This installment of MISCELLANY could be sub-titled “The Tr00 Nate edition”, because it was that former writer for The Number of the Blog who recently recommended to me each of the bands discussed in this post.
As a reminder about the rules of this game, I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (and usually know nothing about — which is certainly true in this case), I listen to a song or two without knowing what they’re going to sound like, I write up my impressions, and I stream the music I heard so you can make up your own minds.
In the past, I’ve had good luck with bands Tr00 Nate has recommended. Though he usually finds them much deeper underground than I usually dig for new music, that’s part of why I’ve enjoyed paying attention to what he thinks . . . because I’m pretty damned sure I’d never come across the bands on my own.
So, for today’s MISCELLANY excursion, I’m checking out Satan’s Satyrs (U.S.), Verdunkeln (Germany), and Asgardsrei (The Phillipines).
This band is from Herndon, Virginia. Metal Archives tells me that they released a demo, an EP, and a live recording before coming out with their debut album, Wild Beyond Belief!, in July of this year.
Tr00 Nate sent me a link to the album’s opening track, “Sadist 69”. You know you’re in for some fun when the vocalist starts yelling at Satan before the music even starts. And when the music starts, it’s like every bit of pretentious bullshit that ever existed in music gets set on fire and then pissed on when the flames finally go out. It’s like what you might hear in a netherworld dive bar where someone figured out how to distill whiskey from sulfur.
The whole thing sounds like it’s being broadcast through a big cotton ball, muffled and indistinct except for more alcohol-fueled yelling and bunch of raunchy solos fighting to get out of the cocoon. But I’ll tell you what, those rumbling distorted riffs and those drums clattering like stones falling down a mountainside and those pissed up vocals sounds awful damn sweet to these degraded ears. Listen up:
[bandcamp album=851372245 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]`
Vinyl copies of the LP are currently sold out, but you can still snag the record on tape through Taphephobia Productions. Beyond that, I can’t help you.
This German band, whose name means “to darken”, has recorded two albums, the most recent of which is Weder Licht noch Schatten, (“neither light nor shadow”). It was released earlier this year by Van Records. and can be ordered here.
Tr00 Nate sent me a link to a song from the album named “Das Antlitz des Himmels”. Oh man, is it one big swarming boil of infection, and by that I mean it will root its way into your blood stream and spread rapidly. The power riffs are huge and hooky, the melodies driving and dark, the vocals barking and grumbling and growling and even clean. The music has a gothic aura and a blood-caked atmosphere.
The song rocks so very fucking hard and yet never loses the occult heaviness of an infernal orgy with the scabrous participants in full rutting mode, or the adrenaline surge of a wolf pack with the scent of prey filling their snouts. It goes on my list of the year’s most infectious extreme songs.
I don’t know how this track compares to the rest of the album, but I damned sure intend to find out.
Asgardsrei are from the Philippines, and beyond that I know next to nothing about them. They seem to have recorded an album entitled Extinction and an EP named Sanguine, which was released either this year or in 2011, depending on what you read. Agents of the band also seem to be spreading a download link for that two-song EP, so I’m going to share it:
I partook of the download myself. Here’s what you will hear if you follow suit: You will hear a firestorm of thrashing black venom and brute pounding indigo doom. The raking vocals alone will threaten the musculature of your intestinal wall, and the raw misery in the dank riffing will finish what the vocals start.
But the songs aren’t predictable at all. “In Utter Ruins” changes course dramatically, falling into a slow, jazzy, avant-garde head-trip with pulsing mellotron-ish tones before the song starts spilling acid and spewing artillery fire again. It will hole your head like a block of Swiss cheese.
“Oh the Scent of Scorched Life” takes the reverse course, starting slowly, with pitch black atmosphere, and then exploding in a fury of blast-beats and dense, grinding chords. The drumming is nuts, the writhing guitar leads are riveting, and the snarling vox are capable of striking squalling children mute with fear.
But that’s really a true shorthand description, because this song is more than 15 minutes long (“In Utter Ruin” clocks in at nearly 10), and the music moves back and forth between relentless fury and a grim smoke-shrouded pall, with shattering tremolo leads describing a feverish melody .
This is a remarkably impressive EP that fits no precise formula. In their self-assured eccentricities, if not in the precise twists and turns of the music, Asgardsrei reminds me of bands such as Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord. Their music deserves a whole lot more attention than it has received.
“In Utter Ruin”
[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Asgardsrei-01-In-Utter-Ruin.mp3|titles=Asgardsrei – Utter Ruin]
“Oh the Scent of Scorched Life”
[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Asgardsrei-02-Oh-the-Scent-of-Scorched-Life.mp3|titles=Asgardsrei – Oh the Scent of Scorched Life]
Stylistically, it serves to combine the two previous records, creating a longer and even more pressure-packed version of their music. It has the speed and almost ridiculous drumming of The Mirroring Shadow, while lengthening the songs to the more epic timestamps that filled out Your Demons, Their Angels. The songs are now more fully fleshed-out, whereas on The Mirroring Shadow they were a massive wall of blasts and guitars. It’s a different album than what has come before, but goddamn if it isn’t interesting — to say the least.