The titles I tell you about here are not inspirations in any way, but just what I have been listening to a lot the past weeks or so. A healthy combination of fucking awesome tracks (in alphabetical order). You should definitely check out these bands…
Abysmal Grief “Borgo Pass”
I will never – and I repeat – never get tired of this song. The whole atmosphere in it is so dark and unique and extremely horrifying. When you listen to it you can literally feel the darkness consume you and your mind easily drifts away to thoughts about driving an old rotten hearse through the infamous Borgo Pass. Without doubt one of the best songs ever written and the insane solo in it certainly underlines that. A must.
Acid Witch “Swamp Spells”
I can spin this song again and again. Acid Witch could be called a combination of metal music and Tales From The Crypt. The vocals of Lasse (unfortunately not with the band anymore) are so deep and perverse and suit the music just right. The song has a rather repetitive refrain, but that’s what makes this really cool. I will never get tired of this extremely catchy audial nightmare.
Anima Morte “He Who Dwells in Darkness”
Anima Morte cannot be called a metal band at all, but perform some unique kind of nightmarish music as performed by masters like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. What they really sound like is a film soundtrack from old Italian horror and giallo movies, which means a mix of synths and easy going rock music etc. It all sounds very haunting and disturbed and could have been created back in the 70s. Two thumbs up for originality and atmosphere.
Black Oath “Obsessed by Moonlight”
Dark and occult horror doom metal from Italy. I wrote the lyrics for this one, so I probably gave it a few more spins than many other songs, but it’s also worth it. I can’t really compare their eerie music to any other bands and the atmosphere they create really blows many bands away. It’s killer to hear lyrics sung with an Italian dialect. I am a sucker for that for some reason as it adds some extra charm to it all. Definitely a band you should check out.
Equinoxio “Break their Bones”
Equinoxio are from Panama, but sound rather European influenced. The music is extremely tight and so aggressive it will rip your face of. This kind of death/black metal is not really something I listen to too often, but this particular track just caught my attention big time. There’s no slow parts in this song and it just cuts right to the bone. Every time I listen to it I wonder how drummers manage to actually play like this. Killer.
Skitsystem “Apokalypsens svarta änglar”
Fucking aggressive crust punk music with screamed vocals and a very dark atmosphere. No matter what you do this has to be played LOUD for maximum effect and brain damage. I like quite some crust/punk/ grind bands and every now and then I put on Extreme Noise Terror, Fear Of God, (old) Agathocles, Doom, Nuclear Death Terror, Pisschrist, (old) Napalm Death, GG Allin etc. This track is from their “Stigmata” LP I got in my hands recently and sounds like what a kick in the nuts feels like.
The Black (Ita) “Metamorphoses” (pt I-IV)
Obscure Italian metal with lyrics completely in latin. The music is very doomy and the atmosphere deeply occult and somehow religious too. The Black is not easy listening and most likely you will have to give this some spins before getting into it (understand it you probably never will), but it is certainly worth it. I’m proud to say I have seen this strange band live even if we were only a handful. This song is from their newest “Gorgoni” LP.
Extremely underrated old US power metal band that never made it big, but still created some of the most atmospheric and memorable songs. This track is heavily soaked in synths too, but it certainly only adds to the atmosphere. And don’t forget the over the top vocal performance. A must for every old school power metal head.
Warlord “Lucifer’s Hammer”
Old übercool US power metal like I love it. I have listened to their stuff since shortly after I got into metal as a kid and this song still brings something special to me. The lyrics are very doomy and the music powerful with high vocals. Is there anything cooler than old US power metal??? This will always remain special to me as that was what got me into US metal along with old albums of Tyrant, Omen, Abattoir, Ripper etc.
I am glad we had a chance to play with this unique trio before they split up. Till this very day it’s still one of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed. Warning don’t just play songs, they paint pictures with their music. And those pictures are not happy. Slow stomping doom with an over the top vocal performance. One of my all time fave bands.
I originally planned on creating a playlist centered around some of my favorite album covers of all time. But once I got started I realized my list would mostly consist of metal classics that hopefully you already listen to every day (every day, headbangers!). So instead I decided to create a playlist of more obscure or at least unexpected songs that I like to blast when I’m drawing. I hope you enjoy expanding your horizons a bit…
~ Dennis Dread
The Chambers Brothers
‘Time Has Come Today’
The Chambers Brothers were primarily a gospel/R&B band (!) but this insane 11 minute descent into pop psychedelia is a perfect way to begin your evening (and this playlist). It’s inspiring to think that such a daring song actually met with mainstream success here in the States and I can only assume it helped pay the bills through the remainder of their rather forgettable careers. I love the powerful chorus which predates hardcore “gang vocals” by some 20 years and the metronome tick-tocking throughout the entire song gives it an almost subliminal urgency. There goes my metal credibility…
Chris Reifert put this on a mix tape for me a while back and totally blew my mind. This is basically a heavy psychedelic epic by a band that clearly didn’t dabble much with actual psychedelics. The rest of their music is suspiciously clean and tidy and devoid of the imaginative anxiety that comes with prolonged drug abuse (like, say, The 13th Floor Elevators). I generally like my jams much filthier than Ultimate Spinach but this pseudo drug ritual washes over you like a dark tide and is perfect for late nights at the drawing table. Or whatever. Light a black candle and let it burn. “SACRIFICE!!!!!”
‘Lay Down and Die, Goodbye’
I agonized over which early Alice Cooper song to put on this playlist and ultimately decided to take the road less traveled. This is the freak-out finale from the band’s transitional second LP Easy Action and it oozes with bad vibes and misguided menace. Love It To Death is probably my favorite Alice Cooper record but you’ve already heard ‘The Ballad of Dwight Fry’ a million times, right? Speaking of great subversive moments in heavy metal history, Mr. Furnier infamously stuck his thumb through his pants on the band photo for Love It To Death and it slipped past the label executives until they began fielding complaints from hyperopic parents who thought they saw a gnarled little penis! Needless to say, that photo was censored in subsequent pressings.
Despite my best intentions to leave out the obvious, I have no choice but to slip in these gems. For 10 solid years, between Rocka Rolla in 1974 and Defenders Of The Faith in 1984, Judas Priest recorded one perfect album after another. Their first four albums are particularly potent and, song for song, Sad Wings Of Destiny is among the Top 10 greatest heavy metal albums ever recorded. This record is, of course, an absolutely stunning listening experience from beginning to end and for a fifth of Bulleit Bourbon I’ll sing it in its entirety for you anytime anywhere. Patrick Woodroffe provided the brilliant cover art and, although the fallen angel is just a bit…well…gay, this is precisely what heavy metal art should look like. Those flames in the background are an unmistakable Woodroffe trademark as he had mastered a unique marbling technique that appeared often in his illustrations. Absolutely essential!
Brisbane (Security City)
Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, The Saints are often cited as one of the original punk innovators and this record proved just how innovative things could get. Prehistoric Sounds was their third LP and it perplexed the “scene” with its obnoxious jazzy horns and decidedly upbeat party tempos. Perhaps this one was just a bit ahead of its time. Seething just beneath the happy-go-lucky sarcasm is a sinister undercurrent that bleeds very well into our contemporary music-scape (and this playlist). This was punk before “punk” became a boring and rigidly defined downloadable genre. Commercial failure is often the price of artistic triumph, as is the case with this dark little sleeper.
The Mob is one of my favorite UK peace punk bands to emerge in the prodigious wake (and horrible din) of Crass. Instead of attempting to bludgeon us with boring self-righteousness they actually wrote uncomfortable and uncool songs with heart-wrenching introspective lyrics that make their anarchist views meaningful. They also had a very stark aesthetic and a creepy vulture-man logo that was very effective and can still occasionally be spotted sewn onto the studded vests of frowning vegans. Hard to a pick a favorite among so many aces but this quirky b-side to their 1979 ‘Crying Again’ single is the song I’ve returned to most often over the years. In case you ever forget how alienating and awkward it was to come of age in a world occupied by very strange adults, The Mob have written this soundtrack to remind you.
‘100% White Girl’
VKTMS were an early San Francisco punk act that banged out infectious anthems like this one while singer Nyna Crawford assaulted the status quo with her hilariously barbed lyrics. They caught shit for this track from politically correct punks who cried racism but I love these lyrics for their unflinching honesty. Nyna lived in the Tenderloin neighborhood which was a genuinely dangerous area back in the early 80’s and she could scarcely leave her apartment without being accosted by derelicts who inevitably employed the “white girl” slur. More importantly, Nyna was dating underground comix artist Jim Osborne at the time and he drew the classy cover art for this 7″ based on a vintage 1953 comic book called Haunted Thrills. According to legend the local punk girls told Jim they were tired of seeing the cliched damsel in distress imagery so, in the spirit of fair play, Jim later created a VKTMS flyer that depicted the exact same scene with the roles reversed so the woman was torturing the man.
The Gun Club
Jeffrey Lee Pierce was a latter-day Mr. Mojo Rising for the L.A. death punk tribe. A brilliant poet, consummate showman, self-destructive narcissist and, ultimately, a ghost on the American highway who led his band The Gun Club to infamy with wild shamanistic sex beats. For a few brief years in the early 80’s there was more raw pathos and more shimmering talent in a single drop of Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s alcoholic piss than most bards with heavy eye-liner can ever hope to muster. To quote Blade Runner, “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” This is soul music for fire spirits.
Ok, another obvious choice slips into the mix but this band was a big influence on me when I was younger so I couldn’t resist. The final track on the final LP. Not necessarily one of their better known songs but this sparse anti-war ballad still raises the hair on my neck after all these years. Few bands could pull this off with as much integrity and sincerity. Throat-scraping death rattles and simple synths that build to an absolutely crushing climax. One of the finest moments from one of the finest bands to ever crawl forth from England’s crusty underbelly. THE POWER REMAINS!!!!
“The last thing you’ll feel is fear.” I love drawing to Hawkwind’s third LP Doremi Fasol Latido. Hell, I love washing dishes and cleaning the bathroom to this record and Lemmy’s sparse closing admonishment is a great way to end any night (or playlist). If Klaatu from The Day The Earth Stood Still had done lots of space drugs and grown his hair long he might have sounded like this. Powerful heraldic cover art by “Barney Bubbles” (aka, Colin Fulcher), the acclaimed English designer who also brought us the brilliant Space Ritual cover! We took the wrong step years ago…
During my near-seventeen years on this planet, I haven’t amassed the largest record collection nor the most esoteric, but I’m always searching for new shit and I’ve managed to find some pretty good stuff so far. Well here are some of my favorite tracks from some of my favorite albums. Hail the Goat!
Electric Wizard “Barbarian” Dopethrone 2000
We start off with a track from an album that some might consider the heaviest of all time. Indeed, Dopethrone is so vast, so desolate, that upon listening, I often find myself astray among the monolithic riffs, far away from this planet. It’s heavy on so many levels, this track in particular. The vocals are so fucking nihilist and misanthropic. Jus Oborn sounds like a fucking sorcerer proclaiming curse unto the wind from atop a blackened peak. You think your civilised, but you will never understand!!!!
The Hand of Doom “They’re Ain’t No Running Away” Poisonoise 1979
Here’s some solid heavy metal from the lone album of The Hand of Doom. The whole album is a great mix of punk, heavy metal, and rock ‘n’ roll. Straight foward songs with no bullshit about it and all them are so damn good and memorable. It is a shame these wild tunes were the only release from these guys.
Blasphemy “Darkness Prevails” Fallen Angel of Doom… 1990
It’s been said many times before, but this is one of the greatest black metal albums of all time and “Darkness Prevails” probably is my favorite Blasphemy song. This record is so raw, it took me a little while to really appreciate it. It sounds like the master tape was unearthed from a 500 year old grave. So grinding and evil. I need this on vinyl! One day…
Davie Allan and the Arrows “Blues Theme” The Wild Angels Soundtrack 1966
Worship at the altar of fuzzzzzz, where Davie Allan is god! Great west coast vibe from this song. Cruisin’ on a motorbike through the desolation of the desert….Watch out!
High Tide “Futilist’s Lament” Sea Shanties 1969
More fuzzzzzz! Perhaps the heaviest record of 1969? Definitely the heaviest electric violin of ’69. What a great record from start to finish, not just the heavy songs but also the lighter songs. The whole LP has this very distant, mysterious vibe. Very dreamlike, almost nostalgic. Spin this LP with your drug of choice and drift away.
Sonic Ritual “Don’t Wanna Feel Alright” Mother Hearse 2009
I had trouble picking one track from this band cause they’re all so good! Sonic Ritual has such a unique sound and vibe. To me, it sounds like a mix a of “We Live”-era Electric Wizard mixed with the pure rock ‘n’ roll of Motorhead. They got it all, the riffs, the heaviness, the groove.
Black Flag “Thirsty and Miserable” Damaged 1981
Black Flag has a huge influence on the Satan’s Satyrs sound, especially “Damaged”. It’s just a big noisy mess falling apart all over the place and it works. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It’s one of the heaviest records ever. The production is SO perfect, that’s a big deal for me. The drums are so solid and they cut right through the noise. The guitar tone is so incredible, I could toil for hours trying to dial my amp just right to try on get that sound. The guitar sounds especially venomous on “Thirsty and Miserable”. Rollins is crazy motherfukker too. Fuck, I gotta go spin this right now….aaaaaaargh
Pentagram “Dying World” Relentless 1985
Another band that we Satyrs hold in the HIGHEST regards. We just saw Bobby and Pentagram live, goddamn it killed! Anyway, I love this song. It’s fast doom with chugging riffs and Bobby’s vocals are ghoulish as all hell and I can’t really say much to do this band justice! WORSHIP!!
Archgoat “Hammer of Satan” Whore of Bethlehem 2006
Pure and potent Satanic Black Metal of Death. What else is there to say? I remember first hearing Archgoat. I was fed up with hearing Darkthrone-rip-off myspace black metal all the time and Archgoat’s crushing sound just hit me like, well, a Hammer of Satan! (I had to do it) No bullshit about it. Pounding drums, sinister axe attack and some of the most malevolent vocals ever come together in this primal, ritualistic frenzy!
The Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” 1965
60’s era Stones is the best era in my opinion. Hell, the original idea of Satan’s Satyrs came from getting stoned and spinning old Rolling Stones LP’s. Great fuzzy riff and great groove. Dig it!
In conclusion, I left out a lot a good stuff. Oh well…
A list of ten (non-hierarchical) songs that I think of as inspiring works, etc. etc.
Alien Goodbyes by Tangerine Dream from the OST Wavelength (’83)
Being a fan of Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann, etc, I partake my share of “vicissitude enhancing” substances we’ll say, and when I seek sound to mimic my wondering this is often my choice for tuning out. Never saw the flick, you probably haven’t either, anyhow, enjoy this melodic and spacey post-70’s Tangerine Dream sound.
Eye Of The Hurricane by Fraction from the album Moon Blood (’71)
Great band out of LA, one l.p. wonders, mixes a cool blend of The Doors influenced rock accessibility with fuzzier psychedelic sounds of the era. The vocals drive this song over the edge of awesome, but expect some killer lead work, and proficient structure to match. Made to expand perspective (in smoke), this is a pretty representative sound to the heavier underground elements in southern California during the early 70s. Tune in…
Aguirre I (Lacrime Di Rei) by Popol Vuh from the original soundtrack Aguirre: The Wrath Of God (’72)
Brilliant Krautrock melodics, with choirs pulsing under deep tones pushing the patterns onward in a meditative cloud. A great soundtrack for an awesome movie, by a legendary director, and with Kinski’s image indelibly attached to these songs, I find this stuff pretty fucking epic. The contrast of the dimming of the dynamics, and that of the higher notes brightness, passing through darkly melodic harmonies brings a perfect mournful theme of paradise lost. A relative quality to a lot of what I enjoy. Native antara like sound at the end is a nice touch to close this out.
Bitches Sin by Bitches Sin from the album 12 Pounds And No Kink (’80)
A classic NWOBHM track from my pick for the bands best release, as this demo is packed with great Priest, Deep Purple, and Sabbath style riffing. This song really epitomizes the blues influence on the rhythms in the bands sound, and the then new British metal extremism. Aggressive, and neck wrenching heaviness pounds along with frenzied rebellion, and an insane solo tears your face off with total metallic force.
Suicide by Rage from the album Reign Of Fear (’86)
With a power/speed metal sound, and thrashy leans, this is some really cool old school metal. Everything about it just screams mid 80’s (this sound reminds me a lot of Raven before they went to shite). Suicide is
a pretty metal topic, and has been used widely, and I suppose there’s two choices one probably has to make: end the suffering, or get angry, which takes us to the next track.
99 Stab Wounds by GG Allin from the album Murder Junkies (’91)
I enjoy a fair bit of punk rock, but when I think about the ideals I most enjoy in punk music, I find GG pretty much embodies them at their utmost extreme. This is a classic track featuring Antiseen, recorded shortly after GG was released from prison. The message of the song is pretty succinct, I mean, who hasn’t felt the sadistic imp of abject hate pushing on them? Society is generally that worthless,… most of the time.
There Are No Rules by Hallow’s Eve from the album Tales Of Terror (’85)
An anarchist anthem with a punk punch. Aggressive and ugly, this could easily have been a Plasmatics song. Lyrically hits religion, politics, and all in between, and well, as the title suggests, “there are no rules”.
Bastard Sons Of Ignorance by Sarcophagus from the album Requiem To The Death Of Passion (’98)
Killer line up on here. This is a choice track which mixes a black, slightly melo-death sound, with short symphonic moments, and Akhenaten’s angry throat of hate. Seems like you can really hear the influences of bands from Sweden and Poland, of the same era. A lot of great metal bands from around Chicago IL, this is but one.
Unblessed by Obtained Enslavement from the album Centuries of Sorrow (’94)
Typifying melodic black metal track from the bands debut, mixing some interesting ideas with what was to become a traditional Norwegian sound. Definitely not the clean technical music the band would later put out, but much rawer, and more aggressive. The indecipherable, stressed, and cacophonous sound Pest’s vocals deliver on here is vicious.
In The Fog by Astrofaes from the album Idea.Form.Essence (’07)
I remember ordering Heritage from ISO666, long long ago, and really digging the direction the band was going in, relative to the Eyes Of The Beast release two years prior. Continued to pick up their releases, and though I recommend a good majority, I think this song ideally represents what these guys are capable of. Awesome track, captures that vivid melodic sense of wonder towards the unknown, and meditative, primal, blasting aggression. Great pagan black metal!
Einz, drummer with Norwegian avant-garde band Virus, Lamented Souls, Beyond Dawn and retro-thrash outfit Inferno has compiled our latest playlist:
Normally I would have selected a few slightly more obscure tracks but I’ve been comatose all day from lack
of sleep, so I just went for the first ten I could think of.
JOY DIVISION – She’s Lost Control (Atmosphere/She’s Lost Control 12″)
The 12″ version, infinitely better than the one on Unknown Pleasures, this song possibly has the greatest bass riff in history. The keyboards toward the end of this version – one word; HAUNTING.
DARKTHRONE – Atomic Coming (The Cult Is Alive)
For me, Darkthrone made a great return to form with The Cult Is Alive. No better proof than this one, which sounds like a hybreed between Under A Funeral Moon and punk. UGH!
SWANS – The Sound (Soundtracks For The Blind)
Swans are probably the greatest band that ever existed. I heard rumours of a reunion tour (oh.my.gawd)! This is from their swansong album, a must in every self-respecting music addict’s collection.
AUTOPSY – Severed Survival (Severed Survival)
We covered this one in Beyond Dawn on our Frysh album, but you know what they say – you can’t beat the original (not that we even tried!)
LEE HAZLEWOOD – José (Lee Hazlewoodism – Its Cause And Cure)
Lee Hazlewood had the greatest voice, the best lyrics and the coolest songs. The man was basically cool on two feet. Who else could pull off a song about a fucking matador – flamenco guitars, Morricone-ish choir et al.
MOTÖRHEAD – Shine (Another Perfect Day)
From an underrated album, this shows a more melodic side of Motörhead, that still rocked like a fuckin’ mongoose in heat.
ENTOMBED – Evilyn (Clandestine)
BATHORY – Home Of Once Brave (Hammerheart)
You can’t have a podcast without Quorthon. You just can’t.
LADYTRON – Versus (Velocifero)
If they get bored with doing their excellent icecold electropop they should consider doing a whole album in this style. Fuckin’ magic! Oh, and I’d gladly marry either one of Helen or Mira.
SWANS – God Damn The Sun (The Burning World)
OK OK, I know. Two Swans songs in one podcast. That’s because this is probably the most beautiful song I know. And not in a cosy Frank Sinatra way. This is actually quite brutal if you listen to the lyrics. *reach for tissue*
These songs of note, plucked from my listening habits over the past few months, have all become real gems in my cd player. There’s no Warning on this, because Kz put one on his.
Kill – Deathmessiah
I picked this CD up on a Whim, whilst visiting Mr Nova UTDS and it fills a foul little gap that needed filling. My favourite thing here is the bass drum sound, which sounds like flak in the distance. Actually, it is the best bass drum production I have ever heard. (liable to change.)
Drudkh – Ars Poetica
This is from the latest Album and leaps out to me. The chords are unique, just wish the drums sounded better.
Reverend Bizarre – Dark Sorceress (Barathrum Cover)
Lots and lots and lots is what I listen to this. In many ways I prefer it to the original, which was already a very cool song. Here, it is less evil and more anecdotal and this suits, as it is a bit of a poem.
The Smiths – This Night Has Opened My Eyes
I used to hate The Smiths, but then, whilst watching ‘Caterrick’, I found that I no longer hated Morrisey’s voice. So a few months later I went and bought a few Smiths albums; this is the song that I like most.
Mystifier – Aleister Crowley & Ordo Templi Orientis
Again, a fairly new band on me, but this really stands out. This has made me reconsider song-structure and the part where he says ‘Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-listeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr crouwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-leeeee…..in-orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-do-teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-mpli-orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-ieiiiint’ is actual magic, really happening.
Fairport Convention – The Deserter
Another folkie, I was having a lot of trouble and burnt out two cigs choosing between this and ‘Crazy Man Michael’, but this wins in the end because and I‘m putting it down to mood. P.s. Never trust comrades or your sweetheart, because they will sell you out to the first bidder. Place your trust instead in the highest bidder, Prince Albert, who it turns out is alright.
Striborg – With Animosity I Bequeath Thee
It’s raining it’s pouring Striborg is fucking great, lots of people say the opposite and I can see why one might disapprove of absolutely ridiculous amounts of delay and fuzz, but it is these two things which makes the sound so alien. Cracking drumming here, reminds me of fenriz on Goatlord. Turn up the fucking verb I can‘t hear it!!
Charlotte Greig & Johan Asherton – Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom
Taken from the ‘John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica’ compilation, picked up when I was on a folk rampage. This track is very soothing and understated and features a nice, simple guitar progression. The aforementioned compilation is well worth picking up , being both very diverse and excellent value.
Manilla Road – Dreams of Eschaton/Epilogue
This is the appropriate finale. If I could drive and then if I bought a car, I would play this when the wheels went round.
Paris is a fascinating city to drive at night, I’ll let you know what are my 10 favourite tracks to spend this hollow time…filling my spirit with a rare energy.
Diary of a Taxi Driver, Taxi Driver Soundtrack by Bernard Herrman, 1976
This song is a description of the disillusion of a worker, of life, going on along the dirty sidewalks of a city…the voice of R. De Niro speaks quietly but strongly right to the hollow of the ear.
We Will Fall, by The Stooges on the album The Stooges, 1969
A long and hypnotising song that tells the truth about a spleen feeling which is difficult to reach without any drug…If you’re lying on the back of my car while I’m driving after a party, you’ll see the first beams of light in a different way than the day before, and never the same after.
At Night by The Cure on the album Seventeen Seconds, 1980
After thirty minutes driving, I could clearly hear some lyrics, even if the voice is undermixed…
I saw The Cure playing in Paris and at this date, it appears to me that this band is really unique, and the sound perfectly corresponds at the idea of a shouting presence in an underground zone, forced to close its mouth for years, like a child lost in the sewers..
Christmas by Norma Loy on the album One Psychic Altercation, 1984
If you are alone on Christmas day, and if you had the chance to have good souvenirs from childhood’s christmas nights, this song will be very hard.
Agent Orange by Depeche Mode on the album Music for the Masses, 1987
This instrumental sad and low song is a perfect trip for loneliness and thoughts…the low tempo and the piano lead take your mind out of the city diseases…it’s a fresh shot of alcohol, you don’t feel the taste at the first moment, but the effect is a continuous turn over.
Life on the Line by Frank Tovey aka Fad Gadget, a single out in 1982
Maybe, cause it’s the year of my birth, I’m attached to this song…it’s a midtempo song, perfectly synthetic. Fad gadget is a genius, and I often find myself in the deepest of his sounds, his presence, his absurd revendications in answer to a no-sense world.
Domed by And Also The Trees on the album (Listen to) The Rag and Bone Man, 2007
This album is a masterpiece for those who appreciate music.
Domed is a track you can listen to all your life. At the moment when the human existence turns to an heavy cross. It does not depend on your age, not the place you come from, but only a lost moment reaching your mind while driving, or walking alone, along a never ending beach in a distant land.
Underpass by John Foxx on the album Metmatic, 1980
Made as a solo project by the first singer of Ultravox.
The soundtrack of a galactic metaphysic war, where humans are machines and love is the will.
Sweet Home Under White Clouds by Virgin Prunes on the album If I Die, I Die, 1982
This song is a mix between madness and wise and as William Blake told,
“The way of excess leads to the temple of wisdom”
Virgin Prunes voices let you penetrate a time when the crazy men where shouting down the street to announce the end of the world or the final salvation…in this track, I have the feeling that they wanted to transmit something near…
I Saw the Sun by Slowdive on the album I Saw the Sun (unreleased), around 1996
For me, the best recording of the band, but never released, hard to find…pure shoegazing filter for life…
If you’ve never been with your best friend on holidays, far from all shitty troubles of life, you’ll not understand this choice.
43° by Soror Dolorosa on the album Severance, 2009
PS: Concerning SD, my recommendation for driving is to listen strongly 43°, and you’ll be the first to go on, at the red light stops, kicking the mouth of all others around…Joke.
The intention of this playlist is partly to enlighten listeners as to the influences that helped inform and shape Emit & Hammemit, but mainly to provide a more than agreeable listening experience for likeminded persons. All of the music below is widely available and not obscure in the least, but it still remains a largely undiscovered quantity to the majority of people for whom it would have the most benefit. I hope to help redistribute this music away from mere scholarly exercises and faux-elitist snobbery back to where it belongs and where it is sorely needed.
I’d like to add that I generally refrain from using the term “early music”, as this unfairly and wrongly implies that the music is somehow more primitive and not as fully formed or developed as modern music.
Anonymous – “Procurans Odium II”
This track comes from one of my favourite versions of the Carmina Burana, brilliantly interpreted and performed by the Clemencic Consort. It was from recordings like this that I “studied” song structure when I first wanted to make my own music. I still often refer to tracks from this collection as a basic foundation, as with “The Persistent Call” for instance.
Anonymous – “Doleo Super Te”
Purely vocal music is some of the most beautifully simple and uncluttered music you’ll hear. This version is executed with calm precision by the Hilliard Ensemble.
John Dowland – “Flow My Tears”
Melancholia and the lute were all the rage in Elizabethan England and by combining the two with his emotional songs of unrequited love, despair, depression and death, John Dowland was a kind of 16th Century Morrissey figure, but not quite as homosexual. He experienced a resurgence in popularity recently with the release of a best selling CD of his songs recorded by former Police frontman Sting, much to the disgust of music elitists everywhere who want to keep Dowland for themselves. But if Sting’s anaemic and pretentious recordings make people aware of timeless music like “Flow My Tears” and perhaps be intrigued enough to look more deeply into so-called “early music”, then I fail to see the problem.
This version was performed by Steven Rickards (counter-tenor) and Dorothy Linell (lute).
Perunwit – “Arkona”
This track appears out of place amongst the others at first glance, but I used to listen to this album (“W Kregu Debow”) quite naturally amongst Carmina Burana CDs and such without the transition seeming too jarring. Perunwit’s debut album was a big inspiration for Emit, it conveys a lot using a few simple elements and is played with sincerity and feeling which overcomes the slight clumsiness.
Richard Coeur-de-Lion – “Ja Nus Hons Pris”
Attributed to Richard the Lionheart, this song was probably composed in conditions similar to that of Burzum’s later albums and perhaps has a similar spirit as well though the latter is less focused on his immediate surroundings than the former.
This version is performed by the Early Music Consort of London, from their “Music of the Crusades” album.
Anonymous – “Hymne a la Muse”
Ancient Greek music is something of an enigma. All we really have left of it is a few fragments here and there and so in reconstruction is patched together with gaps of silence and educated guesswork. In other words, this is the audial equivalent of those broken jars in museums that are held together with blank clay filling in the missing pieces. Incomplete it may be, but in its use of silence as an instrument is similar to that of Hammemit: the silences reveal and shape the music as much as the sounds themselves.
Tobias Hume – “My Hope is Decayed”
One of music’s early experimentalists, Hume would include unorthodox instructions in his manuscripts such as for players to “hit the strings with the bow” to achieve a particular effect.
Despite the title, this is an energetic, uplifting and even humorous piece that seems to spit in the face of adversity rather than wallow in it as Dowland might.
Jordi Savall, who performs this piece, is one of the world’s greatest players of the viol (an instrument often passed over in favour of the lute) and perhaps the foremost “early music” musician alive. Listening to this intimate recording where you can hear each swish and breath of the bow is like having cask-strength experience of life poured direct into your ears.
Mohammed Saleh Abd Al-Saheb Lelo – “Taqsim 1”
The oud is the Islamic world’s equivalent of the West’s lute, and Mohammed Saleh Abd Al-Saheb Lelo, an Iraqi expatriate, is a master player of it. Here he’s performing a Taqsim, which is a mainly improvised instrumental piece. According to the Islamic calendar this track was recorded in 1418 (1997 to us Westerners), meaning that our friend Mohammed is actually living in the 15th Century. Makes you think about the so-called certainties of progress and historical timelines doesn’t it? Empires come and go, ours included, but it’s still 2009 if you want to think so. Even if when you go backwards, the years start going back up again after 0AD. Maybe in a couple of centuries we’ll reset the calendar again?
Richard Edwards – “Where Grypinge Griefs”
“Chaotic violence in my eyes
This whole world moves backwards
Peace, another sign that lies
Life today is not worth the pain” (Sepultura, 1991)
These are words not likely to have been written by Richard Edwards, as they are words conceived from observation of a civilisation in more obvious terminal decline, but he may have agreed with the sentiment. As death metal informs us: by exploring the darker side of life and not shying away from it, we can embrace existence more deeply and more fully.
Rytis Mazulis – “Cum Essem Parvulus”
Someone who’d heard the Hammemit album got in touch with me and sent some material by Lithuanian sound artist Rytis Mazulis, thinking it might be of interest. I include it here for purposes of comparison with the previous tracks. He composes in a similar way to how I often used to, using overlapping layers to create a disconcerting and disturbing track out of elements which by themselves would equal something quite different (and more listenable). It’s a fitting end to this little musical journey: deconstructing what went before at the bleak apparent deadend of history we now find ourselves in.
Throbbing Gristle – Hamburger Lady (D.O.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle. 1978) Just > Fucking > Hideous. I thought I’d start with a sour note. And what a tart little piece this is. A dirge performed about a letter from Dr. Al Ackerman of Portland, Oregon about a badly burned female. That pitched vocal sound that runs throughout the track brings bile to my throat and the nasal commentary from (now Ms?) Genesis P. Orridge ensures that you will be sitting very uncomfortably.
David Bowie – Warszawa (Low. 1977)
Quite simply one of the most beautiful tunes in history, I doubt it can be beat. Bowie and Eno lost themselves in Berlin and emerged with an album of musical experimentation the likes of which the world had barely seen (and especially from a major artist). Swooping, majestic and crying itself down on the brightly lit city. I can only hope I die as content as this track makes me feel. Damn drippy hippy.
Iron Maiden – Déjà Vu (Somewhere In Time. 1986)
A sadly ignored classic Maiden track as it appears on a sadly ignored classic Maiden album that a lot of people forget. Oooh, I’m going to regret this, but I’ll go out on a limb and say this is my (*deep breathe*) favourite Maiden song.
Magazine – Shot By Both Sides. (Real Life. 1978)
A killer lead running through the track, a superb vintage (you can’t beat ’77 to ’84 fuckers) and a sentiment that I can fully identify with. “Shot By Both Sides”
Fugazi – Facet Squared (In On The Killtaker. 1993)
Something a bit different for me, I kind of ‘rediscovered’ Fugazi recently. A lot of my friends when I was a teenager absolutely loved them. I didn’t really see what the big deal was…until now. I got this record for about £3 in a record shop (R.I.P almost all outlets) and it immediately struck me as how Wire would have turned out if they didn’t wimp out after ‘Pink Flag’. Love it.
King Crimson – The Court of the Crimson King (In the Court of the Crimson King. 1969) Nineteen Sixty Nine. It could have been written yesterday. Ok, if we’re stooping to ‘music’ journalist’s low standards, Prog is the enemy of Punk. Fuck it. My interest in Prog has come from Lydon in his later PiL experimentation. What does that tell you? Anyways, on to the track. I can’t describe this piece without saying woolly. Woolly and Epic.
The Ruts – S.U.S (The Crack. 1979) “Ver facking Rats you cahnt!” Listen to the riff on the chorus. LISTEN TO IT.
Vangelis – Rachel’s Song (Blade runner Original Soundtrack. 1982)
Ah, Bladerunner. A film that gets better every viewing and a soundtrack that gets better every listen. Is there a better match of music and film? (No, really. I want to know. Suggestions please) Bladerunner (and K. Dick in general) is not only a massive influence on Hateful Abandon but also Swine and the rest of Salute. Sort it.
Kraftwerk – The Model (The Man Machine. 1978)
Ok, there are better tracks in the world, I just love this one at the moment. It scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. So cold, uncaring, inhuman….and catchy.
Erik Satie – 4ieme Gnossienne :Lent.
Thanks for this one Kaptain.
The Fall – Reformation (Reformation Post TLC. 2007)
Like Lemmy and Lydon, Mark E Smith is the fucking boss. He lives hard, he’s been there, he knows music, he likes a drink and a smoke, he doesn’t care what you think and neither do I.
Ted Nugent – Stormtroopin’ (Ted Nugent. 1975)
A cheeky rocker from a cheeky rocker. Ok, this track owes a little to Sabbath, but who doesn’t? I wonder how many under-age virginities went bye-bye to this soundtrack in the ’70s…
Napalm Death – Unchallenged Hate (From Enslavement To Obliteration. 1988)
That guitar sound is like a HUMAN VOICE. Yag yag yag yag!
Here you have one view to the origins of Circle Of Ouroborus. It’s impossible to say what the other half Rauta would say for himself, but I guess he would accept at least a few of these ten bands.
When people describe our music, usually they say it’s a mix of black metal and “something else”. Well, this playlist is also a mix of black metal and “something else”, although the black metal side is already “something else” in my opinion: all these bands have their own vision and touch, and therefore the main thing isn’t the genre but the originality and the pureness of their creations. This is a collection of the old ones, the new ones and something between, and this list can change from day to day – another allusion to the never-ending destruction and creation of ouroborus, eh?
Joy Division: Dead Souls
A predictable start? Maybe, but it’s impossible to hide this band’s influence on us. We made a “She’s Lost Control” cover for our “Shores” album, and we haven’t regretted that decision a bit. The hollowness of this band is unique, and this song has also been nicely covered by Nine Inch Nails.
Alcest: Le Secret
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for black metal bands with a different vocal approach, and Alcest is one of those bands. This Le Secret track combines rawness and dreaminess perfectly.
Urfaust: Dämmert, Gelähmt Und Mit Scheinbar Erloschenem Geist
Another unique band what comes to vocals – and for about everything else also! The split album between Urfaust and Circle Of Ouroborus was a start of a strong friendship, and I’m always hypnotically amazed and impressed when this duo makes its magic – be it opinions, live rituals or the music itself.
The Dears: Protest
I don’t care much of the actual band, but this song has drilled its way to my brain. Again very hollow and laconic atmosphere and the play between just few elements works very naturally and easily. Dangerous and depressed.
Current 93: The Carnival Is Dead And Gone
There can’t be a COO list without C93. David Tibet has charmed me with his apocalyptic neo-folk years before Circle Of Ouroborus, and it was interesting to see how step by step these acoustic elements took space in our music. “All the Pretty Little Horses” is maybe one of the albums in my personal top-5 with its diversity, and here you have one of those catchier and looser tracks from that album.
Frail: Poisoning the Seed
I just listened to Frail’s “Brilliant Darkness” demo tape and I’m more and more satisfied that there will be a split release with them. If Circle Of Ouroborus is described as “post-punk black metal”, I can’t wonder what Frail would be named! This band can create music that is raw and mellow same time.
Forgotten Woods: Dimension of the Blackest Dark
And then a black metal classic. I’m just sipping whiskey and listening to “As the Wolves Gather” and it all flows: the natural drums, these smooth riffs and melodies, the screams and growls. Another example how diverse and multileveled Norse black metal was even in the beginning of the 90ies.
Joose Keskitalo & Kolmas Maailmanpalo: Tule minun luokseni kulta
And then something different. I guess nobody knows this artist outside of Finland but now is your chance. Joose Keskitalo creates very harsh ballads, dirty blues and that famous “something else”. Songs can be tender but they can tell stories about cannibalism same time like this song. A real lo-fi genius.
Lik: Hate to be Human
If there’s one single song which has influenced on the birth of Circle Of Ouroborus, it’s this song. Although Lik’s debut is already sterling steel material from the start to the end, this ghastly anthem against mankind really stands up from the other songs.
Vesa-Matti Loiri: Lapin kesä
And I end my journey to home. Vesa-Matti Loiri is a Finnish singer/actor who made four albums full of musical adaptions of Eino Leino’s poems in the 80ies and these songs can be heard as proto neo-folk – or just songs of sorrow, yearning and regret. Like a Finnish state of mind.