The selections for Album of the Day for the past week have been some of my favourites thus far. I want to give particular attention to the self-titled album by No Anti, which is one of the most extreme things I’ve ever heard. Elsewhere, we’ve pummelling hardcore, atmospheric black metal, and all-consuming blackened death. Enjoy!
At some point in the distant future, the world will end. The end of humanity is coming ever-sooner, to the extent that human extinction within the next hundred years is ever-more likely. And then there’s the period after that ending, up until the expansion of the sun, consuming the Earth so that there is no trace of our species left. Between those two points, the broken machinery and ruins of cities will be our legacies – automated processes screaming in to the void, computers and robots toiling away uselessly until their circuits finally give way to an ending. It’s this bleak future that Burning ad Infinitum makes me think of, with the collaboration between Gnaw Their Tongues and Crowhurst combining noise, drone, and bursts of grinding metal in the most inhospitable and damaged of ways.
Even by the standards of extreme music, this split is pretty harrowing. Clawing blend dark ambient soundscapes with Matt Finney’s spoken word contributions, which – if you’re familiar with his work – you know means that you’re in for an emotionally heavy time. Offerbeest is one of the aliases of Maurice de Jong, perhaps best known for his work as Gnaw Their Tongues. His tracks here are no less devastating than those released under that well-known moniker, being filled with harsh noise and industrial oppression, conjured via analog synths. Hardly an enjoyable trip, then – but it’s not meant to be. Instead, it is a split that forces you to confront your demons, to face what is haunting you, throwing yourself into the nightmare and hoping to emerge on the other side.
One of the real joys of underground music is watching bands develop before our eyes, going from promising early releases to albums that more than live up to expectations. Such is the case with the latest album from Abstracter, Cinerous Incarnate. The band have evolved, building on their earlier sounds, bringing further elements of noise and dark ambient to their already soul-crushing fusion of doom, black, death, and crust. It makes Cinerous Incarnate an album of utter despair and world-ending heaviness, filled with the kind of riffs that can collapse buildings and an atmosphere of the most haunting, searing dread.
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.
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.
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.