Category Archives: Film


Moolaadé – Now Showing!

“World cinema” is a misleading term. Usually used as a marketing tool or when referring to non-English speaking movies, it’s similar to saying “world music” when talking about something that’s not exclusively genre specific or “ethnic” sounding. The late ’80s were where you began to see these terms popping up more regularly, thanks to people like Peter Gabriel and albums like the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack, for instance and the term is about as dated as the era it gained popularity if you ask me.

It’s a pretty stupid term really. Most movies or music are made in the world, somewhere. Generally speaking, “world movie” is a term that’s used in a lot of academic film circles to discuss films that are made in France or Western Europe and/or some Asian cinema, like Japan. The point is, we should really include all films if we used the term “world movies”. Not just rich, non-English speaking ones. Blame short-sighted ethnocentrism or cultural imperialism, or even just plain ignorance if you like.

Whatever the case, if we are to discuss films from a specific country, then we’re opening up a whole history, culture and stereotype perspective on that country, regardless of the film. We might have preconceived notions on what the film might contain based on the country or countries it’s from. That’s logical. But regardless of the genre of the film, usually some sort of specific cultural tie will slip in. Look at the “Spaghetti Westerns” for instance.

With all this in mind, let’s look at a film that could be simply lumped into the “world movie” category by a lazy film writer or marketing executive but is very much an African-specific film. Senegalese to be specific. The film is by the legendary Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène and is called Moolaadé which means “magical protection.”

Despite his extensive body of work, respected status among film makers/critics and winning Cannes awards, Sembène is almost entirely unknown outside of Africa. You’d guess that if he was from France or somewhere in Europe he’d have whole boxsets of DVD collections available from Criterion at this point. Sadly, no. Like a lot of African films, many are close to impossible to find. For a long time, distribution for a lot of African film makers consisted of dubbing VHS tapes from the back of a truck and selling them cheaply at areas that could screen the films. Some people might consider that “punk.”

Moolaadé is a film about female circumcision. Or more appropriately, genital mutilation. Widely condemned yet widely practiced, the film takes a look at the reasons it is in place, most of which stem from religious tradition. It’s interesting to consider that this practice could simply and vaguely be brushed aside as “cultural”. While traditional African culture certainly comes into play in the film, Sembène offers that the root of this practice stems from Islam, a religion that is firmly ingrained in Senegal. The film also looks at how traditional African spirituality (such as the moolaadé) can still have the power to frighten, intimidate or perhaps even work. Despite the old ways being apparently overtaken by a non-indigenous religion, they still remain, bubbling away beneath the surface. Examples of this we can find almost anywhere!

Gender is a huge part of this film. The things that females are confronted with in Moolaadé are almost unimaginable for males. Since the recent Eliot Rodger massacre, I’ve noticed more and more discussion appearing on patriarchal power structures and how culture can affect gender. But it’d be wrong to assume that what Moolaadé deals with is exclusive to Senegalese or African religious cultural practices and other countries are “above” that. Violence toward women is everywhere, be it in the USA, Australia, China, Syria, Russia or Africa. In Moolaadé, it becomes clear that nearly every major world religion has a problem with women in some way or another. Most of them simply cannot deal with the nature of childbirth, sexual “power” or female genitalia. As such, we see a link from the religious view to the cultural practice. This isn’t necessarily the source of all but it’s arguably a large factor in this film. Something that binds a culture through tradition has its demands on men too, whether they like it or not. Destroying certain traditions can have the ability to change things for women and men and then we can all progress.

Moolaadé isn’t an overly graphic film. It’s not been made for cheap shock value. But it doesn’t need to be. It takes an objective and a subjective view on religion, tradition and culture and how these things can bind, confuse and cause harm. As such, it’s probably what could be considered “essential” viewing.


Bädr Vogu Video Premiere “Anathema of Time” & Interview!

Bädr Vogu is a Sludge band from Oakland (((California))) that started out in 2010. Formed from the ashes of World Eater, Midnightmare and Hotblack Desiato, they have been crushing and garnering a loyal following throughout the underground since their inception. They have played some of the most killer shows I’ve seen, and fortunately, have been able to be a part of. Our bands have played together a bunch of times, and these are good friends that I really respect. The first show Swamp got to play in Oakland was opening up a garage show that Bädr Vogu played, alongside Galdr – the last show that we got to play with Bädr Vogu was alongside Eyehategod in San Jose. I support these guys and I am honored to debut their very first music video for their new single, “Anathema of Time,” directed by Drew Dorsey.

“Anathema of Time” is a track off their new recording, Agglomeration MMXIV. Salvador Raya (Asunder) recorded it at Earhammer Studios in Oakland (((California))). I am really excited to be able to share this release with everyone; the B-Side includes another heavy dose of headbangable Misanthropic Sludge that was previously only available on LP from their split with Wilt. Transylvanian Tapes is releasing physical copies of Agglomeration MMXIV that will be obtainable in July.

Here’s 7 Heavy questions with the band.

I have your first demo tape from 2011 – What other BV releases exist?

There is our full length album Exitium (also released in 2011) that so far has only seen two CD pressings (one self-funded, the other through the Spanish label Memento Mori), and our split vinyl LP with Seattle’s Wilt (released in late 2012) – that was a joint venture between Hermit Records and Abominate Records, both based out of Seattle. Aside from that, there is the new cassette tape being released on the Transylvanian Tapes label that will have two brand new songs on one side and our side of the split with Wilt on the other end of the tape.

What are your biggest influences as a band?

Black Sabbath, Bolt Thrower, Dystopia, Eyehategod, Buzzov-ven, Melvins, Brainoil, El Dopa, Cathedral, Enewetak, Thorr’s Hammer, Bethlehem, early Metallica, Celtic Frost, Yob, Acid Bath, Electric Wizard, Weedeater, Indian, Candlemass, Sleep/Asbestos Death, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Grief, Asunder, Runemagick, Johnny Cash, Coffins, Carcass, Graves At Sea, Saint Vitus, Neurosis, Godflesh, Amebix, Rudimentary Peni, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker.

Lyrical influences are: Charles Bukowski, Cormic McCarthy, Dick Lucas, T.S. Elliot, Edgar Allan Poe, Noam Chomsky, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nick Blinko, Milton, Wallace Stevens and the sea of shit known as humanity.

What does the band tune to?

We tune to B standard.

What are your preferred amps of choice?

Leo has always used Marshalls and Bryce currently uses a Laney 100 watt head and a 200 watt Blackstar head. Chris likes Ampeg and Sunn bass amps.

BV is about to embark on a National U.S.A. Tour – what restaurant or food destination in America are you most looking forward to devouring?

Chris’s would be real New York pizza and southern BBQ. Sean says that he is on a constant quest to find good Bloody Marys, and both him, Leo and Bryce are all about getting authentic Cajun food. New Orleans has always been an important destination for us on the road for many reasons and the food is definitely a big part of that. Justin likes Burger King dollar menu hamburgers or any restaurant kid’s menu that he comes across.

What are some of your favorite bands that have stood out and left a good impression that you’ve been fortunate to play with over the last couple of years?

Eyehategod (NOLA), Noothgrush // Brainoil //Swamp Witch // Augurs // Larvae // Hazzard’s Cure // Femacoffin // Negative Standards // Apocryphon // Cardinal Wyrm // Abstracter // Vastum (all from Bay Area), Wilt // Bell Witch // Samothrace // Black Queen (all from Seattle, WA), Rozamov (Boston, MA), Bog of the Infidel (Providence, RI) Sea Of Bones (New Haven, CT), Gehenna (various West Coast), Pallbearer (Little Rock, AR) Killer of Sheep (Pittsburgh, PA), Inter Arma (Richmond, VA), Usnea // Night Nurse // Stoneburner (all from PDX), Author and Punisher (San Diego, Ca), Seven Sisters of Sleep (Orange County, Ca), Undergang (Denmark).

If you could choose someone, dead or alive, to jam with, who would it be and what would it sound like?

Bryce: I’d like to jam with Syd Barrett. It’d be amazing to just get very out there and freak the fuck out. Then when I’m coming down from interstellar space, I’d return to Earth, drink some whiskey, and jam with Robert Johnson. I’m sure my ass would get smoked in either situation and it’d sound like two greats doing their thing, with me struggling to keep up.

Sean: I’d jam with Too Short, E-40, Mac Dre, and Keak da Sneak. It would sound like a white boy rapping with some hyphy motherfuckers. In other words it’d sound like a white boy pathetically trying to rap.

Leo: John Bonham and Cliff Burton because what guitar player wouldn’t want to jam with that rhythm section?!! It would sound like me playing guitar by myself. Because they’re dead.

Bädr Vogu will be touring throughout the United States of America this summer!

Here’s their tour itinerary:

July 3rd – Oakland, CA, @ The Legionnaire
w/ DeathgraVe, Bog Oak

July 15th – Denver, CO @ 3 Kings Tavern
w/ Blighter, Prison Death

July 17th – Minneapolis, MN @ The Dog Haus
w/ Ashen, Despise, Lemon

July 18th – Chicago, IL @ Old Mount Happy
w/ Wymns Pryson (Atlanta), Foreign Lawns (Milwakee), War Boner, and Sick Sad World.

July 19th – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Rock Room
w/ Agitate, Deterioration, Anthrophobic

July 20th – Philadelphia, PA @ Mill Creek Tavern
w/ TBA

July 21st – Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub
w/ Churchburn, Rozamov, Grue

July 22nd – Providence, RI @ AS220
w/ Churchburn, Rozamov, Bog of the Infidel

July 24th – Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron
w/ Oathbreaker, Cult Leader, Young and in the Way, Meek is Murder

July 25th – Baltimore, MD @ The Sidebar Tavern

July 26th – Richmond, VA

July 27th – Raleigh, NC @ The Maywood w/ TBA

July 28th – Asheville, NC @ The Odditorium w/ TBA

July 30th – New Orleans, LA @ End of the World w/ TBA

July 31st – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia (early show)
w/ Total Abuse

August 1st – Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
w/ The Blood Royal and TBA

August 2nd – Dallas, TX @ Chichen Itza
w/ Pissed Grave, Deadtooth and Pavel Chekov

August 3rd – Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
w/ Torture Victim, Hanta, +TBA

August 4th – Las Vegas, NV @ TBA

August 10th – San Francisco @ Cave Show w/ Fórn, Folivore, and Akatharsia

Here’s a link to their Tour event page. I highly recommend checking them out if you get the chance -


Rugged & Raw!!! BLEED THE PIGS
“Overcompensations for Misery”
Stream + Footage

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Nashville metal and hardcore scene has arrived. From blistering grindcore to crushing doom to everything in between, this city’s best acts are finally getting some of the national attention they deserve.

One of the most interesting, if not most ferocious bands to come on the scene in the past year or so is Bleed the Pigs. Featuring members of local hardcore outfits In Fidelity and Deaf Kid, their new EP Overcompensations for Misery feels like a group that is fed up with all the bullshit and ready to unleash some pent-up fury.

The EP opens and closes with haunting atmosphere, like exiting a tunnel of droning monotonous machinery to express outrage and disgust at a world increasingly devoid of humanity (or whatever they’re vomiting fire about), only to succumb to the droning atmosphere once more. The tracks within feel palpably vehement, switching from blistering blastbeaten grindcore to trudging sludge without much warning. Put it all together, and you’ve got some of the finest, most pissed-off powerviolence this side of the Mason-Dixon line. If listened at correct volumes, the riffs on this EP will make it difficult for you to control your primitive urges to FUCK SHIT UP and GET IN THE FUCKING PIT even if you’re by yourself in your undies listening online.

And before I wrap up this review, it’s worth noting that yes, lead throatist Kayla “Foxie” Phillips is a girl who has a sweet, sweet polychromatic afro. But if you think that that’s all there is to Bleed the Pigs, you sir (or madam) are missing out on some seriously hefty powerviolence from Nashville.


So Sick, So Rad, So Post -Punk…
Intense CRIMINAL CODE Live Footage!!!

One of the most urgent post punk releases of 2014 came from CRIMINAL CODE, entitled No Device via the always on point Deranged Records, and the band went on a crazy long tour to promote this kick ass album. On their California leg of the tour, their homie Michel Valdes was invited to capture CRIMINAL CODE’s passionate and thumping live performance. What really strikes me about this footage is the quality, and watching at them do their thing I feel lucky, because I know that this band has so much to offer the world…If you do not have their album already, get it HERE, and the next time they come to your hood, don’t miss CRIMINAL CODE it would be a crime!

Criminal Code No Device Tour March 2014 from Michel Valdes on Vimeo.


Death by Fright
Vintage Horror Movie Posters

Watching an epic, hour-long battle scene on Game of Thrones the other day, it occurred to me how immune I had become from scenes of violence. Graphic slayings, beheadings, throat-cuttings and flayings no longer made me squirm or look away. Since my childhood in the 80s, I have developed a thick skin, as have most of us, when it comes to realistic violence. But I think we are missing something – the art of making someone feel fear or suspense with striking illustrations. So I went looking for vintage horror movie posters, and I found gorgeous illustrations that beckoned viewers in with their bold colors and outrageous claims – like “any member of the audience is insured for $1,000 against DEATH BY FRIGHT.” You can see the progression from the earlier poster art – lots of text and illustrated scenes – to the slicker, more menacing posters of the 1980s, leading to the graphic designed, hyper-real poster art of today. There is a heady cocktail of innocence and menace in these illustrated posters that is more compelling than anything produced today. Scroll through the gallery below, and see the lost art of horror movie posters…




































Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Movie Poster

























































































1984 Next Level Radness!
Beastie Boys vs. Butthole Surfers
On Public Access T.V.

This video makes me happy on so many levels!!! The weirdest band I ever saw in the 80′s were the Butthole Surfers. For me, the Beastie Boys were the gateway band that made me start listening to Hip Hop again in the 80′s. Anyway, check out this blast from the past — both bands performing on the New York Public Access show Scott & Gary…This footage is extra special because the Beastie Boys rocked out on some punk shit!


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Three Days | Old Skin // Oblivionized

Two of the UK’s most visceral and exciting live acts headed out for a three day mini tour recently. Oblivionized and Old Skin are at the forefront of the underground movement in England and both are extremely intense in a live environment.

They filmed their excursion and here we present the footage.

Old Skin’s music can be found here while Oblivionized can be heard here.


Kill List – Now Showing!

The cool thing about living in a post-post-post(?) modern era like the 2010s is the wealth of cinema and art from which to draw inspiration from. There’s the phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun,” which is probably true, but if that’s the case, then maybe we haven’t had to invent new things, just rearranged them instead in an interesting way. Didn’t that used to be called a “mash up” or something?

Anyway, Kill List (dir. Ben Wheatley) is a film from 2011 that seems to be aware of this. It’s a relatively low budget feature that draws from a variety of genres to create one of the most disturbing and unique horror films of recent times. It’s not overly original but at the same time, it kinda is. Watching it, it seems we’re watching a combination of a British kitchen sink/working class/urban drama film, a gritty 70s crime film like Get Carter, a mystery thriller and a pagan/folk horror film like The Wicker Man. These genres all move in cycles through the duration of the film and in this way, it remains fascinating to watch while retaining an alluring and sinister tension. The Kubrick influence is obvious and in Kill List do we get to experience a refreshingly interesting take on how influence from a master can be transmuted to a modern film without blatantly appropriating a specific work.

Dealing with two former soldiers turned hitmen carrying out a job set up by a mysterious employer, Kill List is an example of how weird things can get in a seemingly bland and grey society. Questions are asked and might remain unanswered. Strange occurrences appear and give way to even stranger occurrences. The final quarter is almost unimaginable in comparison to the first. In short, it’s one dark journey. Some people might find this frustrating but it makes for a nightmarish experience.


Watch Kill List Here!


A Triad of Plagues Review + Stream

Label: Dark Descent Records

With OSDM taking hold once again in recent years, it’s become something of a double-edged sword for bands looking to make a name for themselves. On the one hand, there is certainly a market for the style; but on the other, it’s also easy to get lost in the shuffle and pass by relatively unnoticed. Case in point: Binah. Despite releasing an incredibly varied, crushing, well-thought-out debut album and being signed to the ever-expanding underground label Dark Descent records, these guys don’t seem to be getting the same level of attention some of their label mates are getting. Maybe it’s just me, but this trio hailing from the UK needs more praise!

Especially so now that they’ve successfully followed up their debut with another slab of bone crunching, occult Death Metal in the form of their new EP entitled A Triad of Plagues — a release that opens with “Rupture of Silence,” a song that begins with a wicked solo and progresses onward and upward with a tremendously catchy riff set and uncompromising brutality. It also features another solo about midway through that strips flesh from bone and catapults the song forward rather tastefully. You know you’re in for a treat when you browse the lyrics beforehand and notice the line “primordial paths to heaven blasted with dynamite”. That stood out to me, and I feel it’s a good representation of what the music embodies: a complete and absolute refutation of the order imposed by the Holy Father.


The following track, “Hempiteran Maraud,” is more of a quick hitter, clocking in at just one minute and thirty nine seconds and punishes from start to finish. Again, the talents of Binah are on display here, but in a more subtle manner, as jutting lead work manifests beneath the folds of chainsaw riffing and low, guttural vocals. It’s a song that is best appreciated with repeated listens, as its depth and complexity can easily pass you by in a flash on the first go around.

The closing plague, “Torbid Blight of the Spirit,” begins slowly, and has a much more concentrated build up than its prior counterparts. It has a rather decidedly eerie, bleak feel to it, as its theme seems to be chiefly concerned with the woes of mankind in the post-modern world. Lines like “Dreams and hopes sold for dimes to wretched machinery” and “Jaded, sleepless, and swamped by stimuli” point clearly to the blight experienced by the human spirit that has lost its way in its foolish quest for certitude and comfort. There’s still plenty of Death Metal crunch and punch to its composition, but the feelings of endless languishing pervade, serving as an appropriate death knell to this three-pronged work of black art.

Once again, Binah has delivered in a big way in 2014 and is a band everyone should watch closely in the years to come. Fans of OSDM in the Scandinavian (a la Entombed and Demigod) vein in particular should get quite a kick out of this. Full fucking support.


CVLT Nation Streaming:

Right now I’m riding the sonic magic carpet ride called ELECTRIC CITIZEN, and the sound up here has me tripping! This Ohio quartet create those kind of songs that make me remember growing up on the Venice Boardwalk, with hippies and outlaws being the fabric of our community. ELECTRIC CITIZEN’s songs pack enough rocking soul to keep you high even after the album is done. Their new album Sateen is being released by our comrades in Heavy Riding Easy Records on July 1st. Right here and now is your chance to hear the new ELECTRIC CITIZEN song “Magnetic Man” streaming below!..Pre-Order Sateen HERE & from iTunes HERE!