Red Velvet – RBB (EP review)

Red Velvet – you know, I come from the heavy metal scene. I totally never heard of Red Velvet until today because I am only into extreme underground raw metal. I would never listen to Korean pop music. I’m just too cool for that. I would rather sit and talk about black metal bands with other agoraphobic rejects on the internet. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Music that sounds different than muh precious! My guys wearing makeup and leather pants going “goo goo” into a microphone with limited talents! My precious ooga-booga banging on pots n’ pans and shit!

What you just read is something that many people would say. You know, I know 30-, 40-, 50-years old men who argue about bands – and all the fucking bands sound exactly the same. Which new shitty black metal band that sounds exactly like Darkthrone (or Dimmu Borgir) are we gonna worship on the precious metal message board today? Which “Die-Hard Edition” vinyl exclusively limited to 10,000 copies is your dumb fucking ass gonna spend money on?

I hate you fucking people. I swear, these people have made metal into a laughing stock. I’ve been here doing midwestern metal for more than 20 years and I hate these people, but I’ll keep doing it, just so I can laugh when they’ve all moved on to electronic darkwave synth or whatever the fuck. In the past 20 years I’ve seen hundreds move on to different music upon the very MOMENT they smoke their first joint, or move out of their dad’s basement, and the list goes on. You’re all garbage!

Now on to the review.

Red Velvet RBB EP cover
Red Velvet – RBB EP cover

Red Velvet’s “RBB” is their 5th (and at the time of this writing, newest) EP. It’s a very adventurous journey through music and vocal performance that may take people by surprise, or even scare them.

Track by track:

RBB – This was the first single and follow-up to their last album’s second single (and consequently, their biggest hit to date) “Bad Boy.” RBB stands for “Really Bad Boy” and the first time I heard this song it caught me completely off guard. I didn’t hate it, I just couldn’t fucking understand what the hell they were doing. Upon second listen – as usual, my relationship with Red Velvet’s music is me having to listen to it twice to “grasp” what’s going on – I found a song that focuses almost exclusively on vocal. This is more primitive than all the raw, black, heavy metal you could fit onto 20,000 mix tapes (if people still made actual tapes) and it’s just…insane. The vocals are everywhere and come from every direction at your ears.

There’s some percussion and some horns. That’s about it and I have to say, even though the audience it’s directed at may not get this, this song is complete, pure art. In essence, it is a production dream. It isn’t slick in any way. The lyrics aren’t exactly genius but the way they are sung…that’s genius.

This song is absolutely wacky in the best possible way. Listen with headphones on for the best experience: It’s a war, you’re the last remaining soldier on the opposing side, and you get attacked from all sides. It’s a barrage in the best possible way. I can not recommend this single enough, but it is not for the faint-hearted. And it sure as hell isn’t for posers. I can’t gush about this song enough. It’s fucking badass. That’s that.

Butterflies – A pure disco dance track right here. Very slick and perfectly done. This reminds me of Madonna mixed with 1970s dancehall music. The verse is lowkey and the chorus blows up in your face like The Unabomber decided to have Dance Parties instead of being some kind of “Revolution” retard. I mean, what was he thinking? How the hell does anyone get laid while residing in a shitty ass one room cabin making incendiary devices for a living? What a fucking idiot. This is a really good song that isn’t out of place after the first song, but quite different in tone. The bridge features some really good, varied vocal lines including a rap style at some point. If you like to dance, or just like dance music, you will like this song. If you don’t like to dance, you were probably one of the nerds I used to absolutely torment in high school. I still would completely torment you and make your life Hell. Just know that. I can still beat you up.

So Good – And here we go into a song that reminds me of older Red Velvet (maybe I’ll review their older shit at a later time.) There’s a distinct 90’s American R and B thing going on here. The music here again is primitive, kind of flamenco sounding in parts. I don’t know how to explain it other than that. The vocal performances are brilliant here. Wendy and Seulgi, as usual, are the standouts. They are the best vocalists in Red Velvet and they do a really good job on this song. It’s really “So Good.” Ha, I’m so fucking funny. It sets the stage for the next track which is…

Sassy Me – I don’t even know what the hell to think of this song. It’s reminiscent of Hyuna. The verse is weird and funky. It’s going way over my head; this music wasn’t meant for guys like me, anyway, but it drags me in to it’s fucked up world and I don’t know what to do. Do I like this song or not? The chorus, the harmony, the singing… it’s fun. I think this is kind of a dancey, Disneyland, goofy vacation, sounding type of song. The bridge with Seulgi and Wendy trading vocal lines is cool.

All of a sudden someone says “Shhh…Did you hear that?” and I think someone said that to me. This freaks me out, and I turn the music off only to realize I’m an idiot.

Red Velvet breaks right back into the chorus. I quite like this song. It fits Red Velvet. If they were put into a little box with only one song to represent them, it may be THIS song… until you realize “RBB” exists, and that it’s probably the best song for the box of Red Velvet’s representation.

Taste – Clap track. That’s the first thought I have. Clap track! I love the fucking clap. And I don’t mean gonnorhea. I mean the clap track. You know, rhythm. Music; percussion. Shit. Now I’m thinking of venereal diseases. I go through all of them in my mind. In turn, I settle upon “chlamydia” as the most disgusting sounding one of all of them. Now, I forgot how to spell “chlamydia” so I look it up, and I find out I’m right about the spelling, but I also find something disgusting. Something that makes me hate the world!

When I typed “chlamydia” into Google I got this blurb from the Moron Farm that is Planned Parenthood:

“Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds. Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.”

Okay, now I don’t give a FUCK that 3,000,000 Americans have it, but if we average that out and apply it to the world, that means 33,333,333 Chinese people have it. I’m never visiting there anyway, but god damn!

I don’t care that it’s most commonly spread among 14-24 year olds, because people of that age group are all stupid…so stupid, in fact, most of them should not be allowed to live among others in society. They should be placed in internment camps until they are 25.

So what’s my problem with this blurb about chlamydia?

“Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection.” What the fuck? Is that how people talk? “SUPER COMMON”? I can just hear the loser that typed that SAYING it out loud. Suuuuper common. Go fuck yourself. Literally go fuck yourself, that way you don’t catch the Suuuuper common chlamydia bacteria from some nasty ass motherfucker. For the love of all fucking things that are good in this world, stop using “super” as a fucking Paris Hilton bullshit Kardashian Ass adverb!

Anyway, “Taste” by Red Velvet is a really good song. It has a good rap breakdown where they all take turns…breaking it down. This is a good EP but it is not my favorite Red Velvet material…

They then do a goofy English version of “RBB” as the last track, which I don’t really think they needed to do, but they are touring the US and Canada this year so maybe they got pressured to do it. It’s still good, just kind of silly. Silly in a good way, though.

If you want to have a really weird introduction to Red Velvet, this is the place to begin. If you are not adventurous… if you are not musical in any way…the title track is going to turn you off, and drive you completely nuts. I consider “Russian Roulette” or “Perfect Velvet” a better intro for Red Velvet virgins, but this EP has a special place in my soul. It’s really, really good. It’s groundbreaking too. This is quite far removed from normal K-Pop especially “RBB” “Taste” and “So Good.” There’s a little more of a western flavor on a couple of the tracks than I’m used to, and I don’t care much for the modern western flavor, but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to Red Velvet’s music.

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 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:

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.


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!


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:

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?

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:

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