Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pay What You Want

aka just download it for free

repress of 300 coming sometime

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Black Paintings// Death Agonies

Eric finally released the Black Paintings tape he's been talking about for around three years now:

black paintings - demo mmxi cs

black paintings is about recognizing that nothing good ever happens, but a) why should it? and b) it doesn’t matter. it navigates the works of goya circa 1820 and reinhardt circa 1960. if you want one

Death Agonies live a few months back:

Death Agonies is currently recording 15 songs for what will probably end up being a 7" and a split 7". If you've ever longed for d beats and contact mic'd metal carnage then these might just be the recordings you didn't know that you were searching for

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inaudible garbage

Shows won't be a regular thing for this band, will happen at least twice a year

and as i said in reply to a comment on this blog elsewhere (regarding the Blockade tape) "there are copies of the tape left, not many, but enough for anyone with a keen eye to grab one. Probably won't be able to get to the post office until next week though."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Twitch of the Death Nerve

Last ever release for The Endless Blockade, an 11 minute cassette of the only recording of the final line up of Bloomer, Carroll, Edgar, King and Nolan. Recorded in our practice space the week before we dissolved the band this cassette represents the set list we played at pretty much every show in 2010; though it lacks the extended noise and closing song of either Do Not Resuscitate or Qabalistic Zero.

Bloomer was a long time friend of the band and joined us as an extra blast of noise for our final year. His solo works since around 2007 or so have mostly explored noise as a unified field of integrated textures rather than explorations of volume as a tool or juxtaposing clashing dynamics; his approach is pretty much HNW without really being HNW.

His presence on this recording is understated; emphasising the distortion overload and mirroring the intent of the music rather than putting new sounds into old places, which is frequently the approach i take when adding noise to music.

This is available at Column of Heaven's debut performance in Toronto tonight, any left over copies will go to 20 Buck Spin and Absurd Exposition. I'll be going back into my academic swamp after tonight - only coming up for air in December to attend Rites of Darkness - so please contact those guys for mail order.

This exists in the form of 100 cassettes because this isn't some precious work of art that needs to be left as a monument to a seven year period of our lives. This exists in the form of 100 cassettes because an outdated, fragile, hated, disposable, easily dismissed and largely dead format is the most fitting carrier of the last recording we ever did.

Consider it fertiliser for everything the five of us intend to do next.

Pisshorn, RIP

Bloomer finishes one of the dumbest nights Blockade was at the centre of

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

this weekend

just a reminder:

Column of Heaven will be playing on saturday, sometime around 8 i think, thrill to our new line up of King, Kristiansen, Nolan and Simpson AKA now more ex-Slaughter Strike than ex-Endless Blockade. Owl Eyes are before us, their demo is great, they have a new 7" for this weekend, you should buy one or at least google search the interweb for a download of their demo.

The final Blockade release in the form of the piss raw tape i've been talking about for ever will be available at the show, 100 copies, with leftovers going to Absurd Expostion and 20 Buck Spin for mail order.

There'll also be Column of Heaven shirts with art by the lovely Sin-Eater, you can either buy one at the show or wait until we play your small Romanian fishing village on whatever ill-advised tour i talk myself into doing next year. As ever i must remind you, if you paypal me money for a shirt i'll just go and spend it on Mexican food and you'll never get your shirt, so let's just save all of us a headache.

I will gladly take your money off you if you're attending the thursday night show at Poor Alex Theatre as i will be doing the door and having a rubbish old man mosh later on to Double Negative.

Anytime a band plays a Siege cover this weekend i will be drinking a shot, feel free to join me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blockade/ Pig Heart Transplant

Blockade/ PHT split 7" out now on SuperFi records. SuperFi released our first piece of vinyl and it's only fitting that he's releasing our last.

I'm told that these are the places you can get it from in North America:

Warm Bath
Rescued From Life
Iron Lung
Give Praise
Feeble Minds
Vinyl Rites
Feral Ward
To Live A Lie
Katorga Works
Anthems Of The Undesirable

google that shit.

Locals can find this at Hits and Misses in about an hour and potentially at Not Dead Yet fest, though they may not last that long.

500 pressed and they look fantastic, Feeding did the artwork and someone i don't know - i'm sure they're lovely and kind to animals - in the UK screened them. Six panels of meat baby action.

These represent the final two Blockade tracks ever written and other than alternate versions of previously recorded material that's coming out on cassette later this month this is the official last rites of that part of my life.

Both songs deal with loss, one being a desire for escape from the cultural noise of the world; an embracement of a deliberate loss of social connection. The other is a scream into the void over the death of my seventeen year old cousin Alasdair. RIP wee man.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Joshua Norton Cabal/ Disgust

After around 18 months of delays the Norton/ Disgust split is out on Small Doses.

Disgust's tracks are predictably great and there's an unexpected xbrainiax cover. I did three tracks (in one), recorded around the same time as Between Two Fires.

You can listen to samples and buy it here

In the layout it looks like i'm crediting myself with the quote that comes from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. My fault entirely.


The Dominion of the Dead - Robert Pogue Harrison
Chips and Beer - issue 1
Culture and Materialism - Raymond Williams
History of Sexuality vol 1 - Michel Foucault
The Immortalization Commision: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death - John Gray


Wasteoids - demo
Owl Eyes - demo
Morbosidad/ Pseudogod 12"
Sutekh Hexen - Luciform 12"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Random Thoughts of Relatively Little Consequence

Being the old guy at the show sometimes gets a little irritating, mostly it just adds to the distance i already perceive between myself and a lot of the human race.

My tour journals are frequently filled with references to the Peter Pan like nature of some local scenes; in parts of the US you are perpetually playing to a different group of under 20 year olds, no matter how often you go back over a period of years.

The biggest drawback of this level of transience is that discussions are sometimes perpetually stuck at entry level, see for example any internet discussion of power violence, something that everyone over the age of 30 was bored of ten years ago. It's hard to build on ideas and concepts if everything has to cycle back to the beginning.

Sometimes on tour i feel like i'm the man that time forgot, every year i get older than my audience. There's definitely something that reminds you of your own mortality to be found in touring in an underground band when you get over 30.

I've Been Looking at Everything Backwards Until Recently

The success of the international underground is one of a strange consistency and permenance despite the almost ever changing audience.

The audiences change, but the form of DIY shows stays the same; cram as many of your friends as you can into a small room with no adult supervision and go fucking nuts to a band. There's an undeniable beauty to that kind of simplicity.

The core values and approaches remain consistent despite the transient nature of the audience. It's almost like some kind of tenuous proof that the path many of us in the life have followed and are still following is a vital aspect of existence that's embedded into a wider consciousness. It's music and specifically the culture of music as an atavistic urge. I loosely verbalised an aspect of this eternal nature of ideas in the Blockade song Irrationalism Uber Alles.

Fellow old guy in a band, Sean from Suffering Luna,  sees shows in terms of Victor Turner's concept of Liminality. I'm just going to be lazy and pull a quote from Wikipedia here: Liminality refers "to in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty regarding the continuity of tradition and future outcomes".

There isn't much of a conclusion to be had here other than to say that the comfort i find in underground culture is not to be found in the consistency of the audience (because it isn't consistent), but in the consistency of ideas and approaches.

Shank, 2003, a show that happened a life time ago by hardcore standards

Sunday, September 4, 2011

a small follow up

Buy tickets for Not Dead Yet here

the shows will sell out

for out of towners who don't know, Poor Alex Theatre and Hard Luck Bar are practically next door to each other, so if you're feeling flush you can catch bands at shows on at both venues, it looks like the line ups are set up so people can go between shows, but you should check first.

this place is cheap if you need somewhere to stay

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chaos in Ontario?

I've finally agreed to Column of Heaven's inaugural Live Ritual Desekration Ov Filth and Impurity, which is Finnish for "we're playing a gig"

This is the night we're playing:

Saturday October 22
Poor Alex Theatre
772 Dundas St. W.
7pm - all ages - $18

PICK YOUR SIDE (ex-Haymaker)
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the entry price gets you into the after show, the Direct Control show that's happening practically next door and the show at the Silver Dollar, but i could be wrong.

(It's true, i'm frequently wrong about stuff)
Column of Heaven line up: Bloomer, King, Nolan, Simpson.
There will be a Blockade tape available at this show that we recorded in our space a few weeks before our final show, left over copies will go to 20 Buck Spin and Absurd Exposition. It's basically our live set of the time and the only recording that had Bloomer involved.
Bastard Noise/ Actuary split LP
Furze - Reaper Subconscious Guide LP
Unholy Majesty - demo
Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Salvation in Southern Appalachia - Dennis Covington
Northlanders - Brian Wood

Friday, August 12, 2011

Locals Only

Sete Star Sept, - Tokyo, ex Blockade
Cages - Buffalo, ex Running for Cover
Death Agonies AKA EBHN - Bloomer/ Carroll/ King/ Kiyasu/ Nolan
Disleksick - runt of the litter noisecore

Parts and Labour, 1566 Queen Street West, Toronto, doors at 8pm, show over before midnight


Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio podcast
Hunting Lodge - Nomad Souls LP
Gas Chamber - Corpse With Levity 7"
Lydia Lunch - In Limbo 12"
Ride for Revenge/ Undor LP
Current 93 - Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre LP
Kerasphorus - Necronaut 12"


Golly: Catching Hell - Phil Hester
Handling the Undead - Jon Ajvide Lindqvist
Esoterra - Chad Hensley
Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History - Philip Jenkins
Lonliness and Revelation - Brendan Myers

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Transcendental Power Violence

Column of Heaven, Altars (Music, 2011) from Justin Oakey on Vimeo.

Haven't had time for posting for a while and that isn't likely to change anytime soon

Things currently being worked on:

Blockade/ PHT split 7" (super fi), records pressed, awaiting the artwork being finished off

Column of Heaven - Mission From God 7" (SPHC), written and ready to be recorded, just figuring out the exact line up beyond me and Eric for this release. Two splits need to have the details finalised then i'll start writing them.

Nameless Dread - Coronation of the Beast CD (Crucial Blast) about to be mastered.

a band with 3/5's of the line up of Slaughter Strike is in extremely embryonic stages; if it continues expect a Survivalist release before the end of the year.


Druid Lord - Hymns for the Wicked LP
Nefandus - Death Holy Death LP
Paul Chain - Detaching From Satan 12"
Sick Seed - Great Corrupter LP
Opiate - First Document tape
Youth Korps - 1982 demo
Damnation AD - Kingdom of Lost Souls LP
Inside Out - No Spiritual Surrender 7"
Converge - Jane Doe LP


The Gnostic #4
Metalion: the Slayer Mag Diaries - Jon Kristiansen
GB84 - David Peace
The World of Perception - Merleau-Ponty

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ecstatically Embracing yadda yadda yadda

my last post ever about this tape

download it here for free (like anyone would pay...)

200 copies were made, almost OOP now, Vile Intent will be making another batch to sell on their upcoming tour.


IRM - Oedipus Dethroned/ An Act of Self Mutilation is an Act of Freedom
Anenzephalia - Ephemeral Dawn
Genocide Organ - Leichenline
Integrity - Detonate VVorld's Plague
Nader Sadek - In the Flesh
Left for Dead - everything

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

more salesmanship bullshit

if you're buying the Column of Heaven tape from 20 Buck Spin (now in stock) and still want Primitive on vinyl it's about to go to the big fat OOP in the sky.

Canadians can also purchase it now


Dylan Dog Case Files (fuck yeah)
Ernest Gellner - Nations and Nationalism
Mattias Gardell - Gods of the Blood


Excruciating Terror - Divided we Fall
Chronic Sick - Cutest Band in Hardcore
Bizarre Uproar/ Gelsomina - Assisted Self Sterilization

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Future of War

I finally got around to the seemingly Herculean task of getting my arse down to Kinko's to make the covers for the first Column of Heaven release, Ecstatically Embracing all that we Habitually Suppress.

These are the places you can get this release:

wait a few weeks for a shitty rip from the Bridge Nine board (i'll upload it sometime before the end of the summer anyway)

Canadians go here

Americans go here

Europeans go here

Torontonians go to Hits and Misses

Rest of the Worlds go to whichever one of the above you want to send your money to.

I'll be hitting up the post office in a few days to mail all these fuckers out, so don't worry about it too much for another 7-14 days (other than local people who can go to Hits and Misses, a local shop for local people)

After Slaughter Strike predictably broke up, both Eric and myself wanted to return to something a little more primitive (no pun intended) and get something out quickly.

This is the result of that goal, three practices, six songs and absolutely zero suprises guaranteed.

When we were talking about starting this band the original idea was a loose "Like Blockade but with more noise and less hardcore; more weird shit." This release definitely isn't "less hardcore; more weird shit", at least not to my ears. The future may be different, but we'll see what that looks like when we get there i guess.

The noise to music ratio is about the same as on the Blockade/ Unearthly Trance split LP.

I'm often asked in interviews what keeps me motivated in keeping my involvement going "after-all-these-years", lyrically this release vaguely takes a stab at answering that: That i'm following a tradition (Altars); that bad feelings don't ever go away (Binge/ Purge); that culture is power (the cunningly titled Knowledge. Culture. Power.); that sometimes i can hear every sound in the universe all at once (A Sea of Blood in a Universe of Infinite Flaming Darkness); that it's a way of keeping track of themes in my life (Scarred); that it's something positive in my life (The Future of War).

There is a very small tongue in cheek part in Shawn Wilson's excellent book Research is Ceremony where he quips that he thinks graduate students should be ritually scarred upon completion of their thesis. A lot of the lyrical inspiration on the tape comes from this idea.

We're recording again in a few weeks for a split 7" with Holy Terror pin up boys Rot in Hell.

Reading; see above photo

Listening; Macabre Eternal on repeat non-stop for two days in a row now. Oh, and that Whitehorse/ The Body split 7"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Body in Toronto

for the locals

The Body are playing tonight (sunday may 15th) at Parts and Labour with some other bands of little interest to me and probably most readers of this blog

go see them, not sure how well promoted the show is; their LP All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood was one of my favourites of last year

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meanwhile in Land Belonging to No One...

One last death rattle available in an edition of fifty copies for anyone still requiring a physical copy of Winter's Agony.


You can still download it here

Australian playlist:

Arms Reach - Death to Shallow Hardcore
Deadstare - discography
Nekrasov - Into the No-Mans Sphere of the Ancient Days
Suffer - Lone (i'll keep plugging this LP)
Abraxis - Abraxis
Sadistik Exekution - K.A.O.S.
dISEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral
Mournful Congregation - The Monad of Creation
Death Sentence - Ryan, Thanks for the Support
Mass Appeal - Nobody Likes a Thinker
AVO - Fuck Positive Hardcore

and two (not Australian) documentaries:

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Who Took The Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour (if you're not a fan it's worth it for the stuff about Le Tigre and Hatebreed hanging out)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just to Get Away

I semi-recently made a micro-run of a short (24 page) zine on touring called Just to Get Away.

I'll probably make more copies in the future, but you can download the electronic version here.

I put it together in part because it's something i'd been considering for a while and wanted to get my thoughts down on the topic, but mostly it's a test run for the Survivalist series of zines i'm in the process of putting together (more later).

Just to Get Away follows a relatively simple popular education how-to formula; i position myself in relation to the text, i list what i don't cover, i set out some "how-to" excercises (in popular education these wouldn't typically be "how to sell shirts" or "how to cross a border with a band", but i don't think that makes my case that this is a popular education text any less valid ) and at the end i return to positioning myself in the text.

The return to positioning myself within the text is the important part and in my opinion the rest of the zine really just props up that section. This is because i believe that the choices we make in this life are inherently political and i'm really just using the zine to underscore this.

No one else has to care about that aspect from Just to Get Away though, i'm just showing the mechanics at work.

The zine was originally given away at a popular education conference in Toronto and it shared physical space with zines on Hip Hop and collective education, physical activity and academic performance and using tea parties as a political/ educative process (tea party meaning where people get together and drink tea and talk, not where people shout dumb shit about how awsum 'Merica is and how those damn Muslims terrists are in league with the homosexes).

Re: Survivalist in print. Yes, i've probably been talking about this forever, but if i have an idea, mentally massage it to death and actually stick to the same idea over the period of about a year then i usually do something about attempting to manifest it in physical form.

Each issue will be on a single theme and won't be objective, it will be about my specific experiences and thoughts on the subject. Yes, they're going to be essentially ego-driven.

The first two are slowly being worked on concurrently, expect one of them before the end of the year, depending on other commitments. The third and fourth issues have their themes decided upon as well, but will take a bit more time to put together.

There's no great plan to how many issues i'll make, but i've committed to the first two, anything after that and we'll see how inspired i am.

This morning's listening:

Threshold Houseboys Choir - Form Grows Rampant
Antediluvian - Revelations in Excrement
Excruciating Terror - Expression of Pain

and Benedict Anderson's book on nationalism, Imagined Communities, is still blowing my mind for the third week running, well worth reading and then re-reading.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Clean House

My favourite new (ie they've existed less than two years and i've heard of them) local band made a video.

Bandcamp here for free downloads and all that malarky.

This song was recorded when Godstopper was still a one man operation, now they're a full band and playing live.

Some posts about new releases, both musical and written in nature coming later this week.

Probably a post about this photo in a month or two:


Neil Strauss - Everyone Loves you when you're Dead
Joe R Lansdale - Complete Drive-in
Benedict Anderson - Imagined Communities
(the unfortunately named) Michael Jackson - At Home in the World
Dodgem Logic #7
Dead World Omnibus
Valdimir Nabakov - Invitation to a Beheading


Venture Brothers Seaon 4
Sons of Anrchy Season 1
I Saw the Devil
My Soul to Take (was expecting to hate this and it reeks of studio inteference, but there's suprisingly something very watchable about it)


Whitehouse - Bird Seed
IRM - Four Studies for a Crucifixion
Hexvessel - Dawnbearer (probably contender for my favourite record of the year already)
Despise You/ ANb
Rot in Hell - As Pearls Before Swine
Socially Retarded/ Daisycutter
Vegas - Never to Wake
Moutheater - Colonial
Blut Aus Nord - 777
Ke/Hil - Hellstation
Suffer - Lone
Drainland - unreleased splits w/ Cellgraft and Trenches
Head Hits Concrete - unreleased split w/ Mudlark
Fudgetunnel - Sweet Sounds of Excess
Nekrasov - demos for next LP

Yes, i've had a week of ignoring all commitments other than feeding myself and the animals to indulge in all of the above.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chromium Dioxide

New issue of Chromium Dioxide, Toronto's genetic experiment attempting to cross breed Cracked Magazine (when it was still seen as Mad's crappy little brother), Cinema Sewer, Bugs and Drugs and SOD Magazine (SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX FUCKING SKULLS!!!!!). The loose connection to this blog is that one of the creators was in Slaughter Strike.

I haven't seen the current issue yet, but one feature is a round table "what went wrong?" discussion on Celtic Frost with Dave Adelson (20 Buck Spin), Dave Slimer (Slaughter Strike/ Chromium), Athenar (Midnight) and yours truly.

Buy it here.

Poly Styrene

I'm conscious of not posting everytime someone famous dies. Phil Vane, (friend and grindcore trooper) and Sleazy (one of music's most important creators and commentators) were two i couldn't let go with out saying something and Poly Styrene of X Ray Spex is someone else i would be remiss if i didn't say a few words about her.

I'll keep it short and break it down into two things, her importance to culture and her importance to me

Her importance to culture is pretty easy to define; she stood as a light in the darkness and paved the way for other incredibly important acts for years to come. Let us not forget she got her artistic start in an era even more hostile to to the idea of strong female artists than the one we're in now.

As an aside i'm mildly irritated when i see references to female performers in grindcore/ hardcore/ death metal etc reduced to things like "greatest female vocals on a hardcore record ever", as if "female vocals" is somehow a genre in and of itself outside of weird decaying second hand record shops where you'll still find Bolt Thrower in the Rock and Pop section. Or when gender is commented on when it isn't even necessary for a description.

Because to me Poly Styrene was one of the greatest vocalists full stop, not greatest female vocalists or greatest punk vocalists (or "greatest female punk vocalists from kent with Somlian heritage that only released one LP in their original incarnation in the late 1970s").

If i had a daughter i would be far more comfortable with her listening to Oh Bondage Up Yours than Beyonce's anthem to female un-emancipation, Single Ladies.

On a personal level (aside from just being really into X Ray Spex in a huge way), in a time past, when the contents of my mind were not always as well ordered as i'd have liked them to be, the song Plastic Bag meant a lot to me.

"My mind is like a switchboard
With crossed and tangled lines
Contented with confusion
That is plugged into my head
I don't know what's going on
It's the operator's job, not mine
I said"

Poly Styrene was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder at age 34 after living with a wrong diagnosis of schizophrenia for several years.

Poly Styrene died yesterday from breast cancer.

Obituary here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Death Agonies live

From the show we played in Toronto a month or so back with Vile Intent, Purity Control and Direct Action.

Death Agonies (Music, 2011) from Justin Oakey on Vimeo.

Two things i learned whilst playing:

1. Emperor bass cabs hate me.

2. Hitting a contact mic with a hammer at the start of the set is a terrible idea if you have a minimal amount of equipment with you.

And for something completely different:

Name four samples (track and artist) and win a prize of some sort.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Survivalist tapes

Because i get occasional questions asking me exactly what is or isn't a Survivalist release here's the list of everything i can currently remember.

Not everything has Survivalist written on the packaging.

Not in chronological order, most of them are C20s

death agonies/ winters in osaka - 80 copies
death agonies - the path to heaven leads through hell - 60 copies
flatline construct - queen west withdrawl - 60 copies
death agonies/ piss horn - 80 copies
death agonies/ pig heart transplant - tunnel - 80 copies
slaughter strike - a litany of vileness - 300? 400? 500? I lost count. Pressing of 172 by Nurse Ettiquette with alternate artwork
slaughter strike - winter's agony - 100 copies
joshua norton cabal/ nekrasov - primordial transmissions - 75 copies
the rita - womanhood - 80 copies
windscale - servitude - 50 copies and 30 on CDR released by Fellacoustic
humiliation - christian charity - 200 copies

everything long sold out

lovers of fuzzily recorded hardcore/ grind and power electronics will (possibly) be thrilled by the column of heaven - ecstatically embracing all that we habitually suppress tape that will be ready in a few weeks and will (for the first time ever) actually be available relatively easily through mail order

a playlist:

slogun - we human animal
submerged - violence as first nature
potawatomi - noisy le grand
vile intent- shadow of the skull


whitefella jump up - germaine greer
liber null/ psychonaut - peter carroll (re-reading again, probably one of a handful of books on magick i would wholeheartedly recommend)
slayer xx

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


More coming later. Recorded in as no-fi a way as you could possibly imagine.

King. Nolan. Ward.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Short Fast and Loud 10th anniversary issue

as mentioned a while ago after, i wrote a column on Scion and hardcore for the 10th anniversary issue of SFL. Get it here.

E mail me if you want an electronic copy of the column, but seriously, don't be a dick and buy it anyway if you give a shit about hardcore being more than just something you like on facebook.

Slaughter Strike - Winter's Agony

and if anyone wants the Slaughter Strike final demo it's still available to download here:

winter's agony mediafire free music omg piss in your own mouth with sheer unadulterated joy death metal oop lol old school old school old school ;)

all physical copies are now gone, if you see any on e bay for more than $5 then feel free to flood the market with your own bootlegs (og art file included with download)


ENT - Peel Sessions and split w/ Slang
Bizarre Uproar/ Will Over Matter split
Killa Instinct - The Bambi Murders
Low Threat Profile - Product #2
Pig Heart Transplant side of the split w/ Endless Blockade


King Kong Theory - Virginie Despentes
lots of shrill hysteria about fascism in music - various know nothing idiots with loud voices

Phil Vane

Friend and legend, RIP

First punk band i ever saw live, 1990, Duchess of York in Leeds.

The man that introduced me to GISM (and thus is partly responsible for naming The Endless Blockade)

Friday, February 18, 2011

more Kiyasu versus the world

Ryosuke Kiyasu, Keiji Haino and Chiyo Kamekawa

Space jam freak outs. Get into it.

And this classic from my youth that i reworked:

(Column of Heaven recording soon)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kiyasu vs Endo

Original Blockade drummer in a live improv battle with living legend (and amazing karaokae king) Kazumoto Endo

aka two of the best dudes in Japan to get drunk with making a racket

Death Agonies live

rare live performance, i think this will be our third?

Bloomer, Carroll, King, Nolan is the line up at this show

Buy the new Vile Intent record

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

John Lennon is dead. . . I still think - I still think about Jodie all the time. That's all I think about really.

I guess it's time to do that final post on 2010. Doing four seemed like a good idea when i had the time back in late december...

The death of black metal, pictured yesterday.

Often when black metal is discussed the talk turns to the satanic aspect of culture; whether or not Satanism represents the defining aspect of what makes something black metal or not. “Black metal is Satan’s music, if there is no Satanism inherent then it isn’t black metal.” You’ve heard all of these points a thousand times before and by now you’re probably largely immune to the emotional triggers that black metal’s visual language is supposed to awaken in you.

Similar to power violence, which I discussed last time, no one is clear about black metal and what does or does not constitute its essence. If its essence is the Satanic, then Satanism needs to be better defined. Modern Satanism can take the form of anything from a literal theistic worship of Satan as a divine entity to a metaphorical Satanism; Satan as the symbol for ultimate rebel/ artist/ libertine/ what have you and all points between the two polar beliefs.

So where does the heathenism of someone like Burzum fit in with the gnosis of a band like Ofermod or the brutal Dennis Wheatley style Satanism of Morbosidad?

And where does the eco message of the “are they or aren’t they black metal?” of Wolves in the Throne Room fit?

If you pull back a bit and look at what black metal is reacting against then it is clear that at its most simple level a rejection of Christianity is at the heart, regardless of the approach. You can see this in areas as diverse as Chris Moyen’s comic book satanic super hero adversary of Christ to the reclaiming of pre-Christian ways of interacting with world of the heathens. I would even argue, though this thought is far beyond the scope of a blog post, that the eco-philosophies of some black metal bands come from a place that rejects the separation of man from nature that Christianity has come to embody in many minds.

However, written into this rejection I also see something else, I see a strong rejection of Modernity in black metal. The misanthropic Anti-Life black metal crowd wants to push everything to breaking point and the inevitable societal collapse that will follow (“if it doesn’t work, fuck it up even more”). One of NSBM’s main thrusts is the rejection of diversity and multi-culturalism, both of which are distinctly modern ideas. The symbolic Satanists reject post-Enlightenment moral codes and the heathens have a desire to return to a romanticized past. I see all of this as being a rejection of the modern world and it generally focuses on Christianity in particular, arguably the major defining force on the entire world over the last thousand years.

I love black metal, I listen to it a lot, but it’s not strictly my culture. I acknowledge I contain an element that will probably always mark me as a tourist when navigating this terrain. Thus, what does or does not constitute black metal is not strictly my fight.

As an aside, the wide scale derision that the Hideous Gnosis symposiums have faced strike me as a reaction to what I think many people perceive as outsiders trying to write their meaning on black metal. Once that meaning has been written, it can be colonized and owned anew. Again, this isn’t particularly my fight; I can enjoy some of the undoubtedly ridiculous intellectualizing of black metal (I love theory, particularly the ludicrous stuff) and I can also appreciate and support the refusal to legitimize the proceedings.

At the end of the day if, as I suspect, elements of black metal contain an untamable barbaric warrior spirit then no shit, these symposiums are seen as alien and are hated in some quarters.

Blood Revolt – Indoctrine (Profound Lore)

So, if you’ve seen more than a few posts on this blog it’s probably clear that I’m a person that tends to think a lot (perhaps over think sometimes) about what gives something its form and what it is that I really like about music beyond the sound.

I’m rarely interested in saying much about the musical side of things; I either like it or I don’t and there are different gradations within those two sets. As the post on power violence said, I could easily pull some “this CD resurrects Christ with its occult power then publically executes him and spends an eternity defiling his corpse. It’s fucking brutal dude.” So the lengthy intro above is a just way of framing certain qualities in this release that I admire. The structuring of the power violence article was exactly the same.

But musically, yeah, let’s do this first. This shit is awesome and I had no expectations to the contrary. I followed Axis of Advance’s output avidly and I get the impression that this disc is essentially where the fourth AoA LP would have ended up musically.

J Read’s drumming, like Mick Harris’ of some twenty plus years ago, is instantly recognisable and adds the chaos and war to even relatively polite and melodic sections. Meaning that even in relatively restrained sections there is an uneasy undercurrent to the whole thing.

A. A. Nemtheanga’s vocals are suitably in character; typically veering between an introspective yet impassioned self-questioning and something akin to an insane, histrionic preacher.

Not everyone is a fan of the vocals, I understand that but two things strike me. One, I love black metal pterodactyl vokillz as much as the next nekro guy on the block but the content, which makes the record so vital to me, would be utterly lost with that vocal style. Two, kids would bitch about vocalists like HR and Jello Biafra these days; as time goes by the acceptable means of expressions within genres diminish noticeably.

"Aw, teach me how to pray, good Christian.
If it works you'll all be dead.
We'll see the secret to salvation,
For me it's when you're dead, you're dead, you're DEAD"
- Crucifucks, Hinkley Had a Vision

So where does this fit in in the terms outlined above in the preamble? Lyrically it makes me think of what Sirhan Sirhan’s private diary entries might look like, though the first thing I thought of was the letters Reagan’s would be assassin, John Hinckley sent Jodie Foster before he did the deed to prove his love for her. Searching online doesn’t pick up any of the really crazy ones asking Jodie to hang on to his dreams and fly away to netherworld of happiness with him or crying into the shaving mirror every morning. But trust me; they’re worth a read if you find them in a book, for the life of me I can’t remember where I first saw them, (edit, they’re in Apocalypse Culture 2).

The intro to God’s Executioner, Praise Be brings to mind Emperor Constantine’s (you know, the guy more responsible for Christianity than Jesus) vision before the battle of Maxentius in which he had a premonition of victory if he replaced the images of imperial eagles with crosses on the soldiers standards.

Blood Revolt’s central concept is one of religious fundamentalism married to the most mentally decayed aspects of modern life. That most ironic of all distinctly modern phenomena, violent religious fundamentalism at war with the modernism that gave rise to its existence.

Blood Revolt does not condemn the martyr, but they don’t need to. Either way Modernity is called on its shit, both in its creation of deeply disturbed people that attach their psychoses onto a spiritual impulse and for being such a sickened environment in the first place.

If black metal is a culture of obsession (which I think it is, but I haven’t touched that) and also anti-modernist and with a religious aspect (whether in theistic Satanism or in its anti-religious discourses) then to me Blood Revolt hit all three of those concepts squarely. Not only that, but the ideological content is something both entirely new yet still remains consistent with black metal’s framework.

The whole CD is the deranged religious visions of death that black metal has always promised to deliver made incarnate.

Probably the release I listened to the most in 2010 without a doubt.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dust in the Lungs of God

Out now on Cathartic Process, Death Agonies, Dust in the Lungs of God C20.

This is the fifth Death Agonies release and the first not released on Survivalist.

Line up for this was Carroll. Edgar. King. Nolan.

Dust in the Lungs of God was born out of the middle period of an extended personal meditation on the shortness and shortcomings of human life and the idea that we aren't nearly as important as we'd like to think we are in the grand old scheme of things.

Musically it represents another attempt of mine to erase the importance of individual thought and action in art.

The sounds were recorded in mid-2009 over four sessions, mostly at the end of Blockade rehearsals using our regular backline and drum kit on a variety of hand held recording devices. A vague nod is made to power violence in that part of the goal i set myself was to structure essentially formless and very loud recordings of harsh noise in a way that reflected the structuring of Endless Blockade material. I like the end result and the fact that i can't tell what material came from which session and who's responsible for its creation.

I haven't heard any of the other releases in the current Cathartic Process batch but the previous release by The Teratologist on CP was excellent and i hope for more of the same on the new one. If you don't already have them i'd also strongly recommend Bastard Noise OEB IV, Clew of Thesus - Meridian, Bizarre Uproar - Triumph and Vice Wears Black Hose - Part 1 releases.


Wild Garden - dian marino
Wasase - Taiaiake Alfred


Godstopper - demo
Morbosidad/ Perversor
Macronympha - Amplified Humans
Control - Seven Deadly Sins
Urban Blight - Total War
Winters in Osaka - Mutual Collapse
Nekrasov - whatever it is that's coming out on Void Seance sometime this year. Great release, perfect meditation music

Winter's Agony

Download Winter's Agony here. If you want a physical copy either check 20 Buck Spin or Profound Lore, the last 15 copies are on their way to those dudes. If you want to bootleg it don't forget to print on to Glacial Mist recycled card for the covers and dub it onto one side of a C20 for accuracy.

Cyclopean has made shirts with the cover image.

You can find the third and final interview with Slaughter Strike here, Dave answered most of the questions, i answered a handful.

Slaughter Strike is no more, Dave is in Abyss and publishes Chromium Dioxide magazine, Eric is in Urine Cop and Column of Heaven, Joel is in a Mentors cover band and plays live with Midnight from Cleveland, Cindy is probably shredding along with Dream Theatre records and my main priorities are Column of Heaven, Joshua Norton Cabal and Nameless Dread with some other occasional noise activities. I don't really have the time for a "real" band right now, ie booking tours and trying to get several people with competing schedules to get together at the same time. Maybe a year from now.

Column of Heaven will be primarily myself and Eric working on material that picks up slightly further down the path The Endless Blockade was on (this isn't "new" news).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Part 3: The Problem with Power Violence (and two records from last year that i liked)

First world problems man...

OK, last one was noise, this one is power violence (and one grindcore record because it fits), next one is black metal.

There is no working definition of what power violence does or does not entail. Part of the problem is that many people believe that power violence is a definitive essence that can be easily found lurking within whatever audio murk is being examined. This means that whatever band/ record we're talking about is magickally moved from the set marked "bands that are not definitively power violence" to the set marked "bands that are definitively power violence".

A few years ago in interviews i started trying to side step the whole "what is power violence anyway?" questions (cuz, you know Eric Wood publicly proclaimed Endless Blockade were power violence and no one else was, thus making me an expert on the topic). I suggested that if we changed the language and asked who was influenced by power violence, rather than who was or was not definitively power violence then we wouldn't need to see the same endlessly boring e-fights about whether or not HSMP should be considered a sacred text in the Power Violence Canon or not.

I think power violence is something that can be defined, i just usually can't be bothered with the discussion that inevitably comes with it.

So who is having this conversation about what is or isn't power violence?

Well, mostly it seems to be people that are either pretty young or people who are excessively flippant (and who wouldn't be excessively flippant at this point?)

This is fine, but when people under 20/ newcomers are the only voices represented then shit gets skewed pretty quickly.

DIY culture is a living tradition, thus in the same way that i absolutely resist the notion that boring old gits like Stephen Blush (or me) get to define the debate on hardcore i also resist the notion that only the very young get to discuss something that's been around for a while now.

So what the hell is power violence anyway? Well, just because it usually can't be specifically named doesn't mean it isn't something tangible. Pick five people who are into black metal and ask them to define it and i'm sure most of them couldn't give you a clear answer. And what are similarities between Psuedogod, Burzum and Hate Forest? And by the same measure what are the differences? Because all three are black metal bands and all three sound utterly different.

Being able to pinpoint exactly what power violence sounds like is not really the issue because i would argue that it isn't a sound. I would argue that power violence is not a genre in and of itself but an offshoot of hardcore (and most certainly not grindcore). If anything it's a set of tools to compose music still very much within the framework of hardcore punk, but one that produces some different outcomes.

To my mind power violence parodies hardcore. When i say parody i don't mean the word pastiche, which a lot of people confuse for parody. I use the word in the same spirit as Bakhtin when he examined the notion of the carnival and the grotesque in his book Rabelais and his World. It is a purposeful distortion of another form to make a new point in the terms already laid out by the thing being parodied.

It's hardcore squared, hardcore on steroids etc etc. When hardcore uses a breakdown in power violence we exaggerate that point dramatically. The breakdowns are slower and it's a more jarring contrast. When hardcore uses short and fast song structures that don't follow traditional musical patterns in power violence we exaggerate those. Our songs are faster and shorter, our transitions are less predictable, our focal points are radically different, we use false build ups, we introduce riffs and discard them instantly without returning to them.

We fuck with the program but we're still definitely very much part of the program; if it moves too far away from hardcore then it stops being power violence (though it can still be influenced by power violence) and becomes something else entirely.

Take Mind Eraser, though they've mutated considerably over the years they write to the basic structure of hardcore but with the content replaced, making it something else, though still undoubtedly hardcore. Hatred Surge do a similar thing.

Iron Lung are all about the focus on repetition in terms of short, concise songs, and a massive expansion on the idea of punctuation and the pause in music. The repetition is very much there, but so fleeting and so shortened it flies past at break neck speed without becoming about lengthening the song. It's the idea of early Swans being attached to the speed of DRI and Koro. Songs are defined not in terms of melody and structure but where the pauses are, where the drums temporarily shift tempo before kicking back in.

Blockade towards the end was about taking the implied noise and dissonance of hardcore punk and really pushing it to breaking points at key moments. I was also starting to get really into the practice of shifting time signatures within sections of songs so a simple six bar pattern became something different. The denial of expectations that a lot of power violence represents has become predictable and codified (variations on the formula of two bar blast as punctuation, four bar break down, two bar blast, two bar breakdown, four bar blast to finish), so i was trying to keep to that spirit. Column of Heaven is largely founded on this song writing practice so far.

What does any of this have to do with 2010?

Well, rather than say "this record peels paint from doors and makes you feel like your face just got raped by a gang of PCP addled Vikings that just arrived through a rift in the space time continuum that this record fucking caused dude!" I figured i would define what power violence is to me, and a lot of people will undoubtedly call bullshit on my ideas, and from there talk about two bands that in 2010 encapsulated these ideas.

SFN - Itching 7"

I love this band. When i say "these kids fucking get it" what i'm really trying to say is that i perceive in their sound the formula i talk about above. They validate my own experiences and opinions, which is probably how most of us respond to art on a certain level.

I think i first met them in Wisconsin in 2006 when Blockade and Iron Lung were touring together. There's definitely a "mid-west, mid-week power violence curse" when you're on tour and i figured this might well be another one of those occasions where some whacky bullshitters with some half baked sub-Spazz riffs would be on the show. But no these four (as they were at the time) kids (Graeme must have been all of 16) were completely amazing and totally destroyed my negative mindset as soon as they started. Four years later and they finally released their first record! The demo 7" doesn't count. In a time where massive productivity is the key to getting your name out SFN spent years recording demos (i think i have them all) and refining the same set of songs endlessly. And fuck it's paid off for them. Ideally they've got over that stage of ultra slow writing and they'll give the world a full length sometime within the next 18 months.

I love power violence, but most power violence records i hear do absolutely nothing for me. This 7" reminded me of why i continue to mine this aesthetic.

Defeatist - Sixth Extinction CD

Not a power violence band by any stretch of the imagination, but i feel they apply the ideas of parodying structure and content to the grindcore genre in the same way that the good power violence bands do.

Defeatist are great in a subtle way. Initially they were one of those bands i would've said "fucking crush you with a clown car filled with mutant Orcs screaming about the end of the human race!" You know, that whole this-record-is-brutal thing without saying much else.

But listening to this CD and the Sharp Blade Sinks Deep Into Dull Minds discography CD (which i think i prefer slightly) fairly intently one day (which is something i don't do enough of these days) i picked up on a lot more things than i had first heard.

There's an interesting use of time signature going on and there's some cool shifting accents, that like Iron Lung define the form of the song rather than melody. But it's subtle, almost like how you notice how loud your refrigerator is when it stops making a sound. Yeah, apparently i've just decided that comparing music to consumer goods is a good thing.

Like Klaus Dinger of Neu's Motorik beat, to fully understand the section you're listening to you have to put it in the context of the part that immediately proceeded it and the part that follows it.

But it's also scream-like-a-banshee-guitars-that-sound-like-atlantis-sinking-drums-that-sound-like-a-boeing-taking-off brutal as well.

New age grindcore; tough as nails with a sensitive underbelly. Not really, i'm becoming self-conscious of how fucking ridiculous it is to talk too much about music.

Anyway, there's another two that would be in my definitive 2010 best of list.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 part 2: As Loud As Possible

For some the importance i feel that the publication of As Loud As Possible magazine represents may not be as clear as i'd like until the next post when i bring things closer to home and talk about power violence using some of the framing i'm intending to bring up here.

Going by blog comments, conversations at shows and personal e mails it's clear that The Endless Blockade managed to straddle the worlds of noise and hardcore with some degree of success. Some noise people that liked us saw an approach in us that, despite very different end results, either mirrored their own or at least came from a similar place. We also appeared to be something of a small gateway for people discovering the world of noise in its many forms.

For the people that are still navigating their way through the entirely intimidating noise as a genre via Bastard Noise, The Endless Blockade, Breathing Problem related things and a cursory knowledge of Dominick Fernow and possibly Mikko Aspa, ALAP is an essential purchase.

The importance of Throbbing Gristle is well documented. Like so many other intitially repugnant strains of art TG gained respectability through the passing of time and exposure to the fallout of their ideas. See also punk, black metal, techno, graffiti, yoga and veganism.

Bizarrely Whitehouse appear to have benefitted by being around forever as well; generally respectable music publications will actually acknowledge them now and write off the transgressive aspects of their aesthetic with a cursory mention of "Sadean wit" to get themselves over the initial hump of guilt over enjoying something that is essentially utterly hostile and downright unpleasant.

Even Genocide Organ have managed to find someone that will write that hoary old pile of dog shit pondering if they're merely "a mirror being held up to society" in the liner notes of the reissue of Remember. People need to remember that Mayakovski quote about art and mirrors better...

And let us not forget the exotic sounds of Harsh Japanese Noise like Merzbow and Melt Banana (sic). Like i said in a recent comment on another post on this blog, people who will reference Lords of Chaos in a conversation about black metal can usually be written off immediately as being unknowledgable. The same holds true for people that will bring up the Merzbow/ BMW story when talking about noise. (Read the actual story here and then move on with your life)

Sometimes it feels like noise has become an exotic oddity from the mysterious orient (that no one really likes), with magazine articles reduced to a few paragraphs shoved in between either Philipino and Mexican black metal bands (themselves more exotic oddities to be wondered at) or Hassidic drum and bass DJs and has been modern composers.

It's treated as either a gimmick or a curiousity.

And then there's the highbrow approach, the same one that some heavy metal fans will use to intellectually validate their tastes; some Russian woman can play Carcass songs on a piano, some Finnish dudes can play Metallica songs on cellos, so and so from some boring band is actually more like a classical jazz guitarist than some generic shredder. These things apparently give the veneer of respectability to something that in reality doesn't actually need that repectability bestowing on it.

The noise version of this is to reference people like Russolo, Cage and Xenakis; all of whom are interesting and there is an undeniable importance to their artistic and philosphical contributions, not just to noise but to music as a whole.

But none of this adequately explains the importance of The Rita, Sigillum S, Intrinsic Action, Government Alpha, Richard Ramirez ad infinitum in particulary easy terms.

As Loud As Possible is certainly not the first voice noise has had; there have been several zines, a few books (of varying quality) and some talking heads (also of varying quality). What ALAP does is examine the past and the present of noise using the terms of noise itself without relying on the hackneyed approaches of either exoticism or intellectualism.

Some have questioned the validity of the reviews section; in the micro-releasing world of noise most of these are long sold out by publication time and the reader has little chance to hear the product. This isn't actually important and the reviews function less as a buyers guide and more as a guide to the evolution of both individual artists and the broader scene.

Noise artists frequently release a lot in a short time frame and in limited numbers. ALAP takes snapshots and traces development, documents phases and the entry and exit points of movements and currents. HNW didn't appear over night, it existed before it was given a three letter acronym. Sam McKinlay of The Rita can quite eloquently explain (so feel free to make contact with him to discuss it further) that he sees the birth of HNW as being rooted in an approach that appeared in the mid 90s where a group of quite different artists deliberately moved away from the frenzied and hyper kinetic cut up clean sounds that the Japanese scene at the time epitomised (itself a steroidal push of the ideas Merzbow presented in Noisembryo). McKinlay (in personal conversations) makes no bones about comparing HNW to an art movement and that it needs to be seen in terms of a lengthy process of artists discovering their formula and the constant mutual re-informing and re-envisioning that these movements entail.

Using this lense, noise (and most forms of art and the culture attached to art) is defined equally by what it rejects and what it includes. ALAP acknowledges this and gives voice to the disparate tendencies that make up what is reffered to as noise.

ALAP looks at the past and how it informs and relates to the present; see the articles on Broken Flag, RJF, Interchange and others. And rather than just focusing on the past, which whilst interesting is too easy and ultimately too worthless to look at with no further explanation, it also looks at the present and again uses past reference points to explain how we got here (see Climax Denial, No Fun, Sewer Election and IDES amongst others).

This is the approach we (meaning noise consumers and creators) have rarely had. This is the voice that in a sense validates what we do without being held to account for the same boring questions we get from outsiders over and over again. Why someone would want to attach a contact microphone to a block of glass or why someone would want to release a tape wrapped in electrical tape and thumb tacks that is both difficult to open and difficult to find. These questions are dispensed with because they're unimportant and the answers can be found in other places anyway.

We can see where we've come from; whether it's a reaction to punks lack of real noise, a continuation of transgressive performance art or just teenagers hearing Whitehouse for the first time in the early 1980s who thought "i could have some of that" and starting their own power electronics projects and labels. We can see where we're at now and we can take a good guess at where we might be going.

Punk (and thus hardcore) is generally great at seeing its past but terrible at being able to get to grips with its current forms and by the same token too many noise people think they're reinventing the wheel and have no idea who their musical forefathers actually were.

ALAP is not an apology and it is not entry level. It presupposes a certain amount of knowledge to find meaning within its pages. Which is how is how it should be.

That noise is still viewed like it's the dark continent of music or that it's apologised for in terms of intellectualism is a source of occasional personal irritation. ALAP raises the bar and renders those approaches largely null.