Music Quickies

Quick and dirty reviews. Sometimes formed after the 1st listen, sometimes after 10 years. Reader discretion is advised.

Bloque del Sur, BVBEL, Kaschade, Samuel Bone, Fross – Small free download artists – Quick reviews

Bloque del Sur – Periferia

a0021724405_10Groovy easily accessible electro with samples and obscure voice clips. What would industrial be without voice clips! Periferia has both lighter and darker beats and melodies.

The artist describes Periferia as a fresh approach to EBM/industrial, taking elements from 1982-88 golden era and adding tropical bass influences. I’ll be the first to admit that the “golden era of industrial” and “tropical bass” are completely foreign to me. The band hails from Argentina which may explain the tropical but also why my girlfriend without knowing anything of the artist commented about the “weird latino music”! I honestly didn’t even hear the latino influence on Periferia!

Megaperiferia first appeared as a monotonous track but upon checking the video it started to actually benefit from the monotone atmosphere that welcomes new elements sparingly but interestingly. The starting Diagrama is refreshingly more polymorphous with all kinds of textures appearing in the first few minutes.

The subtle background melodies help a lot and affect spontaneous headnodding. Intercommunicador is refreshingly more exotic. I liked Bloque del Sur’s down-to-earth approach upon submitting the release and thus decided to share these few words.

In total an enjoyable small release which I’ve been listening the most of the 5 releases in this post.

Bandcamp:
https://pakapirecords.bandcamp.com/album/bloque-del-sur-periferia
Video of Megaperiferia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kZEyxEfsKI


BVBEL – PRDX2

Cover (1)Beats, the eternal problem. There’s great rap lyricists with lacking backgrounds, then there’s great backgrounds with lacking lyrics. Where does BVBEL come in then? He produces pretty damn stellar backgrounds, but unfortunately without any lyrics at all. Even though it sounds good there’s definitely the vocals missing.

For the most part the beats are pretty memorable. I see no reason why they wouldn’t be good enough for a rap release. The production values aren’t huge but there’s a nice glitchy atmosphere that makes up for the lack of booming. Some clever hooks like the 2nd track 不要 (English translation: Do Not). Most beats that I hear I end up liking a lot less than BVBEL’s. I could love this release with the right lyrical substance.

Free download: https://archive.org/details/siro792Bvbel-Prdx
BVBEL seems to be very productive as his bandcamp is filled with releases:
https://bvbeltrill.bandcamp.com/
On quick listen tracks like DV-useless show a lot of melodic potential: https://bvbeltrill.bandcamp.com/track/dv-useless


Kaschade – Performance

kaschade-entity-beHei, I heard you came looking for semi-improvised avant-garde saxophone electronic ambient noise, right? Grab Performance immediately! The rest of us, we might just want to take a peek now and then behind a safe distance. Listening 53 minutes in one go without finding other means of entertainment at the same time proved to be quite a task. Even with skipping the 8+ minute harsh noise closer, Golden Balls. But man, is the cover art beautiful!

I’ve had my chaotic noise phase but usually I dig structure. In semi improvised music there tends to be less of structure. But there’s plenty of sound to keep interest up in Kaschade’s Performance: cascades of whizzes, booms, knocks, scratches and most of all ambients. Usually there’s quite a steady beat or a coming and going melodic pattern or certain sound, so it’s not like there’s no structure. There’s definitely an underlying structural sense, but it’s in there deep. Also the organic saxophone adds plenty of value. It’s an interesting ride from psychological spacehorror to psychedelic intergalactic procession.

The spacey feel is ever so present; it feels there’s a vast blackness but it’s not overbearing. The tension is psychological, no sudden senseless loud sounds.

The description at the weblabel Entity’s site is very fitting: “Indeed Performance might well be the soundtrack to an imaginary film, perhaps in the style of film noir or a collection of surreal scenes, as experimental soundeffects produce a constant string of plottwists while spiraling through a wide range of lasting impressions.” If Alejandro Jodorowsky had ever finished his Dune film adaptation, the music could have been something similar to Kaschade’s Performance!

Bandcamp: https://kaschade.bandcamp.com/album/performance-2016
Direct zip download link: https://archive.org/compress/ntt084/formats=VBR%20MP3,JPEG,ARCHIVE%20BITTORRENT,METADATA
Entity Weblabel: http://www.entity.be/entity/


Samuel Bone – Fluctuous

A-SmallCoverFluctuous
marked as obsolete except in archaic usage.
a.
Watery (obs.).

b. Full of, or resembling waves, lit. and fig.

Urban dictionary:
Fluctuous
used to describe a nice ass.

Experimental electronic with solid rhythmic background. Beeps and twerks (not the butt-kind) keep appearing. Quite enjoyable really, some tracks are surprisingly quiet in the mix. Especially Hrathlemore really needs some volume finetuning by the listener to be enjoyable. Like water Fluctuous keeps spilling out of my hands listen after listen.

The release does bring watery substances in mind, first track Drool Cam starts with water burbling sounds.  The next track Chonie has the best melody with a keyboard sound that sounds to be coming from just below the water surface. Uhl is nicely relaxing when Kringle Kan Surplus is really a distorted affair nearing noise. Hrathlemore is quiet, so is the title track, Fluctuous but it is also less noisy, more rhythmic and nicely minimal electro. Quite pleasant really.

Free download: https://archive.org/details/siro793SamuelBone-Fluctous


Fross – Sombrio

a0453013625_10Fross, from Costa Rica brought some melodic dark ambient with misty woods and mountains to my e-mail box. In the start of his 2016 record Sombrio, there’s something that reminds me of Agalloch. Ilusión Distante also has a hint of low bitrate and minimal ambient in it’s gentle chords. Desolacion is still melancholy but as the album progresses further the last few tracks are quite oppressive.

In total Sombrio lacks depth though. There are some great somber passages like (Desvanecerse) En la Oscuridad. I can hear twinkling and gentle noises in the back that aren’t there but in my head they’d fit there so perfectly.

The use of organic instruments like violin and guitar is most welcome but it does not have much dramatic impact.

The first listen was surprisingly tense as I was waiting for the organic instruments to take the lead and on Petricor I was finally rewarded. The echoing guitar and background blooming sounds great but keeps minimal.

The tension keeps the listen interesting and mood surprisingly fluid. Dark ambient in its oppressive forms is not really my thing but luckily Sombrio is split into airy elements that work well as a gentle background.

Girlfriend’s comment on El Abismo: Submarines and death.

I picked Fross to review by random but also because I liked his approach, not demanding a review but asking if I happened to have the time!

Music Quickies – Paradox, Deathspell Omega, Wilderun, Barren Earth

Paradox – Pangea (2016)

573798These old thrash raptors are on the chase (2nd track Raptor, Jurassic Park)! In their manhunt (5th track Manhunt, Rambo) for the second best thrash album of 2016 with Blaakyum’s Line of Fear. Which one comes 2nd then?  I really cannot say but both are really positive surprises.

However, 6th track Cheat & Pretend is an offshot, and by 9th and 10th tracks, Alien Godz (Prometheus) and El Muerte, the biggest joy is gone. 59 minutes is too much for a thrash album, these three tracks could have easily been left out. The younger cosmic-rogues, Vektor still hold the cataclysm force (1st track Apophis, Stargate).

Solid album nevertheless, I had no idea speed metal heritage could still sound fresh!


Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones (2016)
deathspellomegaarvosteludeathspell-omega-the-synarchy-of-molten-bones-e1475279012978Quote is from their last.fm wall. Free form jazz is a pretty good explanation why I have a hard time appreciating some of Deathspell Omega’s latest efforts. I feel they do hit right notes but I much prefer when they actually try to compose a song instead of section1->section2->section3->section4->section5->section6->section7->section8->section9->section10->section11->section12->section13…

Over random sections there’s vocals that do not really correlate with the music except in a sense that they are quite crazy too. On the other hand, how could you vocalize over this? I guess it’s as good an effort as any.

On Paracletus there were songs that had a more approachable structure and hooks. Quite a few of those hooks were memorable and the album is a solid entity. But Drought and Synarcy are just a mess.

Deathspell Omega is definitely experimental which is why I’d hope that they would realize not to run the damn clean guitar sound above everything on all of these three records. Perhaps Synarchy needs more time to fruition. 4 listens within a month merely crosses my irritation threshold.


Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of The Earth (2015)

492322Simply the best album to come out in 2015, I have yet to find it’s equal from 2016 either.

Try it if you do not hate any of the following:
metal
symphonic
folk (dibbly-dabbly beerfolk excluded)
clean vocals
guitars
cinematic music



Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers (2015)
onlonelytowersp19com8m781mjt11t431p1i4to4m4The title track On Lonely Towers is the centerpiece of Barren Earth’s 2015 album and welcomes them back into form after the disappointingly tame The Devil’s Resolve (2012).

On Lonely Towers is somewhere between their first album Curse of the Red River (2010) and The Devil’s Resolve on heaviness scale. It’s not a deathdoom-donkey or blastbeat-beaver but occasionally uses both of these tricks to its advantage. Unlike some sections of The Devil’s Resolve it does not sound like Opeth’s Heritage. Unlike some sections of the Curse of the Red not a Swallow The Sun copy either.

Especially welcoming is the great vocal performance by the Faroe Island native Jón Aldará (Hamfero). That is not to say the previous vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun) didn’t do a good job on previous albums, but the more powerful voice of Aldará is a really welcome change.

On Lonely Towers, is a true gem of a track and none other ecplises it. The crooked and deliciously sung Shapeless Derelict and Chaos, The Songs Within, are also A class progressive metal. Frozen Processions and Howl are good examples of melodies and progressive twists that make some people deem Barren Earth “Amopeth”.

If These Trees Could Talk, quick runthrough of their last three albums

if_these_trees_could_talk_cover

Above Sky, Below Earth (2009)

Above Sky, Below Earth (2009), the second album of If These
Trees Could Talk was and still is one of my favourite post rock records. When I tuned in Red Forest (2012) some years back it seemed like a lamer, albiet pretty good, successor recycling same elements.

Strangely in further years I got rid of the recycling feel and Red Forest grew to be almost at the same level. Its best individual track Red Forest, took hold of their best track title.

The latest effort Bones of a Dying World (2016) kicks in instantly. It is hard to fathom why there’s no instant recycling feel as its largely a similar record. The key components are still the organic progressing compositions and plenty of high-flying tremolo melodies with some really atmospheric ambience setting an effortless and relaxed background. The weird jazz feel of the second track Swallowing Teeth is partly to blame of the freshness.

a1569430536_10

Red Forest (2012)

The compositions have an unseemly amount of earthliness and a remarkable amount of naturefeels, like a walk in the woods. As cliche as it may sound.

For all its glory after the 5th track The Here and Hereafter I start get a tingling feel of recycling again! I cannot really remember much of the end album even though it sounds proficient. For this, I will have to address the review later. I’ll put on an alert and add a paragraph or two one year later to see whether this sensation wears off like with Red Forest.

In anycase I am fairly sure The Bones of a Dying World will be high on my, so far short (2015 unveiled a lot of its jewels after the year had turned), best of 2016 list.

TO BE UPDATED NOVEMBER 2017

maxresdefault

Bones of a Dying World (2016)

For quickie listens a backwards chronological playlist:

Music quickies – Vektor, Current 93, Katatonia, Devin Townsend Project, Behemoth

vektor-terminal_redux Vektor – Terminal Redux (2016)
Vektor’s hyped 2016 release is astronomically progressive metal. Vektor was the best modern thrash metal band for years, it is about time for them to get recognition. For an album that sates me midway, it is astoningly good but it would be more enjoyable shorter. It’s really not a better album than their previous efforts but still ridiculously good and full of everything tasty.
9/10
Listen: Mountains Above The Sun + Ultimate Artificer

0Current 93 Calling For Vanished Faces Calling for Vanished Faces (I: Funeral Music for
Us All) and (II: Love, Sleep And Dreams) (1999)

David Tibet’s overtheateritical aesthetics drove this Sol Invictus fanboy mad for half a decade. “Maybe, I might finally appreciate something of theirs?” I thought. I: Funeral Music for Us All starts as an oddities collection I cannot recommend less but picks up on Coal Black Smith, staggers to its most annoying pieces and picks up decently at Hourglass (For Diana) soon to turn into 1 hour 30 minutes of pure neofolk bliss. Probably my favourite release on which I completely skip 1/3 of it.
I 7/10
II 10-/10
Listen: The whole second side, except the 4 ending tracks, is blissful.

570160Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts (2016)
Some outerworldly charm with heartbreaking atmosphere. Drags time to time yet still wrenches heartstrings every minute. Passer‘s descending scale should be obnoxious yet it is genuinely alluring. How on earth did they make it work.
Listen: Decima & Residual for angsting in a dark room, Passer for prog.
Grade upcoming

 

devintownsendprojecttranscendencecdDevin Townsend Project – Transcendence (2016)
Middle aged Devin is zen and re uses his components but those lures still amount some catch. Not bad, but I may have heard too much “c-grade progressive metal” (quoting their own making of documentary) to fully appreciate this kind of polished sound anymore. Danger lurks somewhere else. Here’s hoping the next album goes permanently Higher.

The second album is simply too much as can be noticed from the lack of recognition it has gotten. The (demo) titles are a very Devin Townsendish joke, the stuff is nearly as polised as the first. Love the commercial suicide though, it could have well been released it as a lone piece.
Listen: Higher
7ish/10

395440Behemoth – The Satanist (2014)
If you can think of a more epic way to start a track than in the title track of The Satanist please let me know. The track does not carry the weight of its beginning but the album does. The wall-of-sound production, mildly reminiscent of Emperor, gives it weight unlike many releases.

Incorporating a massive and satisfying finale that only runs through the last minute of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel requires so much finesse. O Father O Satan O Sun! towers above the rest of the release with another finale, this time based on a monster riff and oration like an esoteric sermon. Here’s hoping The Satanist won’t be the last of Behemoth like Nergal hinted in the past.
Listen: Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel & O Father O Satan O Sun!
Grade upcoming