Thursday, December 29, 2011

Airing Of Grievances - Disappointments Of 2011

Absu - Abzu
I just wasn't feeling this one at all...competently played and more technical than ever I guess but that just shouldn't be enough for Absu. For a band to go from Tara to their s/t (which wasn't nearly as good as Tara but had it's moments) to Abzu means that they are now on a precipitous decline. Proscriptor you are still the man, but see if you can get a little bit of that blackened magick goin' next time. Props for the cool artwork though.

Manilla Road - Playground Of The Damned
There are sooo many things wrong with Manilla Road's latest album that it just depresses the hell out of me. This is a legendary band, why should the recording sound worse than a fucking demo?? I seriously thought I was listening to this in mono, I had to check the speakers a couple of times...but that's not even the main problem. Problem numero uno is Hellroadie. DO NOT LET THIS MAN NEAR A MIC EVER AGAIN!!! Mark "The Shark" Shelton is one of my favorite vocalists, and to hear Hellroadie's vastly inferior voice instead of Shelton's is a complete letdown. Most of the riffs are pretty good, The Shark's solos are still jawdropping, and when he sings it is magickal, but still...this is easily the worst Manilla Road album ever.

Old Silver Key - Tales Of Wanderings
Members of Drudkh and Alcest, this definitely had potential to be wasn't. It does work as a damn good Nyquil substitute though.

Wold - Freermasonry
Fuckin' noise...I got fooled again. This is almost as bad as the time that asshole at Vintage Vinyl sold me a Harry Pussy record.

Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument
Now this could be a grower, but right now I think it's just too noisy, too disjointed to be anything more than a failure. A real shame too, cuz they showed some definite potential with their debut album. This might be one of those awkward transition albums between black metal and krautrock...maybe for the next one they should go full on Van der Graaf Generator, I don't think anyone would be upset by that transformation. Badass artwork though, wouldn't mind that one on a t-shirt.

...and of course Morbid Angel, Metallica, but was anyone even really expecting anything worth a damn from them anyway?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beast Of 2011

2011 ended up being a really exciting year for new music. Lots of my fav bands released new albums, and of course there were alot of newcomers making the rounds...what was really surprising was the glut of excellent tech and prog records this year, making it quite a challenge to limit this list to only 10. Managed to do it though, so here's my pick o'the litter.

10. Alarum - Natural Causes
The catchiest tech-prog-thrash-death you will ever hear this side of Extol's exhilarating album!

9. Arch-Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance
The dream reunion...It's like The Sceptre Within Part Deaux, only better...Sympathetic Resonance is a soon to be prog metal classick, no surprise since it was made by 2 legends who were keystone to the genre's foundation. Arch's banshee scream has turned into a velvet roar, while still retaining that unique phrasing that is so identifiable with him...Matheos is just the man, melding intricate rhythms into deceptively memorable songs (which is no small feat when most of the tunes stretch well past the 10 min. mark!) Let the youngsters take note...this is how you do prog godammit.

8. Fen - Epoch
The absolute bees knees of atmospheric metal. I have a yen for Fen.

7. Blotted Science - The Animation Of Entomology

6. Joyless - Without Support
Aaaaahh, Joyless...the red-headed step-child of Norsk Black Metal. After a decade plus stretch between their previous full-length, these dark folk-rock loving weirdos return. More eclectic than ever, Without Support is just a great joy (pun most definitely intended) to listen to, even though I'm sure that goes against every one of the bands intentions.

5. Smohalla - Resilience
Emperor's Prometheus, Immolation's Unholy Cult, Ulver's Themes From Heaven and Hell. You like these 3 albums?? How'd you like it if these 3 albums were mixed together in a psychedelic wunderbaum of technical technicolor blackness? Yes, yes you'd like it, I knew you would. If anything, Smohalla have gotten even more surreal and soundtrack-y since the incredible Smolensk Combustion. I likened that album to being the aural equivalent of a Symbolist painting come to life...and that comparison is more true than ever on Resilience.

4. Root - Heritage Of Satan
Ah yes, the new Root! 4 years in the making and  a logical improvement over the baffling and somewhat inconsistent Daemon Viam Invenient. Heritage sees the Czech legends in almost full black metal mode. This is an angry record...seething with an intensity that further divides modern Root from Big Boss's more epic Equirhordont and proggy solo projects. So if you come to this record expecting The Book Part Deaux, will be slightly disappointed. But if you put preconceived notions aside and just revel in the awesome riffs, subtly complex song-structuring and cheesily fun Satanic theatricality, you will soon come to realize what I have...Heritage is a mini-masterpiece.
Read good ol' Big Ba's thoughts on the matter in this interview.

3. Virus - The Agent That Shapes The Desert
I absolutely love this band with all of my heart, how Czral and crew can take normal rock instrumentation and mutate it into something so alien, transcendent...beautiful. I don't leaves me without words.

2. Vom Fetisch Der Unbeirrtheit - Psychohygiene
By far the most baffling album on this years it really any surprise then that this is a German Black Metal band?! Strange mutant Voivod black metal...the whole second half of which is outerspace ambient...a cross between Nothingface, Winterblut, Blackdeath, and Beherit's Elecetric Doom Synthesis....there how's that?? Would be album of the year if it weren't for....

1. Krisiun - The Great Execution
If you would have told me at the beginning of 2011 that Krisiun was going to come out with a new record that was going to be excellent, I would've said "yeah? not likely", and if you were to tell me not only would it be excellent, but it would blow every other album out of the god damned water and be my #1 of the whole fucking year, I would've thrown you through a wall!! But hey, pigs do fly, hell has frozen over and everything else, what can I say?! Krisiun have indeed crafted their most epic, technical, grooving, hands down finest most enjoyable album of their decades long career. And it was recorded all analog!! That's right, the band most infamous for their egregious use of drum triggers and spit polished guitar tone have gone back to the stone age and they are aaaaaalllll the better for it. So light up a spliff, and let the Kolesne Bros. pummel some sense into ya. You'll be glad they did!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

German Blackness Madness

Today's German Black Metal Bands are brought to you by the letter "F". "F" for FUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!! Since I was smack dab in the middle of German Black metal month before I put that on ice, I'll swing back into it for a sec with these 2 great albums that are both forward thinking takes on the genre...further solidifying my opinion that German Black Metal is one of the best things goin'.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Soror Dolorosa - Blind Scenes

Darkwave from one of the guys responsible for French dissonant bm’s Darvulia.. I’ve caught myself daydreaming to this one…it has such an easy dreamy atmosphere to get lost in. A definite “mood” record, and I feel this mood often. Why Yes, I AM a sad sack.

Nuit Noire - The Gigantic Hideout

The return of Feeral Faerical tyranny from a skinny French dude with a truly whimsical sense of humor and knack for crafting catchy songs with downright awesome riffs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soft Kill - An Open Door

Featuring members of a somewhat notorious deathrock band…moaning vocals pounded chords desperate depressive atmosphere enough angst to last me well into the winter.

Water Borders - Harbored Mantras

One of the biggest surprises for me this year was finding out about this album and being absolutely floored by it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Satan's Host - By The Hands Of The Devil

This band absolutely slays…always have, even their debut album from ’86 is a metal classick! Now that they have Harry “Tyrant” Conklin on vocals they are just that much more dangerous and compelling, and "Evil Hobbit" just destroyz his drumkit! Fantastic album!!

X-Panda - Flight Of Fancy

Prog mastery from this young and curiously named band that hails from Estonia of all places!!

Norska - Norska

A band I found out about from the wonderful Utvaer blog (will he ever post again?) Norska from up in Oregon (not Norway haha) play a type of sludge metal heavily indebted to Isis Neurosis and the usual cast of characters. I must say that I normally do not go for sort of thing in the slightest…but Norska for all their stodgy rhythms and hoarse throaty yells have that imaginative spark of creativity that made me keep coming back…be it quiet interludes and excellently paced songs or outstanding high strung guitar lines recalling everything from Led Zepellin to Iron Maiden, I’m hooked.

Caina - Hands That Pluck

A massive sprawling album that switches moods just about as often as it switches guest vocalists...I have yet to fully digest this one, but it is fucking excellent.

Argus - Boldly Stride the Doomed

Epic doom metal done to perfection...the ancient traditions survive.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Urizen - 8-Bit Universe

Texas's favorite fun-loving Neo-Prog-Tech-Blacksters cum OuterSpace popstars put their latest tunes through the chiptune meat grinder...the end result is a fun little romp. Get your NES on.

Sabbat - Sabbatrinity

Gezol and the boys return with their 9th full-length, their first since 2003’s Karmagmassacre. Still in fine form. These guys will always stay kick-ass true metal and much respect to them for that.

Obsequiae - Suspended in the Brume of Eos

Excellent folk influenced black metal that has some of the most outstanding riffs I’ve heard in a while, like a cross between Skyclad and Dissection. An original sound that is pure ear candy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Leviathan - True Traitor, True Whore

The best I've heard from Leviathan since the Verrater demo collection...maybe, not coincidentally, that's because there are a couple songs from Verrater included on this one (Blood Red & True, Shed This Skin). At any rate, I've enjoyed True Traitor much, much more than I thought I would...solid album.

Barghest - Barghest

New Orleans sludgelords from Thou do their beastest interpretation of norsecore and it ain’t half bad.

Circling Round Finland

I don't know what it is about Finland, but they must have more excellent musicians per capita than anywhere else on this green Earth...for a nation that has a population of a shade over 5 million (for comparison, NYC alone is a bit over 8 million) to have so many cool, unique bands is just an embarrassment of riches...
If you don't know Circle, they are the vanguard of NWOFHM (like NWOBHM, but you can take a guess what the F is for), which is really just spacy krautrock with heavy metal lyrics...absurd heavy metal lyrics at that...Infektio is a lot more spacy than most of their stuff that I've listened too, and it is truly excellent. Great mood music to put on when you read your old Heavy Metals...Circle Of Ouroborus just keep getting better and better, further pushing their sound into an ambient direction...the guitar tone on Eleven Fingers is sooo pleasing, I find it especially nice to listen to in the early morning when I'm walking into's meditative qualities prepare me for the day.
So there you go...2 great albums from 2 excellent bands...Finland I salute you!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Brutal Japanese

Japan just does it weirder and more OTT than everybody else...oh, and if you like this MAXD album (and I don't know why you wouldn't) check out the deathmetalinsanity blog, cuz they got em all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blackdeath - Jesus Wept

God I loved Blackdeath's last album (I described it as a black metal take on !T.O.O.H!’s origami death and I still stand by that comparison). this little ep is about the same in terms of quality if not quantity hehe..If anything a more textured Mendhelsshonholical journey into twisting amazing black metal and a real fucking cool cover of Jesus Tod to boot! I think I actually like this better than the Burzum original guys…it just has this slightly more death metal, dare I say “teched-out” feel to it. I can’t wait for a new full-length from these nutterz.

Dim Mak - The Emergence of Reptilian Altars

I really enjoyed Dim Mak’s previous full-length Knives Of Ice and this one is on par with it. Longstreth shows why he is one of the most in demand extreme metal drummers this side of Derek “The Hitmaker” Roddy…watch out you goddamn reptoids cuz Dim Mak is gonna straight up pummel your feathery asses back into the center of globe!!

Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy

A wonderful little ep from Masvidal and the Reinert...Elves Beam Out might just be my favorite song that I've heard this year. Definitely whets my appetite for their next full-length platter!

ICS Vortex - Storm Seeker

I think ol' Icy Vortex is the new reigning 'King of Croon'...Incredibly appealing prog metal with just the right amount of swagger and vocal shenanigans. Was definitely my soundtrack during Hurricane Irene ahahha.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Antediluvian - Through The Cervix Of Hawwah

It seems that many people are having a boner over this album (at least from what I have read at some of the metal blogs and review sites I like to frequent), and I guess I can see what the fuss is about.... Sounds like vintage Incantaion jamming on the rim of a worm hole. I can dig that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Countess - On Wings Of Defiance

Orlok the Insane, Orlok the Magnificient, Orlok the Obtuse, Orlok the Goddam Fuckin Man is what he is. This orthodox son of a bitch has done it once again crafting metal in the vein of the almighty Bathory and the almighty Manilla Road....only much, much more retarded. This is a me!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peste Noire - L'Ordure à l'état Pur

Everything and the kitchen sink black metal from these French bastards. Maybe too ambitious for it’s own good, but goddamn when they hit the ball they hit it hard. There are some absolute jaw droppin moments on here, of course you might have to wade through aliittttle bit of crap to get to them. I’ve always had a soft spot for Peste Noire, so I can overlook the bad and the ugly….oh shit, who am I kidding, it’s all ugly (but in a totally good way of course).


Why do I like these bands, why of why? Is it because they have something shiny in their names? I am attracted to shiny things like most simple-minded people are. Maybe it’s because I’m turning into a hipster….oooh I just shuddered even entertaining such a thought. No, no, it must be because these bands are great, yes that must be it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Ash Eaters

Seeing as how the year is almost out, I'm gonna take a break from doing German posts and focus on the year that was in music....culminating in a Top 10 list of course!!
The dude from Brown Jenkins sent me a demo of his new band earlier this year, and I neglectfully forgot to post it...seems he's been quite busy cuz already a second demo is hittin the interwebs, so I thought what the hell, I'll just post both of them! Ash Eaters is a new project, but not wholly separated from the Jenks in sound and aesthetic...Audially projecting the Lovecraft tradition of terror through non-Euclidian geometry…angles that are just all wrong. This is music that is just all wrong, but indeed all the better for it. I wonder how Jenks composes? Does he do the Jarzombek thing and write out obtuse chord structures only to invert and twist them with malevolent pleasure? Or is he in communication with the great Cthulhu cult letting the telepathic utterances of the dreaming dead infiltrate into his own subconscious? Maybe a little bit of both haha!!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Well, I mentioned Desalin in my Lunatic Invasion post so I figured I might as well put them up here; and while I'm at it, their sister band Satan's Almighty Penis. Both bands are great technical black metal; Desalin more on the thrash side, S.A.P. more on the epic mysterious side. Mastermind Lord Sardonyx is a master of the riff, and I can't quite help but think that there is a very twisted sense of humor here...Into The Cunt Of Chaos is a total play off a Manilla Road album title (a band with which they share many songwriting characteristics believe it or not), not to mention their hilariously offensive band name, eat your heart out Rotting Christ. Still, it's the music that matters, and on that front both Desalin and S.A.P. are as serious as they are bizarre. Hat's off to you Sardonyx.