Thursday, March 31, 2016

Beastcraft - Into the Burning Pit of Hell (2005)

Norwegian black metal. A haze of fuzzy guitars and reverb-soaked vocals, with drums buried deep in the mix. The songwriting's surprisingly varied for such seemingly simple songs, and succinct -- only a single song surpasses the 4-minute mark. (FUN FACT: All but one of the "S"s in the previous sentence occurred naturally.)

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Enter the Chasm
3. Burnt at His Altar
4. Recrucifixion
5. Black Witchcraft
6. Satanic Supremacy
7. Unholy Blood Ritual
8. Summoning the Great Beast
9. Energumen
10. Pentagram Sacrifice
11. Into the Burning Pit of Hell
12. When the Pearly Gates Are Wrapped in Flames

Born to descend

More of Satan's favorite subgenre:
Basilisk - A Joyless March
Through the Cold-Lands
Wolfblood - A Victory to
Echo Through Time (Demo I)

Alan Sorrenti - Aria (1972)

Dramatic, expansive, far-out prog from Italian composer Alan Sorrenti. The monolithic title track is all lush, ornate instrumentation and bizarre, semi-theatrical singing; elsewhere can be found more low-key, romantic-sounding folk-rock. Woozy beauty abounds. Features the spaced-out violin playing of OPIUM HUM favorite Jean-Luc Ponty.

Track listing:
1. Aria
2. Vorrei Incontrarti
3. La Mia Mente
4. Un Fiume Tranquillo

Peace crusaders

You'll probably also enjoy:
Sergius Golowin -
Lord Krishna Von Goloka (1973)
Claude Léveillée -
Black Sun (1978)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Grimirg - MMXV-I (2015)

Lathspell - Fascination of Deviltry (2005)

Ethereal, melodic Finnish blackened funeral doom. The heaviness of the slo-mo power chords, minimalistic drums, and drawn-out growls is offset by the constant chiming of weightless synths and at times, angelic singing that reminds me of Lethian Dreams.

Track listing:
1. Solitvde
2. Infinity Revealed
3. Into My Light
4. Cold Abyss

Lost prayers from the void

If you like this, you'll like:
Abyssmal Sorrow - Lament (2008)
Gravecode Nebula - Sempiternal Void (2013)

Osibisa - Osibisa (1971)

Sunny, prog-y Afrobeat. The bands starts out by explicitly declaring their intention to spread positive vibes, then proceeds to expertly do just that for the entirety of the album. Discovered Osibisa, just like this little gem, due to its having been produced by Tony Visconti.

Track listing:
1. The Dawn
2. Music for Gong Gong
3. Ayiko Bia
4. Akwaaba
5. Oranges
6. Phallus C
7. Think About the People

Spirits up above

You might also enjoy:
Oneness of Juju - African Rhythms (1975)
Ricky Ililonga - Soweto (1978)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wrath of the Weak - Solace (2010)

After two albums of claustrophobic, discordant black metal, Wrath of the Weak took an unexpected turn with Solace, abandoning black metal for monolithic pieces consisting of gorgeous, heavy, textural, massively layered walls of guitar. There are drums in there somewhere, buried deep in the mix, and some vocals now and then, but overall, Solace has a lot more in common with Skullflower than Xasthur.

Also: Wrath of the Weak released a new EP a couple weeks back, and you can get it (for pay-as-you-will) right here. I highly recommend doing that, as it's one of the best black metal records of the year so far.

Track listing:
1. The Sad Truth, the Dirty Lowdown
2. Three Forty One
3. Sweet Virgin Summer
4. Function Generator
5. We Made Worlds Together...

Light streaming in through the cracks in the door

You should also check out:
Bowery Electric - Bowery Electric (1995)
Implodes - Black Earth (2011)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sarin - Nihilist (1996)

Sunn O))) - ØØ Void (2000) + Dømkirke (2008)
KTL - 2 (2007)

Sarin was a short-lived noise duo consisting of Stephen O'Malley and (near-future Burning Witch vocalist) Edgy 59. Given the formidable body of work that O'Malley has amassed, it should come as no surprise that Sarin's sole release, Nihilist, is a dynamic, inspired, and unforgiving piece of anti-music. It's not groundbreaking, but it's great. I don't know exactly what's being used to create these sounds, so I'll just describe what I hear: shrieking feedback, rumbling, clattering, oscillating, droning, sputtering, distorted radio transmissions, sheets of static.

Track listing:
1. Tektoniks
2. 6:66
3. Red Army
4. War of the Worlds

Longed for a knife
An edge to lay bare entrails
Free brain and heart
A release from what is inside
Cut-out tongue and sex
A sharp blade to cleanse impurity
The so-called spirit world soon out of this miserable corpse

More along these lines:
Vidna Obmana - The Ultimated
Sign of Burning Death
Brighter Death Now -
The Slaughterhouse (1993)

Matthew Sweet - Kimi Ga Suki (Raifu) (2003)

Velvet Crush - In the Presence of Greatness (1991)

Kimi Ga Suki (Raifu) was initially a Japan-only release, then received a limited US release the next year, and is currently out of print. Bitter feelings via sugary melodies. Easily one of Sweet's best, and devoid of the slow ballads that bog down some of his other (otherwise glorious) albums.

Track listing:
1. Dead Smile
2. Morning Song
3. The Ocean In-Between
4. I Love You
5. I Don't Want to Know
6. Warning
7. Spiral
8. Love Is Gone
9. Hear This
10. Wait
11. Tonight We Ride
12. Through Your Eyes
13. Arigato

You would prefer their lies for a while 

If you like this, check out:
Dwight Twilley - Twilley (1979)
Brendan Benson - One Mississippi (1997)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Betrayed - Apocalyptic Salvation (2007)

German black/death metal. Raw, sloppy, and hateful -- like a drunk Nazi whose mother just died. Thanks a lot, ladies and gentleman, I'll be here all night.

Track listing:
1. Blaze of Armageddon
2. Warfare and Domination
3. Singe Si Otel
4. Crusade
5. Nuclear Genocide
6. Manic Attack

Witness the end of light

If you like this, you'll probably like:
Angelcorpse -
Hammer of Gods (1997)
Iconoclast Contra -
Combat Is the Voice of the Heathen (2010)

Cows - Sorry in Pig Minor (1998)

Sorry in Pig Minor was, sadly, Cows' final album. While the band's core sound remains (noisy, feedback-addled guitars over a tight, hard-hitting rhythm section, a vocalist who shouts, moans, and sings off-key about the absurd and unpleasant) they end up in some bizarre places. It's not just the songwriting and instrumentation that's fucked up. On some songs, it's the mixdown; like, the drums will be all room-mic and low in the mix, while quietly sung, double-tracked vocals are uncomfortably, artificially loud. King Buzzo, who served as producer, surely is responsible for a substantial amount of this insanity.

Track listing:
1. Cabin Man
2. Finished Again
3. No, I'm Not Coming Out
4. Dear Dad
5. Eureka! Funday!
6. Death in the Tall Weeds
7. El Shiksa
8. Life After Beth
9. Saliva of the Fittest
10. Felon of Troy
11. Say Uncle

You wanna shove this horn up my ass?

You might also get some kind of sick enjoyment from:
Alice Donut - The Untidy Suicides
of Your Degenerate Children
Today Is the Day -
Willpower (1994)

Kongh - Counting Heartbeats (2007)

Swedish sludge/post-metal. Much like Baroness and their Savannah ilk, Kongh have a gift for using elements of various heavy musical styles -- classic heavy metal, post-metal, doom, hardcore, mathcore, even some black/death metal -- to forge something new and exciting. Unlike Baroness, though, Kongh are firmly rooted in slow, dissonant sludge, which makes for a much darker, painful listen. Should be waaaaaaay more popular.

Track listing:
1. Pushed Beyond
2. Counting Heartbeats
3. Adapt the Void
4. Megaprimatus
5. Zithuatanejo

Enclosed in a cloud

You'll probably also enjoy:
Damad - Burning Cold (2000)
HKY - HKY (2009)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Charles Bobuck - Chuck's Ghost Music (2011)

The Residents - Stars and Hank Forever: The American Composers Series, Vol. 2 (1986)

A deeply disturbing, highly abstract solo effort from Charles Bobuck of The Residents. Pitch-black synthesizers, clattering percussion, samples from commercials, tape loops, ghoulish vocals. The kind of stuff that can really get in your head if you let it.

Track listing:
1. Florence
2. Ghost Snake
3. Perchance to Dream
4. Milton
5. Pudding in Disguise
6. Sleepwalker
7. Unseen Sister
8. Talking Light


More music to make your skin crawl:
Diamanda Galas -
The Litanies of Satan (1982)
The Legendary Pink Dots -
Plutonium Blonde (2008)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Nocturnal - Arrival of the Carnivore (2004)

Ripping German black/thrash metal. Beastly, raw, and unrelenting, Arrival of the Carnivore is blackened thrash in its most perfectly imperfect, unpolished, bare-bones form.

Track listing:
1. Coven of Darkness
2. Temples of Sin
3. Satanic Oath
4. Preventive War
5. Burn This Town
6. War of Spirits
7. Merciless Murder
8. Nuclear Strike
9. Victorious Night
10. Awakening the Curse of Souls

Preaching death to the soldiers under the devil's command

More like this:
Bathory - Requiem (1994)
Abigail - Intercourse & Lust (1996)

Golden Retriever - Golden Retriever (2010)

Gorgeous, gauzy, drifting synth (and a little saxophone) compositions from Portland, OR. Perfect late night/early morning listening.

Track listing:
1. False Entry
2. Moments Receding
3. Canonic Horizon
4. Displacement
5. Modal Cloud


You might also like:
Heldon - Electronic Guerilla (1974)
Alog - Miniatures (2006)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cavity - Supercollider (1999)

An old fave of mine -- I can't conceive of how many bonghits I've taken while listening to this record -- Supercollider finds a heavy-and-stoned-as-fuck middle ground somewhere between Holy Mountain and Blaze of Incompetence. Given the band's connections to the much-hyped Torche and Floor, I'd really expect Supercollider to have gotten its due by now.

Track listing:
1. Supercollider
2. Set in Cinders
3. Taint and Abandon
4. Inside My Spine
5. Threshold
6. Black Snake
7. Damaged IV
8. How Much Lost
9. Last of the Final Goodbyes
10. Almost Blue

Human abjection

You might also like:
Grief - Torso (1998)
Gasp - Drome Triler of Puzzle Zoo People (1998)

Kinski - Don't Climb On and Take the Holy Water (2004)

Far and away Kinski's most interesting record, Don't Climb On and Take the Holy Water abandons the idea of making 'rock' music (never the band's strong suit) in favor of patient, ritualistic drone and blissfully abstract psychedelia.

Track listing:
1. Never Compete with Small Girls
2. The Misprint in the Gutenberg Print Shop
3. Crepes the Cheap
4. Bulky Knit Cheerleader Sweater
5. There's Nothing Sexy About Time

Hiding drugs in the temple

You should also hear:
Lee Ranaldo -
Scriptures of the Golden Eternity (1993)
Growing -
His Return (2005)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Legendary Pink Dots - Plutonium Blonde (2008)

The Legendary Pink Dots - Chemical Playschool 1 & 2 (1981)
The Tear Garden - Tired Eyes Slowly Burning (1987)
The Legendary Pink Dots - The Maria Dimension (1991)

After almost three decades, Edward Ka-Spel's musical brilliance shined as bright as ever on Plutonium Blonde, a warped journey through thunderous industrial, cinematic synthscapes, gothic synth pop, sinister psychedelia, musique concrète, and utter emotional desolation. For some reason, their label claimed upon the album's release that it was their "most commercially appealing" record to date; this sentiment was echoed in a reliably off-base review on Allmusic. Trust me, though: it's fucking not.

Track listing:
1. Torchsong
2. Rainbows Too
3. A World with No Mirrors
4. My First Zonee
5. Faded Photography
6. An Arm and a Leg
7. Mailman
8. Oceans Blue
9. Savannah Red
10. Cubic Caesar

Dressed up to the nines
Sipping dandylion wine

More music from bizzaro-land:
Throbbing Gristle -
Assume Power Focus (1981)
Human Host -
The Halloween Tree (2007)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Barebones - Ground (2001)

Heavy, raw Japanese hardcore/garage for railing speed and burning rubber. Found 'em via their split with Boris. Buckle up, baby.

Track listing:
1. Speed Freak
2. Borderline
3. Drive 'Til the End
4. Insensitive
5. Red Stone
6. Dirt Slider
7. Black Dealer
8. Primitive Blood
9. Standing on the Verge
10. Shoot Up and Die
11. One

Still unknown

If you like this, try:
Fudge Tunnel - Hate Songs in A Minor (1991)
The Catalyst - Voyager (2012)