Here’s another round-up of new musical discoveries from the last 24 hours. NCS writer DGR delivered the first two of these items to my in-box, for which I bow down in gratitude. NCS reader Austin S-K brought me the third one, for which I bow down in gratitude. I came up with the fourth one on my own, but I’m now unable to straighten up so you could bow down in gratitude to me. Not as limber as I used to be. I’ll be spending the rest of the day staring at the floor. And headbanging.
Causemos are a Finnish band who yesterday released their debut album, Infinite Event, as a pay-what-you-want (or pay nothing) download on Bandcamp. (I suppose you might also call this an EP, since the songs only total about 25 minutes of music.) Causemos brand their music as “cosmic space metal”, which is not a bad description. I would elaborate on that description as follows:
Causemos weave together symphonic keyboards and technically demanding melodic death metal, with vocals that move seamlessly between brutish howling/growling and really nice soaring cleans that reminded me a bit of Dave Hunt’s clean ceiling-busters for Anaal Nathrakh. The music is intricate and vitally dynamic, ranging from bombastic hammering to astral streams of progressive ambience. The music has a grandiose and sometimes spacey quality, but not at the expense of headbanging rhythms or infectious melodies — of which there are many.
The instrumental performances are really top-shelf, particularly the ever-present guitar and bass fireworks. The vocals are excellent. And the song-writing is astonishingly good, especially for a debut release by an unheralded band. This needs to be spread around, dammit!
Here are the 7 songs from Infinite Event that are streaming on Bandcamp, though when you download the album you’ll find a hidden eighth track. Go here to get the download, and if you’re on Facebook and dig the music, go to the Causemos page and like the shit out of ’em (they’re at only 132 likes as I write this).
TYRANT OF DEATH
Yesterday Tyrant of Death released a new single for free download by the name of “Terraform”. This track features a new vocalist, Nathan Bales, who also wrote the bleak lyrics (available here). My, my, my, but this song is vicious. Battering. Gut-spilling. Flensing. With an eerie melody floating through all the rhythmic shrapnel. Nathan Bales’ vocals are also eviscerating, like a hailstorm of scalpels. Check it:
“Terraform” can be downloaded for free via this link.
I felt an immediate affinity for this Australian band before hearing the first notes of music, because of their name (which invokes the tale of Roman emperor Caligula making his horse a consul) and the artwork for their April 2011 self-released debut album Moments From Ephemeral City (which is pleasingly colorful). I got immediately interested in the music, too, thanks to a link from the afore-mentioned Austin S-K to the instrumental-only seventh track from the album, “Calliope’s Son”.
At the time when Moments was recorded, Caligula’s Horse was a two-man project, with guitarist Sam Vallen writing the songs and performing the instruments and Jim Grey contributing the vocals. Since then, those two have fleshed out the band into a 5-piece collective who have been performing live in the land down below.
Moments represents a real change of pace for NCS — it isn’t nearly as extreme as most of the metal we cover at NCS. In fact, you might not even think it’s metal at all. In many ways, it’s as mellow as a Sade song, with entirely clean vocals and a lot of jazz-influenced progressive instrumentals, though along with the swirling, soulful guitar virtuosity and sweeping melodies there are some punchy riffs and rhythms, too.
Even I need to back down every now and then from metal that leaves skull fragments and brain goop smeared across the walls, but I don’t want to be bored shitless when those respites come. Caligula’s Horse have created music that’s interesting, intelligent, and really well-played. Give it a chance (and if you like, go here to download or order it on CD). I’d recommend “Calliope’s Son (Don’t Ever Look Back)” if you want to start with just a single taste, even though it lacks vocals. And if you want an isolated focus on the heart that beats within the guitar work, check out “Ephemera”.
We first encountered Sweden’s Deathember in October 2010, featuring a brief review of their first EP in one of our MISCELANNY posts. Last November, they released a second EP with the title of A Thousand Flatlines. It includes six songs and is available via iTunes, Amazon mp3, Bandcamp, and the band’s BigCartel site. We featured a killer video for a track from that release in this post.
Since that time, Deathember have brought a new vocalist (Simon Tarasewicz) on board, and last week they released a pre-production version of a new single to showcase the revamped line-up.
“Spirals” is an excellent song with a massive groove and a big sound, and even some progressive metal elements mixed in with the hard-driving thrash/death stylings. Mr. Tarasewicz lets it all hang out in the vocal department, too. I will definitely continue following what this band get up to in the months ahead.