Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Steve Roach - The Passing (2017)

Massive ambient synth-drone from Steve Roach, a man who surely needs no introduction around these parts. Close your eyes and disappear.

One track, titled "The Passing", free/name your price via bandcamp.

It's all connected

More like this:
Rudy Adrian - Atmospheric
Works Vols. 1 + 2
Robert Rich -
Calling Down the Sky (2004)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eryn Non Dae - Hydra Lernaïa (2009)

French progressive metal. Math-y time signatures and prog-death filtered through the expansive feel and crushing heaviness of post-metal. Primo beardo material.

Track listing:
1. When Time Elapses
2. Blistering Hate
3. Existence Asleep
4. The Decline and the Fall
5. Lam Tsol Oua
6. Through Dark Skies
7. Opposites from Within
8. Echoes of Distress
9. Pure

Absolutely nothing

You might also wanna listen to:
Rosetta -
Wake/Lift (2007)
The Contortionist -
Intrinsic (2012)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Encoffination - Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh (2010)

Remember how, before everyone started jacking Blasphemy, everyone was jacking Incantation? I liked that, too. Encoffination wore their love for Incantation on their sleeve by mimicking their logo, but slowed things down and amped up the reverb significantly, ending up with death-influenced doom metal, as opposed to vice-versa.

Track listing:
1. Processional
2. Nefarious Yet Elegant Are the Bowels of Hell
3. Miasma of Rotten Serenity
4. Eucharist of Bone and Flame
5. Interlude
6. Beyond the Grace of Flesh Go I
7. Entombment of the Breathing Flesh
8. Coffinpsalms

Stone halls emit the stench of death

You would also like:
Demigod -
Slumber of Sullen Eyes (1992)
Slugathor -
Echoes from Beneath (2009)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Darchon - The Stygian Black Beyond (2015)

Greek atmospheric black metal. The Stygian Black Beyond is IMO a straight-up masterpiece. Anyone looking for instant headbanging gratification is gonna be sorely disappointed, though, as a great deal of the album consists of darkly lush, layered synths and piano passages. It always feels kinda backhanded to call an album a "grower," but it definitely took me multiple spins to wrap my head around this one. Darkspace fans, take note.

Track listing:
1. Apeiron
2. Into a Cosmic Solitude
3. Crossing the Celestial Path to Infinities and Beyond
4. Outer Darkness
5. Caldwell 77 (NGC 5128) Centaurus A
6. Selene
7. Auslander Hostility
8. Unseen Kingdoms

Shadows from the elder chasm

In space, no one can hear your demo:
Astral Silence -
Astral Journey (2010)
Finster -
Existenz (2012)

Le Orme - Felona e Sorona (1973)

Italian prog. Warm and analogue-sounding, thanks in part to lots of synth, piano, and acoustic guitars. Italians in the 1970s really had a way with turning potentially lowbrow stuff (see also: slasher and zombie flicks) into quasi-high-minded art.

Track listing:
1. Sospesi Nell'Incredibile
2. Felona
3. La Solitudine di Chi Protegge il Mondo
4. L'Equilibrio
5. Sorona
6. Attesa Inerte
7. Ritratto di un Mattino
8. All'Infuori del Tempo
9. Ritorno al Nulla


More Italian magic:
Quella Vecchia Locanda -
Il Tempo Della Gioia (1974)
Picchio dal Pozzo -
Picchio dal Pozzo (1976)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Binah - Hallucinating in Resurrecture (2012)

Indesinence - Neptunian (2006)

English death metal. Apply a heavy 90s Swedish influence (especially the guitar tone) to Incantation-style death, amp up the cavernous atmosphere a tad, and this is what you get.

Track listing:
1. Into the Psychomaneum (Intro)
2. Morbid Obumbration
3. A New Rotten Dawn
4. The Emissary
5. Absorption into the Unearthly
6. Eminence of the Sombre (Instrumental)
7. Hallucinating in Resurrecture
8. Dissolution
9. Crepuscular Transcendence
10. Buried Baptistry (Outro)

Their barren echoes stretch into infinity

Also listen to:
Beyond Mortal Dreams -
From Hell (2008)
Skeletal Spectre -
Tomb Coven (2011)

Gavin Bryars with Tom Waits - Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1993)

A gorgeous, 75-minute piece of lush, intricately layered modern classical built atop a brief loop of a homeless man softly singing a verse from a Christian song. When the piece was originally recorded in 1971, it had to fit onto a single side of an LP -- a limitation that eventually led Bryars to, with the advent of the compact disc, rewrite it, stretching it out over six parts and 75+ minutes.

Given that some people can't stand Tom Waits, I should mention that his role in this recording is minimal, and unless he played a role in the writing process, it's kinda weird that his name's on the cover.

Track listing:
1. Tramp with Orchestra I (String Quartet)
2. Tramp with Orchestra II (Low Strings)
3. Tramp with Orchestra III (No Stings)
4. Tramp with Orchestra IV (Full String
5. Tramp and Tom Waits with Full Orchestra
6. Coda: Tom Waits with High Strings

This one thing I know

You might also enjoy:
Michael Torke -
Color Music (1991)
Zbigniew Preisner -
Diaries of Hope (2013)

Yhdarl – Drone Nightmares I - Endless Mental Wounds (2007)

Belgian lo-fi minimal blackened drone doom. An oppressive, razorwire-lined aural pit of rumbling, down-tuned, blown-out guitars with a deeply mournful emotional core that slowly emerges from the murk. When the melodic section hits at the end of "When the Unfair Betrayal Still Lives On", dams burst, scars bleed, and birds fall from the skies. Free/name your price via a bandcamp page that's definitely worth your time to explore.

Track listing:
1. Agnus Dei
2. Slowly, the Earth Starts to Decompose
3. When the Unfair Betrayal Still Lives On
4. Faces Yourself Through the Rotten Mirror

Among infested stars

Abruptum - Obscuritatem
Advoco Amplectère Me
Sunn O))) - Rehearsal Demo
 Nov 11 2011

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crimson Evenfall - Nocturnal Storms of Infinity (1996) + Winterheart (1997)

Kult-as-fuck Finnish lo-fi black metal. Muffled drums, thick-sounding guitars, ethereal keyboards, and evil rasps of cold death.

Track listing:
-Nocturnal Storms of Infinity-
1. Storming Over the Realm of Mortals
2. Child of Moon
3. Searching the Wisdom
4. Under the Ravenflag
1. Henget
2. Mustan Yön Valtias
3. Winterheart
4. Through the Enchanted Forests

Where burning stars have forever shined
There is my home

If you like this, try:
Nidhoggr - Ravens Over
the Road of Kings
Am Mondesschatten - Atrium
Sinistrum: Auf Nebelwinden

Duster - 1975 (1999)

Duster - Stratosphere (1998)
Helvetia - The Clever North Wind (2006)

Just about 24 minutes of sublime, dreamily stoned, instantly nostalgic slowcore by the waaay too short-lived Duster. Woozy guitars chime, gauzy keyboards shimmer, and a vocalist casually whisper-sings about existential crises. Bought this record for two bucks about 10 years back at the record store where I now work, only to find out later that it sells online for a couple hundo. Man, those cranky-ass hipsters at [store name omitted] don't know shit about dick.

Track listing:
1. Irato
2. Memphis Sophisticate
3. The Motion Picture
4. And Things (Are Mostly Ghosts)
5. August Relativity
6. Want No Light to Shine

You're not the first to set foot here
Just another
And I know you're terrified
Like the rest of us

Flying Saucer Attack -
Flying Saucer Attack (1993)
Bowery Electric -
Bowery Electric (1995)

Dorisburg - Trust (2014) + Splade (2014)

A pair of EPs from Swedish producer Alexander Berg. Six tracks of hypnotizing, darkly lush deep house.

Track listing:
1. Trust
2. Devotion
3. Mystical Influence
1. Splade
2. Business Propaganda
3. Uncertainly

Just don't break my heart

You would also like:
Acronym - Dimensional Exploration 001
(2012) + Dimensional Exploration 002 (2013)
Varg -
Misantropen (2013)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Schifosi - Absentium Existence (2006)

Australian melodic d-beat. The Absentium Existence EP was the last thing Schifosi released before splitting, and, as is so often the case with swan songs, it's their best work. An old friend and bandmate who knows more about the genre than I once said that "Shallow Alchemy" might be the most advanced d-beat he'd ever heard.

Track listing:
1. Post Genocide Syndrome
2. In Absentium
3. Vice Grip
4. But a Heretic
5. A Life Overdue
6. Shallow Alchemy

Suicide is illegal and punishable by death

You'll also like:
Muga -
Muga (2002)
Ambulance -
The End of Our Time (2004)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Misery - From Where the Sun Never Shines (2012)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Misery - Next Time (1995)

Misery has always channeled the filthy, heavy, darkly passionate essence of crust in a way that very few bands can, but their only pre-reunion LP, Who's the Fool?, suffered from thin production and precious few standout moments. NOT a problem this time around. From Where the Sun Never Shines fucking buries that album, and most other crust records along with it.

Track listing:
1. Mother Nature
2. Oil Age
3. Autonomy
4. The Hunt
5. We Are Man
6. Today
7. Just Never Ends
8. God Squad
9. We Want You Down
10. Murder Ride
11. How Long
12. Ready Aim Fire
13. ICBM
14. All of Us

Turn around, turn around

More like this:
Icos -
Fragments of Sirens (2007)
Swordwielder -
Grim Visions of Battle (2013)

Tony Scott ‎– Astral Meditation - Voyage into a Black Hole - Part 1 (1988)

Far-out ambient jazz-drone courtesy of clarinetist and new age pioneer Tony Scott. Two formless, weightless, and gargatuan masses of rumbling drones, eerie synths, and uneasy, stuttering clarinet. Space travel isn't all blast-offs, gentle drifting, and twinkly stars, you know.

Track listing:
1. Voyage into a Black Hole
2. And the Beyond

Unknown dimensions

More along these lines:
Michael Stearns -
Ancient Leaves (1978)
Robert Rich -
A Troubled Resting Place (1996)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Deceased - Fearless Undead Machines (1997)

Epic, melodic, zombie-centric US death/thrash. Fearless Undead Machines is a concept album based, at least in part, on Night of the Living Dead, so consider this post a lazy, belated tribute to the late, great George Romero.

Track listing:
1. The Silent Creature
2. Contamination
3. Fearless Undead Machines
4. From the Ground They Came
5. Night of the Deceased
6. Graphic Repulsion
7. Mysterious Research
8. Beyond Science
9. Unhuman Drama
10. The Psychic
11. Destiny

I can see the terror in their eyes, that empty stare
Their haunted souls still intact to seek revenge

You should also listen to:
Solstice -
Solstice (1992)
Merciless -
Unbound (1994)