Saturday, 28 May 2016

LK Ultra's Molten Hot Mixtape, May 28th, ed.

Side A

1). CARDINALS FOLLY - Her Twins of Evil - You can say they're underrated or you can just say they're awesome. Cardinals Folly remains one of the more distinctive bands in the world of traditional doom, when these Finns are at their best, they have a knack for finding the fun side of death and damnation and they're at their best here. Their new album, 'Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom' is a good party: there's laughs, maybe a cry or two, then a fight breaks out and it's back to bacchanalia ... with sexy results!


2). SOURVEIN - Hymn to Poseidon - I've been saying for months now that Sourvein's new album is flawless and I stick by that. It proves that brevity and restraint are always good looks and it feels like an instant classic. 'Hymn to Poseidon' is one of the standout tracks, it's confident and bold with a hint of melancholic regret, the kind of song you'd want to have a beer with if it was sitting at the bar. In a word, it's got character, like much of 'Aquatic Occult'.


3). SLOMATICS - Electric Breath - We've still got roughly forever to wait for the release of 'Future Echo Returns' (September 2), but everybody's favorite Irish sludge band released the first taste of it recently. And oh, surprise, surprise, what do ya know, it's a crusher. Come on guys, like, predictable much? I mean, seriously though, there's one part of the song where they're just beating you to death with sheer power, Oh gee, "didn't see that coming".


4). LORD VICAR - Accidents - This is arguably the most evil song Lord Vicar's recorded yet. When the verse kicks in and the bottom drops out on the drums, you're suspended by a rope over a fathomless abyss and each razor-edged note of the main riff is another frayed fiber. I connected with it in a big way yesterday when I passed a funeral chapel and a Dracula statue on Hastings street (Dracula statue courtesy of Netherworld Collectibles).


5). BRUTUS - Wandering Blind - It's been a few years since we last heard from these Norwegian retro rockers, their new album 'Wandering Blind' proves that they haven't lost a step. There were about a half dozen songs I would have liked to include here but the opening track really stuck with me. It's five minutes of riffing and wandering so you can really sink your teeth in.


6). SCORPION CHILD - My Woman in Black - Scorpion Child impressed the hell out of me with their debut single "Polygon of Eyes" back in early 2013, but I found their album to be hit and miss. They try their hand at big rock and roll moves and they don't always pan out, but their ambition is appreciated. They're sort of like, what if the Black Crowes were a hair metal band. Once again though, the lead single from their upcoming second album, 'Acid Roulette' is definitely a big hit here.

Side B

7). ALTAR DE FEY - 1975 - There's so much right about this. The new single from punky San Fran goth rockers Altar De Fey's 'Echoes in the Corridor' sounds like a product of the era it's named after. Musically, it's a tour of the dark side of the glam rock scene, the dingy big city club bathrooms, the overdoses swept under the rug. Altar de Fey remind me of 'Three Imaginary Boys'-era The Cure or early Echo & the Bunnymen, which is a nice change of pace, I'm going to keep my eye on this band, "1975" is a standout track on an interesting album.


8). YETI ON HORSEBACK - Dragged Down to Hell - Here's a hoser band that I was just introduced to by my good buddy Steve Howe of the Outlaws of the Sun webzine. It's a longer track, one you can take off your shoes to and put your feet up. It was released on bandcamp as a standalone track but will be the closing track on their upcoming debut album, 'The Great Dying' (September 23). It's enormous in all ways. The harsh vocals may be a sticking point for some, but Yeti on Horseback are poised to be a breakout hit in the world of sludge for 2016. (Note: 'The Great Dying' album artwork not yet revealed).


9). NAGA - Hyele - I've had the pleasure of watching Italian blackened sludge trio Naga develop from birth and this song sounds like the end of their beginning. The first taster off their upcoming EP captures the sound and feel of a confident band mid-stride. The black metal riff, doomy drums and epic scope documents Naga living up to their early potential.


10). TERRA TENEBROSA - The End is Mine to Ride - This Swedish band is new to me, the first single from their upcoming 'The Reverses' caught my ear on the ol' PR wire. I usually don't truck with "avant garde" metal, but this tune is less about exploration and more about exploitation. The best label for this would be blackened stoner. Whatever you call it it's just good metal and an end to our mixtape that'll have you pacing back and forth waiting for the next one.


Bonus Track:

Saturday, 21 May 2016

LK Ultra's Red Hot Mixtape, May 21st ed.

Side Lava
1). -(16)- - The Absolute Center of a Pitch Black Heart - Relapse Records revealed this week that legendary Los Angeles sludge band 16 will return with a new LP, titled 'Lifespan of a Moth' on July 15. Along with the news came the bandcamp link above featuring the first single. It's an osbtacle course full of fast-moving curve balls. A great song that shows the deft hand of a veteran band at work and an excellent start to any mixtape.

2). MOS GENERATOR - Wicked Willow - Another legendary west coast band, Washington's resident bullshit-less throwback rockers Mos Generator also have a new album in the pipeline called 'Abyssinia' set to invade homes on August 5. The first single, "Wicked Willow" is streaming on Decibel and it's more than worthy of inclusion on any mixtape. The build-ups and (slightly) subdued payoffs here are masterful.

3). CHURCH OF MISERY - Make Them Die Slowly (John George Haigh) - Japan's favorite heavy sons, Church of Misery's latest album, 'And Then There Were None...' has been out since early March, but this song is still reducing my mind to sludge. Great riff from the "Iron Man" like intro, to the awesome chorus, this one's got it all.
"I'll hang you high and drain your blood

Sip on the nectar while your bones reduce to sludge
Submerge your carcass in the drum
Sulfuric acid bath, without a trace you're gone"

4). MERCHANT - Black Vein - I hadn't heard Australia's Merchant until fairly recently. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. My feeble mind couldn't have imagined a band so expertly walk the line between extreme metal and what you might consider to be traditional sludge in the Crowbar, Eyehategod vein. "Black Vein" is a real standout track on their new album 'Suzerain' and at 9 minutes, it's one of the shorter ones.

5). BLACK SHAPE OF NEXUS - Sand Mountain - Germany's resident drone/sludge masters Black Shape of Nexus (B-SON)'s new album 'Carrier' was an adrenaline shot to the heart of a band that's been shaping minimalist sonic worlds for a decade and "Sand Mountain" is the standout track, a nervous breakdown of a song with a paranoia-inducing riff. This is the flashpoint where the drive to move minds with droning sounds and minimalist structures and the drive to move bodies with great riffs and punchy rhythms comes together.

Side Magma

6). BLIZARO - Frozen Awakening - Blizaro is my favorite band and they're still the best kept secret in the world of underground heavy. Their second official full-length 'Cornucopia Della Morte' was recorded years ago but got lost in haze of delays and label changes. When their new, self-titled record comes out (hopefully sometime this late spring / early summer) you'll hear how the band has changed their focus so this album is a weird artifact of a weird band. "Frozen Awakening" is arguably the best song on the album, one that finds that perfect marriage between Goblin-esque Italian horror music and Paul Chain-like Italian proto-doom riffs.

7). BLOOD CEREMONY - Lord of Misrule - The title track to Blood Ceremony's fourth album has that signature band sound with a sprinkling of 60's flower power petals. An upstrokey riff and flute combine with a powerful chorus to keep that Wicker Man vibe from their last album going strong. It's a scene of drunken revelry, fated to end in a sobering way.

8). VOKONIS - Olde One - I have to remind myself that Vokonis is a Swedish, not an Italian band. They have that sound. The ostensible title track from Vokonis' first album, 'Olde One Ascending' is doing just that at the Paranoid compound. It's one of those songs where when you're still learning it and it comes up on a playlist, you have to pull your device from your pocket and check who does it and make a mental note. It's the melodic riff that floats over the heavy bassline that does the trick.

9). DOPETHRONE - Host - Dopethrone and Fister put out a FREE split single on bandcamp last week. Dopethrone's side is like a pipe bomb filled with spinning sawblades. Just a killer tune with a great riff and that buzzy tone the band is known and celebrated for. It made for a nice surprise and a solid ramp for the big finish to our mixtape.

10). HEAD OF THE DEMON - Sathanas Trismegistos - Head of the Demon is another of my top 5 favorite bands. Their second album just escaped into our dimension, this is the title track. Sometimes I think they're playing black metal at quarter or even eighth speed, this is one of those times and it's a perfect example of what about this band just clicks for me. A good way to end a mixtape, by throwing you into the abyss.


Bonus Cassingle:
A). LOOKING GLASS - Procession
B). LOOKING GLASS - Electric Mistress
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