Album Review: Ghoul – “Dungeon Bastards”

ghoul dungeon bastards album cover

A mad scientist reveals a patrol of wolf-headed soldiers. Four masked creatures worship some sort of radioactive slug emerging in front of a severed head. And then, front and center, a gas-mask-wearing, cudgel-wielding demon figure forebodingly raises some sort of…anchor? If all this seems to toe the line between creepy and tongue-in-cheek, well…it’s all from the cover illustration of Dungeon Bastards, the latest album from Ghoul. And luckily for listeners, the band’s latest set toes that line nicely as well — setting campy horror themes overtop some of the catchiest tunes the band’s given us to date.  Continue reading

Stage Dive: Best Band Name at Maryland DeathFest?

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Stage Dive–your chance to weigh in on a range of different topics in metal and tell us why we’re wrong. (Who ever says we’re right?) This week, in keeping with our established theme of Maryland DeathFest–which kicks off tomorrow(!!!)–we pose the following question:



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This goes without saying, but this question can go in more directions than I’m willing to comprehend. Personally, I’ve got to eliminate any knowledge I have of any of the bands attending this year. I’m looking at them simply by their name. Let’s assume I know nothing about who’s in them or what they play. Now, I’m pretty sure everyone will have their own formula for coming up with the ‘best’ band name this year, and I will spare you the details of mine (which really doesn’t exist). I am NOT going with Creative Waste or Shitstorm even though, ya know, Baltimore and stuff (although I thought about it). Honestly, I’m just going with the name that puts the best image in my head.

For me, that would be Stapled Shut. No matter how I try to over think that concept, two primary images come to mind: staples serving as surgical sutures on some gaping wound, or a mouth stapled shut. Either way, this brings my mind immediately back to the horror movies I watched as a young child, and that’s awesome (maybe disturbing? nah). Impaled is a close second, because of Vlad. But honestly, I just like the image Stapled Shut generates with me more than the rest. Although I guess it’s a bad ass name as well, for a deathfest and all. Now watch this band suck or something.



As always, there are loads of great band names to choose from on this year’s bill. Death Toll 80k just screams brutality, and you can’t help but laugh at a band name like Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. There’s also a grindcore band from the Czech Republic whose name I can’t even read or pronounce because IT IS IN CYRILLIC. (*cough* RIPOFF *cough*) Is it weird, though, that the first thing I noticed was all of the “I” names? Immolation, Incantation, Inquisition, Impaled, AND Internal Rot? Good lord.

At the end of the day, though, I had to give the nod for Best Band Name to Goat Torment. Why, you might ask? For starters, it brought to mind an image of a metalhead chasing a panicked goat around with a scythe or a trident, which made me laugh uncontrollably at my desk. Secondly, think of all of the extreme metal bands that feature animals in their names–you’ve got Cattle Decapitation, Pig Destroyer, Wormrot, etc.–have you ever come across one that STOPPED SHORT of killing the being in question? These guys don’t want to horribly disfigure a goat! They just want to, you know…torment it! Which, to me, is hilarious. Hence, Goat Torment takes this week’s prize.


What do you think? Post your choices in the comments section and let us know!

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