SEEN AND HEARD: DEIPHAGO, DOOMAS, IRREVERSIBLE MECHANISM, IZAH, SOLSTICE
I’ve fallen a bit behind in my efforts to collect news items and new songs I think are worthy of attention. There was some holiday recently that proved to be a distraction, plus I’ve been spending time on year-end lists of one kind or another. So this collection includes items of interest I spotted over the last 4 or 5 days, presented in alphabetical order, along with a recommendation from NCS contributor Grant Skelton at the end.
I checked — 18 months have passed since the last time I wrote about Deiphago, reviewing the vinyl edition of a 2012 split release they did with Ritual Combat. But as far as I can tell, that split was the last recording these Filipino marauders released, and we’re now more than two years on from their last full-length, the devastating Satan Alpha Omega. Therefore, I’m really pleased to report that Deiphago have recently finished recording a new album with producer Colin Marston that should see release early next year on the Hells Headbangers label.
The name of the album is Into the Eye of Satan, and the cover art by Axel Hermann (above) is a real eye-catcher.
I have no music to share with you yet, only high hopes for a highly anticipated assault of blackened death metal.
Doomas are a Slovakian band whose debut album Seven Sins came out a long six years ago. Next month Gothoom Productions will deliver their second, entitled La Muerte. As a teaser for the album, the band debuted a video for the song “Forlorn” on Christmas Eve last week. It was directed by Randy Cold.
This was my first exposure to the music of Doomas, but I’m afraid I paid almost more attention to the video than the music the first time through. There are people in it eating and drinking things that do not belong in a human mouth. They seem to be painting themselves, and occasionally dousing themselves, in blood. There’s a ritual sacrifice, and I have a suspicion that Satan is involved.
The second time through I paid more attention to the song and really enjoyed it. Even without the accompanying visuals, the music is full of menace and gloom, the huge groaning riffs and earth-splitting drum beats becoming the herald of of an approaching judgment that holds no mercy. The deep, gargantuan vocals are just as remorseless and horrifying. While the pacing is mainly slow and stately, an insidious melodic lead surfaces here and there, like a viper beneath your feet.
About two weeks ago my NCS comrade Austin Weber wrote me about a song named “The Betrayer of Time” that had recently begun streaming. The song was by a band from Belarus named Irreversible Mechanism, from their debut album Infinite Fields.
At that point the band was set to self-release the album digitally on Bandcamp, but on the strength of that one song the Finnish label Blood Music made contact and signed the band. The music stream promptly disappeared before we had a chance to write about it — but now it’s back, along with Blood Music’s official announcement that it will be releasing a CD edition of Infinite Fields in early 2015.
By way of background, Irreversible Mechanism is a two-man band (Yaroslav Korotkin and Vladislav Nekrash), and on Infinite Fields session drums were performed by Lyle Cooper (ex-The Faceless, Absvrdist). The album was produced by Sami Raatikainen (Necrophagist) and it features cover art by the inimitable Par Olofsson.
“The Betrayer of Time” is an impressive explosion of progressive death metal, loaded with head-spinning technical flourishes but held together by exotic melodies that prove to be quite catchy and made even more electrifying by some genuinely jaw-dropping melodic guitar solos. Do listen to this below — it’s very impressive.
Izah are a Dutch band whose 72-minute debut album Sistere (recorded with producer Jochem Jacobs (ex-Textures)) is planned for release early next year by Nordvis, on CD and double-LP vinyl. Late last month Nordvis premiered a track from the album that I overlooked until yesterday, and although I’m late, I’m sure glad I didn’t miss it altogether.
“Indefinite Instinct” is a 13-and-a-half-minute immersive work that whips together elements of sludge, hardcore, and post-rock, producing music that’s heavy as lead, bleak, and often uncomfortable. But Izah blend passages of hypnotic, ephemeral beauty into the music, changing the atmosphere from one of dissonance and decay into an astral ambience that’s uplifting and hopeful. And the dramatic finish manages to harness these divergent feelings together at the same time. Very appealing, and something that ought to especially appeal to fans of bands such as Cult of Luna and Year of No Light.
The one benefit of my delay in writing about the song is that last week the band made “Indefinite Instinct” available for streaming and download on Bandcamp (see the link below). So if you like what you hear, you can have it for your very own even before the album drops.
And we now come to the final item, this one written by Grant Skelton:
Solstice, an epic doom metal band from the UK, hold a special place in the hearts of many doomsters. In the annals of doom metal lore, their two full-length albums, Lamentations and New Dark Age, are stalwart classics in the genre. The band have been in the studio demoing new material for an upcoming 2015 release. They posted a pre-production demo of a new track. The song is called “White Horse Hill,” and it can be streamed via Bandcamp.
This certainly isn’t power metal, but there seems to be something medieval and folksy about this band that differentiates them from other doom I’ve heard recently. It’s also not the usual re-hashed (pun intended) fuzzy psychedelic Sabbath worship. So if you’re someone who loves old-school doom, Solstice have great news for you. If you’re a younger metal fan, or you’re like me and doom is a recent discovery for you, then please enjoy Solstice. Thanks to modern technology, you can stream both of their albums on their Bandcamp page. Each album only costs about $6 US (£4 UK). If you’re a diehard fan, the BC page also has lots of old demos available to stream and purchase.
That Doomas song and video were absolutely haunting. Based on the description you gave (and the comparison to Cult of Luna) I had a strong feeling I would love that Izah song, and I wasn’t wrong.
the Doomas artwork is wonderfully creepy : )
Irreversible Mechanism sounds killer : )
I second that opinion.
In fact, all the music in this post “makes my balls tingle”.