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INTERVIEW: Nepali Hardcore/Crust band Neck Deep in Filth

Nepali hardcore/crust band Neck deep in Filth features members from bands like Jugaa, Squirtguns & Asphyxiate. The band have released an politically driven EP, the cover art depicts a member of a minority community surrounded by bullets and the Nepali flag. Over multiple listens, the EP has become one of my favourite grindcore releases from the region.

I spoke to Vishal Rai about the origins of the band, their self titled EP and also the metal scene in Nepal.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): You recently released your self-titled EP at a show called The Pit. How did it go?

Neck deep in Filth (Vishal Rai): It went great. The Pit was put on by our old friends in Ugra Karma at the best venue in town, so it was excellent. They have air conditioning! Sold more merch and CDs than we thought we would too haha

TO: You have all been in bands previously like Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles, Jugaa, Squirtguns and Asphyxiate. How did you decide to form a band together?

NDIF: Well, we all shared a practice space that our bassist ran at one time, and with the underground being so small, we’ve known each other for awhile.

I’ve played guitar in all of my bands so this time I wanted to try my hand at vocals. All I wanted was to start a fast, raging hardcore band. Sushil, our bassist, was down. He and I have been playing in bands together since 2002. As for guitars, I knew “Straight Edge” Sandesh would deliver what we wanted. He also plays in Squirt Guns, which is probably my favorite Nepali punk band. Sandesh delivered a bit more than what I was looking for though thanks to his crust influences haha He brought in a melodic aspect to our music too, which I’m totally fine with now. We later got Sanjay a.k.a. Jeson to join. He comes from a death metal background but he fit in perfectly.

TO: How did you get into this style of music?

NDIF: I got into metal in the early/mid 90s, the regular Metallica/Slayer stuff. The Indian magazine Rock Street Journal had a huge part in shaping my early musical tastes. RSJ was the only music mag worth reading in the pre-Internet era in this region. Then, in 1996/97, I heard Rancid’s “…And Out Come The Wolves” and dove headfirst into punk. Formed my first punk band in 2001, started getting into heavier hardcore around that time, played in a few more bands, and here I am today, 35 and more into this music than ever.

TO: Reading through your lyrics sheet, it is clear that the EP is inspired by the current political situation in Nepal. Tell us a bit more about it.

NDIF: Where do I even start? Over the years, hateful, jingoistic ultranationalism has become more and more common. Then there are the privileged who are committed to maintaining the status quo, people who keep downplaying the legitimate demands of minorities. There’s the bigotry that’s on constant display. There’s the sexism and the complete lack of equal rights. And, of course, there’s the corruption.

If nothing else, it’s cathartic just screaming about the issues that piss me off.

TO: What was the recording process for the EP? Where was it recorded?

NDIF: All of it was done at our main practice space at Mr Music and another rehearsal room called Advent. We didn’t have the need to enter a proper studio. Our bassist Sushil has gotten pretty good at recording bands. He recorded my old band Childwife’s EP as well as Squirt Guns’ full length, and his work on both was great. I realized I had underestimated him all these years haha turns out 25 years of constant weed smoking hadn’t messed him up that bad yet. So yes, it was natural and, more importantly, cheap just letting him record us.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

NDIF: I wouldn’t say I’ve been inspired by anyone, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kesha, Lana Del Rey, Nicole Dollanganger, the new Incendiary, Power Trip, All Out War, Propagandhi, and Integrity albums, along with Beast Jesus, Veils, and Barred from the Philippines, as well as this great Indonesian band called Children Of Terror.

TO: Nepal has quite a few upcoming bands. What are the bands that readers should check out?

NDIF: Nepal has a bunch of great bands these days. However, I’ll limit my recommendations to those that have at least an EP out.

Strangle – Straightforward hardcore with crossover influences. Great band! strangle1.bandcamp.com

Nude Terror – Possibly the best grindcore band in the subcontinent. Amazing live. nudeterrornepal.bandcamp.com

Disorder – Old school thrashers will love them

Rog – Intense powerviolence from Pokhara – https://grindviolencerog.bandcamp.com/

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any more shows or a tour planned?

NDIF: Yep, we’ll definitely play more shows this year. Then, in early 2018, we’re dropping a split with a friend’s band.

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

NDIF: Thank you for the questions. Visit neckdeepinfilth.bandcamp.com and buy our EP.

INTERVIEW: Canadian Grindcore legends Mesrine

Mesrine are a legendary Canadian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore. 

Find out more about Source of Hatred, the metal scene in Québec and more in my interview with Fred and Seb below.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band started. How does it feel looking back?

Mesrine (Fred): yes, already 20 years, time goes on…When we begin Mesrine it was first all for fun by keeping it simple and efficient, 20 years later, it’s still the same deal haha! We are still making short songs with 2 riffs and 3 chords! On theses days we are a little less active than the previous years, we all have day jobs and 2 members are now dads (I’ve got a son and Steve just got twins 2 months ago!). I think we can continue a few years with our new lineup (which is stronger than ever)

TO: How did the band get started & how did you get into this style of music?

Mesrine (Fred): It started with Dan asking me you have a guitar and an amp??? you don’t need to know how to play, you just need the biggest string and 3 notes it’s enough! So Dan dusted off his old drum kit and started blasting and mincing! Mesrine’s first name was Bean (in honour of Mr Bean) but we weren’t completely satisfied… Since we have both a fascination about criminals and serial killers we though having a name more in that range would be more appropriate so we switched to Mesrine, we thought (and still think) that name is killer.

TO: You latest album, Source of Hatred is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. Tell us more about the album.

Mesrine (Seb): Thanx, we are really happy how the album went out! Our guitar player Jack recorded, mixed and mastered it. We don’t have that much things to tell him about any of those things, he knows what he’s doing ! haha Another thing that’s great about this album is that it’s our first release who will be out in all 3 physical format (CD on PRC Music, Vinyl and cassette on D7i and Doomsday Machine Records)

TO: It’s been 6 years between the album and your previous full length,Obsessive Compulsive. What was the songwriting process for the album?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, the band had a few lineup changes, Jack went from being the bass player to a second guitar player, so they ask Decalisse (ex G.O.D/Fuck the facts) to join the band to complete the lineup. After the last Euro tour and recording e.p’s he left for various reasons and to start a new band, so Mesrine asked Crocko to come back in the band. The writing process for the album begun, Crocko left, so I joined the band and we continue writing the album. Sometimes Fred came in with a riff and we work on it, and most of the time we find riffs ‘’on the spot’’.

TO: You share a couple of members with fellow grinders Fistfuck. How do they manage between both bands?

Mesrine (Seb): Steve and I play in both bands, it’s quite easy since both bands are not that much active, we play 2 or 3 shows a year, jamming almost every 2 weeks, so on my side, I have enough time to play in various other bands hahaha

TO: You have worked with a few record labels. What do you think are the role of a record label in this digital age?

Mesrine (Seb): I run a label (D7i Records) since the last 12 years, a label is very important for indie underground bands, yeah we can listen to everything when we can now, but there is still people who likes physical formats, and underground labels can help distribute, sell and helping bands to get a little more known everywhere else. I am still trading stuff, so people from Quebec can get 7’’ of European bands at a cheaper price than ordering from the internet (postage feeds are killing us lately) !

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Mesrine (Seb): I think grindcore is doing great, When you meet bands from anywhere it’s like you’ve been friends for years. There are great new bands with the old school attitude. Grindcore will be healthy as long as Agathocles will release split e.p we are in business I guess! hahahah

TO: Québec has a well known extreme metal scene. Could you recommend a few bands that the readers should check out?

Mesrine (Seb): Well I can say Badass Commander (another band with me and Jack), it’s an old school death metal band! Non affiliate with Mesrine we got Saccage (labelmates from PRC), Mortlach, K.A.V, Nevrose. Outside of Quebec city we have deboned, Soil of Ignorance, Hard Charger and many more!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Mesrine (Seb): I know Dan would say the same fucking things I was listening back in the early 90’s haha, on my side, I always been into sludge and fuzzy bands and it’s what I listen the most. We are all into Old school stuff (death metal, thrash, crossover, heavy, doom) I think on Source of Hatred we can ear and feel the various influences of the band more than on previous releases.

Mesrine (Fred): Agathocles, Blood, Impetigo, Extreme noise terror, Johnny Cash, Confuse, Terveet Kadet, Carcass Grinder, Psycho, AC/DC, SOD ect…..

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, we just played with D.R.I in our hometown, and played the Earslaughter in Montreal with Blood and a few more amazing bands. We are talking about doing a local show with our buddies in Fistfuck and another of our side projects haha. We have no plan concerning touring, ect in the near future.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Mesrine: Keep supporting everything that’s old school!

Mesrine

August 2017 Highlights – TO Staff

Every month when I do one of these monthly round up intros, I hope that the next month would bear good tidings and that I’d have something uplifting to write about the world. But yet again, this month has been filled with natural calamities and escalating tensions among nations don’t seem to make things any easier. With all this doom and gloom, one can only hope to switch off one’s senses to reality. Fortunately we have some solid releases this month to offer us that mental getaway. So before I bring everyone’s mood down, here’s some kickass music to check out! ~ Shrivatsan R.

Atriarch (USA) – Dead as Truth (Deathrock, Relapse Records)

Atriarch

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ALBUM PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Brazilian Grindcore Band Facada

Facada are one of the best grindcore bands currently. One listen of the album Nadir is all that is required to confirm it. 4 years after the release of the album the band are back with a new album titled Nenhum puto de atitude. We are thrilled to present a full stream of the album here. Described as “17 pissed as fuck tributes to underground legends”, the album features covers of bands like Unleashed, The Misfits And Bad Brains among others. The album is an intense listen under 20 minutes. It is out today on CD & Vinyl via Everydayhate and Laja Records. Check it out!

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Hello! How are things at the Facada camp. It has been 4 years since your last release Nadir. What have you been busy with of late?

Facada: After Nadir was released, we went through a very quick turnaround. Our drummer left and we spent time playing with another. We did some shows with this line up and in that time, I broke my shoulder, so I had to take some time to recover. After that, our drummer came back and we started thinking about our future. We composed some songs and decided to make a covers album that, first, would be a 7 “, but they were increasing and we decided to do that 12”. We decided to do half the album with Brazilian bands and half of bands from other countries. We recorded practically the 2 albums at the same time, both our new full, as well as that of covers. While this is being released now, we are already streamlining this new one. In addition, there was a split with Stheno from Greece recently and we did a lot of shows in Brazil.

TO: How did the band get started & how did you decide to play grindcore?

Facada: We were always friends but we played in other bands in our city, we always met at concerts and we had this idea of having a band of grindcore. From the old things we listened to, such as Carcass and Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Defecation and our original guitarist (Ari) already had a Crust band called Diagnosis, so it was easy because when we got together we were certain of what we wanted to do.

TO: How did you get into grindcore? What was the first grindcore album you heard?

Facada: There were a lot bands at the same time, but I think the first true grindcore band that I’ve heard was Rot’s Ep Almighty God (BTW we recorded the 1st song from that 7), that i bought on the same day that we got Altars of Madness. I was impressed by the fact that it was very raw and had a punk essence, but with an evil vibe on it, but what really startled me was From Enslavement to Obliteration, I did not know what was happening on that record, I had never heard anything so confrontational. Reek of Putrefaction was also very important in this regard. Sarcasm’s 7” Your Funeral My Party and Theatric Simbolization of life of the Agathocles were also there. A Brazilian band called The Endoparasites (and others Brazilian bands too) and Terrorizer always played a lot, anyway …

TO: Your album Nenhum puto de atitude is an intense listen under 20 minutes. Tell us about the album.

Facada: Since the beginning of the band, we always liked to play songs from the bands we enjoyed and and we were curious to see how we managed to make it our way. every single on of our albums has a cover song of a band we loved. As soon as we finished O Joio, we had the idea of doing an ep with only covers, we got to rehearse some, but we never made it through. After Nadir, we decided to do that, so we were choosing the songs from the thousands of bands we’ve always heard that were important in our lives. There were so many and so many styles that for just for an ep, it was too short. We chose the ones that made the biggest impression on us, that we always remembered and some we picked just for the sake of seeing how it would go with our vibe. Others were to frighten us even to think how we had the petulance to do so.

TO: Does your guitarist Ari still live in Germany? How did you go about writing and recording the album?

Facada: Yes, he still lives in Berlin and composes and records the songs he wrote there. When he comes to Brazil, he rehearses a 3/4 with Dangelo (drummer) and we record the drums as soon as they get these songs together, later he records the parts of the strings and I record the voices here. It’s a little tricky, but it works fine, I do not know how.

TO: Your lyrics are in Portuguese. What is the reason behind singing in Portuguese?

Facada: Most of the songs are in Portuguese, at first we composed a lot more in English, but there are things we write that only work in our native language: expressions, slang, specific words that only match our reality that work in that context. And it would really be pathetic if we translated it into another language.

TO: 3/4th of the band is part of Godthot. How do you manage between both bands?

Facada: Everyone in the band has side projects. Me and Danyel (guitarist) have the Monge (black metal) and Godtoth (death metal) and we always want to do more. Godtoth was a project that we did with our old friend Zé (omfalos and today plays in the band PESTE). We created and recorded the entire album in 8 days and it mixed soon after and the result was absurd. We only did one rehearsal and one show. Since he lives in a city far from ours, it is very difficult for us to take care of it, so it is a good idea to conciliate. But we’re already thinking about making another record. The Monge iIt’s on its way, We’re ready for the next release.

TO: Members of the band are also involved with label Black Hole Productions. What do you think are the role of a record label currently?

Facada: In fact, no one in the band has anything to do with the Black Hole. It is run by an incredible guy named Fernando Camacho who has been on the scene for quite some time. He has already released many albums, has had magazines, fanzines and today his label is one of the most respected, both in Brazil and in the world. He released Nadir on CD and will release the new album soon and does it all by himself.

TO: What do you think of physical formats like Cds and Vinyl in this digital age? Do you think they are still relevant?

Facada: I think there was a time that the thought was that one media would replace the other, but I think time has proven it wrong. All media can live peacefully with each other as long as there are people who want to listen to music the way they prefer. CD, Vinyl, mp3 … it does not matter. It is only to see the return of vinyl and k7 with a huge demand to be met. Each one has its audience. This talk that the formats die It’s more of a hype to absorb the new media easier.

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Facada: I think grindcore has always been good hands, there have always been bands that did a good job and never let the underground flame die in the whole planet. Many bands throwing things and from all sides and of course always being opposed, against the establishment, anti fascists, anti right, never accepting the status quo as it is, neither reaffirming and / or agreeing with What is imposed on us. Always against it.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Facada: This question is very difficult because I listen to a lot different things, I never settle for one thing only. I spend the day at work and listening to music on my headphones and It’s usually on shuffle mode. When I come across something that grabs me, or something I haven’t heard for a long time, I go after that album..At home, I choose more between the CDs and vinyls I have. But it can be from cathedral to a collection of surf music and power pop from the 60s / 70s. From transilvanian hunger, through my minds mine, to yacopsae and ending in paradise lost in the pop phase.

TO: Do share with us bands from Brazil that the readers should check out.

Facada: DER, Test, Violator, Xico Picadinho, Lepra, Homicide, Rot, Faixa de Gaza, Damned Youth, Cocaine Cobras, Leptospirose, Merda, Guro, Diagnose, Funeral Jovem, Lepra, Death by starvation, Grindful Dead, Deuszebul, Alohahaole, Deb and teh Mentals, Caverna, Os Capial, Shitfun, Plague Rages, summer saco…there many to mention and my memory is too weak.

TO: Do you have any shows/tours planned this year?

Facada: not yet, we’re trying to focus on finalizing the new album.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Facada: thank you for the interview, search the internet for facadanagoela, do not support fascists, look for the everydayhate, listen to our album that was released by everydayhate, keep grinding, take care and take care of the people that you like. cheers!

Facada 

Everydayhate

Laja Records

July 2017 Highlights – TO Staff

It turned out to be quite a mix at the month end list this time around. With equal parts big releases (Relapse, Prosthetic, Season of Mist etc) and independent outputs, there’s something here for everyone. Many of the releases highlighted here have a ‘name your price’ offer on their Bandcamps, so make sure to check out the music and buy the release if they please you. ~ Shrivatsan R

Abhorrent Decimation (UK) – The Pardoner (Death Metal, Prosthetic Records)

Abhorrent Decimation

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June 2017 Highlights – TO Staff

Can’t believe that half of this year is gone already. With an every increasing writing staff here at Transcending Obscurity, our tastes have become much more diverse as evidenced by this month end list here. As always, we have tried to keep things a bit obscure, so as to cover ground not often tread by metal blogs in general. Here’s what’s been keeping the TO scribes occupied over the past month. ~Shrivatsan R

Aether Realm (USA) – Tarot (Melodic Death / Folk Metal, Self Released)

Aether Realm (more…)

The Grindhouse Chronicles – #3 (Feat. Gendo Ikari, Lunatic Hooker, The Heads are Zeros, Fubar)

Evolution is the key to the continued survival of a species. The same thing can be said about music. As the population of bands playing extreme music grows steadily, there is a need to branch out from the established paths to stand out from the throng. Many bands have realised this need for innovation and as a result, we see more thinning of boundaries between styles (both within metal and outside).

This series of articles has focused on such evolution within the grindcore spectrum, and here is #3 with a few more underground acts that are taking the style forward.

the grindhouse chronicles

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March 2017 Highlights – TO Staff

If it is possible someday, I would make a clone of myself to just keep writing about the music I listen to, without having to pay heed to any of the real world responsibilities. But since that is not possible at the moment, real life does tend to get in the way of writing. This month I had to focus my attention on other things in the real world causing me to overlook most of the releases that came out in March. But looking at this huge list put together by my colleagues, one thing  is clear. I have a lot of catching up to do. ~ Shrivatsan R.

Ascended Dead (USA) – Abhorrent Manifestation (Death Metal, Dark Descent Records)

Ascended Dead

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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Death/Grind band BUCKSHOT FACELIFT from US

I remember receiving a few copies of Buckshot Facelift‘s first release ‘Universal Goat Tilt’ that I ended up thoroughly enjoying. Everyone who got a copy of that through my distro ended up loving it too. It was just undiluted and properly channelled powerviolence/grindcore. So when I got the opportunity to write about their latest release, I was thrilled. I can’t believe it’s been a decade already, and it’s a shame that this highly talented band that shares a member of Artificial Brain, are still not very well known.

‘Ulcer Island’ is their latest full length release and on the whole, the band seems to have matured. The rawness has diminished but not the twisted songwriting. I miss the speed but it’s more coherent and streamlined now. There are a lot of variations on this album and that doesn’t hurt and keeps things unpredictable. It’s a mix of grind and death metal with flashes of powerviolence, and it resembles the sound of bands like Abaddon Incarnate, Nasum, Rotten Sound and even a bit of a Yacopsae, but with their own trademark charm. During the slower moments bands like Mindflair come to mind. The song that we have up for an exclusive premiere is one of their longer ones on the album, titled Weathered Mask of Autumn (Unearthing The Armless). It’s reminiscent of mid-period Cephalic Carnage meets Soilent Green plus all of the aforementioned bands. It’s a lot more meaty and chuggish, and that’s only one of the facets of this highly intriguing release. I’m told the album has a unique concept as well, which as the vocalist explains in his own words, “Ulcer Island is a concept album in which the narrative gradually moves from the oblique street level view into a dreamlike introspection, Ulcer Island’s blend of grindcore, powerviolence, and death metal is arranged in a way that mirrors this transition as the album progresses.”

If you’re looking for grind that’s innovative, visceral and varied in its expression, you must look into Buckshot Facelift. It’s due for release via Paragon Records on April 14th, so make sure to snag a copy for yourself from one of the links listed below.

Paragon Records | Buckshot Facelift Facebook | Buckshot Facelift Bandcamp

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