Here’s how this post evolved:
Finland’s subterranean death-doom miscreants Hooded Menace have signed with Relapse Records and have finished recording a new album called Effigies of Evil, which will be released sometime this summer. I’ve been monitoring Hooded Menace’s Facebook page, waiting for enough new info to justify a post. Something, anything . . . the album art . . . a song . . .something!
I haven’t yet found anything like that, but I did find that the band’s second album Never Cross the Dead (2010) is being released in a limited vinyl pressing by Doomentia Records. So I visited the Doomentia web site, which I haven’t done in way too long. While there, I discovered that Doomentia has recently established a Bandcamp page (here). So I went there.
One of the first things I saw was a stream of a split that Doomentia released on vinyl in April 2012 by Funebrarum and Undergang. I will have difficulty describing the music, because it has impaired my higher brain functions, leaving me in a drooling cretinous state. It makes me feel both obliterated and happy. Though the split consists of only two songs, it is hands-down one of the sickest, heaviest releases of the year.
New Jersey’s Funebrarum have been shattering skulls since about 1999, though their releases have been few and far between. I first came across them via their second album, The Sleep of Morbid Dreams (2009), which I highly recommend to fans of eviscerating old-school death metal dripping with gore and shrouded in doom.
Their contribution to the split is a song called “Delusions In the Sheltered Womb”, and it’s both their first new track since The Sleep of Morbid Dreams and the first song performed by the band’s new three-guitar attack with the recent addition of Alex Bouks (Incantation, Goreaphobia).
The first part of “Delusions” is monstrous and ponderous, dripping in malignancy and sonically bone-grinding. The second part, which begins almost halfway through, explodes in a conflagration of grinding and slamming riffs, thunderous drums, and acetylene-fueled soloing. After that burst of head-battering, the song reprises both segments again, leaving the listener breathless and adrenalized by the end.
As good as that song is, it is matched by the contribution from Undergang. This three-man Danish band is a new name to me. Their first release was a 2010 full-length titled Indhentet af Døden, and Xtreem Music released their second album, Til Døden Os Skiller, in February of this year. The Undergang song on this split is “Kloakkens Afkom”, and it’s a new one, exclusive to this split.
The distorted guitar tone on the song is skin-scraping, and when the band begin to accelerate after a brief intro, it’s a steamrolling attack. There are some cool rhythm breaks in the song (the first of which is prefaced by some funky bass notes), but in the main this is a colossal barrage of gutting riffage, battering percussion, and grotesque vocals. But man, this thing will get your head banging with stupendous groove, too.
Undergang have a Bandcamp page where selected tracks from their two albums can be streamed — but unfortunately there’s no download option.
With that preamble, have a listen to the split:
One more piece of Funebrarum-related news that’s pretty fuckin’ hot: They will be appearing at a one-day, 10-band festival in the Cleveland area on July 21 called Feast of the Deceased. The line-up includes Disma, Necrophagia, and Manticore, among others. Get details here.
So, to continue with the evolution of this post. Not long after finding this split and getting completely wrecked by the music, I happened to stumble across a picture of the artwork for a t-shirt; the art is by Eric Johnson. I want this shirt. Does this make me a bad person?
Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get this shirt. It was created for Portland’s Aldebaran and will be sold during their upcoming European performances. I hope they will save a few for their fans here at home. But Aldebaran are bringing us other cool artwork, too. Take a gander at this:
That’s the cover to the band’s new album, Embracing The Lightless Depths, which will be released by Profound Lore in NorthAm on May 15. The main body of the album consists of two half-hour tracks, surrounded by three interludes. I have this album, but haven’t yet found the uninterrupted time to dive in. I expect it’s going to be a draining experience, because Aldebaran are purveyors of crushing funeral-death-doom. Yet I’m really looking forward to listening.
Here’s part of one of the long tracks (a 12-minute part!), “Forever In the Dream of Death”, which Profound Lore put up for streaming on SoundCloud. The Profound Lore page for the album is here. I find myself both hypnotized and pulverized by the music. What do you think of this?