Between my vacation in November, trying to catch up on what I missed while I was out of action, and planning for year-end Listmania at NCS, I’ve gotten ridiculously late in doing another MISCELLANY post. The last one was during the third week in October, which already seems like an eon ago. But rather than moan about my tardiness, I decided to just knuckle down and get ‘er done. Or at least get one done.
MISCELLANY started as a bit of a goof. I decided to do something with music kind of like what some people do with their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, when they obnoxiously tell you hour-by-hour (or minute-by-minute) what they’re doing — except I limited my disclosures to metal and hoped it would be more interesting than describing what I just ate or read or watched on TV, or the pleasures of the man-sized dump I just took.
To be more precise, on July 5, 2010, I posted a log of exactly what new metal I listened to and watched on that particular morning, regardless of whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. I didn’t plan on it being any kind of continuing thing, but I got enough encouragement from readers that I decided to just keep on keeping on.
I’ve been thinking back about how this started because this post is now the 40th in the series, which I guess is some kind of milestone. The first band covered in the first MISCELLANY post was an Austrian act called Mastic Scum, and I wrote about a video they’d released for a song called “Construcdead”. I introduced the video with these words: “If it’s been a while since you snorted coke, shot-up with heroin, cavorted with oiled-up dominatrixes, stuffed your face with food, been bull-whipped, had a golden shower, took it up the bunghole with a black dildo, or dribbled snot uncontrollably — well, you can relive those fond memories by watching this.” Good times. No wonder I decided to keep doing this.
Anyway, here we are again, and the rules haven’t changed: I keep a list of bands who contact us or who I’ve read or heard about somewhere, I pick some names at random and listen to a song or two from each pick, and then I write about the experience. It has turned out to be a good way to discover new music, and I’ve had extremely good luck with the picks. But still, you never really know what’s coming.
Today’s picks: Erupted (Sweden), Foul Body Autopsy (UK), and Absence of Light (Kenya). As it turns out, free downloads are available from all three bands
I read about Erupted just a few days ago. This is a young band — young enough that when they formed in 2010 they decided to call themselves Carnivore, not realizing that the name already had a pedigree. Using the name of the band that the late Peter Steele (Type O Negative) formed in 1982 was a bit of a faux pas, but it hardly mattered until quite recently, when Carnivore was signed by Abyss Records for the release of their debut album. Of course, that led to a name change, and on November 30, they announced the new name — Erupted.
To date, Erupted have produced a three-song EP (under the name Carnivore), titled Faces of Death. In early 2012, they’re going to get a reissue of the EP, courtesy of Abyss, but for now it’s still streaming and available for free download on the band’s Soundcloud page (here). Since there are only three songs on the EP, I decided to listen to all of them — a live track called “Blazing Fall From Heaven” and two studio tracks, “Hell Recreated” and “Faces of Death”.
Of those three, I liked the two studio recordings best: hammering, jagged, catchy riffs with old-school distortion, booming drums (with a muffled, un-triggered sound), a morbid atmosphere, and gore-vomiting vocals. They stuck around my head after I heard them, which is always a positive sign.
“Blazing Fall of Heaven” has a more galloping pace than the studio recordings, but the vocals differed — a mix consisting of alternating bursts of acidic scalding and cracked roaring — and I didn’t find them as effective. The production quality is also not as good, and the song as a whole (including a guitar solo that grated more than satisfied) didn’t do much for me. But the first two songs are promising, and because of them, I’ll be interested in hearing the full-length when it comes.
In order of preference, here are the three songs on Faces of Death:
“Faces of Death”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Faces-of-Death.mp3|titles=Erupted – Faces of Death]
“Hell Recreated”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Hell-Recreated-1.mp3|titles=Erupted – Hell Recreated]
“Blazing Fall From Heaven”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Blazing-fall-of-heaven.mp3|titles=Erupted – Blazing Fall of Heaven]
Erupted has a new Facebook page here. Now, moving on to my second pick, it’s time to jump over to England . . .
FOUL BODY AUTOPSY
One of our other writers mentioned this band to me recently, and I figured that with a name like Foul Body Autopsy, the music would be rancid and disgustingly filthy (plus, it’s the name of a Necrophagist song). In other words, just my kind of thing. So, not knowing anything more, I decided to check them out. Except it’s not a “them”, it’s a “he” — a dude in Leicester City, England, named Tom Reynolds. It further turns out that in addition to writing and recording all the music himself, Tom also performs.
For example, he performed at Bloodstock 2011, he performed last night in Derby with Cerebral Bore, and he’ll be sharing the stage at a gig next March with Decapitated, Aborted, and Cyanide Serenity. Not too fucken shabby. Full Body Autopsy isn’t the only one-man death metal band out there — Putrid Pile comes to mind first — but still, they’re not a dime a dozen either, and certainly not as plentiful as one-man black metal or djent projects.
And yes, death metal is the name of his game. How do I know that? Because Foul Body Autopsy has a Soundcloud page that includes download links for the songs on FBA’s self-released, self-titled 2010 EP, as well as songs on a more recent release called Full Body Autopsy – Vol. 2. I downloaded everything, but because of the rules of MISCELLANY, I only picked two songs to hear — “Left To Rot” off the newer release and “Come What Ever May” off the first one.
“Left To Rot” has some good things going for it. Tom can play some guitar, that’s for sure, and he’s got a credible death-metal growl to go along with his speedy riffing. Plus, the song is addictive as well as barbarous, and the drum programming was well done, too. My one complaint was the breakdown at the end. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good breakdown (unlike some of my -core hating compadres), but this one didn’t seem to fit the rest of the song; it had a tacked-on quality. I would have preferred to hear Tom continue to deliver the jolting riffage.
“Come What Ever May” got my head nodding with the snappy, elastic guitar work. It’s punchy, invigorating, technically proficient, and diseased. The worm in my head was feeling happy after these two songs, so I decided to cheat a bit and listen to another track from the newer release and randomly picked “The Beholder”. Good choice by me, because this baby is a flamethrower of Origin-style tech-death, all bullet-spitting picking and full-auto percussion. Nice.
From snooping the FBA facebook page, it appears that Tom has another EP in the works for release during the first quarter of next year called And the World Looked On In Horror. I’ll be in the market for that one.
Here are the last two songs I heard, followed by the official video for “Left To Rot” (unfortunately, the song has exceeded its download limit on Soundcloud):
“The Beholder”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/9.-the-beholder.mp3|titles=Foul Body Autopsy – The Beholder]
“Come What Ever May”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/11.-come-what-ever-may.mp3|titles=Foul Body Autopsy – Come What Ever May]
And now for my third and final pick in this MISCELLANY expedition, a detour to Kenya . . .
ABSENCE OF LIGHT
Absence of Light was a late addition to this MISCELLENY listening session. They were mentioned by E.G in his (or her) list of the year’s best albums in response to our Listmania Invitation No. 2 (and go HERE right away if you don’t know about our Listmania invitations). E.G’s explanation for including the album was this: “solely for being the first extreme metal album released by a Kenyan band.”
We’ve listened to and featured the music of bands from North Africa and from South Africa here at NCS, but this is would be the first metal band I’d heard from the great middle part of the Continent, and so I really couldn’t resist. I guess I was expecting (or maybe hoping for) something along the lines of D-FE, something that combined metal with traditional African rhythms and music. What I got instead was not exactly what I expected.
The music I checked out appears on an EP released by the band in November called Vyom Chakra. The Sanskrit title of the EP was my first clue that the music probably wouldn’t sound like D-FE, and Absence of Light turns out to be a trio of Indian dudes in Kenya named Shiv Mandavia (vox and bass), Angad Gupta (lead guitar), and Jay Patel (second guitar) (with drums tracked by session musicians). The entire EP clocks in at less than 16 minutes, so I cheated (yeah, what else is new) and listened to the whole thing.
It may not have been what I expected, but it is a damned sweet collection of music, capturing the kind of infernally majestic intersection of black and death metal perfected by Behemoth, with wisely employed keyboard enhancements.
After a dark, stage-setting introductory track with a submerged eastern melody, “Daksha” sweeps in like a cloud of wraiths, with cascading sheets of distorted guitar and bass, non-stop thunder from the drums, and horrifying, deep gutturals. The prelude to “Arkasodara” features an Indian melody with a sitar-like quality, but it’s simply a moment of relative calm before the blackened storm strikes again. The wall of guitar noise moves in, with jagged, pulsing, ripping riffs, and interludes of melancholic lead-guitar briefly appearing.
“Kalasamhara, I” exults in the blackened majesty of Behemoth-like chord-stomps and tainted guitar leads, with a grandiose keyboard accent swimming in the background. The closer “Samadhi” has a more symphonic air, but the air is cheese-free and bestial, conveying an ominous sense of great red-eyed things rising up from the earth or spreading giant bat wings from on high and sweeping down to harvest humankind. The last song also includes another ethnic musical interlude with traditional instrumentation — but it costs the song none of its darkness.
Absence of Light have a Facebook page here, and the Vyom Chakra EP can be streamed in its entirety and downloaded for free at the band’s ReverbNation page. Rather than pick any one song to play for you, here’s the whole EP, which really functions as a single musical work anyway. Very nice.