Here are a few things I’ve been listening to recently. They’ve been bouncing around my head, insisting that I say something about them, and so I am. They have no connection to each other and one of them isn’t even metal at all. But for different reasons all three songs have sunk their claws into the mushy gray matter and won’t let go. Let me know what you think.
I latched on to this Minneapolis band because of the artwork you see above. It’s a Mark Riddick creation for the vinyl LP version of the band’s 2010 album Via Negativa (which was their fourth full-length), and it fuckin’ kills — one of my favorite pieces he’s ever done. The vinyl will be released at some point later this year by Behold Barbarity Records, and the album is available for streaming at the Teratism Bandcamp page. Unfortunately, you can’t download it there but CDs are available here.
But the song that’s been wrecking my head recently isn’t from that album (though the album is massively good). Instead, it’s one I found after the Riddick art drew me to the Teratism FB page. It’s called “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” and it will be included on a forthcoming vinyl 12″ EP named La Bas, which consists of four previously unreleased Teratism tracks (recorded in 2009) and a cover of “Come To the Sabbat” by Black Widow. And that EP also features this vicious Mark Riddick cover art:
“Shadows Flee…” is utterly bestial and scathing. It penetrates the cranium like a swarm of giant hornets driven by a demonic master with a heavy whip hand and a bile-spewing voice. But sick tremolo melodies worm their way through the flensing attack, and the hornet swarm slows more than once to feast before resuming its biting frenzy. There’s doom and bass-driven gloom in here along with blast-furnace intensity.
La Bas can be pre-ordered here. The song is below.
I first came across this Russian band last October and dived into their Feb 2012 debut album Fast-Slow Demolition, which is still available for streaming and download on Bandcamp (here). They’ve now finished a second album, Psy Slam Damage, which is coming out May 16 via Coyote Records. Yesterday they started streaming the album’s first track, “Videodrome With 7 Hz Music”, on the Tube of You.
I don’t have much to add to what I wrote about Fast-Slow Demolition: “I have frothed at the mouth some and I’m already feeling the urge to beat someone senseless with a ball-peen hammer. I think these are good signs for the music. 7 H.Target deliver brutal, high-octane, slam-minded death metal, but as bludgeoning as the music is, they bring the violence with scalpel-sharp precision and addictive catchiness.”
Well, I will add this: Love the snare drums! Love the groove! Love the slams and the bass drops and the sliding guitar chords and the unexpected synth additions and the samples! Basically, I just love the song.
And now we come to the not-metal part of this post. By way of explanation: not long ago I was in Austin, Texas visiting my brother. While stalled in Austin’s notoriously clusterfucked traffic one day, I started hunting around for something on the radio and found KUTX, the University of Texas’ FM station. At about that exact moment they started playing a song called “Forward Reverse” by the Austin band Monahans (named after a town in the desolate Permian Basin region of far West Texas). It hooked me immediately, which is saying something, since I’ve listened to virtually nothing but metal for the last 4 or 5 years. Maybe I need to get out more.
I liked the song so much I checked out more music from Leveler, the new Monahans album that includes “Forward Reverse”, and wound up buying it off Amazon. The songwriting is uniformly excellent and it has depth and variety, the kind of songs that have layers beneath the surface that become more apparent only after sinking into them through repeat listens. I also love the cover art.
“Forward Reverse” is probably the most immediately infectious of the songs on Leveler, with a driving rhythm that eats up the pavement but also a haunting, almost ethereal quality to the music. Love the bass leads and the CLEAN vox, too. I can’t get enough of this.