Last fall the Indian label Cyclopean Eye Productions released the debut demo of a part-Indian, part-Russian trio who chose Jyotiṣavedāṅga for their name, a name that refers to the Vedāṅga Jyotiṣa, which we’re told is one of the earliest known Indian texts on astronomy and astrology. The demo has the evocative title Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejections. Cyclopean Eye is now releasing that demo in a CD edition that includes not only the original six tracks but also one previously unreleased bonus track, which we have the pleasure of premiering today.
This newly revealed piece of audio murder is “Disintegration To Absolute Void“. Drawing upon musical ingredients that include black metal, harsh power electronics, death metal, and the dying radiations of collapsing galaxies, the song is a shattering, staggering assault on the senses.
Earlier this month I listened to the first advance track from Loyal To the Nightsky, the debut album by a Los Angeles-based black metal band named Highland, in part because this new album features cover art by one of my favorites, Luciana Nedelea. It turned out that the first single, “Abu Sindi“, was strikingly good. And now we have the good fortune to share with you a second song from this very promising album, “Towards the Absolute“, in advance of the album’s release on May 15th.
Highland is a trio of Armenian-Americans — Narek, Gevork, and Michael — who first began performing together in a speed/thrash metal band named Raze. But as time passed they turned their talents in a different direction, building upon the antecedents of Scandinavian black metal from the ’90s, with a self-titled EP in 2013 as their first work in this direction. They’ve performed with the likes of Absu, Vader, Bölzer, and Marduk, but I suspect this new album is going to elevate their profile even more substantially.
As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.
Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages.
Last night as I was making my way through my ever-changing list of new music to check out, I had the good fortune of finding many of the songs you’re about to hear. They were scattered among a larger collection of things I listened to, some of which will come in Part 2 of this post, but it dawned on me that these in particular would make for good companions on an interesting (and sorrowful) musical trip, especially if combined with a few others I had heard recently. I’ve arranged them in a way I think makes some sense, with a flow in the changing sounds and moods that I found appealing.
One other thing about this playlist I found appealing is that it represents (mostly) a course change in the music on the site. In recent days we’ve been heavy into various shades of black and death metal. Most of these songs represent a departure from that — and a fairly dramatic one in the case of the first three tracks below. (Thanks to my friend Miloš for sending me the links through which I found two-thirds of these tracks.)
I should mention that most of the songs in this post are drawn from complete albums or EPs that have recently been released. I wish I had time to write about them more thoroughly, but I’m only going to comment about specific songs and let those guide your decisions about whether to explore the albums in greater depth. The first song comes from Firebird, the new album by the Ukrainian band Helengard, which was released on April 14th.
Beyond the Thresholds is the debut album of Marthyrium from Galicia in Spain. In listening to the album it becomes apparent that the thresholds being crossed are those separating this mundane mortal plane from the arcane and alien terrors of another dimension. There is virtually nothing about the music that seems human. It excites visions in the mind of immense, shape-shifting forces, but they are all nightmarish, violent, and steadfastly resistant to reason or appeals to mercy.
The music is also relentlessly intense and dramatic, and when it isn’t inflicting ruination like a cyclonic vortex, an atmosphere of grim and terrible majesty emanates from it, as if capturing the sensation of an abominable leviathan rising up from a crimson void and looming over us with ominous power.
Do you feel dead inside? Do you hate your job, and your few friends hate you? Has hope abandoned your life like an empty pack of smokes tossed from the window of a passing car? Does the future seem to hold nothing but a steep and lonely descent into scowling bitterness and a wasteland of forgotten dreams?
If the answer is yes, we’re sorry to say that we haven’t yet mastered the power to call for a re-deal on your life. But we can do one thing for you. At least for a few minutes, we can make you feel explosively alive, like you stepped on a live power line while ringing wet, with all the motherfuckers in your life cowering in fear at the fireball that your head has turned into.
Actually, we can’t do that — but Prayers of Sanity can. Just hit the play button on “Dead Alive” down below.
(We present Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by the Danish band Abscission.)
So how’s everyone doing today? All good? I’m only asking because I’ve been relatively off-the-radar doing musical stuff (and then recovering from the cumulative hangover) for the last few days, and so haven’t had much chance to catch up on the various comings and goings of the interweblogosphere.
Obviously that also means I haven’t had any time to do any real writing for NCS for a little while, with the result being that I’m now even further behind on my review schedule than I was last week.
So, in an attempt to get things back on track (though I’ve got a couple more shows to play this week still), here’s some of my vaguely informative ramblings about Vacuity, the dazzling debut album by devilishly dark Danish Death Metallers Abscission.
Sometimes the name that a band chooses for itself can be a significant clue to the kind of music they make. The name Fractal Generator sounds kind of cybernetic and machine-like, although fractal repeating patterns across multiple scales of size are evident in nature as well as mathematics. But then consider further that the members of this band from Sudbury in Ontario, Canada, identify themselves by number: 040118180514 (bass, vocals), 040114090512 (drums), and 102119200914 (guitar, vocals). And then consider that the name of their debut album is Apotheosynthesis.
The album was originally self-released by the band in 2015, but it has now been embraced by Everlasting Spew Records, who will be giving it a CD release on May 19th. For those who may have overlooked the album in its original flowering, we have for you today a video for a multi-faceted track named “Abandon Earth” (and a reprise of another song unveiled not long ago by DECIBEL).
You were meant to suffer, to experience the collapse of empirical foundations you thought could be relied upon, to bend before winds of pestilence, shuddering in a last paroxysm before suffocation claims you and your remains are consumed in a deluge of fire. Raise high a crown for decadence… because Yod Sabbaoth cannot save you.
Judging from the song titles in Goldenpyre‘s debut album, In Eminent Disgrace, all of which I just worked into that first paragraph above, this Portuguese band’s outlook on existence is morbid and brutal… or perhaps not… but they’ve certainly done a hell of a job capturing the ravaging horrors of insanity, disease, and death in their first full-length. The album will be released on April 20 by Signal Rex and a consortium of other labels, and today we present a full stream of its eight songs.
(One of our loyal allies, Conchobar, had the good fortune to attend The Covenant Montreal festival on April 13-15, 2017, at La Salla Rossa, and was kind enough to share the following impressions of the event, along with his photos of the performances.)
“Ye Who sow discord, where are you? Ye who infuse hatred and propagate enmities, I conjure you by Him who hath created you for this ministry, to fulfil this work…”
Montreal is one of my favourite cities in this strange, fragmented nation of ours. After the calamity that befell the ill-fated Messe des Morts VI in November, we had an easy decision regarding a return trip after looking at the line-up for Covenant Montreal. Covenant has been active since 2015, the inner circle being composed of members of Auroch/Mitochondrion, Crooked Mouth, and other acts.