I’ve collected in this two-part post seven very good new songs from four bands that I heard for the first time yesterday. All the songs are from forthcoming albums, and as the title of the post suggests, most (but not all) of them incorporate elements of black metal into the music in varying degrees, and they are all shrouded in darkness. The cover art for each album is also really good. The bands are presented in alphabetical order (Part 1 can be found here) — except for a last-minute addition at the end.
I found out about this Finnish band more than two years ago when I listened to (and wrote about) their self-titled 2010 EP (still available here). It’s been a long wait for their debut album, but it finally seems to be on its way. The name is Lunarterial and it’s projected for release on October 14, 2014, through Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo. The cover art is the work of Swiss artist Peter Birkhäuser. The new song I heard yesterday is a track from the album called “Arterial Mists of Doom”.
This disorienting song’s huge, slow, nearly atonal chords vibrate with grotesque levels of distortion — and then erupt when you least expect it into ghastly pyroclastic flows moving at blinding speed. The visceral drumbeats and cymbal ticks seem to have a mind of their own, and their unpredictability is also part of what makes the song so arresting. The vocals match up with the doomed, blasted, destructive aura of the music — they’re maniacal, agonizing, horrifying. It appears that Swallowed have made a soundtrack for your nightmares…
Wolfpack 44 are a Chicago band consisting of Ricktor Ravensbrück from The Electric Hellfire Club and vocalist/guitarist Julian Xes from Kult ov Azazel. They have a debut album named The Scourge that’s due for release on September 21 by the French label Deadlight Entertainment. The cover art is by Robert Cook (aka Norot), and the album also includes guest appearances by vocalist/lyricist Thomas Thorn (The Electric Hellfire Club); vocalist/lyricist Jinx Dawson (Coven); guitarists Lord Ahriman and Chaq Mol of Dark Funeral; vocalist Dana ‘Satania’ Duffey of Demonic Christ; and guitarist Dan VC of Vein Collector.
The band describe the music as “Satanic, industrial/black/death/psychotic/evil-as-fuck metal with a sardonic edge”. That’s a pretty accurate description based on the two new songs I heard yesterday — “The Enemy Below” and “Chamber of Nightmares” (the second of which features guitar work by those two Dark Funeral members).
The songs are dense, ice cold, and thick with menace, hammering mercilessly with industrial-strength force, polluted with all manner of bestial vocal excretions and flaring in an unearthly glow as eerie melodies rise up through the choking atmosphere. And yet both songs paradoxically also include appealing strains of almost angelic music that float like phantasmagorical sirens, beckoning. Of the two, “Chamber of Nightmares” is the more mechanized and industrial, but also the one that more strongly betrays the influence of orthodox black metal.
This is loud, eviscerating, and highly compulsive music that is causing me to pant hungrily for the rest of the album.
And here’s a last-minute addition I saw this morning that I decided to tack on at the end. It’s the excellent cover art for the new album by The Stone, a long-running Serbian black metal band who we’ve written about here in the past. The album’s name is Nekroza, and the art is by Serbian artist Marko Danilović. Close-up details from the art can be seen here.
I’m not sure when the album will be released or who will be releasing it, but based on this band’s past work we’ll be watching for it closely.