Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: June 2021

Deicide – Deicide (1990)

Deicide – Deicide (1990)

I often overlook just how fuckin’ good Deicide are. Their self-titled is a classic of death metal barbarity. Its more brutal than say, Morbid Angel, and whilst not as gore-drenched as Cannibal Corpse, Deicide’s debut offers up a ferocity, a feral element if you would that is missing from a lot of classic death metal, and would usually be attributed to war metal and the like. Great record.

Stormkeep – Galdrum (2020)

Stormkeep – Galdrum (2020)

This topped a lot of lists last year and I can totally see the hype is deserved. Stormkeep, whilst perhaps on the surface looking more like a dungeon synth project, actually play intense and interesting black metal. All the usual moving parts are here; the hyper-speed blasts, weeping guitars and shredding vocals, but things are twisted and presented in such a way to appear fresh, interesting and dynamic. A whirlwind of an album, and no doubt a band we all need to keep our eye on going forward.

Hyperdontia / Mortiferum – Split Tape (2020)

Hyperdontia / Mortiferum – Split Tape (2020)

Well then, this is fucking heavy, isn’t it? Been putting off checking out the super-hyped Hyperdontia (and I can see why) for a while now, but the real surprise of this little monster comes from Mortiferum, who are right up my slime-filled alley. Disgusting stuff all round, and some more bands to go on the never-ending check out list.

Priest – The Pit (2017)

Priest – The Pit (2017)

The Pit is my favourite track by this electronica project, and its easy to see why they decided to release it as a 7″ single (or the label decided, either way). Dark, broody bass and spooky synths are led by a banging beat and a 80s influenced vocall performance, whilst not being the greatest singing performance ever, lends itself excellently to the vibe and flavour being achieved here. If you never listen to Priest, at least give this single a go!

AFX – Analord 04 (2005)

AFX – Analord 04 (2005)

Perhaps I bit off more than I could chew by reviewing the Analord series as seperate entries. I tend to chain them, and they start to bleed into one for me. Even when reviewing seperately, I quickly run out of words to describe them. Guess my limited writing skill actually shows when it comes to this kind of complex electronic music haha So let me be brief then, Analord 04 is as good an entry into the series as any other, which some fantastic tunes and compositions.

Steven Seagal – Songs From The Crystal Cave (2004)

Steven Seagal – Songs From The Crystal Cave (2004)

This is really an intriguing album. The title alone promises something mystical and exciting, unknown and terrifying. The art, well, strip away three of those things, leaving terrifying. I think that word is probably the best way to describe this entire album. Like, who on earth allowed this to happen? If the man himself isn’t crooning out awkward ballads or pop numbers, he’s lending his “guitar” “skills” to a bevvy of lukewarm reggae / dancehall inspired tracks, chock full of boring MCs and infomercial-grade music (and not in the cool vaporwave way). Honestly, I’m appalled at myself for sitting through this one.

Municipal Waste – The Art Of Partying (2007)

Municipal Waste – The Art Of Partying (2007)

Outside of the “big four”, Municipal Waste was probably the first real thrash band that I got into. Their beer-soaked antics, which also proudly boasted hardcore punk influences, resonated with the battle jacket wearing metal fiend that I was at 19 years old. The Art Of Partying is a perfect example of that crazy sound, the ultimate party thrash vibe. The late 00s thrash revival didn’t quite go to plan, but Municipal Waste stood the test of time, as did this record.

Swans – Swans (1982)

Swans – Swans (1982)

Swans’ self-titled EP is a far cry from the punishing experimentation that the band would originally become renown for. Gira and his ever-revolving musician friends are no strangers to growth and change, but Swans’ self-titled is probably the only one time where they truly belonged to a scene or movement and didn’t stand out on their own. Loosely associated with many of the tropes of the no wave scene, Swans is an awkward record taking the lurching bass-driven beats and rhythms of the post-punk world and chopping it awkwardly with swathes of no wave weirdness. Top all that off of course with some of Michael’s vocal performances and some interesting saxophone additions and you have the first four Swans songs. But hey, I’m not complaining, its great (and not a million miles away from what Michael did with Circus Mort before starting Swans) and its a piece of history now too. Long live Swans!

Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu (2011)

Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu (2011)

Small town girlllllll! Haha! Now, I’m no stranger to weird and wonderful music, and of course one of the sad caveats that come with such worlds: music that is up its own arse, or collaborations that are just doomed to fail but float along on the artistic merit of those involved. I’m not want to shit on these worlds, but what Metallica and Lou Reed attempt to do with this “bold” and “challenging” record just takes a great big loose stool shower over pretty much all of that. I didn’t want to join the swathes of internet critics who simply proclaim that this sounds like a crazy old man rambling over some tired Metallica B-sides, but unfortunately, despite every bone in my body trying to ascertain any real meaning or feeling, I simply cannot and do not “get” this album. Therefore, I must also conclude that yes, Lulu is the sound of a crazy old man rambling over a series of bland Metallica B-Sides. Its like a bunch of metal dads jamming out after one bifter too many. All jokes aside, I appreciate what both parties tried to do here, but it just fucking sucks ass, so so badly.

Misfits – Famous Monsters (1999)

Misfits – Famous Monsters (1999)

There’s 52 ways to be a low key right wing asshat, one or two are the same, but they both work as well. I’m coming clean for the Proud Boys, my chauvinism doesn’t scream as well, and Eric Blair won’t listen all night… LOL. Famous Monsters was the second Graves-fronted Misfits album. Its much more smoother and melodic than the previous one, which is a bit faster and rougher around the edges. There are more ballads here and the second half of the album starts to drag a little bit as far as the song quality goes. I suppose you could accuse the band of being formulaic at this point but the product is so lovely and easily consumed, that it doesn’t really matter. Before I found out that Graves has heavy right-wing sympathies I watched him perform this record live, along with American Psycho. It was pretty great. Shame I can no longer associate with this fucking clown. On that note, its worth mentioning that I’ve covered artists on this site who I would never support (Satanic Warmaster springs to mind), but thats only because Lines In Wax is a personal log of everything that I have listened to. Being a Nazi isn’t cool, kids.

Black Sabbath – 13 (2013)

Black Sabbath – 13 (2013)

I completely ignored 13 when it came out. I had no interest at all in the reunion, especially after the damage Sharon Osbourne has done to Sabbath over the years, effectively burying the Iommi solo years, and having Heaven And Hell form as a separate band. This is of course, barely the fucking surface of things when it comes to Sharon and her horrendous behaviour, but I digress. 13 is, simply, not very good. The songs are, for the most part, pretty solid, but the super compressed, modern sound didn’t work on Forbidden, so I’m not sure why they thought it work here, sounding even more inorganic and fake, even with Rick Rubin at the helm. Honestly, I have no time for this record. Plus, why is it called 13? Its not the thirteenth album overall or with Ozzy? Maybe Iommi considers this the 13th best Sabbath album? Ha!

t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 ‎– 現実を超えて (Beyond reality) (2014)

t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 ‎– 現実を超えて (Beyond reality) (2014)

This was a special listen. I’ve come across Telepath a few times in my forays into vaporwave, but this is an earlier record. I had the pleasure of listening to somebody’s glorious double cassette upload, which contains a number of additional bonus tracks. All in all, this is a lo-fi journey through dense atmospheres (similar to genre-mate HKE) and chilled out, laid back beats and sampled tracks. It’s 90 minutes long, but its worth every second.

CD – Nagasaki Phone Matrix Translucent Beginning (2021)

CD – Nagasaki Phone Matrix Translucent Beginning (2021)

I picked this up from a self-promoting post on Reddit. In what the artist describes as their 5th album, CD cobbles together chopped and scratchy Japanese samples in the true vaporwave / plunderphonics style. I’m not really clued up on Japanese culture at all, so I am not sure what the sources are for these sounds, in my ignorance I could take a guess at TV shows, commercial themes, and fuck knows what else. All are fractured here, often multiple times in the same track as it blends and blurs, and offer a strange listening experience. It’s like you’re out in the middle of the Pacific ocean twiddling with a long-range radio.

Disconscious ‎– Hologram Plaza (2013)

Disconscious ‎– Hologram Plaza (2013)

Ultra pitch-shifted, slow and reminiscent of a bad acid trip. Disconscious is the soundtrack to wandering that abandoned mall in the recesses of your mind. Think of any mall today, and compare it to the glory days that you remember for that mall in the 80s or 90s. This is the soundtrack to those thoughts, which is a lot darker than its palm tree and classy car covered artwork would make it seem.

Cryptic Shift – Visitations From Enceladus (2020)

Cryptic Shift – Visitations From Enceladus (2020)

My pathetic little human brain cannot comprehend the sheer riff fuckery that is on display here. Death metal is getting more and more ambitious and the current “wave” of death revival is super fucking exciting. Enter then, Cryptic Shift, who suck a whole bunch of influences into their deathly whirlwind. This really is something special. The focus when it comes to the Visitations record is the first track, the absolutely gargantuan 25 minute epic that is “Moonbelt Immolator”, which is like some avant-garde fucking space opera. Like, what a debut! Fair play. Outstanding stuff.

The Almighty – Soul Destruction (1991)

The Almighty – Soul Destruction (1991)

I’ve had this vinyl for about a decade if not longer and I’ve never really paid it any mind until now and I can see why. I was correct in my estimations that this kind of thing is simply not for me. Sure, I can take pleasure in the listening to of simple rock and or roll, but I won’t be returning for a round two.

Xasthur ‎– Telepathic With The Deceased (2004)

Xasthur ‎– Telepathic With The Deceased (2004)

Xasthur is a very depressing black metal project, this I have established firmly over several album listens in the last few years. Telepathic With The Deceased however, seems extra damp and fucking miserable and despite its fairly awful artwork, the music itself is a torrid affair of metal that sounds like it is completely and utterly done with the world. Its worth noting that in the Vice documentary on this kind of music, Xasthur becomes particularly upset when talking about this record. A small part of me wonders what it is that links him so to such a harrowing piece of work.

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (1973)

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (1973)

Tubular Bells is a fucking mad one, if you stop and think about. Like, I don’t know why the first part of this very uplifting and experimental journey was used in the unsettling as fuck movie The Exorcist (I’m sure Oldfield’s record label wasn’t complaining, sales wise!), but there we go. The “famous five minutes” aside, Tubular Bells is a mammoth release, where variations on a theme are looped over and over as Mike experiments with different textures and instruments. It’s kind of like Swans but if all its members converged into sentience as a music teacher in 1970. There’s a bit where each instrument is announced before it comes into play, and I can’t tell if its brilliant or fucking corny as fuck. Either way, its genius.

Carcass ‎– Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious (1991)

Carcass ‎– Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious (1991)

Necroticism is a weird one. It has a strange feeling for me, that despite being a death metal record with plenty of pacy moments or even blasts, the whole thing just feels like it’s trundling along at a snails pace. I’m not sure exactly what it is that causes it to feel like this, but it is what it is. Traditionally, my listening of this band would end here, as the group transitioned away from the gory sickness of earlier albums into a cleaner and more melodic death metal sound. Necroticism is the perfect balance of both of these worlds, and despite the previously mentioned pacing issues, is a solid and now timeless underground metal record. Tracks like “Incarnate Solvent Abuse” put Carcass up there with the all-time metal greats.

Merzbow – Pulse Demon (1996)

Merzbow – Pulse Demon (1996)

Ah, Pulse Demon. There aren’t many stand out individual noise records. Bands, sure, but individual records? There aren’t that many. Pulse Demon is probably one of the most instantly recognisable, but is it one of the better offerings from Merzbow? And why is it so popular? Well, for starters, its got everything from the Merzbow project. It captures – from the prime era – all of the project’s great attributes. It’s not as intensely incinerating as some of his works, but its a great starting point if nothing else.

Rick Fox – The Pirates Of Dark Water (Genesis) OST (1994)

Rick Fox – The Pirates Of Dark Water (Genesis) OST (1994)

This is one of my all time favourite Genesis / Megadrive soundtracks. I found the game impossibly hard as a child (I don’t think I ever completed it), but its soundtrack will stick with me until the end of time. It is upbeat and jaunty, and other times slow, melancholic and pensive. It is often simplistic, yet other times unfolds into glorious chiptune pomp. Really, this has it all, and its a long one, too. It’s absolutely beautiful in every single way and I love it so much. My favourite series of tracks are the Citadel themes, but there are so many good compositions here. Timeless.

Clipping. – There Exists An Addiction To Blood (2019)

Clipping. – There Exists An Addiction To Blood (2019)

I’ve been meaning to check out Clipping. for a serious amount of time now. I finally got to listen to …Addiction To Blood in the dying months of 2020, and I soon grew to learn what all the fuss is about. The first thing to notice is there is no immediate urgency with this record. The songs creep slow, building all sorts of menacing atmospheres. On the first run through, a lot of the tracks blur into one due to their minimalist nature, but it is on the second listen that this record truly reveals itself. My God, what an unsettling array of compositions, with the backing tracks ranging from absolutely nothing to sinister beats or even harsh noise courtesy of a couple of different artists, most notably for me, being The Rita. That’s cool as hell that they featured real underground noise artists to do some of their shit. The rhymes and flows are also just second to none, honestly. What guest spots there are, are also of equal quality. Truly, this is a fantastic hip hop record (can we even call it that? I suppose so) and one I really, really regret not checking out sooner. I look forward to checking out more from these guys.

Cradle Of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010)

Cradle Of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010)

Darkly Darkly is a hideously-titled later effort from Cradle Of Filth, in what I refer to as the post-Thornography lull of disinteresting releases (Devil’s Thunder aside). Darkly is just that – dark, almost artificially so. Cradle’s sense of mystery and evil is something that permeates most of it’s musical output over the years, however here on Darkly Darkly the atmosphere seems forced and cheesy, and a little crap, to be honest. Musically, the band are tight and proficiently sound. There are no complaints here. Its just as a whole, this record is a big miss, for me at least.

Mephistofeles – Satan Sex Ceremonies (2020)

Mephistofeles – Satan Sex Ceremonies (2020)

There has been a lot of hype around this band as of late. Vinyl prices for Satan Sex Ceremonies (and I’m sure, other releases from them) are nothing short of extortionate. Perhaps then, I went into this album with too much of an expectation. The art too, conjurs up an unique sense of sleaze and evil, of which the sound does not match. Mephistofeles play laid back stoner rock in the vein of Electric Wizard et al. Muddy analogue sounds driven by washed out vocal performances and sleazy riffs, like the soundtrack to the big fight at the end of a sexploitation movie. All of this is well and truly up my street. Why then, do I feel an emptiness or even a boredom whilst listening to this? One must attribute such to the previously mentioned hype that this record recieved. This reminded me why I got bored of the doom metal circlejerk in the first place. I will happily give Mephistofeles another chance, but I am dissapointed by this album, that I cannot deny.

MACマイナス ‎– Updated Floral Experience (2019)

MACマイナス ‎– Updated Floral Experience (2019)

This is just glorious in every conceivable way. The legendary Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus is “re-imagined” in this recent reworking from the (I’m sure intentionally) similarly-named MACマイナス. That may undersell this record however; this is not just a re-hashing, although some themes from the original do get a reprise. This is much more, this is a record with its own life and its own vibe, although I have to agree that it does carry the same lifeblood as the original Floral Shoppe. Really great.

Charles Mingus – Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963)

Charles Mingus – Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963)

I’ve given this a few listens over the last few weeks. It was one of the records I used to test the Sony WH3’s (I forget the full name), and probably one of the only things that actually sounded good through those overpriced cans. Anyway, I digress. I find Black Saint And The Sinner Lady to be rather inpenetrable, which is unusual, considering the breadth of mental jazz that I have listened to over the last 12 months. I don’t know what it is, but the compositions here are difficult for me to get into. Either way, its a gorgeously assembled album with some phenomenal sounds. That much I can tell you.

Gar Hoover – Sketches Vol. 2 (2020)

Gar Hoover – Sketches Vol. 2 (2020)

Sketches Vol. 2 is the 2nd volume (you don’t say?) of tunes created using a Teenage Engineering PO-33 device. I’ve recently been checking out YouTube tutorials on these little bits of kit, and stumbled eventually onto Gar Hoover’s compilation here. Honestly, this is really cool and really chill, and a great example of how the device can be used to make beats. I look forward to checking out Vol. 1 one day. Cheers!

Kittie – Spit (1999)

Kittie – Spit (1999)

Trult, madly, beautifully awful. There is so much manufactured angst in this I feel an inescapable desire to purchase spiked wristbands before the record is over. I wasn’t into Kittie when I was younger and I’m not into them now. Oh well, was worth a go.

Diplodocus – Slow And Heavy (2019)

Diplodocus – Slow And Heavy (2019)

Got recommended this as an example of a dungeon synth subgenre that I hadn’t previously come across. Introducing the frankly ridiculous sounding ‘dinosynth’ (hey, its not as shit as comfy synth at least). Diplodocus however, plays very stimulating classic DS-like compositions, with obligatory dinosaur-related sampling. All in all, its a pretty solid synthesizer record.

Django Reinhardt & Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France (Featuring Stephane Grappelly) – Django Reinhardt & Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France (1964/1985)

Django Reinhardt & Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France (Featuring Stephane Grappelly) – Django Reinhardt & Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France (1964/1985)

Upbeat, swinging 50s style bop jazz which sounds like its from some lost world. I can imagine this playing in a Fallout game or the ballroom of The Shining. Release date is 1985 for my cassette copy but unsure if the recording came earlier. It certainly sounds like it. It’s not supposed to be, but this is spooky shit. 2021 edit: I can’t actually find a copy of my version online. It has a different cover, but along the same vibes as the one I’ve posted above. Honestly, this shit feels like some mad lost relic.

Nile – Ithyphallic (2007)

Nile – Ithyphallic (2007)

I remember being severely bored by this release when it came out. I think it was probably impossible to top the gargantuan Annihilation Of The Wicked, to be honest, but it would be wrong if I held a grudge against this follow up for that reason. Whilst it held no real highlights for me when I first heard it, I can now listen to this back and appreciate it for the solid death metal record that it is. Long live Nile.

Esham – Bruce Wayne Gothom City 1987 (1997)

Esham – Bruce Wayne Gothom City 1987 (1997)

On Gothom City (what is with that spelling?), Esham wheels out all the tropes of his best work; the violence, the sex, the crummy self-production, and the rest of the guys from NATAS, just because. Gothom is generally more polished than say, Closed Casket or KKKill The Fetus, but still has that unique sound. However, at this point in the Esham canon things are starting to become derivative. Is it great, yes – but almost in a so bad its good kinda way. If you do listen to this, a good drinking game is to count the amount of times he rhymes “Insane” with “Bruce Wayne”, or just about anything with “FBI”.

Splattered Entrails – Choking On The Rot (2007)

Splattered Entrails – Choking On The Rot (2007)

Well isn’t this just positively, delightfully disgusting? Before Splattered Entrails went all big production sci fi vibe on us, the project churned out such ditties as this enormously ridiculous opus entitled Choking On The Rot. I idolised this God tier bedroom goregrind splatter when I was younger. As a responsible adult however, it doesn’t pack the same punch for me. On returning to it I’ve found it a bit samey, but all in all this is pretty sick and brutal.

Tangerine Dream – Phaedra (1974)

Tangerine Dream – Phaedra (1974)

Phaedra is possibly the most well known Tangerine Dream record. Its appearance as a path-diverging choice in the mindfuck that was Bandersnatch (Black Mirror’s feature length choose-your-own adventure) has no doubt contributed to its resurgence. Over the last few months I have listened to an original mix and then the Steve Wilson remaster, including the additional outtakes and alternative versions that were presented in that remaster package. I’m not too fussed on the extra takes, but I would agree that Steve Wilson’s remaster is the superior version. I would love however to get an original copy of Phaedra on vinyl or cassette, and maybe my opinion on which version is better will change.

Cannabis Corpse ‎– Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise (2011)

Cannabis Corpse ‎– Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise (2011)

I still stand by my earlier statements that Cannabis Corpse is better than Cannibal Corpse. An ignorant statement perhaps, when comparing genuinely to the ongoing legacy of Cannibal Corpse, but a testament also to the sheer skill of Cannabis Corpse. A parody in name only, Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise is another slab of absolutely perfect death metal. The production is glorious and the music is excellent. I absolutely cannot ask for more from this band, unless they came to my house with a bag full of records and weed.

Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain (2019)

Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain (2019)

It was the announcement of Slowthai’s second record that made me fucking stop and realise just how goddamn fast time is going these days, especially in lockdown life. Here it is then, my somewhat late quick entry for the artist’s cheeky debut. He’s right though, there ain’t much great about Britain, at least not urban Britain, and that disgust, angst and attitude is distilled entirely into the record itself. It’s like The Streets’ Original Pirate Material but for a new generation of worse-off, disillusioned youth. Says a lot about the state of life, really. Fucking great album.

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew Live (2011)

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew Live (2011)

A cigar in the garden (a cigarden?) on a Saturday afternoon can only be accompanied by such classy yet rough and ready tunage. I’d need to look into the line up here a bit more but Miles and his gang are on top form. Several live variations on the Bitches Brew classics are presented, and then some. A treat.

猫 シ Corp. – NEWS AT 11 (2016)

猫 シ Corp. – NEWS AT 11 (2016)

News At 11 is now something of a legendary release in the ever growing and evolving world that is vaporwave. Evoking somewhat more of a sad nostalgia rather than the warm yet melancholic lost futures of regular mall vapor, News At 11 treats us to a treacle-paced retrospective back to a morning when the world changed forever.

Pharmakon – Abandon (2013)

Pharmakon – Abandon (2013)

Pharmakon is a lass that knows how to invoke a creepy atmosphere or six. Long before Lingua Ignota brought screaming into the mic under the mainstream light, Pharmakon was churning out gorgeously disgusting power electronics like it was nobody’s business. What I love the most about Pharmakon is that there is no need to wallow in the depths of endless distortion in order to create chaotic or unsettling soundscapes. Yes, these are often clear and all-encompassing tracks that hold back on the distortion front (compared to most noise) and still manage to pummel you in the face with all sorts of unsettling feelings. The “bonus track” here, a near-30-minute bad dream, is the icing on the cake.

Black Sabbath – The Eternal Idol (1987)

Black Sabbath – The Eternal Idol (1987)

Ever onwards I go through the Sabbath catalogue. Admittedly, on first listen, The Eternal Idol is a shock, even after Seventh Star. Nothing about this looks or feels like a Sabbath record, from the bizarre, 80s-as-fuck art that wouldn’t be amiss on some sort of dark vaporwave cassette, to the crooning stadium rock that fills the disc. Honestly, I don’t understand why Sharon’s legal team seems so intent on wiping out the post-Ozzy (or even post-Dio) records from existence. These are so NOT Sabbath that the damage that Iommi et al continued to do when using the Sabbath name unnecessarily was surely more than enough to help push the band into obscurity which each passing release. Troubling stuff. Another low point in a time period where the bar was already low to begin with.

Sepultura – Beneath The Remains (1989)

Sepultura – Beneath The Remains (1989)

Punishing heavy thrash from the legends that are Sepultura. For the most part growing up I only ever really associated Roots with Sepultura. It was only in later years that I went back and discovered their earlier 80s/90s output, which is of course savage as fook and all of which are now mostly metal classics. Beneath The Remains is no different. It is a perfect example of the band’s earlier output, and a stunning thrash-tinged metal output to boot.

RazorRape – Stripped To Kill (2018)

RazorRape – Stripped To Kill (2018)

Another chunky, bludgeoning goregrind-tinged br00tal death offering from the lads in RazorRape, Stripped To Kill has a bizarre and hollow production sound. I’m not the only person to have noticed this it seems, as one of the comments on the YouTube upload of this says its like listening to music coming from someone else’s headphones on the bus. I had to laugh at that. I like the artwork to this one. It has a smidge of class to it, which is interesting for the pits of gory brutality. All in all, RazorRape offers nothing new on this release but if you are after your next hit of sickness then line up, and enjoy.