I spied three videos this morning that I commend to your attention.
I am a pathetic excuse for a human being. Among other reasons, I failed to review one of the 2013 albums I most enjoyed — Coronation of King Darkness by Finland’s Black Crucifixion. I only managed to write about a single song after it premiered in advance of the album’s release. Pathetic.
This morning I was reminded of my abject failure by the debut of an amazing video for a song from that album named “Heroes End Up On Gallows”. The video was eight months in the making, and it is a striking work of dark and fiery beauty. We are seeing it now because Coronation of King Darkness will soon be released on vinyl by Svart Records, with a gatefold sleeve and new cover art (above).
If you’re not familiar with Black Crucifixion, they played a seminal role in the development of Finnish black metal going all the way back to their first demo in 1992. Since then, they have only released three albums, but their maturity and the diversity of the musicians’ interests and talents are in abundant evidence on this most recent of their albums.
And if you’ve not experienced the album yet, “Heroes End Up On Gallows” is a fine example of what it holds in store. It’s a dynamic piece of music, lashing together ringing guitar leads, magnetic riffs, progressive instrumental excursions, and vocals that are both caustic and haunted. It’s dark and ominous, but it also rocks really hard. And when that bass lead comes in at 4:19, there’s a serious risk of whiplash.
The vinyl edition of Coronation of King Darkness can be ordered here. Immerse yourself in the new video below.
Gatecreeper are an Arizona band whose self-titled debut EP (with wicked cover art by JGA) was released in April via Bandcamp (where it’s available for “pay what you want” download and can be ordered on tape). Today Invisible Oranges premiered a video for one of the tracks on the EP, “Force Fed”. That was my first exposure to their music, but you better believe that as soon as I finish pecking out these words, I’m downloading that sucker.
“Force Fed” is a real bone-crusher, a stomping serving of buzzsaw riffs, spine-shaking drumwork, and hoarse howls, draped in a heavy mantle of doom and rotting from the inside out. It pays faithful homage to early Swedish death metal, and you can’t not headbang.
Check out the video below, and I’m also including the Bandcamp player for the whole EP.
NICHOLAS BARKER BECOMES A PIPE BAND DRUMMER
I sure didn’t see this coming, but I sure like it. I like it in part because I’m a fan of the Highland bagpipes. If you are not, you may still want to watch this video. It depicts Nicholas Barker, the drummer for Lock Up and Twilight of the Gods and former member of such bands as Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, and Brujeria, playing with three pipers (Victoria Leishman, Michael Wilson, and Laura Robertson) on June 6, 2014, at the Henry Travers Studio, The Maltings Theatre and Cinema, in Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the UK.
Traditional drum accompaniment for the Highland pipes requires some skill, but it’s not exactly the star of the show, and it sounds nothing like the extreme metal percussion techniques that Barker chose to cook up for this performance. I admit that the novelty of this unusual partnership is the main draw.