In an effort to signal boost the greater cerebral symposium on extreme metal’s culturally valuable nuance we present an inspired and thoughtfully achieved review-centered podcast via the Death Metal Guy and the Black Metal Guy: The Terminus Extreme Metal Podcast. Having caught my ear and thrilled my brains enough with their first wave of episodes, I’ve requested to feature their work in aeternum or until they tell me to fuck off. The format is conversational but quite detailed and episodes run from 2-3 hours long weekly formatted shows with review discussion and song clips alongside separate and intermittent 1-2 hour artist interviews. This first post brings to light their first sixteen episodes.
How are your usual social media shit-posting scuffs going? Are your Discord and Facebook “metal” group jerk-off sessions turning into anime-inspired fetishist relationships or, still thrilling as ever? Tired of dorking out on Reddit with kids who go cross-eyed when you start to detail the finer points of Ukrainian black metal guitar work or why both Gorgasms are still worth having? Well, pull away from that thumb you’re sitting on and check out Terminus Extreme Metal Podcast, two guys talking about extreme music and pulling from two distinct points of view via strong opinions and open minds for one others specialties. I’ve binged my way through the first sixteen episodes these last few weeks and appreciated the candor, general knowledge, and thoughtful takes on often esoteric and practical aspects of various sub-genres, lineage, structure, and some vital aspects of common music theory in extreme metal forms. Consider this an enthusiastic endorsement on my part as a fellow who cringes into a ball of screaming n’ shitting horror at the sound of most metal podcasts.
In their own words: “Two dudes talking about black metal, death metal, war metal, hardcore, grindcore, and anything that connects — from Danzig to Dead Can Dance. We do in-depth reviews focused on songwriting, sound, and spirit, and open-ended, conversational interviews that go beyond the usual round of questions. On our regular Tuesday show, we cover 4+ new releases from the global underground, with a special emphasis on emerging North American scenes. In our patrons-only weekend content, we cover older bands and weird microscenes, with a heavier dose of dumb bullshitting. The goal is to take metal seriously, without taking ourselves too seriously.“
GrizzlyButts.com will be featuring individual episodes going forth starting with Episode #17, for now catch up with this primer of the first sixteen episodes. Also make sure you Subscribe on YouTube, follow on Instagram and Facebook, and absolutely support them on Subscribestar and Patreon to show your support. As with all newer ventures, interact! Contact the folks who’re talking via e-mail with promos, requests, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org Make sure you give feedback on Apple + Podbay servicces, talk ’em up on social media, and encourage your fellow extreme metal fandom to better embody the deep and vital artform via intelligent discourse! If you use Apple Podcasts App, Podbay, or Blubrry use these links to catch up:
EPISODE #01 – Winterfylleth, Horn, Kruelty, Paradise Lost.
Description: May 28, 2020. First run of a new podcast focusing on extreme metal. Today, we debate the merits of four new albums. Note: Useful discussion of consonance versus general melodicism.
- Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
- Horn – Mohngang
- Kruelty – A Dying Truth
- Paradise Lost – Obsidian.
EPISODE #02 – Revenge, Impiety, Onchocerciasis Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Encenathrakh.
Description: May 30, 2020. Second run of a new podcast focused on extreme metal. Today, it’s blasting war metal vs. brutal death metal — which will reign supreme? What is the art of deliberately obnoxious music? How can a band move forward without compromising on primitive noise? What’s the difference between BM and DM extremity?
- Revenge – Strike. Smother. Dehumanize.
- Axis of Advance – Strike
- Impiety – Versus All Gods
- Surrender of Divinity – Oriental Hell Rhythmics
- Onchocerciasis Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – Adoration of Decaying Innocence
EPISODE #03 – Forgotten Tomb, Putrid Pile, Azath, Ancient Gate.
Description: March 31, 2020. Third run of a new podcast focusing on extreme metal. This time, we get into DSBM’s rocknroll problem, obsess over the finer points of death metal riffing, respond to Rauta’s review of Azath, and reveal the future of mystical kvlt BM. Features Malazan’s draconic Eleint (Azath) and Lovecraft’s cavern-lurking Ancient Ones (Ancient Gate).
- Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
- Putrid Pile – Revel In Lunacy
- Azath – Through A Warren of Shadow
- Ancient Gate – Empire Beyond Dusk
EPISODE #04 – Xibalba, Centinex, Odraza, Yfel 1710.
Description: June 5, 2020. Easily our most digressive, most aggressive episode yet. For the first time, both of us agree 100% on something: the new Xibalba is a masterpiece, the chugging elegy for a USA in flames. But what we can’t agree on is Odraza vs. Yfel 1710. We use these two new releases to talk over the state of Polish black metal in the wake of The Mgla Effect. What are its strengths and weaknesses? Where could/should it go from here? What effect are these bands having on the BM scene at large? Eventually, one of your hosts succumbs to his ancestral curse… Full Black Metal Autism (pictured above).
- Xibalba – Anos en Infierno
- Centinex – Death in Pieces
- Odraza – Rzezcom
- Yfel 1710 – Willa Wisielcow
EPISODE #05 – Axis of Light, Old Corpse Road, Gravedigger, Basement Torture Killings.
Description: June 10, 2020. This deluxe 2.5 hour edition of Terminus revolves around two extended segments. For the first half, we take the excellent new records by Axis of Light and Old Corpse Road as our portals into the bleak, windswept world of Northern English black metal. Here, we return to a question raised in our first episode, on Winterfylleth and Paradise Lost – is there a UKBM sound? After a (relatively) quick look at the surprisingly strong new Gravedigger record, we follow Basement Torture Killings on their virtuosic, corpse-littered romp through grindcore, hardcore, and (melodic!) Swedish death metal. This gets us talking about how grind “works” as a genre. Finally, we follow BTK’s roots back to the more “epic” strains of 00s crust and grind.
- Axis of Light – Axis of Light
- Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays The Wreckage Of Our Lore
- Gravedigger – Fields of Blood
- Basement Torture Killings – Lessons In Murder
EPISODE #06 – Irae, I’m In A Coffin, The Ghost Inside, Basic Torture Procedure.
Description: June 16, 2020. In our most contrarian and combative show yet, we take a tour through three of metal’s most maligned, marginal subgenres — DSBM,”melodic metalcore,” and goregrind. But first, we check out the new record by Irae, one of the forefathers of today’s formidable Portuguese black metal scene. This is the most we’ve disagreed about anything so far. We argue the uses and abuses of Mayhem riffs, and struggle over the border between the “minimalist” and the “boring.” After this, we plunge into an abyss of teen angst, where we find a work of strange and challenging beauty, and relive our high school days of shitting on pop-punk bands. So pull up your black hoodies, tighten your studded belts, and meet us in the abandoned church parking lot… I hear Tim has weed, yo.
- Irae – Lurking in the Depths
- I’m In A Coffin – Waste of Skin
- The Ghost Inside – The Ghost Inside
- Basic Torture Procedure – Domination Through Torture
EPISODE #07 – …And Oceans, The Committee, Haljoruna, Kommodus.
Description: June 24, 2020. This week, Terminus goes full Joe Rogan with an epic, 3-hour black metal special. We lead with a face-off between two new takes on polished, melodic BM. Will Finland’s late-00s veterans …And Oceans surf to victory on the recent tidal wave of symphonic-BM-worship? Or will they fall to the Machiavellian machinations of The Committee? I bet you can guess. Our segment on The Committee builds to an exploration of Utopian Deception’s thoughtful, strategically ambiguous politics, which may interest fans of last year’s DSO and Mgla. (As well as Laibach, who we *should* have mentioned.) After that, we hurtle headlong into two very modern takes on pagan primitivism. Haljoruna make a sullen but ecstatic midwinter racket, full of authentic Scandinavian folksong. Is it black metal or neofolk? Does it sound like Summoning? How could this very promising project solidify their sound? Finally, we turn to the new one by Kommodus, a prolific project that deserves serious attention. We debate the strengths and weaknesses of Lepidus Plague’s relentlessly savage songwriting, and follow his esoteric reference points far afield, from Holy Terror hardcore to the Roman wolfcult and the worship of speed.
- …And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
- The Committee – Utopian Deception
- Haljoruna – Midtvinterblot
- Kommodus – Kommodus
EPISODE #08 – Oppressive Descent, Sickening Horror, Thecodontion, Fluids
Description: July 1, 2020. In black metal and death metal, it’s always been a mark of excellence to push things to “inhuman” extremes. But what does that even mean? And why do we find beauty, truth, even inspiration, in the music of inhumanity? This week, we bring you four strong, inventive underground releases, each with its own inhuman aesthetic. Oppressive Descent (black metal) soars over WWI hellscapes on wings of elegiac, Old World song. Sickening Horror (tech death) sequences crystalline riffs at the heart of the void. Thecodontion (black/death) uses only bass and drums to channel the rumbling of tectonic plates, and the swirling of elemental force. Fluids (brutal death/grind) peels back the shiny plastic skin of our all-too-comfortable iWorld, revealing the blood and guts beneath. Towards the end of the show, in a segment we’ve begun to call “Autism Hour,” we delve deeper into the ideas of inhumanity behind Fluids and Oppressive Descent. If you’re interested in this stuff, we suggest going back to check out the end of Episode 2, where a review of Encenathrakh spirals into our first take on the difference between DM and BM inhumanity.
- Oppressive Descent – Alchemy and War
- Sickening Horror – Chaos Revamped
- Thecodontion – Supercontinent
- Fluids – Ignorance Exalted
EPISODE #09 – Grundhyrde, Violes Par Les Cygnes, Bell Witch, The Funeral Orchestra
Description: July 8, 2020. This episode divides into two pretty distinct chunks — noisy black metal and funeral doom that doesn’t sound like “normal” funeral doom. First, we’ve got selections from two new labels in the vanguard of the American raw BM scene — Nithstang and Nihilistic Noise Propaganda (N.N.P.). Grundhyrde and Klagesturm both bring a distinctly American — nasty, necro, vaguely hardcore-ish — take on the classic French sound, and give us an excuse to talk over the massive influential French guitar style. Violes Par Les Cygnes take up the difficult but necessary task of fusing black metal with power electronics, without compromising on either side of the equation. How successful is it? And how does it fit in to the history of industrial / noise music? Second, we compare two diametrically opposed versions of funeral doom — Bell Witch’s accessible, rockish laments, and The Funeral Orchestra’s implacable, black-metalized rumblings. Bell Witch take some serious compositional risks — will they pay off? The Funeral Orchestra use focused, ritual repetition to deadly effect. This segment leads us back to USBM forefathers, funeral doom foundations, and the dreaded legendary subgenre, “torture doom.”
- Grundhyrde – Split w/Klagesturm
- Violes Par Les Cygnes – I
- Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I
- The Funeral Orchestra – Negative Evocation Rites
EPISODE #10 – Black Funeral, Kult Ofenzivy, Carnal Misanthropy, Laetitia in Holocaust
Description: July 16, 2020. This week we bring you an all-BM special with new releases from four classic regional scenes, each with its own variant of the black metal tradition: 90s USA, Czechia / Slovakia, Greece, and Italy. Black Funeral (US) gets us talking about “cool wizard music,” and that keeps coming up with Kult Ofenzivy (CZ) and Laetitia in Holocaust (ITL), too. Where these bands are cool wizards, adventuring on arcane paths, Carnal Misanthropy are barbarian warriors, brandishing Atlantean swords upon the flesh-heap of the slain. All four have distinct and thoughtfully-developed songwriting styles, working far beyond the major trends in nowadays BM. If you’re a bit tired of Sargeist or Mgla riffing, you’ll appreciate this. And in a first for the show, it turns out we both love every one of these records. So we get really stoked — hopefully you do, too.
- Black Funeral – Scourge of Lamashtu
- Kult Ofenzivy – Tak jsem Ji přizval k sobě
- Carnal Misanthropy – Release The Wolf
- Laetitia in Holocaust – Heritage
EPISODE #11 – Ruin, Well of Night, Oncology, Life.
Description: July 21, 2020. We’re back with a more eclectic show, as a palette-cleanser between last week’s all black metal special, and next week’s all death metal special. We lead off with a couple strong picks from the US underground — first, the new comp from Ruin, a punkish doom-death band who are rapidly chopping their way to the top of the pile of limbs; second, a formidable debut from Well of Night, a Swedish-style black/death band with some jaw-dropping riffs and an original, distinctively American take on the tradition. Then we shift gears to Northern Ireland’s Oncology, who play top-shelf brutal death without compromising on death/thrash kicks and sick pit riffs. It’s been a minute since we did a straight-up hardcore record, so we close with an in-depth review of Japanese crasher-crust veterans Life, who fuse the usual ripping, noisfvkked speed with more metallic, epic chug. The Death Metal Guy — an avowed crust-skeptic — grills the Black Metal Guy with some tough questions about his other favorite genre. What is “arena crust?” What’s the proper role of “epic”/”melodic” parts in crust songs? And eventually, the million-dollar question — what makes a great crust record? Prepare for Full Metal Autism… with d-beats.
- Ruin – Plague Transmissions Volume 2
- Well of Night – The Lower Planes of Self-Abstraction
- Oncology – Omniversal Antigenesis
- Life – Ossification of Coral
EPISODE #12 – Draghkar, Sepulchral Curse, Defeated Sanity, Embryectomy.
Description: It’s time for some death metal. Nothing but death metal. Ripping death metal. Crushing death metal. Brutal, technical, gut-busting death metal. And of course, the monstrously inbred, three-headed stepchild… slam. The Black Metal Guy leads off with debut full-lengths from Draghkar and Sepulchral Curse, two strikingly original takes on oldschool sounds. For Draghkar, it’s 80s proto-death filtered through epic speed metal. For Sepulchral Curse, it’s Stockholm death metal filtered through a thoroughly Finnish sensibility. But will The Black Metal Guy’s picks pass muster with the famously picky Death Metal Guy?? In the second half of the show, the Death Metal Guy brings us to the vanguard of weird brutality, with the new one from German masters Defeated Sanity, and the return of the Hellenic slamophiles, Embryectomy. DS’s The Sanguinary Impetus is their most out-there yet, leaving both your hosts’ jaws on the floor. Embryectomy work at the total opposite end of the spectrum, perpetrating an almost unthinkable atrocity — a slam record without all those pesky trem riffs and blasts. And you know when the slams are hot and heavy, The Death Metal Guy can’t control himself. So strap yourself in for the latest spasm of Autism Hour… the Grand Unified Theory of Slam.
- Draghkar – At The Crossroads of Infinity
- Sepulchral Curse – Only Ashes Remain
- Defeated Sanity – The Sanguinary Impetus
- Embryectomy – Flamethrower Ecdysis
EPISODE #13 – Induced, Siege Column, Disavowed, Mortum.
Description: August 4, 2020. After last week’s wall-to-wall death metal special, we return to our normal BM/DM balance, but with a BM slant. This time, we’ve placed our featured bands first (Induced) and last (Mortum) on our lineup. Induced’s ultra-brutal, drum-driven “mecha-death” is so stripped-down and abstract that it’s got a lot in common with the lunatic fringes of black/war metal. This section gives us a chance to build on our notion of “music-adjacent” extremity, with some help from Finland’s Concrete Winds. Mortum’s rugged, mountainous Atlantean Ouroboros sparks an extended conversation (and/or autistic rant) on how to make authentically American-sounding black metal. This section doubles as a guide to some of the best USBM projects currently going. Between these two longer segments, The Black Metal Guy and The Death Metal Guy review new records that are solidly in their respective wheelhouses, but come in for some substantial (constructive) criticism.
- Induced – Coproporeal
- Siege Column – Darkside Legions
- Disavowed – Revocation of the Fallen
- Mortum – Atlantean Ouroboros
EPISODE #14 – Moulderyawn, Crushing The Scepter, Terminal Nation, Verhängnis, Oppress.
Description: Early August is supposed to be slow for new releases, but Terminus never slows. Instead, we hunted over rock and under root for new records that are slow — not just in tempo, but in pacing and more abstract, “naturey” senses of time. Moulderyawn’s entish black metal plows ahead at speeds once thought impossible for trees, but syncs with the seasonal rhythms of growth and death, the millenial life of the Everwood. Crushing The Sceptre tests the limits of patience and pain, rewarding it with a feeling The Death Metal Guy likens to “being stuck at the bottom of the grand canyon.” Terminal Nation prepares for the next mass exinction, reworking powerviolence as a downtempo deathmarch. Verhängnis crawls up from the caverns and the soil itself, filling the Teutoburg Forest with echoes of wardrum-grooving, Gothic death. And last, but not least, our first-ever fan submission from the UK’s Oppress. — psychopathic decadent BM that is the opposite of slow.
- Moulderyawn – And What Lie ‘Neath Its Shade (IV)
- Crushing The Scepter – Echoing Screams of Madness and Delusion
- Terminal Nation – Holocene Extinction
- Verhängnis – Verhängnis
- Oppress – No. Pity.
EPISODE #15 – Prosanctus Inferi, Incantation, Imha Tarikat, Reverorum Ib Malacht.
Description: This week on Terminus, “big release” season kicks off with each of us bringing records that the other is sure to year-end. In Part 1, it’s the long-awaited return of Prosanctus Inferi, and the less-awaited return of Incantation. There’s some common ancestry here, via one of The Death Metal Guy’s old favorites, Profanatica — founded by three defectors from Incantation. Prosanctus starts from the Profanatica template to build fiercely disciplined and fluidly melodic extreme metal, at once “before” and “beyond” the black/death divide — and “sword-oriented” enough for The Black Metal Guy! Incantation literally rewrites their old songs, with predictable results. TDMG walks us through a side-by-side comparison. In Part II, we shift gears to two very, very different heirs to the anti-cosmic Satanism or chaos-Gnosticism of mid-00s Sweden. On Sternenberster (“starbursts?” “star-destroying?”), one-man project Imha Tarikat makes good on the promise of his earlier releases, flattening the cosmos with a punkish, high-T take on ultramelodic BM. This is exactly what TDMG wants in a black metal record, but he’s even more impressed with the new one by Reverorum Ib Malacht, who started at the heart of the Swedish Orthodox scene, before finding their way to Catholicism. We pore over the details of this literally-frightening 90-minute masterpiece and, in this week’s (somewhat abbreviated) Autism Hour, we try to puzzle through what Reverorum means by “Roman Catholic Black Metal.” This starts a conversation on religion that we’ll carry on in an upcoming, patrons-only episode of Terminus Prime.
- Prosanctus Inferi – Hypnotic Blood Art
- Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities
- Imha Tarikat – Sternenberster
- Reverorum Ib Malacht – Vad Är Inte Sju Huvud?
EPISODE #16 – Precambrian, Encoffinized, Borda’s Rope, Oldowan Gash.
Description: On this week’s fukkin sikk episode of Terminus, we’ve got a whole lot of stern heathen black metal, and… some punked out brutal death from the Maggot Stomp scene. The Black Metal Guy leads off with the reincarnation of one of his all-time favorite bands as a rabid, ripping power-trio called Precambrian. We contextualize it alongside Roman Saenko’s other projects, and link it back to forgotten influences on the margins of the Nordic Second Wave. Then, The Death Metal Guy comes in caveman arms a-swinging with Encoffinized (not Encoffination!), whose promising debut channels the most ignorant strains of primordial NYDM through shamelessly grooving mosh breaks. In the second part of the show, each of us contributes a raw, stomping USBM record. First, we take the measure of Borda’s Rope, weighing BR’s considerable strengths — stunning Big Riffs and ambitious long-form songwriting — against the self-imposed limitations of this rapidly developing project. Then, we check out Oldowan Gash, and Hubris Unchained unchains our brains, bringing us back to the idea of American BM we explored in our Mortum review (Ep. 13). It’s worth sticking around for this one, dudes.
- Precambrian – Tectonics
- Encoffinized – Chambers of Deprivation
- Borda’s Rope – Nearer the Shores of Kothal
- Oldowan Gash – Hubris Unchained
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