Happy Sunday. I thought I would recommend a few new songs. No, not that new Lamb of God song — I like it, but I figure almost every metalhead in creation already knows about it, and I’d rather focus on some things you might not have heard about. But by all means, feel free to share your thoughts about that song in the Comments, along with any reactions to the following four items.
Costin Chioreanu is probably best known in metal circles as an incredibly talented graphic artist whose work appears on the covers of a wide array of excellent albums (including releases by At the Gates, Sigh, Arcturus, Mayhem, and Darkthrone). But he’s also the vocalist/guitarist of a Romanian band named Bloodway, whose fine debut album Sunstone Voyager and the Clandestine Horizon was released on February 27th 2014, by I, Voidhanger Records.
Bloodway also includes the talents of Alex Ghita (drums) and Mihai Andrei (bass) — and believe me, I’m definitely not mentioning them as an afterthought — they’re really good.
Yesterday I learned that Bloodway will have another album coming out this fall and have released a video for a new song named “Walking Past Near the Lighthouse“.
The video was recorded live on May 9 in Bucharest at a club called The Question Mark. It begins with a recording of Alan Watts reading some of his own writing (until the 1:40 mark), and then the band play the song while excerpts from a film called On the Silver Globe (directed by Andrzej Zulawski) are projected on a screen in the background.
When I first heard Bloodway’s music I called it “progressive post black metal sludge psychedelia”, which was my half-humorous (and half-serious) effort to capture the fact that it doesn’t have much regard for genre boundaries — and “Walking Past Near the Lighthouse” is also in that vein. The compelling drum-and-bass rhythm drives the music hard right from the start, and then it starts twisting and turning in different directions while Chioreanu’s high rasp scrapes the lyrics down the chalkboard and his guitar casts an array of spells through your mind.
I’ll also mentioned that Finland’s Svart Records has recently released a book of Costin Chioreanu’s artwork entitled Magic As A Golden Mean. After the music video, I’m including a video trailer for that book (available for purchase here), which I’m sorely tempted to order for myself. The Bloodway debut album is available on Bandcamp via the link below — and you should listen to it if you haven’t.
Our next song comes from a band from Oulu, Finland, named Bonehunter. Their debut album Evil Triumphs Again will be released by Hells Headbangers on August 12, which is so far away that I can’t think that far ahead. But I’ve circled the date on my calendar because the Bonehunter song that HH premiered in recent days kicks all kinds of ass.
I like the label’s description of the music: “simple, pounding metalpunk drenched in sulfur and sewage”. The new song, “Succubus”, reminds me of Impaled Nazarene, which is intended as a compliment. It’s high-energy, hard-rocking, highly infectious mayhem, and yeah, it stinks of sulphur. Goddamn searing guitar solo in here, too.
The next song comes from a forthcoming split release by two French death metal bands who trace their origins back to the late ’80s and early ’90s. The split is named Blast From the Past and it’s due for release on 12″ vinyl (in a handcrafted box) by Deadlight Entertainment.
One of the bands is Crusher. They released their debut album in 1992, followed that with a 1993 split, and then… nothing, until reuniting recently and recording music for this split (they will also be playing at Hellfest).
The other band, whose new song from the split, “Bless Me Father”, debuted in the last couple of days, is Mercyless. They released their first demo in 1988 and four albums between 1992 and 2000, and then took a decade-long break from metal. They came back in 2013 with Unholy Black Splendor, and now we have this split.
“Bless Me Father” doesn’t take long at all to get your head moving — there are some ridiculously catchy riffs and jumping rhythms in the song, along with an eye-crossing guitar solo, a nice morbid atmosphere, and a vocalist who brays like his vocal chords have been worked over with some heavy-grit sandpaper.
You can pre-order the split from Deadlight Entertainment here.
To wrap up this round-up we have a new song by a band from Barcelona, Spain, named Ered. They’re not newcomers either. Their first demo appeared in 1998, they released a debut album in 2005, and their second album — with the honest title of Goatworshipping Metal — appeared in 2010.
They now have a third album on the way — Night of Eternal Doom — to be released by War Anthem Records on May 28. You can investigate the first advance track below. The name is “Ancient Abominations”.
Those spooky, Doppler-ing sounds at the beginning of the song are kind of a mis-direction, as you’ll find out when the band explode into an orgy of swarming riffs, hard-hitting rhythms, and unhinged howling. This is a fusion of black metal and other elements that alternately rampages, rocks very fuckin’ hard, and spirals off into slow traceries of supernatural ambience — and it has an especially galvanizing finish. I enjoyed the hell out of this song and look forward to hearing more.