Album Review

Skullflower – Draconis (Cold Spring, 2014)

skullflower - draconis album cover
SkullflowerSunset Dreams (Cold Spring)

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The masters of chaotic drone are back with their first solo full length since 2011’s Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses, and this time it’s a double CD overstuffed with a total fucking maelstrom of gloriously harsh drone, and some might balk at the drone label here but make no mistake, this has all the makings of the most perfect fucking drone, overwhelmingly loud with a thousand layers going at once, each seeming like they’re totally independent from each other, doing their own thing, but they work in a discordant unison and form a cohesive slab of destruction, at a distance, this sounds like an impenetrable waterfall of noise, but the closer you get, the clearer it becomes, patterns emerge and harmonies rise from the static, this is an unequaled transcendent experience, and I know I’ve been throwing around “transcendent” a lot lately, but it’s always been appropriate, and here even more so, Draconis takes drone to new heights, this is a spiritual rite, the majestic mess of sounds conjured are not only the conduit to a greater truth, but themselves are an element of the Holiness that Skullflower embrace, they’ve created an altar of tumultuous bliss and call you forth to take part in the worship, you can’t fucking deny this.

Album Review

Trepaneringsritualen – Perfection & Permanence (Cold Spring, 2014)

trepaneringsritualen - perfection and permanence album cover
TrepaneringsritualenHe Who Is My Mirror (Cold Spring)

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This dude is one of my favorite dudes, his work as Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words was incredible and Deathward To The Womb from 2012 is one of the most uniquely horrific records ever, and he’s ever evolving into newer and more painful sounds, finding a groove in evil rhythms and going full on death industrial on Perfection & Permanence, a wholly unique decrepit ritual rooted deep in Christian mythology, growled distorted vocals that couldn’t possibly be coming from a human, gurgling “Father, why have you forsaken me?” with a mouthful of puss, the monstrous atomic bomb beats and throbbing synth balanced perfectly with walls of caustic static and ethereal gongs, the blackest most wretched ambient that will make your blood curdle, bleak as fuck sounds from beyond the post-apocalypse, where the remaining humans have taken up arms against angels, this is beautifully disgusting and absolutely fucking enthralling, the rotting remains of a human corpse that you can’t turn away from. Limited vinyl from the UK, currently available stateside at Forced Exposure. This is not something you want to miss out on.

Album Review

Northumbria – Bring Down The Sky (Consouling Sounds, 2014)

northumbria - bring down the sky album cover
NorthumbriaThe Ocean Calls Us Home (Consouling Sounds)

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Mega doom drone from these two Toronto dudes, and on their second full length they make it seem like they’ve been doing this forever, a timeless maximal minimalism that carves new neural pathways in your mind and tears rifts in the fabric of the sky, shifting feedback & reverb as supreme as it gets, a wall of drone that demands only that you bask in its majesty, this is the call of gods, truly epic revelations with overwhelming buzz and toothy crackle, the kind of scorching bliss that turns amps white hot and parts oceans with its limitless power, this is absolutely fucking gorgeous, not black and occult like that other doom drone band you’re thinking of, more drone, less doom, Northumbria journey down their own righteous path of monolithic euphoria and leave us with tragically perfect records such as this. A fucking plus.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (November 17, 2014)

The new Skull Defekts doesn’t have Daniel Higgs singing which to be honest makes me kinda happy and the new Nazoranai is actually amazing, unlike the first one which didn’t do too much for me. So, goodness all around.
 

AGB Radio 2014/11/17

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Background music: Node – Shinkansen West (from Node 2)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:33 Razen – Errant Traces Of A Caravan (from Reed Bombus LFO)
00:15:00 Ryan Huber – Ashlar (from Ghost Box Radio Dark Ambient Compilation Vol. 1: Telephone To The Dead)
00:20:32 The Skull Defekts – Holy Drums Are Singing (from Street Metal)
00:30:46 Talk break
00:31:53 Andrea Belfi – Roteano (from Natura Morta)
00:40:27 Joseph Hammer – Scenic Loop (from Roadless Travel)
00:48:54 Horse Lords – Macaw (from Hidden Cities)
00:59:21 Talk break
01:00:15 Nazoranai – The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already… ? (from The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already… ?)
01:18:50 Clint Takeda – Momonohime (from 2014 European Tour CDR)
01:29:18 Talk break
01:29:59 Parashi – Pulverized Concrete On The Rim Of A Coffee Cup (from Pilot’s Salt)
01:45:49 Gábor Lázár – EP5 (from EP16)
01:48:20 Vladislav Delay – Vihollinen (from Visa)
01:59:07 Talk break

Album Review

Sun Splitter – Time Cathedral (self released, 2014)

sun splitter - time cathedral album cover
Sun SplitterDesistance (Sun Splitter)

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These Chicago dudes aren’t gettin the love they deserve. They’ve been at it for years (check out reviews of II and III) making consistently awesome dark demented psych doom, and their newest is a beast of a record, charging through the emptiness of space, destroying everything in its path, seeking Truth, this is some heavy weirdness that takes from industrial, noise, and drone just as easily as it does Lovecraft and Hawking, long riff heavy grooves that build into swirling chants, methodical and explosive arcs of abyssal rock, creeping, plodding, fuckin ugly, and heavily spiritual, worshiping the almighty Infinity, these songs are the mystic rituals aiming to cross through dimensions, reaching that which is unknown, and fuckin dooming it up real hard along the way. This will be primarily a digital release (available next week, along with a poster if you’d like) but there’s going to be a super limited CD-R version available only at the release show in Chicago at The Empty Bottle on January 5th. So, you know, that’s probably worth the hike if Chicago is in your general vicinity.

Album Review

Billy Gomberg – Certain Words Again And Again (Sunshine Ltd, 2014)

billy gomberg - certain words again and again album cover
Billy GombergThe Present Until It’s Tangible (Sunshine Ltd)

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This is one of those instances where I know the artist, I’ve listened to him before, I’ve even reviewed a record of his before (Waiting In Poor Lighting), and while the name has stuck with me, I was never really hooked or anything. So if you’re maybe in the same boat as me in regards to Mr. Billy Gomberg, do yourself a favor and put this one on the top of your listening pile. Certain Words Again And Again is 40 minutes (45 if you’re listening to the digital version) of brilliantly beautiful minimal tender drone that effortlessly floats in the air, light & delicate, yet substantial enough to completely wrap your senses in a cloud of bliss, glowing shades of warmth that shift oh so slowly in a gorgeous display of silent transcendence brought to life, a stunning presentation of restraint and precision perfectly balanced between overworked and underdeveloped that can be so hard to achieve in minimalism, Gomberg has made something truly fucking exquisite, I just want it to swallow me whole and not have to care about anything else. And back to that time difference thing I mentioned before, the track listing differs between physical & digital versions, the physical has 2 long and 2 short songs, the digital drops the 2 short songs and adds another long one, so you’re actually treated to almost an hour of music here, wholly worth the $7 price tag.

Album Review

Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead – Starving The Fires (Pt. 1) (Malignant, 2014)

teeth engraved with the names of the dead - starving the fires part 1 album cover
Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The DeadLacerate (Malignant)

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Total fucking depravity. These two dudes, who only have one other physical release to their name, the Kosmiche Deathworship tape on Sol Y Nieve (the first five copies came with deer teeth), put out this 70 minute long death drone monstrosity that delves deep into necro nihilism, full of slow churning bestial static, demonic hypnothrum vaporizing your bones, garbled samples spitting filth at humanity, this travels to some very dark places, a hideous doomed ambient that screams of abandoned hope, at times boiling up to a full on black industrial noise, reaching monolithic fucking heights of caustic horror that knock you on your ass and eat you alive, this is pure fucking evil and every painful, prolonged moment is worthwhile, and something tells me these guys are just getting started. Make sure to snag Cold Ashes, the free companion EP which clocks in around 35 minutes.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (November 10, 2014)

The new Corleone Records compilation, I Blame Reaganomics, is so fantastic. Definitely scope that one out.
 

AGB Radio 2014/11/10

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Background music: Astral Social Club – Erotic Meditation (from Fountain Transmitter Medications)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:46 High Aura’d with Angel Olsen – Red Rocks (from I Blame Reaganomics)
00:04:31 Work/Death – 20 Questions (from I Blame Reaganomics)
00:08:32 Squanto – Jaffa (Take 1) (from Basement Tropic)
00:19:20 Evan Caminiti – Enshrined (from Coiling)
00:25:46 Arca – Tongue (from Xen)
00:28:40 Talk break
00:30:10 Siavash Amini – What Wind Whispered To The Trees (from What Wind Whispered To The Trees )
00:36:10 Matt Lajoie – Unlifted (from Unlifted)
00:53:41 Ashley Paul – Heat Source (from Heat Source)
00:58:12 Talk break
00:59:20 Richard Skelton – The Black Water (from Form Themselves Into Streams)
01:06:34 Cinchel – The Forest (from Nature (Part 1))
01:19:30 Function & Vatican Shadow – The Nemesis Flower (from Games Have Rules)
01:27:33 Talk break
01:28:26 Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Tides VIII (from Tides)
01:37:34 Glass House – Side B (from Haruspex)
01:58:06 Talk break

Album Review

Grasshopper – Dark Sabbath: Symbol Of Evil (Hausu Mountain, 2014)

grasshopper - dark sabbath symbol of evil album cover
GrasshopperInverted Cross Of Satanic Justice (Hausu Mountain)

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New York synth drone trumpet noise duo Grasshopper goes to new heights with Dark Sabbath and it’s a fuckin trip, a noise record wearing a doom cloak, worshiping the dark arts, and turning souls to stone, this is a totally twisted mess of demonic drone that buzzes & hums from the depths of the void, freakish spouts of squelching electronics, and constant pulsing from the unknown dimensions of horror, menacing as fuck and easily capable of driving you mad if you pay close enough attention, there’s a black beast hidden behind all the stretched out static and nauseating cosmic skree, ready to take you to the next level and flip you inside out, an unholy transcendence that is pushed upon you, full of fear, but infinitely grateful of the experience, these dudes have truly outdone themselves, and lucky for us Hausu Mountain gives them the vinyl treatment, which you can (and should) snag next week.

Album Review

Dreamcrusher – Suicide Deluxe (Hausu Mountain, 2014)

dreamcrusher - suicide deluxe album cover
DreamcrusherNovokuznetsk (Hausu Mountain)

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I’d seen Dreamcrusher’s name tossed around here and there and thought “Oh, cool name” but never made it a priority to seek out his tunes. FUCK. You guys, this is unreal. Don’t do what I did. Listen to this now. “Inspired by a vast series of traumatic events,” Suicide Deluxe goes on a fucking technoise rampage, massive beat driven jams that could be jungle or house or glitch or whatever but you’d never know because everything is buried under a hundred layers of caustic grit, totally bombastic and in the red, like someone accidentally got their number one dance mix stuck in a feedback loop and it just grew to inhumane proportions and now we’re being rushed to the ER after coming from the filthiest most crushing blown out party, ear piercing squelches & brain crunching bass that make Pete Swanson sound like Paul Oakenfold, this is complete and utter fucking madness, visceral and nightmarish and just the fucking best, and the volume on this is cranked to infinity, so please please please turn your speakers way the fuck down before you hurt yourself. $7 for the tape if you’re into that kinda thing, or pay what you want over on Bandcamp, so NO EXCUSES.

Album Review

Æther – Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring (Mandragoræ, 2014)

aether - tagzig olmo lung ring album cover
ÆtherStraddling Two Kingdoms (excerpt) (Mandragoræ)

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All your drone needs right here, two fucking hours worth, two songs acting as a “meditation on the ultimate realisation of the the end of flesh,” although not nearly as dark and bleak as that sounds, this is more like the music of life you’d hear while in the womb, slow warm tones shifting in and out of focus, a constant flow of minimalism, major dancing tones and throbbing low end, it’s a monument to the endless cycle of life & death, the mark of peace amidst chaos, this is the religion of Drone incarnate, the Holy Mother of Transcendence, that takes the bare minimum of sound and turns it into an eye-opening otherworldly experience, an absolutely divine record, and pretty much essential for all who worship at the altar of Drone.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (November 3, 2014)

Extra droney set this time. <3
 

AGB Radio 2014/11/03

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Background music: Kink Gong – GongAside (from Gongs)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:31 Billy Gomberg – The Present Until It’s Tangible (from Certain Words Again And Again)
00:15:22 Sindre Bjerga – No Jazz (from Future Jazz Loops)
00:24:29 Kim Hiorthøy – Hands (from Dogs)
00:28:55 Talk break
00:29:47 Parashi – Fossilized Car (from Tovarich)
00:44:34 Pascal Savy – Aurora (from Adrift)
00:52:28 Hunted Creatures – Whisper Bullets (from Mogollon Rim)
00:58:20 Talk break
00:59:17 Ennio Mazzon – CeriseIcicles (from CeriseIcicles)
01:18:54 Karla Borecky – Structure (from Still In Your Pocket)
01:27:21 Talk break
01:28:14 K’an – Sphere II (from Mutation III: Spheres)
01:31:43 Nathan McLaughlin – Process (from Nothing To Be Sad About)
01:37:04 Chihei Hatakeyama – Lydia (from Winter Storm)
01:58:21 Talk break

Out of Print

October OOPs: Pino Donaggio – Tourist Trap Soundtrack (Varèse Sarabande, 1979)

tourist trap soundtrack album cover
 

Download Pino Donaggio – Tourist Trap Soundtrack

The final in my October OOPs series for this year, this is Pino Donaggio’s score for Tourist Trap, which just made number 38 in FACT’s 100 Greatest Horror Soundtracks. Personally, I would’ve ranked it much higher. This is absolutely fantastic stuff, with crazy creepy vocals and harpsichord sounds, and the main title has all sorts of sound effects, wood blocks, and slide whistles, just fucking bizarre. Definitely one of the better horror scores I’ve heard.

Out of Print

October OOPs: Tony Schwartz On How To Record The Sound Of Children (Capitol Custom, 1967)

sound of children album cover
 

Download Tony Schwartz On How To Record The Sound Of Children

So this might not immediately seem like an appropriate record for my spooky October OOPs series, but when you hear the B side that’s filled with children reciting prayers and talking about God, you’ll probably change your mind because that shit is just too weird. The A side has some actual educational stuff from Tony, but he’s completely absent from the B side. This is especially creepy if you already have an aversion to children but should still freak you out even if you’re a fan of kids. Also, I can’t help but note how cute/pervy that dog is.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (October 27, 2014) – Halloween Special

So much fuckin fun with this one. Lots of weird samples overlaid with crazy noise & drone, shit played backwards, etc. Went for a nightmare vibe with the added (self imposed) challenge of not playing any black metal/doom/extreme metal or horror film scores. Did a pretty decent job, I think. I included the end times for the individual tracks because sometimes I’d play two things at once and an entire song would start and stop all within the span of another song, so it probably would’ve gotten confusing for you to follow along.

Happy Halloween!
 

AGB Radio 2014/10/27

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00:00:00 – 00:11:28 Brandon Nickell – Übermensche (from The World Is A Refuge From Perfection)
00:00:32 – 00:11:50 Anton LaVey – Satanism (from The Occult Explosion)
00:11:23 – 00:18:45 Phurpa – Fundamental Mantra Of Bon (from Trowo Phurnag Ceremony)
00:18:42 – 00:25:37 Side B (excerpt) (from The Language And Music Of The Wolves narrated by Robert Redford)
00:22:24 – 00:25:43 Jim Jones – The Jonestown Death Tape (excerpt) (from FBI No. Q042)
00:25:37 – 00:32:00 Patrick Emm – Sleep Eater (from Trash Playback Forms)
00:31:56 – 00:46:57 Xela – Recitation (from Exorcism)
00:46:07 – 00:50:27 Nate Young – Dread (2nd half played in reverse) (from Regression)
00:50:15 – 01:06:54 Culver – An Oath (from Gateshead Graves)
00:52:18 – 00:57:58 Glossolalia – Psalms And Prayer No. 5 (from The Gift Of Tongues)
00:59:22 – 01:03:44 Èlg – Hoteru (from La Chimie)
01:05:38 – 01:14:15 Solo Andata – Carving (from Ritual)
01:08:02 – 01:16:11 Jandek – It’s Your House (excerpt) (from Put My Dream On This Planet)
01:14:53 – 01:22:01 Grasshopper – Inverted Cross Of Satanic Justice (from Dark Sabbath: Symbols Of Evil)
01:21:27 – 01:41:27 Glottalstop – Side B (from Woodsmoke)
01:25:01 – 01:32:31 Side B (excerpt) (from Tony Schwartz On How To Record The Sound Of Children)
01:36:16 – 01:44:37 Nawa – Fasel Al Sawi & Fasel Kesmet Al Sawi (played in reverse) (from Ancient Sufi Invocations & Forgotten Songs From Aleppo)
01:41:14 – 01:44:56 Side B (excerpt) (from Voices Of The Loon)
01:44:22 – 01:57:59 Cvbe Ov Falsehood – Upon The Stillness, Manifest (from II)
01:45:44 – 01:49:00 Church Universal And Triumphant, Inc. featuring Elizabeth Clare Prophet – Decree 12.10 (excerpt) (from The Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults)
01:49:43 – 01:56:47 Rambutan – Reshaped Dream (from Temple Of Echo)
01:56:47 – 02:00:00 Aaron Martin – Wires Of Glass (from Worried About The Fire)