Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Collapsed Arc – In Cursive c20

Collapsed Arc is at it again, this time with two side long slabs of glitchy looped audio. In Cursive is dense and claustrophobic, possessing a disjointing non-percussive rhythm. It's rad as hell, some of the better experimental music I've heard in a while.

Imminent Frequencies

Conspiracy 666 – Conspiracy 666 cd-r

The first demo from Brazil's Conspiracy 666, you get two tracks of black metal with a technical edge. There is a surprisingly pro vibe to this; both tracks are composed & played with skill and the production is crystal clear. Nice to hear a black metal band recording in a studio instead of their parent's basement. Worth checking out if your preference in black metal runs toward skill rather than rawness.

Bosque Produções

Cop Bar – No Justice, Just Law c60

Holy fuck! Go get a copy of this right now. No Justice, Just Law is 20 songs in under 20 minutes of Cop Bar's grind/hardcore insanity. There's a great balance of being heavy, but not too serious. I can't wait till these guys drop their split 7' with Captain 3 Leg next year. Seriously, go get this already.

Self released

Impostüre/Skeld – Split cd-r

France's Impostüre kick things off with two tracks of blackened death metal that's got a certain rock-n-roll vibe to it. I'm digging it. And, the vocals are ridiculously guttural; they sound like something from some scummy goregrind act, but it ends up working great here. America's Skeld wrap the album up with three tracks of cacophonous black metal. It was a little too loud and abrasive for my tastes. Check it out for the Impostüre half, and who knows, maybe you'll dig Skeld too.

Glossolalia Records

Keasmonic Heritage – Metos cd-r

A single track ep from the ambient side project of Count Shannäth, the majority of Metos is constructed from interwoven nature field recordings and meandering keyboards. Pretty standard fare, until you get to the sudden appearance of the feedback laden guitar or cheesy, digital lute solo. All in all, a fairly mediocre release. Pass.

Bosque Produções

Laura Warholic – what comes before the word?? c26

The majority of this tape is nearly inaudible. I donno if I just got a fucked up dub or it's supposed to sound that low, but it left me nonplussed. The A starts off with a whining electronic piece that goes nowhere, then there's a folksy-shoegaze track, followed by a spoken piece over a sound collage, and things get rounded off with a fuzzed out, wah-wah guitar jam. I'd be digging those last three tracks if I could actually hear them without having to turn the volume up to 11. Flip the tape and there's this dark, rambling, sci-fi spoken piece that's layered over really driving percussion and synth. It's rad as hell, even with the fucked sound. The rest of the tape is taken up with a ghostly, ethereal track. It's a cool piece, but feels a little anticlimactic following such a burner. I really hope it's just my copy that's messed up and not all of them sound like this, because there's some awesome music on here and I want to tell you to snag a copy.

Faux Pas Records

Monday, December 5, 2011


Art Imperial – Look at the Moon I Feel the Agony of Tomorrow cd-r

Oh, I'm so digging this. A single track of astral, instrumental, ambient black metal, Look at the Moon... is a total trance inducer. The guitar is surprisingly abrasive for such an ambient piece, but the faux saw wave feedback sound actually works perfectly as a counter point to the rest of the music. If you're at all into progressive black metal, drone metal, post metal, etc, you wanna check this out.

Bosque Produções

Bear Trap/Sloth – Slothbear: I Am Mobile cd

This split album starts off with 24 tracks from Bear Trap, with all of which but four clocking in at under a minute. Basically, they sound like the bastard child of a power violence band and a free jazz act; it'd be filed under noisecore, but there's just something about it that I cant get into. Sloth rounds things out with three tracks of their harsh-noise-with-a-sax schtick. This is a rough one because both bands are good at what they do, but the type of music they play here just isn't my deal.

Self released

Count Shannäth – Unreleased cd-r

Lurking in the piney woods behind the Lane Bryant outlet store is Conroe's grimmest one-man dsbm act, Count Shannäth. It's hard to be kvlt in the suburbs of Houston, but damn if he isn't trying. Anyhow, the ep opens up with “Autumn Haze”, a solid track of depressive black metal with a heavy shoe-gaze aspect. The vocals were a little overly dramatic, but otherwise it's ok. Up next is a track titled “Unreleased”, which should have stayed that way. The mix is bad, with a ridiculous amount of feedback and the thing is just a general damn mess. I'll probably check out some other stuff from the Count, but I can't recommend this particular release.

Bosque Produções

Food Pyramid/Deep Earth – Split 45

Niiiice, I didn't know anyone still dropped 45s; gotta love busting out the yellow snake spindle adapter for that big hole. Food Pyramid lets loose with some outer space beats and electronics. Deep Earth rounds things out with atmospheric synth and funky bass lines. And, both these burners clock in at over 5 minutes. So fuckin' rad, go get it already.

moon glyph

Sam Gas Can – Life on Earth is Pure and Golden, Life on Earth is Hell on Earth c24

You definitely need an appreciation for outsider music and weirdo pop to get into this little album here. Life on Earth... consists of nine short pieces that vary wildly in style, jumping from indie electronic compositions to cornball, lounge-y jams with out missing a beat. Excluding a few acoustic, folksy tracks, the music is driven by old, analog keyboards. It's cool stuff, but not everyone's going to be able to enjoy it.

Lighten Up Sounds

:Wulgata: - Eastern Sons: Fourth Journey Into the Heart of the Ancient cd-r

Playing dark ambient infused with the folk music of southeastern and far eastern Asia, :Wulgata: has released an impressive album with Eastern Sons. I was a little skeptical when I snagged a copy of this, afraid it would be nothing more than synthesizers and poorly played zhonghu, but this fear proved to be unfounded. The music is both skillfully composed and well played. There's the slightest industrial influence on the album that gives the songs an edge. Recommended.

Invisible Eye Productions

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Epocha Tristèsse – Epocha Tristèsse cd-r

A collaboration between two of the underground's more prolific musicians, Brazil's Kavara (Satanic Forest, Northern Forest, Láppide, etc, etc) and Germany's F (Svartalvs, Todessucht, Black Werewolf, etc, etc), Epocha Tristèsse pumps out some raw, depressive black metal. It's good stuff; a little slower than I was expecting, but it works out well. Hopefully this isn't a one time deal, as the single eight minute track on here isn't enough to satisfy my eardrums.

Bosque Produções

Flower Man – Inversion Fortuite 10" lp

Distorted strings, chirpy electronics, flanged ambiance, and the occasional disembodied voice is what you can expect to find on this one sided 10 inch ep. It's a weirdo release, but damn if Flower Man doesn't manage to pull it off and leave you wanting more. There's a playful, lighthearted nature about the unconventional sounds on Inversion Fortuite, too. Recommended for those of you looking for something a little eccentric, but accessible.

Monofonus Press

Ralph White – The Hanged Man c40

Ralph White is an impressive musician. He plays the banjo, accordion, and is a fiddler too. Unfortunately, what he's not as skilled at is song writing. The tracks on The Hanged Man seem to ramble and meander aimlessly to the point of annoyance. Further irritating is White's nasal, yodel-y vocal style, which misses the mark throughout the album. With as much as I've been getting into americana and folk, I was excited about getting my hands on this slab of 'acid bluegrass', but instead find myself sorely disappointed. I've come to appreciate this a little more with each listening, but not enough for me to recommend it.

Sloow Tapes

Sloth/Hogra – Split 7″

If I were still into noise, I'd probably be going apeshit over this ep. Sloth starts things off with a totally chaotic slab of harsh sound, that includes a frenzied sax. Hogra rounds the release out with two tracks of static pulsations, noise, and visceral growling. Worth checking out if you're into sonic dissonance.

Self released

Strings of Distorted Doom – The Winter Demos 2008 – 2009 cd-r

While unable to usurp Necrosadik's title of “shittiest sounding band ever”, Strings of Distorted Doom is definitely churning out some terrible, terrible music. A two man, black-noise-metal-whatever group, three of the four tracks are train wrecks that consist of vocal and guitar racket. The last track switches things up with a marginally listenable track of dark ambient. There is no reason for you to own this.

Bosque Produções

Xladnokrovie 616 – Gorod cd-r x2

This is fucking massive; four tracks split over two cds that clock in at over an hour a piece. The basic element of Xladnokrovie 616's sound is quiet, rumbling soundscapes that are overlaid with minimalist instrumental drones and rhythmic field recordings. While, at first, I found myself enjoying Gorod, I quickly began to find the music boring and monotonous. There's definitely a progression in the sound over the four tracks, but it's rather minuscule. I can't help but feel like this was a single track about 25 minutes longs, that was stretched out to fill up two hours. The only audience I can see enjoying this are the most fanatic drone enthusiasts.

A Beard of Snails Records

Monday, November 7, 2011


Dark Isle – Poetry By An Open Fire cd-r

Collecting two eps and some unreleased work, Poetry By An Open Fire is 25 tracks of experimentation with electronic beats, neoclassical keyboards, and ambient soundscapes. With as many tracks as there are on the album, there's a fair amount of variance in Dark Isle's work. Some of the pieces were basic triphop stuff, while others were interesting, genre blending tunes. While this isn't really a style of music I'm into, I found myself enjoying the album. This will be appreciated for those who enjoy more progressive ambient or dub.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Grasshopper – Miles In The Sky c20

I've been digging the Grasshopper cassette I reviewed a few posts back so much that when I saw this limited, tour only release was reissued, I had to snag a copy. The boys kick things off with a side long track that starts as really harsh drone and ends with trumpets and electronic ambiance. The B side is more trumpet drones and synth pulsations, but a little more laid back. Cool stuff.

House of Alchemy

Permafrost – End of Humanity cd

I get the feeling that End of Humanity is a collection of Permafrost's odds and ends packaged together. The five dark ambient tracks stand well enough on their own, but when listened to as a whole, they lack a sense of cohesiveness. The two songs which are continuations from other songs on other albums particularly stand out, as the atmosphere they create is noticeably different from this album's other tracks. It's not a bad album, but the inability of the songs to mesh and create a shared ambiance is frustrating.

Invisible Eye Productions


You can't get any more rad than this right here. Playing something akin to 'sludge gaze', SSSTORMSHELTERRRR manages to churn out a heavy, dreamy, doom-pop sound. You only get three tracks, but it'll keep you till they release a full length. Soooooo recommended.

Monofonus Press

These Feathers Have Plumes – all cats are grey by night c22

Composing bass driven drone that's skillfully interwoven with field recordings, These Feathers Have Plumes has a mysterious and elusive sound. With each listening of all cats are grey by night, something new presents itself and you're absorbed deeper into the music. This is an essential addition to the collection of any serious drone aficionado.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Akoustik Timbre Frekuency – Gnostik Spasms cd-r

From what I can gather, Gnostic Spasms is a summoning or banishing device of some sort or another, complete with the necessary sigils included in the liner notes. Exactly what supernatural presence is being called up remains unknown, but hopefully it enjoys drone music too. Anyhow, as you may have already guessed, Akoustik Timbre Frekuency plays ritualistic drone with a heavy mystical emphasis. Because of the occult aspect, you might expect this to go the whole spooky supernatural route, but instead it focuses on altering your consciousness and penetrating the subliminal. Even if you're not into the arcane wisdom contained with in, you'll dig this just for the music.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Clathrus – Lanugo 3" cd-r

Well, what have we here? Lanugo is cool little collection of laid back, electronic dreamscapes. There's a nice kind of folky, world music vibe running through the album, especially noticeable in the vaguely gamelan percussion. Recommended for your trance-inducing pleasure.

A Beard of Snails Records

Gloom Seance – Horrible Tales cd

A collection of two earlier released eps and a bonus track, Horrible Tales sounds like the soundtrack to one of those cheesy, zombie apocalypse type video games. Perhaps “horror ambient” just isn't my thing, but it didn't seem like Gloom Seance was capable of establishing any sort of foreboding or scary atmosphere. The bottom line is that you've got eight tracks here that don't manage to establish the desired mood and fall short of being solid cuts of ambient music in their own right.

Invisible Eye Productions

Necrosadik – Speak In Silence (A Self-Destructive Introspection) cd-r

Speak In Silence has to be, easily, one of the worst albums I've ever heard. Necrosadik claims to play depressive black metal, but in reality it's just a dude banging on a guitar and howling like a cat in heat. Try as I might, I haven't even been able to make it all the way through the album. After about 30 minutes, it feels like my ears are getting cancer. I've been putting off reviewing this for a solid month, just because the thought of listening to it again is terrifying. This is so bad it's not even funny.

Smell The Stench

Opponents – Scopes Sarcophagus c44

Opponents kick things off with a side of piercing, rumbling drones overlaid with disembodied voices. Niiice. On the flip side we get more harsh stuff, this time backed with pulsating synths that add an unusual rhythmic element. These dudes have served up some really rad tunes with Scopes Sarcophagus and being that it's a limited release, you better go snag a copy asap.

905 Tapes

Friday, September 30, 2011


Baalberith/Razakel Krieg – Dawn of a New Existence cd-r

For those hoping the Baalberith half of this split will be Abortion of Religious Futility Part 2, you're out of luck. The earlier thrash undertones have been replaced with melodic aspects. No, I'm not talking keyboards or a computerized orchestra or that type of bullshit, but noticeably richer and complex guitar work. Baalberith is still playing kvlt black metal, so just calm down. Razakel Krieg, the solo project of Baalberith's vocalist, fills out the rest of the cd with some solid black metal. It's good stuff, but Baalberith is a hard act to follow. Interesting to see how Baalberith's sound is evolving as well as hearing the solo work from it's founder & vocalist. Check it out.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Grasshopper – Classical Music c20

Woooah dude...Grasshopper lets loose on the screws with a sidelong mash up of low frequency drones and cosmic pulse tones. On the B we get served up 10 minutes of rumbling, squealing sound formations. Jams straight from Azathoth's pipers.

905 Tapes

J&Y – J&Y c24

I hope you're ready for your daily dose of krautrock weirdness, cause J&Y is serving it up...Big time. Thing start off with three instrumental tracks composed of fuzzy electronics, bass, and drums. There's a little garage vibe, but not enough to label things as being rough. The A gets wrapped up with a Sebadoh cover that's markedly different in sound, with dreamy synth and vocals. On the flip is a massive chunk of slowed down electric sound and manipulated samples. Recommended.

Plus Tapes

Misantronics – Cacotopia cd-r

Another collection of improv tracks, the music on Cacotopia has a much grittier, industrial feel than on the earlier Moral Panic And The End Of Reason. It seems like things are a little tighter here, too. The electronic percussion, rumbling ambient, and slabs of noise seem to have been crafted together slightly more fluidly than before. This is the bleak soundtrack to a dystopian future.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Friday, September 16, 2011


Black Velvet Stereo – Iron Trees c19

Containing four tracks of dark, rumbling dronescapes, Iron Trees has been seeing a lot of play on my tapedeck. Black Velvet Stereo crafted the tunes on broken down instruments, which you'd expect would result in gritty sort of sound, but instead it's foreboding and a little sci-fi sounding. Digging this a lot, can't wait to hear more from BVS.

A Beard of Snails Records

Dozens/Confused Kundalini – Split c50

Dozens gets this split started with a side long, psychedelic journey into the realms of deep space. A raucous guitar and synth improv that's pretty rad. Things get wrapped up on the B with Confused Kundalini, who drop five mystical tracks of synths, field recordings, and vocal harmonies. Hard to pick a winner on this one, but I think it's Confused Kundalini by a hair.

Tranquility Tapes

Frozen-Hearted – Tragic Night cd-r

The debut ep from this one-man atmospheric doom unit, Tragic Night is worth scoping out as a soundtrack for your despair. Things start off with a bell heavy, dark ambient intro, followed by a somber doom metal dirge, and conclude with some more dark synth stuff. Let the black nothingness envelope you.

Smell The Stench

Marco Grosso – In The Presence of Pan cd-r

When In The Presence of Pan starts out, you suspect it'll just be a slab of laid back, ambient field recordings. Birds chirping, leaves rustling, the wind murmuring; it's something nice to have on in the background while you read. Wrong. Because after a while these low key instrumental drones start up, then comes the distant, ritualistic chanting, and you realize something important is taking place. If you're not focused on the music, it's all going to slip right past you. The mistake is in assuming that because In The Presence of Pan is calm and quiet, you can just zone out to it. An impressively crafted piece of ambient music that's not for everyone, but rather aimed at connoisseurs of the genre.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Syrinx & Jessica Bailiff – Fear Of The Red Admirals cd-r

As a reviewer, it's frustrating when presented with an album like Fear Of The Red Admirals because I'm acutely aware that whatever I write down is not going to accurately convey the magnitude of the music on the album. A collaboration between mechanized drone unit Syrinx and post-rocker Jessica Bailiff, these are some of the most dynamic experimental tunes I've heard in a while. I dislike categorizing the album under such a broad, amorphous term as “experimental,” but there's so much going on that it shouldn't simply be tagged as either ambient or drone. One can't help but become submerged in the waves of sound that slowly roll over you. Fear Of The Red Admirals is a must have for your collection.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Uruk-hai – Barbarians: A Tribute to Basil Poledouris 3' cd-r

Paying homage to the original Conan the Barbarian and Basil Poledouris, the composer of the film's soundtrack, I'm digging what Uruk-hai's done here. The four songs on the album are all either covers, medleys, or reinterpretation of music from the soundtrack. The stand outs are “Barbarians,” a sick black metal piece with some folk aspects, and “Piano Suite,” a somber piano medley of several recognizable songs from the soundtrack. Niiiiiice.

Smell The Stench

Friday, August 26, 2011


B. Lone Engines – B. Lone Engines cd-r

Dark Meadow Recordings has recently been dropping albums from artists that are way out there, and B. Lone Engines is no exception. This has to be one of the more progressive and complicated collection of soundscapes I've heard. First off, there's a highly aggressive aspect to it, with abrasive sine wave formations and droning guitar feedback, sounds one normally doesn't associate with 'soundscape' music. This is not to say B. Lone Engines has a 'harsh' sound to it, as there's an equal amount of subdued, quiet sections. I feel inclined to file this under ambient, but there's such a cornucopia of sounds that it'd be doing the album an injustice. Recommended for those of you who want something that's going to stimulate and challenge your audio palate.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Music That Doesn't Suck #6

Cool zine here that includes all the staples of a music rag; reviews, interviews, a scene report, a tour diary, etc. The tunes covered inside are mostly punk & garage stuff from Utah, which is kinda off my radar, but there are also some random gems, like the review of an ep of 60's organ groove by the Egyptian Combo. Oh, and there some pretty rad comix too. If you're in Utah, a surrounding state, or dig garage-y punk stuff, MTDS is required reading.


Northern Forest – Perdido No Verde Da Natureza / Winter Grey Sky cd-r

A two track ep, Perdido No Verde Da Natureza, starts off with a 10 minute piece that combines forest sounds, mellow synthesizers, blast beats, and guttural vocals. Definitely an original and unusual sound, but not something that everyone's going to enjoy. The second track is a pleasant, albeit average sounding, dreamy ambient composition. Snag it for the first track, if you're the type who likes genre-bending ambient.

Up next is Winter Grey Sky, which contains a single track of subdued, minimal soundscape. The track is interesting with it's heavy use of bells, which blend well with the synthesizers and desolate field recordings. The atmosphere created by the sound doesn't really synch up with the ep's title, but that's not a huge problem.

Smell the Stench

Old Man Forest – Maid Up Saints cd-r

Playing quirky, americana fueled pop, Old Man Forest falls outside of my usual listening rotation, but I'm really digging Maid Up Saints. Tracks run the gauntlet from a cappella southern folk pieces to haunting, dreamy pop songs. Unfortunately, the band seems to have slipped into indefinite hiatus, so there's the strong possibility this is it from them, which is a shame.

A Beard of Snails Records

Satanic Forest – Maléfica Arte De Satanás cd-r

A hurricane of lo-fi, one man, black metal hatred from Brazil, Satanic Forest is here to destroy everything and praise the Horned One. You already know if you dig this kinda stuff or not, and Maléfica Arte De Satanás wont change your opinion one way or the other. It's good for what it is, I only wish their were around five tracks, instead of just the two.

Smell The Stench

Friday, August 5, 2011


Daniel Menche – Like a Ghost Singing To You c40

Now this is what I envision when I hear people use the term “harsh ambient”. Created by digitally manipulating the first vocal recording ever made, 10 seconds worth of sound from over 150 years ago, Daniel Menche has crafted two tracks of densely textured, glitchy soundscapes. It's slightly chaotic and very low-key; think the wind moaning as it blows through the chard remnants of civilization. It cost a pretty penny to get Like a Ghost Singing To You shipped over from Greece, but it was well worth it.


Láppide – Meu Volho Caixão cd-r

A single track of stripped-down, funeral doom, I suspect some aficionados of this genre may be turned off by Láppide's sound. Why? Well, it's slow and dirgeful enough, but where are the stereotypical melodic keyboards and trademark monkish chanting? Meu Volho Caixão is all about despair, suicide, and that distorted electric guitar. I liked this for a demo, but I want to see Láppide grow from here. Anyhow, turn this up and remember to coil that noose of yours around 13 times.

Smell The Stench Records

Make Believe Bombs/Color Rabbit – Split c62

Make Believe Bombs kicks things off with a side long track of acid kraut rock that fades out into deep space synth before jumping into a little bit of aggressive post-rock which then drifts into shimmering, atmospheric glory. Niiiiice....Now hand me that bong, dude. On the flip is Color Rabbit with eight tracks of psychedelic electronics and looped found sounds. It's kinda far out and I'm digging it. Usually when I review splits, I like to select one band as the winner, but this one will have to be a tie. Check it out.

Felt Cat Records

Misantronics – moral panic and the end of reason cd-r

Layering harsh, rhythmic soundscapes over electronic percussion, Misantronics is pumping out some menacing stuff on moral panic and the end of reason. There was a track or two where the beats got a little too drum-n-base for my taste, or where an unnecessary keyboard popped up, but it wasn't a big issue. On the whole I dug what I heard, especially the massive 13+ minute burners that bookend the album.

Dark Meadow Recordings

ORPHAN ‌ Oliver – three times away c44

For those unaware, the artist formally known as Orphan is now ORPHAN ‌ Oliver and will, allegedly, finally become Oliver. The significance of this name evolution? Iunno...I'm no psychologist, I'm just in this for the tunes. And, said tunes are magnificent. With eight tracks of dreamy, melancholy music infused with distant, echoing vocals, ambling keyboards, and sparse percussion, three times away makes you want to close your eyes and drift off into that grey nothingness. Highly recommended.

IHAA Records

Охотники за Головами – Meat of Authority cd-r

Rarely does a musical act come along that manages to leave me feeling befuddled, but Охотники за Головами has done just that. If I were to try and pigeon hole the sound on Meat of Authority, I'd say 'post-industrial', but that label sounds really dumb and is a gross oversimplification of what's going on here. The backbone of Охотники за Головами's sound is 90's industrial rock, but there are healthy doses of electronic experimentation, classical, and ambient sounds blended in. Usually when groups try this sort of thing, it results in an audio clusterfuck (see Demetrius Grave), but here the music is surprisingly well played and both the songs & album have a solid sense of cohesiveness. While not a genre of music I'm particularly into, I'll wager fans of industrial music will eat this up. If this is your scene, better get get a copy 'cause Meat of Authority is a limited release.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Scumbag Summer #4: The Sound of Sadness Silence is Golden

Slick little art and poetry zine here from Germany. Seeing as I nein sprechen Deutsch, I cant tell you anything about the poetry. What I can tell you about is the art, which is a collection of mixed media collage pieces and drawings. As the title of this issue of Scumbag Summer suggests, there's an element of isolation and gloom about the works. Worth checking out if you dig art zines or can read stuff in kraut.

Scumbag Summer

sLoth – BUBbling over! 7'

Venturing off into garage-y noise rock, no-wave territory, sLoth serves up two tracks of audio dissonance. While I'm digging what I hear, you've got to remember I spent large sections of my youth going deaf to the likes of godheadSilo and Happy Flowers, so this isn't for everyone.

Self released