Metal is a funny old thing. To the general public, 'metal' is quite simply 'heavy metal'. Only those in the know or sad losers like me have even an inkling of sludge, grind, death, groove, thrash, black, goregrind, mathcore, pornogrind, folk, and so on and so forth. But this week even I was taken aback by goatgrind. I mean, there are some fucked up genres of music in this world but listening to Milking The Goatmachine's Back From The Goats really took things to a new level. They're not wholly serious, as you would imagine but the music is savagely heavy and I can see them developing quite a following amongst the underground mentallists of the metal scene. I reviewed the album for MetalasFuck so go there if you want to find out more.
At the other end of the metallic spectrum I've been given the opportunity to interview culture-transcending troupe the Brutal Ballet Company. Instead of pink tutus and lace, this collective of lasses from Australia perform traditional ballet dressed in PVC with white contacts and corpse paint, and rather than Tchaikovsky they move to the dulcet tones of Dethklok, performed by a live tribute band. Nice. I can't say too much more at this stage but it got me thinking, what other traditional dance styles could take a metal turn? Could the little bells and bits of wood be replaced by animal bones and weighty clubs for Viking Metal Morris Dancing? Could the flowing dresses and tight leather trousers be replaced by lacy basques and spiked chaps for Norwegian Death Salsa? The opportunities are truly endless.
In other news I've been completely overawed by ChthoniC this week, particularly the immensely dark and uncompromisingly heavy 49 Theurgy Chains. The Taiwanese quintet play some of the darkest, heaviest black metal I've heard for fucking ages so any fans of the genre should click on the link in my list and check them out. They combine the nastiness of the Scandinavian sound with the use of traditional Taiwanese instruments, which produces shit hot results. I think the name is meant to be pronounced like 'sonic' but I have no fucking idea. All I know are there are yet another example of insane noisemakers from the Far Eastern part of this lowly planet. Girly trio Gallhammer produce some horrendous heaviness, and Dir En Grey take the insanity of Rammstein and versatility of Slipknot or Nine Inch Nails to produce absolutely epic works. And let's not forget Fat Wreck Chord's finest Hi-Standard - their cover of California Dreamin' is still one of my favourite covers of all time. If you haven't heard it, you have an enormous hole in your life.
Now to create more brutal subgenres of metal. Keep your eyes peeled for banjogrind...