April 30, 2009

Shpongle - Tales of the Inexpressible

Genre(s) - GOAmbient
Origin - Shpongolia, United Kingdom
Year of release - 2001
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 62.66 MB

From the iridescent, colour-shifting plains of inner Shpongolia an embassy has been established in our mundane dimension. The creatures, first looked at suspiciously due to their odd appearance and behaviour, want to show us their benevolence by bringing us strange and lucid tones. There are those who cannot dig it, alien as it is - they do not understand, and may forever be tethered to what is real in the here and now. But those who dig it are frequently seen meditating away to the vibrations in clouds of smoke, or dancing softly to themselves in slow and fluid motions, closed-eyed and smiling. The underlying message from these space creatures (who are really not just two LSD-addled British blokes) is obvious: we bring you peace!

"There is a cheer. The gnomes have learned a new way to say hooray."
  1. Dorset perception
  2. Star shpongled banner
  3. A new way to say 'hooray'
  4. Room 23
  5. My head feels like a frisbee
  6. Shpongleyes
  7. Once upon the sea of blissful awareness
  8. Around the world in a tea daze
  9. Flute fruit
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April 21, 2009

On the revolutionary necessity of temporary black metal domination

Those who come by here regularly (by the hundreds!! not really) to check for new stuff may have noticed a considerable increase in metal posts lately, which of course means there's less room for actual music. You may think this is good, you may think this is crap, you may not be able to care less - whatever.

Though black metal has always been the largest category of music I share, I would like to state that this is not a black-metal-with-sometimes-some-other-stuff blog. It has never been and will never be. Let me explain.

I go around my files every now and then and pick albums I like to upload. I RAR about thirty, forty of them and upload them. Before half of them are posted, I'll have another few dozen of albums upped. The problem is that the ratio of metal to music has been, say 60:40 in the last batches, while I'd like it to be around 40:60 or less, like it used to be. So I have to post the metal in 70:30 ratios now if I ever want to have a 40:60 blog again, right? Simple common sense.

What I am afraid of is that people who are looking for happy mix of different music styles will be put off at the relative uniformity of the recent two months or so (a uniformity that would be shared by a host of black metal blogs, the one more irrelevant than the other). I want them to know that this current uniformity serves the ultimate goal of future non-uniformity.

So don't lose hope, there will forever be little points of light in between the seemingly endless swathes of darkness and aggression, and the end of the long, dark tunnel is already in sight. Stand fast, music lovers, stand fast!

We don't want to have this blog turn into a miniature of the capitalist system with its cycle of boom and bust, where they attempt to "solve" each crisis with measures that will only make the next crisis bigger and more difficult to overcome.
So in the meantime it would be a good idea if you people spammed me silly with all kinds of non-metal music that I might like so I can one day upload it to share through this blog, and keep a comfy metal:music ratio.

Kind regards,

Your Faithful Blog Poster

Nile - Black Seeds of Vengeance

Genre(s) - Death metal
Origin - United States of America
Year of release - 2000
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 40.69 MB

There are more fascinating ancient cultures to have walked and shaped the face of the earth than the old Egyptians that fascinate Nile so much, but it is not their lyrics that once made Black Seeds of Vengeance my most sought-after (and still favourite) release in the genre. It is the way this obsession is featured in the music itself - the "ceremonial" passages that dot the album here and there, with authentic instruments, chants, and an overall magical atmosphere. I am talking about such tracks as To Dream of Ur and the second half of Masturbating the War God, where beautiful serpentine soloes are delivered to blasts in the 240-bpm register and backed by culture-specific atmospherics that gradually gain in darkness and mystery, and then BANG- you've been impaled on the phallus of the God of fucking War.
  1. Invocation of the gate of Aat-ankh-es-en-amenti
  2. Black seeds of vengeance
  3. Defiling the gates of Ishtar
  4. The black flame
  5. Libation unto the shades who lurk in the shadows of the temple of Anhur
  6. Masturbating the war god
  7. Multitude of foes
  8. Chapter for transforming into a snake
  9. Nas akhu khan she en asbiu
  10. To dream of Ur
  11. The nameless city of the accursed
  12. Khetti satha shemsu
  13. The black hand of Set
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April 19, 2009

Murw - In de Mond van het Onbekende Wacht een Oceaan

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - The Hague, the Netherlands
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - 320 kbps
Size - Enough that I had to cut it in two

A darkness unearthed from native soil. "Murw", in Dutch, is the state of mind reached through breaking one's will by violent or insidious means. It is the slavish, panicked compliance of the battered, degraded whore, or the dull receptivity to mental manipulation of the religious cultist. A more suitable name for a band as doomy and sinister as this can not be found. Underlying the "necro" aesthetics is an adventurous heart that strains to make itself known; personally I think it should strain a little harder. There are a lot of great, rather progressive songwriting ideas that come out well, and a few others that are held back by the music's detached nature. Despite this, minor flaw as it is, it's an intriguing first full-length. It's somewhat melodic, gets its atmosphere across with credibility and no two tracks are alike. Excellent stuff, and yes, probably the best Dutch black metal album that I have heard up until now.
  1. Intro & Vuilnisbelt ("intro & garbage dump")
  2. Shape a suffering statue and exclaim it
  3. Geen weg meer terug dus recht door zee ("no way back so straight ahead")
  4. Emotienood ("emotional anguish")
  5. In kind dedication
  6. In woe
  7. In de mond van het onbekende wacht een oceaan ("in the mouth of the unknown, an ocean is waiting")
Load it down (part 1 - 57.71 MB)
Load it down (part 2 - 40.24 MB)

Masterplan - Masterplan

Genre(s) - Power metal
Origin - Sweden
Year of release - 2003
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 47.36

rn Lande is a name you often hear being tossed around with great reverence and it was only a few months ago that yours truly was introduced to his amazing voice through this, Masterplan's debut. Wow. Definitely not your average power metal ballsqueezer-vocals. Good. But a talented singer is no guarantee for an entertaining album, luckily the songwriting is of contant high quality, and the instrumentation is confident. The synths are rather trance-like which could be either a good or a bad thing, but they're so subtle and secondary to the guitars that they only serve to bolster and fill out the entirety of the sound and don't really add to or take from the music. The lyrics, brought perfectly, are very positive in nature and embrace life to the fullest. Odd song out here is Crystal Night, which has an antifascist message and is one of the best surprises on the release. No track really beats Kind Hearted Light, though, which is pure gold. A very solid achievement by Masterplan that puts most of their peers to shame; not even the band itself could ever reach this same level of inspiration again.
  1. Spirit never die
  2. Enlighten me
  3. Kind hearted light
  4. Crystal night
  5. Soulburn
  6. Heroes
  7. Sail on
  8. Into the light
  9. Crawling from hell
  10. Bleeding eyes
  11. When love comes close
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The Soft Boys - A Can of Bees

Genre(s) - Postpunk plus
Origin - United Kingdom
Year of release - 1979
Bitrate - 160 kbps
Size - 69.36 MB

Something strange from that dastardly oddity mr. Robyn Hitchcock and his first band. Expect some real early postpunk, playful and full of youthful enthusiasm, with some generous pinches of psychedelic 60s pop and rock. Sprinkle this with Hitchcock's singular sense of humour and off-kilter vocal hooks and you get an album that is several years ahead of its time. Just check out the insane speed and sonic density reached on Wading through a Ventilator. A Can of Bees is not an aggressive album though, not at all, just infectiously energetic.
There's a real groovy thing goin' on in tracks like Leppo and the Jooves, Skool Dinner Blues and Return of the Sacred Crab. The band is clearly having fun playing their music, which in turn makes this all the more fun to hear.
  1. Give it to the Soft Boys
  2. The pigworker
  3. Human music
  4. Leppo and the Jooves
  5. The rat's prayer
  6. Do the chisel
  7. Sandra's having her brain out
  8. The return of the sacred crab
  9. Cold turkey
  10. Skool dinner blues (live)
  11. Wading through a ventilator (live)
  12. Leppo and the Jooves
  13. Sandra's having her brain out
  14. Skool dinner blues
  15. Fatman's son
  16. (I want to be an) angelpoise lamp (live)
  17. Ugly Nora (live)
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April 17, 2009

Lantlôs - Lantlôs

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Rheda, Germany
Bitrate - 192-320 kbps
Size - 61.46 MB

Double-checking my information on this band at Metal Archives, I noticed a recent change in line-up in Lantlôs. Apparently the famous Neige has joined, replacing Alboîn on vocals. Might prove interesting, especially since the band covers the same kind of ground as Amesoeurs does. On this record, though, it's still Alboîn and we don't have to feel sorry about that, either. His vocals are fucking grim as well, and filled with some sense of authority that Neige doesn't have. But maybe you're also curious about the music behind the voice. It's melancholic black metal that is modern in sound but not futuristic. Indeed it borrows from the French band's approach to their blackest moments, but it has less foreign influences and keeps more to genre conventions. At the same time it is more focused and eerie, so it's no good calling this a clone, either. Actually, Lantlôs could grow out to be the band to take up where Amesoeurs left off, and fly the flag for "urban black metal".
  1. þinaz Andawlitjam
  2. Mittsommerregen
  3. Ruinen
  4. Kalte Tage
  5. Ëin
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Iced Earth - Live in Montreal 14-04-2009 (bootleg)

Genre(s) - Heavy/power/thrash metal
Origin - Tampa, Florida
Year of release
- Never released

The first concert I ever saw was Iced Earth on the 19th of Januari 2002 in Tilburg, during their tour for Horror Show. It was glorious: Matt was still singing and he still had long hair, they did three hour-long sets(!) representing the three "eras" the band had gone through. It was a spectacular experience not to be forgotten. So later, thinking back on that day the 15-year-old me was baptised in metal and beer, I decided to find as many bootlegs I could find (on the instawebs, at least) from this same tour especially. Horror Show had been my introduction to the band and I still consider it one of their best albums, so I also longed to hear Wolf, Dracula, Damien etc. in a live setting again, else I'd have been satisfied with just Alive in Athens. So here the first of the bootlegs I found. The American leg of the tour was not split up in sets and the concerts are shorter, by the way, including this one. Us Europeans have it all.

Disc 1 - Load it down
Size/bitrate -
73.38 MB/192 kbps
  1. Violate
  2. Pure evil
  3. Wolf
  4. Damien
  5. The hunter
  6. Melancholy (holy martyr)
  7. Jack
  8. Slave to the dark
  9. A question of heaven

Disc 2 - Load it down
Size/bitrate -
62.34 MB/192 kbps
  1. My own savior
  2. Watching over me
  3. Dracula
  4. Prophecy
  5. Birth of the wicked
  6. The coming curse
  7. Iced earth

My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River

Genre(s) - Gothic doom metal
Origin - Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Year of release - 1995
Size/bitrate - 57.98 MB/128 kbps

My Dying Bride are bringing the drear with their esteemed third album. It's a stylistic move away from the death-doom they helped pioneer with the preceding albums, featuring only Aaron Stainthorpe's ultra-despondent clean vocals and not his formidable grunts. The production is better than before, though the somewhat turbid feeling of Turn Loose the Swans did add to the audial darkness. Repetitive minimalism with intricate violin lines alternate with grandiose moments of organ-grinding bombast. The opening track is a perennial classic, dirgelike and genuinely beautiful, and this is one of those rare occasions that a rerelease comes with a reccommendable bonus track. In fact, The Sexuality of Bereavement, which didn't make it onto the previous album, is even among the best tracks on the release even though it clashes with the main material. On the whole though it is the violin and the vocals which make the album.
  1. The cry of mankind
  2. From darkest skies
  3. Black voyage
  4. A sea to suffer in
  5. Two winters only
  6. Your shameful heaven
  7. The sexuality of bereavement
Load it down

April 10, 2009

Jesus Christ Superstar OST

Band/artist - Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice (writers)
Genre(s) - Musical soundtrack, rock opera
Origin - United States of America
Album - Jesus Christ Superstar OST (film edition)
Year of release - 1973

Good Friday, that means It's Jesus Time! Jesus Christ Superstar is a well-known adaptation of the story of Jesus the Nazarene's last few days on earth, from his entry into Jerusalem to his crucifixion, as a rock opera. As a mortal, human man the J-dawg is quite a hero of mine and this film has been one of my staple favourites since early childhood. The soundtrack as well consists of some songs I've known for a very long time. Of course the rowdiest, most anthemic songs are the best, such as
Heaven on Their Minds and Damned for All Time as sung by Judas (Carl Andersson) with his beautiful black voice. You also gotta love the jubilant and somewhat homoerotic Simon Zealotes and those evil but so understandable farizees Annas and Caiaphas' evil schemes in Then We Are Decided and This Jesus Must Die. If you're a fan of the musical you'll want this, if you're not (yet), then give it a chance; some solid rock music here.

Disc 1 - Touch me, Jesus
(44.42 MB)
  1. Overture
  2. Heaven on their minds
  3. What's the buzz?
  4. Strange thing, mystifying
  5. Then we are decided
  6. Everything's alright
  7. This Jesus must die
  8. Hosanna
  9. Simon Zealotes
  10. Poor Jerusalem
  11. Pilate's dream
  12. The temple
  13. I don't know how to love him
  14. Damned for all time - blood money

Disc 2 - Kiss me, Jesus (42.28 MB)
  1. The last supper
  2. Gethsemane (I only want to say)
  3. The arrest
  4. Peter's denial
  5. Pilate and Christ
  6. King Herod's song
  7. Could we start again please?
  8. Judas' death
  9. Trial before Pilate
  10. Superstar
  11. The crucifixion
  12. John: 19-41

April 7, 2009

Siena Root - Kaleidoscope

Band/artist - Siena Root
Genre(s) - Psychedelic retro rock
Origin - Sweden
Album - Kaleidoscope
Year of release - 2006

Some genres of music are rooted in the past so much that it's impossible to escape from its history when applied in the present. Take Siena Root, for instance, revelling
so obviously in the memory of the great bands of the sixties and seventies that Kaleidoscope may as well be an unreleased nugget that's been lying around in someone's cellar since 1971. Bluesy, sweaty retro rock borrowing in equal measures from swampy 60s acid rock (Blue Cheer, Iron Butterfly...) and driving, anthemic blues rock from a few years later, such as Sabbath and Zeppelin. Add a pinch of Creedence, and a strong female voice and what you get is a truly kaleidoscopic album of sundrenched, doped up anachronisms with a vengeance.
  1. Good and bad
  2. Nightstalker
  3. Blues 276
  4. Bhairavi dhun
  5. Crossing the stratosphere
  6. There and back again
  7. Ridin' slow
  8. Reverberations
Load it down (69.91)

Megadeth - Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?

Band/artist - Megadeth
Genre(s) - Thrash metal
Origin - L.A., United States of America
Album - Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?
Year of release - 1986

1986 was a great year for thrash metal with the release of many albums that are now seen as classics, among which Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood. Peace Sells... is another one of these releases and it probably won't require an extensive introduction. Bay Area thrash as it's supposed to be, from the punkishly ironic title track and the creepy Bad Omen to the thundering, homicidal adrenaline rush of Black Friday. Dave Mustaine's trademark snarl is a very effective vessel for the bleak lyrics. He's not half the singer James Hetfield is, but sounds twice as able and prepared to feed you your own balls.
  1. Wake up dead
  2. The conjuring
  3. Peace sells
  4. Devil's island
  5. Good mourning/black friday
  6. Bad omen
  7. I ain't superstitious
  8. My last words
Load it down (40.89 MB)

Time for a new blog header

RIP old banner, May 2008-April 2009

To those who've always wondered what the hell the previous banner was supposed to depict: it's one of the Meta-malevitch sculptures by Jean Tinguely. Tinguely (not the man in the picture) was a Swiss kinetic artist, sculpting all kinds of bizarre contraptions that move like a machine but serve no actual function. The Meta-malevitch series consisted of painting machines, which mechanically scratched full pieces of paper or canvas. Pieces of art that create pieces of art! For more works in this fascinating style, see the Wikimedia gallery here.

April 6, 2009

Definite proof I have not crossed into the brown camp ;)

Photo: Jos van Zetten. For more of his photos of the event: see here.

Me (second from Left) together with Dutch comrades protesting against the NATO war machine in Strasbourg, last weekend. Yes, I'm really that short. The scarf is not because we had any reason to keep our identities a secret - ours was a peaceful demonstration - but to protect against the copious amounts of teargas canisters we were welcomed with by the ever-so-friendly Gendarmerie Mobile. They tried to prevent us to make use of the universal democratic right to demonstrate by any means possible. Many buses full of French union protestors among others were halted and prohibited to participate. Despite this, tens of thousands of people managed to let their cry be heard against the Afghan and Iraq war, the political destabilisation of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the widespread militarisation this organistation represents. Not all action was nonviolent though, a small minority of the protestors engaged in direct confrontation with the police force and vandalism, with the burning down of a hotel (50 people reported injured) as its saddest accomplishment. Obviously this sort of behaviour serves no political goal and can only hurt any protest - the idea is to win the hearts and minds to our cause against war and violence is not the way. Shame on those selfish bastards.

EDIT: despite violence on both sides, the actions were not unsuccesful. Our blockade attempts
and entering the "red zone" at the break of dawn delayed the summit on saturday with over an hour. We heard there was considerable tension between the country's delegations made possible in part by our demonstration. There has been some good, reasonably accurate press coverage here in the Netherlands, including showing the protestors' side of the story that will garner attention to our cause and the unprovoked and disproportionate aggression displayed by the French police force present.

De Stem des Volks - De Rooden Roepen

Band/artist - De Stem des Volks
Genre(s) - Dutch socialist hymns
Origin - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Album - De Rooden Roepen
Year of release - Early seventies, I'd guess

Okay, okay. Some more red tones for the masses of radicalised workers that quietly follow this blog. The Voice of the People, as the band name translates, was a choir based in Amsterdam that literally sung about nothing else but socialism. The tracklist of De Rooden Roepen ("The Reds are Calling"; I kid you not) alone seems ridiculously one-track-minded and humourless. Despite its subject matter and even though it's even in my native language, I can't say I really like it as I do equally single-issue artists as Knutna Nävar or Ernst Busch; I'm not so much for purely choral music and it sounds very boring to me. Oh well. If you don't care for instruments and stuff, if you're such a die-hard communist that you don't even care what the music sounds like as long as they propagate revolution, or if you collect the Internationale in every language, you may want to grab this. Makkers, ten laaste male/Tot de strijd ons geschaard/en de Internationale/zal morgen heersen op aard'!
  1. Morgenrood (Morningred)
  2. Strijdmars der arbeiders (Workers' battle march)
  3. Broeders, verheft u ter vrijheid (Brothers, rise to freedom)
  4. De eerste mei (The first of May)
  5. Aan de strijders (To those who are fighting)
  6. Stort, o arbeiders (Plunge, oh workers)
  7. Strijdlied [mannenkoor] (Battlehymn [men's choir])
  8. Socialistenmars (Socialists' march)
  9. De strijders (Those that struggle)
  10. De Internationale
  11. Eens (One day)
  12. Voor het socialisme (For socialism)
  13. Op naar het licht (Onwards to the light)
  14. Als wij schrijden (As we stride)
  15. De rooden roepen (The reds are calling)
Load it down (39.11 MB)

Knutna Nävar - Vi Slåss för vår Framtid

Band/artist - Knutna Nävar
Genre(s) - Folk
Origin - Sweden
Album - Vi Slåss för vår Framtid
Year of release - 1972

To repent for the politically incorrect albums I can't help myself but posting sometimes, and to satisfy my most faithful and critical blog buddy (sounds dirty), here's an EP by a band whose antirevisionist ideology is true and free of Trotskyite impurities, etc. etc. The red rascals of Knutna Nävar know how to write a catchy tune even without borrowing melodies from the classic socialist chants, as the first track and the humourous Richard Dollarhjärta prove especially well. The latter song also has a surprisingly modern, rocky sound. The other two tracks are more traditional and would fit well on either of the band's full-lengths (like this one). I was asked for a streak of Marxist-Leninist music but this is the only such release I had previously uploaded and ready for posting. It's just a light snack but I hope you like it.
  1. Det är något konstigt med friheten
  2. Hallå där bonde
  3. Richard Dollarhjärta
  4. Vi slåss för vår framtid
Load it down (17.83 MB)

April 2, 2009

Ohtar - Petrified Breath of Hope

Band/artist - Ohtar
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Poland
Album - Petrified Breath of Hope
Year of release - 2006

There's exactly one NSBM album in my physical record collection and well what do ya know, this one's it. Me actually spending money on this would mean it has to be pretty good stuff, right? Well, from the outside it seems like it could well be your regular, dime-a-dozen offering of Absurd-worshipping sieg-heiling black metal. This, Petrified Breath of Hope is not. Sure, you don't have to expect stretches of ambient or super-progressive guitar masturbation. What you do get are enigmatic riffs with a folkish aftertaste that seem specific to Eastern Europe, and are as mesmerising those found in the music of Drudkh, or especially the Farewell album by Infernum. This spiderlike yet corrosive guitar playing is the band's greatest asset, and lifts this band above most of their brownshirted, bone-headed brethren. Their political affiliation is barely noteicable from their lyrics, by the way, so it's all good, clean fun.
  1. Poison me, Samaritan
  2. Honour and faithfulness
  3. Fog imbued with the smell of death
  4. Elite? Dust (Sometime...)
  5. Light manacled in shackles of ice
  6. Insomnia
  7. Petrified breath of hope
Load it down (58.05 MB)

April 1, 2009

Dissection - Storm of the Light's Bane

Band/artist - Dissection
Genre(s) - Melodic black metal
Origin - Sweden
Album - Storm of the Light's Bane
Year of release - 1995

Groundbreaking piece of melodic black metal. The secret of this band and the key to their succes was that they achieved previously unheard of levels of accessibility while still retaining an icy, Northern sound, that was sorely missing after their "rebirth". What also helps is an keen sense of dynamics and flow in the individual songs. Where Dead Angels Lie is graceful as a waltz but broods with menace, and Retribution is a hateful tirade against the sun. I would have uploaded the Live Legacy album which consists of most of the songs and has a clearer sound, but it doesn't contain Soulreaper which is another jewel that can't be missed. Jon Nödtveidt has done a few naughty things but we may thank him for his music.
  1. At the fathomless depths
  2. Night's blood
  3. Unhallowed
  4. Where dead angels lie
  5. Retribution - storm of the light's bane
  6. Thorns of crimson death
  7. Soulreaper
  8. No dreams breed in breathless sleep
Load it down (34.98 MB)