This is a round-up of carefully selected items I saw and heard yesterday while prowling through the filthy chambers of the interhole. As usual, I’ve made an effort to include a variety of metal, so you don’t get too comfortable. Comfortable isn’t what we aim for around here.
Criminal Element is a band that until yesterday had completely slipped beneath my cracked radar screen. I learned about them from my NCS compadres TheMadIsraeli and DGR. They came into existence in the vicinity of 2005, and at the time of their first EP (Career Criminal), the line-up boasted two members from Suffocation (Derek Boyer and Terrance Hobbs) and one from Dying Fetus (Vince Matthews, and when the band first began Sparky Voyles from Dying Fetus was also on board)).
In the current incarnation of Criminal Element, Boyer, Hobbs, and Matthews are joined by Darin Morris from Misery Index (at one point Adam Jarvis and Mark Kloeppel from Misery Index were also part of this project). With a line-up like that, you can understand why I paid attention when I learned that Criminal Element released a new album (Modus Operandi) in April.
“New” is a relative term, since it looks like 6 of the 10 songs are re-recorded versions of titles that also appeared on the band’s 2008 album Guilty As Charged and one more appeared on the 2010 EP Crime and Punishment II. The two songs I heard yesterday are “Habitual Offender” (one of the re-recorded tracks) and “Propensity For Violence” (one of the new ones).
I’ve managed to get this far in life without being physically mugged, but these songs are the aural representation of what I imagine a lead-pipe mugging would be like, except the kind of mugging that would leave you grinning while you pick up your teeth and massage your traumatized kidneys, even if you’re not a masochist. These talented dudes are clearly having some fun inflicting this kind of death/grind murder, and man, I sure had some fun getting brutalized by it.
Wolvserpent are a duo from Boise, Idaho (Blake Green and Brittany McConnell) and yet another band who eluded my malfunctioning radar screen until yesterday. Their debut album Blood Seed appeared three years ago, and now they’ve completed work on a four-song, 80-minute monster entitled Perigaea Antahkarana, which will be released by Relapse Records this coming autumn.
In between these two albums the band released a demo named Perigaea (2012) that clocked in at 1 hour 13 minutes, though I understand that the new album will be a significant re-working of ideas heard on the demo.
What initially intrigued me about Wolvserpent was the fact that Blake Green and Brittany McConnell have more than 20 years of classical music training and that Brittany employs both electrified violin and viola in the music, as well as being the designated hitter behind the kit. To satisfy my curiosity I checked out a video preview of the demo.
The music, especially when combined with the smoky, occult imagery in the video, is hypnotic, while also achieving mountainous levels of heaviness. Massive, groaning riffs and anvil-thick percussion come down hard, and ranging throughout all that tumult you’ll hear ghostly howls, wraithlike guitar leads, and the sounds of infernal strings. Fascinating music, both eerie and powerfully headbangable. Drown in the doom, below.
The Perigaea demo is available for streaming on Bandcamp (you can download or buy a physical version of it at the band’s official site), and I’m including that Bandcamp player below for those who’d like to explore further.
A.M.S.G. (“Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam”) are a “Holocaustik Canadian Terrorist Black Metal” band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I happened upon them last fall and reviewed (here) their 2010 EP, The Principle Of Evil Becomes The Ideal Of The Promethean, which I liked a lot. Since then they’ve signed with the Profound Lore label and their new album, Anti-Cosmic Tyranny, is scheduled for release on July 23. Early this morning I saw some of the artwork for the CD, which is cool. Now you can see it too.
And in case you missed this advance track from the album the last time I wrote about the band, here it is again: ”Gnosis Granted From the Bloodline of Fire”. Still digging the sax solo, along with everything else.
MURDER MADE GOD
As we previously reported, Murder Made God from Greece have a new album named Irreverence scheduled for release on June 25 by Brutal Bands. Yesterday I caught up with an official video for a song from the new album, “Throne of Derision”. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my computer or my internet access, and then I realized that MMG were doing those rapid start-stop things on purpose. They were trying to bore hundreds of tiny holes in my skull, inject nanomachines, disconnect all the synapses, and re-wire the neurons so I could receive emanations from the cosmos. They succeeded.
I think they ruptured my spleen, too.
METAL BLADE SUMMER SAMPLER
Last, but certainly not least, I want to pass along news in the category of Free Shit. Metal Blade has compiled a summer sampler of new and somewhat older music from their roster of bands. It features new tunes from Noctum, Amon Amarth, The Ocean, and The Black Dahlia Murder, as well as goodies from BEHEMOTH!, Beyond The Shore, Shai Hulud, Job For A Cowboy, whitechapel, and a whole lot more.
To see the complete track list, listen to all the songs, and download this mutha, go HERE.