Columns - Features

The Hefty Fog: Retrospect Is Vital


Retrospect is the cruellest of inner dialogues because it’s always haunted by those most biting verbs, ‘should’, ‘could’, and ‘would’. So when a Christian music venue in Orlando FL, booked the blatantly anti-Christian, pro-Satan Vital Remains for a show, one has to wonder what kind of shoulds, coulds, and woulds were floating around when frontman Brian Werner decided that a crucifix hanging above the stage wasn’t the most appropriate ornament for the proceedings.  It’s no surprise that Werner’s humbling of the son of god didn’t go down very well with the organizer, who, the footage itself testifies, looks exactly like your school friend’s mother who bought them the ‘clean’ version of The Eminem Show for Christmas.

What is a surprise, however, is that an organizer with a very clear religious affiliation would make the mistake of booking a band whose song titles include ‘Where Is Your God Now?’ and ‘Dechristianize’. Their logo is a Satanic sigil. At what point does one become suspicious?

It’s not all Heavy Metal drama out there though. Next time you have the prickling urge to invert every cross in your granny’s house next time you’re over for a cup of tea, stop yourself, realise that you are no longer fourteen, and get your fix of petty heresy by listening to obscure Death Metal like the rest of us.


History will look favourably upon this Quebecian trio as the true saviours of the groove in a Sludge movement ever straying from the orthodoxy. Dopethrone have been peddling their infectious poison since 2008 and with each release have stubbornly stuck to their guns and refused to let even the most momentary of “shoegazing” infiltrate their sound as it has so many others. Dopethrone don’t reinvent the wheel, they just keep it rolling, and for that you must be thankful.


The music of Bonehunter is informed by the dusty, weather-beaten heavy metal of old, and while “retro” might be a dirty word in some spaces, Bonehunter manage to evoke the past without exhausting it. The Finnish trio marries the hyperbole of Heavy Metal with the crudeness of Punk and leaves the hideous offspring outside to get frostbite. Their latest offering, Evil Triumphs Again, is out this June.


Fistula are the kind of grim that, and I don’t care about that Hellbastard patch on your jeans, can genuinely make you feel dirty beyond the remedy of soap. Last year’s Vermin Prolificus was met with an eager applause from the underground, followed immediately by collective regurgitation, and just when we thought they’d given us a break, a new demo reaches up out of the ground and we’re spewing all over again.

Void Ritual

Whereas many one-man Black Metal artists lend their solitude to a sound leaning towards ambiance, Daniel Jackson, under the Void Ritual banner, heaves up all the musical aggression that most full bands strive for. Jackson has been highly productive as a solo musician with releases from both Void Ritual and Ancestral Oath coming out since 2013, and should be kept under a watchful eye in 2015 by anyone with a hankering for spiteful, lightning speed Black Metal.