You see that guy up there straddling that futuristic city like a colossus, preparing to unleash arcane energies upon its helpless inhabitants? If you want to know what’s going through his head, the answer is a vision of a Bloodshot Dawn and the music on a new album named Demons. The first advance song from the album (“Smoke and Mirrors”) premiered earlier this month, and now a second one is out.
This new one is named ‘The Image Faded”, and holy hell, it features solos from Chris Amott, Per Nilsson, Andy James, and Teemu Mäntysaari, as well as the band’s own hot shit guitar duo of Josh McMorran and Ben Ellis. I don’t think guitars get erections, but if they did, the song would need one of those warnings about seeing a doctor if it lasts for more than four hours.
(In this 7th and final installment of a multi-part piece, Austin Weber continues rolling out recommended releases from his latest exploratory forays through the underground. Previous installments are linked at the end of this post.)
Exhausted Prayer are one of my favorite Los Angeles metal bands, and their streamlined yet progressive merger of black and death metal is a thing of wonder to take in. They’ve been at this since 1997, and Ruined marks their fourth full-length as a group, completely self-released by the band. Somebody needs to sign these guys, for real.
Ruined is an organic, often heavily atmospheric and deeply breathing record — one whose airy yet not hollow production perfectly marries their impressive approach to fusing black and death metal together. Ruined sports a natural production, one which will likely require you to turn your speakers up since it isn’t a loud, brickwalled lump of pain. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to a record that isn’t an over-compressed offering that hurts to listen to with headphones.
As mentioned earlier today, I spent a chunk of time yesterday listening to new songs and found many to recommend. By happenstance, most of them were various flavors of death metal, so I altered the usual “Seen and Heard” title of these round-ups. And because I found so much new music I wanted to commend to your earholes, I divided it into two parts. Part One is here.
Necromutilator are a three-man band from Mantua, Italy, whose existence I discovered by browsing the Facebook page of Elektroplasma Musik, who will be distributing the band’s debut album on Terror From Hell Records. The debut album is entitled Eucharistic Mutilations, and the one song from it I’ve found so far on the web is “Fuck With Darkness”.
According to reports here and here, the 2015 edition of THE DECIBEL TOUR will include At the Gates, Converge, and Vallenfyre, plus one more band yet to be announced. This news was apparently divulged by Richard Christy on Saturday night on stage during the “Decibel Takes Manhattan” show, which featured Amon Amarth, Sabaton, and Vallenfyre.
I haven’t seen any more information than what is reported above, but this is exciting news. I’ll now have my fingers crossed, except for those rare occasions when I need those fingers for something else, that this thing will stop in Seattle.
That is all.
UPDATE: The tour schedule has now been announced. Here it is (I can un-cross my fingers):
I plowed through a lot of new songs yesterday and found a lot to like. Most of it happened to be death metal, though not quite all. So I decided to skip the “Seen and Heard” title for this round-up in favor of a more descriptive lead-in. Also, I found so much to recommend that I’ve divided the round-up into two parts. The second one will come a bit later today.
I loved this French band’s previous 2014 EP Deathmanicvs Revelation with an unholy love. I have little reason to doubt that I will experience similarly unnatural attractions to their new one, Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity. Apart from my intense desire to obtain more knowledge about The Purple Entity (!), the advance song that became available for listening this weekend is like an aphrodisiac for the ears.
According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:
Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country’s aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride; for the symphonic cycle Má vlast (“My Homeland”), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s native land; and for his First String Quartet, From My Life.
“My Fatherland” is described as a cycle of six symphonic poems. Interestingly, according to the article quoted above, it was composed after illness had rendered Smetana completely deaf in both ears. The second part of the cycle is entitled “Vltava” and it was finished in late 1874. As the article explains, it was named for, and inspired by, “the river that runs through Prague towards its junction with the Elbe [and] is Smetana’s best-known and most internationally popular orchestral composition”.
And why, you may ask, am I writing about Smetana and “Vltava“? Because the Czech black metal band Cult of Fire have recorded a two-song EP dedicated to the composer and will be releasing it on 7″ vinyl through Iron Bonehead Productions on the 140th anniversary of Smetana’s completion of “Vltava“: December 8, 2014. This is the band’s fourth studio release overall, and thus it’s entitled Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně (The Fourth Symphony of Fire), with cover art created by David Glomba.
I’ve included in this post reviews of two new short releases that I strongly recommend to lovers of infernal music.
This five-person German black metal band whose members don’t publicize their identities released a 2009 demo (With Burning Tongues), an EP (Fire and Faith) in 2010, and then a full-length album (Consolamentum) later the same year. After the passage of nearly four years, they have now returned with a two-song release named Deathless Light that the World Terror Committee will release on Samhain (October 31).
Of the two songs on this release, both of which are long, the title track will appear on a forthcoming full-length album, while the second — “Garden of Stone” — was recorded exclusively to this release. Both songs are tremendously effective in creating atmospheres that are staggeringly heavy, grim, and often sorrowful — yet they are both charged with energy and passion, and the mainly clear production only magnifies their black power.
(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Sweden’s At the Gates.)
Seriously… how am I supposed to even begin to review this album?
After all, the war between the forces of Hype and Anti-Hype began in earnest pretty much the moment At War With Reality was announced, and the back and forth antagonism has since churned the waters into an almost impenetrable mass of muck-raking and mud-slinging, making any attempt at clarity and objectivity a difficult prospect at best.
Think about it. How many people have you seen/heard claiming, with full confidence, that this is going to be “the best album of the year”, with little more than hope or blind faith as their main source of evidence? Probably quite a few. In fact, probably about as many people as you’ve seen stating, with arrogant superiority, that At The Gates “are shit”, and that this album “…is going to suck”, without even hearing a single note of music.
I mean, let’s face it, a lot of people will have made up their minds about At War With Reality long before they heard anything from it. The fanatics are preconditioned to love it even if it’s awful, and the elitists are predisposed to hate it even if it’s phenomenal. So really there’s not much I can say to either of those groups.
But maybe, just maybe, I can reassure some of you out there who don’t fall into either camp, and who might have their own (fully understandable) doubts about the return of At The Gates after all this time.
(DGR reviews the new album by Anaal Nathrakh.)
It’s probably telling that, lately, Anaal Nathrakh’s discography has become the soundtrack to just about everything that I’ve done. It’s the drive to work soundtrack, and the drive home after the shitshow routine is completed eight hours later. When people portray heavy metal as music consisting of catharsis, Anaal Nathrakh immediately springs to mind as a band whose very reason for existence is to let anger out — both from the musicians in the band and from the fans around them — in one expulsion of energy. A gamma burst from a dying star of utter negativity.
Anaal Nathrakh have built their career out of being as abrasive as humanly possible. As a latecomer to the band, it has been fun to go back through their career and experience the inordinate amount of inhuman noise and utter abstract madness that this duo have unleashed since their formation.
In this post we bring you the premiere of the title track from the forthcoming debut album — All Sights Affixed, Ablaze — by a band from Ontario, Canada, named Idol of Fear. But first, a bit of background information.
The band took their name quote from a quote in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 movie Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal): “We must make an idol of our fear and that idol we shall call God.” They recorded a three-song demo in 2013, and now plan to release their debut full-length on November 18, 2014.
The album includes 8 tracks, its total length is 44 minutes, it was mixed by Jeff Wardell, and it was mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio. The cover art is by the viciously talented Mark Riddick.
Okay, enough background. What about the music?