I decided to dispense with the usual Sunday installment of The Rearview Mirror in order to spend the time writing this thing. I spent several hours yesterday listening to new metal (when I wasn’t talking calls from world leaders anxious for help in solving their many problems), and these five songs and videos pounced on me like the vicious head-wrecking predators they are. I found a lot of other things to like in my listening excursions, but it just made sense to my addled mind to package these together so as to inflict maximum trauma on you, our beloved readers.
I’m afraid these won’t be the only audio assaults I intend to facilitate today, since I also have a Shades of Black post in progress. Between that post and this one, it will add up to a lot of listening. Just ignore your friends and/or your families and/or food, water, and bathroom breaks, and you’ll be able to take it all in.
MAN MUST DIE
We have been writing about Scotland’s Man Must Die for many years (beginning in December 2009 when we were only one month old)… but years have passed since MMD released an album (the last one being 2013’s Peace Was Never An Option). Two years ago they did release a single called “Slave To the Animal” (which we dutifully covered here), and last year they released a video for a cover of the song “Milk” by S.O.D. (featured here). And now, finally, they seem close to releasing a new EP named Gagging Order.
I had to make a whirlwind trip to Dallas, Texas, for my fucking day job, leaving Sunday morning and returning to Seattle late yesterday. I didn’t have much time to myself, which means I fell behind in listening to new metal. On the plus side, I was put up in a swanky hotel, the corridors of which were lined with large framed photos from ’60s and ’70s fashion magazines. Every time I walked past the one above, I did a double-take. And that wasn’t the only one that stopped me in my tracks. So there’s that.
Anyway, last night and this morning I enjoyed the following new music streams and videos, presented here in alphabetical order by band name except for the last one, which is a twist on what I usually feature in these pages.
Thanks to Andy Synn, we’ve previously reviewed the excellent new album by Abigail Williams, The Accuser, which will be released by Candlelight Records on October 30. Yesterday CVLT Nation premiered a video for one of the new songs named “Nuumite”. It’s the track that ends the album, and takes a sharp turn from what preceded it (though if you listen closely to the preceding songs, you’ll realize that the twist was forecast all along). Here’s what Andy wrote about the song:
Google Analytics tells me that over the last 30 days 40.10% of the visitors to our site were located in the United States. Because we math like some motherfuckers, we are able to determine that 59.90% of visitors over the last 30 days were from other nations. For them, today is just another day. So we’ll get the obligatory USA! USA! USA! chant out of the way by celebrating one of our nation’s greatest accomplishments on this July 4th via the video above.
Okie dokie, now that we’ve had our Fourth of July celebration, let’s move along to some musical fireworks. Here are four recommended new metal songs that appeared over the last 48 hours.
As we’ve previously reported, Oslo’s Pantheon I have a new album entitled From the Abyss They Rise that’s due for release on August 14 by Non Serviam Records. It includes both an EP’s worth of new songs plus older compositions, including their first demo tracks from a decade ago. Yesterday I caught up to a stream of one of the new songs that appeared on July 2.
Welcome to the lucky 13th 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 two I’m announcing today, click here.
You remember that a few days ago I resolved to finish this list by the end of January? Well, like my New Year’s resolution to be nice to children and poodles, I may not be able to follow through on that promise. Just too damned many great songs from 2013 that need to be recognized. Also, it’s easier on me to just keep going than to make hard decisions about what to select and what to cut, and I’m completely in favor of making things easier on myself.
Oh man, did Kataklysm come back strong with 2013’s Waiting For the End To Come — strong, hungry, and with fangs and claws bared. To quote from our review by TheMadIsraeli:
(In mid-September we posted the first of two reviews of the new album by Scotland’s Man Must Die, and now we bring you the second one, by Andy Synn. Some albums just just demand this kind of attention.)
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Hard times make the heart grow harder.
It’s been four years since these Scottish bruisers last brutalised our eardrums with their sickening sonic stew. Four long fucking years of pain and struggle and bloody-minded perseverance. So it’s no surprise that the fourth album by the Scottish juggernauts might just be their most abrasive, most lethally focussed, and most viscerally aggressive release yet.
To those unfamiliar with the band, their sound is a devastating mix of Cryptopsian chaos and Kataklysmic groove, delivered in a manner so utterly merciless, so utterly unforgiving, that its use in certain countries has been declared a war crime.
Fuelled by fire and frustration, each song is a demanding (at times exhausting) sequence of technical, pandemic death metal riffs, frenzied and punishing drums, and rabid, venomous vocals, all tied together by a subtle undercurrent of seditious melody and a grim atmosphere of malevolence and paranoia.
(In this post TheMadIsraeli brings us the first of two reviews we’ll be publishing of the comeback album by Scotland’s Man Must Die, and at the end we’ll stream a new song from the album — “On the Verge of Collapse” — which debuted today.)
Man Must Die have been out of the game for a good bit. The last we heard from these Scots was the precision-guided slaughterhouse known as No Tolerance for Imperfection, an album that demonstrated their melodeathgrind sound at its all-time high. I honestly haven’t listened to this band in a really long while, you know how it is. Some bands appear to drop off and you just don’t see the point in listening anymore. I was, however, intrigued when we got the promo for this, especially because I wondered what five years between releases would do to their sound. Thankfully Man Must Die didn’t let the passage of time change them, it merely make them better at what they do. In fact, they’ve crafted one of 2013’s undeniably best albums.
Man Must Die’s odd mix of technical death metal, grindcore, and melodic death metal has served them well, and it’s never been better than on Peace Was Never an Option. There are albums that make you feel pumped, albums that make you feel alive, and albums that make you feel like someone shoved a needle of adrenaline straight into your heart. This album is the third kind. Not many albums are this razor sharp, this organ-piercingly fatal, or this burly. Man Must Die know how to do three things: beat your face in, fatally wound you with knife stabs, and break your bones until nothing remains but an indescribable shell of useless waste.
I haven’t been keeping my eyes peeled for metal news since last week because I’ve been too busy hob-nobbing with my fellow NCS scribes in Seattle. I did take a few quick minutes this morning to glance around and found the following three items that I thought were interesting.
At the end of July we reported the welcome news that black metal powerhouse Inquisition had revealed the name of their next album (Obscure Verses for the Multiverse) and announced its release dates via Season of Mist — October 29 in North America and October 25 elsewhere. Today brought more information about the album, beginning with the cover art above, which is quite fetching.
We have also been treated to a teaser of music from the album. The video clip that I’ve included beyond the jump includes short snippets from 9 tracks. Except for the snippet of the last track, which features a harsh roar, you’ll learn that Dagon has not changed his vocal style, which continues to sound like a bullfrog being strangled with barbed wire.
Here are a few choice items from my recent ramblings around the interhole.
MAN MUST DIE
Some bands die who shouldn’t, some bands who should die seem to live forever, and some bands resurrect themselves against punishing odds. Man Must Die must not die, and in fact it looks like they’ve been resurrected after parting company with their big-label support following 2009′s No Tolerance For Imperfection.
When last we checked in with these Scots in April, they were nearing success on their revised crowd-funding goal at Pledge Music to help them self-finance a new recording. And today brought the cheery news that they’ve found label support once again after a long dry spell. Here’s the announcement from Lifeforce Records:
“We are very proud to announce the signing of Scottish extreme metal maniacs MAN MUST DIE for a world wide release (outside the UK) of their next album in late October via Lifeforce Records. The band is currently at Valvetone studios putting the final touches on the new effort.”
In addition, the band announced that Grindscene Records will be releasing the new album in the UK and Ireland.
Nice work lads! I’ll be ready to get brutalized in October.
More and more bands are resorting to on-line fundraising campaigns in an effort to finance the recording and self-distribution of new music. Some of those campaigns have succeeded beyond the band’s wildest dreams, and some have turned into big disappointments. It appeared that the recent fundraising efforts of Scotland’s death metal juggernaut Man Must Die — a band whose past music we’ve backed hard at NCS — would fall into the latter category, but the tide is turning. It’s time for a final push.
MMD launched their on-line fundraiser via pledgemusic.com in early February, setting an ambitious target of. As late as last week, the band admitted defeat in this statement on their FB page: “We would like to thank everyone who tried to help make the new album happen but with only a few days left the reallity is we will not make our goal. MAN MUST DIE will try our very best to release something this year and we will include the names of all the people who pledged in the credits as a token of our appreciation.”
But it turns out that all was not lost. Today brought the following update:
(Andy Synn delivers another SYNN REPORT, assessing the discography of Scotland’s Man Must Die.)
Recommended for fans of: Cryptopsy, Katakylsm, Job For A Cowboy
You want brutal? Well this Scottish band are here to give you brutal, no holds barred, no quarter given. Though they’ve gotten more technical and more complex over the years, they’re certainly no flashy tech-death band, instead delivering gut-wrenching shots to the solar-plexus that qualify their “technical” skills with a big capitalised “DEATH METAL” uppercut.
There’s a scrappy, thrashy underbelly to the band’s armour-plated, tank-like delivery of steroid-injected metallic rage, which allows for some surprising flashes of melody here and there, while the megaton riffage and bulldozing drumming patterns ensure maximum devastation with every listen. Neck-snapping rhythms and sudden shifts in timing and tempo attest to the group’s impressive, but never overblown, technical abilities
The band were actually signed to Relapse until not long ago, and their current status as an unsigned act really is mystifying, particularly when you consider that the band’s sound seems primed to capitalise on the resurgence of both Suffocation and Cryptopsy, while also having one foot (or at least a toe) in the thrash revival aesthetic, as well as appealing to the new-school death metal fans brought into the fold by the tech-friendly stylings of Demonocracy or Deflorate.
Thankfully, the group haven’t given up, and have a PledgeMusic campaign currently active where they’re hoping to get the money to cover the recording and production of their fourth album. If you like what you hear below then I implore you to head over to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/manmustdie and show the group some love!