Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Blogging on Christmas day, Mr Impostume, you sad bastard? No kids, eh? Family can’t stand you? Friends in short supply? No telly? Pissing it down outside, all the shops closed? No presents to unwrap? Just another dismal December Tuesday in your cramped, uncelebratory, congenitally deflationary heart?

Clearly the hour of Metal is uponeth us.

So essentially Profound Lore was label of the year beating off, err.. no other competitors at all as far as I knew, not being a very label-orientated guy. Most significantly for me the label had three of the most interesting Avant-metal acts around on ( notice how I keep the triptych thing going, it’s these bits of formal finesse that make the Impostume’s output the envy of the blogging world, izzit.) First of all they had Caina, which was a very good thing indeed..
..then they also had the Angelic Process, whose "Weighing Souls with Sand" I wrote about here, perhaps rather peremptorily suggesting it would be the best album of the year which it wasn’t, but it was still pretty-fucking-tremendous.

Then we had a whole slew of releases and re-releases from baroque drone behemoths, Nadja. Their more recent stuff, a spilt with Belgian noisemongers Fear Falls Burning and the ep "Gulited by the Sun” looked to have been heavily influenced by the Angelic Process’ military drums and weirdly viscid assaults, guitar like sudden vast surges of amber, a petrifying onrush that seemed to both distend and contract simulteanously, impossibly dense and suffocating yet oddly limpid, a tsunami of congealed light. Their masterpiece is still Bodycage, from 2005, re-released last year on Profound Lore. The textures here are all burnished mahogany, oak and darkly lusterous metal, a series of interleaved sliding panels inlaid with gold-leaf and mother of pearl. Bodycage has a stately, processional depth to which the likes of Sunn0)))'s weak and undernourished Oracle could only aspire.

I was also heavily into The Book of Knots an unusual kind of political art-metal collective out to document the ravages of post-industrial life in the US ( I wibble on about it here). Both the albums completed so far in the projected trilogy are superb, but 2007’s “Traineater” a cruise through America’s rustbelt was a righteous, pained and resourceful as its subject required (see above.)

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