Shattered Platter’s take: Rising Beast Records

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/07/2013 by Shattered Platter

The city of Los Angeles is home to the largest record labels in the world but even more so to a plethora of independent labels created that cater to a specific audience.


Rising Beast records is an underground label based out of LA that caters to black metal enthusiasts and specifically fans of the genre that prefer their artists work on the analog formats (i.e. vinyl, magnetic tape etc).

They were looking for some press to help them push their releases out, so being the nice guy I am I volunteered to help these guys out and they sent me a well tailored (and very well packed) care package consisting of four releases. One of these releases they sent me is the 7″ split of Moonknight/Moloch.


Side A consists of Los Angeles based one man project Moonknight performing “Night Creature.”  Very lo fi agony-ridden melodies followed by anguish filled harmonies that reinforces the fact that Burzum is one of the most influential acts in all of underground metal and Varg’s work is still felt to this day.

Side B consists of Ukrainian based one man project Moloch performing “Die letzten Strahlen der Sonne verblassen in der Kalte der Apathie.”   Even Moloch’s visionary himself (real name Sergiy Fjordsson) recognizes, acknowledges in the credits that this track is the very true definition of “dissonance” and depressive black metal.   Every instrument is pretty much of time/key here and the vocals seemed forced, definitely blood curdling but it wouldn’t surprise me if this is what he was aiming for.

Artwork for Moloch was designed and illustrated by Sergiy himself while Moonknight’s illustration was designed by Johnny Ryan.

All and all it’s different from what I listen to but it works well and I believe that any fan of extreme black metal will appreciate this.


Up next is the cassette  reissue (and original debut album) of Los Angeles based Lightning Swords of Death entitled “The Golden Plague.”


These guys shred, without a doubt.   Initially signed to Metal Blade records back in 09, Rising Beast did a solid job  re-releasing this on the cassette format.  Seven tracks with a total running time of 32 minutes of blistering thrash infused black metal.    Recording quality of the album tells the DIY ethic of the band during its early days when they were starting out (very lo-fi, sounds like it was recorded directly into a recorder).

Best tracks include the punishing “Plunder & Lightning”, “Loathsome” and “Ghost of a Thousand Broken Blades.”

If you’re looking for a good reason to check these dudes out, Nick Oliveri called me a few weeks back telling me about this band and he wants me to see them with him.

Good call on his part, they fucking ruled The Joint that night.


Krayl, an Indian black metal project founded by Svartblod (Lobotomical, Abstract Torture) whose release with Rising Beast is entitled “von dusteren Welten. “



I would say this album was the most interesting of the care package that was sent to me.  I say this because it’s not just a straight metal album (nor is there any super musical elements in it as well) but because it is an album that I feel one doesn’t listen to but one experiences.

Four tracks consisting of metal infused shoe gaze that can produce some rather interesting visuals when taken in the right environment and with the right amount of psychedelics, I might say!

The stand out track of this release would have to be the final “Shadows of Mutilated Elves” track, very heavy and very droning.   To best summarize, think of Quorthon’s vocal mix from the first Bathory release mixed in with a SunnO))) album and you’ll somewhat get the scope of this.


Final review goes to Moonknight, who happens to also be the founder of Rising Beast Records as well.

Kill It

His album, entitled “Toplov” is his one man project while he has not busy playing for his other band, Harassor.   The album consists of 14 tracks of melancholic blackened thrash with piercing guitar work, prevalent blast beasts and vocals so harsh that it rivals Dead’s vocal mix in Mayhem’s legendary release “Live in Leipzig” with production elements that heavily remind of Darkthrone’s release “Transylvanian Hunger.”

I throughly enjoyed this release, it’s hard, angry and pretty much capitalizes on why I started Shattered Platter in the first place, to get these types of artists and releases more exposure.    The tracks Zelator and S-TA sounds reminds me a lot of earlier Xasthur recordings and production techniques.  The minor scaling riff provides extra dark harmony with the tortured vocals being shrieked in the background through 5:12 of just raw, angry recording.


For more information about Rising Beast Records, check out the following links below.








Shattered Platters Take: Valient Thorr – Our Own Masters

Posted in Album Reviews, Shattered Platter with tags , , , , , , on 06/25/2013 by Shattered Platter

North Carolina party rockers Valient Thorr released a brand new record via Volcom Entertainment on 6/18/2013 entitled “Our Own Masters.”  It’s available physically on CD and Slime Green colored vinyl.


When Volcom Entertainment passed me a copy of the album  to review, the first thing I imagined once the opening track of “Immaculate Con sumption” started to play was a visual of the recording process with Valient Himself in the studio going absolutely nuts like he does during his live shows while in this “professional” environment of making this record.

I’ve seen Thorr many times and I will say that one doesn’t simply “see” V.Thorr, they “experience” V.Thorr.    I actually have spoken to many a Thorrior about how at first we weren’t too big on the band when hearing them on record but once we saw the live show and how insane it is, we gave it another shot and were instantly won over,!!   “Our Own Masters” picks up right where their last record “Stranger” left off, more jams about positivity, partying, surreal moments, partying, taking action, partying etc.  12 tracks of new songs that tackle the serious issues we face such as our nation being a bunch of zombie consumers who buy material items that we don’t need (Immaculate Consumption), dealing with everyday life (Torn Apart) and evil things (Life Hands You Demons) among others.  Track list is as follows:

– Immaculate Consumption

– Master Collider

– Manipulation

– No Strings Attached

– Life Hands You Demons

– Torn Apart

– Cerebus

– Good News Bad News

– Insatiable

– Crowdpleaser

– Nervous Energy

– Call off the Dogs

“Cerebus” is by far my favorite track on the album.  The dueling guitar melody’s and Valient’s chant of “Cerberus don’t bite the hand that feeds ya,” leaves even the most impotent metal head aware that Thorr was probably blasting Van Halen’s 1984 while coming up with this one!

I can see Valient Thorr as a minimalists, people without needing much to have a good time.  Hell, look at the “Torn Apart” video (link below): a cabin, dudes and ladies, beer and a bonfire and they’re stoked!  That’s why “Immaculate Conception” is a perfect opening track to the album.  An over the top rock out against mass materialism and corporate cock sucking of the highest pedigree.

All in all, this album is a great follow up to Strangers and will only get new fans of them once virgin ears have been penetrated by “Our Own Masters.”  They’re currently on tour with Gypsyhawk and Ramming Speed and will be doing more dates in the following months to come.

Video for their debut single debut and you can pick up the album at the link below.


Valient Thorr – Torn Apart

Album Review: Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For A Modern World”

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 04/20/2013 by Shattered Platter

Well, this is kind of a stray away from my normal material that usually consists of heavy music but hell, it’s refreshing!

The Bay Area, home of Anchor Steam beer, the hated SF Giants, birthplace of US thrash metal and the current home of a bad ass garage punk band called Jonny Manak & The Depressives.

Who is Jonny Manak & The Depressives you ask?!?   This band is 3 piece powerhouse from the San Jose/Oakland area who stick to their guns and influences when it comes to bangin’ out good ol’ rock n’ roll tunes and LPs (they’ve released 3 so far)   Band consists of:

– An ex pro skateboarder named Jonny Manak (Fun Fact: His brother Chris, is the head of indie hip hop label giant Stones Throw Records)

– Flogging Molly’s/Dee Dee Ramone/Streetwalkin Cheetah’s ex bassist Bobby Wilcox.

– Flexx Bronco’s own Andy on the drums

What are they releasing you ask?!?  A new album of course, duh!  Their new record is called Primitive Sounds for A Modern World and is being released via a partnership between Manak’s own Reach Around Records and a new start up called Self Destructo Records.  14 tracks of garage rock hymns is what your getting with this. 

When is this coming out?!?  Street date for this polyvinyl chloride infused piece of fun is set for early May but you can now download the album in it’s entirety via iTunes or stream it over Spotify.



Album cover is awesome, props to David McHank for the tiki man sketch!

So, let’s get in the review part.  This album is really fun and super catchy to the ears, take it from me a…a guy who practically listens to nothing but Goatsnake and Turbonegro….this album was really fun.

These 14 tracks make you move your head like the way when you first heard Radio Birdman’s “Radios Appear” album back when you were first getting into punk rock.  I specfically note the track “Ride the Barrell (and get Pitted) as the cream of this album though, that track’s tempo and hooks are as catchy as it gets.

Another foot tapper is the song Wha-Bam! (which by coincidence has kinda become his trademark saying with the band). It sounds like something The Saint’s would have done but obviously came to late on it, total power pop sounding track.

This album is not just a studio album but also a live album as Side B was recorded during a live session at KFJC over in the San Jose area. Songs from this side consist of back catalog material + new material that never had proper studio release (from what I understand is in the works!).

All in all, Primitive Sounds For A Modern World is a fun album from the starting track :Wha-Bam!: to the finishing track of the consequence of choosing a road to travel and bearing the outcomes “Choose My Fate.”

3 guys, a home studio, a passion for doing what they love and making it happen regardless of the outcome. America, take notice!

Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For a Modern World”

Album review: Kverlertak – “Meir”

Posted in Uncategorized on 04/04/2013 by Shattered Platter

Norway…… The land of Scandinavian black metal, prevalent  church burnings and a little band called Turbonegro.

With these native cultural and musical elements encompassed into recording sessions, Norway’s own Kvelartek is able to launch more fury at heavy music community worldwide with their latest offering entitled “Meir” which hit record stores worldwide on 3/25/13 via Roadrunner Records and will be released on vinyl 4/9/2013 courtesy of Norway’s Indie Recordings.

Kverlatek’s style mixes both hardcore punk chord strucuture, frantic black metal blast beats and dual harmonies coinciding with a vocal structure that always keep pace throughout “Meirs” 11 tracks of blistering aggression. They leave no room for the listener to abosrb what they’re hearing until well after the album ends, relentless assault throughout.

“Meir” also marks the return of the band’s collaboration with notable heavy music engineer Kurt Ballou (Converge) who also sat behind the production helm and assisted in shaping the sound of their self titled debut back in 2011.

Another key return for the Kvelertak camp is the involvement of Savanna, GA based artist John Dyer Baizley (Baroness) who is responsible for their stunningly detailed illustrations used for their album covers.  Cover illustration used for “Meir” below.


“Meir’s” attitude is a definite continuation from where Kverlertak left off in 2011. With the three man guitar assualt consisting of Vidar Landa, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad, they blend the ripping chord interchanges of Darkthrone, the heavy hooks and catchiness of Turbonegro and the dual solo harmonies of Iron Maiden. Tracks like Spring Fra Livet (translated Run From Life) showcase the whole bands talents from staying tight during random progressions to blending elements of black metal with anthem like hooks that translate into an overall 3:25 minutes of overall energy from start to finish.

Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik’s voice matches so well with the energy throughout the album, he’s full force from start to finish. Even on mellower tracks that have acoustic arrangements (i.e. Evig Vandrar, Snilepisk and the single Bruane Brenn) his voice shatters the acoustic arrangements and gives cue to the heaviness that ensues the listener.

To summarize this album, it’s one of the great new pieces of heavy music to come into 2013. This band has accomplished a lot for themselves in only six years of existence (worldwide tours, festival appearances, gold award presentation by Dave Grohl in their hometown etc) and they’re only getting started on US audiences, even after considerable praise by fans from their festival appearance in Austin TX back in November (I was there, they ruled and everyone else I got drunk with thought so as well).

Damn, Turbonegro releases Sexual Harassment only some months ago and now this……….Scandinavia is coming on strong!!

JR Hayes (Pig Destroyer vox) talks influences and recommends some tunes.

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/25/2013 by Shattered Platter



Love this Spirit of St. Louis turntable/cd/cassette combo. A birthday present from my Grandma many many years ago.


At first I thought this was just a decent collection of “lost” tracks, then I realized that it one of his finest albums. soul sleaze anthems from the most soulful white boy around.


I’ve probably listened to Lou Reed more than any other artist. I don’t know if I can give higher praise than that. A killer album in a long, long list of killer albums.


Grind/hardcore band from Ft. Smith Arkansas. Angry and punk as fuck. The 7″ on Slap a Ham is also essential.


Speaking of Slap a Ham, here’s a crucial split of power violence royalty. Maybe I’m a little biased being a VA boy, but Suppression deserve waaaaaay more recognition. One of my favorite bands from that era.


Classic debut from the smooth talking NOLA MC. The title track alone is worth the price of admission.


Post moody hardcore from DC, kind of like a crankier Fugazi. One of my favorite Dischord releases.


Mean, pulverizing grind from NOLA. Thanks to the Priapus boys for turning me on to this band! This shit is so sick!


This New Zealand band has been writing great songs for decades. If you even kind of like indie rock or lo-fi, then meet your new best friends.


Bulldozing metallic hardcore from Germany. Sort of like Rorshach’s “Protestant” LP sprinkled with “essence of Hanneman”.


I am just in awe of this band. The Nachos make other hardcore bands sound like a bunch of little sissies. Feel the hate.


New Pig Destoyer album “Book Burner” out now via Relapse Records on CD and LP.


Rob Nowak (Drummer/Manager of Against The Grain) – Interview

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 03/25/2013 by Shattered Platter


  1.  Tell me about yourselves, how did ATG come to fruition?  Who are you guys, what are you doing, why are you doing it and who is going to stop you?

The story of ATG coming together is actually pretty sweet.  I and Nick are child hood best friends and Chris (my brother) and Kyle are best friends from childhood.  Chris and I played in a band since he was 9, and I was 12, and after that fell apart about 6 years ago we had pretty much cashed in being in a band.  It been about 2 years since we rocked, and Nick started mentioning how he wanted to jam.  Well Nick got hit by a speeding car, and got hospitalized right in front of me.  After about 6 months of intense physical therapy he told me all he wanted was to jam.   Meanwhile that happened; I (Rob) just started working in the meat department at my job, and met Bryan, an avid music lover and jammer.  Bryan was obsessed with the blues and old rock, and I was into punk and speed rock like Zeke.  After talking about music, we decided to get together to jam.  Chris was upstairs with a broken couple fingers, heard the jam, and came downstairs.  Next thing you know, I got at nick and me Bryan, Chris, and nick started jamming.  Kyle joined the band later after Bryan revealed he could not tour.  Bryan still helps write and plays any close to home shows with us.

2.   You guys come from Detroit, MI; an area that has its fair share of killer bands come out of that scene in it’s past.  What kind of response have you been getting in the Detroit area and can you describe what is happening in that scene currently?

 Detroit has an incredible scene, you just have to work hard and flier/promote.  We were lucky enough to catch the attention of the bands we really admired like Hellmouth ( featuring  Jay of the Suicide Machines), The Meatmen, Easy Action, and a bunch of other great bands so we were able to be apart of a lot of great lineups and tours.  After a couple great starts of shows a lot of the venues in Detroit started to let us rock there and put on great shows.  The hometown support we get from friends, fans, promoters, the venues, and other bands is incredible and really helps us. That kind of support makes touring feel necessary.  Right now the scene is getting bigger and bigger, and because of that we’re able to bring bands like The Hookers through and show them great times.  Detroit truly is “Detroit Rock City”.

3.  In your relatively short time of existence, you’ve shared the stage with some serious players in heavy music (i.e. Valient Thorr, Holley 750, Zeke, and Jello Biafra to name a few).  What would be your pinnacle band to play with (besides Motorhead)?

 There are literally hundreds of bands we still want to rock with from stoner, to punk, to rock.  Dream tour to be a part of; Zeke, Red Fang, Valient Thorr, and Against the Grain.

4.  You guys have been around since 2009; Detroit was going through some heavy stuff around that time with the Recession and all.  Was that an element that played heavily in the topics of your guy’s first album release?

 I’d say it had way more of an effect on us with the feeling of needing to get out on the road.  Detroit can swallow you whole, and you can spend your whole life there trying to get respect or “make it”.  We knew that there was no way the rest of the world could be doing so bad, and used it as motivation to want to get out there.  Detroit is our home, and sometimes being parts of a recession like that can drive you get out there.

5.  Besides the new album, what can we expect from the ATG camp in the near future?  You guys got a huge domestic tour coming up.

 ATG is just getting started.  We’ve done 9 tours so far, and plan on touring as much as possible. At least 125 shows a year, and if things pick up hopefully a lot more.   We want to keep releasing records and bringing speed-rock to the forefront. Expect some sort of release every year (hopefully a ton of 7” and splits soon). Musically, it’s be safe to say we plan on covering a lot of grounds, but all within raw rock and roll grounds.  Punk, d-beat, speed-rock, stoner, rock and roll, all mixed in. We love all forms of heavy and raw music, and each release will continue to show that.  We like to throw a couple different elements into each record.  Our first record was a lot softer. In Motor City Speed Rock, we wanted to write a rip-your-fucking-head-off record.  Surrounded By Snakes is more rock and stoner orientated, but definitely still has some speed-rock fast as shit moments.  Basically, we’re here to stay and are going to keep on rocking as long as its fun to us.   

Sean and Zander (3.17.13 – Echoplex)

Posted in Shattered Platter with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/19/2013 by Shattered Platter

With the vast amount of bands that play (of all genres) in Los Angeles, it can be overwhelming to try to find a new group to check out that derives itself from a certain genre your passionate about.

This is where Sean and Zander come into play for fans of punk rock.

To summarize their music best, Zander came up with this:

“‘We want to grow old with a little more grace. . . we’re trying to build a bridge for the people out of punk rock.”

I walked into the Echoplex, went to the merch booth to say what’s up to a friend of mine who  just wrapped up a tour with a great band from LA called The Wild Roses.  Chatted for  a bit, then watched the rest of the Roses set.

Sean and Zander started their set without any one even realizing it… a boss.


Their set list comprised of material from their debut album Walk Thee Invisible such as

– So Low She Rose


– Spiritual

– Song about Songs

– 2nd &Hill

During song changes, Sean would BS with the audience about random things/events and even throw out compliments to guys who were in better physical shape than he was.

Besides that, the chemistry between the two guys work really well on stage.

Keep it classy dudes.



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