Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peste Noire- La Sanie des siecles- Panégyrique de la dégénérescence (2006)

Really, a black metal classic. This would be in the running for my top 10 favorite black metal releases. Amazing melodies, wonderful guitar solos, skillfully crafted songs, gut-wrenching vocals, and a raw, sick atmosphere, makes this release, all in all, pretty much amazing.  In my opinion, anything Neige (Alcest/Amesoeurs/Mortifera) touches, turns to gold. This is no exception. De Profundis Records. 

1.  Nous Sommes Fanés  2:18
2. Le Mort Joyeux  4:40
3. Laus Tibi Domine  6:57
4. Spleen  5:47
5. Phalenes et Pestilence-Salvatrice Averse  11:46
6. Retour de Flamme (Hooligan Black Metal)  4:18
7. Duell Angoisseus (Christine de Pisan, 1362-1431)  7:02
8. Des Médecins Malades et des Saints Séquestrés  9:09

Total Running:  52:00

République Française

Celestia- Frigidiis Apotheosia: Abstinencia Genesiis (2008)

An absolute black metal masterpiece, in my opinion. This is the new album from the French black metal band, Celestia, which is essentially the one-man project of Noktu, who is a legend in of himself, with such notable acts as Gestapo 666, Mortifera, Genocide Kommando, and Peste Noire. And for this masterpiece, he is joined on synths by none other than Malefic, of Xasthur.  Even though it's only February, I can already safely say this is one of the best black metal releases of the year. 10/10. Highest recommendations. Apparitia/Paragon Productions. 

1. She's Dead (Valse Funeste de Decomposition)  5:33
2. A Plaintive Cry Merely Echo  5:12
3. Admirable Eros Abstraction  4:20
4. A Regrettable Misinterpretation of Mournfulness  6:33
5. Death of the Lizard Queen (Necro Phaanthasma)  7:21
6. Morbid Romance (Arcana VI Revisitae)  4:52
7. The Seed of Negation (Abnegativia Rejections)  4:27
8. Frigidiis Apotheosia (Dormant Rests of Raped Necrosia)  5:59

Total Running:  44:17

République Française

Flogging Molly- Drunken Lullabies (2002)

Seminal second album from these celtic folk-punk bastards. Mixing the rich musical history of irish music, with the intensity of punk rock. Consistently one of my favorite bands. Not much to say, other than that this release kicks ass, and I recommend it to everyone. SideOneDummy Records. 

1. Drunken Lullabies  3:50
2. What's Left of the Flag  3:38
3. May the Living Be Dead (In Our Wake)  3:50
4. If I Ever Leave This World Alive  3:21
5. The Kilburn High Road  3:43
6. Rebels of the Sacred Heart  5:11
7. Swagger  2:05
8. Cruel Mistress  2:57
9. Death Valley Queen  4:18
10. Another Bag of Bricks  3:45
11. The Rare Ould Times  4:06
12. The Sun Never Shines (On Closed Doors)  4:24

Total Running:  45:31

United States of America

Défaillance- Contemplation Misanthropique de l'Humanité... (2008)

The newest album from up-and-coming French depressive black metal band Défaillance. The mastermind also behind Ulfang and While Sad Spirits Around Me Stroll returns with arguably his finest release to date. For my money, one of the better releases in a genre plagued with generic mediocrity. Some of the most anguished, almost wolf-like howls and shrieks, beautiful melodies, and synths that remind me of Filosofem-era Burzum... A very, very strong release. Highly recommended, especially for fans of his other projects, fans of Burzum, and generally, all fans of well-crafted depressive black metal. Ewiges Eis Records. 

1. Contemplation  12:52
2. Misanthropique  12:42
3. De l'Humanité  5:24

Total Running:  30:58

République Française

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Laibach- Opus Dei (1987)

In my opinion, Laibach has always been, and always will be, one of the most thought-provoking, ground-breaking, and inventive bands to have graced the industrial genre, and are often considered one of the godfathers of the Martial/Industrial genre. Always confrontational, biting, politically charged and controversial, Laibach has always been an incomparable entity within electronic music. On this album, they start the album in a fashion that became commonplace for Laibach, by taking very frivolous and superficial pop songs of the time, and making them carry a sort of political and intellectual burden they were never meant to carry, in this case, by taking Opus' "Live is Life", and Queen's "One Vision", and making them sound somewhat akin to an electronically-laced Nazi-era call to arms. Highly recommended, especially for fans of D.A.F., Einstürzende Neubauten, Der Blutharsch, Von Thronstahl, and Toroidh. Mute Records. 

1. Leben heißt Leben (Opus)  5:28
2. Geburt einer Nation (Queen)  4:22
3. Leben-Tod  3:58
4. F.I.A.T.  5:13
5. Opus Dei (Opus)  5:04
6. Trans-National  4:28
7. How the West was Won  4:26
8. The Great Seal  4:16
9. Herz-Felde  4:46
10. Jägerspiel  7:23
11. Koža  3:51
12. Krst  5:39

Total Running:  59:00

Republika Slovenija 

King Crimson- In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

I feel this needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated, i'll give it a shot. I consider this to be one of my all-time favorite  albums, regardless of genre. King Crimson has influenced so many through the years, from Rush, to Opeth, Dream Theater to Enslaved. Many consider this to be the birthplace of conventional progressive rock as we know it, but there is so much more to it. Almost 40 years after it's release, it still sounds fresh, exciting, and relevant. This album has everything, from the crushingly awesome riffs of "21st Century Schizoid Man", to the haunting, epic soundscapes of "Epitaph", to the Psychedelia of "I Talk to the Wind", the jaunts into contemporary orchestral music in "Moonchild", and arguably one of the most Triumphant and breathtaking album closers ever, "The Court of the Crimson King". I cannot recommend this enough, to anyone who appreciates genuine, talented, amazing music. This is one of those timeless records that will never get old. Island/Atlantic Records. 

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man  7:21
2. I Talk to the Wind  6:05
3. Epitaph  8:47
-March for No Reason
-Tomorrow and Tomorrow
4. Moonchild  12:13
-The Dream
-The Illusion
5. The Court of the Crimson King  9:25
-The Return of the Fire Witch
-The Dance of the Puppets

Total Running: 43:54

United Kingdom

Monday, February 25, 2008

Forteresse- Métal Noir Québécois (2006)

Forteresse is a stellar example of the high quality music Canadian black metal bands are producing. As with many Canadian (particularly Québécois) bands, nationalism is at the forefront of this band, with samples of Canadian folk music included in many of the songs.  Epic melodies from both the subtle keyboards and the skillful guitar work. I'd highly recommend this to, first and foremost, anyone who appreciates well-composed, well-executed black metal. I think fans of everyone from Drudkh, to Taake, Hate Forest, and Kataxu. Sepulchral Productions. 

1. La Moisson de la Libertée  8:28
2. Une Nuit pour la Patrie  10:28
3. La Flamme et le Lys  7:41
4. De Sang et de Volonté  7:16
5. Métal Noir Québécois  8:44
6. Honneur et Tradition  7:42

Total Running: 50:17

Canada (Québec) 

Current 93- All the Pretty Little Horses (1996)

One of the many masterpieces of David Tibet, the genius of Current 93.  Truly one of the greatest neofolk/apocalyptic folk recordings ever made. I should hope you are already familiar with David Tibet and his work, but if you are not, this is a spectacular starting point. For fans of Death in June, Sol Invictus, October Falls, and Tenhi. Durto Records. 

1. The Long Shadows Fall  2:42
2. All the Pretty Little Horsies  2:35 
3. Calling for Vanished Faces I  1:51
4. The Inmost Night  2:16
5. The Carnival is Dead and Gone  3:11
6. The Blood Bells Chime  2:59
7. Calling for Vanished Faces  II  4:11
8. The Frolic  8:11
9. The Inmost Light  1:46
10. Twilight, Twilight, Nihil, Nihil  8:23
11. The Inmost Light Itself  9:29
12. All the Pretty Little Horses  2:34
13. Patripassian  5:51

Total Running:  55:53

United Kingdom