Friday, July 25, 2008

Scarlet: Something to Lust About (4.5/5)

Year: 2003
Label: Ferret Music
Genre: Chaotic Math Metal
TRT: 12:24

Scarlet was a favorite in the Richmond scene for a long time before they signed with Ferret, but this EP is really what announced their presence to everyone else. Brash, in your face, and unashamed to call you out on your darkest secrets. John Spencer's furious vocals pull you in to the whirlwind, and when it's all said and done, you're left ravaged, and wanting more.

01 Revolver
02 Carbon Copy Killer
03 Sell Yourself
04 Erotic Antibiotic
05 Something to Lust About
06 Suicide King

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Terra Firma: Terra Firma (4/5)

Year: 1998
Genre: Stoner Groove Metal
Label: Music Cartel
TRT: 40:12

I bought this album years ago thinking it was the christian metal group, and was a bit miffed when I realized it definitely was not. But nevertheless, I really started to dig it. I don't know why I like this album and not much else by way of stoner anything, but this album is so much fun I can't help myself. Extremely catchy, and it will make you move.

01 Rainbow Ride
02 Goatburn
03 Good Stuff
04 ...And the 8th Seal Was Her's
05 Separate Graves
06 Spiral Guru
07 Fifth Wheel
08 Nimbus
09 Troll Formula
10 Altered Beast

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Arsis: A Celebration of Guilt (5/5)

Year: 2004
Label: Willowtip
Genre: Technical Death Metal
TRT: 44:20

Death metal with a keen sense of melody is what you'll find here. These metalheads from Richmond Virginia serve up an intense ride that will have you humming along in no time at all. Be assured, this is a brutal record, but it's also as catchy as a bad case of mononucleosis. And it'll stick around for longer.

01 The Face of My Innocence
02 Maddening Disdain
03 Seven Whispers Fell Silent
04 Return
05 Worship Depraved
06 Carnal Ways to Recreate the Heart
07 Dust and Guilt
08 Elegant and Perverse
09 The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters
10 Looking to Nothing
11 Wholly Night

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ulver: Teachings in Silence (5/5)

Year: 2004
Label: Jester
Genre: Dark Ambient Soundscapes
TRT: 52:55

This is the combination of two previous limited release EP's, and is one of my favorite albums of all time. It's difficult to put in to words why, other than to say that it instantly arrested my attention, and took me to places I'd never been. Mysterious, dark, brooding and in it's own way, beautiful, this cd is in a league of it's own.

And Darling Didn't We Kill You is absolutely amazing.

01 Silence Teaches You How To Sing
02 Darling Didn't We Kill You
03 Speak Dead Speaker
04 Not Saved

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Order Teachings in Silence from The End Records

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crowpath: Son of Sulphur (4.5/5)

Year: 2005
Label: Willowtip
Genre: Brutal Technical Death Metal
TRT: 33:49

This is a concept album following the exploits of an arsonist, a paradoxically chilling journey through the mind of a psychopath. There's just something about this record (and this band period) that sets them apart from the plethora of similar bands. Maybe it's their wonderful ability to create atmosphere, or the way the furious precussion section includes the extensive use of bell cymbals, or perhaps it's just the sheer precision and passion displayed by the band as a whole. Whatever that "something" is, they have an abundance of it, and I can't get enough.

01 Candles and Kerosene
02 The Will to Burn
03 Chased, Caught and Charged
04 Pidgeonmasher
05 Children of Boredom
06 Self Destruct Pessimism
07 Seed of Arson
08 Picked Clean
09 The Lucanthrope
10 Scab Coated Attraction
11 Lights Out, Left For Dead
12 End in Water

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Controlled Bleeding: Shanked & Slithering (4/5)

Year: 2005
Label: Soleilmoon Recordings
Genre: Power Electronics Noise
TRT: 79:41

I picked up this album along with about 8 other noise cds at a Wolf Eyes show I attended a few years ago, but I only recently gave it a serious listen, and it has risen above the rest. One night I popped this record into my stereo system and listened to it VERY LOUD at 2am whilst reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga (the saga that named this journal). It was an aurally overwhelming, brutally divine experience. It's a bit difficult to put into words how some noise is better than other noise, or to sequester the differences found within "the good stuff". All I can say is, once you release yourself and let this sinister wall of sound wash over you, once you find the warmth in letting go of everything, maybe you'll understand a little more.

This is really a compilation that spans the groups vast career, which makes the consistancy of quality it all the more remarkable. They have released nearly 30 records since 1983, covering many different genre along the way.

01 Swallowing Scrap Metal No. 9
02 Shanked And...
03 Bees No. 1
04 Bees No. 2
05 Dry Lung
06 Vole
07 Experiments Infuck
08 Bladder Bags (Session No. 1)
09 Hymn No. 1
10 Horsemeat (Yak Remix)
11 Swallowing No. 5 (Power Mix)
12 Bladder Bags (Session No. 2)
13 Hymn No. 2

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rosetta: The Galilean Satellites (4.5/5)

Year: 2005
Label: Translation Loss
Genre: Experimental Epic Sludge
TRT: 60:05

Taking the lead from Neurosis, The Galilean Satellites was released as a two disc set designed to be played simultaneaously. The first disc is the sludge disc, while disc two is experimental ambient noise tracks. And while it may seem slightly pretentious to release an album this way, conceptually it's pretty cool. The album tells the story of a (possibly French) "space man" who grows weary of the Earth and decides to find a better place to call home, but eventually returns when he realizes he left behind all he loved. The story of the first disc is enhanced by the second, because all the tracks are named after stars, and they exude the feeling of floating through space. When combined (as they are here), the sum becomes greater than it's parts, creating a massive, white giant of an album that sucks you in and won't let you go.

01 Departe/Deneb
02 Europa/Capella
03 Absent/Beta Aquilae
04 Itinérant/Ross 128
05 Au Pays Natal/Sol

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Ulver: Svidd Neger (4.5/5)

Year: 2003
Label: Jester
Genre: Epic Experimental Film Score
TRT: 32:39

Generally this release gets criminally overlooked among the host of other releases by the Wolves of Norway. Originally i had downloaded a bogus copy with a bunch of weird and awful crap spliced in to the rest of it. When I finally realized I didn't have the real deal and aquired it, I was blown away with it's beauty. I've never seen the film, but it better be gorgeous enough to do this soundtrack justice. It really leaves you wanting to hear more.

01 Preface
02 Ante Andante
03 Comedown
04 Surface
05 Somnam
06 Wild Cat
07 Rock Massif pt. 1
08 Rock Massif pt. 2
09 Poltermagda
10 Mummy
11 Burn the Bitch
12 Sick Soliloquy
13 Waltz King of Karl
14 Sadface
15 Fuck Fast
16 Wheel of Conclusion

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