A LOOK AT THE CAREER OF CULT STAR KERWIN MATHEWS!
This week we take a dive into the world of cult and fantasy cinema to look at the career of the swashbuckling KERWIN MATHEWS! Best known as the sword-slinging Sinbad, Mathews had an interesting career where he not only played several fantasy heroes, but also outlaws, Nazis and werewolves! He also has a strong connection to the area I live, spending much of his youth in Janesville, Wisconsin. Take a look HERE to find out more about this bastion of old school film!
Just to let you humanoids know, next week's Wormwood update will be at the very least delayed, if not absent altogether. I will be spending next weekend at the first edition of MILWAUKEE METALFEST in almost 20 years and that will gobble up a great deal of my time. I hope to have a major report on it here in the future.
Hope your appetite for torture is robust! We've got an extra sized Torture Chamber this week!
GOROD "The Orb"
SAVAGE GRACE "Sign of The Cross"
MINDLESS SINNER "Keeping It True"
LUNAR CHAMBER "Shambhallic Vibrations"
VALGRIND "Millenium of Night Bliss"
EVILCULT "The Devil Is Always Looking For Souls"
JUDICIARY "Flesh + Blood"
WITCH RIPPER "The Flight After The Fall"
A MYSTIC PROPHECY IS REVEALED!
Time to ride into battle and glory with Germany's true metal warriors MYSTIC PROPHECY! This is an interview I've wanted to do for a long time. The band is so underrated, so on top of their game. They've recently cut loose with their latest teeth-rattling example of metallic thunder "Hellriot" so I got together with guitarist MARKUS POHL to learn more of how these guys do things. He had plenty to say and covered some of their most infamous gigs with me. If you dig real metal in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST and PRIMAL FEAR, you can't pass up MYSTIC PROPHECY. Read the interview HERE!
In about 10 days, I will be headed to the revival of the time-honored MILWAUKEE METALFEST! Look for a report on the massive event here. The Doctor will probably be fried to a crisp when this one is done, but if I survive, I'll tell you all what it was like. That's a big "if"...
This week's Torture Chamber explores a wild range of rock and metal...
DODHEIMSGARD "Black Medium Current"
DOCTOR DOOM "A Shadow Called Danger"
VANISHMENT "No More Torture"
BIRDFLESH "Sickness In the North"
SOL'S SCREENERS, TAKE TWO!
Fresh off the overwhelming success of the first edition of "Sol's Screeners", our pal SOLOMON G returns with some more wild and whacky capsule reviews of oddball psychotronic film. This time around, Sol dives even further into the obscure as he puts four very different films under the microscope: the outrageous Native American demonic possession flick "THE MANITOU", the gritty lowbudget 70's crime thriller "SHOT", the warped look at the sexual violence of the wife swapper set "SWINGER'S MASSACRE", and finally, the bonkers Turkish swashbuckler "THE SWORD AND THE CLAW"! There's 10 times more entertainment in these films than the entire slate of Hollywood snoozers from 2023...read all about them HERE!
Finally some news to report on the interview front! I swung a chat with Germany's ground-breaking extreme metal band HOLY MOSES, who are retiring this year after 42 years in action! Plus I also talked to Chicago's highly unorthodox YAKUZA. Both interviews coming up slowly and we are trying to get others in the pipe, so stay tuned!
This week's Torture Chamber features many metallic delights including the latest from OVERKILL!
BLAZON RITE "Wild Rites and Ancient Songs"
DAWN OF OUROBOROS "Velvet Incandescence"
PANDEMIC "Crooked Mirror"
KARDINAL SIN "S.A.L.I.G.I.A."
FACE THE FIERY HEAT OF KOSTNATÊNÍ !
Once in a while we stumble across something really fresh and original here in the sodden marshes of Wormwood and that's certainly the case with KOSTNATÊNÍ. Originating in the Czech Republic, this "band" is mostly the product of one gentleman known only as D.L., who has come up with a fierce and wild sound that mixes Middle Eastern and North African influences with the extremity of death and black metal as well as touches of noisy alternative rock. The latest KOSTNATÊNÍ album is "Upal", which deals with the concept of heat. I knew I had to talk to D.L. and my wish was granted; he's an extremely sharp and thoughtful fellow, which you can find out in our interview HERE. It's really one of the most interesting we've done in a while.
This week's Torture Chamber starts with the latest from CATTLE DECAPITATION....and the last from HOLY MOSES. Plus more!
CATTLE DECAPITATION "Terrasite"
HOLY MOSES "Invisible Queen"
DEMONS DOWN "I Stand"
MYSTIC PROPHECY "Hellriot"
APE SHIFTER "Monkey Business"
VAULTWRAITH "Decomposing Spells"
A LOOK AT MARTY FRIEDMAN AND TRAUMA IN CONCERT!
Our man in Texas, the rugged COLONEL ANGUS, recently dropped in at a Houston venue to see two top metal acts in action. First he saw thrashers TRAUMA, best known as being the original band of METALLICA's CLIFF BURTON, rip it up. Then it was time for renowned axe maestro MARTY FRIEDMAN, formerly of MEGADETH and CACOPHONY, shred all over the place. You get to check out Angus' description of the event HERE and as usual, there's tons of killer photos to make you feel like you were almost there yourself!
A real interesting Torture Chamber this week, as IRON SHEIK gives a very personal look at the new METALLICA album, THOR examines the red hot death metal reprobates SANGUISUGABOGG and I look at a couple of very unique acts DOWNFALL OF GAIA and KOSTNATENI...
SANGUISUGABOGG "Homicidal Ecstasy"
DOWNFALL OF GAIA "Silhouettes of Disgust"
METALLICA "72 Seasons"
SAINT DEAMON "League of the Serpent"
PENITENCIA/ VAPULAH "Das Sombras Outrora Luz" Split
MEGALITH LEVITATION "Obscure Fire"
NEKUS "Sepulchral Divination"
WE VISIT THE SPOOKS OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS!
The Wormwood Files returns! I take a trip inside my own home state to look at some of the creepy legends and lore of Southern Illinois. I live far to the north, so in some ways, it's almost like visiting a different state, if not a different country. Spooks, curses and strange creatures abound in the heavily forested and swampy bottom third of Illinois...I take a special look at THE CURSE OF KASKASKIA, which totally destroyed a former state capital; the tortured ghosts of THE OLD SLAVE HOUSE, where many heinous deeds took place; and the PHANTOM FUNERAL PROCESSION OF FORT DE CHARTRES, which takes place only at a very specific time! Join me, humanoids, as I look into these weird doings HERE!
Some Wormwood news to report! I've grabbed an interview with one of Europe's premier power metal bands, the iron clad veterans of MYSTIC PROPHECY! These guys are a hidden treasure in metal and one well worth exploring. Also, get ready for another helping of SOL'S SCREENERS! This time, our boy SOLOMON G looks into Turkish sword and sorcery, Native American evil spirits, hard boiled crime and sexy swingers turned into bloodthirsty killers! More psychotronic fun for our PHILM PHREAKS section coming soon!
This week's Torture Chamber sees ARNOLDPLAYSGUITAR back in action and features visits from Finnish monster rockers and hardcore punkers both!!!
ENTHEOS "Time Will Take Us All"
BURIAL HORDES "Ruins"
LORDI "Screem Writers Guild"
TERVEET KADET "Kaikki Kaikkia Vastaan"
YAAROTH "The Man In The Wood"
INTO THE TRENCHES WITH MINENWERFER!
History and horror collide with black metal fury this week as I head into No Man's Land for an interview with California's brutal MINENWERFER. These guys have thus far demonstrated a powerful interest in the bloody mayhem of the First World War and on their latest album "Feuerwalze", they take a harsh look at the Battle of the Somme, one of the most lethal conflicts in all of history. I meet up with KRIEGSHAMMER, who gives a blunt and direct look at MINERWERFER's approach to music and also drops some hints at a future change in direction. He also doesn't mince words with some of the controversies that come up in connection with the band. Fix bayonets and read the rest HERE!
I hope to have a lot of news soon regarding new interviews and features here at Wormwood. It's been a bit of a rough patch and several things have fallen through, but I think better news is on the horizon. I know I'm getting ready to take the dive into this year's MILWAUKEE METALFEST, which I hope to report on here if it doesn't kill me first...
An extra big helping of the Torture Chamber this week, split almost equally between the barbaric and the progressive...
KATATONIA "Sky Void Of Stars"
ANGEROT "The Profound Recreant"
ICE AGE "Waves of Loss And Power"
NOMAD "The Mountain"
WEDINGOTH "Five Stars Above"
NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST "Sailing The Seas of Nuclear Waste"
LIGHTBRINGER OF SWEDEN "The New World Order"
CHILDREN OF THE REPTILE "Heavy Is The Head"
ATROCITY "Okkult III"
EXPLORE INFINITY WITH CB3!
Set your controls for the heart of Sweden as this week DARK STARR interrogates one of Scandinavia's fastest rising space rock bands, CHARLOTTA'S BURNING TRIO, otherwise known as CB3. Led by the charismatic CHARLOTTA ANDERSSON, the band has whipped up a cosmic stew of prog rock, fusion and space rock on their most recent album "Exploration". Starr was lucky enough to speak to every member of the band and gets their thoughts on their inspirations, dealing with the pandemic, and their roots and early days. You can dive into this galactic whirlpool right HERE but don't forget to make sure your space suit is properly fitted...
Well, friends, I was hoping to tell you I'd have live coverage of MORBID ANGEL's recent show in nearby Belvidere, IL. I was actually at the show, but so was an EF1 tornado, which caused the roof of the Apollo Theater to collapse. I missed getting clobbered by mere feet but others were not so lucky. As of this writing, one concertgoer died and several others are severely injured and in the hospital Needless to say, there will be no write-up as none of the bands save opener CRYPTA played. It was frankly a terrifying experience and my heart goes out to those affected by the tragedy. I saw some heroic actions by metalheads in the crowd after the disaster. Your friend the Good Doctor escaped by nothing less than sheer dumb luck.
Well, we've got the usual Torture Chamber hijinx for you now so dig in...
HATESPHERE "Hatred Reborn"
TREEDEON "New World Hoarder"
XYSMA "No Place Like Alone"
U.K. SUBS "Reverse Engineering"
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS FOR SOL'S SCREENERS!
We start a bold new feature in our PHILM PHREAKS section starting this week, as long-time Worm-friend SOLOMON G contributes a new series of reviews called SOL'S SCREENERS! These are quick capsule reviews of grindhouse favorites and psychotronic flicks written in Sol's own inimitable style. He starts off with four wild ones...a 1982 regional slasher film "DEATH SCREAMS" directed by the son of Ozzie and Harriet, David Nelson; a 1969 German-Italian thriller "DOUBLE FACE" starring KLAUS KINSKI; a gruesome 1974 horror comedy "HOMEBODIES" about elderly killers; and finally, the most bizarre of the lot, a 1988 shot-on-video psycho-horror "NIGHT FEEDERS" featuring drug-addled zombies and mutant babies! It sounds like it should be up any Wormster's alley and you can find out all about it HERE!
Some news from Wormwood Central! I've managed to get an interview with one of the most original bands to ever appear in WC, the unique Czech project KOSTNATENI, who combine black metal, noise rock and world music in an utterly unique fusion. Expect that here pretty soon. Also, COLONEL ANGUS will have a live review of a gig featuring former MEGADETH guitarist MARTY FRIEDMAN and CLIFF BURTON's pre-METALLICA band, TRAUMA! I should have news on more live reviews and interviews coming soon!
A mixed up melange of new Torture Chamber reviews features URIAH HEEP, GIANT BRAIN and more...
URIAH HEEP "Chaos and Colour"
GIANT BRAIN "Grade A Grey Day"
MORTALUS "We Are Human"
A DIADEM OF DEAD STARS "Emerald Sunsets"
CADAVER SHRINE "Benighted Desecration"
EXPLORE THE DARK SIDE OF SCOTLAND WITH HELLRIPPER!
There's a lot more to Scotland than harmless old Nessie! There are witches, cannibals, demons and the hideous NUCKELAVEE! And there's also scorching blackened thrash metal courtesy of HELLRIPPER! The band are dedicated to telling dark tales of their homeland, especially on their new album "Warlocks Grim And Withered Hags". I took some time to speak to the mastermind of HELLRIPPER, Mr. JAMES McBAIN, who had plenty to say about all things concerning the band and their inspirations.. Gather up your courage and meet us HERE to hear more of HELLRIPPER...
We have a wildly diverse and extra large Torture Chamber for you to ramble through this time around...
MEMORIAM "Rise To Power"
NO SPILL BLOOD "Eye Of Night"
IRON VOID "IV"
REDEMPTION "I Am The Storm"
A LA CARTE "Soup Dejour"
DEAD WILL WALK "A New Day of Dawning"
TITHE "Inverse Rapture"
A TASTE OF LEATHER AND STEEL!
They say that the female is the deadlier than the male and here to prove it is LEATHER LEONE. She's been living the metal life since the early 80's and her legendary work as lead singer for CHASTAIN has led the way for many. Inspired by the great Ronnie James DIO, she's been one of the great lady metal singers. Now back in action after a long layoff, Leather has just released a sizzling new album of traditional metal entitled "We Are The Chosen". The renowned THERON MOORE recently found time to talk to her about her metal path, her relationship with DIO and much more. You can get the LEATHER lowdown HERE!
We have a Torture Chamber full of magic, majesty and mayhem for you this week!
MAJESTIES "Vast Reaches Unclaimed"
GATEKEEPER "From Western Shores"
LUNAR "The Illusionist"
SIEGE OF POWER "This Is Tomorrow"
RIGOR SARDONICOUS "Praeparet Bellum"
NEW HORROR REVIEWS TO CHILL YOUR BONES!
Horror makes its return to the Philm Phreaks section this week as DARK STARR puts two indie shockers under his microscope. First up is the well-regarded supernatural screamer "TWO WITCHES" which dishes up diabolical deviltry in classic fashion. Find out HERE if this one lives up to its reputation. Speaking of reputation, the obscure 80's horror "DOLL KILLER" has a reputation of a different kind. Is it really as bad as all that? Look HERE to see what the judgement is!
On the further subject of movie reviews, it won't be long until SOLOMON G unleashes his own brand of cinematic analysis when he takes a look at four grindhouse classics of various vintage. I will be following that up with my look at the career of KERWIN MATHEWS. More musical interviews are also on their way and I hope to tell you about two big ones we are angling to get soon!
An extra sized edition of the Torture Chamber is on tap this week!
MOS GENERATOR "Time// Wounds"
WORLDWIDE PANIC "Worldwide Panic"
ALL OUT WAR "Celestial Rot"
CURSED EXCRUCIATION "Arcane Diabolism"
GRIM JUSTICE "Justice In The Night"
FESTERDECAY "Reality: Rotten To The Core"
AN OLD SPIRIT VISITS WORMWOOD!
This week, we keep things kind of close to home, as we speak to a music veteran who's spent a lot of time in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, the stomping grounds of Wormwood Laboratories. I speak of Mr. JASON HARTMAN and his current curious project, OLD SPIRIT, which is a mixing bowl of several musical styles. Jason has a lot of memories of seeing shows in this area and also playing in bands like VANISHING KIDS and JEX THOTH. The new OLD SPIRIT album "Burning In Heaven" is a quirky testament to an eclectic metal soul and we discuss it in depth, as well as the good old days of the local scene. Hop aboard this interesting chat HERE!
Some pretty heavy duty entries can be found in this week's Torture Chamber...
AIR RAID "Fatal Encounter"
HELLRIPPER "Warlocks Grim And Withered Hags"
ACT OF IMPALEMENT "Infernal Ordinance"
SHAAM LAREIN "Sticka En Kniv I Varlden"
71TONMAN "Of End Times"
WORMWOOD'S BEST OF 2022 LISTS ARE HERE!
Yes indeed, humanoids, another year has passed us by and so it is once again time for Wormwood's annual tradition...the writers pick their Top 10 releases for the year of 2022! As always, I will post each writer's #1 pick below. To check out the entire lists, click HERE!
DARK STARR ROYAL HUNT "Dystopia Part 2"
DR. ABNER MALITY PHARMACIST "Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds"
IRON SHEIK QUEENSRYCHE "Digital Noise Alliance"
THRASH-HEAD SOREPTION "Jord"
COLONEL ANGUS EVERGREY "A Heartless Portrait"
THERON MOORE LEATHER "We Are The Chosen"
THOR MUNICIPAL WASTE "Electrified Brain"
LORD RANDALL PANZERFAUST "The Suns Of Perdition--Chapter III: The Astral Drain"
OCTOPI MILLS ARD "Take Up My Bones"
Lots of things hopping around Wormwood Laboratories. I've managed to secure an interview with one of the fastest and most ferocious black metal bands in America, the World War 1 obsessed MINENWERFER! Also working on a HUGE chat with one of the most legendary British rock bands! I also want to announce that our boy THRASH-HEAD will be retiring that name. Henceforth, he will be using the name ARNOLDPLAYSGUITAR! And in some real welcome news, the only and only SOLOMON G will be contributing some capsule grindhouse movie reviews to the Philm Phreaks section. Some of the titles he will be writing about include "Homebodies", "Death Screams" and "Night Feeders"!
In addition to the Best of 2022 lists, we also have the regularly scheduled Torture Chamber!
DELAIN "Dark Waters"
AHAB "The Coral Tombs"
BIZARREKULT "Den Tapte Krigen"
MEGATON SWORD "Might And Power"
DEICIDE "Crucifixtion--The Early Years"
RUDRA "Eight Mahavidyas"
HEED THE WORDS OF DUST PROPHET!
DUST PROPHET is a strange name for a band from the chilly woods of New Hampshire, but there ya go! The band name is just one of the things that LORD RANDALL asked vocalist OTTO KINZEL about in his interview with this fast rising stoner/doom contingent. They even talk about the literary roots of horror in the New England area, something near to our hearts at Wormwood. They also talk about trying to succeed in the new digital music landscape as well as DUST PROPHET's kicking new album "One Last Look Upon the Sky". Check it out HERE!
Next week will finally bring the much anticipated "Best of 2022" lists from the Worm-Crew so get ready for that. More news shall soon be forthcoming...
A very dark and blackened Torture Chamber is on tap this week...
BODYFARM "Ultimate Abomination"
HATE FOREST "Innermost"
IMPERIUM DEKADENZ "Into Sorrow Evermore"
IRON CURTAIN "Metal Gladiator"
DROWNING THE LIGHT "The Ghost Of A Flea" EP
OBELYSKKH "The Ultimate Grace of God"
TASTE THE STEEL OF SWORD!
No list of great Canadian metal bands would be complete without Montreal's SWORD. In action since 1981, these guys have delivered the truest and most classic steel over the ensuing decades, with their latest platter being the simply titled "III". RICK HUGHES has been the voice of SWORD since the beginning and sounds just as clear and piercing now as back in the day. Who better for Wormwood to talk to? We hear some stories about the early days of SWORD, hanging around with a young METALLICA and hobnobbing with the likes of LEMMY and ALICE COOPER, as well as some details on "III" and the always burgeoning Montreal metal scene. Draw your blade and get ready to meet SWORD right HERE!
Coming up very shortly will be Wormwood's highly anticipated "Best of 2022" lists, always a highlight of the year. DARK STARR also tells me he's gotten an interview with European space rockers/heavy proggers CB3 so look for that as well. Working on some more interesting stuff as we speak and there will be big news on coverage of one of the premier live metal events in the world soon!
OBITUARY visits the Torture Chamber this week and they're not alone!
OBITUARY "Dying of Everything"
OLD SPIRIT "Burning In Heaven"
HELLEVATE "The Purpose Is Cruelty"
LACERATED "The Vile Domain"
POUNDED INTO DUST BY CANNIBAL CORPSE!
One of the most brutal death metal tours in a long time came roaring through our area not long ago and when such a tidal wave of mayhem comes so close to Wormwood HQ, the Good Doctor must investigate! So you lucky humanoids now get my full report on the CANNIBAL CORPSE tour that played the Apollo Theater in nearby Belvidere, IL! The CANNIBALS did not come alone, but brought a sinister circus of extreme bands with them...Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL, New York death metal vets IMMOLATION and NYC blackened madmen BLACK ANVIL. I give a blow by blow description with numerous pics HERE!
That's not the only live concert action Wormwood will be involved with. We just learned this week of the return of the esteemed MILWAUKEE METALFEST, now under the guidance of HATEBREED's JAMEY JASTA, and long time Wormwood fans will know that we covered this great fest a LOT back in the day. So you can be sure we will be at the revival of this great tradition as well. Plus I also plan on covering the upcoming MORBID ANGEL/REVOCATION show at the Apollo. And there might be some very exciting concert news coming from COLONEL ANGUS and THRASH-HEAD shortly, so stay tuned!
Time now for another stroll through the fetid depths of Wormwood's Torture Chamber...
SATANIC WARMASTER "Aamongandr"
CONJURETH "The Parasitic Chambers"
LORD OF THE LOST "Blood And Glitter"
ANZILLU "Ex Nihilo"
ANIMA MORTE "Serpents In the Fields of Sleep"
ASHEN HORDE "Antimony"
STRUCK BY THE HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE!
Don't let the pastoral image above fool you...HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE hits as hard as a guided missile. Now relocated from San Francisco to the wild spaces of Montana (where the above picture was taken), this band has been a hidden gem of America's metal scene. The new HAMMERS album "Overtaker" is a wild and woolly piece of progressive thrash mania with an untamed spirit. I talked to the mastermind of HAMMERS, Mr. JOHN COBBETT, about the new album, the relocation to Montana and how that affected the band, and what led to the return of HAMMERS after a long layoff. Plus, he gives us an extensive list of new metal bands to keep an eye on! Join us for this most interesting discussion HERE!
A couple more tidbits from Wormwood Central for you! THERON MOORE has gotten an interview with one of the first ladies of American heavy metal, LEATHER LEONE! That one's a real feather in our cap. And I hooked up with Mr. JASON HARTMAN, a very busy musical alchemist with a strong background in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin music scene. Jason's latest project is the hard to define OLD SPIRIT, which will be getting reviewed here soon. I had a good chat with Jason which will be forthcoming. Also, the renowned Wormwood Chronicles TOP 10 LISTS for the year 2022 are just about complete, so you can find out what we all thought the best of the past year was.
The new Torture Chamber has a really wide range of sounds for you to explore...
DEATHLESS LEGACY "Mater Larvarum"
TEN "Something Wicked This Way Comes"
EXPLORER "Still Alive...And Now?"
IN PAIN "The Thing From The Grave"
KORROSIVE "Toxic Apokalypse"
A DOUBLE DOSE OF VINTAGE HORROR WITH THE BAT & AUDREY ROSE!