Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Armed - Only Love (2018)

Colorful, dense, ecstatically heavy, spastic-hardcore-based sounds from Detroit. Love the way this album is structured -- more and more melody starts seeping in as it goes on, but without sacrificing an ounce of intensity, then they burn it all down in a glorious, atonal, yet somehow beautiful inferno. But I'm just another voice in a large choir of people around the internet currently singing this record's praises, so let's not waste any more of your time or mine -- if you haven't already, go read what someone else has to say about it. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Witness
2. Role Models
3. Nowhere to Be Found
4. Apperception
5. Parody Warning
6. Fortune's Daughter
7. Luxury Themes
8. Heavily Lined
9. Middle Homes
10. Ultraglass
11. On Jupiter

Sparks fly from their eyes
Birds fly from their mouths

You'd also enjoy:
Gasp - Drome Triler
of Puzzle Zoo People
Wildildlife -
Six (2007)

Mystik - Dunkla Klangor... (Kapitel I) (2016)

Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Dunkla Herrarna (2011)
Summum - Benedictus Qui Venit In Nomine Domine - Redeamus Ad Mort Domine (2014)

More Swedish black metal excellence from Swartadauþuz, a.k.a. The Man with a Thousand Amazing Black Metal Projects. A melodic, mournful, and majestic sound elevated by ethereal synths and inspired, passionate vocals. Beyond any lazy descriptors, the fact that I'm currently contemplating dropping almost 50 bucks on a copy of their new (-ish, it's a re-recording of the first demo, so I think it counts) LP should tell you all you need to know.

Track listing:
1. Forntida Minner (Intro)
2. Till Deras Domarsäten
3. I Åldrars Morgon
4. Från Fjärran Komma
5. Av Blodig Bränning
6. De Forna Förfäder
7. Åt Jättens Ätt
8. Vemodstrånad (Outro)

Portals to wisdom

More like this:
Diabolical Masquerade -
Ravendusk in My Heart (1996)
Belenos -
Kornôg (2016)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Original Sin - Sin Will Find You Out (1987)

Satanic, all-femme speed/thrash metal. By the time you read this, I will be on a houseboat on Lake Shasta, getting hammered and hopefully blaring this record or one like it.

Track listing:
1. Conjuration of the Watcher
2. The Curse
3. To the Devil a Daughter
4. A Slice of Finger (Instrumental)
5. Bitches from Hell
6. The Succubus
7. Pandora's Box
8. Thunder War (Instrumental)
9. Enchantress of Death
10. Disease Bombs

A demon seed enters a womb of corruption
Breeding a satanic spell
A sickening concussion, a newborn eruption
A demon, a terror from hell

You'd also like:
Kat -
Metal and Hell (1986)
Exorcist -
Nightmare Theatre (1986)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lakutis - 3 Seashells (2014)

Real good NYC rap. To me, the problem with a lot of white rappers isn't a lack of talent, but that they tend to overcompensate -- either by taking on an cartoonish persona that doesn't ring true, or by being overly nerdy/technical. Lakutis, on the other hand, just seems like the truest version of himself possible. And "Too Ill for the Law" is one of my favorite rap tracks ever. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. What the Fuck
2. Animal
3. Jesus Piece
4. Too Ill for the Law
5. Mumra
6. Skit 1
7. Chinese Slippers
8. Black Swann (feat. DVS)
9. Skit 2
10. Body Scream
11. Skeleton
12. Dope as Fuck

If they could say what they saw
They'd say, "A wild motherfucker too ill for the law"

Also listen to:
Blue Sky Black Death &
Nacho Picasso - Exalted (2012)
Conway -
G.O.A.T. (2017)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Medieval Demon - Demonolatria (1995)

Hellenic black metal. Sure, they're a bit sloppy, but that won't stop them from erasing the divisions between our world and the netherworld and summoning terrifying beings of unspeakable evil and sorrow, then having sex with them.

Track listing:
1. Under the Twilight
2. Dark Widow
3. Fields of Tears
4. Queen of Sorrow
5. Spirits of the Dead
6. Doomsday
7. Leudness in the Dark
8. Demonolatria
9. Warrior's Anthem
10. The Rise of the Moon
11. Beyond the Clouds
12. No Flesh Shall Be Sharped
13. Melancholy

God of the dim unknown
Make her suffer on her own

More like this:
Siebenbürgen -
Loreia (1997)
Hirilorn - Legends of Evil
and Eternal Death

Dominic Frontier and His Orchestra - Pagan Festival: An Exotic Love Ritual for Orchestra (1959)

Some good ol' fashioned exotica from Dominic Frontier, who I believe is best known, if at all, for his film scores. Lush, inviting, cinematic, and probably problematic by today's standards. Claims to be an "interpretation of ancient Inca rituals, superstitions, and the romance and mysteries of their colorful civilization," but I'm guessing that it's the end result of about 25 minutes of research.

Track listing:
1. Festival
2. House of Dawn (Paccar-Tampu)
3. Temple of Suicide (Ixtab)
4. Moon Goddess (Ixchel)
5. Time of Sunshine (Yaxkin)
6. Goddess of Love (X-Tabai)
7. House of Pleasure (Tampu-Anca)
8. The Harvest (Zax)
9. Corn Festival (Zabacil Than)
10. God of Seasons (Kuklkan)
11. Jaguar God (Balam)
12. Venus Girl (Ix-Koben)

Whence no traveler returns

Martin Denny -
Forbidden Island (1958)
The David Whitaker Orchestra -
Music to Spy By (1966)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Crass - Christ the Album (1982)

Arguably the greatest peace-punk record ever made. The proper album is a total game-changer, and finds Crass dialing in their already established sound, then firing it off into the great unknown. Chaotic, static-y sheets of guitar stabilized by a tight, muscular rhythm section, masses of news-sourced dialogue clips, and a sneering, pissed-off cockney poking holes in everything he sees -- politicians, the family unit, television, gender roles, other punks, Christians, skinheads, warmongers, meat eaters and more all find themselves in the crosshairs. The second disc is a collage of raw live stuff, interviews, spoken word, 'behind-the-scenes' recordings, and the like.

I seem to have been on a bit of a nostalgia trip of late (see also: this, this, this, this, and this) and I'm just gonna go with it. Sure, maybe this stuff is not all that obscure, but enough people read this blog that, statistically speaking, I'm practically guaranteed that at least like a hundred of you have never heard this.

Track listing:
   Christ the Album
1. Have a Nice Day
2. Mother Love
3. Nineteen Eighty Bore
4. I Know There Is Love
5. Beg Your Bardon
6. Birth Control 'n' Rock 'n' Roll
7. Reality Whitewash
8. It's the Greatest Working Class Rip-Off
9. Deadhead
10. You Can Be Who?
11. Buy Now Pay as You Go
12. Rival Tribal Revel Rebel, Pt. 2
13. Bumhooler
14. Sentiment (White Feathers)
15. Major General Despair
   Well-Forked - But Not Dead
1. Banned from the Roxy
2. The Sound of One Hand Clapping
3. Punk Is Dead
4. Nagasaki Nightmare
5. Darling
6. Bata Motel Blues
7. Berkertrex Bribe
8. Fold It in Half
9. Big Hands
10. Bumhooler
11. Big A Little A
12. First Woman
13. Arlington 73
14. Bomb Plus Bomb Tape
15. Contaminational Power
16. I Ain't Thick
17. G's Song
18. Securicor
19. I Can't Stand It
20. Shaved Women
21. A Part of Life
22. Do They Owe Us a Living
23. So What
24. Salt 'n' Pepper

Patriots' progress is a backstep
A cruel noose around a young neck
They teach our children in the classroom
To respect a madman on a rostrum
To praise the the dirty works of battle
Bring out the ribbon, balloon and rattle
To dig their own graves in the cold earth
So sad and pointless now to give birth

You should also listen to:
Chaos U.K. -
Chaos U.K. (1983)
Omega Tribe -
No Love Lost (1983)

David Holmes - David Holmes Presents The Free Association (2002)

Some sweet trip-hop courtesy of a group headed by great Irish producer David Holmes, and powered by the dual vocal attack of Pati Yang and Sean Reveron, which plays kinda like a chilled-out take on the metal 'beauty-and-the-beast' template and reminds me a bit of early Tricky. Very true to the original form of the genre -- which, many of their contemporaries seemed to have forgotten, wasn't all that far removed from hip-hop -- but with a colorful, psychedelic sound that still sounds inspired today.

Track listing:
1. Don't Rhyme No Mo
2. (I Wish I Had A) Wooden Heart
3. Le Baggage
4. Free Ass O-C-B
5. Somedays
6. Everybody Knows
7. Pushin' a Broom
8. La Dolce Vita
9. Paper Underwear
10. Whistlin' Down the Wind

Singin' with the dolphins
Dancing with the starfishes
Ridin' the unicorns

If you like this, try:
Depth Charge -
Nine Deadly Venoms (1994)
The Bug -
Tapping the Conversation (1998)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Steven Halpern & Georgia Kelly - Ancient Echoes (1978)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Steven Halpern - Spectrum Suite (1976)
Georgia Kelly - Seapeace (Music for Harp) (1978)
Steven Halpern & Dallas Smith - Natural Light (1984)

Quietly stunning new age sounds from synth-man Steve Halpern and harpist Georgia Kelly. Filled out with a bit of flute and haunting, wordless vocals. I put this on the other day at the record store, and I'm just sitting there vibing when my coworker asks what we're listening to. I say, "Oh, just a little new age, you know," cause I'm the only one who works there who likes new age so I know she doesn't give a shit about either artist and she goes, "Oh, nevermind, I thought it was the Zelda soundtrack."

Track listing:
1. Ancient Echoes
2. Apollo's Lyre
3. From Eleusis
4. Sand Dance
5. Tarashanti
6. Dharma Duet (Part One)
7. Dharma Duet (Part Two)
8. Crotona
9. Ode for Orpheus
10. Sphinx Synergu
11. Ceremony
12. Temple Priestess
13. Oracle at Delphi

Emanations from eternity

You should also listen to:
Constance Demby -
Sunborne (1980)
Kay Gardner -
A Rainbow Path (1984)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Altar of Perversion - From Dead Temples (Towards the Ast'ral Path) (2001)

Mind-blowing, cosmic Italian black metal. A cerebral, psychedelic masterpiece of a debut LP from a criminally slept-on band. And while I'm on them, I highly, highly recommend checking out their newest album, as (spoiler alert) it has a really good shot at the #1 spot on my year-end list. Top five, for sure, unless 2018 suddenly becomes the greatest year for black metal since 1994.

Track listing:
1. Shteitanhas
2. The Wisdom of Evil
3. Aeongrave
4. Behold the Altar of Perversion
5. Necromantia Sexualis
6. Burningcoldvoiddemon
7. From Dead Temples

The timeless spirit, who's guided us in the past
Blows cold winds from a place of no stars

You're also gonna wanna hear:
Vassafor -
Vassafor (2007)
Invehertex -
Hacia el Vórtice (2015)

Crebain - Night of Stormcrow (2003)

Epic, pissed-off solo US black metal. Drum machines, buzzing guitars, and heavily distorted vocals. "I like everything you post except the black metal" is the "I like everything except for country" of this blog, but y'all can't stop me.

Track listing:
1. Night of the Stormcrow
2. I Live to Kill
3. Darkness Be My Bride
4. By Our Talons Heaven Shall Fall
5. Time to Die
6. Cries of My Motherland
7. Winds of Fury

The fire burns in my brain
I have the need to kill
I want to see the blood
To cut the flesh with steel

Other bands that I discovered via their splits with Leviathan:
Blackdeath -
Saturn Sector (2001)
Sapthuran -
... In Hatred (2005)

Friday, September 7, 2018

GWAR - America Must Be Destroyed (1991)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
GWAR - Hell-O (1988)

Peak GWAR right here. Inspired by various brushes with censorship -- including Dave Brockie's arrest for "disseminating obscenity," which I guess is legal jargon for "waving a massive prosthetic alien dick around on stage"  -- GWAR came with their most offensive material to date. A concept album revolving around the band's own gleeful depravity, a fascistic morality squad, and a massive, destructive monster created by injecting a T-Rex egg with crack.

They also lean hard into their satire of rock n roll in general, including "Rock N Roll Never Felt So Good", a cock rock send-up about having sex with and murdering a 13-year-old "quadriplechick," and "The Road Behind", which takes on those awful ballads about how tour life sucks that have always struck me as whiny and a bit insulting to fans, making the only good one in the process.

Finally, this is as good a time as any to present my theory that the deaths of Dave Brockie and David Bowie -- or, as future history books will call it, "The Fall of the Two Davids" -- opened up our reality for the endless parade of absurd horrors that is present-day America. The end of The Colbert Report might have something to do with it, too, I'm not sure. But Oderus, wherever you are, you were right: America should have been destroyed years ago.

Track listing:
1. Ham on the Bone
2. Crack in the Egg
3. Gor-Gor
4. Have You Seen Me?
5. The Morality Squad
6. America Must Be Destroyed
7. Gilded Lily
8. Poor Ole Tom
9. Rock N Roll Never Felt So Good
10. Blimey
11. The Road Behind
12. Pussy Planet

Necro-bestial anal butt sex

Other Beavis and Butthead favorites:
White Zombie -
Four EPs
Pantera -
Power Metal (1987)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Black Death Ritual - Profound Echoes of the End (2005)

Prevalent Resistance - Eternal Return (2008)

Punishing Finnish black metal featuring past and present members of Horna, as well as a shit-ton of other great bands. Fucking goddamn this band was so good. Full-tilt, ripping, but precisely controlled chaos, with tight performances all around and raw, impenetrable production that comes off like a best-case-scenario rehearsal recording. It's really too bad that this project seemingly fizzled out after just the one album, as there was TONS of potential here.

Track listing:
1. Underneath
2. Cease the Triumph of Light
3. Desolate and DEad
4. I Bleed Thy Black Blood
5. Temple of Black Holocaust
6. Inner Siege
7. Preferred Solitude

Orgy of destruction unleashed
In the glare of the fullmoon

Also listen to:
Manticore - Bowels of the Holy
Anoint Us in Evil
Black Devotion - Ceremonial
Rituals of Demonic Chaos

Azure Ray - November (2002)

Beautifully sad, strikingly heartfelt slowcore/indie folk. A six-song EP -- five originals and one Townes Van Zandt cover -- that I listened to on practically a daily basis when I was 20-21. Makes me think of my old friend and bandmate, with whom I listened to this EP many times, who passed away in November of 2009 -- particularly the title track, and especially when the lyric "So we're speeding towards that time of year/To the day that marks that you're not here" crushes me in its gentle, cooing palm.

Track listing:
1. November
2. For the Sake of the Song
3. No Signs of Pain
4. Just a Faint Line
5. I Will Do These Things
6. Other Than This World

I'll just sit and stare at my deep blue walls
Until I can see nothing at all
Only particles, some fast, some slow
All my eyes can see is all I know

More along these lines:
Lullaby for the Working Class -
I Never Even Asked for Light (1997)
Damien Jurado -
Ghost of David (2000)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Majestic Downfall - Temple of Guilt (2009)

Epic US death/doom. Lots of melodic, mid-paced stuff à la Rapture/early Katatonia, but it's not overly polished, as a lot of disciples of those bands tend to be.

Track listing:
1. Temple of Guilt
2. Unexpected
3. Swallow: Pride
4. Failure
5. Bleeding Sun

Light came in
And all turned black

If you like this, you should hear:
Anathema -
The Silent Enigma (1995)
Cryptal Darkness -
They Whispered You Had Risen (1999)