I had planned to resume my rollout of this list yesterday, but somehow the blogging part of my day ended before I could finish it. In my defense, we’ve had quite a lot of things to post yesterday and today. In my further defense, I’m forgetful, scatterbrained, and easily distracted.
Most of the installments of this series have had some kind of thematic connection between the songs in each post. I don’t really have one to suggest this time. These are kind of odds and ends that I was ready to add to the list, and I didn’t want to kill even more time trying to think of good pairings for each of them. To see the rest of the songs on the list that preceded these two, go here.
I wrote about this first song last August soon after discovering it — and I was waiting for it eagerly based on the band’s previous two-song EP, 2014’s Divide the Growth and Stone. This three-man group from Colchester, England, is now two-for-two. In addition to that excellent previous EP, their 2015 collection, Burn and Bury, is also excellent. Here’s what I wrote about the new EP last year:
“The four songs on this EP hit like an electric shock, with powerhouse riffs that are catchy as hell, rhythms that will shake your bones, and a great sense of dynamics in the songwriting. The music rips, tears, and claws, but it’s also heavy as hell and sometimes as light and vibrant as a sun-dappled stream — and all the songs are memorable.
“Trying to put this EP into a genre box is difficult. It’s part black metal, part post-metal, part crust, and part sledgehammering demolition job. The musicianship is superb, the song-writing is wonderfully inventive, and the passion and intensity are in the red zone. In a word, fantastic.”
I stand by those words today, and add only this: “Rise By Sin” is one of the most infectious songs I heard last year.
The band Ghost Bath (a name that refers to the act of committing suicide by submerging in a body of water) released a sophomore album last year entitled Moonlover (reviewed here for us by Wil Cifer). The first single, “Golden Number”, emerged in January and garnered attention from multiple metal sites, including this one, in part because Ghost Bath was supposed to be a Chinese band. When it was reported that they weren’t (they’re from North Dakota), that produced some grumpiness, accented by allegations of fraud in some quarters.
Nothing in that side-show changed one note of the music, nor the appeal of “Golden Number” for me. At first it rages like a ravaging black metal assault, then seizes attention with a beautiful, extended melodic lead guitar part and the repeating tones of massed voices, and then subsides into an entrancing piano solo for the song’s final minutes. The central, heart-swelling melody of the song is ridiculously engaging.
The music is bittersweet, managing to be both melancholy and triumphant. And very infectious.