We proudly bring you the 16th Part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.
In different ways, both bands we’re featuring today have their tongues in their cheeks — but their music also has the capability to tear yours out and use it for a bookmark.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT
I suppose our adoration for TMDC knows no bounds — or so one might think from the volume of words we’ve spilled about their new album, Tetragrammaton. For example, these words by our reviewer Mr. Synn:
“Their music is dark, oppressive, and brutal – but also relentlessly energetic, knowingly pompous, and impressively self-aware…. Right from the start you can tell that this is the sequel to the superfluously awesome Triumvirate. Yet it’s more than just a mere carbon copy or continuation. Everything that album brought to the table is still there – the ostentatious synths, the audacious symphonic pomposity, the back-breaking death metal brutality, the darkly intelligent lyrical themes and vicious vocal hooks – yet twisted and reworked just so to provide a new experience, a newly refined recipe for disaster….
“Heavy in a way only death metal can manage – an unholy amalgam of sheer sonic weight and soul-crushing atmosphere – yet more melodic and theatrical than it has any right to be, Tetragrammaton is yet another jewel in The Monolith Deathcult’s well-earned and hard-won crown. If Triumvirate was the defining statement of their career so far, Tetragrammaton turns everything up to eleven….”
You want infectious? Infectious you can get with just about every track on the album. But the one that has infected me most ineradicably is “Drugs, Thugs, and Machetes”. And in addition to being highly addictive, it is also highly varied and tremendously accomplished. I could go on… but it’s easier to serve up more of Mr. Synn’s words:
“With its tribal, Sepulturian stomp, “Drugs, Thugs, and Machetes” demonstrates Terragrammaton is far more than simply a clone of its predecessor, dealing with some particularly violent and unpleasant lyrical subject matter via a series of stabbing, industrial riffs, coiled Morbid Angel rhythms, and rapid-fire, skin-flaying blast beats. The band have clearly developed a knack for writing brutally effective death metal hooks, as this track is full of them, from the riffs, to the synths, to the brutish vocal chants (though be careful where and when you join in singing along!).
“Interestingly, the song balances controversy with hints of an actual message beneath the blood and brutality, juxtaposing screams of ‘pure blood traitors’ against a sample of Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speech. The second half of the song is a death metal whirlwind pierced by a series of sharply melodic leads and solos, which flow with liquid, napalm grace from Hilgenkamp’s scorching finger-work to further showcase the melodic progression of the band – utterly captivating without emasculating the dense, crushing core of their sound.”
I shall now stem the flow of words with the following flow of music.
While we’re on the subject of The Monolith Deathcult, this would be a convenient time to mention that TMDC will be invading hapless England in February with support from two NCS favorites, Talanas and the about-to-be-renamed Bloodguard (for whom a certain copiously quoted NCS writer serves as frontman), and with special guests performing with them in each town along the wreckage-strewn path of the tour. The dates, venues, and additional bands can be discerned in the flyer below (please be aware that Talanas will be unable to perform at the London show and that a noteworthy supporting band remains to be added for the Brighton date).
I confess that in picking the next song for this list I was influenced by the video that the band released for it — which was one of the best music videos of 2013. But the song is also hellishly infectious.
The band is a Swedish group of dandy gentlemen who call themselves Septekh, and the song comes from their 2013 EP Appolonian Eyes, which I reviewed here. All four songs on the EP are jet-fueled, rip-roaring, fast-paced romps. They’re loaded with jagged, rapidly jabbing riffs and frenzied drumwork, but that’s balanced by hard-chugging, road-eating, Motörhead-style heavy rock rhythms and a nice assortment of guitar solos that alternately spit flames and whirl like dervishes. It’s hell-raising genre-blending that works, and works very well indeed.
And the song I picked? “Burn It To the Ground”. And that video? It’s a fuckin’ gas to watch. World War I-era zombie soldiers attacking the band while they perform, a flamethrower, a cymbal employed as a weapon, and a tender kiss at the end — those are just some of the entertaining items packaged into this well-produced little movie. Thank you again to the makers of this video, Richard Jarnhed and Roland Smedberg.