This marks the fourth time we’ve written abut the music of Seattle’s Vermin Lord. The first time was a review of the project’s excellent 2016 album Anguish, and then we wrote about a single that was released in January of this year, followed in March by our review and premiere of a two-song EP (Visions Of A Cursed Warlock). And now we’re spreading the word about Vermin Lord’s new album Mourning, which is being released today.
Part of what makes Vermin Lord’s music so intriguing (and this is certainly true of the new album) is its unpredictable blending of disparate musical influences. This album in particular brings to mind the term “baroque”, which in one of the word’s dictionary meanings refers to a style of artistic expression “marked generally by use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement, and tension”.
(Austin Weber brings us the full streaming premiere of the new EP by Blurring, along with an introductory review.)
After the breakup of Brutal Truth, the band’s members have continued on in multiple outfits, one of the finest of which is Rochester, New York-based technical grindcore act Blurring.
Blurring is a new vehicle for legendary bassist Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, former founding member of Anthrax, countless others) and multi-instrumentalist Erik Burke (Sulaco, ex-Kalibas, ex-Lethargy, countless others) on drums, combining their immense talents with other like-minded top-notch musicians to form one of the absolute best grindcore bands currently active.
While the band had some demos and other releases preceding their 2015 self-titled album, it was that release that really got me hooked on their complex and disturbing brand of grindcore. Some of you might have caught my review for it here at NCS; if not, now’s your chance to check out Blurring — don’t fuck up. The band is set to release Cloud Burner on April 28th, a fantastic five-song EP that we’re streaming early in full today.
I whittled the great limb of blackened music I found over the last week down to a spear, but it was a spear with 10 barbs. I organized the music alphabetically by band name and decided, as I stared at what I’d done, that music from 10 bands was too much for a single post. So, I’ve divided it into two parts, while maintaining the alphabetical ordering. I haven’t finished writing Part 2, so not sure if it will come later today or tomorrow (but probably tomorrow).
Of Forsworn Vows is the debut EP of a two-man project named ÆRA (the creator of all the music seems to be from Chile, the vocalist from Missouri). It was digitally released in February, but it’s now available on tape through Desolated Woods Records, and it appears that Aeternitas Tenebrarum plans to make a CD release (the Bandcamp download has been updated so that the tracks now consist of the CD masters).
(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.
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.