SHADES OF BLACK: FALSE, PALE CHALICE, BOTANIST, DEMONICAL
Yesterday brought a wealth of new music, and I’ve collected a few of the riches in this post. The first three songs are black metal, and the fourth isn’t — but it’s still obsidian and it still rips.
With only an untitled EP in 2011 and a split with Barghest in 2012 — collectively totaling three songs — the Minneapolis black metal band False have established the kind of underground credibility that makes their debut album one of the year’s most highly anticipated releases. For me, “highly anticipated” became an understatement after I saw them perform at last summer’s Gilead Fest in Wisconsin. In a word, the performance was stunning (reviewed here).
Yesterday, Gilead Media announced pre-orders for the album — which is also untitled — and put up the first advance track for streaming on Bandcamp.
The new song is named “Hedgecraft”. It’s the last of four long tracks on an album that’s an hour long, and it’s utterly gripping right from the start, driven hard by a galvanizing drum performance and deep, thrumming bass tones. The vibrating guitar melodies move in huge waves, giving the music a mystic aura that seeps into your head, casting an unshakable spell, while Rachel’s no-holds-barred, panther-like growls and shrieks are ravaging enough to draw blood.
The song has undeniable power — enhanced by a beautiful approach to production that allows all the band members’ performances to shine with clarity — and it’s also highly memorable; for a song over 13 minutes long, you can’t get it out of your head. Overall, it’s just… stunning.
The new False album can be pre-ordered on gatefold CD or gatefold 2LP vinyl at Gilead Media’s online store here. It’s projected for release on June 16. Digital pre-orders are available via the Bandcamp link below:
Also yesterday, Gilead Media announced pre-orders for the debut album by San Francisco’s Pale Chalice, a band who made their mark with a 2011 EP named The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation, which was released by The Flenser. The new album is entitled Negate the Infinite and Miraculous, and we now have the first of its seven songs to hear.
The new track is named “Weltering Depths of the Carrion Wave”, and it’s a kindred spirit to the new False song. The song takes ringing, penetrating, guitar-driven melodies and wraps them in a blistering, bestial, black metal assault. The result is music that’s both savage and atmospheric, both electrifying and mesmerizing. Anxious to hear the rest of this album.
The new Pale Chalice album can be pre-ordered on LP (which will come with a download code) at this location. Digital pre-orders can be placed here:
Thanks to a tip from our friend Utmu, I learned that Botanist released a new EP on Bandcamp yesterday. This one consists of five songs and is entitled EP2: Hammer of Botany. Botanist describes the EP as follows:
Hammer of Botany refers to the EP’s titular character, Arctopoides, a hammer-wielding floral giant who walks the earth and is invisible to man. In his wake, the Sanicle Prince leaves behind the Footsteps of Spring, small patches of clustered yellow flowers that heal the ravaged land. Where there was wasteland and desolation, Arctopoides brings rebirth.
The recording comes from the vaults of Botanist’s one-man period. The drums were recorded in 2011 and the rest of the instruments and vocals in 2013.
The EP was manufactured in a limited CD pressing that is being sold on the band’s current European tour, as well as via Bandcamp, until supplies end or the tour reaches its completion. It will then only be available digitally via Bandcamp.
If the somersaulting, blasting drum beats of first track “The Footsteps of Spring” don’t shoot electricity straight down your spine, I’ll be surprised. Coupled with Otrebor’s jagged howls, it’s as ravaging a black metal assault as you’ll find in the Botanist repertoire — but it’s also uniquely a Botanist song, the reverberating dulcimer tones giving the music a mystic, sylvan aura.
Three of the other four songs on the EP are in a similar vein, blending jaw-dropping, highly adrenalized drum performances with slow, shimmering dulcimer melodies that drift like ethereal clouds above the tumult or peal like bells. “Stachys Olympica” is the one outlier, a song with a statelier (but still rocking) drum rhythm and one that integrates the beautiful, pure vocal tones of Bezaelith (Lotus Thief) alongside Otrebor’s growls. It’s simply mesmerizing — which is a good word for this entire EP.
Correction: This will teach me not to guess: I’ve learned that all of the vocals, including those on “Stachys Olympica”, are Otrebor’s. I was fairly awe-struck by this EP in my previously deluded state; now I have even more trouble closing my jaw.
One of my favorite Swedish death metal bands — Demonical — have a brand new, four-track EP headed our way, Black Flesh Redemption. And that’s a good thing, since way too much time has passed since their last album, Darkness Unbound (2013),
The first of the new songs — “Cursed Liberation” — premiered yesterday and its a great representation of what Demonical do so well, combining the smoking chainsaw sound that epitomizes old-school Stockholm death metal with dark infectious melody, monstrous growls, and enough energy to light a large city. And when they drop into a trudging, dirge-like mid-section, you can almost smell the stench of plague, with the rotting corpses piled high — before an incinerating guitar solo sets them on fire.
The release of Black Flesh Redemption is scheduled for April 24 in Europe and May 5 in North America through Agonia Records. Pre-orders are available here (the EP will be released on CD, vinyl, and as a digital download).
Ha. I JUST came from Gilead where I pre-ordered the False and the Pale Chalice.
The previews were so good. Then I make my next stop here and lo and behold.
Great minds.. 😀
Oh, another detail about Pale Chalice: The vocals are by Ephemeral Domignostika from Mastery fame.
I think thats a nice little connection to give some extra worth to an already incendiary track.
I jumped on these too — pre-ordered both of them this morning.
glad ti have Shades Of Black for -literally- break-fast; as you guys know, in Egypt, we transcend into the darkest longest night, a week later than the rest of the third stone from the sun, .. moon, gravity, orthodoxy, …; oh hell, confused again your blog for my cerebral sanctum.
I was just saying Shades Of Black are my favorite feature on “the journey in search of the DUBSTEP”
We will never stop searching for the DUBSTEP!
a style of mostly instrumental electronic music, originating in London, influenced by dub and characterized by syncopated rhythm and an emphasis on bass and drum elements.
Well then, it appears our search has ended. With my usual alacrity, I will change our blog subhead. And by “usual alacrity”, I mean by sometime next summer.
i had no idea Demonical had something new coming out, whoohoo!!! 🙂
I’ve been waiting with baited breath for new False, and it sure isn’t disappointing me thus far. Pale Chalice is a great new find, and new Demonical and Botanist is always welcome.