A podcast that interviews musicians and provides in-depth, and at times zany, reviews regarding the latest albums from the obscurer corners of extreme metal, dark ambient, and noise.
#212 | Album Review | Pupil Slicer – Mirrors
Download this episode by clicking the arrow to the right of this player: DownloadWhat’s up wriggling celestial void worms! This week Ryan and I carve our way into the grinding and technical math-slathered skronk salvo Mirrors, the debut LP unleashed by the UK outfit Pupil Slicer. As is typical, I make a reference or two to Shelob and Sean Astin while Ryan lets loose his fleshed-out smart lad rambles. Fair warning though, this is yet another episode where I decimate the metaphorical horse’s husk with a litany of “bow now now” diatribes and the infamous adjective known as “skronk”.I will say the instrumentals and harsh mix of vocals in this album stab me in all the right auditory pressure points. From technical guitar flaying to hardcore beatdowns, they consistently surprise and writhe within experimental sepsis. There are moments of brooding atmospheric passages, noisy tempo shifts, and the odd heartrending melody, which keeps Mirrors razor-sharp, sporadic, and varied. The vocals eviscerate and snuff you out of existence while delivering poignant emotional messages. Hell, you even get garroted by some gnarly powerviolence bits here and there. This album unfurls a pain that is harnessed within its exhilarating compositions to imprint upon your cerebrum a memorable scar. I recommend blasting Mirrors to the point of wrecking whatever sound system you are listening to the record on.Pupil Slicer is a trio from London, England. They consist of Kate Davies (guitars & vocals), Josh Andrews (drums), and Luke Fabian (bass & backing vocals). The band formed in 2016. Since then they have released two splits, an EP, and of course, their debut LP. Mirrors dropped on March 12, 2021 via Prosthetic Records.
* * * * * *Support Pupil Slicer by purchasing Mirrors via Bandcamp and Big Cartel. There are some pretty sweet-looking vinyls, cassettes, and CDs still available (they got the merch too!). Or, you can just get the digital album. Follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date on new developments from them.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of the notes we typed in preparation for this review and gain early access to upcoming episodes before their official release. If Patreon isn’t your jam, we recently set up an FCU Venmo account (@From-Corners-Unknown) in case you want to support us ...
#211 | Album Review | Dawnwalker – Ages
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadGreetings magical creatures of the void! This week, Ryan and I talk about the 2020 album that got away. The album I’d space out to into the wee hours of the night, followed by many hours of melody humming. A saga of an LP that takes your imagination to faraway ancient vistas. The album known as Ages by the band Dawnwalker. We did not discover this masterpiece until a few months after its official release thanks to our pal Alec from Ghostbound. If you are familiar with the podcast, you obviously know the album cover of Gandalf-looking fellas gathering at the seaside instantly caught my interest, which compels me to warn you that many dorky references will be made throughout this episode’s duration!Ages is truly an auditory journey of atmospheric progressive post-metal. It feels like a concept album both lyrically and tonally. Cataclysmic events transpire on a planet brimming with mysterious and arcane powers. Moments of blackened instrumentals crush lush, tranquil landscapes. Eternal choir-like chants fill moonlit forests that heal fallen beings. There is a mix of harsh instrumentals and vocals that contrast superbly with the atmospheric proggy grooves, and even a splash of folky mysticism inspires visages of elves, wizards, and the like. Dawnwalker themselves say they sought to combine the sounds of modern experimental metal with 70s prog/folk such as King Crimson and Led Zeppelin. Ages is easily one of my favorite listens in the past few years.Dawnwalker started as a home studio project in 2012. Over time, the London-based project grew into a full band consisting of various musicians. They currently sit at four albums and three EPs, all of which are worth listening to. Ages was released independently on December 4, 2020. Now grab your staffs and enter into a universe full of adventure.
* * * * * *Support Dawnwalker by checking out their website. You can purchase Ages, merch, and the rest of their discography via Bandcamp. I sure do wish shipping was cheaper across seas! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram too to keep up to date on new developments.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of the notes we typed in preparation for this review and gain early access to upcoming episodes before their official release.Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server. Up in two weeks will be our review of the debut LP,
#210 | Album Review | Black Sheep Wall – Songs for the Enamel Queen
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadHey there and welcome to the void of “BWAAAH”. This week, Ryan and I insert ourselves into the oceans of obliteration by listening to Black Sheep Wall’s latest record, Songs for the Enamel Queen. The bulky bass and corrosive drone qualities discharging from this album compelled me to say BWAH a bit too much during this episode (it will make sense after the first twenty minutes of listening, I hope). Also, every damn time I read this band’s name I want to yell black snake moan! I also enjoy picturing a cute little black sheep meandering over a crumbled-down wall.Songs for the Enamel Queen hemorrhages venom through its vocal abrasions. While some stanzas read like unfettered spite, there is a keen sense of sobering, and typically raw, self-reflection that pierces each utterance, anguished shriek, or gravelly rasp. And their bite is made most acute by the record’s enamel-stripping instrumentation (you’ll be looking like our pal Gollum in no time). Molasses-like grooves will give way to claustrophobia-inducing drone segments, virulent breakdowns, or poignant, post-hardcore tinged melodies. Although you should be able to make out most of the lyrics while listening, I found that reading them in tandem with sanity-grating arrangements emphasized the personal struggles being portrayed. Between the bass and drums, we are annihilated; let the bwaaaah rain down and liquidize me. The album’s frequent brawny moments coupled with the vocalist’s emotional strife propels Songs for the Enamel Queen into an unfathomably dense echelon of auditory decimation.Black Sheep Wall formed in California sometime in 2006. Over the years, the group has carved out their own corner of sludgy experimentation. Songs for the Enamel Queen is their fourth LP and it dropped on February 26, 2021 via Silent Pendulum Records.
* * * * * *At the time of this writing, I believe most of the vinyl is sold out; however, you can still purchase this sucker via Silent Pendulum Records’ Bandcamp page. There are some pretty awesome enamel pins to purchase to please the Enamel Queen too. Be sure to follow Black Sheep Wall on Facebook and/or Instagram!If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server.
#209 | Album Review | StarGazer – Psychic Secretions
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: Download
Hello, gazers of the void! I hope all is well in your corners of the world. This week, Ryan and I journey into an atmospheric realm of black and death metal epicness conjured by the heavy, intriguing, and downright heroic album that is StarGazer’s latest opus, Psychic Secretions. As per usual, Ryan and I dork the hell out on a variety of the record’s timbres, particularly how the bass f*****g decimates throughout its duration (insert bow now-now). The music/track titles inspired the bizarre concept of a goblin cult arriving on the back of a comet, alongside the origin story of a new FCU character, Chadwick the Golden Slump. We also go into ramblings about movie battles and other mystical warfare as we meander through our ramblings on the album. (I was fully addicted to Valheim at the time of recording, so that tracks.)Psychic Secretions features a solid concept where each track belongs in the same universe, yet this does not prevent StarGazer from crafting tracks that expand into all kinds of sonic territories, featuring moments of frigid and airy northern light-flickering riffs, or galloping, bone-bashing drum marches. You even get moments of progressive sweeps that pair well with the harsher elements. The vocals take on various theatric entities; I pictured an evil necromancer, an ageless toad (as suggested by the album’s lyric), and eventually, my evil cult leader goblin warlord. Once again, some of the grooves and bass lines on this record are pure, undiluted magnificence. Overall, Psychic Secretions is a perfect blend of darkened prowess and stunning enchantments.StarGazer hails from Adelaide, Australia. Psychic Secretions is their fourth full-length album, which released on February 1st, 2021. This avante-garde extreme metal behemoth has existed since 1995, and throughout the decades, they have conjured handfuls of demos, splits, and EPs. The trio’s lineup consists of The Serpent Inquisitor (Guitars/Vocals), The Great Righteous Destroyer (Bass/Vocals), and Khronomancer (Drums)—stage names that only further the feeling of mysticism while experiencing the music.
* * * * * *You can support StarGazer by purchasing Psychic Secretions via their Bandcamp page. You can also follow them on Facebook. Do yourself a favor and listen to the rest of their discography! If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.Also,
#208 | Interview | Rattleback
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadFor the first time in FCU history, I am joined by burrito boy Benson in an interview! He actually doesn’t end up saying a whole lot, but in it, we chat and shoot the shit with the Melbourne-based hardcore punk trio, Rattleback.By some unknown Bandcamp wizardry, Connor was recommended the group’s debut LP, Weeding the Garden State, shortly after its release in September of 2020. You may recall his poor recollection of discovering Rattleback back in a track reviews episode we dropped last October, and it was from this mealy-mouthed word sputtering that led us two knob-heads to (finally) get this interview set up many months later.All that being said, Rattleback is an intriguing breed of hardcore punk because they have no guitarist. Their bassist, Harry “McBassFace” Ross, uses a signal splitter to effectively emanate the tone of a guitar in some tracks, but he often writhes in the pond-scummy undercurrents of baritone reverberations. This slathers their tunes in a bedraggled climate, which vigorously swelters as percussion blares, and their vocalist, Frank “Drunktank” Hynes, heaves a litany of scathing, cord-frying rasps.The conversation sprawls in several haphazard pathways, the most basic being the trio’s origination. From there, Rattleback discusses the approximate year-long writing process that gave rise to their debut and the two whole shows they were able to play just before the pandemic struck. Much more word spew is volleyed (from me, mostly) during the interview’s runtime, with a healthy slather of banter coating the exchange. We sincerely hope you enjoy our back-and-forth as it was an utmost pleasure chatting with these dudes. Thank you so much for tuning in!
* * * * * *You can peruse the entirety of their debut, Weeding the Garden State, via their Bandcamp page. Be sure to follow ’em on Facebook and Instagram to stay in-the-loop on new developments from the trio.Also, if you’re at all keen on supporting us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. Or, you can join our tundra of a Discord server to chat music, provide album recommendations, or talk any of other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.). In two weeks, we’ll be dropping a review of the latest LP, Psychic Secretions, from the Australian black/death metal enigma, StarGazer. Take care until then.
#207 | Album Review | Evil – Possessed by Evil
Download this episode by clicking the arrow button to the right of this player: DownloadHello hello! It’s been a minute since I’ve written one of these, but it’s a welcome, albeit short-lived, return as Connor is pre-occupied this weekend lighting a set for an experimental short somewhere in San Jose. That being said, I want to briefly reiterate that we’re now publishing our podcast episodes on a biweekly basis, as opposed to the previous weekly frequency. With that out of the way, let’s shift focus to the album of discussion in this week’s installment.Evil is a black/thrash metal quartet from Tokyo that has existed since 2011. I was an apex curmudgeon when I saw their band name land in our promo inbox and essentially wrote them off for a couple of days because… well, in retrospect, my reasoning was supremely doltish, but I found the name so generic that I figured the tunes couldn’t be terribly intriguing. However, don’t let the simplicity of their name fool you as it did me. After a day or two of plundering the deluge of soon-to-drop albums, I struggled to find a record that hooked me, and thus, I decided to spin their sophomore LP, aptly titled Possessed by Evil, for the hell of it (pun partially intended). Not even ten seconds into the opening track, “The Cycle of Pain”, I realized I had made an utmost critical error.Possessed by Evil is an excoriating cluster of belter after belter. Be it the searing melodic leads, galloping drum rhythms, or the infrequent, but exhilarating power metal shrieks, each track exudes contagious energy that only evaporates as the album’s final track lopes into a blistering sunset. Twinges of black metal permafrost most tracks, imbuing streaks of malice amidst otherwise electrifying compositions. And although we did not have access to lyrics prior to recording this episode, we perceived a narrative-driven momentum felt through the ebb and flow of the album’s track sequencing. All that being said, we had quite a few words to exchange over this LP.We are much too early into 2021 to stack this record against others that will come out in the months ahead, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this floats somewhere in the reaches of my year-end list, at least as it pertains to releases that are an absolute detonator to listen to. I’ll halt my word vomit there and urge you to spin this record if an iota of what I’ve said piques your curiosity. Thank you all for your support and we sincerely hope you enjoy our rambling!
* * * * * *You can snag a physical copy of Possessed by Evil via the Nuclear War Now! Productions Bandcamp page (cassettes and CDs; vinyl coming later). Be sure to follow the quartet on Facebook to stay in-the-loop on new developments from them.If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain ...
An excellent podcast where you will discover music from the underground as well as hear ground breaking interviews with today's leading voices of many different genres. Highly recommended.
Met Ryan at Fire in the Mountains festival in Wyoming. He has a deep knowledge of obscure, heavy music and this is a great resource for discovering new bands. Keep up the good work!