SEEN AND HEARD: VASTUM, AMBASSADOR GUN, HAM AND SKÁLMÖLD, AND FULL ALBUM STREAMS FROM WINTERFYLLETH AND BEASTWARS
Here are a randomly noticed assortment of art, news, new music, and a video I saw and heard yesterday that I thought were well worth sharing.
Vastum are a Bay Area band who began under the name Corpus as a side project of vocalist Dan Butler and guitarist Kyle House from the amazing Acephalix, whose titanic 2012 album Deathless Master I reviewed here. They were eventually joined by guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Saros), bass-player Luca Indrio from Acephalix, and drummer Adam Perry. Their five-song debut, Carnal Law, which was originally released as a demo, made quite the splash in 2011, delivering a filthy, crusty, punk-influenced take on death metal.
Yesterday I happened to see the artwork at the top of this post. It’s one of the latest creations by the uber-talented Paolo Girardi, whose work I follow closely (and have featured at NCS many times before). When he posted it on his Facebook page, it came with this notation: “VASTUM – PATRICIDAL LUST (2012)”.
I’ve seen no other news that Vastum are planning on a new release this year, but that’s sure what Paolo Girardi’s artwork and explanatory note suggest. I really hope that’s what it means. If you’re unfamiliar with Vastum, Carnal Law can be streamed and purchased at Bandcamp (here), and you might want to give it a listen after the jump.
[bandcamp album=3007478136 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]
Ambassador Gun are a trio of Minneapolis grinders who will be releasing their Prosthetic Records debut The Golden Eagle on October 22. Recently, Prosthetic put up a song (“Wounded Knee”) for streaming and free download on Soundcloud, and I gave it a listen. Liking what I heard, I poked around and discovered that the band had self-released the album earlier this summer before Prosthetic picked them up, and four more songs from the album are streaming (and the album can be downloaded) on Ambassador Gun’s Bandcamp page (here). And then I also found a video for “Wounded Knee”.
I’m really digging what this band are doing. It’s a head-whipping fusion of grind, crust, punk, and downtuned metal filth. Check out the video for “Wounded Knee”, followed by the other four songs from Bandcamp. These dudes obviously don’t need a stage to bring the mosh candy — just some smoke, some drink, and a moving vehicle.
[bandcamp album=3897947556 bgcol=000000 linkcol=e2d16e size=grande3]
HAM AND SKÁLMÖLD
As regular readers know, this has been a big year for discovering Icelandic metal at NCS. Our most recent discovery is a band named Skálmöld, whose second album Börn Loka is scheduled for release by Napalm Records on October 26. Yesterday, via a Facebook recommendation by Sólstafir, I discovered video of Skálmöld performing on Icelandic television with yet another Icelandic band named HAM.
HAM is a new name to me, but according to this article at The Font of All Human Knowledge, they are an Icelandic rock band who were active from 1988 to 1994 but have come together again in recent years for live performances and released a new album in 2011 for the first time in 16 years.
The song that HAM and Skálmöld performed in the TV studio is a HAM song called “Musculus”. The singing is clean — a chorus of male voices — and it’s combined with some heavy Skálmöld riffing, and I thought it was very cool. Click the photo below to go watch the vid.
And here’s a very cool postscript, too: HAM, Skálmöld, and Sólstafir will be performing (along with many other Icelandic bands) at a concert later today called Rokkjötnar 2012 that will be live-streamed at this location beginning at 19:30 local time in Iceland. To figure out what time that is at your location, use this link.
WINTERFYLLETH AND BEASTWARS
We’ve been raving about the new albums from Winterfylleth and Beastwars. I won’t repeat all the raving here — you can visit this page and this one to get more details about both of them. What I saw yesterday is that both albums are now streaming in full. Terrorizer premiered the full-album stream for Winterfylleth’s The Threnody of Triumph, and Noisecreep has the stream of Beastwar’s self-titled debut. Both are absolutely worth hearing.
Go HERE to track through the Beastwars album, and check out the Winterfylleth stream below:
Hmm, not sure how I feel about the Winterfylleth album now. There are some new gems on here, and overall felt like a well-refined continuation of their sound. But it felt very “samey” and became predictable on a few songs. There were some innovations and twists, but only on a handful of songs. Sure, don’t need to reinvent the wheel, especially when there’s is already so good. But as a long-time listener of them, there wasn’t enough new surprises to balance out the things that made them great in the past.
Still, very solid album, above average. 7/10 from me.
Stand-out tracks: “The Swart Raven”, “The Glorious Plain”, “The Threnody of Triumph”.
Oh Vastum is simply fuckable.
A while ago, Dave Adelson from 20 Buck Spin announced on Twitter that Vastum were in the studio recording for a new album. So it is confirmed. And I’m so fucking stoked.
Just to clarify; HAM (always written with upper case letters) and Skálmöld are performing an old HAM classic, so no Skálmöld riffing going on there!
Btw looks like you’ll have to drop the “No” from your page’s name soon!
Well it’s a damned cool performance regardless of whose riffs are in there! And yes, we’ve evolved since the founding philosophies of the site led to its name: there are more “Exceptions to the Rule” than there used to be. But I still like the name. Sowing confusion is fun.
Hey, Dave from 20 Buck Spin here… The Vastum album will actually come out in 2013. Was going to be 2012 but their recording engineer and good friend Jef was killed in a motorcycle accident during the recording so naturally that has delayed things. They’re still in the recording/mixing phase, now at Earhammer studios in Oakland… Cheers. D
Thanks for this news Dave, tragic though it is.
Yeah, thanks for the heads up Dave.
Geezus, Vastum vocals…