Friday, November 30, 2018

The Austrasian Goat - Stains of Resignation (2010)

French blackened funeral doom with elements of post-metal. A massive, layered, crushingly heavy thing of beauty that folds acoustic guitars, cello, keyboards, and more into its world-ending sound.

Track listing:
1. Even in Uneven
2. A Liquid Manure of Guilt
3. The Arsons of Pride
4. Arrheton
5. Voice of Aenima
6. Hands
7. No Crowd Will Be Mine
8. Diseducation
9. Miles from Anywhere

Just stones paving our way to decay

You'll also enjoy:
The Fall of Every Season -
Amends (2013)
Arcana Coelestia -
Nomas (2014)

The Apples in Stereo - Her Wallpaper Reverie (1999)

Marbles - Marbles (1993)
The Apples in Stereo - Science Faire (1996)

The weirdest, most psychedelic Apples in Stereo record. Pretty sure this was the first Elephant 6-related album I ever heard, having snagged it from my cooler older sister's room in a quest for non-punk music to help me through a breakup with a high-school sweetheart. Seven song-songs interspersed with a series of instrumental vignettes and sketches. "Strawberryfire" is a piece of Beatles worship for the ages -- it's almost too on-the-nose, but it's executed so beautifully that all is quickly forgiven.

Relatedly: I've been going back and replacing old links with higher-quality rips -- including almost all of the Elephant 6 ones -- so enjoy. And I haven't listened to all of them, so let me know if there are any issues with them.

Track listing:
1. I. Her Room Is a Rainy Garden
2. II. Morning Breaks (And Roosters Complain)
3. The Shiney Sea
4. III. The Significance of a Floral Print
5. Strawberryfire
6. IV. From Outside, in Floats a Music Box
7. Ruby
8. V. She Looks Through Empty Windows
9. Questions and Answers
10. VI. Drifting Patterns
11. Y2K
12. VII. Les Amants
13. Benefits of Lying (With Your Friends)
14. Ruby, Tell Me
15. VIII. Together They Dream into the Evening

I would do anything to be anywhere else

You should also hear:
The Boo Radleys -
Giant Steps (1993)
Beulah -
When Your Heartstrings Break (1999)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Outskirts of Infinity - Lord of the Dark Skies (1987)

Killer space rock from a power trio consisting of past and present members of The Bevis Frond. Did one of you tell me about this record? I downloaded it recently and have absolutely no recollection of how I found it. If so, holy shit, thank you.

Track listing:
1. Invocation / Warning
2. Gemini Machine
3. Eastern Spell
4. Stoned Crazy
5. Tales of Brave Ulysses
6. Eyes in the Back of My Head
7. Lord of the Dark Skies
8. Reaching Upwards
9. Celebration / Peace

You thought the leaden winter
Would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer
To the violence of the sun

You'd also like:
Hairy Chapter -
Can't Get Through (1971)
Hawkwind -
Sonic Attack (1981)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Asva - What You Don't Know Is Frontier (2008)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Asva - Futurists Against the Ocean (2005)

Majestic, otherworldly drone-doom. Towering masses of organ, synth, and down-tuned guitars that belie a knack for memorable melodic themes. When the vocals finally hit in "A Game in Hell, Hard Work in Heaven", rivers flood, dams break, and hearts explode. Asva take a more subtle, slow-burning approach to the style than many of their peers -- like, say, Burning Witch, with whom they have a split -- so I guess it makes sense that they never quite became a household name in drone-doom circles, but... they're just so fucking good.

Track listing:
1. What You Don't Know Is Frontier
2. Christopher Columbus
3. A Game in Hell, Hard Work in Heaven
4. A Trap for Judges

Sweet dreams asshole

You would probably also like:
Bloody Panda -
Summon (2009)
Aelter -
Aelter II: Follow You Beloved (2011)

Paternoster - Paternoster (1972)

Dark, surreal Austrian prog/psych. Funereal, organ-driven dirges and hippie freakouts, featuring a vocalist who sounds like he's standing on a chair and gazing longingly at a noose while singing. One of my favorite records in existence.

Track listing:
1. Paternoster
2. Realization
3. Stop These Lines
4. Blind Children
5. Old Danube
6. The Pope Is Wrong
7. Mammoth Opus O

Without faith and without labor

Also listen to:
Aum -
Resurrection (1969)
Bulbous Creation -
You Won't Remember Dying (1971)

Monday, November 26, 2018

||| - Lines and Lands (2016)

Beautifully depressive Spanish atmospheric/post-black metal. That's not three "I"s, but three parallel lines, and I'm not sure how you're supposed to say it, or where to file it, or why dude gave it such an obscure moniker instead of just calling it Chiral like he does the other atmospheric black metal that he makes. All that aside, though, this is a great, if brief, album and it's free to download from the Chiral bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. A Mirroring Sleep
2. Line |
3. Line | (Reprise)
4. Line ||
5. Line || (Reprise)
6. A Sleeping Mirror

I'm still here
To consume my own corpse

More along these lines:
Nordlicht -
Nebelmeer (2002)
Infamous -
Of Solitude and Silence (2011)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Xasthur - Nocturnal Poisoning (2002)

Mord - Imperium Magnum Infernalis (2006)
Xasthur - All Reflections Drained (2009)

Since I posted Leviathan last night, it feels only right to post Xasthur tonight, as I've always seen them as two sides of the same dissonant, suicide-endorsing USBM coin. It's impossible to pick a favorite Xasthur album, as they're pretty much all 10/10s, but generally, I'll go with either this or Telepathic with the Deceased. And sorry for the string of entry-level posts but school has been kicking my ass, so I haven't had time to dig deep.

Track listing:
1. In the Hate of Battle
2. Soul Abduction Ceremony
3. A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
4. Black Imperial Blood
5. Legion of Sin and Necromancy
6. A Walk Beyond Utter Blackness
7. Nocturnal Poisoning
8. Forgotten Depths of Nowhere

Stare through the eyes of my mirror master
And the mirror stares back into me

More like this:
I Shalt Become -
In the Falling Snow (2008)
Endless Dismal Moan -
Curse of Underground (2010)

The Church - Untitled #23 (2009)

Steve Kilbey - The Slow Crack (1987)
Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)
The Church - Priest=Aura (1992)
Steve Kilbey & Russell P. Kilbey - Gilt Trip (1997)
The Church - Church of Baal (1998)

My favorite late-career Church record. The same echoing guitars and dark, surreal lyrical concerns as ever, just applied to some of the best, most beautiful songs they've ever conjured forth from the infinite subconscious of the universe.

Track listing:
1. Cobalt Blue
2. Deadman's Hand
3. Pangaea
4. Happenstance
5. Space Saviour
6. On Angel Street
7. Sunken Sun
8. Anchorage
9. Lunar
10. Operetta

Darkness returning
My torch keeps on burning for you
In the life you keep on spurning
Everything is hurting me

You might also enjoy:
The Ocean Blue -
Cerulean (1993)
Air Formation - Nothing to Wish
For (Nothing to Lose)

Leviathan - Three (1998)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Leviathan - Ten (2001)
Leviathan - A Silhouette in Splinters (2005)

20 years ago, Jeff Whitehead mastered an otherworldly, dissonant, but riff-y style of black metal that people are still trying to figure out in 2018. Wasn't gonna post anything tonight but since I can't sleep, I might as well help y'all start your Sundays off right.

Seven tracks, titled "I" through "VII"

The feet wait silent
In a pool of excrement and blood
And still the mouth gurgles forth
A black matter thick and putrid

You should also listen to:
Crebain -
Night of Stormcrow (2003)
Alignak -
Mainlining Goats Blood (2005)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Balam Acab - Wander/Wonder (2011)

Sleek, nocturnal, downtempo sounds from American producer Alec Koone. Rooted in witch house, but airier, prettier, and not particularly spooky. Sounds like a kindred spirit of Holy Other.

Track listing:
1. Welcome
2. Apart
3. Motion
4. Expect
5. Now Time
6. Oh, Why
7. Await
8. Fragile Hope

Regret making mistakes

You should also listen to:
EP (2012)
tooth ache. -
Flash and Yearn (2013)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Toadliquor - The Hortator's Lament (2003)

Some of the greatest sludge ever made. The Hortator's Lament collects almost everything this band ever recorded, including an LP, an EP, a couple of splits, and some unreleased stuff -- like their cover of "Also Sprach Zarathustra". Somewhere between Eyehategod and early Melvins. Essential.

Track listing:
1. (Opening Sections Of) Inter-Stellar Space
2. Gnaw
3. Charred
4. Fratricide: A Requiem
5. Survival Is the Fittest
6. Swarm
7. Tenderloin
8. Nails
9. Also Sprach Zarathustra
10. Tatterdemalion: The Gladiators' Debasement Before Cain
11. (Continuing Sections Of) Inter-Stellar Space: Love
12. Hortator's Lament

Death to everyone

More like this:
Harvey Milk - Courtesy and
Good Will Toward Men
16 -
Blaze of Incompetence (1997)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Forest Stream - Tears of Mortal Solitude (2003)

Russian blackened gothic doom. Almost every moment of Tears of Mortal Solitude is drenched in keyboards, making for a lushly melodic, heavily adorned sound. Jesus, what an eyesore of a cover, though.

Track listing:
1. Autumn Elegy
2. Legend
3. Last Season Purity
4. Snowfall
5. Mel Kor
6. Whole
7. Black Swans
8. Winter Solstice
9. Steps of Mankind

Leave me
I've chosen

If you like this, try:
Cryptal Darkness -
They Whispered You Had Risen (1999)
Fallen -
A Tragedy's Bitter End (2004)

Ramleh - Hole in the Heart (1987)

Old-school British power electronics. Echoing, distorted vocals, industrial drones, screeching feedback, and grainy, mournful synths.

Track listing:
1. Spear Flowers
2. Hole in the Heart
3. Product of Fear
4. Grazing on Fear 2

Thou art my god

You'd probably also like:
Schloss Tegal -
The Grand Guignol (1993)
Atrax Morgue -
Spasmosynthetics (1997)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Belong - October Language (2006)

Jaw-dropping debut LP from this New Orleans duo. Beautifully fractured, intricately layered sounds consisting entirely of heavily processed guitars. Could be heard as an extremely deconstructed take on shoegaze. (If you want to hear their not-deconstructed take on it, check out their next full-length, Common Era.) Fans of Harmony in Ultraviolet, here's something for your sad asses to be happy about.

Track listing:
1. I Never Lose. Never Really
2. Red Velvet or Nothing
3. October Language
4. I'm Too Sleepy...Shall We Swim?
5. Remove the Inside
6. Who Told You This Room Exists?
7. All Equal Now
8. The Door Opens the Other Way

Perfect life

Similar listening:
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma -
Shining Skull Breath (2007)
Wrath of the Weak -
Solace (2010)

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Queers - Love Songs for the Retarded (1993)

Keeping the high school favorites train rolling with some of the greatest, catchiest pop-punk ever made. I'll admit that, as a grown-ass man, some of the un-PC shit makes me cringe a little, but if punk's not about starting an offensively-named band and playing songs called "I Hate Everything" and "I Can't Stop Farting", I don't know what it's about. Plus, "Fuck the World" and "Debra Jean" belong in the pop-punk hall of fame.

Track listing:
1. You're Tripping
2. Ursula Finally Has Tits
3. I Hate Everything
4. Teenage Bonehead
5. Fuck the World
6. I Can't Stop Farting
7. Feeling Groovy
8. Debra Jean
9. Hi Mom, It's Me!
10. Noodlebrain
11. I Can't Stand You
12. Night of the Livid Queers
13. Granola-Head
14. I Won't Be
15. Monster Zero
16. Daydreaming

Well, I was walking down the street
With my head held high
Thinking everything was alright
When a big fat bird came and shit on my head

Also listen to:
Alice Donut -
Bucketfulls of Sickness and Horror in
an Otherwise Meaningless Life
Tony Molina -
Dissed and Dismissed (2013)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Synergy - Cords (1978)

A while back -- like, a few years -- one of you was wondering why, given all the synth stuff I post, I'd never posted any Synergy. So, it's a combination of two factors: they're one of the biggest names in the game, and I don't love a lot of their albums. I like 'em just fine, but sometimes they just feel too middle-of-the-road or something. Cords, however, has a darker, more immediate sound, and I like it significantly more than anything else I've heard of theirs.

Track listing:
1. On Presuming to Be Modern I
2. Phobos and Deimos Go to Mars: Phobos
3. Phobos and Deimos Go to Mars: Deimos
4. Sketches of Mythical Beasts
5. Disruption in World Communications
6. On Presuming to Be Modern II
7. A Small Collection of Chords
8. Full Moon Flyer
9. Terra Incognita
10. Trellis
11. On Presuming to Be Modern II

Rampage of the elements

You'd also like:
Michael Hoenig - Departure from
the Northern Wasteland
Michael Genest -
Crystal Fantasy (1984)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Catharsis - Passion (1999)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Catharsis - Samsara (1997)

Second and final LP by the great Catharsis. An absolute masterpiece of fiery, dramatic, psych-tinged metallic hardcore. Hearing the one-two punch of "Into the Eyeless Sockets of the Night" into "The Witch's Heart" for the first time as a very, very stoned 17-year old remains one of the greatest music-listening experiences of my life.

As great as Passion is, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the penultimate track, "Deserts Without Mirages", an ambitious but probably misguided attempt stab at reggae that's been the subject of many a debate around the DEAR SPIRIT household over the years. I will say, I'm closer now to liking it than I've ever been. Regardless, it does set the listener up for "Sabbat (Dervish Dance)", the album's awe-inspiring climax and one of my absolute favorite pieces of heavy music.

Track listing:
1. Passion...
2. ...Obsession
3. Panoptikon
4. Into the Eyeless Sockets of the Night
5. The Witch's Heart (Live's Lost Too Soon - Or Too Late)
6. Threshold (To Enter, the Heart Must Break)
7. Duende (The Soil Is Closer Than the Sky)
8. Deserts Without Mirages
9. Sabbat (Dervish Dance)

This weapon will replace my tongue.
I will learn to speak through it.
And my poetry will now be written with blood.

Also of interest:
Damad -
Burning Cold (2000)
Majority Rule -
Interviews with David Frost (2001)