Saturday, December 25, 2010

Guahaihoque - The Return of the Ancient Gods (2007)

More prehispanic stuff, Guahaihoque from Colombia.

Guahaihoque is the spirit of death, keeper at eternity´s threshold. . He preserves |n the depth dominions of his sacred lagoon the archaic flame of life and death, eternal and ethereal. it is soul in good and evil… it is us, and nature all with time and space, also representing a spiritual path onward the magnificence of human being, as sons of sun we´re, holding on values and principles of memory and ancient tradition.

Many years of efforts & battle to preserve the core of our music passed by, as we introduced ancestral woodwind instruments, as: “Quena-flute, Quenacho-flute, Sikus, Panpipe, Zampoña, Malta”. These native instruments add a mystical & unique spiritual core to the whole Ancient Epic sound.

Guahaihoque constructs its music and sound as a sinergy of various artifacts of Metal “Death / Black / Thrash / Doom / Heavy” and ritual ancestral music originary of this continent… the concept is still growing, as result we have made a recall to our forefathers through emotional & dreaming songs, full of honour, pride & glory, with millenary spirit almost forgotten by today…s mankind, so we can´t deny our origin, legacy and knowledge, a gift from our forefathers, it´s in our soul.
- Quote ("Guahaihoque")

Guahaihoque are an interesting project, definitely a good quality prehispanic metal band, with heavy folk elements, most evident with the use of woodwind. I do feel the mixing of the different elements in the music doesn't seem to entirely fit, but is good nonetheless. This full length album also seems a bit short.

Definitely check out if into prehispanic stuff which is heavy on folk/woodwind.

Album Name: The Return of the Ancient Gods
Band: Guahaihoque
Genre: Extreme Epic/Folk Metal
Year: 2007
Country: Colombia
Track Listing:

2.Elder Evocations04:59
4.Thy Eternal Golden Dawn04:35
5.Woods Whispering04:04
6.Along A Path05:55
Total playing time31:17


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Panopticon/When Bitter Spring Sleeps - Split (2010)

And yet another release from Panopticon.

This time it's a split with When Bitter Spring Sleeps (more on them later).

Panopticon definitely never ceases to push boundaries and experiment within and outside the confines of BM.

WBSS also represent well on this release, and infact, their use of outdoor recording works alot better here than I remember so on their previous release, though it's been quite a while since I heard that.

Check it out.

Album Name: Panopticon/When Bitter Spring Sleeps - Split
Band: Panopticon/When Bitter Spring Sleeps
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal/Black Metal, Ambient
Year: 2010
Track Listing:

1.Living in the Valley of the Shadow of Death11:32
2.Living Eulogy07:33
3.Make An Idol of Our Fear and Call It God06:30
When Bitter Spring Sleeps
4.Flames That Taste the Rain09:36
5.We Cower in the Storms of Her Retribution11:14
6.All Things Rise05:57
Total playing time52:22


DR & Vaiya - Cast

So something else from Australia, not surprisingly, a split comprised of two side-projects of members of Encircling Sea.


Vaiya (Q, pron. [ˈvaɪja]), or Vaia (pron. [ˈvaɪ.a]) or Waia (pron. [ˈwaɪ.a]), also called Ekkaia, Eccaia or the Encircling Sea, is the dark sea that surrounds the world of Arda before the cataclysm at the end of the Second Age. Vaiya flows completely around the world, forming a sea below it and a form of air above it. Arda is described as floating on Vaiya, like a ship on a sea.
Ulmo the Lord of Waters dwells in Vaiya, below the roots of Arda. Vaiya is described as extremely cold: where its waters meet the waters of Belegaer in the northwest of Middle-earth a chasm of ice is formed, the Helcaraxë. Vaiya cannot support any ships except the boats of Ulmo: the ships of the Númenóreans that tried to sail on it sank, drowning the sailors.
The Sun passes through Vaiya on its way around the world, warming it as it passes. The next layer of "air", inside Vaiya, is Ilmen, and the last layer, closest to the surface, is Vista.
After Arda was made round Vaiya apparently disappeared, although it may have been changed into the upper atmosphere of the spherical world.
- Quote ("Vaiya")

Vaiya is described as "Ritualistic Ambient Black Metal", and DR as "Nightmarish, Dark Ambient Soundscapes" (at the Encircling Sea website). On the RABM forums, the user behind the project Vaiya says this:

Vaiya is a solo project of ritualistic ambient black metal delving into the disconnection and sorrow of so called civilized living. 

It's very exciting to have some more BM projects like this springing up In Australia, to compliment the already established Encircling Sea. Still quite different in sound/recording, especially given these two acts are not bands in the same way Encircling Sea is.

I dig this stuff, especially Vaiya. The intro to Merkstave is this beautiful acoustic piece, making me think of the folk elements of Panopticon and Petrychor. Then it leads into ambient BM, with slightly raw-type vocals. Right up there with Encircling Sea.

Definitely worth checking out for any Cascadian (inspired) BM fan.

Bandcamp Official Website (Free download available)
Buy the split here

Album Name: Cast
Band: DR/Vaiya
Genre: Dark Ambient/Ambient Black Metal
Year: 2010
Track Listing:

1.The death of innocence, the birth of hatred for all God's creatures13:56
Total playing time32:35

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blackbird Raum - Discography

And now for some folk, without metal.

The first thus far in this blog, but this is really a stand out.

"Raum is a great earl, he is seen as a black bird... he stealeth wonder-fullie out of the King's house and carry it whither he is assigned, he destroieth cities and hath great spite unto dignities of men, he knoweth things present, past and to come, and reconcileth friends and foes."
Pseudomonarchia daemonum
Johann Weyer

- Quote Anti-Politics ("Blackbird Raum")

Blackbird Raum formed out of the nucleus of a squatter community living in abandoned buildings and greenbelt treehouses in Santa Cruz, CA, in the early 2000's. Finding themselves living without electricity, they began to learn to play folk instruments from each other and other members of the traveling punk/folk culture. They all grew up playing in anarcho-punk, indie and ska bands and then, knowing next to nothing about traditional music, slowly gathered together the skills to create a new genre of music, based somewhere right in the middle of punk and folk.
Refusing the retro cliches of many of their contemporaries, they write entirely original music (in both senses of the word) that is reflective of the world they live in: a realm of abusive police, ecological devastation, creeping ambiguity and vague fear, but also a strong sense of community and a deep love of a natural world constantly on the verge of collapse. They jump back and forth between extremely fast metal-influenced jug band dance numbers and quasi-medieval chant-and-drone while doing herky-jerky hardcore-influenced time signature gymnastics. They toured the country in a tiny truck, playing mainstream folk festivals, punk houses, squats and all ages clubs. When they aren't touring, they play various American and European traditional music, hang out in the woods, raise children and read a lot of library books.

- Quote Black Powder Records ("Blackbird Raum")

Blackbird Raum is a band from Santa Cruz, California, where they have become a prominent part of the downtown street life. They are well known for their influence on Gypsy Punk but are generally considered to be the founders of a new genre. Influenced by American String Bands of the 1920's and Modern Anarcho-Punk such as CRASS, their music brings together rhythms of olde-tyme music with lyrics that reflects the sense of impending collapse of the current civilization that pervades much of green anarchist culture in modern times as well as criticizing the human and environmental destruction caused by the current civilization. The lyrics and song names often contain references to historical events, mythical creatures and cultural icons, such as a song titled "Silent Spring", which references the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Blackbird Raum has been on several tours, such as the “burnin’ gasoline while there’s still such a thing,” tour a cross-country tour and a 2010 tour to Alaska. They have appeared both as street performers and on stage at Northwest Folklife, a folk festival based in Seattle, Washington.
- Quote Wikipedia ("Blackbird Raum")

What kind of music is Blackbird RAUM? We have no idea, leave the name of the genre for some hack critic to invent. We're influenced by american string band music of the nineteen twenties, anarcho-punk bands like CRASS and a score of other disparate and incongruous bullshit too numerous to mention.
How we think of ourselves: in the same way that gypsy bands like Taraf de Haidouks feel equally comfortable playing village weddings and large concert halls, we're equally comfortable playing squats, parking lots, and riots as we are playing big folk festivals like Folklife in Seattle. In the same way that your local klezmer band act as emmisaries from their tightly knit jewish community to the world at large, we act as emmisaries from your local tightly knit community of anarchists and squatters to the outside.
- Quote ("Blackbird Raum")


So what can I say? This might not be (black) metal, but this is some of the most amazing music around. Certainly drawing from the historical context of the American vagabond, and sound wise gives the feelings of playing music by a campfire, being amongst the natural world, or simply waiting at a crew-change. The acoustic nature of their music makes it so much more organic and Luddite than electrical dependent metal could ever be. The lyrics are as radically Green as any anti-civ BM act around.

Some of the most positive music I listen to.


Official Website
Officical Myspace
Old Website

Album Name: Purse-seine
Band: Blackbird Raum
Genre: Folk/Punk
Year: 2007
Track Listing:

1.Pistol Dance05:04
2.Honey in the Hair04:10
3.We Believe in Us Versus Them03:36
7.It Is a Poor Sack02:43
8.Ars Goetia04:08
9.A Life in the Corn Syrup03:20
11.Fortuna, I Am a Spear Fisherman11:36

Total playing time50:33


Album Name: Swidden
Band: Blackbird Raum
Genre: Folk/Punk
Year: 2008
Track Listing:

1.Valkyrie Horsewhip Reel03:12
2.California/Fetid Adder’s Tongue03:33
3.Rubicon Drawn02:31
4.Silent Spring04:21
7.Story from Strawmouth02:40
9.Shot Coplifting01:39
10.Unregistered Firearm/Ravachol in Valhalla/Crom06:14
11.A Rat in My Dream01:08
12.Still Sick (years after the draft)03:04
13.Honey in the Hair03:21
16.Everyone up to the Wall03:09
Total playing time52:00

Album Name: Under The Starling Host
Band: Blackbird Raum
Genre: Folk/Punk
Year: 2009
Track Listing:

1.Turning Away02:39
2.Catherine's Wheel02:34
5.To the Barricades!02:36
7.The Helm of Ned Kelly03:26
10.Ensemble Suicide04:28
11.Old One Eye00:55
12.Conquest of Bread02:26
13.A Rat In My Dream00:44
14.Path of Raven03:23
Total playing time34:39  


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tremor & Corubo - Ancestral Metal (2010)

And here is the re-release of the split Tremor and Corubo made in 2009, but this time entitled Ancestral Metal, with new artwork, but otherwise, it does not appear overly different to previous version.

The online/mp3 version came out sometime this year (though I was confused for a long time, the download at their myspace page coming up as the 2009 version for quite a while), and apparently a physical version will be released in 2011.

This download is courtesy of their official myspace page.

Check out this previous post for more on Corubo.

Album Name: Ancestral Metal - The End of Sorrow / Guarani Oporonhenói Gueteri
Band: Tremor/Corubo
Genre: Black, Death Metal/Black Metal, Ambient
Year: 2010
Country: Colombia/Brazil
Track Listing:

3.The Hunting03:14
6.Guarani Oporonhenói Gueteri03:04
9.Kuarahy Osemba Rire03:25
Total playing time39:19


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Xolotl - Xolotl (2009)

From the US, Xolotl - a side project of some of the members of Yaotl Mictlan.

Xolot is brought from his eternal rest in the underworld in the mid 2007 during a break of nearly 12 months of “Yaotl Mictlan”. The need to continue to play extreme metal and after some talks between “Yaotl” (drums), “Xolotl” (guitar) and “Adrian” (guitar) lead to invoke one of the most infamous ancient aztec gods, “Xolotl“. To complete this ancient worship they enlisted two mexica warriors, “Nahualli” (bass) and “La Bruja” (screams). The principle idea was to create a studio project band, but after a short time “Xolotl” proved to be the dark infamy that it truly was. So the idea of only being a studio project band was abandoned and now the band takes life as a well established band of aztec black metal. With this new lineup, some hymns are composed but after the first show Adrian disappears and is considered a deserter and is expelled from the band. Quickly a new mexica warrior is enlisted “Mo’ol Balam” on the bass, and warrior “Nahualli” is moved to guitars. With this line up and after many months of hard work by all members of the band, the debut CD is completed which was recorded in November 2008. Immediately an old friend, mexica warrior Joel Morales of American Line Productions (Alprods.) blindly trusts the band and offers to make the debut album under his signature label. In August of 2009 after several delays in the production of the CD the first attack of “Xolotl“, under the production of Alprods sees the light of day…”
- Quote Xolotl Myspace Page

In Aztec mythology, Xolotl (Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈʃolotɬ]) was the god with associations to both lightning and death.
Although often depicted in relation to the underworld, Xolotl was not a psychopomp in the Western sense. Xolotl did, however, aid the dead on their journey to Mictlan, the afterlife in some myths.
Xolotl was also the god of fire and of bad luck. He was the twin of Quetzalcoatl, the pair being sons of the virgin Coatlicue, and was the dark personification of Venus, the evening star. He guarded the sun when it went through the underworld at night. He also assisted Quetzalcoatl in bringing humankind and fire from the underworld.
In art, Xolotl was depicted as a skeleton, a dog-headed man or a monster animal with reversed feet. He was also the patron of the Mesoamerican ballgame. He is identified with Xocotl as being the Aztec god of fire.
Xoloitzcuintle is the official name of the Mexican Hairless Dog (also known as Perro Pelón Mexicano in Spanish), a canine breed endemic to Central America dating back to Pre-Columbian times. This is one of many native dog breeds in the Americas and it is often confused with the Peruvian Hairless Dog. The name Xoloitzcuintle makes reference to Xolotl because, mythologically, one of this dog's missions was to accompany the dead in their journey into eternity. In spite of this prominent place in the mythology, the meat of the Xoloitzcuintle was very much part of the diet of some of the ancient peoples of the region.
- Quote Wikipedia ("Xolotl")

Xolotl as already mentioned, is a side project of Yaotl Mictlan, so some similarities are inevitable. As far as prehispanic BM goes, they both adhere to that genre generally. However, I think Xolotl tends to be faster (I guess that correlates with the short song lengths), and with less ambient/atomospheric elements like Yaotl Mictlan. If you are a fan of one, quite possibly you'll be a fan of the other. Indeed, I like both, but I'm a fan of ambient/atmospheric BM, and for that reason, for example, Yaotl Mictlan stand out more for me.

Album Name: Xolotl
Band: Xolotl
Genre: Black Metal
Year: 2009
Track Listing:

1.La gran limpia de Ix Chel03:32
2.Tlamanaliztli (La ofrenda suprema)03:07
3.El regreso de Tlaloc03:26
6.Kulto de Ketzalcoatl03:52
7.El Sol de manana03:04
9.Xaman Ek02:38
Total playing time31:05



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