2004 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title: Destroysall - A Tribute To Godzilla
CD Label: Shifty
CD Number: SH14
Music by: Various
Number of tracks: 15
Running time: 77:00
Number of discs: 1
Year of release/manufacture: 08-01-2003

REVIEW

February 26, 2004

Review courtesy of Sam Scali

This CD is not for the squeamish. It features the relentless assault of 15 bands, ranging in style from hardcore punk to doom-laden death metal, lovingly assembled as a tribute to Godzilla and other monsters from the Toho stable. Fittingly, the disc was released on August 1, 2003, the 35th anniversary of the Japanese release of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS.

The first track, by Mammoth, kicks off the disc in suitably earth-shaking style. It begins with a gutteral, wordless chant, followed by simulated drum footsteps, wailing guitar and bleak, hoarse vocals - definitely not VH-1 material. "Mr. Astronaut Glenn", by Terminal Lovers, chugs along at a more typically mid-tempo metal pace, while Sloth's "If I Were Godzilla" alternates between sampled German dialogue and indecipherable vocals delivered in a savagely distorted growl.

Hangnail's "Invasion of the Neptune Men" is a short, thrash-punk ditty that unfolds at breakneck speed, ending suddenly with a bit of sampled film dialogue. "Reptilian Tonnage of Gargantuan Enormity", by Gigantasaurus!, is another cacophonous, dark offering, distinguished by a shredded vocal delivery that suggests the singer is undergoing some sort of slow, unspeakable torture (and since this track goes on for more than eight minutes, many listeners are sure to feel his pain).

"Leen Grizzard", by Space Face, is metallic boogie in the Black Sabbath tradition, complete with characteristic up-tempo raveup. "King Kong is Dead", by Fistula, starts out as a slow, plodding slab of guitar and drums, with screaming, distorted vocals lamenting the demise of poor Kong (at the hands of our radioactive hero, no doubt). The tune finds a more satisfying groove after the vocals disappear, picking up enough speed to bring the song to a triumphant conclusion.

"Nonresistance City", by Dot(.), begins with a sample of the harmonica music played aboard the doomed steamship Eiko-maru at the beginning of the original GODZILLA, followed by crunching guitar variations of the "Godzilla's Rampage" cue from the same film (with a few indecipherable vocal growls thrown in). The urban renewal theme continues with Negative Reaction's "Godzilla vs. Noo Yawk" - which could just as easily have been called "Hoarsely Screamed Vocals vs. Heavy Guitars", except that the vocals end early, leaving the guitars to meander aimlessly and fade out (only to return for one last gasp - the opening bars of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla").

Rwake creates their own brand of noise pollution with "Smog Monster" - a decidedly bleak number featuring suffocated vocal shrieks, which are nearly buried under a toxic layer of guitar sludge. Not to be outdone, Patheticism's "Go Jet Jaguar" begins with a brief introduction of monster roars and film dialogue, followed by a barrage of metallic noise and impossibly choked, unintelligible vocals.

"By North Star, Gamera" by Leviathan A.D., serves up another dose of extreme vocals over a chugging heavy metal rhythm, suggesting what early Sabbath might have sounded like if they really WERE possessed by the devil - curiously, the final verse is clearly enunciated in a more Ozzy-friendly croon. Third Degree Burnout, on the other hand, never break character - "Anarchy Fell Through" is a short but doomy slab of gothic grunge, with more anguished vocals from hell.

The Crunky Kids wreak hardcore havoc with "Gojira No Gyakushu", an economical little number featuring rapid-fire punk guitar and spirited, shrieking vocals - topped off with more brief strains of "Godzilla's Rampage" and the monster's sampled footsteps and roar. Finally, Solace's "Mother Godzilla" provides much-needed closure with an extended, vocal-free metal jam - a driving, King Crimson-like intro mutates into a multi-layered wash of guitar noodling over a hypnotic beat.

The DESTROYSALL CD is attractively packaged - it features not one, not two, but THREE nifty illustrations by Godzilla artist extraordinaire, Chris Scalf. But let me be clear, this music is not for everybody. Though designed as a tribute to the Big G, it will mainly appeal to fans of death metal, thrash punk and other forms of extreme noise. Godzilla himself was never THIS scary!

  1. In This Dying Moment by MAMMOTH
  2. Mr. Astronaut Glenn by TERMINAL LOVERS
  3. If I Were Godzilla by SLOTH
  4. Invasion Of The Neptune Men by HANGNAIL
  5. Reptilian Tonnage Of Gargantuan Enormity by GIGANTASAURUS!
  6. Leen Grizzard by SPACE FACE
  7. King Kong Is Dead by FISTULA
  8. Nonresistance City by DOT(.)
  9. Godzilla vs. Noo Yawk by NEGATIVE REACTION
  10. Smog Monster (live) by RWAKE
  11. Go Jet Jaguar by PATHETICISM
  12. By North Star, Gamera by LEVIATHAN A.D.
  13. Anarchy Fell Through by THIRD DEGREE BURNOUT
  14. Gojira No Gyakushu by THE CRUNKY KIDS
  15. Mother Godzilla by SOLACE