I’ve been obsessed with this album for the last couple months. There
have been weeks where Monday through Friday I stick the black cassette
tape in my Walkman and head out the door to face the shitty world.
“Henbane” is the perfect soundtrack for taking an early morning metro
full of noisy assholes or buying groceries in a store that plays only
the worst assortment of pop.
Few bands live up to adjectives like ritualistic, atmospheric, or
dark. This one does. They’ve managed to create an aural experience that
is mesmerizing and soothing while at the same time stimulating and
inciteful. It puts me in a meditative trance but I am still fully
functional when navigating my way through the busy Parisian underground.
But one of the best elements is the stealthy tempo changes. Out of
seemingly nowhere I find myself possessed by a minimal yet trenchant
riff that incites my hatred for all the iPhone-brained,
fashion-propelled, useless, rotting cattle who surround me.
Regardless of the genre, vocals can make or break the final outcome.
This diverse array of well-executed vocals serve to enhance the
perfectly balanced compositions which capture the essence of true black
Recommended song: Fuck this. It’s an album, not a Katy Perry single.
Too many bands in the crustysludgedoom scene are nothing but
one-trick ponies. They take their favourite riff from the band displayed
on their back patch and base their entire musical careers off of
recreating (rehashing) said riff ad nauseam.
While Primitive Man haven’t exactly broken new ground it’s
refreshing to hear a band that isn’t just a pale imitation of Eyehategod
or Noothgrush. These guys aren’t afraid to experiment with various
speeds, dissonant riffs, and noise.
More reminiscent of Man is the Bastard or a slowed down version of
Brutal Truth. Pleasantly akin to the old Relapse bands from the late
Unsurprisingly, Clutch’s new album delivers the goods. Fuck the
trends. This is true rock. All the bell bottom-wearing, pot-smoking,
supposed devil worshipers who work hard to look the part in order to
cover up their inability to play well will eventually fall to the
wayside, but Neil Fallon will still be writing excellent lyrics for
high-quality music and not giving a fuck about what the scene jerks
think. Yeah, we like Howlin’ Wolf and Captain Beefheart, we can play
the blues, and we sing about the Daleks. And we put the rest of you to
From their inception Wolvserpent have been in a league of their own. But how to describe that league is another matter entirely.
At times it’s ethereal and escapist, at other times it’s
despairingly mortal and terrestrial, while all the time a sacred
ceremony glorifying the natural world.
Perigaea Antahkarana is a paean to the escape from dismal American urbanism back to the eeriness of our primal origins.
This album really demands concentration (which requires brains).
It’s not simply background noise nor is it yer basic Joe Potato
schmetal. Reminiscent of Shinjuku Thief and Arthur Machen.
Oranssi Pazuzu brings a rather unique sound to black metal with a
hauntingly psychedelic side. “Valonielu” is their third album, brought
to us in very beautiful packaging, from the forest green record to the
wonderfully trippy artwork.
It’s a peculiar blend of cold, harsh Finnish black metal and warm,
earthy analogue krautrock which carries you to a realm caught between
the cosmos and a dark forest.
In other words, these guys shit all over shoegaze and post-yourmomsbutt USBM hipster bullshit.
The second offering from this Paris-based
psychstonerdoomprogressiveheavymetal band is an amalgam of hypnotizing
lyrics, compelling riffs, and soaring vocals. “Onerous” stands up best
as an album, but once you hear Broken Ships of Osiris it won’t soon leave you.
Norwegian black metal with tons of atmosphere. The perfect soundtrack for the desolate ruins of cities annihilated by bird flu.
Immolation: Kingdom of Conspiracy
It’s Immolation. It’s perfect for what they do. The best death metal release of the year.
The “2000 Maniacs” or “Deliverance” of French black metal bands. Spiteful, chauvinistic, and terrifyingly insular.
Shitfucker: Suck Cocks in Hell
As the brilliant David St. Hubbins once put it, “It’s such a fine line between stupid and uh… clever.”
Blood Ceremony: The Eldritch Dark
Even though the first two albums didn’t throw me on my ass, I
really enjoyed them. But this time round it’s disappointment galore.
Alia O’Brien was never a strong vocalist but for this album she actually
changed her voice to an irritatingly nasal version of Sandy Denny. “Hey
Alia, how about you pretend your nose is your mouth and see how that
works out for you.” They’ve been emulating their beloved ’70s folk rock
groups for so long that they must have forgotten that most of those
bands put out really boring albums after their second or third.
Black Sabbath: 13
Okay, so we weren’t expecting much, but surely we were expecting
more than this uninspired, lackluster offering coupled with the most
sterile of production. The moment old Ozzfart poses the catchpenny
question “Is this the end of the beginning? Or the beginning of the
end?” you know the answer: it’s just the end, dude. Curiously, the new
songs hold up pretty well live, so how did they manage to make the
record so somniferous?