Sunday, November 10, 2019

J.G. Sparkes - Gor West




Picking up from the superb Past Lives, Near which I previously reviewed, J.G. Sparkers brings out one more excellent study of ambient paradoxes: both nostalgic and distantiated, beautiful and threatening, frosty and warm, his music has a very narrative and painterly element in his shaping of soundscapes. And there's a beautiful almost pop track called "Eccentric Orbit," something like an ambient ballad! Looking forward to more stuff! 2019 cdr on Wormhole World, where you can get it from for only a few pounds (and also land a preorder for the forthcoming third Xqui full-length!)

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Johann Wlight ‎– All Thee Starres Laugh Softly Like Five Hundred Million Little Bells



On the occasion of Johann Wlight's very rare (if not also the first) live performance at Tusk Festival a month ago, here's a rare recording of his, playing esoteric, mystical drone/ambient. While perhaps not as sophisticated as his excellent release A.Y. under the moniker itdreamedtome, this one also has this elevating, angelic but also occult feel to it. 2005 3 cdr on First Person.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Swans - leaving meaning.



2019 has been a year of disappointments with regard to albums I've been expecting: Earth's successor to Primitive & Deadly was completely unimaginative, Martyrdod's Hexhammaren was a shit turn to metal, a predictable development since they signed to Century Media, and of course Mayhem's Daemon proves once more why we should all spill blood to Satan so that Blasphemer returns. So, all these months I've been thinking that I will be disappointed by the return of Swans, or to be more precise of Gira and friends. The guest list is extremely impressive and promises an amazing listening experience: The Necks, von Hausswolff sisters, all members of the 2010-2016 run, as well as Ben Frost (who I don't really like but anyway). Plus I really liked the demos of What Is This. However, the album is quite calm if we compare it to the sonic onslaught of the previous years, and reminds more of Angels Of Light with a more psychedelic feeling. OK, objectively the songs are amazing, but I don't feel the vibes of the previous ones, of if I should be more precise it reminds me kinda strongly of To Be Kind, the most boring of the four albums, and the one with the weakest production, an element the new album shares, especially in the more rocking and drum-filled tracks. But then, with the things that are happening in my life the time to devote completely to demanding albums is very limited so perhaps this is the problem. 2019 2 X cd on Mute/Young God Records.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunn O))) - Pyroclasts


All of you must have listened to it by now, but since I got my copy I thought to post it. While kinda less in your face than Life Metal it seems to me that this is the closest album to their original form, i.e. before they started experimenting a lot on White 1. I also appreciate the slightly less buffed up sound than that of Life Metal, which was, as I had written, the only real downside of Albini's involvement. 2019 LP on Southern Lord.

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Drowning - Apocalypse Unsealed



Second and final album by Drowning, and at this point almost all hardcore references are gone, leaving space for death metal filled with blastbeats. The riffs are still epic, but the blastbeat/ultra fast drum fills and the kinda weak/too trebly production (very similar to Morbid Angel's Heretic) makes it kinda tiring. 2006 cd on Bones Brigade.

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Drowing - Age Old Nemesis



First full-length of Drowing, and here they've gone completely death metal, while still retaining a lot of their earlier hardcore characteristics. Imagine a mix between good ol' Monstrosity and Arkangel and you're about there, and you'll also enjoy a superb nine-minute doomy Candlemass-meets-Morbid Angel hymn in "Winter Descends." 2002 cd on Bones Brigade.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Drowing - Drowning EP



Heavy, downtuned metallic hardcore from France the way it should be, i.e. no jumpy beatdowns, no clean vocals or poser death growls, no tight jeans, in the vein of All Out War and Beneath The Remains, with HUGE Bolt Thrower double-bass epic moments. This is the way this shit was played in the late '90s. Absolutely recommended. 1999 cd on Released Power Productions.

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