Yeah, I know I did one of these MISCELLANY posts just two days ago, but I had so much fun doing it that I’m just gonna fuckin’ do it again! And even though I included a refresher on the rules of MISCELLANY in that post, I’m doing that again, too:
I randomly pick a few bands whose music I’ve never heard and whose names are new to me. I listen to one recent song by each band (I try to limit myself to just one song, but I sometimes I get carried away). I record my impressions here, and then I stream the song(s) I heard so you can make up your own minds about whether to explore the music further. That’s it.
Today’s bands: Indesinence (UK), Vimana (U.S.-Colorado), and Shajol (Equador).
Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of this band before, but I’ll be damned if I can remember how or when. I do know I’d never heard their music before this MISCELLANY expedition. What put them on my radar was the revelation a few days ago of the album cover art you see above. It was created by Jaume Mayans & Daniela Kropeit, and it’s apparently only part of a larger image that will grace the hardcover digibook (which will include a 24-page booklet!) for this band’s new album, Vessels of Light and Decay, which Profound Lore will be releasing in late August.
Speaking of Jaume and Daniela, they also did the artwork for a forthcoming album on the Dark Descent label that I’ve heard good things about by a UK band named Binah. Check that out right after the jump.
Anyway, despite the fact that the Vessels of Light and Decay cover got me interested in Indesinence, I have no music from that album yet, though it appears some sample music will be streamed in the near future somewhere. What I found instead (on YouTube) was a song from the band’s 2006 debut album, Noctambulism. It’s called “Dusk Towering Forth”. It’s almost 15 minutes long. I listened to it.
It brings to mind adjectives that I overuse — massive, trudging, crawling, doomed, pummeling. To avoid further overuse of those adjectives, here are a few somewhat less frequently used words: monolithic, slogging, brutish, oppressive, fearsome. The guitar tone lowers the boom with a megaton weight of grisly distortion while the drum patterns clobber the listener with gigantic mallets. Near the end, the song begins to pick up speed, the riffs become jagged and jabbing, and the double-bass rolls like thunder. The vocals echo up from a near-bottomless pit, hollow and inhuman.
For fans of oppressive doom and heavyweight death metal, this song should prove to be an appealing come-on for the new album. It certainly peaked my interest.
To follow the progress toward release of Vessels of Light and Decay, visit Indesinence on Facebook.
My second stop on this MISCELLANY excursion is a band recommended by TheMadIsraeli. They’re from Denver and they feature past and current members of Cephalic Carnage (Zac Joe), Vale Of Pnath, (Eric Brown, Mikey Reeves), Swashbuckle (Eric Brown), and To Be Eaten (Ben Pitts), which is a pretty enticing advertisement for their music. On July 1, they self-released a debut EP through Bandcamp called The Collapse, and I decided to check out the EP’s first track, “Resent Complacency”, which is not a bad motto for a good life.
What a combo of sounds! Uber-deep brutal-death vocals, techy riffing and soloing, a grinding tank of a low-end. It was too short — I wanted to hear more. So I moved into “Destroy Industry”, and it delivered strange guitar scales, weird pulsating notes, incredibly vibrant and varied drum patterns, dramatic time-signature shifts, and mid-range vocal braying to go along with those brutal-death growls and roars. Oh yeah, it also includes some really head-spinning guitar and bass interplay.
You can tell where this is leading: I jettisoned my self-imposed MISCELLANY rules and listened to the rest of the EP. However, rather than continue with a track-by-track review, I’ll sum up this way: If you’re a fan of bands such as older Pestilence, Spawn of Possession, Gorod, Necrophagist, and Suffocation, and if you enjoy jaw-dropping displays of percussive pyrotechnics and brain-twisting guitar and bass performances, you really need to hear this EP. And man, don’t miss the very cool injections of down-tempo melodic passages in the long last track.
I heard about this band from a South African metalhead named Sash, who I’ve gotten to know by long distance through our previous posts about South African metal. What intrigued me about the band, apart from Sash’s recommendation, was their location: Quito, Equador. I’m pretty sure we’ve never previously written about an Equadorian metal band. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had never previously heard anything about Equadorian metal before reading Sash’s e-mail. So, I jumped on Shajol as the final test for this MISCELLANY installment.
Shajol appear to have taken their name from the Yiddish word for common sense (sechel). They’re at work on a debut album (or EP?) with the title of Device of Madness, and so far they’ve released two songs for streaming — “Creatures” and “Abyss (To Dementia)”.
After getting my brains pleasingly scrambled by Vimana, Shajol continued to whip them into a froth with another offering of unpredictable death metal. Employing counterpoint rhythms, changing time signatures, and some very fine performances among all the band’s members, Shajol make a striking impression. The music is both extremely heavy and mentally very engaging, incorporating diverse stylistic elements that I associate with the likes of Meshuggah, Gojira, and Hacride. I especially enjoyed the unexpected progressive/jazz passage at the end of “Creatures”.
Once again, I’ve had stupidly good luck in this MISCELLANY excursion: Shajol is most definitely worth watching closely.
Here are the two songs I heard:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/50253231″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/50250676″ iframe=”true” /]
Shajol’s Facebook page is here.