Author: TyphonMetalNerd

Music Interview: James Perry of Food Metal

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Hey James, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

My pleasure, man! I’m honored.

 It was Food Metal that has brought us here, so let’s start with, why Food Metal? I’m not complaining, just wondering, why food?

Silly music is nothing new to me! I’ve been writing silly songs for as long as I’ve been a musician. So about 12 years ago I was feeling sort of down. My girlfriend at the time and I had broken up (we got back together and broke up many more times and I wrote my “Now You’re Gone” album about her but that’s another story!), my old industrial band Control Theory had split up and I didn’t know what I wanted to do next… so I set a challenge to myself, to write and record a heavy metal about food in one month’s time! I got a bunch of friends involved too and it was great fun, and we cranked out some great tunes. But at the same time, it really showed that I did the whole thing in a month’s time as it was pretty raw and a lot of the recording was kind of half-assed. So a few years back I decided to rework Food Metal. I kicked out the songs that I didn’t like as much, substantially re-recorded the songs that were left, and wrote and recorded two brand new tracks. Or as I like to say, the new Food Metal album has eight reheated leftovers and two brand new recipes!

Also, I feel like there’s a market for silly metal. Look at everything that’s come out since I first started Food Metal: Metalocalypse, Steel Panther, Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omniscient project, Mac Sabbath… All great music, but very silly and funny, which is what I’m trying to do too.

How does Food Metal compare to your other projects in terms of the writing process? Was it easier? Did you have to eat matzah ball soup before/during/after recording Matzah Ball Soup to get you there?

Hahaha, well, it turns out I’ve actually never had matzah ball soup! Eric Gottesman (of Everything Goes Cold, Psyclon Nine, and every industrial band ever) wrote the lyrics and sang lead vocals on that one. But as far as the main question, silly songs have always been much easier and faster for me to write than serious songs. Food Metal was also easy to write because I had such a specific style in mind which helps me focus. I can get lost as a writer if I don’t have a set of constraints to work within.

Do you think that there will ever be a live Food Metal performance (if there hasn’t been one already)?

I’ve played “Pass The Beets” and “O Banana” a handful of times at my solo acoustic gigs. Beyond that, I don’t know if I ever will perform this stuff live, but it would be a lot of fun!

What was the last thing you ate and what was the most metal thing about it?

I ate a handful of almonds. It turns out that wild almonds contain the glycoside amygdalin, which becomes hydrogen cyanide when they’re eaten, which is quite poisonous!

Not a question, but a request; If there ever is another Food Metal release, please consider a black metal-ish song about heartburn.

Hahaha, great suggestion! I love it!  I do have ideas for another Food Metal project down the line. I was thinking that I’d include some songs about ethnic cuisine (you know, like Indian, Mexican, or Japanese food), and the music would reflect the same culture the food came from. I actually half-wrote a song called “La Taqueria” about Mexican food along those lines that I never finished because it was too hard for me to play at the time I wrote it and it’s got a very Mexican sound. Although with the current political climate in this country, maybe I should rewrite it to be about taco trucks!

Now, how about some of your other projects? What have you got going on with Dream In Red? I saw that you guys were playing your asses off for a while, there.

Unfortunately Dream In Red is on hiatus for the time being as our drummer moved away and had to leave the band. That being said, we released an EP called Our Violent Temporary Times awhile back and it’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and so forth, and our first full length album will be released soon. I’ve been playing acoustic and semi-acoustic solo shows in the Sacramento and San Jose areas lately. I’m mostly playing songs from my 2009 solo album Now You’re Gone along with some newer stuff and a few covers. I’ve got quite a few songs I never properly released that I’d like to record and release as an EP or album at some point, and with all the madness happening in America these days, I think I just might have to write some pissed off political songs too. Oh, and I just finished a music video for one of my solo songs, “Slipping Away Again”!

Do you have any interesting hobbies or projects outside of music or food?

You mean there’s life outside of music and food? Well, I got engaged earlier this year! My fiancee is in New Zealand and we’re both working hard to save money so she can move here. Getting a fiancee visa and arranging a move across the Pacific Ocean is no joke and not cheap! Buy my music and you can help make our dream of being together come true!

Do you ever intend to grow your hair out, again? That mane was sweeeeeet!  😉

Dude, I wish! I cut off my long hair back in 2001 because it was getting too thin, I wasn’t too keen on the “aging Night Ranger fan” look, you know? I would look so much older if I grew out my hair again. But I tell you, to this day I still frequently have dreams that I grew my hair back!

Is there anything that you would like to add for the Crown of Viserys/From Etna Unleashed audiences?

Thanks for reading and thanks for being awesome and supporting heavy music!

Music Review: Food Metal – Food Metal

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Genre: Food Metal
Label: Independent 

Alum, sodium, zinc, etc… I get plenty of metal in my food. Now if I can just manage to get some food in my metal… wait, what? Native Californian and sometimes New Zealander James Perry?! Why are you putting your guitar in the oven? Ohhhhhhh…

Food Metal apparently started off as an exercise in song writing and snowballed into a legitimate project (think Tim Lambesis’s Austrian Death Machine only with no celebrity impersonations and less attempted uxoricide). This self-titled offering is a savory selection of songs that blend hard rock, metal, gastronomy and humor together to make an album that’s not heavy on calories, but heavy where it counts.

Mr. Perry borrows from a multitude of subgenres before butchering them, marinating them in his own distinct style, broiling them and finally serving them up on Food Metal‘s sonic smorgasbord. “Fries” takes bit of a slower paced thrash approach (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”), while “Pass The Beets” finds James in more familiar territory (for me at least) with a slower, more melodic (almost poppy) tune. But, in terms of balls out headbanging, the cake surely goes to “Where the Hell is My Food”. James’s vocals, dirty rollin’ riffs and lines about being pissed off about shitty customer service fit perfectly together here.

My only complaint here is that I felt a bit like Oliver Twist towards the end. “Please Sir, may I have some more?” (Ok, not an apt comparison since James would gladly give an orphan all the metal he/she could handle and I’m a fully grown ragamuffin.) I guess I should ask him if he plans on serving seconds in our forthcoming interview?

Food Metal Site
Food Metal Facebook

Music Review: Norselaw – Serpent in the Circling Sea

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Genre: Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Fucking Metal
Label: Independent

Man, who would have thought that buying an album based entirely on pity would yield such positive results? Allow me to explain:

Norselaw himself apparently had a dispute with his then employer that ended with his (in my opinion, wrongful) termination. Having only recently lost my job due to similar but completely different circumstances, I decide to toss my fellow warrior a bone and bought one of his albums. He suggested Serpent in the Circling Sea as it would play to my tastes… how this metal marauder knew such a thing is still a mystery to me, but goddamn, was he ever right!

Serpent in the Circling Sea features a plethora of headbanging highlights from beginning to end. Norselaw’s mastery of the art of the shred, for one. Where on Earth did this guy learn to wield a guitar in such a manner? My guess is he transferred whatever skills he learned as an axe swinging viking from hundreds of years ago to his new modern day “axe”. Or at the very least, he’s The Doof Warrior from Mad Max… hmmm…

Up next on the docket, we have the vocals. Let’s get the clean vocals out of the way; they’re rough. Not bad by a long shot, but they could definitely use some refining. As for his bellowing, fuck man, if he shouted at me to, “Get out of the way,” in that tone, I’d be in the next state over before he could finish his command. Motherfucker is scary.

Have I mention lyrical content yet? Norselaw pulls his imagery from everyday political strife (“fat blue line guarded by swiiiiine!”), to Conan The Barbarian to H.P. fucking Lovecraft. And speaking of Lovecraft, “Fungi From Yuggoth” is one of the best tracks on the album, not only due to the ever-presence of the Old Ones, but because of Jamie Lannister’s energetic drumming. Guy lets his fucking hair down and says, “fuck your ability to ever hear anything ever again!” and proceeds to rupture the eardrums of anyone within range in a berserk barrage of percussive power!

If you walk away from this review and can only manage to remember one thing, make it this: Norselaw is law. These guys fucking rule!

Music Review: Abjection Ritual – Futility Rites

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Genre: Dark Ambient, Nightmare Fuel
Label: Malignant Records

Do you want to have an awful night? If so, listen to Abjection Ritual’sFutility Rites‘ while you’re alone. My night went from me being bored beyond belief to the point of going, “Man, it’s been so long since I wrote a review, I should dust off the ol’ ‘In’ pile and see who I owe muchas disculpas to,” to jumping at every sound in the apartment that, before listening to ‘Futility Rites‘, I could identify as the refrigerator, the cat, the other cat and the stupid pipe that rattles under the floor whenever someone in our apartment row flushes their toilet…

After having my optimism obliterated, my self-esteem shish-kababed and my dreams dashed on the sonic rocks laid out by Abjection Ritual (three tracks in, which has got to be some kind of spirit breaking speed record), the malnourished nihilist side of me began to dig for scraps. It was hungry. It wanted more ‘Futility Rites‘. It had to dig past a unpleasant layer or two before it could feast, however.

It’s mostly just the vocals. They were great at shaking me up a bit when I first encountered them (my notes read “Raw. Fucking. Hatred.”), but they began to wear on me as the album progressed. I enjoyed the occasional soundbite from the odd televangelist (and the heart attack from “Objects of Wrath”) as well as the tonal respite that came with “Cum Immersion”, probably the least threatening, though still unnerving track offered.

If I haven’t made this clear yet, allow me to be blunt; this album is the very definition of intensity. To listen is to jump head first into the deep end of the derelict, dark ambient/death ambient pool. But in the end, if you have the emotional and mental fortitude, the “Entropic Embrace” of “Futility Rites” will welcome you into the “Tabernacle of Teeth and Tongues”…

Crown of Viserys on Patreon

Music Review: Of Earth And Sun – Uncoiled

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Genre: Dark Ambient, Experimental
Label: Malignant Records

Fuck, man. How the hell am I supposed to review an album that chills me to my very core? I’ve been grappling with this notion for a couple of weeks and I figured that now is as good a time as any to get over my slump with some borderline unreviewable material. Enter Of Earth And Sun (a project manned by one Matthew Huntzker) and his offering, Uncoiled.

Uncoiled reminds me of Rasalhague‘s Rage Inside The Window in the way it can give me the physical heebies and psychological jeebies. Don’t get me wrong now, Uncoiled is more of a “death is an inevitable factor in the universe and there’s nothing you can do about it, so quit your bitching and enjoy the sounds of this bone flute,” where as Rage Inside The Window is more “JESUSFUCKWHYCAN’TIESCAPETHISMADNESS!??!” I guess what I’m getting at is that Uncoiled is one of only two dark ambient/experimental/etc albums that I NEED the lights on to listen to, because shit get intense.

The first two tracks acted as a set up, slowly lulling me with lower oscillator tones and slow almost medicinal beats as tension builds and releases to the unheard tempo of some greater life form’s heartbeat(s); and then we enter “Veil of Illumination”. The title sounds like it should be a light and comfortable experience, right? Well, if the sounds of the breath of the living passing through the bones of the dead is your ideal soundtrack to a relaxing canoe trip, more power to you. To me, it was nightmare fuel for a couple of nights! Worms made of pure energy entered and exited my skull as they saw fit as the ribcage of the family cat played host to a smaller version of its self that desperately tried to claw its way out.

I could easily do a track-by-track review of Uncoiled and share all of the soul twisting craziness my schizophrenic brain translates this music into, but I have a mountain of reviews to get to, so this is where I apply the breaks on the crazy train. Uncoiled is a trip and a half that can find footing in the libraries of fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Eraserhead, and all of that other shit that probably gets you put on a watchlist somewhere for something.

Music Review: Yen Pox – Between the Horizon and the Abyss

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Genre: Dark Ambient
Label: Malignant Records

Having been a rabid fan of Yen Pox’s Blood Music (the 2010 two disc re-issue to be precise), you could easily say that I was more than a little excited to find Between the Horizon and the Abyss in my mailbox. The damnable duo of dark ambient is back in my library and ready to make the missus second guess coming to bed with me (Phelios, Yen Pox and False Mirror are regulars in my nightly rotation and she happens to find them, “scary”).

Between The Horizon And The Abyss starts off like just about every other dark ambient record you’ve ever heard; low rumble droning that gives way to small crackling noises and eventually synths and yadda yadda yadda. If you’re a fan of dark ambient/noise/drone/blech, you know the drill… wait, did a ping pong match break out during the recording of Cold Summer Sun? What the hell is that and why does it sound out of place, yet it feels like it fits right in as if it were guided by some kind of auditory feng shui?

The point is, Yen Pox takes what you thought you understood about this genre and the abilities of the various instruments therein and tears down the veil to reveal an infinitely expanding universe of sonic possibility and impossibility. It’s goddamned crazy, man.

I don’t think that I can make my admiration for this project any clearer than that, but I’ll just hammer the point home here in case you missed it: Yen Pox are fucking geniuses. Just shoot their next couple of albums into my veins…

Music Review: Ancient Wind – The Chosen Slain

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Genre: Blackened Thrash, Death Metal
Label: To The Head Records

Hailing from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, an aspiring hotbed of scathing molten metal mayhem, Ancient Wind bring the passion and the pain with their debut album, The Chosen Slain.

Here, Ancient Wind fuels a massive storm of deathened, blackened thrash with raw vocals, a hatred for all things “poser” and enough aggression to level a city. The meeting of these styles has led to the actualization of what, I believe, Feasting Amon Amarth would sound like… only a fuck-ton more thrashy and way better than I could of imagined! [Dustin’s note: for those that just don’t get it, old Deicide meets Amon Amarth]

Vocalist Roberto Inferno rips the mic to shreds with his battle ready roars and occasionally sounds like the man-mountain, Johan Hegg. So, no complaints here. Next, I have to mention Girth Brook’s drumming. Kudos to you, sir. You managed to smoothly blend together genres that, while normally do blend well together, tend to leave lumps in the batter. Normally in a situation like this, you usually hear more of one influence than the other(s). Here, Mr. Brook manages to give equal time to three different styles.

As for the string section of Ancient Wind… fuck. Do I have to keep writing? I think you get how I feel about this band already. They fucking rule! If they were a Portland band, I’d be at their next show with a tray of my special brownies as an offering to their godliness… though, living in Colorado, they’ve probably had they’re fair share of magical baked goods…

In summery, Ancient Wind out-metal some veterans of the metal scene that are 15+ years their senior! Keep your bloodshot eyes on these guys! Easily recommended for those of you who are just straight tired of Skeletonwitch‘s softening sound.