Smorgasbord is originally a Swedish word that has entered the English language with gusto. As all you metalhead carnivores (and herbivores) undoubtedly know, it means a big spread of different varieties of food laid out buffet-style on a groaning table. Here at the NCS Island, for our smorgasbord, we generally lay out a spread of pizza, followed by yesterday’s pizza (now appetizingly at room temperature), followed by last week’s chips, followed by cat food (for the cat, of course, but only if he’s fast).
As delectable as we know that sounds, we don’t have enough of it to go around. So instead, we’re serving up a smorgasbord of music today. A little bit of this, a little bit of that — Texas In July, We Are Building Ruins, and Anata — and before you know it, you’ll be pleasantly full.
TEXAS IN JULY
We first wrote about this young collective from Lancaster, PA, back in December (at this location). Their debut album, I Am, displayed songwriting talent well beyond their years, accomplished musicianship, and a powerful one-two punch of honest, blast-furnace brutality married to massively infectious melodic hooks. And now, Texas In July has made available some kick-ass new music.
(lots more after the jump . . . WARNING: there’s a little music player embedded on the jump page that seems to have a mind of its own and will start playing unless you pause it)
The band has just released a new digital-only single consisting of two songs: “Uncivilized”, which is brand new, and “Fight Fair”, a track recorded at the same time as I Am but not previously released. Both of them are quite good. As a sign of things to come, “Uncivilized”, in particular, shows that the band has turned the intensity dial up a few notches. The style continues to remind us of bands like Unearth, Darkest Hour, and August Burns Red — all bands that we’re thoroughly hooked on.
Here’s a little player that will allow you to stream “Uncivilized”. The two-song single is available on iTunes and from other purveyors of digital music. Check it out, and let us know what you think:
WE ARE BUILDING RUINS
We Are Building Ruins is a three-piece death-grind band from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Their MySpace page features words of praise from the likes of Ben Orum (All Shall Perish) and Alex Erian (Despised Icon). The band has just released a three-song EP entitled Where the Sun Sets, which is available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, and elsewhere.
WABR features unpredictable rhythms, a mix of hardcore-style howling and death-metal gutturals, guitar lines that arc and squeal and slam, hammering bass lines, and an artillery barrage of percussion. The music is a brain-scrambling mix of technicality and groove that churns with impressive power. It’s a promising start.
Here’s a song to stream from Where the Sun Sets. All three of them are worth a listen.
This Swedish band has been creating music for more than a decade and a half, but somehow we missed them until an NCS reader (“Aaron”) brought Anata to our attention in a recent comment. All we can say is, where have you been all our lives?
Anata plays a remarkably inventive form of technical death metal executed with superb skill. Twin guitars each follow their own atonal winding paths, laying down divergent musical lines that eventually cross in headbanging harmony, only to spiral off again. Complex drum and bass rhythms undergird the flashy guitar work, and deep-throated vocals add yet another rhythm instrument to the mix.
This is left-brain music that stokes our math-metal jones, but still feels spontaneous and creatively out-of-the-box.
Unfortunately, the band hasn’t provided a new release since their fourth studio album in 2006, The Conductor’s Departure. Periodic comments from the band indicate that they have been recording new music, and two “rough-mix” excerpts from a song called “Greed Conquers All” are available for streaming on the group’s MySpace page.
Given the departure of the band’s guitarist, Andreas Allenmark, all guitar parts on the forthcoming fifth album reportedly are being recorded by the band’s founder/guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Schälin. As for when we can expect the new album (apparently to be released by Earache Records), the latest word we could find was this February blog entry on the band’s MySpace page:
Hope you are still with us. About the new album I can’t give you any news more than we will try to make the release happen this year. Good news is that we probably have found a new guitar player replacing Andreas, at least for live purposes. As soon the album is released we will start touring again. We have also started to write songs for yet another album. And to give you something while waiting I have posted 12 live songs on youtube from a sober audience night in Gothenburg and a very hangover evening in Moscow for ANATA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVGda_z06Ss
While we wait, here’s a taste of Anata from The Conductor’s Departure.
And there you have it for today’s smorgasbord. We’re hope you’re feeling pleasantly sated.