Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Fuck Valentines Day

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Introduction to Drone metal

A genre which I feel is going unappreciated is drone metal. This type of music is typified by tracks that are mainly created through the use of reverberated and resonated guitars very lowly-strung, affiliated with doom metal, but incorporate a more slow-pace to their sound to create the "drone" effect. There are many bands who fall into this category that I could name but I will only be suggesting two albums which I feel have been influential on my listening habits regarding drone metal. I find that people may have a hard time finding "good" introductory music and hope that these suggestions will spur them on to listening to and discovering more themselves.

Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
This album is the first that I listened to by the Seattle-based drone metal duo. The tracks are very powerfully composed and performed with dark, slow growls provided on top of their foreboding drop-A, guitar-only soundscapes. The track times span from around 10 minutes through to 17 minutes, synonymous with avant-garde genres interest in atypical song structure, leaving plenty of time for suspense and a pensive feeling to be created whilst listening. 

I personally believe that this is the true mindset that they want the listener to achieve and I have to say they do it particularly well. Sunn O))) are already fairly well established and they have got some excellent releases under their belt but this one stands out the most for me.

For extra listening, check out the album: "Black One".

Boris - Pink
An artist that I have only really just got around to listening to is the drone / doom metal Japanese band Boris. They are noted for mutating several different genres into their style, ranging from sludge metal (They took their name from a song written by The Melvins) right the way through to drone metal itself. Pink is a fantastic album which holds a very interesting approach to song writing with tracks that progressively move into different genres. 

A prime example of this in practise is the track "俺を捨てたところ" ("Just Abandoned Myself") which starts with a typical sludge-style verse and chorus but as it makes it's way through the 18 minute 9 second playtime it merges into some of the most beautiful drone I've ever heard. They are a band who truly know how to utilize their instruments well and is a solid recommendation for anyone interested in drone metal.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Scythe & Dead Horse / Mountain Witch

Genre: Doom / Stoner metal
Year: 2010
Label: Droehnhaus

Mountain Witch are a 3-piece doom metal outfit hailing from Hamburg, Germany formed back in 2008 (Not to be confused with: Witch Mountain, another more popular doom metal band). While they are still fairly unknown on the scene I definitely feel that they are a credit to the genre and really deserve an honourable mention for their contribution to stoner / doom metal.

They currently only have one full release under their belt titled "Scythe & Dead Horse" but I have to say that it is fantastic and deserves a lot more air time than it currently receives. Scythe & Dead Horse is a 7-track album with Black Sabbath-esque reverberated vocals and the typical down-tuned doom sounding riffs which are akin to the doom / stoner genre. Their style seems to be slightly more upbeat than most of the doom I've listened to giving their tracks great fluidity.

One of my favourite tracks on this album has to be Stone The Witch which I highly recommend. It is a 3 minute 22 second instrumental with some great guitar work and drumming, you will find yourself wanting to listen to more of their material undoubtedly .

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Elephant (2003)

Columbine students escaping fire
I've always held a morbid curiosity when it comes to death especially through the form of murder. When I first heard about the Columbine Massacre I ate up all the documentaries regarding the mentality behind the two 
perpetrators, Eric and Dylan, and what deep emotional trauma compelled these two young smart kids to shoot and kill 15 students at their high school? I soon realised it was due to ill-treatment at the hands of their peers, namely bullying, something that I can relate to. 

Delving deeper I read about their interest in "violent" video games and how they also held an interest with death and killing similar to my own. Needless to say when I heard that a film based on the experiences at Columbine had been created I jumped at the chance to view it. I am sad to report that I was left very empty handed by the 2003 release by Gus Van Saint titled Elephant. 

Expecting an insight into the lives of the two parodied killers and the day leading up to the final execution of their plan, and school mates, but instead we are given an artistically shot film with very little depth to the characters, which mainly focuses on a few disinteresting popular and arty kids. I felt this film lacked the deep meaning Eric and Dylan were trying to convey and instead demonized them further, a typical American response when a tragedy occurs which they are too naive to truly address. 

As I mentioned earlier, it is very well shot with long panned and also static shots but aside from that this film falls very flat. I dislike how they also include as many typical stereotypes as they can even down to the popular girls making themselves throw up after eating lunch, cute. 

I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone expecting evolving characters and a motivated storyline because it lacks both. If you watch films purely for the aesthetic quality, you are stupid, and chances are you will enjoy it.

Image credits to Wikipedia.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Dopethrone / Electric Wizard

Genre: Doom / Stoner metal
Year: 2000
Label: Rise Above Records

Probably one of the most influential albums that have contributed towards my interest in doom metal was the third release by Electric Wizard entitled Dopethrone.

Dopethrone is an amalgam of drop-tuned riffs and flowing groove basslines to create deep, dark and almighty tracks. The album consists of nine tracks, all of which have considerable depth, which really convey the message I feel doom-metal aims to provide.

I find this album has amazing playability and is excellent for first time listeners to the genre because, for me, it is one of the flagship releases by Electric Wizard who have already forged their name into the stoner metal community.

Jus Osborn's distorted vocals layered over Liz's guitar riffs work fantastically, with the melodic bassline provided by Tas to script an even darker 'doomier' atmosphere. For me it is even hard to recommend tracks from this album since I feel they are all equally as impacting, but for new listeners I would highly suggest listening to Dopethrone, Funeralopolis and The Hills Have Eyes.

What I aim to provide...

Pic related: me.
This blog has been created so I can write subjective reviews on alternative media. Namely films from the psychological / horror genre and releases from the doom metal and black metal genre. 

I won't nessecarily be keeping strictly to these categories because I may find something that interests me outside of them, all the while I feel that whatever gets posted here deserves some form of attention. Be that negative or positive. 

I have no prior knowledge on music or film critiquing so I will generally keep them short(ish) and to the point as to deter any boredom from readers who find reading long reviews tedious. Plus I don't have the motivation nor attention span to write extensively.