Thursday, May 29, 2008

P.H.O.B.O.S.: Tectonic (4/5)

Year: 2005
Genre: Dark Atmospheric Blackened Doom
Label: Candlelight
TRT: 57:56

Pounding, cold, mechanical and utterly crushing. If Meshuggah made a doom album, it would resemble this release. There is little else to say, so close your mouth before you drown in the swirling tides destruction.

01 Nietzschean Dynamics
02 Gregarious
03 Wisdoom
04 Monochrome Red
05 Engulfed in Subduction
06 Nihil Credo
07 Inseminator / Matrix
08 Dormant / Dead End

download part I
download part II

Search for P.H.O.B.O.S. on Amazon

Monday, May 26, 2008

Emilie Simon: Végétal (Japanese Import): 4.5/5

Year: 2006
Label: Barclay
Genre: Sextronic Dance Rock

A classically trained musician, Emilie Simon tried her hand at jazz and more tradition rock music until finally finding her niche in the world of electronica. What you'll find on Végétal is a cute French girl singing in both her native tongue and English, while playing her compositions about plants and flowers with flawless grace and undeniable appeal. Imagine Bjork doing an album with Air. Fun, catchy and sexy, with just a hint of a darker side. You'll keep coming back for more.

This special Japanese edition contains two bonus tracks and different artwork than the original French release.

download part I
download part II

01 Alicia
02 Fleur de saison
03 Le vieil amant
04 Sweet Blossom
05 Opium
06 Dame de lotus
07 Swimming
08 In the Lake
09 Rose hybride de the
10 Never Fall In Love
11 Annie
12 My Old Friend
13 En Cendres
14 Papillon*
15 Ferraille*

Search Amazon for Emilie Simon

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eyvind Kang: Athlantis (4.5/5)

Year: 2007
Label: Ipecac
Genre: Dark Atmospheric Classical Chant
TRT: 41:48

Eyvind Kang has a very impressive body of work, ranging from string arrangements for Blonde Redhead's Misery is a Butterfly, to working with Secret Chiefs 3 on their album Book M. Yet I had never heard his name, and I must admit I never would have picked up this album if Mike Patton's name wasn't blatantly posted on the cd cover along wit hthe names of the other collaborators.

Athlantis falls somewhere between Dead Can Dance's medieval opera and Elend's sinister orchestrations, creating a sense of floating down a river draped in dense mist, trying to paddle towards the sound of the choir. Who happen to be chanting your elegy. And praying for your demise.

01 Ministers of Friday
02 Vespertilones
03 Andegavenses
04 Rabianara
05 Inquisitio
06 Ros Vespertinus
07 Conciliator
08 Iupitter
09 Repetitio
10 Lamentatio
11 Athlantis
12 Aquilas

Search Amazon for Eyvind Kang

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Merzbow & John Wiese: Multiplication (4.5/5)

Year: 2004
Label: Misanthropic Agenda
Genre: Harsh Noise/Power Electronics
TRT: 61:14

I was addicted to noise as a genre for a period of time, and it changed my perspective on many things, not all of them music related. I had been deeply entrenched in noise for about a year when I picked up this cd. I bought it because I knew of Merzbow, and had tried to crack open his massive discography to no avail. Also, the sweet digipack had a hand in convincing me to drop the $10.

I was a bit aprehensive, having been let down by previous material, but Multiplication sucked me in from the start. Furious sonic assault and swirling stridency combined with immense texture and the mass of a black hole converged on my senses, pushing me past the point of resistence, and into the warm pool of numb wonder beyond the wall.

John Wiese
& Merzbow collaborated through the internet to create this masterpiece, with the former covering the first five tracks, and the latter the sprawling closer. I don't listen to noise on a regular basis anymore, but when I do, this is one of the handful of albums I go to for my cacophonic fix.

01 Bonanza
02 Luxor Skyship
03 Spell
04 New Wave Dust II
05 Erotic Westernscape
06 Multiplication

Search Amazon for Multiplication

Thursday, May 8, 2008

God is an Astronaut: Far From Refuge (4/5)

Year: 2007
Label: Revive
Genre: Post Rock
TRT: 43:02

Post Rock has been stagnanting over the last few years as more and more bands try to emulate the founders of the genre. God is an Astronaut must have missed the memo, because they've only been improving. Far From Refuge is a sweeping collection of songs with a wonderful brooding shoegaze atmosphere. Similar to This Will Destroy You, they find it unnecessary to draw out their compositions to make a point, with not a single song hitting the seven minute mark.

Recommended if you're just getting in to the genre, or are looking for a fresh approach to it.

01 Radau
02 Far From Refuge
03 Sunrise in Aries
04 Grace Descending
05 New Years End
06 Darkfall
07 Tempus Horizon
08 Lateral Noise
09 Beyond the Dying Light

Search Amazon for God is an Astronaut

Tomahawk: Anonymous (4.5/5)

Year: 2007
Label: Ipecac
Genre: Experimental Tribal Rock
TRT: 43:30

This album didn’t really strike me as anything special when I listened to it in 2007. How I could pass over something so innovative and (paradoxically) original is beyond comprehension. But a few months in to 2008 a track came up on shuffle and I was mesmerized. Immediately I gave Anonymous another chance, and have been entranced ever since.

Like many, I initially laid all credit at the feet of Mike Patton, which I came to find out was wrong of me. Duane Denison is the mastermind behind this, the one who did the research and found the material. I say “found”, because every song here was written hundreds of years ago by Native Americans who’s bones have turned to dust along with their names (hence the title of the album). The one exception to this is the short closer Long, Long Weary Day, which is of the same time period, but not Indian in origin. While Patton’s vocal performance is one of his best, the musical interpretations and arrangements are all Denison.

Anonymous is dark and haunting, like an ominous thunderhead approaching. There are however enough rays of light shining through to keep it interesting and supply enough melatonin to stave off depression. Patton’s signature sound is present in full force, with most of his vocal acrobatics centering around tribal chants.

There is nothing else like this in the world of music. Truly a unique experience, one worth repeating time after time.

01 War Song
02 Mescal Rite 1
03 Ghost Dance
04 Red Fox
05 Cradle Song
06 Antelope Ceremony
07 Song of Victory
08 Omaha Dance
09 Sun Dance
10 Mescal Rite 2
11 Totem
12 Crow Dance
13 Long, Long Weary Day

Search Amazon for Tomahawk