Woebegone Obscured – The Forestroamer (Aesthetic Death)

Woebegone Obscured – The Forestroamer (Aesthetic Death)

This is an older album, but I must review it because I have only discovered the album a few months ago, and if I was unaware of this excellence, there is a chance that you may also have somehow lived without this music. I am seeking out their other works, but this CD on Aesthetic Death is a must-have in any doom-lover’s collection.

I really need not tell you anything other than to just go buy it. The album has all that you would ever desire of a doom band with death metal vocals (as well as parts that have clean singing, which are quite fitting to those passages, like the words, “Beyond this world there is a hope the sun will burn a sign for you”).

Each flavor is measured and applied only in the amounts that are needed. The ear is constantly stimulated this way. Tempo changes not only snap the ear out of the abyss, the transformation is sometimes frightening, deepening the darkness. Indeed, this is even sung, “Nothing but the dark to live for.”

One of the songs has lyrics that are presumably in Danish (this is a band from Denmark).

I am still shocked that I had not been made aware of this album, or band, until now. This is why it is good to take chances on music. You need only yourself and a willingness to explore. I found this album by going on the Aesthetic Death web site (https://www.aestheticdeath.com) in search of any music by the band ESOTERIC that I may have not heard about, and yes, I found their demo double CD, but I kept snooping around and investigated their other releases. THE FORESTROAMER is one of the albums I decided to support, and I am incredibly happy that I did, even though it is the anthem of my sorrow for now.

Bergraven -Det Framlidna Minnet (Nordvis Produktion)

Bergraven -Det Framlidna Minnet (Nordvis Produktion)

This is quite an odd album. When I first heard a random spot, I expected black metal, and indeed, I did get the sense that this comes from that world, but the album has no known category, which is good.

The voices are not the screechy bitch-vocals of black metal – they are more on the exasperated shouting side, mixed with the melancholy folk sort of singing.

The music ranges from unusual timing and long riffs. to more straightforward and recognizable passages, but the songs seem to have been made to put the listener in a strange place. Even the upbeat portions have something twisted going on, as if a mad clown attempted to play something catchy, but is so bonkers that the otherwise accessible tune becomes demented.

There are bursts of aggression, but that’s just an ingredient in this insanity-potion, not the main flavor. Add to this, non-English lyrics, making this a welcome visit to another realm.

Sarah Longfield – Disparity (Season of Mist)

This is not a metal album, but it deserves a review here because it is odd, and because it is creative.  The music also has a lot of impressive guitar playing, so those who might get a whiff of something commercial should be glad that even if this were a mainstream offering, guitar is prominent, not absent, as it is in pop.  I must state that this cannot possibly be a contrived commercial album but I can understand if you detect some aspects that of hit music, but the execution is just too bizarre for simpleton mainstreamers to embrace.

Each song is a different adventure into Kookoo Land, so it’s not like one tune can define the album.  The part of me that loves novelty music is stimulated by what I hear, but so is the musician, and of course, I can’t help but admire the exploration and creativity.

I will include a sample here, but you should understand that this is only one song.  I didn’t find a video for one of the more dexterous songs, but I suppose that if nothing of this sample resonates with you then you will probably not be a good candidate for the reward of the rest of the album.

Beyond Creation – Algorythm (Season of Mist)

This is a well-produced technical death metal album, and I enjoyed listening to it, but there are some things that are a tad gay.  The vocals sometimes stray into the high-screeching zone, which is not very masculine.  It’s what one would expect to hear from someone who was bitch-slapped.  But this is not the only band that features this vocal approach.  I don’t know where it started, but it must stop.  If vocalists want to show range, then they should learn how to sing.  Help end this womanly screeching.

My  other gripe is the straying into adult contemporary music.  The only reason why I like this is because I also enjoy novelty music, but it gets tiring when it is in almost every song.  The bass seems to think it is smooth jazz at times.  Again, it’s fun, but it takes me out of the heaviness.

Aside from the gayness, there is a lot to savor on headphones.  It is almost dizzying at times for there is a lot going on.  Some of the segments are quite rich.  This is no simple record, even though there are some moments that have mercy on the ear that tries to follow what is going on.  It’s a record that requires repeated listening.  I haven’t invested the time for that magical moment of complete familiarity to occur, but I assure you that I will attain that level.

Crucified Santa T Shirt

A colorized version of Bill Zebub’s “Crucified Santa” shirt is now available.  For a limited time it is $18 in America (includes shipping).  Sizes SMALL-5XL, and Ladies Baby T in S, M, L

Email bill@billzebub.com for more details on ordering.

If you prefer, you can get the original black and white version.

This art was originally for Issue #7 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine and drawn by Jim Walls, under the intruction of Bill Zebub (Bill Zebub came up with the concept, and Jim Walls executed it).  The colorization was done by Bill Zebub.

Crucified Santa T Shirt
Crucified Santa T Shirt

Maniac – Caroline Munro

This is an old movie that I had not seen until this anniversary 3-disc edition.

The enjoyment that I derived from viewing the movie was to see how things were done once upon a time.  The gore was humorous.  It seems that, back then, fake blood looked more like red paint in a child’s arts and crafts class rather than an attempt at a simulation.  Flesh was rubber – it stretched, as is seen during a decapitation.  But the funniest gag is the blood squirting from behind a knife – the side of the blade that you don’t see.  I keep hearing that this was once a shocking image, but I disagree.   When I was a kid, I didn’t know the exact method for the gag, but I had fun putting ketchup on the side of a knife that a person wouldn’t see, and I pretended to cut my arm, so I don’t see how this was innovative or scary.

I don’t know if this period of movies was just giving the viewer the barest essence, as if it were a play.  I thought that this was why older TV shows show just a red dot when someone gets shot, but after talking to a detective, he said that there is no blood spurt – people bleed internally.  Yes, there are exceptions, but it seems that the modern way of having squibs is just as silly as the gore of yesteryear, or yesterdecade, ha ha.

There are two unrealistic things about the movie.  One is that Caroline Munro’s character would be involved with the slob who plays the maniac.  The more striking error is that the maniac is asexual.  All serial killers are sexual predators, whether the victim is alive or dead.  This is the problem with many movies – there is only surface level knowledge.  However, there is some merit to the maniac being stuck in a childhood experience.

No, I don’t hate this movie, and I don’t regret the time I spent watching it.  I liked the spirit of the movie – it felt like a passion project.  The behind-the-scenes extras provided proof of that.  It was a step back in time to see how things were done in those days.  There are also time-capsule elements like rotary phones and cars that weighed a lot more, ha ha.  It’s a peek into the past.

Maniac - Caroline Munro
Maniac – Caroline Munro

Santa Nailed by Jesus shirt

The “crucified Santa” shirt is available for a limited time for $15, shipping included (in the United States).

This was the cover for Issue #7 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine.  During those days, printers were horrified by the art, and three vehemently rejected the job before one did so in secret, but the art was stolen ( or destroyed) by the printer.

Bill Zebub is colorizing a version of this shirt,, but for now, this art is available for you to wear with pride.  Email bill@billzebub.com if you are interested.

Grimoire #7
Grimoire #7

WARREL DANE – Shadow Work (Century Media)

Listening to this album inflicts the same sadness as when I see “The Crow” because I know that this will be the last offering by the artist.  It is ironic that Warrel sings, “Mother is the Word for god” – a line from the movie “The Crow” (and it is sorrowfully coincidental that I recently met the writer of the graphic novel prior to hearing the song).

It is hard to hear “Kill me in my dreams” – I wonder if Warrel was conscious when he died.

The guitar on this album seems imitative of Jeff Loomis at times, a tad shameful, not so much for the mimicry, but because the style isn’t why I like the music – it is, and always was, Warrel’s voice that carried the tune.

There are some new approaches, however.

It doesn’t seem necessary to review this album – it will be heard out of respect, curiosity, or a friend’s insistence.

I am grateful that enough was salvaged to finish this final work. Another Great One is gone, and I  see no replacements for those we lost.  Farewell.


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