During the last four days of 2013 French black metal label Debemur Morti offered a grab-bag deal, either 10 cds for 15 euros or 20 cds for 20 euros. Well being a typical half stereotypical half-Scot (and being of the belief that you can never have enough cds!) I went for the ’20 for 20′ deal which, after postage and money conversion from dollars to euros, came out to $54 all told. Less than $3 per cd. Not a bad deal that, is it?
So, what did the label send me? Well, some of the bands I’d heard of, there are a couple of cds that I actually wanted to buy (after reading favourable reviews in Zero Tolerance) and there are some bands that I haven’t heard of but (after checking them out on metal-archives.com) I’m quite looking forward to hearing their stuff.
The majority of the bands play black metal (of course they’re black metal cds! It’s a black metal label!-Brian, Judeah), there are 18 different bands throughout the 20 cds [Ruins and (V.E.G.A) are the two bands with two albums each] and as there are no cds that I had previously owned in the collection, I have 20 new cds with which to assault my ears with. Now I know that statistically I’m not going to love everything I was sent. There will be some great albums, some great songs on good albums, some good songs on not-so-good albums and some downright pish and mince. The fun part will be discovering which ones are which.
So, how do I best listen to, evaluate and write about them? Well rock-paper-scissors seemed a little daft and rashambo seemed unnecessarily painful and pointless. Alphabetical band order? Alphabetical album title order? Alpahbetical band and album title order? The only logical and anally-retentive thing to do was play them in order of catalogue number! Oooh, be still my fluttering heart!
How this is going to work as is follows: I play the cd 4 times. It is the only music I will be intentionally listening to, I have a 40-45 minute car ride to work so most albums will get 2 listens per day unless it’s my day off when I could probably listen to 2-3 cds per day whilst still going about my highly important daily business of planning my takeover of the world, scouring the apartment for chocolate and adding to my increasing bellybutton fluff collection (which is quite impressive even if I say so myself.) So, in the immortal words of Claire Rayner, “Let’s press on.”
(V.E.G.A.)- Cocaine DMP 0008
(Picture added so people on the moon can see it)
(V.E.G.A) are a Italian/Norwegian trio who’s debut album ‘Cocaine’ was released 2002 and a very unhinged debut it is. Kicking off with fast, squiggling guitars, a woman’s scream and then a group of women chanting, the first track is here and gone in a heartbeat (or two) and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The next two tracks are akin to Anaal Nathrakh and late-period Emperor: all blastbeats and harsh, screamed vocals. And whilst the fast songs are really great, the band come into their own on the slower and mid-paced songs, especially ‘Burning In My Own Dream Of Life’ which starts off quite mellow (for the band!) before ratcheting up the speed and intensity and with the final track ,’Vacuum Era Gelid Atmosphere’ (the band’s name), the guys take you only a very strange trip starting with a very militaristic beat and keyboard sound that conjures up black and white images of steel workers working in a steel mill before a few moments of silence and then it goes all Euro-trance-y and sounds like something from a Laibach remix, with the synths getting faster and faster before a harsh whisper brings the industrial metal beats and grinding guitars to bring the song and the album to a satisfying close.
Overall ‘Cocaine’ is an excellent black metal album with a lot of great experimental touches and I’m very happy that it was included into my bundle.