PAGAPU, Seven Days of Storm (2011, Pentagram)

The skull:
This image would be creepy as fuck if it weren’t for one little detail. I mean, the mouth of the skull being bionically extended by devices that look unpickable locks and a big thick blade…and all that dripping blood. Not to mention those fearsome tusk-like protusions from each side of the head. All of it pretty wicked. But that half-circle thingy that the top of the head is inserted into doesn’t quite look like the brace or head-belt that is likely its technical function. It just looks like a cute paper nurse hat from some tiny third world country lucky enough to have just enough of a budget to supply their nurses with hats at all. Not very evil!

The music:
A collection of demo recordings and various other odds and sods from this hopelessly obscure Peruvian one-man band. Most of this was recorded between 2003 and 2005, but the vibe is of another, earlier time, like Italy, Czech Republic or Greece circa 1989, with a foggy delivery of primitive death metal and embryonic traces of the buzzy early ’90s black metal sound. Exactly the sort of thing that would have fit perfectly on Wild Rags Records back in the day. I found myself digging this, as I’m occasionally a sucker for nuttiness of this sort. It reminds of the earliest emantations and rawest recordings of Rotting Christ, Varathron, Masters Hammer, Profanatica, Absu, Incantation, Von and Goatlord. A reviewer on Metal Archives says of one of the demos “good music, very poor vocals,” yet my impression is about the exact opposite: the vocals are much more interesting than the sometimes hamfisted and/or dull music. But sometimes the music is engaging enough, as with the suffocating bleakness of “Wanka Attack.” Worthwile despite its flaws, but only if you’re into some of that crazy-raw Wild Rags stuff and some of the other aforementioned noisemakers. (I had hoped to use the “Pagapoo-poo” insult, but no, I like this enough to refrain.)
— Friar Wagner