Here’s the second round-up of new music I promised earlier today. It doesn’t include everything I had originally planned to cover because… fucking day job… so I’ll try to shoe-horn the rest into a post tomorrow.
Metal Blade announced today that it will be releasing the fifth album by Tennessee’s Whitechapel on April 29 in NorthAm. The title is Our Endless War, and the cover art by Aaron Marsh (with a new logo) can be seen above. The band have described the album as one that includes “dashes of every record we have done so far mixed with the intensity of a new sound.” And they’ve also given us a first taste of what’s coming through a lyric video for a new song: “The Saw Is the Law”.
This track betrays the band’s death core roots in some respects, which could be a plus or a minus depending on your perspective. But it’s also a very heavy storm — a bludgeoning, howling hurricane loaded with interwoven cut-throat riffs, hammer-smashing grooves, and a dose of rapid-fire vox.
It’s a brutally militaristic assault — which I’m writing about for the only reason I write about any music: I think it’s good and worth hearing. Listen below.
Our Endless War is now available for pre-order at this location.
I have to confess that when I see a band name that’s in Latin, it usually makes me stop and at least try to find out what the name means. I could explain why, but it would probably bore you shitless. When I googled “nux vomica”, I came upon the following passage from The Font of All Human Knowledge:
“The strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica L.) also known as nux vomica, poison nut, semen strychnos and quaker buttons, is a deciduous tree native to India, and southeast Asia…. It is a major source of the highly poisonous intensely bitter alkaloids strychnine and brucine, derived from the seeds inside the tree’s round, green to orange fruit.”
Naming your band after the Latin expression for a highly poisonous tree is fuckin’ cool, especially when your English-language alternatives includes “semen strychnos” and “quaker buttons”. I’m sure there are some fascinating stories behind those other names, but I think I should get on to the music. (Quaker buttons?!?)
Nux Vomica are from Portland (OR) and they have a new self-titled album coming out via Relapse on April 1 in North America and on earlier dates everywhere else in the world, because… I don’t know why everywhere else gets it sooner. There is one long song available for streaming at the moment, and I have Leperkahn and Sean Golyer to thank for pointing me to it. The name is “Reeling” and it runs about 12 minutes.
It’s a great song, an effective joining together of immense, ink-black heaviness and beautiful though bleak melodies. The entire song is washed in distortion, and the vocals are absolutely scarifying. It also includes an immense, bone-grinding bass solo that’s worth waiting for. Yet despite the almost ever-present backdrop of harrowing noise, there is also something elevating about the echoing guitar melodies. And when the band hits a hard-driving rhythm, heads will bang.
This is a genre-crossing song, one that incorporates elements of doom, crust, black metal, and post metal, and its a very effective amalgam of sounds. Listen below, in either the YouTube player or the one from SoundCloud.