Gravkvade – “Grav|Aska” – [Avantgarde Music]

whngr   4/13/2021   12-inch, A Library

In the village of Uddevalla, Västra Götaland lies a terrible beast. Veiled in darkness, misery seeps from its horrible maw, declaiming the brilliance of mercy and espousing the merit of suffering. No quarter will be asked… nor given.   The black metal of one Ezra Nattkaos (Nihilistic Pain) is cold, unrelenting, and isolated. Dreary atmospheric interludes cling to the tracks like frost on the skeletal limbs of ancient forests forgotten by man. 

Released in 2018, with chilling shrieks provided by Domedag (Svältvinter, Vomitrot, On the Altar).

The mirthless tale of Grav|Aska is bleak and sorrowful. An empty landscape where despair reigns evermore in a twilight realm of bottomless woe. 

Cedars of Lebanon, The – “Archive” – [Limited Warfare]

whngr   4/13/2021   A Library, CD

Dark, harrowing ambiance with Middle Eastern influence.

Where a haunting spell is left to bleed the saint and to propel the Imam through an atmosphere filled with exotic spice, myrrh, and the prayers of the pious to a remote and vacuous space where God is honored amid the oceans of sand and waves of heat. Nearby a concubine eats pomegranate and watches the Eagle-Owl in its ornate geometric cage made of gold and olive wood while she waits for the arrival of her Sultan. However, he won’t be coming. His thickening blood seeps into the elaborate robes he wore for the hunt, his body swaying back and forth inside the palanquin on the party’s return to the palace having been slain by a great marauding cheetah, or alfahd, that sprang from concealment in the dry, wispy grass before being killed herself in a chaotic eruption of musket fire. The Sultan’s soul will never again cross the threshold of his qasr, where the rusty gate swings morosely in the wind.

Sorrowful viola, dulcimer, lilting guitar, drone, bells, samples, abstractions, a myriad variety of percussion (could be anything), and echoes everywhere.

Cedars of Lebanon are, Anthony Couri ( Lake of Violet), Jamie Drier (on You, The Swan King), and Mike Ricketts (Dismiss, Larva, onYou, Planes Mistaken For Stars). Recorded June 18, 2001 in the Platte River tunnels of Colorado.

Blood Rhythms – “Universe Spills Out of a Spider’s Bowels, The” – [No Part of It]

whngr   4/13/2021   A Library, CD

Released in September of 2020, Arvo Zylo lays down some harsh heavy drone with meaty durations and song titles I look forward to saying on-air.

Unnerving themes to nightmares. Slipping out from a synthetic cocoon woven with the itchy fibres of psychosis. Fissures, machines, terror.

Unfurl your dusty wings and fly like Icarus toward the brilliance of your imminent demise. The instrumentation is irrelevant. Close your eyes and die.

Controlled Death – “Requiem For The Boundless Flesh” – [Urashima]

whngr   4/6/2021   7-inch, A Library

Ambi-Idustrial Horror-Noise from Masonna

Not quite crushing noise in ten parts. Five seven inched singles with each side being at least five minutes of moderately uncomfortable beauty. Quiet enough to grab your attention and horrifying enough to keep it. 

Terrible vocals bend and twist through heavily distorted filters amidst an agitating and sometimes meditative backdrop of electronic abstractions. Echoes abound.

Controlled Death is one Masonna (Yamazaki Maso) of Osaka, Japan (originally Kyoto) who is part of the first wave of underground sound production and noise whose performances are notorious for their unpredictability. Connected with many diverse and bizarre projects including Christine 23, Space Machine, Bustmonsters, Flying Testicle (A collaboration of Masami Akita [Merzbow]), Acid Eater, and Angel’in Heavy Syrup, and manager of Jojo Hiroshige’s Alchemy Music Store until its recent closure.

One quick note on the housing for these lil’ demons, absolutely gorgeous laser etched black wooden box and an interior containing more black with gold foil accents limited to 308 copies.

Gates – “A Mask Hidden In Memory” – [Hypaethral]

whngr   4/6/2021   A Library, Cassette

Sleepy Creepy Un/Comfortable SpaceGuitar based ambience and feedback with minimalist electronics.

Bleak drones, hums and aural shapes coexist in subterranean echo chambers of unearthly horrors or a sonic sculpture of your anxieties suspended in alien space. Track 5 is a reinterpretation of The Passing State of Plurality by Aidan Baker and includes an outlying instrument, drums played gently and with swelling complexity behind slightly more glitchy drones.

pulses / waves / plunks / squeaks / drone / soft percussion

Gates is one Bryan W. Bray (Jugurtha and formerly Demonic Possessor) of Toronto, ON.

Wrnlrd – “Mask of Hate” – [Order of The Cloven Eye]

whngr   4/6/2021   A Library, CD

Fugly Bedroom Black-metal

Strange ambient tides of murk and gloom that allude to the Witches Sabbath layered between tirades of atonal, blaring guitars distorted into oblivion.

buried trash-can drums that lurch and lick at cymbals / plaintive wails, beastial growls, and screeches / rumbling abstraction / misery, despair, asymmetric dissonance / moribund sound collage 
Thin and hollow oddities dance before melancholy interludes before plunging once again into unfettered, blackened rage.

Lone gunman, Wrnlrd (who states in interviews, “can be pronounced any way you like”) of Arlington, VA is informed, influenced by, and once played American traditional music (probably still does) and has employed the instruments of this heritage including banjo and accordian in his compositions and recognizes parallels to Blind Lemon and Dock Boggs in USBM. Yup, works for me. However you get there man, but with the genuine ingenuity and sprawling variation on “Mask of Hate”, will make a misery aligned volunteer eager to hear more from this buried giant.

Wood, Hank and The Hammerheads – “Use Me” – [Toxic State]

whngr   4/4/2021   7-inch, A Library

Taught, twangy, Punk/Garage/Rock from NYCity. Guitars swimming in reverb, emphatic pleas and vows, and a well rehearsed rhythm section mixed well with just a taste of yearning organ.

Sentimental with 3 fingers of mental. Devastating hooks that get buried in one’s brain and knead the memory, finding woozy moments of romance, passion, and hope (no longer present in this miserable volunteer). Four hot sticky cuts that pulse and sway like a heart that cares not that it will soon be broken. Fucking great, would bang.
One slightly tender FCC on A1

Frkse – “Desecration Anxiety II” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Saffron robes smolder as the wounded ascetic continues his wretched search for a subversion of enlightenment amidst pensive strings, smoldering synthesizers, and a staggering array of percussive elements. Rhythm is the structure and drone the glue employed to construct this tremendous sonic stupa. Thigh trumpets wail behind down-tempo beats, conjuring images of the sprawling shadows of the Himalayas. Cloaked in a caul of schism, piercing eyes beam from inky darkness. They hold the terrible truth, a great lie awaits… For you… have faltered. Though your sins aren’t aberrant. They are in fact expected… and the charnel grounds await… 

Though this record is slightly outside the normal purview of my sonic interests, it is profoundly appealing and captivating. Tranquil yet unsettling,  a marriage of both ancient and modern sound construction. Purchased on a whim to flesh out an order from Iron Lung and by the grace of Kali we have been rewarded with a stunningly beautiful album with scope, vision, and an untitled, mind bending locked groove (untitled B9) that has opened strange new crevasses in my brain allowing for wider appreciation of sound and the possible merits of intermittent blind faith.

Frske is one Rajen Bhatt Residing in Jamaican Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, MA and formerly of Reno, NV. Formerly performing as Rajbot, and having ties to west coast powerviolence and Black Lung Records, as well as links to Italian hip hop and apparent rivers of disparate contacts and artists, as well as operating his own label, Divergent Series. Material that I have found on and by Bhatt has provided insight to a remarkably well rounded, prolific, and interesting individual that if Mahakala wills it, will be joined by its many brethren in our library in contributing upending our listeners’ labyrinthine path to spiritual illumination.

Oily Boys – “Cro Memory Grin” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Abrasive noisy psy-core-rock outa this raging Sydney four-piece. Copious waves of feedback weave through pounding, knuckle dragging bombast. Sweat, incredulous fury, regret, woe. Warped tape, an effect laden guitar howl through gravel strewn cries, a trumpet weeps behind the title track reminiscent of Dan Raberg of Brain Bombs, calling to mind a disaffected stroll through city centers crawling with wasted, wrung-out rejects of society. Travis Bickle on bad dope or Wendy O Williams walking into the woods one last time.  

Proclamation – “Messiah of Darkness and Impurity” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Seminal beastial black metal, Spain.

Guttural bellows, blast beats, profane proclamations, and seething heresy, trem-bar abuse. Wallow in, and rejoice in the infernal inception of the infra-genre. Originally released in 2006, Nuclear War Now! Productions continue in redoubling their efforts in tearing open the earth to release the plague demons and the blood soaked anti-heralds of corrupted souls and the withering damned.

Haare – “Tantric Noise” – [Influencing Machine]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Esoteric and enthralling Buddhist themed mid-weight noise. 

Strange and subduing yet slightly unsettling and delirium inducing drones and electronic abstractions. Whirs, crunches, echoes, whistles, and cyber purrs. Tantric Noise includes a message on the reverse, In Memory of William Burger. May he rest in a parabolic continuum of anti-suffering.
Haare is one Ilkka Vekka of Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Disguise – “Signs of The Future” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Acerbic Assault on Apathy  

Dublin, Ireland 2015. Hammers drop on mirth and joy, crushing aspersions to indoctrination by a horribly sick society. Thrashing drums propel squealing guitar feedback and guttural expulsions of fetid, reeking breath permeated with rage. Pure, murderous dissent. Embrace the terror of human existence as you plunge your bloody fists into a wall of complacency and lose control under a sonic spell of berserker rage. Hardcore punk meets crusty grindcore on this E.P. that lacks recognizable language, no Fcc’s, no dreams, hope, or ability to cope .

Nihilum – “Dead and Forgotten” – [Insikt]

whngr   3/26/2021   A Library, Cassette

Sparse Sullen Dungeon-synth 

Miserable sounds for the bereft and emotionally hollow. When reflection on your imminent death is the only time you feel any modicum of pleasure. You’re already dead inside (T1), perhaps being dead outside will balance the scales (T2). Highly repetitive and morose compositions by one Nachtzeit (Henrik Sunding) of Östersund, Sweden ca. 2005. Cassette is single sided and 9:25 long. Don’t be fooled (as I was) by the copious amount of (mostly blank) tape presented in the window. Perhaps this is an aesthetic choice by the artist representing his emotional emptiness. 

Thuja – “Hills” – [Rose Hobart]

whngr   3/26/2021   12-inch, A Library

Languid Arrhythmic Hum Gentle washes of various drones and myriad traditional and found/constructed percussive elements that will lull you into a slightly twitchy narcoleptic repose. 




Thuja (a variety of cypress tree) are a group of avant-garde creators of sound that are self styled “organic drone folk-noise” and employ myriad natural found-objects in their improvisational sound and aesthetic. San Francisco (one currently the other formerly) sound explorers, sculptors, naturalists, and two parts of Thuja, Loren Chasse (The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, Of) and Glenn Donaldson (The Skygreen Leopards, The Blithe Sons, Flying Canyon and his solo projects The Birdtree and The Ivytree) were the backbone of an entity once known as Jeweled Antler, a collective of friends and musicians bound by an ephemeral and conceptual yet “methodically constructed” aesthetic that contain “hermetic symbolism and mystical nature imagery.”

Sargeist – “Dark Embrace, The” – [Moribund]

whngr   3/26/2021   7-inch, A Library

Wintry Norse Valor

Black Metal from Finland. Cold, dark, and seething. This 2008 recording emphasizes drums and guitars and, sadly, is mixed well (I like mine’s RAAAW). However, still sounds crusty (like old snow) and emphatic though it slightly lacks that underground, cvlt quality that this miserable volunteer tends to be drawn to. Is that why this is the first Sargeist recording to be added to our library? Too mainstream? Too palatable? Are they cancelled due to their political beliefs? Dunno, but it slays well in its nice, tight, mildly offensive package. 

Christmas Decorations – “Communal Rust” – [Community Library]

whngr   3/22/2021   A Library, CD

Whimsical Guitar Glitch

A genuine oddity that resists rote categorization and is a notably challenging album with layers of sleepy slide guitar over arrhythmic electronics and absurd sound collage that attempt to soothe one side of my brain (ineffectively) and unravel the other (with some marked success). Uniquely dichotomic like a dream filled with anxiety riddled twitches or perhaps having a glaucoma test (the one where they blow a puff of air at your eyes… “Hold still and look at the blue dot.”) while receiving a crystal powered chakra cleanse or a relaxing back massage, with myriad sounds that ultimately have the same effect on my sound saturated awareness. Six reviews for me this week and I’m afraid what remains of my mind is starting to go. This album reminds me a little of the Soundtrack to the graphic novel, “Upgrade Soul” but might pair well with Daniel Clowes’ “A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron”, though “Communal Rust” has slightly more capricious and buoyant characteristics than aforementioned and essential graphic novel. Christmas Decorations are/were Nick Forté, Peter Kerlin, and Steve Silverstein from New York.

Glueams – “Glueams” – [Static Age Musik]

whngr   3/22/2021   7-inch, A Library

Pre-Grauzone ’79 female-fronted punk from Berne, Switzerland.

Fucking great. Raw, tight, high-energy Rock-‘n-Roll sung in their native tongue (Bernese). Jangly guitars, hand-claps, angry-dancy, fucking rad, and doesn’t sound at all dated to my floppity ears. 

Shoulda’ given this 7″ to Zero Gravity to discover what he would have written but I wanted to round out the other slightly harsh sounds I intend to add to our library this week.. It’s not Kleenex and they’re not X-ray Specs but they’re not tryin’ to be. They’re their own thing and I wish I coulda’ been there.
A bit of history exists online and in the enclosed booklet that mirrors what I understand to be the fledgling punk experience all over the world: friends go to see seminal (insert name here) band (in the case of Glueams, Sham69), forms own band and rocks it with vivacious aplomb, disbands and/or evolves (in our case the bassist and drummer leave to form Berne’s Grauzone) and their memory is lost to the annals of drug clouded, beer fueled history of our now slightly aged forbearers. This rerelease by Static Age Records includes a recently rediscovered song titled “Arsen” (Arsenic) with lovely throbbing bass, driving power-chords, and a sneer so fierce you can almost hear it through the angry barking vocals and the fog of time. One final note that deserves mentioning, Glueams is a meaningless word with an alusion to sniffing glue (as mentioned in the afore-mentioned booklet) “that was popular at the time”. So have a huff, and enjoy this stuff on your source for sticky fingers.

Yevtushenko, Yevgeny – “In Readings From His New York and San Francisco Concerts” – [Columbia]

whngr   3/22/2021   12-inch, A Library

Readings in English and Russian by acclaimed poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko with friends on both American coasts ca. 1972.

Exploring themes like the Vietnam conflict and genocide, Yevtushenko was criticized by fellow Russian poets for working with the Communist Party.; allowed to travel extensively during the Cold War and often critical of the West, Yevtushenko was able to forge new ground, delivering passionate, compelling, and rousing performances while casting dispersion. Though the topics are well tread in 2021 and can feel a bit trite at times, they are nonetheless, valid criticisms of some of humanity’s darkest days. However, the performances by all parties are what makes this recording engaging. The meter, and projection is fierce, words as weapons with lashing tongues rolling ‘r’s like vitriolic peals of thunder… barring Allen Ginsberg who really seems to struggle with the emotional depth of the suffering conveyed by all the other performers… including the heckler on Babi Yar (B3) whom Yevgeny shuts down just prior to his performance, eliciting a round of applause from the audience, who I gather were communist sympathizers and anti-empirical yet far too soft and weakened by capitalism to survive in Mother Russia… besides their political radicalism was merely a phase and they probably became a bit complacent after profiting greatly through their early investment in Apple™.

Yevtushenko passed in April 2017 at the age of 83, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Rotting Sky – “Sedation” – [Black Horizons]

whngr   3/19/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fervent Obliteration Ritual

Devastating Harsh Noise/Black Metal. 

Abrasive yet ethereal. 

Sullen and fierce.

 Remote, impervious, and elusive though personal and uncomfortably intimate.

Throbbing. Peeling. Clawing. Bleeding. Crying. 

Cold and implacable.

Miserable yet divine.

A colorless crawl through a gauntlet of polar extremes.

It is likely that this is not for you. Put the record down and walk away.

Forget you crossed paths with this horrifying monument to pain.

That was close. A narrow escape. But you’ll carry on… for a while anyway.

Rotting Sky is one Tim Messing of Portland Oregon and guitarist of the now defunct Nux Vomica. 

Obscurae – “To Walk The Path of Shadows” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

whngr   3/19/2021   A Library, Cassette

Created with GIMP

Grandiose Valorous Upheaval 

Crushing Black Metal with Atmospheric, haunting washes of synthesizer. Basically full-on annihilation ’til the final track, a somber organ wheezing into the night with gentle pulses of texture.
Obscurae is one Chad Davis (Hour of 13, Jenzeits, Subklinik) of Richmond, Virginia of with support from cohort Matt Davis (no relation).

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