In these SHORT BUT SWEET posts, we focus mainly on releases that are shorter than full-length albums. Today, I’ve got two gems for you, the kind of sparkling indigo jewels that wide-eyed, doomed innocents find in fairy tales shortly before something horrific happens to them. For us, of course, it’s just pure, evil pleasure.
The first gem is an EP from a three-man Swedish band called Morbrand, which is already the subject of giant, infernal, wasp-like buzz. The second is a split by two Polish bands whose hands are dripping with the black slick of blood on a moonless night — Infernal War and Kriesgsmaschine.
Mordbrand has been drawing attention, like honey draws flies, based in part on the presence of Per Boder — who fronted an early and well-regarded Swedish death metal band called God Macabre (their debut album, The Winterlong, appeared in 1993). After a 20-year hiatus from recorded music, Boder has returned, and the six-song EP he and bandmates Björn Larsson (guitars, bass) and Johan Rudberg (drums) is a powerful return indeed.
(Damn. Unless my math is wrong, this makes TheMadIsraeli’s fifth straight review in as many days. Lest you think he cranked these out in less than 24 hours a piece, I know for a fact that he held onto these to make them more timely — and then flooded me with them, just to make sure I didn’t lay around all week like a beached whale watching TV and eating Cheeto’s.)
Alright, I know most of you NCS readers are simply not cool enough to love thrash, but THAT IS OKAY. I will show you the way, be your Moses that leads you to the metal promised land and SHOW YOU THE ERROR OF YOUR WAYS. I will be like Noah and part the waters of your tainted metal taste! [EDITOR'S NOTE: The author's comment about your lack of coolness is solely the opinion of the author and doesn't necessarily represent the official position of NCS, which generally sucks up to its readers like a $2 meth whore.]
In all seriousness though, how anyone can dislike thrash is beyond me, especially when it’s this good. Evile already have two albums to their credit, the delightfully old school and take-no-prisoners Enter The Grave, and the technical and progressive ecstasy that was Infected Nations. Now we see Evile returning to whoop asses again with their third outing Five Serpent’s Teeth — the only thrash album that matters all this year.
Long story short, but I haven’t had much time for blogging over the last week. Fortunately, Phro, TheMadIsraeli, and Andy Synn have stepped up with lots of reviews and . . . a box o’poops? The truncation of my blogging time will continue through the weekend, but I’m still hoping to find time for a few odds and ends — such as this post.
These four videos randomly came my way from different sources. The first two are new, the second two are older, but all four feature music capable of inflicting head trauma, which is the kind of metal I prefer. The perpetrators are Truth Corroded (Australia), Trollfest (Norway), Vomitory (Sweden), and Lecherous Nocturne (U.S.). Let’s get to it:
Truth Corroded is a band whose music I hadn’t heard before seeing the video featured in this post. Their new album Worship the Bled was released on September 16 in Europe and Japan by a Belgian label called Ultimhate Records. It features the hard-working Kevin Talley (Daath, Misery Index, Six Feet Under, Chimaira) on session drums as well as a guest appearance by Jonas Kjellgren of Scar Symmetry, who also mixed and mastered the album. The pretty artwork you see above was designed by Killustrations, whose work has also graced the covers of albums by bands such as Aborted and Dew Scented. (more after the jump . . .)
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album from Canada’s Threat Signal, calling it “one of the best albums of the year”, and then after the review we’ve got two songs and three videos — including a solo that Threat Signal guitarist Travis Montgomery composed for one of the new songs by . . . Textures.)
Total reinvention. It’s rare to see a band do this, and it’s even more rare to see a band do this and have the result turn out better than the original product. Not only did Threat Signal suffer a huge blow to the line-up, vocalist Jon Howard being the only member left from the Under Reprisal crew, but although their sophomore album Vigilance was good, it didn’t do so well in the realm of public opinion. It killed all the steam generated by their debut — and before Vigilance, they had been in a position to come out, kick ass, and kick ass even harder with material that bested their debut.
So where did this leave Threat Signal?
This band stayed relatively quiet for the longest time until this video cropped up: (after the jump . . .)
(TheMadIsraeli has been a reviewing machine lately, and here’s his assessment of the new album by Denmark’s Hatesphere., which is out now on Napalm Records.)
Hatesphere. One of my favorite bands of all time. How anyone could develop the capacity to dislike this Danish deathrash legend is ENTIRELY beyond me; they produce some of the sickest riffs, melodies, grooves and overall bewildering sonic assaults of any band in their genre niche.
I was NOT a fan, however, of their previous album To The Nines. The band had lost its signature lineup, including favorite vocalist of mine Jacob Bredhal, and while the true core of the band remained in founding guitarist Pepe “Lyse” Hanson, the new line-up he’d aquired just… wasn’t working. At all.
Now we’re here at the new Hatesphere album The Great Bludgeoning. New musicians in hand, specifically a new drummer, vocalist, and bassist, and I’m happy to say this album has undone the bad taste To The Nines left in my mouth.
(NCS writer Andy Synn reviews the new album by Skeletonwitch.)
If you’ve followed any of my writings so far, you’ll know that I have a huge love for the riff-fuelled blackened majesty that makes up the work of bands such as Iskald, Elite and Vreid. You’ll also know that I consider those three bands to be amongst the best working today, with songs that are equal parts triumph and despair.
Skeletonwitch have long been upon a path similar to that of these bands, albeit one entirely of their own making, steadily growing and transfiguring themselves, fusing the best of Europe’s scintillating majesty with the best of America’s unlimited ambition, resulting in a singular take on the sound which is equal parts Immortal and Metallica, as much enslaved to Emperor’s eldritch power as it is to Slayer’s berserker fury.
Concision and precision have always been the watchwords of Skeletonwitch’s style, and they remain key elements of each song on Forever Abomination. However, despite their continued short and sharp delivery, each song somehow feels more fleshed out and atmospheric, and indeed longer, than ever before. There’s more meat on the bone, more muscle and sinew exerted with every writhing riff and twisting drum fill; the skeleton now bears a more fully realised body, all pulsing musculature devoid of fat or waste.
With the release of Forever Abomination, I can say that Skeletonwitch can now confidently count themselves amongst the bands whose songs of fire and ice transcend the limitations of any one genre, instead rising to the challenge of embracing the best of multiple styles to create a newly formed monstrosity of unknown, and perhaps unlimited, potential.(more after the jump . . .)
(I have no idea how to introduce this post. I’ll just tell you that Phro wrote it, and leave it at that.)
Forest Gump’s mother (apparently, according to legends that are older than time…or at least, possibly, Google) claimed that life is like a box of chocolates and you never know which one is full of roofies. (It’s all of them, if I gave you them. Seriously, go ahead, here, have one. The ol’ tentacledick ain’t gonna rub one out all by itself, you know. Time for you to get off the couch and contribute to society just like your pappy always wanted.)
But, you know, I’ve never been a fan of chocolates, so fuck you and your goddamn Valentine’s Day. (A side note: in Japan, on Valentine’s Day, only the girls give chocolate to the boys. A month later, the boys are supposed to return the favor. And a month after that, anyone who got nothing is supposed to go eat black noodles. I like to pretend it’s all a metaphor for tentacle rape, but I have no idea what black noodles have to do with tentacle rape. I’ll have to get back to you…)
I am, however, a fan of poop. (I can hear your gasps of surprise ALL THE WAY OVER HERE. Knock it off. You sound like mouth breathers orgasming.) Well, I also recently noticed that YouTube links have no identifying information in the link itself. So, if someone posts a link without telling you what it is, you literally have no idea until you click it. I’ve decided to use this to my advantage. (And yours as well!)
Bacon strips, bitches. Authentic camping experience, complete with acetylene campfire starter and urine streams to bring the heat down to proper marshmallow-roasting temperature. Candied bacon strips and Jack Daniels and drizzling chocolate and layering the shit three and four across. And of course stuffing your fucken face with it when it’s all done. That’s metal. That’s all I got to say about this shit.
Norwegian black metal band Taake will be releasing their fifth full-length album, Noregs Vaapen, on November 1 in the U.S. on Dark Essence Records. It hit the streets in Europe on September 20, and we’re planning a review of it. It includes guest appearances by some signal names of the black metal elite, including Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Demonaz (Immortal), and Skagg (Gaahlskagg, Deathcult), as well as producer and Vulture Industries frontman Bjørnar E. Nilsen.
To begin whipping the faithful into a froth of anticipation for the album, today Taake premiered a music video for a track from the album called “Nordbundet” on the website of a Norwegian radio station called Pyro. The video is a mix of expertly filmed and edited live concert footage and scenes of the countryside around Taake’s hometown of Bergen filmed by Taake’s frontman Hoest — snow-covered firs and mountains, grey skies, isolated cabins, panoramas both beautiful and harsh.
The song itself is one I’ve had on repeat play this morning. It’s got a head-thumping, rock-style beat reminiscent of some of Darkthrone’s more recent efforts, charged with irresistible riffing. Near the end, it transitions into a blaze of memorable tremolo’d melody. And, of course, Hoest’s vocals are absolutely scalding. Very cool song, very cool video. Watch it after the jump (and prepare to headbang).
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new Machine Head album, Unto the Locust, which is being released today on Roadrunner Records.)
It’s time for me to come out of the closet. I AM A MACHINE HEAD FAN. I mean yeah, I have no problem admitting that The More Things Change, The Burning Red and Supercharger are nothing but sonic packages of primate anus waste and that every copy of them that exists should be torched in the fires of mallcore hell — but the great albums from this band outweigh the bad.
Burn My Eyes? Classic post-thrash, the epitome. Through The Ashes Of Empires was a solid return to form, while using what was good about their… shall-not-be-named-again mid-period exploits. And The Blackening saw Machine Head taking a respectably ambitious turn, risking looking like complete and utter posers and tools by expanding the scope of their songwriting, breaking into epic song lengths of up to 10 minutes.
Unto The Locust is this band’s best album since Burn My Eyes. Indisputable this fact shall be. This is an all-guns-blazing post-thrash assault that actually reveals the MH crew bringing back to the music their old 80′s thrash influences to a surprising extent. There are even a lot of moments that recall Vio-Lence or Forbidden — bands in which members of Machine Head have previously done time.