AND NOW FOR SOME (OCCULT) CLEAN SINGING BY TWO ASS-KICKING OLD FRIENDS: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS AND ARKHAMIN KIRJASTO
We’re about to slide right on into the weekend, and I’d like to help grease the skids with a couple of new things from two bands I’ve praised in the past. They are “Exceptions to the Rule” around here, because both include clean singing, but it’s the kind of singing that doesn’t offend me in the least. And “clean” is kind of a relative term anyway.
I fuckin’ love Venomous Maximus. I fuckin’ loved their 2012 album Beg Upon the Light. I really fuckin’ loved the song “Moonchild” from that album, so much so that I included it on my list of 2012’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. This spring the band signed with Napalm Records, who are giving Beg a proper label release in North America on July 2 (as well as in Europe). And to help promote the album to a new audience, Napalm has released an official music video for . . . “Moonchild”! Hell yes.
Rather than work myself up into a new linguistic lather over the song, I’ll just quote again what I’ve previously written about it: “I mean to tell you, the central riff in this song (which slams right out of the gate) is an absolute headbanging killer. Seriously, you’d need a neck brace to keep your skull from bouncing like a basketball. And the surprise (for me) is how much I like the (mostly) clean vocals. They conjure up visions of old-school Ozzy but with some sandpapery grit emerging here and there.”
As I read that again, I realize that I didn’t exactly say what I intended to say about the vocals, so let me try again. The vocals are fuckin’ GREAT! And the new video underscores the occult vibe that has been in the song all along. And the song is still a one-way ticket to headbang city. Check it out:
On their 2012 debut album Torches Ablaze (which I reviewed here), the Finnish duo known as Arkhamin Kirjasto pulled off a neat trick: combining throwback heavy metal and rock riffs, death metal vocals, atmospheric guitar touches, and Lovecraftian lyrics in a way that was as interesting as it was (and is) irresistible. One of the songs from that album (“The Cult of No Return”) also appeared on that list of 2012’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs I mentioned above.
Today I found out that Arkhamin Kirjasto are releasing (via Ektro Records) a new 7″ vinyl EP entitled Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death, featuring three brand-new songs from the sessions in which they recorded Torches Ablaze. And not only that, but the title track is also now available for streaming. It’s kind of a languid song up to a point, i.e., the point at which the heavy metal riffs start cranking and a bear takes over the vocals.
But seriously, it’s the kind of catchy, melodic, evil-sounding song that ought to appeal to the massive new legions of occult rock fans that bands such as Ghost have spawned like weeds after a heavy rain. Have a listen; Arkhamin Kirjasto are allegedly at work on new music, too.
I’m glad to see Venomous Maximus get some label backing. I almost slept on these guys but seeing them live woke me up. They gained six people that I know as fans that night, disc and merch buying fans.
I’d kill to see them live. The day will come.