I keep endless lists of music I mean to check out some day based on things I see or messages I receive. Unfortunately, time being in short supply, I never make it through everything. But last night I ticked off about a dozen items on the list and I picked these three with which to launch this Happy Friday. I picked them because in different ways they tend to mess with your brain, and collectively they create a nice stew bubbling inside the cranium.
This black metal band’s last release was an MLP entitled La Bas, which I reviewed here. All of those songs were recorded years ago though they were only officially released this past summer. But Teratism are working on their next album and they’ve recently made two demo tracks available on Bandcamp for a “pay what you want” price, under the title Prelude to the Second Death. While both songs contain eruptions of destructive blasting, they are for the most part slow and freighted with the weight of doom.
“Four Waters” is draped in sheets of radioactive guitar noise and harrowing feedback, which are pulled back in the song’s mid-section to reveal guitar notes that peal like funeral bells, the steady pulse of a bass, and the muffled thump of the drums. “Micturation Into the Tributary of Death” works with a similar funereal atmosphere, lacing it with eerie harmonic arpeggios that transform the music into a slow waltz of death. Both songs are deeply unsettling, and yet they are both almost beautiful in their utter bleakness.
Much of what’s unsettling can be traced to the vocals, which are just as demented and demonic as ever. You may be thankful that they are somewhat submerged in the mix, beneath the manifold layers of distortion and instrumental wreckage, because they come uncomfortably close to your worst nightmares of hell.
Necrosis make their home in Bristol, England. About one week ago they released their debut five-song EP, Catatonic Psychosis (available here). The band contacted us with a link to one song from the EP, entitled “Congenital Abnormality”. Just looking at the EP’s cover, I had a decent guess about what kind of metal I would be in for, and I wasn’t wrong.
After a sinister, tension-building intro that includes the sound of a child crying, the guitars begin to churn and hammer, and the drummer begins to shoot high-caliber bullets in a frenzy of brutal death metal. There’s a big barking mastiff behind the mic and someone with a bass who’s having a lot of fun zipping around the fret board. Equal parts Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, and Dying Fetus, Necrosis are capable performers and crafty songwriters — they pack their decimation with groove and a grisly melody that’s awfully catchy.
I’m assuming that album cover got your attention. It sure as fuck got mine. The album’s name is Some Things Have To Be Endured, and it’s the latest creation of a New York solo artist (Leech) who calls his band Theologian. The album was released by a label named Crucial Blast on October 15 and it’s available for streaming (but not download) on Bandcamp (it can be ordered here). It includes contributions from a long line-up of female vocalists, all of whom are described as being from “within the industrial / noise / dark ambient / coldwave realm and beyond”. These are realms with which I have very little familiarity. However, I forged ahead, because . . . well, shit, look at that album cover.
At this writing I’ve only listened to the first two tracks on the album, “Black Cavern Myopia” and “The Conjoined Deviant Procession”. Anchored in black industrial beats and a cloud of distortion, they move in repeating waves of ambient melody with a mix of harsh and near-clean vocals wailing through the building cacophony of sound. “Black Cavern Myopia” ends in a whiteout of noise, “The Conjoined Deviant Procession” at times resembles the workings of a giant car crusher at a salvage yard, and both songs are black, cold, and heartless.