Although the dreaded day job is impinging on my precious blog time for the next couple of days, I did have time last night and this morning for a fast breaststroke through the fetid waters of the interhole and the NCS inbox. When I came up for air, I had managed to snag some items of interest — so many, in fact, that I’ve divided them into two posts, this one being the first.
According to a press release from Season of Mist, Misery Index (above) have finished recording their fifth album, which will be named The Killing Gods. It was recorded at Visceral Sound Studios with Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer). It will be released on May 27 in NorthAm (May 23 everywhere else, because… I don’t know why everywhere else gets it sooner). The album art has been finished, but it’s not yet available for public consumption.
“Highly anticipated” — I think that’s the appropriate cliched label for this album. In other words, I am high with anticipation. And anyone else who’s a fan of grindcore and/or death metal ought to be, too. Let’s have a little taste from their last studio album, shall we?
I learned about London-based Bast via a recommendation from our friend deckard cain. Their debut album Spectres was released by Burning World Records on February 24. Mr. Cain pointed me to the second track from the album — “Denizens” — which had been uploaded to YouTube. Later I learned that the entire album is available for listening on Bandcamp.
“Denizens” is thoroughly arresting, right from the beginning — and the beginning is heavy as a granite avalanche. The chords and drumbeats hit hard enough to split the ground wide open, and Craig Bryant’s vocals are a thing of wonder, reminiscent of Neurosis’ Scott Kelly. As the song moves on, it segues from apocalyptic, sludgy doom into chiming, meditative moments; up-tempo blasting with waves of tremolo’d guitar melody; grinding distortion; ethereal shimmering, like a sonic aurora borealis; and a reprise of the cataclysmic opening. And seriously, Craig Bryant’s vocals are amazing throughout. In a nutshell, “Denizens” is really powerful — and powerfully memorable.
The YouTube upload of “Denizens” is below, as is the entirety of Spectres.
GIANT OF THE MOUNTAIN
This Texas-based band’s new album really snuck up on me. The last thing I heard from them was their excellent 2012 EP Valley of the Rogue (reviewed here), and after that I guess I lost track of what they were up to. And then — boom! — yesterday an entire new album named Moon Worship surfaced on Bandcamp.
I’ve only had time to listen to the first couple of songs (see above re fucking day job), but those two songs — the title track and “Spiral of the Serpent” — suggest that a band who were already very good have gotten even better.
With “Moon Worship”, the band move immediately into attack mode, achieving what far too few modern tech-death bands accomplish — integrating a flurry of eye-opening instrumental acrobatics and riveting progressive interludes into a solidly structured song that gets its hooks into the listener and doesn’t let go. And along with a lot of voracious roaring, they’ve integrated clean singing in a way that works, too. This is a long song that’s full of variety and never loses interest.
“Spiral of the Serpent” is equally galvanizing right from the start. You’ll get a good headbang from this song at the same time as it’s scrambling your neurons with a load of spidery fretwork or pulling you into pools of tar in a sludgy slowdown.
This is really creative music performed with impressive skill. You better believe I’m coming back to Moon Worship as soon as I can to hear the rest. Listen below.