Luciation - “Occultious Inlightmentsasion” (Nightmare Life)
Luciation sound like a more messily produced but equally noisy version of Wold, or like an even more fuzzed out ridiculous version of Bone Awl. This trio from Denmark have already released ten demos and two full lengths since forming in 2005. This EP is at times a ridiculously primitive howl of black metal, just bordering into pure black noise, with only the drums and the evident forward motion of the music that they produce resisting that definition. Those drums do sound great though, clattering and rumbling like flimsy cardboard boxes rattling around beneath the maelstrom of buzzing noise that makes up most of the bands sound. I bloody love this EP, I’ll be checking out some more stuff by the band.

Luciation - “Occultious Inlightmentsasion” (Nightmare Life)

Luciation sound like a more messily produced but equally noisy version of Wold, or like an even more fuzzed out ridiculous version of Bone Awl. This trio from Denmark have already released ten demos and two full lengths since forming in 2005. This EP is at times a ridiculously primitive howl of black metal, just bordering into pure black noise, with only the drums and the evident forward motion of the music that they produce resisting that definition. Those drums do sound great though, clattering and rumbling like flimsy cardboard boxes rattling around beneath the maelstrom of buzzing noise that makes up most of the bands sound. I bloody love this EP, I’ll be checking out some more stuff by the band.

Vesicus - “Magi: Within The Sigil of Kia” (Graceless Recordings)
This is strangling, ambient and noisy black metal. The background of the sound is a very fuzzy, but harshly produced kind of ambient black metal. Things get interesting though with the clattering up front sound of the drums and the swarming cloud of noise that seems to strive to obliterate the music and certainly drowns the vocals in a bubbling cauldron of scathing blackness. As this one track, 20 minute long, EP progresses it gets deeper and denser. It’s almost like some kind of dubbed black, where the metal part of the music is obscured by a fog of dark ambient clouds. The middle of the track drifts along on an attenuated acidic haze of drone and the sound of witches brewing up some poisonous elixir. This is gradually replaced as chiming guitars begin to sound amongst the storm, later being joined by some painful twisted screaming echoing into the abyss. Vesicus make painful evil black metal, this is a poisonous cloud of noxious brilliance.

Vesicus - “Magi: Within The Sigil of Kia” (Graceless Recordings)

This is strangling, ambient and noisy black metal. The background of the sound is a very fuzzy, but harshly produced kind of ambient black metal. Things get interesting though with the clattering up front sound of the drums and the swarming cloud of noise that seems to strive to obliterate the music and certainly drowns the vocals in a bubbling cauldron of scathing blackness. As this one track, 20 minute long, EP progresses it gets deeper and denser. It’s almost like some kind of dubbed black, where the metal part of the music is obscured by a fog of dark ambient clouds. The middle of the track drifts along on an attenuated acidic haze of drone and the sound of witches brewing up some poisonous elixir. This is gradually replaced as chiming guitars begin to sound amongst the storm, later being joined by some painful twisted screaming echoing into the abyss. Vesicus make painful evil black metal, this is a poisonous cloud of noxious brilliance.

Cloud Rat - “Fever Dreams” (Grindcore Karaoke)
Cloud Rat are back with more of their grinding power violence. A denser sound to the production this time round, but still business as usual. There are some really epic touches creeping into their songs on this release, some really well done slow parts and simple but effective breakdowns; especially during ‘At Peace In Hell’. That thick luxurious bass sound is really good, it helps create a really enveloping, yet still chaotic listen. Sounding mainly like a slightly more thrashy Converge, this band are definitely worth a listen, and you can download this album and their earlier EP for free from Jay Randall’s Grindcore Karaoke website.
http://www.grindcorekaraoke.com/album/fever-dreams

Cloud Rat - “Fever Dreams” (Grindcore Karaoke)

Cloud Rat are back with more of their grinding power violence. A denser sound to the production this time round, but still business as usual. There are some really epic touches creeping into their songs on this release, some really well done slow parts and simple but effective breakdowns; especially during ‘At Peace In Hell’. That thick luxurious bass sound is really good, it helps create a really enveloping, yet still chaotic listen. Sounding mainly like a slightly more thrashy Converge, this band are definitely worth a listen, and you can download this album and their earlier EP for free from Jay Randall’s Grindcore Karaoke website.

http://www.grindcorekaraoke.com/album/fever-dreams

Nunfuckritual - “In Bondage To The Serpent” (Debemur Morti)
This album has been given a lot of coverage due to it’s being something of a supergroup. The band features Andreas Jonsson (of Tyrant), Teloch (of Orcustus and also formerly a live musician for Gorgoroth and Mayhem) and most notably Dan Lilker (of Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, Brutal Truth, The Ravenous, etc.). This aside the music is really not that interesting. Most of the material is played at a slow tempo, which is used to create some interesting atmosphere, but generally I found myself waiting for the songs to plod to their conclusions. Whilst this is far from terrible, if it weren’t for the bands membership, they wouldn’t be interesting enough to be noteworthy. 

Nunfuckritual - “In Bondage To The Serpent” (Debemur Morti)

This album has been given a lot of coverage due to it’s being something of a supergroup. The band features Andreas Jonsson (of Tyrant), Teloch (of Orcustus and also formerly a live musician for Gorgoroth and Mayhem) and most notably Dan Lilker (of Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, Brutal Truth, The Ravenous, etc.). This aside the music is really not that interesting. Most of the material is played at a slow tempo, which is used to create some interesting atmosphere, but generally I found myself waiting for the songs to plod to their conclusions. Whilst this is far from terrible, if it weren’t for the bands membership, they wouldn’t be interesting enough to be noteworthy. 

Palace of Worms - “Lifting The Veil” (Flenser Records)

Palace of worms have returned with another album of their intense, unbalanced, expansive, ambient yet grounded, swirling psychedelic black metal. Vocals are at times unusually clearly enunciated, as they drift in and out of phased, layered clattering drums and ethereal guitar. Each track presents new ideas, creating a visceral, muscular black metal without easy comparison. The accepted norms of modern black metal are constantly questioned, although the instrumentation is limited to guitar, drums and keyboard throughout. Unusual drumming styles and guitars that chug and are occasionally even cleanly played, instead of just being constantly tremolo picked are all really refreshing. Really the only misstep on this otherwise excellent and engaging album is the obvious stolen Satyricon riff that emerges from the miasma of track two, ‘No Exit’. This album is a grower, it took me a few listens to really appreciate it, but it’s worth the effort. Recommended.

http://www.myspace.com/414927223

The Rita - “Predators” (Second Layer Recordings)
This record was not what I expected at all, reviews elsewhere suggested that the band make intense and blistering noise. Looking around online suggests this is a heavily processed recording made underwater. It’s an interesting idea, one which takes found sound recordings away from the rather po-faced and pretentious image I have of such music. Unfortunately however, sides A and B are entirely interchangeable and not very interesting to actually listen to. Approach with trepidation, or simply buy a different one of their records, as this is a 7” limited to only 200 copies. I think maybe such an experimental approach to music making would be much more enjoyable accompanied by a visual; check out the linked YouTube clip, it is subtitled ‘The vintage dirt bike engine and the classic fuzz effect, A live study through audio articulation’. This is really cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqv4jpL18I&feature=related

The Rita - “Predators” (Second Layer Recordings)

This record was not what I expected at all, reviews elsewhere suggested that the band make intense and blistering noise. Looking around online suggests this is a heavily processed recording made underwater. It’s an interesting idea, one which takes found sound recordings away from the rather po-faced and pretentious image I have of such music. Unfortunately however, sides A and B are entirely interchangeable and not very interesting to actually listen to. Approach with trepidation, or simply buy a different one of their records, as this is a 7” limited to only 200 copies. I think maybe such an experimental approach to music making would be much more enjoyable accompanied by a visual; check out the linked YouTube clip, it is subtitled ‘The vintage dirt bike engine and the classic fuzz effect, A live study through audio articulation’. This is really cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqv4jpL18I&feature=related

Locrian - “The Clearing” (Land of Decay / Utech Records)
This new Locrian album is like some kind of slowly unfurling cinematic post-metal. There’s obviously a myriad of diverse influences going on here; the band’s music mixes up shimmering drone, sparse cavernous drumming (which reminded me strongly of Neurosis at their least claustrophobic sounding), cataclysmic and portentious wordless chanting and all with a pinch of black metal thrown in… and that’s just the first song. A swirling throb of droning synths drags the second track to life, reminding me of Autechre’s ‘Tri Repetae’ album, before a cacophonous rush of intense drumming and the merest suggestion of a black metal vocal upset things in fine style. The sonic inventiveness continues throughout the album, where found sounds abound, acoustic guitar surprises and drone uplifts. The mixing and layering of the sounds makes this a really interesting album that’s going to be worth returning to again and again. 

Locrian - “The Clearing” (Land of Decay / Utech Records)

This new Locrian album is like some kind of slowly unfurling cinematic post-metal. There’s obviously a myriad of diverse influences going on here; the band’s music mixes up shimmering drone, sparse cavernous drumming (which reminded me strongly of Neurosis at their least claustrophobic sounding), cataclysmic and portentious wordless chanting and all with a pinch of black metal thrown in… and that’s just the first song. A swirling throb of droning synths drags the second track to life, reminding me of Autechre’s ‘Tri Repetae’ album, before a cacophonous rush of intense drumming and the merest suggestion of a black metal vocal upset things in fine style. The sonic inventiveness continues throughout the album, where found sounds abound, acoustic guitar surprises and drone uplifts. The mixing and layering of the sounds makes this a really interesting album that’s going to be worth returning to again and again. 

Ok, as he is too prolific for me to keep up with him, here’s a round up of recent Prurient releases, all of which can be considered as companions to ‘Bermuda Drain’, which is currently the main contender for being my album of the year.

“Time’s Arrow” (Hospital Productions)

The throbbing industrial pop of the title track of this EP sounds just like the material on ‘Bermuda Drain’ and seems like it’s probably a leftover from the sessions for that album. Although it dissolves into ambience before it’s truncated running time, the second version of Time’s Arrow would fit the album even better. The third track reminds me of Autechre at their most harsh, like the ‘Gantz Graf’ EP, with the same gaggle of nonsensical vocal snatches still present, I really liked this track, but unfortunately it abruptly stops after less than two minutes. The fourth track ‘Masked Face’ is present here in a longer version than that which features on the demo version of ‘Bermuda Drain’. This is full on throbbing Skinny Puppy worship, and it’s really very good. With a six minute coda of intense power electronics, I really enjoyed this release.

Bermuda Drain (Demo Version)” (Hospital Productions)

It seems that calling this release a demo version of ‘Bermuda Drain’ was maybe some kind of ironic joke. Although each track contains some recognisable elements from their album counterparts, these tracks are very different. Most of them are strangled and suffocated by walls of power electronics noise. Whilst this is not unenjoyable, it is vastly inferior to the Hydra Head version of the album.

“Despiritualized” (Hospital Productions)

The four tracks on this EP are all deep throbbing electronic drones, which over their running times (of five minutes each), gradually build into slow burning power electronics cacophonies. Disguised and distorted vocal samples, both screamed and spoken, interrupt occasionally but not really to the extent that they can be considered as actual vocals. The overall feel of these tracks is much harsher than any of the material on ‘Bermuda Drain’, coming across as it does, like a down tempo extremely dark version of early Skinny Puppy. I think this should still appeal to fans of ‘Bermuda Drain’, an album which for me is rapidly becoming a front running contender for being my album of the year.

http://hospitalproductions.net/

www.myspace.com/cocainedeath


Circle of Eyes - “Circle of Eyes” (Flenser Records)
Circle of Eyes is a project featuring one member each from Necrite and Sutekh Hexen. This two track, 36 minute long album, features some really enthralling, shuddering black drone. After the seemingly obligatory couple of minutes of background hum, the droning lurches into life, gradually building into a really enjoyable, dense whirlwind of suffocating black miasmic dark ambient droning. The vocals bring this back to a kind of slow black metal, but not sludge or doom, sounding as they do something like the Burzum template of painful screams. I really enjoyed this album and anyone into Sunn 0)))’s ‘Black One’ album, or any other Flenser Records releases for that matter,  should definitely check this out.

Circle of Eyes - “Circle of Eyes” (Flenser Records)

Circle of Eyes is a project featuring one member each from Necrite and Sutekh Hexen. This two track, 36 minute long album, features some really enthralling, shuddering black drone. After the seemingly obligatory couple of minutes of background hum, the droning lurches into life, gradually building into a really enjoyable, dense whirlwind of suffocating black miasmic dark ambient droning. The vocals bring this back to a kind of slow black metal, but not sludge or doom, sounding as they do something like the Burzum template of painful screams. I really enjoyed this album and anyone into Sunn 0)))’s ‘Black One’ album, or any other Flenser Records releases for that matter,  should definitely check this out.

Violent Pink - “Propagandha of the Deed” (Fragment Factory)
Whilst the opening track reminded me off Zyklon’s ‘World ov Worms’ intro track, Violent Pink make screeching power electronics. Each of the six tracks consists mainly of a throbbing, pulsating maelstrom of screaming, plunging noise. Slowly oscillating drones of static, whirling sine-wave synths that are ‘syncopated’ with jagged rhythmic bursts of feedback, build together to make some really engaging noise. When there are any, the vocals sound a little like Today is the Day’s Steve Austin on a really bad day. Unfortunately, due to the lack of vocals on most of the tracks, the material very quickly becomes quite monotonous at anything other than skullcracking volume, but that’s how it should be listened to, so that’s actually not a bad thing. The vocals return for the fifth track, ‘October 8th, 1969’, that has a sparse, desolate industrial creaking sound to it. The final, ten minute long track feels like it doesn’t move, there’s no forward motion to this screaming blur of static. The vocals make it fantastic though, sounding like the last gasps of an unfortunate drowning victim. The musical equivalent of a slow demise in the depths of a nuclear winter, this is visceral electronic death.

Violent Pink - “Propagandha of the Deed” (Fragment Factory)

Whilst the opening track reminded me off Zyklon’s ‘World ov Worms’ intro track, Violent Pink make screeching power electronics. Each of the six tracks consists mainly of a throbbing, pulsating maelstrom of screaming, plunging noise. Slowly oscillating drones of static, whirling sine-wave synths that are ‘syncopated’ with jagged rhythmic bursts of feedback, build together to make some really engaging noise. When there are any, the vocals sound a little like Today is the Day’s Steve Austin on a really bad day. Unfortunately, due to the lack of vocals on most of the tracks, the material very quickly becomes quite monotonous at anything other than skullcracking volume, but that’s how it should be listened to, so that’s actually not a bad thing. The vocals return for the fifth track, ‘October 8th, 1969’, that has a sparse, desolate industrial creaking sound to it. The final, ten minute long track feels like it doesn’t move, there’s no forward motion to this screaming blur of static. The vocals make it fantastic though, sounding like the last gasps of an unfortunate drowning victim. The musical equivalent of a slow demise in the depths of a nuclear winter, this is visceral electronic death.