Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl VII
It’s back again. We gather ’round the swirling shitvortex for the 7th time, to take part in the 7th edition of Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl – a writer’s favorite wherein we review a large-ish quantity of music with a small-ish quantity of words. If you’re like me, it’s enough music to distract you from your debilitating depression for another week! Hold on to your pants!
Drowning the Light – From the Abyss
Dark Adversary Productions | February 13, 2015
The fact that I’d never even heard of this fairly un-obscure black metal band that’s released 13 full-lengths since 2002 is pretty weird to me (add an also-unaware Tyree to the equation and the odds are fucking astronomical), but From the Abyss was indeed my first exposure to Drowning the Light. The admittedly awesome albeit ill-fitting album cover didn’t prepare me for what I was about to hear – the iciest riffing since Storm of the Light’s Bane and a depressive mood so affecting that it repeatedly made me feel like I was on the wrong end of a Kano heart rip. Vocals like a young, ItNE-era Isahn perfectly compliment the ripping, glacial tremolo-winds. They write nothing but absolutely killer black metal; the problem is that they know it, and aren’t willing to part with a single section in order to trim it down. An hour and five minutes is unforgivably long, but still I must harumph!-ingly recommend this. Listen to “From the Abyss“. — Masterlord
Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L – Sanguis Meus, Mama!
Gaea | March 13th, 2015
Sanguis Meus, Mama! is Pekko Käppi’s first with an actual band. It’s a mixture of Jouhikko-driven folk music and trance-blues. Acoustic and electric guitars slide like on the best of the Tuareg-desert blues men’s finest recordings and especially the rhythm work reminds me of Tinariwen. Pekko’s unique voice fits more dreamy ballads perfectly whereas on the more uptempo songs he sometimes sounds a little out of place, yet the rhythmic delivery helps him keep control at all times. The lyrics reek of vengeance and misery and death and it’s a damn shame you won’t be understanding them because the contrast adds mightly to this albums charm. The opener “Mun Vereni” is a near-perfect blend of all things heard on this album while managing to keep all of its faces partially hidden. The rhythm is kept in check by a machine, which is a complaint in this case. Not because it sounds bad (it’s so simple it doesn’t really sound too off), but because, at best, Sanguis Meus, Mama! grooves so funky that George Clinton ought to watch out. A machine may be precise, but it ain’t no match for a man when it comes to something so vivid and alive as swinging funk. — Karhu
Porta Nigra – Kaiserschnitt
Debemur Morti | March 9th, 2015
I know I blurbed about this myself some time ago, but it certainly deserves another chance here at the Toilet, where I felt many of you ignored it too hastily. Porta Nigra describes their music as “decadent” black metal but for me they come off as the polar opposite of that, unless of course they meant black metal of a decadent age. Kaiserschnitt, at its core, is growled/raspy vocals and formerly-rusty/now-clean-guitar-sound over a very rocking riff – more reminiscent of punk than black metal. Piano and choir interludes and outros keep the songs seemingly chaotic, but – like Sigh – it soon becomes evident that Porta Nigra are not truly chaotic, but instead shake up their songs in a rather foreseeable manner (not a bad thing, as Kaiserschnitt remains interesting throughout it’s length). It comes off as a metallic soundtrack to a movie about schizophrenia, not deranged itself, but seemingly so – enough for the movie-goer to absorb the music as an experience-strengthening factor. Listen to “Femme Fatale” to hear what this album is about, but lacking some of the harsher elements displayed here. – Karhu
Crypt Sermon | Out of the Garden
Dark Descent Records | February 24, 2015
I’d be willing to bet
money my esteemed reputation my lunch a pair of socks that when I tell you there’s a killer new Candlemass-ian doom band out there called Crypt Sermon, Philthydelphia is probably the farthest thing from your mind. But alas, this Pennsylvanian five-piece is here to make you get out your black candles and slow mosh in your bestest friar robes and/or templar armor: Out of the Garden is as strong a debut album as they come, and a definite contender for my year-end list(s). And while the Candlemass influence is evident, this band is a lot more than a mere clone: vocalist Brooks Wilson (Unrest, Trenchrot) has a style that’s decidedly less epic than that of the Swedish giants, lending a more stright-up heavy metal vibe to the overall sound. Guitarist Steve Jansson (also of Unrest and Trenchrot, as well as a live fill-in for Vektor) shreds it up with an impressive display of simulataneously blistering, melodic and technical leads that manage to lend themselves to the songs instead of overshadowing them. And obviously no proper doom album would be complete without riffs, riffs, riffs, and most importantly, RIFFS. In short, INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES, THERE IS NO WIND TO GIVE US FLIGHT!!! – MoshOff
Hellgoat | End of Man
Boris Records | May 30, 2014
End of Man is a goddamn fitting name for this crusher of an EP. Hellgoat deliver us with two brief tracks that absolutely crush the lifeloving fuck out of everything holy and pure. Once the hellish intro’s suspense breaks, there’s no stopping this burning train of hate. Hellgoat play a very savage style of black metal/war metal by bringing us chaotic blasting drums, filthy tremolo guitars, and some of the most vile sounding screams imaginable. Atlanta, Georgia is one hot motherfucker and Hellgoat just turned the heat up to a record high. Brace your your self for 8:45 minutes of fucking murder. This is the end of man as we know it. Witness the savagery that is Hellgoat at Boris Records Bandcamp page. — Tyree
Typical descriptions of grindcore will reuse the same tired cliches over and over again. This is brutal. This is unrelenting. This is grimy. All of these are true, but I’m going to try something different because I want you to comprehend how maniacal this album is. It’s the kind of grindcore that forces you at gunpoint to use your own helmet to dig your own grave. It’s the kind of grindcore that waterboards you until you admit your family are terrorists. It’s the kind of grindcore that beats you with a sack filled with nickels so that you don’t have any signs of abuse to show the police. This is Grand Moff Tarkin levels of vicious. Grind it out. – W.
I’m often skeptical when I hear other people describe something as “skronk,” but when the Grindprophet used that onomatopoeia positively, I had to take attention. Well, Abusivesness met my expectations on the front lawn, slapped them in the face with a white glove, then shot them dead in the subsequent duel. Bramy Nawii is definitely dissonant, but there’s so much more to it than that. Keep of Kalessin-esque riffs and melodies battle against a Nokturnal Mortum sense of adventurous to carve an ornate, nuanced relief full of vibrant lights and violent darks. This is chiaroscuro in sonic form, and had I known about this release last year, it likely would have clawed its way onto my list. Get it here or here. – W.
Father Murphy | Croce
Flenser Records | March 17th, 2015
More than anything, this album is fearless. It does not pre-suppose an audience; Croce is simply what Father Murphy wanted it to be. Using bare-bones elements of noise, stripped-down parts of drone, and a minimalistic dash of avant-garde pop, this eccentric Italian duo crafts a haunting sort of extremity that you’ll either love or hate. I wanted to write a full review, but honestly I don’t really know how to fully describe it; no review I read really gave me a clue of what to expect. With the interjecting percussion and odd, fuzzy vocals that kick off the first track, I was immediately hooked by the album’s cold, fundamental detachment despite the warm, natural sounds. Father Murphy will do what Father Murphy does, and you can listen or not (you should definitely listen). Buy it/stream it at The Flenser’s Bandcamp. – Stockhausen