Thursday, January 29, 2015

being - to fall in love with your own reflection.



Being - To Fall In Love With Your Own Reflection

29:58

57.51 MB

1. Life Is A Stage
2. And When The Curtain Falls Upon An Act
3. It Is Finished And Forgotten
4. The Emptiness Of Such A Life Is Beyond Imagination



excellent harsh noise from luke tandy's being, courtesy of italy's a dear girl called wendy.

nice packaging with labelled cassettes containing just enough choppy, screeching brutality to leave you satisfied without overstaying its welcome.

there's a great variety of tones, moods, and chaos here - you never know what's around the next corner, but it all flows perfectly.

my copy came from unseen force, where it's now sold out, but copies are still available directly from the label via the link below.

highly recommended.




(buy a copy from the label.)


(for preview purposes only.)





Saturday, January 24, 2015

best of 2014, part two.


time to just get this out...lots of great new releases to post, so let's finish this....

no particular order, as always.



1. thou - heathen












hypnotic and crushing, easily thou's best full-length effort. despite it's length, this record distills thou down to their very essence.



2. gridlink - longhena












even if this does turn out to be the final gridlink album (which is looking very likely), I can't imagine them going out on a more perfect note. I don't listen to a lot of grind anymore, but this record represents everything I ever loved about the genre.



3. pyrrhon - mother of virtues












the most chaotic and complex death metal release I heard all year. there's a lot to process here but it certainly rewards repeated listens.



4. harakiri for the sky - aokigahara












honestly, this was probably my favorite album of 2014. this record takes everything I love about black metal - riffs, melody, beauty, and agony - and ties them all together in an incredible package. how this album hasn't gotten more love is totally bewildering.



5. jute gyte - ressentiment












I said this last year, but jute gyte will always have a spot reserved on my year-end lists. probably the most compositionally complex black metal release of the year.



6. behemoth - the satanist












just the fact that this album exists at all is amazing, and the fact that it's this good puts it over the top...that guitar solo on messe noire crushes every single time.



7. godflesh - a world lit only by fire












speaking of crushing...that's what godflesh have always specialized in, and this comeback record picks up right where they left off.



8. black crown initiate - the wreckage of stars












yes, this could probably be described as deathcore, but I don't care. great vocal stylings and great riffs, hopefully even better things have yet to come from this young band...



9. wreck & reference - want












probably the strangest "heavy" album I heard all year, it required multiple listens to really crack this one, but it's worth the reward.



10. a pregnant light - my game doesn't have a name












damian master's APL has undergone such a drastic stylistic change over the last two years that it's almost staggering...but it's incredible to bear witness to someone so unafraid of throwing prevailing genre conventions and expectations to the wind. melodic and heavy in all the right places, I can't wait to see what comes next.



11. indian - from all purity












right up there with heathen as one of the most crushing releases of the year. this is pure ugliness, pure vengeance, pure hatred...with a good dose of noise thrown in to make it all the more destructive.



12. the great old ones - tekeli-li












the lovecraft schtick is really easy to get wrong - countless bands do nothing but re-appropriate the great author's creatures and themes, and unfortunately they don't possess the talent to back it up. but the great old ones are incredible musicians who use lovecraft's work as a jumping-off point to explore so much more.



13. saor - aura












probably the most outright beautiful black metal release of the year. so many of the folk-influenced passage hearken back to the music I grew up listening to, so I found a lot of comfort in the majestic chaos contained within.



14. blut aus nord - memoria vetusta III: saturnian poetry












after the experimental 777 trilogy, this record finds blut aus nord returning to a more traditional sound, and they haven't lost a step on that front.



15. woods of desolation - as the stars











this record has received a decent amount of year-end praise and I'm glad to see it being appreciated. so dark and so deep, much like a night sky littered with stars.





Thursday, January 22, 2015

various artists - frozen in time II.



Various Artists - Frozen In Time II: Music To Accompany The Films Of Ingmar Bergman

1:55:47

77.25 MB + 73.38 MB + 73.64 MB

1. Micromelancoli√© & Sindre Bjerga - En Pasjon
2. German Army - People Of Bamboo
3. L'Acephale - Totentanz
4. Head Dress - Black / Plane / Untied
5. Spettro Family - L'ora Del Lupo
6. Night Worship - Degrading & Everlasting The Same



it took about a year, but part two of black horizon's ingmar bergman companion music is finally available and I couldn't be more excited.

this collection boasts two pieces of music set to my favorite bergman film, cries and whispers, as well as two more for hour of the wolf and one for the seventh seal.

and just like the previous collection, the packaging and design are absolutely perfect. this new release draws on that established aesthetic but takes it to a new level with even more gorgeous photography to set the mood.

unlike the previous collection, there's also much wider variety of music here. and, dare I say it, I think this second volume might even be superior to the original.

don't hesitate and just pick up a copy from black horizons...there's no way anyone could be disappointed with this absolutely excellent release.




(buy a copy from black horizons.)


(sides a & b.)

(sides c & d.)

(sides e & f.)





Thursday, January 15, 2015

various artists - new brutalism.



Various Artists - New Brutalism

34:29

64.83 MB

1. Blodvite - Shattered Glass
2. Sequences - The Mist Ensues
3. Ivory Prince - Save
4. Order Of Nine Angels - The Head Which Is Not A Head, Is The Face Of The Deep



the first compilation from total black is finally upon on, the title of which matches brett's new zine that's available via unseen force.

three of these four artists have already released material on what is easily one of the most consistently excellent labels around. sorry if it gets old, but brett and total black just can't be beat. he's one of the best curators around and this is yet another example of that elusive combination: a perfect ear for sound and a perfect eye for design.

I don't really have much more to say - these artists should be familiar to all of you, so checking this out should be a no-brainer.

it's already sold out from the label, so keep an eye on distros and discogs. as with all total black releases, this one is essential.




(buy something from total black.)


(for preview purposes only.)





Saturday, January 10, 2015

best of 2014, part one.






better late than never, right?

here are two lists, with one more to follow.

I wanted to give my favorite cassettes a little more attention this year, as there were some particularly great releases. music wasn't the sole qualifier here - packaging played a major role in determining this list.

all have either been featured here or on other excellent blogs of which you're all probably already aware.

and after that, you'll find my favorite non-extreme albums of 2014.

enjoy.

part two will follow soon enough.

and, as always, these are in no particular order.




1. various artists - the goat

incredibly brutal, with great variety. this double cassette compilation never gets old. it's probably all sold out, but definitely worth tracking down. stream it here.



2. cremation lily - lines of golden light













one of the most soothing, beautiful pieces of music and packages of the year. absolutely stellar in every way, I can't get enough of this one. totally worth whatever you can pay for it.


3. death kneel - lilac and benzine













destructive and contemplative at the same time, with a killer package, to boot...especially if you got one of the first twenty-five copies, as I did. stream it here.



4. body of light - limits of reason













not the most memorable packaging, but easily some of the most memorable, catchy songs of the year. body of light is the gold standard for this type of dark, synth-based sound and this tape captures them at the height of their craft.


5. dual action - nightmare angel of the expressways













this eight cassette box was not cheap and very hard to find, but it's worth it in every way. there's a little bit of everything on here, ranging from soothing and ambient to utterly caustic.


6. herukrat - I bear witness













so far this is jackson's crowning achievement, but I expect even this will be surpassed soon enough. regardless, great packaging from total black and an incredible auditory experience within. check it out here.


7. culver - vampires of the third reich













I'm not normally into drone, but these harsh drones from lee stokoe's prolific culver project are just perfect. they straddle the line between brutal and soothing, totally enveloping the listener in the process. plus, the packaging is perfectly curated - colorful yet unsettling.


8. various artists - eden in reeds













bleak environment finally returned this year after a lengthy absence, and this double cassette compilation is the perfect statement of renewed vigor. multiple artists, each completely different from the next, coalesce to form something totally unified.


9. arv & miljö - antropocen













matthias andersson just knocks it out of the park every time, and this release on the inimitable lust vessel label is no different. great noise in a great package, definitely one to track down - copies are available on discogs.


10. dead body collection & j.adolphe - deep into the halls













by far the most sonically diverse release in dead body collection's massive catalog, this collaboration is absolutely first-rate. bringing dr. alex's walls together with jan warnke's ambience, this is one of the most cohesive collaborative efforts I've ever heard. stream it here.






non-extreme albums of the year, also in no particular order:

1. nebelung - palingenesis
2. wovenhand - refractory obdurate
3. run the jewels - run the jewels 2
4. atmosphere - southsiders
5. barren harvest - subtle cruelties
6. aphex twin - syro
7. disemballerina - undertaker
8. banks - goddess
9. interpol - el pintor
10. sun kil moon - benji




part two coming soon....






Monday, January 5, 2015

hostage pageant - parallel interruption.




Hostage Pageant - Parallel Interruption

19:10

36.16 MB

1. Diversion Policy
2. Lesser Forms



let's start off the new year with some excellent power electronics, courtesy of hostage pageant via new forces.

the man behind hostage pageant - shane church - is also a member of crooked necks, who released their final recording recently via the stellar black horizons label, and I urge you all to grab that tape, too.

new forces has put out some great material this past year, including new tapes from deterge and plague mother, as well as an excellent compilation.

everything comes highly recommended.

I grabbed my copy from unseen force, and although this one is sold out, there are still a few other new forces tapes in stock, so don't hesitate to pick them up while you grab this one on discogs.

and yes, my year-end lists are coming soon.




(for preview purposes only.)





Thursday, December 25, 2014

cremation lily - lines of golden light.



Cremation Lily - Lines Of Golden Light

49:49

96.84 MB

1. Screen Reflections In The Neon Window
2. Red Blankets Of A Muslim Girl
3. Blue Light On Black Skin
4. For A Modern Union
5. Happiness In Balance
6. Fascination Bodies
7. Filtered Images
8. Deluxe
9. The Storms Of Summer
10. Limousine Eyelash Wish




merry christmas, here's one of the best cassette packages of the year.

sold out from the label, these weren't cheap...especially shipping to the united states.

but they were totally worth it.

full-color booklet, five cassettes, plus a handful of small seashells.

a beautiful package for absolutely timeless music.

perfect for desolate winter days and hot summer nights alike.

the soundtrack to a film I'll make one day.

any additional description is meaningless.

just listen, absorb, and reflect.

and be thankful for all that you have, whatever that may be.




(for preview purposes only.)