Archive for February 2023

Sonance – Blackflower (2014)

Sonance – Blackflower (2014)

February 28, 2023

I’ve had this album saved to come back for a review now for 9 years lol – my reluctance is mainly due to the post-rock element, which really isn’t my thing. However, Blackflower starts off really well. Some I’m sure will consider the opening track a bit of a tedious affair, and whilst I fully appreciate the effort and artistic vision, it doesn’t really go anywhere or change up in any noticeable way other than…

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Jim Kirkwood – Knight Of A Dark Grail (1992)

Jim Kirkwood – Knight Of A Dark Grail (1992)

You can always rely on Jim Kirkwood to provid consistency across his colourful musical career. The man has touched on a variety of different vibes and compositional styles, from higher fantasy and religious themes to more, how shall I say, typical dungeon synths forms, but whatever he puts his hands to is always incredibly well crafted. Knight Of A Dark Grail is no different, with this 1992 offering a few selected pieces which are an…

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Prurient & The Rita – Women Pissing (2013)

Prurient & The Rita – Women Pissing (2013)

A pretty piss poor effort to be honest (no pun intended), especially considering the weight of the names involved. This goes absolutely nowhere and is over before you can really settle in and get involved with the noise (as ridiculous as that sounds).

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Fief – III (2017)

Fief – III (2017)

February 27, 2023

Not gonna lie, Fief is fucking class. I feel like I’m inside a never-ending medieval fete inside my head. There’s not much that compels me to start a diet primarily of wild game, stale bread and staler beer, but Fief hits the mark. Very lovely instrumentals are the order of the daye, mayhaps not sparkly enough to win over thon young fine maidens, but beautiful enough to rouse the young men to arms. The joust…

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Lamentation – Fullmoon Over Faerhaaven (1995)

Lamentation – Fullmoon Over Faerhaaven (1995)

Beautiful, stunning, dusty and mysterious old school dungeon synth. Very wobbly, both in regards to the tape quality, and that of the timing of the two players – but if anything this just adds to the charm of the record. Feels a little bit long, especially with the lack of variation, but if you’re after a particular mood or sound, you can’t go wrong with this.

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Shpongle – Codex VI (2017)

Shpongle – Codex VI (2017)

Every now and then I check in on Shpongle and am blown away that they are still making records. On top of that, the records are of the same consistent quality, with the same kind of brain-tweaking production. I don’t know how the duo continue to cook up such beautiful explorative compositions, but they have definitely found their place in the world of music and I really hope that they continue to release music. I…

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Brain Corruption – Profiteers Of Suffering (2020)

Brain Corruption – Profiteers Of Suffering (2020)

Savage grindcore but with a bevy of interesting vocals, some even in the death metal or hardcore styles, and a lovely jubbly chuggy grindy chewy nasty fucking HM2 guitar sound to boot. Honestly for months I thought these guys were named after the Dead Infection album Brain Corrosion, but I’m an idiot. As the record develops it spreads its wings a little, more variety creeps into the songwriting, we get wider expanses where riffs can…

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Abhorrence – Vulgar Necrolatry (1990)

Abhorrence – Vulgar Necrolatry (1990)

Very well produced for a stinky demo tape. Slow death metal is the order of the day, but not slow enough that you’re about to fall asleep in your pint. Great compositions. Vulgar as fuck. Lovely riffs. Final thoughts: is necrolatry even a word? Peace.

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Pussies – Pussies (2023)

Pussies – Pussies (2023)

Weirdly unsettling stuff, with a backdrop of sexual menace. Imagine Big Black and Filth-era Swans fighting at a Ramones gig. I dig the retro art though, I really love those old sleazy vibes. I’m not sure if Pussies is for me but I’ve never really heard anything quite like this, so I’ll give them points for that!

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Noisear – Subvert The Dominant Paradigm (2011)

Noisear – Subvert The Dominant Paradigm (2011)

Well fuck, isn’t this a collaboration of the grindcore elite? Your men Dorian Rainwater and Bryan Fajardo (both of 9000 different amazing bands), along with Rahi (Insect Warfare) on vokills, smash out a stunning set of spasmodic, intensely complex technical grindcore. With production by Scott Hull, art by Arif Rot and a complimentary noise piece by everyone’s favourite stoner madman Jay Randall, the fact that I have snoozed on this album for 12 years is…

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Lividity – Used, Abused And Left For Dead (2006)

Lividity – Used, Abused And Left For Dead (2006)

Lividity have long been one of my favourite brutal death metal bands, from the swampy, down-tuned earlier stuff, to the well-produced sickness of the later days. Used, Abused… marks that initial departure away from the murkier side of things (at least in terms of studio albums), and instead ushers in a new era of mind-boggling speed and precision. The drumming on this record, by Jordan Varela is absolutely second-to-one. Like, this is seriously fucking fast….

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Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)

Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)

I’ve never been a huge fan of Mastadon but I have always had a lot of respect for what they do. They lose me a bit when they go-off on their proggier elements (a sound that I never thought worked all that well with what they cemented into place here and on Remission). Anyway, I was but a wee lad when Leviathan came out. I remember checking out a few tracks on compilation CDs at…

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Ysbrydnos – The Forest Howls At Night (2022)

Ysbrydnos – The Forest Howls At Night (2022)

Exciting project (going off the name and the artwork) but one that unfortunately does not live up to its expectations. Nothing particularly wrong here, but falls a bit flat and isn’t very inspired. A shame.

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Lock Up – Pleasures Pave Sewers (1999)

Lock Up – Pleasures Pave Sewers (1999)

Ah fuck I just absolutely love Nick Barker. I won’t say that he is hideously under-rated, because the people who like him love his work but generally, in the wider metal world, he is definitely snoozed on. This man can drum! Anyways, what do you get if you mix Nick with the string section of Napalm Death (RIP Jesse) and put Peter Tagtgren on vocals (he did some Bloodbath stuff but otherwise I am unawares…

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Lock Up – Violent Reprisal (2007)

Lock Up – Violent Reprisal (2007)

Violent Reprisal is the first CD I got from Lock Up, and is a compilation of their first two albums. Personally, I prefer the albums in their original incarnations, as well as with the original art, but if you are looking for a marathon of Lock Up stuff in once place, you can’t really go wrong with this CD.

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Last Days Of Humanity – The XTC of Swallowing L.D.O.H. Faeces (2004)

Last Days Of Humanity – The XTC of Swallowing L.D.O.H. Faeces (2004)

Brutal as all hell (those vocals just cutting through the mix are some of the sickest, most twisted pitch shifter groans ever!), but good gravy the quality on this is shambolic. I mean, what did I expect? Haha – but some of the studio LDOH stuff can be enough of a challenge in its own right, I don’t need to struggle through live versions too. Would be 1000% better if I was actually there, but…

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Last Days Of Humanity / Lymphatic Phlegm – Split LP (2004)

Last Days Of Humanity / Lymphatic Phlegm – Split LP (2004)

Holy fuck shit Batman, this is a noisy one! By the 2000s, LDOH were a full-on gorenoise outfit, creating some of the most outlandishly disgusting audible sounds known to mankind. Their material on this split is in the same (severed) vein as their Putrefaction In Progress album or In Advanced Haemorrhaging Conditions EP. The general quality seems a bit lower here, with the bass farting out of the speakers and the treble albsolutely melting my…

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Winterfylleth – The Threnody Of Triumph (2012)

Winterfylleth – The Threnody Of Triumph (2012)

Winterfylleth are one of the UK’s most well-regarded and consistent black metal acts. For that reason, The Thrennody Of Triumph also suffers. There is not much of a fault in this per se, but for music that is so grandiose and epic and extremely well-crafted, it’s a bit of a shame that when listening, you feel like you can always guess its next move. I prefer The Ghost Of Heritage album, which was their debut…

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Aghast – Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis (1995)

Aghast – Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis (1995)

This is a project that involves Andrea Meyer who performed mainly as Nebelhexe and also appeared on the first Cradle Of Filth record. Unfortunately, as I was really looking forward to this one, this is pretty boring to me. It kinda goes nowhere, and whilst there are a few moments of pizazz in this evil atmospheric pieces, most of the record’s run time does nothing for me. It works as cool spooky background music, but…

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Devil Master – Ecstasies Of Never Ending Night (2022)

Devil Master – Ecstasies Of Never Ending Night (2022)

Devil Master’s Ecstasies Of Never Ending Night was recommended to me as black metal with a little hardcore twist to it. I’d say that was a pretty fair assumption of the sound, for sure. The production is big and solid, which is refreshing for a band of this nature. Every now and then things slow down and devolve into a nice stomping riff. Tidy!

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The Black Dahlia Murder – Nocturnal (2007)

The Black Dahlia Murder – Nocturnal (2007)

Never been the biggest fan of these guys but Trevor has always been a bastion in the world of death metal, so spun this in his honour. Its pretty cool, and it pulls from all corners of metal, with I guess death metal being the main course. The production is enormous and this sounds very well made. It’s not my favourite thing in the world but I’m glad I listened. RIP Trevor Strnad.

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Machine Girl – Wlfgrl+ (2014/2017)

Machine Girl – Wlfgrl+ (2014/2017)

Hyper mental fuckin’ electronics? Why not. Wlfgrl has seen a re-release that I’ve been meaning to look at for a long time, with an extended run time. Personally, I prefer the shorter, sharp jolt of the original but fans of this carnage will no doubt be happy with the extra material here.

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Masonna – Freak-out Electrolyze (1997)

Masonna – Freak-out Electrolyze (1997)

I gotta be honest, this is a massively irritating recording from the otherwise legendary Masonna. If you’re looking for irritating noise loops through delay pedals with distorted vocals over the top, then look no further. Otherwise, put this in the bin.

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Gestapo 666 – Satanic Shariah (2019)

Gestapo 666 – Satanic Shariah (2019)

I’ve been doing a bit of looking at NSBM recently. It’s something I’ve always totally avoided, give or take a band on a split or something that’s cropped up like that. Recently, I did a review for a Clandestine Blaze album and I’ve been looking into the controversy around Graveland a lot, so maybe thats why, but YouTube is nothing but insistent with suggesting me this album. I guess the same instincts that led me…

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Sepultura / Overdose – Split LP (1985)

Sepultura / Overdose – Split LP (1985)

The Sepultura Bestial Devastation session is amazing. In fact, I would even perhaps go out on a limb and say that I prefer the sound here to that on offer on Morbid Visions. As far as proto-Sepultura goes, it doesn’t get any better than this. Old school evil thrash in all of it’s glory. As far as Overdose goes… I tried, I really tried. I didn’t want to be another one of those people who…

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7 H.Target – Fast-Slow Demolition (2012)

7 H.Target – Fast-Slow Demolition (2012)

7 H.Target are quickly becoming one of my favourite slam acts. The other records I’ve heard of theirs are very impressive so the logical step would be to go back to the first full length and see what that’s about. And what do we have? More razor-sharp slam with inssssaaane riffs and incredible drumming. Oh boy. The production is massive, crystal-clear and really gives the slams the absolute brute force that they need, without compromising…

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Iron Maiden – No Prayer For The Dying (1990)

Iron Maiden – No Prayer For The Dying (1990)

Probably my least favourite Maiden experience yet. There’s just something a bit “meh” about the whole thing, which I think is more to do with the greatness that has come before than to do with any genuine complaint about the sound itself. Oh well. On to the next Maiden entry.

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Winterfylleth – The Ghost Of Heritage (2008)

Winterfylleth – The Ghost Of Heritage (2008)

Winterfylleth are a British black metal band that I constantly snooze on. I don’t know why, because I’ve seen them live and I love their record sleeves. I also love their brand of fairly grandiose black metal, which is displayed perfectly here on The Ghost Of Heritage. You could easily put a grim black and white photograph up front to represent this band, but the beauty of the sleeve is reflected in these songs. Awesome…

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Revenge – Attack.Blood.Revenge (2001/2014)

Revenge – Attack.Blood.Revenge (2001/2014)

There are few bands in life that hit as hard as Revenge, even in the murky and unforgiving world of war metal / bestial black metal this shit slaps at a whole other level. If black metal itself is akin to freezing your enemies with a deep penetrating fatal frost, then war metal is then the fire that comes to cook them alive and what we get here in this shambling, chaotic metal is the…

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Windows彡96 – Enchanted Instrumentals and Whispers (2019)

Windows彡96 – Enchanted Instrumentals and Whispers (2019)

February 26, 2023

Isn’t that art just lovely? You can always count on Windows96 to bring the vibes. Coming on like a cross between a video game soundtrack, an infomercial and a walk through a mall after a few edibles, Enchanted Instrumentals and Whispers showcases just about everything that is wonderful about the vaporwave movement. I’d love to know what drum samples this guy is using, they are really fantastic. Probably not good listening for first thing in…

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Crusm – Stench Of Decompose (2017)

Crusm – Stench Of Decompose (2017)

Ugh! Someone is blowing chunks of gore through my speakers! Crusm come at you with a different kind of gore. It’s always cool to see variations on the theme of goregrind and Stench Of Decompose delivers in that regard.

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Eitr – Hädanfärden (2018)

Eitr – Hädanfärden (2018)

Invoking otherworldly trance-like dreamstates that fans of prison-era Burzum will be chomping at the bit for, Hädanfärden does not disappoint when it comes to taking you away to another place. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lustre, a more well known project by the same artist, but Eitr is perfect dreamy dungeon synth.

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Endon – Through The Mirror (2017)

Endon – Through The Mirror (2017)

This was sold to me by Bandcamp as grindcore, and – impressively – the album which brought Hydra Head back from the dead. Endon’s music here is far from grindcore, in my opinion. Yes, there are intense passages of absolute carnage, which I suppose could come close to something like Cloud Rat, but Through The Mirror dreams far, far bigger than such a restricting genre tag. Endon is more or less post- everything and everywhere….

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Deströyer 666 – Cold Steel… For An Iron Age (2002)

Deströyer 666 – Cold Steel… For An Iron Age (2002)

Underwhelming listen of the day goes to… Cold Steel! First off, that album name is terrible. Secondly, so is the record sleeve. Unfortunately, the contents aren’t up to much either, with the entire album lost in a sea of overcompressed wasp-like fuzz. I get it, you wanna sound kvlt as fuck, but this isn’t the way to do it. I even broke out the IEMs to try and squeeze some clarity out of this, but…

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Luc Ferrari ‎– Und So Weiter / Music Promenade (1969)

Luc Ferrari ‎– Und So Weiter / Music Promenade (1969)

So there’s a little story to this. At the end of “Gravedancer” on Pig Destroyer’s epic Terrifyer record, there is a minute or so of bizarre, troubling dialogue between what seems to be several people. The main core of the audio is of a man and a woman arguing. The argument seems to get quite heated, and the woman screams out several times, as if being attacked or thrown about. They also seem to both…

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식료품groceries – 슈퍼마켓Yes! We’re Open (2014)

식료품groceries – 슈퍼마켓Yes! We’re Open (2014)

An interesting selection of tunes and vibes, copy and pasted together with samples and other assorted aural bric-a-brac. Falling comfortably into the vaporwave genre, Yes! We’re Open also owes a lot to the found sound and plunderphonics movements.

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William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops (2002)

William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops (2002)

When you wake up in a empty house and the weather outside stops you from going anywhere, and you’re trapped staring at the dull light of your work-issued laptop… its time for a listen of something as heavy and as involving as William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops. Or in this case, part 1 of the 4 part series. Getting stuck into this is a massive undertaking, but not as massive as say, The Caretaker and his…

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Finntroll – Nattfödd (2004)

Finntroll – Nattfödd (2004)

I listened to this album countless times back in the day when I would stay up all hours playing World Of Warcraft (yeah I’m one of those kids). Beer-swilling mega-hit “Trollhameren”(sp) aside, Nattfödd should be noted for its crisp production and superb instrumentation. More often than not, folk instruments are used as a gimmick to prop up bad metal, but not here. This is a really well made record.

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Torchlight – Realms Of Oblivion (2018)

Torchlight – Realms Of Oblivion (2018)

Torchlight is one of those projects that falls loosely under the dungeon synth banner, but is not trying to emulate a sound from a point in time or aesthetically clone the goodness of the early 90s. No, Torchlight is so much more, instead delivering full-blown compositions with excellent clarity and depth of musical scale and talent. This is more in line with the soundtrack to an RPG computer game, using traditional instruments (or virtual copies…

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Inquisition – Ominous Doctrines Of The Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (2010)

Inquisition – Ominous Doctrines Of The Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (2010)

For black metal as ridiculously good as the album title, please look no further. A swirling maelstrom of intense noise awaits, carried along on the blessed black wings of decent production, thankfully! Tidy darts.

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Abruptum – Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectere Me (1993)

Abruptum – Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectere Me (1993)

This is probably the crappiest Abruptum record that I’ve come across thusfar. When dealing with a band whose entire shtick is being crappy (albeit in a dark and evil way lol), then that can be really disappointing. Like getting an Agathocles 7″ where the recording is just so fucking bad you wanna throw the thing against a wall. Anyway, this release offers nothing to me. There’s no atmosphere, no savagery or seemingly any point to…

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Graveland – Carpathian Wolves (1994)

Graveland – Carpathian Wolves (1994)

There is a lot of controversy around Graveland. I’ve recently been doing a bit of snooping around NSBM, so this is all fairly new to me. As a sworn lefty do-gooder, bands like Graveland have always been somewhat blacklisted, give or take. So during my dives, I decided to take a look at what this Wotan metal was all about. I can only hope for all of the fans on the internet that take Graveland…

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Thergothon – Stream From The Heavens (1994)

Thergothon – Stream From The Heavens (1994)

I’ve always viewed Thergothon as something as a test of patience. I don’t recall what it was that had me coming back to this album after all these years but it finally clicked for me. I’m not stranger to slow, strangled and horrible music, but there’s always been something different about Thergothon’s cosmic glacial affront. All in all, a solid album.

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Deathspell Omega – Si Momentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice (2004)

Deathspell Omega – Si Momentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice (2004)

Heard a lot of praise for Deathspell Omega over the years so figured it was finally time to check them out. I’m not gonna lose my shit over this but I can agree it’s a very well made record with a lot going on. I don’t mean like, in a Dillenger Escape Plan way (lol), I mean that the songs are lengthy, epic and have a lot of thought and dexterity to the composition. The…

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Natron – Grindermeister (2012)

Natron – Grindermeister (2012)

Despite having grind in the title there is absolutely nothing grind about this. Fat, crystal clear digital production leads technical death metal with hints of thrash. It doesn’t blow me away, but if this kinda music is your bag, then it’s worth checking these guys out.

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Vital Spirit – Still As The Night, Cold As The Wind (2022)

Vital Spirit – Still As The Night, Cold As The Wind (2022)

Interesting modern black metal with a melodic twist. Very clean and full production, excellent riffs and vocals in particular. I love the artwork too. Ones to watch.

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Machine Girl – Because I’m Young, Arrogant And Hate Everything That You Stand For (2017)

Machine Girl – Because I’m Young, Arrogant And Hate Everything That You Stand For (2017)

Well then, what a terrible album title. Also, unfortunately on this release Machine Girl fluctuates between sounding like the Ridge Racer OST on acid or just generally being super fucking irritating. Won’t be back. Sorry lol.

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Future Sounds Of London – Dead Cities (1996)

Future Sounds Of London – Dead Cities (1996)

Bizarre electronic album from the mid nineties, with a mixed bag of vibes. It’s easy to be put off by that horrendous cover art, but this is a deep and unusual journey through the medium of electronic music.

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Deicide – Legion (1992)

Deicide – Legion (1992)

Legion is a dense and difficult listen, especially for old school death metal. Just take a look at the release date on this thing and you can truly see that Deicide were forging ahead with new levels of brutality. These days brutal death has been done a million times, but this must have taken heads off back in the day. Another cool thing about this is the unassuming artwork, which hints in no way shape…

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Hiroshi Yoshimura- Soundscape 1: Surround (1986)

Hiroshi Yoshimura- Soundscape 1: Surround (1986)

Music that will put you into a waking dream state. A lot of this kinda stuff ends up in movies, of which I have definitely not seen, but isolated alone like this, makes for some beautiful and relaxing synthesizer music.

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Benediction – Subconscious Terror (1990)

Benediction – Subconscious Terror (1990)

I didn’t realise until today that it was Mick Harris of Napalm Death / Scorn etc. who produced this album. It’s got a lovely sound, one that is admittedly a little bit raw but it works really well. The drumming is outstanding (that snare sound is out of this world). Barney is on point in the vocal department and there’s some really cool sections where his trademark roars are backed up by absolutely disgusting pitchshifted…

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Sepultura – Schizophrenia (1987)

Sepultura – Schizophrenia (1987)

After a few listens I gotta just admit to myself that I prefer Morbid Visions. However, Schizophrenia is notable for the decent step up in production, and the incredible progress that Igor Cavalera makes as a drummer is outstanding. Couple this two things together and you’ve got a backbone for an amazing metal record (the drum fills are to die for). I just prefer the songs on other records. No shade though, this is really…

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Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted (2019)

Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted (2019)

Pretty boring track to be honest. This is probably the most pointless review I’ve ever written.

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Psychic TV – Cathedral Engine (1994)

Psychic TV – Cathedral Engine (1994)

I’ve listened to this many times over the years where instead perhaps I should have branched out a bit more into other Psychic TV stuff (there’s so much of it!). This is a fantastic piece of work, though; a very thorough exercise in sinister and brooding atmospheric music. Not quite on the knife-edge of noise, Cathedral Engine definitely uses a “less is more” approach compared to some of the other projects by those involved, but…

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Proclamation – Messiah Of Darkness And Impurity (2008)

Proclamation – Messiah Of Darkness And Impurity (2008)

My proclamation is that more black metal bands should consider using the pitch shifter vocal style borrowed from goregrind, mincecore etc.; it really gives your record that really fucking sinister vibe that a lot of black metal bands are no doubt looking for. Couple this sewage-drenched vocal attack with pummelling drums and (good lord!) stomach churning bass, and it can be hard to think for a second that I am describing a black metal record….

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Sepultura – Morbid Visions (1986)

Sepultura – Morbid Visions (1986)

You gotta love Sepultura, especially looking back now at how far they have come and how much they have changed. From 2023, this release sees them as almost unrecognisable. The trademark thrash of the earlier days began in earnest with their second record, Schizophrenia; the looser metallic grind of Morbid Visions is more in-line with something like Bathory and Venom. There’s just something so pure and blazing about the way Sepultura perform metal however, and…

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Ildjarn – Forest Poetry (1996)

Ildjarn – Forest Poetry (1996)

February 25, 2023

Ildjarn is definitely off the beaten path a bit more than most of the Norwegian artists that found their muse in black metal throughout the 90s. After listening to a few tracks on Forest Poetry, it is easy to hear why. At first, Ildjarn’s super lo-fi sound is a welcomed distorted blast to the face, but soon loses its impact as the record goes on. As a fan of black metal as well as stuff…

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Gate Master – In Pursuit Of Forbidden Knowledge… (2022)

Gate Master – In Pursuit Of Forbidden Knowledge… (2022)

February 24, 2023

The forbidden knowledge has to be, that mixing dungeon synth and raw black metal in this way is a winning combination. Sometimes the brightest truths are the ones that are there in plain sight, waiting to be grasped. LOL Anyway – Gate Master is the project centralising around founding Cradle Of Filth member Paul Ryan (who’s been out of the band since the debut record). The black metal is raw, disgusting and frenetic, which is…

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Sepultura – Roots (1996)

Sepultura – Roots (1996)

February 23, 2023

Roots is a strange one. I can understand why people would be pissed off at Sepultura for steering away from thrash and going into this super down-tuned, groovy territory. But, you gotta give it to Max for getting a hold of a musical vision and just completely committing to it. It is easy to dismiss Roots as “MaX hEaRd KoRn AnD WAs liKe – lEt’S jUsT Do ThiS LOL”, because after his time in Sepultura,…

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Chthonic Force – Delirium Tremens: The Best Of Chthonic Force (2007)

Chthonic Force – Delirium Tremens: The Best Of Chthonic Force (2007)

I’ll be completely honest with you: I was totally drawn into this by the art alone. That kind of chosen artistic representation for your sound almost guarantees you a select number of sounds, and power electronics is high on that list. That is, of course, what we have here. The trouble is, is that this is one of the cringiest things I have ever heard. Let’s get it out of the way: there is nothing…

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Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (2011)

Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (2011)

February 20, 2023

I can’t remember where | picked this up or how this record entered my sphere of vision as it were, but I’ve had this thing knocking about and have been meaning to write about it since 2014. Being a droney, ambient affair, my listens of it usually accompany some sort of other activity such as working or writing and I never get around to writing about the record itself. Until today, finally, let’s address the…

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Burzum – Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan (2013)

Burzum – Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan (2013)

February 16, 2023

Burzum’s ambient stuff gets a lot of undeserved shit, in both the prison and post-prison eras. Sôl austan, Mâni vestan is of course, no different. Admittedly, there is little variance between this, The Ways Of Yore, and even Thulean Mysteries to be honest, but if hypnotic – cosmic even – synth work is your bag, then I genuinely feel you can do no wrong in checking this out. Varg (Louie?) does invoke a consistent atmosphere…

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放射性Hi5 –  9.0水面下Megathrust (2015)

放射性Hi5 – 9.0水面下Megathrust (2015)

Japanese radioactive-meltdown-themed vaporwave? Oh yes please, oh yes please indeed. This reminds me of the Windows 96 album News At 11 in the way it mixes real life samples from the time with snippets of various music vibes. Really cool stuff. FYI this band/project translate as Radioactive Hi5.

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Kroh – Altars (2016)

Kroh – Altars (2016)

Altars is the Kroh comeback record, released a few years after the original self-titled. This time, the band have a new vocalist in tow, in the form of Oliwia, giving a more occult rock feel than the original vocalist , who brought a more Goatsnake / Kyuss level of vibe to proceedings. The production is great and Oliwia is a brilliant addition, but the stand out element here has to be Mick Kenny’s (sp) crunching…

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Abigor – Channeling The Quintessence Of Satan (1999)

Abigor – Channeling The Quintessence Of Satan (1999)

I’ve seen Abigor’s name bandied about many a time but finally checking them out (via this awesomely-titled record, might I add), I can’t help but feel something is lacking. It’s black metal of the wasps-in-a-jar variety but seemingly lacks variation or dynamic. It’s not awful, it just does nothing for me.

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Satanic Warmaster – Strength And Honour (2001)

Satanic Warmaster – Strength And Honour (2001)

Strength And Honour is the first record by the awesomely-named yet terribly dodgy Satanic Warmaster. This shit fucking slaps though, I gotta be honest. I’ve never really been that impressed with these guy(s?) in the past but I finally checked out an album and damn this shit is sinister as fuck. The production is a good mix between raw and clear and the sound in general is really cool. The vocals are awesome. Shame they…

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Graveland – Following The Voice Of Blood (1997)

Graveland – Following The Voice Of Blood (1997)

My brief journey into NSBM comes to an end with Graveland’s third album. Seemingly more just a bit of a sketchy pillock than a genuinely frightening criminal, Rob Darken and cronies are an easy gateway I would say, into the seedier side of black metal. Whilst I found Graveland appallingly bad in the first instance, the second record improved on their sound and the third is actually genuinely good and worth listening to. It’s a…

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Fear Factory – Obsolete (1998)

Fear Factory – Obsolete (1998)

I’ve always really liked Fear Factory but for some reason have never really bothered digging that far into their discography. Outside of “Edgecrusher” and the frankly fucking excellent cover of Gary Numan’s “Cars” (which features the man himself), I’ve never really heard anything else off this album until now. I was familiar with the snare drum sound however, as a sample of it is a default in the 2000s-era drum machine program for Windows, called…

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Muse – Black Holes & Revelations (2006)

Muse – Black Holes & Revelations (2006)

The turning point for Muse, I think. It was when they stopped being a rock band and became a whole corporate entity. That’s not to say I dislike Black Holes… some of my favourite Muse songs are on this. It is however, the point where I checked out. Anything past this I lost interest in.

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Beef Conspiracy – A Jigsaw Of A Flock Of Geese (2016)

Beef Conspiracy – A Jigsaw Of A Flock Of Geese (2016)

Silly slamming death metal mixed with elements of grindcore. Expect a bit of groove to throw down to whilst enjoying the most ridiculous vocals and intense pinging drums. The song titles alone are worth a look at for a laugh, but musically you can squarely and safely file this under ‘party slam’ and the like. Great fun, but there’s a time and a place.

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Necro Deathmort – Volume 2.5 (2015)

Necro Deathmort – Volume 2.5 (2015)

I think Necro Deathmort are super underrated. Volume 2.5 is a shorter release, an EP of sorts, comprising more of their spacier, explorative material as opposed to the earlier heaviness they were into. Volume 2.5 is still a dark record however, with subtle menace dripping from every song.

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Death In June – Operation Hummingbird (1999)

Death In June – Operation Hummingbird (1999)

February 15, 2023

A later-day effort from the legendary and enigmatic project that is Di6. Honestly, whatever weirdness the band is going for here completely misses the mark. Operation Hummingbird comes across more like a pointless collection of sound collages than it does a tangible album. Which is a bit of a shame, as the live album for this era is really good.

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Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality (2018)

Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality (2018)

Skeletal Remains play old school death metal in the Obituary vein. The vocalist in particular owes a lot to John Tardy. Skeletal Remains however have a much more modern and cleaner production. Don’t expect the wheel to be reinvented, but if you like to bang your head, it’s hard to find any faults with this at all. Tidy!

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Insane Clown Posse – Yum Yum Bedlam (2021)

Insane Clown Posse – Yum Yum Bedlam (2021)

Are ICP done with the second run of joker’s cards yet? Honestly I’ve lost track. Anyways, it barely seems five minutes since Furious Fred Fury hit the grown running but of course it’s been ages now and I’m just out of the loop. Yum Yum Bedlam does absolutely nothing for me. Working primarily with another guy called Shaggy on production, rather than some of the older cats, this thing has a totally different vibe than…

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Korn – See You On The Other Side (2005)

Korn – See You On The Other Side (2005)

How in the actual fuck was this released in 2005? I could have sworn to you it was put out in 2007 but alas I am old and time is slipping away from me at an alarming pace. It’s slippery in here. Anyways. This marked a transitional period for Korn, where they entered into a much, dare I say, tamer direction of sound. This culminates with Korn II / Untitled being the absolute low point,…

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Paul Horn – Inside The Great Pyramid (1977)

Paul Horn – Inside The Great Pyramid (1977)

February 14, 2023

I learned about this record whilst listening to one of Christopher Dunn’s talks on the great pyramid being a power plant. I can’t recall the exact point he was making, but it was about the resonant properties of the granite within the pyramid’s King’s Chamber. Now, I’m not really in-tune with these new age types, but the pyramids fascinate me, so I gave this ago. It’s a good idea. Live recordings from inside one of…

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Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells II (1992)

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells II (1992)

February 13, 2023

2-Bulah-Bell 2: Bak 2 Da Belle was an unexpected drop from Mike Oldfield. And by unexpected, I mean, it was not expected for me when I found there was a sequel, a third, and a bunch of crappy remix albums all riding off the success of the first record in this series. Now, I love Mike Oldfield, anyone who can play that many different guitars is good in my book, but 2-Bulah-Bell 2 gets way…

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Carcass – Torn Arteries (2021)

Carcass – Torn Arteries (2021)

Ah, Carcass. How everytime I hear thee, I pine for thoust earlier daze of grinding gore. Carcass at this point is an unrecognisable band, consisting of Steer and Walker and a bunch of other randomers (no disrespect to them – congrats on getting the Carcass gig). Torn Arteries offers me no more than what Surgical Steel already did, and with the reformation hooplah and fanfare having worn off somewhat, I am less than enthused for…

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Anathema – The Silent Enigma (1995)

Anathema – The Silent Enigma (1995)

Quite a beautiful album, and one that I have admittedly often neglected. I’m not really sure why, because I enjoy the shit out of Serenades, Pentacost III and the other doomier stuff by this ever-evolving band. As I said though, there a larger beauteous element to this one. It perhaps holds back a bit in true, impactful metallic force; the harrowing sonic battlefield of Serenades is perhaps now grown over with various flowers and fauna….

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Extreme Noise Terror – Retro-Bution (1994)

Extreme Noise Terror – Retro-Bution (1994)

February 7, 2023

I enjoyed this mid 90s effort from ENT but couldn’t shake that disappointed feeling that every song sounds the same, which makes the album kinda nondescript in some ways. But then, it took me a minute to realise, half of these fucking songs appeared on Holocaust In Your Head. No wonder I thought them familiar! They have been updated and given a polished metallic sound here, for some reason.

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Enslaved – Frost (1994)

Enslaved – Frost (1994)

Frost has always been the Enslaved album that I keep coming back to. Having listened to it back to back with Vikingligr Veldi for the purposes of this review, I am surprised by how fast this record is in comparison to the former. Considering they are both released in the same year, there is a surprising difference between them. Whereas Vikingligr… had its own mid-pace, unique viking-meets-black metal vibe, Frost has a much more tried-and-true…

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Enslaved – Vikingligr Veldi (1994)

Enslaved – Vikingligr Veldi (1994)

Stunning, hypnotic, trance-inducing riffery is the order of the day, on this early release from long-running proggy madmen Enslaved. I’ve never been a huge fan of later Enslaved stuff, but then again I’ve never really given it a proper chance. I have however, always had a soft spot for stuff like Frost. It is of no surprise then, that I really enjoyed Vikingligr Veldi. I’m not super fussed on the vocals, which are a bit…

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Blood – O Agios Pethane (1993)

Blood – O Agios Pethane (1993)

February 5, 2023

Blood remain one of the most criminally underrated bands in the grindcore world. You really have to peel back the surface layers to find appreciation for them. It’s weird, because they have been around since the genre’s heyday, and as another writer so well put, they are like an amalgamation of both early Carcass and early Napalm Death. O Agios Pethane proves however that Blood are so much more than the sum of their parts….

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Full Of Hell & Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow (2014)

Full Of Hell & Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow (2014)

I would be lying if I said that I got into this on the first listen. In fact, it has taken me several years to even consider writing about it. In that time I have done countless relistens, and not once has this record landed with me. I’m not even really sure what it is about it that doesn’t gel with me, but there you have it. A pointless review but one I’ve been wrestling…

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Guttural Secrete – Nourishing The Spoil (2013)

Guttural Secrete – Nourishing The Spoil (2013)

Today I noticed that the word “spoil” is in both album titles from Guttural Secrete. A pointless fact there for you.  Anyway, this is, much like its predecessor, a razor-sharp execution of the brutalest (is that even a word?) form of death metal. The speed and dexterity here is rather overwhelming; the songs are slick and polished, yet are delivered with the bludgeoning force of a spiked sledgehammer to the back of the skull.  Mike…

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Skhemty – Sunrise On The Old Kingdom (2022)

Skhemty – Sunrise On The Old Kingdom (2022)

I’ve been down a rabbit hole recently in regards to the inner-workings of the great pyramid of Giza. Not in a wacky “WaS iT a NuClEaR PowErPlanT1?!?!” kinda way, just generally trying to understand one of the oldest wonders of our world. When it hit me – I wonder if there is any like, Egyptian-themed dungeon synth or ambient music. Remembering the interludes from Nile albums, I set to searching the internet, and was immediately…

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