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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crowhurst is Jay Gambit’s project that has a continually revolving cast and he’s put out a ton of work, like Aidan Baker heights of prolific. Death Van, if you can look past that goofy cover art, is easily his best work to date and has someone guesting on almost every track. He magnificently weaves between blissful noise and noisy bliss, although I’m more inclined to lean towards the blissful noise. This is some supreme harshness, boiling power electronics mixed with monolithic drone, caustic industrial shredding, and lurking beneath it all, bittersweet melodies full of gloom & heartache. So much going on here and it’s all beautifully hellish and fucking relentless, songs that are nonstop from start to end, each burning its own hole in your skull, bulldozing you with crumbling walls of static & deep bone rattling bass, and somehow putting the most euphoric twist on it like the warmth in the final seconds of your life. This record is 100% awesome, and if you’ve listened to Crowhurst before and were like, “yeah, that was cool” but haven’t kept up with his output, this is the one to come back to. And if you’re altogether new to this dude, now’s the fucking time to get in on this. Vinyl & tape versions are available (the tapes come packaged in body bags) but you gotta make it happen over here.
There’ve been plenty of Brad Rose eulogies what with FoxyD shuttin down and this being his last record as The North Sea, but Grandeur & Weakness is just too fucking awesome to let slip by. And since this is ostensibly a synth record, and since I’m usually bored by synth records, that should be enough to pique your interest. This isn’t a nostalgiac kickback or a plunky noodlefest, this is some dark n stormy shit with African percussion that’s stemming from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched Of The Earth which “explored the psychological effect of colonization.” Rose has gathered a potent blend of instruments to work on that colonization theme, he throws down some evil fucking drones that work towards a bittersweet bliss but end up just drenching your soul in disgust, blippy synth loops taking turns with blown out drums for conjuring frantic nightmares, nothing at ease, everything heaving & terrorizing, abrasive grit scouring the depths of your guilted mind, droning machinery impossibly pouding along well after it’s rusted solid, a record that trumps the rest in Rose’s catalog, The North Sea’s swan song that’ll go down in the books as a triumphant fucking masterpiece of noise/drone refuse. R.I.P.
This is the definition of hard to peg. Minimal power electronics? Noisy jazz punk? Funky field recordings? Not quite any of those but kinda all of them. Bennett takes whatever the fuck he can get his hands on and makes the craziest racket ever. This dude doesn’t know what acceleration means, he’s only got 3 speeds: silent, quiet, and brain boiling, and he jumps in between them with super precision, but there’s something about the brain boiling mode that, even though it’s chaotic as fuck, still has a maximal minimalism, knowing that whatever you’re hearing is basically just a handful of everyday items and Bennett is going to town on them, it’s fucking raw & primal, without being simplistic or boring. And I’d swear there’s some electronics or effects going on here but apparently that’s not the case, this is pure analog in all its caustic glory, and maybe you could chalk it up to lo-fi recordings, but he goes from blown out in the red explosions to painfully detailed squeaks & scratches in half a second, so fidelity ain’t the answer. This is just the sweetest fucking noise and Bennett is a master of his tools, which are almost impossible to guess. Some are decipherable… Are those pots & pans? Oh, yep, he mentions a “camp cook set.” Some aren’t… I bet this is a percolating coffee maker. Haha nope, it might be either a “mason jar ring with latex glove stretched across it” or “the narrow part of a balloon.” Then there’s the truly bizarre moments, like the track that literally sounds like a motherfucking freight train. I have no idea how he did that, but it’s insanely awesome. Maybe he used his “pizza cutter” and “wheelbarrow.” Clearly the “how” isn’t the reason to check this out, though. Just know this is some fucked up shit that sounds incredible on the turntable. Don’t miss out.
P.S. “All proceeds from digital sales of the album will go to Living Energy Farm, a project to build a farm, community, and education center without the use of fossil fuels or electronic media. More info at livingenergyfarm.org“
These dudes already put out one of the most visceral black metal/doom records this year, Patterns Of Failure (sold out quick and already in its second run), and they’ve decided to drop another brutal bomb as this Gnawed Gristle And Bone EP. A single 20+ minute track of pure fucking hell, these guys conjure Khanate and The Body but add up to something uniquely bleak, coming from the depths of demon’s dungeons, tortured howling, vocals that can only be screeched with a throat full of blood, monstrous drums keeping the perfect bangability, atonal lurch, scratched grit guitars, prolonged buzzing feedback, and bass that will rupture your skull and tear your house down, this is the blackest doom you can imagine, disgusting & depraved, disastrous & devastating, a true horror. If this doesn’t fill your nightmare niche, you’ve got some problems dude.