Friday, September 24, 2010

Good news

Computer works again, Ive been downloading an insane amount of music to get my fix and I have lots of cool releases to discuss. Also take a look at the Seasons of Mist website here: See anything wrong here? WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THOSE PRICES? I know they include shipping but wow, I suddenly thought I was on an Ikea website.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bad News

My computer is totally broke. No internet. Working two jobs currently, moving in a few weeks. Hoping to write a review of my favorite album "Battles in the North" for Jason's "Black Metal Revolution" book whenever I get a chance.

Korova - a Kiss in the Charnel Fields
Korova - Dead Like an Angel
Belmez - Behemoth
In the Woods - Heart of the Ages
In the Woods - Omnio
Pig Destroyer - Prowler in the Yard

Stuff I wish I was listening to:
New music from Melechesh, Inquisition, Akerbeltz, Perdition Temple, and Jaldaboath

In the mean time my guitarist from Satan's Almighty Penis and I have begun yet another new band wherein I am mainly writing the music. The style is in the vein of Isengard, Troll, Otyg, and Falkenbach. Also my other band When Bitter Spring Sleeps has a split Cd with Panopticon coming out on Pagan Flames any day now. You can pre-order it for $8ppd at

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am infinitely sickened by how "metal media" as a whole is largely responsible for the worst fucking reviews I've ever read. I havent read a non-worthless review of anything in years! I hope you few readers can appreciate that I try to offer an alternative to what heaps of magazines, endless stupid fucking blogs, and sites have to offer.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I want you to have this...

The other day I really wanted to listen to Vorak. The CDs were all the way upstairs in my bedroom and I was too lazy to go get them. So I decided to look for Vorak MP3s. I had a hell of a time finding any on soulseek or on blogs, so I'm here today to spread Vorak MP3s to the world.

Vorak is one of the most preposterously head scratching bands in black metal. All I know is I fucking love them. Imagine chaotic all directly recorded obnoxious drum machine black metal with digital eagle screams for vocals, combined with Wagner-esque piano interludes.

Download Rhetoric of the Supermen:
and Triumph of the Will:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Heavenly - Sign of the Winner

When I first decided to review this album, the day I got it, I thought to myself "Hey, it might be a cool challenge to review the album without even mentioning Helloween!" Well I've already mentioned Helloween, and I'm not up for a challenge, so I hope you've heard Helloween, otherwise you'll be pretty much in the dark. Oh, and before I go any further, when I compare Heavenly to Helloween, I mean Helloween right around the Keeper of the 7 Keys parts 1&2.
When it comes to power metal, I like bands that do it with total authority and character, as if they are seriously convinced that they invented the genre. That's one thing that's undeniable about Heavenly, they play power metal as if they've never even heard Helloween, if you ask me Helloween invented power metal. Heavenly has the knack for great chunky bombastic yet melodic riffs that give any song its backbone. Theres an excellent use of keyboards throughout the album. There's even the fucking token Helloween parts where the keys and the guitars play the same 16th notes.
Could Heavenly's singer sound anymore like Michael Kiske used to? Actually, I'm going to give him more credit than that. Heavenly's singer, Ben Sotto takes the helm with an even stronger presence than Michael Kiske did with Helloween. Hes got an even more incredible range than Kiske, and he uses it superbly. In fact Ben does a lot less of the lower toned stuff that Kiske sometime did. Ben has obviously studied his Kiske, there's so many little tendencies that Kiske had, such as rounding off a stanza of lyrics with an extra accented word and a rhythmic delay on that word will follow.
Heavenly's drummer has a great unique style all his own, just Ingo did, hahah. He'll throw around some typical rock beat high-hat / snare stuff, but not for very long. He likes to do a lot of interesting snare fills, like Ingo always did. Hes got what I like to call a good meat & potatoes style. Meaning hes perfect at doing the regular stuff and he always nails those parts, but he goes just above that and shows that hes not there to show off but to drive the song where its supposed to go and to do so with a lot of conviction. You won't hear a lot of 16th note bridges or fills from him.
Sign of the Winner has everything a power metal fan is going to be undoubtedly looking for. Melodic majesty, scrumptious syncopation, shreddy guitar / double bass passages with great catchy vocals atop them. Its almost as if Heavenly got fed up with what Helloween have been doing since the departure of Michael Kiske and broke into their studio and recorded Sign of the Winner. One thing I cant help but laugh about is that there have been two Helloween Tributes and two Heavenly albums since the year 2000. Heavenly were not on either of the Helloween tributes. Both Sign of the Winner and "Carry Your Heart" (2000) are tributes to Helloween. To end this, I have to apologize for all the Helloween talk, but honestly, the resemblance between heavenly and Helloween is absolutely uncanny.

Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice

Its been a very long time since I heard a black metal album this epic and sinister at the same time. This album is a very different direction for DSO, and black metal in general I think. The biggest difference you will notice for DSO is the vocals. They are a very atypical low, sort of spoken gurgling, never screaming. The drumming is a lot better than on previous efforts and add a very rich and echoey texture to all of the droning downtuned guitarwork. The overall tone of the guitars is very original. They arent high pitched super distorted walls of blood that engulfs your face. The beautifully mastered guitars (by that I mean two guitar tracks and bass) are masterfully mixed to a very unabrasive but allthewhile potent tone that makes the whole album very inviting and listenable.
This album as a whole exhudes a unfamiliar and new stench of rotteness that no other band has ever attained. Theres just no comparing this release to any other.The best part about this album, as much as I love this installment, is that this is a concept album which is the first in a three part trilogy. So we can expect two more great albums of this magnificent stature in the near future if everything goes as planned. If you ignore this release or the next two by these geniuses, you will be hurting for a long time.

Deteriorate - Rotting In Hell

Holy crap this is an absolute lost classic. I hadn't heard of these champs until I got the JL America comp called "Brutal Aggression." What I love about a lot of JL America's releases is that they captured a very specific era in death and black metal that was and is very representative of the past and the future of what would become of the genres and bands that JL America represented. Back when JL America seemed to clamor to get these releases out, it was a level playing field between bands like Immortal and Goatlord, or Masters Hammer and Nokturnel. In addition, it wasn't only the label that was representing the US and European scene so honestly, but each of the bands represented their own niches within a plethora of genres in such a remarkably bold manner that each JL America and Turbo USA release still stands as a pertinent bookmark in the timeline of metal. Immortal's "Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism" represented the budding Norwegian scene that would grow to dominate the black metal scene. Let me get back to Deteriorate. What my point boils down to is that "Rotting in Hell" stands as a good example of what a lot of great underground death metal bands were doing in 92 / 93.
To start things off the right way, "Rotting in Hell" opens with a morbid intro of distorted screams over an ambient death wind. After about a minute of this the pummeling death machine that is Deteriorate rolls into town. The excellent production on this is immediately evident. The drums are clear as a bell, the guitar tone is thick, crunchy, and powerful. The vocals are artfully given a great stereo trick here the left speaker is a millisecond delayed from the right. It does for the vocals what reverb or delay does but without compromising any clarity and the decay is immediate. For the rest of the album you're going to bang your head the entire time as "Rotting in Hell" offers up a bottomless bucket of chunk, sludge, and sick melody. Your dinner also comes with a complementary choice of blastbeats, skank sections, or hooky breakdowns.
All in all I think its sort of redundant for me to dissect this album and tell you all about every single second of it. Its just an absolute death metal classic and you'd be a total fool not to pick it up if you ever get the chance. The chance might be rare because JL America stuff is sort of rare, but right now Deathgasm Records has a ton of JL America stuff on sale after he unearthed a bunch of it in a recent buyout. Also I don't have a weblink for an official Deteriorate site but I recently heard they are still together with a different vocalist.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blut Aus Nord - MoRT

I like to think of Blut Aus Nord as a monstrous creature living beneath the surface of a blackened lagoon. Each time it rears its head at the surface we see an even more decayed, bloated, pallid and disfigured being, going back down to the depths to further erode what was never a holy being. The last time Blut Aus Nord reared its head we were blessed with "The Work Which Transforms God," a ghastly album of black metal with strange bending and contorted riffing coupled with percussive fury and eerie enigmatic vocals. "The Work Which Transforms God" is almost a pre-requisite to "Mort." If you picked up "Mort" without ever hearing black metal, it would be like sending a blind child into a dark cave to look for a dead bobcat made out of clouds.
"Mort" is a vague and complex menagerie of asymmetrical tones, discordant tangents and constantly diverting elements whirling about. There are no stable or solidified elements here. Lazy drum patterns pan from the every direction while unfamiliar vocals noises emerge from beneath your cerebral cortex. The loose fitting textures and almost serene anti-harmonies weave one of the most intricate and spacial listening experiences I have ever witnessed with an other-worldly authority. Each track on this album could be described as an instance of conversion. Non-chalant guitar noodling, unmusical ,all too unhuman percussion, and ghastly vocals float about in your mind until they converge in one axis causing the aural havoc that is "Mort."
"Mort" is an album that you need to prepare for in order to truly digest it. Actually I'm not so sure that it is you who does the digesting, this album has digested me every time I have listened to it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beyond Dawn - Pity Love 1995

To this day this album still sits well apart from any similar artists that I find it hard to keep familiar with the album. Its the perfect step taken after the prior ep being a bit more developed in the dreary and abysmal department with a vivid parlay into more unique playing, arrangement and atmosphere. The album is good at towing the line between never galloping too gallantly and trudging along heavily and sluggishly. I find a lot of maturity in the more consistent nature of Pity Love as the band finds a more bombastic and powerful inertia to their doom trodden 90's rock sound which incorporates several electronic elements to the fold. As a debut this album is a good indication of great things to come, yet dissimilar to anything else in their discography apart from the EP.
In a recent interview with Espen (the singer) an interviewer called his voice detached and distant. I thought this was as accurate a description I could muster, but along with it I would say there's a discouraged, and almost mocking tone about his sultry and underexerted style of singing. The way his vocals, the guitars and horns mesh and harmonize on all of these songs is what I reach in the cupboard for when I have the Beyond Dawn munchies. He really is a unique singer maybe more for what he doesn't do than what he does, but I have a hard time tearing the guy down when he can be so different without relying on cheesy melodies or being a memorable caricature of himself. Come to think of it a lot of what I like about Beyond Dawn is their confident reluctance to be appealing by normal means. Every instrument lends itself to the overall "sold as-is" demeanor of Beyond Dawn.

The guitar work never overbearing or inaccessible is intricate and tasteful. Sometimes clean, clever pedals and production give a vast effect to what could easily be somewhat monotonous playing given the repetitive nature of this mid paced and "doom-esque" music. Either way, I give a lot of merit to this band for giving so much life and power to the sour and plodding music they breath life into. Ive never heard music utilized to put such urgency and strain on an imminent depraved state of consciousness.

Pity Love is where most from the metal community step into Beyond Dawn's realm, but I find it merely the first of several significant full lengths from this band, and a great access point to the rest of their albums.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Longing for Scarlet Days 1994

Many things impress me about this ep but what struck me at first listen back when I first got this was how out of left field it was, and how thoroughly well arranged and played it all was. Its like nothing else I've ever heard, but it almost sounds like its an album better belonging to some genre I'm not familiar with.

Sonically the music offers a lot of what metal does and it creates a somewhat familiar atmosphere of downtrodden despair as you might find with Paradise Lost or Disembowelment. However the way they go about I would liken more to something like Swans on the Great Annihilator (which came out in 1995). There is a certain washy, breathy and compressed direct analog sound (like on Ride's "Nowhere" album) that lifts this and Pity Love to another level. The drumming is quite varied and mid paced and borrows heavily from whatever standard styles some hard rock or grunge drummers might reference frequently. This is one thing I think that keeps this band from being downright metal. Better than any other band in this plane Beyond Dawn use horns to great effect here, even more on Pity Love, and throughout their discography. Another reason this ep is so impressive to me.

Though there are only four songs and the last track is sort of more of an outro, the vibe established here is undeniably fluent and had this been a bigger release overall, I'd say this was hugely influential on a lot of bands who are doing "post-_____" these days.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beyond Dawn: Reviewed

Today I was listening to the local country music station on purpose as I do from time to time, just to reflect on the music and get my thoughts flowing. From what I can gather there exists a traditionalism or rebellion towards any progress or deviation from the known patterns and footsteps that have been taken before. I thought that this was what sucked about modern country but within seconds I realized that not only does this standard flourish in all music, but a lot of metal as well. I have often thought that black metal is something that the genre's musicians feel the need to live up to. It has become a costume that you are entitled to bear only if you play the known role well. Actually anyone is entitled to bear it but only few do it well. Anyways one of my main goals with this blog was to highlight bands who I appreciate for acting somewhat independantly of these get-ups.

My relationship with Beyond Dawn has been strange over the years, and rightfully so given their incredibly varied discography. I reach for different albums at different times but they all give me a great satisfaction I've come to savor in this great and overlooked band. I want to do something unique here so I've decided to review all of the Beyond Dawn albums over the coming days, weeks or months. So look for something on Longing for Scarlet Days soon and more soon after.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Svenske Metall

I have been on a Swedish black metal kick lately and I wanted to share some of my favorite gems with you. I know a lot of this stuff could be considered classic and some of you aren't familiar with any of it. So I wanted to shoot somewhere in the middle. This handful of songs highlight their tendency for tasty melodies and intricate percussion, as opposed to other Swedish acts such as Watain or Ofermod. I stayed away from the obvious Dissection, In Flames, etc here. Also please try to ignore any Peter Tagtgren production here.

Download here

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Burzum - Belus

Norway's most prestigious arsonist is out of jail and he's hit the ground running releasing his first metal album since 1996's Filosofem. While the motivations behind Belus' existence can (and will endlessly) be volleyed we have a pretty decent return to form. The overall sound leaves a bit to be desired. I liken it to something like Gorgoroth's "Destroyer" or something. Guitars recorded direct, drums buried beneath the guitars, etc, you know the drill. The riffing is really all over the place, its pretty clear that he spent some time playing guitar in jail but never actually got around to being good at it. Musically it's still somewhere between Mayhem's only good album "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" and Burzum's "Filosofem." You'd have to be a fool to hear this and not see that Euronymous' riffing style rubbed off on Varg as he planted a knife deep within his back 23 times. To me, Varg's strong point is his use of guitar harmony which really is a cornerstone of black metal and here he uses it as much as we are used to and to great effect. He has started using more complex riffing with a picking style more akin to death metal or tech-thrash type stuff, and I find it rather distracting. On the song "Sverddans" he uses it to beat a dead horse to death and its pretty drab and boring. There are other parts on the album where its pretty bothersome and redundant how incessantly he carries on with it but its not like he's trying to be Spiral Architect here.

Like the guitar work his drumming has improved a hair as well. His nothing flashy meat & potato chips approach on the former albums worked just fine, hes stepped it up a notch here to keep up with the times. It seems like it may just be a byproduct of whatever stupid ethos hes got rattling around in his head these days but it is significant and it does pair well with the 8% more intricate song writing and guitar work.

Atmospherically speaking I've always applauded Burzum for being able to muster that black metal sound that made him famous because he really is good at it, and with its prevalence here on Belus' it will make this a memorable album that stand out among what else is going on nowadays. Its relevance though I find dated and I feel sorta the same way I did about Beherit's come back album. I guess I could say i'm impressed by it and I'll be curious to hear what he comes up with until the next time he tries to take over the band of a mustached norwegian by stabbing him in the back.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Obsequiae Interview

I recently completed my interview with Neidhart von Reuental and Blondel de Nesle of Minnesota's Obsequiae. They have just released an amazing demo on Bindrune Recordings which you can pay whatever you want for. I havent written an interview in while so this isnt my best work. Either way I really respect these guys and their music is incredible, so I hope to cast some light on them by bringing you all this:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zero Tolerance

Just a heads up: there are two very interesting interviews in the new Zero Tolerance magazine: Portal, and Blood Axis' Michael Moynihan. News of a new Blood Axis album sent tears of joy running down my face.