Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reach in, rip it, review it... Tymah "Transylvanian Dreams"

So, I'm slowly ripping CDs from my collection to the 500 GB external hard drive. As I do, I'll choose an album at random, post an mp3, and provide a brief review consisting of a sentence or two. Usually, I'll just pick a song at random.

Here's a Hungarian band called Tymah (or Tuman, the band's name is written is Cyrillic and looks like Tymah) with their only full-length "Transylvanian Dreams".



Song removed. Sorry, after a week or two, I'll remove the song.

Basically, really raw black metal and the vocalist is female! Sort of a Darkthrone rip off, but worth a listen.

If anyone has any tips on file compression for the mp3's, please let me know if download times are excessive. If anyone objects to a song being posted here, also let me know and I'll remove it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Burning out..?

A sort of malaise seems to have been setting in to some of the Bloggers/ reviewers/ metal junkies/ collectors that I regularly read and frequent. The brilliant mind at Blodarstid appears to have thrown in the towel (no offense intended), Cja, another brilliant mind at A Blaze In The NJ Sky has decreased his output and even the almighty Andrew has been down in the dumps lately. Is this all ceasing to be fun?!

I could only dream of matching the creative writing output of some of these dedicated genuises, and I look at the pile of CDs sitting on my desk to review for L4M in utter dismay at times. In addition, I'm endlessly ordering, DL'ing, etc. and obtaining more and more albums. Questions naturally arise: How much is too much? Are we literally drowning in choices, music, etc.? Has the Internet been a boon, or is it actually becoming a burden?

I now have somewhere in the neighborhood of 3200 albums. If I listened to 2 albums a day, we're talking 5 years to listen to the entire collection (assuming nothing else is obtained in the interim, of course).

I have taken some steps to make all of this somewhat manageable. I'm farming out more albums to other writers at L4M, I've gotten rid of ALL jewel cases and I put all CDs, booklets, etc. in Mylar sleeves. I'm slowly ripping as much of the stuff that I can handle to my new 500 GB external hard drive. I'll lug some version of this around the rest of my life, I'm sure. In addition, obviously I have to be much more selective in my album choices.

How about you? What are your thoughts?

My collection...



A sprawl...



Another random sprawl...



The external...



New Mexico...head South...



Lastly, I'd like to periodically post an mp3 or two in postings. Can anyone assist me in doing so? I'm not sure how to do it...

Thanks...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Goofballs....

So, I haven't been posting lately due to the usual "life intrudes" stuff, but I have been keeping up with reviews for L4M. I did watch "Jesus Camp" tonight and, afterwards, immediately cleansed myself by listening to 4 hours or so of the most vile black metal that I could dig out of my collection...



A sample...





Mostly, the irrational creationist angle is what burns me the most...



At any rate, the following review from Deadtide eloquently summarizes the film.

Some interesting blogs that also discuss various surrounding issues are Religious Freaks and Thoughts From Kansas.

I'm afraid to say that I skipped the Immortal show at the Avalon (speaking of sacrilege), mostly due to the fact that I have visiting family, tickets were exorbitant, and there was no support. My next show will be Gathering Of The Bestial Legion III on August 19th...



Lastly, here's a nice shot of Muir Woods in Marin County taken by my wife that I've completely mangled into the next Hate Forest album cover...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sunn O))), Earth, Weedeater, and Wolves In The Throne Room Review!!

The Southern Lord West Coast Tour

Bands: Sunn O))), Earth, Weedeater, and Wolves In The Throne Room

Venue: The El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, California

Date: July 3rd, 2007

Southern Lord is certainly a label that needs no introduction to most and features an eclectic mix of artists on their roster. With that in mind, a rather unique tour is currently making its way through select West Coast cities. Featuring Wolves In The Throne Room, Weedeater, Earth, and Sunn O))), bands from a diverse group of sub-genres are represented. The tour stopped at the fabulous El Rey Theatre, an historic, rather beautiful venue in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles on July 3rd.
The crowd for this diverse show was not just the usual bunch of familiar faces that I see at most death and black metal shows that plow through Los Angeles. The crowd consisted of a wide slice of Los Angeles with the usual contingent of metalheads plus older folks, kids supporting different genres, and more than a few rock celebrities that I spotted (Pepper Keenan and Henry Rollins amongst others) in the mix.

First up was Wolves In The Throne Room, a band that has gathered considerable acclaim, from me included, for their ecological-tinged black metal debut “Diadem Of 12 Stars”. Consisting of a trio without a bass on a darkened stage, the band blazed through a very taut, precise 25 minute set without any acknowledgement of the crowd. They simply went out and played with noticeable intensity, ultimately resulting in a great set. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to their imminent second release.

Stoner sludge barons Weedeater from North Carolina, whose third release “God Luck And Good Speed” impressed me (review to be published soon, I wrote the review only a few days prior to the show) enough such that I was really looking forward to their set. An exceptionally powerful sound dripping with resonance and harmonics was the order of the day with a great, enthusiastic performance from all band members during their 30 minute or so set. Weedeater is yet another band on Southern Lord with a bright future on the label.

Drone/ doom masters Earth were next and I was really looking to see how this band would be able to capture what they’re able to do as a recording in a live setting. “Never has a band achieved so much with so little” is how I like to describe Earth, and I was definitely impressed with their live performance. Glacially slow heavy tones, actually precise drums hit at just the right moments spaced out over minutes, and a mammoth presence were all on their display during their 50 minute or so set. Each song’s conclusion was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the quiet, attentive crowd. Fantastic!

The El Rey stage is hidden by a curtain. Five minutes before Sunn O))) took the stage, smoke began to billow out from under and over the curtain as the house lights began to slowly, almost imperceptibly, dim. Muted tones begin, the house lights darken, and the curtain opens to five robed figures on stage. The opening harmonics featured very low keyboards, a trombone, gong, and cymbal. A vocalist takes the stage dressed in a robe, a mask that completely hides the face, and a long blond wig very reminiscent of the Morlocks from the 1960s version of “The Time Machine”. A circulating rumor prior to show indicated that none other than Attila Csihar himself was supplying the vocalizations for the show, although I had no way of verifying this claim (but, I don’t doubt it).

Sunn O)))’s set consisted of one long 70 minute track that had three noticeable movements with accompanying stage lighting. Opening deep tones without distorted bass were accompanied by howling vocalizations that were followed by Attila leaving the stage and the basses taking over for over 40 minutes of continuous, layered harmonics. One of the basses was a stand up, electrified string bass played with a long bow and the musician made a labored point of applying resin to the bow prior to its use. In addition, each strumming of the basses was preceded by a clawed hand raised high to the crowd. Sunn O))) is an experience to be seen to be believed.

The last movement consisted of Attila re-taking the stage with a change in costume. Literally using a bloodstained potato sack that restricted physical movement instead of a robe, the vocalizations consisted of high pitched shrieks and clicks accompanied by a rattling gong. Gradually, the stage lights dim, and the curtain closes. Wild applause.

Simply put, this was a show that must be fully experienced to be believed. Bravo!

Here's a couple of pictures...

Wolves In The Throne Room



Weedeater (the blond guy in the foreground is Pepper Keenan, by the way)



Earth



El Rey Lighting Effects Prior to Sunn O)))



Sunn O)))



Sunn O))), Attila In Costume



The rest of my photos are here.

Here's clip of Earth



Here's a clip of Sunn O)))



More Sunn O)))



You can see the rest of the videos here.

On July 15th, the re-formed Immortal will be at the Avalon in Hollywood; however, there is a decided lack of notable support bands...



After that is the Gathering Of Bestial Legions tour on August 19th with the re-formed Possessed headlining...