As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.
Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages.
Sweden’s Blood Mortized have been relatively quiet since the release of their last album, The Demon, The Angel, The Disease, in the fall of 2013. But they have come back to unholy life with a new song and video, and we have it for you right here, right now. The song is called “Salvation“, and you can download it for free.
The punchline of my review of that last album was this: “You can look far and wide and you won’t find a better offering of old school Swedish death metal this year than The Demon, The Angel, The Disease.” We also named a song from the album (“I Leave With Hate”) to our list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. So you can imagine how eager I was to see and hear this new video.
Here’s the 18th Part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the songs I’m announcing today, click here.
I’m adding three tunes to this evolving and potentially never-ending list today. Once again, I’ve grouped these songs together for a reason. Here’s a hint: Fucking Death Metal. Death Fucking Metal. Metal Fucking Death.
The three members of this Swedish band – Lord K Philipson (guitar), Tobben Gustafsson (drums), and Jörgen Sandström (bass/vocals) — collectively have over 60 years of combined death metal experience, including membership in bands such as Grave, Entombed, Vicious Art, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Vomitory, and God Among Insects. Their modus operandi is to release short demos and give them away for free on their web site. Every time they finish releasing a group of three demo’s, they package them up and release them as a compilation CD.
In 2013, Torture Division released two demos, both of them (as usual) mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound. The first one was named The Worship, and I reviewed it here. The second one was The Sacrifice, and I reviewed that one, too. They’re both sooooo damned good — crushing guitar and bass tone, bone-breaking percussion, bestial vox, irresistible grooves, grisly infectious melodies, both hard-charging and doomy as a dank crypt, with riffs and rhythms that will make you bang your head so goddamned hard it will come off and bounce around your room like a tennis ball.
I’m late with this Saturday post. I have excuses: I was out carousing until the wee hours of the morning and then slept in, and then have been dealing with intermittent power outages (3 so far) at my island home due to high winds in the Puget Sound area. I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to be in the middle of listening and then writing, only to have the computer go black in mid-stream, and then have to start over — three times. Fuck.
Anyway, before it happens again, here are two new songs that began streaming on the web over the last 24 hours. You’ll figure out the “Yin and Yang” title to this post after you hear them.
Sweden’s Blood Mortized have a new album due for release by Chaos Records (I’m told it will be around mid-November). I reviewed it here about a week ago. The punch line of the review was this: “You can look far and wide and you won’t find a better offering of old school Swedish death metal this year than The Demon, The Angel, The Disease.”
With the review I streamed a track named “Bastard”, and this morning Blood Mortized made a second advance track available. This one is “My Soul Your Flesh”, which I described in my review as a “hell-king headbanger”. Now you’ll be able to understand what I was talking about. You might want to strap on a neck brace before the rampaging begins. Listen next . . .
Sweden’s Blood Mortized are back with a new album, and as you might guess from that album cover, they’re not fucking around. However, as you might not guess from that cover art, there’s a lot more going on in The Demon, The Angel, The Disease than maniacal serial killers and a big unholy whiff of cemetery rot.
The resurgence of Swedish-style death metal in the blood line of Grave-Dismember-Entombed proves the adage that, in time, everything old is new again. But frequently the new releases in this vein just sound old, old and tired, even to people like me who are addicted to this style. It’s not enough to simply capture the tone and the atmosphere. Make no mistake, you do need that, but you need more to make a great album that will put smiles on the faces of the hellish faithful and cause them to slobber in ghoulish glee. I’ll tell you how Blood Mortized have pulled off that trick.
We begin with the essentials. The production job on the album (by Linus Nirbrant of Sweden’s This Ending) makes it sound absolutely massive, not too murky or raw but still corroded and corrosive. When heard at the proper volume (i.e., the level that will leave you with tinnitus for days), the music is overwhelmingly powerful. The drums (performed by Norway’s Brynjar Helgetum) go off like cannon volleys, like nearby thunder, like heavy caliber machine guns on full auto. And listening to the guitars and bass, tuned low and deep and shrouded in distortion, is like being trapped inside a giant chainsaw or a titanic tunnel boring machine. Like these things:
Here are a four new (or new-ish) things I saw and heard since the weekend began that I’m really liking. I could keep them to myself, but I believe that goes against the first rule of blogging: Assume that everyone is fascinated by everything that interests you, and therefore keep nothing to yourself.
You can think of this as a death metal sandwich, two slices of rotting death metal bread on the outside and two unusual goodies in the middle.
We’ve been tracking the output of Sweden’s Blood Mortized since the beginning, and now they’re about to follow up their 2012 album The Key To A Black Heart (reviewed here) with a new full-length — The Demon, The Angel, The Disease. Today the band unveiled a music video for a track off the forthcoming album. To sum up:
The Music: Doing it the flesh-crawling bone-smashing old way, and doing it right. OOOF!
The Video: Gore, gore, gore, gore! And more gore!
On their second album, The Key To A Black Heart, Blood Mortized take a monstrous step forward, turning out by far their finest work yet and creating one of the best old-school death metal albums of 2012. By old-school, I’m referring to that distinctive old Swedish school, where rotting flesh sloughs off the faces of the taloned teachers and the curriculum concentrates on raising the dead and feeding them from the flesh of the living — but with a heavy course load in the lessons of bands like …For Victory-era Bolt Thrower and early Celtic Frost.
To succeed in creating this kind of music with the incontestable ring of authenticity requires faithfulness to the core elements of the sound, and Blood Mortized are definitely true believers. They’re also highly skilled practitioners in the dark arts of breathing ghoulish life into the festering meat of the departed. They know what body parts this music is made of, and they know how to reanimate the patchwork corpses and give them grisly new life.
But that alone wouldn’t earn them an A. What elevates this album above many other new offerings in the genre is superior songwriting and genuine flair in the performances at all positions.
A listing of the common denominators of the songs — those core elements of the sound — must begin with a truly massive “wall of guitar” approach to the riffing. Brutally down-tuned and distorted, the guitars grind and spin like giant buzzsaws pulverizing their way through dense concrete, or they chug like some titanic black train straight out of hell, belching dense, oily smoke. The bass tone is equally tank-heavy, more felt than heard as it sets up a vibration deep in your guts.
What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.
Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.
What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.
This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones.