The ABC’s of Music #1 – A is for Aaron Spectre and more…

Welcome to a new series of posts, one where I alphabetically ramble about all the different music I like. I like quite a few things, so this may take several years, but oh well!

I warn you now, some of the bands that’ll be featured here are going to be extremely NSFW. I leave it to your common sense to determine which is which, but I’d like to think that you can figure out on your own that you probably shouldn’t press play to something with a title like Infant Annihilator while at work or in front of your elderly parents. It’s not all going to be stuff like that, but there will be a pretty healthy (unhealthy?) dose mixed in there, so WATCH OUT!

Just to be extra clear in that regard, I DO NOT share the beliefs or opinions of many, if any, bands that will be featured over the course of this. I do not endorse cannibalism, Satanism, misogyny, vampirism, or any other such thing that some of the more gruesome bands I like might sing about. To be honest, some of this stuff I can’t even read the lyrics to because it’s too gross even for me, but I haven’t really gone out of my way to read the lyrics to a song since high school. I’m just there for the good music and usually the stuff with the most graphic lyrics is the stuff whose vocals are completely incomprehensible anyway.

So anyway, maybe you’ll end up learning about some great new bands here or maybe you’ll end up un-following me because of some of the disgusting filth I listen to, but either way, I’M NOT GONNA STOP!

Now, let’s begin with…

A is for Aaron Spectre!

Aaron Spectre is possibly more known for his weird metal/electronic hybrid project Drumcorps (more on that in the future), but he also has a small selection of intense, experimental electronic music. Whether you want to call it IDM or Breakcore or whatever, it’s just some really fast, complex, and extremely bass-y stuff, which is the best kind of electronic music if you ask me.

Most of his releases under the name Aaron Spectre are in the form of very short singles or EPs with only 2-4 tracks each. He doesn’t seem to like doing full length albums of this stuff, which is a shame because it’s some great stuff. Oh well!

A is for Aborted!

DON’T LOOK, KIDS! Aborted is a prolific Belgian death metal band who, as is often the case with death metal, has a penchant for disgusting song titles and a lot of samples from horror movies.

They have over a dozen albums of extremely fast and heavy metal, and haven’t failed to be entertainingly brutal since their debut in 1999.

A is for Aborym!

Italian experimental black metal band Aborym is an odd one indeed. I guess you could call all black metal kind of weird in general, but they get pretty weird even by black metal standards. They started off as a pretty traditional sounding black metal band, but then slowly started incorporating more and more strange electronic/industrial bits into their songs.

The more albums they released, the more out there they seemed to get, but in a good way. Things got more and more experimental, as they started mixing even more strange symphonic and electronic elements in there, even dropping in some jazzy bits out of nowhere sometimes.

They seem to have taken their strangest turn yet with their latest album Shifting Negativ, where they just went pretty much full-on 90’s industrial rock.

It’s very, very different from all their other releases and feels like a weird, unspoken tribute to prominent 90’s industrial rock bands. It’s hard to put it into words exactly, but to those very familiar with the earlier works of groups like KMFDM, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails, you can very clearly hear the influence of each of those and more. Some bits sound so familiar that they feel almost plagiaristic, but it’s still an interesting and enjoyable album, and I’m looking forward to see where they go from here.

A is for Absu!

American black metal band Absu is a little more straightforward. They’re more about intense speed and heaviness. Not a huge fan of their first few albums, but the ones from Tara and onward are just absurdly brutal.

They don’t have a huge library of material compared to many other prominent black metal bands, but what they do have is pretty damn impressive.

A is for ActRaiser Symphonic Suite!

This is simply a pretty self-explanatory single album. It’s a symphony orchestra performing most of the soundtrack of the classic game ActRaiser. If you don’t know about ActRaiser by now SHAME ON YOUUUUUU, it’s one of the best games ever, as well as having one of the greatest video game soundtracks of all time. Do yourself a favor and check them both out.

A is for Acumen Nation!

Acumen Nation, originally known simply as Acumen before getting into a legal dispute with another band called Acumen that no one’s ever heard of before or since, was a local industrial metal band back in the day (back in the near-Chicago days).

I really liked their earlier stuff, the first 3 albums or so, before they just devolved into some kind of generic nu-metal/pop rock band, though I suppose you could hear some hints of that coming even in the early days.

I was lucky enough to see them in concert before the big change, I guess, though that day was also the turning point for them. While they played mostly older material that day, they were also selling their brand new fourth album afterwards. Naturally, I picked it up and was surprised to find that the familiar sound was gone. They even had made a little comment in the CD booklet that said something like “sorry kids, if you want industrial go listen to Haujobb”. That always really bothered me. You want to change your sound drastically, fine that’s your business, but why be a dick to your own fans about it? That was also the last industrial show I ever went to, but that’s entirely coincidental, I had just started getting heavily into death/black metal at the time and started going to those kinds of shows instead, but anyway…first three albums, still good.

A is for Aeternus!

Did anyone get past that long-ass intro to the actual song there? Pretty good stuff if you did. This was the first song I heard from Aeternus back in the day and it’s still probably their best one.

They’re a pretty heavy black metal band, sounding more like death metal at times. They don’t have a lot of variety in their sound though. Aside from a few standout exceptions, a lot of their tracks are a bit same-y. As such, I wouldn’t really call them an essential band, but I still like ’em anyway.

Thus concludes the first part of this long, long series. Any agreements, disagreements, recommendations, etc? Either way, tune in next time for more of the A’s in the ABC’s of music!

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