mardi 31 mai 2016

Amygdala - Population Control (2016)

Population Control is the first album from Amygdala, and one I was waiting for because I have been really impressed by their EP The Horror of not being able to forget (read HERE my review). And I'm not disapointed by the album because their hardcore still sound as intense and heartfelt. While they don't really innovate they manage to avoid sounding as repetitive, predictable and boring as most hardcore band do, Amygdala sound like they are not flat and have one dimension more compared to most of hardcore music.

Their Bandcamp page.

dimanche 29 mai 2016

Cruciamentum - Charnel Passages (2015)

Charnel Passages from the UK death metal band Cruciamentum is an album that I should have paid more attention to last year, I knew them because their demo and first EP brought them deserved recognition in the underground DM scene, but for reasons that I don't really understand I wasn't at first very impressed by their first album. I was a fool because it is indeed very good, and it's for good reason that it was praised. Don't follow the hype too much, but sometimes "the hype" (well, we're talking about death-metal...) is right... That been said, what about the music? Excellent death-metal in an old school vein, not Swedish, but not completely American, although it sometimes reminds Morbid Angel with the heaviness, the grooves and the atmospheres coming nicely together. Dark and crushing at the same time with some first class songwriting skills displayed, so you memorize the songs easily even if it's not less complex than any other death metal. Highly recommended if you're into death-metal.

The Bandcamp page.

mardi 24 mai 2016

Haikai No Ku - Temporary Infinity (2016)

Haikai No Ku formed in 2012 as a "power trio" with Mike Vest (Bong, 11Paranoias, Blown out, etc.) on guitar, Jerome Smith on bass and Sam Booth on drums. Temporary Infinity is something like their fourth or fifth album. It delivers the expected amount of slow and heavy psychedelic rock drowned in feedback and delays. What set it apart from other psychedelic bands is the darker feel, evoking more lovecraftian unspeakable horrors than flower power. We could say it's somewhere between Bong and 11Paranoias with more lead guitars. In fact it would be closer to a nightmarish version of Blown out. Anyway if you're into heavy rock and dark psychedelia this is something you have to listen to. Strong stuff!

The Bandcamp page.

lundi 23 mai 2016

Concrete Mascara - Perennial Disappointment (2016)

This is not easy listening... this is power electronics. Concrete Mascara is an american power electronics trio and Perennial Disappointment is their debut on Malignant records (a reliable dealer in power electronics / dark ambiant stuff). But they had already released something like six albums plus other releases. They manage on this album to sound as "hard", extreme and abrasive as power electronics can but also easier to listen than other stuff of this kind because each tracks have it's own thing that makes it different from the rest of the album, unlike their previous album "History of Ruin", some tracks have rythmic elements (there's a good technoise track for exemple), some vocal parts, some instrumentals, more ambiant tracks. It's very extreme but not too much, too dense and boring. An excellent and, hum... "enjoyable" power electronics album.

Their blog

some tracks on Soundcloud

jeudi 19 mai 2016

Victims - Sirens (2016)

Victims are one of the pillars of swedish crust, nearly twenty years of existence and with Sirens their sixth album. Dicharge is an influence of course but along D-beat you have faster parts and also mid-tempos, and also some more Motorized rock'n'roll elements, like the guitar soloing. There's also an important epic / melodic elements that can link them to "neo-crust" as well. They are rooted in the Discharge / Motorhead tradition but avoids being as repetitive and predictable as many crust / d-beat bands. Sirens is an enjoyable listen, and probably among the best crust  /D-beat albums you will hear this year.

The BC page.

mercredi 18 mai 2016

Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, Oren Ambarchi - Tea Time for Those determined to compeltely Exhaust every bits of this Body they've been Given (2015)

They don't really have a band name but that doesn't mean this album is a one shot, actually it is the sixth one by the the trio Keiji Haino, O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi. Haino, who played in the famous Fushitsusha, is doing guitar and vocals (screaming and speaking more precisely), O'Rourke (who was in Sonic Youth for five years)  is playing the bass and Ambarchi is playing drums. This album is the second half of their live set at SuperDeluxe in 2013. Overall their avant noise kraut free psych' rock reminds me a bit of Aluk Todolo, they comes from different places but meets (and excels!) int he same dark psychedelic waters. Hypnotic rythmic patterns and far out lead guitar, with a dark disturbing atmosphere. Especially the first instrumental track with it's "motorik metal" drumming reminds Aluk Todolo (and is as good). The two others tracks are even more weird and have a more pronounced "free" feel (but keeping a pusating rhythm as a backbone), with also the vocals of Haino adding tot he bizarre / tortured atmosphere. The third track goes further into minimalistic noise territory. This release is really an excellent one and makes me want to discover more music from these three artists. Highly recommended!

Excerpts from the album on Soundcloud

mardi 10 mai 2016

Column of Heaven / Suffering Luna split (2016)

This split is the last release from Column of Heaven and that alone would be a reason to listen to it. But in fact the Suffering Luna side is even better. Column of Heaven was one of the best and most interesting hardcore band, with their bleak and aggressive hardcore with noise elements (into the songs and as instrumentals). With their seven tracks on this split they really end on a high note. Strong stuff. Suffering Luna doesn't seem to be a very active band nowadays but I hope I'm wrong because their 17 minutes track on this split is a monster. Their ritualistic noise sludge with howling sax displayed here is one of the most impressive and memorable thing I heard these last months. With their excellent and innovative take on hardcore / sludge / noise these two bands released a really great split. Highly recommended listen! (I already listened to it many, many, many times myself so I know what I'm talking about...)

The BC page.

dimanche 8 mai 2016

Horse Latitude - Primal Gnosis (2016)

Horse Latitude is a finnish trio, with drums, and two guitarists, one playing bass guitar, and the other ...bass guitar as well! that gives the band its very primitive and raw sound, adding a nice twist to their funeral / drone doom. There's also some noise elements, and Moog parts to bring a bit of melody and an extra dose of weirdness to the atmosphere. Yes atmosphere, this is all about atmosphere, evoking some very old forests, the realm of ancient beasts or some terrific rituals at night. On their new album Primal Gnosis, their fourth one,  the songs are less memorable their on their previous one ( Black soil, a true masterpiece. You can read the review & interview I did then HERE), but anyway this one is even more about raw atmospheres, with longer and even more minimalistic songs, with good noisy and more metallic and savage peaks. Another good album from a very special and interesting band.

The Bandcamp page

dimanche 1 mai 2016

The Afternoon Gentlemen - S/T (2015)

The Afternoon Gentlemen, from the UK, have been around since a few years (2009) but this self titled release is their first album (after some Ep's and splits with very good bands like Suffering mind, Lycanthropy, Chiens, OSK...). And this is a very good album, their lyrics about drinking are not very serious (but no less than bands singing about zombies or whatever) but their music definitely is. Crazy but supertight and intense grindcore. One of the best recent band in grind and this album is confirming their quality. Really good stuff.

Their BC page.