(In this post Grant Skelton reviews the new album by Germany’s Ahab.)
I am someone who is relatively new to the Ahab fold. NCS reader blend77 recommended the band to me last year when I was just beginning my descent into the subterranean mausoleum of doom metal lore. Ahab’s 2006 debut The Call Of The Wretched Sea remains their crowning achievement in the minds of many. Nevertheless, I began my exploration of their music with The Giant, the band’s third album released in 2012. From there, I worked my way backward to their 2009 offering The Divinity Of Oceans. I finished with The Call…, which I mentioned above.
Ahab loyalists are aware of the band’s devotion to nautical and marine literature. But if you’re new to Ahab, then you might like to know that their albums are each based on books relating to the ocean. As a writer, this fact immediately enticed me about the band’s music. You see, sometimes metal is like a Z-grade horror film. Sometimes you just want to lay back on your couch, turn on the television, and zone out. You’ve got your trusty go-to food-and-beverage combo while you’re enamored by Transdimensional Transgendered Zombies From Planet Squiddleboxtoastmeat or some other nugget of modern cinematic camp. Plenty of metal bands cater to that particular appetite and I’ve enjoyed my share.
But Ahab needs to be absorbed and mulled over. You certainly can listen to them passively as background noise. But to do so results in an insipid listening experience. That would cause you to miss out on all that Ahab have to offer, particularly on their new album The Boats Of The Glen Carrig. It is an album that must be plunged into headfirst without hesitation. You must follow them on their descent into aquatic oblivion, much like the fate of their namesake. The further down you go, the less you will see. The less you see, the more you will find.
Your humble editor is about to have to devote the rest of the day to his fucking day job, and therefore this will most likely be the last post of this Friday on our putrid site, other than a big review we’ve got coming. And, sad to say, there’s not a lot of new music in this little round-up (until the end) because my time is regrettably short — but there’s a lot of impressive artwork for forthcoming releases that I spotted over the last 24 hours.
This Swedish black/death band’s 2013 debut album Grave Ekstasis drew lots of praise from assorted year-end lists at our site (and elsewhere), and yet I managed to miss it entirely until much later. I won’t make the same mistake twice.
What I saw today (and what you’re looking at above) is the amazing cover art by David Herrerias for the band’s next album, Apollyon. The band revealed the artwork yesterday, and so I assume the recording has been completed, but I haven’t yet seen any info about a release date or method of distribution. I’ll be watching for that….
(KevinP rejoins us with another edition of his short-interview series, and this time he talks with Jacobo Córdova, the man behind one of our favorite bands — Majestic Downfall, whose stunning new album is out now and can be heard at the end of the interview.)
K: So this is the third year in a row with a full-length album worth of material. How have you been able to pull this off?
J: I guess the reason why the band is so active is that I really like writing music and I do it as a very disciplined thing. It is a one-man job where I can decide when to do things, however I want to, without anyone on my back. I do have to say, that this time it was a bit harder than previously, since I incorporated a lot of new sounds into the music without caring or giving importance to where they came from.
K: If you found it harder to write this time around BUT you didn’t worry about what you incorporated, wouldn’t that actually make it easier, being free of restrictions?
J: Yes and no.Yes in the creative department, where as long as it sounded good I would work with it and incorporate it into the songs. No in the aspect of making such different ideas flow together in a smooth and cohesive way. That is what made me struggle more. I hate pasting riffs together without any relation.
(Comrade Aleks returns to our pages with an interview of Olly Pearson, vocalist of the UK band Moss, plus music.)
Moss (Southampton, UK) started their way through the deepest doom sewers by practicing in the disciplines of sludge and drone in 2001. Their efforts brought certain success as the band secured a contract with Rise Above Records and somehow found the keys to the hearts of doomheads outside the UK and Europe.
One of the most significant steps for Moss was the recording of the Horrible Night album in 2013, which showed a new direction that the band had started to follow. It was still ruinous and tortured, darkest doom metal, but it was played in a more traditional way, with more clean vocals and a bit less distorted tunes.
Moss sounds unfriendly and sometimes harsh, but we’re spoiled enough to like it. So I’m happy to introduce you to Olly Pearson, the band’s vocalist.
Are you like me? Are you in the mood to have your head ripped off with a rusty hacksaw and then booted around the room like a filthy soccer ball while the stump of your neck spurts gore in sync with some tasty riffs? Yeah, I thought so. Well, I can fix you right up, because the song we’re about to premiere from Armament will do all of that, and then some.
Actually, if the part about the rusty hacksaw makes you a little queasy, the odds are you’ll bang your head hard enough to “Gas Chamber” that it will come right off on its own.
Armament are a thrash band from India, and this track we’re premiering comes from their debut EP, First Strike, which will be released next month. The term “thrash” covers a lot of territory, but in this instance we’re talking about the kind of vicious, super-charged mayhem that brings to my addled mind Arise-era Sepultura while also bowing to the pantheon of Teutonic thrash gods such as Sodom and Destruction.
One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.
However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.
For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song.
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by The Black Dahlia Murder.)
If Everblack was BDM’s darkest record, Abysmal is the band’s brightest, brimming with a raw, incendiary energy that calls back to the band’s early days of Unhallowed and Miasma. With a distinctly higher quotient of Arsis-isms in the riffs (undoubtedly due to Ryan Knight’s influence) and an overall recommitment to the band’s love of pedal-point-intensive harmonized riffing, Abysmal is to these ears a refreshing record.
I felt Everblack was less melodic death metal, and more of a death metal album that had melodic parts in it, which I think was the band’s goal at the time. I thought and still think it’s in fact the band’s best record, and while Abysmal doesn’t hit the sweet spot for me that Everblack did, that may be because Abysmal just isn’t punching my personal preference buttons hard enough. That’s not intended to detract from the fact that it’s a great record, among so many others that BDM have produced over the years.
In the spring of this year, Detroit’s Fell Ruin released their debut EP, Devices. It drew the attention of NCS writer TheMadIsraeli, who praised it here on our site. Now we have the opportunity to premiere the band’s official video for the EP’s opening track, “The Climb“.
The video was directed by the band’s vocalist Brian Sheehan, and it was filmed and edited by Seven Sun Studios, with after effects by Brian Kaurich. I mention all those names because this video really is good. It’s mysterious, unsettling, and hypnotic, the kind of visual artistry that pulls you in and keeps your attention rooted, waiting to see what will happen — though the answer to that question may depend on your own imagination.
Of course, the video can’t be divorced from the music; it’s the combination of the two that makes it such an engrossing experience.
(Austin Weber steps up for round-up duty, with new music from four bands.)
While we already shove enough music down your throat on a daily basis to have your anus crying musical notes for a year, I figured I might as well present some more killer metal to up the rectal/ear discomfort of our readers. Below you’ll find a smattering of new songs by groups about to release new material, as well as a heads-up about a new release worth investing time in. A feast for the fetid-minded awaits you. In either a pleasant or unpleasant way. Your choice.
Oftentimes promising metal bands I’ve been interested in have sadly bitten the dust before they were able to release a proper album or EP. So often, all we have in memoriam is a brief demo or split material. For a number of years now, it’s looked like that very fate might befall German death metal band Cerebric Turmoil. After a 2006 demo, the band started off at a very high level, releasing a split album with none other then Defeated Sanity, which should give you an idea of their sound and also the quality of their music. In fact, at one point, the band actually had Defeated Sanity’s bass player in their ranks, and they also had famed oddball guitarist Fountainhead (now in Obscura) in their line-up at one point too.
After releasing their split with Defeated Sanity in 2008, the band broke up that same year. And while they re-formed in 2010, a full-length statement was nowhere in sight. Only now in 2015 are the band on the cusp of releasing their very promising debut, Neural Net Meltdown (on November 13th) through Amputated Vein Records. They just released the first song from it called “Grotesque Dreaming”, which I’ve embedded below for you to jam.
(Grant Skelton presents his review of the new album by Broken Flesh — along with our premiere of a full-album stream.)
Broken Flesh formed in 2004 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They released their first album Forever In Flames in 2009 on black metal label Sullen Records (now defunct). On Forever In Flames, the band performed as a three-piece with Kevin Tubby handling guitar and vocals, additional guitar by Steve Maxwell, and Brandon Lopez on drums. Forging a strong DIY ethic, Broken Flesh followed up that album with an independent EP called Stripped, Stabbed and Crucified in 2012. The EP was the band’s only release to feature Ricky Puckett on vocals. Jacob Mathes took over as the band’s bassist and backup vocalist.
Over the next year, the band adjusted their lineup, honing their sound and perfecting their craft. While guitarist Kevin Tubby and drummer Brandon Lopez remained constant, Jacob took over lead vocals, with Joshua Mathes stepping in on bass. The musical seeds they began to sew on Stripped, Stabbed and Crucified manifested in 2013. That year, the band birthed Warbound. Their evolution was complete. In the span of only one year, Broken Flesh’s songwriting metamorphosed into a repulsive death metal scourge devoid of mercy… a wanton and sadistic lash with which to flagellate their listeners and fans.
Warbound saw Broken Flesh ascend from sepulchral obscurity. After its release, they played a hometown show with Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Festival and Mexico’s Exodo Fest. In 2014, the band gave live audiences the pleasure of hearing new material written after Warbound. Broken Flesh attracted the attention of Luxor Records, and Luxor re-released Warbound in January. The new album was produced by Nick Morris of As They Sleep (who also have new material in the pipeline). The track “Hell” features a guest solo from Morris.
Now, No Clean Singing is proud to offer an exclusive stream of Broken Flesh’s new self-titled album in advance of its September 4 release date.