I spent some time last night searching for new music worth recommending. Found quite a lot. Damaged my ear drums in the process, but oh so worth it. (They were so screwed up beforehand that it didn’t really matter. As for you, play this stuff loud enough to cause pain, so I don’t feel lonely in my deafness.)
There’s a lot of music in here — I could easily have spread it across five posts today — but there probably won’t be many other posts on this Friday because I’m on the road again. So, take your sweet time with it.
We already reviewed Death Mask. We’ve heard it all, but most of you haven’t. Some of you will want to run away from it, some of you will eat it up like whatever it is you can’t stop eating even when you know you should. I’m in the latter category — it has made an indelible mark, as deep as all the black tattoos that beautify my limbs.
One more song premiered yesterday on Stereogum (it happens to be my favorite track). Their writer (Aaron Lariviere) compared it to sex in a slaughterhouse bathroom — “lascivious, libidinous filth, meant to make us move to the music and feel disgusting doing it.” I can see why he wrote that, but I don’t get that feeling from “Negative Birth”. I get from it feelings of despair, loneliness, rage, and ultimately the desire to ram my head through concrete.
The unpredictable rhythms of this song are part of what I like about the entire album. The completely unhinged, violent vocals are another part of what I like about it. The driving, pulsating, exploding riffs and the deep grinding undercarriage — I really like those, too. If you want catharsis and mayhem in your metal, this is your ticket.
I’m so tempted to hack the embed code and put the song here, but I’ll be a good boy and send you to Stereogum for their exclusive premiere:
KevinP linked to this band on Facebook. I don’t like everything he likes. He definitely turns his nose up at a lot of music I’m high on. But our tastes are similar enough that I usually check out his recommendations. This one was a winner.
Invincible Force are from Chile, and when it comes to black thrashing speed metal, they know what’s up (after all, they took their name from a Destruction song). After a handful of demos and splits they’ve recorded an album named Satan-Rebellion-Metal, and you know, as ungraceful as the name is, it still pretty much says it all. They’ve got three songs from the album up on Bandcamp, and they are hell on wheels.
The riffs are filthy and delicious, the drumwork is fast and furious, and the scraped-throat vocalist sounds authentically satanic. Racing tremolo chords vie for dominance with primal thrash riffs, and d-beat rhythms switch off with blastbeats. It’s evil, primal metal executed really, really well.
I don’t know when the album is coming out, but I do know that Dark Descent has signed the band and plans to release it sometime this year. For now, check out those three songs.
YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
If you don’t know about this North Carolina band already, you might get the wrong impression from their name. I know when I first heard the name a couple or there years ago, I was thinking it must be some kind of metalcore band. But these dudes will kneecap you and then make you crawl across broken glass on your protruding bones — and you’ll like it.
They’ve got a new 11-song album named When Life Comes To Death that Deathwish Inc. plans to release on May 27. I have high hopes for this album, made even higher by a video that surfaced about two weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting that YAITW would do a Candlemass cover. But their take on “Solitude” (from Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, 1986) is goddamn staggering.
It’s primitive and primal, bone-grinding and ugly. The vocals are feral and acidic, the riffs titanic, the percussion blunt and crashing.
This cover isn’t on the new album, though I wish it were. The video below is from the band’s set in Charlotte, NC, on March 14. I really admire the way it was filmed, in B&W, with a fixed camera position, the guitarist’s frethand in the foreground, the shadowed vocalist a yard or two away. It suits the music well.
The world is a very big place, even when limited to the confines of metal, and every week I learn about new bands for the first time, even bands who have long histories. TarthariA, for example, are a Russian band who have been around for a dozen years with 10 releases, including four albums, and yet I hadn’t heard the name until two days ago when I got an email from them.
They have a new album entitled Bleeding From the Devil that’s available on Bandcamp. If you go to that Bandcamp page, the first song that will greet you is the album’s 4th track, “Satisfactory Suffocation”. I at least want to say a few words about that track in case I’m not able to return to this album in print.
The song is part blackened death metal — part booming chords and part whirlwind tremolo flensing, part deep vocal roars and part vicious shrieking — but the music also incorporates what sound to my ears like Russian melodies that give the song a distinctive flair. Check it out below.
Okay, one more band and then I’m done for now. This one I latched upon because of the album cover, which is a surrealistic eye-catcher if there ever was one. (The artwork I’m using for this post is stripped of the band logo and album name.) I wish I knew who created it. UPDATE: I have discovered who created this wonderful album cover: Laurent Jmékanic and Laure Lavieu. Congratulations to them on making such a fascinating work.
The debut album of AthanaTheos for which this cover was made — Alpha Theistic — arrived in 2012, and the song I discovered only yesterday is from that album. Its name is “Purification By Primordial Waters”.
When it comes to metal, the French follow their own unconventional paths. This song is punishingly heavy, but loaded with strange discordant guitar flourishes and unpredictable jolts of percussive force. The sound is dense and arcane, obliterating and deranged, and those qualities simply add to the fascination of this avant grade death metal. Also, the vocalist is a goddamn wild animal.
I haven’t heard anything quite like this before, but I find it utterly fascinating. If you like what you hear as much as I do, the album is available from Lavadome Productions.