Xantotol – “Thus Spake Zaratustra” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   5/31/2023   12-inch, A Library


Minimalist, ugly and relatively short-lived low fidelity black/doom metal with woozy and morose synthesizer interludes.

Very early 2nd wave out of Poland with a genuine investment in Satanism. Formed by Mala (gtr,vox) and Jacek “Venom” Szczepańsk (drms) in 1991 who would go on to create the Fullmoon Collective, a resource for disseminating Satanic literature and philosophy throughout Poland by connecting to international Satanic groups including, Order Of Nine Angels (UK), and Luciferian Light Group (USA). Influenced by Swiss projects Hellhammer and Samael, Xantotol was perhaps the first Polish trvly black metal project, eschewing interest in Paganism, National Socialism, ancestral worship or indeed anything coming from Scandinavia at the time who Szczepansk believes were still primarily playing death metal at Xantotol’s inception .

Kutno, Poland – 1995


whngr   5/31/2023   A Library, Cassette

Two 31 minute tracks of highly repetitive minimalism that evoke a natal heartbeat, a clothes dryer with a sneaker in it, or perhaps war drums. In headphones, after about eight minutes, a feeling of disorientation may result, at thirteen minutes one may feel a distortion in equilibrium, and at twenty-seven minutes a disconnection with the ego as the lizard brain begins to take over. This cassette might be therapeutic for some or potentially tortuous to others; a relaxing ceremony or an incitement to spree killing depending on the listener’s consciousness/conscience or lack thereof.

A mysterious cassette with no origin or background though it does contain a phone number that this miserable volunteer is moderately afraid to dial. What kind of mad man is behind this recording? With a hand-typed jacket and non-existent url? There is something satisfying about the lack of information however; a true oddity that harkens back to a less informed time when a strange cassette was just that. Full stop.

Davachi, Sarah – “Two Sisters” – [Late Music]

whngr   5/31/2023   A Library, CD

Dulcet Lush Minimalism

Solemn sweeps of organ, pensive church bells and somber choral passages on this beautiful and haunting album by one:

Sarah Davachi originally from Alberta,Calgary. Composer and performer with education and a slew of credentials from the University of Calgary, Mills College (Oakland) and currently is pursuing a PhD in Musicology from UCLA. Educated and deeply considered her work emphasizes subtle variations in tones and tuning, textures and timbre that allows for exploration of temporal space and the word, electroaccoustic appears several times on her online CV.

Los Angeles, California – 2022

No Visitors – “100,00 Years” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   5/17/2023   A Library, CD

Amplified Vestibular Neuronitis

More Like a hundred thousand ears… bleeding collectively into a haunted missile silo. Many varied sounds, abstract and without meter; layered perversely that growl, pierce, screech, thump, whine and drone. Weaving between moderately uncomfortable to thoroughly unnerving and intermittently is absolutely appalling; the latest release from No Visitors is a solid candidate for album of the year in the weaponized sound category. Leaning into the suffering, however, has elicited a mild psychedelic response for this miserable volunteer.

No Visitors is one Matthew Turner, the driven entity behind Rural Isolation Project and currently is avoiding whngr’s attempts to explain his aberrant behavior and motivations in a Mayhem special. Why won’t anyone fucking talk to me?!

Austin, TX – 2022

Clavicvla – “Degeneracy of The 5th Density” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

whngr   4/26/2023   12-inch, A Library

Dark-Ambient Death Mantras

Disembodied voices of the damned (and the possessed) screech through deep blackened drones. Eight tracks from the sole, and apparently, spiritually active mind of one, Ittiel. In interviews he has stated that Clavicvla should be listened to loud in a dark room to allow the penetrating effect of sound to elevate the consciousness and references both Buddhist and acosmistic (the denial of the reality of the universe and the belief that everything is an illusion; recognizing only the “infinite unmanifest Absolute [sic] as real”) philosophies. A sharply honed ideology exists (if anything truly does) behind intensely deliberate but minimal soundscapes that feel like an embrace of The Void, nihilism and of death.

Ittiel has a background in black metal (explore the more traditional instrumentation on his album, “Arsonist Prophets”) and dwells somewhere in:

Italy – 2022

Rival Prostitute – “Acid Bird” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   4/26/2023   A Library, CD

Monstrous Mysterious Noise-Wall

One giant slab of ugly feelings. Sounds like the death throe of a server room and what Albert Fish would do with a string quartet if it were made up with 6 year old children (both genders!) as they all are buried beneath an avalanche of Fiat 500’s… for an hour and nine minutes. Or maybe it’s like watching Tetsuo Iron Man on brown acid after seeing Motörhead without ear protection. Perhaps the perfect harsh noise album, it even has skulls on the cover. Mind yourself Tina, this is one angry beast. Unless you need a smoke break, and then you’ll have just enough time to get yourself to and from the inimical backveld of Lot 6… just scrape the butts out of your combat boots before returning to building 6200, you filthy degenerate.

No data is available.

No FCC’s

No remorse.


Eteraz – “Villain” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   4/26/2023   12-inch, A Library

Militant, Iranian, female-fronted, epiglottal plosive, D-beat/HXC in Farsi from the PNW.

Terrifyingly aggressive delivery from the entire cadre but the intensely confrontational vokills of front-woman Elika will steal the soul. Chainsaw guitars, laser-eyed ogre fueled bass, and machine gun drums on an unnecessarily well recorded album from Iron Lung. Many songs track or have miniscule pauses betwixt. “Innocent” bystanders may be strafed with a potentially (definitely) inflammatory anti-American/capitalist/hegemonic and (possibly) anti-Caucasian messages, though the lyrics are written in Persian one may acquire hints of the vitriolic content from the album (and track) title(s) as well as the incendiary cover-art. Danger abounds on this violence-positive EP.

NO discernable FCC’s and NO FUCKING MERCY!

Oly/WA – 2022

Wagner Ödegård – “Om Kosmos Och De Tolv Järtekn” – [Altare Productions]

whngr   4/20/2023   12-inch, A Library

Ancient Scandinavian pop ditties from the hollow hearth of an uncommon and brilliant sonic mage with few if any rivals.

I refuse to dissect the sounds on this LP as it would only cheapen the material, but I will say that it is genuine, dark, arcane, visceral, cerebral, and above all unique. The very personal treatise of a man on a journey to the center of himself, without regard to the whims or judgement of those that would deign to think of him as a peer. This is the doctrine of his spirit. His truth, without pretense.

Ödegård’s lyrics are written and vocalized in several historic languages including classic ancient Swedish, Proto-Germanic, Gothic, and young ancient Swedish with easy translation into English being difficult to impossible though he has stated that lyrical content is very important to him and that he is “… damn proud of them” utilizing friends and (I can only presume rather bookish) contacts to verify the grammar is correct though he often employs “strange syntax” to further his singular vision and reinforce his appreciation of his Scandinavian heritage.

Wagner Ödegård aka. Kumulonimbus began pushing air amidst the “third wave” with black metal luminary, Tomhet but more recently has worked primarily alone with his solo projects, Wulkanaz,  Wagner Ödegård, Jærtecken, Dughpa and others. Fiercely prolific with a broad range of instrumentation, modes, and tones but always raw, preferring to record to tape and eschewing modern digital technology; always cultivating his diverse and compelling sound and will often employ synthesizer to haunting effect and perverse hooks that lock into ones mind like the talons of a fearsome snowy owl. 

Mora, Sweden – 2020

Why Bother? – “Lacerated Nights” – [Feel It Records]

whngr   4/20/2023   12-inch, A Library

Fun Synth Punk

Downstrokes, synth, conventional drums, more synth, rock and reverb.

It is worth saying that the word “fun” for this miserable volunteer probably isn’t nearly as much of an endorsement as it is for you (and most of humanity), I want power, I want effect, I want to be grabbed by the lapels and have you sonically spit in my mouth. I want to be tested and transmuted by what I hear. I don’t want to have “fun”. Even though I’m never looking for it, it does, on occasion, happen… and apparently I have yet to lose entirely that tiny scrap of innocence, that small shred of vitality… let us call it youthful exuberance that when I find myself kinda shaking my ass a little, air drumming, and thinking about that girl I once saw with the short, dyed black hair and the crimson lips who danced to the music without a lick of self-consciousness, as if no one in the world were watching, as if the boys weren’t falling for her like bombs every time she smiled… which was nearly perpetual. This album for me is “fun” in the best possible way, irreverent to the extreme (trigger warning for track B5 “Stalker’s Stare” [sexual predation]) and often morbid, drenched in reverb and clearly dosed (A6 “Clouds”). An escape from the horrors of reality without pretending that they don’t exist. However, these guys are about as subtle like a sledge hammer and as acute as a magic eight-ball. I tend to prefer my humor, especially in music, to be as dry tinder and razor sharp; and these songs are dripping wet… in every possible sense. You’re gonna have to wring out your panties folks, maybe wash off your unit… ’cause this one is a fucking blast. 


Mason, IA – 2022

Blade Runner 2049 [coll] – [Epic]

whngr   4/20/2023   12-inch, Soundtrack

Transcendent Cinematic Synthesizer (with a pinch of colorectal cancer)

An epic soundtrack that overshadows a film that needn’t have been made. What a disappointing end to a glorious intellectual property. One might call it… a travesty. Stunning in visual design and execution but devoid of the original film’s spirit and engaging storyline. The sound however was unbelievable. Absolutely beyond arresting, the swells and the timber, the power and ability to be evocative… just off the charts. It’s almost too much, and in a theatre with the full arsenal of professional acoustic implements, especially the subwoofers, fuck me, that was one of the best arual experiences I have had in the cinema. Lucky for me ’cause it won’t play again on a system of that quality in my (likely apocalyptic) near future but you’ll get a taste of it in Master studio (when everything is working), our monitors are pretty fucking good. Just peg the volume and drink in the bass on this one boys… you’ll get your fix. 

Lilting, pensive, dark, ethereal, futuristic, the full gamut of emotions are here, fear, hope, longing, regret, if it can happen in a world at the end of civilization, it is present in this soundtrack. It bears mentioning that these two wizards of the synthesizer do their absolute damndest to fill the impossibly magnificent boots worn by Vangelis on the original hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, even including a near reprisal on the track “Tears In the Rain” (D2), but to Zimmer and Wallfisch’s credit, Vangelis did have the incredible majesty of a genuine Science Fiction masterwork behind them. At least I thought it was… ’til I saw this load of codswallop. 

And on that note… the closing track, and the only reason this LP is filed under Collections and not where it belongs, in the Z’s is due to the utter abomination that is pinched off at the end of this album, the track “Almost Human” by, Nobody Givesatoss is such a wretched pile of highly commercial film industry pap that I have seriously considered taking a bit of 100 grit silicon carbide to the closing 3/4 inches of side D (though I have kept it on my hard drive to remember what I truly loathe) and if I hear you playing that piece of shit on my source… we are gonna have words. 

Hans Zimmer appears to be one of the current golden boys of the most bloated of Hollywood’s film industry franchise molesters and got his start on the 80’s television series, Moonlighting. Schoenfisch is a London-born composer who has also supped at the teat of Hollywood in recent years and though I have seen few of the other films they have scored, either individually or the other one they worked on together (maybe I should check it out), they are capable of making totally devastating sounds together. Hopefully they won’t be hired for Full Metal Jacket II: Afghanistan Now.

Hollywood – 2017

Vulga – “Mayhem With Mercy” – [Deathrash Armageddon]

whngr   4/6/2023   12-inch, A Library

Hideous Malay Metal 

Low fidelity, highly distorted stomps for the Devil with immoderate vocal effects in moderate tempos. A beautiful and raw acoustic guitar ballad accompanied by tape hiss/background noise opens the B side.

This is garage rock spelled backwards, soaked in the blood of the jungle, recorded too early to be a rote emulation of Nordic or Northern Californian black metal; it’s more raw than Sarcofigo, stranger than Von, uglier than anything from Les Légions Noires, and far crustier than the sounds coming from Norway but the spirit is genuinely black. Strongly devoted to the rejection of notoriety, acknowledgement, or interest from anyone outside of their immediate circle of friends, they built their sound around simplicity, repetition, intensity, and a profound appreciation for British heavy metal act, Venom. A fantastically grotesque document of early black metal from Malaysia.

Formed in 1985, Vulga were a hybrid of two groups, Massrohendt and Sraet & Esimorp (Tears & Promise reversed) and this LP (recorded in ’91/’92) exhibits songs from the former on side A and the later on the reverse with some member cross-pollination… Isra Venomous (drms, vx), Baron Black Metal (bss, vx), Ancient (gtr), and a guy named Ben (gtrs, bss).

Ipoh, Parak – 2009

Tapes and Topographies – “Season of Loss, A” – [Simulacra Records]

whngr   4/6/2023   A Library, CD

Not Dark Ambient

Soothing drones in roughly five minute installments. Peaceful and pacifying, there is nothing here to test you. Nothing abrupt, nothing strange, and very little to distinguish these torpid tracks from one another excepting the only one with vocals (track 1, “Band Waves”), in Deutsch, that opens this meditative, sleep inducing, alpha wave extracting album. 

Tapes and Topographies is one Todd Gauthreaux aka Atomic/Gautreau (Tear Ceremony, Crushed Stars, Sonogram), prolific soundsman with over 60 releases under his belt (-3 to saving throw against sleep/paralysis).

Dallas, TX – 2021

Spoerri, Bruno – “Der Würger vom Tower” – [Finders Keepers Records]

whngr   4/6/2023   12-inch, Soundtrack

Swinging Electric Organ

Romping Jazz chases, throbbing standing bass, baritone chanting, tight percussion, electric curios, abstractions, piano, varied and interesting recording and post-production effects, with themes of suspense, intrigue, thrills, and a figurative and literal criminal underground. All this and more! from the lost soundtrack to an equally bizarre (cult) heist flick from (West) Germany that features a cult of hooded, subterranean villains and a story arc that is just a shade too tongue-in-cheek to be Film Noire, but is clearly informed by and is veritably frothing with tropes of the genre. The dizzying plot revolves around the lost Paravati Emerald which was stolen from a Shaivite temple, duplicated, possibly recovered, and stolen again. Kidnap! Murder! Detectives! Cigarettes! Twins! The Tower of London! Strip-tease! Very small guns, and many more Cigarettes! All enveloped in a fitting and arguably superior soundtrack from master tapes held by Spoerri himself for over fifty years. 

Bruno Spoerri is a Swiss composer, musician (saxophone, electric saxophone, clarinet), early and strong proponent of electronic and computer generated sounds, author, and producer who operates a studio in Zürich, The Studio Für Elektronische Musik Spoerri. Der Würger Vom Tower was the first of ten (to date) feature film scores but he has an exhaustingly long and varied CV that includes works for theater, commercials, documentaries, something called Multivision, Experimental film, radio, and the curious (but a little scary sounding) invention: CAJ (Computer Assisted Jazz).

Though perhaps woefully unqualified to review this album, I am doing it anyway because once again, at least in part, I enjoy the art on the cover… though I do genuinely enjoy the sounds even if it is sometimes more upbeat than I normally prefer and I have enjoyed the strange journey my penchant for quizzical and dark imagery has sent me on. That said, clever and curious volunteers may be able to find far more insightful, thorough, and verbose prose on the web or for the less acute among us, on the back of the jacket, which may speak more eloquently to the quality and to the intrigue of this true oddity, released with considerable attention to detail by Finders Keepers.

Switzerland/Germany -1966

Distruster – “World War Zero” – [Phage Tapes]

whngr   2/9/2023   A Library, Cassette

Touched Electronic Terror

A truly disturbing debut from local lone gunman, DISTRUSTER unfurls intensely dark industrial, hypno psychosis inducing, psychedelic satanic sex crime sample cult degenerate, autoerotic self-flagella-phyxation, pulsing, throbbing, beating, pounding, splitting, tearing, dying, resurrecting… in an inverted hellscape of perverse electronic derangement. 

Like the genuine mental patient I am, I had heard in high-school that if someone took LSD while viewing Eraserhead that they could be classified as legally insane. I knew this wasn’t true but still, the seed had been planted. Unfortunately, good acid and access to somebody’s (vhs) copy of one of my all-time most cherished directors would never coalesce simultaneously which, looking back was probably an uncommon bit of grace in my often ill-fated existence, and one that resulted in my still not having seen the film (as of February 2023), but here’s the thing… I genuinely suggest not listening to this while on hallucinogens. Aileen Warnous, PCP, Jim Morrison with Tourette’s, Ministry on 11 during 48 hour observation… and reel after reel of highly processed bites from the underbelly of film. There may be many more apt musical references that I’m afraid escape me as I am relatively ignorant of this genre… is this a genre? I genuinely have not heard anything quite like this.

Rumor has it that San Francisco based multidisciplinary artist MISTER DISTRUSTER is a slightly reclusive reprobate who has been known to prowl the city streets in the dead of night, probably armed, potentially lying in wait, and is the sole architect of all sound design, assembly, instrumentation, and the creator or primary conductor of visual design on this, his sole release. Further intel has unveiled, however, that there are several others in the chamber so… the less masochistic among us may want to take cover.

FCC on track one: “Coming Forth By Night” 

(There may be more, if I’m honest, but I basically lost my mind after listening to it in full, two times successively. If you hear something that should not be played outside of safe-harbor, try to scrawl it on the sleeve before you succumb. Or whisper it to me in your fever dream… and I’ll take care of the rest.)

SXF – 2022

Vukari – “Omnes Nihil” – [Vendetta]

whngr   2/9/2023   12-inch, A Library

Epic And Hollow

Massively full progressive black/death metal with quiet somber passages, choral elements, and seemingly interminable guitar leads that fill the tracks with macabre noodles (B4 “Saturn In The Eighth House”). Reverberation. Sullen. Malevolent. Brooding. Marching. Technical. Scathing. Seething. Longer tracks wind and stretch through a hellish atmosphere like a funeral procession for the Black Emperor himself, floating through a miasma of sulphuric sorrow. Complex, nearly symphonic compositions with sparing electronic accompaniment like a kind of transgressive opera. One might call it, “grandiose”… if it wasn’t so bleak. There is a perverse dichotomy that manifests between these two poles. I am not impressed by guitar virtuosity, possibly a relic of my Gilman street days where a single guitar solo could get you booed, banned, or bludgeoned, but everything else is so keenly honed and filled with unmitigated fury that even I can overlook the obscenely protracted flourishes. 

Vukari are a four-piece out of Illinois, currently signed to Vendetta Records, and active since 2013.

Chicago – 2021

Crisis Man – “Asleep In America” – [Digital Regress]

whngr   2/2/2023   12-inch, A Library

High Energy Rock n’ Roll

Accelerated and emotive, these are sounds of progress with sweat, tears, and blood soaked strings that reverberate through our flesh suits. Rattling free the cobwebs and dust of acquiescence with considerable variety in structure and delivery; shaking the corpus into action, propellant and visceral with delicious synthy interludes. I am reminded of the sounds coming from N.Y. through Toxic State Records, beautiful in its rebellion and aggressively danceable. 

This five-piece is fronted by author, Ross Farrar (Ceremony) from San Francisco and graduate of U.C. Berkeley, “Asleep In America” feels deeply examined with an air of intellect but the delivery is from the heart or maybe the loins. Vibrant and evocative. Ben Wright (Acrylics), Jess Sylvester, Nick Vicario (Autistic Youth) from Portland, OR, and Shawn Mehrens (Abi Yoyos).

Santa Rosa – 2022

Microwaves – “Discomfiture Atlas” – [Three.One.G]

whngr   2/2/2023   12-inch, A Library

Perversely Frenetic Angles

Aggressively fractured art-rock with metallic elements and irregular time signatures applied with strange vehemence. Full sounding and note-intensive, the tone is a kind of disturbed resignation to a bizarre landscape that lacks optimism but perhaps not whimsy. A kind of mid-western Jazz is reprezzented on more strings than should be on an electric guitars with played with technical aplomb and electronic abstract elements. A clever and confrontational outing that might remind one of the illustrious MX-80 Sound or Voivod with spoken/shouted vocals and fever dream lyrics. Noisy and splintered, this is sonic high-math delivered with a deranged pessimism, and perhaps a resignation to eventual extraterrestrial incursion and then… dominance.

Microwaves are Dave Kuzy and John Roman (Brown Angel) accompanied by a retinue of complicit musicians including, Eric Paul (Arab on Radar, Doomsday Student, Psychic Graveyard), Sarah Quintero (Spotlights), Rebecca Burchette (Exosus), and Todd Rittman (Dead Rider).

Philadelphia, PA – 2022

Hiram – “Immersion” – [Home & Garden Music]

whngr   2/2/2023   A Library, CD

Quiet Natural Meditation

Minimalism stretched into almost 39 minutes of contemplative inner discovery with accompaniment by crickets, birds, empty space, pensive flute, possibly some sort of synthesizer, and your own inner dialog. Put this on before your Reiki treatment, ignite the white sage, align your crystals, your chakras, and your misguided intentions while you relax into the false security of your laying on of hands ceremony and pretend that you will be healed. Put all of your trust into faith healing and miraculous power of belief as you tell yourself that your suffering has purpose and that all will be well while you enjoy the sounds of insects desperate to mate before their short life is extinguished possibly by the birds that contribute to the duet. Remind yourself that this too shall pass… though in this albums case it will take a while. One long painless track, unless you are a cricket or a punk rocker and then strap in… it’s going to be brutal.

Hiram is one Matthew Himes, interdisciplinary artist and musician from Minnesota who has committed 20 years to marrying “…traditional and natural elements combined with new techniques and technology, forming a bridge between past and present, and connecting self to space.”  (from matthewhiram.com)

Minneapolis – 2022

Deadform – “Deadform” – [Brainsand]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, Cassette

Oakland It Hurts

Feels sick and hopeless with despair. Five sonnets scrawled in the illegible script of the forsaken psychiatrist who has given up on the oath of Hippocrates, wrote on the gutter stained prescription pad of a life filled with abuse, confusion, and loss. Moderately fierce, feverishly despondent, three-piece sludge merchants/doom-saints crust out with chugging and a few perverted nods to Iommi. Unsettling samples/ambience, furious kit abuse, and a bit of slightly cringe worthy guitar leads that are rough and pinchy but paradoxically enjoyable… with riffs and guttural bellows that stretch bestial tendrils into the primordial lizard brain. The endless search for heaviness continues by one of the absolute paragons of the dark crafts and cultivator of an unmistakably regional sound that effectively channels profound mental illness into a life devoted to suffering.  An arguably noble, if hellish, cause that has grabbed many of us by our foundations, executed by one…

Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder, Noothgrush) drummer and vocalist of profound influence with bassist Brian Clouse (Stormcrow, Fema Coffin), and Judd Hawk (Laudanum) on guitar. 

When AIDS slid this into my box and I discovered Dino was up to something new I went straight to the internet to see if I could cop a feel off b-camp and was immediately enthused but when I went to dub the cassette it sounded pretty fucking murky. Sometimes that can be good… but I decided that I would purchase the FLACs for a bit of unit measurin’. Whose do you prefer #6’s dirty as fuck analog contribution or my super clean, soulless offering built with ones and zeros. They are both on the cd. Mark your preferrence, ya slag, and I’ll tally all two of your meek little votes, and award the winner with absolutely nothing… at the end of never.

Oakland CA – 2022

Mo*Te – “Regulate Body Temperature” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, CD

Strange washes of mid-weight noise with distorted child-like melodies.

A child is playing alone quietly in the dayroom as the sun from the window stretches in oblique angles over the wall and floor, suddenly the air expands, making the windows flex gently as the crayon drawings taped to the colorful, muralled walls flutter and then fall to the carpet ornamented by friendly fish… our little one has discovered the gift of telekinesis and the blocks they were playing with begin to spiral into the air in a helical anomaly. Life will never be the same.

MO*TE is one  Fumiyuki Nagura of Saitama. Solo noise artist with at least 41 releases stretching back to 1995 and who was inactive from 2000 to 2009.
Japan – 2022

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