Wednesday, September 6, 2017

HOW TO OPPOSE FASCISM IN THE EXTREME METAL SCENE

  • Cómo efrentar el fascismo en el metal extremo [español]
  • A BEGINNER'S GUIDE FOR COMRADES AND FELLOW ANTIFASCISTS


    Article written by Barbarie and originally published in Italian at this address: "Come opporsi al fascismo nel metal estremo"


    Download the PDF [A5] ready-to-print: 

    Very often the extreme / black metal scene has not been the most welcoming place for non-white and/or LGBTQIA people. These people would like to go to black metal concerts and be part of their scene but often don’t feel safe by the consistent presence of racists at gigs and festivals. The heavy presence of racists in Black Metal even produced a completely new and autonomous subgenre: the infamous NSBM, or National Socialist Black Metal.
    WE MUST OPPOSE RACISM IN ANY FORM, MAKE SURE THAT DANGEROUS PEOPLE AND THEIR DISGUSTING IDEOLOGIES ARE NOT WELCOME AND THAT METAL IS A PLACE FOR ANY KIND OF PEOPLE APART FROM BIGOTS, SEXISTS AND PEOPLE WHO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE COLOUR OF SOMEBODY'S SKIN.
    This pamphlet is just a tool aimed at solving this stifling problem. Boycott has always been a revolutionary tactic: we just need to find a way to use it effectively. First, just for simplicity, we need to divide the problem of nsbm in 2 parts: the bands and the scenes.

    1) THE BANDS

    • Openly NS bands like Graveland, Satanic Warmaster, Peste Noire or less popular ones must be hindered and boycotted in every possible way.
    • The boycott shall also include non-NS bands where fascists play. Many NS bands from the 90s has in fact become more intelligent through time and for marketing and political reasons they cleaned their image leaving behind the most obvious nazi paraphernalia. Nokturnal Mortum is a great example of this process: while they are now publicly “apolitical”, their members are still obvious militants or supporters of Ukrainian neo-fascism.
    • We must not tolerate also bands that share the stage with openly NS bands who, despite the severity of racism, claim that they only care for the music or other similar bullshit completely unattached to the material reality. If they care about the music so much, why don’t they make gigs the most welcoming places they can to all kind of people? Contrary to adhering to an ideology of hate – which is a choice someone makes – the conditions you are born into, your traits, your ethnicity or your sexual orientation are not something you choose. Musician, who do you want to play for?

    1.1) RESEARCH

    • Many symbols related to Nazism can be found in artworks: their presence should ring a bell.  
    • The “Hate on Display” project provides a solid database of racist symbols and can be found here
    • It is very likely that someone already discussed online about the ideas of a band and of its members. It is easy to find these info.

    1.2) INDIVIDUAL BOYCOTT

    Stop fuelling Nazis with our money. Stop buying NSBM albums, merch, stop going to NS-friendly gigs. Who still wants to listen to these bands can download their music illegally, but without publicizing it. Do not ever go to their gigs (apart if planning to picket it as presented in point 1.4 below).

    1.3) SOCIAL BOYCOTT

    If we organize, we are (of course) more effective.
    Make scorched earth around the Nazis.
      .
    • Make effective use of all available connections and even social networks to make pressure on non-NS bands so that they have to take a side and avoid sharing stage with fascists.
    • Pressure must be put also on the organizers of NS concerts and on the people that provide them with a place where to hold them: they must acknowledge who is going to play there, what are the band's stances on anti-semitism, racisms and homophobia and what their members said and did during the years.

    1.4) STREET BOYCOTT

    The objective is to block and disrupt a concert from taking place.
    A few examples of effective antifascist actions:
    • hang up banners, flyers and posters all around the concert venue days before the concert in order to push and distress the owner of the place even more;
    • hand-to-hand flyering is as always a good option too;
    • a picket in front of the place should be organised the day of the gig - if it is possible to deploy enough forces to make the action safe.
    These tactics present the biggest risks and should be organised with care and taking any precautions that will make their accomplishment safe from both a physical and a legal perspective..

    2) THE SCENES

    THE EXTREME METAL SCENE

    The places where the scene lives must be kept free from fascists. Ambiguous people must be disambiguated, confrontation is necessary to defend yourself and to keep our spaces safe for everybody to enter and enjoy. Does someone with a Burzum t-shirt walk around our places? Confront him/her and make your move. A panacea solution does not exist, some people should just be warned about the shit they are endorsing, and other ones must be simply kicked out.
    It’s now obvious that fascists will not disappear by themselves. We can’t waste time in organizing generic black metal concerts or festivals that just allow people to enjoy themselves one night. The gigs we organize or we attend to, must be more and more explicitly political, clearly antifascist and, in case of black metal, understandably anti-nsbm.

    OTHER SCENES

    We should not enclose ourselves in our scene: prolific connections can be made "outside" of it. The punk and hardcore scenes are possibly the most antifascist and revolutionary existing ones, many of us are already active members of these scenes or have comrades or friends in them.
    As antifascists, we must develop non-sectarian mutual-supportive relationships with those comrades, and, since these scenes have a long and established antifa history, we should learn what they have already developed through time to keep their scenes safe.
    If their participants are not aware of what is going on inside the extreme metal scene, or if they have prejudices against it, we should share knowledge with them about the growing anti-racist feeling that is developing in our scene. With the migrant and social crisis deepening, political positions are also taking a more defined shape: taking an antiracist stance has become necessary for everybody that oppose Nazis. The help from these people is necessary.

    IF YOU DON’T STAND AGAINST YOU ARE COLLABORATING


    Our objective is to be able, over time, to blur the distinctions between scenes that share the same values: defending our music, places and concerts from the fascist scum and, ultimately, defeating fascism by kicking out racists from concerts, from scenes, from the world, from the universe.

    Download the PDF [A5] ready-to-print: 

  • Cómo efrentar el fascismo en el metal extremo [español]
  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    Repressione - "Col Sangue Agli Occhi" (2017)


    REPRESIONE "Col sangue agli occhi"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Hardcore
    Country: Italy
    Track List:
    1. Guerra alla città
    2. Huye hombre
    3. Cieli di piombo
    4. The game (INFEST)
    5. I giorni dell'ira
    6. Col sangue agli occhi
    7. Colpo su colpo
    8. Macho free zone
    9. About to crack (VITAMIN X)
    10. Happy time (xLIEx)
    Bandcamp / Facebook 

    Repressione are very good friends of this blog and a very supportive band with the movement. They are from Bolognia, Italy openly Anti-Fascist. 

    Amethyst Falls - "Amethyst Falls" (2017)

    AMETHYST FALLS "Amethyst Falls"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal/Shoegaze
    Country: USA
    Track List:
    1. Awaning
    2. Through halogen eyes
    3. At the edge of the world our shadows singhing
    4. Hintergerdanke
    5. Painted Hands
    Bandcamp 

    Our friends from Orb Weaver Collective (who define themselves as "wild-seeking artist on the western coast of the United States, unified, living together at the edge of civilization, bout to their craft as musicians, painters, poets and performers") send us the newest ralease by Amethyst Falls (an amazing band from Oakland, USA that plays a mix between Black Metal, Dark Wave and Shoegaze).

    Smuteční slavnost - "Zahrada krkavců" (2017)

    Smuteční slavnost -  "Zahrada krkavců"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: Czech Republic
    Track List:
    1. Moc sžírá vědomí
    2. Zákonitost střídá chtíč
    3. Když procházíme světem
    4. Jistota na konci řady
    Bandcamp / Facebook

    "Strictly unorthodox black metal" tag-line was meant as a joke. But we mean it. We are not interested in taking any part in your orthodox, evil, role-playing. We use black metal as a tool, not as an idol."
    Smuteční slavnost is back on the road. This is their newest release with very strong lyrics and a very 'solid' sound.

    Also, you can take a look into their past releases we have supported here. And stream and download this one in bandcamp. 



    Friday, July 21, 2017

    Anarchist Wolves - "Kill the Fascist Seed EP" (2017)

    ANARCHIST WOLVES - "Kill the Fascist Seed EP"

    Year: 2107
    Genre: Blackened Crust/Grind/Thrash
    Country: USA
    Tracklist:
    1. Smash the Fascist
    2. Malignancy
    3. Smoke Out the Rats
    4. Interlachen
    5. No Empires
    6. Post Truth
    7. Plight of Insurrection

    Another brilliant solo project, this one from anonymous artist "Wolf Boy" in New Mexico.According to the artist, the album is intended to "fuel your outrage, to soundtrack your organizing and agitating, and to propel you into the streets to stop fascism." Worthy goals all round. 

    The album is aggressively lo-fi and anti-commercial in all the finest traditions of the punk and black metal scenes that spawned it, paying homage to the greats of the genre with a clear influence from the Norwegian second wave. The dark tremolo picked intro to "Interlachen", resolving into furious crusty riffing, perfectly enacpsulates the violent mood of the album, along with its wide range of influences. The longest track on the album, "Plight of Insurrection" similarly utilizes mournful minor key ambience before shattering the atmosphere into shards of raw crust punk and militaristic drumming.

    What I found particularly interesting was the blend of hardcore elements into the mix, with breakdown-esque sections surrounded by blast beats, punky riffing, gurgling screams, and the kind of tremolo picking in minor keys that is normally found in much more traditional black metal. That being said, this is clearly a black metal release, not a punk one. The warlike aggression in the music, the militant drumming, the incredibly provocative and threatening lyrics, and their vicious delivery all combine to make Anarchist Wolves an expression of not just antifascist rage, but the kind of revolutionary art this genre is so exclusively brilliant at producing.

    T.G.

    Friday, July 7, 2017

    Kosmogyr - "Quiescent" (2017)

    KOSMOGYR - "Quiescent"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: China/ Czech Republic
    Track List:
    1. Quiescent
    Bandcamp / Facebook

    Kosmogyr is a black metal project made collaboratively by two people from Shanghai and Prague.

    Monday, June 5, 2017

    Blight - "Basidium" (2017)

    BLIGHT  "Basidium"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: USA

    Track List:
    1. Side A - Theocratic Mujahidin, blight
    2. Side B - Goodbye horses
    Bandcamp 

    Blight is an 'anarchist black metal' band from Chico, California with primitivism related lyrics and a blasphemous and political context in their background. Their music has a raw with a lot of rage in it. I don't really have more information about this project, but it has definitely a space in our blog...

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    Abkehr - "In Asche" (2017)

    ABKEHR  "In Asche"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: Germany

    Track List:
    1. I
    2. II
    3. III
    4. IV
    Bandcamp / Facebook 

    "From the most remote crevices of the German extreme metal underworld come Abkehr, a new black metal entity from Northern Germany who’s genesis appears to have been sparked by unprecedented emotional and mental collapse and by an unfathomable pull toward absolute, devouring darkness. Abkehr were formed in 2015 in Northern Germany by sole masterminds Raash and H. with the intent of unifying under the black looming star of self-disintegration the raw misanthropic grimness of the most praised Norwegian black metal tradition with the atmosphere and desperation of depressive black metal, and the swarming majesty of US atmospheric black metal."

    Fuatha - "Oblivion" (2017)


    FUATHA  "Oblivion"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: USA

    Track List:
    1. Abandoned
    2. Cataclysm
    3. Ashes
    4. Prophetic dreams
    5. Oblivion
    Bandcamp / Facebook 

    Fuatha is an atmospheric black metal band from Chino Hills, California. This band focuses its thematic in the existence of the human being and the nature that survives around the progress.

    Secreto público - "Demo" (2017)


    SECRETO PÚBLICO  "Demo"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Punk
    Country: México

    Track List:
    1. La masacre del cuerpo (The massacre of the body)
    2. Hora de enfrentar (Time to face)
    3. Condenadxs (Condemned)
    4. Cara de culpable (Guilty face)
    5. Paranoia inducida (Induced paranoia)
    6. Premio al mejor actor (Best actor award)
    Bandcamp

    "Secreto Público" is a punk band from Mexico City. Among the violent times that are surrounding this place, this band talks about feminist postures between all this constant struggle; they also talk about life in the city (polution, overpopulation...) 

    This is their first demo and it's free in bandcamp.

    Domini Canes - "Ethereal Flesh Conduit" (2017)

    DOMINI CANES "Ethereal Flesh Conduit"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Blackened Punk
    Country: UK

    Track List:
    1. Mortality
    2. Part I
    3. Part II
    4. Veil
    5. Part III
    6. Obsidian Temple Liturgy
    7. Shackles
    Bandcamp

    "Domini Canes is a one man project from the UK playing crust influenced black metal that deals with mans place within existence and the individuals place within society while taking influence from observing everyday life and the institutions which dictate life such as religion, government and popular (and not so popular) culture, hoping all the while for a time when people can be truly responsible for governing themselves"

    We have already shared two of it's demos, and you can check them out here


    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Kremator - "Return" (2017)

    KREMATOR "Return"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Atavistic Mulchcore
    Country: USA

    Track list:

    1. Decrepit
    2. Agency
    3. Wander
    4. Permeated
    5. Thirst
    6. Together
    7. Sustenance
    8. Return
    9. Espere

    Kremator is an undeniably unique project, and is almost entirely unlike anything I've heard before. Aiming to create nature-inspired atmospheric grindcore (christened "atavistic mulchcore" by the band's solo member), the highly experimental music makes heavy use of drums and guttural vocals in a style reminiscent of traditional grindcore, but differs in that generally no other instrumentation is used, save the recorded sounds of the artist breathing into a microphone. The only instance of traditional instrumentation in "Return" is acoustic guitar on the final track. 

    Lyrically, the aim was to create "a mixture I would call atavistic anarcho-communism. The idea was to "Return" to a forest to get away from the destruction of life in a capitalistic hellhole of a post-industrial city." It charts the flight from civilisation at a personal level, escaping from "this decrepit city" in the first track, and slowly exploring and discussing the artist's ideology through the rest of the album. Most of the music was inspired by trips to the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, and it reads as an acutely intimate piece of art, with a tangible sense of, to use his own word, "atavistic" longing, a desperate desire for simpler life in a rain-shrouded forest, away from the choking filth we are surrounded with by modern society.

    The final two tracks present, in very different ways, an impassioned and profound cry directed at those of us who cling to civilisation - in "Return", the lyrics provide the call directly; "The fires shall burn for you /Won’t you come and be with us /To be back in the wild". Once the echoes of "Return" fade away, the final track, "Espere", (a name which, I discovered after extensive Googling, is a first-person form of an old French verb meaning "to wait", "to hope", or "to expect") holds not only the lovely allusions in the title, conveying layers of meaning plain English couldn't hope to accomplish, but also the song itself is the only instrumental track on the album, 40 seconds of gentle acoustic guitar closing the album in a soft kind of melancholic hope for a greener future.

    The music is extremely experimental, and is a long way from stereotypical easy listening, but despite the challenging sound the message beneath is heartfelt, deeply personal, and beautiful. Definitely worth a listen if you're looking to broaden your horizons.

    T.G.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    Nidstang - "Retribution Will Come" (2017)

    NIDSTANG "Retribution Will Come"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Raw Black Metal / Crust
    Country: USA

    Track list:

    1. Bind
    2. Ergi
    3. Nidstang
    4. Without
    5. Infans Solaris
    6. Envenomation
    7. Alucinari
    8. Cloaked in Emerald
    9. Abstruse Existence
    10. Bound

    The impressive debut of this solo project, created by one of the members of Huldrekall and influenced by the ideals of DIY punk, opens softly with "Bind", an ambient soundscape of synthesisers grinding through slow changes and gritty texture, before tearing into raw black metal aggression and hardcore riffing in "Ergi", and the shorter track "Nidstang". The album builds in speed, becoming a juggernaut fast, heavy, raw black metal, the kind of lo-fi staticky goodness any crust punk worth their patches will be left swooning over.

    Vocally it's uncompromising stuff, with pure ferocity howling through the mix in a boiling overflow of ruthless aggression directed at a corrupt and complacent status quo. At times the pace varies from blistering aggression to slower and heavier, more reminiscent of particularly rough metallic hardcore than crust or black metal. This is particularly developed on the fourth track, "Without". These pace changes allow the album a kind of freshness to each track, rather than stagnating in an identical format; it hits hard and fast, and leaves you reeling.

    The album closes with another ambient track, this one with a subtly different mood and feeling to "Bind", more sorrowful and final, and called "Bound", a simple and direct end to an interesting and well-developed album. Overall it's an extremely impressive first effort, and there are few similarities to the artist's main band, Huldrekall - Nidstang is most definitely its own project, not a pale copy. Can't wait to see where this debut leads.

    T.G.

    Friday, May 12, 2017

    Amethyst Falls - "Amethyst Falls EP" (2017)


    AMETHYST FALLS "Amethyst Falls"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Post-Black Metal / Shoegaze
    Country: USA

    Track List:
    1. Reflections in the fog
    2. Exposure
    Bandcamp / Facebook

    Amethyst Falls, a band from Oakland, USA. They play a mix between Black Metal, Dark Wave and Shoegaze. Personally i found this very interesting and it's an impressive project.
    This came from "Orb Weaver Collective" who define themselves as "wild-seeking artist on the western coast of the United States, unified, living together at the edge of civilization, bout to their craft as musicians, painters, poets and performers" You can follow this collective here.

    Also, if any of you are interested they gave me two downloading codes for this EP, so, write me in case you want to oiseau@riseup.net 


    From this collective you should also check this bands:
    Latona Odola 
    ( Dark Ambient / Folk)
    Leadeater (Black Metal)
    Loam (Dark ambient)

    Ruinas/Raíces - "Untitled" (2017)


    RUINAS/RAÍCES - "Untitled"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
    Country: Argentina

    Track List:
    1. Dos colores fundiéndose (two colors merging)
    2. Mis ríos abiertos, cayendo en tu abismo (my open rivers, falling into your abyss)
    3. Creciente (growing)

    Ruinas/Raices is an atmospheric black metal project from Argentina, with very strong and poetic lyrics about our feelings and our human condition, even though the band doesn't reflect their politics in the project, they are into DIY, and strongly against right-wing politics, racism and every kind of intollerance, so I'm sure they have a place in this blog.

    In their facebook I've found a very beautiful text that can summarize what the hole band means, it's originally in spanish but I'm translating it: "We constantly look among the rubble we've covered ourselves with; in the void that surrounds us, between all that has been lost and is no longer spoken. The distance grows with each step. We do not have certainty, we don't do anything but ask ourselves"  


    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    The Well-Wisher - "The colours fade" (2017)


    THE WELL-WISHER "The colours fade"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Depressive Black Metal
    Country: Finland

    Track List:
    1. Desperation is the beginning
    2. A never-ending day
    3. The ghosts of past mistakes
    4. The colours fade
    5. I don't need hope, I need death
    6. You're never prepared
    7. Time-distorting hatred
    8. The great grey
    9. Goodbye

    The Well-Wisher is a one man band from Finland. We featured his EP before, because even though this project is not strictly political TR is our reader and has been very supportive with the movement, and with left-wing ideas.
    I find this album very nostalgic and with a good sound, so I hope you can give it a chance.
    The album is free for streaming and download in bandcamp, and here's a music video for one of the songs:



    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    BVDK - "Architecture Of Future Tribes" (2017)



    BVDK "Architecture of future tribes"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Post-Black Metal / Electronic
    Country: France

    Track List:
    1. Snatcher
    2. Surreptitious cluster
    3. Nana buluku
    4. La langue sanglante
    5. Bahir dar
    6. Jericho's pride
    7. Dar es salaam
    8. Psalm 32
    Ok, BVDK, is an experimental post-black metal band from France, the last year we featured their EP here. Now they came with this interesting mix between black metal and Ethnic music paying tribute to africanvoodoo, haitan voodoo and oriental culture in this record. Even if they don't speak about politics in their lyrics, they are supporters of the RABM
    movement and causes like Decolonization, Feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, Vegetarism,
    etc...

    You can stream and download the album for free in bandcamp.

    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Blackend Horizon - "Nerhegeb" (2016)


    BLACKEND HORIZON "Nerhegeb"

    Year: 2016
    Genre: Raw Atmospheric Blackened Crust
    Country: Germany

    Tracklist:

    1. As Shadows Among Nephilim
    2. 56°30'09.3"N, 14°42'45.7"E
    3. The Third Week of Autumn
    4. A Parhelions Last Descending
    5. Now, I Am Become Death, The Destroyer of Worlds

    Blackend Horizon, to some extent, defies genre labels. Moments of pure noise rear through waves of mournful ambience, crushingly crusty aggression mellows with atmospheric DSBM-esque melodies, and "Raw Atmospheric Blackened Crust" seems to fall short of complete accuracy when trying to encompass the real span and depth of this strongly anti-racist German solo project.

    The opening track, "As Shadows Above Nephilim", is the second longest on the album, and uses the fourteen-plus minutes allotted to it to build a slow, ominous atmosphere, interspersed with ethereal shrieks, distortion-heavy riffing and keyboard work reminiscent of early Burzum (although in this case we can all be grateful the artist behind Blackend Horizon isn't a racist douchebag). Lyrically I read it as dealing with the insane willingness to poison and destroy the future out of misguided stupidity in the present - the lines "We gathered the children/We killed our future/We killed ourselves" best conveyed this sense for me. "56°30'09.3"N, 14°42'45.7"E" is much shorter, using a stronger mix of keyboards thrown through the harshness and melancholy of the guitar and vocal work to build a true sense of mournful loss, and the building of slow, depressive madness.

    "The Third Week of Autumn" begins with sonorous bass plucking, static- distortion slowly building behind it before launching into a surprisingly gentle melody. Far and away the most depressive and atmospheric track on the album, the lyrics seem to deal with lost love, and a sense of hopelessness toward a future without that love in it. It was listening to this track that really impressed me with the vocals and how they were mixed in, with a hard-struck balance between raw intensity and emotion in the more black metal or crusty sections, without overbearing the ephemeral, ethereal softness the electronic elements lend some of the tracks, such as on the instrumental ambient track "A Parhelions Last Descending".

    The final - and longest - song on the album, "Now, I Am Become Death, The Destroyer Of Worlds" opens with similar electronic softness, before making a rough transition to raw, ponderous riffing, and slow, heartrending howls echoing through the mix. The song flows through softer and harder passages, building to a sample of Robert Oppenheimer's comment on the use of atomic bombs in the Trinity tests, where he references the Bhagavad-Gita. The final slow, synthesized notes trail gradually to nothing, a fittingly mournful and understated end to a complex and engaging album. Overall I strongly recommend this and the artist's prior works as fascinating and intriguing pieces of underground artwork.

    T.G.

    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Disacusia - "Tripalium" (2017)


    DISACUSIA "Tripalium"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Crust
    Country: Brazil

    Track List:
    1. Pronto para cair
    2. A retomada
    3. Deturpaçao Midiática
    4. Apelo
    5. Tripalium
    Bandcamp

    Coming from João Pessoa, Brazil, forming in 2009, Disacusia  are a crust band and in his first official studio work entitled "Tripalium", the band presents its indignation about the actions of domination and social control by the institutional power: Work as a mechanism of torture and imprisonment of the body and mind, criminalization of poverty, banalization of violence by the media, selectivity in punitive actions as a means of preserving and maintaining power over the means of production and capital. Crustcore / grind is the dominant sonority in the band, a style also characterized by opposing the oppressive practices of the system.

    Download in bandcamp
    -M

    Ammophilia - "Forgotten death of miserable world" (2017)


    AMMOPHILIA "Forgotten death of miserable world (demo)"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Raw Black Metal
    Country: Slovakia
    Track List:
    1. Soaken blood
    2. Desecrated pride
    3. Curse this world
    Bandcamp

    Ammophilia, a raw black metal band from Slovakia. Even though they are a leftist band in their demo the lyrics are more misanthropic and depressing. In bandcamp you can download their music, and also, here is the link for their last song: "Away the Carpathians", that is about jews deported from Slovakia at world war 2. 

    -M

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Misanthropic Forest - "demo" (2017)

    Misanthropic Forest - "demo"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Depressive Black Metal
    Country: Finland

    Tracklist:
    1. Nothing but Whores
    2. Purging Fires of Mars
    3. Before Men There Were Others
    4. Victories over a Time There Was

    As long nights close in, and winter's teeth are slowly bared by a snarling autumn, you could easily imagine the raw, visceral howls of this Finnish DSBM project carrying through a darkened forest in the blackest reaches of the night. A harsh, uncompromising paragon of underground black metal spirit, the debut release of Misanthropic Forest is challenging and grim. As part of their demo submission, they sent me a statement, as follows: "political issues are irrelevant in our context. Misanthropic Forest is about hatred towards human life and we refuse to be categorized as red, anarchist or any other politically motivated music." They explained their lyrical themes as being "about nature and misanthropy how humans are destroying world and how this planet will be better place without mankind". 

     The band originally recorded these tracks in 2014, but errors made in drum tracking led them to decide they could do better and that the songs needed reworking, and they hope to have a new album out, including improved renditions of the songs on this demo, within a year. That being said, their spokesperson made it clear they're in no rush, and want to really do the music justice. This demo was released so that the original recording would be available, to not let the session go to waste. They also declined to make their lyrics public at this time, as part of a conscious effort to allow the final album release to define the songs, as they plan to reveal some of the lyrics then.

    Musically, the guitar work is fast, ferociously so in places, but carrying undeniable melody. The drumming is hard and aggressive (although I understand why they thought the recording quality let down the songs a little, even on a lo-fi underground release it needs improvement), and the vocals are desperate, lower and rougher than on some black metal releases, more in the vein of Hate Forest than Wolves in the Throne Room. The opening track of the demo, "Nothing but Whores", is tempered with a sorrowful ambiance, less outright harsh and confrontational than the other songs, surprisingly beautiful even in the midst of misanthropic melancholy. "Purging Fires of Mars" steps up the pace, allowing frenetic and aggressive guitars to the fore to build an atmosphere of violence and hatred. 

    "Before Men There Were Others" is a harsh continuation of their establishing sound, with fast guitar and blast beats hammering through your ears, which drops off suddenly into the gentler, slower lead-in to "Victories over a Time There Was", which has the feel of "Nothing but Whores" far more than either of the tracks between. For all they are gentler bookends to the middle songs, offering a subtle contrast to the nihilistic ferocity that comes across unbridled elsewhere on the album, they are by no means gentle songs - they carry much of the same depression, rage, and sorrow of the rest of the album, only a little more restrained. Hopefully their full-length will be out before too long, so we can appreciate their music unhampered by technical issues. I'm looking forward to it.

    T.G.

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

    Through Chaos & Solitude - "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun" (2017)

    THROUGH CHAOS & SOLITUDE "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
    Country: Germany
    Tracklist:

    1. The Intransigence Of The Soul
    2. A Heart Of Eternal Winter (And The Longing For Your Warmth)
    3. If This Is The Best We Can Get Then I Am Disappointed

    As I'm writing this, autumn is beginning to set in. It's been raining all day, and the dark pines lining the valley where I live are stark against a close, grey sky, wreathed in mist. It's the perfect backdrop for the gradual unfolding of this brilliant demo from Through Chaos & Solitude. From the project's solo member, Tim Rule - "The thawing winds of the morning sun is us. Mankind. We are our own blessing and our own curse. We are the stroke of wing which causes these winds to blow. We try to become god ourselves while declaring him for dead and still we deny our nature. We subdue the earth and it's children and still we strive for more. By now we already realized our purpose and we willingly choose to neglect it. We're flying directly into the sun and still we're accelerating..." 

    The album opens with sampled winter winds and gentle guitar work, a soft lead in to one of the best albums I've heard all year. The guitar advances into a faster, tremolo-picked melody, and the vocals hit. The pace and sound of the first two minutes, and the mournful atmosphere they evoke, are to me the perfect example of the real beauty of black metal - sweeping, cold, building a vision of nature in all her bleak glory. 

    When I was very young, my grandfather built me a tiny cabin at the back of his heavily forested block of land. Recently I've not had many occasions to visit it, but the last time I made the trek it was a fight through trees suddenly overgrowing the path, brambles snarling out in the light rain, until I reached the cabin. It was nestled back into a forest that seemed more imposing than it had when I was younger, and the blank windows conveyed a strange sense of nostalgia, loss, and somehow the end of innocence. The lyrics of that first track, "The Intransigence Of The Soul", read as a conflict born out of the same feeling - seeing your innocence disappear as you grow and learn, and suddenly the world is more complex than you can understand, everything makes you afraid and confused, and your mind has snarled itself beyond hope of escape in seemingly impossible contradictions. "Intransigence" deals in this way with a sense of existential dread, both a fear of and longing for death, a struggle building intensity through the song, and ending with a desperate series of unanswered questions, screamed out at the universe, the gods, nature, whoever, in fact, might be listening to souls lost in the winter. 

    The next track, "A Heart Of Eternal Winter (And The Longing For Your Warmth)", opens peacefully, again, with gentle guitars, before my only minor sticking point with the album appears, in the form of the sung vocals.While the screaming is harsh, imposing, but somehow ethereal, and the spoken passages perfectly underscore lyrical points of importance, for me the clean singing was slightly too muddy to really add to the music. That being said, I'm a bit puritanical when it comes to clean singing in black metal. Strong lyrics, revolving around Norse mythology, delivered through a layered mix of harsh vocals to excellent effect, weave through the guitars and double kick hammering, to build a wonderfully cold and sorrowful picture of a banished god, stalking the forests of Midgard as the three winters close in. 

    The final song on the album is where the really heavy central themes of the "The Thawing Winds Of The Morning Sun" come into play. The guitar eases off, taking on a softer, more ambient feeling, and allowing the lyrics to really come across early in the song, before building back up to an intense finale. "If This Is The Best We Can Get Then I Am Disappointed" considers, as the title suggests, the miserable state of human affairs, the contradictory nature of our philosophies, our ideals, even our existence, in a piece of music that really conveys the tormented and conflicted existence we are privy to. The short section of spoken vocals which close the track, and the album, to me perfectly express the feeling of the whole artwork; 

    "I am disappointed in us, I am disappointed in me 
    If we’re not here for a reason, what is the existence that shall be? 
    Is this really the best that we can be? 
    Then please have mercy and let it end with me" 

    I look forward to seeing what's next from this excellent black metal project.

    T.G.

    Thursday, March 2, 2017

    Svordom - "För dom som är ensamma" (2017)

    SVORDOM "För dom som är ensamma" (For those who are lonely)

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Hardcore Punk
    Country: Finland.
    Track List:
    1. Vräker mig själv
    2. Snabb död
    3. En dag i homs
    4. Ovän
    5. Snutjävel
    6. Blodet kokar
    7. All you fascist are bound to lose (cover)

    Svordom is a hardcore punk band from Turku, Finland. Formed in 2014.
    This is their newest EP called "För dom som är ensamma" (For those who are lonely) and can be dowloaded directly in bandcamp, just like the rest of their material. 

    Dödläge - "Ritual Slaughter" (2017)



    DÖDLÄGE "Ritual Slaughter"

    Year: 2017
    Genre: Metallic Crust
    Country: USA

    Track List:
    1. Sanctuary rites
    2. Internal crisis
    3. Victims of drug war
    4. Draconian law
    5. Starving for change
    6. Overdose of reality
    7. Pride of manipulation
    8. Architects of pression
    9. Hidden graves
    10. Enslaved profit
    11. Neohumanity
    12. Passive observers in a violent world
    13. Bloodsport
    14. Merciless onslaught
    15. Ritual slaughter
    16. This is bliss

    Dödläge is a band from Portland, OR. That has been featured on our blog before and you can check it here.
    This is their newest album with a very agressive sound, take the time to listen.