Are you like me? Do you think packing for a long trip is much more fun if you wait until the last minute and then scurry around like a rat with rabies, thereby increasing the odds that you’ll forget a bunch of things and then feel like a dumbass when you get where you’re going? Yeah, I thought so. Everyone loves to do that. Which is why I’m sitting here banging out this round-up of diverse new items I saw and heard over the last 24 hours instead of packing for my vacation trip, which begins . . . (shit!) . . . in a few hours.
I saw that Profound Lore’s first release of 2014 will be the much-delayed third album by Chicago-based Avichi, Catharsis Absolute, which was recorded by Andrew Ragin (The Atlas Moth) and mixed by Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Twilight). The official release date is January 21. This album will be entirely the solo work of Andrew “Aamonael” Markuszewski (also in Lord Mantis). PL has also begun streaming one of the album’s new songs, “Lightweaver”.
“Lightweaver” is a study in winding the coil and then letting it go. Avichi builds the tension, ratcheting it upward with storming, tremolo-picked scales . . . and then lets the storm break in a rocking beat with a bounding bass line . . . and then proceeds to tighten the spring again. And so it goes, back and forth. And through it all, Aamonael howls like a winter wolf while weaving a trilling (and thrilling) guitar melody, chaining together chaos and something approaching beauty. Listen next:
THE KENNEDY VEIL
Not long ago we featured Ken Sarafin’s fantastic cover art (without title or logo) for the second album by Sacramento’s The Kennedy Veil, which is entitled Trinity of Falsehood. It will be released worldwide on January 21, 2014 by Unique Leader Records. Today we got our first look at the final cover (above) and our first taste of the music, thanks to a premiere of the song “In the Ashes of Humanity”.
The song succeeds in delivering a decimating barrage of rapid-fire tech-death artillery without completely embracing the utter chaos of the battlefield. Although the guitar work is blazing and the drumwork is pure machine-gun explosiveness, the song is well-structured and filled with memorable riffs. Taylor Wientjes’ raging vocals sound thoroughly heartless, too, which is as it should be. Compared to the few songs I’ve heard by this band in the past, this sounds like a big step forward.
KOWLOON WALLED CITY AND BATILLUS
I saw the news that Kowloon Walled City and Batillus are putting out a split release in which they have swapped vocalists and covered songs by Godflesh and Ministry, respectively. Batillus cover Ministry’s “Lava” from Filth Pig (1996), with vocals by Scott Evans of KWC. KWC, in turn covers “Anthem” from Godflesh’s 2001 album, Hymns, with Batillus’s Fade Kainer on vocals.
The latter song exclusively premiered today at Stereogum, and man, does it load up the foundation of the song with granite, while preserving the melodic hooks. Fade Kainer’s paint-stripping vocals put yet another spin on the original. The result is indeed an anthem, but a crushing, scarring sludge anthem. Really good stuff.
If you’ve forgotten who Gizmachi are, well, you’re forgiven. We last wrote about them in April 2012 when they were in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign, attempting to raise money for recording of a second album — and that was seven years after the debut of their first album, The Imbuing, back in 2005. They met their funding goal, and then . . . no album. Well, it turns out that their principal vocalist suffered a herniated disk that sidelined him for about half a year, followed by assorted other commitments. Now, however, it appears that the new album is finally being completed.
To keep the wolves at bay, Gizmachi released an unmastered version of one of the new songs, and it has managed to dig its hooks into my head. “Nemesis” is rough and tumble, charged with hammering grooves and scrambling fret work, but it also flows like a stream. True to the band’s metalcore roots, there’s clean singing in the melodic chorus, but it’s a catchy chorus and the vocals are good. And the subdued guitar-and-bass outro makes for a nice finish. Check it out below: