Beginning in 2007, Headsplit Records is now responsible for pushing onto the world over 50 cassettes (and some CDs) of unapologetic and demented extreme metal. Thanks to caring about trends as much as a troll gives mind to the pleas and cries of its victims, Headsplit now boasts a back catalog that any label, let alone a relatively young one, would be proud of; not to mention the label’s devout following, or the numerous and increasingly kvlt reissues it’s pulled off. Their packages come teeming with extra goodies: some absurd, some you’ll want to hide immediately from your family and some that you’ll be legitimately psyched on receiving--stuff you won’t just re-goody yourself. But Headsplit is so much more than a label, too. But I don’t want to give away too much. Upon the label recently dropped a huge bundle of killer tapes on the unsuspecting but always eager underground, I had the pleasure of corresponding with Headsplit’s head honcho, “Disgustor.”
On how Headsplit got started and got going:
A rotten salute to all you readers out there! Headsplit Records started back in 2007 basically out of my worship for the cassette format. I mean come on, you can throw the damn things on the ground and stomp on them, and put em back in your stereo and they will play just fine. The same cannot be said about CD/Vinyl. Also I think cassette layouts/inserts look the coolest out of the three formats. Most dirt bag metal mother fuckers (myself included) still have cassette players in their older vehicles/older stereos at home. Plus they are cheap and compact, perfect to purchase while drunk and store in one’s leather jacket. Yes, the early releases from Headsplit were bands that I was in: Motorthrone, Nekro Drunkz, Cemetery Lust, Wormfood. But since starting the label the goal was always to release killer albums from other bands that I myself supported & believed in! Sanguis Imperem were one of the first bands to get a Headsplit release outside of my own bands. Those guys are one of the most crushing Death Metal acts of modern times! The past three years the label has been growing like a deadly virus. Headsplit Records has always had the slogan: "Extreme, Drunk, Disgusting"....I think that sums it up pretty well!
On Torture Rack, a Portland-based brutal DM band whose demo and debut full length both came out on tape via Headsplit:
TORTURE RACK just plain destroys all other new era Death Metal bands. There is so much of the echoey cave death metal junk out there clogging up the fukkin place. Enough is enough with that already!! TORTURE RACK are basically the closest sounding to classic era Cannibal Corpse/Deicide you can get. This is awesome since that is some of the most heavy music ever made & those bands don't sound like that anymore unfortunately. TORTURE RACK will not apologize or wimp out in any manner... in fact their newer stuff from what I've heard is even more extreme!!! These guys worship low end frequencies & are completely insane! All the members in the band are friends of mine. The band basically formed because Pierce the guitarist who was primarily a drummer in a few other bands broke his legs in a freak skate boarding accident, thus focusing on guitar. Stepping up to hammer the drums was Seth Traver. The rest is history I guess they say. I recorded one of their early practices, total kult cassette laying around somewhere, probably buried beneath some porno mags or something.
Absolutely one of my favorite releases from last year, not even being biased, goddamn it!!! If TORTURE RACK hits the road on a tour, the U.S.A. will be leveled! "Barbaric Persecution" is also coming on Vinyl format from the mighty Parasitic Records & CD from the deadly Memento Morii Records!! Pick one up, listen to it, pump some iron, and jump out your window in a frenzied rage! I think there are some killer longsleeve shirts coming out here soon as well. Portland, Oregon has some other great extreme bands like Witch Vomit, Weregoat, Smut, Sempiternal Dusk, Triumvir Foul, Mangled Corpse, Ritual Necromancy, and those stupid buffoons from Nekro Drunkz!
On reissuing classics:
I think it’s important to give these filthy classics another run or two. To expose these very worthy and sick bands to a whole new audience, or just to get them into the hands of fans who missed out the first time. I’ve done some official reissues of my favorites like:
- Impetigo - All We Need is Cheez
- Sadistik Exekution - The Magus (first time ever on cassette, the band required me to smash my head to bits for permission)
- Shah - Beware (Absolutely classic & ripping Russian thrash)
- Excruciate - The Passage Of Life (Thanks to Mr. Drokker!)
- Infester - Darkness Unveiled (One of the sickest demos ever!)
- Arachnid - Arachnid (Ripping Portland Death Thrash from 1992)
- The Beast - ...Has Arrived (Classic New York Crossover)
and tons more! Re-issuing these old gems is important & just plain fukkin mandatory for me! Especially if they have never been on deadly tape before. It’s cool to get a hold of the old musicians from these bands and let em know Headsplit Records is still burning the metal flame fukkin bright & wanting to resurrect their old albums. Usually most are taken by surprise, especially that I want to do it on cassette format. But we already covered the importance of that above, now didn't we, my freakish alcoholic friends?!!!! Haha!!! Cassette is the true format of metal, ARGH!!!!!!
How the Sadistik Execution reissue came to be:
No remastering was done to this masterpiece of FUKK! It is the same version used by Osmose which sounds slightly better than the original Vampire Records version. As for how this abomination came to be? I've been in contact with that psychopath bastard ROK for some years. He's drawn a grip of filthy art for Headsplit Records & Magazine. I've bought some custom pieces from him as well, which I promptly threw in the toilet! He is absolutely one of the sickest artists in the metal underground & I've heard he also drinks his own piss, a lesson we can all learn from eh? Any how Dave Slave is the manager of the band and I've been talking with him for awhile as well. This guy is also a real mental lunatic, and one of the fastest bass players around. He approved the idea for the Magus cassettes and Headsplit will be doing We Are Death ... Fukk You and KAOS cassettes later this year. A bunch of shit that will make ya jump in front of a train while stabbing your ears to a bloody pulp! Got some official Sadistik Exekution Magus longsleeves coming out from Headsplit as well. AGONIZING THE DEEEEAAAD!!!!
More on killer reissues:
I think the Infester - Darkness Unveiled reissue was probably the Un-Holy Grail of gore for Headsplit. That is just a flawless and deadly demo, it was long overdue to be re-released and it was an honor that Headsplit was able to do it. The Sadistik Exekution Magus first time on cassette officially is pretty killer too.... Literally this album will kill you!! What's important is that these classick releases be kept in circulation every so often so those asshole eBay goons aren't reaping huge profits!! Off the top of my head, I suppose Infernal Majesty & Nasty Savage are both definitely overdue for a reissue treatment. High Roller records does great reissues, killer label!
To The Depths... rules. I'm not sure how much darker sounding you can get than that!! However, I prefer the demo over the album. The songs are just Fukkin perfect and packed with deadly brutality! I got in touch with Dario about doing the reissue, he was real keen on the idea and very helpful in getting me all the necessary materials. I also did a great interview with him mainly focusing on Infester for my printed magazine: Headsplit zine! Dario is a metallic master without a doubt. One hell of a drummer! All of his projects are great. Drawn And Quartered, Meatshits, and I'm sure the new Ritual Chamber full length will be one of 2016's best releases. The official reissue of the Threnodist (Pre-Infester) demo will be coming from Headsplit later in 2016.
On someone else’s tape: Sepulcher's Mausoleum Tapestry:
Yes! Sepulcher is Fukkin great! I was sent their album to review in Headsplit Mag and I was blown to bits! You said it perfect yourself: "Norwegians make unique Death Metal"! I have to agree with you on the unpredictable labeling as well, very interesting listening for my old waxy ears! Sepulcher has for sure created a unique sound, excellent riffs and cool vocals. The songs are lengthy and twist your brain right up - and no cave sound! Haha. I think the future is very bright for these Death Metallers!
On Morbital, one of his own tapes; plus thoughts on the scene in Russia:
ARGHHHHH!!! MORBITAL!!!! Yeah Russia gets a bad rap and isn’t well known for its metal scene. However, most Russians are badass mother fukkers and pretty tuff! In the metal department they have given us bands like Aspid, Mactep, Graveside, Pseudogod, and of course the mighty SHAH, which has just been reissued by Headsplit. Mandatory thrash metal listening! I think bands from Russia deserve even more credit and respect than most others because their country is so different and separated from the rest of the wimpy world. Extreme conditions produce extreme music! I know the metal fans in Russia are hungry & rabid - just ask Cannibal Corpse about their time in Russia! Anyhow, I always welcome new submissions for Headsplit as I don't only want to be doing re-issues. I know there are tons of great new metal bands forming all the time like Seraphic Disgust, Mangled Corpse, Witch Vomit, Smut and Morbital to name a few that Headsplit has supported. I think I can say that Morbital has been the best submission I have gotten in recent memory. I checked my mail one day and there were their tracks, and I listened and smashed my head through a glass table (This is a good thing!). Morbital plays the kind of Death/Grind music that is my favorite. Stuff like Blood/Gut/Inferia/Xysma/Pyogenesis demos/Prophecy of Doom/Impetigo. Morbital is kind of similar to early Napalm Death with some influence from the previously mentioned bands. I hate making comparisons though! (Hello to my Russian Comrades Max & the others!) Low end and good blasts and grinds are what is important in Grindcore music. Enough with the jokey, party junk, high vocals and all that horse shit!! Give me the sounds of Death & Gore!!! No PC message either!
On Headsplit Zine:
Headsplit Zine is starting in on its third year of existench. Before there was the zine, some of you may remember the Headsplit Newsletter which was small, like 4-6 pages. It had short interviews and whatnot. The newsletter was cool because we could give it out for free. The magazine is quite a bit more of an undertaking and costs more to make so unfortunately we have to charge ... But if you catch me drunk at a show you might get one free! Ha! February will be our 9th issue and will be the first one in full color. Full size magazine, high page count, tons of reviews of all sick new shit coming out. It is the best issue yet and features Twisted Sister, Autopsy, Dark Angel, Dr. Shrinker, Exciter, Infernal Majesty and tons more. Lots of reviews and other articles and three 11x17 posters. Total underground madness! Rob Drokker does all the layout work for the magazine and has tons of demented ideas. This crazy bastard also does the layouts for all the cassettes we do. I just go over to his place and we get super stoned and drink beers and hammer out the layouts and blast metal haha!! Headsplit records would be up Shit Creek without any toilet paper if it wasn't for this sick freak! Essentially Headsplit Zine strives to be the filthiest zine out there! Each issue features tons of exclusive artwork as well, to really chap your ass!
As for where you can get it? Typically they are distributed through the mighty Hell's Headbangers, Nuclear War Now!, and Diabolic Force. Also you can get it right from the source!! Hail to Printed zines, supporters and artists out there working hard!! Raw & Filthy no PC shite! If ya don't like what you read in Headsplit Zine you can always use it as Toilet Paper!
On reissuing Contaminated’s recent but obscure demo, Pestilential Decay:
This was actually another submission that was sent into me by the band’s drummer Cristophe (also of the great INTERNAL ROT & PREGNANCY). It’s killer filthy death metal. Reminds me of eating the sludge off the bottom of an old septic tank! Their new material is great too from what I've heard! (Whats up Lachlan ya Wanker!) I’m a big fan of the Australian scene & same as Russia...extreme places... You know?! Contaminated and Morbital are both new bands with bright futures for sure, I have no doubt that their new music will be absolutely brutal and crushing! Headsplit stamp of approval (...Yeah like that’s worth anything, right?! haha!!!)!!
On someone else’s tape: Obduktio’s self-titled debut:
First of all, Caligari records Fukkin rules!! Hansel is a great diehard guy - definitely has one of the largest selections of cassettes online for purchase I've ever seen. He stocks and releases lots of killer shit & has always been cool to deal with, he usually stocks most Headsplit titles. So if you're scared of me, you can always go through him haha!! While on the subject of hardworking underground distros I must mention Timpaler & Diabolic Force Distribution from Maryland.Tim has been doing it for years and is quick, reliable & doesn't take any bullshit!
As for Obduktio, it's not quite my cup of pee, but it is good! I like the band name that's for sure haha. They do have a cool schizophrenic sound. Check out Galvanizer and Cadaveric Incubator from Finland for more recent death grinding madness as well!
On Smut’s self-titled debut, another of his own releases:
Smut?! I don't know if we should even mention their name....all who are reading will get blood infections and diarrhea!!! But if you insist. Smut is a great new Death/Grind band in the old style. These guys are bonafide demented perverts from Pornland, Goregon. You have to pick up the tape and read some of the lyrics for yourself, make sure you have a barf bag handy. Hell, Smut's Slop album may just warp your mind so much that you get fired from your Domino’s pizza job for getting intimate with the ingredients, if you catch my drift. The band features members of Witch Vomit, Whore, Blood Freak. The front cover was drawn by GURGE of Lord Gore, and a poster comes with the cassette version. Perfect for hanging in your bathroom. There’s a few tracks floating around online. Each member of the band plays with max extremity - the vocals are totally fukked sounding!! A great live band too, check them out if you get the chance. If not, well eat some old hobo puke!!!!! CD and LP version is coming from Grindhead records.
On Headsplit’s new podcast:
As if there wasn't enough Headsplit madness contaminating the world, figured we might as well take over the Internet airwaves!! I got into the whole podcasting thing fairly recently thanks to Hellcast by Hell's Headbangers, also I check out Dee Snider and Andrew Dice Clay’s podcasts for some laughs as well. Podcasts are pretty sick. You can put em on your phone or MP3 player and bring em out and about with you. It's cool to listen to some maniac like Reaper from Hellcast ramble on about Magnus or Rademassaker for 2 hours with some sick tunes while at work, ya know? Headsplit podcast will play mostly Headsplit stuff with some choice other tracks. It will feature more interviews and other jargon as well on the coming episodes. We love talking trash and using Fukking profane language, and toilet humor so if that's something you’re into then you better tune in!
Thinking about sending your demo to Headsplit Records?
It must be EXTREME!!! Heavy, reckless, raw, and rude!! Absolutely no wimps or whiners! Something that sets the band apart from all the others is a plus too.
A big thanks to all the other Headsplit Supporters out there, you keep the wheels of morbidity turning & continuing to crush the weak! Cemetery Lust is almost finished writing a new full length, it is much more extreme than our past two albums. There is a whole year’s worth of demented cassette releases mapped out already. Here they go:
- Embalmer - Into The Oven/Taxidermist
- Zoldier Noiz/Bestial Nihilism Split
- Zoldier Noiz - Regression Process full length (Great extreme thrash from France)
- Zoldier Noiz - Schizoid Reject full length
- NME - Unholy Death
- Sakrificer - Desolate Darkness
- Mangled Corpse - The Summoning Of Satan
- Witch Vomit - A Scream From The Tomb Below (new full length album, it fukking rips!!)
- Undergang - Døden læger alle sår (What a fukkin crusher!!)
- Decrepit - Hymns Of Grief and Pain (official re-issue of the bands 1993 demo)
- Macabre - Official Live cassette (Sinister Slaughter era live sickness)
- Ruin/Thy Feeble Savior split cassette (Death metal vs Profanatica worship)
- Skuldom - Kill This Fucking World (New Zealand Black grinding mayhem)
- Headsplit Records compilation cassette
- Thy Infernal - Satan’s Wrath
- Thy Infernal - Warlords Of Hell
- Fornicator - a/t
- Nekro Drunkz/Schnauzer split 7" (Rip Jim Konya!!!)
- Thornspawn - Blood Of The Holy, Taint Thy Steel
- Necroven - Worship Of Humiliation
- Sadistik Exekution - We Are Death...Fukk You!!
- Sadistik Exekution - K.A.O.S.
That’s it for this installment of Through a Speaker Rumbly. Thanks again to Disgustor for all his perverted puns, exclamatory remarks and surprisingly clean grammar. We’ll see you next month for another peek at what's happening in the tape trading underground. Until then . . . Tapes til Death!