After a night of debauchery and a half day of painfully early work, I’m finally able to start catching up on what I missed in the world of metal since yesterday afternoon. This post is devoted to two things that caught my eye right off the bat.
Is that album cover up there awesome or what? It’s recognizably the work of John Baizley, and I think this may be my favorite cover he’s ever done. The fact that it graces the new album by Skeletonwitch just makes it all the more killer. The complete artwork was unveiled yesterday, along with more info about the new album — Serpents Unleashed.
It’s now scheduled for release on October 29 in NorthAm (a day earlier in the UK and most of the EU, and October 25 in Germany). It was recorded earlier this year at GodCity Studio with Kurt Ballou (Converge, Trap Them, High on Fire), AND there’s a song from the album that’s being given away for free: “Burned From Bone”.
To get the free download, text SERPENTS to 24587. You’ll get a reply text with a unique code and a link to a page where you can download the song using the code. Which is what I did.
The song has been performed live by the band, with clips up on YouTube, but this was the first time I got to hear the actual album track, and it just makes me even more stoked for the album (and I was pretty fuckin’ hot about it already). It truly is a black thrashing beast. Slashing riffs, raking vocals, thundering drums — and a lead guitar line that’s virally catchy. Kudos to Kurt Ballou, too, because it sounds excellent.
To my surprise, no one has yet uploaded it to YouTube. Whenever that happens, I’ll stick the clip in here so you can listen. In the meantime, pre-orders for a physical release are being fielded here, and there’s a page on Bandcamp where digital pre-orders can be made.
The other item that caught my eye is a new official video from Omnium Gatherum for “The Sonic Sign”, a track off their 2013 album Beyond, which we loved so much here at NCS that we reviewed it three times. That track is also one I’ve got on our list of candidates for the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.
I haven’t figured out what’s going on in the video. If you have any thoughts about that, leave a comment.
UPDATE: No sooner did I post this piece than I received the following intro to the video from my NCS comrade DGR:
Today, Omnium Gatherum released another music video for their excellent 2013 release Beyond. This time out the band have released another one of the quicker, catchier tracks out to the public – after putting out the initial premiere track of “The New Dynamic”, the music video/scenery porn for the slower song of “The Unknowing”, and the performance track for another slower, more meditative song, “Formidable”.
The video for “The Sonic Sign” isn’t a performance video, so don’t expect any shots of the band. Instead, you get to follow the adventures of one man through a bunch of differing locations as a bunch of flashbacks and events are interwoven throughout.
“The Sonic Sign” itself is a highlight track, sounding like one of the stronger songs from the group’s previous disc New World Shadows that somehow landed on Beyond. It’s a synth-heavy track, too, and it carries most of the song – whereas the rest of the disc is pretty guitar-lead-focused. It’s also one of the quicker ones, alongside songs like “The New Dynamic” and “Living In Me” (which is great! Listen to “Living In Me”!).
We’ve sung the praises of Beyond millions of times at NCS, almost to a ridiculous level, but the disc made an amazing first impression on all of us and it is still holding out months after release. If you haven’t given Beyond a listen yet, Omnium Gatherum set a pretty high bar for the sort of ethereal, slow moving, melodic death metal that can paint scenery through sound alone on this album, and they’ve ascended to a pretty high place where very few other bands of similar style reside.