Last night I decided it was time to pull together another round-up of new music and videos that I’ve been enjoying. By the time I had finished sifting through a lot of stuff in an effort to provide both quality and variety, I had a collection that seemed too long for a single post, so I’ve divided this one into two parts. The way things go, I’ll probably come across more new things this morning that will be worth adding to Part 2 before I post it. To begin….
“Bludwolves” is the tenth track on this Vancouver band’s 2015 debut album Hyperthrash. It happens to be a song that we premiered last fall. It also might be my favorite song on a very strong album — and so I was stoked to see that it had become the subject of a new Nylithia music video. And when I saw the video, I got even more excited.
There’s obviously a wide range of quality in music videos that just show you the band performing the song. This one, which was directed by Joshua Keith Young, is at the high end of the range. The lighting, the editing, the motion effects, even the downward-drifting fragments of… whatever the hell those little fragments are… it’s all very cool. The band also threw themselves into the performance with such high energy that they’re a lot of fun to watch, too.
And high energy is what the song demands. I’ll crib from my intro to our premiere of the track: “Nylithia have always had a bit of an extra-dimensional or futuristic atmosphere to their music, due in part to the fact that they’re fast as lightening, and “Blüdwolves” is definitely a rocket ride, fueled by high-octane double-bass blasts and super-heated riffs. Apart from the music’s infectious energy, the song has a dark but catchy melody that pulses through the adrenaline rush, and the snarling vocals sound exactly like what the song’s title suggests. Awesome track.”
(Enthusiastic thanks to eiterorm for recommending this video to us.)
I’ve learned over many years of experience that Germany’s Iron Bonehead Productions has an almost uncanny ability to release albums that hit the bullseye of my own tastes with virtually unerring accuracy. But there’s something about this next song that has inspired an even more passionate response than usual, like two arrows fired into the bullseye simultaneously, one splitting the other dead-center.
The name of the band is Celestial Grave. They’re a two-man Finnish black metal group, and on July 22 Iron Bonehead will release their debut EP, Burial Ground Trance. The name of the advance track that appeared recently is the opener, “The Heartbeats Drum”.
Through the abrasive, caustic quality of the guitar sound and the pulse-pounding drum performance, thoroughly magnetic melodies bring the song to vibrant life. Those gripping melodies include a slow, heaving wave of melancholy as well as more urgent, racing riffs that burn and rock.
There are two more highlights worth mentioning: The thoroughly impassioned vocal performance and the magnificent extended guitar solo that begins at 3:30 and draws this intensely memorable song to a powerful close. I really can’t get enough of “The Heartbeats Drum”.
Burial Ground Trance will be released on tape. Here’s the track list:
1. The Heartbeats Drum
2. The Bearer of Death
3. Burial Ground Trance
Yesterday I received an e-mail alert from Bandcamp about a new release by Mexico’s Self Mutilation Services. I received the alert because I had previously bought an album by Nocturnal Degrade from the same label The new one is a debut album (or EP, depending on the total run-time you demand before calling something an album) by a Mexico City band named The Depressick. The name of the album is 1962.
The first song grabbed me really hard, so hard that I’ve barely listened to the rest of the songs because I spent so much time spinning that one repeatedly. A lot of that has to do with the clattering, snapping rhythm of the snare drum that loops through the opening minute of “Perception” (and re-surfaces throughout the song), but the rapidly pulsing bass, the appealing (and yes, somewhat depressive — but also lively) melody, and the raw, clawing vocals are at least equally important. The high, trilling guitar melody at the finish is also sublime.
I mean, damn, the song is really catchy.
And although I haven’t spent as much time with the other four songs (one of which is a mesmerizing instrumental interlude), they also display an obviously young band with a precocious ability to write catchy, emotional songs with a pop sensibility, integrating ingredients similar to those in “Perception”, blending elements of DSBM, post-punk, and shoegaze into a very appealing package.
The final item in this first part of today’s Seen and Heard collection is a late-breaking addition, which is the result of a message I received from KevinP via Facebook not long ago. It’s the announcement by code666 (a sub-label of Aural Music) of a new album by the Greek progressive black metal band Aenaon. The new album, their third, is entitled Hypnosophy, and it will be released sometime this fall on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. The cover art is by Polish painter Łukasz Wodyński.
Below is the track list of the album:
2. Fire Walk With Me
3. Earth Tomb
4. Void5. Tunnel
6. Thus Ocean Swells
7. Phronesis – Psychomagic
Along with these announcements, code666 also delivered a video teaser, which you can see and hear below. And it’s a damned fine tease, both visually and aurally.