Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doomtree - No Kings [2011/320]

Artists like Dessa have been posted before, and P.O.S has been referenced a few times on this blog, but they are all just a part of the Doomtree record label and collective hip-hop group. No Kings is a showcase of each members talent, placed over a lot of industrial sounding beats, and riddled with some of the finest wordplay you'll hear this year. If you like any artists from Rhymesayers or Strange Famous Records, you will love this most likely, and it goes without saying that fans of any of the artists from Doomtree will adore it as well.

Artist: Doomtree
Album: No Kings
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Hip-Hop

1. No Way
2. Bolt Cutter
3. Bangarang
4. Beacon
5. Punch-Out
6. Little Mercy
7. The Grand Experiment
8. String Theory
9. Team the Best Team
10. Gimme the Go
11. Own Yours
12. Fresh New Trash

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Scanner Darkly - A Scanner Darkly (2006)

EP, Gilead Media
January 1st, 2006

Genre: Grindcore/Sludge/Noise
Region: USA

A killer release from a band that is dead. Gilead Media again have housed another winner. Themed around the excellent novel by Philip K. Dick (as well as several of his other works), A Scanner Darkly have molded a fierce sound from grindcore and sludge with some noise influence sprinkled throughout. This shit is a face shredder and has a pretty unique sound for such a grindy band, very spacy atmosphere in between the blasts, feedback and huge powerchords.

I'm pretty sure this is their only release. There are six tracks that alternate between quick 1:30 technical blasts and 4 minute sludgey batterings (often with great use of the wah), some of which start with ominous statements in a Hawking-esque speak-and-spell voice. Vocals range from standard powerful grind vocals, deep raspy roars to distorted and effect-drenched yells. The final track is a haunting 9 minute drone with a minimal acoustic backing, filled with feedback, warped electronic pulses and samples which come together to evoke images of a sci-fi totalitarian landscape; much like the cover. It's all catchy as hell, polished and sure to please any fan of grind.

This is truly a forgotten gem. I think there are still some hard copies left at Gilead Media, or if not you can pay what you want (no base price) at Gilead's bandcamp page as well. Definitely recommended for fans of Gadget, Dephosphorus, and Black Arrows of Filth and Impurity.

Get a taste here.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SubRosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones (2011)

Full Length, Profound Lore Records
March 1st, 2011

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Better late then never on this one. I haven't heard any of SubRosa's previous releases but this has left a definite impression on me.

Soft and clean, folk-like droning female vocals (reminiscent of sedated Nerissa Campbell) pull you into the gloomy dark while fuzzy and slow guitar/bass leads lift you up into a hazey peak, crashing back down riff after riff. Among these elements are the excellent placement of the electric violin used by two of the ladies which sound eerily like trumpets, never overused and accent the drugged out atmosphere. Pacing is set by slow and steady doom drum beats. The forlorn, intoxicated atmosphere boarders on psychedelic with the wavy violins and subtle wah/noise effects but the constant, slow groans of the guitars and very abrupt sections of coarse growls from the singer keeps this in the realm of dreamy sludge. A noticeable and unique sound, well composed and executed. "No Help For The Mighty Ones" is extremely catchy and heavy.

Some of the musical and melancholic lyrical themes are inspired by books ("The Road" and "War Against The Weak") and Russian fairy tales, and there are subtle touches of a hammered dulcimer, harmonica, chime, and thumb piano. There are a few guest musicians the contribute to various songs and one of the closing tracks ("House Carpenter") is an acapella rendition of a Celtic folk song.

I've seen comparisons to Neurosis but I would place them more along side early A Storm of Light if they were more stoner oriented. Definitely recommended. Pick it up from Profound Lore or from SubRosa's store. Listen to it on their bandcamp page.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thou - Summit (2010)

Full Length, Gilead Media / Southern Lord
June, 2010

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Man, Thou flat-out rule. Their third full length album "Summit" is four immense, perfectly distilled, spellbinding sludge tracks that show great maturation even over the greatness that was "Tyrant". The pacing is excellent, the lyrics are sharp and cut into you with the vitriolic blackened vocals, riffs are booming (with occasional melodic passages peaking through) and will stick with you long after the record has stopped. Especially Prometheus, I come back to that track constantly. It is some mad low-tuned destructive shit from beginning to end, filled with raw frustration, gloom, lividity and punctuated with brief glimpses of beauty.

Definitely something that should have been posted here a while back. I love this record so much I recently picked up the repress even though I already have the first press. This version includes two bonus tracks, both of which eventually ended up on the recent "The Archer & the Owle" EP, and is still available at Gilead Media. I suggest picking it up if you love doom or sludge especially considering the label in need of some help at the moment.

Listen to it on the label's bandcamp.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Encoffination - O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres (2011)

Full Length, Selfmadegod Records
November 15th, 2011

Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Listening to this record is basically like being pounded in the face in excruciatingly slow intervals continuously for 40 minutes with a mace as you choke on your own blood and splintered skull, lying in a dark battlefield. The crawling scent of a thousand torn up corpses piled in the center of a ruined castle ready to be burned.

I'd say it's an improvement over Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh which was quite an impressive record, more chilling samples of ringing monastery bells strewn amongst the incredibly heavy and slow riffs, drumming and vocals. No disappointments here.

There are a few moments where the pace picks up slightly but this is largely a slithering, suffocating cloud of doom-drenched death metal and it is brutal. Pick it up here.

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By Endurance We Conquer: Gilead Media

I'm not sure if post come off as pretentious or alarmist but fuck it, I won't make a habit out of posts like these anyway.

Equivoke is a simple blog posting/pirating music created by hard working musicians alongside regular dedicated guys running DIY record labels such as Gilead Media, Enemies List Home Recordings, Dark Descent, Hydra Head, Neurot Records, Robotic Empire, Vault of Dried Bones, Howling Mine, The Flenser, and many others. What we do is so easy, what they do requires a lot of time, dedication, money, and love for the material they put out there and rarely do they try to have blogs like ours shut down for spreading their stuff around illegally. I feel the least I can do is try to raise awareness of some of these guys and their current situations, maybe direct some support their way — often they're in a constant bind being small, underground labels and bands who reinvest all profits into new releases and work hard to keep the quality to a high standard.

Adam Bartlett of Gilead Media recently posted an update on his blog about the label's current situation and while it's not in any immediate danger of shutting down, recent events in the past year have made it harder for him to continue providing music and merchandise that I and many others love. Throughout my time here I've posted quite a few of their excellent releases — False, Ash Borer, Fell Voices, Ruin Lust, Krallice, Thou, Barghest, Black Arrows of Filth & Impurity — most of which are still available (some in their second pressings). I'm well aware that not everyone has cash on hand to pick up releases on a frequent basis but if you were on the fence about picking something up from Gilead now would be the perfect time. Adam isn't looking for pity or hand outs, nor is he trying to be dramatic (since his isn't the only label affected). Do what you can to support him and the various underground labels so they can continue to bring us quality music.

On a side note, I'd also like to call attention to more bullshit intellectual property rights legislation being pushed by the entertainment industry in the USA which will affect essentially everyone involved in blogs such as these (not to mention the other 90% of the internet). It's brought up every so often and usually is squashed, hopefully that's what happens here. To do your part in ensuring that it is put down (even if you aren't in America) follow the link above to learn more or go here.

Thanks for your time. Resuming our regular schedule of stealing good music.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Antediluvian - Through The Cervix Of Hawaah (2011)

Full Length, Profound Lore Records
November 12th, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: Canada

You know what? Alongside Mitochondrion's "Parasignosis" and Ulcerate's "The Destroyers of All" this may be the best death metal release this year.

Catastrophic, ancient, dissonant, twisted and ugly. A squall of intense and incomprehensible crawling darkness spilling into your ears. This builds on the magnificence of Under Wing of Asael and Revelations In Excrement. Nothing but well written face-splitting riffs, primal drum blasts, actually audible bass riffs, and organ destroying vocals. No space is wasted, no bullshit — all is devoted to conjuring extreme bestial intensity.

I'm going to stop now because I have to listen to this all day. You can too on bandcamp. Support these brilliant Canadian fucks and pick it up right now from Profound Lore Records or if you're in the EU at Invictus Productions. Do it.

EDIT: Link replaced and track list amended/corrected. Apologies. Please check your tags! Tracks 1, 4 and 9 have incorrect spelling from the original rip (update 19/11/2011, clipping issue fixed).

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dyskinesia - Dalla Nascita (2011)

Full Length, Frohike Records
September 1st, 2011

Genre: Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal
Region: Italy

Honestly I haven't been very interested in much of the post-metal/post-rock released this year like I have in the past. Braveyoung's new album blew me away and may be the only post-rock release I've thoroughly enjoyed while Russian Circles' latest 'Empros' I found largely disappointing. I did enjoy the new Omega Massif but truthfully it doesn't live up to their debut (last half almost gets there). However Dyskinesia's latest album "Dalla Nascita" showed up in my requests a few days back and definitely has piqued my interest more than most of what I've heard from the genre this year.

My initial impression of Dyskinesia lead me to compare them to two experimental groups getting a lot of attention recently — The Body and Terra Tenebrosa . At least to some extent. The difference is that while I really didn't enjoy either of those band's works I found this far more engaging, refined, well structured and less tedious. It may be because this is more straight forward and loud than my first impression led me to believe, more resembling Omega Massif and Tesa here and there then the aforementioned acts which makes it far more appealing to me.

Seven tracks in all which range from 5 to 8 minutes each. There's a lot of elements in "Dalla Nascita" but the overarching theme of atmospheric sludge/post-metal dominates their sound. They make a point to express that it was "recorded live in studio, with few overdubs, keeping the spontaneity and the rarefed atmospheres of their past works alive." The album flows seamlessly without becoming redundant or forgettable.

Most songs are composed of waves of well layered guitar effects: several droning/wailing guitars over the heavy sludge leads and soft bass riffs creating a wonderfully deep and lonely atmosphere. It feels like an instrumental album but a lot of tracks have either ghostly/hushed semi-clean singing or harsher vocals (similar to Time to Burn) behind the chaos created by the effect-laden guitars and pounding drums. The fourth track shows off the drone or noise aspect of the album without becoming grating; subtle resonating hums and cycling industrial/noise samples pulse slowly throughout. The final three tracks fade back into dreamy post-metal with tinges of shoegaze, the last track ending on a decidedly noisier note.

Despite the fact "Dalla Nascita" reaches just over 45 minutes it passes much faster than you'd think, stemming from the fact that every song is quite enjoyable. Beautiful in some moments while heavy and chaotic in others it's finely tuned record without the filler I was expecting. They've put it up for free (with the choice of donation t support its release) and you can also hear it on their bandcamp page.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chromes - And Here My Disgust Begins (2011)

EP, Dancing On Sharks
November 7th, 2011

Genre: Hardcore/Sludge/Crust
Region: UK

In the middle of a Thou binge I decided to check out some requests (something I don't do often enough). I have a few other requests I want to post eventually but this one in particular caught my interest. Sid from this young two-piece London band called Chromes left me a nice email about their new EP. Not much can get me to stop a Thou track midway through but this two track release did just that.

"And Here My Disgust Begins" is a short but very hard-hitting/well written EP with a distinct sound, creeping along the edges of Young and In The Way and Celeste territory. A seriously dark and bleak atmosphere surrounds this one. Hopefully this is only a small taste of what's to come as these guys know how to create some brooding and pissed dark hardcore.

The first track "And Here My Disgust Begins" starts with jarring feedback. Immediately following this is a mass of slowly writhing blackened hardcore riffs and dissonant slides which lead up to a mid-point of hypnotic ambience, finally letting go into a melodic chunk of chords with a subtle piano bed — ending the song in a very beautiful yet sad light. Everything moves along smoothly, no dragging moments. "Diamond Crowns" quickly follows with some slow, powerful sludgy leads that melt into a brief clean/quiet moment and back into the former again. This repeats once more to great effect and drags you towards a noisy, ominous conclusion. All elements here are well refined from the Converge-esque vocals tinged with hate and desperation to the noisy and thick guitar tone, to the pounding drums (which get lost in the chaos at points). The subtle touches of piano and feedback are very effective without coming off as cheesy or forced. Intense from beginning to end.

Thoughtfully constructed and highly recommended. You can listen to and download the EP on their bandcamp page and soundcloud, and follow them on facebook or on their blog. You'll definitely want to keep an eye on what these guys have planned.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Thou - The Archer & The Owle (2011)

EP, Robotic Empire
May 22nd, 2011

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

While I was sitting around between reading breaks I was thinking back on past live shows (having just seen Russian Circles for a second time which was fantastic), and I kept coming back to the Thou with Wolves in the Throne Room/Gates/Thantifaxath show a few months back. All the bands that played that night were great but I can easily say that seeing Thou for the 30 minutes they were on stage was one of the most intense and heavy live shows I've experienced. Being so ridiculously close to the band while they were performing on a half-pipe I was nearly smashed between the bassist and guitarist during the entire earth-shaking set, swaying and entranced by the tremendous doom they conjured up right through to a wonderful Black Sabbath cover that finished it off. Thou absolutely surpassed my expectations. Then I realized I have never posted one of their albums here which disturbed me a little.

Thou are undeniably a very hard working band. They've consistently put out at least four or five releases every year since 2007 (sometimes posting their stuff for free) and all of them are quality. "The Archer & The Owle" is one of three releases this year — a punishing and crawling sludge beast as all their records are. It contains three excellent covers ("Nirvana - Something in the Way", "Pygmy Lush - Cold World" and "There There"), two 10 minute mammoth originals (one that appears on Summit as a bonus track) and one short interlude with a trumpet (again from Summit);  all of which emanate a cold and agonizing atmosphere alongside the relentlessly heavy growls of the guitars/bass and hoarse, shrieking vocals in true Thou fashion.

Nothing can compare to their live performance in all honesty but this is quite a record and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't already (and if you can find a copy, grab one).

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sanguis Imperem - In Glory We March Towards Our Doom (2011)

Full Length, Hell's Headbanger Records
November 4th, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: USA

Another tower of death metal I was anticipating greatly. Sanguis Imperem are a USA old school death metal machine with a similar vibe of Necros Christos or Sonne Adam, and this is their first full length after a few EPs and a split with Nocturnal Blood.

Opening with a foreboding acoustic intro, "In Glory We March Towards Our Doom" is nine tracks of quality death and the sound definitely fits the title. The sound of a massive army trampling the earth towards certain death without regard for anything in its path. Nothing but relentless waves of tremolo leads that spill into occasional slow/bendy riffs, coupled with abominable growls and screams, and war-like drumming marching you to a dark, endless pit of tangled corpses. Nothing flashy, very dirty and powerful.

Their style is familiar no doubt but they pull it off so well. Pick it up now at Hells Headbanger Records. You won't regret it.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zelfhaat - Van Jammerklacht En Wanhoopsgeshrij (2011)

Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Country: Netherlands
Label: Rotting Grave Distribution

Download via Megaupload (VBR)

Ritual Necromancy - Oath of the Abyss (2011)

Full Length, Dark Descent Records
November 15th, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: USA

Admittedly I do try not to post stuff that my fellow bloggers have posted the same day usually but I will and have certainly make exceptions. This is really good — another win for Dark Descent Records.

Like the wicked child of Vorum, Incantation, and Antediluvian, Ritual Necromancy's "Oath of the Abyss" rips through the darkness with a muddy chainsaw guitar/bass tone from the former (or Denial) and oppressive, frighteningly deep and formless vocals of the latter. Lots of dark, creeping and doomy mid-paced tremolo riffs with chunky chords interspersed throughout the record over the annihilating, merciless drums. Oath of the Abyss provides nothing but satisfying, unstoppable old school tomb-defiling death metal.

Those who like the above mentioned bands or Vasaeleth, Funebrarum, Ignivomous, etc. better check this out. Get a copy over at Dark Descent.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

ID:VISION - Destination Cybermind (2011)

Extreme Industrial
320 kb/s

I found these guys awhile back and listened to their first album, Plazmadkaos which I thought was neat, albeit a bit boring. If you're expecting another The Amenta, you're mistaken. This band doesn't really take noise music elements, but instead they use lots of techno sounds, lots of beep boops, zeep woops. Let's not say this album isn't extreme, it's actually pretty intense. They even throw in that industrial clean vocal yelling thing that bands do, if you know what I'm talking about and that's along side guttural squeals and growls. This might not be a lot of people's cup of tea, and people might think it's a bit cheesy and over produced...

But I like it...

I like it a lot.

Also, help me figure out the genre. Because I have no idea what they are other than industrial.

Seven Sisters of Sleep / Children of God - Split (2011)

Split, A389 Recordings

Genre: Sludge/Hardcore
Region: USA

Oh yeah. More Seven Sisters of Sleep is always welcome and like Young and In The Way these guys are always busy. Here's the latest offering in the form of a split with Children of God.

Six tracks, three from each band. It's angry and abrasive. The Seven Sisters of Sleep side is more sludge oriented while the Children of God side resembles more traditional hardcore but there are elements of sludge mixed in there enough to see why these two beasts would come together for a split (particularly on Bled Dry, very doomy). I haven't heard of them until this was announced but it would seem they should be getting more attention.

It slays. Need I say more? No. Listen to it streaming here and definitely get a copy on vinyl over here as well.

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Time To Burn - Is.Land (2007)

Full Length, Basement Apes
November 1st, 2007

Genre: Atmospheric Sludge
Region: France

This is a well deserved re-post and admittedly I did not do it justice. Time To Burn recently announced that they are dead/on hiatus and this prompted me to spread this wonderful band around again. They have generously put up all of their material for free on their bandcamp page.

They are a brilliant and unique french atmospheric sludge/post-hardcore band who put out one demo, one EP and two full lengths. Is.Land is their second and last release — it is so impressive and powerful and there is still not much out there like it in the genre. The energy, atmosphere and passion mirrors that of Amenra or Mare. Check out their video for the second track Nayeli and you'll hear what you've been missing:

Is.Land is filled with quality writing and blends styles in surprising ways. It moves from brutal and fast hardcore riffing and melancholic, crushing sludgy swells and leads while always maintaining atmosphere. The drumming is tight and clear, noticeably adding to the intensity. It's the calamitous and visceral vocals that almost reach that of Colin from Amenra and Tyler of Mare which I find captivating; Eddy's vocals can be harsh as in the above example or soft and clean as shown in the closing track "Land."

I cannot recommend this album and band enough — they are an extremely satisfying listening experience. It's just too bad they shut down. The final message from the band:

"After a few years of slowed down activity, time to burn is now on hiatus.

We couldn’t be more thankful for everyone who helped us. Every gig we played at, every floor we slept on, every band we’ve toured with. we’ve met great people along the way, and they would be too many to name all. thank you."

The old links were low quality but these are 320. If you want to support them you can get this on vinyl or CD right here, and I highly recommend you do.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Made Out Of Babies - Coward (2006)

Full Length, Neurot Recordings
September 18, 2006

Genre: Sludge/Post-Hardcore
Region: USA

Another band I've been hearing about for a while but neglected to check out, regretfully indeed. This is some sick stuff that straddles the sounds of angular hardcore like Narrows and bizarre doom like Battle of Mice and Neurosis.

What is immediately notable is the vocals of Julie Christmas which are strangely beautiful, piercing and a little disturbing; fitting in excellently amongst the dissonant and devastating guitar leads. I remember disliking her style while she was in Battle of Mice but that has since changed and I guess I just didn't realize she was playing in this band, otherwise I would've been all over this sooner. She keeps it melodic and clean to great effect until suddenly tumbling into a more harsh and creepy style for brief moments. Probably not for everyone.

This (like everything on Neurot) is difficult to place as just hardcore or just sludge so it can be expected that you'll be surprised. And again the sludge moments do remind me of Neurosis and Battle of Mice while the hardcore influence could be compared to Narrows or to a lesser extent Kiss It Goodbye (minus the intense and unbeatable anger) but that's about all I could compare it to — and vaguely at that. Great writing and pacing as well as unique sound. Go to Neurot to get a copy.

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Monkeypriest - The Psalm (2011)

Full Length, Féretro Records

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: Spain

I should be working on a paper but instead I'm listening to this and the new Leviathan album (which I'll get around to posting but you can find it over at our friend Forever Cursed).

What we have here is a plodding band from Spain that takes the sludge from Seven Sisters of Sleep and tears away the hardcore element leaving thick billowing clouds of heaviness in its stead (not unlike Canada's Weirding to some extent). Simple and satisfying all the way through with a few nice surprises. Slow dirty riffs, raspy vocals and steady pounding drums echoing from the bowels of a long-forgotten temple.

Opening with the ominous droning of a monk, The Psalm has seven tracks (including a Cerebral Fix cover) that all hit just under the seven minute mark, ending with a ten minute final track including vocals from Marco of the Spanish doom outfit Orthodox. The cover gives you a good impression of how the album sounds and feels. You can get a copy at their shop right here.

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The Axis of Perdition - Tenements (Of the Anointed Flesh) (2011)

Industrial/Atmospheric Black Metal
224 kb/s

The Axis of Perdition has for a long time been one of my favorite black metal bands, ever since I listened to their first LP, The Ichneumon Method (And Less Welcome Techniques). That album and their EP, Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchibara (The Red God) were extremely chaotic with harsh distorted vocals and with dark ambient whip cream. Their second LP, Deleted Scene from the Transition Hospital drifted towards more dark ambient and less black metal. And Urfe was almost a straight up audio book.

So this album, is kind of a surprising turn backwards. With some new twists. I can't really compare this album their previous works at all except for a few small details. Yes, this is harsh atmospheric scary black metal like The Ichneumon Method but it's as chaotic. You can find better comparisons from the band Blut Aus Nord. At first, I didn't like the idea and almost blew the album off. But I gave it another listen and it grew on me. So you guy's should give it a try and listen for yourselves.


Jääportit / Umbra Nihil / Aarni / Caput LVIIIm - Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft - Yogsothery - Gate 1: Chaosmogonic Rituals of Fear (2010, Split)

Funeral Doom, Dark Ambient, Psychedelic, Drone
320 kb/s

From what I got, my friend found this album and bought on impulse. He gave it to me and said "I totally had to show you this." I'm glad he did, I'm a sucker for H.P. Lovecraft shit. At first, I wasn't expecting much but when I finally listened it grew on me. It's haunting, trippy, and very sifi. Basically what I feel when I read a story by Lovecraft. The track I have a problem with is Lovecraft Knew, as Aarni sounds kind of weak compared to the other artists here.

“Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.”
H. P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oxbow - An Evil Heat (2002)

Full Length, Neurot Recordings / Hydra Head Records
March 19th, 2002

Genre: Avant-garde/Noise-Rock/Sludge
Region: USA

If you haven't already seen or picked up a copy of the recent fantastic underground music industry documentary film Blood, Sweat & Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century then I suggest you do so. For a while I've been hearing about this band Oxbow but only in vague mentions. Having received my copy of said documentary I was better introduced to them through it and I was surprised, confused and compelled by what I heard. Specifically their passionate live performance of Stallkicker and the vocalist's presence.

Apparently Oxbow been around for a while, jumping between Neurot and Hydra Head making some bizarre yet heavy noise-rock/psychedelic sludge, with a lead singer (Eugene S. Robinson) that is absolutely insane. What they remind me of is Daughters and their oddness if they slowed it down, went in a psyche-sludge direction, and had far more sexual undertones.

Similar to Neurosis they're impossible to describe accurately.  Likewise An Evil Heat is hard to describe without repeating myself. I'll just say it's not for everyone, you'll either love it or absolutely hate it, and the final track is a 32 minute tribal vocal/drum drone fest which is much different from the rest of the album; guaranteed to put you into a trance. Get a copy of the cd over at Neurot Recordings.

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Heresiarch - Hammer of Intransigence (2011)

EP, Dark Descent Records / Satanic Skinhead Propaganda
October, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: New Zealand

Still waiting on my copy to arrive but since it's floating around out there already I might as well get it up. Their demo was promising and this takes another step forward with their sound. Containing members of the no bullshit death metal group Diocletian, Hammer of Intransigence is a destructive EP indeed. Not terribly unique but it packs quite a punch without a doubt.

It really isn't necessary for me to say much about this one. You already know if you'll like this or not but if you need a taste check out Carnivore, and if you do indeed like what you here support them by going to Dark Descent or Vault of Dried Bones to pick up some of their merch. The guys on both those labels are acquiring some excellent bands recently.

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Thrones / Sedan - Split (2011)

Split,  Joe Preston's Solid Gold Recordings
April 24th, 2011

Genre: Doom/Drone/Post-Rock
Region: USA

Since I didn't see this up elsewhere yet I figured I'd put it up here. I think it's vinyl only so yeah.

Joe Preston is a nice guy and has made heavy tunes for a long time. Both shows I've been to he puts on a great set and acts quite friendly before, during, and after all the doom.

This is his most recent release with a band called Sedan which I don't know anything about. They seem to be a instrumental/post-metal-ish band and offer up one 12 minute track "Erdman Set : El Jefe" to coincide with Joe's 14 minute spacey, droney, alienesque song "Bridal Veil". It's much quieter and ambient than Sedans side and has the trippy voice modulation found on tracks like Obolous. Sedan's track is surprisingly good, nice drumming and quite atmospheric with an 'ancient' psychedelic vibe around it (like a tamed Grails).

You can get a copy from him on his recent tour or over here.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gates - A Precessional Winter (2011)

Full Length, ASTRAL RA / Ivory Antler Records
June 21th, 2011

Genre: Drone/Doom/Noise/Ambient
Region: Canada

I've seen the 'spectral doom' ensemble Gates three times now (most recently last night) and honestly they get more dark, intense, loud and fierce every single time. Last night they tore the venue down and drowned it in waves of suffocating/oppressive noise and drone, performing a slight variation on this album (and thus of They Hide In The Shadows as well to some degree). Visual evidence from the show can be found here and here in two parts. It was quite an experience. If you ever get a chance to see them live don't hesitate.

This is a 2010 live recording of the album "Moths Have Eaten The Core", very limited (30 copies originally self-released from ASTRAL RA) though there are still a few copies floating about at live shows and Ivory Antler Records (who are repressing the aforementioned album) — I highly suggest grabbing one. Extremely loud and raw, paced well and engrossing. These guys deserve your attention and support so follow them here for updates (or listen here) and do what you can because they're doing something different, and doing it very well consistently.

"Recorded at a show last November as the snow began to fall. This one was the first performance where it all really came together. A fairly raw, rough document of the evening and of a developmental point in Gates growth as a live ensemble."

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Megaupload)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amenra - Mass III-II + IIII (2011)

Compilation, Tokyo Jupiter Records
October, 2011

Genre: Atmospheric Sludge
Region: Belgium

Yes I'm posting Amenra again. Why would anyone complain? I don't know.

This is the recent re-release/remaster of Mass III-II + Mass IIII from Tokyo Jupiter Records. If you don't have a copy of it (cd/vinyl) I suggest picking this one up from them, especially if you're not in North America. This contains the live variation of "Shapeless Pain" from their 23.10 Live Ritual DVD which is slower, more intense, and absolutely devastating. Colin's vocals are unbelievable.

I've posted both albums before but you can never have enough Amenra — never. Their next Mass is my most anticipated album for next year easily. To put it bluntly: they are unarguably one of the heaviest bands on the planet right now. Steve Von Till (Neurosis), Dwid Hellion (Integrity) and Jacob Bannon (Converge) concur:

"Amenra is deep, and real, and moving, and incredibly inspiring. A heavy, sonic spiritual quest awaits you at Mass in the Church of Ra" - Steve Von Till

"Mass IIII is the music within the darkest black dream" - Dwid Hellion

"Amenra in my opinion are one of the most interesting and powerful bands in aggressive music" - Jacob Bannon

Support them. Enough said.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire) (Mass III-II)
DOWNLOAD (Mediafire) (Mass IIII)