Geezer Butler, Manipulations of the Mind (Sanctuary / BMG 2021)

All of Geezer Butler’s solo work has been collected in a box set, along with rarities and live tracks.

International legendary bassist Geezer Butler, one of the original members of Black Sabbath, released three solo albums over the years. The music sounded nothing like Black Sabbath at all. Instead, it was more in the Industrial Metal vein, and there was a lot of talk about this back in the day because, maybe, fans wanted to something more like what they’d heard before. Take these albums on their own terms instead and you will find a treasure trove of heavy music.

The three separate albums originally were released under three different band names, G//Z/R for Plastic Planet (1995), Geezer for Black Science (1997), and GZR for Ohmwork (2005). In the new box, the original artwork is preserved and Geezer Butler has been inserted to replace the original release band names.

There is a fourth disc in the set that contains alternate takes and demos. It also has “Beach Skeleton,” which was a bonus track on a deluxe edition of Black Science. A bigger bonus for me is the three live tracks that are also included, “Drive Boy, Shooting,” “Detective 27,” and “House of Clouds,” all originally on the Plastic Planet album. I have seen Geezer Butler perform many times with Black Sabbath and, later, with Deadland Ritual. I never did see him perform any of these songs live, however, so it is great to hear them now.

This box set is an import for US buyers. You can get it on-line at major retailers like Amazon and Target, and your favorite record store can probably order a copy for you, too. If the box is too much for you, there is also a single-disc “best of” out there now which has some tasty bits. I recommend go all in and grab the full box.

Live photos of Geezer Butler by Wayne Edwards at Aftershock 2019 performing with Deadland Ritual.

Links.

Geezer Butler website, http://www.geezerbutler.com/

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY-qM3oNJx9E0L8UZEXPZug

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/gzrmusic

Geezer Butler, Manipulations of the Mind (Sanctuary / BMG 2021)

Entropy Created Consciousness, Antica Memoria di Dis review (Fólkvangr Records 2020)

Anonymous artist(s) Entropy Created Consciousness releases a musical exhibition in two acts: Antica Memoria di Dis.

The composer describes it all this way … “The project chronicles a unique Homeric recital of Dante’s journey into Hell with the guidance of ancient Roman poet Virgil, as explored in Inferno, the first part of the infamous Divine Comedy.” A compelling subject, there is no question about that. When I listened to the music, I was not really trying to follow a story, however. I was instead experiencing the aural creation in a more holistic sense and I formed my impressions of it that way.

The composition is divided into two acts, Acheron and Lethe. In the former, percussion is prominent in “The Sun Is Silent,” standing out even while being surrounded by sinister hissing and whispering. “Minos / Cerberbus” is more chaotic and cacophonous in its beginning, and even so is anchored around the driving drums. A fire is lit in “Malignant, Ashen,” and it cools down on the outro “Below the Tower,” wherein we are enchanted into a nightmare as it closes.

With Lethe, there is a more consistent feeling of savagery and jeopardy. It is tense and unrelenting. “Infamy of Crete” is a lashing by brutal forces during a long walk at night. A sign of hard times ahead, and the signal rang true as “”Phlegethon” continues the battering, raking your mind raw. Without respite, for the most part. “Malebolge” promotes the idea of a discovered artifact in its initial moments, and then quickly turns deeply dark and growling. “Judecca” has heavy doom elements and an overall feeling begins to permeate that you are being slowly buried in damp earth. The sounds of the growling commerce of demons fade as the dirt piles up. And then that is it, as you are played out on a lilting piano moment amidst gently splashing water.

The initial recordings were made in 2017, then additional lines were drawn in 2019 and 2020, with the final touches, mix, and mastering done only a few months ago. The end product is fascinating, and different from most anything else I have heard. It is industrial and experimental metal of a brand all its own. Recommended for listeners with elemental roots in their beings.

Antica Memoria di Dis will be available October 23rd as a download (Bandcamp), with a cassette version coming out from Fólkvangr Records.

Links.

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/entropycreatedconsciousness

Bandcamp, https://entropycreatedconsciousness.bandcamp.com/releases

Fólkvangr Records, http://www.folkvangrrecords.com/

Entropy Created Consciousness, Antica Memoria di Dis review (Fólkvangr Records 2020)

Black Magnet, Hallucination Scene review (20 Buck Spin 2020)

James Hammontree’s Black Magnet sees its inaugural release with Hallucination Scene, an homage to Industrial Metal of yore.

I always think of (later) Ministry first when the subject of Industrial Metal comes up, but of course it is Nine Inch Nails that flies the flag highest in this genre. Static-X, too, and KMFDM (again, later). Rammstein? Um, sure, and tons of others. It was a nineties thing, wasn’t it, and there were some good things that came out of that decade so taking a trip back in that direction isn’t all bad.

Black Magnet is the solo creation of James Hammontree who both wrote and performed all of the vocals, guitars, synthesizers, drum programming, and samples. It was all Hammontree in the studio. For live performances, a full band will be deployed.

The opening notes of the album burble up like an increasingly aggrieved whale cresting behind you and coming over the top. Angry, vessel-popping lyrical shouts are backed up by volleys of noisy musical pelting. “Anubis” is next, and it is a little more subdued by comparison, but it has just as much attitude. “Punishment Map” has a nice feedback squeal going for it, and it is a constructional nod in the general direction of Rob Zombie. “Trustfucker” is the highlight of the set for me. The lyrics and vocal presentations are fantastic, and the clomping rhythm is perfect for a wide variety of stomping and headbanging activities. This song put me on the path. The closer is “Walking In The Dark,” and it is perhaps the most dissonant and clanging of the set making it an excellent farewell punch. I am very interested to see how these compositions are replicated live – I bet it’ll be a great show.

The album is out now from 20 Buck Spin. Lineup for the metallic resonance and give your ears a good, solid ring. Recommended.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/blckmgnt

https://blckmgnt.bandcamp.com

http://www.20buckspin.com

http://www.facebook.com/20buckspin

Black Magnet, Hallucination Scene review (20 Buck Spin 2020)