IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in November 2019

9 min read

[blows dust off keyboard]

Oh, hello! I bet you were wondering where your favourite gothic scribe had vanished to of late? Well, I’ve suffered a bit of ‘Writer’s Block’ and the BAZ overlords have been more than patient anticipating my return (thanks, lads). Since September, I’ve decided that more exercise is needed to wear off the excess pie consumption and delved into the murky world of running, shock horror – with the Couch to 5K program which has resulted in me donning sports wear, Karrimor running shoes and bearing an alarming resemblance Jonathan Davies. As an upside of this, it’s improved my mental health and overall fitness. As a result, I’ve found more time to listen to music (expect another episode of ‘Tales From The Dark Side’ covering more goth tunes soon), with running and fast paced tunes working as an effective motivator. However, (at this time of writing) I’m only several weeks into this lark and some way off becoming the new Usain Bolt. Anyway, without further ado – here’s November’s ‘In Rotation’…

Frustration – So Cold Streams

These bunch of French lads have caught me unexpectedly over the past couple of months, and initially found them to be off putting due to Fabrice Gilbert’s strangely accented baritone vocals. However, be warned – if late 1970s/early 1980s post punk is your bag they’ll become HUGELY addictive. Imagine, a French version of Warsaw (Joy Division before they were called Joy Division) crossed with Wire and The Fall and you’ll get the sonic picture, and in live performances Fabrice certainly evokes the spirit of Ian Curis in his performances. I dare you to listen to ‘Insane’ and try not to pogo mosh around your living room like a total bellend.

Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile

I’ve come to the conclusion that a death metal parody/tribute band to Cannibal Corpse with herbal themes will never, EVER become boring and the album titles will always make me giggle. Thankfully, the music is also top notch too and is far from becoming a one trick pony as they’re now 6 albums into this lark. The title track ‘Nug So Vile’ is pretty much death metal perfection whilst ‘Cylinders of Madness’ is a pure stompy rager that displays perfectly executed death metal ferocity and musicianship; in fact the whole album is bloody decent. The silly artwork of a monstrous Triffid-esque Cannabis plant devouring human remains further adds to the bands bizarre drug fuelled imagery and content. Brilliant stuff, even if you don’t participate in herbal substances.

Blood Red Throne – Fit To Kill

Formed in the late 1990s as a death metal spin off from the band members day jobs (that have included the likes of Emperor, Satyricon, and Carpathian Forest, Blood Red Throne have gone strength to strength with their near perfect emulation of the Florida death metal greats. ‘Fit To Kill’ is no exception. Tracks such as ‘Requiem Mass’ are a superb blend of ferocity, polyrhythms, and intensity inspired by the classics of the scene along with a whole bunch of new ideas of their own making. An album that stands head and shoulders above what appeared to be a sea of dull Immolation and Incanation clones this year.

Velvet Condom – Stadtgeil / Vanity and Revolt

After getting fed up with modern day guitar bands, Alice Gift and Oberst Panizza formed Velvet Condom over a love of cold wave, synths, and drum machines. These guys were discovered via happy accident in the form of Spotify running off after listening to The Agnes Circle with “Things similar to”, and threw up this incredible band. Sounding sleek, highly styled, sleazy, and with a highly polished Gallic flair that sound like the product of a black out drunk coma after binge listening to Gary Numan, Soft Cell, Goldfrapp, and Human League on a Saturday night; and the resulting cheese fuelled dream caused by devouring that foot long Stilton and Branston Pickle baguette before you passed out, where the cheese was probably “on the turn” but you were too smashed to notice.

Carcass – Symphonies of Sickness

Thanks to Earache and their irrational reasoning in only having ‘Surgical Steel’ on Spotify, I’ve been forced to rip my earlier Carcass CD’s back into digitial to be uploaded to my Google Music account. As an upside of this, I’ve made repeated returns to Carcass’ second album and their filthier, dirtier sound when they were a 3 piece band before Mike Amott joined them. Granted, this album is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea if you prefer melodic death metal and cleaner produciton values – but there is a primal gruffness lacking in modern day metal that only this album and Pissgrave seem to evoke (along with grotesque album covers). Tracks such as ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’ with that horror film synth intro and dramatic opening riffs crawl into your ears like a colony of maggots followed by ‘Exhume To Consume’, a funky little ditty about feasting on the deceased are a perfect blend of puss filled grindcore akin to diving head first into a maggot pit at an abbatoir. Bask in the filth!

Until next time, keep it weirdcore.

Goth Mark