The Porcelain Throne: Reverend Bizarre and Opium Warlords

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Welcome back to everyone’s favorite column that you probably forgot about! A few weeks ago, I started The Porcelain Throne for readers of the Toilet ov Hell to write in depth about their favorite bands that don’t get much air time. My request for submissions went largely unnoticed (probably because of the subject matter), but luckily our imaginary-land dwelling friend,  Nordling Rites ov Karhu, had a great idea in mind.  Dive into the depths of doom here, then submit your own ideas to tohthrone@gmail.com.

It was 2005, and I was increasing the size of my record collection – which is to say blind buying – when I came across In the Rectory of The Bizarre Reverend. Naturally, I assumed it was some sort of King Crimson worship and acquired the aforementioned album immediately. 75 minutes later, I was sorry I ever purchased it. There was no sign of KC to be found, lest we count the excessive song lengths (only two songs are under ten minutes). Reverend Bizarre was, indeed, a bizarre case. It’s doom metal alright, and a traditional variety of it, but I’d call it a modern version of traditional doom. Mainly because at all times Sami Albert Hynninen has his middle finger up and pointed at the doom legends, even when his practically chanting the names of his heroes on “The Goddess of Doom”. Dubbing himself Witchfinder, he played slower, longer and more torturous songs than anyone, ever. Reverend Bizarre was on his quest to show that he was better at everything than everyone else. And boy, did I learn to love it.

IN THE RECTORY OF THE BIZARRE REVEREND (2002)

Witchfinder and co.’s strength was never in diversity, but instead in the seeming lack of it. There was always a certain variety in the compositions, but like always when discussing RB, it takes time and effort to find it. They had decided to push the “play slow songs, long” mentality beyond its logical extreme. One could claim that with this effort, RB purified doom metal of all external influences. Skip to 18:00 to climax with the band.

Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the over-an-hour-long EP Return to the Rectory as a second disc.


 

II: CRUSH THE INSECTS (2005)

Released with a sticker proclaiming them “The Biggest Sell-Out in True Doom” Crush the Insects is the place to start. It’s more upbeat an effort than anything else they recorded. The comparative easy-approachability of this album is also reflected in the song lengths. The longest of which doesn’t quite hit the fifteen-minute mark (albeit, an almost ten minute longer version of it was released as a single). To further abuse their selling-out, they released a video for “Doom over the World”, which is perhaps the easiest place to get in.

At this point, I feel it necessary to point out that the band, founded in 1995, was meant to release five albums, each slightly thematically different musically. Only three were ever released, but RB has gifted the world with 8 EPs and numerous splits. The curious thing about the EPs is that many are over an hour in length. The only reason it seems that these weren’t called full-lengths was because they were composed out of the thematic five LP concept, so there is plenty of music to get into.


 

III: SO LONG SUCKERS (2007)

The band went out with a bang. The year of their disbandment, they released a double album featuring over two hours of their most torturously dooming material. This ought to be your last call as it is a very hard one to get in, it even took me four years to really like it. The concept is the same as ever before but everything is more depressing, as S.A. Witchfinder Hynninen groans more tortuously and so forth. It’s to RB what RB was to doom, taken beyond its logical extreme. Tread with cautiousness. Doom What Thou Wilt.

(And do yourself another favor by familiarizing yourself with the compilation Death Is Glory…Now. It is the easiest way to get your hands on some songs from the splits and Thulsa Doom EP, which you won’t find, and is the only convenient way of acquiring Blood on Satan’s Claw and The Demons Annoying Me, some of their best songs. Okay now, bye bye then).

Reverend may be gone, but S. A. Hynninen remains and personally, I’ve always felt that he decided to continue RB’s legacy with Opium Warlords. Freed of the conceptual burden, he has released three more albums (and fourth is on the way).


 

LIVE AT COLOGNIA DIGNIDAD (2009)

Dark. That’s what this is, a really, really dark record probing the mindscapes of a demented lunatic. Doom metal is something this is not. It’s slow, it’s nightmarish, and occasionally covered with distortion. It’s agonistic, it reaches for uncharted waters and isn’t a stranger to drone either. It is a ritual. It is, once again, what the Reverend Bizarre stood for, taken beyond its logical extreme and released of the boundaries of form. Avant-garde doom psychedelia, if you will – playing on contrasts and atmosphere, more than on slow dirges, but not lacking in that department either. Check in at 5:05.


WE MEDITATE UNDER THE PUSSY IN THE SKY (2012)

This one is a much more demanding album than its predecessor, and leaning even more towards non-conventional means. There is noise and slowed down tones, experiments in psychedelia, and many other vibrant shades here. It is personally my least favorite, but essential nonetheless in understanding the whole. Have you ever wondered what it sounds like when Tibetan temple-bells meet noiserock? Then enter here! I feel the album is best represented by Slippy (below). Beginning as a threatening organs trundle onwards, soon transforming into primitive outbursts taking turns with minimalistic parts (2:12 – 3:07), until more melodic guitars (6:03) carry the song towards a doomy (8:45) end and a demented percussion outro (11:28). Possibly the most disturbed, darkest, and hardest record Hynninen has ever produced.


 

THE SELF-MADE MAN (2014)

This is the easiest OW record, and therefore a good place to start. There is more traditional doom influence to be heard here, which is not to say that this would be an easy album per se. Some of the songs were penned as early as 2002, as Hynninen often records songs a long time before they are released. This is one of the reasons that I feel these two bands should not be separated. The Self-Made Man feels like an effort to push the limits of heavy music towards light more than heavy. Take the electronic beats of The Land Beyond The Pole or the dying god screaming in God In Ruins, it is an encompassing experience. Now excuse me, I suddenly feel an urge to concentrate all my focus completely on this album.


 

I’ve compiled a list of some more interesting projects related to these (yes, there are more). OK now, bye bye then (for realz this time).

(Image Via)

I want to thank Nordling Rites ov Karhu for constructing this fine addition to The Porcelain Throne. Feel free to e-mail tohthrone@gmail.com whether you have a full article completed or just an idea, and let’s keep the toilet swirlin’. 

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
  • Death

    Karhu has something to do with this?

    • that’s a clean toilet, mister

      • Tyree

        That’s no grindcore fans toilet.

        • VV.

          Am grind fan. Can confirm: not my toilet.

          • Tyree

          • This picture reminded of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU6U-8LP1DY

            GL

          • hey George Lynch, i have something very important to tell you: in June in bought a house on… LYNCH STREET! m/
            #McNultyFacts

          • BYAHHHHHHHHH! Sweet man. How you liking being a home owner?

            GL

          • house is 126 years old but rehabbed very well in 2008; so i had to do NO work to it!
            oh yeah, just had to deal with a clogged sewer lateral, apparently the house wasn’t ready for so much FLUSHING!!!

          • Sweet man. The house on the farm we just bought (31 acres) was built 160 years ago. It has trap doors that go into the cellar that were used for the Underground Railroad. Crazy right? Our place was massively renovated in 2008 as well.

            Looked around Lynch Street on Google Earth, looks nice!

            GL

          • wow!!! how does one just buy a house on a farm? are you a farmer?

          • My dad farms on the side. So him and I are going to farm the land my wife and I just bought, in addition to the acreage he does. To clarify, the house is on the property. We didn’t just buy the house 🙂

            GL

          • that’s super cool George, sure beats the 9 to 5 most of us do every day!

          • Death

            This reminded me of SYL’s 7 year old son.

      • Death

        It’s not my toilet.

  • hey @yourlogicsucks:disqus, before i read this whole article… there seems to be two different e-mail contacts listed on here. if there’s a typo, what is the correct address to send to?

    • i came here to read the comm… no, wait.. I came here to express my confusion with the official e-mail contacts 😛

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      noooo it’s tohthrone@gmail

      • YourLogicIsFlushed

        No idea wtf happened there

    • Mr. Bojangles

      re
      por
      ted

    • Pagliacci is Kl/rke

      Guess what, assholes. The Toilet ov Hell has two entirely different e-mail addresses. If you e-mailed some leaked address, you don’t have either. You have some bogus version we gave to press, cuz we knew those jerks would leak it (if you e-mailed that fake address positively, thank you. We’re just THAT good).
      We will always flush you.
      We will always flush you.
      We will always flush you.

  • only song that I listened was doom over the world.. and didn’t dissapoint

  • Nice, Nordling. The Rev rules.

  • Tyree

    That Reverend Bizarre guitar tone makes my pee pee tingle.

    • Howard Dean

      I was quarter-chubbed after reading “Reverend Bizarre,” and half-mast when I pressed play. I followed that up with some Mgla and could presently pound railroad spikes with my penis. Life is good. Hail the void.

      • Tyree

        Mgla yes! I wish I could get my hands on some ov their releases.

        • Howard Dean

          I can’t get enough of them. Truly one of the best bands playing black metal.

          Their physical releases are indeed tough to find. I only have With Hearts Toward None and Further Down the Nest on CD.

          • Tyree

            What happened to the rest ov the words? Haha!

            Where did you find With Hearts Toward None? I want that album so bad.

          • Howard Dean

            I was lucky and saw a copy floating around on the Discogs marketplace about a year ago. I believe the seller I bought it from was based in Poland, as I remember it taking a few weeks to get here.

          • Tyree

            Aw, I see. That the only place I can find it too. I’ll just have to give in and buy it.

            By the way I saw this show and it was incredible. The only complaint I have is that there was some distracting dickhead to the left of the stage that was basically drunk and on the stage fist pumping. It was incredibly annoying! You’ll see him in this video and want kick his face in.

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

          • Howard Dean

            Haha, what the fuck?! They should have pulled a Mortuus and judo’d that motherfucker off the stage.

          • Tyree

            They eventually did. What an asshole though.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            @Howard Dean and @Tyree Levykauppax has Hearts, Groza, Presence and Mdlosci/Further Down the Nest and a version of Presence that includes their material drom the Crushing the Holy Trinity split.

          • Howard Dean

            I just checked eBay. There is a copy for sale for $16.95 and free shipping! Jump on that shit! It’s a “buy now” item. No bidding!

            http://m.ebay.com/itm/351161962779?nav=SEARCH

          • Tyree

            Oh shit! On this now.

          • Howard Dean

            Byah! Making dreams come true–one Polish black metal gem at a time. Enjoy that masterpiece and worship the void.

            Dean in ’16.

    • Cock ov Steele

      It makes me want to lay down and be carried away onto a pyre of riffs.

  • VV.

    Ok, I started Live at Colonia Dignidad while reading this. Dude has a weird Jello Biafra thing going on with his vocals.

    • Howard Dean

      Random anecdote: one of my high school football coaches used to refer to small and weak players on the other team as “Biafrans.” The insult was lost on almost everyone.

    • do you know the tale about Colonia Dignidad?

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    Anybody given OW a try?

    • The first track you recommended (suck my stuff, satan, blablabla) was beautiful

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        Prefer it me’self for it’s much bigger contrast

        • I’m now listening Let it Pour, Let it pour.. Sounds good too! the songs seems to be very dynamic. The dude is very good at the rhytmic to accentuate the slow melodies.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Probly the only man in the whole wide universe I fanboy over. Everything he’s touched is pure gold.

          • even when I didn’t like the lyrical content I must say that this Opium Warlords impressed me very much. Very talented.

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            I must point out (and should have done this before) that the lyrics don’t seem to concern Colonia Dignidad, only the album title.

          • Oh, of course. One of the lyrics are a poem from Aleister Crowley, for example. 🙂

          • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

            Yes! And another is a death poem of a zen buddhist monk. On the other albums I think he wrote them all himself though.

    • VV.

      See my comment below.

      • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

        😀
        Never made the Biafra connection. But now that you mentioned it. I can’t unhear it

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    http://m.youtube.com/results?q=Orne&sm=3
    Forgot this. Entire lineup of RB + more making dark prog rock. Orne

  • CT-12

    Nice man, Reverend Bizarre kicks so much ass. Never checked out Opium Warlords, definitely different but sounding pretty good. Glad to see this series continuing.

  • Xan

    Reverend Bizarre is definitely one of the best doom bands out there. I’ve been hard at work writing a porcelain throne article for Woods of Ypres for about half a month now. I have like eight pages of research. I want to make sure I am able to craft something worthy of that band.

    • VV.

      Wow! I am excited to read that.

      • Xan

        I want to have it done before Christmas. I shall make the attempt to do so. I’ve finished writing on the first EP and the first album. The second and third I shall try to finish this Friday.

        • I will wait for it too! I want to enter Woods of Ypres, but I don’t which album taste first

          • Bob Saget

            The most easily digestible is “Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light”. Their previous releases were all incredible doom-tinged black metal albums though (with some folk sprinkled in for good measure). Their vocalist and primary songwriter (and studio drummer on a few albums, if I remember correctly) passed away before “5” was released — sad, sad shit.

          • RIP David Gold

          • Thank you, Bob Saget!

          • Xan

            Wood 4: The Green Album or Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Lights are good places. The first EP and album are much more black metal oriented. Woods 5 didn’t have that many harsh vocals in it but it is probably my favorite album. I’ll have descriptions of all the albums in the write-up.

  • I’ve listened to some RB before, I’ll take a crack at listening to OW when the old lady isn’t rampaging.

  • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

    Great article – I already liked the Reverend and Opium Warlords sounds interesting thanks Toilet

    • VV.

      I haven’t seen you in the comments before, so pardon me if you aren’t new. Welcome to the Toilet!

      • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

        Thank you. I’m here from the first posts actually but I started to comment just now, you guys seem a friendly bunch

        • I’m new here too, started commenting a few weeks because I followed the post since the start.

          The people around this blog are very funny and inclusive. They recommend good music of every genre metal and no-metal. So, the diversity here is eclectic and secure :P. I think that’s what I love about the blog: from the underground to the stratosphere of metal and music in general. I heared even funk and electro here.

    • ¡Bienvenido al retrete del infierno!

      • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

        muchas gracias senor ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

        I’m glad you don’t that’s the stupidest name you’ve ever heard

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    I love RB. Good article.

  • Xan
  • Lacertilian

    Opium Warlords is fucking crazy.

  • God hates Figs

    Going to kinda hijack this post for a second, or at least try to, because I need help. Our school’s getting our year twelve jerseys soon, and I need to come up with something funny to put on the back, using the letters T and C (in that order), that’s both metal related and also appropriate enough to only ‘kinda’ offend the other people at my school (worth noting that it’s a christian school). I’ve been reading posts off this site for a while now, and you all seem to be fairly witty. Anyone willing to help out a lazy and uncreative teenager?

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    The name of the third OW album is Taste My Sword of Understanding. This was my mistake.