White Noise Eardrum Buster: Lost in the “Wrnlrd- Pentagon” CD, 2008

 I’ve listened to every genre of metal and rock, I’ve dived deep and the problem with that is I’ve heard it all and I grow bored of people who rehash the same shit in each genre. Now bands that I look for, especially now that I am older, are bands that branch out and create something new in their audio lab, instead of following a safe path of just playing straight up “thrash”, “grindcore”, “death metal”, “black metal”, “hard rock”, “indie rock” etc. they will take the other path that is overhung with dark trees and has a strange, unpredictable foreboding. Most bands balk and take the safe path playing the same retreaded riffs, with the same vocal styles, others like Mr. Bungle, Sunn O))), Spazztic Blurr etc. look at the foreboding path and yell “Challenge Accepted!” And Wrnlrd is one of those bands. And with “Pentagon” this one man weird metal machine goes deep into weird, acid trip territory and I love it.

First off, you get a really faded, silvery cover for the CD, almost haunting and wispy which actually describes the music contained within perfectly. The title “Pentagon” evokes images of the military and war but Wrnlrd sometimes to be going in a occult direction with the music, all one needs to do is look at the track titles and sub titles, names like “Annuit Coeptis”, “Death’s White City”, “Shaft of Ba’al”, “Awakening” and “V” not to mention track sub titles like “Maze of Light”, “Sun Wheel: Eye of Horns”, “Balefire: Temple of Briar”etc.

Now the music is stewed and brewed Black Metal, now I can hear the hipster traditionalist metal heads screaming their bitch heads off “THAT ISN’T METAL! MEH TRADITIONAL SONG STRUCTURE! WAH! WAH! WAH!” To those people I say “cry in a corner” these are the types of musical conservatives who piss in their black diapers when anybody tries anything different within a genre. Wrnlrd doesn’t give two fucks and does what he wants, according to an interview with Pitchfork (full disclosure, I fucking hate the hipsters at Pitchfork) he said: “I see ghosts of American music everywhere. I hear Dock Boggs in black metal, the droning banjo, voice like an earthquake. I hear Blind Lemon [Jefferson] pounding his feet on the floor, and I know he is my cousin… I think the essence of black metal is something that goes beyond geography and stylistic tradition, even beyond music.”

Apparently Wrnlrd played in a bluegrass band before his foray into avant garde black metal which explains the banjo plucking between tremolo strummed electric guitar, Wrnlrd experiments with different sounds, field recordings, echoing black metal, noise rock guitar screech, Sunn O))) type drones and dark ambient pieces. One can fall into this music and let their minds wander in it, devour it and savor it. There is no way I can do a “Bandwagon” feature on Wrnlrd because most of his releases in physical format are hard to find. He’s got his own bandcamp page but it doesn’t have “Pentagon” on it which is a damn shame. Granted the other stuff in his discography is equally as weird and different and highly recommended.

To listen to “Pentagon” in its entirety and you want to be swallowed by black droning muck go here, I flashed the alternate cover in the video also:

Here is Wrnlrd’s record label and bandcamp page without “Pentagon” the albums they have up are prime grade avant garde black metal, some of which I will get around to reviewing in the future:


White Noise Eardrum Buster: “Incredibly Strange Metal” that stopped living and became mixed up music.

I like any band or group that goes out of their way to find the upper limits of white noise and push music across boundary lines, people who break the “sound barrier” so to speak. Granted some of the results aren’t the greatest but I like people who take risks with little skill and in the process birth into existence something twisted, original and new. When it comes to metal I love the experimental end of the spectrum, the weirder and more twisted the better, bands like Mr. Bungle and John Zorn’s Naked City make my day, I approve of any band that tries something different in their genre. This comp documents that music. Granted some of this stuff isn’t “metal” but more “hard rock”, but these were bands who tried to sound a certain way but ended up putting their personal stamp on the sound. Foreign bands in particular, especially the ones behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, only heard Western music via pirate radio and renegade European and American military radio signals and then interpreted that sound their way behind closed doors for fear of being arrested by the secret police.

From what I have gathered from the now defunct “Obscuro” blog,  this was compiled by “The Corroseum” blog which is still around, a company in Europe, “Lust Fungus”, put this out in 2002 on CD R. The cover apes the book and CD covers of the “Incredibly Strange Music” series put out by the “RE/Search” crew. Boy did they unearth some white noise, weirdness track number one features the Russian band Oblachnyi Kraj with “Sazhaj Korneplody Uyrschlvag Luk!” A stomping, psychedelic metal number with ripping guitars and swirling keyboards and shouted lyrics, your off to a rip roarin’ start, like a batch of bad acid. The next two tracks are by the elusive Damien Storm,  “Frakenstein’s Castle of Sorcery” starts with what sounds like a Halloween sound effects record playing in back, out of tune guitars and Damien trying to hit Dio vocal highs but cracking, “Realms of Destiny” follows the same formula, I get the impression the guy plays all the instruments on his albums like the awesome Dwarr. Tracks Quadro and Cinco are done by a Nepali hard rock band called The Crisis based out of Katmandu, and boy do they wear their foreign influences on their sleeve, both tracks “Kolahal Ma” and “Maya Boki Aau” carry strange tunings and timings, very exotic sounding, wish I could find the full length album, it isn’t anywhere for sale, even on discogs.  The next two are done by Belgian hard rock band Kuster and boy oh boy, I was rolling on the ground laughing hard when these two tracks hit my ears, “All A Live” and “Love A Bit”, this is a band attempting to sound like 1980’s era Ozzy Osbourne, but they lack the skill and come out sounding like Black Flag era “Slip It In”, that is not a bad thing either, the singer is completely out of time and tone deaf, I love this fucking band, their full length is a god damn ripper, more hardcore punk with a metallic edge even though they call themselves “hard rock”. Next up is a one man band (HELL TO THE FUCKING YES!) Exmortes who attempts to sound evil and mysterious as the first wave of black and death metal bands of those days, again the guy doesn’t have the skill, all he seems to do is repeat lines of lyrics, he doesn’t even sing, and it sounds like he is reciting the lyrics through his pillow while the same see sawing riff plays in the back with a drum machine, it has to be heard to be believed, both songs “Forced to Be Silent” and “Creed of the Eternal” are mishap masterpieces, I searched out and found all of his output which really isn’t that much. Everybody hates Exmortes, I am not one of them. Next up on the list is Drakar with “Tunelem Zp├ítky” the cascading, snarling riff gets stuck in your head, the singer isn’t in tune with the riff and the vocals are manipulated, another good oddity out of the Czech Republic. Following that is Morsure, with the song “No Moral” that features shouted punk French vocals again out of sync with the rest of the music over thrash guitars, bass and a blast beat drum machine, the band’s full length “Acceleration Process” is pretty awesome, the same craziness with some songs having a Motorhead vibe to them. A comp of bizarre, left field metal wouldn’t be complete without the Italian doom band Black Hole and their song “Blind Men and Occult Forces” slow and plodding metal with a whining synth organ in back and vocals trying to hit highs but not succeeding, find their full length “Realms of Mystery” with crayon created cover, lovely weirdness all over. The Runaways, yes the same all girl proto glam punk band featuring Joan Jett and Lita Ford, try to do a metal song called “S-P-E-E-D M-E-T-A-L”, the song is anything but speed metal, its a hard rock number that isn’t fast and leans more towards the punk side of things, but since its The Runaways its a must listen. Who’s next? The Russian band Legion with the jaw dropping “Hold On” the song starts as a straight ahead death metal tune then descends in to female jazz singing, swinging jazz bass and guitar, the type of song you’d hear in a sleazy and smoky lounge in Las Vegas, I love this fucking tune, this is sure to piss off a lot of Death Metal purists, who cares, fuck em’. And then we charge straight ahead into Torn Flesh with their self titled track, a religious thrash band whose singer sounds like he is gurgling marbles and a “clean” singer shouting about Jesus dying on the cross, the guitars and drums are all over the place. A must listen, just like their follow up track “Gay Rights?!” Complete with lyrics like “Its Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, the same marble vocals and a annoying and snarling riff with shouted background vocals, then a barking dog getting hit with a shoe. Yep you heard that right, God damn or should I say “Gosh damn”. Next up to bat is the Czech lunatic Svaty Vincent with “Krucifix”.  Svaty is another unique individual that has his own vision of what music should be, in this case its experimental black metal, riffs, bass, guitar and synth going in all directions while he shouts in Czech like a demonic maniac, I have posted his hard to find live self titled debut album here

A kid’s metal band? Is that what you want? Hell yeah! Give me my “Transformers” sippy cup. This band is Secret Metal with “The Cop”, so apparently in the late 1980’s in Sweden a youth group decided to have their members record a comp album with New Wave, Punk and Metal tunes, that album is “Girls and Boys Helge 87” which I will get around to posting about one of these days, “The Cop” is a track off that album. Siren and shooting sound effects, out of tune guitars, drums that fall down stairs and kids singing about running from the police and getting shot, tracks like these make comp albums like these a must have. Want more on your plate? Then you got “Lester Maddox” with “Egypt (The Chains Are Off)” this song is a slow plodder with a exotic Egyptian riff that picks your brain and says “Remember Me” and you will, truly “Strange Metal” and genre fucking at its best. Want dessert? A burned, tough to eat dessert? Here come the South Americans Parabellum with “Madre Muerte” is black metal, out of tune brutality, primitive, mean, nasty, this last track is a mess… a beautiful mess, what a way to go out with a nuclear bomb. BOOOOOM!!! So what the fuck are you waiting for? Do you need anymore urging? Give this son of a bitch a listen, noise addicts, you’ll be glad you did.

The people at the defunct “Obscuro” blog put out two more of their own “Incredibly Strange Metal” comps where the links are dead. I might do those also in the future.