We’ve mentioned The Violitionist Sessions twice before, but you may have forgotten. In the words of the site’s proprietors: “The Violitionist Sessions are 3 questions and 3 songs with bands from Denton and passing through Denton, Texas. The sessions are all recorded live in a living room with no overdubs and no fancy tricks. The goal is to document a moment in time. This is what happened in Denton, Texas.”
Yesterday, The Violitionist Sessions put up videos of the three songs recently performed in that living room by Savannah’s Kylesa. They also made the live recordings available for free download on Bandcamp. And they also included an interview of the band. The three songs are “To Forget” (Spiral Shadow), “Said and Done” (Static Tensions), and “Hollow Severer” (Time Will Fuse Its Worth). All of that is collected here, though I’m also going to embed the videos after the jump.
As has been true of every recording I’ve heard from The Violitionist Sessions, the sound quality is outstanding, and Kylesa were really hitting it hard in these sessions — tight, tough, trippy, and plenty heavy. I’m not well-versed in Kylesa’s music — hadn’t heard any of these songs before — and it was an eye-opener for me. “To Forget”, in particular, made a big impression when I watched and listened to these videos.
Hey motherfuckers (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), I hope all of you have been having a kickass weekend. I know I have. Among other things, I finally got introduced properly to the music of a Seattle band that friends of mine have been raving about forever (more about that in another post). And I also came across a lot of new music and videos that put a stupid grin on my face (and by that I mean “more stupid than usual”). In no particular order, here’s a random selection of things that rocked my world over the last 24 hours.
Thanks to a Facebook post by Madam X (of Angry Metal Guy fame), I heard the song you’re about to hear in the next video (and while I’m thinking about Madam X, I’ll throw in a plug for her recent review of Svart Crown’s new album). The band is Parasite Inc., a German collective whose second album Time Tears Down (mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren) is due for release on August 2 by Good Damn Records. The song is “The Pulse of the Dead”.
Do you want riffs that grab you hard from the first few seconds and capable soloing? Check. Would you enjoy some pneumatic rhythms that punch like jackhammers? You got it. How about vicious vocals that sound like a werewolf on the hunt? Yep, you’ll get those, too. A modern, powerhouse production that will ram holes in your walls? Covered.
Never trust a masked woman with a claw hammer. That’s just a bit of wisdom I’m passing on for you to file away. It may come in handy someday.
As I write this, it’s late on a Friday night and I haven’t finished the main thing I wanted to post on Saturday morning. I also don’t really want to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to finish it either. So I’m leaving you this before I go pass out.
It’s a new video by a band named Temple of Thieves. The band includes former Nile members Chief Spyres on bass and John Ehlers on guitar, plus Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mournier. But the music’s not metal. Though this threesome could punch holes through you like a high-machine-gun if they felt like it, they’re delivering hard rock this time — and it’s really catchy, kind of a throwback to some of what I was listening to in the mid- to late-90s.
And vocalist Michael Rock can fuckin’ sing this kind of music. And the video by Max Stewart, Sean Costello, and Sammy Smith is well done, though it’s a non-stop strobe-fest that epileptics would do well to avoid.
Two and a half years ago I wrote a post about “Banjo Metal” that continues to be visited and still leads to the occasional e-mail contact from people interested in the subject (Google “banjo metal” and see what comes up first). That post focused on metal bands who have used the banjo in some of their songs (plus an obligatory item on the magnificent Béla Fleck). Today brought us news of a different type of banjo metal — a banjo cover of a metal song.
Okay, some of you might quarrel with applying the term “metal” to Sweden’s Ghost. Hell, I’ve quarreled with myself about that. But hey, they do sing about Satan!
The cover is of Ghost’s best-known song, “Ritual”, and it’s performed on video by Erling Bronsberg, a skilled banjo player who e-mailed me about the cover last night. He’s based in Örebro, Sweden, and performs with a group called the Black River String Band. He uses “standard sawmill tuning” for this song, which probably means something to banjo players but to me simply sounds cool. His cover is cool, too. He puts a bluegrass spin on the melody without completely losing the song’s familiarity, and the picking is tasty. Check it out:
This post involves breaking news about two iconic figures in the world of heavy music — Trent Reznor and Dan Swanö. The news is that both will have new music coming, and we already have a taste of what Dan Swanö’s new project has been creating, with a song that premiered yesterday.
NINE INCH NAILS
This appeared late yesterday on the Nine Inch Nails Tumblr:
“I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to lately. For the last year I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I am happy to say is finished and frankly fucking great. This is the real impetus and motivation behind the decision to assemble a new band and tour again. My forays into film, HTDA and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place. Here we go!”— Trent Reznor, 5.28.13. New NIN album later this year on Columbia Records.
As we reported back in February, Reznor reformed NIN early this year, bringing King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew, Telefon Tel Aviv’s Josh Eustis, and former NIN touring members Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, and Ilan Rubin into the fold for touring purposes. Now it appears they will be making a new album. Hallelujah.
(In this post, DGR reviews the latest — and last — album by Norway’s Trail of Tears, which is due for release in North America on June 11 by Massacre Records.)
Listening to Oscillation, Norwegian group Trail of Tears’ seventh and ostensibly final album, is something of a bittersweet experience. The group’s acrimonious breakup played out in a pretty public fashion (reported here, for example), and once you read stories about how the working environment within the band had been difficult for a year prior, you can’t help but let it color your perceptions of the disc — especially if you’re the type to pontificate on each choice as it exists on an album, its overall effect on the sound, how you think things went down. Instead of seeing this as a remarkably risky album for a group who have been relatively conservative with their formula, you instead find yourself thinking,”Wow, they must have been fighting this whole time,” and it really does put a damper on what should be thought of as – and empirically is – a pretty good batch of Trail of Tears songs.
So that’s why this is something of a difficult review, because there are things on Oscillation that you could reason away or just simply describe that are now somewhat tainted by the group’s somewhat dramatic breakup. As a result, this review will be considering the disc in a vacuum, written by someone who liked Existenia and Bloodstained Endurance. Those two discs albums are probably the closest comparison to Oscillation, because this new one feels like the continuation of the two previous releases, with enough experimentation and shifts in sound that it still stands on its own. But it could just as easily be polarizing, simply based on which of the two warring vocalists is in the front of the band for most of the songs.
Here are two more recent songs I heard over the weekend. They seemed like a fitting pair, and (as you’ll discover) not only because the band” names both begin with F.
Falkenbach is the Icelandic one-man project of Vratyas Vakyas. Since 1996 he has released five albums on an irregular and unpredictable schedule, the last being 2011′s Tiurida. Apparently, a new one named Asa is now in the works, and about 10 days ago Falkenbach released a lyric video for the first single from the album, a song named “Eweroun”. It has hypnotized me in short order.
From the beginning introductory passage, which features acoustic strumming and a somber folk melody voiced in a clean baritone, straight through the balance of the song, with heavier instrumentation joining the acoustic guitar and the vocals rising in range, it’s extremely memorable. It makes a virtue of simplicity, though it’s far from simplistic. If that makes any sense. Which it probably doesn’t.
My NCS comrades and I were busy little beavers over the weekend (scabby, rabid ones, of course), making headway on new reviews. But I also heard a lot of new individual songs that grabbed me, so I’ll be dropping those morsels into round-up posts today in between a slew of album reviews — starting with this one.
When Ghost B.C. released their new album, Infestissumam, in Japan, they included a bonus track. It’s a cover of “Waiting For the Night” by Depeche Mode, from their 1990 album Violator. Late last week Ghost released the song to YouTube for those of us who like the band but can’t get our paws on the Japanese version of the album. The original song doesn’t mention Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, or Lucifer, but it does include some other Ghost-ly lyrics: “I’m waiting for the night to fall / I know that it will save us all / When everything’s dark…”
Even though there’s not any typically overt Satan worship in the words, Ghost do put their own spooky stamp (and some beefy low-end riffs) on the music. Cool song (and an exception to our Rule, of course). Check it next.
Many of you already know how this MISCELLANY game works, but for everyone else, here’s what it’s about: Using no rhyme or reason whatsoever, I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music for you so you can judge for yourselves.
Every other musical feature on this site, other than this one, involves metal that I or the other writers have heard in advance and want to recommend. MISCELLANY, on the other hand, is a shot in the dark. I don’t know what these selections will sound like. We’ll both find out together. Today’s bands are from all over: Serpent Omega (Sweden), Crematoria (Denmark), Purefilth (Ukraine), and Asphodel (Greece).
I found out about this relatively new Swedish band via a Facebook recommendation from another band whose doings I follow. They’ve recently released a self-titled debut album via the Mordgrimm label, and it turns out that they have a female frontperson (Pia Högberg). I decided to check out their music in part because of that recommendation but mainly because I thought the new album’s cover art was cool.
In this post I’ve collected a small group of new songs that I came across while wandering through the interhole over the last 24 hours.
I’ve been keeping an eye on this Finnish band (pictured above) since hearing their 2012 EP Hate Infected. When I reviewed it, I characterized the music as “the military-industrial complex of the nether regions, an effective fusion of titanic death metal might and melodic black metal hooks” and compared the band to the likes of Behemoth and Hate. They now have a new album on the way entitled Death March, which will be released in the fall of this year by Violent Journey Records.
Yesterday they released a music video for one of the new songs, “Life=Disease”, which is now available digitally through Amazon and probably elsewhere. The song reminds me less of those Polish behemoths than Hate Infected. It has more of an old-school death metal flavor, with a bit of a charred crust. It hammers and howls forcefully, with teeth bared and claws raking.