Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Vasaeleth - Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin (2010)

Hey, I'm back in Portland for the night, drunk, and unable to sleep. So how bout some sick-ass US death metal? Definitely one of the best records to come out of the wave of Incantation-worshipping bands that hit around this time.

Track listing:
1. Wrathful Deities
2. Figures of Chained Spirits
3. Curse Seeping Through Flesh
4. Gateway to the Cemetery of Being
5. Poisoned Tongye
6. Spirit of Noxious Miasmas
7. Adorned & Iridescent
8. Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin

Eyes cut from the skull of humanity

More like this:
Beyond Mortal Dreams -
From Hell (2008)
Slugathor -
Echoes from Beneath (2009)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Various Artists - Infernal Proteus (A Musical Herbal) (2002)

Alio Die - Sit Tibi Terra Levis / Introspective (1990)
In Gowan Ring - Love Charms (1994)
Ah Cama-Sotz - Terra Infernalis (1999)
Apoptose - Nordland (2000)
Chaos as Shelter - In the Shelter of Chaos (2000)
Lotus Eaters - Alienist on a Pale Horse (2001)
Inade - The Incarnation of the Solar Architects (2009)

Your boy DEAR_SPIRIT is about to leave for a little over a week of touring with my band Rohit, so I'm gonna hit y'all with something special that should take a while to burn through. It's a phenomenal 4-disc compilation of songs by various darkwave, neoclassical, neofolk, and otherwise industrial-adjacent artists, each of which is meant to represent a different herb. What's that? Yes, marijuana is included -- Lotus Eaters are given the honor. Other artists include the rest of the above-linked, as well as Amber Asylum, RAIN, Troum, and a whole bunch more. Full track listing here. You're welcome.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4

You should also listen to:
Forseti -
Windzeit (2002)
Sieben -
Ogham Inside the Night (2005)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Asunder / Like Flies on Flesh - Asunder / Like Flies on Flesh [Split] (2000)

A killer split LP featuring the first recorded output from the mighty Asunder, as well as the only recorded material by Like Flies on Flesh. Though they'd go on to create some of the most majestic funeral doom in existence -- seriously, if you haven't heard A Clarion Call, get on it -- the songs on this split are pure, crusty death/doom of the highest order. The Like Flies on Flesh songs are a malleable kind of epic crust-metal, touching on black, death, doom, thrash, and more. Generally I don't like to declare 'winners' or 'losers' of splits, because it's not a goddamn contest, but... if it were a contest, Asunder would be the clear winner.

Track listing:
1. Asunder - The Fall of Elders
2. Asunder - Tides of Ruin
3. Asunder - (Outro) Eulogy Part One
4. Like Flies on Flesh - Prelude to a Storm
5. Like Flies on Flesh - In Spite of You All
6. Like Flies on Flesh - Punishment
7. Like Flies on Flesh - A Pain That Lingers

As they reach with outstretched hands
Seeking a spirit to fill their shell
Souls hide deep in the shadows
Fleeing from that mortal hell
Watch them die
As they march towards the other side
Bound to the hollow promise
Of a heaven sent to this forgotten realm Where only pain remains

If you like this, try:
Winter -
Into Darkness (1990)
Counterblast -
Balance of Pain (1996)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Gorugoth - Ankoku Shinwa (Myth of Darkness) (1999)

Japanese raw black metal. Compiles songs from various demos. Fuzzy guitars, drum machine, and monstrous, reverb-soaked gutturals and disgusted screams.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Revelation 4
3. Revelation 6
4. Revelation 16
5. Burg Don
6. Intro & Spells 1
7. Intro & Spells 2 & Outro

Monotonous junk fuck

Also listen to:
Haxen -
Black Fire Suicide (2006)
Spectral Woods -
Between the Trees (2011)

Snowman - Absence (2011)

Absence is an awe-inspiring and completely singular record, planned and executed as this Australian band's swansong. A haunting, cinematic, mysterious sound-world of shimmering clean guitars, ghostly singing, thunderous percussion, and gauzy synths, with all of the heavy impact of metal, but none of the distortion or screaming. Highly recommended for anyone who likes dark music of any kind.

Track listing:
1. Snakes & Ladders
2. Hyena
3. White Wall
4. Seance
5. A
6. Memory Lost
7. A Vanishing Act
8. Absence

Remember, remember
To feed the hyena

You might also enjoy:
Locrian & Mammifer -
Bless Them That Curse You (2011)
Extra Life -
Dream Seeds (2012)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Antagonic Omnipotent Catharsis - ... Onwards the Path to Antagony (2006)

US black metal with strong folk elements. A homemade-sounding EP (it's a little over half an hour) of majestic, mostly instrumental, multi-part epics with some truly breathtaking guitar work. Obviously, a warm, fuzzy home recording is never gonna bother me, but I really think this guy could do a lot with a small budget and access to a recording studio.

Track listing:
1. Genesis
2. Endymion
3. Mightiest Under the Moon
4. Alarum Within
5. Stella Viae

Because the sunlight is powerless against me. My rivers and seas are frozen with Christian blood and my throne is the forest's heart. My blood is the serpent's poison. The wolves are that force which roams my kingdoms... the wolves, the wolves are my only now disciples.

You would also like:
Obtest -
Tūkstantmetis (1997)
Himinbjorg -
Where Ravens Fly (1998)

Hermann Kopp - Pop (1983)

First solo LP by German musician Hermann Kopp. Experimental, minimal synth 'pop' colored by bizarre, choppy, out-of-tune violin and what I'm guessing are some really bizarre lyrics.

Track listing:
1. Himmel
2. Amanda Am Nudistenstrand
3. Mondo Zombie
4. Paul Getty's Ohr
5. Gemini
6. Belle de Jour
7. Fleisch
8. Nein Ich Bereue Nichts

Drunk in the trunk

You will probably also like:
Warning -
Warning (1982)
Holy Toy -
Panzer and Rabbits (1984)

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Dead - Ritual Executions (2010)

City-leveling Australian death/doom. Beastly, midpaced death infused with a gnarly stoner-sludge groove, and some of the most monstrous-sounding vocals you're likely to hear. It's a much more natural, seamless combination that one might expect, and it makes for a killer fucking record.

Track listing:
1. Burn Your Dead
2. Cannibal Abattoir
3. Centurian
4. Born in a Grave
5. Ritual Executions
6. Blood Angel
7. Death Metal Suicide

Cold as ice
Maggots crawl from its eyes
Skin satanic grey
Born in a grave

You should also listen to:
Skeletal Spectre -
Tomb Coven (2011)
Binah -
Hallucinating in Resurrecture (2012)

Antarctica - 81:03 (1999)

US indie rock. 81:03 is their only LP, and it's a glorious, two-disc journey based in dreamy but driving, Cure-like post-punk. There's a sheen of synth throughout that helps them to venture seamlessly from fully danceable territory into stretches of sprawling, shimmering post-rock and ambient trance. There wasn't much of a market for stuff like this in the late 90s, which might help to account for this record's relative obscurity, but someday, the world's gonna catch up with Antarctica, and 81:03 is gonna be talked about like the masterpiece that it is.

Track listing:
  -Disc One-
1. Absence
2. Tower of Silence
3. The Velvet Flood
4. Return to Omma Dawn
5. The Chrome Selected
6. Ultra Nørsk
  -Disc Two-
1. Hallucins
2. Tektur the Water
3. Exisis
4. 7759 60784 1 E
5. Arctikal

Where are we now?

Also of interest:
The Essence -
Ecstacy (1988)
The Wild Swans -
Bringing Home the Ashes (1988)

Help Xathagorra Mlandroth (of Catacombs) get out of illness-related debt!

About two years ago, I posted In the Depths of R'lyeh by Catacombs, an album that I'd submit as one of the all-time great doom records. In my post, I kinda flippantly complained about how he'd never released a follow-up album, going so far as to (jokingly) ask how he can sleep at night. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Well, fuck me, it turns out that he has been suffering through a long, heartbreaking series of health issues -- including Lyme disease, work-related poisoning, and more -- that have prevented him from making music, working, or doing much of anything, from what is sounds like. And because America forces its most incapacitated, vulnerable citizens to fend for themselves, he's accrued a massive amount of debt. AND he just lost his disability. Fucking Christ.

So, I know I don't generally do stuff like this, but shit, I've been giving his album away, I should probably try to tell help him a little bit, right? I know that some of you have asked about ways that you could possibly repay me for my efforts -- some of you have even offered to donate money to me -- so please, anyone who's reading this: PLEASE consider heading over to his GoFundMe and donating whatever you can. A buck. Five bucks.

You can read more on his GoFundME page, or on this Facebook post. Let's help to make life a little less shitty for one the artists that we love.

Sorgeldom - Innerlig Förmörkelse (2009)

Bergraven - Dödsvisioner (2007)

Swedish black metal. Cold and hypnotic.

Track listing:
1. Insikter
2. Oroväckande förlust av ett förlorat förstånd
3. Då drömmen dog, dödade dagen dig
4. Livslusten for med vinden
5. Geväret lades fram, processen blev kort
6. Innerlig förmörkelse

The womb of mysteries leaves riddles on the surface

Also of interest:
Empty - The Last Breath
of My Mortal Despai
r (2005)
Mortuus Lunae -
In Spirutuale Contatto (2009)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Michel Genest - Crystal Fantasy (1984)

Heavenly new age synth. Evocative melodies and warm, shimmering chords that might help you forget, for just a little while at least, that the world is utter dogshit.

Track listing:
1. Most Holy Trinosophia
2. Sunrise - First Light
3. Octavia
4. Magical Iridescence
5. Dream Odyssey
6. The Mystic Wanderer
7. Reflections on a Moonlit Stream
8. Crystal Fantasy
9. Ancient A'bode
10. Sacred Temple Dance
11. Radiant Rainbow Prism
12. Land of Enchantment
13. Keepers of the Flame

Ancient prophecies

For more like this, try:
Kitaro -
Oasis (1979)
Michael Stearns - Encounter
(A Journey in the Key of Space)

Anenzephalia - Fragments of Demise (1993)

Anxiety-ridden German industrial/dark ambient featuring members(s?) of Genocide Organ. Empty sounds of agony and despair.

Track listing:
1. Cuesta del Plomo
2. Successive Torture
3. Megalomaniac 1
4. Transcendental Suffering
5. Megalomaniac 2
6. Meat Grinder
7. Noordgesig (Live)
8. What Are They For?
9. Ashen Town

Ultra fear perception

Similar listening:
Apoptose -
Nordland (2000)
Murderous Vision -
The Times Without Gods (2002)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Only Ones - The Peel Sessions Album (1989)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
The Only Ones - Even Serpents Shine (1979)

Been meaning to post this ever since someone requested it in the comments section of my post on Even Serpents Shine. Includes newly recorded versions of singles and deep cuts from their uniformly excellent first three LPs, all colored by Peel's signature warm, unadorned production and the looseness and spontaneity that accompany all of the best live recordings. Has there ever been a better power pop band?

Track listing:
1. Oh Lucinda
2. No Peace for the Wicked
3. Oh No
4. The Beast
5. In Betweens
6. Another Girl, Another Planet
7. Language Problem
8. From Here to Eternity
9. Lovers of Today
10. Why Don't You Kill Yourself?
11. Telescopic Love
12. Flaming Torch
13. Miles from Nowhere
14. Prisoners
15. The Happy Pilgrim
16. The Big Sleep

I don't know which one of us is worse
Is it the one who lies or the one who hurts?

Also listen to:
The Saints -
Prehistoric Sounds (1978)
Dwight Twilley -
Twilley (1979)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Onirik - Casket Dream Veneration (2015)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Onirik - Songs for the Apocalipse (2005)

The latest LP from one of Portugal's best. Casket Dream Veneration finds Onirik fleshing out their sound while honing in on some of their most compelling qualities, crafting a sequence of midtempo aural rituals marked by sickening, dissonant melodies, haunting clean vocals, and hypnotic compositional consistency.

Track listing:
1. Requiem for a Profane Liberation
2. Invocation & Defiance
3. Reverent to the Flames
4. Casket Dream Veneration
5. Ascension & Descent
6. I Am Him But He Is Not Me
7. Disputant by Enlightenment
8. Versos De Um Ritual

Illusions that melt within the clouds

Also of interest:
Lugubrum -
Winterstones (1995)
Xasthur -
All Reflections Drained (2009)

Roxanne Jean Polise - I'm in the Medicine Cabinet (2004)

Woozy, narcotized dark ambient/drone by Chicagoan artist Roxanne Jean Polise. Creepy but oddly comforting -- like coming to surrounded by ghosts, only to realize that you're one of them. Free/name your price via the bandcamp of her previous band, Warmth.

Track listing:
1. Gently to the Cradle
2. We'll All Feel Better Soon
3. Stop Drugging Our Water and Let Us Sink Faster
4. I'm in the Medicine Cabinet

Debbie downer

Also listen to:
Chaos as Shelter -
In the Shelter of Chaos (2000)
Lotus Eaters -
Alienist on a Pale Horse (2001)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stormcrow - Enslaved in Darkness (2005)

US metallic crust. One of the heaviest crust bands of all time, hands-down. Whole lotta Bolt Thrower influence here, but smellier.

Track listing:
1. Enslaved in Darkness
2. Anguished Existence
3. Unwilling to Forgive
4. Baleful Conception
5. New Messiah

A new black death

You'd also like:
Misery -
From Where the Sun Never Shines
Swordwielder -
Grim Visions of Battle (2013)