Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Brian Green + Frske – Output Data c20

I'm finding myself rather unimpressed with what this collaboration has to offer. A hodgepodge of beats, samples, and static drenched synthesizers, Output Data is little more than a meandering sound collage. Occasionally something with promise manifests, but the sound quickly drifts off into mediocrity. It's not that Output Data is a terrible album, rather that there are better things you could be listening to.

Hand Rolled Gold

Demonic Death Judge/Semtex/Frogskin – By The Malice of Evil...Death Comes Vol 1. cd

Took me a while to finally get my hands on this, but damn was the wait worth it. A split between three Finnish heavyweights, this is fuckin' rad. Demonic Death Judge kick things off with three tracks of doom laden sludge. There's just a hint of the psychedelic, stoner rock sound and the vocals have an unusual, roaring echo, which gives the songs a really distinct sound. With a more typical sludge sound are the four tracks from Semtex. You can't help but make a comparison to Bongzilla, but that's really unfair to Semtex, as their style is more blues influenced and far better sounding. Finally the album is rounded out with three tracks of dark, grimy sludge from Frogskin. There's a heavy crust influence and the vocals sound like something off a black metal album. This is easily my favorite of the three, but all of these bands are laying out some sick tunes. Get your hands on a copy of this and go load up that bong...

Shifty Records

i AM esper – Explosion Of The Red Giant c40

I'd commented in an earlier post that it appeared i AM esper was undergoing a musical and thematic shift and Explosion Of The Red Giant confirms this transformation. Gone are the dense guitar drones dedicated to nature, replaced with cold, ambient rumblings from space. This is a very minimalistic and bleak album; not really what you'd expect from i AM esper. It's rad stuff, and showcases the talent and complexity of the project. Now for the bad news: Explosion Of The Red Giant was super limited and is sold out. Luckily, the album has been posted on i AM esper's band camp, so all you lame asses who didn't snag a copy can still check it out.

Self released

Láppide/Northern Forest/Empty of Darkness/Endless Solitude – Northern Depression cd-r

I'm kind of bummed out with this cd. The prospect of hearing some new material from Láppide had me pumped, but it turns out the track here is the one from the Meu Velho Caixão demo. And the Northern Forest piece is also recycled from the album reviewed in the last post. They're solid tracks, but I wanted some new stuff. Luckily I hadn't heard anything from Empty of Darkness or Endless Solitude, so the album wasn't a total let down. Empty of Darkness plays solid, if somewhat straightforward, black metal. Endless Solitude, a one-man side project of Empty of Darkness, let loose with a track of black metal that mixes melody and raw fury. Northern Depression is a great introduction for people who're new to these projects, but if you are familiar with them, you're going to get some songs you've already heard.

Smell the Stench

Syrinx & P·A·L· – Governance cd-r

Getting a little burned out on ambient music? Can't deal with anymore atmospheric synth jams? Well Syrinx & P·A·L· have just what the doctor ordered. Governance merges mellow guitar drones, mechanized noises, and ghostly, synthetic vocal loops to create an ominous industrial ambient sound. It's unsettling and engaging, the sort of thing that raises those hairs on the back of your neck. Need I say more? Go snag a copy.

Dark Meadow Recordings

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