I couldn’t monitor metal news as closely yesterday and the day before as usual, so I tried to catch up last night. I saw and heard a lot that interested me. But I hit one stretch when, by chance, I listened to six new songs in a row that were . . . horrific . . . and horrifically good. The first three of those are in this post — from Azrath-11 (Italy), Humanity Delete (Sweden), and Lantern (Finland). The next three will be in a subsequent post. But first, a bit of welcome news from . . .
A new Immolation album? Yes please!
At a time when Slayer seems to be immolating itself after 30 years of existence, Immolation are still going strong in their 27th year. Yesterday they announced that Kingdom Of Conspiracy is the title of their ninth full-length album and that Nuclear Blast will release it on May 14 in North America.
This follows 2010’s Majesty And Decay and the strong 2011 EP Providence. Very stoked for this.
Azrath-11 are a blackened death metal outfit from Italy who I discovered through a post by TheMadIsraeli sixteen months ago. Based on what he heard then, he described the music as “sporting a ghetto old-school production ethic and top notch musicianship” that reminded him “of a Behemoth and Fleshgod Apocalypse lovechild, but more old school in its plan of attack.”
Recently Azrath-11 released a new song for streaming named “Maelstrom Descent”. It comes from their new, third album, Ov Tentacles And Spirals (yay Lovecraft!), which will be released on February 25.
I think TheMadIsraeli’s description still works. “Maelstrom Descent” is indeed like a Behemoth–Fleshgod lovechild, but I’d add that the bestial delivery was mid-wifed by Decapitated and Hate Eternal. It’s a vicious high-speed assault, but shrouded in a dark melody, and it’s really damned catchy, too.
Next up we have another new video from Never Ending Nightmares, an album released in December by the prolific Rogga Johansson in his guise as Humanity Delete. We’ve previously featured the first video from that album, “Necromantic Sorcery”. The new one is for the song “Frozen Apparition”, which seems to be based on a figure from Japanese folklore known as the Yuki-onna — the snow witch.
I just love Rogga Johansson’s vocals — so grisly and gruesome — and the song as a whole is deliciously dank. But it’s a fuckin’ riff-tastic, blood-drenched blaster, too. As in the case of “Necromantic Sorcery”, the song also includes a sweet little guitar solo from Lasse Pyykko of Hooded Menace fame.
Lantern is a new discovery for me. They’re a Finnish death metal band whose debut album Below is scheduled for release this spring through Dark Descent Records, who specialize in truly eviscerating music.
The new song from Below that Dark Descent recently began streaming is “Revenant”. It does a very nice job creating an atmosphere of crushing doom and destruction, with massive, trampling riffs riding a wave of power beneath imperious chanted vocals. But it also includes a noteworthy melodic lead guitar performance that elevates the song above mere blunt-force trauma. This thing is a bone-breaker . . . and a headbanger.
Below has become a must-listen release for me based on “Revenant”. Check it out: