I wrote most of this post yesterday and then got side-tracked trying to deal with the technical problems inflicted on our glorious site by scum-sucking spammers. And then when I’d done all I knew to do, I spent the rest of the day and the night celebrating The Fourth. Rather than start over on this post, I just added one word to the title and wrapped it up this morning.
I checked our Google Analytics data yesterday, and it confirmed what I’ve suspected: Over the last year, only 40% of the total visits to our site have come from people in the United States. And that means that the for the majority of people likely to pop in today, July 4 was just another Saturday.
Now, it happens to be one of my favorite U.S. holidays, not only because of the astonishing historical turn of events that it commemorates but also because it provides an excuse to have a lot of fun outdoors at a time when the weather is usually pretty nice (though it’s already hotter than a blast furnace in certain parts of our Great Country).
But I’ve never been much of a flag-waving, chest-beating patriotic type, and especially because the majority of you have probably been stifling yawns at the thought of our Independence Day, I think I’ll just say “Happy Fourth!” — a day late — and move right on to a rather large collection of new metal. I hope you find it a suitable playlist for your Sunday.
I think I’ll start with some fireworks and then move into some slower, doomier material before ending with some more fireworks. And to begin our pyrotechnical display, I bring you a new song from those killer Filipino terrorists, Deiphago.
My hand, holding something hot to the touch.
I’ve had the band’s new album Into the Eye of Satan since picking up the next-to-last copy that was available from the Hells Headbangers booth at Maryland Deathfest in May. I like the shit out of it. Some day soon, I’m going to kick my sluggish ass into gear and write a proper review. But for now, I’m just recommending that you listen to “Serpentine Antiworld”, which Kim Kelly premiered at Noisey a few days ago.
The best word for the song is “explosive” — it’s an overpowering black/death assault with enormous bass-and-drum grooves, otherworldly lead-guitar emanations, heartless vocal roars, and throat-shredding shrieks. An electrifying piece of work.
Into the Eye of Satan will be released on August 7. You can pre-order it via the first two links below. And in case you missed the first track premiere, I’m including the Bandcamp player, which includes both the new song and the previous one.
Continuing our fireworks display, I turn next to Demona. Following a 2011 relocation from Chile to Canada and some line-up disruptions, the woman behind Demona (Tanza Speed) decided to go it alone for her new Hells Headbangers EP, entitled 2015.
Well, not entirely alone, because the drumming on these two new songs was performed by Desaster drummer Tormentor, with recording assistance in Ohio by Midnight live guitarist Commandor Vanik and mastering by Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind.
According to a recent (and interesting) interview HERE, this new EP represents Demona’s progression toward the original vision for the music she wanted to make. Having heard these two songs, all I can say is “more power to her!”
The first song, “Chasing the Speed” is well-named — after a deceptively mid-paced beginning, it fires up the afterburners and starts to barrel ahead in a head-whipping blast of highly addictive speed metal. Tanza Speed can really fly on her guitar, her voice can get as raw as a fresh wound, and Tormentor turns in a hell of a drum performance.
Demona wastes no time punching into the red zone on the EP’s second track, “Allura Red”. Tanza Speed’s vocals move from a punk snarl to banshee shrieks to near-clean melodic singing, and the riffs and drumming are again hot as hell — if hell were boiling over.
This is a killer EP — and fortunately, it’s just the beginning of a new era for Demona: Demona is at work on the band’s third album (with Tanza Speed again operating solo, except for drumming again provided by Tormentor). The plan is for a release by the end of this year.
The 7″ vinyl version of the EP is projected for release in July and is available for order at the first link below — though it appears to be sold out already. The EP is available digitally via Bandcamp, where the first of the two songs is available for streaming.
Okay, enough with the fireworks — or at least the obviously incendiary kind. The other songs in this collection are also exciting to me, but they reflect a different mood than the ones that preceded them.
Majestic Downall’s new album …When Dead is brilliant. I will soon do my best to explain why I think that. In the meantime, I encourage you to listen to the first song premiere from the album, “The Brick, The Concrete”.
Jacobo Córdova has really turned in a gem with this song, joining together elements of doom, death metal, and black metal to create something that’s massively heavy and oppressively grim but also absolutely ferocious. It includes explosions of pile-driving force coupled to bleak, groaning melodic segments and eruptions of savage riff tornados and blasting percussion.
As dismal as the melodies are, they’re also powerfully seductive, and there’s a simple solo guitar motif that starts the song and reappears again much later which surprisingly proves to be part of the song’s attraction. There’s a fantastic guitar solo lying in wait near the end of the song, too.
…When Dead will be released by Pulverised Records on August 14.
SOURCES OF I
The next song comes from Faces, a three-track debut EP by a Bulgaria-based band named Sources of I. It’s being released on August 14 by a new sub-label of Kaotoxin Records called Tanquam Aegri Somnia. The members of the band consist of Déhà (We All Die (laughing), C.O.A.G, Merda Mundi) on bass and vocals, Dragshan and Delian on guitars, and Vortep on drums.
I’d like to review the entire EP, but I’m so far behind on reviews in general, that I’ll just briefly explain why you should at least listen to the first track, “Discrepancy of Life”, which is one of the most striking pieces of doom-drenched, atmospheric black metal I’ve heard this year.
It’s a disorienting experience to hear the slow, bleak, dissonant riffs and Déhà’s caustic shrieks and howls, but the poisonous, supernatural atmosphere that the song builds as it unfolds is an important part of what makes the music so transfixing. And it’s also an exhilarating experience, as you’ll discover when the song’s building tension eventually breaks the bonds of the cage where a furious beast has been straining to get free.
The production of the music also gives the song titanic low-end power, something like a prolonged earthquake wrecking its destruction in slow motion while the hurricane-force riffs sweep away the rubble into the skies like so much dust.
The EP will be released on CD and digitally, and pre-orders will begin on July 13 HERE. Needless to say, I hope you’ll listen to all three songs on the EP, and not just “Discrepancy of Life”.
The next song in this collection is the first track on a new album named The Cycle by No Trust, a two-piece band from Fremont in Northern California — making them the first of two U.S. entries in this Independence (Hangover) Day playlist.
This is another release that deserves a full review, but since I doubt I will be able to manage that, I at least want to encourage you to test the waters with “Beneath the Earth”. The changing bass and drum rhythms in the song are really gripping, and the start-stop riffs, enormous chugging chords, and serpentine melody are, too. The music at times reminds me of Gojira, but with added sludge in the gears. Nice barbaric vocals, too. Don’t sleep on this album!
The Cycle is a “name your price” download at Bandcamp.
And finally we close out this collection of new music with a song from a new album by Anopheli from Oakland, California. Entitled The Ache of Want, the album was released three days ago. The name of the song I picked is “Awoken”, and it’s a very interesting combination of musical styles.
You’ll hear the groaning tones of a cello almost immediately, as well as a sorrowful acoustic guitar melody that’s later joined again by the cellist, weaving a more soulful spell this time, as the tumbling drum progressions and thrumming bass line give the music an ominous cast.
Eventually the song detonates and begins to roll in a crust/punk romp, with an appealing, emotive guitar melody shimmering through rampaging riffs, d-beat rhythms, and harrowing vocal abrasion.
Once again, perhaps needless to say, you shouldn’t stop with just this first song — the whole album is well worth your time.
As in the case of No Trust’s album, this one is available as a “name your price” download at Bandcamp. It will be available in physical format this coming fall through Halo of Flies in the US and Alerta Antifascista Records in Europe.