Carefully selected, your main course includes a choice of only those with meaningful taste.
Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions – Southern Lord
Monoliths & Dimensions embodies the Sun O))) lore of music & myth. Its grandeur is undeniable and discernable from the moment Attila Csihar begins to slowly lay the words of" Aghartha", one by one, for the listener to walk on, until the last of reverberating sounds stands still, and he finds himself walking on water, wind and silence. Its cyclic sense swirls around the ceremony held in "Big Church", which recommences three times and silenced twice. Its visionary aspect weighs heavily and heralds clearly through "Hunting & Gathering". Its romantic 'Enlightenment' called "Alice" unfolds a harmonious fan of familiar, yet unexpected sounds concluding in a single horn ray of truth. Its innovative impact derives from futuristic insights revealed through retrospection, which makes Monoliths & Dimensions invincible!
Gnaw – This Face – Conspiracy Records
Running far and touching deep, soooooooo deep, my love is uncompromising. Absolute! Total! This Face will chase me anywhere, with its fierce texts and screamings, with its filthy sounds and tempting whisperings, its threatening devotion will subdue me. The face of experience, of talent, This Face is the ripest fruit on the tree of the Garden – Gnaw This Face – then, you'll know: "This was me…/My shame", My True Love.
GREYMACHINE – Disconnected – Hydra Head Records
The industrial metallic sound is, at the same time, the protagonist and the smoggy set in this drama named Disconnected. Other important characters are repeating appearances of screeching noise and other effects, firm dimmed pounding and fog-spreading vocals. Wandering in a giant polished factory of the most intriguing sounds produced this year, is the script. My perfect lullaby, my peaceful sleep; I'm so grateful.
The more you listen to it, the more its penetrating effect makes you think and spit tar, blood & sulfur. "In their new album, Mourmansk150 operate on society to locate different approaches towards terror-plus minus-ISM, mass murderers etc. and…no and. Don't wait for the surgeons to make your stitches, nor to give you a helpful prescription." Read some more: here.
Primitive North feels like standing on top of the world and watching the glorious view. Glorious is definitely the key word. Human & Nature merged into one magnificent picture. The titles, the lyrics, the way Nadja covers A Storm of Light's "Brother" and they, in revenge, cover the Canadian duo's "I Make from Your Eyes the Sun", all contribute to this harmonious perfection. It should be mentioned that each of them has released their own albums, but I believe that this mutual effort overtakes the rest.
First comes the immediate feeling that there's more to the picture than meets the eye. Second, the warm sensation of sweet genuine revolt. Then, the urge to demolish the past and fully live the present. Finally, the full impact of intellectual-poetic Hardcore/Punk. No future! The great spirit leading Last Lights is gone.
"Valentine lost forever" are the first words in an album which calmly faces the absence of any reason for being cheerful or hopeful. It displays a unique verbal & musical syntax where both elements equally and gently press comforting fingers onto your temples. Then, once you're helplessly relaxed, they will convince you to doubt "there's a meaning to everything you do" or say (Time Always Wins), that "whatever was said was meant…at least at the time" (An Answer to All Life) and that "there's less and less to believe" (Burn the Truth). Valentine (lost) Forever is, thus, a poetic farewell to innocence.
The stunning beauty of The Coronation and its endless grace are achieved by non-banal simplicity and reassuring pace. Hand in hand: bass & guitar, instruments & electronic effects, textual & instrumental, depths and heights, and above all, the gentle care with which they're all spread beneath the feet of Grwoling & Screaming – the great conjurors of heaven in hell.
If you feel lost, Finsternis will guide you. If you feel you're not following the path you intended to follow, don't try to resist, it's useless. Finsternis' steady beat will guide you as if you were guided by the pillar of fire in "Exodus". It starts at the very beginning of the album and crosses all five tracks (the best cross is the first one) till you reach the end. All other sonic occurrences in the album will add to the unique experience but won't divert you from your imposed destination.
You pigs had it for starters.
uSSSy's self titled was a love at first sight with a creature whose head seems to be cutting-edge whilst his feet dance a primitive dance. It sounds like an effortless-total-joy avant-garde evidence of creativity. The Russian trio (minus drummer who's left in the meantime), whose members are involved in other projects as well, had been unknown to me until the release of this album. Very pleased to meet you guys 🙂
He said music, She said lyrics. They said profound ways. I say A Woman A Man Walked By did not embrace me all at once. Rather, it offered me some candies, and when I tried to reach out for some more, it threw them on the sand. I, then, retrieved them one by one and washed them in the salty water. Eventually, they all tasted of intimacy, whether brutally exposed or delicately ajar, they tasted of intimacy shared between two people.
It seems like this full length debut met me at the crossroad of heaviness, groove, classic rock and something new I cannot define. It makes me feel really good and I like the vocals. Don't let it trick you as it did to me, Omen Mas sounds commonplace at first, but further listening will expose its full scope.
Zu – Carboniferous – Ipecac
Saxophone, bass and drums (++); what else can one ask for? A brilliant trio makes a brilliant album. It's energetic, "free-genred" yet, highly consistent. (I'd rather have it all instrumental).
This split summons a wonderful contrast between slightly heavy silent mountainous scenery and sharp-wild- urbanic sounds. Omega Massif vs Mount Logan. Relaxing, disturbing and most importantly – excellent!
Fifth Season was my first purchase of 2009, and it's still one of my favorites namely due to Nanda Devi's great respect for drums, although the soothing vocals leave their imprints too. I would also like to recommend their wonderful split with Skin Horse (who seems to get slightly heavier than it did in last year debut).
The Spits – IV aka Schools Out – Recess Records
From the up-lifting department I've chosen The Spits for the cloud-of-dust sound they leave while passing by and burning their teacher's car – Schools Out.
Kylesa – Static Tensions – Prosthetic Records
No one can ignore this volcanic energy, or its perfection. "I put my hand to your heart/ And let the bullet burn your blood/ You seem to me death incarnate/ Raper of life, killer of love." Shall we dance?
Bodychoke – Cold Reiver Songs (reissue) – Relapse
Thank you Relapse for reissuing this horrific marvel leading a journey into a distorted mind. "Without your fear/ I am nothing / Without your pain/ I am nothing/ Without your love/ I am nothing/ Without power/ I am nothing/ I am nothing."
Just don't leave before your special desserts…
Originally published in March 2010.
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