That Sunn O))) + Scott Walker collaboration is every bit as bizarre as we’d hoped it would be

SunnO-ScottWalker

On paper, the pairing of doom metalheads Sun O))) and avant-garde singer Scott Walker could go either way. The two artists’ mutually exclusive eccentricities could either complement or cancel each other out—or, worse, get caught in the kind of pretension feedback loop that gave rise to Loutallica. When you venture as far off the reservation as Scott Walker does, the pitfalls are many, and it’s a fine line between genius and nonsense.

Fortunately, Soused, the unholy offspring of the Walker/Sun O))) union, is pretty much exactly what we’d hoped it would be: a drone metal opera, with Walker delivering ice-water arias over glacial guitars and frozen synths. The whole thing fairly vibrates with dread, especially when set to the ambiguous, Lynchian images of this short film by director Gisèle Vienne for opening track “Brando.”

Soused is available now via Amazon.com.

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Weird of the Day: Viranesir, “Not Alone”

Viranesir

I don’t think we’ve ever featured any music from Turkey on this blog. That’s fucked up. I went to Turkey once and it was awesome. So let’s get them in on the weirdo action right now.

This Viranesir project is the work of a guy named Emir Toğrul and it’s basically a cross between noise rock and doom metal, but played entirely on drums and synthesizers. It’s like listening to Wolf Eyes on acid. Here’s the video for “Not Alone,” the lead track off the project’s third album, Shoot On Mom’s Corpse. Which is like the greatest album title ever, until you find out Viranesir’s previous album was called Kill Your Repulsive Child, which is ever greater.

Shout-out to Merdümgiriz, who is both the insanely chaotic drummer for Viranesir and the guy who emailed this project to us. Not sure how you found us, Merdümgiriz, but I’m glad you did.

You can stream Shoot On Mom’s Corpse on Bandcamp or better yet, buy the damn thing. It’s only $4 to download the whole 49-minute album. I’m pretty sure it’s worth at least that much just to have the title Shoot On Mom’s Corpse show up in your iTunes occasionally.

Weird of the Day: Jute Gyte, “Semen Dried into the Silence of Rock and Mineral”

Jute Gyte

Black metal’s been around for long enough now that most of it isn’t really all that “black” anymore. Most of it is beige, formulaic bullshit, recycling ideas thoroughly explored by Mayhem and Emperor 20 years ago. Even Mayhem’s current guitarist, Teloch, told us recently that he’s stopped listening to black metal “since most albums released is shit.”

That’s what makes Missouri one-man black metal band Jute Gyte so awesome. Adam Kalmbach has figured out a way to make black metal interesting again: by adding microtones, those notes between the notes that you usually only hear in certain kinds of non-Western music. When you add those tones to black metal, suddenly the music is just as evil and ominous and disorienting as it was the first time you heard it.

Jute Gyre has cranked out a ton of material since 2002, but he just started getting into microtones of his last two albums. Here’s a track from his most recent, Vast Chains. Warning: may cause seasickness and/or feelings of utter despair.

For more Jute Gyte, check out his Bandcamp.

P.S. Shout-out to reader Yodeling James for reminding us about this guy. Definitely one of the few black metal artists pushing the envelope these days.

The Von Deer Skulls

Von Deer Skulls

France is kicking ass this week. Not only did they win their group in the first round of the World Cup, they also won the even more prestigious* Weird Band Poll. How do you say “Congratulations!” in French? It’s basically just the sound of a champagne cork popping, right?

The winner of the June Weird Band Poll is a mysterious trio from a town whose name makes giggle, because I am a 44-year-old adolescent boy: Brest. (Heh.) They’re called The Von Deer Skulls and unfortunately, there are no breasts in their music videos, just lots of creepy people in skull masks sitting around drinking absinthe under blacklight to a soundtrack I’m gonna call ambient doom rock. Plus some claymation. That part’s almost as cool as breasts. Actually, the whole thing is pretty cool in a David Lynch sorta way. It makes me think of severed ears and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

The Von Deer Skulls aren’t related, at least not by birth. Leader/guitarist Peter Von Deer Skull is from Canada and is “the son of the Shadows of the Canadian forest,” according to the band’s Facebook bio. Bassist/screamer Hektor Von Deer Skull is an “androgynous, semi-deer/semi-wild boar, he comes from Schwarzwald in Germany.” Their drummer/lead singer is actually two people: Freke and Freyja Von Deer Skull, twin brother and sister, one a wolf and one a lynx, from the Faroe Islands, halfway between Norway and Iceland.

Does all of this sound like it might be totally made up? Yeah, well, that’s possible. Peter Von Deer Skull has shared a few secrets with us about the inner workings of the band, which we can’t reveal here. Let’s just put it this way: Hektor isn’t actually a wild boar/deer hybrid. That’s all we’re gonna say.

The Von Deer Skulls have released an EP on Bandcamp called It’s Time to Paralyze that reveals some other sides to their sound. They rock out pretty hard on occasion, like on this track “The Way to the Shadow.” It takes awhile to get going but trust me, it’s worth the wait.

We’ll leave you with their most recent video, which is even more mysterious and spooky than “Bitches of the Wood.” What’s coming at the end of 2014? Tell us, Von Deer Skulls! Why must you toy with us so?

*Kidding! Our polls are totally not more prestigious than the World Cup. But maybe they would be if we only had them once every four years.

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New Sunn O))) album now streaming on Bandcamp

Sunn O)))

Ancient forces of evil be praised! Drone metal overlords Sunn O))) released a new two-track album this week on Southern Lord Records, and we just learned that the whole thing is streaming now on Bandcamp. I’m cranking it up with my morning glass of whiskey and beet juice (good for the skin) and it’s scratching my guitar feedback itch but good.

Here’s the second track, “Invisible/Sleeper,” which starts off with what I can only assume are the gibbering voices of the damned before the doom chords kick in and the whole thing hops a slow train to Droneytown. The Sunn O))) guys recommend: “MAXIMUM VOLUME YIELDS MAXIMUM RESULTS.” They would not steer you wrong.

Here’s a video of Author and Punisher recording two tracks for something called “The Bush”

author-and-punisher

The doom-metal “Drone Machines” of Tristan Shone’s Author and Punisher don’t really make us think of fairytales—but apparently they had that effect on Diego Buongiorno, an Italian musician/composer who’s made the ominous sounds of A&P part of his ambitious multimedia project, The Bush. Described by Buongiorno as “a new kind of work created by the author’s desire to promote the return of magic,” The Bush features contributions from over 60 different musicians, photographers, visual artists, designers and video directors, and will eventually encompass everything from a soundtrack album to picture and audio books, a “surrealistic film,” live performances, gallery exhibitions and who knows what else. You can read more about the whole crazy thing here.

Although The Bush seems to still be a work-in-progress, Buongiorno did release its first major component this past December: a 25-track album featuring contributions from several guest artists, including our man Tristan and his experimental Drone Machines. He’s also released several short videos, including the one below showing Shone at work in his studio on his two Bush tracks, “Intro” and “It Really Could Happen.” We’re guessing the “It” in this case refers to some part of the fairytale where really, really bad shit goes down.

Author and Punisher

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Photo by Jeremy & Claire Weiss. Swiped from Wired.

What’s up, weirdos? Did you spend your whole Weird Wednesday waiting for us to post a new Band of the Week? Was it torture? Probably not, but hey, it makes a good segueway into this week’s band.

Tristan Shone is an engineer from San Diego (why is it always the sunny places that produce guys like this?) who makes electron microscopes by day and doom-metal “Drone Machines” by night. Then he takes his Drone Machines out and performs with them under the name Author & Punisher, making “music” that sounds like androids howling in agony as they’re slowly ripped to pieces.

Onstage, Shone looks like a man trapped on the world’s most hellish assembly line job. In one hand, he’s got a giant piston-like machine that triggers drum sounds; in his other, he’s got throttles that trigger bone-rattling waves of heavy bass, or possibly something that looks like a cross between a drafting table and a giant deli slicer. A eight-piece MIDI controller microphone obscures most of his face. It’s all very badass and industrial and doom-metal-looking, which is the whole point.

If you want the full A&P story, check out this cool video interview/profile someone did with him for Ground Control magazine back in 2008. Or, if you have short attention spans (and we know you do), just peep this little three-minute video of Tristan and his machines getting it on in the studio. Trent Reznor has to do a Nine Inch Nails reunion tour just so this guy can be his opening act.

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