Watching wrestling with J.R. Preston: WCW SLAMBOREE 1997

We start with an opening video package that does little to set up what’s happening. From this opening video, I have gathered 2 things:

1. There will be NFL Football Players in a match.

2. Apparently the nWo members are mad at the WCW veterans.

Number 1 seems like a surefire way to get a whole bunch of people to pay $30 to watch out of sheer curiosity, and number 2 seems like a good way to bring in the wrestling fans. In 1997, the nWo was the hottest thing going in the world of professional wrestling, and by 1999 no one gave a shit anymore but that’s beside the point. I’m not here for history lessons. I’m here to watch fucking wrestling.

The saddest part about all this is I was watching wrestling in the 1990s, and I knew why everyone was fighting. Now I’m older and completely detached in every way imaginable. WCW doesn’t even exist. I do not watch WWE programming. I have no fucking idea what is going on or why, but I’m determined to watch it.

We begin with Tony Schiavone (one of the guys at the announcer’s table) yelling at the top of his lungs about how the Independence Arena in the Queen City of the South Charlotte North Carolina (that’s screamed, without commas) is completely sold out and it appears to be a true statement. The crowd is extremely hot for this show and that’s good because wrestling can be a drag when the audience doesn’t give a fuck.

Right away, they announce something I’m instantly looking forward to: A match-up between Reggie White and Steve “Mongo” McMichael!

You might be wondering why I would want to see something that sounds so damn stupid. Reggie White was a famous NFL player. So was Mongo. Mongo was already out of football and a professional wrestler at this point. He was a staple of WCW programming, and a former Chicago (Illinois, where I am from) Bears player. I don’t know what either guy did for either team. I only know they were football players. I have very little interest in football, even though I like to watch it being played. I am able to casually enjoy football with friends but I don’t really care one way or another whether or not it even exists as a thing on any planet including Earth. Pro wrestling is my number one favorite sport in the entire world and I don’t keep up with any others except the occasional baseball championship race if the St. Louis Cardinals are playing.

Here’s a good chance to explain something about where I live. I feel I should stress the “LINE” in Illinois. There’s this imaginary line that divides baseball fans in Illinois, from Bloomington-Normal and everything north of it, where people like the Chicago Cubs for some reason.

Everywhere in the south, we like the St. Louis Cardinals. Naturally, I despise the Cubs and love the Cards because I have a working brain. That isn’t going to change, and I judge people on their preference despite not really caring if baseball exists. I mean, take it or leave it…

Cuz who gives a fuck about baseball, dudes?

I’m a fan of only one sport: Wrestling.

Back to the story at hand:

Reggie White, a football person, is fighting Steve McMichael, a football person from Illinois who I really loved when he was in wrestling.

Now you know who I’m rooting for… on with the show!

By the way, I need to mention I am watching this pay-per-view with my best woman Cassandra and now we have Bobby Heenan, Dusty Rhodes, and Tony Schiavone at the announce table.

Two of these guys are dead already. Schiavone says we are also going to have a match tonight in which Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, and Kevin Green (ANOTHER NFL football player) will fight the nWo! Dusty Rhodes yells out “Make no mistake about tradition, never toss it out the window – will the seeping sewage of the nWo be stopped tonight?” We shall see… and out comes Steven Regal.

Steven Regal vs.Ultimo Dragon

Schiavone explains that Regal doesn’t want to be called Lord Steven Regal anymore, as he feels being of nobility is a given. He just wants to be called Steve Regal. Okay.

Two guys in the crowd are holding a British flag – what the fuck? These guys couldn’t be any more redneck if you painted their necks!

Steve Regal walks out like he owns the place. He does. He’s a legit badass.

It’s announced that his opponent is from Nagoya, Japan and I know who this is going to be: The Ultimate Dragon aka Ultimo Dragon, with manager Sonny Onoo.

We are joined by Mike Tenay (what the fuck is going on?) on the announce team who has great things to say like “I couldn’t approach Steven Regal in the locker room” because he was overly cocky and too arrogant. He also informs us that Ultimo Dragon has held 9 world championship title belts. That’s good to know.

Ultimo Dragon is one of my favorites. When I was still occasionally watching WWF, Ultimo Dragon appeared on a Wrestlemania. During his entrance he came out and fell down. He will be remembered mostly as the guy who fell down at Wrestlemania, which is more than I can say about most people. He’s a very good wrestler with some innovative moves and I was always into his gimmick, the masked, costumed, Japanese ultimate dragon.

Regal starts throwing kicks with no contact. They walk around in a circle. They go in for a lock-up… Regal gains control with a full arm twist and arm drag. A flip-over arm-drag by Ultimo Dragon turns into some sort of arm move, which is reversed by Regal into a “leg crushing the head maneuver” – the only thing I can think of to call it because I haven’t seen it before.

They dance around for the lock up. Right hand first. Left hand…second. Like two huge bears they collide. Ultimo feeling the strength, going down to the mat. He bends up and Regal kicks his hands out. Up into a full arm drag, Regal gains control.

Regal kicks Dragon while he’s down and puts him into a sleeper hold and some kind of modified surfboard stretch. I actually like this match, it’s pretty good. Regal is trying to keep this submission on but Dragon fights out. A reversal, Dragon controlling with a sleeperhold until Regal uses a swinging side suplex and starts pummeling Dragon in the head. Modified Regal Stretch, which according to Tony Schiavone, was used last week to hurt Prince Iaukea.

The Regal Stretch is a move no one talks about, but it’s a really good move. Ultimo is in control after fighting out. This is a decent match. Dragon stays in control with a dropkick, Regal goes down. Dragon kicks him in the gut, Regal gets up and kicks Dragon but gets beat down.

Ultimo Dragon is walking on Regal’s back after a drop toe hold and has now gone up to the top turnbuckle to do a handstand that turns into a kick that has to be seen to be believed. Spinning dragon kick, and many kicks on a prone Regal.

This match really doesn’t make much sense. It’s two bad guys fighting each other. The stiff kicks are making me enjoy the shit out of it. Modified Boston Crab applied to Regal. Bobby Heenan says “How many times do you get to see a man who looks like a rooster doing a handstand on the top rope?” I’d wager not very many times. Many submission attemps and Regal fights out and kicks Dragon in the head. Ultimo Dragon rolls out of the ring, gets kicked in the head into a huge suplex by Regal. Modified Full Nelson by Regal. Reversal by Ultimo, but a weird Full Nelson applied by a much shorter Ultimo Dragon. They fight a bit until another Regal Stretch attempt. Ultimo slaps Regal really hard and tries to get Steven Regal into a chicken wing. Chicken wing into cross-arm breaker and Regal fighting it off. The announcer Bobby Heenan says “A good move would be to take your choppers and bite him.” Now he’s yelling. “Bite Em!”

Fast forward to Regal applying a full surfboard, apparently a “Bow and Arrow Submission Lock” according to Tenay who informs us that Dragon speaks Spanish, a little English, and Japanese which prompts Heenan to say most Americans speak little English too. He’s actually right.

Regal has a reverse bridged STF applied on Ultimo Dragon in the middle of the ring. I don’t know if that’s really a move, but it is now, because I made it up. “He’s cutting his wind and tryin’ to break his legs at the same time!” says Dusty Rhodes.

Ultimo reverses into a Camel Clutch. Tony Schiavone calls it a reverse chin lock. Good job, Tony.

Off the ropes, Irish Whip and a reversal from Dragon into a backflip. Kicks Regal outside and Onoo begins to kick him repeatedly. Ultimo seems angry about his manager resorting to such behavior here. This is the beginning of Ultimo becoming a good guy. Cartwheel hand-spring elbow and a hurricanrana off the top rope onto Regal, and 15 minutes into this shit we have a pin and a 2-count.

Dragon performs a moonsault which is avoided and turned into a Regal Stretch. Pedigree style double arm suplex by Regal, weird looking one at that. Probably gonna be downhill from here. And I don’t mean just this match. I mean the whole program.

Spinning Heel Kick by Dragon called a Wheel Kick by Tony. Magistral Cradle and a kick-out by Regal. Moonsault off the ropes by Dragon but barely connects. Regal is acting hurt…and he performs a botched low blow which Dragon doesn’t even bother selling at all. Like it didn’t even happen! I don’t blame him – it looked like shit.

Hahaha! That was horrible! Regal walked toward the rope and Dragon fell down. What the fuck just happened? Feet-first, he fell on the ground.

Asai Moonsault (named after Ultimo Dragon) to the outside by Dragon. Regal is down and I just realized this is a title match for some kinda belt because Schiavone announced it. Sonny Onoo kicking Regal in the leg and chest but Dragon pushes him away! Sonny gets pissed and kicks Dragon!

Regal kicks Ultimo Dragon in the back of the head, brings him into the ring. Reverse suplex into Regal Stretch, and Steven Regal wins by submission.

Steven Regal, your new WCW Television Champion.

Cassie’s Rating: 8/10

J.R.’s Rating: 6/10

Now we have Luna Vachon coming out and since there was only one other wrestling female in WCW at this time, her opponent is Madusa (Alundra Blayze from WWF.)

Madusa vs. LunaVachon

“Two of the most beautiful women in our sport” says Heenan and I beg to differ.

Lee Marshall is out here on the announce time now, and Luna is beating the living shit out of Madusa. She flips her by her hair and drags her face to the mat.

Madusa fighting back and Luna hits her in the eyes. This match already sucks, Luna’s strutting.

Crowd is dying right now, leaving to piss and get beers.

Lee Marshall talking about the match and I want to point out that Lee Marshall was the voice of Kellog’s breakfast food icon Tony the Tiger.

He compares Madusa to Florence Griffith Joyner and Martina Navratilova!

Not so sure about that, Lee. To me this match is already 2/10… Madusa comes back with a spinning kick. Takedown and blatant chokehold by Luna.

The referee is saying “quit” but she starts digging into her stomach (what the fuck) and now strangles her again…this match is the absolute pinnacle of shit. Madusa up and slapping Luna in the corner. Backhand slaps, Flair style chops here. Big clothesline causing Luna to fall head over heels literally. Match getting better as Madusa pulls Luna to the middle of the ring and kicks the fuck out of her. Luna with a rake to Madusa’s eyes (again.) Madusa with a sunset flip and Luna is down with what I can only call a pussy to the face move. Her vagina is on her face. She’s shaking and I don’t understand what’s happening. Facebuster by Luna after breaking the pussy face hold thing. Swinging neckbreaker by Luna who then hits the top rope and goes for the big splash but Madusa rolls out of the way in the nick of time. Madusa wins with a very good looking Northern Lights Suplex.

Madusa takes off her shirt to reveal an athletic bra and some big huge fucking titties. She shakes them at the crowd and they go insane at the sight.

Cassie’s rating: 5/10

J.R.s rating: 3/10 for tits.

Gene Okerlund on the entrance ramp talking on the mic about how someone may be leaving WCW but you have to call the 900 number to find out who it is. 1-900-909-9900! He says to Madusa, “Wow, very attractive indeed.” Clearly he is entranced by her nipples, just as much as I am.

And Ohhhhhh yeahhhhhhh…nWo music hits and out comes Elizabeth (looking great) and Macho Man Randy Savage, who looks quite young. At the time it was popular to refer to him as an old wrestler but he wasn’t old! Shows how times change as most top wrestlers today are 10 years older than Savage was here. Macho tells Gene Okerlund to get the fuck out of here and grabs the microphone, goes to the ring and gives the wolfpac symbol. Camera pans the crowd and there’s some guys in nWo shirts. Wow, a girl in an nWo shirt! A black guy is holding up an nWo shirt! What the hell is going on? Clearly the nWo is uniting the races. Some idiot holding up a WCW magazine, and a kid who is really into this, holding up an nWo shirt! Macho is really on top at this point in his career, and he starts talking.

“The center of the Universe is the Outsiders plus Syxx. The Wolfpac. Hollywood Hogan. Buff Bagwell. Scott Norton. Eric Bischoff! Not DDP. He doesn’t wanna feel the madness anymore. Diamond Dallas Page does not want any part of the Macho Man annnnyyyyyymooore.”

Page comes out of the crowd with a broken crutch (??) and heads into the ring. The announcers explain. It was the crutch that was used on him last week.

Macho Man yells out “Here’s the deal!” and Page approaches, prompting him to leave. Liz runs off as well, and Bischoff comes out. He holds Macho back. He doesn’t want him to make a mistake by fighting DDP alone, so he calls out more troops.

DDP gets the microphone and says “I thought you said you wanted to feel the madness” but he didn’t say that.

“What’s the deal? Maybe Hulk Hogan will sneak up behind me huh? You don’t wanna feel the madness now? I didn’t think so.” He’s taunting Macho Man, Buff Bagwell, Vincent, Scott Norton and Eric Bischoff who have gathered in the entrance ramp area.

“I got it, I got it. You must have a previous engagement… now I know it ain’t with Kimberly.” Kimberly was DDP’s wife, and I remember this particular drama. Macho Man had been hitting on Kimberly. He had also said some rather colorful things about her, and I believe even assaulted her. To continue on, Page says about the previous engagement, “I doubt if it’s even with Liz!” Elizabeth was Macho Man’s wife. The crowd is into it. He’s calling out Macho Man’s manhood!

“You’re probably hanging out at Hogan’s house, so you can wash his car and kiss his ass!”

Oh man. Macho is looking like that isn’t very funny. He’s laughing now, though… this is kind of awkward and I’m now laughing too. He said “Everyone get to the side…” and calls Vincent “Virgil” – hahahahahah! (Vincent was known as Virgil in the WWF and it looks like Macho forget) telling him to step aside so he can approach the ring.

Macho Man Randy Savage says “Watch this brotha!” and goes to the ring to attack. It’s a bonus match! DDP vs. Macho Man. Macho Man on the way to the ring, attacking a fan on the way, scaring the living shit out of the guy, despite not hitting him, which made me laugh.

He’s not getting in the ring, he’s just making arm movements. He decides to go in and gets hit with the crutch. DDP then hits Buff with the crutch. He smacks Vincent with it and breaks it. He now hits Bischoff with it, and Norton punches DDP right in the kidney. Scott “Flash” Norton is kicking the living shit out of DDP as Macho Man heads back in the ring to start hitting DDP in his injured ribs. Buff Bagwell kicking DDP now.

The Giant runs out! He is here to save Diamond Dallas Page from the clutches of the nWo. He hugs DDP and I cringe. They’re still hugging, gross. They’re so sweaty and ugly!

The crowd is going wild! DDP is pointing at people. BANG! He does the Diamond Cutter sign. Everyone in the nWo walks away except Bischoff who lays down awkwardly. Liz is still out there? Buff is holding Savage back.

I now realize Liz is dead. Macho’s dead. And Buff’s career is dead.

Two ladies in the front row going insane. The first one is all “yeahhh!” The other lady is all “Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!”

A lot of DDP’s signature pose, the diamond cutter, in the crowd. Many gyrations! Everyone is diamond cutting and acting like fools. They love DDP. They’re heavily into it and want to see a match between him and Macho. There’s some Hooters Girls and cut-off WCW shirt wearing girls out here. They should be doing a show about them. I would thoroughly enjoy that more than this.

Joining the announce team awkwardly is Mike Tenay again!

That’s because we have a Mexican wrestler vs. a Japanese wrestler and Tenay is the only guy who knows anything about them. All the other guys are completely clueless. This isn’t bullshit, either. It’s common knowledge in the wrestling business. Mike Tenay exists solely to spout out information about international pro wrestlers!

Yuji Yasuraoka vs.Rey Mysterio, Jr.

I exclaim “Who the hell is this?” because I don’t recognize Yuji. The crowd is booing. They hate Japanese people. Obviously they love 3 foot tall Mexicans, because they go nuts for Rey.

Yuji has a very colorful outfit but no mask. Mysterio has his trademark mask. Yuji appears to be a character from Voltron, and Rey appears to be a 3 foot tall masked Mexican guy.

A couple kicks by Yuji, and now they lock up. Rey with a go-behind that is worked by Yuji into some sort of modified reverse headlock.

Snapmare into a front face lock! Yuji is beating Mysterio!

Rey reverses into a weird spinning toe hold. He does it again – and then drops down on to Yuji’s leg. According to the announcers, Yuji did a lot of high impact moves last night but I don’t have any video evidence of such a thing. I don’t have last night’s video!

I don’t even know what “last night” would’ve been at the time this was made but I assume it was an episode of WCW SATURDAY NITE which I used to watch. It was just a weekend show that featured jobbers vs. stars in squash matches for the most part. That didn’t deter me…

Back to the match, this weird match where Rey is now… actually I don’t know what’s going on at this point. They are down on the mat. Rey Mysterio appears to be hugging Yuji and uh, this is weird. Oh! Nice suplex by Yuji followed by a body slam and a good stiff kick to Rey’s back.

He continues to kick Rey as he’s down. Another body slam, spinning around – he put his own sugar on that body slam. Rey can’t fight and is getting pummeled into a full on dragon twist.

I don’t remember ever watching this pay-per-view but I had to have. I don’t remember Yuji existing, but he’s in control fully in this match. Mysterio is getting his ass kicked. Clothesline into a pin. 2 count. Clubbing forearm to the back of the neck. Irish whip into a running heel kick. Yuji is killing Mysterio and comes off the ropes into a huge back body drop – actually a little back body drop – by the midget Rey Mysterio. Forearms are thrown! Springboard hurricanrana onto the outside of the ring by Rey. He tries to run and do another move but the ref stops it, as Schiavone has a heart attack. Spinning plancha onto Yuji!

This is a good time to point out that two white hillbilly guys in the front row have pulled out a Japanese flag, and a Mexican flag, and hung them over the guardrail. North Carolina seems like a really accepting place, with some really approachable rednecks. They say only rednecks watch wrestling but I’ve seen alot of diversity in this particular show. You got white guys holding up nWo shirts, black guys holding up nWo shirts, a British flag, a Japanese flag AND a Mexican flag.

Full camel clutch by Rey Mysterio on Yuji. Yes I am avoiding spelling his last name. I can’t even say it. I can’t say this match is good, either. “He’s got him bent the wrong way!” screams Bobby Heenan which makes me laugh. Rey is kicking Yuji in the back now. Yuji up, and gets the fuck slapped out of him.

Rey goes to spring off the top rope and is caught with a kick. He’s moaning like he’s being buttfucked and Yuji yells in Japanese and no one knows what he’s saying. Pin attempt by Yuji. Ref counts to 2, Rey gets up. Yuji yells at the referee. “1,2,3!” imploring him to count faster. Heenan says “Well, he can count in English.” Tony, in his infinite fucking wrestling wisdom replies with “He sure can. He has to be able to wrestle here.” Holy fucking shit.

They fight and fight doing Mexican and Japanese moves. Yuji has the upper hand most of the match. Puts him in a submission. I think it’s a reverse armbreaker, but I’m not quite sure. He is literally bending his arm all the way back. Tenay says this Yuji guy’s tag partner in Japan is Lance Storm. Heenan counters by saying Lance Storm “sounds like a repairman from Omaha.”

This match is way too long. 12 minutes in and Heenan says “This Japanese star is intimidated by Rey Mysterio” and I can’t see how that is possible. Rey with a little power bomb and a split-legged moonsault. Dusty Rhodes then calls this move “A lot of flying around stuff.”

“What a tremendous phenomenal athlete Rey Mysterio is!” Dusty says, sounding bored. Yuji picks Rey up for a double arm DDT, what I’d say is a modified back double arm DDT. Different than the one Cactus Jack uses. He should’ve pinned Mysterio but he didn’t. Now he’s screaming in Japanese and does the same double arm DDT which is reversed into a pin somehow. This is kind of interesting. Until the botched move Rey just tried to pull off. I don’t know what to call it because it was completely fucked.

Anyway, Yuji goes up top and gets dropkicked on the way down as the crowd goes wild. Hurricanrana and pin. Rey Mysterio is your winner.

Rey has some parting words for the people watching.

“No Japanese is gonna come here and intimidate the Mexican and American wrestling!”


Cassie’s rating: “I don’t know”

J.R.s rating: 5.1/10

Cassie then says:

“I give it a four.”

She didn’t like it.

Mortiis vs. Glacier

I’m sure you’ve heard of a certain Norwegian idiot who dresses up like a goofy looking elf thing and makes shitty music who goes by the name of Mortiis. The real Mortiis is here on WCW. This is what MY Mortiis looks like:

Mortiis is one of my favorite wrestlers. He’s also dead now. He comes out with his manager. I believe his manager (known in ECW as Father James Mitchell) is being called James Vandenberg, an evil guy who was building a stable of Mortal Kombat wrestlers. Yeah I’m not joking here, they were doing an M.K. gimmick without ever saying “Mortal Kombat.” At the time of this show I believe only two wrestlers were on Vandenberg’s team: Wrath and Mortiis.

I can’t stress enough how cool these guys looked. Wrath wasn’t the best wrestler, but he was a giant muscular guy with a bit of charisma, fresh off his stint in WWF as “Adam Bomb.” Mortiis, on the other hand, was Chris Kanyon in a Halloween costume – and he was an insanely good wrestler! I didn’t know Mortiis was Kanyon when I was into WCW programming 20 some years ago… all I knew was that American Mortiis could beat the shit out of Overseas Mortiis in a street fight.

Look at these fuckers! How can you not like this stuff? How would you cheer for anyone else?

Chris Kanyon should have always stayed as Mortiis. He had a bunch of shitty gimmicks after Mortiis. All the smoke and green lights, the music, everything about this worked. This is pro wrestling.

To me it rivaled Undertaker. A great look and a good mask. The outfit is very horror inspired. I loved this fucking shit!

Glacier comes out to a luke-warm response. Glacier is supposed to be a good guy. He’s Subzero from MK, basically. Heenan yells “He looks like Hannibal Lecter with that muzzle on” referring to Glacier’s Subzero face mask. Tony says “I’m sure he’s got Hannibal Lecter’s attitude!” What the fuck does that mean? The good guy is a psychotic cannibal?

Glacier being the Subzero character, of course has fake snow during his entrance. Fake fucking snow, you read that right!

Glacier has had enough – even though nothing has happened yet. He gets in the ring all tough and shit, running and taking his mask off. Mortiis kicking his ass. Kicking, kicking, kicking, kicking.

Dusty Rhodes says “There’s some old fashioned mudhole stomping going on right here!”

The match kind of continues I guess, as Mortiis calls for someone to come from the back. Wrath comes out with these huge shoulderpads shaped like bats. Mortiis is beating Glacier up. Glacier hits a backdrop and clotheslines Mortiis out of the ring. Wrath grabs the scepter of Mortiis, which had a skull on the top of it until Wrath hit Glacier with it and it fell the fuck off.

The match ends with a disqualification. They continue to beat up Glacier. Mortiis on the outside of the ring. He hits a Fame-Asser on Glacier… on the steel steps! If you haven’t seen a Fame-Asser (or any other moves I speak of) look them up for yourself as I can’t explain them

James is in Glacier’s face with a helmet, taunting him.

The story here is now revealed, and I had no idea as it wasn’t explained before. God this is fucking stupid and I like it. James Vandenberg has stolen Glacier’s samurai helmet, and that’s why they are fighting.

To keep Glacier’s helmet.

Wait, a fan hits the ring! The announcers are like “A fan is in the ring!” He starts karate kicking the bad guys.

It’s Ernest “The Cat” Miller, and this was his first appearance on WCW Wrestling as far as I know.

James Mitchell yells “You just opened Pandora’s Box!” to Ernest Miller.

Ernest Miller is a strange addition to a feud based on characters from a fucking video game. I don’t care. I love him.

Cassie’s rating: 10/10

J.R.s rating: 10/10

We agree it is a 10-star match because Ernest “The Cat” Miller was in the match, in regular street clothes.

Mean Gene back out to tell kids to call the 900 number.

It’s only $1.59 a minute to hear about wrestling on your mom’s phone.

Dean Malenko vs.Jeff Jarrett (with Debra)

I don’t want to watch this match and am only going to do so because Debra McMichael is out here.

Cassie and I both agree we hate Dean Malenko and he bores the shit out of us. We fast forward the match. It’s for a championship title belt, but I don’t know which one.

Jeff Jarrett is just Honky Tonk Man and it’s boring. I ask Cassie “Would you say Dean Malenko has any charisma whatsoever?” and she answers “Oh definitely not.”

She continues. “Even if he had charisma, he doesn’t even have a gimmick – he’s just a guy.” I will not watch this shit. It’s an insult to my intelligence. I’d rather put the camera on Debra for a full 45 minutes and call it a day. I don’t know how announcers and commentators (and the audience for that matter) sat through this stuff. If I was at that table with Tony Schiavone, I just would’ve said “This sucks” every 5 seconds as commentary.

In the interest of keeping the reader informed, they’re outside the ring. They then go back in the ring. Jeff almost wins somehow. They punch. This is a good time to point out Debra was married to Mongo McMichael, the football guy I mentioned earlier. Spinning toe hold by Jarrett into a figure four and here’s my chance to say I saw a wrestler from a local promotion the other day named Robbie McCann apply a spinning toe hold, and go into a figure four from it. I like McCann. He’s pretty cool.

Mongo comes out and says Jarrett can take care of himself and takes Debra away. “Get in there and do something, let’s go! We gotta go get ready for my match!” and they walk back to the backstage area.

A fucking powerbomb by the 2 1/2 foot midget Dean Malenko and he wins?

Malenko is the United States Champion now and he says “This belt’s not going anywhere.”

Cassie’s rating: 4/10 because Mongo came out

J.R.s rating: 0.8/10 because of the same thing

I hear Japanese style music playing. It is announced this will be a Deathmatch! I can’t wait to see this…

Meng vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit is announced and comes out with his wife, the woman he would later murder, right before he murdered their child, and subsequently kill himself.

I hate Chris Benoit.

Fuck him.

I ain’t watching him do anything.

We have a commercial for the next pay-per-view, WCW’s Great American Bash. The Steiners are grilling food? DDP and Kimberly are there? That’s a fucked up way to announce a wrestling show, but I’ve seen stranger things.

Dungeon of Doom vs. Steiner Brothers

Konnan and Hugh Morrus (I didn’t know Konnan was in the Dungeon of Doom, but here they are – managed by Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart.)

Steiners come out fresh from grilling steaks with their friends DDP and Kimberly. They show some girl. She really, really likes the Steiners. Crowd starts woofing like dogs which is what they did every time Rick Steiner was in a ring. His gimmick was that he would go “woof, woof.”

The Steiners are one of my favorite tag teams. Check em out, how can you not like them?

Hugh Morrus on the other hand…

Hugh went on to be known as his real name Bill Demott and was hired as a trainer for WWE. A couple of the losers who were being trained in his class complained that he was too mean because they’re pussies and now he’s unemployed.

Yes, they fired him for being too mean. In a business where people hurt each other by doing fake moves, cutting themselves, and falling onto hard stuff.

Anyway the Steiners have a Steiner Brothers match. “What’s that?” you may be thinking. Basically it’s this:

The other guys get suplexed by the Steiners. In this case, Konnan gets in the ring and yells “Arriba la raza!” which causes Rick Steiner to laugh. He really laughs – it isn’t a fake acting laugh. He legitimately throws Konnan around. He won’t sell what Konnan is doing and just keeps kicking and suplexing him.

Crowd is woofing of course.

I saw Rick Steiner beat the living shit out of a black jobber in Springfield Illinois. He killed this guy, just destroyed him and pulled no punches. The guy even yelled “SHIIIIIT!” when Steiner threw him into the corner.

Anyway, Konnan gets mad and legitimately kicks Rick in the head. Scott Steiner comes in and trips. Ha!

Hugh Morrus press slams Scott which is weird, since Scott is humongous. It’s funny to me that gangsta rapping Mexican gimmicked Konnan is in the Dungeon of Doom. It seems extremely out of place if you ask me.

“Who’s your favorite in this match?” I ask Cassie.

“Steiner” she says.

“Which one?”


“I like both the Steiners.” I say.

There have been 100 armbreakers in this match and 1,552 armbreakers in this damn show. Scott is being held by Konnan. Scott ducks the clothesline and of course, suplex. Belly to back suplex, which hurts bad when you land on wooden planks, which is what the ring is. You’re literally flipping onto your back from seven feet in the air.

Rick is in and give Hugh Morrus a bulldog from the top rope but Konnan breaks up the pin. Morrus up for a moonsault (which is an excellent move, absolutely fantastic.)

Rick is still the legal man in the ring but that doesn’t stop Scott from using a hurricanrana when the referee turns his back. Rick pins Morrus and that’s the match.

Steiners win.

Let me also state here that I called it a hurricanrana but it is actually “The Frankensteiner” which is a move created by Scott Steiner. It is commonly referred to today as the “hurricanrana” and if you want to see what it is, look it the fuck up yourself cuz I can’t explain this weird move – or explain why anyone would come up with it, or use it in a fight.

Scott is going around the crowd and stops at some ladies. He high fives one of them strangely and then she goes WHOOOOO and shakes her hand at him. He then touches another woman’s hand and she’s EXTREMELY HAPPY that this happened to her.

Jimmy Hart is pissed. He’s trying to keep the tag team of Konnan and Hugh Morrus together. Konnan beats up Hugh Morrus and DDTs him and tells Hart to fuck off. He says “Blood in, blood out” in Spanish.

The match was only good because of the Steiners.

Cassie’s rating: 10/10 with the comment “I will always give them a 10 out of 10.”

J.R.s rating: 7.8/10 because…Steiners. They didn’t sell Konnan’s moves and that was funny, too.


Reggie White (with Strength Coach) vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael (With Debra)

This match is called “The Football Match” by me, but is billed by WCW as “The First Ever Battle Between Super Bowl Champions.” Steve (known for his time with the Chicago Bears, the “Monsters of the Midwest”) comes out with Debra and I should explain that he had a Haliburton Briefcase that he would always come out with. It’s ever-present here.

Reggie White (a former Green Bay Packer) comes out with a nondescript white guy. The announcers have no idea who he is. They’re calling him “The strength coach.”

He’s a little tiny guy. I’m not sure I could take White, but I could definitely beat Strength Coach. Hell, I wouldn’t even fight Debra, but this “Strength Coach” guy looks like he’d be easy.

Basically nothing is happening. Mongo is doing exercises in the ring. They’re doing a football scrimmage line thing where they face off, and try to tackle each other from a 3-point stance. Mongo wins the first face-off.

White wins the second face-off!

This enrages Mongo and he grabs Debra. They begin walking back to the back. “Strength Coach” does nothing about this – he just stands around – but some huge fat nondescript black guy comes out from the back!

His name is Gilbert Brown, whoever the hell that is. He forces McMichael back into the ring. They face off again!

Mongo with an armbar. Another fucking armbar, good God! I say “this is one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen” and Cassie laughs but our joking around was short-lived because Mongo yells this gem to Reggie while he has him in the armbar:

“Jesus may have your soul, but I got your ass now, heh heh heh heh!”

Holy shit.

Reggie throws Mongo out of the ring. Mongo’s angry but nothing is happening so he gets back in. Headlocks for everyone. This match has had a lot of headlocks that I haven’t mentioned. I didn’t think I’d have to mention all these fucking headlocks but if you want to know what this match was like, and I’m talking the entire fucking match – here’s a picture for you.

Headlock number 85. A sidewalk slam by Mongo on Reggie White. Reggie is very visibly tired. More headlocks.

Another fucking headlock… prompting Dusty Rhodes to comment “This may be one of the only holds Reggie knows.”

Mongo hits Reggie with a low blow and says “I think I hear the church bells ringin!” That’s the only thing entertaining about this match – Mongo’s mouth.

Half-Boston Crab applied by Steve McMichael and White goes for the ropes to break the hold. “…as the strength coach looks on” Schiavone says. 14 minutes into this shit and he’s still just “Strength Coach.”

They brawl around and Reggie gets the upper hand and then Mongo kicks him in the knee and goes for the figure four leglock but ends up kicking him out of the fucking ring. Reggie rolls back in, Mongo goes up top and gets punched. Reggie at this point can’t move, legitimately, because wrestling is all cardio – and football is all sitting around and eating a bunch.

A shitty clothesline and Mongo’s down. He’s up and down repeatedly. Clothesline city. Reggie taunts him, and catches him in an atomic drop. McMichael is clotheslined out of the ring. He gets up and pulls White out. He rakes his eyes, and tries to whip him into the rail but it’s reversed. Mongo doesn’t really care about this because he has no clue what he’s doing and starts flailing and kicking Reggie.

Mongo attempts a suplex. It’s reversed. Seriously, White is twice his size. He goes for the pin and Debra distracts the referee.

Mongo gets the Haliburton but Gilbert takes it away from him. Mongo tells the ref to take care of him and the referee is distracted now by Gilbert.

Jeff Jarrett then comes out and throws a second Haliburton to Mongo who hits White with it and wins.

“You see what I mean? A Green Bay Packer cheesehead is never gonna stand up to a Monster of the Midwest!”

Wise words to the camera from Steve McMichael!

No rating.

The main event: The nWo vs. Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, and Kevin Greene

The nWo – Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Syxx – come out first. Nash and Hall have freshly dyed hair, looking really good. A little kid is throwing up the nWo wolfpack sign. He is wearing a fucking confederate flag hat and an nWo shirt, hahahhaa!

Kevin Greene “The Mean Green Sex Machine” (I’m serious, he was announced as such) makes his way to the ring. Greene is another NFL player. The 3rd football guy on this show…

Roddy Piper comes out to a louder crowd reaction despite Greene being a hometown hero for the Carolina people. Roddy is dead too.

Ric Flair, “the legend himself from right here in North Carolina” as he is called by the ring announcer, comes out in a fucking pink robe.

I’d venture to say the only one in this match that can wrestle a real match is Syxx. This is going to suck. Ric Flair has the same match every damn night. Reminds me of a local yokel named Yoder, who has the same match every night around here in Illinois!

I say “Ric Flair is not Iron Sheik” for no real reason but then I think “He isn’t.” It’s true…

Syxx with a headlock on Flair. Flair down with a shoulderblock. Leapfrog. Reversal into armdrag. Syxx mocking Flair gets chopped and Flair does a dance and yells “Woo” and gets kicked in the fucking head.

Cassie laughs out loud at that, and Syxx dances and poses doing the Wolfpac sign. Okay I may have forgotten to explain something. The average reader here probably knows nothing about wrestling, but knows about heavy metal.

You know the metal horns. The devil horns, whatever you call them? That’s the Wolfpac symbol. So if you see people doing it at wrestling shows, you know why. I’m explaining this out loud and Cassie whispers “It’s the devil” which is eerie but also more entertaining than this fucking dumb match.

The nWo gets the upper hand. Kevin Greene is clapping and acting a damn fool. Flair makes a big comeback and botches some kind of turn-around move after having his face humped (I mean this quite literally) by Syxx in the corner (look up the move called the Bronco Buster to see face humping.)

Flair up and irish whips Syxx after a headlock but Syxx hits his back into Flair? What the fuck just happened – and they do it again. This has to be seen to be believed! They did it twice, only this time when he hits Ric Flair with his BACK (!) they both fall down.

Roddy Piper comes in and murders everyone. Greene body drops everyone and goes into a three-point stance and tackles Syxx. He clotheslines Syxx out of the ring. I say “Clothesline out of the ring like Kevin Greene” and start rapping “Yo, you was clothesline out the ring like motherfuckin Kevin Greene” because I’m rather bored.

An Outsider’s Edge powerbomb attempt is reversed by Flair with a figure four on Hall. Piper with a sleeper hold on Nash. Power Slam by Greene on Syxx.

Greene pins Syxx and they win. Seriously, all that I just typed happens at the same time and they win. I notice that WCW Security Head Doug Dillinger looked back then like David Letterman looks now. Good way to end it.

10/10 from both of us for this match because the fans are crying.

They are actually crying – typical of North Carolina people to cry at wrestling.

I give WCW Slamboree 1997 a thumbs up. It was a good wrestling show for the most part, even if it had 8,000 armbars in the show and 17,000,000,000 headlocks in the Mongo/Reggie match.

Watch it if you can find it and are into masochism.

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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