kacunk's Profile on Ping.sg Paradise Of Black Metal: February 2010

HOW TO DOWNLOAD

Click on the title do you want to download, then an advertise on screen, find 'SKIP ADS' on top right of your display.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

David Lynch - Catching the Big Fish (2006)

Here at Lurker HQ we are all pretty massive David Lynch fans.  From the crumbling facades of rural life in Twin Peaks to the steady wrenching terror of Inland Empire, chances are we know it, love it and quote it ad infinitum.

We have touched upon our love for Angelo Badalamenti's scores which provide the music behind these films, music which is often as complex, enthralling and mystifying as the imagery and dialogue that Lynch creates himself.

But where does this well of genius spring from?  Much conjecture abounds seeking to demystify some of the stranger aspects of his oeuvre: the mutant baby from eraserhead represents his fears of becoming a father; the box and key in Mullholland Drive represent a portal between two parallel worlds; there is no White Lodge left for the Black Lodge has consumed it.  Whatever your theories on the less obvious moments (and if you are a Lynch fan then no doubt you have them,) seeking to place each component into a convenient narrative with a logical explanation which seems obvious when looked at reverse-chronologically only serves to detract from Lynch's genius, to make it seem as though we could have thought up something equally as brilliant, and that by understanding his visions we become more able to exact our own.

This is misleading and largely irrelevant as all art provides the jump-off point, asking a question of which the mind of the beholder seeks to answer: the greater the art (and perhaps, the more adept the mind of the beholder) the greater the answers, and the greater myriad  answers possible.  The diversity and bizzareness of some of the answers some followers adhere to, and indeed his varied and vast following, pay tribute to the adeptness of Lynch as an artist, able to appeal to so many and ask such difficult, interesting and often distressing questions of the world and of ourselves.

Catching the Big Fish isn't a guide on how to become a famous alternative film director.  What it is, is an introduction to David Lynch, his life, approach to the world and his work, and how he finds and nurtures ideas.  Not a spoiler to any of his films and no cheat-sheet to them either.  It is softly-spoken and thoughtful, and as charming as we have come to know him to be.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oakenthrone #5 (2007)

Fantastic, professionally produced zine with great artwork, interviews and features on bands like Moss, Coffins, Harvey Milk, Blacklodge and Wold.



Also: I have created PDFs of the zines previously uploaded in JPG format for ease of use and storage.  The download links can be found on the original posts here and here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Morbus Chron!

In keeping with my recent obsession with old school Death Metal, here are Morbus Chron. A refreshing bit of thrash inspired oblivion from Stockholm, Sweden. Their 2010 demo 'Splendour of Disease' is out now through Dybbuck Records and is available either directly from the band or through the label for around 2 euros. There's nothing not to like about these guys, IT'S GOOD DEATH FUCKING METAL MAN, they even take their treasured demo tape to bed with them.

Give them a listen/email here.

Vanhelgd - Cult Of Lazarus Repress @ NWN!

Are Nuclear War Now the best label about at the moment? If you're into old school Death Metal, or anything bestial and unholy, then yes - they are. They recently repressed on the die-hard version of the 2008 release from Vanhelgd - Cult of Lazarus, which includes an a2 poster, patch, sticker, clear vinyl (for the 2nd press restock), 12x12 insert on 160 gram vinyl. All for $17 (£11/€12).

Although I only recently stumbled across this band, they have an incredible atmosphere and I can't recommend them (or the label currently supporting them) enough. Give them a listen here.
Available now from Nuclear War Now Productions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leviathan Demo Discography (1998 - 2002)


Leviathan began, according to Wrest, as "a notebook for myself" way back in 1998. To date Leviathan has released over 15 demos (including uncatalogued material from post-'Tentacles of Whorror' that remains largely unknown), 3 full length albums, plus incalcuable amounts of splits and compilations. If you've heard the double disc release 'Verrater', which provides us with some of the more popular material from the demos, then you have a rough idea about what is to come. The main problem for me regarding the Verrater release is the material therein represents almost too cohesive a summary of Wrest's back catalogue. Songs have been renamed and edited, re-recorded or transformed. These other, less travelled, more obscure and cavernous paths of Leviathan present some of Wrest's influences with more clarity; titanic Gorgorothesque riffs from the gruff palm-muted stereotypes of heavier metal in the earlier demos through to the burzumic keyboard arrangements and startling cold melodicism that propagate the latter demos. All the while maintaining the ethereal floating majesty and penchant for colossal atmosphere in Wrest's newer, more organic material. Whats interesting is his development and mastery of slower, mid paced pieces towards a faster realm of metal as chronology grinds ever gracefully onward. Prepare to hear influences from Swans, Bauhaus, Lungfish, Der Black Metal 1337, as well as math metal tendencies. Herein lies the oppurtunity to study each page of Wrest's 'notebook' and discover some hidden gems that have long been pushed aside, as well as embracing the foetal forms of his ideas. Each demo has appeal within its own context and I encourage any fan of Wrest's latter work to embrace his fledgling roots, delve deep into a psychology of turmoil and give these a download.

Suicide as metamorphosis. Suicide as the realization of not being meant for this life. Suicide as self-strength, not self-pity. Many are the walking dead, unaware that they suicided themselves long ago. Humans are one of the few animals that contemplate suicide. They should take advantage of this.


Demo II - Time End

Demo III - Three
Demo IV - Misanthropic Necro Blasphemy
Demo V - Covers
Demo VI - Shadow of No Light
Demo VII - Seven & Slaveship
Demo VIII - Video Brolo
Demo IX - Inclement Derision
Demo X - Ten
Demo XI - Intolerance
Demo XII - Howl Mockery At The Cross
Demo XIII - White Devil, Black Metal
Demo XIV - The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide
Demo XV - XV

Notes of interest: Demo I was intentionally unreleased - disputed to contain material Wrest claimed 'too immature' to make available. Rumour has it Demo 8 'Video Brolo' was made widely unavailable too, however, this is the original, not the fake copy that has been making its rounds on the internet over the last 2 years (the fake, being essentially a rehoused version of demo 4 ''Misanthropic Necro Blasphemy') - 8 represents a slower, more experimental vibe to Wrest's work. 'Howl Mockery at the Cross' differs from the Moribund compilation release of the same name in that it remains a stand alone demo. Demo's XIII, XIV, XV and the albums 'Tenth Sub Level of Suicide' and 'Tentacles of Whorror' share alot of songs and ideas. 'Verrater' includes reworkings of the audio and titles of numerous songs. 'Sacrifice Love at the Altar of War' is not a demo, it is a compilation of tracks found on 'Seven & Slaveship' and 'Inclement Derision'.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra (1972)

 

The Popol Vuh is a text of great antiquity, narrating the mythistorical religion of the K'iche' people, a Mayan tribe native to Guatamala. It is also the title of one of the greatest musical groups to have come out of the German krautrock scene. The 70's were a period of unprecedented sociopolitical and spiritual change as the counterculture movement took hold. Anarchist communes sprung into existence across Europe, wherein small communities of young adults would experiment with art, music, drugs and spirtuality. The wonders of Far Eastern mysticism became a point of interest for these artists, leading them to divulge in ancient religious texts to redefine their narrowed perspective at the hands of a typically conservative mid 20th century.

Hosianna Mantra was the third studio album by Popol Vuh, a band undoubtedly born out of this enlightenment of the artistic underground alongside other flagship krautrock commune band, Amon Düül I and II. Founded by the keyboard virtuoso, Florian Fricke, Popol Vuh initially began as a proto-ambient, electronic project; the first to employ the use of Moog synthesizers in Germany. This was short lived however. By the release of Hosianna Mantra, Fricke had returned to acoustic instruments and a decisively ethnic musical style that spanned the extent of human civillisation and culture. The instrumentation featured on this record is diverse and beautiful. Indian tamburas drone beneath articulate electric guitars that almost mimic human speech and song. Delicate and flamboyant pianos are wound tightly around clarion oboes and a gorgeous female vocal performance. Percussion is delightfully absent, giving this release the blissed-out, psychedelic atmospherics ideal for whiling away those midnight hours, joint in hand.

The religious theme of this album is self-evident. The cover features a painting of a woman in a style evocative of renaissance depictions of a certain venerated virgin. The title too takes 'hosianna' from Christian practises, and 'mantra' from those of Hinduism, melding them together as one. Fricke explained his reasoning behind this as a belief that, 'basically all religions are the same. You always find it in your own heart. And the music of Hosianna Mantra is really touching your heart. It is made to touch your heart. That is why you can call it a Mass. A Mass for your own heart.' The esoteric atmospheres Fricke and his bandmates employ gives the album a ritualistic feeling, and by the end of a session with this release I dare you not to feel purged, cleansed and at peace.


1. Ah!
2. Kyrie
3. Hosianna Mantra
4. Abscheid
5. Segnung
6. Andacht
7. Nich Hoch Im Himmel
8. Andacht


Trivia: The outro on Jesus Saves! from Funeral Mist's latest effort, Maranatha, is a pitch-shifted sample of Popol Vuh's opening track on their Einjäger & Siebenjäger release. It also appears in the soundtrack for Werner Herzog's Nosferatu that Popol Vuh were enlisted to write.

Khanate Live

Back before everyone reading the Observer were name-checking Sunn O))).
Back before every douchebag you know was in a doom band.
Back before the word doom was used to describe every stoner band that played slow bits.

There was Khanate.



If you can try and remember hearing Khanate for the first time, free of all the contextual bullshit grabbing on to them now, can you remember how genuinely scary that music was.  Those abstract guitars probing out from the dank mire of noise.  The crashing drums, building, like some approaching destructive menace.  And that edgy, tormented voice riding aloft spewing bile.

Confrontation is a central part of what Khanate are about: confrontation with the unpleasant, the unnerving, and the downright terrifying.  A studio recording may give a glimpse into their world, but only coming when face to face, when confronted by the sound and the voice, and by the people from whence they emanated will you be fully aware of what is at hand; the oblivion of which they speak.



WFMU Broadcast 

Broadcast recorded 04.13.02 at WFMU Hoboken, NJ. ; April 2002

KHNT vs. Stockholm
2004

Live, Grog Shop, Cleveland Ohio
26/03/2004

Let Loose The Lambs Tour

Tour DVD ; 2004

Live Aktion Sampler
Limited live sampler created for use in performance prospects on KHANATE's March
2004 2 week US tour & others within 2004.

It's Cold When Birds Fall From the Sky
2005

The Croft, Bristol
Last UK gig; 25/11/2005

And as a bonus:

[Choose for higher quality, turn off the lights, close your facebook tab, turn up your speakers.]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thou - Tyrant (2007) & Peasant (2008)

 

Thou fucking destroy.  Apologies for the very metal semantics but no other word can put it so succinctly. A peerless sludge/doom act, over the last five years Thou have rewritten the rulebook, standing as a final bastion against the stagnation of this elderly and cliché-riddled genre.

The filthy bottom-feeder guitars that everyone loves doom and sludge for are here in all their extreme down-tuned glory, yet the most compelling aspect of Thou is their unique and heartbreaking melodicism. A moving tune is something all too often absent in sludge circles, whose bands usually focus single-mindedly on a very ugly and misanthropic sound.

That isn't to say Thou lack this quality, quite the contrary. The Louisianan quartet can move from delicate, emotive and almost ambient soundscapes to the most crushing doom riffs you could imagine within a single breath. And they do it with a masterful subtlety, leaving the listener wondering why they aren't feeling more confused by this music. The quiet/loud dynamics may suggest comparisons with bands such as Isis or Cult of Luna, but honestly, I'm just glad these bands have shoved their heads up their asses with their 'post-metal' posturing. They probably wish they sounded like Thou, who, might I add, do the 'atmospheric sludge' shtick a whole lot better.

When Thou are finished caressing your eardrums with their quieter moments, the gargantuan guitar sound is sliced through by vocals that are undoubtedly well read in the works of EyeHateGod, dripping with a bestial and malevolent snarl. The only negative comments I've heard about Thou are a supposedly weak vocal performance, but I'm inclined to disagree. This vocal style has worked perfectly in sludge for years now, and I'm definitely a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' kind of guy in this respect.

I'll leave you with Thou's two full-lengths to date, debut Tyrant and follow-up Peasant. It makes sense seeing as the titles tie the releases together in a neat conceptual package. They don't differ all that much in style but Thou are so talented and original in what they do, you won't be giving a shit. A revamped and improved incarnation of the fantastic Grief for the the 21st century, support!

Tyrant
 
 

 1. Tyrant
2. With a Cold, Life Extinguishing Elegance
3. Fucking Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean
4. I was Ignored, And Judged, And Cast Down
5. Monstrance
6. What Blood Still Flows From These Veins
7. Acceptance


Peasant

 

1. The Work Ethic Myth
2. An Age Imprisoned
3. Belt Of Fire To Guide Me, Cloak Of Night To Hide Me
4. Burning Black Coals And Dark Memories
5. They Stretch Out Their Hands
6. The Road Of Many Names

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dreams Of The Drowned - Thanatotropic Principle (2008)



The biggest anomaly in the black metal demographic since forever. Its like Ved Buens Ende interpreting grindcore as they witness the most sublime and mind numbingly austere vision mankind could ever comprehend. Awash in the sea of melody, a tsunami of atavistic wrath over the cityscape of black metal paradigms. Like they've seen the infinite form of beauty and all they want to do is make you see it, shove it down your throat, or at least try to make you realise - but they're so berzerk at your naivety and closemindedness that they end up pummelling you to death. Like a nietzschean artist, trying to document all the secrets of life to you within half an hour, you just get lost in the majesty and conviction behind the deliverance, their certainty and wholeheartedness is enough.




Currently working on a new, full length album to be released at some point over the course of the coming year, this is the free EP made available by Camille over at the Myspace page. With an upcoming interview on LURKER arriving on the approach up to the new album, you will not hear another release combining the most beloved elements of post rock, black metal, grindcore, hardcore, punk and sludge so seemlessly anywhere else. Hear some of the newer material through the portal link below. This band are far too unknown for what they have accomplished on this 33 minute release, more than most bands will ever achieve in their life cycles, and the life cycles of all their relatives put together. Imbibe from the glorious chalice of higher art.

Dreams of the Drowned (Myspace)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Grave Miasma - Exalted Emanation (2009)

Grave Miasma, regurgitated up from the black lungs of Yog Sothoth himself, play some of the most possessed and brutally convictive Black/Death Metal ever to grace British shores. Formerly known as 'Goat Molestor', these guys mean fucking business. I even remember taking my girlfriend to one of their gigs, where I glimpsed visions from the sunken hell of R'lyeh as my field of perception seemed to vibrate from the shitstorm that was taking place before my eyes. I'm surprised shes still with me after that incident, let alone smiling as we exited the venue. If some Lovecraftian monster of unbeknownst proportions were to appear from the nether and take form into earthly matter before your eyes, this is the shit-filled destruktion that would penetrate, rape and pillage your ear canals. This is the dirtiest, most downright exemplary piece of British metal I've heard in a long time. If you're a fan of Teitanblood, Archgoat, or anything with downtuned guitars, impeccable drum work and guttural vocals that utter Cthuhluesque chants in the middle of night as your loved ones dream in a void of naive oblivion, SUPPORT!



Grave Miasma!

Y'AI'NG'NGAH
YOG-SOTHOTH
H'EE-L'GEB
F'AI TRHODOG
UAAAAH!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Morbid Angel - God Of Emptiness (1993)

May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore. Fool that I was to plunge with such unsanctioned frensy into mysteries no man was meant to penetrate; fool or god that he was — my only friend, who led me and went before me, and who in the end passed into terrors which may yet be mine!



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Earth - Within the Drone (2005)

A site I spend a lot of time on is last.fm.  It is a great site, really addictive: it is easy to lose hours trawling through it, the same way you would stumbling wikipedia articles: every new band, every sound snippet takes you closer to the musical zenith, the audial singularity.

The one problem I do have with the site is that bands with the same name are lumped together on the same page, so the discography section and playlist are a wierd mish-mash of tracks by the band you are after, jumbled with assorted awful nonsense.

Due to the enormous number of bands that have existed or currently exist, that this problem arose is not surprising, especially when musicians choose a single word or common phrase as a title to make music under.

So on coming across, let us pretend, for the first time, the page of a band called Earth, you might think to yourself: hmmm, a fairly generic name, surely there are lots of bands with that name.

Then you listen to a track.
Slow waves of crunching distortion dragging you in like a black hole, metal drawn out, taken to its natural, logical conclusion.

So you trot off around the internet to find some more, you download an album: you recognise the title from the last.fm discography page.

But when you play it, your speakers emit not a a gut-wrenching rumble but a pure, ethereal twang, a wholetone, austere and defined.  The holy note, like the "om" of some far-eastern hymnal.

But the band is right, right?  The name of the album is right? So why is the music different?

The mystery lies in the fact that within Earth lie two bands, distinct in time but continuous in vision, the masterpiece vision of one Dylan Carlson stretched over decades, one note stretched out, interlaced, augmented and stripped down.

One band, within the drone.

This excellent documentary follows the band reinvigorated, after years of musical drought, emerging with a new sound and the best material of their careers, documenting the transition of the band from inside and out.
It follows them on tour as they debuted their new album 'Hex: or Printing in the Infernal Method', getting to grips with their new music and new audience.



[Fanboy moment: included is footage of their 2005 concert in the Medicine Bar in Birmingham supporting Sunn O))).  This was the first time I had seen either band, and as you can imagine, I totally lost my shit.  Upon seeing this footage I was delighted that they had played slower in Birmingham that anywhere else on tour.]

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Strength Through War #5 (2005)


Evil, old fashioned zine with a greater emphasis on written content than aesthetic nonsense, including some kvlt interviews with Arckanum, Watain and Clandestine Blaze. No bullshit reviews either, just straight up philosophical bludgeoning from some of the underground's stronger bands. Enjoy.

II / III / IV / V / VI / VII / VIII / IX / X / XI / XII / XIII / XIV / XV / XVI / XVII / XVIII / XIX / XX / XXI

[PDF]

Monday, February 08, 2010

Make a Change... Kill Yourself - s/t (2005)


'Depressive Black Metal.'

It's a term many are inclined to cringe at. Over the last decade or so, the style has acquired a stigma as the black metal equivalent of 'emo,' where adolescents cry about the futility of life and their apparent will to end it all. In the wake of successful acts like Xasthur, it has also become somewhat chic. And we all know that chic is the mortal enemy of all black metal.

I suppose I have to agree with the above to some extent. It's a stereotype perpetuated by the bands who wish to make this kind of music themselves. A petulant self-centredness and a half-baked philosophy on the nature of life, death and meaning make many bands of this ilk seem... well, pathetic really. However, at the core of this music lay a once vivid, beating heart and if you ever listen to just one depressive black metal band, you should probably make it Denmark's Make a Change... Kill Yourself.

Heh. Of course I know what you're thinking. Ridiculous name right? Well, yeah. And no. Wherever this band gets mentioned and discussed in the ignorant swamps of internet forums there's always someone who spouts off about the name with obviously no intention of ever giving the music the time of day. The barely coherent babble of 'lol emo band lol shitty name lol shud take his own advice xDDDD' seems all too unaware.

Make a Change... Kill Yourself is not a musical reflection of despair and hatred turned on the self. The scathing nihilism of the statement is inflicted upon the other, upon the herd-mentality that is surely undermining the potential and power of the free-spirited individual. Ynleborgaz's vitriolic delivery of the lyrics wages an endless, bloody war upon religion, government and blind materialism. The standard black metal romance of 'a dark and violent age where no Christian life will be spared' is also a welcome ideological mainstay of the work.

Make a Change... Kill Yourself mould this mournful despair into music that is as beautiful as it is sombre. The nordic folk touch and 2nd wave stylings of Ynleborgaz's other project, Angantyr, are also present here, yet in the funereal context of MAC...KY this translates into harmonious and colourful cascades of interweaving guitar parts that would not sound wrong if played by a string orchestra. The pace is slow and somnolent while the guitar still tremolos ahead at a mid-pace buzz. It's almost a subversion of the slow, heavy guitars in counterpoint with the blastbeat drums that funeral doom legends, Disembowelment, pioneered 20 years ago. The distorted wall of sound is bolstered by a soft bed of synths lurking beneath, where between songs these become dark ambient drones reminiscent of the mysterious Twin Peaks. A magnificent testament to a dismal existence, as I listened to the album today and the last drone faded from hearing, a light snow began to fall. Excellent.


1. Chapter One
2. Chapter Two
3. Chapter Three
4. Chapter Four

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ladies Ov Metal

Perhaps some are wearing their boyfriends t-shirts. Maybe they're being paid to do it. Or they may actually like the music? We'll never know, but in the meantime we can marvel at the miraculous anomaly that is the 'metal chick'.





  



  



  



  



 



  



  



Saturday, February 06, 2010

December Wolves - Completely Dehumanized (1998)

'YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING I TELL YOU TO DO. WHEN YOU HEAR THIS SOUND YOUR MIND WILL MAKE YOU LIVE SCENES THAT YOU THINK ARE REAL. YOU WILL SLOWLY BE POSSESSED... BY MADNESS. YOU'LL THINK YOU'VE COMMITTED  TERRIBLE CRIMES. BUT I'LL BE THE ONE WHO KILLS AND REAPS THE HORROR!'

 

I heard this by chance at a mate's house. The cd-player had been spinning all night until my typical cry of 'PUT SOME FUCKING BLACK METAL ON DUDE' roused some reorganisation, and this little gem was slotted in. From the first bizarre sample to the last, I was hooked.

December Wolves hail from Boston, Massachusetts and play a well honed spikey black metal, with a healthy dose of thrash metal crunch. This is their only record I've heard, but from apparently their early material is traditional 'norsecore' (jokes) and their later stuff is post-black metal/industrial obscenity. I will endeavour to pick them up though because Completely Dehumanized is that good and appears between these transitional periods. Each track is killer. The riffs come thick and fast, every single one original and brilliant. Even some hardcore gang shouts are thrown in hither and thither for you crossover fans. In fact, they are the only band I've come across able to remind me simultaneously of Aura Noir, Grand Belial's Key, Arghoslent and... Municipal Waste. No, really.

And with unholy namedrops like that, I doubt I need to do much more writing so it's over to you. Download, buy, ENJOY! Oh and look out for the sick riff on Friday the 13th. You'll know which one I mean :)


1. Conditioned By the Thoughts That I Transmit to You
2. Completely Dehumanized
3. We Are Everywhere
4. Time Flies When You Wish You Were Dead
5. Friday the 13th
6. The Gard Division
7. My Bible
8. Not With Tainted Blood
9. To Kill Without Emotion


Buy Now // December Wolves

Friday, February 05, 2010

Extra Life - Made Flesh (2010)

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.



The idea of a conscious being, arisen from nothing but a chance gathering of a sperm and an egg, gathering matter and molecules that prolong your eternal alteration into the being that you are today, is a strange one. It’s the last venture that religion and the supernatural hold over scientific endeavour, for me anyway. The ability for self-reflection and empathy with other human beings, the plethora of emotional dispositions we enjoy, how come we are anything at all? What makes us different from a rock save subatomic gatherings and vibrations? Its not a surprise science is struggling to give us the answer to this, it’s the last secret of philosophy of mind, explaining subjectivity through an attempted objective science. It is an attempt to explain and understand the very thing that we use to take in, explain and understand the world with. All perception, thought, belief, concepts of truth and scientific objectivity, all stem from our conscious mind. To put it bl
untly, the fact that we are conscious at all, is so insanely peculiar I fail to see how it can ever be explained.




Well, philosophical crap aside, Extra Life’s new ‘sophomore’ (I hate that word, but that’s what they’re plugging it as – why couldn’t they just say matured?) opus, Made Flesh, explores the concepts of birth, life, consciousness and the journey from the cradle to the grave, and throughout the duration of the album, through both a combination of the lyrical content and musical output, I found myself feeling distinctly more and more unsure about myself.
Perhaps this is more a reflection on my education and degree studies, but it has reached a peak where I feel so completely amazed by my position in the world as a conscious being, reflecting on another conscious being’s aural compositions, writing my subjective musings on a publicly available internet blog where other conscious individuals can read and reflect on the same subject matter, that I’ve realised THIS BAND ARE INCREDIBLE. My ramblings and awe at the human condition were a direct result of the sublime beauty this release exudes.
The album is solid, more mournful, delicious guitars and violin work, with the occasional section from some jazz inspired horn work that fits really well against the backdrop of heavy bass and the sudden thuds from the drums. The instrumentation is greatly stepped up, lyrical content is more obvious but Charlie retains his trademark vocal style that I just fucking love. If you enjoyed their first album (posted here), then this will blow your mind. I struggle to adapt Extra Life’s style into any cohesive analysis that I can present to you, but I can’t begin to recommend this enough – go and support.

Support Now!
Extra Life Official Site

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Beyond The Asylum - Zyprexa (2007)

Consider the case of the asylum. Mental distortion and complete alienation from the grounded world through mass consumption of god knows what mind altering substances they're feeding you. Your paranoia grows, depression, anxiety and the inability to comprehend the situation.
Well, this is the soundtrack to your trip to the asylum. Zyprexa is a very powerful antipsychotic, medicated to schizophrenics and manic depressives. This release does deviate from the usual noise output of Patient 232's Beyond The Asylum, offering instead some excellent dark ambient that verges on hysteria. Excellent, atmospheric music that reflects ambient psychosis and noisy industrial reflections. Its almost as if this is as peaceful and drugged up the asylum can get. I can't find a decent picture of the artwork I did for the original release through Disease Foundry, so here's some pictures that might help set the scene.

Support Now

"I think that everything should be made available to everybody, and I mean LSD, cocaine, codeine, grass, opium, the works. Nothing on earth available to any man should be confiscated and made unlawful by other men in more seemingly powerful and advantageous positions. More often than not Democratic Law works to the advantage of the few even though the many have voted; this, of course, is because the few have told them how to vote. I grow tired of 18th century moralities in a 20th century space-atomic age. If I want to kill myself I feel that should be my business. If I go out and hold up gas stations at night to pay for my supply it is because the law inflates a very cheap thing into an escalated war against my nerves and my soul. "

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

S.V.E.S.T. - Urfaust (2003)

 

Cacophonous, violent, vaguely-psychedelic, trippy black metal noise is how I'd attempt to describe S.V.E.S.T. Which stands for 'Satanas Vobiscum Et Spiritum Tuo,' by the way. Which means... I have no idea. Something about Satan.

You may have heard of the Pays de la Loire duo before. They released a 2008 split with fellow Frenchmen and current darlings of the scene, Deathspell Omega, who contributed the mammoth Chaining the Katechon to an additional three songs by S.V.E.S.T. I fear that the profile of Deathspell and the sheer quality of their track may have eclipsed the mandatory black metal that is latent in S.V.E.S.T.

Spinning their debut LP, Urfaust, one could think you were listening to some obscure psychedelic krautrock from the past; bluesy, wavering and covered in a twinkling lo-fi atmosphere... then the blasting begins and you are instantly reminded you are listening to some pretty fucking raw black metal.

What's interesting is that the psychedelic atmosphere remains and you are being sucked into a swirling vortex of hypnotic noise. These epics span in sound from breakneck speed, life-affirming assaults to sombre, crushing heaviness and each track has a real life and feel of its own. But beneath S.V.E.S.T's progressive tendencies lies a healthy loyalty to the black metal tradition. Old school principles underlie this music yet it is bent with such finesse that it's become something fresh. Recommended smoking music.



1. Putrefiance Redemptrice
2. Nuit De Walpurgis
3. Epitaphe


Monday, February 01, 2010

Magma - Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (1973)


Magma are one of those '70s progressive rock bands that are far more interesting than Pink Floyd and better in every aspect, but your Dad was perhaps never interested enough in music to branch beyond the standard British stalwarts of the day.

Founded in Paris by the now legendary classically trained drummer, Christian Vander, the band evolved around Vander's 'vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future', a dystopian nightmare that profoundly disturbed the prodigious musician. Consequently, much of Magma's work follows a concept revolving around the fictional planet of Kobaïa.






Still with me? It gets weirder.

Vander even went as far as to create an entirely constructed language for these specific works, Kobaïan, which reads and sounds much like a less angular and aggressive German. Magma's first self-titled release was the story told through the eyes of some refugees fleeing a nightmare future Earth and settling on the new planet, hence the use of their language. In an interview with Different Drummer magazine (1995), Vander explained that 'French just wasn't expressive enough. Either for the story or the sound of the music,' and developed parallel with the music as Vander found Magma's sound.

Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh follows the story of the Kobaïan prophet, Nebehr Güdahtt and the delivery of his ultimatum to the people of Earth; If they wish to save themselves from the moral degradation of Earth life, they must purge themselves and worship the supreme Kobaïan deity, Kreuhn Kohrmahn, through the learning and performing of the sacred music, Zeuhl Wortz. In fact, Magma and subsequent projects with origins in the band referred to their genre as 'Zeuhl' which has come to include acts like Univers Zero and more recently Guapo and Ruins.

A Kobaïan party is sent to Earth, but as one might expect they are arrested by Earth authorities for blatant cultural imperialism. This spurs Kobaïa to declare war with threats of using their WMD, the Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh. However, due to the triology of albums being released backwards for some reason the ending is unclear but there is some suggestion that Nebehr Güdahtt succeeds in converting the entire planet due to the ultimate 'truth' of his religion.

I suppose the above is why many avoid progressive rock like the plague. It is pompous, epic, over-the-top and anything but typical. I adore it. Vander really has created a masterful mythology and drive for his music. It's thrilling to listen to.

Of course, the music is the most important aspect here but it's exceptionally hard to write about or even place. At the core Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh is a work for a small-choir with a solo-baritone accompanied with what is essentially a jazz ensemble, with some orchestral expansions. It sounds utterly unlike anything you've heard before, while retaining an almost medieval Teutonic feel about the melodies but we're merely scraping the surface here. There is a constant percussive minimalism about the sound, a precursor to the 'martial' music of more modern times which really emphasises the military themes of the concept. The vocals border on the delirious and insane, immediately evoking thoughts of fundamentalist religious nuts which also works to great effect. Try it out, it's heady, thrilling stuff.




1. Hortz Fur Dehn Stekehn West
2. Ima suri Dondai
3. Kobaia is de Hundin
4. Da Zeuhl wortz Mekanik
5. Nebehr Gudahtt
6. Mekanik Kommandoh
7. Kreuhn Kohrmahn Iss de Hundin

Buy Now // Magma