About Court In The Act.

No albums are hosted here. All files must be deleted 24 hours after download, as they are for review and criticism purposes only - provided you follow this guideline, downloading from Court In The Act is legal as per s30(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. If any copyright holder has a problem with their material being posted here, get in touch and I will remove it. Let me know if any links are broken, I'll remove the post to prevent future annoyance, and will attempt to re-upload the file.

Comments make our work worthwhile. If you really enjoyed an album, tell us about it, we'd love to hear from you. If you hated it, tell us why.

Although music is a major part of all of our lives, we all have some form of external life. If there are periods in which no posts are added, I'm sorry, but that's how things happen. Even though I love blogging like this, sometimes I can't muster up the desire within myself to write about yet another album.

I'd like to say too that Court In The Act will never be run for personal profit. This means no advertisement, no premium schemes, and no LinkBucks. Megaupload is used because it strikes a fair balance between ease of upload and ease of download.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Nocturnus - The Key [1991]

Heaven forbid I stray from the CITA norm for too long - this is one of the few technical death metal albums I really like, possibly due to the fact that it's more than simply shredding upon shredding upon other forms of fretboard wankery.

Similar artists: Demilich, Atheist, Death

192 kbps

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Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Piano Concerto #24 [1786]

I didn't mention in my last post, aside from in the labels, that Mozart (the child prodigy, not his less successful father or sister) was a major player (obviously) in the classical era of what is now known as classical music (before that, it was essentially just 'music' in the western world).

320 kbps

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Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Piano Concerto #23 [1786]

Despite enjoying classical music a fair bit, I'm not at all knowledgeable about it. I have lost the name of the performer, and indeed date of performance, for this one, but it's a flawless rendition as far as I can tell.

320 kbps

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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wold - Working Together For Our Privacy [2010]

Wold are often underappreciated, and this is a good album - though I haven't listened to it in a while, I recall it being a mix of black metal, noise and ritual ambient. Their black metal element has slowly dimished over the years, and this is therefore not advised for fans of recent Immortal.

Similar artists: Gnaw Their Tongues, TenHornedBeast, Burning Witch

~240 kbps VBR

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Exumer - Possessed by Fire [1986]

Unfairly forgotten by many in the wake of Germany's three (Kreator, Sodom and Destruction... of course), Exumer should definitely be the fourth. They might have made it if they had managed more than two albums I suppose, but still, I prefer them to Destruction and they certainly should not be overlooked. Possessed by Fire is the thrash metal assault we've come to expect from the German scene with chugging riffs, blazing solos shouted vocals with an overall more extreme sound than their American cousins. Have fun and remember; mosh safely.

mp3 @ 320 kbps

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(By the way there's a minor error, the song 'Xiron Darkstar' has 'Darkstar' spelt with two words, which isn't correct in terms of the tracklist. I know it's nothing huge but errors like that really bug me so I thought I'd let you all know.)

Opeth - Still Life [1999]

Opeth are a band who certainly know how to divide a fanbase. There are people such as myself, who listen to it because they like the progressive nature. Then there are people such as Joe, who listen to it because they enjoy the death metal nature. I for one love the band, and here's my favourite album of theirs.

A perfect mix of the aforementioned progressive and death elements, "Still Life" tells the story of a man living in medieval times who loses faith, and subsequently is outcast by his village. From the hard-hitting opener "The Moor" to the melodic closer "White Cluster", this album is all that could be expected of the music made between "My Arms, Your Hearse" and "Blackwater Park".

M4a, ~320 kbps (VBR)

REVIEW: Decrepitaph - Profane Doctrines Unburied [2011]

N.B. This is a guest post from HeySharpshooter.

Sometimes, doing it right is better than doing it different or flashy. Death metal as a genre is going through several changes, with a major focus on bands doing everything they can not to sound like Death, Morbid Angel or Cannibal Corpse. They have embraced tri-tones, dissonance, bebop jazz and lyrics about Jungian psychology over buzz saw riffs, thrash beats and demons from hell mutilating and raping women. Not that there is anything wrong with trying to be different or technical: in fact, it’s a movement that has done nothing but help make death metal more mature and improve the academic arguments for the genre to be taken seriously as an artform.

But in the end, long time death metal fans crave good old skull bashing evil, and Decrepitaph’s new album, Profane Doctrines Unburied, provides just that. Decrepitaph have been churning out old-school, Autopsy-meets-Morbid Angel death/doom since 2006 at a record pace, with three full length albums, two EP’s and multiple splits already under their belt. The brutal 2-piece have drawn massive praise from the death metal community for their old school sound and attitude.

Profane Doctrines Unburied is the bands finest album to date. Loaded with tons of doom-y, brutal riffs, bowel rumbling bass and punching drums, it’s an album that could have come out fifteen years ago and not felt out of place. Songs like “Convulse in Eternal Agony", “A Suffocating Evil”, and “Horror Prevails” exemplify this old school brutality to a T. Everything about this record is old-school: the cover-art, the lyrics, the song titles. It feels like going back in a time machine to 1989, and that’s what makes this album feel so special. Don’t mistake this album, or this band for that matter, as merely old-school worship: Decrepitaph have add a level of energy and professionalism to their sound to separate them from the dozen’s of copy-cat death metal bands that dominate the barrel-bottom of the scene.

For death metal fans, Profane Doctrines Unburied is a mix of freshness and comfort that is likely to dominate their listening cycle. Many death metal fans have embraced the avant-garde, technical and genre-mashing of today as the necessary steps toward the evolution of the sound, as well as the steps needed for the genre to be taken seriously. But they will always offer up a virgin sacrifice to Satan for a band like Decrepitaph and an album like this.

Grade: 9/10



Download here

Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion [2010]


And here's my other favourite Jeff Beck album. As great as his '70s releases were, many of them don't offer much that "Wired" doesn't.

Beck's most recent studio release is this, the astonishing "Emotion & Commotion". In what was an interesting step away from his usual works, "E&C" contains a wide variety of styles. This includes (but is not limited to) the hard-rock track "Hammerhead", the cover of well-known soul song "I Put A Spell on You" and the orchestral album-closer "Elegy for Dunkirk". As usual, most of the tracks are instrumental, but where there are vocals, Beck has enlisted the help of such well-known singers as Joss Stone and Imelda May. Although this album is lacking somewhat in original compositions, the cover versions are done in Jeff's unique style which makes them massively enjoyable to listen to again and again.

Mp3, 128 kbps

Link was taken down. Comment on this if you would like to see a reupload.

Radiohead - The Bends [1995]

This is not just an extreme music blog, and Radiohead are a band who I take great pleasure in listening to. This is a collection of great songs, and is not to be dismissed, despite the lower quality of their later material.

Similar artists: R.E.M., Thom Yorke, Snow Patrol (really, fuck knows)

160 kbps

Link was taken down. Comment on this if you would like to see a reupload.

Jeff Beck - Wired [1976]

Jeff Beck is perhaps the least-known of the famous three Yardbirds guitarists (not without reason; the other two are Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton), but in my opinion the music he made after leaving that band blows Page and Clapton out of the water.

Here then is "Wired", my favourite. Brilliantly blending his intricate solos with jazz influences, "Wired" is a completely instrumental album that contains some of Beck's best tracks (including "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and "Sophie"). For anyone interested in jazzy/bluesy rock, this is an essential.

M4a, ~320 kbps


(n.b. Also, I'm not going to be uploading it here but give "Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live" a listen. It has a very similar sound to this album.)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Ministry - Psalm 69 (The Way To Succeed And The Way To Suck Eggs) [1992]

Much like the previously posted 'Sad Wings Of Destiny', this is an album that there isn't really anything new to say about. This essentially started the industrial metal genre (I'm aware that there existed pure industrial before), and has stood the test of time well.

Similar artists: Godflesh, Pitchshifter, Skinny Puppy (I'll admit, I know little about industrial (metal))

192 kbps

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REVIEW: Ulcerate - The Destroyers Of All [2011]

N.B. This is a guest post from HeySharpshooter.

Ulcerate are a band on a mission. A mission to make the most original, unique sounding death metal of a generation, all while keeping to the tenants of the genre: brutality and darkness. Over their entire discography, Ulcerate have pushed the boundaries of traditional brutal death metal to its very limit, often with mixed results and mixed fanfare. Some are bored and even offended by Ulcerate’s dissonant, atypical sound. Others are enthralled with the bands incredible creativity and hand cramping technicality.

The Destroyers of All, Ulcerate’s most recent release, in unlikely to change anyone’s long standing opinion’s about the band. While more cleanly produced, The Destroyers of All is still avant-garde, dissonant and complex brutal death metal like no one else plays it. It’s an album that will not make an immediate impact for most: it is not catchy, not easy to follow and not something for everyone. Their songs are long, sometimes overly long, and often grind out dozens of riffs in a seven minute span.

When The Destroyers of All works, it’s an amazing listen: the album starts off with a bang with one of its best tracks, “Burning Skies.” Surprisingly accessible for an Ulcerate track while at the same time exemplifying everything their rabid fans love, it’s a highly dissonant and heavy track, shifting effortlessly between tempos and riffs. “The Hollow Idols” is punishing and dark, and once again highly dissonant. It’s also refreshingly short at just over six minutes (short for this album at least). The vocals are one dimensional but brutal and fit the bands sound perfectly.

It’s that dissonance that both makes and breaks The Destroyers of All. Some are never going to like this album because of it. In fact, this album gave my friend a headache. It doesn’t help that the song length is often a hindrance: tracks feel over-stuffed with too many ideas, and it makes casual enjoyment of this album all but impossible. Had the band cut some of these songs up into a few shorter tracks, then it could have been an even stronger album. The final track on the album, “The Destroyers of All” is a ten minute borefest as well, hurting this album on the exit.

It’s been said a lot, but its and important point: The Destroyers of All is not for everyone. Between the bands amoebic song structure, extreme dissonance and punishing song length, some will spend only a few minutes with this album and toss it out the window, disgusted. But for those looking for a truly unique, truly original death metal experience that pushes boundaries like no other, then this album is absolutely perfect for you.

Grade: 8/10



Download here.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Summoning - Stronghold [1999]

Summoning are a band who are one of a kind. Their mixture of folk and black metal has been aped by many, but none have reached the lofty heights of any of their back catalogue. Also incorporating some electronic elements at times, Summoning are a band not to miss.

Similar artists: Isengard, Falkenbach, Agalloch

320 kbps

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The Axis Of Perdition - Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh) [2011]

When you see an album with the Middlesborough bruisers' moniker on it, you know it's going to be a headfuck. And it truly is - although TAoP have perhaps moved a little closer stylistically to their French contemporaries, it's an individual, fantastic album nonetheless.

Similar artists: Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Abgott

~240 kbps VBR

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REVIEW: Trap Them - Darker Handcraft [2011]

N.B. This is a guest post from HeySharpshooter.

Metal and hardcore have not always gotten along. Hardcore purists were disgusted with the hard-party antics and musical snobbery of metalheads, while metalheads scoffed at hardcore’s simplistic musical style and what they perceived as a stuck up straight edge philosophy. And while metalcore, a mix of the two genres, has become arguably the most popular form of extreme music in history, purists on both sides still don’t get along.

There have been a handful of bands, however, that have transcended this decades long war and become darlings of both sides. Early crossover thrash bands like Vio-Lence and DRI were some of the first, followed closely by the grindcore and power violence bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s like Extreme Noise Terror and Infest. Then came Converge, one of the greatest extreme music artists in history, whose blistering mix of hardcore and grindcore made them beloved on both sides. A handful of technical metalcore bands, like The Red Chord and Between the Buried and Me, have also made in roads. But there are few bands that can claim fans on both sides of this struggle.

Trap Them are one of those bands. Since the band’s debut album Sleepwell Deconstructor, Trap Them have claimed both hardcore and metal purists as fans. Their combination of hardcore tempo, vocals and energy with a brutal guitar tone any metalhead would love has made them one of the hottest young acts in both scenes. The crowd during their live performances is often split down the middle, with separate mosh pits and dance pits(and the more than occasional fist fight).

Darker Handcraft, the bands most recent release, exemplifies this synthesis of the two genres as well as any album ever produced. Avoiding the pratfalls that doom many bands who combine the genres, Trap Them have created a dark, pulsating hardcore sound that drips with emotion (namely rage, hate and disgust), but that is also surprisingly technical and musically innovative. There is something here for everyone: “Slumcult & Gather” pummels the listener with thrash-y riffs and pounding drums while occasionally shifting into two-step hardcore and old school grindcore, while “Manic in the Grips” will make any fan of Integrity grin. The final track, “Scars Align,” is a mix of mid-tempo death metal and sludgecore that smashes the listeners skull in and uses their brain as a kickball. The bands penchant for technical riffs and diverse song structure, the aspects that make them so appealing to metal fans, is stronger than ever on Darker Handcraft, but they retain the energy and tempo’s that gets dance pits started.

By far one of the best albums of the year, Darker Handcraft is one of those rare crossover albums that stands up to the demands of two different genres at once while at the same time transcending them. This album is likely to join Jane Doe, Slave and a handful of other releases as among the greatest crossover albums ever to have been released.

Rating: 9.5/10



Download here.

REVIEW: Iron And Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean [2011]

N.B. This is the first of a series of guest posts from HeySharpshooter.

Sam Beam, or perhaps better known as his moniker “Iron and Wine,” has been one of the defining artists of his generation. Beam’s first three musical outputs, the EP Sea & the Rhythm, his debut full length Creek Drank the Cradle, and his most beloved album Our Endless Numbered Days, brought American folk music to a new generation. Legions of lesser artists are still imitating his lo-fi, “whisper folk” sound even to this day.

It’s a wonder that Beam has spent the last 5+ years doing everything he can to escape the sound that made him so influential. It was obvious Beam planned to up the volume a bit in 2005 when he released the fantastic, bluegrassy Woman King EP early that year and then performed with Alt Country legends Calexico on the album In the Reigns. But fans were not prepared for 2007’s The Sheppard’s Dog, which had Beam completely abandoning his roots in favor of psychedelic Country rock and smoky Blues rhythms. It was a lot to take in for fans, and it left his massive fan base shell shocked. In the end, The Sheppard’s Dog proved both brilliant and folly: an album that makes a bad first impression but grows on you like weeds in a flower bed.

So the expectations for Kiss Each Other Clean, his newest offering, were obvious: another major step away from his whisper folk sound into another new sound. And indeed, Kiss Each Other Clean is filled with tracks completely different from anything Beam has ever done. It’s an album that is most defiantly looking forward, but also takes a deep, introspective look back on the sights and sounds of the past. It’s both a defiant challenge to long time listeners and a concession to their desires. And it is because of this contrasting focus that Kiss Each Other Clean is arguably Beam’s finest work. It’s an album that’s brilliance shines through instantly and enthralls the listener, begging them to delve deeper into it.

The albums opener, “Biting Your Tail”, shows just how far Beam is willing to go: an electronic, almost light rap/R&B tune with a head-bobbing bass line and plenty of electronic beeps and a heavy dose of synth. Beam rhymes through the whole song, playing up the hip-hop angle seemingly just to drive fans of his older material insane. Beam does not stop challenging his listeners here, however: “Tree By the River” is classic 70’s soft rock with a folksy undertone, “Me and Lazarus” plays up the funk to 11, and the albums best track, “Your Fake Name is Good Enough For Me” is filled to bursting with saxophones, jazzy electric guitars and funky percussion before evolving into an almost operatic Rock song that ends in a crescendo of static, blasting guitar licks and Beams falsetto hauntingly proclaiming “we will/become, become.”

Tracks like “Half Moon” stand in stark contrast to these to those songs: it’s classic Beam, just him, his acoustic guitar, a little piano and a little female back-up vox. Beam’s voice, which was once only a whisper for both stylistic and ability reasons, is stronger than it has ever been, and the only difference between “Half Moon” and the rest of Beam’s early catalogue is his strong voice, which now soars over the song as opposed to melting in with it. “Glad Man Singing” follows a similar path, and while “Godless Brother in Love” makes extensive use of piano and layered voices, the overall structure of the song would fit in perfectly with any track on Our Endless Numbered Days. The albums single, “Walking Far From Home” is a unique combination of both the new Beam and the Old: lyrically, its pure folk, but musically it’s a mix of drums, layered voices, synth, piano and guitar. It’s such a perfect unison of the two Beam’s as to be almost glorious(a certain Greatest American Artist of All Time keeps it from being great.)

Perhaps the saddest thing about Beam’s musical evolution is that so few seem to be truly enjoying it for the glorious transformation it is: his sudden shift in style has left a lot of his fan base cold and an unforgiving media furious. Where once Beam was named among the great songwriters of his generation, he is now an afterthought among most still bitter over the changes made. This has not deterred Beam in the slightest, and if ever there was a thing to be thankful for, it is that.

Grade: 10/10



No download presently available.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

King Crimson - Red [1974]

King Crimson are no strangers to variation and experimentation, and although this (the last album of their "classic" period) had a similar sound to their previous album ("Starless and Bible Black"), it would prove to be a very different listening experience, containing layered guitar overdubs, and only one live recording.

The album starts off with the title track, a guitar-driven instrumental, and only gets better. For me, the highlight of the album is "One More Red Nightmare", with a catchy verse and excellent solo from Mr. Fripp.

M4a, ~320 kbps (VBR)

King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King [1969]

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
That's what the face on the cover of this album is saying. It is also inevitably what your mind will say upon hearing it. King Crimson are something of a cult legend these days, but with ItCotCK the band pretty much invented the progressive rock genre as it was to be known in the 1970s.

Combining fast-paced rock with experimental jazz, "Court" provides listeners with the wonderful sounds of Robert Fripp on guitar and Greg Lake on vocals, as well as the shrill horns of the first track, "21st Century Schizoid Man". After this, the album explores a laid-back sound with "I Talk To The Wind", an almost anthemic vocal melody in "Epitaph", experimental percussion in "Moonchild" before culminating in the 9-minute title track, which perfectly rounds off this bizzarro masterpiece of an album.

Mp3, 320 kbps

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky [2010]

Swans are legendary, simply put. They are one of the few bands with a discography the size of theirs to have never released a dud, this one from last year included. Although this lets up on the crushing emotion in some ways, it adds more in others, ensuring the continuation of Swans' wonderful record.

N.B. Files are incorrectly tagged as from the UK.

Similar artists: Jarboe, Current 93, Godflesh

320 kbps

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Terror Of Dynamite Attack - Behind The Exploitation Of Their Richness Nature [2010]

Having gotten that little diatribe out of the way, it's nice to return to some music. Terror Of Dynamite Attack are an Indonesian grindcore band who combine raw aggression with some hilarious, endearing Engrish ('Movie And Cinema All Shit', 'Fight For Woman Rights').

Similar artists: Wormrot, Flagitious Idiosyncrasy In The Dilapidation, ACxDC

256 kbps

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A message to all other blog owners

Whilst running a download blog myself might not put me in the best place to call out people on their morals, running one for profit is simply wrong. It places you in the position where you stand to benefit from the exploitation of others, and although that is the system upon which capitalism is built, it is not a positive thing. A music blog should be to broadcast music to the world as a whole, something which the artist could potentially benefit from, as those who download music are also more likely to buy music.

This 'making money' includes, but is not limited to:

  • Putting third-party ads on your blog (aside from the advertisement which is generated from your posting of the albums) - this includes Google Adsense and all similar programs, or even advertising companies which one has found themselves.
  • Using filehosts which pay users for their files being downloaded (it just so happens that these tend to have a poor free service) - again, this includes, but is not limited to, Filesonic, Fileserve, Oron and Wupload. LinkBucks also falls under this category. I am fine with Rapidshare's scheme which allows you to get points towards premium membership with downloads. Some of the good filehosts I've found (best to worst) are Megaupload, Mediafire, Zippyshare, Hotfile, Rapidshare, and Depositfiles.
  • Sponsored reviews, unless clearly labelled as such. This should be pretty self-explanatory.
  • ASKING FOR PAYMENT FOR LINKS TO ALBUMS. This is simply disgusting.
  • Requiring subscription to a paysite for downloads, and asking for people to use your referral code.
Also, in general, if a blog has its own domain name, it is fairly sure that they are carrying out at least one of these practices.

I will not name any blog in particular. You know who you are.

Comment on what you think of this, and tell me if there's anything I've missed off.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Inquisition - Nefarious Dismal Orations [2007]

I'm not really in the mood for posting today, but I'll post this gem just to keep the blog ticking over. This is black metal from a band who used to play thrash, but it's got very little of that left in it. Odd vocals merely add to the album's mystique.

Similar artists: Black Witchery, Teitanblood, Terra Noir

320 kbps

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Court In The Act Presents Thrash: Parts I-V

So now that the thrash series has been completely posted, I'd like to say a few words about it. Before I get any complaints about any particular bands not being posted (as if the blog is popular enough for that), I'd like to add the disclaimer that this is in no way intended to be encyclopaedic. I'm not the most knowledgeable person about thrash in the world, and as I said in the first post, this is more targeted at people being introduced to the genre. Artists were chosen at an arbitrary basis within the categories, and songs are those I like. The series has included the following bands:

Absu
Annihilator
Anthrax
Aura Noir
Bathory
Blood Tsunami
Celtic Frost
Dark Angel
Deiphago
Demolition Hammer
Deströyer 666
Destruction
Dew-Scented
Evile
Exodus
Flotsam & Jetsam
Forbidden
Heathen
Hellhammer
Hobbs' Angel Of Death
Holy Terror
Impaled Nazarene
Kreator
Lawnmower Deth
Legion Of The Damned
Manilla Road
Metal Church
Metallica
Morbid Saint
Mutant
Nifelheim
Pestilence
Possessed
Razor
Ripping Corpse
Sacrifice
Sadus
Sarcófago
Sepultura
Sextrash
Skeletonwitch
Slayer
Sodom
SSS
Testament
Toxic Holocaust
Venom
Violator
Vomitor
Vulcano

LINKS:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
All parts in one archive

Court In The Act Presents Thrash Pt. V: 21st Century Thrash

The final part of Court In The Act's Thrash Series (for now), this is based on newer albums (not necessarily bands) which have particularly impressed, although the only qualifier was to be released post-2000 (and, obviously, to play thrash).

Tracklisting:

1. Absu - Pillars Of Mercy (from Tara)
2. Evile - Schizophrenia (from Enter The Grave)
3. Toxic Holocaust - Nuke The Cross (from An Overdose Of Death)
4. Heathen - Arrows Of Agony (from The Evolution Of Chaos)
5. SSS - New Dogs (from SSS)
6. Aura Noir - Schitzoid Paranoid (from Hades Rise)
7. Legion Of The Damned - Legion Of The Damned (from Malevolent Rapture)
8. Violator - Atomic Nightmare (from Chemical Assault)
9. Vomitor - Neutron Hammer (from Devils Poison)
10. Mutant - Turbo Hyper Ultra Mega Power (from Laserdrome)

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Luciferion - Demonication (The Manifest) [1994]

Although Luciferion missed the heyday of death metal by a couple of years, this album of theirs is right up there with the masters. Taking elements from Swedeath and thrash (this album contains a cover of Sodom's 'Blasphemer'), they do their job excellently.

Similar artists: Entombed, Deicide, Morbid Angel

256 kbps

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Court In The Act Presents Thrash Pt. IV: Lost Gems Of Thrash

This is part 4 of Court In The Act's thrash series, and it's focused on highlighting some of the quality within the lesser-known areas of thrash metal. It ranges in style, from that which is barely aggressive enough to be thrash (Manilla Road), to the brutal (Ripping Corpse, Sextrash).

Tracklisting:

1. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic (from Crystal Logic)
2. Razor - Behind Bars (from Violent Restitution)
3. Metal Church - (My Favourite) Nightmare (from Metal Church)
4. Flotsam And Jetsam - Desecrator (from Doomsday For The Deceiver)
5. Sacrifice - Existence Within Eternity (from Soldiers Of Misfortune)
6. Ripping Corpse - Anti God (from Dreaming With The Dead)
7. Lawnmower Deth - The Seventh Church Of The Apocalyptic Lawnmower (from Ooh Crikey It's Lawnmower Deth!)
8. Sextrash - Alcoholic Mosh (from Sexual Carnage)
9. Hobbs' Angel Of Death - Jack The Ripper (from Hobbs' Angel Of Death)
10. Holy Terror - Debt Of Pain (from Mind Wars)

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The Vanishing - In The Bat Haus EP [2002]

This is a little known EP, and it's quite good, although it wouldn't quite fit into my 'quality' band. Although the horror film cliche artwork suggests that this will be heavily gothic, the goth elements tend to take a backstage role to a pervading punk sensibility, if I remember correctly (on this EP at least).

Similar artists: (N/A, I know next to nothing about goth)

192 kbps

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Disfear - Live The Storm [2008]

Disfear are yet another excellent Swedish hardcore band - their own style is a mixture of crust and d-beat (and it certainly owes a lot to the gods Discharge). Probably in the middle of the spectrum in terms of hardcore aggression (i.e. somewhere between the Dead Kennedys and Napalm Death).

Similar artists: Discharge, Dishammer, Atomski Rat

160 kbps

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Court In The Act Presents Thrash Pt. III: Left Hand Thrash

Part 3 of Court In The Act's thrash series, this is predominantly those who got to the scene too late to truly influence extreme metal (predominantly, there's some spillover from 'Precursors...', but played extreme forms of thrash nonetheless.

Tracklisting:

1. Pestilence - Parricide (from Malleus Maleficarum)
2. Nifelheim - Unholy Death (from Nifelheim)
3. Demolition Hammer - Aborticide (from Epidemic Of Violence)
4. Deströyer 666 - Australian And Antichrist (from Unchain The Wolves)
5. Forbidden - Step By Step (from Twisted Into Form)
6. Impaled Nazarene - Whore (from Motörpenis)
7. Skeletonwitch - Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery (from Beyond The Permafrost)
8. Blood Tsunami - Let Blood Rain (from Thrash Metal)
9. Dew-Scented - Arise From Decay (from Invocation)
10. Deiphago - Angel RapeSlay (from Satanik Eon)

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Monday, 20 June 2011

Morbid Saint - Spectrum Of Death [1988]

Having just posted a song of theirs as part of the thrash series, I figured I'd post this album. It's truly great, one of the lost gems of thrash metal, although it's more on the chromatic side and will not necessarily appease those for whom 'thrash' means ...And Justice For All.

Similar artists: Demolition Hammer, Kreator, Sodom

320 kbps

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Court In The Act Presents Thrash Pt. II: Precursors To Extremity

This is the second part of the thrash compilation series, and it largely focuses on thrash bands who were either influential on or in extreme metal scenes. The reason for Slayer's lack of inclusion is that they were in 'Legends Of Thrash'.

Tracklist is as follows:

1. Hellhammer - Maniac (from Triumph Of Death)
2. Celtic Frost - Procreation (Of The Wicked) (from Morbid Tales)
3. Bathory - Bestial Lust (Bitch) (from The Return...)
4. Venom - Countess Bathory (from Black Metal)
5. Possessed - Death Metal (from Seven Churches)
6. Dark Angel - Darkness Descends (from Darkness Descends)
7. Sarcófago - Nightmare (from INRI)
8. Morbid Saint - Lock Up Your Children (from Spectrum Of Death)
9. Sadus - Torture (from Illusions (Chemical Exposure))
10. Vulcano - Spirits Of Evil (from Bloody Vengeance)

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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Court In The Act Presents Thrash Pt. 1: Legends Of Thrash

Despite my horrific attempt at artwork, I will be uploading a series of compilations based on thrash metal over the next few days. These are aimed to both introduce people to the genre, and to give veterans a chance of finding something new (although this probably isn't going to reveal anything for longtime thrash fans).

This first one is an introduction to the key bands in the genre. Tracklisting is as follows:

1. Metallica - Whiplash (from Kill 'Em All)
2. Slayer - The Antichrist (from Show No Mercy)
3. Anthrax - Caught In A Mosh (from Among The Living)
4. Exodus - Metal Command (from Bonded By Blood)
5. Testament - C.O.T.L.O.D. (from The Legacy)
6. Kreator - Pleasure To Kill (from Pleasure To Kill)
7. Sodom - Blasphemer (from In The Sign Of Evil)
8. Sepultura - Arise (from Arise)
9. Destruction - Unconscious Ruins (from Release From Agony)
10. Annihilator - Human Insecticide (from Alice In Hell)

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Lawnmower Deth - Ooh Crikey It's Lawnmower Deth! [1990]

Lawnmower Deth, like Metal Duck, never expected to be taken seriously. A true comedy band, the only difference between them and many others of that ilk is that their music had some quality to it (although it was never exceptional). Listen to this, and enter to the church of the apocalyptic lawnmower.

Similar artists: Metal Duck, Cryptic Slaughter, S.O.D.

128 kbps

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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Jazz In Silhouette [1958]

The reason why this is tagged with 'legal' is that the copyright of a sound recording expires 50 years after initial publication, so the copyright for this expired in 2008.

Sun Ra is one of the most under-appreciated jazz musicians around. Although I'm by no means an expert on his music, this is my favourite of his thus far - it's not particularly experimental, but has an edge on most jazz and blues of its time (except, of course, for Kind Of Blue).

Similar artists: Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane

~160 kbps VBR

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REVIEW: Médiocre Fin - Acte Premier demo [2011]

N.B. This is the first submission we have received - to see a similar treatment for your own music, look to the right.

Médiocre Fin is a French project which creates an interesting mixture of drone and noise – the drone part being the repetition, and the noise part being the way in which musical ideas are expressed. This, to my knowledge, is one of only two demos released thus far, but its quality has certainly piqued my interest, and I shall be hugely interested in future releases (if I've understood correctly, they have a concept album based around a magical village called Thiers coming).

Despite this, I must admit I was a little apprehensive upon learning that this demo consisted of one 23-minute track – when done poorly, long drone pieces can be frankly nauseating, and not in a good way. Thankfully, this was not the case. Although the main motif around which the piece is based is, by definition, monotonous, it is created in such a way that it has a hypnotic quality to it rather than one which is boredom-inducing, much like the way that the repetition of riffs in Burzum’s music is endearing, rather than annoying.

Throughout the duration, said motif changes subtly from time to time, and although it is still obvious as the track approaches its midway mark to hear that it is the same piece – mainly due to the general styles employed – this motif has changed substantially, although the piece culminates with a full circle to something very similar to the original motif (which happens to sound surprisingly like modern iterations of Doctor Who’s tardis). These changes give a progressive feeling to the piece – not, however, progressive like the pretentious frolics of Genesis and their ilk.

Swirling around this, creating a veritable maelstrom of… well, noise, are simplistic bass frequencies and the odd bit of feedback – the only real melody to be found in the piece is a subtle one found within these bass frequencies. This melody is slow moving, and at times difficult to pick out, certainly without concentration, but its chromatic approach is similar to the way that Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, has approached digital noise in the past, although, being done in a drone style, is far less percussive than the ways of the Japanese genius. This is not to the detriment of the music; it is merely different, and variation is everything within the noise genre which has become so saturated with the proliferation of the internet.

Indeed, the only percussive element to be found in the piece comes from the motif, which easily blends into either the background or the foreground over time like the ticking of a clock, as the bass takes on a ‘wall of sound’ attribute, and is omnipresent without ever being overly relentless – the oppressive, claustrophobic nature that already exists in the demo might overwhelm the listener if the bass were to become any more pronounced.

The demo is not without its flaws – it would be a spectacular achievement if it were – for one, the whole thing is far too quietly produced; although this might be easily fixed by fiddling with a few dials, it would be far more pleasing if the thing were roughly at the volume of a normal recording. That said, it is best heard, I have found, at a moderate level, to allow the expansive soundscapes to wash over you.

Speaking of the soundscapes, however, the almost euphoric, dreamlike existence which can be afforded to the listener at times during the piece is frequently broken by transitions which are all too awkwardly done – there is actually a break in the sound at around 13:30, which certainly serves as an unwanted wakeup call. Although this breaks the monotony, to me, the point of listening to drone is to allow the music to carry you through dreams and pictures painted by the dynamics (however gruesome those pictures may be), and the hoppy movement between sections, particularly across larger changes in the motif, is akin to being woken up from a pleasant dream with a bucket of cold water and a slap across the face.

Thankfully, these two are the only major problems, and together do not detract too much from the overall quality of the piece. If you would like to be transported to another world for 23 minutes (including the starting silence to crescendo and ending diminuendo, back to silence – a nice roundabout touch), then you can certainly do far worse than this. A well-constructed effort, and I look forward to listening to their second demo, somewhat predictably titled Acte Second.

Download here (Mediafire).

Check out their official blogspot here (written in French).

Rammstein - Mutter [2001]

Rammstein are interesting; while always putting out enjoyable albums, with the possible exception of 2005's Rosenrot, this is their only moment of true greatness. 45 minutes of truly enjoyable and catchy industrial metal tracks, Mutter contains some of Rammstein's more popular songs such as 'Sonne,' 'Ich will' and 'Feuer frei!' Which incidentally are all next to each other on the track list near the start. While the ending isn't quite as enjoyable, it's still as fun as Rammstein have always been and probably always will be. A thoroughly great album.

.mp3 @ 320 kbps

Link was taken down. Comment on this if you would like to see a reupload.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet [2007]

Finally I get to post this; the follow up to Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet (derived from Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet) does not disappoint and is my second favourite album they've done. Sporting a slightly different layout to the usual, FoaBP is shorter but has a longer average track length than most of PT's other works with all but two songs pushing 7 minutes and Anesthetize running for almost 18. There isn't a single wasted note on this album which follows a concept about the 'degenerating modern youth.' This was the first album I listened to by this band and one hell of a good introduction it was. Enjoy!

.m4a @ 320 kbps VBR

Link was taken down. Comment on this if you would like to see a reupload.

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos [2007]

I know that my fellow contributors JohnRCC and Demigod don't quite rate this album as highly as the rest of Dream Theater's discography, but to me, it's right up there with 'Images And Words'. A splendid proggy metal album that doesn't forget the need for songs.

Similar artists: Threshold, Queensrÿche, Fates Warning

160 kbps

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Prostitute Disfigurement - Deeds Of Derangement [2003]

This is the sort of brutal death metal that I am most likely to enjoy. It is not slamming, rather, it is rather technical, and very melodic for BDM. There are also *hooks* in the songs, and even some repeated motifs that could be called choruses. Nonetheless, it's a quality album, although it's far from my favourite.

Similar artists: Gorgasm, Origin, Hour Of Penance

320 kbps

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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Eyehategod - Take As Needed For Pain [1993]

This is the epitome of sludge. A bluesy, drunken rockout from New Orleans, this is not only an essential album to any aspiring drunken lout, but is also essential to fans of metal, particularly those who are also fond of gravelly voices and the blues.

Similar artists: Melvins, Side B of Black Flag's 'My War', Crowbar

~260 kbps VBR

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Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum [1968]

Blue Cheer are somewhat unconventional, perhaps, for this blog, but they were instrumental in the development of metal; their proto-metal interpretation of 'Summertime Blues' herein was probably the heaviest thing around for its time, aside, of course, for the rest of this album.

192 kbps

Similar artists: Black Sabbath, Jex Thoth, Black Widow

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Clutch - Blast Tyrant [2004]

I think the thing I like about Clutch is that they're a man's band, and acknowledge that in everything they do. Just listening to the hard, bluesy riffs of this album (full title: "Blast Tyrant's Atlas Of The Invisible World Including Illustrations of Strange Beasts and Phantoms") makes me feel like I could grow a humongous beard at any moment.

The stoned, bluesy, "I'M A MAN AND I EAT BEARS" sound of the album is perfectly complemented by frontman Neil Fallon's throaty singing on tracks like "Mercury" and "Cypress Grove". This album is simply great fun all the way through, and I definitely recommend it.

Mp3, 256 kbps

Tool - 10,000 Days [2006]

Did I mention I love Tool? Anyway. "10,000 Days" is the most recent album from them (even though it was released five years ago). This piece of work further continues Tool's trend of becoming more progressive, with the overall sound of this album showing influences from Maynard Keenan's side-project: A Perfect Circle.

Oddly, some of the tracks on this album divide fans. The 11-minute title track is dismissed by some as 'a whole lot of nothing', whereas others (myself included) consider it among the album's strongest tracks, owing much to the atmosphere it creates. However, with straight-up metal songs such as "The Pot" and "Vicarious", most fans agree that the Tool machine is still going strong, even if the album's final two songs aren't really anything special. Definitely worth checking out if you liked "Lateralus".

M4a, ~320 kbps (VBR)

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Tool - Lateralus [2001]

I LOVE Tool. If you're even remotely in to prog metal, you'll have heard of "Lateralus", if not just for the frankly hilarious amount of conspiracies surrounding it. Get past all that though, and what you end up with it an amazingly constructed, surprisingly tight piece of progressive metal.

Further shedding the grittiness of "Undertow", this album is big on complexity, such as a fibonacci sequence in the lyrics of the title track, multiple time signature changes and some riffs which make you rewind to make sure you got everything. I can certainly understand why this album is considered a classic and the definitive Tool album, but I personally think Ænima is a better experience.

Mp3, 256 kbps

Link taken down. Comment to see a reupload!

Tool - Ænima [1996]

I love Tool. And "Ænima" is by far my favourite album of theirs. Much like its predecessor, this album provides solid heavy tracks combined with longer pieces (now showing clear evidence of progressive influences, mainly of King Crimson (another discography for another time)). Also interesting to note is the more 'industrial' sound of this album, from the screeching guitars on "Hooker With A Penis" to the metallic scraping on "Die Eier Von Satan".

However, what this album did which "Undertow" did not is flow. Don't get me wrong, the tracks on "Undertow" are great, but that's just what they were. Tracks. "Ænima", on the other hand, felt like it was composed as an album. Each track leads brilliantly into the next, enhancing the overall experience by untold amounts. This doesn't mean the songs themselves aren't good, though. Favourites of mine are "Hooker With A Penis" and "Third Eye" (both prime examples of the short song / long song duality of the album).

Mp3, 256 kbps

Tool - Undertow [1993]

I love Tool. They're my favourite progressive metal band, if we're not counting Iron Maiden's recent years. Although the three albums following this, their debut, were more interesting musically, "Undertow" still provides an experience which is as satisfying and intelligent as it is angsty and delightfully jarring.

This album is a combination of extended pieces (a-la "Bottom" and "Flood") and shorter, more 'commercial' songs - well, about as commercial as songs about getting raped as a child can be. And although this album was already very progressive, there was still a very strong, gritty feeling of 'fuck you' that would slowly fade on Tool's more recent efforts, and as a result this album will sit well with those who aren't necessarily that keen on progressive music.

Mp3, 192 kbps

Demigod - Slumber Of Sullen Eyes [1992]

Quite simply an awesome OSDM album from the rather unknown Finnish scene. Sweden usually gets all the credit but there was a great Finnish scene too and their is no better place to start than this album, a personal favourite of mine this album is 'necessary' in your Death Metal collection. It may not be anything new or wildly different to other OSDM but it can easily hold its own against the greats and once again proves that Europeans do it better (that's right, I still can't be bothered to listen to Morbid Angel in serious quantities when there is Death Metal like this around...).

256 kbps

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Imperator - The Time Before Time [1991]

Some Old School Polish Death Metal for you. Their only album before going bankrupt after the planned release on Deathlike Silence fell through and they had to release it on a a label with big distribution problems. This album is great, full of awesome riffs and intense thrashing. This is not very well know but I would rate it as one of the best OSDM albums to come out of eastern Europe. A must for any OSDM fan.

192 kbps

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Abgott - Godfather In Black [2009]

Abgott are a UK based black metal band that draw members from Italy, Greece, The UK and South Africa. This eclectic mix of nationalities mirrors their music's dynamic sounds. As Previously stated they are a black metal band but there's no Gorgoroth rip-off bollocks here. Godfather In Black is what I would term 'technical black metal', in that it possesses the same eerie foulness that we all love but it delivers this through interesting music (something all too absent from a lot of black metal). Technical riffs throb through the veins of these songs, topped with snarled vocals and an appropiate amount of guitar wankery. The rabid torrent of riffs is broken up by interludes that I think provide a nice respite and add to the tension of the inevitable oncoming storm. A great album worth downloading (and buying) if only to experience how black metal, a stagnating genre, can still be innovative and interesting.

200+ kbps VBR

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Nuclear Assault - Game Over [1986]

I'm not going to pretend otherwise, I prefer Brutal Truth to Nuclear Assault. That said, I'm more of a grindcore than thrash man anyway, and Dan Lilker's first real project is sustenance to my musical appetite in extremis. This is the debut.

Similar artists: S.O.D., D.R.I., M.O.D. (yeah, lots of abbreviations)

256 kbps

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Negură Bunget - Vîrstele Pamîntului [2010]

Although not quite as revolutionary as 2006's Om, this is a very good piece of folky black metal nonetheless. Perhaps with more concentration on the folk elements than before, this proved that Bunget could overcome lineup strife.

Similar artists: Primordial, Falkenbach, Summoning

~210 kbps VBR

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Negură Bunget - Om [2006]

This is the album that made Negură Bunget comparatively popular compared to their earlier days; that said, there is certainly a limit on how popular a band who mix slightly progressive black metal with Romanian folk music can become! An outstanding album.

256 kbps

Similar artists: Primordial, Falkenbach, Summoning

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