Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playlist - 09/30/09

If this list doesn't make you find the nearest Bible and turn it into a million weightless pieces of ash, then I don't know what will.

01. Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather - The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)
02. Grave Digger - War Games - Let Your Heads Roll
03. Anthem - Anthem - Warning Action!
04. Fates Warning - The Spectre Within - The Apparition
05. Iced Earth - Iced Earth - Iced Earth
06. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Thane Of Cowder
07. Shadow Keep - Corruption Within - Corruption Within
08. Znowhite - Act Of God - War Machine
09. Polterkrist - The Death Cell - God Creation Failure
10. Death - Leprosy - Open Casket
11. Darkthrone - Soulside Journey - Sunrise Over Locus Mortis
12. Halopent - The Ancient Of Days - Septic Torture
13. Halopent - The Ancient Of Days - Morbid Feast
14. Napalm Death - Diatribes - Just Rewards
15. Drugs Of Faith - Drugs Of Faith - Never Fail
16. War Master - Chapel Of The Apocalypse - Chapel Of The Apocalypse
17. Hail Of Bullets - Warsaw Rising - Warsaw Rising
18. Iniquity - Grime - The Bullets Breath
19. Carcariass - Killing Process - Lost In Agony
20. Benighted In Sodom - In Hora Maledictus Pt I - Discarded Halos
21. Aeternus - Beyond The Wandering Moon - Sentinels Of Darkness
22. Folkstorm - From The Pale Woodlands - Frozen For Eternity
23. Drudkh - Blood In Our Wells - When The Flame Turns To Ashes
24. Apolion - Hungry Of Souls - Life's Remains
25. Venom - Welcome To Hell - Welcome To Hell
26. Venom - Black Metal - Countess Bathory
27. Grand Magus - Monument - Ulvaskull (Vargr)
28. Candlemass - King Of The Grey Islands - Of Stars And Smoke
29. Catacombs - Echoes Through The Catacombs - Echoes Through The Catacombs

Cassette & Vinyl Rips: #'s 9, 22, 27
2009 Releases: #'s 12, 13, 16, 17, 22

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturn Form Essence - SFE000451208

My stool has been particularly soft the past several days and I blame my constant need of post-fecal-deposit-showers on the strange undulations on Saturn Form Essence's "SFE000151208." Why? Well, I've listened to the forty minutes of rumbling, stomach shaking drone about four times in the past week. You can gauge whether listening to the same sounds for over three hours was a waste of time on your own but my bowels feel clean and empty. It's kind of like the claims on the back of Earth's "Earth 2." You know the ones: "...found it difficult to think of the things that disturb me... Afterwards, everything seemed right with the world." Or, "When I got up, I could swear I was a few inches off the ground." How about this medical miracle? "My tension headaches have disappeared!" Saturn Form Essence's curiously titled sound experiment could claim the same effects and add colon cleansing to the list. In fact, I think I know who funded this recording:

Saturn Form Essence's music however deserves a bit of analysis. While it may have miracle effects, few will care to actually listen to it the whole way through unless inebriated, high or watching Baywatch in slow motion with volume on mute. Musically though, the single untitled track is an unwavering wall of dread and uneasiness. While most drone prefers to simply stay in one place for a moment then move to a new location like a tribe of retarded nomads, (not that nomads are retarded, but slow nomads... ahhhh you don't get it) Saturn Form Essence is fond of floating in the same place forever. While forever might seem like a long time, and it is, if you were placed in a cell, with no clock and no windows in the dark with only Saturn Form Essence playing, its possible you might live longer, the body's natural processes slowed down believing that each massive sweeping swell of synth is a unit of time.

Three aspects of comprise the entire forty-four minute marathon of numbness. The first and most noticeable is a low to midrange cresting melody of around four or five notes all played at the tempo which a dead snail's speed is measured. Occasionally this melody moves an octave higher, providing at least some sense of change however don't get surprised when it simply drops from the sky and plummets back to Earth (pun intended). The second aspect is the ultra low end rumblings which are the cause of my intestine-massage-treatment. This rumbling is static, never changing and always felt deep in the recesses of the core. The third and final aspect is a very faint static in the 16khz region. Though possibly nothing more than white-noise, it is there and because so little is happening, it is very audible.

If you allow the undulations to take over you, you may begin to hear phantom sounds, I occasionally feel as if I am hearing sonar beeps in the back of my head. This is most likely a bizarre waveform creation of the multiple effects coming into contact with each other. Ultimately, Saturn Form Essence have created an interesting soundscape though I don't know exactly what the purpose of such an exploration might have been. I do get a sense of cosmic expansiveness from "SFE000451208" but I would rather get that cosmic atmosphere from something more interesting and complex such as Darkthrone's debut, Soulside Journey. In terms of dread and uneasiness, Perdition is much more adept at producing those hateful energies. As for a straight ahead drone piece, it is worthy but doesn't award me anything when it ends. I would much rather listen to the Sunn O))) and Boris collaboration or Earth's early albums.

What I do like about this release though is the simplicity and seeming ease at which the sounds morph into new, but stale effects. The whole thing is a bit boring but maybe that was the idea. Hell if you're stuck floating around in space for hours waiting for your life to diminish, there isn't going to be a lot going on. Maybe a star here and a piece of debris there... but as you slowly watch the Earth or your live-allowing spacecraft float away, perhaps this could be the soundtrack to your plunge into the inevitable abyss that is the end of your existence.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blackspell - Interview

Demon of Darkness is a focused individual, with his mind set on the future of his black metal band, Blackspell. With a release now out on Thorn Laceration Records that, though rough in spots, reveals what could be the start of a large extreme metal scene in the middle east region, Demon is the go-to-guy to get a sense on what is going on in a very unlikely - and dangerous - part of the world for extreme metal to flourish but where there are metal heads, there will be metal.

CT: Thanks for answering my questions Mr. Demon of Darkness. Can you please update us on the history of Blackpell for readers with no knowledge of the band?

DoD: You are welcome. The history goes back to late 2008, when I was trying to make some songs. At that time, I created the song "Lies Blocking Your Eyes" but didn't record it until 4 months ago, then I recorded the rest of the songs in june 2009.

CT: Syria isn't known for metal, especially black metal. How did you come to discover black metal and what has it been like being a black metal fan in a country which has no scene? How frustrating is it to get the records you want?

DoD: The scene is healthy if we are talking about the Metalheads, they are very thirsty for extreme music and there is a big metal fan base but on the other hand, people here hate that kind of music but I think they will use on listening to it by the time. I discovered black metal by listening to some Immortal, Burzum, Mayhem... songs on the internet, in that time I was a huge Slayer fan - and still so - and I needed something more extreme to listen to.

CT: You would view the internet as beneficial to the metal scene then? What is your opinion on the ease at which people can find music freely online and the downloading culture we see so often these days?

DoD: Yes It is, I think it's a very good thing .

CT: I'm going to say that you weren't aiming to break boundaries with your demo, "Dark Winds From Black Sky". Why take the road of raw and primitive black metal as opposed to say, something more atmospheric and subtle?

DoD: Well, I've been really infleunced by many raw black metal bands like: Marduk, Darkthrone... etc, but I tried to make something new, to mix between raw black metal and melodic black metal -like what I did on "In The Cold Dark Woods"- and I hope that it's worked.

CT: Can you give a hint of your tracks on the upcoming split with Folkstorm and Morktar split? Will they be the same style as your demo? Can you reveal any lyrical subjects to us?

DoD: Well, the style is "Black Ambient," there are two songs and two covers, my new songs have almost no lyrics.

CT: How did you come in contact with Thorn Laceration Records? How has working with Chris been for you? I know you are releasing the split through Thorn Laceration Records. Do you think you will continue to release music through his label or do you foresee a label change in the near future?

DoD: Well, I did come in contact with him on Myspace, I knew Chris before he has the lable and he's a really good and smart guy. Yes I'll continue release music through Thorn Laceration Records, It's a strong and good lable.

CT: How did you go about recording the "Dark Winds" demo? I doubt there are recording studios available which would willingly take on a project such as yours.

DoD: I recorded the demo through my PC. There are few recording studios that let me play this kind of music in it, but it's expensive.

CT: What programs and equipment did you use to capture your rituals? How long did it take you to record the demo and how long did you spend mixing and finalizing your music before having it released?

DoD: I used my 20 watt bass amp, Phil Pro guitar, Echo 4 Strings bass and drums machine. I recorded "Lies Blocking Your Eyes" directly from my amp and the rest of songs by some softwares on my PC. It took only 4 days to be recorded and mixied. I bought some new equipments (ESP guitar, Marshall amp...) to get much better sound on my next albums.

CT: What would you say your lyrics represent to you? What meaning do you find in your lyrics? What meaning do you find in black metal that you don't find in other styles of music?

DoD: It's really good question. My lyrics on the Dark Winds Demo represent my feelings and hatred against all of my enemies. I found the truth and the freedom in Black metal, there is no hypocrisy in this genre,

CT: What artists and musicians have influenced you the most? Do you plan on including any Syrian folk influences in upcoming released or will you remain the same general entity? The Iron Maiden of Syrian black metal possibly?

DoD: Well, I've been influenced by many artists like: Marduk, Rotting Christ, Bathory, Immortal, Burzum, Xasthur, Darkthrone, Dissection, Moonblood, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral and many more... No I don't plan on including any Syrian flok influneces I'll remain the same.

CT: What Cd's, artists, movies, books have you been enjoying lately? What would you recommend to readers?

DoD: Artists: Rotting Christ (Sakis is one of my friends), Moonblood, Elimi, Mourning Soul, Circle Of Ghosts. Movies: The almighty Lord Of The Rings, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Books: anything for Lovecraft like The Call Of Cthulhu.

CT: How have your neighbors taken to your black metal? Surely metal is still offensive, loud and shocking in a country with no experience with the aggressiveness of pure metal fury!

DoD: Most of them used to it, I didn't play loud very much .

CT: Is it difficult to find like minded people in a predominantly Muslim country with no history of extreme music?

DoD: It's really difficult but not impossible , the people didn't read or listen about this music , they only listen to what other people say about it. I think if they listen to it or understand what it's all about they will accept it.

CT: How do you foresee the metal scene in Syria in the near future? Do you think it will grow into an underground movement? Is there fertile ground in Syria for a huge metal explosion? If so do you think there are any particular factors that might contribute to this?

DoD: I think yes It will grow, because there are many great bands in here like: Obia, Absentation and The Hour Glass and there will be more. The first particular factor will be: the people understanding for this music.

CT: Are there any particular resources for people interested in checking out the newest bands from Syria? Obviously myspace would be a good place to start but are there any Syrian fanzines focusing on the country's scene or any radio shows that play local metal and hard rock?


CT: Do you view Blackspell as having a particular role in bringing metal to Syria? Possibly in opening the minds of those around you to art and music that they would not have experienced before?

DoD: Like what I said before, there are many Metalheads in here, many black metalheads, and I did this record for them

CT: What are your views on religion? Do you adhere to a particular church or faith? If not, what would you describe your spirituality to be?

DoD: Sorry, but I prefer not to talk about religon .

CT: Would you care to comment on the political issues in the region? How has the Iraq war and democratization of Iraq affected Syria? Has it affected you personally? What are your thoughts on the Israeli / Palestinian disputes?

DoD: Excuse me please, but I have nothing to do with politics .

CT: What is next for Blackspell?

DoD: I'll release a new ep in the next month and I'll keep on recording new albums .

CT: Last words?

DoD: Thank you for the interview

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Playlist - 09/23/09

01. Mindless Sinners - Master Of Evil - Broken Freedom
02. Icarus Witch - Songs For The Lost - Out For Blood
03. Icarus Witch - Songs For The Lost - The Sky Is Falling
04. Sahg - Sahg I - Godless Faith
05. Solitude Aeturnus - Alone - Scent Of Death
06. Tristitia - The Last Grief - Slaughtery
07. Manilla Road - Voyager - Voyager
08. Venom - Welcome To Hell - Welcome To Hell
09. Death - Scream Bloody Gore - Evil Dead
10. Death - Human - Lack Of Comprehension
11. Watchtower - Energetic Disassembly - Meltdown
12. Watchtower - Control And Resistance - Instruments of Random Murder
13. Spiral Architect - A Sceptic's Universe - Insect
14. Ripping Corpse - Dreaming With The Dead - Seduction Of The Innocent
15. Sapremia - Existence Of Torture - Spawn Of Desolation
16. Morgoth - Resurrection Absurd - Lies Of Distrust
17. Hail Of Bullets - ... Of Frost And War - Hail Of Bullets
18. Hail Of Bullets - Warsaw Rising EP - Warsaw Rising
19. At The Gates - The Red In The Sky Is Ours - Neverwhere
20. Aeternus - Beyond The Wandering Moon - Sentinels Of Darkness
21. Hell Rot - Vomit Altar - Goat Chapel
22. Hell Rot - Vomit Altar - Marginal
23. Tod - Hate Campaign, Hymn To The Death - Blood Filled Eyes
24. Imynvokad - Tongues of Death - By Blood Does The Beast Arise
25. Wendess - Wendess EP - Par Le Vent
26. Bosque - Bosque / Senthil Split - Under The Capricorn Sky Part I
27. Nyctophobia - Beyond The Pillars - War
28. Dictator - Dysangelist - Sanctus

Cassette and Vinyl Rips: #'s 14. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28
2009 Releases: #'s 18, 25, 28
Background Music: Sunn O))) - Black One

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Playlist - 09/17/09

Position / Artist / Album / Track

01. Hades - Born To Metalize Split - Gloomy Sunday
02. Overkill - Taking Over - Deny The Cross
03. Whiplash - Messages In Blood (Thunderstruck Demo) - Spit On Your Grave
04. Whiplash - Messages In Blood (Looking Death In The Face Demo) - The Burning Of Atlanta
05. Hallows Eve - Death And Insanity - Nefarious
06. Blind Guardian - Follow The Blind - Banish From Sanctuary
07. Heaven And Hell - The Devil You Know - Fear
08. Oblique Visions - Seas Of Serenity - Sweet Tranquility
09. Morgion - Cloaked By Ages, Crowned In Earth - The Mourner's Oak
10. The Puritan - The Black Law - It Is Your Own Decision To Respect Life
11. Napalm Death - Breed To Breathe EP - Breed To Breathe
12. War Master - Awake In Darkness / Warplague
13. Morbid Angel - Covenant - Sworn To The Black
14. Death - Scream Bloody Gore - Evil Dead
15. Hail Of Bullets - Warsaw Rising - Liberators
16. Hail Of Bullets - ...Of Frost And War - Advancing Once More
17. Sodom - Agent Orange - Tired And Red
18. Drudkh - Forgotten Legends - False Dawn
19. Drudkh - Microcosmos - Decadence
20. Aeternus - Beyond The Wandering Moon - Vind
21. Aeternus - Shadows Of Old - Prophecy Of The Elder Reign
22. Astrofaes - Dying Emotions Domain - Path To Burning Space
23. Folkstorm - From The Pale Woodlands - Frozen For Eternity
24. Apolion - Hungry of Souls - Winds
25. Apolion - The Mute God Of Deaf Men - Into Chaos
26. Fornication - Stab - Evil Sperm
27. Fornication - Stab - Les Handicapes Du L Er Rang
28. Absu - Tara - Pillars Of Mercy
29. Nyctophobia - Beyond The Pillars - Beyond The Pillars

Tape / Vinyl Rips: #'s 1, 8, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29
2009 Releases: #'s 7, 12, 15, 19, 23,
Discussion Music: Moss - Cthonic Rites

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Immolith - Hymns To The Countess

With Immolith's newest EP, Hymns to the Countess, gone is the intimacy of the rehearsal demo in favor of a more accessible and professional sounding release. The modern guitar tone definitely plays to the legions of black metal fans out there who are soaking up the sounds of Watain and Keep of Kalessin. While Immolith still revel in the raw, simple-minded approach to black metal, I miss the sound of their demo. Regardless, Hymns to the Countess still proves that Immolith have much more left to spew forth. Opening the EP is a re-recording of "Ghost Tower of Inverness." While the song is generally unmodified in structure, a technical guitar solo and blasphemous harmonies have been included to help along the track's instrumental break. Second track "Slaughter the Legions" also plays with the idea of harmony and melody, offering a more straightforward structure to match the call to arms style of the track. Personally, I like this track the most of all the songs on the EP. It includes several interesting riffs and a very Graveland-inspired lead to match the song's marching feel. What stands out on this release is Isiamon's ability as a lead guitarist which took a backseat on the Rehearsal demo. His complex leads showcase the purposed simplicity of the riffs on the EP and contrast perfectly with the technicality of his guitar solos . Vocally, Warhead -- also on drums -- is adequate but not standout. His standard blackened vocalizations do nothing to really hurt the sound of the EP, but they don't really surpass my expectations. He's just... there. This is one area where I feel that Immolith have not yet found their way. But the main fault with the EP is Warhead's drum tone, which, admittedly, sounds way too processed and lacks the natural feel I found so inviting on the demo. Warhead's drumming is, as always, top notch. Once again, Immolith rounds off the EP with their excellent cover of Venom's “Countess Bathory.”

Playlist - 09/09/09

If you turn 9/9/09 upside down what do you get? 6/6/06. Pretty evil. Last night was the first official show. Though there was a vast array of styles and genres present, A lot of old school metal made itself present. And seriously, when was the last time you heard Morgoth on the radio? Yeah... You're welcome.

01. Metal Inquisitor - Doomsday For The Heretic - Doomsday For The Heretic
02. Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory - Dragon Lady
03. Napalm Death - Diatribes - Just Rewards
04. The Puritan - Lithium Gates - It Is Your Own Decision To Respect Life
05. Orphaned Land - Mabool - A Call To Awake
06. Blind Guardian - Tales From The Twilight World - Lost In The Twilight Hall
07. Hardingrock - Grimen - Fanitullen
08. Hardingrock - Grimen - Den Bergtekne
09. Drudkh - Autumn Aurora - Glare Of Autumn
10. Drudkh - Blood In Our Wells - When The Flame Turns To Ashes
11. Liege Lord - Master Control - Feel The Blade
12. Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings - Burning Oasis
13. Iron Savior - Unification - Coming Home
14. Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind - Revelations
15. Fates Warning - Parallels - Point Of View
16. Manilla Road - Spiral Castle - Merchants Of Death
17. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic - Crystal Logic
18. Morgoth - Odium - Resistance
19. Hell's Thrash Horsemen - ...Till Violence - Hell's Thrash Horsemen
20. Coroner - Mental Vortex - About Life
21. Forefather - Steadfast - Theodish Belief
22. Akercocke - Choronzon - Leviathan
23. War Master - Chapel Of The Apocalypse - Chapel Of The Apocalypse
24. Candlemass - Death Magic Doom - Hammer Of Doom
25. Ancient Blood - The Profane Hymns Of The Sovereign Darkness - Profane Devotion
26. Funerary Pit - Winds Of Hell - Fathomless Depths
27. Evoken - Antithesis Of Light - The Mournful Refusal

#'s 19, 24 - 2009
#'s 25,26 - Cassette Rips