Tuesday, April 8, 2008

VISUAL AGGRESSION

There might be a good list on here late next week sometime. To precede a good list I will post some various photos. I personally find pictures documenting the early days of death & black metal to be the most inspiring but I am posting some general metal pictures as well as this Medieval photo from Kick Ass Monthly.

A quote to live by.

Bathory


courtesy of http://www.sadomator.com/beherit/

Goatlord



from www.myspace.com/helluk

Messiah

Mark "The Shark" Shelton

Sarcofagus

Pokolg├ęp

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stop These Lines

REVIEW:

Paternoster - Paternoster, 1972













Personnel:

Franz Wippel - Organ, Vocals
Gerhard Walter - Guitar, Vocals
Heimo Wisser - Bass
Gerhart Walenta - Drums


Taking a break from metal, here's a review of Paternoster's self-titled opus.

One word comes to mind when I think of this record: Heavy.

I don't know much about this short-lived Austrian group who's only release was this 1972 album reissued by the German label Ohrwaschl in 1991. Vocalist/organist Franz Wippel was the group's sole composer, and what a monster he created -- seven tracks of organ-drenched prog with heavy psychedelic leanings. There are definite krautrock elements in that it's both acidic and cosmic with loads of atmosphere. It's unique in the sense that, after heavy, it's fucking depressive. I won't say all, but most prog/krautrock albums don't leave me feeling like I just tightened a belt around my neck...this one does.

The first track opens with a swirling organ and drawling Latin/English giving it a subdued hymnal feeling before being broken by some jazzy percussion and fuzz which fades into the first "real" track. "Realization" is pretty standard, but there's a nice breakdown about a minute in with crisp drumming and some spacey organ.

The few reviews of this album I've read (which all came after purchasing it and listening to it) seem to focus a lot on the vocals, and not in a positive way. "Stop These Lines" is the first place where I can maybe understand some of the beef. Wippel's voice sounds as if it's stretched to the maximum, almost to the point of breaking. But that happens to be one of my favorite aspects of the album. The odd, and sometimes uncomfortable, vocals only serve to heighten the already depressive atmosphere set by the crawling pace and church-like organ.

The gloom is near its heaviest on "Blind Children." The reverberating organ is accompanied by a steady rhythm section of slow, repetitive drums and Heimo Wisser's beautifully clear bass. This steadiness is important in anchoring the songs and providing the crushing backbone for the entire album. Maybe crushing is the wrong word...smothering is better. Crushing has too many "heavy = ultra low/loud" connotations. The guitars throughout are in the vein of many of their German neighbors like Ash Ra Tempel or Syd-era Floyd with more of an edge. The darkness of the composition is highlighted by Wippel's tormented vocals and suicidal lyrics as he sings: "Try to call yourself on the phone/ Surely you are not at home/ Sweep the swept floor once again/ Stab yourself to feel the pain."

Unfortunately, the album's weakest tune follows the haunting "Blind Children." "Old Danube" isn't a bad song, but it's far too typical for the album as a whole. Besides the vocals, there's nothing that grabs me and shouts "Listen to me, you crumb!" No creepy breakdown, no heavy freak outs, it justs leaves me wanting more "Blind Children."

Lucky for me, the next track doesn't follow the same mold and is my hands down favorite. "The Pope is Wrong" (besides having a great titles) contains everything that makes Paternoster one of my most listened to albums over the last three years: lots of organ and heavy/spacey guitar (which compliment one another perfectly), Wippel's vocals, and the feeling that I'm about to snuff out my own pathetic life.

-Zach