December 25, 2014


Gonna keep this intro real short because I just had a lot of beers and I'm getting turned up and I might start rambling and no one wants that. I just figured it would be cool to publish my year-end list, even though nobody cares anymore. What happened to us? No one knows.

I'm also not gonna complain about this year in music - I bet it was amazing, I just didn't got to listen to a lot of the stuff that came out. I'm sure Marco would have a field day telling you all about how 2014 sucked and there was no good music to be heard, so you can ask him about that. I'm just gonna list a bunch of albums I enjoyed and then maybe I'll head over to CVLT Nation's website to see what metal albums I missed.

Here we go, in alphabetical order:

Clipping - CLPPNG

Shit, these guys managed to make hip-hop beats out of random noises, like broken glass and drills - sounds amazing, and Daveed Diggs' precise, surgical rhymes bring this thing to the next level. Jaw-dropping hip-hop album. Oh, and I heard Run the Jewels 2 was released this year. Gonna have to give that a listen, too.

Code Orange - I Am King

As far as I could tell, the big battle in hardcore this year was between Baptists, Code Orange and Trap Them. Bloodmines sounded weaker than Bushcraft and Blissfucker by Trap Them was utterly boring, so I gues I'm left with I Am King by the newly rebranded Code Orange. A towering monolith of crushing grooves, with lots of yelling and really creative drumming, sporting good songwriting that's constantly switching gears on you. What was all that noise about Thinners of the Herd, tho?? I am out of the loop.

Dead Astronauts - Dead Astronauts EP 2.0

Synthwave is still going strong, and this sweet EP by Dead Astronauts is here to prove it. This will make you feel like you're dancing in a futuristic night club. There's also some remixes by Perturbator in there. Diggin' it.

Death Grips - Niggas on the moon

Hell yeah. Lots of noise, chopped and screwed samples of Bjork's vocals and abstract rhymes from MC Ride. The most schizophrenic release by Death Grips to date. Can't wait to hear the other half of the album too. Then they're gone for good. UP MY SLEEVES.

Eco Virtual - ATMOSPHERES 第2

Atmospheric research and analysis music - the sort of jams you'd expect to hear on the weather channel at 5 AM in the morning, predicting a sunny day and heavy traffic. Song titles include "Sunrise at the Googleplex", "Aloe Vera Water" and "McDonald's breakfast".  ATMOSPHERES 第3 was also released in 2014, but I feel this is more... seminal to vaporwave.

g h o s t i n g - Telenights

A fuzzy, hypnotic, spaced-out melange of trippy futurebeats, vaporwave and late night TV commercials, creating a really atmospheric experience. Feels like passing out and waking up in Videodrome.

Le Cassette - Left to Our Own Devices

Synthpop, chillwave, synthwave... No idea what to call this, but it. is. AMAZING. I'm a sucker for sexy 80s synth vibes. That dude's voice is so dreamy. Catchy choruses and impeccable production make this an instant classic. This is what they're playing in Perturbator's futureclub.

Lipstick Elite - Stay Passionate, But Be Discreet 

Luxury Elite is among my favorite vaporwave producers, but this collaboration with Skeleton Lipstick trumps anything he's ever done in terms of sheer sexuality and dancingness. Every song on this EP is insanely catchy, the lyrics are beyond seductive and the vocals and sexy beats will leave you moist with desire. Seriously, you need to hear this.

マクロスMACROSS 82-99 - A Million Miles Away

More vaporwave? Alriiiiight! This album is full of funky and seductive beats and will make you wish you'd have taken the first flight to Tokyo, fell in love with a beautiful woman and married her right there in the karaoke bar. Listen before judging me, senpai.

Mantar - Death By Burning

I know you were just starting to get jiggy with it and that's great, but we need to take a HARD turn and pay our dues to Mantar, the single greatest metal duo to emerge this year out of whatever foundry these guys crawled out of. Wielding just drums, a guitar and a shit-ton of amps and pedals, this half German, half Turkish band will absolutely melt your face off and will cause a racket that is sure to shatter your windows. So fucking stoked these guys are taking off and have started touring Europe. They have totally earned it for being such sweet bros. Check out the interview we did with them here and then go bang your head to their music. Oh, did I mention how awesome it is that lady looks like she's wearing a flaming cake? FUKK.

猫 シ Corp. - pretty much everything?

The name translates to Cat System Corp. and I honestly didn't know which album to pick, because they are all excellent. If you ever become the CEO of a spa resort, this is the music you will play while ladies get their facials done. I'm gonna link the wonderful 太陽。慰安。楽園。album for your listening pleasure. It translates to "The Sun. Comfort. Paraside". This is not a Japanese band btw. Check out that zany artist pic above. LOL.

Phoenix #2772 - Interludes

More easy late-night listening, courtesy of Phoenix #2772. I enjoy putting this bad boy on while I'm brushing my teeth and changing into my pajamas. There's also a song with a sample from a Macintosh Plus song that samples a Diana Ross song. So meta.

Waterfront Dining - COMFY 快適な

I picked COMFY 快適な but Waterfront Dining has released a buttload of stuff in 2014 and everything is excellent. If you're into smooth, vaped out jazz vibes, this band will please you immensely. 

October 5, 2014

Anadel - The Works

If you're at all familiar with The Walking Dead game series then you probably know everything about this band already. If not, this would be a great moment to start doing so, because their music is just as good without it acting as a game soundtrack.

Labelling themselves as Atmospheric Folk, this quirky little group from Napa, California have the weird gift of making their male listeners feel somewhat emasculated by tuning in to their music. That's to say that a majority of the girls out there who aren't deemed a dominatrix or a demon lady by trade will also love their violin tinged, soft vocals renditions of every song they write.

Here it is, judge for yourselves, then maybe follow up with the rest of their catalogue.

September 27, 2014

The Chronicles Of Israfel - A Trillion Lights, Tome II (Preview)

If any of you happen to have been around when I wrote my second ever review for Tzeeeac, just know I spoke of these guys that form part of the title of this article. And while seven years have passed since the release of Starborn, Dominic&Co. are sneaky enough to just tease us with snippets of the upcoming album, consisting of an instrumental song to bridge the gap between the two albums, followed by three singles from the upcoming LP, each one with its own art. 

Here's the songs for you, placed in order of release.

 Man, I cannot wait to hear the whole thing in context!

September 7, 2014

City of Ships - Minor World (2011)

While Chester and Marco sit around on the porch of their houses acting like two old ladies and debate the days when they were young and had more wishes and wants about musical journalism, while they do all that and more I'm going to continue to put stuff up on Tzeeeac because what the hell? There is still good music to be heard out there and if their lazy asses decided to take a break, that's something I don't have to do. 

And while there may not have been so much activity in the Tzeeeac inbox that actually sparks my interest, randomly going from review to review does occasionally put me in direct contact to some obscure bands that make me want to listen to them over and over again.

Evidently, the prize of the month of August goes to the US of A trio City of Ships that manages to convincingly blend together post rock, alternative and mostly harsh and angry vocals that wouldn't be out of place on some weird mix of punk and screamo outfit (yeah, I know, I've just fit one too many genres into a single phrase; sue me if you like or read on). The end result is, quite honestly, unlike everything I have listened to before, as they don't have any fancy instrumentation or riveting soloing that swipes the listener off their feet. No, they're more of a mood band, with songs that don't necessarily go out their way to dissociate themselves from the rest of the album, but work an approach towards adding on the atmosphere. 

With this said I'm putting their latest album, Minor World, as my favorite in their short discography. It's more laid back and refined than the rest and it seems that the group has settled comfortably in their formula. I'd like to specially highlight 'Darkness At Noon', a song that deviates completely from the rest of the act and stands like something that Steven Wilson would have recorded in early days Porcupine Tree. Here it is, find the rest of their stuff on bandcamp (and hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I do).

P.S: This is a note to Chester. It seems that you're commuting for two hours every day and that takes up some Tzeeeac time from your calendar.  Well, my commute is five hours daily; sorry buddy but you got nothing on me :P

September 1, 2014


Hey everyone.

Just wanted to let you know we're going on indefinite hiatus. 

We're not shutting down for good. 

I can't speak for the others, but I have been feeling very burned out for a while and this whole thing seems a bit of a drag lately. Something that started out as a fun thing to do with my buddy has now begun to feel like an obligation and there's no fun in that. Real life obligations also play a part. Turns out it's not as easy finding time to write about emotional black metal bands when working a (pretty great) full time job and commuting for almost 2 hours every single day. Our platform of choice Blogspot is also a huge reason, at least for me - it's basically turned into a big pile of shit and I don't have the time and patience to wrestle with it and its dumb errors anymore.

Marco and I have been talking things over and we both feel the need for a fresh start with our blog. We don't know what that means yet, but we'll use this time to figure it out. 

So while we take some time off to find ourselves and reflect on the meaning of Kanye West lyrics on a sandy beach, this website will remain up as a testament of our greatness. Tumblr will still be updated daily through the mercy of our Saint Patron Gherasim and we're probably gonna post on Facebook every now and then, too. 

Don't be sad. We're gonna be back at some point. Just not too soon. 

The new Deafheaven song sucks, btw. 

August 10, 2014

EXPERIMENTAL HIP-HOP TRIFECTA: Clipping / Death Grips / frateleNORD

As you might be aware by now, TZEEEAC has become a filthy hipster-ridden hole on the internet, where the mainstream is pretty much shunned in favor of the underground, the obscure, the hidden and (at times) the occult. We have specific, yet all-encompassing tastes - as long as they fall within the limits of the weird and the heavy. Electronic music? Sure, but it has to be about futuristic robots beheading each other with laser gauntlets in a neon-lit post-apocalyptic urban nightmare. Classic rock? Maybe, but is it sung by a Japanese band whose members can barely speak any English yet insist on writing lyrics in the same language? Industrial? All for it, as long as it's produced using actual industrial machinery (looks like I forgot to write about Author&Punisher and GOG). Pop music? Sounds great, but it has to be weird and noisy, with lyrics that read like Juno's personal diary. 

Hip hop ain't much different - actually, no, it has to be for me to even touch it. There's nothing especially interesting to me about regular gangsta rap or shitty MTV glossy rap. I don't even like Kanye West. No, my favorite hip-hop acts are weird, cutting edge artists that have dedicated their lives to reinventing an entire genre, smashing its tropes and making it fascinating again. Below are 3 of 2014's hip-hop albums which are mandatory listens. Incidentally, these artists are also able to bring Marco and I together for awkward white guy hip-hop dancing, much to the collective embarrassment of anyone around us. TURN DAT SHIT UP.

Clipping have merged two genres which I never imagined would come together: hip-hop and noise. Good news is, they're both expertly done. Under the appearance of a smooth, technically flawless delivery, this dude is spitting out lyrics about chopping hands off, sitting on the porch of your ghetto place shooting motherfuckers for looking at your daughter the wrong way and dancing around in a night club until you're thrown out on the curb. The rapping is then laid out on a nail bed of harsh, abrasive noise, sounds of shattering glass, crashing cars, crumbling bricks and drilling machines. No, I mean it, these dudes have manages to construct hip-hop beats out of random noises and it's the most badass thing ever. They even have one song where the MC raps over a digital alarm clock. You know the noise that has plagued your childhood mornings and possibly even your shitty adulthood? These guys have taken it, subdued it and made it their bitch. They have curb-stomped hip-hop, cut it up and now they're wearing its bloody skin and parading around the hood. Either hide forever or come out in submission, because hip-hop can never be the same again. IT'S CLIPPING BITCH.

Death Grips are the de facto terrorists of the hip-hop scene, blowing up its conventions and mutating it into something gruesome and fascinating to hear. They're big favorites of the TZEEEAC crew since they started out and we were surprised, just like everyone else, when Death Grips dropped another unannounced album earlier this year. I wasn't surprised, though, to find out it's even more fucked up and pushes even more boundaries than their previous efforts. Niggas on the moon is their most schizophrenic album to date. MC Ride's lyrics are as abstract as I've come to expect and he sounds like he's legit mentally ill (in a good way?), and the beats he lays his vocal tracks over are crude concoctions of little bits of noise, static, primitive drum licks and chopped up glitch samples of Bjork's vocals. Yes, that Bjork. She said she's excited that Death Grips decided to use her voice throughout this album and so should you. This is Death Grips at their most creative and they have made sure they will be remembered as such - they have decided to call it quits while they're in their prime. After a short musical career full of publicity stunts, deliberately missing concerts and just generally fucking with their fans every which way, Death Grips disbanding with no warning and literally announcing it via a note on a dirty napkin is so part of their modus operandi that I'm not even upset or disappointed. I was in on it the whole time. I do what my people would.

Finally, here’s one from our own Romanian cesspool, the enigmatic bros known as frateleNORD. They started off as a pretty tame experimental hip-hop duo, albeit with a very recognizable, stream-of-consciousness type lyrical approach. These days, I don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. Their latest album is 33 tracks of hermetic, backstreet philosopher, drug-induced gangsta rap that will throw you off the loop. Simple but effective beats lay the groundwork for Cleg’s abstract, often surreal lyrics that will be forever lost on me. I have no idea what he’s talking about and I’m fine with that. The music is so damn enjoyable, perfectly fit for walking around the city at night, while taxis whiz by you, that I really don’t care that I might not “get it”. For all I know, there is nothing more beneath the surface, so why try digging up meanings that might not even be there? !

August 6, 2014

Enabler - La Fin Absolute du Monde (2014)

Gonna keep this very short because I'm busy tonight, but I've been jamming this every day this week and it's the shit. Basically, Milwaukee's Enabler play a vitriolic blend of hardcore punk and grindcore with some pretty obvious nods to thrash metal here and there - and they somehow manage to make it sound fresh and exciting. La Fin Absolute du Monde is the latest album in their already impressive discography and it strikes the perfect balance between melody, groove and heaviness. It's fast, violent, majorly pissed-off, dissonant and will splatter your brains across the wall with its sheer aggression. Perfect match between puke-your-guts-out vocals and brilliant guitar work, with some oddly restrained drumming. If New Life doesn't have you ripping your clothes off, destroying your fucking room in anger, going to your local government branch and just starting to punch everyone there, you are dead inside.

August 3, 2014

SHOW REVIEW: Sam Evans Band

Following a time frame that included sore muscles, a rather self induced back injury, fever, inability to speak properly due to an inflicted laziness of the vocal chords, I somehow managed to crawl into a local pub (during one of my better days) and attend a show ran by these fine gentlemen here. 

Apparently it wasn't their first time in Romania, as they've previously recorded a record on our beloved wonderlands and even given it a romanian title. What music they play, you ask? Well, as themselves describe it, it's a mix-up with elements taken from Jazz, Soul, Blues and Reggae. They sometimes play acoustic, sometimes electric, but it seems to me that no matter what the style, their songs sound just as great.

That's because they're the type of people that were simply born to write and perform music and while they share very young ages, their souls are unmistakingly old (and I say that in a good way). The music is passionate and delicate at the same time, technically proficient, with actual (and great) lyrics, and most of all they can relate to the crowd. I don't know exactly if Sam's voice was affected that night, but he had that raspy tone only a two-pack-of-cigars-per-day-smoker-twenty-years-down-the-line could have, which suited the compositions immensely. And dare I say, they have one song that I bet Sting himself would wish he'd have written: it's called 'How we should be loved', it's found on their CD's and they also played it live (I couldn't find it on Youtube, but it's present on their official page).

What I can give you are two of the better suited audio recordings out there and you can hear for yourselves what the gig is about, or you can switch directly to for some high fidelity stuff (and I highly recommend you look up 'How we should be loved').

P.S: One could not leave their show without purchasing not one, not two, but four of their CD's! Great stuff guys, hope to hear from you again next year, and hope you don't mind that I stole one of your pictures for this review :). 

Other useful links for you all:

August 2, 2014

HIGH SPIRITS "You Are Here" LP (2014)

HIGH SPIRITS is just about one of the most unique heavy metal bands hitting it right now, in 2014. To say that they play 80s high energy rock would be a crass understatement, as you would probably say "bah! just another retro act! they come by the dozen". You couldn't be more wrong, as these Chicago swingers, commanded by the Mozart of headbangers, Prof. Chris Black (SUPERCHRIST, DAWNBRINGER, PHARAOH) manage to play no-fills all-chills heavy metal the way it was intended to be played and make it sound like it was played from the heart, not from the costume.

After a series of demos, there came the debut "Another Night" LP (2011), which was just about the best album released in 2011, back to back with swedes GRAVEYARD's "Hisingen Blues". It was the heavy metal dream come true, sounding out of this world all thanks to mastermind Chris B. 

"You Are Here", to put it simply, is just more of the same, but not necessarily in a bad way. It doesn't feel like HIGH SPIRITS are trying to top their own game, they just stick to the formula that made them what they are: harmonic guitars, the superb vocals and the melody in itself. The only thing that makes this album not be better than "Another Night" is that "Another Night" sounded very fresh to me when I first heard it, it had its own sound very well crafted. "You Are Here" is just like that, minus some memorable choruses and melodies, but it really lacks in the fact that it's all been heard before, it doesn't really bring anything new to the table. I really enjoy it but, again, it's more of the same.

I really wished for this album to blow me away like the first one did, but I can't complain, because it still is a very well crafted piece of music, yet it needs a couple of replays for it to get on your good side.


July 30, 2014

HAVE NO FEAR OF THE DEVIL: King Dude - Fear (2014)

"Folk singer turned rock'n'roll for Lucifer"

For the first time since I've been listening to his music, I feel the above description, which can be found on his Bandcamp page, finally suits King Dude's style like a studded leather glove. I don't necessarily mean the last bit - His Dudeness has always been all about holding hands with the Devil. But Fear is the album which finally unlocks the real rock'n'roll in his music.

For those of you unfamiliar with King Dude, his music could be described as dark folk and it's mostly just him, an acoustic guitar, lots of  reverb and unsettling lyrics dealing with the occult and feelings best left seeping in some deep corner of the soul. His latest album sees King Dude trade his acoustic guitar for an electric in more than one occasion and there's no denying that this is the loudest and noisiest his music has ever been. The groove factor is also turned way up on Fear and many songs, like Demon Caller Number 9 or Bottomless Pit, will make you feel like doing the boogie in a graveyard at midnight, dancing with witches and skeletons under the pale moon light. Other times, the music is strangely hip and radio-friendly, like on the beautiful and melancholic Never Run, a sentimental ode for the girl that's always there, no matter what. That's no surprise, as King Dude was always really good at conjuring fantastic, imaginary love stories (Barbara Anne from the Burning Daylight album is a great example, a love declaration set in a dark and gothic Wild West). The song which would satisfy the Devil's desire to headbang the most is definitely Fear Is All You Know, a menacing and electrifying piece that opens up the album on a threatening note and which ends up being one of the highlights of Fear and probably one of my favorite songs from His Royal Dudeness entire career. I probably shouldn't forget to mention that his voice is as gorgeous as ever, able to go from bitter rasps to loving whispers and always able to convey emotions and, more often than not, a weird feeling of dread and unease.

Barbara Anne, Lucifer Is the Light of the World, Jesus in the Courtyard and River of Gold will always be my favorite songs from this stellar singer and composer, but I'm happy that Fear has turned out to be such a good album, even though it feels different from his previous work. It goes through many different moods, from menacing to pretty (woah, I forgot to mention Maria, another excellent song from this album) to loving to depressing to eerie, but it manages to be a coherent and entertaining experience and a worthy addition to King Dude's solid discography.

With light,