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Malamud, Bernard / Roth, Philip [coll] – [CMS Records, Inc]

whngr   5/14/2020   12-inch, A Library

Two authors read from their works about living in the squalor of the immigrant tenements  during the middle of the 20th century. Depressing and desperate, the characters are feeble, sick, wounded, and consumed with both the petty conflicts and survival within their shabby miserable flats. Thoughtful, bleak and insightful with faithful representations of the dialect and perspective of the Jewish men from that time.

Blonksteiner, Alexander – “Cannibal Apocalypse” – [Death Waltz Recording Co]

whngr   5/4/2020   12-inch, Soundtrack

A horrible Italian flick provides the vehicle for an excellent soundtrack for its time, providing a groovy, funked out background for nibbling on necks or shaking your polyester clad ass at your next retro-themed spooky dance party (DM me for deets). Walking bass lines build tension, wistful flute takes it away. Piano, smokey saxophone, classical guitar, funk guitar, viola, synth, drums, all in line with other Italian scores of the period. But this isn’t a zombie movie or an art movie. It’s not scary, sexy, or understandable. It’s an absolute mess is what it is: A band of deranged flesh chompers and deviants lead by the sometimes hero and reluctant cannibal Norman Hopper (John Saxon) who contracts some sort of affliction while serving in the Vietnam War along with a few other members of his unit where upon returning stateside they are compelled fuck shit up and take a few bites of passerby along the way. So, this is far from cinema. More of a drive-in make-out movie for October 1980 and the sounds on this LP reflect that. Part horror/suspense and part European skin-flick score, the film isn’t sure what it is either. However it was one of the 39 films successfully prosecuted and banned in the UK during Britain’s Video Recording Act of 1984. Apparently the version I was able to track down was the American version which was heavily edited to receive an R rating down from an X which explains a lot for me. This is just a bad movie (bad to the bone). It is spitting in the face of convention just for the sake of doing it. Shaking the cages of the dominant paradigm, rebellious and misguided, it attempts to forge new ground by melding two naughty genres to create something that no one would be proud of… excepting one A. Blonksteiner (Alexander/Alessandro). It’s weird, it’s funky, and it is unacceptable to take bites out of your neighbor’s pervy under-age daughter but if you jus’ wanna shake yo’ thang to these killer grooves Honey, that is just fine.

White Gourd – “Magician Le Diable” – [Psychic Sound Recordings]

whngr   5/3/2020   12-inch, A Library

Meandering Occult Abstraction

Choral sounds weave through strata of alto saxophone and murmuring electronics calling to mind a corruption of Gregorian chants that cast aural spells and conjure sonorous spirits to dance among flickering candles and tiny tumbling plumes of fragrant smoke in a strange and meditative ritual. Tumbling hand percussion and shimmering cymbals conjoin with empty space and swells of ambient abstractions. Repetitive bass lines, raspy cries, pulses of minimalist organ both beautiful and haunting until the very end when the sounds begin to unravel into a menacing admonition of devil worship.White Gourd is the conceptual realm of Suzanne Stone (Million Brazilians) whose live performances employ(ed) tarot imagery and ominous theater that draw the audience into a confrontational and disturbing dream-realm of the crooked mage and her corrupted sonic familiars. A performance that I aspire to witness if and when the plague of men subsides. Compelling cover art designed and printed Grant Corum.

ReplyForward

Acrylics – “Sinking In” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   5/2/2020   12-inch, A Library

Driving Spooky Hardcore

Santa Rosa’s Acrylics are rowdy. They’re pissed-off, they’re tripped-out, and they are chock full of cake. Between a deluge of down-stroke hooks and squealing feedback you’ll find ethereal, reverb soaked washes of melancholic guitar diving through synthesizer oscillations, vigorous drum-kit malice with beautifully crisp strikes to the snare (throat), and a bass throttling worthy of misdemeanor assault. Orbiting around the churning electric guitar, these tracks are adroitly mixed, emotive, and raw with a glistening dollop of psychedelia (scope the liner notes and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPGhsQo_4UE. to witness their enigmatic cake theme). There is a killer intro, a beautifully ominous ending and two meandering interludes that offer brief respites from the suffering, confusion, and venom that is spread liberally over the rest of the recording. In contrast to the introspective and personal lyrics the sounds emitted are aggressive, confrontational and is, in its essence, an album that provides the perfect backdrop for skating pools, serrated spatula fights, and eating cake… or perhaps all three at once.

A Mild Case of Split Wrists [coll] – [John Wiese]

whngr   4/21/2020   7-inch, A Library

Asmr For Automatons

Two moderately noisy tracks on this 45 by Joe Colley of Crawl Unit and John Wiese that worry, wither, and writhe. Machines crunch, tap, whir, crackle, and grind. Chirp, pulse, short, falter, and fade over near sub-sonic rumbles that though neither overtly harsh nor necessarily amiable may provide the listener with a subliminally calming experience. 

These two sound sculptors have come together again to create a sonic curio for your perusal. Packaged neatly in a succinct and aesthetically pleasing jacket, this single from 2007 will flicker through your awareness, be forgotten, and settle in your subconscious to perhaps live again in dreams of hypnotized machinery.

Gendreau, Michael – “Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado” – [Public Eyesore]

whngr   4/21/2020   A Library, CD

Danger! Extreme Minimalism


A harrowing experience for dj’s awaits. Can you handle the silence, low levels, and diminutive sounds of equipment failure? Soft low-frequency purrs, machines turning slowly, empty space, a distant dog barking, muffled speech from down the hall, near sub-sonic drone, abrupt crashes of abstraction. Arrhythmic plinks, plunks, bumps, thumps, and clicks. White-noise. Automobile traffic from 9 miles away, android insects, footsteps, infrasonic vibrations, and a decrepit lathe. 
San Francisco based acoustician Michael Gendreau produces four tiny aural engravings that  might cause you to peer at the cd player querulously and consider notifying Engineering about yet another cd player giving up the ghost. However, this is all according to plan as Gendreau’s work on low noise and vibration for buildings implies a focus on space and the site-specific sounds produced therein.

Ifukube, Akira – “Atragon” – [Toshiba-EMI Limited]

whngr   4/20/2020   CD, Soundtrack

When you’re freezing kaiju you may want to employ a giant flying submarine/drill manned by a stoic crew of fearless Japanese men and when you want aural accompaniment to the saving of the world from a subterranean race of scantily clad aristocracy you may as well select a composer profoundly familiar with colossi of every imaginable breadth, heft, and height, Akira Ifukube (Ah-key-rah Ee-fhoo-coo-bay). The man behind the scores to Godzilla(1954), Rodan(1956), Mothra vs. Godzilla(1962), Daimajin(1964), and 175 other titles that he wrote before his death in 2006 along with myriad other compositions that were part of video games connected with the films and many other projects that would borrow his works posthumously.
You know the score, orchestral marches, tense viola, timid xylophone, over-blown trumpet, vintage spooky operatic wails, huge resonate cello, sultry oboe, querulous piano, thunderous timpani, worrying organ, shimmering cymbals, terror inducing tuba… all standard fare for the Japanese mega-monster flick by the man whose compositions would become synonymous with the genre.
A powerful and sometimes beautiful soundtrack to a less than amazing film. One worth watching despite it’s dismissable plot and mediocre performances, primarily for the laboriously complex period special effects and a glimpse into yesteryear’s swelling appetite for “blockbusting” science-fiction cinema.

Deny The Cross – “Alpha Ghoul” – [Tankcrimes]

whngr   3/30/2020   12-inch, A Library

Total Fucking Battery

45- local- power-violence- brutal- grind- hXc- hooks- misanthropy- heretical- raspy- note-intensive bass runs- blast beats- way too fucking short.Members of Spazz, Agents Of Satan, Municipal Waste, Plutocracy, Exit-13, Black Army Jacket, et al. lay down 18 tracks of bleak and devastating brilliance on this EP from 2016. I’m sorry that I never witnessed these bad-asses do their thing ’cause it is basically like my fucking dream sound ca. 1995 with nods to the M.I.t.B. bass slide thing and everything so I’m pretty sure I would have pissed myself. Now the country is on lock-down and the likelihood of pissing myself in public has become vastly less likely. Their drummer (Dave Witte) has moved back east, the majority of world is obliging to the empirical request to sequester, the economy has faltered if not begun to collapse, and this, like most of my dreams which lay in cinders around me, will never see fruition. Coincidentally that kind of negativity is a fitting mindset for an appraisal of Alpha Ghost. Though thematically a thread of recusancy, Heterodoxy, and the profane (no discernible FCC’s but FCC on Hospital Ballads [B3]) run throughout this blistering, seething, pane of wax, lyrically these songs are overtly personal and emotive. Staying true to the genre but pushing the envelope of technique, expression, and to my mind, relevancy. 

-Hospital Ballads (B3)   Uninsured Fucked, inhaling disease Skin is scaling From inside I bleed Uninsured System in shock Blood is contaminated My teeth crack and rot I am not immune
  C. Ramirez  2016

The cover-art is appropriate as well, which in this time of sweeping global pandemic, can only be interpreted as God sneezing on his flock.

“I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.”

REV:15

Ascended Dead – “Abhorrent Manifestations” – [Dark Descent Records]

whngr   3/30/2020   12-inch, A Library

Death Metal Fusillade

A massacre of iniquitous proportions surround a single track of euphonious yet unholy classical guitar (A5 Dormant Souls) that includes an adept cover of Last Ritual by death metal fore-bearers Possessed (B4). Wrathful drum abuse, shredding, battery, slicing, dive-bombing, guttural bellowing, finger picking, and ominous wind by this four-piece from San Diego, Portland, and then San Diego again. The drumming stands out on this album though the guitar work is also quite ferocious with a considerable amount of virtuosity which, for this miserable volunteer, is not necessarily, or even usually, a complement but Ascended Dead have unfurled an admirably vicious first album of extremely high-energy death metal that though forging little new ground does willfully and with malice aforethought lay waste to what remains of the blackened earth bequeathed to them by their progenitors.

Bölzer – “Hero” – [Iron Bonehead Productions]

whngr   3/19/2020   12-inch, A Library

Crushing Expressive Two-piece

Impressively full sounding guitar work and a decisive pummeling from these two beasts from Sweden circa 2016. Incredibly heavy riffs with gnarly hooks that will impregnate themselves and swell in your brain like an intracranial hematoma, spewing sonic devastation in to the folded lobes of sentience. To attempt to slide Hero into any single genre minimizes the incredible effort and accomplishment of this album, they draw expansively from several and yet still carve out some territory that is decidedly unique. Rest assured, this is metal but I’ll warrant you haven’t heard anything quite like it. The bass is handled proficiently by Okoi Therry Jones and the upper detuned strings of his ten-string guitar (WTF?) but what ultimately strikes this miserable volunteer dumb are the melodies that are spread liberally between the rhythm. From shimmering chords to single-note picking like a crow stabbing away in a metered pattern at its quarry, to a proliferation of trem-picked savagery. And then there are the drums. A massive barrage awaits. Raining down from the heavens and crashing into his skins like a mighty ocean against its craggy shore. Unfortunately, I simply am not qualified to speak on drum technique or potential influences, but I can speak to Fabian Wyrsch’s ability: this guy fucking batters. There is a deeper resonance though. Something beyond the instrumentation or style. It seems to me that this is a highly personal project, one with an ethos and a trajectory. Complex concepts that are alluded to but not thoroughly revealed. A tenuous step towards arcane knowledge and the spiritual realm and off the well beaten path of the Luciferian, the atheist, or the heretic and forging ground more akin to the Magi or the Shaman. Hero endeavors to partially break away from the sound of their previous recordings, sparingly employing some clean vocals that may make you want to initially pan this release or maybe you’re too cvlt for Bölzer’s first LP which is respectable. I appreciate your narrow mindset, you are thoroughly dedicated to the banner that you have been waving for the last few years or decades but I am a multi-faceted monster. One with a fairly short attention span that craves stimulation (perhaps you know of what I speak), so when a band takes a chance and leaves the confines of their following’s expectations my ears will tend to twist towards the sounds not yet heard. The ones begging to be processed. An often remunerating endeavor. I advise you to do the same. You will be rewarded, if not in this life… then perhaps the next.

Blodulv – “III – Burial” – [Eerie Art Records]

whngr   3/19/2020   A Library, CD

Ugly Swedish Black-metal

Straight-ahead mid to up-tempo misanthropic black metal from Sweden circa 2005 book-ended by two abstractions (Intro: vocal-based aggressive noise, Outro: delay-based artifact loop). Gallops, riffs, trem-picked power chords, lumbering, and methodical. Heavily distorted vocals and primitive bXm guitar… might be some bass and drums in there too but they are so buried and weak in the mix they were appear to have been afterthought. The band which may or may not have included a drum machine designated Dr. M (which was dumped for “failing to obey orders”) was subsequently replaced by Mr. Maachinaa and according to AEIFUR (lyrics) in an interview over a decade passed, 

“We have never rehearsed, and we never will. We only see each other once every two months when we get together to record, but then that cold feeling of luciferian(sic) darkness appears almost immediately”

Taking pride in their low quality and antiquated equipment, which must have contributed to the lame recording/mixing of III-Burial, they also appear to revel in their drunkenness , or perhaps they want their listeners to (falsely) emulate their self-destructive behavior to hasten their demise as is their total commitment to the downfall of humanity. Sadly, the band failed to survive that long as the fraying tethers of society wouldn’t truly begin to snap until March of 2020. I applaud Blodulv’s lack of refinement, it harkens back to simpler, punker, times but… they might have benefited by spending a little more time together in the room before they hit ‘record’, though I guess we shan’t ever know. On the other hand perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today, facing immanent collapse, if it were not for this, the final recording by Blodulv, maybe we’d still marching toward “progress” were it not for their parting shot at a crumbling global civilization.

Diocletian – “Amongst The Flames Of A Bvrning God” – [Profound Lore Records]

whngr   3/18/2020   A Library, CD

Horrifying Kiwi Death-metal

All aboard the good ship Pummel-the-Corpse-in-to-Oblivion! Though on-line sources say that this album marks a step away from Diocletian’s supremacy over the New Zealand metal scene, with the loss of several key members, and a return to their earlier less refined sound Amongst The Flames Of A Burning God is still a powerful missive and a shot across the bow of any metal-clad war-ship upon the seven seas. Diocletian has come under fire by some of their fans and though not quite as epic or as rotund as their previous release (2014’s Gesundrian), this recording is a stripped-down, back-to-basics aural assault, as well as a hefty (if rather short) and terrifying album. A little tech, a little death, a bit of power, a lot of violence, a dollop of doom, and a mighty slathering of war and rage! Fucking christ! These guys are full-on! Blast beating, double-kick thundering, thrashing, pick scraping, solo shredding, guttural bellowing, guttural barking, guttural yelling, a single tasteful pinch-harmonic, and an abundance of not so tasteful (but kinda awesome) trem dives. Which might provide a possible bridge between death metal and power violence or perhaps doom metal and war metal if, like myself, you sometimes like to throw a hybrid into your set for smooth transitions between genres.

Burial Hex – “Hierophant, The” – [Handmade Birds]

whngr   3/14/2020   12-inch, A Library

A pensive and surreal excursion over a sultry dreamscape comprised of rolling fields of long-grass that bend against a gentle wind like the breath of a dying god, knolls of indifference dotted with gilded copses of oak trees, festooned with gossamer webs of regret and doubt. Timid worrying brooks like forgotten tears that course wistfully through archaic ravines like the lines that were once traced over the body of a long-lost lover. Towards sprawling meditative oceans whose nacreous waves crash upon rocky coasts, inimical under the hyalescent sky. Somewhere amidst this oneiric terrain lies an ancient catacomb and within its crumbling walls roams the Minotaur, the last of all living beasts, ageless and eternal.
Though I was only superficially cognizant of Burial Hex, in part due to the sprawling and voluminous magnitude of his releases, it still was apparent that The Hierophant was a departure for Clay Ruby. While continuing to blend electronic and conventional instrumentation, avant-garde and noise elements, haunting plaintive vocals, bells, piano, heavily effected guitar and bass guitar, synthesizer, drums, brass, strings both bowed and plucked; there now appear to be lesser drawn upon and even novel arrows in his quiver. Forlorn howling and shrieking, guttural articulation, off-pitch crooning ,crickets, whispers, and wind. Mixed adeptly by the seemingly ubiquitous James Plotkin, this outing from 2014 avoids comfortable categorization.
These five compositions feel deeply scrutinized with a profound awareness of phrasing, there is no hint of improvisation. Every sound has purpose and the billowing space between these sounds give them life and punctuation reminding one of Whitman, Joyce, or Chaucer. Like the parable of Icarus it draws an arc towards an impossibly lofty target, where even when the mark is missed, a pivotal tale is told for all men that follow. A lesson for humanity so that it might grow and a offer a warding from ill-fated paths charted with hubris and folly. And though I may have thought that this album had at times missed its target, perhaps appearing pretentious or grandiose, I found after several listens I began to soften and then to be captivated. After many more it seemed, the issue was not with The Hierophant but with myself. That in fact, it was a riddle to be solved, and that I was a part of the magnificent solution. 

Malone, Kali – “Sacrificial Code, The” – [Ideal Recordings]

whngr   3/13/2020   12-inch, A Library

Resplendent pulls from Scandinavian pipe organs on these beautifully performed minimalist dirges from American composer Kali Malone. Closely mic-ed to allow the listener to hear the subtle mechanics underneath the enervate drones. Breathtaking and meditative minor-key monophonic and sparse polyphonic notes held for gloriously long durations. Banishing the hollow sentiments of folly and mirth, we are ushered towards introspection, longing, and reverence. Hauntingly seductive, there is little inference to Christian philosophies or doctrine on this understated and elegant double LP other than the track titles which speaks to the dichotomy between Malone’s relationship to the church and to the organs they contain. 

She states, “In my mind, it was still so connected to the traditions of the church, It wasn’t yet sonically liberated from that particular setting and culture for me.” 

These pieces resonate with the essence of my being, the immaculate tone and timbre vibrating for what feels like an eternity. The only allusion to rhythm being the 1:08 minute track on side D, Hagakyrka Bells (D1). The prelude to a live performance with Ellen Arkbro in the Haga parish of Gothenburg in April of 2018.

Vatican Shadow – “Byzantine Private CIA” – [Hospital Productions]

whngr   3/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

Warm pulses, decaying throbs, slithering oscillations, languid drone, and ghostly abstractions to lull you into a somnolent repose.
Dark-ambient, light-industrial, with dulcet techno leanings and in curious contrast with the packaging and imagery suggested by the track titles listeners will find themselves swimming in a soothing bath of audial electronics.

This 2019 vinyl re-release of the 2010 cassette by the prolific Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Cold Cave, Tortured Hooker, et al.), architect and founder of Hospital Productions, Byzantine Private CIA is a lush journey through a shadow-world of clandestine energies vying for control of our subconscious minds. Though at times somber and perhaps unsettling for some, it is in its entirety, a lavish slide through the dreams of an undercover operative deep within enemy lines.

Oil Thief – “Colony, The” – [Chondritic Sound]

whngr   2/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Sinister industrial sounds that utilize inexorable rhythms to pummel the listener in to subjugation before repeated dustings by complex layers of often mellifluous noise and abstractions are applied that sooth, divert, and console at which point the bludgeoning continues, beckoning us to the dance floor.

Electronic beats, squeals, formidable thumps, violin, static, synthesizer, drones, footsteps, foghorns, echoes, pulses, modulated voices, choral elements, organ, and a bit of anguished yells just towards the conclusion. Oil Thief is the solo project of Lee Landey, Bass player of the heavy psychedelic project Wand from Los Angeles (Excellent and represented in our Library). And… we’d like to welcome you to the party Doctor Dark-Industrial, may I introduce you to Lady Techno and her bastard son, Light-Noise. They’re going to guide you through a tour of your subconscious, casting a strobe light upon your nightmares and the deep-seeded neuroses of your battered inner-child but along the way you’ll meet a primal God-queen that will bless you with a wreath of profound beauty, pin you with the coveted Medal of Introspective Valour, and kiss your cheek with lips like a blooming rose. Released in 2019 in a gorgeous (double) jacket and limited to 300 copies, The Colony is a tightly woven dichotic tapestry. Statuesque and erudite, a beautifully constructed cloak of contrasting elements that are confrontational and heavy yet lovingly adorned with a sumptuous array of conciliatory sonic ornament by a thoughtful, adroit, and considerate architect.

Shit and Shine – “Doing Drugs, Selling Drugs” – [Riot Season]

whngr   2/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Electronic Brain-melting Curb-stomp

Ponderous drums, squealing guitars, thundering bass, decaying riffs, binary disruption, affected vocal gripes, slightly buried guitar noodling, synthesizer, Musique concrète, dirge, aural sculpture. Heavily effected everything. Intensity of hardcore punk, complexity of jazz, both highly percussive and at times arrhythmic, psychedelic, unnerving, base, guttural defiling of nuance yet clever and informed. An excellent album for segueing between noise/industrial and sludge/power-violence. Shit and Shine is the London based project of Craig Clouse. Originally from Texas, which certainly explains some of the shit kicking qualities along with the cover art, t’was formed in 2004 and as of the time of this writing has released 13 full length recordings and several other splits, singles, and comps, has played on Brian Turner’s show on WFMU, has been awarded slot eighty-eight on NME’s The 100 Greatest Albums You’ve Never Heard list, and is fairly heavily represented in our Library, one of them being the aforementioned prize winner, “Jealous of Shit and Shine” (Riot Season Records). Recommended for alienating daytime listeners and making jockeys heart skip beats when it sounds like the cd player siezed for perpetuity before they realize that it is one of only three-hundred LP’s and vinyl don’t skip like that son.

Electronic brain-melting curb-stomp.Heavy drums, squealing guitars, thundering bass, decaying riffs, binary disruption, affected vocal gripes, slightly buried guitar noodling, synthesizer, Musique concrète, dirge, aural sculpture. Heavily effected everything. Intensity of hardcore punk, complexity of jazz, both highly percussive and at times arrhythmic, psychedelic, unnerving, base, guttural defiling of nuance yet clever and informed. An excellent album for segueing between noise/industrial and sludge/power-violence. Shit and Shine is the London based project of Craig Clouse. Originally from Texas, which certainly explains some of the shit kicking qualities along with the cover art, t’was formed in 2004 and as of the time of this writing has released 13 full length recordings and several other splits, singles, and comps, has played on Brian Turner’s show on WFMU, and has been awarded slot eighty-eight on NME’s The 100 Greatest Albums You’ve Never Heard list. Recommended for alienating daytime listeners and making jockeys heart skip beats when it sounds like the cd player siezed for perpetuity before they realize that it is one of only three-hundred LP’s and vinyl don’t skip like that son.

. Recommended for alienating daytime listeners and making jockeys heart skip beats when it sounds like the cd player siezed for perpetuity before they realize that it is one of only three-hundred LP’s and vinyl don’t skip like that son.

Livid – “Life Is Pain Life Is Shit” – [No Time Records]

whngr   2/20/2020   A Library, Cassette

Ghastly Detuned Bludgeoning


This menacing two-piece out of Kenosha, Wisconsin draw down on your sense of well being with a furious rage. Dirge, guttural bellows, feedback, blast beats, seedy samples, hair lashing, and neck snapping hXc riffage. Shake, rattle, and roll yourself off the precipice, brush the gravel off yer face, reset your shoulder, spit out a coupla’ teeth, let the blood to stream down your scowling visage, drag yourself up the cliff, and do it all over again on side B. @Bear’s_D.licious_honey, @slam_pit_with_loaded_deer_rifles, @PowerViolence, @TravisBickle, @Spock, @realtree_nail_bat, @malice_aforethought, @bring_a_straight_edge_to_hammered_fight
FCC on “Coward” (A4-B4) “Fuckin’ bitch”

Grim – “Psycho Sun” – [Steinklang Industries]

whngr   2/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

Semi-solo project of Japanese avant-noise artist Kunagawa Jun of White Hospital evokes feelings of touring a sanitorium and visiting with a variety of lunatics exhibiting an array of symptoms, ailments, and behaviors. Indecipherable, unhinged mantras informed by the traditional folk music of Tibet wind through the album, sprinkled with organ and elements of musique concrete. Tribal drums interlaced with arrhythmic scrap yard percussion, haunting terrestrial melodies (A6-Radio Wave Church), electronic abstraction and alien instrumentation at times both beautiful and sad (B2- Glorious Tower), elsewhere primal and frightening (B3-Dharma), the album closes with the title track which borrows (perhaps unintentionally) from Devo’s – Mongoloid, pierces it with buried squeals of feedback as Kunagawa unspools his depiction of a mad monk losing his way upon The Path of the bodhi.
Compelling and challenging, stark and complex. Psycho Sun is raw and extemporaneous while simultaneously appearing carefully cultivated and refined. Both ritualistic and improvised, reverent and profane with an emphasis on contrast very much in line with Kunagawa’s visual aesthetic; there is beauty within the horror and a lucidity beneath the madness.

Armagedda – “Only True Believers” – [Drakkar Productions]

whngr   2/5/2020   A Library, CD

Straight-ahead Scandinavian Black-metal

Pvre, hermitic Swedish black metal without frills. Cold, grim, and cvlt, all the elements of trve Nordic metal are present with notable exception being the samples culled from final episode of Twin Peaks (original series) pinned to the opening and closing of this album from 2003 and a few fleeting death and doom metal aspects (tempo changes and solos). A bonus track was tacked to the end of this release of wind howling through the trees with a meandering spooky synth. This was the second full-length release by reclusive two-man black metal outfit Armagedda which was comprised of Andreas Petterson and Stefan Sandström (A. and Graav) who haled from the secluded forests of Lapland, the northernmost county of Norrland, itself the northernmost region of Sweden; cold, desolate, unforgiving, dark for half the year. Salient as these young men were so isolated and resolute in their worship of nature that they would ultimately abandon the project and the world of men… barring the inception of Nordvis Produktion 2005, the label run by Petterson which according to interviews is considered to be more of a commune of like-minded spirits, especially their collective reverence of nature and humanity’s insignificance when compared to her power and immensity. The word that A. employs is, vast which adds a desirable element in my opinion. Although Armagedda’s sound is concertedly informed by the Norwegian forefathers of 2nd wave black metal, Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, et al. there is an element of isolation that pervades their releases. Here Andreas describes a German tour that the band left before its end:
“We were young and lived in a world which consumed us, and the other way around. As the tour progressed, I remember a mounting distance between us and the remaining bands. Another memory forever etched in my head is an evening when we found a secluded forest area where we sat down by ourselves with an old tape-recorder, just enjoying the sound of something other than people speaking German. A great relief at the time, to be sure.” – A. Petterson
With Graav retiring from music and A. distancing himself from the black metal genre this album is widely considered to be the apex of Armagedda’s form and, in the opinion of this miserable volunteer, an excellent example of devastating sonic misanthropy.

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