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Tales From Bandcamp: Mgla – Exercises in Futility


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Exercises in Futility VI

“As if you didn’t know how it feels to lose
As if you didn’t know how it feels to lose at dice with fate

At least have some dignity

As if it wasn’t a lifetime spent on connecting the dots
There was no pattern
As if the irony was more than a defense mechanism
And we could actually laugh for a change
As if steel hooks in our backs were more than a nuisance
And we could actually feel something

Self crucified – missed the right tree
Tore the wrong eye out
The hissing of hellfire
Self crucified – missed the right tree
For this I have gained a victory
I burn as I ought to

As if everything was to be made right one day
Dreams don’t come true for people like us
As if the gods were bored with peace in our hearts
And their fingers are itchy
As if we never broke people out of sheer boredom
And slept calmly among the wastes

And then we see bright and clear

As if we would be someone else
While mindlessly wandering through the mountains
As if we would be someone better
Expelling purgatory in Latin alphabet

Self crucified – missed the right tree
Tore the wrong eye out
The hissing of hellfire
Self crucified – missed the right tree
For this I have gained a victory
I burn as I ought to

As if all this was something more
Than another footnote on a postcard from nowhere
Another chapter in the handbook for exercises in futility”

 

Tales from Bandcamp: M by Myrkur


a2196000438_10Since I received the promo for the debut record from Myrkur I believe I have hit a record for the amount of times I have written and then deleted my review.  This is by far from saying that there is little to say about the album.  In fact, there are lots to say about this groundbreaking record.  I just didn’t want to fall into cliché over-emphasizing that the record is a one-Woman project nor under-emphasize a solid female voice in black metal.  I didn’t want to beat the dead horse of picking on the kvlt elitists I’ve seen saying not such nice things about any black metal that isn’t Mayhem or Burzum (and then pretty much becoming no better than the elitists themselves).  I also didn’t play into Myrkur’s image which forgoes sexuality but delivers some much-needed femininity because it kept turning into a diatribe for a more balanced female voice in metal and that would be better left as a separate rambling and not a review.  I wanted to say how much I love the shamanistic and ethereal nature of M but that kept becoming a love letter to the finer facets of modern black metal and over-emphasizing Garm from Ulver’s involvement in the creation of the record.  I wanted to quote one of my favorite The Big Lebowski lines, the one where Maude talks about ‘vagina’, but it just felt hammy.  I would have liked to touch upon some of the alien and almost Lovecraftian nature of the heavier moments but just wasn’t able to clearly get my point across.

There was a lot I have to say, but lack of an angle I could commit to and some writer’s block just made me say fuck it.  However, a record this good should not go unrecognized regardless of my difficulty in writing up a review nor did I want to spend so much time on something and not produce anything.  So I decided to just shoot some words from the hip and post it up as one of my ever-so-famous Tales From Bandcamp posts to let you readers out there an opportunity to discover this great entry into the pantheon of black metal.  Give it a listen, share it with your friends, toss some money at the artist, and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Mercy Brown by Mercy Brown


a0466822269_10The piss and vinegar of L7, the snarl of Kitty, the trippiness of Kylesa, and the brutality of a runaway train packed full of dynamite and peanut butter.  Washington quartet Mercy Brown’s debut, self-titled LP is flat-out beastly.  Teetering between sludgy riffs, punk rock attitude, shattering death metal, and psychedelic prog tendencies, this record really took me by surprise.  The vitriol that pours from vocalist Sera Hatchett’s lungs inject so much personality into the already top-notch performance’s of her bandmates.  Whether she’s crooning clean vocals or bellowing death growls, this girl is crushing someone’s skull into the ground while doing so.

Between memorable songwriting and diverse, engaging songs this is a record I wholly recommend you give your attention to and toss some couch change to.  Give it a listen and let me know what you thunk.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: Moonlover by Ghost Bath


a0529726240_10It’s rare that something can execute being so violently melancholic and at the same time life-affirming and uplifting.  Last time I can think I’ve had those feels hit me this hard simultaneously was when I first saw the first ten minutes of the Pixar film ‘Up’.  It’s quite the enigma of emotional cocktails.  Ghost Bath masterfully pulls at heartstrings with the aptly titled Moonlover.  Whirlwinds of chaotic black metal peppered with lush soundscapes of post-rock all meld together to create this unique, indescribable sound of heart-wrenching beauty.  It’s just something that has to be heard to be understood.

And with that, I’ll leave this post short and let you all have at it.  If you fancy bands such as Deafheaven than this is mandatory listening.  All others, do give this masterpiece a shot.  Be prepared for some feels.  Let us know what you think!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Beware the Sword You Cannot See by A Forest of Stars


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120 years before our age, there is a Gentlemen’s Club of A Forest Of Stars, an exclusive brotherhood of Victorian Englishmen who consider themselves representatives of their era, an era as glorious and splendid as it is decadent. This collective finds its musical expression in hypnotic and ghostly Black Metal, expertly streaked with elements of Ambient and Psychedelic.

Yaaaa, with a band description like that on their Bandcamp page I couldn’t resist for a moment to not click the play button to hear what 18th Century Black Metal sounded like.  Well, imagine if you will, a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey tea…. spiked with opium.  You raise the porcelain cup to your lips and while sipping take in the aroma.  Since the tea is still hot you really don’t get the subtlety of the citrusy bergamot, just the relaxing touches of the base black tea.  It’s nice, comforting.  You sit back and relax.  Then as the flavor cools down and starts to build across your palette you take another sip, this time the essence of those little, green, Italian oranges tickle your nasal cavity and leave a light and pleasant aftertaste for you to contemplate on.

The soothing effect seeps into your being even deeper.  The clanging world around you just soothes as seemingly random and abstract sounds dance melodies from one ear to the next.  Structure and waves, ebb and flow, anger and serenity, it all comes together in harmonious, chaotic glory.  Oh shit, that must be the opium kicking in.  Enjoy the ride.  And my oh my what a ride.  A trip to hear a small group of chamber musicians, see recital of poetry, feel the pattering of a London shower on your back, smell the pungency of the cod coming in from the docks.  All your senses are heightened and carefully kneaded into a tasty cottage loaf.  And damn does this aroma of little, green, Italian oranges leave a nice sensation.

So, ya, Beware the Sword You Cannot See basically starts out as a rather traditional post-black metal affair and then descends into an odd and unique trip of Eldrich psychedelia unlike anything out there.  Yet somehow for how strange and chaotic the record can get it flows masterfully and is incredibly listenable.  If trippy turns on black metal is your fancy, do check out A Forest of Stars.  I promise, you will be delighted.

Streaming: Opus Of A Machine – Simulacra


Opus of A Machine started out in 2012, formed by Caligula’s Horse‘s guitarist Zac Greensill and they play a brilliant mix of raw and honest-sounding progressive rock/alternative metal reinforced with powerful clean vocals. Check out their newly released album here:

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Tales from Bandcamp: The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood by Falls of Rauros


a4030008080_10While The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood has been out for some time, yet I only stumbled upon it not to long ago after catching a recommendation of it from Panopticon’s FB page.  I guess I got to get that first feeling of amazement that went through many long time fans of the band when this record first dropped in 2011.  This record is one hell of a shattering work of art.  Needless to say, 2 tracks into my first listen, it was an insta-buy.

A huge canvas gets covered with moods, imagery, and  colors that would come from Bob Ross if he happened to be a black metal fan.  Well pronounced melodies collide with goosebumps-inducing atmospheres and well thought out songwriting guarantees that you will be hooked into the music as it takes you on a journey through verdant mountain ranges and shimmering lakes.  And while the misanthropic lyrics work to warn what our incessant negativity and lack of respect for nature will do to humanity, there is genuine love and optimism tucked away in them.

Lucky for me, Falls of Rauros have a new album releasing shortly this year, so expect for me to drool all over that the moment I get my hands on it.  I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out and when you can get it in the near future.  Until then, if you fancy yourself a fan of bands like Agalloch, Panopticon, Windir, and Saor, do yourself a huge biggun’ and give this record a spin.  This linked remaster is the version I bought and while I can’t speak for the original master, the quality of the sound and production is out standing as it pours from my headphones.  Enjoy!!! And as always, if you like what you hear be a chap and toss the artist a few shells and give the record a download.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: Severance by Darkest Era


a3304813980_10One thing I love about metal music is the seemingly infinite things that can be done within the genre.  From Eco-Terrorist Dulcimer Black Metal to Transcendental Progressive Whale Metal, you think of it, you can do it.  Metal is boundless and there’s no restrictions on what can be done.  I fucking love it.  And I also love digging around through our promos, Bandcamp, and suggestions from you guys and friends to find the next unique thing going on in the genre.  However, sometimes I like to take a step back from the strange and unusual going on and give a listen to something more conventional.  In my wake of being utterly obsessed with ‘nature metal’ (Agalloch, Saor, Panopticon) the past few months (and well into the future) I decided to seek out something traditional.  And that’s when I came across this little gem on Bandcamp.

Playing big and powerful traditional metal with a hint of Celtic and NWOBHM influence, Darkest Era flat-out slay.  Huge choruses, soaring solos, galloping rhythms, all that stuff you want from a traditional metal release.  They’re not reinventing the wheel nor blazing trails, just simply creating straight-up awesome metal to throw your fist up to the sky and bang your head to.  Each track is tight and packed with fun and engaging moments as well as stellar performances by each member.  Particularly I enjoyed the vocals as they have a nice American Power Metal feel to them (none of that Mickey Mouse on helium stuff going on here, lol.  Just kidding, y’all know I like my super-cheese Euro Power Metal 😉 ).  They’re super manly and I think my barren man-chest grew a few hairs and my beard got a few millimeters thicker.  And for how traditional the style is, I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the freshest traditional metal releases I’ve heard in some time.

If you’re in the mood for some simply great metal give Darkest Era’s latest release, Severance, a spin or 10.  As always, if you like what you hear do the right thing and toss the band some beer money and grab a download of the record.  Let me know what you thought of Darkest Era below and share with your metal minded friends.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Soma by Windhand


a0521233887_10Last year I got introduced to Windhand by way of a review over on my favorite metal site, Angry Metal Guy.  Their self-titled debut got a nice write-up, so I went ahead and checked it out and enjoyed it quite a bit.  But, like a lot of music that deluges through my ears these past few years, it takes something really, really special to stick hard and garner more spins from me outside of the occasional playback and initial handful of spins.  Windhand’s debut, while a very solid record, just didn’t hit me hard enough and the band kind of floated to the nether-realms of my music library.

Lucky for me, Relapse’s PR was cool enough to hook us up with a promo copy of their new album, Soma, and I harkened back to remembering that their debut was solid but lacking that punch.  I dove right into it hoping to see if this very talented band was able to add that punch to their music that would make it more than a good album that I would eventually forget about.  And, lo and behold, by George, they did it!  That punch, and more so uniqueness is so much more pronounced on their new record and I’ve found it sneaking in between my holy trinity of 2013 albums I’ve been listening to beyond obsessively (The Ocean, Revocation, and Glorior Belli).

The best way I can describe the style and sound on Soma is it’s either like Sunn O))) on amphetamines or St. Vitus on Quaalude; both with an ethereal and bluesy female vocalist.  Each track will doom your mind way into a hazy trance while at the same time delivering memorable melodies and grooves.  Heavy and atmospheric doom that doesn’t feel cliché’ nor does the methodically slow pace leave one bored.

Check out the record and then let us know what you think.  If you dig on it, buy a copy for yourself, or at least share the shit out of it with your metal loving friends.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!