Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Disrotted in Japan 2015: Tour Diary


Chicago's Disrotted ran amuck throughout Japan's Honshu last month, blasting their slow-as-shit, 
rot-gut doom. Their vocalist, Adam, was nice enough to write up a tour diary describing their experience. Check it out in both English and Japanese below.

Huge thanks to Zothique for translating!

Pato Thornycroft provided all pictures.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paul Speckmann Speaks with Retch about OEF Asia 2015



Retch got in touch with Master's Paul Speckmann about their relationship with OEF, the crossroads of age & music, and much more. Make sure to catch them next weekend, and its not like it will be difficult: Master has 2 full sets and Deathstrike will be playing a special full set on the last night. Check it out after the jump!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lone Spaceman Tackles the Issues that Matter with Curby of Obscene Extreme


Japanese translations provided by members of Anatomia

About a year and a half ago, I was “writing” for the Japan Times but hadn’t yet published a single article. I had been hired to write about the underground metal scene, but my editor hadn’t been too enthused about any of my pitches until I heard rumblings of the Obscene Extreme Festival coming to town. I convinced him that an underground vegan-friendly festival all about some of the wildest and most extreme music the world had to offer definitely counted as “news”, and he told me to get a hold of the man in charge. A friend quickly hooked me up with Curby Extreme, and before long I had my first piece published in a national newspaper. I remember the 2014 OEF Tokyo as being just as wild as I had been promised; all that was missing was the mythical Grind Banana (check out the OEF page for details of this rare and mysterious fruit).
 

一年半前、ジャパン・タイムスで働いていた私は日本のメタルシーンについて寄稿する
ことになっていた。まだ記事という記事を書いたことのない新米でもあり、色々と提案はしてみたものの編集部は全く興味を示さず、オブシーン・エクストリーム
(以下OEF)が話題になってようやく記事を書けることになった。

食事まで菜食主義を徹底した世界随一のエクストリーム・ミュージック・フェスティバルが日本にやってくるなんて、これは大ニュースだよ、と上司を説得し、無事取材要請が下りる。友人の伝手で主催者のチュービーにコンタクトをとってもらい、あとは
万事順調、気付けば国内最大の英字新聞に自分の記事が掲載されていた。

2014年のOEFは期待を裏切らない盛り上がりで、注文をつけるとしたら
”グラインド・バナナ”があれば、といったくらいのもの。(このミステリアスな
フルーツ、グラインド・バナナについてはオブシーン・エクストリームの公式サイトをご参照ください。)

Friday, October 30, 2015

F.i.D and Malignant Tumour Get Real Before OEFAsia 2015!


Japanese translations provided by members of Anatomia.

1. This is your first time in playing in Japan. Are you excited? Have anyone told you about playing in Japan before? (We did love playing in Czech!!) 

Answer: Oh yes, it´s gonna be our first time in Japan and we are very, very excited to go to your country and see all those things we are just watching in TV, try your food and having nice time with japanese metalpunx. I heard quite some stories from bands who already played in Japan and it seems like you have a very wild audience, which is great for band like Malignant Tumour. So I am expecting wild, wild show.... 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Interview with Adam of Disrotted

Hey all, been a while. Coming up next month, Chicago's morbid Doom troupe Disrotted will be playing a Honshu tour with Su19b to commemorate the release of their new split CD on Tokyo's own Obliteration Records. I caught up with Adam of Disrotted to pick his brain about the history & themes of the band, as well as their expectations of the upcoming tour. Japanese and English follow below:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

News and Reviews, letter "F" edition: Funeral Moth and Fra Hedensk Tid

When the drunken little prick that runs this shithole website told me I had to do some album reviews, I naturally assumed that I’d be reviewing a recent release by a modern mainstream metal band.  “No problem”, I answered nonchalantly while tossing him a cold beer, and while he was preoccupied with this distraction I threw open the nearest window and prepared to hurl myself out of it.  I was hoping for a quick death or at least a debilitating spinal injury that would get me off the hook.  I’m not terribly fond of modern mainstream metal acts, you see.  Unfortunately my editor wasn’t fooled by my diversion and managed to tackle me at the knees before I even got one leg out the window.  He swiftly and competently maneuvered me into The Walls of Jericho, which wrestling fans may recognize as a modified Boston Crab.  He was sitting on my back and wrenching my legs backward, bending my spine almost in half, and as I howled in pain and indignation he explained that I would be reviewing a couple Japanese extreme metal albums that, while recent, weren’t exactly “new” releases. 

Pictured: a frank exchange of ideas and opinions with the editor of Bloody Ears & Beer.


I ignored the painful pressure caused by my spine being bent like a sideways "U" and considered this.  It wasn’t until I had arrived in Japan that I started getting a taste for extreme metal.  I figured I owed it to the country to write up at least a couple album reviews and it was this, combined with the fact that my editor was still squatting on my back and refusing to release my legs, that lead me to nod my head and accept the assignment.  He helped me up and handed me a copy of Fra Hedensk Tid’s 2013 full-length 回帰への祈り, as well as Funeral Moth’s Dense Fog.  I took the discs, slapped him across the mouth and ran out the door before he could grab me again.  



When it comes to black metal my tastes aren’t particularly refined.  Bloody Ears n’ Beer contributor (and Retch drummer) Thomas Skuld has an educated palette and in the past has made numerous attempts to educate me, but I tend to stick fast to classic Immortal and Emperor.  I’ve talked about Tokyo band Funeral Sutra before and how much ass they kick at their live shows, but in general I prefer death metal over black.  Still, when I popped in Fra Hedensk Tid I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  My initial -- and only -- complaint is one I have pretty often when it comes to black metal, and it concerns the drums: they’re never loud enough for me.  It seems there’s an unspoken law requiring the drum track to be drowned out by the guitar, and its always a shame when bands don’t value the rhythmic elements as much as they should.  I’ve made this complaint often enough to the members of Retch that they’re read to...well...retch, I suppose, which would be neat, except that one or two of them have already thrown up on me in the past and it was not an experience I'd like to repeat.

But I digress.  The very first track on 回帰への祈りreminded me of Funeral Sutra and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that those guys and Fra Hedensk Tid have similar influences.  Both bands put me in mind of a lone figure standing in a maelstrom, howling into the wind and chaos, unheeding of the cyclone tearing at his clothes and hair, his words lost in the tempest.  At times there’s something almost melancholy in Fra Hedensk Tid’s sound, as if their rage is occasionally tempered by sadness, or more likely a sense of futility.  The lone figure, raging not at the storm but with it, doesn’t seem to be aiming his ire at anything in particular, but I can detect a darkness in it that doesn’t stem from something ugly.  It’s a surprisingly human element, and I think I’m beginning to understand why Thomas Skuld keeps telling me that on the whole black metal is a bizarrely personal genre.  

The title track of 回帰への祈り is easily my favorite on the album.  I could swear I hear the death of hope in it, which is no easy sentiment to express musically and Fra Hedensk Tid should be congratulated for their eloquence in this regard; but there’s an acceptance too, or perhaps an acknowledgement, of the spoiling and degradation of something that once was good, and in this context several other tracks start to feel like a stoic refusal to be cowed by this state of affairs, a refusal to turn away from the ruins of hope and the loss of anything good in the world.  The lone figure will not flinch or tremble at the bleak landscape left behind by the storm.  He or she may be the last living person on a ruined earth devoid of such human conceits as goodness or purity, but by devil they’ll wander this desolate waste and witness the ruin of man with a bit of goddam dignity.  

The aptly named Dense Fog was released back in 2014 and consists of four tracks with a total run-time of nearly 90 minutes.  This is not unusual for doom metal albums, and I’d tell aficionados of the genre to pick up Dense Fog immediately but in all probability any aficionado will already own a copy.  Funeral Moth’s most recent show was July 19th of this year and was notable for it being the last show of bass player and founding member Nobuyuki Sento.  The hole caused by his absence has been filled by Ryo Amamiya, and unfortunately we’ll all have to wait until December 12th to hear the new lineup.  They’ll be playing at Kokubunji Morgana, which I believe is west of Shinjuku on the Chuo line, down past Ogikubo.  



Stay doomed for more information!