Monday, October 15, 2018

Mater Suspiria Vision - Crack Witch (2010)


Lo-fi, psychedelic witch house excellence. Droning Twin Peaks synths, distorted drum machines, effects-heavy vocals, and unsettling samples. Goddamn I miss this microgenre.

Track listing:
1. Call of the Witches
2. Evil House of Forbidden Fruits
3. House of 7 Witches
4. Wtxchs (A Suite of Decay)
5. Trip 2012

A giant snake that eats itself

Also listen to:
Sixth Comm -
A Nothing Life (1987)
Tropic of Cancer -
The Sorrow of Two Blooms (2011)
+ I Feel Nothing (2012)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Horror Inc. - Horrorama EP (2003) + I Plead Guilty (2004)



Two 12"s of phenomenal minimal tech-house from Canadian producer Marc Leclair, best known for his work as Akufen. Mesmerizing, late-night sounds, with just a hint of tastefully spooky vibes.

Track listing:
  -Horrorama EP-
1. The Sentinel
2. Siamese Twins
  -I Plead Guilty-
1. In My Garden
2. The Vanishing

Dans la nuit



You'd also enjoy:
Onur Özer ‎-
Kaşmir (2007)
Varg -
Misantropen (2013)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

King Diamond - The Puppet Master (2003)


Related:
King Diamond - The Eye (1990)
Mercyful Fate - Return of the Vampire (1992)

Probably my favorite late-era King Diamond album -- although I'm still holding out hope for another one. Another delightfully weird tale of supernatural horror told via eerie, ass-kicking heavy metal by one of the greatest talents that metal has ever produced.

Track listing:
1. Midnight
2. The Puppet Master
3. Magic
4. Emerencia
5. Blue Eys
6. The Ritual
7. No More Me
8. Blood to Walk
9. Darkness
10. So Sad
11. Christmas
12. Living Dead

No strings
None of them fall
No strings at all


You should also listen to:
Bill Ward -
Ward One: Along the Way (1990)
Grave Digger -
Heart of Darkness (1995)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pale Mist - From a Cruel Obscurity (2009)


UK raw black metal. Three icy, 10-plus-minute blurs that end up feeling sorrowful and somehow weirdly beautiful, in spite of all the ugliness.

Track listing:
1. From a Cruel Obscurity
2. Cut, Fallen and Drowned
3. The Warm Bleeding

Under the white cold snow

Similar listening:
Spectral Woods -
Between the Trees (2011)
Nécropole - Atavisme... (2014) + Ostara (2015)

Tricky & Gravediggaz - The Hell E.P. (1995)


Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Gravediggaz - Nightmares in A-Minor (2001)

Collaborative EP by Tricky and Gravediggaz, neither of whom should need any introduction. In actuality, only the second half of The Hell E.P. is truly collaborative, as "Hell Is Round the Corner" -- one of two classic trip-hop tracks to sample "Ike's Rap II" by Isaac Hayes -- and its hella-tight remix are all Tricky.

Just gonna use this space to point out that, despite his icon status, Tricky is horrifically undervalued as an artist. He's one of those artists whose entire catalogue tends to get compared unfavorably to a legendary (and deservedly so) debut album. This is particularly true in the case of Angels with Dirty Faces, one of the most singularly misunderstood and brilliant records of its time, which I'd definitely dedicate a whole post to if I weren't sure that it'd get hit with a copyright claim faster than you can say "unfairly maligned piece of brilliance."

Track listing:
1. Hell Is Round the Corner (Original Mix)
2. Hell Is Round the Corner (The Hell and Water Mix)
3. Psychosis
4. Tonite Is a Special Nite (Chaos Mass Confusion Mix)

Are you someone else?

You'd also like:
Killah Priest -
Heavy Mental (1998)
David Holmes - David Holmes
Presents The Free Association
(2002)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Paul Chain Violet Theatre - In the Darkness (1986)


Italian outsider psych-doom. A thin, wavering voice and subtly idiosyncratic songs that are somewhere between St. Vitus and early Alice Cooper, with maybe a dash of Goblin. In a better, weirder world, Paul Chain would be a megastar, but as it is, he's a musical misfit with an utterly singular artistic vision and not a shot in hell at gaining a larger audience -- the epitome of a cult artist, essentially.

Track listing:
1. Welcome to My Hell
2. Meat
3. War
4. Crazy
5. Grey Life
6. Woman and Knife
7. Mortuary Hearse
8. In the Darkness

I am a crazy

You should also check out:
Druid - Vampire Cult (1989)
+ Four Curses (1986)
Goat Horn -
Voyage to Nowhere (2001)

Mark Korven - The Witch (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2016)


Otherworldly score for a masterclass of tension and atmosphere. Following a stately, sorrowful opening theme, dissonant, droning strings slowly build to terrifying peaks, with clattering percussion and wordless choral vocals. I fucking loved this movie, and it's on Netflix so if you haven't seen it yet, 'tis the season. Also, notice that his last name is almost "Coven" -- obviously, it was meant to be.

Track listing:
1. What Went We
2. Banished
3. A Witch Stole Sam
4. Hare in the Woods
5. I Am the Witch Mercy
6. Foster the Children
7. Calen Is Lost
8. Caleb's Seduction
9. Caleb's Death
10. William and Tomasin
11. William's Confession
12. The Goat & the Mayhem
13. Follow the Goat
14. Witch's Coven
15. Isle of Wight (Traditional)
16. Standish (Traditional)

I will guide thy hand

Ennio Morricone - La Corta Notte
delle Bambole di Vetro
(1971)
Kaija Saariaho - Verblendungen -
Jardin Secret I - Laconisme De L'Aile -
...Sah Den Vögeln
(1985)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Voyag3r - Doom Fortress (2014)


Detroit synthwave. In addition to the expected pulsing Carpenter synths of horror, Voyag3r incorporate live drumming and riff-y, shredding guitars for a fuller, heavier, more organic sound than many of their wholly-synthesized peers.

Track listing:
1. Summoning the Forgotten One
2. One's True Intentions
3. Doom Fortress Escape
4. In the Hands of the Computers
5. Il Guanto Nero
6. Lord of Doom Fortress

Something nasty in the woods

You should also hear:
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth -
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1989)
Protector 101 -
Protector 101 (2011)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Residents - Animal Lover (2005)


Previously on OPIUM HUM:
The Residents - Stars & Hank Forever: The American Composter Series, Vol. II (1986)
The Residents - 1997: The Missing Year - Adobe Disfigured Night (2009)
The Residents - Hades (2009)
Charles Bobuck - Chuck's Ghost Music (2011)

The definitive 'modern' Residents record IMO. Superficially, it's about as close to conventionally-structured songwriting as The Residents are interested in getting, but the songs are as dark, strange, and emotionally compelling as anything they've written. "Elmer's Song" in particular is a real marvel of warped, miserably beautiful songwriting. Honestly, probably my most listened-to Residents record.

Track listing:
1. On the Way (To Oklahoma)
2. Olive and Gray
3. What Have My Chickens Done Now?
4. Two Lips
5. Mr. Bee's Bumble
6. Inner Space
7. Dead Men
8. My Window
9. Ingrid's Oily Tongue
10. Mother No More
11. Dreaming of an Anthill (Teeming)
12. Elmer's Song
13. The Monkey Man
14. The Whispering Boys
15. Burn My Bones

But soon a voice inside of a dream
Said "Son you can become My Cream"


You might also like:
The Legendary Pink Dots -
The Maria Dimension (1991)
Human Host -
The Halloween Tree (2007)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Black Seas of Infinity - Within Daathian Chasms (2005)


Related:
Equimanthorn - Lectionum Antiquarum (1999)
Black Seas of Infinity - AMRITA: The Quintessence (2007)

Otherworldly occult dark ambient from SLC, Utah. Creepy synth, dissonant drones, some extremely well-utilized samples, and all-in-all mysterious, reverberating sounds that suggest something unknowable, unspeakable, and terrifying. One of my all-time favorite dark ambient albums.

Adding to my feeling that there's something genuinely supernatural about this record is the fact that I once put "Lucitathan" on a mixtape, and when I listened back to it, the looped "It is an illusion" sample had fucking disappeared. I swear, it was not on the tape. It WAS a goddamn illusion. Now, some might say that the sample in question is so quiet that it barely registers as it is, and that the added tape hiss just drowned it out, but I think it's fairly obvious to anyone with half a brain that those hypothetical people are just bootlicking meat puppets for the great, dark forces that shape our reality from sunken crypts outside of time. Try again, losers.

Also, I just decided that I also want to post the first Black Seas of Infinity demo, which is straight-up raw black metal -- not even a little dark ambient -- but I don't feel like re-doing this whole post, so here's the link to that.

Track listing:
1. Vortex of Awakening
2. Mass of Apep
3. Blessed Sacrament of Levanah
4. Retromingent Periodicity
5. Pallid Stardust of the Moon's Blind Sister
6. Lucitathan
7. Whore of Babylon, Shed Thy Dew of Nothing
8. Ecstasy of Octinomos
9. Within Daathian Chasms
10. Eternal Aeons of the Flame
11. Path of the Void (Beyond the Fathomless)

It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion. It is an illusion.

You should also hear:
Black Funeral -
Moon of Characith (1998)
Kerovnian -
Far Beyond, Before the Time (1999)

Umberto - From the Grave... (2009)


First album from one of the OGs of modern synthwave. When I first heard Umberto, his schtick -- making music for non-existent horror movies using synth maestros like John Carpenter and Alan Howarth as primary sources of inspiration -- was a new, even radical idea. As with anything cool and deceivingly simple, it's been done to death now. Don't get me wrong: I still love Perturbator, Dan Terminus, and GosT, but there are a whole lotta projects doing really boring takes on the same sound. Outside of all of this, though, Umberto reigns supreme.

Track listing:
1. Opening Titles
2. Running Blade
3. Forsaken Dawn
4. The Child
5. Dream Sequence
6. Intermission
7. It Came from the Swamp
8. Shower Scene
9. In the Name of Zuel
10. End Credits

Someone chasing someone through a house

More like this:
Jay Chattaway -
Maniac (1980)
Pentagram Home Video -
Who's Out There? (2014)

Aymrev Erkroz Prevre - Noir Voyage Obstrué de Rencontres Difformes (2006)


French lo-fi dark ambient. A massive, empty. lightless sonic space. A gateway opened to nothingness. Degraded aural evidence of an all-too real hell.

Two untitled tracks

You build a place for things... things come.

More like this:
Atom Infant Incubator -
Copula (1994)
Oöphoi -
Night Currents (1998)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Abandon - Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death (2004)


Related:
Basilisk - A Joyless March Through the Cold-Lands (2005)

English raw depressive black metal. Queasily hypnotic guitars, distorted shrieks, and mostly slow, simple drumming that I'm pretty sure is programmed, but I can't really tell because it's all bleeding into the same hella blown-out sonic swamp.

Track listing:
1. Abandon
2. Cold Blessed
3. Black Torrent
4. Shackled
5. Glory of Disease

He calls to the beasts through the dark skies

You'd probably also like:
Hypothermia -
Veins (2006)
Black Sin -
Light of Despair (2008)

The Paper Chase - Now You Are One of Us (2006)


Dark post-hardcore-emo-indie rock. Dense, jagged songs laced with musical and lyrical elements straight out of the golden age of Italian horror. This band has become something of a footnote in the career of lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter John Congleton, who's gone on to produce some of the biggest names in indie rock, including St. Vincent's three best albums (Actor through self-titled, that is.) I don't exactly love him as a vocalist -- he's an over-enunciator -- but the total package is tight.

Track listing:
1. It's Out There and It's Gonna Get You
2. We Know Where You Sleep
3. The Kids Will Grow Up to Be Assholes
4. Wait Until I Get My Hands on You
5. You Will Never Take Me Alive
6. Delivered in a Firm Unyielding Way Lingering for a Bit Too Long to Communicate the Message 'I Own You'
7. The Most Important Part of Your Body
8. What's So Amazing About Grace?
9. You're One of Them Aren't You?
10. The Song Will Eat Itself
11. ... And All the Candy You Can Eat
12. All Manner of Pox of Canker
13. At the Other End of the Leash
14. We Will Make You One of Us
15. The House Is Alive and the House Is Hungry

Do you know what it means to be doomed?
Do you know what it means to be cursed?
When the blue eyes are washing their mouths in the south
You know they're hiding bodies north


You might also like:
Aereogramme -
Sleep and Release (2003)
MadLove -
White with Foam (2009)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Exhumer - Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion (2008)


Italian brutal grinding death. Hyperspeed drum machine and surgically precise guitar-playing to match. Short but packs a punch.

Track listing:
1. Act I - Putrefaction: The Legion of B. Cadaveris Mesentericus
2. Act II - Cadaverous Fauna: Death's Workers
3. Act III - The Final Judgement: Colliquation of the Corpse and Skeletonizement
4. Necropsychopatic Exhumation
5. Boredoms to the Digestive Apparatus
6. Malignant Necrosy
7. Agony of the Soul (Instrumental)
8. Necropsychopatic Exhumation (Demo 2004) [bonus]
9. Boredoms to the Digestive Apparatus (Demo 2004) [bonus]

The bones finally with no flesh suffer the worms' mania

More like this:
Disgorge -
Forensick (2000)
The Sickening -
Death Devastation Decay (2009)