Hells Headbangers: Satanic Warmaster + Macabre + Sorcery + Mortician

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HellsHeadbangersReviews by Jason Guest

With an ever-mounting number of releases reviewed here at MR, it’s re-issues aplenty for Hells Headbangers this time around. From Finnish black metal one-man band Satanic Warmaster comes a picture disc release of their 2010 album, Nachzehrer; USA’s murder metallers Macabre see a vinyl re-release – on picture disc and coloured vinyl – of their 2000 album, Dahmer; from Swedish death metal notables Sorcery comes a re-packaged two-CD compilation of their early and hard-to-find material entitled Unholy Creations; and from USA death metal/grind dealers Mortician comes a vinyl re-release their second album, 1999’s Chainsaw Dismemberment. And so, into hell we go…


Satanic Warmaster – Nachzehrer

Recorded on the cheapest, nastiest, and almost completely annihilated recording equipment known to (in)humanity, Finland’s Satanic Warmaster’s fourth album – first released in 2010 and now released on a deluxe picture disc with an outer cover, insert and poster – revels in lo-fi aesthetics for its menacing savagery and haunting atmospherics. With its merciless riffs and trem-picked melodies that are both haunting and malevolent, the title Nachzehrer – a vampire-like ghoul that consumes already-dead bodies – is more than apt. Reeking of blackly-blasphemous grandeur, the raw and primitive riffs, rhythms, and vocal lacerations that are the foundation for this beast, it’s apparent that main-man Werwolf’s mission is to destroy all that masquerades as black metal. Taking black metal back to its roots, Werwolf’s allegiance to Satan (pledged in first track proper ‘Satan’s Werewolf’) is one of undeniable conviction. The crudity of the lo-fi production serving to enhance the wrath and ire that underpins the album, callous, cruel, and honest, Nachzehrer is a fiercely brutal work that is as cold and merciless as it is unforgiving in confrontation. An album brimming in wrath and disdain, if old school BM is your desire, this will go quite a way in satisfying your unearthly soul. Available here.

Satanic Warmaster - Nachzehrer7.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Satan’s Werewolf
  3. Vampires
  4. Warmaster Returns
  5. One Shining Star
  6. Bestial Darkness
  7. Rotting Raven’s Blood
  8. Utug-Hul

Macabre – Dahmer

Macabre’s self-dubbed “murder metal” serves an educational purpose. Yes it does. Take their third full length release, Dahmer, as a case in point. Not only is it a lesson in punk, death, grind, and dark humour, but it also gives an entertaining insight into the life of one the world’s many notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer. Okay, so it’s not really an insight, more a darkly humorous and musically grim retelling of his life. With the band running the gamut of musical styles with their collective tongue firmly in cheek, the musicianship on display is adept and adapted fairly well to dress Dahmer’s despicable life in as near to a comedy as they could achieve. Though the tongue-in-cheek approach does go some way to satirise serial killers as objects of voyeuristic fascination in much the same way that celebrities are today, lyrically, it’s not the greatest comedy ever written. Whether or not this satire was Macabre’s intent, this album saw an accomplished band deliver an accomplished and original piece of work that still, thirteen years after it release, remains the best in their discography and stands tall among the releases of the day. Expect to see this on Broadway sometime soon.

Pressed on picture disc vinyl and coloured vinyl with silkscreened artwork on side D with both versions coming in a gatefold jacket, this is available here.

7.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

Side A:

  1. Dog Guts
  2. Hitchhiker
  3. In The Army Now
  4. Grandmother’s House
  5. Blood Bank
  6. Exposure
  7. Ambassador Hotel

Side B:

  1. How ‘Bout Some Coffee
  2. Bath House
  3. Jeffrey Dahmer And The Chocolate Factory
  4. Apartment 213
  5. Drill Bit Lobotomy
  6. Jeffrey Dahmer Blues
  7. McDahmers

Side C:

  1. Into The Toilet With You
  2. Coming To Chicago
  3. Scrub A Dub Dub
  4. Konerak
  5. Media Circus
  6. Temple Of Bones
  7. Trial
  8. Do The Dahmer
  9. Baptized
  10. Christopher Scarver
  11. Dahmer’s Dead
  12. The Brain

Sorcery – Unholy Creations (2 CD)

Sorcery - Unholy CreationsOriginally released as a limited vinyl set in 2011 that brought together all of Sorcery’s demos from 1987 to 1997 and a few extras, Hells Headbangers have released it as a 2-CD package. What lies within is the development of one of Sweden’s most significant death metal bands. Or at least that’s what some would say. Others would say that the past is where most of this material should remain. Granted, there are a few tracks here that are mediocre at best – The Arrival demo has more than its fair share – but there are a few that have stood fairly well against the test of time. Tracks such as ‘The Light Of The Midnight Sun’, the ten-minute ‘Flight Of The Sorceress’, ‘Lucifer’s Legions’ (recently covered by Impiety), the epic ‘Maculated Life’, and ‘Insanity Arise’ stand out as the best tracks. In what remains can be heard a band whose technical ability sometimes hindered their ambition and sometimes served it. While far from a necessity, Unholy Creations is more for the collector/ devotee hell bent on fortifying their museum of death metal and is available here.

6 out of 10

Track Listing:

Disc 1:

The Arrival Demo 1987:

  1. Halloween
  2. Witches Dance / Infernal Return
  3. Satan’s Return
  4. Narration…
  5. Master Of Evil
  6. March Of The Mountain King
  7. Satanic Birth
  8. The Light Of The Midnight Sun
  9. Flight Of The Sorceress
  10. Epilogue (Midnight Sundown)

Ancient Creation Demo 1988:

  1. Ancient Creation
  2. In The Sign Of Evil
  3. Black Wizard
  4. Lucifer’s Legions
  5. Holocaust
  6. Mausoleum
  7. Aggression

Disc 2:

Unholy Crusade Demo 1989:

  1. Unholy Crusade
  2. Death
  3. Dragons Of The Burning Twilight
  4. Descends To The Ashes
  5. Count Of Hades

Maculated Life 1992:

  1. Maculated Life
  2. Mass Murder
  3. Insanity Arise

Ancient Creation (Bonus Track from 1st Pressing):

  1. Pandemonium

Rehearsal 1989:

  1. At The Rainbow’s End
  2. Kill, Kill, Kill And Kill Again
  3. Obscure Beaut

Voices Of Death Compilation 1997:

  1. Inhabitants

 


Mortician – Chainsaw Dismemberment (2LP)

Mortician - Chainsaw DismembermentFlesh-ripping horror and gore has long been the order of the day for “the most brutal band in the universe”, Mortician. With this re-release of 1999’s Chainsaw Dismemberment (in a gatefold cover with an Obi Strip and a large A2 poster of the cover artwork, pressed on coloured vinyl only with silkscreened artwork on side D), it’s apparent that Mortician’s blend of brutal death metal and grindcore both before and since has neither developed nor degenerated. Want to hear lyrics? Forget it. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and John Tardy would have trouble deciphering this. Want chainsaw-massacring riffs? Easy. Want body-battering, bone-breaking, spine-snapping, eyeball-gouging, skin-skewering, sphincter-splitting, glass-gargling, eye-brow-plucking, inner-thigh-pinching (try it) musical violence combined with a game of Name That Film? This is it.

Fourteen years on and it’s still a rotten mess. Depraved from start to finish, at fifty minutes (a lot less if you remove the film excerpts), Chainsaw Dismemberment may wear thin after a few tracks (stick it on shuffle and there’s not much to differentiate too much of it) but if it’s gruesome, unwholesome fun that you want to piss everybody else off with, go for it. Available here.

6 out of 10

Track Listing:

Side A:

  1. Stab
  2. Fleshripper
  3. Drowned in Your Own Blood
  4. Mass Mutilation
  5. Mauled Beyond Recognition
  6. Rabid
  7. Bloodshed
  8. Decayed
  9. Final Bloodbath
  10. Island of the Dead

Side B:

  1. Brutalized
  2. Slaughtered
  3. The Crazies
  4. Silent Night, Bloody Night
  5. Chainsaw Dismemberment
  6. Psychotic Rage
  7. Funeral Feast
  8. Wolfen
  9. Dark Sanity
  10. Camp Blood

Side C:

  1. Tormented
  2. Slaughterhouse (Part II)
  3. Barbarian
  4. Rats
  5. Mater Tenebrarum
  6. Splattered
  7. Obliteration
  8. Lord of the Dead (Mortician Part II)