I know it seems like all we’ve done recently is collect new songs for you to hear, but there’s a good reason for this: All we’ve done recently is collect new songs for you to hear. In fact, we’re doing it again in this post, though we’ll be breaking the habit with a review or two later today. I’ve had more time than usual to go exploring, and I continue to find new music that get’s me pumped up. So, here we go again… and the bands, in alphabetical order, are MindGrinder (Norway), Vaura (U.S.), and Year of No Light (France).
Until about two days ago I didn’t know MindGrinder existed, despite the fact that they produced two albums in 2004 and 2005. But in my defense, eight years is a long time between albums, and yes, they did release a new album on September 20 entitled Prop Agenda. I found out about it haphazardly, because the artist who created the cover (Eliran Kantor) is someone who I follow on Facebook and he happened to post the cover on his page.
That peaked my curiosity and I went in search of music and found two cuts from the album. The first one I heard is a cover of Emperor’s “I Am the Black Wizards”, on which the father of Emperor’s Samoth (who is a renowned blues artist in Norway) laid down the bass track. It blew my fuckin’ mind (you can tell I’m enthusiastic because I can’t help but use the F word when I get excited).
Of course, MindGrinder didn’t write the song, but they more than do it justice. The vocals are hair-raising, the blazing tremolo runs are like a jolt of fire through the bloodstream, the blasting drums punch holes through the foundation, and yes, the bass is quite noticeable and quite good. The music rocks, it ravages, it thunders, it slows down into a morbid doom-crawl, it echoes eerily. Production-wise, the song also sounds fantastic.
The other track I heard, “Bow To Theocracy”, is also an eye-opener, and I presume it’s closer to MindGrinder’s more usual style — a dynamic blend of death metal and thrash that carves deep grooves and will get heads whipping. And yes, it sounds fuckin’ great, too.
Prop Agenda is currently available on iTunes and Amazon; CDs will be available in 2-3 weeks and a gatefold 12″ LP before Christmas. Here are the tracks I heard:
More than a year ago I wrote a hallucinogenic review of Vaura’s last album Selenelion (here). I wasn’t actually on any of the usual hallucinogens. The music was the hallucinogen. Man, what a fuckin’ album. And what a band — composed of guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), bassist Toby Driver (Kayo Dot, maudlin of the Well), vocalist/guitarist Josh Strawn (Blacklist, Religious To Damn, Azar Swan), and drummer Charlie Schmid (Religious To Damn).
In late August Profound Lore announced that Vaura would be releasing a new album named The Missing on October 29. I waited to hear something. Yesterday I heard it — actually, two somethings. One new song (“Pleasure Blind”) debuted at Noisey yesterday and a second one (“Incomplete Burning”) had come out earlier, and I just missed it.
Both songs have a definite throwback, post-punk aura, thanks largely to Josh Strawn’s wonderful vocal styling and the chiming, darting guitar melodies. The nimble bass line plays a stand-out role in both songs, and the drumwork is also a perfect complement.
I suppose I could make an argument that the music is metal — there’s a low shroud of distortion, the drumming hits some metal motifs here and there, and “Incomplete Burning” ventures into post-rock territory before it ends. But I won’t push the point, because I’d lose. I just like it, so here it is:
YEAR OF NO LIGHT
This six-man instrumental band from Bordeaux, France, will have their third studio album Tocsin released by Debemur Morti at the end of November. I had my first taste of their music yesterday, when Terrorizer debuted the new album’s title track. It’s a 13+ – minute doom expedition that moves from slow, tribal pounding and shimmering ambience through an echo chamber of melodic guitar notes and into a vast, black pit of fuzz-bombed despair streaked with feedback and touched by the pale beckoning hand of death.
The music never moves beyond the pace of an expiring heartbeat, never surfaces from the well of bleakness into which it falls, is never less than crushing — and yet the ghostly Eastern-tinged guitar melody pierces like gleaming spikes driven into the brain. It’s a wholly enveloping, extremely intense experience. I fuckin’ loved it.