Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Aelter - III (2011)

Excellent third solo album by Blake Green of Wolvserpent. "Clarity I" is pure synth ambience, and sounds like a deconstructed, super-slo-mo version of "Laura Palmer's Theme" from Twin Peaks, while "Clarity II" is a haunting piece of psychedelic doom/black metal.

Track listing:
1. Clarity I
2. Clarity II

Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song and there's always music in the air

You should also hear:
Vidna Obmana - Gathering
in Frozen Beauty
Inade - The Incarnation
of the Solar Architects

Pram - The Stars Are So Big, the Earth Is So Small... Stay as You Are (1993)

One of my absolute favorite 90s indie/post-rock records. Think Stereolab meets White Light/White Heat, with dreamlike, casually unsettling lyrics.

Track listing:
1. Loco
2. Radio Freak in a Storm
3. Loredo Venus
4. Milky
5. Dorothy
6. In Dreams You Too Can Fly
7. The Ray
8. Cape St. Vincent

A malignant tower

If you like this, check out:
Shackleton -
Discography (1999-?)
Julian Lynch -
Mare (2010)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Adorior - Author of Incest (2005)

Almost absurdly kick-ass British black/death metal. Quite the album art, eh? Author of Incest slays from the jump, and doesn't stop for the better part of the next hour.

Track listing:
1. Hater of Fucking Humans
2. Ritualised Combat (Sin, Sin, Sin)
3. Birth of Disease
4. Behold Barbarity
5. Split a Lamb
6. Author of Incest
7. Vitriolic Megalomaniac
8. Ferrym Sanguiem (Iron Blood)
9. Conjuring Malignant Evil

Gut myself for the right to return

You'll also like:
Angelcorpse -
Hammer of Gods (1997)
Spearhead -
Decrowning the Irenarch (2007)

Axolotl - Oranur (2005)

Warped, lushly layered drone from NYC-based experimental musician Karl Bauer. A chaotic outer shell containing an oddly beautiful, zen-like core.

Track listing:
1. Oranur
2. Natura Naturans
3. Hol Zwege
4. Bions
5. Zygoma
6. Kingdom of Ends

There are sometimes miracles

You should also hear:
Kemialliset Ystävät -
Kellari Juniversumi (2002)
Steven R. Smith -
Owl (2008)

Dark Quarterer - War Tears (1994)

Italian heavy metal. Dark and epic in sound and scope, with an endearing mix of chops and slop.

Track listing:
1. In the Beginning
2. War Tears
3. Nightmare
4. Out of Line
5. Lady Scolopendra
6. Darkness
7. Last Paradise
8. A Prayer for Mother Theresa of Calcutta

You are dying
Game over
Insert a new coin

If you're feeling this, try:
Sanctuary -
Refuge Denied (1987)
Lordian Guard -
Lordian Guard (1995)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer - Like Children (1974)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Jan Hammer - The First Seven Days (1975)

Having recently departed from Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jerry Goodman and Jan Hammer quickly set about making this stellar collaborative album of far-out, heady prog/jazz rock/fusion. Dynamic and relentlessly entertaining, in an extremely nerdy kinda way.

Track listing:
1. Country and Eastern Music
2. No Fear
3. I Remember Me
4. Earth (Still Our Only Home)
5. Topeka
6. Steppings Tones
7. Night
8. Full Moon Boogie
9. I Wonder

Steal my body home

Give these a spin, too:
Supersister -
Present from Nancy (1970)
Out of Focus -
Four Letter Monday Afternoon (1972)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Black Priest of Satan - We, as Shadows of Satan (2010)

Doom-fueled, lo-fi German black/death metal. Simple, power chord-based riffs and echoing vocals. If you dig this EP, you should def pick up their new album -- you will not be disappointed.

Track listing:
1. We, as Shadows of Satan
2. Graves and Misty Mornings
3. Left Hand Path Manifesto
4. Cold Skin Prayer

Blazing fires in the night

You will also like:
Orodruin - ... The Fire
That Welled There
Thorybos - Monuments
of Doom Revealed

Jessamine - Jessamine (1994)

Narcotized US psych rock. Droning, fuzzed-out guitars, space-brained synths, and a pair of vocalists who sound like they recorded their parts seconds before nodding off in the booth.

Track listing:
1. Another Fictionalized History
2. Secret
3. Royal Jelly Eye Cream
4. Ordinary Sleep
5. Inevitably
6. Cellophane
7. You Have Ugly Talents, Martha
8. One Trick Pony
9. Don't You Know That Yet?
10. Lisboa

It's cold in space

More like this:

Hash Jar Tempo -
Well Oiled (1997)
Magic Dirt - Young and
Full of the Devil

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Dunkla Herrarna (2011)

Eerie Swedish depressive black metal. Sickly riffs, ghostly howls, out-of-tune guitars.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Besten Från Urhavet
3. Hels Rike
4. Ett Ondskans Väsen
5. Jotunheims Kall
6. Nifelheim
7. Svarta Käftar Skola Sluka Eder Alla
8. Människans Sista Andetag
9. Vargasonen
10. Outro

Malignant soul rape

You'll also like:
Atra -
In Reverence of Decay (2011)
Funeral Ghoul -
Ancient Darkness (2015)

Asmus Tietchens - Nachtstücke (Expressions Et Perspectives Sonores Intemporelles) (1980)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Club of Rome - Große Statik (1985)

Excellent first solo album from German avant-garde synth guru Asmus Tietchens. All warped, darkly whimsical synth pieces, with a deeply hypnotic cumulative effect. This guy's really been doing it for me of late, so expect more from him in the near future.

Track listing:
1. Erstes Nachtstück
2. Sieben Harmoniaturen
3. Falter-Lamento
4. Viertes Nachtstück
5. Intrada
6. Trekk
7. Lichterwald
8. Ultima Tundra
9. Nachtstück


You'll also enjoy:
Tim Blake -
Crystal Machine (1977)
Pascal Languirand -
De Harmonia Universalia (1980)

Prosanctus Inferi - Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations (2010)

US black/death. Every song sounds exactly the same as the last. My feet hurt.

Track listing:
1. Flayed Ecclesian Sophistry
2. Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonious Pyx
3. Scorching the Monad Firmament
4. Conjugal Orgy in the Sacred Heart of Vespers
5. Fumigating Portentious Sacrilegium
6. Priory Darkness of Choral Flesh
7. Cauterizing Unholy Lesions
8. Pontifical Undulations of Blasphemic Gesticulation
9. Burning Vestal Apocrypha
10. Fratricide in the Holy House of God
11. Depraved Machinations
12. Sacrilegious Desecration in Excelsis
13. Echoes of Pestilential Synod

Booming passion for the procurator's lashes of a sanctimonious whip

More like this:
Blasphemophager - For Chaos,
Obscurity, and Desolation
Knelt Rote -
Trespass (2012)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Guitar - Sunkissed (2002)

Dreamy, super-chill Japanese shoegaze. There's an undeniable MBV influence at work here, but the overall feel is way more laid-back, even kinda trip-hop-y.

Track listing:
1. Sunkissed
2. House Full of Time
3. See Sea, Bee and Me
4. Feel Flows Free
5. Hot Sun Trail
6. How So Bright of Universe
7. Melt
8. See Sea, Bee and Minimal Me

Moonlight makes me transparent

You'll also enjoy:
Swallow -
Blow (1992) + Blowback (1992)
Seefeel -
Polyfusia (1994)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lucia Hwong - House of Sleeping Beauties (1985)

Beautiful, dynamic sounds from American composer Lucia Hwong. She is better known for her Broadway scores, but Hwong's solo albums explore a unique fusion of synth-driven new age and stately, reflective Chinese classical.

Track listing:
1. Tibet Suite: In the Dream, Part 1
2. Tibet Suite: In the Dream, Part 2
3. Tibet Suite: Journey to Lhasa
4. Tibet Suite: Children of Johkan Temple
5. Tibet Suite: Sunset Over Sakya
6. Tibet Suite: Everest at Sunrise
7. Tibet Suite: Himalayan Twilight
8. Tibet Suite: Reflections Lunar Light
9. Virgin Dance
10. Midnight Lullaby
11. Dragon Dance
12. The Spell

Secret luminescence

Also of interest:
Andreas Vollenweider -
Caverna Magica (1983)
Barry Cleveland -
Mythos (1984)

Winter Funeral - Benis les Ténèbres, Ô Mon Âme... (2001)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Dark Sanctuary - Royaume Melancolique (1999)

French black metal. Borderline raw production and some depressive leanings. Other than the abstract epic that closes the album, it's hard to say what makes Winter Funeral rise above their thousands of peers -- they're just better, you know?

Track listing:
1. Through My Eternal Winter
2. Here Lies My Throne
3. Litanie
4. Tenebrarum
5. Requiem for a Dying World
6. Missalis Liber

Curse of annihilation

You'll probably also like:
Akerbeltz -
A Wave of Darkness (2000)
Grond -
Winterkrieger (2000)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Steve Kilbey & Russell P. Kilbey - Gilt Trip (1997)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Steve Kilbey - The Slow Crack (1987)
Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)
The Church - Priest=Aura (1992)
The Church - Hologram of Baal (1998)

Abstract, lush instrumental psych from Steve Kilbey and his brother Russell. Though the overall feel is, of course, dark and dream-like, Gilt Trip doesn't really sound like anything else that Kilbey's done. It's certainly more stylistically diverse -- subtly so -- referencing at times Eastern and Western folk music, synth-driven new age, ambient drone, krautrock, and even horror movie music.

Track listing:
1. Gilt Trip
2. The Onset
3. Tragic Mandarin Love Story
4. Eyes Smeared with the Ointment of Love
5. Neither Sun, Nor Moon, Nor Electricty
6. Darkness and Gardens of Steel
7. Dress Circle Seats for Creation
8. Blowing Through the Mansion of a 1930s Films Star
9. Happy Endings

Ashes block out the sun

You should also listen to:
Alesini & Adreoni -
Marco Polo (1995)
Ben Reynolds -
Earth and Space Magics (2005)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Chrystal Belle Scrodd - Belle de Jour (1986)

Been at the beach for the past week or so, where I've been living the good life and listening to, if anything, ridiculous bullshit that has no place on this blog. But I do remember a time when I listened to difficult, experimental music, such as this industrial record by Chrystal Belle Scrodd, a.k.a. British musician Diana Rogerson. Inscrutable and at times quite disturbing, such as on "I Death", which could be likened to a WAY more fucked-up and over-the-line version of "Flower" by Liz Phair. Elsewhere you have sparse, atmospheric krautrock-post-punk fusion ("Deadroads"), unsettling spoken word ("The Demon Flower"), and plenty of dissonant, spacious drone.

Track listing:
1. Source
2. Muse
3. Immanence
4. I Death / Soup of the Day
5. Scapegoat
6. Deadroads / A Gothic Western
7. The Demon Flower
8. Riding the Red Rag

Blank capsules

You might also wanna hear:
Holy Toy -
Panzer and Rabbits (1984)
Dave Phillips -
? (2010)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kimiko Kasai - Kimiko (1982)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Kimiko Kasai - Butterfly (1979)

Shimmering, smooth-as-butter disco/soft rock from Japanese singer Kimiko Kasai. Known best as a jazz singer, Kimiko probably represents an attempt to garner a broader American audience. However, regardless of the album's immaculate arrangements and deft pop songwriting, her complex, idiosyncratic voice just wasn't meant for a pop audience, so here it is, three and a half decades later, on a nerdy music blog.

Track listing:
1. The Right Place
2. Looking for Love
3. Steppin' Outside Tonight
4. I'm So Much in Love
5. I Felt You Glancin'
6. Love Is All We Need
7. I Wish That Love Would Last
8. Over You

I felt you glancing

Give these a spin, too:
Adrian Gurvitz -
Sweet Vendetta (1979)
Teena Marie -
Starchild (1984)