The second album by the super-group Echelon, entitled The Brimstone Aggrandizement, has received its fair share of attention in the many year-end lists we’ve posted this season from sources around the globe. Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Ashcloud, Henry Kane, Ursinne) put it in his Top 12. Vonlughlio from the Dominican Republic included it in a Top 50 list with the comment that “Mr. Ingram on vocals is at the top of his game with this performance — the man can do no wrong.” And here, from the chilly environs of Seattle, I’ll soon be adding a track from the album to a list I’ve been dribbling out this month. And now we have another reminder of why this album was one of the best death metal detonations of 2016, as we bring you a video for the track “Lex Talionis“.
I may be bending the usage of the word “premiere” in this post, because the album has been out since last month and the track you’re about to hear has recently been added to the Bandcamp player for the album. And although the video is new, it’s not as elaborate as most videos you may see here. But to be honest, any excuse will do for me to trumpet the attractions of The Brimstone Aggrandizement. If you’ve somehow missed our previous writings about it, feast your eyes upon Echelon’s line-up:
Here in the good old U.S. of A. it’s Thanksgiving Day today, and so to all of our American readers, I want to wish you a happy fucking Thanksgiving. And if you’re puzzling over what to be thankful for, I have some new metal for you. You’re welcome.
That’s right, while the rest of the miscreants in U.S. metal blogdom are acting like normal, reasonably well-adjusted people and taking the day off, I’m still here like a good samaritan at the soup kitchen, feeding you nourishing metal so you won’t think no one cares about you, at least for today. As usual, I’ll also post something new on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this long “holiday” weekend, not because I’m better than anyone else but because I obviously have an undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Because it’s Thanksgiving, this holiday edition of what we normally call Seen and Heard is overstuffed, which is the condition of most Americans by the end of this day. So get ready to gorge yourself through the earholes with music from a dozen bands.
I’m trying very hard to tone down the giddiness I feel as I’m writing this. If the words just peter out before I finish, you’ll know I had an aneurism from the effort. I’ve already wet myself, but the less said about that the better. And the cause of this overflow of excitement? First of all, two of my own personal metal gods — Dave Ingram and Rogga Johansson — have teamed up in a band named Echelon. And furthermore, we get to bring you a premiere of the first single from Echelon’s second album The Brimstone Aggrandizement. And furthermore, it’s as good as I imagined it would be.
Yes, you read that correctly. Dave Ingram, the former Bolt Thrower and Benediction vocalist and current vocalist for Hail of Bullets, has joined forces with guitarist Rogga Johansson, whose resume is nearly long enough to bridge the chasm between Earth and Moon and includes Paganizer, Demiurg, Putrevore, and Megascavenger. And that’s not all — check out the rest of Echelon’s savage line-up for this new album:
Collected in this post are new songs from three black metal bands that I want to recommend for your listening pleasure.
Nefandus are a satanic black metal band from Sweden whose third album, Reality Cleaver, is scheduled for release by Daemon Worship on April 30. Though the band’s line-up has evolved over time, they trace their roots back to the mid-90s, with their first album coming out in 1996. However, my first exposure to the music came from the two new songs that Daemon Worship recently began streaming on Bandcamp — “Qayin’s Hunt” and “Reborn As Wolf”.
The first of those songs is a mid-paced procession, almost stately in its cadence and in the grandeur of its dark, minor key melody, yet thoroughly occult in its atmosphere (due in no small part to the filthy vocal delivery). The second track, “Reborn As Wolf”, quickly accelerates into a gallop, the whirring melody needling like a drill bit seeking flesh within the teeth, though the song also exudes a kind of infernal majesty similar to “Qayin’s Hunt”. Very nice.