Renegade Reptilian Reviews: Cultist, Kurushimi, & Witte Wieven

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To an outsider, the last few months could be perceived as being a tumultuous period in the bowl. The editors have been frequently disappearing on unknown ventures, new faces have appeared, Dubya crossed the thrashold, the warrior known as Randall Thor has resurfaced and, after MoshOff’s hostile take-over of the coveted TovH Mini-Reviews position, threats of further uprisings were rumoured. Today, it may appear that the resident reptilian has staged a coup d’état and taken them for his own. Fortunately, this is mostly just a load of malarkey and I just couldn’t wait to release these mini-reviews into the æther.


Cultist

I originally wrote this piece for Spear’s excellent This Toilet Tuesday column last week, until he informed me that I had indeed stuffed up royally and written about the wrong “Cult” band releasing an album in late January 2016. Cultus – Cultist, how the fuck could I get those releases mixed up right? Well, Cultus play death/doom, and the band I’m reviewing, Cultist, don’t. Confused yet? Ok, I guess it’s just me who assumes bands with ostensibly the same name wouldn’t happen to be releasing albums within a week or so of each other. So damn dumb, it’s dumn. Anyway, here’s what I had down for Cultist; it’s the unabridged version because I’m lazy… I’m lazy.

Fuzzy-edged stoner/psych rock featuring members of Skeletonwitch, Howl and Mockingbird? For me, that’s enough to warrant a cursory listen. The debut release from Cultist titled Three Candles is a five-track retro affair which is as relaxed as the denim-fit that its intended demographic are synonymous with. Laid-back riffing with a Baroness-esque tone, bluesy bass lines, rudimentary percussion and vocals that should please Sabbath supporters… you probably already know whether or not this will appeal to you. The last track, “Eternal Dark” is my stand-out choice, as it wanders the off the path slightly and ventures through the haze left behind by bands such as Witch. While this EP won’t exactly set the crops ablaze, it doesn’t overstay its welcome and might help to tide over those of you eagerly awaiting that new Red Fang.

On A Playlist With: Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Orchid, Horisont.


Kurushimi

This release from my hometown/city (Sydney, Australia) appeared on my radar on Tuesday this week out of nowhere and as with all Art As Catharsis Records releases, I’m obliged to give it a listen as they have quickly became my favourite label for progressive and unusual bands/albums. Kurushimi’s self-titled debut is just that: unusual. After taking a quick glance at the exotic artwork on the cover and pushing play, I was immediately put outside my comfort zone and ended up being taken on a 79 minute journey through avant-garde free-form jazz.

The blurb on their bandcamp page reads as follows –

The mysterious collective Kurushimi take listeners through a dark and deranged sonic journey on their Art As Catharsis debut.
This heavily improvised release pushes the boundaries of deconstructionist noise-jazz with departures into doom, grindcore, prog, dub and hip hop. The result is something like the unholy congress of Ornette Coleman, Morbid Angel, Bill Laswell, John Zorn and Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.
Now I’m not going to pretend I know much about deconstructionist noise-jazz, but I’ll be damned if this album didn’t make me want to click play again, if only to work out what the fuck had just happened. The interesting and quite provocative blend of sounds will most likely interest fans of TovH darlings Hadean, Kayo Dot and Instrumental (adj.), the former two mostly due to the sheer saxy-ness of this release and the latter due to the shared members (guitars & drums). Throughout the 9 songs, the percussion remains upbeat and, along with the multiple saxophones, really commands the helm in terms of the direction each piece takes. The guitars are used in a somewhat subdued and thus unconventional way (in the contemporary sense), in that they take the back seat to most of the the other instrumentation, including the bass.
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Now although it may appear that this is just some esoteric oddity that doesn’t quite belong on a metal-orientated website, I urge you to persevere to at least catch some of the heavy moments scattered throughout the release. When they do arise, they have an aggressive unhinged yet also thoroughly compelling quality which I think is sorely lacking in much of the music we consume here on the day-to-day. This is surely no doubt related to the fact that the majority of this release was improvised among the 6 band members.

Also, while I’m on the topic, seems Art As Catharsis have recently placed their entire 48 album label discography on 25% discount as owner/manager Lachlan (TovH interview here) is going away to Tibet with no return ticket! So if you have a penchant for progressive, psychedelic music or just like supporting the little-guys of this world, check it out here.


Witte Wieven

A few weeks ago TovH legend Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple informed us of a debut release from a 2-piece Dutch black metal band named Witte Wieven. This 3-track EP titled Silhouettes of an Imprisoned Mind piqued my interest immediately. To be fair, it was always going to with his description of “Dutch BM with occasional haunting female vocals” sitting above it. This release has been played on my stereo at least 3 times a week since.

Don’t let the moody and seemingly restrained opening track fool you; this album does have some quite intense moments. For the most part it oscillates between the textured sounds of something like Drudkh combined with the dynamic nature of a band such as Tempel (TovH interview). Carmen’s vocals are as ephemeral as they are ethereal, and neither dominate or get lost in the composition. For those awaiting the intensity I mentioned before, the main riff in the title track (track 2) should not disappoint. “Faces Of Unreality” (track 3) continues the crescendo and is most likely going to be the track that will win you over.

There are only really two problems I have with this debut offering, the first being a minor gripe with the production/mixing. Throughout the course of the EP the guitars (particularly the distorted riffing) feel slightly thin tone-wise. Thankfully, this is not the case for the drums, which sound full and powerful to my ears. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the two that makes it seem a little off but whatever, it’s hardly a major concern, especially on a debut EP. The second problem is that the 15 minute run-time has left me craving MOAARRR! Looks like this release will be the one to tide me over until the next Lotus Thief album.


(Image via)

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Matt Pike’s Sweaty Top Picks. Dude can pick ’em.

    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      *Nipple-blushing intensifies*

  • RustyShackleford

    *does reading about deconstructionism while listening to “deconstructionist noise-jazz”*

    heheheheheheheh oh god please don’t put me in a locker please

  • Eliza

    Seriously great stuff here.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Kurushimi sounds tasty.

  • Lacertilian

    Kurushimi may or may not resemble Kayo Dot to you but to be honest, I really wanted to link C.Mole’s great article on them as soon as I heard something vaguely similar.

    • Eliza

      It has got to be one the best debut albums ever.

    • Eliza

      Also, I can’t wait for the new Red Fang.

    • I dig the Kurushimi. I can hear a similarity to Kayo Dot. Wish you hadn’t compared them to those DICKS in Hadean though.

      • mmmhmmmmmm Hadean. Going to queue them for later.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      After reading the description of that, I think I’m gonna put it on while I make breakfast / lunch.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        This is rad.

        • Boss the Ross

          Breakfast is rad?

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Reese’s? For Breakfast?

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime
          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Breakfast is rad, but I meant this Kurushimi album.

          • Boss the Ross

            Does it pair well?

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Better with the activity than what I actually ate, lol

          • Boss the Ross

            Haha!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Eating food is fucking amazing!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Eating is always better when a parasite bursts through your fucking guts!

          • The fucking crazy part about that scene to was that Ridley Scott didn’t tell the actors what was going to happen. Pure fucking fear is what you see in that scene.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, I heard that too. Rad!

          • what happened to young, fearless Ridley Scott? i have zero expectations for the Prometheus follow-up 🙁

          • Scrimm

            I expect it to suck like Prometheus.

          • Dubs

            I think you, McNulty, Tyree, and I have talked about Prometheus before. I honestly didn’t hate it while watching it in theater, but there was a lot that just didn’t make sense. Looking back, I can see its flaws more clearly.

          • It could have been soooo much better.

          • Boss the Ross

            Visually it was fantastic and definitely worth the theater experience. But the story really lacked.

          • Flawless cast too. Noomi Rapace >>>>>>>>>>>>

          • Boss the Ross

            Speaking of casts, Kurt Russell has been confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy 2

          • Damn, never saw the first one.

          • Boss the Ross

            Are you a fan of comic movies?

          • can i guess the answer? lelz

          • I don’t get too excited about them like a lot of people do (I see Jimmy beat me to it). I like the X-men movies though.

            EDIT: 3 sucked ass though. Love the Second one a lot.

          • Boss the Ross

            Hmm, okay.
            You should atleast check out Guardians, it’s good on all accounts.

          • Noted.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            You should! I normally avoid comic book movies like the plague (I’m one of two people on Earth who hasn’t seen The Avengers), but absolutely loved GOTG. It flips a lot of the usual comic book conventions.

          • Scrimm

            Best thing about it.

          • That scene when she is getting the alien surgically removed was some intense shit. What a horrifying scene.

          • Boss the Ross

            I really enjoyed the large landscapes on the planet as well. Ridley Scott is a genius in these aspects.

          • Needed more H. R. Giger.

          • Boss the Ross

            I think everything needs more Giger.

          • Boss the Ross

            *A return nod

          • he hired little kids to write that script.

          • Scrimm

            I was dissapointed in the theater(although nice visuals) repeated viewings did not do it any favors.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            You’re not the only one. Me and several of my friends went to see it, and spent most of the night discussing the loopholes. And there’s a fuckload of them.

          • Meh, no hype or excitement from me. I’ll just keep re-watching the first 3.

          • The Tetrachord of Archytas

            I thought the best thing about Prometheus was the follow up potential

            Edit: that is the theoretical one they could do if hollywood didn’t have such bullshit standards

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            He says it won’t have anything to do with Alien. I’m like WTF?!?!? It was blatantly clear in the ending of Prometheus that that was going to be the entire sequel! Last I heard, he’s working on a new Blade Runner. My hopes are that it has nothing to do with the KW Jeter faux-sequel books.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Gotta get your deep cleansing, bro!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime
  • I have been working from home this week (cuz the new baby), and I have been listening to all these recommendations. Since I am at home, I can play the music at normal levels (and not have headphones on). This makes enjoying the music so much better. I love it.

    Also, great recs Lizardbro. There are always something about your tunes that I love.

    GL

    • Boss the Ross

      Lucky. I have to wait hours before i can give things a proper listen. We’re not allowed headphones at work.

      • Sounds like you need to find a new gig, loljk. But srs, that sucks.

        • Boss the Ross

          We’re allowed to play music, but not too loud, so i try to play things that are more “socially acceptable”.
          When i was on nights i jammed whatever the hell i wanted though.

          • the good thing about the term “socially acceptable” is that it can change. I.E. time to blast Body Count.

          • Boss the Ross

            BODY COUNT BODY MOTHERFUCKING COUNT
            BODY COUNT BODY MOTHERFUCKING COUNT
            BODY COUNT BODY MOTHERFUCKING COUNT
            BODY COUNT BODY MOTHERFUCKING COUNT
            BODY COUNT BODY MOTHERFUCKING COUNT

          • COAL ROLL

            you need one of these little turntables for work like I got

          • Boss the Ross

            That would be sick.
            But my job requires me to move around too much.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Sounds like an old school Edward situation.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        That’s terrible.

        • Boss the Ross

          Tell me about it

    • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

      New life. Thhhhrrooooooommmmmmmmm.

  • This Witte Wieven is excellent. Haunting and envolving cold music.

    Thanks Lizard and Nipple.

  • RAW UNCUT BLACKBEARD

    you said the magic words Drudkh and Tempel

    • Still prefer Hate Forest. So fucking mean.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfpIixgozjU

      • RAW UNCUT BLACKBEARD

        yah, i like em but far prefer Drudkh. i do like Hate Forest more than Blood of Kingu, tho, i think its the vocals

        • I only heard the one Blood of Kingu album from a year or two back. I think Dubya got me into it. It was rad. I’ll have to revisit it I guess.

          • RAW UNCUT BLACKBEARD

            both their LPs are on par w everything Saenko

  • Spear

    Witte Wieven has much goodliness, indeed. It’s almost like what Myrkur would sound like if she didn’t suck.

    • RAW UNCUT BLACKBEARD

      are you the one writing those nasty emails, spear? lol

      anyway, Witte would be better without all that moaning

      • Spear

        You caught me. I’ve secretly been a misogynistic prick this whole time.

        And I actually enjoy WW’s vocals a lot. I wish they popped up more often.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    I really hope there is a booming Lizard Hat industry, because it looks amazing. Also digging the Witte.

  • i couldn’t purchase Kurushimi fast enough! (sorry for derailing the comments with talk about Alien, Lacertilian. here’s a good chance for you to scold me)

  • Dubs

    Kurushimi is tight.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    Kurushimi had me at John Zorn

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goKQgvR9IKY

  • Waynecro

    Interesting jams and excellent reviews. Thanks, Mr. Lizard!

  • Sir Tapir The Based

    Kurushimi sounds gUUUUd, but too many of you like it.

    • Boss the Ross

      Hipster.

      • more beer

        Hey man here is an old article you should check out.http://www.noecho.net/lists/queens-new-york-hardcore

        • Boss the Ross

          That was an excellent read, thanks more beer. That Leeway album is kicking my ass right now.
          It’s difficult to find copies of most of those albums though, it’s unfortunate.

          • more beer

            Yea a lot of that is out of print. Yea that Leeway album kicks a lot of ass.

    • i name-dropped you on FB the other day, there was talks of Oranssi Pazuzu. some site premiered a track and it was great!

      • Sir Tapir The Based

        I have heard the track. It was a good. I am super excited.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Ur prolly gonna h8 this, but I’ll throw it at u anyway
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2tmqYN7xjHE

          • u don’t know me, dick. dis pretty good!

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Looks like McNulty is fixing his act.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            This is pretty good! I thought you hated shoegaze though.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Good thing this ain’t shoegaze.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            *facepalm* Time to clean your ears, bucko! There’s definite shoegaze through most of this song (second half not quite so much though).

            http://i.imgur.com/JmWpiiG.gif

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Post-Metal =/= shoegaze
            Although there is slight shoegaze influence, it ain’t shoegaze, fuckface.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Pretty dern good either way.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            That tru. This year is starting out with some FANFUCKINTASTIC albums.

          • Commandant Lassard

            I know! The new Dream Theater, Myrath, and Persona are definitely tickling my naughties. I ordered up the new Omnium Gatherum, but haven’t listened to it yet. Not sure if the new Moonsorrow is up for pre-order, but checking up on that later.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            New Moonsorrow is up for pre-order

          • Commandant Lassard
          • Sir Tapir The Based

            At least in Finland

          • Commandant Lassard

            Arrrrrrgh, why does Finland always have to have the best things? *shakes tiny fists at the sky*

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Because Moonsorrow is our band.

          • Commandant Lassard
      • Dagon

        I am too. Everything previewed sounds awesome. I think this might be their best release so far if the other tracks provide the same quality.

    • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      -99999 edginess points

  • Dagon

    I’ll listen to the other stuff as soon as I manage to leave Cultist alone. This is MY SHIT.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    “TovH legend”- You’re too kind, Lacertillian. And correct ?

  • Lachlan R. Dale

    Hey pals, Lachlan here from Art As Catharsis.

    Glad you’re digging Kurushimi. I appreciate the kind words and support. We’ve got a whole lot of progressive, experimental underground Australia music on our label. Go have a bit of a rummage if you feel up to it: http://artascatharsis.bandcamp.com

    I’m about to go wander around the Himalayas for 4 to 6 months, but I’ve already got some cool releases lined up for when I get back (I think you might dig Hashshashin in particular).

    If you wanna stay in the loop, chuck us a follow on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/artascatharsisrecords/ – or better yet, jump on our mailing list: http://eepurl.com/YxcUX

    Keep it weird.

    – Lachlan.