Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: November 2021

Agathocles / Partiya – Split CD (2012)

Agathocles / Partiya – Split CD (2012)

Up until now I’ve been avoiding Agathocles split CDs to lower my risk of obtaining duplicate material that may already be on a 7″ that I own. Agathocles have a notorious back-catalogue of re-hashed shit (sorry, but it’s true), and as a collector on a budget I have put barriers in place to lessen the blow of unknowingly buying something that I already have. This was all well and good, until during a trade with a Canadian chum, I was gifted with a AGx split CD that is actually really, really good (and as far as I can tell, all original material). So, this no-AGx CDs barrier is now broken. Fucking great. I’ve never heard of Partiya before. Hardly surprising, what with them being a rather obscure Russian crust band. All the songs and lyrics (and even the original name and logo) are in Russian, but are kindly translated for us English-speaking folk in the booklet. Thanks a million for that, because otherwise I wouldn’t even know what the name of this band was. I cannae write Russian on me keyboard! That would have been a pickle. Their material is fast and well-produced, and despite the language barrier and potential difficulty in obtaining their stuff I am now on the quest for more Partiya recordings! Agathocles sound a bit dank in comparison the well-put-together Partiya, but it doesn’t take long for me to adjust. The sound here is really similar to the Mincer sessions, if not a bit thinner. This band know what they are good at, and seem to have fallen into a well-working system over the last 8 years or so. Blast blast blast, growl growl growl. What more do you want? This little CD was put out through a collaboration of labels, so put aside a few minutes and check ’em all out. They are (in no particular order): No Bread, Black Cardinal, Wee Corn, Resist Label & Distro, Ok Punk Rock Records, Raw Distro and 83 Records. (2021 edit: It was also re-released on CD and 7″ vinyl by the above, plus the inclusion of Grindfather Productions, in 2014)

Goatsnake – Flower Of Disease (2000)

Goatsnake – Flower Of Disease (2000)

Goatsnake have always been slow and bluesey, but Flower Of Disease sees them going lower and heavier than before. The band have always had groove, but multiple times through this journey things slow to an absolute crawl, without getting boring or drawn out. Personally, I love Goatsnake’s doom metal meets desert rock approach, the weight of which can only be helped home by the colossal riffs of Sunn O)))’s Greg Anderson. I see Flower Of Disease as the older brother to Black Age Blues; they both have very similar vibes and the latter is definitely a continuation (see the last track here and the first track there). Long live Goatsnake!

Motörhead ‎– Ace Of Spades (1980)

Motörhead ‎– Ace Of Spades (1980)

There’s an easy pleasure in listening to old Motörhead. Ace Of Spades is far from my favourite, but it’s just so easy to throw this on, and drive, or something like that. “Love You Like A Reptile” is an interesting cut, and I can’t help but be reminded of David Icke and his moon-lizard craziness. “Jailbait” is a proper dodgy number, one I suspect you wouldn’t be able to get away with writing today, even if you are Lemmy Kilmister. My favourite track though, is without a doubt, the legendary “We Are The Road Crew”. Never have the mundane horrors of touring sounded so appealing!

Death – Human (1991)

Death – Human (1991)

There is nothing more human than Death, right? To live is to die, or so I’ve been told. There’s a sadness (moreso than usual) to Chuck’s death (his actual death, not the band Death) due to the subject matter he dealt with throughout his career. Puns aside, Chuck and company confronted death (not Death) head on, from its gruesome side earlier on, to the more philosophical or esoteric musings on later records. This man was definitely taken from us too soon. Human is probably my second favourite “later” Death album, after Sound Of Perseverance. Things have a little bit of a plod to them, but the musicianship on show is undeniable here.

Hole Dweller – Flies The Coop (2019)

Hole Dweller – Flies The Coop (2019)

One of the most revered dungeon synth releases of recent times and with good reason. There is something magical about these lo-fi recordings; a wonderful sense of adventure as it were, along with heaps of character. This has recently been re-recorded, so I’m interested to see why, as this release isn’t that old, nor can I find any fault with it. I’ve been putting this off since Feb 2020 (lol) but the recent rerecording of some Hole Dweller stuff had me going back to this. Truly one of the better dungeon synth artists of recent times, and Flies The Coop is a wobbly, shaky analogue journey (or at least has been purposefully styled to sound like that). It’s a journey I recommend you take, if you are a fan of synthesizer music.

Weakling – Dead As Dreams (1999)

Weakling – Dead As Dreams (1999)

Another one of those cases where a random listen absolutely blows me away. This is, truly, what it’s all about, why so much time is spent searching, researching, listening, reading…. it all pays off when you go “hey, that cover art and logo looks sick, I wonder what that sounds like?”, and boom – you’ve just uncovered an absolute gem. I am, clearly, late to the party with Weakling, but god damn, this is in an incredible album. The cuts are mostly 10/15 minutes a piece, yet feel about half of that; there is some sort of charged, exciting propulsion to these songs, even if they are rather morose and even miserable in vibe and feel. This is, easily, without a doubt, one of the greatest black metal records I have ever heard.

Verletzen – Demo 2019 (2019)

Verletzen – Demo 2019 (2019)

Verletzen are a black metal band from my grimm home country ov VVales so it was super cool to check out this demo. There’s a few Welsh black metal bands knocking about now, but I don’t recall any that play in this old school and raw style, which is what I am all about, totally. This three song demo is raw and frostbitten without being completely fucking unlistenable, and has immediately got me wanting more from these guys. I look forward to the next release.

Jim Kirkwood – Ancient Fields (1992)

Jim Kirkwood – Ancient Fields (1992)

Another absolute classic from Jim Kirkwood, this time from way back in 1992. Unsure if it’s just me but this one seems a bit darker and moodier than usual. Don’t get me wrong, Jim can always conjure infinite fantasy landscapes with all manner of vibes and feels, but there’s something oppressive about this offering. One of my favs so far.

Napalm Death / Coalesce – Split 7″ (1996)

Napalm Death / Coalesce – Split 7″ (1996)

This gives me similar vibes to the Agoraphobic Nosebleed split with Converge, in the way that something super heavy and chaotic goes up against something with more progressive punk elements. Napalm Death are, well, Napalm Death, and this is prime cut 90s era stuff, with dry production, busy riffs, and Barney’s trademark low growls. Coalesce on the other hand, are a bit more all over the shop, with dissonant guitar work, harsh vocals and a frenetic approach to songwriting. All in all, a great split from two totally different bands.

Sunn O))) – Black One (2005)

Sunn O))) – Black One (2005)

Eternity! (It’s certainly taken me an eternity to review this album). Black One was the first Sunn record I ever bought. When I was 16 or 17 years old, I didn’t immediately ‘get’ this. I wanted big fat drones in my face, blowing me out of my chair. What I got were intense atmospheric compositions that went over my head initially. I think it took seeing Sunn live with Attila on vocals to truly understand, in pure unsettling volume and force, what was going on. Black One is, personally, best listened to on a set of overhead cans, where you can truly envelope yourself in the aural darkness which transpires forth. Its a lengthy trip, and one filled with horror. The two gargantuan closing tracks absolutely finish you off too, but in a good way! Haha!

Zillion / Patisserie – Split CD (2006)

Zillion / Patisserie – Split CD (2006)

Someone needs to tell Zillion you don’t need a 25 minute sample to set the mood – this is supposed to be some sort of (bastardised) grindcore subgenre, so just get to the point, eh? Thankfully the slow and groovy grind is actually pretty fucking good, sounding more like old Gut or Rompeprop rather than Gutalax or whatever. Patisserie are a different beast completely. Intense death metal riffery meets the tremolo haunting of bands like Lymphatic Phlegm. It’s super intense, super fast, and sonically a thousand times more destructive than the latter band. I’ve seen Patisserie popping up for years, it’s a shame it took this long for me to actually hear them.

Siege Electronics – The Coming Age (2014)

Siege Electronics – The Coming Age (2014)

Another record that I have unceremoniously sat on for about 7 years. The Coming Age is a full length from one man noise maker Seige Electronics released on the excellent (and now possibly defunct) Vile Noise label from Scotland. Anyway, there’s some really cool textures here, and the whole thing sounds alive and analogue. There’s some horrible subject matter to confront and some intense vibes, but confrontation in this way is part of what power electronics is about, right?

Solstice – Demo 1991 (1991)

Solstice – Demo 1991 (1991)

Recorded at Morrisound, not that you’d ever know due to the intense level of grime on this thing. But hey, that’s what we love about 90s death metal demos, right? I have the unique opportunity of having this 1991 demo be my introduction to Solstice, as I’ve not heard anything else by the group at all. It’s like its actually 1991 and I’ve picked up this tape through a trade or something. Anyway, this is fucking great. There we go – my expert opinion! Ha!

Master – Vindictive Miscreant (2018)

Master – Vindictive Miscreant (2018)

Bleeeruuuhhhhhhjjjjjgghhh. This is my first experience with Master outside of the legendary self-titled album. Of course, this is much more polished and modern, but I am missing out decades of evolution here. Honestly, it’s pretty good death metal, but the prize is taken by Paul Speckmann’s vocal performances, which are outstanding. Hideous and outstanding! Haha! Think of a mix between John Tardy from Obituary and Dave Vincent from Morbid Angel.

Parish – God’s Right Hand (2020)

Parish – God’s Right Hand (2020)

Trad metal with enough of a sleazy swagger that you would usually find in occult rock and so on. God’s Right Hand is a fairly short outing, but it’s incredibly well made and the production is also fantastic and crystal clear, but without losing much charm. I look forward to seeing what these guys come up with next. I believe the record store (read: crypt) Crypt Of The Wizard helped to put this out.

Revenant Marquis – Orphans (2020)

Revenant Marquis – Orphans (2020)

I gave Revenant Marquis a second shot because I love the mystery around the project and this cover art is fucking so great. Unfortunately, what we have here on Orphans is more barely audible black metal that sounds like it’s being played from a third floor study in a haunted house – and you the listener are shackled in chains down in the basement. Honestly, why on earth would you make this so difficult to hear? Haha! There is something endearing about it, but it’s hard to really dig it because you can’t really make anything out. A shame.

Incantation – Entrantment Of Evil (1990)

Incantation – Entrantment Of Evil (1990)

Entrantment? Is that even a word? In fact, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. I’ve tried to fight off and have succumbed to the temptation to make a “Kyle From Entrantation Has A Moustache” joke. LOL. Either way, this kills. There’s some super intense, low as fuck riffing on this mother. Proper slow, proper low! It’s nice to go all the way back to the beginning and check out the origins of this legendary death metal outfit.

Jeremy Soule – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind OST (2002)

Jeremy Soule – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind OST (2002)

I have been borderline obsessed with Morrowind since I got given a copy of the game and it’s expansion packs in 2003 (or so). I think one of the original endearing aspects of that obsession that allows it to continue to this day is the absolutely magical soundtrack by Jeremy Soule. Not to shit on the OSTs for Arena or Daggerfall, but there’s a reason why the game’s creator’s continued to use Jeremy going forward on each subsequent Elder Scrolls installment.

Old Nick – Curse Of The Lock Master (2020)

Old Nick – Curse Of The Lock Master (2020)

I got sent a link to this and couldn’t decipher whether or not it’s a meme. But, either way, there is something in the undercurrent of Curse Of The Lock Master which is endearing. It appeals to that part of me that loves wobbly cassettes and shitty demos from the 90s, and so on. I’m unsure what to make of the project as a whole, but I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t enjoy this strange little EP.

Viper – 3300 Albums (3300 Bandcamp Albums) (2021)

Viper – 3300 Albums (3300 Bandcamp Albums) (2021)

I recently started following Viper on Bandcamp. I thought my phone was having a time of it, because during the last day or so, its been spamming with with the notification “Viper just released a new album”. Little did I know, that these were genuine alerts, and not my Bandcamp app losing its mind. I always knew Viper to be prolific, but this was taking the piss a bit. Anyways, turns out all these “albums” he’s dropping are just one track each. So really, he’s dropped an albums worth of tracks over the weekend, rather than 11 albums or whatever. Plus I have zero fucking clue as to what the fuck is going on here. Absolutely mind-boggling.

Xasthur – Nightmares At Dawn (2012)

Xasthur – Nightmares At Dawn (2012)

Nightmares At Dawn is a compilation, which I didn’t realise at first when I started listening. There’s a bit of a jarring change between various textures / sessions but for the most part, this seems like a quality stack of songs, at least when it comes to Xasthur’s brand of drab and depressing black metal. There are several great atmospheres here. Oh, and a fucking Sabbath cover (“Zero The Hero”), which is actually really good haha

Reveler – Eructed From The Depths (2021)

Reveler – Eructed From The Depths (2021)

Well, this was pretty boring, I won’t lie to you. I don’t take pleasure in shitting on bands, especially new ones, but all the bits are in the right places as it were, but there’s just no soul or magic to Eructed (I’ve never heard that word before either, every day is a learning experience!). Very middle of the road and not very challenging. A shame.

Quest Master – Lost Songs Of Distant Realms (2020)

Quest Master – Lost Songs Of Distant Realms (2020)

This is a massive release, with around 90 minutes of epic dungeon synth fantasy music to take you off to far away lands. Originally this was dropped as 2 separate albums (volume one and two), but has been released together on physical formats such as CD and cassette. I was sold the minute I saw the name Quest Master, and had to check it out. Really good compositions, it’s a high rating from me.

Genital Grinder – Mass Putrefaction (1991)

Genital Grinder – Mass Putrefaction (1991)

(Please excuse the extra-shoddy picture of today’s post – I don’t actually own a physical copy of this and it was a nightmare getting a tidy shot of it) Oh boy! Somebody had been listening to Carcass a lot, eh? Despite the gore vibes however, this is a true death metal affair, rather than anything more goregrind related. The aesthetics may suggest otherwise, and you even have a meat grinder bass guitar on the go. There’s even a bit in I think the track “Horrible Mutilation” which sounds an awful lot like Napalm Death’s “Scum” (the song, not the album). Good shit, though!

Vomi Noir / Halitosis – Split Tape (2017)

Vomi Noir / Halitosis – Split Tape (2017)

Checked this out because the dudes in Halitosis fucking kill it on their demo, so this was a long overdue follow up. Also caught these guys live in both Slovenia and Hungary when I was touring a few years ago. This is some great shit. Vomi Noir though, where the fuck have you been all my life? This is some crushing, crushing fucking grindcore. Outstanding split.

Gruesome – Savage Land (2015)

Gruesome – Savage Land (2015)

There’s something endearing about the cartoonish horror which adorns the average Gruesome album. It really pops out and represents Gruesome’s sound perfectly. Savage Land is I think the first full length record I’ve heard in entirety from these guys, and it’s a corker. Bright, old school death metal with a little thrashing influence too. Banging.

Inquisition – Magnificent Glorification Of Lucifer (2004)

Inquisition – Magnificent Glorification Of Lucifer (2004)

When my phone broke recently, the first port of call was to dig out some CDs for my commute. I found these old Inquisition records copied for me by once-LIW writer Griefmonger. Magnificent Glorification is a great black metal record. The drums and guitars are absolutely pitch perfect, and would work as an instrumental album alone. The vocals… I just still can’t get used to these. What is all the frog croaking about (and that’s coming from a Phyllomedusa fan)?