Monday, July 31, 2017

Ellen Allien - Stadtkind (2001)

Excellent debut LP from German producer Ellen Allien. Allien's specialty is artfully-constructed but danceable minimal techno, and as Stadtkind shows, she's been doing it as well or better than pretty much everyone else for upwards of a decade and a half now. Speaking of which, her new album is maybe her best work yet -- don't sleep on it.

Track listing:
1. Send
2. Fenstermusik
3. Tief in Mir
4. Stadtkind
5. Funkenflug der Traumee
6. Salzsee
7. Licht
8. Wolken Ziehen
9. Trust und...
10. Data Romance

The future is dust

You would also enjoy:
Kirlian - Chicken Wings &
Beef Fried Rice
Jacek Sienkiewicz -
Téchnè (2002)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reformed Faction - Vota (2006)

Ingleton Falls - Absconded (1994)

Experimental, dub-tinged ambient drone. That artwork might have you expecting martial percussion or something, but you're wrong, you dumbfuck.

Track listing:
1. We Are Like Angels Falling Down
2. Raadio Yan
3. Snapper Bird
4. Fall Angels Fall
5. Blake's Particulars
6. Base-Denial
7. Reactionaries-Paper Tigers
8. The Gideon Bomb
9. True to Your Kind
10. Tempest Lull
11. To Know the Numbing Frost
12. We Are Like Fallen Angels

I am not a mirror

You would also be into:
Life Garden - Caught Between the
Tapestry of Silence and Beauty
Voice of Eye -
Mariner Sonique (1992)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Helrunar - Grátr (2003)

Stellar German Pagan black metal. Grátr is a demo in name alone, as it finds the band's sound -- vicious and lupine, with an epic, neofolk-tinged melodic sense -- already fully realized and flawlessly executed.

Track listing:
1. Der Fährtensuche
2. Raune mit der Ti
3. Ich Bin die Leer
4. Seelenwinter
5. Grátr
6. Morket Under Ver
7. Hornung
8. Das Heilige Feue
9. Kvasirs Blut

Impact of gods

You would also like:
Wolfhetan -
Entrückung (2006)
Árstíðir lífsins -
Jǫtunheima dolgferð (2010)

The Dead Science - Submariner (2003)

Dark, gloomy indie rock from a trio consisting of guitar/vocals, upright bass, and drums. It sounds as though The Dead Science took some influence from Radiohead's dark-jazz tracks and from Thom Yorke's haunted, wavering falsetto -- especially on "Girl with the Unseen Hand". Played a show with these guys shortly after Submariner came out and they made us look like total amateurs, which we definitely were.

Track listing:
1. Unseeing Eye
2. White Cane
3. White Train
4. The Ghost Integrity
5. Below
6. Batty
7. Girl with the Unseen Hand
8. Threnody
9. Tension at Pitch
10. Envelope

Lost at sea

You might also enjoy:
Shudder to Think -
Get Your Goat (1993)
Madlove -
White with Foam (2009)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Deos - Fortitude.Pain.Suffering (2013)

Yhdarl - Drone Nightmares I - Endless Mental Wounds (2007)
Imber Luminis - Life as Burden (2011)
Ennui - Mze Ukunisa (2012)
Cult of Erinyes - Blessed Extinction (2013)

Utterly bleak, lightless UK funeral doom. Pure, soul-crushing depression, set to music. Following the above, add Clouds, Eye of Solitude, and Shape of Despair to the long list of amazing bands that are associated with Deos.

Track listing:
1. Introducing Suffering
2. Abandoned
3. Embalmed in Tears of Sorrow
4. Neverending Grief
5. The Corruption of Virtue

Reaching for nothingness

You'll also like:
Catacombs -
In the Depths of R'lyeh (2006)
Mistress of the Dead -
Buried (2006)

Rudy Adrian - The Healing Lake (2000)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Rudy Adrian - Sub Antarctica: Atmospheric Works Vol. 1 (1999) + Twilight: Atmospheric Works Vol. 2 (1999)

More beautiful, tranquil synth pieces from Rudy Adrian. Gauzy, languidly-paced waves of synth, each one slowly engulfing the last. Factor in just a touch of pan flute and nature sounds, and you've got a pretty much perfect new age record.

Track listing:
1. The Healing Lake
2. Valley of Mists
3. Shelter from the Storm
4. Night Sky
5. Clouds Part to Reveal Distant Mountains
6. Beneath the Stars
7. Promise of Snow
8. Dreaming of Winter
9. Before Dawn

Beyond the sunrise
That is where we live

You will also enjoy:
Bearns & Dexter -
The Golden Voyage Volume 1 (1980)
Vidna Obmana -
The River of Appearance (1996)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Curl Up and Die - Unfortunately We're Not Robots (2002)

Chaotic, math-y hardcore. Unfortunately We're Not Robots has a great arch to it -- keyboards quietly creep in about halfway through, and things pretty much just get weirder and weirder from there. Plus, you know it HAS to slay, as I'm posting it despite it having one of the most insufferable track listings of all time.

Track listing:
1. We
2. Are
3. All
4. Dead
5. 100 M.P.H. Vomit Dedicated to Jon
6. On the Run from Johnny Law Ain't No Trip to Cleveland
7. Ted Nugent goes AOL
8. Total Pandemonium
9. Doctor Doom, a Man of Science, Doesn't Believe in God, Why the Fuck Do You
10. You'd Be Cuter If I Shot You in the Face
11. Make Like a Computer and Get with the Program
12. Your Idea of Fascism and Global Intervention Make Me Puke
13. I Lost My Job to a Machine
14. Kissing You Is Like Licking an Ashtray
15. Rich Hall (Runner Up in a Carson Daly Lookalike Contest)

An uncomfortable routine

More along these lines:
Gaza - I Don't Care Where
I Go When I Die
Pariso -
Consanguinity (2013)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Paralysis - Patrons of the Dark (1992)

Demonic old-school US death metal. Murky, sickly atmosphere aided by the occasional darkly ethereal clean vocal, keyboards, or sample.

Track listing:
1. The Curse of Immortality
2. Torso
3. Scorched by Demons
4. Paraplegia
5. Patrons of the Dark
6. Shroud of Iniquity
7. Decomposed
8. Goredawn
9. Crematorium
10. Mausoleum
11. Gates Reflected
12. The Immortalist
13. Descent into the Pale Hour

The dripping divine black offering

Also listen to:
Viogression -
Expound and Exhort (1991)
Ingrowing -
Cyberspace (1998)

Ian Boddy : Markus Reuter : Nigel Mullaney - Triptych (2001)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Ian Boddy - Elements of Chance (1981) + Options (1982)

A sublime collaborative album between German experimental guitarist Markus Reuter (get his new album now!) and UK-based synth wizards Ian Boddy and Nigel Mullaney. Sure, there's plenty of lovely, gently pulsing synths and shimmering guitar bliss, but it's not all musical lithium -- there are more than enough dub-y, murky chasms and fractured, a-melodic textures to keep thing interesting.

Track listing:
1. Sienna Daze
2. Mystertronic
3. Triptych: First Image
4. Triptych: Second Transmission
5. Triptych: Final View
6. Ionosphere


You should also listen to:
David Van Tieghem -
Safety in Numbers (1987)
Michael Shrieve -
Transfer Station Blue (1988)

Steve Roach - The Passing (2017)

Massive ambient synth-drone from Steve Roach, a man who surely needs no introduction around these parts. Close your eyes and disappear.

One track, titled "The Passing", free/name your price via bandcamp.

It's all connected

More like this:
Rudy Adrian - Atmospheric
Works Vols. 1 + 2
Robert Rich -
Calling Down the Sky (2004)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eryn Non Dae - Hydra Lernaïa (2009)

French progressive metal. Math-y time signatures and prog-death filtered through the expansive feel and crushing heaviness of post-metal. Primo beardo material.

Track listing:
1. When Time Elapses
2. Blistering Hate
3. Existence Asleep
4. The Decline and the Fall
5. Lam Tsol Oua
6. Through Dark Skies
7. Opposites from Within
8. Echoes of Distress
9. Pure

Absolutely nothing

You might also wanna listen to:
Rosetta -
Wake/Lift (2007)
The Contortionist -
Intrinsic (2012)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Encoffination - Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh (2010)

Remember how, before everyone started jacking Blasphemy, everyone was jacking Incantation? I liked that, too. Encoffination wore their love for Incantation on their sleeve by mimicking their logo, but slowed things down and amped up the reverb significantly, ending up with death-influenced doom metal, as opposed to vice-versa.

Track listing:
1. Processional
2. Nefarious Yet Elegant Are the Bowels of Hell
3. Miasma of Rotten Serenity
4. Eucharist of Bone and Flame
5. Interlude
6. Beyond the Grace of Flesh Go I
7. Entombment of the Breathing Flesh
8. Coffinpsalms

Stone halls emit the stench of death

You would also like:
Demigod -
Slumber of Sullen Eyes (1992)
Slugathor -
Echoes from Beneath (2009)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Darchon - The Stygian Black Beyond (2015)

Greek atmospheric black metal. The Stygian Black Beyond is IMO a straight-up masterpiece. Anyone looking for instant headbanging gratification is gonna be sorely disappointed, though, as a great deal of the album consists of darkly lush, layered synths and piano passages. It always feels kinda backhanded to call an album a "grower," but it definitely took me multiple spins to wrap my head around this one. Darkspace fans, take note.

Track listing:
1. Apeiron
2. Into a Cosmic Solitude
3. Crossing the Celestial Path to Infinities and Beyond
4. Outer Darkness
5. Caldwell 77 (NGC 5128) Centaurus A
6. Selene
7. Auslander Hostility
8. Unseen Kingdoms

Shadows from the elder chasm

In space, no one can hear your demo:
Astral Silence -
Astral Journey (2010)
Finster -
Existenz (2012)

Le Orme - Felona e Sorona (1973)

Italian prog. Warm and analogue-sounding, thanks in part to lots of synth, piano, and acoustic guitars. Italians in the 1970s really had a way with turning potentially lowbrow stuff (see also: slasher and zombie flicks) into quasi-high-minded art.

Track listing:
1. Sospesi Nell'Incredibile
2. Felona
3. La Solitudine di Chi Protegge il Mondo
4. L'Equilibrio
5. Sorona
6. Attesa Inerte
7. Ritratto di un Mattino
8. All'Infuori del Tempo
9. Ritorno al Nulla


More Italian magic:
Quella Vecchia Locanda -
Il Tempo Della Gioia (1974)
Picchio dal Pozzo -
Picchio dal Pozzo (1976)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Binah - Hallucinating in Resurrecture (2012)

Indesinence - Neptunian (2006)

English death metal. Apply a heavy 90s Swedish influence (especially the guitar tone) to Incantation-style death, amp up the cavernous atmosphere a tad, and this is what you get.

Track listing:
1. Into the Psychomaneum (Intro)
2. Morbid Obumbration
3. A New Rotten Dawn
4. The Emissary
5. Absorption into the Unearthly
6. Eminence of the Sombre (Instrumental)
7. Hallucinating in Resurrecture
8. Dissolution
9. Crepuscular Transcendence
10. Buried Baptistry (Outro)

Their barren echoes stretch into infinity

Also listen to:
Beyond Mortal Dreams -
From Hell (2008)
Skeletal Spectre -
Tomb Coven (2011)

Gavin Bryars with Tom Waits - Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1993)

A gorgeous, 75-minute piece of lush, intricately layered modern classical built atop a brief loop of a homeless man softly singing a verse from a Christian song. When the piece was originally recorded in 1971, it had to fit onto a single side of an LP -- a limitation that eventually led Bryars to, with the advent of the compact disc, rewrite it, stretching it out over six parts and 75+ minutes.

Given that some people can't stand Tom Waits, I should mention that his role in this recording is minimal, and unless he played a role in the writing process, it's kinda weird that his name's on the cover.

Track listing:
1. Tramp with Orchestra I (String Quartet)
2. Tramp with Orchestra II (Low Strings)
3. Tramp with Orchestra III (No Stings)
4. Tramp with Orchestra IV (Full String
5. Tramp and Tom Waits with Full Orchestra
6. Coda: Tom Waits with High Strings

This one thing I know

You might also enjoy:
Michael Torke -
Color Music (1991)
Zbigniew Preisner -
Diaries of Hope (2013)

Yhdarl – Drone Nightmares I - Endless Mental Wounds (2007)

Belgian lo-fi minimal blackened drone doom. An oppressive, razorwire-lined aural pit of rumbling, down-tuned, blown-out guitars with a deeply mournful emotional core that slowly emerges from the murk. When the melodic section hits at the end of "When the Unfair Betrayal Still Lives On", dams burst, scars bleed, and birds fall from the skies. Free/name your price via a bandcamp page that's definitely worth your time to explore.

Track listing:
1. Agnus Dei
2. Slowly, the Earth Starts to Decompose
3. When the Unfair Betrayal Still Lives On
4. Faces Yourself Through the Rotten Mirror

Among infested stars

Abruptum - Obscuritatem
Advoco Amplectère Me
Sunn O))) - Rehearsal Demo
 Nov 11 2011