Monday, October 26, 2015

Brain Famine - "Exploding Paranoid Universe" (2015)

Brain Famine - "Exploding Paranoid Universe"

Year: 2015
Genre: Death/Grind/Thrash Metal
Country: USA

Track List:

  1. Intro - Site of Future Landfill
  2. Corrosive Pain Lock
  3. Hallucinating Contagion
  4. Wallow at the Lower Rungs
  5. Absurdist Euphoria
  6. Ignite and Repeal
  7. Exploding Paranoid Universe
  8. Personal Violene
  9. Selfward While Blind
  10. Implement Systematic Dogmacide

Brain Famine from Boston with a Ukrainian member begin their first track, Intro - Site of Future Landfill with a distorted voice mixed with ambience that then grips power chords with increasing intensity that is quite attractive to the ear. The second track, Corrosive Pain Lock begins with a sound byte of what sounds like English ultra-violence and follows through with vocals very well done akin to Marilyn Manson's voice, but with awesome fast paced black metal! Their third track, Hallucinating Contagion also begins with a sound byte from a movie of violence and leads to very carefully crafted power chords and the singer takes us through a different volley of awesome vocals mixed with very skilful and very fast-paced power chords!

Their fourth track, Wallow at the Lower Rungs carries the same vocals akin to skilled Marilyn Manson yet uniquely fast-paced power chords to create another masterpiece for the black metal scene! Their fifth track, Absurdist Euphoria begins with a violent gun shot sound byte with screaming that slows down from their usually ultra-fast tempo, but still of awesome quality. Their sixth track, Ignite and Repeal was a bit below par of what I anticipated from the band so far. The tempo was fast and upbeat, but the power chords and vocals lacked in skill which dropped the rating half a star for me. Their seven track, Exploding Paranoid Universe failed to amaze me with the lack of sequential patterns of their power chords. It seemed to attempt to cover up the lack of five star talent from the sixth track.

Their eighth track, Personal Violence was mediocre unfortunately as well. I get the feeling that the last half of the album didn't have as much effort put into it as the first, which is too bad. Their ninth track, Selfward While Blind begins with a sound byte and harkens back to some more than mediocre vocals and power chords more agreeable to this band's excellent artistically creative potential. At this point I am persuaded from dropping the rating from 4 1/2 to 4 stars. Their last track, Implement Systematic Dogmacide begins with a war sound byte and very attractive power chords at first, but overall a much more acceptable sound than tracks six through eight. Overall, I give them four and a half stars! **** */**!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rookscare - "Unusable Signals" (2015)

Rookscare - "Unusable Signals"

Year: 2015
Genre: Anarcho-punk, Crust Doom, Industrial Metal
Country: United States

Track List:

  1. Binary Blackhole
  2. Children of the Wilted Flowers
  3. Mother, Could Heaven Melt?
  4. Herd Mentality
  5. Shadow of Vandalia

The album begins with their first track, Binary Blackhole that begins with power chords and dark robot ambience. Later on, there is dark anarcho-punk screaming akin to a slower, lower and better recorded version of Amebix's vocals. Their second track, Children of the Wilted Flowers begins with slow power chords and doesn't build up to vocals until about after one minute and fifty seconds in. The song ends with appropriate dark monk ambience. Their third track, Mother, Could Heaven Melt begins with power chords, moderately slow drumming and news recordings declaring "everything has been done in this state for the corporate good".

There are other recordings as well on the track that are played over the news recordings as the power chords and drumming continues. Their fourth track, Herd Mentality begins with very slow drumming and dark ambience. The vocals of the band's members sound a bit rough, but the music carries the song through with it's power chords really striking a note in my heart at about 5:25. The lyrics "Herd mentality is abandonment" help carry the song through as well.

Shadow of Vandalia begins with pipes akin to presumably an indigenous culture and leads to power chords and slow drumming. The recording begins to decline more after the slight decline of track two. The chorus of the second band member does give a unique energy to the track that makes it much more desirable about four minutes and forty-five seconds in. Their last track is quite pleasant throughout afterwards. Over all, I give it three stars ***.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Alda - "Passage" (2015)

Alda - "Passage"

Year: 2015
Genre: Black Metal, Blackened Crust, Hardcore
Country: United States

Track List:

  1. The Clearcut
  2. Passage
  3. Weather
  4. The Crooked Trail
  5. Animis

The album begins with their first track, The Clearcut which has the noise ambience of crickets followed by guitar strumming. The guitars entangle into their own chorus until a dramatic pause followed by guitar plucking reminiscent of Central American folk which is joined by beautiful singing, not only from the male singer but the female as well. You are sucked into an absolutely beautiful album and know it at this point. I was hesitant, but I already was thinking "this is a five star album" to myself already. The song then makes a dramatic pause to accelerate into power chords and screaming lyrics of despair and desperation.

Their second track, Passage begins under the cover of rainfall with an absolutely brilliant, dark and sombre strumming mixed with power chords that leads to somewhat accelerated power chords and screaming that churns your soul. Their third track, Weathering is quite sombre and darkly appealing that builds up with a slight intensity that subtly maintains that attractive sombreness and darkness. Their fourth track begins with water ambience noise and softly builds up folksy guitar strumming, which is very beautiful as well in a calming manner. Their last track Animis begins with barking puppy noise ambience followed by a build-up of strong screaming, but not over-fiercely met with too strong of guitar strumming and power chords throughout the rest of the song. Absolutely a new favourite album of mine and obviously a five star strong album! *****!

Alda - "Tahoma" (2012)

Alda - "Tahoma"

Year: 2012
Genre: Black Metal, Blackened Crust, Hardcore
Country: United States

Track List:

  1. In The Wake of an Iron Wind
  2. Adrift
  3. Tearing of the Wave
  4. Shadow of the Mountain
  5. Wandering Spirit

The album begins with their first track, In The Wake of an Iron Wind, which builds up slowly at first, but with a growing pace that leads to a relapse of a build-up, except with power chords. The vocals tend to dive into your soul during the introduction of it, or at least I felt that way. The song ends softly as it begins after the outro which is after the ten minute mark. Their second track, Adrift begins with water ambience, but then proceeds to power chords which build up and slow down multiple times as well.

Their third track, Tearing of the Wave continues in the same tradition of build-up relapses from soft vocals, guitar plucking and guitar strumming to screaming and power chords. Shadow of the Mountain, their fourth track also continues this pattern, but maintains itself throughout with soft lyrics and soft melodies that are continuously catchy throughout the album. In my opinion, Shadow of the Mountain is the best track on the album.

Their last and fifth track, Wandering Spirit picks up the build-up and relapse pattern, except strictly with power chords, that the first three tracks embraced and ends with a dark ambience of howling wolves. I liked this band, but wanted to hear more sounds like Shadow of the Mountain off of this album. I give it three and a half stars *** (*/**).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wild's Reprisal - "Against Leviathan" (2015)

Wild's Reprisal - "Against Leviathan"

Year: 2015
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: United States

Track List:

  1. Bio-Civilization
  2. Gaard
  3. Neither Man Nor Beast
  4. Death of Nature
  5. The Power and the Promise

I really enjoyed this album, especially with it's album name being a reference to my favourite book, "Against His-Story, Against Leviathan" by Fredy Perlman. I felt as though the music spoke to me very much so. Beginning their first track, Bio-Civilization plays with dark atmospheric ambience that alternates with explosive, loud and fast paced metal. Their second track, Gaard is even faster and maintains it's speed at longer intervals with a dramatic fade-out ending that is fitting. Their third tracks begins with howling wolves and then is followed by power chords and heavy, slower drums in Neither Man Nor Beast. Their fourth track Death of Nature has more enjoyable fast-paced energy. For their last track, The Power and the Promise, expect a slower, quite softer music track and cue the piano as well for this song. It's a fitting finale for the album. The screaming throughout the well-recorded album was always very fitting as well. I give it five stars *****.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Panopticon - "Autumn Eternal" (2015)

Panopticon - "Autumn Eternal"

Year: 2015
Genre: Folk Metal, Black Metal
Country: United States

Track List:

  1. Tamarack's Gold Returns
  2. Into the North Woods
  3. Autumn Eternal
  4. Oaks Ablaze
  5.  Sleep To The Sound of the Waves Crashing
  6. Pale Ghosts
  7. A Superior Lament
  8. The Wind's Farewell

In what begins in the first track as a folk country song with slight metal influences, titled Tamarack's Gold Returns, harkens to bluegrass and folk more then metal. However, it is beautifully and slowly played. It's very descriptive of their location which is Kentucky. Their second track, Into the North Woods is full of raw black metal energy that tells you the band absolutely belongs within the genre and on this blog and is enjoyable and just as well recorded as the first track. Their third track Autumn takes that raw black metal energy and puts it on a super fast speed course destined for beauty! Their fourth track Oaks Ablaze is the "on the fritz" serenade of a forest wildfire, which is unfortunate only because of so few forests left in the world for what was originally a natural act.

Then their fifth track, Sleep To The Sound of the Waves Crashing, speeds back up with relatively slow, screaming vocals which maintains the beauty of the album. Halfway through the song the band harkens back to folk metal and maintains that beauty before returning back to raw black metal energy. Their sixth track, Pale Ghosts, continues the song's melody with slower vocals and slower speed. Then comes their seventh track, A Superior Lament that carries with it the sound of melancholy and black metal. The singer mixes throughout the song a much, much lower voice akin to GWAR (non-anarchist metal band) mixed with periods of lighter voices with clear and distinct dark lyrics that are lovable. Their last song for the album, The Wind's Farewell, has a mix of folk metal and black metal for the introduction of the song, but the composition of the song is mostly black metal and finishes with dark ambience. Altogether a beautiful album from a very skilled metal band. I definitely recommend them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Attaktix - "Demo Tape '15" (2015)

Attaktix - "Demo Tape '15"

Year: 2015
Genre: Crust/D-Beat Hardcore Punk
Country: Lithuania

Track List:

  1. Uniformed Freedom
  2. Humanity
  3. Reason
  4. Mass Extinction
  5. Warzone

Attaktix begins their 2015 demo with four seconds of silence and then with a quick build-up to fast, hardcore anarcho-punk right out of Lithuania, home of famous anarchist Emma Goldman. For all you black metal fans out there, if you don't mind the faster pace of punk, this is a must-hear! Their first track Uniformed Freedom carried a harder, faster yet just as hardcore sound comparative to anarcho-punk band The Profits, yet also without female vocals and much darker. Their second track Humanity has vocals that are less intensive with a drained despair echoing through them while the music carries the singer through a slightly less fast track where the drummer does not want to slow down.

Their third track, Reason begins with a much slower tempo, but the singer sounds briefly revived from his drained despair. The song does pick up speed, but enough to equate to the first track. Regardless, the third track is a good listen as you begin to hear the band's raw power in their screaming chorus. Their fourth track, Mass Extinction, begins off with a very metal sound with very metal vocals that declares the band absolutely within the realm of black metal, though the band begins to yearn for the fast pace of punk and carries off with it while still carrying that love of metal along with them as their power chords come into play.

Last but not least, their track Warzone builds quickly with an Oi! hardcore anarcho-punk sound akin to their first track which reminds me of a non-anarchist Oi! punk bands like Agnostic Front or Warzone (the band) if they played anarcho-punk with power chords and sang a little black metal.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ominous Hymn - "Promo EP" (2015)

Ominous Hymn - "Promo EP"

Year: 2015
Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States

Track List:
  1. Parasitic Virtue
  2. Banners Raised Against God and Creation
  3. As Earth and Heaven Burn

What first stood out to me about Ominous Hymn is how honest the music is. It's black metal. No silly gimmicks or run through sub genres. The members don't have demonic alias' or wear corpse paint to look more sinister. It's just honest music played by hard working musicians because they love the art. Now onto the music! This is a Promo EP of three songs. Through the three tracks you can hear the numerous inspirations (Inquisition, Deathspell Omega, Darkthrone) and is well recorded without losing a certain unpolished grime. My only real complaint being that the drums sound a little too triggered. I was especially fond of the guitar that is very musical but just so perfectly raw. My favorite track is by far "As Earth and Heaven Burn" which is a spectacular piece of music. The ending arpeggio riff has been stuck in my head for several days now. Even after many plays I find myself coming back to hear it over and over. 

Leadeater - "Oxalis" (2015)

Leadeater - "Oxalis"

Year: 2015
Genre: Black Metal, Dark Ambience
Country: United States

Track List:
  1. Oxalis

Leadeater begins with a sound very ambiguous, yet dark. They then harken back to the time of the 90s grunge and punk at about a minute in with a slow, rhythmic guitar that continues the musical interlude, without vocals. Their music slowly builds up to an explosion of bitter frustration with vocals after the five minute mark, which descends slightly more rapidly into despair and frustration. Eventually this mesh of feelings comes together and fuels more of the fire that is urgent need resulting in despair and frustration which is the constant showcase of the song throughout. The song was a bit too repetitious for my taste for the first 12 and a half minutes, but regardless it was done skillfully, albeit repetitiously.

Afterwards, the dark ambience sometimes doesn't sound so dark as it sounds like a popular 90s rock song as a musical interlude, in my opinion until the twenty minute and thirty second marker where the song explodes and becomes the rightful black metal/dark ambience song it deserved to be. Perhaps this is a representation of the Oakland, California music scene and I'm quick to judge, but there seemed to be something missing from the song regarding the modern black metal scene until that last mark at twenty and a half minutes. The dark ambience really sets in afterwards after the twenty-four minute mark.

Altogether, pleased enough with the last eight minutes and first four minutes to say this album is worth the listen. Unfortunately, it was so worth the listen that it's apparently already sold out. Give this band a listen, definitely!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

12 December 2015: RABM festivals in US & UK

First off: thanks to everyone who decided to join this blog as a contributor after Hayduke has left. Looks like I shouldn't be afraid for the future of the blog any more... although let's wait until the end of the year and then see.

Second: the Haglaz Fest III has just ended, but it isn't the only RABM-friendly fest to be held in 2015. On 12th of December, the Black Metal Alliance plans to release the 3rd compilation in the Crushing Intolerance series of anti-NSBM samplers. The release party is planned to be held in the Borg Ward (Milwakee, WI). The lineup consists of bands that I never heard of before, but that's what is good about the BMA - their compilations help to discover a lot of obscure new acts:

Falter MKE - (WI)

Ashbringer - (MN)
Atmospheric black metal

Winterbourne WI - (WI)
Atmospheric black metal

No Heroes - (MN)

Shadow Lake - (OH)
Black Metal

Bib - (NE) Members of Bent Life/Powerslop


On the same day, a similar fest is to be held in The Lughole (Sheffied, UK). It's called Ruins Fest and organized by Enfer du Nord and The Black Metal Alliance. Participants:

HERETOIR (Augsburg, DE)
Post-black metal. Melancholy, nostalgia, isolation and introspection.

Green anarchist, civilization-critical post-metal.

Intense atmospheric black metal.

MAR (Newcastle)
Bleak misery.

DAWN RAY’D (Liverpool)
Black metal. Ex We Came Out Like Tigers.

Negative grinding black metal


P.S. And finally, check out this t-shirt design from Huldrekall / Einsamkeit Tapes:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Regnvm Animale - "Et sic in infinitum" (2015)

Regnvm Animale - "Et sic in infinitum"

Year: 2015
Genre: Black Metal, Blackened D-Beat/Crust Punk
Country: Sweden

Track List:
  1. Maya
  2. Ars Moriendi
  3. Från bördig jord till salthed
  4. Osäkerhetsprincipen
  5. Förfallet
  6. Och så vidare i evighet
  7. Kassandrarop
  8. Inåt
  9. Grund

Be prepared to wish greetings and solidarity to Regnvm Animale, a black metal d-beat/crust punk band from Sweden. They define themselves as an extreme metal duo. I quote their e-mail in which they write, "The songs on this first release circles around topics like freedom and being trapped and unfree, alienation towards civilization and the state of human society today." Their first track Maya opens and builds suspense in a way that is very thrilling and does deliver. Their second track opens with a unique guitar riff that makes you ponder existence. Although, their second track Ars Moriendi sounds a lot like their fourth track, Osäkerhetsprincipen. Their third track has an equal balance of screaming, singing and instrumental interludes. Then with their fifth track, Förfallet, they build up another calm before the storm that brings you back for more. Their sixth track, Och så vidare i evighet, brings you back slowly again from the second coming of the calm. Their seventh track, Kassandrarop, brings you up to speed with a serious punk rock intro, along with some spoken word with musical interludes that I would regrettably attribute to early AFI (a punk band that isn't anarchist). With their eighth track, Inåt, you feel the closing coming, but don't fret just yet as there is still one more track on the album called Grund which has a primitivist sounding banjo with folk-sounding lyrics.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wildspeaker - "Survey The Wreckage" (2015)

Wildspeaker - "Survey The Wreckage"

Year: 2015
Genre: Blackened Crust / Hardcore
Country: USA

Track List:
  1. Ouroboros
  2. Survey The Wreckage
  3. Apex Predator
  4. Invasive Species
  5. Overgrown Tomb
  6. Abrupt Decay
  7. Ultimate Price
  8. Path To Exile
  9. Power Lines
  10. Reclamation
Bandcamp / Facebook

"Feminist, anarchist and ultra-leftist blackened crust from Texas. Be warned, this is not shit to be taken lightly – this is the real shit, music of pure intent, songs of absolutely pillaging emotion and desperation. Dragged into unimaginable pits of despair by the furious vocal delivery of singer Natalie, Wildspeaker create songs that sweep through you like a frozen wind of pure desolation and hit you like a hail of bullets, disintegrating your bones. This is crust punk in which all has gone livid, all hope has evaporated, all has ended up in embitterment, in which all prayers have been exhausted, all patience has ended, and all will to understand and tolerate certain things about society have ended in a massive implosion of rage and disillusion. Wildspeaker’s songs are a perfect blend of punk urgency and black metal bitterness." - Mattia A., Cvlt Nation

Tempest - "Self-Titled" (2015)

TEMPEST "Tempest"

Year: 2015
Genre: Blackened Punk, Hardcore Punk
Country: Canada

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. A Grand Design
  3. Shroud
  4. Sunless Year
  5. Atonement
  6. Wounding Pattern
  7. Deprivation
  8. The Night Remains
bandcamp / facebook

A self-titled demo out from Vancouver, B.C.'s own Tempest, welcome another hardcore punk/black metal band who considers themselves akin to the sound of Buried Inside, Converge, His Hero is Gone, One Eyed God Prophecy, and Fell Voices. I listened and they definitely play hardcore punk in a black metal fashion. Honestly, they're what I thought Amebix would sound like before I had ever heard them before, which is black metal but faster and harder than Amebix actually plays. Dark ambience music with a fast rhythum that doesn't sink your heart too deeply, but it doesn't intend to, because it follows up the dark ambience with fast and speedy punk riffs! I love it. Recording quality is good, though the vocals sound distant at times, but that may be intentional. With songs like A Grand Design and Shroud, I can say it was a good listen with a refreshing mix. Some people love bad quality demos, and while the demo isn't a terrible recording, it could have been polished up or done better. I am just not of the opinion that much anything with dark ambience, even with hardcore punk influences, doesn't set up for a good album with average recording quality, in my opinion. If you give it a listen and like it, though, the album will be on React with Protest records and An Out Recordings later this year.