Affliction Gate – Dying Alone (2015)

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This unruly album launches into a mid-paced, melodic death metal style and then turns up the intensity with constant pounding rhythm. Each song builds itself around a distinctive riff and uses modifications of it to fashion structure out of a stream of creative guitar work that aims first to make a strong statement, and only later to make it fit within a groove the audience can appreciate.

Vocals follow the riffs, giving guitars plenty of room to experiment, and consist of a harsh-throated partial enunciation that allows them to serve as a rhythm and textural instrument. Songs develop according to a rhythm emphasized by both the primary riff and the chorus, evoking the notion of Immolation hybridized with Sodom, and the rest of the song plays with that fundamental tension, although most of the song consists of a verse-chorus loop with one riff per section. Some songs show a riff sensibility derived from European giants such as Demigod and Sinister.

Unlike almost everything that flies over my desk, this band stands on their own, not as much stylistically as in composition. These songs pop out of the album as independent, and while there are many similar rhythms and tempi used, these are interrupted by many changes that shape the chaos into a smooth expression. For a band that works in the area of later classic death metal to withstand modernity and go its own way, and do so smoothly, is exceptional and results in an enjoyable release.

Thanks to Kunal Choksi at Transcending Obscurity, we are able to present this exclusive stream of “Manicheism Inertia” from Dying Alone by Affliction Gate:

Hail of Bullets employs SJW David Ingram on vocals

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Modern death metal (speed metal song form, static riffs) band Hail of Bullets has appointed censorious SJW David Ingram to vocal duties for their show at Maryland Deathfest. The band states:

Mister DAVID INGRAM (ex-Bolt Thrower/Benediction) will be teaming up with HAIL OF BULLETS for our show at Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore USA, May 28th 2016!

This will be the only HAIL OF BULLETS show until the Summer of 2016. We’re happy to have David on board and we will see and announce what the future brings us after the MDF show.

And yes, we intend to start working on new material next year.

Insision – Terminal Reckoning (2015)

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Insision take on the dying underground by combining brutal death metal, early technical death metal and adding in mild touches of modern death metal, creating a sound that hammers its listeners with intensity but works melodic leads and song construction into the mix for variety and depth. The result is a cornucopia of charging riffs and melodic turnarounds, in a style similar to later Gorguts mixed with Deeds of Flesh.

The band makes skillful use of dynamics to intensify songs and carefully presents each as a standalone concept. Guttural vocals ride the rhythm riff but break away to freestyle over the more open patterns. This allows Insision to work atmosphere into the blasting and otherwise violent guitar work. Fans of classic German speed metal like Destruction and Kreator will notice similarities as the album goes on; like the best from those bands, Terminal Reckoning uses single chord riffs with chromatic fills for pure rhythm effect.

If this album could improve, it would be in more internal diversity of riff and pace. Its use of melody thrusts aside the modern metal conventions and instead serves to develop songs, which avoids the becalming effect of too much similarity, and the interplay of vocals and guitar follows the mid-80s style instead of trying to constantly contrast the riffs. That and its inherent aggressive attack allows this album to escape the modern metal doldrums and bring back much of what fans adored in old school, technical and brutal death metal.

Thanks to Cátia Cunha from Against PR, Sevared Records and Insision, we can present to you the following streaming track from Terminal Reckoning

You can find out more about Insision at Facebook, YouTube or via Sevared Records.

#Metalgate: SJWs trying to block Demonic Christ appearances

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that SJWs speak in code. “I’m just going to pass this along” is the dog whistle for “if you’re one of Us, you should ready for attack mode now.” Apparently, SJWs are disturbed by an early 1990s interview with Demonic Christ frontwoman Dana Duffey, and because they disagree with her, they’re forming a Two Minutes Hate to get her removed from upcoming festival appearances.

Shawn Wright clarifies what seemed like threats of violence

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After an interview surfaced showing that Shawn Wright of Bestial Evil has stated that he opposes the idea of violent solutions, we reached out to him regarding what appeared to be a series of violent threats against Diabolic Force Distro’s Tim Snodgrass. Wright clarified as follows:

I’m anti violence. Just because I want to fuck him up doesn’t mean I’m going to. So he can fuck off with that bullshit. If I was gonna destroy him I would have.

According to Wright, he communicated the same to Snodgrass with the following message:

“It’s all good Tim. I have no intentions of fighting you or hurting you. A) because I know for a fact you’d lose. B) because you’re not worth my time. And C) you have no relevant place in our scene and absolutely no effect on me.

Nice try I’m done allowing you to get a rise out of me. Have fun being alone. That’s your karma being disliked by us all.

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In the meantime, Wright has launched a new initiative, No Room For Hate, which plans to sponsor a local festival for anti-racist, anti-sexist, anarchist and anti-fascist bands. However, their logo seems to indicate violent intentions, so maybe this will be clarified in the future.

#Metalgate: Waldteufel barred from performing with Psychic TV in Portland, OR

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A reader writes:

Waldteufel just got pulled from the Psychic TV gig here, tonight, for “connections” bullshit. Markus Wolff is an incredible artist. His albums are an honest exploration of Germanic folklore and religion. Is that artistically illegal? People excited to see this very RARE performance have been robbed! I don’t get to shut down artists I see as corroding the environment. Vapid, stale, message-less vomit gets to be played any night of the week. That garbage actually decays the spirit of the entire environment, yet those performances can continue to go on and on. My guess is thought police people put club’s nuts in vice. The promoter did a great job even getting Waldteufel here to do a surprise set but had to unfortunately bend to the tears. The irony of SJWs complaining about this is beyond me. Waldteufel is playing a show with GENESIS P-ORRIDGE of all people!

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Waldteufel issued the statement below.

The misguided guilt by association witch-hunt that has ensued over Waldteufel’s billing with Psychic TV is sad and deplorable. Just because I have worked with some bands that are deemed controversial does not mean I share all or any of their views. And people evolve and change over the years, and I have done so as well. I am certainly far from perfect.

This much should be clear to all who know me – that I disdain all totalitarian forms of government including Fascism. I support indigenous cultures the world over. I have sided and been fascinated with American Native peoples since I was a child. Colonization has been a horrible mistake, and native peoples need more of a voice in what happens to their lands. I have always loved being outdoors in nature, so it’s a no-brainer I support environmental causes and justice and saving what we can of nature and wilderness, as well as finding ways to live sustainably with nature. I hope we can find a way out of capitalism and materialism. My spirituality is based on all of that, and I certainly do not buy into the notion of one’s culture or ethnicity’s superiority over another. I try to focus on the positive and life-affirming aspects, not division and emnity.

The underground scenes I have been lucky to be a part of include people of many diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and viewpoints, and I feel privileged to call so many of them friends. I would not go through the trouble to make and maintain these connections if I was motivated by anything but love and support among artists and musicians.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings some of you might have.

Apparently, it’s not enough to have some of the right thoughts; if you have any thoughts which do not conform to those right thoughts, or the appearance thereof, you must be censored. One might ask what the censors fear: that someone might spontaneously agree because the music is compelling?

Vic Records announces re-issue of Mythos Pain Amplifier in 2016

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Vic Records plans to re-issue the 1995 debut album from Finnish black metal band Mythos in early 2016. The new issue will include ten bonus tracks taken from the split CD Vociferous & Machiavellian Hate. Mythos fit into the later black metal years with music like Impaled Nazarene but adapted to longer, death-metal style songs.

The Pain Amplifier re-issue will include rare pictures and extensive liner notes, including notes from Evil Omen label boss Ludo Lejeune. This continues the “underground metal bubble” of re-issues and special additions for Generation Xers and millennials who never got a chance to own them the first time around, and this solid B-level black metal release should appeal to many from that group.

Shawn Wright (Bestial Evil) responds

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Not surprisingly, Shawn Wright of Bestial Evil was not happy to read our article about the political drama in Baltimore. Having reached out to him once for commentary on the original article, we reached out again, and this time, got some juicy commentary.

“He isn’t a good person,” says Wright, speaking of Tim Snodgrass who experienced phone threats from Mr. Wright several months ago. “He has verbally slandered me for way too long on and offline. The truth is this was personal and he took it to the surface to media attention.”

According to Wright, Snodgrass became unpopular in the tight-knit — “Communal” was the word used — Baltimore scene for first his personal behavior, and then his politics. “It was more personal than that,” he said, referring to the political split and accusations of censorship. “He went wrong when he and I spoke back in 2012. When he got all shitty with me prior. We called a truce. He decided to slander me again and talk shit. I was totally fine with him up until people started to tell me deeper shit that he has done to my homies here.”

Wright says the Baltimore metal scene desires to be more “Communal,” which he takes to mean “working together,” and suggests that Snodgrass did not fit in. In particular, Wright feels Snodgrass was “slandering bands and people for trying to make the scene more Communal” and is a pariah “because he thinks everyone here is a joke beyond his select few people that give him a chance.”

“Tim needs to learn his fucking place with people,” Wright wrote. “He talks a big game. And no one here supports him.” He points out that Snodgrass came to Baltimore later than what Wright views as the original scene. “I was in this city before Tim,” he says.

Wright adds that he sees two reasons for this alienation. Snodgrass took sides in a band dispute in 2012. “He was ‘cool’ with me when I played in Extermination Angel,” Wright says. “I had a falling out with them. And he was one of the people that fucked with me for no apparent reason. Sticking his nose in my business…He was slandering me for the shit I was going through. Then he and I had issues the second time when he started talking all that shit when he was seeing his girlfriend Marie.”

While not the cause of the disagreement, Wright says, the dispute was exacerbated by the political factor: the Baltimore scene, as he sees it, is anti-racist and Snodgrass refuses to join in. “The point is Tim is a fence walker. And that shit isn’t tolerated in the city.” (A “fence walker” is one who approves of politically incorrect music like white power music.)

Wright says that Snodgrass made himself a pariah in the scene for the bands and people he supported. “I’m sure he is friends with sketchy labels like Freezing Records,” he adds. “He had mutual friends here but those individuals are frowned upon as well.” But he claims politics was not the source of the fracture. “He is alienated because he chooses to run his fucking mouth about people.”

Snodgrass, who runs Diabolic Force Distribution, has sold white power material in the past, Wright alleges. “I bought a 7″ some years back when he was working at the Talking Head for a Toxic Holocaust show selling their merch and other shit. I bought an Evil Incarnate record or some band like from him. Only to find out it was Nazi metal. He has sold my buddy Justin Loys white power shit as well. It’s a fucking personal insult selling shit like that in this city.”

An investigation of Diabolic Force distro provided no smoking gun, although some bands with controversial views were clearly present. Wright indicated that “there’s a lot of bands like Blaspherion, Evil Incarnate, Arkhon Infaustus, Graveland, Aryan Blood to name a few” but of those, only Graveland was present on the website, as were other formerly right-wing Eastern European bands like Thunderbolt, Ohtar and Dark Fury. However, the vast majority of the distro seemed to be the mix of war metal, death metal and black metal found at most distros, and none of the releases made explicit mention of white power ideology in song titles, album titles or imagery.

“Some of the bands are good bands. But some of the shit is offensive ass bullshit,” Wright says. Of himself, he says, “I admit I have anger issues. But I’m not a bad guy.” Other sources have indicated the Wright has a family member currently receiving medical care for a life-threatening condition and that this could be putting him under some pressure.

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He forwarded the above screencap, which shows Freezing Records — not Diabolic Force — selling a zine named “Aryan RegardSS” which allegedly has white power, national socialist or white nationalist leanings. The title certainly suggests it. But among many in the metal community, it is considered normal to sell music and zines about metal without scrutinizing them for the politically incorrect content that frequently occurs. Wright disagrees with this approach, and calls it the basis of being a fence walker.

The mystery remains. Diabolic Force distro admits some bands with right-wing political leanings, but these are a tiny minority of what it sells, along with bands like the Nekro Drunkz, Jenkem and Funerus. Clearly it is not a white power distro and its main sin is, as Wright calls it, “fence walking,” which means either refusing to censor bands for their views or not being extreme enough in purging the scene of unpopular views, depending on who you talk to.

To Wright, at least, it doesn’t matter. He sees Snodgrass as antisocial in both behavior and ideology. “He got banned for calling people “Faggot” at Sidebar,” he says. “He is a gossip queen.” And with that, clarity evades us yet again, but it’s good to get the other side of the story.

Purity Through Fire label releases free compilation for download

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German black metal label Purity Through Fire has released a promotional sampler of bands from the new wave of black metal inspired music, including Leichenzug, Kroda, Bergrizen, Vspolokh, Myrd, Svartblodgard, Sarkrista, Infamous, Heldentod, and Irminsul.

Anatomy of an SJW attack

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”