We've picked up a bunch of different cassettes from the French black metal label Infernal Kommand for Crucial Blast, all of 'em filled with weird and freaked out occult black metal mutations and queasy psychedelic ambience scraped from the underbelly of the French BM underground. Some of the tapes that we've been able to get are from familiar freakazoids (like the brilliantly fucked one man black metal of Zarach'Baal'Tharagh), while others are new discoveries, from the pitch-black void-ambience of Aymrev Erkroz Prevre and the ritual industrial murk of Stigma Diabolicum, to the sadistic satanic power electronic/crypt-drone rites of Silcharde, Malvoisie's bizarre didgeridoo-fueled black metal hallucinations and the perverted blackgrind overload of Kratornas. All of this stuff is brilliant and fucked, the sort of damaged outsider black metal weirdness that we lust for constantly, and fellow fans of all things blackened and noisy and abstract should definitely check all of these titles out.
The bulk of the cassettes that we got from Infernal Kommando are from that one man black metal project known as Zarach'Baal'Tharagh. I found out about Zarach'Baal'Tharagh after we picked up that collection of demos that At War With False Noise put out on cd a while back, and ever since then I've been looking for more of ZBT's utterly brain-damaged primitive black metal psychosis. The guy behind ZBT, Luc Mertz, has got to be one of the most prolific loner black metallers ever; according to Metal-archives.com, he's up to eighty demos as of this moment, with more surely on the way, and whats really wild is that so far everything that I've heard from this self-described " French master of bedroom black metal" has been amazing (and amazingly bizarre). This is exactly the sort of uber-fucked stumbling low-fi black metal mess that fans (like myself) of Furze, Striborg, Defuntos, Wormsblood, Alkerdeel, Raw Hatred and Tjolgtjar lust for.
Here's "demo 49" in ZBT's colossal catalog of cassettes, a twenty-two track tape titled Skull Face Exhumations that was released in 2006 on Infernal Kommando. Each track is referred to as an "Exhumation", and these are some of ZBT's harshest recordings - skuzzy, super low-fi bursts of damaged atonal black metal riffing and screeching reptilian vocals over shambling blastbeats that are buried way back in the mix, a minimal barely-perceptible clang like someone's banging on a couple of oil drums half a mile away while insanely out-of-tune blackened riffs loop over and over. This stuff is then alternated with passages of pure old school industrial noise in the form of warbling feedback loops, clanking machine rhythms obscured by layers of grime and tape murk, swooping oscillator freakouts, and other weird electronic noises. Like some of Zarach'Baal'Tharagh's other tapes, this has the feel of hearing some diseased nth generation black metal demo taped over an old RRRecords noise cassette, the nauseous riffs and ridiculous high-pitched screams (almost like the bizarre pterodactyl screams from the old Fleurety demo) enmeshed with creepy minimal machine sounds and corroded aural grit.