I was getting bored with those “Seen and Heard” post titles, so I changed it for today — but that’s still what this is: a collection of new songs that I spotted and heard over the last 24 hours and would like to recommend to you. And since it’s Monday, you know what kind of mood I’m talking about.
P.S. This is a holiday in the U.S., and although I still have to work, we won’t have the usual volume of posts today. Hope you enjoy this one, and the next installment of our “Most Infectious” song list, which will be up a bit later.
When I first saw the album cover (above) for the new album by Texas-based Pyramids, I quipped to some friends: “This is what happens when you let monkeys play with a tape dispenser”. I’m still not sure what the photo signifies, but the music is no joke.
The new album is named A Northern Meadow and it’s set for release by Profound Lore on March 17. And on this album the Pyramids line-up is augmented by some notable guests: Vindsval of Blut Aus Nord; Colin Marston of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, and Krallice; and composer/musician William Fowler Collins. This will be my first exposure to the band’s music (so far as I can remember), but I’m now very eager to hear the album because the first advance track has now premiered.
“I Am So Sorry, Goodbye” is an atmospheric unfolding of dissonant, doomed melodies overlaid with a coating of distortion and undergirded with a grimy, grinding bass. Twisting, contorted guitar leads and very interesting drum beats that aren’t in lock-step with the riffs add to the song’s magnetic appeal. The shimmering guitars at the end come like rays of light through the heavy gray of a threatening sky, only to be snuffed out by the inevitable squall.
Yes, the vocals are high and clean, and thus the song is a well-earned exception to our rule. It’s a potent offering of post-metal joined with other elements, and it’s a fine start to this soundtrack for a blue Monday.
Kjeld come to us from the Frisian area of The Netherlands (which includes part of northern Germany as well). They released a debut EP in 2010 (available on Bandcamp), and their debut album Skym will be released on March 2 by Hammerheart Records (with lyrics in the Frisian language).
Recently a new advance track from the album became available for listening, and it has really grabbed me by the throat. “Tûzen Sinnen” (A Thousand Suns) begins as a stalking dirge and then becomes a flesh-ripping hail of knives, with warping tremolo riffs, furious drum rhythms, and an eerie, atmospheric melody. The piercing guitar leads cast an aura of dark beauty that contrasts with the vocalist’s feral snarls, and the song succeeds wonderfully in mixing rampaging intensity with a sense of triumphant grandeur.
DECLINE OF THE I
Unlike the first two bands in this collection, the French band Decline of the I is one whose music I’ve heard before. The band’s principal creative force is the multi-instrumentalist A.K., who has performed in such bands such as Vorkreist, Merrimack, and Malhkebre.
The band’s second album, named Rebellion, will be released by Agonia Records on February 27 in Europe and March 10 in North America and features artwork designed by David Fitt (Aosoth, Secrets of the Moon, Svart Crown). On this album, A.K. is joined by musicians from Merrimack, Anus Mundi, Temple of Baal, Eibon, and Drowning.
Last October I wrote about the first advance track from the album, a song named “Hexenface”, and now a second one has premiered at Zero Tolerance. Like “Hexenface”, “Lower Degree of God’s Might” is really good and quite multi-faceted. It includes bursts of automatic weapons fire in the percussion alternating with metronomic beats; angelic choirs and keyboard ambience; spoken words and acidic shrieks; slow reverberating guitar notes and vibrating dissonance. It’s atmospherically dark, with a melody that I suspect will get stuck in your head, as it did in mine, despite how variable the music is over the song’s changing course.
The album is available for pre-order here.