This year the Greek melodic black metal band Lord Impaler are celebrating their 16th year of life. In that long stretch of time they’ve released four demos (the first one in 1999), two split releases, a full-length album, and an EP. I’ve previously reviewed both the album (2011′s Admire the Cosmos Black) and the EP (2013′s Babylon Whore) — both of which are very impressive — but I’ve never heard any of the earlier demo recordings. Now all of us are about to get a taste of them in new form.
On December 7 Lord Impaler will release a special anniversary EP entitled The Serpent Seal – Το Αρχέγονο Σκότοσ Επιςτρέφει, which includes re-recorded versions of four songs from their first three demos, and today we’re premiering one of those tracks: “Final Gates”.
Vyrju began as the one-man project of Norwegian musician Jan F. Lindsø, but Vyrju’s debut EP Black also features session drums and clean vocals by Tim Yatras (Germ, Austere, ex-Nazxul, ex-Woods of Desolation). I’m a fan of Tim Yatras, and it was his participation in the recording that originally attracted me to it — well, that and the three big skulls on the EP’s cover, of course.
In a word, Black is captivating. The melodies in each of the four songs, with the exception of the short instrumental piece “Gone”, have a sombre and even depressive air, but they’re memorable and often beautiful in their own grim, ravaged way.
There is no disguising this. It’s all right in your face, like a brain-damaged, starving wolverine thrown in your face. With very few exceptions, it goes like a jet-fueled, turbocharged, bat-winged, red-eyed, race from start to finish. It’s the latest release from the venerable Morbosidad, and they still show no mercy.
Morbosidad have been shaking the foundations of extreme metal since about 1993, releasing a host of splits and EPs as well as four albums. This latest release, with a new lineup recruited by founding vocalist Tomas Stench, is a four-song EP named Tortura that will be released by Nuclear War Now! on December 15. On the final track, it features a guest appearance by Chris Reifert of Autopsy. It kicks all the asses.
After two albums in 2012 and 2103, Denver’s In the Company of Serpents have blessed this year with a new EP, set for release on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. It’s stupefyingly heavy and viciously catchy, and although its title is Merging Into Light, the merger seems to be happening in the last brief instant before the glimmer is extinguished and everything goes dark.
The music is tank-like in the roll of its mechanics, the guitar and bass chords so distorted and sludgy that it seems like an experiment in the most efficient means of sonic spinal compression, the drum strikes so powerful that they come down like a pile-driver on concrete. The effect is near-cataclysmic. But oh man, the groove is so dominant — these are neck-grabbing songs that will bend your head up and down to their will.
Anicon and Belus are two New York bands whose names I’ve been hearing for a while, but whose music I’ve begun exploring only recently. Together they produced a split this past June, which was co-released on 12″ vinyl by Fragile Branch (U.S.) and Dead Section Records (Denmark), with each band contributing two tracks. The songs of each band are also now available on their respective Bandcamp pages, with one bonus track (linked below) — and they’re all really impressive.
Anicon’s ranks include members of Trenchgrinder (vocalist/guitarist Owen Rundquist) and Krallice (drummer Lev Weinstein), as well as guitarist/vocalist Nolan Voss and bass player Alexander DeMaria (ex-Alrunes). They have two long songs on the vinyl split, “A Crown On Every Head” and “Blood and Stone”, and a third song (“Current of Ash and White”) comes as a bonus on the digital download.
Following up on an earlier trio of reviews this morning, I have another threesome in this post, focusing on three more new EPs (all of them debut offerings) that I’ve been enjoying and hope you’ll enjoy, too.
Bog Oak are a relatively new band from the vicinity of Sacramento, California, whose debut EP A Treatise On Resurrection And The Afterlife will be released by Svart Records later this month — and it’s a winning combination of ingredients: huge fuzz-bombed riffs and gravelly bass lines, pavement-splitting drumbeats, seductive melodies, and an interesting (and potent) vocal tandem.
I’ve collected here three reviews of three new EPs that I’ve really been enjoying.
HE WHOSE OX IS GORED
Not knowing what to expect, I saw Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored perform live earlier this year, for the first time but not the last, and was hooked hard by the energy of their live set and the interesting mix of musical elements in their highly addictive songs. Their debut EP Rumors has recently been released by Bleeding Light Records as a digital download, with a vinyl 7” coming soon.
The bookends of the EP, “Void Assault” and “Rumors”, are hard-rocking affairs driven by swirling, swarming guitar melodies with a wonderfully fuzzy tone and a sludgy, bottom-feeding low end. There’s some interesting rhythmic interplay between the drum and bass, and a contrasting layer of psychedelic beauty shimmers over the top, thanks to Lisa Ungo’s synth-generated ambient sounds and the soaring, ethereal quality of her voice.
In my daily searches for news and new music that I think would be worth your time, sometimes I come across so many exciting new discoveries that it feels like the flood gates have been opened, or that I’ve opened Pandora’s box thinking that it was my underwear drawer, or that a pack of wolves have materialized in my skull and started devouring its meager contents.
That happened over the last 24 hours. I found so many new things worth recommending that I’ve split this round-up into two posts. By chance, many of them all involve the same label — Daemon Worship Productions — so I’m collecting those in this first post. More info about all the releases discussed below and related merch can be found here.
ISRATHOUM / CHALICE OF BLOOD
Our last mention of Israthoum on the site occurred almost two years ago when Andy Synn reviewed the band’s second album, Black Poison and Shared Wounds. That is now being followed by a new Israthoum split with the Swedish black metal band Chalice of Blood, which was originally announced at the beginning of this year. Like that preceding album, the split is adorned with spectacular artwork by Held (Ubertragic Art). (Click the image to view a larger version.)
When a band’s first three listed influences on their Facebook page are Bolt Thrower, Discharge, and Bad Brains, that’s a good sign. When their line-up seems to include current members of Human Cull and a former member of the UK powerviolence band Witch Cult, that’s another good sign. When their album art depicts a giant fuckin’ octopus about to pull an aircraft carrier into the depths and starts with a sample about Godzilla — sold. And I haven’t even gotten to the music yet.
The band’s name is Iron Eagle and their debut EP is On the Attack, and is that ever a true title.
That Godzilla sample takes up the first few seconds of “Winta of Discuntent” and then the hammer comes down with a completely unstoppable, completely primal chug onslaught. And it goes from there to a crusty hardcore kerb stomp and back again. And that’s basically what happens over the course of all five songs.
Ideally I would have posted this collection yesterday, to accompany the first two “Samhain Harvest” posts, but I take comfort in the fact that Samhain lasts until sunset today (November 1), even though most of the costumes will have already been retired for another year and some of you are now suffering from apocalyptic hangovers.
Yesterday, just in time for Halloween, Patrick Bruss and Brynjar Helgetun, also known as Crypticus, released Horror Grind Mixtape #2 “Chains For Devils”. I wrote about two songs from this album when they debuted in August, but now we have the entire monstrosity.
On Bandcamp it’s organized into two tracks — “Chains For Devils” and, as a bonus, a cover of one of my all-time favorite Asphyx songs, “Scorbutics”. But “Chains For Devils” actually consists of nine parts, two of which feature a special guest appearances — Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, and many, many more) providing growls on “Strike the Iron Stake” and Stevo do Caixão (Impetigo, Twist Ending) providing shrieks and lyrics on “Among the Absurb”.