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Agriculture - Agriculture

  a   While calling themselves ''ecstatic" black metal, Agriculture traipses along the line between atmo-black and blackgaze pretty adroitly. I am not as head over heels as some of the metal press I have been reading about them (like Rolling Stone for instance), but I think they have a good thing going here. They remind me of Vattnet Viskar sort of, and I am going to withhold judgement until I can see them live to really decide.  That said, this is an album that has been in heavy rotation at my house since its release. Agriculture by Agriculture
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...Stay... - tears of happiness

 Highlights of 2023: part 1 I am (sort of) back, with plans to restart writing about music in 2024. As a teaser, I have some albums from 2023 I really enjoyed to share with you. In lieu of a top ten list, or an Album of the Year post, you instead get a small selection of albums I think were stand outs in the past year. First up is ...Stay... , a depressive suicidal black metal one-man project in the vein of Sadness and None (one word dsbm band titles seem to be a through-line in my album picks). I am a sucker for this type of dsbm. Depressive Suicidal Black Metal essentially comes in two forms: Goth dsbm, focused on mood and texture and calm despair; and school shooter dsbm, focused on shrieking anthems to, well, shoot up a school to. Both have their place in my rotation, but the gothier end of things is what I dig most. Call it griefcore - music that attempts to lure you into drowning yourself in a swamp, to wandering into the woods alone never to be see

2022 Year In Review

 Yeah, I have been MIA for 18 months. So what? You don't pay for this blog, I do. And I've been really busy starting my permaculture farm / goat cult in the abandoned mountains of northern Spain. Now that things are appropriately sustainable and grim, I am back to vomit my opinions on music all over the internet some more. Let's dive back into things with a wrap up of 2022. Here are my favorite-ish albums of the year, along with why they are superlative. Best Aural Approximation of a Mental Health Crisis  Chat Pile - God's Country Would you like to know what it sounds like to be stuck in a trailer in the middle of nowhere USA with none of the drugs you need to forget exactly how terribly and awfully fucked your life is?  Are you interested in turning the collective despair of a small town poisoned by unregulated mining and refining into a howl of impotent protest? Would you like to peel back the facade of "faith, family, farm" to gaze at the raw and bloody dis

Coffin Lurker - Foul and Defiled

  Industrial sludge death doom funeral noise from Oakland. Maurice De Jong is the most prolific dude in music, I am certain. Gnaw Their Tongues , Cloak of Altering , De Magia Veterum , Dodenbezweerder are just a few of his projects. Apparently Rene Aquarius from Imperial Cult decided that he would challenge Maurice to a doom-off, and the loser would have to sweep up after the planet was destroyed. This is the sonic record of that planetary destruction. It is also one of the best doom records I've ever heard. Thankfully free of Sabbath worship and lazy rehashing of every boring stoner riff imaginable, this is actually a brand new thing. Suffocatingly vile and planetarily heavy, this is the answer to the unasked question "what would happen if Sunn 0))) were from New Orleans. Foul and Defiled by Coffin Lurker

Noctule - Wretched Abyss

  What happens when you lock the lead singer of a antifascist political punk band from the UK in the house for a year? Apparently she makes a Skyrim themed black metal album. A really really good Skyrim themed black metal album. Noctule is the new black metal solo project from Serena Cherry (Svalbard). During the UK national lock down in 2020, Serena decided to write an entire black metal album themed to the RPG computer game Skyrim. Each song is about different dungeons, story lines and weapons within the award-winning game. She notes: “I have always associated Skyrim with black metal. The snowy mountain settings, the morbid themes, the Norse mythology backbone – it just goes hand in hand for me.” Prior to her 10 year career as the front woman of Svalbard, Serena previously played in a black metal band and has been excited to get back to her musical roots. With hypnotic, interlocking tremolo guitar leads, pummeling blast beats and reverb drenched vocals; Noctule sees Serena

Grand Celestial Nightmare - Forbidden Knowledge and Ancient Wisdom

  I am something of a Maurice de Jong fan. As his Bandcamp interview puts it, he is " the creator of some of experimental metal’s most horrific soundscapes.". I own a shockingly large percentage of his 50+ albums, and while not all of them are my favorites, I honestly don't think I dislike any of them. That in itself is a feat. 2021 is shaping up to be the Year of Mories.Three albums released so far, and another expected within days. I am a happy camper. And this one is pretty phenomenal. Die Hard symphonic black metal, filtered through Mories' cavernous misanthropy. This is bombast, chaos, and weirdly "classic".  Cathchy riffs,  lively keyboards, and punchy drums, but never veering too far from dark evil atmospheres. This might go on to become one of the classic symphonic black metal albums. Forbidden Knowledge and Ancient Wisdom by Grand Celestial Nightmare

Krallice - Demonic Wealth

  I have always had a bit of a weird relationship to Krallice . They are a band I am supposed to like. After all, I pretty much make everyone I could find listen to every Schammasch , Imperial Triumphant , Ulcerate , and Zhrine album I could. I like bicycles and obnoxiously hoppy IPAs. I own and use beard wax. But for nine albums Krallice have always smelled (felt?) to me like a bunch of prog nerds wearing black metal as a costume to a frat party. I have just never clicked with their let's be weird so people will call us the weird guys shtick. Then the * gestures broadly in the direction of coronavirus * everything happened, and bands across the world had to find new ways to make music other than "hang out 24-7 and try to make things". It seems that forcing these nerds out of their own private guitar center idaho was a good move. The forced separation and out of studio time has resulted in a far less sterile album than previous outings. This is, instead, chock full of

Numen Noctis - The Stelliferous Conclusion

  I've spent an embarrassing number of hours playing EVE Online in my life, and it has had a decided effect on my preferences in music. So, now I love space themed black metal. So I am always on the lookout for more "metal tunes to fly spaceships to". This is not straight up black metal though. This is, as is required in Australia from what I understand, death metal tinged industrial sounding black metal. I am reliably told that if bogan's cannot stomp around shirtless to it, you are not allowed to call it metal, so everything there has a caveman tinge to it. Which happily works out here, because the rise and fall between sci-fi soundtrack beeps and pummeling triggered drum stompabout is pretty well done, and provides the same kind of cathartic rollercoaster I usually get from blackgaze, but in a much more straight ahead package. The Stelliferous Conclusion by Numen Noctis

Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments

  This album answers an incredibly important question: What if Rick Deckard was a goth? A goth replicant that could pass the Voight-Kampff test easily. More importantly, it provides a stunning backdrop to the writing I am supposed to be doing, but keep avoiding. French composer James Kent has always been something of a polarizing figure. Much of his earlier work has been very HOTLINE MIAMI style synthwave. This is most definitely NOT THAT. Instead you a weird robot sex soundtrack - a post-punk mood piece cloaked in goth rock nihilism and sexual malevolence. Gritty, misanthropic, but still atmospheric and ambient, this is some nice stuff! Lustful Sacraments by PERTURBATOR

Dödsrit - Mortal Coil

  From yesterday's black metal tinged post-rock to now some post-rock tinged black metal. Swedish D-Beat black metal mavens with a love of post rock flourishes, Dödsrit are exactly the type of hard to properly pin into one little genre box band I like. Described by the band as "an eulogy for the hell we call our home" this is proper end of the world slow burn crust punk fused with grief stricken atmo-black and just enough potentially uplifting post-rock influences to keep the razor from your wrists for just a bit longer. Mortal Coil by Dödsrit

An Autumn For Crippled Children - As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes

  I am an unapologetic enjoyer of angsty emo screaming and post-rock shimmering wall of guitar noise. That is just another way to say that I like a lot of blackgaze albums. Like this one, for instance. Many many moons ago - in a different century no less - a surrealist band from the wilds of West Yorkshire released an inventively titled album full of inventively titled songs. On this album they played some avant garde, schizophrenic black metal. It struck a chord with a number of people, some of which would go on to form bands of their own. Three of those people would be some weirdos from the Netherlands who decided to make something wholly different from their inspiration. Nine albums of weird oddly tense blackgaze later, we get this. I can only describe it as " Smashing Pumpkins tour bus vandalized and burning in the parking lot of a Møl show" As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes by An Autumn For Crippled Children

Dødsferd - Skotos

  Raw atmospheric black metal it it's sun soaked Mediterranean best. Wait... That's not right. Oh, but it is. For 20 years, Greece has been the home of Dødsferd since it's beginning as a one-man side project. Now, 10 albums, as many splits and EPs, and five comps, two new songs are available. Packaged with a re-release of the landmark album 'Diseased Remnants of a Dying World', what you have here is the pinnacle of what raw atmo-black can be. A full LP of this would easily be Album of the Year. I can still hope right? Skotos (Atmospheric Black Metal) by DØDSFERD (Greece)

Portal - Avow / Hagbulbia

  P O R T A L R E L E A S E D T W O R E C O R D S T O D A Y That's how my day began. Several versions of that message. And friends, the hype is real. Unhinged ambient black metal sludge gloomcloud is back on the menu boys. Avow by itself is a massive adventure into murky disquiet, but played (As intended) sync'd up with companion piece Hagbulbia, it becomes infintely more sinister. Press play below and enjoy the madness Avow by PORTAL Hagbulbia by PORTAL

Monasterium Imperi - Chants of Liberation

  I find it very difficult to listen to most music I talk about here while I work. I am way too involved in paying atrention to the music to get any actual writing done. Enter Cryo Chamber Records. Essentially a collection of the best in dark ambient music, they are where I turn for help actually concentrating and getting work done. I think of them as my "lo-fi beats for studying" alternative. They have a YouTube channel full of work-day length mixes in a variety of sub-genres of dark ambient music, and through them I have discovered a whole world of interesting soundscapes, that help me turn my office into a creepy tower in the fog. Which brings us to these Serbian weirdos. "Chants of Liberation" is a set of three gothic litanies to liberate the spirit of Man from the temptation of sin and a crooked path of Heresy. The robed priests from the upper sky-dome of the grand Cathedral are uttering the chants of Salvation to cleanse the ones who stray. The metallic s