It’s been so damned long since I made a MISCELLANY excursion that I had to check the date of the last one: No. 47 was on Sept. 23. Pathetic. Way past time to do it again.
A reminder about the MISCELLANY rules: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (and usually, as in this edition, bands whose names I’ve never heard before); I listen to one or two songs, not knowing what the music is going to sound like; I write some impressions here; and I include the music I heard so you can check it out for yourselves.
With a big list of bands stretching back months that I could pick from, what did I do? I chose four bands who I heard about for the first time during the past week. In fact, three of them I heard about only yesterday. I obviously have poor impulse control.
I nearly called this installment the “Friends Helping Friends” edition because each band was recommended by a friend, each of whom will be identified in due course. These are the bands, and for a change, all four are from the U.S.: Nightbringer, Cyanic, Lorelei, and Nick Millevoi. And here’s a hint about the outcomes of this experiment: My friends know how to pick winners.
Nightbringer came my way via NCS writer BadWolf — no comments from him, simply a link to this band’s Bandcamp page, where I found a variety of music streaming. The most recent release is an April 2012 singles collection called Fight Like Hell, which includes all the songs from two previous short releases plus a couple of new tracks. It’s available at a “pay what you want” price for a download on Bandcamp, and you can order the CD there as well.
This Nightbringer, by the way, is not the black metal band of the same name from Colorado. This Nightbringer is from fuckin’ Motor City.
For purposes of this MISCELLANY excursion, I listened to what appear to be the two most recent tracks on Fight Like Hell — the title song and “Stray Dog Running”.
“Fight Like Hell” is true to its name — music that sounds like a bar fight for your life. Punk riffs hit like bottles crashing against skulls and boots kicking the shit out of prone torsos. Vox that leave vocal chords bleeding. Tremendous energy, and catchy as fuck. “Stray Dog Running” is equally lacerating and equally viral in its effect on the mind. And holy hell, it’s got the most delicious interplay between the bass and a squalling, screaming guitar solo.
With no pretense, and no quarter given, Nightbringer deliver savagery and convulsive riffs in equal measure. Awesome. I’ll definitely being going back to Fight Like Hell to hear the rest of the songs.
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Having gotten myself all lathered up from the Nightbringer tracks, I moved on to a band recommended by a friend from the Dominican Republic whose NCS name is Vonlughlio. The band is Cyanic, and they’re from San Jose, California. In August they released their first album, Litanies of the Lust Unholy, which is available on Bandcamp as a download or on CD. It’s also available from Amazon mp3 and iTunes.
I decided to just start from the top and listen to the first two tracks — “Endless Scorn” and “Slayer of Angels”. And hot damn, those songs mowed me down like sheaves of wheat before the thresher. The music is black thrashing grinding hell, with blasting percussion, slamming rhythms, and a barrage of filthy guitar noise. The vocals claw at your face and roar with bestial hunger while the instrumentals do their best to dismember, disembowel, and pound what’s left into mush.
Yep, I’ll be going back to this one, too, for the rest of the music.
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After Cyanic I moved to a North Carolina band recommended by NCS writer TheMadIsraeli. On Halloween they released a new single for free download on Bandcamp by the name of “Godfather Death”. TheMadIsraeli also sent me a link to a previous single called “The Dunwich Horror”, and since these two songs seems to be the total output-to-date of Lorelei, I listened to both songs.
The music is really damned impressive! It’s a raging storm of symphonic, blackened, melodic death metal that really mixes up the stylistic ingredients: atmospheric keyboard orchestration, pneumatic staccato rhythms, shrieking/growling/choral vocals, piano solos, crushing drum and bass work, riveting guitar leads, Middle Eastern-flavored melodies, eerie electronics, bass drops, and more.
Lorelei’s music is a complete head-spinning mind-fuck that works amazingly well despite the diversity of stylistic elements that the band fuse together. I’ll certainly be watching these dudes closely in the months ahead to see what comes next.
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And then I came to Nick Millevoi, who was sent my way by my friend Alex (Grind To Death) Layzell. But what began as some MISCELLANY notes about his new album In White Sky turned into a full review . . . so I’m putting it into a separate post later today, as soon as my mind recovers from the listening experience. [The review is now up, here.]