Kaze’s favorite album list for year 2016

Dear readers,
the current article type is one of my favorite; an article that I am working on during the whole year. Every time I am preparing to listen to a new release, I am thinking ‘Let’s see, if this is quite addictive & exceptional!’. If I listen to the album N times in a row (where N >= 30), then it is a potential candidate for my favorite album list! Of course only a few albums are able to make their way in that list. The following albums were released during 2016 except laCasta’s Encyclia which was released in December 2015, and I listened to it for the first time in January 2016. For each album, I provide some information such as a link to a review if there is one, and a link to the bandcamp page of the release, allowing you to easily access the material and check it out for yourself. My favorites for 2016 include 16 releases where only the last 3 are ranked. For me, a favorite album means a 10/10 album and the first 13 albums fall in this category; all of them are quite addictive & extraordinary. But the last 3, they really talked to my soul, that is why I would like to differentiate them from the rest. I hope you enjoy!

16. The Black Furs (Argentina)- Doomed Blues

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Death blues, garage, rock’n’roll

Listen to The Black Furs in Bandcamp


15. Atomikylä (Finland)

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Psychedelic, black metal

Listen to Atomikylä in Bandcamp


14. laCasta (Italy) – Encyclia EP

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Blackened hardcore

Album Review

Listen to laCasta in Bandcamp


13. Baestien (Czech Republic) – Uroboros

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Neocrust

Listen to Baestien in Bandcamp


12. Ancst (Germany) – Moloch

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Blackened crust

Album Review

Listen to Ancst in Bandcamp


11. Eave/Galarre (US) – Split

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Blackgaze, depressive black metal

Listen to Eave/Galarre split in Bandcamp


10. Suuns (Canada) – Hold/Still

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Indie, post-punk

Listen to Suuns in Bandcamp


09. Hemelbestormer (Belgium) – Aether

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Doom, sludge

Listen to Hemelbestormer in Bandcamp


08. Oranssi Pazuzu (Finland) – Värähtelijä

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Psychedelic black metal

Album Review

Listen to Oranssi Pazuzu in Bandcamp


07. Sarabante (Greece) – Poisonous Legacy

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Crust, d-beat

Album Review

Listen to Sarabante in Bandcamp


06. ΚΑΤΑΧΝΙΑ (Greece) – Στη Σκιά Μιας Λαιμητόμου

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Crust punk

Listen to Καταχνιά in bandcamp


05. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas (Sweden & US)- Mariner

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Post-metal

Album Review

Listen to Mariner in Bandcamp


04. Russian Circles (US) – Guidance

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Instrumental post-metal

Listen to Russian Circles in Bandcamp


03. Teksti-TV 666 (Finland) – 1,2,3

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Garage, rock’n’roll

Listen to Teksti-TV 666 in Bandcamp


02. Martyrdöd (Sweden) – List

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Metal, crust, d-beat

Album Review

Listen to Martyrdöd in Bandcamp


01. Morrow (UK) – Covenant Of Teeth

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Neocrust

Album Review

Listen to Morrow in Bandcamp

The art of H.R Giger

You’ve probably seen many of his works but didn’t know that he’s responsible for them. You probably know him as the creator of Alien or the man responsible for the cover art of Celtic Frost’s ‘To Mega Therion’ Lp. He’s the one and only H.R Giger.

H.R. Giger is recognized as one of the world’s foremost artists of Fantastic Realism. Born in 1940 to a chemist’s family in Chur, Switzerland, he moved in 1962 to Zurich, where he studied architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts. By 1964 he was producing his first artworks, mostly ink drawings and oil paintings, resulting in his first solo exhibition in 1966, followed by the publication and world-wide distribution of his first poster edition in 1969. Shortly after, he discovered the airbrush and, along with it, his own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation of many of his most well known works, the surrealistic Biomechanical dreamscapes, which formed the cornerstone of his fame. To date, more than 20 books have been published about Giger’s art.

Giger’s most famous book, Necronomicon, published in 1977, served as the visual inspiration for director Ridley Scott’s film Alien, Giger’s first high-profile film assignment, which earned him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his designs of the film’s title character, including all the stages of its lifecycle, plus the film’s extraterrestrial environments. Giger’s other well-known film work includes his designs for Poltergeist II, Alien3 and Species, as well as the legendary unmade film, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune.

On 12 May 2014, Giger died in a hospital in Zürich after having suffered injuries in a fall.

Music

H.R. Giger is known for working with many rock and metal artists. Find below some work of his. Here are perhaps some of the best album covers he has created:

Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (inside cover – 1973)

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Emerson Lake and Palmer at Giger’s Studio in Zurich, 1973 – Foto: Bruno Torricelli

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Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion

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Carcass – Heartwork

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Danzig – III How the Gods Kill

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Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

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Atrocity – Hallucinations

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He has also designed Korn’s mic stand. Who knew that Jonathan Davis was a great admirer of his work?

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H.R Giger became known to me through his work in cinema and his exquisite album covers. But the truth is he’s one versatile artist. Apart from a painter and a film director he was also a sculptor and a set designer.

Furniture

Or even a furniture designer:

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H.R.Giger is regarded to be a highly influential artist. I think the world of horror and science fiction owes him a lot. You can admire his work at the H.R Giger museum. On June 20, 1998, the Museum H.R Giger opened its doors in the medieval Château St. Germain in the 400 year old historic, walled city of Gruyères, Switzerland. As the permanent home to many of Giger’s key , the museum houses the largest and most impressive collection of the artist’s paintings and sculptures, furniture and film designs, dating from the early 1960’s till the present day.

Giger Bars

Would you drink your beer here? Damn these bars are creepy.

Chur, Switzerland

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Gruyeres, Switzerland

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Cinema

Giger created some of the most terrifying, dark & enigmatic creatures for the big screen. His ability of visualizing, expressing & realizing the designs of all these terrors was exceptional & heavily influential. Their nature was the result of a violent but harmonic blend of humanoid & machine, and Giger brought them to life for a one & sole reason; to haunt our dreams & redefine new meanings for the words “futility“, “obscurity” & “malevolence“. Let’s check some of his most well-known “pets” along the movies in which they appeared in chronological order.

Alien (1979)

You knew that, didn’t you? Yes, H.R. Giger is officially the biological dad of Alien, the extraterrestrial creature that appears in the “Alien” franchise. The design of the Alien was based on Giger’s 1976’s lithography Necronom IV painting.

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They see me posin’, they hatin’

Giger initially designed our 2-mouthed fellow in his adult & egg & chest-burster forms, but ultimately designed the alien planetoid LV-426 and the Space Jockey alien vessel.

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Ostrich egg, right?

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Good morning everyone!

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Not so excited about meeting the inhabitants of LV-426, what about you?

 

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I am sure that the crew of that particular spaceship will welcome us on board!

Due to his Alien design and Carlo Rambaldi’s mechanical implementation of the Alien head that was assembled from 900 moving parts, both of them won 1980’s Academy Award for Visual Effects.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Giger designed the “Great Beast” form of Henry Kane, the main antagonist of the series, who after his death, he transformed in the monstrocity known as the “Great Beast“, hungry for more souls to possess. Giger worked remotely for that project due to his unwillingness to leave Zurich at that time & Cornelius De Fries was hired to represent Giger at the studio during production. The artist was disappointed from the final result, commenting that his lack of presence was the reason for the disappointing results regarding the design.

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Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (1988)

The film is a tokusatsu historical dark fantasy/science fiction epic film directed by Akio Jissoji, produced by “Exe” studios and distributed by Toho Studios. Giger’s input was the design of gohō dōji, guardian spirits from Buddhist folklore

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Will you need a hand, master?

Species (1995)

Another science fiction horror thriller film, directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Dennis Feldman. In the film, a team of scientists managed to merge extraterrestrial DNA with human DNA forming Sil, an organism that resembles a human female except that she had tones of supernatural abilities. Sil’s body is able to develop quite fast (12 years old in 3 months), her body possesses regenerative abilities, she has supernatural strength & exceptionally intelligent. Quite a badass in my opinion. The combination of these superpowers really made the task of tracking & eliminating Sil quite difficult. Giger is responsible for the beauty’s design. He worked remotely in order to take care of his dying mother from Switzerland & communicating his sketches & airbrush paintings through fax. After seeing some final design & movie plot similarities with Alien was unhappy with the final result.

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 What a creature, such erotic elegance and powerful lethality

 

Trivia

  • Giger worked in the designs for the adaptation of the Frank Herbert Dune (1965) novel, but later the Dune movie was produced in an adaptation of David Lynch instead.
  • During the production of Batman Forever, Giger provided his version of the batmobile but it was rejected due to his malevolent & obscure style.

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Giger’s version of Batmobile, or should i say Satanmobile 666?

  • In Prometheus, H.R Giger was credited for the original designs of “The Derelict” & “Space Jockey” spaceships & the “Temple”.

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Let’s leave this place…Now….

Links:

Between Worlds

One of this year’s summer vacation destination was Crete, where i visited Irakleio & Ierapetra. In order to imbue this trip with a more adventurous & colorful essence, i equipped myself with my three cameras, a Panasonic Lumix FT-30 for underwater photography, my typical Sony DSC RX-100 & the recently acquired beast, Canon 7D Mark II. A Canon 50mm f1.8 STM lens was accompanying my 7D Mark II. I got the Lumix just before summer, after realizing that underwater photography could be potentially a new challenge. I’ve never captured something underwater & after checking amazon etc for acquiring an underwater case for 7D Mark II, i realized that the case was more expensive than the camera itself (?!?!). So, i thought “Yes, let’s give it a try!”. And as you will see for yourself, from the photos that follow, yes, underwater photography is a completely different experience! That is due to the rich underwater landscapes,  life & of course the mysterious games of the photons that occur under the surface of the sea.  It is obvious that some images had some features adjusted in order to be the way they are depicted. For the post-processing step, i used Adobe’s Lightroom.

I. Underwater Compact Digital Camera: Lumix FT-30

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Is this on Earth?

 

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A school of fish

 

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German fish

 

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Tonguefish

 

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Camouflaged ninja fish

 

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The Bridge

 

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Waves

 

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Starfish

 

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Has potential to be Isis (the band)’s new album cover (if they ever re-unite)

 

 

II. Compact Digital Camera: Sony DSC RX-100

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Has potential to be Darkthrone’s new album cover

 

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A huge palm tree in Irakleio, in the square near Astoria

 

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The Travelling Lady

 

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Full moon in Ierapetra

 

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The Sea King rises

 

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Ceder tree

 

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How many black metal logos can fit in one image?

 

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Shells

 

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A building in Irakleio

 

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III. DSLR: Canon 7D Mark II & Canon 50mm f1.8 STM

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Shells

 

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The Sunset

 

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Freeze!

 

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Stability & open aperture for more than 1 second

 

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They look like they are dancing, aren’t they?

 

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The Mist

 

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WC

 

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The ferry is way far

 

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Rocks made of fossils & shells

 

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You don’t need more when you are there

 

 

Links

Full albums in Kazeone’s Flickr

 

Music

Isis – Oceanic

Morrow – Covenant of Teeth

Ufomammut – Oro

 

 

Save Chrissi

 

Last week we visited Chrissi Island near Creta, Greece. Chrissi Island (also called Gaidouronisi, literally meaning Donkey Island) is located 7.5 nautical miles from Ierapetra in Creta, and you can easily go there in the period May-September from Ierapetra port by getting a ferry. Chrissi Island is an island covered with white sand & wild ceder trees, creating a majestic landscape, a perfect place for escaping from the city life. Some of the ceders are more than 300 years old!

 

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In the island, the default beach that all tourist guides recommend is the Pelegrina (Chrissi Beach). Near Pelegrina, the Kataprosopo beach resides. Tou Vouyou To Mati beach is located just near the tavern at the port where the ferries are stopping.
The trip with the ferries is around 45 minutes and costs 25 € (?!!) for the roundtrip…and this is from where the profiteering and the full exploitation of the island’s wild beauty starts. After visiting the island, i was informed that with us, 2000 – 3000 people entered the island in one day & this happens everyday during the summer season!!

 

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I also forgot to mention that Gaidouronisi comes under Natura 2000, thus it is a special protection area & and an archaelogical area. How exactly this area is protected from the human factor? Who protects the island and the agelong ceder trees?

Who allows the entrepreneurs that dictate the island from doing whatever they want? Where is the Municipality of Ierapetra & what are its responsibilities & commitment towards protecting & preserving the island’s wild life?

 

The beach bar in Pelegrina beach has literally plagued the whole beach with sunbeds, 4 rows of sunbeds that cover the whole beach from the start til the end. And the price? 15 € per sunbed (?!?!?!?!)

 

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When i was a kid & visiting the island, i remember that Pelegrina was covered with tiny shells instead of sand, you could literally swim inside a mountain of shells. But through the years, the only remaining shells are located in the rightmost corner of the beach. All the others have been picked up by visitors of the island, that thought “Hey! I’ll fill this plastic bottle with these shells for my house! What a great idea!”. Well, by deduction, the majority of shells have been vanished and the Pelegrina beach is full of sunbeds, plastic coffee containers, beer bottles & cigarette ends…

 

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The exploitation of the island must stop now, those who exploit & along their actions need to be monitored by the Municipality of Ierapetra, which must be more active & present for the islands’ sake & rescue from the teeth of the unlimited profiteering.

 

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Spanish crust scene essentials

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Some time ago, we discussed in the crew the idea of collecting the best of all spanish crust artists in one article.  That scene was quite an interesting one as you will figure it out yourself, with a plethora of different styles around. From neocrust, to crust’n’roll &
grindcore, an underground scene full of content quality & originality. Plus, it was a quite important musical influence to my further musical preferences; after listening to these guys, you could easily go for the heavier stuff like Fall of Efrafa (more atmospheric & post) & Wolfbrigade (more raw crust).

Well, i present you my favorite spanish crust artists, along with my favorite albums from their discographies. As you will notice, some of the artists are DIY, thus, material accessibility is quite limited.

Well, here it is! Take your time & dive into it! All videos of the article are available through this Youtube playlist.

I. Ictus
City: Galicia
Genre: neocrust

Check:
1. Hambrientos de un sol distinto
2. Imperivm

II. Hongo
City: A Coruña
Genre: neocrust

Bandcamp Facebook

Check:
1. Split with Aguirre
2. Formas de Vida que se Precipitan hacia su Destrucción

III. Black Panda
City: A Coruña
Genre: crust ‘n’ roll, hxc punk

Bandcamp Facebook

Check:
1. Tanque De 98 Octanos

IV. Ekkaia
City: A Coruña
Genre: neocrust

Check:
1. Demasiado tarde para pedir perdón
2. Sombras Del Progreso

V. Down to Agony
Genre: neocrust

Official
Facebook

Check:
1. No Vida

VI. Madame Germen
City: A Coruña
Genre: crustcore, grindcore

Check:
1. Invocacion a Morte