Saturday, March 30, 2013

gevurah - anno mmxi.

Gevurah - Anno MMXI


45.61 MB

1. Scalding Sun
2. The Shores Of The Sitra Ahra
3. Vanquishing The Realms Of Creation

I'm sure we can all agree that fallen empire's most recent store update was nothing short of epic, and I'm also sure many people missed out on at least a couple things they were hoping to grab.

there was only one copy of this, gevurah's "anno mmxi" demo, and after hearing them on fallen empire's own svn okklt compilation, I jumped at the chance to pick up their only tape. and just days before the store update, profound lore announced that they would be releasing gevurah's debut ep, "necheshirion," in may of this year.

so with gevurah set to break out, here is their debut demo tape from 2011. both the sound and production are comparable to their track on the svn okklt compilation, so there really shouldn't be any big surprises here - just epic, fast, and furious black metal. these three tracks should give you just enough to chew on until the ep comes out (or leaks, depending on your personal preference).

the fallen empire store is down this weekend for the eternal warfare fest in salem, oregon, but it's sold out there anyway since I got the last copy. but as of this writing, there is one for sale on discogs, so snap it up quick because it's sure to become a collector's item in the near future.

and because it's a great demo filled with excellent black metal.

UPDATE: here's a better rip, courtesy of faithful reader who wishes to remain anonymous:

(for preview purposes only.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

âmes sanglantes - the sum of your disarray.

Âmes Sanglantes - The Sum Of Your Disarray


85.04 MB

1. Intoxicate Meeting
2. Obsessive Torment
3. Into Nothingness
4. The Sum Of Your Disarray
5. Seeker
6. A Long Time Ago
7. As You Choke On Blood
8. I Still Recall

as anyone who's heard it will know, the latest âmes sanglantes split with alberich is absolutely fantastic. so here, for your listening pleasure, is the previous âmes sanglantes full-length on dominick fernow's hospital productions label.

âmes sanglantes is the power electronics moniker of pierre-marc tremblay, who is better known as the mastermind behind the black metal project akitsa and ambient techno/experimental project contrepoison. plus, he's the owner of tour de garde and sans issue editions as well, so he's obviously a busy guy. and yes, this album is available on itunes, but these files are from my own personal rip. honestly, there really isn't all that much to say other than that it's just as incredible as his other material - harsh, abrasive, and chaotic, with a dash of rhythm.

if you like this one (and you certainly should), purchase the digital version on itunes or amazon. the cassette is available used on discogs for very fair prices.

so get on this great album before I'm forced to take it down.

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

dunnock - a forest of shattered promise.

Dunnock - A Forest Of Shattered Promise

if the formatting above looks a little different, that's because this is the first album that has ever been submitted to the blog for my review. and since this one is available as a pay-what-you-like digital relase on bandcamp, I won't provide a direct download link.

with that preamble out of the way, here we have dunnock's "a forest of shattered promise," available now on acephale winter productions. both the label and band are brand new, having been formed (according to facebook, at least) in january of this year. in addition to the digital version, a cassette edition limited to fifty copies is also available. 

stylistically, this is a mash-up of black metal, noise, and ambience, with some synth lines tucked in to add a little melody to the chaos. after two instrumental, mostly ambient tracks, the black metal aspect kicks in - pained screams and distorted guitars, all covered in a think layer of noise somewhat akin to luciform-era sutekh hexen.

after one more black metal track and another ambient track, "with raven feathers" comes to life immediately, and it's definitely a highlight. noisy black metal sections bookend what is mostly a melancholic, synth-driven piece. the next track, "I told you I was sick," is another long one that's split pretty evenly between black metal and ambient synth melodies. 

for the most part it works really well but, honestly, it's not all as seamless as it should be - the transitions between styles don't always flow into one another, and at times it feels a little too disjointed.

that being said, for a debut from a band that has only been in existence for a couple of months, there's both a lot to like here and a lot of potential for the future. although this isn't an earth-shatteringly original record, any and all fans of noisy black metal should definitely check it out and keep an eye on both dunnock and acephale winter productions - future endeavors should be very promising.

(note: if you're in a band or have a musical project that you think would fit in well on this blog, feel free to send a download or streaming link to

Monday, March 25, 2013

things to spend money on.

on the off chance that you all have piles of money to spend on audio formats that most people find obsolete, there were three store updates over the last four days. most of you are probably already aware of them, but for those that aren't, here's a rundown.

total black is a brand new label with stock that had been listed as "coming soon" for the last month, and everything finally went up for sale on friday. in addition to distro items, they have their first three cassettes up for sale - the first is from âmes sanglantes, "man and his becoming;" the second is from cremation lily, "lorient shield;" and third is a new tape and zine combo from sequences, "transient form." special editions of the âmes sanglantes and cremation lily tapes were available, but those are long-gone. and so is the standard edition of the cremation lily tape, so be sure to jump on the other two while they're still in stock.

fallen empire is back after founder mike's cross-country move from new jersey to portland and the wealth of goodness is simply too much to list here. there are dozens of new tapes and records for your purchasing pleasure, and you can be sure that they'll arrive quickly and safely thanks to fallen empire's stellar customer service. there's a text-version of the new arrivals here, so check it out and head over to the store - I'm sure several are already sold out.

colloquial sound recordings, one of the finest purveyors of cassette releases around, has just issued four new tapes (in very small pressing runs) and a zine from stand-bys a pregnant light, this station of life, and vestal virgin, as well as new additions deeper wells and quincunx, the latter of which is already sold out. audio samples of all releases are available, so be sure to check them out if you're unsure. but with CSR, it's pretty much impossible to make a bad choice. I can say that the this station of life tape and the a pregnant light/deeper wells split are both fantastic - jump on them quick before they're gone for good. and the best part? within minutes of ordering, you'll be emailed digital versions of your purchases, so you can start listening right away.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

dealing - '83.

Dealing - '83


29.9 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled

here we have yet another tape from ascetic house in yet another style. first there was bodi of light's darkwave, then there was sewer drainer's blackened metal punk, and now we have dealing's harsh noise.

like the sewer drainer tape, this one is also short and sweet. bookended by two dialogue samples, dealing's debut (from what I can tell) cassette packs a ton of harsh noise wall and power electronics elements into a tight seventeen minutes and change.

but this isn't your standard, vomir-style of harsh noise wall...there's just enough going on over (or under?) all that harsh noise to keep things interesting. whereas artists like vomir and HHL mostly sound like static for hours on end, dealing introduce tones and textures that weave in, out, and around the wall of noise to create something far less monotonous than one might expect. some tracks even throw in some rhythmic noise for good measure.

don't think that any of the brutal, harsh atmosphere is lost, however - it's just as vibrant as ever. in fact, I prefer it when a noise album shows some dynamic range - those peaks and valleys are essential to creating something engaging.

that said, and as with all prior ascetic house releases, definitely pick this one up. they recently released a new batch of tapes that includes restocks of the three I've posted, so if you live in the southern california area, you have no excuse for not supporting this great label.

and now that mount analog has a web store up, you can grab these great releases even if you're not local. this tape is available right here and the sewer drainer tape is available here, so pick them up and be on the lookout for more from ascetic house - with such a wide variety of sounds and styles, they've surely got something for everyone.

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

why you do this.

here is a point of convergence for both metal and cinema - michael dafferner's "why you do this" documentary.

dafferner is a member of new york-based band carbomb and this documentary chronicles his band's struggle to stay alive in the unforgiving modern metal scene.

there are a ton of great interviews with members of gojira, goatwhore, the chariot, and lamb of god, but the real meat of this documentary is carbomb's desperate attempt to stay afloat financially and emotionally while playing to crowds of a dozen people at hole-in-the-wall venues all over america.

the financial toll is hard enough. despite being signed to relapse - an underground label most metal fans regard as major - the band is forced to tour pretty much on their own dime, relying on merch sales to pay for the gas to drive to the next stop. at the end of one tour, they calculate their finances and figure out that the tour has not actually netted any profit whatsoever. instead, the tour has cost the band a few thousand of their own hard-earned dollars.

but they keep doing it - paying to get their music out there - not in the hopes that they'll one day become famous and get signed to a label that will cover their costs, but because they simply love making, performing, and sharing their music.

and this is a point that any dedicated artist can understand. every artist has been at a point where his or her art is costing more money to produce than is bringing in, and that's often a very difficult reality to come to terms with. how long does an artist let this cycle continue before it becomes too much to bear? this is obviously a heavy question and I'm sure the answer will vary from person to person, but I think an artist that is truly dedicated to and loves his or her craft will never stop. budgets may change, the scope and scale of the art may change, but that urge to create will never subside. no matter how low I've felt with regard to myself and/or my career, the one constant has always been creating art.

like dafferner and his bandmates, it's difficult to create your art without a receptive audience. but as with so many artists, an audience can and will be built, it just takes time - time and effort spent making art that is worthwhile, art that will give people a reason to care. it may take a long time for people to see it - many artists have died before seeing their work find an audience - but that natural, innate drive to create is so all-consuming that there really aren't any other options.

only to create.

(buy a copy of the dvd.)

(like carbomb on facebook.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

rhinocervs - RH-15.

Rhinocervs - RH-15


62.39 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Untitled
5. Untitled
6. Untitled
7. Untitled
8. Untitled
9. Untitled
10. Untitled
11. Untitled

after nearly two months of delays since it went up for sale, the newest rhinocervs tape, RH-15, is finally upon us. needless to say, expectations were high. message board speculation about the potential new style was running rampant, but not even in my wildest dreams could I have guessed the outcome...

the first side of RH-15 is completely ambient, with little hints of middle eastern rhythm, that sounds (to me) like a collection of intro tracks, not far removed from the intros on RH-07. it's not bad stuff but this isn't why I listen to rhinocervs tapes - I need my black metal fix.

so when the second side came on and I heard a blast of electric guitar, I was ecstatic. the riffs were tight, the vocals roaring, it was just what I was hoping for. but then after four short minutes, that furious storm of black metal faded out and the ambience faded back in. more acoustic tones, more synths, and more bells, even some chanting - but no riffs. just when you think it's building to an epic peak that will crash into a sea of the black metal we all know and love, the track fades out.

and just like that, the album was over.

the one black metal track is epic and fits right into the rhinocervs catalog. I'm sure many of you with a deeper appreciation for ambience and world music will appreciate the other 90% of this tape, and there will most definitely be some listeners who herald this as the most mature, forward-thinking rhinocervs release yet. it should be good for meditating or relaxing, but that's certainly not something I ever thought I'd say about a rhinocervs release.

maybe I'm dissatisfied because of my own sky-high expectations. but don't mistake "dissatisfied" for "disappointed" or "dislike," because neither of those are the truth - I was just hoping for (a little) more black metal.

that said, this tape is obviously sold out, but head over to the rhinocervs store to pick up some t-shirts and whatever other tapes are still in stock. they won't be there for long.

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

bandcamp roundup, part four - odds and ends.

for my final (for now) bandcamp roundup, I've picked five different labels representing a wide variety of music. darkwave, black metal, noise, power electronics - they're all here and of the utmost quality. some of them were missed while compiling past posts while some were only recently discovered, but they're all worthy of your time and money.

aurora borealis recordings - where to start...aurora borealis has a stellar lineup of releases available. sutekh hexen, menace ruine, blood of the black owl, dead raven choir, thisquietarmy - they're all here and worthy of your attention. definitely check out sutekh hexen's collaboration with andrew liles, "breed in me the darkness" and menace ruine's "union of irreconcilables."

diskret records - home to black metal, noise, and other experimental music, kr grauwacke's "slag heap" has been getting a lot of positive reviews all over the internet lately and it's definitely worth a look, especially if you're a fan of noisy black metal. also be sure to check out both cornered rat albums.

annihilvs - the brainchild of lee bartow, annihilvs has released his theologian recordings, his navicon torture technologies recordings, and several other collaborative efforts. all of it is first-rate, and I can't recommend it highly enough. my pick is NTT's "the church of dead girls." also be sure to check out his webstore for merch and hard copies.

hanson records - featuring albums from wolf eyes, skin graft, hive mind, and founder aaron dilloway's own solo recordings, hanson's bandcamp is a treasure trove of noise and experimental music. although the label's been around since 1994, the bandcamp page only went up fairly recently, so be sure to check it out. paid downloads include full-color artwork. my current favorite is skin graft's "dystrophy" - a track from this one, "blood gutter," was featured on steel trap.

beläten - this swedish label specializes in avant-garde and darkwave. while fairly new, they've already got several great releases under their collective belt. I haven't listened to everything yet, but so far my favorite is xiu's "possession" - excellent downtempo, dreamy darkwave that should appeal to fans of sans issue and avant! records.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

branding: the evolution of independent film.

in my last post about the modern film industry, I discussed the democratization of the tool used to create films. now let's look at the other side of that coin - the monopolization of distribution routes, the "independent" brand in modern cinema, and what it means for the future.

the independent spirit awards were originally founded in 1984 as a way to bring recognition to smaller films, films that couldn't even dream of competing with hollywood in terms of budget, star-power, marketing, and more. these were films that triumphed despite adversity and picked up distribution based solely on merit, and helped to instill hope in every generation of filmmakers since, myself included.

but when one takes a closer look at the nominees and winners for best feature, a question quickly becomes apparent: how independent are most of these films, really? and if they aren't truly independent, why market them as such?

let's look at a prime example, one that forever altered the landscape for independent film: "sex, lies, and videotape." whether or not you like the film, it's important to appreciate what it did to the market. here was a film producer for a relatively paltry sum by relative unknowns, just like countless others. but when it took sundance by storm in 1989 and ended up taking in close to twenty-five times its budget, hollywood saw an opportunity and seized it. "independent" slowly began to transmogrify into a brand, not a reality or even a mentality, but a label used to fool unsuspecting cinephiles into handing over money for something that no one ever struggled for and succeeded by the skin of his or her teeth.

at first, though, times were great. so many important, possibly even revolutionary filmmakers got their start in the independent boom of the late 80's and early 90's.  people like david lynch, jim jarmusch, the coen brothers, and gus van sant all used alternative methods to secure funding for projects hollywood wouldn't think twice about. and thus when these films became critically successful, hollywood would let itself be left out in the cold. thankfully, they owned (or at least had a stake in) every method of distribution - processing facilities, theater chains, home distribution - and saw a chance to make big money.

if there's one enduring hollywood story trope, it's the underdog success story. an overlooked, spat-upon talent struggles against the system, suffers a few setbacks, then finally emerges victorious just before the closing credits roll. but if this was a marketing plan instead of just a story? everyone loves to see an individual triumph over a massive opposing force, so what if the creation of the film itself is the triumph? by branding a film as "independent," studios hope to catch people's attention by leading them to believe that this one small film triumphed over their own machinations and found success on it's own terms. and so studios began offering distribution deals to the producers of these independent films. with distribution already in place, especially large-scale theatrical distribution, money to finance a production is easy to come by. everyone wants to be in the film industry and with a guaranteed return on investment, what savvy, starry-eyed investor could turn that down?

technically, of course, the film is still be independent, but certainly not in the traditional sense. but that technicality is exactly what the studios rely on. that technicality is what allows films like "silver linings playbook" to clean up at small awards ceremonies and glide into the good graces of critics and moviegoers who despise traditional studio fare. this way, the studios can have their cake and eat it too - they can create big blockbusters designed to do nothing more than sell tickets, then hedge their bets by releasing cheap, "independent" films on the off-chance that one will turn into a blockbuster.

and the resulting system is even more convoluted and disaster-ridden than the studio system of yore. in the end, hollywood's co-opting of "independent" cinema ends up drowning out the very films the movement was designed to promote in the first place - films by fringe artists who eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, and want nothing more than to tell a great story that gets seen by as many people as possible. the hope of a brighter future might still be there, but most artists will never find the reward at the end of that maze. or rainbow, or whatever other metaphor you choose to use.

obviously, this does not hold true for every single film out there. last year's "beasts of the southern wild" bucked this trend, but it's exceptions like these that prove the rule. and honestly, the current marketplace is so saturated that it's no wonder the studios have to do all they can to not only turn a profit but remain relevant. but nevertheless, the traditional methods of distribution remain monopolized by the studios and the fact remains that the ability to truly earn a living as a filmmaker almost always means aligning yourself with a studio, even if that alignment is distant - perhaps a subsidiary, or a subsidiary of a subsidiary. money always needs to come from somewhere, and it's unfortunate that hollywood has so much of it. small theaters and distributors try to fight back, but with such limited resources at their disposal, there's only so much they can do - the current model backs them into a corner that few ever emerge from.

the next time you see an independent film, take a look at the company credits. find out who the parent companies might be, or who has distribution deals with whom. trace that lineage back as far as possible - in the end, you might be very surprised by how corporate that supposed "indie" really is.

it's a shame - an almost unavoidable one.

and I don't see it changing any time soon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

various artists - steel trap.

Various Artists - Steel Trap


317.91 MB

1. Halflings - Justify My Love
2. The Nevari Brothers - The 42nd Hour
3. Envenomist - Festival Of Saws
4. Bacillus - Sharply Reduced Patient Survival
5. Bacillus - Botched Eradication Campaign
6. Bacillus - Fatalities From E.Coli 0157-h7
7. Bacillus - Gurney Transport To The Quarantine Ward
8. Failing Lights - Rogues At The Door
9. Evenings - Locked Inside
10. Devillock - Pushing Pleasure
11. Withdrawal Method - Hadak Utja
12. Skin Graft - Blood Gutter
13. Crook And Scourge - Black Copper
14. Prurient - Workroom
15. Prurient - Sponge Bath + Pierced Clit
16. Redrot - Murder Me
17. The Mossy Throats - Static Cage
18. Preyers - Nymphoma
19. Body Collector - Depression Vandals
20. Hive Mind - Clockwork Filth
21. Raven Strain - Lurid Form
22. Oil Of Beauty - Supplies For Building

mount analog is a never-ending source of great finds. I was able to snap up this epic noise compilation for only a third of what it goes for on discogs. this triple c60 was released in 2010 by chondritic sound and is limited to just three hundred copies.

featuring well-known artists such as skin graft, prurient, redrot, and hive mind, this doesn't quite have the variety of port out, starboard home or white eye of winter watching, but it's nevertheless an excellent document of a then-fledgling label staking it's claim in the noise genre.

packaged in a vinyl triple cassette case with three double-sided inserts, this compilation both looks and sounds great. the artwork is all black and white with extremely heavy contrast, and utilizes the same collage technique as most other chondritic sound releases.

sonically, there's not a huge range here - it's mostly harsh noise wall with occasional excursions into droning ambience and wild power electronics - but it's still a satisfying (albeit grueling) listen, and isn't that what really matters?

there are a few copies available on discogs, and I think there's one copy available at vacation vinyl in los angeles.

definitely worth a look, especially if you've been digging chondritic sound's latest string of stellar releases, all of which are available to stream and purchase on their bandcamp page. they all feature excellent packaging, spray-painted cassettes and cutting-edge music, so if you're not already familiar with the label, rectify that immediately.

(sides a and b.)

(sides c and d.)

(sides e and f.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

sewer drainer - s/t.

Sewer Drainer - S/T


14.62 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Untitled

here's a quick post for a quick album - sewer drainer's self-titled debut tape, out now on ascetic house.

this is some short and sweet punk-inspired black metal (or maybe black metal-inspired punk?) with a dose of noise thrown in for good measure. it'll definitely appeal to fans of bone awl, ashtodust, sump, and others in that vein.

honestly, there's not much to say about this one other than it's solid and over much too soon. hopefully they have a longer release in the works, or at least a handful more of these short ones.

it's available at mount analog and vacation vinyl, both in the los angeles area, and in the still-in-demo-phase chondritic sound online store, so order at your own risk.

definitely worth a look.

(for preview purposes only.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

sutcliffe jügend - we spit on their graves.

Sutcliffe Jügend - We Spit On Their Graves

9.4 Hours

767.92 MB

119 Tracks

since I'm sure most of you have no desire to comb through less-than-trustworthy russian torrent sites looking for obscure releases, I did it for you. and here we have one of, if not the, most essential noise/power electronics releases of all-time.

originally an offshoot of whitehouse, kevin tomkins' and peter taylor's sutcliffe jügend was named for peter sutcliffe, a notorious british serial killer. although they went on a long hiatus after this collection, they returned in the mid-90's and still seem to be going strong. more recently, they've released music on hospital productions and have even collaborated with prurient.

regarded as one of the harshest groups around back in the early- to mid-80's, every single one of these tracks still stands up today, and not just as mere curiosities of a bygone era. this stuff is harsh, brutal, and relentless - both in terms of sound and image, as each track title contains references to serial killers, sexual violence, or both. clocking in at close to nine and a half hours, this one is effectively impossible to get through in one sitting, but it's definitely worth the time and effort.

it's easy to see and hear the influence on the entire modern noise scene all over this release. artists like prurient, lustmord, alberich, theologian, and many more are pretty much all direct descendants of sutcliffe jügend (and whitehouse). it's fascinating to listen to this release and see how those newer artists have paid homage to and evolved both the aural and visual aspect of noise and power electronics.

if you ever hope to pick up a copy of this one in it's original cassette format, good luck. copies are all but impossible to find, and one sold on discogs in january for $1500 - a price high enough to come in at number two on the site's list of most expensive items sold that month. so hopefully this rip is good enough - there are some audible pops and cracks in the files but they shouldn't lessen anyone's enjoyment of this crucial piece of extreme music history.

(tapes one and two.)

(tapes three and four.)

(tapes five and six.)

(tapes seven and eight.)

(tapes nine and ten.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

worn vessel - creatures of decadence.

Worn Vessel - Creatures Of Decadence


59.68 MB

1. Rust And Ruin (We Are Now Dying)
2. Time Is The Killer
3. Fasting For Days On End
4. Things Are Getting Old (This Is Our Timing)

here we have another noise release from worthless recordings - "creatures of decadence" by worn vessel.

across these four tracks running a total of more than thirty minutes, worn vessel create waves of noise, drones, and ambience, all tinged with industrial undertones and cryptic, barely-discernible spoken-word vocals that lurk in the background, watching you and waiting to strike.

the packaging is great, as usual - there's a nice, full-color, fold-out j-card with artwork and track titles. the tape is clear with silver liners and full-color stickers on both sides. all in all, a great little package.

available for only $6 including shipping, this one is a steal - just like every other tape on the label. if séance wasn't enough to convince you that worthless is in fact worthy, I don't know if anything will.

but this one will certainly help.

(buy a copy from the label.)

(for preview purposes only.)