I’ve got some other goodies lined up for you on this day of rest, but while I finish messing with those I thought I’d bomb you to smithereens with some Bombs of Hades and then let Psychotic Gardening prune your vines.
BOMBS OF HADES
Bombs of Hades are one of the bands I included on a list of the best Swedish-style death metal being recorded by newer bands over the last five years, and if you haven’t heard them before you’re about to find out why they belong on that list. They have a new album on the way entitled Atomic Temples and yesterday they started streaming one of the new songs — “Omens” — and it’s great.
As many of you know, I have a long-standing love (some might call it a crippling weakness) for this kind of metal, despite the fact that it’s music that MUST fit a certain mold or it loses its identity. With other styles of metal, sub-genres can be spliced together, filigrees and embroidery can be added, experiments can be performed, growth and innovation can occur. But with this kind of old-school, d-beat-driven Swedish death metal, there’s simply a right way to do it or a wrong way. Bombs of Hades do it the right way. They keep the faith, they carry the torch, and it’s smokin’ hot.
“Omens” is a flat-out romp right from the beginning, with the kind of crusty, grinding riffs and jolting rhythms that would trigger a mosh pit in a nursing home. The whirring-drillbit tremolo melody sounds demonically evil, Jonas Stålhammar’s gritty mid-range vocals are raw and rancid, and Magnus Forsberg spices up those relentless d-beats with some furiously fast fills. Top that off with a squalling guitar solo hot enough to melt lead, and voilà!
Eat it while it’s hot.
(Atomic Temples will be released on CD and vinyl by War Anthem Records on May 23.)
My NCS comrades and I share a private Facebook group where we concoct nefarious plans and share our innermost feelings. Last night Andy Synn posted this solitary sentence: “There is a band called Psychotic Gardening. That is all.” Well, of course that wasn’t all, because I then had to go track down that band to satisfy my ravenous curiosity about what kind of music would be made by people who had chosen such an ingenious band name.
I found their Facebook page, learned that they are based in Winnipeg, Canada, and right away discovered that just two days ago they released an official video for their cover of Death’s “Open Casket” from Leprosy. And I further learned that the cover includes alternating guest guitar solos by Tim Roth (Into Eternity) and Chuck Wepfer (Broken Hope). And I further learned that the “Open Casket” cover will appear on the band’s third album — Hymnosis — which is due for release on May 13 and is adorned by a very sweet album cover.
Of course, I then had to watch that video.
As you’ll see from the video, Psychotic Gardening features two vocalists — Gillishammer (the one in the headband) and Chuck Labossiere (the bearded one — he also plays rhythm guitar). And as you will hear, they are both ghoulish monsters behind the mic. And they and their comrades have taken that excellent Chuck Schuldiner song and morphed it into an equally excellent, anvil-heavy, death/doom crusher.
Their low-and-slow version of the song is 50% longer than the original and at least 50% heavier: It sounds absolutely immense. It’s a lumbering, stomping, groaning, bone-breaking golem (and those two guest solos are really excellent). I’m digging this dismal cover mightily. Watch and listen below.