VirginTurtleWhore’s new free album is worth every peso

VTW_Evolution

Good news for people who hate their eardrums: Our favorite Mexican experimental death metal band, VirginTurtleWhore, has finally released their latest LP. It’s called Evolution and you can download the whole thing for the low, low price of nothing at Archive.org. Gracias, dudes! Now pardon me while I crank this killer track called “Albino Meat Pod” to levels that actually cause the walls of my bedroom to ripple like a face in a wind tunnel.

Spoiler alert: Evolution actually starts out so quiet you might think your speakers are busted, but it’s just to trick you into cranking the volume to levels that are suicidal once you get into the rest of the album. Very sneaky, VirginTurtleWhore.

Our thanks to VTW singer/manager NioX, aka Irrealidad Continua Continua Irrealidad, for sharing the insanity with us and our readers. By the way, if you’re not a cheap bastard like me, you can also support VirginTurtleWhore by purchasing Evolution via Bandcamp. You can name your price in U.S. dollars, Mexican pesos or or any other global currency, up to and including pints of virgin blood.

What’s that? I can’t hear you over my tinnitus. Oh,  you say you want to hear a sample? Sure thing. Here’s one of the album’s most batshit tracks, “Holocene Exogenesis.” Strap in, kids.

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VirginTurtleWhore

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Once again you, the people, have crowned a new Weird Band of the Week. That’s how people get crowned, right? By popular vote? It’s what we do here in America at homecoming dances, anyway.

The point is, we posted another Facebook poll, and this band from Mexico called VirginTurtleWhore totally crushed the competition. So how do you say “Congrats” in Spanish? “Congracias”? That doesn’t sound right. I really should have paid closer attention in Spanish class, but I was listening to bands like VirginTurtleWhore.

We actually don’t know all that much about VTW. We know they’re from Puerto Vallarta and seem to have been around since 2005 or so.  They describe themselves as experimental death metal. They cite Fantomas as one of their influences, which we’re totally down with. They were once a four-piece but there seem to be five of them now: NioX (vocals), PaSkKal (drums), Doña C’anobhia (bass), The Unk and Pack Man (guitars). There may be a sixth member named Teghsie but there’s just a bunch of question marks next to his or her name on the VirginTurtleWhore Facebook page so we’re not sure if that really counts.

Live, they seem to usually cover their faces, but not always their asses. Or their pendejos. (That means both “dumbass” and “pubic hair” in Spanish, or so we’re told. If UrbanDictionary.com had existed when I took Spanish, I might have actually passed.)

It looks like they released an album in 2009 called Evoluphilia that kinda sounds like a cross between Fantomas, Iwrestledabearonce and maybe something like Enter Shikari, because they throw in the occasional electronic dance elements before getting to the 200 bpm, face-melting shit. You can hear some of that stuff here and here. It’s definitely not for pussies.

More recently, they seem to be working on a new album just called Evolution. They’ve released one track from it called “Exxxistencia” that has a kind of amazing video, which you can watch below. Stay with it until you see the headbanging cows. It gets really good after that, trust me. It’s like Discovery Channel After Dark.

So congrats again, VTW! And stay tuned for our next Weird Band Poll. They just keep getting crazier.

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The County Medical Examiners

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It’s been too long since we added any actual metal bands to The Weird List. (And no, Van Canto doesn’t count.) Let’s fix that right now with a long-ago suggestion from superstar reader Ian Frost: a goregrind trio called The County Medical Examiners. Yeah, that’s them in the photo. We’ll explain why they look like bankers in a sec.

We explained goregrind when we wrote about Cattle Decapitation awhile back, but just to recap: It’s basically grindcore with lyrics entirely about death, decay, dismemberment, surgical procedures and pretty much anything having to do with terrible things happening to people’s tender insides. If those Body Worlds people have a favorite subgenre of metal, it’s probably goregrind.

Goregrind has been around since the ’80s, when it was invented by the band Carcass. So by now there’s actually a ton of bands playing this style of music and most of them honestly aren’t all that interesting: They just write songs with titles like “Pus Grinder” and “Bathed in Feculence” and sing in that demon Cookie Monster style over riffs that kinda sound like someone emptying a .50 caliber machine gun into a mountain of hamburger meat. But here’s what sets The County Medical Examiners apart: They really are professional medical examiners. Which in the world of goregrind makes them total pimps.

The CMEs have never gone on tour, and admit that they record under fake names, which has led to a lot of speculation that the whole thing is a giant hoax staged by one of the other goregrind bands. But in a 2006 interview with MTV, head Examiner Dr. Morton Fairbanks insisted that the whole thing is for real.

According to Fairbanks, TCME originally started as a Carcass tribute band, but at some point they began writing original songs…although he admits their original material is so derivative that they’re basically “playing covers of songs [Carcass] didn’t actually write but could have.” He also confirmed that the old dude in all the band photos is bassist Dr. Guy Radcliffe, who at the time of the MTV interview was 63, which would make him 69 now. “He’s classically trained and he also plays upright bass,” Fairbanks told MTV. “I’m embarrassed to bring him riffs sometimes, because he knows way more theory than I do.” We think he might actually be this guy, but that’s just a wild guess.

TCME hasn’t released any new music since 2007, when their second album Olidous Operettas came out on Relapse Records, which is also home to Cattle Decapitation and other “Carcass clone” bands like Regurgitate and General Surgery. So we have no idea if we’ll ever get any new music from these guys, but who cares, really? It’ll probably sound exactly like their old shit, which sounds exactly like Carcass.

Oh, one other nifty touch: Olidous Operettas came in a biohazard bag and smelled like rotting corpse meat. Bet the other goregrind bands wish they’d thought of that.

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Cattle Decapitation

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You think vegetarians are all just a bunch of arugula-eating pussies? Well, meet Cattle Decapitation and prepare to have your brains blown out. Then fed to livestock. That’s how these guys roll.

Cattle Decapitation is a deathgrind band from San Diego. What the fuck, you ask, is deathgrind? A cross between death metal and grindcore. Duh. (Translation: the heaviest, ugliest, most evil-sound music on the face of the earth, which somewhat paradoxically requires a high level of technical proficiency to play. That and a willingness to sound like a really constipated Cookie Monster trying to pinch one out after too much brisket.) They’re also sometimes lumped in with a subgenre of deathgrind called “goregrind,” which is basically any deathgrind band whose lyrics mainly deal with death, gore, rape, gruesome medical procedures, serial killers and anything else that might turn up in an Italian horror movie. We kinda thought that was all deathgrind, but apparently not. Apparently the goregrind kids think the deathgrind kids are kinda soft.

Anyway, enough of this genre crap. Eddie swears you people find it interesting, but I’m not so sure. What I do find interesting is that Cattle Decapitation is an extreme vegetarian deathgrind band who try to put their fans off the bacon-burgers by writing songs about cannibalism, human slaughterhouses, and my personal favorite, cows turning the tables and eating us. A concept expressed on the cover of their Karma Bloody Karma album and a bit more bluntly on the very NSFW cover of Humanure. (Did you click on that link? Threw up in your mouth a little, didn’t you? Sorry, should’ve warned you.)

With song titles like “Testicular Manslaughter,” “Stench From the Dumpster,” and “Colostomy Jigsaw Puzzle,” you might think this whole thing is a joke. And it kind of seems like it might have started that way: At early Cattle Decapitation shows, lead singer Travis Ryan would often wear a mask made out of beef jerky (which you can sort of see here), and most of the band’s songs were under a minute long and almost comicly unintelligible. But they’ve been at this for over ten years now, and the music has gotten a little more sophisticated (guitar solos, verse/chorus structure, etc.) and they’re still on-message with the whole “How would you feel if you were sentenced to a short, brutal life in an industrial feedlot?” thing. So props to them. I’ll probably still hit the Carl’s drive-thru write after I post this, though. Have you tried one of their Philly Cheesesteak Burgers yet? So wrong, yet so right.

Speaking of burgers…Cattle Decapitation is also, as far as we know, the only deathgrind band ever to have a veggie burger named after them. Shut up, I’m serious. You can get one at Hamilton’s Pub and Cafe in San Diego. Comes with something called PCS sauce, which supposedly stands for “Phil Collins Sucks.” That’s almost cool enough to get me to eat black bean paste in patty form. Almost.

Anyway, here’s the official video for “A Body Farm” off CD’s most recent album, The Harvest Floor. The video starts off kinda cleverly with a fake news report about a serial killer who uses his victims to fertilize his vegetable garden, and then just gets weirder from there. We should note that although the lyrics are totally unintelligable, they’re also amazing. Quick sample:  “Ah, the irony in being a killer, yet in the crime-solving community, I am a pillar/A corpse turns to mulch with a good roto-tiller.”

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Hatebeak

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A few months back, we blogged about Caninus, the world’s only (to our knowledge) death metal band featuring dogs on lead vocals. Well, in the interest of giving equal time, we guess it’s time to acknowledge that when it comes to replacing the feeble vocal chords of humans in the death metal scene, Caninus is not alone. There’s also a death metal band fronted by a parrot. We couldn’t make this shit up if we tried, people!

Amazingly, Hatebeak has been around since 2004 and released at least three records, including a split with our old pals Caninus. The band is made up of Blake, Mark and Waldo. We’ll let you guess which one is the parrot.

Much like Caninus, Hatebeak is strictly a studio project, so no live footage or music videos exist. However, several enterprising fans have posted most of the band’s catalog on YouTube at this point. They were signed to a Baltimore hardcore label/store called Reptilian Records, but it literally just closed its storefront today (today! what are the odds?) and although their website declares, “Is Reptilian going under? Hell no!” the link for the band’s page on the Reptilian site doesn’t work. So have Hatebeak squawked their last? We’re not optimistic. Although, we hear parrots live to be like 150, so maybe Waldo can pull a Dave Mustaine and go on to have lasting success with some other project, occasionally squawking bitterly about how shittily Blake and Mark treated him in interviews with Metal Hammer.

Anyway, here’s Hatebeak in action. Kind of arty compared to Caninus, but we’re diggin it.

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Caninus

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Most grindcore singers sound like they’re trying to imitate animals anyway (or possibly Cookie Monster), so a few years ago, someone had the bright idea of ditching the human lead singers altogether and putting a pair of pitbulls up front instead. The resulting band, Caninus, sounds pretty much every other grindcore/death metal band on the planet, except for the twin vocal attack of Budgie and Basil (couldn’t they find two pitties with more, y’know, hardcore names?), which gives the band’s music a primal quality that, we gotta admit, is pretty awesome.

Caninus has never performed live as far as we know. Given the decibel level at your average grindcore concert, it would probably be considered animal cruelty. So we can’t really show you what the band looks like, or even who, besides the pups, is in it (reportedly, however, it’s members of NYC hardcore outfit Most Precious Blood). But here’s a little taste of what they sound like, a little ditty called “Brindle Brickheads” (other song titles include “No Dogs, No Masters” and “Bite the Hand That Breeds You”). Kinda makes you wanna bark along, doesn’t it?

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