v/a "They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them" compilation
Posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 @ 7:02am » permalink
The most recent outing from Flingco Sound System is "They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them": A massive digital-only compilation featuring 15 exclusive tracks for an hour-and-a-half's worth of assorted experimental sounds. Aside from Cristal, Buer, and FSS artists like Wrnlrd and Grief No Absolution that I've written about here in the past, I honestly wasn't familiar with the other contributing artists (except my own, of course, as in the interest of full disclosure I do have a song here as Never Presence Forever), but was most impressed by Interbellum's surprisingly melodic, chilled out approach; and, towards the end, Leyland Kirby's similarly moving 13-minute "Black Holes are Not Completely Black" – where faintly distorted washes of melody sway to and fro in a hypnotically repetitious manner. Hells Hills (who feature former Rorschach guitarist Nick Forté) create this eerie type of vibe as well, though with a hint more of a throbbing drone element. Buer's "Dogwomb" is the first piece to really shake things up on the aggression front, with abstract bursts of early Godflesh-like texture broken up by loads of ear-splitting feedback that eventually cave in to more of an ambient hum. On the "black metal"-ish front you'll find the crude, super simplistic riffs and obscured vocals of Hamsoken (another Nick Forté project); Wrnlrd continuing to add clarity and detail to gnarled layers of discordant insanity with "Mephitic Celebrator"; and Caves' effective fusion of distant, reverberated tremolo picking riffs and dense ambient tones. Then there's No Anchor and Dead Meat, the two groups herein that sound like true "bands", smack in the middle of the collection with their own unique forms of "noise rock" (for lack of a better term). There's just a shitload of music to check out here, and unlike most compilations (especially those of the more experimental realms) I honestly find it all to be pretty damn solid. The whole thing's available as a free download, and includes a hefty .pdf booklet that was designed by Wrnlrd in cooperation with each contributing artist. Check it out and see what you discover… you can't lose when it's free!
[DOWNLOAD] v/a "They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them" compilation (@ Sendspace) (mp3)
[DOWNLOAD] v/a "They Don't Know Unless You Tell Them" compilation (@ MediaFire) (wav)
Obliteration "Nekropsalms" CD
Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 @ 7:17am » permalink
As I continue to catch up on releases that I didn't have time to cover towards the end of last year, the latest from the ever-curious Fysisk Format label is "Nekropsalms", the second album from Norwegian act Obliteration. Offering up just seven tracks that still top 40 minutes of Fenriz-endorsed death metal, this album is rightfully described by the label as "a cosmic blend of old school death metal mixed with the best elements from doom, punk, thrash and old school black metal". There are indeed quite a few instances where the band immediately switches up from dark, doomy midpaced runs to frantic tremolo picking riffs backed by more of a blasting hardcore/punk drum pattern. Adding to the variety, also beneficial is a solid recording that's super thick without lacking detail – the bass presence in the mix is a particular treat given the impressiveness of the performances throughout. While a casual listen might yield the more expected old school death metal type of approach – what with the prominent growls/snarls/etc. and thick, gnashing guitars – closer inspection reveals a much more intriguing listen that really does have a lot of unexpected twists: Weird, spacey effects and the occasional Sabbath-esque riff, winding dissonant runs with loads of pulsing basslines, sparse explosions of raw hardcore attack, and way more pulsing/chugging doom than you'd anticipate from a death metal band. There's certainly more going on, too, and perhaps referring to Obliteration as a "death metal band" is overly limiting, but… who really cares at this point!? It is what it is, and it's fuckin' cool. See what you think…
Obliteration "Nekropsalms Evoke the Frozen Age" (excerpt)
@ Fysisk Format (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)
Viva Clarity "Our Demons, Our Hell" CD
Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 @ 7:21am » permalink
Viva Clarity is yet another killer new hardcore band from Finland, and "Our Demons, Our Hell" is their debut (I believe self-released) six-song EP. As with a few other Finnish bands I've covered here, Viva Clarity has a slightly different sort of style from the bulk of the hardcore that I encounter from that area, perhaps loosely comparable to Lighthouse Project, but… that's just a general reference point, really. The material's heavy without relying on chugging rhythms or mosh breaks, and quite melodic without going too far. Darker, more atmospheric passages aid the overall sense of intensity and impact, and there are even some riffing elements, dare I say, reminiscent of black metal – which is really strange because the overall vibe here isn't one that screams "metal" to me. There's certainly nothing wrong with hardcore that can't be pigeonholed, especially in this day and age, so… once again I'll basically let the music speak for itself here!
Viva Clarity "Is There Anything Left?"
…sometimes I recall the days when my young mind was so naïve and pure. But now my eyes are opened and getting older, gloomier, colder. Which one is fucked up – this world or me? I’m asking myself am I sick and insane? Am I heartless and fucked up? But maybe I don’t even bother anymore?
@ Viva Clarity
@ Levykauppa Äx (in Finland)
@ Record Shop X (elsewhere)
Celestine "This Home Will be Our Grave" CD
Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010 @ 7:05am » permalink
How strange that the first CD I'm finally sitting down to write about in 2010 was actually released way back in 2008!? But I was so impressed by Reykjavík, Iceland's Celestine on their debut that it's better late than never for the band's sophomore full-length, "This Home Will be Our Grave" (released by Molestin Records), which their former drummer (who played on this album) was kind enough to send me a couple of months ago (His own personal copy, no less!? And check out his blog, Halifax Collect, too!). Thankfully this outing is a very suitable follow-up, offering eight tracks of crushing heaviness in a little over a half-hour. Expect loads of utterly pounding, churning rhythms and absolutely scathing vocals, this time accentuated by an increase in the warped, angular riffing that appears alongside the various forays into discordant twists and turns with little tinges of buried melody. And it's all wrapped up in a fuckin' killer recording that really lets all of the elements work together as a whole: Bashing percussion, an absolutely mammoth bass tone, dense yet aptly rugged guitars, and of course those throat-shredding vocal textures. These guys do it so, so right, and I'm always eagerly awaiting more from 'em – even if it does take an extra year or two sometimes!
Celestine "She is Queen"
It's a damn shame this one hasn't been released in the US yet, and this band still deserves a hell of a lot more attention across the globe. So fucking good…