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no compromise, no regret in this 2012 JZ album from Moonchild. Part spoken word, part prog, part black metal. Vocals shoot between whispers and gargles and screeches and back in a flash, following the very delicious proggy bass and slapping drums and bubbling organ. Lyrics are a stitched together sluice of impressions, all about ancient buried secrets and promises. Made me fall in love with JZ all over again. Like exploring a dark menacing mad scientist’s lab that collapses into a whirling portal to astral depths that drops you off in a vault full of individually wrapped candy.
Infernal thunder from Argentina solo project 2008. Excellently rendered death metal towards the blacker side. Grating and loud but unremittingly purposeful.
A1 call to war, indoctrination and orders given for the assault on heaven, anticipatory & pounding. A2 the best track, technical and unstoppable, fades out. A3 farm animals and church bells, titled The Orgy, good mic bed. B1 undulating waves of fire washing out from the open pit to Hell. B2 the killing floor at the bottom of the world, cavernous vocals, spikes everywhere, impalement, perseverant hate. B3 short burst, good for an intro to something else.
Surprises abound in this live 1990 rerelease from Italian guitar improviser Roberto Zorzi who lists 1960s prog among his inspirations and has gone on to record a half dozen more albums. Short pauses on all tracks. Improvised jazz that doesn’t get aggravating, gosh. A sea of experimentation with a few catchy repeats to sail on. Violin, drums, and alto sax are very prominent and sound great. #2 and 3 have some almost danceable bits that won my heart. #4 is a wicked little violin/drum number that could probably play well with some bluegrass. #5 is sax/piano territory.
Dark beats torn from the throat and thighs of a deep colossal mechabeast. Solo project from Joseph Broadrick of Godflesh and Napalm Death and such. Hypnotic scraping roaring noise gets sort of smoother as vocals subside as bionic components replace your eyes and spleen. Tracks evolve but retain a single beat. Masterfully intense rides through night and day.
Distorted male vox on everything but the title track. Vocals on final track get a little drifting and easing.
Droning, fading, hypnotic metal from the founder of Circle solo in 2012. Side A moans and scrapes and struggles on between sparse scraps of riffage. Cowering and slinking between cover as a great winged predator passes overhead. Safety is true but temporary by definition. Ends roghly where it started but feelings of loss nonethless. Side B is where the real spiral downward to the circle of eternal return happens. Nonstop guitars and electronics and cute beeps steadily build together under significant vocal urging. Both sides blossom into true brilliance shortly before ending, only imparting their gift once you’re nice and abluted.
San Jose 2012 hardcore/punk/sort-of-metal pissed off about all the right things. Great Bay Area feel; Dystopia functionally drunk and sped up and unfortunately without any satirical sampled intros. Few solos, vocals are growled, and lyrics almost entirely KFJC reactionary against excess, war, jealous ownership, fear, etc etc etc. Distantly descended from Motorhead stock, pairs well with Black Cobra or High On Fire, goes out of their way to tell off Wotanists.
#9 was my favorite and the most lyrically coherent , ‘No discretion for the place that you were born, no discretion for the clothes that you have worn, no discretion for the life you choose to live, you will never know the truth in a world that will never cut you loose.’ #3, 8, 12 are good too.
Lonely middays of hot dirt, iced drinks, and sunbleached grasses. Insect-rich forests with the worn graves of pioneers. Patient work on something you love on a windy afternoon. All tracks instrumental and (almost all) pleasant; widely varying sounds and speeds- bounce the needle around to find what you like. I liked Side A a little more. B gets kinda menacing in a distant mindless way. C Joynes is an erudite guy from Cambridge with kickass thumbs who’s channeling traditional styles from India to W Africa to England. Memory-laden mixes encouraged.
Throw a 20 minute tantrum with some satanic war metal from Brazil 2008. #2 on Side A has the sparsest lyrics and is also the best, reinforcing maxims of expressive refrainment w/r/t ill-will the world over. Not that there’s a whole lot of refraining going on here. Lyrics are of the genocidal strain you really only see coming out of Catholic countries these days. The worse parts are sloppily dissonant, detracting from focusing on that hateful coworker and this fucking highway traffic and those execrable tv commercials. Keep it tight and hard is what I say. Kill the person that wrote that advertisement, kill their families, kill their friends, kill everyone in their company, kill, kill, kill, there is no peace on earth, only an eternity of carnage and fire and the laughter of the thirsting gods.
LA remixed dance/commercials/hip hop out to confuse and amuse. Almost every song starts with a short analog radio dial spin– make listeners think something just popped loose! Some remixes awesomely expand on lyrical content. Tracks 2-12 are the real meat but there’s some decent rap on the outer borders. Favorakkas: #3 wicked sample of some California gal “OMGGGG LET’S GOOOOOO”, #9 smooth groove love & devotion, #12 overpopulation commercialism reaction hysterics, #19 inequality, negritude, sweet spoken in-/outros, #20 expert rap that gets analog-radio-dial spun around a few times
FCC #12, 19, 20
Experimental 2011 stuff from two USA bands that covers both expressive extremes of drone. There’s a dozen different instruments on this; plates getting banged around, various synthesizer, gasps both short and long, all sorts of scrapes, but on the 7″ they all have a purpose in driving or communicating something. The 12″ is then a complete renunciation of all meaning made so much more potent by contrast, and its 40+ minutes will lull you into the most disturbing trance you’ve had in moons.
After listening to and enjoying the 7″ a few times I started to write this review as a journey to an underwater ruin, but having heard the 12″ in its entirety thrice now and all three times having gotten major shakes, screw that. Especially on Side D, which builds/descends into a completely mindblowing plunge, I ENCOURAGE you to slowly scrape together your own personal fantasy kingdom to see and explore and experience the deep, deep horror of its complete obliteration.
Screaming, pounding Japanese hardcore from start to finish on this 2011 Regurgitated Semen Records release. This is their third album and 10 years after their second which was 5 years after their first, who knows how these guys are still alive and screaming,,, Japanese cybernetics? Vocals are nonstop and raging with completely unintelligible lyrics that read like a wastebin of suicide note drafts. Drums are mostly that very special borderline of headache and rockout that hardcore surfs so often. Guitars exist to support the vocals.
A1 almost tracks into A2 but otherwise there’s usable gaps. B6 is a self-titled, unlisted track that probably technically has FCC, but it’s really good. A3 has a great repeated rage and texture of horror, and really that sense of consumerist inner horror is what they’re playing up here on the whole album. Devour and devour and devour until you’re more than full, but die knowing that you never loved anything more than yourself.
18 reverberations of western cultural revolutions in this pretty good variety of pretty good experimental noise/rock
#1: upbeat and English vocals and lots of synth
#2 and 4 and 13: aggressive Spanish and rock
#3 and 5: mostly Spanish vocals with some sax
#6 and 7 and 8 and 10 and 12: laid back Spanish, synth, beats; #12 trips in and out
#9 and 11: builds into screeches and wildness with a synth background, #11 has a super creepy dental intro
#14-18: instrumental experimental temperamentals, you will really like exactly one of these
one of the artists self-defines his work as “nihilistic primitivism that could take elements from punk, but also a certain virtuosity from other things that were taboo like funk, jazz, or progressive rock.” The booklet’s neat snippets include Barcelona’s ‘Radio Pica’, an experimental station that bloomed for two years before getting axed by the government in 1987.
Nine very live, very spotty tracks from Sacramento Love Earther. Whole lots of noise but cut up with long pauses and wildly varying sound levels to totally fuck up people who didn’t read this.
#1 and #7 are pretty much what they say they are, so mosey on down to your friendly neighborhood memorial soundtrack show (#7 has a SPLENDID crowd yell at the start that was my favorite part of the album). #2 is a lot of kickass grinding static and feedback that starts and stops until -3:05. #3 and #4 pause a lot- recommend superimposing on something else- mostly piercing probes and slices. #5 gets started around -6:40 and is a groaning soundscape that ends around -0:40. #6 is a burbling stuttering rusted engine that starts at -5:30 and stops at -0:15 with a pause or two. #8 has a bit (a very feeble bit) of a beat but pauses a lot, so yeah superimpose at will. #9 brings together all the buzzes, slices, and stabs into something that has a rudimentary structure. Like an open soda can you spat in and left in the sun a week.
Pretty good 2003 indie rock from a Chicago-based Elephant 6 project. Vocals enter and exit a variety of jazzy melodies at their own convenience. Tracks 3, 7, 9, and 11 are very soothing in an instrumental texture kind of way. The title track is very nice and will fit with just about anything. Tracks 4 and 12 are more upbeat and a little tremulous with falsetto. Tracks 9 and 10 have some neat pulsing and ticking electronics. Track 5 gets a little menacing and the last track is a toned down and worried version of track 4. No two songs sound too closely alike, and that really seems what they were going for.
“brims with Zappa weirdness”
Neun Welten went back in time to bone Satyricon’s Dark Medieval Times and they had a goat-baby. It’s icy black metal plus folksy black metal in this self-titled almost demo-sounding release, and I don’t know if that makes this crossover black metal or eclectic black metal or what but it is so good.
Tracks 1-3 are great intros to their metal style. Folksy stuff kicks in around track 5 and he starts bringing in a new instrument almost every song. Lots of cute organ backdrops for growly screeching. Final track starts as a wickedly confused & remixed social commentary that decays into black metal AND IS SILENT FROM 4:20 UNTIL 5:10, whereupon black metal resumes.
Two track self-released cassette from Chicago “creep ambient” band. Track 1 is pretty much a dub- undulating waves of noise for several minutes, maybe good bed music. Track 2 is the real meat- extremely raw and layered vocals over grating rhythms that get increasingly cut up by whines and impacts. More ambient black metal than most “ambient black metal”. Very strange but not terribly painful.
PICK YOUR HARDCORE PUNK APOCALYPSE:
#1A (3:10) everyone dies in carpet bombing [my favorite]
#2A (0:55) everyone dies in a plutocratic dystopia
#1B (1:00) everyone dies in nuclear fallout
#2B (1:20) everyone dies in a terrestrial cephalopod invasion
#3B (2:30) everyone dies in a hymenopteromorphized nuclear holocaust
Dismal is a probably American, probably 4 man band, and this is their first vinyl release (1 cassette from 2003).
Over an hour of “minimally shifting walls of drone, oppressive and entrancing like stars in a forlorn place” from Germany 2011. All titles are coords:
#1 is the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania and is the lightest sounding. You take a stroll down a beautiful art gallery of abstract art that would take a lifetime to comprehend.
#2 is some spot up in the mountains in Chile. Lots of thick, swaying harmonium. You watch the waves on the western coast at a cool, cloudy sunset.
#3 is the site of the Tunguska event in Siberia in 1908, a massive meteoroid impact of energy that about equaled Castle Bravo. The crater is now a swamp/lake and the song very ominous– how long until the next asteroid impact & will it also place so fortuitously??
#4 is some street corner in Cancun, who knows why. The noise moves from slightly piercing to engulfing swells over a very long time. I’m almost totally ignorant about urban Mexico so DIY imagery.
#5 is a little Greek village called Ammoudia that sure looks nice on Google Maps. Song is very quiet and slowly builds into deathly menace. You spend your life savings to go somewhere that looked nice on Google Maps but it turned out to be just another dirty backwater, and you lose all faith in technology and human progress.
Emeralds goes almost unbearably pleasant in this 2010 release, and I mean that in the best way. Tracks 1-4 are mediated, rhythmic glides into the 12 minute ecstasy of #5. #5 is one of the most gratifying songs I’ve ever heard. A flood of electronics will sweep you away while watery guitars cleanse your soul and slowly let you down into the rest of the album, which continues to whir and play with total excellence except a couple broods around & in #10.
This is Emeralds’ newest album, and Mark McGuire recently interviewed saying, “we use our solo projects to accent our individual voices in the band and to introduce ideas that may not fall into place with the vision we have of Emeralds at that time.” One of his solo CDs and a Steve Hauschildt 12″ are in A, awaiting your quivering touch.
Deathened black metal from three Greek guys named: Archfiend DevilPig, Herald of Demonic Pestilence, and Nuctemeron Bestial Ravisher of the Divine Harmony. Very very anti-JC, with comparably well-written & discernible vocals. Satanic themes of empowerment, truth, and liberation, so maybe contradictory to other black metal that sees itself as a refuge for weakness/delusion/despair away from judgment, or some really abstract shit about battleaxes and star crushing; for an American who associates carnality and indulgence with the deepest types of enslavement, Atonement Ritual doesn’t really click.
The music itself is great. The (intro)s are all short and ambient. SIDE DIABOLUS has a couple long tracks with powerful drums leading the way, but I liked SIDE PREVALENCE’s relentless, rhythmic driving was my fav.
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