tisdag 27 mars 2012

Woods of Ypres, Ihsahn and more nature...

Oh my, the Spring has so much nice releases to offer! There are so much good shit getting released after winter has almost vanished that one really has to plan a budget and get only a few of them.
So far I've gotten the ones I wrote about in January and has lended them my ears, a few of them more regulary.
There are a few coming my way this Spring in assorted formats: Borknagar - "Urd" (The song "Roots" made me interested, as I liked what Borknagar did some years ago), Hawkwind - "Onward" (because Hawkwind with Dave Brock and Tim Blake are in fact whole of SPACE), Burzum - "Umskiptar" (the stuff Varg gives out now is amazing!), High On Fire - "De Vermis Mysteriis" (some Lovecraftian stoner and rock'n'roll)...
What I have heard of the new Meshuggah, entitled "Koloss" is really groovy and nice too and I wouldn't say no to that one nor the new Naglfar.
But even if I haven't taken a trip on vacation (to more that Sweden Rock Festival haha) I can't get 'em all. Let's hope I get myself a job! ;)
One has to have the time to listen to them all too, I've got plenty of time right now but hey there are as always too many records, movies & books!

Stopped by at Rusta for some reason the other day and went through the pile of CDs which were like scattered on a shelf, upside down and everything. You can understand I hate that, the disrespect one shows music like that - just throwing them on a shelf. Haha, I am like an old lady there (which I'm starting to become!) and you can imagine me shaking my head and thinking they need some help... ;)
Anyway, hidden behind a load of crap CDs I found Ihsahn - "After" from 2010 as CD+DVD in a nice limited edition which I've been after (haha) since it's release but skipped because I then was a bit scared of the Saxophone. The Album cost me 29 swedish kronor which is not much at all. For that price I might as well have sorted out their CDs and placed them nicely but as the most of the others were crap I just wasn't an old enough lady. Screw you, I'm going home... To listen to Ihsahn!
I really his solo albums too even if Emperor is the greatest. But as you know, I'm not so scared of a little prog or if it is somewhat strange so I think Ihsahn has really made a more complex work that "The Adversary" and angL". Looking forward to what the new one might sound like! (Holy crap, another one to look forward to and hope to buy?!?!)
"Frozen Lakes On Mars":

Something completely musically new to me were Woods of Ypres, I've never really listened to them before I now for some reason started to dig a little into it. I guess I needed something different!
I got "Woods 4: The Green Album" and the really new "Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light" both on vinyl. Woods 4 on 2-LP in a nice forest green color and the new on on regular black but with the limited 7".
This is really some depressing blackened doom, especially the forth album. The new one is even a longer step forward from their early blackened stuff and I think of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Type O Negative and even some Sisters of Mercy (my darling, who loves them, agrees). "Woods 5" is very dark, dealing with death all the way, but the music is more melodic and not as heavy as before. It's eerie and I find it both difficult and easy to listen to.
But yet I've listened to "Woods 4" a few more times and some of the songs there has really gotten stuck in my head. The lyrics are very over the top, almost ironically depressing, but at the same time very honest.

David Gold.
Stolen picture from the Web, which I have altered/tempered with.

The 21st December of last year the founder and main member David Gold died in a car accident.
I remember reading that just a few hours later or so, not knowing the band's music or who they really were. I kept the name in my head but didn't want to listen to them "just because he had died" but if I actually found them interesting, which I now after a listen did.
The Canadian band died with their founder and "Woods 5" is the absolute final album.
The record ends with the beautiful song "Finality" which brings me to tears actually.
I think of the family I've lost when I hear that song, it is both sorrowful as it is somewhat hopeful.
And I guess no other songs of Woods of Ypres are hopeful, they are all mostly just black...
Have a listen to some yourself:
"Everything I Touch Turns To Gold... then to Coal"

The last weekend we decided to make us some nice vegetarian (as we are just that: vegetarians hehe) sandwiches, some coffee and take a little trip to see some tranor (in english: common crane, latin: Grus grus) at Hornborgasjön as it was premiere there. 5100 in fact. And lots of other birds as well. The weather was fantastic and we just completely relaxed and I didn't miss the City at all. I love nature and I'm so glad Spring is here now so I can move around more freely and just enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.

Observing nature.
My pretty little lady.
Smoking lady. ;P
My meateating plants have survived! And the weirdest flowers are taking form.
Zelda totally built her own little cave in the bed, looking very sleepy.
Zeus eating grass which I planted for them, otherwise I am not popular at all.

måndag 19 mars 2012

Black metal CDs and nature

I'm back with a few more goodies from my CD-collection, this time some black metal.

Tulus - "Pure Black Energy"

This must be the worst album cover in black metal ever! Just look at it! Braids, those clothes, and that haircolour!
I remember finding this in a small shop in Jönköping or somewhere and just going "hmmm, what?!" but at the same time I had a feeling that this was something good.
And back then, in 1996, I'd buy most that seemed interesting and was from Norway so... ;)
This is the first album from Tulus who had recorded 3 demos before this got released, and it's a really good piece of black metal. It really sounds norweigan (gut, gut) and is quite groovy but still not nice as in sweet at all. Cruel.
This CD is a bit rare now, and I am glad I've got the original although a LP would be even greater. ;)
I haven't heard any of their later albums sadly, but they formed the group Khold later. I really like them, as you can tell by my blog's name - Blod og krek instead of "blod og blek" from the album "Krek" which is a slow but grim album.
Also the drummer Sarke has the project SARKE, which I have written short of before as well.
Wish I had found the track "Cold" somewhere instead of this because that song is ripping, but "Sisters of the Night" will do.

Gehenna - "Seen Through the Veils of Darkness (The Second Spell)"

This is Gehenna's second album and a great one at that. I'd kick myself in the nuts for not having their first album, but then I remember I lack nuts so... How can I not have the debut?
Maybe I, back in the day, was satisfied with this. I bought this for 49 swedish kronor and it's well wlorth it and more!
Again, this is from Norway and I remember finding the cover somewhat eerie and the CD itself has alot of skulls, from a catacomb, on it so I thought "hell yeah!" and bought it. Inside there are some really nice bandphotos, with the members wearing masks and also the cult corpse paint. The masks point to that Gehenna here is a bit theatrical and that is very true, the black metal is very atmospheric but also creepy and heavy. It really is a perfect mix of the mystical and aggressive, together with other bands like Emperor and maybe Limbonic Art.
"Lord of Flies":

Sear Bliss - "The Arcane Odyssey"

One day in 2007 this CD came along with my mail, and I still have no clue where it comes from. I know that it was free. Maybe I won it at some contest, Cthulhu knows that I won some really nice music stuff a few years back (a signed Mortiis LP anyone?). It took a while until I really listened to it, as I got curious of the fact that Sear Bliss uses trombone, trumpet and flutes on this record. And that is not all, there are plenty of more untraditional metal instruments. They are from Hungary and that is very much a part of their musical roots.
What genre is this then? Black metal! But sometimes it's hard defined. The music on this sixth album is varied and is borh heavy, melodic and symphonic. It's like a trip into a black space together with Vlad Tepes. Or Attila the Hun. That's all I can say.

My plants are still alive and craving some meat, but the spring hasn't yet come in full bloom and therefore there are not much insects flying around here at home. Just a few spiders. And as I promised, here are some photos of my new plants named Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lecter, Michael Myers and Pennywise. >:)
First and only spider caught after the first day, Freddy Krueger was fast!

The four new ones.

Hannibal looking cruel. It will trap the flies with these tentacles that has sticky drops at the end of the little "hairs".

Cleaned balcony means time for flowers, and Zeus looks very content with the result.

I took a little walk one sunny day.

Sun was shining strong.

Immortal in my headphones, on top of the mountain, standing on a cliff overlooking the lake.

Beautiful nature, so gorgeous when it's waking up...

måndag 12 mars 2012

Full of Hate 2012 in Gothenburg

Well, I thought I'd show you some pictures I took when the Full of Hate tour came to Gothenburg.
We only saw Legion of the Damned, Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse but were quite satisfied.
Behemoth ruled and one could see that Nergal physically wasn't as strong as before but his mental strength and willpower really showed in the performance. I got completely mental when they played a few songs from "Satanica" cause that is one of my absolute favorites and also the first album I heard from Behemoth. Luckily my neck is well-trained from my younger years! ;)
Legion of the Damned did a good job too! And Cannibal Corpse was brutal to see, my first time and hopefully not my last. Gore to the core!

We stayed over night at a hostel and after a huge breakfast took a small walk in the shops in Haga. Or rather me dragging the other girls around to search for records. ;)
Found these bohemian slippers in one of my favorite shops (not record ones) and fell in love! The progster in me need this when I smoke my pipe with vanillatobacco. And I actually use them everyday.

In a nice bookstore I found this one! I've been wanting to get Dante's Inferno for years and finally I found a good and cheap copy. With pictures painted by awesome Hieronymous Bosch. He has grown to be one of my favorites since I read about him in school some years ago.

I also found a few records, and one of the best is "Fresh Cream" by Cream.

lördag 10 mars 2012

CDs and carnivorous plants!

When I wrote the last post my mouse died. That is, the one to the computer of course!
It has been a bit fucked up the last few weeks and now I had to hit it to make the post, haha. So now I've got a new one, much faster and better. I seem to really wear out them soon, this is maybe my forth to this computer... :S I, the gentle one!
Anyway I was going to make last post much longer, writing of new and old CDs I found in my shelves but...
Straight after last my better half got sick and has been feeling much under the weather and now I am not too well either. And I think I've picked up another hobby - carnivorous plants! Pictures of them will follow...
So that's why I've not written much. But now I'll continue my various findings in my own collection! Some of these are not masterpieces but just fucking crushing or good, and some are not cult ones either but it's nice to choose a few outside of the Top 10 or whatever.
Bare with me as I shop in my shelves (a cheap and good way!) and sometimes become a bit nostalgic. The genres will mix as well, from death metal to prog. And maybe some reggae...?

Anekdoten - "Gravity"

This one is new to my collection as I found it in a cheap section when I was at the record fair in Gothenburg. It was standing next to a lot of death and grind and looked a bit lonely. I went through my CD-collection (of maybe 800-1000 CDs) inside my head and realized that this album was missing at home. So for a cheap amount of money I placed it in my bag, together with the Benediction LP I had found. The first 2 buys of the day. The first ones are always something completely different to what you think you'd buy or the opposite - something you've been looking for so long. These two were spontaneous but good ones.
Must of the fans seem to hold the earliest albums of Anekdoten as the masterpieces as they are very complex and filled with melancholy. I discovered Anekdoten very late, mr Älvestam was saying I had to get them and hear them and so I did last summer. Good albums, very much King Crimson worship and nice swedish neo-prog.
So I was a bit sceptic to "Gravity", being the 4th album and all... I listened to it a few days after the fair and got positively suprised! This was not at all as complexed or heavy as the first material but very much suited me anyway. It's still a lot isolation and melancholy. Not a happy album in any way and fills it's purpose especially when one wants something a bit more calmer but at the same time not boring. Because for me this does not get boring even if it lacks some complexity. It's still intelligent. Some compare the change of direction to Opeth and their calmest piece "Damnation" and as I love Opeth I love that album as well as the old and new material. Nothing is wrong here, it's just different.
That does not apply to all bands and albums though, most of 'em that change do it to the worse I believe, making duller music as it gets more mellow... But not all!
I'm not getting fed up with this, warming me the cold winter nights that is still to come. Perfect with a cup of tea.
Listen to "Monolith", the first track from "Gravity":

Demolition Hammer - "Tortured Existence"
Originally released 1990

This CD I found at MediaMarkt in their Christmas sale, they had 50% off and I bought this one only. Good buy! Century Media re-issued all of the albums of Demolition Hammer and it's a nice edition with live bonus tracks. Bad sound but hey, it's crushin' like hell and what do you expect from old live recordings?!?
Ninni, a friend of mine, asked me if I had listened to Demolition Hammer once some time ago and the name and their thrash stuck in my head (like so many damn bands do!) and I am always up for nice thrash or death metal from old times. And what a brutal cover! I do like the old ones, from the good ol' time when they weren't too digitalized but brutal and a bit ugly in a brilliant way. In the mid- to late 90's the covers really became too computermade, destroying the old school and becoming ugly in a not-so-forgiving way. CD had pushed away the vinyl, computers took over the hand-made drawings. I sound like an old lady here (I am!) but my first music was on vinyl in fact and I am a sucker for the artwork created by only hand, pen and paper.
Anyway, back to the subject - the thrash maybe by Demolition Hammer is not very original but it's extreme and really gives me the chills here and there. I really should be getting their second album "Epidemic of Violence" as well!
If you want some old thrash from New York, if you are fed up with new polished thrash, if you want something flirting with death metal - listen to this!
"Infectious Hospital Waste", title kicks ass!

Asphyx - "On the Wings of Inferno"

Sixth album from the death metal Gods from Holland and my first. A day in 2000 I was watching my old VHS's of live clips from festivals and Asphyx absolutely kicked my ass! I directly ordered the lastest CD (either that or the first, was my tactic) together with a few others that I thought made an impression.
And this album is a kick in the gut for real! Such a monster of death metal. Good Oden, what have you created?
The original (and amazing) singer Martin van Drunen is not growling the night away here but Wannes Gubbles is making an brilliant job delivering mind-blowing vocals as well. I listened to this CD the other day and thought "Why the hell have I not listened to this lately?!" and I must confess that I'm having such a hard time not buying the new LP "Deathhammer"! Now van Drunen is back again and the result seems to be kick-ass but I comfort myself with this gift from the Lovecraftian Gods. And the best of all, it is not plagued by some kind of crap late metal influence. As they state on the booklet: "Asphyx Plays Death Metal The Brutal Way, Exclusively !!!"
Way to go! And may I add, the guitarist Eric Daniels really look like a huge Frankensteins monster meets caveman meets German army meets ? But he plays Cthulhu himself.
The quality on YouTube is very varied, as you know, and sadly I only found poor quality (buy the album!):

I'll be back soon with more little tips of music.
Right now I am trying to control myself, have just pre-ordered the debut album from Storm Corrosion that comes out in May. Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson, a project that I think can be completely amazing.
Specially if they have gone all super-nerdy with old prog.
So looking forward to it! Gaaah, the waaait.

måndag 5 mars 2012

Vintersorg - "Jordpuls

As I stated in my previous post there are SO much good music in the world that I have too much to write about and it's hard to choose from day to day what to take a closer look at.
So I went through my large CD-collection (as I'm a bit boring in that department usually, the vinyls are larger and more fun to play with) and just randomly found some things I think is worth a mention. I'm going to do that more often, both for you guys and for me, as I have plenty of goodies which haven't been played in a while.
Don't judge me too hard of what I have found here though, I know there are more cult releases and better editions but I had to start somewhere and sometimes it's nice not to choose the obvious stuff! ;)

Vintersorg - "Jordpuls"

I've been a huge fan of Vintersorg since I first heard "Till Fjälls" and also loved the following "Ödemarkens Son" and "Cosmic Genesis". The more progressive approach in the latter release did not scare me away but the ones after "Cosmic Genesis" just did not fit me as well. When mr Vintersorg and Mattias Marklund returned with "Solens Rötter" in 2007 I bought the CD instantly and although I liked some songs and parts of the album it didn't flow freely into my pagan soul. I comforted myself by the old albums and the beautiful albums by Otyg instead.
So when "Jordpuls" came last year I was a bit hopeful but also somewhat distancted since I couldn't really trust 100% that this would fit my mind and soul as much as the old releases. But I bought it, like a hopeful fan that I sometimes am, and I am glad I did since Vintersorg has found the key to my pagan heart once again! A fine blend of black, folk and progressive meets in a wonderful mix and intelligent as well as beautiful swedish lyrics handling nature and science. Last album was all about science and although I respect that and find that very interesting I really love the pagan nature-worshipping lyrics a bit more.
This CD also demonstrates what a fine musician Vintersorg is, and why he is one of my favorite singers. Can't help it, I'm a sucker for that norrländska! (Armagedda also has that effect...)

torsdag 1 mars 2012

Noctum - "The Seance"

"The Seance"
Tranbsubstans Records, 2011

Originally released on High Roller Records, here's a nice re-issue from Transubstans.
"The Seance" starts off with a mysterious vibe straight away, as if there are ghosts hiding in the shadows around, and when the guitars kick in I directly think of "Black Sabbath". Someone has to be quite deaf if not thinking of the british Gods and their massive influence on the young lads of swedish Noctum! This is retro hardrock with a good amount of doom inspired mostly by Sabbath, Pentagram and Witchfinder General. Although I think the vocals of David Indelöf gives away that they are from Sweden. And it's the vocals that trouble me some from the beginning, finding David a bit whiny in his type of singing. But after a while I start thinking of Zeeb from Witchfinder General (love 'em!) and I am way more relaxed. David delivers the best in the 3 last songs "Children Of Darkness", "The Fiddler" and "The Serpent Bride" and it almost feels like the album was made like in the 70's - just recorded in a few days and the last songs being where he truely found his way. I'd like to think that anyway. ;) Overall the production is old school and sounds very organic and analogue.

Noctum are absolutely a bit more heavier both musically and in lyrical themes than other retro bands like Graveyard, Witchcraft or Horisont. And yes, the music fits better with the theme than I think Ghost does (cause the latter are in fact quite more pop than metal, in my book).
There is a strong metal essence in Noctum's debut that I think also attracts heavy metal fans all over the world. It's going to be interesting how Noctum will sound like on album nr 2.
Buy the album at Record Heaven.
Check out "Children Of Darkness" and enjoy!

Patches in the mailbox, yay! Now I've really got a lot to do.
Yesterday I got home, together with my girlfriend, from the concert with Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse. Both bands were brilliant in their own way! I think I'll write a little post about that soon. :) Got plenty of music to write about all the time, more now since some records found their way home from both the visits in Gothenburg (recordfair was great!).
Bare with me and I'll return soon with lots of metal and psychedelic stuff!