Thursday, October 31, 2013


The Wild Hunt still thunders across North America, leaving a trail of lightning, smoldering bones and cracked brains in every city! Today we slither through hot Texan mud toward the stygian voodoo swamps of Louisiana to meet Him at the crooked crossroads of New Orleans. I can't think of a better time and place to unveil this year's Halloween Mix Tape! Today's bubbling cauldron of devilish delights contains eye of fuzz rock, toe of outlaw country, tongue of dog and wing of traditional ballad, all consecrated under the unholy amulet of heavy metal. Scroll down past my uninformed babbling for the download links, pour a goblet of blood and settle in for a long strange trip. And in case you missed it, last year's mix is streaming here. Happy Halloween!

Invocation ~ Vincent Price
The master presides…

Untitled ~ The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud
TMLHBAC was the awkwardly named but astoundingly beautiful collaboration of former übercouple Albin Julius (Der Blutharsch) and Swiss glacial queen Alzbeth. Originally formed in 1992, they self-released a small plague of 7"s and CDs over the course of 6 years before quietly dissolving back into the ether to their fans' certain grief. For many years this was my secret weapon if I needed a burst of inspiration in the drawing room and it still works to this day.

Samhain ~ Pagan Altar
Pagan Altar has emerged from the fog of 80s contenders with elegance and authenticity. On stage they look like the sorta blokes you might avoid engaging in conversation down at the pub, but close your eyes and take a sip of whatever that cute witch just handed you and you'll soon be transported to the mystical land of doom where soulful NWOBHM still reigns and the bullshit modern world fucks off. 

Blue Demon ~ Reveal
There's something in the soil up there in the shadows of Sweden's tallest cathedral. This tidy unassuming college town was in fact once the axis of ancient Nordic spiritualism. It is the place where Odin himself was once said to reside, a place of autumnal human sacrifice, ecstatic heathen worship and blood oaths sworn over fire. It is a place still so seething with nightside power that Pope John Paul II felt compelled to hold an open-air mass at its ancient burial mounds as recently as 1989, as if to somehow symbolically reassert the dominance of White Light. This brilliant record is evidence that the exorcism failed. 

Ghost ~ Part 1
Part 1 were anarcho margin crawlers; crewcut pariahs who muttered strange chants in candlelit squats and created awkward death noise out of impulsive necessity; haunted visionaries who carved their own paths and destroyed politics with black magic. They were smoldering for a few short years and this sole LP (with very effective cover art credited to a Deborah Valentine and back cover weirdness by Nick Blinko himself) ranks up there with Death Church and Arise as the best of the more visionary UK peace punk anomalies.     

Ghost Riders In The Sky ~ The Ramrods
One lonely night I sat down and tried to listen to all the versions of this song I could find on youtube. I didn't even make it half way through the queue before I got distracted (did you know 30 Rock is streaming on Netflix??). Originally written by Stan Jones, this galloping ditty became a country hit in 1949 and went on to be covered by more than 50 artists, painfully few of whom succeeded in capturing the horrific essence of its cowboy admonishment. The Ramrods pulled off this sufficiently spooky instrumental in 1961. The Wild Hunt thunders on indeed!   

Interlude ~ Peter Cushing
If you ever find an abandoned copy of The Legend of The 7 Golden Vampires sitting in the discount bins, be sure to grab it! It's basically the audio track from the Shaw Bros/Hammer Studios joint narrated by the inimitable Peter Cushing and even though most of it is pretty damn boring, you get the awesome chop suey sounds of kung fu masters battling ancient vampires to the undeath. And this amazing bit. 

The Coffin ~ Obnoxious Youth
I met a few of these scumfuks in Sweden and they were neither obnoxious nor youth. They were actually quite polite and rather seasoned and they did not infect me with AIDS. But they still rule. Eternal Void has been on repeat since it arrived early last year and the guy from Reveal did some guitar work on this LP, so you know it's solid. They have a new 7" out that I haven't heard yet but GG Allin is undoubtedly jerking off in his grave.

The Vampire ~ Orvin Yoes
I have no idea who Mr. Yoes is, so I can't offer up any moronic witticisms about what I can only assume is his awesome rockabilly canon and illicit bayou whiskey still. I only know that he tried to warn us and we just didn't listen.   

Vampire ~ Björn Famne
Another mysterious chap that I can't tell you much about, however a quick google search suggested that this private press gem was recorded in 1975 at Sweden's Falk Studios, possibly while the sound engineer was out to lunch (literally). Can you hear the voodoo drums pulsing just below the space funk? Let's take this a bit further...

October Night ~ Witch
Of all the world's great military mishaps, nothing compares to the happy little accident that occurred in 1971 when a European cargo plane assigned to drop first-aid supplies on the economically troubled Southern African nation of Zambia accidentally loaded its fuselage with crates of Black Sabbath and Rolling Stones records. Young musicians soon discovered this unintended flotsam, fashioned fuzz guitars by any means necessary and...Zamrock was born! If you want to learn the TRUE history behind the amazing pioneering band whose name is an acronym for We Intend To Cause Havoc (and believe me, you do!), get your hands on the beautiful box set that was finally released last year. In the meantime, enjoy this offering from their 1975 masterpiece Lazy Bones.

Deathhead ~ Punch
As far as I know this coveted 45 is the only known release from these New York proto street metal knuckledusters. Of course the b side is a total feather weight bummer (Rainbow Man??? C'mon!) but goddamn if this smoker doesn't burn yer jack-o-lanterns to dust! Ok, you’re right, it has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween. But it’s called 'Deathhead' and that’s spooky, right?

The Shadow Knows ~ Link Wray
Look man, Link Wray learned guitar from a bluesman called "Hambone" and his music makes Jimmy Page grin like a 12 year old who just discovered his boner. No matter how many pedals you connect to your "axe" or how often you misuse the term "occult", you'll never have those credentials. He also had weird hair and packed more menace into a few primitive chords than the entire Sleep catalog. The Shadow was a 1930s pulp crime fighter with psychic powers and a decidedly bleak existential urban orientation. Perfect.

It's Still Alive ~ Luciano Michelini
Luciani got his start scoring "sword and sandal" flicks in Rome back in the 60s and the dude is still eating pasta and going strong today. You can't keep the Italians down! No disrespect meant, but his 1981 score for Sergio Martino's low budget homage to Lovecraft's Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth (Screamers a.k.a. Island of the Fishmen) plays more or less like a pedestrian Pino Dinaggio toss off. Except for this moody little jam which provides our perfect side one outro. 

To Raise The Dead ~ Vincent Price
"...It will cause spirits and ghosts of the dead to gather together."

I Lay Stretched On Your Grave/Morning Dew ~ Witch Hunt
This ephemeral medley is the residue of one magical Northwest night back in 1999. Hard to believe this was 14 years ago. Still feels like yesterday to me. Witch Hunt was basically Blood Axis with B'eirth of In Gowan Ring and this was recorded in a living room during the early morning hours of Halloween with the conqueror wormwood slithering freely. Never intended for official release, the entire performance eventually became a very limited tour CD that ended up in the hands of select attendees. Now you get to enjoy it too.

Our Mother The Mountain ~ Townes Van Zandt
There's a 3 minute scene in the outlaw country documentary Heartworn Highways that reduces me to tears every time. I'm not even allowed to watch it around the house anymore. Such is the soul rending power of John Townes Van Zandt at his best, a brilliant songwriter who was absolutely possessed by his craft and intimately aware of the perils of following his muse to her darkest depths. The mustaches can keep his Dylan moments. This is one of the most harrowing supernatural ballads ever recorded.  

She's My Witch ~ Kip Tyler 
When you were young you wore black leather, slicked your forelock back with motor oil and took on a rocker handle because, let's face it, girls don't go crazy for a dude named Elwood. You made some cool songs but none of them sold well, not even this sexy Halloween serenade. At some point the iron gang traded in their switchblades for beach party leis and you got marooned on the Island of Lost Careers. In your twilight years you were so bitter you wouldn't even speak about your musical past. Perhaps the lesson to be learned from Kip's desperate struggle for success is this: don't let money push you around.  

You Must Be A Witch The Lollipop Shoppe
Fred Cole remembers the days before this thing we call "rock and roll" was invented. He's partied with the Hell's Angels, polished off Southern Comfort with Janis Joplin, opened up for The Doors, built a ghost town in the middle of a strip mall and cut his own records with a lathe in the garage of a home he built with his wife of forty six years. If all that wasn't enough, he recently celebrated his 65th birthday and continues to tour the world with his latest band Pierced ArrowsThe Lollipop Shoppe was his take on the "British Invasion" sound. Originally formed in San Francisco as The Weeds in 1966, they released this sole record in 1968 before disbanding one year later after famously breaking down in Portland, Oregon. The rest, as they say, is history.   

You’re No Witch At All Hard Stuff
I thought Hard Stuff was a power trio comprised of former Atomic Roosters John Cann and Paul Hammond with John "Roxy Music" Gustafson on bass and piano because my record has three dudes on the cover and only three credits on the back. But I just looked 'em up online to figure out what the hell to write here and apparently there was some guy named Harry Shaw among their ranks as well. What do I know? This is a straight shooter and surely we all suffer at least one false witch in our lives who must be...corrected

Stand For The Fire Demon ~ Swordmaster 
The 90s were tough times for metal. Incantation was playing to nearly empty bars, thrash wasn't cool again yet, European black metal was peeking and poised on the steep abyss into parody and, in America at least, classy women had not quite yet learned to feel comfortable in smelly dark rooms full of sleeveless slobs with longhair (and metal shows without women are...just that). Bands like Swordmaster were holding down the fort while you were cutting your teeth on Pearl Jam and wearing a Dr. Seuss hat or whatever the fuck people did in the 90s. They also had the good taste to cover Roky Erickson on their 1998 picture disc EP Deathraider.   

Beelzebub ~ Mistreater
Cleveland, Ohio's Mistreater delivered a working class epic with Hell's Fire, but I'm betting you haven't heard this one yet. Beelzebub was an unreleased demo recording from 1983 that I humbly present here because it's a slightly unfocused masterpiece that still deserves to be heard and nobody's picked it up for official release. Often when you hear an "obscure" private pressing from the 80s you quickly realize why they were "forgotten" in the first place. That's because a lot of 80s metal was as dreadfully derivative as most of the crap clogging Bandcamp these days. Mistreater, on the other hand, was the genuine article and they deserve your praise.

Trick Or Treat ~ Halloween
More American-made True Heavy Metal built with pride in the Motor City! These guys ascribed to the "Horror Shock Rock" principles pioneered by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Screaming Lord Sutch and Alice Cooper and later perfected by the likes of the Misfits, Death SS and Lizzy Borden. Any song on their 1983 LP Don't Metal With Evil (I do like a pun) would've worked perfectly, but this one seems most appropriate today. I hear they're still putting out records, which is impressive enough, but I bet they're also pretty damn good.    

Night Of Pain ~ Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht is a Portland institution that should be regarded with the same reverence as Poison Idea and the Wipers, though for entirely different reasons. They were thrashin' and promoting alcohol poisoning before it was cool and in 1987 this and Cryptic Slaughter's Money Talks were two of the fastest American records I'd ever heard. Here is the United Shoe Brothers' homage to John Carpenter's Halloween franchise and, yes, that's Carpenter's original score they're playing during the intro. I gifted my vinyl copy of this record to a friend who lost his copy in a video arcade that serves alcohol (I don't want to talk about it) and almost had to borrow it back to make this tape when I remembered that he had burned it onto CD for me!  

Creature From The Abyss Conjuration
This was a short-lived "horror rock" side project featuring one half of Finland's Ride for Revenge. I appreciate Harold Mentor's primitive, almost Von-esque approach to black metal, and this EP is also exceptionally strange. Clunky songs probably inspired by Samhain and binge drinking in cemeteries where the sun disappears for months at a time.

Werewolf The Frantics
Let's bring it on home to the Northwest coast of America with the suit and tie crewcuts known as The Frantics. They trace their origins back to 1955 but the first solid lineup was established in 1957 and it was this bunch of ragtag teen wolves that made their first recording in a Seattle, Washington studio. "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers at night..." You know the drill.

Epilogue ~ Vincent Price
"...We are no longer earthbound..." Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 03, 2013


RESTLESS BLOOD HEEDS THE CALL OF THE WILD HUNT! The time is right to announce that I'll be joining WATAIN as they cast their spell across Vinlandia with IN SOLITUDE and TRIBULATION. ENTARTETE KUNTS will be available at the official merch table at every North American show while supplies last, so if you want to grab a copy of the book before it's gone forever be sure to join the crawling chaos when we descend upon your town! See you on the hunt...

  • Oct. 8–New York, NY–Irving Plaza
  • Oct. 9–Philadelphia, PA–Underground Arts
  • Oct. 10–Worcester, MA–Palladium Upstairs
  • Oct. 11–Montreal, QC-Foufounes Electriques
  • Oct. 12–Toronto, ON–Opera House
  • Oct. 14–Detroit, MI–The Magic Stick
  • Oct. 15–Chicago, IL–Bottom Lounge
  • Oct. 16–Minneapolis, MN–Triple Rock Social Club
  • Oct. 18–Denver, CO–Marquis Theatre
  • Oct. 19–Salt Lake City, UT–In The Venue
  • Oct. 21–Seattle, WA–Studio Seven
  • Oct. 22–Vancouver, BC–Rickshaw Theater
  • Oct. 23–Portland, OR–Hawthorne Theater
  • Oct. 25–Oakland, CA–Oakland Metro
  • Oct. 26–Los Angeles, CA–VEX
  • Oct. 27–Phoenix, AZ–Rocky Point Cantina
  • Oct. 28–Albuquerque, NM–Launch Pad
  • Oct. 30–Austin, TX–Red 7
  • Oct. 31–New Orleans, LA–Siberia
  • Nov. 1–Atlanta, GA–Masquerade Hell
  • Nov. 2–Charlotte, NC–The Casbah
  • Nov. 3–Baltimore, MD–Baltimore Sound Stag


    Tuesday, October 01, 2013



    Join us this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar for an afternoon of heavy metal nerdery! Slideshow and reading with yours truly, book signing, libations and vintage vinyl worship courtesy of DJ Inhaler. Several other artists from the book will be in attendance including Frank Russo, Pasquale Reca, Ed Repka and Erik Danielsson. This is an early afternoon event so shake off your hangover and don't be late!