SHADES OF BLACK: SERPENTS ATHIRST, KNIFE OF MELQART, UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN
This is a small collection of new songs I discovered yesterday that explore the dark in very different ways. Two of the bands are newcomers, while the last is on the verge of releasing its third album.
Serpents Athirst are a Sri Lankan black metal band whose discography consists of a 2011 split and a 2012 demo named Prevail. They have a new three-song EP coming out later this year entitled Heralding Ceremonial Mass Obliteration, and one of the new songs is now up on YouTube. I’m assuming that the image on the YouTube clip (above) will appear on the cover of the EP, because I really like it. I really like the song, too.
It’s appropriately named “Ritual Vomitting”, and I’ve listened to it a half dozen times since finding it yesterday afternoon via a link from a Facebook friend. The sound is utterly filthy, with a thoroughly grit-caked and grime-coated production, and for most of its putrid length the riffs and drums just roll forward in a repeating rampage of hammer blows, accented by the tick and shimmer of cymbals — but it’s electrifying. And the echoing vocals are fantastically horrific, ranging from rancid roars to something that sounds like the vocalist is being forcibly turned inside out. I’ll probably listen to it another half dozen times today.
I don’t yet know exactly when the EP will hit the streets, but it will be released by Invictus Productions on vinyl and cassette and by India’s Cyclopean Eye Productions on CD (Invictus will have CDs too).
KNIFE OF MELQART
Knife of Melqart are from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The number of their members and their identity or identities are concealed. They released a self-titled EP in 2013 that I haven’t heard, and then two singles this year — “Now They Bend Their Knees To the Ground” on July 6 and “The Architect of the Temple” on May 25. Both are available as free downloads on Bandcamp. The more recent song includes a guest appearance by Samael from another Argentinian band named Elysium.
“Now They Bend Their Knees” is mid-paced, melancholy, and almost majestic in its moodiness. Balanced against the anguished shrieking of the vocalist, a trilling guitar melody sounds almost hopeful, while the big, jagged riffs at the end pound those hopes into the dust. “The Architect of the Temple” is even more slow-paced and solemn at first, but becomes more vibrant and intense as the rippling guitar melody begins coursing over the music’s grinding undercurrent.
I don’t know if you’d call the style blackened post-metal or atmospheric black metal or something else, but whatever the right genre term, it’s a promising introduction to these Argentinians.
Unaussprechlichen Kulten (“unspeakable cults” according to Google Translate) are a Chilean band whose third album, Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath, is due for release by Iron Bonehead on July 14. It’s one of many albums I’ve been meaning to hear all the way through, but all I’ve managed so far is one song named “Spirals of Acrid Smoke”, which is available on SoundCloud. The music is a trampling onslaught of fast-moving riffs, flickering guitar discordance, and tank-like low-end rhythms. It’s massively heavy and punishing, but equally disorienting, and the vocals are gargantuan. If you’re a fan of death metal in the Incantation vein and you’re unfamiliar with this band, you need to dive right on into this abyss.
Im going to become obsessed with that Unaussprechlichen album. Is everything they put out that good of quality?
I honestly don’t know. For whatever reason, I am just now discovering them thanks to this song.
Knight of Melqart is fantastic.