SEEN AND HEARD: SEPULTURA, GYRE, UNKIND, SAKTMÓÐIGUR, DUNKELNACHT
The last few days brought many new discoveries that I thought were worth sharing. However, I haven’t had the chance until now because I’ve been dealing with the fallout caused by some asshole who smashed in a window on my car on a downtown Seattle street and stole a bag that contained my laptop and other valuables. Fuck that guy, and fuck me for being dumb enough to leave the bag in the car. Enough with the whining, onward with the metal . . .
This morning brought further news about the next album by Brazilian heavyweights Sepultura. Its title was inspired by Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film Metropolis: The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must Be the Heart. It was recorded by Ross Robinson, who also produced the band’s equally classic Roots album, and in an effort to cement the connection to past glories guitarist Andreas Kisser had this to say:
“The album is brutal, fast and straight to the point, I feel this is the best SEPULTURA ever, no bullshit. To work with Ross Robinson again was a privilege, one of the best producers out there. He has a strong connection with nature, the human heart, with life in general. We did an album that is alive, no fake studio tricks, we were jamming together in the room exploding in an energy so strong you could grab it.”
Of course, we wouldn’t expect him to say, “the new album is going to be a mediocre rehash and one of the lamest things ever to be released under the Sepultura name”, even if it were true. Yet the fact that he’s stuck his neck out there with this kind of a statement provides some reason to be hopeful. The album is due in October.
Gyre are a five-man band from the New York/New Jersey area, and they’ve recorded a new EP named Second Circle that will be released on July 23 by Monolithic Records. One song from the EP has debuted so far, and I caught up with it yesterday.
To be honest, “All Revealing Eye” wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, having read descriptions of the music that included such amorphous phrases as “proggy groove”. The damn thing nearly set my hair on fire. It includes riffs and swirling note flurries reminiscent of Gojira, a blast of jolting pneumatic rhythms, and melodic hooks that nicely tie the whole thing together. I wasn’t even put off by the moments of clean vocals, which have a kind of ghostly quality — and the harsh vocals are downright ravenous.
The references to “prog” and”groove” aren’t off-base, but there’s more going on here, too. Based on this song, the whole four-song EP will be worth checking out. Listen:
Finland’s Unkind have recently released (via Relapse) their sixth album, Pelon Juuret. Several tracks from the album have previously premiered, and in fact you can stream the whole thing below. But what caught my attention this morning was the debut of an official video for the song “Olemisen Pelko”. The song is heavy — very heavy — right from the beginning. But along with that crust-laden, d-beat-driven massiveness and scathing vocals, the song also brings a surprising melody that’s quite moving.
As for the video, the band’s drummer Saku states, “It’s a montage made by our machinist Pekka depicting the overall theme of the song. An observation of people searching for comfort, something to keep their fear of being and dying at bay – whether through political or spiritual movements or even consumerism, no matter how it meaningless it will ultimately be”. And that sums it up well.
Ten days ago I posted a review of Saktmóðigur’s new EP, Demetra er dáin, which I encourage you to check out because it remains one of the year’s best discoveries for me. Today I learned that this long-running Icelandic band have now added their last album, 2011’s Guð hann myndi gráta, to their Bandcamp page, where it can be downloaded for free. I haven’t finished listening to it yet, but what I’ve heard so far is almost as hard to pin down as the EP — a mix of the corrosive and the melodic, the vicious and the hooky, with hardcore stomp and punk bounce and a layering of grit and spit.
Okay, so it’s not metal, but I’m still diggin’ it.
NCS supporter and curmudgeon-at-large KevinP sent me a few links about this band from Lille, France, who I can’t remember hearing before. DunkelNacht have prepared a second album that’s projected for release this coming winter by their new label Wormholedeath. Its title is Revelatio and it features the eye-catching artwork you see above.
One of the links Kevin sent me was for a new song from the album by the name of “Where Livid Lights Emblaze”. The song isn’t easy to sum up, which is one reason why I like it so much. It thunders like death metal, it claws like black metal, it bounces and it rips, it flashes with a variety of melodic guitar leads, and it includes some very interesting guitar solos. There are moments that remind me of Dissection and others that trigger Blut Aus Nord flashbacks.
Basically, it’s just a very cool, well-produced song. Check it out below.
Perhaps the arsehole who broke into your car should be attached to that signpost with rusty railspikes….
An excellent idea. Though it might be too good for him.
sorry to hear about your bad luck, that really sucks. i’d lose my mind if my laptop got stolen
It’s really depressing. It was password protected, but just in case I’ve been having to do a lot to protect against identitty theft, plus there was unfortunately a lot of stuff on there, both personal and work-related that I hadn’t backed up anywhere — it’s just gone now. And I’m going to feel naked until I can get a new laptop.
Fuck Islander, what a cunt!!! People like that make me feel like there’s no hope for this world 🙁 do you have insurance that covers that sort of theft? Even if you do, you’re right that you can’t replace what’s been taken. Fuck.
Quite curious about the new Sepultura, it’s amazing they’ve lasted this long and actually enjoyed something of an Indian summer in their career. Unless you’re one of those people who think they stopped being relevant after BTR, so sad. Also funny that they and Soulfly are under the same umbrella again, although different divisions. I wonder if we will ever see THAT reunion.
Of course not
…everyone knows they stopped being relevant after Arise 🙂
Perhaps the arsehole who broke into your car should be strung up on that signpost with rusty rail spikes…
i really dug the last three Sepultura albums, i would’ve been fine with the new continuing in the same vein, but i’m excited to hear the new material.
Gyre sounds awesome, i’ll definitely be grabbing that on tuesday!
the DunkelNacht track is pretty cool, and i got a chuckle out of the title of their 2010 release
I think Im going to have to challenge Kevin P to a kvrmudgeon-off…Highlander style
Heads will roll!