June 24, 2008

Dear people,

From next friday I will first be in Belgium at Graspop Metal Meeting and subsequently spend two weeks in Hulsel, Dutch Brabant where I'm going to work at an excavation. So you'll have to go without new updates for the time being. I was planning to do a few extra posts to keep you satisfied until I'm back but my internet broke down at the most inconvenient time imagineable so I'm sorry to announce that I can't post or upload anything ATM.

Well, goodbye then. See you at half past July!

June 23, 2008

Nocternity - A Fallen Unicorn

Band/artist - Nocternity
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Greece
Album - A Fallen Unicorn EP
Year of release - 2004

On the back of A Fallen Unicorn's cd case it reads Blacksmithing Black Metal and indeed, the furious pounding of the drums has all the impact of hammers on an anvil. That this EP consists primarily of castoff Onyx tracks doesn't mean it's inferior per se, as the individual songs in this kind of music are completely subordinate to the atmosphere of the release as a whole. It also means that everything what made Onyx so cathartic is present here as well, most notably the unorthodox way of layering guitar and keyboard melodies that gives Nocternity's music its psychedelic edge. There are also some bonus tracks, including a more old-school version of the title track, but the biggest surprise here is a nice dark ambient cover of Pagan Poetry by Björk.
  1. Klagelied des Windes (intro - Vinterriket cover)
  2. A fallen unicorn
  3. The emerald serpent prince
  4. To grey olden shores
  5. Pagan poetry (Björk cover)
  6. A fallen unicorn
  7. Worship the end
  8. Cold wings of Noctisis
Load it down

June 22, 2008

Evoken - Quietus

Band/artist - Evoken
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - United States of America
Album - Quietus
Year of release - 2001

If you liked the Morgion album I posted earlier, this is a logical next stop on your journey through Doomland.
Evoken play music in a comparable style and most probably let themselves be influenced quite a bit by the former band, but have always been more extreme in all aspects. Its atmosphere is darker and more oppressive, which is amplified further by the rather murky production. A lot of people consider this music slow and heavy enough to be called funeral doom - personally I think it's too diverse in composition. Quietus sets itself further apart by use of a live cello, and has some truly orgasmic moments and melodies throughout its duration. This all goes to prove that Evoken are a unique force in the genre and one of the darkest, heaviest, most harrowing bands out there.
  1. In pestilence, burning
  2. Withering indignation
  3. Tending the dire hatred
  4. Where ghosts fall silent
  5. Quietus
  6. Embrace the emptiness
  7. Atrementous journey (outro)
Load it down

June 20, 2008

Paysage d'Hiver & Lunar Aurora - Split

Band - Paysage d'Hiver & Lunar Aurora
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - PdH: Switzerland; LA: Germany
Album - A Haudiga Fluagh (split)
Year of release - 2004

Note: This is a total and blatant repost!
While neither band's material on this split ranks among their very best (at least in my opinion), the sheer relevance of these two monarchs of haunting black metal sharing a record makes it one of the albums I'm most eager to share. For an in-depth description of their sound, see my review of this split here. I know the Paysage half is supposed to be side A, but it's a bit late to fix this now.
  1. Lunar Aurora - A haudiga fluagh
  2. Paysage d'Hiver - Schwarzä feus
  3. Paysage d'Hiver - Schwarzäs Isa
Load it down

June 18, 2008

Ani DiFranco - Live and Outta Control

Band/artist - Ani DiFranco
Genre(s) - Folk
Origin - United States of America
Album - Live and Outta Control (bootleg)
Year of release - never actually released

Modern-day folk with an attitude, an unmistakable style and a unique voice singing poetic but razor-sharp lyrics. That's Ani DiFranco, armed with her guitar and somewhat jazzy backing band in an aesthetic, charming offensive against all chauvinism and conformity. The term "bootleg" is maybe a bit misleading here because Live and Outta Control is an unreleased collection of loose live tracks which I took the liberty to divide over two "discs" to ease sharing and downloading. The overall quality is masterful, and with a full band and Ani's acrobatic voice there is a lot more going on musically than in most other folk artists' music. I will leave you with a quote from My IQ:

When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ
They showed me this picture of four oranges and a pear
They asked me "which one is different and does not belong?"
They taught me "different"... is "wrong"

Pretty awesome.
  1. Firedoor
  2. Shameless
  3. Asking too much
  4. Anticipate
  5. Garden of simple
  6. Blood in the boardroom
  7. Gravel
  8. Letter to a John
  9. Slide
  10. Angry anymore
  11. As is
  12. What if no one's watching
  13. Evolve
  14. Hat shaped hat
  15. Not a pretty girl
  16. Tis of thee
  17. Pick yer nose
  18. Icarus
  19. My IQ
Download disc 1
Download disc 2

June 17, 2008

Go Sailor - Go Sailor

Band/artist - Go Sailor
Genre(s) - Twee, indie pop
Origin - United States of America
Album - Go Sailor
Year of release - 1996

Yay, another one of Rose Melberg's twee bands! Damn, I love that woman. Here we have a much more upbeat vibe than the Softies, making this one of my favourite albums to sing along to, especially when I'm cooking. Singing while cooking is very liberating and it doesn't make such a mess as masturbating does so I encourage everyone to give it a try. Songs like Fine Day for Sailing, The Boy who Sailed around the World or Together Forever in Love are just so cute, catchy and happy that it would take even an exceptionally grim black metal person's every effort not to tap his feet along with the beat or even try out a few clumsy dance moves when he thinks no one's looking.
  1. Last year
  2. Fine day for sailing
  3. I'm still crying
  4. I just do
  5. Bigger than an ocean
  6. Silly
  7. Long distance
  8. Windy
  9. Blue sky
  10. The boy who sailed around the world
  11. Don't go
  12. Ray of sunshine
  13. Together forever in love
  14. Every day
Load it down

June 16, 2008

Armagedda - Ond Spiritism

Band/artist - Armagedda
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Sweden
Album - Ond Spiritism (Djæfvulens skalder)
Year of release - Anno serpenti MMIV

I don't come across good satanic black metal often. On the whole I find this whole devil-worshipping a bit silly, but hey, whatever flops your mop. Lucky then, that I found Armagedda, one of these Swedish
bands (Ondskapt, Watain, Funeral Mist...) who seem to take their doctrine dead seriously* while creating pure-bred black metal that is nonetheless sophisticated. Ond Spiritism, the band's last before disbanding, brims with restrained anger and is only rarely allowed to burst into all-out aggression. This sets an ominous, tense mood which is coupled to some lovely melodies. Helvetestoner, Afgrundsvisioner and Aendalykt are great individual tracks but the album is very rewarding in its entirety.

*) as I do mine, agreed, agreed.
  1. Helvetestoner
  2. Döpt i oheligt vatten
  3. Afsked
  4. Ændalykt
  5. Döden stir livet
  6. Gravgaardspsalm
  7. Afgrundsvisioner
  8. Otfærd
Load it down

June 12, 2008

Spiritual Front - Armageddon Gigolo

Band/artist - Spiritual Front
- Neofolk
Origin - Italy
Album - Armageddon Gigolo
Year of release - 2006

Despite a similar taste in decadence and depravity as Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, with whom they have shared a split, Spiritual Front's music flows with surprising elegance. Compared to (what I heard of) the former band, SF is a good deal more melodic, resulting in an album that is simultaneously baroque and folksy. And beautiful. That's as best as I can explain it, you'll just have to hear it for yourself. Great songs include The Shining Circle, Jesus Died in Las Vegas (it's true!) and Kisses on the Mouth.
  1. Slave
  2. A bastard angel
  3. I walk the deadline
  4. The shining circle
  5. My kingdom for a horse
  6. Jesus died in Las Vegas
  7. Cruising
  8. Love through vaseline
  9. Ragged bed
  10. No kisses on the mouth
  11. Redemption or myself
Load it down

No album today

I'm supr tider

June 10, 2008

Walknut - Graveforests and Their shadows

Band/artist - Walknut
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Russia
Album - Graveforests and Their Shadows
Year of release - 2007

Exemplary black metal from Russia, apparently linked to such far-right bands as Branikald, Nitberg and Temnozor. It is sad to see how the horrors of Stalinism (totalitarian state capitalism) have driven so many Russians to embrace racism and nationalism in an effort to set themselves as far apart from "the left" as possible. Luckily Walknut, although very probably also influenced by these ideas, are more subtle about it. And, more importantly, the music is really good.
  1. Hrimfaxi
  2. Motherland Ostenvegr
  3. Come, dreadful Ygg
  4. The midnightforest of the runes
  5. Grim woods
  6. Skinfaxi
Load it down

June 8, 2008

Morgion - Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth

Band/artist - Morgion
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - United States of America
Album - Cloaken by Ages, Crowned in Earth
Year of release - 2004

Usually the term "epic doom" refers solely to eighties and eighties-inspired traditional doom metal but I don't see exactly why. Death-doom can be at least as epic in sound, and this is one of these cases. In general sound Morgion could best be likened to the first two albums of Mourning Beloveth: monolithic tracks in the old MDB-style with plenty of emotional intensity. For instance, A Slow Succumbing sounds like exactly that, and the whole album is full of impressive and atmospheric moments. Doom as doom should be. Sorry for the bitrate, low even by my standards.
  1. Cloaked by ages
  2. A slow succumbing
  3. Ebb tide, parts 1 and 2
  4. Trillium rune
  5. The mourner's oak
  6. Cairn
  7. She, the master covets
  8. Crowned in earth
Load it down

June 7, 2008

Aes Dana - Season 5

Band/artist - Aes Dana
Genre(s) - Psychedelic ambient, morning trance
Origin - France
Album - Season 5
Year of release - 2003

Not to be confused with the other French band under the name Aes Dana, because this here project is a far cry from pagan black metal. In fact, this music is perfect for when you can't sleep at night or while enjoying a long, slow morning at home: all manner of crystaline sounds sweep and sparkle through the ether to a downtempo beat intended to draw the listener into a dreamy state of utter relaxation. I can say that it is fairly effective, and all the more so (logically) after smoking a bowl and dimming the lights. Aes Dana is one of my favourite artists from the exalted Ultimae label, and I intend to post more Ultimae albums here in due time.
  1. Natti natti
  2. Peripherics
  3. Season 5
  4. Undertow
  5. Gatewick (vinyl airport delay)
  6. Dew (herbal version)
  7. Chrysalis
  8. Onset data
  9. Forest fishes
  10. Suspended grounds
Load it down

June 5, 2008

Raymond & Maria - Vi ska bara leva klart

Band/artist - Raymond och Maria
Genre(s) - Indie pop
Origin - Sweden
Album - Vi Ska Bara Leva Klart
Year of release - 2004

Here we have another great piece of soft guitar pop of a sweet and somewhat melancholic kind, quite like the Softies and more bands that I intend to post on here eventually. The difference, of course, is that Raymond och Maria - I believe I read somewhere that they were named after a swingers' club - are Swedish, very Swedish in fact, as all the lyrics are in their mother tongue. The track Ingen Vill Veta Var Du Köpt Din Tröja ("Nobody wants to know where you bought your sweater") is definitely the best and most beautiful, righteously becoming #1 in Sweden's top 40, but this is a wonderful album in its entirety.
  1. Nej
  2. Ingen vill veta var du köpt din tröja
  3. Redan idag
  4. Ingenting för dig
  5. De alskar dig
  6. Min pappa
  7. Det gar aldrig att bli dumm igen
  8. Vi ska blara leva klart
  9. Som
  10. Nar jag blundar
Load it down

June 4, 2008

Faith and the Muse - Annwyn, Beneath the Waves

Band/artist - Faith and the Muse
Genre(s) - Ethereal, gothic rock
Origin - United States of America
Album - Annwyn, Beneath the Waves
Year of release - 1996

Quite in accordance with This Ascension, this band preaches a vision of ethereal (basically a swirly, atmospheric kind of darkwave or gothic with ties to neoclassical and shoegaze) a bit more diverse and edgy than their peers. Like the previously shared TA album, Annwyn, Beneath the Waves combines bombastic percussion-driven chantfests like Cantus or Arianrhod, more gothic rock oriented material like for instance the title track, more traditional ethereal fair and the rather angry song Cernunnos. Throughout is a Celtic pagan, anti-modernist theme. I think out of both bands, this is probably the better one.
  1. Annwyn, beneath the waves
  2. The silver circle
  3. Cantus
  4. The dream of Macsen
  5. Fade and remain
  6. Arianrhod
  7. Branwen slayne
  8. Hob y derry dando
  9. Cernunnos
  10. The hand of man
  11. The sea angler
  12. The birds of Rhiannon
  13. Rise and forget
  14. Apparition
Load it down

June 3, 2008

Geist - Kainsmal

Band/artist - Geist
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Germany
Album - Kainsmal
Year of release - 2006

Germany has always been the primary country of origin of intelligent black metal bands who know how to write memorable songs and albums and Geist is a good example of this. The music is diverse, melodic and consistently moody, with gentle touches from keyboard and acoustic guitar, but of course also moments of fury. It shares members with Funeral Procession and Inarborat (album here), and parallels with these, especially the latter, are certainly audible. It is a pity that the production is a bit weak because songs like Lykoi or especially the title track are jewels and would have benefitted greatly from a fuller sound. I hope the band will pay attention to this in any further releases because this is definitely a very promising piece of work.
  1. Erben aller Einsamkeit (The inheritance of all loneliness)
  2. Einst war es Wein (Once it was wine)
  3. Lykoi (Gr.; Wolves)
  4. Stille Wasser (Silent Waters)
  5. In Pans Hallen (In Pan's Halls)
  6. Kainsmal (Mark of Cain)
Load it down