SEEN AND HEARD: ENDLESSHADE, PROCESS BLACK, RELLIK, THEORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE
Happy goddamn Sunday to one and all. I’m working on a THAT’S METAL! post this morning. It’s going to take me about an hour and a half to finish it. So I thought I’d leave a musical interlude for you before I resume toiling away on that other piece (which I may post tomorrow if not today). As the tag says, what follows truly is random fucking music — these are the last seven songs I listened to last night and this morning, presented in alphabetical order by band name. They’re all new, they’re all good.
KevinP tagged me (and about 100 other people) on a Facebook link to two songs by this Ukrainian doom/death band. Both songs are drawn from the band’s forthcoming debut album, Wolf Will Swallow the Sun, which will be released by Naturmacht Productions on February 22 (and can be ordered here). The first track is “Post Mortem” and the second is “Edge”.
These are long songs, in the eight-to-nine minute range. They create an atmosphere that’s both ethereal and crushing, both mystical and tangibly powerful, hypnotic and harrowing. The forlorn, keyboard-enhanced melodies are sweeping and memorable, while the riffs are titanic. The harsh vocals are gargantuan and vividly impassioned; the clean vocals are sombre and sorrowful — and both are impeccably performed by a woman (Natalia Androsova). Truly compelling music…
P.S. Thanks to a comment from Justin below, I now know that the entire album has been made available on Bandcamp:
In September 2013 I published an extensive interview with Pacific Northwest musical and visual artist Aaron Edge. That was about six months after he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. By then, the pain of the disease had become extremely debilitating. But before the disease made it impossible for him to play guitar or bass, he had recorded a collection of songs that he was determined to bring out in the form of three different albums.
For the first album his collaborators were Mike Scheidt (of YOB and VHÖL, among others) and Tad Doyle (of TAD and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth), both of whom contributed vocals to the instrumental music that Edge recorded. He called the project Lumbar, and the result was the powerful album entitled The First and Last Days of Unwelcome that Southern Lord released later in 2013.
In recent weeks, three tracks from the second album have been released for streaming in demo form. The name of this project is Process Black. As with Lumbar, Edge recorded the bass and guitar parts of the songs, and this time the vocals were contributed by Tim Singer (Kiss it Goodbye, Deadguy, No Escape) — who holds nothing back — and the drums (which also sound amazing) were performed by Brock Lowry (Craft Spells). Seven more tracks have been recorded; Process Black are now passing around the demo to record labels (I doubt they will have any trouble stirring up interest).
This music is heavy, discordant, shrill, grinding, melodic, disturbing, pavement-splitting, bone-jarring, unpredictable, furious, vitriolic, and despairing. It’s the rancorous sound of a black mood, giving no quarter and taking none. It will kick the shit out of you, but it’s electrifying and addictive, too. Great production and great performances by everyone involved.
Rellik are another band I discovered due to a Facebook tip from KevinP. They were apparently founded in 1987 by Matt Dwyer (Violemosh, Masada), but it appears that the first publicly available recordings (a demo and two EPs) only emerged over the last decade. The band have now completed a debut album named Spiraling Infinite Chaos; Dwyer’s bandmates now consist of Craig Smilowski (ex-Immolation, ex-Incantation, ex-Goreaphobia) on drums and Darrell Rapp (ex-Vicious Circle) on vocals, along with guitarists Robert Piperno and Steve McQuaid. The album will be released on March 17 by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and can be pre-ordered via the Bandcamp link below.
On the Bandcamp page for the album you can also hear one of the new songs, which is what I did. “The Weeping Eyes of Christ” is a death swarm of morbid tremolo riffs and turbocharged hammering beats. It thrashes and it stomps and it also makes room for a beautiful melodic guitar solo that becomes incinerating before it’s finished. Darrell Rapp’s heartless harsh vocals are also thoroughly bestial. Excellent, and evil to the core…
THEORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE
This last item is a music video that I actually first watched last week (thanks to a recommendation by long-time friend of the site Black Shuck), but it’s so damned much fun that I watched it again a couple more times over the last 24 hours.
It comes from a band named Theories of the Apocalypse, whose home is Lexington, Kentucky. The video is for a song called “Blind Assault”, which appears to be the band’s first single — and it’s available as a free download on Bandcamp (linked below). The song is a real rush — it thrashes, it swarms, it grooves, it burns, and it changes tempos on a dime. Somehow it’s coherent, even though it seems constantly on the edge of flying apart at the seams. Lots of instrumental flash on display here, along with vocals that strip paint from the walls.
And the video, which is really well-executed, is a complete rush, too. I won’t try to describe it, other than to say… giant inflatable penis.
Those Process Black songs are so good that I’m 1-2% tempted to actually pay $666 to download them now.
And dat cover art. If the $666 covered a physical, full-size version of it, I would bump my temptation up to 4-5%.
Aaron created that cover, but I think it’s just for the demo. But I bet the album cover is going to be even better.
Process Black sounds awesome – Aaron Edge continues to be on a roll. I find it interesting that, assuming this was written and recorded around the time of Lumbar, the “it’s getting harder to breathe” line repeated throughout the last track can apply not only to his MS, but continues to remind me of the Eric Garner decision.
Theories of the Apocalypse is awesome, great find! 🙂
Thank ya sir, we’ll be releasing a second single sometime in March or April
You don’t have to limit yourself to two Endlesshade songs. You can listen to the whole thing on Bandcamp:
Awesome — thank you. I added a note about that to the post.
The Endlesshade cover art looks like something from Tim Burton’s LSD-precipitated nightmare. Love the tracks! the bio on Aaron Edge makes these Process Black tunes more interpersonal. They have a metallic hardcore angst to them that sounds completely transparent and legit. Unpolished and real…what a novel idea.
Wow. Tim Singer is back. I was a big Deadguy, No Escape fan. Never spent much time with Kiss it Goodbye.
Deadguy was one of the best hardcore bands of the 90s though.
Gonna have to keep my eyes on Process Black