(So far, Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) has shared with us (here, here, and here) three playlists of musical suggestions to help us get through the current plague time, and today he follows those with a fourth selection.)
As I said before, I wanted to do four of these things, with the intent that they would help people stuck indoors find something new to listen to and to help the artists involved since our world was basically put on ice for a bit.
Through the first three of these it seemed, for the most part, that people were being responsible and doing their part to get through this shit as painlessly as possible. But, this is America and people somehow think every small inconvenience is an affront to their freedom. And our fine fellow citizens seem happy to protest science like it’s a goddamned wizard’s spellbook and raise their concerns until something actually happens worth raising a ruckus for, but seems a lot of the same people bitching that a mask somehow makes them less free button the fuck up.
That sums it up.
A few months later we’re all familiar with the format so let’s dive right in before I write another paragraph about what fucking dunces people are because they’re bored of a virus that isn’t bored of them yet.
I probably could have just done a full list of the Korpsand bands I haven’t covered here yet but Fanebaerer definitely deserve at least a few minutes of your time. Like their countrymen they’ve got that overall punk feel to their music but unlike a band like Nyredolk that leaves that filthy feeling in their riffs Fanebeaer have more of an epic feeling to them. More New Order less Joy Division if I had to make a comparison (though not really musically similar… look it’s been a long fucking week). Anthemic and fucking killer, Tour De Garde recently released a split with them and Skinliv, who got cut for space here, and it’s one of the best splits I’ve heard this year.
This will be my last Danish entry to these lists so I wanted to go out on something that really summed up the feeling this collective instills in me when I put any of their recordings on. Skravl fit the bill. Nonstop memorable riffs, a strong mixture of Ildjarn-esque black-punk, and some of the best raw black metal demos of the mid ’90s.
Overall I’ve covered half a dozen projects out of the Korpsand scene and barely scratched the surface. When I sit and think about what got me motivated to even begin this project it’s this collective and how they reenergized my interest in black metal, which has basically been my driving motivation this year.
This demo is one of the most sonically diverse things you’ll listen to for some time. Black metal, dungeon synth, fucking forest noises, thundering and harsh yet calm and lonely. I gave this a shot when the Tour De Garde YouTube channel put it up and it’s been a constant in my headphones since.
As I’ve said in all of these pieces I spend a lot of time going through the Tour De Garde catalog, mostly because I tend to find a lot of interesting listening experiences regardless of if I enjoy them or not. I don’t think Tornmod is meant to be enjoyed though.
This is extremely low-fi black metal that borders on noise, but not because it sounds like it was recorded with everything in the red in a dumpster. No, this is fucking terrifying graveyard noise, which brings to mind dark stone rooms and the smell of cemetery dirt. I truly appreciate that attention to aural aesthetics and how genuine the overall recording feels. Fucked-up music for fucking rotten states of mind. And speaking of your mind going places…
Sure, you’re familiar with Dwid Helion from his work with Integrity. But are you familiar with his other sides, his more experimental and fucking bizarre sides? Psywarfare has been a way for Dwid to express other facets of his creative personality for over two decades now (Vermapyre being one of his other outlets and also worth exploring). Recently he put up a compilation on the Psywarfare Bandcamp of tracks spanning his work on this project across the years. Power electronics mixed with weird psychedelics, mind-altering spoken word, and just an overall sense of the unexpected and hidden worlds the rational mind has difficulty grasping. This definitely isn’t for everyone but it’s a journey with merit and a good place to start if you’re interested in mind-expanding sonics.
I’ve thrown up the link to my friends at Sineater Records because they did a reissue of Circle Gets the Square on vinyl and it’s on deep sale right now. You’d be supporting a quality project and quality record label in one go.
The timing for the new AntiChrist DemonCore record seems somehow like divine intervention. Political and blasphemous, ACxDC’s Satan is King is a fucking beast. And sure, this band doesn’t need my help at all getting recognition but like I said in March this is all about what I’m listening to during the pandemic and this was always going to be an important record, I just didn’t think it would also become a timely protest.
Wonderfully heavy production really gives the nonstop riffs room and definition without making it feel any less blurry or fucking dirty. This and the new Dropdead that’s coming soon should be in everyone into this sort of thing’s year-end list.
And this is where words are going to fail me a bit because this is obviously deeply personal music that speaks to an experience that I know fucking nothing about and hope that I’m not a big enough asshole to try to talk about it anyway. What I will say is it’s very meditative (like the newest Withering Presence) and gets spacey, that kind of spacey that takes me back to trips to the planetarium as a child. I get that my nostalgia might not be the best selling point for this, but if you’re looking for something special and not your typical dungeon synth then Nahadoth is a worthwhile place to look. And holy shit this project has a large back catalog to dig into. So get digging.
Vale Minstrel is the dungeon synth project of a member of Prosanctus Inferi that was recorded over the quarantine and not at all what you’d expect, considering the source. Vale Minstrel is medieval fantasy dungeon synth, which is a subgenre that can either be excellent like Fief or conjure up the mental image of some unhygienic basement with a yeasty man in a fedora trying to figure out how to make his keyboard say “m’lady” in three languages, two of which were fucking made up in a shitty fantasy paperback. You can guess this isn’t the latter. Really enjoyable dungeon synth that would fit in with Dungeons Deep’s roster well.
Kind of pointless to talk about Ulk since the project’s newest tape sold out through Gondolin in under an hour and since it’s a preorder I can’t take a picture of mine to show you yet.
That entire sentence is basically every post on Instagram showing a tape or record and you fucking people make me sick. Anyway for the rest of us, Ulk is a uniquely relaxing dungeon synth project that’s done two releases for the aforementioned Gondolin Records, who I stumbled upon when I saw the label was doing the new An Old Sad Ghost (also excellent), so I figured I’d check out the other projects coming through on that particular preorder. Ulk is perfect for rainy weather or a sleepless night, dark without feeling contrived. Perfect summer evening music.
And so ends my four-part series for the quarantine. If you’ve at all enjoyed anything I’ve written about please go to the artists’ and labels’ Bandcamps or websites and find a way to support them. This whole thing isn’t over yet no matter how badly you can’t wait to hug all the homies or whatever it is you do to greet people now, so keep wearing your fucking masks and wash your fucking hands.
And if you’re a band and you see the opportunity to somehow make money or gain recognition by some performative yet obvious cash-grabbing behavior inserting yourself into conversations you’re not ready to have, then please, fucking don’t. There’s plenty of productive ways to actually help, do some legwork and find one.
(Just kidding earlier, you’d be no better than a mask-denying rube if you didn’t give this a few minutes)