SEEN AND HEARD: ZATOKREV, CRIMSON SWAN, HAMFERÐ, DEATHBLOW, KHROMA
I’m about to enter the home stretch of the out-of-town project for my paying job that has been severely constricting my blog time. Four or five more days, and I’ll be done. Those remaining days are going to leave me with even less time to blog than I’ve had since the project started three weeks ago, so this morning I decided to carve out some time for one last round-up of new music before running the final gauntlet.
I discovered the Swiss band Zatokrev through their 2012 album The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere, which turned out to be one of my favorite albums of that year. Their fourth album, Silk Spiders Underwater… is now finished and scheduled for released on April 13 by Candlelight Records. It is reported to be the first of a two-part conception and features artwork by Maks Loriot.
Thanks to a tip from Leperkahn, I learned that the first advance track from the album has appeared on Bandcamp. Its name is “Bleeding Island”, and it’s really excellent — a grinding, mid-paced phalanx of vibrating riffs, gut-punching drum beats, and tension-ratcheting guitar leads. The music has a grim, ominous atmosphere, enhanced by eerie guitar solos and searing, throat-scraping vocal howls, and it’s punctuated by segments of jagged jabbing and merciless pounding that will get your fractured head moving.
Silk Spiders Underwater… can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp via the link below, and it gets you an immediate download of this new song.
Crimson Swan, from Hamburg, Germany, are purveyors of melodic funeral doom with a mix of death growls and sombre clean vocals. Their debut album Unlit was released on March 13 by Quality Steel Records, and two days ago they released an official video for the album’s penultimate track, “Accusations”.
I listen to music like this, and I think of huge ocean swells, heaving under a moonless night sky, far out from the shore, with the hypnotic guitar and keyboard melodies resembling the twinkling of stars in the firmament. It’s an appealing contrast — the riffs and the death growls are gargantuan, while those melodies and the clean vocals are as light as drifting clouds.
The video, on the other hand, is about the more prosaic subject of murder. I wonder what the band did to get that woman so pissed off.
(credit to Dan Barkasi for turning me on to this band)
The Faroese band Hamferð performed the song “Deyðir varðar” during the total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015, at 9:39 a.m. near Kvívík, which is a village on the west coast of Streymoy in the Faroe Islands. The song, which comes from their wonderful 2013 debut album Evst, is gorgeous and heart-rending (and an exception to our “rule”). The idea of filming the performance of this particular song at this particular place during the eclipse was a stroke of genius.
NCS contributor KevinP wrote the following words about the next song in this round-up:
“Deathblow is a thrash metal band from Salt Lake City, Utah. Their sound can only be described as a full-body dry heave set to music. Their new EP, The Other Side of Darkness (to be released on April 21, 2015), is a follow-up to last year’s debut album, Prognosis Negative. I remember stumbling upon that last year, but never got around to listening to it since I was too busy dog sitting.
“Interesting fact about this band: They don’t write as a large group, so nothing gets homogenized and they don’t lose the whole edge of it. You’re probably thinking, so far this makes about as much sense as a snow tire day at Yankee Staduim. But it’s a smart write-up and a smart crowd will appreciate it. And I’m not gonna dumb it down for some bonehead mass audience (or for Islander).”
And to wrap up this round-up I give you a new official video by a Finnish band named Khroma. It’s for a song called “Collapse”, from their 2014 album of the same name. The music is of a kind that we don’t write about very often at this site — a blending of electronica and metal that includes industrial rhythms, atonal riffs, double-bass propulsion, a bit of off-planet keyboard melody, hardcore howling, and a bass-drop breakdown that will shake the foundations of your abode.
The video features lots of slo-mo, rock-god cavorting in a dimly lit, futuristic space, and I had fun watching it, and fun listening to the song, too. I’d call this a guilty pleasure, except I don’t feel guilty at all. (thanks to TheMadIsraeli for the tip on this one)
That Hamferd video is an awesome concept.
Indeed. Touching. I instantly decided I must see a total solar eclipse at least once in my life.
The new Zatokrev is awesome! I love “The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere”, and it sounds like the new album won’t disappoint 🙂
Deathblow is killer, too 🙂
Really digging Crimson Swan!
Hamferd sure does know how to make epic videos. This is even better than the church one!