Tag Archives: Music

Teitanblood – Death

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Greetings, El Gore readers! Last time I wrote for these guys I reviewed Eyehategod’s In the Name of Suffering. Well, perhaps it’s the aficionado of awful in me, but now I bring you yet another taste of a truly dark, evil, raw pool of vermin and filth. Namely, the latest piece of work from what I consider to be one of the best, if not the best contribution that Spain has to offer when it comes to extreme music: Teitanblood. And the album? Death.

I’m most likely showing my colours by reviewing and promoting a band that’s so near home, but I honestly think that this band touches and creates in a very unique manner the most morbid and down tuned Black/Death Metal primitivism with brush-strokes of Doom that I’ve had the chance of running into in the past years.

The first time I heard of them was with their previous album, Seven Chalices. Just when I listened to the beginning, with Whore Mass and how it prepared the ground for Domains of Darkness and Ancient Evil, I knew I’d be coming back to this dense, raw, sinister, eerie, chaotic cloud of filthy, distorted, infectiously catchy riffs somewhat regularly. Hence, I discovered Death.

One could say that after looking at Teitanblood’s works, the most prominent influences on display are those derived from the bands that established the foundations for Death and Black Metal, whilst still developing their own character in this border between the two genres. There are some parts whose influences are incredibly evident, but then, if you try to strictly compare Teitanblood with that influence, or compare those influences among themselves, you can make out Teitanblood’s own sound and structures. Regardless of that, I think that the filthy aura of sheer aggression and cruel darkness that this album irradiates, with its guitars, drums and the most evil vocals I’ve heard, is unquestionable.

And the evolution that these guys have had over the years is also worth mentioning: each release is a more evolved version of the previous one in all aspects, while still keeping the essence that makes Teitanblood its own band. Exuding an old ancient evil feeling that comes across in everything they’ve done.

“It’s the point where Death Metal and Black Metal are not differenced” – Nsk (Guitars, Bass & Vocals.)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYQwdn5E73s]

This review was written by our freelancer Victor!

Natas Loves You – Skip Stones

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Natas Loves You is a five-man band residing in Paris. Their musical origins go back to Luxembourg, where four of them met and started what would eventually become their most ambitious project. On the 10th of March, the “pop stellaire” collective released their third EP entitled Skip Stones, which marks an important milestone in their promising career.

The opening and title track leaves no question as to what Natas Loves You’s mission is: the quintet wants to make us dance, or at least encourage toe-wiggling in the reluctant dancers among us. The breezy tune sets the mood for the impending summer days and comes with a fun video clip that is reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. I would loosely describe their sound as synth-heavy rock with a slight retro flair that they preserved from their early days and that comes out particularly clearly in the remaster of an older song called Scarlett Brown. Zeppelins is another song I remember vividly in its previous version and that I might enjoy even more now that it’s been reshaped into an ocean of groovy psychedelic delight.

Go Or Linger stands out in the small collection as a song with a decidedly pensive streak. It’s still dancehall-worthy, but in an apocalyptic-mood type of way: when played at the right part of the night, it would probably get you in that zone where you pretend to dance your soul out without any inhibitions one last time before the world ends. The highly singalong-friendly lyrics portray a sense of feeling lost that hits home with most millennials. I generally consider the songwriting to be one of the band’s strengths and commend their knack for simple, yet poignant compositions of words.

In conclusion, this release shows that the guys of Natas Loves You have polished their sound to a shiny finish and carved out their own niche along the way. The harmonies, jiggy rhythms and dreamy soundscapes make for good, organic pop music with a distinctive factor that sets the band apart from other indie pop/rock acts currently floating around the musicsphere.

If you enjoy the juicy four-track EP (which is available on iTunes for 2,99 €), you’ll be excited to hear that it’s a teaser for the first full-length Natas release due later this year: The 8th Continent is a concept album produced by Chris Zane, who’s worked with bands like Passion Pit, Holy Ghost!, Friendly Fires and many others. In the meantime, you can keep up with the boys on Facebook and watch the video for Skip Stones below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsQXnxzD0j8]

Sun Glitters – Scattered Into Light

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Victor Ferreira alias Sun Glitters presented his fans with a new LP in November last year, and we finally got around to giving Scattered Into Light, which exceeds its predecessor Everything Could Be Fine in playtime by a little less than 20 minutes, a closer listen. This time around, the Luxembourg-based chillwave artist teamed up with Sara Cappai of Italian dream-pop outfit Diverting Duo, whose soft voice with the slight accent shining through at times really adds to the moony, faraway feel of the record.

As I just hinted at, Sun Glitters’ key vibe has remained the same: Eric wrote in early 2013 that his sound is “very melancholic and plunges the listener into a dreamy mood”, and I fully subscribe to this statement. It’s a solid chillwave album, suited as background music on slow days, but it strikes me as rather monotonous and repetitive without any particularly outstanding moments.

However, the acoustic version of Too Much To Lose — which is my favourite Sun Glitters track in its original form — is a nice surprise to conclude the album. It works very well stripped down and reveals a certain kind of charm that wasn’t as easy to detect with an array of computer-generated effects piled on top.

Out of the remaining songs, Only You and Feeling Young are my personal highlights in terms of atmosphere, but even those seem interchangeable and don’t move me enough to elicit an enthusiastic response. Then again, I’m not the world’s greatest aficionado of the genre, so don’t take my opinion as gospel and give the album a chance anyway. It might just tickle your particular fancy.

Ferreira is fairly active on social media, so you have plenty of opportunities to keep up with what he’s doing. I recommend following him on Facebook and Tumblr, and don’t hesitate to check out the video for Only You by Luxembourgish film collective This Is Radar that I linked below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MLhthz4IJ8]

Cauldron – Chained to the Nite

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When I was a little child there was one record, my former all-time favourite, which made me imagine that my playroom was an oversized drum kit. So just before joining my mother and father for the weekly Saturday evening game show, I took the Playmobil pirate ship’s mast and circus tent’s middle pole and drummed through my room like a maniac who forgot to take his Ritalin. Later on I switched to the air guitar and played amazing imaginary gigs in my room every Saturday night.

Why do I tell you this? Because, every time I listen to Cauldron‘s Chained to the Nite, I become this professional air guitar player from my oh so precious childhood again.

Cauldron, formed out of the ashes of Goat Horn, is part of the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal scene and released their debut full-length album in 2009. It quickly became one of my favourite heavy metal records, simply because there is not even one mediocre song on it. The melodies go right into your auditory canal, even after the first listen, and make you tap your foot to every single song. The three-piece Canadian band certainly didn’t invent anything new but they are hungry, loud and, most importantly of all, genuine without taking themselves too seriously.

All in all, Chained to the Nite has everything some 80s metal bands used to dream of back in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal years. As I already said, the melodies are catchy and Ian Chains provides one classic staccato metal riff after the other. Together with the clean and kind of unique vocals, old-school solos and polished, crystal clear production, Cauldron delivers an effective traditional heavy metal record which I can’t stop listening to.

If you’re into the metal revival movement, you shouldn’t pass up this brilliant record filled with fast, aggressive and slow earworms!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeJAZGLayBA]

Like Lovers – Fire

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“No Strings Attached!”, this could have been the alternative title for Like Lovers’ newest EP Fire. The mastermind behind this little gemJan Kerscher seems to write music with an unattainable ease, which makes every aspiring musician / songwriter burst in utter jealousy; and I’m not even exaggerating. Recording 2 EPs within one year whilst simultaneously producing / recording bands in his studio is something that deserves my biggest respect and I guess this guy enjoys doing several full-time jobs at the same time.

The opener “Easy” is an easy-listening indie pop piece that gets you from the first second on with its catchy guitar riff and edgy structure, something completely different from the atmospheric opening track “Again” on this year’s first EP Former Selves. Speaking of no strings being attached, this was the first thing that came to my mind when I first heard Easy; as the song funnily reminded me of The Beatles’ approach in songwriting after they left their boyband image behind and started experimenting on a new sound and attitude, with no coercion or preconception of what could be wrong or right. The only right thing to do is start jamming and to me Easy obviously is a track that started as a guitar jam.

Luckily though, this short EP does not get boring in terms of songwriting, as the next track Satellite could not be more different from the first track, which is a good thing. Variety is a must in singer / songwriter music and Satellite is the proof of how it has to be done. What begins with an acoustic guitar and Jan singing about the desire of love (which could easily drift into a sticky kitsch love song) turns into a decently impulsive groove combined with a memorable vocal melody. Satellite could be the key track of this EP if it wasn’t for the next track Fire, which definitely is my favorite song. The fragile, almost minimalistic structure of the song, the dreamy vocals and the chimes are backed with 2 pumping drum tracks offering the right balance between atmosphere and dynamic.

The last track Nowhere is the most driving track with its rhythmic bass line and would almost suit for dancing. Again, the chorus melody is pure catchiness that is topped with the berzerk sounding guitar at the end, making it a very pleasing pop song and I have to admit that I am positively surprised by this EP. Writing music is an unthankful task demanding perfection once you decide to do it seriously. Jan breathes music and he’s got what it takes to write and produce memorable and enjoyable music. I jokingly ask myself if he’s got something to hide under all his talent, be it a reading disability or maybe an irrational fear of complicated mathematical tasks; because he’s brilliant and devoted at everything he does so there must be something he’s not good at. Maybe football?

You can get the EP on Bandcamp for free, but I would appreciate if you would pay for it! As I already mentioned several times before, independent artists do not live of love and air alone. Thank you!

MWTE – Attraction To Light

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I’ve been following the career of electronic trio MWTE from Metz quite closely for a while because I’m a huge fan of their first release, and on Friday two weeks ago I finally held their second (and first physical) EP in my hands: Attraction To Light. The artwork left the first fair impression. There is something magical about vinyls, as evidenced by their revived popularity, and coupled with gorgeous artwork, the aesthetic and emotional appeal of them is heightened even more. Kudos to madeByhujo alias Victor Ferreira for capturing the mood of the record so well.

The EP consists of two original songs and two remixes of each by Herr2003, Armagnac, Sun Glitters and Chapelier Fou. It also features Camille Delvecchio of Grand Blanc, who provides the vocals for Dead And Gone.

The title track, Attraction To Light, immediately draws you in with its soothing, pulsating beat. It hits the perfect balance between relaxing and engaging. Personally, I’ve been listening to it while studying and writing, because it doesn’t impose itself enough to distract you from whatever you might be doing, but still induces vibrations in your brain that motivate you to be active in some way. The first remix by Herr2003 brings about much the same effect at first, though it is decidedly more housey and bouncy and will make you want to get up halfway through and start dancing like the devil. The Armagnac remix feels like a different piece altogether, except for some tiny glimmers of familiarity sprinkled throughout. It maintains the distinct house influence of the previous track but wraps it up in a less frenetic whole.

Then the Attraction To Light chapter closes, and along comes Dead And Gone. It is just an incredible song. Iconic, almost. I can envision it in a fancy commercial or as the title track of a movie. Camille Delvecchio’s beautiful vocals enhanced by echo effects and MWTE‘s dreamy style work together excellently. I hope they will collaborate more in the future, because that is — quite literally, from a sonic standpoint — a match made in heaven. Sun Glitters does not take half-measures with his take on the song, as it brims over with grandiose effects. I have to admit that it’s my least favourite track, which is mostly due to the lofty standards the original set, and also the outstanding work by Chapelier Fou. The final remix is a mellow masterpiece with a melancholically ethereal edge, such a divine cherry on top of a wonderful, wonderful record.

The only downside is that it left me wanting more, but I’m sure the guys will take care of that with such an overwhelmingly positive response from the listeners. I advise you keep an eye on them too, because, to let you in on a secret: I believe they will be big. They have all the credentials to go far in their genre and proved it beyond doubt with Attraction To Light.

You can listen to MWTE‘s new EP on Soundcloud and buy it here, show them some love on Facebook and follow them on Tumblr for additional updates.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/14270111″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Anna’s Top 5 Albums for Autumn

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Reviewing music is not my job around here, nor my forte in general, but today I want to write about records regardless. With all due respect to the aficionados, I’m getting a little fed up with all the post-hardcore/metalcore, and since I feel that my taste differs pretty substantially from the others, I figured I’d add a breath of fresh air by compiling a list of music you wouldn’t typically find on El Gore.

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the orange-gold-red colour palette and crisp air, I love the big scarves and boots, I love watching nature degenerate and drift into hibernation mode, I love how even though everything is dying, it still feels like the best things are just on the verge of happening. I aimed to reflect all these things in my list and tried to offer some variety while keeping it relevant to the theme. Hope you enjoy!

#5 Hakobune – Shadow on the Lawn

Takahiro Yorifuji creates the kind of tranquil sounds that even the most musically open-minded of my friends find impossible to listen to (“each song is just 10 minutes of static noise with a barely discernible tonal quality to it!”) To me, it’s music that runs entirely on intuitive emotion. A dreamscape, if you will. Ambient drone is my preferred genre for reading/writing sessions and long solitary walks, and I maintain that there’s nothing more emotionally gratifying than walking through a golden autumn wonderland while Shadow on the Lawn is playing. I encourage you to try it.

Highlights: Shadow on the Lawn, It Begins to Sway

#4 The Horrors – Primary Colours

Now for something more universally accessible. Primary Colours has an attractive sombre feel to it that runs like a guideline through the entire record and suits the darker early days of autumn. The British rock band’s second release was produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead, which is indicative of its high quality: it is dirty, passionate, even sensual at times, but somehow also stoic. Stoically passionate and sensual. I don’t know how they made it work, but they did.

Highlights: Mirror’s ImageI Only Think of You

#3 Dungen – Skit I Allt

While Swedish quartet Dungen’s best album from a technical standpoint is arguably Ta Det LugntSkit I Allt is my ultimate fall jam. It sounds just the way the crisp-air-and-sunshine combination feels. It’s sweet, almost sugary (I have an inkling that the flute is to blame), but ultimately way too pensive to topple over into kitsch. Its instrumental passages make it shine.

Highlights: Vara SnabbHögdalstoppen

#2 Lackthereof – My Haunted

Danny Seim, multi-instrumentalist, member of the band Menomena and lone mastermind behind Lackthereof, has one of the most charismatic voices and some of the most creative ideas in terms of texture I’ve ever heard. He’s known for his maximalist approach to music, but unlike his work with Menomena and most of his other Lackthereof material, My Haunted sounds very simple and understated. On most tracks, it’s Seim and his acoustic guitar with some reverb, vocal layers and percussion thrown in here and there. Still, it has this unmistakable hypnotic signature sound to it that made me fall in love with Lackthereof in the first place, and it’s become my go-to album for misty, melancholic days.

Highlights: Both of Us, Shortest Path to the Ground

#1 Tame Impala – Lonerism

I’ve tried to fight it before because I’m aware of how pretentious it sounds coming from a person my age, but I can no longer deny that most of my favourite bands peaked sometime pre-1990. I guess I just have a thing for that crackling, messy, raw-sounding kind of music that’s been largely replaced by baby smooth production. Tame Impala is an exception to the rule, and that’s why I adore them.

While their debut, Innerspeaker, is more of a summer record (and was appropriately released in May), Lonerism was made for the darker days (and appropriately released in October.) On the surface, it is perfectly hopeful and features some seriously danceable tracks, but at its very core lies sadness and nostalgia. If you get into that perfect moderately gloomy- reflective fall mood, you’ll notice.

Highlights: Endors-ToiKeep On Lying

Mambo – Bertier

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It’s finally time to review some mathrock extravaganza, this time introducing the 4 piece band Mambo from Belgium with their first LP Bertier. They recently played a show in town with Mutiny on the bounty and Dirty Crows and we were lucky enough to get an early insight into their debut.

The style is something between Honey for Petzi and Don Caballero, not too technical but still challenging head mathematics, which is just the perfect balance for an enjoyable experience. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m totally into math rockish stuff but when it’s just too technical you feel bad for your brain not being able to cope with auditory overstimulation.

The 10 songs on Bertier offer enough diversification, whilst keeping the high rhythm up for most of the time. Krokodile Junkie reminds me of the band Piglet, which is pretty cool and songs like Tokyo Tripot or Renfort Caisse have this unmistakeable, typical groove and edgyness of the genre; credits given to the drums and bass section here.

Don’t think of Mambo as a generic math band, there’s too much talent in this combo to be classified as such. Make up your own opinion and go see them live, as they are on tour right now!

Kitshickers – Horror Vacui

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There’s probably no better way to celebrate a 15th band anniversary than with the release of a new album, in this case: Kitshickers‘ new longplayer Horror Vacui featuring 20 new tracks with lots of guest appearances and cryptic song titles. I remember the first time I heard this band was more than 10 years ago, when we still had this weird TV channel called Tango TV and when the Food For Your Senses festival took place in a humid, tiny basement somewhere in Luxembourg. At that time, this 4 piece collective playing chaotic alternative rock had nothing to do with the band we know nowadays.

Horror Vacui, 6th long player of the band, is something in between post rock and sludge, floating among melancholic depressive moods reminding of Mono up to hymnical highlights as if Isis would perform Pink Floyd‘s A Saucerful Of Secrets. Maybe a risky comparison, but you’ll get the idea after listening to the first five instrumental tracks, with Scarred‘s Yogi slamming on the guitar on nfr.

The first vocal appearance happens on the 6th track Lokavibhâga.1, featuring Cosmogon‘s Fabrice Mennuni, who’s got a short but striking commitment. I’d wished for a more aggressive vocal performance, as I know what this bloke is able to do with his growls, but that would not have fit into the concept, I guess.

Speaking of aggressiveness, the songs happen to build up into a multi-layered experience without outbursting into an explosion ergo a big wall of sound, which makes the listening experience even more challenging. The songwriting is diversified and too complex to be considered as boring or generic; plenty of work has been put into these tracks; the only thing that makes me sceptical is the suppressed aggressiveness. Don’t get me wrong but it isn’t until sunya where something really “big” happens in collaboration with Raph from The Majestic Unicorns From Hell, a song that’s got every ingredient of what Kitshickers‘ songwriting is all about; which is this blend between psychedelic world-weariness and simple outrage in one. Or maybe I’m just too stuck on their old album So That’s The Miracle Of Life, one of my personal highlights back in 2006.

Luckily enough, 273K could be described as a highlight for me. It’s sludgy and heavy, straight to the point; and I believe this song could be quite monumental when performed live on stage in combination with the following track buz&jég. I sense something epic on both tracks.

All in all, I have to say that Horror Vacui is NOT a bad album, it just takes its time to unfold its message / beauty. It’s nothing that impresses a distracted listener like me on first pass, but I’m pretty sure that this album can have a different effect once you see Kitshickers perform it live; which will actually happen this Saturday for their release party at the KuFa in Esch. So be there and make up your own opinion about the new album!

Jagwar Ma – Howlin

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Is it right to review an album that’s been out for a while now? Don’t think I should feel bad about it as I’m not working for NME or another hype machine. The three blokes from Jagwar Ma have been in the game since 2011 but their first LP Howlin has only been available in Europe since June this year and it quickly got my attention, to be quite honest.

The music can be described as a mix between Django Django and Tame Impala. Not that the latter do have something to do with electronic music but I personally tend to classify Jagwar Ma‘s music as slightly dreamy, yet hypnotic even if it’s dance music, in first instance. Maybe it’s too “soft” to be considered as psychedelic but it somehow totally stimulates my hypothalamus, which is a good thing.

The Throw, for example, is the best proof that Jagwar Ma isn’t just a typical electronic act. If first starts with a decent drum loop, reverb-loaded vocals, guitars and loads of other samples just to burst into some kind of dancy tune in the likes of Chk Chk Chk (a.k.a. !!!) or LCD Soundsystem. Four keeps the pace up and should be on every party playlist or whatever kids call it these days.

My favorite song is still Man I Need, not because it’s some kind of stomper or something alike, but it sounds like a perfect POP song (yes, pop music can be enjoyable sometimes). So does That Loneliness as it sounds like if The Beach Boys and The Beatles had a child. A dangerous comparison, I reckon, but the songwriting has these retro references and a feel good vibe with enjoyable melodies. This is obviously due to the production which used a lot of pan gimmicky in addition with shitloads of effects and samples coming out of nowhere, plunging the listener into a motley dreamworld making it irresistible to stand still and not to dance at all. Some call it Madchester but I don’t feel this music as a revival of that genre with the exception of The Throw which could be from that era, to be honest.

These blokes definitely haven’t re-invented the wheel but Howlin surely is a solid release and a pleasant surprise. You should give it a go and see them on stage anytime soon!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vU6a7Haw78]