(Here’s Part 2 of Austin Weber’s fill-in round-up. Part 2 appeared here yesterday.)
I’ve been championing Imperial Triumphant for several years now. This New York City-based black metal group are on the cutting edge sonically and compositionally. In just two weeks the band will be dropping a new full-length called Abyssal Gods. Having heard it already, I can confidently say it’s jaw-dropping on numerous levels and of a quality and ferocity that few black metal acts can touch.
Since I am going to be doing a full review of it, I won’t go in-depth to break down the outre grimness that “Dead Heaven” mercilessly doles out. Here’s your first glimpse at a grade A clusterfuck nightmare realm. This is a record you will want to buy and endlessly laud and show your friends. Stream “Dead Heaven” at DECIBEL:
A Thousand Dead
Not every band in the world has a highbrow name, but just because it has a silly name doesn’t mean shit when the music rules. Case in point, the new track by A Thousand Dead called “Chasing Goats”. Musically though, this is spacey and ethereal, jazzy and technical instrumental metal that grooves, glides, sports flowering melodies, and in general finds a way to make something quite calming also quite catchy and powerful. Listening to the track makes me want to go chase some goats and headbang at them menacingly. Who’s with me?
Psudoku – Planetarisk Psudoku
Now, for something weirder, we go to Psudoku. They are a highly experimental grind band, one whose new album I’ve been anticipating since last year. Imagine a grind band who are obsessed with old school prog and electronics meets something akin to grind weirdos Antigama, and you’d get Psudoku. A wild, out-there group from Norway who according to their Bandcamp page for this album say: “It was recorded next year in a parallel universe where grind didn’t develop from hardcore punk and thrash metal but from 70s prog from the future, maaaaan.”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Everything on the album is rife with grindcore evolution and oddness, but the near-15-minute closer “PsUDoPX.046245” is probably the most alien and advanced grind track I’ve ever heard, much less tried to dissect and “get”. Avant-grind at its finest — leave listenability and coherency to the other grinders.
Pulsar Colony – Cosmic Manifestations
Pulsar Colony is a one-man black metal band from Arkansas consisting of Charles Sabdo performing all instruments, vocals, and drum programming. Pulsar Colony is an act I’ve been following since their last full-length, Equilibrium, dropped in 2013. Yet I regretfully failed to write about them here at NCS until now.
What makes his work in Pulsar Colony unique and worth checking out is not only the epic, towering nature of the songs, but also the music’s trance-like nature. It weaves in and out from tranquil moments of echoing light between the black depths and pulsing warmongering otherwise. Cosmic Manifestations wields repetition like a fucking hammer, raining down terror and transcendence in ebbs and flows strung out over vast terrain and spans of time.
This is the kind of long-form black metal you can easily get lost in, yet never bored by its length. The record feels like a breathing entity, sonically embodying brooding auras of beauty and horror in an authentic and sweeping way. If you’re looking for something meditative, yet monstrous, give Cosmic Manifestations a chance.