Seven Days Ov Diskografies: Masses Consumed at the Pyre

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Come for the music, stay for the words of seeming wisdom.

If you’ve ever been down to the wonderland known as ToH’s Facebook Group, you might have noticed that I spent an entire week listening to full discographies of bands, naturally, seven per day.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably realized this article has something to do with the said week. It would be a little futile to just do seven posts about seven bands each, as I’m sure you all have plenty of music to listen from the Toilet already, so instead this is going to be a little different (and not nearly as long). Instead I’m just going to be stating some obvious facts you all already knew towards the end of this collections of various noises of different levels of pleasure, sometimes wrongly accused of being music.

Shrapnel Storm is a death metal band following the trail of the sacred Thrower ov Bolts of all sizes, even if their footsteps ring with less melody. No fooling around with strange rhythms or experimenting with songwriting, very meat and bones death metal. On the downside, they are clearly lacking in variation, which might prove fatal sooner or later.  They have released four EPs/demos and are due to release a full-length this spring. Exactly the kind of music that is meant to be experienced live with a beer; it doesn’t quite hit home on an album, especially with a guitar tone not-quite-meaty-enough.

You can listen to another song from the same EP here and like them on FB here.


 

Vulture Industries has been one of my favorite bands for a while now, but I haven’t really gotten as excited about any pre- The Tower albums. They play avant-garde-ish metal, but manage not to walk in the wake of Arcturus’ footsteps. Slightly angular drum playing, at times even black metal-ish guitar playing and Bjornar E. Nilsen’s vocals form a nice attack, but the band never speeds up or goes really proggy or any other thing you would think, or hope, of a band like Vulture Industries. They are one of the few bands whose lyrics are actually good, I mean a great riff isn’t that hard to find, RotW proves it weekly, but give me a well written line with a meaning and I’ll be amazed. Most bands that manage to write a line that stays with you never hit the spot twice, but I’m having high hopes for VI. The lines come from “The Hound” off of “The Tower”, the albums concept is: “Money is power, this is the truth.” but this concept has nothing to do with how the lyrics resonated with me. They seemed to touch me on a far deeper and personal level, stripped of all the albums context. These lines do not follow each other in this order and many have been left out, because as I said it did not touch me in context but as separate lines.

“There lies a beast, near the top of the stairs. Weary and weak, in its final years.

Its years of glory now long past and gone; its body quakes, throbbing from the shame, of its fall from grandeur into the bitter abyss, the oblivion of the useless and the maimed.
I used to hear it call my name, but the howl turned to a wail. As the hound yearns, the past burns the beast at the top of the stairs…

…a feeble shadow of what was once feared by us all. He’s a reluctant derelict from a bygone time, still sending shivers down many a spine, but a stranger still among its own kind, this pitiful ghost.
Hear the hound keeps calling, as it used to know our names, but it can’t recall them as its grip did slowly wane. Yet the hound keeps calling, as it world keeps falling…”

I’m not saying this is the greatest of lyricism, as a form it is not, but it’s content touched the hollow heart of this old beast.

You can listen to “Pills Of Conformity” for a showcasing of their more metal side.

Like them on Facebook; buy them on Bandcamp.


 

Funeral Doom is a very demanding genre. It commands as much attention as hectic prog or the weedliest of deedilies, yet far less is happening during songs that clock at ten to forty minutes. The Howling Void is one of the few “easier” bands in the scene. Melodic leads break the riffs, and keyboards are used for more than just the layering of texture. Occasionally the thundering roar of distant drums disappears, and flaming volleys of musket fire and guitar halt from bringing down enormous fragments from the vaults, to be succeeded by profound silence broken only by the ambience of synths, now embracing your existence.

Bandcamp and Facebook.


 

Now what would be a day on the toilet, or in the Toilet, be without some Death Industrial? A whole lot of crap, that’s what. Trepaneringsritualen, who’s Bandcamp you can enter here, mixes up his rhytmic industrial/noise mash with a healthy, gloomy gothicness and outright listenable, melodic pulse. Humanity deserves to be flushed down the drain, but it is not a concern here; instead magick and religion are at play here and it shows. And go give Thomas Ekelund a like on Facebook.


But what is it like to listen to so vast amounts of music then? It doesn’t take much to guess: awful. In a normal situation music provides a break, an alternative to the essence of your existence by alternating the surrounding space (I am NOT going to go deeper into this, no worries), but proceeding as I did alters the surroundings for so long, the altered state becomes the norm. The shape of one’s homeostasis shifts.

Days become filled with less silence than noise. Music becomes less enjoyable and more drudgery. It becomes irrelevant to actually listen to the music and sooner or later you find yourself enjoying silence for a few minutes a day only to provide yourself a change, and then go back to listening to music because you’re too tired to listen to any more silence. Roles are reversed.

Now it may be going too far to say that all this happened to me (to this severity) during the course of only seven days, but by the end of the week the symptoms were clear. Music was consumed only for the sake of consuming it. This kind of “listening” deprives music of its subjective pleasantness. Whether it is good or bad makes absolutely no difference as the consuming continues.

This doesn’t mean you should stop listening to new music altogether or reserve only an hour a day for music. No, It means that when you feel you ought to push “stop”, you push “stop”.

(Image VIA)

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  • EsusMoose

    I may have to try something like this, I’ve meant to try to get into Vulture Industries after Devin Townsend talked about them

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    But Mr Bear, there’s no “Stop” on my computer, only pause. What do I do now?

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      Buy a better computer.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      You’re a goat. You probably ate the stop button.

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      If you can’t stop, you’ll have to keep on binging. Until you’re homeostasis is NOIZzzzz

  • For me, listening to any type of music in a binging way gets exhausting. I’m one of those people who can follow an eighties AOR record with a Misery Index album and not even think twice about it.

    • EsusMoose

      I found binge listening last years top releases that missed to be very tiring, but when I’ve chosen a single artist it’s easier as you grow accustom to their sound and are able to appreciate it even when you’ve gone for a few hours on end

      • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

        This. When I find a band with a large discography I tend to take every single album slowly but steadily. Listening to the entire discography in one bite makes it all seem a bit overwhelming.

        • EsusMoose

          I haven’t really been able to burn through any discography in one day, except Nails but that was 39 minutes of bliss. I binged Strapping Young Lads first few albums one night and though it wasn’t my style I found myself less apprehensive during the first few tracks

        • tertius_decimus

          True. The only band whose disco I ate with one bite in my entire life was Special Providence.

          By the way, it is difficult to stay focused if album lasts more than 50 minutes. Listening to quite popular today double-CD craze can be tuff.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            Except when you’re band name is Swans. Two Hour long albums ftw.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I do similar things like putting albums from The Body on the same playlist as albums from Justin Timberlake. It’s partially because I think I am funny.

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        I’ve done this as long as I remember. I don’t actually get why some people can’t do it.

      • I think you’re funny too so maybe there’s something to it.

      • Dagon

        Of course you’re funny, don’t be silly. We love you, Ed.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          <3 x 1,000

  • “This doesn’t mean you should stop listening to new music altogether or reserve only an hour a day for music. No, It means that when you feel you ought to push “stop”, you push “stop””.

    Mr. Bear, the last lines were very intense :/ I sensed that It’s almost a comparison of what must suffer the people with dependance to something and can’t stop.

  • Tyree

    The Howling Void is the perfect soundtrack to my day in the office today. Dooooooooooooooooom!!!

    • What does Tyree at the office look like? I want so very much to imagine you in office clothes.

      • Tyree

        Khaki pants, Doc Martins, a sweatshirt, and a beanie. I have a Dark Funeral shirt under the sweatshirt though. Gotta keep it fresh.

        • Fresh as a motherfucker!
          You gotta wear those in the next video you upload of you playing drums.

    • Stockhausen

      Indeed. They are slowly massaging me with a steamroller.

  • Wait, one discography every day for seven days, or seven discographies a day for seven days? Because that’s hardcore.

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      The latter. Seven a day. For seven days.

      • EsusMoose

        I don’t know how you could do it, I’d be done on day 2

        • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

          At the end, I wanted to die. Just force feeding and no fun at all.

          • EsusMoose

            It’d be nice if as a collective would put together short lists of best or most expressive of a groups style for the bands we present, as I can only keep up with maybe 25% of what is posted

          • DDubya.

            I actually sort of do that with some Spotify playlists. On my death and thrash lists, I use only two songs per band. On my black list, I use 4 songs. I haven’t even bothered to tackle grind yet.

          • EsusMoose

            Grind is a style I still want to get more into but due to the plethora of groups, shortness of songs and it’s ferocity, I have a difficult time choosing groups. I liked Apex predator and last year’s Gridlink’s album

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Those are both fantastic albums. One of the nice things about grindcore, if you are a full length album purist like me, is that it is so easy to listen to many of the albums from start to finish based on their lengths.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            Nistikko and Rotten Sound. Many of their songs are a little longer than you’re average grind. Bith are relatively crusty and easy to get into. And both kick ad..

          • EsusMoose

            I’ll look into them once I can listen to stuff

          • don’t consume grind Toilet-style (seven new bands a day)… just bite off a little bit at a time and savor. if it turns out you’re in the same boat that i once was, try the following: Mumakil, Squash Bowels, and Absvrdist.

          • EsusMoose

            Thanks added them to Nordlings suggestions, I could probably get through them by friday as I like to listen to things I’m familiar with when I work

          • As long as you’re taking suggestions: Nasum’s Helvete and Pig Destroyer’s Terrifyer are two of my all-time favorite albums.
            And I’ll second McNulty and Nordling on Mumakil and Rotten Sound.

          • EsusMoose

            added, probably won’t take more so I can focus on these

          • DDubya.

            Prowler in the Yard >>>> Terrifyer. Come on, Gurp!

          • You’re just saying that to hurt me.

          • DDubya.

            I would never hurt you intentionally, sweetling.

          • Stockhausen

            Don’t believe him, Gurp. The other day he said to me, “I would hurt Gurp intentionally, sweetling.” It was weird.

          • Stabbathley
          • Hell yeah. I listen to grindcore because of this album.

      • That’s redonkulous, homie. I don’t like doing anything that much.

  • BAXXX BXAXXBXAXX

    Just say “no,” bearsan

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      But how can I do it?

      • Edward/Breegrodamus

        Great write up on this stuff Nordling.

        • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

          DANKs

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Danka

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            The Dutch word for “Thanks” is dank.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            Dat’s pretty Dank.

          • tertius_decimus

            Vielen dank fur dat SLAM DUNK!

      • BAXXX BXAXXBXAXX

        Ufhhh, how do they say no in finnish?

        • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

          I suppose it’s EI

  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    At the end of 2013 the excellent Doug Moore wrote a piece for Invisible Oranges about this very concept. Members of our own community (that pay attention to things) will know I decided 2015 would be the year I listened to “less music, more often”, which is exactly what I have been doing. It’s sweet.

    I was playing the Krieg / Leviathan split in my car earlier. I’m even more pumped for Leviathan’s album than I was prior to that happening.

    http://holyterror.bandcamp.com/album/leviathan-krieg

    http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2013/12/dont-listen-to-everything/

    • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

      Paying attention to things isn’t metal.

    • EsusMoose

      I usually spend 3/4ths of my time with music listening of songs I like, and then 1/4th to maybe 1/2 looking through new stuff. My last.fm is really lopsided with few dozen songs I like and then the albums they are apart of

      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        That sounds pretty much like my use of time for music.

    • That is great advice (and looks like there’s more good reads linked to it from there), even if it does fly in the face of my obsessive-compulsive nature.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    listen to the funeral doom song posted above —for 7 hrs straight—while watching this vid -at the same time (muted)

    http://youtu.be/5bgEHAKcG9k

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    That Shrapnel Storm album art looks like a tank driving on coffee beans. Vulture Industries is pretty neat/weird. On the subject of binge listening, I know I have a limit, some days after heavy listening I can’t even think about listening to music, I just need silence.

    • DDubya.

      I like silence at times. I also have days where I need something other than metal, so I’ll switch to hip hop or pop or soundtracks.,

      • YourLogicIsFlushed

        One of my constant metal breaks is Clint Mansell. That fucker can make a soundtrack.

      • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

        Pfff poser.

        (Kidding, as you guys might know by I listen to a lot of non-metal as well. The void is best served in small doses. Taking to much metal at once removes the intensity of the whole thing. I like to put up something really heavy in front of my parents or girlfriend every now and then to get a better perspective on the heaviness of stuff I listen to).

      • CyberneticOrganism

        If you like consistent ambient sounds for working, check out this guy’s videos sometime, they’re awesome. Mostly sci-fi, but really relaxing.

        https://www.youtube.com/user/crysknife007/videos

      • Usually I’ll switch on over to Dreampop and Futurepop when I’m not in a metal mood.

  • KJM
  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    Vulture Industries was in my Top 10 for 2013.

  • Howard Dean

    Very nice, F(r)i(e)nn(d)! Shrapnel Storm kicks ass.

    The 7 days of discographies thing probably would’ve killed me and sapped all my desire to listen to music. You should be commended for your industry, ruggedness, perseverance, and sisu!

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      Siitos.
      It was pretty discouraging towards the end. But I did recover surprisingly quickly. Never again though.

  • I’ve been getting into funeral doom a little more lately. I still find a lot of it to be boring or lame but I’ve found several bands that I think are pretty dope. Ahab, Aphonic Threnody, Asunder, Esoteric, Nortt, Shape of Despair, Skepticism, Stabat Mater, and Worship are all excellent.

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      Don’t think I’ve checked Aphonic Threnody. But Funeral Doom is definitely becoming mah jam.

    • old_man_doom

      I find that Ahab is the most engaging. They’re one of my all-time favorite bands, mainly because of the nautik-literature doom theme, but their songwriting has gotten progressively more interesting with each album. I’m beyond stoked for the new one. I do agree that Funeral Doom can be really bad sometimes. If you skim through an 18 minute track and there is no chord change, then that’s problematic.

    • JWG

      Oh. Hey. This post also contains more FD I should investigate.

      Cheers.

    • tertius_decimus

      Early Funeral (NOR) albums?

      • I’ve listened to the first two and their newest one but I haven’t been able to find a physical copy.

  • Tyree

    Shrapnel Storm is fucking sick by the way.

  • Stockhausen

    Vulture Industries>>>>>>
    I see some serious Dark Tower references in those lyrics that they manage to work it in to their own narrative. I need to revisit that album.

    • DDubya.

      As do I.

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        You both certainly do.

        • Stockhausen

          You certainly think that we both certainly do.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            Certainly, sweetling.

          • Stockhausen

            Well played. And well suffered. Those last few paragraphs painted a bleak picture, and I raise a fist to the sky to your efforts.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            I don’t wanna compare myself to Jesus, but I’m kinda lile Jesus. With the sufferimg and all.

  • Vulture Industries OWNS!!!! At first I thought Arcturus’s singer was singing for them though.

    • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

      That would be cool. Garm or Vortex. I mentioned below they had a gig couple of days ago I couldn’t go to. It was opening for Arcturus

  • Dagon

    That Vulture Industries album sat on my BC playlist for a long time but ended up getting pushed aside. Still cool doe.

  • JWG

    I’ve been thinking I should expand my funeral doom collection beyond Evoken, Ahab, Mournful Congregation.

    Howling Void (we can still say that word so long as it’s part of a name right?) will do nicely.

  • JWG

    Sometimes listen to a band’s complete discography in the lead-up to a new album release, as though I’m planning a review that requires revisiting past material for comparison … that I will never actually write.

    I don’t consider it a ‘binge’ because I don’t ever do it in an extremely cramped period of time, even if its only a few albums. Instead, I start a week or so in advance (though no earlier than January 1st of the same year). I won’t actually listen to the new album until I’ve done the once-through, even if I pas the release date, as I’m just obsessive-compulsive enough to prefer completing the self-imposed task over getting to the new album ‘on time’.

    I then tend to listen to the new album as many times over the next month as each other album in the discography had been previously played to the best of my recollection, including that just-done 1. Yes, every album gets the same number of listens (more or less). Different artists may have different per-album play counts though, and I’ll break my rule intentionally if it’s a particular stinker.

    TLDR: I’m weird. Don’t be like me.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    I spend my work hours listening to the most recent 100 albums I acquired for my collection and a few hours throughout the week to scan the internet (mostly ToH of course) for anything new that may hold my attention.

    Interesting concept though but definitely not one I’d want to try. Scary, man!

  • tertius_decimus

    Am I only one who doesn’t enjoy Vulture Industries? Norwegian prog is boring. Borknagar seems to me the sole exception.