Review: Qoheleth – Black Kite Broadcasts

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Label: Bad Cake Records

Black Kite Broadcasts might be one of the most interesting ideas for an album I’ve come across in some time. The second album from noise rock band Qoheleth isn’t actually by the band – instead, it’s a captured recording from a radio station in the future, when humanity has been all-but wiped out. Or is it? These songs are all by different bands, interspersed with DJ chatter that tells just enough of the story for a narrative to be formed without giving everything away. Or are Qoheleth instead doing something adventurous not just with their music, but with the way their music is presented – toying with the album format and means of presentation? Both interpretations are valid, but the fact remains that Black Kite Broadcasts is a great album, and a marked improvement on previous release God is the Warmest Place to Hide.

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Album of the Day: One Thousand Birds – Sleep Study 11.11.17

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Label: Self-released

One Thousand Birds are one of the most exciting bands I’ve heard in a long, long time. The mix of blackened screamo and harsh noise atmospheres on Sleep Study 11.11.17 is utterly overwhelming, and devastating in its almost nihilistic use of volume. Imagine if Gravity Records was starting out now, and all involved were big fans of the harshest of raw black metal, and you’re somewhere close to what One Thousand Birds are conjuring; it makes almost everything else you’ll have heard in recent times seem absolutely tame by comparison.

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Review: Gnaw Their Tongues – Genocidal Majesty

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Label: Consouling Sounds

One of the most prolific names in extreme and experimental music, Gnaw Their Tongues (Maurice De Jong) is back with Genocidal Majesty, an album that delivers exactly what the title promises. Blending nihilistic black metal aesthetics with harsh noise, this is not an album to relax to. This is an album that sounds like death, filled with harsh and rumbling drones, tortured strings like shards of broken glass, and vocals drawn the deepest pits of human suffering – and that’s without considering the contributions from Chip King of The Body. Genocidal Majesty is an album where nightmares stalk the earth in the ruins of human civilization, constructing temples made of bone, where the choirs inside sing songs of damnation and suffering. Exactly what you’d hope for from Gnaw Their Tongues, then.

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Review: Vessel of Iniquity – Self-titled

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Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories / Xenoglossy Productions

Despite only lasting for fifteen minutes, the self-titled EP from Vessel of Iniquity feels as if it packs a lifetime of pain and suffering in to its duration. The latest offering from the reclusive A. White is a roiling, monstrous mix of black, death, and noise, delivering an onslaught that truly does justice to the term “extreme”. Finding the threads that connect acts such as Teitanblood, Gnaw Their Tongues, and Impetuous Ritual, Vessel of Iniquity is a difficult listen, but one that offers many rewards for those who can brave its depths.

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Review: Rotting Sky – Sedation

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Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories / Dark Horizons / Wooaaargh

Underground extreme music is often a vibrant, exciting place, filled with bands and labels releasing work that pushes boundaries, challenges conventions (musically, socially, or otherwise), and is, by its very nature, often only intended for a small audience. Yet it can also be a place fraught with risk, especially financial. No one with any sense gets in to extreme music for the money, because most of the time, there isn’t any. This means that even if a label is responsible for helping to unleash some superb music upon the world, financial constraints might see that music vanish without a trace. Such was the original fate of Sedation by Rotting Sky, the solo project of Nux Vomica guitarist T. Messing, when the label that originally released it (Grimoire Cassette Culture) closed down around the time of Sedation‘s original release. Eternal praises to the labels involved, then, for giving this record a reissue and helping to save it from complete obscurity, as this mixture of black metal, drone, and noise is excellent.

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Album of the Day: Aires – Naturalismo

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Label: Colectivo Casa Amarela 

I’ve long been a fan of the music of Aires, with his mix of field recordings, ambient, and drones having a calming, meditative quality to them. Those feelings are present on latest recording Naturalismo, which carries a restorative, positive feeling to its minimalist sounds. This is music for not so much unwinding at the end of the day, but of letting yourself unfurl, of releasing every bit of tension within body and mind, and emerging from the process feeling refreshed.

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Rabitrup – SWVMPS II

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Label: Self-released

The first release from RabitrupSWVMPSwas a nightmarish journey of industrial noise and damaged melody, as addictive as it was difficult to listen to, with emotional gut-punches to go along with the musical ones. The follow-up, SWVMPS II, is a slightly more accessible listen, but it’s still a difficult twenty minutes. Ineligible screams emerge from beneath hyper-speed drum’n’bass rhythms, along with waves of piercing noise and brutalised guitars, all emerging from some ruined, yet still human, psyche. But as overwhelming and challenging as it can be, SWVMPS II is a rewarding EP, offering a kind of catharsis that is as physical as it is emotional.

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