Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is another new release made available as a free download by the artist, German one-man metal act Celephaïs. Combining the atmospherics and drone of black metal acts like Fen or Altar of Plagues with the cinematic sweep of, say, Fall of Efrafa, this instrumental album is pleasantly entrancing and meditative for the most part, but punctuated with bursts of dissonant blasting and menace.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Far East Family Band - "The Cave" Down to Earth

Another heap of Japanese strangeness on the slab today, children! Far East Family Band, the OG spacerock band of the land of the rising sun, released this wild album in 1975, and it has become arguably the peak album of the genre. Heavier than Hawkwind, more hypnotic than Tangerine Dream, more soulful than, uh, Pink Floyd - all wrapped up in some esoteric philosophy and tons of flange. Koto and bamboo flute give it an exotic sheen, but the wild rock is a universal tongue.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hellride Jailbreak

Frankly, it's impossible for me to imagine a cross-section of Swamp readers. In my mind you're all a wonderful blob of indescribable stench and horror, but there must be somebody paying attention out there, yes? For those loyal seedlings that are fans of both Thin Lizzy and Wesley Willis, or those just toeing the waters of madness and hilarity, or those lamenting the state of humanity and curling up all fetal-like, take heart. Sometimes the stars shall align in your favour, even if it's only for four minutes and twenty seconds. Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak, probably at the jail.
Have it your own fucked up way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fex Urbis Lex Orbis

This is probably old news to many of you by now, but I just found out that Ludicra, one of the best and longest-running American black metal bands (and one of my favorites), has broken up. I haven't the energy to expound too much on this yet - it's already been a long day and I've just arrived back in the Swamp - but I wish the respective members the best in the future and hope to see more music from each of them. There is that Hammers of Misfortune album due this year...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Not to be confused with the chubby nazi black metal band, this nutty German psych group gleefully grooves along in a Captain Beyond/Atomic Rooster style, cushioned on a cloud of hockey rink organ and distinct because of the singer's hilarious/creepy croon. You can practically hear he mustache slithering all over the microphone. Lots of varied tempos and Dust-like mood swings, and hey, a version of "Better By You, Better Than Me" several years before the Judas Priest cover so awesome that suicide pacts were the only logical response. Plus we have the killer instrumental "Rice Pudding" and, y'know, armageddon - that's what we're here for!
Oh Man

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cenotaph - The Lurking Fear on Desecrated Ground

There are at least a dozen bands named Cenotaph - this one is the Italian death metal band who eventually wised up and changed their moniker to Necrosphere, which is only marginally better. Anyway, this brief demo contains three songs and the seemingly obligatory intro noodling, in just under twelve minutes. This is 1991, so death metal is still in its embryonic stage as a thrash metal offshoot, and this tape accordingly reflects that. Keening high-pitched thrash shouting alternates with death growl, tempos remain at full gallop throughout, and no song is longer than four and a half minutes. Still, we get some excellent Lovecraftian themes and atmosphere and a raw, bullshit-free bite-size lump of madness.
Perpetual Wars on Cerebral Shores

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Helpful Soul

Here's a bluesy, stoned psych record from Japan's Helpful Soul, who would go on to a wilder sound and change their name to Too Much. Notable is the ten-minute freakout "Peace for Fools" and the 14 minute cover of "Spoonful."
You got me floatin'

Friday, July 22, 2011

Menace Ruine - The Die is Cast

While their debut LP Cult of Ruins would put them squarely in the psychedelic black metal camp occupied by Nachtmystium and Oranssi Pazuzu, this follow-up dialed the tempos down and upped the humming feedback and weird found noises to a degree where Quebec's Menace Ruine begins to explore the wicked droning heaviness of early Earth or something like Thorr's Hammer, while still keeping a cloven hoof in black metal territory as well. This album was widely panned but as I sit awaiting the approaching thunderstorm, with the wind lashing about outside, it sounds just perfect.
The Bosom of the Earth

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mac Dre - Thizzelle Washington

While Mac Dre had a long and relatively uninteresting career exploring the various forms of streeta rap, 2002's Thizzelle Washington captured the zeitgeist of an era where it was still possible to be gangsta as fuck and simultaneously be on tons of ecstasy. Sadly for connoisseurs of the bizarre, this was a short lived fad whose primary legacy is the dance step that originated with this album, which essentially seems to be a more organized form of the wild flailing and rubbing generally associated with users of MDMA. However, for those of us with an aversion to anonymous back-rubs and whispered obscenities, we have a perfect time capsule. Not only do we have numerous drug raps and an endless parade of nowhere MCs, but also dissertations on Star Wars, monetary hardship, self-congratulatory navel gazing, and some disposable skits and insincere ballads. In other words, your standard hip-hop album framework, but filtered through a technicolor mesh shirt used to mop up the mess somebody left on the VFW floor, wrung out into a bottle of Robitussin, and poured in your ear. It's fun while it lasts, but there's still that walk of shame tomorrow.
Dam, I Used To Know That (Interlude)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

H.C. Minds - The Beginning of the End

Like many of you, I have been basking in the dark radiation of the new Yob album repeatedly for the last several days. I'm not going to post it, but I will unleash this monstrosity from H.C. Minds, for which Mike Scheidt and Travis Foster of Yob once played. While HCM trades in a crusty doom style not dissimilar to Yob, it is nonetheless more filthy, nasty, and preoccupied with apocalyptic matters, making it right at home here in the Swamp. Elements of the nastiest Amebix-worship hardcore creep in around the edges too, lending a particular stink to the proceedings. Lots of ugliness, nihilism, and pessimism here, oh joy.
Land of the Wargoat

Monday, July 18, 2011

Let the Right One In

Well, let's have a bite of this excellent, expansive soundtrack to one of my favorite newer movies, composed by scholarly Swede Johan Söderqvist. Anyone who has seen the film will no doubt remember the haunting dirge-like drones punctuated by slashes of noise and splatters of dissonance every time violence erupts onscreen. Evoking the icy chill and desolation of the movie and also the weight of sadness and inevitability, this wonderful, horrible soundtrack is for nocturnal use only.
Then We Are Together

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ancient Rites - Dim Carcosa

I present to you a fine slab of Lovecraftian cheese courtesy of Belgian black metallers Ancient Rites. Cheese, you say? Oh yes, my friends, this is black metal at its Bal-Sagothy nerdiest, neither scary nor kvlt. However, despite the innate goofiness of the "symphonic black metal" approach and the muddled viking/satanic/Lovecraftian potpourri of lyrical themes, we still have a solid album of catchy and strange music that doesn't sound like anybody else. Of note beyond the title track are the fish metal-leaning "North Sea" and the operatic apocalypse hymn "Götterdämmerung." Mercifully they also have the good sense to keep songs short and to trim the album to a fat-free 45 minutes, so as not to break the spell. Behold!
...And the Horns Called for War

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu

Alas, a combination of weird occurrences and technical setbacks has once again stifled communication with the outside world. Have no fear, though, I shall take advantage of this brief window in time to leave you with this terrifying and trippy album of psychedelic black metal from Oranssi Pazuzu. I mentioned this album the other day without realizing that I had neglected to post it, despite the heavy rotation they receive here in Swampland.
Grafting the tenets of second-wave black metal - blastbeats, tremolo picking, and spooky keyboards - and grafting onto them elements of surf, kraut-rock, and dub, Muukalainen Puhuu (roughly "The Stranger Speaks") is a terrifying black hole sure to darken up any end-of-the-world soiree or maddening drift through the cosmos.
Myöhempien Aikojen Pyhien Teatterin Rukoilijasirkka

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

RIP Würzel Burston

Well, this is a few days late, but I couldn't stop listening to this, my favorite Motörhead album, so I figured I might as well post it. Arguably the last really crucial record they released, and the peak of the dual-guitar era, 1916 is partially a meditation on WWI, complete with the touching and delicate title cut, and also a celebration of unkillable rock n' roll. Lots to like on this one - Ramones tribute "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.," trippy experiment "Nightmare Dreamtime," seize-the-day anthem "No Voices in the Sky," and so on. Further proof that Motörhead was much more than a one-trick pony.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Forest of Stars - The Corpse of Rebirth

After another strange weekend lost in the wilds exploring the outer edges of human consciousness and endurance, I once again return to the Swamp and to my beloved little ones. I bring with me this strange album of psychedelic black metal - not of the cosmic Orannsi Pazuzu variety (which I dearly love as well), but of the extremely British tea-and-crumpets-spiked-with-datura flavor. Over several lengthy songs - only one is under ten minutes - the group seems to flirt and tease at the edges of the genre, only occasionally careening into pure blastbeat-and-wailing territory before wildly veering off on a tangent of one sort or another, many involving violins and and other non-kvlt flourishes. Still, there's plenty of darkness and sinister subtext here for those willing to brave a bit of foppery to flay open the raw and wild things that lay at the core of this music.
Frozen in thought whilst seeking oblivion.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Fun In The New World

As the seventies wore on into the eighties, many punk bands either faded into irrelevance or burned out in a whirlwind of drug abuse or tried and failed to cross over into the New Wave. For me, this is the album that best represents that tipping point: the coke-comedown of Reagan's election night, the moment where androgynous art punk was kicked in the cameltoe by all the manly hardcore, and the reason we must endure those jokey disco songs as filler for side B. This is easily my favorite X album, but the deeper I get into it, the more I wish I could punch you.
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hanson Brothers - My Game

Although I haven't explored it much on this blog as yet, one of my keenest interests is in musical fakery - the hoaxes, hucksters, rip-off artists, satirists, plagiarists, and wannabes lurking just at the fringes of the industry. There's tons of Ramones-clones clogging up the discount bins with subnormal pop punk records about girls and beer and various things they either wanna or don't wanna do. Hanson Brothers exist somewhere in this continuum, but simultaneously on a whole other Kaufmanesque level too. As the retarded flipside of Canadian spazzy jazz-punk wizards NoMeansNo, they still sing about girls and beer (and hockey) but there's also a strain of fierce technical prowess and bristling intelligence lurking beneath the three-chords-and-two-verses formula that belies their origin. They embrace the haiku-like Ramones recipe as a framework, not as a finished product.
Still, this doesn't come off as some snooty hipster slumming. Make no mistake, this is 100% sincere. This is their third album, a punchy return to form after the somewhat underwhelming Sudden Death and also a bold slapshot to the rules. The classic first LP Gross Misconduct is dissected at length here. Just because it's funny doesn't mean it's a joke.
Honey I'm Home

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Armored Saint - Delirious Nomad

Notorious these days mostly for being the band John Bush fronted before 90's-era Anthrax, Armored Saint kicked out some solid traditional metal back in the day, appropriating many of thrash's fixations on nuclear war and the apocalypse and encasing them in homemade Road Warrior leather and NWOBHM-influenced mid-tempo chugs. This album isn't perfect - far from it - but it does contain meaty end-times jams like "Aftermath" and "Conqueror." While the lyrics generally range from abstract to outright stupid, Bush's instantly recognizable hoarse bellow really sells it, even when the guitars are a bit underwhelming. What is it with 80's bands having to stick one stupid joke song at the end of every album, though? The unfortunate icky come-on "Released" drags the tail end of the record down into no-makeup Kiss territory, so be warned.
While the faces stare
At the hideous glare

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sweet Tea

Back at you here with this swampy, mosquito-flecked psych blues record from the mighty Buddy Guy. Eschewing the slick production and smooth professionalism that marks most of his career, Buddy strips his band down to a bare minimum and grinds his guitar in the dirt. Heavily influenced by the Hill Country blues of R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford and Junior Kimbrough, this wild and entrancing album stands out in Buddy's discography like a mutant step-child locked in the attic, banging on the walls and shouting.
Done Got Old

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Philosophy of the World

I'm a bit surprised that I haven't posted this already, as much as I've talked about it and compared other weird albums to it - so, here we go. The Shaggs were three New Hampshire sisters coerced into forming a "rock band" by their domineering and possibly unhinged father, who not only forbade them from taking lessons or listening to actual music but also financed and released this bizarre platter, sure they were going to be the next Beatles. The sounds contained within only barely resemble music in the conventional sense, with the guitar and bass playing completely different patterns as the drums wander in and out of sync at random. The sheer originality and naivete are charming, but there is an unsettling undercurrent beneath all the forced good cheer, as if the band were comprised of the children from Village of the Damned. The Shaggs had a bizarre career that I neither have the time nor inclination to dissect here, but this first album stands as a pinnacle of so-called "outsider music" and certainly stretched the boundaries of what could be done with guitar, bass, drums, and a little ambition - talent be damned.
Why do I feel?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fear No Pain

Lord Vicar is the group founded by former Reverend Bizarre guitarist Peter Inverted and vocalist Christian Lindersson, most notorious for replacing Wino in Saint Vitus on the under-appreciated "C.O.D." album. It's about what you would expect - molasses paced swaying doom riffs, eldritch lyrics, and crushing despair and hopelessness. Strangely it also sounds wonderful while I am sitting on a porch, sipping on a fruity girly drink, whiling away my first day of downtime in weeks. Ponder the futility of human existence and pass the pomegranite juice, you wanker!
Pillars Under Water
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