Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Under construction…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2016 by Magadh

New content coming soon. I think my brain is finally working again…

Morning in America

Posted in Dispatches, Uncategorized on March 30, 2015 by Magadh

vice“…le vice appuyé sur le bras du crime.” –Chateaubriand

The Spectacle

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2015 by Magadh

“When ideology has become total through its possession of total power, and has changed from partial truth to totalitarian falsehood, historical thought has been so totally annihilated that history itself, even at the level of the most empirical knowledge, can no longer exist. Totalitarian bureaucratic society lives in a perpetual present in which whatever has previously happened is determined solely by its police.”


                                                                                                            “But a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes insane”

Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude Sing songs Together

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 17, 2013 by Magadh

Chelsea Wolfe/King Dude

Sing Songs Together

Sargent House

ImageRecord Store Day has long since come and gone with your correspondent leaving his work later than intended and, frankly, much later than this work deserves. Please accept a tardy paean to very sold release.

Wolfe and King Dude shared the stage and the road in early 2013 and this release encapsulates the strength of that partnership. Although just 2 songs and recorded in 1 session the release finds both artists at their best.

Wolfe starts things off with “Fight Like Gods”, a track which would not have been out of place on her previous release Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs. A stuttering drum keeps time as Wolfe’s ethereal voice ebbs and flows with the dirge’s instrumentation. Cowgill’s husky rasp is barely decipherable but still lends an ominous undertone to the arrangement.  The music briefly builds toward a crescendo before dropping down as Wolfe softly intones, “No, we don’t fight like men, we fight like gods.”

Cowgill’s contribution,”Satan’s Ghost” invokes early Nick Cave and gothic Americana. Cowgill’s smoky voice melds with sparse guitar as the song opens. Things quickly build as ominous drums join a driving guitar parts and Cowgill’s vocals are married to Wolfe’s. The song’s mania builds and then breaks as Cowgill and Wolfe’s vocals duel as the song’s death.

While brief, this EP features strong material from both artists and is well worth your time. check the tunes out here and consider pick up a copy. 

– Captain of Games

All About Friends Forever Volume 4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by Magadh

ImageI have been traveling a fair amount of late which accounts for my rather shoddy production for this blog. I was lucky enough to be welcomed home last night by Rich Hall and Carrie Whitney. They had my copy of the most recent volume in their All About Friends Forever series. Whitney released the original compilation in 1997. She’s now teamed up with Hall to create a new chapter; releasing remastered versions of the original tunes along with jams from the next generation.

All About Friends Forever Vol 4. is a powerhouse, featuring remastered tunes from Botch and Nineironspitfire along with new material from Children of God and Helms AleeBotch starts things off with their cover of The B52’s “Rock Lobster”. Always a crowd pleaser back in the day, their interpretation owes much to the chaotic glory of bands like Angel Hair or Swing Kids and remains a standout today. 

Children of God are up next with “Silent War”. The track conjures the brutality of early Converge and Rorschach. More straight forward than most of the excellent We Set Fire to the Sky, “Silent War” pummels the listener. A very solid offering.

Helms Alee premiered their cover of fellow North westerners Heart’s “Magic Man” via Revolver here.  They present a fairly faithful rendering of the classic which showcases the band’s substantial talent. A fitting tribute to my wife’s musical heros.

Nineironspitfire shut up shop with their 5 second blast “Dead”. Fast, brutal and vicious; just like the unfortunately short life of the band.

Hall and Whitney’s most recent release is well worth your time. Check out the tunes and download the tracks via their bandcamp here. Vinyl versions of this and all of the other volumes can be found here (I have it on good authority only 1 copy of the test pressings from Volume 4 remain). 

To learn more about the history of the project check out Eric Weiss’ (of Rumpshaker Zine) interview with Whitney at the All About Friends Tumblr.

– Captain of Games

The Edge of Quarrel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 18, 2013 by Magadh

Cvlt Nation is show the cult classic Edge of Quarrel. Head on over on take a look as it’s a fantastic trip down memory land. See it here.


– Captain of Games

Review: Ramlord

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 27, 2013 by Magadh

Ramlord Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom HYPÆTHRAL Records

Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom cover artRamlord are from New Hampshire. They put out a demo last year or maybe the year before. If memory serves, it was d-beat of a kind of low-fi variety. Very good. If you’re going to do something like that, this is one valid approach. Anyway, they’ve got a new record out as of the end of last year and they have clearly been spending their time in profitable ways. In contrast to the relatively straightforward approach of their demo, Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom has a lot more variety. They still have plenty of d-beat type action, but they’ve added a lot in terms of varying their song structures. They’ve also changed a bit from a stylistic perspective. Their sound is more metal now, with melodies that recall black metal without really entering that territory for real. There’s a lot more single string technique employed, which would indicate a black metalesque approach, but interesting there are also elements of power violence and straight hardcore. In a lot of respects they sound like a more punk and scruffy version of Downfall of Gaia. There is not quite as much atmosphere, but a lot of aggro to keep the listener interested.

This is a very hard rocking release. While they have moved to an approach that features more technical flashes, they retain a compellingly scruffy dimension that adds up to a sound that, if not entirely unique, is certainly all their own. They’ve put this out on a label from Toronto called HYPÆTHRAL. This is the first that I’ve heard of them, but I’m going to look into the other parts of their catalog, since this is pretty promising first example.


Review: Trauma

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 5, 2013 by Magadh



Bulkhead Records

I am writing this with a heavy heart. I learned this afternoon from friends that Jeff Paul, Trauma’s vocalist, was killed last night in a motorcycle crash in north Portland. In addition to his work in Trauma, Jeff will be remembered by those familiar with the Portland scene as the singer of Final Warning, one of the most awesome bands of the early 1980’s scene in Portland. I only ever met him a couple of times, but he was tight with a number of my friends back there. By all accounts he was a right guy. The world is poorer for his loss.

We reviewed the full Trauma LP here a little while ago. We had actually sort of been dragging our feet about getting a copy, and we’d done so for so long that I actually considered putting up a review of their demo cassette that came out a couple of years ago. It struck me as kind of a goof, especially given the amount hassle that I had to go through to actually find a cassette player on which to listen to it. Now this problem has been resolved by the good people at Bulkhead who have done the world the service of releasing Trauma’s demo (plus one extra song) on a 10 cut 7”. I got this a couple of days ago and it hasn’t left my turntable since. I think that this has actually been remastered, as it sounds a bit clearer than it did on the cassette. In any case, this is ripping, angry thrash as those familiar with the Portland scene have come to expect. Trauma’s stock in trade is straight 80s style hardcore without a hint of metal: short blasts of mid-to-high speed punk with committed political lyrics, played in a style that recalls the heyday of hardcore in the Rose City.

You should go out and get a copy of the 7”, not as a memoriam to Jeff Paul, but because it illustrates the continued vibrancy of the punk scene in Portland and because it is some of the most raging h.c. around. But as you listen to it, remember the massive contribution that Jeff made over his lifetime to the d.i.y. punk scene.


Cronos and the Art of Stage Banter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 23, 2013 by Magadh

ImageMy friend Brian told me I had to seek out the compilation of the stage banter from Venom’s Cronos. Thanks to the fine people at The Great Southern Brain I was able to check it out and feel compelled to share it with you. Give it a listen here.

– Captain of Games

Review: War Master

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 18, 2013 by Magadh

War Master Pyramid of the Necropolis Torture Garden Pictures Company

WMCoverIt’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and this is an adage that holds with special intensity in the world of underground music. I know that there is a general idea that rolls around in the scene that what people are doing is supposed to be, in some significant sense, original. With music as simple and uncomplicated as hardcore and the various variants of metal that surround it, there is very little new under the sun. This is not exactly tragic, at least to my way of thinking. In the first place, most of the bands that I listened to in my youth were so unstable that they could barely get there shit sufficiently together to record even on album’s worth of material. And then there was the case of the bands that surpassed this threshold but probably shouldn’t have. How many times did one experience the case of bands whose first release was awesome and who then saw fit to pollute their legacy by recording utter crap as a follow up. Case in point: Sacrilege. Behind the Realms of Madness was one of the finest examples of the productive crossover between hardcore and thrash metal in Great Britain in the early 1980s. Their follow up, Within the Prophecy, was a monuments to self-indulgent metal riffing featuring boring and interminable solos, and eight minute songs.

In light of these ruminations, I give you War Master. On hearing the name of this band you would be forgiven for thinking that they were basically a bunch of Bolt Thrower worshippers. And, of course, you’d be right. Pyramid of the Necropolis is straight out of the Bolt Thrower playbook circa 1989. Having talked at so much length about bands that made unwise stylistic decisions, I suppose it is worth acknowledging that after their first two records, Bolt Thrower went on to release the same record about six times over. For me that was ok. In any case, I will say that War Master’s moniker is slightly ironic in the sense that the music that they play sounds much more like the Bolt Thrower of Realm of Chaos than it does War Master. Anyway, I will say that War Master the band do play some excellent guttural crust that is tuned down so low that only elephants can actually hear all of it. Given that what they are trying to do is to mine a vein that another band fully established, War Master do an excellent job. They pay homage to the sound without trivializing it, and that is pretty impressive given what they’ve set out to do.