2011 Best Metal Releases (Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance)

Written By: Etienne V (THT London)

With 2011 a little over halfway done, I’ve seen a few “best of” lists emerging online that highlight some of the best releases so far this year. While I agree with a few of the albums on these lists, I think there are still some albums that aren’t getting the level of recognition they deserve. A lot of shit is released these days onto metal fans everywhere, so I’ve tried to do my best to highlight the albums that stand out – at least in my opinion. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll tell you what those albums are and give you some insight into why I think that particular album is worth your time. A lot of you will disagree with me, and that’s ok. I suppose we’re all entitled to our own opinions. In fact, if you think I should be listening to something else, or have your own suggestions for albums that stood out this year, feel free to email me and I promise I’ll take a listen. If you have criticisms of the albums I’ve chosen or have critiques of my personal opinions – PLEASE DO NOT SEND THOSE. That would simply be a waste of my time. Now…on to our first album:

WHO: Belphegor

ALBUM: Blood Magick Necromance

LABEL: Nuclear Blast Records

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Despite the overdone album title and almost comical album art, Blood Magick Necromance is an extremely solid release from these Austrian natives. Over the years, Belphegor has increasingly developed their own signature sound, which is important considering that the majority of metal bands these days are at best unremarkable. Blood Magick completely outdoes its predecessor, Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn in its songwriting, production and intensity while remaining true to their blackened death metal sound. Though the majority of the songs on the album are over the 5 minute mark, (which in the age of the short attention span can feel like an eternity), each song has it’s own personality that drives the album well from beginning to end. Through the use of traditional songwriting structure (i.e. Verse, chorus, verse bridge etc.) and lengthy introductions without vocals, Belphegor seem to push the listener to embrace the melodies and to challenge the ever-growing spasmodic songwriting of some of their metal counterparts. While this isn’t straightforward black metal, there are still plenty of dark riffs, blast beats, and ominous textures that should resonate with those listeners with a more pure black metal spirit. If you’re looking for a tough, melodic and well-written black/death metal album, I’d highly suggest checking this one out.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Rise and Fall to Rise, Blood Magick Necromance, Impaled Upon the Tongue of Sathan

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Classic Horror Campaign: London Horror Scene

written by: Etienne Vasquez (THT London)

One of the benefits of living in London has been the increased exposure to the British Horror movie scene. In early November of last year, a friend recommended that I catch a screening of Vampire Circus in London that was taking place in April of the following year. Without question, I put it in the calendar and when the time came, I showed up to an intimate setting at the back of the Roxy Bar down by London Bridge. The event was sponsored by Rick Gladman, founder of the “Classic Horror Campaign” here in the UK. The screening included Vampire Circus, a 70’s Hammer Film classic and Night of the Demon (1957). I enjoyed the screening so much that I eagerly looked forward to watching the next double bill. I was also intrigued by the campaign and I began to think of ways in which I could lend my support.

Thankfully after a few months, I had the pleasure of attending another double bill at the Roxy to see “Cat People” and “Scream and Scream Again,” two films that were both interesting and bizarre (check below for trailer). Before the screening, Rick was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to discuss the campaign, the support process, and also touch on some interesting thoughts about the horror genre.

 Etienne: Talk about the campaign a bit. How did the campaign start and where does the inspiration to get this started come from?

Rick: Well, the whole inspiration, the whole thing was the initial BBC 2 Horror Double Bills back in the 70s and 80s where there used to be mainly really old films, black and white films first. They used to start them around 10 at night, sometimes a bit later, so kids would often stay up to watch them. Then they’d have a little gap, and they would have a Hammer Film, and Amacus, and sometimes a lot of American 70s exploitation films. George Romero’s The Crazies was filmed one year. Stuff I used to read in horror magazines, and I thought, yeah I’m staying up to watch that. Kids used to watch it with their families a lot and when you got older, you’d stay up to watch the later ones. But every summer we’d look forward to what’s going to be on the BBC 2 Horror Double Bill season. And then one year, it just wasn’t on, they had no advertisements and I’m like, what’s going on? And it just disappeared and didn’t come back.

I find now that the way television is…if they’re going to show a horror film, it’s some junk from the last 10 years. Just some mainstream, crap. It’s not that I don’t like modern horror films, but most of them are pretty rubbish in my opinion. But there’s just nothing on. It’s almost as if they’re trying to negate that anything even exists, if you know what I mean. Not just in horror films, but television in general. It’s all about crappy reality programs or films that have been out in the last 10 years and are in color…

Etienne: So perhaps a lot of history is being lost?

Rick: It’s about nostalgia, its about cultural history, it’s about our film heritage – especially since a lot of the films were British. It’s also about introducing a younger generation to these films. Part of it is raising awareness. We have a petition that we want to present to the BBC once we hit 2,000 signatures.

Etienne: You guys are close now? Last time I checked you were at 1,600 signatures.

Rick: Yeah, it’s actually really heading up now. So when we do that we’re going to do some big publicity thing, we don’t know what yet, maybe a big flash mob maybe? Present the petition, get some publicity. Now it appears that Eileen is quite happy to take part, Emily as well, so it seems we’ve got the celebrities on board. It helps.

Eileen – http://www.eileendaly.net/newsite/index.html

Emily – http://www.emilybooth.co.uk/

 

Etienne: Now that you’re getting this support, and the ball’s really starting to roll, where do you envision this going? Aside of course from the immediate goal of getting the double bill back on BBC 2.

Rick: Well yes, that is the ultimate goal. I think where its heading now is more screenings around the country. We’re doing Manchester next week and Brighton in August. I think then its working on arranging some type of larger festival, but one that’s based around classic horror films, which for us is anything from the silents to the 1980s. I do have a cutoff, in my tastes I don’t, but in the context of the Classic Horror Campaign, you have to cut it somewhere. And the website (http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/) as well, its starting to get more and more popular and we’re trying to do an A-Z of every classic horror film ever reviewed. We’re getting different bloggers and writers sending us their reviews for free, you know, of different classic horror films and we post them and keep them on our database

Etienne: How are you getting access to these libraries of classic horror films? Is it just from personal collections?

Rick: Yes, to a degree. We have a guy who’s on the technical side who deals with that really. He also sources the rights and approaches companies to find out whether they need us to pay. There are fees, but then a lot of companies either dont respond or they just say, “just go for it” cause they get publicity for it I guess.

Etienne: Great. Well for people who are reading this, what can they start doing to help support or continue to support the campaign?

Rick: Thank you, good question. Very important – sign the petition. It’s online, it’s free, so sign the petition. But also, email the BBC. That is so important. I don’t know, see I can’t get the feedback to find out how many people have already offered to do this, but we are trying to push people to do that. If the BBC is suddently inundated with tons of emails, they might say, “Maybe there is something behind this.” Some people have already gone ahead and done this, but it needs to be bigger. Email the BBC, go on to their website, find different email addresses.

Etienne: And of course continue to come to the screenings.

Rick: Yes, come to the screenings. Please come to the screenings. If people don’t come, we can’t afford to do them and that’s a bit sad.

Be sure to Check out The Classic Horror Movie Campaign website at www.classichorrorcampaign.com 

Some fun questions:

Etienne: How did you get introduced to the world of horror? You’re clearly a big fan of the genre with a lot of knowledge about it.

Rick: I think, when I was a kid, like really little, probably local cinema. The first film I can remember being taken to see was the re-release of Snow White, the Disney movie. It was the horror aspect of it, the imagery that appealed to me. So I think it was actually Disney films initially. But also trailers they used to show in between even the kids films, they used to show the Hammer films – grown up films, whatever was out, quite nasty films, and I’d be intrigued by the trailers. And then it was definitely the BBC, not just their late night horror double bills, but they used to do things earlier in the evening like classic sci-fi monster films. So I guess monster films on the tele, on tv, and then I was allowed to buy horror comics and the magazines and I started reading about it and I became more and more knowledgeable. It became somewhat of an obsession, it was fun.

Etienne: Any favorites?

Rick: Vampire Circus. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_Circus), which is what we screened last time. That is an ultimate, absolute favorite of mine. But I also like some of the newer stuff, I say newer but…I love the Friday the 13th films. I love them, I absolutely love them. Umm, Freddy Krueger, they’re really great films, especially Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, number 7 I think?  Really good film, very clever. Stuff like that I like. I do love the Cat People, which is a really weird film.

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DEATH TAX review/ writer Jeremy Holt plays with our fears of no security.

 

It’s not very often that I’m given the option to review an original work of passion that is relevant to my interest and to the current fears of individuals. Where most writers are making references to the current financial, social and economic status via supernatural vehicles like zombies, werewolves, and mutants, ‘DEATH TAX,’ written by Jeremy Holt, uses fear that hits closer to home.

The opening to death tax puts the reader on the cusp of what seems to be a full economic and financial downfall of the Federal Reserve and America’s economy. According the story, the global banks teamed up together with the IMF, and are excluding the associations with the FR. There is no denying the fact that THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK IS THE REASON FOR AMERICA ‘S FALL FROM POWER AND THE SOURCE OF ITS INCREASING PROBLEMS, however Holt displays what looks like a terrifying extreme, of a reality that most definitely can happen.

The entire comic has fantastic reference, without crossing lawful limits, to the fast food industry, religion, and the struggles of the average business and corporations. Thrown within these struggles is the theme of human survival, which will raise the question to most readers “would I do the same?” The Artwork (by Renzo Podesta) is generally simplistic, which is extremely fitting for the story, I couldn’t really see Technicolor and fluorescent tones used in what I consider a “bleak, sad, testament to the human will.”

Jonah the main character, struggles with his own demons, which I hope to see developed further. He speaks internally, to a character unknown to us as of yet, to which he has a history with, and a painful regret for their death. I couldn’t really get a full understanding of his personality just yet, but look forward to seeing more of him, as I really believe he reflects the average person who will eventually become a result of his surroundings. Sarah, who is already established as a caring, strong willed woman, is another main character. She gives me a “bad-ass chick” vibe with loyalties to friends’ family, etc. Which in a world of to ‘each his own’ should be great to see themes of desperation mixed with.

Overall, I think that DEATH TAX is without a question a story worth following and worth seeing how the characters deal with an increasingly shitty state. The story makes reference to real life events, associations, and government institution, which I like a lot. Keep an eye out for this folks; it may paint a picture of a road we potentially can travel.

 

To View an 11 Page Preview of DEATH TAX Click Here

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Phoebe Cates Vampire Hunter

It’s always fun when I get something like this in my email!!!! Thanx fellas.

phoebe cates

Phoebe Cates Vampire Hunter

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SMALLVILLE FINALE DOESNT QUITE DELIVER

So concludes the tenth and final season of CW’s superman spinoff ‘Smallville,’ and with slight disappointment. For ten years, viewers watched, kept ratings up, just in-case during one episode we would get the chance to see even the slightest inkling of the show revealing the powers and superman qualities that everyone has grown to love. Not once was it expected that the CG (computer Graphics) for the “flying scene,” that looked like a playstation cut scene, would not only be brief with questionable editing, but also give nothing to the fans who have waited for the reveal.

They didn’t even show Clark Kent (Tom Welling) standing in full costume, what a let down! Instead they showed brief shots of him in close up, with a questionable CG cape floating in the back. They wrapped up the episode with a 7-year time lapse, where Chloe is speaking to her son, and telling him the story of how superman came to be, via a comic book. Lex Luther is running for president, Clark is now living up to his dork persona, and Lois is running shit. Some sort of ‘danger springs up’ and they close the 10-year investment with Clark running towards the camera, opening his shirt to reveal the S logo.

After all this time, I think people deserve more than just a transition scene as a closer, even if it was pretty cool to see, it wasn’t enough.

Yes, that is a gasp from a shocked viewer.

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Wonder Woman gets DENIED!

It looks like we will not get the opportunity to see a series about a “tight-red-patent-leather-super hero” whose overall chronicle and accompanying actor is unbelievable and upsetting. No, I’m not talking about coke bloat Ben Affleck; I’m talking about David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot that was being pitched to NBC. THANK GOD this show didn’t get picked up. From the costume shots alone you could tell that this was closer to “Power Ranger” than to “Iconic DC Comic book hero.” It’s rumored that because of the production cost of the pilot, this charade will be developed into a special feature, or Netflix release. Regardless of what happens, this was probably the best thing that could have happened, NOW, hopefully, there will be a proper portrayal of the heroine that could do it some justice, however bleak that may seem.

Five Reasons Wonder Woman series wouldn’t work

1. The costume sucks: Even with modern interpretations, this costume blows on so many levels.

2. To Fly or Not to fly?: Smallville has held us in complete suspense about having superman fly, now why would we want to see this chick in an INVISIBLE PLANE? Dumb stuff.

3. Who is really going to watch it?: Horny men who will watch just enough to “finish.” Fan boys who will also watch enough to finish or get distracted their Xbox and women who have the need to get the “XENA fix.”

4. No Longevity: Wonder Woman is not strong enough of a character to keep the attention of viewers for multiple seasons.

5. Because there are better ways to spend production money.

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ANGRY BIRDS ZOMBIE MAKE OVER

Angry birds zombies

Angry birds zombies

The global addiction to the repetitious smart phone game “Angry Birds” received a decayed flesh make over by a man who’s name is harder to pronounce then Sam Steroids from Supernatural. Tomasz Kaczkowski, lives and works in Wroclaw, Poland.

Tomasz graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz where is specialized in textiles and received his Diploma on carpets collection – Injured Batman and burning planes. Tomasz refers to his art as a “discussion to the grotesque and the poisons of today’s world,” and with that said, here are his Angry Bird Zombie renditions. Tomasz is also the lead singer of polish punk band, Wieże Fabryk (Factory Towers), listen to them here.

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