Favoritist tpaesse of 2014th pt. 3

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2015 by Tanner

cepheideCepheide de et de suie self released

These guys are feeling some powerful feely-feelings. Thankfully that doesn’t translate into shameless shoegazery and overly enunciated black metal yowls like another emo-black metal band. Instead, this shit sounds like it was performed on the bottom of the ocean where only the fish can taste the tears. The drumming is sloppy and hard-won, the vocals are hypnotic repetitive yowls, the guitars are fitfully melodic and humid. No one would confuse this with a Frail record. Nope, this the real deal (whatever that is anymore). Undoubtedly, this kinda thing is shoveled out like manure on a nearly daily basis, but it’s hard to find it done so well: it’s not beating down your door with originality, but it sure sounds kinda beautiful. Beauty being a strange/unexpected quality to have in the black metal world. On my copy there’s a gentle, seasick tape warble that invades the last few minutes, accentuating what I love so much about tapes, that with each play the thing degrades, becomes closer to being swallowed in murk, in a gentle death. Fuck Deafheaven, by the way.

445960 Occultation Silence in the Ancestral House Invictus

This was definitely first released as a cd. But I listened to it on a tape format so that’s good enough for me. Anyway, this tape makes me feel what I think human’s often refer to as happiness. So what more can you say? Can we really judge something like that? I didn’t think so.

405362 Aggressive Mutilator Terror, Incest and Death (Ljud Kass Ett!)

No oxford comma in that title, that’s a little surprising. Anyhoo, these guys have flown under the radar of most kvltests, despite having what is, in my estimation, one of the best names in metaldom ever. Aggressive Mutilatötr comes at you just like you would assume an aggressive mutilator would come at you like: all flailing arms and hairy armpits and blunt razor blades — frothy mouthed, foul breathed. 15 nearly perfect succinct, scuzzy death jams, sounding like the stinky sex-tourist scratching foul nothings into the wall next door to your room at the hostile while flying high on Bengali white tiger. Let’s imagine a child raised only Celtic Frost, Venom, and early Bathory: he has an aloof knowingness that can only come with self-reflection. This is the stranger you invite into your room, folks. He’s got a way too many stories about sacrificing virgins in the moonlight and pissing in the plant urns at the local mall. He rules.   391648 Warpvomit Carnal Sacrifice Baphometic Deathcult Ascendancy

Trying to conceptualize warp vomit has been a pretty good little creative endeavor for me lately. There’s no way for me not to come out a winner after that thought exercise. Warpvomit accentuate the positive of being a bestial black death metal band: every trope is investigated, no stylistic stone is left unturned, all the goats are violated, no god is left unsullied. They capitalize and improve on what is by this point the rote signifiers of the genre Beherit, Blasphemy, and Sarcofago welcomed into this disgusting little world so so long ago. These dudes are pretty young, but they seemed to have absorbed the lessons of the past goatlords to create something that feels like a sharp, vomity, burning little thing in the palm of a sweaty moribund genre. It’s easy to feel as if the whole thing is just an injoke if weren’t the fact that it’s played so goddamn well, with such goddamn awareness of the field. The best genre films have always known exactly what they were doing by playing with the most overused, spoiled, and exhausted materials and making out of them something that feels new. Could Warpvomit be the next great war metal band? Who gives a shit. This tape rules.

Favoritist tpaesse of 2014th pt. 2

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 by Tanner

Mastrobating Jehovah – Hullet I loven (Silver Key)

The best discovery of 2014 for me was Silver Key Records and this band made up of dudes from Black Mastrobation and Black Jehovah. Mastrobating Jehovah plumb a whole new depth of sophisticated dumb/weird, spelunking into a libidinous chasm of lo-fi electronics, distortion, and dank paranormal fumblings. It’s not trolling when it’s art. Throw away your other records.

By the way, this got rejected from being listed on Metal Archives because it wasn’t metal enough. According to the basement dwelling Archons at MA they are, “black wall of riffless noise”. If that isn’t enough for you I don’t know what is.


Nadra – Eitur (Vánagandr)

Not a perfect tape by any means. Apparently they’ve been around since 2008, but this is their first demo that was released early in the year. A demo equivalent to those weird beardo dudes who insist on bringing their crying newborns to coffee shops while they read Nietzche — hey everybody, here are my inchoate riffs that promise the world. 2 songs: one long, one short — but a whole heap of sloppy Icelandic commitment. Total support. Or something like that.


Human Bodies – No Life (Caligari)

Some Europeans like to proclaim that Americans have never added anything of worth to black metal. Fuck them. This is stomach-churning ugliness filtered through American hardcore—as self-actualized and destructive as a coked-up raccoon.


Aureole – Alunar (Fallen Empire)

I can’t help but be a sucker for a certain strain of epic black metal that sounds like the OST to an early 90s era Full Moon straight to video production. Alunar syncs up perfectly with Subspecies or Puppet Master — melancholy synths, forlorn riffs, vampiric howls. Nothing about this is cool really. But dang does it sound positively goth-positive, and hooked up to the kind of awful early 90s nostalgia that fuels more than my share of waking moments. I listen to this a lot when I’m contemplating which shade of black nail polish I want to paint my cat’s claws. This won’t win you any scene points, but it will make you look infinitely more finger-on-the-pulse at the next horror convention.

heavydeath 1

Heavydeath – They Had No Names (Caligari)

Heavydeath is the ultimate demo band, releasing over 7 in 2014 on the ultimate tape label, Caligari. Strangely the quality has not dipped throughout the epic sold-out run (and most you can hear digitally if not on tape). Picking a favorite is a fool’s game, but They Had No Names is as good as any.

They may get my vote for best new band this year—the project of mostly one man, Nicklas Rudolfsson, who enlisted some talented friends to create some of the ol’ doom-death. And what doom-death it is! This is some serious work by some guys with talent to burn. There’s an attention to space and melody that never approaches weakness or the saccharine, and the great and horrible shapes they carve out of negative space are something to behold. But unlike so many doom bands, they’re more playful, less full of turgid grief. This isn’t party doom, but it won’t make you wallow either. Play for friends and enemies alike.



The best Finnish label with the weirdest bands, and a perfect overview of the whole noxious mess. There’s probably something to offend/bemuse everyone here, but the shambling mess of it all is so beguiling it’s easy to get over. Nothing good can come of this, but here it is anyway. Throbbing black metal, primitive scum punk and basement industrial is just the beginning. People talk about the underground as if it’s a thing, as if it something perceptible and independent of the mainstream. That’s largely bullshit. But Bestial Burst cultivates truly great, bad, ugly and despicable music, all interweaved with a similar unseemly aesthetic, that you can be forgiven in thinking that the underground is still alive, trudging dully forward into the unknown, one tape at a time, one dead poseur after the next.

Favoritist tpaesse of 2014th pt. 1

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2015 by Tanner

I’m not interested in making a list of albums. I don’t like albums all that much anyway. So here are some tapes of varying lengths, quality, and taste that I enjoyed this last year. Some may be or will be released in a form other than that of the tape. But that’s not my problem.


Necropole – Atavisme… (Resilience)

You kinda get tired listening to so much of this music. It pays so little dividends. You have to wade through so much bullshit. It isn’t worth it. It really isn’t. The great music in underground black metal does not outweigh the bad. Anyone who says different is getting paid.

The thing about always searching for the next great band (or more accurately in my case, the next great tape) is that you sometimes find it. Is it worth the effort? Nope, not at all. It’s all a retardation of the spirit; it’s a waste of time that could be used working a field or something. I could be harvesting crops right now for christ’s sake. I could be shoeing a fucking horse right now (more accurately, I could be learning how to shoe a fucking horse right now). But instead I’m listening to Necropole for the 15th time. I don’t know how good at a worthless silly thing we call music they actually are. They’re a few French dudes who probably speak better English than I do, and they made one of the best black metal demos of the last five years. Does it matter? For fuck’s sake: no.


Sluggard “s/t” (Abysmal Sounds)

Auteur death metal, chapped and raw; fly bitten under a mutinous sun. Brent has this one all figured out. Inventive and full of love for the form. He’s batting 2/2 so far. Not much more to say really. Superlative. #feelingblessed


Eissturm “The Purpose” (Fragile Branch)

When the people talk about the pretty black metal, the people are talking about the Eissturm. I don’t know where this guy is from, but his name is Eis, and he knows how to craft the silkiness. Silkiness in this case means a squeak fart of Filofsem-esque long form black metal streaked with synth and windswept ATMOSPHERE. Being on tape helps the thing: what would seem weak and cold on other formats instead feels infinite and warm under tape hiss; but it still channels an airless dread, like a hornet batting itself around the inside of a glass on your windowsil. I like the way the thing feels, bright and dead — clean, and without purpose. The ancestral folksiness that invades this kind of black metal doesn’t come off so much as the inevitable genre-checking as it does a certain spectrum-level genuineness. And in the end it’s intensely personal and nearly unapproachable as a document: this being a document of anxiety writ in a digital arterial spray, alloyed in a dying medium. I feel confident at the end of all this stuff we call human civilization Eis will be sipping Belgian dubbels, programming his drum machine, and watching endless reruns of Max Headroom while wishing it just had more of a Braveheart tang.

omniverous void

I I – Omnivorous Void (Eternity Recs)

What can you do? A lot of angry young men are making pretty good music about that Jesus fella nowadays. What a motherfucker. At least we can give thanks for that.

Item! This sounds like every family gathering you’ve ever had but at an emotion-level: midnight: A lot of mashed potatoes/gravy, screaming, circuitous dm riffs, hurt feelings, and drunken revelations. But these guys make it sound easy.


Grave State “s/t” (Tunnel Vision Tapes)

Compilation of their four demos. Australian fucked up blackened punk wunderkinds whose band imploded after one year of existence. Not much info out there about them. The kick drum sounds like it was made out of human parts, yellowed skin pulled taunt over a bone frame. One of the wonderful experiences of finding weird tapes can be summed in Grave State. Mysterious. Slip shod. Unthoughtful. My cat is nosing her way into a paper bag right now: they sound like every band I ever wanted to play a saloon in my head. This tape is worth looking for.

Every Contact…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2014 by Tanner

Let’s press ahead; let’s grope in the dark.

Every Contact Leaves A Trace’s album designs show a human hand. I was reminded of a few of those proundly genuine hardcore bands from the mid-90s like Frail and Angel Hair and Mohinder, the packaging aesthetics flush with the same handmade garrulousness, unseemly-beautiful… and, yeah, I love to see seams, I love to see the work show. And there is above all else love in this label. DIY, gloriously so. And I’m probably digging a hole here for myself: my all thumbs approach to trying to figure out anything. I lost the little clips that hold these releases together within a day, and I mixed up the unmarked cdrs within a week. The albums seemed to have exploded across my apartment leaving only textured paper indented with razor blades, printed overheads, and enigmatic glossy photos behind. But most importantly, of course, I was left with the music.

Real As Any Place You’ve Been – Dominic Lash | Thames Water Live – Will Montgomery

Real-As-Any-Place-Youve-Been-Photographic-Paper-120x120-square-x-100-1024x1024 (1)

Dominic Lash’s piece emerges from the gloom of pre-show chatter and choral-segue like an animal shedding its skin, arching it’s back, kicking off the dirt… Arco bass as if possessed, but not distraught. More serpentine and ultimately relaxing, I wish I could’ve been there in the crowd, leaning forward, a chin in hand, a bottle in the other… but the live recording allows for a step back, and it provokes– Lash’s bowing almost sounds as if he’s being joined in by a that eternally burring John Butcher. The voice doubled, pocked but lithe. I’m not sure I would think that if I were there, unalloyed. Lash is one of my favorites on one of my favorite instruments. He draws out a stinging; the rosin seems to sing against the strings. The knuckled-control of his playing, not as much muscular as balletic and honed — yellowed skin, toenails compacted, each movement an example of long, calloused practice. Pragmatic, but alive.

The beginning of Will Montgomery’s piece is percolation until swollen death, chilled wine down the length of a fattened belly. Lash and Montgomery fashion a kind of circular resonance, the ache of tortured wood against the burble of water, the hiss of cold wind. But that soon subsides to something altogether more interesting. I keep thinking it’s all some canoe trip amplified; the composition resides as much in the appearance of water and earth as the electrical ducts above your head. There is a temptation to do some sort of awful play by play of Montgomery’s piece, but undoubtedly that’s dreary and boring — a travelogue that only reduces rather than expounds. No doubt that any kind of explanation would relegate this thing into something self-serving. I like this. Montgomery has created something fucking fantastic. And it is a thing, alive. To pretend to add words here would only subtract. This goes without saying: don’t listen to me.

Music of Sound – Henry Collins


Second up. I continue to listen to it, and so in that sense it’s a success. But I’m too caught up in its creation that I can’t hear beyond its novelty. Let’s face it, I’m a simple dude. And I don’t have time for this (although most people who know me would say I certainly do; and I’m too lazy to remove it from my cd player). That said, if the film were John Carpenter’s The Thing, or Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, well, sign me up. I will say that it adds an much needed break of foot steps, and door slamming between Morbid Angel albums.

Four No-Input Field Recordings – Seth Cooke

Seth Cooke’s (also ECLAT label head) 3 inch cdr, Four No-Input Field Recordings, is a study in teaming masses. I don’t really care about the hows, and I don’t think you should either. Instead the focus should be on how truly great this this little thing sounds. It’s all smoothed-edged noise, brutal little ovoids of fracturing mass, repeating into infinity. Each track is like being investigated by an Eye of Sauron afflicted with varying cases of windswept-particle conjunctivitis. But damn, it sounds great — like an aural reflection of the binge-purge feedback loop of junk info– the endless reflection of one and zero, of reflection but no self. But I won’t fool around with a poor exegeses: I like how it sounds so much that I don’t give a shit. Let’s all live a little. Jesus.

Anatomy of the Self Vol. 2 – Ignacio Agrimbau

Anatomy of the Self vol 2 by Ignacio Agrimbau is also a killer. Of all the releases on Every Contact Leaves a Trace this seems the most out of place — a bricolage of caffeinated percussion on skin drum and cajon and whatever else; the slithering zither and “broken dudek”; not to mention the field recordings and electronics… it seems nearly perverse. It’d be easy to write it off as some pastiche of Peruvian or Armenian traditional music mixed with 70s Euro analog space-flog, but the thing seems so loving, and so ultimately weird that those feelings disappear. It’s as clear as some other albums in this first batch opaque. It skips across itself, stuttering, fusing novel conglomerations. The use of football chants on the final track make little sense to me personally, but seem utterly apt in context. Weird. Kinda great.

Every Contact Leaves a Trace

Spending Loud Night

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2014 by Tanner

Trying to breathe life into something so obviously dead. In my trying to make any sense of how or why I react to music in such visceral ways, I find nothing but boring insecurity.But I listen to Confuse all the same, and I hear total disregard. And that’s fucking great.

 Confuse is one of the hallowed names of Japanese hardcore. At least for me they were, growing up, alone in my room and blasting Spending Loud Nights. I was lucky to hear G.I.S.M., Systematic Death, Lip Cream and Gauze early on, but I was also a punk record hound, working hard spending money I didn’t have for the most dodgy demo, the most shitty bootleg. The originals of the records I adored were so far out of reach and so poorly distributed or just non-existent that I lived on used tapes and lp bootlegs off of Extreme Noise in Minneapolis, MN. Thankfully, this was somewhat before the internet and you could actually buy some of these records once and a while if you were in the right place, at the right time and somehow knew about them; this was before any record of any worth was snapped up by dickhead collectors who had just heard about them on a message board (Yes, capitalism is an ouroboros). But these bands became a part of my daily life early– so early in fact that most of the music seems part of my dna at this point. I still find myself wandering around my apartment murmuring “syphilitic vagina to pieces” while feeding my cat.

But Confuse, man, it didn’t really matter. None of the legacy, none of the catchy lyrics. Well, let’s be honest, for American monolinguals like me, the lyrics were not what attracted me to Japanese hardcore, and especially not to Confuse. It was that ground bone intensity, the nihilistic burn-it-all-to-the-groundness of their records. These dudes weren’t selling an idea of the apocalypse, they were sitting next to the volcano, palm trees swaying, and punching one another in the mai tais. I see dudes classifying them now as proto-noise, and I guess I would never have thought about it that way until now. In hindsight it makes sense — the pickled, sour, crash and burn and mindless glue-abetted repetition. Saki and cheap beer and distortion.

I’m sure the early Japanese noise gurus were at least aware of them in the early 80s. Confuse were so blatant, so much excited buckshot in a tin can. All their records sound as fucked up and full to the brim with red-eyed skree that even now they don’t seem dated, but far more prescient. It seems so bizarre, to hitch oneself to something of a time and place, to something that was fought so hard for and earned. I read an Maximum R and R article not too long ago that was a kind of meager aural history from of some the Confuse guys, (who are still around, still punk, still in it), and they were talking about how violent the scene was in the 80s– how they had to fight their way out of clubs, swinging potted plants, throwing beer glasses, acting Yakuza: Only death is real. The bands now seem all pretty meager in comparison. But that’s the scrapes. Fuck it, we’re all nuclear addicts.

Things this year pt. 4

Posted in Uncategorized on January 9, 2014 by Tanner

Bleeding from the mouth, dust in the crook of the elbow; grave dirt and and shit and hair. Antediluvian speak in a language muffled by decrepitude, alone in itself, blanketed in all the glamour of a femur half-buried: Often these descriptives of capital D death metal are bandied about in such easy terms, such boring ruminative, superlative slop —  the atavism of metal is more theatrical show tune than resonant reality. “Critics” don’t try to listen as much as narrate.  You can’t narrate this. And Antediluvian doesn’t as much shirk such easy bullshit, as trudge away unaware, alive and dead in equal measure — at home in cosmic embryonic fluid, pubic hair matted in gnostic ejaculate, bashing away in starry-eyed worship. Mars Sekhmet’s drumming perversely anti-metal, heavy but delirious under the weight of all that Other; Haasiophis not as much strumming a guitar as smudging his own image up against …Against. They breed together like eels in a murky pond, slithering and blundering and sticky. “Heart of hemispheres unwound.”

I could explain how this music is not for everyone, but to say it belongs to anyone but Antediluvian themselves seems bizarre. Logos — the scripture, the ground, the exegesis of an outward and unknowable — literally impossible to accurately translate through such meager means, and I don’t if know if they try. They speak in tongues couched in the common language of death metal, perversely attached to such unflattering, brutal idiom. It would all be some sort of sad joke, if the music wasn’t so blessed. I feel uncomfortable writing words I can’t stand behind. I want nothing more than to say this: it’s imperfect, but it’s alive, dank and uncomfortable.


Nothing could be further from the truth: music. Some act better than others; some lies more subtly than the rest. But how to judge the veracity of this.To coax sounds from an unliving form, to bleed the sound from the naked, the objectiveless. The sound would be there already, exist whether we knew it or not: around us on our way to work; as she sips her coffee; as he stares at the patch of skin where her shirt pulls up just so slightly.  Mundanity brought into focus through microphones, Haco and Toshiyo Tsunoda alive and charting the cross sections. All of this sound in TramVibration sectioned and parsed from, “a tram on a round trip from Ebisu-cho to Hamadera Ekimae on the Hankai Line.“ But now weedling its way across my apartment: Vibration. Expanse. I wish I could preserve it, as if in amber, or tucked into shadow along my wrist. But it dies alone. And I can only hit repeat, placate the thoughts that I should probably be playing with my cat, cooking food, or just– this. Frost on my window.


Things this year pt. 3

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2013 by Tanner

Imagine for a moment a place you do not exist. 

Her hand flitted against his cheek like a bird’s wing; he could hear the rain tapping against the window.

He awoke to bells. The sound ringing across the square, down the street– its sticky stones– up into his window, where underneath swallows built mud and straw roosts like small wicker igloos. His sheets were damp and his scars ached along the curve of his calf, across the bridge of his nose, down the length of his forearm.

“You were awake last night,” he said to her, fishing a cigarette out of his trousers that lay bunched in a pile on the slate floor. There was grit between his toes.

“I was telling you a story,” she said, shifting slightly, looking at him.

“What was it about?”

“It was about a place far, far away.”

He grunted, lighting the cigarette with a match he scratched on the plaster wall, leaving another line in a increasingly complex sketch; a farmer, a field of wheat. 

“I’m sure it was beautiful,” he said lying back against sweat and sheets, running his hand down her back, down against her naked buttocks, hesitating a moment, and then beginning the slow crawl up her skin. 

“It was, it was very beautiful. But sad.”

He ran two fingers up her spine, his head propped in his hand.

“Tell it to me again.” 

“If I tell it to you again it will lose its meaning.”

“When I’m asleep?”

“When you’re asleep.”




Pisaro. Beuger. this place/is love Erstwhile