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

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Behold the majesty!

"This is why you buy a Great Sword. Because you can make those huge cuts through flesh and bone like that. Man, that thing just sailed through this big thick piglet leg. Did you hear that bone crunch as the blade went through? You put one of these by your front door and you're gonna be a power to reckon with."

Moss - Underground Ritual, Live in Camden (20.08.2010)

By now I am sure everyone who visits this blog is aware of our complete juxtapositional love for music. At one end of the spectrum we share our love for something as bright and beautiful as maudlin of the Well through to the the serene tones of Angelo Badalamenti, anything that acts to relax and calm. The darker end of the spectrum invariably includes music designed and preoccupied with making you feeling completely distressed and unnerved, ruffled feathers and paranoid psychosis (see Scott Walker for something to fall asleep too). Moss are a form of the latter. The Southampton based trio's approach revolves around the concept of playing their instruments at an incredibly detuned, decelerated, imperceptibly slow rate. The destiny of the slug. Like Earth shattering into a nightmare, think inordinately heavy doom imbrued with the cacophonous reverb of Black Metal. Shrieks and wails from the far corner of the cave as the doom, the dull ever-revolving mass of primeval earth, plods along to its eternally returning purpose.



The Underground Ritual was an EP that found its way into the hands of the original founding fathers of Moss, circulated with the initial 115 copies of Cthonic Rites (115 marking the anniversary of the birth of HP Lovecraft). One long, 25 minute track that howls of reverberation, distortion and largely guitar focused sound with both the drums and vocals taking backseat. Remember how we told you we would never post a live recording that overshadowed a band, or portrayed them in the wrong light? Well this is Moss down to a tee, performing their voidal doom invoked drone to the very limits of humanly conceivable horror. Another excellent audial interpretation of what shock and fear Lovecraft might have invoked during his time here on earth, if you have never heard Moss - the time has arrived.

Moss knows the gate. Moss is the gate. Moss is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Moss. They know where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. They know where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Portal Swarth LP


Soon to be made available to an unsuspecting audience; the latest Portal is being given the vinyl treatment. Hot on the heals of the Lurker at the Threshold picture disc re-release featuring a deluxe 16 page booklet which will no doubt continue the flawless aesthetic of the band. Bathe in the void and apease your sins, beg for forgiveness from the Outer God's, or alternatively, go see Portal on the US leg of their tour.

The latest work of death metal psychosis from Australia’s PORTAL, “Swarth” is the death metal release that invokes the end of the world and is Portal’s most surreal, disturbing, and irregular offering to date.
The approach to Portal’s style of death metal has always treaded the fine line between sheer madness and the intricately artful. Cinematic in scope, like a death metal interpretation of The Cabinet Of Dr. Cagliari or the death metal soundtrack to an ancient silent arthouse flick gone terribly awry, Portal have pretty much transcended the interpretation of what death metal should portray, and simply inverted and twisted it to no end. Even moreso on "Swarth".
Almost serving as the missing link between Portal’s previous abominations (namely “Seepia” and “Outre”), “Swarth” continues to bring the band’s aesthetic to new disturbing levels of unease. Musically, “Swarth” is very labyrinth-like, very claustrophobic and suffocating where twisted counterpoint and scathing dissonance merge with earth scraping atmosphere to unveil the inevitable rising chaos.
And as usual, with every Portal release, what is surely to divide and polarize death metal enthusiasts who either realize the substance, depth, and genius that Portal portray and the ones who simply cannot comprehend or understand the enigma that is Portal. And those who continue to be indifferent and can’t seem to form any kind of opinion or expression because Portal’s music is so fucked, uneasy, and just wrong in a way that it continues to push and tear the boundaries of extremity within death metal like no other band can through the filth, mire, and the utter crawling chaos that unearths itself through each chapter that creates a Portal release as a whole. Nonetheless, no death metal band has created such debate and dialogue as Portal have, and surely with “Swarth”, such debate and dialogue will no doubt continue, confuse, and perplex. Nonetheless, this is how Portal's music, in a way, thrives.

Expect this to drop sometime over summer through Crush Until Madness.

MUSIC AS DESTROYER

"The present generation, curiously enough, no longer makes the highest demands on music, those which were made on music a mere fifteen or twenty years ago. The reason is that listening to music has become a trivial everyday affair as a result of technical progress. Listening to music is nothing out of the ordinary any more, you can hear music wherever you go, you are practically forced to hear music, in every department store, in every doctor's surgery, on every street, indeed you cannot avoid music nowadays, you wish to escape from it but you cannot escape, this age is totally accompanied by background music, that is the catastrophe, Reger said. Our age has witnessed the eruption of total music, anywhere between the North Pole and the South Pole you are forced to hear music, in the city or out in the country, on the high seas or in the desert, Reger said. People have been stuffed full of music every day for so long that they have long lost all feeling for music. This monstrous situation of course has its effect on concerts you hear nowadays because all music all over the world is out of the ordinary, and where everything is out of the ordinary there, naturally, nothing out of the ordinary remains, indeed it is positively touching to see a few ridiculous virtuosi still taking pains to be out of the ordinary, but they are so no longer because they can be so no longer. The world is through and through pervaded by total music, Reger said, that is the misfortune, at every street corner you can hear extraordinary and perfect music on such a scale that you have probably blocked your ears long ago to stop yourself going out of your mind. People today, because they have nothing else left, suffer from a pathological music consumption, Reger said, this music consumption will be driven forward by the industry, which controls people today, to a point where everybody is destroyed; there is a lot of talk nowadays about waste and chemicals which have destroyed everything, but music destroys a lot more than waste and chemicals do, it is music that eventually will destroy everything totally, mark my words. The first thing to be destroyed by the music industry are people's auditory canals and next, as a logical consequence, the people themselves, that is the truth, Reger said. I can already see people totally destroyed by the music industry, Reger said, those masses of music-industry victims eventually populating the continents with their musical cadaverous stench, my dear Atzbacher, the music industry will one day have the population on its conscience, it will most probably ultimately have the whole of mankind on its conscience, not just chemicals and waste, believe me. The music industry is the murderer of human beings, the music industry is the real mass murderer of humanity which, if the music industry continues on its present lines, will have no hope whatever within a few decades, my dear Atzbacher, Reger said excitedly."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Watain - Reaping Death EP (2010)


The Black Metal goon patrol has been all over this like a rash for some time now, but seeing as Bile recently posted the mouthwatering details for Watain's imminent new album, Lawless Darkness, it only seems fair that we give you a taste of what to expect from Sweden's finest. The CD not only features a new song, but also a faithful rendition of Bathory's The Return of Darkness and Evil recorded exclusively for Sweden Rock Magazine subscribers.

Reaping Death is a rip-roaring blasterpiece from the onset. Utterly pummelling double-bass pedals and searing guitar solos set the scene for Watain's rabid and chaotic take on 'orthodox' Black Metal. If this is a representative sample of Lawless Darkness, then Watain have really upped their game since Sworn To The Dark: more forceful, heavy, thrashing and frightening than ever before. The 'rebirth of Black Metal' though? It just sounds like more Watain to me.

The vinyl version of the EP is released on April 30th, through Season Of Mist on 7" picture vinyl with an insert and sticker. This version will feature a cover of Death SS' Chains of Death in place of the Bathory track. Lawless Darkness drops on June 7th.


1. Reaping Death
2. The Return of Darkness and Evil

Dordeduh complete recordings for 7" & full length on the horizon.


After the spat that saw the demise of the original Negură Bunget line-up, Sol Faur and Huppogrammos Disciple's have quickly overcome the adversity of leaving a highly respected, established band. On Thursday they announced the completion of an upcoming 7" under the Dordeduh monicker. A release date is still to be revealed but is being presided over by Prophecy Productions. In the meantime, Dordeduh remain in the studio to continue work on their full-length, slated for an autumn release. It will be of great interest to see what these peerless musicians will offer up in the absence of Negru, particularly since Negură Bunget's latest attempt, Vîrstele Pamîntului, was a passionless work highly derivative of the acclaimed sound forged on 2006's Om.

Dordeduh was delivered into the live setting on January 24th, at Silver Church in Bucharest. The set featured  classic tracks from Bunget's heyday, the two acoustic reinterpretations from Maiestrit, plus four Dordeduh originals. Below is a snippet of some fan recorded material from the show. If you find yourself wanting more, look no further than Dordeduh's official myspace page.

Ok, I'm done. It feels like I'm losing braincells every time I type that name. You would have thought they'd come up with something a bit less unwieldy on the tongue.


Bohren & der Club of Gore Live Recordings, Sessions and Late Nights

Live recordings can go one of two ways; either the ethereal, floating, feedback-laced beauty of the recording suits the tone and mood of the music perfectly and the live rendition delivers the material under a newer light with a renewed sense of strength and worth, or the cackle and humdrum of a band caught on a lazy night destroys any pretense or cherished position the band held in your heart. To a larger extent it is dependent on the style, aesthetics and purpose of the musical outfit to determine the outcome of any live recording, and Bohren, it will be argued, are superb musicians at getting their idea's across in a live atmosphere.

Bohren und der Club of Gore play funeral jazz. Dark brooding deliverance from the turmoil of the day. Hulking great bass plods continuously along under overtly emotive saxophones, guitars and pianos that wail and sing harmony and tragedy. The slow dull mass of the earth realised as one through the opaque texture of night, the counterpoint to man's emotive consciousness, so I find the bass as to the saxophone. Thus I am reminded of Schopenhauer: 'I recognize in the deepest tones of harmony, in the ground-bass, the lowest grades of the will's objectification, inorganic nature, the mass of the planet. For us the ground bass is in harmony what inorganic nature, the crudest mass on which everything rests and from which everything originates and develops, is in the world....In the melody, in the high, singing, principal voice, leading the whole and progressing with unrestrained freedom, in the uninterrupted significant connexion of one thought from beginning to end, I recognise the highest grade of the will's objectification, the intellectual life and endeavour of man.' (S52, World as Will and Representation Vol. 1).

Bohren has always had a tendency to hit home with an incredibly precise force. Regardless of whether this reflects something as simple as a juxtaposition between bass and melody (Schopenhaurian intuition included), the live recordings below do a great job at delivering this intangible sense of serenity and peace. Empyreal and tantalisingly dreamlike, the live recording captures a sensitivity and humanistic impression on the instruments that the studio efforts largely misconvey (not wanting in anyway to belittle the significance of Bohren's magnificient back catalogue), and remains an experience any Bohren believer should not miss out on. Now, just to get them to the UK.


Live in Frankfurt, Germany (10.11.2002) (320kbps)

Live in Paris, France (18.10.2008) (FLAC)

Live in Hamburg, Germany (22.10.2008) Part 1 / Part 2 (FLAC)

Live in Moscow, Russian (31.03.2010) (Torrent) (FLAC)
(-Apologies for the indirect link to a torrent, this file being too large to make available through Mediafire. Features one long, 99 minute track including material from Dolores at a show played less than one month ago.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Six Dead Horses - Horn, Tusk, Antler EP (2010)

Six Dead Horses are a self-proclaimed 'relentless doom metal mountain' hailing once more from Orlando, Florida. 'Mountain' is the right word here. What makes music mountainous I hear you ask? The equation is simple and is lined out clearly in their debut self-released EP, Horn, Tusk, Antler. Enormous, swaggering riffs and reverberating drones drenched in distortion, played through very loud, very large amps. The outcome is truly monolithic structures of sound that are relaxed psychedelica one moment, then fist-pumping slabs of metal the next.

Six Dead Horses use this juxtaposition of textures with aplomb on the opening track, Lakota. A droning, vaguely oriental riff kicks off the proceedings. It's the kind of riff that takes you to a far off kingdom, where you are the warrior king surveying your lands from upon't thy citadel. Then the drums kick in and you are torn from your chilled fantasy and pulled head-first into the psychedelic ether. This upbeat rhythm section would place Six Dead Horses closer to the 'stoner rock' schism than the 'stoner doom', if it wasn't for the megaton riffs and creamy guitar tone that just screams I AM DOOM METAL, HEAR ME ROAR. Avoiding the murky, dirge-like qualities of cult favourites Electric Wizard and Ufomammut the EP never gets bogged down in its own heaviness. The slow sections are perfectly paced, the faster bits are stomping and raucous leaving room for plenty of variation across the three epic tracks.

The vocals showcased on Horn, Tusk, Antler are unlike anything sludge has coughed up before. The duties are split evenly between all the members of the band, whether they be atonal, lung-splitting rasps or grandiose, harmonious howls. The effect is a wholly united assault on your senses, a band of brothers who have no other agenda but to shake you to your very core with intuitive vocal arrangements warped into a terrifying choir by the sludge/doom form. Second track, Human Dragon, Father of Man, features a bellowing chorus climax: 'I AM THE MOUNTAIN. I AM THE SUN. I AM THE UNDEAD REPTILIAN.' I doubt many would be able to resist joining in on such a glorious refrain in the heat of the moment.

Six Dead Horses are swelling with potential. I always reserve a particular respect for unsigned bands who are rabid to get their music out there, simply to share their creation. It's a well produced record, evidently a lot of time, effort and money was spent on getting to this point. Give them the time they deserve and download this EP. If you are browsing this blog it's fair to say you will enjoy it anyway. They've also been slated as the 'ultimate psychedelic metal experience'. I wrote half this article high, the other half drunk and I find myself agreeing. Go get.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Oren Ambarchi - Intermission 2000-2008 (2009) + Live at Supersonic 2008

Straddling the border between music and noise, Oren Ambarchi's seemingly endless lengths of wire, series of pedals and banks of effects loop out in giant arcs across both space and metaphors, as something like the large hadron collider of sound.  Breaking music down into discrete elements, purifying them and warping them in a vacuum, then sending them crashing back into each other, sending often unexpected particles whizzing off, crashing unashamedly into everything around.

Oren Ambarchi has a had a prolific yet modest career in world of outsider music, as the poster boy for the fantastic Touch Records, collaborator with groups ranging from shaman drum fancier Z'EV to  thuper cereal doom t-shirt vendors Sunn O))).  Whilst his collaborations have without doubt earned him the most attention, it is his solo outings where his understated and meticulous sound shines through.

Intermission is a collection of tracks from scarcer vinyl releases and compilations.


1) Intimidator (LP only track from 'The Pendulum's Embrace')
2) Iron waves (Previously unreleased)
3) Moving Violation (From Touch's 25th anniversary compilation)
4) The Strouhal number (Live radio recording)
5) A Final Kiss on the Poisoned Cheeks (Limited 12" track released by Table of the Elements)



Bonus:

I've come across a live recording (as a wav file.  Seriously.  I converted into an MP3 though for slightly less fail.) of an Oren set from the Supersonic Festival in 2008.  I was lucky enough to be there: his sets are truly something to behold, and whilst the recoding I am offering up here is a great document, it doesn't capture the intriguing visuals, the enigmatic performance, the sound reverberating all around you.  If you get a chance, go and see him live and be very still and very quiet.

Black Metal will be reborn with the new Watain - Lawless Darkness

June the 7th will see the return of the mighty Watain, with their newest abomination: Lawless Darkness. Lets just hope it beats what little entertainment could be gleaned from Sworn To The Dark, and aren't being totally pedantic when they speak of the 'rebirth of Black Metal'.

"The frontcover is made by artist Zbigniew M. Bielak from Poland, one of the few living artists we deem worthy to work with. However elaborate on it's own, this frontcover should be seen as a mere taste of the most extensive artwork ever seen in a Watain context, hell, even in a Black Metal context! Just wait..."

"The title symbolises the unbound chaotic potential of that which is void of light", frontman E. comments. "The light that defines, the light that shapes and restricts. The light by which the forces of law and order uphold their reign. In the absence of that light lies the wellspring of Watain: in Lawless Darkness.
"With this album and in all of our efforts with Watain we aim to capture the hungry madness and glimmering purity of darkness beyond illusion, the void that holds all yet where naught is manifest, the primordial tomb into which all the vanity of man and his creation shall collapse: indeed, The Lawless Darkness!
"'Lawless Darkness' shall be seen as a monument erected in honour of that collapse and a dedication to all those brave souls, who have willingly dared to venture the winding paths towards it."


The tracklist will be as such:
'Death's Cold Dark'
'Malfeitor'
'Reaping Death'
'Four Thrones'
'Wolves Curse'
'Lawless Darkness'
'Total Funeral'
'Hymn To Qayin'
'Kiss Of Death'
'Waters Of Ain'






Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blut Aus Nord vinyl reissues and vinyl only release, What Once Was

I might be slightly behind on this one, but whatever. There are simply too many high quality bands to keep tabs on these days. Underground warrior record label, Debemur Morti, has recently announced their intent to re-unleash the classic Blut Aus Nord albums, Ultima Thulée on vinyl and The Mystical Beast of Rebellion on double CD and double LP. The latter features brand new artwork and liner notes to pave the way for the coming sequel album that the band have been working on recently.

Blut Aus Nord are also set to release a vinyl only record entitled What Once Was: Liber I, a conceptual piece 'dedicated to a very pure approach to Black Metal.' As usual information is little but Debemur Morti have hinted '"Liber I" will get you started with a dark, obscure and evil atmosphere. The result is without compromise ... primitive, harmful and bestial.' Bring it.

In even more BAN related news, Vindsval is also working on new experimental project called 777. The debut album will be seeing a spring release, which Debemur Morti quaintly describes as 'a putrescent and monochromatic aural universe composed of bleak pessimism, disharmony and human failure.' What more do I need to say? Whenever Vindsval is on the warpath, everyone pays attention. Expect great things to come from the Blut Aus Nord camp this year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Locrian - Territories (2010)

Just to gain some perspective on the size of this release: Collaborators include Andrew Scherer (Velnias), Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). The LP release has been shared between 4 labels, At War With False Noise, Basses Frequences, Bloodlust! and Small Doses. Bloodlust! and Small Doses are both now sold out of the release, the only two remaining stockists are At War With False Noise and Basses Frequences, both of which are European based (sorry amerifags). Thats right, 4 labels wanted in on this, and with Blake Judd (despite his slapstick tongue in cheek attempt at Black Metal as of late) and Andrew Scherer bringing their talents to the recording space - you know this is going to be something special.
By and large the release navigates its way around a host of genres, from drone to black metal, incorporating a lot of incredibly textured, detailed and layered (beyond belief) sounds in the process. The Black Metal is some of the most hypnotic, empowering stuff yet to bless my ears, and the drone aspect proves there is alot more to be found within the genre beyond gatekeepers Sunn 0))). Definitely worth your time, my only qualm is the recording quality of this rip (the CD not yet being available), so do not delay, if you enjoy this make your way over to either At War With False Noise or Basses Frequences to pick up your copy before it dissapears from the face of the Earth. While the link below may give you a clue as to the content and layout of the release, this is the kind of release made for vinyl - the rip omits so much by way of instrumentation.

Purchase

Scott Walker - The Drift (2006)


The sound of nightmares, lurching palpitations from the void scattered across a 70 minute album that will break you. Instrumentation designed to eminate a feel of complete unease and dismay, anxiety and fear homeward bound emotions. Cacophanous structures between the drawn out silences, violins wailing at the top of their lungs, quiet the only companion to loud, a complete inversion of time and the storytelling siren of Scott Walker's voice your guide through the autumnal abyss of your broken dreams. If you can imagine yourself lying helplessly paralysed, awake and aware of the spatio-temporal correlation of your body but unable to circumvent the arrival of the hooded shade that echoes in the halls outside.
Unusual for Lurker to feature a borderline singer-songwriter/avantgarde agressor, but times they are a changing - and this wouldn't be up here if I didn't think you guys would absolutely love it. The Drift has a lot in common with The Black Flux by Virus, and unaware as I am, Czral and co seem to have taken one or two ideas from the Scott Walker's cooking pot here. The album oozes the same feel, albeit Walker's release verging all the more towards avantgarde territory. Credited recently as an influence on the vocal arrangement on Kayo Dot's newest release, Coyote - and posted here for the level of intensity and dreamlike ethereality of his accomplishment; if you like your music dangerously bizarre and twisted then this is a necessity.

As the grossness of spring lolls its head against the window
As the grossness of spring lolls its bloodshot head
Curare! Curare! Curare!
Brogue cries from the street
Curare! Curare!
As the grossness of spring rose
A tumor balloon to squeak against the window
With the grossness of spring staining into the walls
The chair had been shifted ever so slightly
Say five feet or two centimeters
The prints of my fingers dusted from doorknobs
A lamp had been dimmed
Some sawdust where a ring had been
Where nice girls were turned into whores
Gardens with fountains where peacocks had strutted
Where deaf children were born
The splendor of tigers turning to gold in the desert
Pale meadows of stranded pyramids
Sonny boy
such a sonny boy
There's a song in the air
Curare! Curare! Curare!
But the fair senorita don't seem to care
Curare! Curare! Curare!
As the grossness of spring lolls its head against the window
As the grossness of spring lolls its bloodshot head
I merely got up so slowly
Shuffled across the floor
Closed the door on the landing
Descending the stairs
Dipping into the street
The paralysed street
Brogue says "Good afternoon!"
I say "Good afternoon!"
"It's a lovely afternoon"
"Yes, it's a lovely afternoon"I
Into pockets unstitching so weighted with pins
Into eyes imploding on mazes of sins
The puddle beneath the cork
Bobbing on a mild chop that rolled in
Off the river Dix and the open water beyond

Purchase / Scott Walker

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tartar Lamb II Pledge Drive!

So, Toby Driver is once again seeking a bit of help to fund his musical exploits and I for one could not be happier to give every spare penny I have to this dude - so confident I am that his vision will never faulter. This time it is not maudlin of the Well, but Tartar Lamb - the second release, and they want to give the recording the time, attention and quality it deserves. You can pledge anywhere between $7 to $1000. Obviously the more you pledge the more you'll get in return - signed LP copies of the release, signed CD's, t-shirts, VIP tickets to the launch party, a lovely home cooked meal and the opportunity to be a Kayo Dot bro. And threat not ye with little coinage - the amount will not be taken from your account until the project actually goes ahead/they manage to get $6000 before the 18th July.


So go ahead, give the second movement a listen below and navigate to the kickstart site - pledge a $1000 and become figurehead in the Toby Driver appreciation kvlt.

Kickstart the Tartar Lamb 2 Release - PLEDGE!!

Movement 2 demo:

Monday, April 19, 2010

GOOD HEAVENS LOOK AT THE TIME!


Happy 4/20 and Coyote day from Lurker.

maudlin of the Well demos and Live at Progwest 2002

(Requested via shoutbox and last.fm)

maudlin of the Well: The best progressive metal band you've never heard. Sad but true, when those two words converge music fans often think you are referring to the operatic histrionics and guitar wankery of Dream Theater or Queensrÿche. But since when were technical ability and a truckload of cheese the defining factors of what makes music 'progressive?'

That's not to say Toby Driver and his band of brothers lacked technical ability in the slightest. Multi-instrumentalist Driver composed maudlin's works piece by piece, often utilising sheet music and continues to do so in the band's later incarnation, Kayo Dot. There are always so many things going on in maudlin's music that even on the hundredth listen, a new layer and thought process can be discerned.

This is where these demos become of interest. They include a few early rehersals of songs that would appear on the Bath and Leaving Your Body Map, stripped to the bones without vocals or a decent production to hide behind. They Aren't All Beautiful sounds particularly great with a few twists thrown in absent from the final version. Despite the basic recording process a certain clarity is afforded to the demos, allowing the listener to catch hold of nuances that are lost when professionally captured and tinkered with. A couple of tracks that didn't see life outside of this demo are also present. Dandy Horns is a horn arrangement that appears in a different form on one of the albums and, for the completionists, Swarming features vocals from Toby and Maria Stella-Fountoulakis but even with the poor sound quality aside, this has to be the only weak song maudlin of the Well produced.

The Progwest 2002 set is thrilling and is sure to send the avid fan into a fit of envy. The crowd doesn't even sound certain of the significance it's witnessing but (Secret Song), A Conception Pathetic, Birth Pains of Astral Projection and Undine And Underwater Flowers are performed perfectly, note for note.

I hope I didn't insult your musical IQ with the first sentence, but if maudlin of the Well really are the best progressive metal band you've never heard, you need step no further than here to be directed to their latest release, Part The Second. It's free to download straight from the band. Their entire discography is flawless, so if you find yourself starting with these demos, oh boy, expect much better things to come.

maudlin of the Well demos and Live at Progwest 2002
Demo
1. They Aren't All Beautiful
2. Stones Of October Sobbing
3. Birth Pains Of Astral Projection
4. Dandy Horns
5. Swarming
Live at Progwest 2002
6. (Secret Song)
7. A Conception Pathetic
8. Birth Pains Of Astral Projection
9. Undine And Underwater Flowers

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Necrovore - Divus De Mortuus (1987)

Alleged to be one of the most bootlegged demos in heavy metal history after Metallica's No Life 'til Leather, this is the Texan quartet's only extant contribution to the burgeoning extreme metal scene that developed during the '80s. It was a period where metal fans would crawl over each other to trade the most evil and extreme tapes, the  demos that were ahead of the game in terms of pure punishing brutality, at odds with the radio-friendly face of the contemporary 'glam' metal trend.

Under these conditions Necrovore thrived. You can easily see why: the first track, Mutilated Death, begins the proceedings with a sinister, droning satanic ritual. This pantomime has since become cliché but if you heard it for the first time in 1987, there's a good chance you soiled yourself. This is exactly what the tape traders of yore were searching for.

Divus De Mortuus was recorded with a sloppy abandon the sons of Norway would have been proud of. Guitars and bass are amorphous and low end. The drums are just about audible, yet the mix as a whole is surprisingly listenable and enjoyable, only helping to emphasise the violence the creators were so obviously intent on communicating. Vocalist John DePlatchett has a brilliant proto-death metal howl that slices through the churning maelstrom created by the band, a clear influence on Attila Csihar's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas performance. Here and there chaotic and anti-melodic guitar solos shriek and wail, straddling the tail-end of thrash but diving head first into uncharted territories of ugliness. Enormous titans of riffs stride freely across the demo; not quite death metal, not quite black metal but an unholy mixture of both at a time where the now austere rules simply did not apply.

Euronymous masturbated to this. And as much as I love Morbid Angel, this primitive rehearsal recording makes them sound like pussies. A must if you don't possess it already.


1. Mutilated Death
2. Slaughtered Remains
3. Divus De Mortuus
4. Toxic Decay

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Portal - Lurker At The Threshold EP out in May


Chrome Leaf recently announced a revamp of the Portal tape 'Lurker at the Threshold' packaged up as a limited edition picture disc EP. As fitting as this release is under the guise of this blog, the artwork transcends any expectations I had for the record, definitely worth picking up when May comes around from Chrome Leaf:

To be unleashed on a limited edition picture disc 7″ from Queensland, Australia’s unfathomably intense, technical black/death metal assassins PORTAL this May 11th, the Lovecraftian-based Lurker At The Threshold 7″ bears two tracks; two of the three songs found on the original 2006 demo cassette release of the same name (the third track on the original a noise track). This 7″ version will be available as a full-color, 70-gram, 45rpm picture disc in a limited run of 500 copies. The detailed artwork for the platter was commissioned by Chimere Noire.

Black Metal? Eh?

It has taken some time, but Black Metal has almost returned full circle to the ideas and beliefs that kick started the early Norwegian scene, albeit at a more fundamental level. What we enjoy and support today is less the immature Satanism in the face of mistrust and disbelief at Christian values and instead a return to the grand nihilistic idea that all values must be questioned, everything interpreted: ‘Nothing is true, everything is permitted’. Sure, there is the inevitable inbred offspring of a million bedroom black metal acts throughout myspace, and sure, there remains the orthodoxy and talentlessly satanic majority of bands that propagate the halls of Black Metal history - but today is a good day, there are so many incredible artists and visions that have arisen from this ideology that I thank my lucky stars I am here to witness it.

From the sidelines it is easy to see how ridicule and mockery follow suit in a genre that is stigmatized by outsiders as a self-contradiction, as something incapable of grasping the fundamentals of human life. You have the decidedly ‘emotive’ and egoistic characteristics in depressive black metal, the nigh-on-naïve corpse paint of orthodox bands and the flawed ideologies of projects that wallow in the limelight of a semi-conscious public eye.

Taken from an insider perspective, Black Metal represents something more significant than the anti-christian, overtly satanic blasphemy that 95% of immature, ill-favoured and ill-adapted musical projects in this genre border on. From the waking youth of Burzum and the unwavering belief that Christianity’s usurp of Norse mythology without question or regard was a direct contradiction in terms for a religion spouting ideals of equality, it is possible to divulge a greater idea that innumerable bands of great quality are indulging in. This idea was always present in the earlier sounds, from Burzum through Darkthrone, the idea was never directly satanic, never to use satan as a gimmick or stepping stone - it is a simple idea that reflects a more fundamental ideology than anti-religious, anti-life murmurs.

In brief, there's no doubt that Black Metal has spilt its guts over the proverbial butchers block as more and more bands apply the approach in search of new sounds. Is this something the kids from Norway would have wanted? The gateway of satanic and pagan approaches that are regularly displayed within Black Metal circles are now being replaced with egoistic approaches, unique ideas that reflect more than a deep-seeded hatred for religion in broad, they espouse a rejection of accepted forms of thought in general. Different interpretations are taking shape under a genre that is becoming harder and harder to classify solely as ‘Black Metal’, progression with the underlying concept of Black Metal, of negation, anger and power. What other artistic movement has ever eaten its own tail? Black Metal as the anti-value.

Putting inevitable evolution aside, orthodoxy is still rampant and the thoughts and feelings of individuals assuming Black Metal should remain stagnant in its approach, never really amounting to more than a Darkthrone clone, are starting to look more and more like the very idea their music seeks to overcome! We are starting to see the artist return to Black Metal, and not the shadowy photocopying process of bands with black and white album covers, corpse paint and satanic stupidity that seem to promulgate throughout Metal-Archives. The perfect idea for finding new sounds, laid bare - Black Metal seems to have given the idea back to the artist; deny nothing, but doubt everything! I have grown so tired of stale Black Metal clone bands claiming their orthodox work consecrates the unholy grace of satan. The stale and retarded gimmicks behind these bands undermines the genre as a whole and creates the propensity for people to label Black Metal hypocritical and self-defeatist. The very idea of Black Metal is to negate accepted forms of thought, accepted forms of musical definitions, musical approaches, ideologies, concepts. Much like the bastard father Punk Rock. So please, I ask you, if you have ever ignored/refused or labelled this genre as immature and barbaric - search deeper.

So, godspeed you! Artists of the void. Like the anti-civilisation theorems advocated by Cascadian Black Metal, Wolves in the Throne Room echoing remnants of a lost and ancient consciousness, a clear and beautiful inspiration from nature and the overarching campaign to return back into beauty. The negation of modern civilisation in favour of different forms of thought, the belief that there is more than a shallow acceptance of what you see is what you get. The blatant homage Paysage d'hiver display to nature that echoes the principles and influences held within the music perfectly, wherein political and sociological opinions are largely vacant. The divergent philosophy of Deathspell Omega whose mature Satanism is a welcome change from the Transylvanian Hunger clones that flock to 3 chord 4/4 song structures and spout barbarity in a claim to never undermining their artistic integrity. Today we have Black Metal incorporating drone, ambience, jazz - that is completely ignoring the inspiration and influence Black Metal as a movement has had on music as a whole.

That is not to say Black Metal in general is the only art form touting this general feel of nihilism. Art in general seems to be fragmenting at a rapid rate. Where in the past there were clearly defined artistic movements, today’s idea of art seems heavily egocentric. We are in the process of a grand declaration of war. Art declaring war on art. What better way to break down the doors of perception than through a genre that does nothing but ‘refuse to play ball’. For " every true faith is infallible. It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search."

It is often a question I’m faced with, why do you listen to a horribly produced, horribly disgusting genre? It completes the circle, offers ideas and thoughts that music and man in general have always ignored (instead stuck in their ignorance that truth and happiness are one and whole) and provides me with some of the most interesting and forceful artistic visions that the majority of mankind would prefer to shy away from. How can I not listen to it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bad Actor - Portrait of Finality (2009)

I'm going to lower the tone here and divulge my web surfing habits. When there is nothing to do (that's most of the time) I unfortunately browse the infamous 4chan, mainly the music (/mu/) and videogame (/v/) boards. The denizens of /mu/, also known as /mu/tants, commonly play little circle jerk games, posting their last.fm pages in the hope of finding 'super' and 'high' compatibility with other users. Occasionally I post my own, safe in the knowledge that on a forum saturated with indie douches, Pitchfork worshippers and fourteen year olds, my results will come back as 'very low' 9.9 times out of 10.

So I was surprised to find a random American guy hollering in my shoutbox that we had 'super' compatibility and that he had sent me two free records that he wanted me to feature on Lurker. It soon became apparent that this American guy was Jarad, vocalist of Bad Actor, one of the bands included in my digital gift. I'm somewhat dubious about checking out bands that use last.fm to promote their material, mainly due to the amount of terrible bedroom black metal bands that plea for attention on the pages of superior artists but I dutifully downloaded the files and proceeded to find out all I could about Bad Actor.



Four portly, nerdy dudes gazed at me from their artist page, with no distinctive image to behold. 'Cool,' I thought, 'I'd probably hang out with these guys.' On checking the shoutbox I was greeted by waves of 'channers' from various chans, including the stoner's favourite, 420chan, all singing the praises of Bad Actor. To be honest, I was warming to them before I had even heard the music. I politely reminded Jarad that the only criteria to appear on Lurker is to be fucking awesome, and that I hoped the music would meet our stringent quality tests.

Though unsigned, Orlando based Bad Actor have valiantly self-released their debut LP, Portrait of Finality and have been passing it left, right and centre for the grand sum of zero as all decent unsigned bands should. On my first listening of the record I almost immediately believed I had heard this kind of music before, multiple times. The slow burning opener, The Kracken of Normandy, utilises the jangly, apocalyptic acoustic guitars that we've become familiar with through releases by Mastodon and Baroness, and I was ready to write Bad Actor off as another imitator. I was forcibly made to eat my words after the brief sludge/acoustic intro was over. The tempo picks up without warning, diving into a palm-muted flurry of virtuous riffing which, to my surprise, reminded me heavily of Symbolic-era Death.

Bad Actor are more than your standard sludge/doom fare, and it may even be unfair to label them such. Portrait of Finality is a progressive and ambitious record that not once comes up for a breath. Once you've pressed play, you're in it for the duration as well. When Bad Actor aren't smashing your face in with intensely heavy, downtuned riffs, there are brief moments of progged out beauty with soaring lead guitar melodies like the intros of A Man of Ideas and Shaking Hands Through Doorways. But these sections are fleeting and always culminate in another brutalising at the hands of strange time signatures and brilliantly consistent vocals. These shrieks, screams and bellows are wreathed in malevolence and a will to terrify the listener that puts Eyehategod to shame.

For a self-acclaimed sludge metal band, the pace of the entire album is relatively up-beat. Actually, let's not beat around the bush here. This is a very fast album, several times my ears caught hold of a blast beat. The speed is used in an intelligent counterpoint with the slower sections granting the album a flow that refuses to stale. If you've always wanted to hear an effective splicing of sludge, death and progressive metal, Bad Actor are most definitely for you. They WILL be signed so get in early, you have been warned! They're also due to support Eyehategod at Backbooth in Orlando on June 3rd in what looks to be a great show: Khann, Withered and Six Dead Horses (featuring soon) are also billed, so hit the Bad Actor myspace to request tickets.


1. The Kracken of Normandy
2. Sinister Smoke and Smolder
3. Through the Blue
4. A Man of Ideas
5. Shaking Hands Through Doorways
6. Searching for Serenity
7. Oleg
8. As Meredith Explodes
9. Triangular Room
10. Ralos

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live Recordings

We've mentioned the exciting news that Godspeed You! Black Emperor are to reform this year to play a handful of dates across Europe and USA, but it might have been hard to gauge our doe-eyed excitement at this prospect, hidden as it were beneath the steely contemptuous semi-snarls we wear on our maudlin faces at all times.
But we are excited.  And anxious to see a band we have been listening to for ten years now, live in the flesh.  It means something.

And like any other wide-eyed fanboys, with the prospect of such an encounter, what have we been doing?  Dusting off the old vinyl of course.  Giving each album a spin.  Marking sure our music library is as comprehensive as possible, and scour the internet for live recordings, a teasing taste of something to look forward to.

Now these recordings aren't especially difficult to find, but they seem to only be available through slightly dubious file sharing sites from disparate unknown blogs and all off kilter.



So in celebration of the year of our Godspeed, 2010, here are some of their best recordings: all in one place, mediafired, nicely tagged, and ready for your enjoyment.

Only eight more months!

1) 3rd Part
2) Dead Metheny
3) World Police
4) 12-28-99
5) Gathering Storm
6) Moya
7) Blaise Bailey Finnegan III (Part 1)
8) Blaise Bailey Finnegan III (Part 2)
9) Outro

L'Olympic:14/05/2003
1) Monheim
2) Albanian
3) Dead Methany
4) Gamelan (Part 1)
5) Gamelan (Part 2)
6) World Police
7) Tazer Floyd
8) Moya
9) The Dead Flag Blues (Outro)

Mejeriet, Lund, Sweden: 03/04/2002
1) Gathering Storm / Il Pleut à Mourir [+Clatters Like Worry]
2) 12-28-99
3) Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls / World Police and Friendly Fire
4) Motherfucker=Redeemer
5) The Dead Flag Blues
6) The Sad Mfioso...

Peel Session: 19/01/1999
1) Hungover As The Queen in Maida Vale

1) She Dreamt She Was a Bulldozer
2) Steve Reich
3) World Police
4) Moya

P.S.  Anyone who knows of any other live recordings floating about then comment on it and I'll do the same with those and add them to the collection above.  Don't let me down, fanboys!

LIVE EVIL 2010 (23-24 October, Underworld)


We're just being spoilt in terms of festival brilliance in the UK this year. First, Capsule announced they were placing Swans as the headliners at Birmingham's Supersonic. We smiled and nodded our heads. A week or so later, Godspeed You! Black Emperor were confirmed as curators for All Tomorrow's Parties. We shouted expletives and shook our heads in disbelief. Now yet another mandatory festival has fallen under the Lurker radar: LIVE EVIL 2010, a swarth of the best underground metal hand-picked by metal's saviour himself, Fenriz.

The line-up is tantalisingly diverse, ranging from ye olde heavy metal sounds to thrash, black and death metal acts. Britain is well represented with beloved NWOBHM codgers Angel Witch, crushing doomsters Ramesses and old school sleazebags Salute. Joining our homegrown talent there will be notable sets from seminal Brazilian black/death scourge, Vulcano, Finland's Hooded Menace and many more from across Scandinavia and Europe.

The dilemma is that Supersonic's dates have been shifted forward to clash with Live Evil. Faced with the rarity of a Swans appearance in one hand, and two days of pure heavy metal thunder in the other... what do we do?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Rites Of Thy Degringolade - An Ode To Sin (2005)

This gem has been sorely overlooked in my collection for at least a couple of years and I'm really glad I thought to give it a random listen a few weeks ago. Rites Of Thy Degringolade are yet another product of the once fertile Edmonton, Alberta scene in Canada, a veritable machine in terms of churning out bands in the death/black metal vein, including 'household names' Revenge and Sacramentary Abolishment. Rites Of Thy Degringolade are in fact linked to the latter by ways of drummer, Paulus Kressman, who formed ...Degringolade in the wake of his departure from Sacramentary Abolisment. While Kressman's role was limited to the skins in his former band, here he takes over all the instruments to outstanding effect.

Two guitar tracks are panned to their opposite extremes, one full of treble, the other lurking around the middle and bassier frequencies. In comparison to the bass and drum levels, the attention given to the guitars is on face value a little lacking. Yet the guitar sound really prevails in the overall mix, crisp and clear it reminds me of the 8-bit heavy metal tracks from the original Doom series of videogames (fuck Doom 3), particularly on the beast of a track Thyhathbecomehim. There is method in the madness of a slightly quiet guitar mix however. They make way for the blinding drum performance that pervades the entire recording. Kressman is an unparalelled drummer; an incredibly precise, brutal and unstoppable force and perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of An Ode To Sin. The riffs are kept simplistic, primal and delightfully old school, allowing the drums the freedom to weave in and out of numerous time signatures, tempos, rhythms and improvisational passages.

Another immensely enjoyable facet of this album is how it treads the uneasy border between being a death metal project and a black metal one. The pace is generally extremely fast and peppered with blast beats, lending itself to a common cliché of black metal, but it is when the riffs are broken down into slower, chunkier and hugely satisfactory sections that the death metal influence is seamlessly traversed. You'll know when a section like this drops from an instantaneous desire to rock your head, throw up some horns or whatever we metal fans are supposed to do. The rasping vocals are particularly awesome in these parts, forming rhythmic and memorable hooks you will grunt along to in your mind while working your shitty day job. Only a number of strong bands manage to get the black/death metal mix right, many others often fall into the trap of being either one or the other whilst under the pretence of being both. This is not the case with ...Degringolade however, an underrated relic from the Edmonton scene that many acts could learn from. Take note class!


1. Intro
2. In The Name of Rites
3. Of Purist Impurity
4. Thyhathbecomehim
5. Totality's Reign
6. Asylums
7. Thirst
8. Release The Flies

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Swans @ Supersonic and Godspeed You! Black Emperor confirmed for ATP!

First up, we have confirmation that Swans will be playing at this years Supersonic festival courtesy of the lovely ladies over at Capsule. As if that wasn't enough talent to grace our shores this year, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have reformed and been confirmed curators for ATP's annual Nightmare Before Christmas shindig. Players include Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bardo Pond, Deerhoof and Tim Hecker. Get your fill of information here and check out the bands official release below!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

As a foulness shall ye know Them.

"...Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where they shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or subtance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraven, but who hath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again."

H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

AUSTERITY - AUSTERITY (2009)

So you think funeral doom is as narrow and trodden a path as every other niche and branch from the phylogenetic tree of metal? Well. Ever heard Italian funeral doom with a focus on drone and ambient sections? Ever got excited at the prospect of a funeral doom project incorporating drone and ambient? No, me either. I have to ask you to shove your murmuring bullshit remarks to the back of your head for 2 hours until you have sat through this experience though, because this is a delicious listen.

AUSTERITY is a one man funeral doom project from Italy. I hesitate to include the 'funeral doom' tag because of the commonly held preconceptions the majority of metalfags hold about the genre - yet thats what our mighty lord and father who art in last.fm hath pronounced. The album, a solid 70 minutes in length, gently and majestically floats between ambient sections, guitar based drone work and piano recitals. Heavily reminiscent of Paysage d'hiver and the more drawn out pieces from Darkspace, the guitar reverberations demonstrate an excellent capacity for creating and maintaining atmosphere and magnanimity. Production values and vocal effects much like Wintherr conjurs and while the feel is funeral doom through and through, the execution and production are decidedly unique and foreign to the genre in question. There is enough in way of instrumentation to keep your interest up track by track, listen to this at max volume for best results and you'll be greeted by new layers within the humdrum of drone. One of the few releases I can happily sit through from beginning to end that clocks in at well over an hour and perhaps the only funeral doom release I have come across that I want to share with the entire world. The release is well worth picking up as I'm sure your laptop speakers pale in comparison to your stand alone CD/cassette player, its the kind of release you have to purchase to get the true feel for.

Purchase

Aderlating - Devotional Hymns (2010) Stream @ Bandcamp


The new offering, Devotional Hymns, is currently streaming in its entirety through Bandcamp. The music verges on noise, heavily distorted droning black metal and horroresque ambience, featuring live drumming and other instrumentation vacant from the Gnaw Their Tongues back catalogue. A step up and a step forward for the sick fuck behind both projects, recommended for sick fucks alike.

Listen Now / Purchase

Monday, April 05, 2010

Blood Fountains - Floods (2009)

Grasping at tangential straws splayed from from my last post >9000 years ago regarding the artwork of Stephen Kasner, I'm back to sing the praises of his musical exploits, which go under the name of Blood Fountains.

Floods is said to be the musical extension of Kasner's visual works, and for once this kind of description isn't complete pretentious bullshit.  Just like his paintings, the music is minimal, ethereal, composed of myriad shades of dark all oscillating and bubbling to the surface; a focus on understated holistic composition rather than easy pay-off.
Elements of sound accumulate and accrue, build into towering monoliths before deconstructing again, falling into dissonance.  Interactions amplified by the mind, like looking out into the night, gradations of no-light shift and take form, eased into new directions at the suggestion of the music.



Bonus Track: from the Droning Earth vol. 26 collection, the non-album track Moving Mountain.

Bonus Video: sort of live, sort of arty video of Moving Mountain, directed by Dwid Hellion of Integrity infame.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Praise the Goat


I just drove 180 miles so here's a picture while I get my head around the next proper post. I don't know who did it, or where it's from. It's simply awesome.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Growing - PUMPS (2010)


Out from the gaping maw of polyrhythmic droning havens into more dynamic, song oriented territory. Growing maintain the feel of fuzzed out lazy summer afternoons, bipolar synth/guitar sessions and the heavy undercurrent of droning beats they're famous for whilst having a crack at the whole electro ambient song structure thing that has become far, far too popular recently. Luckily this album is Growing through and through, in parts reminiscent of my favorite record of theirs - The Sky's Run Into The Sea, along with many newer, welcome elements. Alot of textbook hard up drone sections have vanished, replaced instead by a kaleidoscope of melodicism, beat, synth and vocal reverb. I hate to suggest the days where you would sit through 30 minutes of drone only to have your mind blown as the music subliminally shifts you into incredible rhythmic palpitations have vanished, but maybe thats a good thing - far too many bands are too content pumping out the same release time and time again. I do love this though. Don't listen to this because Growing are fucked up or you want something to spin when you're drugged up, it holds its own when you're sober too ^__^

Growing