Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: Dystopia/Suffering Luna Split

Proof That Diverse Splits Work

Its always a gamble releasing a split where the two bands don't really sound anything alike. On one hand it could open up listeners of the other band up to a whole new style of music. It could also cause listeners who got the split because they are fans of one of the featured bands to feel alienated by the other. Although these two songs sound nothing alike, they seem to mesh pretty well. The only parallels I am able to draw is that Suffering Luna's song has some very vague similarities to Dystopia's song "Sleep" (the version off The Aftermath.) Dystopia play their trademark fusion of crust and sludge, while Suffering Luna provide us with an interesting mix of dark psychedelia and ritualistic music.

The split kicks off with Dystopia's "Diary of a Battered Child." With both vocalists singing from the perspective of an abused child, this truly is a harrowing journey into the eyes of a victim of unforgivable cruelty. The lyrics are extremely potent, ending with the line "when I die, don't come to my funeral." The sludgy main guitar riff is what really makes this song so memorable. It basically is the definition of simple but effective. Instead of ending abruptly after the vocals stop, we are treated to a fantastic bass outro. Hard-hitting and heavy enough to crush stone, this is an excellent way to end the song.

Most fans of Dystopia are more familiar with the version of the song that appears on The Aftermath (which although technically a compilation is widely regarded as their second album.) These two version are basically the same, except for the sampling in The Aftermath version. That version samples The Breakfast Club. The sample in the into features Bender mocking Andy's loving family. The outro features Bender losing it and furiously ranting about his abusive father. Many fans dislike this version and deride the samples as silly. I, however, kind of like them. They undeniably fit the theme of the song and they're entertaining. In my eyes, the only downside to them is that they slightly obscure the bass outro. Many fans are actually unaware of the version of the song that appears on this split, as was I until someone mentioned it. Before that, I assumed that this version is exactly the same as the one that appears on The Aftermath. If the samples bother you, listening to this version would be the simple solution.

Starting off with some strange psychedelic bleeps and noises, Suffering Luna's track bears little resemblance to Dystopia's. Not long into the track, ritualistic tribal drums enter the soundscape. The track for the most part is subtle and low key. Sometimes it gets slightly heavier, in a wall of sound meets psychedelic swirl. Incoherent mumbles frequent the song, adding to the strange atmosphere. If you are open to weird music coming from left field, then this track may be of interest. The track's bizarre atmosphere can bring you into another world if you're in the right mood.

What we have here is a split by to very different but equally interesting bands. Both bands are in the crust punk scene (although the crust sound is much more prominent in Dystopia's works) and are doing something different. The second track serves as an intriguing (yet undeniably dark) cool down from Dystopia's memorable crusty sludge song. Both songs on this split are fantastic and it would be a wise decision to explore both band's discographies.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Classics: Kyuss - Demon Cleaner

Kyuss, grandfathers of the desert rock and stoner metal scenes, was the band where Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eagles of Death Metal, Desert Sessions) first cut his teeth. With Brant Bjork's infectious drumming, Josh's killer riffs and John's whiskey-drenched croons, Kyuss were a force to be reckoned with. The black and white video for this is quite an unorthodox beast - creepy, bizarre and unique.

Top 5: Songs By The White Stripes

The White Stripes were always a band that held integrity above all else. For example, look at their reason for breaking up. It wasn't because they were sick making music together - it was to preserve the spark the band always had. This is especially respectable seeing as that continuing to tour would bring them millions of dollars. While I'm sure we all would have loved another album, they have a fairly large discography with every single album being great.

5.  Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

Relatively early in their discography, this song proves that their back catalogue is worth looking into. While White Blood Cells did fairly well, it was its successor, Elephant, that really pushed them into the spotlight. An emotionally honest song that is simultaneously gritty and beautiful, this is certainly one of their bests.

4. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

This song has been covered by everyone from Dusty Springfield to Elvis Costello, but this version really stands out. The loud soft dynamic is exceptional - the quiet parts are really pretty and when the dirty distortion-laced guitars come in your really in for something else.

3.  Conquest

Another cover, this time of an old song made popular by Patti Page way back in the 50s. Completely different than the original, this is a testament to Jack's vision. Also, they somehow manage to make trumpets sound completely convincing in a rock song. 

2.  Blue Orchid

The lead single off Get Behind Me Satan, this song simply kicks ass. About as simple as they come, but making simple sound great is the band's strong point. The powerful repetitive guitar is really what makes this track. Undoubtedly one of their finest moments.

1. There's No Home For You Here 

A bitter look at a failed relationship, this is very emotionally charged. A very diverse song, it includes their trademark gritty blues riffs, soft parts and a raging unorthodox solo. Infectious, different and highly memorable, this is incredible. 

Unexpected Cover: Ghost - Here Comes The Sun

Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock for their entire lives obviously knows who the Beatles are. Most people in metal circles are at least aware of the occult rock/metal band Ghost. Many love them. However, they have many detractors who say their music is to polished, poppy and clichéd.  I kind of think these people are over thinking it - they are good simple fun.

It may come as a surprise that they chose to cover the Beatles, nevertheless one of their most upbeat and happy songs. A band that is good at doing covers can change the song into something else while not making it sound silly or out of place. This is exactly what Ghost does, turning it into creepy keyboard driven occult rock, which turns out to be highly enjoyable.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Check Out : Radio Moscow - Hold On Me

This tune is from their sophomore album - one of those rare releases where every song is great. Its some ass kicking bluesy rock with strong Jimi Hendrix vibes. Seriously, if you dig the song check out the whole album, it won't disappoint.

May Releases And News

Naam - Ballad of the Starchild

After a spectacular album of doom drenched in dark psychedelia and a two song release that contained their unique perspective on two classic Nirvana tunes, Naam are back with a new EP. This ones a little less dark, but don't worry - they haven't completely abandoned doom metal. Theres a lot of different stuff going on here, besides the mandatory doom songs we have one that consists of strange percussion and a sitar as well as one that sounds a bit like some of Pink Floyd's more warm psych-laced acoustic stuff.

Ahab - The Giant

While not as good as masterpiece The Call of the Wretched Sea (come on, did anyone expect them to surpass that one?) or their sophomore, this is still pretty enjoyable. While the debut was bone crushingly heavy, this one features lots of clean singing and some passages that border on post-rock. Thankfully they do this well, and aren't one of the legions of metal bands that add some shitty post-rock to appeal to the hipsters. Speaking of hipsters, thats who I assumed they were trying to market themselves to when I saw the god-awful album cover. I mean seriously guys, how hard is it to pick out another classic ocean themed painting? Whatever, this is solid.

Anhedonist - Netherwards

So this debut album has been getting a fair amount of underground press lately. They totally deserve it. This is some pretty original doom/death sort of stuff, but not at all like old Anathema or My Dying Bride, if thats what your picturing. This is sludgy, hard hitting and full of dark atmosphere. 

Some News

So heres a song off new Star Fucking Hipsters/ Jesus Fucking Christ split. Hey, with two bands with "fuck" in their name, it must be, uh, interesting. So Leftover Crack spinoff Star Fucking Hipsters describe themselves as "Bubblegum Crust". This is definitely one of their crustier moments; hell the intro/outro even sounds like a drone metal song. The link can be found here.

Metal visionaries Neurosis are set to release a new album this year. A new interview with member Steve Von Till can be found here. Both Steve Von Till and fellow member Scott Kelley have acoustic based solo albums. They are teaming up with former Saint Vitus singer Wino, who also does acoustic stuff, to do a split of Townes Van Zandt cover songs. I'll leave you with a classic Van Zandt song:

Monday, 28 May 2012

Something Different: Goddess - Digital Veil

So I just discovered one man Romanian psych band Goddess on Stonerobixxx. Although this band is lead by a single individual doesn't mean it comes across like that in its sounds - this definitely sounds like the work of a full band. While most of the album is sun-drenched mind melting psychedelia, this tracks a bit different. A bit darker, a bit electronic - the beat is almost industrial. Jangly guitars loiter and swelling leads hypnotize. 

Review: Lamb of God - Contractor 

100% Pure Garbage

Now here is one to get the fists of wannabe gangsters and trying-to-hard tough guys pumping everywhere. Devoid of anything vaguely resembling value, this is a complete waste of time - I actually feel dumber after listening to it. From the irritating "look how tough I am" vocals to the inane lyrics and lifeless riffs, be sure a garbage can is in close proximity. Meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator, there is zero integrity to be found here. And seriously, does anyone actually expect a song that uses the word "guaran-fucking-teed" over five times to actually be good?

The stagnant ever-present palm-muted chugging and recycled metalcore riffs provides a musical backdrop that has neither any real energy or anything interesting. I call it a backdrop because the main attraction is obviously supposed to be the vocals. The vocals are harsh, but every word is easy to make out. It is blatantly obvious the vocalist is trying his absolute hardest to sound like a tough guy. Am I buying it? Not a chance. Not even the drums are doing anything remotely interesting here.

It gets worse. These are some of, if not the most, weak and shamelessly gimmicky lyrics I have ever heard. Although I somewhat agree with the political message, these are the worst. They are fIlled with vapid attempts at one-liners, stupid analogies and metaphors, as well as the mandatory testosterone driven attempts at appearing tough. Instead of rambling on about how god-awful these lyrics are, I'll let them speak for themselves:

"Yeah motherfucker, let's take a ride
We're rolling route Irish, someone has got to die
Trick or treat, it's IEDs
So roll the dice as we leave
Cause it's 8 miles of pure luck
With more bang for Sam's buck
Guaran-fucking-teed, someone will bleed
Guaran-fucking-teed, someone will bleed"

Although I feel most of their songs are filler, I'm not denying that Lamb of God do have some pretty good songs. This, however, is miles below filler. This is pure garbage, with no redeeming qualities. The guitar playing is rehashed chug-laden metalcore, the drummer is doing nothing special, and the vocalist really needs to shut up. This is probably just an attempt to cash in, and quite possibly an attempt to bring their political message to a larger audience by dumbing down their music for the average mallcore teenager. Whatever, there is no excuse for this trash. Next.


Warning for those considering clicking on the link: You can't unhear this, this is 3 minutes and 13 seconds of your life you will never get back.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Something Different: An Unorthodox Death Metal Song And A Spanish Rap Song Share The Same Melody

I'm going to kill two birds with one stone - one melody, two very different songs. The original melody comes from the parade march song found in Godfather II. The Monolith Deathcult and Immortal Technique both use it with awesome results that sound worlds apart.

The Monolith Deathcult - Demigod

This song is absolutely insane. Although death metal, its certainly not what you'd expect. Crazy pounding tribal drumming mixes with some pretty strange blasting. "Demigod" is both brutal and atmospheric, making for a very unexpected listen. The melody can be heard in three places: as part of a punishing rhythm guitar section, on ethereal synths and as part of a truly epic lead guitar passage. 

Immortal Technique - Golpe De Estado

Man, this is fucking raw. On his mixtape The 3rd World, which is generally treated as his third album, Immortal Technique made his first (and currently only) song rapped entirely in Spanish. This has some guest spots, but Tech is really what makes this. He sounds raw, dangerous and fucking pissed off. The lyrics take aim at Latin governments. The melody works perfectly in a hip hop beat - its catchy and simple. As a side note, Immortal Technique isn't the only rapper to use this. When Jay-Z and Nas ended their infamous feud, they collaborated on a song that used the melody as the beat.

Review: L'acephale - Malefeasance

Dagger In The Orthodox Corpse

This album is a unique case. First off, it only features six songs, most being quite lengthy. With the vast majority of albums, it is completely unnecessary for a reviewer to analyze and dissect every track. But with Malefeasance, it is impossible to summarize the sound of the album, as the tracks largely have nothing to do with each other. This record should be viewed as a compilation, which is essentially what it is. Although released as a studio album, the tracks were recorded at different times, some being recorded in different years. Although this is a release by a metal band, this can hardly be considers a metal album. Though there are certainly metal sections, the majority of the material this falls under different genres. Malefeasance is quite involved, both in music and packaging. The music spans a variety of styles, and is often quite out there. The packaging is a quite impressive feat; it is so integral to this release that it becomes just as important as the music. If it is cohesion or a unified aesthetic you are seeking, look elsewhere. The songs on the album and pages in the booklet are all unique from each other, creating quite an experience.

The first song, Väinämöinen Nacht, was originally called Burzum Nacht. This song starts out as a very nice ambient song. The song is somewhat soothing and it ebbs and flows, never failing to be interesting. At a point where the ambient has been playing for quite some time, Old World European chanting can be heard in the distance. The ambient gradually fades out as the chanting becomes louder and louder. This track possesses a very distinct atmosphere, which feels ethereal and creepy at the same time; much different than your average ambient song. The following song is "Hitori Bon Odori", inspired by the Japanese Bon Festival. This is a time where the participants clean their ancestors grave and celebrate the lives of their deceased relatives. This track features a repetitive sombre guitar. As for percussion, a vaguely militaristic and somewhat lo-fi snare drum plays in the background. Very deep chants loiter in the background. While this song is very repetitive, instead of coming off as boring, it draws the listener into another world.

"A Burned Village" is the first song that includes metal in its sound. It is a cover of an obscure French black metal band. The guitar in it has a very unique timbre. It is very high pitched and doesn't at all sound like a guitar usually would in a black metal song. The drums seem almost tribal, and evoke bleak war-torn images. The vocals here are absolutely savage and raw. There are brief atmospheric sections; while these provide a relief from the ferocious assault, they come off as very creepy. Although this is the song on the album that most exemplifies black metal, it is by no means orthodox. While retaining the destructive vibe of early black metal, this song does it in a completely unique way.

"From A Miserable Abode", featuring slow and extremely heavy droning guitars, is a reworking of a song by the Japanese band Corrupted. The vocals on this may be hard for some listeners to digest. The vocals are extremely high pitched rasps, which sound really fucked up and weird, to say the least. While the drone elements of this track are very good, the vocals can get irritating if your not in the right mood, especially considering the length in which they endure. After a good while of just droning guitars and screechy vocals, some weird experimentation comes in, which can almost be described as very dark and abrasive psychedelia. Eventually we are left with a weird droney melody which sounds slightly middle eastern (and also kind of like bagpipes) as well as weird dark psychedelic noises. The melody takes a few weird twists and turns and morphs throughout the time it is present on the track. If you can get past the weird vocals, which eventually drop out of the track, this song can be quite a trip.

The next song "Sleep has its House ", is a cover of experimental neo-folk group Current 93. This song starts off with noisy industrial-tinged buzzing. Eventually more conventional melodies find their way into the mix. The type of instrumentation suits the neo-folk aesthetic perfectly, but sound like they take some influence from classical music. After a long while, vocals do come in. The way they are sung is very creepy. The final song on the album, "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted" (a phrase which originated with the Islamic missionary Haasan-i Sabbah), is the album's longest song, at a lengthy twenty three minutes. The song starts off as dark ambient. It is slightly noisy, largely thanks to an abrasive drone, but not nearly to the extent as the previous two tracks. Certain elements change throughout the lengthy dark ambient section, but the feeling emitted by the song remains the same. Eventually, powerful neo-folk styled melodies emerge, coming from an acoustic guitar. These melodies are almost cinematic and are certainly the highlight of the album. Although long, an even longer version of this track exists, at a staggering ninety three minutes.

This review would not be complete without mention of the packaging. It is truly spectacular what Set Sothis Nox La was able to manage for Malefeasance (this is referring to the vinyl version.) Despite some artwork being incorporated into the band's name, the front of the quality black sleeve it comes in has a very minimalist feel. The back features esoteric symbols and sketches of strange creatures, which seems to be one of the only recurring themes in the artwork. Above this is a quote from Georges Bataille, the French philosopher who founded the secret society Acéphale, which the band named themselves after. The release also comes with a large double sided poster. One side shares similarities with the aforementioned sleeve. The same quote is on display, as well as the same bizarre, grotesque creatures and the symbols. These creatures are also seen on the centre of the vinyl records and as the cover to the booklet. Also present on the poster is the headless figure that represents Georges Bataille's secret society. The bands logo makes an appearance, as does a long explanation of the album. The last sentence perfectly displays the intent of this record:

Each of these tracks represent specific daggers stabbed into the heart of Black Metal; each burying their way to the hilt of the Orthodox corpse.”

The opposing side of the poster is much more of what you would expect of a band poster. There is a fantastic black and white piece by artist Wallace Smith, featuring a jumble of grotesque figures (although unlike the ones previously mentioned.) At the bottom is the name of the band and album in a highly stylized Old English font.

The booklet is a spectacular triumph, no doubt being one of the most intricate and varied in the entire metal genre. It features an “Official Program Relative to L'acephale”, which is full of Georges Battaille's ideas. Like the music, the booklet should be regarded as a compilation. It contains everything from an Old World painting, to strange manga; from European folk art, to a picture of a truly bizarre statue. The artworks is often relevant to the track; for example, the track inspired by the Japanese Bon Festival, is the track where the weird Manga makes an appearance. Although Manga can often be childish and cheesy, this is surprisingly dark. This booklet is abundant with strange and interesting artwork. The lyrics are present, as well.

This is no ordinary album. It spans multiple genres, as the artwork and lyrics span multiple ideas and aesthetics. In the case of Malefeasance, the packaging is truly just as important as the music. If you are interested in this album, it would be a huge mistake to just download it from the internet. This is a full experience; the full package is needed for it to be complete. This album is a display of different ideas. This is not something one can just pick up and listen to casually. With a vast array of sounds, this album can appear baffling, but it is well worth the effort. Granted, the harsh dissonance present in some tracks can prove to be a bit much at times, especially to people not well-versed in extreme music. However, this aspect will be a delight to noise fans. Although this dissonance can be trying during its prolonged periods, it is still an interesting aspect of the album, is not too overbearing. Too some, they may consider it the best part. While this album is certainly not for everyone and in the end fringe music, this will mean a lot too a small number of people. Arguably that is better than being decent to a large number of people. A tremendous amount of effort was obviously put into this release, both in terms of music and artwork. This is truly something different.


Song of the Week: Morning Glory - The Whole World Is Watching

So I'm going to start a tradition that on every Sunday I'll post a song of the week. Accompanying the youtube video will be some words on the song, maybe just a short blurb or perhaps a more in depth critique of the song; whatever I'm feeling at the time. 

Man, this is one of my favourite punk songs of all time. It becomes pretty obvious that this song is political when it starts out with a sample of a crowd chanting the protest slogan this song is named after. The slogan is most famous for its use in anti Vietnam War protests, but has more recently been used with Occupy Wall Street. This song is quite diverse, from its catchy as hell chorus to the Sex Pistol influenced riffing, from the Beatles inspired passage near the end to the (thankfully tasteful) ska section.  One of the finer songs to come out of the Crack Rock Steady bands with members coming out of Choking Victim. 

Review: Isis - Mosquito Control

The Hiss of the Swarm

Isis was a high quality band from the beginning. Its surprising to see how well recorded and put together this is, considering it is one of the band's earliest recordings. Mosquito Control is one of the heaviest and most brutal things Isis have ever created. For anyone who only knows their recordings from their sophomore Oceanic and onwards, brutal may seem like a strange thing to say about Isis. That period is where the band's most popular works lie. This EP is a sludgy mindfuck, with brutality and aggression at the forefront, mixing with unique atmospheres. In a saturated metal climate, true menace and intensity is often a rare sight. Many bands can get halfway there or create a convincing enough sound, but it is rare for a band that can truly transport your mind to another world. This is a rare beast; integral in its approach, not being brutal just for the sake of it, but because it is necessary to realize the mood and atmosphere Isis set out to create.

Fans only familiar with Isis's later work may be surprised by Aaron Turner's vocal approach. Clean vocals are omitted, and what we have is extremely raw; something that falls in the middle of the typical barked style post-metal vocals and something resembling an aggressive and full black metal rasp. These vocals are truly menacing and are surely not without a vast amount of power. Also powerful, is the production. Full, bass heavy and unrelenting, it is the glue that holds Mosquito Control together. Many of the often repetitive riffs, as well as the fucked up drone that ends the album, would become monotonous and powerless with weak production. The production is unpolished and raw, except in the atmospheric parts. This allows Isis to create a true feel of menace and impending doom. Without the raw and dirty production on the rhythm guitar, the album would be castrated.

Aaron Harris's drumming is talented and distinct. The drums are high in the mix, but never overpower the song or distract the listener from what else is going on. Not too technical, his drumming is hard-hitting. It is an unfortunate tendency among metal bands to bury the bass, sometimes to the point where there may as well not be a bass player at all. "Mosquito Control" does not fall into this trap. The bass is high in the mix, occasionally becoming an indispensable part of the song.

"Poison Eggs" is the stand out track of this release. It starts of with a wonderfully mournful guitar melody and a strange static echo. It builds up from there in typical post-rock fashion. This song, however, is anything but typical. It has a distinctly destructive presence, different from most bands tagged as post-metal. "Hive Destruction" is the other song most worth mentioning. It is faded into from the previous song, a technique Isis employs seamlessly. The creepy intro sets the mood for whats to come. This song showcases some diverse riffs. The mandatory sludge riffing is in attendance, but Isis reaches beyond the limitations imposed by (sub)genre. A devastating thrash riff is one of the high points of not only the song, but the entire EP. Throwing a twist at the listener, there is a brief section that includes a bluesy stoner metal riff.

To get the most out of this release, multiple listens are a necessity. There are subtleties that may not be picked up on that first casual listen. Various intricacies and influences converge to form the full picture. Atmospheric parts are quite plentiful, although they aren't as overtly beautiful and serene as Isis's later works. A noticeable influence of crust and hardcore is apparent throughout the EP; it bleeds energy and life into the soundscape. There is sometimes something going on along with the dirty, severely down tuned riffs. This often is in the form of a dissonant drone. The drone element is at its peak in the outro of the album. In the last part of "Relocation Swarm", the track is taken over by a creeping drone, backed by a mammoth riff. The riff eventually fades out and the track becomes a mess of distortion, which seems to symbolize pure destruction and devastation. It also feels relevant to the mosquito theme. It may seem strange to assert that droning can be linked to a theme (one relating to animals, no less), but the droning sometimes seem to vaguely resemble a mosquito's buzzing, but more than that, it just has certain qualities that seem to mesh with the lyrics and symbolism surrounding the album; something that words attempting to describe it can't quite capture - you just have to feel it out by listening to the track.

The works of Isis are highly based on themes. Oceanic tells a story, although in a vague way that is highly drenched in symbolism. Panopticon is based on the prison structure conceived by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and moreover, is a metaphor for the state of modern society. This is something they have been doing even prior to releasing their debut full length. In this release the theme is based around mosquitos, which is apparent in both the lyrics and artwork. The song titles all relate to this theme. The lyrics are intricately written, and although they are relevant to the main theme, it is hard to help but think that all this mosquito talk is meant to be a metaphor for a much broader issue than mosquito control. The lyrics are some of Turner's best, full of metaphors and poetic tendencies:

"Lies are falling, fall from wings, the walls are
seething, seething with disease. The drone is
deafening from the malcontent swarm, lies from
wings are falling, blood in rivers runs, lied
from wings fall hive destruction."

From beginning to end, Isis were a truly original force, forging their own unique sound instead of following blindly. Refusing to stick to the limitations of a preconceived metal sub genre, Isis have been staying true to themselves and doing what they feel like since the beginning. Mosquito Control, one of Isis's earliest works, is a prime example of this. This is brutal without a doubt, but never mindlessly so. There are atmospheric sections weaved into the mix, something that would be greatly expanded on in Isis's subsequent releases. This EP is a monolithic offering, engaging the listener in a truly dark and harrowing journey. Every musician shines, but never attempts to hog the spotlight; this release is a balance, full of intricate details which may at first appear hidden. Any attempts to show off would throw the whole thing off balance and the magic would quickly come crashing down. This is raw and inaccessible, and therefore isn't suitable to the masses or even the majority of metal fans. However, this will truly be spectacular to people who are into this type of thing.  


A Quick Word On The Blog's Title

If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky's name is a tribute to the debut album of Deadboy and The Elephantmen. More than this, it is a tribute to Dax Riggs. After leaving the highly influential and somewhat undefinable sludgy metal band Acid Bath, and fronting the bizarre bluesy swamp rock outfit Agents of Oblivion, Dax Riggs went on to create a masterpiece in a vein largely unrelated to his previous bands. Whether it be these aforementioned bands or his solo work, Dax has always been a man who does what he wants, regardless of style or popularity. Always an innovator and never a blind follower, if you haven't checked out his stuff you are missing out. The album from which this blog takes its name is truly a turning point in his career, being truly expansive original and certainly not the easiest to define. Acid Bath was insane and I can certainly get down with Agents of Oblivion. Instead of continuing in his old direction and possibly growing stagnant and redundant he has chosen to experiment with new styles, sounds and ideas. Naming the blog after an album that represents a turning point in a visionary artist's career. It also doesn't hurt that the album's name is pretty fucking cool.

Anyway, heres a song off the album in which the chorus bears the release's title:

If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky: An Introduction

If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky exposes the obscure, criminally underrated, strange and left-field and champions underground culture. Discussions of the mainstream may occasionally rear its head, but the underground stands firmly at the forefront. If This Is Hell explores new sounds, ideas and basically anything that sparks my interest or grinds my gears. Music is the backbone of this blog but anything is fair game. Posts can range from anything to a discussion on an obscure band soaked in warm psychedelia, a critique of the newest black metal band making waves in the underground, to a showcase on some little-known street artist. 

I first got my start writing music while submitting reviews to The Metal Archives in 2010, which I continue to do. These reviews can be found here. Suggestions are always welcome, as well as requests for anything you'd like me to review. If you are in a band or associated with any aspect of underground culture, feel free to ask for a review, article or an interview. You can reach me at