December 31, 2009

A non-committal list of albums released in 2009 that I really enjoyed lots (now with pictures 'n shit)

picture also unrelated

Because you know, it's hard for me and a huge emotional confrontation to rank albums because it feels like they are living humans and I don't have the right to tell them that maybe some other album is better or more loved, it would cause lasting damage to their faith in humanity and I would feel really wretched if I did that.

Creature with the Atom Brain - Transylvania
Great and very groovy psychedelic rock that makes Belgium sound like the new San Francisco.
Probably posted shortly.

Martyrdöd - Sekt
Swedish blackened crust, gloriously driving, nihilistic monotony and filth.
Previous album posted here.

Geïst - Galeere
Nautical-themed atmo-black metal album that has been shockingly underrated.
Previous album posted here.

Antony and the Johnsons - The crying light
Unique voice, unique music. I would gladly give up gender certainty for such a voice.
Previous album posted here.

The Urgency - The urgency
Indie rock barely touching on punk energy, the result is criminally catchy.
Probably posted shortly.

Skagos - Ást
Sublime Canadian atmospheric black metal with apparently some left-wing sympathies.
Posted shortly.

Sólstafir - Köld
She destrooooooooys againnnnnnn!! As good as the previous album,
which you can find here.

Rome - Flowers from exile
Best neofolk-ish stuff I heard since Spiritual Front.
Posted in the longer term.

The Cavalcade - Meet you in the rain
Just a five-track twee folk EP but SO captivating!
Posted shortly.

Alcest & Les Discrets - Split
Fine appetiser, especially the Les Discrets part is amazing.
Earlier material by both here (LD), here and here (A).

Austere - To lay like old ashes
Visionary band daringly taking suicidal black metal into new territory.
Posted shortly.

The Exploding Boy - Afterglow
Anachronistic neo-postpunk goodness from Sverige.
Posted shortly.

Powerwolf - Bible of the beast
Campy yet strong power metal with superb vocals.
Earlier album will be posted shortly.

It May Never End - Such is life
Unknown Aussie group, but best post-rock album I've heard all year.
Posted in the longer term.

Der Blaue Reiter - Nuclear Sun
Intriguing, mysterious, distressing martial ambient.
May feature some time or another, or it may not.

VNV Nation - Of faith, power and glory
Once more with feeling: Great and thoughtful EBM/synthpop champions.
Earlier album posted here.

Panopticon - Collapse
Anarcho-black metal guru Lundr proves himself once more. Old gods, no masters! (?)
Posted here on a blog you should be visiting anyway.

Miserere Luminis - Miserere luminis
Collaboration between Gris and Sombres Forêts, luckily the Gris influences win out.
Gris album can be found here.

Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs
"Amesoeurs is dead", not with a whimper, with a bang.
Demo and split here.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The pains of being pure at heart
They'll have you gazing at your shoes through tears of joyful misery.
The proof can be found here.

December 30, 2009

Sólstafir - Masterpiece of Bitterness

Genre(s) - (Post-)black metal
Origin - Iceland
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 62.78 MB

Iceland! There are many more black metal bands from there than its quickly dwindling number of inhabitants would warrant, but only a handful seem to be actually worth the effort of tracking them down. Sólstafir are one from the latter category, a progressive black metal band with a lot of influences from hardcore, sludge and post-rock. They come across as quite intellectual to me, yet not by far as elitist as most regular bands in the genre. Masterpiece of Bitterness strangely starts off with the main course, an oddly-titled twenty-minute long opus that almost (almost!) makes the rest of the album obsolete. It showcases some dazzlingly expansive atmospheres, made possible in large part by some seriously gnarly, indignantly groaning bass work offsetting the resounding glimmer of the guitars. It's a song, a real bitter masterpiece, in which you can really lose yourself for its entire duration and you may not even need drugs for it - though of course I generally recommend drug use to everybody.
  1. I myself the visionary head
  2. Nature strutter
  3. Bloodsoaked velvet
  4. Lux fare
  5. Ghosts of light
  6. Ritual of fire
  7. Náttfari
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Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now

Genre(s) - Chamber pop
Origin - Ireland/UK
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 48.23 MB

I like to think all music I post is special for some reason or another, but here's a group that is really quite unlike anything else that I know. The Johnsons play some extremely timeless romantic music that sounds like it belongs in an exclusive nightclub somewhere in the twenties or thirties. The star of the show is the enigmatic Antony Hegarty, with his magical, lilting one-of-a-kind voice that just suits the music so wonderfully. He is also the one laying down the plaintive, desolate piano tones, the music's main ingredient, supported by an understated bass and drums combo and sometimes a bit of brass and violin, lifting for instance Fistful of Love up to be the album's high point. While the melodies themselves are not usually so sad, the music is clearly intended for lonely nights of wistful yearning more than to spice up a party with. Well, I've tested, and it works: there is some fine nightly yearning to be had with Bird Now on.
  1. Hope there's someone
  2. My lady story
  3. For today I am a boy
  4. Man is the baby
  5. You are my sister
  6. What can I do?
  7. Fistful of love
  8. Spiralling
  9. Free at last
  10. Bird gehrl
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December 29, 2009

Bedhead - Transaction de novo

Genre(s) - Slowcore/post-rock
Origin - Texas, USA
Year of release - 1998
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 33.84 MB

The aptly titled band Bedhead were an indie rock band who created calm, drowsy, squeaky-clean music with three guitars and a bass, which sounds like it should be listened to after a long hot shower and just before laying down your tired body on the hard, stained but warmly inviting mattress. Throughout their career, their music took on more and more body, some degree of distortion, and intra-track progress and these slowcore-pioneers floated into post-rock territory at a more than leisurely pace. Even with Transaction de Novo, their final album, they still exhibit a rare and deliberate holding back, never falling for useless pomp. It makes Bedhead an excellent band to spend those warm last waking moments of your day on.
  1. Exhume
  2. More than ever
  3. Parade
  4. Half-thought
  5. Extramundane
  6. Forgetting
  7. Lepidoptera
  8. Psychosomatica
  9. The present
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[Repost] Skambankt - Eliksir

Genre(s) - Punk, hard rock
Origin - Norway
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - 320 kbps
Size - 86.22 MB

[Repost because I remembered that the RAR file of this one was corrupt, or the songs skipping or somesuch. Enjoy now, undamaged and in much higher bitrate. Despite my somewhat inane review this really is a punch in the face of glorious punk rock anthems with a sound and approach entirely Skambankt's own. Worth every punk enthusiast's attention.]

Still combining the sounds of old-school punk and old-school hardrock, this album is more in the direction of old-school hard punking rock rather than old-school hard rocking punk, as the
previous, equally-awesome self-titled album could be classified. And all in Norwegian! Just think how awesome this world could have been if crappy BM bands like Gorgoroth, Burzum, Mayhem or Satyricon never started playing black metal but played punk instead! Indeed; it would have been super duper awesome! That's why you have to download this album.
  1. Intro
  2. Nok et offer
  3. Dynasti
  4. Stormkast #1
  5. Tyster
  6. Ordets gud
  7. Min eliksir
  8. Siste stikk
  9. Fritt fall
  10. Angst
  11. Idyllillusionen
  12. Bak låste dører
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December 22, 2009

Amorphis - Tales from the Thousand Lakes

Genre(s) - (kind of melodic doomy death??) - Metal!!
Origin - Finland
Year of release - 1994
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 36.20 MB

What a weird release Thousand Lakes is. I don't know, but the mix sounds all weird, really hollow, and with synths whose tone can only be described as weird. Or is it just me? For some reason however, I've always held on to this album and I couldn't face my conscience if I were to say it was bad. It has a quite relaxed overall feeling, with many pleasant and classic melodies that captured a lot of people (at least I know here in Holland Amorphis were universally well-liked and highly esteemed, especially this album). Personal favourites are the threesome of First Doom, Black Winter Day and Drowned Maid, sporting the best harmonies. In constrast to most later work, it's all rather simple in construction (esp.
the drums are extremely basic) and too neutral in mood for my tastes, but somehow this has that kind of charm that leaves few people unaffected. But yeah, it sounds kinda weird.
  1. Thousand lakes
  2. Into hiding
  3. The castaway
  4. First doom
  5. Black winter day
  6. Drowned maid
  7. In the beginning
  8. Forgotten sunrise
  9. To father's cabin
  10. Magic and mayhem
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Class Pride World Wide vol. 3

Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 80.22 MB

And some more... all thanks to wonderful Canadian label Insurgence Records.
  1. Union Made (can) - Products
  2. Nuts & Bolts (usa) - Corruption
  3. Loikaemie (de) - Good night white pride
  4. Discipline (nl) - Red and white army
  5. Runnin' Riot (ire) - Lost generation
  6. Street Terror (pol) - Nigdy nie bedziesz szedi sam
  7. Spit on Your Grave (usa) - So far past sick
  8. Cervelli Stanki (ita) - Figli della klasse operala
  9. Boiler (hun) - Formas popsi, szep szemek
  10. Fear City (usa) - FSC anthem
  11. Freiboiter (de) - Schöne neue Welt
  12. Esclaves Salaries (can) - Ils ne passeront pas
  13. Curasbun (chl) - Cerveza
  14. Death in Custody (usa) - Pissed off and broke
  15. Bayonets (yug) - Our fight
  16. Puntas de Acero (arg) - Clase obrera
  17. Borderguards (can) - Independent
  18. United Front (uk) - Vengeance
  19. Anger Flares (jap) - Search for the light
  20. Hard Skin (uk) - Skin hard
  21. S-Contro (ita) - La mia storia
  22. Razor Bois (rus) - Burned discos
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Class Pride World Wide vol. 2

Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 55.46 MB

More antifascist and left-wing oi!, streetpunk, hardcore and ska from all over the globe. Life is beautiful.
  1. The Prowlers (can) - We come out first
  2. Social Combat (esp) - Our enemy
  3. Red Alert (uk) - Million dollar punx
  4. Nogood Heroes (usa) - Populist
  5. The Class Assassins (can) - For the kids
  6. Pub All Stars (arg) - Radio 69
  7. Bolchoi (fra) - Gueules cassées
  8. Fuori Controllo (ita) - Aggro on the streets
  9. The Analogs (pol) - Blask szminki
  10. Fate 2 Fate (can) - Fight for yourself
  11. Jonny Gerriwelt (eus) - Freedom words
  12. Signal 3 (usa) - Spirit of rebellion
  13. Garotos Podres (bra) - Garoto podre
  14. The Protest (cze) - Tri postavy
  15. Frontkick (de) - Danger
  16. Razzaparte (ita) - Noi ci siamo ancora
  17. Wildcate Strike (swe) - Ar det demokrati?
  18. Sick Sick Six (prt) - Quantos de voces
  19. Charge 69 (fra) - Casse-toi
  20. Fighting Chance (usa) - Coward's pride
  21. Angelic Upstarts (uk) - Machine gun Chelly (live)
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[Repost] Class Pride World Wide vol. 1

Genre(s) - Oi!, punk, ska
Origin - all over the world
Year of release - 2001
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 51.46

[Had this one up for a while but it is only the first out of a series of three compilations and why not post them all together?]

For those still believing that the term skinhead is synonymous with neo-nazi, here's the final solid proof that this is a total misconception. The first compilation of a series of three released by the antifascist Insurgence Records presents us with 19 bands mostly from the SHARP (SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice) and RASH (Red and Anarchist SkinHeads) scene. Not a skinhead myself - full head of hair here - I'm nonetheless fascinated by their subculture and praise their class consciousness. Their music is awesome too, this isn't the first oi! release I'm posting here. Street Troopers, Brigada Flores Magon and Los Fastidios deliver some of the best tracks on the disc but it's full of sometimes catchy, sometimes angry songs about working class life, beating up nazis and other fun, important subjects.

  1. Street Troopers (can) - Don't let 'em win
  2. Stage Bottles (de) - Dead but not forgiven
  3. Reazione (ita) - Forse un giorno vincera!
  4. Worker (usa) - Betrayed
  5. Remences (esp) - Sota control
  6. The Oppressed (uk) - Substitute
  7. Brigada Flores Magon (fra) - Continente olvidado
  8. FFD (ita) - Proletario
  9. H-Block 101 (aus) - Aunty Pauline
  10. Klasse Kriminale (ita) - I ragazzi sono innocenti
  11. Scrapy (de) - Still standing
  12. Blastcaps (can) - Shining light
  13. Pinkerton Thugs (usa) - Propaganda by the deed
  14. Opcio K-95 (esp) - Skinhead only red
  15. Los Fastidios (ita) - S-H-A-R-P
  16. Fermin Muguruza (eus) - Newroz
  17. Les Partisans (fra) - Radio rebelle
  18. Blaggers ITA (uk) - 1949
  19. Ya Basta (fra) - Chiapas
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December 20, 2009

Mediæval Bæbes - Mirabilis

Genre(s) - Ethereal, neo-classical
Origin - United Kingdom
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 320 kbps
Size - 80.91 MB

My hopes for a true winter are being fulfilled: it hasn't snowed like this for years! I've been trudging through Leiden's monumental 17th-century city centre for a few hours today and it was a more beautiful sight even than usual. Music to go well with weather (and towns) like this is swirly gothic or ethereal, and the Mediæval B
æbes deal in a very neo-classical version of it that suits the name well, as does the fact that it is an all-women band. With various acoustic and old-timey instruments like (f)lutes, harps, percussion and (I believe) all of their voices they create wonderful music that seems to be made for snowy days' candlelit evenings, and especially these days around Yuletide. I have a large and equal fondness for all the seasons; I love winter for its magical dreaminess and I have a feeling many of my posts will be reflecting this. Already a lot of the previous ones do, and of course this one too. Enjoy, if you feel the same way. :)
  1. Star of the sea
  2. Trovommi amor
  3. Temptasyon
  4. San'c fuy belha ni prezada
  5. All for the love of one
  6. The lament
  7. Musa venit carmine
  8. Kilmeny
  9. Umlahi
  10. Cittern segue
  11. Return of the birds
  12. Tam Lin
  13. Scarborough Fayre
  14. Come my sweet
  15. Mark hur var skugga
  16. The world fareth as a fantasye
  17. Away
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December 19, 2009

A Beautiful Machine - Solar Winds, White Noise, Antigravity

Genre(s) - Post-spacegaze
Origin - Australia
Year of release - 2000
Bitrate - Various
Size - 70.45 MB

An early, and unfortunately still inexplicably unknown post-rock band, whose music is considered to be built up from space rock and shoegaze elements. The latter are a lot more obvious, I think. The space rock aspect can be most clearly noted in the worked-open structures and spaciousness and universal (non-personal) overtones, but then those feautures are applicable to most regular post-rock bands as well. But common sense tells us not to give a crap about genres, so just give it a listen if you like expansive, mind-bending soundscapes that glow with all the colours of a stellar nebula. A Beautiful Machine will be happy to show you around.

All material by this band can be downloaded officially for free from, here.
  1. Entwine
  2. Shining
  3. Sometimes
  4. Glow
  5. The sound of her wings
  6. Follow mine
  7. Breathe in space
  8. Coming up...
  9. ...Again
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Toil - Obscure Chasms

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - United States of America
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - 96 kbps
Size - 28.52 MB

Toil are an American underground raw black metal project and this is the first and only full-length. Main dude seems quite active in the scene, with many (guest) positions in different bands and projects, among which Vrolok, Funeral Mourning and Nox Inferi. Obscure Chasms is marred by a thin sound
and low volume, for which the bitrate isn't solely to blame, but this in turn generates a mystic, hazy sound that suits the band's style well. I'm posting this album for the sake of Mistress of the Deep (Part 1) which really hits home with its intricate, obscenely depressing guitar lines. This exercise is repeated in a much more monotonous way and to less effect on Desolate Reflection. The rest really can't flop my mop but I'm sure plenty of you will have a use for this lo-fi, murky and moody black metal album.
  1. Obscure chasms
  2. Within the damp earth
  3. Mistress of the deep (part 1)
  4. Mistress of the deep (part 2)
  5. Ashen sky
  6. Dead leaves
  7. Desolate reflection
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December 18, 2009

SpringtOifel - Engelstrompeten und Teufelsposaunen

Genre(s) - Oi!
Origin - Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - 256 kbps
Size - 47.27 MB

Those who have followed this blog for a longer time may know: I have a soft spot for German oi!, only this hasn't really been mirrored in the blog entries recently. Time to set some shit right! SpringtOifel are, let's respectfully call it an "experienced" band; the track Gebortztaachslied, literally a birthday song, tallies "Fünfundzwanzig Jahre Alkohol, Sex und Droogs und Rock 'n Roll!" Basically they were full-grown beer-binging skinheads before most current skins even had to bother shaving their heads yet. They are both a professional and very fun-loving bunch: Engelsposaunen shows remarkable songwriter- and musicianship and production values for a skinhead record, with upbeat sing-along songs with very witzige lyrics. Definite high point of the album is the hilarious ode to Bud Spencer, apparently the singer's childhood hero, in Als ich ein kleine Junge war. They are an apolitical SHARP (antiracist) band that have earned their stripes and let's hope they keep going at it for years to come.
  1. Engelstrompeten und Teufelsposaunen
  2. Alkohol - der dritte Weg
  3. Tanzt!
  4. Ebsch bois
  5. Mr. Hyde
  6. Der Schwamm
  7. Himmel und Hölle
  8. Der Pöbel regiert die Stadt
  9. Buffalo bill
  10. Holiday in Guantánamo Bay
  11. Getaway from Guantánamo Bay
  12. Ave Moguntia
  13. Der Mond über Mainz
  14. Als ich ein kleine Junge war
  15. Der Kater gehört dazu
  16. Gebortzdaachslied
  17. Schlaf-apneu
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December 17, 2009

Stormwarrior - Heading Northe

Genre(s) - Power metal
Origin - Germany
Year of release - 2008
Bitrate - 256-320 kbps
Size - 79.43 MB

Alright, some very strong power metal with mostly Viking-related (yawn) lyrics. Appropriately "standard" stuff, Heading Northe is still a real pearl owing to the exceptionally powerful execution with an awesome, fat bass sound nice and upfront in the mix, and a very mean-sounding singer that, in contrast to some colleagues, has retained his nutsack. The album has a satisfying heaviness, the pace is mostly kept fast but the slower sections are not without grace and a seafaring, really quite Viking-y atmosphere. The riffs and choruses, the most important elements of any good power metal song, are top notch, especially on the opener and the defiant ("We'll never resign to...") The Holy Cross ("...never bow down to your lord!!"). Bands like Sonata Arctica and Freedom Call should be forced to attend these guys' practise sessions and take notes on how to really make power metal that honours its name.
  1. Heading northe
  2. Metal legacy
  3. The holy cross
  4. Iron gods
  5. Ragnarök
  6. The revenge of Asa Lande
  7. Remember the oathe
  8. Lion of the northe
  9. Into the battle
  10. And the valkyries ride
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December 16, 2009

Somos Pueblo, Somos MAS

Genre(s) - Folk, world music
Origin - Bolivia
Year of release - probably 2006
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 40.96 MB

Last week, Evo Morales has won a second term as president of Bolivia with 62 percent of the vote, and his party Moviemento al Socialismo has finally gained a majority in the Congress. As the first indigenous president and a radical champion of the lower classes, that is, the extremely marginalised Indian majority, he is a symbol for la lucha para las derechos indigenas in the whole of South America, and indeed, Middle and North America as well. This album was probably released in celebration of his first electoral victory and is full of odes to him and the MAS, in a very authentic style - too bad about the programmed drums the album opens with - including three tracks (partly) in a fascinating native language. Basically it's a Latin folk template
with acoustic guitars and male and female vocals. Some songs are better than others, in my opinion, but if there's any appropriate time to post this, it's now (okay, actually last week, but shhh). People of Bolivia, I congratulate you.
  1. Evo presidente
  2. Compañero Evo
  3. A mi amigo Evo
  4. Con Evo y el MAS
  5. Cueca del MAS
  6. Todos santo del MAS
  7. Tinku al socialismo
  8. Vamos MAS
  9. Siempre Evo
  10. Gringo asesino
  11. Llaqtaqpa richáriynin (desperta de un pueblo)
  12. Jiwasataqui (para nosotros)
  13. Jatun tantakuman rispa (hacia el constituyente)
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The Shanes - Polka over Serbja!

Genre(s) - Polka (but hard)
Origin - Germany
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - various rather high bitrates
Size - 75.35 MB

Howdy people, I'm sorry for the stall, but your patience has been rewarded; the ol' computer has been resuscitated (probably against its will)! This calls for a celebration. Well, when you think of a party, what immediately springs to your mind? That's right, polka! But we are advanced partygoers with expanded livers, asphalted lungs and hangover-proof brains, so we need some really HARD POLKA to make it worth our while. Here are The Shanes, they got what we derserve and they want to give it to us. I say we should take it with both ears. It's catchy, melodic, fast and folkish
and yes, it's live... in Chosebuz! Which is not in Serbia. Oh well, it makes a person dance. Dancing is fun, healthy, socially integrating, co2 neutral and not tested on animals, so you've got no excuse now.

Note: track 8 is missing, I haven't got it and can't find it now either, but it will be fixed when I do. In any case I suggest you take it anyway.
  1. The haunted house of polka
  2. Godfather of polka
  3. Hard to do something no one else did before
  4. The road to my horizon
  5. Love will tear us apart
  6. Long haired country boy
  7. Tango demi
  8. The big punishers polka
  9. King of the fairies
  10. My time will come
  11. The ripper
  12. I'm so happy and I don't know why
  13. The summer's almost gone
  14. Bring me the head of Zoltan Narray
  15. The rake
  16. Polka heart
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December 10, 2009

Why aren't you posting, you dick?

You'll have noticed the post rate dropping still further lately, and this last week there hasn't been any activity at all. Please rest assured, I have not run out of music, but my computer has finally collapsed under the strain. It had been taking over half an hour for it to start up for a few months now so nothing unexpected, and it's been slow but faithful to the end so I don't blame it. The harddisk is probably the problem, but then I have two harddisks and the one that is dead is probably not the one I have all my music on so good for you.

I hope to be able to post something again after the weekend when my programmer dad will install some new hardware in hope of reanimation, but it won't be much since I'm still very busy being such a serious, disciplined student.

But tell me something. What music are you missing on here? I like to keep things as broad as I can, and all the music you can find on here is stuff that I like. What is there that you would like to see posted one day, something weird, something different, something I probably don't know but would like if I did. Recommend me stuff. Anything goes. Thanks in advance.

Hasta la musica siempre!

December 2, 2009

Paysage d'Hiver - Kristall & Isa

Genre(s) - Ambient black metal
Origin - Switzerland
Year of release - 2001
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 51.01 MB

Winter is coming! Put on your thick coat and headphones blasting some glacial black metal. Secretly I'm hoping for a harsh season this year because there's no more welcome way of coming home than from out of the cold. For those grimmest, bone-chilling nights there is Paysage d'Hiver, a Swiss one-man project that manages to capture both the gleaming beauty of freshly fallen snow and the hostility of a february hailstorm, through a unique atmosphere that creeps up on you like cabin fever. If you haven't heard this band, forget what you think of as grimness, because there's nothing like this, seriously nothing at all. Also, Wintherr's shrieks are definitely among the sickest vocals in the genre. Kristall & Isa may perhaps just fall short of the self-titled release, but the harshness probably requires some getting used to and then this one is a bit easier to digest.
If you succeed you might also be interested in this great split.
  1. Isa
  2. Austritt aus dem Körper
  3. Äther
  4. Der Kristall ist Eis
  5. Wachen - innere Stimmen
  6. Kälte
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