NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Session 3.9

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Time once again for some more Therapy! Got some interesting choices in the Randomizer, featuring cuts from:

aleixa - honey lake angel 7 - black and white coram deo - death is dead deus invictus - staged in awaiting horde - hellig usvart metanoia - in darkness or in light six feet deep - struggle

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Book Review: DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?

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electic-sheepPhilip K. Dick
Doubleday
1966

War had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn’t ‘retiring’ them, he dreamed of owning the ultimate status symbol – a live animal. Then Rick got his big assignment: to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But things were never that simple, and Rick’s life quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit.

By now, every sci-fi enthusiast should know the source material of the classic sci-fi noir film Blade Runner. Originally published in 1966, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? takes place in the near future of…well, 1992 originally, but subsequent editions have used 2021 to keep things future-y, I guess. Earth has been devastated and rendered nearly uninhabitable due to the radioactive fallout of World War Terminus, but some of us tenacious humans have remained despite mass colonization of the other planets in our solar system. One of those humans is one Rick Deckard, who lives along with his wife Iran in San Francisco, working as a bounty hunter of androids who have escaped from the Mars colonies to Earth in reaction to the slavery and psychological isolation they come across for not being human, even though they resemble humans in every facet except for that pesky “no empathy” thing. Three rather nasty ones happen to arrive seeking refuge from the slavery of being (I’ll just go ahead and say it) “more human than human”, befriends a simpleton who works as a “vet” for the android animals that the humans keep in lieu of owning a real animal (on account of them all being nearly extinct), and Deckard takes up the task of retiring these rogue androids. And then he drives into Oregon to have an existential crisis. Which is what you would do. The end.

I’m not going to spend the duration of this review discussing the differences between the book and the movie. You’re welcome. There are plenty of websites and articles that have done that kind of pedantic work, so I wouldn’t have to (might I suggest this particular one, from a YouTube series that I enjoy so very, very much?). Instead, as a stand-alone sci-fi novel–and a classic one at that–Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? hits all of the usual Philip K. Dick hallmarks: questions about life, religion, identity, all wrapped up in a flaky crust of paranoia. What fascinates me is that Dick could juggle all of these kind of heady subjects and yet manage to write a story that is relatively simple enough to read. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing juvenile about this book. He just trims the needless fat and leaves the tasty lean bits.

Overall, I found Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? a really engaging story that caused me to read it all in merely a few hours, while causing me to chew on the story long after I finished it. I will say this, though: If you’re avoiding reading this because you’ve already seen the movie, so why bother?, you need to dislodge your cranium from that distinctly smelly place you’ve inserted it into and go read it. Highly recommended.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Session 3.8

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SESSION 3.8

Featuring cuts from:

applehead - meaning armageddon holocaust - nekrofonik ballydowse - the land, the bread, and the people flesh incineration - nescient atrophy scarlet - scarlet tourniquet - stop the bleeding ultimatum - into the pit white lighter - white lighter

On Worship Music…

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raise your sword to the power of metalIs there an unwritten rule that says that Christian music played before the actual service begins has to be of the emo-drenched acoustic variety? Maybe playing music to put you to sleep with helps to make the worship band seem exciting by contrast. Like having a local band open up for the national touring band. Or something. Point is, listening to this gives the unintentional impression that Christians have been de-nutted, that once you give your life to the risen Savior, you must now listen to and play sominex-style troubadours. Probably why I enjoy metal so much. Metal is the music of awesome, the perfect style befitting my warrior soul. When storming the darkness on a daily basis, I’d rather have Horde’s Hellig Usvart or Frost Like Ashes’ Tophet blaring as the soundtrack, rather than wuss music. Then again, that’s just my opinion. Not a very popular one, I realize, but again…bite me…

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Music Review: DELIVERANCE – Deliverance (Reissue)

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Deliverance 2008
DELIVERANCE
Deliverance (Reissue)
Retroactive Records
2008

At this point, I shouldn’t have to explain who Deliverance is, or why they feature so prominently in my daily playlist, the soundtrack to my daily life. But, in the off-chance that this would be the first Deliverance review you’re reading that was written by your Uncle NecRo, let me give you the Reader’s Digest condensed version: Deliverance is a legendary METAL band whose first three albums all but shaped the state of Christian METAL back when all we had was Stryper representing. I may be engaging in a bit of hyperbole, but when it came to providing METAL that didn’t suck, Deliverance helped forge that route back in the day.

The self-titled debut album was originally released in 1989, on the Intense Records label, and like everything else on that legendary label, went out-of-print and hard to find when it went belly up in the mid-1990s. Then, in the mid-to-later Aughts, the rights to the album were picked up by a label specializing in re-releasing classic out-of-print albums called Retroactive Records, and was given the proper spit-n-polish re-release it needed. Forget about that lousy KMG low-budget re-release that tried to cram the first two releases together on one disc, omitting a couple of tracks to do so. This is the re-release to get.

First off, the cover art manages to retain the spirit of the original cover while enhancing things with its minimal-yet-effective look. I rather like it. Inside of this here booklet exist band photos, lyrics, and additional liner notes, as well as a bit of a write-up within the tray art by Ultimatum vocalist and fellow METAL fan-boy Scott Waters. He keeps popping up in the oddest of places. Anyway, as far as the music goes…they did the remastering right this time. Wow, does the METAL pop here. The highs are crisp, the lows have depth, and the songs are given new life because of it. Great job with that. As a bonus, the songs “A Space Called You” and “Attack”, both from the 1987 California Metal compilation are included, both of which are a good glimpse into their past as up-and-comers. Although, I do think “Attack” fits better with the rest of the album over more melodic “A Space Called You” any day.

Bottom line: If you happened to have missed out on the original release of Deliverance the album, and due to the Thrash Revival have been wanting to check it out, I would say try and locate a copy of this re-release. The remastering really brings new life into an old favorite, as I’ve mentioned. The original 1989 mastering is available for download on Amazon and Google Play, but if you’re an audiophile, you’re not going to be completely happy with that. And if you already have the original release, and have been on the fence about obtaining this re-release, I would say it would be well worth the investment, for the same reasons I mentioned above.

Music Review: BEDEIAH – Blood Metal

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BEDEIAH - blood metal

BEDEIAH
Blood Metal
Sullen Records
2011

Bedeiah is a one-man black metal projected based in Phoenix, Arizona, that looks to have a couple of full-length releases and one EP under the metaphorical belt so far. I first came across them by way of a track featured on a Sullen / Open Grave Records sampler CD that was part of a Frost Like Ashes mail order I got years ago. That track was the title track “Blood Metal” from this particular release. It wasn’t until recently, though, as I was going through my music vault that I decided to look into getting more than just the one track for OCD purposes. And since I was able to find the Blood Metal release on Amazon Digital Music, I opted for that one.

Blood Metal is the second full-length release from Bedeiah. From the reviews I’ve been able to check out, this one is apparently of a better quality than the previous full-length release. I don’t know myself, as I do not have that particular release. What I can tell you, after a few listens, is that the type of METAL represented here is Black Metal, of the harsh, grim and dark variety. The style goes for more of an ambient feel, rather than melody, and is very raw in the recording production. However, it’s not murky as a lot of these recordings that go for the raw atmospheric aesthetic, and all the instrumentation comes out, from the grinding of the guitars, to the blast beats of the drums, to icy sound of the keyboards, to the harsh other-worldly shrieks of the vocals. There’s a bit of variety thrown in to keep things getting too stale, but overall it’s a pretty standard harsh atmospheric black metal release. Worth checking out.

Music Review: DEMON HUNTER – Storm The Gates Of Hell

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demon hunter - storm the gates of hell

DEMON HUNTER
Storm The Gates Of Hell
Solid State
2007

Demon Hunter’s fourth studio release showcases the band further refining their unique style of alternative metal, something that was evident with the previous. The music is a very infectious blend of the brutal and hauntingly melodic, managing to find the balance between the two without making a mess of things.

It’s with this release that I realize the band has done something that very, very few bands can do: appeal to both my sense of brutality as well as my sense of brooding contemplation. Yeah yeah, I know that sounds all sorts of pretentious, but after the double-fisted \,,/METAL-HORN\,,/ salute that is the opening title track salvo, then the lead-in to the earnest worship howl of “Lead Us Home”, you should get the general idea of why this band features so heavily in my playlist, despite initially having my doubts at first. The entirety of the album is a steady stream of this, managing to forge some rather personable sounding songs without getting too cheesy, as some bands in the metalcore category are want to do.

Storm The Gates Of Hell stands as a really good follow-up to their previous releases, and is a good, solid listen. Check it out.

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