Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Nova Convention

Strange weather keeps making the power cut in and out. Moments ago I was alone and in the dark but for a single flickering candle, and now here we are together in the Swamp. Let's not waste time: here's The Nova Convention, another William S. Burroughs project with contributions by Bryon Gysin, Patty Smith, Phillip Glass, Timothy Leary, John Cage, Frank Zappa, and Robert Anton Wilson, among others. Dark, heinous weirdness, oh yes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clagg - Lord of The Deep

Despite some carping from the peanut gallery, we live in a heady time rife with exciting new metal records - in fact, despite my interest in the rare and bizarre records of yore, I've noticed that many recent posts have been from 2010, and this is no exception. Australia's leading lights of sludge doom, have squirted out this new slab of fishy horror and it has been on repeated rotation here at the Swamp. Despite the relentless pummeling, there really is quite a variety of sounds here: quiet instrumental mediation, stoner swagger, death metal pounding, funeral throbs, subliminal sonar. Something for all forms of life! Of course, this being brand new, I encourage you to pick it up here, but if you're a cheap bastard you can always just get one here as well. However, be warned: the sea level rises a bit each day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits - Carmelita Sings!: Visions of a Rock Apocalypse

In anticipation of their upcoming tour after a mysterious lapse into silence for damn nigh on a decade, I present the more-than-full-length apocalyptic musical mindfuck album by Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits, of San Francisco. Presumably they will have these for sale when you go see them, but it would be nice to have a copy beforehand so you can sing along with all the cool kids, yes? Rest assured, little seedling, that though it somehow seems like there's a million songs on here, and each one is funnier and more painfully, disturbingly true than the last, it's really only about 25 and the funniest one is "Child Killer" once the choir of 5-year-olds swells in the background to sing the chorus - it's enough to make the little vestigial hairs on your throat stand up and sway. Enough talk!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Acid Witch - Witch House

You might already be well aware of this band, as there has been considerable press expounding their neon virtues, but, frankly, it's all true and I have an unholy party to attend, so this is what you get. For those uninitiated, Acid Witch plays a ferocious death/doom hybrid, similar to Hooded Menace or Coffins, but swathed in day-glo Lisa Frank psychedelia and detuned carnival organ.
She wears an expression of hideous malevolence and exultation, and has a croaking voice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Witch Hunt

Might as well go ahead and post this one while we're on the subject, eh? Witch Hunt is the loose 1994 sequel to Cast A Deadly Spell, another HBO production, starring the late Dennis Hopper and a few other recognizable names (notably Julian Sands of Warlock fame). Like it's predecessor, it is a noirish comedy that, despite the purported R-rating, is fairly light in tone and pleasantly unpretentious. Lots of sharp suits, fedora hats, cigarette haze, and Nina Simone. Also there is an undercurrent of sharp social satire aimed at both McCarthy-era "Witch Hunts" and the Reagan-Bush years that were just drawing to a close as the movie was released. Fun stuff, swamplings - take a lazy Sunday and let the tentacles wrap gently around your mind....

As I noted yesterday, I am still hunting down the soundtrack for this one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Curt Sobel - Cast a Deadly Spell OST

Big thanks to Alymer over at Unflinching Eye for pointing me in the direction of this little rare gem. Cast a Deadly Spell was a 1991 HBO movie about Detective Harry Lovecraft, an affectionate tribute to HPL, film noir, detective fiction, and a sharp and funny satire to boot. It left a distinct mark on my impressionable young soul and probably helped shape my interest in esoteric pursuits and, consequently, may be in some way partially responsible for the very existence of the Swamp itself. Musically it's a fine mix of sinister lounge jazz, leftover 80's synth cheese, the occasional torch song, incidental stabs of orchestration, and some wild noise.
Do the Dunwich Rumba

Incedentally, if anyone has the soundtrack to its sequel, Witch Hunt, please do share.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Roky Erickson - The Holiday Inn Tapes

The Holiday Inn Tapes is a semi-bootleg released in 1987 by the Roky Fan Club containing an intimate acoustic set recorded on a hand held cassette recorder. Those looking for Roky's famous brand of paranormal rock n' soul will have to look elsewhere, as these are quiet introspective numbers interspersed with some traditional folk numbers. A number of the original compositions have remianed unavailable on any legitimate release (although some appeared in vastly different form on this year's comeback album), making this one essential for the deep Roky heads, but it's looseness and amiability are infectious. Still, it's heavily weird and even on the public domain numbers Roky tends to rattle off surreal lyrics off the top of his head, adding a nice psychedelic undercurrent.
I Look at the Moon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Rip Offs - Got A Record

Legendary San Francisco lowlifes The Rip Offs were a swilly antidote to much of the humourless no-fun hardcore of the nineties, staking out a tiny patch of land for themselves and like-minded bands amid a sea of screamo and buttflap-types. A beer-sodden bleary-eyed bender of a record, containing fourteen songs in a little over twenty minutes, this seems designed to not only alienate the more sensitive hardcore crowd but also the poofy-shirted 60's throwbacks dominating the garage rock scene. Seemingly recorded with two tin cans and some string, this is the perfect soundtrack for one of those end-of-summer crime sprees that inevitably end way too soon.
Rip Your Heart Out

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Black Death

Diligent readers may recall the great cataclysm our Swamp computing machine experienced some months ago, in which many albums were lost. Over time we have recovered much of it, but some in particular have been difficult to track down in listenable form. Surprisingly this album was among them, and for some time I was forced to make due with inferior and stuttering versions, but (after what seems like an inordinate amount of time and sweat) I've obtained a working crisp copy. In fact, I'm listening to it as you read this. For the uninitiated, Black Death was/is Cleveland's premier all-black heavy metal juggernaut, an unholy amalgam of Motorhead, Venom, Mercyful Fate, and leather-era funk-noise like Wicked Witch or the nastiest coke depths of Rick James. I'll not ruin all the special moments of enlightenment awaiting you if this is your first time, because I'm about to stop typing and finish listening to it.
Your Mother Can't Help You Now

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

(Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front

I find it odd that I haven't posted this album before - or perhaps I have, and it mysteriously vanished? Let's rectify that immediately. Somewhat charmingly, this (my favorite Busta album by a long shot) is a relic of the pre-millennial paranoia embraced widely across many cross-sections of society in those heady days of 1998 and 1999. From Y2K to the supposed return of Jesus Christ to the apocalyptic overtones of that Prince song, the undercurrent of dread lent a gleeful hedonistic sense of doom to everyday activities, from Makin' Shit Bounce to Tearin' Da Roof Off. I'll spare you the lengthy analysis of the man himself and his style, as you are surely already hip to it, and just sit back and await the inevitable mushroom cloud.
There's Only One Year Left

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blackspell - Visions of Gloom

It is gratifying to see the tentacles of cthonic influence spread throughout the world, and in keeping with that sentiment today's special is from distant Syria. Blackspell is a one-man project, presumably the only kvlt and grimm figure in the country, as his numerous projects listen in the Encyclopedia Metallum are, with few exceptions, solo works. This an odd one, too: the first track, "I Summon Cthulhu," is a fairly standard black metal blast of whirring guitars, cardboard drums, and raspy wails. The second is a lengthy ambient keyboard piece. This pattern repeats for the second half of the album, with the closing epic clocking in at a bloated half hour and punctuated by an overdriven drum machine and what sounds like sizzling bacon. One would hope for some future releases to be a bit more focused or distinct, but main man Demon of Darkness seems content to indiscriminately crank out the tapes in praise of Dread Cthulhu, and I certainly shan't fault him for that.
As the Joy Cursed By Grief ...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Azathoth - Azathoth

Just a brief little bite sized morsel for the ravening hordes today! Azathoth (hailing from Fresno, of all places) claims the genre of symphonic black metal as their own, but these ears detect much influence from the Dissection/At the Gates school of melodic death metal as well. Although there are keyboards throughout the album, they are much subtler in the mix than the multi-tracked guitar parts and dual vocals. Of the six songs present, however, the first and last are classical piano workouts and the other tracks are almost startlingly succinct. From the band and album names one can suss out the usual tasty Lovecraftian themes, especially in their love for the titular Demon Sultan, and they must have presciently played to my prejudice by naming a track "Alhazred," but there is also an ode to Barker's Hellraiser saga (containing a nasty sample from the movie) in addition to a ghostly tale of doomed romance and a love song to succubi. While this is their only release, it seems, it is solid, diverse, and thoughful, and it's always better to leave them clamouring for more....
Swirling desert sands surround my disembodied ka
As I gaze unblinking into the unblinking eye of Ra

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tankard - Zombie Attack

I'm in a zombie sort of mood today, kids, so let's go with this excellent undead-themed album by Germany's premier beer-themed thrash band, Tankard. If you're a Tankard fan you're probably already downloading and don't care about my blathering, and if not, this album ought to convince you. Some days you want introspective lyrics, subtle genre-defying songwriting, and precise technical wizardry. Other times, like today, you want to drink 34 beers and bang your head.
Hold on, zere's someone at ze door...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Horseback - Invisible Mountain

This is the first release by North Carolina's one man ambient project Horseback to contain additional musicians and (I believe) to be released on vinyl. Breaking from his traditional guitar drone style to embrace a fuller, nastier sound, Jenks Miller herein explores unfamiliar territory with startling results. Having as much in common with Neil Young's stranger experiments such as the polarizing Dead Man soundtrack as it does with the popular ambient black metal sound, Invisible Mountain is available free as well as for purchase numerous places, but why not get it from the trusty ol' Swamp?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu - The Festival

As promised, here is the three-issue series "Cthulhu - The Festival" circa 1993 from Millennium Comics. For the record, I recommend CDisplayEX to read these on PC. More music tomorrow, wee ones, take heart.
one and two and three

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Umbra Nihil - The Borderland Rituals

I present to you this night another member of the bizarre fringes of Finnish doom, the frightful Umbra Nihil. Their unique sound is difficult to properly describe, but they do feature the mad dreamer behind Aarni as their guitarist, which should clue you in as to just how far this is from, for example, Candlemass. I've chosen this second album tonight on the spur of the moment, though it's not quite as raw and shocking as their earlier work (which will surely surface in the Swamp someday). The ringing guitars are precise and the vocals, though heavily affected, are frequently clean and quite comprehensible. Although there are no overt Lovecraftian lyrics, there is much fuss about open gates and transcending thresholds and things of that nature, and the title track seems to be an ode to William Hope Hodgson's seminal "The House on the Borderland," although it's abstract enough to defy real analysis. Nonetheless, it's a fine slab of weirdness for those of you who croak and chirp in the dark of the lengthening nights....
Bring back to life
The horror beneath this mountain

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Funeral - The Older Ones

Here, little ones, have some classic Norwegian death metal! Old Funeral, formed in '88, released a few demos and one live album before breaking up. Band members went on to more famous projects such as Immortal, but this compilation is quite memorable, if somewhat uneven. Angular, abstract riffing and drumming occasionally coalesce into chugging mid-temp gallops punctuated by the occasional blast beat or sludgy breakdown. It's probably a non-essential, but some (intentional) humorous songwriting and enthusiasm at least give it character.
Into Hades...

p.s. Check out the new Immortal video here as well!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Okkultokrati - No Light For Mass

One last quickie post before the end of the party: Norway's Okkultokrati, a sublimely heavy sludge-filled donut. This is another brand new one, so buy it here if possible (though they should look into getting better US distribution). In the meantime, enjoy these self described "nekro spirituals" about "astral molesting and telepathic deportation."
Promise Me The World (So I Can Destroy It)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Death SS - ...In Death of Steve Sylvester

Another no-brainer, perhaps, but I'm in the middle of a long weekend with little leisure time to ponder the imponderable, so let's just go for it. The mysterious Death SS, an EC-horror inspired metal band from the 80's, most clearly defined their worldview on this release. Not only did them band members fully realize their stage personae, dressing as a mummy, a vampire, a werewolf, etc., but also the first five songs straightforwardly address each individual character with song titles such as "Vampire" and "Werewolf." Musically, it's a bit all over the map, pulling influences from doom, death metal, thrash, early black metal, 70's shock rock (note the Alice Cooper cover) and Hammer horror soundtracks. This is great, visceral music that remains untarnished by the current abomination using the name Death SS - best to pretend that doesn't exist and just immerse yourself in the dark creaky cobwebbed atmosphere presented here.
Here, in the coffin, yes this is death!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today

Lo, gentle reader, I seem to have lost an entire day somehow! We'll just carry on our merry way and pretend that nothing happened, yes? Due to the fetid sludge boiling in my soggy mind, and the terrible band loudly playing downstairs, I've opted to just post a no-brainer album: my favorite disc by Electric Wizard, whom you may have heard of. Tight songwriting and no-nonsense song structure are not traits usually ascribed to this band, or even their sub-genre in general, but this collection of songs is remarkably focused and fat-free, especially considering the massive amount of cannabis surely consumed during its genesis. In addition, it contains one of the all-time classic Lovecraftian songs (based on one of the all-time classic stories), "Dunwich," a sticky masterpiece of insinuation and stomping horror.
Our time has come,
The end has begun...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colin Timothy Gagnon - Fungi from Yuggoth

Quite a strange little artifact tonight wee ones, an album of cinematic space jazz with its creator and seemingly sole musician, one Colin Timothy Gagnon, reading Lovecraft's entire sonnet cycle Fungi from Yuggoth in chilly monotone, punctuated by eerie whispers and mysterious scraping noises. Much of this seems produced on a cheap keyboard, but strangely the tinny horn sections and rubbery pounding of tribal drums gain a bit of eldritch majesty in context. The poetry of H.P. Lovecraft has never received the attention that his prose works continually enjoy, and I'll admit they have tested even my attention span at times, but this strange Gagnon person seems to have devoted much research and experimentation to this project with no chance of monetary reward or public recognition outside of esoteric circles such as this Swamp. Not to be dissuaded, his enthusiasm carries much weight here, turning his monotone delivery and low-budget cinematic ambition into positives, creating an atmosphere of dread against all odds. Quite the role model for those lone figures among, locked in your room, shouting alien gibberish into your tape machine, driven by urges beyond your ken.
Silent and lean and cryptically proud...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Speedwolf - Denver666

Well then, sorry about that Ziggurat business, here's something to make up for it: The new seven inch record from Denver's Speedwolf. Two songs, slightly over four minutes of bullshit-free speed thrash (although the b-side settles into a nice mid-tempo trot) to cleanse out your turd-filled ears. This is pretty new, so you should probably shotgun two beers and try to buy it here.
In the meantime....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ziggurat - Hymns of the Cthulhu Mythos

What can we say about the Ziggurat? Their palpable enthusiasm for Lovecraftiana is undeniable, and the primitive death metal approach is just on this side of competent, but something about this band just makes me smile and shake my head in amused bafflement. Everything about them, from the goofy song titles (my favorite, sadly not on this album, is "Chocolate Shoggoth Shake") to the requisite Geocities homepage to this photo of band leader Dwayne Boyd, screams unintentional hilarity. This particular LP might be less obviously amusing if the vocals weren't twice as loud as everything else and the drums didn't sound like rubber tubs, but then it wouldn't be as memorable either. Ah well, who cares what we think?
Into the Dank Abyss

Monday, September 6, 2010

Acid Eater - Virulent Fuzz Punk A.C.I.D.

Sometimes you get exactly what it says on the box. This is super-noisy Japanese garage skronk with impenetrably thick fuzz, brown acid bad trip vibes, incomprehensible bellowed vocals that sound like they're coming over a CB radio, bone-rattling haunted house Farfisa organ, and some choice ESL song titles (and, presumably, lyrics, but who knows). Members of legendary Japanese scumbags Masonna, Angel'in Heavy Syrup, and Christine 23 Onna.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dee Dee Ramone Inter-Celestial Light Commune - I Hate Freaks Like You

On a similar (but browner) note, Dee Dee Ramone's bizarrely-named mid-90's band I.C.L.C. just wasn't as good as his previous band, and not as memorable as his ill-fated rap album. It is, however, a solid straightforward punk album with loopy but honest lyrics dealing with subjects as diverse as heroin, UFOs, WWII, and romance, as exemplified on the tasteful first single, "Chinese Bitch." Also some questionable attempts at grunge (or something) and two duets with Nina Hagen, of all people. Pretty far out. I'm on short time here but I plan on pontificating at length about Dee Dee's wild solo career at some point. Until then:
Fix yourself up

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Grand Slam - Demos

Grand Slam was Thin Lizzy main man Phil Lynott's last project before his death, and while much of their recorded legacy is diluted through aggressively new-wave production, this collection is stripped of all but a few basic elements and crackles through time as the transmission of a ferocious songwriter on his final arc of productivity before the end. Even the mellow yacht rock ballads (difficult to appreciate on the band's actual studio work) sound naked and raw, allowing the world-weary, resigned ennui of the lyrics to shine through like a black beacon. Lynott seems to be writing his own will and testament at times. Of course, some of it just pure 80's cheese as well, including the unfortunate low-tech dance remix tacked onto the end. Still, it's a darkly beautiful recording full of hum and hiss and poetry, and the first track, "Crazy," will punch up any decent mix-tape or fight scene.
Part 1:
You think I'm crazy, but I'm not
Part 2:
You think I love you, I only like you a lot

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dead Fingers Talk - Storm The Reality Studios

Named after the exquisite fifth novel by William S. Burroughs, a work partially derived from cut-up bits of the first books glued back together randomly, Hull-via-London band Dead Fingers Talk (fronted by the wonderfully monikered Bobo Pheonix) played a jangly deadpan punk style informed by the Velvet Underground but also seemingly in tune with the New York scene, especially Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Pheonix's plainly homosexual lyrics and defiant persona echoed Burroughs as well, as exemplified on the fiercely catchy "Nobody Loves You When You're Old and Gay." Humorous and humanistic, this album (and what seems to be many bonus tracks, as it's well over an hour of music) was also produced by one Mick Ronson, who gives it a soothing buzzing warmth that keeps all the angular guitar from poking holes in the upholstery.
Hold On to Rock And Roll

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ayat - Six Years of Dormant Hatred

Speaking of quality black metal logos, Ayat has an excellent one as well! It feels incongruous to post such an ugly album on such a beautiful day, but there's surely plenty of ugliness in the future, and we want to be prepared, yes? Lebanese underground black metal in the truest sense - their outspoken rejection of Allah and all organized religion is surely winning them few friends. Defying easy categorizing, this album spans a variety of sub-genres from punk to ambient to noise to thrash, but what unites it is a particularly violent, venomous disgust with the human race and the world they scuttle about helplessly on. Ayat wants you die, and this record might make that happen. How can you not love a song called "Puking Under Radiant Moonlight?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Forgotten Land -Samhain (Autumn)

Well, it's certainly not Samhain season yet, but since it's the first day of September, let's fire up some Forgotten Land and dance naked around the bonfire, shall we? Another mysterious one-man project, FL combines ambient drones with field recordings and sounds of nature, no-fi black doom with pagan bacchanalia. FL also possesses one of the most excellent black metal logos of all time. Words are wasted describing such music, and in debating the inherent contradictions of downloading such organic material in digital form - luckily we're not here to debate, we're here to burn!
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