Sep 012014

(Austin Weber wrote the following introduction to our premiere of a new song.)

Singularity are an unsigned, mega-talented act from Tempe, Arizona, I have covered here before at No Clean Singing. Recently they were able make their upcoming self-titled debut album a reality through a successful Indigegogo campaign. The album will be out September 23rd, and trust me, you’re going to want a copy. Today we give you the first glimpse of their upcoming rise with “Throne Of Thorns”.

Singularity have been perfecting a musical merger they dub “technical black metal”, and it’s hard to argue with that description. In a way reminiscent of Fleshgod Apocalypse, the band use a type of classical and orchestral approach in their often technical death metal sounding music, and the end result is catchy without being cheesy. The symphonic rush and pomp is strong on “Throne Of Thorns”, interacting expertly with the twin inferno of tremolo-picked vortexes and onslaughts of precise, galloping drums, which display a fine battering-ram quality. As its militaristic peaks and pauses meet warp-zone level shredding amidst squalid, throaty screams, the cohesion of styles move from headbanging heights to scarring stampedes.

Aug 292014

 

Ukraine has produced many outstanding pagan and black metal bands whose music is rooted in the native cultures and traditions that produced them — bands such as Drudkh, Khors, and Kroda. Now we must add one more name to the list: Stryvigor.

This new band, founded in 2012, take their name from a mountain river that flows through the Carpathians. Their debut album Forgotten By Ages will be released by Svarga Music next month. The songs, sung in Ukrainian, were inspired by the landscapes of the region and the warrior traditions of the people. Today we bring the premiere of the new album’s second track, “Mysteries of Darkness”.

Voiced by moving waves of tremolo-picked guitar, the song’s atmospheric melody turns like the firmament in the night sky, flowing like clouds passing the face of the moon or icy rivers coursing through snow-covered forest. Beneath the affecting melody, which exudes warmth as well as cold, the rhythm section provides a heavy foundation, and the scarring vocals add an extra dimension of passion to a song that comes across as genuinely heartfelt.

Aug 292014

 

Horrific tearing noises accompanied the sundering of space-time, and through the rent in the dimensional membrane we received the latest transmission from the void-faring entity known as Ævangelist. Today we share with you this new hymn, as we deliver the premiere of “Præternigma”.

Although the band’s album, Omen Ex Simulacra  emerged from the Abysscape only last fall, Debemur Morti Productions will soon be releasing a new full-length named Ævangelist III – Writhes in the Murk. It’s shrouded in striking cover art  created by Andrzej Masianis, who also painted the cover for the last Ævangelist album.

From its inception, the music of Ævangelist has been devoted to the creation of mental imagery, emotional response, and physical sensation. The dense atmospheric sounds resist classification, as if a cyclone had scoured the musical landscape and caught up within its chaotic spinning mass the broken shards of death metal, black metal, dark ambient, industrial metal, powerviolence, and black noise (and the new album also includes saxophones and cello). Though guided by the same philosophy, the third Ævangelist hymnal is their most varied and immersive work yet, as the band employ new techniques for exerting their grasp on the imaginations of listeners.

Aug 282014

 

Right about now, as this article is being posted on our site, Iceland’s Sinmara will be revealing the contents of their new album Aphotic Womb at an official listening party at the Beyond the Gates festival in Bergen, Norway, where the band will also be performing live tonight along with an impressive list of other extreme metal bands. But even if you’re unable to teleport yourself to Garage Bergen to hear the album, we’re hosting our own listening party right here through our U.S. premiere of Aphotic Womb.

Sinmara (formerly known as Chao) now includes members of other impressive Icelandic bands – WormlustSvartidauði, and Rebirth of Nefast – and I’ve written enthusiastically about each of the songs from the album that have premiered to date:

The squalling dissonance of the riffs, the extremely creative drum rhythms, the extraterrestrial atmosphere of the melody, the sheer vehemence of the acid-spray vocals — all of that combines to make “Verminous” a song that’s both utterly unnerving and utterly riveting. And the album’s title track is an otherworldly flowering of poisonous thorns, shrouded in a miasma of tremolo chords, serpentine leads, thrumming bass notes, and fantastic drum work that you can feel in your spine.

Aug 272014

 

(In this post we premiere a full-album stream of the new release by Virginia’s Solace of Requiem.  Austin Weber provides the following review by way of introduction.)

As a hardcore death metal junkie, I pride myself on my extensive knowledge of the genre. Especially the many underground, unorthodox, obscure, and defunct acts of the genre. As such, I feel like an idiot for being unaware of the Virginia-based group Solace Of Requiem until now. But even in my shame, I can rejoice in having spun their new record, Casting Ruin, numerous times already. To mix my metaphors, it’s a voracious technical death metal beast and a feast for the ears, one whose smorgasbord of sounds has been intricately intertwined into a singular weapon of immense hatred.

Solace Of Requiem write with a diverse array of metal influences, and the in which way they string those influences together in various combinations is the crux of what makes Casting Ruin stand out. Overall, their style weaves around massive bone-crushing columns of racing riffs and brimstone-exploding blast beats, topped off with highly venomous vocals. But to further dissect it, the death metal side of their sound often brings to mind the jackhammering propulsive beatings that Hate Eternal brought to life. In addition, they accent each song with a plethora of aggressive melodic leads and round them out with scathing infusions of blood-curdling black metal blasphemy.

A symphonic undercurrent with classical and orchestral motifs then further enhances most of the songs, including the monstrous savagery present in “Heaving Bile And Ash”. They also display a penchant for beginning and ending several tracks with samples — of such things as chains, clinking machinery, and echoing water droplets. If I had to guess, maybe the cold clang of chains and mechanical whirrings was intended to represent our mental self-imprisonment, societal restraints, and existence as a helpless cog in a larger grinding machine, with the graceful sounds of water drizzling down showing the flip side — freedom and the serenity found freely in nature.

Aug 262014

I’ve found through experience that the Italian metal label I, Voidhanger Records is unbounded by genre constraints, and that its releases will reliably be as fascinating as they are diverse. I’ve also found that the artwork selected by the label for its releases is almost always as interesting as the music itself. Today’s discovery is a case in point.

In late October I, Voidhanger will be releasing a debut EP from a Danish duo (Thorbjørn and Qvortrup) who call themselves Tongues. The name of the EP is Thelésis Ignis, and it consists of four long tracks, with a total running time of 34:35 (which makes it as long as most full-length albums these days). Showing its customary attention to artwork, the label will release the EP as a CD with a 16-page full-color booklet, with cover art (above) by Antonius Lovmand and N.

The EP was recorded by Emil Brahe of the doom band Sol (from the Van Records’ roster); he also plays organ and additional keys on the EP.

Tongues have described their music in this way:

TONGUES is devoted to the exploration of mind and soul, and how they relate to the flesh. Our music is as heavy as the earthbound flesh; the lyrics and themes constitute the soul that yearns for some kind of redemption, eternally lost in the cloud of unknowing. The nature of the synthesis between soul and body is drenched in obscurity, which is why — by speaking in tongues — a path may be eventually revealed, providing salvation for that fallen race we call Humanity. Our debut EP, Thelésis Ignis is the first chapter of this doomed spiritual journey.”

Aug 252014

Autumn’s Dawn is a new two-man band from Australia whose debut album Gone is being released today by Eisenwald. And today we bring you the premiere of a full-album stream — though when you hear the album you may think a site with a name like ours is a peculiar place for a premiere of an album such as this. But read on…

Autumn’s Dawn may be a relatively new project, its only previous release being a self-titled EP, but its two members are not newcomers: Tim Yatras (who uses the name “Sorrow” in this project) has made a name for himself in such bands as Germ, Austere, Woods of Desolation, and Grey Waters, while Matthew Bell (“Anguish”) is a member of Rise of Avernus and Troldhaugen. Following our album stream, we’ll bring you an interview with Tim Yatras about the origins of Autumn’s Dawn and the new album.

With names like Sorrow and Anguish, an album entitled Gone, and song titles such as “The Ashes of A Life”, “Until My Heart Corrodes With Rust”, and “Blank Stare, Dead Eyes”, you might think you’re in for a thoroughly depressive listening experience. There is indeed a sorrowful air to much of the music, but it’s also full of life, highly memorable, and often strikingly beautiful — and it also includes scathing elements of black metal and songs that often rock very hard.

Aug 252014

The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ EPs between now and year-end. Last month I reviewed five of those EPs (here and here), and today I’ve got the pleasure of bringing you the premiere of one track each from three of them. I’m taking the liberty of repeating my previous review comments as an introduction to each new song, presenting the bands in alphabetical order:

http://www.bloodharvest.se
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Harvest-Records/300012152033

ASCENDED DEAD

Ascended Dead come our way from San Diego, and include current or former members of Ghoulgotha, whose Blood Harvest EP will also be added at the end of this post. Ascended Dead’s release is a four-song collection entitled Arcane Malevolence, which follows the band’s four-song demo released in 2012.

The label pitches the band with references to the likes of PossessedNecrovore, and the early sounds of Morbid Angel and Sarcofago, and that should give you an idea of what you’re in for. This is thick, murky, grinding death metal, the gears of the monstrous machine choked with grime and spewing noxious fumes as it barrels ahead at a murderous pace.

The songs feature absolutely stand-out drumwork, blistering guitar solos, and a big load of galvanizing riffs, in addition to the reverberating howls of a monstrous vocalist. The music moves so quickly and is so utterly decimating in its philosophy that even after only four songs you may feel like you’ve spent a week in a war zone. Highly recommended.

Aug 212014


Photo by Greg Neiser

Almost exactly one year ago I reviewed the debut EP (Sylvan Matriarch) by a Pittsburgh band named Dendritic Arbor. Listening to the EP, I had the sensation that the music was causing my own dendritic arbors to grow in rampant fashion — and then burning them to ash. Borrowing chaotically from black metal, hardcore, sludge, industrial, doom, and freakish electronic noise, the music created an overall atmosphere of severe derangement, as if the inmates had been put in charge of the asylum after being injected with gasoline and then set on fire. I found the whole EP (which is available on Bandcamp) fascinating, wildly creative, and extremely destructive.

Dendritic Arbor have now recorded a new song that will be released on a forthcoming compilation to be released by Philadelphia’s  Anthropic Records, and we’re premiering it today in the form of a music video. The song’s name is “Genie”, and it’s based on the tortured life of Susan Wiley (nicknamed “Genie”), whose abuse, neglect, and social isolation at the hands of her father during the first 13 years of her life prevented her from ever learning speech and led her to be considered a “feral child”.

After being rescued from the prison in her home by Los Angeles child welfare authorities in 1970, Genie became the subject of extensive scientific study, while being moved in and out of foster homes and a series of institutions for disabled adults — many of which seem to have been environments just as abusive as the one from which she was “rescued”. (Read more here.)

Aug 212014

 

The Ukrainian black metal horde Blood of Kingu are on the verge of releasing Dark Star On the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon — their third album and their first in more than five years. As you will soon hear, it is a grim devotional to disease, doom, and decay — an intense, immersive listening experience that over its length builds a wholly enveloping atmosphere of ominous peril.

With Drudkh’s main man Roman Sayenko once again piloting this dangerous vessel, Blood of Kingu drive the music with relentless blasting percussion and huge moving waves of almost ceaseless tremolo-picked chords, accented by eerie and ominous keyboards that effectively deepen the aura of doom. Through these dense moving walls of sound, bleak minor-key melodies ripple like disease vectors, and Sayenko’s monstrous, hollow roars sound like a ritualistic chant in an occult ceremony of death. When the band isn’t storming like a hurricane, they’re pounding like titans hammering nails into granite, or using massive groaning chords in a way that sounds like chains being dragged across a crypt floor.

The album’s savage assault is segmented by two brief ambient interludes, but even those breaks do nothing but further intensify the sense that you have been transported to an arid, decomposing wasteland of perpetual night.

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