Monday, 23 November 2009

Free Metal!

Free albums are always a good thing, here are various band sanctioned metal albums which i recommend.

Aethyr – …Reign of Mind Black Metal Download
Altar of Plagues - Through the Cracks of the Earth Post Black Metal Download
Anacrusis - Suffering Hour Thrash Metal Download
Beithíoch – An Sealgaire Ambient Black Metal Download
Cor Scorpii - Attergangar Black/Viking Metal Download
Demilich - Nespithe Brutal Death Metal Download
Doomshine - Shining in Solitude Doom Metal Download
Ereb Alter - The Awkening Viking/Doom Metal
Váli – Yggdrasil Doom Metal Download

Friday, 20 November 2009

[ALBUM REVIEW] Vektor - Black Future

First thing that struck me about this album is the logo, as it is clearly homage to Canadian progressive thrash pioneers Voivod. Vektor are a a band of similar mould from south of the border to Voivod. Recently signed to Heavy Artillery, they unleashed their second album earlier this week, and I have to say, it's an absolute needed kick up the ass to modern thrash metal. The lyrics are not your standard thrash fare, no inane political agenda, no bone headed 'lets party, drink and fuck till dethhh!!!' philosophy here, but Vektor deal with... Astrophysics? Certainly an odd one, but very interesting.
Musically, Vektor sound like what Voivod would sound like, with Schmier on vocals. The music teeters on the boundary between the crossover styling of thrash and a more progressive type of the genre ala Voivod. The first song 'Black Future' opens with a heavy chugging riff which immediately runs into a melodic lead and snarling vocals which do not disappoint. The album is full of fresh, rolling heavy riffs certain to get the head banging. A suprising aspect of the album is that we have three songs over 10 minutes each, which is extremely suprising for a thrash album. The songs never get tired, no riff ever outstays it's welcome and before you know it, the band change rhythm completely or unleash a face melting solo of technical prowess or even both. The guitar playing is extremely tight and varied throughout the whole album, and the vocals are probably the best point about the whole album, vicious and in your face, the way it should be, but most importantly original, which is alot more that can be said about the like of Evile and such. The drumming is precise and very very well executed as well giving the rest of the music a sturdy backbone.
Instead of just sitting back and aping their heroes, as is the case with their peers, they take their style and push the perceived boundaries to what is regarded 'thrash' these days. It is an extremely well received breath of fresh air to the thrash scene in my eyes, and for such a young band, they can only go onwards and upwards. Heavy Artillery seem to have a knack for finding extremely talented young bands, long may they keep it up. It's great to hear music with such magnitude and direction these days.*



* Vector, magnitude, direction? Hahaha.... ok I'm sorry :(

Sunday, 15 November 2009

You spin me right round......

One thing that has always interested me are the inscribed messages in the run out of a lot of records, ranging from the quirky, the philosophical, the obscene and to the just plain fucked up. Just one of the many things I love about vinyl, it adds a touch of identity to the records. Some of the ones I have come across on my collection:

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands 12" WEA
A - "Verfaillie"
B - "William, Rona and the baby cats..."

Death in June - Operation Hummingbird 12" TESCO
A - "We're king process in reserve.."
B - "This is not a dream, this is a memory"

The Chameleons - What Does anything Mean? Basically 12" STATIK
A - "What does anything mean.."
B - " bastard!"

Christian Death - Only Theatre of Pain 12" FRONTIER
A - "Here kitty kitty kitty!"
B - *unrecognisable scrawlings*

X-mal Deutschland - Tocsin 12" 4AD
A - "Harte zeiten - Harte Herzen!"
B - "Townhouse"

Skeletal Family - Promised Land 12" RED RHINO
A - "Bilbo tape 1"
B - "Denis tape 1"

Witchfinder General - Friends of hell 12" PIC LP HEAVY METAL
A - "No comprehendy!"
B - "Think your best 15p"

My Dying Bride - Symphonaire Infernus Et Soera Empyrium 12" PEACEVILLE
A - "On tour with Autopsy in '92"
B - "Enjoy the Darkness"

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead 12" SMALL WONDER
A - "Teeny"
B - "Weeny"

The Mission - Children 12" MERCURY
A - "For Hannah and Jessica..."
B - "... and the child's flight of fantasy"

Echo and the Bunnymen - Pictures on My wall 7" ZOO!
A - -
B - "The revenge of Voodoo Billy"

A Place to Bury Strangers - I Know I'll See You 7" ROCKET GIRL
A - "Total sonic annihilation"
B - -

Alien Sex Fiend - Dead and Buried 7" ANAGRAM
A - "Stiff your Stereo and Knacker Your Needle"
B - -

Anyone who has any information on the meaning of any of these please leave a comment.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Bits and Bobs

Some bands I purchased today which I thought I should let you all know about. First off we have the 'Southern Cross Ripper' EP from Aussie thrashers, Trench Hell. Sharing members with fellow trash outfits 'Gospel of the Horns' and 'Shackles' the bar is set rather high, but this certainly matches both these bands in terms of quality. They infuse the blistering solo's and feral attitude of Destroyer 666 with the savage bark of Tom G. Warrior. Definately pick this up from Hells Headbangers.
Next up is 'Et In Saecula Saeculorum' oddball american black Metaller's 'Negative Plane'. On first glance, you notice every song is pretty lengthy, averaging the eight minute mark. The music itself is similar to that of the hungarian Tormentor, but it's very hard to draw comparisons here with anyone, as the music is very original, which is something distinctly lacking in modern black metal. The vocals swagger all over the place, a pompous snarl, while you are being bombarded by a barrage of heavy, catchy riffs. The songs are well structured, there is always lot going on, and before one part can get tired, the song morphs into another form. Highly reccomended.
Lastly we have 'Dead as Dreams' from USBM band Weakling. Although it came out a while ago now and is widely regarded as a classic by some, I can only stress this even more. 'Progressive Sucidal Black Metal' is the best term I can describe it as, although I abhor the DSBM tag. The atmosphere is suffocating and absolutely terrifying. If you want something that will reduce you to a quivering wreck then this is probably for you. Fuck Krallice, these guys are miles better.

Trench hell
Negative Plane

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

[ALBUM REVIEW] Lux Interna - Truth and beauty and All Their Severity


1. Fine Flowers in the Valley
2. Secret Heart of this World
3. Weltschmerz


4. Here in this World
5. In the Desolate Open

Lux Interna are are five piece from Buffalo, USA, fronted by the extremely eldritchian voice of Joshua Levi. They play a style of sonorous acoustic folk music akin to what you would hear if you bundled Andrew Eldritch, Current 93 and Sol Invictus into a washing machine and a bit of Nick Cave as fabric conditioner.
Here we have a demo 10 inch EP on little known German label 'Eis und Licht' which specializes in music of the apocalyptic/neo-folk department. First and foremost, the most notable thing that strikes you straight off the bat is the sound quality, for a demo it is remarkably clear and well produced, the production gives the main focus, Josh's voice, to shine. The songwriting is also extremely tight for a demo, the songs could easily have come off a record on a major label.
This is music motivated by sorrow and disillusion with modern society and the desire to come out above it.
Lyrically, this EP is outstanding. The first song 'Here in this World' has a strong religious undercurrent running throughout the song. I can only compare this to a Nick Cave interpretation of Sol Invictus, the song deals with humanity and it's jealousy and contempt towards eachother comparing it with Cain and Abel. The song starts off rather slow and restrained with Josh's voice flowing over each chop of the guitar and then leads to a something reminiscent of a Nick Cave ballad.
The next song, 'In the Desolate Open' is by far and high the highlight of the EP, and the best song from this genre I think I've ever heard. This song is dedicated to two people who i assume were good friends of the band. This is what a wake in my mind should sound like, the solemn vocals coupled with the soft guitar gliding underneath creates an aura of extreme beauty. The conviction with which Joshua sings this is unbound, his voice exudes pure untainted emotion. "And surely the ice that glitters on the pond is a bit of you that beckons from beyond, Calling on, Calling from beyond, Calling on", this metaphor alone wells with emotion, these aren't lyrics for the sake of it, these aren't lyrics, it's poetry.
'Fine Flowers in the Valley' is a rendition of a traditional welsh infanticide ballad. 'Secret Heart of this World' borrows heavily from 'Death in June' with slightly more upbeat guitar and has female vocals in unison with Joshuas.'Weltschmerz' is a spoken word soliloquy affirming a sort of gnostic instinct within man. Their take on it is shrouded in ambiguity, with a relinquishing detachment that this is the way of the earth rather than the 'Survival of the Fittest' ideas of those like Michael Moynihan . The final piece is an ambient track filled with atmosphere and whirling electronics, quite different to the rest of the EP.
In short, this EP is in the upper limits of listening quality, filled with esoteric beauty and tragedy in one. It is also very worth your time to sit down and absorb the lyrics, as they are by and far the high point of this release, and extremely rewarding when you sit down and take them in, combined with Joshs spiritual voice, neo-folk does not get better than this, this is music filled with genuine soul and passion, and definitely worth your time seeking this out. It is an honour to listen to such art.