SEEN AND HEARD: ILENKUS, VEKTOR, A DARK DESCENT SAMPLER
Here are a trio of randomly chosen new things I discovered over the weekend.
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 wrote about that song — “Over the Fire, Under the Smoke” — back in July. It 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.
Late last week Ilenkus released a music video for the song, which has racked up over 22,000 views in short order. In a nutshell, it shows one of the band’s three rotating vocalists, Chris Brennan, walking along a Galway pedestrian thoroughfare on a busy day. The camera stays focused on him, and he stays focused on the camera as the crowd flows around him. He’s singing the song as he walks — and from the looks he gets, I’m pretty sure he was actually shrieking and growling the words at full volume rather than lip-syncing (though we’re hearing the studio track in the video).
This was obviously shot in one take, and it’s damned impressive — not only for the balls it took for Brennan to do this, but also because he never gets distracted from what he’s doing nor looks self-conscious for one second. And on top of that, he nails the voiceover in sync with the recorded track. That’s some intense focus.
Also, kudos to cinematographer Ethan Copage and to whoever was clearing the way at his back during this stroll. This couldn’t have been easy to film either.
Philadelphia’s Vektor have been working on a new album, and they’ve been touring, too. On August 30, 2014, they played one of the new songs — named “Ultimate Artificer” — at Mute Fest in Detroit, Michigan. The performance was filmed by Katy Ashton DiSanto, and yesterday Vektor released the video as the official premiere of the song.
The video quality isn’t ideal, but fer chrissakes, it’s new music from Vektor! I feel myself starting to salivate for this new album.
P.S. If you live in the Northwest, you’ll have a chance to see Vektor live in Seattle at Highline on Sept 26 along with Lesbian, Brain Scraper, and Paralyzer, and they’re also playing at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland on Sept 27 as part of the Project Pabst Festival.
DARK DESCENT NEW RELEASE SAMPLER
Now it’s time for some free shit.
Last week the Dark Descent record label released a sampler of songs from their recent releases and it’s available on Bandcamp for a price you name. It’s a fantastic line-up of bands — 10 of them — and we’ve written about all of them at one time or another: Horrendous, Swallowed, Emptiness, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Thantifaxath, Ritual Necromancy, Phobocosm, Gravehill, Morgue, Begrime Exemious.
This is a fine, dark playlist for those who already know the music, and for those who don’t it’s an easy way to make some worthwhile new discoveries. The sampler can be downloaded here:
The Ilenkus video is pretty great! Songs pretty good too.
It reminds me of all my drum tapping on the subway to and from work every day.
Occasionally throwing out a claw, but mostly making sure my blast beats are laid down nicely.
So you really think he was screaming out the lyrics? At one point towards the end the music pulls back and it sounds like it could be him screaming his face off around all those people. One woman even sort of tugs her kid away from him.
I dont know the song otherwise, so not sure if it just does that anyway, but I like to think he really was going buck nuts in public.
That un-self-conscience way that a good tune can make you just react instead of trying to appear normal or cool.
For most of the video I had thought he was lip synching, but that part made me unsure. Ilenkus pulled a Shutter Island on us all.
I saw a comment on the YouTube video that read like it came from someone who knows the band, saying he wasn’t lip-syncing. And if you look at his breathing and what’s happening to his face, it really does seem like he’s not — in addition to the crowd reactions (which in some cases seem a lot more surprised/disturbed) than if some dude was just walking along mouthing words to his iPod.