SEEN AND HEARD (Part 2): MORDBRAND, HOODED MENACE, OAK PANTHEON, ONIRIK, EARTHSIDE
One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.
However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.
For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song.
The video was filmed and edited by Łukasz Jaszak and it gives us a rare chance to see the band performing, along with an assortment of visual effects that well-suit the morbid power of the music. Enjoy… and if you haven’t yet dived into Mordbrand’s music, click that Bandcamp link below. You’ll be glad you did.
Here’s another band of which I’ve become a slavish follower — Finland’s Hooded Menace. Yesterday they announced that their fourth album, recorded and mixed by Chris Fielding and featuring Justin Bartlett’s artwork, will be released by Relapse Records on October 30. The timing of the release will certainly make Halloween even more fun than usual.
I do have a bone to pick with the choice of album title — Darkness Drips Forth. Unless Hooded Menace have changed their style, there will be no dripping. More likely, darkness will descend like an enveloping wall of water, shut off your air supply, and sink your soul. Moreover, I have evidence that the band haven’t changed their style, but perhaps have only made it more calculatingly calamitous: Listen to the teaser of music below.
Okay, one more band of which I’ve become a slavish adherent — Minnesota’s Oak Pantheon. The following statement appeared on their Facebook page yesterday:
Hey everyone. Just stopping by, figured we’d let you all in on a little preview. Things have been quiet and will continue to be on this page, but this ought to make up for it a bit. All unmixed, instrumental snippets from every song planned for the album. Keep in mind that each are in various stages of production and don’t fully represent the final sound of the album.
Still, should be plenty to keep you all interested. Until next time!
And that statement led to a link, which in turn led to the music you’re about to hear. Although it may be unmixed and sans vocals, it sounds excellent. I guess I’m willing to be patient, but this better get finished and released soon or I may have to make a scene.
Unlike the first three bands in this collection, the next one was unfamiliar to me until hearing the song you’re about to hear. The band’s name is Onirik, they’re based in Portugal, and Iron Bonehead Productions and Altare Productions will be jointly releasing their fourth album, Casket Dream Veneration, on October 23 (with vinyl to follow).
The song’s name is “Reverent To the Flames”, and it is indeed like a casket dream, a hallucinatory journey through lashing storms and across black, heaving seas of sound. It’s both venomous and majestic, beautifully bleak and malignantly menacing. The deep, grating growl of Gonius Rex keeps you on edge, yet the music has the capacity to carry you far away. Fantastic song… and a very tempting introduction to this album.
For the final song in this collection we’re making a sharp turn. The music isn’t as extreme as what I usually write about, and the vocals are an exception to that rule in our blog’s title. But it’s not the first time I’ve written about Connecticut’s Earthside. The last time was in May, when I featured a single from their forthcoming album, A Dream In Static. And a few days ago they released a music video for another song named “Mob Mentality”.
Earthside are an instrumental band, but this new song (and the video) features guest vocals (recorded in Iowa) by Sevendust’s frontman Lajon Witherspoon. The music also includes a full orchestral arrangement composed by Earthside guitarist Jamie van Dyck and performed by the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra (MSSO) (recorded in Russia).
And to complete the globe-trotting nature of the song, Earthside’s performances on the track (and the album) were recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, with David Castillo (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath) and additional mix and mastering engineer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork, The Ocean, Devin Townsend).
What’s more, the song began as van Dyck’s senior composition to complete his undergrad music major at Yale.
And if all that hasn’t peeked your interest yet, the beautifully filmed video features a graceful aerialist, powerful ballet dancers, and a grand theater setting. The impassioned music is a study in contrasts, but at its heaviest and most dramatic, it is definitely headbang-worthy.
P.S. A Dream In Static will be released on October 23 and features the cover art of Travis Smith. Other guest vocalists on the album include Daniel Tompkins (TesseracT, ex-Skyharbor), Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork), and Eric Zirlinger (Face the King).
Love the new Hooded Menace track 🙂
Stoked for new Hooded Menace!
Onirik is a cool find. And yes, I’m also stoked on new Hooded Menace.
I’m looking forward to the Oak Pantheon material. Good band, that lot. What’s with all these ass kicking young bands from MN recently, with these guys, Amiensus and Adora Vivos all packed into that state!?