Sunday? Oh boy, church!
Recently, I realised that, despite the rather musicky vibe going on over at this here web page, I have never actually directly recommended songs to my readers. Sure, my reviews might persuade some of you into checking out certain albums or bands, but a light-hearted YouTube clip once in a while may prove to be of use to those of you who don’t feel like wading through my pompous, ambiguous prose all the time, only to find out that I tend to limit myself to ranting on about seemingly unrelated subjects and, as if that weren’t enough, don’t even have the decency to sum up my quasi novellas in the form of a score, or, for that matter, end my sentences before you lose track of what in the name of Greek buggering I’m on about. That’s why I offer you, on this sleep-inducing Sunday, a bit music to pass the time with. For Sunday, normally a day of confession, rest, introspection and insta-suicide, also lends itself remarkably well for long internet sessions, which may often result in you finding many new artists so that, on the subsequent Monday, you can spice up your pointless, crappy life with a new soundtrack. So comb your hair, put on your best smile and set fire to a church as you enjoy the following display of elevated musical taste. (Click on the title of a song to hear it.)
*Ulver* – I Troldskog Faren Vild
This may not be the most adventurous choice, seeing as anyone who has ever had anything to do with black metal will undoubtedly be aware of Bergtatt – Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler, the magnificent debut album of Norse gods Ulver. But even in the many years that have passed since the release of this album (it saw the light of day in 1995), there have been very few songs to match the CD’s opening track in terms of creativity and courage. The vocals in particular stand out, as they are, contrary to the conventions of the genre, entirely clean and ironically angelical. The manner in which the hypnotic guitar riffs gently build up to a very effective climax is impressive, as well. It’s definitely a song that anyone who’s even remotely interested in metal should know, so here’s your chance to correct yourself in case you don’t.//
*Halgadom* – Gott In Uns
Halgadom is a bipolar band in many ways, and has been for a while. The album Sein und Werden (2004), on which this song is featured, consists for 50% of neofolk tracks, while the other half offers straightforward black metal in the vein of Absurd and Wolfsmond. Additionally, the frontman of this project plays in a fairly notorious nazi band, while another band member is/was active in an antifascist neofolk project. The bizarre background of this group aside, “Gott in uns”, being a part of Sein und Werden‘s neofolk persona, actually is a very enjoyable song. It’s a magical composition on which, contrarily to some of the group’s other efforts, the combination of female and male vocals actually comes along rather nicely. A beautiful song for cold winter evenings, so what could be more appropiate at this time of year?//
*Fleurety* – Exterminators
If one album in the not wholly unimpressive black metal history of Norway is criminally underrated, it’s Fleurety’s brilliant, unique, surprising and unequalled Min Tid Skal Komme full-length from 1995. The album consists of five intricately wonderful songs that mix Burzum-flavoured black metal with ’70s prog rock in an utterly strange yet exceptionally successful way. Maybe the only weaker aspect of the music are the somewhat ungratifying and powerless black metal vocals. But with a whirlwind of creative riffs, professional bass work and extraordinarily well-paced compositions, such flaws tend to be rather easy to forgive. The subsequent Department of Apocalyptic Affairs album went a bit too far with avant-gardish weirdness for my taste, but nonetheless contains what might be my favourite song of the band, “Exterminators”, an extraordinary excercise of circus-like jazz metal that sees the band nearly but not entirely abandoning its black metal roots.//
*Kawir* – Εμπουσα (Empousa)
As was recently pointed out in my review of Kawir’s debut album, this Greek formation developed into one of the most brilliant black metal bands with the Arai en Ophiolatreia albums, released in 2005 and 2008 respectively. On the debut album, To Cavirs, they were still kind of searching for the perfect sound, while the potentially solid sophomore effort Epoptia was marred by lackluster vocal work and occasionally unexciting composing. Looking back on the band’s discography, it occurs to me that the song “Εμπουσα”, of which an early, raw version first appeared on the Δαίμων (Daimon) split with Zemial, is probably the starting point of the band adopting a more solid, mature sound. This track maintains the roughness of Epoptia, but already leans towards a more demonic, atmospheric sound, reminiscent of the style that made Arai such a treat. Apart from that, this is just a great song, and this remix, which can be found on the re-edition of Epoptia, is the best version.//
*Wolfsmond* – Wo Der Tod Allein Thront
It appears to be obligatory for German black metal bands to make, at one point in their career, a song about werewolves. Like the Norwegian black metallers have a thing for vampirism, and gangsta rappers obsess over popping foo’s in da hood for mad propz, them blackened kraut rockers just like singing about werewolves. Perhaps this is a bit of an infantile habit, but if you would always pay attention to lyrics, it would be impossible not to pee your pants in laughter while listening to the majority of the (black metal) bands out there, so what are we moaning about, really? The Thuringian group Wolfsmond (what’s in a name?) decided to just get it over with and featured the werewolf evergreen “Wo Der Tod Allein Thront” on its 2002 debut album Des Düsterwaldes Reigen. Despite the somewhat childish lyrics, this song just offers that fabulous aggression that only bikestealers can produce. The phenomenal build-up in particular just makes you want to smack people you don’t like in the face. It’s Sunday, so what’s stopping you from doing just that?//
So, the end of the day is closing in on us, meaning that we can look forward to yet another week full of labour, joy and songs. With these objectives in mind, let me just offer you some additional advice: make a difference, cause WW3.
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