find a phone booth time machine, go into the future and take guitar lessons and come back to win the battle of the bands by playing a KISS cover of an Argent song. Or you can just learn yo’ mother fucking shit. I watched the videos and I listened to the album, I feel like this whole project is satirical in a way that isn’t funny at all. I’ve listened to terrible music… Fuck, I do listen to terrible music according to most people’s opinions. I even make terrible music to most. This though, I do not recommend it unless you’re using it as a lesson on what not to sound like. Now take note again, you may be reading this and thinking, “Damn Schock is a fucking cocksucker.” No..they asked for this and were warned on the honesty of the ordeal. So before you think I’m being harsh. Watch the following videos and see for yourself just what is going on here.

So with that, I bid you all a good evening and go ahead with your name calling and blah blah. Not everything is going to be a bomb ass review. Not every band that comes our way is going to be the next big thing. Music is Life… Don’t shit on life.

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
Slayer…The Grand Finale!

Slayer…The Grand Finale!

For the last 37 years, the music world has changed dramatically in many aspects and it can be said without a doubt that there is one band that has touched all of us in the world. As a music fan of every sort, I have studied the likes of Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Tommy James and the Shondells, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, Ramones, Sex Pistols and beyond. Music has always been important to me and something that keeps the world ticking. One band though that has changed the way we look at music in the metal, punk, and underground genres that everyone has pulled inspiration from is the almighty SLAYER.

Slayer Group

It was announced this morning that Slayer would be doing one last tour this year, which we announced earlier this month. With Anthrax, Testament, Behemoth and Lamb of God and then that is it for a band that for nearly 40 years has not only stayed true to their sound they have inspired many metal and punk acts across the world. Leaving a legacy that will be remembered throughout time.

Slayer Tour image

On May 2, 2013, original founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. Jeff Hanneman For a lot of us in the metal world, this was it for Slayer. However, they pressed on with Gary Holt of Exodus fame.Gary Holt He was a worthy — stand-in  we will never say replacement due to Jeff Hanneman’s signature style of playing it could not be matched. Slayer has gone, now this will be the 5th year with Holt on guitar, releasing Repentless on September 11, 2015, Slayer showed the world that they still have what it takes to be the best thrash metal band of all time. Also, past drummer and original founder of the band, Dave Lombardo has gone on to do so many different projects such as Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross and of course taking the throne for the Misfits on these past 4 performances. Slayer’s legacy is something more than just who’s in the band now but the musical genius of Dave Lombardo and his influence from being in Slayer and beyond.

Repentless Album Cover

Touring non-stop and hardly ever taking a break, this album will sadly be their last as well as this tour being the last for the band. We are sad, yes, but here’s something to remember: although we see them as gods and heroes, they are after all humans with families and lives outside of the limelight. So let us rejoice and celebrate with a band that has changed our lives, a band that has set the standard for how not to sell out your sound.

Say what you want about Slayer, and about thrash metal, but we cannot deny the influence and the impact overall that this band has had on the world of music from thrash to punk to hardcore to death metal to speed metal… and the list goes on. Slayer will not only go out this year with one of the best lineups of any tour. They will go out as legends, with music that will withstand the test of time. In 60 years, people will look back on music history and see that Slayer was a force to be reckoned with. All of the fans, the bands they’ve influenced, and believe this or not..the lives they’ve saved. Yes, I said it. Slayer saves lives. We will miss the live performance and any future records. However, it’s all for the best, and that’s what matters here.

From all of us here at House of Tortured Souls, Slayer we will be seeing you on this final tour and bid you all the best for the remainder of your lives for you and your families.

Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, OBITUARY, 0 comments
Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

The band Body Count, fronted by rapper and actor Ice-T, is a band that flies under the radar most of the time in the metal scene. I mean we always knew about the existence of this amazing band; however, we don’t hear much from them year after year like some metal bands. So when they do drop a record, it’s something to put on constant rotation.

The new album BloodLust, like the previous five albums they’ve released since 1992 hits HARD. Something that I’m sure when they came out people were confused “Ice T? Metal?” Pffffft, he took it and he owned it. I honestly put Body Count up there on a pedestal with many bands in metal and hardcore. Their message, their talent, and their image is what influences the people of the world to think and look at the actions of the government, ourselves, the world in general. The respect Body Count deserves in music needs to raise up, and this album will show you why.

Body Count - BloodLust / Image: Fair use doctrine.

Here’s a track by track view:

  • “Civil War”: Not only does it come out political from the get-go, the message in the song gives you a feeling that the current state of the country is real. The shit seen by blacks, whites, Latinos, by everyone in the world is real and here’s the response Body Count is speaking for US.
  • “The Ski Mask Way”: A nice little number, rhythmic, and keeps your head moving. Also shows that Ice T is true to where he came from. He may be a cop on tv but my dude is still more gangsta than anyone on the market today claiming they’re street.
  • “This Way We Ride”: Body Count, as I mentioned, gives us a view into street life, into the reality of the world that’s out there. This song does just that. The lyrical content and perfect flow of a rap style vocal pattern over the extreme talent of the band gives us a look into what’s out there. A harsh reality in song, that even in the short time it plays, if you just listen it’s like watching a 2-hour movie of the streets. This is a deep fucking song.*
  • “All Love is Lost” (with Max from SoulFly/Sepultura): Boy..let’s just say this is a heavy damn song. Get fucked over, you’re dropped. Period.
  • “Raining Blood/Postmortem”: Yep, these mother fuckers cover the almighty Slayer on this piece. There’s a little backstory at the beginning of the song on Body Count and how they got their sound. Slayer was a big part of that. This really took me by surprise and I must say I loved every second of this.
  • “God, Please Believe Me”: The guitar line….that’s all I’m gonna say. Sets the tone for the lyrics that are deep on a personal level for Ice-T, I’m sure. At only 1:25 seconds long, it’s one where the words touch you and make you look at things a little differently.
  • “Walk With Me” (with Randy from Lamb of God): You know this mother fucker is heavy with Randy on guest vocals. Just listen and let it fill you with fear.
  • “Here I Go Again”: No it is not a White Snake Cover..I was sad too. BC shows us what metal is all about with this song. A bloody image instantly crawls in your mind with a CLASSIC horrorcore vibe lyrically. Metal music behind the super dark lyrics. This is horror.
  • “No lives Matter”: A response to all the “lives matter” issues opening of the song explains what it’s all about. How everyone who says “All lives matter” really doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. Just listen, and you’ll understand.
  • “BloodLust”: A little history lesson in what’s wrong with the human race. We love murder apparently, vengeance, etc. This is a damn fine song and I love how they give it straight about who we are as people. Everyone wants to point to this or that as the issue. It’s all of us, it’s in us we are the problem.
  • “Black Hoodie”: We all remember the several stories of police officers shooting kids just rollin’ down the street just had a hoodie on, had his hood up. The police shoot without just cause, and then it became a trend. Body Count gives it to us, on what the issue is.
SIDE NOTE:
There’s racism all over the place, and I know there’re people out there in the metal world giving grief for a band like this. Let me say this: even the haters can learn from BLOODLUST, learn what other people outside of their race go through. IF it’s the music that speaks to you, then let this album speak to you. Let this album show you what’s out there that you may not be dealing with. Ice-T said once on stage:
You ain’t gonna make niggas listen, nobody listen, singin’ about how much money you got, singin’ about shakin’ yo ass. That’s bullshit. Hey, you do an album. Okay, one song, I’m rich. Now you got nine fucking songs to talk about some real shit. Music, fuck music, just leaders. Sisters. I’m talking about young white girls, young white boys, black… I don’t give a fuck. Open your motherfucking mouth and say something, man.

This whole album is a look into a life that a lot of us do not live, and really eye opening on a lyrical level. Musically, Body Count delivers something that metal music lost a long time ago. I’m really glad to see that this style and this sound is still in the veins of these guys. BloodLust is an amazing album, and I suggest it to everyone into music to buy this record and listen to every millisecond of it.

Body Count Official

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora (2017)

If you have never listened to Darkest Hour, I would recommend grabbing this record, checking it out, and seeing what all the fuss is.

I saw these guys a few years ago live in Indianapolis, IN, at the Emerson Theater if memory serves correctly. I believe Himsa and Acacia Strain were the other bands with them, and that was one hell of a show. That was my introduction to Darkest Hour – a live performance, you know the old-fashioned way of finding new music. For that time period, something like that was a welcome style. When the whole melodic metal thing was breaking out, these guys put a new twist on it though they weren’t whining with their vocals. They come out screaming ready to kick ass and this new album is no different from that moment. Sure, they’ve progressed musically, but the style never changed, and they’ve stayed true to the first second I heard them.

A lot can be said about Darkest Hour. This band is just all out heavy, heavy, heavy, fast, and to-the-point Metal. With their classic thrash style guitar solos and blast beat drums, you would think it was a band from the mid-80s or early 90s. This force-to-be-reckoned-with of a band brings us their ninth studio album: “Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora”.

This album has really shown what kind of skill Darkest Hour has in the music business. In a time when metal music isn’t particularly all the rage anymore and things seem to be slowing down in the music world (and, to be honest, I thought metal had been docile for too long), it’s good to see a band still out there keeping true to their roots.

This album starts out with a song called “Knife in the Safe Room”, and as it comes at you as just a blast of metal madness. You cannot beat that. Then we slide right into “This Is the Truth” with a smooth transition. Straight up..this album is the truth. The melodic metal sound that they bring is mostly in the music. There’s none of that clean vocal, housewife metal style; it’s all hard and growly and heavy, so when you listen to the harmonizing guitars and expect some cleanliness, you will be surprised to hear that there is none of that happening. Starting extra hard, and not slowing down till the end when there are a couple slower numbers, Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora is a damn fine record that definitely needs to be a part of your collection pronto!

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step

Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step

The long awaited Argyle Goolsby album “Darken Your Door Step” Record hits the streets and we are all welcomed by something hard hitting and very much not what I personally expected.
I’ve known Mr. Goolsby for many years of my life, like 16 years to be exact, and always admired his ability to transition between genres. Since the disbanding of Blitzkid, a celebrated band in the scene that really paved way for the hardworking horror punk scene it’s plain to see that Gools hasn’t lost his mastery. This is a very versatile musician and he truly knows his way around any genre from 50’s croon style to thrash metal, and heavy hitting punk rock. His name is a staple in the horror punk community. The release of this album was a showcase to what he is actually capable of.

What I expected honestly was something more digital/synthesized and maybe almost slower and on the death rock side. Not sure why, but that’s what I expected and not at all what I was handed with this record. However what I did expect were songs about movies. Of which is a common thing in the horror punk genre, it’s rare if there is ever a song that isn’t titled or reference to a horror movie somewhere in it.

The opening is a bit confusing, but what intro isn’t? A number called “Midnight Approaches”. Then we get into “The Uninvited” right from the get go it’s heavy, fast and makes you start bobbin’ your head, and you know you want to fist pump in a live environment, odds are you’re doing it while cruisin’ in your car. Slide this right into “Ghost Light Waltz” another banger, that is straight to the point and punk as it gets. Listening to the lyrics, you can automatically tell what movie it’s about (Carnival of Souls). I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just predictable in most of the horror punk world.

I won’t do a track by track analysis you can do that yourself. It’s a pretty solid record, with a lot of catchy songs and they all go together so well that I listened to it 3x in a row and didn’t even realize it. Some say that’s bad, some say that’s good. I personally enjoy an album that can go and go and go. Because you know it’s decent album and the catchy demeanor of it keeps you there no matter how many times you listen to it consecutively. With all this said, check out the record it’s well worth it, and Goolsby showed that he is unstoppable and will carry on his own musical endeavors from the ashes of Blitzkid and keep doing what he’s doing. No matter what though it cannot be denied that this is a solid horror punk record.

Argyle Goolsby official site
Argyle Goolsby-Darken Your Door Step Full Album

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Dead Cross – Dead Cross

MUSIC REVIEW: Dead Cross – Dead Cross

Dead-Cross-Dead-Cross_Cover / Photo Courtesy of Kings Road Merch.Every so often a band is formed of forces that are too powerful for real words. Dead Cross is one of these bands. Made up of Mike Patton; Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Faith No More and like 400 other projects. Paired with Dave Lombardo; Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Grip Inc, Fantomas and like 400 other bands. Now add these two super powered, talented musicians with two more brilliant musicians Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Head Wound City and more) and Michael Crain you have Dead Cross. A damn fine mixture of metal, weirdness, punk and whatever else they wish to call this project.




With the release of the self-titled album Dead Cross brings us a hard hitting thrashy, power house. With guitars that are just as thrashy as anything from the mid 80s, and of course the god father of double bass on drums, makes it all the more thrashy. Vocally and lyrically Dead Cross is another positive force with Mike Patton, the almighty vocalist of many levels and range. If you’ve listened to his bands Fantomas or Tomahawk then you’ll understand what’s going on here. Eccentric is the best word to describe what’s happening with Mr. Patton’s style. It fits, it works and Dead Cross has proven to be one of the best projects that has come out in a long time of this kind of combination of musicians.

Song by song flow right into one another as if it’s just “Ok guys we have a 25 minute set. Make this work.” Flawless transitioning from track to track, the self-titled album is something that I urge every metal and punk fan to listen to. There’s no influence here on what could be compared to if anything. It’s a standalone record that needs its own category honestly and that my friends is something that has been lost in the music world for a very long time.

  • Seizure Desist – The opening track to the album is the perfect introduction to the band and what this album has to offer you, from start to finish.
  • Idiopathic – A thrashy number throwback to the classic styling of the early days of thrash metal. Mike Patton shows a lot, not all but a lot of his vocal range on this track. Weird as usual that’s how he rolls.
  • Obedience School –Thrashy, yet harmonizing. You really hear that Lombardo style on this bad boy. Powerful and demonizing guitar styling that is to admired heavily.
  • Shillelagh – CIRCLE PIT!!
  • Bela Lugosi’s Dead – A slower number, very goth and dark as you would expect with such a title. I did not expect this honestly, and it’s great! Again though, showcasing the range and talent that each member brings to the table for Dead Cross.
  • Divine Filth – If Mike Patton sang for Slayer. Man, can you imagine? I love Slayer but let’s be honest Mike Patton would have made something a lot different there. This song is downright amazing.
  • Grave Slave – An evil number. Solidly strange and lyrically marvelous!
  • The Future Has Been Cancelled – More of the that Crossover style, circle pit music. Getchya’ Doc Martens on and get down to business. But then stop for some weirdness that makes no sense at all.
  • Gag Reflex: – A vocal heavy track, slower than all others on this record again though showing what Mike Patton is made of.
  • Church of the Mother Fuckers – The final track on the record. Starts out like some apocalyptic metal break down song, then ends just the same. Honestly the perfect ending to such a beast of a record.

Over all if you’re going to listen to something that is fast and full of energy then this record is for you. If given the chance to see Dead Cross live, I have zero doubt in my mind that it will be everything there needs to be in a live performance. I’d say you need to really get your pit shoes ready because this throwback to the way things used to be has brought back a sound that has been long forgotten to everyone in the rock and metal world washing away true talent with style. Dead Cross stay true to the roots of heavy music, and produced a record that to me sits right next to the classics as one of the best albums to ever hit the scene. Doing things in DIY fashion, Dead Cross is on bandcamp.com. See the link below, purchase this record and enjoy every millisecond of it. You will not be disappointed.

Dead Cross on Bandcamp.com

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

CONCERT REVIEW: GHOUL/GWAR RAMS HEAD LIVE 10/26/17

GWAR has been one of my favorite bands for the past 30 years now. Known for playing on or around Halloween in Baltimore I took every opportunity to grab some passes to see them now that I’m back in Maryland after many years of being gone from the area. Rams Head Live in Baltimore was the venue on this Thursday night. A good sized club always brings in big acts and is a pretty cool venue with pretty much not a bad seat( all general admission) in the place. GWAR is one band that to see live is one that I would HAVE to cover for a story. My wife Steff had never seen GWAR before, that alone was almost reason enough to go.

By the time we got there GHOUL was just about to go on stage. GHOUL is a fun mix of GWAR, MENTORS, MISFITS with a touch of MOTORHEAD! Keeping in touch with the Halloween spirit with a horror punk sound. I don’t think Gwar could have found a better band to hit the road with. Both lyrically and their stage presence oozes horror. As for starters, if your not familiar with GHOUL, they all wear burlap sack, masks with bloody mouths, have stage actors that they behead and spray blood out on to the crowd and sing of death and graveyards while they have the look of just committed a nasty home invasion. GHOUL ARE  FUCKING AWESOME!! What a great live act and a great bunch of guys as I was fortunate enough to have run into a few of them after the show.

                                           

Finally,…after a bit of a wait from what seemed to have been some technical issues, GWAR makes their way to the stage. By this time the crowd had started to fill up, sadly it wasn’t to overly packed, but then again it was a Thursday ….and the general age of the crowd…well, we aren’t as young as we once were. GWAR come out on stage and its always something new, every tour. The stage show is creative, overwhelming at times, oh..and bloody violent. Kind of makes you feel like your mixing a Lloyd Kaufman film to shock rock extreme music, in one live nightmare!

This was my first time having seen GWAR since the passing of the late great ODERUS URUNGUS, it was hard waiting to hear some of the old classics, and yet only one was done, Black and Huge. It was actually kind of nice that the band left it alone. Regardless, the stage show over the top as always, and for the club only charging $20.00 tickets, makes you wonder how these guys are making a penny because they really do put a lot into it!

Of course, they always touch on a few big media items such as government and religion, that the boys are always more than welcome to slay and befoul on stage and spray gallons of blood and other bodily fluids on to the audience. From a decapitated priest to Blothar ejaculating on the crowd, it was a wet floor, to say the least!

   

 

It was the same day as the show that the heart-wrenching news surfaced about guitarist Michael Derks, best known to the world as Balsac the Jaws of Death. I had noticed from the get go that he wasn’t on stage. So, just kind of assumed that with the recent medical news that maybe he had decided to take the rest of the tour off…I was wrong. It must have been the third song that Balsac made his stage presence, and what a crowd response he was given, and seemed as if he really played his heart out that night.

                                                      
GWAR played for over an hour and a half. For these aging gentlemen, those costumes, props, lighting, stage theatrics and pure energy, I’ve got to give them credit cause most of the people in the crowd were winded. The last song came around, and how suiting, it was a cover of AC/DC’s If You Want Blood. Not only did they do a great job of the song, they also did a great job of making a complete mess of the venue and everyone that was in it! If you were one of the fortunate ones who hadn’t got spewed or gutted on, you were about to! I honestly don’t think there was a dry place in the club by the end of the song.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife had never seen GWAR before. When they came on stage she and I got split up, I went up to the stage to take photo’s and she went front and center stage in the crowd with old friend of mine who catches them every time they roll into town with his daughter no less. So the band exited the stage, house lights came on, ..and they were, the three of them, all blue and red and I do mean from head to toe soaked in stage spray! The smile on my wife’s face was priceless, she had been GWAR’d!!

GHOUL and GWAR thank you both for the passes and thank you both for such a great show, you guys are the goods!!

Visit Gwar on their website and see all the great things you’ve been missing: Gwar-Official Site of the Gods also check out the almighty and amazing GHOUL on their official site..I’m telling you this band is something to look out for. Ghoul-Official site!

                                                                    
Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

These dudes really know how to bring forth a record that is HARDCORE! Extremely influenced by black metal, hardcore, punk rock, and pretty much everything bloody all the while being a straight edge band, these guys fucking hit it hard!
With an ominous intro dark and divine as you'd expect from any horror based band, it lays precedence to the album ahead. With an obvious metal and horror influence, they let it shine through. Some of the mixing with the gang vocals could have been mixed and maybe reverbed out to sound like there were 5,000,000 people instead of five, but whatever to that. It doesn't take away from the fact they get what they want to say out there and as hard and heavy as can be.
Track by track it kicks you in the face with the hardcore sound. "What's Your Favorite Scary Movie" is probably hands down my favorite song on the record. The punk rock vibe is definitely what I'm used to and what I listen to on a regular basis with the upbeat "skanking" style that you can easily dance to, or stand there like an emo and just bob your head while looking at your shoes. No matter what your secular division of life or who you are, it will get you moving. Then "Still Following" comes on, and it's the same ordeal — fast hard and punk rock...except with a break down that's heavy and catchy all at the same time. You can't beat this style of music they're going on with. The mixture of metal, punk, and hardcore is just fantastic with a perfect combination of all that gives you something for all walks of the underground world. Want them to play a punk show? No problem. Hardcore? Easy. Metal? For sure. They can achieve all and perform to every crowd with ease.
Like all horror punk or horror-influenced bands, song titles and references are there for the songs either in title or lyrics. The true sound of their influences shines through everything from AFI and Misfits to Leviathan, Slayer, Mayhem and even more punk style. It's clear that JXV knows what they want, and their sound all over the spectrum conveys what's what with this band. Working closely with Rikk and Cal of JxV on a few projects artistically and accompanying them on some comps put out by Optimist/Pessimist records which is run by Rikk, I can say they're amazing cats all around. Being a fellow straight edge myself, it's awesome to have a family like this in the horror world. The first time I saw their title "Horror Edge", I knew these guys were either going to be cock suckers and not worth befriending or they're going to be brothers. Lucky for me, the latter was the case. I highly recommend that you listen to Jason X Voorhees and support them in every way. Even if you're not into straight edge life, if you're a music fan, metal head, hardcore, punk...what the fuck ever. This band is for you.
JxV on Optimist/Pessimist Records - Bandcamp
Posted by Schock in HALLOWEEN, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

I’m going to run through five albums to put you in the Halloween spirit. We all love music, and we all have stuff we are used to. I’m always on the hunt for something new and fresh, so let me help you out this Halloween season. You cannot go wrong with my Top 5 Albums That Scream HALLOWEEN when listened to any time of the year.

Misfits — Collection 2: This one in particular because A) It’s got the song “Halloween” on the album. It’s the original incarnation of the Misfits and a staple in any horror fans collection.Misfits_-_Collection_II_cover / Fair use doctrine.

Mister Monster — Over Your Dead Body: This album is so fucking good. The whole vibe of the record gives you a cold chill and makes you want to just sit by a campfire to warm up while crooning your way into your partner’s pants.Mister Monster-Over Your Dead Body / Fair use doctrine.
AFI — All Hallow’s EP and Black Sails in the Sunset EP: There was a time when AFI was absolutely amazing and these two albums... (I’m using two here because there are only 4 tracks on the All Hallow’s EP.) These two albums set a nice relaxed vibe that always, for some reason, get me thinking about walking around, kicking leaves, and enjoying the cool air. The song “Fall Children” on All Hallow’s EP is, by far, my favorite Halloween song ever written.AFI-AllHallow's and Black Sails / Fair use doctrine.
Silent Horror — Self Titled: This is a record that is from start to finish spooky and fun and screams horror and Halloween all the way through. I put this next to Mister Monster’s OYDB as one of the best horror punk records ever.Silent Horror - Self Titled / Fair use doctrine.
The Spook — Some Like It Dead: A band from the land of Germany. The Spook is another horror punk band that not only needs to be listened to, also needs to be understood. This album gives you the feeling of horror and Halloween – from the super scary factor right down to the whimsy and fun of Halloween. The Spook delivers this on this record.The Spook-Some Like It Dead / Fair use doctrine.
So there you have it the Schock TOP 5 Albums to put you in the mood for Halloween. Find them, listen and enjoy.
Posted by Schock in HALLOWEEN, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

MEMORIAL: Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie was born August 30, 1963, and passed away on March 23, 2014. We knew him best as Oderus Urungus, lead vocalist of the shock rock extreme metal band Gwar, but he also assumed the role of vocalist and bass player in bands such as X-Cops and Dave Brockie Experience (DBX).
Dave Brockie/Oderus UrungusDave Brockie left a legacy that took Shock Rock and turned into something of a spectacle. In the beginning of the conception of Gwar, the band saw a lot of flack from the music. Bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath had long embraced their dark sides and employed theatrics in stage performances. Gwar, though, took it to a level that defied all that had been seen before. Gwar literally redefined the concept of theatrical musical performances designed to shock and entertain people. Remaining as the only original member of Gwar before his passing, this legacy truly brought fans something to anticipate and admire whenever the name Gwar was uttered.
Personally, I have seen Gwar 13 times in my life, and I’ll see them every time they come around. During Dave Brockie’s time on earth and as Oderus Urungus, he seriously was the best front man of any band I have ever seen live - and believe me I have seen a LOT of bands in my time. He had a charisma that immediately inspired the crowd to go wild. Not only could he actually sing and had an amazing voice, his on stage antics brought weren’t just for the audience’s amusement. Gwar and Brockieincluded fans in the show, and the fans loved it. From the decapitation of presidential figures and celebrities to jerking his cuttle fish and covering, no…layering the audience in blood, bile, and whatever else they come up with, Gwar always left the audience satisfied. This, partnered with the giant earthworm that ate an audience member (and who knows what happened after that), guaranteed a truly memorable show.
A Gwar show was purely amazing on multiple levels, but when I reflect on all the times I have seen Gwar, I realize the extent to which Oderus fueled that. Gwar, both as a whole and as individual artists, are extremely talented, and original Beefcake, Michael Bishop, ultimately assumed the role of the lead vocalist as Blothar – knowing full well that he had some big shoes to fill after Brockie’s untimely death. Having seen Gwar with Blothar on lead vocals three times now, I can say with confidence that they are still Gwar and are making Dave/Oderusproud. Speaking of which, they have a new album coming out soon titled The Blood of the Gods set for release later this year. House of Tortured Souls will, of course, be reviewing it, so don’t forget to check back for that.
Dave Brockie Experience - Diarrhea of a MadmanBack to Dave Brockie. I also recall getting the opportunity to see DBX live many (many many MANY) years ago at some hole in Muncie, Indiana. Being low key like that, without the entire hullabaloo of Gwar, was a real treat. It was just Dave Brockie and the rest of his band in action - the stripped down, punk rock, roots style. It was an honor just to be in the audience - the jokes didn’t stop, the talent was immense, and the showmanship was godlike. Dave Brockie was not only immensely talented, the best showman in all of rock n’ roll, and a lyrical genius, he was also a genuinely nice guy to everyone he met. I had the opportunity to shake his hand during this DBX performance, and that was better than meeting any other famous person. His friends loved him with a love that could move mountains, which can be seen if you watch the Gwar-B-Q following his death. Just watching through the computer touched my heart with some super strength as the love for Davewas evident and overwhelming. We can say that he was not only loved and cherished, but he was also idolized for his music, his art, and himself as a human - and as an alien overlord who brutally murdered the Republican party and the douche bags that plague this world.
Today, we here at House of Tortured Souls celebrate the day that Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus was gifted to the world. We encourage you to pop in a Gwar, DBX, or X-Copsalbum and bask in the beauty that was Dave Brockie’s amazing talent. His legacy and creativity will never die as long Gwar keeps going, as long as we not only support the underground music scene that Dave Brockie held close to his heart, and as long as we keep the horror alive! Dave/Oderus, we in the underground love you, brother. You inspired us all to be creative and to push boundaries in what we do. I can honestly say that without you here, life is not the same. We miss you, we will always miss you, but you are still alive in our hearts.
If you wish to follow Gwar, buy merchandise, or see them on tour and whatever else going on in the world of the Scumdogs of the Universe, visit GWAR ONLINE.
Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, TRIBUTE, 1 comment
CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

SLAYER...SLAYER...SLAYER...SLAYER...

Slayer 01 / Image: John RoislandDid I mention SLAYER? Anyone who has ever seen the band live knows this chant oh so well! Many, many months ago, I was fortunate enough to have interviewed BJ McDonnell on a House of Tortured Souls Live podcast. McDonnell, aside being a great guy, was also the director of Hatchet 3 and most recently helmed the Slayer trilogy of music videos, which are combined make a short story and are INCREDIBLE! Well, after the interview, I had mentioned that I wanted to try to interview Slayer for the website, and after a little pushing, he gave me a few names to try. So try and try I did - for months on end. At last, word of Slayer touring surfaced. Long story short, from one name to another name, from one email to a different phone number, I landed my first photo pass for Behemoth, Lamb of God, and FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!! The days couldn't pass quickly enough!!
Friday, July 28, 2017, was the day of the show. Fortunately, I had a pretty decent day at work, so getting out on time was going to be no problem. All I would have to do is get home, get dressed, and head into downtown Baltimore. Just one small problem: FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS! The entire tri-state area got hit with downpours all day. Their promoter kept in touch with me all day, assuring me the show would continue. Guess I should have mentioned, the show was being held at a pavilion on the inner harbor, so weather could have had a huge impact on the show.
So after getting into downtown and saying FUCK YOU to the pavilion parking ($50.00! Ha!), I parked two blocks away in Little Italy (for $3.00). I then walked my ass through the now heavy mist of rain, got to will call, and there it was - my beautiful pass. I had seen Slayer many times growing up, but it was this show, at this moment, that my knees actually shook for a second.
Slayer 02 / Image: John RoislandBy the time I got in, Behemoth had already finished their set, so I pulled out my camera and lined up in between the stage and the barrier that surrounds the stage. Lamb of God came on and put on one HELL of a show!! I’ve always enjoyed them, but truth be known, I wasn't really familiar with a lot of their work. The show they put on made a fan out of me! With photo passes, you’re allowed in a designated area for the first three songs, then out you go so the front row people can enjoy the show without folks in the way.Slayer 03 - Lamb of God / Image: John Roisland
About an hour later, Lamb of God was off the stage, and Slayer’s crew was setting up. The rain stopped, the darkness took over, a cool breeze whipped through the pavilion, and you could hear the chant - ”Slayer! Slayer! SLAYER! SLAYER!!” The other cameramen and myself all lined up to get into our photo op area. The house lights went out, the roar of the crowd grew louder, and the spotlights projected pentagrams on the ceiling. At last - SLAYER had taken the stage.
The entire time I was in the photo area, I had this smile plastered on my face that couldn't have been beaten off my face with a baseball bat. There I was, standing in between Tom Araya and Kerry Fucking King, snapping pictures like a crazed tourist eager to document every moment! I was there...at the stage...closer than anyone else. The music blared, yet I heard nothing. As I mentioned, this was my first opportunity in a photo pass situation, and it was surreal. I’ve been up to - and even on - many stages for many bands through the years, but this was different. Only a few were allowed to go beyond the barrier, and I got the chance to be one of them.
After our songs were over and it was time for me to head out, I did stop and manage to take a selfie of me and Tom Araya as he was singing. I had to! I walked out and stood outside of the crowd on side stage and watched the show, walking around in awe of what I had just achieved - not only for House of Tortured Souls, but also for myself.Slayer 04 / Image: John Roisland
Slayer fucking killed it...as always. The light show was incredible, the sound was awesome, and the line up they played...well, you name it and they slayed it - from new to old. Man I couldn't have been happier. The crowd sang along to all the happy little ditties about God, Satan, war, hatred, violence, and death. I watched over the crowd and saw heads banging, arms flying, and not a single ass in a seat. As I said before, I’ve seen Slayer many times over the years. I am a HUGE fan! Years back, I would have been down in the pit, crowd surfing, or you name it. This time I was glad to have my camera with me and had the chance to watch them for who they are. I was not let down at all.
In between songs as I watched alongside the stage, the crowd screamed, but the band just stood still. Then Tom walked to the mic, hands crossed over his bass, and waited for silence. Watching him stand there, it wasn't a look of arrogance he wore but one of power. And everyone got quiet. It’s hard to explain the powerful presence the band has, but it’s truly amazing to see up close.Slayer 05 / Image: John Roisland
For over 30 years, Slayer has remained true to who they are, and it’s safe to say they ain't never gonna change! Say what you will about other metal bands – bands who may have just tour, but Slayer still reigns. Indeed, they are still the best heavy metal band of all time.Slayer 06 / Image: John Roisland
Will I continue to go see Slayer if they come back around on another tour you ask...YOU BET YOUR ASS!!
Keep it Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE: Misfits: More Shows Possible

EXCLUSIVE: Misfits: More Shows Possible

header-misfit / Fair use doctrine.Here's a quickie for the world of Horror Punk, Punk and Metal. I have been seeing around the nets that Mr. Glenn Danzig himself is not ruling out the idea of some more Misfits shows in the future. With a new Danzig album out that's very reminiscent of DANZIG II: Lucifige, he's kinda got a fifteenth wind and really giving off a vibe like he's ready for some more action. Not a whole lot mind you; no tours for Danzig or the Misfits. Play the show, fly back home kind of deal. So what does this entail exactly? Well, in his words to Rolling Stone magazine:
"I'm open to possibly doing some more shows. I don't want to tour, but if it happens and everything lines up properly, I would imagine there'd probably be a couple more shows. I don't know when, but I'll keep an open mind."
To follow this, you could almost feel him smile when he looked back on the old days of punk rock. Being not only a music fan, but musician it was very easy to relate to these comments. Not only on what he said about punk rock, but the music of today.
"No, we've all been doing this for a long time. It's really funny. I remember when punk bands first started, you couldn't get anybody to be in a punk band because they hated it. There was the whole thing that punk musicians couldn't play. And I listen to stuff we do, and I listen to this crap that's out now, and it's like, they can't even play their instruments. They just go up there and pretend, like, Milli Vanilli–style, and they get paid. Wait ... Milli Vanilli got kicked out of the music industry for doing this, and there's even metal bands doing it. But bands go up onstage and it's all on tape. They're not even performing. If I paid money to go to a concert, and the band was up there puppet-showing it, I would be so fucking pissed off. So anyway, there's my comment on that."
So although he's willing, it won't be a tour so create some sort of savings plan now, and possibly take out a second and/or 3rd mortgage. Travel will be imminent and if it's a festival of some sort $$$$$$$ will be needed. After seeing the reunion last September in Chicago I can say it was worth EVERY GOD DAMN PENNY! If any of this reigns true, you'll want to see this I swear to Vincent Price you will not want to miss such a spectacle.
More to come on this as we get it. Keep your ears to the streets, because in the underground we have all the best bands.
Keep it creepy!
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

MUSIC REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

We all know and love Mr. Glenn Danzig, the man behind the almighty Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. What most suspected and read in past interviews is that he was heavily influenced by the likes of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. I mean, he’s like the evil version of both that’s wrapped into a ball of energy that, honestly, after seeing him live a couple of times, I think cannot be matched by a lot of people in his age bracket. So he brings us now Danzig Skeletons.
For many years we all waited for an album to come out in which Danzig would cover some of heaviest influences. Finally, as of 2015 he did, and it’s a glorious record. Listening to Glenn speak in interviews and with the unexpected reunion of the Misfits 2 Riotfest gigs, you can see he’s really getting nostalgic and so an album like this is pretty cool to have on his resume, paying homage to some things and introducing fans of his to music they may not have heard prior. A couple of tracks from some B film biker flicks really threw me off, but when you listen to the original versions, it makes sense as to why he would throw his particular style into it.
Danzig - Skeletons / Fair use doctrine.
So let’s get down to business:
Devil’s AngelsThis was taken from the theme song of an old biker movie. Straight up I had hopes that maybe he would revisit the O.G. punk rock sound of The Misfits with some of this, and this one did it. A very well done number with some throw back punk rock that made us all fall in love with Mr. Danzig.
SatanAnother number that has that old time biker film jive to it. I had never heard of this, so I researched the original and found it to be mega slow, and, I don’t know, I always thought bikers were supposed to be hard and mean, and this didn’t do it for me. However, good ol’ Glenn really threw in some of that bluesy metal vibe and smashed it. Definitely made it more convincing to the reader.
Let Yourself GoAn Elvis number that isn’t very well known unless you’re a die hard fan and not just a fair weather Presley fan. Really, there’s no difference. Danzig nailed this one PERFECTLY.
N.I.B.By far my favorite Black Sabbath song, and I’ve heard many people cover this one and even considered covering it myself. I can’t say it’s my favorite version, but it’s definitely in the top 3. It’s slowed down a bit, and Danzig puts his own spin on it, of course, and really turned it into a Danzig song. If you hadn’t known Sabbath was the original artist, you’d think it was a Danzig tune for sure.
Lord of the ThighsAerosmith... uh, yeah, you read that correctly. An older Aerosmith number that was great originally, and then Glenn gets a hold of it and adds that metal flair and really gave it some justice. I’m sure anyone who knows the original and then hears this will absolutely love it. Putting that Danzig twist to it really makes a difference in the song’s dynamic.
Action WomanAnother song I had never heard prior to this, originally recorded by some band called The Litter. I felt, after listening to the original, that if Danzig wasn’t in the punk scene, this would have been his band. No doubt about it, he took this song and again made it a tune of his own with the carried out notes and guitar squeals. It has Danzig 1 all over it.
Rough BoyWhat’s funny about this whole record is there are songs by bands that you’re not going to expect. This one is brought to us by ZZ Top. I was not expecting to hear this; again, though, it’s very well done and perfectly arranged, really paying great homage to the original. I don’t care for ZZ Top, but to see what’s up, I listened to it and found it a good representation.
With a Girl Like YouDanzig frequently can be incoherent in his lyrical projection. When I listened to this one, I thought that’s what was going on here, but nope, the original has the same vibe. I’m not so stoked about this one as the others, the distorted bass really throws off the vibe of the song and kind of gets annoying after 45 seconds.
Find SomebodyThis is another tune that sounds as if they were dying down towards the end of writing. Not very well arranged and sounds as if the whole band may be falling asleep. I’ve heard this one in original form a few dozen times, and it doesn’t really pay homage as well as they could have.
Crying in the RainOriginally recorded by The Everly Brothers, it was an amazing song then, and the way Danzig recorded it is fantastic. Light instruments and some echoed out vocals. It’s a fantastic way to end this album.
Overall, Danzig did a fantastic job with this record. A few songs could have been represented better, but who am I to say? They stayed true to a bluesy but metal style and picked songs that represented the Danzig sound.
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Darkness Visible – Australian Horror Rock

MUSIC REVIEW: Darkness Visible – Australian Horror Rock

Every once in a while I’ll stumble upon a band that differs from what’s out there in the midst of the horror rock community. Darkness Visible a band from Australia is really one of those bands that has shown they are far different from the rest of the horror rock bands that are circulating.
With a visually appealing musical act, the artistry is very well done, like a tamer version of Genitortures. Less sex than the Gen’s of course. Definitely a band that would be a lot of fun to see live. The musical aspect of Darkness Visible is eclectic as it is not just one set genre. They kind of jump all over the place as far as style goes and that’s not a bad thing. Simple people, want simple music: “If it’s not this one genre, I don’t want it”. So if you’re a simpleton don’t bother listening to Darkness Visible. I say that with the utmost respect because one minute it’s a slow death rock style song, and then you’re taken into a world of pianos and almost jazzy, swing-style forte, which I absolutely love.
The female vocals are KILLER on every song she sings on. If this were my band, I’d stick her on vocals and never touch a mic again. In the Horror Rock world, females always shine through, and this is no different.
With a new video out for “The Truth Hurts” set in a silent film kind of style, very unique and well put together. Musically it’s like if a Danzig meets Alice Cooper vibe. This particular song features male vocals. The darkness, and artistry really shows through on this video.
Let’s not stop there, I can’t seem to find any music online other than videos, and that’s really a good thing because the visual aspect of this band is pleasing to the eyes. The song “Flesh” and the video for it is quite the visual horror freak show. If you’re going to listen to a band with a different sound and different way of doing things, this is the band to check out. You can do so by visiting their Facebook page where you can find their videos and more information about them.
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Stay tuned for more and, as always, keep it creepy! -Schock
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

  • 1. ...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum
  • 2. Inward Skeleton
  • 3. Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid
  • 4. Dead Girls Don't Say No
  • 5. Night of the Sharksquatch
Sometime in the latter half of 2015, I was first introduced to the Martian rock monsters Ratbatspider. Hailing from the angry red planet but currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this horror punk outfit blends the obvious standard scene influences of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, etc., with a heavier, more metal-influenced style that’s rare to see with bands who identify as Horror Punk. The four piece machine features vocalist Ryan Remains, bassist Chris Rat, guitarist Jack Bat, and drummer Doug Spider. The first impression this band made on me was in form of their 2014 release, Night of the Sharksquatch. The album cover shows a hulking Sasquatch with a shark’s head superimposed on it. Between the cover art, album title, and band name, I had no idea what to expect from the group and went in with zero expectations.
From the start of the album, it was obvious this was a group willing to pave their own way in a genre over-saturated with copy artists trying to emulate groups that came before them. The first track “...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum” opens with the Rodney Piper quip from They Live where he threatens the alien invaders and then tears right into the music. Front man, Ryan Remains’ aggressive vocal track soars to drummer Doug Spider’s blasting beat as he shouts about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The track ends with a shotgun blast before the album’s second song, “Inward Skeleton”, begins. The group slows down slightly for this track and falls into a tighter groove while Remains demonstrates his capable vocal abilities as he jumps back and forth between a croon and shouting.
The third track is the disc’s longest play, coming in at 3:13. “Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid” has the characters playing a game of Russian roulette. Chris Rat’s bass line prominently carries this track as Remains barks the lyrics like, “one is six chance I’ll wind up dead, paint the room with insides of my head”. Overall, this was my favorite listen on the album. The fourth track “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” starts with Jack Bat playing a thrash-style introduction before Doug Spider starts in with another breakneck pace drum beat. This track showcases the groups plethora of influences as collectively they sound like something straight out the late 80s thrash metal scene. The band works at double time as Remains’ vocals change shape again into a more powerful howl.
The album closes with the title track, “Night of the Sharksquatch” a powerful and heavy closer centered around a Kaiju-style beast created when toxic waste fuses the infamous Sasquatch and a shark together. The light-hearted song premise shows a band that can have fun and still write incredible, gripping, and powerful music. Ratbatspider has proven time and again on each of their more current releases that they are a band with confidence in the direction they are going and the raw talent to get them there.

Follow Ratbatspider on their Facebook page.

And check out more from them at their Bandcamp site.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments