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


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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ivan Shishkin

Russian landscape painter, 1832 - 1898.

'Forest Edge'

'Rain in an Oak Forest'

'Bach im Birkenwald'

'Morning in a Pine Forest'

'In the Wild North'


Monday, March 29, 2010

Kayo Dot - Live Recordings, Performances & Pieces

Pending the release of Coyote and the delicious pre-order offering tendered by Kayo Dot including a CDR recording with handmade artwork from the final show of their European tour - October 8, 2009 in Bonn, Germany (direct all jokes regarding the laughable Hydra Head pre-order to Aaron Turner's fast growing collection of hate mail), we know that we are fast approaching the tip of the hype mountain and have nothing but magnificently exalted, heavenly oceanic vistas of sheer bliss and wonder to comprehend when April 20th arrives and we dive head first over the cliff face. To prepare you for the musical event of 2010, here are some 'bootlegs' from the deepest depths of Kayo Dot's past featuring material from the Choirs of the Eye through Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue era.

Kayo Dot - WMBR Radio Sessions (23rd March, 2004)
- Clear, crisp sounding live recording which adds a unique dimension of instrumentation that passes by largely unheard/untranslated in the studio effort - really beautiful sounding pieces that manage to gel together to provide a sumptuous live take on each track (The Antique, Marathon and Wayfarer).

Kayo Dot - Live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire @ Muddy River (18th April, 2004)
- Slightly hazy and faded as a recording, instrumentation sometimes gets jumbled and the sound becomes lost in itself. All the same it adds perfectly to the atmosphere and presents itself as a rawer, dream-like take on Wayfarer, A Pitcher of Summer and The Manifold Curiosity. I also love the crowd reactions towards the ends of each piece, they're screaming fucking hysteria.

Kayo Dot - Live in Eugene, Oregon @ Samurai Duck (4th October, 2006) (FLAC)
- Crystal clear quality recording from predominantely Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue era Kayo Dot. There are actually small periods where I forgot I was listening to a live rendition, a high quality recording featuring Aura On An Asylum Wall, Wayfarer and ___ On Limpid Form.

Kayo Dot - Live in Norfolk, Virginia @ Relative Theory Records (1st November, 2006)
- One extended 33 minute track with sections from The Antique, Immortelle and Paper Caravelle and ___ On Limpid Form.

Coyote is released 20th April 2010 through Hydra Head records, anyone waiting on the vinyl can expect it sometime this summer through Taiga Records.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Morbid Scream - The Signal to Attack: 1986 - 1990 (2007)

Morbid Scream were a Plano, Texas based thrash metal band formed at the dawning of extreme metal in 1986. They released two demos in '87 and '88 before changing their name to The Morbid to release a final demo in 1990. The band would have been resigned to the darkest, most obscure corners of heavy metal history, were it not for a local fellowship with blackened thrash champions, Absu. Absu covered Morbid Scream's The Coming of War and Morbid Scream on The Sun of Tiphareth and The Third Storm of Cythraul albums respectively.

And so Morbid Scream's legacy lived on. A compilation featuring tracks from both demos, an unreleased studio track and a smattering of live recordings was released in 2007 on Tarot Productions, Proscriptor of Absu's label. The music is what you would expect from mid-'80s thrash metal: Only power chords allowed, open E-string riffing a plenty, erudite solos and proto-death metal vocals. It would be too easy to understate the band's importance though. Naturally a lasting impression had rubbed off on Absu, as Morbid Scream's influence certainly guided the former into their own brand of blackened death/thrash metal. The studio tracks have been reworked in order to retain the power a chosen few experienced first hand, and if the live recordings are anything to go by, this would have been a brutal experience. Tinny as they sound to the modern listener on a hi-fi, the crowd at the end of When The Killing Begins are left screaming 'ONE FUCKING MORE! ONE FUCKING MORE!' Morbid Scream are a criminally underrated death/thrash outfit, considering their quality compared to more successful bands of a similar type. It's likely the band never expected to see any of their material properly released, much less 20 years after they threw in the undoubtedly sweat and blood drenched towel of their toil.

1. The Coming Of War
2. Face Of Death
3. Morbid Scream
4. Timeless Sleep
5. A Fist In Your Face
6. Cries Of Sanity
7. Tragic Memories
8. Into Oblivion (Live)
9. Pray For The End (Live)
10. State Of Shock (Live)
11. March Of The Undead (Live)
12. When The Killing Begins (Live)
13. The Coming Of War (Live)
14. To The Gallows (Live)
15. Fist In Your Face (Live)
16. Face Of Death (Live)
17. Timeless Sleep (Live)
18. Tragic Memories (Live)
19. Morbid Scream (Live)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miranda Lehman - Close At Hand (2009)

In slight relation to Bile's previous post, I noticed that sole musician of Korouva and photographer/film maker, Miranda Lehman has put a short film up at her website, Ghost in the Woods. Tantalisingly Lynchesque, subtly erotic and filmed in a grainy, retro style, it simply details a passion between two lovers. Accompanied by the beautiful, haunting music we've come to expect from Korouva.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Velvet Cacoon Discography, Clair Cassis S/T & Korouva's Shipwrecks and Russian Roulette

While all the myths of dieselharps and test-writing albums in 12 genres then picking the most fitting sound, being totally asexual and outright stealing music they did not write were part of the appeal behind Velvet Cacoon; its always been through the constant reference to all things marine that they made interesting and oft ridiculed music. Pushing aside the trail of deceit and theft (ABANDON IT ALL), the theme of marine underpinnings sits quite tidily with metal as a genre, both have long been linked with ideas of the insane, solitude, satan and malevolence.

"He did not come from the solid land, with its solid cities; but indeed from the ceaseless unrest of the sea, from those unknown highways which conceal so much strange knowledge, from that fantastic plain, the underside of the world. Recognising that this madman was a son of the sea, and that insolent sailors had cast him there, a sign of misfortune: "Accursed be the sailors that brought this madman! Why did they not throw him into the sea!". And more than once in the course of time; the same theme reappears: among the mystics of the fifteenth century, it has become the motif of the soul as a skiff, abandoned on the infinity sea of desires, in the sterile field of cares and ignorance, among the mirages of knowledge, amid the unreason of the world - a craft at the mercy of the sea's great madness, unless it throws out a solid anchor, faith, or raises its spiritual sails so that the breath of God may bring it to port. At the end of the sixteenth century, De Lancre sees in the sea the origin of the demoniacal leanings of an entire people: the hazardous labor of ships, dependence on the stars, hereditary secrets, estrangement from women, the very image of the great, turbulent plain itself makes man lose faith in God and all his attachment to his home: he is then in the hands of the Devil, in the sea of Satan's ruses." - Madness & Civilisation.

Taking into account the rare successes of those few bands that successfully combine styles and genres in light of the millions that go unnoticed; Velvet Cacoon's marriage of shoegaze, black metal and an oceanic nexus (ambience) provides a unique turning point that many successful outfits have taken solace in since the inception (release) of Genevieve back in 2004. Alcest, Lifelover, Forgotten Tomb, Lantlos, Procer Veneficus, the grand amalgamation of DSBM and shoegaze resulting in uncountable bastard offspring, all borrow from shoegazing themes to incorporate them into their own vision of Black Metal. Whether VC had a direct impact on the development of the scene or all projects felt the need to divulge in the shoegaze rhythm independently, I can't outright say - but the music they presented and the avenue of thought and intrigue they sparked are sure to have been part-reason, precursors to any band listed above (each of which I have greatly enjoyed). Yet once again, the majority of the internet warrior age outright ignore the musical influence of VC preferring instead to focus on the tried and tested methods of criticism for their criminalised methodology.

Velvet Cacoon's first plunge into the semi-conscious public eye came way back in 2004 with Genevieve and represented a newer direction of sound revolving around greater involvement of hypnotic, dissonant, droning waves of sound that come crashing in and out of aural vision set to a backdrop of hallucinogenic fog and sublime beauty. Marine themes abound and the texture of the whole release exuded a refreshing concoction of black metal and shoegazesque tomfoolery. The general aesthetic of the album and the droning aural residue guitar tone walls of noise that Genevieve is largely composed of fit superbly well with the contingent feel of Black Metal. The slow descent into seaweed and seabeds, loss of consciousness as the ambience and vibrations from pressure increases take their toll. It takes a special kind of troll to mock Velvet Cacoon (namely the people who got sucked wholeheartedly into the rollercoaster ride of lies, drugs and fuck-you's and could never quite mature past the point of forgiveness in the name of music), but this album represents a great point in the dialectic of avant-garde/experimental (or just straightforward) Black Metal in general, as the union of two correlated themes. The walls of noise from the guitars will dull your senses, the drums incessant patterns will remind of the path forward and the vocals will lull you into an equilibrium.

Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve (2004): Mediafire / Purchase

Before Genevieve, there was Chapelflames (Red Steeples) and Music For Falling Buildings. Two incredible demos that were collected and imbued together in the Northsuite release for the easy consumption of their vastly expanding 'fanbase'. Admittedly, some of the tracks begin teetering on the periphery as incredibly stereotypical bedroom black metal bands. Uncannily repetitive drums, wolf howls at the beginning of songs, lo-fi production with rasped vocals by some dude who is too scared to scream incase his mother hears him. They get alot better, great fills and bastion blocks on drum programming, interweaved acoustic ambient sections that flow seamlessly into Laudanumesque droning segments and back into tranquil hypnotic, atonal guitar reveries that will haunt your imagination for nights to come. These two demos, along with Genevieve, are brilliant for late nights, sea-smoked meanderings in the mind of a hollowed out starry evening, solitude, wonder and bliss. There is a searing beauty underpinning the malevolent force and brutally convictive drones that imitate the lull of the oceanic abyss that surrounds us all. The production values on the first half of Northsuite (Chapelflames) provide a bassier sound which initially alienated me somewhat after hearing Genevieve, but the intangible feel of the whole thing is as otherwordly and insane as Genevieve was on first listen.

Velvet Cacoon - Northsuite (2005): Mediafire / Purchase
(ie the repackaged Chapelflames (Red Steeples) and Music for Falling Buildings demos).

"It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top." - Hunter Thompson

Korouva's piece that Velvet Cacoon passed off as their own is a demo length recording that eminates a feel perfect for late nights, foggy winters and mist stricken coastlines. Well, the whole heartbreaking nature of the ocean, the insanity reigning over man, solitude and fear - its a feel I've come to expect from Black Metal, and this release oozes with the feel of a sea-sick, sea-lost hazy smoke filled night, again fitting perfectly with the overall feel of every precursor Velvet Cacoon piece. This is not Velvet Cacoon's How the Last Day Came and Stayed then Faded like Simulated Rain but Korouva's Shipwrecks and Russian Roulette. So far removed from anything Velvet Cacoon ever released (so far removed from the genre of metal) yet so close in feel and texture, with Velvet Cacoon's pirated version including omissions from the the original piece. Again, pushing beyond the veil of deceit and shenaniganary, if you can forgive Velvet Cacoon in favour of their direct and coherent artistic aesthetic, you will be greeted with the greatest of gifts from the very talented Korouva.

Korouva - Shipwrecks and Russian Roulette (2005): Mediafire

Unfortunately, 2009 was something hit and miss for VC. I can glean nothing from Atropine other than mundane and boring foreplay of a concept they long ago lost control over. Atropine presents us with ambient themes you've heard better elsewhere, not one section topping the well placed beast of bete-noir towards the end of Genevieve (hence I'm not posting a download link because neither Atropine nor Dextronaut deserve your attention).

"Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean." - Lovecraft

P aa opal Poere Pr. 33 furthers the long drive home of the droneridden, hypnotic themes of former Velvet Cacoon glory to new 'depths' and while there is some interesting instrumentation and a deeper, more reflexive production to the nautical theme I have come to love (the hummed and buried vocal effects welcome too), the uninspired screams and moans of Cain do get annoying, Josh shouldn't have bought this dude in. The wall of sound guitar work present in earlier works has all but been replaced with a more despondent, basslike plod that matches the toned down tempo present throughout the album. An enjoyable listen, perfect for fucked up late nights - and just like Genevieve, each track has a feel distinctly its own.

Velvet Cacoon - P aa opal Poere Pr. 33 (2009): Mediafire / Purchase

Josh's latest venture explores the themes 'luxury and late nights' through the avenue of raw black metal, with unrhythmic drumming that furthers the extent of the fog that covers this album from open through to close. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the immediacy and power hidden within Genevieve or P aa opal Poere Pr. 33, so be sure to give one or two tracks a listen on their Muxtape page to decide whether you want to check this out further.

Clair Cassis - Clair Cassis (2010): Mediafire / Purchase

tl;dr best to worst: Genevieve > Shipwrecks and Russian Roulette > Northsuite > P aa opal Poere Pr. 33 > Clair Cassis (> Atropine > Dextronaut)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Adrenalin O.D. - The Wacky Hi-jinks Of + Let's Barbeque + Live @ City Gardens + WFMU - 1982 [Pat Duncan Show] (2008)... Phew!

I would have never heard of Adrenalin O.D. if it wasn't for Fenriz getting inebriated and inviting a portly German into his home to pry into Fenriz's life, work and very extensive music collection. Skip to 7:30 for the relevant material, but if you haven't already I highly recommend you watch it in its entirety.

Fenriz has a long history of recommending his dedicated fanbase bands which without Darkthrone would have never existed. The guy adores music and prefers to talk about what he's currently listening to than his own seminal band. If you've ever checked out his blog on Darkthrone's myspace page, a majority of entries are titled BAND OF THE WEEK and span from early 80's hardcore and thrash to more recent releases mainly in the thrash metal vein. Even Darkthrone's latest release, Circle The Wagons, includes FENRIZ' GUIDE TO MUST-HAVE ALBUMS, a continuation from prior releases.

So when you see a very drunk Fenriz partying hard and reacting in such a way to a band in the flesh, I'd deem that a must-have record. Adrenalin O.D. play down to earth hardcore punk with a very tongue-in-cheek attitude from a time where it had just dawned on punk groups that they could actually play a lot faster. And damn, these guys play fast. Really fast. Their music is precisely the kind of punk that a certain group of Bay Area bands would splice with NWOBHM to create thrash metal, and the kind that Napalm Death would force kicking and screaming to its logical conclusion as grindcore. All these rock 'n' roll history snapshots can be heard with clarity on the recordings. Hell, even In The Shadow of the Horns features the chunky power chords that A.O.D. and other bands of that time and ilk employed to make their dazzling music.

This release reissued by Chunksaah records in 2008 includes the LP; The Wacky Hi-Jinks Of, the EP; Let's BBQ, a live session recorded at City Gardens in '84 with a super dorky cover of Queen's We Will Rock You, and a hilarious set at a university radio station recorded in '82. The between-song banter on that one is worth the download alone. It's almost impossible to find a decent rip of this release by itself, let alone with the extra sessions on it so download and enjoy some obnoxious classic hardcore.


The Wacky Hi-jinks Of Adrenalin O.D.
1. A.O.D. Vs. Godzilla
2. White Hassle
3. New Years Eve
4. Small Talk
5. Going To A Funeral
6. Corporate Disneyland
7. Trans Am (The Saga Continues)
8. Sightseeing
9. Middle-Aged Whore
10. World War IV
11. Clean And Jerk
12. Sleep
13. Rah-Jah!
14. Rock & Roll Gas Station
15. Paul's Not Home

Let's Barbeque
1. Suburbia
2. Old People Talk Loud
3. Trans Am
4. House Husband
5. Mischief Night
6. Status Symbol

Live @ City Gardens 1984
1. Masterpiece
2. Trans Am
3. Traffic Jam
4. Clean And Jerk
5. Rock N Roll Gas Station
6. We Will Rock You

WFMU - 1982 [Pat Duncan Show]
1. Suburbia
2. Adrenalin O.D. Theme Song
3. New Year's Eve
4. Status Symbol
5. Old People Talk Loud
6. Suicide Abortion
7. House Husband
8. Hijack The Senior Citizen's Bus
9. Gutter Fun
10. Die For A Cause
11. World War 4
12. Asskisser
13. Trans Am
14. Scare Tactics
15. Brady Bunch
16. Learn The Poem/Paul's Not Home
17. A.O.D. Barmy Army

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Negură Bunget - Maiestrit (2010)

Well, this is all I've been listening to this past week so sorry if you were looking for something a bit more 'hard to find'. It's not strictly a new album, more a reinterpretation and re-recording of Negură Bunget's second full-length, Măiastru Sfetnic. While the original was still head and shoulders above the rest of the black metal scene in its conceptual design and progressive tendencies this reworking has improved it endlessly, finally allowing the compositions to reach the epic heights Negru, Hupogrammos Disciple's and Sol Faur originally conceived. Better instrumentation, clearer guitar sounds, increased tightness and less casiotone in the ambient sections make me a very happy man. Not to mention two additional acoustic versions of A-Vînt în Abis and Plecaciunea Mortii. Unfortunately, this is the last recorded work of the original band as due to an unknown dispute they've decided to go their separate ways. Despite an agreement to put Negură Bunget to sleep, Negru has chosen to continue the project with a different line-up. I've heard the new album has leaked but I'm a bit afraid of what it might sound like. That's up to you to find if you dare.

But we have much to be thankful for. We've been left a true gem by one of the greatest black metal bands of recent times. Godspeed Negură Bunget, and rest in peace.

1. Vremea Locului Sortit
2. În-Zvîcnirea Apusului
3. A-Vînt în Abis
4. Bruiestru
5. Plecaciunea Mortii
6. A-Vînt în Abis (Acoustic Version)
7. Plecaciunea Mortii (Acoustic Version)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stephen Kasner

It would be trite of me to bemoan to decline of the physical format as a means of distributing when this blog disseminates so much music for the consumption of anyone who happens to stumble through.
The rise of digital formats and online distribution is a subject which has generated much heated debate, and whilst we all have our opinions on its worth and legitimacy, I'm not going to go into too much depth about it in this post.
Whilst I spend a lot of time and bandwidth investigating new bands and sampling their releases, I still purchase a lot of vinyl.  This used to be because I had some kind of innate suspicion of digital media, as something that seems ephemeral, difficult to pin down, there is something comforting about holding an object in your hands, protecting it, archiving it, and bringing it out on special occasions and making an event of listening to it.  A criticism which can be leveled at online downloads is that it creates a flipant approach to music in the consumer, with seemingly limitless choice and availability, it is easy to rack up huge amounts of downloads without giving the music a proper listen, art-appreciation giving way to a form of stamp collecting.
One of the best things about buying vinyl is the artwork. Big enough to act as a canvas in itself, and myriad possibilities as to the interaction between the art and the music.  You can even buy 12x12" frames in which you can proudly display your more beautifully adorned collection as you wish, and rotate as your attention span and aesthetic requirements dictate.

Perhaps it has influenced my musical development, perhaps it is just luck that the music that I listen to tends to nurture creativity in all areas, and there are so many great artists using album covers as a medium that you can pretty much sit and stare at the cover whilst the music plays and be completely captivated.

Stephen Kasner has been creating dark, strange pieces for nearly twenty years now and many of his works have been used to adorn record sleeves.  Below is a selection of some of these covers and other pieces which I expect will be your desktop wallpapers by the end of the day.

Cover of Skullflower 'Desire for Holy War'

Cover of Khlyst 'Chaos is My Name'

Sleeve artwork for Khlyst 'Chaos is my Name'

 Cover of Runhild Gammelsæter 'Amplicon' 

 Cover of Final 'Dead Air'

Cover of Blood Fountains 'Floods'

Stephen Kasner

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teitanblood - Seven Chalices & Artbook (2009)

In an age where many artistic outfits undermine the general purpose and power of aesthetic delivery in favour of pumping out release after release; a band like TTNBLD reign supreme. Their 2009 release, Seven Chalices, is an album combining exceptional musical discord and mayhem with unrivalled aesthetic conjurings. Timo Ketola's work on the LP release has proven to be one of the more tastefully packaged releases of last year. Here, I present to you the album in 320kbps and the A4 handbook accompanying the long gone LP version of the album. Expect cult rituals and maniacal scribblings, blood stained altars, sacrificial weapons, intentionally awry devout ruminations and subhuman meanderings as you ascend to the plane of TTNBLD.


TTNBLD ART: Download (150dpi)

Fukpig - Spewings From a Selfish Nation (2009)

Inventing your own genre and naming a song after it is a step in the right direction. I mean, Venom did it with Black Metal and just look where that went. The 'genre' in question is 'Necropunk'. The band: Fukpig. Fukpig are made up of three members from Birmingham's second favourite grindcore bastards, Mistress. The first being Napalm Death of course. One of those is also multi-instrumentalist Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh. So I already hear you asking, 'what the fukpig does Necropunk sound like?' Your answer: Heavy and fast.

Fukpig take equal influence from the forceful speed of grindcore and mix it up with the non-stop d-beat blast of Crust Punk. Kenney's time under the Anaal Nathrakh moniker has also left a very tasteful black metal residue across the fold, culminating in this inescapably filthy sound that is Necropunk.

It's the album's opening that grabbed me, slapped me around the face a couple of times and left me begging for a further brutalising. The first track, The Horror Is Here, starts with a synth choir drenched in fuzz, sounding not unlike the samples that kick off Satyricon's Dark Medieval Times. But then a bowel-loosening, drop tuned power chord enters the fray and we all know where it goes from here. A relentless d-beat pays homage to a long list of British crust and hardcore bands like Discharge, Amebix et al. played at the breakneck speed of grindcore. The riffs remain minimal consisting of only four or five chords to a song, but it's to great effect, staying true to a time where grindcore, hardcore punk and thrash metal were almost indistinguishable from eachother.

On to the next song then. Oh, it sounds pretty much the same as the one before. This is a trend within the record and perhaps its greatest downfall. But at no point do Fukpig pretend to be anything else than what they are: Three dudes wanting to make horrible, horrible noise. There's not one section of respite throughout the work. Half a second separates each track, then it continues; same tempo, same beat, same key. This is Necropunk, take it or leave it.


1. The Horror Is Here
2. Necropunk
3. Switchblade Romance
4. As The Bombs Fall
5. As Millions Suffer
6. Bombs Of War
7. Cunt Hive
8. Mother Nature's Tears
9. Millions Dying
10. Thrash Armageddon
11. When Will We Hear Their Cries
12. Negative Mental Attitude
13. Caught Out
14. Inertia

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Queerer than we can suppose: the strangeness of science

If, like me, you have ever questioned your own capacities as a human being epistemologically or figuratively then there is something incredible and sublime to be gained from what Mr. Dawkins has to say here.

The Absolute of Malignity - The Absolute of Malignity (2008)

Japan is hardly renowned as a hotspot on the international black metal scene. It's a music culture saturated with idols, hideous visual-kei bands and J-pop, a facet of pop music specific to Japan that emulates western musical styles without quite pulling it off. Fortunately, beneath the highly manufactured facade and pop-by-numbers approach that dominates Japan's music industry (the second largest in the world after the states), a defiant underground still exists that has pervaded the increasingly eclectic tastes of the voracious music fans of the west. Acts disparate and unique like Boris, Acid Mothers Temple and Envy all gain more attention on the other side of the globe than they do in in their homeland but it's a narrow and daunting gap between cult-stardom and utter anonymity for Japanese bands trying to do something a bit different.

The trend is the same with black metal. Sigh swiftly comes to mind as a flagship for the genre in Japan, though their Zelda-esque midi synth-fests may seem a little too fruity for the average black metaller. Endless Dismal Moan on the other hand... Well, they're just an endless dismal moan powered by a drum machine. And Barbatos are just that bit too retarded to be taken seriously, with song titles like Rocking Metal Motherfucker and Red Leather Bitch, despite featuring session musicians from major league bands like Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire and Toxic Holocaust. /facepalm. You can probably tell Japanese black metal is something I've refused to delve too deeply into. Recommendations are welcome in this aspect.

That's where The Absolute of Negativity, thankfully, step in. Next to nothing is known about the band other than they hail from Japanese shores. No line-up has been published so we're in the dark as to whether it's a horde of three of four, or a one man hate machine. I find the lack of information delicious however. Scorning the music fans desire to know how this music is produced is doing black metal RIGHT. Pressing play on this record is like initiating a tempest of unparalleled destruction: Instantly dizzying, nauseating riffs are flung directly at your face like shrapnel, all the more hateful for the cold, raw production. Vocals are perfectly placed above the maelstrom barking and spitting in an incoherent babble. They definitely chose the name right, the music hates you. It's chaotic yet controlled, played with a tightness few black metal bands achieve. If that doesn't give you a boner, perhaps the odd samples of a woman in coitus that appear later in the album will.

As the stagnant traditionalism of the old Norwegians relinquishes its death grip on the black metal standard, I'm glad  a band of this calibre have managed to produce such unsettling and authentic sounds despite coming from such a relative backwater of the scene. It's hands down the best black metal from Japan I've heard. Give it a go.

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sacramentary Abolishment - River of Corticone (1996) & The Distracting Stone (1997)

Sacramentary Abolishment usually filter under the 'War Metal' monicker, which conjurs up images of ridiculous skin head, leather clad, spike endowed idiots detuning guitars to the low end belly roars of some norse god while the drummer with the mental age of a 5 year old batters ceaselessly at his pots and pans drum set: insert Blasphemy, Bestial Warlust, Lust, Black Witchery, ad infinitum. I could give less of a shit about these bands, because at face value they're incredibly hard to take seriously; the music is often even less bearable than the most 'progressive' of noise outfits, the ideology is borderline retarded and the band images involve the inevitable bones and gas masks and bullet belts and bald white scalps. FUCK THAT. Sacramentary Abolishment are a little harder to categorise than last.fm or myspace will tell you, they have more in common with Black Metal than the metallic death rumblings of aforementioned bands but the lyric subject matter and overall tone of the album remain WAR related. They come from the time before mass genre dissection. Furthermore, their never-to-be-released 3rd album title ended up being the new band name, and voila, Axis of Advance were born. All this name-changing business just as the genius who played drums and vocals leaves to go and form Rites of Thy Degringolade. Not to mention more namesakes like Weapon, Revenge and Gloria Diaboli. Yes. This band have quite the history. Sacramentary Abolishment then are the primordial beginnings of one of the better War Metal acts, that actually lean towards song composition over pots and pans mania. Yet they never got the attention they deserved because of the dedicedly uncharacteristic playing style that hovers somewhere between black metal and death metal/grindcore, shadowing itself instead in the voidal chasm between genres. Lyrical themes are matured and actually interesting, which comes as a nice surprise. Both albums made available to you here outshine even the brightest star from the Axis of Advance back catalogue. In a way I regret opening this post up with a bitching section about War Metal, because this band are so much better than the regurgitated insides of some hermit recluse from Canada. I fucking love this band. Incredibly fast blasting metal that remains unlapseable in its delivery from start to finish. Even the doomy seven minute track of 'Reassessment of Preliminary Defensive Procedures' sounds like Portal's Dad. More riffs than The Chasm would know what to do with. They don't even sing about the typical modern day, bullshit, chemical/gas mask/bomb related WAR all these other bands are so obsessed with either. This is when war involved mutilation and facing the enemy face to fucking face. It makes the modern war metal tomfoolery look like nursery kids, with their atom bombs and insipid motives. The only photo I could find of the guys has him holding a sabre in the middle of the forest with lots of leather (and not the Rob Darken leather in the forest look either). I want to go into battle with these dudes, then celebrate with plentiful meat and ale.

Until the Light Takes Us: UK screenings

In a genre which prides itself on confrontation with the mainstream, rejecting received values and staunch anti-commercialism, the recent spate of focus on Black Metal has definitely sat uneasily with some fans.  You can scarcely move without someone shouting "HIPSTER BLACK METAL" at a band they perceive to be too popular to be credible.  This largely stems from Black Metal being a genre which people project their own views and values onto, and then complain when something called Black Metal seems to differ from their view of what it should be.  Nothing can be too kvlt for the elitists, so we shall leave them alone to their isolation.  We're going to go and appreciate the music aren't we.

Until The Light Takes Us is the biggest exploration into the history and workings of the genre to date.  Featuring interviews with some of the most notorious members of the early Norwegian scene and documenting the impact that the music had.
This is essential viewing for beginners and elitists alike.  The starting point of a movement, alarmist propoganda put to rest and an alarming portrayal of the natural extension of a grim philosophy.

There are a smattering of UK screenings, tickets to which will probably go fast, so snatch them up before seats are wasted and filled with someone with no particular interest in Black Metal who wants to review the film as some kind of cultural oddity on their second rate blog that noone reads anyway.


I will be at the Birmingham screening.  I'll be the one looking deep and misanthropic. 

UK Screening dates:

Glasgow Film Festival; 26th February

Chapter Arts; 19th-22nd March

Flatpack Film Festival; 24th March

Rio Cinema; from 27th March

The Quad; 30th April

And now a treat for the elitists: hipsters

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I'm dead.

So here's a cool picture.  Sorry for my recent laziness, I was on holiday in Bardonecchia until these posts and my output has been little since.

I'm incredibly out of it tonight. But at least I can do links!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Yellow Crystal Star - ∞ + X = I (2006)

One of the vestigial remnants on the ever-revealing face of MUSIC left tacitly by Myspace is a rather trivial configurement of categorisation.  As the site fades further into irrelevance and obscurity, the tripartate genre labelling system present on all musicians pages, so often using all three blank spaces, presumably to expand the breadth of their appeal.  No more trying to force new genres on some non-existant scene or creating infinite levels of fractal sub-genres: instead we have a trinity of culturally significant points of anchorage, like an abstract cerebral Venn diagram, at the centre of which is you hugging the band for adequately ticking three appropriate boxes.

One of the most common combinations of descriptor titles in the hyper-dimensional cube of cyber-space that I shepherd seems to be "Noise/Drone/Psychedelic".  On the face of it it seems like this combo should be my wet dream.  I'm a big fan of the uncompromising dissonance of noise, the transcendental purity of drone, and the trippy nostalgia of psychedelia, and as this stuff seems to be so abundant (as I am claiming here) surely I couldn't be happier.

However this is not the case.  Not purely because I'm a hateful curmudgeon, but because so much of this stuff is just...
There.  Not even worth describing.  Not bad enough to provoke derision, not inventive enough to persuade me to patiently endure as to nurture the few promising sprouts.  And so, this seemingly perfect recipe, much like love, is a big disappointment.

It is because of this shameful signal to noise ratio that I feel it necessary to pick out stuff orbiting one, more, or even ALL of these monikers Out There which is actually worth listening to, to save you trawling through it yourself and driving your hard drive to suicide.

Yellow Crystal Star is the project of all but unknown Texan Mark Billings and in the abscence of  background information to form a coherent contextual narrative, the recorded art as document of the artist yields a refreshing example of minimal yet epic dronoisedelia.

This live performance from 2006 makes me anxious for summer to come.  Come July I shall be sprawled on a sunny hillside listening to this album, diving through my eye into the cool blue abyss of the uninterrupted sky through the smoky tendrils I spew in hazy bliss.  Winter has held for long enough.

Monday, March 01, 2010

World Of Lovecraft

Here's some suitably queer covers of books, magazines and comics featuring works by the master of macabre and modern horror, H.P. Lovecraft. Some are dated and haggard but I'm sure you'll agree they look great. We've made numerous inferences to him during our time running this blog so I thought it fair we dedicate a post to him. Lovecraft has a deep-rooted influence on a vast amount of music that we enjoy. If you like yours dark, disturbing and your literature likewise, he has an immense catalogue of short stories and novelettes you can immerse yourself in.