Friday, May 22, 2015

Ilsa - Felon's Claw (2015)

Ilsa might be the best example of a band that has figured out the way of sonically conveying the sounds of a fetid and murky tone colouring. Intoxicantations met every requirement necessary to be the musical equivalent of a meth den situated in a seedy, rat-infested sewage drain. It sounded like decay and filth, and has one of my favorite intros to a song, creating the ideal segway into the following tracks of squalid THC-soaked sludge and crust hardcore. Albums that are almost devoid of anything negative are hard to follow up on…

Felon's Claw may not have the intro that it's younger brother Intoxicantations had, electing to cut the foreplay and go straight for the throat with a disturbed howl and crunchy tone beaten to death by a sickly plod of the drums. The production is still texturally murky and calcified in mold, to the point of decomposition, yet the foundation of the songs are weighted and robust instead of hollow. Full points to Ilsa, A389 Recordings, Kevin Bernstein for the recording and Brad Boatright for mastering it.

Ilsa are speaking loudly these days and you'd be fucking up if you ignored their dank bellowing from the sewers of crusted hardcore and doomed sludge.

Felon's Claw (Bandcamp)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Haunting Presence - The Haunting Presence [EP] (2015)

Let's get down to the brass tacks (which is a term I think means to get down to the cold hard facts), Hells Headbangers is the most consistent label to be putting out albums abundant in savagery, filth and sleaze. These sounds take form prominently in the genres of death, black, doom and heavy metal. So far this year, Hells Headbangers has something close to twenty releases as of this posting (April 08, 2015), all of them persistently good, all of them keeping the din of the metal underground brightly lit and all of them repulsive in their own right.

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The Haunting Presence has taken my auditory-meatus hostage, submitting the canals of my eardrums to the hymns of barbarity and decay and its intrusion is a welcomed presence. I'm going to forgo all the buzz words in my lexicon to describe this EP, in fact, I'm going to forgo all the words in my lexicon to describe this release, instead I'll leave an embedded link to the album right here:

The Haunting Presence (listen/download/buy)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Misþyrming - Söngvar elds og óreiðu (2015)

Iceland just might be the most consistent hotbed for churning out bestial sounding black metal. The same way New Zealand and Canada have been without a doubt the birthplace of some of the most venerable and savage sounding bestial death metal, a la; Revenge, Diocletian, Antediluvian, Mitochondrion, Vassafor, Witchrist, Blasphemy, Heresiarch, etc. etc…

Iceland, with a population that is said to be less than the sheep residing there, has been at the top of this gnarled and barbaric totem pole. The proverbial totem pole of bestial black metal. As of late, the island of hard to pronounce volcanoes and delicious hotdogs has seen recent releases from Carpe Noctem, Svartidauði, Wormlust, Sinmara, Mannveira and now the debut by Misþyrming… Which infallibly will be seen in many year-end lists us dweebs like to make, including my own.

All facets of 'Söngvar elds og óreiðu' point to a tumultuous listen; blistering riffs that morph from eviscerating to mesmerizing all the way to riffs that show some panache! Take the song "Söngur uppljómunar"for example, it starts off with a wonky riff reminiscent to something Negative Plane or Peste Noire might do and then unravels into unabashed viking riffing akin to something Kampfar would write. See for yourself.

This album is up for 'Name your price' on Bandcamp (which is by far my favorite way of purchasing music these days), it gives you the chance to pay what you feel is worth it, and if you can't even afford a dollar, type in 0$ for a free download.

Misþyrming (bandcamp/download)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dead Ghosts - Summer With Phil (video)

Today I saw a man walking down the street with a blue beard, this can only me one thing; Summer is around the corner you shitters.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ghost Bath - Moonlover (2015) preview

A black metal purist would rather be baptized than slap Ghost Bath with the label 'black metal', in part due to fear of being strung up by his heels and tarred and feathered by droves of furious black metal traditionalists… They are also as fiercely loyal as they are obtusely ignorant when it comes to protecting the genres aphotic purity. This is fine by me.

With that being said, Ghost Bath's upcoming release 'Moonlover' seems to nestle in more accurately with the Black Gaze movement, a term that gets some crowds all rankled and riled up.

I have listened to the song Golden Number in full as I am posting this, being the first song I have heard of Ghost Bath as I wasn't familiar with their 2014 release Funeral. I was neither wooed nor disappointed, but I must admit that riff at 01:47 into the song nullified the evil atmosphere that was building up, for minutes after that riff the guitars and drumming are brazenly poppy in sound, sonically akin to a more post-punk ethos, which I guess is par for the course.

In lieu of total transparency, I'd rather just listen to Lunar Aurora, whom were untouchable when it came to making ambient driven black metal with a potent ability to construct genuinely eerie songs that never strayed too far from its roots. I don't mean to compare Lunar Aurora with Ghost Bath as I don't think Ghost Bath is really trying to mimic them, but those heavily drowned out vocal shrieks on 'Moonlover' really make me just want to listen to Lunar Aurora's 'Andacht' instead.

* Enough of what I think, how egocentric of me, I am more curious as to what you guys think of 'Moonlover'? Do we like it? Do we hate it? Do we not really give a shit?

One thing cannot be argued; That album cover is incredibly bleak and I give full points for that. At least they got a leg up on those stubborn black metal dudes with no visual art sense at all. Maybe.

Ghost Bath (bandcamp)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Meth Drinker - Oil (2014)

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If you are unfamiliar with Meth Drinker then please let me acquaint you. Dearest reader, this is Meth Drinker, Meth Drinker this is dearest reader, be gentle with them. Isn't the name quaint? It's kinda like Bongripper, with a bit more fuck you to the upper class cadre. These New Zealanders join the venerable echelon of country mates; Witchrist, Diocletian, Heresiarch, Vassafor, Ulcerate and that dude that directed one of my favorite sci-fi horror movies ever, Bad Taste.

Meth Drinker will fill your day up with palpable dread and they will shit directly into your soul and rape the youthful effervescence you thought you had retained.

The droning crunch of guitars give way to a few riffs reminiscent to early Autopsy, only played at an even slower paced tempo. The drums are mixed in with a peculiar fragility to the toms and it seems the bell cymbal overpowers it, which works well to give it that calcified in rot vibe I like my sewer doom to have. 

Based on the two songs I have heard, I like it a lot. And maybe when the variance between the American to Canadian dollar conversion ceases to fuck my Paypal purchases I will actually buy the album in full and relish in the cankering charm of 'Oil'.

Meth Drinker (bandcamp)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Le Grand Guignol - The Great Maddening (2007)

Ever wash down a few LSD tabs with a couple pints of raw ether and then saunter over to the town carnival like the town drunk? Nah, me either, but I would like to think it's something Hunter S. Thompson would have done. After all, the man was once quoted saying "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

The going sure gets weird on "The Great Maddening", more accurately, hysterically demented and soaking in a vat of mescaline, marinating the mania all the more. It's difficult to describe this album without using as much hyperbole as a tween would use when describing his first hand-job to an assemblage of prepubescent seventh-graders keen on hearing the exact recount of the sexual tale, all the while trying to realistically wade through all the bullshit… In all likelihood, the hand-job took place behind a shed, and it lasted a total of 13 seconds while some unfortunate female was fumbling around his Affliction boxers trying to locate his "enormous" erection, which had already been pulsating from seamen-free ejaculation. You see, sometimes you need hyperbole otherwise the true story straddles the line of cringe-worthy like a cowgirl with Cerebral Palsy.

Moving on. Le Grand Guignol were once known by the name of Vindsval back when the band members lived in Luxembourg, playing the same type of absinthe binged avant-garde metal with their heels firmly planted in the grounds of demented and horrific sounding, albeit with a sound less meticulous and well crafted as they were on "The Great Maddening".

I rarely post anything of this ilk on SHOM these days, let alone purposefully listen to it (probably because of all the low grade garage punk I've been stuffing in my ears), but when a song from this album came on while briefly playing my music library on shuffle I was taken to it, it floated my proverbial boat, and I remembered that it's okay if metal isn't always deadpan with frostbitten grimness… Look at early black metal and black metal purists of today's day and age, talk about cringe-worthy.

This album warrants some praise for its well articulated use of eclectic instruments like the xylophone, cello, violin, flutes, harpischords and various other keys, which fully attribute to the obscure atmosphere. 

Le Grand Guignol (bandcamp)

* Leave an email in the comments if you'd like a download link

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Caveman Cult - Rituals of Savagery [EP] (2014)

Found this sucker buried in my email inbox. Filthy death metal married with feral black metal flowing through the same abscessed vein as Teitanblood, Proclamation, Weregoat, Heresiarch, Archgoat, Wrathprayer, etc.

It is a suitable soundtrack to listen to whilst charging through the gates of Babylon in search for Persian scalps or while you're sitting on the shitter reading your subscription to "Satanist's Quarterly".

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I was given the link to the EP by thee dank dudes at WORHT Records, check them out and throw 'em some cash if you are touched by their venerable collection of filthy tunes.

Caveman Cult (Bandcamp)