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!
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"
MYCELIUM "Mycoticism: Disseminating the Propagules"
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"
KRVNA "For Thine Is The Kingdom of the Flesh"
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"
ARKHETH "Clarity Came With A Cool Summer's Breeze"
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"
DAEVA "Through Sheer Will and Black Magic..."
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"
CONAN "Evidence of Immortality"
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"
GEMATRIA "Gematria II: The Spindle of Necessity"
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 DE