Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Gall (Germany) - 17:21 MIN (2020)

The term “psychedelic” often conjures to mind sunny California jangle-pop or the stoned, soulful leads of Jimi Hendrix. But psychedelia has a broader reach than tie dye and incense. It can be violent and oppressive in ways that the summer of love never imagined. 

Germany’s Gall play a noise-damaged, decidedly psychedelic blend of powerviolence, grindcore and sludge that meshes masterfully across 17:21 MIN’s 18 tracks. Screeching, chittering electronics and depth-plumbing bass are anchored by drumming that oscillates between textured and blasting, and punctured by howling midrange screams.

Some songs, like “Exploited Spheroid” and “Migraine Aura” pound along slowly, punctuated by momentary blasting that returns quickly to the sludgy pace. Others, like “Vile Compulsion” and “Colonized Vacuum” are all piercing, kinetic energy, and brief tracks like “Twitch” and “Luminecent Veins” ride one or two ideas to their conclusion. Some are led by jabbing electronic loops, while on others the pulsing, distorted bass takes the lead.

These tracks conjure cyberpunk dystopias, but not the oversaturated neon of Western cyberpunk. Rather, they writhe and squeal like the Japanese cyberpunk body horror of Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo series or Otomo’s Akira. They’re cramped and mutating, undulating and scraping against each other.

Despite the harshness of the above descriptors, these are atmospheric, layered songs. They make for a cohesive album that’s best experienced as a whole. While it invites comparisons to other groups who combine psychedelic atmosphere, noise and powerviolence (Gasp and Holy Grinder come to mind) few albums sound quite like 17:21 MIN. It’s among the best extreme music efforts of 2020, and it’s a bad trip you’ll want to take again and again. 

17:21 MIN is available digitally on Gall’s Bandcamp page.  The European physical release is available through Vault of Heaven, and the US physical release is available through Howling Frequency.

Hey 'scopers, it's Nigel, aka DesiccatedVeins. I'll be spending some time here on Cephaloschromoscope for the forseeable future, but if you'd like to read my older extreme music writing, you can do so over at Hipness as a Second Language.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Mor Thiam (USA/Senegal) - Dini Safarrar (1973/2015)

What's up cephalochromoscopers, cephalochromologists, dudes and dudettes? I may have not written a post since April 2012, which is why posting a noisy grindcore album right away just wouldn't feel 'ethical'. I hope you're all doing well, blastbeats included, and please feel uninhibited to leave a comment or send an email - I'd love to hear what's up! Judging by most of the blogs that I followed, the blogosphere is in a state similar to punk, and browsing through old posts trying to find a trace of life feels like wading through the post-apocalyptic ruins of something once grand (can we call it the e-pocalypse, though?).

I don't think it was (only) the downfall of our Mediafire-dependency that got to us, but it certainly helped: Lo-Res Viscera made a fitting farewell-post about that part of the deal. But (luckily, there's always a 'but'), it goes without saying that there is always someone keeping the air alive. For example, Nigel never really stopped over at Hipness as a Second Language, did he? Neither did Burek at Flying Teapot.

All things considered I guess I haven't been completely away because I do know of certain wonderful things that transpired in the (almost ten year-long) meantime, such as Andrew Childer's awesome work (his exceptional Grind and Punishment writing-endeavor may have been of the best on the blogosphere, but the last five or so posts of his garnered zero attention, if the comment section is to be trusted), on Compiling Autumn (and I hear Da5e had something to do with it, too ;)), Rob Marton's and Jon Chang's delicious, rifftastic new band with a far too long and surprisingly flat band name, No One Knows What The Dead Think (backstory, anyone?), Takafumi Matsubara's 2021 solo album, Strange, Beautiful and Fast, then there's the new Swarrrm stuff, Atka...

But perhaps it's all common knowledge to most of you + definitely a line of thought that ought to continue in some other post 'cause I've certainly never cared for Akon and neither have you, but his dad is a Senegal-born percussionist and he's killing it on Dini Safarrar, the blasphemous black-fucking-metal cover art included. "Mor Dogo Thiam (pronounced 'Chahm') is a cultural historian, dedicated philanthropist and genius on the djembe. He began his career as a drummer while a young boy in his native Senegal, before moving to St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970s, where his unique musical skills earned him the respect of the local jazz community."


Give it a shot on Bandcamp, the best place around!

Speaking of which, despite the fact that we've always posted download links, the future is elsewhere. First of all, Bandcamp is the shit and as far as I'm concerned it's the best thing that has happened for artists in a long time. "But what about stuff that isn't available on Bandcamp?" I hear you, I have the answer and it's as short as a good grind song.

In fact, it's one word.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Blaencathra/S'gath(UK) - Split Demo (2009)


*tap tap*

This thing on?


Ah, superb.

Afternoon, 'scopers! Kept you waiting, huh?

Over nine years since the last post, and I've been hit by a wave of nostalgia. Everything has changed, everything is different, we all consume our media so aggressively. We stream records like we're eating grapes. Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube... they've all made everything so disappointingly easy.

Nine years is a frighteningly long time, after all. I can't speak for the other Ceph-writers—I can't speak to them, as much as I'd love to, we've all diverged—but I miss the age of Music Blogspot.

Anyway, here's some unpleasant black metal from before even 2011. I'm posting it, more than anything, to ensure it lives on. Two of the tracks are mine, yes, but they're not the important bit—the tracks by Newcastle's S'gath are worth your time and your bandwidth. Howling, primitive, savage and yet catchy black metal, recorded drunkenly, mixed minimally, best enjoyed voluminously.

Hell, we all die in the end.(mediafire) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Alaric(US) - S/T (2011)

I don't know about you, 'scopers, but the Great Postpunk Revival left me a bit cold. I felt like William Reid in that interview on Belgian TV: "What's so fucking great about Joy Division?" So why, you might reasonably ask, am I uploading a postpunk album?

These guys. These guys get it. There's the standard chorussed-up guitar and cardboard box drums, but there's also a lot of Amebix in there. There's a lot of proper goth in there. A lot of Killing Joke in there; a lot of anger in there.

Alaric do not sound American - they sound like they're from Leeds, it's the early 80's, the world is falling to bits and all they have to help them in their protest is a knackered amp and four chords. I fucking love this. You will too.

Yes Sir, I will

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cannibal Ox [USA] - The Cold Vein [2001]

This is by no means a return, simply a forced holiday and if you're anything like me you held on to that corrupted Cold Vein copy you downloaded from Napster a decade ago. I finally acquired a physical copy, you can judge its useness from the battered cover but hey, these are antiques. 320kbps for optimal sustainability. Get it quick before I get car jacked by lawyers,

Raspberry text input fields [zippyshare].

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SWARRRM [JPN] - Against Again [2000]

Hello there, I was wondering if anyone still pays attention to this blog, I do get a lot of  DMCA file suspension notifications. Ear here.

Against a gain [zippyshare].

Monday, April 23, 2012

World (Osaka, Japan) - Discography (1996 - xxxx)

Posting up stuff from Japan again I got to thinking why I've never posted World up, even though people have been leaving comments, sending emails asking for just THAT. You know, somebody probably already posted something like this, somewhere out there in the blogosphere, but if you haven't seen it, this one's for you. And, well, me. That said, no Thanks should be directed at me, because all these rips were dropped off at the comment section of a post that I can't find for the life of me! Might be a bit of a stretch, but hey, does anyone remember? Already went about looking for a way to search the comments section, unsuccessfuly.

"Both singers ... perform their own songs independent of each other. While Right is singing a song by one name Left is singing a different song with a different name, including different starting and stopping points. So for every World release there are two tracklistings, one for Left and one for Right playing at the same time."

I'll explain: World is a dead noise/grind band from Osaka, Japan! The line up consisted of Hiroshi Zen on noise & vocals, Akira Wakabata on second vocals, and Tadahiko Aono drumming on all of 'em (except for Kaname Ohara who filled the spot on Why Who What, their very first EP). That's right - three demons - two clutching microphones, one behind the kit, which also means that all the noise is produced by Zen's magic microphone. As for why that's such an amazing feat... Son, had you heard any of their songs, you would not be asking such questions. Revered for a reason, this is harsh, harsh noise with fierce drumming exhibitions, from the expected noisy bursts resembling blastbeats, to rhythms more primitive, tribal. I might've (re-)written the phrase too many times in too short a while, but have you heard that the blastbeat is the apotheosis of rhythm?

Why Who What 7" (1996)
- first EP
- download

Why Nobody Understand? 7" (1996)
- tracks from the split w/ yesmeansyes
- download

Space (Grind Osaka) 7" (1998)
- second EP
- excellent
- download

New World 7" (1998)
- tracks from the split w/ Cripple Bastards
- download

Snarl Out (1997) & Osaka War (2000)
- tracks from compilations
- download

Why deprive the world of World??? digipack (200x)
- AKA "18 Minutes and 2 Seconds CD"
- a collected World discography [Space, Why Who What, New World, and...]
- nice sound quality (!)
- download
[is this the correct cover art?]

Also got a track from an alleged split with CSMD of which there is zero info to be found anywhere; judging by the actual sounds, I think somebody got something wrong with that one. That said, Akira Kawabata (I think) now plays as a solo noise act and/or in Osaka grind band Red according to a comment on this here blog on this here post. Perhaps it is Hiroshi Zen who does one of those things, and Kawabata - the other.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

the Dreadful Eardrum Assault a.k.a. Teizoku Komaku Bohkoh [CAN/JPN/USA] - 動機死者 [2012]

right on top of you .karlo, my procrastination is fetal/fatal. if birds could dive we'd probably stay afloat.

this one goes to all you dreadheads, swallows, robots, teenage hipsters and badminton players out there!

EDIT* edit** working on it.

dead download link [ftp].

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Zmajevdah (Croatia) - zmajevdah v.0 (2008?2012)

"Grindcore is love," I thought, some seventeen years of age. Life was ambivalent, except for when it came to love. Part of it came out with these recordings, initially meant for a split with Twitch Savant. Yet years go by, you know, maybe nothing even happens, but all of a sudden connections disappear, disintegrate in some strange post-natural air of our skyscraper hell. You might even think, for a while, "Hollow pocket, hollow heart - to slave away my body or my nerves..."

Noisy nights. Keep looking. How many blastbeats does it take? Eight lo-fi tracks of some steamy, DxAx worshipping, cyberpunk enthusiastic, scrap metal hybrid, no ten minutes long. It went like this:

zmajevdah v.0
01. Tachikoma
02. Perfect Blue
03. Bullet Ballet
04. Zenislev
05. Megastructure
06. Search
07. Antarctica
08. Ingram

[DL 01 - 08]
Zmajevdah is a solo project abounding with blastbeats - thanks to everyone who gives it a spin! Glad to be putting it finally up (recorded way back, early 2008 or so / date of e-release: today), "embarassing lyrics" and all (with original [pre-bitcrush] photos of our City, courtesy of Smetnja), as it's been bugging me for quite a while, even though I may have not managed to do what I wanted, especially considering the (sound) quality of the mix. In any case, those who like it may do whatever they want with it.

+ bonus track
09. The Jenova (GridLink)
[DL 09]
Good or bad, that's probably the first GridLink cover to have happened (Earth, 2010): The Lo-fi Jenova! Twitch Savant (the guy behind [for example:] Blaencathra) doing the drumming, with me on guitars & vocals. It is included separately as I wouldn't want people downloading the whole package on account of a covered song, (especially) as there is no Zmajevdah / Twitch Savant split anymore. That said, I've never done coke, nor have I dived with a parachute, but playing Matsubara's riffs ought to be a fairly similar experience (next cover, Mortalized?!).

Alternatively, download the whole thing @ Grindcore Karaoke.

A split CD soon to be released on ZugZwang Records: Zmajevdah with Emotion of Loss, a Russian industrial doom project by the man behind the Quagmire label (who released Sete Star Sept's 4th demo).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Realized (Japan) - 21st Century Terminal World (2005)

Have you ever realized how well Realized grinds? That cover art might scream Classic! in both senses, but, erm, never judge a book by its cover. Why not?

Why yes, pal. If you like your engine greased up a notch by a steady feed of blastbeats, rock'n'roll has come to a conclusion with 21st Century Terminal World. Alright, perhaps not - but we can always pretend! And this we certainly do, as if d-beat was ever a good answer to anything. That bass sure is heavy, um... One toke over the line, sweet Jesus. Guzzle that gas like grandpa & let the realization run you over.

Good old crusty grind. (Mediafire)