NINE SONGS I LIKED THIS WEEK IN LIST FORM FEB 21 – FEB 27 – PLAGUE EDITION #48
WHATEVER! That is my eloquent intro this week. Check out the sick new Fawn Limbs video we premiered this week along with a nice little interview with the band. It's super cool, super heavy, and they are as cool and as heavy. Whatever that means. Other than that here's some music and while you're at it check out our multiple interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever we may roam (Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Twitter), to listen to our shitty podcast (YouTube, Spotify, Apple), and to check out our amazing compilation albums, and give me your damn money (please!) on Patreon. Much love to all Patreon people, you rule my underworld. Bye.
1. Lamp of Murmuur – "A Pathway of Sigils for the Dead," from Virgin Womb of Eternal Black Terror (Black Metal – Folkvangr Records / Nebular Carcoma / Bile Noire). The coming together of two of my absolute favorite contemporary lo-fi black metal acts have come together band blessed us all with their tenderness. And you might think that's a misprint, calling music this harsh from Dai-ichi (proud members of our 2019 list) and Lamp of Murmuur (proud members of our 2020 list + a nice little interview I did with them) "tender," but that's really where the magic is. And while Dai-ichi is indeed the fiercer of the two in many respects, both acts are noted (by me) for their immaculate combination of melody and harshness, bad production and good production, aggression and, yes, tenderness. I chose this LoM track simply because I am inclined, as a listener, toward those moments where that wondrous one-man project yanks on the melodic thread of its work into the wide open. In a world of dissonance melody is revolution. FFO: Thy Dying Light, Departure Chandelier, Revenant Marquis.
2. Furia – "Tańcowały chochoły Wyjawienie," from W śnialni (Experimental – Pagan Records). Living is hard, and has, I think it's safe to say, become all the harder in the last year or so. And yet life is what we're here for, to find art that has something to do with life. Furia, a key and somewhat mercurial part of one of the, if not the, best black metal scenes today, released a two-track EP and by doing so emphasized what it was that makes that scene and this band so important. In short they do not relate to life or lived experience they are lived experience, or what could be called the krautrock version of watching a documentary film. I doubt this would make for good party music, and I'm pretty sure I could never play this on my home stereo when the wife and kids are home, but this is magic. The magic of just living. FFO: Life. And also Horseback and Circle, I guess.
3. Anatomia – "Slime of Putrescence," from Corporeal Torment (Death Doom – Dark Descent Records). I just recently released the interview I did with the legends Winter late last year and this Anatomia album, coming four long years after their previous full-length album, Cranial Obsession, feels like home. I mean, if home is the nastiness, heaviest, and weirdest place on earth, that is. Infectious and just plain enjoyable despite sounding like the violent regurgitation of one's own entrails, this is how death metal should sound and feel like: wrong, evil, and human. FFO: Vastum, Winter, diSEMBOWELMENT.
4. Asofy – "Alterazione," from Amusia (Experimental Black Metal – Avantgarde Music). I try to keep these "OFF THE MOTHERFUCKING PRESSES" fresh for all your fresh-metal-loving folk but ever since I started this little experiment on the blog's Facebook, where I review only releases from randomly selected years (this past week was 1944), I'm feeling a little disjointed in time. Untethered, that's a good word. So when I was offered to listen to this gem from all the way back in 2020 I said "fuck it" and was instantly rewarded with a disturbing, feeling, intelligent, and eerily atmospheric work of open-ended black metal. Fantastic one-man project out of Italy, of which you might have heard in the past and yet I had not. But it's fantastic, unhinged, artistic, and very recommended. FFO: Psychonaut 4, Nero di Marte, Teratolith.
5. MSRBLFLR – "All Hail The Empty Shell," from The Stench of Delusion (Death Metal – Independent). Sometime in the murky mists of 2019 I randomly encountered an EP-length song from these French madmen by the name of Pig's Head on a Stick, that was all my technical/chaotic death metal wet dreams come true. I included it, naturally in the 2019 list and continued to eagerly await any damn thing they might have up their sleeves in the future. Finally that time has come with the release of another long song of otherwise mysteriously divided work of damn art that continues along the lines of manic death metal gone even more manic and perhaps even improves on the aforementioned pig. Do not miss this. FFO: Plebeian Grandstand, Gorguts, Ulcerate.
6. Fange – "Tombé Pour La France," from Pantocrator (Death/Sludge/Industrial – Throatruiner Records). Speaking of people who come from France and who emit planet-destroying energy, French threesome Fange are back with a wild, wild ride of an EP/album. Two songs, each a very uncharacteristic 15 minutes each (they usually go for the shorter bursts of crushing violence), and I love what the stretched-out formant is doing to their attack. Very dynamic, a lot more range of sound (electronic shit sounds crazy good) and surprising sources of melody (i.e. keyboards). Much more air/oxygen, it feels, between annihilatory bursts and it really makes their sludgy horror shine. Great shit. FFO: Garbage trucks careening toward a cliff.
7. Machinefabriek – "RA SH JS (with René Aquarius, Steven Hess, Julian Sartorius)," from With Drums (Experimental – Esc.rec.). Due to the fact that I was listening to a lot of music from 1944 this week (see explanation in section 4) I really got the hang of some weird modern classical music. And other than the fact that I am petrified by the fact that I am turning into my father, it put me in a kind of strange space where I couldn't really stand what you might call musical narrative that much. Meaning that if I heard the progression and I knew where it was going I usually turned it off. So this, by a project I have never listened to, was quite the treat. It caught my attention due to the incredible drummers featured here, including, on this track, René of Plague Organ/Dead Neanderthals, and now I'm curious to hear the whole thing. Weird, disjointed, disquieting, and fantastic. FFO: I seriously have no idea.
8. Hazing Over – "Sty," from Pestilence (Hardcore/Death Metal – Independent). So, of one of the best hardcore/screamo bands of recent years, Shin Guard, took a crash course in hardcore-alt-metal in the school of Code Orange, changed their name to Hazing Over, and started to make, ah, metalcore? Maybe? This story, in all honesty, had no business ending well and yet, lo and behold, here we are. So much about this, the pretension, the makeover, the damn font, seems to point at a young band being overwhelmed by their own hands and yet this works. It's not bogged down by the kind of stuff that usually kills all metalcore for me in that it's not flat or dead but very much urgent and alive and intersting. Still kind of hope that screamo vibe comes back but, whatever, I'm not their dad. FFO: Code Orange, Incendiary, Jesus Piece.
9. Body Void – "Wound," from Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth (Doom/Sludge – Prosthetic Records). Some bands have made a name for themselves purely for being the most heavy, or some dumb shit like that. All feedback, all overload, no music. Body Void has consistently come up with stuff that skirts the lines of "too heavy" and yet somehow, miraculously, producing actual, motherfucking songs that sounds quite motherfucking splendid. This new album is going to crush lives, mine included, and this first song is just fantaastic. Sludgy, glacial, and yet direct and engaging. Eat this. FFO: Primitive Man, Thou, Keeper.
FIVE MORE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
ONE: Ungfell, AKA, one of the best harsh black metal projects on earth, is coming with a new album in April. Rejoice.
TWO: Esoctrilihum released a remastered version of their fucked-up debut.
THREE: Heavy Blog is Heavy premiered a new track from the upcoming Karkait EP and you need to listen to it if you want to live.
FOUR: I'm done with this shit. Done.
FIVE: There's a new Ionophore album. Only if you want dark, beautiful music.
ONE LAST THING PROMISE: New Empyrium album is out and it's fucking amazing. Maybe more on this next week.