Whenever I let a day or two go by without checking the web or my NCS e-mails to see what’s new, I always miss a lot, because the ocean of metal is always at high tide. Because of my day job, I couldn’t pay much attention to metal happenings over the last two days. But I had a 6-hour flight back to Seattle from the east coast last night and a decent internet connection, so I tried to catch up. And goddamn….
The great and powerful Engine of Metal has awakened after dormancy during the holiday season and it’s now running in the red zone. (Yeah, I just mixed my metaphors, so sue me.) I found more than 20 new songs and videos during that plane flight that I thought were worth exploring.
The net connection wasn’t good enough to stream anything on the flight, so I just made a list, and now I’m going through it. There’s sooo much worth writing about that I’m breaking this round-up into multiple parts that I’ll spit out in pieces today and tomorrow. (I missed an installment of the Most Infectious Song list yesterday, but I’ll get back on track with that today, too.)
Yesterday DECIBEL premiered a new video from the almighty Incantation. The song used in the video is “Impalement of Divinity” from the band’s excellent 2014 album Dirges of Elysium. It was made by Black Arts Media and was filmed at the Vermillion Haunted School House in Ohio. In part, it commemorates the band’s 25th anniversary.
There are probably more bands successfully aping the Incantation style today than ever before, and I like almost all of them — because I love the style. So fucking evil, such a corroded smoking steamroller of sound, such a gargantuan voice — and this song is also as catchy as it is virulent and pestilential. And the damned thing flies…
The Polish juggernaut known as Hate is returning with a new album named Crusade: Zero, due for release on February 10. Two days ago DECIBEL (again) premiered a video for “Valley of Darkness” off that album. It was filmed, edited, and produced by Redpig Production in Cracov/Poland in Nov/Dec 2014.
“Valley of Darkness” is a monster. The instrumental introduction is massively heavy and massively head-bangable. It establishes the band’s dominance even before the scathing riffs, bone-shattering percussion, and uber-deep vocal horrors hammer the song’s main structure into place.
It’s a dark, doomed, mid-paced piece of stomping obliteration with a couple of striking melodic guitar solos and other instrumental accents that add to its memorability. I’m really looking forward to this album.
(thanks to Vonlughlio for the tip on this premiere)
I’m wrapping up the initial installment of the round-up with yet another Polish death metal band. The last album of Deivos was 2011’s Demiurge of the Void, and it was one of my favorite albums of that year. The same line-up has now finished recording a new full-length entitled Theodicy, which will be released on February 15 by Selfmadegod Records, with cover art created by Pastor Xisaq Graphics.
There are only six songs on this album, and they’re described by the band as both longer and more complex than the tracks on Demiurge, with more down-tuned guitar tone to enhance the music’s power (though I thought Demiurge was pretty goddamned powerful as it was). Yesterday the band delivered the first taste of the new music with the premiere of a track named “Ochlocracy”.
As was true of that Hate song above, “Ochlocracy” includes an introductory segment that grabs the attention immediately, and then the song explodes in a barrage of instrumental munitions, divided between start-stop bursts and howling storms of battlefield violence. Rapid riff flurries and pulverizing drumwork drive this heavy-grooved beast, and there’s a beast behind the mic, too.
A quartet of incinerating guitar solos and permeating melodic dissonance enhance the song’s attractiveness — but the main attraction is the untrammeled, unstoppable destructiveness of the music. Quite possibly the most violent, most head-wrecking death metal I’ve heard so far this new year.