As explained previously, I’ve been catching up on what I missed in the metal world over the last couple of weeks while being otherwise occupied. So much happens every day that I can’t include everything I’ve discovered, but I’ve been trying to feature a mix of news and stylistically divergent new music that might have escaped your attention as well as my own. This is the final installment.
Some of what’s in here is VERY recent. And yes, this is long . . . but just treat it like six posts in one. Just pretend that it dribbled out all day long, like posts on some other metal sites that don’t want to tax their readers’ attention spans. Or you could set your alarm to go off once an hour and come read another piece of this as if it had just appeared. Or I could just shut up and get on with it.
Actually, I suspect this didn’t escape many people’s attention, because it’s Nile, after all. Thanks to Metal Sucks and TheMadIsraeli, I found out yesterday that Nile has now released the cover art for their next album (above), At the Gate of Sethu, which Nuclear Blast plans to release in Europe on June 29 and in the U.S. on July 3. The artwork is by Seth Siro Anton of Septic Flesh.
The central figure looked familiar, and after a bit of research at The Font of All Human Knowledge, I confirmed that it’s the Egyptian god Thoth, which The Font describes as a god who, in the later history of ancient Egypt, “became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes,the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.”
Karl Sanders is quoted as saying that Anton’s cover is the best that Nile has ever had, and I agree. Here’s a statement by Anton about the artwork: “It is no secret that I admire the powerful stylistic lines of the magical symbols that still transmit the aura of ancient Egypt, preserving in time the ancient mysteries. Also, I am fascinated from the final frozen moment of the flesh captured in an eternal sleeping stasis, at the completion of the mummification process. So, with a great pleasure I accepted the challenge, to visualize the new masterpiece of Nile ‘At The Gate Of Sethu’.”
MS linked to a video, which I also missed at the time it surfaced, of the band performing a new song (“Supreme Humanism of Megalomania”) on tour. The quality isn’t great, but it’s Nile and it’s a new song, and so I damn well am going to include it here:
I’ve been meaning to say something about this NYC band for a while. What I heard in my catching-up phase finally put me over the edge. So, here’s a recap: Mutilation Rites have a debut album called Empyrean that Prosthetic Records intends to release on May 22 (they’re taking pre-orders here). As you can see, it has a very eye-catching album cover by Reuben Sawyer at Rainbath Visual, who also did the killer cover for that Wildernessking album I raved about earlier this year.
It also includes music that Prosthetic says will appeal to fans of Darkthrone, Wolves In The Throne Room, Discharge, Nachtmystium, Dissection, and Immortal. I usually take these kinds of band references with a grain of salt, and sometimes with a whole shaker of salt. But I’ve previously heard this band’s 2011 demo, I Am Legion, and I’ve now caught up with two songs from the new disc, one of which Brooklyn Vegan premiered over the last week and one of which Pitchfork premiered in March, and this band flat-out rules.
Just focusing on the new tracks, this is thick, corroded, corrosive, dynamic black metal. It rocks like a nasty punk and it rolls on tremolo waves and it jumps around in the tempos while the sulfuric vocals spit fire all over you. The distorted guitars slither like snakes, slam like bear-traps, and hit one catchy riff after another.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/40628240″ iframe=”true” /]
The excellent three-song 2011 demo, I Am Legion, can be streamed and downloaded on Bandcamp or purchased on vinyl via the Gilead Media online store. And speaking of Gilead Media, Mutilation Rites will be performing at the Gilead Media Music Festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. That festival will take place this weekend — April 28 and 29 — and the line-up is just so damned good that I have to recommend that you peep the schedule (via this link), even though the festival will be way out reach for me and most of our readers and, more importantly, even though it’s totally sold out.
This Finnish band is now a one-man show. “Their” third album, Revolt, was written, recorded, performed, mixed, and self-released in 2011 by one Petri Ilvespakk. Petri e-mailed me about the album within the last week and offered a download, which I took. As has become unfortunately typical of my practice when getting music from bands I don’t know (because I don’t have enough fucking time to do anything else), I decided I’d listen to one song and either go or no-go from there.
Well, I went — all the way through the album, because what Petri has done on Revolt grabbed me. Now, if you happen to be familiar with either of the first two albums, Revolt is a marked departure from what you heard there, at least based on descriptions I read of the death/thrash musical style they apparently represented. It is instead a kind of electro-industrial psychedelic death metal. The driving bass and guitar riffs pound convulsively, ominous electronic pulses skitter and swirl, and Petri’s mix of harsh and clean vocals proclaim some kind of demonic mantra.
It’s heavy, it’s physically compulsive, and it’s freaked-out. You could dance to this, or mosh to this, or wreck your home to this. You could blast this on some no-limit highway with the windows down and the engine in the red zone, or you could methodically cut up your annoying neighbor on a steel slab with this as your sound track. Here are two tracks for your ears:
“Revolt (New World Freedom)”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/01-Revolt-New-World-Freedom.mp3|titles=Psychopathic Terror – Revolt (New World Freedom)]
“The Worm”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/04-The-Worm.mp3|titles=Psychopathic Terror – The Worm]
Here are band links for Psychopathic Terror (more songs can be streamed at the MySpace link below and you can buy the album via the second one):
On July 3 in NorthAm and July 6 in Europe, Nuclear Blast will released a multi-disc DVD by Quebec’s Kataklysm entitled Iron Will: 20 Years Determined. It’s supposed to include footage of the band’s performance at the 2011 Summer Breeze festival plus a documentary covering the band’s history. It’s got a nice cover by Colin Marks (Origin, Exodus, Nevermore). Earlier this week, the band released an official video for a new song called “Iron Will”, which has also been released as a digital single on iTunes and Amazon.
Kataklysm have a steady, dependable hand on their musical tiller. At least over the time I’ve been a fan, there haven’t been any sharp course changes — you know what you’re going to get. Their groove-oriented approach to death metal isn’t flashy, but it’s solid as a rock. It’s made to be performed live, with lyrics you can chant and rhythms that mandate fist-pumping and headbanging. And that pretty much sums up the new song.
The video is a montage of film and photos that span the band’s career — and hey, their commitment to death metal and their survival in that tiny corner of the musical world for two decades deserves some respect. Doing that requires not only talent, but also . . . an iron will.
Last September, TheMadIsraeli provided a short review of a three-song EP by this Stockholm band (here), calling it “djent of the highest order, taking a step back from modern conventions and going back more to the established sound of Textures and Meshuggah than anything else”. Since then (as I recently learned from TMI), Means End have acquired a new second guitarist (Henrik Gennert), and he has re-mixed that EP. Like the original version, Means End have recently made the remix available for free download.
They’ve also created a new video for one of the remixed songs, “Ominous Notions”. The video shows the band rehearsing the song over the re-mixed track. The song bounces back and forth between hammering rhythms and vicious vocals, sweeping melodies and cleanly voiced choruses, and passages that verge on progressive jazz. Cool song, which sounds great on the remix.
P.S. Means End’s vocalist Robert Luciani used to be the vocalist for Vildhjarta, and the band’s drummer Christian Schreil used to be the drummer for Uneven Structure.
I’m going to wrap up this catching-up with a French band who’ve been around since 1998. The news that Season of Mist plans to release their new album MachinatioN on June 21 (July 17 in NorthAm) is what caught my eye — that, and the occult album cover above.
The band’s name rang a bell in my empty head, but I didn’t think I’d ever heard their music, so I checked out the two songs that are embedded for streaming at the end of this post — the official music video for “Vector G (Gravity XVI)” and “PsychoActive Satan” — and of course I liked them, or you wouldn’t be reading about Blacklodge here. These songs are from the band’s T/ME (2010) and Solarkult (2006) albums, respectively. The music is industrial black metal, a fusion of compelling beats, cutting guitars, and acidic atmospheres. It’s both chaotic and pneumatic. I dig it.