Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Frozen Autumn - Fragments of Memories (1997)

Heartbroken, synth-driven gothic melodrama perfection. Some songs are on the more ethereal side of darkwave, while others sound like New Order minus any semblance of hope.

Track listing:
1. The Echo of My Lies
2. There's No Time to Recall
3. Dusk Is Like a Dagger
4. Winter (Reprise)
5. Don't Cry for Me (Version)
6. Chimney's Song
7. Painted Girls
8. Fragments of Memories
9. I'm Coming from Nowhere
10. The Forgotten Frontier

A severed hand

If you like this, listen to:
Deine Lakaien -
Deine Lakaien (1986)
Oneiroid Psychosis -
Fantasies About Illness (1996)

Dark Tribe ‎– In Jeraspunta - Die Rückkehr der tollwütigen Bestie (2004)

German black metal. In Jeraspunta is a true unsung masterpiece -- chaotic and dissonant, with shrieking vocals and an anxiety-inducing sense of unpredictability, all topped off with cerebral, claustrophobic production. No hyperbole: one of my favorite black metal records.

Track listing:
1. Nothing as Darkness
2. The Seed
3. The Unknown Light
4. Crimson Storm
5. Iron Grave
6. Burning Hate
7. The Seed Is Rising
8. Die Rückkehr der tollwütigen Bestie
9. In Jeraspunta

Scream my bloody face

You should also hear:
Sortsind -
Sår (1999)
Bleeding Black -
Personal Hell (2003)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Pan•American - Quiet City (2004)

A haunting, quietly stunning fusion of abstract, low-key post-rock/slowcore and glitchy ambient. Crystalline guitars, ghostly drones, crackling static, fragile-sounding electronics, minimal percussion, and occasional whispery vocals. Listening to Quiet City shortly after it came out, while under the influence of cough syrup, weed, and a severe fever, remains one of the most transcendent music listening experiences of my life -- pretty sure I levitated.

Track listing:
1. Before
2. Smallholding
3. Wing
4. Inside Elevation
5. Hall and Skylight
6. Lights on Water
7. Retouch
8. Christo en Pilsen

The river made no sound

Also listen to:
Rachel's -
Selenography (1999)
Tribes of Neurot & Walking Timebombs -
Static Migration (2008)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Blessed Sickness - Massacre the Holy (1994)

Raw old school Cleveland death metal filth. Massacre the Holy has somehow avoided any form of reissue, and thus far has only ever been released on cassette. If anyone reading this runs a label, I recommend tracking one of these dudes down and making it happen.

Track listing:
1. The Butcher
2. Modern Day Cannibal
3. Exhumed
4. Un-Reality
5. Demonhead
6. Massacre the Holy
7. Missing Pieces
8. Without a Trace
9. Amputated Offerings

I believe in nothing

You should also listen to:
Viogression -
Expound and Exhort (1991)
Lethal Prayer -
Spiritual Decay (1996)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ÄÄNIPÄÄ - Through a Pre-Memory (2013)

Sarin - Nihilist (1996)
Ø - Tulkinta (1997)
Mika Vainio - Onko (1997)
Burning Witch - Crippled Lucifer (Seven Psalms for Our Lord of Light) (1998)
Lotus Eaters - Alienist on a Pale Horse (2001)
Khanate - Things Viral (2003)
Ginnungagap - Remeindre (2004)
KTL - 2 (2007)
Sunn O))) - ØØ Void (2000) + Dømkirke (2008)
Sunn O))) - Rehearsal Demo Nov 11 2011 (2012)

Abstract, experimental drone-doom from OPIUM HUM favorites/all-out brilliant artists Stephen O'Malley and Miki Vainio. Dissonant, downtuned guitars, minimal programmed drumming, scraping horror-movie strings, walls of drone and harsh noise, punishing electronics, and, occasionally, some pretty unsettling vocals. Without a doubt, Through a Pre-Memory comes off as an extension of Khanate.

Track listing:
1. Muse
2. Toward All Thresholds
3. Mirror of Mirror Dreams
4. Watch Over Stillness / Matters Principle

Impassable fears

You should also hear:
Ascend -
Ample Fire Within (2008)
Circle of Eyes -
Circle of Eyes (2011)

Jerry Berkers - Unterwegs (1972)

Striking German psychedelic folk rock. Expressive vocals over acoustic guitar- and piano-driven songs, filled out by fuzzed-out guitars and a bit of synth.

Track listing:
1. Jeder Tag Sieht Ganz Anders Aus
2. Glaub Mir, Susanne
3. Es Wird Morgen Vorbei Sein
4. Dafur Lebe ich Nur
5. Grauer Bettler
6. Ich Klage An
7. Geobtes Labd
8. Seitsam

The illusion of flying

You should also check out:
Affinity -
Affinity (1970)
Rex Holman -
Here in the Land of Victory (1970)

blackhumour - ... It Was Inappropriate (1987)

Tape loop weirdness by American experimental musician Frazer Hall. Short snippets of dialogue, looped, layered, warped, and shaped into black clouds of unsettling absurdity.

Track listing:
1. Criteria - No Change
2. The Nightnurse Wore Black
3. He Is in Error
4. Complaints of Sore Feet
5. A Necessary Expenditure
6. And Eventually...

Isn't that amazing?

If you like this, try:
Steven Stapleton & Tony Wakeford -
Revenge of the Selfish Shellfish (1992)
Adam Bohman -
Last Orders (1997)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Chad VanGaalen - Skelliconnection (2006)

The remarkable sophomore album by Canadian indie rocker Chad VanGaalen. Skelliconnection is the kind of album that sounds like a brain exploding with ideas -- colorful, earnest, energetic, and scatterbrained in all the right ways -- whose exuberance is matched only by its existential dread. I heard VanGaalen for the first time like a month ago and I feel legitimately bad for having slept on him for this long, so I'm making up for it by trying to get as many people listening to him as possible.

Also, thanks to "aaarg" in the comments section, I now know that VanGaalen makes trippy-ass animations like this one:

Track listing:
1. Flower Gardens
2. Burn 2 Ash
3. Red Hot Drops
4. Rolling Thunder
5. Viking Rainbow
6. Gubbish
7. Dandruff
8. Wing Finger
9. See-Thru-Skin
10. Wind Driving Dogs
11. Mini T.V.'s
12. Graveyard
13. Dead Ends
14. Sing Me 2 Sleep
15. Systemic Heart

Crazy for everything

You should also be listening to:
The Boo Radleys -
Giant Steps (1993)
Elf Power -
The Winter Is Coming (2000)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cancer - To the Gory End (1990)

Old-school English thrash-laced death metal. Hateful, violent, and borderline atonal, with precisely zero variation in sound.

Track listing:
1. Blood Bath
2. C.F.C.
3. Witch Hunt
4. Into the Acid
5. Imminent Catastrophy
6. To the Gory End
7. Body Count
8. Sentenced to the Gallows
9. Die Die

Pulling entrails from bleeding carcasses in hell

You'd also enjoy:
Disastrous Murmur -
Rhapsodies in Red (1992)
Horror of Horror -
Sounds of Eerie (1994)

Cosmin TRG - Simulat (2011)

Debut LP of intricate, texturally complex, yet highly danceable techno/house from this German-based producer. One of my go-to homework/studying records back when I was in a bunch of really hard math classes, because listening to it made my brain feel like a well-oiled machine.

Track listing:
1. Amor y Otros
2. Ritmat
3. Infinite Helsinki
4. Want You to Be
5. Interstellar Inflight Entertainment
6. Fizic
7. Star Motel
8. Less of Me, More of You
9. Osu Xen
10. Lillasyster
11. Samiska
12. Form Over Function

Divided by design

Also listen to:
Lawrence -
Lawrence (2002)
Ricardo Villalobos -
Alcochofa (2003)

Bauda - Euphoria... Of Flesh, Men, and the Great Escape (2012)

Absolutely beautiful Chilean post-metal. Acoustic guitars, mournful clean vocals, and clean, reverb-soaked tremolo-picking, inevitably leading to extended, climactic, triumphant catharsis. Imagine an Agalloch/Explosions in the Sky collaboration and you're pretty close.

Track listing:
1. Ghosts of Phantalassa
2. Humanimals
3. Silhouettes
4. Oceania
5. The Great Escape
6. Ascension
7. Crepuscular
8. ... Mare Nostrvm? (El Lanto de Quintay)

Blood into the foam of the oceans

If you like this, you should listen to:
Cold Blue Mountain -
Old Blood (2014)
Sylvaine -
Wistful (2016)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Rock Goddess - Rock Goddess (1983)

Oh, this? Just a power trio of badass ladies playing kickass, hard-hitting, high-energy hair metal, no big deal. Not a power ballad in sight, either.

Track listing:
1. Heartache
2. Back to You
3. The Love Lingers Still
4. To Be Betrayed
5. Take Your Love Away
6. My Angel
7. Satisfied Then Crucified
8. Start Running
9. One Way Love
10. Make My Night
11. Heavy Metal Rock 'n' Roll

See how I died

Also listen to:
Hawkwind -
Sonic Attack (1981)
Grave Digger -
Heart of Darkness (1995)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Gorgasm - Bleeding Profusely (2001)

US brutal death metal. 100% unadulterated killer, with only one song over three minutes, and some truly bizarre subject matter; for instance, in "Voracious", our hero is trapped at the bottom of a pile of corpses and must eat his way out.

Track listing:
1. Bleeding Profusely
2. Morbid Overgrowth
3. Stripped to the Bone
4. Fucking the Viscera
5. Voracious
6. The Essence of Putrescence
7. Post Coital Truncation
8. Severed Ecstacy
9. Lesbian Stool Orgy
10. Fisticunt
11. Bisembodied

Bled and butchered just like cattle
As I feast the more I crave
Satisfied for only seconds
When I shit out their remains

You should also listen to:
Disavowed -
Perceptive Deception (2001)
Malignancy -
Cross Species Transmutation (2003)

Maneige - Les Porches (1975)

Elegant, 99% instrumental Québecois symphonic prog. Sprawling, thoughtfully composed, multi-suite epics performed by what amounts to a small orchestra, encompassing violin, piano, flute, clarinet, xylophone, saxophone, guitar, standup bass, and more. Sounds like a 70s Italian horror movie soundtrack.

Track listing:
1. Les Porches de Notre-Dame
2. La Grosse Torche
3. Les Adventures de Saxinette et Clarophone
4. Chromo

Crystal plumage

If you like this, listen to:
Le Orme -
Felona e Sorona (1973)
Streetmark -
Eileen (1977)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sleep ∞ Over - Forever (2011)

Gorgeous, hazily melancholic dream pop with a lo-fi sheen. Angelic vocals, shimmering synths, gauzy guitars, and simple drum machines, all drenched in reverb, with a few pitstops in full-on abstract ambient territory along the way. If I end up making a best-of-the-decade list next year, this'll be on it.

Track listing:
1. Behind Closed Doors
2. Romantics Streams
3. Porcelain Hands
4. The Heavens Turn by Themselves
5. Casual Diamond
6. Cryingame
7. Flying Saucers Are Real
8. Stickers
9. Untitled
10. Don't Poison Everything

I want to be alone

You might also enjoy:
Pure X -
Pleasure (2011)
EP (2012)