When I started my own blog, I was over the moon with a broad scope of topics and I named it ‘Wheaton’s Law’. It was a geeky thing, but if you really look at any blog, it’s probably run by a geek of sorts. When I launched that blog, I decided to inform the world of what, why and how. Time to do that for the rebranded Stranger Aeons.
Origin of the name
Like any name, you want it to be original, to be yours. I’ve recently got a tattoo above my knee saying: “with strange aeons even death may die”. Now, this is an obvious Lovecraft reference. I love that phrase, I really do. So that was my first real idea after many, many failed ideas. I mean, I am the guy who came up with a tumblr blog titled ‘Fascism and Fascination’, so I have a history of bad names. Oh yeah, first blog ever was titled Psychosis Safari… Ah well.
So yes, obviously when one finds a unique name, registers it and all, you find out about things. Like an Entombed EP and a Lithuanian band named Stranger Aeons. You can’t win ’em all.
So why Stranger Aeons?
I picked the name because it resonates with the things that fascinate me in life. I’m an avid reader about past or fictional aeons and I feel that we live in a rather strange one as well. There’s a lot of mystery in the world and this is what fascinates me. It allows me to explore places, drinks, books and music and share it under the same banner. Surely, my focus is on music, but even in that I hope to offer the strange and mysterious.
So my focus is on extreme metal, folk and records that are just too unnatural, weird or haunting. I try to get some interviews in with bands that fascinate me and maybe more if my time becomes more liberal.
I think you should write about my band, we’re sort of strange
I would love to, so just contact me and I’ll check it out. Since this is still a one man endeavour, I can hardly cover everything. If I don’t sorry, but I always try to when I’m asked.
Just to be clear, I’m interested in anything that pushes the envelope, anything that is rediscovering our ancient past and roots. Things that explore and evoke thoughts. Be sure to contact me, I don’t bite.
There’s so much geek going on here, that I probably have to start with a lot of definitions here and some I will struggle with. Melopœia makes Xenharmonic, Tolkien-Inspired Black Metal by using scriptophony. Let me start with the easy stuff…
Ainulindalë: Ainulindalë is the first part of the Silmarillion, the creation myth of Middle-Earth, the world where Tolkiens stories take place. In the book it’s shaped by a symphony of interwoven themes. It’s quite beautiful. Scriptophony: Basically it means translating script to music, so the wizz behind this project assigned every letter to a tone and thus let the words of the story shape the music. It’s weird, but cool. Xenharmonic/Microtonal: This part baffles me, but I guess you can say that its music that uses different scales and intervals to create songs. In a way it’s just ignoring the conventional tones and scales. But please, look to wikipedia for more.
So, who is this madman responsible for this project? That would be Dave Tremblay (Dinosaurs Are Not Gone!, Vod, Awaken The Ghosts and many more). Brian Leong does the vocal parts of the record. What you get is a wild ride of music that makes little to no sense the first time around. The sound is frantic, confusing and highly irregular, but also dense and complex to the ears. Sometimes it´s a burst of black metal like riffing and threatening tones, but other moments the music is trickling minimal. Stopping and starting on completely surprising moments, it´s not a calm experience, but a crazy trip.
It was never ment to be enjoyed by the listener, but still this record fascinates me. If you´d like to learn more, maybe check out this article by Dave himself concerning the project. There are interesting connections to groups like Botanist and Jute Gyte, both active in the black metal realm, but completely on their own terms. The mutating, radical approach to music definitely fits in with the genre itself I think.
So why would you listen to this record, if it´s so tricky and difficult? Well, I’ve spoken to many people who started reading The Silmarillion and got stuck in fact in the Ainulindalë. It’s a shame, because the book offers so much great stories, but I get that this part is difficult. In a way this album translates that to actual music, to an experience akin to the chapter. Understanding the effort behind both may help readers appreciate it more for its beautiful writing and complexity, which goes as well for the music. Sure, sometimes its closing in on noise, but there’s beauty as well. So all in all, not unlike the harmonious song of the Valar and Eru.
Murmur mori is part of an Italian collective that embodies more than just music. Stramonium seems to aim and various forms of expression and this just happens to be one of them. The collective has released a compilation as well featuring groups like Ashtoreth, Sangre De Muerdago and VRNA in tribute to winter solstice.
It helps to place where this group is coming from with a revivalist attitute towards old traditions and a drive to reimagine them in these turbulent, higly urbanized times. The old forests and mountains, the sacred places in northern Italy are what inspired this record by Mirko Void and Kurio Silva.
The music is mild, slowly trickling down with a gentle hand, but never fading away. The continuity is that of the mountain river and the wind, in which you can hear the gentle song of the vocals. It’s very much like listening to nature and finding that voice. On ‘Nemeton’ we hear eerie ambient, foreboding and mysterious, as are the omnious mountains in the morning light, when the peaks are still covered by the black of night and the sun peeps up in between.
The droning sound has an endlessness to it, which is very fitting with the topics of the music. The upbeat tribalism of ‘Il Legno, il Sasso e la Volpe al Fiume’ in its percussive dance, the gloomy droning of ‘Aquile’, it both embodies the experiences one can have in nature. Never does Murmur mori waste any sounds on filling voids, it’s as complete as the nature they describe. Both the silence and the vibrancy, which can both be seen when not obscured by darkness. The discrepancy between the timbre and flow of closer ‘La Caverna’ in its own way speaks of the many sounds you can identify, the many roads to walk.
The record in its entirety is an exploration, a quest into the heart land of Europe, south of the Alps but flocking to its outskirts. It’s a tangible quest of sound and feeling, much like I feel I’m experiencing. It’s also lovely.
Label: Deadlight Entertainment/Hellas Records Band: Witchthroat Serpent
I keep underestimating the French heavy music movement and thus I keep finding gems from the country of camembert, baguettes and escargots. Though in a way the scene appears to look inwards, there’s a lot of good to be found there and one of those bands is the stoner/doom company Witchthroat Serpent.
Hailing from the city of Toulouse in the south of the country, the band has been active since 2011 and with ‘Sang-Dragon’ they’ve released their second full length. The trio has roots in bands like Artemisia Absinthium, Sektarism and Darvulia and is no stranger to the sound of doom and gloom.
Doom has been slowly recollecting itself from the murky depths it’s been descending into to find the most heavy, deep and slow possible outings. Back to basics seems to be the road that many bands chose to persue, and so does Witchthroat Serpent. They sound like the early incarnations of doom bands like Witchfinder General and St. Vitus. Heavy, but filled with groove and audible vocals that are somewhere between chanting and proclaiming.
Dark and lamenting is the sound of the band, for example on the bleak ‘Siberian Mist’ or the following ‘Lady Sally’, with quite some bluesy guitar work. The riffing is steady and keeps you nodding along, while the vocals take an occasional burst of screaming to keep things interesting. On ‘Into The Black Wood’ the band reminds me a little of Black Tusk in the way that their sound is urgent, jagged and restless, like the last album the Georgia sludgelords released. Even when the song winds down a bit, there’s an uneasiness in the riffs.
I sincerely enjoy listening to this record, but the downside of it is that though it feels clean and back to the basics, there’s little new things going on. With Witchfinder General we find a band that fits in the long list of retro doom for those who love the Electric Wizards of this world. Is that a bad thing? Time will tell, but for now feel free to bang your head to these French doomsters.
Label:Northern Silence Productions Band: Belenos Origin: France
The Celtic mythology is not the most common topic for heavy metal music, though bands like Eluveitie definitely allowed it to become a part of the folk metal world in a more serious manner. The trick is just to avoid becoming the new party band and sounding too much like Alestorm and Ensiferum. I think that Belenos will not soon succumb to that with their dense and atmospheric pagan metal.
It’s the seventh album by this band of Loïc Cellier, which has been around for 21 years now. The sound is a blend of black metal with folk/pagan elements. The bandname refers to the Celtic deity of the sun Belenos, often mentioned in the Asterix and Obelix comics, if you happen to know those. Because… he might drop the sky on your heads, which is a fitting bridge to starting to tell you how heavy and dense ‘Kornôg’ sounds.
The sound of Belenos is grand, majestic and still holding on to the essential blackened pagan vibe that the band is going for. Still, the manage to tell their story very well thanks to the thick layers of atmospheric guitar riffs. Thet band from Brittany can do the deep guttural passages, while still throwing whirling synths at you, keeping your interest peeked on all fronts.
All blast beats aside, I feel this album does allow you to dream away to ancient days where the Celts roamed these lands. The deep baritone chanting now and then brings that forward a bit like Heidevolk does. Another band that manaes to avoid the cheesy (though sometimes barely). The rabid progressions are sometims a bit odd, catching you unaware, like on ‘E Donder ar mor’. It may be my personal interest, but when listening to ‘Armorika’ I find myself wishing for more clean parts and folk elements. I think its a personal thing.
Belenos does not bore for a second on this epic album, neither do they stray far from their sound. That makes this record so much fun to listen to. It’s raucous fury, but also its beautiful passages take me away on its waves. A grand record for sure, though admittedly an acquired taste.
Label: Hammerheart Records/ Graven Earth Records Band: Sol Sistere Origin: Chile
Chile always has surprising artists to offer in many genres. The long stretched land on the far coast of South-America (from where I’m sitting) is as diverse in its musical output as must be its climate. Sol Sistere is an exceptionally good atmospheric black metal band from the city of Santiago.
Sol Sistere is releasing their debut with ‘Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum’ and that’s always a good thing. Why? Because new bands have new ideas and interesting sounds. Sol Sistere has their own take on black metal that I’m keen to explore on their new album ‘Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum”.
That new sound is definitely something that the Chilean band offers in their captivating balance between intensity and control. Though at its churning core, the band can be brutal and relentless, like on ‘Relentless Ascension’ with its guttural barks and blast beats, the nuance is its specialty. On the outside tapestries of sound are spun out and landscapes are painted with a sonic brush.
A bit of groove isn’t strange to the band either, who use a nice bass line on ‘Sight of the Oracle’, which soon merges into a flow of unmistakable melancholic beauty. A bit akin to some of the work by Winterfylleth, the vocal work is much more black and abyssal. The combination is majestic and haunting at times, but undeniably black metal. An album full of great atmospheric music
There are some more bands in that direction, creating something beautiful while retaining the essentials of black metal, but Sol Sistere is standing head and shoulders above most. Though there is still a little catchiness missing perhaps, but this is the debut. Who knows what more may come.
Yes! I finally had my weekend away from home and I went to Gent in Belgium to check out a live show by Earth and buy records at Consouling Store and Music Mania. Let me tell you a thing or two about it.
Gent is a beautiful city, brimming with life and vitality thanks to its student population. There’s always people about and things to do. I was especially happy to climb the Belfort tower and see the dragon (that was on top of the tower), which used to literally spit fire. How cool is that? So most of the weekend was spend with music, so I’m going to write a bit aout that.
Earth Plays Belladonna Of Sadness
The film ‘Belladonna Of Sadneess’ is a fascinating Japanese animated film, based on french Writing and heaviyl influenced by a specific style of art like that of Gustav Klimt and Tarot cards. The film is an obscure production with many violent and sexual images of rape and erotic suggestion, but also bloody battle. Now, this film is in need of a soundtrack, so the showing of the film as part of the Film Fest Gent needs something special. Getting doom/drone pioneers Earth to take the honors is a pleasure indeed in the magnificent concert hall/cinema of Vooruit.
Trailer: without Earth soundtrack obviously
Frontman Dylan Carson introduces the bands effort today and stands with his back to the audience in front of the screen. When the film starts playing, the band kicks of with a droning music that melts in with the film. As a listener you sink away into the endless drones that keep pumping onwards, while the footage on the screen unfolds in its own special way. The combination is so fitting and completely allows the listener to submerge into the film. For a good one and a half hour I’m mesmerized by the film and the skill of the band to keep working those notes without ever really shocking you out of the grasp of the screen on your eyes. A great experience.
On the Baudelostraat, connecting to the Vrijdagmarkt where you can find the excellent café Dulle Griet (you can drink their house beer from a special glass, if you hand in your shoe), you will find Conosuling Store, the store connected to the well known label Consouling Sounds. Consouling Store is not a huge store, with an enormous collection, but has a clear own identity and also, something most record lovers will agree is a big plus, great coffee.
Illustrative of its particular style was that a metalhead entered the shop with a bag of cd’s and owner Mike looked at them, seperating them in two piles: “These are the ones that I have an audience for, for these I don’t”. He explains, putting a Parkway Drive record on the ‘not’ pile. The strength of the shop and the label, but also of connected artists, is the strong identity. It’s somewhat dark, underground and ritualistic, but also strongly connected to art and creating something unique. This is also what you’ll find in the store, a load of gems that will speak to those who like the material that Consouling is releasing. So if you’re around, drop by this little record store and just submerge in the sounds that are playing and sort through the vinyl, cd’s and casssette’s, you’ll find treasures there.
My purchases were mostly within the Consouling stable, so I purchased vinyl from Jozef Van Wissem, Kiss The Anus Of A BlackCat, The Black Heart Rebellion and some more… Yes, I’ve been enjoying them while writing this.
Around the corner of the Vooruit venue, you’ll find a small, but remarkably well stocked record store. On the day I was there, they had a vinyl market outside with 50% off. That was obviously a welcome surprise, so I purchased that Burzum best off record (‘From The Depths Of Darkness’) and another release in the series ‘The Abyss Stares Back’ with Hessian and Primitive Man (probably more of a breakfast record I suppose).
The store itself is very well stocked, but also on the pricey end with many more popular releases. Unfortunately, I think this is not entirely the shops fault. Some artists just go for those prices, also through their own web shops or the labels. But there’s plenty of great stuff for good prices there. For the crate diggers and vinyl flippers, this is a great store to hang out, but due to its relative stuffiness, prepare to have to move aside for others a lot instead of easily browsing. The huge selection makes up for that for me (or the fact that I’m really a crate hogger, once I’ve found my section).
Gent has an exceptional amount of great bars, where you can enjoy the Belgian master beers, but be wary, their is a price difference if you visit the ones like the ‘Dulle Griet’, which are very popular among tourists, and the more ‘local’ bars. In the Vleeschhal, you can eat traditional meals, but I can’t say that the Gentish Uufflakke was really my thing (sour head chease). There’s waffel stands and places to buy ‘Gentsche Neuzen’ everywhere.
What is most special about Gent is its vegan/vegetarian tradition. Apparently the public institutions even have a day a week when its really just vegetarian food they serve at work. Pretty cool huh? I’ve had my view of vegan food reshaped this weekend, after eating at a place where they made vegetarian burgers (walnut burger, oh boy) and a place where we had mashed sweet potato with toppings. For vegetarians the city of Gent is a must visit. I guess the same goes for those who love beer, make sure to try the local goodness of Gruut and Crabbelaar (and gosh knows what other great breweries).
Though we may know Brazil as a country well known for its amazing death metal and passionate fans, there’s more to it than that obviously. Jupiterian is a whole different monster that landed with their debut EP ‘Archaic’, which was followed by their album ‘Apothic’.
The sound of Jupiterian is black as the depths of the cosmos and solid like a thick slab of meteorite hitting you in the face. Devoid of any frivolities, it’s a heavy listen, but well worth your time. So time to get to know them a bit better, before they head to Europe for some shows, where I hope to see them again.
I first met V. from Jupiterian at Roadburn and soon I got to know his newly founded band Jupiterian. An avid music fan and lover of science and sci-fi, V. is a creative force with plenty of inspiration from music and literature. Their sound is to me rather unique and unforgivingly heavy, so let’s hope they can head back to play Roadburn soon, because this band belongs on that bill. Time to get into it.
How did Jupiterian get started and what brought you guys together as a band? Did you have any previous projects that you would like to mention?
We started in 2013 while I was still playing with my previous death metal band The Black Coffins. I started to work on some riffs with a borrowed guitar I had at home, so I asked some friends if they would be interested to join me in this new project. When the band suddenly split up that year, I decided to focus 100% in this new project which would become Jupiterian. By that time, the band was called CodexIvpiter, we were 5 guys, I was just doing the lead guitar and we had a lead vocalist, but I felt it would be easier to work only as a four piece, because I was working on the songs, themes and at the same time creating the vocal lines. After this line-up change, we also changed the name to Jupiterian and we entered the studio to record our first material, a 3 songs EP called ‘Archaic’. That was pretty much it.
Can you start by explaining the name and the concept of the band?
I have always been fascinated by mythology, especially the Greek-Roman mythology. I also love astronomy and as an amateur, I try to study and read about it as much as I can. But I am also into sci-fI books, authors likes Arthur C. Clark, Frank Herbert, Asimov, William Gibson blew my mind as a kid as much as Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard did with their cosmic horror novels. When I started the band, the first thing I had in mind was to create more than only the music, but an entire journey through all of that.
Jupiter is part of ancient mythology in the form from many gods for many extinct cultures and it could sum up all the references I had in mind. So the name Codex Ivpiter came up, but as you presume, it was terrible to speak and explain how to spell it. Jupiterian was a name that I was already about thinking for a while. When I talked to the other guys, it made much more sense and we thought it would fit perfectly for our purpose.
What are the musical inspirations for you guys, both for the band as well as for yourself?
We have a very different background in the band when it comes to influences. I try to keep my mind opened to everything concerning music. New bands, old bands. I still feel excited when I listen to something new that blows my mind, be it metal or not and it inspires me a lot to try to reinvent the way I play or the way I want to create new stuff. As a band I could name a few like Jacula, Fabio Frizzi, Arvo Part, Anathema (their firsts albums), Graves at Sea, Asunder, Worship, Winter, Deathspell Omega, Iron Maiden, Whitehorse, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Blut Aus Nord, Mercyful Fate & King Diamond, Funeral Mist, Goblin, Antaeus, Cathedral, Celtic Frost and, Svartidaudi, Thergothon and so on…
You’ve just released some new music. Can you tell a bit about the recording and writing process? Who does what and how does it unfold?
Yes! We recently release our Anathema’s “Mine is Yours To Drown In” cover. Well, more like a version. We started to work on that and I didn’t want to just emulate the original version, so we tried to put some of our DNA on that. And I am really proud the way it came out.
Where do you guys get your inspiration from further, because it seems that the inspiration is a dense mixture of the fantastic, absurd, horror and science fiction. Do you derive your concepts from books or films?
That’s for sure! As I told you, I read a lot sci-fI and horror books. Also I am really into those movies, and my love for the genre is very specific. I am really into all Ray Harryhausen’s animated monsters, and also am obsessed with David Cronenberg’s work, John Carpenter, the Hammer Films movies, Amicus.. you know, the victorian-era horror movies, also mixed with some steampunk style like “First men in the moon”, “The Time Machine” and everything I can find from the gold age of sci-fI movies.
When listening to your albums, the sound is so overwhelmingly heavy and devoid of most other elements. The returning themes makes me feel like that’s a very deliberate choice, also related to the subject matter. Is that so?
That’s true. This is the core of the band, we want to deliver all the heaviness with a dark, yet melodic atmosphere within it.
I would like to know a bit about your visual expressions. Rarely does a band pay so much attention to artwork, logo’s and thus creating such a complete picture. Can you tell a bit more about that?
Thanks a lot. I am glad it called your attention. Well, we are telling a story with the band I want it all to make sense to the listener, be it with the music, the videos, t-shirt and everything. For me, music is much more than what you are listening in a moment, It’s a journey.
Most of the time I am the one behind the imagery, but we are very lucky to work with great artists that get our idea and deliver a great work for us.
You’ve done some covers for the new release. Why did you pick those songs exactly?
Yeah, ‘Mine is Yours to Drown’ In was the first one and the other one is Black Sabbath‘s Behind The Wall of Sleep’. About the Anathema version, when we started the band, we talked about choosing a song to cover and this one was my first idea. It was one of the firsts extreme metal songs I ever heard when I was a kid, so recording it felt like retribution cause it means a lot to me. About “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, Cvlt Nation invited us to their new Cvlt Nation Session, and the chosen album this time was Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath”. We chose that song for two basics reasons: 1. It’s Lovecraft; 2. It would be very challenging to record a song so different from what we do cause it’s a faster song. As we did with “Mine is Yours”, we re-think the entire song and made it slower and with our approach and way to do things. Both will be available on digital format in our bandcamp in October. They are part of this 2 songs EP called “Urn”.
Like before you’re working with Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues) on this new release. How did you get in touch and get to work with him? What do you think that the impact on your sound is of his contributions?
The first time I talked to Mories was in 2010 when I interviewed him for a metal website I used to keep here in Brazil. But I met him personally for the first time at Roadburn 2013 and then we became friends. The sound of his bands is outstanding, he is always releasing amazing albums, always working on something new and all I can say is that I am lucky enough to work with someone I admire and respect that much. I think Jupiterian sound so much darker, dense and intense because of his final touch in the process. Sometimes he also creates some extra textures and it’s by his will. Yeah man, he is definitively a big part in this band.
If you could do the soundtrack of either a Lovecraft film or a sci-fI horror combi, which would have your preference and why?
Good one! I never thought about it but when I read the question, the first movie that came to my mind was Deep Star Six. I think the movie has an overwhelming claustrophobic atmosphere. Maybe Andrzej Żuławski’s “On a Silver Globe” (wich is a movie we already used for the “Archaic” video) or Tarkovisky’s “Stalker”. I’d love to do the soundtrack for a lovecraftian movie if there was any good for his “dream cycle”, specially “The Dream-Cast of Unknown Kadath”.
What can people expect from a Jupiterian live show? What kind of experience are they in for?
We like to think our shows are like painful processions, an experience that hurts the soul cause it’s about heaviness but it’s also about sadness and darkness. It’s the worship of what doom metal means to us.
Brazil is known as a firm and established metal nation, maybe even one of the biggest in the world if you may believe the documentary ‘World Metal’ by Sam Dunn. Can you spare a few words on how the Brazilian scene looks and how doom metal fits in there?
I think there is a romantic vision about the Brazilian scene because of all the amazing bands that came out from here in the past decades like Sepultura, Sarcofago, Mystifier, Krisiun, Violator, Facada, Rebaelliun and so on, but I don’t think we can say its firm and established. There’s a lot of passionate people doing their stuff but in a very amateur way, you know. Brazil is a continental country and yet, we cannot arrange a proper tour here at least you are a real DIY band. Of course you won’t make real money and you probably will play with shitty amps on shitty venues. We have only a very few pro labels actively working nowadays, but we are still surviving because everyone involved in this, be it thrash, death, grind and so on, we are used to that. That’s how things are and still love it
We know Brazil from its death metal scene of a while ago. Which bands from Brazil are on the rise and should get our attention (and why)?
Facada is one of my favourite grindcore bands of all times. They are relentlessly brutal, it’s like a mix of the best things Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and Nasum ever released in one band, and of course with a strong (and relevant) politic approach on the lyrics. I recommend their last album Nadir. My favourite track is “Amanhã vai ser pior”.
Thy Light is amazing. They are one of the most relevant bands in the DSBM scene world wide and Paolo is a great guy. He also plays in a Death Metal band called Desdominus, which is also a fantastic band. “No Morrow Shall Dawn”, their last album, is perfect for cold and grey days.
Abske Fides is a great Funeral Doom metal band from São Paulo and reunite some of my oldest friends in the scene. N., the bass player, joined us for the Chilean tour we did this year. He also plays in Noala and Au Sacre Des Nuits and is always delivering amazing music, be with his bands or with his solo projects. We’ve been working together for many, many years now in a lot of projects and you can hear a jam we did on the track “Daylight”, in the end of the song.
Mythological Cold Towers is legendary. They are active for more than 20 years now producing great albums and putting amazing shows. Their last album, “Monvmentvm Antiqua”, is fantastic!
Infamous Glory is an old school death metal band featuring K. from Abske Fides. “Bloodfeast” is a death metal worship with all the elements we love in the genre.
Rakta is a brilliant – way beyond any label – band from São Paulo. I love what these girls do and to see them live is an incredible experience. One of the best active bands in Brazil nowadays.
Deaf Kids just released their last album called “Configuração do Lamento” and it’s one of the best 2016 albums so far in my opinion. This power trio deliver an hypnotizing punk with a lot of tribal-driven rythms. A trully unique band.
What future plans does Jupiterian have?
We have 4 shows in Europe in late October, it’s a mini tour with our brothers from Mythological Cold Towers. We’ll play 2 gigs in Belgium, one in Czech Republic and the last show will be at Dutch Doom Days in Rotterdam, NL. After that we will focus on finishing the lasts songs for our next full length and record it in the beginning of 2017. We have 3 new songs, one of them are on our setlist, and 2 structures not finished yet, so i’d say the next album is 70% done.
If you had to describe Jupiterian as a dish (food), what would it be and why?
Maybe it’s a Brazilian feijoada, cause it’s black, dense, fat, it’s hard and slow to digest. Actually it looks like a disgusting swamp haha
Though they describe themselves as blackgaze, there’s something to say for just calling it postrock. This Russian band has no vocals and creates the soaring, huge soundscapes that you would associate with the genre in its glory days. I’m not sure if that is a period in the past, since there’s still great material out there, but Trna brings it to its origins.
This album is the second one by Saint Petersburg group Trna, which is a Russian three-piece postrock band. The group has been playing live around Eastern Europe and describes itself as a hurricane of emotions, referring to their music. Bass player Anton Galaullin is also active in Show Me A Dinosaur and sludge group Pwyll.
The record kicks of with the almost 20 minute mark breaking ‘Gale’. A fuzzy wall of distortion is raised up gently and through it a dancable rhythm and repetitive riffs soar in a very free falling way. It reminds me a bit of the band Amusement Parks On Fire, on their first album. It is also like standing in a gale, with the distorted guitars soaking you like it happens when you face the wind near sea. Slowly the song becomes more tense, thanks to more intense drumming. Towards the end, the sound becomes indeed like a hurricane, raging about you, only to slowly disappear towards the end.
‘Calm’ offers indeed what it claims to do. The trickling guitars and the slow progression at first create a sense of tranquility, but then the barrage of drums and bass launches, building up to the typical black metal static realm of hyper speed playing, to achieve a more frantic plane of that same tranquility. It becomes a thick, sonic tapestry that somehow retains a calm indeed. Slowly, but with much drama it then stars building down with great heaves to end up with that tranquil silence again.
After going into some random interesting music and then focusing on the heavy, doomy stuff, in this third part I want to just bring out the Lovecraft inspired music that I missed on the first search for music. This focuses on what I’d like to call honorable mentions, artists that put themselves out of the box with haunting, harrowing tributes to Lovecraft.
Enjoy the madness.
Working on this bit, I came across some brilliant works of music, which I will gladly share with you here.
Old Witch is a bit of a mysterious black metal band from Canada, but on this reading of Lovecraftian magic, they offer the B-side of their ‘Come Mourning Come’ record for The Picture In The House, read by Glenn Hallstrom. The band offers the sonic ambiance to the reading. Great material therefor.
Nothing like a bit of dark ambient, on this homage to the mad God swirling in chaos ‘Azathoth’ by Cryo Chamber Collaboration. That is too little words to pay truely respect to the effort this 2 hour piece must have taken to make. A stunning number of 20 artists worked on this project, to create this ultimate bit of music.
Because that effort was not enough to prove the brilliance of the Cryo Chamber Collaboration, they did one more titled ‘Nyarlathotep’ and ofcourse earlier the masterful ‘Cthulu’. Well done sirs, well done! This is for the long winter nights, I’d say, to immerse yourself for hours in darker realms.
Ultar is a Siberian post black metal band. A tortured, dreary sounding track, that well describes the daunting journey to find that city of Unknown Kadath past the planes of Leng and you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? This is truly one of the best things I’ve heard.
Ok, maybe Shoikan Grove isn’t your run of the mill Lovecraftian project, but it definitely should be mentioned. A project over mail by two friends, inspired by D&D, Magic and Lovecraft and a joy to listen to. Not the best quality, but the enthusiasm is enough to keep me listening.
Nuclear Cthulu from St. Petersburg in Russia is definitely a different case, taking the great old one to a more industrial sphere on their album ‘Desecration’. Black metal combined with doom and industrial and a lot of unholy chanting. Feel the cold!
It sounds like a forlorn videotape with a peculiar soundrack to a creepy horror film and that is what Black MountainTransmitter is best at on this tribute to the Goat with the Thousand Young. Ambient soundscapes and eerie effects, to get you through the day and haunted nights.
In his own image The Gateless Gate/Khan Tengri has made a record that celebrates ‘At The Mountains Of Madness’ in a peculiar psychedelic and ambient rocking way. I like it, perhaps you do too, but I do miss the threatening vibe. I still enjoyed listening to his interpretation and drift of on the cosmic vibes.
This is again just a small selection of stuff that is out there. I hope you enjoy checking some of this material out and reading some more books by the Great Old One H.P. Lovecraft himself.