This wek has been a tough one in lots of ways – but rather than wallow in sadness, I’m gonna instead try and focus on just how good the picks for Album of the Day have been this way. Includes a four-way split of emo and related genres; anti-fascist black metal; soul-crushing beauty; and stomping hardcore. Enjoy!
Whilst the Album of the Day feature is now a social-media based feature, I figured it would be useful to have a post at the end of each week recapping the previous selections for the week gone by, all in one convenient place. So, here’s this week’s selections:
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.
Unsurprisingly, for bands with such names, both Wargoat and Black Ceremonial Kult draw from the more extreme ends of black and death metal, with this split showcasing both bands’ command of war and bestial metal. Unapproachable Laws of the Abyss is a half hour onslaught of grinding riffs, skull-crushing drums, and vocals bellowed by beasts from the depths of Hell. It’s hardly original, but nor is it seeking to be. Instead, this split aims for utter devastation through sonic warfare, and achieves its goals in uncompromising style.
A short split, this one, but one filled with a lot of power. Crust punks Phantom Corporation team up with German death metal beasts Slaughterday for 11 minutes of devastation; there’s no real sophistication here, just riff after riff after riff. It’s a split for those who like their music uncompromising and unsubtle – but also without really testing the boundaries of either genre. One for the purists, then, and taken as such, it’s hard to disagree with what either band offers.
Originally released seven years ago, the split between sonter/drone/doom legends Conan and psychedelic doom explorers Slomatics is seeing a reissue on vinyl in June. It’s a fine split, and one that has been reissued several times before, but it still has a lot to offer, given that it’s the kind of record that’s perfectly summed up by the cover art of a warrior riding a snail – it’s slow, it’s heavy, and it’s incredibly powerful.