Projekt203 – Demolačná čata (USB release review)

Starting off with “Memento Mori” Sissi’s voice entrances me and I’m already caught in a spell… at the 1:00 mark the music hits in a different, surprising way which I found extremely cool. I love being blindsided like that. When Ondrej’s voice hits I said “hell yes!” And then they both duet, and all is right with the world.

I’m loving the production. Sissi’s vocal is distorted and buried at the end behind a wall of sound and it’s beuatiful.

Sometimes I expect a band to sound similar on each recording and I think I can predict what I’m going to hear before the album plays. Not so with this album. From the first song into the second, “Sabotáž”, I’m met with something I did NOT expect. The sound is different; I can’t explain it. Sissi’s voice is so good here. Ondrej’s music is just as violent as it has been before, but it’s kind of nicer this time around. That’s a good thing – I like it. This song hit me like a robbery. A beautiful woman luring me around a corner, off the street, and into a jungle… where a group of thugs are waiting to kill me and steal all my stuff. “Sabotáž” isn’t exactly what I’d call “classic” Projekt. It’s actually a wonderful evolution into similar yet dangerous territory. It is happy and mad at the same time!

Next up we get the single “Horiace bariéry” which, in the interest of honesty, I heard before I got the album… because they filmed a video for it a while back. Projekt203 is really evolving, and the first evidence for this was the video, as they were decked out in a new style of clothing; they almost look, conceptually, like The Road Warriors, and I’m not speaking of Mad Max here. I mean the Road Warriors from pro wrestling! Without the full-on face paint, of course, but it reminded me of Hawk and Animal – futuristic, badass, fighters from a post-apocalyptic universe, ready to take on all those who would oppose them. Sissi’s voice never fails to grab me and throw me into a strange world. I can not explain what I mean. I’ve never heard a singer like her. Ondrej’s music and her vocals go together better than most musicians. It just comes together. This was a good choice of a single for a video. You can see it on Youtube or on the USB version of the album, along with another video, but more on that later. I love this song; I loved it from the moment I heard it and I love it just as much now.

The next song has a weird feel. It’s like a future cowboy film, and really cool! Wow, some good harmonies. Sissi hits some highs in the beginning where I was taken aback. What a voice! This track is called “Putá”. I had to look the word up, apparently it means “shackles” or “handcuffs”. It sounds kind of like shackles…like in the New wilder west of America after the nuclear armageddon. The reason I had to translate it was because I knew they weren’t writing this in Spanish…and in Spanish there is a similar word that means something quite different, so it made me laugh thinking of Ondrej writing a song with the Spanish translation in mind, or Sissi singing about it, but this song is no laughing matter, because the music attacks and the singing draws you in. Around 4 minutes in, Sissi takes you to Heaven; I can’t think of any other way to put it. Ondrej joins in, and they duet me straight into the aethyr.

“Buď môj strach” starts out unassuming and then at :33 forget about it, because you’re thrown back into your seat. This is killer. Good job, Ondrej. The vocal melody here is wildly pretty. It weaves in and out like the music does. There’s a video from the studio of this on the USB and getting to watch that was really fun. I could listen to Sissi sing every minute of every day, so seeing her sing was wonderful. I think this is my favorite song on the album. In fairness I must admit this isn’t my first listen. I have listened to this record repeatedly during work, and I keep coming back to this song in particular. My brain keeps coming back to it, it’s unforgettable. This is a weird song, and I like weird, the weirder the better for me. It’s like a cellphone became possessed, and threw itself into a video game from 1990. Then an angel came and exorcised the game while you’re playing it in 2020 on an illegal emulator. That is the only way I can describe this tune.

The next track, “Miluj ma” has some wild twists in the music that I very much surprised by. I don’t know, there’s something about Sissi’s harmonies with herself. They take you one place (a paradise) and then Ondrej will hit you over the head with his music. 1:40 is a good example of the dual nature of this group, and the stringy guitar sounds stuck in there just add a strange, American feel to it…If America was Mars. Actually I’m pretty sure it IS Mars most of the time. You don’t hear music like this here, and I can’t fathom anyone working this hard together to make something this good. This is my second favorite song on the album. It bounces you… off your head. It holds you upside down and literally bounces you on your head.

“Život je bastard” made me go “why is ‘bastard’ in there?” so I ran a translation search and got “Life’s a bastard.” I like that, because everyone says “life’s a bitch” and…it isn’t. It’s a bastard. This song stuns you into submission just 7 seconds in. What a wacky song and I mean that in a good way. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just hang out with Ondrej and try to figure out where exactly this music comes from. This guy’s brain must be traveling here from the Pleiades, Venus, Jupiter… It’s pretty amazing.

A hard driving drum beat, a different, faster rhythm than I’m used to from Projekt203. Just like always, just like every other time, it works, and I really like the way Sissi sings over this particular track. This music is ultra-pop. It’s like pop music from the best part of Hell. Where demons are happy and the damned get to listen to good music during their torture sessions.

Now we bring you to “Chcem viac” – a distorted LSD trip. Duet vocals over a strangely beautiful crackling song. Love Sissi’s backup vocal line starting at 1:13. Her voice travels from left to right, once more luring you into a false sense of security. You begin to expect the song to turn on you and just punch the living shit out of you. It’s a true testament to the songwriting ability of Projekt203 when the song does NOT punch you. In fact, it just keeps luring you. 3:30 is the point where you start to realize, oh man I’m fucked. I’ve been lured here and I can’t find my way out. Sissi embraces you and it’s over.

The Hammer horror movie organ that starts “Očistec” threw me for a loop. Wasn’t what I thought would happen next, and is very welcome to these ears. Once the rhythm starts, it doesn’t matter because like I said before, I’ve been lured in and I’m fucked. This song is complex, and the vocal lines/harmonies are beautifully done. I find this song extremely stunning for some reason. I am not 100% sure why, it just stunned me on first listen, and stuns me each time. When the harmonies come together, I just want to tell everyone I know that they are going to be forced to listen to Projekt203 at all times, until their lives are over. I want to literally force everyone to listen to it, and if they don’t like it, I WILL PUNCH THEM. When the organ comes back in, and Sissi sings over it, you can forget about everything you previously thought about this band. It’s like a whole new band, birthed from the same band, with a new kind of music, but it’s the same kinda music, but it’s not, and it confuses me because it’s too good. I became accustomed to musical inanity over the past 25 years as a fan and musician. Yes, I meant to type “inanity” not “insanity.” Most stuff I get asked to listen to is metal. Some of it is good but similar to other bands, and I can simply say “that was okay I guess.” Some of it is terribly redundant. It completely turned me off to the entire genre of metal. I got tired of hearing the same thing repeated by different people.

I have listened to every Projekt203 song available and they haven’t repeated themselves. How is this possible? Anyway, this song is killer.

“Zabudnutá” has a weird, haunting, King Diamond type of beginning. It’s like an intro for one of his albums. Scary and unforgiving. The vocals begin and once more we get lured into a bad (in a good way) place. I wasn’t ready for what happened at 1:23. Good job, Sissi, always keeping me on my toes. Ondrej is a maniac. This song is completely nutso by the time you get to the last half. It’s pure schizophrenic disco. There are so many musical acts out there trying to capture power. This band just HAS power. It doesn’t have to capture it. It’s already there. This song is produced so beautifully that I don’t even have the mental ability to come up with any more words to praise it with. It was like being on a party boat that went over a waterfall and everyone died. And I mean that in the most sincere way possible.

“Karavána” starts with Ondrej singing. Slowly, another voice creeps in the background, ready to strangle someone. It’s Sissi. And by the

0:48 mark, she hits notes that are insane, harmonizing with Ondrej and once again, here we are in the land of chaos. In fact, chaos seems like a theme with Projekt203. Around 1:24 there’s a different kind of vocal break part that is so fucking cool and the music that follows it up is just… like a Sega Mega Drive got thrown into a trash compactor and freed itself because it turned into a gigantic monster robot devil. It then channels itself through Ondrej’s voice and starts stomping on buildings. It picks up some cars on the way, and looks at them lovingly, before throwing them down and kicking them. This song, and the entire album, is a musical Godzilla.

Bandcamp: https://projekt203.bandcamp.com/album/demola-n-ata

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Projekt203

Active musician, the person responsible for - or involved with - cult projects as Tjolgtjar, Xexyz and many others, and the main person behind our wrestling coverage.

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Drowning: Lost City Riders (a 2008 TV movie review)

Lost City Riders, well, its title, has caught my attention almost immediately. I admit, I am a sucker for “lost city” stuff.

I’ve watched the movie once before, but I don’t remember anything of it, which is usually a bad sign, however, with the plethora of movies (and other spare-time-killing activities) available, that’s not really something to go along with – and you probably agree, you remember movies from your childhood, but hardly something you’ve watched a month ago on Netflix.

That might have to do something with the overall quality of the modern cinema, but I guess I am digressing here a bit..so let’s get back to our flick.

The movie was directed by Jean de Segonzac, mostly known for directing episodes of various TV series, and starring James Brolin, Ian Somerhalder, Bettina Zimmermann, Jamie Thomas King, Elodie Frenck, Michael Mendl, Jeremy Crutchley and Benn Cross,

Well, Lost City Riders is not a movie you’re gonna remember. A co-production between German TV channel ProSieben and Sci-fi Channel (before its rebranding to SyFy Channel), you’ve seen the plot rehashed a million times before (and couple hundreds after 🙂 ).

The global warming caused the flooding of the Earth, only 10 % of the surface is habitable, and we’re encountering our – you’ve guessed it – Lost City Riders, a family unit (a guy with two adopted sons), raiding the submerged buildings for profit.

Our family unit planning the entering and escaping.

Unbeknownst to his two adopted sons Jack (Ian Somerhalder) and Thomas (Jamie Thomas King), their stepfather John Kubiak (James Brolin) is on the mission of finding the legendary scepter of Sobek, Egyptian god of Nile, who – according to legend – controlled by it the rising and falling down the waters of the great river.

And as it’s usually the case, he’s not alone! Enters Nicholas Filiminov (Ben Cross) as a nefarious businessman trying to claim the scepter for himself to – well, you’ve guessed it again – make money!

Our villain Nicholas Filiminov (Ben Cross) confronting Giovanna Becker (Bettina Zimmermann)

To complete the picture, we have Bettina Zimmermann as Giovanna Becker, Jack’s old love, and because it would be bad to leave the other boy alone, here comes the rescue in the form of Elodie Frenck (Cara Cahill).

You know how it plays, right? Yes, it’s pretty straightforward, with a bad underwater CGI effects, the story doesn’t allow for any twists or surprises, but the scenes in the Chinese cave (yes, we are all over the world, from Vatican to Dresden to Chinese cave system) with the secret room built in it got me in stitches. The acting there was on the level I’ve expected it turning to a scene from a adult video movie any second! Anyway, don’t shoot at the pianist for the piano not being in tune, as they say.

Putting the rod into the hole…or something like that.

I am not sure if it’s me getting old and more tolerant of everything, but I myself was surprised to actually watch the whole movie without any interruptions. I think I can safely state it was due to the level of watchable silliness on the TV screen, quite certainly unintentional by the creators of the movie.

But it’s about entertainment, right? In that case, they’ve succeeded.

Not that I’m gonna re-watch it any time soon (if ever).

Official trailer:

Fragment Soul – Axiom of Choice (a review)

The link for these Greek doom melancholics arrived to my mailbox a long time ago, and I’ve almost forgotten about it. Yes, I know. Im am irresponsible sometimes.

However, I’ve started my spring cleaning also in my accounts and so I’ve come across Axiom of Choice – and what a beautiful album it is.

4 long compositions in 3 seconds over 42 minutes, that’s the progressive doom dessert from Greece. No feta cheese, though, that’s for sure.

You might know already that my musical tastes are all over the place, and although some might argue it won’t allow me to concentrate fully on a particular genre, I think it gives me an opportunity to enjoy music without too much of a comparison.

And therefore I can enjoy Fragment Soul and their work of art for what it is. And it’s a beautiful, melancholic, gloomy collection – however, not a depressive one, I’d say. It’s something you would play during the rainy day, laying alone in your bed and just floating in space of your thoughts and memories. For the fans of Draconian it might be pointed out, that Heike Langhans collaborated on this album, and there’s also a guest person – Egan O’Rourke from Daylight Dies.

I like it a lot. For a seasoned fans of the doom genre it might not be earth-shattering, and I’m not gonna argue it is. But if you want to spend 42:03 minutes of your life with an aural balsam for your ears and soul, this might be something you might like to check.

Album stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQupuFFlbOo

Malauriu – Malauriu (a 2022 album review)

Recently I’ve lent my ear to some nice black metal releases, so when I’ve got this promo from Italy for a review, it’s been only a matter of time when it will attack both my ears.

…and the day has come.

Malauriu are certainly no new-comers, haling from the Italian underground since 2013. I am not familiar with their previous output, but with the opening track, “Morto Era L’oro”, it is clear what they meant by “a new chapter of experimentation between dark ambient and Mediterranean sound”, which was the description they’ve used in the promo e-mail. Well, they haven’t lied.

The album contains 4 long compositions, the shortest one clocks in 10:52 (“Corpo Tempio), the longest will stay in your aural orifices for almost 12 minutes (11:50 long “Specula”).

A mix between ritualistic darkwave and a poetry reading, lyrics in Italian, along with the music itself, evoke the best moments of watching Italian horror/occult/supernatural movies – minus the video segment, of course.

Not much of a black metal per se, nevertheless, this is right in my comfort zone, as I’ll never say no to the atmosphere inducing soundscape.

The album will be released on April 1st, 2022, in a CD and digital format via the Italian label Nero Corvino, so if that’s your kind of music, you definitely won’t go wrong getting it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malauriuofficial

Costectomy/Nyctophagia – “Drone Hunting Missionaries For Sport” (a 2021 split review)

After some time spent checking not so usual music with my other webpage Indokult, dedicated to the Indonesian music , I’ve started craving some more unhinged underground music again. To be precise, good old goregrind and gorenoise. No, I won’t call it a “fix”, haha, but truth is – sometimes it’s just what the doctor has ordered. You know…going full circle and so forth…

Now, with the genre selected, the next important question was – with so much to choose from, what to play? For that, I’ve checked a Olga Lazarus’ new label Strangulation Furrow on Bandcamp. You might remember Olga from the interview I did with her for the Rubber Axe webzine here. Since then she’s relocated to the USA and started a new label, it’s only logical to show her some support! Yes, freaks, some support!!!

Olga is a busy bee and so far she has released some nice releases (mostly tapes, but also a CD and a 7” EP), plus she’s printing the t-shirts herself. Talk about some dedication here!

So, with that being said, I’ve chosen to review a split between Costectomy and Nyctophagia titled “Drone Hunting Missionaries For Sport”. 14 groovy tracks in total.

A tape version from Strangulation Furrow label

First to offer the putrid sonic fruits is Costectomy, which is Chud’s (Ulcerated Offal, Cystoblastosis, ex-Hit-Run Drivers etc.) project based in Eliot (Maine, USA). 6 tracks in total of great sounding goregrind (yes, the aforementioned groovy kind), enriched by the samples from the horror/gore movies, exactly the way I like it. You know, I love intros/outros! Damn, thinking about that, I am pretty much easily pleased, haha! Well, it’s true. However, when you are faced with stuff like this, that’s not so hard. Great stuff here. Oh, not to forget, the last song is a cover of Dysmenorrheic Hemmorage, “Affliction”.

The rest of the release belongs to Nyctophagia, currently an 1-man unstoppable grinding machine from Ohio and if you can count on your rotten fingers, you know that means 8 tracks left to enjoy!

Unlike Costectomy, Nyctophagia plays more of a little faster death/grind, more of a bulldozer than a groove, however I can’t complain here neither and so won’t you. Really, what’s here not to enjoy?

The split is over almost in no time – which is probably the only negative I can say about it. For those collectors of the physical release, this was released in 2021 on a pro CD-R by Costectomy Records (but according the info it’s already sold out) and Olga’s label has released it on in a tape version. Go check and grab it while you can!

Bandcamp: https://strangulationfurrowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/costectomy-nyctophagia-split

VA – Gorenoise megasplit vol. 1

It’s been quite a while since I’d reviewed anything gorenoise related. Gorenoise Megasplit volume 1, the compilation I’m going to write a few words about, was sent to me by our friends in the Italian label Nosevomit Records quite a long time ago, and I am ashamed to have waited for so long before reviewing it. Well, time to wait is over, let’s have a look how ugly this boy turned out to be!

Opening the compilation is Italian gorenoise project Bronchospasm with the track “Pneumoconiosis”, the cool 4:05 track and it’s quite interesting, not the typical blasting sh*t I’d expect, it’s more like an experimental noise track, with drums beats here and there, but straight away, I am impressed and I need to check this project little more closer. And, by the way, they are associated with this little record label: https://www.facebook.com/unauthorizedsurgeonsclub/

The second to dissect is another Italian pathology combo – Conforming To Survive – with the three tracks, “Severed Mutation of the Upper Limbs”, “Gnawing the Intestines” and “Cursed Flesh Grimoire”. Rehearsal recording, with a rather goregrind/noise chaos, and again, I am revelling in this! Building from the shortest track to the longest one (which clocks in 3:39), there’s plenty of filth to like here!

But then…it’s a gorenoise proper! American project Hydroencephalocystocele steals the show with its “13 Traxx Untitled” and for all those looking for a really cool gorenoise, now it’s the time. Bubbles and noise, what can go wrong, right? I’d welcome more variability here, but otherwise, can’t complain.

Mucopurulence’s section opens with a cool intro, which intro-duces (lol) us to to f*ckin awesome goregrind track “Copro Corpse Copulation”. This stuff raises the dead! Mucupurulence hails from Finland and because they kick ass, they offer 5 tracks here – Copro Corpse Mutilation, Putrid Bile of Shit, A Collection of Colons and Entrails, Ceaseless Violent Defecating, Choking on Swollen Tongue and Vomit – all the future classicks, I am sure! Not too long, not too short, they are perfect! I really enjoy these, and the song titles remind me of the times we used to come up with the most insane titles too!!!

This nice compilation closes with 5 gorenoise tracks (Adiction, Another Disease; Ear Atrocities, Head Hole, Inhuman Glass and Taenia Solium) from Saccopharynx. This Mexican project offers an interesting mix of blasting drums, bubbling, gurgling vokills…and probably even a kitchen sink thrown in for a good measure, and it works.

The whole compilation can be heard on the Nosevomit’s Bandcamp, and what’s even better, you can get a CD-R of it too!!! What are you waiting for then?

https://nosevomitrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gorenoise-megasplit-vol-i

Where fire burns eternally: Eternal Kingdom of Fire, volume 5 (digital promo review)

Those of you who read the Rubber Axe regularly, will might recall the review I’ve written for a previous release of this compilation series, namely volume 2.

Well, time flies and a few days ago a new batch has arrived to my mailbox, this time it was the latest invocation, namely the volume 5.

10 bands, 10 songs. However…what songs these are!

Opening this compilation tape is Winter Eternal from Greece (lately of Scotland, according to available information) with the song “Crown of Stars” (also on this project’s 2021 full length “Land of Darkness”). F**king brilliant tune, I can hardly think of a better opening. Interesting, well thought of, well played. And a well received here, that’s no doubt about that. I like the use of instruments and the melodies.

Russian strikeforce Ophidian Malice, on the other hand, take no prisoners and relentlessly bash the listener with their furious black metal vibe. “Saviour” is the song from their debut 2021 full-length “Disgusting Ritual” and it definitely shows the band in the good (un)light.

So far, I am really enjoying the comp.

With Skorbvstr, the raw black metal ferocity from Kentucky (USA) we have first exclusivity here, as I think their song “Diskusjonen er avsluttet” is available here only. I might be wrong though. I am little surprised with the use of, what is it Norwegian language?…but the guy might be from Scandinavia, so there’s that. As for the music, I have to admit I am starting to develop a certain liking for the raw BM (which, as many might know, is not one of my favourite subgenres), and there are some elements I really enjoy here.

“Pain Enshrouded Dirge” from Desecration Rites is our very next song, and the second longest offering from this compilation. I’d say there’s a certain inspiration from old Burzum (which is not a bad thing, what do you think?), and even it delivers the goods (so to speak) even with the simplicity of melody, riffs and hypnotic drumbeat. Well, you know…the old school, the good way.

Alpgeist hails from Bavaria (Germany) and presents to you their hymn “Moor in der Todtenau”. Yes, I can definitely say I like this approach a lot more than the raw BM subgenre. Dark, melancholic and melodic, I really like the guitar riffs here…the whole song is one welcoming energy boost in my current depressive mood. Can a black metal song be viewed as a positive booster? I’d say so, so this applies. I am really loving this one.

Zmyrna can be classed as Alpgeist’s neighbour, as guys come from Czech Republic, and their “Pagus Maledictus” offers yet another fascinating look into the black metal subgenre – guys not only sing about mystical stuff and medieval life, their music also evokes the fires of the dark ages and the suffering through the ages. This song is certainly a weird one, very unexpected, but as I’ve said – fascinating (in a good sense). The song itself comes from their only material to date, the 2021 self-titled EP.

And now, ladies and gentlemen – the longest track of this compilation. Necrodes and “Swept Away”, from its 2021 full-length “Isolation”. Wow, what a vocal! Imagine maniacal, hysterical cries with some gurgling and you might start to have an idea. Although, I guess the best bet is to have a listen. However, I think more of DSBM than atmospheric BM here, but that’s just my opinion. Unfortunately, these days I am rarely fond of long compositions and I’ve got a little bored here, sorry.

Necrocarnation hails from Germany now, but from what I could find, they are from Argentina, and on this nice compilation they bring to your attention their black/death metal sacrifice with their song “Antarctic”, which is also the opener of their 2020 EP “Fragments of Dark Eternity”. And I have to say, I like this stuff! Especially vokills, which sound really killer! Kudos to the compiler, as I really welcome the diversity of the subgenres while still being true to the black metal genre as a whole.

Finnish duo Svartheim play strict black metal, which might sound a little generic nowadays, but I think they are aware of that, so they enrich their song “Vaiettu” (which comes from their 2021 full length debut “Black Metal Finland”) with the interesting dual vocals. And it works. Personally, I don’t really give a damn about similarity between songs or bands – if I like it, I like it, period. And Svartheim would be on my playlist. It’s simple, yet effective.

And the last band to enjoy from this compilation is Necro Forest from Croatia, with the song “Hate Divison”. Raw black metal, with little NSBM leaning, I’d guess. I am little disappointed with the sort of a ripping off Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon” in the beginning of the song , because when it starts properly, it’s not bad at all! But I think Norwegian legends have their impact on many bands…it’s not that big of an issue, but I thought it would be good to mention that. Also, likeable song.

So, that’s all, folks. Good, bad? Well, for me, undoubtedly a great compilation. I think I can safely say – I can play this without skipping a song. And that’s quite a feat.

Get it from Ancient Cult Records, while you can. Get in touch with the label via e-mail: aniquilacionsatanicapro@yahoo.com

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