Experimental Black Metal

Monumental metal 4 – Epixperimental playlist

Bring out the weird again, epic experimental tracks! This playlist features bands from experimental terrain that have a solid basis on metal.

1. Rudra‘s Illusory Enlightment is “Vedic” metal from Singapore. Vedic comes from their incorporation of Sanskrit Vedic literature, philosophy and ancient mantras (shlokas) to blackened death metal basis. They also encompass traditional Carnatic music to their compositions. Illusory Enlightment’s top moment is the compelling chanting chorus. See also the review of their album Brahmavidya: Immortal I here.

2. Jumalhämärä is one of the many bands in Finnish experimental black metal terrain that has gotten more attention in the past 10 years. Along with bands like Oranssi Pazuzu, Abyssion, Mörkö, Jumalhämärä is probably the weirdest of the bunch. The title track of their most accessible album Resignaatio is a rare catchy, almost punky, track and in their catalogue that makes it an abnormality. Its deep bass rumbling intro turns into naturally flowing structure, captivating Finnish lyrics with supremely hooking riffing and stylish use of upstrokes. You know what they released after Resignaatio? A drone pipe organ album. Really.

3. December Wolves is one of the many bands I found from Earache presents: Metal – A headbanger’s companion (2007). It is from the CD 2 – Grindcore, but especially CD 6 – Leftfield is a great listen (Cult of Luna, Callisto, Scorn, Godflesh, Akercocke, Crotchduster etc.). Desperately Seeking Satan could be called leftfield, though its roots are firmly in black metal. The heavy use of voice clips, nihilistic lyrics and programmed drums combining industrial with violent black metal guitars make their 2002 release Blasterpiece Theatre have a sound appearance unlike any other.

4. The Meads of Asphodel – Children of the Sunwheel Banner (part 2). You could say that Metatron, the vocalist of Meads of Asphodel takes making lyrics a bit seriously. Their webpage has about 100 pages of text per album about the lyrical themes. So you can imagine it surges pretty deep. It seems the web page is unfortunately down at the moment though.

Sunwheel banner obviously references to nazis. I am not even going into the stuff of them being “nazis” because they are a metal band that has an interest of the atrocities of the past + uses the word “jew”. Oh and one of the 10 labels that has released their music has apparently released an NSBM release, jeez.

Like in one of my previous playlists Monumental metal oddities, I placed “cousin” bands The Meads of Asphodel and Sigh after each other. They have enough eccentric material to use for a few playlists. Also, the keyboard solo in Children of the Sunwheel Banner is played by none else than the main man behind Sigh, Mirai Kawashima.

5. Sigh – A Messenger From Tomorrow (I. The Message – II. Foreboding – III. Doomsday). The most epic track in Sigh’s catalogue. Surprisingly also one of the lightest ones, based on strong orchestral melodies. The lesser amount of heavy distortion guitars does not mean the composition wouldn’t be huge though. A Messenger From Tomorrow only further proves the multifacetedness of Sigh as a monstrously diverse band.

6. Negură Bunget – Cunoașterea tăcută. Negura Bunget’s 2006 release Om is one of the highlights of 2000s black metal in both song-writing and originality. The introduction of Romanian traditional instruments, epic soundscapes, shamanistic repetitive passages, raw production and very oldschool black metal elements blew many a mind. Cunoașterea tăcută includes one of those clean melodies (at 3.00) that makes you wonder on what plane of being it was conceived. Oldschool black metal riffing accompanied with traditional instruments and high-flying folk singing with the catchiness of bubonic plague.

7. Ufomammut – Daemons. What a Monster riff to close up their 2015 release, Ecate. That is all that needs to be said really.

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”.

MonuMental Progressive Collection I – from Progressive Rock to Black Metal to Breakcore

The first MonuMental Progressive Collection playlist starts with suitably uncommercial Finnish Progressive rock, advances to black metal and finally ends with modern breakcore classics. It’s idea is to progress naturally from genre to genre and also ramp up the quality track-after-track. It is a challenging ride, but when you are in contact with masterpieces, that’s what you bound to get.

1. For someone whose mother tongue is not Finnish the first track Kuha. – Tohtori Krabolan Telekineettinen testilaboratorio (From Telekineettinen Testilaboratorio, 2005) might seem like an odd bit. To be honest it was a slow starter for me as well. But from that Kuha. emerged as the best pure progressive rock band in Finland since Kingston Wall.

2. Dillinger Escape Plan‘s best instrumental, always surprising When Acting as a Wave (From Ire Works, 2007) serves as a small bridge to Chapter I: Introverting Dimensions by The Fall of Troy (From Phantom On The Horizon, 2008).

3. I know what you are thinking here, what is that half-emo band doing on a metal playlist. But that’s the thing, they are only half-emo, the other half is firmly rooted in Progressive rock, and most so on their EP Phantom On The Horizon. Give it a listen and you will see. Thomas Erak’s guitar playing is truly mesmerizing. At some point you may get mixed up and think you are listening to bastard cousin of The Mars Volta instead of an emo band.

4. A Prophet For a Pound of Flesh by Forest of Stars (From A Shadowplay for Yesterdays, 2012) is the first step to metal. On of the many bands who builds their flavour from black metal but has grown a vast amount of tentacles since their first efforts.

5. The Fecal Rebellion is by Mirrorthrone (From Gangrene, 2008) which is one of many Vladimir Cochet’s project. This one man powerhouse has such an amount of talent it is ridiculous. All his projects have only a few albums which I must take as the main reason of the fact that he has only advanced to cult classic status so far. If you mix modern classic music with complex black metal this is something you may get. Plus there’s harpsichord!

Waters of Ain by Watain (From Lawless Darkness, 2010) is a track that leaves me speechless every time. For me, this is the ultimate black metal track, mixing elements of black metal, progressive rock, Celtic frost and heavy metal perfectly. It is everything.

6. The only way to top Waters of Ain is to abandon metal completely with Venetian Snares – Integraation (From My Downfall (Original Soundtrack), 2007). Integraation is from Aaron Funk’s neoclassical releases where he mixes complex electronic beats with classical music elements. Also at best Integraation is actually as heavy as any metal track.

7. Venetian Snares – Miss Balaton (Bonus track) (From Detrimentalist, 2008). I know you aren’t supposed to put two songs of the same artist into a compilation. Whateva I do what I want. In truth I could not exclude Miss Balaton as it is even better than Integraation and fits perfectly after it. I won’t even start describing the goosebumps.

P.S. The playlist originally had Kuha.’s 25 minute Kalifi Myy Mustaa Valoa as a starter but it is not in Spotify.

266576-1449435327You can also find all playlists from playlists.net
http://playlists.net/epic-progressive-collection