Much respected and befriended drummer Jim Konya, a/k/a “Sadist,” of Nunslaughter has died. He suffered a series of strokes beginning three weeks ago and was put on life support last week, with the machines deactivated on October 7.
Over the years, Nunslaughter with Konya at the helm has produced a series of speed metal/death metal hybrid records known for their unrelenting energy, gleeful anti-Christianity and creative riffs. His drum work propelled the work forward with a type of combat-like integrity.
We have dimmed the lights at the Dark Legions Archive in tribute to this legendary metalhead. As his obituary reminds us, “He was an avid sports fan, especially of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jim has many friends all over the world because of his musical tours and love of music. He will be missed by many.”
Nunslaughter drummer and vocalist Jim Konya, who once famous ran for a local political office with a quasi-Satanic platform, and fueled Nunslaughter through almost a dozen full-length releases and nearly infinite 7″ EPs, experienced a stroke three weeks ago and recently worsened. He will be taken off life support today, October 7, and is not expected to survive.
Konya, whose output with the band was matched by his fierce loyalty to the underground metal scene, will be remembered by many as a generous and committed persona who along with several others created one of the longest-running and most prolific bands in death metal history.
This band have been around for over 400 years and have made the same album over 75 times, but each time it is good for a simple reason: this band know what they are aiming for and carefully edit their songs to make sure all parts fit together into a smooth musical experience. While it is tempting to categorize Nunslaughter as death metal, they are in fact speed metal, as most of these riffs come straight from the late-1980s fully-developed speed metal that incorporated advances by Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax and others into the Metallica standard.
Although Nunslaughter first came to the US on the Mayflower many years before Metallica existed, it is believed that Nunslaughter developed this style on its own and may have in fact invented it before the band was formed during the final days of the Roman Empire. While some may be tempted to categorize Nunslaughter as dinosaurs, the fact remains that this band takes the raw ingredients of power metal, speed metal and most death metal and makes a stripped-down, hardcore-punk style ripping version of this that remains highly listenable even if not particularly distinguishable on a song-to-song basis. Like other collections of many short songs, such as Dead Infection or Carcass, Angelic Dread operates like many small insights into roughly the same idea.
When paleontologists recently unearthed a complete Archaeopteryx fossil, they found early Nunslaughter recordings beneath it. Somehow, what this band creates never gets old, in part because they understand their riffs as a language from the same basic source, and in part because like a thrash band their song format carefully fits the particular clash of the two riffs (with a few budget transitions, and sometimes rhythmic variations, Nunslaughter uses two riffs per song on average) and the need of presenting them in the best light. The result is compelling and enjoyable and upholds the best tradition of riffcraft and expressive violence in underground music.
Grinding midwestern primitive catchy death metal band Nunslaughter will release The Devils Congeries Vol. 1 on July 23, 2013, on Hells Headbangers record label. This 2-CD set is part of a series of releases which will attempt to compile every single short-length Nunslaughter vinyl release from the late 90s and early 2000s with their Killed by the Cross early 7″ as well.
The second disc contains live versions of many of the same songs. An elaborate booklet contains artwork from each EP and other background information. While this CD set seems designed for collectors, it’s probably a great series like the Relapse Underground series from the late 1990s which can be both introduction and archive.
For those who enjoy the humorous, ribald, blasphemous and rhythmically infectious style of primitive death metal that Nunslaughter have produced for decades, The Devils Congeries Vol. 1 should be a delight of chaotic metal thrashing noise.
Disc 1 (studio)
2. Power of Darkness
4. Emperor in Hell
5. Demons Gate
6. Bring me the Head of God
7. If the Dead Could Speak
8. Devil Metal
9. Black Beast
10. Church Bizarre
11. Midnight Mass
13. It is I
14. Poisoned Priest
16. Obsessed with the Visions of a Satanic Priest
17. Atheist Ways
18. The Fucking Witch
19. She Lives by Night
21. I Am Death
23. Hells Unholy Fire
24. Killed by the Cross
25. Burn in Hell
26. Hells Unholy Fire
27. Death by the Dead
28. Killed by the Cross
29. I Am Death
Disc 2 (live)
1. Face of Evil
2. Emperor in Hell
3. Dead Plague
4. Midnight Mass
5. Killed by the Cross
8. Power of Darkness
9. Blood for Blood
10. The Fucking Witch
11. I am Death
12. Death by the Dead
13. It is I
14. Altar of the Dead
15. Atheist Ways
16. Reign in Blood
17. In the Graveyard
18. Obsessed with the Visions of a Satanic Priest
19. Burn in Hell
20. Burning Away
23. Black Horn of the Ram
26. Ritual of Darkness
27. Devil Metal
28. Church Bizarre
29. Poisoned Priest
The consensus seems to be that Christ does not belong in metal. Well, neither does Satan. Rigid patterns of thought are not conductive to the creation of transcendental metal music. The failure of NSBM stems from the rigid ideology into which the music was forced like a Procrustean bed. The two Christian metal bands worth a shit have been covered on this site: Paramaecium and Antestor. The only NSBM bands that are not terrible are the bands, like Graveland, that preceeded the creation of the subgenre and were only lumped in with the scene later… Gontyna Kry seems to be the sole exception to NSBM sucking.
Tonight, on When SJWs Attack: a small metal distro finds itself in the crosshairs and crossfires of political controversy.
Diabolic Force Distribution is a small, independent mail order wholesale price distributor or “distro,” participating in one of the institutions that forged the underground back when metal CDs were unavailable in all but dedicated specialty stores that often went bankrupt. Some time ago, this distro came under fire from “social justice warriors,” or SJWs, who are people who hang out on social media looking for people who are not politically correct enough. Driven by the thrill of subjugating others with political power and the need for self-importance, SJWs frequently destroy lives with their witch-hunting accusations of racism, sexism and other political constructs.
Upon hearing of this situation, I wrote to Diabolic Force Distribution and got the story in interview form. Read on for the latest outrages of the SJWs — the new censors — as they try to limit what you can hear and buy so they can in turn limit what you think.
How did this all start?
To the best of my knowledge this all began when the singer of Bestial Evil (Shawn Wright) suddenly became aware of a Facebook status I made approximately seven weeks ago from the time of this writing, about how the band should be dismissed by fans of metal, because in my opinion they aren’t any good. Simple as that! We got enough awful crap around here as it is. That being said I never accused them of anything other then being posers, no trigger warning required hahaha. I am not alone in this low opinion of the group either.
Apparently receiving criticism is not one of their strengths however, so they started a smear campaign complete with all the usual name-calling and threats. I want to point out that it was a private post that I made and only my friends could see it… so how exactly it came to the attention of the people in question is unknown to me, probably a screen shot or word of mouth. I don’t care. I wasn’t hiding it from anyone in the first place and I still stand by what I said too. Bad’s bad and good’s good, tough shit. This is Heavy Metal, not a reality TV show where you get a prize at the end from Carson Daly. There is already a band from Italy named Bestial Evil anyhow so that just goes to show you they didn’t even do their homework in the first place.
How did these guys try to rally an internet army?
Again, social media was involved, like always. Facebook to be specific. A concerned friend showed me a post made on Shawn Wright’s Facebook page inciting a “boot party” if anyone ever saw me out somewhere and proclaiming that I was to be “banned” from the city of Baltimore, that he was gonna come to my house, etc. This was based on accusations brought on by Shawn himself that I am a homophobic/neo-nazi or some other completely unfounded nonsense like that. One person even commented that I “infiltrate shows” to sell white power music, which is an outright lie.
People ask me to vend at shows very often, I never have to sneak in, let alone with the intent to slip some poor unsuspecting SJW a skinhead album or whatever. The whole thing is totally absurd. Anyhow, not long after this stuff was brought to my attention I started to receive threatening calls and texts to my phone from Shawn himself. None of which I ever replied to. The voicemails have been recorded and saved though, as well as any other evidence of threats against my home or person. So if anyone does do something stupid I have evidence of a conspiracy I guess. They have done some tidying up on the band page it seems, I think their attempt to raise an army has faltered for now.
Is there truth to their accusations that you run a white power friendly distro?
Absolutely not. While I personally do not believe in censorship of any kind, especially with regards to music and art… there’s just nothing in there that qualifies. The merchandise and albums that I sell span across multiple genres of extreme music, everything from black and death metal to harsh noise and grind, but there’s no “white power” bands… The thing they have accused me of is totally baseless and merely an attempt to incite a witch hunt against me to fulfill a personal vendetta and stir up trouble.
People of this SJW/hipster type of mindset seem to always invoke these things to try rally an angry mob as a means to carry out intimidation tactics or make it seem like they’re in the right because they got a couple hundred views on their webpage. You see it more and more as of late.
What have they threatened you with? Do you think they can accomplish it?
I was told multiple times that I would be visited at home, that they would kick down my door and “destroy my life,” and then there was the foolish claim that I was going to be sued for “defamation of character and distributing hate material.” Loads of ignorant threats and boasts were made. I welcome any legal action from them, as I am sure the courts would like to hear the voicemails that Shawn left on my phone, threatening me with home invasion. And as for the defamation of character thing, I am pretty sure they just did that to me so good luck getting that charge to stick. Personally, I do not think they can actually accomplish these things, especially the part about being sued, but I am not taking it for granted either. That’s not the sort of thing you joke about. I am prepared for all eventual outcomes of this retarded comedy.
First phone call
Second phone call
What are your distros/bands/projects that people can support?
For over ten years now I have been proactive with music in the Baltimore Maryland area in some way or another, although I do not reside in or claim the city. I was in a weird band a long time ago but I don’t play anymore, there’s too many bands and not enough fans anyhow, I would rather be a fan. I printed shirts for local bands and old school heavyweights like Blood Storm, Nunslaughter and Gravewurm for many many years… and I used to book concerts in Baltimore sometimes but I have taken a hiatus from organizing live events.
My label/distro is called Diabolic Force Distribution, the purpose of which has been and always will be to support underground bands and zines get out there to the maniacs that need it. Heavy Metal isn’t about fashion or climbing the social ladder, it’s a way of life. It’s outsider art and it’s meant to be challenging and dangerous. Diabolic Force likes to do things the old-fashioned way because I believe in the life force of the music itself and the people in the trenches fighting to keep it real. Diabolic Force will always offer support to those individuals and bands who hate posers and love Satan. Our motto is “Support the underground, bury yourself.”
Adversary came to us from the heartland of Indiana and released two solid old school death metal albums, the second of which, Forsaken, may deserve more attention. This one is misunderstood because its form is old school death metal, but its heart is in classic heavy metal with melody and groove, as well as some of the more atmospheric 1980s rock.
As a result, listening to it presents a dual experience. It sounds like Num Skull or Nunslaughter doing their version of a Possessed-Venom hybrid, but with more attention to melodic guitar hooks. Vocals take the form of barfed out gruff explosions, guiding the rough-hewn riffs like a second drum track, but the heart of each song is a 1970s heavy metal riff with a broad chord progression through which melodic lead-picked figures wind. Songs mostly follow the speed metal pattern of verse-chorus with interludes and transitions, but each song is wrapped around a presentation of dynamics to bring it to a dramatic close.
While other bands worked with this formula, none have done so with such old-school technique and so this album neatly slipped between its potential audiences. Compounding this fact was the trouble that Adversary’s first album, The Winter’s Harvest, used a drum machine and so was overlooked by many. But for those wanting the feeling of 1985 — that nexus of different influences and unresolved potentials — this album deserves a second look.
Death metal was born in 1983 with the unholy quartet of Sodom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Slayer, but it took many years to translate the new style into a full-fledged monster, which happened sometime in 1990-1991. In the interregnum, bands such as Possessed, Kreator, Destruction and Merciless took the speed metal approach, the broken drums of thrash, and the vocals and guitar techniques of death metal and made an intermediate style.
Dr. Shrinker comes to us from that era with this compilation of demos from its period of existence from 1987 to 1990. The tracklist breaks down as follows:
“Wedding the Grotesque” (1989)
Tools Of The Trade
Mesmerization (Of A Corpse)
Dead By Dawn
No Way To Live
Wedding The Grotesque
“The Eponym” (1990)
Tighten The Tourniquet
March Of The Undead
Free At Lasssst!!!
These tracks display the conventions of that period pushing toward something more extreme: verses like the German speed metal bands, choruses like Swedish band Merciless with a bit of melody, and shifts from verse/chorus structure and fills much like later American band Nunslaughter. These songs display the holdover from 1970s metal through Venom which manifests in strong rhythm hooks to the vocal cadence of choruses balanced by driving inertia in the verses, deviating with strange fills that foreshadow future song developments. In this, part of the genesis of death metal can be seen: the transition from conventional song structures to entirely riff-driven evolution of theme as manifested itself on classics of the genre like Onward to Golgotha.
Showing the speed metal heritage, riffs are often single-picked and emphasize an internal rhythm, in contrast to the phrasal riffs to come later. Their simplicity in phrase allows the production of a basic driving rhythm which storms up against the ends of each iteration, creating a sense of a pile-up that conveys urgency to the listener. This ploughs into the chorus and creates a feeling of intensity with repetition, which is very much like the 1980s, a cross between Gordon Gekko and nuclear warfare. An interesting outlier is “March of the Undead,” which could have come off Cryptic Slaughter Convicted (and, at 1:21, has a song length to match).
While Dr. Shrinker does a great job of this style, the problem for me — and others — is that this style seems dated and the bands interchangeable at this point. You could throw on an album by Necronomicon, Merciless, Kreator, Destruction or late-80s Sodom and get the same experience and roughly the same riff archetypes. For this reason, Grotesque Wedlock remains in the purchasing domain of people who love this speed/death hybrid style and metal historians.