So many new things happen every day in the world of metal that if you check out for almost four days, as I just did, catching up is tough. Not that I’m complaining, because I had a blast attending Gilead Fest. I know you’ll want to read all about how much fun I had, in case you haven’t already. But now I’m back in Seattle, and I’m making a small stab at catching up on what I missed while I was neglecting daily metal happenings. Here are three new songs I heard last night that I recommend to your ears.
Iceland’s Sólstafir have now shared with the world the third advance track from their next album, Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. The new one is named “Dagmál”. It cruises like a car on an open road, the top down, the wind in your hair, not another soul in sight, magnificent vistas around every turn. And then your car leaves the road… and glides into the air.
The music is spacious and ephemeral, but it rocks, too, and the grit in the guitar tone and in Aðalbjörn Tryggvason’s magnificent voice provide the welcome edge that never seems to leave this band’s music, no matter how beautiful it becomes.
The song is streaming at Invisible Oranges, and it’s not embeddable, so you’ll need to go here to listen:
I had some trouble getting the SoundCloud player to work this morning, and if you encounter trouble as well, you can also find the song (at least for the moment) on YouTube. Pre-order the album here. Find Sólstafir on Facebook here
My comrade DGR brought this next song to my attention. It’s by a San Francisco-based unit named Ontogeny, who we’ve featured on two previous occasions (here and here) as they released advance tracks from their forthcoming third album, Hymns of Ahriman. DGR discovered that two weeks ago they released a third song from the album — “Synethic”. I’m going to let DGR introduce the song via the words from his message to me:
“Whereas those two previous songs were sheer whirlwinds, I understand what’s going on in this one pretty well. Has multiple vocalists from the band’s history on this track, too, and it shifts from tribal to death metal to the band’s angular mess of guitar riffs that somehow make sense despite sounding like they shouldn’t. Also has a tribal drumming section in the middle because why the fuck wouldn’t you? Thing does shift into full-blown tech-death hurricane mode for the last three minutes, though.”
We still haven’t seen a release date for Hymns of Ahriman, as it appears the band are still seeking label representation. All three of the songs we’ve now written about can be heard below, beginning with the new one.
Ilenkus are five men from Galway, Ireland, whose second album The Crossing will be released on vinyl on September 15. The album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp along with a stream of one song, which can be downloaded now if you make the pre-order. I listened to the song because I was intrigued by the wonderful album cover (created by James Sheridan).
“Over the Fire, Under the Smoke” hits hard right from the beginning, with big Mastodonian riffs, attention-grabbing drum rhythms, and clawing vocals. The high-voltage music flashes with jolting, progressive-minded lead-guitar flurries — and then takes a sharp left turn into something dreamlike and drifting before building again, with a rising sense of urgency, into a high burn and then a cooling-off period. Impressive guitar work and an equally impressive rhythm section make this song stand out. Check it below.