Creature Feature Chamber

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  I want to introduce to you Athena, the Crowgrrl!

*The Crowgrrl wants to thank Joey Ramone’s brother, Mickey Leigh, for not only keeping Joey’s memory alive, but also raising money for the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research! Kudos! Every year since his brother’s tragic and untimely demise, Mickey has hosted a Joey Ramone Birthday Bash on May 19. This year’s event not only looks very special indeed, it is also completely Sold Out! 

The 2018 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Ramones album, “Road to Ruin”. Featured artists performing are calling themselves “The Love Triangle” consisting of the aforementioned Mickey Leigh along with CJ Ramone and Richie Ramone. Many more artists – to be announced – will be there as well. 

The event is being held at the Bowery Electric, which is located on Joey Ramone Place in NYC. (Total fan-grrl, I’ve actually got a replica of the street sign that I bought from hanging in my office. Looking up at it as I type. But I digress…) Tickets were $40 in advance and would have been $45 at the door had it not been sold out already. Doors are at 7pm for this 21+ show. 

Although I can’t personally be there this year, I’m definitely SOOOO there in spirit! 

Now, if we can only convince Mickey to make DVD’s or even just CD’s of these wonderful events so those of us who are not in the NYC area (and even those that are who want to relive these special events) can enjoy them, too. I know I’d happily buy copies!

*Although you readers know me as a die-hard Metal and Punk fan, I do have a nostalgic soft spot for The Monkees. The band's 50th Anniversary Tour concert recently aired on AXSTV. (This was in February 2018, although they had originally aired it on August 11, 2016.) I must admit I enjoyed it.

The only original members in the line-up were Micky Dolenz (vocals, drums) and Peter Tork (vocals, guitars, banjo, and keys). They were joined by Micky's wife Coco Dolenz (backing vocals), Dave Alexander (keyboard), Rich Dart (drums), John Billings (bass), and Wayne Aver (guitar).



The jumbo video screen backdrop showed clips from the iconic TV series as the band performed classic Monkees favorite such as "Last Train To Clarksville" and "Not Your Stepping Stone. A video of the late, great Davy Jones started "Shades of Gray", and again for the encore, the timeless "Daydream Believer". They packed quite a wallop into the 30 minutes of air time.

But wait....there's more. When I went online to research the actual 50th anniversary and to find out when this show first aired, I stumbled on current news!

Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith announced that they're touring as a duo for the first time this summer with "The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show". The tour starts in June 2018. Tour dates are below.

Meanwhile, the other surviving original member, Peter Tork, will sit this one out because he's focusing on the new album "Relax Your Mind" by Peter Tork and the Shoe Suede Blues, a musical entity honoring the music of Lead Belly.



Tour Dates - June, 2018
1 Chandler Center For The Arts Chandler, AZ
2 The Orpheum Los Angeles, CA
3 Humphrey’s San Diego, CA
5 The Grove Anaheim, CA
6 The Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA
8 Bob Hope Theatre Stockton, CA
9 Harrah's Lake Tahoe Stateline, NV
12 Paramount Denver, CO
14 Copernicus Center Chicago, IL
15 Rose Music Center Huber Heights, OH
16 Cain Park Cleveland, OH
18 Sony Center Toronto, ON – Canada
19 Centre In the Square Kitchener, ON – Canada
21 Keswick Theatre Philadelphia, PA
22 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
25 Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, NJ


*Blood Harvest Records has released 3 cassette tapes from 3 Death Metal bands to whet our appetite for more - which will come in the form of actual CD DigiPaks later this year. 

First up we have the EP "Calcified Trophies of Violence" by Portland, OR-based Ossuarium. The band consists of drummer Ryan Koger, vocalist/guitarist Daniel Kelley, lead guitarist Nate McCleary, and bassist Jeff Roman. There are only three songs on this tape, but each one packs quite the whallop. "Chapel of Bone" is Doom Metal on steroids. "Deleterious Mutation" is undeniably demonic. "Abhorrent Travesty of the Human Shape" is truly disturbing! 

Next we have "Sermon To The Snake" from Indianapolis-based Obscene. Band members are: bassist Roy Hayes, drummer Brandon Howe, guitarists Josh Kappel and Mike Morgan, and vocalist Kyle Shaw. "Body of Tears" reminds me a bit of Cradle of Filth, and can only be described as pure bedlam. I love the riffs in the creepy "Shadow Burial". Don't let the atmospheric intro to the dangerous "Torture Tranquility" lull you into a false sense of safety. The musicianship is fantastic in "Blood Moon Rats". 

Finally we have "Unseen Divinity" by Cryptivore. Brisbane, Australia-based Chris Anning handles all instrumental and vocal duties on this album. All the songs are 3 minutes or under - fast, to-the-point assaults. The Ramones would be proud! Air raid FX in the intro ushers in "Raining Human Debris". "Smoking The Vatican" is a deliberate low, slow attack. "Preaching Corruption" is extremely catchy. I adore the guitars in "Abhorrent Vivisection". "50 Caliber Point Blank Massacre" is ballistic. "Involuntary Septic Adultery" can only be describe as vile. The haunting, atmospheric outro "Paralysis" wraps things up. 

All three are dark gems shine in their own right and I enjoyed each one, but I've gotta admit I liked Cryptivore best. But with only one person behind this musical entity, I wonder how this would translate live.  

These titles are definitely worth checking out.

*It has been over a dozen years since Corrosion of Conformity have released a new album featuring original vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. But the original line up is back with a vengeance with the excellent new "No Cross No Crown" (Nuclear Blast), and it was definitely worth the wait! 

C.O.C. is: vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan, guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean, and drummer Reed Mullin. Keenan had left to be guitarist in the New Orleans-based Down, while the three remaining members continued to tour and record under the C.O.C. banner.  

Keenan recalls "Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows. I said 'Let's just go to Europe and see if it works.' So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year. Then Nuclear Blast gave us an offer and we didn't even think of going anywhere else. We ended up touring for a year and then started tracking about ten or eleven months ago." 

The resulting "No Cross No Crown" is full of the timeless C.O.C. sound. The chemistry between these four musicians is undeniable!

The dischordant "Novus Deus" starts things off with what can only be described as controlled chaos.The song seamlessly segues into the powerful "The Luddite". The anthemic "Cast The First Stone" is a defiant challenge. The instrumental "No Cross" is rich, dark, and melodic. I love it! My favorite on the album follows: "Wolf Named Crow" (intriguing title!) which tells us of a dangerous predator on the prowl. 

"Little Man" is full of attitude. The beautiful instrumental "Matre's Diem" hasa slightly medieval feel. "Forgive Me" is a powerfulplea indeed. The power ballad "Nothing Left To Say" is awfully long-winded, belying its title, and is infused with a bluesy feel.  

"Sacred Isolation" is a haunting instrumental. "Old Disaster" started a ripple effect that's still being felt. The infectious "E.L.M." has a Classic Rock vibe with a Metal twist. I absolutely love the "No Cross No Crown" title track with its spooky, demonic undertones. There are some really nice riffs in the strong "A Quest To Believe".   

I see this album demanding a space in my Personal Rotation stack. The contrast between the pure energy interspersed with the melodic instrumentals is a refreshing mix indeed.

*The much anticipated movie “Black Panther” has already been breaking box office records the first week of its release. I pretty much had a feeling it would – this iconic Marvel Comics character not only transcends many long-standing social and political barriers, he personifies dignity, heroism, and protection for not only his African nation of Wakanda, but for all of Earth itself. No wonder movie-going crowds are rallying behind this fantastic movie.

The official synopsis is: “T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technology advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.”

The story starts with a substance called Vibranium. According to the Marvel Universe, this is a rare, naturally occurring meteoric ore with energy-manipulating qualities. There are two forms of Vibranium – Wakandan and Antarctic. Obivously, we only need to focus on the Wakandan form for this storyline. A meteorite consisting of Vibranium crashed into Africa in ancient times. Five tribes came together to settle on it, and the nation of Wakanda was born. The African/Egyptian cat goddess Bast created the first Black Panther to be ruler and protector of the Wakandan people. This gift had been passed along from father to son for millennia.

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

This flick picks up where “Captain America/Civil War” left off, when the current King of Wakanda was killed, and Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was left to pick up the mantle. But a disgruntled M’Baku (Winston Duke) challenges T’Challa’s claim to the throne.

A Shaman/Witch Doctor Zuri (Forrest Whittaker) sends T’Challa on a spiritual journey to connect not only with the Panther spirit, but his father’s spirit as well. T’Challa’s father told him, “You are going to struggle. Surround yourself with people you trust. You’re a good man with a good heart, but it is hard for a good man to be the king.”

T’Challa indeed surrounds himself with good people: including Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ramonda (Angela Bassett).

Ulysseys Klaue (Andy Serkis) manages to steal some Vibranium, which he wants to use to destroy the world! Can Panther stop him in time?!

Another thing I loved about this movie are the strong women surrounding T’Challa. The women were as much warriors as any guy in the storyline. The FX were incredible, and the action was a pure thrill ride having you hang onto your seats!

One brilliant case in point is Chilean Black/Death Metal band Disembowel’s debut album “Plagues and Ancient Rites” (Iron Bonehead Productions).  It is an unholy celebration of all things Lovecraft! It would make for a great soundtrack as you’re revisiting Lovecraft’s own writings or some of the more modern short story collections. 

Check out a sample at:  


These unholy High Priests of all things dark and foul are known as Azathoth, Goat, and Leviathan (although I've yet to discern who has which instrumental chores).  

The nautical, watery “Innsmouth Invocation” invites us into Lovecraft’s world.  “Lord of Shadows” invokes nightmares! “Ia! Ia! Nyarlahotep!” summons an ancient evil! 

“The Pact With The Sect From The Sea” invokes Dagon itself. Chilling! “Los Antigues Eran….Los Antigues” is a powerful evocation! “Plagues of the Ancient Rites” unleashes unspeakable horrific entities.  

"The Ancient Cult of Chthulu" attempts to awaken the horrific sea monster fom its slumber. "En El Abismo" is dark and hopeless. "Antra Gnomorum" is furiously intense. 

I absolutely LOVE the cover art as well! 

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get Disembowel at the Maryland Deathfest at the Baltimore Soundstage?!

Chthulu calls. You cannot escape. You must listen!

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Creature Feature © D. Dyszel 2017

Creature Feature is sponsored by Sounds Fabulous DJ Service
and by
Dick Dyszel -Voice Actor