Sunday, June 17, 2018

Evil Army - Evil Army (2006)

US raw thrash annihilation, with a side of punk. Just discovered this album, and it's some of the best, most ripping thrash I've heard in a second. All killer and absolutely no filler, with only four tracks surpassing the two-minute-mark.  This is the only proper LP that Evil Army has put out, and I'm hoping that they change that ASAP.

Track listing:
1. Edge of Destruction
2. Evil Army
3. Driven to Violence
4. Realm of Death
5. Wrong Approach
6. Sgt. Says Kill
7. Conquer Human Life
8. Severe Mental Disorder
9. Relentless Assault
10. Satan Made Me Do It
11. Scum of the Earth
12. Watch Me Fall
13. Friday the 13th

Overrule this place with fire
Watch it all disappear in flames

You should also hear:
Post Mortem -
Coroners Office (1986)
Morbid Saint -
Spectrum of Death (1988)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Provocator - Antikristus (2014)

Raw, ripping Slovenian war metal. Sick-as-fuck vocals, simple but gnarly riffs, thrash-y solos, and a thick, pitch-black atmosphere.

Track listing:
1. Let Jesus Fuck You
2. Unholy Rape of the Holy Whore
3. 7 Storms of Eternal Damnation
4. Conqueror of Blasphemous Revenge
5. Profanation of the Cross
6. Kirkebann
7. Black Star of Lucifer
8. Antikristus

Satan, chaos, blood, and terror

Also listen to:
Destruktor - Brutal Desecration (2002)
+ Nuclear Storm (2004)
Black Devotion - Ceremonial Rituals
of Demonic Chaos

Friday, June 15, 2018

Oöphoi - Night Currents (1998)

Minimal ambient drone from Italian musician Gianluigi Gasparetti. Lightless, weightless, and infinite.

Track listing:
1. Darklands
2. The Necromancer
3. Timegate
4. Dimensional Passage
5. Floating

Through the gates of time

You'll also enjoy:
Mathias Grassow -
At the Gates of Dawn (1986)
Eleh -
Location Momentum (2010)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Deathhammer - Phantom Knights (2010)

First LP from one of the best thrash metal bands currently in operation. Deathhammer are neither cosplaying throwback shite nor overproduced, overwrought modern shite -- they're just pure, raw, evil thrash.

Track listing:
1. Gates of Hades
2. Blood Token
3. Devilish Dirge
4. Armoured Assassins
5. Plague Mass
6. Ready to Destroy
7. Cold Winds of Death
8. Tornado Blitzkrieg
9. Queen Death

I see the vast black abyss

You'd also like:
Sextrash -
Sexual Carnage (1990)
Urn -
666 Megatons (2001)

David Darling - Cello (1992)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
David Darling - Journal October (1979)
David Darling - Cycles (1982)
Ketil Bjørnstad & David Darling - The River (1997)
Ketil Bjørnstad, David Darling, Terje Rypdal, & Jon Christensen - The Sea (1995) + The Sea II (1998)

Breathtaking ambient neoclassical pieces for cello from one of my favorites. Texturally lush layers of reverb-soaked cellos form weightless but dark masses of sound. You don't listen to Cello so much as you allow yourself to be submerged in it.

Track listing:
1. Darkwood
2. No Place Nowhere
3. Fables
4. Darkwood II
5. Lament
6. Two or Three Things
7. Indiana Indian
8. Totem
9. Psalm
10. Choral
11. The Bell
12. In November
13. Darkwood III

Shadows of the moon

You should also listen to:
Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy -
Immortal Memory (2004)
Zoe Keating -
One Cello x 16: Natoma (2005)

Epäkristus - Untame the Beast (2005)

Killer Finnish raw black metal. Ugly, barebones, and riff-y -- there's a bit of death metal in there -- but with a surprising feel for variation and structure.

Track listing:
1. Ylistys Saatanalle
2. Untame the Beast
3. Isä Insesti
4. Devil's Metal
5. Into Cold Tomorrow

The greatest gift of life is awareness of death

Also listen to:
Urgehal -
Rise of the Monument (1995)
Anal Vomit -
Demoniac Flagellations (2004)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Crucifucks - L.D. Eye (1996)

The Crucifucks' phenomenal third and final album, L.D. Eye was supposed to be the self-titled first album by a new band formed by head Crucifuck Doc Corbin Dart's new band, but Alternative Tentacles convinced them to call it a Crucifucks record. This explains why it pretty much sounds like a completely different band -- concise, snotty punk is replaced by shaggy, relatively melodic, guitar-driven indie rock, with Dart's caustic, misanthropic vocals serving as a through-line.

Track listing:
1. The L.D. Eye Theme
2. Lights Over Baghdad
3. The Story of Thomas McElwee
4. Suicide
5. Officer Powell
6. Artificial Girl
7. Jeanette Jones

Your phony grieving doesn't mean a thing

You'd also like:
Alice Donut - Bucketfulls of Sickness and
Horror in an Otherwise Meaningless Life
Cows -
Sorry in Pig Minor (1998)

Ital Tek - Cyclical (2008)

Dark, atmospheric, bro-free dubstep from English producer Alan Myson. Don't wait for the drop -- this is what dubstep sounded like before the great EDM massacre.

Track listing:
1. Cyclical
2. Pins
3. White Mark
4. Bloodline
5. Tokyo Freeze (Remix)
6. Still Shores
7. Versus
8. Red Sky
9. Insomniac
10. Wind Tunnel
11. Deep Pools


Also recommended:
dBridge -
The Gemini Principle (2008)
Eleven Tigers -
Clouds Are Mountains (2010)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Steven Halpern & Dallas Smith - Natural Light (1984)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Steven Halpern - Spectrum Suite (1976)

Gorgeous, tranquil new age sounds from synth maestro Steven Halpern and flautist/clarinetist Dallas Smith, who also plays a bit of synth. As I write this, I've finally gotten home from a long-ass day at work, and Natural Light is reminding me of why I listen to ambient music.

Track listing:
1. Natural Light
2. Play of Light
3. Harp and Soul
4. Firelight
5. Shared Visions
6. Butterfly and the Lotus
7. Flowing with the Changes
8. Serenity
9. The Light in Your Eye

Rivers of memory

Also listen to:
Michael Genest -
Crystal Fantasy (1984)
Dan Hartman -
New Green Clear Blue (1989)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Greater California - Somber Wurlitzer (2004)

Slow-burning, Wurlitzer-fueled indie rock. Quite an apt, if on-the-nose album title, as, despite some sonic references to kaleidoscopic 60s-psych-pop, Somber Wurlitzer is a lonely, nocturnal record defined by its somber mood and the watery sound of the Wurlitzer piano. I know that it can be kinda obnoxious when people tell you 'how' to listen to a record -- especially when it more-or-less amounts to "get stoned" -- but I truly recommend listening to this after dark, and if that means you're stoned, all the better.

Track listing:
1. The Appearing
2. Missing Summer
3. Looking In
4. May Day
5. Jersey Thursday
6. In Scarlet
7. Patterns
8. Reappearing
9. Portuguese Hall
10. Somber Wurlitzer
11. Breathe [bonus]

Knowing nothing at all

You might also like:
Aztec Camera -
High Land, Hard Rain (1983)
The Dead Science -
Submariner (2003)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Listen to the new Abstracter!!!

Y'all. This record, Cinereous Incarnate, just came out, and it is some of the heaviest, most massive-sounding blackened doom I've ever heard. Truly mammoth, world-crushing shit that's somewhat in line with what we've been hearing from Iceland over the past few years. Without a doubt, a shoe-in for my year-end list. It's on the same label that reissued my solo record earlier this year, so I'm doubly interested in seeing it succeed. Do me and yourself a favor, go buy their record. Stream it there or below.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jucifer - L'Autrichienne (2008)

Still on a favorites kick. A masterpiece of a concept album about the French Revolution, composed of heavy, hooky grunge, vicious fastcore, crushing sludge, ghostly folk-rock, and more, all with Amber Valentine's inimitable, alternately vicious and child-like vocals. Neither this band nor album get the recognition they deserve.

Track listing:
1. Blackpowder
2. Thermidor
3. To Earth
4. Deficit
5. Champ de Mars
6. Fall of the Bastille
7. To the End
8. Armada
9. L'Autrichienne
10. Behind Every Great Man
11. October
12. Birds of a Feather
13. Traitors
14. The Law of Suspects
15. Noyade
16. The Mountain
17. Window (Where the Sea Falls Forever)
18. Fleur de Lis
19. Procession a la Guillotine
20. Coma
21. The Assembly

The beautiful feeling is coming again

You might also enjoy:
Magic Dirt -
Friends in Danger (1996)
Drunk Dad -
Ripper Killer (2014)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Double Fantasy - Universal Ave (1987)

Robert Schröder - Harmonic Ascendant (1979)
Robert Schröder - Brain Voyager (1985)

Hypnotic Berlin-school magic from a duo consisting of German musicians Robert Schröder and Charly McLion. Motorik beats, fuzzy guitars, and lush, weightless synths. It seems that their relationship grew contentious, as they ended up in a legal battle over the band name, but thankfully they managed to record this slice of heaven beforehand.

Track listing:
1. Heartbreaker
2. Universal Ave
3. Endless Running
4. Food for Fantasy
5. Lost Control
6. Children of the Universe
7. Strangers in Space

Food for fantasy

You'd also like:
Peter Baumann -
Trans Harmonic Nights (1979)
Dreamworld -
On Flight to the Light (1980)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Trephine - Trephine (2005)

Meatjack - Days of Fire (2003)
Darsombra - Climax Community (2012)

Heavy instrumental math rock, or math-y instrumental post-metal, or whatever other combination of interrelated subgenres you feel like tossing in a blender. A great band with extremely dialed-in tones.

Track listing:
1. Goes to Hell, Mr. Wiggles (Part One)
2. Age of Reptiles
3. Metal Detector
4. Devil's Activist
5. Axolotyl
6. Resident Advisor
7. Adrenochrome
8. Goes to Hell, Mr. Wiggles (Part Two)

Yes, people do die from fear

You might also enjoy:
Wildildlife -
Six (2007)
Eagle Twin - The Feather
Tipped the Serpent's Scale

Monday, June 4, 2018

Coil - Moon's Milk (In Four Phases) (2002)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
ELpH vs. Coil - Worship the Glitch (1995)
Coil - Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil (2000)

The other day, a commenter asked me for an all-time top 10 list, and despite having whipped it up with relatively little hemming and hawing, I actually stand behind it -- for the interested, it can be found in the comments section of this post. Obviously, there are a few other albums that just as well could have been included -- Low's The Curtain Hits the Cast springs to mind -- but overall, I can't really think of many albums that I like more than those ones.

So now that I'm on a favorites kick: Coil are, obviously, one of my all-time favorite artists, and Moon's Milk, which runs the gamut from beautiful, organic-sounding drone to cryptic spoken word over minimal synth to digitally annihilated noise, is definitely some of their best work. It's technically a compilation of four EPs, each one representing one of the seasons and released accordingly, but, as you could guess, it plays out phenomenally as a whole.

Track listing:
   -Disc One-
1. Moon's Milk or Under an Unquiet Skull, Part One
2. Moon's Milk or Under an Unquiet Skull, Part Two
3. Bee Sting
4. Glowworms/Waveforms
5. Summer Substructures
6. A Warning from the Sun (For Fritz) / Amethyst Deceivers (Live)
   -Disc Two-
1. Regel
2. Rosa Decidua
3. Switches
4. The Auto-Asphyxiating Hierophant
5. Amethyst Deceivers
6. A White Rainbow
7. North
8. Magnetic North
9. Christmas Is Now Drawing Near

Pay your respects to the vultures...
... for they are your future

You should also listen to:
Steven Stapleton & Tony Wakeford -
Revenge of the Selfish Shellfish (1992)
Various Artists - Infernal Proteus
(A Musical Herbal)