I’m about to bolt for the airport — not because of the fucking day job, for a change, but to visit family in Austin and maybe have time for a bit of the Housecore Horror Film Festival. If the wi-fi works on the airplane, I might turn up again, but otherwise this round-up of new music will be today’s final post. Although this post isn’t a long one, trust me, it’s a good one.
I have BadWolf to thank for the discovery of this first new song. It comes from a band named Perdition Temple. Despite the fact that they have two albums out in the world (Edict of the Antichrist Elect from 2010 and 2014′s Sovereign of the Desolate), I don’t think I’ve previously explored their music.
The band’s line-up, which includes some veteran names, is as follows:
When I started this site almost five years ago I picked the name “NO CLEAN SINGING” not so much to announce a rigid rule we intended to follow about the site’s content but more as a protest against something that had happened to the music of one band I used to care a lot about — Bury Your Dead. Matt Bruso had left the band to teach school and he had been replaced by Myke Terry, who introduced clean singing into their music, and the music just seemed to lose some of its weight all the way around.
Even though my musical tastes have evolved in increasingly extreme directions and I’ve lost touch with a lot of what’s happening in whatever scene is left of the one BYD inhabited, I still keep the early BYD albums in my car and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of them.
So, when a Facebook friend recently posted a link to a brand new EP named Weightbearer by a Spanish band named Dremenuart and made comparisons to the”über-low-tuned hardcore metal” of bands like early BYD, that pushed the right button and I had to check it out. I’m so very glad I did.
Today the Elemental Nightmares project released the fourth of the seven vinyl splits in the series, with a fourth segment (above) of what will eventually become one massive piece of artwork for the series as a whole — and as of today it’s also now available for download on Bandcamp.
I’ve been especially looking forward to this split because it features two old favorites of this site — Canopy and Obitus — as well as two new ones, Harasai and Kall.
Last summer we had the pleasure of premiering the tracks by Canopy and Harasai, and I’m going to include the accompanying write-up below, along with thoughts about the Obitus and Kall tracks. In a nutshell, this is a great quartet of pleasingly diverse songs.
Here’s the second part of a round-up of new things that I began earlier today, collecting some of the news and music I discovered over the last 24 hours that I thought would be worth your time, because they were worth mine.
Where Greater Men Have Fallen is the name of the new Primordial album, due for release by Metal Blade on November 25. The title track premiered previously, and a couple of days ago Stereogum premiered another song, “Come the Flood”. It’s powerfully heart-wrenching and melancholy in its atmosphere, driven at first by heavy, thumping drumbeats and a flowing curtain wall of guitars, and later by percussion that sounds like gunshots and a vital lead guitar melody. But at the center of the song is its most arresting feature — Nemtheanga’s high, soul-stirring, dramatic voice. Amazing.
Listen here (Primordial’s FB page is at this location):
It’s inevitable, given the heritage of Kall’s members, that their debut self-titled album will be compared to and contrasted with the music of their former band, Lifelover. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. To this day, almost four years after that band’s final album, Lifelover has such a devoted following that Kall will benefit from the attention, and I have little doubt that those fans will like Kall a lot.
But if I were in a band, I think I would prefer to have my music considered as it is, rather than described and evaluated in terms of its similarities or dissimilarities to the work of a predecessor group. And so, at least here, this is the last you’ll hear of Lifelover – other than to note that the album’s final song is named “Far väl” (“fare well”).
I’ve been waiting for this album since July of 2013, when I discovered a song from Kall named “Då, nu – Jag och Du” (and wrote about it) that was then planned to appear on a debut EP. A second song and an excerpt from a third one eventually followed, and I wrote about them, too — and then instead of an EP, this album finally appeared. It was worth the wait.
(DGR reviews the new third album by Xerath.)
Allow me to start this review by stating this fact; I am so happy that Xerath got the chance to record another album because Xerath records discs like music is going out of style. They are one of the few bands out there who rank incredibly high on the under-appreciated-to-ambition index, because every album the band have put out, despite their inauspicious album titles, have been massive slabs of music. I think they should deserve multiple opportunities in the future to do so based on their cover of “Speed Demon” by Michael Jackson, because it confirmed that I was not the only one who heard that bassline in the song and went, “There’s a metal song in this.”
Nobody really does the “bang for your buck” routine quite like Xerath do. They remind me of the time when a friend of mine ordered one of those gimmicky massive burgers that restaurants come out with, and when the waitress brought it out, we laughed at it because our simpleton minds could not comprehend the reality of this huge slab of meat sitting in front of us, we paid for it, boxed it, and left.
Xerath make no compromises in their music, and I absolutely love the fact that the FIRST SONG of this album is over seven minutes long, because for a group who should be earning a massive fan base, they love to put barriers to entry the size of the Berlin Wall at the front of their albums. In those seven minutes the band pack every single thing that has ever defined Xerath into one song: a huge blast of orchestration, a giant-sized serving of mid-tempo-focused groove riffs, super-high screaming and occasional clean singing. and complicated drumming. It’s like they were told III was going to be a one-song album.
But III is not a one-song trip. In fact, III has fourteen songs on it, and like its brethren I and II, the album includes long, arduous journeys through multiple landscapes — seemingly guided tours of a beautiful apocalypse, and you really have to be prepared for what you are about to undertake. III, also like its brothers, is a great album, but also shares in some of the issues that hampered them a bit as well. It’s a huge disc that needs to be approached as you would a thousand-mile journey, one step at a time.
Yesterday brought a flood of new music and announcements that peaked my interest. I didn’t have time to post about any of them yesterday, so I’ve got a lot to cover this morning. Which is why this round-up is divided into two parts, with the second one coming later on.
Wolfheart’s self-released 2013 debut album Winterborn was fantastic. It was exactly the balm needed to salve the wounds that Tuomas Saukkonen temporarily inflicted on fans when he folded all of his other projects (including Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon) to start fresh. Yesterday brought the announcement that Spinefarm Records has now signed Wolfheart and will be re-releasing Winterborn on February 3, 2015, with two additional bonus tracks — “Isolation” and “Into the Wild”. This will be the first physical edition of the album to be made available worldwide.
But even more exciting than that was the news that next year Spinefarm will also be releasing Wolfheart’s second album Shadow World, which the band is now in the process of completing. And here’s one more titillating tidbit of Wolfheart news from the same announcement:
(Our Nottingham-based writer Andy Synn ventured down to London to catch the Venereal Dawn Tour MMXIV and files this report, with video of the performances.)
From the moment it was announced, there really was no way I was going to miss this show. Two of my absolute favourite bands, Dark Fortress and Secrets of the Moon, along with one of this year’s best discoveries, the ineffable Schammasch, all on the same bill?
The fact that it was down in London, at The Underworld (a venue I’ve always loved) was both a blessing a curse, as it pretty much guaranteed a great sound and atmosphere for the night, but also necessitated leaving work early and making a three-hour (give or take) drive through the irritating London traffic.
Still, totally worth it.
In this post, we’re premiering the title track to Random Cosmic Violence, the new album on Relapse Records by Usnea from Portland, Oregon. If you’re smart and/or impatient, you’ll scroll down and just listen to it. But I have some things to say about the album as a whole, and I will have my say.
Almost everything about the album is huge. The human skeletal structure is sturdy, but it wasn’t made for the utterly crushing force of this music. It’s enough to collapse bone like an accordion. And the parts that aren’t cataclysmic are mostly disturbing, except when they’re entrancing.
The music is kindling for metaphors, if you’re given to that sort of thing, which I am. The album was named for a line by Carl Sagan in his book The Demon Haunted World, a line that explains our existence and that of the cosmos itself. We and everything around us, out to the limits of the universe, are the products of violence on a titanic scale. The music imagines all that cold, careless, destructive vastness.
(Austin Weber prepared the following introduction to our premiere of a new song from the forthcoming second album by The Crinn from Saint Paul, Minnesota.)
The further and further The Crinn have gone in their career, the more ideas they’ve incorporated in their songwriting and the more their music has grown in a progressive sense. Not content to merely overwhelm you or shatter you with speed and ferociousness, in their current state the band’s progressive inclinations have found a natural nest within their overall full-throttle, brain-scrambling, unpredictable intensity. With these elements co-existing within the same tracks, the band display a rare duality.
While The Crinn were previously signed to Nuclear Blast Records for the release of their debut album in 2010, they have returned to independent status and are releasing their new album Shadowbreather by themselves. Currently, no release date has yet been set, and the band are still in the midst of deciding whether to do a crowdfunding campaign in order to make a physical version of the album a reality. But one song from the album has already premiered (featured here), and today we bring you another.
It’s important to preface the discussion of this song with what I just mentioned regarding the cohesive collision of abject chaos and experimental progressive ideas in The Crinn’s sound. Otherwise, you may find yourself lost in a state of shock, as “Endless” is a head-spinning affair of unique brilliance, one that scrambles your brain hard enough to make returning to normal reality a difficult and disorienting task.