May 30, 2008

Falkenbach - Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty

Band/artist - Falkenbach
Genre(s) - Folk metal
Origin - Germany
Album - Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty
Year of release - 2003

I'm not that much into folk, viking or pagan metal but this album is something else entirely. Hardly keg-party material like so many much too happy-sounding bands in their genre, Falkenbach's third album decidedly lacks Lai Lai Hey-type choruses and jumpy rhythms in favour of a more solemn approach, in which the guitars are mostly drowned out by lush, organic sounding keyboards and flutes. The drums are measured but are very well mixed through the music, they really sound very good (before this release, Falkenbach made use of a drum computer). Another point of attention are Vratyas' clean vocals; he is not at all a bad singer and his voice has a beautiful timbre. Only Vanadis has some harsh vocal parts, it is also the only song that displays some degree of aggression. The rest sounds decidedly nostalgic, especially ...As Long as Winds Will Blow and Farewell. I've had this album in my collection for about four years now and it has lost none of its appeal since that time. You can just smell the forest around you with this album on, over and over again.
  1. Vanadis
  2. ...As long as winds will blow
  3. Aduatuas
  4. Donar's oak
  5. The ardent awaited land
  6. Homeward shore
  7. Farewell
Load it down

May 28, 2008

Mortifera - Vastiia Tenebrd Mortifera

Band/artist - Mortifera
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - France
Album - Vastiia Tenebrd Mortifera
Year of release - 2004

Melancholic black metal springing from a union of French black metal celebrities Noktu (Celestia, ex-Peste Noire) and Neige (Alcest, Amesoeurs...). So how could it not have been a gem? Especially a song like Ciel Brouillé (hm, I don't know how to translate "brouillé" in this context), clearly the "Neige-est" song on the album, wallows in ecstatic misery. Strange how most Celestia material still doesn't manage to move me and this release can, while the similarities are obvious. Oh well.
  1. Fvrahgments
  2. Le revenant
  3. A last breath before extinction
  4. Epilogue d'une existence de cryssthal
  5. Ciel brouillé
  6. Abstrbve negabvtiyon rebssurectyion (I'm not making this stuff up, I swear!)
  7. Aux confins de tenebrss
  8. Fruits of a tragic end (Celestia cover)
Load it down

May 26, 2008

Brigada Flores Magon - Anges Guardiens

Band/artist - Brigada Flores Magon
Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - France (Marseille)
Album - Anges Guardiens
Year of release - 2002

Some more oi!, anarch-oi! this time around, named after the Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magon. Anges Guardiens is not by far as polished as the Broilers or Volxsturm material, but is full mostly good melodies (on itself hard enough to find in this genre) and sometimes that's just all ya need. Enjoy!
  1. Partisans
  2. Leve-toi (rise up)
  3. Pour le pire (for the worst)
  4. Anges guardiens (guardian angels)
  5. Paria
  6. Porc en bleu (swine in blue)
  7. Porc en bleu (en Español)
Load it down

May 25, 2008

And Also the Trees - The Evening of the 24th

Band/artist - And Also the Trees
Genre(s) - Gothic rock, post-punk
Origin - United Kingdom
Album - The Evening of the 24th
Year of release - 1987

One of my more recent discoveries, And Also the Trees play goth rock of a rather (there's that word again) pastoral, almost folky nature, reflecting and inspired by their rural surroundings. The effect is a shimmering sensuousness that a lot of their urban collaegues lack in favour of decadent self-indulgence. The lyrics (read, for example those of Gone... like the Swallows) and their presentation are also fantastic. If Ian Curtis was a farmer (and a better songwriter; AND if he had a good voice), he might have made something almost half as good as this. Anyways, The Evening of the 24th is a live album that surpasses their studio offerings by more than a few steps in emotional intensity. No matter what music you like, you need this.
  1. A room lives in Lucy
  2. Twilight pool
  3. Vincent Craine
  4. Wallpaper dying
  5. Shantell
  6. Gone... like the swallows
  7. Headless clay woman
  8. Slow pulse boy
  9. Virus meadow
  10. So this is silence
  11. The renegade
Load it down

May 23, 2008

Ashdautas - Shadow Plays of Grief and Pain

Band/artist - Ashdautas
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - United States of America
Album - Shadow Plays of Grief and Pain
Year of release - 2005

I think I've read Ashdautas being described as a joke band once, but I don't see what's supposed to be so funny about this album. When you hear the vocalist screeching his lungs out of his ribcase you don't exactly get the feeling he's joking around. Parody or not (I really couldn't care less), Shadow Plays is a most unsettling and dilapidated slab of rawest black metal made all the more uneasy by one of the sickest, most helpless and tormented vocal performances I have heard so far and I can with some confidence say I've heard a lot (you can forget about Silencer, pronto presto). Oh, and the music's not half bad either.
  1. Intro
  2. Entourage of apathy
  3. Lightless horizon
  4. Veiled wombs... smashed like glass
  5. As the vile must digress
  6. The death of remorse
  7. And you will shed tears of scarlet
  8. Tremble as your heaven falls
  9. Eyes to a headless procession
Load it down (please keep out of reach of children and pregnant women)

Benjamin Biolay - Rose Kennedy

Band/artist - Benjamin Biolay
Genre(s) - Chansonnier, French pop
Origin - France
Album - Rose Kennedy
Year of release - 2002

I'm not too familiar with the Chansons Françaises-scene and this is one out of two very fine albums in the genre that I know. Dealing with the tragic life of the Kennedy family's matriarch, it's an elegant and melancholic piece of work, rather sparse at times and quite fragile-sounding, but very alluring. Biolay's voice is mostly a husky whisper adding an even more poetic edge to an already poetic language. If you're just going to listen to two songs, let is be Les Cerfs-Volants ("the kites")
with its sweeping violins and Rose Kennedy with its haunting vocal samples.
  1. Novembre toute l'annee (November all year long)
  2. Les roses et les promesses (The roses and the promises)
  3. Les cerfs-volants (The kites)
  4. La mélodie de bonheur (The melody of joy)
  5. L'observatoire (The observatory)
  6. La monotonie (The monotony)
  7. Trombones avant la grande parade (Horns before the big parade)
  8. Los Angeles
  9. La palmeraie (The palm grove)
  10. Rose Kennedy
  11. Sous le soleil du mois d'aout (Beneath the mid-august sun)
  12. Les joggers sur la plage (The joggers on the beach)
  13. Un été sur la côte (A summer at the coast)
...and we are all mortal.

May 21, 2008

Volxsturm & Broilers - Good Fellas Never Split

Band - Volxsturm & Broilers
Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - Germany (Broilers: Düsseldorf; Volxsturm: all over he place)
Album - Good Fellas Never Split
Year of release - 2006

Another split, and why not? It's a cost-effective way of showcasing as many bands in as little time as possible. Plus, I don't want to go offering too much of any single band, you should discover the rest by yourself. So anyway, two of my favourite modern German (apolitical) oi! bands. Most oi! is way too gruff, amateurish and bland for me, but these are two out of several predominantly German bands who put a little more work into their songs than two simple monotonous chords and a sing-along chorus about beer. Especially Broilers is much more "sensitive" and innovative than that, but also Volxsturm aspires to something beyond drunken street anthems for drunken street fighters. Still the spirit of pure rock and fucking roll is omnipresent here. Best song on Good Fellas Never Split is Heimat, which is actually a near-unrecognisable Volxsturm cover, while Nur die Nacht Weiß is originally a Broilers song.
  1. Volxsturm - Nur die Nacht weiß (Only the night knows)
  2. Volxsturm - So sind sie (That's how they are)
  3. Volxsturm - Kuddel Dadaldu
  4. Volxsturm - Ich werde nicht so wie ihr (I will never become like you)
  5. Broilers - Heimat (Homeland)
  6. Broilers - Regen auf der Königsallee (Rain on King's alley)
  7. Broilers - Cigarettes & Whiskey
  8. Broilers - You can get it if you really want
Load it down

May 20, 2008

Jefferson Airplane - Fillmore west 10-26-1968 + 1967 rehearsal tracks

Band - Jefferson Airplane
Genre(s) - psychedelic rock
Origin - San Francisco, United States of America
Album - Fillmore West 10-26-1968 + 1967 "rehearsel" tracks (bootleg)
Year of release - 1968?

A great concert captured on a great and exceptionally clear sounding bootleg. No real surprises, tracklist-wise, but I've rarely heard the Planes in such perfect shape. Especially the Pooneil-combo is wildly orgasmic, now all I need to know is what a Pooneil is. The rehearsal tracks mentioned are Martha and a very long, very trippy version of Spayre Change. Tracklist? I can give you a tracklist.
  1. Fat angel
  2. Rock me baby
  3. Somebody to love
  4. Won't you try/Saturday afternoon
  5. White rabbit
  6. Ballad of you & me & Pooneil
  7. House at Pooneil Corner
  8. Martha*
  9. Spayre Change*
I could find no cover for this bootleg; right half of picture semi-related. Best I could do.

Load it down

The Softies - Holiday in Rhode Island

Band - The Softies
Genre(s) - twee, indie pop
Origin - United States of America
Holiday in Rhode Island
Year of release
- 2000

Like the previous Softies album I posted, Holiday in Rhode Island is a collection of rather nondescript but sweetly atmospheric love songs leaning to the depressing side, with only the first track really sticking out. And like It's Love, somehow that's not at all a problem as it is a comfortable musical backdrop for your rainy day reveries. I must say this album is the weaker one, though Sleep Away Your Troubles is probably their most beautiful song ever.
  1. Sleep away your troubles
  2. The places we go
  3. These sad times
  4. The beginning of the end
  5. Just a day
  6. Me and the bees
  7. Holiday in Rhode Island
  8. Favorite shade of blue
  9. You and only you
  10. Sturdies bay
  11. Saint Agnes
  12. If you stayed
  13. Write it down
  14. My empty arms
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The Softies - It's Love!

Band - The Softies
Genre(s) - twee, indie pop
Origin - United States of America
- It's Love!
Year of release
- 1995

Yes, it's soft. It's bright. It's cute. It's Love! And yet it is restrained to the point of lethargy rather than exuberant. In fact, on the whole it is rather sad. This makes for a very satisfying listen when you really don't know just how you're feeling.
Definite highlight is the first track, Hello Rain, but the whole album glides by just pleasantly thereafter. In case you are interested, The Softies feature Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap, Go Sailor and solo work fame, and Jen Sbragia from the All Girl Summer Fun Band.
  1. Hello rain
  2. I love you more
  3. Charms around your wrist
  4. Could I
  5. Until you tell
  6. An awful mess
  7. This house
  8. It's love
  9. Alaska
  10. Fragile, don't crush
  11. Heart Condition
  12. Follow me
  13. I can't get no satisfaction, thank God
  14. Perfect afternoon
Load it down

Gris - Il Était une Forêt

Band - Gris
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Canada (Québec obviously)
- Il Était une Forêt

Year of release
- 2007

For my first actual music post I decided to go with one of my very favourite black metal albums. Gris as a band rose from the ashes of Niflheim and with Il Était une Forêt ("There was a Forest") they did so with style. The music builds from a standard depressive/atmospheric BM template but this isn't a band that lets genre conventions compromise their brilliant imagination. Aspects that stand out on this album are the emotionally wrecked harsh wails, hacking coughs and spitting that constitute the vocals, a great sense of building up tension to a climax, and a sensitive touch provided by the classical piano, together making for such wonderful moments as the final few minutes of highlight song Veux-tu Danser? A strange but no less beautiful touch is the pastoral neofolk/neoclassical outro track, La Dryade. All in all one of the most emotive black metal albums that I know.
  1. Il était une forêt (There was a forest)
  2. Le gala des gens heureux (The gala of the happy people)
  3. Cicatrices (Scars)
  4. Veux-tu danser? (Would you like to dance?)
  5. Profonde misanthropie (Profound misanthropy)
  6. La dryade (The dryad)
Load it down

Hi and welcome my blog. Music will follow shortly. Perhaps also other stuff, if I feel like it. Who knows, huh?