Monday, May 27, 2013

black leather jesus - even deeper.

Black Leather Jesus - Even Deeper


36.67 MB

1. I Like Him To Worry And Still Have To Do It
2. Damaged By The Act

here's the other robert & leopold tape I promised - "even deeper" by black leather jesus. just one of the many monickers of richard ramirez, black leather jesus has featured a revolving door of supporting members over its twenty year history, with ramirez being the only constant. and the group has done splits with artists like deathpile, crowhurst, eugenics council, and merzbow, amongst countless others.

this c20, released in april of 2012, is filled with harsh noise and brutal power electronics of the highest caliber. ramirez never relents during these two tracks that, to untrained ears, will feel like pure torture. but those of us with a tolerance for this stuff will find a lot to love here, and this recording stands up as one of the best black leather jesus has to offer.

for more from ramirez and his many projects, check out his extensive bandcamp.

copies are out of stock from the label, but one tape is available on discogs as of this writing, so grab it while you can. and better yet, ramirez himself is selling that one copy, so what more incentive do you need? those of you in los angeles can check out mount analog, they might have a copy or two left. but wherever you are, do your best to pick this one up - it's more than worth your time and money.

(for preview purposes only.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

stormfront / necrostrigis - the forgotten demons of ancient glory.

Stormfront / Necrostrigis - The Forgotten Demons Of Ancient Glory


57.04 MB

1. Stormfront - All Ære Til Fandens Menn
2. Stormfront - Dyrets Oppstandelse
3. Stormfront - Hagridden
4. Necrostrigis - Night Sabbath Metal
5. Necrostrigis - Above The Profound Darkness Of Undergrounds
6. Necrostrigis - Fires Of The Devil's Blood

and now we return to our regularly scheduled programming with the cassette version of "the forgotten demons of ancient glory," a split from stormfront and necrostrigis, released on tour de garde in late 2012.

I had never heard of either band before this one, but the cover art and tour de garde label were great indicators of both the quality and style within. this is some old-school black metal with a primitive sound but surprisingly good recording quality. honestly, both bands sound very similar, but not in a bad way - they're both solid, with great riffs, high-pitched shrieks, and blast beats aplenty.

stormfront has been around for almost twenty years and only released a handful of recordings, while necrostrigis has only been around for three years but has released more than a dozen recordings. if you're a fan of the old-school sound (and who isn't?), definitely seek out whatever other material from these artists you can find. as usual, discogs is your best bet.

for a copy of this tape, swing by the fallen empire distro and grab one now. it comes with a nice j-card and a pro-printed tape - definitely a quality package, as is to be expected from a tour de garde release.

and while you're over at fallen empire, buy a copy of "alleviation prayer," the inaugural svn okklt release, by herukrat. it's fantastic.

(buy a copy from fallen empire.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

formative films - memento.

like most formative experiences, I remember the first time I saw memento like the back of my hand. it was late summer/early fall of 2001, I was a senior in high school, and after a lifetime of simply loving and being entertained by movies, I was finally starting to look at them as works of art. I had recently become friends with several people who took film incredibly seriously, some of whom even had career aspirations in the field, and memento was heavily recommended. my family and I traveled to the abomination known as new roc city. they went to see one film while I went to see memento, and I'm pretty sure I was the only one in the theater.

after those two hours were up, I left the theater and rejoined my family outside, and my perception of what a film could be and how it could function was forever changed.

as with all of the "formative film" posts to come, I will not be providing a detailed plot summary, nor will I make any attempt to avoid spoilers. these films are all at least ten years old, and if you haven't seen them by now, well, I feel sorry for you.

while the plot device that drives the film forward could be viewed as a mere gimmick, it's really anything but. christopher nolan's narrative structure and character development both rely on it to constantly shift the viewer's expectations moment to moment.

but even after all of the narrative and structural tricks are pushed aside, we're stil left with one astoundingly creative and, I'd argue, revolutionary choice: the protagonist and the antagonist are the same person.

nolan's choice to give his main character no ability to form long-term memories lets him play with the very notion inherent to all films that there is a good force fighting against an evil force. throughout the entire film, leonard shelby believes he is doing good by pursuing a force that he believes to be evil only for the final sequence to reveal that he's been chasing himself all along.

leonard is the man who (albeit accidentally) murdered his own wife, leonard is the one who gives himself an endless series of mysteries to solve, and nolan's choices in crafting this character are what truly make the film so memorable (no pun intended). this is a man so complex, so conflicted, that he can't even understand himself, nor does he want. he seeks nothing but the gratification of what he believes his purpose in life to be and can't (or won't) comprehend the repercussions.

in terms of production, memento is startlingly simple, almost deceptively so. there are only three significant characters and a handful of locations which, in terms of production, is about as bare-bones as a narrative feature can be. but the way those characters are slowly revealed, the way they gradually change thanks to the narrative's structure, that's nothing less than absolute mastery of the craft of storytelling.

leonard's transition from flawed hero to disturbed murderer, natalie's move from wounded lover to vengeful manipulator, teddy's change from potential suspect to tragic enabler, it's all mind-blowingly complex but presented with such a confident grace that we never once question anything.

ultimately, the film is about the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive each and every day. it's about the quest for something that gives us purpose, and about how we desperately fool ourselves into believing our own rhetoric. but at the end of the day, we're our own worst enemies. we're the ones who determine the paths we choose and whether or not our actions keep us on those paths.

and if it comes down to choosing to see the truth of who we are or retreating into our own cycle of lies, we run scared back into our own heads. because there, just like leonard, we are the heros of our own stories. we are the ones avenging others, helping the ones we love, triumphing over the hardships of life.

coming face to face with those truths can indeed be terrifying, but based on the conclusion of the film, I'd say nolan's ultimate message is that refusing to change and enacting those same destructive, deceptive cycles over and over again is far more terrifying from a philosophical standpoint than any acknowledgment of truth ever could be.

only by acknowledging the truth about ourselves can we move forward, otherwise we, just like leonard, will be trapped in a self-imposed loop that may help us feel heroic. in reality, however, we're just destroying ourselves and those around us through hollow, selfish actions.

so take a look at your own life. even if you don't like what you see, you'll be better off for coming face to face with the truth than you could ever be living inside of your own comforting delusions.

(stream memento on netflix.)

(buy a copy of the special edition dvd on amazon.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

formative films - an introduction.

in a desperate effort to have more film-related content on the blog, I'm going to start a series of posts called "formative films," detailing films that have not only shaped my cinematic tastes, but my professional and personal lives as well.

these are the films that inspired to me to write, to go to film school, to seek out internships, and to work with some of the people responsible for making independent cinema the inspiring, multifaceted beast that it is today.

while I still struggle every day to both make ends meet and establish myself in an industry that is constantly changing and filled with some of the most vapid, self-absorbed people on the planet, these films all continue to inspire me to push forward while staying true to my artistic goals. and every day I'm thankful for the academy award nominees, golden globe winners, and emmy winners that I've had the pleasure to work with and get to know over the years.

despite all of the hardships, it's still worth it. and it always will be.

hopefully my words will make some of you go and see these films for the first time, or maybe you'll revisit them in a new light.

or maybe you'll all hate these posts and only pay attention when I give you free music.

but I hope not.

music inspires me to create as well, but these films do so much more. they inspire me to go to new places within myself in the hope of bringing back something profound, which I believe is the ultimate goal of any artist who lives and breathes for his or her craft. they inspire me to see the beauty in the mundane, in the ugly, in the horrific.

basically, in everyday life.

and I hope they can do the same for you.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

kakerlak - unsafe vitality.

Kakerlak - Unsafe Vitality


54.77 MB

1. Untitled
2. Untitled

harsh noise wall is definitely an acquired taste, but once you've picked it up, there's no looking back. it's about as brutal and unrelenting as music can get, but a lot of longer releases by acts like vomir and the rita can be difficult to sit through all at once.

this tape, "unsafe vitality" by kakerlak, is right in that sweet spot - not too short, but not so long that you can't make it through in one sitting.

a c30 released in 2007 by monorail trespassing, "unsafe vitality" is dense, layered walls of harsh noise. there isn't a lot of variety here, but isn't that the point with this kind of music? just sit back and let the violent waves of sound pummel you into submission.

if you're not familiar with kakerlak or monorail trespassing, rectify that immediately. the former has recorded multiple collaborations with the rita and macronympha, amongst others, while the latter has released material by seminal acts such as prurient, âmes sanglantes, werewolf jerusalem, and aaron dilloway, plus many, many more.

monorail trespassing releases are available at many los angeles-area stores including mount analog and vacation vinyl, as well as directly from the label via their website. prices vary but most go for about $7.50 including shipping. they've got a great selection of noise, ambient, and loop manipulation tapes and I highly recommend all of them, even the ones I haven't heard yet - everything is that good.

(for preview purposes only.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

drowning the virgin silence - head cleaner.

Drowning The Virgin Silence - Head Cleaner


73.55 MB

1. You Hear Nothing
2. Two Clusters
3. Honey Moon
4. Tape And Wire
5. Head Cleaner

curious to hear more from robert & leopold after "have you come here...," I picked up a couple tapes at mount analog that piqued my interest.

the first, "head cleaner" by drowning the virgin silence," is not what I was expecting but a pleasing listen nonetheless.

although I wasn't familiar with the artist's prior material, I figured that with a name like "drowning the virgin silence," this would be some harsh, unforgiving noise. and while there's a little bit of noise here, this tape is primarily ambience, field recording, and acoustic guitar layered on top of each other to create something wholly unique and often downright soothing.

if you like what you hear on this one, be sure to check out the drowning the virgin silence bandcamp to hear more. everything is available on a pay-what-you-like basis, so grab some fascinating music and support the artist himself with however much you can.

hard copies are still available from the label, just click on the link below, scroll down a little, and you'll see it for only $8 in the US, $15 for the rest of the world.

more from robert & leopold coming soon.

(buy a copy from robert & leopold.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

âmes sanglantes - man and his becoming.

Âmes Sanglantes - Man and His Becoming


57.32 MB

1. Wanting To Be Born
2. Unmanifested
3. The Highest As The Lowest
4. Violet Flame

for a label with only five releases under it's collective belt, total black is shaping up to be one of the premiere noise labels in north america. their first three release all sold out within a couple days and their latest batch is almost sold out as well.

when your first two releases are from acts like âmes sanglantes and cremation lily, you know you've got a good thing going. and with a new batch that includes vast glory and the rita, I'm sure things will only get better and more interesting from here. I don't know how that's possible, but I'm sure brett can pull it off.

this tape, the first official total black release, is from metallic imagery mainstay âmes sanglantes, a project that should need no introduction. this is excellent rhythmic, synth-based power electronics with occasional vocals and whispers of melody. everything p.m. tremblay has released under this monicker is fantastic and this tape is no exception.

it's currently sold out from the total black webstore, but I've heard that some other distributors will be putting it up for sale soon. as for used copies, there's always discogs, but none are up yet.

nevertheless, grab whatever you can from total black - it's an excellent up-and-coming label with great music and tapes that not only sound and look stellar, but will probably become very collectible in the future. everything ships quickly, the artwork and packaging are great, and the music is amongst the best in the genre.

so don't miss out.

(for preview purposes only.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

cult of apophis - murder house demos, volume one.

Cult Of Apophis - Murder House Demos, Volume 1

I'll be honest, most of the demo submissions I receive will never get posted here.  the majority are terrible. others are good but just not in line with what I like to post. so when I get a demo that I enjoy and that fits in with the rest of this blog, it always puts a smile on my face.

but by nature I'm always very skeptical. life has taught me to trust no one and to expect the worst in pretty much every situation. when I received an email from ian, bassist for cult of apophis, with a link to their bandcamp and facebook pages, I wasn't expecting much. but seeing that the demo was short, I figured I'd give it a shot.

and am I ever glad I did.

like the previous band submission that I featured, cult of apophis are a new band on the scene, having formed early this year in michigan. they've only played five shows so far and released this demo less than two months after forming. I've gotta say, I'm pretty blown away.

"murder house demos, volume one" is a bubbling cauldron of black metal and doom metal that achieves the ever-elusive perfect mix of brutality, melody, and atmosphere that so many bands strive for but never reach. these three tracks run a little more than eleven minutes and everything is so solid that I've listened to it three times in a row without flinching and just cued it up for a forth.

it isn't totally groundbreaking but I'll be damned if it isn't great. and best of all, it shows incredible promise. there's no standout track - they all compliment each other perfectly - and when it's over, you're eager to hear more. I've been told that they have a second demo on the way, one track of which can be heard here. they're currently unsigned but I'm sure that'll change in the near future.

give cult of apophis and their inaugural demo a shot - no fan of this blog will be disappointed. and stay tuned to their facebook page for more info on shows, the next demo, and all future developments.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

ravendawn - s/t.

Ravendawn - S/T


45.09 MB

1. Upon Bloody Moonrises
2. Musty Bones
3. Metal Guts
4. Corpselaiden Nightmare Landscapes
5. Skull Extraction
6. Deep Red Dive
7. Chambered For Experimentation
8. Old Brains in a Gross Jar
9. Untitled
10. Untitled

universal consciousness has been putting out great tapes for a while now, but for some reason I had never picked one up...until now. they've recently released material by lord time and wrath of the weak, and their back catalogue includes music by harassor and moonknight, among others.

the new material by lord time and wrath of the weak is excellent, as is this ravendawn tape, although it's a very different beast. this isn't a new album at all, but a remastering of their first and only demo recording from 1997. and although it sounds better, you can still tell right from the get-go that this is lo-fi, no-budget black metal. but that doesn't mean it isn't worth your time - quite the contrary. there are plenty of blast beats, shrieking vocals, and barely-melodic riffs to draw you in and hold your attention throughout the nearly twenty-two minute length.

each universal consciousness cassette includes a pro-pressed tape and a card stock, letter-pressed j-card in a standard (sometimes colored) case, sealed with a sticker. the packaging is top-notch and makes for an instantly recognizable style - you'll never mistake a universal consciousness release for anything but. copies of this one are no longer available directly from the label, but those of you in los angeles should check out amoeba and vacation vinyl - they'll probably have a couple in stock. side b of this ravendawn tape includes the original mix from 1997, so if you want to hear that, you'll have to buy one.

oh yeah, it's also available from fallen empire...but what isn't these days? just click on the link below and select it via the drop-down menu - only $5.50 plus shipping.

(buy a copy from fallen empire.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

various artists - the copper roof houses.

Various Artists - The Copper Roof Houses


71.03 MB

1. The Copper Roof Houses - Intro
2. Damien Dubrovnik - Women Of The History
3. Lust For Youth - I'm Down
4. Lust For Youth - Tied Hands
5. Lust For Youth - Rose Keller
6. Blodvite - Främlingen

first released on cassette by posh isolation, this is the vinyl version of "the copper roof houses," courtesy of järtecknet. originally compiled and sold for a european tour, this album features some of posh isolation's most high-profile artists.

ranging from the ambient noise of damien dubrovnik to the synth-based darkwave of lust for youth to the tape manipulations of blodvite, this might sound like a very disparate compilation, but listening to it, everything fits together perfectly. just like every other posh isolation (and järtecknet) compilation, the tracks are sequenced perfectly and there's just a very unified feel to the whole record. it's all very dark, discordant, and distant. not to mention deeply satisfying.

so if you've enjoyed anything on posh isolation or järtecknet, don't hesitate to pick this up on vinyl or cassette. there's one copy of the cassette on discogs right now, and the vinyl seems to be available both on discogs and in a couple online distros...and, of course, mount analog.

(for preview purposes only.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

shiny black mater - eat, drink, and be merry.

Shiny Black Mater - Eat, Drink, And Be Merry


68.71 MB

1. Eat, Drink, And Be Merry
2. Corrosive People
3. Dwhera
4. Trough Your Tears
5. Le Volume De La Loi Sacrée
6. Ekwos
7. The Hole Deep In My Heart
8. L'Instrument À Voyager
9. Something Sweet Hurts Me
10. Drunk Patriot
11. I Never Heard So Sweet
12. Qu'elle Est La Cause?

let me preface this post by saying that I've had this for a while but have been hesitant to post it because it's totally out of left field - it isn't metal, it's not very noisy, and it generally defies description, so it's definitely not for everyone. but take a chance, because, well, why not?

with that out of the way, here we have "eat, drink, and be merry," by shiny black mater, released last year via brave mysteries. as stated above, I don't have the slightest idea how to classify this. it's genuinely unlike anything I've ever heard before or since, and the genre influences are all over the map. there's a neofolk influence, some ambient work, and probably some field recording manipulation (amongst a host of others), but I think it's best not to try too hard to categorize something like this. just listen to it and take it for what it is.

some tracks really work for me, some not so much. I love the haunting piano melody and ambience of "ekwos," and the dark neofolk of "dwhera," but some of the interludes are a little too esoteric for my tastes. nevertheless, I hope you all find something in this album to enjoy.

copies are still available directly from brave mysteries, so if you like it, support the artist and label by purchasing one. as with all brave mysteries releases, the packaging is great - the full color cover and green pro-tape make for a very visual combination.

if you're into weird, unique, and experimental music, this one should be perfect.

(buy a copy from brave mysteries.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

dommedagssalme - division.

Dommedagssalme - Division


80.12 MB

1. Belief
2. Burden

ever since "to that which lies dormant" came out via fallen empire, I've been a big dommedagssalme fan. a solo project by john marshall, there's nothing particularly unique about this brand of black metal, but there's something about it that just works. lots of repeating riffs, shrieked vocals and the perfect combination of ambience and melody result in black metal that's incredibly listenable. I hate that terms and I usually think it's a cop-out, but that's the best I can come up with right now.

this one, "division," is the newest dommedagssalme tape that was released late last year via legion blotan, another label I've featured before. these two tracks run a little more than twenty minutes each and they're both fantastic. anyone who enjoyed the tape on fallen empire will find a lot to love here.

dommedagssalme have two demo other tapes out on legion blotan and a self-released CDr full-length in addition to the aforementioned fallen empire release, and I highly recommend seeking all of them out. this is a band that definitely deserves more attention, and if they can keep releasing music of this quality, they'll get to the next level in no time at all.

copies are available directly from legion blotan for those of you in the UK, and from fallen empire for those of you in the US. alternatively, you can buy everything directly from the artist, so feel free to choose whichever option works best for you. no matter what, you'll end up with great music.

(for preview purposes only.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

ill omen - radiant behest of excessum.

Ill Omen - Radiant Behest Of Excessum


24.69 MB

1. Radiant Behest Of Excessum

after putting out a stellar full-length two years ago, ill omen have returned in 2013 with a pair of releases. the first, according to metal archives, is an EP, while the other is a demo. this is the demo - the shorter of the two - consisting of one epic track contained within equally epic packaging.

released by ceremonial oath, the label responsible for the cassette version of aosoth's "III", this lone track arrives on a translucent red cassette with on-body print housed in a clear, oversized case with lyrics and an insert. all of the artwork is gorgeous and fits the mood of the music perfectly.

and that music is black with some doom and death influences that all meld together into a seamless whole. it starts off low and slow before kicking into high gear a little after the three-minute mark. cavernous, raspy vocals backed by up-tempo riffs and drumming propel the track forward until a brief interlude around the eight-minute mark where the guitar comes to the forefront. after a few minutes everything comes crashing back in, barreling through the last couple minutes all the way to the end.

one track running fourteen minutes may seem to some like a tough pill to swallow, but this track moves so fluidly - it's packed with varied dynamics, tones, and passages - that it all flies by in a heartbeat. then you flip it over and press play again. and again. and again.

the always-excellent fallen empire still has copies in stock - mine arrived within days of purchasing. I believe the label also some copies left but their webstore is undergoing some maintenance now and has been for a while, so it looks like fallen empire is your best bet for now. but aren't they always?

do yourselves a favor and pick this one up. it's worthy of your dollars in every way - great music and great packaging, and you're supporting independent artists and labels, too. so grab one now.

(buy a copy from fallen empire.)

(for preview purposes only.)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

the thin white puke - sterile.

The Thin White Puke - Sterile


35.06 MB

1. Gulag
2. Fashionable Racism
3. Ulcer
4. Candid
5. Heat Stroke
6. Paper Or Plastic
7. Calloused Club
8. Animal Husbandry
9. Fixed
10. Spoiled Hand

those of you who took my advice and purchased "her strength" from cult of craft are probably already familiar with this one, as it was thrown into many orders as a special bonus. for those of you who didn't, well, shame on you. you're missing out on not only great music, but also some of the best packaging around.

mistakes aside, here is that special bonus - the thin white puke's "sterile."

released on cassette by cult of craft in 2012, this c20 is filled with harsh vocals and violent power electronics that remind me of deathpile's g.r. that was recently reissued by hospital productions, or maybe prurient's colonialist nature and misanthropy.

jarring, screeching power electronics and noise covered in angry, shouted vocals on a white cassette in a standard case with full-color j-card, this isn't the most extravagant of cult of craft's releases, but it's certainly the most brutal. any and all fans of power electronics should check out this release, as well as the thin white puke's split with failed rapist on sounding session, another excellent noise label.

(email cult of craft to request a copy.)

(for preview purposes only.)