December 30, 2008

Mourning Beloveth - Dust

Band/artist - Mourning Beloveth
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - Ireland
Album - Dust
Year of release - 2000

Mourning Beloveth are a bit more orthodox than the previous few death-doom bands I uploaded. Especially Dust, their debut, is very much in line with the British tradition, most of all My Dying Bride in their classic period. That's not to say these Irishmen's music is uninteresting - would this album be here if it was? It's full of good melodies and the progressions in the songs come quite naturally. They manage to create a credible atmosphere without the help of keyboards. I remember the tracks Dust and Autumnal Fires especally fondly. The former has a crushing "chorus" twice somewhere in the middle of the tracks and from the first one on continues in variations on that same theme. The latter song starts out with a wonderful, emotionally strained melody and there are more exquisite moments that cost too much space to mention. Doom by the book, but what's wrong with that?
  1. The mountains are mine
  2. In mourning my days
  3. Dust
  4. Autumnal fires
  5. All hope is pleading
  6. It almost looked human
  7. Sinistra
  8. Forever lost emeralds
Load it down

December 29, 2008

Agalloch - two more EPs

Band/artist - Agalloch
Genre(s) - Neofolk metal
Origin - United States of America (Portland, OR)

So! Agalloch don't have two EPs out, they've got four, and I decided to be a perfectionist and upload 'em all. With all the genre confusion I've decided to call them neofolk-metal,
which may be a bit "too short through the corner" but it's simply the most fitting term I can imagine. Their very latest EP, the White one, once again underscores the band's dedication to neofolk - it's entirely written in this tradition - and also their metal material usually shows influences from the genre. The Grey EP starts off with a (very) different version of The Lodge, off The Mantle album, transforming it from a short semi-acoustic track into a long, very beautiful piece of largely black metal-styled melancholy. Odal on the other hand has gotten an industrial-ambient treatment that can't catch my attention at all. The White EP consists of only new tracks, barren and bleached compositions with only sporadic use of electric instruments or vocals. It suits you or it doesn't, but I think it's wonderful.

Album - The Grey EP
Year of release - 2004
  1. The lodge (dismantled)
  2. Odal (nothing remix)
Load it down

Album - The White EP
Year of release - 2008
  1. The isle of summer
  2. Birch black
  3. Hollow stone
  4. Pantheist
  5. Birch white
  6. Sowilo rune
  7. Summerisle reprise
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December 26, 2008

Agalloch - two EPs

Band/artist - Agalloch
Genre(s) - Neofolk-metal
Origin - United States of America (Portland, OR)

Up to a couple of months ago I ignored Agalloch completely due to soaring popularity. At the time it felt too much like jumping on the bandwagon and I'm no athlete. Quite glad I tried it out in the end. Haughm and company sound much like a neofolk-ensemble switched to metal yet keeping a lot of old influences. This results in some bleak and atmospheric music, thematically centered around negative feelings and love for nature, but too restrained to be conveniently labeled black, doom or folk metal. I figure that if you're looking for their albums you can probably find them all over the instawebs so when it comes to uploading, I'm going for the EPs. Of Stone, Wind and Pillor shows off the trademarks of their style, like their remarkable twin-guitar approach - one electric and one acoustic - and their penchant towards acoustic and ambient passages. Tomorrow Will Never Come is a two-track release consisting of an alternative version of A Celebration for the Death of Man, and a new, very desolate-sounding neofolk track with spoken-word samples.

Album - Of Stone, Wind and Pillor
Year of release - 2001
  1. Of stone, wind and pillor
  2. Folorium viridium
  3. Haunting birds
  4. Kneel to the cross
  5. A poem by Yeats
Load it down

Album - Tomorrow Will Never Come
Year of release -
  1. Death of man (version III)
  2. Tomorrow will never come
Load it down

December 25, 2008

Hip Hip Hosannah for Baby Jesus

Band/artist - Various
Genre(s) - Pop, dance, metal, misc
Origin - Everywhere
Album - My horrid Christmas special
Year of release - Never, duh

I'm glad I never posted any actual Christmas music on here, but I do want to give you something for season greetings. So I gathered all the most embarrassing songs that were on my computer and randomly distributed them over four "disks" or volumes. The idea behind it is that you download all four volumes and try out all the songs, then decide which ones you want to keep, but you know, whatever. The files are around 40MB each and I believe Mediafire will allow you to download the four files simultaneously. The amount of total crap on my computer is absolutely ridiculous so be welcome to share in all its reeking, festering purity. 100% Guaranteed to make you feel dirty all over.

Vol. I - Load it down
  1. 2 Unlimited - No limits
  2. B*witched - C'est la vie
  3. DJ Norman vs. Darkraver - Komt ie dan he
  4. Eiffel 65 - Blue (da ba dee)
  5. Hakkuhbar - Supergabber
  6. Jerry Lee Lewis - Great balls of fire
  7. Johnny Cash - Ring of fire
  8. Kylie Minogue - More, more, more
  9. Nomads - Yakalelo
  10. Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I love her
  11. Schnappi das Kleine Krokodil - Schnappi (original version)
  12. t.A.T.u. - All the things she said
  13. Village People - YMCA

Vol. II - Load it down
  1. ABBA - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  2. Avril Lavigne - Sk8er boi
  3. David Hasselhoff - Do the limbo dance
  4. Dschinghis Khan - Moskau
  5. Gloria Gaynor - I will survive
  6. Kylie Minogue - Can't get you out of my head
  7. Nargaroth - Black metal ist Krieg
  8. Pink Stëël - We fight 4 cock
  9. Snow - Informer
  10. The Bee Gees - Staying alive
  11. Toy-box - Tarzan and Jane

Vol. III - Load it down
  1. ABBA - Voulez-vous?
  2. Aqua - Barbie girl
  3. Conny Froboess - Zwei kleine Italiener
  4. Dream Evil - Kingdom at war
  5. Frankie goes to Hollywood - Relax
  6. Kelly Family - Fell in love with an alien
  7. Lulu - I'm a tiger
  8. Paradiso - Bailando
  9. Rick James - Party all the time
  10. Sister Act - I will follow Him
  11. The Spice Girls - Wannabe

Vol. IV - Load it down
  1. Art Garfunkel - Bright eyes
  2. Celine Dion - My heart will go on
  3. Donna Summer - Hot stuff
  4. Falco - Amadeus
  5. Hanson - Mmmbop
  6. Kelis - Milkshake
  7. Los del Rio - Macarena
  8. Nordglanz - Wotan strafe England
  9. Rednex - The way I mate
  10. Satyricon - I got erection
  11. Scooter - How much is the fish

"Fuck you Santa, this is MY goddamn holiday!"

December 22, 2008

Bob Dylan & the Grateful Dead - Dylan & the Dead

Band/artist - Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead
Genre(s) - Folk rock
Origin - United States of America
Album - Dylan & the Dead
Year of release - 1989

Christmas stress? Not sure if you're gonna get your cooking done on time? Still not sent those Christmas cards?Are the kids gonna like their presents? Chillax! Escape the agitation the holiday season brings with ye masters of psych and ye master of folk, combined.
Usually I probably wouldn't have found this so interesting cause I'm not the greatest fan of Bobby's voice or most of his songs, but Dylan and the Dead? Oh hell yeah. Such easy-going music has never been heard before. Despite (sadly) featuring Dylan songs only, the Grateful Dead do certainly leave their stamp on them. This is some laid-back folk rock, and especially wonderful on the way to work - especially by train - and not even because the first track's title. I think there's something magical about trains, and this music recognizes that. Incidentally, Slow Train is probably the most wonderful song on here together with Knockin' on Heaven's Door.
  1. Slow train
  2. I want you
  3. Gotta serve somebody
  4. Queen Jane approximately
  5. Joey
  6. All along the watchtower
  7. Knockin' on heaven's door
Load it down

December 21, 2008

Nagelfar - Virus West

Band/artist - Nagelfar
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Germany
Album - Virus West
Year of release - 2001

Another one of my very favourite German bands is Nagelfar. They are one of the first groups that incorporated the amount of atmosphere, intelligence, and intensity that I crave in black metal. If there is one band that may reach equal status to Lunar Aurora, it's this one. Virus West is their latest and last full-length, and while it sounds more dry, more direct and more guitar-based than their earlier material it's in no way a step down. Furious music with a vision far beyond the usual riffs and compositions, that is nonetheless black metal through and through. The twists and turns that this release displays are entirely intoxicating and there is one moment in particular I want to draw your attention to. Whatever you do, make sure you listen to Hetzjagd in Palästina (seemingly dealing with Christian Antisemitism) from, say, 5:00 to 6:12. Tell me that isn't the most triumphant and addictive riff that you've ever heard. Many more awesome moments are scattered across the album but the quality and atmosphere is consistently satisfying throughout its duration. The final two tracks are very raw demo versions. Any black metal fan owes it to themselves to check this one out, now.
  1. Hellebarn (Halberd)
  2. Sturm der Katharsis (Storm of catharsis)
  3. Hetzjagd in Palästina (Witchhunt in Palestine)
  4. Westwall
  5. Fäden des Schicksals (Threads of fate)
  6. Protokoll einer Folter (Torture protocol)
  7. Meuterei (Mutiny)
  8. Bieter des Kampfes (Provider of struggle)
  9. Transilvanischer Hunger (Darkthrone cover)
Load it down

December 19, 2008

Cat Stevens - Saturnight (live in Tokyo)

Band/artist - Cat Stevens
Genre(s) - Folk-pop
Origin - London, United Kingdom
Album - Saturnight (Live in Tokyo)
Year of release - 1974

My love for Cat Stevens isn't what it used to be but I still enjoy his classic albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat once in a while. Most of my favourite songs made it onto this live release in a dignified quality, in contrast to the later Majikat live album
which was overstuffed with ladies' choirs and other grotesqueries. In addition to being a not ungifted acoustic guitarist and pianist, Cat has got a warm, gentle voice that somehow reminds me of oak wood. His songs are elegant and uncomplicated, and most of you will probably have heard one of them somewhere. The best ones among them are usually a tad autumnal (Wild World, My Lady d'Arbanville) if not plain sad, like Father and Son and Oh Very Young, though sometimes also hopeful like Peace Train. Ah, the nostalgia.
  1. Wild world
  2. Oh very young
  3. Sitting
  4. Where do the children play?
  5. Lady d'Arbanville
  6. Another Saturday night
  7. Hard headed woman
  8. Peace train
  9. Father and son
  10. King of trees
  11. A bad penny
  12. Bitterblue
Load it down

December 16, 2008

Mar de Grises - The Tatterdemalion Express

Band/artist - Mar de Grises
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - Chile
Album - The Tatterdemalion Express
Year of release - 2004

Of all doom-death albums I have posted or aim to post in the future, The Tatterdemalion Express by Mar de Grises is one of the most interesting ones. The band is Chilean, and while I'm usually hesistant with South-American extreme metal - it just doesn't seem to fit their climate, you know, nor their fiery, love-for-life temperament - this is an excellent find. It's very dark stuff, definitely in the vein of the "Big Three", UK doom-death originators, but somehow more menacing, more mysterious, more tormented. Mentioning the relative busy-ness of the music, the careful attention to detail, the beautiful piano accents or the song structures that literally collapse under their own weight
(check out To See Saturn Fall to see what I mean), doesn't seem enough to fully explain the unique atmosphere presented here, but then I don't know what would. This is doom, squared.
  1. El otro
  2. To see Saturn fall
  3. Storm
  4. Recklessness
  5. Self portrait no. 1
  6. Be welcome oh hideous hell
  7. Onirica
Load it down

December 10, 2008

Forteresse - Métal Noir Québécois

Band/artist - Forteresse
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - You can guess
Album - M
étal Noir Québécois
Year of release - 2006

Oh, Canada. Our home and blah blah blah. Here's some Quebecois
nationalist/separatist black metal for humanity's collective enjoyment. Dense yet ambient-ish stuff carried entirely on the strength of the slow but not unmelodic riffs that envelop you like a mist. The drums and vocals are there, but exceedingly simple and understated, respectively, and of really quite little importance. Burzumesque, certainly, but with big Canadian balls instead of Varg's little Norwegian peanuts. I had actually already posted Forteresse's latest when I decided I'd rather put up this one. It's a bit less raw and minimalistic than Les Hivers de Notre Époque, with a bit more ground given to the melodies. Epic, foresty melodies that is, immersive enough even for my demands and with more than a touch of proud nostalgia (La Flamme et le Lys!). Métal Noir Épique Québécois, mère-niqueur! Alors.
  1. La moisson de la liberté (The harvest of liberty)
  2. Une nuit pour la patrie (One night for the fatherland)
  3. La flamme et le lys (The flame and the lily)
  4. De sang et de volonté (Blood and will)
  5. Métal Noir Québécois (Québécois black metal)
  6. Honneur et tradition (Honour and tradition)
Load it down

December 8, 2008

Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry

Band/artist - Twisted Sister
Genre(s) - Glam metal, hard rock
Origin - United States of America
Album - Stay Hungry
Year of release - 1984

Ah, the ugliest album cover in history and I have it on super-official vinyl. :) Twisted Sister are masters of bad taste and Stay Hungry is the band's most well-known album, as it has both I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It. Personally I think the former track is way overrated but the latter belongs to the coolest tracks, together with the opening (title) song and Burn in Hell. But except for Horrorteria, there's nothing to complain about on this release. Great stuff to shout along and bang your fist to, with the ultimate rock'n'roll attitude and, intended or not, a huge dose of humour.
As far as I'm concerned, Dee Snider deserves a medal. What a hero. Did you know that is his real hair? Fucking awesome. So anyway, not much in the way of emotion or atmosphere, but some very cool rock music.
  1. Stay hungry
  2. We're not gonna take it
  3. Burn in hell
  4. Horrorteria (Captain Howdy)
  5. I wanna rock
  6. The price
  7. Don't let me down
  8. The beast
  9. SMF (sick motherfucker)
Load it down

Xavier Rudd - Food in the Belly

Band/artist - Xavier Rudd
Genre(s) - Folk, reggae, surf
Origin - Australia (Torquay, Victoria)
Album - Food in the Belly
Year of release - 2005

I saw this dude live in Amsterdam once and he absolutely blew my mind. Seriously, I had never danced like that, and without a drop of alcohol in my body. At some point the people were dancing on the freakin' stage! Crazy times. Of course you can't expect the same energy to be caught on a plastic disk let alone in mp3 file format, but Food in the Belly comes pretty close. Using didgeridoos, slide, bass and regular guitar, various sorts of percussion and more, Xavier Rudd is a one man band in the classic sense, in live situations often playing two or three instruments simultaneously. This way, he creates a really positive blend of sounds, incorporating folk, reggae, surf and world music influences. It's both warm and refreshing, foreign and familiar, energetic and relaxing, all these things and more, purely the expression of a beautiful, creative soul.

[The RAR file says 2006; my mistake.]
  1. The letter
  2. Messages
  3. Pockets of peace
  4. Energy song
  5. Fortune teller
  6. The mother
  7. Food in the belly
  8. My missing
  9. Mana
  10. Connie's song
  11. Famine
  12. Generation fade
  13. September 24, 1999
Load it down

December 7, 2008

The American Dollar - The Technicolour Sleep

Band/artist - The American Dollar
Genre(s) - Post-rock
Origin - United States of the American dollar
Album - The Technicolour Sleep
Year of release - 2007

Half a year ago I wouldn't have dreamed to upload a post-rock album even if my life depended on it. This was due to a silly and unfounded grudge against the entire genre. But then I discovered Les Discrets
, and the use of The Long March in the video Tir Nan Og is what opened my eyes to The American Dollar. Now I've been discovering some awesome post-rock bands, but this one remains undefeated. In principle TAD is a very stereotypical example of its style's characteristics: instrumental, atmospheric music based on rock instruments, but with very resonant, sprawling tones and song structures that work up to a climax. But none of the other bands I've tried, including Mogwai and Caspian, have such emotionally charged songs. The track Signalling Through the Flames is simply the most beautiful instrumental track that I have ever heard and everybody should have heard it at least once before (s)he dies.
  1. Rudiments of a spiritual life
  2. The technicolour sleep
  3. Signalling through the flames
  4. Tonight, let's all make love in Vegas
  5. Daytrip
  6. The swamp
  7. Supernova landslide
  8. Time
  9. Summer of war
  10. DEA
  11. Raided by waves
  12. Palestine
Load it down

Elffor - Unblessed Woods

Band/artist - Elffor
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Bizkaia, Basque Country
Album - Unblessed Woods
Year of release - 2006

Please do not mind the rather cartoonesque album art, true beauty is found on the inside!
Elffor is a vehicle for Eöl, keyboardist of Basque-nationalist band Numen, and has always been very synth-minded. Summoning is clearly the greatest example to this project, and earlier albums sounded suspiciously like more tedious imitations of Minas Morgul. Unblessed Woods is the first album to partly let go of this formula, bringing a greater dose of aggression, more subtle atmospherics and an increased variety to the table. When the black metal is allowed free rein the music is at its best, and you can feel it taking over the space within your skull. This is beautifully demonstrated by the explosive tracks Through the Mist and ...From Ancient Scrypts. This is some epic symphonic black metal, and extra kudos for responsible use of a drum computer.
  1. Unblessed woods
  2. Through the mist
  3. Of heretic pagan kingdom
  4. Winter, fullmoon, sorrow
  5. Dark orchestral hate
  6. ...From ancient scrypts
  7. Gorgorium goth
  8. The forgotten dying moon
Load it down

December 5, 2008

Trist - Hin-Fort

Band/artist - Trist
Genre(s) - Dark ambient, black metal
Origin - Rosenheim (Bavaria), Germany
Album - Hin
Year of release - 2007

Hin-Fort has nothing to do with the more well-known Czech band named Trist. This is the German band/co-operation between one Timo Kölling (a poet and philosopher) and Benjamin König AKA Aran of Lunar Aurora. It's formally a dark ambient project, but this release is split in two very distinct disks. The second disk, Fort, is indeed comprised of very dark ambient of a cinematic kind that aims to frighten, using a lot of movie samples and the like. The first disk, Hin, is what this is really about. This single, hour-long behemoth of a track starts as an ambient piece too. But twice in its duration the music erupts into long stretches of the most intense, brainwarping and repetitive ambient black metal you might ever have heard. It does remind of Lunar Aurora - the atmosphere reminds of Hier und Jetzt and the Zyklus album to be precise, but the whole sound is more alike to Darkspace without the palm-muted guitars. You could see it as a blend of both, but more persistent in every way. I'd already posted the first disk but a set is a set. If you're not discouraged by lengthy songs and like a musical challenge you should let this unit turn your brain into goo - that's what it does, and it feels good.

Disk 1 - Hin - Load it down
  1. Hin (59:54)

Disk 2 - Fort - Load it down
  1. (Keine) Angst
  2. Unter dem Wolken
  3. Hilfe
  4. Schlaflos
  5. Licht aus!
  6. Nachtflug
  7. Fort

December 3, 2008

Grateful Dead - Live at Fillmore East 02-11-1969

Band/artist - Grateful Dead
Genre(s) - Psychedelic rock, jam band
Origin - San Francisco, California, USA
Album - Live at Fillmore East 02-11 (or 11-02) 1969
Year of release - Never actually released

Another bootleg of the late trippiest band on Earth's 60s material, from when they were at their most psychedelic. With Workingman's Dead in 1970 on they would go into a more folky direction and later still, back to rock again, but it's just not the same. Oh, it's not like I only like their oldest stuff, the seventies albums have some nice tracks on them - I'm quite partial to American Beauty and Terrapin Station. But for me, and that's why I mainly like 60s live concerts, it's the psych-factor that makes the Grateful Dead. Here then a most excellent bootleg with a Beatles cover and plenty of spaced-out improvisation goin' on.

If you enjoyed this band you may want to check more material here.

Disk 1 -
Load it down
  1. Good morning little schoolgirl
  2. Cryptical envelopment 1
  3. The other one
  4. Cryptical envelopment 2
  5. Doin' that rag
  6. I'm a king bee
  7. Turn on your lovelight
  8. Hey Jude

Disk 2 - Load it down
  1. Introduction
  2. Dupree's diamond blues
  3. Mountains of the moon
  4. Dark Star
  5. St. Stephen
  6. The eleven
  7. Drums
  8. Caution (do not stop on tracks)
  9. Feedback
  10. We bid you goodnight

December 2, 2008

Celestial Bloodshed - Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed

Band/artist - Celestial Bloodshed
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Norway
Album - Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed
Year of release - 2008

I frequently speak out against Norwegian black metal, which may be a bit unfair. Just because I don't like Burzum, Gorgoroth and Satyricon anymore there's no reason why no good music can come from Norway, indeed! Celestial Bloodshed is one of the bands that prove this point. It's really quite classic mid-nineties black metal but with a certain flair I can't rightly explain. The very grim vocals, somewhere in the grey areea between grunts and screams, sure do impress, and you won't be disappointed riff-wise at all, either. The dragging slow passages have a rightly evil sound and rumbling floor-tom fills make the copious blastbeat sections nice and heavy. Even someone like myself needs some vitriolic straightforward black metal like this every once in a while.
  1. Intro
  2. Cursed, scarred and forever possessed
  3. Sign of the zodiac
  4. Truth is truth, beyond the God
  5. All praise to Thee
  6. Gospel of hate
  7. The demon of old
Load it down

November 27, 2008

Dernière Volonté - Les Blessures de l'Ombre

Band/artist - Dernière Volonté
Genre(s) - Martial industrial, military pop
Origin - France
Album - Les Blessures de l'Ombre
Year of release - 2003

Les Blessures de l'Ombre is an anomaly in my collection, and a hell of a tough release to review. Applying influences from marching music not to ambient or industrial but to much more melodic pop structures has led DV main man Geoffroy to the creation of what may well be the first ever military pop album. Altogether it's a bit new-waveish in sound, I would guess: heavy on the synths, old-school production, but using darker melodies and backed by the snare drum rolls commonly associated with army parades. Incredibly, the combination works. Dernière Volonté has delivered a ground-breaking album that makes a seemingly awkward, confusing mix of styles a pleasure to listen to. On Le Poison, Les Blessures de l'Ombre and Le Foudre et le Tonnere, the old martial spirit shines through most clearly but the song that got me hooked was the haunting Vienna.
  1. Ouverture (Opening)
  2. Le poison
  3. Vienna
  4. Les orages du crime (The storms of crime)
  5. Les yeux fermés (The closed eyes)
  6. La foudre et le tonnere (The lightning and the thunder)
  7. Un dernier crépiscule (A last twilight)
  8. Vers la lumière (Against the light)
  9. La source
  10. Ton visage de papier (Your paper face)
  11. Les blessures de l'ombre (The wounds of the shadows)
  12. Souvenirs de demain (Souvenirs of tomorrow)
  13. Si... (If...)
  14. Au revoir (Goodbye)
Load it down

November 25, 2008

Tiger Trap - Tiger Trap

Band/artist - Tiger Trap
Genre(s) - Twee, indie pop
Origin - United States of America
Album - Tiger Trap
Year of release - 1993

Woohoo, happy twee pop for those who liked The Softies and Go Sailor, of course again featuring Rose Melberg. It's got a bit more of a bite than the aforementioned groups - faster, a bit noisier - but it's got all the exuberance and liveliness. You'll love it. Carefree music for the troubled mind.
Forgive the short review but there really isn't much more to say and also I have a tummy ache. :(

  1. Puzzle pieces
  2. You're sleeping
  3. Eight wheels
  4. Supercrush
  5. Tore a hole
  6. Words and smiles
  7. For sure
  8. You and me
  9. Supreme nothing
  10. Chester
  11. My broken heart
  12. Prettiest boy
Load it down

November 23, 2008

Imperium Dekadenz - Dämmerung der Szenarien

Band/artist - Imperium Dekandenz
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Germany
Album - Dämmerung der Szenarien
Year of release - 2007

Dämmerung der Szenarien is the kind of album that this blog was started for. High-quality, inventive German black metal with only a handful of people who've ever heard of them, that's my department alright. In fact I've been looking forward to sharing this since the very beginning. But on to the music. Imperium Dekadenz play a controlled style of black metal notable for its lack of frenzied high-pitched tremolo-picked riffs in the foreground. Repetition and blastbeats are also absent. Guitars are still the primary instruments and the melodies are generally melancholic, not in a self-indulgent manner like a lot of "depressive/suicidal black metal" bands, but the result of cold calculation. I can assure you this album is quite sorrowful - just listen to the last minutes of The Night Whispers to the Wise. What also helps are the acoustic or keyboard-based in-, ou- and in-betweentros, of which Waiting is especially beautiful. If you enjoy the kind of black metal bands I tend to post you can't pass up on this one.
  1. Into breathless sleep
  2. Der dolch im Gewande
  3. Staub und Erinnerungen
  4. Dämmerung der Szenarien
  5. Hordes from the dark star
  6. Nebelbrandung
  7. Harmatia
  8. Reich der fahlen Seelen
  9. The night whispers to the wise
  10. Waiting
Load it down

Esoteric - Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum

Band/artist - Esoteric
Genre(s) - Psychedelic funeral doom
Origin - United Kingdom
Album - Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum
Year of release - 2004

In the first seconds it seems like this could become a quite regular doom metal release... darned heavy, with fragile, unsettling melody lines. Then, and this is so slickly done, within the first minute or so the song gets progressively denser in the bass register, the melodies shrink into the background and when the grunts kick in you suddenly find yourself in utter funeral hell. Proves to be a challenge! It is, really. Esoteric play a very manipulative brand of oppressive funeral doom that is difficult to listen to unperturbed. Especially the psychotic double vocals of distorted grunts and screeches will bring a chill to your bones. With Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum, Esoteric are able to transmit their overwhelming darkness into their listeners' brains like I've barely seen before in the world of black and doom metal. May inflict permanent mental damage, but it's worth the experience.
  1. Morphia
  2. The blood of the eyes
  3. Grey day
  4. Arcane dissolution
Load it down

November 21, 2008

Rise Against - The Sufferer and the Witness

Band/artist - Rise Against
Genre(s) - Punk, hardcore
Origin - United States of America
Album - The Sufferer and the Witness
Year of release - 2006

Rise Against are a punk band from Chicago that formed in 1999. As I was looking up this information I read they've just got a new album out but alas, this is not it. Maybe it's bad timing to post The Sufferer and the Witness now, but second newest is still a bit new so yeah. This vegan quartet's style is new-fashioned melodic hardcore with a crisp, refined sound. The songs are volatile but the band sees no reason to go at it at full speed and heaviness all the time and many polished moments give the listener time to breathe. Choruses are fierce and empowering - check out Chamber the Cartridge, Ready to Fall and best of all, Prayer of the Refugee - with a main role for singer Tim McIlrath whose voice especially constitutes half of what makes Rise Against so intriguing.
  1. Chamber the cartridge
  2. Injection
  3. Ready to fall
  4. Bricks
  5. Under the knife
  6. Prayer of the refugee
  7. Drones
  8. The approaching curve
  9. Worth dying for
  10. Behind closed doors
  11. Roadside
  12. The good left undone
  13. Survive
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November 19, 2008

Dar Williams - The Beauty of the Rain

Band/artist - Dar Williams
Genre(s) - Folk, singer-songwriter
Origin - United States of America
Album - The Beauty of the Rain
Year of release - 2003

This lil' album got to me really quickly the last two, three days. I've had it for a long time but it had always escaped my attention, funny how these things happen. Dar Williams is a folk chick and apparently The Beauty of the Rain is her first album to incorporate broader musical ideas than straightforward folk. Now I haven't heard any other material than this yet so we'll just have to take that for granted. What we shouldn't take for granted are her gorgeous songs. Especially the track Your Fire Your Soul has had considerable impact on me; bittersweet as it is I still can't figure out if I find it more depressing or uplifting, but at least it no longer makes me cry. Other songs are less ambiguous: opener Mercy of the Fallen and the title track are distinctly melancholic whereas I Saw a Bird Fly Away makes me quietly happy inside. This is one of those albums that would still be good if it was twice as long.
  1. Mercy of the fallen
  2. Farewell to the old me
  3. I saw a bird fly away
  4. The beauty of the rain
  5. The world's not falling apart
  6. The one who knows
  7. Closer to me
  8. Fishing in the morning
  9. Whispering pines
  10. Your fire your soul
  11. I have lost my dreams
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November 18, 2008

Lunar Aurora - Mond

Band/artist - Lunar Aurora
Genre(s) - Black Metal
Origin - Rosenheim, Bayern, Germany
Album - Mond
Year of release - 2005

Aran, Sindar and Whyrhd must have been pretty pissed off when writing and recording Mond because no other release of theirs is as abrasive as this. Incredibly raw and heavy, stripped to its core and generally thundering along relentlessly, this album could probably break you out of prison if you ever needed it. You may miss some of their characteristic subtle touches, but in true Lunar Aurora-style the music
pulsates like a living, seething mass of malevolent energy, hypnotic as ever before. Mond becomes most spectacular in the finale, with the maniacal track Grimm featuring eerie anti-melodies and riffs that just don't come any more crushing. This is Lunar Aurora at their most destructive, and it's fucking glorious.

If you enjoyed this, check out earlier posts of their stuff here and here.
  1. Groll
  2. Aufgewacht
  3. Rastlos
  4. Schwarze Winde
  5. Heimkehr
  6. Welk
  7. Grimm
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November 15, 2008

Arathorn - Treue & Verrat

Band/artist - Arathorn
Genre(s) - Black/folk metal
Origin - Germany
Album - Treue & Verrat
Year of release - 2008

There are hundreds of bands playing folk metal, decorating (or ruining) their metal with craploads of synths, accordeons, flutes and violins in what they
hope is a somewhat accurate guess at what ancient European tribal folk music must have sounded like. Arathorn takes another approach. An acoustic guitar and main dude Sköll's hell of a clean voice is all that they need, for instance, in the first track. At times flutes and keyboards do make their appearance but most introvertedly. The calmness of the folk parts and that they mostly alternate with the black metal parts instead of also being imposed over them gives Treue & Verrat a refreshing and honest feeling. Some of the black metal parts are more inspired than others, and there are a few cosmetic flaws but on the whole there's much to enjoy and I think you should give this Nibelungenlied-themed album a chance.
  1. Am Tage der letzten Schlacht
  2. Siegfried von Xanthen
  3. Hagens Verrat
  4. Siegfrieds Tod
  5. Ragnarök
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November 13, 2008

Various Artists - Fahrenheit Project part 3

Band/artist - Various
Genre(s) - Psychedelic ambient
Origin - Various
Album - Fahrenheit Project, part 3
Year of release - 2002

The Fahrenheit Project is a series of compilations - seven in total, of which six have been released so far - released by the ambient, dub and psytrance label Ultimae records. A large and recurring role on all of the Fahrenheit comps is reserved for my triarchy of favourite ambient artists: Solar Fields, Aes Dana and Carbon Based Lifeforms, who most usually chip in with a song or two each. With music like this it's hardly possible or rewarding to discuss the tracks separately: it's simply not song-based music, rather it's the totality of the experience that counts. Lay back, smoke 'em if you got 'em and enjoy a sonic dreamworld full of wonder, mysticism and calmly whirling phosphorescent vapours! Oh yes.
  1. Koala & Xentrix - Infinite dream
  2. Aes Dana - Undertow
  3. H.U.V.A. Network - Morning call (ambient version)
  4. Cell - Spiritual move
  5. Solar Fields - Something crystal
  6. Toires - Nabab
  7. Carbon Based Lifeforms - MOS 6581
  8. Mystical Sun - Blue magnetic ocean
  9. Solar Fields - Spiritual ocean
  10. Carbon Based Lifeforms - Metrosat 4
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November 11, 2008

Deströyer 666 - Cold Steel... for an Iron Age

Band/artist - Deströyer 666
Genre(s) - Blackened thrash metal
Origin - Australia
Album - Cold Steel... for an Iron Age
Year of release - 2002

Like the band name and album cover already lead you to assume, Deströyer 666 is a bunch of rather angry guys like you have a lot of them in
Strayliuh. They are probably also better instrumentalists and less primitive songcrafters than you'd think. Cold Steel... is no incoherent mess of rehashed speed metal riffs drowned in static noise and with an insta-kvlt sticker slapped onto it. It's an actually well-produced collection of brilliant riff after brilliant riff, underscored by meticulous drumwork and packed into cohesive, distinctive songs. Even at the music's most frantic the band sounds master of the situation and they play with, perhaps not elegance, but certainly suppleness. I always found this disc to be excellent background music to violent video games (but remember: high school massacres don't solve anything!)
  1. Black city - black fire
  2. Clenched fist
  3. Cold steel...
  4. Sons of perdition
  5. Raped
  6. The calling
  7. Savage pitch
  8. Witchhunter
  9. Shadow
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November 9, 2008

Anathema - Judgement

Band/artist - Anathema
Genre(s) - Atmospheric rock
Origin - United Kingdom
Album - Judgement
Year of release - 1999

Like Katatonia, Anathema used to be important doom band before crossing into unmetal territory and like Katatonia, they now play dark atmospheric rock. However, I think it is safe to say that Anathema is generally more detached and depressive, but their tracks can also seem more uniform than they really are as they're mostly centered around ethereal guitar harmonies that ooze distress and hopelessness. Their best songs are scattered quite evenly among their releases, Judgement was my choice only because on this one I know which ones they are! The title song (always the fucking title song!!) starts out with a decent main melody that steadily gains in intensity, then explodes in some wicked riffing. Anyone, Anywhere is a doomy song feauturing great interplay between guitars and piano, One Last Goodbye has some of the best vocal deliverances on the record and a beautiful solo to boot, and Wings of God is climactic gloom rock at its best. These last six words, methinks, are a great way to sum up the whole record.
  1. Deep
  2. Pitiless
  3. Forgotten hopes
  4. Destiny is dead
  5. Make it right (F.F.S.)
  6. One last goodbye
  7. Parisienne moonlight
  8. Judgement
  9. Don't look too far
  10. Emotional winter
  11. Wings of God
  12. Anyone, anywhere
  13. 2000 and gone
  14. Transacoustic
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November 8, 2008

Sabaton - Primo Victoria

Band/artist - Sabaton
Genre(s) - Power metal
Origin - Sweden
Album - Primo Victoria
Year of release - 2005

I saw these guys live again yesterday, so what better reason to up an album? This is Sabaton's second full-length to be recorded but their first to be released so we can speak of a first victory indeed. Since the beginning, this Swedish crew has dedicated itself to playing straightforward, masculine power metal. They have the beefiest riffs since Night of the Stormrider and singer Joakim's got a powerful, deep voice which I'm sure many will find better than the cliché ballsqueezer vocals. All texts except from their first-recorded, third-released album Metalizer and their demo are about modern warfare, and usually a specific battle. The Allied landing at Normandy (the title track), the six day Israel-Arab war in '67 (
Counterstrike), napalm bombings in Vietnam (Into the Fire) are dealt with in the record's best songs. Sadly they condone Israeli aggression in Counterstrike and current US imperialist behaviour in the Middle East in the second and third tracks. Choruses are nonetheless catchy and easy to sing along, and they've never really made a boring song!
  1. Primo victoria
  2. Reign of terror
  3. Panzer battallion
  4. Wolfpack
  5. Counterstrike
  6. Stalingrad
  7. Into the Fire
  8. Purple Heart
  9. Metal machine
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