Album Review

Top 15 Metal Records Of 2015

I’ve reviewed a decent amount of metal records, I’ve made four Black (Metal) Mixmas mixes, and last year’s non-genre list had a few metal records in it, but I’ve never done a full metal-only list (except for the little thing in Black (Metal) Mixmas IV), so I hope this doesn’t seem too out of place, but honestly I listen to wayyyyy more metal than I ever write about on AGB, so this sort of makes up for that I guess. I’m not as deep into the metal scene as I am the drone one, so I’m sure there’s way more awesome obscure metal records that would’ve made it onto this list had I heard them, but whatever. If you’ve got any recs, let me know in the comments or email!

And in case you’re not a huge metal fan, know that there’s plenty of stuff on this list that A: is only debatably metal (see: numbers 15, 13, 12, 1) and B: has plenty of AGB friendly elements aka drone, noise, etc (see: numbers 9, 6, 5, 4, 1).

Have fun. Thanks for reading/listening/appreciating.


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Album Review

Mamaleek – He Never Said A Mumblin’ Word (Flenser, 2014)

mamaleek - he never said a mumblin word album cover
MamaleekAlmost Done Toiling Here (Flenser)

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This is Mamaleek’s fourth record. The first self released self titled album was absolutely insane experimental shoegazey black metal, then Fever Dream added some jazzy shit to the mix, then Kurdaitcha went Middle Eastern, but they always managed to fuck you up in different ways while still sounding like the same band. This new LP mixes everything they’ve done in the past and spits out a brilliantly unique and otherworldly black metal that should suite all fans of the fucked & twisted, sitting well with now label-mates Wreck & Reference and Botanist, sharing Botanist’s borderline poppy melodies that’ll get stuck in your head while the roaring gritty ferocity of W&R beats your bones to a pulp, along with mesmerizing mournful foreign sampled singing, blown out beat machines, obliterated vocals, and beastly buzzing guitars that favor distortion over tremolo, this is raw as hell and fuckin EPIC, lo-fi not in the shitty production way but like this was buried & baked in a desert for a hundred years and only just now unearthed, these guys are fuckin demons, thrashing in a new style of black metal that nobody else is doing or even can do, the best kind of blackness that you instantly fall in love with and makes you rethink all the other run of the mill shit you’ve been digging lately, this is what everyone else should hold as their standard, the fucking pinnacle of wretched heaviness.

CONTEST: Mamaleek Vinyl Giveaway

image via EL blog

MamaleekWake Up, Jacob

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HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY. Kind psyched about that. Always thought about doing it but never had something good enough to give away. So when I accidentally pre-ordered two copies of Mamaleek’s Kurdaitcha, I figured if I was dumb enough to not notice I paid for two, then I wouldn’t miss the money that much. So I said “Fuck the refund, give it away to your awesome readers.” You benefit from my stupidity.

Here’s what’s at stake: One copy of Mamaleek’s brand new, just released by Enemies List, hot off the vinyl presses Kurdaitcha. It’s got some sweet ass gold foil stamping on the front for their logo, it has a full color insert, and the record itself weighs about 10 pounds. Fucking heavyWEIGHT. There were only 150 of these motherfuckers made. Super deluxe stuff coming from Enemies List. And the music on here is fucking INCREDIBLE. I already reviewed it (as well as Mamaleek’s self titled debut), so if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know this shit is for real. Crazy fucking black metal with worldly twisted sounds running through, made by 2 mysterious San Franciscans. It’s beautiful & destructive and totally fucking awesome.

So, how do you go about winning one of these glorious records? Pretty simple. I’m a fan of the haiku, so I want you to write one about Enemies List. I figured not everyone knows about the amazing Mamaleek yet, so it might be hard to write a Mamaleek haiku. But Enemies List is literally THEE greatest record label right now (well, maybe tied with Important) and everyone should fucking worship them. So write an ode to EL in haiku form and email it to me by next Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 (EST) at justin [at] antigravitybunny [dot] com with the subject “Mamaleek Contest.” I’ll pick my favorite and share it with you dear readers (and maybe some runners up if they’re good enough).

Think you can handle that? I know, the awesomeness is overwhelming. If you need a tip, chill out, grab a pot of coffee, and let the caffeine write the haiku for you. And if you don’t win, fear not, I’ll still think you’re cool, and there’s still a few Kurdaitcha copies left that you should buy.

Album Review

Mamaleek – Kurdaitcha (Enemies List, 2011)

MamaleekWake Up, Jacob

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I legitimately & understandably freaked out over Mamaleek’s self titled debut CD almost 3 years ago. It was brilliant & twisted black metal. For various reasons, I missed out on the second album, which I forever regret, but I’m not letting that happen for Kurdaitcha, their third slab of bestiality. The best part about this is that the inimitable Enemies List is giving it the ROYAL treatment, with a digital pay-what-you-want version that’s out right now (FUCKING DOWNLOAD IT) and a super deluxe vinyl, super thick, full color art with foil imprint and insert. Only $20, only 150 copies, hurry the fuck up.

Mamaleek is made up of two brothers making a terrible & raucous purge from San Francisco. Their black metal is totally original, unlike any other band out there right now. There’s throngs of weirdo fucked up black metal and Mamaleek might be considered part of that, but they do it without being gimmicky, keeping it 100% pure & accessible. Now I’m going to say, “Black metal with strong Middle Eastern elements and world-music instruments” and you’re going to say “WTF fuck that I don’t want that shit in my black metal” and I say “Trust in me, trust in Enemies List, sit down, take 40 minutes out of your life, and have your mind totally fucking blown by Mamaleek’s soon to be patented brutality.”

Kurdaitcha is fucking INSANE. There is so much going on, so many different styles pumping through it. I get a strong video game vibe from “Wake Up, Jacob,” specifically the Birdo fights in SMB2, with that guitar and its tweaking intensity, timing the jumps just right so you land on that goddamn egg. Then there’s fucking Steve Reich piano as the twinkling foundation while drums stutter and religious figures sing Latin hymns, and that’s interspersed between warped buzzing chords and hidden blown out vocals. There’s mostly drum-less black noise tracks caked with industrial static, shrieking feedback, rusted screams, and silent haunted wind, there’s a mournful ballad with plodding drums & cinematic synths, there’s even a sludge pop piece that sounds like they wanna be best buds with Torche.

However they make it, with whatever the fuck they want to throw in there, it’s blistering, engulfing, monolithic, and fucking kvlt as hell. Mamaleek are making their own black metal, copying no one, shocking anyone who gives them a chance. Kurdaitcha is unreal, exceeding my stupidly high expectations for a new Mamaleek record. It’s a destroyer of things, speakers, headphones, faces, minds, and it’s one of the best black metal records I’ve had the honor of listening to.