Monday, December 28, 2015

Eigenlicht - Sacral Regicide (2015)

Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States

This is the kind of raw shit that I love; melodic, muddy, and drenched in grandiose orchestrations. Hailing from Olympia, Washington these guys (for the most part) eschew any kind of association with the Cascadian BM scene, opting instead for a sound more heavily rooted in classic Hellenic black metal a la Agatus, or Deviser. It's fitting considering the lyrical content, which is rife with references to the Minotaur and sporadic uses of Latin. Musically, Sacral Regicide draws the perfect line between filthy and pristine, supplementing the cascading waves of rich atmosphere. The whole of the demo is a wonderful balance of synth heavy and just plain FUCKING HEAVY; when they kick it into overdrive, they are relentless.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Yersinia Pestis - Finis Gloriae Mundi (2015)

Genre: Melodic Black/Death Metal
Country: United States

Swedish extreme metal since its beginnings has been one of the most potent and influential scenes to grace the genre. From the the buzz-saw aggression of their Stockholm scene to the more refined melodic style of Gothenburg, Sweden has influenced countless bands and will undoubtedly do so until the end of time. Hailing from New Hampshire (which is pretty metal, I guess?) Yersinia Pestis play homage to their spiritual Swedish forebears through raucous and downright savage melodic black/death metal. Think a downtuned Somberlain-era Dissection, and you have idea of what these guys sound like; there's excellent split guitar harmonies, and enough whirlwind aggression to keep fans of heavier metal more than satisfied. Overall, the juxtaposition of elements is very well done, and I'm super eager to hear from comes from these guys next.

Devouring Ghost - Devouring Ghost Soundtrack (2015)

 Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States

In recent years Mark McCoy has imbued raw black metal with a sense of artistry that has allowed him to create some of the most interesting work in the genre. On the surface he offers everything fans of this style could ask for - blackened dirges delivered in succinct bursts of punk-fueled riffage - but conceptually his releases are often far from the simplistic racket of his contemporaries. His Arts project and its Vault of Heaven album contained all the crudity and ugliness of raw black metal while daring to toy with its structural convention. Hallow dissembled BM and noise into an experience wholly more harrowing than the sum of its parts. Even his more "straightforward" projects - Devil's Dung, Ancestors, Haxan - exude a modicum of depth rarely felt within the genre. His newest project Devouring Ghost continues this trend. Created as the musical accompaniment to his latest exhibition, Devouring Ghost is a soundtrack comprised of stripped down black metal tracks that represent "the transience and mutability of a technically-constructed world."

Devouring Ghosts is Armageddon set to a black metal album. It certainly delivers on Mr. McCoy's promises; it's a viscerally driven and bare-bones BM pieces that successfully employs each of the genre's most well known tropes. On a cursory run-through that may be all it seems, and while undoubtedly enjoyable, leaves a bit to be desired as a whole. However, like most of his projects, repeated listens begin to belie how sinister and complex these hymns truly are. An undercurrent of chord progressions and ambient embellishments sneakily move beneath the more pronounced music, lending tracks like "Intamin" and opener "Trail Severed Grain" vast and winding soundscapes that one would not initially expect them to possess. This grandiosity while awe-inspiring, is far from welcoming. Evocative of a world flaming in monochromatic post-apocalyptic destruction, there is something so mechanical about the record's cold tonality that perfectly satisfies its thematic ambitions. Close your eyes and see a gray-tinted wasteland, littered with the mechanisms we are now so heavily reliant on. If Devouring Ghost was meant to portray the ambivalence in which we race to our inevitable destruction, it has done so with frightening accuracy.

Mark McCoy never fails to impress, and his newest project is no different; in fact, it may be one of his strongest yet. If you're not the type who can be bothered with conceptual tom-foolery but are a fan of raw, destructive black metal than you can still find plenty of enjoyment from Devouring Ghosts. For those of you who enjoy a terrifying narrative woven into terrifying music, Devouring Ghosts will be one of your favorite black metal albums of 2015.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Internal Rot - "Mental Hygiene" (2014)

Genre: Grindcore
Country: Australia

Internal Rot is a grindcore band from Australia. They play old school styled grindcore that consists of distorted riffs, unrelenting vocals and savage-like drumming. Features members of Agents Of Abhorrence, Roskopp and Super Happy Fun Slide.

Mental Hygiene

Zelienople - "Show Us The Fire" (2015)

Genre: Slowcore (with touches of drone and ambient)
Country: United States

From their bandcamp: Show Us The Fire is Zelienople’s first album for Chicago’s Immune Recordings and shows the band taking a more simplified approach to recording. These songs were written with live performance in mind, with each band member sticking to their primary instrument on every song. It is also the first release where Ha played an equal role in the band for every song. Zelienople, like Codeine before them, are masters of hushed anxiety, burying anger and discontent under layers of reverb and masking it with slow tempos. Many of the lyrics on Show Us The Fire focus on themes of wealth inequality and call for revolution, rooted in a call for social justice but also brimming with frustration. It is about the transcendence of hardships, not a wallowing in them. The effect is unsettling but beautiful.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Deviser - Unspeakable Cults (1996)

Genre: Hellenic Black Metal
Country: Greece

Greek black metal back in the 90's was a spectacular departure from its Scandinavian counterparts; instead of cold and alienating, its warm Mediterranean mysticism was very much ahead of the times. More directly inspired by classic metal, Hellenic black metal bands like Deviser relished not just in black metal brutality, but the power of Olympian melodies that their music so often included. Unspeakable Cults is one the best examples of this early scene, as it is the ideal balance between chaos and harmony. Definitely recommended.

Ritual Orgy

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Internal Putrefaction - What Prophets Fortold (1997)

Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: Netherlands

I just realized that I don't post nearly enough death metal on this blog. Shame on me - I love death metal! In an effort to rectify this egregious error, I present you with Internal Putrefaction. With a discography limited to just two demos (What Prophets Fortold being the second), this group, despite their named, excelled in writing melodic death/doom. Now, try not to get too caught up in the melodic prefix; they are still very much a death metal band. Throughout the entirety of the demo they display the raw brutality of death metal at the time, with their melodic side mostly manifesting itself  within their slower more atmospheric sections. The production is terrible in a great way, accentuating the filth of the heavier parts and the atmosphere of the slower parts. Occasionally the band will throw in some cleans, and choral chants; well, "throw" may be a bit misleading. This set of songs was definitely meticulously structured, and is surprisingly mature for group still in its demo stages. This is a great listen, so don't sleep on it! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Heart on My Sleeve - "A Tale of Two Hearts" (2015)

Genre: Screamo
Country: Sweden

Heart on my Sleeve have unveiled a new song from their upcoming debut LP 
In the Midst of Hope and Nothingness called "A Tale of Two Hearts" and OH MY GOD, IT'S AMAZING! Honestly, that shouldn't be so surprising considering their spotless track record, but this song is on a whole other level. It features guest singer Arvid, who does an amazing job. His vocals are some of the most sincere I've come across in the genre. Working in tandem with Ina's passionate, broken scream, the combination is just absolutely stunning. Musically, it reminds me a lot of  Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair-era La Dispute. It bursts at the seams with razor-blade power riffs and dials it back to twinkling ambiance when appropriate. It's the culmination of everything the band has been working towards since Blood Is Not Thicker Than Wine. Amazing.

Here is a little about the song's theme by the band: 

”A Tale Of Two Hearts” was the last song we wrote for the album.
Kalle and Gabriel wrote the guitars one night at Kalle´s home with the help of a couple of beers. Later they took the idea to the rehersal room and finished it with the rest of the band.
We had discussed taking in a guest singer for the record for quite some time and we had played with ”Vi som älskade varandra så mycket” a couple of times and they had become friends. We decided to ask Arvid (the singer) if he wanted to do this with us and luckily he agreed. In the early spring, Arvid and Ina sat down to write the lyrics together. They wanted to make it into a narrated story and decided to make it into a love song. ”A Tale Of Two Hearts” is about two people in a relationship, or more like, on their way out of a relationship. It´s about how their different backgrounds and personalities make it hard for them to make it work because one person wants to stay close, while the other person feels threaten by the intimacy."

 Listen Here

Friday, September 4, 2015

Deafheaven - Sunbather (2013)

Genre: Black Metal/Shoegaze/Screamo
Country: United States

 The opening of "The Pecan Tree" leaves me in awe every time I listen to it. The best way it can be described, is a violent euphoria. I can feel it throughout my body; the tingling of my skin, the breathlessness in my chest. I get lost. Lost in the shuddering guitars, the warm smile of the melodies. Lost in a place only Deafheaven can take me. For thirteen minutes, I'm outside of myself, wandering dandelion-filled fields on the most beautiful day spring can offer. That's why I love Deafheaven; that's why I love Sunbather.

It's an album full of these kind of moments. When I listen to the title track, I want nothing more than to lay my head on a tree, and watch as the branches sway back and forth, sunlight piercing through the leafy canvas. For a song that is just as rooted in black metal as it is shoegaze, it is, at times, surprisingly laid back. Sure, there are moments of harshness - halfway through the song its weightless shoegazing melodies fall out of the sky into a pit of cacophonous blastbeat driven black metal - but here, even the cruelty of BM can't stop the album's ecstatic beauty from eventually shining through once more. "Dream House" and "Vertigo" offer more the same; jet-black walls of noise, painted with brushstrokes of shimmering guitars, both dark and beautiful. It's an album that thrives on contrasts.

Deafheaven have crafted a record that shares their inspirations and aspirations all at once. You'll get a pangs of My Blood Valentine and hints of Weakling all within the same breadth; it's a collage of influences that adds up to be a sum greater than its parts. With that in mind, I come back to "The Pecan Tree". That violent euphoria encapsulates the spirit of the band like no other track on Sunbather.  It's lush and gorgeous like shoegaze, grandiose and aggressive like black metal, and sincere like screamo; yet, it is none of these things. It's immediately recognizable and completely unmistakable  -that's why it's the perfect closer. As the album fades into blissful obscurity, it gently whispers three words into your ear; "This is Deafheaven."

Dream On

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Arizmenda - Within The Vacuum of Infinity... (2009)

Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States

If you're an underground black metal fan who hasn't listened to this album, you've been messing up. Released in 2009, Within the Vacuum of Infinity... is the first record from Black Twilight Circle heavyweight Arizmenda, and already a genre classic. Like most BTC-affiliated bands, Arizmenda's sound doesn't reflect the freezing tempest of Scandinavia, but the swallowing spectrum of darkness itself. Arizmenda does this particularly well; musically shattering defenses and lyrically focusing on insanity, Within The Vacuum... is your mental breakdown set to a black metal soundtrack.

There is a certain denseness to Arizmenda's music that no other black metal band has touched before, or been able to replicate since. Claustrophobic is a term frequently used in black metal, and though it is certainly applicable here, it just doesn't do their sound justice. What they evoke is so much more complex than that. Discordant phrases dance to and fro, their intricacies subtlety woven into the performance in completely mesmerizing manner. Occasionally, the music will offer reprieve - beams of melody shining through the gloom- only to retreat back behind the impenetrable darkness, leaving nothing but your outstretched hands and thoughts of hope torn from your grasp. Uneasiness builds in your chest and hair stands to attention on the back of your neck when listening to this album - that is the power of Arizmenda's music.

Lyrically, Mordunbad 's (the sole member of of Arizmenda) words are simple, but equally as effecting. In "Drown In The Pains of Consciousness", he spouts, "Drown in the pain of consciousness/I am lost/ I am lost within the seas of my minds disease/Lost within the seas of my minds disease/ Lost." In reality, those are words that are hard not to relate to; who hasn't experienced self-doubt and loss of direction in the labyrinth that is our mind? His rhetoric may seem overwrought, but in the context of the song, where waves of dissonance crest and crash upon you, it couldn't be said any better.

I have no qualms whatsoever in stating that Within The Vacuum of Infinity... is one of the best black metal albums ever created. The way it creeps under your skin, latching into your every insecurity to perpetuate them further is terrifying, but also unfathomably gratifying. Black metal was always meant to make you feel - whether it was the Arctic temperatures of the second wave, or the sense of mystique embedded in the Les Legions Noires - and Arizmenda unquestionably achieves this throughout the entirety of their debut record. They are now the leaders of USBM scene, and if you ever need to remember why, let Within the Vacuum of Infinity be your reminder.

Those Beaten Path Of Confusion

Friday, August 14, 2015

Volahn/Blue Hummingbird On The Left - Debajo del Simbolo del Sol (2014)

Genre: Black/Death Metal
Country: United States

Volahn and Blue Hummingbird On The Left are two Black Twilight Circle bands that most adhere to the collective's sense of pride in their Mayan roots. The former relishes in creating tales of the culture's numerous evil spirits and gods, while the latter's black/death metal style is the perfect accompaniment to the stories of their proud warrior heritage. In this way, their decision to join up for the split release Debajo Del Simbolo Del Solo was ideal, contributing a duo of tracks that gloriously celebrates their ancestry through ritualistic extreme metal battering.

The first song, Volahn's "Kamikal O Juluwem" is his most aggressive to date; forgoing the Spanish flourishes that until this point have defined his music, this track demonstrates a sense of brutality that has never been seen by him before. Simplifying his generally impressive instrumental work and letting his love for the South American bestial black metal scene shine, "Kamikal O Juluwem" juxtaposes monstrous grooves and undeterred speed to great effect. The music is straightforward, but also equipped with Volahn's unique sense of melody, emanating an aura of mysticism that keeps the track from falling into "one-note" territory.

Blue Hummingbird On The Left's contribution "Debajo Del Simbolo del Sol" is one of their strongest songs yet. On previous releases such as their EP Bloodflower, or "Storm"  (their track from Black Twilight Circle compilation Tliltic Tlapoyauak), the music was Blasphemy-inspired black/death metal at its finest, but always diminished by lackluster vocals. Here, Tlacelel's howl is a far cry from the gasping, breathless delivery seen on previous efforts, and the song benefits greatly because of this. On paper, the combination of flute and war metal may seem sketchy, but Blue Hummingbird... execute it flawlessly, with the instrument not only acting as bridge to their roots, but perpetuating the overall chaos of the band's music. Track is wonderfully anthemic, and easily the most memorable thing the band has ever put to tape.

With only two tracks and clocking in at less than ten minutes, Debajo del Simbolo del Sol is meant to be a short, concise, punch in the face. There is no subtlety, no overarching concept, just two tracks of decimating war metal that are another excellent addition to the Black Twilight Circle canon.

Hail Death

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Heart on my Sleeve - "This Failure is Not on Me" (2015)

Genre: Screamo
Country: Sweden

First things first: JUST LOOK AT THAT ALBUM ARTWORK. It's absolutely gorgeous. Even if I didn't know that this band was awesome, I would be enticed to check it out purely from that standpoint. Also, there is something just so "screamo" about it, which I love.

Anyway, for a teensy history lesson, Heart on My Sleeve is a band formed from the ashes of my favorite screamo act of all time, The Hope and the Failure. Their first release Blood is Not Thicker Than Wine was a good, heartfelt, if not standard display of screamo/melodic hardcore. Since then, the band has become increasingly better, slowly adding post-rock elements into their passion-fueled outbursts.

This brings us to "This Failure is Not on Me", a track released from their upcoming debut full-length In The Midst of Here and Nothingness. The song contains every trait that the band has become known for these past few years; twangy, clean guitar riffs, spoken word passages backed by post-rock instrumentation, and cathartic, overdriven escapades. It's an excellent, memorable track and definitely has me psyched for the whole album; hopefully it does the same for you too.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Robbie Basho - The Seal of the Blue Lotus (1969)

Genre: American Primitivism
Country: USA

Psychedelic feeling folk with old-timey American vibes that dips into the avant a bit.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monte - "Remote Clairvoyant Continuum" (2015)

Genre: Lo-fi Ambient
Country: France?

Drowned out, lo-fi ambient music with lots of tropical vibes. Not a game changer but certainly worthwhile.

Remote Clairvoyant Continuum

Volahn/Shataan/Arizmenda/Kallathon - Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons (2015)

Genre: "Western" Black Metal
Country: United States

The Black Twilight Circle have long since been one of my favorite black metal collectives; the quality of their work never ceases to impress. Boasting an impressively diverse roster of bands from all over the extreme metal spectrum, a new Black Twilight Circle release should always make its way immediately to the top of your "Listen Now" listen. The surprise four-way split between Volahn, Shataan, Arizmenda, and Kallathon entitled Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons was released yesterday, and conceptually, it may be the most interesting thing they've ever done.

"As night sets over the horizon across the landscape the full moon signals the start of the fire ceremony.
While the sun sinks further into the haze the sound of harsh winds are howling far off.
Majestic rays soar to the east, watch it set the mountains ablaze.
Remember this moment as darkness follows. Join me in fine spirits during the fire
and listen to the voices of this land as they call to the distant stars.
Leave the tracks behind as a reflection of our journey. Let only the winds erase our trace but let them carry our name. Like the star that burns above, so does our spirit to carry on our song…

Compilation featuring Crepusculo Negro recording artists Volahn, Shataan, Arizmenda, Kallathon.
Capturing 43 minutes of western black metal."

Now the top part, to me, just seems like esoteric nonsense (maybe that was the point?), but what caught my interest was "western black metal". I don't think I've ever in my life heard something so ridiculous. All I can imagine is Immortal in ten gallon hats.However, the end result is much more satisfying. And I guess that makes sense considering where The Black Twilight Circle comes from. They've always been a group of bands who eschew the typically cold atmosphere of most black metal, and here, they perfectly conjure the heat and humidity of a sandy landscape. It's like if the lone ranger played black metal: each band contributes a track that gallops heroically through the barren wasteland, balancing the twang of western music with the grim attitude of black metal. All four tracks are excellent (Volahn's piece may be his best yet), and this is yet another solid addition to the BTC catalog. It's nice to see a genre like black metal can still throw some curves our way.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Axis of Advance

Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Country: Canada

Formed from the ashes of Sacaramentary Abolishment (who is also, excellent), Axis of Advance was easily one of Canada's best examples of blackened death metal. Majority of the time they were ridiculously technical and disgustingly brutal, but they had this habit of injecting soaring melodies into their songs every now and then, making for some truly great and unexpected dynamics. This is all of their albums (excluded their final mini-LP "Purify"). 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Jamiroquai - Virtual Reality

Genre: Funk
Country: England

Anyone else remember this big-hatted goofball? This song is amazing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Boner Jamz Vol 1.

Who: Phosphor
What: Darkwave/Coldwave
Where: United Kingdom
Why: Because they kick ass.

Phosphor is a new school band but their sound is distinctly old school. Deep layers of celestial synth that sound like they've been beamed down from the heavens merge with robotic percussion and a deep, apathetic female baritone to produce a song that sounds like it was tailormade for goth stepping in the north pole.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Guidelines - Guidelines (2012)

Genre: Screamo
Country: United States

Guidelines' self-titled EP is one of my favorite screamo releases ever. In four relatively succinct tracks, the band encapsulates everything I love about the genre; impassioned vocals (thanks to two singers!), beautiful clean interludes, and a sense of catharsis during their more visceral moments. "Visceral" is hardly a word I would choose to describe most screamo, but the croaked vocals along with the coarse, fuzzed out production definitely helps the word find a home here. Definitely recommended for its brevity and quality.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Brigitte Fontaine - S/T (1972)

Genre: Avant-Folk, Spoken Word, Chamber Music, French Pop
Country: France

This one is pretty fun. Quirky, yet maintaining a nice level of sophistication. Brigitte's vocals and spoken word sections go from soft-spoken and melodious to yelling comparable to that of Keiji Haino. One to check out if you're wanting something odd, fresh, and exciting. 

Charts and Maps - Dead Horse (2011)

Genre: Jazz Fusion/Post-Rock
Country: United States

This record is so, so, soooo much fun! Combining eclectic jazz freak-outs and rigorous post-rock movements can't be an easy thing, but Charts and Maps do it in such a seemingly carefree manner, creating a thoroughly enjoyable and chillaxing listen in the process. The interplay between the guitars and horns is so awesome, both shining but not at the detriment of the other. Sometimes (like right now, where I am in a public place) it's hard for me not to close my eyes, lay back and imagine I'm not in some cool, smokey jazz club enjoying a cigar in my pin-striped suit and fedora. This is some classy shit right here.

no horses were injured during the recording of this album

Dendö Marionette - "Dendö Marionette" (1981)

Genre: Minimal Synth Punk
Country: Japan

The only release from this mysterious Japanese synth punk group Dendö Marionette. Covering the four tracks on the EP are dark and moody melodies played over infrequent synth pulses covered in heavily distorted vocals.

Its really disappointing that they never made any more material because this EP is quite good.

Dendö Marionette

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Amethystium- Transcience (2014)

Genre: New Age/Ambient/Darkwave
Country: Norway

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to frolic through celestial meadows with telekinetic cows and friendly elves in a serene, lush world without death, decay and madness? If so I have the right album for you. Featuring lush strings, laid-back percussion, hushed vocals and a otherworldly atmosphere that is just overflowing with melancholy, Transcience is everything that your heart chakra needs and more.

Hellkvlt Mexica - Males Antiguos (2012)

Genre: Black/Death Metal
Country: United States/Mexico

Males Antiguos is one of the strangest, most unsettling pieces of black/death metal I've ever heard AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Eschewing the genre's instrumental style in favor of cascading discordance, Hellkvlt Mexica while not groundbreaking, tries something different here and it works. Out of the four tracks here only two are actual songs, but both comprise of the weird chord structures, pained howls and explosive percussion. Overall, this is a very haunting release and will stick with you long after you put it down.

OoOoOh, scary!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Balloon Journey - Balloon Journey (2013 & 2014)


Genre: Electro acoustic / noise / sound collage
Country: United States

Recordings of balloons being rubbed together and blown up. It is really unique. The 2013 tape is better than the one released last year but both are worth listening to if you are into that sort of thing.

Balloon Journey (2013)
Balloon Journey (2014)

Galloping Shadow - Winters Web (2012)

Genre: Black Metal/Punk
Country: United States of America

Well executed punk-infused black metal made by one half of  Bone Awl. Not dissimilar to Bone Awl either. Extremely raw and fast. Highly recommend.

For fans of Raspberry Bulbs, Ildjarn and of course Bone Awl.

Winters Web

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Leo Ornstein - Complete Works for Cello and Piano (Joshua Gordon, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano. 2007)

Genre: Modern Classical, Chamber Music
Country: Ukraine

A little Modern Classical for you all. Here is one of the more forgotten greats of the genre, Leo Ornstein. A beautiful compilation of some of the most emotional and dreary chamber classical you've never heard. I recommend this one to fans of Arnold Schoenberg, Giacinto Scelsi and Alfred Schnittke.

Stream here:

Bhang Khang - Demo (2011)

Genre: Black Metal/Hardcore/Sludge
Country: United States

As recent years have seen a boom in punk and hardcore influenced black metal it was really only a matter of time before grim face-painted warriors of darkness began to dabble in one of hardcore's most aggressive forms, powerviolence. This is where the United States based Bhang Khang come in - formed in 2011, the group to date has only a single demo to their name but their extremely tight performance coupled with obvious compositional talent easily makes it one of the best black metal/hardcore demos I've heard in recent years.

While powerviolence and black metal play a much more prevalent role in Bhang Khang's sound the band does occasionally slow it down for a heavy, trudging sludge breakdown, adding even more depth to Bhang Khang's sonic stew. The juxtaposition of the band's central genres is displayed rather cleverly in a diverse array of ways here, sometimes showing the two existing within a single riff and other times with a more clear-cut separation. Overall they are balanced quite nicely, and with sludge's slow paced, bass laced crawl breaking up the blinding speed of PV and BM, the album avoids a certain monotony while also lending towards its overall longevity. In only a ten minute span a listen to Bhang Khang's 2011 Demo is definitely a bang worth its buck and should definitely be explored by anyone who listens to hardcore, black metal and/or fancies a combination of the two.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Varg - Ursviken (2015)

Genre: Dark Ambient
Country: Sweden

I've really been into this guy's music since I first heard him on last year's Field Records - Collection (which is a damn fine collection of assorted ambient goodies). Like Varg's other work it feels like walking through a blizzard. A lot of the more synth-ier parts remind me of Paysage d'Hiver, who share similar iced out aesthetics.


Modular Phaze - Self Is Self Again (2015)

Genre: Techno
Country: United States of America

Another techno release from 2015. This time from Modular Phaze, who is relatively new to the scene. Bass heavy and high in atmosphere. Nothing out of the ordinary but still a nice listen.

For fans of Russ Gabriel

Self Is Self Again
Blaze Inside - Pure Potenciality (2008)

Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Country: Colombia

Blaze Inside are the musical embodiment of the Colombian brutal death metal scene. Focusing on speed and brutality above all else, Blaze Inside deliver a potent combination of relentless blasts (on the pingiest of snares), murky low-end filth and inhuman gurgles and grunts. Accompanied by only the most atrocious production, this album stands as one of the few remaining relics of the slowly dying Colombian brutal death scene. Easy-listening this is not, but for those able to brave the storm, Blaze Inside provide a rewarding example of what the Colombian death metal scene can offer.

Stream: Pure Potenciality

Alle Totmachen! - Demo II (2010)

Genre: Black Metal/Noise
Country: Germany

Hailing from Germany, Alle Totmachen! play a pretty basic, yet enjoyable form of black noise. My favorite part of this release is definitely the deranged, almost feral vocal performance, which rises above the near-indecipherable onslaught of stomping punk-influenced black metal and cacophony of ear-shattering static. This is some seriously abrasive shit, but recommended if you, like myself, are a little off-center.
blakk noiz

Friday, June 19, 2015

K (Ivan Kamaldinov) - Lumi (2015)

Genre: Minimal Ambient/ Drone/ Field Recordings
Country: Russia

Dreamy, Ethereal, Blissful, this album has everything you could want from minimal ambient. Ever so slow progressions and layer upon layer of lo-fi ambience build up a rich atmosphere, and a cloud of easygoing ambient synths. Small amounts of distortion and static are implemented behind these layers of silky ambience, creating a more personal relationship with the listener, but still keeping that dream-like atmosphere that makes this album so beautiful. Overall solid album, I highly recommend this album to fans of William Baskinski and Datavis. 

Activity Of The Month: June 2015

Hello, my sweets. We have a new feature for you today. It's called Activity Of The Month. Once a month I shall post about one particular activity that digs deeps into my rainbow road-esque reservoir of morbidly grim entrails and inspires me to live peacefully, positively and happily. I hope my messages of light can inspire you as much as they inspire me. This month I've taken to poetry.

Expand your minds, open your hearts and loosen your buttholes for the beauty of poetry. Let the works of Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost to name a few penetrate your soul hole with their phallic literary might. Feast your hearts on this beautiful ditty written by Emily Dickinson.

"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help the fainting robin
Unto his nest again;
I shall not live in vain.

Read this, speak this, hear this, feel this and live this every single day. The pain of life's tribulations are all too real. We all have our individual struggles that we battle with daily, struggles that can be soothed by the divine universal intervention of human compassion. So read some poems, prance around in some catmint and listen to some ethereal, blackened, celestial dream pop and live. LIVE!!!!!! WHAT SAY YOU?

Wrong Assessment & Max_M - Toe Tag (2015)

Genre: Techno 
Country: Italy 

Here's one from Wrong Assessment and Max_M. Their music comes from a abstract and techno-oriented angle. In typical Max_M-related fashion the music is dark, brooding and pulse-pounding. 

One track from each artist and the two collaborate on track as well. For fans of Regis and Vril. 

Toe Tag

Drowning The Light - From The Abyss (2015)

Genre: Black Metal
Country: Australia

Drowning The Light is one of Australia's most prolific black metal artists thanks to two things: the sheer volume of his discography (14 full-lengths, 17 demos, 9 EPs, 13 splits and 6 compilations), but in more recent years, the noticeably rising quality of it. While his work from 2003-2009 was inconsistent at best, everything from that point has really been quite good, and this year's From The Abyss may just be his most accomplished release to date. By expanding beyond his atmospheric/depressive black metal roots, this album allows Drowning The Light to explore heights that seemed previously impossible to reach. On tracks like "Cursed Voyage" harmonized guitars collide with Medieval harmonies creating something breathtaking in the process, while songs such as "Rise! Under Satans Mighty Horns" offers something a bit more visceral. Every track has its own quirk, yet is united through a permeating medieval atmosphere, making this album feel complete without also feeling monotonous. I highly recommend this release.

Also, look at that album art!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fleeting Joys - Despondent Transponder (2006)

Genre: Shoegaze
Country: United States

This band doesn't hide the fact that they really enjoy listening to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and it's probably one of the few albums that can do the sound justice. The male/female vocal dynamic with poppy melodies is present and the guitar tone is lush as you would expect from the genre. Nothing ever comes across as difficult to listen to nor does it cross any boundaries for the genre but it's good for what it is, MBV worship aside.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Materic - меж каменных плит (2014)

Genre: Screamo
Country: Russia

Screamo from Russia (of all places) that's rooted into some aspects of shoegaze in terms of their chord progressions and post rock characteristics in terms of songwriting. Kinda generic, but the most important thing to consider here is that it's done much better than a lot of other screamo bands these days. If you're into this style of screamo, you're bound to enjoy at least parts of this record.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Brave Little Abacus - just got back from the discomfort—we’re alright (2010)

Genre: Midwest Emo
Country: United States

So this has getting a little more attention lately but it still only has roughly 4000 listeners on and that's an injustice to one of the best emo albums in recent years. If you're really into Cap'n Jazz style emo (lots of energy, whiny vocals like John Galm from Snowing, a mix of somewhat ambigious lyrics and unabashed honesty) then you're most likely to like this. What makes them sound fresh in a such a derivative scene is that they have some blatant Bomb The Music Industry! influences from the horns and the bouncy synths. It's basically if BTMI! wrote an midwest emo album. I could go on and on about what I love about this album, the lyrics, how well it flows, the well-placed Malcolm in the Middle samples, but I'll leave it as that. If you've got eponymous discomfort, you really should listen to this. Even if you don't, listen to it anyway.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pinkshinyultrablast - Everything Else Matters (2015)

Genre: Shoegaze
Country: Russia

Six years of waiting since their EP back in 2009 was certainly well worth the wait. They really evolved and developed their sound into something more vibrant and punchy here. Perhaps you even could say that it has the best rhythm section of any shoegaze album in the past ten years. Shoegaze has the reputation of sounding contemplative and build an atmosphere that just meanders but this album just sounds like they really want to burst and explode. In all honesty, nothing completely new here is done, rather, everything just feels fresh and is well executed. If you're fan of all the shoegaze revival that's becoming more apparent, there's no better time to hop on.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Swan Dive - Fly Towards the Sun (2013)

Genre: Shoegaze, Punk Rock
Country: United States/United Kingdom

So Brandon Setta of shoegaze band Nothing and Joey Bayes of melodic hardcore band More Than Life got together and wrote some grungy, punky, shoegaze songs back in 2013. Expect something akin to Nothing rather than More Than Life, especially to songs on the Whirr/Nothing split. It kinda sounds like something that would be written in the 90s but by no means is it a poor form of worship from bands in that era. Reverberated vocals are still in play, a hint of angst and melancholy maybe, and some basic elements from shoegaze can be found. If you like Nothing at all, you'll probably find some enjoyment in this.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Avzhia - Key of Throne (2004)

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: Mexico

Firstly, I would like to a)apologize for my lack of activity and b)thank Rhyme for staying trve and keeping it alive. Back when I was a youngin', I would be salty as hell when a blog didn't update regularly, but now that I'm an adult I kind of get it. Also, writer's block has been killing me, but FUCK IT, I don't need to overly describe anything to post excellent music. First up is Avzhia, and their 2004 opus Key of Throne. You can tell by the broken English of the title that this absolutely rules. I generally find symphonic black metal to be a little kitschy and over-dramatic for my tastes, but the orchestrations here are perfect; they perfectly accentuate the darkness of the music without adding any unnecessary cheese. The production is excellent, dirty but not TOO dirty, allowing the atmosphere to truly operate at full capacity. Overall a worthwhile release.

yo quiero Avzhia