SEVERE DISGRACE, Disciples of Aggression (2011, demo)

The skull:
It may look like that rat is scampering over the skull, but no, that’s not what’s happening. He’s climbing on top of the skull, mounting it, if you will, to perform a lascivious deed. In other words, this filthy rat is about to get his skull fuck on. I realize this is shocking, that you probably haven’t seen anything like this before, but if you ever find yourself on business in the European microstate where The Council gathers, you’ll encounter this sort of thing on the pay-per-view channels in basically every hotel. The heart wants what it wants; don’t judge.

The music:
It’s rethrash, and it’s Brazilian, which means it basically sounds German, although these days, only Swedes make totally German-sounding thrash anymore. Everyone else mixes in at least a little Bay Area spice, and for Severe Disgrace, that mixing generally happens in the intros and breakdowns (or “mosh parts” as I called them in my teens.) The verse and chorus will be pure Kreator worship, and then all of a sudden, we’re plunged balls deep into a mediocre Exodus song. It can be a little confusing, but really, it’s not all that bad. One thing I like about Severe Disgrace is that they appear to be operating entirely without a sense of irony, which in these benighted days of pizza thrash is really a blessing. This is thrash that sounds angry and disaffected, which is really the best kind of thrash. These aren’t the best songs, but they’re played well enough and with the right kind of vibe, and when they do hit on something special, like the genuinely sinister bridge of “Evil Possessed,” it almost makes me think there’s room enough in this world for another thrash band.
— Friar Johnsen


RELLIK, Killer  (2001, Doomed Planet)

The skull:
This skull looks so desperate for a bite, he’ll chomp down on any damn thing. A logo made of stone, a rat, a mushroom cloud…whatever’s in the vicinity, he’s gotta eat it. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, Rellik is Killer backwards. But the skull don’t care. He just wants to keep eating whatever you throw his way. Killer cover!

The music:
I remember reading about this California band in Metal Rendezvous ‘zine back in the day. They sounded interesting, but their 1986 EP was pretty much impossible to find, so I’ve never actually heard them until now. Rellik inhabits that special little space occupied by bands such as Serpent’s Knight, Slauter Xstroyes, and S.A. Slayer. The vocals are especially in line with any of those bands (squeaky, high and weird), the music a bit more straightfoward than S.A. Slayer or Slauter Xstroyes, but you get the idea. Basically Snakepit-metal, if that makes any sense to you. Which can sometimes be a totally great thing, but sometimes it’s just another forgotten old band who deserved obscurity because they just weren’t that good. While Rellik’s music is pretty okay in spots (the solo section of “Street Sinner”), there’s nothing here that requires immediate investigation. This compilation combined the only recordings they made, from 1986 and 1990, with three other tracks that never saw the light of day. If you’ve lived without them this long, you can keep living a Rellik-less life.
— Friar Wagner