Saturday, December 24, 2011

BEST OF 2011: Part 3!

It's Christmas Eve and since my internet connection is currently serving as a cruel metaphor for 2011 (see this post), you get two posts from Satanta today...

Gods of Death
(Hell's Headbangers)

I’ve been a Cianide fan ever since they perfectly posed like Venom for A Descent Into Hell and sampled Akira Ifukube at the end of their epic crusher Mountains in Thunder (devotees of all things HEAVY must also be devotees of GODZILLA!). I finally had the pleasure of experiencing their guttural tombstone bludgeoning live in Chicago back in 2007 at the Empty Bottle and by the end of their 40 minute set I was an even more devoted disciple. This year I was fortunate enough to catch ‘em twice, first in the high noon sun at Maryland Death Fest and again just a few weeks ago at the unexpectedly spectacular Rites of Darkness, and they did not fail to crush skulls like the TRUE warriors of death that they are (never one for subtlety, Cianide guitarist Scott Carroll was seen rushing toward the stage during Ghost’s highly anticipated set at MDF and very enthusiastically flipping the bird). You always know what you’re gonna get with Cianide and this new LP is no exception. They have a simple- no, primordial!- formula that is foolproof to my ears. When I turn to Cianide I don’t want progression, politics, diversity, evolution, meditation, costumes, scenes, message boards or stage banter. I want crushing caveman aggression! And that’s what they deliver in spades. Always. Gods of Death opens with Mike Perun’s throaty conjuration of Desecration Storm before lumbering straight into the downtuned Celtic Frost-on-Quaaludes riffing of Foresaken Doom and then back into the ripping headbanger Rising Of The Beast. Here’s the formula: fast, slow, faster, slower, heavier, repeat. This is the musical equivalent of a prison yard baseball bat beating followed by a rhino trampling and slow descent into hell’s quicksand. I spin Dead and Rotting every time I get to play records at the local bar. I’m not crazy about the cover art but that’s probably only because I’m a frustrated little man and would love to do artwork for them myself. In any case, another high (low?) note in a rotting body of killer tunes spanning well over a decade now.