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"
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!
It's 2023 and a New Year deserves some New Fear! Or in this case, maybe some classic fear instead. The hard-working DARK STARR delves into two very different Blu-Rays and tries to find what makes them special. He first looks at 1977's paranormal chiller "AUDREY ROSE", a look at reincarnation and how it affects real lives. The movie stars the great ANTHONY HOPKINS and the remarkable SUSAN SWIFT...read about it HERE! Then we go back to 1959 to investigate a spooky "dark house" thriller about a masked maniac on the loose, "THE BAT"! This one stars the King of Horror, VINCENT PRICE, as well as AGNES MOORHEAD...read about this one HERE!
That won't be the end of horror reviews at Wormwood, as Starr tells me he will also investigate the more modern horrors "TWO WITCHES" and "DOLL KILLER" soon! As for me, I will take a look at the career of a favorite hero of fantasy and horror films, KERWIN MATTHEWS! As far as the musical end of Wormwood goes, I can tell you I got an interview with JAMES McBAIN of Scotland's blackened thrashers HELLRIPPER, a band that gets their inspiration from the darkest Scottish lore and history. LORD RANDALL tells me he's gotten a chat with New Hampshire's rising doom crew DUST PROPHET! So you can see things are moving along pretty well at Wormwood Laboratories in early 2023...
This week's Torture Chamber revels in some unsung and obscure bands you should investigate...
GUTTER CREEK "Gutter Creek"
MALLEUS "The Fires of Heaven"
SKYTHALA "Boreal Despair"
TRASTORNED "Into The Void"
BAD MANOR "The Haunting"
SICKRECY "Salvation Through Tyranny"
SUMMONING UP DEMONS WITH STORMRULER!
Still playing a bit of catch-up here at Wormwood, but we do it in style with STORMRULER! This wintry duo of black metal warriors are causing much uproar with their epic and majestic take on the style, heard nowhere better than on their new album "Sacred Rites And Black Magick". Surprisingly enough, they hail from the American Midwest and the city of St. Louis! I was granted an audience with drummer JESSE SCHOBEL who filled me in on the STORMRULER saga and where they derive their inspiration from. A pretty down to Earth guy for a knight marching under the black flag of Satan...hear what he had to say HERE!
Working on some new and interesting things for 2023...hope to have news for you humanoids very shortly. One thing I can guarantee is the beloved Top 10 Lists from all the Worm-scribes for the year of 2022!
The New Year brings us a new Torture Chamber...one that jumps around a lot!
LEATHER "We Are The Chosen"
THOTCRIME "D1G1T4L DR1FT"
INDUCTION "Born From Fire"
FAITHXTRACTOR "Contempt for A Failed Dimension"
BACK IN ACTION WITH MOONDOG MURRAY!
Occasionally things go haywire in the never-ending march of science. Computer issues have kept us from updating the site the last couple of weeks but we now seem to have the rampaging AI under control and things are back in their proper place. So let's dive back in to the weird world of Wormwood...
Our last article of 2022 was a unique one for sure! I dived back into the world of pro wrestling and spoke to a young up and coming wrestler from the nearby city of Belvidere, IL, Mr. MOONDOG MURRAY aka DOG-FACED BASTARD GREG MURRAY. This shaggy canine is just starting to put his bite on the wrestling world and brings a different perspective to the subject. The interview was surprisingly emotional and showed how Moondog used wrestling as a literal life-saver. We find out what it's like for a guy just starting his wrestling journey and some other juicy tidbits from the "inside" of the business. It's the most singular feature we've done yet for our "Over The Top Rope" section and you can play catch with the Moondog HERE!
We also delve into the last Torture Chamber of 2022...
GREEN KING "Hidden Beyond Time"
BLACK ANVIL "Regenesis"
TY MORN "Last Villain Testament"
HIGH COMMAND "Eclipse of the Dual Moons"
BARK "Rambler of Aeons"
THE WRING "Spectra"
KILL THE BEAUTIFUL WITH SCREAM TAKER!
Who needs another dose of "Jingle Bells" or worse yet Mariah Carey when you can celebrate the Yule season with the glass-breaking hard rock of SCREAM TAKER? This new band has a classic sound and is composed of seasoned professionals including VINNY APPICE of BLACK SABBATH/DIO fame and STEPH HONDE who's worked with PAUL DI'ANNO. I took some time to talk with their veteran vocalist, Mr. JIM CREAN, who tells us about the genesis of this project and the exact sound they are aiming for. This guy is a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and has worked with THE APPICE BROTHERS for years, so he knows what he's talking about. Find out more by clicking HERE!
We've got a great edition of the Torture Chamber this week, with a wide variety of bands to check out...
EXHUMED "To The Dead"
AIRSTRIKE "Power In Your Hand"
KAMPFAR "Til Klovers Takt"
R.A.M.B.O. "Defy Extinction"
ANTHEA "Tales Untold"
WE GET BLIND IN TEXAS WITH W.A.S.P.!
The revered COLONEL ANGUS recently pulled double duty in Texas, covering not one but two concert extravaganzas in the Lone Star State. These were highly anticipated shows featuring the return of legendary shock rockers W.A.S.P. , who were accompanied by ARMORED SAINT and the MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP! Angus covers both shows in details and as usual, has a ton of top class concert photos as well! After reading his report HERE, you'll feel like you were at the shows yourself!
As 2022 draws to a close, things are slowing down a bit here at Wormwood, but I can tell you that I managed to snag a chat with Canada's long running masters of traditional heavy metal SWORD and their iron-lunged singer, RICK HUGHES! Another things you can look forward to is the annual Wormwood TOP 10 OF 2022 LISTS, featuring the diverse picks of our demented staff members. Also coming soon: interviews with HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, SCREAM MAKER, and STORMRULER, as well as a talk with rising indy wrestler MOONDOG MURRAY, some new horror film reviews and a new Wormwood Files focusing on the spooks of Southern Illinois!
Time to dip into this week's extra-sized edition of the Torture Chamber...
JADED HEART "Heart Attack"
SODOM "Forty Years of War"
THRESHOLD "Dividing Lines"
PALE SPEKTRE "Bereft of Xerotic Layers"
EXTIRPATION "The Endless Storm"
HARMONIC CROSS "The Grand Paradise"
WORMWOOD ANSWERS A LONG DISTANCE CALLING!
This week, DARK STARR reaches across the ocean to Germany and makes contact with LONG DISTANCE CALLING, who are perhaps the country's most successful post-metal/atmospheric rock band. Specifically, he speaks to guitarist/vocalist/mastermind FLORIAN FUNTMANN about the origin of the band's name, their evolution from death metal to more progressive realms and the important environmental message behind their latest album, "Eraser". It's a brief but incisive chat which you can join right HERE.
We're almost at the end of 2022 and activity has slowed down here at Wormwood Laboratories. That being said, we've still got some interesting features in store for you over the next few weeks. Also coming up will be the notorious "Top 10 Releases of 2022" lists from the Worm-crew, which is always a window into the mental processes of our demented staffers. We should have more details for you soon!
The Torture Chamber this week is all over the place, from pompous prog to sheer brutality...
LEPER COLONY "Leper Colony"
ROYAL HUNT "Dystopia Part II"
DEATHSIEGE "Throne of Heresy"
TWO CLASSIC ALBUMS GET THE WAYBACK TREATMENT!
It's been a while since THE GREAT SUN JESTER has gifted us with one of his patented Wayback Reviews. So to make up for it, he puts TWO classic albums under the microscope this time around. First is an in-depth look at KING DIAMOND's classic horror concept album from 1987, "Abigail". Then he heads back to the hallowed year of 1970 to examine a great under-rated example of proto-metal, "Kingdom Come" by SIR LORD BALTIMORE. You can check out the "Abigail" review HERE and the "Kingdom Come" review HERE. You may get a newfound appreciation for these works of sonic art!
We will have COLONEL ANGUS' live review of W.A.S.P./ARMORED SAINT/MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP coming up shortly. Now we can add another live concert review...my look at the ultra-brutal CANNIBAL CORPSE/ DARK FUNERAL/ IMMOLATION/BLACK ANVIL tour, which made a recent stop in Belvidere, IL. This one really delivered the mayhem!
And now with no further ado, here's the latest Torture Chamber for your inspection...
XENTRIX "Seven Words"
STORMRULER "Sacred Rites and Black Magick"
JUDICATOR "The Majesty of Decay"
SORDID BLADE "Every Battle Has Its Glory"
HISS FROM THE MOAT "The Way Out Of Hell"
NECRODEATH "Singin' In the Pain"
GIVE THANKS FOR GOATWHORE!
As I write this during the Thanksgiving holiday, I can think of no better time to praise and give thanks to the mighty GOATWHORE, who have become one of the true mainstays of the extreme metal world. It has now been 25 years since their first record was unleashed on an unsuspecting world and 2022 brings us their newest tribute to blasphemy and mayhem, "Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven". Therefore I shift gears from turkeys to goats and present this interview with longtime drummer, ZACK SIMMONS, who tells us all about the world of GOATWHORE in the year of our Lord 2022. You may partake of the feast HERE, if you have the stomach for it.
This year has seen quite a few horror movie reviews grace the Philm Phreaks section and I can confirrm that trend will continue, as DARK STARR will soon have some more for your enjoyment. He'll be taking a look at the classic VINCENT PRICE thriller "The Bat" and the 70's tale of haunting reincarnation "Audrey Rose" as well as a new indy horror that's been attracting a lot of comment, "Two Witches". So keep your eyes peeled for those!
This week's Torture Chamber has got a pretty diverse offering of bands for you to check out...
SKID ROW "The Gang's All Here"
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE "Overtaker"
IN THE WOODS "Diversum"
IRON KINGDOM "The Blood of Creation"
JESTERS OF DESTINY "Distorting Everything"
GROUND "Habitual Self Abuse"
THE RETURN OF MERCYFUL FATE!
Deep in the heart of Texas, a KING returned to claim his throne and Wormwood was there to capture the moment! COLONEL ANGUS was lucky enough to see the legendary MERCYFUL FATE return to live action and he shares the experience with us here! KING DIAMOND and his cohorts have been burning up American stages recently and they weren't alone, as German thrash kings KREATOR and masked marauders MIDNIGHT accompanied them on the trek. Angus reports on the highly anticipated tour HERE and also presents a ton of beautiful top-notch photos as well.
That won't be the last of our concert reports, as ANGUS also caught the recent W.A.S.P./ARMORED SAINT tour as well. Plus The Good Doctor plans on seeing a major death metal event in the vicinity and spilling the beans on it also! Now I want to take the time to introduce you humanoids to the newest member of Wormwood Laboratories, the esteemed IRON SHEIK, who provides a review of the latest from doom metal titans CANDLEMASS in the latest Torture Chamber below. Expect to see more from The Sheik soon!
Speaking of the Torture Chamber, wait no more...it is upon you!
CANDLEMASS "Sweet Evil Sun"
DEFLESHED "Grind Over Matter"
ANOMALY "Somewhere Within The Pines"
ACID WITCH "Rot Among Us"
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX "Banefyre"
RIPPED TO SHREDS "Jubian"
HOUKAGO GRIND TIME "Houkago Grind Time 2: The Second Raid"
WE INTERVIEW THE ONE AND ONLY QUEENSRYCHE!
We get to talk to one of the true titans of heavy metal and hard rock this week! COLONEL ANGUS had the privilege of talking to singer TODD LA TORRE of the incomparable QUEENSRYCHE and you'll get to read the result! This is a band that's been through a ton of turmoil over the years but seems to have overcome the adversity to enter a new golden age with the help of their recent material. The latest RYCHE record is "Digital Noise Alliance" and La Torre discusses it in detail. He also addresses how the songwriting process has changed since he's joined the band. You can read the interview right HERE!
Well, it looks like Wormwood will soon have a new Worm-scribe adding his scribblings to the site! It is time to welcome IRON SHEIK to the fold...no, not the wrestler from Iran, but rather a raconteur from the Good Doctor's own hometown of Rockford. Look for some high profile reviews from the Sheik here very soon!
This week's Torture Chamber features a trip to an "Astral Fortress" as well as regurgitation from a vile Chicago band...
DARKTHRONE "Astral Fortress"
HAIL CONJURER "Earth Penetration"
IRON ALLIES "Blood In, Blood Out"
DYSGNOSTIC "Scar Echoes"
CROSS SWORDS WITH CONAN!
This week, prepare thy ears (and ass) for a beating at the hands of England's ruthless sludge-lords CONAN! True to their name, they give no quarter when they plug in and rock out. Their latest album "Evidence of Immortality" may be their heaviest and most ambitious yet. I spoke to vocalist/guitarist JON DAVIS about all things CONAN and he was quite expressive in his answers. Find out what keeps these barbarians on the attack right HERE!
Things ae still rolling along hot and heavy here at Wormwood HQ! Our pal COLONEL ANGUS was not just content with doing a live review of the recent MERCYFUL FATE/KREATOR show in Dallas...he also recently attended a gig featuring the likes of W.A.S.P., ARMORED SAINT and MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. So you will also soon be reading his report on that, as well as checking the many beautiful pics he took! I also want to let you know that I grabbed an interview with one of the most underrated metal bands around, HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE. Also, our pro wrestling section is soon going to get a unique interview with up-and-coming indy wrestler MOONDOG MURRAY, who hails from nearby Belvidere, IL! Add that to upcoming chats with QUEENSRYCHE, GOATWHORE, STORMRULER, LONG DISTANCE CALLING and SCREAM TAKER! Whew!
Bands old and new, well-known and obscure, make up this week's Torture Chamber...
RAZOR "Cycle of Contempt"
EMBRACE OF THORNS "Entropy Dynamics"
ARMED FOR APOCALYPSE "Ritual Violence"
SCREAM TAKER "Kill The Beautiful"
BLACK ROYAL "Earthbound"
MORBIFIC "Squirm Beyond the Mortal Realm"
LABYRINTH OF STARS "Spectrum Xenomorph"
ENTER THE CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD!
The Season of the Witch is upon us! And the Season of the Ghoul, the Season of the Wolf...and the Season of the Vampire! To celebrate, I take an in-depth look at a grindhouse vampire flick from 1973, "CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD", starring ANDREW PRINE and MARK DAMON. It's quite a gloomy and atmospheric look at an island haunted by Hannah, Queen of the Vampires. I grab some dogbane and see what makes Hannah one of the more sympathetic female vampires in film...find out more HERE. And if that's not enough, DARK STARR takes a look at the moody but frustrating modern folk horror film "SATOR"....you can check that out HERE!
Last week, I mentioned we had some live concert reviews coming up. Well, I can now confirm that COLONEL ANGUS got one for the super-anticipated MERCYFUL FATE/KREATOR/ MIDNIGHT show that came to Dallas, Texas recently. He took some absolutely amazing photos to accompany the write up as well. There should be some more concert review news coming soon. That's not all...I've got some more interview news! I recently talked to the outstanding young black metal band STORMRULER from St. Louis and a great new hard rock outfit called SCREAM TAKER that features superstar drummer VINNY APPICE, French guitar whiz STEPH HONDE and celebrated vocalist JIM CREAN. So look for those down the pike! And yes, the Wayback Reviews from THE GREAT SUN JESTER will soon return in force, with reviews of KING DIAMOND's classic "Abigail" and SIR LORD BALTIMORE's "Kingdom Come". Yeah, bunky, it's busy as hell at the Wormwood Compound but more is on the way yet!
This week's Torture Chamber has surely got some heavy hitters to keep your attention!
AUTOPSY "Morbidity Triumphant"
NASHVILLE PUSSY "Eaten Alive"
GOATWHORE "Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven"
SINNERY "Black Bile"
WE GET BLITZKRIEGED BY HATRIOT!
This week, Wormwood gets engulfed by a furious onslaught of thrash as the mighty THOR interviews HATRIOT! He speaks to band leader CODY SOUZA, who has metal in the blood because his Dad is none other than ZETRO SOUZA of EXODUS fame! We hear what it's like following in the footsteps of such a metal titan and how Cody has worked to make sure HATRIOT can stand on its own two feet. Plus, we find out about the band's ground-breaking new album "The Vale of Shadows". Grab your neckbrace and dive in HERE!
A little bird tells me that we may soon be having some major live concert coverage here at WC. Who the band's are I will soon reveal and they are all heavy hitters, so stay tuned. There will also be some new interview announcements to add to our already impressive list of upcoming interrogations.
The Torture Chamber this week is a double-barreled shotgun of metallic mayhem aimed straight at your face!
BLIND GUARDIAN "The God Machine"
METALIAN "Beyond the Wall"
CASKET ROBBERY "Rituals of Death"
IMPRECATION "In Nomine Diaboli"
MORTUOUS "Upon Desolation"
CAVERNOUS GATE "Voices From the Fathomless Realm"
A PALE HORSEMAN RIDES INTO WORMWOOD!
Chicago bands are always close to our heart here at Wormwood Laboratories so it was a natural for LORD RANDALL to speak to the Windy City's masters of gloomy, heavy riffage, PALE HORSEMAN. He chats with the voice of the band, the enigmatic FLESH, and delves deep into their creative process and how they've grown over the years. There's also some talk of Chicago's native cuisine and the possible future of legendary venue THE DOUBLE DOOR. Saddle up, hombre, and ride into the apocalypse HERE.
The hits keep on coming at Wormwood! Now COLONEL ANGUS has snagged an interview with no less a personage than TODD DE LA TORRE of the incomparable QUEENSRYCHE! This will be one of the biggest chats we've snagged this year. You can add that to the upcoming HATRIOT, GOATWHORE, LONG DISTANCE CALLING and CONAN interviews. I hope to have news soon of another major name to add to the list!
The new edition of the Torture Chamber is one of the heaviest we've had in a while!
HIEROPHANT "Death Siege"
VENOM INC. "There's Only Black"
LAWNMOWER DETH "Blunt Cutters"
MORE HORROR THAN YOU CAN HANDLE!
We are officially in Halloween season so what better time to delve into some new horror releases? The ever-busy DARK STARR has two more ghoulish offerings to put under his microscope...the results are indeed horrid, but maybe not in the way you might think. First up is a look at the Blu-Ray release of the 1991 cult atrocity "SLAUGHTERDAY". This is almost literally a home movie released as a commercial film...a shabby knock-off of "The Evil Dead". Is it still entertaining despite its flaws? Find out HERE. Then we go in a moodier and more psychological direction with "THE HAUNTING OF MIA MOSS". Is this story of a woman confronting her long suppressed demons worth sticking with? The answer is HERE.
I said some big announcements were on the way. Well, here they are! First, we grabbed an interview with the long running evil thrashers GOATWHORE! Specifically, I spoke to drummer ZACK SIMMONS about what's new in the dismal world of the furry prostitutes. Coming up soon! As if that wasn't enough, I also crossed swords once more with barbaric sludge-masters CONAN! I chat with mainman JON DAVIS about just how heavy this band can get. You can add these two to upcoming interviews with PALE HORSEMAN, HATRIOT and LONG DISTANCE CALLING. And also to let you know, the subject of the next Wormwood Files will be ghostly tales of Southern Illinois! Our plate is plenty full...and more to come!
The Torture Chamber this week is a mix of well-known and newer bands!
QUEENSRYCHE "Digital Noise Alliance"
BLOODBATH "Survival of the Sickest"
LEADER OF DOWN "The Screwtape Letters"
MANIC ABRAXAS "Foreign Winds"
GUTVOID "Durance of Lightless Horizons"
AFTER ALL "Eos"
DIABOLOGY "Father of Serpents"
UNLOCK THE MYSTERIES OF GEMATRIA!
This week's interview may reveal a whole new way of thinking about things in addition to educating you about a great new band. I speak to the members of GEMATRIA, a new instrumental outfit whose progressive and surprising music is assembled using an ages old method also known as "gematria". It's something the ancient rabbis cooked up to transform words into numbers and then discern their cosmic meaning. Well, RAY SUHY and STEVE HONOSHOWSKY also used the mystical math to compose the music on their new album "Gematria II: The Spindle of Necessity". It's a fascinating chat with a couple of forward thinking pros and like Bill Cosby used to say, if you're not careful, you might just learn something! Find out more HERE!
More news from Wormwood Central! HATRIOT is on the way to Wormwood. Our own God of Thunder THOR spoke to CODY SOUZA, no less than the son of ZETRO SOUZA of EXODUS fame, about this ripping thrash band and you will soon read the result here. Also coming soon will be the ever-busy DARK STARR's discussion with LONG DISTANCE CALLING, one of Europe's best post-metal bands. There will be some more big announcements soon!
The Torture Chamber this week includes reviews of boozehounds TANKARD, modern metal masters MACHINE HEAD and a former DEEP PURPLE cover band gone original!
PURPENDICULAR "Human Mechanic"
TANKARD "Pavlov's Dawgs"
CAUSTIC CASANOVA "Glass Enclosed Nerve Center"
MACHINE HEAD "Of Kingdom and Crown"
TYRANTS OF CHAOS "Relentless Thirst For Power"
EXPLORE THE DARK SEASONS OF SIGH!
As I write these words, the weather has changed from summer to autumn and the leaves have begun to fall. So there's no more appropriate time for me to speak to Japan's eccentric black metal legends SIGH and their thoughtful frontman MIRAI KAWASHIMA. The latest SIGH album "Shiki" deals with the change of seasons and life's journey from spring to winter. This is an interview I've long wanted to do and it doesn't disappoint. Mirai is a very honest and articulate guy who discusses his own grappling with mortality. Check out this killer interview HERE!
I know DARK STARR has been working overtime on movie reviews recently and I'm trying to keep up! Look for my review of the early 70's vampire flick "CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD" soon! And as always, keep watching this space for news on upcoming Wormwood projects...
This week, heavy hitters like MEGADETH and GRAVE DIGGER drop in to the Torture Chamber!
MEGADETH "The Sick, The Dying...And the Dead"
GRAVE DIGGER "Symbol of Eternity"
VALBORG "Der Alte"
SEVENTH STORM "Maledictus"
TWO CULT HORROR REVIEWS FOR YOU FIENDS!
Our boy DARK STARR has once again dipped into the vaults of cult horror and come up with some new reviews for the Philm Phreaks section. First he takes a look at a devilish slice of 70's Satanic cinema "THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN", starring the great STROTHER MARTIN as Lucifer's top dog on Earth. Check that out HERE. Then we go back to the good old days of high school....or maybe they weren't quite as great as we remember them? Especially if you went to Central High. That's right...he takes a look at the violent cult feature "MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH", which dishes up a sizable amount of social comment to go along with plenty of blood. That one you can find HERE.
Starr tells me there's even more on the way, so look out soon for reviews of the insane zero budget gore flick "SLAUGHTERDAY" and the more contemporary psychological thriller "THE HAUNTING OF MIA MOSS". As far as band interviews go, LORD RANDALL tells me that he should soon have a chat with Chicago's unsung sludge/doom heroes PALE HORSEMAN. Lots more is in the pipe, so stay tuned!
Ready for your weekly dive into the Torture Chamber? Light your torch and follow me...
I AM "Eternal Steel"
SANTA CRUZ "The Return of the Kings"
TRIAL (SWE) "Feed The Fire"
DE PROFUNDIS "The Corruption of Virtue"
PERVERSION "Dies Irae"
TRIUMVIR FOUL "Onslaught To Seraphim"
SKELATOR "Blood Empire" EP
FLESHROT "Unburied Corpse"
BOW DOWN TO YOUR SAVAGE MASTER!
I come to you humanoids battered and bruised this week. I've just had a session in the pleasure dungeon of STACEY SAVAGE, mistress of the metal fiends known as SAVAGE MASTER. And I loved every minute of it! I had a stimulating chat with Stacey about what the band has been up to (it's no good, I'm sure), including their new album "Those Who Hunt At Night" and the cool video that accompanies the title track. Find out more straight from the fanged mouth of the mistress herself right HERE!
HORROR and MAYHEM is coming to the Philm Phreaks section, as we will have a slew of new movie reviews courtesy of DARK STARR. He will be tackling the diabolical drive-in classic "The Brotherhood of Satan", the 80's cult favorite "Massacre at Central High" and the more recent psychological thriller "The Haunting of Mia Moss". Plus maybe more! In addition, I'm doing my own review of "Crypt of the Living Dead" so plenty of celluloid chaos is on the way...
You don't have to wait any longer for the Wormwood Torture Chamber. Stacey Savage is unfortunately not there, but plenty of strange and outre album reviews are!
NICOLAS CAGE FIGHTER "The Bones That Came From Pain"
REEKING AURA "Blood and Bonemeal"
OLLI HANNINEN & SAMMI HYNNINEN "Chambers"
EVERMORE "Court of the Tyrant King"
H.E.A.T. "Force Majeure"
MOTHS "Space Force"
EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE WITH ASTRAL MAGIC!
You will need to make sure your space suit has got plenty of oxygen as we head into outer space for an interview with Finnish space rock prodigies ASTRAL MAGIC! DARK STARR was first into the airlock to speak to MIKA LAAKSO, the cosmic genius behind the sounds of ASTRAL MAGIC. Mika is a cheerful space cadet with plenty to say about this incredibly prolific band, who seem to put out an album every other month! What causes such an outburst of creativity? Open your hailing frequency and find out more HERE!
We got an extra sized helping of Torture Chamber reviews this week....some pretty dark material in there...
SPELLBOOK "Deadly Charms"
TOMBS "Ex Oblivion"
ABHOR "Sex Sex Sex"
VRENTH "Succumb To Chaos"
DEAD TIRED "Satan Will Follow You Home"
KILL DIVISION "Peace Through Tyranny"
MY SLEEPING KARMA "Atma"
BLACK RIVER "Generation Axe"
A DOUBLE DOSE OF ANVIL!
This week, you Worm-fiends are gonna get all the ANVIL you can handle and more! First off is my face to face interview with legendary LIPS, leader of the band since its formation in 1978! One thing's for sure, he doesn't hold back on his opinions. Find out what he thinks is wrong with modern heavy metal and also the simple secrets of ANVIL's long-term success. It's a blunt and effective chat which you can read HERE! And if that's not enough, I also review their recent live show in Madison, WI, where they were accompanied by WHITE WIZZARD, MIDNITE HELLION and more. Click HERE to get my take on the tour!
To say things are starting to heat up here at Wormwood HQ would be a gross understatement. Just today, I got a finished interview with one of Japan's most unique and respected metal bands, SIGH! I can confirm that long-time leader MIRAI also had a lot to say. I also grabbed an interview with a very interesting progressive instrumental band GEMATRIA, who create all their music using the ancient Jewish system of numerology also called gematria. One of the coolest chats I've had in a while. And no, that ain't all! Because SAVAGE MASTER is also coming to Wormwood! Look for my talk with the Queen of the Night, STACEY SAVAGE! This is just the tip of the iceberg, because a lot more is on the way!
This week's Torture Chamber hits with a hard and heavy groove that will wreck your neck!
HATRIOT "The Vale of Shadows"
BELPHEGOR "The Devils"
TREYHARSH "Eternal Cycles"
SPIRITUS MORTIS "The Great Seal"
SEEP "Hymns To The Gore"
KEYBOARD WIZARD DEREK SHERINIAN DROPS BY...
This time around, DARK STARR has got a brief chat with one of the true maestros of the rock n roll keyboard, MR. DEREK SHERINIAN. Derek's credits could fill a phone book, but he's done work with BILLY IDOL, KISS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and of course DREAM THEATER. But his own list of solo records is also sizable and the latest is called "Vortex". Join him to find out more HERE...
Expect more exciting announcements soon from Wormwood HQ. In the meantime, look for an interview with ANVIL as well as a live concert review of them in action next week...
The Torture Chamber this week is not only wild and woolly but extra-sized as well!
BLACK MAGNET "Body Prophecy"
LUCID GRAVE "Cosmic Mountain"
INHUMAN CONDITION "Fearsick"
STICK MEN "Tentacles"
WOLFBRIGADE "Anti-Tank Dogs" EP
SWIM OR DROWN "Torment" EP
HOOVES AND HORNS "I Am The Skel Messiah"
GET READY TO ROT WITH MOLDER!
The stench of putrefaction fills the air at Wormwood Laboratories this week as we welcome Joliet's menacing maniacs MOLDER to the fold. If you like disgusting death metal that has equal parts revulsion and catchiness, then these are your boys. And they don't try to disguise the fact, either, as you will learn when you read my interview with guitarist/vocalist AAREN PANTKE. He tells us about the origins and goals of MOLDER as well as the lowdown on new album "Engrossed With Decay". If you really want to get down with the sickness, forget DISTURBED and hop aboard the MOLDER train instead. Find out more HERE!
Things continue to move along smartly here at Wormwood HQ. I can tell you there will be a new PHILM PHREAKS article looking at the early 70's vampire flick "CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD". Keep an eye out for interviews with ANVIL, DEREK SHERINIAN, ASTRAL MAGIC and more as well!
A good selection of bands appear in this week's Torture Chamber, including my pick for album of the year thus far...
SAVAGE MASTER "Those Who Hunt At Night"
WEREWOLVES "From The Cave To The Grave"
ENCHANTMENT "Cold Soul Embrace"
CELESTIAL WIZARD "Winds of the Cosmos"
WORMWOOD FILES IS BACK! IN SEARCH OF AFRICA'S KILLER CRYPTIDS!
It's been a LOOOONG time since we've posted a new edition of the Wormwood Files here at Wormwood, but the drought is over at last and we dive headlong into the world of the weird and unknown. This time our search takes us to Darkest Africa where we try to find the truth about two of the most vicious unknown creatures around, the NANDI BEAR and the MNGWA! These two bloodthirsty brutes used to be the terror of their respective areas but are little seen now. What exactly is the Nandi Bear...giant hyena, giant baboon, killer aardvark or prehistoric chalicothere? We try to find out. As for the Mngwa, it's a mysterious giant cat that would give even a lion the willies. Read more about these two killer cryptids HERE!
This week's Torture Chamber is not only extra big but features the return of THERON MOORE to WC!
MUNICIPAL WASTE "Electrified Brain"
BLUT AUS NORD "Disharmonium--Undreamable Abysses"
PROTECTOR "Excessive Outburst of Depravity"
QUARTZ "On The Edge of No Tomorrow"
BALLS GONE WILD "Stay Wild"
MONASTERIUM "Cold Are The Graves"
SPECIES "To Find Deliverance"
RESISTANCE "Skulls of My Enemies"
AN APPOINTMENT WITH PHARMACIST!
Your prescription is now ready so it's time to meet the PHARMACIST! Of course, this time the prescription is for sick yet progressive death metal in the vein of CARCASS, so who better to deliver your medicine than this mysterious European pill pusher? This master of medical grindcore has delivered a masterpiece of an album with "Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds" so I felt that I, Dr. Abner Mality, a fellow practitioner of ghoulish high volume arts, was duty-bound to investigate. You can read the results of that investigation HERE...but you better have your sick bag ready!
LOTS of news to report in Wormville! Speaking of sickening bands, I can relate that I also grabbed a chat with Chicago's gory sickos MOLDER. Even better, my mission to speak to the legendary Lips of ANVIL was also a success, so an interview with him is also forthcoming, along with a review of the recent ANVIL show in Madison, WI. That's not all, sports fans! DARK STARR informs me that he's recently talked to keyboard wizard supreme DEREK SHERINIAN, who we haven't talked to in quite some time. Not only that, he also ventured into the Oort Cloud to speak to Finnish space rockers ASTRAL MAGIC! Look for both of those soon. Now there's even more cool stuff on the way that I should be able to spill the beans about soon!
For this week's Torture Chamber, MICHAEL SCHENKER drops by, along with some seriously disturbing bands...
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP "Universal"
MOLDER "Engrossed In Decay"
HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL "Cruenza Ferina"
TEUFELSBERG "Ordre Du Diable"
NEGATIVE PLANE "The Pact"
MORBID EVILS "Supernaturals"
TWO HORROR REVIEWS: EDGE OF SANITY & THE RIGHTEOUS
Time once more to delve into the world of freaky film as we offer not one, but two new reviews for our Philm Phreak section. DARK STARR tackles two new Blu-Rays from Arrow Video. One is an unappreciated psycho horror film from 1989 "EDGE OF SANITY" featuring the immortal ANTHONY PERKINS as a killer who combines aspects of Mr. Hyde and Jack The Ripper! Then we look at something more contemporary, with the slow-burning tale of supernatural tension known as "THE RIGHTEOUS". Are these 2 fear flicks worth your hard-earned shekels? Click HERE and HERE and find out for yourself!
Your pal the Good Doctor will soon be reviewing a live show featuring the metal veterans ANVIL, along with a gang of true metal bands including WHITE WIZZARD and MIDNITE HELLION. If I get real lucky, I must just be grabbing a face to face interview with LIPS himself! I'll let you know next week exactly what happened. Plus some more major interview news will be on the horizon!
We squeezed out a few more reviews for this week's Torture Chamber! Peruse and enjoy!
ARTHUR BROWN "Long, Long Road"
GRONIBARD "Regarde Les Hommes Sucer"
BEGRIME EXEMIOUS "Rotting In the Aftermath"
TOXIK "Dis Morta"
VOIMATON "Profane Vestige"
CRISIS BENOIT "El Culto de la Muerte"
ILLUCIA '"A New Reign"
A BLAST FROM THE PAST WITH APOCALYPSE!
DARK STARR presents some very unusual for you Worm-fiends this time around, as he unearths a forgotten prog rock band from the 70's that is finally releasing their first record after 46 years! The band is APOCALYPSE, hailing from the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst and Starr speaks to one of their guiding lights, guitarist TOM SALVATORI! He unfolds the tale of how this band came up during the same age that produced STYX and KANSAS and had ambitions of joining them. But then real life got in the way and the tapes for the first APOCALYPSE album "The Castle" were stored away and forgotten...until now! It's a great trip back in time that you can join HERE!
Big things are in the works for Wormwood, but until they're in the bag, I can only tease and tantalize about what's coming up. I hope to have a live review with one of the great names of 80's metal and maybe an in person interview to go with it, while OCTOPI MILLS is hoping to speak to a true rock legend who goes back even further in time. Stay tuned and wish us luck, because these would be cool as hell to get!
This week's Torture Chamber brings us visits from KREATOR and JORN along with other intriguing names!
KREATOR "Hatred Uber Alles"
ATARAXY "The Last Mirror"
A CHAT WITH WISCONSIN LEGENDS VIOGRESSION!
One of the mainstays of Wisconsin's always interesting death metal scene has been VIOGRESSION. With a lineage that goes all the way back to 1988, this brutal bunch has recently made a spectacular return after an absence of some years. Their new album "3rd Stage of Decay" is their most ambitious by far and shows some new sides to the band while retaining their trademark aggression. I was fortunate enough to connect with drummer DUANE TIMLIN recently for a chat about the past, present and future of VIOGRESSION. Hop on board and see what it' all about right HERE!
Some big announcements coming soon from the Wormcrew! I can tell you that the first new edition of the Wormwood Files in many years is in the planning stages and will take a look at mysterious killer cryptids of Africa. Also, look for a plethora of new movie reviews from DARK STARR! Should have some interview announcements shortly!
This week's Torture Chamber may just be the heaviest ever!
SEVERE TORTURE "Fisting The Sockets"
ARTIFICIAL BRAIN "Artificial Brain"
NEKKROMANIAC "Plague Eater"
DESECRESY "Unveil In The Abyss"
HUSH "The Pornography of Ruin"
VOLCANDRA "Border World"
ENTER THE TEMPLE OF VOID!
LORD RANDALL ushers us into the solemn world of death/doom stalwarts TEMPLE OF VOID this week! This Michigan band has created an eerie and atmospheric take on crushingly heavy music that is pretty unique and heard nowhere better than their new Relapse album "Summoning The Slayer". He speaks to guitarist ALEX AWN about the alchemy behind the album's creation and the band's steady rise through the ranks to their present position. You can enter this beguiling realm HERE!
We now present the latest Torture Chamber that goes pretty much everywhere and reviews everything!
DARKANE "Inhuman Spirits"
SHED THE SKIN "Thaumogenesis"
COME TO GRIEF "When The World Dies"
HEART ATTACK "Negative Sun"
DAN REED NETWORK "Let's Hear It For The King"
VIOLENTOR "Manifesto di Odio"
SERPENT ASCENDING "Hyperborean Folklore"
FELLOWSHIP "The Saberlight Chronicles"
GOATCHRIST "Odes To the Radiant One"
WE CHECK OUT ADRENALINE WRESTLING!
We head back to the squared circle this week to check out the grunt n' groan antics of a new wrestling promotion, ADRENALINE WRESTLING! This bunch recently debuted in nearby Loves Park with a card that included such well known grapplers as MYRON REED, JAKE CRIST and JDX, as well as home-grown star FEARLESS MUSA! They promised to deliver hard-hitting hybrid wrestling action. Did they? Read HERE to find out! Including plenty of photos. (The pic above is solely the property of Adrenaline Wrestling.)
Pretty soon, Dr. Mality will be meeting up with a pharmaceutical compatriot...the mysterious death metal dispenser known only as PHARMACIST! I grabbed an interview with this enigmatic genius, which you will soon be able to peruse here at WC.
Our Torture Chamber this week includes names both new and well-known...
COSMIC PUTREFACTION "Crepuscular Dirge For the Blessed Ones"
DECAPITATED "Cancer Culture"
ANVIL "Impact Is Imminent"
BESIEGED "Violence Beyond All Reason"
THE AGE OF ORE "Malevolence"
TEMPLE OF VOID "Summoning The Slayer"
FEEL THE HEAT OF IRONFLAME!
Here at Wormwood, our search for the truest of metal is never-ending. Once in a while, we cross paths with warriors bearing the sharpest of steel, such as IRONFLAME! These guys deliver the goods on their latest album, "Where Madness Dwells". One of the chief architects of IRONFLAME and their voice is ANDREW D'CAGNA. I managed to grab a chat with the busy frontman and now present the result to you. He tells us how the new album found its origin in tragedy and also how juggles IRONFLAME with his other bands, NECHOCHWEN, ICARUS WITCH and BRIMSTONE COVEN. He's a very focused and articulate fellow, so climb about HERE!
Our Torture Chamber this time around is an extra-sized portion of underground musical goodness...
IRONFLAME "Where Madness Dwells"
VETUS SUPULCRUM "A Shroud of Desolation"
HAUNTER "Discarnate Ails"
ASTRAL MAGIC "Lords of Space"
DEFECT DESIGNER "Neanderthal"
CARAVELLUS "Inter Mundos"
A LOOK AT THE PSYCHOTRONIC CAREER OF CAMERON MITCHELL!
We return to the world of cult film this week as I take a look at the career of a true psychotronic legend, CAMERON MITCHELL. The star of well over 200 movies, Mitchell's career ran the gamut from Oscar nominated work to starring in some of the most outrageous films ever made, including the likes of "Nightmare in Wax", "The Toolbox Murders", "Frankenstein Island" and "Supersonic Man". It's a story of perseverance and making the most of whatever life gives you. Prepare to enter the domain of "anything goes" film by joining us HERE!
Lots of news to report this week! LORD RANDALL has gotten an interview with one of the most interesting American metal bands, the atmospheric death/doom masters TEMPLE OF VOID! And I've managed to hook up with Wisconsin's legendary death metal band VIOGRESSION, who have recently returned to action after a prolonged layoff. You can add these to DARK STARR's interview with forgotten Rockford prog band APOCALYPSE and my look at the new ADRENALINE WRESTLING promotion. Lots more coming soon!
And now let's dive into the most recent onslaught of Torture Chamber reviews...
SKULLFIST "Paid In Full"
IRONHAWK "Rituals of the War Path"
SPELLFORGER "Upholders of Evil"
SKULLSHITTER "Goat Claw"
KAMPFAR "Fandens Trall"
DEVIL'S TRAIN "Ashes And Bones"
CAN YOU SURVIVE SADISTIC RITUAL?
Coming straight out of Hot-lanta, GA is SADISTIC RITUAL, a promising new thrash metal unit that is striving to develop an original sound. Their new album "The Enigma, Boundless" is a relentless and challenging work of musical fury. Well, us intrepid humanoids of Wormwood are always on the prowl for acts like this, so Dr. Abner Mality hooked up with drummer JOE SWEAT to get the dope on the psychedelic-influenced band. You can check out the result of this little chat HERE and perhaps you should have some mushrooms handy while perusing it!
In other news, our resident prog wizard DARK STARR will have an intriguing interview coming up with a local Rockford band that is finally releasing their magnum opus after a break of 46 years! They are called APOCALYPSE and you will be hearing from them soon. Also, look for my review of the ADRENALINE WRESTLING card that recently played in Loves Park and featured names like MYRON REED, JAKE CRIST and local boy made good, FEARLESS MUSA! We should have some more news on upcoming features shortly!
Here now is this week's Torture Chamber featuring a pretty diverse selection of bands...
ZERO HOUR "Agenda 21"
SADISTIC RITUAL "The Enigma, Boundless"
FRIENDS OF HELL "Friends of Hell"
SKUMSTRIKE "Deadly Intrusions"
INTOLERANCE "Dark Paths of Humanity"
SAINT VITUS' "BORN TOO LATE" GETS THE WAYBACK TREATMENT!
Time for another deep dive into a seminal album, conducted by none other than THE GREAT SUN JESTER! This time, Jester sets the Wayback Machine to 1986 to examine one of the great doom metal albums, "Born Too Late" by SAINT VITUS. All of the early VITUS albums are indispensable, but this is arguably the album that helped VITUS climb to the top of the heap. It was the first album to feature SCOTT "WINO" WEINRICH of THE OBSESSED on lead vocals and it seemed to delve deeper into realms of real personal pain than prior works. Let THE GREAT SUN JESTER be your guide as we put "Born Too Late" under the microscope HERE.
Wrestling fans, I will soon be covering yet another new federation making its home in the Rockford area, ADRENALINE WRESTLING. They've got a strong lineup including SILAS YOUNG, MYRON REED and Rockford's own FEARLESS MUSA. I'll soon let you know what it's all about!
You know what's next...the one, the only Wormwood Torture Chamber!
MOURNFUL CONGREGATION "The Exuviae of Gods, Part I"
HELSOTT "Will and The Witch"
MOLTEN CHAINS "Orisons of Vengeance"
NUNSLAUGHTER/BLOOD "Split Mini LP"
NATIONAL NAPALM SYNDICATE "The New Hell"
MISFIRE HITS THE BULLSEYE!
After talking to bands in India and Pakistan, it's kind of cool to find one a lot closer to home. Enter MISFIRE, from the Murder City of Chicago. These three bruisers have come up with a sound that's just as tough as their home town, which you can hear on their debut album "Sympathy For the Ignorant". Despite being a new name, they have deep roots in the metal scene, which I find discover when talking to drummer JAMES NICODEMUS! James' answers are a lot like MISFIRE's own music...basic but hard-hitting. Find out more HERE!
Also coming soon will be an interview with traditional metal sensations IRONFLAME, who just played the Blades of Steel Festival. Also coming up will be a chat with SADISTIC RITUAL, a look at the career of eccentric movie star CAMERON MITCHELL and a report on ADRENALINE WRESTLING, a hot new promotion in our area. Also, THE GREAT SUN JESTER has selected the legendary album "Born Too Late" by SAINT VITUS as the subject of his next Wayback Review. That should be appearing very soon!
It's time for a new overstuffed version of the Wormwood Torture Chamber!
EVERGREY "A Heartless Portrait"
STATIC ABYSS "Labyrinth of Veins"
VIOGRESSION "3RD Stage of Decay"
VIANDE "L'abime devore les Ames"
REDSHARK "Digital Race"
APARTHIVA RAKTADHARA "Adyapeeth Maranasamhita"
A CHAT WITH INDIA'S ROCK TIGERS GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES!
Last week we traveled to Pakistan to speak to the ferocious AZAAB, masters of death metal. This time around, we head to next door India in search of their #1 hard rock band, GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES! Take it from the Doctor, if you dig the likes of BADLANDS, SKID ROW, WHITESNAKE and TESLA, you simply have to hear these guys, who are dedicated to all the things that made heavy rock so great. One of their main weapons is amazing singer GIRISH PRADHAN, who has a world class voice and the look of a true rock star. I talk to GIRISH about the history of his band and what it's like to purvey classic American hardrock in India. Grab a hold of the tiger and check out the interview HERE!
Speaking of interviews, we should also have an upcoming chat with the band SADISTIC RITUAL from Atlanta, who have put out a cool new album that is redefining the thrash metal sound. This should be the first of several new features we will be telling you about in upcoming weeks.
The latest Torture Chamber features familiar names like NAZARETH and DESTRUCTION as well as some intriguing new bands...
MISFIRE "Sympathy For the Ignorant"
NAZARETH "Surviving the Law"
SLEEPLESS "Host Desecration"
FALLS OF RAUROS "Keys To A Vanishing Future"
PAKISTAN'S AZAAB SUMMONS THE CATACLYSM!
Let it never be said that Wormwood doesn't scour the world in search of metal excellence! This time, our travels take us all the way to Islamabad, Pakistan, where we find the war machine known as AZAAB in action. These demons of the desert deliver death metal of the highest caliber on their new album "Summoning the Cataclysm". I thought it would be high time to speak to guitarists SHAHAB KHAN and AFRAZ MAMOON about the metal scene in Pakistan. Their answers surprised me...and might surprise you, too! See what I'm talking about HERE!
We are diligently working on a whole slate of nefarious new material here at Wormwood and should be in a position to tell you more soon! Stay tuned!
This week's Torture Chamber features a dizzying collection of material ranging from utter brutality to greasy rock n roll to progressive mastery!
THE HELLACOPTERS "Eyes of Oblivion"
CORPSESSED "Succumb To Rot"
ABBATH "Dread Reaver"
A CLOSE LOOK AT THE BLADES OF STEEL FESTIVAL!
Well, it took almost 3 years, but the BLADES OF STEEL Metalfest finally hit Milwaukee in April 2022! This was after being postponed no less than 3 times due to the Covid plague. The original lineup changed but the final roster included such venerable names as WHIPLASH, D.R.I., TOXIK, REALM and MORDRED! Along with a heavy duty slate of other heavy acts, both local and national. I was able to make 2 out of the 3 days of the Fest and now I give you humanoids a blow by blow description of those days. Lots of pics included. Get the lowdown on the Fest That Would Not Die right HERE!
We have some fairly controversial opinions to be found in this week's eclectic lineup of the Torture Chamber...
DEATHSPELL OMEGA "The Long Defeat"
FAMYNE "II: The Ground Below"
NECROM "All Paths Are Left Here"
NATHR/ ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS "Shadows Crawl" Split
ABHORRENT EXPANSE "Gateways To Resplendence"
DEEP IN THE WOODS, WE FIND TROGLODYTE!
Recently I went on a trek through the swampy lowlands of Missouri in search of the dread man-beast MOMO! Well, I didn't find him, but I ran into a whole tribe of shambling monsters collectively known as TROGLODYTE! And I was triple shocked to find out they played death metal. So my trip wasn't a waste after all. I grabbed a chat with the leader of the hominids, who went by the name JEFF SISSON and for a relict survivor of the Ice Age, he sure had a lot to say. We had a fun conversation about not only death metal and the band's history, but also the existence of Bigfoot and his cousins, what the best Bigfoot movies are and Jeff's extensive career in FX and video. You can join this cryptozoological conversation HERE!
Speaking of massive and dangerous things, here's this week's edition of the Torture Chamber!
LORDS OF THE TRIDENT "The Offering"
ANATOMIA/UNDERGANG "Split LP"
BOMBER "Nocturnal Creatures"
FER DE LANCE "The Hyperborean"
TOKYO BLADE "Fury"
SUPPRESSION "The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh"
MEIN KOPF IST EIN BRUTALER ORT "Ton Steine Sterben"
VOLCANOVA "Cosmic Bullshit" EP
WE SAY GOODBYE TO THE GREAT SCOTT HALL!
It's unfortunately true that many pro wrestlers die at an unnaturally young age. The latest is SCOTT HALL aka RAZOR RAMON, a man whose fame transcended mere wrestling fandom. THE GREAT SUN JESTER takes a look at the life and career of "The Bad Guy", including his early AWA days, his tag team with CURT HENNIG, his eventual rise as Razor Ramon and his huge success as part of the NWO. Plenty of pics of this charismatic star are included, so set your beady eyes HERE and find out more about a fallen superstar.
You can add an interview with Chicago's rough and ready new metal band MISFIRE to the upcoming slate of interrogations we've got scheduled. That includes Pakistan's AZAAB, India's GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES, and the Bigfoot-crazed TROGLODYTE! Also coming is my live review of the BLADES OF STEEL festival and a look at the psychotronic film career of CAMERON MITCHELL!
And now for the Torture Chamber, which has got some pretty wild and obscure entries this time around!
MORGUE SUPPLIER "Inevitability"
MORS PRINCIPIUM EST "Liberate the Unborn Inhumanity"
SACRILEGA "The Arcana Spear"
KALEIDOBOLT "This One Simple Trick"
SATAN RETURNS TO WORMWOOD!
This week, it is indeed an honor to welcome SATAN back to Wormwood Laboratories. Not the singular guy with fangs and horns, but rather the legendary British metal heroes who have been releasing album after album of classic material. The latest is entitled "Earth Infernal" and it looks at the timely topic of global warming. I talk to longtime guitarist RUSS TIPPINS about SATAN's critical interest in this subject, as well as their approach to writing and performing. Russ is a guy with plenty on his mind and you can find out exactly what by reading HERE!
PLENTY of news to report! You all know my interest in cryptids. Well, when I headed into the woods of Missouri in search of Bigfoot recently, I ran into TROGLODYTE instead. This Sasquatch-obsessed death metal band even looks like Bigfoot! I got an interview with Mr. JEFF SISSON, who is also a makeup and FX artist as well as a video director! I can guarantee a very interesting chat with that one! I also can report I grabbed an interview with perhaps the most exciting hard rock and traditional metal band out of India, GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES! I talk to GIRISH himself about the Indian heavy music scene. That's also upcoming at Wormwood, along with my report on the BLADES OF STEEL festival and GREAT SUN JESTER's tribute to the late great SCOTT HALL! Lots more in the mix...I will keep you updated!
It's also high time for an extra sized edition of the Torture Chamber, which I present to you now...
ELIMINATOR "Ancient Light"
SATAN "Earth Infernal"
NEQUIENT "Darker Than Death or Night"
BASTARD "Rotten Blood"
CULTIC "Of Fire And Sorcery"
SEPULCHRAL "From Beyond the Burial Mound"
SICKBAY "Brutal Existence" EP
JESUS WEPT "Psychedelic Degeneracy" EP
EXPLORE THE LEGACY OF ST. LOUIS WRESTLING!
When you mention sports and the city of St. Louis, chances are most people will think of the Cardinals, the Rams and the Blues. But here at Wormwood, our thoughts turn first to the Gateway City's long time legacy of great pro wrestling. For years, the St. Louis TV show "Wrestling At The Chase" featured the best matches from superstars like HARLEY RACE, BRUISER BRODY, PAT O'CONNOR, RIC FLAIR & DICK THE BRUISER! That legacy lives on in the modern day promotion SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING. This week, I take a look at the history of St. Louis Wrestling and the current success of S.I.C.W. Lace up your boots and check it out HERE!
Later this week, I will be heading up to Milwaukee, WI to check out the metal fest that wouldn't die, BLADES OF STEEL! Due to Covid, this fest has been postponed 3 times, but will finally be going down. Names like WHIPLASH, D.R.I., REALM and NUNSLAUGHTER are just some of the names that will be there. Expect a write up with plenty of photos down the pike! And you can also expect GREAT SUN JESTER to do a tribute to the late great SCOTT HALL shortly. Should have some news on more upcoming articles before too long...
This week's Torture Chamber features more hammers than Home Depot!
HAMMERFALL "Hammer of Dawn"
DEATHHAMMER "Electric Warfare"
SANHEDRIN "Lights On"
FATHER BEFOULED "Crowned In Veneficum"
ABSYMAL DAWN "Nightmare Frontier" EP
A RESTLESS SPIRIT INVADES WORMWOOD!
LORD RANDALL does the honors this time around and heads to the Big Apple to interrogate moody doomsters RESTLESS SPIRIT, who have materialized in the mortal plane with a strong new album called "Blood of the Old Gods". He speaks to "Father Damn" himself, PAUL HAYDEN, about all manner of subjects including, if you can believe it, IMMANUEL KANT! Yes, they also talk about the process of writing and recording the album and some of Paul's own struggles over the years. Grab your Ouija board and read further HERE!
The Good Doctor can tell you that he ventured all the way to PAKISTAN to interview rising death metallers AZAAB! This is one of the farthest flung chats we've ever done, so keep an eye out for that, coming soon. THE GREAT SUN JESTER has informed me that his next Wayback review will be for SAINT VITUS' seminal "Born Too Late" album. Not only that, but he's planning on a tribute to the late, great "Bad Guy", SCOTT HALL! So things are starting to percolate around here...
Our Torture Chamber this time around features the latest from CROWBAR, BLOOD INCANTATION and more!
CROWBAR "Zero And Below"
BUNUEL "Killers Like Us"
DESERTED FEAR "Doomsday"
BLOOD INCANTATION "Timewave Zero"
TROGLODYTE "The Hierarchical Ecological Succession..."
ULTRA SILVAM "The Sanctity of Death"
WHAT'S SHAKIN' AT WORMWOOD!
A rather light week here at Wormwood Laboratories. Even hardcore deviants like us have to take a breather now and then. But fear not, we have a full slate of Torture Chamber reviews for you below.
Also some news to report! LORD RANDALL tells me me that he's gotten an interview with Noo Yawk doom troop RESTLESS SPIRIT! If you're not familiar with these guys now, you soon will be! Also, SATAN is on his way back to Wormwood. Or rather, the great English metal institution SATAN, who have just released a blistering new album called "Earth Infernal". I speak to longtime guitarist RUSS TIPPINS! Some other interviews are in the planning stages...more coming soon. Also, for all you fans of grunt n' groan, I'm working on a new wrestling article that looks at SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING and the great legacy of pro wrestling in St. Louis. So all that and more is coming at Wormwood.
And now, here's the Torture Chamber stuff I promised you earlier...
EIGHT BELLS "Legacy of Ruin"
SAXON "Carpe Diem"
ORDER OF NOSFERAT "Nachtmusick"
CHTHONIC CULT "Become Seekers of Death"
LOST TRIBES OF THE MOON "Chapter II: Tales of Strife, Destiny & Despair"
MAENTRA "Kundalini Rising"
VOIDCEREMONY "At The Periphery of Human Realms"
POWER GAME "Slaying Gods"
RABID DOGS "Black Cowslip"
IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE?
Rarely has Wormwood interviewed anybody as intense as RIZ STORY, the guiding force for the hard to define rock band ANYONE. DARK STARR managed to speak to Mr. Story and the result is sometimes hard to read. As someone deeply interested in the health of oceans and the environment, he pulls no punches with a very dire assessment of the current situation. He's also very blunt talking about the pitfalls of the music business and his own negative experiences with it. The interview is as gripping as the man's music itself and you can dive into it right HERE!
DEEP PURPLE, IMMOLATION and a killer band from India are all residents of this week's Torture Chamber!
BURNING THE OPPRESSOR "Damnation"
UNLEASHED "No Sign of Life"
DEEP PURPLE "Turning To Crime"
IMMOLATION "Acts of God"
OUT OF THIS WORLD "Out of This World"
GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES "Hail To The Heroes"
DIVE INTO THE WILD WORLD OF HEAVY META!
We don't shy away from the odd and uncommercial here at Wormwood...in fact, we embrace it...but there's no doubt that Massachusetts band HEAVY META is one of the most unorthodox we've ever encountered. On latest album "Mana Regmata", they dive into a relentless world of heavy, funky, jazzy and mathematically improbable musical alchemy. Naturally, Dr. Mality had to find out more. The result is a fun and informative chat with bass wizard KISHOR HAULENBEEK, who guides through the mutant corridors of HEAVY META's brand of insanity. You'd best put on your gas mask , grab your sledgehammer and freefall into the interview HERE!
And that's not all! It's time once again to venture into JESTER'S WAYBACK REVIEWS, as the loquacious GREAT SUN JESTER takes a detailed look at another classic album of yore. This time, he examines CIRITH UNGOL's masterpiece of sword and sorcery metal, "Frost And Fire". Find out more HERE!
The fun doesn't stop there because we've got an extra big blast of Torture Chamber reviews, including the latest SCORPIONS, the aforementioned "Mana Regmata" by HEAVY META and the new MIDNIGHT, along with other sundry delights...
SCORPIONS "Rock Believer"
HEAVY META "Mana Regmata"
EMBRYONIC AUTOPSY "Prophecies of the Conjoined"
NOCTURNAL GRAVES "An Outlaw's Stand"
MIDNIGHT "Let There Be Witchery"
PESTILENGTH "Basom Gryphos"
DANCE WITH THE DEAD "Driven to Madness"
CATACOMB "Back To Unknown Kadath"
GET THE LOWDOWN ON THE DECIBEL TOUR!
It ain't often when a brain-smashing extreme metal show of top notch caliber plays within a decent radius of Wormwood Laboratories but that's just what happened when the DECIBEL TOUR pulled into the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL. And on Valentine's Day, no less. Instead of kisses and candy, we got a worm-eaten slab of OBITUARY, with a sizable helping of MUNICIPAL WASTE on the side and tasty appetizers like GATECREEPER, ENFORCED and SPIRIT WORLD. How exactly did this St. Valentine's Day Massacre go down? Find out HERE! With tons of pics as well!
Some unusual entries in the Torture Chamber this time around, including a robot metal band, the return of VIO-LENCE and some way out space rock...
WOLFTOOTH "Blood And Iron"
VIO-LENCE "Let The World Burn"
3rd EAR EXPERIENCE "Danny Fraenkel's 3rd Ear Experience"
FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY "Oh, What The Future Holds"
WORMWOOD CHATS WITH TONY MARTIN!
This week, it's a real privilege for us to sit down with one of the great voices in heavy metal, Mr. TONY MARTIN. Best known for his lengthy stint with BLACK SABBATH, Tony actually has hundreds of musical credits to his career and has just released a tremendous new solo album, "Thorns". Our boy COLONEL ANGUS was lucky enough to pick Tony's brains, finding out how his approach to singing has changed dramatically over the years, the unique way that he handled writing the new album and a look back at his prior work. You can find the results of the chat HERE!
For the first time in a while, we've got an expanded edition of the Wormwood Torture Chamber...
DARK MEDITATION "Polluted Temples"
HELLFROST AND FIRE "Frost, Fire and Hell"
DESOLATE SHRINE "Fires of the Dying World"
CAESTUS "The Undoer's Key"
ASHES OF ARES "Emperors and Fools"
THEANDRIC "Flight From The Tombs"
NULLIFICATION "Kingdoms To Hovel"
KARMANJAKA "Gates of Muspel"
IT'S TIME FOR THE BEST OF 2021 LISTS!
Yes, humanoids, it's that time once again! The annual ritual known as the Wormwood Writers' Best of 2021 lists. We've been doing this for a long time and it's one of the most anticipated, if not THE most anticipated, articles of the year. You get a glimpse into the tortured brains of each of the Wormcrew. And what a varied collection of picks it is! As a teaser, here's the #1 choices of each writer...
GREAT SUN JESTER APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE "Until the Darkness Goes"
DARK STARR GRETA VAN FLEET "The Battle At Garden's Gate"
DR. ABNER MALITY 1914 "Where Fear and Weapons Meet"
THRASH-HEAD MORDKAUL "Dress Code: Blood"
COLONEL ANGUS EVERGREY "Escape of the Phoenix"
THERON MOORE HELLOWEEN "Helloween"
LORD RANDALL WOMBBATH "Agma"
THOR WEREWOLVES "What A Time To Be Alive"
OCTOPI MILLS RUNDGARD "Stronghold of Majestic Ruins"
Want to find out what the other picks are? Click HERE and find out!
And no, we didn't neglect our usual Torture Chamber reviews. Here they are
ERIC WAGNER "In The Lonely Light of Mourning"
RUNNING WILD "Blood On Blood"
OLD SPIRIT "Old Spirit"