Archive

For its 112th episode, Radical Research travels to balmy Greece to investigate the cryptic evildoing of Hail Spirit Noir, whose hellbroth of black metal, prog, psychedelia, and witchery strikes a special chord with your hosts. We take a deep look at the band’s first four...

We hope this episode helps prove curator Steven Wilson’s note that Intrigue operates on the “idea that conceptual thinking and ambition didn’t suddenly evaporate after ’77…ambitious, weird and thrilling music was all around you in the ‘80s – if you looked in the right places.”...

For a podcast that traffics in all things wild and mind-expanding, the subject of our 107th episode makes everything else feel stone-cold sober by comparison. The fifth album by Sweden's Tiamat, A Deeper Kind of Slumber, luxuriates in the wan, reclined possibilities of Leary biscuits...

Forged in the crucible of the Tri-State hardcore and thrash scenes, New York City's Into Another released three genre-defying albums that blend together -- seemlessly -- the disparate sensibilities of its members. The band's membership boasts a heritage that includes such stalwart acts as Whiplash and...

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of Voivod, a band that are at the very heart of everything we do at Radical Research and everything we listen to as incorrigible music obsessives. In celebration, we pay tribute by offering our longest and most in-depth episode yet,...

Herein we present the third and likely final installment of our Bad-Ass Fusion Decapitations series. We repeat two bands previously featured on other episodes (Kraan, King Crimson) and bring you eight more missives from the deepest cosmos. Watch that noggin of yours -- the headhunters...

Over the course of its previous 93 episodes, Radical Research has banged, thrashed, and decapitated but never before has it waltzed. That ends now. Formed as Aslan in 1985, San Diego's Psychotic Waltz released four full-length albums in the ‘90s, each of which challenges all...

Rarely can a rock or metal band be described in terms of open-heartedness, nostalgia, or compassion. But the subject of Radical Research’s 92nd episode defies convention in nearly every way. Madison, Wisconsin’s Last Crack was a band that seemed on the brink of breakout success...

Occasionally, Radical Research dares to tackle the big questions: what is time, and can we have a piece of it? Can a psychic saw perform brain surgery? Can a metal album have a samba track and several bars of Miami bass hip-grind? On episode 91,...

This installment finds Radical Research in familiar territory, in the wilds of Scandinavia, this time in pursuit of progressive rock luminaries, Anekdoten. Our study covers not only the group’s six full-length albums but also their inspired, ghostly collaboration with fellow Swedes, Landberk, under the Morte...

It’s the gutsier, uglier, unwieldier alternative to the heavy metal guitar solo: The goddamn heavy metal BASS guitar solo! We have collected 20 beautifully behemoth examples, laid bare for you to ponder. Sightings are rare, but they’re out there…and we love the hell out of...

When onetime Acid Bath and Agents of Oblivion vocalist Dax Riggs took himself to the outermost reaches of his imagination with Deadboy & the Elephantmen, he reached the highest of creative and emotional heights. After the first Deadboy album (If This Is Hell Then I’m...

Miles away from the torchlight of Norway, Austria’s mysterious Abigor spent their time in the ‘90s not generating headlines but rather plying their heretical craft in virtual secrecy. The band’s album-to-album evolutionary leaps bear the mark of restless and visionary minds. This notion is confirmed...

Metal is serious business. So why so much laughter? We don’t really have the answer, but here’s the first installment of some of our favorite metal laughs. There are more and we’ll revisit this silly topic at some future point in time. Note I: As promised in...

The soils of Seattle rock have been tilled to ruin, the same seeds planted season after season. Radical Research has come to rotate the crops. Of the artists to emerge from the primordial welter of 1980s Seattle, few have been neglected so criminally as Skin...

In anticipation of Destination Onward – The Story of Fates Warning and its publication in July, 2022, the author, Jeff Wagner, and Radical Research co-host, Hunter Ginn, sit down and talk about Fates Warning. It’s far from the first time we’ve discussed Fates Warning together,...

For our 80th episode, Radical Research detaches itself from the icy grips of Norway and takes a sojourn southward to France, a country whose history with death metal gives priority to quality over quantity. From 1990-1994, the chronically-underrated Supuration were busy at work creating their...

For the final installment of our 6-episode Norwegian tour across this most creatively-fertile country, Radical Research surveys the career of Simen Hestnaes. Working both under his given name, as well as his better-known nom de l'acier, ICS Vortex, Simen has assembled a large and exceptional...

To date, Radical Research has made more trips to Norway than any other country. But, typically, we spend our time in the shadowy realms of post-black metal. For our 77th episode, we travel to the green pastures of Honefoss, in search of Wobbler, Norway’s preeminent...

We know and love him as Garm, the frontman in Ulver since that pioneering band’s very beginnings. He has also fronted Norwegian luminaries Arcturus and Borknagar. All this alone would be enough to place him in our hall of infamy, yet he has given so...

At the dawn of the 21st century, strange sounds brewed in the Southeastern corner of Norway -- musical paths cobbled together with the tortured echoes of second wave black metal, the ambitious, borderless miscellanea of progressive rock and metal, and the hostile liberalism that is...

12 ripping snippets from 11 fusion ragers spanning 1972 to 1982. We did the first one in 2018, episode 5, and it was high time we returned to the madness! We herewith present a variety of displays from various American, Danish, German, Japanese and Spanish...

Formed in the Czech Republic in 1987, Master’s Hammer summoned a singular, constantly mutating approach to black metal over two distinct lifetimes (1987-1995, 2009-2020). The band’s debut album, Ritual (1991), is described by Darkthrone’s Fenriz as “the first Norwegian black metal album, because it sounded...

Paul Chain’s Illogical Slow Evolution Radical Research interrogates, with few exceptions, the work of artists who operate in the darkest, most cryptic corners of the rock and metal multiverse. The music of Italy's Paul Chain, however, puts to test the inquiry even of the most rigorous...

Extant since the mid 1990s, Solefald may have been the first Norwegian black metal band to entirely bypass the necro stages of development and arrive fully formed as a "post"/"avant" type mischief-maker on their debut album, The Linear Scaffold (1997). We have watched and listened...

Often overlooked relative to Gothenburg luminaries such as At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquility, Eucharist, whose entire legacy hinges upon two full-length albums and a clutch of compilation tracks, recorded some of the most vibrant, imaginative melodic death metal of the era. It’s...

The occasion of Radical Research's 68th installment could have been marked in one way only – with a full-force exaltation of music's deadliest, most head-snapping time signature, 6/8! On this episode, we survey a vast range of metal subgenres to demonstrate the ways in which artists...

With this dispatch, we descend into the catacombs to examine France's heritage of musical terror. From the spectral melancholy of Pulsar to the howling conflagrations of Deathspell Omega, this episode provides a tour across four decades of music that commits itself to the most essential...

Have you even the slightest notion of mystical reincarnation? Unfortunately for you, as for the rest of we mortals, even after spending hours with the music of Houde-era Kataklysm, it is unlikely that you will have any tighter apprehension of the matter. On this, the...

Erupting from the wastes of Tallahassee, Florida, DVC (Darth Vader's Church) produced two long-players of low-slung filth and Southside mania. From 1989 to 1992, DVC explored the most shameful, subterranean grottoes of death/thrash and did so in almost categorical secrecy. On Episode 65, Radical Research...

No anniversaries, no deaths, no reissues, no birthdays, no arbitrary celebrations. This is Hackett for Hackett’s sake! Guitarist Steve Hackett is one of the most extraordinary musicians ever to wield the instrument. Herein we present a clutch of short, sharp shocks from the man’s prolific...

There is simply nothing like Alchemist. Active throughout the ‘90s and into the aughts until their dissolution in 2010, the Australian quartet offered severe heaviness embellished by insanely loopy guitar weirdness and pounding aboriginal rhythms. Their psychedelic metal flew largely under the radar, despite linking...

Episode 62 of Radical Research challenges the notions of identity, probes at both the masks and the faces themselves. What biology occurs when the firstborn cleaves to the breast of another? This conversation claws at the God-playing reconstructions of Type O Negative, Ulver, Manfred Mann's...

Citizens of a scene that demands innovation and progress, Norway’s Dødheimsgard have assembled a body of work that evidences the evolutionary strides common to Norweird, but have nevertheless remained red in tooth and claw. Episode 61 provides a comprehensive survey of Dødheimsgard’s work, from the...

We at Radical Research have made a habit of descending into the vortices of profound sound, but our adventures with the musical hijinks of Helios Creed make most other sojourns seem, by comparison, like empty gestures. On our 60th episode, we divest ourselves of empty...

Even in the bizarro wilderness of Radical Research, Alf Svensson’s Oxiplegatz stands out in its peerless freakishness. A founding member of the epochal Swedish death metal band, At the Gates, Svensson used Oxiplegatz as a conduit for his most perverse cosmic fantasies. Built on a...

If the wild, transcendent music we exalt were a cluttered yet beautifully arrayed galaxy, the artists making that music would be planets and Rush would be its sun. So much of what ticks off all the right boxes for us is inherent in the music...

Germany’s Atrocity have been plying their execrable goth-metal wares since 1994’s precipitously tragic Blut, but the band’s first two albums, 1990’s Hallucinations and 1992’s Todessehnsucht (aka Longing for Death), occupy space in the top tier of death metal’s golden age. Wild, technical, psychotic, and destructive,...

“If you think it’s pretentious, you’ve been taken for a ride” With this episode, we look at the second half of Genesis’s 1974 double-album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Garnering a mixed reaction upon release, it eventually grew into a mammoth cult classic. But it...

Herewith we present an overview of one of the most beguiling bands to emerge from American soil. Part doomed epic metal, part gothic grandeur, peppered with prog, and very much in the spirit of our other chameleonic favorites, we run through Hammers of Misfortune’s works...

Continuing our appreciation for the unloved misfits of Metalopolis, we always considered 1992’s Thresholds, by Florida’s Nocturnus, an honorary 1993 album. Until we found out it was recorded in December 1991. Whatever the case, these eight chunky, blocky, cosmic, technical songs find Nocturnus at its...

Many bands have professed to play death metal, but few have summoned the power of death itself, have forced the very bowels of earth to erupt. Nuclear Death, the lords of their own putrid hell-scape, emerged from the sun-scorched wastes of Phoenix, Arizona to ply...

For the second time in a matter of months, your intrepid hosts find themselves in the frosty arms of Trondheim, Norway, this time to investigate the world of the frustratingly private Albino Slug. Known to few but adored by those who do, Albino Slug’s legacy...

Bust out the Purell and take a healthy dose of penicillin because the whores are back in town. On this special -- and occasionally-recurring -- episode of Radical Research, we stroll alongside a pornographic buffet of sumptuous synthesizer vibrations. For this globetrotting, sweaty-browed sojourn,...

For the 45th episode of Radical Research, we continue our trek north, this time landing in Trondheim, Norway, where we take a close look at the vast and fascinating discography of Manes. Well-respected in black metal circles for their personal and visionary approach to the...

When Uranus falls, once and for all, in the cosmic background will be heard the humming, buzzing sound of a tragically-overlooked group of travelers. Formed in 1988 in Turku, Finland, Xysma waged a decade-long war against expectation and small-mindedness. With phantasm-like stealth, the band moved...

After recording two mind-bending and defiant albums -- pieced together, ever so precariously, with the bacterial molecules of metal, ska, contemporary music, free jazz, musique concrete, tango, imaginary soundtracks, and the music of the Middle East -- Mr. Bungle returned to the table in 1999...

Departing from the tractor-beam blasphemy of their seminal first four albums, Bergen, Norway’s Gorgoroth offer a more panoramic approach to (a career in) evil on their daring fifth missive, Incipit Satan. IC absorbs influences from death industrial, morbid rock and roll, and melodic death metal,...

Greetings from the nativity. This podcast began as an examination of the vast and nebulous frontier of Norwegian post-black metal. In that spirit, episode 39 of Radical Research probes the tentacles of the In the Woods...

Toby Driver’s path to the present has been circuitous and inscrutable, which is to say, in keeping with music he has written over the last 25 years. His work in Maudlin of the Well, Kayo Dot, and as a solo artist has encompassed metal, chamber...

Writing about Devil Doll is like skating about horticulture. Led by the deeply enigmatic Mr. Doctor, and purposely shrouded in the thickest mystery, Devil Doll’s music disappoints even the keenest taxonomist. Experimenting with metal, classical, and progressive rock, Mr. Doctor and his revolving cast of...

Melvins’ career -- a vast, still-expanding 36-year odyssey across the full spectrum of heavy and experimental sound -- is marked by goalposts, some triumphant, some deviant. On this episode of Radical Research, we train a critical eye on 2002’s bellwether, the curiously-named Hostile Ambient Takeover....

The so-called “Canterbury scene” was an adventurous musical movement of time and place, bonded tightly by shared influences and an incestuous genealogy. This episode, we climb our favorite limbs from the Canterbury tree, including but not limited to Caravan, National Health, Egg and Quiet Sun....

It began with suffering and ended with screams (and whispers). St. Louis' radically-progressive Anacrusis never enjoyed the recognition they so deserved, but popular neglect did little to temper their potent vision. A product not only of the ‘80s thrash scene but also of the fertile...

Men Behaving Badly: Trashed Productions What is music if not sound? In episode 28, we discussed the mathematical properties that have shaped some of rock and metal’s most extraordinary albums. In episode 33 of Radical Research, we expand our investigation into the controversial, often divisive,...

In less than 10 years’ time, Michigan’s maddest scientists, Thought Industry, built a five-album discography that drew upon every available atom and protein in the rock and metal corpora. From the mutated post-thrash of its debut, Songs for Insects, to the melancholy, cosmic vistas of...

Crawling out of Manchester to work strange machinations on the English psych-pop era of the late 1960s, Peter Hammill and Van Der Graaf Generator’s sonic architecture was a mirror to that decade’s creative promise and a murder of its utopian ideals. They documented their deeds...

Under the guidance of bassist Ralf Hubert, Mekong Delta’s initial phase featured a revolving door lineup of Euro-metal luminaries. Adopting pseudonyms and lurking unseen in shadows, Mekong plied a brand of progressive metal that drew inspiration from composers such as Modest Mussorgsky, Aram Khachaturian and...

As Pythagoras mused, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” So too is there magical energy in the shapely contours of the most mathematical rock music. In this episode of Radical Research, we trace...

A Skeptic’s Universe is what happens when student becomes master. Spiral Architect’s school years were spent in obscurity, honing their craft, learning their lessons, keeping their noses to the grindstone. In 1998 they began work on their master’s thesis, and in early 2000, upon publication,...

Angular, adventurous, and apocalyptic in nearly equal shares, few bands scratch the collective itches of Radical Research like Victoria, British Columbia’s Nomeansno. From their punky beginnings to the nuanced terror of their mature work, Nomeansno trafficked some of the most dangerous and dexterous rock music...

Pytten’s Chamber Music: Black Metal in Grieghallen As the ground began to swell in early ‘90s Norway, a shadowy figure known to metal fans only as “Pytten” (ne Eirik Hundvin) ensconced himself in Bergen’s Grieghallen Studio and began to document the work of the country’s Young Turks....

This game originates from one Jeff plays semi-regularly with our pal Tim Hammond, where CD-Rs fly back and forth between the Boros (States and Greens), and one has to puzzle out the other's mystery tracks. It's been an effective way to both discover new stuff...

The possibly despicable term “art rock” is where pop, prog & rock meet, with a generous layer of quirk embedded throughout. Art rock is pop without restraint, prog with good table manners, rock stretching its creative fibers beyond the norm. And yet, gray areas...

Meet the creatures Plotkin & Dubin, instigators of some of the most beguiling music ever beamed to Earth from a  New Jersey-shaped quasar. Like the guy in the petri dish on the Musical Dimensions… album cover, your puzzled Radical Research hosts consider the bizarre landscape...

From the dark past, in the light of freezing moons and through funeral fog, Mayhem reappeared in 1997, under cover of night and to relatively little fanfare. Wolf’s Lair Abyss, the band’s first release since 1994’s epochal De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, reveals a fiercer, future-forward...

Goodbye clarity, hello obfuscation… Norway’s other post-black metal duo, perhaps dwelling deeper in obscure shadows than Solefald… we hail Fleurety’s dedication to the dark arts and… which craft? All the ones that bring metal to the most precarious of left-field edges. So bizarre that it...

From a kernel to a cosmos. Over the course of a decade and beyond, Germany's Grobschnitt twisted and bent and stretched a piece of sound that would be known as "Solar Music." An alchemical collision of Prog, Krautrock, psychedelia, and uncanny theater, "Solar Music" represents...

The second in an occasional series of brief ambushes. With this mini-episode, we ponder and marvel at similarities between a certain few musical passages. Prompted by our previous episode on Afflicted, we compare/contrast moments of uncanny similarity, one of which is too close for comfort....