Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Phantasm - The Abominable

Phantasm was a death metal band that broke up around 1995, just as I started going to shows regularly. I caught one of their last shows, opening for Deicide right before Once Upon The Cross came out. They played with Necrolatory (whose demo I'd post if I knew what happened to my copy of it), Cyanosis, and Broken Hope and I remember nearly getting my ribs crushed by a random stagediver at that show.

They played a very cinematic style of death metal, sounding like the soundtrack to some really low budget horror movie, which was an idea that I carried with me into how I wrote music for Die Alone. Their songs were long and dramatic, and the vocals were understandable enough so you could tell that they were trying to tell a story through mood. 16 year old me was thoroughly impressed. They've still got a regularly updated myspace, apparently and it's located here.

Haruspex / Rotted / Nightworld demos

Haruspex - Two Song demo cassette
I believe this is from 1995, approximately. If you're not aware, this is the eclectically influenced death metal band that was popular during the mid-90's Milwaukee death metal explosion. Haruspex featured two vocalists (one of whom was Shawn Page, who'd eventually front Wings Of Scarlet and Shit Outta Luck) and were known for their ridiculous live shows. It was typical seeing them cover the NWA song Dopeman while wearing pantyhose on their heads, throwing massive amounts of porno into the crowd, or whatever other silly idea they'd come up with. Looking back, the music was pretty silly but this demo is still a classic.

Rotted - Instinctive Demise demo cassette
I believe this is 1996 or 1997ish. Guttural death metal in the vein of Broken Hope. These guys were the sign of what death metal was devolving into. Fat guys wearing Florida gators jerseys, bad hair, with no appeal to girls whatsoever. It was absolutely entertaining at the time. This was the first band to play a show on the Rave bar stage, if I remember correctly. I dug up just a tiny bit more info here.

Nightworld - Raising The Flag Of War demo cassette
In 1998, if you were a metal kid you hovered around the Mainstream Metal Shop on 27th and Loomis. In the back of this record store they'd given control of a 20 foot long by about 3 feet wide storage area to a guy who'd call himself Lord Raven Sithicus. Raven, real name Ryan, would stockpile tons of imported black metal records and spend the day eating McDonalds and Cheetos, dressed in full black metal regalia... spikes, chains, leather, cape, etc (seriously... plus he rode the bus to work, which meant he had to survive the gauntlet of the hoodest black people on Earth while dressed like that). Several of my friends and I would go there religiously just to fuck with him, pulling cassette tapes out of order just to mess with his OCD, arguing with him over metal trivia, and basically bullshitting our lives away. Eventually, he started this band and they got huge. They never officially put out a single item of merchandise, although they did send out autographed photocopies of their logo to members of their mailing list, and their one demo release party was supposed to be a giveaway of this demo. It wasn't finished in time for the show. Apparently, they were embarrassed by the quality of the recording and it was never released. Their bass player eventually smuggled me a copy and again, I believe I'm one of maybe 3 or 4 people who have a copy of it. As a footnote, their guitarist is a regularly posting member of didntthathurt.