Saturday, July 31, 2010

Aarni - Bathos

Your host likes to keep his beloved readers on their collectives toes and tentacles, so let's see how just far out we can go tonight, shall we? Aarni, Finnish one-man experimental prog-folk-doom, sings of matters esoteric and inscrutable, drifting spectrally across windswept mushroomscapes, transversing from choral chug-a-lug metal riffs directly into extended flute sections, chanting, grunting, whispering mad things, and harmonizing with himself in an ouroboros loop of strangeness. The guitar is tinny and swathed in sheets of effects and hiss, the drum are barely audible and erratic, the lyrics swerve between fractured English, Latin, and Finnish, and song structure is arbitrary and labyrinthine. In other words: a treasure, a maddening artifact smuggled from a different plane of existence. Also, possibly the only metal album with maracas. Charmingly, Aarni takes its name from the Finnish spirit who floats above buried treasure, clinking his gold coins and cackling.
"Visit the innermost of the earth and by rectifying what is there, you will find the hidden stone."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fenriz AKA D.J.K.V.O.M. - "At the Mountains of Madness" Mixtape

In celebration of this news, have at this mixtape by Fenriz of Darkthrone, alias "DJ Vast Knowledge of Music." Originally made for some online magazine, it's a freeform exploration of, well, madness, I suppose, but it really just sounds like a random string of various songs he likes, from Alan Parsons to Christian Death and far beyond. Yet another album loosely inspired by At the Mountains of Madness - I could almost make this a weekly feature.
Imagination could conceive almost anything in connexion with this place.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Borow - Madness Comes From Sea Depth

Little information is available about this Russian death metal outfit, but here's their spidery new single "Madness Comes From Sea Depth," sure to please fans of death metal, fish metal, Lovecraftian metal, ESL metal, or all four. Some distinctive burbling from the singer, stormy sound effects, and some sort of exotic eastern string instrument lend flavour to this little mouthful of madness.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jex Thoth and Pagan Altar split

Tonight finds your host in an uncharacteristically relaxed mode - perhaps it's the strange concoction I've been sipping on throughout the afternoon - and too restful to work up a whirlwind of adjectives and invective over anything, let alone listen to some tuneless grindcore or gibbering noise abortion. Instead, let's go sit in the backyard and listen to this Jex Thoth/ Pagan Altar split and watch the moths fatally orbit the porch light. Jex Thoth have been lighting up the metal community recently with their dreamy, female fronted, organ-heavy mutation of early Sabbath miasma, and of course Pagan Altar are elder statesmen of the doom genre, and in absolutely top form here. Yours truly maintains a weak spot for both bands, and in combination they produce a buzzing, blissful Lethian cocktail to complement the swirling orange vortex that fills my cup...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Akpan - Schwarze Sonne

Ritualistic ambient noise rattling deep within the gullet of this Siberian shaman, operating from the deepest reaches of frozen Mother Russia. Present here are Tuvan throat singing, handmade wind instruments, befleshed percussion, mouth harp, industrial hissing, and the ringing clarion of shotguns fired out into the wintry night. A practitioner of the darkest militant form of Bon-po Buddhism and also more esoteric rites - as evidenced by the Black Sun circle themes (the band name and album title can both translate to mean Black Sun) - this mysterious hermit declares one man war on the light. An alternate loose translation of the band moniker:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kvelertak - Westcoast Holocaust

In light of their recent self-titled full length release I feel comfortable pushing this three year old demo out of the nest and into the void. Kvelertak (Norwegian for "Stranglehold") play what can loosely defined as black metal, but they have as much in common with AC/DC, Kylesa, Tight Bros From Way Back When, and Turbonegro as they do with Darkthrone or Satyricon. The new album is astounding but the demos possess a lo-fi hiss that adds immeasurable charm and character to these distinctive, cowbell-heavy songs. The majority of this is sung in Norwegian but the meaning and message behind these songs remains universal:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poison Idea - Blank Blackout Vacant

Not in the mood to play nice today, so stick this in your earhole.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dicks - Peace?

Here's some more communist homosexual Texas punk to terrify your friends and pets with! The Dicks are likely my favorite out of the whole Texas 80's hardcore scene, largely due to the charisma and fearlessness of frontman Gary Floyd. It takes serious cojones to squeeze your portly frame into a nurse's outfit and then get onstage at a redneck bar and fling condoms full of mayonnaise at burly subhumans in cowboy hats. Here, Floyd decries both the Nuclear Eighties and the apathetic, apolitical attitude of those surrounding him. The three song titles on this 7 inch record just about sum it up: "No Fucking War," "Nobody Asked Me," and "I Hope You Get Drafted."
Hope you're the first to fry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

UOAB - Black Seas

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity; and it was not meant that we should voyage far."
H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"

Sadly they're simply aren't a lot of female types represented in the Swamp, other than the occasional singer or bass player in a band, but it seems that, like the work of the old boy himself, the Lovecraftian musical world is largely bereft of women. Similarly, when to do appear, they are cyphers. Take this haunting and somewhat deranged "folk" recording by the mysterious UOAB, one lone woman somewhere out in the American South. I really know nothing about this save for the fact that it is obviously the progeny of an unholy coupling of distant banshee vocals and violin with generous cacophonous tape noise and (possibly faked) field recordings.
Curve your ivy arms around me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blood Cult - We Who Walk Behind The Rows

Greetings, loathesome Swamp scum! Hillbilly black metal/southern rock yokels Blood Cult ought to make your night a little more evil! I'm aware that this sounds like a strange combination, and I'll admit that their album from this year, "We Are the Cult of the Plains," is stronger than this 2005 full length, but this is truly some strange fruit ripe for fermenting. The perfect soundtrack to a raging bonfire, a bottle of rotgut, and possibly shooting yourself in the foot with a shotgun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mark Isham - The Mist

Without expounding on the quality of the titular movie, one can thoroughly enjoy the wailings and oozings of the soundtrack, which retains its menace when seperated from the flickering motion images which birthed it. Our patron spent many a prolix syllable describing the mad swirling dance of Azathoth the demon sultan's army of amorphous pipers, and this Isham character has done an admirable job of capturing a close approximation of it - or perhaps as close as human tongues and hands can produce.
Won't somebody see a lady home?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mekong Delta - The Music of Erich Zann

Perhaps it's a bit feeble-minded to just read the giant post about techno thrash here and then just stumble back to the Swamp and nail this album to the door as a sigil but your host has had a sublime nightmare of a night and madness overtakes him even now. Let's just say that the cosmos has picked out a record for him and allow him to focus on more morbid pursuits.
I, King, Will Come

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Swamp Dogg - Rat On!

Here's the second album by perennial Swamp hero Swamp Dogg, whom I've expounded upon before at length here. The Dogg backs up somewhat from his post-apocalyptic version of soul to tackle more down-to-earth topics such as war and sex. The highlight of the album is the mighty cry for revolution, "God Bless America For What?" a heartbreaking reaction to the war in Vietnam and the Nixon regime. Most of the rest of the songs concern themselves with matters of the heart and other organs.
Do You Believe?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Manilla Road - The Courts of Chaos

After racking my brain all day trying to come up with a post for today, finally this little item clicked into place and the circle became complete. Heavy Metal's most literate band, Manilla Road, are in prime form here. The are so many references to horror and fantasy fiction that it's difficult to sort them out, but here's two: Lovecraftian author Roger Zelazny's novel The Courts of Chaos provides the title, and Robert Bloch, another disciple and eventual author of Psycho, supplies the title and framework of perhaps the album's best song, "Dig Me No Grave." There's also a killer cover of Bloodrock's proto-metal gem "D.O.A." Add to this a song inspired by the old man's "From Beyond" and a post-apocalyptic closing epic and you've got a winner, start to finish.
The Machine is Emanating...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nyarlathotep and Gnome - Story - Legendary Japanese Wolves (split)

Wacky and terrifying at the same time, the way only the Japanese can do. Nyarlathotep (not to be confused with this Nyarlathotep) play abstract and echo-laden doom that sounds like four people in separate wings of an asylum, pounding on radiator pipes and hollering down the toilet bowl. Gnome spins some sinister high-pitched black metal that, though strangely melodic, manages to chill the blood with its inescapable suffocating claustrophobia. The singer sounds absolutely bonkers, like a schoolgirl with a horse skull where her head should be.
Canis Lupus Hodophilax

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Booker White - Memphis Hot Shots

Known colloquially as "Bukka White," Mr. Booker T. Washington "Big Daddy" White was a true original, a bluesman archetype. (I choose to refer to him by his given name, as he refuted the "Bukka" spelling his whole life, in vain.) He learned how to play guitar from Charley Patton, the same mystery figure who taught Robert Johnson. He sang about prison, women, booze, trains, and death, and not much else. When the market for the blues dried up in the forties he made a living in the boxing ring and as a pitcher in the Negro League. When hippies rediscovered and revitalized the blues in the sixties, he was one of the first on board - easily the first one out of the old guard to embrace playing with young white boys who may or may not have experimented with mind-altering substances. This weird lost gem from 1968 shows Booker in prime improvisatory form, pounding out old standards and his "hits" from the previous four decades with the band valiantly struggling (and ultimately failing) to keep up with him. As a result this record sounds cosmically askew, sliding in and out of proper time as if we can't quite grasp the fullness of it. Booker called his improvisations "sky songs" because of his habit of plucking them from thin air - perhaps on no other record has this been a more appropriate phrase.
Gimme an old, old lady.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sadogoat and Black Jehovah - Demo #6 / Terror Cult

Buzzing filthy black noise unfit for consumption by human ears. The humming radiation of a thousand mad nuclear stars aligning. The choking death rattle of a million black holes, vomiting dark matter into the universe.
Also, some frogs.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thin Lizzy - 40 Shades of Green

In the process of recovering all my music, basically the first thing I sniffed out after the Swamp Library was restored more or less intact was my (perhaps obsessively large) collection of Thin Lizzy bootlegs. Now that I've decided to basically upload all of my music methodically to mediafire over the coming months, it seems to be time to stretch the borders of the Swamp and encroach upon some new territory. It's no secret that Thin Lizzy is a favorite among many music bloggers, and I count myself among them, but much of their material is available only from snobbish, miserly tape-traders - good old boy networks of aging ponytailed wankers who snootily require a blank CD mailed through the post before they're willing to share their fourth-generation dubs, and then only after tedious hazing rituals and gratuitous obsequiousness. Fortunately, the internet, for all its faults, pokes holes in their greasy Cheeto-colored armor, allowing ephemera like this to flow freely into the hands of true fans, who only want the spread the gospel of the Black Rose.
Enough of that: let's talk about this album. My personal favorite Lizzy studio album is The Black Rose, and these, my friends, are the demo tracks from that album. One can hear prime mover Phil Lynott experimenting with tempos and lyrics, thrilling for the long-time fan, but even more important are the songs - notably "Hate" and "Just the Two of Us" - abandoned (sadly) in favor of some of the weaker cuts that ended up on the album. Also notable is the version of "Ode to a Black Man," one of Phil's best songs, which didn't surface for years until it was eventually recorded for one of his solo albums. To any of you who are unfamiliar with Thin Lizzy, I would perhaps recommend obtaining a copy of The Black Rose through your preferred method and then getting to know this double-CD collection once you've wrapped your mind around it. The rest of you might as well get down to business.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Black Seas of Infinity - Adoration of the Black Moon

Well, the bad news is that Harvey Pekar's dead, Roman Polanski's free to continue molesting the world, and Black Seas of Infinity are about to explode your puny mortal mind by showing you things beyond your ken, things man ought not know.
The good news is there is no fucking good news.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Old One

Playing two-man psychedelic doom from the mountainous peaks of Kentucky, Old One swing and swagger like a minimalist version of mid-period Cathedral, cocky and eldritch. They clearly know what they're doing, as subtle references to many leading lights of heavy music rear their ugly head from time to time on this too-short release, from Electric Wizard to Om and Acid King. Please consider purchasing this and their new split LP with Black Pyramid here. Until then, enjoy this thickly resonated drippy monstrosity shambling into your ear-holes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bone Awl 6.11.2009 Now That's Class - Cleveland Ohio

Apologies, sweet sprouts, but my brain is crippled by a brutal and merciless hangover. Here's some Bone Awl, weirdly the only one left after the great hard drive crash.
Stab everything.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ennio Morricone - Quattro Mosche Di Velluto Grigio

Well, then, here's a wild treat to begin a wild weekend: Ennio Morricone's psychedelic soundtrack to Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Dario Argento's long-unavailable giallo. Several things about this soundtrack stuck out in my mind and made me want to track it down. Chief among them was the fact the main character in this movie plays drums in a psych rock band, which means that in addition to the spooky, creaky score you get Morricone's take on the genre as well, complete with organ-led combo. In place of vocals is his trademark gibberish and grunts, which at times get quite frenzied, as if the vocalist (presumably the man himself) is possessed and speaking in tongues. It manages to be groovy and disturbing at the same time. This marked Argento and Morricone's last collaboration for over twenty years, as the had some falling out over the soundtrack and refused to work with each other again. This marked the period where Argento began employing Goblin for his movies and Morricone moved on to more mainstream work. Interestingly, Argento's second choice for composer was Deep Purple.

Dead Meadow - Peel Sessions

Dead Meadow have never been shy about voicing their debt to authors such as Lovecraft and Tolkien, and in fact several of their albums are based loosely around the Old Gentleman's Dream Cycle stories. This aspect of Lovecraft's work doesn't get as much attention as the later Cthulhu Mythos stories, but Dead Meadow explores the delicate beauty and strange floating landscapes aptly and subtly. This brief 2001 Peel Session represents them at a very early stage, just getting comfortable in their nerdish hipster persona, working out the kinks of live performance. Not flawless by any means, it still feverishly reverberates the sound of wind-swept plains, huge yawning skies, and whispering alien tongues.
Good Moaning.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cage - Movies for the Blind

This album is a rabid revenge fantasy, a drug-addled escaped mental patient's one man war with the world. Full of spite and poison, Cage spits and slobbers his way through track after track of violent daydreams, often naming names. That said, it's also complex, multi-layered, diverse, and cathartic in a way, like draining venom from a snake bite.
I'll rip off all your flesh and make an outfit.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dayglo Abortions - Here Today, Guano Tomorrow

Click on that cover above to see the large version. Go ahead, do it, I'll wait.

Dayglo Abortions, the Pride of Canada, are not known for their subtlety, their regard for societal norms, or their boyish good looks and charming personalities. They are, on the other hand, notorious for their primitive crossover hardcore, their sick sense of humor, and their constant mistreatment of hamsters. They would have already qualified easily for inclusion in the Swamp library on the merit of being Reagan Rock and their typical 80s-style Nuclear War Fetish, but this album in particular is a personal favorite because of the track "The Spawn of Yog Sothoth." You know what a softy old Uncle Abdul is for that sort of thing.

Also available on 8-track.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kriminal - Soundtrack - Roberto Pregadio & Romano Mussolini

Ecco una strana da fuori campo a sinistra per voi in questo giorno d'estate. E 'la colonna sonora del film Kriminal nocciola italiana, la storia di un ladro maestro capperi e la sua audacia. E 'swinging jazz degli anni Sessanta, non a tutti onimous minaccioso o in qualsiasi modo, ma appena sufficiente a squittire bizzarro passato i giudici qui alla Palude.
Godetevi o fronteggiare la rabbia!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

C.I.A. Drug Fest

Widely brushed off as a novelty act, late 80's preteen punk band Old Skull occupies a unique niche in music history, like some sort of Reaganomics-era Jackson 5. It's easy to dismiss this echoey noise as the work of malleable children under the thumb of a controlling parental figure, or as the adolescent and aimless squealings of little kids with unformed musical abilities and little self-awareness. I, on the other hand, am of the opinion that it holds up purely on its own merits, legitimately and without irony or qualification. It's ugly, strange, and a bit daffy at times, but so were the 80s and everything that's followed. A couple of years of living next door to a certain member of Old Skull in the oos gave me a particularly affectionate perspective on the band, I feel, but so has pouring through reams and piles of bizarre music in the course of shaping the Swamp. Listening to this next to the vast legions of twisted bedroom black metal out in the cosmos, all the subnormal doom bands and weird inept punk, I can't help but smile. Black metal bands rarely sing about pizza these days.
Suaside [sic]

Friday, July 2, 2010

Anaboth - Nie Czas Pomiotów

Tasty Polish black metal monikered after the yellow toad demon crucial to the Necronomicon's spell for summoning Yog-Sothoth. Specifics aside, this is some truly mysterious muffled noise, as if the band was being suffocated by a pillow, or playing from beyond some dimensional threshold. Primitively and hatefully played, surely unintelligible to even native Poles, and devoid of hope and air.
Wsrod Ohydnych

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Catacombs - In The Depths Of R'lyeh

An all-time classic of the Lovecraftian sub-genre, this album burbles up from the bottom of the ocean and releases noxious green gases into the atmosphere. Here, doom metal is stretched to the furthest depths, beyond song structure, riffage, audible and distinguishable vocalization, and, for the most part, seemingly beyond the actual playing of notes. Glacially paced and teetering on the brink of unlistenable slurping, this is absolutely a must-have for any resident of the Swamp.
Where No Light Hath Shone... (But For That Of The Moon)
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