There are lots of little DIY style black metal labels out there that I try to follow as much as possible, picking up their new releases and trying to turn people on to the obscure weirdness that they put out, and one of the coolest and weirdest labels that I can think of is Rusty Axe, a tiny imprint from somewhere down in Virginia who has an immediately recognizeable aesthetic. Releasing nothing but the most primitive and bizarre black metal bands you've never heard of, I try to get my hands on everything that Rusty Axe pukes up. The label has been putting out these killer label samplers and is up to volume 4 now, and these compilations are an excellent chance to peer through the rusted keyhole into Rusty Axe's otherworld of deformed blackened genius.
On Under The Axe Volume 4, we get a whopping twenty-one tracks, many of which are exclusive to the comp. Fans of obscure weirdo metal will probably recognize at least a couple of the bands featured here: Tjolgtjar, Volkermord, Brobdingnagian, V.A.C.K., Black Vomit, Enbilulugugal, Godless, and
The Wizar'd are all bands that I've carried in form or another here at C-Blast, but there are even more names on this disc that I have never heard of before like Sacrificial Blood, Toil, Meridian Pain, Marks of the Masochist, Talk Sick Earth, Giamon, Taberah, Esprit Dťrangť, Dead...Again, Infinite Missiles, P.V.D., Trasher, and Sermon of Foulness. All of this stuff kills though, dousing you in a massive seventy-nine minute splurt of noise-damaged, brain-damaged black metal, doominess, and thrash freakery. Some of my favorite tracks include Tjolgtjar's awesome "Paapankamwa", a blackened blast of retro weirdness that sounds like a black metal Dio doused in cheap LSD and blown amplifiers, and the black-hole noise holocaust of P.V.D.'s "Ultimate Oblivion", with awesome blackened rock riffs buried under a storm of distortion and filth...Sermon of Foulness serve up some punky, catchy Venom-influenced thrash with weird howling vocals, and Volkermord unleash hell with their trance inducing Von-style filth. Toil are all fucked up low fi terror, filled with weird squiggly leads and seriously FX-damaged vocals over some killer old school metal riffs. Aussie doom weirdos The Wizar'd return with a cover of Witchfinder General's "Free Country", shambling slop drumming and ultra-distorted guitars buzzing out of control. "Reeking Of Diseased Goatbile" from Enbilulugugal is another cystic spurt of awesome primitive blackened thrash drenched in crazed, screaming gnome-vocals and insane wiggly riffing. And Black Vomit gives us a massive eight minute slab of satanic distortion, a slow lumbering crawl smeared with crazy spaced out FX and demonic screams pulled WAY OUT, stretched into inhuman howls of distorted filth, everything so distorted and blown out it becomes a furious corruscating wash of grinding noise. But all of this stuff rules, every track is a different, unique take on weird and damaged outsider black metal.