Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dunnock - The Rainy Season

Raw atmospheric and depressive black metal. Most of the parts on here were first take and/or improvised. Beside the logo, which looks like the female reproductive system with wings, this is actually pretty bearable. It's fucking noisy and uncomfortable, and the lyrics aren't as bad as most depressive acts.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kitties of Death - Blue Flame

This is going to be a difficult one. In order to look at what Kitties of Death (and before I get into the review, for ill or good, I just want to state that "Kitties of Death" may be the stupidest name in the history of black metal, and up there for all of the metal genre) have produced with "Blue Flame", we need to define the main question in regards to my quandary: What is black metal, and what defines it? Nearly no one can agree on a set of criteria, seeing as the wide range of artists who are classified as black metal. What makes VON and Falls of Rauros belong to the same genre of music, beside the use of tremolo picking? Even the ethos and spirit of black metal varies from artist to artist. So what does this have to do with Kitties of Death? KoD describes themselves as Avant-Garde Black metal. As far as I can tell, the only thing relating this music to black metal is Jud Winter's vocals and a lackluster production. The music is avant-garde for sure, and they aren't lacking in talent, but the "metal" in the music is less Sigh and more "Reinkhaoss" era Dissection style melodic death metal, with added galloping drums and breakdowns galore, while keyboards add gothic swells, and random electronic beats and synth runs flitter in and out. Despite the lack of black metal I'm still posting this because it's not totally without merit. This doesn't sound as absolutely shitty as it could have with less talented individuals composing and performing it. Some of the songs are sticky as fuck too. All in all, not for everyone or even most, but if anything seemed to grab you, go and give it a listen.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Anti-Freeze - Aftermath

New meat. Anti-Freeze is a Canadian one man project. He plays a brand of raw melodic atmospheric black metal on Aftermath. The first half more atmospheric and melodic than the second. Overall, the production and composition are tight, based in the tradition of the 2nd wave, but with enough new ideas to make this more than just some throwback. The only weak spot from a performance standpoint is the drums, occasionally falling out of step with the music just enough to jar you from your concentration. A pretty good release on the whole, and enjoyable to boot.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

CAPA - THE DROVES

CAPA has given us another dose of their post-blackened everything. What's new here, or what will keep your interest? This record is definitely a lot harsher with regards to the music and composition. Wrapping around the post rocky-pretty atmospheric parts are harsh, dissonant squelches from the guitars, riding atop inorganic and cold drums. This evokes anything from noise/hardcore band Anodyne's supremely underrated Quiet Wars LP to Blut Aus Nord's middle period to The Axis of Perdition to Caina (who probably comes the closest to a reference point). Give it a shot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Twilight Fauna - Hymns of a Forgotten Homeland

Another repeat offender. First time around I thought Ravenwood needed to work on the black metal parts of his songs, his personal brand of Appalachian folk black metal was pretty good at the appalachian folk part. On this follow-up, he pulled an audible and kept the same formula, not making the black metal parts more fleshed out, but let them breathe into what feels less like a song than a ritual chant or incantation. He'll probably get compared to Panopticon for as long as people talk about his band, but Ravenwood just needs to focus more on making his music his. Less Appalachian Folk Black Metal, more Blackened Appalachian Folk, like this recording is.

Emerald Weapon - Part II: Earth Encrypted

Its our buddies from the PNW back at us with a new recording. I was kinda tepid on their S/T EP. There were a lot of flaws in it, and a shit ton of improvements that needed to be made, but there were some bright spots in the songwriting, especially the guitars. Now we have their second release. Most of the complaints I had have been addressed. The songs seem to flow better, the mixing is improving at a good rate (the exception is the hi-hat, which needs to be reigned in a little, because it overpowers the rest of the drum track and even bleeds into the main focus), and the guys seem to want to be seen as standard Cascadian black metal no more. The drone part of their sound seems to fit more naturally as well. However, "Cement Rivers" suffers from a problem their last EP had in general; the song ends rather abruptly, it doesn't seem to flow to a natural end. This is only a minor setback to what, in my opinion, is a great follow-up recording. Let this be a reference point if you are looking for a band that matured naturally in a very short span of time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Aires - Aires

Not black metal, but I sometimes like to post things from artists who are involved in, related to, or influenced by black metal. Aires claims influence, but it is only really notable on the epic closing track "Contraplacado". Up to that point, this young Portuguese band plays a pretty standard yet powerful brand of drone, keyboards and sound manipulation and field recordings being the only instruments/sources. "Contraplacado" is the real gem here. Swelling waves of droning melodic keys wash over you again and again, building and tearing away, crushing you beneath their mournful pall. Each swell brings the melody that much closer to its apogee and each ebb pulls it down to a sparse continuation of what it was, until the "tide" of the music is fully in, then you are stuck beneath the surface indefinitely. The swells continue but you are already under and breathing the salt, the crushing weight. This whole release is good, the last track is fucking brilliant.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weeping, Kneeling - Blood of Ritual

Blackened drone with doom and noise elements. It's interesting, but not the greatest as a casual listen. This is more of a background listen or a direct listen, devoting all your senses to the music.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Siaskel - Jatenentolpen Thejin

Hell yes, I haven't had any true black/death in a while. These dudes power through these three tracks with a militaristic force and sound based in the death metal realm. Its not reinventing the wheel, but the songwriting and the conviction in it are top notch.


Aeolus - Celestial Forest

From the band himself:
Aeolus is an atmospheric black metal band from Wisconsin.  I have just released our debut EP entitled "Celestial Forest." My music was written to capture the beauty of nature while highlighting that at night, the atmosphere of the forest changes and danger lurks everywhere...This was my first attempt at writing, recording, mastering, and producing an album all by myself, along with handling all the instrumental duties

This is not great, its not even good. What it is is a young band just starting out and making missteps. First off, the drum programming is alright when its blasting, but it doesn't sound good. It sounds rather akin to an overloaded washing machine on the spin cycle. When it slows to a mid pace, the programming sounds like some digi-disco "grim and frostbitten bee-gees"-lite, while still muffling the fuck out of the snare and bass. The riffs/songwriting are alright, just lacking enough originality or conviction to stand it apart from the hundreds of other bedroom bands out there. The vocals are too loud in the first couple of tracks, with too much distortion on them. Just a pretty annoying shriek that is so far in front of the mix that it eats up the rest of the real estate. The last original track mixes them lower, but even beyond being able to clearly hear them. And there happens to be a cover of "The Wolfpack" by Satyricon, its just kinda eh, but better than the rest of this demo. 

Samyaza needs to practice his songwriting. If this was a interesting or unique songwriting release, you could look past the iffy programming and uneven production (mostly). As it stands, this is the upper end of the lower end of the quality road. I've heard much worse, but I've also heard a lot better, and from projects that either have an even production or interesting/strong songwriting. I think that with practice and dedication, Aeolus could put out a solid record. Until then, its not enough to stand out in any aspect.



Sangus - Saevitia EP

Honest-to-fuck black thrash, headbanging commence! This newer Providence, RI horde brings intense energy and influences from death metal and crust to their no-holds-barred thrashing. This is good shit.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Emanation - The emanation of begotten chaos from God

Terrifying experimental black metal based on the research of Tesla, Kardec, and Crookes blended with spirituality. This is droning, vocals sound more like a tortured windspirit howling from miles away and years past rather than anything approaching human, with noise and feedback squeltching through your speakers like a new form of life, birthed to the world through Emanation's inhumanaty. Yet the tempo speeds up at times, a droning dissonance will reform into a haunting melody, and the sterility of the pace will be interceded by a jazz-like feel. This is some top notch art and much worth the price of the CD.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Conjuro Nuclear - S/T

Goth black metal...would you say that phrase is a redundancy or contradiction? In many ways it's both. Conjuro Nuclear comes from Spain and, on this S/T album, bring that phrase into a middle ground. This truly sounds like a mixture of Dead Can Dance and black metal, ran through an early post-punk filter. Yes, the songs are a little same-y, and Emesis' vocals are buried deep in the mix, but that's part of the fun.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Most Holy Death - Death Knell

Most Holy Death is a one man act from that land of cheese known as Wisconsin. On Death Knell, their first recording, they blend black metal with doom, drone, and post-rock. Only bass, guitar, and vocals are used. I think this is really good, subtle when needed, claustrophobic at times, and seething with the kind of malignancy towards existence that cannot be faked or phoned in. This is music for the dead of night, with only candles lighting your room, a glass of gin in your hand (and/or some drugs in your system).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grst - Fire Therein

OK, everyone knows how awesome and influential Weakling was right? I don't really have to do the whole song and dance about who they influenced and how they only wrote Dead As Dreams but it shaped the face of USBM to come, blah blah blah. Good. What I will say is that no one really ever attempts to cover them, mainly due to the nature of the material and the fact no lyrics were ever printed. Grst breaks with that tradition on Fire Therein, an EP covering two of those seminal tracks. Josh Vincent really outdid himself with the love and respect this grants the source material; faithful enough to please purists, and varied enough to make you not want to shut it off and just listen to the original. Nathanael Kelley adds additional guitar tracks and Kenneth Parker also deserves note for his usual vocal delivery, rather than trying to ape the original, what he is singing, I have no clue. Kudos guys, you proved you have the balls and the drive. I'm really excited (well, more excited than before, which was pretty excited) for Grst's full length debut, Plague Seed.


Salvaticus - Hidden Manna

HOLY FUCK. These dudes from Virginia aren't fucking around. This is one of the best sounding modern black metal releases I have heard. Killer riffs, dark chord progressions, and melodies that aren't dripping with cheese. Just fucking listen to it and thank me later, assholes.


Emerald Weapon - S/T EP

Oooo, a new band. Emerald Weapon is a two man project from Portland, OR. They describe their music as "Black Metal/Atmospheric/Drone", this really isn't too far off. The first track is a drone-y mess until all the instruments come in, at that point reaching a decent sounding, if all too basic, melody and harmony, then falling apart. Enlightened Womb starts out sounding all too Cascadian, before the drums switch to that polka-esque "oompa" sound that less than stellar programming results in (it happens, I know I have been guilty of it in the past). Self Reliant is my favorite track, coming in with a d-beat and a vicious but melodious riff. The energy in that song makes is the best on the EP, drawing my head from a standstill to emphatically nodding to desk headbanging in the all too short two minute running length. The last track Nothing/Everything is your standard ambient/drone Post/Cascadian instrumental/outro track, it's not bad, its just been done before.

 Its really not bad if you are into the PNW melodic sound, and it is just a first release. These dudes have some talent and some of the melodies are sticky as fuck, they just gotta flesh it out and make it theirs.

Totally random and not at all applicable rating: 5.6 Bags of Organic Free-Trade Cruelty-Free Kale Gummi Bears.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Wholy Failure - An Atropy

New EP combining the electronic elements of Abortion Eucharist with the noisy shoegaze of Carrion and Grime.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mutter - Grief Songs

I don't recall ever being sent any "depressive blackened industrial" before. Surprisingly, this is a shame, because Mutter's Grief Songs is a pretty fucked up ride. Written in response to a friend's suicide, this debut (and most likely final) record is as cold, inorganic, and dead as it is moving and brilliant. Dark ambient and post industrial fans take special note.

P.S. "Buried You In A Mountain" fuck.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Also between updates.

After releasing all four of the "seasonal" Field of Spears records in a 4 cassette box set in 2012, those wonderful fiends at Colloquial Sound Recordings wanted more. So now, you (yes fucker, that means YOU.) can own your very own copy of the new Field of Spears record, Heathen Youth, if you want. Please direct your internet browsers away from beasttube to this fine website to purchase: http://www.colloquialsoundrecordings.bigcartel.com/product/field-of-spears

Friday, March 14, 2014

Patrick Hasson - Bourbon Reign

In the meantime between new updates, I'm gonna share the second release I've done under my given name. Like "With Apologies", the music here is somewhere between post-rock, singer/songwriter, and indie rock, with my usual touch of black metal influence.

Monday, February 24, 2014

WÖLVEFRÖST - Barbarian Hellstorm

Fantasy oriented blackened crust. Fantasy oriented blackened crust... FANTASY ORIENTATED BLACKENED CRUST Fuck me. Its a good thing the music kills. Great tunes.

Whitby Bay - Unextinguishable Candle

From the band - "Whitby Bay are the malevolent fog surrounding Dracula’s coffin on its arrival at the Yorkshire harbour whose name they bear. Bram Stoker’s Whitby is haunted by myths of a white lady who lurks in the ruined abbey and the ghosts of sailors lost to the sea. Today, middle-aged goths feed seagulls greasy chips on the harbour promenade. The sound of Whitby Bay renders the impossible co-existence of these worlds. They care nothing for subcultural or literary purism. They are Evil and loud as fuck. Crossing the rabid intensity of early Ulver and Ildjarn with the guitar scree of Harry Pussy and Black Dice. Black metal riffs violently accelerate out of control and crash onto the rotting Victorian pier with the force of Cthulhu itself. Lightning speed technical guitar lines drown in swarming fuzz particles as the ferocious assault of battering percussion releases the bats. The three piece recently worked with Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers, Coachwhips) to commit to blue wax the gristle and blood-clotted sound they have crafted onstage. “Unextinguishable Candle” is the battle cry of the crazed Dane warriors as they pierced the eyes and cut the tongues from the throats of Whitby Abby monks. Flipside “Black Cape” hisses with the miasma of death encroaching on us all. Their as yet untitled début album is due to be released late 2014”. HAIL SATAN" Pretty good and evil in the modern BM sense. Buy it on their bandcamp page

Act of Impalement - Hyperborean Altar

Hell fucking yeah, these dudes call themselves war crust (which apparently is a black/death/sludge crust hybrid). This is the kind of shit I'd love to see live with a bunch of sweaty motherfuckers in a room that smells of asshole and cheap beer. Headbang and spill your $2 tall boy.

Rudemas - Demo

From the band - "Rudemas is a black metal duo from Knoxville, TN. Their style has been described as necro black metal with a d-beat influence, with extremely pissed-off vocals as a defining feature." Pretty accurate. Nothing special, but this is a demo, so they still have room to grow and make it their own. Also bonus points for the Dune reference in the second song.

Ghost Bath - Funeral

So Ghost Bath are back with their first full length of oddball Chinese depressive post screamo. Once again, I think their musicianship is top notch and exceeds the material they are writing. If they were putting out straight up post rock or screamo, this would be excellent but, the black metal elements are the weakest part, most notably the vocals. Fuck me though, this is catchy as fuck and is quite enjoyable for what it is. If you want a catchier lifelover but don't want to give up listening to Deafheaven, then this is probably a good bet for you. Kvltists, you probably want to stick with the Propast record I posted earlier.

Propast - Věstnik Preispodnji

Some decent stuff from a new band out of Serbia. This sounds very slavic in terms of the songwriting, with large nods being thrown out to the more melodic Finnish bands. And a Graveland cover too. Pretty good stuff!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Grst/The Will of a Million - Split

From our friends over at Glossolalia Records sent this over. Like a few of their other acts, both these bands share members with other bands on the roster (like Banewreaker and Earthenwomb). The Grst side is pure post-2000 black metal, but in the best way. Just the right amount of melody mixed with harshness, just enough reverb without sounding atmospheric or depressive. Same goes for the TWOAM side, although that side is a little more indebted to the atmospheric/ds sound of this current era of black metal. Both bands are great and after downloading this you should buy one of the last 8 copies they have over at Glossolalia Records


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Field of Spears - Heathen Youth

Fourth full-length by my neofolk project Field of Spears. Heathen Youth sheds the seasonal motif that the prior 3 full-lengths and 1 EP shared. It sounds like a more fully developed, better produced, and confident version of Serpent & Sodom mixed with the less cryptic parts of Pale Eulogies. Broken Limbs Recordings will be doing a tape issue of this soon, so buy that when it comes out.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Golden Milk/Sacramence - Split CS

Honest to goodness, raw bm. Sacramence espouses nihilism and animal rights via their raw BM. Golden Milk likes R. Kelly. Actually I'm not sure what the blackened punk noise that GM is about, but their name makes me think of piss and cum, and, in addition to making me kinda horny, makes me think of the pied piper of RnB. This split is no "Ignition (remix)", so I wouldn't recommend passionate sex with your lover to it. But its still good and would be good for banging some barfly in a fit of bad judgement.

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