Saturday, April 30, 2016

Yoga - Megafauna (2009)

One might describe Megafauna in any number of ways, but I feel that "dub black metal" gets the point across pretty well. In essence, Yoga applies the distant, cavernous, delay-driven, psychedelic sound of dub reggae to raw depressive black metal and ritual dark ambient.

Track listing:
1. Seventh Mind
2. Flying Witch
3. Encante
4. Wagion
5. The Hidden People
6. Dreamcast
7. Fourth Eye
8. Black Obelisk
9. Treeman
10. Warrior
11. Haunted Brain
12. Chupacabra's Rotting Flesh

Black oceans roar

Decoded Feedback - Overdosing (1996)

Electro-industrial perfection. Driving drum machines, arpeggiating basslines, horror movie synths, ghoulish vocals.

Track listing:
1. Mother Tenebarum
2. Deathcall
3. Deep Emotion
4. The Birth of a Nation
5. Fear (Analogue to Digital Remix)
6. Prophecy
7. Technophoby
8. No Way Out
9. Overdosing
10. Coming Down
11. Dream Machine
12. Red Cell
13. It's Armageddon
14. Fall-Out

From the carcass

Try these, too:
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult -
Confessions of a Knife (1990)
Frontline Assembly -
Total Terror Parts I + II (1993)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Animus - Poems for the Aching, Swords for the Infuriated (2005)

Israeli depressive black metal. A beautiful haze of guitars drifting over minimal drum loops, with harsh, distorted, rasping vocals to ugly it all up. A solo project, Animus had a deceptively unique take on black metal, and I really wish he'd made more than two albums.

Six tracks, titled "I" through "VI"


You should also hear:
Anti -
The Insignificance of Life (2006)
Moon -
Clavicula Nox (2014)

Gato Barbieri - Bolivia (1973)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Gato Barbieri - Fenix (1971)

Sadly, saxophonist Gato Barbieri is one of many legendary musicians whose lives have been taken by the beast that is the year 2016; he died of pneumonia earlier this month. With that in mind, let's have a listen to one of his best and most beloved LPs, 1973's Bolivia, a collaboration with jazz-funk great Lonnie Liston Smith.

Track listing:
1. Merceditas
2. Eclypse/Michellina
3. Bolivia
4. Ninos
5. Vidala Triste

Into the unknowable

You may also enjoy:
Jan Garbarek -
Esoteric Circle (1969)
Doug Hammond -
Spaces (1982)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale (2012)

Members of:
Ascend - Ample Fire Within (2008)

Best sludge metal I've heard in a long time. I remember liking Eagle Twin's first record, but I couldn't have liked it too much because I apparently got rid of it at some point. This one's a different story. It sounds like Melvins got together with Sunn O))) to make Stoner Witch II, and I can't stop listening to it.

Track listing:
1. The Ballad of Job Cain, Pt. 1
2. The Ballad of Job Cain, Pt. 2
3. Lorca (Adan)
4. Snake Hymn
5. HornShankeHorns
6. It Came to Pass...
7. Epilogue: Crow's Theology

It's here

You should also hear:
Minsk - Out of a Center Which Is
Neither Dead Nor Alive
Kongh - Counting

The Graeme Edge Band Featuring Adrian Gurvitz - Paradise Ballroom (1977)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Adrian Gurvitz - Sweet Vendetta (1979)
Adrian Gurvitz - Il Assassino (1980)

Some choice, funk- and disco-infused, melancholic, psychedelic 70s rock.

Track listing:
1. Paradise Ballroom
2. Human
3. Everybody Needs Somebody
4. All Is Fair
5. Down, Down, Down
6. In the Light of the Light
7. Caroline
8. Be My Eyes [bonus]
9. Paradise Ballroom [bonus]
10. Everybody Needs Somebody [bonus]

Don't laugh about my face
Cause I found mine in space

You might like these, too:
Brass Construction -
Brass Construction (1975)
Mazarati -
Mazarati (1987)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Abhor - I.gne N.atura R.enovatur I.ntegra (2001)

Italian symphonic black metal. Lots of weird interludes on this one, including a shockingly well-written, if brief classical piece for fake harp ("Incubus Carnis".) But I'm all for weirdness, and the proper songs kick ass, so it's all good.

Track listing:
1. Wizard
2. Incubus Carnis
3. Paranormal Mantrie Experience I: Pentaculum
4. Spellbound Atmosphere of Fiendish Calm
5. Trees of Stone
6. Serpens Misericordia Nociva
7. Paranormal Mantrie Experience II: Signa Stellarum Nigrarum
8. Dark Glory's Magnificence
9. Endless Cosciential Journey
10. Magic Salamandra

One thousand astral battles against one thousand enemies

You should also check out:
Obtained Enslavement -
Witchcraft (1997)
Kataxu -
Hunger of Elements (2005)

Ad Van Gerven - Hatching (1992)

Ron Boots, Erik Van Der Heijden, & Friends - By Popular Demand (1993)

Some soothing, synth-tastic Berlin school magic for ya.

Track listing:
1. Imaginary Voyages 1 & 2
2. Memories
3. Moonpower
4. Without Prejudice
5. Imaginary Voyages 3 & 4
6. Vodewilafgewo / Moonpower Take 2

Brain pillow

You'll probably also like:
AirSculpture -
Thunderhead (1998)
Rudy Adrian -
Atmospheric Works Vols. 1 & 2 (1999)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Massemord - Skogen Kaller (2003)

Norwegian black metal. A powerful, In the Nightside Eclipse-inspired sound with more than enough melodic twists and folky turns to avoid redundancy.

Track listing:
1. Naar Solen Doer Bak Fjellet
2. Solen Skinner Ikkje
3. Lyset Forsvinner
4. Eternal War
5. Skogen Kaller Og Vl Svarer
6. I Have Sipped the Blood of Christ
7. Flowers for Your Funeral
8. Demon Storm
9. Soul Deceiver
10. My Last Breath
11. Den Gamle Festningen
12. Soldnedgangen [bonus]
13. Nothing But Pain [bonus]
14. Hekeldicht (Rehearsal) [bonus]
15. Raintime Depression [bonus]

We stand for eternal war and everlasting darkness

If you like this, you'll like:
Setherial -
Nord... (1996)
Obtained Enslavement -
Witchcraft (1997)

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Angelic Process - Coma Waering (2003)

Crushingly heavy, achingly beautiful sludge-gaze. Though many have come since them, none have managed to match this band's level of emotional intensity or visceral impact. The thunderously pounding drums, the distorted mud of the bass, the ethereal yet tormented vocals, and those massive guitars... I swear, when it all hits, it's the end of the fucking world. Very sadly, bandleader Kris Angylus passed away shortly after the release of their next record, the equally breathtaking Weighing Souls with Sand.

Track listing:
1. My Blood Still Whispers
2. The Sun in Braids
3. Mouvement - The Flesh Is Weak
4. Crippled Healing
5. Coma Waering
6. Mouvement - The Rest of the World Is Noise
7. Rid the Past By Dying
8. Mouvement - Shielded by Death, Suspended in Light

Cages of blood and bone

More that's kinda along the same lines:
Astrobrite -
Pinkshinyultrablast (2006)
Wrath of the Weak -
Solace (2010)

MadLove - White with Foam (2009)

MadLove are by far the most accessible of Trevor Dunn's numerous bands (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, and Tomahawk, to name a few.) White with Foam, the band's only record to date, consists of haunted, guitar-driven alt rock that's somewhat akin to Sadness Is a Butterfly-era Blonde Redhead, but more jagged, and with just a touch of the twisted lounge music that Mr. Bungle did oh-so well. Takes a while to sink in, but once it does, well... um, you, pretty much, you know... like it. Like, a lot.

Track listing:
1. Rats with Wings
2. Thread
3. Absence & Noise
4. Dirty
5. In Love (In Theory)
6. As Sad As It Was Beautiful
7. Broke
8. Left with Nothing
9. Knowing
10. The Mute Number

More real than life is

You might also wanna hear:
Girls Against Boys -
Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby (1993)
US Maple -
Purple on Time (2003)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vent - Reliquiae Doloris (2008)

German suicidal black metal. Frenzies of tremolo picking, blastbeats, and tortured, misanthropic vocal pleas to "end your senseless fucking life" bookended by melancholic acoustic/clean/piano-led sections. Somewhat reminiscent of early Shining.

Track listing:
1. Cosmic Conclusion
2. Destroy Your Senseless Life
3. Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invennies Occultum Lapidem
4. Remains of a Tortured and Devastated Mind


More avidly pro-suicide black metal:
Malvery - Mortal Entrenchment
in Requiem
Sortsind -
More Days (2001)

Robert Schröder - Harmonic Ascendant (1979)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Robert Schröder - Brain Voyager (1985)

Robert Schröder's first album, and certainly one of his best, Harmonic Ascendant features three haunting, trance-inducing, synth-based compositions colored at times by a bit of piano, cello, guitar, and vocoder. Produced by some dude named Klaus Schulze.

Track listing:
1. Harmonic Ascendant
2. Future Passing By
3. The Day After X

Throne realms

You'll also be into:
Richard Pinhas -
Rhizosphere (1977)
Bas B. Broekhuis -
The Escher Drawings (1991)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Night Conquers Day - The First Snowfall (1998)

Phenomenal, way too obscure US black metal. Sprawling compositions that manage to maintain a sense of fluidity while changing frequently -- despite numerous shifts in time signature and drum patterns, they never sound scatterbrained -- as keyboards and wailing clean vocals provide a strong sense of depth, ethereality, and grandeur.

Track listing:
1. Eastern Winds Mount the Virgin Winter (Introitus)
2. The First Snowfall
3. What Was and Shall Never Be Again
4. Banished from My Eyes
5. Snowmelting Requiem
6. The Storm Before the Calm
7. Provoker Be Hunted
8. Nightfall's Promise
9. Footprints in the Snow Where the Wanderer Has Been

A wall of white surrounds me from all sides
Solitary and ecstatic

You'll probably also like:
Nehëmah - Light of a Dead Star (2002)
Orlog - Reinigende Feuer (2006)

Swallow - Blow (1992) + Blowback (1992)

Swallow were a short-lived shoegaze duo based in London. As I recall (and correct me if I'm wrong) the story of these two records goes something like this: The band was utterly dissatisfied with their debut LP, Blow, feeling that it sounded nothing like them, and blaming the producer for attempting to shoehorn them into the shoegaze movement. Thus, they released a dramatically different, remixed version of the album -- Blowback -- which they said sounded like the record they had intended to make all along.

As far as I'm concerned, you don't have to pick a side, as both records truly are great. Blow is as fine an example of early 90s shoegaze as you're likely to find, and Blowback is a darker, abstract, dream-like, drugged-out work without any obvious peers. I guess, if I had to pick one, Blowback has the edge.

Track listing:
1. Lovesleep
2. Tastes Like Honey
3. Sugar Your Mind
4. Mensurral
5. Peekaboo
6. Lacuna
7. Oceans and Blue Skies
8. Follow Me Down
9. Halo
10. Cherry Stars Collide
11. Head in a Cave
1. Oceans and Blues Skies
2. Head in a Cave
3. Tastes Like Honey (Instrumental)
4. Peekaboo (Dub)
5. Sugar Your Mind
6. Follow Me Down (Excerpt)
7. Mensurral (Instrumental)
8. Cherry Stars Collide (Instrumental)

How much can you take from my innocent smile?

You should also try:
Secret Shine - Untouched (1993)
Seefeel - Polyfusia (1994)

Deathprod - Treetop Drive (1994)

Well, I'm still awake, and I'm getting right to that sweet spot where narcotized bumps up against super-sleepy. And Treetop Drive, a record of haunting, hypnotizing, sparse, horror movie-worthy dark ambient -- as unnerving as it is -- sounds reeeeeally goddamn great to me.

Track listing:
1. Treetop Drive 1
2. Treetop Drive 2
3. Treetop Drive 3
4. Towboat

The silent stranger

More aural death:
Akhlys - Supplication (2009)
Helm - Impossible Symmetry (2012)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Borgne - III (2007)

Swiss black metal/dark ambient. On "Akt 1.3" and "Akt 3.3", thick guitars, dramatic, multi-layered keyboards, programmed drums, and distorted vocals generate a cacophonous industrial atmosphere with an enveloping, hypnotic effect. The other two tracks consist of extremely minimal, rumbling dark ambient -- a considerable portion of "Akt 2.3" is barely audible. Just one of numerous stellar releases from this absurdly under-appreciated act.

Track listing:
1. Akt 1.3
2. Akt 2.3
3. Akt 3.3
4. Akt 4.3

Purchase your dream that will never come true
Build you a reason not to die

You might also be into:
Mysticum - In the
Streams of Inferno
Carpe Noctem -
In Terra Profugus (2013)