I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…
Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.
And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film.
The album is going to be released as a CD/DVD bundle and also as an LP/DVD set. The announcement was accompanied by these statements (among others) from the band:
“It is hard to think of a more street-credible approach to recording an album,” contends drummer Lasse Pelkonen. “I think metal is good only if one can recognize it as such by sound and arrangement. This happens on Ordeal.”
“Life is an ordeal, the album is about ordeal, and making the album was an ordeal,” guitarist Jani Kekarainen explains. “To me, the music of Skepticism is essentially dynamic and atmospheric. These qualities in music are best presented live. Hence, recording live made it possible to capture the most authentic result for the album.”
The first song from the new album by Cattle Decapitation was really, really impressive. I didn’t expect “Manufactured Extinct” to be the only good song on the album, of course, but it was still nice to hear another one yesterday — which tends to confirm that this album is going to be hot shit.
The new one premiered at Revolver and its name is “Mammals In Babylon”. Revolver apparently couldn’t be bothered to comment on it. My own comment is this: It’s fast, it’s furious — becoming even more furious as it moves along, shifting from rapidly firing riff jabs to an explosion of eviscerating grind noise and intense shrieks. Oh but that’s not all! The song also includes a melodic segment that features another appealing display of Travis Ryan’s clean vocals.
If this song doesn’t keep you off balance, then your feet are probably encased in concrete.
The Anthropocene Extinction will be released by Metal Blade on August 7 and can be ordered here. The song stream is at this location.
REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER
On September 19 the excellent French band Regarde Les Hommes Tomber will release their second album, Exile, via Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions. Their 2013 self-titled debut was so damned good that I’ve been eagerly awaiting this new one — and yesterday we got the second song from it, an 11-minuite track named “The Incandescent March”.
It’s a heavy song that wears a cloak of doom, but wears it very well, beginning slow and sombre and then ramping up to a rush of blasting drums and gale-force riffs, accented by the reverberation of slit-throat shrieks and impassioned yells. There’s a break in the intensity of the onslaught, with the band combining airy guitar notes with earth-shaking drumbeats and droning bass tones before they again dive into increasingly turbulent waters that become a flood of harrowing sound.
A really gripping combination of sludge/doom and post-black metal and a very impressive herald for Exile — which can be pre-ordered here. (You can — and should — listen to the first track at the Bandcamp link below.)
I first learned about Tombstalker through a guest post by Black Shuck about metal in Kentucky (here) way back in 2012, and then the next year we posted his full review of their 2011 self-titled debut EP (here). Their debut album (Black Crusades) is finally being released by Shadow Kingdom Records this coming fall, and three tracks from the album have now gone up on Bandcamp for listening.
In one of those pieces linked above, Black Shuck wrote this about the EP:
“Grimy. That’s the word that best describes this music. It sounds like it’s been coated in grave dust. A crust punk band went and fucked a corpse, and out came Tombstalker.”
You don’t get that sensation from the first track from the new album on Bandcamp — it’ a slow, wistful, spooky acoustic guitar piece — but the other two tracks will kick the living hell out of your heads. They are indeed grimy and unstoppable — part Bolt Thrower, part d-beat crust, part black metal, part old-school thrash, and all of it caked in grit. An awesome mash-up of extreme metal styles that’s gruesome, grisly, and evil. Looking forward to the rest of this.
photo by Scenes Belges
Last, but most certainly not least, I have for you the awesome German band Infestus performing live at Hellfest 2015. And what they are performing is my favorite Infestus song ever — “Down Spiral Depersonification”. The sound quality of the fan-filmed video is pretty decent, though the low end of the sound is dominant, obscuring some of the song’s many facets that make it so outstanding. The video quality is better. All things considered, I really enjoyed it — and hope you will, too.