This is the second part of a two-part post I began earlier today, the purpose of which is to collect new music that I discovered in an extended bout of listening yesterday, most of it from bands who were also new discoveries. It gets the Shades of Black label because much of it is black metal, though as you’ll discover, there’s quite a lot of diversity in these songs.
In August of last year we premiered a song from a debut EP named Storms of Unholy Black Mass by Louisiana’s Abysmal Lord. That EP was a hell of a debut, and now the band have completed their first full-length, which is scheduled for release on November 27 by Hells Headbangers. The strength of the EP would have provided reason enough to look forward to Disciples of the Inferno, but the first advance track from the album (“Sabat”) seals the deal.
Hells Headbangers exalts Abysmal Lord with references to Blasphemy, Black Witchery, and Proclamation, and you can see why when you listen to “Sabbat”. It’s primal in its viciousness, whether the band are flying like a thrashing demon horde or dropping into a wretched crawl. The vocal spew is ugly as sin, the riffs are filthy, and the no-frills sound of the music shrouds it in a naturally noxious vapor. Did I mention that it’s as catchy as it is mean?
Nihil Kaos come our way from Istanbul, Turkey, carrying with them their second full-length under the title Noxkult. I wasn’t familiar with the band before listening to a promo track from the new album yesterday, but it so savagely seized my attention that I felt compelled to share it with you. The riffs alternately writhe and slash like a nest of snakes whipped into a fury. The drumming is off-the-hook, and the vocalist sounds like I imagine those creatures on the cover would sound — which is to say, rabid and inflamed.
“Dreadful Perdition” is the name of the song, and it’s an electrifying attack of unmitigated black metal ferocity. Damned good. Want more. (This one is a “name your price” download on NK’s Bandcamp.)
P.S. I’ve learned that the album will released by Death Knell Productions, and a second track is streaming on that label’s Bandcamp (linked below).
For the next item in this collection we leap westward to Manchester, England, home of Wolfbastard. Upon seeing the band’s name, my first guest was that they would be trafficking in d-beat crust, and I was partly right, but only partly.
In this, their just-released self-titled debut album, Wolfbastard deftly blend together d-beat rhythms, head-whipping black-thrash riffs, and vitriolic vocal acid spray. They operate in the red zone almost all the time, but you’ll discover that Wolfbastard have more up their sleeves than solid-gold riffs, politically incorrect lyrics, and a rampaging blood lust.
Among other things, they sprinkle the songs with unexpected doses of attention-grabbing melody (some of which verge on the anthemic). Moreover, as short as the songs are (only two exceed two minutes), they’re all well-written and each one has its own identity, which makes this an album you won’t get tired of after the first listen. Wolfbastard may mainly be about beer, Satan, and black fucking metal (to use their words), but they’re also really fucking good. Really.
The album is available via UKEM Records for a reasonable price on Bandcamp.
The next song I chose for this collection is a change of pace, and a very interesting one. It’s the new video for a song called “Georges de la Tour”, which appears on the forthcoming self-titled debut album by a French band named Night.
The music is unquestionably dark and despairing, the band do know how to slash and thunder, and the vocals move from disturbing whispers to explosions of unhinged vehemence. But what really grabbed me about the song is the entrancing melody — which is led by a violin. The sound of the violin is sorrowful but transfixing, even when it’s slowly moaning in anguish at the same time as the rest of band are galloping at top speed. And the little waltzing violin melody at the end, capped by a few acoustic guitar chords, somehow seems just right, despite the change in mood.
Night will be released on October 4 by Hidden Marly Production. The video was filmed by Julien Oddo, whose web site is here.
I’ve kind of been letting my mood dictate the selections of music and the ordering of it in this post, and as I come to the end I find myself wanting something heavy. And so I’m ending with Verheerer.
I don’t know a lot about the band. Their Facebook page says they’ve been in existence since 2008 and are based in the northern German town of Flensburg, but the members (or perhaps the sole member) aren’t identified, and their only release seems to be the EP named Archar that appeared as a “name your price” download on Bandcamp about one week ago.
I’ll say only a few words about the opening track, “Niederkunft”, and then get out of the way and let you explore Archar for yourselves. It is indeed heavy, beginning with the slow pounding of the drum, the black haze of guitar distortion, and the tolling of a funeral bell. The tolling of the guitar chords is just as bleak as the bell, and the slow rise and fall of that dark melody continues even after the band accelerate the pace and intensify the volume.
Eventually, you get some hard-rocking chords, and later the riffing becomes a brute-force pounding that segues into an almost psychedelic warping sound accompanied by shrill needling noise.
The vocals are on fire, morphing from skin-shredding black metal shrieks to vehement yells, and then become a kind of chant… just before the whirlwind returns.
In a nutshell, this is grim, intense, dynamic music, and there’s a lot more to like about this imaginatively composed black gem of an EP after “Niederkunft” — so please don’t stop there. Whoever’s behind Archar knows what they hell they’re doing.