Mar 222023


(Yesterday we presented Chapter I of a “bizarre playlist” compiled by Axel Stormbreaker, and there was more to come… which comes now…)

And now we’re back to our exciting installment(s) after this short, commercial break. This sneaky lil’ bugger just had to rearrange playlists in two parts for them being too fucking long.

I think my neighbors may have ordered about a dozen rocket launchers by now. Next thing I know I’ll be finding an armored tank waiting for me at my porch. It’s best I start with the artsy stuff for a change before moving on to obscure ballsy metal.



White Ritual – In & Out

2022 was a great year all around. Especially, when albums such as White Ritual’s In & Out have been flourishing expansively for the past couple of weeks. It’s an unparalleled work even if only for ending up crammed with innumerable ingredients (f.i. cold wave, industrial, synthpop, witchhouse, ethereal, art-rock, and so on), all while revolving itself around radio-friendly patterns. Too many bands, far more ambitious, or even accomplished, have failed at respective recipes. This one’s digestible to a point it may even intrigue from avant-garde metalheads to regular mainstream clubbers.



Exit Oz – Împământenit

Another ’10s album that fell under my radar. An exquisite fusion of dark jazz, ambient, and Romanian folklore, along with a dainty, yet distinguishable kraut touch. Împământenit‘s smoothness foretells the arousal of earthbound spirits, destined to haunt its pastoral funfairs amidst reveling crescendos. So inciting, I’ll admit I momentarily thought of piqueing your interest by comparing it to Negură Bunget, only in a hypothetical, “demetallized” fashion. But that’d be shameful lying, and the band deserves better than that, especially when its shamanic vibes differentiate which elements belong to their mingling attributes.



OSCOB – Praise the Sun God

Last month I wrote this humorous Valentine’s Day article on barber beats. And while it summarizes we shouldn’t take life too seriously, it does provide pristine proof of how far the said wave has evolved. Such projects may have been, occasionally, imprinted as if Al Bundy‘s outrageousness got mixed with motivational lounge, but it only takes a split second to acknowledge its immensely profound growth.

Now, OSCOB’s Praise the Sun God is the best out of the latest bunch. And may I say I’ll take this anachronistic approach over rehashed digi-trash anytime. It’s all about revisiting the past; drawing unspoiled finesse from jazz and bossa nova classics, all while keeping it drony as a home-dubbed cassette. So good, it’s meant to draw appeal from your first high-school crush up to Lord Satan himself. It’s upbeat, refreshing, without getting any corny between the lines, which makes it a perfect background for any time of day or night.



Spinescrape – Scarred for Life

What we have here is dismissive, beefy, crunchy groove metal in the vein of Down, Pantera (Cowboys from Hell era), Crowbar and, perhaps, early Korn. A long-lost gem (seemingly) pressed to a number of 100 copies, shortly before Spinescrape were bound to disappear in lingering obscurity. Fact is, even if their most notable moments bear comparable resemblance to their progenitors, Scarred for Life exhales nostalgia confused with reverence to those primal stages of a sound doomed to fade. An intriguing release, to say the least, even to the doubtful ones who’ll only indulge for its over-weighting, sludgy aesthetics.



Crown of Ascension – Transmission Errors

While I’d much prefer to label Crown of Ascension as “avant-garde” black metal, they’re too focused for any comparison to the kind. But it goes without saying their grinding assaults are feverishly provoking, especially when intensified by drenching their claws in pure interdimentional terror. Transmission Errors is, in its way, a short, thorough synopsis of an urban, technological nightmare without closure, or relative starting point. Just the way that exact reaction of waking up in the middle of the night, all sweaty and unnerved, urges you to rush straight to your bathroom’s mirror, mumbling: “what the fuck happened just now?”.

P.S.: Just play its closing opus “The Dripping Faucet”, before going through the whole album.



Black Fucking Cancer – Procreate Inverse

Odd coincidence: the minute I’m writing these words, I begin to realize it’s been precisely one year since Black Fucking Cancer awoke from their oblivious slumber. Procreate Inverse was released on March 18th, 2022, by Sentient Ruin Laboratories, thus ending a six-year-long wait since their prominent self-titled debut on Osmose Productions.

Nevertheless, even if it ain’t comfy laying it down in such a plain manner, its predecessor never really excited me. Or, what I preferred, in fact, was the raw, unpolished, punk-ish approach demonstrated through their Summoning Aural Hell demo CD-r. Black Fucking Cancer is offensive, nihilistic, prominently volatile junkyard black metal that’s meant to exhale all the odors of a decaying shithole. Meaning, what Procreate Inverse really is; an ongoing insult to humanity for all the shit it throws us every single day.



Lycopolis – Amduat Part 1 & 2

It’s no secret that oriental aesthetics do attract regular enthusiasts of the extreme. Yet, when entangled with whetted riffage they may even establish a long-term exchange with devotees of the underground. It’s why Egypt’s Lycopolis are here to offer an unusual plethora to raw black metal collectors, or just to followers of a subgenre that’s reaching an underwhelming saturation. Their abrasive riffs assimilate the cylindrical motifs designed by middle-eastern whirlwinds that wreak havoc in their unyielding course. Just the way it’s been implied through Amduat‘s diptych; the desert consumes many lives and hopes, and dreams of our past are crushed in a single instant. But it is clean, and much more sincere than our modern world’s uncountable complexities.



Trhä – Dlahdlhë (+ more)

NCS favorites Trhä have been producing a massive pile of sonic output lately. Up to a degree that a plain demo review would matter none to their existing fan base.

Thus, it made more sense to write my thoughts while playing each release in a chronological order. Endlhëdëhaj qáshmëna ëlh vim innivte sounds as the logical continuation to the previously featured Vat gëlénva​!​!​! (check here), an otherwise brilliant achievement for blending every element Thét Älëf has so far absorbed. Endlhëdëhaj… is, in contrast, more subtle, taking it down a notch by spreading eerie ambience and dreamy keys throughout its running length. Black metal is still present, of course, even in a depressive form, as its feverish climaxing tightens the bond between Trhä and his past work under the moniker of Sadness.

On the other hand, any subsequent collaborations may be placing their focus on an entirely different spectrum. Die Macht der Feenflamme (a split with Acheulean Forests) showcases a bizarre, yet alluring amalgam of black metal, K-pop, dungeon synth, or even post-punk in a fashion that reminds me of Neige‘s Amesoeurs. The following two collaborations with Eliante and Starcave Nebula may present even more “metallized” context, yet K-pop (“jinjal dlhevucunnas’ ëlh nitirhi”) and post-black (“qäshmënora ah Bilhdal’hathährën lap”) crawl their way back into their labyrinthine constructs.

Still, “halëlhër” (out of their split with India’s Sëht) stands out for reasons quite dissimilar. It’s true the aforementioned splits sound unconventional, for the sake of attaining a certain level of uniformity among all collaborators. While what we hear on Dlahdlhë is Thét Älëf assimilating the prospects of proper mastering whilst preserving the vitality of his abnormal rush. See, even if most of Trhä’s past output sounds as if it’ s been conceived in a swift moment, Dlahdlhë indicates the band’s perception has not changed in regards to its internal youthfulness. On the contrary, we may even state Trhä upped their game, since any peculiar influences are now comparatively easier to distinguish.

P.S.: Let’s not forget the banjo kicking in at 10:08, right? Oh, it is a banjo I’m hearing now, isn’t it?



That’d be all folks. I apologize if I added too much artsy material, but it’s what I’ve been blasting these past few weeks. Notable artists that were left out are: Ratt, Paradise Lost, NFD, L’Âme Immortelle, Culture Kultür, Ginger Snap5, and so on.

After-credit scenes of this exciting music documentary feature a video of this gorgeous pet fox you may find oddly relaxing.

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