TARANTULAH, Promo Version (2012, self-released)

The skull:
It was the final selfie ol’ Spider took of his bad-ass self. He drifted off to sleep listening to some shitty grind core demo tape. The cig he was enjoying fell out of his teeth and burnt the entire place to the ground. Falling asleep while smoking is bad enough, but having no lips with which to create a vaccum-tight seal around the filter? Certain death. At least he was able to treat the selfie with a cool “film negative” effect before texting it to his buddies in Tarantulah. This is their tribute to him.

The music:
I’ve never heard Malaysian grindcore before, but after sitting through this mercifully short two-song release, I never, ever, ever want to hear Malaysian grindcore again. A sloppy, shambling, shitty, pointless mess. Who needs it? If you do, check this out, or their contributions to the deliciously-titled Chaotic of Psycho Golden Triangle split.
— Friar Wagner


BENEDICTION, Killing Music (Nuclear Blast, 2008)

The skull:
This version of Killing Music finds the skull with sonic waves entering its non-ears to process with its non-existent brain. There’s a better version out there somewhere showing the skull wearing headphones. This version is sans cans, unfortunately. Skull itself looks like it was made via papier mache, there’s sheet music behind it (wonder if it’s scored Benediction music, how delightful!), and that awesomely tacky/cool Benediction logo big and fat on top. Hopefully he’s listening to earlier Benediction, which is quite a bit better than the later stuff. But who knows, his droopy sockets make him look kinda sad.

The music:
This band needs a t-shirt that says “Running on Auto-Pilot Since 1995!” Or “With Every New Album, an Uglier Album Cover!” (Except this one, which we’ve already determined is ace.) Yep, Benediction have outstayed their welcome, adding nothing to their once enjoyable Massacre-meets-Bolt Thrower formula. Killing Music is generic through and through. Something like “Beg, You Dogs” is pretty awful: assembly-line riffs and vocals that give a bad name to death metal vocalists in its stupidity (like his stupid delivery of equally stupid lyrics like “I fuck your wife and sanity.”) I recommend The Grand Leveler and Dark is the Season EP, the latter boasting one of the heaviest guitar tones ever recorded, which is especially crushing on their cover of Anvil’s “Forged in Fire.” As for this, it’s irrelevant bargain bin death metal. Except for the great/funny artwork.
–Friar Wagner