Raspberry Bulbs started as the project of one of the members of Bone Awl, with the idea of exploring the territory that lies just outside of black metal. Raspberry ‘s appearance on the scene is profound, in some ways akin to the mind-fuck effect that Bone Awl originally provoked. Defiantly worth listening to at least once. Overall it reminds me of black metal and post punk, but in a good way, 87%.
We have heard our entire lives about the value of college and all that unsolicited advice. First off, I’ll point out that many of the people telling us the value of college spend their days talking to children. Logically speaking, the leaders of small children have limited expertise and career advice is not in that realm.
Higher education is an intellectual pyramid scheme where everyone extols the system itself and is constantly trying to advance to the next tier, convinced that the American Dream lies just around the corner. However, student loans never, ever go away. Most colleges and universities are Not-For-Profit, meaning that excess revenue must be reinvested into the organization in the form of facility, staff, expansion, scholarships, research and such things. (For-Profit colleges are even more expensive and pyramid-like.) While beneficial, this system also puts the worker bees in charge of the hive, which means that their own financial stability is directly connected to young people being convinced that they need the services which they provide.
Education is an inherently good thing, however, indoctrination is not and questioning the relevance of higher education has become blasphemy. The idea is for everyone to get a college education, not to ponder the usefulness and profitability of that education throughout their working careers in an era of globalization.
Ten to twenty percent of tuition costs pays the professor while the remainder goes to fuel the infrastructure that the school provides. Meaning, it is possible to get a Masters degree and end up oweing $100,000 in student loans, besides for the six years of unpaid effort towards getting that degree, while people on the other side of the planet are getting similar degrees for a fraction of the cost.
It’s risky listening to the advice from the leaders of small children.
Here we have the latest Inter Arma album from March of this year, Sky Burial, which is also their debut on Relapse Records. Inter Arma has been a fickle band for me, a blackened sludge band, I feel I should love, but only like pretty well. This is likely my favorite of their albums and the production isn’t too heavy handed, 82%.
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Horseback’s A Plague of Knowing is a compilation of various stuff from the past five years released last month by Relapse Records. Bearing many tags and influences this band stretches across shoegaze and post-rock, through ambient with strong black metal influences.
Yes, influences, they aren’t in the Metal Archives and it’s obvious why, post-rock, but defiantly not metal. While some tracks are quite listenable, the live ones are easily the best with more depth and flow than the studio, over-produced tracks.
I’ve only listened to the album once as I write this, overall the live tracks are good and the last track is over 40 minutes long making an excellent background for the afternoon session. However, there is plenty of medocre music on this release, the album is hit and miss.
After a second listen I am still not convenced that I want to buy the album despite its heavy psych/stoner sound. In fact, I am even less into this album now, it is long and arduous, more a collectible for the hardcore fan than it is a serious album. There are tracks that flirt with “good” but miss the mark with the band’s sound being spread out across too many genres; 72%.
This release could have expanded their fan base had it been offered for free in digital format, however, as it is now it’s just part of Relapse’s quarterly earnings.
Here we have a Bandcamp collection of Vaba Marat, a Brazilian blackened-noise band. Chaotic with beautifully screamed lyrics, the guitars and drums are fast, best described as blackened screamo/noise/raw black metal with anarchist leanings (if one bothers to translate and read the lyrics).
An awesome band that has found a place in the musical universe close to many different genres, highly recommended for fans who remember the term East Coast Hardcore and Screamo, 90%.
Shataan is a Blackened band from California, part of the Black Twilight Circle. I added the category Blackened for this band because they are defiantly black metal influenced, but defiantly not black metal, or metal really. Which is why I am so fond of the Black Twilight Circle collective, they are producing new material with a new sound that is not a simple rehashing of old material.
Although Encyclopedia Metallum does list them, and as Black Metal, Shataan starts this album with a flute solo, grainy rainy background noise and goes on exploring territories that fall into depressive, folk, pagan, metal and screamo categories. It covers all that ground with an almost mystic twist that seems to be the Black Twilight Circle’s trademark sound, which sounds good and goes well because their albums are all cassette-only.