The Short List is a weekly dive into EPs, Splits, Reissues, Comps, Live Records, etc
Messa Live at Roadburn 2022 Svart Records
Messa’s 2022 release, Close, sat rather comfortably on multiple ‘Best Of’ lists. The Italian Doom Metal band invites other haunting elements, atmospheres, and eclectic instruments to enhance the execution of their vision. Sometimes low tones or absence of aggression is what attracts fans to this unique approach but are soon enthralled by crashing, powerful riffs.
The only aspect of Messa discussed more fervently and frequently than the band’s third album, was their live show, specifically, their set from Roadburn 2022. Svart presents that set here on vinyl. Their expansive tapestry allows for musical exploration and varied elements. The band plays four tracks culminating into 37 minutes of elastic intensity. The four tracks from Close were approached with reverence, as Messa did their best to replicate the instrumentations on the record. That meant recruiting Giorgio Trombino (Oud, Duduk, Saxophone), Alex Fernet (Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar) and Blak Saagan (Synthesizers) to lend their talents to “Suspect” (monstrous riff with steady swagger), “Orphalese” (rhythmic violins and drums and Sax and chants), “0-2” (acoustic lulls into staggering, unsettling guitar chords and dulcimer plucks and of course, a sax), and “Pilgrim” (multi-string attack which hallway transitions into a dirge based riff fest of dominating glory). The guests were added to the core of the band, Marco Zanin on bass, Rocco Toaldo on drums, Alberto Piccolo, and Alessandro Galli as Front of House engineer.
Each track is incrementally longer; with ambient sections. But when Messa kicks into Doom riffs, they are extremely heavy. Sara Bianchin’s vocals flawlessly shift from mesmerizing to triumphant.
The digital album was released on April 28th but vinyl should ship May 26th.
Limited gold vinyl, gatefold, comes with a poster.
Pre-Order at Svart Records
Poison Idea Live at The Metropolis , 1982 TKO Records / American Leather
TKO Records and American Leather Records have returned with yet another Poison Idea. What has it been a few months since the prior re-issue? If you are not aware, TKO has been slugging away at reissuing Poison Idea records the previous few years. This time however, on Young Lords, a young Jerry A (vocals), Pig Champion RIP (guitar), Glenn Estes (bass), and Dean Johnson (drums) lock in and perform with their venomous, acerbic rage.
As the Bad Brains did for their represses of each record (now that they have the rights), TKO enlisted John Yates and his signature “Punk Note” aesthetic which borrows from the renowned Jazz Label, Blue Note. I love this design template which perfectly encompasses stellar graphic design and impactful fonts with an emblematic live picture. John Yates (aka @stealworks ) kills it again with this record artwork expanding beyond the cover into a voluptuous gatefold. The rear cover is adorned with liner notes provided by Tony Rettman (American Hardcore, Why Be Something That You’re Not: Detroit Hardcore 1979 – 1985, NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980 – 1990, and Straight Edge: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History).
Originally recorded by Thomas Robinson at The Metropolis in 1982, this LP has been mixed and mastered from the original multi-track audio from that May 5th, 1982 show in Portland, Oregon. Mixed by Drew Canulette at Dogfish Sound (Portland OR), the thunder and absolute chaotic delivery somehow is as focused as any bullet. Mastered by Adam Gonzalez, a vinyl guru who spent his youth in Counterattack and The Legionnaires, and Gang Up! Zine, at Telegraph Mastering, lends his gilded Midas touch within these revolving grooves.
Poison Idea unleashed their brand of OG Hardcore – short, fast, loud – with enmity and domination. Twenty tracks include classics like “Give It Up,” “Think Twice,” “(I Hate) Reggae,” “In My Headache,” etc but some rare gems too, “Spy,” “Empty Gun,” “M.I.A.,” etc Plus, two of those tracks are covers of contemporaries JFA and S.O.A.
Poison Idea has traversed through addiction, antagonism, rejection, and mauled through eras with a distinct nihilism. Poison Idea was a runaway train. They were spawned from distilled ire and ‘80s DIY ethos. Unconcerned with anyone’s opinion, they embodied Kings of Punk. They morphed into a chunkier, rockin’ (a la Motorhead) later and redefined their sound to introduce a second era (Feel The Darkness; Blank, Blackout, Vacant) and resurged in the 2000’s with more brash aggression; Confuse and Conquer, Latest Will and Testament (RIP, Thee Hippie Slayer).
But Young Lords showcase the frenzied fury. And the sound damn good doing it, thanks to the band’s grit and all the hands involved in 2022.
VINYL: Pink Splatter, 100; Black, 1500. One-Time exclusive limited pressing.
Order at TKO Records
Check out every repress/reissue of Poison Idea at TKO
The Cimmerian Sword & Sorcery Vol I Cassette Self-Released
May 12, 2023
The Cimmerian is an LA Thrash-Doom band who clutches opportunities as a warrior grasps an enemy’s severed skull. The band released a four track digital EP on bandcamp in July 2022, Thrice Majestic. On that release, The Cimmerian declared their brutal Cro-Magnon imprint with no apologies. Finally committing to a hard copy, they are presenting a two track cassette this week. The two tracks are “Suffer No Guilt” and “Inanna Rising”. “Suffer No Guilt” bursts through plundering like mammoths on meth. The words eventually spew misanthropic phrases as the refrain, “There’s no one I trust – not man, not woman, not beast.” While the homage of the name directs the listener to the comic series, the lyrics and visceral riffs conjure our attention to the present time. Sure, envision broadswords, dragons, and loin cloths. And that is fantastic for the visuals. But, this is a disemboweling which manifests directly in front of you, today.
Sword & Sorcery Vol I harnesses production which embraces the elements to perfection. Pounding drums accompany a distinct bass presence while abrasive fuzzy riffs create a pith of foreboding and heavy riffs. “Suffer No Guilt” ventures through a 90 second stomp which then offers a breakdown which yields a rumbling mid-tempo head-nodder. The foundation of confrontational music is draped with ugly, gnarly vocals. The guitar lines and leads are distinct and killer; no auspicious ego. There is just enough to drive the point home and shred. Harsh ugly venomous vocals for the midsection bridge. Then full-steam-ahead gallop conjures an approach of slash and burn. This witnesses an organic growth to fruition. And, the track ends at 4:20.
The Cimmerian is comprised of David Gein, guitars; Nicolas Rocha, bass/vocals; David Morales, Drums. All three members excel at and illuminate their positions with furious musicianship. The obvious is credible, so let’s get it out of the way, the blatant comparison is High On Fire. But it’s a tip of the hat not stealing the whole suit. One must also add a dash of The Fucking Wrath, slower The Crown, faster Crowbar. But that is for people that can’t scroll down and press play. When the riffs drops, immediately, we hear recognizable factions of those bands and riffs but The Cimmerian filter and reconfigure those homages to their own sound. The second track, “Inanna Rising” starts off with an alluring bluesy groove, nodding to traditional Doom. And then, the deluge of fear and paranoia envelop the listener. Then, the volcanic delivery introduces a nasty, twisting riff. Pulsating with urgency and coarse riffs, this track allows the band to present an engaging, striking offering.
Check out their prior EP
Order the limited blue cassette on their bandcamp
The Cimmerian instagram
Tombstalker Age Of Darkness Boris Records
May 29 2023
An eviscerating attack is the battle cry of Tombstalker. Beginning in 2008, this Lexington, KY trio began an abrupt ascension in this underground world. Gaining momentum by churning out two split EPs and two demos in two years proved their hustle was as taut as their riffing. A self-titled EP followed in 2011. But it was their anticipated LP, Black Crusades (2017, Shadow Kingdom), which provided metalheads with a crushing eight song endeavor. This was a superb record, resulting in my buying the cassette to support, as it dropped first. Months later, when the vinyl hit, I purchased that. Big record for the scene. Blending Death Metal and Thrash, Tombstalker’s odes to war and chaos sated a hungry lot. Some turmoil in the line-up left their sonic protests dormant.
Revamped recently, 2023 brings us a caustic representation of what the band is writing. Tombstalker is now a foursome, with a lead guitar added and a new drummer. This four track EP, on Boris Records, shows the bands Scandanavian adoration, injecting Blackened Death and D-Beat. Track titles include “Astral Combat,” “Titan Warlord,” title track, and “Final Night.” Cynicism and fatalism fornicate to birth vile and wretched ideas which represent the band’s outlook. Death metal is the foundation here, yet Tombstalker are not averse to allowing other influences to seep into the process. But, damn, when the final track kicks into gear, there is no denying the vengeance of the band driven to create punishing Death Metal.
Age of Darkness will be available on a limited 100 copies of vinyl, hand-numbered plus cassettes.