Slutet – Slutet

So originally I was going to open this review up for  a joke saying that the band’s name sounded like an 1890’s brothel term. I can’t do that however, because this album goes beyond jokes. Not in the “wow this is such an amazing album” way, but in the “what the fuck did I just listen to” way. When I got this it was tagged as experimental black metal, which I figured “ok, I’ll get to review something a bit out of the ordinary. Who knows, maybe I’ll discover a cool band no one knows about”. What I didn’t think it would be, was basically an underground cult’s manifesto of some sort

The album opens up with samples of the 9/11 attack news coverage, segueing int this sort of black rock or sorts? Like it’s not black metal, but it kinda sounds enough like black metal while still being rock, to the point where I can’t even describe what genre it is. The “singer” sounds like a side character nigga from Rocky Horror Picture Show trying to do black metal vocals, while simultaneously giving a schizophrenic sermon on the street of a major city about how the world will end. Fitting, because the commune this band formed is called “The End Commune”. The tracks goes on like this for 10 minutes before ending with a sample of a jihadist yelling “Allahur Ackbar” and blowing himself up. It gets weirder from there.

Track 2, Raped Beauty Sleep, continues in the same style as track 1, while managing to get even creepier with some more whispered vocals. Track 3 is a pretty nice filler black rock (I don’t really know how else to describe it) track, but the real shit comes in track 4. This is a 22 minute dirge that starts off with some cool dark jazz elements with guitars playing one riff in the background. And throughout the entire song that riff just keeps growing with intensity. Towards the end you have this riffs growing and growing with “samples” of women being tortured in the background. I put that in quotes because they sure don’t sound like they’re from a movie or something. At one point one of the women cries out in her loudest voice possible “I. AM. A. HUMAN. BEING!”. And fuck me if I didn’t get chills for all the wrong reasons.

I’ll admit it, I’m a total pussy. I hate horror movies, and always get freaked out at stupid stuff like jump scares. I remember when I was a teenager I would go on 4chan’s /x/ board (this was around 2010, when there was actually some scary shit there), which if you don’t know is the paranormal board on the site. I’d go there for an hour late at night and go to bed with my head under the covers scared as shit. I would watch those “hidden footage” Japanese ghost captures and I would never be able to finish them because I would get freaked so hard. I still do that shit. I listen to stuff like black metal because in my head I know it’s all fake. I mean sure, some of those artists do believe what they’re saying, and sure, a very select few actually do some fucked up shit. But even then, I can remain blissfully unaware and pretend it’s all fairy tales. This shit I’m not so sure I can do that. You may ask “how do you know it’s not fake”? Well, technically I don’t, but I found their blogspot (http://theendcommune.blogspot.com/ NSFW) and…. yeah. This shit reads like something made by true loonies. Apparently this guys have a reputation for being fucked up, and their music sure serves that well. When those women are screaming, I genuinely think there’s a chance, even for only a second, that those might actually have been recordings of women they dragged into their chamber and did shit with.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, which is give something a full review, but not rate it. I feel like the music here isn’t the point. No numerical score would justify what’s in this record. If this is all fake, if this is all for show, if those samples are just from a movie, and if all of what I’m hearing is part of an act, then congratulations, you fucking got me. I’m spooked.


Unrated

FYI, I putting the recommended tag on this despite not giving it a 7, simply because this is interesting enough as a possible look at the fucked up underground of civilized society, and to me, that’s enough to give it the tag.

The Body – No One Deserves Happiness ALBUM REVIEW

The Body has always been one of those bands that’s bordered on the edge of “is this actually metal?” at times. And that’s gotten them both acclaim and dissent from the metal community. Because the truth is the metal community doesn’t often take too kindly to massive experimentation of the non-metal variety in metal albums. Many see it as the invitation to the hipster community to love metal, of which as they do everything, will lead to the further degeneration and destruction of metal as a whole. And this isn’t totally wrong, we’ve already seen plenty of shitty pitchforkcore metal albums come out specifically because the general populace has grown more into the more extreme genres of metal. However, that doesn’t faze me when going into this record. Because I like weird shit. If you’ve followed my reviews for the short time that I’ve been doing them, you might’ve caught on that i love really strange and experimental metal, which often involves me giving “random bandcamp album #2324” a 10/10. This is because smaller bands typically do shit that no other large band would even think of doing, because of the risk of losing fans, which equals losing money. The Body isn’t exactly the largest band in the world, but they’re known, and they have quite a following. The difference being The Body has built their image on some of the coldest, hate induced music of any major band right now. No One Deserves Happiness is no different. The Body has created a masterpiece that speaks to everyone who has ever wished ill will on other people or themselves, and those who’s cynicism and pessimism has controlled them to the point of no return.

Even since people have actually started using the descriptors feature of RYM albums I’ve seen the tag “misanthropic” on pretty much any album that’s dark in the slightest. The tag is almost a joke at this point, one that always hypes me up but never delivers. So again, on this record I got the it’s page and sure enough, that tag is there, calling to me another massive let down. Except when I put this on, there was no letdown. This is some of the most anti-social music I’ve heard that wasn’t just noise. And it’s all done by the implementation of industrial sounds in combination with the droning heavy guitars. I think the evilness of machinery is quite underestimated among most music fans, especially those who love metal. One of the reasons black metal sounds so evil is because of the hollow and cold guitar tone associated with it. It sounds distant, cold, detached. However I feel like there’s still some human emotion attached to them, mostly in the fact that they actually play tonal notes. So no matter how black you make the guitar, there’s always going to be some sort of warmth involved. Machines don’t have that. They just have pure, cold, noise. There is no warmth of human flesh attached to those sounds, no familiar imperfections or touch. It’s just noise. But that can be said of any electronic album, why does it work so well here?

It’s because of the combination BETWEEN both the warmth and the cold. In combination with the bleeps and bloops we have warm, down to earth guitars. We have soothing, soft female vocals that almost seem to be sarcasm at times, and at others beckoning those who reject humanity to come back to the comfort of man. We have distant, fuzzy screams, as if a response to the vocals, yelling “NO, let me suffer in peace!” We have a distant and quiet production, which I initially criticized, but came to realize made everything else even more detached. The amazing part of No One Deserves Happiness is that even things I would normally see as imperfections are done so well in context that I see them as strengths. There are tracks where we do see some actual melancholy tonality, something that you would take for granted on basically any other record. Normally I would look at that and think “wow that really doesn’t fit in context of what I’ve heard so far”. But god dammit it works here. Specifically on The Fall and the Guilt, we have a track with pianos and violins, combined with angelic female vocals, contrasted with the guttural, doomy guitars and noisy background fuzz. It shouldn’t work but it fits perfectly because The Body restrains themselves from going too all in on either aspect. There’s just enough of each one to work, no more, no loss.

Which is why this album is one of the best records this year. Because everything fits together perfectly. Not only does it accomplish its goal to almost perfection, but it goes beyond that, giving the listener a true misanthropic experience that I haven’t seen in a long time. I know this is isn’t going to get high ratings from most people, but I urge anyone who can give weird music a chance to let this masterpiece explain to them why humans are pure fucking garbage.


9.5/10

Screaming at the Sun – Screaming at the Sun ALBUM REVIEW

I have a bad habit not having a lot to say about the albums I enjoy the most. I guess Vaenir was an exception, but then I had something to compare it to (Electric Wizard) and I springboarded off of that. I had a background in that. I’ve never actually heard anything like this before. And honestly neither have you, whoever you are reading this. The genre tag “experimental doom” doesn’t really describe what this is. And really I can’t do that in words unless the person I’m talking to has heard this. It just won’t make any sense, there’s no context. So I’m going to actually link a download to this album, which is something I’ve never done before because typically if people want it they can find it easily. And even then, I’ve never really had a reason to, most people reading my reviews at least either know of the album or I can give them enough of a description to give them adequate information on if they should or not. But I can’t do that here, not unless i went through every single track and dissected it and what it means to me, which again means nothing if the other person hasn’t listened to it. Anyway, here it is
http://screamingatthesun.bandcamp.com/releases
It’s a free download (which astonishes me) so you don’t have to worry about buying anything. Once people start listening to this album more I’ll probably give a more detailed review. But if there’s one way for me to describe it, just so you aren’t going in blind it’s this: this is the music that plays while the universe ends. This isn’t the ending of humanity, we’re long gone at that point. This is the end for existence. When we’re all sucked up in a black hole, never to be released. This is the soundtrack to God.


10/10