Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Short Sharp Shocks

Consider this a proving ground.
For the up and coming, a gauntlet to be run through.
For the established, the same.
A home for Demos and extremely short EPs.
Stringent rules must be adhered to (by me), still in formation, and to be shared once set in stone. Or not.
But you’ll figure it out. Or not.

Obsidian Tongue – The Stone Heart [EP]

OBSIDIAN TONGUE weaves into ‘The Stone Heart’, and we, standing in a clearing while gazing toward the shimmering line of grey rain that falls steady, sure on the border with the surrounding forest. The storm shifts, turns inward, closer, then enters us, wreaking havoc. Suspended yet descending slowly, ‘Winter Child’ is ache and melancholia, yet a stark look at the flesh and eyes that gaze back at one from the mirror of truth – unfoolable and unforgiving. Amid the droning vocal harmonies and harsh howl, we bow, scrawling our destiny on frozen ground. Instrumental ‘Bear At The Tree Of Light’ […]

Ghoul – Noxious Concoctions [EP]

For well over 20 years GHOUL has been splattering minds and bodies with their truly twisted death/grind/thrash, so it’s no surprise Noxious Concoctions follows that same formula. With ‘The Eyes Of The Witch’, the foursome chugs along at a mid-paced but mangling rhythm ‘n’ riff-ride, while the title track ups the ante in both speed and fury, a bit of UNLEASHED in the guitar tone. ‘Shotgun Gulch’ returns to a confrontational stomp/swagger, fine for what it is but a bit too “throwaway” SIX FEET UNDER for my taste. However, the snarling ‘Ratlicker’ and FUNEROT cover that put the final shovelful […]

Swim Or Drown – Trapped [7″]

There’s just something special about hardcore/punk from Scandinavia and the surrounding area, from the legendary kangpunk/d-beat sound of Sweden to the somewhat more technical yet still as powerful Swiss and Dutch scenes, the latter of which SWIM OR DROWN is a part. The title track of this 7” barnburner slams back and forth between ALL OUT WAR hardcore and FREYA metallic bursts, each style coming across as legitimate, no shred of gimmickry to be found. The gem for me here is ‘Human Scum’, a raging early INTEGRITY-styled diatribe with razor-sharp guitars and a boiling bottom end, scarred vocals spewing justice […]

Blind Chaos – Very Metal Christmas [EP]

What do you do when you’ve got some downtime during the Christmas season? If you’re BLIND CHAOS of Oslo, Norway, you find a historic church, light your torches and…record a Christmas EP! ‘Last Christmas’ is infectious, probably more faithful to the original than lead throat Chris Wiborg probably wants to admit, making for an engaging jam. ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ punches, ending in a holiday wish for something warmer than cider, if you get my drift, and ‘Santa Baby’ is sure to get portly, bearded men in red lining up to hurry down chimneys of good (and […]

Maul – Desecration And Enchantment [EP]

After a shit-ton of demos/splits/singles/EPs, North Dakota’s MAUL dropped the wing-rending Seraphic Punishment on 2022, the debut’s ice-encrusted grime palpable in its blend of Scandinavian and, strangely, Floridian death to create something invigorating in a genre that’s often too set in its ways to be aware of its own dying from glut and trend. ‘The Sacred And The Profane/Hovering,Sinking’ is destructive from :01, rotting riffs slung over the back of stench-ridden rhythms and carried forth in a voice puked from Satan’s anus itself. Guitar patterns weave meathooks upon which to hang our cadavers as we await the ‘Disintegration Of The […]

Summoning Death – A Traumatic Night Of The Creeps [EP]

SUMMONING DEATH are from the part of Stockholm that’s in Cancún, MX, and begins ‘Night Of The Creeps’ with an organ as cold as the cryogenics lab in the cult classic that gave the song its name, before the equally frigid madcap riffing kicks in, slicing and dicing, yet still rough around the edges. ‘Halloween’ is where the most trad Swedeath can be found, but there’s the stoic, icy stare of a killer here, the antithesis of the climate of the band’s locale. The quirkiness of MACABRE even gets a nod in the jaunty bridge because the hysteria resumes. There’s […]

UFOMAMMUT – Crookhead [EP]

A short six months after psych-ish/doom-ish transcendental cadre UFOMAMMUT reached (or returned to) new heights with Fenice, we’re presented with a short EP by the name of Crookhead. The title opening track is the gluttonous rumble deep from the empty belly of a waking, carnivorous Jötunn, feet tromping lakes where once were flatlands, belch-bellowing his rapacity over a ‘70s CB radio for its nearly 9 minutes. Swaying heavily at times, others over a bed of YOB-worthy intonations, ‘Supernova’ takes us to the throbbing heart of Crookhead, while ‘Vibrhate’ lives up to its name. I referred to Fenice as “a rebirth” […]

Dave Neabore – Power Plan [EP]

Well, this one sure to shit wasn’t expected. The only thing I care to know about DOG EAT DOG is that RONNIE JAMES DIO did a song with them. Founding bassist Dave Neabore reveals his Power Plan on this EP, and it’s awash in synths from the get-go. No pity-party FLOCK OF SEAGULLS here, ‘Power Plan’ is Danny Elfman popping MDMA and turned loose in Rick Wakeman’s playroom. More cerebral, an almost ART OF NOISE minimalist vibe carries ‘Star Feels’, while ‘Delayed Green’ throbs and pulsates. Closing down with ‘Night Shift’ unceremoniously dumping all the goth-lite ghouls into the neon […]

Chupacabra – Fortified With Ashes [EP]

Bristol’s CHUPACABRA fans the embers to…well, wet ash with ‘Burn The Clowns’, a clone of Angela Gossow-era ARCH ENEMY’s weakest material. The mix is too cluttered to single out any instrument, even if I wanted to, and leading into ‘F.T.T.D.’. I’m not sure where I’ve heard that opening riff before (I have. Definitely. And I believe it’s off MASTODON’s Leviathan. If so, shame the fuck on you.), but the solo at the start ain’t half bad. Soon enough we’re back in the bog, a jumbled mix and nothing remarkable whatsoever aside from a repeat of the song that came before. […]