SEEN AND HEARD: NOCTURNAL, EGO DEPTHS, FATES WARNING, UNIVERSE217
Collected in this post are a handful of new songs (and three new videos) that I heard and saw last night. There’s a little bit of everything in here, culled from a lot of other things I found in my rambling through the interhole. Two of the new things are exceptions to our rule, and two involve female vocalists. Hope you like all of this diverse music as much as I did.
Nocturnal (pictured above) are a German band who came to life around 2000 “out of the ashes of Bestial Desecration”, dedicated to churning out teutonic thrash in homage to bands such as Destruction and Sodom. Yesterday they released a new video for a song named “Rising Demons”, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming album Storming Evil — their first in almost four years. It will be released by High Roller Records on February 28, 2014.
The song is a hell of a lot of evil-sounding fun — with whirling dervish riffs, a straightforward but nonetheless compulsive drumbeat, and Tyrannizer’s blackened howling vocals, which sound like a wildcat with esophageal cancer. The DIY video is also fun — B-movie clips interspersed with band performance clips, all in B&W of course. So strap on your bullet belt and spiked gauntlets and check out this thrashing unholiness:
This next band was a truly random discovery, found because a Russian Facebook friend of mine linked to their new album, Gjerhal ket Bardo. Metal Archives says Ego Depths is a one-man project, the one man going under the moniker Stigmatheist. According to the same source, he was originally from Ukraine but is now based in Montreal.
Gjerhal ket Bardo appeared on Bandcamp just a few days ago and is a “pay what you want” download. I decided to listen to one song, just to get a sense for the music — and that song floored me.
Like almost all the songs on the album, “Dissolution…” is a long one, lasting almost 12 minutes. It’s a slow, hypnotic piece of sonic decimation. Chiming guitars introduce massive, grinding waves of distortion and the slow muffled thump of drums. Through the bleak, harrowing riff-clouds come piercing melodic guitar leads and gargantuan, cavernous vocals that evoke the majestic rising of some bestial leviathan. Brief pauses make you anticipate a lightening of the load, but more often than not they are followed by yet another cataclysmic crash (and at other times by the echo of otherworldly arpeggios).
Utterly bleak, utterly crushing, utterly transfixing, both mystical and monstrous — funeral doom of a very high order. It’s probably foolhardy for me to call Ego Depths superb, having listened to only one song, but there — I said it: It’s superb.
And now for a couple of exceptions to our normal rule. Today Metal Hammer premiered a new video by Fates Warning for a song called “Firefly”, the second track on their first studio album in nine years, 2013’s Darkness In A Different Light. I haven’t listened to the album straight through, mainly because my tastes tend to turn in different directions from the ones Fates Warning have pursued. But I did decide to watch the video, and it has hooked me hard.
The song is plenty heavy, and ridiculously memorable, and Ray Alder does have a set of fine pipes. The video provides some acceptable visual diversion as well. Watch and listen below:
To close out this little round-up, here’s an even bigger exception to our normal rule.
I first came across a Greek band named Universe217 more than two years ago as a result of an unusual video, which I reviewed here. And after that, I kind of lost track of them — until seeing their 2013 album Never show up at the No. 10 spot on KevinP’s list of 2013’s best metal (posted here). His description: “If Ann Wilson and Janis Joplin merged and sung to some doom metal. One of those finds I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon. Luckily I did.”
And then yesterday I discovered the band’s new video for a song named “Ministry”. The video is film of a live recording of the song at a place called Hub-Impact. I’m not sure if “Ministry” is a new song or a cover, but it doesn’t seem to appear on any of the album track lists I’ve found. Whatever it is, Tanya Leontiou kills it. I may not listen to much clean singing (of any kind), but I can tell the difference between the excellent, the mediocre, and the bad, and Tanya’s voice is definitely in the “excellent” category.
You can find Never on Bandcamp here and Universe217 on Facebook at this location. Here’s the new video.
I’m not sure, but I think Nocturnal likes bullet belts.
But they wear them well. And the gauntlets, don’t forget the gauntlets.
After I posted the comment I realized that the number of studs they’re wearing far outnumbers the number of belts. CURSES!
more U217 = more better
and thanks for the nice find. Had no idea about this 🙂
Yessir. Interesting coincidence that I saw it soon after your list. Still curious about the song, but man, Tanya can sing.
Ego Depths is a truly excellent find, i’m downloading Gjerhal ket Bardo right now
If you enjoy Ray Alder i recommend Redemtion. Its still Prog, like Fates Warning, but its a bit more aggressive. And they keep getting more and more angry with each album.
Redemption – Fistful of Sand
Redemption – Death of faith and reason
Great bands Islander!!!! specially liked nocturnal, ego depths and unvierse 217
Ah Tyrannizer…face of an angel, voice like a demon…cant wait for new Nocturnal