SEEN AND HEARD: TERRA TENEBROSA, GERM, VIRUS, DARKEND, SVARTTJERN, PLAGUE PHALANX
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.
The album will be released on April 25 by Non Serviam Records and can be pre-ordered on CD here, or digitally here.
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.
Solid lineup of new stuff!! Especially excited to hear about a new Terra Tenebrosa!
Id only recently gotten into them and found both of their previous releases to be truly warped and haunting and unique.
Speaking of unique. FInally hearing this Virus for the first time. So excited. Ive become a big fan of Czrals work.
I can’t think of any “metal” like his sound. Hearkens back to more early 90s stuff, but still pushes forward at the same time.
Darkend cover art is sick.
You will recognize many of Zdzisław Beksiński‘s fantastic works as familiar cover art.
Ah! Nice!! I should’ve realized. Same guy from the Wode cover art. Im new to him, but a quick fan.
Thanks for the heads up!
Great news about Terra Tenebrosa!
Not sure about the glockenspiel in the Darkend…..
‘Not sure about the glockenspiel in the Darkend…..’
Lotta folks gotta pay good money for that sort of thing
So Darkend are selling out and making a mad dash for the money with that little embellishment. Posers.
The thing that’s really vexing is that is sounds like a phone chime, so every time some guy in corpse paint decides to tap that itty bitty high note, I think someone’s getting a text behind me.
You and I have walked down very different paths with this joke, good sir.
True. I will take responsibility for turning off the road and driving it into a ditch.
The phone chime comment, however, was only a slight stretch. The first time it occurred in the song, I did turn around and look for a phone, thinking either someone was outside the door, or I had accidentally changed my text tone.
Islander could have just said “Glockenspiel metal” and I’d be all in 😉
The new Svarttjern sounds kickass,looking forward to grabbing this one.
Definitely stoked to hear new Terra Tenebrosa.