This is a collection of new songs and videos I discovered over the last 24 hours. Some of it, but not all, is black metal. I’ve used that “Shades of Black” label again because there’s a lot of dark, malevolent power in all the music — and a lot of evil fun to be had, too.
I heard from this Polish band two weeks ago, with the news that their debut album We Are the Hunt was set for release on January 20. I dicked around and failed to pounce on it, but yesterday I did discover both a lyric video for “Warspite” and a second song from the album, “I Rot Inside”. They’re both supremely good, and although I’m now very interested in hearing the whole album, I’m so behind in writing reviews that I at least wanted to make sure I said something about these two songs.
I suspect that many Polish death metal bands get tired of being compared to Behemoth or Hate, or maybe they’re flattered? I do mean to flatter Loathing with those references, although I don’t mean to suggest they sound exactly like either of those other magnificent bands. Their music does convey a similar kind of demonic majesty, the huge booming riffs and spine-shaking drum beats thundering with titanic might, the occult melodies writhing like freed serpents, the deep vocals roaring with malignant power (and howling with passion in the second song).
But there’s also a lot of groove in this music — the earth-shaking kind — along with some delicious guitar solos, and Immolation would be a pretty good reference as well. In a word, Loathing are excellent.
Listen to both songs below. Before We Are the Hunt, Loathing recorded a debut EP which I haven’t yet heard, and that’s available for free on Bandcamp (here).
HISS FROM THE MOAT
Hiss From the Moat are an Italian band whose debut album Misanthropy was released last fall in digital form by Nuclear Blast, and more recently in physical form by Lacerated Enemy Records. The band includes drummer James Payne, who is also now in Hour of Penance, guitarist Giacomo Jack Poli, and bass player Carlo Cremascoli, and the album includes appearances by some impressive guests — with vocals provided by Paolo Pieri (Aborym, Hour of Penance), additional vocals on one track by Tommaso Ricardi (Fleshgod Apocalypse), and a lead-guitar contribution on another track by Ryan Knight (The Black Dahlia Murder).
And with names like those, I’m wondering how in the hell I missed the album last year. Fortunately, I did discover two of the Misanthropy tracks yesterday — “Caduceus” (which was released through an official music video last October) and “Conquering Christianity”. Man, are they good!
If you can sit still when “Caduceus” kicks into gear, I’ll be surprised. For me, it was an immediate headbang trigger. The drumming is superb, the hornet-hive guitar melody is compelling, the scarring vocals are… scarring. “Conquering Christianity” explodes in a super-charged death metal assault and then begins to rumble like some monstrous tank in the vanguard of a hellish regiment. And yes, it’s a highly infectious headbang inducer, too. Check out both songs below.
Smuteční Slavnost (which, according to Google Translate, means “funeral ceremony”) are a Czech black metal band. They released a demo in 2012 and both a full-length album and an EP in 2013. Yesterday brought the release of their latest work, a split entitled Cynics & Outcasts with a Berlin-based band named Ancst. Smuteční Slavnost contributed one long song to the split, “Jak se rozloučím”, which means “How Do I Say Good-Bye?”
The first and last parts of the song are jet-fueled by driving double-bass kicks and deep, racing tremolo chords, which are electrifying, but I found the bleak, chiming guitar melody and jagged riffing in the mid-section to be equally gripping. The music is dramatic, emotional, immersive, and ultimately quite memorable.
I haven’t yet listened to the three songs from Ancst on this split, though I intend to, but they can be found at the Bandcamp link below, along with “Jak se rozloučím”.
Drakwald hail from Tours, France, and I learned about them from NCS reader Lord Farin. Tomorrow, Drakwald will be releasing a new album entitled Resist Fatality. Lord Farin suggested that if I had time to check out only one song it should be “Let the Slaughter Begin”, and that’s what I heard. The fast-paced song falls into the “pagan metal” end of the extreme spectrum, joining a whirling, flute-accented folk melody to a load of jolting rhythms and a mix of hoarse death-metal-styled roars and cracked, black-metal-styled rasps. It’s catchy and convulsive and a bit carnivorous, too. Very nice find.
The song is embedded below for your streaming pleasure — and you will notice that as of this morning SoundCloud has made available a new set of song-player options, one of which I’m using for this Drakwald track. The album can be ordered at the “Shop” page at this location.