Understandably, the last couple of days haven’t brought the usual flood of music debuts and metal news. However, I did spy some items of interest that I thought were worth sharing with you as you recover from all that fuckin’ holiday cheer.
We’ve been tracking the doings of this Mammoth Lakes, California collective quite closely this fall and winter. I first came across (and wrote about) them more than two years ago following release of their excellent second album, Raven God Amongst Us. In September I found out that Valdur had finished writing their new album and were set to begin recording it in November, and I also found out about an excellent two-song EP entitled The Hammer Pit that they self-released this past summer, consisting of “rough version” of two new songs. We featured those songs here and here, and both tracks are now streaming at Bandcamp.
Today I saw that Valdur have released a new single entitled “Blast Beast”, which DECIBEL premiered today. The artwork for the single (which you can see above) is fantastic. The single is available for free (pay-what-you-want) download on Bandcamp, and it’s really good.
It melds the unparalleled ferocity of blackened/death war metal with seductive rhythmic and melodic hooks that lurk within the sonic maelstrom. The wave fronts of attacking noise come in rapid succession, but they’re not so overwhelming that you fail to notice the vivid dynamics of the percussion or the swarming complexity of the riffs. But the music really is pretty overwhelming.
An especially nice touch: the ominous, droning transition that comes around the 5:00 mark before the song ramps up into a furious squall of a finish.
I love this fuckin’ song! I want the next fuckin’ album soon!
DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT: A CVLT NATION MIXTAPE
We’re very high on Dragged Into Sunlight around here. I gave their latest album Widowmaker a rave review, and it has justly been recognized on many Best of 2012 lists around the web. Yesterday I saw that DIS had curated a mixtape for the CVLT Nation “Sonic Cathedrals” series. If you’re not familiar with that series, it’s really a great thing. The way it works is that CVLT Nation convinces a band to pick a collection of songs they want to recommend, and then CVLT Nation makes the mix available for free download.
I was very curious to see what DIS would pick. I suspected it would be eclectic and that it would include underground music I’d never heard before. Right on both counts. Here’s the track list:
Charles Manson – Cease To Exist
Astrohenge – Toil In Hell
Disappearer – Skull Full Of Bats
Humanfly – Marakesh
Leviathan – Brought Up To The Bottom
Bossk – I
Austere – Just For A Moment
Disma – Towards The Megalith
Impetuous Ritual – Convoluting Unto Despondent Anachronism
Diocletian – Order Of The Iron Fist
Horn Of The Rhino – Sovereign
Bongripper – Worship
Amon Tobin – Northstar
Murmur – The Fall
To stream the mixtape and download it for free, GO HERE.
Thanks to a note from DGR, I found out that on Christmas Day, Sybreed released a new music video for “No Wisdom Brings Solace”, a track from their 2012 album God Is An Automaton. This is one of the catchiest songs on the album, and the video gives us a chance to see pro-shot film of Sybreed on stage, complete with neck-mounted GoPro camera angles. I assume the audio track is the album recording rather than a live playthrough, but I still had fun watching and listening to this.
Stagnant Waters are a relatively new band whose three members are split between France and Norway. They released their self-titled debut album (which I’ve not yet heard) earlier this year, and it made the more underground of PopMatters’ two year-end lists, from which I’ll excerpt these words from list creator Craig Hayes: “If you can imagine a collection of serial killers playing avant-jazz on electronic cutlery in the midst of a chemical spill, you’re getting close to the free-for-all dementedness found here.”
Yesterday I saw that Stagnant Waters had uploaded for streaming their cover of “Storre enn Tid – Tyngre enn Natt” by Enslaved, which appeared on the Önd tribute to Enslaved released by Pictonian Records earlier this year.
The chiming of distorted guitars and the fascinating drum progressions in the intro grabbed me from the start, and the rest of the song just strengthened the grip. The vocals howl like an ice storm, the guitars fly off in unexpected directions, electronic noise enters and exits to good effect, and the music dives and swoops unpredictably through flurries of avant-garde extremity and alluring melodic passages.
And the drumming is really and truly riveting.
Awesome song, and now I’m kicking myself for missing this band’s album — an oversight that definitely will be fixed. (P.S. I discovered that Stagnant Waters’ debut album is streaming at DECIBEL.)