Saturday, 14 March 2015

LK Ultra's Top Albums for 03/14/15

Top 25 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Queen Crescent - Self-Titled
  2. Lord of Doubts - Into the Occult
  3. Crowned in Earth - Metempsychosis
  4. Kabbalah - Primitve Stone EP
  5. Pombagira - Flesh Throne Press***
  6. Alucarda - Raw Howls
  7. Misty Grey - Grey Mist
  8. John Carpenter - Lost Themes*
  9. Evil Spirit - Caulron Messiah
  10. Bretus - The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  11. Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere***
  12. Shepherd - Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
  13. The Atomic Bitchwax - Gravitron***
  14. Doomraiser - Reverse
  15. Black Rainbows - Hawkdope
  16. Saturnalia Temple - To The Other
  17. Hands of Orlac - Figli Del Crepuscolo or link #2
  18. Taken By the Sun - Self-Titled
  19. Strange Broue - Various EP's
  20. Zoltan - Tombs of the Blind Dead EP*
  21. Patrick Bruss - The Gorgon's Gallery
  22. Lord Loud - IN EP
  23. Stoned Jesus - The Harvest
  24. Soundcrawler - The Dead-End Host
  25. Wooden Stake - A Feast of Virgin Souls
*Album available on itunes
** Streaming only
*** Pre-order only
† Available on cassette only
 Available on vinyl and cassette only
† Available on vinyl only
No release available yet

ALBUM Spotlight on:
HANDS OF ORLAC – ‘Figli Del Crepuscolo’
Danish specialty label and distributor Horror Records unleashed a pair of gems on bandcamp late last year. I reviewed the first of those, 'Cauldron Messiah' by Evil Spirit back in February at this location (the album's still going strong at the #9 position on this week's list above). The second of those is the subject of this week's album spotlight.

This Italian doom quintet started out in 2009. The band's mission statement was pretty simple: make 70's sounding music with Black Sabbath style riffs and a strong emphasis on horror themes. It's safe to say the band has lived up to its goals. Keep in mind that, aside from a few bands and artists, The Devil's Blood, Jex Thoth and Blood Ceremony among the most notable, the metal world wasn't exactly ablaze with black candles shining for this kind of sound back in 2009. Since that time there's been an explosion of what is labelled "female-fronted occult rock". And while the music world is richer for its blossoming, it's obvious that Hands of Orlac have pushed their own boundaries to stay relevant and distance themselves from the crowd.

An older pic of the band, from my good friend Dr. Doom's
lamentably dormant website, Dr. Doom's Lair. [Source]
The most apparent result of this is that the band's second album is significantly darker than its self-titled 2011-released predecessor. In fact, the distancing has nearly rendered the band unrecognizable. While once, one might have been forgiven for mistaking the band for one of the handful of others of the style they helped to grow, the band has found a stronger identity by embracing a deeper shade of doom. Vocalist The Sorceress has mostly holstered the flute which characterized the debut. The psychedelic retro Rock overtones have died and risen from the grave dressed in Metal. And the band is better looking for it.

Let it be said for those who haven't heard it, but the 'Hands of Orlac' album is a true standout within its style, a fore-runner to terrific albums by Occultation, Shinin' Shade, Mount Salem, Doublestone and Mountain Witch. In terms of mood and feel, 'Figli del Crepuscolo' blows it out of the water. The freshman album was a warm-up, a sweet, bright introduction to the band, the latest is a master's thesis in darkness. The fact that the album title translates into English as 'Children of Twilight' suggests that the band is ever darkening and that absolute night still lies ahead. There are two links at the #17 spot on this list for you to check the album out, although I don't think the whole album is streaming anywhere, if it is I haven't found it yet.

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