SADISTIK EXEKUTION, Fukk II (2004, Osmose)

The skull:
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! This is a cover that would really rile Beavis up! It’s got fire, guns, some barbed spear thingies and a poorly-spelled curse word, and every fucking tooth is a fang! Crack the dome and throw in a crown of thorns and you’ve got one damned fine Big Dumb Skull.

The music:
Sadistik Exekution are often called “cult,” which is basically code for “just another shitty, grindy deaththrash band.” Mindless speed delivered with maximum slop that caters to people who can tell how much they’ll like an album by the density of bullet belts in the band photo. Fukk II is indeed a sequel to the original, ostensibly classic Fukk and which probably ties up all the loose ends in the story. Like, it finally reveals who fukked Mary, or something. Usually album sequels are just shameless cash-ins made long after a band has lost its mojo, but Fukk II is not merely the spiritual successor of Fukk but the literal successor as well, issued a mere two years later. Maybe like the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, there was just too much Fukk for Sadistik Exekution to fit on one album, and the label balked at the notion of a double album. Whatever the case, I’d much rather conjecture along these lines than spend more time actually listening to this horrible crap.
— Friar Johnsen


HATEFUL AGONY, In the Name of God (2008, self-released)

The skull:
This skull is a martyr for all the world’s ills: a crown of thorns (or black stuff that sorta looks like thorns) sits atop his head as he sadly peers down at the futility of it all. Images of religion, money, guns and sheep are obvious or symbolic reminders that no matter what, oppression, greed, violence and conformity are comin’ ta get ya. All in the name of God, apparently.

The music:
These Germans first released music in 1998, and have self-released five albums since that time. This one is their fourth, and it kinda shows why they’ve never been on a label: they’re boring. They play fairly violent thrash with gruff, not-quite-deathly vocals, and everything you hear on the 11 songs of In the Name of God has been done before. Whether it’s a collision of Vio-lence and Kreator (“Son of Sam”) or Any-Given-Bay-Area-Thrash-Band meets Schizophrenia-era Sepultura (everything else), it comes off as competent but hardly mandatory or even important. Their influences can’t be disputed — I’ll gladly listen to all the originals, but Hateful Agony are just the sort of derivative thing I can’t get excited about. Hateful Agony seem a hapless but harmless trio of dudes out for a good time, some brews, and some early slots at mid-level festivals. Apparently they’re not super-ambitious, but hey, they can’t all be Vektor, right?
— Friar Wagner