Album Review

Donato Epiro – Fiume Nero (Black Moss, 2014)

donato epiro - fiume nero album cover
Donato EpiroNaja Nigricollis (Black Moss)

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Donato’s been around for a while, letting loose on numerous labels limited tapes and CD-Rs of bizarre worldly sounds, generally (unfortunately) not making too big of a splash. Then along comes Black Moss, the label responsible for that Umberto picture disc to accompany your suicide and the insaaaaane Slowmantra tape, and they’re like “Dude! The world’s gotta wake up! Lets press this shit to wax and spread the love.” So they did. This is Epiro’s vinyl debut and it compiles tracks from two of his previous releases, Sounding The Sun & Supercontinent, both on the late great Stunned. Now I don’t normally post about reissue/compilation stuff here but this gets a pass because 1: I already mentioned this dude is way under-appreciated, 2: it was really easy to lose track of the onslaught of Stunned releases at the time, let alone going through the back-catalog now that they’re kaput, and most obviously 3: Fiume Nero fuckin kills. This is some dark jungle shit, vibin hard on sweaty rhythms, heat wave fuzz lines droning in the distance, ethno-industrial jams that feel like fever dream hallucinations, washed out black noise and beastly flutter, this is what you hear after solo trekking through the rainforest for weeks on end and you’re at the edge of your life, stumbling upon a tribe performing manic dance rituals, this record appropriates everything and comes out sounding fresh as fuck, Donato nails it. Only 300 copies and don’t let the reissue thing dissuade you. Fiume Nero is essential.

Album Review

Chester Hawkins – Semisolids (Intangible Arts,2014)

chester hawkins - semisolids album cover
Chester HawkinsIodine (Intangible Arts)

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DC noise vet Chester Hawkins has shed his long running previous project, Blue Sausage Infant, and starts fresh with his regular name. With the new/old name comes a newish sound, so if you’re a fan of the BSI stuff you’ll still most certainly dig this, the industrial creep & wonderfully bizarre factors are still plentiful, lots of oozing synth, nauseating wobble, and piercing squelches, but also deep grooves running throughout, a heavenly hypno-buzz that’s a bit transcendent, taking cues from psychedelic krautrock and cosmic jammers, a killer retro-futuristic vibe that’s just as perfect for a horror sci-fi score as it is for freaky party times, a dark & dangerous mind eraser record. Dude definitely leveled up with the name change. Excellent fucking work.

Album Review

Aires – Aires (Enough, 2014)

aires album cover
AiresOrgânico II – Monolítico (Enough)

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I’m usually pretty out of the loop with netlabel releases and the seemingly endless amount of stuff on archive.org, but this one snuck by & stuck out and goddamn we’re all the better for it. Aires is a dude out of Lisbon and this is his debut, or at least the debut as Aires. Truly magnificent work here, blending field recordings, shoegaze, and the almighty drone to send you soaring above the storm clouds and into the heart of the sun, this is a slow burning blissful beast, taking its time unraveling the many layers of din & clamor, light airy shimmer capped with dark melancholic tension, an imminent evil that never shows its face, heavy on the digital FX, panning, bursting, & scratching, tons of texture that eventually explodes on the last track, overwhelming with waves of euphoric static washing over, dense & absolutely fucking gorgeous, a heavy fabric billowing under mighty winds, pure emotions run rampant, and it’s over before you can catch your breath. Excellent fucking sounds on this record, definitely a dude to keep an eye on. And don’t forget, this is free and you can take your pick of where to download it.

Album Review

K’an – Anima (self released, 2013)

k'an - anima album cover
K’anThe Tree In The Garden Of Limbs (self released)

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One truly fucking astounding record from out of nowhere. This Roman dude takes digital drone to another level, already playing in the same court as Tim Hecker, this thing is bursting at the seams with organic life & deep emotion and it’s only his first goddamn record. Entire solar systems of detail blossom out of each song and as a whole, Anima is a universe teaming with a rare dark beauty. K’an gifts us with a gritty textured drone that sounds fresh & familiar all at once, taking an already glorious sound and infusing it with an original brilliance. Thick sheets of stuttering static cover everything, competing for your attention with bleak hypnotic drones, weaving a bittersweet tapestry peppered with glitchy smoke, ethereal distorted vocals, and buzzing heart ache, it heaves with hidden rhythms and builds to staggering & overwhelming epiphanies, leaving you drenched in a pool of your own blood, sweat, & tears. This is not a record to be fucking trifled with. Maximum awesomeness that’ll leave your jaw on the floor. I honestly can’t get enough of this. It’s easy to say now that my Top Drone list of 2013 is done and over with, but I 100% guarantee Anima would’ve been on the list had I heard it in time. And I forgot to mention, this is currently digital only and you can pay what you want for it right here.

Album Review

Johan G. Winther – Eating Or Vomiting Its Tail (Beläten, 2013)

johan g winther - eating or vomiting its tail album cover
Johan G. Winther – Eating Or Vomiting Its Tail (Beläten)

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Holy fuck what an ungodly glorious racket this guy makes. This new tape on the excellently evil Beläten has two side long pieces of boiling caustic skree à la Yellow Swans, Millipede, JCL, and the like, but with a substantial amount of depth. It’s noisy as fuck, yeah, but there’s tons of layered intricacies, crumbling riffage and melodies and shit, a melancholic gloom pop amped up and set out to bake in the desert heat for weeks on end, the details barely buried, enough to get you hooked but you’ll still get bowled over by the endless waves of gritty black feedback. The blisters form almost instantly like you’ve just been dropped in the heart of a nuclear reactor meltdown, lethal radiation seeping into every pore, and blasting you with a wall of sonic carnage. Safe to say you’re lucky if you make it out alive, and if you do, I guarantee you’ll jump right in for round two.

Concert Review

Reuben Son, Benjamin Nelson, & Patrick Emm at Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

Hosted by Non-Event

 
 
Reuben Son

Reuben Son at Waterworks
 
Patrick Emm

Patrick Emm at Waterworks
 
Benjamin Nelson

Benjamin Nelson at Waterworks
 
Ess Enn Emm

Ess Enn Emm at Waterworks 2
 
Ess Enn Emm at Waterworks 3
 
Ess Enn Emm at Waterworks 1

Album Review

Culver – Gateshead Graves (Fabrica, 2013)

culver - gateshead graves album cover
Culver – How She Cut Herself (Fabrica)

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Fabrica is on one hell of a streak this year, with killer releases from Aeronaut and Rambutan that’ve already blown my mind, and now this new LP from Culver (aka Lee Stokoe) that’s out of this fucking world. Two side long pieces of dark drone minimalism peaking at critical mass, sentient feedback that couldn’t be any heavier, humungous slabs of bone pulverizing vibrations, crank this thing on Satan’s stereo and your soul will evacuate your body seeking sanctuary in the fiery pits of hell, this is serious crater making thrum, the sound of stars colliding and the infinitely dense black hole that ensues, the roar of a monolith mixed with the mind bending bleakness found in the endless stretch of wastelands, static & near motionless crumbling of pure black minimalism, the sound of all that’s left after the universe reversed back into the Big Crunch, total void, absolute nothing, and motherfucking perfection incarnate.

Album Review

Kwaidan – Make All The Hell Of Dark Metal Bright (Bathetic, 2013)

Kwaidan - make all the hell of dark metal bright album cover
KwaidanThree Empty Rooms Of Light And Space: Ostension (Bathetic)

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Kwaidan is quite the trio, with Land Of Decay bro Neil Jendon, Locrian dude André Foisy, and Mike Weis from Zelienople, brought together to make a glorious racket. After kicking things off with a killer self titled tape on Accidental Guest last year, these dudes are back with a proper full length on Bathetic conjuring a magnificent dark drone that blends noise, doom, and Americana to make an unbelievably fucking awesome sound, mystical & transformative, synths & guitars sweeping through a pre-cathartic explosion with slowly plodding drums, a sprawling loose atmosphere that’s tight as fuck, dudes working together so seamlessly, breathing occult jams that praise the permanent solar eclipse, clear black haze settled in a field, fireflies mingling with ash in the dusk, a doom that sheds its metal crust and is perfectly at home in the company of dusty acoustics & buzzing static, a homeless midnight wanderer that couldn’t sound any fucking better, and with the most perfect album title, these guys hit it out of the fucking park.

Album Review

Èlg – La Chimie (SDZ, 2013)

elg - la chimie album cover
ÈlgNotringo Indigo (SDZ)

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This dude Ghedalia Thazartès Laurent Gérard (thanks Ian!) (of Opéra Mort, Reines d’Angleterre, etc) is all over the place with his Èlg releases, jumbling genres like nothing, and La Chimie adds to the cacophony, bringing a sort of fucked up darkwave mixed with the occasional field recording, the album opens with a vomit inducing first track that’s got creepy found sounds including some dude sobbing while the electronics sound like boiling guts, so fucking wretched I can smell it. The rest of the record twists together a woozy mangled avant pop that ranges from burnt musique concrète to a more structured techno groove, spilling beats all over a bleak futuristic synth sprawl, nightmare ambient b/w Carpenter disco, and Thazartès freaking the fuck out in every track, singing with a mesmerizing atonal processed to hell & back slop of a rollercoaster, like Paul Reubens voicing the spaceship in Flight Of The Navigator, his vocals driving the record, definitely the most prominent and unsettling part, totally incomprehensible & fucked up, a mess on top of a mess but bound by the bizarre, hands down one of the weirdest records of the year, a winner for sure.

Album Review

Millipede – The Lower World (self released, 2013)

millipede - the lower world album cover
MillipedeDungeon Dweller (self released)

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Tennessee’s Joseph Davenport is back with a new Millipede record, this first since 2011′s Realms (although he did have a new piece on my free comp You’re All The Fucking Best) and it’s a fucking winner. This dude belts out the noisiest harsh bliss I’ve ever heard, sounding like he’s tossed a hundred guitars into a raging bonfire, caked in scorched & burnt feedback, with gauzy melodies climbing out from a pit of red hot embers, some blown out mixture of shoegaze, psych, drone folk, & space rock, taking all of those sounds and leaving them out to crust up in the desert sun, the core still peaking through the shell, and in fact the “lead” guitar is more noticeable than ever in The Lower World, nuzzling up to your ear drums while the caustic distortion bores through your skull, this is a masochistic record of pain & pleasure, the beauty buried deep in grit and wholly worth excavating, one of Millipede’s best, and exciting as hell because this the second part of a trilogy (Realms being the first), so we know there’s more destructive brilliance on the horizon.

Haiku Review

Jannick Schou – Fasjil (self released, 2013)

jannick schou - fasjil album cover
Jannick SchouFasjil 1 (self released)

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Download Fasjil
/ominous thunder/
/bleak beats amidst blissful noise/
/techno gloom shines dark/

Album Review

Zerfallt – Ritual Systems (Field Studies, 2013)

zerfallt - ritual systems album cover
Zerfallt – Side A (Field Studies)

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Boston dabbler Lee Tindall, currently recording as Belarisk and with Mutation Of The Gryd, currently running killer tape label YDLMIER, and previously cosmic jamming with Daniel Lopatin & Andy Plovnick as Astronaut, has a new tape of occult noise as mainstay Zerfallt on Field Studies, burning new holes in the fabric of dark matter, this is some 30th century mystic shit, synths clouded with death murk and screeching hot metal melting over the hellmouth, robo-hum droning hard and controls set straight for the collapsing star overhead, hypnotized by harsh winds and grit & grind, the fever of possession bringing lucid nightmares to reality, a page torn from the burnt book of brilliance, this is some excellent weirdness from a dude with an already excellent back catalog. Grab a copy to blast at your next sacrifice.

Album Review

Taps – Taps 2 (Individual Lines, 2013)

taps 2 album cover
Taps – Side Two (Individual Lines)

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Two bad Boston vets making some weird noise that’s all kinds of cool. Brendan Murray does some electronic wandering and Chris Strunk bangs out krauty jazzy foreign beats on his drum kit. Not really sure where the fuck this would get shelved in a record shop, they’ve got some sprawling minimal psych that gets into a killer fuckin groove, hushed ambience where they’re bathed in tape hiss, a semi-IDM that could be played at only the specialest of dance parties, and sonic synth explorations propelled with drum fuel. It’s kinda funky, kinda techno, kinda punk, but totally sparse and just rad as hell, unlike anything else coming outta Boston right now. Dudes know how to keep it fresh. Tapes & digital available from the increasingly awesome local label Individual Lines.

CONTEST: Win Rorcal’s Világvége On Vinyl

rorcal - vilagvege contest
 
Rorcal’s Világvége is so fucking amazing, I need to make sure at least one of you guys has a copy. So I’m gonna give one away.

WIN IT: Show me your best bunny. Cute ones, disapproving ones, big ones, tiny ones, floppy ones, sassy ones… draw it, find a picture, take a picture, I don’t care, just give me bunnies. Comment on this post with a link to the bunny image of your choosing before Sunday, 4/14, at midnight/11:59 pm, and you might win a copy of the best metal record this year.

RULES: Multiple submissions are welcome & encouraged but probably won’t increase your chances of winning. Who knows, though.

Gifs are great, videos are not.

If you find a great bunny online, you get extra points if I haven’t seen it before (heads up, I’ve seen a lot of bunnies in my internetting).

No real-life sad bunnies. Fake sad bunnies (like this guy) are totally ok.

Make sure when commenting you use an email I can contact you at if you win. Don’t worry, it won’t be published with your comment.
 
And just fyi, Világvége‘s jacket & sleeve have a slight crease in one of the corners (it arrived that way). It could probably get flattened out over time, though. Just some minor cosmetic stuff that I felt you should know about.

Show me some good bunnies yall.

Album Review

Rorcal – Világvége (Cal Of Ror / SickManGettingSick / Lost Pilgrims / Wolves & Vibrancy, 2013)

rorcal - vilagvege album cover
RorcalV (Cal Of Ror / SickManGettingSick / Lost Pilgrims / Wolves & Vibrancy)

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This has been playing non-stop ever since I found it a couple months ago. Totally fucking relentless black metal with heavy doses of doom, death metal, post-hardcore, and whatever other heavy as fuck metal you want to throw in there, Rorcal are raining devastation through the whole record. The only times they let up on this are the atmospheric intro and two short & dramatic operatic interludes, other than that, this is a total fucking onslaught similar to Portal’s black/death brutality. And motherfuck this is as heavy as it gets, black as hell, yeah, but every time they change time signatures they rupture another organ, every blast beat followed by a sludgy lurch gives you another concussion, and the vocals are like a black metal Scott Kelly, screaming like his vocal chords are getting torn out of his throat, the dense guitars almost going post black metal but lacking the beauty, instead just giving you a grisly impenetrable wall of apocalyptic loud as fuck that honestly feels like the best fucking thing I’ve ever heard. As awesome as it gets. Hands down one of my favorite metal records. Super super limited, only 333 copies pressed (and some tapes too but I don’t know how many) with a jacket that has the title die cut out. So sexy.