Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dark Times - Give (2014)

Really good female-fronted punk from Oslo, Norway. I am not going to dip into the well of platitudes with this one because my hangover requires hydration but I will say this; Dark Times aren't your run of the mill, stripped down punk band… Stripped down yes, but they have a sound to call their own and an eclectic delivery to their sound that frees them from the clutches of "heard this before". It was produced by Pål Bredrup, who also produced Okkultokrati and Haust with that same basement grime charm I've been into lately. This album will fit in with your crusty lifestyle.

Bandcamp (buy)
Zippyshare (listen)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Leather Slave - Leather Slave S/T (2014)

 "…Then I'll cut off all of your fingers, and then I'll make you try on pairs of gloves… I'm going to pull a knife stunt. And then. I'll cut off both of your ears, so you can't hear what I'm going to do next. And the blood will just run out of your head, like two faucets… I'm going to pull a knife stunt." 

Like any good serial killer or nefarious creature, nobody knows who Leather Slave is, they could be your weird neighbour, or your postman, or the rambling junkie on your street calling every passerby a "handjob and a half!", it's a veil of anonymity that may seem less crucial when compared to the likes of John Wayne Gacy but it is an essential component to the harrowing and seedy vibe of Leather Slave's sound.

A sound that is much less punk and much more looping. But it is still punk, sort of. It sounds like horror-punk because it is scary not because it's content is about b-grade horror movies and Alice Cooper worship. Leather Slave doesn't have a cover of "Monster Mash" and they never fucking will. I promise. This preamble is not a jab at The Misfits, (I like The Misfits more than I could ever love my own children), but it might shed some light on how something actually scary might sound. Unsettling would be the better word to describe it. Seedy and depraved even. Or for you fans of  multiple choice, all of the above.

It's impressive because I get the same vile feeling as I do with bands like Meth Drinker, The Body, Impetuous Ritual, or even Canada's beautifully repulsive Revenge would give me although Leather Face are far less abrasive (or extreme) at face value. Instead, the unsettling vibe is manifested through a series of looping sickly riffs and an equally poisoned to the bone style of drumming with singing that isn't singing so much as it is spoken, sounding more like threats and rambling through a telephone more than anything else.

I stumbled on this band via the incredibly good and highly recommended ONGAKUBAKA blog and I scored myself a download link to the album from somewhere else on the deep wide web, and you can too. Otherwise I'd highly suggest buying this fucker, so you can be that cool kid with an obscure record collection nobody will every really see but you wish they would.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Encoffination - Hear Me, O' Death (Sing Thy Wretched Choirs) (2014)

Hear Me, O Death (Sing Thy Wretched Choirs) is aptly named because this album sounds like a heinous funeral march, crawling and plodding much like death itself, scraping away years off your life with each listen. Encoffination have always been about lurching through tracks with a molasses like consistency, moving slower than old people fuck and hitting harder than a dull axe to the face, but this album is exceedingly slower than the rest…

The riffing is slow-cooked in delay and reverb and the vocals are of a brittle guttural secrete, basically gurgling and belching in an almost near death type phlegm coated whisper. It makes me want to clear my fucking throat and bang my head around like an abiding peon of the underdark.

Hear Me, O' Death (Sing Thy Wretched Choirs) on bandcamp

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Raspberry Bulbs - Privacy (2014)

Dusting off the cobwebs on this fucker with Raspberry Bulbs newest release "Privacy". A begrimed mix of punk and black metal with plenty of that crusted cummy sewer grime and fuzz drench, all the cool kids are doing it these days, and I'm glad they are, because it's two separately good things combined into one good thing. It's done with great tact and hones in on the scummy punk vibe and grimly lit black metal sound very well… which doesn't stir much surprise as this band was unearthed by Marco "He Who Crushes Teeth" Del Rio of Bone Awl.

Thanks to Perception Through Dissonance for giving me a download link to steal.

Privacy (listen)
Privacy (Buy it)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ggu:II - waan:hoon (2014)

This album was submitted to me via email a little while ago with the message: "Hi Chris, a few months ago I asked you for the Leucocis album. I really like it a lot and want to thank you for sending it to me. I'll be doing this in the most risky way possible... Sending you some recordings of my own band. Don't pay for them, if you like 'em I'll send 'em to you."

See, who's to say that spreading music around can't be a self-sustaining beneficiary to the underground movement? It can be, and this proves it fuckface.

The two song EP titled 'waan:hoon' is a warm-sounding collection of sludgy doom with tinges of post-metal riffing and drone atmospherics. The two songs plod along earnestly and fester within whirring guitars and slogging drum patterns that build up to these moments where you want the sledgehammer to be dropped only to be teased by more gnawing doom/drone. I'm please to know the member of this band is a fan of Leucosis too, because few bands of that ilk have impressed me as much as Leucosis has with their venerable and modest catalogue. They are masters at creating palpable tension that finally spawns into a very satisfying peek, to understand this fully, listen to the song Taiga. If Ggu:II follows a similar path then I expect nothing but good things.

Ggu:II - waan:hoon (bandcamp)

(I will update and upload download links upon the bands accordance.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Torch Runner - Endless Nothing (2014)

A month has passed since my last post, but I'm dusting off the keyboard and getting back to this virtual pit I call Severed Heads Open Minds, which is, at times, a formidable commitment to be consistent with, but I'm trying dudes! * My hat is off to all the blogs that are far more consistent than this one *

A bevy of new releases have fallen onto my lap and into my ears recently, most of those worth dusting off the keyboard for, and as such, I will do just that… First up, Southern Lord's Torch Runner follow up their debut album 'Committed To The Ground' with 'Endless Nothing', a savage offering of filthy downbeat punk/hardcore infused grind distilled into 23 minutes of a supremely pissed-off and raucous audial assault.

I won't be posting a download link to this album as the flack I will inevitably receive is heavy, but the links are out there if you can't afford to buy the album with money.

Endless Nothing (bandcamp)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saor - Aura (2014)

Ahh man, it's been too long since an album has sincerely made me want to seek sojourn in the comfort and unpredictability of the woods, in nature among the trees, flora, fauna, grub, moss, leaves, rivers… Well shit, you know how forests work.

Saor's Aura is some of the most gripping and earnest takes on that atavistic type black metal that I like so much, you know the type, rife with that raw and endearing naturalistic potency that lends so much life to the soundscape you can practically feel a fucking pulse. It possesses that arcane ability which seems to speak a whole other language, an elemental language lost and neglected by time. That's deep I know… Let it sink in.

I'm reminded of bands like Myrkgrav, Falls of Rauros, Alda, Kroda, Falkenbach, Wodensthrone and Panopticon, which all have that authentic outdoor presence to them, even though that's brought out in different ways by each of those bands… It feels like a gimme listing Panopticon as an example, since the entirety of the drumming on Aura is provided by none other than Austin Lunn of Panopticon, and to his credit the drumming is notably very well handled, sounding like distant gunfire and cannon fodder spewing out of the Scottish highlands.

Eric Marshall is the lad behind the one-man band and as a solo effort it's quite alright to enlist the talents of guest musicians, and on Aura, he does just that by getting help with the strings, viola, bodhrán and Gaelic female vocals. The dude clearly has a keen sense of Celtic melody and that shines through on Aura with the beauty of the melodies contrasting nicely against Eric's shrill howls, which range from what seem like resonant conversations amongst gods and wartorn distant battle-cries.

It's been a while since an album of this ilk has really galvanized an atmospheric black metal post on SHOM, so enjoy.

Here is that album on Bandcamp

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Khuda - Molasses Constricts The Clinostat (2014)

Khuda play a super honed in take on psychedelic post-rock with elements of math-rock, post-hardcore and shoegaze. It has the atmosphere of Kokomo, the quirky time signatures of Khann, and a more atmospheric, slightly funky take on something Cloudkicker would dredge up with the slightly bleak, yet uplifting elements of Explosions In The Sky.

As per usual, if you would like to listen to it but can afford the price on Bandcamp, email me and I'll get it to you as soon as I can.

Khuda Bandcamp