As you can see, I’ve decided to forge ahead with alliterative titles for the daily music round-ups this week. Lucky for you, there are only two more days in the week after today. Also lucky for you, I have found five pleasurable new songs over the last 24 hours that will put you in a chokehold, kind of like erotic asphyxiation.
This Rhode Island duo’s 2012 debut album Misery Wizards turned a lot of heads, and now Metal Blade is primed to release their second album — II: Void Worship — on April 1 (a few days earlier in Europe). I was attracted to this news by the colorfully killer album art by Adam Burke, and that in turn led me to explore the album’s first advance track, “The Paladin”.
Whereas Misery Wizards was largely a crawling, bludgeoning behemoth of classic doom, “The Paladin” rocks very fuckin’ hard, driven by utterly filthy and utterly irresistible riffs. It’s a smoking, chugging steamroller of a song, with The Wizard’s wailing vocals riding over the top like a ring-wraith. The doom isn’t gone, but it’s been super-charged. This one is already on my list of candidates for 2014’s most infectious songs.
II: Void Worship is available for pre-order here.
I last wrote about Austria’s Mastic Scum waaaaay back in July 2010 in the very first post of what became the MISCELLANY series. At that point I had just seen a video for the song “Construcdead”, from the band’s 2009 album, Dust. Here’s what I wrote about the video:
“So, if it’s been a while since you snorted coke, shot-up with heroin, cavorted with oiled-up dominatrixes, stuffed your face with food, been bull-whipped, had a golden shower, took it up the bunghole with a black dildo, or dribbled snot uncontrollably — well, you can relive those fond memories by watching this:”
I lost track of Mastic Scum after that memorable video, but yesterday I was reminded of them by a message from our stalwart supporter KevinP pointing me to a new song named “The Vortex Within” from the band’s recently released CTRL album (available for order on Bandcamp). What KevinP wrote about the song is pretty spot-on: “think Fear Factory if they were heavier and less ‘pussified'”. The nail-gunning industrial-style riffs drive hard with a raw, scraping sound, and the distorted vocals are positively rancid. The murky, hooky melody is a bonus.
THE GREAT OLD ONES
The Great Old Ones are a French black metal band with a Lovecraft fixation. Their debut album Al Azif came in 2012, and their second album Tekeli-Li (based on H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness) is due for release by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions on April 16. It features a truly stunning piece of cover art by Jeff Grimal.
The last time I wrote about the band was almost one year ago, in connection with their excellent cover of a Björk song (“Bachelorette”). Yesterday they began streaming on Bandcamp a long song entitled “The Elder Things”. They make full and complete use of those 9+ minutes, building an electric and harrowing atmosphere. You’ll find a somber (and scary) piano-led introduction, riffs that are both majestically sweeping and aggressively cutting, stately processions and blast-beat eruptions, bounding bass lines and serpentine melodies. And the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a driving sandstorm.
Another track, “Antarctica”, is streaming exclusively at Pitchfork (here). You should listen to that one, too.
Speaking of striking album covers, take a look at that one! It appears on the forthcoming second album by Finland’s Kuolemanlaakso (a name which means “Death Valley”). I’ve written about them three times before, in connection with their first album, a follow-on EP, and a highly entertaining day-by-day studio diary written by guitarist Markus Laakso while the group was recording this new album with V. Santura — in a cabin in the Finnish woods near the shores of a lake.
The band’s new album is named Tulijoutsen and it comes out on February 28 via Svart Records. I stupidly haven’t listened to the entire album yet, but I did listen to a song named “Verihaaksi”, which premiered at Invisible Oranges yesterday. You’ll have to go there to hear it because it’s an exclusive stream, but I’ll tell you why you should:
It’s a huge, groaning powerhouse of doom riffs and echoing guitar melody — so ominous, so agonizing, so gloomy. And the vocals of Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun) are supremely powerful. To quote Doug Moore at IO: “Listen to him digging into ‘Verihaaksi’ — he warms up with a phlegmy rasp before blowing the song open with those huge gutturals just shy of the 5-minute mark.”
SHROUD OF THE HERETIC
This band is a threesome from Portland, Oregon whose debut album Revelations In Alchemy will be released March 10 by Blood Harvest (on vinyl) and Craneo Negro (on CD). I remember hearing about this album through a mid-2013 “best of” list by SurgicalBrute that we posted here, so there must have been some kind of self-release last June. Two of the songs are still streaming at Shroud’s Bandcamp page, and now you can hear another one — “Chaotic Astral Ascension” — thanks to a CVLT Nation premiere from yesterday. If you have a taste for horrific, blasting/lurching death metal that sounds tangibly evil but is also memorable in its use of occult melody, check this out: