I was outside all day yesterday, untethered from my computer, and astonishingly did not spontaneously combust as do most vampires exposed to the sun. I had some plans for today’s first post that I intended to execute this morning, but those plans did go up in a burst of flames when I awoke to discover three new songs by three favorite bands that premiered over the last 24 hours. Here they are:
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Sweden’s Just Before Dawn, who have been a fixture at our site since the band’s first release, have just delivered a new single named “Graves Without Crosses“. For this new song, JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi (guitars, bass) is joined by vocalist Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud, Skineater, Syn:drom) — who also mixed and mastered the track — and drummer Fredrijk Van Daaten (Ashcloud), with a finishing guitar solo contributed by Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath, Skineater). As expressed in Jonny Petterson’s lyrics, the song is dedicated to the heroes of war — “not the ones mentioned in the history books”, but
“the forgotten souls that fight side by side in a rain of fire, the ones to defy a hail of bullets, to give their life, not for the cause or the country, but for their brothers in arms!!”
You generally have a good idea what you’re going to get when you hear a new JBD song, but this new one is more dark and atmospheric than usual. As you would expect if you know this band’s music, it’s heavier than a tank attack, with massive riffs and skull-fracturing percussion, but the pacing is less warlike and more stately, with a grim, melancholy melody running through it that bespeaks sacrifice and mourning. That solemn sense of bereavement and remembrance is heightened by Stuvemark’s solo at the end, which is really beautiful, and a striking contrast with the song’s enormous low-end power. Needless to say, Jonny Petterson’s vocals are both ferocious and wrenching.
In a nutshell, this is Swedish death metal that’s both crushing and memorable. A great way to start the new week. And it’s available as a “name your price” download on Bandcamp — so what are you waiting for?
Minnesota’s Amiensus are another band whose every release we’ve featured at our site. They have a new album named Ascension that’s due for release on July 1 . We’ve been fortunate to premiere two songs from the album — “What Words Create” (here) and “One In Spirit” (here) — and now a third one is available on YouTube: “Divine Potion of Acumen“.
The song is a study in contrasts, as many of Amiensus‘ songs are. It begins in truly ominous and oppressive fashion and eventually shows its claws in a flurry of savage riffing and assaulting drumwork. But the chorus of the song, when the vocals turn from feral snarls to soaring cleans, shines like a ray of light piercing a massive thunderhead. And the song really does have a massive sound, as well as a riveting solo and ringing guitar arpeggios that also contrast with the huge avalanche of sound in the song’s low end.
The trick when attempting this kind of union of beauty and barbarism is how well the integration works, and it works extremely well in this memorable song. But if you’re already familiar with the track record of this band, that will come as no surprise.
Ascension is available for pre-order on Bandcamp:
In May we premiered a song named “An Acoustic Guardian” (here) from the new album by Lychgate, which features the talents of vocalist/guitarist Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and guitarist/organist/keyboardist Vortigern (The One, Spearhead), as well as T.J.F. Vallely (Macabre Omen) on drums, A.K. Webb (Ancient Ascendant) on bass, and guitarist S.D. Lindsley. We also wrote about a previous track from the album back in February (here). And today Terrorizer debuted another new song from An Antidote For the Glass Pill — “Deus Te Videt”.
I think I’m running out of ways to say that Lychgate don’t sound like anyone else. In this song, the band integrate heaving organ chords, alien guitar arpeggios, merciless blast-beats, whirlwind riffing, contrasting vocal styles, and a truly phantasmagorical finale to produce a haunting listening experience. And it’s further proof that no two songs on this album are likely to be cut from precisely the same cloth. It really can’t come soon enough for me.
An Antidote for the Glass Pill will be released by Blood Music on August 18 (vinyl, CD, and digitally) and is available for pre-order here.