Sunday, January 20, 2013

Raven "A Disease Called Man" cs

A Disease Called Man
Lave Church

Another image I had to borrow. My camera hates everything about me. 

damn. I am so excited to check out the other Raven cassette I have to review after hearing this. Brutal noise in the vein of Blue Sabbath Black Cheer or maybe Deathroes. It's almost like a love song as sung by the engine of a 747. It's intense and cutting and good. I recommend this for anyone that likes being fucked with aurally. 

     It looks nice. In a chipboard O-card that looks as if it was xeroxed but in the best possible way. In fact the whole thing makes really good use of photocopying. Nicely handled text and decent art.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Highgate LP

Vendetta Records

The first thing I heard from Highgate was their excellent split 7" with Ghast on Pesanta Urfolk. This is a much earlier album but it is no less heavy. Epic blackened doom tracks with completely deranged vocals. Lots of space and texture made with only two guitars and a drum set. I think most people who dig Mournful Congregation, Neurosis, Grief and Shining Ones will find something to really enjoy here. Not to say they really sound exactly like any of those bands. It's quite unique. Good riffs and good taste. 

     Pretty much standard heavy music layout. Nothing really jumps out as outstanding or horrible as far as the text and artwork goes but little details like having the inside of the jacket be solid black is nice. This is just the beginning.

Start here with this band. Available here as well. 

Vasculae "Receding Stasis" cs

Receding Stasis
Monorail Tresspassing

I had to borrow this image. My camera hates me. 

Fuck. Amazing epic HNW. One side is blistering cold and the other side is pure terror. This is so undeniably good that my three year old daughter asked:

 "Daddy? What's this sound?"

"It's a tape. Does it bother you?"

"No… It's cool tape."

So there you go. Evidence I have ruined my child. 

     It's packaged in a bag with an abstract image covering the insert. It really is a cool tape. The type is small and usually people make their type too big but this is a little too small. Still good but 4pt type is a bit too small. 

Still, get this right away. 

Myrrh "Hymns" cs


I had to borrow this image. Having issues with my camera. 

It's nice to get something from this label again. They did some rad stuff that i reviewed a year or so ago and it looks like they haven't stopped. Excellent. The recording on this is raw as fuck. Luckily it works really well for this instrumental band. I guess to describe this I would say that recent Earth and early Sunn 0))) and mix in a strange amount of Tangerine Dream and you have something about right. It's unique and pretty killer. 

     Nice packaging. Pro-printed cassettes and nice looking j cards. I like the display font they use for the band name as well. Type in general is handled quite well. It looks like they really care and I dig that. 

Grab one. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Seagull Overseas "Last Train Home" cs

Seagull Overseas
Last Train Home
Besotis Besarmatis

Not a bad combination of drone/noise and electronic music. The first and second track are so different I had to take notice. The first song has a Cocteau Twins sort of vibe while the second track feels a lot more like a sad drone that falls into the type of noise wind on a microphone makes. I wanted to write it off at first as something I wasn't' into but after hearing the first few tracks I could easily see this being released on Brave Mysteries of one of those labels with a wide variety of sounds. This is not a bad release and maybe the first thing I have reviewed from Lithuania. 

     The packaging is not bad. I can tell this is a memorex tape or something but they did something different. They printed a sticked that covers almost the entire tape from the bottom, over the top and back around. They even put information on that top "spine". They also made a j card that goes almost all the way around and then closed it so the pegs from the case burst through the paper. Punk but not that attractive and also it seems out of place. 

I would pick this up though...

Messiah of Evil cs

Messiah of Evil
Center for Disease and Control

I don't really have the patience for this. Silly 8bit beats with a guy singing in a super high falsetto voice about who knows what. It's very, very silly. It's the type of music you would sing to your cat when no one is around. I appreciate that but you don't have to record it. As I get towards the end of this cassette I am sort of appreciating the lunacy but I really hope I don't have to hear this again anytime soon.

     The artwork is terrible but kinda awesome. A drawing of a pig crying after beheading a man that had just decapitated another pig. The j card is too small for the case though and the type is too small and the hand drawn text is just forgettable. I guess silly is my description in general. 


Ballerina in Blood // Vasectomy Party split 3"cdr

Ballerina in Blood // Vasectomy Party
Forever Escaping Boredom Records

There is almost nothing in this world as therapeutic to me as harsh noise. Nothing reminds me that everything in my life could be so much worse. It's like audio perspective. It's the worst part of all of us and that makes me feel so good. It's like a blanket of hell. Ballerina in Blood has made me feel quite a bit better today. $1000 bill from the IRS? Well, that is a distant memory for at least 3 min. Vasectomy Party also brings the HNW destruction and I love them for it. I am not as into the very long sample from some movie about crime at the beginning that I can't quite place but it is handled pretty awesome. I guess it works pretty well, so I will give that one to them as a decent use of a sample. 

     It looks okay. I have never really been into the splits where the front and back covers are basically just two disparate front covers. The inside is fine. Nothing special. 

HNW this brutal is worth hearing… 

Amalgamated "Spark II" 3"cdr

Spark II
Intangible Cat

Amalgamated is pretty fucking awesome but it is a little heavy on the beats for me. This sort of twisted and warped industrial is perfect for fans of The Bug but it's not totally my bag. There are actual saxophones on this and the part of my brain that really enjoys Jim Thirlwell is really into that. I think if I sit with this a bit it may really work for me but right now I am thinking this would be the best soundtrack to the rumored Blade Runner sequel but not something I would spin too often. 

     The layout is beautiful. For a 3" they really went above and beyond. A die-cut vinyl  sticker is attached to the poly sleeve that barely show you the full color photo of circuitry. It doesn't seem like it cost a lot of money to make but the way they put this together, it looks very expensive to make. They real hit it out of the park.

     It is hard to say entirely if I would buy this or not. I wouldn't buy this if I heard the first track but on the packaging alone I would have. I am going to come back to this one...

Nagual s/t cs

Pidgin Records

Lovely. Just lovely. This is like the songs of ice giants. It sounds like a howling, cold wind lulling you into your final sleep before freezing to death. The subsequent tracks range from guitar layering to feedback nurturing but all with the same icy cold intensity. This artist does some really excellent work and I am ashamed it took me this long to get to it. 

     The package is nice. Weird collaged face on the cover with a matte black inside. There is a separate info card that is also numbered. This is an edition of 100. 

Worth tracking down.

Disthroned Agony // Grain Belt // Ice Volt split/collaborative cs

Disthroned Agony // Grain Belt // Ice Volt
Live at the Book House
Small Doses

This live recording was captured in an actual bookstore in Minneapolis a couple years back. It took me awhile to get to it but it put it in during a good part of my life. I am kinda getting into noise recordings that use no pedals or real effects. Just pure sound. This release is just that. Three artists using found and organic objects to make their sounds. Scraping metal, glass, stones, or even the human voice creates a weird painting of the evening captured on cassette. I really wish I could have been there but this will have to do. 

     The simple, clean layout using mostly text look nice. Not much else to say but the pro printing is always nice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Black Scorpio Underground/Werewolf Jerusalem split 12"

The Black Scorpio Underground/Werewolf Jerusalem
split 12"
Husk records

Very strange and unnerving. I don't think I have actually heard The Black Scorpio Underground before this but it is a damn fine hunk of off-putting doom and swirling hell. Peppered with desperate sounding vocals and harsh drones you will find yourself a bit nervous listening to this one. Werewolf Jerusalem, besides having the world's toughest name, is always good and this is no exception. Super harsh and cutting noise that slowly moves up and down the terror scale of intensity. What a weird thing to write…  

     It's a pretty simple layout and I am not in love with how the text on the back was handled. It's not bad but it's kinda huge. that is really my only issue. The logo on the back is also crooked and it doesn't really look intentional. The cover art is somehow psychedelic yet pulled from the gutter. It's a sort of sloppy collage that has so many strange digital cuts and weird choices that I kinda love it. The bugged out colors on the front perfectly match the crazy colored vinyl that comes with this. Husk Records always puts out releases you should buy and this is no exception. If you could just subscribe to Husk you would not be disappointed. 


Actuary/Juhyo split flexi disc

split flexi
Love Earth Music

This is surprisingly satisfying for such a short release. Actuary puts forth one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard them do; the track sits somewhere between Nadja and Yellow Swans. Juhyo's track sounds like an automated abattoir warming up for a horrible day. Both tracks are quite short but totally well worked out. I am quite pleased. 

     Although I do wish they had put together some sort of packaging. This could really have used some artwork of some kind. Maybe next time. 

You should hear this. 

Bad Algorithm "D.o.a.R./(l)" cs

Bad Algorithm
Self Released

It's nice to start out 2013 with a massive dose of HNW. Bad Algorithm has always down this genre of anti-music white well and this new effort is no exception. There isn't much to say than "thank you" to B.A. for this excellent release. I have to point out when people use samples since it's become something that I usually don't like but the execution is abstract and interesting enough that I don't find it very jarring. Nice work.

     Looks okay. Not really into the black boxes around the logo and text but it works okay. Needs a little work.

Still, totally worth it.