Monday, 31 October 2011

A Halloween Grimoire - The Puppet Master, by King Diamond

I was obviously behind the times given I just discovered this as I searched for suitable subject matter for this feature, but wow, am I glad I found this?! ‘The Puppet Master’ was of course the title of the 2003 album by King Diamond. By now no stranger to concept albums, this one was about a young couple – namely King Diamond and a lady called Victoria - who go to watch a puppet show in Budapest, and wind up being turned into undead puppets by the Puppet Master and his wife. The album came with a DVD on which King Diamond tells the story of the Puppet Master, sat at a table in a dark room lit heavily with candles. You can watch the entire video above. I highly recommend you do, particularly now night has fallen - its compelling viewing.

I certainly think he makes a good story teller – no, an excellent story teller - and his trademark facepaint only helps to convey that sinister feeling you get from watching him tell the tale. Watch his hands and his eyes, particularly the latter as they roll back and forth. He’s really into this. And it just gets better and better as it progresses.

At the same time, you have to admit, in metal terms, this is pure cheese. But cheese is often good, and the King of heavy metal horror rarely does bad.
Peter Clegg

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Halloween Grimoire - Motörhead - Hellraiser

OK, it's not the most grisly, or gruesome, or horrific video we could have chosen for this little featurette - but so what? Motörhead? Hellraiser? Lemmy playing poker against Pinhead? That's fucking rock 'n' roll. And as Hellraiser is one of the greatest horror franchises of all time, it's more than worthy of a place in We Must Obey's Halloween Grimoire.

Originally this kick ass song was written in collaboration between Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde for Ozzy's 'No More Tears' album in 1991, but Motörhead recorded their version for their album 'March or Die', and it appeared on the soundtrack of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. Fair enough, it doesn't beat their true classic material, and it has a distinct major label feel about it (they were on Epic Records at the time) that just doesn't quite feel like Motörhead. But then again, Lemmy playing poker against Pinhead!

Peter Clegg

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A Halloween Grimoire - Cannibal Corpse - Devoured By Vermin

There are other grisly Cannibal Corpse videos I could’ve picked but I’ve chosen this one (taken from 1996’s ‘Vile’) from the memories of first seeing it. And watching it back, it’s delightfully creepy, kooky and brutal in more ways than one. Filmed mostly in black and white, it’s gleefully unsettling throughout – Corpsegrinder pictured with blood dripping from his mouth, a brief yet brutal scene featured someone haplessly having their head smashed into the ground again and again by their killer, and that scene where the hands come from the abyss to drag the unsuspecting victim into the darkness. Yes, yes and yes! And that’s before we even get to the song itself, which just plain fucking kills.

Granted, Cannibal Corpse’s videos aren’t half as gruesome as the lyrics they pen, but this one had just the right amount of everything for me. The mostly black and white visuals and constant shroud of darkness gives the video the grim and nasty B-movie sheen that it needs. I do wish they delivered more in this vein – the crushing albums they deliver time and time again deserve it.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 28 October 2011

Warbringer - Worlds Torn Asunder

Worlds Torn Asunder
Century Media

As stated a few times on this blog, I’m a mega-thrash fan. And by such terms, I should be a huge fan of Warbringer. Initially, such a relationship was promising. I was gripped by their track ‘Total War’, which is absolutely devastating. The debut release ‘One By One The Wicked Fall’ was a cracking EP and should have been a sign of things to come. Sadly, I have to say, ‘War Without End’ wasn’t quite the stunning debut I’d hoped for, and ‘Waking Into Nightmares’ was indeed the awkward second album which a lot of up-and-coming bands seem to trip over, as it didn’t really impress me or strike me as an improvement on their previous work. So is album number three, ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’, finally the album to convince me that Warbringer are the full package?

Thursday, 27 October 2011


This appeared on my personal Facebook feed via Earache supremo Digby Pearson. Pictured at a Wormrot show in Germany:

What can I say? The goat must love grind!

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Black Cobra - Invernal

Black Cobra
Southern Lord 

You know that slogan we have at the top? That we're dedicated to covering all things heavy, groovy and generally kick-ass? Well. 'Invernal', the new album from stoner metal duo Black Cobra, is certainly befitting of that motto. Particular the third attribute, because shit goddamn, I really felt like I'd gone 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao after listening to this.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Pyrrhon - An Excellent Slave But A Terrible Master

An Excellent Slave But A Terrible Master

New York’s Pyrrhon first came to my attention through the 'NYC Sucks Vol. 1' compilation released by the MetalSucks team last year, with the track ‘King of All Tears’. It was a furious blast through three minutes twentyseven seconds of frenetic tech-death metal, with a nice technical sheen that wasn’t too over the top. When they self-released ‘An Excellent Slave but a Terrible Master’ earlier this year, I was quick to pick it up from their Bandcamp page, but for some reason, I continually pushed it aside as the number of new releases began to catch up. Having recently been acquired by Polish label Selfmadegod, the time was right to get a taste of the first Pyrrhon full-length. Why did I leave it so long?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

100th post editorial

Holy crap. 100 posts already? We've not even reached the end of October! Well, lots of boredom, spare time and ultimately lots of kick ass music has pushed me and Mike onwards and upwards, and this post marks We Must Obey's 100th post since its humble beginnings in May. Over 3,400 people have stopped by and checked out the pages, submissions are on the up, and our enthusiasm just keeps growing. Thank you very much to anyone who's sent stuff our way and to everyone who reads and continues to read this blog.

A couple of things - I think there's going to be a little disruption early-to-mid November that could slow things up, in terms of my access. I've discussed this previously - I should be able to work around it without too much of a knock on regular posting. I really should invest in a solid internet connection to work with more regularly!

Second, there's going to be one or two Halloween inspired posts - nothing over the top, and in keeping with what we do. But it should be a good laugh if nothing more.

With that in mind, I'll get back to the regular stuff. Once again, major thanks to all of you.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sanhedrin - And On Into the Eternal Nether...Of Forgotten and Stricken Souls

And On Into the Eternal Nether…Of Forgotten and Stricken Souls

Black/death metallers Sanhedrin are a four piece hailing from the true founding grounds of grimness and evil, Hvddersfield, spouting their second blasphemous offering forth to corrupt the ears of you poor bastards, and for free no less!

Minor notes from an acoustic guitar ring out maliciously, as ‘And On Into The Eternal Nether…’ begins, and roll across a bleak wasteland, snow capped mountains, thick forestry or whatever your own custom black metal landscape includes. The haunting acoustic is in the company of the black metal spoken (or near enough) word, which saves itself by being fairly short in duration, leaving the atmosphere intact. The section thankfully sounds more like a sequence of devilish noises than a monologue which could have gotten dangerously queer.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Saviours - Death's Procession

Death's Procession

It's quite possible that one band that may have gone just under your radar in recent years is Saviours. These Oakland heavy metal warriors have been going since 2004 and have previously released three albums, including 2008's excellent 'Into Abaddon'. Now they're back with album number four, 'Death's Procession', flagrantly disregarding trends and powering away through eight tracks of retro-worshipping heavy metal.

'The Eye of Obscene' is a solid stoner jam at first, just a little indulgent too with some flashy soloing inbetween the low-end grooves. The following track, 'Grave of the Possessed', leans more towards NWOBHM-era metal, the guitars certainly coming across with late-70's swagger and tone. It's this conundrum that sums up 'Death's Procession' and indeed Saviours as a whole - it doesn't sit comfortably in either camp, easily flip-flopping between styles and switching tempos. That's not to say that's a bad thing, and this album certainly has its merits, as there are some damn good stompers in there - the plod of 'Fire of Old' is impressive and the Motorhead-influenced riffing in 'God's End' makes for an entertaining ride.

At the end of the day, 'Death's Procession' is a good record, but not quite a great one. Saviours are still worth checking out, but this year alone has seen some great traditional doom and heavy metal records come to the fore. Competition is fierce and with some undoubtedly quality releases occuring over 2011, the general feeling I get is that Saviours have fallen just a little short this time, despite the fact 'Death's Procession' hardly disappoints. Still, anyone looking for metal done the real way could do far worse than give this album, and Saviours in general, more than just a passing glance.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Aerosmith - Shut Up and Dance

Despite the fact that the song I’m about to analyse was one of seven singles from the 1993 album ‘Get a Grip’, charted at #24 in the UK singles chart, was a staple of their set for a time during the 90’s and also appeared in the soundtrack for the righteous Wayne’s World 2, Aerosmith’s ‘Shut Up and Dance’ doesn’t feel like its ever got the same recognition as some of their other hits around this period of the band’s history. It holds a place dear in my heart and deserves analysis to that end. I beckoned for it to be played during their headlining set at Download Festival 2010 – it wasn’t – and was disappointed to find it not included on ‘Guitar Hero: Aerosmith’. I’d have loved to have five-starred that.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Mastodon - Jools Holland appearance tonight + UK tour news!

Tonight's the night! Hot off their stellar new album 'The Hunter', Mastodon's unstoppable rise hits new highs when they perform on BBC 2's 'Later Live with Jools Holland'! Make sure you get your backside in front of the telly for 10pm, or at least SkyPlus, Tivo or whatever you use it. Failing that of course, there'll be a couple of late night repeats and it'll be available on the BBC iPlayer.

It'll be interesting to see how they go on - the only other metal band to perform on the show previously is Metallica. Will any of the show's usual viewers take to them? Probably mostly not. But I'd love to be proven wrong, and with Mastodon seemingly able to raise the bar at will, I wouldn't be surprised if they absolutely destroyed it tonight.

In related news, the Atlanta quartet have also announced a fresh batch of UK dates for February 2012! The dates are as follows:

Sun 05 - Bristol O2 Academy
Mon 06 - Manchester Academy
Tue 07 - Glasgow Barrowlands
Thurs 09 - Norwich UEA
Fri 10 - Birmingham HMV Institute
Sat 11 - London Brixton O2 Academy

Tickets for that are on sale now!

Peter Clegg

Monday, 17 October 2011

Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair - Contraception

Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair
Grindcore Karaoke

Agoraphobic Nosebleed frontman and Grindcore Karaoke head honcho J. Randall is a busy man, as his labels huge range of releases would dictate - see our previous review of surf grinders Wadge earlier this year - but amongst the cacophony of anarchy and tinny production, he's found a potential diamond here in Scotland's Wheelchair x4 - or Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair if you prefer.

Originally self-released, 'Contraception' has a theme of young romance running through it. Not your typical grind fare, but then neither was the Scots' previous release 'Bald and Dead', a concept EP about the life and death of reality star Jade Goody. Cripes. Nevertheless, there's some interesting ideas floating about here, the near dancable and anthemic opening to 'Treat Your Woman Right', with guitarist Stuart Finnie and drummer Bobbie King trading vocals, eventually hitting face melting grind territory; the Thin Lizzy-esque riff to 'Never Go Dutch', and the saxophone solo that skronks its way into 'Be My Valentine'. Never does it lose a sense of speed and aggression though, as they shred and blast their way through twelve tracks at a brisk pace and with brutal menace.

The theme of romance pervades throughout, against a heart of darkness that finally becomes apparent during the closer 'We All Need Someone' where Finnie screams 'we all need someone/whatever the cost'. The samples accompanying it suggest this is a tale of dangerous obsession. Nevertheless, unsettling as the album seems, despite the initial heartfelt intentions, 'Contraception' is another fantastic record in a cracking year for grind, and ultimately confirms Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair become another impressive string on Scotland's extreme metal bow.

Peter Clegg

Download 'Contraception' here (pay-what-you-like)


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Mastodon - The Hunter

The Hunter

When Mastodon announced that this album was to be free of concept and more of a straight-up rock album, one or two eyebrows may well have been raised, although given the band's dabbling in ZZ Top, Thin Lizzy and Melvins worship it may not have been entirely surprising. Still, a Mastodon making a record not based on the elements is certainly an enterprising one, and for the band that Time magazine voted their number 3 album of the year (2009's 'Crack The Skye'), this meeting the mainstream in the middle has come about at roughly the right time.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Super Mutant - Civilization & Abuse

Super Mutant
Civilization & Abuse

Super Mutant sound like a grind band in their voice and vibe, but they far from typically sound like one. When the B-movie sample at the beginning of 'The Accident' states 'this will be the age of mutants', these Floridians come across more with a slugging hardcore punch and a sludge mentality. Riffs are thick as Mississippi mudslides, vocals pushed to the edge, and beats and grooves are often allowed to breathe and develop instead of being forced into a constant blast. 'WASP' is a good example, pinned by an excellent sludge shimmy in particular. That said, Super Mutant know when to morph into grind territory, such as on 'Get Me Out' and 'BP', reminiscent of recent Brutal Truth when they do. As also on 'Pseudo Star' - hells yes - they floor the delimiter for full intensity, before injecting the antivenom to a slamming sludgecore phase.

Perhaps they hit this breakdown button once or twice too often, but you can't complain too much when a young band like this are making one hell of a palatable heavy din. I suspect its more for the recent crust hardcore upsurge crowd but it may well find a home in the hearts of Sourvein fans and the like as well. Definitely worth checking out, and as the band are offering it as a free self-released download, there's no reason for you not to take the plunge.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Alternative chill-out

In the last couple of years, my world view went from somewhat overly positive to that of a more realistic, slightly negative outlook. I haven’t found myself entirely pleased with my career track so far, to say the least. My moods haven’t always been the greatest – at one point I was a proper grouch, to say the least.

People have their vices. Mine is music. At my lowest I could took in songs more than ever before and found certain rock/metal/alternative songs to hold powerful leanings. I’ve found myself exploring certain songs and the energies they channel. Here’s where the words ‘alternative chillout’ come in. Chill-out is traditionally the realm of electronic music, mellow in style and no faster than medium tempo, and was originally conceived in order to give ravers a little bit of a break and evokes images of the tide drifting in and out of a sandy beach.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Visions: Metroid Metal - Metroid (NES) soundtrack

I'm not sure how many people feel about video game covers band, whether 8-bit chiptune parodies or full on instrumental bands like these. There's a whole world of them out there you possibly don't know about. Well I'm not going to beat about the bush - I have a mild curiosity for them, and in particular, Metroid Metal.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

'The View' from here isn't that bad

It appears Metallica fans and non-Metallica fans are getting in a tizz about the new 'Loutallica' song, 'The View', since its full release. It's the first song to be released from the forthcoming collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica, 'Lulu', and its safe to say lots of people felt a bit sour about it. Glass of Haterade for anyone?

The view from here is this; is it really that bad? Fair enough, its not the greatest song ever made. But it is at least an interesting concept. I'm actually digging the riff, it reminds me of good sludgy riffs, strangely. And when James Hetfield gets a look in, its still got attitude and swagger. I do still think Lou's vocals don't quite work here, and it isn't for lack of trying. The spoken word concept isn't new in rock or metal, there's artists out there who have and could still do it really well. I could imagine Henry Rollins or Iggy Pop doing their thing on this track. If it wasn't too heavy I'd even have suggested Craig Finn from The Hold Steady.

I went into this expecting a trainwreck. I've listened to it more than once and I'm not wound up by it all. In fact, I'll go on record as saying I'll listen to it again. And again. Wow, some metalheads really are a closed minded bunch.

'Lulu' is released October 31.

Peter Clegg