March 30, 2014

ENDLESS MOTHS SWARMING: Jute Gyte - Vast Chains (2014)


Today, in "metal subgenres you've never heard of", we bring  you Jute Gyte, a one-man project playing "microtonal experimental black metal with irregular meters, dense polyphony, and wastelands of trudging black doom". Oh man! If that doesn't light up your hipster alarm, then you must be a pleb who is content with listening to regular black metal. Hmph!

Adam Kalmbach, the man behind Jute Gyte (which, by the way, doesn't really mean anything; it's just a made-up name), is the type of guy who's really creative, so his musical output is quite impressive, both in terms of volume and quality. Vast Chains is his latest release and conjures 6 long tracks that are bound to bring collapse and despair to your already miserable existence. I only have a vague idea of what microtonal music means, even after googling and reading a bit about it, so don't expect me to explain the theoretical intricacies of Jute Gyte's music. Suffice it to say, all of the songs are weird, angular and Escherian in structure, with hypnotic dissonant riffs and simple yet effective drumming, creating a trance-like and oppressive atmosphere. Further adding  to that are the vocals - coarse shrieks which sound like they're coming from the bottom of some horrible black pit. The lyrics are an unexpected highlight: often abstract and hermetic, they paint bizarre and nightmarish images of obsidian towers, black seas, dying animals and broken hopes. 

There's a lot of albums to wade through when it comes to Jute Gyte, but Vast Chains is a good starting point. If you're looking for something a bit more accessible and up-beat (although that's a relative term in this case), I suggest you listen to 2011's Impermanence. Either way, your mind is about to be broken like 1000 mirrors.


EAT SHIT AND LIVE: Iron Reagan - Worse Than Dead (2013)


Here's a quick dose of angry, politically-charged punk/thrash violence to get you through your bullshit day: Iron Reagan is a side-project of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour members, featuring Land Phil and Tony Foresta from the Waste on guitars and vocals, respectively. Their sound is pretty straightforward and easy to describe: basically, it's just as fast and wild as Municipal Waste, except there's more hardcore punk in the mix and the lyrics are about corporate greed, lousy paychecks and being fed up with the government, man. Pretty meat-and-potatoes, but honestly you don't need anything more than fast riffs and pissed off vocals. Iron Reagan does just what it says on the can.





March 29, 2014

Tzeeeac Interview: OHMWAR


Hailing from Anytown, Canada, raised on hardcore punk and industrial fumes, high voltage musicians OHMWAR have agreed to do an interview on the likes of their forthcoming 1st LP, Henry Rollins, baseball and how if feels to be cool. They're the motherfucking bee's motherfucking knees, so make way!

How did OHMWAR get started?
I had a concept for a band and a bunch of tunes that I wanted to record. I hadn't played drums in years and had no interest in it so I put an ad up looking for a drummer. I got one single reply months later from Andy (former drummer) so we started talking and it turned out we knew a lot of the same people and came from the same punk rock background. We jammed a few times, got along really well and realized it was good shit. At the time he was working with Derek (bass) who I had played in a long running band with years ago so D came by and that's pretty much it. Andy moved and Chad took his place a couple of years ago.

What is the deal with the "Be An Electrician!" symbol?

Just some nonsense shit that looks cool with vague associations to the lyrical content. Basically something to make people say "What's the deal with that?"

What about the OHMWAR name, what's that all about?
Pretty much the same as the above question. I had a fairly solid concept in place for the first bunch of lyrics but that ran its course and the name stuck around. The original concept revolved around sound wars and a secret source of power that had been passed on undiscovered by all but a few, all taking place in some weird paranoid noisish/pulpy alternate world.

Who do you hail as your biggest influences?
Rush and baseball.

Don't you ever get tired from being such a cool band?
No.


How did the split with SATAN'S SATYRS come to be?
I got the SS demo tape when it came out and it really blew my head. I went to play it for a friend and I accidentally hit record on the tape player and taped over a bit of the first song. I emailed Clay to see if i could get another copy and we started talking about Black Flag other fucked up experimental music and movies we were both into. They then became underground famous so I decided to ride their coattails into sweet sweet jetsetting stardom. Still waiting on that.

Describe your live performances using some BLACK FLAG lyrics.
"I Love You."

Any chances of a European trip for you guys?
It's unlikely but who knows? We're old and broke.

Tell us about the forthcoming debut LP.
It's called BROKEN ARMS DANCE WITH BLACK FEET. Twelve songs, 6 per side. 45 RPM. Along with the songs we have really amazing artwork for the cover and insert done by colombian madman Juan Y Diego. His drawings are as much a part of this project as the music and lyrics. Check out some of his stuff here. The pressing place managed to fuck it up 4 times. The most recent one which we got today had a totally different band on Side B so that has been frustrating.

Plans for the near and far away future?
We're jamming on Wednesday. The music for our next album is written. We'll arrange that and I'll write the lyrics. If money and time permit I hope that will be out around this time next year.

What sound does an "Eisenstein" make?
Just tune down and bang the octave.

BANG THE OCTAVE HERE.

March 28, 2014

The Milton Incident - Innocence Lost (2014)



Attention, TZEEEAC minions! How are you today? I hope you're fine. Are you ready for some sweet French alternative metal? You'd better fucking be, because I've skipped college today to write this.

The Milton Incident is a dark alternative metal band hailing from France. I'm so glad they've chosen to sing in English, because I've been skimming through the French underground scene for a while now (mostly for hip-hop bands) in hopes of finding some content for TZEEEAC. Since most of them sang in French and the only phrase I know in French is ''I can't speak French, it's too complicated'', I have refrained myself from writing anything about said acts. Fortunately, I can offer The Milton Incident the coverage it deserves. 

Every song on Innocence Lost is a pile of heavy riffs, energetic drumming and groovy rhythms. The albums starts full-force with Deadset, a crushing riff-heavy monster of a track which will blast your speakers into oblivion. The next track, Torn Down, follows the exact same formula, only that it's a bit more engaging. Things start getting really interesting when Deus Ex Machina enters the rotation with its catchy chorus and the superb vocal delivery, which alternates between straight up clean and demonic fits of rage in a matter of nanoseconds (as is the case with the majority of the songs on this album). I don't know what preparations Sam does prior to singing (he's probably a robot), but I can't even imagine how exhausted he must feel after every live performance. This is not to say that I believe that the rest of the rascals are slacking off, smoking weed and watching MTV while the frontman is spiting his lungs out - the drumming, guitar (as mentioned before) and bass work are as equally engaging as Sam's vocals.

Although the album slows down a bit after the fifth track, it never loses momentum; the overwhelming avalanche of heaviness is now replaced with slower, more melodic sounds in combination with short bursts of violent rhythms. It tricks you into believing that it's a straightforward alternative-metal album, then it throws a bunch of different influences into your face and runs away laughing maniacally, like that stupid kid from kindergarten that always destroyed my beautiful cube castles and who I totally beat the shit out of afterwards and not run away crying into my mom's caring arms--- it's really good that they've decided to experiment, is what I'm trying to say. You might think that they're similar to Papa Roach and Avenged Sevenfold, but my spider sense has also detected some hints of Tool when it comes to the overall structure and song progression.

Which is always good, because they haven't released anything in fucking ages.



KINDERGRIND: Sockweb - Werewolf (2014)


This is it everybody - the grindcore album to end all grindcore! I've been literally waiting for this for close to a year, when I contributed $1 to Sockweb's Indiegogo campaign to fund their debut album. A few days ago, I received an email with a download code for Werewolf and I've had a stupid grin plastered on my face ever since. 

So who are Sockweb and what's up with their name? Sockweb is the world's first father/daughter grindcore band, composed of 7 year-old Joanie Young on lead vocals and her cool dad Adam Young on guitars, drum programming and backing vocals. The first thing you're inclined to think is "What, a 7 year-old girl doing vocals for a grindcore band? Pffahahaha LAME!" Well that would make you a big doo-doo head, because Joanie absolutely KILLS IT on vocals and Werewolf is actually one of the most insane, brutal and creative grindcore albums I've ever heard. She also writes all of the lyrics, which deal with hard-hitting issues like pancakes, werewolves, hot chocolate, bunnies and playground bullies. Joanie's shrieks are complimented by Adam's swarm-of-angry-hornets-type guitar riffs, the occasional guitar solo and, of course, more yelling. I imagine having your dad grindcore-scream at you "YOU'RE GROUNDED FOREVER" would pretty much send everyone crying to their rooms, but Joanie has no problem going head to head with her dad and their vocal trade-offs are too great. Scott Hull from Pig Destroyer handled mastering duties so the production is flawless and there's a guest appearance on the last track by my favorite female vocalist in metal, Katherine Katz of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, who joins Joanie for some all-out sonic carnage. Oh, and there are a lot of samples from cartoons like Scooby Doo, Spongebob Squarepants, The Tick and Drawn Together. Does the awesomeness ever end?!

So, to put it in short for all you dum-dums out there: 
  • father/daughter grindcore band
  • an adorable 7 year-old girl on vocals
  • catchy and crushing songs about breakfast cereal and werewolves
  • cartoons
  • mastering by Scott Hull
  • guest vocals by Katherine Katz (Agoraphobic Nosebleed)
I know it sounds gimmicky and to a certain point, it is. But there's no denying that this is seriously an amazing album and that the music definitely stands up on its own. I urge you to check it out or else I'll throw dirt in your face and steal your toys! Do iiiiiiit!




br00tal.

March 26, 2014

VACANT SMILE / VACANT EYES: An Interview with NO OMEGA



We're once again excited to bring you an interview with one of our favorite bands here at TZEEEAC, the emotional punk doomsters from No Omega (Swe)! Daniel, bassist/guitarist for the band, has been kind enough to answer some questions about their many concerts, the places they've visited, the food they enjoy and the music they play. Read on and then head over to their Bandcamp page and listen to their crushing tunes!

1. Hey, boys! We really appreciate you talking with us! How are things in Sweden? Are you even at home?

In Sweden we're experiencing a lot of weird far right/nazi shit going down at the moment. People are really standing up against it though, which is really cool to see. Also, the weather is fucked up, we barely had any winter and now we change from sun to snow over a few days every week... climate change is scary as fuck.
We've been home since December actually, taking a few months off from touring, which is nice for a change, catch up with life and stuff.

2. 2013 was a full year for you and I have always thought your touring schedules are insane. How does it feel to tour the world and be on the road constantly? What are some of your favorite places to visit in Europe?

The fact that we could tour so much last year amazes me. It was a really rad experience, and I got to see so many places I'll never be able to visit again. Our shows in Ukraine and Russia were really cool, both the shows and peope were really cool, and it was really interesting seeing all those countries in Eastern Europe leading us up there. A few of the shows in Spain and Portugal late last year were some of the best we've ever played, for example Porto and Madrid. Hamburg is always a really good time for us, and the last two shows we've played in Örebro, Sweden have been great.

3. You guys seem pretty young! How long have you been playing music and how did No Omega came to be? Are you still in school or do you have jobs and you piss off your bosses constantly by asking for 6 months off to blast beat your way across Europe? :)

Right now I'm the youngest, and I'm turning 24 in a couple of months... Andreas who used to sing is 21, but I think we all just don't look that old haha. No beards or anything usually. We've all basically been playing music since our early teens, and that all turned in to what No Omega is now.
Oscar's been studying at university for a while now, and the rest of us have just been jumping around between jobs and short stints at school. I've been working the front desk of a hotel for a couple of years now, and they've let me go on tour as much as I want pretty much, which is rad. We never have any money, but getting to tour is more important.


4. Speaking of traveling, in which parts of Europe did you eat the best food? Ever try some fucking mamaliga (Romanian polenta)?

We usually try to have food that we don't have in Stockholm when we're out, or just stuff that sounds good for the day. We're all vegan or vegetarian, and usually make sure we get to have lunch before we leave town every day, if there's anything vegan around. Germany generally havs good food, but we found a few really good buffet places in southern Spain and Portugal, which was great. One place in Valencia was an Asian buffet, WITH BURGERS AND FRIES. For no money at all, so cool.

5. No Omega has some really cool merch! Do you design your own clothes? Also, your e-store is currently running out of a lot of stuff, meaning people like your merch. Do you plan on refreshing your stocks in the near future, especially patches? Cuz if not, I'm ordering a Shame tshirt right now!

For the past couple of years our friend Christian from Kids Artwork and Reason To Care (German melodic post-hardcore band) has designed everything for us. He's really talented, and we've been happy with everything he's made for us!
We usually only print merch for tours, and then sell the leftovers after. We always reprint a lot of stuff, but now I guess we'll mostly do new stuff along with whatever releases we do this year.
As a touring hardcore band you really rely on merch sales to have van rentals and food secured, so we'll probably never stop printing tshirts, even if we wished we could.

6. Not sure if you're gear dorks or not, but do you feel like taking us through your guitar/bass rigs and tell us how you achieve your hard-ass sound?

Since I used to play bass and now play guitar I'll try to run through what we've got.
For guitar, we play through an Orange Thunderverb 200 and a Orange 4x12 cab, which is pretty much the No Omega sound in a nutshell, with lots of mids and not a lot of distortion. Then we use a delay pedal for some songs, and just drown most songs in reverb.
For bass, lately we've used my Orange Rockerverb, which is a quitar amp really. Then we play through classic Rat distortion pedal, and some songs incorporate a Digitech bass synth wah (heard when the vocals come in on Vacants for example). I used to use some more effects on the bass, mostly for noise and ambient parts, but I don't really remember any names or anything.

7. Probably should have started with this, but what is the current lineup of No Omega? I couldn't keep up with the changes.

Now we are Daniel, Oscar, Joakim and Tal. Tal used to play in Goodtime Boys and We Came Out Like Tigers, and Joakim is a close friend of mine and Oscar, and we have both played with him in other bands before. We'll see what happens with the band and the lineup, but this is the band that’s writing songs and played the last show we did. 


8. Your band photos make it really hard to tell what the weather was like in the picture -- most of the time, half of you are wearing shorts and tshirts while the other half is clad in jeans and hoodies. I find it very confusing! How do you comment?

Haha... I think you've seen some of the photos we took on our two tours last Autumn. It's in that vague shift between summer/spring/winter, and our group never agreed on if it was tshirt weather or not haha. Also, it's always different who in the group is sick, so that adds to it... And it's really funny that you and other people have noticed. We strive to mess with minds.

9. Five obscure hardcore bands we should be on the lookout for in 2014?

Hardcore, obscure, I don't know... Shirokuma from Söderhamn, Damaged Goods from the US. Just did a show for Totem Skin from Falun last weekend, and they are really cool. Our good friends in This Gift is a Curse from Stockholm will release a new record soon that is going to blow minds I hope. And This Routine is Hell from Holland put out on of the best records of 2013, so I hope they put out something new soon!

10. Last question: when are you hitting the road again? Have fun and be safe, guys! Cheers!

We're focusing on writing new songs now, but we'll be out this summer. We have a couple of things that we hope will come through, so it might be more than just the few weeks we have booked for this summer. I hope we can play a lot this year, but you never know.
Thanks for being interested in our band, cheerio(s)!

March 24, 2014

Teledrome - Teledrome (2014)


It's 4:30 in the morning and I'm enjoying a quiet, relaxing evening/morning. I'm browsing weird music blogs, eating chips, drinking coffee and half-watching Ugly Americans on Comedy Central. Oh, and listening to this totally sweet album by Philadelphia's Teledrome, who play cold, futuristic, retro, soothing synth punk/cold wave full of buzzing synths and croaking, phoned-in vocals. Robotic drumming, distorted guitar riffs and weird noises complete the atmosphere. This is good. 


March 23, 2014

No Omega - Shame (2013)


No Omega will always hold a special place in my heart because they were the band Volo and I got to see when we went on our first hardcore punk date in Bucharest. I had just arrived by bus and I met Volo at a shitty local burger joint called Springtime. We were both starving and the place seemed good enough, so we got some burgers and fries and stuffed our faces. We then went to the venue and moshed hard for 2 hours or so, gawked at some cool merch, realized we were both too poor to afford any and then we went home. BEST PUNK DATE EVER <3

Shame is an uncompromising hardcore record with some grim, doomy overtones that deals with issues like loneliness, depression, isolation and grief. It still amazes me how talented these dudes are, despite their young age. The album is full to the brim with explosive riffs, numerous changes of pace, dark melodies and some of the best drumming I've ever heard on a hardcore record - fast, complex and diverse. I think they've changed a bunch of drummers since Volo and I saw them, but the drumming is one of the highlights of this band. And the vocals - oh man! It's pretty much non-stop screaming and on stage the vocalist looked like he was about to barf his lungs out every second. The whole band is really cool and energetic whenever they are playing live, so their shows are great fun. If they happen to roll over your town - which is very likely, given their insane touring schedules - you should definitely go. You'll have a blast!

Also, I can never tell what the weather is like when I look at their band photos. It's like one of them is in a tshirt and shorts while the others are wearing hoodies and jeans. It's too confusing!

PS: Oh yeah, and Stephen O'Malley from Sunn O))) was at that show. I stood next to him as he was yelling jokes that nobody else understood then laughing by himself. Cool.




#poppunk

March 22, 2014

VIOLENCE ON VIOLENCE: Daniel's life-changing album


When you lay your seven year old eyes on such an album cover, you know your life will have be forever changed. Spellbinding artwork aside, the music contained in this magnum opus is the pure work of gods, heavy metal at its finest, and when it acted as a gateway album into metal to my virgin ears it was just magical. Had this album never existed, it would have never been the same for me.

Dual guitars like you've never heard before, a bass that tears through the music like a hot blade, Nicko smashing drums into oblivion and newbie Bruce Dickinson pulling the vocal strings on this LP, yet the songs themselves really don't sound humanly possible. Outtathisworld. I remember hearing my 5th grade religion teacher telling me how he got hold of an Iron Maiden album in the 80s and saying that their evil music sounded inhuman, mechanical, impossible.

As "Invader" jumpstarts the album into lightspeed riffs and solos you get a taste of things a-coming, "Children Of The Damned" is just about the greatest heavy metal song ever written. "The Prisoner", "22 Acacia Avenue" and eponymous track are living proof of Maiden's evolution from the Di'Anno years. "Run To The Hills" is the single definition of a hook that stays in your brain years on end, while tunes "Gangland" and "Total Eclipse" bring the NWOBHM groove thrashing down.

And then there's "Hallowed Be Thy Name", an overture for all ends. How to finish on a high note. How to bring home the bacon. How to make your mark on the mind of millions upon millions of young music enthusiasts that want to explore new horizons. Make way not for the greatest metal album of all time, but for one of the biggest musical achievements in history.

It goes without saying that if this LP had not been, it would mean the non-existance of so many heavy metal bands that took the flag further and bowed before The Beast.

He's walking like a small child 

But watch his eyes burn you away 

March 21, 2014

PunK NewS - March 2014


Remember last year’s review of Propagandhi?

Well, turns out there’s no shortage of punk out there in the wilderness, and just as you’re about to make fun of me for recommending albums from a genre I know close to nothing about, I would beg you not to.

Not because these are records that rival in any way the grandiosity of Failed States, but because it’s simply about good music. That just happened to be released this month. So be thankful for that! 

First off, Forus:



They hail from Bayonne, France and play a very fast and skilled combo made of skate punk awesomeness and mathcore, at times reminding me of the vivid images of canadian riff machines Protest The Hero. The album is short (just over twenty minutes), the songs are of the same nature, yet they keep things interesting by always changing the pace. And this is how they start it up:


Nifty, ain’t it? Be sure to check out the rest.

The counterpart to his fast attack are the more subdued, introspective tunes of Morning Glory with their aptly titled ‘War Psalms’.


Cute cover, huh? Definitely Tzeeeac material!

And while I don’t wish to go into the details of the lyrics (as I rarely do, no matter the record), War Psalms seems set out to do exactly what it wants: namely to mix up a sample of both angry yet soulful songs, while at the same time keeping an exemplary flow to the album. 

How good is it you ask? Well, considering they’ve just created one of the best opera rock pieces that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in quite a while (I think this is what Avenged Sevenfold wanted to achieve for some time now, yet they keep failing at it),


and that many a song will make you raise you fist in the air and simply sing along to all the ‘oo ooo ooohs’ this things has, War Psalms might just make it up to the top of your playlist for a sunny Sunday morning while you’re eating cereals and drinking milk.

Or a gloomy Friday evening with a beer. Serve it as you wish.

STAY PLEB: Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers (2014)


Plebeian Grandstand - with a band name like this, you don't know what to expect. It sounds quirky enough to be a post-rock band or maybe a dark folk ensemble. But no. Plebeian Grandstand are all about NOIZE. Their latest album called Lowgazers, out soon on Throatruiner Records, is a noisy and violent marriage of post-hardcore, black metal and sludge, resulting in a thick, blackened wall of noise that doesn't let up for one second throughout the album. Imagine Portal trying to play hardcore music - this is what Plebeian Grandstand sounds like.

Every song on Lowgazers is a devastating flurry of schizoid dissonant guitar riffs and throat-ripping screams, with everything turned up to the max and played at breakneck speed. Oh and by the way, do you not like blast beats? Well tough shit, because you'll be hearing them non-stop on this album, along with some really cool and diverse fills. There is an ambiental track followed by the excellent dirge of Svn in your head, which is where the album slows down and allows you to catch your breath, but the band quickly resumes the carnage. By the end of Lowgazers, your shit will lie in utter ruin. Which is when I suggest you should hit play again.

This is one of the most unrelenting metal albums I've ever heard and with it, Plebeian Grandstand are high up on my radar. I haven't seen any live videos of them, so I can only imagine the amount of sonic devastation they put on stage. However, they do have an insane, seizure-inducing video for Thrvst, with tons of footage from creepy cartoons, horrible wars, car crashes, people dying, weird movies and also vivisection, which is when I had to get off my chair and leave the room in horror. That's it, I had enough! Check out the excellent Lowgazers and prepare to have your face blasted off.







March 20, 2014

PROFITABLE BLACKENED STENCHVIOLENCE: An Interview with RAMLORD


We had a nice chat with the nihilistic fucks from Ramlord about d-beat nightmares, crust patches and gross food. Then they presumably went back to destroying the earth from within its bowels. Read on!

1. Greetings, you festering piles of human garbage! How are things in the Ramlord camp?

Hails! Life within the stronghold is as degenerative and dysfunctional as always! Riddled with depression, poverty, incarceration, addiction and host of other problems, we do a lot of laughing and searching for escapism to hide our tears and fill the void that modernity has permanently branded inside us. Somehow, we find time to write a few songs and play a few shows… especially when it is the only worthwhile outlet of our time and energy in our lives.

2. What the hell is a Ramlord anyway? Or is it THE Ramlord? Why didn’t you name your band The Ramlords? 

The position of a Ramlord is a prestigious one of which none of us festering piles of human garbage are worthy of. Last I heard, there existed less than ten true Ramlords walking this planet, however, it is likely that many have succumbed to the frost and died over the winter, their souls permanently torn from their bodies and cast into the nether. 

3. How on earth did you find each other? What made you wanna start a horrific metal band?

We have been smoking weed and going to shitty local hardcore shows since we were 14 years old. Eventually started listening to Dystopia and playing instruments and formed a band once we realized how profitable playing blackened stenchviolence could be.



4. Why should we smoke weed and kill cops? Is eating hot dogs and quietly ignoring cops and acceptable substitute?

Hot dogs and sheepish approval of police is not an acceptable attitude. If your dad would give you a high-five for such behavior, you should probably just do the opposite.

5. Tell us a bit about your songwriting process. All of your songs are noisy, fast as fuck and seem to erupt from some insane nightmare I’m praying I’ll never have to endure. Do you all just meet in your rehearsing space at night and start yelling and pissing each other off until noise comes out?

I usually wake up in a cold sweat, awakening from a d-beat nightmare and immediately start tremolo-picking the nearest instrument until it sounds tolerable. Honestly, Jan usually comes to practice with a solid framework for the track and then we all spend weeks together making little tweaks like increasing blast-beat tempo and slowing down funerary riffage.

6. How many crust patches do you collectively own?

Only a poser could think that fashion is exempt from punk and metal subcultures. Our collective amount of embroidered patches is in the tens but I’m sure screened patches are in the hundreds. 

7. Have you ever eaten boiled sheep’s head? It’s a delicacy in certain parts of the world. Seems something that might be up your alley. What’s the grossest thing you ever put in your mouth?

We all subscribe to very rebellious diets and could never deface a descendent of the all-powerful ram with our filthy tongues. I have drank a mixture of cobra blood and whiskey, but that is actually awesome and not gross.



8. It’s been quite a while since your last album, Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom. What are Ramlord’s plans for the future? 

By the end of the summer, the splits with Krieg and Nuclear Devastation should be released, as well as a yet-unnamed EP that will solidify the blackened stenchviolence sound once and for all. We are planning another full-length in 2015. So far I have written one riff for it but it is pretty good.

9. Name five bands that you love and sound even more oppressive than Ramlord. A mixtape for the ultimate genocide, if you will. 

Dystopia

Discharge

Iron Lung

Blasphemy

Venom

10. Thank you for talking with us and best of luck! We’ll keep squirming in the stench. We leave the last words up to you. 

Ram Cult Hail. Smoke Weed//Kill Cops Forever. Look towards the moon and follow the horns, brothers and sisters.

March 18, 2014

OH MAN! TZEEEAC T-SHIRTS COMING SOON!



We're super excited to unveil the official TZEEEAC t-shirt, featuring the "SCREAM BLOODY CORE" design, created one cold winter by our own Volo! We've pretty much hashed out all the details about printing, so all we need to know is how many we should do and in what size. Or we could just guess. But we'd rather ask you instead. 

PREORDERS OPEN!

IF U WANT A TZEEEAC T-SHIRT, LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, ON FACEBOOK OR DIRECTLY BY EMAIL (tzeeeac@yahoo.com) WHICH SIZE YOU NEED. YOU ALSO GET FREE TZEEEAC STICKERS WITH EVERY ORDER. THESE TSHIRTS ARE SUPER LIMITED BECAUSE WE'RE POOR. ALL MONEY GOES STRAIGHT BACK INTO FUNDING TZEEEAC AND PRINTING MORE TSHIRTS. 

Hope you are as excited as we are about these bitchin' tshirts and we're looking forward to start printing them! 

March 14, 2014

The Haxan Cloak - Excavation (2013)



I've been sitting here for a while thinking what to write about this album, but who am I kidding? We're no Pitchfork, as much as we like to joke about it. I don't feel up to the task of writing five or six paragraphs about The Haxan Cloak, because words don't do justice to it. It as a minimalistic ambient/experimental album about the afterlife, employing sub-bass frequencies, quiet and unsettling percussion, various creepy noises and discrete strings that bring forth an uneasy feeling. Excavation is a highly atmospheric album and you should only listen to it at night with the lights off, in bed, curled up under a blanket. It will make for the most terrifying sleep you've ever had. 

Seriously, this is insanely good. And you can listen to it live tomorrow, in Bucharest. Jelly I can't make it, but at least I'll get to see TZEEEAC writer and sweet bro Daniel Witchfinder play heavy metal in front of an unsuspecting crowd. Should be good.


Tennger Cavalry - Ancient Call (2014)



I've never been a huge fan of folk/pagan metal bands because most of them are too over the top and bombastic for my tastes. The fact that many folk metal bands tend to deal exclusively with Norse or Slavic mythology is also offputting, as well as the constant use of weird folk instruments that nobody ever heard of - COBZA = METAL. There's also the small problem that there are two main types of folk metal bands:

  • ultra srs bands that are really in tune with their ancestors and only sing about Viking longboats, wolves, Norse legends and brave warriors - zzzzzz who cares? Typical examples include Arkona, Bucovina, Falkenbach and the gross bearded kings of Norse dorkery, Amon Amarth, who are pretty much releasing the same album for the past 20 years yet nobody seems to care.
  • bands who take it all as a joke, which would be slightly better except most of them play annoying folk metal songs about beer, goblins and beer drinking goblins and I just can't deal with that stuff. I think Trollfest are one of these bands? Whatever.

Despite the tragic state of this Odin forsaken metal genre, interesting folk metal bands do manage to trickle down here and there. Like this totally awesome North Asian nomadic metal outfit called Tennger Cavalry, hailing from the steppes of China. Their latest album, Ancient Call, infuses metal with Mongolian folk music played on traditional Asian instruments and Tibetan throat singing. The metal part in itself is nothing special - just some fast, galloping, distorted thrashy riffs, fast drumming and decent, but generic harsh vocals. But the exotic instruments in the mix are an absolute delight and turn what could have been a painfully boring album into the soundtrack to Genghis Khan's marauding hordes invading Europe and ruining everybody's lives. Did you know that the Mongolians ruled, at one point, over the entire Asian continent and were well into their way across the rest of Eurasia, causing the entire Western Europe to collectively shit their pants because the Golden Hordes were infamous for burning settlements to the ground and constructing giant pyramids out of the severed heads of men, women and children? It was just a rulership technicality that drove the Mongolians back to their homeland, or else Europe would have been a very different place right now and we probably would have run a blog about horseback archery.

Some of the songs on Ancient Call are a bit long and tend to get boring after a while, but there's no denying that Tennger Cavalry have managed to stand out from the dull folk metal crowd and carve a unique sound that's both heavy and exotic. So what are you waiting for? Get your shamisen on!




March 13, 2014

House of Apparition - House of Apparition (2014)



Honesty streak: I'm not posting this album because of how it sounds. 

Although it sounds really good: a hideously raw and sludgy mixture of black metal and punk with dissonant riffs and simplistic drumming buried deep in the mix. Imagine a punked up version of Transilvanian Hunger, add some horrifying screeching vocals that sound like a pterodactyl being fed through a wood chipper and you've pretty much described how House of Apparition sounds.

But like I said, I'm not posting this to show you the music. Although I kinda am. I'm posting this because of the logo. Look at that thing! It's ridiculous! It's 100% unreadable and it looks like it was drawn up using the Pencil tool in MS Paint by a guy dying on the electric chair. ZERO FUCKS GIVEN! I don't care if the music scares you and you don't even press play. Just look at that logo. 

Oh man.


March 12, 2014

TAUUSK - Refuge (2014)



TAUUSK is the solo project of Răzvan Lazea-Postelnicu aka Zan aka Zann O))), bassist for Romanian psychedelic stoner band Nomega. As the Earth revolves around the Sunn and the other way around, so does TAUUSK cycle between influences, taking cues from the titans of drone and producing an album that's about as pure as drone gets. 

When the first song on a drone album reaches a staggering 37 minutes duration and when there are four more tracks to follow, you know you're in for some serious meditation time. Refuge conjures an array of different moods and atmospheres through long, sustained synths and guitars and a knack for contemplative arrangements that will make you feel like driving to the nearest forest and burying yourself under a pile of moss, leaves and dead branches. Song structure and melody are forgone in favor of pure sound and texture, like ethereal sonic veils gently draping and coiling around you until you're immersed in a cocoon of sound. I was also struck to hear how similar some portions of Refuge are to the drone stuff I put out myself a few years ago as Hunting&Gathering - clearly, Zan and I operate on similar frequencies.

Overall, TAUUSK is a welcome surprise and a musical project that invites reflection and introspection. I'm glad stuff like this manages to trickle out of the Romanian scene and hopefully we'll see more bands experiment with sounds more freely. Mioritic drone doom, anyone?


Street Sects - The Morning After the Night We Raped Death (2014)


Are you having a nice day? Is the sun shining down on your face? Are kittens and rainbows dashing out of your ass and you feel like the whole world is a beautiful place and everyone is part of one global family? ARE YOU FEELING OKAY ABOUT THINGS?

Then meet Street Sects, who will crush your feelings and stomp on your shitty happy smile. A duo hailing from Austin, Texas, these dudes don't mess around when it comes to unbearable noise. The Morning After the Night We Raped Death is the first of their planned five releases and it brings forth three insanely noisy tracks that will hammer you to the floor with machine gun drumming, distorted screams and more hissing than a cement truck full of rattle snakes,cats and broken TVs. It sounds kinda like Gigantic Brain's pummeling cybergrind songs. This is NOT easy listening and you WILL ask yourself "What the fuck am I listening to?".

If you want to rape Death, you'd better come prepared.

Thanks for sending me the EP, guys. It ruined my life.


March 11, 2014

SPECIAL: NO JUDGE, ONLY LOVE, Marco's Life-Changing Album: Nightwish - Once (2004)

2edgy4u

OK guys, here's the thing: I'm not as cool as you think. I don't know what other people told you, but Adam wasn't created from one of my ribs, I don't wrestle bears for fun and Vladimir Putin is not my personal adviser. That would be Jonathan, people always mix us up for some reason. I do have a bitchin' Italian name, though, so it all evens out somehow. 

You see, I used to listen to a lot of shit in my early teens - Linkin Park, Kelly Clarkson, Lordi, Craddle of Filth, Avril Lavigne, Fort Minor, Coldplay, Rihanna, Dido, fucking Muse, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Killswitch Engage, AC/DC, Iron Maiden., Aerosmith, you name it. Decent, well produced music if you judge it solely on an objective level, but soulless, uninspired and superficial when you realize that, years after their final moment of relevance, their that ''Oh, I used to listen to them in my teens!'' kind of bands and that the world would have been exactly the same without them. Some would call it corporate music and they'd be totally right. Hell, I still do listen to a lot of crap, but now I have an entire back catalogue of cool (obscure) music to impress the so called patricians who question my taste when they see me spazzing out on Ke$ha's songs. But I digress.

While The Knife marked the moment when I started experimenting with different genres and became an overall musical dicksnob, Nightwish was there when I finally broke free (hehehe, get it?) from the music I mentioned earlier and started broadening my horizons. If for some weird reason you've made finding the perfect personification of the ''hello im 12 years old and what is this'' meme your life ambition, you're in luck today, because that was me when I first made contact with Once. It has everything a rebellious preteen would love - leather clothing, fuzzy guitar riffs, vaguely intellectual lyrics inspired from mythology, gloomy videos with a laughably cheesy yet lovable Gothic theme, bombastic song progressions and a hot chick with an absolutely beautiful voice thrown in for good measure (whoaaa, come on, I was joking! I'm well aware that Tarja was the soul and brain of the band, not some dumb poster bimbo for 13 year olds to drool over). Songs like Over The Hills and Far Away, Nemo, I Wish I had an Angel... Man, makes me smile like a dumb ass when I look back. 

Sure, now that I look back at it, I see how cringe-worthy and over the top they were. Sure, Tarja was the reason why they were so successful in the first place. Sure, their music is mediocre at best. Sure, they're a pile of pure, steamy and utter shit. But you know what? These guys knew (past tense, Tarja  left the band a few years ago) how to fucking rock. And that was reason enough for 12 year old Marco to run towards the record store and blow away his allowance money on his first CD, Nightwish's Once. 

Two years later I threw it away by accident.







March 10, 2014

Special: Of Rats And Men




The voice, although screamed, made everything resonate with itself, be it either a piece of paper, a dirty flower vase or a human soul. And then, as the song came to a slow but desirable conclusion, acoustic guitar notes intertwining and weaving themselves into forming a gentle buzzing sound, it was then when I experienced eternity…

It felt as though I had died and came back to life, all in the same undefined moment. No more would the space-time continuum exist, as time and space gave way to the ultimate dimension, that of absorbing nothingness. Soon enough, the same grating voice that had put me into the reverie dragged me back to reality with its grasping claws. 

– unknown quote

In my personal opinion, music is one of the few forms of art that can truly tap into the subconscious of a person, slowly tethering itself to our inner sustaining foundation, shaking the very pillars that define our emotional stability. 

You might say that this is a very strong statement, yet if I start looking around and rationalizing everything I find that there is no amount of good books, paintings or visual experiences that would have the same effect on one person as, let’s say, his favorite song in the world. As someone whose first discernable memories are music related, I can confess to belonging in that category. As someone who would choose going to a specific show over everything else that might happen at the same time, I can confess to belonging in that category. As someone who has had similar experiences to the one mentioned in the above quote, I can confess to belonging in that category.

With that out of the way, I’m going to start a little parallel here so please bear with me. 

Thing is, the guys at Tzeeeac have started writing some kind of articles about ‘life-changing albums’ and, while I wish them good luck with it, personally I won’t be doing that. Why? Well I’d guess that’s a pretty straight forward answer: the simple categorization used here implies just the thing that you previously read, a life-changing album. And if it changed your life, how could you even write something that could do that piece of music justice? You’re hearing everything with distinctive nuances now, possibly looking at the world from a completely unique perspective. I would stretch that it turned you into an entirely different person, although that’s not quite an accurate image. If, however, the person whose vision of the realm around him has been modified in any way by reason of listening to said music, one might want to heed the following advice, which in my opinion should apply to every living being:

Change should be self-induced, rather than self-inflicted.

Only upon the realization that this experience has truly taken a hold of you is made, only then you can safely declare that you just listened to a life-changing album.

In another twist of ideas, I’d like to take this opportunity and extend a formal apology to all of the bands that have sent music our way. Not in the outline that we did something wrong, but seeing that we’re just a colorful conglomerate of music freaks, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all had our share of life-changing albums by now. We may like your stuff, hell we may even love it, but as more time passes by us, chances that we’re going to find another one in the midst all those hundreds, thousands of hours we spend torturing our eardrums with are very slim, possibly travelling in a downward spiral towards zero. We sure as hell don’t want that, but it’s not like we can do anything to stop it. What we can do, however, is try to be in an ever evolving state, towards both ourselves and you, all the people that read us. Because it is with our writing that we satisfy our egotistical desire to be heard, so that we can push our thoughts in different directions and observe the reactions. After all, it’s all human nature and there’s nothing we can do to avoid it.

With that said, I would like all of our readers to reflect (for themselves or for us) on the following simple questions; to reflect on them and, if possible, to provide an honest answer:

Are Tzeeeac members just units of an uncomplicated pack of rats, feeding upon tiny scrapes of auditory information and having no living purpose whatsoever? Or do you consider us men of valor, ‘emotional advisors’ in this forever changing industry made of guitars, drums, syntethizers and microphones? Would you still read us in five years time, or ten, or fifty, or we might as well pack up our toys and leave?

Think about that, my friends, while you listen to this song. It might, however slim the chances, actually change your life.


March 9, 2014

Exalting the TZEEEAC Proprietor: An Interview with CARA NEIR




We're stoked to present to you our interview with the excellent dudes from Cara Neir, a vicious black metal/hardcore/sludge outfit based in Dallas, Texas. Their latest album Portals to a Better, Dead World was a huge hit at the TZEEEAC Xmas Party last year and it even made Volo's best of 2013 list. Now, Garry (guitars, bass, drum programming, samples, backing vocals) and Chris (vocals, lyrics) are here to talk about their music influences, Mexican food, the albums they're most excited for in 2014 and cats, naturally. Keep reading, you dorks!

1. Hey there! We’re stoked to be talking to you, thanks for agreeing to take part in this friendly chit-chat. Please make sure you are wearing sweatpants and a comfy t-shirt before we proceed. 

First and foremost, we really appreciate you guys reaching out to us to be apart of this interview! We’ll approach most of the questions individually.

2. We’ve been wondering for a while now what does Cara Neir mean and how the band came to be. Was the two-man formula something you were set on from the beginning or did it just happen from lack of alternatives?

Chris: Cara Neir translates to "dear dream." Garry sent me the instrumentals to a track over instant messaging one evening and asked me what I thought, and if I'd be interested in hopping on-board. I was immediately drawn to the track's simultaneous sombre/pleasing tone. The two-man formula is something we've always sort of adhered to. Garry and I were in a few projects that were just the two of us prior to Cara Neir, it's always seemed to work out for us. Since Cara Neir, we have however welcomed multiple guest appearances from friends and other groups. 

Garry: The name comes from a loose translation of “dear dream” or “beloved dream” -- “cara” is the singular feminine form of the latin word “carus”, which means “dear” or “beloved” -- “neir” originates from the greek word “oneiro”, which means “dream”. The idea behind the name is an existential longing to be in a permanent dream state or to be nostalgic of one's dreams. No particular reason why we chose the form “cara” or “neir” from their respective origins; it just rolled off the tongue better. We definitely started the project with the intent of sticking to our two-man formula, which is something I think we thrive the most in. However, we’ll always ask friends for guest appearances!

3. You wear your influences on your sleeves: Darkthrone, Bathory, Converge, Alpinist, Funeral Diner – one can definitely hear all of these bands make a heavy influence on your music. How did you get into black metal and hardcore? Was it from a young age or was it a slow build up from Metallica and Iron Maiden to listening to woeful black metal about creeping in the forest at night? 

Garry: It was definitely a transition getting into black metal and hardcore, as I was introduced to more traditional metal bands at a young age. When I was 13-14, I developed an interest in digging deeper into extreme metal and subgenres with especially harsher vocals on my own accord, specifically black metal. I would say I’m relatively a newcomer to hardcore punk in the last 6-7 years, as far as really getting into it just as much as black metal, if not more. I was into more of the offspring stylings of hardcore in the form of grind, screamo, and powerviolence before I delved into the roots of it. It definitely shows in our musical progression that we do wear those various influences on our sleeves, picking up new inspirations along the way, and just creating music that we both like. 

Chris: I was into metal from the start being that "rock n' roll" runs in my family, so I suppose it was the woeful transition for me. Black metal and hardcore specifically, I started listening to at very different times in my life. Actually, I wasn't equipped in the hardcore genres until sometime after Cara Neir's first full-length release, which I think is very apparent in our sound.



4. You released a split with Horseback, Njiqahdda and Venowl a while back, which to me sounds like a dream line-up of extremely creative and unique bands. Tell us more about this split. Did you get to meet Jenks Miller or the dudes from Njiqahdda (hardest band name to spell ever, I swear, gah!) or was it a strictly online affair? What are your favorite albums from each of these bands? 

Chris: Not sure about Garry, but I was only in communication with the guys from Venowl during and after the recording of that 4-way monster. Njiqahdda are ridiculous, I couldn't believe that it took me as long as it did to hear of the guys, and the first time was when Garry told me about the split. To hear that Horseback and our buddies in Venowl would be on it also was fucking sweet. 

Garry: I’m no stranger to the Venowl guys as I’ve known them for 7-8 years online. I’ve had the pleasure of mixing/mastering a lot of Venowl’s material over the years. In person, I had a strange/awesome brodude hangout with them when they traveled to Texas in the summer of 2010 for the HARSH NOISE WALL festival in Houston. They drove up to the Dallas area after the fest and needed a place to stay for a night and I happily welcomed them. We stayed up drinking a shared bottle of Purple Haze, shared music via hard drives, and showed each other upcoming material from our respective bands. I’d like to hang out with them again. I have not met Jenks Miller, but he’s an insanely good musician and songwriter. The same goes for the exceedingly prolific Njiqahdda guys, which I’ve yet to completely listen through their vast discography! I’m honored to have been a part of that 4-way split. As far as favorite releases go from each of them: Gnawed Gristle and Bone from Venowl, Horseback’s Half Blood, and Njiqahdda’s The Path of Liberation from Birth and Death.

5. There’s a long love affair between metal musicians and cats. Probably because cats are the most metal animals ever except maybe sharks, but you can’t keep pet sharks because you’d be eaten alive. Do you have any cats? 

Garry: First, I’ll just say that it may be an irrational fear, but I am afraid of sharks. Maybe it’s not irrational -- have you seen JAWS? Well...then again, when am I ever going to be in the situation where a shark wants to eat me? It’s irrational. I’m also deathly afraid of the ocean for that matter. I love cats. I don’t own one at the moment, but I want a big fuzzy black cat with yellow eyes. 

Chris: Indeed! My wife and I have two cats, as well as a bearded dragon. Cats are obviously metal. I enjoy the company of all creatures that aren't human, though. 

6. Individual questions time! Garry, you seem to be a pretty young dude. When on earth did you have time to learn to play EVERY instrument? What is your favorite instrument to record? Chris, your lyrics are fantastic! Any modern musicians you appreciate and whose lyrics have made an impact on you? I’m a sucker for Pig Destroyer lyrics, myself. 

Garry: Thank you for the kinds words. I wish to learn more, especially playing drums as they’re my favorite instrument to listen to on a recording. My favorite instrument to record is bass, which is my primary instrument and the one I have been playing the most. 

Chris: Well, thanks! I agree and think that Hayes has written some of the most haunting work I've seen in music. There are those like JR Hayes, Shawn Hache, the two madmen from Rune, and Luc Lemay who have REALLY had an impact on what I've written, honestly though I'm more directly influenced by literature and other media. 



7. We’re always asking bands to talk about food, especially bands from countries or cities where we know there’s awesome stuff to be eaten via watching too many episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Man vs. Food. Texas seems like a prime spot to stuff your face with delicious food. Take us through your Tex-Mex game. Or are you steak men?

Garry: I’m vegan, so that excludes me from having a typical Tex-Mex game. However, I LOVE burritos, especially with black beans, rice, and guacamole. I recommend Freebirds if you or anyone is ever in Texas and are craving burritos. My friend Alden once referred to me as “you mean that guy who loves burritos?” when one of our mutual friends was talking about me. 

Chris: The key to enjoying good Mexican foodstuffs down here is to take yourself to a taqueria. The tex-mex joints are simply that, mediocre tex-mex, and you're hard-pressed to find a genuine Mexican restaurant anywhere that isn't close to the border. I myself am a meat and breakfast man. Burgers and pancakes, please.

8. Do you plan on performing on stage or are you content with being a kickass studio-only band? Also, are there any exciting releases in the pipeline? 

Garry: We just need to dig out the time to fill the roles for a live situation and rehearse material that’s practical. Two local friends (who are in Flesh Born) have expressed interest in helping out in the future. It’s possible that another friend could handle second guitar duties as well. We’ll see what happens this year, but we would like to play some live shows.

Chris: I'm always bugging the shit out of Garry on doing some live events here in the relative future. The problem isn't with us, it's that we would really like to have somebody take over the duties of guitars so that we could have more of a righteous ensemble, and we can't seem to find said individual.

9. Last question is list question: what are the five albums you’re most looking forward to in 2014?

Garry: 

5. Shellac 
4. SUNN O))) & Ulver even though the album is already out this year. 
3. Inventions (psyched for this ambient duo formed by Matthew cooper of Eluvium and Mark Smith of Explosions In The sky) 
2. Plebeian Grandstand (been too long since their masterpiece How Hate Is Hard to Define) 
1. GODFLESH 

Chris: I don't know of five albums yet that I'm super stoked for, so I'll give you my five albums of 2013 that kicked ass. 

5. Rotten Sound - Species at War 
4. Psychofagist - Songs of Faint and Distortion 
3. Cleric - Gratum Inferno 
2. jesu - Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came 
1. Gorguts - Colored Sands

10. Nothing left to do but wait in cold bitterness, while hot dogs are slowly boiling. We leave the final words up to you, boys. 

We have a lot of stuff coming out this year. Prepare for unforeseen consequences.

March 8, 2014

GUEST POST: Thirty Seconds To Mars – Love Lust Faith + Dreams (2013)


I’ve been writing book reviews since I can’t remember, but writing album reviews is a new-yet-familiar task, an extremely challenging one. Marco told me to give it a shot and try writing something worth posting on the mighty TZEEEAC. He warned me that it’s not an easy job at all, merely because the level of obscure music knowledge and dick jokes on this site is so damn high. But I’ll try to do my best; please don’t judge me too harsh. So here we go.

Thirty Seconds To Mars is a band that went through a lot over the years and their sound changed drastically since their debut album. They experienced everything, from progressive metal and emo, to hard rock and electronic rock. Love Lust Faith + Dreams is their fourth studio album, designed as a concept album divided in 4 parts revolving around the themes after which the record is named, each one being introduced by a female voice at the beginning of a song or the end of an interlude. I liked the foreign influences (they recorded a part of the album in India) and the diversity of both modern and traditional instruments.

The introductory song Birth starts with powerful horns, strings and Jared Leto’s soft vocals and instantly the album has got a rather orchestral, theatrical sound. The lead single of the album, Up In The Air, where the rock elements are mixed with the sounds of synthesizers, turns this song into a catchy arena sing-along track. City Of Angels represents, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire album as it branches out even further and is a piano-driven song. Jared Leto’s vocals are greater than usual, and he has a powerful voice. Let’s not forget about the Northern Lights, which has harmonies and the chorus is amazing. I believe that, as a live performance, this song will be much better compared to the recorded version.

But enough about the best parts of the record, it’s time for its lows. The shittiest song is represented by Convergence, a filler track, just keyboard for 2 minutes. Press skip, ‘cause it adds nothing, just like Pyres Of Varansi. The album is missing something important, the whole time I listened to it I had the feeling that the band is just dancing around that sweet spot that you look for. 

Overall, Love Lust Faith + Dreams is an unique and kaleidoscopic piece of art. It’s an ambitious record with a lot of diversity in it, the songs are prepared well and the lyrics are really good but I’m so freaking disappointed that I can’t call it epic. The concept of the album is a great idea, however is not enough to get more than 8/10.


Patricia Chioaru

March 3, 2014

Sunn O))) & Ulver ‎- Terrestrials (2014)


Last year, when a collaboration album between Sunn O))) and Ulver was announced, tight hipster jeans all over the planet were creamed instantly and that fucking Needledrop asshole was probably already writing a review before a single note was leaked. Like, you know, whoah, those two bands, man. Gotta tweet about it! #yolo #ebaygold ... Ebay gold, because there were 5000 vinyl records pressed (1000 white, 1000 red, 3000 black), all of which were gone with a fucking mouseclick.

Well, big fucking deal. While I like both bands, this was hardly exciting news considering the fact that they already worked and recorded together eleven years ago during Sunn O)))'s White1 sessions. But how the fuck would a hipster know? They were probably still swimming in daddy's nutsack at that time. Metaphorically, of course. Everybody knows that hipsters are being bred in laboratories, in an organic soy latte liquid in test tubes. But I digress...

Terrestrials is one of the few contemporary examples that make sense in an album kind of way: the songs simply need to be played in the exact album order, first side one, then side two, in a very classical sense. And also the instrumentation is very classic: in addition to Sunn O)))'s tectonic drones and Ulver's electronic and ethereal orchestration, there is a whole variety of brass and strings creating a quasi jazz vibe at times, pretty much along the lines of Bohren & der Club of Gore. On antidepressants. Mixed with speed. Speed in very, very relative terms, though. The bad part, however, is the (only) song on side two: starting off quite promising, mesmerizing even, it's those fucking vocals that ruin it all. Hey Garm! Yes, Garm, I refuse to call you Kristoffer, I would love it if you went back to the woods to howl with the wolves again. You did a fantastic job almost 2 decades ago, but your vocals these days sounds like some esoteric whale song on a new age meditation CD. With dolphins on the cover. I swear I can almost smell the incense. Oh, and by the way, why the fuck do you always, always, always wear that wool hat? Are you balding and can't get over it? No worries, buddy... you're not alone in this!

Listening to this album, it's hard to not play a movie in your head: probably a late night feature of a Kubrick one, as reinterpreted by Tarkovsky: artsy and bleak, yet strangely seductive and soothing at the same time. (And it really does not come as a surprise that Ulver were using 2001 footage as visuals on their latest tour...) Everything is, as you would expect, very anticlimactic and (of course) drone-y, but then again, I get the feeling that these 3 songs here might be among the most lighthearted either band has ever created. Not that it is poppy by any means or standards, or even uplifting, but beneath all that doom and gloom there is a sense of hope. The cover art shows a picture of our sun (no pun intended, it wasn't my idea to use it, mind you!), and the entire album to me personally has a very galactic vibe. It sounds like the soundtrack to the birth of a star or a galaxy, celestial beauty and chaos at the same time, a soundtrack for the realization that we, as humans, are essentially insignificant in this universe and can only stare wide-eyed. 

Terrestrials, with all its shortcomings and interesting parts, already has a place in my top ten for the year and it's only March. I don't know what that means, to be honest - is it really that great? Or does contemporary music suck so hard that I am willing to accept a mediocre record because it's better than anything else being released?

http://sunnulversl.bandcamp.com/