Friday Guest List w/ Brendan Sloan (Convulsing)
In the second edition of this new series we’re running where we get some insight into what influences your favourite artists, we sat down with Brendan of Convulsing and Dumbsaint to discuss 5 Otherworldly Albums and the Lone-Wolves Who Created Them.
Hey man, howsit going?
Fine! I’m not out of coffee and I’m not deaf, so everything else is auxilliary to that I guess. (Five Senses’ Kianjiru is some wild shit)
So you just got back from Dumbsaint‘s European tour, did you enjoy yourself?
Oh absolutely. It was humbling and inspiring to play those shows. It’s been said before, but Europe really give a shit about art. So much so that even a fish as small as us can carve out a spot in that huge pond. You really feel wanted.
What was the crowd reception like?
Take me back, honestly. SO lovely. All three bands (We Lost The Sea and Meniscus) had people drive insane distances to come and hang out and get shit signed. A few people mentioned my own work too, which blew me away. I told them to delete it.
What’s next for you now? More Convulsing, or something else?
I’ve got ~22 minutes of new material that I’m sitting on, due out on a split in August (hopefully), and I’m back writing for future Dumbsaint plans. Three other projects remain looming, and there’s live guitar duties coming up later for some things… B U S Y
Awesome, looking forward to that. In the mean time, let’s see what you’ve got for us today. You’re going to cover 5 Otherworldly Albums and the Lone Wolfs Who Made Them. I’ll let you take over now to take us through your choices.
Extreme music seems to be a refuge for the lone auteur; the miscreant who can’t or won’t compromise enough to create art with others, instead burning a path of their own. These types of records resonate deeply with me as true expression of the self (even if I do possess the ability to play with the other kids), and I’ve been obsessed with such albums and the people that make them for over half my life. I even made one that I’ve been told is okay. Here’s a few of the ones that are frequently at the top of my mind.
5. afterwalker – II (but also everything else)
Okay so I’m already breaking the mould by starting with a triple but stay with me. These three albums were made by a friend-of-a-friend/bandmate-of
4. Spectral Lore – III (but also everything else)
There was a period of time a few years ago wherein I devoured anything that I, Voidhanger announced, and this was absolutely to top of the pile and fierce competition for my AOTY of that year. Vast, sweeping synthscapes with meandering tremolo picked guitar melodies encircling a rich harmonic base. Vocally it’s played pretty safe. No howling or avant-moaning to speak of, but frequent climactic moments bring Ayloss screaming to the front. III has a total run-time of almost 90 minutes across two discs and it never lets go; it’s on regular rotation for trips to Sydney CBD in peak hour traffic.
3. Dan Swanö – Moontower
Even after all this time, this remains one of my favourite ever albums. Definitely not grimkvlt, so if you’re afraid of synth leads stay away. Dan played everything on this album live: all guitars, vocals, synth, bass, drums. Engineered, Recorded and Mixed it himself, only handing off the mastering. There’s a glut of others who have come since, but he did this in 1999. Rush playing Death Metal in the 1970s a pretty good way to describe it: Lifeson-esque guitars with grandiose harmonies, brash synth leads, fat rock drums, and the most violent-yet-intelligible growl in the history of Death Metal. I credit any vocal skill you might attribute to me as a carbon copy of Dan: he’s a huge inspiration. If I can make an album this good at any point in my remaining years I’ll die happily. Listen to “Uncreation” and I’ll be shocked if you disagree with that beautiful bridge (2m30s ish).
2. Abyssal – Antikatastaseis (but also everything else)
This was a huge inspiration for me while I was writing Errata, and a reminder of what “heavy” should actually be. This is the first of his records to feature a human drummer, but the parts are all conceived by G.D.C. Often atmospheric and obtuse, but viciously riffy underneath the fog. The off kilter piano sample underpinning the latter half “Veil Of Transcendence” challenges your ability to maintain focus, like being thrown into a caleidoscope of textures competing for dominance, while G.D.C. rips onward unrelenting in opposition. A fascinating and beautiful album, and one I think he’ll struggle to surmount. God I fucking hope he does, though.
1. Mizmor – Yodh (and yes, also everything else)
Eden of HBIH wrote recently “Yodh is what I listen to when I want to be hated” and I fully endorse this statement. I also fully endorse the tag-line of “Wholly Doomed Black Metal”. I picked up the tape set from A.L.N. recently, collecting everything he has created under the Mizmor moniker, and it’s an unbelievable body of work that only gets stronger as the years progress. The tracks contributed to a series of splits shortly before Yodh are incredible, but Yodh exists on a level all its own. Dense, contemplative chords that never seem to play to a tired trope, varied and anguish-driven vocals, creative and engaging percussion. A hideously strong release culminating in one of the best album closers extreme metal has ever seen. GET THIS. Buy the fucking tape set if there’s still any. MANDATORY.
Well that’s it for our second edition, if you’d like to hear how these works permeate through his art, you can check out Convulsing’s amazing album Errata on Bandcamp (where it’s still generously offered at name your price), read our interview from late last year, and show him your appreciation on his Facebook page. Discuss some of your favourite otherworldly albums in the comments below