SEEN AND HEARD ON A SATURDAY: CONAN, FIFTH TO INFINITY, SABBATORY, ECTOVOID, TONGUE, VORKREIST
Infernal greetings to one and all on this fine Saturday. Once again I’ve assembled a playlist of especially impressive new songs from among those I heard over the last 24 hours. I hope you like them.
This first song has appeared under mysterious circumstances. I learned of it from Grant Skelton, who learned of it from someone else and then passed the link on to me. It appears to be the title track to Revengeance, the third album by Conan from the UK, which is set for release on January 29 by Napalm Records. This is Conan‘s first release with producer Chris Fielding on bass and vocals, along with drummer Rich Lewis and founding guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis.
At the time of this writing, the YouTube stream of the song only has 66 views, despite the fact that it appeared on December 3. I have seen no press releases about it, nor any notice of it on Conan’s social media pages. The legend beneath the video says it was provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group, but that seems suspect. I did e-mail Napalm’s publicist in an attempt to solve the mystery, but haven’t yet received a response.
“Revengeance” is perhaps more clear in its production than what most may expect from Conan, but though it may be less prehistoric in its sound quality, it’s no less crushing. The distorted riffs are still earth-shaking in their force, the wailing vocals are still penetrating, and the song is a massive headbanger (as well as a massive bone-smasher).
You can pre-order Revengeance here in the USA and here everywhere else.
FIFTH TO INFINITY
Based on my research, it appears that the Stockholm band Fifth To Infinity first came into existence in 1997, the creation of drummer Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth, ex-Amon Amarth), vocalist/guitarist Nader Jonas Reslan, and bassist Martin Mendez. Although they began work on a debut album, the band was “put to rest” in 2001 before recording was completed. Then in 2007, Reslan revived the band, reuniting with Lopez and new bassist David Lindh, and now their debut album Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire is set for release by AvantGarde Music on January 11, 2016.
A song named “The Will To Harm” has just become available for streaming on Bandcamp, and though it appears the song first appeared on Soundcloud two years ago, this is my first exposure to it. Fifth To Infinity characterize their music as “transcendental metal of death”, and there is indeed something mystical about the amalgamation of black metal, doom, and prog ingredients displayed in “The Will To Harm”. But the music is also the kind of savage spectral emanation that could be the soundtrack to your nightmares.
Based on the sound of this song, I’m very happy that AvantGarde Music rescued this album from whatever crypt has been its home — very anxious to hear more.
SABBATORY AND ECTOVOID
I really enjoyed Endless Asphyxiating Gloom, the 2014 debut album by Sabbatory from Winnipeg, Canada, and they are now one of four bands whose music will appear on a split release called 4 Doors To Death, which is scheduled for a February 19 release by Unspeakable Axe Records. Late last month Grant Skelton wrote (here) about music from the split by one of the other bands (Cemetery Filth), and now one of Sabbatory’s two tracks has surfaced.
In addition to Sabbatory and Cemetery Filth, the other excellent bands on this enticing split are TrenchRot (Philadelphia) and Ectovoid (Alabama), and I found that one of Ectovoid’s tracks has also recently become available for listening.
The newly revealed Sabbatory track is a dynamic onslaught named “Ascension To My Holy Tomb”. It swarms like a hornet cloud, it romps like a d-beat punk, it howls like a demon roasting in the fires of hell, it stomps like a staggering golem — and the riffs are pure gold. What a delicious eruption of old skull death metal ferocity!
The new Ectovoid track is “Possessed By Ancient Dread”, and that’s exactly what the music is. It stinks of the crypt — a moldering, malignant piece of gruesome death metal, sodden with the ichor of doom. The riffs are thoroughly diseased (but catchy, too), and the vocals are ghastly. When the riffing and rhythms accelerates as the song moves forward, it begins to feel like ants under the skin.
This very promising split is now available for pre-order via the first link below:
Tongue are a black metal band from Bielefeld, Germany, whose self-titled debut album was released via Bandcamp on December 1. I learned of it from my Serbian friend “M“, and have quickly become enthralled by it.
The first song you hear when you hit the “play” button on Bandcamp is the fourth track, “The Desert Hears You”. It’s such a dark and dire song, but also arresting in its terrible bleakness. It begins in a race, collapses into a dirge, and continues to move between frenzied explosions and slow, somber movements that reveal beauty in agony. The vocals are unhinged in their rage and ferocity, and the overarching atmosphere of the song is unsettling. Yet it’s a gripping piece of music that has stuck in my head.
There are five more songs on this album, each of them dark, heavy, arresting, and richly deserving of praise. The music is consistently dramatic and intense, though Tongue vary the pace and energy levels within the songs (as well as the vocals), casting spells as adeptly as they spit poison. The closing track (“A Vessel For the Voices”) tops 12 minutes, and the band succeed in making it a wholly immersive trip, one that’s both harrowing and hypnotic. A very impressive debut by a band worth watching closely.
Tongue is available on Bandcamp for the ridiculously reasonable price of… whatever you feel like paying.
More than three years have passed since the last time I wrote about the French band Vorkreist, and so an introduction is probably in order. The line-up includes members of Decline of the I, Hell Militia, Merrimack, Glorior Belli, and Blacklodge, and they have released four albums between 2003 and 2012, the last one (Sigil Whore Christ) being the occasion of my discovery of the band. They’ve now recorded a new EP entitled Sacrifice that will become available on January 29 through Agonia Records.
The EP, which features cover art by Brianvdp (Coffins, Grave Miasma, Antaeus), consists of two songs, “Losing Sanity Key” and “Lower (All Is Black)”. The first of those premiered at DECIBEL yesterday, and it quickly became stuck in my head. “Losing Sanity Key” may indeed resemble a collapse into madness (especially in the inflamed insanity of the vocal performance), but for all its disorienting and disturbing dissonance, it’s also electrifying (and highly infectious).
Sacrifice is available for pre-order on vinyl HERE. To listen to the song, go to this location:
The Conan track is no longer available.
It’s still working for me. Might be a territory-limited thing.
That’s my guess too.
here’s the link for the Conan track:
ooopps… guess I got the wrong link 🙂
For the record…Ectovoid also dropped their second full length, Dark Abstractions, this year. Its solid, but I dont think its quite as good as Fractured In The Timeless Abyss (their 2012 release)
While the appearance of the Conan track may be shrouded in mystery, it’s pretty clear that it slays.
Fifth To Infinity sounds awesome – might have to pick it up once a full stream goes up on Bandcamp. I had previously thought that I always could tell when Martin Lopez was behind the kit, as his style is very recognizable in Soen (sorta like how I can pretty much always tell when Chris Adler is playing drums on something), but I wouldn’t have known it was him unless the blurb had mentioned it.
Tongue sounds pretty cool too – downloading it and placing it in my iTunes for later perusal.
Deeply enthralled by Fifth To Infinity, Tongue and Vorkreist!
Conan has a new photo – that’s already news!
The only thing that their music lacks is ancient horn.
Agree, needs ancient horn, or actual sound of a femur being used to pound a mastodon skull into smithereens. But at least they continue to bring some of the best album cover art. 🙂
“Possessed By Ancient Dread” is wonderfully ugly and evil, i love it 😀