I haven’t had time to compile a round-up of new music since Monday. I enjoy posting premieres and accompanying reviews when I like the music, and we’ve had a lot of those this week (more are coming later today), but they do tend to cut into the time available to search out other new songs worth recommending. When three or four days pass without a round-up, it’s not possible to cover everything I’d like to cover — too much good music comes out every day. So this is just an initial group of things I’d like to recommend for now; with luck I hope to prepare another round-up for tomorrow.
There are few bands whose music I admire as much as Thy Catafalque. Thanks to praise about the band I first read at The Number of the Blog back in early 2011, I discovered the wonders of Thy Catafalque’s discography and began writing about the music, which in turn led me to make the acquaintance of the band’s remarkable mastermind Tamás Kátai. And then later that same year I was simply blown away by the band’s newest album, Rengeteg. I’m terrible at making narrowed lists of things I like, but if I were to attempt to make a list of my 10 favorite metal albums of all time, I know it would be a strong contender.
Almost four years have passed since the release of Rengeteg, and I hadn’t come across much recent news about the band’s activities. So it was a huge and very welcome surprise to discover yesterday that Thy Catafalque has recorded a new album that will be released this year. The last I knew, Tamás Kátai, though a native of Hungary, was still living in Scotland, and it appears that life in that land explains part of the album’s inspiration as well as its title — a Scottish Gaelic word that refers to the top of a mountain: Sgùrr.
Yesterday PopMatters premiered a song from the album, and the premiere included a short interview of Tamás Kátai that I’ll quote here:
“This is a quite spontaneous song, recorded in my childhood room with my old, 10-dollar classical guitar while visiting home in Hungary,” Kátai tells PopMatters. “Violin is similarly off-handed, played by my Greek friend, Dimitris Papageorgiou. There’s no vocals, only music depicting my love towards the Great Hungarian Plain where I was born and raised. Or home. Hence the title: Lowland Cosmos.
“The title of the album is from Scottish Gaelic meaning the top of a mountain but most of the songs are equally about water, mountains, their relationship and symbols attached to them, inspired by the Scottish Highlands and weirdly the Hungarian Lowlands. There’s not much vocals at all, and when there is, it’s not pleasant. The music is mostly unfriendly, bristly and cold compared to the previous albums. I guess it’s more metal this time.”
The new song, “Alföldi Kozmosz”, is a riveting and ultimately exuberant combination of acoustic guitar and violin melody paired with a driving drum rhythm and at least one electrified instrument (I’m not sure if it’s a guitar or the violin or something else). It’s a very interesting choice as an initial premiere for an album that is “more metal this time”, but I’m completely taken with it.
Go here to listen to this new song:
Sgùrr will be released by Season of Mist on October 16, and it’s now available for pre-order here.
I can’t resist including my favorite song from Rengeteg, which by coincidence I was listening to for the first time in at least a year, the day before the announcement of this new album appeared:
For the next three new songs featured in this collection I’m taking a turn toward doomsville. This first one comes from Aeons In Tectonic Interment, the second studio album from Finland’s Tyranny and their first one to appear in a decade.
The album will be released by Dark Descent on CD, double-LP, and digitally on September 18. Yesterday Noisey got the chance to premiere a long track from the album named “Sunless Deluge”. It’s glacially slow, gargantuanly heavy, and saturated with an atmosphere of deterioration and decline. The ghastly roars are heartless, the shimmering guitar and keyboard notes that writhe through the gloom are spectral. Listening is like sinking inexorably into the depths of a choking swamp beneath a moonless night sky.
Until a few days ago I had not heard of Goatpsalm, and then discovered the song you’re about to hear via a link on Facebook by one of my acquaintances. The band’s members come from Russia and Ukraine. Their third album, which is the source of this song, is entitled Downstream and it will be released by Aesthetic Death Records near the end of this year.
A note on the band’s Facebook page indicates that the instruments used on the album include clay bells, mouth harp, clay flutes, sanshin, acoustic guitar, and keyboards, in addition to the standard metal instruments. I also saw this further description:
Almost an hour of mesmerizing fusion of doom metal, drone ambient and ethnic music of Russian Far North is devoted to lands of everlasting frost. Breath of polar nights, despair of animal at bay, eternal apathy of life rotation and horrifying legends told by old men are woven in a petroglyphic tale painted on grey rocks.
All of this intrigued me, and so I listened to this long song, which is named “Flowers of the Underworld” and which is accompanied by a video montage of beautiful landscape photography. The folk-influenced, percussive instrumental music at the start is a real attention-grabber, and it’s followed by an extended passage of hypnotic funeral doom, which includes an entrancing and mystical melody (enhanced by the flute and a ghostly ambient backdrop) along with truly abyssal vocal harshness and huge, groaning riffs. Frigid music that’s also truly sublime. (And it becomes increasingly animated, though no less bleak and heavy, as it moves toward its finale.)
I was drawn to this next piece of music — which is just an excerpt of a song — by the wonderful cover art from the band’s forthcoming album. The artwork is by Misanthropic Art, and the name of the album is Aeon, which is the forthcoming second full-length by the German band Invoker. It will be released on October 30 by Non Serviam Records.
As best I can remember, I haven’t previously heard Invoker’s music, but this excerpt is awfully appealing, both massive and mesmerizing. I’m looking forward to hearing a complete track.
In late July I wrote about a French black metal band named VI , whose ranks include current or former members of Aosoth and Antaeus, and a song from their forthcoming debut album De Praestgiis Angelorum. It’s scheduled for release on September 25 by Agonia Records, This album also includes eye-catching cover art, by the talented Alexander L. Brown.
Two days ago CVLT Nation premiered another new song from the album, this one named “Par le jugement causé par ses poisons”. Because I’m short on time, I really just want to encourage you to go listen to it, because it’s outstanding. This is the place where you can do that:
Last Sunday in a Shades of Black post I wrote about the first single to appear from a new Los Angeles band named Flesh SS. As I mentioned then, they alternately describe their music as “blackened porn gore punk” and “satanic slut metal” (which is where the “SS” in their name comes from). Since I wrote about them that first time, they posted another new song to YouTube — “Feast On My Rot” — and they also disclosed that they will be participating in a forthcoming split 7″ with Japan’s Abigail, which is pretty fucking righteous.
“Feast On My Rot” is fucking righteous, too. It’s raw, raucous, and as catchy as chlamydia — a nasty and electrifying fusion of punk and black metal, with searing guitar solos, filthy vocals, and irresistible riffs. Want more!