I’ve been missing in action more than usual over the last 4 days, having been kidnapped by work-related travel and activities that were fun, but cut deeply into blog time. I’m now back home on this Sunday night and have been trying to find out what I missed in the world of metal. Of course, I missed a lot that interested me — too much to capture in a single post — so I’m going to pick out just a few of the items I thought were worth spreading around.
I first came across Portland’s Atriarch through their 20 Buck Spin split release with Oakland’s Alaric — and that whole split release is just chock full of win. If you haven’t heard it, check it out on Bandcamp here.
Atriarch is now on the Profound Lore label and their first PL release will be Ritual of Passing, scheduled to hit the streets on October 30. The cover art up there is by Stevie Floyd (Taurus). I saw that Pitchfork recently premiered the album’s third track “Altars”, and then I saw that PL had put the song up for streaming on SoundCloud as well. And I checked it out. Fuckin’ glad I did, too.
There’s a “clean singing warning” that comes with this track, as with everything Atriarch does, but I’m digging the clean punkish vox (as well as the acid shrieking). They suit the gloomy, doomy, blackened atmospherics of this increasingly intense song. I’m digging the bass line in this song, too, and the contrast it brings to the freaked-out guitar haze. Also, cool lyrics.
I don’t pretend to be a serious student of Voivod. I own only two of their albums (Nothingface and Infini) and don’t listen to them often. But their influence on a wide range of artists is undeniable, and so I thought it was worth passing this along: Last week Pitchfork premiered a new Voivod song called “Mechanical Mind” from their 13th studio record, Target Earth, due for release on January 22 on Century Media.
The current line-up sees the return of original bassist Blackie and the addition of guitarist Daniel Mongrain (Martyr), who has been a live member of Voivod in the past. They both get a good workout on this nearly eight-minute jam, which swarms its way through phases of avant-garde tech-metal funk, classic arena-ready metal riffing, riveting soloing, and head-whipping percussion. I guess it goes without saying, but there’s a “clean singing warning” attached to this track, too. But I’m sure digging this song.
Just two weeks ago, DGR reviewed God Is An Automaton, the new album by the Swiss metal band Sybreed, and showered it with praise. Last week, Sybreed unveiled another official video for the album, a song called “Hightech Versus Lowlife”. The song is dark and heavy, with jabbing industrialized rhythms, fleeting appearances of electronica, and considerable vocal variety. The sepia-toned video was directed by Anthony Dubois during the band’s recording of the song at Downtune Studio in Geneva, and it looks great.
In mid-August I wrote about this German band for the first time. They have a new sophomore album, Radiophobia, scheduled for release by Unique Leader Records on November 6, 2012. The first time I noticed them, a teaser for the album was available. Now, we have an official lyric video for a complete track — “Abysm Nucleus”.
Thematically, Cytotoxin’s music is about the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, though you won’t have much trouble guessing that when you see the video. “Abysm Nucleus” erupts from the get-go with a barrage of blistering percussion and a flash-fire of a guitar solo. It’s a brutal tech-death-metal flamethrower of a song with hyper-speed riffing and high-bpm drumwork, but it’s also heavy on the groove and laced with ominous melody. No clean singing in this one.
I have a feeling this album is really going to catch on when it drops. Here’s “Abysm Nucleus”: