Mock the Mankind – Ruination

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What has become of man? What has mankind reside to? Should really mankind take so much pride in all of its ”achievements”? What about man’s self-destructive nature? These questions are really hard to be answered no doubt.

It is a really windy and cloudy Wednesday here in Athens. As for me, i’m just smoking a cigarette, drinking some coffee and preparing myself for another review. Hello, today we have some heavy stuff for you, this time from Athens, Greece. Mock the Mankind is a three piece, instrumental, psychedelic, doom metal band from Athens, Greece. The band was formed back in 2012. Today they finally released their debut, full length album. The guys were kind enough to invite me last Sunday to ”Ruination’s” listening session which took place at Piper Studios in Piraeus. I really had a great time and i also had the chance of listening to the album for the first time.

Seven tracks are included in this album. All of them are instrumental. To be perfectly honest with you i usually face some difficulties with instrumental bands. I mean, i always want vocals in my music. I feel though that ”Ruination” is a different case. The impression i got is that vocals here are not really necessary. The band has structured its songs in a way that absence of vocals is not a problem at all. Apart from vocals it should be mentioned that ”Ruination” is an album of great ambience. It is a bit atmospheric but make no mistake. It is heavy as fuck. Perhaps it would be unfair for the band to just call them a doom metal band. There’s a lot of stuff here to discover. Doom/ sludge metal blends ideally with psychedelic and post. It’s a bit strange though. Their songs have a post vibe but then again here what we have is not a post band. I want to call it Mock the Mankind style. It is great for a band to build its own identity. The impression i got is these guys have achieved that. ”Ruination” is a like good old whisky. You want to discover its flavour, its aromas. Listening to this album has been quite an experience for me. This may sound a bit of a cliche but you must listen to this album from top to bottom. Listen to this album and discover how creative diy bands can be. I’m not really sure if i want to single out any song. I liked all of them. Nevertheless if i had to pick one that would have to be ”Dirge of Absence”. Hands down this song is dope. It even gave me a toolish vibe. Perhaps most people would pick ”A Great Depression” for their favorite song but Dirge is my choice.

So the question is what can one expect from this album? The answer is many things. ”Ruination” is an album that’s been made by passionate people with love. That’s what i think. Personally every time i listen to it, it always gives me a bittersweet taste. Some despair perhaps but also a bit of hope in the end. The album sounds great and what’s so awesome about it is that it was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Studios. Take this great journey and enter the world of Mock the Mankind. Here are some links where you can also listen to ”Ruination”:

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Safari in the Micro-Zoo@Micropia, Amsterdam

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Hello people,
the previous weekend a good friend of mine who is crazy about museums & exhibitions visited Amsterdam (yes, the same guy that suggested to visit the Atomium in Brussels) and had the idea to visit Micropia, the world’s first Museum of Microbes! On Sunday, the weather was so good to stay at home, and we thought:”It’s warm, it’s hot, instead of going to the park with beers, let’s go watch some Microbes!”.


We entered Micropia, located inside Amsterdam Artis (the right building before Artis’ entrance). The visit started with a 30 seconds tour inside a slowly-ascending-to-the-first-floor elevator, while a voice inside the elevator was informing us about Micropia & its content (i didn’t get anything, i don’t know dutch).


After escaping the elevator’s voice, we just arrived in the museum’s first floor, which is the exhibition’s “serious” floor. One of the main subjects of the floor, is that particular group of tiny plants, the Algae, which live in the water, fresh or salty.

They are basically plants, they photosynthesize & produce oxygen, allowing them to produce oxygen that can be used by fishes in order to breath underwater. Some algae species can also swim, thus, algae is something between plant & animal, that consists of the favorite meal of some fishes & crustaceans (like shrimps & crabs for example). Damn, i captured them in a very nice pose through the microscope, check them out!

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These guys are actually doing something useful, providing oxygen & free meals for the fishes, nevertheless the human factor & the waste that is dropped at the sea has terrible impact to their increase of population & growth. Have you ever been to the beach where the water is green & it is prohibited to swim? Well, its due to these guys explosive growth.. When usually are eaten by the fishes, in water where their is way too much waste, the algae population is way too high, resulting in blinding the fishes that at some point are unable to see their prey (not all fishes it algae, usually the ones in the bottom of the pyramid) & die from starvation. The same happens to the fishes that belong in the upper level of the pyramid and so on….

Diatom
is a particular type of microalgae, that is one of the most important producers of oxygen in the planet.
Well, these guys have developed a way to protect theirselves from their enemies by building a glass indestructible ‘house’ around their cell that is made of silicon.


These fellows are coming in various flavors & look like this:20150927_155703

A neighborhood of diatoms

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Diatom macaron

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Diatom centipede

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Psychedelic diatom triangle of Doom

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Diatom Fiber

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Another macaron


Of course, fungi could not be absent from this lineup of peculiar micro-organisms. These guys carry spores that ensure reproduction that could be spread through the air using the wind to germinate elsewhere. The places that lots of fungi gather together and break loose in an unending party are called mushrooms!

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Bliaaaah!

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OK! Better!

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Reminds me of an almond tree, just its top level

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Another interesting place to live in is the lichen, host of companies of fungi & algae that are living together inside it, in a symbiotic relationship. Both organisms benefit from each other, the algae are protected between the cells of the fungus & the fungus eats the food that the algae produce. Bonus info: lichens grow very slow, in average one centimeter per year.

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The visit of Micropia’s first floor was completed after checking out a wall decorated with organisms inside small plates made of glass that can be found in ordinary household items, such as TV controls, cell phones, your kids’ dolls & toys, pins, toothbrush, the air that can be collected in a room inside the house etc.

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Plaque bacteria living happily in your toothbrush

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The Zoo

After our visit in the first floor, we spent some time in the first floor were we were informed about ordinary & catastrophic viruses that punish the human kind for ages…And basically, this is it about Micropia! I hope you enjoyed the sightseeing tour & the company of these little fellows that live everywhere, even inside us (1.5 kg of bacteria inside our digestive system ?!).

I totally recommend Micropia, a quite special kind of zoo to pay (14) a visit.


Link

Micropia’s page

Silence – Delirium ft Sarah McLachlan

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Each and every one of us holds one most dear sound into the heart and soul.

It is the kind of sound that not only travels the mind but also immobilizes all surrounding motions.

The original album version of Silence is my dearest.   It was love at first sight.

The song combines pop music with atmospheric electronica producing a magical effect of soothing and understanding ones soul.  If you will allow, the music can go deep into your mind exploring all aspects of it.  The experience can merely be described as a state of trance.  It is in fact a natural high.  Silence manages to transform all stormy memories and periods of ones life into calmness and security.

If you are one of those who have not yet listened to the original version of Silence I urge you to do so.  You have nothing to lose, only to gain.

Chris

Halshug – Blodets Bånd

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Today we have some great stuff for you, this time from Denmark. Halshug is a three piece band from Copenhagen, Denmark. Their music is a more than exciting blend of hardcore punk, crust and d-beat. It’s no big secret that here in Tzertzelos we love this shit. So the thing is, the band released back in February, through Southern Lord, this album called ”Blodets Bånd”. Please do forgive me but my danish is kinda rusty. Eight tracks are included in this album. These eight tracks form an album that could be described as a cataclysmic apocalypse. I mean listening to ”Blodets Bånd” that is how i felt. Nowadays i rarely have the pleasure of getting so enthusiased. From the first second what i felt was gigantic waves of raw punk energy coming out of my headphones. This is hardcore punk as it is supposed to be. It is combined with some great d-beat and crust as it has already been mentioned before. You’ll definitely find some influences like Doom and Anti-Cimex here but i think that the band has taken this to a whole different level. I mean i t may sound old school, but yet it sounds totally fresh and inspired of course. This album gave me even a rock n’ roll vibe if you will. Their vocals are great and they sound as i would like them to be. Of course the production is perfect. I mean this album sounds great. Perhaps more than great. I’m a bit lost for words here. Long story short, this is a great album and i don’t have to say anything negative about it whatsoever. It is perhaps one of the best albums i’ve listened to in months and i urge all of you to check it out. Here are some links where you can listen to ”Blodets Bånd”:

Heretoir – s/t

Hello people, it’s been a while since i wrote a review in Tzertzelos blog. Yesterday while having a sunday afternoon coffee, i came across this splendid post black metal band from Germany, Heretoir! I really couldn’t resist to write a review for this work!


This is a review about Heretoir’s self-titled debut album, released during the February of 2011. Heretoir have released after this album, two additional ones in 2012 & 2014 respectively, and they also participate in a split with Thränenkind, another post black metal band from Germany.


Now, let’s leave aside the introductions and proceed with the content! 

One of the first things i’ve noticed is the smooth transitions between slow post rock themes to vengeful black metal in a very natural way, it is impressive how they do it! The vocal style change between Liturgy-like screams to psalms, then whispering, then clean, then pure black metal, showing the band’s skills of expresiveness.
In addition, the bass is not hidden (that is the case typically for black metal) in comparison with the other instruments, accompanying the drums gracefully to provide the rhythm. They also use acoustic guitars frequently along with piano in moments, which effectively enhance the guitars & give emphasis to the melody/main riff. For instance check out “Retreat to Hibernate”, that is an impressive post rock song. Heretoir are not afraid at all to be more post than black metal, and they are doing it magnificently!


One of my favorite tracks are “Fatigue” that shows a variety of different themes that
gradually develop and get combined, forming that magnificent tune, that engulfs the listener to that fantastic experience. Then “Weltschmerz” follows, a cruel, persistent and furious black metal attack that is, along with “Herretoir”, the last track of the album. A very nice post rock finale for this great album.


About the concept behind this release, according to their Bandcamp page “Heretoir’s selftitled debut-album “Heretoir” deals with the topic of loss: A protagonist loses a beloved person and goes through different emotional and psychological phases in order to cope with it. Accordingly, the lyrics reflect the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist and give an insight into the fine line between sorrow, hate and hope”.


The cover art was designed by Fursy Teyssier (Les Discrets, Amesoeurs) and the album artwork was designed by Metastazis, known for his works with bands such as Alcest, Anathema, Antaeus, Enthroned, Forgotten Woods, Gorgoroth, Taake, Immolation, Secrets of the Moon etc. The artwork totally fits with the album’s theme and music, which smoothly & effectively take over the listeners senses until the end of the album. Very nice work, reflecting a vision that once listened, it will challenge the listener to press the “repeat” in order to explore additional aspects of it that won’t be so obvious during the first try. 

In the end, it is an adventurous POST & BLACK METAL work, check it out for sure!!!
Definitely a must for friends of Wolves in the Throne Room, Thränenkind, Agrypnie and fans of post-rock, post/depressive black metal.
Hope you enjoy & cheers!

Heretoir links:
Bandcamp
Facebook
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Birds In Row – You, Me & The Violence

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While we’ re waiting for the new Birds in Row album i thought it would be a good idea to say some words about the band and their previous release. Birds in Row is a three piece hardcore band from France. The band was formed back in 2009. ”You, Me & The Violence” was released back in 2012 and it was their debut, full length album. Twelve tracks are included in this release. This album was released through Deathwish Inc. I have never come across a bad Deathwish release. And surely this album is no exception. This is a diversified album if you will. One must delve into it and discover a lot things. One must discover its chaotic nature. Yes, perhaps it would be safe to classify this band as chaotic hardcore. You can also find many great melodies here. But make no mistake. This album is heavy as fuck. Apart from its heaviness it’s also really dark. Some songs indicate how innovative some bands like Birds in Row can be. Take ”The Illusionist” for example. You’ ll love its black metal riffage. Personally i did. Their lyrics are a bit dark and pessimistic. They leave you with nothing but despair. In my attempt to give you some more hints about their music i would definitely have to use the word ”esoteric”. Overall this is a really good album and i do not have to say anything negative whatsoever. I think hardcore and metal fans are going to like this one. Here are some links where you can also listen to ”You, me & the Violence”:

A dadaistic approach to music

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It’s been a while since our last review. Today i thought we should do something different, more experimental if you like. I have heard of this band/ project before but i have never devoted any time to listen to their stuff. So until recently i was totally unfamiliar with their sound. Luckily for me, a good friend of Tzertzelos sent me a link with this album. I decided to check it out. I saw that Justin Broadrick was involved in this. I am big fan of Godflesh, Jesu, JK Flesh e.t.c. so i had to listen to this album.

Curse of the Golden Vampire was a collaboration between Alec Empire, Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick of course. Back in 2003 they released ”Mass Destruction” Lp through Ipecac records. Fifteen tracks are included in this release. In my opinion it is not your typical kind of an album. This album sounds to me like an experiment. Something that students of a music college would do just to see how far they could get. Or how many more soundscapes they could come across. The impression i got is that these guys decided to put something together and they said ”you know what? We’ re going to go really hard on this one.” So no holds barred. Listening to this album you quickly come to realize that artistic expression should know no real limits.

What you have in this record is an exciting blend of industrial, noise, hard techno, grindcore, hardcore, e.t.c. Sounds chaotic, doesn’t it? And perhaps it is. But sometimes through chaos comes order. I mean if you listen carefully it really makes sense.You are going to come across some Merzbow influences here. In a certain point of view this is what makes this album so special and experimental if you will. I mean this album does not abide to any strict rules. You’ ll find of course a lot of late Godflesh here. Drum n’ bass fans also are not going to be dissapointed.

Personally i loved this album. I loved its experimental and extremely heavy atmosphere. I think my favorite track would have to be ”Parasite”. It’s as if Napalm Death, Merzbow, Godflesh and Bizzy B decided to jam and put something together. Something like this would come out. I’m certain of it. In my attempt to reach a conclusion i would have to say that this is a really good and intriguing album. It is definitely recommended for hardcore fans, black metal fans, grindcore fans, e.t.c Check out this link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo2fFFrMhL4)