Posts Tagged ‘Noise’

Gravetemple is a who’s who of extreme music creators, from experimentalist Oren Ambarchi, to black metal avant god Attila Csihar and drone icon Stephen O’Malley, and their ‘Impassable Fears’ bridges esoteric and spiritual worlds through unadulterated heaviness of sound. Svart Records will unleash this celebration of volume and density in June.

As ‘A Szarka’ begins to emanate from the speaker, a menace buils within fuzzy feedback and a ritual thudding. Polyrhythms rumble from underneath scowling feedback, while croaking vocals draw you into a hazy, mystic void between realms. Full of uncomfortable sounds, moments that sound like beasts of darkness and fear scratching on the walls of our world, ‘Impassable Fears’ is not only music, but an experience. Csihar describes it as a contemporary Shamanism, and with the ritualistic and mesmerising ‘World Out of Date’, you are sucked into a world that is not quite your own.

Haunting instrumental ‘Karma’s Claws’ provides a breather from the intensity, as does the creepy electronica of ‘Domino’ before the terrifying monolith of the title track drags you back into madness. By the time ‘Eternal Endless Void’ hums you to a disturbing sleep, you’ll be exhausted, drained and thoroughly ready for another go. These creative gods have brought us yet more wisdom us mortals cannot yet fatom. Gravetemple are mysteriously and inexplicable essential.

https://www.svartrecords.com/artist/gravetemple/

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Natum Abortus - With the Strength of Sin

Extremely raw Swedish black metal spliced with noise elements is the name of the game with Natum Abortus, and their debut demo recording ‘With the Strength of Sin’, currently available in limited numbers on cassette from Carvetii Productions. This is fucking nasty shit right here.

Opener ‘From the Blackest Pits of Hell’ is almost ear splittingly intense, with seriously low fi guitar mixing with horrendous shrieking and the same can be said for the murky and ultra raw ‘Satanic Baptism’. It’s like a black hole of noise, dragging you into oblivion all the while the voices of madness claw at your mind. The self titled closer is the real test of sanity though; seven plus minutes of crackling noise, sounding like someone is kneeling on the microphone while the video from the Ring starts playing.

Natum Abortus have created what seems like an endurance at points, where their black metal becomes so raw it is almost too much. If you’re into this kind of ear molesting carnage, then you’ll have a field day with it. Pretty much reinventing the word ‘raw’ for the genre, Natum Abortus are like a black metal stress test, and it ain’t easy to pass.

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/product/cp004-natum-abortus-with-the-strength-of-sin-demo-cassette

https://www.facebook.com/natumabortus/?fref=ts

Litost cover art

Mekigah, Australian purveyors of weird and evil doom noise, released ‘Litost’ near the end of last year, and I was encouraged recently to check it out. What a terrifying ride it was…

‘Total Cessation of One’ starts us off with a menacing synth line, building slowly with strange ambient noises in the background. It is rather unsettling in parts, but leads us perfectly into ‘The Sole Dwelling’, a raw slice of droning doom replete with strange buzzing ambience. ‘Litost’ seems to be one of those records that is written in order to disturb, to unsettle. ‘Arangutia’ is more of the same; haunting and dark. The slow burn build of each track helps to add layers of menace, and makes the execution chilling. It is very minimalist, and so each crackling vocal or thrumming buzz of feedback seems more prominent.

I’m not usually a fan of this kind of dark ambient stuff. I’ve started listening to it more recently, and some I like and some I don’t. This is definitely leaning more towards the like I think. Mekigah have caked their music with a thick layer of darkness, and so the rare guitar moments are dense and jarring. Everything builds and swells from the bottom, and the grim truth is that ‘Litost’ is grimy and raw. Dense atmospherics permeate the gloom, and so the jarring ‘Sa Fil Al Dracului’ is instantly effective.

‘Litost’ is not an album for the faint hearted, nor non aficionados of dark ambient. But if you take the risk, you’ll find a rewarding selection of pieces. Its affecting, but it isn’t much my thing. That being said, I enjoyed listening a lot, and it’s probably the longest record of this kind I’ve ever made it through. Worth a pop

https://mekigah.bandcamp.com/album/litost

 

Iron Scorn cover art

Well, it’s time for Legion of Andromeda to prove me wrong! When I reviewed their demo at the end of 2013 for Sleeping Shaman (second review I did for them ever!), I commented that it might be difficult to listen to their particularly fucked up brand of noise for a full length album. Well, their debut, ‘Iron Scorn’ is out now and I snapped up a vinyl copy as soon as I could. Look how beautiful this vinyl artwork is by the way; a stunningly stark illustration that is truly unsettling. Kinda like the band themselves….

‘Transuranic Ejaculation’ begins our 42 minute descent into the most unnerving parts of the human condition with a dense, dark wall of riffs. There’s a horrible hynoptic effect here, like being forced to watch your friends and family being sucked into the void over and over. Vocally, the opener is on par with some of the more disturbing things I’ve heard in a long time. It is the perfect encapsulation of what Legion of Andromeda are all about.

‘Iron Scorn’ features three of their four demo tracks from their first release, and is good for those who missed them the first time around. Steve Albini’s production has added a bit of density to them, but has sucked none of the nihilistic sludge from their core. ‘Overlord of Thunder’ is still death/doom filtered through sewage, ‘Cosmo Hammer’ is still the sound of brain death through repeat bludgeoning and ‘Sociopathic Infestation’ is all about the menace. But it’s the new tracks that do it for me here.

Be it the droning, other dimensional chug of hatred laid down by the howling ‘Scourge of Pestilence’, the desperate shriek of ‘Aim at the Starless Sky’ or the straining, guttural beast that is ‘Fist of Hammurabi, Legion of Andromeda sound like the death of galaxies. ‘Iron Scorn’ is as bleak as the cold dead corners of space, and riddled with suffocating density. Simply put, this is what falling into a black hole probably sounds like.

https://www.facebook.com/legionofandromedaofficial

https://legionofandromeda.bandcamp.com/

I’ve read a few of these lists already in the last month or so, and even though I am now perpetuating the idea (how long before we do ‘best of so far’ lists every month?), I think it is still viable as a point of interest. 2014 has been a pretty damn fine year for extreme music already, and we’ve just reached August. Now, advance warning here, I am NOT including any of this year’s record which I haven’t heard yet. So, as good as the new Wolves in the Throne Room record is supposed to be, as I haven’t heard it yet I will not pass judgement. It’s inappropriate, and unfair. No doubt it will appear in my ‘year-end’ list if its as good as I’ve read. Any way, top 10.

10: Origin – Omnipresent: I only heard this for the first time last night, and I’ve already ripped it twice since. Origin do tech death with astonishing violence and masterful dynamics. It’s a vicious, sleek death metal record that will flay skin from bone.

9: Obituary – Inked in Blood: Now, I am lucky enough to be reviewing this for my good friends at Sleeping Shaman, and so I’ll keep the details to myself but nonetheless it is top 10 material, no doubt.

8: Killer Be Killed – S/T: This is a definite highlight for me, a supergroup that matches it’s potential astoundingly. First track ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’ starts almost every playlist of mine at the moment

7: Arch Enemy – War Eternal: Arch Enemy release a new album after losing their most iconic weapon in Angela Gossow. Thankfully, Alyssa Gluz-Whyte is more than up to the task and this is a new melodic death metal classic

6: Vader – Tibi Et Iti: Polish death metal legends create yet another ripping, tearing death metal album full of death and metal. Well, it’s never gonna be anything else is it? Brutal

5: Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun: Mastodon may never equal ‘Crack the Skye’ but ‘Once More Round the Sun’ is the progressive coupling of grace, crushing riffs and catchy ass songs. Love it

4: Mount Salem – Endless: A surprising album for me, a debut of a female fronted doom band that has captured my imagination. Vocals are lush, riffs are huge and the whole air of the occult makes the complete package.

3: Triptykon – Melana Chasmata: Tom G. Warrior’s mesmerising journey into the darkness is awe inspiring at every turn. No one should have been able to better ‘Eparistera Daimones’, but he did

2: Boris – Noise: A band that can rarely do wrong, and rarely fits any kind of genre or structure. Boris ARE my favourite band, and ‘Noise’ is an elegant record that takes all their myriad sounds and condenses them into one beautiful whole.

1: Behemoth – The Satanist: What more can be said? For Nergal to return from leukemia to music is miracle enough. To create one of metal’s most defining records in the 21st century is even more staggering. Dripping with evil, twisting black metal in new and malevolent ways and leading the armies of darkness into the light, ‘The Satanist’ will take some beating this year.

 

But we still have new Electric Wizard to come…