ZARACH'BAAL'THARAGH  The Nightmares Continues  CDR   (Infernal Kommando)   9.98

This nightmare of putrescent psychedelic spew released in 2007 from French basement-blackmetal mutant Zarach Baal Tharagh may be a bit more structured than some of those utterly fucked cassette releases of his that we got in stock a few weeks back, but this is still completely brain-damaged black metal and blackened noise that's rotten to the core. Titled The Nightmare Continues and featuring "Demo #57" from Luc Mertz's (aka Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, natch) archives. When does this guy sleep?

Eleven tracks labeled simply #334-#344 that run the gamut of ZBT's mongoloid necro attack, starting with a brief bit of ghostly groans, metallic clatter, and weird industrial ambience that soon gives way to a gnarly low-fi thrash metal assault, huge blasting drums and primitive, nay, brain-damaged blackpunk riffing and those reverb-drenched vomit vocals give this a semblance of being actual black metal for a minute or so, but then devolves into a weird almost no-wave dirge as Mertz's starts strangling his guitar and coughing up chunks of lung matter, then - BLAM - the blastbeats erupt again for a second, then the music lurches into a mangled stop/start rock groove before totally falling apart into a heap at the end. The next track is pure murky black ambience, hissing drones and effects-baked chanting floating around in a collapsing cathedral, then kicks into the insane blackpunk frenzy of "Nightmare #337", which sounds like an even sloppier than usual Darkthrone jam with those swooping pterodactly shrieks off of the first Fleurety demo. Halfway through, Mertz starts splattering the song with insane in-the-red soloing, and then, as usual, collapses into stumbling noise rock at the end.

The rest of the album follows the pattern of alternating grisly industrial tableaus with mangled low-fi blackpunk. Some of the tracks sound like Wolf Eyes or Throbbing Gristle slowed down to 4 bpm, or processionals of trolls performing Gregorian chants at the bottom of a cistern, or the droning wail of air-raid sirens muffled by the horrified screams of your neighbors and the down pillow you have pulled over your head...while the black "metal" tracks are all equally damaged and sloppy and mind-bending, making early Beherit sound like fucking Dragonforce in comparison. Of course, I think this stuff is KILLER, especially whenever Mertz decided to "rock out" and the song lurchers into this bizarre bluesy rock or old school pub-punk with hilariously tuneless soloing that is obviously insanely out of place coming right after a hyperspeed blast of sub-Darkthrone thrash. Goddammit, I love this band. So will you if yer into the crazed and demented black metal weirdness of Furze, Striborg, Defuntos, Wormsblood, Alkerdeel, Raw Hatred and Tjolgtjar.