For this round of the Black Metal Banchan, we’re going to take a brief detour to Southeast Asia, wherein floats a collection of islands renowned for their relaxing beaches, beautiful women, and, of course, extremely violent political scene. Yep, you guessed it!! The Philippines!
First, we’re going to explore the delightful music of a fun Filipino black metal band by the name of Deiphago. If I’m not mistaken, Deiphago are one of those super brutal “bestial black/death war metal” bands similar to Black Witchery, Blasphemy, etc. You can usually tell it’s one of these bands NOT by the excessive amount of bullets-and-spikes adornments, but rather by the fact that they almost always rock the style of corpsepaint WITHOUT the white. You don’t see Beherit, Blasphemy, or Proclamation running around on stage with any of that white clown paint nonsense on. Nope, only the black paint (except for Caller of the Storms from Blasphemy, who doesn’t wear any at all because because either he’s too cool for it and just wears sunglasses, is already black anyway, or maybe all of the above). Even Archgoat and Black Witchery go without it sometimes!
It looks like Deiphago formed in the late 1980s and went under several generic “evil” names before finally settling on Deiphago (or “god-eater”, if I’m not mistaken) in 1991. Anyway, these dudes put out a few (including one accidentally amusing) cassette demos before calling it quits in 1998, and for most bands the story would have just ended there. However, the band was far from over. Apparently, Sidapa and Voltaire 666 (the brains behind the operation) relocated to Costa Rica for whatever reason in 2004 and started up the band again! They decided to not fuck around with cassette demos this time, and immediately started releasing professional material (splits and an LP) before being picked up by Hells Headbangers and thus ascending to trvly kvlt status.
Deiphago are frantic, brutal, sloppy, and absolutely do not fuck around with their obliterating wall of Satan-obsessed, blasphemic noise. However, while Satanik Eon (2006) is pretty crazy, I think their Hells Headbangers debut, Filipino Antichrist (2009), ups the ante in terms of sheer insanity, in no small thanks to Devastator’s (from Nicaragua, and of extremely questionable political beliefs) insane, machine gun-like drum torture. The band just never fucking lets up! Endless blasts, frantic guitar solos (like something Trey Azagthoth would come up with on PCP), and Voltaire 666’s lunatic shouting make this is seriously some of the most intense shit I’ve ever heard in my life, especially since I’m pretty sure these guys are serious about what they’re into. I don’t really know how to review this stuff so far because it’s just so ludicrous. Even the Sarcófago cover, while faithfully executed, is definitely superior (especially since it features real, sloppy-ass warpspeed drums as opposed to the programmed crapola on the original). Seriously, call me a wimp, but by the end of this album I feel like my brain has been completely fucking fried. Definitely not recommended listening to these albums back to back if you value your sanity.
The lyrics to the title track pretty much sums it all up:
I am a Filipino Antichrist
To Satan I gave my life
Worship Him with fire and blood
I trample down the heavens
Worship Him with swords and guns
I am warrior in Satan’s name
From a a place where the sun dawns
And pours blood of my forefathers
I walk the earth with might and pride
Ready to conquer full of hate
The law of the strong within me
I smite all of Christianity
I am Filipino!
I am Antichrist!”
Not content to chill for too long, the band re-recorded and re-arranged their 1993 demo, giving it finally a proper release as an EP early in 2011 before releasing a split (comprised of Discharge and The Exploited covers) with Nuclearhammer later that year. After this, the band decided to unleash another blitzkrieg of brutality with Satan Alpha Omega (2012). This time around I must admit the cover art is way better, as they got the immensely-talented Benjamin A. Vierling to do some really whacked-out, Satanic/occult medieval grimoire type stuff. This time around, these dudes are for real, right? Is this Deiphago’s magnum opus?
At this point, while from a songwriting perspective there really hasn’t been much of an evolution, it’s clear that this album does at least have slightly better production standards. Also, they picked up a new drummer too! Devastator’s out, and is replaced by a mysterious Costa Rican dude by the name of Savnok. I have no idea where he got this name from (unless it’s his real name ha), but a quick Google search brought me to this page. At this point, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m starting to get a really strong nerd vibe from these guys. Just watch the fairly awkward interview below… it seems like behind the extremely evil and violent music and imagery, they probably play their fair share of Magic: the Gathering.
Anyway, like I said before, this is album is basically just a newer, improved version of Filipino Antichrist. Same old story- artillery drums, chaotic warped guitars (to the point where it seems like improv at times), barely audible distorted bass, frantic shouts and screams…obviously, being a band for over 20 years at this point has only made the band more extreme. If you want, you can actually listen to the entire album for free here.
Which leaves us with the band’s latest album, Into the Eye of Satan (2015). This time around, the dudes have enlisted super-producer/string virtuoso Colin Marston (of Behold the Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Krallice, and probably a bunch of other stuff) to try and tame the chaos into something that is at-least somewhat half-way listenable. However, that’s not to say that this is more “melodic” or any less crazy than their previous albums, as the typical Deiphago insanity we have grown to love is still there, except it’s just a bit easier to tell what’s going on due to a much improved mix (I still have no idea what the fuck the bassist is doing though). While it’s true that some of the songs have some slower parts occasionally, we’ve still got the bizarre solos, the sloppy, blasting drums, the demon-possessed vokillz, etc. However, the songwriting seems to be a bit more varied, experimental, and, well…psychedelic! Seriously, it almost has this sort of strange, otherworldly vibe to it…it kind of reminds me of that title of that one Ween song, “Mushroom Festival in Hell”. Maybe Colin Marston got these dudes to finally chill out (at least for a little while) and smoke some weed. I can see it now- “No, seriously, it will totally help your songwriting!” If you were on some heavy duty hallucinogens in Hell, this would probably be an appropriate musical expression of that experience. Bestial black/death war metal gone psychedelic?
Anyway, I guess it’s important to mention that Deiphago have come under some controversy recently because allegedly the guitarist, Sidapa, assaulted a woman at one of their shows sometime last year. I have absolutely no idea want went down exactly, nor do I want to get into that for this post, so while I think it’s worth pointing out that this band may be at the very least kind of sketchy, for now I’m just going to focusing on the music. After all, this post is about FILIPINO METAL, SNACKS, AND HORROR MOVIES, so I don’t want to get bogged down with speculation about other shit.
Phew! Well, after all that, I’ll bet you’re just dying to find out more about Deiphago! Don’t worry buddy, I’ve got you covered. Check out the links below:
Follow Deiphago on Facebook so you can “like” things they have to say: https://www.facebook.com/666division
Enjoy browsing Deiphago’s wacky website: http://deiphago.webs.com/
Check out Deiphago’s page on Hells Headbangers’ website: http://deiphago.hellsheadbangers.com/
Aw shit!! Now it’s time for the part of the banchan that’s everyone’s favorite!! It’s snack time!! For this installment, Gumiho and I were joined by two mysterious entities, the ones known only as Über Officer and Gwishin, who dared to travel with us on our mayhemic journey to the land that unleashed Deiphago upon the world. However, while the scenery was excruciatingly beautiful and the beaches torturously relaxing, we did find some time to see what was going on with the Filipino Snack Scene (FSS). Check it out:
Ni Mang Juan (Chik’n Skin)
I have no idea what’s going on in this commercial.
GUMIHO: (spits it out and makes a face).
ÜBER OFFICER: What’s the name of this again?
ÜBER OFFICER: Yeah, I definitely tasted a lot of SKIN, but not so much chicken.
WULF: Ooo, scathing. But chicken skin is good!
ÜBER OFFICER: Yeah, it doesn’t taste anything like chicken, just skin.
WULF: Like human skin?
ÜBER OFFICER: Just skin.
WULF: I like chicken skin! Gwishin, what do you think?
GWISHIN: I just spit it out.
WULF: Same reaction as Gumiho?
GWISHIN: It’s just salty…
WULF: Hold on, I’m going to try a little bit more (grabs a handful).
ÜBER OFFICER: The texture’s not bad.
GWISHIN: It doesn’t really have any…texture.
WULF: I actually think this is really good. I really like it.
WULF: Yeah, it tastes like-
UBER OFFICER: Skin.
WULF: Yeah. It tastes like roast chicken skin, but…(continues eating)
GUMIHO: Oh my god, you’re going to (finish the whole thing)…!
GWISHIN: You’re going to have diarrhea.
WULF: I think this is really good. I don’t know how healthy it is, but I would actually eat it all the time. OK, now, rate it out of 10! Uber Officer?
ÜBER OFFICER: So on a scale of 1 to 10…maybe, like, a 2?
GWISHIN: I’m not going to eat it, so I’ll give it a 0.
WULF: I think this is good as fuck. I’m going to give it an 8.5!
AVERAGE RATING: 2.625
Funky French Fry Snax (sweet cheddar)
WULF: It tells us that it contains “real potato”.
GUMIHO: It’s OK… better than (the Ni Mang Juan Chik’n Skin).
WULF: What does it taste like?
GUMIHO: Potato and cheese.
ÜBER OFFICER: I don’t know, I’m not getting any “funky” flavor, but it tastes much better than the Chik’n Skin. It’s got the crunchy texture, but it’s “airy”, so I like the “airy” taste…
WULF: Kind of like Postick.
ÜBER OFFICER: Yeah. Post-dick? I’ve never had any post-dick.
WULF: Oh my God… real mature.
GUMIHO: But Postick is better, I think.
GWISHIN: I like the sweet cheddar flavor, but it’s too salty.
ÜBER OFFICER: No, that’s the ocean water. :p
WULF: OK, I actually don’t like it very much.
GWISHIN: He’s (just) going against us!
WULF: No! I’m really not trying to! I’m not trying to be a hipster. I (just) don’t like that powdery taste.
ÜBER OFFICER: The powder tastes like that mac and cheese mix.
WULF: Yeah, that’s true (everyone else agrees). But I like (mac and cheese powder) when it’s mixed with milk or whatever, I don’t like it by itself.
ÜBER OFFICER: That’s why I like it. It reminds me of mac and cheese.
WULF: Oh, so you like that? So it’s a big hit! What do you rate it?
ÜBER OFFICER: Maybe like a…9? 8.5 or a 9.
GWISHIN: Wow, that’s great! I’ll give (it)… 3. I don’t really (like it), I’m not going to buy it. It’s much better than Chik’n Skin though.
GUMIHO: 5. Not that good.
WULF: Yeah, I’m going to give it a 4.
GUMIHO: I don’t like the powder.
WULF: I don’t like that either. So a 3 or 4 for me.
GUMIHO: I like powder, but this powder is-
WULF: It’s like Postick, but but if you added like uh…some kind of like, sugar, to the macaroni mix-
GWISHIN: Yeah, it’s way sweeter.
AVERAGE RATING: 4.75
Mini Chocolate Pretzels
ÜBER OFFICER: At home I call them “chocolate-covered pretzels”. (laughs all around)
ÜBER OFFICER: (finishing the snack) It’s like Pocky or Pepero, but the chocolate’s better.
GWISHIN: It has a better flavor.
GUMIHO: It’s good. Um…what can I say? (It tastes like) Nutella and a snack…
WULF: So (it just tastes like) chocolate? Nutella?
GUMIHO: Hmm…just chocolate. Right.
ÜBER OFFICER: I’m kind of mixing the cheese powder with the chocolate-
GWISHIN: Sounds disgusting.
WULF: Whoa! OK, could be a secret combination (Uber Officer) has discovered.
GUMIHO: I’ll give it…8.
GWISHIN: This is like…sweet plus salty.
WULF: I really like that combo.
GWISHIN: I love that combo.
WULF: But it’s gotta be done in the right way, though. Like, the other snack wasn’t that good, but-
GWISHIN: But this is good!
WULF: I really like that style too.
ÜBER OFFICER: But (this) is more of a dessert. You have to be in the mood for (this snack), right?
WULF: …Yeah, I think this is really tasty, but I think the only problem is that it does not have a strong aftertaste. It kind of hits you with the one-two punch and then there’s not that much that really lingers after. It just kind of makes you want to eat more. Which is not really a big deal, but when you’re out (of the snack) you’re kind of sad. …but yeah, this is a solid snack! I’m going to give it an 8. Highly recommended.
ÜBER OFFICER: I’ll give it an 8 also.
AVERAGE RATING: 8
WULF: Is there only one in there?
WULF: I think you’re supposed to bite into it, because there’s chocolate in the middle. Let me try.
GWISHIN: Is it good?
ÜBER OFFICER: It’s not bad.
WULF: This is kind of like choco pie.
GUMIHO: Mmm. Ah! Choco pie!
ÜBER OFFICER: Choco pie’s better.
GUMIHO: Ah yeah, right. But (they) taste (similar).
WULF: I think we’re (all) missing a crucial component, which is that middle part…you’re not supposed to eat it like (how we’re eating it now, which is divided up between 4 people).
GUMIHO: (It’s) pretty good.
WULF: The middle part’s the weakest part, actually.
AVERAGE RATING: 4.125
Pee Wee (Spicy Chili)
GWISHIN: Oh, spicy!
ÜBER OFFICER: Are these pork rinds? Oh, I like the spice!
WULF: OK, hold on! (starts eating) Thoughts? (Über Officer), go!
ÜBER OFFICER: I like the spice, (but) the texture is not as good as the (Funky French Fry Snax), so… it’s a mixture of “it tastes good” with-
WULF: Does the stink come from vinegar, you think?
ÜBER OFFICER: Yeah. The taste isn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t eat it (normally). The experience is not pleasant.
GWISHIN: I don’t think this is a snack. It’s more like banchan. You have to eat it with rice.
WULF: Yeah…you think it would go well with rice?
GWISHIN: It’s…too strong (of a) flavor.
WULF: Yeah…yeah. OK. Gumiho, what do you think?
GUMIHO: I like this one. I wish it was less salty, though.
WULF: Too salty?
GWISHIN: You could eat it with rice.
WULF: I think this is the best snack so far.
GUMIHO: Me too.
WULF: It’s absolutely delicious.
ÜBER OFFICER: The flavor is good, yeah.
WULF: I like the really strong taste. It’s fairly spicy, it’s got a kick.
GUMIHO: It’s not that spicy.
WULF: Well it’s not THAT spicy, but it’s spicy enough.
GUMIHO: Not for me.
WULF: OK, Gumiho is trying to be metal. (in a grim black metal voice) IT’S NOT SPICY ENOUGH FOR ME. It’s got kind of a vinegary, spicy, little bit salty taste. It’s like shrimp cracker kind of thing. According to the package-
GWISHIN: It’s shrimp?
WULF: According to the package it’s…cassava starch, whatever the hell that is… coconut oil, sugar, iodized salt, MSG-
WULF: Cassava starch…hold on. Ah, wheat flour, it’s just wheat (I think this is wrong).
ÜBER OFFICER: (probably getting really bored at this point)…Are we still recording?
WULF: Yeah. I think this is a killer snack. I think it’s awesome. Gwishin, what do you give it?
ÜBER OFFICER: I’d give it about a…what was the (inaudible)?
ÜBER OFFICER: I’d give it about an 8.5.
WULF: Wow, you really liked it!
ÜBER OFFICER: The flavor is good. But, you know…
GWISHIN: Too strong.
ÜBER OFFICER: No…just…the smell? You know, you have to make a choice. You’re either going to eat that snack, or you’re going to be able to talk to that girl at the party.
WULF: (laughs) Haha yeah, those are tough life choices we face on a daily basis, as humans.
ÜBER OFFICER: You’ve got to make a decision. You’re going to eat this stinky snack, or you’re going to talk to the girl.
WULF: I’d take the snack. (Gumiho)?
WULF: 8.5? You really liked it! I’m going to give a 9. I think it’s killer. Anyway, in the meantime, I’m going to finish (this) one, then I’m going to finish the rest of the chicken crackling.
GUMIHO: That’s gross.
WULF: OK, so we’re at the airport now and Gumiho and I are eating Breadstix Cheese by Nissin (however, I was mistaken, as this snack is actually made by Monde Nissin, a Filipino-based company not affiliated with the Nissin Foods corporation from Japan, but it still says Nissin on the package so I guess that’s why I was confused). It says at the bottom, “new look, same yummy taste!” So, anyway, we’re eating them. (Gumiho), what do you think?
GUMIHO: Um…it tastes really good, and I think it’s for kids. (It has a) rich cheese taste. which I really like.
WULF: (Uber Officer), what do you think?
ÜBER OFFICER: I like the crunchy texture, like a breadstick, and the mild, cheesy flavor.
WULF: Yeah, you know, that’s good. That’s very interesting that you said “breadstick”, because I was kind of looking for a word…
ÜBER OFFICER: It’s called “breadstix” though. (laughs)
WULF: Shit. You got me. OK, well anyway, I like that it tastes like a breadstick, but it’s not overpowered by the cheese. It’s not too strong. It’s not like a Cheez-It. At first you bite into it, and it’s kind of a “bread-y” taste, almost kind of like a wafer-kind of a taste, or like an animal cracker, kind of chalky taste, but inside is a very subtle cheese taste that’s really nice. Not too strong, not too salty. It’s a delicious snack.
GWISHIN: I like it. It’s very soft, like, buttery…it says “cheese” on the cover, but I can’t really taste cheese.
WULF: Well, I think the cheese taste is there but you can’t taste it at first. It’s a subtle cheese aftertaste.
GWISHIN: I can taste more butter than cheese.
WULF: Yeah, I think you’re right. Maybe more butter than cheese.
GWISHIN: But they should change the name from “breadstix” to “butter”.
WULF: To just “butter”? Not even “breadstix”?
GWISHIN: No, “Breadstix Butter”!
WULF: “Breadstix Butter”.
GWISHIN: Not “Breadstix Cheese”.
WULF: Yeah, that would maybe be better. Or would it be “butter”? (blahhhh) OK, any final thoughts, (Gumiho)? What do you give it out of 10?
GUMIHO: Mmm…they have some iron here.
GWISHIN: Iron! (laughs)
WULF: That’s good to know. In case you’re iron-deficient, look for Breadstix Cheese.
GUMIHO: It contains some protein here.
WULF: You don’t have to read the ingredients list! Out of 10, what do you give it?
GWISHIN: I really liked it.
WULF: Hoooooly shit!
GWISHIN: A 9.
ÜBER OFFICER: I thought it was pretty good. Maybe like a 9, yeah.
WULF: OK, a 9 is like “knock your socks off!” “Pretty good” is like a 7.
ÜBER OFFICER: Yeah, it’s a pretty good 9.
WULF: Well, I’m just going to say…Uber Officer is only being like that because he’s sick.
GWISHIN: No, this is the best Filipino snack ever.
ÜBER OFFICER: It is good, yeah.
WULF: Is it better than Chik’n Skin?
GWISHIN: I hated that.
UBER OFFICER: Oh, yeah!
WULF: Is it better than-
ÜBER OFFICER: It’s better than all the ones we’ve tried so far.
WULF: Is it better than Pee Wee’s Chili?!
UBER OFFICER: Yeah.
WULF: OK, well anyway, I’m going to give this snack an 8.5, I think it’s very good. I think a slight improvement would be breadsticks, cheese, and jalapeno. I think that would be really good.
WULF: Well, you guys are idiots. Or it would be “Breadstix Spicy Nachos”, I think that would be really good, too. It needs a little bit of a kick, I think, to it.
ÜBER OFFICER: It’s pretty addicting.
WULF: (Gumiho and Gwishin think this is a bad idea) Well, it would be nice to have the option. Maybe we should write them and tell them that they should make a “Breadstix Spicy Nacho Cheese” option. Anything else?
GUMIHO: Try it in the Philippines!
AVERAGE RATING: 9
While this isn’t an amazing movie, it’s kind of interesting from a cultural perspective. I have no idea if this is actually an accurate representation of the average Filipino when it comes to superstitions, but I’ve noticed that throughout this movie there is a lot of talk about luck, demons, Christian and “Eastern” mysticism, cursed objects, etc., but with very little in the way of skepticism or anyone questioning the supernatural events that transpire throughout the film. I’m also not sure if this was intentional on the part of the filmmakers themselves, and even though I may have happened to be in the Philippines recently, I’m definitely not an expert on the Pinoy cultural attitudes about this type of stuff.
Anyway, the story is about an affluent family that lives in the suburbs and the mom (Kris Aquino, by far the best of the main actors in this film) ends up getting ahold of a bagua mirror. While she initially experiences a bunch of good luck, a bad shit starts happening to her and the people around her. In addition, weird supernatural wackiness starts happening like ghosts/zombies popping up out of nowhere, people start dying in ways that relate to their Chinese zodiac sign, you get the picture. There’s also a bunch of family drama about infidelity, the awkward position of having to choose between your mistress and your family, etc…basically, the kind of crapola you have to deal with on a daily basis if you’re living in Manila.
Anyway, the highlight of the movie for me I’d say is actually at near the end of the movie, which involves a woman getting blasted with a shotgun. Now, I know that sounds horrible for me to say, and the scene I’m assuming is supposed to be shocking and violent, but…the problem is that when the woman is shot, she literally flies back like 20 feet in the air, which caused me to burst out laughing and re-watch about 27 times. It only made it worse when it happened again, but this time to a man, and he flies absurdly in the air as well which unfortunately reduces the “harrowing” atmosphere it seems like they’re going for in this scene.
I’d also like to mention that parts of soundtrack for whatever reason kind of remind me of a cross between “The Return” (off of Ancient Rites’ Dim Carcosa (2001), one of the first metal albums I ever ordered and metal bands I got into!) and the OST to The Room (2003). Some parts wouldn’t even make bad dungeon synth if they were reworked a bit!
So in closing…would I recommend this movie? Not really, although it isn’t a bad film! It’s got a few “scary” moments and some unusual twists and story developments, but it’s not exactly essential viewing. All in all, I’d say if you got together some friends to watch this film along with some Pinoy snacks (see above) and a bunch of Red Horse (San Miguel is for posers), I’d say you’re in a fun time! I hear there’s a sequel too, but I can’t vouch for its quality. I would have watched it and reviewed it for this entry, but at this point I feel like this is long enough and I was just ready to get it over with.