Saturday, December 31, 2016

Nile Rodgers - B-Movie Matinee (1985)

Ring in the New Year with some old-school electro-funk and synthpop. In addition to founding Chic, Rodgers was David Bowie's chief collaborator for Let's Dance -- according to Rodgers, Bowie described to him the sound he was aiming for by showing him a picture of Little Richard dressed in red and climbing into a red Cadillac. B-Movie Matinee doesn't attain the same level of boogie-nirvana as Rodgers' first record, but it's hella fun nonetheless. Have some MDMA, it's New Years!

Track listing:
1. Plan-9
2. State Your Mind
3. The Face in the Window
4. Doll Squad
5. Let's Go Out Tonight
6. Groove Master
7. Wavelength
8. Stay Out of the Light

Ooh, ooh, ooh
Me and you

Listen to these, too:
Niteflyte -
Niteflyte (1979)
Teena Marie -
Starchild (1984)

Friday, December 30, 2016

D-Clone - Creation and Destroy (2013)

Just under 17 minutes of some of the gnarliest Japanese d-beat ever created. A nearly indecipherable wall of noise-fucked guitars, relentless drumming, thick-ass bass, and pissed-off screams. Controlled chaos, perfected.

Track listing:
1. Creation and Destroy
2. M.K.P.F.
3. I Wish
4. Life Is
5. Where Is It
6. -
7. Living in Chaos
8. Hatred
9. History of Error
10. Weekendpunk
11. We Make Next Generation
12. Bright

Under name God slaughter

If you like this, you'll def like:
Arsedestroyer -
Teenass Revolt (2001)
Gloom -
撲殺精神破綻者 (2003)

Michael Torke - Color Music (1991)

A dynamic, engaging symphony of contemporary classical by American composer Michael Torke. Much of Color Music is characterized by staccato notes that seem to hover around central, semi-dissonant chords, with oddly uplifting anti-melodies weaving their ways throughout.

Track listing:
1. Green
2. Purple
3. Ecstatic Orange
4. Ash
5. Bright Blue Music


You might also enjoy:
Kaija Saariaho - Verblendungen -
Jardin Secret I - Laconisme De L'Aile -
...Sah Den Vögeln
György Ligeti - Kammerkonzert -
Ramifications - Lux Aeterna -

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tearstained - Nightmare Visions (2008)

Night Conquers Day - The First Snowfall (1999)

Tearstained began as a depressive, goth-tinged black metal project, but at some point along the line (I'm not sure when, as I've only heard this and the first album) it turned into blackened King Diamond worship. The first half of "The Old House on the Mountainside" is a remarkably faithful simulation of the classic King Diamond sound, while "Coffin" finds dude actually talking about his creepy grandmother -- positively shameless. Oh, and it's a concept album.

But, here's the thing: I fucking love it. It's a low-rent, homemade-sounding, black metal-infused homage to one of the greatest heavy metal artists of all-time, and dude has the chops to back it up. What's not to like?

Track listing:
1. The Old House on the Mountainside
2. Crawling with Tarantulas
3. The Coffin
4. When the Sun and Moon Share the Sky
5. Mesta Mansion
6. The Plague Dream
7. The Porcelain Doll
8. Not Quite Awake
9. Necrophiliac [Slayer cover]
10. Reap of Evil [Bathory cover]

Traveling at high speed
Spiders erupt all over the car

You should also hear:
King Diamond -
The Eye (1990)
Dark Quarterer -
War Tears (1994)

Kay Gardner - A Rainbow Path (1984)

Beautiful aural meditations by American composer Kay Gardner. Rich, kaleidoscopic sounds sprung from chamber orchestras that include harp, sitar, timpani, vibraphone, violin, viola, oboe, French horn, and a colorful array of other instruments. Truly gorgeous stuff.

Track listing:
1. Processional: Root Chakra (Saraswali Raga in C)
2. Dorian Hills: Belly Chakra (Aeolian/Dorian Modes in D)
3. Awakening: Solar Plexus Chakra (Dorian Mode in E)
4. Greenwood: Heart Chakra (Lesbian Mode in F#)
5. Castle in the Mist: Throat Chakra (Ionian/Lydian Modes in G)
6. See My Wings Shining: Brow/3rd Eye Chakra (Six-Note Minor Mode in A)
7. Soaring: Crown Chakra (Whole Tone/Melodic Minor Scales in B)
8. Fountain of Light: Transpersonal Chakra (First Through Fourth Octave H)

Touching souls

You'll also wanna listen to:
Constance Demby -
Skies Above Skies (1978)
Najma -
Qareeb (1987)

Entropia - Vesper (2013)

Polish blackened post-metal. Kinda like Celestial-era Isis, but with lots of tremolo-picking, black metal vox, blasbeats, and way more reverb. And that's the kind of lazy, borderline inaccurate description that's made this blog a MASSIVE CULTURAL FORCE.

Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Dante
2. Gauss
3. Pascal
4. Vesper
5. Tesla
6. Marat

Life became at once, as muddy water
Slowly running through our fingers

You might also enjoy:
The Fall of Every Season -
Amends (2013)
Sadness -
Somewhere Along Our Memory (2016)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Whiplash - Ticket to Mayhem (1987)

I'm back from Christmas land. Bummer. But here's some killer US thrash/speed metal. Ticket to Mayhem steers clear of anything political or otherwise un-fun, in favor of pure, riff-tastic, solo-packed, headbang-inducing, mindless violence.

Track listing:
1. Perpetual Warfare
2. Walk the Plank
3. Last Nail in the Coffin
4. Drowning in Torment
5. Burning of Atlanta
6. Eternal Eyes
7. Snake Pit
8. Spiral of Violence
9. Respect the Death
10. Perpetual Warfare

Thousands will die
And there's no telling why

You'll also wanna hear:
Kat -
Metal and Hell (1986)
Razor -
Open Hostility (1991)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The End - Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point: False Omniscient (2001)

Some of the best mathcore I've ever heard. Chaotic, dense, and heavy, with a screamo (that's the old definition, mind you) edge, and a few moments of strange, woozy beauty.

Track listing:
1. Her (Inamorta)
2. Opalescence.I
3. Opalescence.II
4. The Asphyxiation of Lisa-Claire
5. For Mankind, Limited Renewal
6. Sonnet
7. Entirety in Infancy

To never be shown in the open world

If you like this, try:
Love Lost But Not Forgotten -
Love Lost But Not Forgotten (2000)
Majority Rule -
Interviews with David Frost (2001)

Air Formation - Daylight Storms (2007)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Air Formation - Nothing to Wish For (Nothing to Lose) (2010)

More widescreen, lovelorn shoegaze from England's sadly defunct Air Formation. A massive, warm cloud of guitar and synth hovering over a patient rhythm section and subtly emotive vocals. Breaks my heart every time.

Track listing:
1. Cold Morning
2. Tidal
3. Daylight Storms
4. I Can't Remember Waking Up
5. Into View
6. Formation One
7. You Have to Go Somewhere
8. Adrift
9. The Dark Has Fallen
10. Before We Forget

The feeling when it stops

If you like this, you should try:
Majesty Crush -
Love 15 (1993)
Amusement Parks On Fire -
Out of the Angeles (2006)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Xerbittert - Black Fog (2010)

Eerie, mysterious Russian black metal. A blur of droning, dissonant guitars and keys swirling around simple drum machine patterns whose tempos and time signatures seemingly don't always match the guitars. Also, there might be some vocals buried somewhere deep in the mix, but I honestly can't tell.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Last Snow
3. Black Fog (Pt. I)
4. Night Dance
5. Forgotten Revelations
6. Black Fog (Pt. II)
7. Black Moon
8. Outro

Nocturnal drift

More like this:
I Shalt Become -
The Pendle Witch Trials (2009)
Moon -
The Nine Gates (2013)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

General Surgery - Necrology (1991)

Swedish gore metal. Raw and heavy, with a great back-and-forth between high-pitched screams, hoarse growls, and monstrous, pitch-shifted abominations. The chugga-chugga riff in "Severe Catatonia in Pathology" will have you tearing through everything in your house with a chainsaw.

Track listing:
1. Ominous Lamentation
2. Slithering Maceration of Ulcerous Facial Tissue
3. Grotesque Laceration of Mortified Flesh
4. Severe Catatonia in Pathology
5. Crimson Concerto
6. The Succulent Aftermath of a Subdural Hemorrhage
7. An Orgy of Flying Limbs and Gore
8. Slithering Maceration of Ulcerous Facial Tissue [bonus]
9. The Succulent Aftermath of a Subdural Hemorrhage [bonus]
10. Grotesque Laceration of Mortified Flesh [bonus]

Pustulate, suppurate
Your innards now a hot sticky mess

You should also listen to:
Disastrous Murmur -
Rhapsodies in Red (1992)
Regurgitate -
Effortless Regurgitation (1999)

Alphonso Johnson - Yesterday's Dreams (1976)

Jazz-funk with a healthy dose of loose-booty-ed disco led by bassist Alphonso Johnson, whose credits include playing with Weather Report from '74 to '76, as well as on Phil Collins' Face Value. Easy like Sunday morning.

Track listing:
1. Love's the Way I Feel 'Bout Cha
2. As Little as You
3. Scapegoat
4. Show Us the Way
5. Balls to the Wall
6. Tales of Barcelona
7. Fight to Hampstead Heath
8. One to One

Waves of sweetness

I'd be really surprised if you didn't also like:
Lonnie Liston Smith & the
Cosmic Echoes - Reflections of a
Golden Dream

Eddie Henderson -
Mahal (1978)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Generation of Vipers - Howl and Filth (2011)

Black-as-night, heavy-as-fuck Southern-style sludge metal. Behind the gnarly riffage, rumbling bass, and pissed-off snarls, there's a dark sense of artfulness -- a sample collage here, an atmospheric piano-and-cello instrumental there -- that, along with a single-minded refusal to go melodic, helps to elevate Howl and Filth to greatness.

Track listing:
1. Ritual
2. Silent Shroud
3. All of This Is Mine
4. Eternal
5. Slow Burn
6. The Misery Coil

Unknown heaven
Sacred hell

You'll also dig:
Damad -
Burning Cold (2000)
Meatjack - Days of Fire (2003)

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Illuminations (1969)

Folk singer/songwriter great Buffy Sainte-Marie's most experimental and IMO all-around best album. Flower-child acoustic rituals, fuzzy psych, cosmic sorrow, and some rad primitive electronics that, the back sleeve notes, are "synthesized from Buffy Sainte-Marie's voice and guitar." It's not quite the acid-fueled freakout that some might have you believe, but it's a far cry from the relatively conventional (still great!) fare for which she's known.

Track listing:
1. God Is Alive and Magic Is Afoot
2. Mary
3. Better to Find Out for Yourself
4. The Vampire
5. Adam
6. The Dream Tree
7. Suffer the Little Children
8. The Angel
9. With You, Honey
10. Guess Who I Saw in Paris
11. He's a Keeper of the Fire
12. Poppies (For Mr. Allerton)

Bouquets of poppies spilling from my heart

You should also give these a spin:
Dr. Strangely Strange -
Kip of the Serenes (1969)
Sally Oldfield -
Water Bearer (1978)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Martyrium - Sturmböen (2004)

Epic, melodic, raw, German Pagan black metal. Those of you who may have wondered why my favorite 40 black metal records of 2016 list contained so many "generic" picks (I know you're out there), take note: it's because I fucking love generic black metal.

Track listing:
1. Im Angesicht Der Dunkelheit
2. Asche
3. Sturmböen
4. Im Winde
5. Hinfortgetragen con des Winter
6. Herrscher der Flammen
7. Germania
8. Die Zusammenkunft der Heere

Immortal scum

More like this:
Hromovlad - Vládca Lesov,
Skalných Stien
Heimdalls Wacht - Der Untergang
der alten Welt

Meat Beat Manifesto - 99% (1990)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Meat Beat Manifesto - Subliminal Sandwich (1996)

Distorted breakbeats and pissed-off quasi-rapping engulfed in cacophonous industrial soundscapes. A big ol' melting pot of subgenres that was ridiculously advanced for its time, and in the wasteland that is our post-election, pre-inauguration America, feels unexpectedly relevant.

Track listing:
1. Now
2, Psyche-Out
3. All the Things You Are
4. Hello Teenage America
5. 10x Faster Than the Speed of Love
6. 99%
7. Dogstar Man / Helter Skelter
8. Think Fast
9. Hallucination Generation
10. Deviate

Build me a mountain, Lord

Try these, too:
Hilt - Call the Ambulance
(Before I Hurt Myself)
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult -
Confessions of a Knife (1990)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nominon - Diabolical Bloodshed (1999)

Ripping Swedish death metal. Tight, catchy, and groove-y as only the Swedes seem to have mastered.

Track listing:
1. Malicious Torment
2. Sodom's Fall
3. Night of Damnation
4. Servants of the Moonlight
5. Cemetery of Life
6. Son of the Dragon
7. No Holy Ghost Shall Rise
8. The Sufferer

Let the serpent bleed

If you like this, you'll also like:
Fleshcrawl -
Impurity (1994)
Deranged -
High on Blood (1998)