Sunday, September 29, 2019

Vanessa Amara - Like All Mornings (2017)

Some of my favorite ambient music in recent memory. Abstracted piano figures and ghostly drones, echoing into empty space through a watery, moderately damaged cassette. Melancholy, tranquil, and utterly haunting.

Track listing:
1. 09-03-2016
2. 28-04-2016
3. 03-03-2016
4. 12-03-2016
5. 05-03-2016
6. 12-04-2016
7. 15-03-2016
8. 27-04-2016
9. 07-04-2016
10. 11-04-2016
11. 01-03-2016
12. 26-04-2016
13. 08-04-2016
14. 06-04-2016
15. 29-04-2016

You're welcome here

You'd probably also enjoy:
Vidna Obmana -
The River of Appearance (1996)
Keith Fullerton Whitman -
Playthroughs (2002)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Ordo Blasphemus - Lemegeton (2007)

French raw black metal. Sounds like a drug-addled two-piece rehearsal recording they recorded some sick-as-fuck vocals over. I remember trying to explain my love for stuff like this to a new coworker (#1: He was asking, and #2: It was a record store so talking about obscure music is par for the course) and all I could come up with was something like, "It's just so deranged and evil, and it's like they truly don't want you to like them."

Track listing:
1. Darkened Wings
3. Septentrional Sabbath
4. Thou, Blood and Hellfire
5. Golconda
6. Coldness into Limbo

Swallowed and digested
And soothed by darkness soot

More like this:
Black Blood -
Cryptic Rituals (2004)
Forgotten Spell -
The Necromancer Demo (2017)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Trance to the Sun - Ghost Forest (1984)

Ethereal, ritualistic darkwave. A mesmerizing, narcotized haze of drifting synths, chiming guitars, simple drum loops, and ghostly, disembodied voices.

Track listing:
1. Mint
2. Cauldron Street II
3. August Rain
4. Eonite Trip
5. Vilette
6. Clocks
7. Lend Me Your Most Vile
8. Voidswallow
9. Exhibition III
10. Ghost Forest

To see you frozen stiff

More along these lines:
black tape for a blue girl -
Mesmerized by the Sirens (1987)
Lycia - The Burning Circle
and Then Dust

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Darzamat - In the Opium of Black Veil (1999)

Polish symphonic black/gothic metal. An abundance of melodramatic clean vocals and string arrangements makes for a significant cheese factor, but I still listen to Cradle of Filth so my tolerance for that kinda thing is obviously pretty high. Please don't ask me to defend the album cover, though, because I cannot.

Track listing:
1. Beyond the World
2. In the Opium of the Black Veil
3. From the Earth to the Stars
4. Ancient Philosophy
5. Secret Garden (Mystic Version)

I look back to embrace you and I see
Icy blackness, deadly nothing

Similar listening:
Siebenbürgen -
Loreia (1997)
Graveworm -
As the Angels Reach the Beauty (1999)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Joe Zawinul - Dialects (1986)

A strange, unsung masterpiece from influential Austrian fusion keyboardist Joe Zawinul (of Weather Report, Miles Davis' band, and more.) Synths, rhythmic loops, samples, and vocoder. To my untrained ear, these sound like largely African/possibly Brazilian-influenced sounds, but I clearly don't know enough to expand on that.

Track listing:
1. The Harvest
2. Waiting for the Rain
3. Zeebop
4. The Great Empire
5. Carnavalito
6. 6 A.M. / Walking on the Nile
7. Peace

Many loves

Also listen to:
Osibisa -
Osibisa (1971)
King Sunny Ade &
His African Beats - Aura (1984)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Anatomia - Dissected Humanity (2006)

Transgressor - Ether for Scapegoat (1992)

Autopsy-style Japanese death/doom. Disgusted and disgusting, complete with sludgy breakdown riffs that would sound right at home on a Grief song.

Track listing:
1. Carnal Mutilation
2. Tortured Bleeding End
3. Drowned in Sewage
4. Funeral Feast
5. Suicides
6. Deceased
7. Morgue of Cannibalism
8. Only Consumed by Dead
9. Stillborn [Autopsy cover]

Stomach opened
Organs discharged
Shredded meat
Left decayed

Similar listening:
Infester -
To the Depths, in Degradation (1994)
The Ravenous -
Assembled in Blasphemy (2001)
+ Three on a Meathook (2003)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Mark Renner - All Walks of This Life (1986)

Beautiful, elusive sounds from one of Baltimore's finest. Side A is all gauzy synths and glistening guitars, while Side B finds Renner channeling a swooning, lo-fi new wave muse, and would have been a huge hit with the hipsters if it came out in 2010.

Track listing:
1. Feeling Blue and Grey
2. Princes Street
3. The Quiet Land
4. The Man and the Echo
5. Book of Mercy
6. Wounds
7. Few Traces
8. Riverside
9. The Mirror at Saint Andrews
10. Half a Heart
11. The Wild House
12. More or Less
13. A Glimpse of the Thirteenthroom

It might have been

If you like this, listen to:
Bernard Xolotl -
Return of the Golden Mean (1980)
Karl Schaffner & Lothar Grimm -
Birds of Passage (1984)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Guttural Slug - Intercranial Purgatory (2012)

Stupid-heavy Danish slamming death. Creaky vocals and non-stop chugging breakdowns, all played at pretty much the same tempo. I'll admit I'm new to Guttural Slug, as I just got into them via their new album, which happens to be one of the best slam records ever made.

Track listing:
1. Intercranial Purgatory
2. Cerebral Pollution
3. Necrotic Sanity
4. Head Slammed
5. Skull Fucked
6. Lacerated
7. Forsaken
8. Leeches
9. Blood Pact

The putrid stench of you fills the room
The aroma of your carcass is all too much
I puke into you and fill you up with chunder

More like this:
Cerebral Incubation -
Gonorrhea Nodule Mastication (2012)
Disfiguring the Goddess -
Sleeper (2012)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Lönndom - Fälen från norr (2007)

Swedish blackened folk metal. Somewhat a continuation of LIK. A hypnotic, often gorgeous, and idiosyncratic sound that makes for some of the more interesting folk metal I've heard.

Track listing:
1. Vid elden
2. Ripeluokte
3. Himlalågor
4. Tjåkkå
5. Stállo
6. Ripeluokte II
7. Nordafejd
8. På fjället

A glorious time of eternal darkness

You'd probably also like:
Obtest -
Tükstantmetis (2007)
Antagonic Omnipotent Catharsis -
...Onwards the Path to Antagony (2006)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Elf Power - When the Red King Comes (1997)

The Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One (1999)
Elf Power - The Winter Is Coming (2000)

Stoned reveries and fuzzy indie rockers. Decidedly less sonically diverse than their above-linked masterpiece, but still hella good.

Track listing:
1. Step Through the Portal...
2. Into the Everlasting Time
3. The Frightened Singers
4. The Secret Ocean
5. The Arrow Flies Close
6. Icy Hands Will Never Melt Away
7. When the Red King Comes
8. The Separating Fault
9. Spectators
10. Introducing Cosmic Space
11. The Bengal Parade
12. Needles in the Camels Eyes...
13. The Silver Lake
14. It's Been a Million Years

Deep down in the very center
On the inside of the world
You can hear the electric highways
We can speak imaginary words

You'll also like:
Marbles -
Marbles (1993)
Beulah -
Handsome Western States (1997)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Karl Sanders - Saurian Meditation (2004)

In which Karl Sanders follows his ancient Egyptian muse all the way to the afterworld. Dark, psychedelic, almost entirely instrumental, and with a guest appearance from David Vincent as the voice of God or something. Reminds me of a simpler time when, if I had a day off and wanted to get stoned and listen to some new music, I had to first drive my ass to Record & Tape Traders and spent $15 on an album I knew nothing about by the dude from Nile. Luckily, it was exactly what I'd hoped it would be. (Also, I highly recommend tracking down the liner notes, as they're written by Mr. Sanders himself and offer an endearingly nerdy and un-self-serious explanation of the conceptual basis and recording process of each track.)

[Link updated to include missing track.]

Track listing:
1. Awaiting the Vultures
2. Of the Sleep of Ishtar
3. Luring the Doom Serpent
4. Contemplations of the Endless Abyss
5. The Elder God Shrine
6. Temple of Lunar Ascension
7. Dreaming Through the Eyes of Serpents
8. Whence No Traveler Returns
9. The Forbidden Path Across the Chasm of Self-Realization
10. Beckon the Sick Winds of Pestilence

Cry for dawn

You might also like:
Coffin Texts - Gods of
Creation, Death & Afterlife
Eagle Twin - The Feather
Tipped the Serpent's Scale

Friday, September 6, 2019

David Galas - The Cataclysm (2006)

Lycia - The Burning Circle and Then Dust (1995)

Sprawling first solo album from David Galas, who was a member of Lycia for a few years, including during the recording of my favorite record of theirs (see above.) The Cataclysm has a similarly enveloping, droning misery, but it's sonically heavier and adds a twist of gothic Americana, plus some metal growls.

Track listing:
1. Asleep in the Field
2. The Harvest
3. American Melancholy
4. Alone We Will Always Be
5. The End Is Always Closer
6. Sect I
7. Capsized
8. September
9. The Fragment
10. Far Away from Nothing
11. Sect II
12. The Cataclysm Pt. 1
13. The Cataclysm Pt. 2
14. The Burial
15. Shimla
16. Reclamation
17. Sect III
18. The Great Ruins of Man
19. Something Fell from the Sky

Watching time die

You might also enjoy:
Skin -
Shame, Humility, Revenge (1988)
Canaan -
Blue Fire (1996)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Night of Suicide - What I Have to Hide... (2006)

Phlebotomized - Devoted to God (1992)

"Hey man, do you really think we have to put the style of music that we play on the album cover?"
"Um, yeah, how else are people gonna know what we sound like?"
"They could, you know, just listen to the CD."
"But no one's gonna listen to it if they don't even know what it sounds like, you fucking idiot."
"OK, fine, you're right. But can we at least take out the "depressive" part? 'Cause it's pretty redundant, seeing as how, like, all funeral doom is depressive."
"... Look, where were you when I sent this shit out to be printed?"

Weird, amateurish Dutch/Finnish funeral doom. Possibly the weirdest thing about this album is how not-heavy it is. The guitars are tinny and low in the mix, so when the funereal keyboards come in they dominate. But there's something compelling, even hypnotic about it, and it doesn't sound quite like anything else I've heard.

Track listing:
1. Memories
2. What I Have to Hide...
3. Shape of Depression
4. Your Eyes [bonus track]

Under the gallows pole
Unmarked grave awaits

Also listen to:
Beyond Black Void -
Desolate (2002)
Absum - Eznerapsart Led
Oicsnocbus Onamu

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Land Beyond the Forest - On Road to Frozen Stars (1998)

Russian raw black metal. The depthless sorrow and unquenchable blood-thirst of a universe in eternal decay, obscured by time and technological limitations.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Forest Is a Symphony of Light and Colours
3. On Road to Frozen Stars (My Immortal Kingdom)
4. Dusk
5. Winter
6. Black Moon Rising
7. Shadows
8. Get Dark in Satanic Blood
9. ALPHA E.T.E. - Apocalypse
10. Beyond the Great Vast Forest [Emperor cover]

The children of the night
They shall rise again

You should also listen to:
Nidhoggr - Ravens Over
the Road of Kings
Crimson Evenfall - Nocturnal Storms
of Infinity
(1996) + Winterheart (1997)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Redshift - Down Time (1999)

Mark Shreeve - Ursa Major (1980)
Redshift - Redshift (1996)
ARC - Octane (1998)

By request, here are more immersive, dark-tinted synthscapes from the great Redshift. I ran out of shit to say about 70s-style synth music years ago -- in fact, I've probably already said that a few times -- but that's not gonna stop me from posting it.

Track listing:
1. Nails
2. Ultranaut
3. Mania
4. High Noon
5. All Things Bright
6. Protoland
7. Down Time

Heaven is a turquoise avenger

Similar listening:
Arcane -
Gather Darkness (1999)
Gert Emmens -
Wanderer of Time (2003)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Near - The Dark Art of the Death Hidden in the Castle (2003)

Italian black metal. Eerie, mournful, crypt-borne sounds from beyond the veil of mortality, probably.

Track listing:
1. Dàlla cima (Intro)
2. The Approaching of the Beast
3. The Dark of the Death Hidden in the Castle
4. And the Death Takes Me Away from the Silent Earth...
5. Black Soul's Sorrow
6. Tra le montagne (Outro)

I could perceive that wailing
Confused and full of magnificence

If you like this, try:
Tenebrae in Perpetuum -
Onori Funebri Rituali (2003)
Mortuus Lunae -
In Spirituale Contatto (2009)