Thursday, February 28, 2019

Murderous Vision - ...Loathe (1997)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Murderous Vision - The Times Without God (2002)

Eerie, dense dark ambient/industrial. A collage-like approach featuring horror synths, dialogue samples, stuttering percussion, blown-out drones, harshly distorted screams, and more. Anxiety, hatred, and morbidity.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Loathe
3. Darkened Clouds (Descension)
4. Vein
5. Cesspools ov thee Underworld
6. Skin
7. Beloved
8. The Forever Sleep
9. Numb
10. End
11. Still Waiting

I remember the First War. The way the sky burned, the faces of the angles destroyed. I saw a third of Heaven's legion banished and the creation of Hell. I stood with my brothers and watched Lucifer's Fall, but now my brothers are not brothers, and we have come here where we are mortal to steal the Dark Soul, not yet Lucifer's, to serve our Cause. I have always obeyed, but I never thought that War would happen again.

More like this:
Attrition -
Death House (1982)
Megaptera -
Near Death (1991)

Skin Yard - Hallowed Ground (1988)

OG Seattle grunge. Hallowed Ground treads in the same psychedelic waters as early Soundgarden, but they're overall looser and more abrasive -- not to mention bizarre.

Track listing:
1. Stranger
2. Open Fist
3. G.O.D.
4. Needle Tree
5. Burn
6. Hallowed Ground
7. In the Blackhouse
8. Throb
9. OP4

Don't you know they all are dead?

Also listen to:
Alice Donut - The Untidy Suicides
of Your Degenerate Children
Fatso Jetson -
Stinky Little Gods (1995)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sulphuric Night - Scorpio Acuelum (2015)

Mesmerizing Bosnian raw black metal. Near-constant blasting, tremolo-picking, and lupine howls. As is so often the cause with albums like this -- the good ones, anyway -- there's something beautiful and mournful at its core.

Track listing:
1. I Am the Night
2. Moon Lore
3. Scorpio Acuelum

An oath through torture and vomit

You'd also enjoy:
Pale Mist -
From a Cruel Obscurity (2009)
Haunting Depths -
Death's Sacred Fire (2017)

Karl Schaffner & Lothar Grimm - Birds of Passage (1984)

Blissful, lulling new age. Based around minimal, slo-mo synths, with some beautiful hammered dulcimer and guitars to round it out.

Track listing:
1. Fragrance
2. In the Cloud
3. Meadow
4. Foothills
5. Changing Planet
6. Last Meeting
7. Sweet Leave
8. Energy
9. L.A. Jet

Mountains in the sea

You'd also enjoy:
Steven Halpern & Georgia Kelly -
Ancient Echoes (1978)
Al Gromer Khan -
The God Perfume II (1991)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dr. John - Babylon (1969)

Mind-melting second album from this New Orleans legend. A dense stew of bluesy guitar, hammond organ, clattering percussion, saxophone, soulful backup singers, and the man's own gravel-throated vocals over raw, buoyant grooves. Bursting with life but heavy with sorrow and anger, and rough around the edges, Babylon is a serious head-trip of an album, but it's definitely one worth taking.

Track listing:
1. Babylon
2. Glowin'
3. Black Widow Spider
4. Barefoot Lady
5. The Patriotic Flag-Waver
6. The Lonesome Guitar Strangler

This is not the land of milk and honey
This is a place where people sell their souls out for money

You might also like:
Aum -
Resurrection (1969)
Larry Coryell -
Coryell (1969)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Nahash - Wellone Aeternitas (1996)

Majestic Lithuanian black metal. Hypnotic, mid-paced odes to unending darkness that bring to mind an alternate reality wherein In the Nightside Eclipse was recorded under the influence of codeine cough syrup, and with half the budget.

Track listing:
1. Mors
2. Wellone Aeternitas I
3. Wellone Aeternitas II
4. Requiem (Epilogue)
5. Doctrina Ater [bonus track]

A symbol in space
It turns into door
The door turns into path in space
It leads into the unknown

You'd also like:
Castrum - Black Silhouette
Enfolded in Sunrise
Kataxu -
Hunger of Elements (2005)

Hammer Bros. - Police Story (1997)

Japanese hardcore techno/gabber. Hyperspeed kick-drum beats, distorted claps, fucking laser noises, and short dialogue snippets repeated over and over 'til they're tattooed on your eardrums. You might find yourself wondering, "Why does music like this even exist?" Well, you see, before there was molly, there was ecstasy, which was laced with amphetamines.

Track listing:
1. Untitled
2. Captain Takahashi (Mouri vs. Takahashi)
3. Izumi Fucking (Fuck on 300)
4. Fuck DJ Mutha Fucker (Remix)
5. Undercover Klara Cops
6. Untitled

Party's over

You might also wanna check out:
Xylocaine -
Experiment in Fear (1997)
Proyecto Mirage -
Two Tons of Rubble (2001)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ministry - Sphinctour (2001)

Lard - The Last Temptation of Reid (1990)
Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction (1997)

Here's something that no one likes: live albums with a bunch of loud-ass audience noise between every track. It's annoying, it breaks up the flow of the album, it makes the tracks super-awkward to put on playlists, and you know what? It's goddamn indulgent. Like, we get it, lots of people like your band, and they were super-stoked to be at your show.

Ministry, of course, don't play that game. Time elapsed between songs on Sphinctour averages around 5-10 seconds -- a quiet snippet of crowd applause, maybe a "this one's called [blank]," and we're on to the next one. This fact alone puts it in the top 5th percentile of live albums.

Then, of course, there's the music, which is uniformly great. Five songs from Psalm 69, five from Filth Pig (my favorite Ministry record and the album for which they were touring when Sphinctour was recorded) and one from The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste to round it out. True to Filth Pig's harsh, sludge-y tendencies, the album closes with a 1-2-3 punch of droning dirges that accounts for almost half of the album's runtime.

Track listing:
1. Psalm 69 (Live at Elysee Montmarte, Paris)
2. Crumbs (Live at Congresscenter, Stuttgart)
3. Reload (Live at Convention Center, Albuquerque)
4. Filth Pig (Live at the Varsity Arena, Toronto)
5. Just 1 Fix (Live at Aragon #2, Chicago)
6. N.W.O. (Live at the Palladium #1, Los Angeles)
7. Hero (Live at Gaswerk, Hamburg)
8. Thieves (Live at Mercer Arena, Seattle)
9. Scarecrow (Live at Jesolo Beach Festival, Venice)
10. Lava (Live at Dour Festival, Brussels)
11. The Fall (Live at Brixton Academy, London)

Some creepy guy keeps asking
"How the fuck do you sleep at night?"
With a frozen dream and a borrowed hope that died

You should also listen to:
Skrew -
Shadow of Doubt (1996)
Corrections House - Hoax the
System / Grin with a Purpose

Elvin Jones - Genesis (1971)

Cosmic, meditative post-bop led by percussionist Elvin Jones. The whole record has a slow-burning quality, from simmering, late-night vignettes to groove-heavy improv showcases.

Track listing:
1. P.P. Phoenix
2. For All the Other Times
3. Slumber
4. Three Card Molly
5. Cecilia Is Love

Inner space

You'd also enjoy:
Jean-Luc Ponty -
Electric Connection (1969)
Joe Henderson - Black Is the
(1972) + Black Narcissus (1976)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Endless Dismal Moan - Lord of Nightmare (2006)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Endless Dismal Moan - Endless Dismal Moan (2004)
Endless Dismal Moan - Curse of Underground (2006)

More haunting, disturbing black metal from the late, great Takuya Tsutsui, aka Chaos 9, aka Endless Dismal Moan. Warp-speed drum machines blasts, unhinged shrieks, and a wall of guitar and keyboard dissonance. As with Grief, as long as this blog stays up, I'd expect the entire Endless Dismal Moan discography to end up on here, 'cause they're all legit some of the best, most intense records in the game, and nowhere near enough people listen to them.

Track listing:
1. Thirst for Pleasure
3. Griefs
4. Thirst
5. Lord of Nightmare
6. Endless Dismal Moan (9 to Death)

Do I listen to DSBM because I'm miserable, or am I miserable because I listen to DSBM?

More along these lines:
Sortsind -
More Days (2001)
Alignak -
Mainlining Goats Blood (2005)

Lisa Germano - Lullaby for Liquid Pig (2002)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Lisa Germano - Happiness (1994)

"These are your secrets / Hidden inside / Wherever you go / Wherever you hide."

Thus starts a devastating but beautiful exploration of an inner world where memory, love, loneliness, shame, and addiction co-mingle and inextricably intertwine. To be sure, there's some joy in there, but it always feels fragile and fleeting. Cohesive to the point of playing like a single song-suite, but with each track occupying its own magical little sonic space. The title track hits a nerve in me like no other. No hyperbole, one of my all-time favorites.

Track listing:
1. Nobody's Playing
2. Paper Doll
3. Liquid Pig
4. Pearls
5. Candy
6. Dream Glasses Off
7. From a Shell
8. It's Party Time
9. All the Pretty Lies
10. Lullaby for Liquid Pig
11. Into the Night
12. ....To Dream

What if I do stop
Or if I don't stop
It doesn't matter
I probably won't stop
Without you here
Without your love
The world is just there
It doesn't move me

Similar listening:
Lilys -
Eccsame the Photon Band (1994)
Hospital Ships -
The Past Is Not a Flood (2016)

Friday, February 22, 2019

Blaspheme - Désir de Vampyr (1985)

French heavy metal. Mid-paced and melodic, with a dark, reverb-heavy atmosphere for extra occult, Satanic feels.

Track listing:
1. Seul
2. Territoire des Hommes
3. Orgie Romaine
4. Saint d'Espirit
5. Contrôle
6. Au Nom des Morts
7. Taxer le Peuple
8. Vivre Libre
9. Erreur de Moeurs
10. Désir de Vampyr

Prisoner of the night

If you like this, try:
Crimson Glory -
Crimson Glory (1986)
Druid - Vampire Cult (1989)
+ Four Curses (1986)

The Clean - Unknown Country (1996)

Heavenly, shimmering indie rock from New Zealand underground legends The Clean. In places, Unknown Country comes off as the spiritual successor to Another Green World, while elsewhere it's just really great, abstract indie rock. My introduction to this amazing band, and, although it seems I'm firmly in the minority here, it's still my favorite.

Track listing:
1. Wipe Me, I'm Lucky
2. Champagne & Misery
3. Changing Your Head
4. Balkans
5. Clutch
6. Franz Kafka and the Zoo
7. Whisk
8. Indigo Blue
9. Chumpy
10. Get the Liquid
11. Happy Lil Fella
12. Tweezer
13. Rope
14. Twist Top
15. Cooking Water
16. Valley Crab
17. Wall Walk
18. Balkans

The band that never was

You should also listen to:
This Kind of Punishment -
A Beard of Bees (1984)
Pram - The Stars Are So Big, the Earth
Is So Small... Stay as You Are

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Minotauri - Minotauri (2004)

Finnish traditional doom metal. Passionate vocals, killer riffs, wailing solos, and tasty occult vibes. First eight tracks are the proper album, the rest are taken from various EPs. Much like this Demdike Stare album, this would have been posted years ago if I hadn't for some reason decided that it needed to be done around Halloween, then forgotten about it every goddamn year.

Track listing:
1. Singing in the Grave
2. Black Chakras
3. Nuclear Siren
4. Intro/Devil Woman
5. My Way
6. Backstabber
7. Doom Metal Alchemy
8. Lover from the Grave
9. Cemetery Shadows
10. Frustrated
11. Paid Love
12. You Will Learn...
13. Pain of Life
14. Violence
15. Paid Love

My only friend's a corpse

You'd also like:
Count Raven -
High in Infinity (1993)
Raven Black Night -
Choose the Dark (2004)

UGK - Super Tight... (1994)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
UGK - Too Hard to Swallow (1992)

Classic second album from UGK. Peak 90s Texas gangsta rap. Weed, women, and wood grain wheels. And crimes.

Track listing:
1. Return
2. Underground
3. It's Supposed to Bubble
4. I Left It Wet for You
5. Feds in Town
6. Pocket Full of Stones, Pt. 2
7. Front, Back, & Side to Side (feat. Smoke D)
8. Protect & Serve
9. Stoned Junkee (feat. 3-2)
10. Pussy Got Me Dizzy (feat. 3-2)
11. Three Sixteen (feat. DJ DMD)

It just be like that sometimes

More like this:
Eightball & MJG -
Comin' Out Hard (1993)
Dead End Alliance -
Screwed for Life (1998)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Thy Catafalque - Tűnő idő tárlat (2004)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Thy Catafalque - Sublunary Tragedies (1999)

Incredible third album from this impossibly consistent Hungarian black metal-adjacent solo artist. Plays more like a blackened electro-industrial symphony than an album. The mind reels at the sheer amount of planning that must go into the execution of an album this complex, by oneself.

Track listing:
1. Csillagkohó
2. Neath Waters (Minden Vízbe Mártott Test)
3. Bolygó, Bolyongó
4. Kék ég Karaván
5. Héja-nász az Avaron
6. Zápor
7. Héja-nász az Avaron
8. Varjak Fekszenek

Glasshearted clouds above diving
Veering and falling and rising
Nightfall room, winter shade these days
I close my eyes when I am awake

Similar energy:
The Monolith Deathcult -
Trivmvirate (2008)
Plague Porter -
Don't Let Them Breathe (2016)

Death Ride '69 - Death Ride '69 (1989)

Murky, slow-burning, druggy goth-rock. Hypnotic, tom-heavy drums, distant, acid-drenched guitars, and male-and-female vocalists whose not-really-sung deliveries often bring to mind Sonic Youth. That's a lot of hyphens.

Track listing:
1. Elvis Christ
2. Mescalito
3. State of Decay
4. Sex Drive '68
5. Crash & Burn
6. Green Gel Blue
7. God Tab
8. 1969
9. Chains of Abuse
10. State of Decay (Alternate Mix)

I can't believe what I did last night

If you like this, you should try:
Virgin Prunes -
... If I Die, I Die (1982)
Alien Sex Fiend -
"It" The Album (1986)