Thursday, August 31, 2023

Rote Hexe - Black Wood Becomes White Wood

It'd been a while since I last jammed Rote Hexe's debut 12" Red Witch, a surprise find back at the old Amoeba Records somewhere in 2015, and which included a 7" flexi that had the above song on it. 

This one slams! I love the mixture of Doom and experimental Black Metal this two-piece traffics in. I wish I could find more music by them, however, from what I'm seeing online, this is it. That's cool - releasing an EP this great and dropping the mic just means they're legendary.

You can listen and purchase Red Witch on Rote Hexe's Bandcamp HERE, and check out their label Cricket Cemetery's site HERE.


Man, I feel like it's been a short eternity since Butcher from The Horror Vision saw Writer/Director Bomani J. Story's debut feature, The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster. Ostensibly a new take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I've heard nothing but good things about this one. Here's the trailer (that I haven't watched, which probably explains why it's taken me this long to post it here):

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster hits Shudder on 9/22, however, it's currently a $5.99 rental on Prime, and I think I'd like to give my money to this one. Pretty excited.


Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mandy OST
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
Rote Hexe - Red Witch w/ 7" Flexi
Genghis Tron - Dead Mountain Mouth
Zombi - Shape Shift
Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Fuck Buttons - Streeting Horrrsing
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
Ghost - Impera
Anthrax - Among the Living
Bohren and Der Club of Gore - Sunset Mission


Ugh - pardon the flash-accentuated picture:

• Queen of Cups - Water of Water, Emotional aspect of Emotion
• Seven of Disks - Failure: a Victory in its own right
• XIII - The Devil - Information - Good or Bad - from a suspect source

Jesus. This is my upcoming weekend in a nutshell. Things will get overly complicated emotionally if I fail to recognize a crucial piece of information as either valid but from a suspect source (I already have them in mind), or invalid from a trusted source (the worse of the two scenarios). 

New Music from Wolves in the Throne Room!!!

A gorgeous new video from Wolves in the Throne Room's upcoming EP Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge, out September 29th on Relapse Records. You can pre-order a copy HERE.

Also, and as an aside, pretty sure that's Zartan making an appearance in the video at 2:11.


It's been a slow week for watching stuff; after hearing John Trafton talk about how he's not streaming new content until the WGA strike is over, I decided to follow suit. So no new shows for the last few weeks, which isn't nearly as bad as some might think - yeah, I'm behind or half-complete with several shows - Justified, Secret Invasion - but honestly, I don't really care at all. 

I couldn't make the same pledge for films simply because of everything we cover on The Horror Vision (although if things get too rough for the writers, I may vote to stop covering new studio films altogether and redirect the focus of the show to reassessing older titles). This break in the ouroboros of media consumption has led K and I back outside, where the cooler weather this week has weakened the presence of the marauding mosquitos and allowed us to enjoy our backyard again. Last night, however, the bugs were bad, and we folded back into our couch and watched a flick the other members of The Horror Vision were talking about: Adam Schindler's 2015 home invasion film Intruders.

If you're like me, you've seen this thumbnail pretty much every day since 2015. I don't normally gravitate toward Home Invasion as a subgenre, so I know why I passed this one up. That said, finally seeing it, I can say that I really enjoyed it, and it's not what you think it's going to be. I opted to post an image instead of a trailer because I'd be willing to bet the trailer gives too much away; we went in 100% blind and were pleasantly surprised.


The Cure - Pornography
Anthrax - State of Euphoria
Testament - Low
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Mastodon - Leviathon
Bluekarma - The Communication


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• XIV: Temperance (Art in Thoth)
• Ten of Wands
• V: The Hierophant

Easy associations this morning; a reminder to employ patience and consider the ideas of others (my folks) as I barge into the situation this weekend and attempt to fix a problem we have with the person representing the sale of their house. The Hierophant is the dogma of my own ideas, whipping my preconceived notions into a frenzy that, if left untempered, could lead to a Willful disaster. 

Just for perspective, I thought I'd pull Thoth today, as well:

• XVI: The Tower
• Seven of Wands
• XVIII: The Moon

A very similar reading as above (or, I suppose it's just my inclination for interpretation, after all, that's what Tarot is - it's not occult information from an outer source, but a way to bypass the conscious mind with symbols and associations and peak at what's already in your mind that you might be refusing or unaware of).

The Tower here represents the Idea I have in my head (the one that the first Pull warned me against giving too much credence to). The Seven of Wands is a Victory (sevens always are some kind of Victory or turning point because their Sephirotic association is Netzach) over that untempered Dogma (Hierophant). The Moon is almost always a nod to unconsidered or occluded information. I'm taking that to mean that while the person I have an issue with is definitely operating at their own agenda, there's more to the story than just their being a cunt.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

A Darkness At the Heart of My Love

Over a year later and I still just can't play this record enough. So much about this one might have hit me wrong if it hadn't come out exactly when it did. Because of that timing, every listen transports me to someplace very special. I'm not sure if it's because Impera dropped right around the time K and I started venturing out in the aftermath of the pandemic or if it's just down to how incredible this record is. Probably a little from column A and a little from column B. 

I remember those first tentative nights when we discovered that Frejole's of El Segundo - our favorite Mexican Restaurant in proximity to our place in Redondo Beach - had put in a small bar, so that when we went in to pick up our Friday night carry-out, we would stop and have a pint of Santa Monica Brewing's 310, or Lagunitas IPA, then drive home with this or Orville Peck's Bronco blaring, a newfound freedom energizing our long-cocooned weekends. 


My picks for this week's NCBD:

Two issues left of Nightmare Country: The Glass House and I'm not sure how to feel about this second chapter. Of course, I'm hoping there will be more; I've said before that reading this book monthly reminds me SO MUCH of reading Sandman monthly, without being redundant at all. Of all the "Sandman Presents" titles that have come and gone in the last however many years since Gaiman and DC announced his curation of the line, Nightmare Country is the only one that has kept up a consistent feeling of actually being a worthy continuation (that's not to knock the original The Dreaming, which I loved). Anyway, the previous chapter of this story came in the form of that Thessaly one-shot, and now that she's involved, things feel even more on edge. Perfect.

Yeah, this is how they get ya, right? I don't really have any interest in reading a Wolvie book - although the shit I hear that's going on with Beast basically becoming Dark Beast sounds fantastic - but the mini-event "Weapons of Vengeance" is switching to Wolverine this month and I'm reading it. Great series so far, and we finally got the revelation of Weapon Plus: Hellfire Program, so I'm psyched to see where this goes.


So when I posted the Black Mold trailer last week, that was kind of a last minute override of another trailer that dropped around the same time. Ladies and Gentlemen, Beaten to Death:  

That title made me think there was no way I was going to step in front of this bus, but the film actually looks excellent, and while you know it's going to be violent AF, watching this leads me to believe it won't be the kind of violence the title first suggested to me.


King Diamond - Them
Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I
Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Dream Division - Beyond the Mirror's Image
Secret Chiefs 3 - Le mani destre recise degli ultimi uomini
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Carpenter Brut - Leather Terror
Ghost - Impera
Anthrax - State of Euphoria

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


I was totally blown away yesterday to come home from a pretty damn good writing session and find that my good friend Jacob had sent me a record. Jacob has sent me several awesome records before, but this... this was something of a dream come true - a brand new copy of his band Bluekarma's 2000 record, The Communication, newly remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service, pressed on vinyl for the first time. 

This is HUGE - Bluekarma is the band that first brought my old band, The Yellow House, to Dayton, Ohio, for our first show outside of Illinois. I got to be friends with these guys, but none more so than Jacob, who, at one point, we realized I had somehow unknowingly and before I met him, acquired a guitar he had previously owned and modified. It was a total WTF moment where I think we both realized there was something bigger than us at work. Since then, we've remained in touch even at a distance, and when I played as part of a band he was in back circa 2014, it was kind of another dream come true.

Here's a link to the vinyl announcement, and HERE is a link to order one of these babies for yourself.

747 was the song that Jacob used to do this insane guitar solo to. When they played Dayton's Nite Owl as they did the first time we played with them, the bar would give Jacob a bottle of Jagermeister, and he would walk out along the top of the bar and literally pour that beautiful black liquid into people's mouths. It wasn't so different from what we used to do with Hickory Hills Whiskey when Brown and I were in Schlitz Family Robinson. except, of course, Jager is delicious, and HHW is rotgut. Anyway, think of that scene while you jam this tune. It's one of a kind, as are the memories.


High on Fire studio update:

I cannot WAIT for this album!!!


Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Mercyful Fate - Melissa
The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Deftones - Ohms
Baroness - Stone (pre-release singles)
Bluekarma - The Communication


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• I: The Magician
• Ten of Cups
• Queen of Wands
Initial, revelatory creative spark squashed by the inability to adequately interpret necessary emotional context.

No idea on this one. As has become my custom, I'm tempted to read this as a Pull for the main character of the book, but even in that context, I'm a bit lost.

Aside from Creative energies, The Magician can point to the presence of Magick. Ten of Cups is a full-on emotional deluge, and can indicate an unwillingness to step from beneath our emotional attachments. Queen of Wands is the Emotional aspect of Emotion, Water of Water, and the reason my initial interpretation of the Ten is a deluge. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

New Music from Ministry!!!

Ministry released a new track last week, and as usual, I love it. From the forthcoming album HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES, out March 1, 2024, I feel like this is a bit early, but still, I can't really complain about new Ministry. No pre-order link that I could find yet, but that's sure to come. In the meantime, enjoy Goddamn White Trash.


K and I took her Mom to see the Barbie movie over the weekend. This was about as interesting to me as the battleship movie until Mr. Brown posited that he'd read the entire thing was going to be one big piss-take. 

That got me interested. 

I waited for the hype (and crowds) to die down before even entertaining the idea of getting a ticket. We were at the theatre multiple times since this thing opened, and the crowds of pink-adorned moviegoers gave me pause. The malaise for big-budget IPs I always experience when actually faced with seeing them kicked in, and I figured I could go on just fine without ever actually seeing this thing, thank you very much. 

Then K's Mom expressed interest, so we decided to take her. Verdict? Greta Gerwig did exactly what I hoped she would with this one: It's irreverent toward everything that deserves irreverence - including itself and the Barbie brand - yet still manages to be fun and touching as all hell. And as far as the cries of man-hating, anyone offended by this is a douche, and exactly what the film is commenting on. 

Ms. Gerwig had come a long way from being the friend in Ti West’s House of the Devil, and I applaud Mattel for allowing this to be what it is. Also, fucking Rhea Pearlman, am I right? 


I finished Grady Hendrix's We Sold Our Souls over the weekend. OUTSTANDING novel! I read the last 60 or so pages in a mad gallop, unable to put the damn thing down. This means I'm going to reassess some of his newer books, all of which I'll probably read at some point.

Moving on, I finally started Nathan Ballingrud's novel The Strange

Holy smokes! Only 80-odd pages in, and I can pretty much guarantee right now, this will be the best novel I read this year. No disrespect to the others - Laird Barron's The Wind Began to Howl, and Stephen Graham Jones's Don't Fear the Reaper are both going to come in close, but Mr. Ballingrud's prose is just mouthwatering.


Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Undreamably Abysses
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Agnes Obel - Aventine
Ghost - Impera
The Rods - Wild Dogs
The Rods - Live
Van Halen - 1984
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Etta James - Second Time Around
Standish/Carlyon - Deleted Scenes
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Ubre Blanca - Polygon Mountain EP
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Mercyful Fate - Melissa


Just want to do a simple, one-card Pull today, and Missi's Raven Deck is the one I use for that:

Beware bad information and/or don't overlook information from dubious sources. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

New Puppet Combo Game Coming to Switch!!!

Spent a couple hours playing Myrkur's back catalogue yesterday, and it reminded me how much I dig their music. 


Holy smokes - another new Puppet Combo game coming to Switch! Check out this trailer and the amazing announcement that accompanied it:


"Night at the Gates of Hell combines the 1980s Italian zombie aesthetic of Lucio Fulci, with nail biting survival horror gameplay. Players must navigate desolate Mediterranean cities in search of clues, weapons and items to make an escape. Encounters range from crazed cultists to flesh hungry zombies to massive abominations - all must be taken down with extreme precision, because only headshots kill these maggot-filled monsters." 

 I'll admit - I haven't gotten very far in Stay Out of the House, however, I'm finding that my interest in these games isn't so much about solving them, as it is just experiencing the amazing environments they put players in. This looks to be no different, so I pre-ordered mine the moment I saw this in my youtube feed!

Night at the Gates of Hell is a full-on Lucio Fulci love letter that drops September 9th!


A new trailer for John Pata's second feature-length film, Black Mold, dropped yesterday. 
I've been waiting for this one for a while, although I no longer remember whatever put it on my radar to begin with. This looks as though it will be quite a ride, and I'm hoping maybe this is one I'll get to see at this year's Beyondfest, if all the cards fall in my favor.


Pale Dian - Narrow Birth
Pale Dian - Feral Birth
Myrkur - M
Myrkur - Eponymous
Myrkur - Mareidt
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Undreamble Abysses
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium Nahab
Godflesh - Purge


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Seven of Wands
• Ten of Swords
• Three of Swords
A stabilizing victory over calamity sows new, stronger ties. This, I believe, is a direct answer to a question I have a character in the book stuck in. Only through betrayal and arrival at the precipice of disaster do they find the relationship that will ultimately unlock triumph. 

Or something like that.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

New music from Helmet!!!


New music from Helmet! Holy smokes, thanks be to Mr. Brown for putting this one on my radar, because I've kind of fallen off Helmet the last few years. If their upcoming album Left is anything like this first single, we're in for a treat. Out November 10th on Earmusic, you can pre-order the vinyl HERE.


The V/H/S series returns to Shudder on Friday, October 6th. Here's the trailer that dropped yesterday:

I find this series super hot and cold. The most recent entry, V/H/S/99, proved pretty polarizing for me; I really dug a few of the stories and didn't care for the rest. That said, I'm always game to see what gets included in these flicks, and often find directors just starting out (Chloe Okuno comes to mind).


Lustmord - Berlin
Walter Rizzati - House By The Cemetery OST
Telekinetic Yeti - Primordial
Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger
Fen - Monuments to Absence
Helmet - Holiday (pre-release single)


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Knight of Swords
• Eight of Cups
• XVIII The Moon

Balancing the Creative energies with the Sharp edge of Intellect yields emotional transformation on matters at this point, unrecognized or obscured.

No idea how to apply this one at the moment, but then I guess that's why it's 'unrecognized or obscured.' The Moon is a favorite of mine - it tends to cast light in dark corners. Digging a bit deeper, I have a notation in the Grimoire that says the following for the Eight of Cups: 

"As advice - let it go. Don't cling to what's written." 
Well now, that would seem to add some clarification, as I just performed a major overhaul on something in the book, had to get rid of about eight thousand words of 'what's written.' Didn't cling, so I'm on track. Still not sure how that fits in with the other cards at the moment, so I'll be keeping my eyes peeled

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

New Music from Myrkur

From the upcoming album Spine, out October 20th on Relapse Records. Pre-order Spine HERE.

I'm not 100% on this track yet; I've really liked Myrkur's previous records, however, there's something about the hook in this that feels borrowed from Madonna. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's rubbing at me a bit. I can't wait to hear the entire album when it's released in October.


Here are my picks for this week's NCBD:

No idea what this series 'is,' however, with classic Jean Grey a la X-Factor scribe Louise Simonson penning it, I'm in.

Newburn's return last month reminded me how much I dig Chip Zdarsky and Jacob Phillips's street-level tale of a fixer who has - potentially at least - grown too big for his britches. Can't wait to see how the story continues to wind its way around Newburn - and his unweary assistant Emily's - throats.

The first issue of Tenement felt kind of like a gift; after a graphic novel (The Passageway) and a mini-series (Ten Thousand Black Feathers), we're finally getting a little more than just tone from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's ambitious, sprawling Bone Orchard Mythos. Don't get me wrong, I love tone. I'm not a person that needs a plot in order to enjoy a well-written comic or novel. That said, there are gottasees set up in those two previous entries into this Mythos that make me think the reveals will be INSANE, so I'm kind of chomping at the bit with this one. Tenement looks to be the chapter to finally drag some of that out into the light.


A new trailer for Neon Release's upcoming It Lives Inside dropped yesterday.


Releasing in theatres on September 22nd, I have a pretty good feeling about this one. Just like the last trailer that dropped for this one, I only needed a moment before I turned it off and knew I'd be seeing it. Directed by relatively newcomer Bishal Dutta, there's a buzz around this one that reminds me a bit of the buzz for Talk to Me. Could be a really nice Autumn entry into the year's Horror.


Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Myrkur - Like Humans (single)
Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got


• Eight of Swords - Interference
• Prince of Wands
• Queen of Swords

I'm pretty tempted to read this in a very surface-level manner. I've got two big ideas, or influences, interrupted in the middle by Interference. I made some HUGE revelatory thinking about the novel yesterday, just some enormous stuff, but didn't write. I've got a couple days' worth of inertia from not writing while I was in Chicago for a wedding (drove in Friday, drove out Sunday, thus, I literally had no time to write). Also, I continue to experience what I can only classify as major anxiety primarily shaped around my parents' eventual move, so I've been treating that with edibles. I don't write when I'm high, so the anxiety is an Interference while large ideas hang in the balance. 

Will be writing today for sure.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Relax - Creepshow's Back!!!

Rewatched Brian De Palma's Body Double last week in preparation for the deep-dive discussion we just did over on The Horror Vision Presents: Elements of Horror. Man, I love this film. Body Double has to be my favorite De Palma film, and one of the things I love about it is the use of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax, a song I've dug since I first heard it as a child. Went looking for the video today, wondering if it might match up with the scene that features it in the film, but somehow it's actually a lot weirder than that! I must have seen this at some point in the 80s, but I definitely didn't remember what an odd spectacle Director Bernard Rose (yes, THAT Bernard Rose!!!) creates for the song. 

You can listen to that Body Double discussion on Apple Podcasts HERE, Spotify HERE, or pretty much anywhere else you stream podcasts.


Shudder is bringing Creepshow back for a fourth season! Here's the new trailer:

I'll admit, I'm excited despite the fact that each of the seasons so far feel like exercises in diminishing returns. Season One is the strongest overall season, in my opinion, but three had the best episode (Public Television of the Dead and its wonderful, Bob Ross-meets-Evil-Dead feel). Regardless of perceived shortcomings, I very much root for Creepshow, and am glad to see it coming back after a nearly two-year hiatus.


Killing time Saturday afternoon in Chicago's south suburbs, I stopped in a Barnes and Noble for the first time in a long time. This particular store has been in Orland Park, Il, for years, and although my preferred big box bookstore environment was always the Borders that used to sit across the street, I've been in this B&N a handful of times. If you're familiar with the chain, you know that when you first walk inside most B&N stores, they have displays of their own publishing imprint, Fall River Press. These are normally public domain bargain books, but some of them are very nice. Case in point, this Hardcover H.P. Lovecraft edition that I picked up for $10:

This is by no means a 'complete' collection. What I've found with printed complete Lovecraft books is, they are so voluminous, the bindings are usually shite. This is a pretty smart-looking HC that collects six of HPL's more famous stories:

1) The Call of Cthulhu
2) The Colour Out of Space
3) The Haunter of the Dark
4) The Whisperer in Darkness
5) The Dunwich Horror
6) The Thing on the Doorstep

While I still consider the .99 "Everything" volume I have on Kindle (no bad bindings there, and it's really easy for cross-referencing between stories), it's nice to have six of the big ones on a slim, attractive bookshelf volume as well. 


The Replacements - Tim
Hollywood Babble-On Ep. 406
Real Ones w/ Jon Bernthal - Living A Double Life: Lou Valoze
Black Sabbath - Eponymous
bunsenburner - Rituals
Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain
The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Led Zeppelin - Presence
Ruby the Hatchet - Fear is a Cruel Master
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Baroness - Stone (pre-release singles)
Ministry - Goddamn White Trash (single)
GnR - Perhaps (single)
Steely Dan - Aja
Sigur Rós - Ágœtis Byrjun
The Blues Brothers - OST
Les Discarts - Prédateurs
Alice in Chains - Sap EP
Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger
Crime Weekly: D.B. Cooper A Man with a Grudge (part 1)
The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
Crime Weekly: D.B. Cooper Mystery Money (part 2)
H6LLB6ND6R - Side A


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• 0: The Fool
• Three of Pentacles
• Ten of Pentacles

Lots of "Earthly" concerns, and that tracks; spent the weekend in Chicago for a wedding, however, a lot of the time was also spent thinking about moving my folks out of the house I grew up in and down by us. There's The Fool's new journey, Three's Growth and Ten's Endings/Closure all rolled into one!!!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Baroness - Shine


Baroness dropped another new track from their upcoming Stone, out September 15th. I'm really digging everything I've heard so far, and I adore this album art for this one; every album features Frontman John Dyer Baizley's paintings and all of them are fantastic. This one does something specific for me, apparently. Pre-order Stone HERE.


Based on the description Bloody Disgusting gives in a recent article, I'm a little afraid of Karim Ouelhaj's new film Megalomaniac. That said, I made it about 7 seconds into the trailer and knew I wanted to see it:


That imagery, whatever it is, took my breath. I won't be watching any more of the trailer, but you can. You can also read the BD article HERE, or Meagan Navarro's review of the film HERE. I'm literally doing none of that. Megalomaniac is receiving US theatrical distribution on September 8th via Dark Star Pictures, although I'm fairly certain it will be limited and I won't get it here in Clarksville, so I'll be keeping an eye open on VOD streaming platforms.


Cristobal Tapia De Veer - Smile OST
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Windhand - Eponymous
Count Gorgann - Corpse Eater: Satanic Misery Live for the Dead
Various - Lords of Salem OST
Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
Melvins & Lustmord - Pigs of the Roman Empire


About to head out for the six-plus hour drive up to Chicago for the weekend, so just a quick (but important) Pull. I still try and use Missi's Raven Deck for occasions such as these, where Arcana is all I really need:

Don't struggle against change. Prescient for sure, for reasons I won't go into here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Brian Jonestown Massacre Cover The Raveonettes!

How freakin' awesome is this? I mean, I'd rather have had a new Raveonettes record drop, but I'll take an all-star covers version of their debut, no problem. The list of participants here is fantastic, so it was hard to choose a track. Rip It Off is available everywhere now - rejoice!


I'm pretty pumped for this week's NCBD. Here's why:

Once again I'd like to acknowledge how full of shit I am when it comes to my constant refrain of, "I'm jumping off this Ghost Rider book." Issue 16 had another total Clive Barker undercurrent to it, and the Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance continued that (in a way), even though it did not do what I keep hearing about, the Weapon Plus (formerly erroneously referred to as the Weapon X) program reinstating with technology culled from Hell itself by Infernal Labs. I mean, that concept could be so freakin' Metal! Will it? Maybe. Either way, I guess I'll be around to see.

Nothing but good things to say about this one. Every issue of SIKTC comes and goes so quickly, I'm constantly wanting more. And that cover! This is one of the variants, but I'm hoping to snag one; very reminiscent of those House of Slaughter "Body Bag" covers last year.

Love the new, post-Armaggedon Game direction TMNT is taking. Between recent issues of this, the recently completed Last Ronin: Lost Years going out on such a high note, and all the various plotlines at play, I feel like we've weathered the crossover/event storm and finally gotten back around to some solid month-to-month storytelling!

I was not going to read this new iteration of Uncanny Avengers, then I found out Gerry Duggan is writing it. For me, that makes it worth giving the book a chance. The playing field is certainly aligned to make this a great book: how does Captain America stand beside mutants before a world Orchis has pretty much engineered to fear and hate them? This isn't like the old school, 'feared and hated' throughline that has haunted the X-books since the beginning; mutants are now globally blamed for terrible crimes against all of humanity, so I'm thinking the term "race traitor" is going to get thrown in Cap's face quite a bit. Of course, one of the things that makes Cap an evergreen character is his resolute adherence to his principles in the face of any and all odds and injustices. None of that means the book will be to my liking, however, Duggan's X-Men is such an outstanding read, how can I not give this a chance?

X-Men: Red continues to be one of the three most fascinating Marvel books I've read in a loooong time. The sheer grandiosity of Al Ewing's approach here, where so much is unrecognizable as X-continuity and so much is new, cosmic ground, is often breathtaking. This month's A cover says it all: I was never a Nova fan, but his inclusion in this book, along with all these intensely fascinating Arraki characters (never mind that I can't remember any of their names besides Jon Ironfire) make a far more interesting dynamic than just a bunch of the same old mutants. Add to that Apocalypse's apparent return, and I'm quite certain this will be another outstanding issue. 


When the most recent issue of Fangoria showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago, one of the first articles I read was Jacqueline Castel's "A Very Modern Prometheus," a conversation with Birth/Rebirth director Laura Moss about her new take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Of course this put the film on my radar, so I was pleased to see an article on Bloody Disgusting this morning reporting the film hits Shudder this Friday, August 18th.

I love modern takes on the classic Frankenstein story. As per my new distrust of trailers, I turned this off at 1:11; I don't need to see any more to know I'll be watching this.


bunsenburner - Rituals
Telekinetic Yeti - Primordial
Mudhoney - 
Various - The Raveonettes Present: Rip It Off
Wesley Willis - Feel the Power
Mudhoney - Live at Third Man Records
High On Fire - The Art of Self Defense (remix/remaster)
Deftones - Gore
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Testament - Low
Testament - Demonic


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Six of Wands
• XXI: The World
• XIX: The Sun

Six of Wands is a harmonization of Will, an achieved balancing point from which magnificent things can happen. Juxtapose that with The World (The Universe in Thoth-speak), and we see a massive overhaul of something coming up, especially when taken with The Sun, a card of revelations.


bunsenburner - Rituals

Sometimes the algorithm works in our favor (even if it will ultimately undo humanity completely). Case in point - bunsenburder's Rituals popped into my youtube feed last Friday. The front cover artwork reminded me of Genghis Tron's Dead Mountain Mouth, so I clicked play.

Forty-Seven minutes later I was left pretty much in awe. 

You just won't believe where this one goes based on how it begins. I LOVE this band! Hailing from Freiburg Im Breisgau, Germany, here's the bio taken directly from their Bandcamp:

"bunsenburner evolved into an ever-rotating and expanding hive mind initially conceived and realised by the bassist and producer Ben Krahl in 2012."

Kinda sounds like a description of The Ocean early on in their career, right?

There's stuff on Rituals that reminds me of early Jucifer albums, of The Sword, of Angelo Badalamenti, The Calexico... the list goes on, and while it's not my intention to drown bunsenburner's music in comparisons - because honestly, that's not really possible with so unique an outfit as this, especially after you begin digging through their previous albums - I wanted to give folks enough to make them seek these guys out. 

You can pick up a limited edition cassette copy of Rituals on the Bandcamp HERE, or also support the band digitally. 


Cinematic Void dropped a trailer for Up All Night - every Saturday this October, the Cinemadness movie will run on the Cinematic Void youtube channel HERE

I can't say enough good things about Cinematic Void. Founder James Branscome does some of the best programming in the states in my opinion, and now that he's expanded from being L.A.-centric to including The Music Box in Chicago and other cities like Boston, I really wanted to help spread the word a bit farther afield. Check the Void out online and if you follow them over on FBTwitter or Instagram and see a show close to you pop up, check it out. Also, as I've mentioned here plenty of times previously, the Cinematic Void Podcast is one of the best cult/Horror/exploitation podcasts out there. You can find them on Apple Podcasts HERE or Spotify HERE and, of course, the show is available pretty much anywhere else you might get your podcasts.

Also, and I just discovered this myself, The Void has a pretty awesome Big Cartel shop HERE.


The Hives - The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
High on Fire - The Art of Self Defense (remix/remaster)
King Woman - Celestial Blues
bunsenburner - Rituals
Final Light - Eponymous
Metallica - 72 Seasons
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Prayers For the Death of Fame EP
Pastor T.L. Barret and the Youth for Christ Choir - Like a Ship Without a Sail
Blackbraid - Blackbraid II
Julee Cruise - Floating Into the Night


• Three of Disks:Work
• I: The Magus
• Queen of Disks

The Three of Disks indicates successful growth, although I'm always quick to add that growth will come as the result of some kind of labor. Not necessarily hard, physical labor. In this case here, the card's referencing my own mental labor, as I try and twist the disparate elements I've set up in the new novel and have them coalesce into the climax I can feel, but can't quite 'see' yet.

The Magus indicates, of course, that Magick will come in handy. I know this; my Magick IS the work and my commitment to it, because as so many Chaos Magicians have told us, from Hine to Moore to Spare, it's all about The Will.

The Queen of Disks reminds me to be emotionally grounded during this period. This is a direct reference to a kind of mini disassociative state that can sometimes swallow me when I'm so zeroed in that I drive myself crazy because, as Life would have it, I just can't always work on what I want to based on, you know, the day job, family, friends, etc. A good reminder.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Underworld - Skym

Here's a song I love in such a quiet way that I never really stop to think about it. This and "Winjer" are sandwiched between heavy hitters "Shudder/King of Snakes" and "Bruce Lee" on Beaucoup Fish, and because of that, they both get kind of passed over. While "Winjer" definitely still feels like a 'corridor' track, "Skym" has this wonderful complexity bubbling below its quiet surface and at some point, it kind of stealthily sunk into my deepest feelings for this record that I love so much.


Last night I hit the first showing of André Øvredal's latest film The Last Voyage of the Demeter. I was not a fan of the trailer, which I've sat through multiple times at the Cinema, and although the film rubbed me a bit wrong right at the start with its inherent "Big Studio Feel," Demeter ends up being pretty solid.

For a Dreamworks film, Øvredal makes some decidedly stunning choices. Even more stunning is that those choices got through the Big Studio filter. Makes me curious what they might have forced him to cut. I don't want to give the impression this flick is some gnarly Horror film - you can tell from those trailers that it's not - but at times, it's a lot more savage than I would have expected. Three stars out of Five and a Heart on Letterbxd. 

And on the Horizon...
Having never heard of the Elevator Game before an episode of Paramount Plus's Evil - highly recommended, btw - I was pretty stoked when, on the Colors of the Dark podcast sometime last year, Rebekah McKendry mentioned her next film would be based on this weird A.F. urban legend. Now, here's the trailer:

I love actual Urban Legends, but the movies based on them almost always fall short for me. Holding out hope this won't fall into that same problem for me. 


High On Fire - The Art of Self Defense (remixed/remastered)
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish
Ganser - Odd Talk
King Woman - Celestial Blues
Team Sleep - Eponymous


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Ace of Wands
• Queen of Pentacles
• Six of Pentacles

A breakthrough of Will leads to understanding and acceptance of defining terms. That's a bit opaque, however, being that the Queen of Pentacles is the Emotional approach to Earthly matters and the Six of Pentacles is a balanced, 'perfected' state, I choose to read this as another reminder to follow the path before me, even is at kicks and bucks. I made huge progress in the last twenty-four hours based on the fact that yesterday's reading was spot on, so I'll continue the trend today.

High On Fire's First Album Again

Man, I was pretty skeptical when I heard High On Fire were having their first album, The Art of Self Defense remastered for a re-release. On the one hand, it's still probably my favorite of their albums (Blessed Black Wings comes a pretty close second, though). Yet, while I still have the original, Man's Ruin CD version of Self Defense I bought at Crow's Nest Records in Down Town Chicago shortly after it came out in 2000, I'd love to have the record on vinyl, so it was with great trepidation I hit play on Apple Music this morning...

It's awesome. My greatest fear was they would raise Pike's voice and over-compress; not that there's a precedent for the latter with the band's subsequent releases, and I love Pike's voice as it's come to more prominence with each release after this one, but there's something so amazing about the way Self Defense sounded the day I brought it home, sparked up and put it in the stereo all those years ago. I was perplexed by the singer's voice being so low (this was my introduction to the new wave of "Stoner Rock" as everyone was calling it at the time, having previously enjoyed St. Vitus and Count Raven more 'flush with the mix" vocals on WXAV, 88.3 FM, St. Xavier's College Radio), but marveled at the way the guitars sparkled like they do for only one other human being I know - Tony Iommi! The rhythm section was so tight, so pummelling; it was all just such a fresh experience compared to whatever else was out there at the time Metal-wise. So The Art of Self Defense looms large in my life, and as with anything we deem to be of that importance, I felt nervous as hell about anyone changing it.

Again, no reason to be nervous. This shit rules!

"Blood From Zion" feels the most changed from the first side of the album ("Master of Fists" sounds like a different guitar take altogether was used for this release). Interestingly, for most of the tracks, Matt Pike's voice remains at just about the exact same level it was at in the original release; it's just clearer. Nice trick! The descending riff that bridges the first and second verses has to be heard on headphones to be believed. IT'S SO FUCKING HEAVY. I mean, it was always so fucking heavy, but it's like they added subsonic bulldozers to the mix or something. SO GOOD. 

You can find this pretty much everywhere online, however, High On Fire's Bandcamp has an exclusive, and while I love that original cover, I do still have that CD (remember Grace note database or whatever that function iTunes had where, if you transferred a CD to digital it could find the album information for you? When I digitized my old Self Defense to put on an iPod back in the late 00s, it came back with The Art of Self Defense, by Sleep!). 

Yeah, I think I can make room in my soul for this cover, too. You can also order directly from MNRK Heavy HERE, where the non-exclusive still has the same cover and will cost you a few bucks less on shipping.


Two nights ago, K and I watched Kurtis David Harder's newest film, Influencer on Shudder. I dug Harder's previous film Spiral quite a bit, but based on the title of this one, I was expecting a story about a completely unlikeable Influencer who gets her comeuppance.


I'm not going to post the trailer, because you shouldn't watch it. Yes, in the opening sequence of the film, you meet a really annoying social media influencer. Stick with it! That's not what the film is; this one reminded me A LOT of the experience I had watching Brad Anderson's Transsiberian back in 2008 or 2009, whenever it first hit video. Both films take continuous ninety-degree turns, so without having seen a trailer or read anything about either, I was left wondering from scene to scene, "Oh, is this what the film is about? Is this the landscape the characters are going to have to live in?" And, so beautifully, those assumptions were always squashed as something new gets introduced to change the film's narrative yet again. Really fun watch; not Horror, but a thriller for sure. Save it for a night when you want twists and turns more than blood and guts.


††† - Invisible Hand (pre-release single)
††† - Eponymous
The Bronx - The Bronx (III)
Various - Lost Highway OST
King Woman - Celestial Blues
Deftones - White Pony
Converge - Jane Doe
Blue Karma - The Friction, the Pain


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• XIV - Temperance or "Art" in Thoth speak
• Four of Swords 
• Three of Swords

Fight for your Art! Fours show stability and Threes the process of Growth or Change. The Novel's becoming something more than I'd planned, and while it's more work, I can temper myself against that and fight on toward the finish line.

Tarot aside, if you dig Jonathan Grimm's Bound deck, he has a Kickstarter launching on September 5th for his new deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot. This one's all Metal, Monsters, Magick in one beautiful deck. Here's the link; the campaign isn't active yet, but you can hit the Notify Me button and get in on the ground floor September 5th!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The Besnard Lakes - She's an Icicle


Somehow, I totally missed that The Besnard Lakes released a three-song EP last year. The Besnard Lakes Are the Prayers For the Death of Fame EP is one of my favorite missives from the band in some time, and of its three perfect tracks, opener She's an Icicle is, to me, everything I love so much about the band: the swirling morass of guitars fx and keys, Bonham-esque beats and Jace's heavenly voice surrounded by layer upon layer of harmony, all combining to make a dirgey rock and roll ephemera. You can order this directly from the band HERE.


Short and sweet this week. Here we go:

I love the fact that we still haven't seen all of the fallout from the events of this year's Hellfire Gala. Man! I'm still blown away by that issue. So much changed so fast. Based on this cover, I think we're going to start really feeling things with this issue.

I wasn't going to read this issue the same way I keep saying I'm dropping Ghost Rider's main monthly book, but they keep pulling me back in. The idea that there's a new Weapon X/Weapon Plus program coming, but one that utilizes the stolen powers of Hell just blows my mind. HIGHEST of concepts; let's hope they pull it off. 


I stumbled across this on Kickstarter recently (Thanks to an email from Unplugged, the beer tracking app), and I'm pretty tempted to get in on this one:

It's a lot of money, but seems like it would definitely pay for itself at some point. Or, it would just make me drink more. Hmm...


I finished Stephen Graham Jones's Don't Fear the Reaper yesterday and am happy to report I was blown right the fuck away. Talk about one-upping the original. I'm not saying Reaper is better than Chainsaw, but to be as good, with even more stakes, well, damn. Just damn. Now we just have to wait until March 26, 2024, for the final installment, The Angel of Indian Lake

Now, of course, I need something new to read and I just don't know what can follow SGJ. I've had Grady Hendrix's We Sold Our Souls in my Kindle forever, but my friend Jesus sent me a physical copy a few months ago and it's on my nightstand, so I guess that's the winner by default. 

This one comes highly recommended by a lot of people; however, for whatever reason, I've been reluctant. I LOVED Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism back when I read it circa 2017, so much so that I actually bought something like half a dozen copies and sent them to a bunch of friends for their birthdays at the time. That experience left me feeling like I would read anything Hendrix wrote, then a funny thing happened. I watched Satanic Panic, which Hendrix wrote the screenplay for, and hated it so much that it turned me off instantly. If questioned, I no longer even remember what it was I disliked about that flick, and a good friend recently said he saw it and loved it, so I'm thinking if We Sold Our Souls goes over well, I may give that another go, too.


Jeff Buckley - Grace
Alice Donut - Dry Humping the Cash Cow Live at CBGB
Metallica - 72 Seasons
Faetooth - Remnants of the Vessel
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Prayers For the Death of Fame EP
††† - Invisible Hand (pre-release single)


• Ace of Disks
• III The Empress
• Queen of Cups

Ace of Disks always reads as a monetary or 'Earthly' breakthrough, and combined with The Empressthe implied Motherly qualities of The Empress and the Emotional fortitude of the Queen of Cups, I'd say this is directly referring to my folks coming down here this weekend to house hunt.