SEEN AND HEARD ON A SUNDAY (PART 1): ALFAHANNE, DALKHU, DYSPHOTIC, GHOST
Happy goddamned Sunday to one and all. I spent a lot of time yesterday making my way through new songs and short releases that I had noticed over the last week and found quite a lot to like — so many that I planned four posts about what I found. I’m not sure I’ll succeed in writing all four of them before the new week buries me in other things, but I’ll at least do the first two today — a two-part collection that includes seven new songs from forthcoming albums and one new single. I’ve arranged them in alphabetical order by band name, and the first four are collected here.
The second album by Sweden’s Alfahanne, Blod Eld Alfa, will be released by Dark Essence Records on September 11, and the label has now debuted a song from it named “Skallerormsgift”. It features guest vocals by Kvelertak’s front guy Erlend Hjelvik. (The album also includes guest appearances by Nattfursth (Sorhin), Spellgoth (Horna, Turmion Kätilöt), and Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth).
The new song begins in fine fashion with a catchy-as-hell, hard-driving riff and a hellishly good protracted scream, and it holds fast straight through to the end. I yearn to scream along with it, if only I knew Swedish.
Blood Eld Alfa was mastered by Enslaved’s Herbrand Larsen at Bergen’s Earshot Studios, and the appealing cover art is by Trine Grimm Lothe.
I always make it a point of checking out the music that appears on albums that feature cover art by Italy’s Paolo Girardi. I don’t know if he personally hears and approves of the music before he agrees to lend his talents to a band’s album, but I’ve rarely been disappointed — and I’m certainly not disappointed by what I’ve heard from the latest album to make use of his talents. The album is Descend… Into Nothingness, and it’s the second full-length release by a two-man Slovenian band named Dalkhu.
The album will be released on tape by Godz Ov War / Third Eye Temple later this year, and Germany’s Iron Bonehead Productions is planning a vinyl release on September 3. Yesterday I caught up with an advance track from the album named “Pitch Black Cave” and found it electrifying.
Like the first song in this collection, “Pitch Black Cave” sets the hook quickly with the pulse of a beating heart, a booming tom, and a couple of jabbing chords — and then it bursts open in a frenzy of slashing guitars, galloping drums, and bestial roars. It includes less frenzied interludes marked by trilling melodies that have really gotten stuck in my head. It’s a dynamic piece of muscular black metal that makes a great teaser for this new album. (Thank you again, Mr. Girardi.)
I am regrettably unable to check out most of the music links that arrive in the NCS e-mail every day. I could do better if I learned how to go without sleep, food, or the need to evacuate waste products, but I’ve found no solution to such time-wasting activities. However, I did impetuously check out a link we received from a band located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, yesterday — in part because I love Santa Fe but can’t recall ever hearing a metal band from that town.
This band’s name is Dysphotic, and they’re planning to release a debut EP within the next month. In advance of that they’ve delivered a single named “All Consuming”, and that’s what I heard yesterday.
Like the first song in this collection, “All Consuming” also begins with a protracted shriek, and it remains vicious throughout — with a morbid central riff leading the way, accompanied by rapidly chugging rhythms, some cool somersaulting drum progressions and merciless blasting, and lots of malignant growling. It’s catchy and corrosive, dismal and destructive — very nice.
Thanks to an e-mail tip from our Norwegian friend eiterorm, I learned that Ghost have released another single from their new album Meliora. This one is called “From the Pinnacle To the Pit”, and the band have made it available as an immediate download for people who pre-order the album (here).
As eiterorm wrote, this song has melodic hooks galore — in addition to a compulsive bass line, arena-ready soloing, and lyrics that I’m finding irresistible.
Alfahanne is an intriguing listen. But really, I’m just beyond excited for this new Ghost after hearing this and Cirice. Found out a few days ago that my ticket to their Chicago show comes with a free album download I didn’t know about – I think I even get the album a few days early.
“Pitch Black Cave” sounds killer 🙂
That Dalkhu track is absolutely killer! Definitely gonna be looking out for that album when it drops!
Great stuff here. The Dalkhu track and the Alfahanne track are both awesome.
Does the guy from Green Carnation do the vocals for Ghost now?