Well, this has been another one of those weeks when I was so busy with premieres and assorted personal nuisances that I wasn’t able to compile as many round-ups of new songs as I would have liked. As usual, that means I’m now drowning in things that I think are worth recommending — too many to fit into one post.
So, I’ve done what I usually do in such situations: made the selections on a pretty random basis and tried to restrict my own verbosity and let the music speak for itself. I’ll compile some more discoveries for a post this weekend.
Before getting into the music, I’ll start with one news item that peaked my interest.
Yesterday Debemur Morti Productions announced the projected release of a new album by the unorthodox and fascinating Swedish entity known as Terra Tenebrosa. The new album is named The Reverses and it includes the participation of some impressive guests: Jonas A Holmberg (This Gift Is A Curse), Alex Stjernfeldt (The Moth Gatherer), MkM (Antaeus), and Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord).
I thought the band’s last two albums, The Tunnels (2011) and The Purging (2013), were strange and impressive beasts and I’m intensely curious to hear what The Cuckoo and his comrades have wrought this time.
The album will be released on CD and digitally on June 17 (July 22 in North America).
I’ve included these these next two items for reasons beyond the disease-ridden synchronicity of both Germ and Virus debuting songs on the same day. Both tracks happen to be very good as well.
Germ’s song is the title track to the new album Escape, and I thank my Norwegian friend eiterorm for alerting me to it. For those who may not be aware, Germ is now the main musical project of the tremendously talented Australia musician Tim Yatras (Woods of Desolation, Austere, Grey Waters), and Escape is an album that was actually recorded in the August – October 2014 time frame, and is now finally being released.
Check out “Escape” below, along with a previously released track called “I’ll Give Myself To the Wind”. The album will be released by Prophecy Productions on April 29 and can be pre-ordered here:
For those who may not know, Virus is a Norwegian avant-garde group founded by Carl “Czral” Michael Eid from the ashes of Ved Buens Ende along with bassist Petter “Plenum” Berntsen and drummer Einar “Einz” Sjursø from that remarkable group. I discovered Virus through their last album, 2011’s The Agent That Shapes The Desert.
Their new full-length is named Memento Collider and is due for release on June 3 by Karisma Records. The track that appeared yesterday is named “Steamer”.
There has been some risk that the performance of the Italian band Darkend on their new album The Canticle Of Shadows would be overshadowed by the guest vocalists who contributed their talents to the album — because it’s such an eye-popping list: Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ), and Labes C. Necrothytus (Abysmal Grief). But when you listen to the album, you’ll realize that Darkend are a formidable force all by themselves.
Yesterday, a full stream of the album debuted at various international locations, and you can listen to it right here as well. It’s a truly jaw-dropping display of instrumental wizardry and bombastic compositional flair, an explosive display of symphonic black metal that left me breathless. Perhaps because the band come from Italy and also prize speed and a turbocharged drum attack, I found myself comparing The Canticle of Shadows to the works of Fleshgod Apocalypse. There are, of course, important differences between the two approaches, but Darkend also succeed in melding symphonics with extreme metal violence in a way that’s electrifying.
Norway’s Svarttjern signed with Soulseller Records for the release of their fourth album Dødsskrik, which our friend eiterorm has told us is Norwegian for “Scream of Death”. In February, I wrote about the first advance track from the album, “All Hail Satan”, and thanks (one again) to eiterorm, I learned that a second one is now out.
The new one is called “Admiring Death”. The album will be released on April 29 and can be ordered here:
The final item in this collection isn’t as new as the preceding ones. It’s a stream of the self-titled debut EP by a group of hooded brutes from San Jose, California, named Plague Phalanx. It was released early last fall on cassette by Aphotic Sonance and is also available for order (but not download) on Bandcamp. I discovered it through a link posted by a Russian Facebook friend, and then later saw that it had been recommended by Wrest of Leviathan when asked in a December interview to name some of his favorite bands lately.
This is nasty stuff, but man, it has really grabbed me hard. Hope you like it too.