††It may well be another signifier of worsening mental illness, but I've been increasingly worshipping at the altar of French madman Luc Victor Mertz, who apparently spends the bulk of his time down in his basement recording endless hours of demented primitive outsider garage metal. I've been blasting various tapes from his notoriously prolific, terminally primitive black metal/punk/noise project Zarach'Baal'Tharagh for years, and his main "band" has got to be one of the most loathed of all of the primitive black/thrash bands that I've been turned on to through the Infernal Kommando label. Zarach'Baal'Tharagh is only one of many weird bedroom projects that Mertz has recorded as through the years, though, with other projects like Stigma Diabolicum, Occult Vomit, and Wolok extending even deeper into the depths of mutant black metal and crude blackened ambience. The oldest of all of his "bands" would appear to be Skull Face, a project that, according to the listing on Metal-Archives.com, dates back all the way to 1983 when Mertz supposedly released the original eight-song Live in Death Chamber demo; one views this through a certain amount of skepticism though, as there's a couple of clues that the whole thing might be a sort of prank on the part of Mertz to create a made-up history/mythology for the band. Who knows- one thing is for sure, though, is that if the band has been around since the early 80's, it's remained almost totally unchanged since it started, because the newer Skull Face recordings that make up the It's Your Fucking Mind tape are just as primitive and sloppy as the one old song that the band includes here, the whole thing sounding like it was found some rotting TDK cassette that someone found underneath an old couch that hasn't been moved in thirty years.
†† At times sounding like some fucked-up black metal Shaggs making an hopelessly inebriated attempt at playing Oi!, at others lurching through a sort of acid-gobbling psychedelic blackthrash, most of this tape is made up of recent recordings that Mertz produced under the Skull Face name, twenty eight tracks of low-fi black slime that combines primitive Venom-esque black thrash riffs, weird acid-rock freak-outs that spin off into long, inebriated psych-guitar meltdowns, simple plodding drum machine rhythms, weird stumbling stop-start dirges, demented slide-guitar slop, and Mertz's bizarre gargling vocals. His guitar is constantly teetering on the edge of going totally out of tune, the songs are held together with spit and spilt beer and hash scrapings, the drums sometimes shifting into almost breakbeat-like rhythms. Songs just sort of start up and drop off without warning, and the whole glorious mess sounds like the "band" is totally flying by the seat of their pants. In fact, Skull Face's sloppy racket isn't too far removed from the 70's rock-obsessed black metal weirdness of Tjolgtjar, and has a similarly psych-damaged feel to it, with a couple songs ("Divine Death", "Reap Of Evil") sounding not all that unlike some gnarly, blackened, retarded version of KISS, filtered through a delirium of broken 4-track equipment and alcohol abuse. Despite the catchiness of a lot of these songs, this stuff is pretty much for weirdo/outsider black thrash fans only, as the execution is just completely wrecked and wretched; further in, Mertz veers into a few tracks of insanely grotesque industrial muck made up of vomitous vocals, shambling drum machine thump and an overload of guitar effects fuckery and keyboard creep. The tape closes with that one track off of the old 1983 demo, the song "Dog Of Hell", a skuzzy dose of blackened punk.
†† Obviously recommended to any of you creeps who dig the weird, wicked world of Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, as well as fans of the fucked-up blackness of Akitsa, Malveillance, Tjolgtjar, Blood Cult and Aanal Beehemoth. Limited to one hundred copies.