Sunday, December 19, 2010

Real Talk: Sakatat

Turkey's Sakatat have been working at it pretty hard in the past couple of years and lucky for us Semih, singer for these grind bastards, was able to lend a few words. Humble beginnings between high-school friends Onur (guitar) and Semih (vocals) in 2005, they've progressed to tour Europe, release 8 splits/eps (with a handful more to come), and worked to create a grindcore scene within Turkey. "I think we hadn't even realized we were about to start a band, that is probably why we picked up such a random word to be our moniker which means "offal" and obviously has nothing to do with what we stand for now." Even though their name might allude to goregrind (for Turkish speakers that is), it's obvious this band's sound doesn't rest in such a gimmick. One listen to their superb split with Dispepsiaa and you'll find yourself in some kind of grindcore time-warp; not sure if it's '87 or what.

Finally completing their lineup in 2008 with the addition of drummer Kaya, the band began recording and touring. "We have been pretty active after he joined in 2008, recorded bunch of split 7"s, played shitload of great shows, toured as much as we could..." vocalist Semih concludes. In light of there being almost no grindcore scene, and a very small punk/hardcore scene, Semih and co. have found ways to flourish by playing in some of Europe's biggest extreme festivals and consistently playing within Turkey and not being negative at the current lack of a scene.

Ucuz Can Pazarı

"As for playing grindcore here, well even though the interest in grindcore is growing, most people still have no clue about what grindcore really is, people tend to think it is same thing as brutal death metal or just some kind of joke. We have been offered to play shows with fascist bands more than once and people were really surprised when we rejected the offers and explained them why! On the bright side, many local punks and metalheads order our records and shirts and people seem to be aware of us, there are recently good number of people at the show when there is a good foreign grind band so there might actually be a grindcore scene here soon."

Beyond Turkey's growing metal scene, Sakatat themselves have had quite a time with the recent Bloodshed Festival in Holland. With big names like Magrudergrind, Suffering Mind, Weekend Nachos and Idiots Parade, not only was it a pleasure to the ears, but an event in of itself. "Bloodshed Festival was a blast[...] Personally I spent the first day catching up with the the homies[...] another good thing about touring, you always get to play with and see great bands." The band isn't short on notches on their belt as they've played at both Obscene Extreme and Play Fast or Don't, along with the recent Bloodshed Festival.

When asked about touring and productivity Semih claims "...we usually end up spending almost one month of each year on tour. We really enjoy it when we play those new songs live while they are fresh! I don't know if you noticed that already but we always try to have some kind of wholeness on our records, if that is the right word. Meaning that we try to make the whole record sound like one single cut not like 5 or more tunes put together. That is the case with the shows too. We like to play the next tune without giving a break in between and make each bunch of sets sound like a single song."

As all this touring, festival playing, and recording continues it's only logical that the band would approach the idea of a full-length release. "We never wanted to rush things when it comes to recording a full-length and finally it seems like the right time to do it. We have the general outline and ideas for a full-length already like the songs, cover artwork, concept etc... so we might give it a shot really soon. Interested labels shouldn't hesitate to contact us."

With great music comes a great attitude, as Semih exclaims " I think the charm and sincerity [of grindcore] would go away if let's say, a grindcore band made a deal with a major company. We listen to all kinds of weird shit, from obscure metal to punkrock and we are involved in many different activities like 'zines, radio show, setting up shows, booking tours, hosting touring bands and more so whatever we do, we keep it DIY and encourage our friends to do so. DIY, on the other hand, might have different definitions depending on who you ask. Our definition would be something like keeping it as capitalism-free as possible, not for profit, sincere and always partying like there is no tomorrow!"

And as for last words:
"I'd like to add that we have a split 7" with MESRINE coming out soon, it will be released by To Live A Lie in the States, Grindblock and Useless in Europe and Bucho Discos in Brazil, also the rough recording of our show at Bloodshed will soon be released on tape by Death Agony & Screams. Moreover we will record another split 7" soon, this time with our comrades MATKA TERESA and we might even go on a tour in summer if we manage to get the full-length out by then. You can check the other news and tour dates at our web-site:"

Beyond Sakatat you can stalk their members in a few other projects:

Semih co-hosts an online radio show/podcast that you can check out here.
Semih's zine, Impact Drill
Nettlethrone, drummer Kaya's former band.
Unreleased album cover, from their boyband days

It was a great pleasure to interview these Turkish upstarts; my converts and I seem to have a lot to look forward to.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best Albums of 2010

I am very pleased to announce the second annual year's best presented by Chainsaw Justice. Chainsaw Justice Vol. III will follow soon as a collection of the best songs of the year.

Bluntly said, I'm not happy with the output of 2010. Full length wise there were some good ones, but very lackluster (especially for grindcore/power violence). There have also been some difficulties personally. I know that Lycanthrophy's LP as well as The Makai's LP would be top 10 material, but I can't get a hold of them until after New Years. I'd rather not put off this list anymore than I have, so without further adieu here are the best albums of 2010.

10.Jesus Cröst- 010
A soccer (football) hooligan's approach to stop'n'go fastcore from this dutch duo. Just making it at the 10 spot with their World Cup offering -010. Thankfully the band's use of pitch-shifted vocals has been greatly reduced this time around. 206's review

9.Lantlôs- .neon
One of
the better mixtures of black metal and post-rock/shoegaze out there, Lantlôs take it down a notch after their debut but still offer up some blissed out black metal jams with .neon. A bit melodramatic, but it still packs that melodic and emotional punch we've come to expect from this group of bands. Features Neige (Alcest, Amesoeurs, ex-Peste Noire, etc) on vocals.

8. Nails- Unsilent Death
Ignoring the fact that the badassness of this album largely pertains to the ridiculously over the top production, Nails's debut is a killer slab of death metal tinged power violence. Think Crossed Out teaming up with Entombed. Short and barbwire bitter.

7. Protestant- Judgments
Milwaukee hardcore juggernauts return after
their amazing Antagonist Ep from last year. A furious slab of metallic hardcore, that finds a good balance in everything that hardcore stands for. For fans of Integrity, Tragedy, and Behind Enemy Lines.

6. Bastard Priest - Under the Hammer of Destruction
I'm a complete sucker for old school death metal that finds its
reanimated pulse to have d-beats. Bastard Priest are a pure and brilliant homage to bands like Dismember, Entombed, and Master.

5.Enabler- Eden Sank To Grief
enburg tinged hardcore that's not afraid to blast and thrash, Eden Sank To Grief is a dirty pearl of music that's got the grooves to headbang to and the riffage to pray to. Underwhelming attention to this overwhelming band.

4. Salome- Terminal
After their excellent split with Thou, it was only a matter of time before another full length from this trio would surface. The band seems to have come into their own as their debut was good, but
nothing out of the ordinary. Terminal is violent, heavy, and painfully noisy as the band experiments with much longer and sparse sounds. Oh, and Katherine Katz has one of the best voices in metal today, she absolutely kills with her powerful and varied voice.

3. Thou- Summit
If you read my review you'd know I wasn't completely sold on this one. With that said, Thou's 'good' is better than most band's best. Summit showcases so
me instant classics, as well as a more optimistic and experimental sound. There's a lot of buzz around this one and for good reason.

2.Suffering Mind- Suffering Mind
As I said, it was a lackluster year for grindcore. Thankfully though, Poland's shining star Suffering Mind put out this stellar release which almost makes up for the lack of everything else. Off the wall vocals match the firecracker snap drums and cement churning guitars. The band isn't afraid to slow things down with double bass bouts and stomach dropping rhythmic shifts; a must have.

1. Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Surprised? Me too. DSO's latest effort was off my radar for awhile as I've become a bit dismissive of the band's mumbo-jumbo black metal. This time around, however, I find the band to be much different. The band has built upon the absurd complexity of works like Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem where the dissonance and jarring composure work to highlight some of the sublimely clear and melodic passages and riffs. Overwhelming is an understatement first time around, Paracletus, benefits greatly from shorter and more diverse songs and a lack of pedantic intros. Deathspell Omega have finally reached a point that they first alluded to with Kenose.

Here are my favorite eps, comps, and splits of the year.

V/A- This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2
Sakatat/Dispepsiaa- Split 7"
PLF/ In Disgust- Pray for Death / Visions of Your Own Death
Machetazo - Necrocovered
Endless Blockade/ Bastard Noise - The Red List
Innumerable Forms - Dark Worship
Lycanthrophy/ FUBAR - Doomed to Consume
Swarrrm/Atka -Split 7"
Parlamentarisk Sodomi/Blodspurt 7"


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Agathocles - This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise

Official Myspace
Released: Oct 2010
Release Type: Full Length, CD
Label: Selfmadegod Records
Genre: Grindcore

Belgium's self-proclaimed "mincecore" perpetrators continue to grind away with their most recent full length This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise. It is surprisingly the only full length release for 2010 (so far... watch them slip one in right as it ends). If there's anything to know about Agathocles it's their prolific back catalog (over 150 releases since 1985). The band itself has become a rite of passage in the world of grindcore, you're no one until you've done a split with Agathocles. A punker attitude than most punk bands, Agathocles always do things their way, and this one's no exception.

The thing that turns me off with bands like Unholy Grave and Agathocles is the (what I hope to be) wrongful idea that the band just records every little thought it has, and doesn't know the meaning of 'quality control;' fortunately that isn't the case with The is not a Threat, It's a Promise. Surprisingly diverse, coherent, memorable, vicious, and most importantly enjoyable, This is Not a Threat... quickly establishes itself as a damn good album. Songs like "Cleptocracy" and "Straight Lane" are quintessential grindcore; lightning fast blast beats to surging d-beats and power chords blistering gurgles and screams galore.

On the other hand, the curve balls of the record come in "God Save The Real Green Crocodile" and "Aside" as they are both catchy, distinictly 'un-extreme' yet retaining a total 'mincecore' tone. "God Save The Real Green Crocodile" starts witha very 70's punk riff and delves into a ska refrain with clapping, clean vocals and the most ska guitar riff you could think of; strangest of all is how well it works. "Aside" comes a bit later, and like the adforementioned oddity is over 3 minutes as well. The track itself is a midpaced somber one with tendrils of distancing feedback.

You don't expect a band like Agathocles to write good full lengths, but here it is. This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise, is a violent, mincing album not without a sense of humor and the occasional melodic hook.