Happy Saturday. A whole bunch of metal bands I like released new songs this past week. I didn’t jump on all of them with my usual alacrity because I was burning the candle at both ends with a combination of day-job crap, personal crap, and late-night drinking with good friends (not crap), followed by hangover crap. I will make it up to you: Our other writers stand ready to mow your loans or hand-wash your underwear. I stand ready to direct those operations from afar.
In addition, in this post I’m going to stream some of those things I missed, plus one new discovery at the end.
Tuomas Saukkonen is one of those rare metal artists who just doesn’t seem to make a misstep. After closing down a multitude of other projects (including Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon), he turned right around and released a great album in 2013 (Winterborn) under the name Wolfheart. He has completed work on a second Wolfheart album entitled Shadow World that will be released by Spinefarm on August 21. After the jump, check out the music video for a new song named “Aeon of Cold”.
In the video, the album track is set to film of Wolfheart performing the song at the Summer Breeze festival, and Decibel premiered it a few days ago. The song is a powerful juxtaposition of beauty and the beast, blending a beautiful, melancholy, piano-and-guitar melody with a barrage of blistering riffs and a strafing drum attack. Saukkonen’s distinctive, cavernous growls are just as powerful as the music, too.
Pre-orders for Shadow World are up now at these locations, as well as iTunes:
I’m looking forward to Krisiun’s new album, Forged In Fury, perhaps even more so now that I’ve heard “Scars Of Hatred”, which premiered this past week. Mixing rapid-fire, hammering riffs and a swarming lead guitar melody, the song is catchy as hell and eminently headbangable — and it flies like a bat out of hell with its ass on fire.
Forged In Fury was produced by Erik Rutan, it features cover art by Joe Petagno, and it will be released by Century Media Records on August 7, 2015, on CD, vinyl, and digitally.
Windhand’s new album (their third) is entitled Grief’s Infernal Flower, and it’s scheduled for release by Relapse on September 18. The new song from the album that premiered a couple days ago is a “radio edit” of a track named “Two Urns”. The main riff in this song is so heavy it makes my fillings vibrate. I think it also made me go number two.
I’d probably be quite happy with the song even if it consisted of nothing more than the massive, low-frequency riffing and the gut-rumbling rhythm section, but Dorthia Cottrell’s ghostly wail is a thing of beauty, and there’s a piercing, extended guitar solo in the song that’s a psycho-killer. Doom on….
My NCS comrade BadWolf pushed the hell out of Enabler’s second album La Fin Absolue Du Monde, which was released last year. I liked that album, too, but based on what I’ve heard of the new Enabler disc, I like it even more (I also like Chris Smith’s cool cover art). On this one, founder Jeff Lohrber performed all the music and vocals solo.
There are thirteen tracks on the new album (Fail To Feel Safe), and three of them have become available for streaming so far, most recently “Euphoric Revenge”. I finally listened to all three of them this morning. “Euphoric Revenge” is an absolutely crushing, mid-paced pile-driver of a song; “Fail To Feel Safe” is a rampaging brawler with a memorable melody; and “Demons Denied” is the most punk-inflected of the three; it bounces off the walls like a crazy man, but also includes another memorable melody. All three tracks feature dissonant lead guitar excretions that are disorienting and vocals that are lacerating (though Lohrber’s clean vocals work well, too).
This is angry, destructive music — but completely invigorating, too.
Now it’s time for that new discovery I mentioned.
The band’s name is Infra, they are from Portugal, and they have a two-song debut EP that Nuclear War Now! released on 7″ vinyl this past April. The name of the EP is Initiation On the Ordeals of Lower Vibrations — and it’s outstanding. This is ultra-grim death metal that’s saturated in the black ichor of doom. It’s also dynamic music that’s destructive as hell when it’s racing and completely oppressive and dismal when it drops into low gear.
I’m really anxious to hear more from this band — they’ve got the knack for writing concrete-heavy songs that are both atmospheric and pulse-pounding.