SHADES OF BLACK (PART 1): PRAISE THE FLAME, VENEFIXION, EÏS, MEPHORASH, SACRAMENT OV IMPURITY
I listened to a lot of metal yesterday, making a rare effort to get ahead of the game on some things I’m planning to post on Monday. That didn’t work out exactly as I’d planned, because I spent more time impulsively exploring music I’d never heard before than writing those other posts. And most of what I heard that I thought was good was either black metal or thoroughly pestilential death metal with a charred coating. So once again I’ve collected the music under the heading Shades of Black, divided into two parts because there’s a lot I want to share with you. Part 2 will come later today.
(Once again, I want to thank my Serbian friend “M” for suggesting half of what I chose to write about in this two-part collection.)
PRAISE THE FLAME
The first band is Praise the Flame from Santiago, Chile, whose ranks include members of Death Yell, Megiddo, Insorcist, and Occidens. Their debut album Manifest Rebellion will be released September 21 on CD via Memento Mori, but the album is now streaming on Bandcamp until October 12.
The first song set to play on Bandcamp is a track named “The Burial Urns of Grief”, and it grabbed me by the throat almost immediately. Helmed by a vocalist with a frightening growl, the band rip and tear their way through a fusion of black and death metal, with racing riffs that resemble a giant hornet swarm and rapid-fire percussion. Voracious and poisonous in its atmosphere, the song is a hell of a meat-grinding thrill ride.
I’ve made my way through about half of the remaining songs, and they’re just as savage and supercharged as “Burial Urns”, with well-timed changes of pace and some incinerating solos to go along with the jet-fueled riffing. Listen below, while you can.
The next band in this collection began as a two man project consisting of Australia’s K. Desecrator (guitar, bass, drums) and Germany’s F. Goathroat (vocals), both of whom moved to Brittany in France earlier this year where they were joined by lead guitarist W. Cadaver. This trio’s four-track demo tape, Defixio, will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on October 2. The title track and one other song (“Morbid Casket”) are now up on YouTube.
Both songs are steamrolling death machines that feature some eye-popping guitar solos and ghastly, reverberating vocal foulness. There’s a heavy helping of vicious old-school flavor in both songs, and lots of attention-grabbing twists and turns in the band’s rampaging course. The drumwork will loosen your teeth, too.
Germany’s Eïs have put out multiple albums, including several released under their previous name Geïst. Their new one is entitled Bannstein and it will be released by Prophecy Productions on October 2. One song from the album, ” Über den Bannstein”, is now available for listening on YouTube.
It’s a 10-minute track that starts fast and heavy, propelled by blasting drums and grim, threshing riffs. For a while, that ferocious torrent trades place with a slower, almost swinging rhythm that carries a catchy melodic hook — and then the song transforms briefly into a dreamlike acoustic guitar piece augmented by a celestial choir before beginning to roll again.
Both heavy and atmospheric, furious and somber, the song earns its extended length — it’s easy to get lost in it from start to finish, and that catchy melody proves to have staying power.
Mephorash, of course, is not a new name on our site, unlike the first three bands in this collection. Their new album is 1557 — Rites of Nullification, and Andy Synn reviewed it for us (here) on the first day of this month, calling it “by leaps and bounds the band’s strongest work to date, overflowing with malevolent atmosphere and arcane energy”:
“Though the riffs are indeed sharper and more incisive than ever, the melodies bleaker and more evocative, the vocals more powerful and caustic in their venomous exhortations, what really sets the album apart from its predecessors is the sense of life and vitality that shines through on every single track, a palpable sense of pitch-black devotion that runs all the way down to the marrow.”
We’ve previously streamed two of the album’s four tracks, but now the entire album is available for listening on Bandcamp. It’s well worth your time.
SACRAMENT OV IMPURITY
Sacrament ov Impurity are a long-running black metal band from Mount Vernon, Washington, whose third album, All the Colors of the Dark, will be released later this year. Earlier this month I included a song from the album named “The Black Queen Kills Seven Times” in a round-up of new music, and now the band have premiered a second one via Crown of Vicerys, “Death Rides At Midnight”.
The treble-toned tremolo riffs in this song are slow, sinuous, and sad, in stark contrast to the blazing-fast drumwork, which is so frenzied that it seems about to fly off into space at any moment. That mixture of icy bleakness and super-heated tumult continues even when the pacing of the song slows, as does The Butcher’s unmitigated vocal savagery.
For information about how to pre-order the new album on limited-edition CD or cassette, visit the Facebook link below.
Eïs sounds really great! Bannstein might be one of annually about five black metal records that truly work for me.
So glad you liked it.!
Sacrament ov Impurity sounds awesome, and cool album art 🙂
Thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoy it!
So stoked on that Mephorash album. Also, I’m really liking what I’m hearing from Eis.
I had been keeping an eager eye on their bandcamp page after they posted a comment on FB that it would be up in “a few days”…. and by keen eye, I mean salivating like Pavlov’s dogs in anticipation. The album did not disappoint, such a twisted, dark little gem of borderline madness. Definitely on my year end list 🙂