Thursday, 29 December 2016

Daily fix of them good ol' blues pills: from Lightnin' Hopkins till EYEHATEGOD

End of the year, New Year's eve still ahead of me, only 13 bucks left in my pocket till my payday (which is in a week from now) make me feel blue. Bartender, Jim on the rocks and the cheapest beer you've got!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Holiday season's greetings

If you are reading this, then in a very festive spirit of the upcoming holiday season, I would like to wish you to choke on your gift, you miserable, manipulative cunt! Just live your pathetic life and stop projecting your shit onto other people. (You know who you are) 

Kind regards up your rectum,

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

When "side projects" don't suck...

What did the mastermind Mr Scheidt do when Yob got disbanded in 2006 up until the reformation of the band in 2008? 
- Well, he formed another band together with Indian's Will Lindsay.

What does the band sound like? 
- Killer!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

We can't stop here, this is bat country!

What is the first band that comes to your mind when I say "South Africa"? If you just mumbled "DIE ANTWOORD" then you have two options my dear reader:

  1. put a gun to your head, pull the trigger and spare us all from your stupidity,
  2. read on further and witness one of the best rock acts from the mentioned area or possibly the whole continent.

Ruff Majik is a mental, very addictive and sexy stoner/desert rock act from South Africa. I think I have nothing more to add to it except that rock is NOT dead. Actually quite contrary to popular belief, it is still alive thanks to the bands like this - let the music speak for itself friends, it's time for some good ol' sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

No yoga for fat men

A lot of my friends and acquaintances have been badgering me forever about my strength training routine and how can I manage keeping everything on track - a full-time job, a band, family and training. It is a lengthy and boring subject so I guess the short answer is, I don't. It is physically impossible to be full bore at everything all the time so setting the right priorities at the right time based on my short term goals is probably the key. To avoid getting frequently nagged by annoying bastards in the future I decided to put a detailed description of my training routine here and use it as a reference later on when someone else will ask me the same darn question again.

I like to keep things as simple and as specific as possible, I'm a firm believer that a perfection of a strength training program lies in repeating the same thing over and over again consistently over a great period of time and slowly increasing the load and/or volume you are working with - progressing linearly. The best thing, you as a lifter, can do is not get hurt as you keep adding more weight to the bar. That said the program I've been using with great success for the last few years now is a bastardized version of Wendler's 5/3/1. To learn more about the 5/3/1 pick up your copy of the book here and support the man behind it! To give you a fair expectation about the results, I increased my maximum deadlift by 65kg (from 150kg - 215kg), max squat by 62,5kg (from 130kg - 192,5kg) and my bench by 30kg (from 100kg - 130kg) over a not so long period of 3 years. I've been training different sports since I was around ten and strength training since nineteen, now I'm 27, so not all of my progress contributes to 5/3/1 but it surely makes up a significant part of it. All the lifts were done raw and, not considering my usage of alcohol, I'm pretty much drug free. Here is the template I'm using at the moment.

Main movement percentages:
  • Week 1: 
    • 5 reps @ 65 % from 90% of 1RM 
    • 5 reps @ 75 % from 90% of 1RM 
    • 5 reps @ 85 % from 90% of 1RM
  • Week 2: 
    • 3 reps @ 70 % from 90% of 1RM 
    • 3 reps @ 80 % from 90% of 1RM 
    • 3 reps @ 90 % from 90% of 1RM
  • Week 3: 
    • 5 reps @ 75 % from 90% of 1RM
    • 3 reps @ 85 % from 90% of 1RM 
    • 2 reps @ 95 % from 90% of 1RM
  • Week 4:
    • Repeat week 1 and add additional 2,5kg to your 1RM and recalculate the weight based on the percentages specified above (here is a tool I wrote a long time ago to make these calculations somewhat automatic)
Monday: Squat
  • M: Squats
  • A: Squats, 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (@ 65 % from 90% of 1RM), (beltless, without, knee wraps, sleeves, wrist bands etc., be as tight and as explosive as possible)
  • A: Pullups, 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (Just go heavy on these)
  • A: Leg extensions / Leg curls, 3 supersets of 10 reps (go back and forth with no rest in between) 
Wednesday: Bench
  • M: Bench presses
  • A: Bench presses, 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (@ 65 % from 90% of 1RM), (beltless, without elbow wraps, sleeves, wrist bands etc., be as tight and as explosive as possible)
  • A: Military presses, 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (@ 85 % from 90% of 1RM, this will feel heavy, but I've found that if I drop the weight here my bench goes down immediately) (beltless, without elbow wraps, sleeves, wrist bands etc., be as tight and as explosive as possible)
  • A: Tricep extensions / Bicep curls, 3 supersets of 10 reps (go back and forth with no rest in between) 
Friday: Deadlift
  • M: Deadlifts
  • A: Deadlifts 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (@ 65 % from 90% of 1RM), (beltless, without knee wraps, sleeves, wrist bands, wrist wraps etc., be as tight and as explosive as possible, do these with an overhand grip occasionally as well)
  • A: Pendlay rows, 5 or 6 sets of 5 reps (Just go heavy on these)
  • A: Back extensions / Leg raises, 3 supersets of 10 reps (go back and forth with no rest in between) 
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturtday, Sunday: Off

Essentially my goal is to strength train 3 times a week consistently and not waste any of my precious time on stupid shit like decline bench dumbbell flyes or wrist curls. Doing only the things that count leaves me more flexible and I have the ability to do other stuff besides training in my spare time. I can write music, write my blog and spend time with my girlfriend and son. Once I started building my training around my life instead of building my life around my training everything just fell into its place. I try to live a little, get my ass to a party, hang out with friends and family or spend an occasional training day creating something of an artistic value if the opportunity presents itself. I can always switch the training days or do the "meatgrinder" (training three days in a row) to make up for it. I don't take deloads every fourth week as Jim tells to do in his book, because I consider myself being too weak to actually overtrain.
  • Grow a pair;
  • Stick to the shit that counts, shit that hurts, trim the excess;
  • Stay consistent;
  • Bleed under the bar.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. 
/Antoine de Saint-Exupery/

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Gruss vom Krampus / Half a dozen of 2016 must hear releases.

I guess the title is pretty much self-explanatory. As you have noticed then to create senseless album tops has become somewhat of a Christmas trend practised by various metal zines and fans around the word. Let me jump on the bandwagon as well. Yule is at our doorstep and I hope you've been staying naughty this year 'cause Krampus is coming to your house! He'll  probably bring you a sweet leather jacket and some ass-kicking metal albums. 

Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä

Psychedelic, trance inducing black metal! The compositions of the songs won't leave you disappointed as they are both elegant and clever.

Lord Mantis - Nice Teeth Whore

Crushing and evil... it made me harder than Chinese calculus. You can't even imagine how many consecutive plays by me has this album experienced.

Earlier this year Lord Mantis and Indian had announced that their long time drummer Bill had passed away at the age of 35. Rest in power Bill Bumgardner, you will be missed!

1000mods - Repeated exposure to

High output psychedelic stoner riffage from beginning to end. Saw these guys live at Devilstone this summer, they just stole the whole show and completely blew my mind - one of the best live performances I've witnessed by far, been hooked ever since.

Dopethrone - 1312

A 3 track crushing EP by Canada's dirtiest sludge/doom trio Dopethrone. Fuck tout!

Bloodiest - S/T

Everything on this album is close to being perfect and songs just tie into one another letting the record flow uninterruptedly and flawlessly. Bloodiest is music the same way Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 is music.

Black cobra - Imperium simulacra

Combining thrash and grind elements with the dirt and heaviness of sludge, this band manages to achieve an old-schoolish, visceral and even expansive sound. Killer tones, savage riffs and reverberated vocals that even Matt Pike would approve of intertwine with the most masterful usage of unusual rhythmic patterns since ever.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The illusion of choice when it comes to politics / Kvlt country vol. 3

The political situation here in Latvia has come to what seems to be a boiling point. The gap between the middle class and the political elite has grown into a full blown Mariana trench. Every single tax payer is fucking pissed about the new tax policy and budget that will take place from next year. I cannot blame them for it, the government institutions take away more and more of our hard-earned money with every year in a form of numerous different taxes and give back so little to the society that it just doesn't seem fair. On the other hand, life has never been fair so you just have to man the fuck up and deal with it. If you cannot accept this then you are weak. Dismissing the parliament wouldn't change much. The reality is that the problem lies much deeper than the people running this country. Voting in the same shitheads but in different suits will change shit. There just has to be a better way to run the country and you know it! The deputies are not the representatives of the "people", they are there for their "contributors" who got them into the office in the first place. In fact I'm 27 years old now, 6 parliament elections have happened since I've been somewhat conscious and I can tell you this - very little to almost nothing has changed no matter who was behind the wheel: Nationalists, Social democrats, Liberals, "Farmers"; NOTHING. Literally how stupid do you have to be to believe that things will change this time if they have never changed before? Promises get broken every 4 years and no one seems to bat an eye or remember that. We've all been given an illusion of choice as if our vote actually means something when in reality we're just able to elect a lesser evil and hope for the best. Hope that we'll get a healthcare, hope that they won't take away the funding for the school our kids go to, hope that if we get disabled we could still pay our bills, hope, hope, hope...
Stop whining about things, you can always find someone somewhere who has had it much worse than you and is still far more successful. Think of what an ideal society means to you and try building it around yourself, involve in its processes as much as possible, think about your individual goals, what you can do and what sacrifices you can make to achieve them, fuck everything else! 

Also here is a nice playlist to get you through the day.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

In the name of the goat, the vvitch and the unholy bong.

I've been busier than a one legged man in a kicking contest these last few weeks. I don't even remember when was the last time I just sat on my couch in the evening doing absolutely nothing to be honest. Also the recent situation at work leaves me with a notion that I'm surrounded by irresponsible idjits who couldn't give a shit or two about the things they do even if someone's life depended on it. On the other hand me and Armands have been tracking drums and bass for SH's upcoming album, we are already four tracks in which is nice. Anyhow, I needed something heavy, something bluesey, something that has this fuzzed-out swagger to it to keep my spirit up and make me headbang harder than Ozzy during the Black Sabbath's Iron Man intro. Long story short I went through my music collection and wishlist on Bandcamp and found a few long forgotten gems - four albums that will make you tap along with your foot and headbang like a motherfucker. Thank me later, peace the fuck out!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Make grindcore great again!

-Vote for Travis Ryan-

Monday, 7 November 2016

Dirtiest occult doomsters since Electric Wizard, Windhand and Dopethrone.

Thunderous roar of a warm fuzzed out bass amp, sludgey Sabbathian riffs, muffled yet clean vocals, occasional screams, tons of feedback, hairy production, occult imagery, and a droning, eerie organ - awesome, awesome, awesome!

Good morning doomsters around the globe, here are some of the dirtiest and bluesiest tunes since Wizard, Windhand, and Dopethrone. This is loud, this is heavy, this is gritty...this is DOOM at its very best! It will kick the shit out of you and boot-stomp your vag in a most violent way possible. Shout out to guys from Dopethrone for helping me find this! TABARNAK!

P.S. Huata in Russian is a swear word.

Friday, 4 November 2016

The legend of a wolf and a bear

Crippled Black Phoenix (CBP) is one of those few bands which I have very mixed feelings for. In my own exclusive opinion more than half of their stuff is a total mehfest while the other half resonates heavily with my inner self and remains one of the most fascinating things I've heard since ever. It is possible that I will like more of their releases later on in my life and that I'm just not mature enough to properly enjoy it at the given moment, or I simply have my poor upbringing to blame it for, who knows. Anyways, besides one of the best (if not the best) interpretations of Pink Floyd's Echoes, there are only two albums by them which I consider being excellent, mind-blowing even. The first thing these albums share is that both of them have wild beasts on their covers, and metalheads love wild beasts, and skulls, and flames, and motorcycles and other stereotypical things. Be honest, how many times have you picked an album just because it had a big, bad skull or a severed goat's head depicted on it? I know, I have! Numerous times actually, and this time was no exception as well. So a wolf for I, Vigilante and a bear for their latest release BRONZE, which was an insta-buy for me today as soon as I heard the first two songs. The second thing they share is an uncompromised songwriting in which every single instrument blends in elegantly to create musical compositions which even the Swedes Ghost would be jealous of. Turn to Stone from Bronze and We Forgotten Who We Are from I, Vigilante still give me chills even when I think about them and the latter one is the only song I've sung to while being completely sober. If I would have to describe their sound on these two albums I would say that they sound like a heavier and more melancholy version of Pink Floyd combined with songwriting of Ghost and experimentation abilities of Neurosis. Give these two releases a shot.

Oh, and one more thing - the production is top-notch!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Kvlt country mixtape vol. 2

Evenin' fuckers! It's Friday and the unpleasant part of the week is almost gone. By an unpopular demand from one of my readers and a dear friend of mine I've decided to add another volume to the acoustic playlist that I created at the start of this week. Enjoy it and remember to get your hands dirty in the weekend as well! Fuck tout!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Kvlt country mixtape

Mornin' fuckers! It's Monday again - wake up, shake off that hangover, put your old jeans and worn boots on and get shit done wherever you might be today. Here is a playlist with some of my favorite dark acoustic tracks to get you through the day. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Primal beast (no, not Mastodon)

Black Cobra - a sludge metal powerhouse hailing from San Francisco, California whose sound is quite similar to the great bands High on Fire and the early Mastodon yet it is different in a way.

You might wonder why the James Franco reference and I assure you that I do feel my body doubles the produced amount of cancerous cells that my immune system has to fight every time I see this guy's face and hear his jokes. The dude is insufferable but this gif fits perfectly together with my handicapped comparison of bands in the previous paragraph. So let me try doing this again.

Combining thrash and grind elements with the dirt and heaviness of sludge, this band manages to achieve an old-schoolish, visceral and even expansive sound. Killer tones, savage riffs and reverberated vocals that even Matt Pike would approve of intertwine with the most masterful usage of unusual rhythmic patterns since ever. Cobra makes you guess what will happen next every few bars (and I'm referring to the musical notation, not a place where people go to drink to) that way keeping things fresh and entertaining for the listener. The fast parts in the songs don't just pass you by at immense speeds leaving you a bit disoriented like most of the grind induced madness does nowadays, but on the contrary these parts are actually quite memorable and catchy. The slow parts are punishing and sound just colossal. This is a band has that thrashy charm of an old Slayer record yet they are able to tap into the primal, add some mass to the sound and channel all that fury and guttural heaviness to create absolutely monumental songs.

I saw these guys support the mighty band Yob about a month ago at Blå in Oslo and I must say that somehow they manage to sound even bigger live than they do on tape, which is surprising taking in account that Black Cobra is a duo and guitar/drum duos usually miss the bottom end when playing live. But the sound these guys made live was simply chest crushing and the drumming was just not of this world. To say that their performance was mesmerising is a clear understatement - Jason and Rafa are two of the toughest and fiercest SOBs around and each of them possesses a pair of titanium knick-knacks for sure. If you have the chance, buy the tickets, buy their merch, see them live, they deserve your money!

Amps speak louder than words so let music do the talking for me - here is the title track from their latest endeavor Imperium Simulacra, enjoy!

If however you are a fan of something a little slower, don't worry! They got that aspect covered pretty nicely as well.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Interrupted amidst taking a shit/Psychedelic Southern swag from Philly

My morning routine starts off with me lazily crawling towards the toilet. Half asleep, naked and with a pocket Jesus (read "phone") in my hand. Instead of having a morning coffee ritual like most of normal people do,  I read through my e-mail messages, facebook feed, news and other shit while taking a massive dump. Today was no different from any other day except the fact that I was approached by a band called The Company Corvette from Philadelphia to review their newest album Never Enough. Let's have a listen, shall we?!

Purple haze infused (... and I'm referring to the track name by Jimi Hendrix here) swampy white boy sludge goodness. Groovy drum work combined with fuzzed out basslines and sick guitar solos that are deeply rooted in blues go well with the distorted vocals that vaguely remind me of singing done by Goya's frontman Jeff Owens. The riffs and solos on this record are very wah heavy. In fact so wah heavy that even most of the basslines are wah ridden. Normally I would not consider this a good thing but these guys definitely possess some Southern swagger and pull this off admirably well. I must say that all of the previously mentioned things leave me with a sense that this record is the bastard son of EYEHATEGOD's more bluesy pieces like Southern discomfort and New Orleans Is The New Vietnam with more psychedelic late 70's psych rock. It is a very delicious candy for me to chew on since I'm a big fan of the whole NOLA music scene. All the tracks (Devilwitch, The Stuff and Pigeon being my absolute favourite) tie well into one another and you can actually feel that it is an album instead of just being a compendium of nice riffage and proficient soloing. There are however a few things about the record that I would like to change to make it meet my ugly taste in music even more:
  • Vocals could be a bit dirtier and kept even deeper in the mix
  • At times more punch could be added to the snare drum. That way it would pierce through everything with far more ease and would sound considerably more fitting. A good example of what I'm talking about would be the snare drum sound on Dopethrone's track Vagabond from the Hochelaga album. My rule of a thumb - if the snare is hit and the bass player is not twitching from its sound then the drummer should stop being a sissy and start hitting the snare harder!
All in all a very nicely put together record which has a lot of picturesque and memorable moments. I would rate it a solid 8/10. It is good stuff to put on in a party while you and your friends are getting drunk - it is definitely an easy listen. Highly recommended to the fans of all things Southern and muddy.

Post Scriptum: I would like to thank the band for providing me with the free copy of the album. Cheers motherfuckers and keep up the good work!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Capitaine Violoncelle de Underpants

So there is this guy

and here is his album

Support the man or eat a baguete of dicks if you're unable to enjoy his performance!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The union of opposites/Two releases that made me trip harder than drugs

Graves At Sea - The Curse That Is

Finally a doom/sludge album that goes far beyond the typical blues scale riffs, heavily fuzzed guitar tones and walls of roaring amps. The listed things are good and all but you get tired of it once you have sifted through a shit-ton of bands doing the same damn thing! There are a few bands however, that do it very well but I'm not going to cover that topic just yet...

Graves at sea - supposedly a well known, dirt filled underground metal outfit from Portland, Oregon, whose demos once grabbed the attention of doomsters across a wide spectrum of countries, have released their debut full length "The Curse That Is" this year with the help of Relapse Records - one of the few record companies that still give a shit about their endorsed artists.

The Curse that is is a mammoth of record that takes you on a grim, evil and narrative journey through the world filled with sorrow, pain, regret, paradoxes and deep hate. Expect the atmosphere similar that of Mastodon's album Leviathan, riffage that resembles Yob's Clearing a Path to Ascend mixed with furiosity of High on Fire's Death is this Communion and Dopethrone-like filthy blackened vocals. Pretty impossible mixture of traits if you ask me and to say that it all blends together perfectly into a overlooked gem would be a definite understatement. Enough babbling! Listen to it, headbang, repeat!

Soundarcade - 12 Songs Of The Jackalope

I'm super picky about the music I buy, less and less releases grab and hold my attention before I proclaim them as shit and revisiting old stuff I was keen about earlier in my life makes me nostalgic. This may mean only one thing - I've gotten old(er).

Lately a band I knew about when I was a youngster popped on my radar again. I remember liking a few songs by them here and there but I never paid much attention to these guys because I was into much more agressive and rebellious stuff back then as probably most of the people in their teens. Long story short I re-listened to Soundarcade's 12 Songs Of The Jackalope and I was blown away by how masterful this release is. My bandmate once told me that the Ābele brothers are the best thing that has happened in the Latvian ever-so-poor metal music scene in the past 15 years or so and I do see his point now. The album is a graceful journey through the land of folk tales accompanied by musicianship that traverses from Tool-like progressions, stoner riffs, awkward post-metal rhythmic patterns to psychadelic solos, sludge filled tones and experimental use of noises with so much ease and sophisticated restraint that it is simply ridiculous. Wrap all of the mentioned things into a fairly muffled production and you've got yourself a hall of famer! One of the boldest records I've heard in a very, very long time, period.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Escape from room 101/Opening for Dopethrone/Yet another mixtape

It's been awhile...
It's been awhile...
It's been awhile...

For those of you who don't understand what the fuck the previous three lines were supposed to mean - it is a reference to one of the most annoying songs ever written in the history of metal. If you guessed Staind, you're 100 percent correct!

You might have noticed that it's been awhile since I've had written anything worth reading lately... had some shit I needed to handle, did something I needed to do a long, long time ago, and it seems, that I've finally started making the right decisions in my life. Besides the fecal matters I've also had time of my life visiting Devilstone - the biggest heavy music festival in the Baltics, and opening for the mighty Dopethrone with my band in our hometown the other day. Charismatic bastards those gritty Canadians! Here are some pics from the mentioned show.

So by the look of the recent statistics of this blog, I've noticed that most of you really liked my latest playlist, therefore I've decided to throw you a candy and add a new one just to keep you guys busy while I prepare some quality stuff for you to read. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Birthday boy's "rock out with your cock out" party mixtape

June 29th 1989 was the first day I left my mother's womb and smelled the filthy air of this world. 27 years have passed from that significant date and once again I'm one year closer to my own death but hopefully a bit wiser, better looking and still kicking. Damn living feels good! Happy birthday from myself to myself and here is a 12 track mixtape I made to keep you, my reader, entertained. And because I'm in Norway again - Skål!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Nomads, amps and shit-ton of speakers

My nine days long vacation started off with a blast. Jucifer were in town and our own ununseptium-balled experimental post-rockers Tesa opened up for them. I have tremendous respect for the headliners as they've kept it true and released the music they wanted and when they wanted it for nearly 25 years. Top all of that with being constantly on tour for more than a decade and you'll get a band that doesn't just make music but actually live it. Have you ever felt slightly irritated during a summer festival for not having the comfort of your own bed at night? Well, fuck you - this loving couple (yes, they are actually married) have been living a nomadic lifestyle for a longer period of time than the lifespan of your recent pet. I must admit that I had my doubts about seeing Jucifer live this year because their latest release District of Dystopia is just not quite my cup of tea, it has its moments though. Their previous album on the other hand was very far-reaching. Needless to say I consider it being their best work to up-to-date. So long story short, when I heard that Tesa were to open for them, I instantly bought the tickets.

Running late for not more than 15 minutes late Tesa started doing their thing on the Nabaklab's tiny stage. It was packed with a shit-ton (and yes this is an actual measurement unit) of Juciferian cabs and amps making the musicians' performance a bit more intimate than usual by narrowing down their playing space close to minimum. After they finished playing what seemed to be the heaviest live version of the song G from their masterpiece of an album GHOST, it turned out that Jancis, the drummer, had sliced open his finger probably hitting it on one of the cymbals during his ferocious performance. He just took some duct tape while his bandmates Dāvis and Kārlis were making awesome ambient noises, taped his bleeding finger, manned the fuck up and continued on with the show like a boss. I got totally lost in their sound that night even not being high and I think it is safe to say that they stole the show. 

So to put this mildly...shit the bed. The guitar sound was so gain and bass heavy, so cut in the mids that every single fucking riff turned into an unrecognisable, thick and heavy muck of uninterrupted visceral buzz. To paint a slight picture of how it sounded, imagine sticking your earphone jack into the electrical wall socket, cranking up the volume and bass all the way up. Now add some awesome drumming  on top and listen to slight changes in the current's frequency - here you go, that was what Jucifer sounded that night. I was really disappointed to say the least, they can do a lot better and here is the proof. Same tour, same year, same month, same gear, different sound!

Gain is good and all, but sometimes you just have to dial it back a bit to make room for at least some distinction between the notes. That night I heard stuff from the fans along the lines of "that is the sound they are going for here". I call bullshit on this one - sounding ugly and huge is one thing, sounding like utter shit and making fart noises is something completely different. To the people who said that this is what sludge is supposed to sound like, I say that you are tone deaf and retarded. I hope that this was just a one time fuck up - too small of a venue, too shitty front of the house rig, equaliser settings not suited for the unconventional room, too much gain or just everything put together. It might seem that I'm bashing them but in reality I'm actually trying to give some constructive criticism. That said the drums sounded amazing and the visceral experience of having a wall of sound coming from the speaker wall and just melting away your face was pretty epiche, not quite the SUNN O))) experience but nevertheless epiche.

As a tribute for the latest two albums by Gazelle and Edgar I would just like to add - never forget that 1913 was the year when the bad guys took control over the United States and 1917 was the year when the bad guys took control over Russia.

Nomads, Saturnian and the friendly neighbourhood gig organiser guy. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Call them to black flame

June 17th, another trip to the insane asylum - figuratively speaking. Just in case you didn't know Terra Tenebrosa released The Reverses yesterday. 3 years have passed since the release of  The Purging and I was starting to miss these mysterious and horrifying Swedes.

Terra has always surprised the shit out of me when it came to the originality of production, and this album takes it to a whole new level. Imagine if you were to listen to music in a long narrow cave and the sound would come from deep beneath the surface: echo of the cymbals, unclear demonic vocals coupled with ever nauseating, whirling sound of guitars make it easy to get lost in here and create a completely unique listening experience. Drumming on this record is so heavy that I bet the drummer had to change what has been left of his drum sticks after every recording take. The amount of power with which he hits the snare drum is completely mental. It feels like taking a hit to the face with a heavy, blunt object every single fucking time and reminds me of drumming style Tesa's Jānis Burmeisters has. The integrity of the album is not broken by any of the songs, Reverses is a piece of a art, a very sinister art, from the start of the record till the very end. This dire album is worth every hard earned cent I paid for it and I suggest you do the same. So now if we were to pretend here for a moment that my ratings actually mean shit in the metal society then I would rate this album a solid 47 out of 10.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The bloodiest

Just the other day I was listening to Bruce Lamont's solo album and live performances because my chronic depression required me to do so. One thing let to another and soon I discovered Bloodiest - a sextet hailing from Chicago and fronted by Mr Lamont the saxo-pants himself. Speaking of which, this is pants-down one of the best finds of the decade for me here. I've been listening to them nonstop for a few days straight now - like, literally not figuratively. I shit you not. Last time this happened to me was in my late teens when I discovered Neurosis (and I still quite often have my Neurosis listening sprees).

So what happened? What is the reason for it being THAT good? The answer is simple - I've no idea. It's different, it's fresh and I managed to forget about my own surroundings completely losing myself in the soundscapes these guys create. This happens rarely. Usually when I play or write my own stuff, but practically never when I listen to other people's music. That said there is something unexplainable and even transcending here - almost like an out of body experience. You just listen to it not applying much thought as if the music itself was a living entity that you had developed a mind connection with. This might sound a bit bizarre, but it is probably the best possible way I'm able describe it.

I had serious trouble finding favorite tracks on these two records - everything is close to being perfect and songs just tie into one another letting the record flow uninterruptedly and flawlessly. Listen to "Coh" and "Pastures" as an example (they are two consecutive tracks from their release called Descent):

Vocals are astounding and Bruce sounds like a Native American who is chanting lyrics to his ancestors. The instrumentation is... well I'm actually quite speechless... let's just say that Bloodiest is music the same way Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 is music. I'm curious what these both albums feel and sound like with a widened perception...

To those of you who hear of Bruce Lamont for the first time, have a special treat and enjoy!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Midsummer meditations

Last few months have been excessively loud, teeming with experiences to look back upon in retrospect. I sincerely enjoy brief moments of silence when I lay in my bed in the mornings staring at the ceiling, drifting between the reality and the dream realm. This usually means one thing - I'm mentally exhausted and probably require tranquility to refill my long dead batteries. This in turn boils down to the fact that the post itself is going to be shorter than usual...and I mean, a lot shorter. It's just this find is too good to be kept all to myself.

Ruhr Hunter - meditative, droning and minimalistic folk experience, that in the vein of Wardruna and Forndom, and as my mate Yuriy sometimes says: "MUCHO RECOMMENDADO!" Huge thanks to Ms Kim Kelly for having this in her collection. I guess enough has been said already so listen, retrospect and repeat.

Before you go and start looking for previous releases by this guy, be warned as "Torn of This" sounded too synthetic for my taste and it also didn't possess the right naturey vibe. If I were you, I wouldn't even waste my valuable time on it...

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Rotten flesh is its dominion

Sanford Parker, Sanford Parker, Sanford Parker... he is probably one of the most featured producers and sound engineers in my music collection. Buried At Sea, Lord Mantis, Indian, Yob, Leviathan and other amazing acts have crafted their musical gems with the help of this man whom I consider being a legend and the godfather of Chicago metal music scene. You can hear his signature mold from afar - if it sounds dirty, rough, claustrophobic and it comes from Illinois, chances are Parker was sitting by the mixing board.

Good metal music is not dead, you just have to know where to search for it. If you have ever collected bugs when you were a kid then you know that walking around the garden and just looking for them in the grass, on the trees and whatnot will yield you poor to zero results. But however, if you start looking under big rocks, you'll find hundreds of them. Different shapes, different colors, different sizes and different jaw strength (yes I was bitten and stung a lot). Same rule applies to metal. You might find a band or two that are good on a plain sight, but if you are able to find these "rocks" then my friend, the flood gates will open and vile things will crawl in every direction before you. A few of my "rocks" to which I continue to return time after time again are Neurot Recordings, Profound Lore records, Housecore records and Sanford Parker, needless to say I'm always able to find something noteworthy or even incredible there.

So - COFFINWORM. And for fuck's sake don't confuse these vulgar and gritty death sludgers with the generic, long-haired boy band that goes by the name of Graveworm. By the way, it should have been called Gayworm. Yes, I know there is a woman in that band and no, it doesn't make them sound any better than Nsync or whatever the fuck that crap was named. If Dragged Into Sunlight and the previously mentioned Lord Mantis ring any bells in your head then checking out COFFINWORM is a must. These guys basically have taken death metal, slowed it down, added grooves, grim atmospheres and sparse distorted vocals. Man, the vocal effects are simply amazing. They have also removed all of the things that make death metal silly and over-dramatic - the excessive use of shitty in ya face growls, fretboard wanking, useless 300+bpm drumming and crystal clear production. You know, all the things that kill music and make it a giant circle jerk of virtuosos and scale-whores. Anyhoo, crank up the volume and let the dirt flow through you. Horns up my friends! Stay vile, stay true, kill the trends, worship amps, live life!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Trees, flames, bones and horns

There are a couple of things I was fascinated with since I was a child. Antlers and horns were and still are one of these obsessions. They make me sigh in awe upon seeing them on majestic beasts that wear them like nature's given crowns, and it's safe to say that they usually grab my attention if present in any form of artistic work.

Summer is at our doorstep and to us Northerners it usually starts with one thing - summer solstice celebration, which will happen in less than a month from now. The day is the longest and the night only takes a couple of hours. It is a perfect time to get closer to the nature and to have some wild sex. We have been dormant for pretty much whole autumn, winter and spring, and now it is our chance to live a little. It seems that nature here tries to compensate for all of the lost time during the cold and dark period of the year which pretty much lasts the same amount of time as an average human pregnancy. I love summers here, higher up in the Northern hemisphere, and it seems that yesterday I've found a worthy soundtrack for the one to follow.

Supposedly a one man LIVE project from Poland where the multi-instrumentalist plays a six string with his one hand, drums with his feet and slaps the shit out of the snare drum and cymbals with his ginormous dong and balls as well as switches between samples with the power of mind bullets. Long story short this mastermind's music is that of a cumming-quality sludgy white boy blues reminiscent of Left Lane Cruiser... just way better, gloomier and it for sure deserved to be included into the soundtrack for True Detective's Season 1 (not to be confused with Lame Detective's Season 2). The "band" is called ROGI and as you might have gathered by now it means horns in Polish. I would love to experience this horny music god play live 'cause it looks quite impressing even captured on video.

The project has three releases so far. Buy them all! You'll receive some instant gratification, and the poor bastard will be able to afford one or two session musicians to take his music to another level.  

Also if you haven't seen True Detective's first season you are ought to do so! 

Monday, 23 May 2016

The blasphemous trinity: Chaos / 6 grind albums that don't suck

"What makes good grind good, and bad grind bad?" you may ask. Well, it is a tricky question because grind as a genre is a complete and utter shit by its very definition, but as with every piece of shit there might be a few grains of corn that have passed through the particular scene's viscera intact containing at least some nutritional value. Meaning, some of us may still find something appealing in eating already "processed" food... If I set the metaphors aside, then good grind should have:

  • punk origins;
  • fun and distinctive riffs intertwined with crazy chaotic bursts of complete wtf;
  • songs as short as possible to assure, that album ends before it all gets too boring;
  • dirty production;
  • skits (optional).

In other words, it should not be taken seriously yet sound something like this

What about bad grind then? You will know, if it's bad or not as soon as your ears will start bleeding, trust me on this one.

Listed below are a few gems, that I've found over the years, enjoy! Yes, the numbering is correct - the releases, that are marked with a number "2" are all equally good in my opinion and I couldn't decide which one is better.

4. Dead in the dirt - The Blind Hole

Guitar tone, that sounds like headphones plugged straight into the wall socket and bass tone, that of a roaring tank engine plus pounding riffs and tons of random feedback. What more do you need?

3.  Graf Orlock - Destination time tomorrow 

Cinemagrind - killer riffs and tones with the perfect amount of insanity and fun.

2. Weekend Nachos - Apology

Catchy and sludgy grooves bred with NY hardcore style vocals, furious grind and power-violence parts to produce the most brutal offspring with the most ridiculous name you may think of. Too bad they are on their last farewell tour. R.I.P, you will be missed.

2. Cloud Rat - Fever Dreams

High output emotional blackened grind. Check out their album called "Moksha" as well. These guys (and a gal) are phenomenal. One of the very few grindcore bands, that have full length concept albums.

2. Nails - Obscene Humanity

Imagine being stuck alive in a coffin, trying to scratch your way out while someone is nailing it dead shut - this band sounds somewhat similar, except the nailing part is done by a retard with a fully automatic, industrial grade nail gun.

1. Votnut - Self titled

One of the vilest things out there. If it is the first time you hear the name of this band then you haven't heard anything as violent and crushing as Votnut - this is a merciless, roaring war machine!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The blasphemous trinity: Wrath / 6 3rd wave black metal albums that don't suck

Gorgoroth's "Sign of an open eye" blasting in my headphones, distant mountains on the horizon, forests, rivers and fields below me as I look through the window of my plane: Oslo, it feels good to be back!

Norway - the land of fierce but beautiful nature, grim weather and black metal... damn it, I need to visit Bergen one day! Yeah, I know, black metal originated in the UK, but did it really?  Is Venom really the first thing, that pops into your head, whenever you hear the phrase "black metal"? They've played a great part in the development of the genre that's for sure, but church arsons, Vikernes/ Euronymous conflict, Burzum, Darkthrone and Gorgoroth are amongst my first associations, when it comes to black metal. It never was and quite frankly never will be Venom. Although the particular genre has grown into a world wide phenomenon since the early 90's, I think and I'm quite sure, that at least a few people will agree with me on this one - the true spirit of black metal has died... and it was just now I realized, that I sounded like an utter douche - TRVE KVLT and all that bullcrap. Anyhow, black metal was supposed to be a form of rebellion against nicely produced western metal, repulsive and raw, a killer of trends so to speak, but the funny thing was, that it set the trend for the next few decades amongst both heavy music artists and listeners all around the globe. Oh, the irony is strong with this one...

For the sake of the article, let's call every modern black metal band a 3rd wave BM band. Officially 3rd wave is supposed to be originated only from USA, but I'm a European and Europeans just like honey-badgers don't give a shit... so long story short, proto black metal in 80's - 1st wave, black metal in 90's - 2nd wave and black metal in 2000's - 3rd wave.

Let me be straight up honest here, I think, that most of the 3rd wave BM bands are boring, generic and too much about structure yet too little about the substance. Obviously crossing genres is a good thing as it helps music to evolve. Staying TRVE is just plain childish and stupid. The good example of the genre inter-breeding, would be blackened bands like Dragged into sunlight, Lord Mantis, Menace Ruine, Kosmokrator and Portal. But in this case, when I'm talking more of a "traditional" black metal sound, artists tend to compensate the lack of atmosphere with song-writing, that's too complex, filled with heart-breaking motifs, melodic hooks and shredding solos, which results in a Hello Kitty toy instrument quality wanking. Less is more, when it is delivered with style and restraint!

Behold the six 3rd wave black metal albums, that don't suck.

6. De Silence et d'Ombre - Volume I

A presumably one man project with a really wide spectrum of music created - from the albums, that suck tremendous amounts of dick, to the albums that make your cum, and everything in between. This is inconsistent musicianship at its best!

5. AKHLYS - The Dreaming I

Some nice exploration of darkness.

4. Cobalt - Gin

Black metal from somewhere between the kingdom of Tool and mountain peaks of High On Fire. I must confess, that I haven't listened to all songs on Cobalt's new album "Slow Forever" yet, but I have made a promise to myself, that I'll listen to it at some point just to have a more or less constructive opinion about this matter. Gin however to put it mildly was quite impressive.

3. Myrkur - M

Listened to it once - didn't catch the vibe; twice - still didn't catch it; thrice - caught it and now I just can't stop listening. A friend once told me, that it is ORGASMIC. I'm afraid I'm unable to disagree.

2. Writhe - The Shrouded Grove

These two tracks deliver some tear-jerking and eerie melodies, that pull my strings and they pull hard. It happens very rarely, but I've had some extra moisture in my eyes while I was listening to this release. Highly recommended!

1. Leviathan - Scar Sighted

The more I listen to this album the more it grows on me. To think that one man could have created this piece of art is completely insane. I mean, to write and record every part for every single instrument, track all vocals, write all the lyrics and to create all the artwork (every track on the album has its own piece) takes tremendous amount of work, dedication and talent. The result is spot on. One of the finest and most artistic albums BM scene has to offer since ever!