Saturday, February 17, 2018

Z'ev - "Rhythmajik" [2005]

Artist: Z'ev
Title: Rhythmajik
Genre: Ritual Ambient, Percussion Industrial
Country: USA
Release date: 2005

Track List:
  1. The Stand Of Stones  
  2. The Lines 
  3. The 9 Chambers
S. J. Weisser a/k/a Z'ev ("Wolf" in Hebrew) has died just two months ago in December 2017. While I never have listened to his music that much (just like in case with Aube, who has died several years ago), he was one of the first people on early industrial scene, and this release should be a good starting point to get acquainted with his legacy:

"These recordings have been made exclusively for the Italian edition of the "Rhythmajik" book.
Recorded in Los Angeles during June 2003.
This is the audio demonstration of the written theories.

Tracks 1-9 are sonic meditations on the 9 Stones (the numbers 1-9), no drumming, elemental textures only.
Tracks 10-31 are sonic renditions of the 22 Lines (12 astrological houses, 7 planets, air, water and fire elements), beat patterns of each Line combined with elemental textures.
It ends with a 3m 48s piece that’s a divination meditation for the 9 Chambers, beat patterns combined with elemental textures"


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Devoid of Grace - "Psychotic Journey" [2010]

Artist: Devoid of Grace
Title: Psychotic Journey
Genre: Death Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2010

Track List:
  1. Killing For Salvation
  2. Distorted Perspective
  3. Chaos - New God
  4. Demonosphere
  5. Blind Mirror
  6. Virtual Addiction
  7. Refactoring Noise
  8. Prodigy (The Prodigy cover)
Here's a rather obscure technical death metal band from Lipetsk, whose director was one of my best friends at the time when this album was released. They were formed in 2001, but released their first demo only in 2008, and their one and only full-length album in 2010. No idea if they're still active (but if anyone really wonders, I can try to ask their director about that, since I'm still in contact with him).

They claim to be influenced by such bands as Decapitated, Death, Meshuggah, Vader, Cryptopsy, Strapping Young Lad and Emperor, and I can say these bands have no reason to be ashamed of such successors, as Devoid of Grace show a very decent level of musicianship on this album. However, they don't really bring anything particularly new or original to the scene, so I'd recommend this album only to the fans of the genre:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hieronymus Bosch - "The Human Abstract" [1995]

Artist: Hieronymus Bosch
Title: The Human Abstract
Genre: Progressive/Death Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 1995

Track List:
  1. The Apogee
  2. Thought Racism Forms
  3. Petra Scandali
  4. Black Lake Blues
  5. The Human Abstract
  6. Mental Perfection
  7. The Gardens of Earthly Delights
  8. Doubt Soul
  9. Expectation of Autumn
  10. Near Death Experience
  11. Trust is a Dirt
This album is one of the very few really good metal albums made in Russia during the 1990s, along with "Eclectica" by End Zone and "Planeshift" by Rakoth. Hieronymus Bosch, formed in Moscow in 1993, were a kind of band that really deserved to stand in line with such classics of technical death metal as Sadist, Cynic, Atheist and Nocturnus, by this album alone. That's exactly what I'd call "IDM" as in "Intelligent Death Metal" :)

Surely it's very technical, but, fortunately, HB don't go too far with it, unlike many other progressive metal bands who are trying too hard to be "technical" making their music too complex to be memorable (Behold the Arctopus and Spiral Architect, in particular, are often criticised for that). This album was released on tape in 1995 and on CD (with two bonus tracks) in the mid-2005, and that was when I heard it for the first time when I was a university student. The band, after some lineup changes, released two more albums in the second part of 2000s, and ultimately split up in 2010. These two ones are very good as well, but the debut is still the best:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Zeni Geva ‎- "Alive And Rising" [2010]

Artist: Zeni Geva
Title: Alive And Rising
Genre: Noise Rock
Country: Japan
Release date: 2010

Track List:
  1. Alienation
  2. Disorganization
  3. Hate Trader
  4. Interzona
  5. 10,000 Light Years
  6. Implosion
  7. Blastsphere
  8. Last Nanosecond
  9. Dead Sun Rising
  10. Desire For Agony
  11. Slam King
  12. Hazchem
  13. Autopsy Love
Started in mid-1980s as a Japanese version of Godflesh, Zeni Geva have achieved a cult status among the fans of avant-garde music from Japan over the next 15 years or so. Although they haven't released any new material since 2001, there's a re-recording of their best earlier stuff released in 2010, which I present to you. (The solo discography of their core member KK Null is considerably larger, but that's beside the point). The band members describe their music as "progressive hardcore", but in fact it's a mix of everything, from doom metal to japanoise. One thing can be said for sure: any of their albums isn't an easy listen, but it's quite impressive.


In one of KK Null's interviews, he explains that "Zeni" is an old Japanese term for money, and "Geva" comes from German "Gewalt". So, "Money Violence". In responce to the interviewer saying that it sounds like an anti-capitalist statement, he answered: "No, it comes from a cartoon which I watched in my childhood. It's a very serious, dark cartoon". I wonder which cartoon he was talking about? I'd like to watch it too, even if I haven't watched any sort of anime in ages. There apparently is a dorama under that name, and it indeed looks like a dark and serious one, but I couldn't find anything named "Zeni Geva" in any of the anime databases...