Raven Starblood

November 9, 2013

In The Company Of Serpents - Of The Flock (2013)

I must find something stunning and devastating to have the strenght to post it here cos' I lost most of my motivation, specially concerning this kind of music, a little bit out of my life for the last years. But this band (actually a 2-man team consisting of Grant Netzorg on guitars and vocals, and Joseph Weller Myer on drums) from Denver, and in particular this new record, is nothing less than a masterpiece, and there's not much lately (at least for an old cunt like me) to deserve such a qualification. Not since the Black Skies' On The Wings Of Time I had so much been shaken and enthusiastic about a new doom/sludge/noise release. There's in it everything I love in this music, everything. It's despair and energy, terribly heavy and incredibly celestial, dirty and pure, grandiose as a symphony and brutal as a tribal ceremony. It's the way I would like to die. With a great Fuck you to the world and complete serenity in hate of what life has been. Even if all tracks are total winners, "Untied/Culling Essence From The Void" is surely one of the strongest doom/sludge tracks ever composed and played. It reminds of the great times of Capricorn or Ocean. A must-have if you can imagine one. Here to buy the digital or vinyl version (or both).

September 25, 2013

Jim Strange with The Proud and The Damned - Pox Americana (2013)

I would never have imagined to fall again for gothic rock but Jim Strange gathers the best of it and actually plays (with his very proud and damned good band) a much larger soundscape than this narrow category could let you imagine. As the title says, there's an americana fragrance in it. Of course, amateurs of the early 80's classic English approach of the genre will immediately scream of pleasure (or pain which is more in line with their vision of felicity) with the post-Bowie vocal style that was so typical of the genre and the dark echo sonor atmosphere that all the lovers of morbidity like me can't help to cherish. They're from Portland and carry fiercely the burning torch of a music that has finally never ceased to live since the early sixties in varied incarnations. Not a bad or even weak song on it. The 8 are instant classics and it's hard to listen to something else when you discovered it. Without hesitation the album that will feed this sad Autumn with some consolation. Moreover, they give it for free on their bandcamp here. Don't miss this gem.

September 14, 2013

Vulva - Krüppel EP (2013)

Months I haven't listened to doom or anything affiliated (Dylan and Neil Young make my days, actually I don't listen much to music). Yesterday, I visited the left linked-blogs in search of something that still talk to me in this "genre". After a numerous of trials and errors attempts, I suddenly knew I had found relevant music after the first minute of "Sucker" (the first of this 4-track EP). This German band could be classified in the post-Pelican/Omega Massif wave but they have their style and they make me fly over the load of shit my present life is. Thanks to them, few in this "so-loved style in the past" can still do. Hope they'll go on for a long time. Their bandcamp link here. You can buy a solid version of this EP. Good news. Moreover I love the front cover sleeve. And it's rare.

June 23, 2013

Big Hurt - Make 'em cry (2013)

WTF, there was a new album from Big Hurt and I was not informed. Only discovered it in going back on the post I did for their previous (and only I think album). I was not late for the previous (the great Comfort) and they were 6th in my fave songs of 2011 when the album would have been high if I had done a list in 2011 (or maybe I had but can't find it). This new one (released in March) will surely feature in my Top 2013 album list since once again every song is a winner, somewhere between the Melvins (notably the 14 min of the impressive "Sybian") and the Bastards/Janitor Joe (almost everywhere), 2 of my fave bands anytime/anyplace, but Big Hurt (a trio with help in some songs) has his own personality and the music is never a well-done duty by students imitating their masters. It's wild, dangerous and most of the time crazy. But this is full of real songs, not artefactual. And influences are much larger than these two bands (even the early Pink Floyd or the 13th Floor Elevator on songs like "Calling Girl") and many others great bands I'm too memoryless to remember. I can't help to consider there's some common points between Big Hurt (or must I say his leader, the guitar-vocalist Christopher 'Burd' Quines) and Harry Cloud, although the later is less easy listening. One thing's sure. You can't be a dirty noise aficionado without having this gem. Get it here. Listen to it below. Finally bands like this make me happy not to have died earlier when often I wonder if it is reasonable to pass 50.

May 24, 2013

Vestiges / Panopticon - Split (2013)

I really dig Vestiges. Their 2011 Descent of a Man (here on my other blog) was a divine surprise, mixing black metal and contemplative sludge doom like few others, and taking place in my "Pantheon" next to Xasthur, Omega Massif and An Autumn For Crippled Children (all in a rather different style, but I gather them because I felt for them in a narrow timespan). This split with a "folk atmospheric black metal" (at least they what's they are labelled on bandcamp) that isn't really my cup of tea (con), is a good news since the long track (split artificially in 2) is gorgeous and confirms how this band knows to develop waves of sound in various layers of atmosphere, never giving up the brutality and roughness of the genres they adopted. Only a slight critics, the price. 7 $ for one 18 min track (the Panopticon one is not in it it seems) in MP3 or in FLAC is rather expensive to my opinion.

May 12, 2013

Coat - Swamp (2013)

You love sludge, rough and raw sludge, not half-mainstream one? Me too. And this band, from Minsk, in Belarus, is what I love in sludge. Sure it's no revolutionary, but after listening to a whole bunch of boring new releases, suddenly you feel you got something to lean on with such a band. Don't be misguided by the drawing on the cover sleeve, it's no psyche-stoner but pure (impure is a more appropriate word) sludge with feet deep down in muddy clay. Proud descendants of EyeHateGod, with a more punk (slow punk don't misunderstand me) approach, sometimes like Drunk With Gun (but who remember this band?). And moreover there's something of true despair in it, and less of the dope and alcohol trip of these great ancients. Hope I can help them to find their audience here (but it's doom and stoner community here that brought them to my attention). Go here to listen and buy.

May 9, 2013

Cough / Windhand - Split EP (2013)

When 2 bands you love share a new issue, it's double pleasure but sometimes bands don't offer their best efforts on such releases. Here tracks are gorgeous and provide the heavy doom load inherited from Electric Wizard that most of us couldn't live long without. But now that the Wizard has lost his inner necessity, Windhand and Cough, both from Richmond, are some among those who still feed this seminal style. And on the year Black Sabbath reunites and the Melvins play their seminal nineties LPs, it's a sign that this music travels through time without any trace of damage when so many are stuck in a narrow historical window. Here, Windhand proposes 2 long tracks with a strong psychedelic fragrance when Cough show that they are the masters of dark loudness and know how to make a 18 min suite sounds like a short piece of eternity. Perfect companions for long lonely and depressives evenings. Go here to listen and buy.

April 14, 2013

Ornaments - Pneumologics (2013)

I would not have imagined to be able to love this much an atmospheric doom post-rock album but it's the case, and I fuck do love it. Although based on classic chord successions and traditional way to mimic elevation with sound agencements (imagine Pelican), this Italian band revitalizes it and gived me the impression to rediscover it (like these women who, at an advanced age, gives to love a new taste). Of course, there's maybe a Radiohead flavour in the (rare) vocals approach on "Breath" but it's so good that I didn't mind at all, and on the last track, vocals are furious and almost punkish showing the band never is where you would expect. The perfect music to get out of yourself on lone evenings or on the opposite, for introspection. Never boring (the main problem of this style), this band is in activity for apparently a decade now (shame on me to have missed them so long). Here they provide a milestone for amateurs of this style, that should be breathtaking when it seems so often breathless. Not Ornaments who give it some oxygen with this Pneumologic offer. Go here to listen (but strangely not buy any numeric version), there to buy the CD or vinyl.

April 9, 2013

Dope Deal - EP (2012)

It becomes harder and harder to find anything in the doom/sludge/noise style that raises in me any interest, and even more any shivering thrill in my old spine. So, since this blog is doomed to be rather rarely fuelled, I prefer to wait until something takes the shit out of me. And after days and days, I got one. Their name is Dope Deal (not a sane name I admit but who cares about sanity). They're from Baton Rouge, of course a place where sludge and doom are local specialities. And (EyeHate)God knows how many seminal bands come from this part of the world in this style. Dope Deal can be considered as a credible relief. It's not really sludge, there's a Bastards/Janitor Joe flavor in it (and more largely Amphetamine Reptile band stable). On "Each Day Is A Gift", difficult not to think of the Melvins in their glory times. So it was impossible for me not to fall for them. This is what I call wild music, nothing in common with the riff & roll metal soup that we are served as extreme music when it's boring like an old senile neighbor. So, for those who read these words, don't miss this great band, there are not so many these days. And buy their stuff here. It's as cheap as the music is great. Sad I only discovered it these days since this EP is 6 months old now.

March 30, 2013

Tentacle - Ingot Eye (2013)

Difficult to imagine that this is "only" a side-project, and more extraordinary, from a band who is prolific as few others: Ice Dragon. But it is. Much darker, heavier, extreme and dirty than ID, it's music for hellish evenings and tormented thoughts. No Ozzyesque vocals here. It's guttural and screaming. And no "riff". It's repetitive thema played ad nauseam drowned in screams and noise, much more Skullflower than Black Sabbath. It's for sure one of the best thing released this year so far. Sound can be a little bit muddy and over-distorted but fortunately not on "The Blackness of My Soul Will Be So Great as to Make the Night Weep" which is and will remain a classic for ever. Go fast there and buy it. Let's throw an ear below cefore if you want to try (same link actually).

March 20, 2013

o.d.r.a. - Karl Denker Blües (2012)

Satan, this band is terrific. From Silesian lands, they seem to carry the brutality of these rough territories (but finally it's maybe a land of milk and honey, just the representation a fucking French like me have of Poland). Next to them most of our music tastes as plain unsalted soup. There's stoner in it, but also sludge (it's mainly sludge actually, EyeHateGod fans have here their new heroes) and even punk in its most heavy-as-shit facet. It could goes on hours and hours and we can only dream to go to death with this as soundtrack. It would be a rejoicing end. It's to music what ejaculation is to romance : it's most physiologic part, it's finally only real one. If Black Sabbath, Third World War and hypnotic psyche 70's had been the music on which future was built, this band would have been mainstream. But today, it's called extreme althoug it's the only music that can provide a decent measure of current devil times. Note that it's apparently their 3rd opus (based on their bandcamp releases). Much to discover. Buy it here.

March 3, 2013

Harry Cloud - Ocean Song (2013)

The new Harry Cloud is out and this year can't be as shitty as I'm waiting it to be if there's a Cloud LP in the aural sky. Remember that Harry Cloud is the name behind last year's Single Mothers LP called Indian Pussy and now re-released under the Harry Cloud name (I've changed the cover on the post). Quite different this new one is full of gems and provides to the poor creature we are his load of celestian noise in which it's so pleasant to drown like a suffocating baby in its mother's amniotic fluid. The Melvins flavor is much more pregnant that previously (eg. on "Dirty Deed" or "We Are 3") and in general the ambiance is electric and noisy. There's even a Wire reminiscence on "She Rapes". My fave is the moving "Burning Fields" that is repetitive as an endlessly painful self-deprecating thought. Neil Young or J Mascis are not able to compose such songs anymore. Harry Cloud is. But stop reading and go listening (and buy) it.

February 17, 2013

Oxtongue - Where the light is mute (2013)

At least something in doom/sludge that excites me. Surely I don't listen to enough new stuff but most of what I listen to bores me to death. Not this 3-track offering from Canada, who takes the shit of us (I think it's the correct expression but I'm not sure). It's heavy as agony, and brings back the vibrations of Grief, EyeHateGod or even Khanate (on "Cessation; The Shade Rapes Nativity") in the same package. Haunted as the conscience of a catholic serial killer, it's the perfect soundtrack of the damned era we're living in. No image from the band so only the artwork on this post. Note that the EP is free to download on a mediafire link provided on the bandcamp page below. One of the greatest music in the genre since the beginning of the year.