mardi 29 décembre 2015

Aluk Todolo - Voix (2016)

Voix (to be released early in 2016)  is Aluk Todolo comeback after their extrardinary double album "Occult rock" in 2012. Is it as good? I'd say it's not but it's still good enough to live up to the expectations I think. And be one of the most interesting and best rock album in 2016. The instrumental trio intoduced no new elements in Voix but we could say they are already unique so no need to change a lot a formula that is giving excellent results. Their music is still based on an excellent rythmic section (drums & bass) with some krautrock repetitive patterns and weirdness, free rock, noise rock heaviness and edge, and a taste of black metal speed and cold execution. The lead element is done by the guitar with noisy and darkly psychedelic flavours. These six tracks that forms Voix are a nice addition to the discography of one of the best french band. Very highly recommended!

The Bandcamp page.

lundi 28 décembre 2015

Cloud rat / Drugs of faith - Split EP (2015)

Excellent hardcore split EP from Selfmadegod records. First we have Cloud rat, currently one of the best hardcore band, displaying the wide range of their music in three songs, from pure agression to noisier moments and a touch of melody, with a songwriting ability that makes sure it does not sound like any other hardcore band. Then Drugs of faith, another really good band, gives us to listen to two tracks sounding somewhere between hardcore and some dark and aggressive noise rock. Really good split for people that ask more from hardcore.

The BC page.

vendredi 18 décembre 2015

Yuri Gagarin - At the center of all infinity (2015)

Yeah you guessed it this is space rock. Space rock with a heavy rock / stoner flavour. But the focus is on the trip more than on the heaviness. Yuri Gagarin is a swedish instrumental quintet and At the center of all infinity is their second album (their first, self-titled, one  was already really good). Cool guitar work, a good driving rythm section, a bit of synth and effects. And they take you far away... and you will like it... and will ask for more. Really cool stuff, if you're into heavy psychedelia  and space rock there is absolutely no reason you wouldn't enjoy it.

The Bandcamp page.

mercredi 16 décembre 2015

Church of the dead - Forever dead vol.5 (EP 2015)

Forever dead is the fifth volume of their series of Eps (each time three or four songs, this time 3 songs for 10 minutes of music) from Church of the dead and it's always a pleasure to hear them again. The finnish quatuor never fail to deliver some quality old school death metal, keeping it simple but always managing to write good "catchy" songs, with a good groove, mostly mid tempos with a bit of D-beat, good vocal lines, and memorable death metal riffing.

their website

mardi 15 décembre 2015

Young widows - Easy pain (2014)

Easy pain is Young widows fourth album, released last year (2014) I should have reviewed it earlier, but well, it's really good and it deserves a review, even a late one... This is noise rock, raw and angular, but with addictive venomous melodies, with a post-punk feel with haunting vocals (on the side of Gun club, Nick Cave or even David Eugen Edwards). Could be an excellent soundtrack american road trip movie, sometimes warm sometimes desolate, filled with anxiety and bitterness, but shining with a majestic intensity. Great album!

The Bandcamp page.

dimanche 13 décembre 2015

mercredi 9 décembre 2015

2015 : my end year selection

Ok, let's go for the traditionnal end year lists. The specific grindcore and related stuff list will follow later in the month. Releases are given in no specific order.

Doom / Sludge / noise :

Nibiru - Padmalotus                       the review

Rectal hygienics - Ultimate purity     the review

Saturnalia temple  - To the other    the review

Ramleh - Circular time   the review

ODRA  - Sexnarkoman                    the review

Primitive man - Home is where the hatred is (EP)    the review

Nightslug - Loathe                  the review

The Body - The tears of job    the review

The Body & Krieg - The Body & Krieg  the review

Corrections house -  Know how to carry a whip   the review

King giant - Black ocean waves   the review 

Destruction unit - Negative feedback resistance     the review

Wolf eyes - I am a problem ; mind in pieces    the review

Trash  / death :

Abyss - Heretical anatomy                   the review

Evil invaders - Pulses of pleasure        the review

Sepulcher  - Mausoleum tapestry        the review

Vorum - Current mouth (EP)     the review

Deiphago - Into the eye of Satan   the review

Revenge - Behold.Total.Rejection   the review

progressive / psychedelic rock / fusion jazz and related stuff :

Sammal - Myrskyvaroitus        the review       the interview

Seremonia - Kristalliarkki        the review      The interview

Wild throne - Harvest of darkness       the review

Oiseaux tempête - Ütopyia    the review

Anekdoten - Until all the ghosts are gone     the review

Sommer - On waking and dreaming       the review      the interview

Sigurdur Rognvaldsson's dark forest - Kisima     the review

Kamasi Washington - The Epic   the review   

mardi 8 décembre 2015

Haraam - When the sacred months have passed (2015)

Haraam (it means forbidden, the contrary of halal) is a band (or solo project I don't know...) from Denmark, they (?) released three records (or tapes?) last year and two this year. When the sacred month have passed is the first one released this year. It is really good industrial techno / noise ambient with industrial / techno beats, electronic noise, and a bit of oriental melodies. Their next release The triumph of truth is good as well but without the noise element and I prefer this one.

The Bandcamp page.

vendredi 4 décembre 2015

Sepulcher - Mausoleum Tapestry (2015)

Sepulcher is a new Norwegian band, and their first release is a tape called Mausoleum Tapestry. They play really cool raw and old school metal in a proto-death / thrash vein. There is a big influence from Slayer (it's most aggressive and "evil" era, Hell awaits / Reign in blood) but it evokes also the early days of death metal when it was thrash metal turning extreme, more dirty and morbid. And when it slows down a bit and gets less maniacal and more melodic the atmosphere reminds old school Swedish death metal. Overall they're doing a better job than most bands sharing these influences and Mausoleum tapestry is a really enjoyable listen if you're into this kind of metal. Perfect for a drunken party with fellow metal freaks. Recommended!

The label page for the tape.

mercredi 2 décembre 2015

Sigurður Rögnvaldsson's Dark Forest - Kisima (2015)

It was a bit by chance that I listened to this album. I'm really glad I did it because it will stay as one of my favourite album of the year. Sigurður Rögnvaldsson's Dark Forest is a band formed by the Icelandic but now Helsinki based (and I noticed a finnish feel in the melodies) guitarist Sigurður Rögnvaldsson with finnish musicians (drums, bass and alto sax). Kisima is their first album and is a brilliant release. Let me cite the guitarist website : "Dark Forest invites the listeners to a journey through a dark and mystical forest, full of mutated creatures and their strange yet captivating stories in Kisima". Yes, listening to the album evokes a weird atmosphere with somewhat "magical" qualities. The music is rooted in jazz rock / progressive rock reminding a bit the 70' pioneers( King Crimson for exemple) but with a more modern energy and rougher edge, with a rythm section that often would not sound out of place in a math rock / noise rock band. The sax playing is at times more atmospheric and at times dives into wilder free jazz howlings. Great melodies and atmosphere with a powerfull rocking pulse. A great album.

The bandcamp page.

lundi 30 novembre 2015

Axis of despair - Time and again EP (2015)

Axis of despair is a new grind band with Anders Jacobson (ex-Nasum). Their first release, The Time and again EP was released this year via Selfmadegod records. This is quality grind, more rooted int he old school than Nasum was, but with also a modern side to it (but it's more with the production than something else). 6 songs for around ten minutes of music. Not one sided grind because you'll find some variety int he different songs. short ragers, longer ones with more "melodies". good vocal lines.
 I hope we'll soon get an album from axis of despair.

The BC page.

jeudi 26 novembre 2015

Kuroi Jukai - st cassette (2015)

This self-titled cassette from the canadian band Kuroi Jukai (with at least an ex-Detroit) is one of the best and most aggressive powerviolence / HC release this year. In addition to some great, super fast and angry PV / HC parts, you have also some harsh noise parts. maybe having more parts with PV / HC and harsh noise at the same time (more like the seventh track), and not just one and then the other, would have been even better, but it's already hitting hard in terms of power and abrasiveness.This is a great release, a must listen if you like the most radical sonic assaults.

The BC page.

lundi 23 novembre 2015

Bantoriak - Weedooism (2015)

The cover art makes it pretty clear, Bantoriak plays on the stoner  / psych side of heavy music. This is an italian band and their debut album, Weedooism, is released by Argonauta records. Their sound is a quite original mix of stoner / doom with some desert rock vibes and strong psychedelic flavours completed by oriental melodies and male and female vocals. This makes a unique trippy laid-back atmosphere, and combined with good songwriting the result is an album really enjoyable to listen to. Cool stuff!

The Bandcamp page.

samedi 21 novembre 2015

Revenge - Behold.Total.Rejection (2015)

Revenge is back with their fifth full lenght album called Behold.Total.Rejection. The canadian extremists led by James Read are once again delivering their raw and brutal black / war metal. The album start furioulsy with an old school grind assault at the beginning of the first song. This grind element, in the drumming, the vocals and the simplicity of the riffing is a distinctive element of the Revenge sound in the black metal scene. Revenge often sound like a grind / punk band covering the most straight forward Marduk songs. The drumming forward in the mix stress this grind feel as well as the loose and wild playing. But the hatefull and bestial vocals makes sure you're listening to some black metal. also the songs have a normal length, and there's some lead guitar solos and a few slower paced parts. But unlike most black metal bands Revenge seems not really concerned about creating a cold / or epic or mystical atmosphere, they are all about full on aggression and sonic savagery. But the result sure does sound "evil" in a very direct and unsubtle way. With this new album they manage once again to create a level of barbaric intensity rarely matched. Powerfull stuff!

The Bandcamp page.

jeudi 19 novembre 2015

Stara Rzeka - Zamknęły się oczy ziemi (2015)

Stara Rzeka is a solo project of Kuba Ziołek of the polish collective Milieu L'Acéphale. Zamknęły się oczy ziemi is the second album and is intended to be the last one (which is a pity but I'm sure Kuba Ziołek will continue to bring us good music in other contexts). The album was done with the help of musicians from the Innercity ensemble (also part of Milieu L'Acéphale). Some songs were written before the first album but this one does not just sound like the other half of the first, for example there's not metal vocals any more. But the basis stays the same :  folk, drones, noise and krautrock played by acoustic and electric guitars, synth, electronic noises and beats, a bit of drumming, and only clean vocals this time. Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and Moondog are cited as influences. The result is fascinating and moving music, mostly quiet and trippy but with also some moments fitting the usual song structure (riffs, singing, etc.). This is a great album, with a unique atmosphere, and I'm impatient to listen to  Kuba Ziołek next project (solo or with a band).

The Bandcamp page

dimanche 15 novembre 2015

Carnation - Cemetary of the insane EP (2015)

Carnation is a belgian old school death metal band. Their Cemetary of the insane EP is their first release and it's great stuff. Everything you like in old schoold death metal (both Swedish and american, but maybe more often closer to early Cannibal corpse than to Entombed) is there and done right. And they are especially good at writing "catchy" songs with a great groove (bordering hardcore groove at times but without leaving the old school DM feel) and very good vocal lines (in a "Corpsegrinder" vein). The EP ends nicely with a cool blast beat acceleration at the end of the fifth track. Simple but very effective and enjoyable OSDM.

The Bandcamp page.

mercredi 11 novembre 2015

Die choking - III (2015)

III is the third release but first album (still under 15min) from Die choking (a trio from Philadelphia with an ex Total fucking destruction and one guy from Cop problem).  What they play is grindcore but more technical and complex than the usual grind with elements reminding death metal and chaotic hardcore. Without being really groundbreaking they manage to find their own way in grind and it is a punishing one! good stuff!

The BC page.

vendredi 6 novembre 2015

Corrections house - Know how to carry a whip (2015)

Corrections house is what we could call a "supergroup" with Mike IX Williams, Scott Kelly, Sanford Parker, and Bruce Lamont. Their first album (Last city zero) was far better than most "supergroup" album, but with this second one they also prove that the project was not just a one shot and also offer something sounding more cohesive (maybe some would miss the diversity of the first album). You'll find the same elements on Know how to carry a whip, but with a different dosage. This second album is more industrial, really based on Sanford Parker beats and noisescapes, with just one acoustic part, the song in the middle of the album. But the diversity of the vocals, Mike Williams spoken words and screams and Scott Kelly vocals, the saxophone parts done by Bruce Lamont ensure the album escapes monotony and is offering a unique musical mix. It's more industrial but also more direct (but still with quite a lot of subtleties) and aggressive. I don't know which album i prefer but I know I like being able now to listen to two Corrections house albums that display different sides of the band, or a different mix / dosage of composing elements. With this new album they are without a doubt confirming their excellency.

The Bandcamp page.

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

Howls of Ebb - The marrow veil MLP (2015)

This album (or MLP or EP) is as completely nightmarish as its cover. The marrow veil is Howls of Ebb first release after their excellent first album last year (Vigils of the 3rd eye, also on I, Voidhanger records). Their death metal gets here maybe even more unconventional than on the album. The length of the two songs, 19 and 12 minutes, plus a short interlude between the two, makes more evident the complete lack of the traditional song structure in the composing. This is really loose, sounding almost" free" death metal. The metal parts are mostly mid tempo with dissonant riffing, weird leads and ritualistic drum pounding, and they are interwoven with slow ambient minimalistic noisy  / drone guitar and percussion parts. This is really successful in creating a special and bizarre atmosphere with a dark and chaotic feel. Overall it could be described like somewhere between Khtoniik cerviiks and Chaos echoes. If you are tired of the often too "standardized" nature of metal (even "extreme" metal, often following song after song the pop / rock song structure that you can hear all day long on the radio), then this is a really recommended listen. Strong stuff!

The bandcamp page.

dimanche 1 novembre 2015

The Body & Krieg (2015)

This is a new collaborative album from The Body, this time with Krieg (Neill Jameson). Should we consider it "another" collaborative release with The Body, well technically it is but I'd rather say this is an especially good one. Not that one of those have been disappointing, but I think this one is really good by their own very high standards. Yes, The Body managed once again to impress me, with another terrific sonic display of intensity and creativity. And the Krieg's guy confirm that his musical range is wider than (quality) black metal and the collaboration result in something more than a mix of The Body and black metal. In fact there is little trace of something specifically black metal on this album, except maybe Neill Jameson vocal contribution (and even that is not completely standard black metal vocals). But it sure is an especially aggressive and cathartic "sonic incarnation" of The Body that results from the collaboration. The overall sound is very industrial, with even some techno beats, and creepy keyboards parts. It sounds like a vicious and surprising mix of sludge, technoise, dark ambient, horror soundtrack. The global atmosphere evokes The Swans, Godflesh or Scorn, but of course it's the unique personnality of The Body that dominates. This atmosphere is very strong but maybe what's even more imrpessive is the quality of the songwriting, each song having it's distinct feel, and some songs really standing out as among the best and more memorable The Body ever did. After The tears of job Ep (read my review HERE), the collaboration with Vampillia read my review HERE), and this one, this is a great year for The Body, and this new collaboration is maybe its peak.

mardi 27 octobre 2015

Cut to fit - Black mouth (2015)

Black mouth is the new album from the finnish grind band Cut to fit. It's another excellent release, confirming again the very good opinion I have about them (read HERE my review of their previous grind album and the interview that is going with it). After a drone album (which is ok but too minimalistic for me) they are back to their old school grind, with this time an emphasis on the hardcore groove more than on speed (but don"t worry they still deliver a healthy dose of blast beats!). As usual their songwriting is really good with memorable songs, no filler, catchy vocal lines, riffs and rythms (catchy as it can be in good ol' grind). So the more you'll listen to it the more you'll like it. If you like grind you sure won't be disappointed by this album.

The BC page. 

vendredi 23 octobre 2015

Pombagira - Flesh Throne Press (2015)

The contrast on the cover between the dark figure and the trippy band logo fits well with the music. Flesh throne press is Pombagira sixth album, a double album, and probably the best of the londonian duo. it's been released by Svart records (which is really doing well in 2015). This is doom with a focus on the dark, smokey and psychedelic atmosphere more than on heaviness. I'd say it's sounds a bit like a mix of Bong and The 13th floor elevators (with a 60' weird and psychedelic rock feel). I like it's ethereal vocal melodies and the basslines perfect for the quiet hazy mood of the album. One hour and a half of music that needs many listens to be fully appreciated but is really rewarding. In an saturated doom scene this is good to hear something different and Pombagira demonstrate having their own style on this really enjoyable album.

The Bandcamp page.

mercredi 21 octobre 2015

God harvest : an interview

God harvest is a floridian grind / punk band that recently released their first album, the really good Insulated (read my review HERE). If you're into grind / punk this is a recommended listen.  I'm pleased to post here the interview we did by mail. Read it below :

-Can you go back to the origin of the band and tell us how it happened? what was the project at the start and how have you evolved since the beginning of the band?
Well first I'd like to say thank you for offering up the interview. This stuff is always fun and we've only gotten a couple chances to do something like this. God Harvest started in 2009 with a couple friends as a protest band. At that point in time I lived in Clearwater, FL, the home of the Church of Scientology. I wanted to put together a project that was centered around dissent of the church. After some heavy thought, and watching people's lives get ruined by the their "Gestapo", I decided it wouldn't be prudent. A huge focus is put on them in songs like "Suppressive" and "Flagship" to make sure we bum out some people, but the band has come a long way since then. I think my writing has become more refined, but the goals of each song haven't. I try to write the heaviest stuff my little brain can come up with that the rest of the guys won't hate. Ha.

-What about the name of the band?

It was just the best of the other options. I actually went and asked a bunch of people where I worked which one sucked the least. God Harvest stuck.

-Can you tell us a few words about the other bands you play in?

Well, all of us have had a bunch of bands before this. I played drums in Big Rats (hardcore) and guitar in Now Soldiers (hardcore), Chris, the lead guitar player played in Shed For You (grind) and most recently Devout (hardcore). Our drummer Kyle played in Endurance (hardcore), and Can't Stand It (hardcore) with some of our good friends and some of the old members from Now Soldiers. Tyler, our singer, played bass and sang in Five Suns (sludge), No Control (crust), and Now Soldiers.

-How would you describe your music? I'd say it's based in grind / punk with also some old school death metal influence, does that fit?

This is always the hardest question in the fuckin' world. Honestly, we try to stay within the confines of hardcore, power violence, and grind-core. We all listen to a fuckload of death metal. Those are the genres that influence our playing, writing, and style. Napalm Death being my biggest influence probably shows through the most. I listen to a lot of different stuff to write the best version of those 3 genres that I can. The heavier, more hard hitting stuff is brought out by my love of Negative Approach and Crossed Out. The grind stuff we write is more like a modern take on grind, bands like Nasum, Unholy Grave, and Napalm absolutely crush their own versions of the genre. Bands like Framtid, Isterismo, and Totalitar show through in our faster stuff.  We've been compared to a lot of different stuff, but any one of those 3 are applicable I think.

-What about your new album, Insulated?

This LP.....holy fuck, what a ride. It took a couple years to get this damn thing out and recorded. We originally recorded it live and weren't blown away by the sound, and then went through a member change with our bassist, Nick. We found Brent and continued trying to get more songs written while teaching him the music. We wrote more of this record in the last 3 months before recording it than the entire year before that. A lot of life got in the way of this motherfucker coming out and we are really excited to finally see it out to press and things moving forward. The LP's 11 songs were recorded here in St. Petersburg, FL with Dan Byers at Rock Garden Studios, but we really wanted to make it special by sending it to one of my favorite producers, Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA. Both of them made this sound really awesome. Not too clean, big and nasty, but audible and smashy. I tried really hard to keep the sound of the old to follow us through our music. I listen to awful sounding shit, and we don't necessarily sound like a lot of it, so it's very hard knowing where we stand. I usually try to emulate our live sound as much as possible.

-What do you want to express through your lyrics? can you tell us a few words about the lyrics of a specific song on the album?

Tyler, our singer, comes from a long history of crust bands so his influences come through from bands like Nine Shocks Terror, Doom, Destroy, Infest, Dropdead, and Modern Life Is War. A lot of our lyrics are socio-political with an emphasis on religion,  and introspective topics of depression and drug use.

The title track "Insulated" stands out to us as one of our lyrical favorites. The song is mainly about how the "PC topics" that are being talked about in circles of friends we share. Those friendships are being broken apart by cheap talking points, and everyone's so offended by everything that it's getting in the way of getting along.

- Do you think grindcore (or grind related hardcore music) can be undestood as a reaction against the recuperation and commodification of punk? (this a question about the origin of grindcore, it could be seen as a reaction against the fact that punk became coopted by the mainstream and became just another commodity. Grindcore could be seen as an effort from bands to go back to the radical / antagonist roots of punk and push it to the extreme in a way it could hardly fit with the music / entertainment industry).

I personally write the majority of God Harvest's music, but I would say I have the least amount of musical ability in the band. When I started God Harvest, my intention was to write and arrange memorable and we'll structured songs, kind of defying the logic of contemporary and classic grind. The bands that I grew up listening to and influencing me were bands that were just doing what THEY wanted and weren't trying to break down the confines of typical music writing. They wrote the things they wanted to hear. The words, the actions, the shows....those were the things that made this music important and terrible to the masses. Anyone can turn up some amps, and play fast and jump around, but the best could do it to "not give a shit".  No goals, no gain, no stardom. They weren't concerned about being liked, in fact, quite the opposite. We try to write good songs, but our live shows are why we do this. Angry music for angry people made by angry mother fuckers. I do agree that it was an answer to keep people out, but the message never changed. That's what keeps me going. I started this band to bum people out. I hope it's working. 

-Do you think that the DIY way of action could be a global alternative or do you see it more as a practical way of growing for an underground band?

DIY is a lifestyle. If you're not running every part of your band, you're just doing it wrong. I'm glad that we're inside this bracket of "try-hards". If you're planning on retiring on grind and hardcore, you're playing the wrong music. We don't tour. We have careers and families and can't risk all of it for the "fun" of looking like a professional band on the road. We release records, we like to play live around Florida, and we enjoy each others company. Unless you're killing yourself on the road for a label that put out your record, no one wants to help you when you can help yourself. So do it the right way. Work hard, write shit you want, do you what you want, and don't give a fuck.

-I already know Maruta and Sacridose, which other bands from your area would you recommend?

Maruta are some good friends of ours. We love those dudes. They enjoy the same debauchery that we do. Sacridose is a bunch of our friends and neighbors, but we never get to play with them anymore. Kinda sucks. Some friends of ours Weltesser (Tampa), I Am An Intestine (Tampa), Devalued (Miami), Ad Nauseum (Orlando), Nisroch (Jacksonville) all come to mind. All of them are currently killing it.

 -Which evolutions would you like to see happening in the underground scene?

Less seatbelts and safety. We're really tired of people being offended by everything. This used to be the place uncomfortable people went to be less comfortable. It needs to stay that way. Unfriendly, haphazard, and unbiased.

-What is planned for God harvest in the coming months?

We are playing the Grind Against Corruption Fest in St Petersburg at the end of November. That's it for 2015 until we get our release shows lined up for January. Once we get the records in, we're starting to play next years release shows around Florida. One per weekend in all of our favorite places. We'll be announcing those later.

-Something to add?

Dennis, thanks for the interview and the attention. We appreciate it. Anyone interested in getting information, visit our blog (

mardi 20 octobre 2015

Extreme noise terror - ST (2015)

Yes this is the new Extreme noise terror album, seven years after the previous one (Law of retaliation), and they continue in the same crust vein. No going back to their more death / grind or death metal times (Damage 381 and Being and nothing). But they were key in making hardcore evolve towards something more extreme and their crust is not of a mellow kind. the vocals are still grindcore vocals (well, in fact it's more the other way round...), the sound is more powerfull than it usually is in crust and their songs sounds more ferocious and aggressive than "normal" crust. Is it a good album? yes it is, even if they don't really bring something new at least they manage to breathe some feel of urgency into their crust and that's not easy to do anymore (I feel crust often sounds too standardised and "tired". ok that can be said of most music "styles", yes...). Overall they did better than I expected and it could be the best crust album of the year.

jeudi 15 octobre 2015

Alameda 5 - Duch tornada (2015)

Alameda 5 is one of the band with people composing the Milieu L'Acéphale collective (from Poland, other bands are Stara Rezka, Tien'lai, Kapital, Innercity ensemble, etc.). This album, Duch tornada, was released this year by Milieu L'Acéphale and Instant classic. It shares members with Alameda 3 but i's two distinct band making different music. What to expect from Duch tornada? Vintage synth, percussions, some sax, samples, noise, guitars, clean vocals. Krautrock (exept it's not really rock, like most Krautrock anyway...) comes to mind, but also dark ambient, new age synth, free jazz / contemporary  / concrete music, and King crimson. Science-fiction is a source of inspiration for this music and you could guess by listening to it. This is weird, most often quiet and subtly dark, and very trippy. This is really immersive and fascinating stuff. If you're up to a journey into strange ambient territories this will be perfect. I really like it.

Their Bandcamp page

lundi 12 octobre 2015

Wild throne - Harvest of darkness (2015)

Harvest of darkness is the first album from Wild throne, a trio from the state of Washington (USA). It includes the songs from the Blood maker (2014) EP plus eight new songs. It sounds clearly influenced by the high pitched vocals and the psychedelic mathcore extravagancies of The Mars volta. But they don't sounds like they try to be a next Mars volta nor more Mars volta than Marx volta and their approach is more straightforward, it's less experimental and progressive. The songwriting is really good and the melodies and rythms will easily stick to your mind while the execution is like a sheer overflowing of energy, the singer sounding like in a non stop state of hysteria. which is quite communicative. Harsvest of darkness is a really enjoyable album.

their website

jeudi 8 octobre 2015

Utech compilation - And suddenly everything, absolutely everything, was there (2015)

Utech records is one of the best label for releasing experimental music, often ambient dark and noisy, sometimes electronic, often not, sometimes a bit metal, sometimes a bit jazz, always interesting and challenging stuff. This comp' called And suddenly everything, absolutely everything, was there was made to raise fund for an honorable cause (read more on the bandcamp page). It features many artists that released music for Utech records and some more. This is more than 4 hours of music, 41 tracks. probably you know some of the artists like Asva, Dead neanderthals, Locrian, Nadja, Theologian, probably you will discover most artists here, like I discovered Gates, Philippe Petit, Jeks Miller, Pan Gu, Redrighthand, and others. Anyway this will be an exiting journey in the underground. I think all tracks are exclusive, previously unreleased, live, or tracks created for this occasion.
Don't fail to discover Utech records if you don't know it already, and discover some fantastic music.

The bandcamp page

mardi 6 octobre 2015

Graveyard - Innocence & Decadence (2015)

Innocence & Decadence is Graveyard fourth album and they keep on digging the heavy blues vibes of the 70'. Not much to add, they maintain their very high level of songwriting and musicianship, the vocals are especially good. the new album is in many ways similar to Lights out, their previous one, maybe more often they break a bit with the "pop" song structure for some instrumental brilliancies.

dimanche 4 octobre 2015

Beaten To Death - Unplugged (2015)

Was really exited when I read about a new Beaten to death album. Then I get slightly disappointed when I realised that it is not Unplugged as the title what let you think. An unplugged Beaten to death album was a nice concept, peharps another time? anyway  my disappointement didn't last for long because this album is as good as was their previous one, Dødsfest! Which means it is absolutely awesome. This is another masterpiece in "technical melodic grind". which don't happens very often... the only comparison that comes to my mind would be Total fucking destruction, for it's craziness and inpredictability, wild but played with great technical mastery, but Beaten to death is more polished and, yes, "pop". This is not good just because of its unique and interesting kind. Maybe your first listen will be because you're curious but then you'll just listen to it because the grind parts are better (and often more brutal and relentless) than most grind and at the same time it's fun and catchy. It's an impressive display of excellency in songwriting and musicianship (but the way the band feature members from Tsjuder and She said destroy).   This is a great album for grindfreaks but also a great album for everyone (well... except it's way too brutal for most people).

Mandatory listen!

The Bandcamp page 

jeudi 1 octobre 2015

Deiphago - Into the eye of Satan (2015)

Deiphago, the filipino trio, one of the best brutal, raw and chaotic black / death metal band are back with their fourth album called Into the eye of Satan (released by Hell's headbangers). Deiphago's music is raw and chaotic in nature but it's never an excuse for poor production and approximative musicianship, quite the contrary. Colin Marston did an excellent job on production duty (the bass is MASSIVE, everything sounds powerfull and clearly distinguishable), and the musicianship is high class. The drumming is manic and relentless but also full of versatility and never messy. The bass, with it's huge sound and the power trio format, is able to bring something more interesting than just adding some bass frequencies to the music and is a full component in the songs and in the atmosphere of the album. But the most impressive is the lead guitar parts with some otherwordly weird soloing. It's really surprising to find, in such a brutal metal album, solos that are fast, dissonant and crazy but often sounds more like jazz than metal, they are excellent and really catch you off-guard, and are surprisingly fitting well the chaotic atmosphere of the album.If you are looking for radical and extreme metal, with a unique personnality, look no further, Into the eye of Satan is the real deal. One of the best and most interesting extreme metal album of the year.

The Bandcamp page.

mardi 29 septembre 2015

Seremonia : the interview

Seremonia released (with Svart records) what is easily one of my favourite album of the year with Kristalliarkki (read my review HERE). An infectious trip into rocking psychedelic weirdness. Below is the interview we did via email :

-to start with, can you tell us how did you formed Seremonia? what was the project as the start?

It's the usual story: We've been friends for a long time, played music together in different bands over the years. We're big fans of old obscure heavy psychedelic rock, and wanted to hear that sort of stuff in our own language. No one else seemed to be doing it at the time so we did it ourselves. Now we get to hear it AND play it at the same time! Win-win situation.

-what about Kristalliarkki? I think it shows a great improvement compared to your previous releases, you really managed to make your music really unique. how does it fit in your discography in your opinion?

For sure it's different than the first two albums. I'd say there's more free experimentation on Kristalliarkki, but also parts that are more carefully arranged than before. But still, our song writing & recording process has always been pretty spontaneous. We try leave room for all sorts of surprises and improvise a lot when recording the basic tracks for a song. It's not an exact science, so for example Kristalliarkki just sort of came out the way it came out. We had overall ideas about the structure and moods of the album beforehand, but when we record there's not a lot of second quessing or second takes. I hope that on future albums this free spirit will lead us to constant new musical discoveries.

-How would you describe your music? could we say it's an original mix of 60' inspired garage rock / proto-punk / heavy metal with psychedelic and prog rock with maybe a bit of free jazz and finnish folk, is that correct? I think making that mix sound cohesive is a great achievement, what's the recipe?  

Yep, that's a handy genre tag right there! We are certainly influenced by all that stuff and even more stuff that may not be so audible in our music. I'd say we can incorporate all the different elements and still ”keep it together” because of the way we play as a band. For example, our singer Noora has a very unique voice and our drummer Erno pounds away in his strangely wonderful manner. There's a weird originality to how we play together. It all ends up sounding like Seremonia.

-which bands influenced you the most? and how did you get into this kind(s) of music?

Hard to say & too many to mention, but some big influences: Finnish bands like Haikara, Radiopuhelimet, Mana Mana, Xysma, Charlies, Terveet Kädet.
International stuff such as Black Sabbath, Ainigma, Pentagram & Los Dug Dugs.
We are all record nerds and collectors, and old psychedelic rock is one of our favorite ”genres” to dig into. So I guess we've been into into for a long long time, but there's still many little paths to follow and find new (old) music!

-what are your favourite french bands? (I'm french so that explains the question!) and which finnish bands would you recommend?

Some french favorites: Giants such as Magma, Catherine Ribeiro & The Alpes, early Gong (+ the Obsolete -album made with Dashiell Hedayat), 80's heavy metal bands High Power, Warning and Attentat Rock, Les Légions Noires black metal stuff...

Finnish bands: All those mentioned as our influences + a ton of others! I'll mention a few current bands people should check out: Circle, Garden Of Worm, Death Hawks, Jarse, Räjäyttäjät, Jukka & Jytämimmit, Cosmo Jones Beat Machine, Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L.

-what is the typical writing process for Seremonia?

Me and our bass player Ilkka have a lot of riffs available. Ilkka usually writes the lyrics. We have some ideas for choruses or verses. Then we all meet at the rehearsal place, put some riffs in a row and Noora tries out the lyrics. Then we sort of hammer the basic structure of the song out. In a few minutes it's usually a GREAT SUCCESS! That's the typical writing process. Of course all the other members bring in riffs, songs and ideas and ”arrangements” for their own instruments so the finished or recorded versions are always very equally by all of us. You could say that the way we play together is an important part of the ”composition” of each song.

-what about the choice to sing in your language? why in your opinion Finland is a country where more bands (compared to most contries) are singing in their own language and not in english.

Many of our influences come from music sung in Finnish. Of course you have a deeper connection to your first language, writing lyrics or singing it. And also, just because there's enough bands in the world singing in english. We think it just SOUNDS more original, our sort of music with our own language. Finnish is a weird little language, harsh and beautiful at the same time.
In the 70's and 80's there was a lot of innovative rock, prog and punk songwriters doing it in Finnish and that still has a huge influence on the music scene here. Lyrics are important here, maybe even more so than the music, and most of the big local rock or schlager music hits here have a lot to do with the lyrics of the song touching people's hearts. And that's easier to do in your own language.
Of course, most mainstream music and lyrics here are shit, regardless of the language!

-what about the lyrics? 

Our lyrical subjects vary from song to song or album to album, but they tend to be quite dark and the view of the world and humanity quite pessimistic/realistic. There is an overall theme of destruction and evil in man. Destruction of nature, destruction of the human spirit. Kristalliarkki is a sort of concept album about a suicidal religious cult sect searching for ”the path of freedom”. It's a spiritual journey gone wrong. Kristalliarkki (the Crystal Ark) is an idea stolen from an actual local religious sect from the 30's, the Korpela Movement. They believed that a Crystal Ark would come down from the sky to take the chosen ones to the Holy Land. Unfortunately The Crystal Ark never appeared and the Korpela sect spiralled deeper into insanity, strange sexual rituals and rampant alcoholism with deeply religious twists. Our album is not about the Korpela story, but about the cultist mentality in general. We include English translations on all our albums covers, so you can get a clue of what we are singing about even if you don't know Finnish.

-can you choose a song you especially like in the new album and comment on how it was written and about the lyrics?

Tee mitä tahdot” is one of my personal favorites. There's a lot of 60's garage psych flavor and nice out-of-control instrumentation. And it features the autoharp, which is always a nice instrument. Lyrics are by our main lyricist Ilkka Vekka, and the chorus is basically a Finnish translation of ”Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. So in this one, there's strong influence from Aleister Crowley's law of the Thelema.

-psychedelia and is often associated with, metaphorically speaking, opening gates and discovering new paths and territories, and as a musical movement coincided with questionning the dominant values and experimentating new ways of living. how do you relates to that and what does psychedelia means to you personnaly?

Psychedelia is definitely more than just a bunch of established genre rules. Like which guitar pedal / which vintage amplifier / which vintage drugs make you sound ”psychedelic”. For me it's a fundamental idea of freedom in music, ”letting go” of the controls and getting lost in the moment. Embracing ”mistakes”, accidents and all sorts of unintentional noise. It doesn't happen everytime we play live, and you can't really force it, but sometimes you reach a ”different mental state” with collective improvisation. It feels like the music is playing you and not the other way around. ANYTHING can and will happen. It's a somewhat scary, extremely exhilarating, very liberating and highly addictive feeling. I personally don't do any drugs or drink alcohol, but I recommend music or arts in general as means to reach a ”psychedelic state of mind”. TRUE Freedom is at the core of all arts, and true freedom is always revolutionary. It always questions dominant values.

-if your music would be used as a movie soundtrack, what kind of movie would it be? do you like the idea?

It would be a dark dystopian art film of sorts, with some abstract slapstick black comedy tendencies and supernaturally evil undercurrents. Maya Deren meets Buster Keaton in a John Carpenter dystopia set in a dark finnish forest.
Wait, that actually sounds like a documentary on modern society. We'd like to be on a soundtrack for a GOOD movie, yes.

-do you think of something sound / interesting about Seremonia or Kristalliarkki that is never mentionned in reviews or interviews?

Many people seem to get what we are doing and where we are coming from quite accurately, especially outside Finland. Those who don't get it, usually dislike the stuff we really like about us. So I'd like to point out that it's the little things that are ”weird”, ”off” or ”wrong” about our music are the things that actually make it interesting and SUPERB. Same goes for pretty much all my favorite music. There's got be an element of strangeness, an element of surprise.

-what about working with Svart records, how did you get in contact with them?

We send them the recordings for our first album, and they wanted to release it. Same has happened with the two later albums and hopefully will happen with many albums in the future.
Svart is of course a great label, re-issueing great old stuff on vinyl and releasing good new music. Also, the record company guys don't bother us with useless music business jargon, which might be the case with some ”bigger” and more business oriented labels. And if it weren't for Svart, I don't think our music would have reached hardly any ears outside Finland, so they are effective ”business” wise, too. Thanks, Svart!

-which evolution would you like to see for underground music in the future?

It would be nice if the music I like would be on the radio or tv or whatever, but the thing with interesting underground action is that it is underground action. The mainstream eventually devours every new idea, but only in a dilluted, more entertaining form. Therefore you can hear things like krautrock influences on some current mainstream pop music, but a record like Guru Guru's Hinten will always sound too weird or too subversive for mass consumption. So I guess D.I.Y. music will continue to exist like it always did. Which is fine with me.
I'm not worried about the evolution of it either, there's a billion things happening everywhere. Maybe the recent internet era has made it too easy to exactly copy any spesific thing, like form a band that plays ONLY stuff that sound EXACTLY like 1994 death metal from Göteborg or Senegalian kora rock fusion from 1966, but I'm sure people will get over that aspect of it soon. Of course if you start to mix 94 swedish death with 66 kora from Senegal, then you may be on to something.

-do you play live? if so what's your approach to it? are you leaving a space for improvisation?

We enjoy playing live and do improvise quite a lot. We don't try to copy the recorded versions so every show ends up being a little different. Usually there's longer jam parts on many of the songs compared to the album versions. But we are no Grateful Dead, I'd say we're a psychedelic PUNK band in essence, especially live.

-what is planned for Seremonia in the coming months?

A few shows in Finland, probably some recordings for the fourth album too. We got many rocking riffs and interesting ideas ready for the next couple of albums.

-something to add?

Thanks for the interview! Hail seitan, tofu and soy sausages!

mardi 22 septembre 2015

Destruction unit - Negative feedback resistor (2015)

This one is rawer and wilder than most stuff released by Sacred bone records. This new album from Destruction unit, called Negative feedback resistor sounds a bit like Black flag drenched in feedback, played with a loose feel reminding The Stooges, and with some post-punk and psychedelia bringing a bit of melodies and eeriness. This is punk fighting with noise rock and following some dark acid trip to hell. Obviously this is really good, evoking the fell of freedom and danger rock'n'roll should always have.

The Bandcamp page.

lundi 14 septembre 2015

God harvest - Insulated (2015)

When I'm in need of some intensely aggressive music, grind-punk is my favourite prescription. So I'm really pleased when I discover a band like God harvest, with their new album Insulated, their first one (after a demo and a split). They play some good grind-punk, bordering crust but more dynamic and aggressive. Punk enough, extreme enough, with a good balance of d-beat and blasts, mid-tempo and accelerations, with elements tasting like some good ol' school death metal (really old school I mean, think Master more than Cannibal corpse). Ah the simple pleasures of life! This is exactly the kind of music I dig when it comes to metal / hardcore related stuff. Another cool band from the floridian scene.

Their BC page

Their Blog

jeudi 10 septembre 2015

Antigama - The insolent (2015)

The insolent is the seventh full lenght album of polish grinders Antigama. And this is truly a masterpiece in "math grind". They're often described as "cyber grind" and there is indeed a futuristic element in their sound, but they have a "real" drummer and I think "math grind" is more fitting to describe their music. Grind with sophisticated rythmic patterns and song structures. There's the "mathy" side of their music but it's still grind, even reminding Napalm death, but the most forward thinking Napalm death pushed even forward. There's diversity and surprises in the songs but also in the album, with faster shorter songs and  longer ones with slower, sometimes also more melodic, parts. Unlike many "math" or "technical"rock / metal bands you don't get lost and disconnect after a few songs, they manages to stay "catchy" and at the same time very intense throughout the whole album. A very satisfying album. To be honest I wasn't that much into their music up to now, but I really dig this album and it makes me want to rediscover the rest of their discography. The album is released by Selfmadegod records.

The Bandcamp page.

mardi 8 septembre 2015

ATILA - V (2015)

ATILA is the solo electro project of Miguel Béco, from Portugal, who also plays Black metal with ÖRÖK. V is (you guessed!) its fifth album and its best (Signal rex is releasing it). This is dark ambient / noise industrial soundscapes with witch house like synth and beats going from nearly dub / drum to techno. As usually in electro music there is a progression in the album with the beats getting more present int he music, but the dark noisy atmsophere stays king to the end. This is a strong, very well crafted album, that people into dark electro / noise will easily dig but that can also appeal to the metalheads that likes dark atmospheric stuff.

The Bandcamp page

samedi 5 septembre 2015

Goya - Obelisk (2015)

The new Goya album, their second, called Obelisk, is still heavily influenced by Electric wizard. That been said it's really well done and if you don't consider at all originality this is an excellent album. I think it's most consistent than their Ep Satan's fire, and more interesting than their first album, 777 (which was already really good in the Electric wizard worship) because it's less one-sided, especially thanks to two tracks in the middle of the album, the excellent acoustic "300 eyes" and "The sun" with it's faster pace. They really should do it more often. With the acoustic one they really manage to keep their ominous and dark psychedelic vibe and the fastest song is really rocking and brings a welcome change of tempo, breathing new life in the flow of the album. So i'd say the most striking moments is when they try something different, I don't mean that the rest of the album is not really good, but in my opinion they definitely should keep on experimenting different formulas and find their own way into the realm of dark heavy psychedelia.

The Bandcamp page

jeudi 3 septembre 2015

Adversarial - Death, endless nothing and the black knife of nihilism (2015)

Adversarial is one of those "occult" death metal bands (along with Mithochondrion, Portal, Antediluvian, etc.), they are from Canada (Toronto more precisely) and their second and nex album, released by Dark descent records, is called Death, endless nothing and the black knife of nihilism. What I like with this album is that we get the evil and chaotic feel that is the trademark of this "occult death metal" scene but we also get the old school riffing (with a chaotic and evil twist but not buried under a muddy and too much dissonant sound). Maybe we could say their are closer to a more chaotic Immolation than to Portal. Nothing groundbreaking but a well done and enjoyable death metal album.

The Bandcamp page.

lundi 31 août 2015

Amygdala - The horror of not being ablte to forget (EP 2014)

Amygdala is a new band from San Antonio and The horror of not being able to forget is their first EP (released last year). What they play is some very intense and hardcore somewhere between screamo and crust. rawer and most ferocious than usual screamo, more sophisticated and melodic than basic crust and with vocals that have something screamo but are also something else because those screams are so fiercely impressive, with an almost feral feel. Those vocals, from a female singer, are maybe what's the most striking about this band. But they also show good songwriting skills. One of the best hardcore release I listened to recently.

Their BC page.

vendredi 28 août 2015

Oiseaux-tempête - Ütopyia? (2015)

Oiseaux-tempête is a french instrumental quartet playing what we can call free-rock (with a bit of jazz and a bit of kraut). They released this year an excellent album called Ütopyia (their second one). The instuments are drums, guitar, bass and clarinet bass (which is a great addition to the music and help setting them apart from other post-rock bands), but also mellotron, piano, alto sax. There's also some spoken words (Jos from The Ex on one track) and samples, always bringing something to the songs. Their music can be melodic or more aggressive, hypnotic, quiet or nervous. The album is full of diversity and inventivity and it's always in the direction of building an atmosphere, a feel, no superficial demonstration of technique or crazy stuff for the sake of being crazy. It's really well crafted, interesting, and deeply moving.

highly recommended!

(this album really would deserves a longer and better review, but I'm too tired tonight... sorry... but just listen to it, really you should listen to it).

Their website.