SEEN AND HEARD: CHIMAIRA, SEPTEKH, HARM’S WAY, AND AUTUMNBLAZE
Here are a few things I’ve seen and heard recently that I think are worth recommending. I’m in catch-up mode on these round-ups, so there will be a second one a bit later today.
Chimaira have a new album, Crown of Phantoms, coming on July 30 via eOne Music. Yesterday my comrade Andy Synn alerted me to the fact that Chimaira had released a re-make of “The Dehumanizing Process” from their second album, The Impossibility of Reason (2003). It’s sub-titled the “Slow and Low Mix”, and man, it caught me off guard. It’s like Chimaira-meets-Gojira.
I approve. If you’re going to re-do one of your own songs, you might as well really re-do it, especially if you’ve now got guitarists Emil Werstler and Matt Szlachta to put their spin on the original. This is a heavy-bottomed, heavy-grooved, vicious little monster. I’d like to keep it as a pet.
I don’t see this song on the new album’s track list. According to Chimaira’s mainman Mark Hunter, “No, we’re not remaking the record. This was just for fun to celebrate 10 years of Impossibility.” Well, mission accomplished: this is fun. Listen next.
In March I gleefully reviewed (here) the four-song EP, Apollonian Eyes, by this unorthodox Swedish band. Here’s an excerpt of my flowery prose: “All four songs on the EP are jet-fueled, rip-roaring, fast-paced romps. They’re loaded with jagged, rapidly jabbing riffs and frenzied drumwork, but that’s balanced by hard-chugging, road-eating, Motörhead-style heavy rock rhythms and a nice assortment of guitar solos that alternately spit flames and whirl like a dervish.”
The top track on the EP is “Burn It To the Ground”, and a couple days ago the band finally unveiled the official music video for the song (I say “finally”, because stills from the video shoot were up on their web pages even back in March). The video is a fuckin’ gas to watch — World War I-era zombie soldiers attacking the band while they perform, a flamethrower, and a tender kiss at the end are just some of the entertaining items packaged into this well-produced little movie.
Credit to director Richard Jarnhed, cinematographer/editor Roland Smedberg, and make-up artist Lina Nyberg — and of course the dapper members of the band — for an ass-kickingly good job.
As often happens, I was first attracted to this next video by the cover art for the band’s new release (above). The band is Chicago’s Harm’s Way, the artist is the excellent Florian Bertmer (Converge, Pig Destroyer, much more), and the release is a 12″ EP and CD entitled Blinded that was released yesterday by Deathwish Inc.
So, having been hooked by the artwork, I went in search of music and found an official video released in June for a track from the new EP called “Mind Control”. I wasn’t familiar with this band’s music, though I had the impression they were a hardcore band. However, “Mind Control” delivers guitar tone reminiscent of Entombed and Dismember to go along with a genuinely bludgeoning drum performance and a healthy dose of hardcore venom. I’m digging this song.
The video, produced by Max Moore Films, is cool, too. It includes a baptism, of sorts, but not one from which the anointed is likely to recover.
Harm’s Way is mounting a US tour this fall with Dead In the Dirt and Homewrecker, and the schedule is below. If they were coming to Seattle, which they aren’t, I’d go see this threesome.
Two things drew my attention to this German band, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. The first was that their new album, Every Sun Is Fragile, is being released by Pulverised Records. For my tastes, Pulverised’s releases have a high batting average. Second, I really like the album art by Travis Smith.
The album is due on July 26. I have it but haven’t listened to it yet, and decided to search for something that everyone could hear. I found a stop-action animated video for one of the new songs, “Invisible Fields”, which premiered much earlier this year. It wasn’t what I was expecting.
Oh, the video (directed by Phillip L. Ward, with certain animation effects by Heather Girling) is a very cool, very sad thing to see, but the music is way off the reservation where my musical tastes dwell. I nearly switched away, but the video kept me rooted. Ultimately, the heavy bass line in the beginning and the main guitar melody later on worked a kind of magic. I could see giving the album a shot in one of my rare moments of melancholy introspection, which is kind of how I feel about late-stage Katatonia.
Below the video is a compilation of other song excerpts, where you’ll hear some harsh vox and heavy riffing along with the prettiness, if you’d like to explore further.
Harm’s Way are sick, check out their last album, brutal.
the Chimaira re-mix is awesome! i can’t wait for the new album, the teaser they put out sounded excellent.
i’m really digging the Septekh track, too! i’ll be grabbing that EP pronto