Archive for the Skullflower Category

Skullflower – Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses (Cold Spring) 2011

Posted in Music, noise, Skullflower with tags , , on November 21, 2011 by noisenoisenoise

Have you started to think of Christmas gift ideas? Tossing up whether to buy the new Susan Boyle CD? Worried about whether Christmas is really as transgressive as it probably should be. Can I suggest a copy if Skullflower’s most excellent new release, Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses. Not one for the kids mind. But if you have a lovely old Gran looking for something different to listen to this might just be the thing (especially if she was a former member of the Khmer Rouge).

Over the past few years I’ve paid little attention to Skullflower. I’m a big fan of main man Matthew Bower’s work and somehow I’ve ended up owning every Sunroof! CD and a sizeable amount of Hototogisu. Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses is my first outing with Skullflower since Tribulation and it is a mighty contrast to the shimmering light blasts of Sunroof!.

Lets deal first  with the press around this release. Is it the heaviest most brutal Skullflower release of all time? Well kind of. I mean for the most part it is pretty brutal but it also has some doom laden, gothic ambience which gives at least the first four tracks a distinctly ominous vibe. In fact if Sunn O))) had embraced their darker side after Black One instead of following the path that lead them to Monoliths and Dimensions, it is not hard to imagine that they may have ended up nearer a sound like his. For the most part it is just so oppressive. This is black metal noise at it’s most intense. Skullflower have been mining this territory for some time but it all seems to gel fantastically well here. Noise freaks will revel in the multilayered guitar distortion whilst Doom kids will get off on the “blackness” of it all. Together the two sides create that transgressive transcendence that all good noise bands aspire to.

I was really looking forward to getting this and it has not disappointed. Believe the press for once. It is every bit as good as they say it is.

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Hototogisu – Chimarendammerung (De Stijl) 2006

Posted in Double Leopards, hototogisu, Music, noise, Skullflower, Sunroof! on September 19, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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Chimarendammerung is basically a drone record. A very busy, noisy drone record but a drone record none the less. Hototogisu is a duo of  Matthew Bowers when he’s not playing in either Sunroof! or Skullflower and  Double Leopard’s Marcia Bassett. If you know Matt Bower’s other work you know what your going to get basically improvised noise jams filled with feedback  and other tricks of the trade. The din created on this record is pretty powerful and the first time I played it I was pretty underwelmed. I had a chance to concentrate later and it was only then that the full palate of the tracks was revealed. The metal-infused, guitar-based drone is flecked with other noise and instruments the most readily discernable being a bow being used on some type of string instrument. But this never quite reaches the  transcendent  beauty of Burning Star Core – Hototogisu play a much more visceral form of drone. I like this record more than the other Hototoguisu record I own, Some Blood Will Stick and I thought that was pretty good. Although that record was a much more claustrophobic and darker set of tracks,  it’s not like Chimarendammerung lets the light in. The sounds used are merely different and it doesn’t come close to creating the same mood of Some Blood… which had some genuinely creepy moments. In all there are five Untitled tracks. I particularly liked the second one especially in the  final third where a vaguely doomy lost souls effect bubbled to the  surface every now and then but for most of time the enjoyment in this record is the slight shifts in tone and variation as the tracks progress. I’m more of a fan of Skullflower and Double Leopards than this band but every now and then I give it a listen when I’m in that whole white noise coming through headphones kind of mood. If you watch the short clip I’ve included, they manage to achieve that whole transcendence through noise thing yet on this record that might give it a red hot go but they never quite get there.

Skullflower – Tribulation (Crucial Blast) 2006

Posted in Music, noise, Skullflower, Sunroof! with tags , , on January 22, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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I’ve had this sitting in a pile for some months. I forget where and exactly when I bought it but a reconissance mission to get things to sell on ebay (seller ID manitobahill if you’re interested. I’m selling some Merzbow and a rare Death in June CD?DVD that I stumbled over)  turned this up. I’ve already posted on IIIrd Gatekeeper (I quite liked it) so after a few days listening it’s time to post ion the last Skullflower record I’m likely to own. It’s the last Skullflower album simply because as Daniel Johnson summed it  up in a recent Wire interview, you can’t listen to everything and I certainly am not a rich man.  I find a lot of what Matt Bowers (Sunroof!) does is pretty interesting and Tribulation is no different. I was trying to explain this to a mate and the best I could come up with is: Imagine you are at a music festival of some type. You’re standing at the back of a tent where some noise genius is blasting out squall of pretty generic distortion and fuzz. The noise is so thick that you almost descend into a trance. But somehow, under the din, you can hear, in another tent over yonder, a Black Sabbath tribute band. The riffs are murky, they sometimes sound doomy, but you know that there is a metal band playing and they  fucking rock. That is what this record sounds like. It is a bit inconsistent towards the end but those middle tracks are right up my alley.  Although this might be the last Skullflower record I buy I’m pretty keen to get hold of one of Bower’s records when he records as Hototogisu.

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