Saturday, April 10, 2010
This band is one of the reasons that I continue doing this stuff, another indie self-sufficient artist that creates the most intricate and yet simple atmospheres of symphonic black metal. These guys found me and sent me some tracks for the show while waiting on the pressing to finish on this album to send out, the tracks were incredible and the album as a whole is worth the short wait. I must say it again, that the Satanic themes of nihilism are not only cliche, but are mainly spouted by assholes who know nothing of anything that is Left-Hand path, philosophical, intelligent or even legit, they just clone themselves after an image and shoot their mouths off when in reality they are actually just exercising their sphincter muscles and spouting out feces. Maybe I'm just bitter, but actually it's just that I get sick of bullshit, I fight against it, yet am continually surrounded by it and it's usually the ones preaching to be against it that are the worst offenders and piss me off the most. Music and art is not a pissing contest about image, it's about real feelings, thoughts and actions, and as said in reviews of recent albums by bands such as Kult Ov Azazel and Brown Jenkins, there are bands staying within their realm but doing genuine rebellious music and saluting originality and intelligence. So here's another band along similar lines in going it their own way, finding their own inspiration and doing it on their own terms.
As a science student of 11 years and counting, I've taken my share of math and physics courses and read some insane and abstract stuff on my own, and always wondered why there was so much material there for nihilistic and chaotic themes and yet no one seemed to be using it, until now. The band name alone, plus the cover art and title, shows an interest in the underyings of the universe, the fact that it is continually heading naturally toward disorder, the crazy mysteries contained within, and the mind fuck of debating it all. I had several people tell me that the only way quantum physics and string theory stuff makes sense is if you smoke a joint or drop some LSD and then sit down to work at it, that way you lose the normal sense of reality and "sense" , and can explore the universe by a completely different and natural means.
The actual music here is symphonic,atmospheric black metal, similar to Velvet Cacoon and Wolves in the Throne Room, although a bit more spacey aura as if floating through the vast dimensions of the universe , or that of having on an outer body experience. There are a lot of similarities to other reknowned artists, but this one-man project like Gravsahl, Hellveto, and many other has something that makes it unique as its own. Maybe it doesn't break new ground in sound, but it does expand the listening experience a bit as you traverse through the 6 tracks on the album. For those looking for a genuine listening experience, to be experienced in the dark, or in your mind as you wander through the strangeness of your own daily life and observe the oddities and seemingly empty and almost pointless existence of humans, this is one to check out. It may not be bludgeining and brutal, but is deeply cryptic in its own way and completely awesome. One of my recent top picks.
Another brilliant addition to the world of Power Electronics, this is some uneasy listening, apocalyptic and esoteric as well, but amidst the turmoil also comes some deserted and unperturbed textures of a cratered and barren surface completely deviod of life aside from your own. The feel of a storm, complete with thunder and the pandemic of the down pour of rain told through audio. The use of tape loops and real hands on recording and production is present here, not to mention a completely intense and equally distinct atmosphere. There are many layers to this abyss of electronic sounds, each one delicately planned and placed, with surgeons precision in each cut made into the compositions, each type of instrument/effect/sample specially located to create the right incision into the conscious and subconscious reality of the listener. This is the type of stuff that doesn't need, but could very well contain hidden messages to warp your mind and slowly turn you into a true psychotic. A subliminal, explicit, and well crafted audio journey into the darkest cavities of your mind and soul, the genuine experience of meeting your evil side and facing it, but ultimately losing to it as you begin to slice through your skin with the blade-like object closest in reach. The authentic feel of losing yourself into a schizophrenic mind set where senses and perceptions are confused, some completely lost, as you dangle over the edge of sanity and want to let go and plummet, but can't yet.
I really respect artists like this one, whose name I will leave out for a sense of anonymity, who are true to what they believe and speak. No hypocrisy here, no elitist shit, no bullshit, just honest Fuck you, humankind is worthless overall. I'm becoming more and more pissed off at labels and crap, NVS and anything supported on this site is against bullshit, the real DIY and independent spirit lives on!!!!!!!
As a long time veteran of the electronic/harsh music scene, this is the type of shit that got me out of metal as a 14 year old delinquent with stuff like:Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Cubanate, and so many more, but that's not even scratching the surface here. Where many artists in the power noise/post industrial arena make purely apocalyptical and chaotic sound experiences, this artist choses to give you the precursor to chaos, the sensation of the end approaching and the moments leading up to the climax, and the desolate feeling of the aftermath. There's some great pulse of a beat running behind this music in the track "Flesh Dekomposition" that gives it the build up and feeling of movement toward the edge, but never pushing you over. The bleak, yet even soothing, hums of electronics surround the listener as one feels as though the worst is over and they are now picking up the pieces and hoping to move on, which is where most of the true horror begins.
There is something haunting and surreal about this music, it's very simple, but well done, as if the artist wants to entrance you into the feeling of being a captive by some psychopath, held bound in a damp and filth ridden cell, and hearing the footsteps of the captor outside the door pacing as you anticipate the next act of torture. The dripping of the wet runoff, the sweat, the darkness, horrid stench of mildew and rusted metal, the clanks of the chains as you writhe with fear, and that Goddamn humming of something in the distance... possibly an electric shortage in the works, or the sound of the next tool to be tested on you being sharpened.
Yes, that's some sick and fucked up stuff right there, but that's my interpretation of it and this is extreme music here so it fits. If you fear themes of death, disorder, chaos, torture, distress, abandonement of hope, you wouldn't be reading this anyway I'm sure, but if this is your first time don't be afraid it's a truly natural and animalistic sensation. Not an experience for the weak and timid, this is the sound of true anticipation of doom and inevitable pain on the horizon.
No Visible Scars is a true DIY label specializing in the real and intense audio experience, and one to absolutely check out if you are into this stuff or would like to be introduced. This is real atmosphere created here, audio art, and sensation, the true measure of the "extreme" and "Cult", "Grim", so fuck all the elitist shit that claims to be such by producing mediocre dribble, this stuff here and anything featured on my site is the real shit folks complete with the smells and foul taste in your mouth if you're not ready for it. Really disturbing and gruesome, yet exquisite stuff.
Friday, April 9, 2010
As this is a DIY and extreme/obscure and independent music site I am always beyond stoked to be able to review stuff like this one." What the hell is this stuff ? ", is the type of response this stuff will trigger when played to untrained ears, but honestly even I can't answer that well enough except to say that it's some sort of dark psychedelic distortion experiment.
Several things come to mind while listening to this : Nurse With Wound, the tape loops and sampled/jarbled feel of the effects; Acid Mothers Temple with their more experimental soundventures; Circle, for the eccentricity and mixture of musical elements; James Plotkin and his billions of musical projects; maybe some Einsturzende Neubauten; Faust; Guru Guru...the list could go on forever. There's so much ingenuity and atmosphere within this 3 track album, that it's hard to say that it's anything but trippy and a must for anyone into anything just mentioned. This would also go over really well for the drone heads into Sunn, the Southern Lord catalog, older Earth, and all of those instro/guitar/effect projects, Bass Communion, throw in some Aphex Twin even. This is a crazy concoction of some guys running amok with effects, musical equipment, LSD, and some massive THC buzz. Definitely like old kraut/weird stuff, which is one of the main reasons that I dig it. Cool, trippy, crazy, unusual audio. If you truly dig the trippy, you must hear this Seattle based group. Fans of Japanese experimental from the 70's up until now will really enjoy this one (AMT,Brush, Circle Triangle Square, Marble Sheep, Green Milk From the Planet Orange,etc. ).
As a music fanatic, especially of the unique and independent variety that create real soundscapes and stay true to the art of underground music, this artist was exactly what I was looking for and am able to find thanks to indie/DIY labels like Debacle, NVS, and Frequency 13. Running my own DIY thing, even with backing of great known artists, look at the reviews, and affiliations with sites like Hellridemusic.com, it's still an absolute bitch to get labels to work with you, even though it's free advertising for those pricks and many claim to be DIY, "Cult", "underground", "indie" and all the other bullshit terms associated with stuff that falls flat and is no where near what it claims to be. Due to artists like this and some of those just mentioned, it makes it worthwhile to keep it going.
To describe this album would be to say that it lies somewhere between Krautrock (the more spacey and komische), ambient, decent showgaze and minimal electronic (no beats). Maybe imagine Boards of Canada in their more soundscape and less groovy tracks, some Aphex Twin (early years) ambient, Robert Rich, Biosphere, all combined. This music evokes the feel of a mellow morning, the sun coming up, a great filtered synth describing the blowing of a wind through the trees, the loops continuously hypnotizing you deeper into a trance as the first track is about 14 minutes in and then suddenly a distorted guitar comes into the mix and the loops speed up...then it just shuts off. It starts back up almost like it's ignition won't start completely and it skips,then returns fully with a bit darker ambient feel, but also a lot like Boris on their shoegaze album Flood. There's a certain sense of true DIY here, as if it's almost a live recording done all in one shot and is completely improvised and the artist can really use effects and make it all come together... true ambient genius here, and that's only describing the first of two long tracks.
The second is very much an experimental attempt gone right, this one is very ambient again until it reaches halfway, then it comes in full force with screeching feedback and distorted guitar, that makes me want to jump up and scream Boris, or think of some weird black metal/instro/crazy project. This stuff here proves that true artists are still in existence, true underground and spontaneous music is being made, and that ambient is anything but boring, no drone here, but drone heads would dig this shit for sure. Check out and support real music, support real labels with real artists that they actually support, not bullshit them and the rest of us. All of these cdrs are hand numbered and limited, I love the DIY packaging even, but it's well done DIY and almost feels like some weird vinyl find somewhere in a dusty crate with only a white label and clear slipcover.
Monday, April 5, 2010
One more nail in the coffin of crappy black metal recordings claiming to be reminiscent of the old Burzum days of Norge, where true raw power and lo-fi was original and emotive, but now has been cliched and reduced to basement recordings of vocals sounding like the vocalists gonads are attahced to a car battery by jumper cables and the ignition is being turned on and off at random as the guitars and drum machine pound pathetically behind it all. This stuff is definitely polished for something very basic and simple done my a single man and his inspiration to do so. Brown Jenkins has been making some seismic waves in the underground for a while now and came to me of all people so I bought this album from him directly and am in total agreement with the general opinions of the mans work.
Although basic and stripped down, it really has a true complexity to it, a real sense of song structure, emotion, and rhythm. Nothing here is redundant or stale, for an album centered on bleak and grim music this album has a ton of life within it. Several bands responded to me recently about my reviews and said that I was genuine and that obviously took the time to listen to the stuff that I reviewed, and I did so here as well. For all those black metal haters that claim it to be unsophisticated dribble obviuosly haven't heard this and half the stuff that I'm really into. Hopefully artists/bands like this will turn the right heads and convert some over.
Take the track "Ashes in Her Mouth", the vocals are completely reminiscent of the deep death metal growl, but so well executed that they actually sound as though they are a harsh wind blowing across a snowy plain or through cold and stark forest. There is actually some melody amidst the fuzz, time changes, and actual dynamics in this song alone, but also the entire album. NOTHING on here is repetitive in a boring and lack of creative effort way, it's all solid and another album freezing with the chill of a snowy arctic desert.
There's a true hopelessness and isolated feel here, abysmal, straight from the catacombs. The vocals really add so much to this project, they have a more atmopsheric feel and aren't hidden behind the mix as they are in lots of the more esoteric sounding black metal stuff (which I'm a huge fan of as well). A more sophisticated version of old Xasthur days, with some elements of Wolves in the Throne Room/Velvet Cacoon/Nadja, but stands apart as it's own. There is a unique sound and feel here that proves yet again that this music is just as valid and worthy as any other. Metal and extreme/underground music is about individuality and freedom of expression, the true art of expression, and is constantly being bulldozed over by mediocre crap that claims to be what it's not and "True", "Cult",etc. I'm real, legit, speak my mind, never follow trends and truly understand the idea of being an "individual" and that's why I like what I do, get a ton of shit for doing so, and put the effort in for those of you who are like minded. Raise your middle fingers high and salute the real shit, here's some more of it coming your way.
I'd also recommend highly: Benighted Leams, Dormant, Finnr's Cane, Ebonillumini, Old Corpse Road, Gravsahl
Check this man out at: http://www.myspace.com/brownjenkins13
and (I'm hesitant to put labels here because they have been pissing me off as of late, but that's a whole other pile of shit to avoid stepping in for now) : http://moribundcult.com/
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Another blistering album of war metal just seething with fury and hate, this is some seriously fast and massively aggressive metal, a steam engine of malevolence and sadism heading your way. Thrash heads take note.... this is true headbanger fuel of the highest octane rating!!!!! An audio recipe of Kreator and Funeral Mist hacked to bits and blended with shreds of with some Kult ov Azazel, a pinch of the blood of Bathory, simmered in Blood Feast and a drop or two of the oil of Bestial Mockery and heated over the flames of hell. The old days of speed, technicality and incredible aggression are returning with this Polish bird of prey, pillaging the posers and blitzkrieging the pathetic.
Of all the stuff that comes my way, especially as of late with my collection mainly consisting of classic and rare death metal and crust, this one proved yet again that something wicked this way comes. You old school thrash/metal heads like myself will gladly lose yours in the blades of this shredding machine of metal. A triumph to be heard by another band that manages to create the sounds of the glory days and spew it out with just a slightly different stench of rotting bowels and necrolust. If anything here has triggered your senses then PICK THIS FUCKING THING UP!!!!!!!!