(Andy Synn returns with another trio of reviews for new albums by German bands, this time focusing on releases by Fäulnis, Hexer, and Maat.)
I’m in a bit of a rush, so today’s preamble is going to be short, sweet, and snappy.
Go buy these albums.
FÄULNIS – ANTIKULT
No matter how you like your Black Metal – sullen and groovy, panzerblasty, totally hi-tech or utterly low-fi – there’s always going to be something new out there for you to discover. Whether it’s a fresh face or an established underground underdog, the sheer wealth of talent and torment on offer in the scene today is unsurpassed.
“Amnutseba has risen from the gutters of the Parisian black metal scene to propose a glimpse into the vortex of insanity.” So say the mysterious figures behind this new band, and they have said little else except through the music on their first demo, which will be released today on tape by Caligari Records. But as you’re about to hear, the music speaks with a powerful and mesmerizing voice.
The demo is untitled, as are the four songs it includes (identified only by Roman numerals). The stream we’re providing runs like the tape, as one continuous track rather than divided into four separate streams, though you’ll be able to tell when one song ends and the next begins.
(DGR delivers this big review of the new album by Germany’s Profanity.)
If one were to play the numbers game with German three-piece death metal band Profanity and their album releases, one could say that it has been quite some time since the group’s last full-length album — and basically have it qualify as one of the understatements of the year.
The band, having sprung back into life after a decade-plus of on/off activity since their last release, put out an EP in late 2014 known as Hatred Hell Within, an EP that consisted of three songs but could’ve easily passed as an album, given the denseness of the material contained within.
Profanity like writing big brutal death metal songs. Not big in terms of bombast, but in terms of how much they can pack within the six-plus minutes many of their songs tend to take. This mentality has continued onward with the group’s newest release, The Art Of Sickness, coming in a little under three years since that Hatred Hell Within EP.
Containing a deceptive six songs within its tracklist, The Art Of Sickness leaves its listeners looking like one of those idiot TV show hosts right after ordering a gigantic meal, as the realization finally hits them that there is actually a lot on that plate, despite the overwhelming confidence with which they approached it and the initially deceptive appearance.
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.
(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.
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.
Even the most serious of musicians, across all genres of music, have been known to take whimsical digressions from their main lines of pursuit. Sometimes the results sound like a joke, and sometimes the result is less whimsical, more accomplished, and more fun than we might expect at first blush. Which brings us to the very strange but very addictive first full album by Wolfkhan, Cyber Necro Spirituals.
Wolfkhan is the side-project of Marcin Gąsiorowski, who is the male vocalist and one of the guitarists for the folk/metal band Thy Worshiper (whose most recent album, Klechdy, came out last year). Cyber Necro Spirituals will be released on April 25th by Arachnophobia Records.
(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Sweden’s Cut Up.)
As someone who is a complete fucking nerd who enjoys analyzing nuances, subtleties, patterns, and periods within art, or the examples of all those contained within a particular artist’s body of work, I find few things more fascinating within the realms of music than the phenomenon of the extreme metal sophomore album. Mostly I’m impressed by its power to either make or break bands. If you release a killer debut and then a shitty sophomore album, or just one that doesn’t capitalize on the steam of the debut, you can absolutely tank your traction and name right then and there and never recover. Some bands can release a terrible debut and get away with it, but a band who start well take a big risk if they release a sophomore album that is anything less than excellent.
This subject may be worth a digression into a deeper conversation about what a sophomore album should accomplish, and maybe I’ll do an article on that alone someday, but for now the context is Cut Up.
Salutations, and welcome to another edition of SHADES OF BLACK. As usual, I have a lot of new music I want to recommend that’s mainly in a blackened vein, perhaps more than usual this time. Below you’ll find brief reviews and streams of three complete albums of significant length, along with individual songs from three other recent or forthcoming releases. No two of these bands sound alike, each of them revealing their own distinctive character.
In March of last year, Daemon Worship Productions launched a YouTube video which said nothing more than “Bestia Arcana. Holókauston is coming.” After doing further research I was unable to find more details but reported the event anyway, while commenting that the excerpts of music in the video “sound like the gates of Hell have been forced open, expelling great heaving waves of dark, terrifying, unearthly sound… some of it the sound of arcane ritual, some of it the sound of civilization being put to the torch”.