Five of the Best – Olivia Neutered John Influences

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Grind is protest – well all know this. But sometimes, other than a vague sense of “society is bullshit” style slogans, it can be unclear exactly what a band is protesting against. That’s not the case with Olivia Neutered John. The London-based project focuses it rage on how society treats women, flipping the typical gendered dynamic of death and goregrind lyrics on their head. Ahead of the release of Complete Castration – a compilation that will bring together previous releases The Toxic OrgyTransphobia Annihilation Squad, and Kill All Men (Starting With The White Ones), and will include several new tracks – we asked mainman Dick Weeks about the five biggest influences on the project. Some might be what you’d expect from a death-grind band, but some are perhaps a bit surprising; yet, within the context of Olivia Neutered John’s sound and lyrical aims, they all make complete sense. Here they are, in the words of the mainman himself.

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Album of the Day: Redacted – Alien Nation

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Label: Blackened Death Records

One of the earliest releases put out by Blackened Death Records was Alien Nation by Redacted, consisting of Jon Stormbeard (also of Petrichor and Stormbeard) and The World Controller (aka Pope Richard, of about seventeen squillion bands). Though a touch crude compared to the music the two individuals would go on to record, Alien Nation still remains a killer slice of thrash. Taking lyrical influence from the likes of The X-Files,  conspiracy theories, and horror, it’s an album filled with a lot of fun, and lots of killer riffs.

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Album of the Day: Discord – Crustfucker

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Label: Blackened Death Records

Does Pope Richard ever sleep? Judging by his consistent stream of quality releases, I’m hard pressed to believe it. One of the latest is Crustfucker under the Discord moniker, which is – as you might expect from the name – a nasty slice of crust and D-beat. Featuring songs with titles like ‘Cop Crusher’, ‘New Nazis’, and ‘Racists Don’t Own Shit’, it’s as politically charged and unsubtle as you’d hope for from the writer of songs such as ‘Stop Supporting Racist Bands’. And, just as you’d hope for from a crust records, it’s full of high energy riffs and righteous energy, the sound of a one-man protest against the bullshit systems that oppress so many.

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Review: Antitheist – Fortress in Space

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Label: Blackened Death Records

Can you hear that sound approaching? It is the sounds of RIFFSFortress in Space by Antitheist (one of Pope Richard’s many, many bands) is a three-track feast of self-described “teenage death metal” – but I don’t remember most of the death metal of my teen years having riffs as direct and crushing as this, or being as immediate and energetic. High-tempo and wrapped up in a sci-fi aesthetic, Fortress in Space is rather different from most of Pope Richard’s projects in that it’s not overtly political, but it’s as heavy as anything else he’s done, and hugely enjoyable.

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Review: Olivia Neutered John – Transphobia Annihilation Squad

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Label: Blackened Death Records

“Metal should be shocking an provocative!” is something that, I’m sure, we’ve all heard before. Normally, such attempts at provocation take tired forms – fascist imagery, pseudo-Satanism, and intentional offensiveness that can be described as, to use an oh-so modern term, “edgy”. And yet when a band comes along challenging norms – such as Castrator turning the gender dynamic of violent death metal on its head, or Dawn Ray’d making passionate anti-fascist black metal, or simply by having members who aren’t straight white cis males in their ranks – they can often cause some of those same alpha metal warriors, who congratulate themselves on challenging boundaries, to have fits of apoplexy. I surely don’t need to provide examples – we’ve all seen it happen, it’s and something that Dick Weeks, the sole member of feminist grind act Olivia Neutered John (and head of Blackened Death Records) deals with almost daily, with anonymous death threats. It’s this context that helps make Transphobia Annihilation Squad, their new EP, so powerful and shocking. Too few people are making music that is this good, with a challenging message that has something worth saying.

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Album of the Day: Ylem Darkul – The Amnesiac Art of Human Existence

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Label: Blackened Death Records

Sometimes, you just want some no-nonsense metal; the kind that doesn’t care whether it’s black, or death, or thrash, or heavy. For such a time, the debut EP from Bristol band Ylem Darkul serves very nicely. The Amnesiac Art of Human Existence is a short, sharp example of extreme metal that pulls from various styles and sources to create a record full of solid songs, that switches styles and conjures compelling riffs with skill and passion.

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Five of the Best: Anti-fascist black metal bands

When people think of black metal and politics, odds are they think of bands who are on the far-right of the spectrum. It’s no surprise. Fascist imagery abounds in black metal, to the extent that it’s considered utterly normal by some, and there’s a long history of some of the big names of the genre espousing authoritarian, prejudiced views; and this is to say nothing of the whole NSBM sub-genre. But recent years have seen more and more bands making explicitly anti-fascist black metal. There’s always been those who have had views we would now recognise as anti-fascist – most notably Summoning – but that’s not always come across in their music. So, here are five bands playing various styles of black metal, where you won’t need to follow up on interviews to know their anti-fascist leanings.

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