I’ve seen and heard a lot of metal things on this Monday. I thought I’d try to collect all of them for tomorrow’s first post, because that way I could do some other things with what’s left of my Monday, such as doing some work for my fucking day job, because there are some people who actually think I should do something I’m actually paid to do. But fuck that. I decided to make a start right now and finish everything up in tomorrow’s first post.
Last week the European Space Agency landed a small spacecraft named Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a 2.5-mile-wide ball of rock, ice, and dust that was moving faster than 40,000 miles an hour and was 317 million miles from Earth at the time of the landing. Not a bad piece of work. I have trouble landing my car in my driveway.
Unfortunately, the spacecraft shut down on Saturday after its batteries were drained. Apparently it landed against a cliff or crater wall where it couldn’t get enough sunlight to recharge those batteries. Before that happened, Philae did send back some photos. As you can see above, one of them looks suspiciously like the cover of Monuments of Exalted, the new album by Infestum from Belarus that was released by Lacerated Enemy Records just a couple of days earlier. If you’ve heard anything from the album, you may be less convinced this was a coincidence.
Morbosidad have been shaking the foundations of extreme metal since about 1993, releasing a host of splits and EPs as well as four albums. Their 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.
That preceding paragraph appeared in my review of this EP, posted only yesterday. No music from the EP was publicly streaming when I posted the review, and so I requested the opportunity to share some of it with you — and my request was promptly granted: Today we bring you the premiere of the EP’s second track, “En Las Gallas Del Infierno”.
What I wrote about the EP holds true for this song – it’s a jet-fueled, turbocharged, bat-winged, red-eyed race, from the machine-gun snare attack to the particle-accelerator fretboard assault. And the echoing vocals are thoroughly pestilential — a mix of tyrannical proclamations, ravenous howls, bile-drenched retches, and blood-spewing roars. As is true of the most lethal diseases, it’s also highly infectious.
(DGR reviews the debut album released last month by Woccon from Athens, Georgia).
While I was driving home from work today, two drops of rain hit my car. I know, because I counted them — which, given the current weather conditions trying to turn Sacramento into the Sahara desert via drought, means that I basically drove through a veritable hurricane. That, coupled with the hint of grey sky and the glorious ton of fog that blanketed the highway, pretty much signaled my seasonal shift in music reviewing. I’m probably not the only person in the world who does this (keeping in mind that six-billion-plus people roam this rock), but as Sacramento shifts between its two seasons — from too fucking hot to too fucking cold — I find that my tastes tend to change and I start to seek out some slower, darker, and doomier material, and the reviews come easier because of that.
We love us some melodic doom metal here at NCS, as evidenced by our coverage of bands like Daylight Dies, Aetherian, Mist Of Nihil, Enshine, October Tide, In Mourning, and even Insomnium’s slower stuff, just to raffle off a handful of bands, and Athens, Georgia-based Woccon have been a recent newcomer to that fold. We actually included a track from Woccon’s debut EP on our gigantic list of Most Infectious Songs Of 2013, and the wait for Solace In Decay has been a long one.
Woccon formed out of a common love of a group of influences in the melo-doom genre (for lack of a better term — I’ve seen “Ethereal Doom” bandied about and kind of like the idea, but only for the bands who feel more like they were born in frozen-over forests). When a band like Woccon put out a disc like Solace In Decay though, as a metal fan it feels like you need to take notice. Even as the group’s first full album after a string of demos and EPs, the band have released something that doesn’t make the mistake a lot of bands in this genre commit — sounding like a group whose influences are clear and just acting those out, putting checks in boxes and praying at the proper altars. Instead, Solace In Decay is the sound of a band who have found their place within the doom genre and seek to share that sweet, beautiful misery from a place you wouldn’t ordinarily expect.
(In this post we welcome back metal interviewer Karina Cifuentes. In this post she talked with Dagon of the black metal band Inquisition during the Under the Black Sun festival in Germany this past summer.)
Inquisition is a pretty special band for me. I got my first Inquisition tape when I was a child, I was 13. It had a great impact on me on many levels. It was pretty surreal to finally get to talk to Dagon in the woods outside Berlin after so many years. We did this interview in Spanish, so have that in mind.
Inquisition started in South America, how did that influence the band?
I was really young when I moved to Colombia. I was 11 years old at that time. I think the social environment had an impact on me. I was there in the 80′s when the drug-related violence was at its worst. That kind of violence is what Black and Thrash reflect.
There were some metal bands from that time that had an impact on me. Colombian bands like Parabellum, Reencarnacion, inspired me a lot. I took those influences and combined them with classics like Venom and Bathory. But more than anything it was the discipline. It is hard to believe, but Colombian musicians are very disciplined. Colombian culture is pretty strict, at school and everywhere, so it shaped my character. I also took Classic guitar lessons for 8 years with Ciceron Marmolejo, he is pretty renowned there. Through him I learned that there is a spiritual side when it comes to playing.
(The following piece is by guest writer Grant Skelton.)
I want to kill you.”
- The Doors, “The End”
“I am my father’s son
He’s a phantom, a mystery and that leaves me nothing!”
- Slipknot, “Eyeless”
You’ve clipped my wings before I learned to fly…”
- Metallica, “Dyer’s Eve”
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.
Solar Echoes is the name of a double album by an ambient electronic artist named Nigel Stanford, who is a native New Zealander and now lives in New York. A few days ago he released a video for a single from the album named “Cymatics”. “Cymatics” is the name for the science of visualizing audio frequencies. For the video, Stanford and the video’s director Shahir Daud created a series of “experiments” designed to show visual representations of the music.
They assembled an assortment of devices that create imagery in response to sound frequencies, including a Chladni Plate, which vibrates in response to sounds played through a speaker, causing grains of sand on the plate to arrange themselves into various patterns and shapes; a Hose Pipe; a Speaker Dish (filled with frozen vodka); Ferro Fluid; a Plasma Ball; a Ruben’s Tube; and — for the finale of the video — a Tesla Coil.
Now here’s an especially interesting aspect of this project: The video was filmed before the music was composed. In the case of all those science experiments, Stanford, Daud, and their crew found tones that would create the kind of imagery they were looking for, and then Stanford composed music that incorporated those tones — and the music became the single, “Cymatics”.
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.
I’ve been on vacation for the last week, got home after a lot of traveling early last night, and then had to turn around a couple hours later to go back to the airport to pick up someone, and didn’t get to bed until very late — without having written any NCS thing for today. And all of my NCS writer comrades have been doing other things besides writing NCS things. So basically, I got nuthin’. And I need to go to work today, so I probably won’t have much for today, period. Whatever I do get ready will be late.
So anyway, I thought I might at least do a quick scan of the interhole for something new, because I hate to post anything on the site that doesn’t have some metal in it. And voila, I came across a link on FB to a just-released music video by Bloodbath for a song named “Church of Vastitas” off their new album Grand Morbid Funeral. I like the song — it’s a slow, brooding, grim, morbid piece of pestilential death/doom with good vocal vomit. The video is pretty simple, but doesn’t detract from the music. Here it is. I’ll be back… at some point… later today.
This is a prime example of an album that came out of nowhere, one that I easily could have overlooked, but that turns out to be one of the most surprising and enjoyable things I’ve heard in months. The album’s name is Vestige and it’s the debut work of a three-person Montréal black metal band name Basalte.
Vestige consists of three long songs (from 9 minutes to almost 17), “Mirage”, “Luminaire”, and “Obtuse”. They are guitar manifestos, strange journeys across distortion-shrouded alien soundscapes that sometimes seem like the eruption of volcanos on a Saturnian moon and then at other times shine like the Saturnian rings themselves, shimmering with the glint of sunlight on ice crystals. The drumming is just as unpredictable and just as transfixing, like a comet with a mind of its own that moves around and through the cosmic lightshow, heedless of the pull of gravity.