Well, I made it back home from Idaho last night. Thanks to the wind gods, the smoke that had shrouded the valley where I was working cleared long enough for the plane to take off. I took a few pics from outside the airport to show what was going on back in the direction I’d just come from. I’ll put those at the end of this post. But first things first: here are three kickass new songs (one of which comes with an eye-popping video) that I came across late last night after I got home.
You want an old-school band who make death metal sound fresh? I give you Broken Hope. I’m getting more and more pumped up about their new album Omen of Disease (their first in 14 years). One week ago we streamed the first advance track from the album (“The Flesh Mechanic”). And then yesterday the band’s label started giving away a second track (you’ve got to surrender your e-mail address to get it). This one is called “Ghastly”, and it’s just as striking as “The Flesh Mechanic”. Much of the song is simply . . . ghastly: the horrific guttural growls, the jagged riffs, the weaponlike drumming, the overarching atmosphere of menace.
But that is definitely not all this song delivers. The pulsating, harmonized guitar lead will grab your attention almost immediately. The choir will surprise you later. Or it would have if I hadn’t mentioned it (sue me). Hell of a song. Go HERE to download it.
And how about the band’s new promo photos by Stephen Jensen? Handsome motherfuckers, aren’t they? There are two more after the jump, plus a YouTube upload of the song.
Omen of Disease is due on October 1 from Century Media.
Glorior Belli opened quite a few eyes with their 2011 album The Great Southern Darkness, putting an unusual twist on black metal by incorporating stylistic elements from sludgy stoner doom and swampy Southern blues, and maybe eyes were opened a bit wider because they’re from Paris instead of New Orleans or Muscle Shoals.
They’ve got a new album coming this fall on their new label, Agonia Records, named Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls (I swear, they really are from Paris). The album sports yet another thoroughly killer piece of cover art (I really loved the art for the last one by Alexandra Snelgrove, and this one is equally awesome, though I haven’t yet found who the artist is).
Yesterday they started streaming one of the new songs — “I Asked For Wine, He Gave Me Blood” — and they’re up to their old tricks. The first part of the song rips hell. The drums blast, the guitars move like tidal waves, the bass thrums noticeably, the vocalist howls like a wolf. And then the song segues into a loud slice of blackened rock with a very catchy (but dark and swampy and gator-infested) melody and an awesome bass line. Very cool.
Some of you with good memories may remember that in early May I included a video in one of these round-up posts from a Swedish band named Bombus. The video was for the title song from a two-track single entitled Apparatus. I really liked the song, and the video was a hoot to watch, too.
Now Bombus have a full-length album in the offing, with the title of The Poet and The Parrot and a release date of August 26 in Europe and September 17 in North America (it can be pre-ordered here). A couple of days ago they premiered an official video for a song from the album named “Enter the Night”. The song is just ridiculously good, a mix of raw punk rock and Motörhead riff mastery — and this song, like the one from Glorior Belli, transitions into a very cool back half that differs from the way it starts.
“Enter the Night” is tremendously infectious, with a made-to-order sing-along chorus. But as good as the song is, the video is equally amazing. It was made by an ex-Bombus bass player named Ulf, and holy shit, did he do a fantastic job. Watch and listen:
Okay, as promised, here are some photos of what I saw from the Sun Valley airport in Idaho yesterday afternoon. This was the smoke from a fire that had burned 40,000 acres by the time I left, in a valley not far from the one where I was working. The immense shroud of smoke closed down the airport earlier yesterday and got so bad that it set off fire alarms inside the building where I was working.
When the prop-jet I was on finally took off, it made a slow turn that gave a view of the inferno that was happening on the other side of that ridge of mountains you can see in these photos. One of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I was seeing it from the other side of the plane or I’d have pics of that sight, too.
Needless to say, I’m happy to be back in Seattle.