SEEN AND HEARD: VOLTURYON, DECREPIT MONOLITH, PSYCHOTIC PULSE, BLACK CROWN INITIATE, REVOCATION, NAILS, DEATH I AM, THE LUNA SEQUENCE, WITHERSCAPE
(DGR takes over round-up duties today, featuring commentary and a wide array of recent song, video, and album streams. This would have been posted much earlier in the week if our editor weren’t so lame.)
If you’ve been reading the site recently you’ve no doubt noticed that quite a few of us shirked work and decided instead to go out to Maryland for the Maryland Deathfest shindig that the internet likes to talk so much about. However, the internet doesn’t take time off like we do and quite a bit of stuff came out during that period that despite our best efforts slipped right by us.
On top of that, since we’ve been playing catch-up for the last two weeks, a veritable pile of new music landed on top of us as well. And so I find myself opening my great maw wide in order to capture as much of it as possible — as well as using this as an opportunity to share some stuff that flew right past us long before we had MDF as an excuse for being terrible people.
Contained in this here news roundup is a veritable smorgasboard of new music, some of which came to us by the bands themselves and other times was discovered whilst I was spinning in circles on the internet. Either way, there’s a ton of stuff what floated down the river here — only to be captured by my net/boat/if only there was some sort of metaphor or object I could compare my news capturing ability to… ah well, maybe next time. Let’s get on with it.
Volturyon – Fungus Coat
The year of the Högbom continues, with appearances having been made on the Necrosavant release, October Tide’s album, the upcoming Centinex disc, and now Volturyon’s new album Cleansed By Carnage. If you were looking for a chance to hear the guy growl, 2016 has proven to be the year for you.
Volturyon, whose 2014 EP Human Demolition was vastly underrated and a personal favorite that year, are prepping to release this new disc on September 2nd. Volturyon have released a single ahead of the album, which bears artwork by artist and photographer Lukasz Jaszak (who has done work with Volturyon, as well as The Vision Bleak, Mgla, and Decapitated in the past), entitled “Fungus Coat”. That single also contains artwork by Lukasz.
“Fungus Coat” shows that Volturyon weren’t interested in stopping what they had going on in Human Demolition, and if Cleansed By Carnage proves to be a collection of songs in the same vein as “Fungus Coat”. then it will just go to show that 2016 is proving to be a frustratingly stacked year in terms of awesome music.
“Fungus Coat” comes in the form of a high-speed death metal rush, with sharpened riffs and knife-edge drumming to back it all up. The band are firmly in control the whole time, but the song seems dangerously close to veering off of the tracks due to not having any brakes a handful of times. Take some time and give this one a listen and we’ll be sure to check back in on Cleansed By Carnage as its release date gets closer.
Decrepit Monolith – Decrepit Monolith
Now, we find ourselves making a quick stopover in the UK with the black metal group Decrepit Monolith. Decrepit Monolith are one of the aforementioned bands that actually reached out to us, so I can’t claim to be some close observer of the underground UK black metal scene when it comes to talking about the group.
Decrepit Monolith recently released a music video for their new single, which bears the same name as the band. The song itself is a pretty big one, clocking in at around six-and-a-half minutes and punching at around that weight in heaviness as well. Decrepit Monolith move at a purposefully sluggish pace with this one, taking their time and letting one massive guitar melody effectively scorch the ground before they move in to grind the leftover remains into the dirt.
The video itself is pretty well shot and shows that the group certainly have a look to them, badass baphomet design in the background and all. The video also features the band in slow motion quite a few times, which means you can really drink in the spikes and mighty beards on display, in addition to the robed forms that the band take on in the video’s badass closing shot.
Psychotic Pulse – Opposed
It has been a handful of years since we last heard from Canada’s Psychotic Pulse. Psychotic Pulse’s self-titled release in 2013 was a pleasant surprise, but since that year the gentlemen making up the band have been radar-silent. The group last put out music with the late-2013 EP Avolition but since then have been relatively quiet, barring the occasional (*groan*) pulse from the band themselves, hinting that they were working on new music.
It was difficult to tell when this might happen, as the members of said group have kept fairly busy — drummer Alex Rise is the mastermind behind the Tyrant Of Death project, as well as one of the members of industrial metal clusterfuck Kunstzone, and with a vocalist shift from, and eventually back to, screamer Nathan Bales, it was starting to seem like there would be some serious time passage before anything new came out of the band. However, the occasional sign of life became a full-blown shock to the system when the band released the song “Opposed” in recent weeks.
“Opposed” is a demo song for the Pulse’s upcoming second disc, yet it sounds just as good as anything else the band have put out. Alex handled the production on this song, so you can hear the characteristic crunch that much of his own work contains, but the song itself has a hefty rhythm to it and a sudden movie sample in the center.
Psychotic Pulse play a kind of white-knuckled, accelerated groove with light industrial works every now and then that, combined with a crunchy guitar and high shriek on the vocal front, keeps the band interesting. “Opposed” is a promising forebear of things to come.
Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive
Pennsylvania’s Black Crown Initiate have been having themselves an eventful handful of months. The group recently added ex-The Faceless guitarist Wes Hauch to their ranks and have also been letting songs from their upcoming sophomore disc Selves We Cannot Forgive slowly find their way onto the internet.
Recently, Metal Injection premiered the title track from Selves We Cannot Forgive, alongside the group’s roster news, and prior to that the band had released the song “For Red Clouds” for the world to see. Both songs sound just as good as The Wreckage Of Stars did and are worthy followup songs — albeit with a heavier focus on the clean vocal/harsh vocal interchange than the lead-off singles from their previous disc displayed.
The two songs out so far have both been pretty meditative overall and could be demonstrating a more pensive band this go around. Wreckage Of Stars already contained hints of that spread throughout its lyrics, so Black Crown Initiate seeming a little more introspective could be an interesting change of pace. We won’t know for sure until Selves We Cannot Forgive’s release date, which is currently slated to hit with eight songs in tow on July 22nd, 2016.
Revocation – Monolithic Ignorance
It feels like not to long ago that we actually touched base with Revocation for their upcoming album Great Is Our Sin, due for release on Metal Blade Records on July 22nd, 2016. Even more recently, the group decided to pile on to the already released song “Communion” with their lyric video for “Monolithic Ignorance” — which I’d hazard to say is a surprisingly apt song title for this year, were it not the case for just about every year of human existence.
The song itself features a little bit more clean singing than “Communion”, did but keeps it fairly interesting by having it come off a little tone-less. Tempo-wise, the band keep their foot to the floor though, which is about where I’ve enjoyed Revocation, and the band themselves have been fairly consistent in releasing enjoyable music. “Monolithic Ignorance” is another feather in their cap in that regard.
Nails – Life Is A Death Sentence
We’ve already run our review for the So-Cal-located hardcore/grind band Nails‘ upcoming release You Will Never Be One Us but for those of you who just absolutely cannot get enough of those glowering, angry-face press photos of the band (they’re so mad!), the group put out another song for streaming ahead of the album’s June 17th release date — which by my estimation puts about a third of the album out now for public listening (and more recently, the whole album became available for streaming).
“Life is A Death Sentence” is one of the longer songs on You Will Never Be One Of Us, coming in at the almost inconvenient and time-wasting one minute and fifty-seven seconds, so if you had plans today you might as well shelve them because you’ll be stuck at the computer FOREVER whilst waiting for this one to finish.
You Will Never Be One Of Us actually has two huge songs on it, one directly in the middle at about the three-minute mark in “Violence Is Forever” (containing shades of Afgrund’s “Bullets Are Forever” from their 2012 release The Age Of Dumb) and the much ballyhooed eight-plus minutes of “They Come Crawling Back”, which closes out You Will Never Be One Of Us.
In a way, this leads to the disc having two distinct sections of blast-fueled grind with the occasional hardcore hook, a brief stop for a longer and angrier dirge of a song, and then right back into it up to the screeching closer. It’s a disc that goes through multiple repeats before you notice, and an enjoyable-as-hell quick jab to all of your nerve endings. “Life Is A Death Sentence” is part of the first half of that.
P.S. The entirety of You Will Never Be One of Us is now streaming here.
Death I Am – Calculating Fate
Now, we not only travel around the world but we also travel back in time, partly because we honestly just missed posting about this video when it came out, Japan-based death metal band Death I Am having been hard at work on new music and the group’s self-titled second disc having been released on June 15th.
There’s been a smattering of trailers for it, including an eight-minute one available here, but on April 12th the group uploaded a music video for the groove-heavy grinds of the song “Calculating Fate” — which is also the closing song on the new disc. The video is a performance video, focusing on the mighty Jacob Wilcox as he roars his way through what the band serve up, but you get your fair share of fretboard shenanigans and drum destruction to witness as well.
We’ll hopefully be able to talk about the full release after it hits shelves, but as it stands right now we have the music video (shared late as it could be) and the album trailer to go off of as a hint towards the death metal devastation that’s now available to us.
The Luna Sequence – Darkness Leaves Nowhere To Go
I hear what you’re saying. “I’m so fucking tired of all this death metal, this music is so heavy, so many goddamned video streams, doesn’t this guy have anything other than a YouTube player embed and an ability to run off at the mouth at first prompt?” To which I say, One: Fuck you, and Two: why yes I do — because it wouldn’t be a proper DGR roundup without me taking all that goodwill I’ve earned with all this music I’ve dug up and smashing its head into the ground by posting a personal favorite.
By this point, longtime NCS readers will know that I absolutely love the The Luna Sequence project, especially as it has gone the route of heavy metal by way of electronics. For those of you who don’t know, The Luna Sequence is the project of increasingly busy (also part of Cyberpunk electronic project Invocation Array, also worth a listen), now Bay-Area-based musician Kaia Young, who has been steadily releasing electronic-based music under the Luna Sequence moniker. However, a handful of albums ago, some real heavy guitar work started to worm its way into the mix and since then has only gotten more and more metal as time has gone on, leading The Luna Sequence to become a metal analog by way of electronics, synths, and one increasingly distorted and downtuned guitar.
Darkness Leaves Nowhere To Go is the latest (as of April, we’re so punctual) and probably heaviest release that Sequence has put out, with the first couple of songs being a violent whirlwind of industrial whirs and chugs — including personal highlight “Four Winds, Seven Deaths”. Darkness Leaves Nowhere To Go comes in at a pretty sleek six tracks, but all six come in heavier than one would initially expect and are beefy slabs of music. It’s not the most death metal release out there, but The Luna Sequence has quite a few moments on Darkness where the music contained within could go toe-to-toe with some of the other groups contained in this roundup.
Witherscape – Wake of Infinity
Witherscape return to the metal world three years after the release of their disc The Inheritance and two after the release of their New Tomorrow EP. The new disc, The Northern Sanctuary, will be joining the already packed date of July 22nd for release this year, and earlier this month the group put out the song “Wake Of Infinity” — which we didn’t catch because I was too busy getting lost in a fairly large city.
“Wake Of Infinity” is an impressive track, starting out like a campy horror film before Dan Swanö starts roaring his way through the song. The clean singing in “Wake” sounds more confident than it did on Inheritance , and the chorus that pops up in this song is insanely catchy.
Witherscape is admittedly a hard project to pin down, but there is something to this band’s mixture of genres that, when it works, hits like no other. “Wake Of Infinity” feels like one of those songs, and is an excellent first salvo for Northern Sanctuary.
Voltron?…I loved that cartoon!
You excited for the Netflix relaunch? That preview trailer they put out actually looked kind of rad.
I watched the first couple of episodes out of curiosity/nostalgia and its actually not too bad. I think if they reigned in the comic relief a bit Id have more fun with it though. Obviously Im not their target demographic, but even for a kids show, its a little much having three individual characters play the “look how goofy/silly/moronic I am” role.
I’m psyched for the BCI and Witherscape releases; and wow that Volturyon track is sick.
Really stoked on pretty much everything here. That Nails album might be the one to finally get me back to the gym.
Am I the only one who finds lyrics videos slightly annoying? It’s not that I think lyrics aren’t important, I just don’t want to get hit over the head with them.
I will make an exception for one lyrics video though, because it’s fucking awesome and hilarious: https://youtu.be/1ZiaAKTgNn0
I tend to ignore most of them and just treat them as a song stream because it is often the only source. I appreciate them when it comes time to write reviews, though.
Kunstzone is interesting. Stoked for new Psychotic Pulse, the one-two opening combo of Diagnosis-Asylum is one of the best album openers I’ve ever heard, it gets my own pulse a little psychotic.
Not much here for me musically, but Black Crown Initiate wins the artwork gold star. Fantastic album cover.
Witherscape is ok. There are some great elements in it, like the heavier parts, but I find I like Swano so much more when he’s producing other bands’ work.