(In this 6th installment of a multi-part piece, Austin Weber continues rolling out recommended releases from his latest exploratory forays through the underground. Previous installments are linked at the end of this post.)
￼￼Let’s start off this installment with the technical death metal band Dungortheb, a French group from the world of Lord Of The Rings that I’ve been a fan of for years. Somehow, in spite of being a massive fan of their first two albums, Intended To… and Waiting For Silence, I failed to realize they had a new record out until recently, when I was checking out the roster for Great Dane Records on Metal-Archives. Seeing their name on the roster inevitably led me to click on the Dungortheb page on M-A where I saw the new album. Luckily I was not too far behind, as this latest release, Extracting Souls, just dropped on August 30th of this year.
Not only is it a continuation of their heavily lead-focused, melodically entrenched, often mid-paced death metal style, but it’s quite an evolution as well. Extracting Souls sees an influx of ￼Death– and Coroner-style thrash influences seep into their sound, giving their latest a Gory Blister-type headbangable take on technical death metal.
(I know the following song is from their last album, Waiting For Silence, but consider it a teaser and a reason to check the new album, which is streaming below. This track, “Waiting for…”, is sheer hypnotic bliss.)
One of the band’s greatest strengths is their knack for dropping gorgeous lead guitar playing over slower parts to create some stunning, atmospherically infused moments that are very memorable. Tracks such as “A Red Night”, and “Impact” are good examples of this, though perhaps not as atmospherically focused in their lead guitar onslaughts as some of the other songs. Nevertheless, they do bring to mind Allegaeon in all their exquisite groove + chug/spiralling-riff combo glory.
Other tracks on this album reveal their highlights in these haunting, atmospheric, lead-overloaded moments, and they never cease to amaze me and bring a smile to my face. In addition, Dungortheb’s affinity for largely mid-paced tempos work in their favor, giving Extracting Souls a different flow and feeling than many of their blazing, speed-focused death metal peers.
Extracting Souls is my favorite Dungortheb release yet. While they may not be completely re-inventing the wheel, this is a very original album and one that I could see a lot of people getting into and loving.
The Italian band Kailash have an interesting history. Initially starting as an avant-garde black metal band, over time they evolved into a black-metal-influenced post-metal act. After releasing their second album, Past Changing Fast, they were unhappy with the mix, and decided to remix it and re-title and re-release it as Past Changing Fast: Faster Ahead. With this record they have dropped even more of the black metal influence, though it still lingers in the music at times. While post-metal rarely appeals to me, as it often seems to meander and/or lack a certain heaviness, Kailash do it right.
Part of why this is so appealing is that it encompasses a greater sonic spectrum than the music of your average post-metal band. There is of course a fair bit of post-rock influence, plus the aforementioned black metal style that ￼bubbles up in some of the riffs, as well as nods to both ambient and math-metal in the mix.
Like other bands within this sub-genre, Kailash spend a lot of time working through peaks and valleys, but I think Kailash simply have more interesting slow parts and more vicious and heavy parts than most of their peers. In addition, their heavy parts are not confined merely to thick, sludgy riffs; they include some complex riffs in the mix that are quite stunning. A lot of post-metal seems so focused on that build-up/break-down sense of dynamics, that the music sacrifices the time needed for the softer parts to build and breathe to their full potential. That’s a pitfall Kailash wisely sidestep, giving you songs where the soothing ambient-focused part builds for several minutes before hitting a roaring climax — and then rarely staying at that climax point before dipping back into a sense of serenity.
Past Changing Fast: Faster Ahead spends more of its time in a state of cerebral calm than in heavier waters. Kailash are on a different path than their peers, but it’s a path you are going to want to venture down and explore in all its multi-faceted lushness.
Do you want a free, easy-to-download copy of a killer, off-the-beaten path one-man esoteric death metal record? Yes you fucking do.
Klast is a one-man band consisting of only Jeremy Salvo from Seattle, Washington, the town where Islander purports to be based. As such, I grilled him as to whether or not he knew Klast, to which I received a rambling no answer that involved both Kid Rock’s glass dildo that has been making the rounds in the news and Islander’s penchant for punching midgets while wearing a necklace made of Dodo bones that’s been doused in smegma.
Some sonic comparisons to Patrons Of The Rotting Gate pop up, but mainly Klast is its own brand of weird wickedness. Within Tropean Winds you will find massively crushing, glacially paced sonic torture of a particularly rewarding and cruel variety. To me, Tropean Winds ￼sounds like black metal influenced Gorguts death metal played really slow and nasty, and armored with a thick double-bass propulsion to complement the trudging, wailing nightmarish riffs, which churn and crush in equal proportion.
I’ve become quite attached to this album after being cued to it by a metal friend who has likeminded tastes. The best part is, if you go to the band’s website, you can get the whole album for free — or you can use the download link below. For free! The only thing better than free music is, free blowjobs, free kittens, free meth, and well, okay, I am getting off-topic here. But free music is certainly one of the greatest things around — so why the hell would you not explore what Tropean Winds has to offer? What do you stand to lose? Besides your mind of course.
THE DEATH OF DEARTH, PART II — Previous Installments: