October 29, 2008

Dmitri Shostakovich - the Fall of Berlin

Composer - Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor - Sergey Krivobokov
Performance - Moscow symphony orchestra, Moscow capella, Moscow youth chorus
Genre(s) - Classical, film score
Origin - Russia
Album - The Fall of Berlin OST
Year of release - 1949

It's Russia-mania! The Fall of Berlin was a propaganda movie about Russia's ultimate victory in the Second World War. I must confess I haven't seen it although I'd really love to. Its score was composed by the famous Dmitri Shostakovich, who often collaborated with Stalin's regime not because of ideological similarities but because he was the kind of person who could not say no to people even if he wanted. Much like his symphonies, this soundtrack is a volatile affair with many sudden, dramatic shifts in mood and tempo.
Like O Fortuna in Orff's Carmina Burana and the Scherzo part in Beethoven's Ninth, this is "hard classical": heavy, victorious, and bombastic with a capital B. I usually don't have the patience for classical music but Shostakovich's compositions are another thing entirely.

The appearance of a very hated face on my blog forces me to repeat that because during the civil war and foreign intervention true workers' power quickly evaporated and Stalin's regime actually had a highly counterrevolutionary and bureaucratic character, Stalinist Russia and the Eastern Bloc can not be called socialist or communist!
  1. Main title part 1
  2. Beautiful day
  3. Alyosha by the river
  4. Stalin's garden
  5. Alyosha and Natalia in the fields - attack!
  6. Hitler's reception
  7. In the devastated village
  8. Forward!
  9. Main title part 2
  10. The roll call - attack at night
  11. Storming Seelov Heights
  12. The flooding of the underground station
  13. The final battle for the reichstag - Kostya's death
  14. Yussuf's death - the red banner
  15. Stalin at Berlin's airport
  16. Finale - Stalin's speech - Alyosha and Natasha reunited
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October 28, 2008

Stielas Storhett - Vandrer...

Band/artist - Stielas Storhett
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Russia
Album - Vandrer...
Year of release - 2006

For the next post we stay in Russia. From Murmansk in the country's far Northwestern reaches, Stielas Storhett is spreading its venom. For its icy sound, the project's sole operator Damien T.G. has looked closely to the legendary Norse bands. The covers that prove this are fine but somehow their presence bugs me. It's not like the album needs them; T.G.'s own music is more interesting and a whole lot more varied. Besides, it has all you may need in a black metal album: the guitars are cold and razor sharp, the vocals grim, the drums fast, audibly acoustic
and reasonably well-played, and the general feel barren and desolate. Vandrer... effectively showcases what true black metal is all about.
  1. Der letzte November (Last November)
  2. Vandrer...
  3. Gräfin Dämmerlicht (Countess Twilight)
  4. Schmerzerfüllter Zorn (Painfilled wrath)
  5. Unholy black metal (Darkthrone cover)
  6. Nymåne
  7. Stille weiße Wildnis (Silent white wilderness)
  8. Ihr Königreich (Thy kingdom)
  9. Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments (Burzum cover)
  10. Dieses Eis wird niemals schmelzen (This ice will never melt)
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October 27, 2008

The Morningside - The Wind, the Trees and the Shadows of the Past

Band/artist - The Morningside
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - Russia
Album - The Wind, the Trees and the Shadows of the Past
Year of release - 2007

This is the first release from a very new band in the melodic death-doom scene. The Morningside had the courage of releasing a full-length immediately without testing reactions with a demo first. They were not overconfident as it's proven to be a very impressive little (forty-minute) album and I'm not by far the only one to think so; ...Shadows of the Past has already been garnering a lot of respect for its highly convincing melancholia. It's not that heavy, but the melodies in both the true doom parts and the abundant acoustic passages are full of pain and mystic beauty. The best aspect is how the album only gets more spectacular towards the end. Essential for anyone who is not afraid of some elegance and fragility in his/her metal.
  1. Intro
  2. The wind
  3. The trees
  4. The shadows of the past
  5. Outro
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October 26, 2008

Ancient Rites - And the Hordes Stood as One

Band/artist - Ancient Rites
Genre(s) - Symphonic blackened metal
Origin - Belgium
Album - And the Hordes Stood as One
Year of release - 2003

Ancient Rites are a Flemish metal band operating somewhere between the heavy, thrash and black metal genres spiced up with a generous helping of medieval-ish symphonic keyboards. They're no perfect band: Günther really isn't that good a vocalist and they've always been plagued by a production job as solid and hard-hitting as a sheet of aluminium foil. In fact this, a live album, is probably their most well-mixed album to date! And the Hordes... consists of all the best tracks from their two preceding studio albums, plus some nice oldies and is easily my fave release. Central theme of the lyrics is European history with a stress on its perceived cultural superiority, but their music is very melodic and deceptively uplifting even in the most aggressive parts. I must confess I'm a longtime fan despite the blatant nationalism. Favourite songs? All of 'em!
  1. The return
  2. Exile (les litanies de Satan)
  3. Victory or valhalla (last man standing)
  4. Total misanthropia
  5. Aris
  6. And the horns called for war
  7. North sea
  8. Blood of christ
  9. Longing for the ancient kingdom
  10. Götterdämmerung (twilight of the gods)
  11. Ode to ancient Europa
  12. (Het verdronken land van) Saeftinghe
  13. On golden fields (de leeuwen dansen)
  14. Mother Europe
  15. Evil prevails
  16. Fatherland
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October 25, 2008

Grateful Dead live at Fillmore West, 22-08-1968

Band/artist - Grateful Dead
Genre(s) - Psych rock, jam band
Origin - Frisco USA
Album - Live at the Fillmore West, NYC, 22nd of August 1968
Year of release - Bootleg; never officially released

Back when I was still a hippie some three years ago I used to be quite into the Grateful Dead, especially the good old psychedelic live jams from the sixties. This is one of the innumerable bootlegs that circulate through the single most loyal fanbase of any band in the world. The band has always been quite encouraging towards tapers as long as they release their bootlegs on a non-profit basis, how cool is that? Jerry, Bob, Pigpen, Phil, Micky and Bill knew like no other band how to transform their studio songs songs into huge stretches of pure hallucinogenic madness in a live setting... and mostly improvised! The way the individual band members adapt to/feed into the single entity that is the music is phenomenal, and the effect is totally spacey. Oh! And they have two drummers.
  1. Dark star
  2. St. Stephen > The eleven
  3. Death don't have no mercy
  4. (Turn on your) Love light
  5. Alligator
  6. Caution (do not step on tracks)
  7. Feedback
  8. Bid you goodnight
Load it down

October 24, 2008

Defiant statement on Cyndi's disappearance

Okay, what the fuck? I uploaded some Cyndi Lauper and both the post and the mediafire upload have gone. H4x0red by record company executives? Come on, the album sold in the millions, surely you guise have profited on its sales enough by now to let one illegal upload slip? Maybe Cyndi is totally down with music piracy, why don't you ask her?

The peaceful coexistence of black metal on one hand and actual music on the other is one of the main justfications of this blog's existence and I will not stand for a depopification of my illegal internet activities.

Besides, is it not way more criminal that we are actually expected to pay for such absolute necessities to live a human(e) life such as food, drugs and music than that I'm distributing the latter for free? POPular revolt against record companies now! Workers of the music industry unite, the power is YOURS!


(Okay I'm better now.)

Electric Six - Fire

Band/artist - Electric Six
Genre(s) - Disco rock??
Origin - United States of America
Album - Fire
Year of release - 2003

This is one of the, if not the most righteous party album of this decade. Electric Six have it all. Catchiness, quirkiness, major and persistent sexual innuendo and a whole goddamn truckload of humour. Their music is based solidly in rock, augmented with a lot of playful disco, pop and electronic elements.
Dick Valentine's voice is decidedly pompous and his lyrics deal with topics such as dancing and sex and, well, fire. Because every song on here contains this last word, Fire was chosen as the title of this first and still most well-known release of theirs. If you have heard the singles Danger! High Voltage and Gay Bar, you know exactly what to expect. Personally those are not my favourites on the album; I like the first threesome of songs and Improper Dancing a little more. This disk is smokin' hot; get it and go wild.
  1. Dance commander
  2. Electric demons in love
  3. Naked pictures (of your mother)
  4. Danger! High voltage
  5. She's white
  6. I invented the night
  7. Improper dancing
  8. Gay bar
  9. Nuclear war (on the dancefloor)
  10. Getting into the jam
  11. Vengeance and fashion
  12. I'm the bomb
  13. Synthesizer
Load it down

October 20, 2008

Infernum - Farewell

Band/artist - Infernum
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Poland
Album - Farewell
Year of release - 2005

Another beast from the East. Infernum as a band was founded by some Anextiomarus but apparently the band literally split in two. This incarnation of the band is actually that of the side or session members, but then those side members are nobody but
Capricornus and Rob Darken of Graveland - and more - infamy. This new Infernum is better off, I must say, as it brings some very interesting fresh ideas to the table while using unmistakably Eastern European harmonies. The main motif in Before the Locks of Twilight and the epic keyboard parts in Hisarna instantly negate the thin production and the all too loose drumming job. This is unique material - black metal for connaisseurs.
  1. Reverence to the obscure
  2. Black march
  3. Before the locks of twilight
  4. Hisarna
  5. Inverted prayer
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Mad Caddies - Just One More

Band/artist - Mad Caddies
Genre(s) - Ska punk
Origin - United States of America
Album - Just One More
Year of release - 2003

Well, alright then. One ska punk album for mister, and a mighty fine one it is too.
The Mad Caddies are from California and the music is fittingly sunny but not so much that it gets shallow. They don't so much mix melodic punk rock with ska, rather tend to change back and forth between the two. This is not at all a bother as these guys are good musicians and they know how to put together well-running songs. The band displays a large variety of influences and tricks to keep the ride pleasant till the end and in that case, the rule goes: the more tracks, the more fun to be had.
  1. Drinking for 11
  2. Contraband
  3. Villains
  4. Science
  5. Just one more
  6. Day by day
  7. Leavin
  8. Rockupation
  9. Last breath
  10. Spare change
  11. Riot
  12. 10 west
  13. Good intentions
  14. Wet dog
  15. Game show
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October 17, 2008

Saturnus - Veronika Decides to Die

Band/artist - Saturnus
Genre(s) - Doom metal
Origin - Denmark
Album - Veronika Decides to Die
Year of release - 2006

Saturnus, t
o me, sound very different from your average death-doom band, but I couldn't tell you exactly why. I hope you get my meaning when you listen to them for yourself. The band can be praised for paying a lot of attention to the small details of a song without losing view on the bigger picture. They're at their best in the softer parts, which tend to explode into a climax of... well, fairly accessible doom metal with frustratingly held-back grunts and some semi-clean barking remiscent of hardcore vocals that I am totally not into. Actually they make up for a lot on Veronika Decides to Die, with a fuller, darker and doomier sound than earlier works, and most of the tracks are more diverse in composition than before. Of course guitars, keyboards and lyrics are all gracefully melancholic just as they should be. So never mind my grumbling, this is a great album and a great band - even the earlier works are really quite cool.
  1. I long
  2. Pretend
  3. Descending
  4. Rain wash me
  5. All alone
  6. Embraced by darkness
  7. To the dreams
  8. Murky water
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October 15, 2008

Drudkh - Autumn Aurora

Band/artist - Drudkh
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Ukraine
Album - Autumn Aurora
Year of release - 2004

It's really beginning to become autumn now so we can't go wrong with this album today. Usually I'm not so into Eastern European metal, and not for lack of trying, but every once in a while you find a gem, like this one. Drudkh play mostly ethereal black metal at a leisurely pace. It could easily have been a boring Burzum clone (not a fan of Varg, here) but it seems as though the spirit of Slavic folklore has twisted the melodies into something less predictable. The guitar lines possess a very unusual autumnal feel and structure. This music beckons you to follow as it weaves its way through the reds and yellows of the october forest. Autumn Aurora is a surprisingly gentle journey through breathtaking landscapes.
  1. Fading
  2. Summoning the rain
  3. Glare of autumn
  4. Sunwheel
  5. Wind of the night forests
  6. The first snow
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October 14, 2008

Heds Upp.

Sorry if the blog's been going a bit slower lately. It's not that I'm that much more busy than usual, but since the very start I've been churning out albums faster than I receive new postworthy ones, and understandably I want to avoid running out of great releases to blog about. I'm very picky about what I listen to and even more picky about what I want you to listen to, so in order to safeguard a continuous stream of quality music sometimes I have to step on the brakes.

But don't worry, there's still plenty more where all of this has been coming from and I am at all times fanatically looking for new stuff. :)

October 11, 2008

Broilers - Vanitas

Band/artist - Broilers
Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - Germany (Düsseldorf)
Album - Vanitas
Year of release - 2007

Did someone say German oi? Here's some more! Broilers are again more sophisticated than Volxsturm, having shed most of their skinhead image and taking a lot of direct influence from straight-up rock and roll. The track Ruby Light & Dark, much recommended, seems even to incorporate some 80s pop/disco-ish vibe at some places, to great effect. Like Vier Promille, they have an emotional depth that is often lacking in this kind of music. Biggest contributor to this is singer Sammy's voice.
It took me a while to get used to but it really got to me; it's instantly recognizable and has that much more feeling than your average drunken streetrock barker. A lot of the songs on the second half of this album are even now still growing on me, having unjustly ignored them for a long time. With Vanitas I have completed my German oi! triumvirate. If you download any of them, know that you'll probably like both the others as well.
  1. Preludio
  2. Zurück zum Beton (Back to the concrete)
  3. Meine Sache (My business)
  4. Held in unserer Mitte (Hero in our midst)
  5. Vanitas
  6. Ruby light & dark
  7. Alles, was ich tat (Everything I've done)
  8. Das Verdikt, Rache (The verdict, revenge)
  9. Lost soul
  10. Punkrock love song
  11. Werdet ihr folgen (Will you follow)
  12. Heute schon gelebt (Lived today yet?)
  13. Weißt du es schon (Do you know yet?)
  14. Sicherheit (Certainty/safety)
  15. Wir gehen schonmal (We're going already)
  16. Hexenjagd (Witch hunt)
  17. Schönheit, das Biest (Beauty, the beast)
  18. Weißes Licht (White light)
  19. Halt den Sommer fest (Hold on to the summer)
Load it down

October 9, 2008

Volxsturm - Bi uns to hus...

Band/artist - Volxsturm
Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - Germany
Album - Bi uns to Hus
Year of release - 2002

In Germany, where they play a lot of oi!, there are quite a lot of oi! bands and many of them are German. Therefore, I present you with Volxsturm, a German oi! band. I know the name sounds conspicious but y'all know I'd never post nazi music, at least not if you can actually decipher the lyrics. The band's a bit more hardline in music and attitude than Vier Promille was, but have an excellent ear for the catchier riffs and shout-along moments. Songs that are particularly cool are Heimat (the version by Broilers on their split is even more awesome), the title track, Geht Vorbei, and the skatastic Mir geht's gut.
The genre (and skinhead subculture) is burdened with a reputation of being angry but this is undeserved; a lot of oi! is really fun-loving music and hey, skins are people too. :)
  1. Chaos rock'n'roll 101
  2. Heimat (Homeland)
  3. Viel zu spät (Far too late)
  4. Bi uns to hus (At our home(?)
  5. Lang ist es her... (It's been a long time...)
  6. Geht vorbei (everything) Passes)
  7. Tanz! (Dance!)
  8. Wie lange noch? (How much longer?)
  9. Nur für dich (Just for you)
  10. Raff dich auf (Get yourself up)
  11. Skinheads are back
  12. Mir geht's gut (I'm doing fine)
  13. Alltag (Everyday)
  14. Bier ist totall mein Freund (Beer is totally my friend)
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October 8, 2008

4 Promille - Alte Schule

Band/artist - 4 Promille
Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - Germany
Album - Alte Schule
Year of release - 2007

An oi! band formed by Volker Grüner after leaving rechtsrock band Störkraft out of ideological differences with the main lyricist. 4 Promille play alcoholic, diversified street rock with a good production and more room for the odd nostalgic touch than any other band in the skinhead scene that I know. Songs such as Ten and a Half about lost childhood or Die Nacht incorporate melodies that seem quite sad to me. Another thing that sets 4 Promille apart from their peers is their dual vocal duties: some songs are sung by a female singer whose name I can't find. The skinhead image may scare people away unnecessarily; if you like straightforward rock and roll music you will probably enjoy this disk. If you do, both their previous albums are just as recommended.
  1. Alte Schule (Old school)
  2. Die Nacht (The night)
  3. I like them in underwear
  4. Export
  5. Harald unser (Our Harald)
  6. Ten and a half
  7. Porn star
  8. No hit wonder
  9. Arschloch (Asshole)
  10. Aus dem Regen (Out of the rain)
  11. Cognac
  12. Fleisch und Blut (Flesh and blood)
  13. Mrs. Nice
Load it down

October 7, 2008

Ernst Busch

Band/artist - Ernst Busch
Genre(s) - Classical singer
Origin - Kiel, Deutschland
Album - My compilation for you!
Year of release - unreleased

Ernst Busch, who wrote the previously posted poem, was a communist stage actor and singer most famous for his roles in Bertold Brecht's plays and the political and worker songs (like those written by Hanns Eisler in the 20s and 30s, as well as traditionals from the Spanish Civil War in which Ernst actively fought) he gave voice to. This is my compilation of only the best and most militant of these. Bombastically orchestrated marches and hymns from the time when Moscow dictated exactly what the right ideological course was for most communists accross the globe. In the eponymous song, for instance, Lenin is described as some omnipotent demigod whose mere words made the houses, mines and factories rise from the ground. Listen especially to the brilliant Der Heimliche Aufmarsch ("Workers, peasants, take up your rifles...!"), learn the lyrics by heart and sing it in the streets!
  1. Der heimliche Aufmarsch (gegen die Sowjetunion) (The surreptuous advance upon the Soviet Union)
  2. Linker Marsch (Left march)
  3. Lenin
  4. Das lied vom Vaterland (Song of the fatherland)
  5. Vorwärts, Bolshewik! (Forwards, bolshevik!)
  6. Roter Wedding (Red district)
  7. Vorwärts internationale Brigades! (Forwards, International Brigades!)
  8. Halt Stand, rotes Madrid (Stand fast, red Madrid!)
  9. Der Zukunft entgegen (Toward the future)
  10. Die Rote Armee marschiert (The Red Army marches)
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Es fiel Brachet,
ein Sozialist.

Es fiel Hans Beimler,

Es fiel Joza Majek,
ein junger Christ.

Es fiel Durutti,
ein Anarchist.

Wofür sind sie gefallen?

I. Er war Student und Journalist,
Jung-Belgiens bester Mann.
Den Weg zur Einheit, ohne List,
Ging Pierre Brachet voran.

II. Metallarbeit war sein Beruf.
Das Dritte Reich sein Feld,
Wo illegale Kader schuf,
Hans Beimler, deutscher Held.

III. Er teilte in der Slowakei
Mit Bauern Brot und Wein.
Für seine christliche Partei
Trat Joza Majek ein.

IV. Sein Leben: Kampf und Rebellion!
Verfolgt, vom Tod bedroht,
Trug Kataloniens stolzer Sohn
Durutti jede Not.

Vier Männer. Ungleich Weg und Ziel.
Verschieden Land und Wort.
Doch als man Spanien überfiel,
War aller Zwiespalt fort.

Für Frieden auf Erden, für Freiheit und Recht,
Gingen als Brüder sie ins Gefecht,
Ein Beispiel der Einheit uns allen,
Der Anarchist, der junge Christ,
der Kommunist, der Sozialist.

Dafür sind sie gefallen!

- Ernst Busch
Adapted from http://www.ernst-busch.de/

October 5, 2008

Alcest - Tristesse Hivernale

Band/artist - Alcest
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - France
Album - Tristesse Hivernale
Year of release - 2001

Alcest is a miracle. I've not kept my praises of Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde to myself, and it is one of my favourite albums ever written. On the whole, the album got so much attention that everyone who should hear it by now probably has, so again I'll offer a demo for those still looking to complete their mp3 discographies. Tristesse Hivernale is a four-song demo of lo-fi black metal which may be hard to get used to for those whose first contact with the band was the full-length. Neige's screeches are fearsome but it's not a very dangerous sounding tape altogether; the raw but muddled production blunts the edge of the riffs and it decidedly lacks a low-end punch. Melodies are not bad, especially the main riff in La Forêt de Cristal is very good, and it's a right passable 22 minutes of bedroom BM, but I prefer the later material any old time.
  1. Tristesse hivernale (Autumnal sadness)
  2. La forêt de cristal (The forest of crystal)
  3. En mémoire aux valeureux guerriers (In memory of the valorous warriors)
  4. La mort plane sur les contrées glacées (The dead plain in the frozen lands)
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Boudewijn de Groot - Grootste Hits

Groep/artiest - Boudewijn de Groot
Genre(s) - Folk, singer-songwriter
Oorsprong - Nederland
Album - Grootste hits
Jaar van uitgave - 1973

Boudewijn de Groot is a Dutch self-styled troubadour who's had all kinds of songs in his repertoire, from plaintive (Verdronken Vlinder, Waterdrager) to uplifting (Tante Julia, Jimmy) and from socially critical (Welterusten, Mijnheer de President) to nonsensical (Het Land van Maas en Waal, Als de Rook om je Hoofd is Verdwenen). It was he who consciously decided to write the first Dutch psychedelic album, entitled Picknick,
in 1967/68. He's still a popular artist in Holland and Flanders and several of his songs are known to most Dutch people. This is a compilation of his greatest early hits, and it has always been the album my family listened to in long car drives to our holiday destination. I can sing them all word for word and they're all great songs that are by now rooted deeply in my subconsciousness. Absolute favourites of mine include the scathing anti-war protest anthem Welterusten Mijnheer de President which gets more tense and dramatic as the song progresses, the poetic and melancholic Prikkebeen, and the fun Tante Julia. Also much respect to late Lennart Nijgh who wrote most of Boudewijn's best lyrics.
  1. Een meisje van zestien (A sixteen year old girl)
  2. Apocalyps
  3. Welterusten mijnheer de president (Sleep well, mister President)
  4. Verdronken vlinder (Drowned butterfly)
  5. Testament
  6. Het land van Maas en Waal (The land of Meuse and Waal)
  7. Onder ons (Among us)
  8. Prikkebeen ("Stingy Leg", nickname of a character)
  9. Als de rook om je hoofd is verdwenen (When the smoke round your head has disappeared)
  10. Waterdrager (Water carrier)
  11. Tante Julia (Aunty Julia)
  12. Jimmy
Laadt het neer

October 4, 2008

Big Brother & the Holding company - Cheap Thrills

Band/artist - Big Brother & the Holding Company
Genre(s) - Psychedelic blues rock
Origin - United States of America (San Fran)
Album - Cheap Thrills
Year of release - 1968

BB&tHC were one of many, many Frisco psych rock bands of the 60s, with the minor difference of having Janis Joplin, white queen of the black voice, sing for them. You probably know what Janis' voice sounds like, and if not, well, she has a formidable throat, raw and expressive, and when she sings the blues, the blues is dripping right off of it. Several of her most well-known songs were written and performed first with this band, most importantly Piece of my Heart and Ball and Chain. The song I can most recommend, however, is Oh Sweet Mary, whose main riff is a 2 foot fishing hook lodged into your palate dragging you to the surface by 30 feet per second (using these US measurements not just once but twice makes me feel yucky). Interestingly the album, in the time's spirit, is a semi-live one dressed up as a fully live one, but then, it's not like I can tell the difference.
  1. Combination of the two
  2. I need a man to love
  3. Summertime
  4. Piece of my heart
  5. Turtle blues
  6. Oh sweet Mary
  7. Ball and chain
  8. Road black
  9. Flower in the sun
  10. Catch me daddy
  11. Magic of love
Load it down

October 2, 2008

Ash Pool - World Turns on its Hinge

Band/artist - Ash Pool
Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - United States of America
Album - World Turns on its Hinge
Year of release - 2007

This album will never really become a true favourite but it surprised me and I decided to write a bit about it and share with you.
Ash Pool was formed only three years ago by two very angry men - one is also from Prurient if that rings a bell (it doesn't with me) - who needed to vent some frustration. With raw black metal they chose the right form to do so, and indeed this album sounds crude and extremely malignant. Figures that they sing mostly about sadism, specializing in sexual violence. At first I thought it would sound like an Ildjarn-clone, but World Turns on its Hinge is surprisingly melodic and not too boring and as such exceeded my expectations by a mile. For fans of Akitsa, Katharsis, Clandestine Blaze...
  1. Sin of life
  2. Crucifixion fantasy
  3. Shade of rape
  4. Penetrated slave
  5. Under zyklon blue
  6. Rapist's thrusts
  7. Vices triumph over wisdom
  8. The sin of nature is the sign of god
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October 1, 2008

Katatonia - Viva Emptiness

Band/artist - Katatonia
Genre(s) - Dark modern hard rock
Origin - Sweden
Album - Viva Emptiness
Year of release - 2003

Katatonia started out as a quite influential death-doom band with their widely praised album Dance of December Souls. A couple of albums later, their music can hardly still be described as metal.
However, Viva Emptiness is as dark as many a doom metal album, and not even significantly less heavy. You could call it the spirit of doom captured in a rock song structure. This rock sound of theirs is crunchy, modern and exceptionally well-polished, leaving plenty of room for melodic details. The distorted guitars are quite heavy but cleaner guitars and background keyboards add a delicacy that greatly enhances the mood of the album, which is rather tense and anxious. The singer, Jonas Renske, brings this very well, in his vocals lies a great part of the album's emotional power. What makes this album special to me is the outstanding songwritership behind it - on no other release have Katatonia written compositions that are so refined and individually rewarding as on this one. So if I point out a Criminals, a Walking by a Wire or an Omerta that's because of their impact on me, not because they're that much better than the rest.
  1. Ghost of the sun
  2. Sleeper
  3. Criminals
  4. A premonition
  5. Will I arrive?
  6. Burn the remembrance
  7. Wealth
  8. One year from now
  9. Walking by a wire
  10. Complicity
  11. Evidence
  12. Omerta
  13. Inside the city of glass
Load it down