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.
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.
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.
Cognitive’s debut EP The Horrid Swarm really crossed me up. As I started listening to it, I thought it was going to be one thing, and it turned out to be many things. By the time it ended, my head had been spun around, like that possessed chick in The Exorcist. You know, all the way around, but somehow still attached.
The opening track, “In the Form of A Drone”, is a speedy, brutal battering about the head and shoulders, a tech-death manifesto that proclaims itself with pummeling riffs, blasting drums, and skittering guitar leads, not to mention a harsh vocalist who bellows, roars, and barks like a demon hound quite convincingly.
The song even has a bass drop, a breakdown, and some slam chords woven into the mix. And like everything else on the EP, the music channels the power of compulsive groove even when the rhythms are changing rapidly and the notes are flying like bullets.
But looking back on it, I can see that the song included hints of something more to come — a couple of brief guitar solos that writhe and spiral, and whose prog-ish melodicism contrasts with all the surrounding brutishness.
In April of this year a Belgian band named Disinterred released their first demo. They wrote us to see if NCS might review it. I made a mental note to check out the music. Unfortunately, it was a mental note instead of a real note. You see, mental notes depend on my mind, so at least half the time that means they’re fucked. Fortunately, yesterday a friend independently suggested that I check out Disinterred. This time I did it before I had time to forget.
How does this music work? The basics seem pretty simple. You figure out how to tune the guitars and apply the right distortion pedal (an HM-2 will do nicely), so the chords sound radioactive. This is a matter of technology and ear. I presume it helps to be possessed by an undead spirit. I’m pretty sure Disinterred are possessed.
You figure out that you want to go with up-tempo pacing, and you get a drummer who can hit that simple, old-school, d-beat, two-step kind of Swedeath drum thing . . . no blasting or double-bass needed. You find a vocalist who can get down really low but sound like he’s barking with a throat full of phlegm, or possibly blood. In the case of Disinterred, I’m pretty sure it’s blood. Is that it? Nope, it’s not.
You also need a guitarist who can deliver bursts of pure shred, like a welder’s torch that’s been opened wide and then dropped on the concrete and left to skitter around like a demented snake. You also want that vocalist to be able to elevate, get up into some ghastly shrieks, and hold them for long time. Check.
Will that do it? Unh unh, not yet.
There’s so much to like about Eastfrisian Terror’s debut EP, Lever dood as Slav, that I decided to make a list of the good things:
1. Eastfrisia! Now there’s a name . . .
2. Sounds grimy as fuck.
3. Grinding, uber-distorted guitar tone.
4. Skull-smashing groove.
5. Old-school, maggoty death metal + brutal slamming death metal + death/grind mayhem = sweetness
You can’t say The Body fail to give warning about what’s coming on their new three-song EP, Master, We Perish. The broken, contorted, skeletal form on Manifester’s album cover provides the first clue. Further hints lie in the first two song titles — “The Ebb and Flow of Tides In a Sea of Ash” and “The Blessed Lay Down and Writhe In Agony”. And the first track does begin with the wailing sound of an air raid siren, in case you weren’t paying attention: It’s time to duck and cover.
Chapter 1: ”The Ebb and Flow of Tides In a Sea of Ash” drags doomed guitar chords across a scarred wasteland of distortion, with horrific howling and screaming as accompaniment and the screech of feedback as the climax. It’s relatively brief. For the sake of sanity, this may be a good thing.
Chapter 2: Clanging notes reverberate at the outset of “The Blessed Lay Down and Writhe In Agony”, muttering is heard in the background, and a soprano’s voice soars skyward. Fuzzy electronic pulses beat a rhythm. Someone pumps a shotgun, and the drum blasts and cymbal crashes come down like meteor strikes. The song begins to rumble and roll with sludged-out riffs, the drumbeats lurching ahead, caustic cries coming from the deep distance. Distortion fills your head, black matter drowning your mind.
Massed armies of the night stacked in ranks under a blood red moon, their veins surging with adrenaline, teeth bared, straining at the leash.
Before them lies a wasted no man’s land, stripped of life, muddied by lakes of blood and stinking with the decay of putrescent corpses from the carnage of previous nights.
Their master barks the word for which they wait and they bolt forward as one, the stillness broken by the cacophony of their headlong race. A thousand growls erupt from their throats, the ground pounds with the weight of their charge. Bloodied mud spatters and scatters, bones crunch beneath their scampering feet, they find their rhythm amongst the flesh of the unburied.
Their foes cower and cringe in the rapidly closing distance, they wail in anticipation of the utter destruction advancing upon them. They turn, they run, but not fast enough.
San Antonio’s HOD have been rumbling in the underground since 2007. Their 2009 album Serpent was a vicious debut that marked them in my book as a band to watch. More eyes should be drawn to them as a result of their new demo The Uncreated, in part because two of its three songs recently premiered on the likes of Invisible Oranges and DECIBEL’s online site, but mainly because the music is awfully damned impressive.
The three songs on The Uncreated are multi-layered. At one level, they discharge an electrifying display of heat lightning, powered by blackened, flesh-charring thrash riffs and blasts of machine-gun drumming. The croaking, poison-spitting, mid-range vocals are no less venomous than the instrumentals. At this level, the songs rake flesh like a whirlwind of razors while triggering the headbang reflex quite effectively.
At another level, however, a group of very talented musicians are showing off their technical chops in ways that make this music interesting and mentally engaging as well as physically galvanizing. Rhythms and tempos change frequently. Fret-jumping guitar leads move up and down and all around in an array of alien-sounding arpeggios. The drummer keeps things interesting with a changing array of beats and percussive progressions.