I know who the real drug lords are: not the guys chopping off heads in Mexico or ambushing the US military in Afghanistan. The real drug lords are the pharmaceutical giants, whose sales extend into the hundreds of billions every year. This post was originally going to be just about the wacko meds that were sold to our ancestors over the past century or so, but in doing a little research I cam up with some astounding figures that illustrate just how far these companies have come when it comes to global drugs sales – the “legal” kind. The US market alone accounts for over 40% of drugs sales in the world – in 2011, US prescription sales were $319,900,000,000, excluding any “Over The Counter” medicines sold, aka Tylenol, NyQuil etc. (1). The global sales of prescription drugs (again, excluding OTCs) hit a high of 856,086,000,000 in 2012 (2). Compare this to an estimated $300 billion illegal sales of heroin, cocaine and marijuana in 2012, and the illegal drug market no longer looks so lucrative (3). The funny thing is, many illegal drugs today were invented by these pharmaceutical giants – take heroin, for example, invented by Bayer in 1898 and sold for use as a cough syrup. They now boast sales of €40,000,000,000 per year for Bayer Group, not to mention money they rake in from their side projects like CropScience, research and development for GMO crops (4). Companies like Bayer, or the current largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Novartis International AG, are directly linked to the destruction of human health through products they once manufactured, and probably still do. Novartis International AG was once CIBA-Geigy, who were one of the major manufacturers of DDT in the US. DDT has been linked to diabetes – Novartis now makes diabetes drugs as one of its major focuses; DDT has been linked to breast cancer – Novartis sold $937 million in breast cancer drugs in 2007, plus it manufactures other cancer-related drugs (5).
These companies have a long track record for not giving a shit about human health, despite their claim to improve lives. Not so long ago, babies were given morphine for teething until sudden death became a side effect and depressed, captive housewives were given meth until serious addiction became a side effect…then these drugs went underground. Below find a fascinating list of 10 drugs that were routinely sold to consumers in the 19th and 20th centuries by big pharma and its ancestors – and remember that the research and development required for drugs to make it on the market today, especially in the US, is more geared towards turning a profit rather than making you healthy. However, I do acknowledge that there are circumstances that do require prescription drugs, especially as someone who has experienced serious chronic illness and cancer in my family. But the vast majority of these drugs are overprescribed and do more harm than good to human health, or else their long term effects are completely unknown, and this list gives you an idea of the kind of slapdash medicine that’s often practiced in Western societies when it comes to pharmaceutical sales. In my opinion, good health is more about building your body’s strength from within than it is about medicating it within an inch of its life. Give me Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil, ginger, garlic and weed any day!
Now you are going to hear how AUTOPSY will punch in your teeth with some brutal death metal! On June 24th, their new album entitled The Headless Ritual will be released via Peaceville Records. Today we are streaming “Arch Cadaver” below, but also check out the new AUTOPSY mini site with free downloads!
Text and Photos by Alan Hunter
Things got pretty trippy at Seattle’s Chop Suey Tuesday night. Lazer/Wulf, White Hills, Blood Ceremony, and almighty sludgers Kylesa absolutely destroyed. Before Tuesday I wasn’t too familiar with the mathy, progressive metal of Atlanta’s Lazer/Wulf but they kicked off the show with a loud, thrashy set. A good sign. Next up, NY’s White Hills killed. Their fuzzy, psyched-out, space rock put the crowd in a trance. It was no doubt one of my favorite sets of late. Wicked occult rockers Blood Ceremony have been on my must-see list for some time, so I was stoked to see their name on the bill when Sean first asked if I’d be interested in shooting this show. The resurgence of witch-cult female-fronted occult rock bands (Sabbath Assembly, Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony, Purson) is a welcome trend. More 1972 than 2013, Alia O’Brien’s soulful vox, jazzy flute, and psychedelic organ captivate and meld well with the the fuzzed-out doom of her bandmates (think Sabbath-meets-Tull).
By the time Kylesa took the stage the venue was packed…big surprise. Paying little attention to how quickly the place was filling up, I slammed my tallboy and pushed my way to the front, squeezing between a few punks, heshers, older psych rock dads, a couple young ladies and a photographer or two – a fairly eclectic crowd proving just how far-reaching Kylesa’s tunes are – where I managed to establish a solid, eardrum-pummeling vantage point. I’m going to say now that Ultraviolet will certainly be at the top of my best of 2013 list and I was stoked to finally hear a number of the sonically adventurous tracks live. To be honest, I don’t really know what I can write about this band’s live show to truly do them justice. Their seamless blend of punk, crust, psych, prog, all-out southern sludge and even a little goth rock is unstoppable…not to mention the thundering dual drummers and Phillip’s theremin-skateboard guitar contraption! My ears were ringing well into the following afternoon. Anyway, pick your poison, throw on some heavy jams, tune out for a bit, and let the pictures be your guide to the madness.
Colloquial Sound Recordings has fucking done it again by releasing a sick batch of new releases by Dressed In Stream, A Pregnant Light and Aksumite. I have been blasting the No Babylon cassette by Aksumite non stop. It’s only two songs, but they both kill way hard and will feed your appetite for blood cult metal punk. We have the honor of streaming this underground classic below!
As a kid, I loved ghost stories, but it wasn’t until I grew up and started watching TV that I began to comprehend how fascinated human beings are with spirits. But long, long before all these “ghost hunting” TV shows became popular, our ancestors were busy trying to capture images of the other side. In the late 1800s, one man rose to prominence in the English spiritualist community with his captivating and eerie photos of people long deceased. As a result of his notoriety, William Hope founded the Crewe Circle, a spiritualist photography group among whose most noted allies was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Hope’s photos were called into question time and again by investigators and ghostbusters of the 1800s and 1900s, but he maintained a huge following in the spiritualist community. Looking at many of these photos, if not all, it’s pretty clear they are double exposures, but being a person who believes in the continuation of living energies, maybe he was just creating an image of what actually exists…
Today CVLT Nation is honored to premiere a track off of the upcoming LP from NOISEM, Agony Defined. “Mortuary” is a seething, blistering assault on your senses that shows why this Baltimore band is not to be fucked with! Check out our album review here. Agony Defined comes out on June 11th via A389 Records, and catch NOISEM alongside the Melvins, Testament, Vision of Disorder, Corrosion of Conformity, Municipal Waste, The Casualties, Impaled, A Life Once Lost, Code Orange Kids and more at the Scion Rock Fest in Memphis, Tennessee tomorrow, June 1st. Check out NOISEM’s rad set at this year’s MDF below, filmed by Frank Huang, and then sit back, stream this track, and let your brain be blown into a million pieces!
While lasting contributions from Baltimore could be as simple as The Wire and John Waters, let’s go ahead and toss Maryland Deathfest in there as well. Sure there’s a brimming scene of bands, but Baltimore’s real musical pedigree comes in the form of North America’s largest extreme music festival which operates right in downtown Baltimore (somewhere in between the municipal buildings and strung out vagrants).