Sorry for those who hoped that I left my obsession for doom and sticked to seventies shit. I fear it'll never be since life makes me think that doom, and particularly the kind of doom we'll discuss today, is the most relevant form of music to the present world. I must advice any curious listener that the today's post is for one of the most sickened doom band (and record) this planet has faced. The're Finnish and in 2005 they released this incredible EP (actually 35 min so not far from an album and with a terrific but splendid sleeve) featuring one of the most macabre and hellish music I heard. With Khanate and Moss, they're the band that impressed me the most but I maybe forgot some other ones. Everything here seems crawling in a mud done with earth and cadaver flesh (the last track is entitled "Not Waving But Drowning"). Nothing here of the kind of celestial dimension of modern sludge doom such as played by Sea of Bones or Omega Massif, even Huata. Stumm play (they still play but never released anything else that some split records, a shame) the music that people hating doom can't imagine anyone is honestly able to like. But I am. And honestly. And more than that, I listen to it. Not everynight (I would have killed myself by now if I did), but sometimes, when this is the only music that is in harmony with my interior dysharmony. And this is it. So if you wanna try, go for here. Below the streaming of "New Christ For Every Morning" and below below a testimony of a recent set by Stumm featuring one track of this EP. And here their site.
Abbe May is one of my fave 3 top alive woman singers (with Rose Kemp & Melanie Safka) and this album was one of the best surprises of last year. Actually, Abbe May plays here a stunning reincarnation of the swamp stomping blues, infested by murder and death, not far from being authorized to be called blues-doom. Imagine Buddy Guy playing the Sweet Tea album with an acoustic guitar, or T. Rex doing a real blues album. There are also traces of Sixteen Horsepower and a kind of Nick Cave flavour. If Rose Kemp decided to do a blues album, I bet it would sound something like this. It's raw and rough, all I like when women play music (the evaporated folk singers make me want to kill somebody). Hearing this 12-track collection, one may think it mainly consists in covers of old blues trads since they all sound as standards. But not at all, 9 are original compositions and only 3 covers (in particular "Goodnight Irene", that was covered by Alex Harvey on the Penthouse Tapes album in 1975). When songs are calm (actually when they are funerally calm), Abbe May sings not less than as Billie Holiday backed with a bunch of lost guys sleeping in the Bayou after having drunk to death. Striking, shivering, exceptional. When you'll know that Abbe May and her band are Australians, you'll understand how unexpected it was and how precious it is. The spirit of Voodoo is in her. After Hendrix and Dr John, the music has found his Voodoo girl. Sacrifice yourself for her here.
In streaming below, 2 songs, the opening track called "Hoodoo You Do" with its oh so catchy tune and a moving version of the Blind Willie Johnson "The Soul Of A Man" (I post the lyrics as modified by Abbe May and not the original ones). Imagine that all the album is this quality and buy it quick.
The Soul of a Man. Won't somebody tell me, answer if you can? What is the soul of a man? What is the soul of a man? I saw the doctors and the lawyers, they say a man ain't no more than his mind. I've traveled far in countries, I've traveled foreign lands, I've found nobody to tell me, what is the soul of a man.
Here's a doom band name in line with my present mood. But more than this personal and anecdotical point, Barriers is a strong album mixing a lot of genres: doom of course (this is really dark and obituary), stoner (only some riffs), old death (in particulary Obituary) and of course the traditional contemplative post-rock doom à la Pelican & Neurosis. All this gives a large nightmarish rainbow from Sweden (Malmö). Horns of Anguish are actually a 2 man-band, with an occasional drummer for live shows. They mus t be added to the list of seminal new bands and it's a cold comfort but still a kind of consolation in the current musical garbage to see that some spend months of their lifes to make such a great piece of sound to happen. One track is a complete masterpiece. It's called "Ominous", and it is in streaming below. Apparently nothing new, but the long atmospheric development is really addictive and makes you fly above the mountains of shit you have to walk in while alive. Listen here to be sure you like it and then buy it please through their myspace here. They deserve it.
This is the last ATV album to this day. Unfortunately. I don't know if Mark Perry will do another one someday, but I hope so. Meanwhile he's touring again with a new ATV band and cross the fingers it will go on (and that he will lose some weight cos' it's not the Mark Perry I love to see). Because I miss his music, his voice, his intimate and dirturbing universe on record (live, he seems now to stick to the punk formula). When I talked to him the year this album was released, he told me he didn't like it. It was a step back to the punk days for him, a kind of opportunistic project not fitting with the taste of a 43 yrs old man listening to Bob Dylan and no more to punk. I think he was too severe and that the album stands proudly in his discography. I doubt he was so cynical he seemed to say he was recording it. There are some gems, and even the punk tracks are powerful and done with great energy. The fact is that he still plays some songs from this album, meaning that this album was not a one-shot. Except if the present ATV is opportunistic of course. But it's true it's rather the unreleased old songs written at the time of Alex Fergusson's ATV such as "In Control" than songs written for this album that he still plays. Enjoy it here or here.
On your knees again. Back in your room there was a surprise. Your eyes tell the story: a lonely man, in his lonely hell. On your knees once again. So hard to deal with your own desires. For the same old reasons. Wicked thoughts are clutching you. On your knees again. If you look out of the window of your mind, the universe is always changing shape. A big bright light burns into your soul, bringing you forgiveness. You've convinced yourself, there's nothing left. Your world's imploding. Voices screaming. On your knees again.
Does the salvation of Stoner will come from Italy? It seems since US, UK and Nordic Stoner are stucked in boring formulas in which the parody is more spectacular than the novelty and where excitation and spontaneity are totally absent. Not talking about the bath of testosterone in which all this mess is swimming. Nothing similar here. Something really fresh that for the first time in years made me wanted to listen to more of it, and interest becoming enthusiasm. There's actually a cosmos flavour in Cosmotron, an Hawkwindian atmosphere but actually all those who loved the first Stoner wake (Kyuss of course but also Acrimony) will quickly be adepts of this Italian sect. It's rude, raw, rough. Good to headbang again even if age coming, the risk is a sudden attack and hemiplegy. Doesn't matter. Too difficult to resist to the cosmotron. Take the trip here. It's heavy as cosmic shit.
Their myspace's here.
And a nice poster to illustrate the streaming track (the 3 are terrific so I chose "Strange Gods" cause it's the 1st one only).