Sunday, January 21, 2018

Triumphus Mortis - Crepuscolo Spirituale (2008)

Lo-fi Italian depressive black metal. Crepuscolo Spirituale won't stop your life from being an endless, grey march into nothingness, but at least you'll have something fitting to listen to.

Track listing:
1. Il Ricordo
2. L'Agonia
3. Dissolvenza
4. Immagini Perdute
5. L'Addio
6. Crepuscolo

Endless spiritual violence

You'd also enjoy:
Wigrid -
Hoffnungstod (2002)
Brocken Moon -
Mondfinsternis (2005)

Statiqbloom / Zex Model - Statiqbloom / Zex Model (2014)

Topnotch modern-old school electro-industrial. A spot-on matchup for a killer, cohesive split, as both projects bring classic, early 90s electro-industrial into the present as effectively as any artists I've heard.

Track listing:
1. Statiqbloom - Atrophy of Three
2. Statiqbloom - Contaminate
3. Statiqbloom - Slow Void
4. Statiqbloom - Behind Glass - (Second Pane)
5. Zex Model - Forbidden Alterations
6. Zex Model - Rokk
7. Zex Model - Teosophia
8. Zex Model - Tokyo Blitz

I've never lied to you

Also listen to:
Mentallo & the Fixer -
No Rest for the Wicked (1996)
Die Sektor -
To Be Fed Upon (2007)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sylvaine - Wistful (2016)

A gorgeous, shimmering hybrid of ethereal dream pop/shoegaze, black metal, and post-metal from Norwegian artist Kathrine Shepard. Now that I think about it, there are traces of Mandylion-era The Gathering in there, too. Also, is it just me or does the first track sound like that really sad song that Pippin sings in Return of the King while people get brutally slaughtered?

Track listing:
1. Delusions
2. Earthbound
3. A Ghost Trapped in Limbo
4. Saudade
5. In the Wake of Moments Passed By
6. Like a Moth to a Flame
7. Wistful

All shall fade

Similar vibes:
Felix Axemo -
Den Lycklige (2016)
Marunata -
Réminiscence (2017)

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Delta Blues (1964)

The simplest and most perfect form of the blues: an acoustic guitar, and a booming, wailing voice. How could music this beautiful and pure have (d)evolved into a bunch of rich dudes jamming on the most boring party music in existence for hours on end? HOW???

Track listing:
1. Write Me a Few Lines
2. Louise
3. I Heard Somebody Call
4. 61 Highway
5. Mama Don't Allow
6. Kokomo Blues
7. Fred's Worried Life Blues
8. You Gonna Be Sorry
9. Shake 'Em on Down
10. My Trouble Blues
11. Black Minnie
12. That's Alright
13. When I Lay My Burden Down

Please see somebody for me

You might also like:
Lightnin' Hopkins -
Lightnin' Strikes (1962)
Loren Mazzacane & Kath Bloom -
Sing the Children Over (1982)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Internal Bleeding - Voracious Contempt (1995)

90s NYC brutal death. An endless string of tough-ass chugga-chugga riffs, groove-y breakdowns, and phenomenal drumming that the listener is all-too aware of, as it's definitely too loud in the mix. Sick.

Track listing:
1. Languish in Despair
2. Anointed in Servitude
3. Reflection of Ignorance
4. Epoch of Barbarity
5. Gutted Human Sacrifice
6. God of Subservience
7. Prophet of the Blasphemies
8. Humanicide
9. Inhuman Suffering
10. Despoilment of Rotting Flesh

My body contorts in death-like convulsions

Also listen to:
Cinerary -
Rituals of Desecration (2001)
Unaussprechlichen Kulten -
Wake Up in the Night of Walpurgis (2005)

The Martian – LBH-6251876 (A Red Planet Compilation) (1999)

Spaced-out techno from Detroit producer Mike Banks. Collects tracks from various EPs released between 1992 and 1997, plus one previously unreleased jimmy. Most space-themed music gently drifts about between the stars, but The Martian is in a fast, compact spaceship, and it sounds like he's got someplace to be.

Track listing:
1. Comet LBH-6251876
2. Lost Transmissions from Earth
3. Sex in Zero Gravity
4. Stardancer
5. Journey to the Martian Polar Cap
6. Ultraviolet Images
7. Skypainter
8. Windwalker
9. Voice of Grandmother
10. Search Your Feelings
11. Firekeeper
12. Soulshine

You know it to be true

You should also hear:
Slicker -
Confidence in Duber (1998)
Ellen Allien -
Stadtkind (2001)

Rod Modell & Michael Mantra - Sonic Continuum (1998)

Immersive, texturally rich ambient from dub techno producer Rod Modell and new age composer Michael Mantra. A shimmering cloud of weightless synths and peaceful field recordings.

Track listing:
1. Vitamin M
2. Vitamin K

The seduction of silence

Similar vibes:
The Super Secret Symphony -
The Super Secret Symphony (1995)
Robert Rich -
Calling Down the Sky (2004)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Marblebog - Csendhajnal (2004)

Chill-inducing Hungarian black metal. Slow, eerie, raw, and utterly mesmerizing. This is the 2006 reissue, which contains bonus tracks from demos and the like and, as far as most people are concerned, is the definitive version. Another record that came up while I was brainstorming my all-time favorite black metal albums.

Track listing:
1. The Breath of Emptiness
2. A Broken Circle
3. Eternal Silence Within
4. The Dawn of Annihilation
5. Dissolution
6. Fullmoon Over the Mountains of Bukk
7. Possessed by Me
8. Eneh's Descendents
9. Archaic Woods
10. Iunhum
11. Grimlust for Decay
12. Hatefullmoon

It flows forever
Emanates and withdraws forever

More along these lines:
Helgedom -
Den Mörka Skogen af Ondo (2011)
Ys -
Vast (2014)

Egberto Gismonti - Egberto Gismonti (1969)

Lovely first album of jazz-saturated folk rock by virtuosic Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti. Laid-back and sunny but with plenty of energy, filled out by a percussion, piano, strings, flute, and a bit of Gismonti's sweet, understated singing.

Track listing:
1. Salvador
2. Tributo a West Montgomery
3. Pr'um Samba
4. Computador
5. Atento, Alerta
6. Lirica II (Pra Mulher Amada)
7. O Gato
8. Um Dia
9. Clama-Claro
10. Pr'um Espaço
11. O Sonho
12. Estudo Nr. 5

A series of portraits

If you like this, you should hear:
Joan Manuel Serrat -
Mediterráneo (1971)
Milton Nascimento -
Minas (1975)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pure - Art of Loosing One's Own Life (2015)

Borgne - III (2007)

Swiss raw depressive black metal. Obscured, reverb-soaked vocals, a ghostly wall of guitars, and a simple, understated rhythm section.

Track listing:
1. The Gates of Hell
2. Drawing the Circles of My Inferno
3. The Deep Abyss
4. Fire and Worms
5. Loneliness Pt2
6. No Hope of Resurrection
7. Darker Than My Heart
8. Disclosure of Knowledge

The black depths

More along these lines:
Ithdabquth Qliphoth - Demonic
Crown of Anticreation
Vardan -
Lifeless Shadow (2013)

Peter Baumann - Trans Harmonic Nights (1979)

Second solo album of synth-fueled krautrock euphoria from German musician Peter Baumann, then a recently departed member of Tangerine Dream.

Track listing:
1. This Day
2. White Bench and Black Beach
3. Chasing the Dream
4. Biking Up the Strand
5. Phaseday
6. Meridian Moorland
7. The Third Site
8. Dance at Dawn


If you like this, you'd also enjoy:
Michael Rother -
Flammende Herzen (1977)
Robert Schröder -
Harmonic Ascendant (1979)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Scald - Will of Gods Is a Great Power (1997)

A true should-be classic of Russian epic doom with viking elements. Passionate, versatile vocals -- this guy hits some serious high notes, and he hits 'em hard -- masterfully paced songwriting, A+ guitar solos, and pretty much anything else you could want from an epic doom record. Sadly, Will of Gods Is a Great Power is the only album Scald recorded before the death of their phenomenally talented vocalist, Maxim Andrianov. A must for any fan of 'traditional' doom or viking metal.

Track listing:
1. Night Sky
2. Sepulchral Bonfire
3. A Tumulus
4. In the Open Sea
5. Eternal Stone
6. Ragnaradi Eve
7. Bilrost
8. Sepulchral Bonfire (Version '94)

Waves will kill your fire
Sea will kill the gods

You'd probably also like:
While Heaven Wept -
Sorrow of the Angels (1997)
Ereb Altor -
By Honour (2008)

Gary Numan - Dance (1981)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Gary Numan - Living Ornaments '79 and '80 (1981)
Gary Numan - Warriors (1983) + Strange Charm (1986)
Gary Numan - Exile Extended (1998)

Numan's most underrated album -- I've underrated it myself, in fact -- Dance is way overdue for a reappraisal. Contrary to what the name implies, the first side of Dance completely removes pop from the equation, leaving behind a series of abstract, protracted slow-burners with minimal drum patterns, darkly lush synth, and slightly more human-sounding vocals from a newly emotionally expressive Numan. The second half of the record sees a partial return to Numan's inimitable take on pop, while introducing a more fleshed-out, still hella synth-y sound that he'd further explore on later records.

In working on this writeup, I found out that Beggar's Banquet is putting out a rad-looking double LP reissue of Dance on the 18th of this month, so apparently they also think that now's a good time to give it a re-listen. There are a bunch of great b-sides -- his b-sides are almost always strong -- and the previously unreleased full version of the album-closing, "Metal"-referencing "Moral", so don't cheat yourself, treat yourself: buy that.

Track listing:
1. Slowcar to China
2. Night Talk
3. A Subway Called "You"
4. Cry the Clock Said
5. She's Got Claws
6. Crash
7. Boys Like Me
8. Stories
9. My Brother's Time
10. You Are, You Are
11. Moral

I'll forget who you are
I'll forget one of these days

You should also listen to:
Flowers -
Icehouse (1980)
Telex -
Neurovision (1980)

Murderous Vision - The Times Without Gods (2002)

Spacious dark ambient/drone. Chasms of pure, reverberating drone, dotted with samples, warped vocals, queasy synth, and more.

Track listing:
1. I Must Set This World Aflame
2. All Dead
3. The Blood on Your Hands
4. The Only Answer
5. A Crimson Offering
6. Like Lambs to Slaughter
7. Fall Before Christ
8. Cries of Mankind
9. Journey Onward

Entering the kingdom of death

More like this:
Die Sonne Satan -
Fac-Totum (1993)
Schloss Tegal -
The Grand Guignol (1993)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Forest - Foredooming the Hope for Eternity (1998)

Forest - Forest (1996)
Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows (2007)

Raw black metal royalty. A mournful, blown-out blur of tremolo picking, blastbeats, and hoarse screams. In the hall of fame, without a doubt.

Obligatory NS Warning: Forest is part of Blazebirth Hall, a notoriously racist Russian black metal collective. There are no immediately apparent references to these abhorrent beliefs on this record, but I certainly don't know for sure. Do what you will with this information.

Track listing:
1. Unfinished Song of These Woods
2. In the Middle of Death, in the Face of Life
3. The Bolverk Spirit
4. To the Heart Flames
5. To These Distant Eyes...
6. For the Woe...
7. Untitled
8. Untitled

Harvest of grief

More elite-tier raw black metal:
Cendres -
Ungeziefer (2007)
Arizmenda -
Within the Vacuum of Infinity... (2009)