Album Review – FesterDecay / Reality Rotten To The Core (2023)

***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) ZineVM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

FesterDecay are a quartet of Goregrind fanatics who hail from Fukoaka in Japan. Since their 2016 inception the band have put together a decent list of demo and split releases, however 2023 sees the band’s first full length offering; a fourteen track opus of filth and degradation that they have called Reality Rotten to the Core. Rather appropriately, Everlasting Spew Records have unleashed this putrid beast on both CD and cassette.

Leave it to the Japanese to do Goregrind properly. Rather than simply churn out a series of breakdowns, pig squeals and audio samples, FesterDecay have given their sound a firm foundation of old school Death Metal with the inclusion of thunderous and bleak sounding riffs and a sturdy and pummeling back line of throbbing bass tones and thumping aggression from behind the kit. From there the pestilent vocal work of KK2 kicks in to add a layer of grime and detritus, whilst the riffs take on a thuggish and belligerent tone.

Sporting a heady mixture of bowel trembling bass lines and wildly erratic guitar solos, Fall in Grind starts out with a grueling and abrasive sound and only gets sicker and more devastating as more time passes. It isn’t until fourth track Disintegration of Organs that the band really unleash a fully Goregrind sounding style; meaty chugging riffs, furious and violent drum tones and a bass line you could garotte with, whilst all the while the vocals gurgle and boil away to themselves before spewing forth a hostile tirade of bile and pus!

If you want sickening song names attached to mind bending aggressive bouts of malicious, blood curdling sickness, look no further than Aborticide. Not a track for the pro-lifer brigade as I’m sure you could imagine. I like the tracks that slow things down though, the tracks that let the bass tones fester in their juices and riffs take on a deranged, predatory air before unleashing a vicious volley of blood soaked anal fluid in your face; such as the appropriately named Stench of Decay.

In the midst of all of this putridity and carnage, thuggery and hooliganism, there sits From the Dark Tomb which for the most part is a lesson in brooding, oppressive sounding OSDM that then degrades into a maelstrom of pus splattering riffs and maniacal drumming which then plays out over the next few tracks as a purge style rout of blistering heaviness and uncontrollable animosity and animalistic tendencies truly take hold.

In all seriousness, Reality Rotten to the Core is a good blend of the barbaric, the groove drenched and the needlessly silly; everything I want from a good Grindcore album. Plus the OSDM influence which so few bands of this kind utilize. Well played squires.

Best moments of the album: The infusion of an OSDM foundation to their sound. Plus, Aborticide & From the Dark Tomb.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 by Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Rotten Fester Decay 2:16
2. Hash the Tongue 1:36
3. Fall in Grind 2:07
4. Disintegration of Organs 2:13
5. Aborticide 2:17
6. Stench of Decay 3:38
7. Psychopharmacist 1:06
8. From the Dark Tomb 2:45
9. Exposing the Skin Tissue 1:47
10. Carcasses’ Revenge 2:38
11. Cryptic Wounds 1:26
12. Liquidized Gallbladder 0:44
13. Scum’s Karma 2:28
14. Reconstruction of Malignant Miasma 3:53

Band members
KK2 – vocals
Haru – guitar, vocals
⻲頭 – bass, guitar
Ryozy – drums

Links
FesterDecay Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | BandCamp | Spotify | Linktree

Album Review – Carcass / Despicable EP (2020)

The trailblazers of Goregrind, Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal are back with a four-track collection of songs serving as a precursor to their upcoming 2021 album.

The legendary Liverpool, UK-based institution Carcass has released several classic albums over the years and changed the trajectory of Extreme Metal with each consecutive release, with albums like Reek of Putrefaction and Heartwork creating the template for Goregrind, Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal. Now in 2020, seven years after the release of the excellent Surgical Steel (and six years after the EP Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel), the band currently comprised of Jeff Walker on vocals and bass, Bill Steer and Tom Draper on the guitars, and Daniel Wilding on drums is about to release a new EP entitled Despicable, a four-track collection of songs serving as a precursor to the band’s upcoming 2021 full-length album and, above all, a bold and gory statement that those four guys still have a lot of fuel to burn and blood to spill with their wicked creations.

Just hit play and when The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue begins you’ll know it’s goddamn Carcass form the very first guitar note, with Bill and Tom sharpening their axes for a Grindcore and Death Metal onrush that’s about to start while Jeff snarls demonically as usual, also full of breaks and variations effectively inserted throughout this infernal tune. Led by the classy beats by Daniel, the quartet fires another solid, headbanging creation beautifully titled The Long and Winding Bier Road, where Jeff’s inhumane gnarls get deeper and more enraged, with their guitars showcasing more of their trademark riffage; and one more round of darkened riffs, devilish growls and rhythmic beats fills our avid ears in Under the Scalpel Blade, where it becomes clear the band is focusing a lot more on shaping up their melody rather than pure speed and heaviness. However, it’s when they accelerate their pace that things get really exciting (at least for old school fans like myself). Lastly, the band’s guitar duo keeps extracting strident, razor-edged sounds form their guitars in Slaughtered in Soho, sounding very progressive at times while Jeff continues to haunt our souls with his demon-like barks and vociferations.

I must admit Despicable is much better than what I was expecting, a really entertaining EP of modern-day Melodic Death Metal infused with Grindcore elements, and if this is the direction Carcass are taking with their music I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring into being in 2021 with their seventh full-length opus. Having said that, you can add Despicable to your demonic collection by clicking HERE or HERE, and keep an eye on the band’s official Facebook page and on Instagram for news about their upcoming album and, of course, for their tour dates as soon as all this madness is over. Let’s all hope 2021 is a much better year than this nasty 2020, and that bands like Carcass keep inspiring us all, “despicable” human beings, to slam into the circle pit while they pulverize our ears with their refined technique and aggressiveness for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue 6:00
2. The Long and Winding Bier Road 4:21
3. Under the Scalpel Blade 3:55
4. Slaughtered in Soho 4:37

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Draper – guitars
Daniel Wilding – drums

Album Review – Vaginal Anomalies / Violent Devotion to Kill (2020)

Get ready for a feast of gore, heaviness and perversity in the form of Brutal Death Metal, courtesy of two demented Mexican metallers armed with their new full-length album.

What began as a one-man pathological project formed by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Pozolegrind (whose real name is Erick Alejandro Navarro Jimenez) back in 2014 in Poncitlán, a town and municipality in Jalisco, in central-western Mexico, has evolved into a beastly duo through the years, taking no prisoners in their quest for heaviness, blood and perversity. I’m talking about the infernal Brutal Death Metal/Deathslam two-headed monster curiously named Vaginal Anomalies, and even if you think the name of the band is too dark and gory for your standards, you should definitely take a listen at the infuriated fusion of Grindcore and Death Metal found in their first full-length opus, titled Violent Devotion to Kill, where Pozolegrind together with vocalist Cheve (also known as Alejandro Magallon) distill their most venomous sounds in the form of nine putrid and acid compositions, plus three amazing live bonus tracks.

A classic Mexican-inspired intro invites the listener to the blood-soaked world of Vaginal Anomalies, before exploding into a visceral and barbaric Death Metal feast led by the inhumane gnarls by Cheve in The Embalming Process in Decomposition Bodies, and Cheve’s growling gets even more demonic in Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses, while Pozolegrind extracts sheer savagery from his riffage and beats. I must say this is a bestial way to break your neck headbanging to their vicious extreme music, whereas in Poncigrind we face less than two minutes of disturbing screeches and heavy-as-hell guitars that will penetrate deep inside your psyche before the demented tune Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan comes crushing our skulls mercilessly, with Pozolegrind maintaining the atmosphere as heavy and obscure as possible, therefore offering Cheve all he needs to basically vomit the song’s lyrics. And let’s keep banging our heads to the duo’s sick and brutal Death Metal in God Advise Me to Torture and Kill, where Cheve and Pozolegrind sound even more insane than before, in special Cheve who simply barks, snarls and roars like a demonic entity.

Perhaps inspired by one of the most iconic scenes from Breaking Bad, the duo fires another slamming and absolute raw creation titled Addicts to Disolve Torsos in a Bathub, where the guitars by Pozolegrind are just as hellish as Cheve’s deep guttural barks, while an ethereal start quickly turns into a visceral display of Brutal Death Metal entitled The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest, featuring vocalist Alex Gama From Mexican Brutal Death Metal band Hallux Valgus, with both vocals being a lesson in bestiality and dementia. There’s no time to breathe as those Mexicans keep hammering our heads with their vicious sonic attack in Whore Maniac, offering more of their trademark riffs and otherworldly growling, and last but not least, they bring forth another shot of cinematic and traditional Mexican sounds in the title-track Violent Devotion to Kill, morphing into a slamming extravaganza led by the smashing drums by Pozolegrind while Cheve snarls in a true grim mode. Not only that, Vaginal Anomalies also offer their fans as bonus tracks the songs Internal Examination, Pelvic Infection and Placenta Abnormalities live at Mexxxicore Death Fest Open Air in 2019 in Poncitlán, providing us all a sonic carnage showcasing all their talent and fury on stage.

I guess I don’t need to say the music by Vaginal Anomalies is not recommended at all for the lighthearted, right? However, if their savagery and gruesome lyrics (and name) don’t make you vomit, you’re more than welcome to pay them a visit on Facebook and to grab your copy of their infernal album sooner than later from the Necromance Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from the Base Record Production’s BandCamp page. This is crude, primeval and extremely brutal Death Metal infused with Goregrind elements, with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements, with Vaginal Anomalies clearly wanting to send us all fans of heavy music a clear message that their home country and of course the rest of the world are not a place for love, peace and butterflies, but for sheer violence viciously turned into the ruthless Death Metal played by those two depraved Mexican metallers.

Best moments of the album: Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses, Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan and The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest.

Worst moments of the album: Whore Maniac.

Released in 2020 Necromance Records/Base Record Production

Track listing
1. The Embalming Process in Decomposition Bodies 3:32
2. Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses 2:19
3. Poncigrind 1:42
4. Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan 2:25
5. God Advise Me to Torture and Kill 2:33
6. Addicts to Disolve Torsos in a Bathub 2:04
7. The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest 2:24
8. Whore Maniac 2:13
9. Violent Devotion to Kill 3:40

Bonus tracks
10. Internal Examination (Live) 2:31
11. Pelvic Infection (Live) 1:42
12. Placenta Abnormalities (Live) 1:36

Band members
Cheve – vocals
Pozolegrind – guitars, bass, drum programming, vocals

Guest musician
Alex Gama – vocals on “The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest”

Album Review – Abatuar / Mortandad (2020)

Beware this unstoppable Panamanian beast and his brand new destructive installment, continuing on the legacy of the ultra-conservative declaration of Death Metal and Grindcore.

Active since 2013 and following the previous album Perversiones de Muerte Putrefacta, the side project of the sick mind from vocalist and drummer Cadaver, the Panamanian Black/Death Metal entity known as Abatuar,  has just unleashed upon us all feeble-minded bastards a new destructive installment entitled Mortandad, continuing on the legacy of the ultra-conservative declaration of Death Metal and Grindcore with clear influences of old school bands such as Napalm Death, Repulsion, Blood and mixing these with the regimental militancy of Proclamation and Black Witchery. Recorded at the rehearsal room Plug & Play (while the vocals were recorded in 2018 at Sendero el Pianista, a trail located in the city of Boquete, Panama), mastered by M. Dahmen at Liquid Aether Audio in Germany in 2018, featuring a demonic artwork by Indonesian artist Bayu Putrasangfajar, and also featuring guest guitarist Yigo Manzo (Merciless Death, Atrofia) and bassist and guitarist Anibal Sucre (Enslaver, Hatross), Mortandad is filled not only with the purity of the genres perhaps due to the isolation of the Panamanian scene where they are from, but also soaked with the Central American brutality which they draw their lyrical influences from.

The razor-edge guitars by Yigo ignite the sulfurous Death and Black Metal feast titled Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias, while Cadaver basically regurgitates the song’s dark lyrics and smashes his drums manically, followed by La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte, another bestial, old school display of Death Metal infused with Grindcore elements where Cadaver sounds utterly demented and enraged on vocals, and Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables, a venomous headbanging tune where Cadaver’s insane blast beats are nicely complemented by the scorching riffs by Yigo. Then the rumbling bass by Anibal together with the vile drums by Cadaver will make your head tremble in the ode to primeval Black and Death Metal beautifully entitled Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras, with its second half inspiring you to break your neck headbanging like a maniac; whereas in Solo Los Que Han Matado Entenderán Esta Sensación, No Puedo Esperar A Estrangular De Nuevo the trio needs less than two minutes to decimate everything and everyone that crosses their path, showcasing demented drums accompanied by a crisp guitar solo by Anibal.

Rameras Desfiguradas Y Enterradas Vivas En Antro De Tortura Y Depravación Demoniaca is one more short and vile explosion of extreme music made in Panama, with Cadaver’s deep guttural gnarls adding an extra dosage of malignancy to the music, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the early days of Mayhem and Marduk. After such infernal tune it’s time for Trastorno Esquizoide De Trisomía Sexual XYY Con Impulsos Asesinos Y Necrofílicos, drawing inspiration from the sexual bestiality usually found in Goregrind while the guitars by Yigo couldn’t have sounded dirtier nor rawer, followed by Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria, where a demolishing start to the sound of the sick beats by Cadaver and the thunderous bass by Anibal morphs into a gory and evil Death Metal extravaganza that will smash your skull mercilessly. And there’s not a single second to breathe as Cadaver and his henchmen explode our ears once again with Exterminio Humano Por Hambruna E Inanición Sistemática En Regiones Sublevadas, overflowing depravity, obscurity and blasphemy in the form of ass-kicking Death Metal. Lastly, an ominous, cinematic and cannibalistic intro suddenly explodes into a putrid onrush of Death Metal titled Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita, led by Cadaver’s gruesome vociferations. All I have to say is that this is what I call a spine-chilling ending to a metal album.

The distinguished, demonic and violent fusion of Black and Death Metal with Grindcore crafted by Cadaver in Mortandad can be experienced in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and you can also follow the multi-talented Cadaver and his Abatuar on Facebook, but of course in order to properly show your support to evil music made in Panama you should purchase a copy of the album from the Dunkelheit Produktionen’s BandCamp page or webstore, from Ván Records, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs. In addition, why don’t you try translating the names of the songs (and their respective lyrics) and see what Cadaver has to say in Mortandad, which by the way is the Spanish word for “mortality”? I bet not only you’ll feel even more intimidated by his scorching metal music, but you’ll also see the decaying world we live in is nothing but a big, infernal and gruesome slaughterhouse.

Best moments of the album: La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte, Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras and Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria.

Worst moments of the album: Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables.

Released in 2020 Dunkelheit Produktionen

Track listing
1. Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias 2:58
2. La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte 2:06
3. Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables 2:07
4. Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras 4:15
5. Solo Los Que Han Matado Entenderán Esta Sensación, No Puedo Esperar A Estrangular De Nuevo 1:49
6. Rameras Desfiguradas Y Enterradas Vivas En Antro De Tortura Y Depravación Demoniaca 1:32
7. Trastorno Esquizoide De Trisomía Sexual XYY Con Impulsos Asesinos Y Necrofílicos 2:54
8. Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria 2:40
9. Exterminio Humano Por Hambruna E Inanición Sistemática En Regiones Sublevadas 3:52
10. Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita 4:25

Band members
Cadaver – vocals, drums

Guest musicians
Yigo Manzo – guitars (session)
Anibal Sucre – bass, lead guitars (session)

Album Review – Goat Necropsy / Bloody and Fresh EP (2020)

Pure gore, violence and blood in less than eight minutes of music, carefully blasted by a new Brazilian duo through their putrid debut EP of Death Metal and Grindcore.

There’s a new dynamic (and vicious) duo hailing form the city of São Paulo, Brazil that not only knows how to apply all aspects of the DIY approach to their music, but they also do it in the goriest and most violent way possible, resulting in an avalanche of demented sounds that will leave completely disoriented after its less than eight minutes are over. I’m talking about the ruthless Death Metal/Grindcore act Goat Necropsy, who are ready to butcher us all with their berserk debut EP entitled Bloody and Fresh. Except for the photo session conducted by Brazilian artist Jessica Mar (Reverbera Music Media), everything else was done by vocalist Vic Ferreira and guitarist and bassist W. Johann (from bands such as Krow, Nervochaos and Victorizer), including all the music and lyrics, the drum programming, the artwork and the overall production, mixing and mastering of the album, and let’s say those two insane metallers nailed it from start to finish, delivering a more-than-fine debut effort that lives up to the traditions of our beloved Goregrind the likes of Carcass, Exhumed, Cattle Decapitation, Napalm Death and Aborted, among several others.

As soon as you hit play and the opening track Chopping Organs begins, you’ll be asking yourself “how can only two guys generate such demolishing and disturbing sonority?” It’s truly pulverizing in its entirety, with Vic sounding infernal with his inhumane roars and gnarls darkly vociferating the song’s visceral words (“Creeping / The butcher arrives / Wretched, mindless / Disturbing death / This grinding machine / Will open your guts / My merciless knife / Reddish shines”), while W. Johann extracts sheer savagery from his riffs. Then continuing their path of devastation and gore, razor-edged riffs and menacing bass lines permeate the air in The Collector, where the gruesome screeches by Vic will disturb your peace of mind in great Goregrind fashion, also sounding very detailed taking into account it’s only two minutes long; and it’s time to go utterly mental to the sound of Anal Vomit, a frantic and demonic display of Death Metal and Grindcore perfect for smashing your skull into the circle pit. Furthermore, Vic and W. Johann once again bring chaos and blood to our ears through their respective screams and riffage, which is also the case in the bestial Devoured by the Hounds, showcasing devilish, psychological lyrics barked by Vic and the awesome Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs by W. Johann. In addition, we must all admit they did an amazing job with the drum programming throughout the entire EP, sounding very organic and extremely aggressive.

In case you don’t believe when I say Goat Necropsy might be one of the most violent Extreme Metal unities hailing from Brazil, simply dedicate nothing more, nothing less than eight minutes of your spare time to take a full listen at Bloody and Fresh on YouTube or on Spotify, and after being annihilated by such demented duo go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, and above all that, purchase your copy of their debut endeavor from their BandCamp page or from Apple Music, showing the world you have what it takes to face sheer gore and dementia in the form of extreme music. Vic and W. Johann surely have a great future ahead of them as Goat Necropsy, proving through their austere compositions that less is always more (brutal, of course).

Best moments of the album: The Collector and Devoured by the Hounds.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Chopping Organs 1:26
2. The Collector 2:30
3. Anal Vomit 1:18
4. Devoured by the Hounds 2:15

Band members
Vic Ferreira – vocals, drum programming
W. Johann – guitars, bass, drum programming

Metal Chick of the Month – Mia Wallace

Hecate awaits where crossroads split…

If there’s a woman that loves heavy music from the bottom of her (darkened) heart, more specifically our always controversial and blasphemous Black Metal, as well as music in general, that lady has to be the unrelenting Italian-born bassist Mia Wallace, who you’ll also find in several bands and projects under the names Michelle Mia Wallace, Mia W. Wallace, White Wallace or even Winter Wallace. As a matter of fact, either being a coincidence or not, the name Mia Wallace was given to the fictional character portrayed by the stunning Uma Thurman in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino cult movie Pulp Fiction, just to give you an idea of how mysterious, sexy and provocative our metal chick of the month of May can be, exactly how we expect from any true Black Metal musician. Known for her work in distinguished metal projects such as The True Endless (under the controversial moniker Soulfucker), Abbath, Triumph of Death and Niryth, among several others, Mia will undoubtedly hypnotize you with her obscure looks and smash your senses with her thunderous bass, proving once and for all Black Metal is and will always be home for some of the most talented women in the history of music.

Born somewhere, sometime in the always gorgeous Italy, Mia Wallace started playing bass in the now distant year of 1994. She said in one of her interviews that her boyfriend at the time, Italian multi-instrumentalist Marco De Rosa (R.I.P.), also known as simply M., who would become her bandmate in distinct bands and projects and best friend for over 25 years, encouraged her to try his white Fender Squier Vintage bass. She mentioned it was extremely heavy, but she immediately became passionate about that amazing instrument. Her first bass was then a four-string Hoyer SG-type from 1970, helping Mia become most probably the first female bass player in the entire Italy to wear corpsepaint, to play Black Metal on stage, and to perform fire-breathing during her live concerts. Among her gear, you’ll find some amazing stuff such as the Epiphone Nikki Sixx Blackbird, the BC Rich Beast and the Clover BassTard bass guitars; the Boss ODB-3, Boss DD-3 and Marshall Reflector RF-1 effects; and the Warwick Profet 5.2 amps.

There are several bands and projects where you can enjoy Mia kicking some serious ass with her rumbling bass, and in order to tell you a little about each one of those let’s start with the most recent or active ones and then move on to her previous bands which have either disbanded or have been put on an indefinite hiatus. Right now, we can say Mia is involved in two main projects, those being an Italian Electronic/Industrial/Alien/Darkwave Pop/Rock project entitled Kirlian Camera, where not only she plays bass but also keyboards (also doing backing vocals), and a mysterious Swiss project that goes by the name of Niryth, where she’s a co-founder, songwriter and lead bassist. There might be a third project which could be called her solo band Mia Wallace, but as there’s nothing online anywhere about it let’s just say there’s no reason for extending the topic on it.

Anyway, her role with Kirlian Camera (which name was taken from what’s known as Kirlian photography, a collection of photographic techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges) obviously goes beyond her usual bass playing duties, providing a unique support to the band’s mastermind Angelo Bergamini and frontwoman Elena Alice Fossi during their live performances. The band was founded in the distant year of in 1979 in the city of Parma by Angelo Bergamini and was a pioneering act of the Italian synthpop scene, featuring musicians from four distinct locations (Piombino, Marciana, Parma and Novara, all in Italy), and after a few ups and downs the duo now shares the stage with obviously Mia and other renowned musicians form the Italian scene such as Alessandro Comerio, Davide Mazza and Falk Pitschk. Having released a good amount of albums since their inception, starting with their 1983 debut effort It Doesn’t Matter Now until their most recent installment Hellfire, released in 2019, the project has always pushed the boundaries of experimental and electronic music, winning several awards through the years, with Mia bringing her share of heaviness and creativity to the band on stage. You won’t be able to listen to Mia in any of their studio albums, of course, but you can certainly enjoy some awesome live footage on YouTube such as this soundcheck in 2018 at a festival in Switzerland, this live version of the song V2K in Leipzig, Germany in 2020, or this 30-minute footage of the band live in Torino, Italy in 2018 playing some of their songs such as Holograms, Black August and News.

Her other project is considerably unique and I can’t even say if it’s still going on or if it has been archived by its band members. I’m talking about Nyrith, a distinguished metal project founded by Mia together with the one and only Tom. G Warrior (Hellhammer, Celtic Fost, Trypticon) with tastes of heavy and obscure doom, blending different styles from the music by Sisters of Mercy to Pink Floyd, all performed by not only one, not two, but three bass players. In one of her interviews Mia mentioned that Nyrith were ready to release their debut album depicting their visions of life and death, their struggles and pains, but so far nothing has been made official yet. She also said the idea of Nyrith came from Tom after Mia was left without a band a few years ago (and we’ll talk more about that later), including the idea of having three bass players on the same band, as at that time nobody was comfortable giving a woman the control of a new or existing band. In this project, Mia mentioned she was working on all the music which was refused by her previous band, a very restricted and traditional Black Metal act by the way, with all of her ideas being pretty much outside the Black Metal world. As aforementioned, there’s nothing officially released up to now, but we should all keep an eye on Nyrith as this is a very promising metal project (if it truly happens one day, of course). In addition, as an accomplished bass player, Mia has been asked several times about her technique, about how she enjoys playing bass and other nice-to-know details. For instance, when questioned about the fact she would play a five-string bass with Nyrith, she said that “I’ve been playing four-string basses for 20 years, but with Niryth, it is absolutely essential to play five-string bass, as the music requires far more versatility. I always felt good vibes with BC Rich basses. Among my favorite basses is a BC Rich Beast, in fact.”

Now it’s time to talk about all of her previous bands, starting with the one that’s in my opinion her most interesting and powerful project to date, Italian Black Metal horde The True Endless, founded in 1997 by M. and Mia (under the moniker Pollon, and later under her most controversial moniker Soulfucker) with the main goal of crafting violent and trendkiller music. After a couple of rehearsal tapes and some shows, The True Endless recorded their first studio work in 1999 called The Trendkiller EP, followed by an array of EP’s, splits, compilations, livr albums and obviously some very interesting and heavy-as-hell full-length albums, those being Wings of Wrath (2003), A Climb to Eternity (2005), Buried by Time and Dust (2006), 1888 from Hell (2008), An Year in Black (2009), Legacy of Hate (2013), and last but not least, Blacklight Inferno (2017), all with Mia kicking ass on bass and even working in the mastering of their 2008 album 1888 from Hell. Featuring lyrics in English, Italian and Novaras, a dialect of the Piedmontese language (Piemontèis) that was used to give their sound a more ancestral feeling, the scorching Black Metal played by The True Endless led the band to share the stage with some of the most important names of the extreme music scene such as Marduk, Deicide, Vader, Helheim, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Besatt, Morrigan, Vesna, Mortuary Drape, Opera IX and many more, playing through countless countries across Europe. You’ll “only” be able to find their latest released Blacklight Inferno on their official BandCamp page, but you can enjoy several of their songs and live footage by visiting their official YouTube channel (as well as other channels), as for example their cover version for Hellhammer’s classic Massacra, the songs Pale Waves, Under The Horned Waning Moon, Black Swamp, I Drink The Devil’s Blood and Nightfall, and this live version of Freezing Moon in the Czech Republic in 2011.

Unfortunately, after months fighting against a deadly cancer, the multi-talented M. sadly passed away on November 16, 2017 at the age of 43, and due to such tragic loss Mia and the band’s drummer Algol decided to end the project after 20 years of intense activity. However, as Mia herself always says, “the flame will burn forever.” And the skillful M. was also the founder of many other amazing projects such as Darkness, Huggin, Skoll and Teuta, most of them featuring our dauntless Mia on bass and/or on keyboards, and usually under the moniker Pollon. For instance, she played bass on the 2013 album Anti Human Life, by Italian Black/Thrash Metal band Darkness, on the 1998 demo Tales (from the Ancient Times), by Italian Black Metal horde Huginn, and played keyboards on the 1999 album Through the Mist We Come Back and on the 2000 split Keep Alive Your Heathenfolk/La oss slakte Guds lam, both by Italian Pagan Black/Viking Metal band Skoll. After listening to such amazing bands, we must all agree with Mia that the flame of M. will always burn bright through his classy and dark music across the centuries, no doubt about that.

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Another memorable moment in Mia’s undisputed career happened between 2019 and 2020 when she joined the iconic Norwegian Black Metal act Abbath, spearheaded by one of the co-founders of Immortal, one of the trailblazers of the infamous Norwegian Black Metal scene. When asked about how the invitation to join Abbath in 2019 happened, Mia said that she always been part of the Bergen family, and as Abbath needed a strong figure to replace his previous bassist he noticed her as an experienced musician who would fit perfectly into his lineup. Mia was the bass player in Abbath’s latest opus, his 2019 album Outstrider, and you can enjoy her thunderous and menacing bass lines in songs like Harvest Pyre and Calm in Ire of Hurricane. Mia mentioned Outstrider was pretty much written when she joined the band, with Abbath asking her to write the bass lines and then they decided together about some adjustments on them, also saying that she didn’t feel any real pressure as the replacement of one of the most recognizable bassist in Black Metal, the iconic King ov Hell (God Seed, Gorgoroth), as they’re two musicians with different skills that were not actually competing nor anything like that. However, on January 28, 2020, Mia revealed that she was no longer part of the band, being informed over the phone by the Abbath’s manager shortly before the beginning of the Outstrider 2020 European tour. No formal announcement was made by the band, but she was replaced on bass by touring member, Rusty Cornell. As you can check HERE, Mia was not happy about the way things happened. “I am disappointed that none of my former colleagues have contacted me in this process except for the five minute phone call from Abbath’s manager in which I was told I would no longer be needed. I was told not to contact anyone in the band. The explanation for this had no substance and just made more questions and confusion for me. Up until then I had been preparing for the European tour as I had been told to do. I had to cancel other plans, and get time off work for the tour which I spent much time preparing for,” said Mia, also citing her comments to the media after the disastrous Abbath two-song concert in Argentina in 2019 as one of the probable reasons for being fired from the band.

Another amazing project where we were all able to enjoy Mia’s crushing bass lines between 2018 and 2019 was Tom G. Warrior’s Triumph Of Death, a tribute to his former group Hellhammer, consisting of playing the legendary music by Hellhammer from their  three demos (Death Fiend, Triumph of Death and Satanic Rites) and the EP Apocalyptic Raids onstage after 37 years, starting in the summer of 2019. According to Tom and Mia, Triumph of Death is a Zurich, Switzerland-based open-ended project playing only select concerts and festivals, basically choosing the songs from the band’s small but rich catalog depending on how they felt at that moment, always open to change from time to time. When asked about how she felt playing those songs together with Tom and therefore continuing the legacy of one of the pioneers of Black Metal, she said it was a true honor for her as she’s been highly influenced by Hellhammer throughout her entire career, and you can see how happy Mia truly was by watching her interviews together with Tom in 2019 at some of the best metal festivals in the world such as Hellfest, Wacken Open Air and Brutal Assault, always talking about how it feels to play with Triumph of Death, the legacy of Hellhammer and why the name Hellhammer wasn’t used, as well as performing at the same time with Tom and Abbath. In addition, if you want to experience the music by Triumph of Death live, you can check some awesome live footage on YouTube such as the song Vision of Mortality at Kilkim Žaibu (the biggest ancient traditions and Extreme Metal festival in the Baltic States), Blood Insanity at Hellfest, Triumph of Death in Essen, Germany, or this full concert at Psycho Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States.

Lastly, there’s one more metal project that’s worth mentioning, which is Swiss Goregrind/Death Metal band Embalming Theatre, where Mia didn’t play bass or keyboards, but instead she was the one responsible for crafting the intros and outros to pretty much all of their releases from 2000 until 2006, such as the intro, intermezzo and outro to the 2003 album Sweet Chainsaw Melodies, and the intro to the 2004 split Death Metal Karaoke/My Flesh Creeps at Insects. One curious thing is that if you go to the band’s official BandCamp page you’ll notice most of the albums there do not contain the intros and outros by Mia, and I have absolutely no idea why those pieces are missing. Anyway, Embalming Theatre are a very entertaining Goregrind act, with all of their albums being worth a shot with or without Mia’s insane collaboration.

Regarding her main influences and idols in music and in life in general, as mentioned a couple of times already she sees the iconic Tom G. Warrior as her master and mentor, even saying that “he is the one who unleashed the dormant beast inside me.” Without him, Mia said she would not have been able to effectively express her music and her creativity, complementing by saying her writing and composing process is very similar to his due to the huge influence his music has always had on her since her childhood, even before knowing him in person.  According to our badass bassist, there would be no Black Metal without Tom, with his classic bands Hellhammer and Celtic Frost being obviously among her favorite metal acts of all time. Mia also mentioned in some of her interviews the huge influence she also had from Abbath himself, whose real name is Olve Eikemo, always acknowledging the humongous importance his former band Immortal has always had on the birth and evolution of our beloved Norwegian Black Metal. I guess even after being fired from Abbath’s solo band the way it happened, Mia still sees him as a legend and as a true inspiration, and I’m sure she’ll always keep those moments onstage with him among her best memories in her musical career. Furthermore, in regards to bass players, Mia always mentions the enigmatic and multi-talented Peter Steele (R.I.P.), the lead singer, bassist and composer for Gothic Metal band Type O Negative, as her personal bass hero, but she also said she has always been fascinated by the onstage charisma of Martin Eric Ain (R.I.P.), the former bassist for Extreme Metal titans Celtic Frost, proving Mia definitely knows how to choose her music idols.

Finally, as much as we all see Mia as the talented and indestructible Black Metal bass player that she is, needless to say she’s also a human being like the rest of us, having to handle her own issues and struggles just like any regular person. As you can see in this article by Blabbermouth from the end of February, Mia mentioned in a special and very personal Facebook post that the past few months have been the been the darkest and most painful period of her life, with all recent events leaving her physically and emotionally destroyed. “I tried to face hell trying not to crack, always holding hard in front of events which, daily, were destroying my soul and my emotions, unfortunately, also physically, by pushing up that strong Mia everyone knows,” she wrote, complementing that by saying that “these terrible experiences are always destructive, but they also left a positive note: the ability to see who stayed, who, day after day, try to be close to me, without judging me or making me feel wrong, without making me feel the weight of my reactions dictated by despair, but simply making me feel that even though Mia is going through a negative phase, something good in her is still there, holding my hands and telling me that it will pass, listening to my pain, drying my tears and looking for the best way not to make me collapse.These people are the people who love me, my family, the people to whom my gratitude and love will remain as long as I am alive, and to whom I will give all of myself, with my strength and, unfortunately, flaws.” Those were the honest and austere words by “the imperfect” Mia, who we all wish a quick and healthy recovery and, of course, who we wish to see on stage smashing our skulls with her thunderous bass as soon as possible.

May 6, 2020 UPDATE: As you can see HERE, the unrelenting Mia Wallace has just been announced as the new bass player for Brazilian all-female Thrash Metal band Nervosa! The band’s mastermind Prika Amaral couldn’t have made a better choice to take care of their bass duties! Congratulations, Mia!

Mia Wallace’s Official Facebook page
Mia Wallace’s Official Instagram
Mia Wallace’s Official Twitter

“As I have often been wont to do, I’ll quote Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘Without music, life would be a mistake.’ That has always been my modus vivendi.” – Mia Wallace

Album Review – Extirpation / Wings of Decadence (2015)

If the sonic cataclysm brought forth by this demented Italian band doesn’t wake you up, you should definitely go see a doctor.

Rating5

extirpation_wings of decadenceIn case you’re having one of those sluggish and monotonous days that seem to last for the whole eternity, I have the perfect remedy to cure your boredom and make you feel so electrified you’ll even start banging your head against the wall in exultation. Open up some space in your room or wherever you are, take a deep breath, do some good stretching and finally hit play and enjoy Wings of Decadence, the brand new music havoc by Italian Black/Thrash Metal act Extirpation.

Bred in the darkest catacombs of Milan, Italy in July 2009, Extirpation have been growing in the underground scene with each of their releases, gaining some considerable recognition internationally and therefore leading them to start playing outside the Italian territory in countries such as Switzerland, France, Belgium and Romania. Judging by the speed and heaviness found in Wings of Decadence (including the sick old school artwork designed by their own vocalist/bassist Darak), I believe we can all have a very good idea of how cataclysmic their concerts around Europe might be.

Extirpation open the album with a merciless massacre entitled Controlled By Rage, where its razing riffs build a raw and obscure sounding enhanced by the harsh vocals by Darak (who actually sounds like an enraged goblin) and by drummer Elia smashing his drum set like there’s no tomorrow with a Punk Rock/Hardcore vibe added to his beats. If you don’t go into shock after listening to this ode to dementia, you’ll have your spinal cord smashed by Thrash The Enemy, a visceral Thrash Metal tune straight to your face where Eros and Magikk make sure their riffs and solos keep puncturing your ears without rest, followed by Sick Life, a brutal Thrashcore/Goregrind feast darkened by its deranged vocals, perfect for slamming into the most insane mosh pits you can imagine.

extirpationOath Of The Death, with its amazing infernal intro, offers the listener sheer devastation blending Black, Death and Thrash Metal with the meanest and most disturbing form of Punk Rock possible, not to mention the hot streak of destruction Darak and Elia are on; while Desires of Dust, despite slowing things down a bit, is still dark and putrid, with highlights to another devilish performance by Darak. And get ready for humongous dosages of hardcore riffs and bestial beats and growls in Consumed System, which not only keeps up with the musical consistency found in all previous tracks, but also presents guitar lines that are perhaps the closest to the purest form of Black Metal you will find in the whole album.

Not a single moment of peace or tranquility is present in Fall in The Dark: it’s violence taken to the extreme, where Elia continues his belligerent onslaught on drums while the rest of the band keeps breathing fire through their instruments and harsh vocals. The same can be said about Daily Struggle, an unrelenting display of Blackened Thrash Metal blended with Hardcore and Death Metal highly recommended for the soundtrack of the apocalypse, which makes me wonder how many people will have serious injuries if they slam into the pit whenever this immoderate tune is played live. In the short and sweet Eternal Moments, they truly sound like a band formed by evil entities like orcs or trolls shredding everything to pieces so inhuman it feels, maybe one of the most carnivorous tunes I’ve ever heard, before the title-track Wings of Decadence closes the album sounding as if the music is coming from the pits of hell, with Darak barking like a demon while the entire band is simply destroying whatever crosses their path with a mix of heaviness, feeling and anger.

In summary, the music in Wings of Decadence might be too harsh or pugnacious for the majority of the society we live in, but for fans of old school Black and Thrash Metal it’s indeed a bundle of joy with its ten hellish chants. You can get more details about the music by Extirpation at their Facebook page, and you can find their new album for sale at their BandCamp page or at the Nightbreaker Productions webstore. And if even after taking a listen at Wings of Decadence you still find yourself yawning of tiresomeness, I’m sorry but you should desperately see a doctor.

Best moments of the album: Thrash The Enemy, Oath Of The Death and Daily Struggle.

Worst moments of the album: Desires of Dust and Wings of Decadence.

Released in 2015 Nightbreaker Productions

Track listing
1. Controlled By Rage 3:35
2. Thrash The Enemy 2:43
3. Sick Life 4:08
4. Oath Of The Death 3:24
5. Desires of Dust 2:48
6. Consumed System 3:45
7. Fall in The Dark 4:03
8. Daily Struggle 2:50
9. Eternal Moments 1:58
10. Wings of Decadence 4:42

Band members
Darak – vocals, bass
Eros – guitars
Magikk – guitars
Elia – drums