These posts are written by: Andrew Hatch

Hey! Listen to Zud!

Zud are a band you’ve got to hear. In their best moments, they conjure all of the emotional weight of post-black metal with none of the pretense or artifice. However, let me be clear: this is not post-black metal. It’s dirty, raw, black metal in the style of Midnight, with a similarly gnarly guitar tone and and rasped vocals spat with surprising intelligibility. Despite the indecorous rawness, Zud’s spacey, squealing solos take their time to wail and scream with all they’ve got, building into absorbing climaxes laden with soul. Zud’s solos aren’t technically impressive, but they’re arranged with that casual sort of mastery where just the right note is struck at just the right time.

Riffs from the Crypt – The Norway Rocks Split

Welcome back to Riffs from the Crypt! Today, we’re disinterring a mass grave. In 1988, Norway’s Angel Records released a five-band split called Norway Rocks, featuring Anesthesia, Manitou, Shellshock, Get Lost, and Thunderdome. The quality of the tracks featured here is outstanding, particularly the contributions from Anesthesia and Manitou. But alas, not every song could be rescued from their Norwegian tomb: both songs from Get Lost have permanently gotten themselves lost, and Shellshock’s second effort appears to have been obliterated. What is left, then, is seven tracks of speed/thrash/power metal intensity, full of tapping solos, tremolo riffs, and headbanging choruses that deserve a second chance in the light.

Riffs from the Crypt – Rat Attack

Welcome to Riffs from the Crypt! This is a new Heavy Blog installment in which we’ll be resurrecting old metal that has been long forgotten, and threatens to vanish entirely; metal interred to dusty cardboard boxes, sepulchred in a junkyard, entombed in a warehouse, or otherwise lost and underappreciated. We will generally focus on metal pre-1990. All genres are game. If it’s old, obscure, and — most importantly — it fucking rips, then the time has come for disinterment in Riffs from the Crypt!

Overkill – The Grinding Wheel

Overkill is back. And although they haven’t reinvented the (grinding) wheel, the old thrash geezers still have an impressive array of riffs to offer. Although the riffs are generally pretty crushing for a bunch of nearly sexagenarian metalheads, the veteran production job is what really makes this album’s millstones turn. It might sound like a poor compliment to say that an album’s most resounding success is in its production, but it really is that effective. One can hear it as soon as the riffs of “Mean Green Killing Machine” rip through the speakers. The guitar sounds appropriately meaty and aggressive, but it’s the thrum of D.D. Verni’s bass, sonorous and yet foreboding, that sticks out as unusually excellent.