Monday, January 23, 2006

Cryptic Wintermoon

Official website

Okay, I've thought of a decent subject for a blog entry: Everyone go out and buy all three Cryptic Wintermoon albums right. fucking. now. You shall do this for three reasons:

1) Cryptic Wintermoon has a minutely small fanbase next to latter day Cradle of Filth. This is obviously the result of a vast karmic unbalance towards evil in the world which must be corrected before it brings about World War 3.
2) Cryptic Wintermoon finally and absolutely dispel every notion you have about Symphonic Black Metal being either a) untrue or b) homoerotic. Well, ok, maybe it won't dispel b, but all black metal is pretty homoerotic on some level. (In the same way a masonic ritual or SS troops marching in their swimming trunks can be considered homoerotic: in a deeply disturbing way).
3) Anyway, they're totally fucking insane, balls to the wall, metal from hell. But with fuckloads of symphonic keyboards.
4) And no, they really don't sound like an overly bombastic cliche movie soundtrack. This is largely because they decided not to let Mustis be in their band.
5) They have a song called Supersatan, in which the vocalist equates himself with a satanic hot-rod that runs on liquid fear, and which includes the immortal line "It won't be nice to meet up with me, 'cos all I wanna do, is to fistfuck you."
6) Do you need any more reasons? Go shopping!

Unfortunately the mp3 section on their website is down. Ah well.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Oh fuckdammit.

I cannot think of anything to write about, and I don't want to keep making these lame teeny little band posts.

bleh.

While I try to find a muse, help me wage the war on happiness and bad music by spreading the gospel of dark music to all and sundry. Rawr!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Orkrist

official site

It's been a hell of a week, sorry about the lack of updates. Just time enough to eulogise my latest underground discovery, Orkrist. Great Tolkien metal, with a real epic feel and a cutting edge of black metal. Fantastic female vocals and medieval instrumentation put Orkrist above the pack: unfortunately, I believe they're now broken up, which is a crying shame.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Because I like lists...the five essential folk metal albums

A lot of times, people come up to me, and they go 'Master! The gods have given unto me a vision: They say 'go listen to folk metal!' Where should I begin my quest.'

Okay, neither that or anything remotely like it has happened to me before. But it's a nice excuse to churn out an otherwise futile list of my favourite folk metal albums (Which shall be masquerading here as 'essential' folk metal albums. Ie, buy 'em you gits.) No, I jest, as my top five would probably include at least one Korpiklaani album: this is just five albums that anyone who claims to dig folk metal should own unless they want to look very stupid.

1: Skyclad - Prince of the Poverty Line



Skyclad, Skyclad, Skyclad! Could they be the best band in history*? Yes. Could this be their best album? Probably. I have trouble with this question. With such a large, disparate and consistently awesome discography, it's often a matter of mood. Prince of the Poverty Line is, however, most definitely an essential Skyclad album. Their early stuff has influenced a lot of people: and this is maybe the best of that period, a perfect blend of their influences as of that time. Classic tracks fade into each other in almost unbeatable runs as the band rails off their tightest conceptual release by far: The Answer Machine? doesn't even come off as a concept album, whereas the theme of urban decay and poverty (inspired by the bands often squalid living conditions) that permeates Prince... is all too obvious.

2: Bathory - Blood on Ice



It is an absolutely inescapable fact that 95% of Viking Metal albums ever made have been trying to either be this, or the equally brilliant Hammerheart. Given when work started on Blood on Ice, it was fantastically ahead of it's time, and, whilst you could easily debate the generic accuracy of calling this folk metal, it still stands as one of the genres primary influences, as well as an epic work in its own right.

3: Waylander - Reawakening Pride Once Lost



The beautiful, spacey intro, 'Sunrise', then the manic upbeat folk-metal assault of 'Born to the Fight' is one of my favourite starts to any album ever. I literally don't know what happened to Waylander after this spectacular debut: The Light The Dark And The Endless Knot was decidedly lackluster. Let's all pray to whatever we all pray to that it was just a blip, as this album is packed with awesome folk metal, from the uplifting 'Awakening' to the mournful 'A Hero's Lament' and the sheer energetic assault of 'King of the Fairi'. The pacing is particularly brilliant.

4: Finntroll - Jaktens Tid



Picking a favourite Finntroll release is like picking a favourite sexual position. They're all good, but you've gotta have a favourite, dammit. Now, personally my favourite Finntroll release is the quirky, dark ambient/experimental folk EP 'Visor Om Slutet', but that wouldn't fit into the list so good. Choosing one of Finntroll's three studio albums to replace it was a hard graft, but Jaktens Tid won out, if for nothing else for what happens 1:20 in to 'Slaget Vid Blodsalv'. Either nod and smile, or buy it, you uncultured bastard.


5: Agalloch - Pale Folklore



Are Agalloch really folk metal? I normally end up manufacturing some spurious genre descriptor for them, and their unique music that blends influences as widespread from the metal genre as Pink Floyd, Swans and Sol Invictus. However, their natural themes and excessive love of very neo-folk acoustic guitar place them in the genre in my book, and thank goodness for that, because there's not many genres who'd be ashamed of these guys.


Some bloody close runners up:

Cruachan - Folk-Lore (Too similiar to Skyclad and Waylander, somehow)
Korpiklaani - Spirit of the Forest (Too silly)
Wyrd - Huldrafolk (Awesome, but not quite awesome enough)
Wuthering Heights - Far From the Madding Crowd (Not folk metal enough)

*I speak of the Martin Walkyier-fronted Skyclad. I like to pretend the band no longer exists.

Alien Vampires

Official Site

'Dehumanised industrial trance with the spirit of black metal'. Members of Ars Gothica and Aborym/Cybertron. Demo available from site. Do I really need to say much more?

I recommend 'Funeral Rave' to really get you pumping.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The art of losing a pre-nascent readership: 5 artists I hate.

1: Radiohead

Aaagh, are my fellow human beings really boring enough to consider OK Computer the greatest album of all time? Has the intelligent music listener really sunk to such levels of bland apathy that Radioheads unoriginal and conservative attempts at experimentation, their pedestrian song-writing, their meaningless lyrics and Thom Yorkes singularly awful vocals can actually inspire them? Fuck me. Radiohead wouldn't be so bad on their own (there are plenty of boring, over-rated bands) but I can never forgive them for, essentially, singlehandedly* ruining the British rock mainstream for about the last ten years, as their clones spawn subsequent clones in an endless vomiting torrent of emotionally and spiritually vacuous art college rock.

2: The Books

The worst thing about The Books is I can't work out why I hate them. It could be all the hipsters ejaculating over them and hailing their originality (Three words gentlemen: Nurse With Wound), It could be the annoying and witless way in which they use their samples, or it could just be the fact that they represent yet another once interesting musical phenomenon defiled by the indie scene in their never-ending quest for music that is at the same time both 'hip' and different, whilst still being bland enough for their beigey tastes.

3: Bright Eyes

Someone with some decent pursuasive skills should basically convince Conor Oberst that the only way to gain himself and his whineing bilge lasting fame is an Elliot Smith-style self stabbing. Then, once he's done it, we can wrap him in sacking, bury him in a shallow grave, pour quicklime on his corpse and never speak of him again.

4: Nizlopi

It is no stretch for me to say that, beyond the Crazy Frog, The JCB Song is almost certainly the worst thing of 2005. It's insipid, it's talentless, it's been elevated to the public consciousness by something other than it's own merits (Radio 1 played them every fucking show at one point during their anti-bullying campaign), it's got a horrible 'twee' cartoon video (more about why indie pop needs to be thrown off a cliff some other time I'm bitter, ie tomorrow) and it's just really, really bad. Also, I don't know, but has anyone ever suggested to Luke that if he stopped telling everyone stupid lies about his dad, he might not get the shit kicked out of him.

5: James Blunt

Yeah, I know this one's really obvious, but please, can this guy just stop? Tell you what, I'll take out a hit on him right now. Bring me his head**, and I'll administer you oral sex and give you all the money in my piggy bank. Sweet deal, huh? Seriously, I have almost 20p.

*Okay, Oasis helped.

** Preferably after severing it with a bread-knife.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

They come from the distant galaxy of Batsylvania...

Invasion of the Mutant Space Bats of Doom!

A self described 'Intergalactic Superstar Midi Metal/Space Opera/Deathwave Electro Power Metal band', IOTMSBFD are one guy and a horde of astral death-bats, who create deranged 8-Bit metal ridden through with insane vocals, thumb-tapping chip solos, infectious riffs and Thunderbirds samples. Handle with extreme caution.

Also, Happy New Year. Hootenanny!