Below ground, and above…

These days I have been all about trying to listen to things forgotten. One thing that I have quite a fondness for (though only so much patience for listening to in quantity) is what I consider occult metal. The first time this label occurred to me was whenever I first heard one of these bands who I feel are more about an evil atmosphere than a musical structure. Of course, that can be construed in a number of ways, but the band that I have in mind is Funereal Moon (the other being the great Arckanum, and, I suppose, Abruptum). I really like the feel of it and the sounds, though sometimes I think it is better music to play when you are doing something else at the same time (or lost in the drink and darkness). Years ago, when I first spotted this strange EP, “grim… evil…” I could tell I had something great before the first listen. I suffered an evil whim and went and picked it up, and I was right. Sometimes musical, sometimes not, but always creepy and distant… I went out and added “Beneath the Cursed Light of a Spectral Moon” and at that point, the tracks “Revelation” and “Funereal Letanies from the Graves” hit heavy rotation on my play lists, making it onto most of my compilations. I stopped hearing them for a couple of years, but went through some this week and, I’ve got to say, it is still great stuff, and now much easier to find now that there is a, um, “best of” CD, “Luciferian Symphonies of Destruction”. Very evil music, some of the best.

Funereal Moon

Funereal Moon, Mexico’s finest evil

Arckanum

Arckanum, one of the all time classic band photos

Ans then I pulled out another good oldie, everyones favorite “one man black metal project from Monaco”, Godkiller. What to say? I think it’s pretty cool, albeit a mixed bag. The music verges between alright and good (sometimes better, “On The Way To The Battlefield – Path To The Unholy Frozen Empire” has really good music and it’s a well named song as it brings the sense of an evil battle about to unfold to mind, and it’s fun), but the vocals are both the highpoint and the lowpoint, depending on my mood. Screams that have a sense of both tiredness and desperation, like a demon in a hole screaming for help with his last few breaths, they are fairly unusual and very prominent. I would also suggest the track “The Final Battle – Blood On My Swordblade” as it is a great mix between 80’s metal and homemade 90’s synth-black metal. In his career, he does stray from that old Black Metal sound, but I would listen to “The End of the World”, which has one of my all-time favorite albums covers or the album that the tracks mentioned above are from, “The Rebirth Of The Middle Ages”, which I would recommend for listening, though it has one of my all-time least favorite album covers.

Godkiller

The End of the World

In other music news, I was listening to one of my favorites today, Silverfish. When I listen to them, I always feel the need to ponder the major label influence. See, I have always been one of those anti-major label folks, as they suck and they make bands suck. But then, and I’m not trying to remove whatever “cred” I may have, two of my favorite bands signed to the majors and released albums that have become their albums of choice for me to listen to the most. The Butthole Surfers and Silverfish. I really loved Silverfish’s records, but once Organ Fan came out (on Columbia!), it blew me away. I was also very surprised to see that my great musical idol from the 80’s, Jim Thrilwell had produced it and though he added a lot of production (as is his way) it is louder and “fuller of the rock” then their earlier work, yet still has all of the hostility that is their trademark… And the song “Jimmy” has probably my favorite bass lines since the Crüe put out Shout at the Devil. So the majors are still bad, but some bands can still pull it off (though it was pretty much the end of Silverfish).



 

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