Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wolfgang Dauner Trio - Dream Talk (1964)

First album by German jazz pianist Wolfgang Dauner. Moody, late-night sounds are the name of the game here. Mostly sparse, understated compositions that occasionally give way to jittery drum-led passages and disjointed piano solos. It's far more conventional than some of his later output, but highly enjoyable nonetheless. Features Opium Hum favorite Eberhard Weber on bass.

Track listing:
1. Dream Talk
2. Bird Food
3. A Long Night
4. Dämmerung
5. Zehn Notizen
6. Soul Eyes
7. Free Fall
8. Yesterdays

Brazing the high sky full

Monday, July 29, 2013

Harms Way - Isolation (2011)

Burly, dirty, disgusted Chicago hardcore that brings the mosh HARD. Sergeant D put it best when he said that Isolation "sounds like if you accidentally played Nails at 33 when it was supposed to be 45." (Sidenote: 33-speed Hatebreed on 45 sounds like Los Crudos.)

They have a brand new EP. Watch the music video for "Mind Control," buy the EP, and mosh around your house as ignorantly as possible.

Track listing:
1. Scrambled
2. Timing
3. Isolation
4. Breeding Grounds
5. Becoming
6. New Beginnings
7. Slither
8. Pretender

No solution

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pariso - Consanguinity (2013)

I'm not sure why it happened - maybe it's because I've been hitting up the gym 2-3 times a week in order to crunch-squat my guacs via some klankosaurus reps - but I've been jamming a bunch of hyper-produced metallic hardcore. So since my highly refined readership probably isn't ready for the cheesy, overwrought sounds of The Ghost Inside or newer Liferuiner (watch that big ol' emotional butterball bounce!), here's Pariso. While there's a certain prettiness to this record, it's fully in line with 'true' metallic hardcore standards, meaning that there are blastbeats, weird chords, and gnarly riffs, and the singer keeps things in a nice, raspy midrange (i.e. no meaningful nasally hooks.) I dig. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. The Separation
2. Maniai
3. Pigs
4. Methuselah
5. Tower of Genus
6. Equivocation
7. Montserrat
8. Trolljegeren
9. Dead Blockade


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hinsidig - I en Tidløs Høst (2010)

Norwegian depressive black metal. While its only real distinguishing characteristic is the intermittent appearance of clean, viking-style vocals, I en Tidløs Høst shows a great deal of compositional and technical prowess, and will surely be enjoyed by any fan of the subgenre. Features drummer Winterheart (of Sterbend, Nyktalgia, and many others.)

Track listing:
1. Bak Livets Forheng
2. Syndeflod
3. Livets Sløs
4. Broderskapets Ring
5. Gudsforlatt
6. Dauding
7. I en Tidløs Høst

Life behind the curtain

You might also like:
Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows

Friday, July 26, 2013

Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin (2008)

Frontrunners in the Most Stoned-Sounding Band in the World competition. Rhodes piano, horns, slide guitar, heavy-lidded R&B-style backing vocals, and a lead vocalist who sounds dangerously close to passing out behind the mic. The perfect accompaniment for oppressive heat and mind-expanding drugs.

Track listing:
1. Introduction
2. Hologram Buffalo
3. Gathered Years
4. Oppressions Each
5. Another Reclamation
6. A Rainbow Aims
7. Summer Hoof
8. Past a Weatherbeaten Fencepost
9. When Beads Spell Power Leaf

Nobody needs oppression

Thursday, July 25, 2013

0cadavernamedAlison0 - 0cadavernamedAmyblue0 (2013)

Shoegaze has infiltrated grindcore. And yes, they call it "grindgaze." (Although it's really not too far from the dense, synthetic sounds of, say, De Magia Veterum, or later Abigor.) 0cadavernamedAmyblue0 is a concept album based on, and stuffed with samples from The Doom Generation. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Here's their label's bandcamp, where you can name your price for this piece of music history.

Track listing:
1. Yes Jim, Disemboweling Them
2. Dandelion Flower & the Fuckin Chunky Pumpkin Heads
3. Pick Up Girly
4. Fireballs and a Yo Yo
5. Like a Chicken Head
6. I Got My Ass Kicked by Skinny Puppy
7. She Never Eats When She Does Crystal
8. []
9. Beach Song (Slowdive)

Bandcamp again, stupid.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pale Saints - In Ribbons (1992)

Pale Saints' second and IMO best album. While the opening one-two-three punch wouldn't sound at all out of place on their first album, they spend most of the rest of the album exploring darker, slower territory, with unanimously rewarding results. Highlights include the driving, instantly satisfying shoegaze of "Throwing Back the Apple," the acoustic guitar and cello-driven "Shell," the menacing "Hair Shoes," and chiming, blissed-out album closer, "A Thousand Stars Burst Open."

Track listing:
1. Throwing Back the Apple
2. Ordeal
3. Thread of Light
4. Shell
5. There Is No Day
6. Hunted
7. Blue Flower
8. Hair Shoes
9. Babymaker
10. Liquid
11. Neverending Night
12. Featherframe
13. A Thousand Stars Burst Open

Into the lightning white

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Iasos - Inter-Dimensional Music (1975)

Celestial Soul Portrait, a new compilation of Iasos' early recordings, is out now via Numero - get it here. Also, no new fan should miss out on his awesomely Angelfire-wave website.

Blissful, immersive sounds from this San Francisco-based musician. His debut full-length, Inter-Dimensional Music is an hour long excursion into a pillowy, psychedelic auditory nirvana that's composed largely of drifting synths, but also incorporates guitars, flutes, nature sounds, tape effects, and many other elements into its euphoric haze.

Track listing:
1. Libra Sunrise
2. Formentera Sunset Clouds
3. I Passion You a Leap of Love-Flame
4. Lueena Coast
5. Rainbow Canyon
6. Lagoon Night
7. Siren Shallows
8. Aries
9. Crystal Petals
10. Osiris Bull-Man and Elephant Walk
11. Creation
12. Cloud Prayer
13. Angel Play
14. The Bubble Massage
15. Maha-Splendor

♥ Kratom

Friday, July 19, 2013

Popol Vuh - In Den Gärten Pharaos (1971)

Popol Vuh's second album, In Den Gärten Pharaos is more intensely psychedelic than the soothing, ambient, Eastern-heavy sounds that they came to be known for. Originally comprised of just two songs, this reissue includes two additional bonus tracks. The title track has a (no surprises here) meditative quality, and is made up of queazy synths and organs, and propulsive hand drumming. "Vuh," the second song, is a breathtaking, dramatic piece that centers on elongated, minor key organ chords, and weaves a rich musical tapestry with choral samples, cymbal washes, understated percussion, and synthesizers. I believe that the two bonus tracks, both synth compositions, are the work of Florian Fricke alone, and while they lack the bracing impact of the original two pieces, they're certainly welcome here. Essential listening for any fan of experimental, psychedelic music.

Track listing:
1. In Den Gärten Pharaos
2. Vuh
3. Kha-White Structures 1
4. Kha-White Structures 2

Brothers of darkness, sons of light

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows (2007)

A QUICK DISCLAIMER/RANT: I'm not sure about this project in particular, but its main member Stringsskald is/has been in a number of NSBM bands, including Forest, Nitberg, and Темнозорь (aka Temnozor.) I certainly do not wish to promote a bigoted, harmful, hurtful, and overall toxic political agenda, especially at a time when my country is reeling from the effects of its own subtle and not so subtle racism. So, let's be clear: as I have done with Guns N' Roses, Elvis Costello, Led Zeppelin, Rick James, Roman Polanski, and so many others, I have chosen to view the work of this artist as separate from their reprehensible ideologies and/or actions.

Sometimes, often even, total assholes manage to create great art. Nowhere is this idea more prevalent than in the sketchy world of black metal. However, their talents don't make them or their views any less moronic or disgusting. No one race is superior to any other. Anyone who believes otherwise is wrong. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Furthermore, as members of the most highly evolved species of animal on this planet, it is our duty to cast aside fear and mistrust, and consciously, unflinchingly embrace compassion, love, and respect for all life, especially our fellow men and women.

We cool? Alrighty then.

So here's some masterful, epic Russian black metal. Sprawling song structures, minimal vocals, and drawn out, simplistic chord progressions put Walknut somewhere in the vicinity of atmospheric BM, but driving drums, folk-ish melodies, energetic guitar work, and crisp but raw production place them closer to bands like Kroda and Helrunar.

Track listing:
1. Hrimfaxi
2. Motherland Ostenvegr
3. Come, Dreadful Ygg
4. The Midnightforest of the Runes
5. Grim Woods
6. Skinfaxi

It's entirely possible that they're just singing about how much they like hanging out in the woods

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ringing Bell - And Dimmed Undelivered, and Receive Eternities (2012)

Boduf Songs - How Shadows Chase the Balance (2008)

Disgusting lo-fi sludge. Ringing Bell is a duo, and their sound consists entirely of a single guitar (no overdubs that I can hear), drums, gutturals, and apocalyptic dialogue samples. It's simplistic, nasty, and enthralling. Also, some of you may be interested to know that one of Ringing Bell's two members, Mat Sweet, is Boduf Songs.

Track listing:
1. With Positive Actuator to Project and Retract Thereby
2. Least Salted Flesh Prevail and Gathering Thrust
3. Thwart for Dirge
4. I Am Blessed with the Throt of French Kings, Encrusted with Golden Bee
5. Bound Striving in Groan'd to Hid Urge
6. Klystron Type
7. Loss Noted in God-Light of Tooth-Claw
8. Pore Forming in Situ eg. Foaming etc.
9. Hospital Corners
10. Crookbacked, Apophatic
11. Five Holes Cut that Hell Might Seep

The bodies of fallen whales

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beacon - No Body (2012) + For Now (2012)

I got into this band via their excellent new album, The Ways We Seperate - pick it up here. Also, here's their bandcamp.

Two great EPs of cavernous, druggy, pitch black pseduo-R&B. For best results, put these on when you are high or about to have sex. Or, best of all, both.

Track listing:
-No Body-
1. See Through You
2. No Body
3. Exhale
4. Girl in a Coma
-For Now-
1. It Won't Be Long
2. Safety's Off
3. Pulse
4. Feeling's Gone
5. Into the Night

The slightest movement
I know we're not alone

Friday, July 12, 2013

Black Funeral - Az-I-Dahak (2004) + Waters of Weeping (2007)

Two albums from otherworldly US black metal institution Black Funeral. Az-I-Dahak found them nailing down a harsh, synthetic sound, and Waters of Weeping is their most diverse and experimental record. Esoteric, unsettling sounds from this eternally under-appreciated band.

Track listing:
1. Druj Nasu
2. Daevodata
3. Az-I-Dahak (Awake)
4. Dahak (Serpent Arise)
5. Eyes of Arashk
6. Kiss of Serpents
7. Sutekh (Chaos)
8. Astovihad
9. The Fallen Arise
-Waters of Weeping-
1. INTRO-Qemetiel and Belia’al
2. Nehemoth-MALKUTH (NAMVTh) - Earth
3. Gamaliel the Obscene-YESOD (LYLYTh) - Moon
4. Shaâ•˙arimrath, the Eighth Hell-HOD (SMALADRAMALECH)-Mercury
5. Harab Serapel, the Ravens of Death-NETZACH (BaelTubal Cain)
6. Lord of the Dead -TIPHERETH (Belphegor/Paimon) TAGAHRIM
7. The One Adorned in Fire-GEBURAH (Asmodeus) GOLAB MARS
8. Devourers of Spirit-CHESED (Astaroth) Gamchicoth JUPITER Outer form-Order of Azariel AZRYAL-the Binding ones)
9. Hell of Sathariel-BINAH (Lucifuge Rofocale = Satariel)
10. Loathsome Serpents (Ogiel)-CHOKMAH (Beelzebub = Chaigidel)
11. Thaumiel-The Deepest Hell-KETHER (SatanMoloch = Thamiel)

Dreams of black horror

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Botanist - III: Doom in Bloom (2012)

Strange, black metal-ish solo project from ye olde San Francisco. Musically, it has many of the elements that one might expect from depressive, post-y black metal - slow tempos, drawn out dissonant and minor chords, sorrowful melodies, raspy howls, blown out production style - but with hammered dulcimer in place of guitar. The fragile chimes of the dulcimer find an excellent counterpoint in the pounding, hard-hit drums and aforementioned howls, giving the album as a whole a harsh, harrowing, but strangely warm and inviting sound. Also, it's all about plants, I think?

Here's his bandcamp. If you like what you hear, I strongly recommend that you head over there and pick up his excellent newest full-length, IV: Mandragora.

Track listing:
-Disc One-
1. Quoth Azalea, the Demon (Rhododendoom II)
2. Deathcap
3. Ganoderma Lucidum
4. Vriesea
5. Ocimum Sanctum
6. Amanita Virosa
7. Panax
-Disc Two-
1. The Ejaculate on the Petals of the Femme Orchid, Part 1
2. The War of All Against All
3. Cordyceps
4. Total Entarchy
5. Nymphaea Carulea
6. It Lives Again
7. The Ejaculate on the Petals of the Femme Orchid, Part 2

A rose from the dead

Monday, July 8, 2013

Abyssal - Denouement (2012) + Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius (2013)

I feel like everyone probably already knows this band, but they're new to me, so here we are. Dense, black-tinged death metal from the UK. Denouement is, relatively speaking, more straightforward - a lazy writer such as myself might say that it sounds like Incantation playing black metal - while on Novit Enim, they dive into murkier, artier waters. On top of making incredible music, Abyssal are currently offering up both of these albums, name your price, on their bandcamp. Do it!!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dr. Dooom - First Come First Served (1999)

Dr. Dooom is one of many monikers used by the inscrutable Kool Keith. His beats are totally fucked up, his lyrics are absurd, hilarious, and violent - often at the same time - and his flow is ridiculously sharp. You can't get on Kool Keith's level. Aside from all of these things, I love that his disses of other rappers are often so pointed that they come across more as oddly hostile constructive feedback ("Your mixdown ain't right/Your vocals are too low/Your fuckin' cadence is off/Stage show's weak/Fuck you.")

Track listing:
1. Who Killed Dr. Octagon?
2. No Chorus
3. Apartment 223
4. Mr. Ratt (Skit)
5. Neighbors Next Door
6. I Run Rap
7. You Live at Home with Your Mom
8. Housing Authority
9. Wild Kingdom (Skit)
10. Welfare Love
11. Dr. Dooom's in the Room
12. Call the Cops
13. Brothers Feel Fly
14. Side Line
15. Bitch Gets No Love
16. Shopping List (Skit)
17. Body Bag
18. Mental Case
19. Leave Me Alone
20. Live / Bald-Headed Girl (hidden track)

Have you ever asked yourself will you fuck Marilyn Manson
Or become Charlie Manson
Death Wish, I become Charles Bronson
Take your testicles and your dick for ransom

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Abandon - The Dead End (2009)

Devastating Swedish doom metal. Massive, dirty guitars and droning pump organ form thick waves of chords, as vocalist Johan Carlzon (R.I.P.) delivers a sparse, visceral performance. Clocking in at just over an hour and forty five minutes, The Dead End is a uniformly bleak but heartbreakingly beautiful album that IMO ranks among the best of the genre.

Track listing:
-Disc One-
1. Bitter the Surface
2. Pitch Black Hole
3. Lost We Are
4. Falling Into Place
5. Eulogy
6. In Realty We Suffer
-Disc Two-
1. For Crumbs We Crawl
2. The Dead End
3. It's All Gone
4. There Is No Escape
5. Eulogy

Emotional holocaust

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bruce Springsteen - Chimes of Freedom (1988)

Bonus post for 'Merica. A live EP released to benefit Amnesty International, Chimes of Freedom features the definitive version of "Tougher Than the Rest" (the music video for which features gay and straight couples being couple-y, as well as The Boss and his future wife eye-fucking the shit out of each other), excellent The River-era B-side rave-up "Be True," a Bob Dylan cover, and an acoustic rendition of "Born to Run." Twenty-five minutes of American musical glory.

Track listing:
1. Tougher Than the Rest
2. Be True
3. Chimes of Freedom
4. Born to Run

Starry-eyed and laughing, I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time and we watched with one last look
Spellbound and swallowed as the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse
And for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Hum - Downward Is Heavenward (1998)

One of the most underrated alt-rock albums of the 90s. Sounds like a stoned Helmet-Sunny Day Real Estate collaboration. Beautiful, hazy, heavy, and passionate. Their previous album featured their one and only hit, "Stars," and Downward Is Heavenward was, I'd imagine, an attempt to capitalize on its unexpected success. Unfortunately, as it turned out, their sound had very little mainstream appeal, the album was a commercial flop, and they broke up shortly after its release.

Track listing:
1. Isle of the Cheetah
2. Comin' Home
3. If You Are to Bloom
4. Ms. Lazarus
5. Afternoon with the Axolotls
6. Green to Me
7. Dreamboat
8. The Inuit Promise

Systems back down slow, watch the dust cloud we send
And I will keep you, I will keep you to the end
Set your head back low, watch my ears ring
I will take care of you, I will take care of everything

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Slow Death - II (2012)

First-rate, epic doom metal from Australia. On II, The Slow Death strike an excellent balance between gorgeous, shimmering melodies and crushing heaviness. Generous use of chiming clean guitars, pianos and other keyboards, and "beauty and the beast" vocals. Don't worry, the clean female vocals are mostly in a mid-to-low octave, avoiding the frilly, faux operatic leanings and pitch problems that have ruined so many otherwise great bands.

Track listing:
1. The Long March
2. Empty Places
3. To Your Fate
4. Reflections in Shattered Glass
5. Reclaimed by Dust

Twisted shapes swathed in keloidal scars
Misshapen forms seeking for shelter
For nourishment in endless desolation
Like the final trickle of a distant flood
We are putrid remnants, stained by the endless miles.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Steve Tibbetts - Steve Tibbetts (1977) + Yr (1980)

First two albums from guitarist Steve Tibbetts, best known for his innovative, seamless fusion of Eastern and Western styles. Recorded covertly at night in a university recording studio (read the full amusing story here), his excellent self-titled first album is certainly his rawest, and is easily some of his most inspired work. You can practically hear his mind exploding with ideas. It's unmistakably Tibbetts, but many of the songs foreground electro-proggy synthesizers, giving it a more specifically 'prog' sound than anything else he's recorded. His second album, Yr, was his first to feature longtime collaborator Marc Anderson, and finds him firmly establishing a fluid, dynamic sound template that he's been exploring and expanding for the last three decades. Many fans consider it to be his best record.

Track listings:
-Steve Tibbetts-
1. Sunrise
2. The Secret
3. Desert
4. The Wonderful Day
5. Gong
6. Jungle Rhythm
7. Interlude
8. Alvin Goes to Tibet
9. How Do You Like My Buddha?
1. Ur
2. Sphexes
3. Ten Years
4. One Day
5. Three Primates
6. You and It
7. The Alien Lounge
8. Ten Year Dance

Burning temples

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sleepy Sun - Fever (2010)

Laid-back Bay Area psych rock with country and folk influences. Sweet, sweet summer jams.

Track listing:
1. Marina
2. Rigamaroo
3. Wild Machines
4. Ooh Boy
5. Acid Love
6. Desert God
7. Open Eyes
8. Freedom Line
9. Sandstorm Woman

Spine hits