Diehard fans of RVA blackened thrash/crust-metal powerhouse Occultist saw this coming; the band has been spicing up recent live performances with their cover of “The Damned” by The Plasmatics, and live versions were enough to make clear that it was a serious ripper.
Diehard fans of RVA blackened thrash/crust-metal powerhouse Occultist saw this coming; the band has been spicing up recent live performances with their cover of “The Damned” by The Plasmatics, and live versions were enough to make clear that it was a serious ripper. But now, the studio version has been unleashed upon the world–specifically, on a special Record Store Day split 7 inch from Baltimore’s A389 Recordings. A split with teenage thrash wunderkinds Noisem, the record features covers on both sides, with Noisem tackling “Slaughter Of The Innocent,” from pioneering death metal band Repulsion.
For Occultist to cover The Plasmatics is appropriate in some ways; the New York punk/metal group, formed in the very early 80s and led by flamboyant vocalist Wendy O. Williams, were one of the most powerful female-fronted bands of their time. However, Occultist’s stage show has nothing on the Plasmatics’ live antics–notorious for attacking their guitars with chainsaws and smashing televisions with sledgehammers, the band even blew up cars onstage! How’s that for brutal?
Of course, not to take anything away from Wendy O. and company, but musically, the Plasmatics are no match for the brutality Occultist bring to “The Damned.” Kerry Zylstra’s ferocious vocals are positively terrifying, while the blastbeat drumming added by Brandon Whittaker takes the entire song to another level entirely. Then there are the duelling leads by guitarists Kent Jungle and Jim Reed… all in all, it can’t be denied: this cover is a huge improvement on the original. Stream it below, if you dare:
And while Record Store Day has come and gone, you’re in luck, because A389 Records kept 100 copies of this 7 inch, on red vinyl no less, to sell on their web store. As of this writing, there are still some copies left, which come complete with a full color 24″x36″ movie poster commemorating the release. The A389 website tells us it’s “suitable for framing.” Fancy! Whatever, though–it’s the vinyl you want, and while supplies last you can grab a copy for yourself for $13.99 from A389’s webstore right HERE.