Once upon a time I started an irregular feature called “Eye-Catchers” in which I periodically tested the hypothesis that cool album art correlates with cool music. As much as anything else, it was a vehicle for exploring the music of bands I wasn’t familiar with, based solely on the attractiveness of their album or EP covers. There’s still a category link to all those posts on the right side of this page, even though the project has been moribund for quite a while.
This post, though it shares that “Eye-Catchers” title, really isn’t a continuation of the earlier experiment, because I’m already a fan of all the bands whose news and/or new songs are collected below. But the artwork for these new albums is so good that it seemed to be a fitting title. So, here we go….
I originally discovered this two-man Slovenian band in the middle of last month — and that really was an example of the original “Eye-Catchers” experiment. Their second album, Descend… Into Nothingness, features cover art by our beloved Paolo Girardi, and that’s what induced me to explore the music. Having done that (and written about the first advance track from the album here), I immediately became a fan. And so when I learned that Dalkhu released another new song yesterday, I felt confident it was going to be another good one — and so it is.
The latest track is “Accepting the Buried Signs” and it’s loaded with rocking riffs — along with tension-ratcheting bursts of guitar frenzy, body-dismantling percussion, and atmospheric melodic segments. The song is in constant motion, veering rapidly between different riffs, rhythms, tempos, and moods — all the while maintaining an overarching aura of infernal darkness. It’s an incredibly varied and persistently fascinating piece of music, and one more reason to get excited about the album as a whole.
Descend… Into Nothingness will be released on tape by Godz Ov War / Third Eye Temple later this year, and a vinyl release is planned by Iron Bonehead Productions for September 3. Listen to the latest new song here:
CULT OF FIRE
I nearly fell out of my chair yesterday when I saw the artwork you’re now looking at. It’s a striking piece of work by Dávid Glomba, destined to grace the cover of a new album by the Czech band Cult of Fire. If you happen to follow NCS on Facebook, then you will have already seen this artwork, because I posted it on our page, where it has been received quite enthusiastically.
I’m equally enthusiastic about the prospect of new music from this band, because everything they’ve done to date has been outstanding. I don’t have much information about the new album beyond what the band themselves posted on their Facebook page along with this artwork:
“Cult of Fire will be unleashing a new opus celebrating life, sex & death: also known as the vision of beauty Chinnamasta. This opus will be released under the wings of Beyond Eyes. At this moment, we are proud to unveil the amazing cover artwork by the mighty Dávid Glomba. More info to follow in due time. Srim hrim klim aim Vajravairocaniye hum hum phat svaha.”
In case you happen to be new to Cult of Fire, here’s a track named “Vitava” from the band’s 2014 EP, Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně (The Fourth Symphony of Fire), which I added to our list of last year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs“.
(Thanks to my friend Vonlughlio for linking me to this amazing art when he spotted it yesterday.)
Here we have yet another partnership between one of my favorite metal artists (Eliran Kantor) and one of my favorite metal bands (Hate Eternal). This new album is named Infernus and it’s set for North American release by Season of Mist on August 21.
Yesterday, another new song from Infernus premiered at Blabbermouth, and it has further stoked my desire to hear the entire album. This new one is the title track, and man, it’s both terrifying and charismatic. The huge, groaning riffs in this mid-paced monster and Erik Rutan’s ravenous growl build an atmosphere of doom and devastation, while the needling, exotic guitar melody insinuates itself into your head. And it’s electrifying when the band take off into a complex but headbanging flurry of activity in the song’s mid-section. Very cool guitar-only finish to the song as well. Really outstanding in all respects.
You can listen to “Infernus” here:
I really enjoyed this Swedish band’s self-titled debut album, which was released last year by Century Media (that one also featured an eye-catching album cover), and yesterday I saw the announcement that the same label will be releasing a new four-song mini-LP by Vampire named Cimmerian Shade. Along with the announcement came the cover art above, crafted by a woman named Dilek Baykara, whose web site is here.
I don’t yet have any music to share with you — one of the new songs is scheduled to premiere on August 28, which is when pre-orders for the EP will begin. Here’s an excerpt from Century Media’s press release:
After a couple of months of silence, Swedish death metal tyrants VAMPIRE return with a new sign of life. On September 25th the band will release the 4-track MLP Cimmerian Shade. This MLP will be released on 10” vinyl as well as digital download/stream. With Cimmerian Shade VAMPIRE continue walking the path they have chosen with their self-titled demo (2012) and last year’s debut album, offering ghoulish, horror-ridden Nordic death metal spiced up with some sinister South American thrash metal parts and an omnipresent eldritch atmosphere. But Cimmerian Shade also shows a departure to unconquered shores by adding an epic touch to the music, which so far hasn’t been an essential part of VAMPIRE’s sound. Here is the track list of “Cimmerian Shade”:
1. Pyre Of The Harvest Queen *
2. Sleeper In The Deep (instrumental)
1. Night Hunter
* known from the Whispers Through The Black Veil LP-only compilation (Wyrd War, 2014)
Sadly (very sadly for me), Germany’s Planks have disbanded. However, the band decided to complete the recording of a final album, which they began before deciding to break up. This final album is entitled Perished Bodies, and it will be released by Golden Antenna Records on September 11, in vinyl and digipack formats.
The photography for the cover artwork was created by Michael Birmanns from Cologne. It is of course quite different from the other album covers featured in this post, but I think it’s nonetheless eye-catching — and besides, I felt a compelling need to include a song from the album in this collection. It premiered yesterday at CVLT Nation, its name is “The Sacrifist, Pt.I (Through Dirge And Death)”, and it’s a powerhouse piece of music.
A feeling of pain and anguish radiates from the song in waves. The huge riffs and attention-grabbing drumwork are heavy as hell, the howling vocals are wrenching, and the shimmering lead guitar melodies toggle between the distressing and the mournfully beautiful. Both explosive and entrancing, the song is a sad reminder of what we’re losing through the demise of this band — but I’m grateful they decided to leave this album as their epitaph.
The album can be pre-ordered here, and the song can be streamed at this location:
UPDATE: I just saw that this devastating new song is now streaming on Bandcamp (where you can also see the lyrics), so I’m including the stream here as well: