Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oneiroid Psychosis - Garden of Remembrance (1999)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Oneiroid Psychosis - Stillbirth (1995)
Oneiroid Psychosis - DREAMS (With Pollutions When Virile) (2002)

Welp, as I mentioned last year, listening to Oneiroid Psychosis is a proud Halloween tradition at OPIUM HUM headquarters, and this year is no different. If there's a more Halloween-y song than "October", I have yet to hear it. Please enjoy these spook-tacular songs while running screaming through a graveyard with a deranged madman at your heels.

Track listing:
1. Dark Day
2. October
3. Solace of the Shadows
4. Galatea
5. Wandering of the Womb
6. Tristesse
7. Mircalla
8. Long Lost
9. Iea
10. A Soul Upon All This
11. Carmilla
12. Cloud of Unknowing
13. Nihil Novum Sub Sole

What is it?
What does it say?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ancient Wisdom - ... And the Physical Shape of Light Bled (2000)

Ancient Wisdom - For Snow Covered the Northland (1996)

So I have my first true night off in forever, and I've opted to spend it listening to music on headphones and smoking legal weed. Great decision. And having had a few hours to sit on it, I've determined that my last post wasn't spooky enough, so here's some synthetic-symphonic black/doom metal with lots of creepy piano lines, dramatic strings, and crestfallen guitar leads.

Track listing:
1. Preludium: Lucifer, Aleth Gadol Leolam
2. And the Physical Shape of Light Bled
3. With His Triumph Came Fire
4. Interludium: The Fall of Man
5. As the Morningstar Shineth
6. The Serpent's Blessing
7. Postludium: His Creation Reversed
8. The Spell

Jehovah's creation destroyed by Lucifer's lust

For more like this, try:

Cultus Sanguine - Shadows' Blood (1997)

Fear of God - Within the Veil (1991)

Fear of God played atmospheric, gothic-tinged metal that doesn't sound quite like anything else. The overall feel is cohesive, while the guitars explore groove, thrash, death, and doom leanings -- pretty sure I've never heard pinch harmonic groove riffage accompanied by reverb-y acoustic guitars. And vocalist Dawn Crosby's howling, whispering, moaning performance might be more expected over some crusty Nausea worship, or maybe even some heavier grunge, but it works unexpectedly brilliantly in this dark setting.

Not to be confused with this Fear of God.

Track listing:
1. All That Remains
2. Betrayed
3. Emily
4. Red to Grey
5. Diseased
6. Wasted Time
7. Love's Death
8. White Door
9. Drift

Torture you

Jay Chattaway - Maniac OST (1980)

Horror soundtrack perfection, for an extremely unsettling movie, from American composer Jay Chattaway. Synths, synths, and more synths, occasionally mixed with a bit of live instrumentation,

Track listing:
1. Maniac's Theme (Main Titles)
2. Apocalypse New York
3. On the Beach
4. Hookers Heartbeat
5. A Little Knife Music
6. Inner Voices
7. Maniac Strikes Back
8. Blast Him
9. Blast Her
10. Window Shopping
11. Subway Terror
12. Goodbye Rita
13. Cemetery Chase
14. Cry for Mother
15. Mannequin's Revenge
16. Maniac's Theme (End Titles)

You think they don't know? They do. I heard it and I know. They all know.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Disastrous Murmur - Rhapsodies in Red (1992)

Disgusting, sloppy, poorly recorded and mixed death metal mastery, with some spooky keyboards to boot. Probably one of my top 10 death metal records.

Track listing:
1. Disgorged Bowel Movement
2. Extrauterine Pregnancy Part 2
3. Dinner Is Served
4. Trashchunk and Garbage
5. Masked Killer
6. Flesh... Is What I Need
7. Satisfaction in the Morgue
8. Into the Dungeon
9. Desecrating the Grave
10. Drowned in Blood

The dining room is painted with blood
The chandelier is hung with guts

More gore:

Regurgitate - Effortless Regurgitation...
the Torture Sessions
Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition -
Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition (2001)

Stalaggh - Projekt Misanthropia (2007)

Here it is: the notorious Projekt Misanthropia in all of its bleak, terrifying, unlistenable glory. The album whose vocals were performed in an abandoned chapel by seven abducted mental patients. Whose creators intended to aurally simulate -- through a cacophony of brittle static, rhythmless pounding, distorted keys, the occasional black metal section, and the aforementioned screaming -- the agony of life in a Nazi concentration camp. Listen once; never feel clean again.

I'm sorry

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

De Silence et d'Ombre - Vol IV: Worship the Hideous (2013)

Weird, drug-addled experimental French black metal. Simple yet deranged riffs, varied vocals, and generally disjointed song structures.

Track listing:
1. Revering the Disease
2. My Domain
3. Dark Corners of the Earth
4. Haunter of the Dark
5. The Whispering Voice
6. Alien Magic
7. Cult of Silence and Shadow
8. Spitting Blackened Mud
9. Worship the Hideous
10. Neverending Pit

Mass for the damned

Monday, October 26, 2015

Altars - Paramnesia (2013)

Atmospheric, dissonant Austalian death metal.

Track listing:
1. Mare
2. Terse
3. Khaz-neh
4. Solar Barge
5. Husk
6. Descent (Paramnesia, Part I)
7. Gibbous (Paramnesia, Part II)
8. Ouroboros (Paramnesia, Part III)

Into the depths of abomination

If you like this, try:

Beyond Mortal Dreams - From Hell (2008)
Slugathor - Echoes from Beneath (2009)

Vond - Green Eyed Demon (1998)

Vond is the far more sinister flip-side of former black metaller/current gothic goblin Mortiis. Green Eyed Demon is all ominous drones and samples -- often from horror movies and gruesome documentaries. Supremely creepy stuff.

Track listing:
1. My Dying Day
2. Living Among the Remains of Dead People
3. Satan at My Back
4. To the Dreamer Dead and the Dreamer Dying
5. Hell Starts Now
6. Untitled
7. Untitled

In the death chamber

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Scientist - Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (1981)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Scientist - Scientist Meets the Space Invaders (1981)

Spookiest dub reggae record you'll ever hear. If you're worried about the return of the curse of the creature's ghost, you can stop: Scientist has your back.

Track listing:
1. The Voodoo Curse
2. Dance of the Vampires
3. Blood on His Lips
4. Cry of the Werewolf
5. The Mummy's Shroud
6. The Corpse Rises
7. Night of the Living Dead
8. Your Teeth in My Neck
9. Plague of Zombies
10. Ghost of Frankenstein

Don't go back to the witch house!

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Shalt Become - The Pendle Witch Trials (2009)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
I Shalt Become - Poison (2010)

Creepy, atmospheric US black metal. Lushly layered guitars and keyboards hang like a thick gray fog over plodding drums and echoing rasps.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Enstasy (The Theory of Maxwell's Demon)
3. The Serpent Song
4. A Ritual Killing
5. The Tragedie of Macbeth: Actus Quintus, Scena Quinta
6. End Time
7. Denial
8. In Absentia
9. Outro

The corpse in the forest

If you like this, try:

Absonus Noctis - Penumbral Inorgantia (2005)
Veil - Dolor (2005)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mons Veneris - Inferno (2005)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Mons Veneris - ... To Rape the Nazarene (2006) + Abismo a Céu Aberto (2006)

Two extended pieces of abstract, minimalistic dark ambient and deranged black metal from Portuguese lo-fi masters Mons Veneris.

Track listing:
1. Inferno II
2. Inferno I

Powers of the night

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Human Host - The Halloween Tree (2007)

One of Baltimore's (recently relocated to NY) longest running and all-time greatest acts. Though they've covered a lot of stylistic ground over the years, their core sound is a creepy, synth-driven, Residents-esque bizarro pop with bombastic vocals and intensely absurd and psychedelic lyrics. Free download via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Thunder Moth
2. Vision Drug
3. Ghost and Talking Fire
4. Underground Rainbow
5. Out of State
6. Nocturnal Quadruped
7. Bathtub Blast
8. The Realm

You were born everywhere
Nothing else could ever be there

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Deutsch Nepal - Only Silence Among the Filthy (1994)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Deutsch Nepal - Deflagration of Hell (1991)

Anxious compositions consisting of pulsing rhythms, distant vocals, and churning, dissonant clouds of loops, samples, and electronics.

Track listing:
1. Temples of Death
2. Only Silence Among the Filthy
3. The Since Long Lost Lust
4. 9 O'Clock Mass
5. Tribe Assembly
6. In Search of Your Soul
7. Message 777
8. Brainpiercing
9. Bowie Electric

Horses give birth to flies

More like this:

Combative Alignment - Everlasting Sun (2003)
Dead Times - Dead Times (2009)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Aboriorth - Far Away from Hateful Mankind Plague (2007)

Xerión - Nocturnal Misantropia (2007)

First-rate meat-and-potatoes black metal from Spain.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Bullets of Hate
3. Destructive Thoughts
4. My Spawned Supremacy
5. Sons of Nihilism, Bastards of Destruction
6. Outro
7. Annihilation of an Empty Kingdom
8. Aboriortholocaust

While the children are rotting in their tombs

Alan Howarth - The Lost Empire OST (1990)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Halloween III OST (1989)

Alan Howarth served as John Carpenter's right hand man for the soundtracks to all of Carpenter's classic films -- They Live, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, etc. -- but didn't make a lot of soundtracks on his own until more recent years. And though The Lost Empire was, by all accounts, a complete POS, Howarth's soundtrack shows that he could definitely hold his own behind a synthesizer, and that he clearly had a large part in the scoring of the aforementioned films.

Nerd note: The movie came out in '83, but the soundtrack wasn't released until 1990, in the form of this release, which bundles it with music from another movie, Retribution.

Track listing:
1. The Lost Empire Main Titles
2. Punks at School
3. White Star
4. Cowboy Fight to Prison
5. Induction Center
6. Flight to Golgatha and Examination
7. Chariots of Night Patrol
8. The Gladiator
9. Seduced by Dinner
10. Arena Battle
11. Chamber of Horrors
12. Sin Do's Domain
13. Retribution Opening
14. The Gallery
15. Doctor Rasta
16. The Apartment
17. Garage
18. Revelation at Cemetery
19. Bus Ride to Minelli's
20. Slaughter House
21. Psychic Encounter
22. Street Rain

The return of the shape

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pillar Tombs of Aku - I (2014) + II (2014)

Mysterious, raw black metal from the Netherlands. Lots of reverb and ye olde pogo beat (a la Ildjarn), ambient passages, and a general sense that the music's being created by the undead. Both releases have eleven untitled tracks.

Risen seeds of time

Heldon - Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson (1976)

Heldon - Electronic Guerilla (1974)
Richard Pinhas - Rhizosphere (1977)

IMO Heldon's best work. The first three tracks on Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson would have been part of one of the greatest horror movie soundtracks ever made, had this been a horror movie soundtrack. From the immersive, textural synths of haunting album opener "Perspective I" to the alarm-like "Perspective II" to the arpeggios and dissonant guitars of "Perspective III" -- I can practically see the red-on-black opening credits, knife-wielding madman, gratuitous nudity, fake blood, and poor acting. The final two tracks are a bit less menacing but no less mindblowing, concluding with monumental psych-drone epic, "Perspective IV".

Track listing:
1. Perspective I (Ou Comment Procede le Nihilisme Actif)
2. Perspective II
3. Perspective III (Baader-Meinhof Blues)
4. Bassong
5. Perspective IV

Hello milkyway

If you're feelin' this, try:

Franco Leprino - Intergrati... Disintegrati (1977)
Anna Själv Tredje - Tussilago Fanfara (1977)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Impious Havoc - The Great Day of Wrath (2003)

Grand Nocturne - Despair and Demise (2006)

Raw Finnish black metal. Blast beats, demonic vocals, simple riffs, bare bones production. Just the way Satan likes it.

WARNING: Later Impious Havoc records feature blatantly racist themes.

Track listing:
1. Created by the Void
2. Rape of the Holy
3. End of Mankind
4. Plague and Death
5. God of the Weak
6. Uncreation I
7. Uncreation II
8. Destruction Awaits

Earth trembles
The sun turns black
And the moon turns red as blood

If you like this, try:

Sathanas - La Hora De Lucifer (2012)
Immortal Hammer - V Znameni Perúnovho Kruhu (2002)

The Vanishing - Songs for Psychotic Children (2003)

SPOOKY ALERT!! This goth-y, synth-y slab of death rock is sending my Spook-O-Meter into the red. In spite of the ironic tone of the previous sentence, I actually think this is a really, really well done throwback to 80s goth rock, performed by people who know their shit and are sincere in their love for the subgenre.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Princess Poison
3. White Walls
4. Lost in Pictures
5. Into the Arms of Fire
6. Glass Is Falling
7. Obituary
8. Sighs on Pyres
9. Terror, I've Been Dying to Meet You
10. Outro

Your head is burning in the fire
It's time to go

If you like this, you should definitely try:

Fade to Black - Corridors of Gender (1984)
His Master's Voice - Missionary (1984)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Temple Nightside - Prophecies of Malevolence (2011)

Australian black/death metal. There's as much dark ambient/drone at work here as there is metal, and utterly cavernous, reverb-saturated production adds to the occult, ritualistic feel.

Track listing:
1. Malediction Evangelist (Communne 1.1)
2. Incipit - Relinquished
3. Celestial : Summon : Excessum (Commune 1.2)
4. Doctrine of Earthly Unbalance
5. Transcend Un-end (Commune 1.3)
6. Acolyte Abomination
7. Eclipsed Salvation (Commune 1.4)
8. Twelve Divinations of Spheres Beyond
9. Gnosis - Dreaming at Death (Commune 1.5)

Ascension of decaying forms

More like this:

Atra - In Reverence of Decay (2011)
Embrace of Thorns - Atonement Ritual (2009)

Water Borders - Harbored Mantras (2011)

Programmed, quasi-tribal drums, wobbly bass lines, echoing atmospheres, whirring electronics, haunted, goth-y vocals, and overall deeply druggy vibes.

Track listing:
1. Tread on Them
2. What Wiwant
4. Bad Ethos
5. Even in the Dark
6. Feasting on Mongeese
7. Seedbank
8. Miners
9. Antechamber

Earthworm vomit

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Procession - Destroyers of the Faith (2010)

Chilean traditional doom metal. Aside from crisper, fuller production, there's very little to set this apart from what Candlemass was doing 30 years ago, so your opinion of this will likely depend on your feelings regarding Candlemass, and whether or not you overvalue the idea of being "original."

Track listing:
1. Hyperion
2. Destroyers of the Faith
3. The Road to the Gravegarden
4. Chants of the Nameless
5. Tomb of Doom
6. White Coffin

A ceremony of sorrow over death's womb

Brighter Death Now - The Slaughterhouse (1993)

A masterpiece of deeply unsettling industrial/dark ambient. Thunderous percussion, ghostly atmospherics, and ritualistic incantations. Nerd note: The Slaughterhouse is a 1993 reissue, with two additional tracks, of the 1989 cassette Slaughterhouse Invitation.

Track listing:
1. Dead Bones
2. Cadaver
3. Death Party
4. The Last Call
5. Grave
6. Death Consumers
7. Grave-Cracker
8. Slaughterhouse

Death appeal

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Orenda - The Funeral (2007)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Orenda - Back in the Grave (2006)

More mesmerizing, droning black metal from Orenda. The drumming is more varied here than on Back in the Grave, but relentless tremolo picking and the repetitive nature of the compositions ensure that the overall hypnotizing, numbing effect remains the same.

Track listing:
1. A Dead Colours
2. The Funeral
3. Revival
4. The Plague

A snake was screaming in me

Michael Hoenig - The Blob OST (1988)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Michael Hoenig - Departure from the Northern Wasteland (1978)

Here's German composer Michael Hoenig's synthtastic score for the 1988 remake of The Blob. Spookier than a werewolf Bar Mitzvah.

Track listing:
1. Main Title
2. Brian Jumps Bridge
3. Arrival
4. The Axe
5. They'll Fix You Up
6. Taylor Was a Good Kid
7. Sleeping Pill
8. Dinner Chat
9. Blob Grabs George
10. Killing the Jam
11. Elkins Grove
12. Killing Projectionist
13. Blob in Theatre
14. Standoff
15. Command Post
16. Close the Manhole
17. Escape to Town Hall
18. Snowfall

Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ptarkh - Alamah (2009)

Russian dark ambient/industrial. Dark, richly layered synth and keyboard landscapes, reverb-drenched drones, harsh, glitchy electronics, samples, and distant, alien voices.

Track listing:
1. Dreml'
2. Shalava
3. Paralaser
4. Tanechka
5. Stank
6. Razval
7. Avtandil

He has his father's eyes

Friday, October 9, 2015

Alcatraz - Vampire State Building (1971)

Jammy, psychedelic German jazz rock. The music is just a little spooky, but look that cover. Are you as spooked as I am right now??

Track listing:
1. Simple Headphone Mind
2. Your Chance of a Lifetime
3. Where the Wild Things Are
4. Vampire State Building
5. Piss Off
6. Change Will Come

So startled

If you like this, try:

Out of Focus - Four Letter Monday Afternoon (1972)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mortician - Hacked Up for Barbecue (1996)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Mortician - Domain of Death (2001)

Brutal, grind-y, groove-y, drum machined-fueled death metal. Hacked Up for Barbecue is Mortician's first and still best full-length, and features one of the all-time great overly long album-opening horror movie samples.

Track listing:
1. Bloodcraving
2. Embalmed Alive
3. Cremated
4. Three on a Meathook
5. Brutally Mutilated
6. Deranged Insanity
7. Cannibal Feat
8. Blown to Pieces
9. Fog of Death
10. Brutal Disfigurement
11. Apocalyptic Devastation
12. Inquisition
13. Hacked Up for Barbecue
14. Abolition
15. Necrocannibal
16. Ripped in Half
17. Morbid Butchery
18. Decapitated
19. Drilling for Brains
20. Eaten Alive by Maggots
21. Witches' Coven
22. Worms
23. Annihilation
24. Mortician

"What do you want?"
"Your blood... all over me."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Obtest - Tūkstantmetis (1997)

Lithuanian Pagan black metal with folk undertones. Driving, melodic riffs emanate from warm, fuzzed-out guitars, hoarse vocals, and a drum machine. Tūkstantmetis is the only record of Obtest's that I have heard, and I get the sense that their sound has changed rather significantly over the years, so I definitely can't vouch for their other stuff, but this one's solid gold.

Track listing:
1. Karo dvasia
2. Iš nualinto krašto (kai nieko nebelieka...)
3. Vilkalokiai
4. Tolstant krantams
5. 997
6. Mėnulio karūnos kautynės
7. Sakmė apie ugninę širdį
8. Amžiams...

The sea of snakes and souls

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Akhlys - Supplication (2009)

To me, much of the subgenre of dark ambient can be divided into two distinct camps. On one side you have the Lustmords: ominous figures making mysterious, difficult, but unquestionably unsettling sounds that often have very little to do with "music." On the other side are the Incarcerated Burzums: black metal dudes dinking around on cheap keyboards. [Shortly after writing this, I became familiar with the term "dungeon synth."]

Then there's projects like Akhlys, the brainchild of Naas Alcameth (a member of Nightbringer, Bestia Arcana, and Excommunion) whose debut full-length Supplication, a single 38-minute long composition, could be claimed by either camp. The sound is massive and cavernous, with darkly lush, droning synth chords, clanging bells, thunderous percussion that might just be the pounding of a Babadook-like nightdemon, and evil vocals scattered throughout. Turn off the lights, turn it up, scare the neighbors.

BTW, Akhlys' newest record, The Dreaming I, is gonna be a strong contender for my black metal album of the year, so do yourself a favor and get it, son. Here it is on bandcamp.