Sunday, December 27, 2015

Beast of 2015

Ditto what I said a year back. I basically haven't touched this blog in a year....or the year before that. Will things change this year? I have no fucking clue, maybe? So without further ado, here is what blew my mind this past 365.

10. The Squirm Unspoken

Alesh AD, alum of Czech metal heroes Root, makes a bold move releasing an alt-rock album. Bold but brilliant cuz this is the stuff of top down, pedal down chant alongs. If I were hard pressed I'd have to say that Alesh has been listening to a lot of bro Blackosh's still phenomenal Uncommon Excursions.

9. Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches

Another Root alum does good. I have to admit that I was a bit perplexed as to Ashok's decision to leave Root for COF. Certainly the paycheck has to be better but I really thought it was a shame that his unique riff-writing and superb leads would be buried under everything Filthy. I shouldn't a been worried about a goddamn thing cuz Ashok and short-armed drummer Marthus have upped Cradle's game, with extremely Root-esque riffs, effortlessly splendid leads and tasty drumming. I even enjoy Dani Filth's vocals on an album for maybe the first time ever. Probably the nicest surprise on this list, and definitely Cradle's best since 2000's excellent Midian.

8. Grimes - Art Angels

A small confession to make here, I am a Grimes fanboy through and through. No surprise then that I was awaiting Art Angels with bated breathing ever since Ms. Boucher released the demo of Realiti earlier this year. Also not surprising that I think Art Angels is an absolute slam dunk, a fiercer more aggro version of Grimes than Visions and I'm digging that fire.

7. Arnold Veeman - Klaai

Veeman is a Demon, an absolute beast. A master of production, subtle textures and intricate vocals.  Jazz, big band, handclaps...the whole kitchen sink pulled off with aplomb and appeal. Keep it up Veeman, you are fast becoming one of my favorite artists out there.

6. Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega

DHG may not be the most prolific of groups but I've always been one for quality over quantity anyway, and sweet lord is this quality. A perfect mix of 666 International's avant-garde storytelling and Supervillian Outcast's catchy as fuck take on modern black metal...not to mention the twisting creative riffwork of Satanic Art ep schmiered over 5 expansive cinematic tracks. Weird and exhilarating, I just hope we the fans don't have to wait 8 years for the next one. 

5. Mandroïd Of Krypton - Hyperkaossmarket

Well this is another real nice surprise. Swiss techno-thrashers Mandroïd of Krypton manage to bridge the ungodly chasm between Killing Technology Voivod and fellow swatchmasters Calhoun Conquer and I've been lappin' it up like Swiss Miss.

4. Liturgy - The Ark Work

Not everyone's cup of tea (to put it mildly). But this ritualistic weirdo type of metallish choral-chant/rap music puts me in one righteous mood...what more can I say?

3. Arcturus - Arcturian

Is there a more charismatic, more chance-taking metal frontman working today than ICY Vortex? That's not really a question, but more of a request, cuz if there is I'd really love to meet him or her. When Icy heats up just get the hell out of his way and enjoy the show, foghorns and all. 

2. Killing Joke - Pylon

A return to form, but have KJ ever really been out of form? I sincerely doubt it. Hell I personally favor Outside the Gates for fucks sake, but Pylon is pushing all of my right buttons. The riff structure of Big Buzz is absolutely sublime.

1. Aktor Paranoia

A most excellent collab between Finland's fav guerre auteurs Circle & the USA's own Professor Admiron Black of classic metal resurgence renown. This group has crafted possibly the catchiest most out there but not quite all the way "out-there" album of recent memory. Licks of Dharma, kraut drumming ala Circle natch, fucking anthemic keyboards and Black's pitch perfect earnest vocals. Yes my friends, this is some ass shaking space boogie and it doesn't get any finer. For fans of Basement Metal, Club Ninja & for fans of Grimmer Than Thou know who you be. 

Most Honorable Mentions
Lugubrum HervalKaeck - StormkultMamaleek - Via Dolorosa, The Fall - Sub-Lingual TabletSapthuran - HildegicelKrallice - Ygg HuurSolefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis SudBosse de Nage - All FoursNecrocock - Hudba z psychiatrických pavilonů, Grave Pleasures - Dreamcrash, J.C. Satan - J.C. SatanMgla - Exercises In FutilitySadist - HyeanaDoug Hream Blunt - My Name is Doug Hream Blunt, Holy Forest - Holy Forest, Lychgate - An Antidote For the Glass PillBorgne - Regne des MortsAlkaloid - The Malkuth GrimoireDrudkh - A Furrow Cut ShortPeste Noire - La Chaise-Dyable, Imperial Triumphant  - Abyssal Gods

Phenomenal Tech eps
Theory In Practice - Evolving Transhumanism, Watchtower - Technology Inaction, Droid - Disconnected, Wild Hunt - Scroll and Urn

Other Greatness....
Ugandan street rap

Nuwaubian spiritual rap

Friday, May 22, 2015

What's Sounding Good

Getting close to round the half year mark here and I thought I'd check in and let y'all know whats worth a damn.

Arcturus - Arcturian
Icy Vortex continues to prove he's the most versatile balls out exhilarating vocalist out there. This one will be hard to beat.

The Squirm - Unspoken
Alesh AD from Root band crafts streamlined high-octane alt-metal thats a little slice of heaven. Some of the best shit I've heard since bro Blackosh's unfuckable with Uncommon Excursion.

Solefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud
Cornelius von Jackheim Mutherfucker returns with a polyphonic supra sonic kaleidofriggindicious bouillabaisse of World & World-ly Sgt. Pepper's Metal. Just 3 words to hook ya...Bububu Bad Beuys. Hell any metal song that references that Fluxus meistermind is by definition ahead of the pack.

Liturgy - The Ark Work
I think The Tyranny of Tradition put it best "This is like listening to Ween cover a Three 6 Mafia song". Exactamundo.

DHG - A Umbra Omega
Worth the going on a decade wait. Dangerous and lysergic and epic.

I'm also really looking forward to the new Necrocock whenever that fucker decides to drop.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Annual Airing of Grievances Anno 2014

End of year hate rants are pretty much the best part of doing a blog. Watch out for these turds.

Swans - To Be Kind  Another awful year in music another awful Swans recording. Swans seems to be everyones' and their great aunts' favor band to heap unending gushes of praise upon. Why this is? Don't ask me why. The emperor wear's no clothes? You betcha.
Opeth - Pale Communion  Oh my lord what do we have here, a nu Opeth that sucks yard upon yards of red hot balls yessirree. Take the emotion and charm out of one of Camel's lesser albums and you have this sort of toned down wanna be ELP bs.
Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind  Bottom of the barrel attempt at catchy and anthemic black-like(lite) sludge metal. As empty sounding as a tapped out spike.
The Soft Pink Truth - Why Do the Heathen Rage?  Does this really still need to be a thing?? I think The Hard Mauve False are about 15 years late to the "lets do a piss-take of black metal" partay. At least it is easier on the ears than Impaled Northern Moonforest, but not quite up to Goat Thrower standards.
Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare Too over the top and theatrical, if I wanted to listen to some campy caterwaulin' I'd go watch Xanadu...the music's nothing to write home about either.
Massacre - Back From Beyond time to go back beyond Rozz and crew. This video sums it all up, what exactly is the joke?
Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails  yikes my precious eardrums are still recovering
Cynic - Kindly Bent To Free Us Some kind of no man's land between unchallenging prog-rock, AOR ambient excursions and the absolute lightest kind of metal that could still be called such. A big step down from Traced In Air and even Elves Beam Out which at least had some goofy charm to it.
Behemoth - The Satanist  Nergal with penis-horn growls about satan, how he is satan or whatever, dresses up like cirque de soleil satan and plays lots of fast boring riffs with fancy drumming.
Triptykon - Melana Chasmata
ZzzzzzzzzzzZzzzzžzzzŹŻzŻzzzzzzzzzzžžžźz.......ZzzzzzzzzzzZzzzzzžzzzŹŻzŻzzzzzzzzzzžžžźzŻzŻzzzzzzzzzzžžžźz, a big old snoozefest. I haven't felt this tired after listening to an album since the time I dozed off and almost drove off the road listening to Hate Eternal's King of All Kings. Should at least come with a warning not to operate heavy machinery while listening, and a complimentary case of No-Doz and Red Bullz.
Heck, even Tom G Warrior admitted this wasn't very good, and I am more than inclined to agree.

also I haven't listened to Yob, Pallbearer, Indians, Mastodon, Thou, Godflesh, Sunn O))) but I'm sure that they're all awful.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beast of 2014

I've really let this blog go to seed but thought it only good, right and salutary to at least post a list of the beast of 2014. After all, I might slack off but heavy metal never does...and boy have there been some rippers this year.

10. Stargazer - A Merging to the Boundless

Stargazer may not release albums with the greatest of regularity, but when they do it is sure to be an event worth remembering. I think Merging to the Boundless may be their best so far taking the Mesopotamian veneration of classic Morbid Angel even further East and, pardon the pun, merging it with the boundless guitar yowls of their countrymen Destroyer 666 and some unhinged tech patterns worthy of Unquestionable Presence or Piece of Time Atheist. I love the feel of this album and as usual the bass heroics of the Great Righteous Destroyer are noteworthy.

9. Old Wainds - Nordraum

If you don't know Old Wainds by now do yourself a favor, listen to this one. Have a good friend beat the shit out of you for not listening to it sooner, then listen to every single album they've ever made till you want to beat the shit out of yourself for the same reason. These Russians continue to be the unheralded masters of scalding cold black metal fury. What Immortal would sound like if they went less Manowar and more Blizzard Beasts.

8. Voices - London

Voices makes their second consecutive trip to the Beast of List and for good reason. London is a beautifully brutal, terrifyingly frenzied piece of work.

7. Mortuary Drape - Spiritual Independence

A lot of the big boys reappeared this year after a long hiatus and MD was definitely one that I was most excited about. I've had a love affair with these Italians ever since I heard Secret Sudaria waaay back when (that snare!) The Drape's ability to combine classic heavy black metal with historical occult themes gave them a mystique, and an otherworldly atmosphere that was uniquely theirs. The last album 2004's Buried In Time was quite good, but lost a little bit of that occult feel in favor of a thrash heavy attack and more modern production mode. I'm happy to say that Spiritual Independence has them dropping the modern tropes and concentrating on the things that made Tolling 13 Knell and Secret Sudaria so successful, mainly the dual bass attack, (occasional bass as a lead instrument!), and the mid-tempo buoyantly bouncing throughout the crypt groove that really defines this band and defines Mediterranean Black Metal as a spectrally sinister macabre entity. 30 years on and this crew continues to develop the sound that they obviously does my blackened heart good. 

6. Sammath - Godless Arrogance

Powerful, scathing and unrelenting black metal from these Dutch masters. Amazing that Sammath retain a level of catchiness even as their onslaught reaches a feral pitch.

5. Varathron - Untrodden Corridors of Hades

Another black metal big boy returns this year with an absolute triumph. 2014 era Varathron is much more Alexander the Great galloping through the colonnades than their swampy ritualistic beginnings, but the change in sound suits them well. If you want a metal album with a grand, powerful atmosphere this is the one.

4. Stíny Plamenů - Propadlé Vody

Blasting Czech black metal from the sewers, some of the quirkiest and most interesting riff-writing you're likely to hear this year.

3. Dimesland - Psychogenic Atrophy

This is hitting me right in that sweet spot between Voivodian futuristic cyber-trash, clinical sci-fi death metal and no-wave industrialized hell-scapes. 

2. Arnold Veeman - Nait Meer

To me Arnold Veeman represents one of the most underrated, obscure progressive death metal bands of all time...Mon'strum.  The fact that he is still putting out incredible music, but twisted classical chamber pop instead of twisted classical death metal, speaks volumes to his incredible talent! The voice, the atmosphere, RIO instrumentation, interesting arrangements, its all here in spades. More people need to know about this man and his visionary work.

1. Kenn Nardi Dancing With The Past

Nardi does a hometown St. Louis boy proud. Even though I would have loved the hell out of a new Anacrusis album, I think this double album of Nardi's personal recordings is even better. Some songs hit on the symphonic tech-thrash that Anacrusis was nailing on Screams & Whispers, other tunes dip into goth, post-punk and all manners of introspection. I haven't stopped listening to this for over a month and with so much incredible material presented on this double album, there is no danger of growing tired of it. An essential and monumental release from one of the finest songwriters out there.

Most Honorable Mentions
Gargoyle - GeshikiPest - BurialSurvival Knife - Loose PowerMaster's Hammer - Vagus Vetus, Satanic Warmaster - Fimbulwinter, Old Pagan - MaledictusS, Primordial - Where Greater Men Have FallenEnthroned - SovereignsAbigor - Leitmotif Luzifer, Manimalism - ManimalismMysticum - Planet SatanIncantation - Dirges of ElysiumLabyrinthine - Ancient Obscurity, Ingurgitating Oblivion - Continuum of Absence, Dub Buk - UBRX, Animus Mortis - TestimoniaKayo Dot - Coffins On Io1349 - Massive Cauldrons of Chaos, Falconer - Black Moon Rising, Prong - Ruining Lives, Sinister - The Post-Apocalyptic Servant, Neneh Cherry - Neneh Cherry, Waxen - Agios Holokauston, Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye, Hashe - El Espiritu del Arbol MuertoKriegsmachine - Enemy of Man, Jumalhämärä - Songless Shores 

Vestiges Among the Weirdcong
Doctor - The Doctor is In, Aastraal - Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum Per Sepulcra Regionum, Coget Omnes Ante Thronum, Totale Vernichtung - Ritualmordlegenden, Microburst - Occulting

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beast of 2014 thus far

Being halfway through the year I thought it'd be a good time to take a look back and see what the standouts have been so far...and a spottily playlist for the albums they got on there.

Sammath - Godless Arrogance
Face ripping-arse raping Dutch Black Arrogance. The years have not toned down the fury, and thats a good thing.

Sinister - The Post-Apocalyptic Devotion
One of the most underrated death metal bands ever

Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts
Dutch madness...poles apart from Sammath but just as fucked

Impure Wilhelmina - Black Honey
Beautiful Swiss post-metal, really digging the guy's voice.

Aastraal - Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum Per Sepulcra Regionum, Coget Omnes Ante Thronum 
Hermetically leering Space Blores Oblumberating Cosmos Black Metal...For fans of benighted Leams and everything Dutch

Dub Buk - Öâÿõ
I haven't paid much attention to these Ukranian pagan metallers since 2002's "Taking You On!" but now I'm wishing I had cuz this is a top-notch ripper.

Janvs - Nigredo
Finally! A new Janvs album and I am just soaking in the Mediterranean flavor!

Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly
Incapable of putting out a bad album, Prog metal par excellence!

Agalloch - The Serpent & the Sphere
Haugh & crew deliver on all fronts with this atmosphere laden behemoth. The rightful successor to Ashes Against the Grain.

Neneh Cherry - Blank Project
Hip & Smooth. Eccentric Perfection from Ms. Cherry.

Trust - Joyland
As far as gloomy get your goth ass on the dance floor bands go Trust is hands down the best. Hell, this even gets my old curmudgeonly ass up and grooving!

Laibach - Spectre
Boy this is a surprise, never been a huge Laibach fan but this album is scratching an itch...The Whistleblowers is a perfect gym-rat song.

Master's Hammer - Vagus Vetus
MH most exotic sounding album yet.

Old Wainds - Nordraum
Totally was not expecting a new Old Wainds this year & totally am not disappointed.

Enthroned - Sovereigns
The last few albums from these Belgian mainstays have really ratcheted up and perfected their personal brand of lethally orthodox black metal, well-done.

The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li
Epic Lovecraftian at their core, The Great Old Ones keep the tradition of great French black metal alive.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the 4th Be with You

Happy 4th to pencil-necked geeks everywhere!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Godkiller - The End of the World

An absolute monster of an album....Monaco's finest...after that fine ass Princess Grace of course.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blood Storm - Ancient Wraith of KU

Just what is a KU and what stirs it's ancient wrath you may ask??

"The Ku are those entities that have died violent deaths. The Ku's hieroglyphs have many meanings, the foremost of which is Black Magick. As an ideograph, the Ku is at least 3,000 years old, and the cult enshrines a system analogous to the voodoo mysteries of the 256 venoms used obstensively for acquiring great wealth and for vengeance. The basic concept is preserved in the Yi king where it appears as the 18th hexagram. Now the two elemental trigrams that comprise the hexagram are those of Earth and Air. Now the superpositioning of the Earth trigram above that of the Air suggests suffocation or choking, and the spirit/entity of the Ku are the vehicles of the Ophidian venoms which devour or suffocate the living on Earth in violent deaths. That whole thing of Ophidian venoms devouring is the 256 venoms, that's their virus, yo see its another stage of virus through occultism. In popular belief the Ku is a malignant honer of the dark and snatches souls from the dead. The Ku is in connection to the cult of the black snake, also known as the mystery of zombieism, which is like Haitian voodoo. Hence the sorcerer extracts the venoms from the Ophidian current and manifests from its extraterrestrial origin to descend and eat the brains of men. So that's the virus it's transmitting. That's a basic structure of what the Ku actually is."

So there

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Belated 420/Easter et al

damn I missed posting this on 4/20 but was preoccupied with gettin highwith Jesus and the easter bunny and that whole crew and eating those damn delicious peeps and sucking the marrow out a cadbury egg