TERMINUS: extreme metal podcast
Terminus Episode 76 - Girtablullû, Diablation, Anti

Terminus Episode 76 - Girtablullû, Diablation, Anti

November 28, 2021

Sorry for the delay, guys, but we've arisen from our tryptophan-induced comas with, as always, yet another thrilling installment of your favorite Lithuanian falconry podcast. This is kind of a special one- beyond all expectations (and, frankly, all sense,) a listener has become Literally Dani Filth in order to forcibly submit a record to the show. Will you be the next to embody our favorite sexy gothic bad boy?

Speaking of which, Dani Filth's submission this week is the recent EP by Girtablullû, a raw black/ambient project that draws from modern tapeblack aesthetically, but musically hews closer to the weirder edges of the LLN. Gorked, untuned clean guitars, jangling interpretations of Demoncy riffs, and cryptic grumblings abound, making for something quite familiar to fans of the 00s CDr demo scene. It's highly varied and intriguing music, but our primary question follows: what, exactly, do we do with all these textures and ideas, and how do we develop this sound into something more established?

Next is the newest record from Antiq (of course,) the debut album of Diablation, which observes the traditions of 00s Euro symph-black with light brushings of goth and industrial. This sort of thing will be immediately familiar to those that remember that era's Spikefarm and Napalm Records releases, with bombastic, synth-forward delivery and all the Francophone arrogance one would demand from this style. But does this style stand the test of time after so much has changed within the realm of black metal? You be the judge.

Wrapping up the night is the surprise return of Germany's Anti, a DSBM project whose first full length 15 years ago has maintained a cult following. We listen with interest- what's happened in the intervening decade and a half? Well, nothing that we expected- this record is a truly strange mixture of ideas from Nocturnal Depression to Craft, with moment of brilliance and blockheadedness present even within individual songs. The clincher, though, is a welcome surprise: further confirmation, this time quite directly, that Satan has the fastest motorcycle.

 

0:00 - Intro ft. Planes Mistaken For Stars

0:14:50 - Girtablullû - Ancient Necromantic Rituals

0:54:10 - Interlude - Black Murder - “Fresh Flesh” fr. Feasts (Independent, 1995)

0:58:09 - Diablation - Allégeance (Antiq)

1:32:02 - Interlude - Planes Mistaken for Stars, “Never Felt Prettier,” fr. Mercy (Abacus Recordings, 2006 / Reissue by Deathwish in 2015)

1:34:46 - Anti - Anti (Independent)

2:15:32 - Outro - Planes Mistaken for Stars, “Copper and Stars” fr. S/T debut album (Deep Elm Records, 1998) and “Thunder in The Night Forever,” fr. the Spearheading The Sin Movement EP (No Idea Records, 2002).

 

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Terminus Episode 75 - Journey Into Darkness, Plebeian Grandstand, 200 Stab Wounds

Terminus Episode 75 - Journey Into Darkness, Plebeian Grandstand, 200 Stab Wounds

November 19, 2021

While other, less honorable metal publications are busy compiling end of year lists well before their time, Terminus plows ever onward with reviews, waiting until the 11th hour when the freshest, hottest albums emerge from the oven. On today's show we cover two records unusually prominent for our usual selection of underground sundries, but first we open up with a mini-review of the new Journey Into Darkness record. Like a distant comet only returning to Earth's orbit many years later, JIT brings back the sound of 00's symphonic black metal ala Limbonic Art with a record both majestic and menacing. This is a case of a style that means something very different nowadays- listen to our thoughts on the record and travel back to 2003.

First on the docket is the new record by Plebeian Grandstand, well regarded French black metal/hardcore/electronic/grinding... something who return with their fourth full length record. Rien ne suffit is already exploding across the internet, making its way onto many year end lists with its reputation for extremity, dissonance, and creativity. But now it's time for Terminus to weigh in on the topic: Is this a new era of extremity? Does this propel metal forward to locations previously unknown? And is this the best metal record of the year? You'll have to listen to find out. J/K it's no to all of those things.

On the flipside of the metal meets hardcore equation is 200 Stab Wounds, longtime Maggot Stomp stalwarts who have finally delivered their first full-length. And you know what? It's killer. Perhaps the first "full spectrum death metal" record we've covered on the show, 200 Stab Wounds synthesizes OSDM, brutal/slam death, and death metal influenced hardcore into a complete idea which harnesses all those energies into sharp, focused songs. Our hot take? This is what 2020s death metal is gonna sound like. Strap in.

 

0:00:00 - Intro ft. Journey Into Darkness - Infinite Universe Infinite Death (Independent)

0:18:14 - Plebeian Grandstand - Rien ne suffit (Debemur Morti Productions)

1:03:02 - Interlude - Hexis - “Fatum,” fr. XI (Swarm of Nails / Iron Plague, 2011)

1:05:36 - 200 Stab Wounds - Slave to the Scalpel (Maggot Stomp)

1:52:09 - Outro - Jungle Rot - “Gasping For Air” fr. Fueled By Hate (Olympic Recordings, 2004) (Somehow seemingly out of print and not available on Bandcamp, but copies are widely available on the used market)

 

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Terminus Interview - Harul Vinay

Terminus Interview - Harul Vinay

November 15, 2021

On Terminus we've spoken frequently in the abstract about folk music and its relation to extreme metal, both musically and conceptually. It's only now, though, that we get to peek behind the metaphorical curtain into the thoughts of an artist who explores the ties between those styles. On this interview, The Black Metal Guy speaks to the main mind behind Harul Vinay, whose debut record explores the delicate liminal spaces between folk and metal in all their forms. This wide spanning interview covers all sorts of topics, both musical and spiritual, but the centerpiece is an evocative description of the album's concept and narrative as it ties to the landscape of the project's Himalayan home.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:02:05 - Songwriting concepts, folk and classical music, and the relationship to heavy metal

0:13:13 - History with black metal, the Himalayas

0:26:39 - Interlude - Harul Vinay - "भराड़ी घाट - १ / कुआळी" fr. भराड़ी घाट (Independent/Old Mill Productions, 2021)

0:35:14 - The album's concept and narrative, vocal ideas, musical details

0:54:25 - Recording process, the Himalayan Folk Collective, the purpose of folk

1:15:25 - Outro - Fluisteraars - "Brand woedt in mijn graf" fr. Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking (Eisenwald, 2021)

 

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 74 - Mondocane, Morte Incandescente, Psionic Madness

Terminus Episode 74 - Mondocane, Morte Incandescente, Psionic Madness

November 12, 2021

It's finally that time where Terminus rearranges its format- but just a little bit, as a treat. We're still figuring out exactly how we want to do this at Terminus HQ, so we open with a mini-review of Mondocane's independent debut, a potent but still-developing mixture of Mayhem, Gorgoroth, and Burzum with an interesting streak of timbral creativity. We'll probably start using this intro slot to showcase submissions, demos, and anything else that maybe doesn't fit a full review- stand by for further developments.

The first half of the show proper is dedicated to an old favorite of The Death Metal Guy- Morte Incandescente. A long running pillar of the Portuguese black metal underground, MI returns with their fifth full-length record which augments their traditional style with big blocks of first wave headbanging and grimy rehearsal room style. Sprinting seamlessly from Bathory grind to Mutiilation wail, it's a fascinating look at just how weird you can get with traditional materials.

Our second half is dedicated to the debut of Psionic Madness, a sort of ultra-underground supergroup featuring members of Maggot Crown and Nothing is Real, playing psychedelic yet grinding death metal for fans of 00s obscurities. The riffs are striking, the textures are bizarre, the drumming is maniacal, but the band's greatest strength is when they hang back and allow atmosphere to congeal. We discuss the merits of dissonance, track length, and Blood Incantation. You already know the answer to the last one.

 

0:00:00 - Intro ft. Mondocane - Dvala

0:21:52 - Morte Incandescente - Vala Comum (Signal Rex)

1:02:50 - Interlude - Corpus Christii - “Devouring Your Essence” fr. Tormented Belief (Nightmare Productions, 2003)

1:08:42 - Psionic Madness - Mortality Salience (Vargheist Records)

1:44:27 - Outro - Mithras - “Voices in the Void” fr. Worlds Beyond the Veil (Golden Lake Productions, 2003)

 

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Terminus Episode 73 - Odious Hiss, Merciless Scum, Kaeck, Morgal

Terminus Episode 73 - Odious Hiss, Merciless Scum, Kaeck, Morgal

November 4, 2021

Hear ye, hear ye, Terminus returns with its last ultra-long episode for a while. We're going to be streamlining episodes a bit in the future and moving some of the workload to our bonus content- check out the intro for further details. But don't worry, we still have a content-packed week for that features both the most AND least fun records we've ever covered on the show! Don't worry, the most fun one we saved for last. We're not going to leave you on read like that.

Opening the episode is Odious Hiss, who dare to ask the question "What if Instagram tapeblack didn't suck?" Well, the answer is "it would be a lot better, bro." OH uses modern raw black aesthetics to produce music that you might find on a weird, blearily printed CDr back in 2006, with the same unnerving and entrancing qualities that got us into collecting obscure black metal when we were just young tykes. Don't let the hype fool you- there's real content to dig into here.

Following is Merciless Scum, a blackened grindcore band who sidestep the black/crust swindle to create tight, abrasive, and rhythmically whiplashing songs which have little to do with anything coming out of the punk scene. The joined forces of Nasum and early Emperor produce breathless, savage music that sheds none of its aggression even as it adopts more nuanced melodic ideas.

After our interlude is Kaeck, returning from a six year torpor to create one of the most negative things we've ever covered on the show. Describing this record in words is nearly impossible, and expressing exactly why it's so brilliant even moreso. Imagine a fusion of Niden Div. 187 and Demoncy playing in a shallow grave on a distant European battlefield and you have some sort of idea. Not a great record to listen to before bedtime.

Wrapping things up is the complete opposite of the above with Morgal's long awaited debut full-length. If ever there was a record to confirm that Satan does, indeed, possess the world's fastest motorcycle, it's this one. The classic sounds of Impaled Nazarene, Dissection, and Nifelheim fuse with the sheer absurd energy of early melodeath and power metal to create a record that spiritually compells the listener to crash their car directly into the nearest storefront while slugging Jack Daniels directly from the bottle. Remember: regardless of the season, Sword Boy Summer is a state of mind.

 

0:00 - Intro ft. Important Terminus News

0:11:04 - Odious Hiss - A Vial of Putrid Hockle (Hotchin Pit)

0:42:30 - Merciless Scum - Archon (Void Wanderer Productions)

01:08:15 - Interlude - Watchmaker - “Failing Upwards” fr. Erased From the Memory of Man (Willowtip Records, 2005) (Amazingly listed as pay what you want. If you don't throw down a dollar for this you're doing yourself a disservice.)

1:10:26 - Kaeck - Het Zwarte Dictaat (Folter Records/Hessian Firm)

1:52:48 - Morgal - Nightmare Lord (Werewolf Records)

2:28:48 - Outro - Impaled Nazarene - “Armageddon Death Squad” fr. All That You Fear (Osmose Productions, 2003)

 

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 72 - Sorguinazia, Dark Fog Eruption, Neoplasia, Harul Vinay

Terminus Episode 72 - Sorguinazia, Dark Fog Eruption, Neoplasia, Harul Vinay

October 30, 2021

We're a little late with this one- TDMG had to get the firmware of his MKULTRA chip upgraded so he was laid up for a couple days. But what's more important than his improved 5G reception and newfound need to explore the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that we have a new episode for all our children. Usually there's a binding thematic thread of some kind for these episodes, but definitely not on this one- we're exploring all corners of extreme music this time.

Opening the episode is the debut full-length of Sorguinazia, who play with the expectations of Candian war metal by providing, instead, a dedicated and traditional interpretation of 2nd wave black metal. The rhythms are complex and the presentation is vicious, but the cold, black heart of Mayhem beats steady just under its surface. Why did we stop calling things "necro" anyway?

Next is Dark Fog Eruption, a one-man project from Japan playing a style of black metal hard to pin down. Laced with heavy metal, DSBM, and minimal interpretations of soaring Swedish black/death, this is a project with tendrils extending into multiple dimensions of underground black metal in search for a precise center. Is there a Japanese black metal sound? It's hard to say- but we have a good discussion over what it might be.

After our break comes Neoplasia, a needling, sadistic, and deliberately distressing take on tech death from Argentina. Now featuring the legendary Lord Marco behind the drums, Neoplasia makes music that recalls your first memories of hearing Necrophagist or Spawn of Possession, but filtered through hideous, blood-flecked industrial machinery and played at double speed. This might be the fastest and most technically accomplished record we've ever covered on the show.

Wrapping things up, we abruptly switch gears with the debut record by Harul Vinay, a Himalayan neofolk artist who merges both European and subcontinental instrumentation with an insistent streak of black metal songwriting technique. TBMG takes the helm here (being the one who actually knows things about this kind of music) and prompts a discussion about what defines neofolk, how metal music relates to it, and where this project can develop in the future.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:07:59 - Sorguinazia - Negation of Delirium (Iron Bonehead)

0:49:36 - Dark Fog Eruption - 忘却と絢爛の幻想 (The Illusion of Oblivion and Opulence) (Independent)

1:31:04 - Interlude - Hakuja - “Dew of Blood,” fr. Legacy (Independent, 2007 / Apparitia Recordings, 2008)

1:36:09 - Neoplasia - Stirring Clots (Grinder Cirujano Records)

2:17:49 - Harul Vinay - भराड़ी घाट ("Bharari Ghat")  (Old Mill / ltd. tape on Italian label Frozen Woods)

3:01:18 - Outro - Great American Desert - “Death Shall Be My Name” fr. Warring Against the Sun/Solipsis (Autumn Wind Productions, 2006) (Likely still available from some underground distros but long out of print.)

 

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 71 - Blackdeath, Henbane Chariot, Paydretz, Duister Maanlicht

Terminus Episode 71 - Blackdeath, Henbane Chariot, Paydretz, Duister Maanlicht

October 23, 2021

Much to the chagrin of posers and falses across the globe, Terminus arises from a brief autumnal break with another grip of records to interrogate. While you're all out having fun watching the leaves change, we're hermetially sealed inside our respective apartments, digging our way through the trenches of obscurity to bring you hidden nuggets of gold. Pay me, you savages.

We open with Russia's Blackdeath, a stalwart black metal legion of over 20 years whose music has always been critically applauded but strangely underappreciated by the public. Their new record demonstrates why- it's a nightmarish journey into dissonance and decay that nonetheless holds the old second wave true.  Many will call this "experimental," but it's really just a wonderful example of making something very new from old tools.

Following is Henbane Chariot, a project related to mystical pagan black metal band Secret Fire whose latest EP we covered earlier this year. HC are cut from similar raw material, but the textile is woven very differently, with greater emphasis on upsetting harmonic textures and abstract, impressionistic guitar work. It's far from the most accessible record of the year, but its seemingly random clusters of chromatic notes slowly take shape into a recognizable mosaic the more the listener studies.

After our interlude is (of course) another record from Terminus favorite label Antiq. Paydretz is thematically in perfect alignment with that label's style of chivalric and florid black metal, but its musical DNA has much more to do with (of all things) folk and power metal from ages past. Don't let that scare you off- there's a tremendous amount for the listener to sink their teeth into. Pull down a French history text, pour a glass of wine, and realize why those styles should never have been forgotten in the first place.

Concluding is the return of Duister Maanlicht, whose openly Darkthrone-worshiping style of black metal we covered last year. 2021's entry significantly raises the stakes, with more dynamic songwriting, more elegant riffing, and a more distinct personality. While this still hews closely to the band's established style, it's safe to say DM has interests in branching out from the mere tribute of last year toward a greater range of sounds and ideas.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:05:56 - Blackdeath - Also sprach das Chaos (End All Life Productions)

0:45:15 - Henbane Chariot - Allpine Seance (Throne of May)

1:21:42 - Interlude - Forêt Morte - “Lighthunt” fr. ...Those Dismal Moments (Independent, 2005) (Likely safe to say you cannot find this physically anymore)

1:30:59 - Paydretz - Chroniques de L'Insurrection (Antiq)

2:16:58 - Duister Maanlicht - Influisteringen Van De Duivel (Christian Metal Underground Records)

3:00:03 - Outro - Ganzmord - “Enemy of Humanity” fr. Monolithic in Darkness (Antinomian, 2005) (CD copies float around in underground distros with some regularity- the attached link is just one instance.)

 

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Terminus Episode 70 - Schavot, Monotonic Negativel, Azothyst, Caveman Cult

Terminus Episode 70 - Schavot, Monotonic Negativel, Azothyst, Caveman Cult

October 7, 2021

Before Terminus takes a brief break to catch up on the day jobs we've been ignoring for months, we have a shorter, diamond-hard episode for you split in two distinct halves- wandering, melodic, and unusual one-man black metal versus two very different takes on modern war metal. We'll be back week after next, but hopefully this keeps the shakes away long enough to survive your detox.

Our first record of the evening comes as a personal submission from Floris of Asgrauw and Meslamtaea with a new one-man project that appears to concentrate on... trees? Gallows? Dutch is hard. Anyway, Schavot represents an effort by one of Holland's MVPs to create full-spectrum, 2nd wave-centered black metal with his own idiosyncratic presentation. Unsurprisingly, it's excellent- faithful to the past but employing modern musical technology that creates something both familiar and surprising to the seasoned listener.

Next is the side project of Terminus alum Aarsland (of Devilgroth fame,) Monotonic Negativel. The airy, almost improvisational feel of Devilgroth shines through, but now brought back down to earth with intense inflections of industrial and DSBM. The result is something that can only come from Aarsland- dark, gloomy, and surprisingly beautiful with stabs of intense aggression and heaviness you don't typically see in the style.

Our second half is a quick blast through two war metal records. The first is the debut EP by Azothyst, which attempts to wed the battering aggression of war metal with dissonant riff patterns from orthodox black metal and Ulcerate. This project has an all-star lineup of Canadian black/death legends, but does is it able to withstand the weight of its own ambitions and this style's natural pitfalls? We discuss.

Wrapping up is Caveman Cult's new full-length from the beaches of Miami, playing a bludgeoning and unsophisticated style of war metal str8 outta 1995. There's a lot discussed in this section: are we sure this isn't just grindcore? How do you weave songs this blunt and primeval together in an elegant way? Just what the hell DOES "crust" mean, anyway? As always, there's plenty of excitement to find and intrigue to dig out, even on a record which operates with all the subtlety of a pool ball in a tube sock to the ribcage.

Thanks for listening, Terminators- we'll see you in a couple weeks.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:08:27 - Schavot - Galgenbrok (Void Wanderer Productions/War Productions)

0:46:41 - Monotonic Negativel - The Silent Abyss (Independent)

1:25:42 - Interlude - Hæthen - “Amongst The Forlorn Larch,” fr. Shaped by Aeolian Winds (Fallen Empire - LP / Ars Magna - CD, 2015)

1:35:42 - Azothyst - Blood of Dead God (Vault of Dried Bones)

2:02:39 - Caveman Cult - Blood and Extinction (Nuclear War Now)

2:30:05 - Outro - Proclamation - “Altars of Mayhem” fr. Execration of Cruel Bestiality (Nuclear War Now, 2009)

 

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Terminus Episode 69 - Skepticism, Aorlhac, Hautakammio, Gloosh

Terminus Episode 69 - Skepticism, Aorlhac, Hautakammio, Gloosh

September 30, 2021

In the sexiest and most goblin-infested edition of Terminus yet, your intrepid heroes investigate another four records, this time heavy on the black metal with a funeral doom appetizer. All four of these bands have been mentioned on the show at one point or another, but none have actually been reviewed- all of them, however, were eagerly anticipated, with varying results.

Opening the evening is the long-anticipated return of Skepticism, who unsurprisingly again display why they are still the apex of funeral doom. This year's record is a branching and varied one, with some of Skepticism's most extreme work to date in both melody and mood. A guided tour of the band's discography ensues both from your hosts and the songs on the record itself, and it's safe to say this is certainly one of the best records of the year.

On Terminus we frequently talk about "chivalric black metal," that odd niche of the French scene most concerned with florid melody and battlefield triumph, and one of the primary originators of that style is Aorlhac. Returning with their fourth full length record, Aorlhac this time laces their traditional style with lashings of melodeath and power metal, making something smoother and more straightforward than before. Was it a good move? You decide.

After our break, TBMG brings out an old favorite of his with Hautakammio, a Finnish band who play a resolutely traditional style of 2nd wave worship. Over the course of the review we find more and more details to discuss- the role of production in the band's music, the ideals of repetition vs. variation, and what it really means to make "oldschool" black metal 30 years on. It's a record for deep cut black metal aficionados, but there's a lot to love.

Wrapping up the evening is the sophomore full-length by Gloosh, a Russian one-man project that has been gathering steam with its riffy and intense take on atmospheric black metal. The new record shows the band shaking off some of the most friendly aspects of the debut for something more austere, severe, and storming- AKA all the things a growing Black Metal Guy needs.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:06:36 - Skepticism - Companion (Svart Records)

0:55:18 - Aorlhac - Pierres brûlées (LADLO)

1:29:09 - Interlude - Glaciation - “Acta Est Fabula” fr. Ultime éclat (Osmose Productions, 2020)

1:35:23 - Hautakammio - Pimeyden Kosketus (Purity Through Fire)

2:18:38 - Gloosh - Sylvan Coven (Drevo Recordings)

2:58:23 - Outro - Branikald - “A Stormride” fr. Stormheit (Independent, 1995) (Various pressings can be found on various music trading sites. As with all BBH, beware of bootlegs.)

 

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Terminus Episode 68 - Norse, Solitvdo, .357 Homicide, Lymphatic Phlegm

Terminus Episode 68 - Norse, Solitvdo, .357 Homicide, Lymphatic Phlegm

September 24, 2021

After about a million technical problems and an equal amount of alcohol consumption, Terminus episode 68 finally arrives with 4 records of intense vision, rigor, and precise execution. From epic black metal to goregrind, a wide swath of styles are covered today, with a running thread of highly specific and focused artistic imagination. And we like them all! Well, ONE OF US likes them all.

Opening the episode is Australia's Norse, who play a fusion of challenging, somewhat dissonant black metal, downtempo, and experimental industrial, all bound together with a streak of gothic melody. The results aren't quite as diffuse as they sound, as Norse weaves together Deathspell Omega-style hyperspeed riffing with punishing, sludgy breakdowns, making for a record both varied and rewarding to the careful listener. 8 strings can play black metal too!

Italy's Solitvdo up next with a record bound for greatness. Following in the footsteps of Spite Extreme Wing and the Invitta Armata circle, Solitvdo plays solar metal exclusively, but with a twist of powerful, heroic synth work cutting across fields of frenzied, ecstatic riffing. Absolutely mandatory for listeners who enjoy the "Terminus style" of black metal, and a record which immediately launches this project to the top of the scene.

After our break, TDMG knowingly and with malice aforethought presents .357 Homicide, a 2-man slam crew out of England whose grotesque tones are matched by their intense rhythmic depth. Expanding on the template originally pioneered by Cephalotripsy, this band concentrates on convulsive and swinging rhythmic dynamics, making an appropriate soundtrack for both ballroom dancing and mass murder.

Wrapping up the episode is a blast from the past with Lymphatic Phlegm, Brazilian goregrind legends. Don't let the genre description fool you- LP are notoriously unique for their dreamy, reverb-drenched production and fascinating riffing style which dances between traditional heavy metal, goth rock, and neoclassical music. 14 years has done nothing to dull the scalpel, proving once again that this is a band who deserves much greater attention from the metal scene than they've experienced over the years.

 

0:00 - Intro featuring Murmuüre and Brodequin

0:18:14 - Norse - Ascetic (Transcending Obscurity)

1:01:13 - Solitvdo - Hegemonikon (ATMF)

1:41:22 - Interlude - Infamous - “Germogli di disgrazia e rovina” fr. Muttos pro s'aristocratzia (Independent, 2019)

1:46:19 - .357 Homicide - Executed on Site (Vile Tapes Records)

2:18:53 - Lymphatic Phlegm - Roughly Excised - Putrefindings, Morbidescriptions and Necrognoses (Black Hole Productions)

2:57:39 - Outro - Psychosadistic Haterapist - “Alley Sweeper” fr. 4-Way Cybergrind Pornogoremageddon (Butchered Records, 2006) (Most of this is scattered across Youtube but I have no idea where you'd find a physical copy these days.)

 

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