SEEN AND HEARD ON A SATURDAY: ADE, GOJIRA, INTO ORBIT, KILL, PAIN, VALBORG, BLOODWAY, WITHDRAWAL
If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.
To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.
The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us:
“The city of Carthage was indeed finally razed by the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus after the Third Battle of Carthage in 146 BC, and its entire remaining population was sold into slavery. It thus never again posed a threat to Rome — at least until taken over by the Vandals, who looted Rome in 455. The modern legend that the city was sown with salt reflects the perceived savagery of its destruction.”
Two songs from the album — “Across the Wolf’s Blood” and Sowing Salt” — are available on Bandcamp. Given the stunning brutality of the events that formed the conceptual underpinning of the album, it’s fitting that these songs are so staggeringly vicious. They’re also electrifying — blazing fast death metal assaults mounted with high-caliber drum weaponry, mercilessly pile-driving riffs, head-swirling guitar arpeggios, monstrous vocal growls and shrieks, and scintillating solos.
“Across the Wolf’s Blood” has a thoroughly militaristic air, but there’s an eerie keyboard overlay in the song, along with wisps of exotic guitar melody. The choral and symphonic elements in “Sowing Salt” give it a more epic atmosphere, but it’s also decimating.
Keep your eyes out for this album. Sounds like it’s going to be explosively good.
Yesterday Gojira released a video for the song “Low Lands” off their new album Magma. It sounds very little like the Gojira of yore, but it’s growing on me. I’ll leave you with this quote from Joe Duplantier and the video stream, since I presume the band and the album need no further introduction.
“We are releasing a new video for the song Low Lands. It is an intimate and poetic piece directed by our dear cousin and friend Alain Duplantier. One of the “characters” featured in this film is “Gayeres” the family house where Mario and I grew up. We jammed to our first songs, started Gojira, and recorded most of our albums there. Our sister Gabrielle also contributed to the making of this video. We want to thank all the wonderful people who worked hard to make this happen and all our fans for supporting us with so much passion and respect. We hope you’ll enjoy the trip as much as we do.
NCS was introduced to New Zealand’s Into Orbit through a 2014 video premiere arranged by NZ metal writer Craig Hayes; the 40-minute video encompassed the entirety of Into Orbit’s debut album Caverns. After that, I started keeping my eyes on the band, and wrote about their follow-on single “Dark Matter” (which was also accompanied by a cool video) this past January.
Now, Into Orbit have released another single, this one called “Gilgamesh”, which is a name-your-price download at Bandcamp. This one gets the head moving vigorously without delay. And as the powerful drum-and-guitar rhythm continues, the tension builds and subsides, and eventually it spills over into a riveting, rapid-fire drum sequence and a gale of grinding riffs, capped by a sinuous, unearthly guitar solo.
It’s a heavy, ominous, spellbinding track and yet another compelling reason to keep a sharp eye on what this instrumental duo from Down Under are doing. Get it on Bandcamp:
I discovered this next release thanks to an e-mail Bandcamp alert. It’s a new album named Great Death by the Swedish band Kill, which was released by Amor Fati Productions on June 7. This is the band’s fifth album, though I seem to have missed out on all their previous releases up to this one. It’s nice to finally make this discovery — and I say that because Great Death is awesome, and has quickly become one of my favorite black/death releases of the year.
And yes, this is another instance in which I’m spreading the word about an excellent album without attempting to make a full review of it — because I’m afraid I might never get around to slobbering at great length about the album’s strengths.
Kill deliver overpowering, decimating swaths of destructive, paranormal black/death — spine-shattering percussion melded with gales of abrasive riffing and phantasmagoric lead guitar emanations and capped by gruesome, cavernous roars and horrific wails and shrieks. The music is violent, chaotic, hallucinatory, disorienting, terrifying — and absolutely exhilarating.
And I want to make special note about the impact of the bass drum in these songs — it sounds like it’s about this size, and it’s used to punctuate the hurricane-force storming of the songs in ways you can feel like heavyweight punches to the gut.
You’ll figure out very quickly from the first track, “Doom Oath”, whether this is your thing. Give it a shot.
The way this alphabetization has worked out, Pain immediately follows Kill, when it seems like it should have been the other way around. Anyway, it appears that on September 9 Nuclear Blast will release a new album by Pain, the industrial-metal project led by Hypocrisy’s Peter Tägtgren. The new album’s name is Coming Home.
To start drumming up interest in the album Nuclear Blast and Pain released a digital single from the album yesterday, along with a lyric video that (at this writing) has already amassed more than 37,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Tägtgren calls “Black Knight Satellite” a “typical Pain song”, “an up-tempo song, with orchestra parts and chugging guitars”. I still have a soft spot for Pain’s music, even though it’s not nearly as extreme as what I tend to listen to these days, and this one is ridiculously catchy.
The single is available here.
VALBORG & BLOODWAY
This next item is a just-released EP composed and recorded in a collaborative effort by two excellent bands we’ve featured frequently at this site, Germany’s Valborg and Romania’s Bloodway. Both bands toured together last year, and while Valborg were in Bucharest for a concert this past January, the two groups recorded a song called “Karbon Winter” (which became the title track to this EP), and then a few months later the two bands’ respective guitarists (Christian Kolf and Costin Chioreanu) composed and recorded the second song on the EP, “Ashes“.
“Karbon Winter” is a heavy, hammering, thoroughly gloom-cloaked piece that’s made for slow headbanging and waking daydreams (or nightmares). There’s a chilling, haunting quality to the song, which is amplified by the impassioned vocal howls, and it becomes increasingly spellbinding (and even beautiful, in a very sorrowful way) as it moves along. Great stuff.
And speaking of spellbinding and spectral, those adjectives apply perhaps even more strongly to “Ashes”, an effects-laden guitar instrumental that bespeaks grief, isolation, and an untethering from the physical world.
This is a completely captivating little release, one that features wonderful cover art created by Bloodway guitarist/vocalist Costin Chioreanu (www.twilight13media.com), and it’s available at the Bandcamp pages of both bands:
Withdrawal are based in Winnepeg, Manitoba. I first discovered their music through an excellent 2013 split release they did with Young and in the Way. Now they’ve got a debut album named Never slated for a vinyl release by Escapist Records this coming fall or winter.
CVLT Nation premiered the first advance track from Never yesterday, a song named “A White Tower”, about which vocalist Adam Dyson told CVLT Nation:
“The song is about revolting skyscrapers and condos stretching across this planet, filled with useless, disgusting, self-absorbed people and their inane priorities and dreams. It originally started as a song for our clandestine side project “Autistic Moon” but we ended up totally restructuring the song and it ended up sounding more suitable for Withdrawal.”
Dyson’s raw, rage-fueled vocals are a big part of what makes this new song such a hardcore powerhouse, but it’s a real rampaging skull-cleaver in other ways as well, and the slow, doom-drenched intro shows a different side of the blackness that flows through Withdrawal’s veins. Go here to listen:
If you’d like to check out Withdrawal’s previous output, visit the Bandcamp pages linked below.
That ADE track certainly crushes, as does pretty much any death metal that comes out of Italy!
That’s really true. It’s hard to go wrong with an Italian death metal band.
It certainly doesn’t sound like old Gojira, but I honestly can’t stop listening to the new Gojira. This new vid has some nice visuals to it too.