Adfectus Exundant - Adfectus Redundant
Beyond Nile and Through The Eyes Of The Dead, not a lot of well known metal has come from the state of South Carolina. As a former decade-long resident of that state, that makes me sad. Fortunately, I recently heard of a fantastic group of forward-thinking metallers from Columbia, S.C., that are amazing. Their name — Adfectus Redundant – is a bit of a mouthful, to the point where I think it’s so uncatchy that it’s uniqueness returns it right back to being catchy.
Overall, Adfectus Exundant are shred-heavy death metal, but are prone to frequently chopping and bookending their aggression with softer progressive moments and interesting jazz breaks that in some parts remind me of Psyopus. All of that is accompanied by an underlying wall of grooves hovering in the backround. Adfectus Redundant is a complex work that takes multiple listens just to take it all in. This is due to their skill in writing long songs that never lose your interest, music that carefully navigates through multiple movements with a reservoir of calm repreives, and softer clean sung passages.
What drew my attention to Rituaal were the band’s members: They consist of guitarist/vocalist Justin Stubbs from Father Befouled and Encoffination, drummer Jake Rothlisberger from Nashville’s Mourner, and vocalist/guitarist Mike Meacham from Loss – killer bands, all of them. That trio formed Rituaal a little over a year ago and recorded two songs in September 2012 that will be released as a 7″ vinyl EP by Portland’s Parasitic Records this summer. Recently, Rituaal put up both songs for streaming on Bandcamp — “Ordo Walpurga” and “Datura at the Astral Sabbat”.
Imagine a musical black hole deep in a gravity well that’s inexorably sucking all light and matter down into its powerful vortex, and that will give you some sense of “Ordo Walpurga”. It’s a massive, groaning dirge of distorted chords and ponderous drum and cymbal hits, emanating a morbid melody and echoing with the cavernous roars and disemboweling shrieks of the vocalists.
“Datura at the Astral Sabbat” vibrates with unholy blackened energy. What begins as a ritualized chant of abraded vocals and thumping percussion accelerates into a buzz of tremolo-picked guitars and then slows to a crawl, still shrouded in distortion and breathing with the life of shimmering occult melody. This trade-off between ghastly doom/death and blackened misery continues until this beast gasps its last horrific sound.
Heads up folks: If the blindingly orange cover art didn’t tip you off, we’re discussing Shining (Norway), not Shining (Sweden), whose latest album Andy actually reviewed here in December of last year. Also, this review is written from a really weird perspective of someone who is not really able to be neutral, but instead really worshipped Blackjazz – thus I found myself drawing quite a few comparisons between these two very different discs. Just a fair warning.
I think listening to Shining is one of the things I do when I want to pretend I am smarter than I actually am, the other being attempting to occasionally put up a coherent couple of paragraphs here at NCS. It’s an intellectual exercise designed to prove that I’m not just some drooling idiot, though trying to string together some sort of descriptor of what these guys do and why it appeals to me feels like a futile effort because, frankly, almost everyone in Shining is highly intelligent and qualified on their instruments and I am as dumb as a rock.
As one of the people who absolutely fell in love with their Blackjazz release – I have a very layman’s understanding of how these guys meld jazz song structures and musical theory with heavy metal and the occasional prog flourish. I just can’t explain exactly what is going on and I think that, even in the group’s uglier moments when what they are doing seemingly makes no sense, that is what draws me to them. It was the humongous challenge of trying to understand the cacophony of Blackjazz that had me constantly coming back to it, so the prospect of seeing what the band would do next, either expounding upon their initial construction or changing it up with One One One, was exciting as all hell.
If there is one charge that you could never level against Shining, for sure it would be that they are resting on their laurels, because One One One is a very different album from Blackjazz.
More and more bands are opting to go the label-free route, which has helped many to get their music out there, but unfortunately means they don’t have a PR campaign behind them like they would from a label. This series is dedicated to those kinds of bands. Part Two will come tomorrow, with a definitive prog focus.
Boreworm - Black Path
When Scorned Deity came to my attention through a post here at NCS, I instantly mused to myself that hopefully a band of their caliber would be part of a thriving scene with other like-minded bands. Soon after, I heard about Boreworm, another bright young act from Michigan who confirmed that good things are happening there. Boreworm’s take on blackened death metal has all the fury of Hate Eternal but truly shines through because of their sad melodic flirtations and a knack for knowing when to break up the madness with slower passages.
The heaving darkness and bite of black metal emerges in layers throughout, with its appearence lending Black Path a uniquely sinister vibe. They also extend the influence to grimly make-over deathcore breakdowns with faster drumming or reverberating chords that give a lingering, atmospheric black metal feel.
In the spring of 2012 a four-man Chicago black metal band named FIN self-released a demo album entitled Fated By Will and Iron. The album is now going to get the attention it deserves because it’s scheduled for an official label release on June 11 by Disorder Recordings, a relatively new imprint established by Jeff Wilson, guitarist for Chrome Waves, Wolvhammer, and formerly Nachtmystium. In this post, we’ve got a review of the album and a song stream of the title track.
At a very high level, FIN combine a variety of styles, mixing them to varying degrees within each song and transitioning from one to the next in a way that gives the music vibrancy. One of those strains (perhaps best exemplified in “Guilty of War Crimes”) is a bestial, warlike assault that’s in keeping with the martial themes of the song titles. Distorted, swarming tremolo riffs mix with thunderous double-bass, crashing cymbals, and a seething acid-bath of vocal expression to unleash a holocaust of hellfire. During these passages, listening is like being caught in a hurricane.
There are rarely any genuinely subdued moments on the album, but FIN do shake things up by transitioning within songs into squalling chord progressions and thumping drum rhythms. In these decelerated “black ‘n’ roll” segments, guitarist M.K. delivers some juicy riffs (still distorted and still vibrating with unholy energy), and heads will bang.
According to Anders Biazzi, the guitarist for Blood Mortized, an early member of Amon Amarth, and the creator of the music in Just Before Dawn’s debut release Precis innan gryningen, the album’s concept is “WAR” — all caps. He calls the music “Swedish Steamroller Death Metal”. And believe me, that’s no lie.
This is one of the best old-school, Swedish-style death metal albums you’ll hear this year, and there are three ingredients that make it so. The first is the songwriting. Every song includes lethally infectious riffs and grim melodies that give it a distinctive and memorable personality. Pulling off that achievement while at the same time inflicting devastating sonic carnage is a neat trick.
The album as a whole is also well-constructed, with the songs generally alternating between up-tempo marauders that chug and grind (such as the title track and “Under Wheels of Death”) and mid-paced or slow crushers with a morbid death-doom vibe (like “Pulverised” and “Raped Soil”, the latter being a fine example of the skill with which Biazzi infiltrates a kind of sorrowful beauty into the brute destructiveness of the song as a whole).
On the subject of songwriting, there’s also an effective synchronization of the lyrics and the music. The concept of the album is indeed WAR — in the air, on land, and in the sea — but the lyrics aren’t patriotic flag-wavers or celebrations of valor under fire. They’re vivid descriptions of devastation, bloodshed, and horror. The music captures those ideas just as vividly.
I’m usually racing so fast to keep up with the continual advent of new music that it’s rare to take a breath long enough to explore music from a previous year. But I did that yesterday, and I’m sure glad I did.
The Furor is a band from Western Australia that released three full-length albums between 2004 and 2011, after which the membership dwindled to a single individual, Disaster (Louis Rando). Undeterred by going it alone, he put out an EP in 2012 under The Furor name entitled Sermon of Slaughter, and it is indeed a sermon of slaughter. The exceptional quality of the EP is perhaps surprising, because Disaster’s forte is drumming.
He is a ridiculously good drummer and a true metal veteran, as witnessed by his current participation in bands such as Singapore’s Impiety and Australia’s Mhorgl, as well as his past membership in the likes of Dybbuk, Pagan, Pathogen, and Psychonaut. But it turns out that his talents are manifold, and he shows them off to good effect on Sermon of Slaughter.
The music reminds me of a cross between Marduk and Satyricon. It is unquestionably warlike. The songs generally move at a furious pace, with hell-ripping guitars, booming bass notes, and the kind of murderous percussion that makes full-auto machine-gun fire seem slothful by comparison. Disaster’s scalding, clawing vocals also remind me of Mortuus and Satyr — full of fire and venom.
(BadWolf reviews the new album from The Dillinger Escape Plan.)
Originality is The Dillinger Escape Plan’s stock-and-trade. Their blend of atonal mathcore and pop hooks still stands out a decade after they first perfected it, despite the run of knockoff bands. However unique their style remains, they’ve done fairly little to change the formula since their sophomore record, 2004′s Miss Machine. The two albums since more-or-less re-tread that amazing album’s ground, albeit with a few different experiments here and there. And every record since has been incrementally less brilliant. Until now.
2013′s One of Us Is the Killer is another stab at that classic album’s formula, but it comes closest to catching that record’s spark. While Dillinger always produce excellent records, they progress more like books of Bukowski poems than novels—by that I mean they’re often best digested a few random songs at a time. (I wonder how much time DEP spend on track-listing their albums.) And of course, as is often the case with experimental music, some songs work better as stand-alone pieces, and some don’t work at all.
Each song works on One of Us Is the Killer. It dials down the bullshit: only one laptop interlude a la Ire Works, and no six-plus-minute trudges—I expected the album to tack toward radio play after DEP signed to Sumerian Records, who seem more interested in pimping Asking Alexandria than making good metal these days, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. The record sounds more savage than Miss Machine by a hair’s breadth.
Indricotheriinae are an extinct subfamily of giant, long-limbed, hornless rhinoceroses. They are the largest land mammals that have ever lived. Indricothere is also the name that Colin Marston gave a solo project that he used to record some songs he wrote before forming Behold… the Arctopus.
Indricothere’s first album (self-titled) came out in 2007. This morning I discovered to my surprise that Marston has just today released a second Indricothere album entitled II, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
I’ve been listening to the album, which is entirely instrumental, and it’s blowing my fuckin’ mind. There is no pithy way of describing it. Stylistically, its principal kinship is with technical death metal, but it’s part black metal, part prog, part post-metal, and part avant-garde, too. The music is dense, intricate, constantly changing, intensely interesting. Of course, it’s also a high-wire acrobatic performance that will drop jaws. Also, heads will bang.