VARIOUS ARTISTS  Nuclear War Now Live Ritual Volume 1  DVD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)   13.98

I remember how envious I felt when Nuclear War Now announced that this festival would be taking place in Germany last year. Germany? It's hard enough for me to get outside of the Baltimore area. I was tempted to check out the flights though, as this first annual festival that was curated by the esteemed black/death metal label Nuclear War Now! had a lineup that would make most fans of extreme underground metal drool. Thankfully, for those of us who could not pony up the cash and/or time to attend in person, NWN has produced this high quality Dvd that documents most of the artists who appeared. It's one of the better underground black/death metal Dvds that I've seen, thanks to Alan Dubin's (Khanate/OLD/Gnaw) editing and production. The picture and sound quality is of high quality, and the footage for the most part features multiple camera angles. Most of the bands featured have two or three songs from their set presented here, and while it would have been awesome to have a complete, exhaustive documentation of this event, you still get around two hours of non-stop extremity and evil.

The Dvd begins with a single song from opener Hellias, who delivers some chugging, heavy duty modern thrash. They are followed with three songs from noisy blackened death merchants Blasphemophager, and "Perversion Extol" from blasting black metallers Terrorama. Thereís Australian black thrasher Nocturnal Graves, two songs of Germany's Pest doing their majestic BM, crushing blackened death from Embrace Of Thorns, long running California black/death metallers Morbosidad, apocalyptic death/thrash from the mighty Ares Kingdom, and three blown-out blasts from legendary Spanish black metallers Proclamation. Some of the other highlights on this disc include Bone Awl, who appear here as a three piece but lose none of their primal power as they pound through four songs of trance-inducing blackened punk filth ("With My Hands", "These Days Are Marked", "Lindow Man", "Black Beasts"). And there's three songs from libidinous NY black thrashers Villains ("Zero Kingdom", "Acid Punk" and "Crazy For Blowjobs"), a longtime favorite of mine; their segment is fucking awesome, the singer drunkenly prowling the stage as the band rips through their sleazy satanic sex anthems with a noxious hardcore punk vibe. Both Ignivomous and Dead Congregation deliver pulverizing sets, each band featured with two songs of their sludgy Incantation-influenced death metal, and they're followed by one of my favorite bands on the festival, Abigail. The Japanese blackthrash punk perverts blaze through "Bitch We Gonna Kill You", "Attack With Spell" and "War 666" with total abandon. Ohio's Midnight, decked out in chains, Deep Wound shirts, hoods, and black mesh pulled over their faces, offer an awesome necro-punk assault of mangy Venom-esque thrash with their sing-along anthems "Endless Slut", "I Am Violator" and "Unholy And Rotten", and hooded and cloaked Floridian heathens Black Witchery detonate two songs of their primitive Ross Bay-influenced black chaos ("Desecration Of The Holy Kingdom" and "Chaostorms of Demonic Hate"). The disc closes with a rare performance from noisy Canadian black holocaust blasters Revenge, who bring us "Traitor Crucifixion" and "Blood Of My Blood", closing out the festival in a hatestorm of cyclonic buzzsaw black/death chaos.