SEEN AND HEARD: VESANIA, SCAR SYMMETRY, DEATH WOLF, EXODUS
I failed to pull together a round-up of new music yesterday — as you may have noticed, we were pretty busy with a lot of other goings-on at the site. What that means is that I now have two days’ worth of new things to pore over in deciding what to throw your way.
And man, it has been one hell of a week for new songs and videos. I’m having trouble remembering another one so filled with worthy new debuts. Unfortunately, this means I won’t be able to cover everything that deserves to be covered. But we soldier on as best we can.
Yesterday brought a torrent of news from this excellent Polish supergroup whose music my comrade Andy Synn once described as “crushing blackened-death metal with a lunatic, symphonic twist”. Vesania’s discography, as it then existed, was the subject of one of Andy’s SYNN REPORTs in 2012, but that report is about to be rendered incomplete, because…
…Vesania have now signed with Metal Blade, they’ve announced the release of a new album entitled Deux Ex Machina on October 28, and they’ve premiered a new song from the album named “Innocence”. They also unveiled that completely fascinating piece of eye candy you saw at the top of this post. Now that’s a band photo!
To match the eye candy, “Innocence” is a nice piece of ear candy — it swings, like a demonic dance at an infernal carnival with a demented ringleader as the master of ceremonies, until, with a hair-raising shriek, the music begins to whip and storm like a whirlwind. Andy’s description still holds — the lunatics are in charge of this asylum, but they’re part beasts and part men.
Deux Ex Machina can be pre-ordered here.
We now have two songs from the new Scar Symmetry album to hear, and the second one reinforces my desire to hear the whole album. It’s most definitely an Exception to our Rule, because it includes clean singing — but the clean singing is really good (for the second time in as many days, a new song has got me thinking about Jon Anderson), as are the harsh growls, and the song itself is a mental rocket-ride as well as a headbang-trigger for the skull that encases the grey matter.
So many bands try to capture this kind of sound, but damned few do it as well as Scar Symmetry is doing it now. (A tip of the hat to TheMadIsraeli for the tip on this one.)
The song is “Cryonic Harvest” and it comes from The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity), which will be released on October 14 by Nuclear Blast and can be ordered here.
Sweden’s Death Wolf are another band with a new album on the way and a new advance track to herald its coming. This band was organized by Marduk’s guitarist, Morgan, and was originally named Devil’s Whorehouse. The new album is their third, and it’s named III: Östergötland.
III: Östergötland will be released by Blooddawn Productions and Century Media sometime in the spring of 2015, but yesterday we got a first taste of what’s coming via the premiere of a song called “Today King, Tomorrow Dead”. I liked it from the first few seconds — the big, stomping melodic riff and gut-punching drumbeats grabbed me by the back of my neck like a vise. And I liked it more and more as the song progressed, from the vocalist’s wounded, scarring howls to the bleak guitar solo to the song’s overall grim atmosphere. This is desolation rock from the wasteland with high re-play value.
The press release I received promises that the album’s other songs will range from “Samhain-influenced punk rock to the post-apocalyptic crust of Amebix and Bathory/Celtic Frost-like blackness spiced up with a good dose of straight-forward metal”, and that all sounds mighty tempting, too. With a spring 2015 release date, waiting will be painful; I’m hoping for more teasers as good as this one in the months to come.
photo by Bruce Getty
Exodus have a new album named Blood In Blood Out, which will be released on Oct 10th (EU), 13th (UK), and 14th (NA) via Nuclear Blast Records. A few days ago the title track premiered (following the earlier debut of a song called “Salt the Wound”, which I still haven’t heard). I did not drop everything I was doing and listen to it. My own tastes just don’t run strongly in the direction of Exodus, at least not in recent years. But I finally relented and checked out the lyric video for the song last night.
The lyrics are kind of embarrassingly egotistical — “We wrote the book so you better know the plot!”, “This is a fucking dynasty of thrash notoriety!”, “We’re bringing down the thunder, bottling the lightning!”, etc. — though one could certainly argue that they’ve earned the right to brag. But despite the lyrics, the song still put a charge in me, and all of its varied appeals to start “the pit that time forgot” are sure to be answered with action when this song is delivered live.
I prefer Zetro Souza’s vocals to Rob Dukes’ — they’re nasty and corrosive — and the riffs are high-voltage and infectious. The song also includes a double-barreled guitar solo followed by a blood-pumping, rising melodic lead that’s cool. This album may just rekindle my cooling interest in Exodus.
i was such a big fan of Dukes that i was reluctant at first to jump on the “Zetro is back!” bandwagon, but the two new Exodus tracks i’ve heard are excellent. i’ve also seen some youtube videos of recent live performances and they sound killer. i’ll definitely be picking up the new album
I’m digging the new Exodus as far as I’ve heard, but it doesn’t sound much different than what Dukes was doing for me, and I still love the Dukes stuff to death (Funeral Hymn was the first Exodus track I heard).