I did say that I intended to post three editions of MISCELLANY on three successive days, but yesterday kind of got away from me. So, with an unplanned hiatus day, here’s the third installment.
Once again, here’s how the MISCELLANY game works: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard, usually focusing on under-the-radar groups whose names I’ve never heard before either. The selection process is random; for these three editions of the series, I tended to focus on bands who’ve written us recently. I try to limit my listening to a song or two and then write my impressions, while streaming what I heard so you can form your own opinions. I don’t know in advance whether I’ll like the music, so there’s an element of surprise involved (good or bad). For this listening session I once again investigated the music of three bands.
Dim Aura are based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Earlier this year they self-released a debut album entitled The Negation of Existence (though they’re searching for a label to facilitate wider distribution). The band have put four of the album’s eight tracks on Bandcamp. I started with the first one, “Scarred Flesh Supremacy”, but I’ll just tell you up-front that I really cheated on the MISCELLANY rules and wound up running right through all four songs. They’re all good and they don’t all sound the same.
There’s a bit of d-beat crust punk, a bit of filthy rock ‘n’ roll, and more than a bit of throwback black metal. The songs are raw and feral, stripped down and dripping with venom, and they do get their hooks in you.
The album can be purchased here in digipack form. Sadly, the music isn’t available for download at Bandcamp, only streaming. But do check out the four song streams below.
Toluca are from Moscow, Russia, and last month they self-released their debut album Memoria on Bandcamp (though plans are apparently in the works for a label release of the album on vinyl). The album consists of seven songs, all with one-word titles. I decided to listen to the first one, “Gaap”, and man, did I get hooked on it right from the start. The song ebbs and flows, gradually layering textures onto an echoing guitar melody until a double-bass rumble, waves of tremolo guitar, and agonized vocals ratchet up the intensity. The song pulls back again before a hard push to the finish.
I liked “Gaap” so much that I moved on to the second track, “Vual”. It’s about half the length of the first song, but also very good. Like the opener, it blends elements of post-metal and black metal, with a sweeping melody coursing through it.
The whole album is a “name your price” download at Bandcamp.
DEAD SOUL ALLIANCE
From Moscow I leaped wide continents with a single bound and landed in Ottawa, Canada, which is where Dead Soul Alliance make their home. They’ve released two EPs to date, the most recent being last year’s Proud To Die.
“Loss of Faith” is that second EP’s first song, and that’s where I started for purposes of this listening experiment. It’s a lumbering death metal beast, mixing brutish stomping with flurries of jagged riffage. But it turns out to be a solely instrumental piece — a very nice one, but I wanted to get more into the meat of the album. So I moved on to the second track, “Time To Cull”. It’s more of a grinding, ripping, ravenous assault than the opener, but not without its moments of pulverizing pounding. And it includes a very sweet, very grisly guitar solo in addition to truly beastly howling. Reminiscent of Altars of Madness-era Morbid Angel, this is really good stuff.
It’s available on CD or as a download via the Bandcamp below.