I know a lot of NCS readers have got a taste for doom. I’ve developed quite a strong taste for it, too, and my mouth juices started filling up my gob when I saw this piece of news: Our blog brethren at CVLT Nation have compiled a free doom mixtape that’s loaded with killer bands who specialize in the slow and low.
There are 19 tracks on offer, including music by the likes of Dopethrone, Bongripper, Loss, Primitive Man, Graves At Sea, Batillus, Atriarch, and Seattle’s own Bell Witch. There’s a lot of strong, devastating music on this comp (2 1/2 hours of it to be precise), and it’s even sweeter because, as mentioned, it’s FREE!
Go HERE to download it, and if you’d first like to see the whole tracklist and listen to the tunage, move on past the jump.
Mark Riddick’s cover art for Teratism’s new MLP La Bas tells you something of what you need to know about the music: It is, in many respects, far out on the frontier of bestial extremity, dwelling in a poisonous landscape where demonic entities howl for the manifestation of the Adversary. Yet there are depths in this musical inferno, and the more you listen, the more you discover of its otherworldly dimensions.
The vocals are the most challenging aspect of the music, yet they are also a vital ingredient in the occult atmospheres that La Bas generates. In a word, they’re horrifying. V. Wrath delivers a series of distorted incantations, condemnations, and satanic proclamations that range from roars to shrieks to cracked, whispered chants. Often, the vocals are layered, producing harmonies that invoke sensations of bedlam. Whether agonizing, despairing, or furious, the ferocity of his delivery is convincing evidence that Teratism have indeed opened a fearsome channel to hellish realms.
Much of the accompanying music is also ferocious, with distorted, swarming guitars and blasting drums generating a dense cloud of evil noise, perhaps most intense and overpowering in the EP’s relentless third track, “Thy Swill Be Dung”. But La Bas isn’t thrashing black metal; it is instead mainly devoted to the creation of bleak, damned atmospherics. “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” becomes dirge-like and doomed, a miasma of contagion, soaked in illness, and “Gospel of the Heliophobe” splices its whirlwind of cacophony with moments of crawling malevolence.
Poland’s magnificent Vader spent the first part of 2013 laying waste to Europe in a tour called Back To the Black. Over the weekend, news surfaced that Vader will now be bringing Back To the Black to the U.S. For support, they will be backed by U.S. death metal veterans Vital Remains, California death/thrashers Sacrificial Slaughter, a Colorado death/black band named Execration, and a bunch of brutal death Floridians named Extremely Rotten.
I’m not familiar with all of these bands, but based on the ones I know, this should be a thoroughly maiming, blood-spattered experience. And of course, any chance to see Vader is a chance that should be seized.
Only an initial slate of 11 dates has surfaced so far, and more will be coming. Check out the first installment after the jump.
Back in April, a video of three 12-year-olds playing music on a Times Square street corner made the rounds on the interwebs. A combination of three things made a lot of people sit up and take notice: the kids were black, they were playing metal, and they were pretty damned good — especially for 12-year-olds. The name of their band: Unlocking the Truth.
I’d like to think that the video would have drawn attention even if these were white kids, but let’s face it, at least in the US you don’t see many black kids of any age playing underground metal. But as I said, that’s really only part of the reason why the video grabbed some attention. It happens that these dudes have got some really good chops for their age, especially the guitarist.
Many other videos of Unlocking the Truth playing in public have surfaced over the ensuing weeks, and this weekend several friends sent me a link to a short documentary about two of the band’s members — Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins — that went up last week, and it’s an awesome (and endearing) thing to watch. Yeah, these are young kids, but both of them seem really committed to what they’re doing, and they’ve got big ambitions. More power to them.
Let’s get one thing out of the way up-front: The new Deeds of Flesh album Portals To Canaan is a bewilderingly complex tech-death masterpiece. As a demonstration of pure physical speed and dexterity married to voracious brutality, it’s difficult to imagine any other release surpassing it this year.
The songs are one explosion after another of intricate instrumental extravagance: jabbing, darting riffs; swarming melodic leads; jackhammer bass rhythms; bursts of noodling notes and frenzied arpeggios that fly by almost too fast to follow; blistering reverberant solos; unorthodox rhythms; blinding, blasting drumwork. It’s as if the musicians were juiced up on exotic accelerants delivered from another star system when they laid down these tracks.
The music will no doubt spawn different mental images in different listeners, but for me I imagined an army of alien machines fabricating some immense incomprehensible structure in deep space, a thousand gleaming entities performing a thousand tasks at light speed according to perplexing blueprints drawn by monolithic sentient devices with computing power beyond the understanding of mere mortals: Vast frameworks lashed together by writhing metallic tentacles, tangles of wires threaded by nanobots into almost indecipherable patterns, titanium girders slammed into place and joined by explosive welders.
(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews a re-recorded EP by the French band Uneven Structure.)
2013 marks the return of “that word” (THALL). First we had the Means End debut, we have a new Vildhjarta EP on the way, and as of right now we have a new (and old) offering from Uneven Structure. I wrote a short review and hosted a download of the original version of Uneven Structure’s first EP known as 8, a twenty-plus-minute song, Meshuggah Catch-33 style, that presented a much different band than what they turned into on their debut Februus. Re-recording 8 was probably the best thing Uneven Structure could’ve done, in terms of offering people something until the next album is finished.
8 was a piece of work that deserved a new makeover. It was a great piece, but it had a sub-par production and it was kind of an oddity that the vocalist was none other than one of Vildhjarta’s two. Now we get 8 re-recorded with a new mix, vocalist Matthieu Romarin working his vocal magic, and the music enhanced with the lush ambience this band has become known for in the backdrop of what is otherwise still the heaviest thing they’ve written.
What the re-recording of 8 really does in the end is solidify it as a true Uneven Structure work rather than an outlier that merely served as a stepping stone for the band. The more aggressive, slightly industrial harshness is still prevalent, but by mixing in the atmosphere and ambience of their current sound, the band have turned it into a whole new beast. As a matter of fact it’s even more overwhelming than it was before. Even with Matthieu Romarin’s clean vocal incorporations amidst his zen-focused roaring, the music has a much darker undertone than anything on Februus did, adding also a bit of eeriness or unease to the mood.
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut EP by Florida’s Monotheist.)
Checkmate atheists, creationists win again.
No, I kid. However, it is a shame we never got to Monotheist’s debut Genesis of Perdition before now. We posted about it, like, once or something, but this has been a very sorely overlooked EP. It’s even more impressive considering this is a Christian band, and we all know how most Christian “metal” is. The thing that originally made me curious about Monotheist was the fact that 7 Horns 7 Eyes and Ovid’s Withering vocalist JJ Polachek is also the vocalist for this band. He has a record of taking part in exemplary musical projects. Turns out Monotheist are quite excellent, and if there was ever an EP to check out this year, it’s Genesis of Perdition.
Monotheist play a progressive style of death metal that is unrelenting on the br00tz scale, creating a mix of tech-death, slam, and black metal with occasional surprise moments and oddities. There is also a huge emphasis on classical drama within the music, even incorporating strings, pianos, and the like to add flavor. In fact, the album opens with a full string intro in the form of the title track. That’s followed by the first song, “Subzero”. The menagerie of tremolo-picked riffing, crushing chugs, and drama-filled technical expose’s is quite impressive, as Monotheist know their death metal very well.
(DGR provides this round-up of artwork, new music, and new videos.)
Apparently nobody else got the memo that last week was E3 week and, goddamnit, that I was going to be away from the computer, because holy crap did the news updates come fast and furious throughout the week of June 10th. A lot of these bands are going to look very familiar to readers of the site because a lot of them are in fact the same groups featured in my last round-up. However, here at NCS we try to stick with really substantial stuff since a tracklisting usually means dick to the reader unless it has something attached to it.
This week, these bands delivered in spades – some with cover art, most with new songs or videos, one with a whole new release. Regardless, it was a smattering all across the board if you love music and love shit just being heavy as hell. I’ll attach my thoughts along the way, of course…otherwise this article is going to look all sorts of wacky.
That picture you see above is artwork for Mechina’s upcoming Xenon release, which the group stated in this here post would be hitting on 1/1/14.
In recent days two bands I’m very high on have released teasers of music from albums I’ve been waiting on for a long time (with a level of eagerness that hasn’t diminished as the months have rolled by).
Norway’s Blodsgard haven’t yet released a full-length album, only three demos — but the debut album is on the way. Its title is Monument and it will soon be made available both digitally and on CD via a label called The Oath (an exact release date hasn’t been announced). Yesterday, the band unveiled the killer cover art for the album (above), created by one of my favorite metal artists, Mark Cooper (Mindrape Art), as well as excerpts of all the songs.
When I first found out about Blodsgard in September 2011, the most recent demo — a four-song offering called Solve et Coagula— hadn’t even been released for public distribution, and the band had no plans to do so. I got a chance to hear it and then obtained permission to provide a link to a special 3-song download for our readers, which included two tracks from Solve et Coagula plus another even more recent song, as a companion to my review. All three songs, which are still available for free, will appear in remastered form on the forthcoming album.
Here’s a nice piece of news that I missed when it happened a few days ago: Prosthetic Records has created a free summer sampler that includes 13 songs from 13 new and forthcoming albums by members of the label’s roster. I won’t take the time to list them in the body of this post since you can see them quite clearly in the graphic above. I’m familiar with 12 of the 13 bands (Zodiac being the outlier) and they are all very good (and the music’s very diverse)
I mentioned that the sampler includes tracks from forthcoming albums as well as new ones released earlier this year. To be specific, it includes songs from yet-to-be-released albums that we’re eagerly anticipating from Sweden’s Darkane (due on July 2), Denmark’s Mercenary (out July 30), and Boston’s Ramming Speed (to be released June 25).
To get the sampler, you’ll need to go to Prosthetic’s Facebook page via THIS LINK and download a .zip file of the music. When I tried it, it didn’t require surrendering of an e-mail or anything else — just a straight, immediate download of the file. In other words, painless. And that’s a hell of a line-up of songs.