Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 100 Greatest Albums of the Last Decade

Well it's the end of another decade, and I noticed that many influential music pundits have offered up their take on what were the musical highlights of the last ten years. I thought "Why not me?" So here are my picks for the 100 bestest records of the decade. They are listed in order of year of release, NOT merit. I have provided links to the entries that were previously featured on the Hearse. Of course I recommend you buying every record on this list, most are still in print. If you don't see your favorites on here it is because I did not care for them, get used to it. Thank you.

  1. Weakling-Dead As Dreams (2000)
  2. Paysage d’ Hiver- Paysage d’ Hiver (2000)
  3. Einsturzende Neubauten-Silence Is Sexy (2000)
  4. Nunslaughter-Hell’s Unholy Fire (2000)
  5. Slough Feg-Down Among The Dead Men (2000)
  6. Neurosis- A Sun That Never Sets (2001)
  7. Angels of Light-How I loved You (2001)
  8. Thorns-Thorns (2001)
  9. Dornenreich-Her Von Welken Nachten (2001)
  10. Absu-Tara (2001)
  11. Hammers of Misfortune-The Bastard (2001)
  12. Nargaroth-Black Metal Ist Krieg (2001)
  13. The Langley Schools Music Project-Innocence & Despair (2001)
  14. Agalloch-The Mantle (2002)
  15. Xasthur-Nocturnal Poisoning (2002)
  16. Wolf-Black Wings (2002)
  17. Arcturus- The Sham Mirrors (2002)
  18. Woven Hand-Woven Hand (2002)
  19. Leviathan-Verrater (2002)
  20. Kylesa-Kylesa (2002)
  21. Infest-No Man’s Slave (2002)
  22. Inquisition-Invoking The Majestic Throne Of Satan (2002)
  23. Oxbow-An Evil Heat (2002)
  24. Agatus-The Weaving Fates (2002)
  25. The Vanishing-In The Bathaus (2002)
  26. Nigel Pepper Cock-The New Way (2002)
  27. Canaan-A Calling To Weakness (2002)
  28. Celestia-Apparitia Sumptuous Spectre (2002)
  29. Wigrid-Hoffnungstod (2002)
  30. Explosions In The Sky-The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (2003)
  31. Funeral Mist-Salvation (2003)
  32. Ghoul-Maniaxe (2003)
  33. Hammers of Misfortune-The August Engine (2003)
  34. Killing Joke-Killing Joke (2003)
  35. Burmese-A Mere Shadow and Reminiscence of Humanity (2003)
  36. Destroyer 666-Terror Abraxas (2003)
  37. Hala Strana-Hala Strana (2003)
  38. Dimlaia-Dimlaia (2003)
  39. Virus-Carheart (2003)
  40. Sargeist-Satanic Black Devotion (2003)
  41. Deathspell Omega-Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice (2004)
  42. The Muons-The Well At Land’s End (2004)
  43. Witchcraft-Witchcraft (2004)
  44. Enslaved-Isa (2004)
  45. Pagan Altar-Lords of Hypocrisy (2004)
  1. Dark Tribe-In Jeraspunta (2004)
  2. Cauldron Black Ram-Skulduggery (2004)
  3. Asunder-A Clarion Call (2004)
  4. Yrkoon-Occult Medicine (2004)
  5. Morgion-Cloaked By Ages, Crowned In Earth (2004)
  6. God Is An Astronaut-All Is Violent All Is Bright (2005)
  7. AN-World Minus Population (2005)
  8. Various Artists-Run The Road (2005)
  9. Corrupted-El Mundo Frio (2005)
  10. Urfaust-Verratertischer, Nichtswurdiger Geist (2005)
  11. The Gault-Even As All Before Us (2005)
  12. Vpaahsalbrox-14 Sovereign (2005)
  13. Drudkh-The Swan Road (2005)
  14. Kiss The Anus of a Black Cat-If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks (2005)
  15. Primordial-The Gathering Wilderness (2005)
  16. Drudkh-Blood In Our Wells (2006)
  17. Desolation Triumphalis-Forever Bound To Nothingness (2006)
  18. Veronica Lipgloss & The Evil Eyes-The Witches Dagger (2006)
  19. Michael Cashmore-Sleep England (2006)
  20. Hammers of Misfortune-The Locust Years (2006)
  21. Asunder-Works Will Come Undone (2006)
  22. Impurity-Necroinfamists of Tumulus Return (2006)
  1. Evil Army-Evil Army (2006)
  2. Marblebog-Csendhajnal (2006)
  3. Ahab-Call of the Wretched Sea (2006)
  4. Warning-Watching From a Distance (2006)
  5. Crippled Black Phoenix-A Love of Shared Disasters (2007)
  6. It’s Casual-The New Los Angeles (2007)
  7. Grayceon-Grayceon (2007)
  8. Hanatarash/Evil Moisture-Fatanarchy On Airtube (2007)
  9. Bone Awl-Meaningless Leaning Mess (2007)
  10. Raate-Sielu, Linna (2007)
  11. Oxbow-The Narcotic Story (2007)
  12. Akitsa-Goetie (2007)
  13. Bee & Flower-Last Sight Of Land (2007)
  14. Dax Riggs- We Sing of Only Blood Or Love (2007)
  15. Alcest-Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde (2007)
  16. Impaled-The Last Gasp (2007)
  17. Primordial-To The Nameless Dead (2007)
  18. Deathevokation-Chalice of the Ages (2007)
  19. Dead Congregation-Graves of the Archangels (2008)
  20. Samothrace-Life’s Trade (2008)
  21. Jex Thoth-Jex Thoth (2008)
  22. Harvey Milk-Life… The Best Game In Town (2008)
  23. Ulaan Khol-I (2008)
  24. Decrepit Birth-Diminishing Between Worlds (2008)
  25. Yob-The Great Cessation (2009)
  26. Master’s Hammer-Mantras (2009)
  27. Various Artists-The Sound of Wonder: The First Wave of Plugged In Pop at The Pakistani Picture House (2009)
  28. Amesouers-Amesouers (2009)
  29. Cross Stitched Eyes-Coronach (2009)
  30. Circle of Ouroborus-Tree of Knowledge (2009)
  31. Giant Squid-The Ichthyologist (2009)
  32. Sixx-Sister Devil (2009)
  33. Peste Noire-Ballade Cuntre Lo Anemi Francor

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

R.I.P. Rowland S. Howard

One of the greatest guitar players of all time. He will be missed. 


That cover has your curiosity piqued, does it not? Tentacle were a little known psych/hard rock band from Scotland that managed to eke out one album in their day, Angel of Death released in 1971. Angel of Death is a morose and dynamic album with epic, sprawling songs. Just as you start to grow a bit weary of the hippie ren-faire vibe, Tentacle has a way of lurching into some choice blotter riffage to remind you why Angel of Death merited such a fucked up album cover.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beneath Lucifer's Eye

Finnish purveyors of raw and uncompromising Black Metal, Syopa, released two grotesque demos in 2005 and then called it a night. Beneath Lucifer's Eye was the second of the two. Syopa ("cancer" in Finnish) have rather traditionalist approach to Black Metal, favoring lyrics about Satan, and blaspheming the name of Christ at every available opportunity. This kind of rigid adherence to evil and just pure, unfiltered, Black Fucking Metal is at times more refreshing to me than "groundbreaking" or "forward-thinking" bands. There is a simplistic beauty to Syopa's orthodoxy. I'm sure Lucifer was pleased.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Shinya Tsukamoto's 1989 film Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a brilliant, fast-paced mindfuck of a Japanese cyberpunk love story. It brings a rather trite story of boy meets girl into a post-apocalyptic world of sex, violence, and machinery. Violent robotic bully ramming, power-drill penises, an amazing score of Skinny Puppy/Laibach/Jim Thirwell-esque menace by Chu Ishikawa solidify Tetsuo as absolutely genre-defining and aesthetically thorough. This rare CD compiles the best of Ishikawa's work from the original and the less captivating sequel Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. Essential.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Before every sideways haircut kidlet at the mall got hip to Slaughter of the Soul and started a band with a really pretentious-sounding sentence name, there was a little group of high school buds from Martinez, California called Prevail. In the late '90s Prevail made some great demo tapes, played a few gigs at bars around weren't old enough to be in, and pretty soon they were drawing up to twelve or thirteen people at their shows. Shame really, these kids were way ahead of their time in looking to Sweden's past for inspiration. Prevail's farewell came in the form of this CD, oddly titled It Takes a Whole Lot Of Work, It Takes a Whole Lot of Time. As I mentioned before Prevail were sonically reminiscent of At The Gates and Dissection while looking more like the guys from your geometry class. A fantastic band that should be heard.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I don't know about you, but when I see one of those classic "bros hanging out" collages on an old punk or metal album I get a certain kind of giddy feeling that I am in for a party of record. T.S.T.'s self-titled album from 1982 is no exception. It is a party, a Swedish punk party of unparalleled fun. The opening track "Sweden" sets the mood with it's clumsy, liquored-up Bo Diddley beat. But in case you are some kind of tight-assed wallflower, T.S.T. follows up with a raucous sing-a-long cover of "Teenager In Love." Now if by then you aren't on board, the band rips through six more tunes of slovenly, infectuous, drunken punk fucking rock, with three of the tracks taken from a live show. I have no idea what T.S.T. stands for.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fuck Christmas

Fuck Christmas! It sucks, it's antiquated, it appeals to people's greed and sappy sentimentality, it's depressing. Here's the annual coal for your proverbial ear stocking, Lee Ving and FEAR's Fuck Christmas single. One side is the original version, and the other is a radio friendly version without that unsightly F-word. The sentiment remains the same. Fuck Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


So every blog on the goddmaned interwebs is posting their favorite Christmas albums and Cosmic Hearse is no different. If you know Blowfly, you know what to expect. Never before has anyone made so much use out of the fact that "clit" and "dick" almost rhyme. Happy Holidays, perverts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ancient Kings and the Pain of Mountains

Here we have a brilliant cassette titled Tuskanvuorten Valtaistuin by Finnish Black Metal band, Muinainen Rhutinas. The band doesn't dabble in any kind of experimentation or strange instrumentation, Muinainen Rhutinas offer up well-played, well-written Black Metal, and nothing else. Fanatastic riffs and atmosphere. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Satanic Mass

This is probably the greatest party record of all time, provided that your party includes a nude woman altar and chalices brimming with LSD-tainted blood. Church of Satan founder and spokesfiend, Anton LaVey had you in mind in 1968 when he committed this most unholy of Satanic Masses to tape. Any would-be occultist with a turntable and a few candles could be as counterculture and wicked as the most elite, self-absorbed Satanarchists in San Francisco. Some forty years later, the Church of Satan is but a hollow ram's skull of it's former self, but that doesn't mean that the steely knives of time and infighting have killed the beast. Satan is within us all and just waiting for you to download this album to give him his proper due. Say it after me, "Hail Satan!"

Monday, December 21, 2009


Here's some really odd gothic/doom form where else but Italy. Dismal is an appropriate name for this group of maudlin youth from Turin. Their first demo, Our Sad Saga, treads the same moonlit paths as fellow countrymen Ras Algethi and Arkana, but with less sophistication. Dismal, at least in this early phase, have something very teenage about their approach which works in their favor. The band is apparently still around but I am not familiar with their work after Our Sad Saga. If you hunger for simple classic Italian doom with mournful strings and creepy Mario Bava-esque church organs, Dismal is going to make your night.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rugged Edge

Rugged Edge were a punk band from Miami in the '80s. The had big mohawks and favored the UK style of punk. I use to see them a lot at the Cameo Theater. People would slam, and sometimes skinheads would beat somebody up while their girlfriends held their jackets. Here's Rugged Edge's 7". I can't recall what year this came out, but if I had to guess I'd say 1986. Strange record with side a being a bit more artful than the neanderthal punk on side b.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Tetraskelion are indeed a Black Metal band from Greece, but don't expect anything remotely resembling the classic Hellenic Black Metal of Varathron, Rotting Christ, and Necromantia. Tetraskelion favor the super lo-fi basement Black Metal. Clumsily played and poorly recorded, their demo Walking On Heathen Soil sits nicely with the works by Hearse faves, Sadorass, Oskal, and Evil. The two members of Tetraskelion, Apollo and Thyrronas, are also involved the equally bizarre band Draugluin.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Leaving Trains

I discovered The Leaving Trains through the Enigma Variations compilation. Their track, taken from their 1984 Enigma debut Well Down The Blue Highway, was by far the best thing on that record. The band was centered around charismatic cross-dressing frontman, Falling James. Early incarnations of the band included the great guitar playing of the Hofer brothers, as well as future Circle Jerk, Greg Hetson. Well Down The Blue Highway is a brilliant piece of jangly Americana-rock/punk ala The Gun Club. Energetic at times, morose and brooding at others, but always soulful and sincere, this band should have been huge, but at the time of this recording people were more interested in Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Maybe like me you read Daniel Eckeroth's engaging Swedish Death Metal book. Maybe like me you were a little distracted by the seemingly two literary voices at work; the academic one that thoroughly chronicles a particular subculture and movement with an unfeeling distance, and the one of a tight bro just giving you the straight dope as he remembers it over a pint of Akkurat. Regardless of these shortcomings, the book is an excellent resource that will have most music nerds fiending to hear any and all of the numerous overlooked recordings of Swedish Death. One that stood out for me was this sweet little 1990 sampler 7 inch from Opinionate Records. The EP starts of with some decent thrash from Appendix (not to be confused with the Finnish punk band with the same name.) Next up is the classic Swedish Death crush of Nirvana 2002. This is clearly the standout track here, mainly because it is really the only one that exemplifies the style that the country would become known for. Authorize are next, their track "Darkest Age" is plenty Death Metal but lacks the mystery and atmosphere of what I have come to expect from old Swedish Death Metal. The sampler closes with a blistering, breakneck thrash offering from Fallen Angel. The Opinonate Sampler EP does a fine job of briefly documenting that strange nebulous time between Thrash and Death. That what these regional comps from a bygone time are about.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In 1983 Bones left Discharge and formed Broken Bones. To round out the ranks of this new group, Bones enlisted his brother Tezz (also formerly of Discharge,) and their mates Nobby and Bazz. Broken Bones debut EP, Decapitated, was unleashed in 1984. While nothing Broken Bones ever did comes remotely close to Discharge in their prime, I still find every Broken Bones release thoroughly enjoyable, and Broken Bones later flirtations with metal were far more palatable than Discharge's. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Here's some early (1993) Norwegian Black Metal from Grimm. Grimm didn't exactly receive the attention of your Emperors, Mayhems, and Burzums back in the early days, perhaps because Grimm weren't actually very competent musicians and weren't engaged in any noteworthy criminal extracurricular activities. However, that doesn't mean this demo isn't worth your time. Nordisk Vinter was Grimm's only release. After a very typical intro of gurgling voices and howling winds, Grimm commence with some primal, mid-paced Black Metal not unlike early Carpathian Forest. I absolutely love Black Metal from this weird era when isolated Scandinavian teenagers fumbled and somnambulated towards the aesthetic that comprises the genre today. The last vestiges of Death Metal's influence seep through, grainy forest photos are xeroxed over and over again, and the cult is alive.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Some moody 4AD-esque post-punk shoegaze from Savage Republic guy, Thom Fuhrmann. Maybe a bit like Joy Division dragged into the '90s. This EP pompously titled Glaciers and Gods was released in 1990, and while I find it a bit heavy-handed, corny, and dated, I still listen to it and enjoy it often. Perhaps it is the brooding teenage girl inside of me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The Tragic Serenades EP by Celtic Frost was released in the interim period between To Mega Therion and Into The Pandemonium. The EP contains the same versions of "The Usurper" and "Jewel Throne" that appeared on To Mega Therion but with the bass tracks rerecorded by Martin Ain who was not in the band for the original sessions. Also included are an updated version of "Return To The Eve" from Morbid Tales. Really one of those "for die hard fans only" kind of releases, but I think some of you may qualify.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This release, or rather the ROIR cassette version, was my introduction to this shit-stained luminary that should require no introduction. I remember listening to this tape and feeling as if I was really doing something wrong (later Bathory would take that role). I understand that G.G. is a most polarizing entity and I've spent many a drunken night trying to articulate why he was an important figure in rock 'n roll history and why he should be remembered as such. First and foremost, G.G. brought real danger and unpredictability back to rock, he was more manimal than Darby, more venomous than the Pistols, and far more dangerous than N.W.A. He was the closest thing to a De Sade-style libertine the twentieth century would ever see. He was 120 days of Sodom and punk rock. He was outlaw like David Allan Coe, and he was far more frightening to your button-down suburban mom than a whole Senate hearing full of Dee Sniders and Blackie Lawlesses. Of course there were the rape allegations, and his detractors will decry his treatment of women, G.G.'s hatred and rage knew no gender. He turned his every fiber into a weapon, his body, his art, his everything. G.G. vowed to kill himself on stage in 1989, he also promised to take some of the audience with him. Unfortunately, G.G. died less ceremoniously of a heroin overdose in 1993 in a dingy New York City apartment. He was alone. When I heard of his death I was not only saddened, but disappointed that his dream of committing the ultimate transgression, and dying in an orgy of violence (see the end of Passolini's Salo) went unfulfilled, but then I recalled a lyric from his acoustic ballad "When I Die": "When I die you don't have to feel no feelings inside." It's as if in some post-mortem moment of bronevolence (I made that word up) he relieves us of our hackneyed emotions. G.G. is telling us to move on and not worry about him. Of course it is this more sensitive G.G. that appears on his very personal acoustic recordings that most interest me, but Hated In The Nation, as I stated before, was my indoctrination into the cult of G.G. Allin, so it remains another personal favorite, rife with nostalgia and wonder. If you are one of those squeamish candy-assed sugar beets that hated him before, this will do little to change your mind. However, if you are completely unfamiliar with his recorded output, Hated In The Nation is an excellent jumping off point.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Nibiru is the name of this one-man project from San Diego. Nibiru mastermind, Nocturnal Overlord, was a founding member of the longstanding and highly respected kult Black Metal band, Crimson Moon. This CD demo from 2004 was given to me when I had the extreme pleasure of meeting the Overlord himself during Ludicra's stop in San Diego. Nibiru plays a sort of esoteric, keyboard driven brand of cosmic Black Metal. This demo is quite engaging, almost relaxing in a strange way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hickey's Last Night On The Planet

Big thanks to Mark Beef from Arizona for rescuing this from the vaults. This recording was Hickey's very last appearance as a band. Actually we broke up the night before at some god awful bar in Tucson Arizona, but reunited the next day to play live on KXCI. I guess the DJ hadn't really cleared it with the station directors and they were kind of pissed about the whole thing. We didn't help matters by prattling on about "pussy frat boys" and getting naked. Not the tightest performance or the greatest audio, but historic for the simple fact that it was the night that the band you wished would die actually did.

The Songs

1. Hickey Blvd.
2. The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
3. Sean's Mohawk
4. California Redemption
5. The Prettiest Junkie In Town
6. Her Prosthetic Hands
7. Underneath The Stupid Sun
8. Everything I know About Sex I Learned From KISS
9. Hickey Is About Long Hair And Getting High
10. The Export of Coffee Beans From Chiapas Mexico...
11. The Kittens Will Have Their Say

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Guilty Have No Pride

Some time back I posted Douglas P's collection of personal favorite Death In June tracks titled DISC-riminate. I mentioned that it was an excellent primer in the rather extensive discography of the band. For those of you whose interest was piqued I have posted Death In June's very first album, The Guilty Have No Pride.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Unknown Shadows

Mystic Charm was an unsung band from Holland fronted by an enigmatic young woman named Rein Doze. After releasing a demo (Endless Sickness) in 1992, and an EP (Lost Empire) in 1993, Mystic Charm unleashed their only full-length record on the world, 1994's Shadows of the Unknown. This album is a brilliant example of the kind of doomed down Death Metal that was somewhat prevalent at the time. Apart from Ms. Doze, much of Mystic Charm's appeal lies in the great Celtic Frost via Obituary guitar tones, sluggish riffing, and the general atmosphere of the recording that evokes a time when Metal in general was wholly less complicated. Just the graveyard lurch of Dutch stoners and the one chick in their town that liked cool music. Charming to say the least.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I don't have a whole lot of info on this fucked up little punk record from Italy. The band is called Underage, the EP is called Africani, and it was released in 1983 on the Attack Punk label. Reminds me a little of an Italian Disorder. Frantic shit.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Avzhia is a  long-standing Black Metal kult from Mexico City. Their debut album, 1996's Dark Emperors draws inspiration from the early works of Satyricon and Dimmu Borgir. I imagine if Avzhia came from Norway, not Mexico, Dark Emperors might enjoy a bit more recognition. Check it out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Visitation

Chrome is as much a San Francisco institution as cable cars, sourdough, and gayness, maybe even more so. The Visitation was Chrome's stunning debut LP. To describe Chrome's sound is all together futile, but if I had to I would use the words "post-punk kraut space rock acid funk rock proto-industrial no-wave gothic noise" and still fail to capture the full gamut of Chrome's genius. While The Visitation isn't my favorite Chrome release, it was first and is as good a place as any to start your new obsession with this legendary band.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advertisement or Shameless Plug

Ludicra is releasing our fourth album The Tenant in March through the brilliant Profound Lore Records. Click the link below to listen to a track.  Thanks for your time.

Megaton Leviathan

My friend Chris Beug has a new band called Megaton Leviathan. I saw them play at Gilman recently and they were colossal, emotional, and hypnotic. This is their first demo CDR, self released with a nice screen-printed cover. The sound is ethereal doom/drone/ambient sonic vastness with beautiful hooks. Chris was kind enough to share this with the readers and riders on the Cosmic Hearse. An excellent new band out of Portland. Support!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Recently Eldopa played a string of reunion shows around town and I was reminded of their feral, angsty Oakland crusty hardcore greatness. It would also seem that TeePee records had the good sense to release a complete discography which has some demos and live stuff I never heard before. If you have any doubts as to why you should pick one of these up I am posting their self-titled 7" from 1996.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blasphemy Night

Abigail was formed in Tokyo in 1992. They dubbed themselves "The most evil band in Japan" and set on their course for total Satanic Black Thrash purity. Blasphemy Night was Abigail's second demo tape and was self-released in 1993. This early effort contains two originals, a Sodom cover, and a Bathory cover.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Symphonic Holocaust

This phenomenal 1998 album was the result of members of Swedish neo-prog bands, Anekdoten and Landberk coming together to pay respects to the great soundtracks of horror and exploitation cinema of the '60s and '70s. Symphonic Holocaust by Morte Macabre contains mostly very loyal covers from such classics as Rosemary's Baby, City Of The Living Dead, The Beyond, and Cannibal Holocaust, and culminates in the sprawling original composition bearing the album's title. Brilliantly executed and slathered in mellotron, this will appeal to anyone interested in dark and evocative music or film score.