Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Amir Baghiri - Cages (1997)

Spacious, trance-inducing ambient tribal. Percussion mantras, rain sticks, didgeridoo, and more awash in shimmering pools of droning synth. Perfect for when you want to melt the world around you into a more manageable haze of pure color.

Track listing:
1. The Day Before
2. Under Earth
3. Out of the Womb
4. Childhood
5. Growing Up
6. Spider's Net
7. Run
8. Learning to Fall

At the waterfall

For more like this, try:
Tuu -
All Our Ancestors (1994)
Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana -
Well of Souls (1995)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Inverted - The Shadowland (1996)

Swedish death metal. Meat-and-potatoes 90s Swedeath, with some clean guitars for a subtly ethereal, mystical touch.

Track listing:
1. Diabolical Ceremonies
2. Condemned
3. Circle of Candles
4. The Infernal Gate
5. Journey into Shadowland
6. Scripture of Disgrace
7. The Dark and Bitter Moon
8. Serenade of Grief
9. Crawling Under Lies

Dark illusions

If you like this, try:
Viogression -
Expound and Exhort (1991)
Lethal Prayer -
Spiritual Decay (1996)

Unearthly Trance - The Axis Is Shifting (2007) + Eleven Are the Voices (2007)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Unearthly Trance - Season of Seance, Science of Silence (2003)

Two EPs of punishing, raw, yet epic NYC drone-sludge from a ridiculously underrated band.

Track listing:
-The Axis Is Shifting-
1. Oceans Expand
2. Branches of Antigravity
-Eleven Are the Voices-
1. Veins
2. Phoenix Undead

Ritual void for cave life

More along these lines:
Iron Monkey -
Our Problem (1998)
Moonshine -
Moonshine (2005)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Black Moon - Enta da Stage (1993)

A set of god-tier NYC hip-hop, Enta da Stage is for sure one of the all-time great rap debuts. If you've worn out your copies of The Infamous and Hell on Earth, this is the record for you.

UPDATE: Realized that the rip I had shared sounded like shit, it's been replaced with a higher quality rip.

Track listing:
1. Powaful Impak!
2. Niguz Talk Shit
3. Who Got the Props?
4. Ack Like U Want It
5. Buck 'Em Down
6. Black Smif-n-Wessun
7. Son Get Wrec
8. Make Munne
9. Slave
10. I Got Cha Opin
11. Shit Iz Real
12. Enta da Stage
13. How Many MC's...
14. U da Man

Although my shit is wicked
It's all about the blunts and how I lick it

Killah Priest -
Heavy Mental (1998)
Inspectah Deck -
Uncontrolled Substance (1999)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Serpens Aeon - Dawn of Kouatl (2003)

Epic US death metal featuring two ex-members of The Chasm. Borderline melodic, but there's enough filth to keep me happy.

Track listing:
1. Forsaken Thy God
2. Within the Realm
3. Winds of Hatred
4. Nectar
5. Under the Fifth Sun
6. Cosmic Jaws
7. Circle of Serpens
8. Extremely Rotten Flesh [Grave cover]

My return is near
No one shall escape

Also check out:
Appalling Spawn - Freedom, Hope &
Fury (The Second Spawn)
Obscure Infinity -
Putrefying Illusions (2012)

Manfred Schoof / Rainer Brüninghaus - Shadows & Smiles (1989)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Rainer Brüninghaus - Freigeweht (1981)
Rainer Brüninghaus - Continuum (1983)

Abstract, atmospheric fusion from two German musicians: trumpeter Manfred Schoof and pianist Rainer Brüninghaus. Obviously, piano and trumpet are front and center, against a backdrop of gauzy synth and crystalline percussion. Very ECM-esque.

Track listing:
1. Smiles
2. Shadows
3. Sequence
4. Fireside
5. Ingredience of the Blues
6. Suggestion

Time will run back

You'd also like:
Paul Motian Trio -
Le Voyage (1979)
Paul Bley -
Fragments (1986)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cold Blue Mountain - Old Blood (2014)

Beautifully heavy post-metal. Melodic and sorrowful, with some great dual guitar work and a bit of crystalline piano here and there to up the sadness ante.

Track listing:
1. Seed of Dissent
2. New Alliances
3. Strongest Will
4. Retreat
5. Demise

Sorrow found me when I was young

You'll probably also like:
Rosetta -
Wake/Lift (2007)
Bloodiest -
Descent (2011)

Pendragon - Fly High Fall Far (1985)

English prog rock. Their debut EP, Fly High Fall Far showcases a clear love for synth-y 70s space rock, but with a streamlined approach and an ear for melody. Waaaay more fun/less self-serious than their later stuff.

Track listing:
1. Fly High Fall Far
2. Dark Summer's Day
3. Victims of Life
4. Excalibur

Home sweet home

Also listen to:
Steve Hillage -
Green (1978)
Eloy -
Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes (1979)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Deus Ignotus - Chrismation (2012)

Blasphemous Greek black/death metal. Heavy, meat-and-potatoes filth.

Track listing:
1. Chrism
2. Silent Spell of Baptism
3. One Scar on the Silver Saints
4. Holy Mazochis
5. Yaina
6. The Vortex of Burning Martyrs
7. Evangelic Lifeforms
8. Jesus Is the Bullet in My Gun

Worship the fall of man

More like this:
Destruktor - Brutal Desecration (2002)
+ Nuclear Storm (2004)
The Royal Arch Blaspheme -
The Royal Arch Blaspheme (2010)

Rainbow Serpent - Futuregate (1995)

Cosmic, sonically rich, Berlin-school synthscapes from this German duo. Every texture of synth imaginable, drum machines, and some menacing, warped-beyond-recognition samples and spoken vocals. You love Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, right? Good, because Rainbow Serpent clearly do, too.

Track listing:
1. Futuregate I
2. Futuregate II
3. Futuregate III
4. Ancient Skies
5. Dreamtime
6. Deep Blue
7. Departure
8. Over the Edge
9. Waiting for Kippenhahn

Virtual emotion

You should also hear:
Bas B. Broekhuis -
The Escher Drawings (1991)
AirSculpture -
Thunderhead (1998)

Arcana - Dark Age of Reason (1996)

Sophia - Sigillum Militum (2000)

Swedish ethereal darkwave/neoclassical. Rich symphonic keyboards and dramatic male and female singing create an epically cinematic sound.

Track listing:
1. Our God Weeps
2. Angel of Sorrow
3. Source of Light
4. The Calm Before the Storm
5. Dark Age of Reason
6. Like Statues in the Garden of Dreaming
7. The Oath
8. ... For My Love
9. Serenity
10. The Song of Mourning

Gathering of the storm

For more like this, try:
Die Verbannten Kinder Evas -
Die Verbannten Kinder Evas (1995)
Dark Sanctuary -
Royaume Mélancolique (1999)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dictator - Dysangelist (2008)

Blackened funeral doom from Cyprus. Blown-out, layered, and extremely repetitive, with simple piano lines, atmospheric synth, and utterly tortured-sounding vocals.

Track listing:
1. Dysangelist
2. Sanctus
3. Monolithos
4. Phantom Cenotaphium

Dissolution of flesh

If you like this, try:
Funeral Mourning -
Drown in Solitude (2006)
Elysian Blaze -
Blood Geometry (2012)

Mickey Newbury - 'Frisco Mabel Joy (1971)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Mickey Newbury - A Long Road Home (2002)

Probably my all-time favorite country record. Acoustic guitars, sweeping string sections, the occasional gauzy synth, and haunted, reverb-drenched vocals. It's masterful tearjerker after masterful tearjerker, reaching an apex with "Frisco Depot", whose long-way-from-home desolation could draw tears from a stone.

Track listing:
1. An American Trilogy
2. How Many Times (Must the Piper Be Paid for His Song?)
3. Interlude
4. The Future's Not What It Used to Be
5. Mobile Blue
6. Frisco Depot
7. You're Not My Same Sweet Baby
8. Interlude
9. Remember the Good
10. Swiss Cottage Place
11. How I Love Them Old Songs

Frisco's a full day from home when you can afford to fly
But it might as well be the moon when you're as broke as I

You would probably also like:
Lee Clayton -
Lee Clayton (1973)
Iris DeMent -
Infamous Angel (1992)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Crimson Evenfall - Ad Inferos Ante Christum Natum (1997)

Finnish black metal. A lazy writer might say something like, "Sounds like a more raw Emperor with less keyboard," but I'm passionate and dedicated to my craft, so instead I'm going to point out that "Endless Velvet Darkness" sounds like something my sister might order at Coldstone Creamery.

Track listing:
1. When Heaven Falls into Darkness
2. Through the Ocean of Times and Oblivion
3. Tuskan Valtakuntaan... (To the Kingdom of Pain)
4. Unholy Blood of Immortality
5. Throne of Sorcery
6. Endless Velvet Darkness
7. Bringer of Ater
8. Shadows the Diabolical Holocaust

Forests so cold
Nights so dark

You should also hear:
Nordlys -
Foelg Nordlyset (1995)
Blood Stained Dusk -
Dirge of Death's Silence (2001)

T. Rex - Futuristic Dragon (1976)

Possibly my favorite T. Rex outside of the classic era. Marc Bolan has soundtracked some of the best moments of my life, and there's a reason for that: at its best, it's some of the greatest, most joyful music in existence.

Track listing:
1. Futuristic Dragon (Introduction)
2. Jupiter Liar
3. Chrome Sitar
4. All Alone
5. New York City
6. My Little Baby
7. Calling All Destroyers
8. Theme for a Dragon
9. Sensation Boulevard
10. Ride My Wheels
11. Dreamy Lady
12. Dawn Storm
13. Casual Agent

Did you ever see a woman
Coming out of New York City
With a frog in her hand?

You might also wanna hear:
Babe Ruth -
First Base (1972)
Wizzard -
Wizzard Brew (1973)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Megalith Grave - Embittered isolation (2013)

Spectral US lo-fi black metal. Distant and icy, with haunting dark ambient tracks that are, in classic lo-fi form, mixed louder than the BM tracks.

Track listing:
1. An Alignment of Shattered Light
2. A Frost Mist's Blaze
3. Embittered Isolation
4. As the Cold Whispers
5. Relentless Animosity Against Human Life
6. Fading Desolate Entity
7. Rived to Perish, Ruin to Dust
8. The Sagacity of Endless Sorrow
9. Reflections of Mourner's Past

Distant dilated void

You should also hear:
Striborg -
Mysterious Semblance (2004)
Candelabrum -
Necrotelepathy (2016)