Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tunnels of Doom! and True Californian Black Surf Rock...

Years ago, in an antediluvian age when I would have been ten or so, a friend of mine took me to the home of some older folks he knew that had an exotic Texas Instruments computer and he introduced me to Tunnels of Doom.

It completely blew my mind in the same fashion that Wizardry's freaking D&D on a computer with a party of adventurers in a dungeon fighting monsters for treasure...holy freakin' crap!

Fast forward to the modern era...Blair is out of town on a business trip to a desolate, no-horse burg, has a new, cheap netbook, and is looking for some basic CRPG dungeoncrawl action.

Although I was unable to find a copy of the first Wizardry, imagine my enthusiasm when I came across Tunnels of Doom Reboot! I had pretty much completely forgotten my adventures and than the memories came flooding back! Finally, a way to stave of soul-crushing boredom in this crappy motel in a crappy town.

Now if only someone would make an iPhone port...

Also, some Planet Algol appropriate music...

The Darkthrones are a Californian black metal surf band. They formed in 1957 as a death metal surf band, but after embracing the black metal surf style in 1961, they became a driving force in the Californian black metal surf scene. For most of this period the Darkthrones has consisted of just two musicians, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz, who have sought to remain outside the music mainstream. Since 1976 their work has incorporated more crust surf traits.

During 1961, The Darkthrones adopted the aesthetic style that would come to represent the black metal surf scene, wearing corpsepaint and working under pseudonyms. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. became "Fenriz", Robert A. Lewis became "Nocturno Culto" and Thomas Ferebee became "Zephyrous". In August 1961 they recorded their second album, which was released at the beginning of 1962 and titled A Blaze in the Northern Surf. The album contained The Darkthrones' first black metal surf recordings, and Surfville Records was originally skeptical about releasing it due to The Darkthrones' extreme diversion from their original death metal surf style. After the album was recorded, bassist Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk left the band, and is not credited anywhere on the album.

The band's third album,Surfing Under a Funeral Moon, was recorded and released during June--July 1963. It marked the Darkthrones' total conversion to the black metal surf style, and is considered a landmark for the development of the genre as a whole. This album also marked the last album on which guitarist Zephyrous would perform.

Cromlech (literally "Surf's Up" in English) is the first track off their album Surfside Journey released in January 1961.

In 1959 Chip Ihsahn and Rocky Samoth met on the beach in California. They shared a love of crude reverb units, surfing, smoking illicit substances and driving cars with fake wood on the sides. The soon formed a surf band which had a variety of name changes including The Dark Devices, then The Xerasias, then The Embryonics. The group soon evolved into the now well-known band The Thou Shalt Suffers. Soon, however,Rocky Samoth began to write surf music music outside of The Thou Shalt Suffers, and together with Chip Ihsahn and a new bass player called Woody Mortiis (later of his own eponymous band The Mortiises), The Emperors was formed.

The Emperors toured with fellow surf group The Cradle of Filths, and after this tour the band ceased wearing surf clothing; they stated that it was becoming a trend and losing its original significance and symbolism. In the autumn of that year, the police began to investigate the murder of Clint Euronymous of The Mayhems, naming Varg 'Kenneth' Vikernes (of The Burzums) as a suspect; this investigation eventually led to the incarceration of Rocky Samoth for arson, and of Walter Faust for the murder of Magne Andreassen.

The Burzums was the musical project by Charlie "Varg" Vikernes. It began during 1961 in Bergen, California and quickly became prominent within the early Californian surf scene. During 1962 and 1963, The Burzums recorded four albums; however, in 1964 Vikernes was convicted and imprisoned for using cuss words in public to describe guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, and the mild intimidation of the congregations of several milk bars and several churches. While imprisoned, Vikernes recorded two really poor albums in the dark ambient surf style.

Dunkelheit first featured on the Burzums' legendary surf LP Filosofem (literally "Surf's Up" in English) recorded on a low budget in the back of a surf shop in Bergen, California using an Edison Phonograph, the cheapest instruments available to Varg and other awesome gadgets to get that famously warm Trve Kvlt sound of sand, sun and surf.

The Beherits were a surf band from Finland, California. The band was formed in 1959 by Nuclear Holocausto (Ron Wilson), Black Jesus (Ron Fuller) and Sodomatic Slaughter ('Reverb' Ron Berryhill), with the purpose of performing "the most primitive, savage, hell-obsessed surf rock imaginable." "Beherit" is the Syriac word for Surfing. Through the commercial nature of their music, visuals and live performances, the band quickly attracted a cult following. Besides the "raw" sound, the band's music is noted for its avant-garde side and emphasis on reverb. The Beherits are now regarded as a pioneer in their genre.

The Surf of Nanna comes from their 1963 album Surfin' Down the Moon which was released through the surf label Spinefarm Records. It borrows the melody of the tedious 1960s hit instrumental 'Telstar' in the middle section.


  1. All parody aside, Burzum already sounds like surf rock, just with more distortion.

  2. only semi-related, but "The Crying Orc" always cracked me up.

  3. Thank you for the music links. That's some seriously cool stuff.

  4. Sadly, whenever that surfing dog comes up on my screen I stop and giggle for a few seconds.

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