Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XV


I get it. You have a teeny-tiny brain and it just can’t process a whole lot of information at the same time, but you still want to know the what’s what about new music. We’re here to help.


vVardan – Winter Woods
Moribund Records | July 10, 2015

Having been heretofore unfamiliar with Vardan, my primary suspicion was whether or not it’s possible for one dude to churn out quality in addition to insanely excessive quantity – 12(!) full-length albums over the course of 3 friggin’ years. I can’t vouch for his back catalogue, but I can vouch for this’n here. Winter Woods is an exercise in slow-going, minimalist DSBM, and it seems Mr. Vardan has more than enough depression to go around. My brother, unversed in black metal, dropped by while I had this turned up, walked through the door uninvited as he is wont to do, and said, “Dude, this is sad music. It’s ruining my day. I was having a good one, too. Turn it off.” I didn’t, and he just walked out, his puny bitch-heart having been crushed in a mere instant. Unfortunately Moributthole Records doesn’t have a single song streaming for the customers listening pleasure, so you’ll have to take my word for it. If misery is your cup o’ tea, put this on your list for later. — Masterlord


prurientfrozenniagarafallscoverPrurient | Frozen Niagara Falls
Profound Lore Records | May 12th, 2015

I’ll be the first to tell you – I am a Prurient fan. I’ve followed Dominick Fernow’s work for several years and I have covered him on this very site. His newest album, Frozen Niagara Falls, has been billed as a career spanning, defining work; a 90 minute magnum opus; a “masterpiece“. Each sound Fernow explores on Frozen Niagara Falls is cut from an older work and watered down. The first track “Myth Of Building Bridges” is just a weaker version of Cocaine Death. “Dragonflies to Sew You Up” wanders into Bermuda Drain / Through The Window territory, but it, too, is far less interesting than those efforts. The screeching on “A Sorrow With A Braid” and “Traditional Snowfall” was more offensive on Black Vase. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Frozen Niagara Falls is not an intense, entrancing, or cryptic album. The extensive run time makes it a slog to sit through. I listened to Frozen Niagara Falls, in its entirety, so you wouldn’t have to. — Edward


a3006156855_10Doom Snake Cult – Love Sorrow Doom
Nuclear War Now!
 | May 20th

Most people believe that Doom Snake Cult are the post-Goatlord project of frontman Ace Still. Most people are wrong. Love Sorrow Doom was recorded in 1990, before the first Goatlord full-length came to fruition. The music in this LP is not hard to describe, but it’s definitely hard to “tag”. Picture the classic Tom G. Warrior guitar tone being employed in a doomier setting, followed by blackened vocals and a bipolar rhythm section that will either play deep Sabbathian grooves or degenerate into something much, much filthier. Got it? Now sprinkle bad acid trip vibes all over and that’s what LSD sounds like. What it feels like is a huge, pitch black tongue drenched in saliva slithering in and out of your earholes. Slowly. NWN! Productions are reissuing this classic, so this is your chance to either pop your blackened tongue cherry or relive this delightful experience. — Dagon


Magic Kingdom | Savage Requiem
AFM Records | March 20, 2015

Alright, lesser soldiers! It’s time to instruct you once again in the ways of the fantasy-themed power metal genre. Here we have the fellow warriors of Magic Kingdom, hailing from Belgium with their thunderous sounds. The album is a blend of Italian comrades Rhapsody of Fire fantastical lyrical content and shredding, but with the riffing sensibilities of the German scene. For the entire duration of the record you will hear face ripping speed anthems and mighty choruses to raise your sword and crush your enemies to… I recommend this record because it’s very fun! Listen to: “With Fire and Sword” — Link Leonhart


Lustre | Blossom/Phantom    steelfest
Nordvis Produktion | April 24th

Lustre is an ambient black metal project of Henrik Sunding. Blossom is it’s fifth full-length album, and Phantom is a previously unreleased EP accompanying the limited edition release. In honesty, blue metal would be far more appropriate, as the fuzzed out reverb of the guitars and the distant growls have always been secondary to the keyboards, the synths, and especially the feels. Nachtzeit has always evoked pictures of nightside nature and spiritual mysticism with a perfect approach. Blossom continues on this same path; the songs are very simple and mostly composed of few repeating parts over 5 to 10 minutes. An accessible album, but not for everyone. Personally, I’ve always used Lustre’s music as hiking music; perfect to be experienced atop the hill, looking at the silent waters as you feel your existence draining into the fabric of the ever-expanding nothingness. — Karhu


Genocide Shrines Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (Scriptures Of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder)
Vault of Dried Bones | April 18th, 2015

So what’s the best way to achieve enlightenment and to become one with the universe, toileteers? By obliterating everything through ritual violence and purifying carnage. This is the coda for Sri Lanka quartet Genocide Shrines. Coming out of nowhere with their especially grisly yet spiritually motivated take on ominous black/death metal, their EP Devanation Momentutemples was one of my favorite releases of 2012, and now they are poised to kill even the gods with this full length. Opening track “Militant Thrishul (Eradiction Puja)” comes barreling in like a Tinneman Square tank at a college student and the results are just as bloody. The album maintains this bone shattering audio path wrapped in a stellar mix that sounds equal parts Flavor Flav level dirty and Moria level vast. The three Pillar tracks offer a much needed breather from the onslaught and add a bit of war-torn locale flavor so to speak to the proceedings. This beast is already quite high on my top list of metal records this year, and the other bands whose releases I’m looking forward to (looking at you Orator) have a lot of work to do to meet the standards set by this release. Simon says don’t fucking sleep on this one. P.S.: “Ethnoheretical Padmavyuha Consecration” has one of the catchiest main riffs you will ever hear on a “war metal” record. Facts. — Simon Phoenix

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