Archive for January, 2015

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.