Dark Realm Records

oThis past weekend, my wife and I ventured down to Anaheim to get our Disneyland fix. But the magic kingdom wasn’t the only destination on our agenda; Mrs. IG built some time into our busy itinerary to make a stop at the mighty Dark Realm Records.  For those unfamiliar, Dark Realm is the Los Angeles area’s only all-metal record store and is run by brothers Rick and Bay Cortez of the legendary Sadistic Intent.  I first visited the shop roughly six years ago and was blown away by the selection of CDs, shirts and various other heavy metal goodies, so I couldn’t wait to finally make my second pilgrimage.

Dark Realm has recently moved to a new location, but don’t let the blacked-out windows and lack of signage fool you, the store is very much open for business with a killer selection of all things metal.  This time around I was able to fill a glaring hole in my CD collection, picking up a copy of Blasphemy’s recently reissued classic Fallen Angel of Doom.  Additionally, I grabbed a cassette copy of Morbosidad’s Tortura EP, as well as a black vinyl copy of Sadistic Intent’s Reawakening of Horrid Thoughts EP and a sweet Sadistic Intent shirt.  I could’ve easily spent a fortune, but sadly I don’t have a fortune to spend, so I had to limit my purchases.

10868229_993855767296139_7561354637916016331_nBut what might have been the coolest part of my visit to Dark Realm was getting to spend a few minutes chatting with Sadistic Intent guitarist Rick Cortez.  It’s not every day that you buy a record and get to talk with someone from the band about how it was written and recorded!  It was a pleasure to listen to a veteran underground musician talk about his band and their craft, and it was obvious that Rick genuinely cares about the folks that visit the store and listen to Sadistic Intent.  A very cool experience all around.

I encourage any metalhead who ventures to the LA area to be sure and stop by Dark Realm.  You definitely won’t regret it; just don’t be surprised if you leave with an empty wallet and a bag full of awesome metal.

Venom – From the Very Depths (Spinefarm, 2015)

Layout 1Yes friends, I realize that hating on any Venom album that isn’t Welcome to Hell, Black Metal or At War with Satan is the cool kid thing to do.  But, I’ve never been one of the cool kids, and as such I’ve found much to enjoy amidst Venom’s latter-day discography; even if those albums aren’t as ground-breaking as the first three, that doesn’t mean they aren’t entertaining.  From the Very Depths is Cronos and Co.’s thirteenth full length, and although it’s by no means perfect, it’s certainly as enjoyable a slab of throwback heavy metal as you’re likely to encounter in 2015.

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THKD’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2014 that I didn’t write about.

THKD2014In early December, I decided I wasn’t going to do a year end list.  It isn’t that I’m all of the sudden anti-list; I still love lists, but this year I just wasn’t feeling it.  I gotta be honest, after five years of doing THKD I’m fucking weary, and laboring over a list just felt like yet another metal writing chore.  Besides, if you read the blog regularly and follow me on social media, you already know what I liked this year.

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Bunker 66 – Inferno Interceptors + split tracks and Out of the Bunker / Alive & Melting (Caligari Records, 2014)

a2614767694_10Caligari Records strikes again!  This time around the cassette label has unleashed a metric fuck-ton of black thrash from Sicilian sensation Bunker 66.  These two tapes encompass the bulk of the band’s discography (with the exception of their 2014 full length, Screaming Rock Believers) and they’re likely the most fun you’ll have all year, giving recent releases from the likes of Children of Technology and Midnight a run for their money with some gnarly-as-all-get-out Motorhead/Venom/Celtic Frost worship.

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Out now: Sterilizer


I’m typically not one to post news, but when one of my talented friends releases a new project, that’s pretty big fucking news and more than worthy of a post.  After a few years of silence on the musical front, my friend, collaborator and co-conspirator Brandon Duncan has finally unleashed Sterilizer.  It’s twenty-five minutes of technological terror that spot-welds industrial and electronic music onto a stainless steel skeleton of razor-sharp thrash; think mid-nineties Die Krupps getting sodomized by late-eighties/early-nineties Ministry and you’re halfway there.

The album is available for streaming and paid download via Bandcamp, or as a limited edition cassette with two different cover art options (male or female).  The tape is already going like gangbusters, so if you want it get on it, and pick up some of Herr Duncan’s incredible artwork while you’re at it.  And be sure to tell ’em THKD sent ya (insert maniacal Large Marge style laughter)!


Dropdead / Full of Hell / Noisem / Plague Widow / RAD @ Midtown Barfly, Sacramento, CA 08/24/14


My second show in Sacramento was in some ways a throwback to my younger years in Des Moines; I used to walk down to Hairy Mary’s by myself to see shows because my sorry ass didn’t have a car and to make matters worse I didn’t know anyone else who gave a shit about the underground.  Not being much of a grindcore fan, my wife decided to sit out Sunday’s matinee at the Midtown Barfly, and as a result I found myself flying solo once again, which is always a delightfully awkward experience given that I’m not exactly the most outgoing person out there.  Also, many of those shows I hoofed it to back in the day were heavy on grindcore bands such as Black Market Fetus, Strong Intention, Catheter, Entrails Massacre and Phobia, to name but a few, so I was excited to experience a show in a similar vein in my new city.  A complete and utter lack of social skills doesn’t matter much when you’re being pummeled at a million miles an hour by some of the most vicious and unrelenting music out there.

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