Today some people are celebrating what they believe to be a victory over death. I’m more in the mood to celebrate the victory of death (metal). And so I’ve rounded up a selection of new songs from bands whose names begin with V — and the first two have resurrected themselves after long absences from the scene, with roots that go back into the early ’90s.
Valgrind are an Italian death metal band who (according to Metal Archives) released four demos and an EP between 1995 and 2002 — and then seemed to go into hibernation until the appearance of their debut album, Morning Will Come No More, ten years later. Another four years have passed, but Valgrind’s new album Speech of the Flame was recently released by Lord of the Flies Records.
I learned of the new album through a Facebook friend who described their music with references to bands like Morbid Angel and Deicide. Although I haven’t heard the whole album, the two songs that are available for streaming sound damned good.
The first of those, “Tyrants”, premiered as a music video. It will light you up like stepping on a live power line that’s just been cut with a blowtorch. It’s blindingly fast and viciously brutal, with a pair of guitar solos that are delicious slices of shred. The second song from the album, “The Abyss I Am In”, is also turbocharged and technically eye-opening, and includes a thoroughly sinister melody that rears its monstrous head in the song’s second half, skull-cleaving grooves, and deranged, white-hot soloing. Ferocious vocal howling and roaring in this pair of death metal hurricanes, too.
You can order the new album here:
And to connect with Valgrind on Facebook, here’s that link:
For the next part of this V-themed compilation of death metal, I have two new songs from Vibrion. They appear on the band’s third album, Bacterya, which was just released on March 21 by Dave Rotten’s Xtreem Music label and is released in Argentina via Disembodied Records.
Vibrion’s roots go back to the early ’90s, when they rose as one of Argentina’s first death metal bands, recording two albums released in 1995 and 1997 respectively (Diseased and Closed Frontiers). Following a 2002 EP, Vibrion (like Valgrind) went into a decade-long period of dormancy, and Bacterya marks their return to the scene with a line-up that’s now split between Argentinians and Belgians.
The two songs I’ve heard so far are the title track and the album opener, “Day of Replication”. After a creepy introduction, the latter song bolts ahead in a flurry of skittering fretwork and bullet-spitting drumwork, accompanied by disturbingly demonic vocals and bursts of soloing that writhe like fat white maggots. There’s a lot of technical skill on display, but also a talent for creating an atmosphere of inhuman horror.
Where “Day of Replication” brought to mind images of insectile feeding, “Bacterya” is a huge, stalking, death metal beast, with morbid, pile-driving riffs and dismal guitar leads coming down over a drive-train of pugilistic double-bass kicks. The inflamed, braying vocals add to the song’s grisly aura of doom and decay (and the notes at the song’s beginning and end, which sound something like an accordion, are ingenious additions).
Xtreem Music describes Vibrion’s sound with references to such heavyweights as Immolation, Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel, Sepultura, Suffocation, and Gorguts. I’m looking forward to discovering what else this album holds in store — I’ve included a full stream below. It’s available on CD and digitally via these links:
In early January we had the pleasure of premiering a song with the mouth-filling name of “Myriapod Constructology I” from a then-forthcoming album by the band Virulency from the Basque Country of Spain. Entitled The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution, it delivers eight tracks of eviscerating monstrosity and includes guest vocal appearances on “Mephistophelian Æsthetic Eroticism” by Paolo Chiti (Devangelic, ex-Putridity) and on “Concupiscent Succubus Disturbance” by Konstantin Lühring (Despondency, Revulsed, ex-Defeated Sanity), as well as eye-catching cover art by Russian illustrator Daemorph (Andrew Tkalenko) (Cephalotripsy, 7 H.Target, Epicardiectomy, etc).
My old friend Vonlughlio from the Dominican Republic, and a man who has a connoisseur’s taste in brutal death metal, reminded me of this album recently, praising it as possibly his favorite BDM release of the year so far. And it’s worth reminding you of it here, because the album is now out and available on Bandcamp.