Monday, October 22, 2018

Carnivorous Vagina - Bagno di Sangue (2005)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Carnivorous Vagina - Istinto Omicida (2004)

Second full-length of Mortician-worshipping Italian death/grind from the charmingly-named Carnivorous Vagina. Drum machine, synth, samples, incomprehensible guitars, and unintelligible growls.

Track listing:
1. Sangue
2. Rampant
3. Deranged of the Hills
4. Embodiment of the Demonic
5. Rimorso
6. Disfigured
7. Embalmer
8. Maimed, Chopped, and Slaughtered
9. Autopsia
10. Fierce
11. Coven
12. Malignant
13. Ossario

Massive bloodshed

You'd also like:
Holocausto Canibal -
Sublime Massacre Corpóreo (2002)
Psychotic Homicidal Dismemberment -
Haunted Catacombs (2007)

Lost Sounds - Black-Wave (2001)

Synth-powered garage-y deathrock. One of Jay Reatard's old bands. Picture a young Jay Reatard gone full horror punk, and you're probably imagining pretty much exactly what Black-Wave sounds like.

Track listing:
1. Reasons to Kill
2. I'm Not a Machine
3. Plastic Skin
4. Don't Turn Around
5. Do You Wanna Kill Me
6. 1620 Echles St.
7. Throw Away
8. Citats Blanc
9. Ocelots Rising
10. I See Everything
11. Dark Shadows
12. Lost and Found
13. Saturn Stomp
14. I'm Not Me
15. Die Pax
16. What'd I Say
17. Soon This Tomb
18. Heart Felt Toys
19. Walk in Line

Some say the end is near
But I think it's already here
See the whole sky turn black
It's worth a laugh

If you like this, you should hear:
Fliehende Stürme -
Hinter Masken (1999)
Disappears -
Era (2013)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Guttural Engorgement - The Slow Decay of Infested Flesh (2007)

US brutal death. Completely dissonant and obscenely punishing at all times. Does it count as a breakdown if it goes on for the whole song? They finally got around to releasing the follow-up to this record yesterday.

Track listing:
1. The Process Begins (Intro)
2. The Slow Decay of Infested Flesh
3. Job for a Hammer
4. Bile Defilement
5. Molested Dissection
6. Cadaveric Maggot Copulation
7. Omnipresent Ecchymosis
8. Cinder Block Facial Reconstruction
9. Steak Knife Face Fuck
10. Chopsaw Sodomy
11. Gangrenous Torso Fermentation
12. Beyond Recognition (Interlude)
13. Wretched Sacrament

Wiping the shit off my saw
Evidence all over the walls

You'd also like:
Cephalotripsy - Uterovaginal Insertion
of Extirpated Anomalies
Condemned -
Desecrate the Vile (2009)

Lucifer - Black Mass (1971)

Ataraxia - The Unexplained (1975)

The great Mort Garson treats us to an experimental, instrumental (aside from some moans of carnal delight), synth-fueled black mass in the name of Our Dark Lord Lucifer. Much like the above-linked Ataraxia record, Black Mass is pretty much the epitome of what this blog is all about -- Satan and synths -- so either get it or get yer basic ass gone.

Track listing:
1. Solomon's Ring
2. The Ride of Aida (Voodoo)
3. Incubus
4. Black Mass
5. The Evil Eye
6. Exorcism
7. The Philosopher's Stone
8. Voices of the Dead (The Medium)
9. Witch Trial
10. ESP

Ave Satanas!
I do not belong to these things
These things belong to me

If you like this, listen to:
Heldon -
Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson (1976)
Asmus Tietchens -
Nachtstücke (Expressions et Perspectives
Sonores Intemporelles) (1980)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Charles Bernstein - A Nightmare on Elm Street (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1984)

Synth-fueled horror perfection. There's some stuff that kinda sounds like guitars but I'm pretty sure it's just more synthesizer magic. At this point in the franchise, Freddy Krueger hadn't really started incorporating pun-filled one-liners into his murder game, making it easily the most 'serious' entry in the series. It also contains arguably its two most iconic death sequences -- the one where slash marks start spontaneously appearing all over Tina while she spins around in mid-air, and the one where Johnny Depp's character gets swallowed by his own bed and transformed into a physics-defying cascade of carnage. Plus, the bathtub scene. With all this on-screen excellence, it's easy to forget, or not even realize in the first place, how great the soundtrack is.

Track listing:
1. Prologue
2. Main Title
3. Laying the Traps
4. Dream Attack
5. Rod Hanged, Night Stalking
6. Jail Cell
7. Confrontation
8. Sleep Clinic
9. Terror in the Tub
10. No Escape
11. School Horror, Stay Awake
12. Lurking
13. Telephone Terror
14. Fountain of Blood
15. Evil Freddy
16. Final Search
17. Run, Nancy

I could be bounded in a nutshell
And count myself a king of infinite space
Were it not that I have bad dreams

More 80s horror:
John Harrison -
Creepshow (1982)
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth -
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1989)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tearstained - Final Thoughts (2003)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Tearstained - Nightmare Visions (2008)

US black metal with elements of heavy metal and DSBM. Here, you can hear that the King Diamond-esque falsetto that he'd more fully embrace on later records is actually a natural progression from a more traditional high-pitched, DSBM-style shriek.

Track listing:
1. Emotionally Massacred
2. Cold and Distant
3. Trust No One
4. Grim Bitterness
5. Failed Suicide Attempt
6. The Shallow Pool of Life
7. Hopeless Emptiness
8. Final Thoughts
9. Raise the Dead (Bathory cover) / Black Masses (Mercyful Fate cover) [Unlisted track]

Let everything die... slowly

You should also hear:
Desaster -
A Touch of Medieval Darkness (1996)
Belenos -
Errances Oniriques (2001)

Steven Schramm & Jonas Kvarnstrom - Music for Your Nightmare (1989)

Super-spooky synths and scary sounds. There's even yet another interpretation/appropriation of "Dis Irae", as featured in about 100,000 horror movies. I'm pretty sure that Music for Your Nightmare was recorded as a musically-driven SFX tape for playing in Halloween stores or haunted houses. Bet they didn't expect weird losers such as myself to be listening to it and writing about it 30 years later.

Track listing:
1. Torture Chamber
2. Terror Drive
3. Funeral Procession
4. Run for Your Life
5. The Forgotten Castle
6. Dungeon of Doom

[Evil cackling]

Also listen to:
John Harrison -
Creepshow (1982)
Accurst -
Fragments of a Nightmare (2004)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Empty - A Source of Hollow Essence (2002)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Empty - The Last Breath of My Mortal Despair (2005)

Eerie Spanish black metal. Knotty compositions with endless twists and turns, and a deranged vocalist who sounds like his throat's been slit.

Track listing:
1. Vast Immensity (Of Death)
2. To the Stake
3. Alone in the Darkness... My Eternal Rest
4. A Place Called Solitude
5. Arrival of the Sickening One
6. The Goddess of the Perpetual Lake
7. Son of the Rain
8. Worship Me and Die
9. Echoes Resounding Between the Abyss of Time

You stupid humans
You're born to suffer

More along these lines:
Bleeding Black -
Personal Hell (2003)
Malediction -
IX Sorcerers (2011)

Noise Unit - Response Frequency (1990)

The Klinik - Face to Face (1988)
Front Line Assembly - Total Terror Parts I + II (1993)
Delerium - Spheres II (1994)

Electro-industrial from a duo consisting of Klinik's Marc Verhaeghen and Front Line Assembly's Bill Leeb. Drum machines, synths, goblin vocals, samples about murder, even a bit of saxomaphone.

Track listing:
1. Agitate (12" Version)
2. In Vain (12" Version)
3. Disease
4. Paranoid Mass
5. Forgotten Realm
6. Feel the Anguish
7. In Vain
8. Homage
9. Agitate
10. Beneath the Surface

Dismembered quietly

You'd also enjoy:
Placebo Effect -
Galleries of Pain (1992)
Mentallo & the Fixer -
No Rest for the Wicked (1996)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mortal Decay - Sickening Erotic Fanaticism (1997)

New Jersey death metal. Killer old-school brutality with banging riffs, angular leads, and perverse lyrical concerns. Not to mention album art that's right at that perfect cross-section of tasteless and low-rent.

Track listing:
1. Decomposed with Nitric Acid
2. Sickening Erotic Fanaticism
3. Revived Half Dead
4. Meditating Through Mayhem
5. Apparitions
6. Opening the Graves
7. Columbian Necktie
8. Soaking in Entrails
9. Consume
10. Rejoice in Moribund

Numerous bodies abducted then murdered
No longer dreaming

You'd also like:
Disastrous Murmur -
Rhapsodies in Red (1992)
Regurgitate -
Effortless Regurgitation...
The Torture Sessions

Nosferatu - Prince of Darkness (1996)

Excellent English gothic rock. Dark, ethereal, but driving songs about vampires, ghost lovers, graveyards, violent lust, death, and the devil. It's hard to imagine music getting any more completely, perfectly goth-y than this.

Track listing:
1. Eye of the Watcher
2. Ravage
3. Uninvited Guest
4. The Haunting (Main Mix)
5. Into the Night
6. The Passing
7. Graveyard Shift
8. Graveyard Shift (Outro)
9. The Haunting (Swamp Mix)
10. The Hunger
11. Invocation

When I close my eyes
He stares cold back at me

You would probably also like:
Fade to Black -
Corridors of Gender (1984)
The Essence -
Ecstasy (1988)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Svartkraft - Den Onda Pesten (2004)

Finnish depressive black metal. Kicks off with an extended piece of total Filosofem worship done right, then shifts to more straightforward raw black metal. Not the spookiest, I'll admit, but let's be honest, any good black metal is inherently at least a little spooky.

Track listing:
1. Elementens Fall
2. Besatt av den Femuddiga Stjärnan
3. Liv i Ruiner
4. Marscherande Mot den Svarta Gryningen
5. Bortom Tid och Genom Död
6. Den Onda Pesten
7. En Mörkare Skugga
8. Frysande Svart Blod

Plague ship

Also listen to:
Hermóðr -
Vinter (2014)
Korium -
Strážcovia Hradu (2015)

Fear of Dolls - When the Organ Played at Twilight (1999)

Creepy experimental rock. Surrealist darkwave through a lens of psych, drone, and noise rock. Or, as they put it in their bio: "Avant-garde children’s music for children who prefer rusty toys and moldy candy, bringing you back to a time when you still believed monsters lived under your bed." First track sounds like it could've been the inspiration for Menace Ruine's entire sound.

Track listing:
1. St. Dymphna
2. Bleeding on Her Wings
3. Fragile Toy
4. Show Me My Insides
5. Broken Toy
6. Persephone Is Scratching

Paranoid mess

If you like this, check out:
Beyond Dawn -
Pity Love (1995)
Monumentum -
In Absentia Christi (1995)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Wormwood - Requiescat (2000)

Sludge-y gothic crust. Funereal organ/synth, two basses, two percussionists, hella vocalists, and no guitars. Wormwood and my old band Wake Up on Fire played a bunch of shows together in various US cities throughout the mid-2000s, and given the many things we had in common -- multiple drummers, too many vocalists, generally being a nightmarish ordeal for any given sound-person, plus a fair amount of dreadlocks -- ended up being pretty good band-homies. Feels like a goddamn lifetime ago.

Track listing:
1. Screwtape
2. Resurrect
3. Nothing
4. Descendant
5. The Endless Search for Food
6. Requiescat
7. Circus
8. Seven
9. Out Cold
10. Soundtrack

A passing sense of intuition doubted for the dark
For the worst and for the grey
A passing memory: secure, serene, sublime

You might also like:
Damad -
Burning Cold (2000)
Moonshine -
Moonshine (2005)

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)