EYE-CATCHERS: FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, GHOST BRIGADE, TRIALS, MINUSHUMAN, AND THE CLEANSING
In this EYE-CATCHERS series we usually pick music to sample from bands we’ve never heard before based solely on their album art. It’s an ongoing experiment, testing the illogical hypothesis that if the artwork is cool, the music will be, too. Today, we’re continuing that experiment with three bands — Trials (U.S.), Minushuman (France), and The Cleansing (Denmark) — all of whom have new albums on the way.
But we just couldn’t resist also featuring eye-catching artwork from forthcoming albums by two bands we already know and like very much — Fleshgod Apocalypse and Ghost Brigade. We don’t yet have any new music from those albums to toss your way, so we’ll play some older tunes from both bands as a reminder about why we care about what they’re up to. Yes, lots of bands to be covered in this post — so we’ll keep the verbiage short and focus on the art and the music.
You knew we were going to feature the album art for FA’s next release, Agony, which is due on August 9 from Nuclear Blast. Along with Bury Your Dead (whose 2009 line-up change spurred the start of this site), they’ve sort of become the unofficial NCS “house band” (which means we wished they lived at our house so they could play for us all the time). The only reason we’re a couple days late in posting about it was so we could finish up the rest of this long EYE-CATCHERS installment. It’s a hell of an album cover, don’t you think? Credit goes to the very talented Marco Hassman.
FA will be touring the U.S. and Canada during July and August as part of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER 2011 tour. We can hardly wait to see them when that tour stops in Seattle.
We don’t have any music from Agony yet, but as a reminder about why it will be a must-get album, here’s the opening track from the band’s full-length debut, Oracles (which also featured a Hassman cover):
Ghost Brigade is a band that Andy Synn recommended to us for inclusion in our Finland Tribute Week series that we ran last December. They were the third band we covered in that series, which just kept expanding and lasted considerably more than one week. The focus of our post on Ghost Brigade (here) was the band’s second album, Isolation Songs (2009). Here’s part of what we wrote about that album:
“Stylistically, Ghost Brigade is reminiscent of the better-known Katatonia and, at times, of Insomnium, with each song anchored by sweeping, melancholy melodies in a predominantly slow or mid-paced tempo. Some of the album’s offerings, such as the opener, “Suffocated”, and the closer, “Liar”, are hard-charging relatives of melodic death metal. Some (such as “Lost In A Loop” and “Birth”) feature thick, near-sludgy riffs that bring an air of doom to the proceedings. “Into the Black Light” is a standout offering of powerful, dreamy music with clean instrumentation and perhaps the best clean vocals on the album.”
Ghost Brigade is now on the verge of releasing their third album, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us, on August 19 in Europe and August 23 in NorthAm via Season of Mist. We don’t yet have any music to play you from that album, but here’s the opening track from Isolation Songs. Two more songs are available for free download at Season of Mist’s web page for Ghost Brigade (go here and scroll down).
Discover more info about Ghost Brigade via their Facebook page or their official site.
Now we come to the experimental part of this post — the bands whose music we’ve never previously heard. Trials is an unsigned band from Chicago. They’ve completed a debut album, Witness to the Downfall, which is scheduled for release on August 1. What grabbed our attention was the stupendous cover art by none other than Seth Siro Anton (Septic Flesh), whose album art we’ve featured, in depth, here.
To test out the music, we found three songs from the new album that are up for streaming on the band’s ReverbNation page. The first two are up-tempo bruisers, with muscular, sludgy riffs and pounding percussion that got my head bobbing, plus they include some catchy melodies. The vocals are a mix of hardcore roars and tolerable clean singing (i.e., not the breathy, whiny kind). I guess you could possibly classify the first two songs as metalcore, but they’ve got a heavy Pantera strut working, too. The third song is even more interesting — darker, heavier, even more whiskey-soaked than the first two, and it’s got a fucking killer riff that takes over about two-thirds of the way through.
Yes, I believe this test case supports the hypothesis. Check out those three songs from the new album:
Get more details about Trials via their Facebook page (here).
Minushuman is from Bergerac, France. They describe their music as “atmospheric thrash metal.” Their second album is scheduled for release by Season of Mist on August 19 in Europe and Australia and on August 23 in NorthAm. Season of Mist have made a single from the album called “The Architect” available for download via this link (right click on it to save the file). That’s the song I heard, and you can stream it here before deciding whether to download it.
It reaches out and grabs you right from the start with a head-smacking riff and a swirl of indigo melody, and I liked the throat-scraping vocals, too. To my ears, the song is more melodic death metal than thrash, but whatever genre label you want to use, it’s a fine song — another successful experiment.
Here’s “The Architect”:[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Minushuman-The-Architect.mp3|titles=Minushuman-The Architect]
For more info, check out the band’s official web site or their Facebook page.
The Cleansing is from Copenhagen, Denmark. Their debut album, Poisoning the Legacy, came out in 2009. They’ve now released their second album, Feeding the Inevitable, on Deepsend Records. Remy C. from Headsplit Design created the very cool cover art for the album.
The Cleansing claim bands such as Morbid Angel, Immolation, and Vader as their influences. These are good influences (assuming that they’re referring to the older Morbid Angel releases). They’ve made a song from the new album available for streaming. It’s called “The Promethean Promise”, and it’s a sweet piece of deep-grooved, deep-throated death metal with a dynamic tempo. Yeah, I can hear those influences, too.
Now, here’s that song, “The Promethean Promise”;
The Promethean Promise by The Cleansing
The new album can be ordered from Deepsend (here) or CMDistro (here). The Cleansing’s Facebook page is at this location.
In a nutshell, all three of our experiments today were successful, and the music got me interested in hearing more music from all three bands. What did you think?
The Cleansing album art is my favorite of the 3 bands you picked. That Trials cover is weird though! I don’t mean weird in a bad way, I mean, it’s not my thing, but it’s… just weird… that’s the only word I can think of to describe it lol.
The beginning of The Promethean Promise reminded me of one of the Burning the Masses songs from Offspring, I’m not sure which one it is though because while that release was good, I haven’t really given it the listen it probably deserves. But the song was pretty good, nice old school death metal vocals, and a nice groove.
Based on what I listened to by Minushuman, they are indeed atmospheric, but I’m gonna’ have to agree with you when you said melodeath, cuz that riff reminded me of Amon Amarth.
It’s not quite fair of me to put up only one song (or three) for the last three bands, without knowing whether they’re representative of the albums as a whole. I’m particularly curious how the Minushuman track compares to other songs on their album. Still, these are the songs that the bands chose to release for streaming so far, so that must mean something.
Yes, the Trials cover is weird, but all of Seth Siro Anton’s covers are weird, which is probably why I like ’em so much. Doesn’t it make you want to consider getting large and small intestines tattooed on your shoulder and upper arm?
Now that you mention it… yeah that’d be a cool idea!
Wouldn’t you also have to have some extensive plastic surgery to get your head to look like that of a horse? I mean, if you’re going to emulate an album cover, go balls out and do it right; get yourself an equineplasty!
You’re absolutely right. And forget about that tattoo idea. To be really metal about it, you’d need to find a way to graft living, functioning intestines onto your shoulder and arm. Might have some nasty consequences if someone gave you a friendly slap on the shoulder, but what the hell.
I dunno, maybe a hug from Phro would have the same effect… except, instead of intestines, you’d end up with tentacles.
On second thought… probably not a good idea.
I think he hugged this woman:
Shiiiit! Im reaaaally liking this Minushuman song. In fact i liked it so much i had to check more of this awesomeness from ze youtube! The Frenchies got it!
Indeed they do. Maybe it’s just sheer coincidence, but every French metal band whose music I’ve checked out for the first time this year has been a winner.