As explained yesterday, I’ve been kind of off my game here at NCS recently and I’m now trying (hurriedly) to make up for lost time. While investigating the many things I’ve missed in the world of metal over the last week or two, I’ve found a shitload of things I think are worth sharing — both news items and new music. I’m collecting some (but not all) of them in this “Catching Up” mini-series. Here’s Part 2, and there will be one more installment coming.
This is a news item, which is the most recent part of this post. This morning, Sweden’s Miseration revealed the cover art (above) for their next album (on Lifeforce Records), Tragedy Has Spoken. The artwork is by the ubiquitous and dependably awesome Pär Olofsson. I thoroughly enjoyed this band’s ass-blasting last album, The Mirroring Shadow (2009), and have high hopes for the new one. Conceptually, it’s described as an exploration of the nature of tragedy, both man-made and the result of natural disasters.
The new album was also recorded with 8-string guitars and get this: According to Lifeforce, it also incorporates “folk instruments such as the Indian harp Esraj, the Persian hammered dulcimer Santur, sawblade, organ, mandolin and piano, as well as Mongolian throatsinging”!!! I think we have many “what the fuck?” moments in store for us.
WRECK AND REFERENCE
In terms of notoriety, this band falls behind many of the others in this post, but what I heard got me so interested that I felt compelled to put them here near the top. They’re a two-man outfit (at least I think there are only two of them) from Howling Waste, California (which some people call Davis). About a year ago, they sent me their then-new album, Black Cassette. I intended to write something about it then, but failed . . . as I so often do. But maybe that’s okay, because Wreck and Reference have a new release that’s even better.
It’s called No Youth, it was mixed and mastered by Colin Marston (Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts), and it’s available on Bandcamp for a “name your price” download. I will undoubtedly fail in trying to describe the music accurately, but here goes: dark, doomed, echoing, eerily beautiful, crushingly noisy, blackened, harrowing, hypnotic, clattering, immersive, unsettling, explosive. The pacing is generally slow (sometimes at the gait of funeral doom), the atmospheres generally in shades of indigo. Stylistically, I suppose you could say it’s an experimental blending of doom, shoe-gaze, noize, post-metal, and cities collapsing on themselves.
The singing is mostly clean (gasp!), but I liked it, and it’s leavened with raw, harsh vocals, just as the droning elements of the music are juxtaposed with explosions of abrasive, skin-scouring sound. Check out these two tracks and stream/download the whole album here (and by the way, there’s a re-mastered version of Black Cassette available for streaming and purchase at the Bandcamp site of The Flenser Records.)
Metal Blade will release Cattle Decaptation’s new album Monolith of Inhumanity on May 8 in the U.S. and on May 4 in Europe and the UK. We’ve previously featured the first two tracks to be released from the album. A few days ago, Bloody Disgusting premiered the third “Kingdom of Tyrants”. It takes the form of a music video — really, more of a short film — directed by Mitch Massie.
The nearly nine-minute song is hugely ambitious, and hugely successful. The four-minute intro sounds more like a track from that Wreck and Reference album than anything I’ve heard before from Cattle Decap. Other parts of the song remind me of Anaal Nathrakh, and still other parts are pure, scathing, Cattle Decap death-grind. And the film is amazing. It starts with an Isaac Asimov quote and it includes references (among others) to the films of Stanley Kubrick (if his movies had been drenched in blood) and Ridley Scott. It’s riveting and disturbing, and suits the song so perfectly that you’d think they were conceived and made simultaneously.
Watch and listen to this, without fail.
Fear Factory‘s forthcoming album The Industrialist is scheduled for release through Candlelight on June 5. There was a time, years ago, when I was really into this band . . . and then I kind of moved away from them and went down other musical roads, looking for and finding new things quite different in style from what Fear Factory had been doing. I’ve been away from their music for so long that I now feel ready for something new from their factory, and what I’m hearing is sounding welcome to my ears.
What I’ve heard is the first single from the album, “Recharger”, which was released as a digital single on iTunes and Amazon a few days ago. It packs a punch, and it also includes a quite catchy, soaring chorus. Check it out (warning: clean singing included) (thanks to TheMadIsraeli for this tip).
TheMadIsraeli tipped me to the final item in this round-up, too. It’s a video of Sweden’s thallmasters Vildhjarta in a rehearsal studio before their about-to-start tour, recording a version of the song called “All These Feelings” from Måsstaden.
I’m glad to see the guys got in some practice on the all-important synchronized headbanging. I’m also glad to see that their success hasn’t gone to their heads, and that they’re still rehearsing in a room the size of a postage stamp. The music still makes my insides feel like they’re coming apart and that coal miners are digging a seam in my skull.
Good luck on the tour, dudes. Thall.