Saturday, 18 May 2019

Cicutoxin/Necroslurg - Split 7"

Labels: Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Formats: Vinyl
Release Date: 07 May 2019


1. Cicutoxin - Mental Fog
2. Cicutoxin - A Decent Scum
3. Necroslurg - Messiaaninen Kirous
4. Necroslurg - Lyijysivellin

It's Saturday morning and I'm in that weird state between feeling hungover and not feeling hungover, if that makes sense? Reason being, I visited a brewery taproom in my home town yesterday and had a good time. Anyway, the release that I'm reviewing this morning will either banish my hangover just like a hair-of-the-fog would or make it worse (in a good way). This is the latest split release to come from Finnish label Ramekuukkeli-Levyt and features two bands that have been included on this blog before, all round heavy quintet Cicutoxin and heavy punk metal (their words) label-mates Necroslurg. Both bands contribute two songs to this split and it was kindly sent to me by Ramekuukkeli head honcho Tuukka.

I’ve long since been an admirer of Finnish heavy music and I love Cicutoxin’s brand of sludge, It’s got a great punk edge to it and their opening song here, Metal Fog is no exception. It sounds great on vinyl too. A Decent Scum is the longer of their two songs and it’s slower in tempo as a result. Definitely leaning more towards their doom/sludge influences The vocals are low and vicious growls while the drums put forth a terrifyingly slow beat to match the guitar/bass riffs. In terms of comparisons (if I have to make any), I’d put them next to countrymen Profetus maybe, albeit a faster version though I'm probably way off here. Great stuff that proves that the portal to hell exists and that it’s grounded in Finland.

Necroslurg on the b-side of this split present as faster approach on Messiaaninen Kirous. Like the blackened punk of bands like Darkthrone and (earlier)Entombed, mixed with the audaciousness of Turbonegro is how I’d describe them here. Pure aggressive punk fuelled heavy metal with raging vox. Lyijysivellin is no different and the fact that Necroslurg, as with previous releases, sing entirely in their native tongue adds to the effectiveness of their music. Intense while not being overpowering, there’s a simplicity to it that makes it super catchy. 

This split is over in no time, which is both positive and negative. Positive because it’ll make you put it on repeat but negative because you’ll no doubt be yearning for more from both bands after hearing it. Once again, a short sharp showcase of the chaotic noise that Finland has to offer in 2019. Great job and long may both bands and Ramekuukkeli-Levyt continue to support and produce it.

You can stream both of Necroslurg's tracks via Youtube below:-

You can buy copies via Ramekuukkeli-Levyt here -

Thursday, 16 May 2019

ỤBỤRỤ - Death & Decay

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 15 May 2019


2. Rotting Flesh
3. Shaman
4. Tatters
5. The Butcher
6. The Void Of Oblivion

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to be one of the first people (outside of ỤBỤRỤ themselves) to hear their first demo, essentially. This trio is a brand new heavy band from Leeds who're just beginning to make their first steps into the UK underground and indeed the live scene. Read on to see what I had to say about their songs...

The mysterious entity known as ỤBỤRỤ contacted me about writing something a bit different. It (or they) presented me with six live demo recordings. Not knowing whose in the band or where it’s from, I pressed play. What greeted me was heavy, groovy noise with bags of sludge on first track HSPC

Experimentation is clearly at the top of the musical list, as Rotting Flesh is an off-kilter doom song that doesn’t sound like the title would suggest. Imagine if Meth Drinker worshipped at the alter of old-school death metal and instrumental noise-rock, you’d be close to summing ỤBỤRỤ up. The more I listen to this, the more I begin to picture the miscreants that might be responsible for the noise herein, but there’s no harm in being kept guessing at the same time.

Shaman is a hard one to pin down. Black metal, sludgy metalcore-like breakdowns and bluesy bass-lines are all at play. The vocals are deep bellows that will carve deep into your soul. Forgive me if I’m plucking all the sub-genres out of the sky but this is hard to categorise. It’s very good. There’s a swagger about Tatters but that’s due to the band trying to fit more into less. It’s a shorter song and it chugs along nicely with a heap of dissonance and time-signatures that seem impervious to the norm.

ỤBỤRỤ does a slow once more on The Butcher, which has atmosphere flowing from every orifice. Passages that switch between psych/doom and cymbal-led death blasts with improvisation everywhere you turn. Last demo song The Void Of Oblivion is another murky bottom-feeder. Over seven-minutes of raw and progressive madness turned down to half speed. 

There’s an obvious focus throughout this and all of the songs presented here, and while this may be the first utterances from a band just born, I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing lots more from ỤBỤRỤ very soon.

You can stream all of the songs here via Soundcloud below:-

Keep up to date with ỤBỤRỤ's progression and live show announcements via their Facebook page here -

Vile Apparition - Depravity Ordained + Atrocious Captivity Demo

Labels: Blood Harvest Records/Memento Mori Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 21 Jan 2019


1. Mauled And Nameless
2. Depravity Ordained
3. Dissect To Enucleate
4. Aeon Of Impalement
5. The Cursed Path
6. Malevolent Aphanatasia
7. Repulsive Desire
8. The Gate
9. Window Of The Grotesque

Such is the pace of releases this year, it's proving hard to catch up. So much so that I'm still working my way through stuff that came out in January (amongst my seemingly random review schedule). "Depravity Ordained" is the debut album from Australian death metal quartet Vile Apparition. It was released in January via Blood Harvest Records (vinyl, tape, digital) and Memento Mori Records (CD). Vile Apparition initially formed as a duo in 2017 and self-released the "Atrocious Captivity" demo, which also received a tape release via Transylvanian Tapes. Their line-up later doubled in size in time for a split cd release with Polish death metal duo Incinerator via Polish Putrid Cult. This piece will also feature a review of the "Atrocious Captivity" demo as it was included in the digital press pack I received.

Vile Apparition’s death metal is slamming, fast and disgusting. Mauled And Nameless is a blasting and grim old-school worshipping beast with deep growls. The riffs sit deeper in the mix as the drumming takes a tighter grip; however, there’s room in the recording for a ripping solo. This was pure and unadulterated brutal death metal without the pig squeals. The title-track is meaty with a wall of guitar-riffs beefing up the sound. Its formula is obvious fairly early on yet there’s technicality seeping from its pores. When Vile Apparition dials back the tempo, like in the latter half of Depravity Ordained, they venture into doom/death territory and its actually kinda nice (in a grim way). 

To deliver such ferocity and intensity so early on shows the intent that Vile Apparition has and Dissect To Enucleate is no exception. It all adds to an urgency that’s unmatched and with a production/mastering job that keeps everything true to the genres early proponents, everything is kept from being raw and muddy. They hit peak death metal on Aeon Of Impalement, with its slow and brooding doom/death feel and another ripping solo. There’s still plenty of fast but it seems more focused to me. A the mid-point of the album there’s a hauntingly ambient instrumental song in the form The Cursed Path, which breaks up the brutality  and fills you with an unnerving feeling.

After that instrumental, things get back to full speed on Malevolent Aphanatasia, which encompasses pretty much everything that makes Vile Apparition’s music so good. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before if you’re a death metal fan but as far as debuts go, it’s right up there. The final trio of songs beginning with Repulsive Desire are absolutely raging. Repulsive Desire itself is full of constant Tom abuse and vocals that scream “how low can you go”. The lack of time to catch your breath between it and The Gate proves that Vile Apparition mean business and take their death metal more than seriously. It’s much of the same but The Gate just stabilises the quality of the album.

Despite what I said above, the album’s final track Window Of The Grotesque is brimming with atmosphere within its opening bars. That atmosphere is retained as Vile Apparition stomps through one last doom/death filled number. It rounds out an album filled with disturbing bleakness and genuinely heavy death metal. There will be a lot of keen listeners in the underground who have already discovered “Depravity Ordained” but if you haven’t yet, you should change that.

Stream "Depravity Ordained" and grab it digitally and on LP/CD from Vile Apparition below:-

Tape copies are now sold out via Vile Apparition, but you can get the album on all physical formats from Blood Harvest Records and Memento Mori Records.

Labels: Self-Released/Transylvanian Tapes
Formats: Digital/Tape
Release Date: 31 Jul 2017


1. The Abyssal Plain
2. Anatomized Remnants
3. Atrocious Captivity
4. Featureless Deity

As mentioned above, Vile Apparition's 2017 demo "Atrocious Captivity" was bundled in with the promo I received, so I've decided to write a separate review of it and include it here. It's often fun starting with a band's most recent release and working backwards. This demo was written and recorded back when the band was a duo, so it'll be interesting to hear how their sound progressed to what it is now. As far as I can tell from scanning various places, tape versions of this are long sold out from both Vile Apparition and Transylvanian Tapes.

“Atrocious Captivity” begins with The Abyssal Plain, which is a ghostly and pretty terrifying intro that leads directly into Anatomized Remnants. Obviously here the sound is slightly raw but that actually works better for the music in my opinion. I know it’s boring when people continually say “I like their demo best”, but it’s mostly correct in this case. The recording seems to be less constrained than that of “Depravity Ordained” and while the ever-so-slightly cleaner sound of the latter makes sense, this demo just sounds more brutal to my ears.

The demo’s title-track is as barbaric as you’d expect and it’s far from accessible (not that any of Vile Apparition’s material could be considered accessible). You can certainly see where they got their writing chops from here and it was obvious even from this demo that their technicality was something else. In fact a lot of what appears musically on “Depravity Ordained” owes much to this demo and the doom/death that’s present there first rears its ugly head on Featureless Deity. It’s not slow by any means but the influence and atmosphere is clearly present throughout.

Overall, having listened to both releases, there’s no negatives here. If you’re new to the band, start with “Depravity Ordained” and work your way backwards. Vile Apparition will no doubt be a band that will continually improve and tweak their sound as they progress through their career. Quality death metal from the other side of the globe.

(Alternative Transylvanian Tapes Cover Art)

You can grab "Atrocious Captivity" as a name-your-price download below:-

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Regarding Ambiguity - Flayed EP

Labels: Self-Released/Larry Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 26 Feb 2019


1. Movie Kiss
2. The Novelty Of Modesty
3. Arrows
4. Paranoia Haiku
5. Bloodlines
6. It Puts Motion To The Sin

It's now this mid-point in my week off and while I've been rushing around and enjoying the sun, I've not written a whole lot. Now's a good time to change that with the help of another Larry Records tape release that was kindly sent to me by Larry himself. This tape features the debut EP from Danish post-hardcore/screamo band Regarding Ambiguity. It was self-released by the band on vinyl/digital formats at the end of February and it was snagged for a limited tape release shortly afterwards. Regarding Ambiguity are currently winging their way around Europe on a tour that has seen them play Miss The Stars Fest amongst other shows, alongside US friends Closer.

As I press play on “Flayed” I feel instantly at ease and content. Opener Movie Kiss is by no means an easy/calm listen but it feels familiar all there same and Regarding Ambiguity’s music/screaming is expansive and melodic. Danish bands have always been really good at the big cinematic post-hardcore/metal sound.

RA’s approach on The Novelty Of Modesty is a little more caustic and aggressive (but not in a bro-core sense) and there’s still room for plenty of subtle touches that break down the intensity. The furious guitar playing that provide much of the treble towards the end is dramatic and rousing, as is the breakdown that follows. Everything just works. 

Bands of this ilk sometimes go for shorter songs, as they make a bigger impact but that can also leave you feeling that a release was too short or even rushed. RA don’t take that approach and instead write their’s with the music in mind. Arrows follows on from the opening duo on “Flayed” perfectly, with exactly the same atmosphere and even more anticipation, if that makes sense. There’s a feeling that throughout this EP, they’re building to something big at the end.

Paranoia Haiku has a pretty furious tempo to start with and it contributes to a song that’s a lot more instrument heavy, where the vocals are slightly deeper in the mix at times and seem to be more prevalent at the beginning and end, leaving the mid-section to breathe. This description maybe way off, as I don’t always get it right but whatever.

There’s no point me even trying to find a different way to describe Bloodlines as by now you should get the picture. Skramz is great and so is Regarding Ambiguity. This song is great.  EP closer It Puts Motion To The Sin however, is the crescendo I was referring to when talking about Arrows. It’s mighty, chaotic (but in a controlled way) and it puts to bed another impressive debut release.

You can stream "Flayed" and by it digitally and on vinyl below:-

Tape copies (and limited vinyl copies for those in the US) can be picked up from Larry Records here -

Monday, 13 May 2019

Ulvdalir - ... Of Death Eternal

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 28 Nov 2018


1. Intro
2. Awakening
3. Black Flames Of Will
4. Swords Of Belial
5. Birth Of The Beast
6. Music Of Cold Spheres
7. Eternal Angel Of Death Eternal
8. Outro

The upward trajectory of black and death metal bands from the Eastern block shows no sign of stopping. Having recently featured both Siculicidium (Romania) and Malokarpatan (Hungary) in recent posts, next on my list was Russian duo Ulvdalir. Forming in St. Petersburg in 2001, the duo has three full-lengths as well as various EPs and splits. "...Of Death Eternal" is their newest (and fourth) full-length and has been released via Iron Bonehead Productions. Ulvdalir form part of the True Ingrian Black Metal Death circle with lablemates Khashm and also Likferd. 

This release may have been missed by many, due to its digital release coming late last year and its physical release coming towards the end of January, so it’s a perfect time to get acquainted with it if you’ve overlooked it. The Intro to “…Of Death Eternal” sets the ominous tone with unsettling ambience and choral singing. Awakening is Ulvdalir’s first full song on the album and its pummelling percussion and dissonant yet majestic guitar work creates quite a spectacle, while the vocals are delivered via a mix of low shrieks and maddening mid-range cries. The key factor here is that the duo’s compositions are lengthy, allowing for greater realisation of their sound and musical approach.
Don’t let that put you off though, as it also means that they’re engaging in all the right ways.

There are some nice cascadian elements to Ulvdalir’s music, especially in the intro to Black Flame Of Will, though it isn’t long before they up the ante again. Even when they do, there’s more to their music than just black metal and by not settling for the necro sound of old, its more obvious. The bass guitar playing is well worth appreciating to as it feature higher up in the mix later on in the song. It’s very intricate and bluesy. War metal appears subtly on Swords Of Belial, though it isn’t overpowering and is only used minimally. The tempo is still high and the march of progress is unrelenting as Ulvdalir perform ever longer black metal hymns with a formula that mixes their black metal blueprint with punk and layers of progression. This is summed by the latter half of the song, which comes complete with more choral singing and a lengthy guitar solo amidst the wall of noise. 

Birth Of The Beast is a meatier proposition thanks to some chugging, big riffs and a more mid-tempo stomp. Don’t worry its not gone hardcore, but there is an element of that in here at times though I suppose its closer to old-school death due to the atmosphere created. It’s much of there same on Music Of Cold Spheres, which is rhythmically spellbinding with punk once again filtering through its evil undertones. Moments of tranquil guitar melodies and calmer passages help to break to the barrage and the further you get into the record, the more evident this duo’s instrumental and song-writing skill becomes. 

The ever repeating riffs during the verses (at the beginning) of Eternal Angel Of Death Eternal are claustrophobic but fantastic. They add to a song, which is off-kilter and terrifying in all the right ways. At nearly nine-minutes in length there’s a lot to take in and as its the last full song on “…Of Death Eternal”, it demands both more attention and appreciation. The Outro completes the record in the same way as it begun and is no less unsettling. That’s the thing about this album, yes its extreme but if you can see (and hear) past that then you’ll be rewarded with something truly musical that’s executed extremely well. Another great release from Iron Bonehead Productions and another band worthy of wider attention.

You can stream and purchase "...Of Death Eternal" on all formats below:-

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Deference/Vanity - Condemned To Repeat Split

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 26 Apr 2019


1. Deference - Sin (w/Kerrie & Ryan from Vanity)
2. Deference - Burial (w/Kerrie & Ryan from Vanity)
3. Vanity - Human (w/Rob and Matt from Deference)
4. Vanity - Disillusioned (w/Rob and Matt from Deference)

On this split tow rising UK metal bands have joined forces to provide four collaborative songs. Instead of just sticking to the usual two-band split format, Southampton quintet Deference and London sextet Vanity have written two songs each in which the vocalists from each join the other to contribute vocals. This is a great idea that allows both bands to showcase their writing talents and as they've collectively toured with bands such as Chelsea Grin, Miss May I, Rolo Tomassi and more, they clearly know what they're doing. This split has been self-released and is available on cd and on all off the usual digital platforms.

This is my first time hearing both of these bands but I wanted to write about this split because if it’s forward-thinking nature. Deference is first up with Sins and what you get is technical, modern metal with plenty of melody and breakdowns. They’re joined by Kerrie and Ryan from Vanity for this one and their second and the dual harsh/clean vocals hark back to mid-00’s metalcore. Second song Burial is heavier initially and definitely calls on influences like Periphery and follows in the same vein as Sins before it. The riffs are crunching, the drumming is powerful though a little deep in the mix on occasion and the use of electronics is subtle yet very effective. It’s catchy too and the verse/chorus structure of both songs works well in a scene where lines are continuously being blurred.

Humane is the first time on this split that you get a sense of Vanity’s song-writing and they’re joined by Rob and Matt from Deference for both of their songs. Their sound is darker and it creates a similar atmosphere and brings to mind the heavier moments of Sikth, vocals-wise especially.  Again heavy breakdowns loom large here and they’re joined by audible vocals that would sit well with UK tech metal bands like Hacktivist, if I was to compare. The drumming is again powerful and the use of orchestral synths add extra layers too. It’s definitely more old-school in my opinion. Their second song Disillusioned is an aggressive one and it sounds like it was born from the streets, such is the attitude it has. Harrowing but also strangely relevant to current feelings. 

This split has been approached in a fresh way by both bands and in doing so, they’re going to put modern UK metal on the map once more. Both are unique and very much have their own sound. If you can pick up a copy of this and see them playing live then you’ll know what I mean. Good stuff indeed.

You can watch videos for both Burial (Deference) and Humane (Vanity) below:-

Vanity currently has cd copies available in their web store here - and you can grab it digitally from all of the mainstream platforms, though it doesn't seem to be on Bandcamp for those you who use it as your preferred platform.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Yeruselem - The Sublime

Labels: Debemur Morti Productions
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 08 Feb 2019


1. The Sublime
2. Autoimmunity
3. Eternal
4. Sound Over Matter
5. Joyless
6. Triiiunity
7. Babel
8. Reverso
 9. Textures Of Silence

When members of one of Extreme metal's most forward-thinking bands embark on a new project, Its often hard to see past their main musical outlet. Yeruselem is a prime example of this as members Vindsval and W.D. Feld are well known for their time in one France's premier black metal bands Blut Aus Nord. They released their debut album "The Sublime" earlier this year via Debemur Morti Productions on various formats and if you were expecting something more familiar in sound, you may want to rethink your choices.

This is very much a journey into the unknown. Yeruselem open with the album’s title-track and after beginning with shattering ambience, the duo shifts forward into electronic/experimental territory filled with synths, beats, melody/hypnotic guitar riffs and clean singing. Not without its Eastern influence, it seems to gather up the many elements of France’s multicultural society along the way.

The hip-hop style rhythm of Autoimmunity is at odds with the unnerving post-punk blueprint that features heavily on the album. Very dystopian and barren, yet unshakably addictive at the same time. Drone and doom can be heard in subtle swathes amongst the song’s multiple layers. Crossing the barrier between ambient/noise and metal is a hard thing to do. As Eternal plays, it definitely reminds me more of Dalek than it does BAN. The former’s industrial soundscapes are mirrored here, albeit in less of an extreme way. 

Yeruselem does take the odd moment to reflect with ambient interludes including Sound Over Matter, which is a very apt song title from a band that lets their instrumental prowess do the talking for them. Its obvious that their creativity is boundless on “The Sublime” and following that short moment of peace, Joyless stomps forth with big beats and harder riffs. Again, the vocals reside within the mix and that bares no effect on the compositions, as they were meant to be more engaging on different levels.

The funk is alive and well too as Vindsval’s bass squares up to more powerful synth beats on Triiiunity. It’s hypnotising, especially due to the never-ending vocal note that’s held during the first-half of the song and that reappears again after the mid-point, Patterns swirl as W.D Feld’s industrial pulses threaten to overrun things. Its hellish and contains the first glimpse of harsh vocals on the album, which fits its overall feel perfectly.

In fact the second half of the album feels heavier and more jarring as a whole. Comforting and soothing sections are still present but it seems that song-by-song, everything is building to a crescendo that could only lead to complete aural terrorism. Babel continues that trend. The crashing cymbals on penultimate song Reverso sound almost too organic to be synthesised. The repeating phrases of the song are far from simple in structure and the constant progression shines through. 

There isn’t one specific genre with which you could categorise Yeruselem’s music. Its meant to be enjoyed as a standalone piece of art and boy does it standout. Its left to Textures Of Silence to whisk you off to a place so far removed from your own reality that you’ll struggle to make it back. “The Sublime” is breathtaking. The vision of both Vindsval and W.D. Feld is so bright that it shines over this release, that could well be one of the releases of the year. 

You can stream and purchase "The Sublime" on all formats (though some are now extremely low in number) below:-

You can also purchase physical copies from Debemur Morti Productions below:-

Debemur Morti Productions -

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Wet Petals - II

Labels: Larry Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 March 2019


1. I: Cascade
2. II: Afterpastures
3. III: Interlude
4. IV: An Echo In The Carnage
5. V: Opium Summer
6. VI: Underneath The Plastic Rainbow
7. VII: __________________________

I couldn't go another day without writing a review and I realised that I've been sitting on tapes from Larry Records for too long. now. This review was meant to be part of a bigger feature but I didn't want to delay things any more. This tape was released earlier this year in collaboration with Zegema Beach Records (so I guess I'm now out of sync with my ZBR roster review series). New York state screamo trio Wet Petals started releasing music 2012 and this, their second full-length, originally saw the light of day in 2015 thanks to a digital self-release. This acts as a post-humous release as Wet Petals is no more. Tapes come in a printed/stamped envelope, which is a great DIY touch.

It seems that modern day screamo bands are living by the same mantra, as they’re around for a good time not a long time. Wet Petals certainly lived up to that having released one demo and two EPs/full-lengths, depending on your definition of the two. On “II” they managed to produce and perform screamo of the caustic yet twinkly variety. I: Cascade is everything I’ve just described and a whole lot more, with vocals that are as grating as screamo vocals get, while being backed up by off-kilter percussion and guitar work that’s as melodic as it is driving.

Wringing feedback kicks off II: Afterpastures, which ups the intensity and tempo, leading the music down a path that’s riddled with emoviolence. That belays the emotion dripping from the song though.
III: Interlude is exactly what it says, an interlude. The spoken-word sample and gently strummed guitar projects a mood that’s edgy and unnerving. It fits this release perfectly,

On IV: An Echo In The Carnage, there’s a sense of relaxation to begin with that’s shattered as the full band unleashes another shorter sub two-minute burst of violence. It’s a shock that both starts and stops on a dime. VI: Opium Summer takes Wet Petals back in a lengthier direction in terms of their compositions. It’s great all round and with the tempered drumming, it feels gentler on the soul, albeit briefly. The trio lurches between up-tempo passages and artier/off-kilter verses that aren’t without their intensity either. The closing few bars sound like they were composed using 8-bit/chiptune electronics, though I may be wrong. It sounds like it should be on a Nintendo Game Boy game. 

Penultimate number VI: Underneath The Plastic Rainbow has space to breath with its slower tempo and more laid back instrumentation. The spoken-word and audible vocals in the song could be compared to those of Old Gray or La Dispute, which is a compliment as they are truly emotive and heartfelt. The mysteriously tilted closer VII: __________________________ is one final, lurching release of anger from Wet Petals that fades into eventual silence and with it the feeling of calm and the provision of time for self-reflection. This is a record that feels raw but at the same time pure. Wet Petals may be gone but this final release will ensure that they’re not forgotten.

You can stream "II" and download it (name-you-price) below:-

Tape copies are available from the links below:-

Larry Records (2 left) - 

Monday, 6 May 2019

Recollection - Jesper Johansson Jungermark (Young Mountain/Nathan Aeli/Raft)

This is the first instalment of my "Recollection" series for 2019. For those of you who aren't familiar with this feature, I started it a year or so ago by asking if friends in bands would like to contribute their top-ten album list for inclusion on the blog. This one comes from Jesper Johansson Jungermark, who plays guitar and provides vocals in Swedish post-hardcore band Young Mountain (amongst others). I hope you enjoy checking this out and thanks to Jesper for submitting it:

Artist: Björk
Album name: Vespertine

Judging from previous releases by Björk i find this album to be one of her more ”complete albums”, by that i mean that from when the first track sets the mood and scenery, and to where the last track finishes it all, i feel like there’s been a pure course of flow. The whole album just keeps on pushing towards the end, ties it all together in the same musical landscape. I listen to almost all her albums, but sometimes she hits really high and she hits really low. An example for this in my opinion is for instance the difference between songs like ”Big Time Sensuality” and ”Venus As A Boy”. I find Björk peaking when she explores the more raw emotions of separation/loss/heartache as she seams to do on this album. ”Vespertine” is a little bit more arctic and fragile than her other works, ethereal vocal melodies and frosty clings sound through all of the tracks. Imagine being locked in a icy cave watching how the universe gives birth to the world, you’re content with being locked in and you’re amazed by this form of creation. I know i wouldn’t want to leave. 

Favourite songs: Hidden Place, It’s Not Up To You, Pagan Poetry & Aurora.

Artist: Massive Attack 
Album: Mezzanine 

Electro avant-garde legends, they sat a new bar for all electro-related music once mezzanine came to be. The ambience, the beats, this mystic soundscape in a whole gives me the impression of something futuristic yet occult at the same time. The craftsmanship and delivery of each track is astonishing, they know just when to lay back and when to demolish your forehead with a giant wall of progressive sound. 

Favourite songs: Angel, Inertia Creeps, Black Milk & Mezzanine

Artist: Converge 
Album: When Forever Comes Crashing

Despite the production and critique the album has gotten over the years i still cherish this album. Converge where so early with everything and basically laid out tunes that weren’t thought of in sense of style and to this day almost every album is timeless. Countless bands still gets influences from these monoliths, and the riff god from God City. This album could’ve easily been released on Zegema Beach Records or Middle Man Records this year, that’s still how relevant these songs are. 

Favourite songs: My Unsaid Everything, The High Cost of Playing God, Towing Jehovah & Year Of The Swine

Artist: Cult Leader 
Album: A Patient Man

Crush me with a bulldozer and boil my remains. That’s how i feel on the opening track. The course of this album is so violent and horribly gloomy that i would’nt want to be left alone with it for more than one listen a day. This album haunts my very soul with it’s presence. I have not, until now, heard an album more thick and destructive than this. The soundscape brings a rich tone and such a great variety of drum patterns that you’ll feel like you’ve been eating lard your whole life only to realise that there’s something even more thicker to stuff your mouth with. Not to mention, the vocals will straight up drag you to hell and have it’s way with you and a deeply sharpened switchblade. 

Favourite songs: I Am Healed, Isolation In The Land of Milk And Honey, to: Achlys & Craft of Mourning

Artist: Underoath 
Album: Define The Great Line 

Channelling my inner emo energy, this is peak performance of emo/post-hardcore. I have nothing more to say regarding this release. 

Favourite songs: In Regards to Myself, You’re Ever So Inviting, Moving For The Sake of Motion & Writing On The Walls. 

Artist: David Bowie 
Album: "Heroes" 

Experimental and catchy is how a lot of these tunes go on, it might not be the most well put together album I’ve heard but i enjoy the whole vibe. David Bowie was, and is still, one of my biggest influences in terms of change. It’s so impressive how he could walk between all these different stage persona's and musical styles and still be considered as singular artist in the eye of the public. 

The production, in consideration of the year it was released, is on-point and charming. If you listen to each song and just consider them separate works then i’d say that they shine the most, but as a whole i’d say that the album is divided in two parts like a theatre play. The first act captivates your interest and the second act is more for relaxing expect for the end track. 

Favourite songs: The Beauty And The Beast, Joe The Lion, Heroes & Sense Of Doubt.

Artist: Amia Venera Landscape 
Album: The Long Procession 

Post-metal with ambience at it’s best. This whole album reeks of wonderful melodies, the songwriting is fantastic and you never know where it’ll take you. The only thing that could’ve done this album better would’ve been if the vocalist had a bigger range. It sometimes can get a bit monotone, but the again, it allows the instruments to take more room and shine. So I’m abit divided on this thought. How the chords shift between hard-hitting metal, mathy equations and lush screamo/skramz just get me every time. 

Favourite songs: Empire, A New Aurora, My Hands Will Burn First & Nicholas.

Artist: Intohimo 
Album: Failures, Failures, Failures & Hope 

This album might be the reason why i got involved in screamo/hardcore. To this day i have never encountered a more honest and raw collection of songs. I still know them all by heart. All the riffs and melodies just run away in a catch-and-release formation, it’s like your being chased but no one really catches you. You just keep running from your paranoia of being followed but when you turn your head there’s really nothing there, it’s just you. 

Favourite songs: Dear Lisa, This Winter, The End Of Everything, Too Many Failures & The Difference Between...

Artist: Mac Miller 
Album: Watching Movies With The Sound Off

This is one of the first rap-related albums I got into when i was younger. Even though I can’t stand for all the edgy lyrics today i can still really enjoy the beat works and some of the songs really touch me. The album as a whole questions reality/death/love and friendships, how fast people can disappear and how fast people can enter your life. I feel like alot of rappers don’t go that personal, they usually just work around the money/hustle/sex image and whenever a rapper goes to long in that sector it can easily get boring in my opinion. Mac Miller sometimes dwell in that stuff as well, but when he goes outside of that box the tunes really shine. 

Favourite songs: I’m Not Real, I Am Who Am, Objects In The Mirror, Red Dot Music, Someone Like You & Youforia 

Artist: Lana Del Rey 
Album: Born To Die 

One of the biggest persona's in the current mainstream game, ever since this album came out I’ve been looking forward for another album in the same style, sadly she only went on to create more smooth/jazzy sounds, not bad at all, but that’s not what i loved most in her music. This album has it all, love/anxiety/childhood memories/happiness and crippling darkness. For such a big pop act to release an album which circles round death as a theme, and to get so much critical acclaim, I’m really glad that reached the light of day. 

Favourite songs: Off To The Races, Diet Mountain Dew, Dark Paradise, This Is What Makes Us Girls & Lolita

Honourable mentions: 

Mitski - Puberty 2
Bon Iver - 22, a million 
Night Lovell - Concept Vague
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange 
Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Blazing Fires...
Sore Eyelids - For Now 
The National - Sleep Well Beast 
St. Vincent - Masseduction 

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Check out Jesper's bands below:-