(Austin Weber returns to NCS with recommendations of new underground releases. There are four bands covered in this post and tomorrow there will be three more.)
Whenever I do get around to writing various articles or reviews, I typically find myself instantly sidetracked and sucked into more new music that inevitably deserves to be written about as well. Which leads to more articles like this, and while it’s not clear to me if anyone cares, I will keep churning them out anyways! The bands that follow below span an eclectic range of styles, so I hope you the reader will find something you enjoy in the mix.
Pittsburgh extreme death metal act Orgone came to fruition at the right time in tech-death’s growth during the mid 2000s. During that period there seemed to be a bit more experimentation, versus the largely codified style and sound of what we expect when we hear that term now. Orgone released a stupefying near-impenetrable debut called The Goliath in 2007 and then disappeared. Now they’ve returned with The Joyless Parson, a further test in pushing the boundaries of death metal.
It’s a uniquely experimental effort that thrives on lengthy, lumbering builds and abruptly vacillating tempo shifts. In fact, The Joyless Parson spends more time at a menacing, pained crawl than it does in roaring, fast-paced tempo territory. Some may have heard of the band through Patron Of The Rotting Gate’s cover of “Caress Of Vines”, before this album came out. But that’s a long story related to the album being released on the internet in 2011 in pre-production form, and not subsequently being mixed and mastered until last year, leading to its current new official release status.
The Joyless Parson is supported by a graceful chasm of sprawling doom, which the band use as eloquent unfolding cesspool pockets that balance and support their furious jaunts. The mood of The Joyless Parson is one of wounded anguish, still fiery, but more contemplative than the apocalyptic chaos conjured on their first record. Tortured black metal riffing and jazz elements likewise find their way into their back-and-forth flailing songwriting, as do piano playing and cello on one track. The analytically focused, at times almost poetic, lyrics are quite an interesting accompaniment to the heady, potent music.
The Joyless Parson is a stunning return for Orgone. Listening to this album is an intense, crushing experience; it’s unlike the work of any other band. I would easily call this “best of the year” material. They’ve stated a new album is already in the works for next year, so buying a copy would help them toward that goal.
HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN
This is the part in every article I write where I cover something weird and off-putting, and the baffling Frenchman in Hardcore Anal Hydrogen fit the bill for more reasons than their awesome, puzzling name alone. It would appear to be no coincidence that the first letter from each word in their name boils down into HAH! If you can for a moment, try to picture the chaotic and wacky merger of Irony Is A Dead Scene-era Dillinger Escape Plan with the sensibilities and experimental side-routes of Fantomas, wrapped around a black-death-grind-groove frenzied assault. Sounds like a congested clusterfuck right?
Well, they make it work on The Talas (French for “Tales”) Of Satan, an effort in which the oddball parts are memorable and fit. all the while keeping a rancorous aggressive pulse to the proceedings. Hardcore Anal Hydrogen fuse anger and avant-garde into an inverse circus for the truly deranged. Keyboards, flute, DJ scratching, rock, occasional rap-style vocal patterns, and world music rarely fit well when thrown inside aggressive-focused metal. Yet somehow Hardcore Anal Hydrogen make those head-scratching elements indispensable factors in their sound, in non-gimmick fashion. Proceed with caution, listen at your own risk!
It’s been quite a long time since I last wrote about Washington, D.C. melodic metal band Terracide here at NCS, a group who at the time were finishing crowdfunding for their debut album, Existence Asunder. The three excellent songs from their prior EP Primordium are included again on the album, which is understandable as most people aren’t familiar with them.
Terracide cover quite a bit of ground, residing somewhere between Into Eternity, Allegaeon, and Iced Earth. There’s quite a bit of cheese present, but it’s basically a finely aged premium Swiss type of cheese if anything. Existence Asunder is one of the fresher sounding melodic thrash-y, death-y, metal-y albums I’ve heard in awhile. Pump your fists and feast on goopy aural cheese, Existence Asunder has finally arrived.
SUPER MASSIVE BLACK HOLES
Super Massive Black Holes are truly a modern death metal band, in the sense that their sound is a composite of multiple influences and sounds that are entirely non-death-metal. Few have attempted to cook the sort of mix-and-match brew they’ve crafted. Calculations Of The Ancients consists of melodic-rooted death metal that diverges into fusion, thumps with a thicket of grooves, and builds up delicately with jazz and progressive layers. While this might sound like music that would come across loose and verging on jam-esque, Super Massive Black Holes’ songwriting is tight and focused. Tracks like “Holographic Principle” remind me in several ways of almighty legends Martyr. Yes, I just compared them to Martyr, and it’s an accurate and non-exaggerated comparison that is a testament to the high caliber of metal offered up on Calculations Of The Ancients.