Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Frazier Chorus - Wide Awake (1995)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Frazier Chorus - Sue (1989)

Third and final album from the quietly brilliant Frazier Chorus. On Wide Awake, they embraced a smooth, R&B-ish, 90s production style, with palm muted guitars, downtempo beats, muted horn lines, and other stuff that might make for good make-out music if you don't listen to the lyrics.

Track listing:
1. Wide Awake
2. If the Weather Was Up to Me
3. Bye-Bye Little Bird
4. Here We Are
5. Take Us Away
6. Driving
7. Lie, Mimic and Mime
8. Sound Asleep

If you like this, listen to:

Friday, May 13, 2022

Brightblack - Ala.Cali.Tucky (2003)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin (2008)

Languid, smoked-out country rock that's as fitting for late nights as it is for Sunday morning comedowns. Country slowcore, if you will. If you're familiar with the two records they put out after adding "Morning Light" to the end of their name: it's kinda like that, except with more acoustic slide guitar, pedal steel, and two Oldham brothers (yes, one of them's Will) in tow.

Track listing:
1. New Mexico
2. True Bright Blossom
3. Own Time
4. Better Days
5. Old Letters
6. Wildshiney Stars
7. Red
8. Ocean Blue

If you like this, listen to:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Becrah - Βωμός μιας αλήθειας (2022)

Time for another installment of "Great New Black Metal Records That Are 'Name Your Price' on Bandcamp". This time, we're going to Greece, where an anonymous group of "individuals willing to express themselves through the black metal music genre" have made one hell of a debut. The perfect mix of raw, almost punk-ish aggression and artful dissonance. There's a sort-of manifesto on their bandcamp in which the band takes a number of stances that I love -- they're anti-NS, anti-centrist, and pro-D.I.Y -- and that's pretty hard to come by in the world of black metal, so fuck yeah, full support.

Track listing:
1. Πτώση (The Fall)
2. Νεκροπόλεις (Necropoleis)
3. Βωμός Μιας Αλήθειας (Altar of a Truth)
4. Το Νήμα Της Τρέλας (The Thread of Madness)
5. Νόμος Είναι Ο Θάνατος (Death Is the Law)
6. Χρησμός (Oracle)
7. Απαρχή (Commencement)

More fresh new black metal:

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Aeoliah - Inner Sanctum (1981)

First album by prolific new age composer/crystal healer/all-around woo woo man Aeoliah. Peaceful clouds of synth, piano, harp, flute, and angelic vocals.

Track listing:
1. Heart Flame
2. Fly into Light
3. Twin Flames Rising
4. Universal Consciousness
5. Fallen Mask [bonus]

More new age nirvana:

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Nokemono - From the Black World (1979)

Old-school Japanese heavy metal with 70s hard rock leanings. From the Black World is the only album this band ever made, and it's a crying goddamn shame 'cause they fully delivered the goods.

Track listing:
1. Run Away
2. Terrible Night
3. 閉ざされた街
4. 失われた愛
5. Big Wednesday
6. From the Black World
7. Back Street
8. 灰に消えた過去
9. 蟻地獄
10. Run Away (Part II)

Also listen to:

Monday, May 2, 2022

Kluizenaer - Ein Abbild Der Leere (2022)

More excellent new black metal from Germany. Reverberating drums, queazy guitars, and tortured howls emanating from a cavernous tomb, encased in a thick shroud of ectoplasmic dark ambience. The one-two beat in "Es Verbrennt Sich" makes me want to punch a cave ghost. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

1. Verewigung
2. Es Verbrennt Sich
3. Ölgötze
4. Stylit

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Digitonal - Save Your Light for Darker Days (2008)

Lush strings (plus a bit of harp and clarinet) meet downtempo beats and glimmering electronics. The second of just four full-lengths that this collaboration-friendly London project has produced over the course of the last two-plus decades.

Track listing:
1. Ana Kata
2. Silver Poetry
3. Wide-Eyed, Wrapped in Love
4. 93 Years On
5. Nothing Left to Say
6. Emberkreiss
7. A Lighter Touch
8. Gone
9. After the First Death
10. The Beating of Her Heart

Similar listening:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht (1972)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

RIP to Klaus Schulze, the synth GOAT. Schulze changed electronic music, and as a result, the larger musical landscape, by helping to pioneer sounds that would form the basis for not just ambient/progressive electronic music, but trance and techno. He also created some of my all-time favorite records. So to send him off, here's one of them: his very first solo album, and the first one I ever heard. A piece of pure, foreboding, cosmic drone for the ages.

Track listing:
1. Satz: Ebene
2. Satz: Gewitter (Energy Rise - Energy Collaps)
3. Satz: Exil Sils Maria
4. Dungeon [bonus]

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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mincer - Demiurge of Gore Abomination (2015)

Wall-of-sound Italian brutal death metal/goregrind. Pitch-shifted growls and clanging drum machines blast away over a writhing mass of dissonant guitars, with dense, distorted production that'll envelop you like a swarm of locusts.

Track listing:
1. In the Realm of Flesh & Blood
2. Addicted to Rotting Abortion
3. Entrapped into Cursed Hive
4. Desaster in a Shapeless Brain
5. Feeded by Perverse Beautiness
6. Blasphemous Sadochistic Sweaty Embrace
7. Demiurge of Gore Abomination
8. The House of Carnivorous Living Dead
9. Engulfed in the Putrid Pit
10. Morbid Incest Possession
11. Coprobaptized in Gore Again
12. Your Pathology Is Called God

If you like this, you should hear:

Monday, April 25, 2022

Lullatone - Little Songs About Raindrops (2004)

Sweet, chiming, minimal electro-acoustic lullabies from a Japanese husband-wife duo. Woke up at 4:30 AM with my mind racing, immediately knew I wasn't getting back to sleep. Came downstairs to try to shake it off, just ended up sitting on the couch with my heart pounding, putting on a new album every 10 minutes because everything was making me more anxious. Two hours later, this record is the only one that's stuck and actually helped to bring me down a bit. It's fitting because supposedly the project started with the husband recording instrumental lullabies while the wife slept, and I'm down here listening to this because I don't want to wake my wife up. (Don't worry, I'm fine, it happens.)

Track listing:
1. My Petit Prelude
2. Yesterday
3. Wake Up Wake Up
4. Leaves Falling
5. Puddles on the Playground
6. Morning Coffee
7. Afternoon Nap (For Pets)
8. Pitter-Patter Interlude
9. Drip Drops Jumping on an Umbrella
10. A Miniature Finale

More like this:

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Darkflight - Perfectly Calm (2008)

Atmospheric symphonic funeral doom with a lightly blackened finish. Drifting strings, majestically mournful leads, reverb-drenched drums, the occasional dramatic brass melody, and hoarse, rasping vocals.

Track listing:
1. Indifferent
2. Dissolving into Nothingness
3. Distant Pain
4. Perfectly Calm
5. Yet Here I Stand
6. Better Than Real
7. Regard d'outre monde
8. L'ether astral

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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

KÁRYYN - The Quanta Series (2019)

A stunning piece of experimental electro-art pop from this LA-based composer-producer. Acrobatic, expressive vocals over abstract, glitchy production. The Quanta Series compiles a series of EPs released throughout 2018, but its flow as an album could not be better. From its depictions of emotional damage ("Ever"), courage ("Purgatory"), love and lust ("Binary"), and dystopian grief ("Cytokinesis"), this record spoke to me through one of the worst periods of my life, and ended up an all-time favorite.

Track listing:
1. Ever
2. Yajna
3. Purgatory
4. Binary
5. Ambets Gorav
6. Un-c2-See
7. Mirror Me
8. Cytokinesis
9. Aleppo
10. Today I Read Your Life Story 11:11
11. Segment & the Line

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Malaria! - Emotion (1982)

Excellent German coldwave from an all-female group that never really got their due. I've had a number of time-consuming projects over the past few days so I really don't have the energy to do a proper write-up at the moment. But this is what I'm listening to right now, and it's really, really good.

Track listing:
1. Geld - Money
2. Leidenschaft - Passion
3. Eifersucht - Jealousy
4. Einsam - Lonesome
5. Macht - Power
6. Tod - Death
7. Mensch
8. Slave
9. Traum - Dream
10. Gewissen

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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Dope Body - Nupping (2011)

Baltimore noise rock. False-harmonic-heavy anti-riffs, spastic but in-the-pocket drumming, and shouted, chant-like vocals. If Lightning Bolt is a fistful of uppers, Dope Body is a speedball.

Track listing:
1. Enemy Outta Me
2. The Shape of Grunge to Come
3. Bangers & Yos
4. Chain Link
5. Falling Down
6. City Limits
7. Mr. Black
8. 100 Mile
9. Loner Stoner
10. Force Field

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Apostle - Dusk for Convenience (1999)

Swedish leftist vegan straight-edge death metal. Guest vocals by Rikard Wermén of Deranged.

Track listing:
1. Fallen Angel
2. Carnage Generation
3. Entangled in Disgust
4. Crestfallen
5. Convenience Is the Decay of Morality
6. Code Red
7. The Final Regret

If you like this, check out: