yes, smaller. more managable?

Japan - Ghosts

One of my favorite tunes on Jess Harvell's nowthatswhaticallnewpop list, "Ghosts" starts out with some late-70s horror flick cheese-synth, but Dave Sylvian's voice rescues it all -- like Scott Walker on "The Electrician"-- quivering over the emergence of a tune that's little more than a purposefully unsettling mess. It reminds me of the melancholic, can-hardly-get-started theatrics of songs like "Holocaust," but reinterpreted by an Atari with a voice like the Antony of yesteryear.



Silentist - Kimono Mask (fixed)
Silentist - Static Teeth

It might be possible to trace all the menacing stuff I like these days, anything that just so happens to be hard and heavy and loud and, you know, may be derived from metal or hardcore of some sort, back to my favorite Gravity Records band: Antioch Arrow. Until Blastitude threw me a bone, I had no idea Silentist -- this classically ferocious piano + drums duo -- featured Mark Evan Burden, who used to play organ in theGet Hustle, which has at one point or another, featured nearly all of the former members of Antioch Arrow. Impressed? I'll try again next time.

Silentist, though, is some seriously brutal, occasionally doomy, cabaret-style black metal. Like Seven Angels Seven Plagues meets Celtic Frost meets Mercyful Fate meets Olivia Block or John Adams or Philip Glass. The piano parts are huge and sprawling (and fake) like Black Heart Procession gone mad. And the drums are all Ruins-style, spasmodic and forgivably proggy. But I hate the term avant-garde. So, how about avant-grind?