The cycle begins anew!


Hello everyone and happy new year! As per tradition I'm writing my annual overview post, this time really late but hey, it's here! Hopefully everyone/anyone reading this blog had a manageable year with moderate ups and downs! My year was marked by a significant job change which made me a very busy boy but ultimately more happy. I still travel a lot and the job is very demanding so I don't have a lot of energy to spend on writing so the blog will continue with its slow pace.

Musically this year has been more or less the same as the last one when it comes to my own journey through it. I am focusing on clearing out my multiple backlog folders which have grown monstrously over the years. In 2023 I focused mainly on clearing out my backlog of black metal bands and I waded through so many shitty albums that I almost lost the interest in the genre as whole but I found a couple of gems as well which I'll  be sharing in the upcoming months (and years). I still have a ton of black metal to go through but I hope to diversify my genre interests to avoid burn out.

The year wasn't just old stuff tough, I did periodically check for new albums as well. The list is in three categories which are quite self explanatory and there is numeration this year but it should not be taken too seriously. Overall thoughts about the list you can find below it!


1. Korgonthurus - Jumalhaaska
2. Arnaut Pavle - Transylvanian Glare
3. Thy Darkened Shade - Liber Lvcifer II Mahapralaya
4. Clandestine Blaze - Resacralize The Unknown
5. Ŭkcheănsălâwit - Mjijaqamij
6. Kostnatění - Úpal
7. Maȟpíya Lúta - Wowahwala
8. Inherits the Void - The Impending Fall of the Stars
9. Moonlight Sorcery - Horned Lord of the Thorned Castle
10. Bethexuhl Anxalthan - S/T
11. Häxanu - Totenpass
12. Spirit Possession - Of the Sign
13. Ruïm - Black Royal Spiritism - I.O Sino da Igreja
14. Voidsphere - To Infect | to Inflict



I will have to pick a somewhat controversial band called Black Magick SS for my overall favorite release of the year. I don't wish to chip in my idea or opinion of what or who the band is, plenty of other people are doing it better than me, I just have to admit that their new album and pretty much the rest of their back catalog is some of the best music I've heard in general. On this album they intensified their direction into more electronic/groovy/disco sounds which I already enjoyed a fair bit on Rainbow Nights. If your personal compass allows it I would warmly recommend to check this band out! Another absolute highlight would be the magnificent album called Ex Machina by Steve Lehman in cooperation with Orchestre National de Jazz. It is the best jazz album from 2024 that I've managed to hear (so far anyway!) and it manages to be surprisingly memorable for an hour long experimental big band jig that it has. Some of the compositions and solos on it are brainbreakingly lovely. Only gripe I have is with the last composition which I found to be a pretty lackluster closer. Colter Wall continues to be my favorite modern country singer overall (not that I'm any authority over the genre) so anything new by him to me is good. If you like raspy country songs you should give it a try.

In the metal world I have to say that most of the black metal 2023 releases I heard were good but nothing truly exceptional or genre elevating to me. Korgonthurus, a band I discovered when their last album came out, put out a fantastic 4 track album with long soaring songs that sound great coupled with very piercing vocals done by Corvus who is best known for his work with Horna. I love his vocal sound so fucking much, thoroughly enjoyed the whole album multiple times. Probably the biggest surprise for me was the Arnaut Pavle album which I didn't think I would like at all (since I found their last and the demo really boring) but it turned out to be so much fucking fun to go through. Sure, it is mostly just Darkthrone worship but it is done so well and their dependency to pronounce those punk elements much more than Darkthrone ever did on their own albums makes it so fresh and energetic. So much soul on that one, absolutely love it. Thirdly I really appreciate the intricate structuring on the new Thy Darkened Shade album, a band that always rewarded repeated listens. Those three albums in my opinion are exceptional, each for a different reason, and the rest of my black metal list is populated with great albums but... you know... you can live without them. I still think they are deserving of a listen even if just for a few songs.

In my category of other metal I have to say the biggest amount of fun I had was with the Helionomicon album from Ulthar. Initially I was reluctant to even try it especially since it's a double-but-not-really-a-double album but I gave it a shot during one of my lengthy drives on the highway and I loved it. Compared to the other one, Anthronomicon, it is more adventurous and more intense in the guitar solo parts. I think they're both great but Helio wins overall. Void Ceremony is another band where I didn't like the first album but enjoyed their second (this one) a lot. Angular, intricate and old school album that does not overstay its welcome. On the third spot is a surprising entry for me that came out of nowhere. I was familiar with them but their previous albums were very unapproachable in terms of production. This time around they gave the sound a different approach and it is indeed pulverizing albeit accessible. Of all the actual old school death metal bands Suffocation really surprised me with how good they sound. It seems like they revitalized themselves after Frank finally decided to leave the band. The last good one (in my opinion at least) album they did was Pinnacle of Bedlam and at long last came another album that I can enjoy from front to back.

That's pretty much it for 2023! As I mentioned before I didn't follow 2023 with much diligence so I'm probably missing a lot of good stuff that came out. The good news is that those undiscovered albums aren't going anywhere and I'll stumble upon them eventually!

Cheers to everyone again and happy new year!

Eskaton - 1981 - 4 Visions


Eskaton was a French prog rock (zeuhl) band from Paris that released three albums back in the early 80s. 4 Visions was their second and most acclaimed of the three (or that's what the internet tells me at least). I never really looked into the other two albums, apparently they are also pretty good but I'm not a prog fan enough to search out for the other two. This one is enough for my zeuhl interests. Probably the most distinct quality of this album is that the vocals are female entirely which is refreshing. In terms of instrumentation you have your standard set of 70s prog instruments keyboard/synths included. The vocals, very pronounced bass and an eerie darker tone makes this album a fantastic experience throughout its runtime. Very intense and cosmic, obviously if you like Magma you'll find some enjoyment here but I would urge others to also take a peek as this is an album very much worth your time.

Miyuki Hara - 1989 - 凛


Speaking of death metal Miyuki Hara was/is a pop artist from Japan that was briefly active in the late 1980s. More specifically she was of the City Pop variety with lots of synth parts on her tracks. There is not much information about her or her discography on the English side of the internet so I can't really comment or provide any kind of context to the music on the album. Looks like she has at least 4 albums with this one being her second one and it's the only one I could find. It seems that she retired in the early 90s and is living in Europe with her family. but yea, who knows. 

The album starts with a very upbeat  almost "anime opener" tempo and energy but you'll quickly notice that her vocals aren't matching the energy completely. Her vocals are very subdued almost like they lack in interest of what is going on around her. I like it but it takes some time to get used to it, there is certainty a lot of strangeness in her songs from weird synth sounds to janky passages or bridges in the middle of songs. Her somber tone obviously fits better with the more slower paced and sadder tracks while the more upbeat ones are just kinda strange and detached. It still is a pop record so ti is relatively safe and accessible but some parts of it stick out which makes it more memorable to me. As with most city pop albums it is best experienced at night with a comfy cup of tea.

Get it!

Warp Chamber - 2018 - Abdication of the Mind


As you probably guessed looking at the cover: Warp Chamber is a death metal band. They are relatively new but their first album released in 2020 was received fairly well from what I remember selling out quickly. Two years prior to that album they released a demo with two tracks. These two tracks would also find themselves on the album as well but I prefer the versions on the demo as they are more grimy and raw.

Warp Chamber plays fast, crunchy and thrashy death metal with a lot of riffs mostly played at a fast pace. To my ears they remind me of a much more death metal influenced Insect Warfare with solos and tempo changes. There is some contention with the vocals as they are mainly one note and not exactly fit in with the rest of the music but honestly I don't really care. The vocalist just blurghs and rasps all over the place filling in the space. Stupid and fun, what else could you want out of a death metal demo?

Stream the demo or the album.

Boris - 2013 - Boris Performing Flood


As time goes so does my attitude towards Boris shift back and forth. A love-hate relationship one might call it. Gone are my idealistic youthful days where I adored almost all Boris recorded and released but also are gone the days where I hated almost all of their output. There are some albums from this band that I will keep listening throughout my whole life probably and Flood definitely is one of them.

Recorded now way back in the, what I like to pretentiously call, golden era of their existence the studio album Flood definitely at the time was curve ball but surely signs of their will to experiment and change were all over the album prior this one called Amplifier Worship. This was the year 2000 and a lot of things changed for Boris since that album came out  but the legacy of their golden era stayed ever present. The year 2013 and s couple of next ones after it seems to me were of a retrospective tone, almost melancholic in terms of what they released. Aside from revisiting Flood in a live setting they re-released a compiled Vein album (initially released back in 2006), Solomon box set with some more unreleased tracks and an archival compilation of their glory days of Pink and Heavy Rocks. This sentiment of "back to the roots" peaked next year, 2014, when they would release an album called Noise which had nothing to do with the genre noise and three more albums next year which were very much noise in all but name (and were also fucking terrible). This is just my conjecture though, I'm probably reading all of this wrong but it seems like this period of trying to grasp at something they lost lasted until and including the album Dear. 

While I adore the album Flood I also think it's first and last part are self-indulgently too long and not that interesting. Exactly those parts are either trimmed or missing on this live record which makes it my preferred version to listen. If only it weren't so fucking rare to get it physically but at least we can enjoy it digitally. Maybe one day they will reprint it. 

If you are new to Boris or haven't heard the original album my suggestion is to go with the initial release first and then come back to this version. For all you seasoned fans I warmly recommend for this version to be checked out.

Get it.


Daudadagr is a "band" I discovered by pure chance but their sound captivated me on the very first listen and I can't seem to kick them out of my head ever since! Looking a millimeter deeper I found out that this is yet another project from the now very famous (in black metal terms at least) Swartadauþuz. So not a band. I was fooled! If you're not familiar with him or his bands I think his most recognizable/known project is Bekëth Nexëhmü and probably Azelisassath closely following it in terms of exposure. As is the case with hyper-productive people like him a lot of projects sound similar or the same and there is a lot of filler (sometimes good, sometimes not). From projects that I've checked out I can safely say they mostly fall into the "noisy lo-fi but not really lo-fi" bucket of black metal bands and projects. Some of his projects are crazy energetic, some are more subdued but all of them are consistently frosty. I've enjoyed Gardsghastr the most and of course there's only one fucking album under that name. But anyway... The project that I'm posting is somewhat similar to Gardsghastr as in there are synths and there is a noticeable Emperor-esque grandiosity to the songs and also the galloping drum beats of projects like Burzum but the sound here is much more subdued and contemplative compared to the very striking approach on Gardsghastr. 

Under this name there exists only two demos released in 2012 and 2014 so I don't have high hopes of seeing anything new under this name any time soon. The first demo is very in tune with the 90s albeit the "demo" production is much more polished and cleaned up. Sure it is raw but it is very pretty and every instrument can be distinguished even the bass gets some spotlight on the second track nicely filling the sound that the very thin tremolo riffs made room for. In general it is a very good proof of concept that will be expanded on in the next demo which can be more or less be considered to be a full length album clocking in at 45 minutes.

The "album" omits the song titles and switches to the old reliable roman numerals but the production remains loyal to the ethos of the 90s, tape hiss and all but it is noticeably thinner, I think, compared to the previous demo. Here the pace quickens, synths and effects get more noticeable and everything seems more lively in general. The liveliness certainly comes from the continuously rising and falling, all good stuff. Man sure knows how to pace his songs to get a very good flow throughout.

Both demos are real good fun and are worth checking out!

Get them / Stream(1) Them(2) 

Maki Asakawa revisited

Hey all! Been a while I know but finally I found a little time to re-share albums of this wonderful artist. I did a "all I have" share back when she passed away and you can read about it here but I've decided to make a separate post now because of two things. The first is that I have a couple more albums compared to before and second is that I have previously posted albums I've shared in better quality now (more or less). 

Some of the albums are in flac and I know some of you have a distaste or preference for it so the ones in flac will be marked with a * at the end while my favorite albums will be bolded. The rest should be in acceptable bitrates.

Maki was a jazz/blues vocalist from Japan that enjoyed a popular and cult following mostly in Japan. From what I've managed to read she started out singing in American army bases which explains a lot about her style (earlier one anyway). He vocals are not so typical of Japanese female vocalists, it's raspy, deep and almost folkloric.

Back during the golden days of blogspot shareblogs her album Cat Nap would be shared a lot. This is how I discovered her but I can't really say I've enjoyed it that much over the years. It's very funky sprinkled with some weirdness but I can rarely be in the mood for it. 

The purely blues and jazz style of music prevails in her early career but gradually she will include more rock and funk elements to her music with free jazz elements also influencing her on albums like One from 1980. At about the start of the 80s her style will shift to a more electronic sound that dominated Japan and world in general in general (oh lord the snares). I'm not so big on her later albums but they can be enjoyable. They're not bad but it's just not what I prefer so I'm not really in a position to claim which is best or which one is most worth listening to.

Included with the studio albums I'm also sharing her compilation series that are titled Darkness, there are several volumes of it all featuring hand picked songs and live sets. Mostly following some kind of theme or time period.

If you're in doubts as to where to start I still think 灯ともし頃 (Hi Tomoshi Goro, 1976 album) is her best work and is my go to album when I want to listen to her. So if you don't know where to start that's a good stepping stone in my opinion. Going through her discography chronologically is also a good option as you can sense her change or progression in sound much more deeply rather than jumping around the timeline. Whichever path you decide to go I'm sure it'll be a lot fun as she really was one of the best. Enjoy!



2010 - Long Good Bye* 

Blue Mitchell - 1965 - Down With It

All this jazz posting makes wanna listen to some more jazz! We are still kicking in the 60s and we are still keeping it relatively orthodox - actually in this case we are keeping it completely orthodox. It's a 60s Blue Note record so you can't really go wrong too much with it. Yes it is very by-the-numbers but the album does not sound tired or derivative at all. Perhaps influenced by The Sidewinder this album also starts with a blues banger that is mid tempo and smooth enough for you to be able to dance to. The rest of the tracsk aren't as impactful as the opener but still offer a lot of fun. The standout for me is the melancholic Alone, Alone, Alone which draws out some very good passionate playing by Blue Mitchell. Blue Mitchell while not being as technically apt or talented as Lee Morgan he still is among the best trumpet players of his era offering a lot of good fun solos. The rest of the cast (excluding the great Chick Corea) is more or less there on the record but they aren't so detrimental that it makes their solo sections a tedium to listen to. Overall a very solid album that's worth checking out if you're into more relaxed jazz.

Get it / Stream it 

Ron Carter - 1962 - Where?


Since I mentioned Ron Carter in the last post I thought maybe I should share this little gem as well. It's kinda wild to think about that this album and The Soul Society is only two years apart. Jazz really was jumping all over in the 60s. As you might have guessed by looking at the line up on the cover this album is much more out there than the album from previous post. Naturally the main fucking weirdo as always is Eric Dolphy but the rest aren't that far much behind him as well. Principally you will be exposed to Dolphy and his dimension defying baritone clarinet (he mans other woodwind instruments as well) but the pianist, Mal Waldron, offers much jagged chords and solos bound to upset the established order of music. Despite these qualities the album still is very much rooted in order and tradition, this isn't exactly a foray in free jazz. Some tracks are more relaxed and conventional but there are certainly wild moments as well. There is a second bassist here who shares melodies and solos with Carter on several tracks which make their soloing much more interesting and avoids the cliche of everything quieting down for a bass solo.

I wouldn't call this album essential but is a nice breath of fresh air and feel unique enough to warrant repeat plays.

Sam Jones - 1960 - The Soul Society


Here's a jazz album I've been meaning to share in a good while. Aside from Charles Mingus and Jaco Pastorious I don't think there ever was a very visible bass player in the world of jazz. Sure - Ron Carter was an omnipresent figure throughout most of jazz history but the spotlight rarely shined on him. For this (real or not) reason I always had this fascination with bassist led albums and groups. They hit different.

Sam Jones recorded a lot as a sideman most notably for Cannonball Adderley but he had a slew of his own albums as well with this one being his debut album according to Wikipedia at least. Interestingly the line up is bigger than what is on the cover but I guess Riverside decided these dudes will draw the most eyes in the record store. As is maybe evident from the cover Jones switches from double bass to cello per track keeping things fresh.

The album is a hard-bop treat that isn't treading any new ground but it does not need to nor it proclaims to be. There are two standards here and the rest are compositions from various members of the group offering mostly mid tempo grooves and solos. Jones tends to be a bit too high in the mix which might put some people off but I had not so much problem with it. Aside from that I can't really think of anything to complain about this record. It's just good and varied fun session.

Get it / Stream it