Monday, March 20, 2017

Misanthropic Forest - "demo" (2017)

Misanthropic Forest - "demo"

Year: 2017
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Country: Finland

Tracklist:
  1. Nothing but Whores
  2. Purging Fires of Mars
  3. Before Men There Were Others
  4. Victories over a Time There Was

As long nights close in, and winter's teeth are slowly bared by a snarling autumn, you could easily imagine the raw, visceral howls of this Finnish DSBM project carrying through a darkened forest in the blackest reaches of the night. A harsh, uncompromising paragon of underground black metal spirit, the debut release of Misanthropic Forest is challenging and grim. As part of their demo submission, they sent me a statement, as follows: "political issues are irrelevant in our context. Misanthropic Forest is about hatred towards human life and we refuse to be categorized as red, anarchist or any other politically motivated music." They explained their lyrical themes as being "about nature and misanthropy how humans are destroying world and how this planet will be better place without mankind". 

 The band originally recorded these tracks in 2014, but errors made in drum tracking led them to decide they could do better and that the songs needed reworking, and they hope to have a new album out, including improved renditions of the songs on this demo, within a year. That being said, their spokesperson made it clear they're in no rush, and want to really do the music justice. This demo was released so that the original recording would be available, to not let the session go to waste. They also declined to make their lyrics public at this time, as part of a conscious effort to allow the final album release to define the songs, as they plan to reveal some of the lyrics then.

Musically, the guitar work is fast, ferociously so in places, but carrying undeniable melody. The drumming is hard and aggressive (although I understand why they thought the recording quality let down the songs a little, even on a lo-fi underground release it needs improvement), and the vocals are desperate, lower and rougher than on some black metal releases, more in the vein of Hate Forest than Wolves in the Throne Room. The opening track of the demo, "Nothing but Whores", is tempered with a sorrowful ambiance, less outright harsh and confrontational than the other songs, surprisingly beautiful even in the midst of misanthropic melancholy. "Purging Fires of Mars" steps up the pace, allowing frenetic and aggressive guitars to the fore to build an atmosphere of violence and hatred. 

"Before Men There Were Others" is a harsh continuation of their establishing sound, with fast guitar and blast beats hammering through your ears, which drops off suddenly into the gentler, slower lead-in to "Victories over a Time There Was", which has the feel of "Nothing but Whores" far more than either of the tracks between. For all they are gentler bookends to the middle songs, offering a subtle contrast to the nihilistic ferocity that comes across unbridled elsewhere on the album, they are by no means gentle songs - they carry much of the same depression, rage, and sorrow of the rest of the album, only a little more restrained. Hopefully their full-length will be out before too long, so we can appreciate their music unhampered by technical issues. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Through Chaos & Solitude - "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun" (2017)

THROUGH CHAOS & SOLITUDE "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun"

Year: 2017
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Germany
Tracklist:

  1. The Intransigence Of The Soul
  2. A Heart Of Eternal Winter (And The Longing For Your Warmth)
  3. If This Is The Best We Can Get Then I Am Disappointed

As I'm writing this, autumn is beginning to set in. It's been raining all day, and the dark pines lining the valley where I live are stark against a close, grey sky, wreathed in mist. It's the perfect backdrop for the gradual unfolding of this brilliant demo from Through Chaos & Solitude. From the project's solo member, Tim Rule - "The thawing winds of the morning sun is us. Mankind. We are our own blessing and our own curse. We are the stroke of wing which causes these winds to blow. We try to become god ourselves while declaring him for dead and still we deny our nature. We subdue the earth and it's children and still we strive for more. By now we already realized our purpose and we willingly choose to neglect it. We're flying directly into the sun and still we're accelerating..." 

The album opens with sampled winter winds and gentle guitar work, a soft lead in to one of the best albums I've heard all year. The guitar advances into a faster, tremolo-picked melody, and the vocals hit. The pace and sound of the first two minutes, and the mournful atmosphere they evoke, are to me the perfect example of the real beauty of black metal - sweeping, cold, building a vision of nature in all her bleak glory. 

When I was very young, my grandfather built me a tiny cabin at the back of his heavily forested block of land. Recently I've not had many occasions to visit it, but the last time I made the trek it was a fight through trees suddenly overgrowing the path, brambles snarling out in the light rain, until I reached the cabin. It was nestled back into a forest that seemed more imposing than it had when I was younger, and the blank windows conveyed a strange sense of nostalgia, loss, and somehow the end of innocence. The lyrics of that first track, "The Intransigence Of The Soul", read as a conflict born out of the same feeling - seeing your innocence disappear as you grow and learn, and suddenly the world is more complex than you can understand, everything makes you afraid and confused, and your mind has snarled itself beyond hope of escape in seemingly impossible contradictions. "Intransigence" deals in this way with a sense of existential dread, both a fear of and longing for death, a struggle building intensity through the song, and ending with a desperate series of unanswered questions, screamed out at the universe, the gods, nature, whoever, in fact, might be listening to souls lost in the winter. 

The next track, "A Heart Of Eternal Winter (And The Longing For Your Warmth)", opens peacefully, again, with gentle guitars, before my only minor sticking point with the album appears, in the form of the sung vocals.While the screaming is harsh, imposing, but somehow ethereal, and the spoken passages perfectly underscore lyrical points of importance, for me the clean singing was slightly too muddy to really add to the music. That being said, I'm a bit puritanical when it comes to clean singing in black metal. Strong lyrics, revolving around Norse mythology, delivered through a layered mix of harsh vocals to excellent effect, weave through the guitars and double kick hammering, to build a wonderfully cold and sorrowful picture of a banished god, stalking the forests of Midgard as the three winters close in. 

The final song on the album is where the really heavy central themes of the "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun" come into play. The guitar eases off, taking on a softer, more ambient feeling, and allowing the lyrics to really come across early in the song, before building back up to an intense finale. "If This Is The Best We Can Get Then I Am Disappointed" considers, as the title suggests, the miserable state of human affairs, the contradictory nature of our philosophies, our ideals, even our existence, in a piece of music that really conveys the tormented and conflicted existence we are privy to. The short section of spoken vocals which close the track, and the album, to me perfectly express the feeling of the whole artwork; 

"I am disappointed in us, I am disappointed in me 
If we’re not here for a reason, what is the existence that shall be? 
Is this really the best that we can be? 
Then please have mercy and let it end with me" 

I look forward to seeing what's next from this excellent black metal project.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Svordom - "För dom som är ensamma" (2017)

SVORDOM "För dom som är ensamma" (For those who are lonely)

Year: 2017
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Country: Finland
(translation "For those who are lonely").
Track List:
  1. Vräker mig själv
  2. Snabb död
  3. En dag i homs
  4. Ovän
  5. Snutjävel
  6. Blodet kokar
  7. All you fascist are bound to lose (cover)

Svordom is a hardcore punk band from Turku, Finland. Formed in 2014.
This is their newest EP called "För dom som är ensamma" (For those who are lonely) and can be dowloaded directly in bandcamp, just like the rest of their material. 

Dödläge - "Ritual Slaughter" (2017)



DÖDLÄGE "Ritual Slaughter"

Year: 2017
Genre: Metallic Crust
Country: USA

Track List:
  1. Sanctuary rites
  2. Internal crisis
  3. Victims of drug war
  4. Draconian law
  5. Starving for change
  6. Overdose of reality
  7. Pride of manipulation
  8. Architects of pression
  9. Hidden graves
  10. Enslaved profit
  11. Neohumanity
  12. Passive observers in a violent world
  13. Bloodsport
  14. Merciless onslaught
  15. Ritual slaughter
  16. This is bliss

Dödläge is a band from Portland, OR. That has been featured on our blog before and you can check it here.
This is their newest album with a very agressive sound, take the time to listen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Siechtum - "...durch die Augen einer gequälten Seele"


SIECHTUM "...durch die Augen einer gequälten Seele" (through the eyes of a tormented soul)

Year: 2017
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Country: Germany

Track List:
  1. Eine grausame Geburt (a cruel birth)
  2. Trauma
  3. Und kein Weg hinaus (and no way out)
  4. Macht sie euch unternan (make them under you)
  5. ... durch die Augen einer gequälten Seele (...through the eyes of a tormented soul)

Siechtum's "...durch die Augen einer gequälten Seele" explores real suffer and despair showing the "life" of a pig in food production. This album is a journey of a tortured soul, as it happens to countless of cursed individuals in the mills of meat machinery every day.

If you want to buy and support this project you can do it writing directly to Siechtum here: Waheela666@gmx.de

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cowardice - "Without Condolence" 2016

COWARDICE - "Without Condolence"

Year: 2016
Genre: Sludge/Doom/Black
Country: USA

Track List:

  1. No Sovereignty
  2. The Tearing Down
  3. Synthetic Edens in a Crippled Will
  4. I Yield My Prayers
  5. Eroding Ethos
  6. Lower Tiers of Life

The debut album of this New Jersey project opens without pomp or ceremony into a harsh, grinding, distortion-heavy track called "No Sovereignty", which sets the tone for the album - grim, painful, lending a sense of hopeless emotional ache at the morbid wreck of modern society and refusing to apologise for its own bleakness. The second song, "The Tearing Down", seems to be something of a reprieve, with gentler tones, and an almost bluesy riffing, before the twilight descends again, building up into the same cascade of asphalt tones, of dying civilisations and agonising descent into a world of madness.

"Synthetic Edens in a Crippled Will" is back to a heavy blackened sludge, churning through visceral riffs, and an increased sense of desperation in the vocals and arrangements, more intensity building to a sudden drop-off into nothing. The transition to the only instrumental on the album, a surprisingly gentle guitar piece called "I Yield My Prayers", flows well, allowing a softer side of their sorrowful sound into the foreground, and contrasting the dull misery oozing from this album with a gentler, although not painless, track, more restrained than the rest of the album, but employing its relative calm to excellent effect.

"Eroding Ethos" builds slowly and mournfully, allowing a little more of the melody from "I Yield My Prayers" to weep through, but this time in the setting of their more usual sludgy style. The guitar work is intricate and rewarding, and harsh vocals, a little more sparse on this track, rend through the mix beautifully. "Lower Tiers of Life" is an enthralling finale, the longest track on the album at over twelve minutes, atmospheric and moody as it draws through rises and falls, building further with each, perfectly encapsulating the mood and feel of the album in one apocalyptic movement.

"Without Condolence" has a feeling of liveness to it, and I can imagine the intensity and pain of the tracks conveying even better in small-venue concerts - definitely a band to see, if you're in their area. Speaking of which, the guitarist of the band, Julian Cardazone, informed me that they're seeking artists with a similar sound to work on one or more splits with them, so if you enjoyed the album as much as I did, and you want to work with them, either contact the band directly through their bandcamp or Facebook (both of which I've included links to above), or email me and I'll put you in touch. Beyond that I can only reiterate that I really enjoyed the album, and I recommend you give it a listen and support the band. I think we can expect interesting things from them in future.

T.G.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Introduction

Hello all, I'm a new writer on this blog, looking forward to getting started. I live in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I've been a black-metal-loving tree-hugging anarchist for a few years now (and a vegan, had to mention that), and it took a while before I realised there was music I liked out there that aligned with my values - the first time I listened to Wolves in the Throne Room was a brilliant experience. Since then I've got further and further into Cascadian black metal, alongside folk metal, crust, sludge, grind, melodic death, in fact just about anything. My email should be in the "About" section of the blog by now, so please feel free to send demos and albums my way, and don't be shy if it's not within my usual range, I'm looking forward to hearing what's on offer and sharing my thoughts on it. Cheers, T.G.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pradera - "Maldita Ciudad" (2017)

PRADERA "Maldita Ciudad"

Year: 2017
Genre: Punk rock
Country: México

Track List:
  1. Lunes
  2. Caripez
  3. Mala etapa
  4. No quiero morir
  5. Falacias

Pradera is a punk rock project from México City and The port of Saint Mary, Spain.

DOWNLOAD 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Wind in his hair - "Earthwrecker" (2017)

WIND IN HIS HAIR "Earthwrecker"

Year: 2017
Genre: Neocrust / Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Germany

Track List:
  1. The guts of the land
  2. Sequoia
  3. Old light
  4. Earthwrecker
  5. Black bark, red roots

Wind in his hair is a melodic neocrust band with influences ranging from atmospheric black metal to hardcore punk. The bandname refers to a first nation chief called "Wind in his hair" from the movie "Dances with wolves". The name was chosen to show solidarity with indigenous peoples and their struggles without exploiting native identity in any form.

The lyrics are all about nature, primitivism, anarchism and respect for Mother Earth. All members are vegans (most of them also straight edge) and support the ideas of rewilding and the concepts of sustainability.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Infantile Dissention - Inordinate Deathrock Discord (2016)



Country of Origin: America

Year: 2016

Genre: Anarcho punk / Deathrock

1. Trans Panic
2. Organic Crumbs // Broods of Death
3. Fasces
4. Polystyrene Graves
5. Resistance Shit
6. Hidden Ploy
7. Pious // Scumlord
8. Nothingness
9. Buried
10. Cute Girls
11. Black Guards
12. Kanto Cracks

download

Rad powerviolence mixed with anarcho punk with very deep lyrics, Infantile Dissention screams against trans oppression and prejudices, system failure, life monotony and government shadows on us. Very great 12 tracks full of meanings. Give a check.

"[SHIT] wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, first of all by fitting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the many, and so for mankind"