Thursday, December 30, 2010

Panopticon - "On The Subject Of Mortality" (2010)

PANOPTICON "On The Subject Of Mortality"

Year: 2010
Genre: RABM
Country: USA
Label: Lundr Records

Track List:
  1. Living In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death
  2. Living Eulogy
  3. To Make In Idol Of Our Fear And Call It God
  4. A Message To The Missionary
  5. ...Seeing
  6. Watching You
And finally, a long-awaited new album of Panopticon, received directly from A.Lundr! The first three tracks were also released on a split w/ WBSS, and the last three - on a split w/ Skagos. In comparison with two previous albums, "On The Subject Of Mortality" is less aggressive, more melodic, atmospheric, and "post-rockish". As for the lyrical concept, the title of the release says it all (yes, this time it's more philosophical than political).

Skagos - split w/ Panopticon (2010)


Year: 2010
Genre: Cascadian Black Metal
Country: USA
Label: Flenser Records

Track List:
  1. Smoldering Embers
  2. Anamnesis II: A Dry, Sterile Thunder, Without Rain
DOWNLOAD (alternative link)

Like in the case of my previous post, I've uploaded only Skagos' side of the split. In my opinion, it isn't much different from "Ast": atmospheric black metal with long acoustic parts and harsh vocals. Skagos' sound goes far beyond the boundaries of traditional black metal, but it's typical for the majority of Cascadian BM bands.

When Bitter Spring Sleeps - split w/ Panopticon (2010)


Year: 2010
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: USA
Label: Pagan Flames

Track List:
  1. Flames That Taste the Rain
  2. We Cower in the Storms of Her Retribution
  3. All Things Rise

WBSS are a duo from Cedar Rapids (Iowa), playing very atmospheric and melodic kind of black metal with lots of clean vocals. According to Metal Archives, their primary lyrical theme is: "Respect and Honor to Mother Nature", so I guess it's safe to post their tracks under the "green anarchist black metal" label.
P.S. Members of WBSS use the monikers "Lord Sardonyx" & "Syntax Function A", and their previous BM project had a brilliant name: "Satan's Allmighty Penis".

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In The Sea Of Trees - demo (2010)


Year: 2010
Genre: Acoustic Folk
Country: USA

Track List:
  1. Decaying Existence
  2. Downcast and Lurid
  3. The Darkening Skies
  4. The Discontention

In The Sea Of Trees is an one-man project from Los Angeles, playing acoustic folk music heavily inspired by (post) folk/black metal and traditional folk (bluegrass, gypsy, celtic, etc.) The name of the project refers to the Aokigahara forest of Mt.Fuji, which has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, and is a popular place for suicides. While the music is completely instrumental, its creator holds the same anarcho-environmentalist views which are common in Cascadian BM scene, and he's very open about it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Falls Of Rauros - "Hail Wind and Hewn Oak" (2008)

FALLS OF RAUROS "Hail Wind and Hewn Oak"

Year: 2008
Genre: "North Appalachian Heathen Black Folk Metal", "Blackened Neofolk"
Country: USA
Label: Morbid Winter Records / Wulfrune Worxxx

Track List:

  1. The Sun Tonight Has Set
  2. The Fire We Fathered
  3. Hail Wind and Hewn Oak
  4. Fury in Our Blood, Thunder in Our Hearts
  5. Of Stone and the Stars in the Sky
  6. In Waves of Golden Light
  7. To Witness Existence
  8. And Never Shall There Be


"Hail Wind and Hewn Oak"(including the earlier 2-track demo, "Of Stone and the Stars in the Sky") is the second full-length release by Falls of Rauros, and the quality of recording was significantly improved in comparison to their earlier releases. Now they work with Austin "Lundr" of Panopticon, who would be a session musician on their future albums. P.S. A new LP by Panopticon coming very soon!

Falls Of Rauros - "Into The Archaic" + "Window of the Eye" (2006)

FALLS OF RAUROS "Into The Archaic"

Year: 2006
Genre: "North Appalachian Heathen Black Folk Metal", "Blackened Neofolk"
Country: USA

Track List:

  1. A Departure
  2. Retracing Our Lineage
  3. Contemplation of the Forgotten
  4. To Witness Existence As A Subservient Entity
  5. March of the Valorous Bane
  6. The Winter Harvest
  7. A Silent Premonition (Of Our End)
  8. Revisitation


Falls Of Rauros is a band from Maine (US), whose members don't disclose much about their identities. However, it's known that initially FoR was a duo, and now it has 4 members. Accoriding to Encyclopedia Metallium: "The band describes their music as "North Appalachian Heathen Black Folk Metal," exhibited by their firm beliefs in returning the world to a pre-Christian time, as well as their appreciation for nature", and their lyrical themes are: "Nature, Misanthropy, Anarchism". And according to their interview, the lyrics are quite focused on personal subjects. But taking in account their answer to the question about Christianity, I think they have very simular ideology to other nature-inspired and green anarchist black metal bands from North America.

As for the music, they call their style "blackened neofolk". Yes, it's not pure black metal, but it doesn't make their music bad, of course. The only weak point of this release is the quality of production, which definitely could be better. BTW, this album is officially available for free, as well as both of their demos.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Aztra - "Acústico en Vivo" (2010)

AZTRA "Acústico en Vivo"

Year: 2010
Genre: Acoustic Folk / Native American Folk Metal
Country: Ecuador
Label: Discos Florencia

Track List:
  1. Amor Bajo El Sol
  2. Un Largo Andar
  3. Lamento
  4. Compañera
  5. Octubre 18 (junto a Paola Villacís)
  6. Alturas
  7. Sin Opción
  8. El Mañana
  9. Carula (bonus)
  10. Manifesto (Victor Jara - bonus)

This live album is the most recent release by Aztra. It consists mostly of acoustic versions of their older songs, but there also are a few new tracks, and a cover version of "Manisfesto" by Victor Jara. Track #5 has female vocals, and its name is a reference to the infamous events of 10 October 1977 on the sugar factory "AZTRA" (hence the name of the band), when the striking workers were massacred by the government forces.

The music is also strongly influenced by indigenous American folklore and mythology. Interesting enough, many of South American leftist rebel groups pay much homage to Native American beliefs too. For example, there was a guerilla movement in Peru called Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA), whose name is a reference to a legendary indigenous Peruvian freedom fighter Túpac Amaru II. Revolutionary groups like Partido Comunista de Ecuador - Sol Rojo ("Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun") and Sendero Luminoso ("Shining Path") are also known for assuming their ideological leader, Abimael Guzman, to be an incarnation of Red Sun god ("Puka Inti" in Quechua). It's worth noting that PCE-SR and Sendero Luminoso are far more authoritarian than MRTA, and SL have got a very bad name in Peru because of their brutality. There was also a rebel group in Ecuador called "Alfaro Vive, Carajo!", whose name can be translated as "Alfaro Lives, Dammit!", and refers to Eloy Alfaro, a progressive Ecuadorian president murdered by religious fanatics in early 1912. In the popular imagination of Ecuadorians, the name Alfaro is synonymous with rebellion (though Alfaro himself wasn't a socialist, just a radical liberal and a strong opponent of the church). The first action of AVC, when they broke into a museum and stole swords which had been used by Eloy Alfaro, was rather a symbolic magical action than a political one.

Lucifer The Lightbearer - demo (2010)


Year: 2010
Genre: Ambient / Drone / Experimental Black Metal
Country: USA

Track List:

  1. The Fallen
  2. Son of the Morning
  3. Attentater
  4. Against the God Emperor
  5. Light Bearer


A newly released 5-track demo by D.H., an anarchist musician from Chicago. Not so long ago he wrote an article about RABM for Chicago Reader in cooperation with me, but unfortunately it wasn't published. However, he promised to let me know if it would be published in another magazine.

As for the album, it's experimental stuff consisting mostly of bass solos with heavily distorted vocals over it. Don't know if black metal fans would like it, but I'd certainly recommend it for sludge or drone fans. And don't you think that Luciferianism is more compatible with anarchist ideology than any of other sets of beliefs under the umbrella term "Satanism"?..

P.S. The album is available for download from Bandcamp either for free (just type "0" in "Name your price" field), or for a donation (just name your value).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Дно - demo (2010)

ДНО "demo 2010"

Year: 2010
Genre: Ambient / Acoustic Folk / Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Russia 

Track List:
  1. Так далеко, как позволит нам туман
  2. Регенерация природных сил (часть 1)
  3. Так небо горит, как солнце гаснет
  4. Регенерация природных сил (часть 2)
  5. Тибетская поющая чаша сердца и дыхания
  6. Голос прошедшей эпохи
  7. Аура
  8. Древняя земля
  9. Ночь под открытом небом (часть 1)

Дно/Dno is an one-man project started no so long ago by Max, one of the members of our vkontakte.ru RABM community. As it was said in release notes: "It's my first attempt in creating such kind of music. The quality of recording is lame, instruments are cheap, but I put a lot of soul and efforts in this work, so I hope someone would like it. Thanks to all supporters and like-minded persons!"

There isn't much black metal on this release, it's mostly neofolk and nature-inspired ambient with elements of atmospheric BM. It's nature-inspired music, and it has a heavy influence from Eastern Asian (particularly Tibetan) philosophy. BTW, the black metal parts remind me of Zuriaake and other Chinese atmospheric BM bands.