tirsdag den 26. november 2019

Neon Lies - S/T

Think I am getting into these outsider electronic-acts hailing from Croatian. The latest discovery is the debut cassette release from Neon Lies (self-titled). A rough and raw 25 minutes journey into harsh metropolitan synth punk, not that far from the likes of Suicide and Neon Judgement. 

This debut cassette is limited to 150 copies, comes in silver mirror sleeves! And yes, it does look extremely sexy, shiny and sleek! (photo below). 

I am not much into newer acts reviving the angst of classic post-punk acts, but I do think that this act delivers something to it that maintains its honest intentions. Why? It´s pretty rough and raw, the sound is not perfect (who cares right?!), It´s not meant to be an ear-catcher and it´s definitely not a shoe-gazing hipster act trying to be darkly synth-pop 80s cool. It´s challenging and intense if you ask me, as desperation takes hold (to quote Ian Curtis). The strength in this kind of release would (again) be it´s honest intentions. And it´s none-perfection aesthetic in sound and mood, love the way the sound is. Clearly, an act who creates what the person-behind-it wants to create, not creating what the listeners want to hear. And there you have it, that is the pure intentions of punk. Fuck the listeners and hail the artist.

First tracks start with a chaotic keyboards mess, un-tight computer drums, Alan Vega´ish vocals (and those reverb effects!) and a cool and cold primitive synth melody. Next track Safe In Room starts off with a similar sound to the beat of OMD´s Enola Gay, head-crashes into early Human League´ish synths and flesh-crawling vocals. The third offering offers no salvation, a hint or two to Neon Judgement´ish Factory Walk (Could work as a continuation of that track if you ask me). Love the detail that you can only hear the drums on the left side of your speakers, and then you have the harsh synth on your right (and the vocals are on both sides!). To Nothing is the albums fourth track, tunes deeper into the throbbing electro-punk sound. A very action-driven piece... likes driving at high-speed through a derelict industrial area of the city. 

The Fifth track mother tunes it down into a melancholic early industrial mood, love the metallic clashing sounds in the background. Sixth track We Lost Confidence In This Town (Kickass title), works up a menacing soundtrack mood that you might have noticed in such films like Carpenter´s Assualt At Precinct 13, might just be the best track on the album. When a soundtrack mood becomes a throbbing and aggressive electro-punk thing, really lovely!. The next track Woods almost moves into early Cure´ ish territory, something from their Pornography-era (Figurehead?), the style of the track although has that Absolute Body Control-feel (Per-Klinik group from the 80s). The eighth track Sex Without Faces follows the sound and feel like the previous track, although with way more melody (Beautiful). Last track Odds, rounds it all up with lovely rhythmic elements and vocals on raw bleeding rock n´synth knees!  

And that is how you deliver your eighties (late 70s) inspired electronic-based angst music! The whole I-don´t-care-what-you-think attitude is refreshing, specifically in a world which delivers hipster DJ goths and electro-jerks with minimal-wave´ish inspired t-shirts bought at your local H&M. Do go out and get this tape! You can get the tape from the label called Cosmic Brood Records (link below!).  

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lørdag den 23. november 2019

Miguel Souto - Lillith

An interesting theme to bring up in our era of Mee-Too campaigns and power females. The "demonic" female Lillith is without a doubt relevant to this. As you all know, Eva was made out of a rip from Adam... Lillith wasn't. She actually left Adam, reason?... She wasn´t interested in having a relationship in the garden of Eden with a dominative husband. She went out and had a relationship with the archangel Samael. A rather... "satanic" themed arch-angel who has been called Poison of God, Blindness of God, seducer, and destroyer, etc. A sort of not-necessarily evil, because he spends his free-time destroying the sinners... Another satanic-themed arch-angel if you please. A powerful archangel doing the dirty work for god, who could say no to that?... ANYWAYS!. 

Miguel Souto has made this mini-album, which have been digitally and physical (cassette) released via Anoxia Records. I have also had the utmost pleasure of reviewing the dark-ambient masterpiece Lacrimi Si Sfinti, which Miguel Souto did together with Alejandro Durán (see the former review!). He is ALSO the same guy behind the ritual-occult act Sudari (also see former review). This one is also a solo-work from him, and a VERY interesting one (if you ask me!). 

First track Ravishing Whispers reveals to the listener that we are dealing with a piano-driven thing, a kind of... gothic piano thing. Not the kind of gothic-like the Sisters of Mercy, but more in the vein of early gothic literature like Mary Shelley, MR James, EF Benson, B. Stoker, etc. Haunting and esoteric and decadence all in one bucket. A kind of horror-themed Erik Satie, with a touch of early avant-garde music. Simple and moody piano moods, with a tiny spark of eerie glitchiness in the background. Absolutely brilliant, and rather... timeless! Could have worked as background music for Polanski´s The Ninth Gate. 

The second track called Turmoil gets more... kind of disturbing and disruptive piano notes. Weird mood swings, from being calm to being rather in a sense of despair. You have that feeling that something dreadful is going to happen! A rather beautiful track I must say. 

Last and third track called Approximation - Seduction - Copulation: First Encounter with Satan and the Birth of a New Race. This must be here where Lillith meets Samael!. An icy and cold beginning, tip-toe fingers on the piano like toes lightly dancing on dangerously thin ice. Again, the sound and aesthetic of the likes of Satie are clear here! Exquisite avant-garde sound-glitchiness creeps in with a lovely X-Files´ish/90s-Thriller´ ish atmospheric retro-synth. VERY gothic and very horrific! A church-like organ meets the mood just right further on, giving the ritualistic and esoteric elements a lovely atmospheric boost. The ending track ends with those beautiful light piano moods, drifting spiritually into melancholic disintegration. 

I mean WOAWW... Fucking Woaww!. This is the REAL deal. Not some mumbo jumbo esoteric-meets Crowley bullshit in a burger joint. This is it, the real fucking deal. It´s like if Erik Satie should create music for the stories of MR fucking James, while he is reading it. An incredible sincere and chilling experience that will haunt my dreams! I will listen to this again... and again... AND AGAIN!

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onsdag den 20. november 2019

Barbaric Frost - Heroic Quest

Third times the charm. Third Kalteldur review from the polish dungeon-synth label Raven Fortress! From haunted castles to harsh frozen landscapes, now we are embarking on a journey to Hyperborea. To a time where might was right, and heroic warriors would defeat evil sorcery and rescue ravenous and seductive daughters of kings. Or as the cover-artwork could predict, standing face-to-face with a naked queen (on an alter) who might have a heroic quest for the would-be-hero. As the artwork predicts, she is guarded by two stout lookings guards. I do think that (who-ever she is/might be)... that she looks kind of being in a hypnotic state? Might explain the Cthulhu´ish icon over her head! Nevertheless, the beautiful looking physical release (beautiful CD digipack, sadly sold out!)  doesn't reveal a thing regarding a story/concept... BUT! the digital release on Bandcamp does! Here goes : 

One day when he came home, from the path of conquest
He found his village burned, and his beloved wife. she wasn't there.

For many years he was wandering the lands, searching for her.....
When he found her being the priestess of Yog Saggoth...
His quest is to take his beloved one from the paws of dark forces that no man can understand.

So there you go! Not that far from my own story! Although I am not 100% sure that a Cthulhu´ish-icon could represent the globular-formed outer-god Yog-Sothoth? Enough of that! (and yes!... I am a die-hard Lovecraft fan!). The album consists of 4 tracks, in total being 30 minutes. 

First track Frozen Evil, starts off with the sound of several frozen winds heading towards your direction. Distant and mysterious ice-dropping sounds meet up with this, with a menacing and evil sounding synth-melody lurking in the mist. The last two elements joining up is a cold and icy tune and distant martial drummings... sounds as if it is being played inside an ice-cavern! An interesting and simple beginning... reminds me of Cold Meat Industry in the old days.

Second track Barbarian Warrior starts with the icy-winds (which you heard in the first track) which gets accompanied by a ritualistic and heroic heavy atmospheric synth/string/violin-tune. Reminds me (in a way) of some of the early and ambient-orientated martial-wave recordings by French Derniere Volenté. Later on, the tracks speed up with martial moods and pompous melodies. A thing between dungeon synth and martial-wave?... Why not?! sounds really good (We need more of this please!!). 

Third track Eyes of the Serpent is a organ-driven synth piece with occasional spoken words. This is where the quest gets challenging. Something about looking into the eyes of your deepest fears (you get the point!). A cool and sutle track.

Fourth and last track called King of Frost. It offers more icy-winds, distant martial elements and drone´ish tunes. It does sound like the last track on the album. Optimistic and slightly angelic tunes get into the mix (bells and synth), a bit of classic Tangerine Dream here as a matter of fact!. 

Done... over and out! .Heroic Quest completed and experienced points are shared and levels getting up! Or you a getting a chest of gold, becoming a king and everything. A decent and simplistic story-telling barbaric dungeon synth album without too much fuss. I would love 2 hear more. Rumors has it that Ancient Meadow will release the debut called Against the Darkness on cassette! I hope it will be released, and so should you!. 

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mandag den 11. november 2019

Suero + Yama-Biko - Hansenbyó

Spanish cult label Marbre Negre is still very much alive and kicking! This time it will be with local Spanish experimentalist Carlos Suero and a mysterious anonymous vocalist from Japan called Yama-Biko. They have done this album together and had it limited released as a pro-CD-R, encased in a large DVD-sized cardboard cover. 

The cover informs the curious that we are in some abandoned hospital-like building. Probably something which has stood empty since 1997?. The dreaded disease leprosy in Japan has been a case of complete isolation, rather than medical treatment! All leprosy patients have been isolated on a small island, and have been left there (more-or-less) to die in isolation. We´re talking about something which has been going on since 1953 to 1997. 

"The Zenkankyo (Patients' Union) staged a number of struggles against the Ministry of Welfare and they finally won the abolishment of the 1953 Leprosy Prevention Law in 1996. It was ruled that the law was unconstitutional between 1960 and 1996. During this period, the law should have not been present. In 1998, many patients sued the Government for compensation and they won it in 2001."

A frightening concept for an album? Right?. Is it a frightening and dark album?... MY GOD YES!. Atmospheric and cold (and true) industrialism without the hints of dark-ambient! You cannot help to think back to the frightening (but real) concepts by SPK, but your also getting back to other Swedish evil moody roots like Machinenzimmer 412 (before MZ.412) and Archon Satani. 

The first frightening track Sweez Arjosh starts with a hypnotic machine-like humming sound. This sound meets up with a cold and dry repetitive industrial ritual beating. Excellent effects occasionally treat the beat and turn it into a grimy and low-tech vibe. Ear-catching and haunting horror-soundtrack sounds vail and moans in the background sound like a mixture of a huge engine room and a human scream slowed down. Painfull and blood-vomiting ritualistic-background vocals are delivered beautifully by Yama-Biko. Wha6t a beginning!. Next track Filato Amato also has a heavy humming intro which again meets up with an excellent industrial beat, the cool and exquisite sound-aesthetic continues! It really DOES sound like being completely alone, to just die in isolation. The vocals get a more whispering-talking and throaty sound here, cannot help but think about the scene with Killer Bob from Twin Peaks hiding out in the hospital basement here. Really cool vocals, VERY convincing!

Third track Fi Inesr Par also being similar, but being more subversive (and noisy) than the previous tracks. Ritualistic death-beats pounds into oblivion while distorted and reverbed razor-sharp sounds cut you open! Might as well be about Unit 731 (look up on Wikipedia!), and yes!... VERY dark material, again... fans of Archon Satani and Machinenzimmer 412 will dig this. Fourth track Detistil Fardest just sucks you further in, the angst delivered here is powerful. At this point, you start to realize that there isn´t any hope... At all!. A strang looped beat, scythe-like sound effects, sound of a ventilation-system and lovely desperate vocals wishing deliverance. 

I will not reveal how the other tracks are since I can keep on writing, about this amazing underground release. Seek it out if you need a new industrial fix, or plainly seek it out if you need something dark as hell! 

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torsdag den 7. november 2019

Sirena Velena - The Blood Girls (Le Mestruo)

Yup... I am a guy, not a girl. How painful (and irritating) it must be to have your period (as a girl), I DO NOT KNOW. Being short-tempered, tiredness and pain are what I have been informed about it. Sirena Velena has made a small mini-album about it simply called The Blood Girls. This album deals with how other religions look upon menstruation as something aberrant and impure. This is highly expressed on this highly experimental piece of a release. 

Sirena has chosen her own sounds (and approach) to deliver what this album wants to deliver. Highly unique and sincere, and in my opinion, it could well have worked as background stuff to extreme art-performances like the Viena Actionists. Feels like a blend of the very early and trippy (the 70s) Cabaret Voltaire, in the dear company of the mighty Diamanda Galas. Creepy ass stuff, but enjoyable since the stuff has been incredibly well recorded. 

Intimate and sutle industrial electronics with organic sounds and rhythms. Kind of like... being inside a body (when you listen to it). Heart-beat thumpings, breathing (and screaming) vocals combined with stretched out-ambient sounds and wet looped electronic glitchness. I like it very much, and can highly recommend it to old-school industrial fans (TG, Coil, Cabs etc etc). 

It´s only a track album, 20 minutes long... BUT, so far I have heard it like 5 times. And for anyone who wants a special packaging, I can reveal to you that it comes assembled inside an absorbent for women in a red transparent plastic bag! (Pretty badass!). Do check out the official site for Sirena Velena (Link below!). 

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tirsdag den 5. november 2019

Scythe - The Sphere of Quantum

Aspects of doom-metal come in all matters of shape and form. Scythe might just be one of the outsiders of doom/funeral-metal. Hailing from A Coruña, Spain... and having several obscure releases in their ammunition belt aswell. This release was physically released on CD-R by the band itself, and the cassette released on a defunct Russian label called Otvar (2014-2016). As I can see... the cassette can still be purchased through the label´s Bandcamp site, it can also be purchased easily through Discogs (see links below). A 3-track album, with 40 minutes of pure and raw crunchy experimental doom´ness. There is really nothing else I can tell you about this act. Their Facebook and Bandcamp site has been closed, so who knows who hides behind this obscure act from Spain!. 

First track Quantum Waste of Existence gives the listener a good sense of what kind of doom band this actually is. Think early no-wave era with Sonic Youth and Swans, and then think funeral doom like Scepticism and then further on to the early recordings with drone-metal pioneers Earth. It´s not long-haired enough to be doom-metal, too psychedelic to be funeral-metal, too dark to be filed alongside indie-noise rockers and too much action to be labelled as drone-metal (you get the point!... right?!). A punishing delivery of crunchy and heavily distorted bass and guitar with ritualistic no-wave drums, with eerie scream-like effects in the background. The whole thing sounds like it has been recorded in the sewers, tons of mood and it sounds fxxxx great!.

Second track Dreamlike Humankind´s Intermission turns down on the rock sound, and delivers are more experimental ambient-noise sound-treatment. A very sort of old-school industrial feeling starts the track... metallic clatterings, looped hummings, bell-like sounds, distorted and torturous moods, slow and thundering drummings, monotone toy-piano-likes keyboard... and a very creepy desert/Texas-breed psychedelic guitar going on! I mean... Woawww!. Being high on mescaline close to Spahn Ranch in Death Valley!. What can go wrong?!. 

Last track (and the longest) called Scythetic Fate For... Adds more death-doom growl-vocals to the infernal doom-mix. Might just be the most ritualistic and trippy free-improvisational track on the album. Kind of a slow version of Autopsy with the acid-drenched free-form style of early Controlled Bleeding. I´ll say no more here, incredible track and an incredible way of ending the album.

A 5 star-motel treatment for everyone, go and give it a listen and headhunt their tape for god sake!.

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mandag den 28. oktober 2019

Winterlandschaft - L'obscurité

Debut release from a project that is active on the new and Polish (and excellent also!) Raven Fortress label. So far the label had released two beautifully looking digipacks from two different projects. This one called Winterlandschaft (Winter Landscapes) and another called Barbaric Frost. I will get to the review of the later release further on. This limited digipack version is a 6 track album, just over 30 minutes of chilly and grim landscapes of coldness and dread. All the tracks on the album don't have any names... just I, II, III, IV, V and VI.          

As you can imagine, the cover-artwork tells it all. A hard-working hunchbacked peasant-lady trying desperately to gain use (grow something) with the hard and frozen soil, maybe trying to dig-up lost potatoes in a spot which she hasn´t been digging? The effort might be as fruitless likes the naked trees in the background, finding food or growing it in the harsh wintertime... something u might do when you are feeling the torture of starvation.

A lovely epic (but quiet) minimal piece of cold and morbid dreadness. Winter synth with a tiny touch of murky bit-synth. The first track starts off with a heavy and vibrating moody synth-key, kind of depressing but with a certain relaxing warmth to it. Think it might be the sound of autumn, that certain feeling when you start to notice the brown leaves and the cold rain on your face. Beautiful but also slightly sad. This heavy synth key meets up with a lighter and atmospheric synth, which almost describes the landscape before you. Yes, the flowers are gone and the leaves are falling down to the ground. The Second track welcomes the cold, darkness and frosty autumn nights. The kind of coldness which leaves frost on your window (or car!). The sound of an upcoming winter depression might be on the way. A darker piece than the first one, nonetheless very beautiful and timeless. The Third track welcomes the snow on the early morning, the kind of snow which kills every sound and movement for miles. EVERYTHING just stands completely still! You are also receiving a sense of getting lost in the mesmerizing snowy-landscape, mainly because everything looks the same... snowy white!. A walk to the nearby village (for food) will not be easier, nor will those potatoes you forgot in the soil (oh dear).

The fourth track welcomes the coldness on winter nights, warmth is all that matters!. It sounds like the kind of coldness which sneaks unnoticed into houses, and leaves you dead-cold after several hours. Almost a haunted horror-themed dread here going on! The fifth track welcomes a kind of hopelessness, the kind of hopelessness that pops up when all else had failed. And you accept it, as you are accepting the beautiful (and cruel) side of the winter season. Last sixth track welcomes death, the kind of death which leaves the same kind of quietness which you´ve heard on track three. A quiet and lonely death which (maybe) will be discovered in spring, after all the snow has melted away. A very meditative melancholic and heavy piece of ambient-synth´ness. 

A great album with tons of minimalistic cold synth-moods. Highly recommended winter-synth for the lonely cold winter nights. Be quick, few physical copies are remaining on the label´s Bandcamp site!            

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