samedi 25 juillet 2015

Laike - Fången i Det Senaste (2014)

Laike started as the solo project of Christofer Ståhle, from Sweden. I completely fell under the charm of the first album, released in 2012 (read HERE my review, going with an interview with Christofer Ståhle). I discovered recently that the second Laike album was released in november 2014. It is called Fången i Det Senaste (which means Trapped in the Latest) and it is another marvel. What kind of music is it? We could say it's folk rock with roots in the 70' and elements of prog' and psychedelia. Christofer Ståhle composes, sings and plays the flute. And maybe this use of flute (and how it is played) explains with it's great expressivity and delicacy the richness and subtility of the atmospheres created. The songs really develops rich moods and feels, sometimes very quiet, sometimes more upbeat, very lively and joyous, often with a very subtle balance between slight melancholy and wonder (at least that's how I feel it...). The singing in swedish is very good and adds (at least to non swedish ears!) to the uniqueness of the music. There's also a nice use of piano (or Moog or Wurlitzer, Mellotron and stuff like that), clean guitars, drums and percussions plus some harp, violin, vibraphone, etc. but mostly flute, guitars, keys and drums, and singing. If you're into 70' folk / prog / psych rock Laike will sounds nicely familiar, but without never sounding boringly retro, it really has it's very special personnality, its own kind of melodies and moods (it's all about melodies and moods). The main difference between the first and this second album is that the new one is more a collective effort (with musicians from Lisa o piu and Me and my kites, among others) and sounds like it is. The songs are more complex and there's less parts with an introspective feel. Maybe some would regret the more mysterious and nearly mystical feel of the first album but I think it's great that the two albums are different, with a different global atmosphere and character. The new songs sounds enriched with more subtilities that you'll discover after a few listen, also it sounds, overall, more "positive", upbeat and groovy. I really love both albums, and hope the third one will bring another taste as well...

Very special and highly recommended stuff!


vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Organ dealer - Visceral infection (2015)

Organ dealer is a death / grind band from New Jersey and Visceral infection is their first album. They already get some attention last year with a two song demo that was excellent. Are they confirming the good impression they made then? Yes they are, Visceral infection is a solid and enjoyable album for anyone into death / grind.  It has some old school grind elements, parts with hardcore riffing and groove, but the massive production and the parts with more complex riffing and death metal brutality and groove put them in the modern grind category (yes "gory" indeed!). What I like is that they keep a good balance between very fast and the grooves, and between more straighforward crust / HC riffing and more complex parts. It's never sounding like a heavier math rock band or super techy metal. It still is grind. And while borrowing good elements from death metal (riffing, groove) they avoid the gore vocals extremeties, in favor of more "classical" grind vocals (which I prefer). They did a really stong first album and I really hope I'll be able to hear them perform it live.

Their BC page.

mercredi 22 juillet 2015

The Body & Vampillia - Xorohabin (2015)

The Body are always experimenting and are never afraid of radical contrast (like their use of choir vocals in their grim indus / drone sludge) so their new collaboration with Vampillia, or anything they would do, shouldn't be such a surprise.  Still among the different bandsor people they have done music with Vampillia is the most surprising, the farthest from their own musical universe. Vampillia comes from Japan (Osaka) and plays some versatile kind of post-rock with neo-clasical elements (with piano, chords, etc.) it's not possible to describe what they do because it's always changing anyway but most of the time their music is not really dark. So how does sound their collaboration record called Xorahabin? As expected it's interesting, we find elements from both bands but it's not just a juxtaposition of the music of the two bands. It succeeds to sound as a whole. So what do we have? noise, or even harsh noise, heavy beats, desperate screams and a bit of more melodic choir vocals, melodies with chords or strings, a bit of piano, a dark & ominous atmosphere that is quite cinematic. Four songs in a bit less than half an hour. If you like The Body you'll probably like this one, if you like Vampillia you'll like it if you also like rawer & darker stuff and you should give it a try anyway. It's a really good record, not just original & interesting but also "enjoyable" in it's special way. Not a realease you listen one time and say "ok, it's interesting" but dont listen to it twice, not I 've already listened to it quite a lot and each time I find something more in it. Recommended stuff.

samedi 18 juillet 2015

The Haunting Presence -ST MLP (2015)

The Haunting presence is the solo project of Ghastly apparition from Nocturnal blood. He released this year this self-titled MLP with Hells headbangers records. THP is part of The Black Twilight Circle. This record is evil & barbaric death metal at is best. Ferocious and raw, it evoques armies of demons marching to war or grotesque rituals. I especially like the drumming (not especially "technical" but good) having enough diversity to stress every twists in the songs. And it really stress the war & ritualistic feel of the album with it's focus on percussive power more than on speed. My only complain would be that this record is just six tracks, four songs and two instrumentals. I would have liked more...

The BC page

mercredi 15 juillet 2015

Sundays & Cybele - Gypsy house (2015)

Sundays & Cybele is a japanese psychedelic band. Their music is rooted in 60' psychedelic / garage rock, and more specifically there's a strong Hendrix influence in the melodies and guitar playing. The closing instrumental reminds Can. But they're not just trying to recreate music of the past and the fuzzy tone of their guitar is not out of "space" in 21th century stoner / space rock. But, in addition to the high quality of the songwriting and playing, what makes them sound so unique is the singing in japanese, showing how fitting this language can be for psychedelic music.
Their album called Gypsy house (another nod to Hendrix!) was released in march by Guruguru brain, a yery good label specialised in japanese psychedelia. It is a very wel crafted and enjoyable album. Recommended!

The Bandcamp page

dimanche 12 juillet 2015

Nightslug - Loathe (2015)

Is it sludge? is it noise? It's both and more importantly it's awesome. Loathe is the second albul from the german trio Nightslug. They really managed to develop a thick and dirty hypnotic groove. The rhythm element is really important in their sound, more like in noise rock or in Unsane than in the usual sludge band. but the slow paced tempo, the heaviness, plus some riffing sound sludge. But there's no faster hardcore parts, they keep it slow / mid tempo all the way (bordering funeral / drone doom at times). well, it's beak, slow, heavy, drenched in feedback, with a strong focus on the bass guitar. And they really does a good job in playing this kind of music. it's been released by Lost pilgrims records, Broken limbs and Dry cough records. This album, with the Rectal hygienics one, are my two favourite sludge (or noise!) albums this year so far. recommended!

The album on the Lost pilgrim Bandcamp page

mercredi 8 juillet 2015

People problem - Examinations (2015)

Coming from Perth (Australia) People problem is a new (first demo in 2013) powerviolence band. Examinations (released on 50 tapes, as a digital release and as a 7' later this year) is their fourth release. 10 songs in less than 7 minutes. yes short songs, played fast. their powerviolence is closer to old school hardcore (let's say Minor threat) than to grind, but it's still quite wild, especially the screamed vocals . the atmosphere is bleak and breath violence and despair. wait... no it does not breath! it's oppressive and relentless. If you need a quick fix of scary intense hardcore / PV this will do perfectly!

Their Bandcamp