November 1988

The following is the November 1988 installment of Puszone

Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.

A vampire. That is what the proper term would be. But perhaps this
creature was a bit different from the average ghoul. Maybe she
didn't know it, the way people were drawn to her, like a hypnotic
spell that they could never throw off. Once they were in her charm,
thse people changed. I wondered if she really was a bloodsucker. Just
the thought of someone pumping down a cruor cocktail weakened my
stomach. I had never seen wounds on any of her victims' flesh, yet
I've seen her suck the life out of people.

She was a fair-skinned girl, not really pale or sheet white, though
I'm sure she would have liked to be. I had met her many years before
through my older brother before he died. Funny circumstances surrounded
his death. Now a friend of mine was dating her, along wtih four other
guys, each of whom, I'm sure, thought they were the only one. Her
personality was enchanting; she could hold a conversation with
anyone. She was very intelligent and her body seemed to glow when she
smiled. I watched my friend change after he started dating her just
as my brother had changed. She had this power, a persuation rather, an
odd way of convincing people of her way. She came from a very wealthy
family; so naturally there was alwyas a lot of money wherever she went.
It was almost as if she bought her friends, with cash-not just nickles
and dimes either; twenties, hundres, always big crisp bills. I never
saw much of my friend anymore. She really didn't like any of his
friends, so he's sit at home and wait for her communication. She
would get angry if he went against her wishes. I wondered
How long it would be before he was reported missing, just like all
the rest, then found dead a couple of months later. But no one could
ever pin it on her. She always had an alibi. She was clever. The strange
thing was that the blood was drained completely out of victims, with
no marks on the bodies. People held garlic up to her, crosses, all that
anti-vampire stuff they'd seen in movies. They even tried mirrors, but
her reflection always appeared. I was surprised anyone would still go
out with her, knowing her track record wasn't the best. She would complain
of being lonely, her dark brown eyes would shed some tears and the guys
would just sympathize with her. They would fall head over heals for
her, and wind up six feet under.

It was the night of a full moon, mid-Autumn. A cold brisk wind blew
through my hair. The stars were all fully visible. I had gone to the
store to get a loaf of bread and some candy. I saw her with my friend,
strolling in the moonlight, heading towards the park. I was too far away
for them to hear me call out. I got panicky and followed them into the park.
They walked over to a bench where they sat and began to kiss small kisses
that became rather long ones. I was sweating feverously, and that feeling
came over me. Jealousy. I was very jealous. Why wouldn't she go out with me?
There was nothing wrong with me. I was attractive, I had personality. She
always denied me. The anger grew within me as I watched them. My eyes burned.
I wanted her. I saw red. I was hungry. The bread wouldn't be enough. I
screamed out as I hurled myself toward them. She didn't even look as she
screamed and ran off into the dark of the park. My friend was trying to
get his balance as I plowed my fist into the back of his head, knocking
him unconscious on the grass. I crouched down over him. I had that gleam
inside my eyes. I felt my incisors piercing into my lower lip. My body
rocked with hunger as I undressed him. There was a place, I was taught,
from where blood could flow without leaving a wound. My stomach was very
weak. I needed the plasma badly. I lowered my head and felt the crimson
fluid drain into my mouth. Strength ran through my revived body. I used
the bread to sop up the spilt blood. He was empty. I wiped my face and once
again as was my ritual, I apologized to my brother.

HUnched over, I looked to my right and saw her legs walking toward me. She
was beautiful in the moonlight. I loved her so, but never could I have her.
I was her slave. It happened centuries ago in the colonial days, before the
witch hunts, before the hidings. All those years had passed and never was
she mine. I have not aged a day physically since she first spewed her venom
into me, when she tried to quench her thirst on my blood. I should have
died, but because of my strange chemistry, I have lived on. It only
happens to a few. But with her venom inside me, she controls me, until I
pass it on to another whose blood has the same odd quality. When that
day comes, when i lose the venom, she will love me. But for now, I only
feed for her. I must vomit half of the blood for her meal. She no longer
does it herself with me around, I told you she was a vampire, I just
didn't tell you i was.

Her hand moved closer to me. She spoke with hypnotic authority. "Your
feather," she said. "It's my turn."

Ah, Zoners, like that tale. My cousin on the East Coast told it to me
last time I was out there visiting. Don't worry, blood doesn't excite me,
not in the Puszone. Time once again to tip-tie through some biggies.

Though the individual powers of both the Misfits and Samhain are unforgettable,
Those bands are in the past and the new incarnation has arisen. Glenn
Danzig has built up a new unit that's so damn powerful, so relentlessly
brutal, it staggers the senses just to comprehend. This ensemble, entitled
Danzig, drives forth with a new force, an ambitious direction and
absolutely ferocious power. Glenn's vocals have matured with age; his
croons are commanding expressions of the full range of his voice, yet
gentle with flavor and lasting notes that knock the head back. Glenn
howls with the passion of a legend, and that's not a premature statement.
His voice makes this band. Still, the music explodes with a vigorous
combination of hooks and punches that wallop a tight, clean drive; a
forceful nucleus of hard rocking energy. Chuck Biscuits shows his
experience as a drummer with perhaps his best performance yet. He
unleashes solid sounds in a full frontal barrage of drum smashes
and cymbal bashes that exert the charge behind Glenn's vocals. It's
a riveting assault that works perfectly in the overall mix. Guitarist
John thrusts forward with an abundance of thunderous, slightly bluesy
chords that rock hard and heavy. Similarities to the riffs of AC/DC's
Angus Young are undeniable. The smooth transition between notes while
wailing or whining adds even more punch to this already clean sound.
Eerie Von rounds out on bass with deep plucks that rumble like hard-hitting
commands. All together Danzig provide a heavy dose of pure entertainment
that has awesome momentum and pile-driving fury. Tracks like "Twist of Cain",
"Am I Demon", "Mother", "Not of This World", "The Hunter", and the
ballad rhythms of "She Rides" stand out among the ten excellent songs
presented here. The superior song writing structure and production by
Rick Rubin stokes the fire in the talent here. It is perhaps Rick's best
job to date. Danzig becomes more impressive with every listen, and soon
its bombarding your brain with positive reinforcements. It's definitely
a record that is on the threshold of something big. On Def American/Geffen.

Not it's time to put all biases aside-one of the most difficult parts of
this job. It's been a couple of years since an actual studio release of new
material has come out, the $5.98 EP was only covers and wile it was a blast,
it didn't satiate that craving for new writings. Now the time has finally
arrived. After five long months in the studio, Metallica's fourth LP,
entitled ...And Justice For All, is finished. The guys recorded
so much that they went over the limit of music for a single LP, so watch
for a double slab dose from the metallibashers. The cassette and CD are
still in the singular form with the usual prices. Now we find Metallica
engaged in nine tracks that will kick your head back. It's a heavier vein
than the traditional speed they are known for. Watch as this starts a
trend with those younger clone bands. There is no loss of power or
capability; this is still that no-holds-barred attack that thrusts with
every chord. It's what you've come to expect, right? The track listing:
"Blackened", "Eye of the Beholder", "One", "Harvester of Sorrow", "Shortest
Straw", "Frayed Ends of Sanity", "To Live is To Die", "Dyer's Eve", and
the title track, "And Justice For All". Nine ferocious tracks that wil
rock your brain. The lyrics are still intense, as is the entire concept.
This is a band who is putting more sincerity into their material.
Metallica holds their footing as the band who provides original material
with lots of structure and compositional changes without overdoing it.
The music and lyrics are air-tight, while the harmonious beat captures
the senses. While this LP looks like a dominating success for Metallica,
and you will see rave reviews everywhere, by now you know Metallica
delivers an all out performance and no review is good enough or long enough
to truly capture the etallica mystique. But as long as you know that James,
Lars, Kirk and Jason are still rattling those brains, I don't need to say
more. Just get the thing. On Elektra, O.K.

In one week, I heard three new releases by established bands and wach one
gave me an unexpected toss. One of those bands was Slayer. The last LP
Reign in Blood, was a genuince classic. Rick Rubin brought these guys
into a whole new world with his production wizardry. But how could Slayer
or Rick Rubin top that one? Well, maybe they can't, but they sure can set
your brain afire with their new releaseSouth of Heaven. On first
listen I noticed a slight calming of the speed, with a heavier direction
and rich, thick rhythms. The most noticeable point of that listen was Tom
Araya's ability to project his voice better this time around, which was
really effective. This sound could be compared to Black Sabbath, yet much
faster. Rick Rubin's production is excellent again, really capturing the
spirit of Slayer. To obtain this he had to have his heart in the band
and pay close attention to their future sound. Could this mean mass
acceptance for Slayer? Ten tracks dominate this release that goes a bit
overboard on leads in too many songs, yet they are not that long and not
too disturbing. While this release shows Slayer heading in the direction
of heaviness, speed is still their natural element. The combination makes
it that much better. The track listing:"South of Heaven", "Silent Scream",
"Live Undead", "Crooked Cross", "Manditory Suicide", "Ghosts of War", "Read
Between the Lines", "Cleanse the Soul", "Judas Priest", and "Spill the Blood".
Slayer once again provides a powerful selection of tough rhythms that won't
let down the faithful fans or the newcomers. On Def America.

While the two bands discussed so far are big cult faves and the public will
be flocking to the stores to make those purchases, this next release may be
lost in the shuffle. Let's hope not. The second slab by new Yorkers Prong
should by all means please the fans of the aforementioned bands, since
dominating power and speed are the tricks of the trade for Prong. Force
is the LP, and a wicked dose it is, perhaps one of the top five
releases from an unknown band. It has more vigor than some of the mainstays.
If you caught Primitive Origins, you already know the amount of damage that
Prong is quite able to create. Here, Prong are a bit heaier and not as
speedy. Raw, gritty guitar chords are laced in with trembling drum shivers,
as a thick gruff voice projects over it all. For a three piece, these guys
wail. Tommy Victor's guitar bites down hard, grabbing chunks of riffs then
arching back with a vicious whine only to plunge right back into it with
all the sewat, all the rapid smashing force. More than intense sound,
these twelve tracks have their own direction, their own state of mind, and
drive effectively into your face. Stuff like "Freezer Burn", the demanding
"Forgery", "Aggravated Condition", "Decay", and the brutal combustion
of "Look Up at the Sun" make Prong a band that cares more about their
sound than their image, a band that never pulls a punch. So, even if this
second Prong album is lost in the shuffle, at least some of us will know
what Prong is all about and know that all that mass marketed crap is nothing
compared to this vicious three-piece. On Spigot.

What is it? Australia's producing all these killer bands lately. And
her's one fronted by frantic scratcher Ben brown. Sydney's the place and
Hellmenn is the group, giving us six tracks on a twelve-incher called
Herbal Lunacy. What is surprising about this band is the noticeable
similarity to Stiff Little Fingers, especially the A side's opening track,
"So Bad." It's real grass roots punk stuff, full of raw edges and raunchy
vocals while still rocking. Brown's vocals word well with the music, so he
pulls it off quite well. The band's framework consists of two guitarists
who deliver an abrasive and boisterous attack of medium paced cranium
crunching power that's vicious without losing control. The hot drum action
doesn't get too repetitive and it paces the songs well. While side A is a
bit better than B,this disc is a welcome, catchy surprise. The Hellmenn have
a lot of appeal and succeed in providing pure enjoyment. It's a ground
breaker on Waterfront Records.

Now, picture a rushing rhino hurling his tough leathery skin into a solid
brick wall. can the wall withstand impact like that? This scenario is played
out by Ripcord, those blister and bruise bashers of turbulent British hardcore.
They crank out 1,000 mph sonic bursts on this limited edition Harvest Hardcore
EP. The boys of Ripcord come away with top flailing honors for their raucous,
chaotic assaults. Savage and hammering, these six staggering selections mix
English raw power with U.S. hardcore's speed and ferocity to thrust an onslaught
of mayhem from a no-holds-barred stance. And while their speed wages warfare,
the music doesn't lose sense of itself. It holds tightly to the furious
battlefield without blurring. Thick drums smack down hard and mix up the
tempo well, while the genuine hardcore deep vocals harmonize with the fury
of the distorted guitar. It's a far cry from the Manic Ears release. Baz, Jim,
John and Steve deliver a barrage of pure, well written energy that is a jewel
for the hardcore fan. The brilliance is close to the mighty Siege. It's a
real treat. Raging Records.

Storming out of Connecticut comes a debut by an awesome "straight edge/posicore"
band called Wide Awake. Adrenalin pumping the guitars roar with a vicious
command, pulsating with crude strokes that echo out in distorted fury. The
match up of crunching instrumentation makes this unit a gem of East Coast
hardcore. Vocalist Tom pumps out personal lyrics that shrill with the vigor of
the quick assaults. Gritty execution keeps the levels raw, ravaging and rigorous
on all of these up-tempo tracks. "Last Straw" is the major standout with its
thick wall of sound, grungy structure changes, easy to catch beats and flailing,
frantic aggression. Five tracks make up this thunderous seven-inch that brings
more attention to the rise of this East Coast posi-type delivery. On
Schism Records.

Next we have a totally self-made twelve-inch EP out of Canada(complete with
white jacket and printed sleeves) by Witches Hammer. From the name, it's
obvious that this will be some sort of death metal disc, and it holds true
to form. This band is like a speeded up Venom with lots of chord changes for
how short the songs are. They're fast-paced metallic doses that get to the point
without overdoing it. Sure there are lots of crazed guitar speed ups and
repetitious drum smacks, but what's here shows real promise. This amount of
material should have been on a seven-inch, or they could have added a few
more tracks to fill up some time. Most of the songs are around one minute
long and Witches Hammer do some interesting things in that time limit. Appealing
dark speed metal on Subversive Behavior.

A hot metal band currently on an indy label is Toranaga. It's a strange name
for a band that I hope isn't forgotten. Though they have some Metallica-like
guitar riffs, Toranaga come with their own sound. It's something like a thrash
type metal unit crossed with Accept, giving an unusual appeal and concept.
Up front production that thrusts forth the guiitars and vocals sees this
Bastard Ballads mini-LP flying with kerranging mayhem on the six tracks
presented. Boasting plenty of crisp leads and nasty wails, Toranaga move into
a middle area between thrash and heavy, combining both for effective
performances of mental combustion. Cuts like "Sentenced", "Soldies Be Brave",
and "Time to Burn" really stand out for this English outfit, who seem to have
polished up each dose. For the true fan on Peaceville Records.