OBSERVATIONS OF THE DAY: GORGUTS, SHINING, MALIGNANT MONSTER, AND TALANAS
Allow me to share with you a collection of findings that I happened upon over the last 24 hours, most of it breaking news, some of it new music I think is worth spreading around like life-giving manure, and some of it videographic in nature. News first:
Thanks to a tip from Vonlughlio, I discovered that Gorguts have signed with Season of Mist and will be releasing their extremely long-awaited fifth studio album later this year. Guitarist/vocalist Luc Lemay is quoted in a press release we received as follows:
“Everything from writing these new songs, traveling to NYC for rehearsals, developing a new friendship with John, Kevin and Colin, three of the most talented people I ever jammed with…everything from this project was beyond stimulating artistically.
From this experience was born a new GORGUTS record, a concept record which is going to last over an hour. An hour of epic, ambient, dark music which doesn’t compromise its Death Metal roots. As a composer, by exploring different kind of music, it was always my goal to integrate the same writing tools in Death Metal as if I would be writing a piece of chamber music for instance.
Well, I’m really eager to share this new record with you!”
In case you’ve forgotten, this is a band packed with technical talent, which is partly why this album has been so highly anticipated. In addition to Lemay, Gorguts includes drummer John Longstreth (Dim Mak, Origin, The Red Chord, Skinless, etc., etc.); bassist Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Behold… The Arctopus, Krallice); and guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, While Heaven Wept).
Can you say Hell Yeah! I knew you could.
Norway’s Shining have completed work on a new album named One One One. Given how striking the band’s Blackjazz album was, this new one is also on my highly anticipated list. Though the actual release date hasn’t been disclosed and seems to be months away, the band are releasing a single from the album named “I Won’t Forget”. The single comes with its own artwork, which I really like, perhaps because orange is such a rarely used color in metal albums.
The single is going to premiere on the Norwegian radio show Lydverket this Thursday evening and will then become available for streaming and digital download on Friday — in Norway. Not here, and not where you live, unless you live in Norway. That’s too bad; however, it will undoubtedly surface on the Tube of You and probably elsewhere on Friday. We shall be watching for it. In addition, Shining have filmed a sci-fi-themed video for the song, which will probably be upon us soonish.
Enough with the news, now for some music.
Truth be told, I’ve heard a lot of new songs over the last several days that I dig mightily. But to avoid extending this post past the attention span of most readers, I’m just randomly picking one collection. It comes from a band based in Perth, Australia, named Malignant Monster. I learned of the band because their vocalist (Cain Cressall) is also the front man for The Amenta, another Aussie band I like a bunch. They’ve recently released an EP for free download on Bandcamp that’s quite an interesting listen.
Although the band describe their music as “raw, cutting-edge, blood-soaked, blackened thrash”, that description really doesn’t capture all of the music on Prelude to Murder. “Killing for Company”, for example, is a slow-paced piece of quite memorable melodic doom, predominantly with clean singing and enhanced by ambient keyboards. “Psycho Prelude” is an energetic, non-blackened, head-nodding, avant-garde-sounding instrumental piece that really shows off the band’s instrumental and compositional skills (and is probably my second favorite track on the EP).
The first two tracks (“The Devil Behind the Eclipse” and “Hiding In Plain Sight”) have a more pronounced blackened aura and an air of menace and doom, but for the most part they move at an almost stately pace. The melodies are catchy (if truly ominous), the vocals are varied and harrowing, and the music brings the heaviness of death metal along with the sharpened ice-edge of black metal.
I really liked this EP. Check it out below the links:
When Andy Synn reviewed the 2011 debut album by UK-based Talanas (The Waspkeeper), which you can (and should) read at this location, he wrote that their “fusion of raging death-metal ferocity and moody, gothic melancholy – sprinkled with moments of blackened despair – echoes the eclectic, experimental sounds of Septic Flesh, the unerring power and passion of Novembers Doom, and the gothic grandeur of My Dying Bride . . . .”
Prophetic, that Andy Synn, because guess who hand-picked Talanas to accompany them on a European tour last December?
Yes, it was My Dying Bride who did that good deed. And Talanas filmed much of the experience, recently releasing the first part of a video tour diary. In the first installment, Talanas take us to the O2 Islington Academy in London (where they’re joined on stage by Jason Mendonça from Akercocke), the Nouveau Casino in Paris, and Rockfabrik in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
In addition to live footage, the video also gives us a glimpse at the luxurious style in which Talanas are used to traveling, the cerebral pastimes in which the bang engage during their off hours, and the kind of behind-the-kit drum tone that we hear the band will be incorporating in their future releases. Speaking of which, they have a two-track 7″ vinyl entitled Corpseflower coming in March.
This is a corpse flower in a rare flaccid condition; it emits an odor that smells like rotting flesh:
Naturally, we’re expecting something fully erect and malodorous from the new Talanas release.
Now here’s the Talanas tour video, Part 1, preceded by relevant links:
Gorguts I love you. Plz cum soon.
Well, not to be a dour Debbie…but there’s still no release date.
And given that label’s idiotic release policy, I feel confident in saying that Europe will see the record 2-4 months before we do here in the States. Good job, guys!
I would have gone with the more traditional ‘Negative Nancy’, but ‘Dour Debbie’ fits too!