I kind of went crazy with the round-ups yesterday — three posts featuring newly discovered music by ten bands in one day — but I’m continuing to come across metal that gets me excited, so yes… here’s another round-up! In fact, there are two of them today. After that I’ll probably have to make myself stop, at least briefly, so I can do something else. Maybe write a review of an entire EP or album? Eat something or go to the bathroom? Get a life?
I seem to be on an Art of Propaganda kick. Within the last week I’ve written about songs by two bands whose new releases are on that German label — Whiskey Ritual and Thornesbreed — and that’s on top of praise we showered on releases earlier this year by Infesting Swarm and Gloson. Now I have two more AoP bands to recommend, beginning with AZAVATAR.
The line-up of this German black metal band includes people with experience in other extreme metal groups, but AZAVATAR itself is a relatively young project, which takes its name from the Saelculum Obscurum guitarist who originally began it as a solo project. They’ve recorded a five-track, self-titled album that Art of Propaganda plans to release on June 29.
The album was recorded and mixed by M. Zech at The Source Studio (Ascension, Secrets of the Moon, Odem Arcarum) and it was mastered by V. Santura of Triptykon and Dark Fortress at Woodshed Studio. It features cover art by the very talented Manuel Tinnemans (Comaworx). So far I’ve heard one song from the album (though I’m about a month late catching up to it), and it’s stunning.
The song’s name is “KVRSE”. It’s almost 11 minutes long, but fear not, this is a long song that fully justifies its above-average duration. It begins slow and heavy, with strange keyboard sounds echoing through the writhing chords, slithering bass line, and inflamed vocals. The music grows in intensity, like a viper pit whipped into a frenzy, a tumult broken with a brief interlude dominated by reverberating guitar notes and tumbling drum beats. As the song approaches its seething climax, the lead guitar unleashes one shivering melody after another while the vocalist shrieks as if in the flames of self-immolation.
It’s a powerful and hallucinatory track that may leave you feeling uneasy. It leaves me wanting more.
The next band, Seer, are from Vancouver, BC. Near the end of last year they released a two-song debut entitled Vol. 1 for download on Bandcamp (with John Martin’s “The Bridge Over Chaos” as the cover), and last month Art of Propaganda announced that it had signed the band for a physical release this fall of both Vol. 1 and a recently recorded Vol. 2.
I failed to listen to Vol. 1 when it came out, but finally did that last night, and it’s really impressive. The two songs are named “Glimmervoid” and “Hive Mind”. They’re both anchored by a grinding, rumbling low end that vibrates in your gut as the vocalist alternately lifts the melodies with soaring cleans and howls in agony. The songs’ sludgy, rocking riffs will get heads moving and the lead guitar machinations will fill them with psychoactive substances. The music is heavy as lead and it has staying power, too.
Yes, I know, I wrote about Slugdge only 8 days ago, when I discovered they had released a covers EP that was (and is) killer, despite the fact that the songs were recorded years ago. But now they’ve uploaded something new — a song named “The Toxic Salts” — and goddamn, they just continue to kill it.
Okay, it’s not really new. Based on my researches, I think they originally uploaded the song back in September 2014, but they’ve taken that clip down and put this one up, and I missed it last September anyway. Plus, I’m guessing this means there’s a third album coming… soonish? Yes please?
Like everything I’ve heard from this creative band, the new song is a head-twisting fusion of different styles (both vocally and instrumentally) that’s impressively written, impressively performed, and more electrifying than being dropped onto a power line by a pair of eagles. Not that a pair of eagles could get my bulk off the ground, or would leave me and my internal organs for electrocution instead of dinner in case they could — but you get the idea.
One more thing: You ought to read the lyrics. They’re at the page where the YouTube clip of this song exists (here).
Beithíoch are from the northwest of Ireland. I last wrote about in September 2012 (here) when I came across a song from their Summoning the Past EP. They have now recorded their third full-length album (which will be their first release following that EP). The name of the album is Conquest, and a preview track from the album entitled “The Fury of the Sea” has just become available for listening.
The new song is hard to classify in standard genre terms, mixing elements of death metal, black metal, and sludge/doom. It begins as a hard-driving gallop shrouded in clouds of tremolo riffs that both grind and shimmer. In time, the pace slows to a titanic, doomed stagger pierced by more writhing tendrils of guitar melody. The monstrous vocals come and go, as if welling up from a deep, pestilential pit. It’s a good teaser for Conquest.
There’s no release date yet for the album — the band are working on cover art and also looking for a label. Their previous releases are on Bandcamp.