SEEN AND HEARD (Pt 2): MONOLITHE, CRONIAN, HORNA, DEN SAAKALDTE, AND ARMAGEDON
In this post I’m finishing up the round-up of recommended new songs I heard yesterday and this morning. For the first batch of goodies, go here.
I seem to have stumbled across quite a lot of doom-oriented music in the last 24 hours, what with Hamferð and Tombstoned in Part 1 of this post and now Monolithe in this one. But if you listen to all three songs you’ll hear different approaches to musical misery and ruin.
This French band, the creation of one Sylvain Bégot, has released a series of three 50-minute, single-track albums since 2003, along with two free EPs. The fourth album in the series — Monolithe IV — has now been completed and will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on October 18 (it can be pre-ordered here).
I haven’t listened to any of this band’s previous works, and was first attracted to this new one mainly by the striking cover art (by Norwegian artist Robert Høyem — click the image above to see a larger version). And then today I heard a 6-minute excerpt from the new album, which was recently unveiled on Soundcloud.
It’s a staggering and staggeringly heavy march, with an aura that’s both regal and downtrodden, the sound of a kingdom being torn to the ground. Titanic riffs and mammoth drum beats land heavy body blows, while the guitar leads slither and shimmer with otherworldly fire. Monstrous vocals roar heartlessly, and choral voices soar wordlessly. At only six minutes, this seems like the harbinger of an album that will be all-consuming.
I was attracted to this next song by the identity of the two men who together form Cronian — Øystein G. Brun of Borknagar and his Borknagar bandmate Andreas Hedlund aka Vintersorg. Their last album under the name Cronian came out five years ago, though I haven’t heard it, or their 2006 debut. They now have a new album entitled Erathems, which will be released in Europe on November 8 and in NorthAm on November 12 by Season Of Mist (and can be ordered here).
Today brought the premiere of one of the new songs, “Ecocracy”. To my ears, it’s a hybrid, intermingling the kind of melodies, booming riffs, and snarling vocals I would associate with pagan/folk metal with passages that seem closer to progressive metal (with clean singing). Keyboards are used in a variety of ways to suit each of these styles. Very interesting.
Go HERE to check out the song (it’s not embeddable) and locate Cronian on Facebook via this link.
HORNA AND DEN SAAKALDTE
Today I saw the album cover above (created by a Brazilian artist known as Abacrombie Ink), which I thought was worth tossing in here, mainly because the art is cool and also because it means new music is coming from one of the standard-bearers of Finnish (and Scandinavian) black metal: Horna. Their partner on this forthcoming split will be Norway’s Den Saakaldte. It will be released by Blut & Eisen Productions. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Those with sharp memories may remember that in early August I ended another one of these round-ups with a song by a veteran Polish band named Armagedon, which had been made available for name-your-price download on Bandcamp. Well, it turns out they’ve offered up another one, which is also a free download. Both songs appear on the band’s new album Thanatology, which has just been released by Mystic Production.
The new song is “Vultures”, and it’s a punishing assault of Polish death metal might. Jagged riffs, serpentine leads, acetylene soloing, rapid-fire drumming, dominating gutturals, morbid atmosphere . . . get all that right here:
if the two tracks we’ve heard so far are any indication, Thanatology is going to pure awesomeness
I listened to Monolithe III at the ass-end of last year and if I’d have heard it sooner it would’ve been in the top 20 of my best of list. It’s like funeral doom that’s not always moving at a funeral pace. Stellar album, and I’m really looking forward to the new one.
Good to hear. I think the fact that I’ve never explored the previous albums in the series is that I’m a relative latecomer to the attractions of doom — but I’m falling for it pretty hard.
New Horna already?..I wonder if that was a leftover track from their album this year
“New Horna already?”
My thoughts exactly… until I realised that Horna puts out about 365 songs a year. Damn their productivity.