Tuesday 22 April 2014

Vinyl Corner : Admiral Angry – A Fire To Burn Down The World (EP, Limited Edition)

Album Type : EP
Date Released : 26/4/2014
Label : Shelsmusic

Track  listing :

Side A). A Fire To Burn Down The World
Side B). A Fire To Burn Down The World

Total running time : 23:41


Admiral Angry was an aggressively bottom heavy sludge band from California.
Their first album to be released, “Buster”, was released in 2008 on Sentient Recordings marking the return of their original singer, Chris Lindblad, who did vocals on their “9/11…Only Worse” EP, when they were more of a grind band.

Between 9/11 and Buster, the band recorded an album known as “Albania”, but it was not released due to various conflicts with their former vocalist.

All of Admiral Angry’s music was written by Daniel Krauss, who tragically passed away in February of 2009.

The band has stated on myspace that they will be recording one more EP of music written by Daniel. The future of the band beyond that is unknown.

The Band :

CL | vocals
BG | bass
CS | drums
MR | guitar
DK | guitar 

Review :

Shelsmusic label the brainchild of Founder, Mehdi Safa, he of the band *shels, have at least 36 releases to their name, with new and exciting signings such as Astrohenge, a new Manatees album coming out on vinyl this year, as well as releasing Eden Maine’s debut EP The Treachery Pact on vinyl.  Today, the focus of today’s vinyl corner was the label’s first vinyl release, ‘A Fire To Burn Down The World’ by Admiral Angry.  This record is presented in traditional black wax, art direction & photos by Daniel Kraus.

We’ve never stopped, and we never will. Sound lives forever. We hope our music is most unpleasant.“  -Daniel Kraus (RIP)

Following the release of their Debut release in 2009, entitled ‘Buster’, Daniel Kraus founding member and driving force behind the band had talked to Shelsmusic about an EP they were working on and his desire to release on vinyl, that EP would eventually come to be ‘A Fire To Burn The World.’  Tragically, Daniel Kraus passed away at the age of 22, before the band could even record the EP.  Affectionately referred too as the ‘Admiral’, the record was released posthumously, honouring his memory and acting as a fitting tribute to him, being the first vinyl release from the label. 

I affectionately remember picking up the record upon its initial release in 2010, as a 99p download, and remember thinking I had stolen from Amazon, (the record was full price the next day).  One can only assume, they cocked up, because they didn’t know how to price it, because in essence ‘A Fire to Burn the World’ is one track. 

Reminiscent to Khanate, Black Sheep Wall or The Abominable Iron Sloth for that matter, I became obsessed by the brilliance of their downtempo sludge, in 2009.  Indeed, their debut record ‘Buster’ is perhaps one of my very favourite records of all time. Songs like ‘Sex with a Stranger’, ‘Kill Yourself’, and ‘Bug Vomit’ are aggressively bottom heavy.  A striking riff sound reminiscent to Meshuggah, but without the djent cliches, coupled with harrowingly tormented vocals, think Burning Witch or Khanate.  ‘Buster’ is one of the very best records you’ve probably never heard. 

Acting in some ways as a companion piece to ‘Buster’, ‘A Fire to Burn the World’ is one piece of music played over 25 torturous mins.  Recorded to tape, the tone of the music is laden with fuzz and bleak distortion, crackling, like any vintage vinyl should.  This is nightmarish stuff.  Have the antacids handy, because this stuff isn’t swallowed easier. 

As the rest of the guys in the band put it, this album is “One 30 minute long song, meant to punish you for all the bad things you’ve done in your bedroom. A Fire is not meant for everyone, but is being released for the one person that had the determination to set this world ablaze before he left it.”  Not only was Daniel Kraus a talented musician but an artist of some note, designing artwork for Black Sheep Wall’s debut album, I am God Songs.  Also a brilliant and much underrated band, in case you lost your mind and overlooked that band too. 

As I sit at my laptop listening to ‘A Fire To Burn The World’ from the opening refrain of the drums, it is a tense affair, the maniacal and tortured vocals, are so fucking bleak it is like black bile.  The guitars come in and everything is played slow, chugging barred chords then a more open three note passage, this is ugly and uncompromising, like salt in an open wound.  There are some lead breaks, but they seem out of key, to add further discordance.  The mix is stunning, everything sounds huge, and the snare sound is just how i like it, snappy and thick.  Around 5 – 6 minutes they up the pace with that Meshuggah like tone of the guitars, bassy and downtuned to Z.  Then it is back to the chugging refrain of the opening.  You can’t so much nod to the music because it is so lacking in pace, but it is droning and truly captivating.  This dude on vocals must have lubricated his throat with Vaseline to prevent his throat from rupturing under the strain.  When you think things can’t get any heavier, the guitars somehow get more bass.  

Like in the olden days at the cinema with the timely interval for your ice cream or toilet break, side A comes to an end, splitting up the track and as the listener it is your opportunity to go to your ‘happy place’ before taking in side B.  ‘Cause I can guarantee this shit, won’t become uplifting. 

Valium consumed to stabilise your nerves after side A, things are indeed a little more melodious, guitars are clean, yet with feedback filtering in and the discord of the anguish vocals bleating through.  Admiral Angry, kick you in the teeth once more,  this is armed to teeth with chugging bass, like the sound The Terminator makes when he enters the scene, one thing is true this band absolutely will not stop until you’re dead.  Indeed the final passage of the record is merely feedback from the guitars, the sound your brain makes when it’s being pummelled into the floor. 

This is not pleasant, uplifting, shitgrin music, this is as bleak as it gets, but Daniel Kraus was an undoubted talent and with every subsequent listen of the record, it is a mark of appreciation of his final and perhaps most uncompromising work.  Indeed what better way to uphold his memory, by honouring his wish to have his music commits to wax?  

Words by : Aaron Pickford

You can get it here

For more information :