SEEN AND HEARD: MESHUGGAH, AUROCH, ARSIS, ANICON, ANCIIENTS, BRAIN TENTACLES, BATTLE DAGORATH, FERAL LIGHT, HELEN MONEY, VANHELGA
I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.
I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.
I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad:
It’s interesting that (so far) there has been no press release or other official announcement of this news by the band or the label, nor have I found a decent image of the cover art. I’m sure we will soon have more news about this than we know what to do with. Very exciting.
(via The PRP)
I’ve a big fan of Vancouver’s Auroch for years, and in this year had the good fortune of seeing them perform live on several occasions (and goddamn they are good live). So, yesterday’s official announcement about a new Auroch album was hot news indeed.
The name of the album is Mute Books, and it will be released by Profound Lore on October 21, with cover art by Cold Poison. Here’s the track list:
1. Billowing Vervain
2. He Wreaths The Cross
3. Say Nothing
5. The Keeping
6. Her Bidding
7. Cup Of Hemlock
If you happened to miss the band’s latest release — the excellent In Cronian Hour split with Mitochondrion, which we premiered with a review earlier this year, check that out below.
Arsis have recorded a new song named “As Deep As Your Flesh”, which is their first new material since 2013’s Unwelcome. Today the band unveiled a drum playthrough video of a pre-production version of the song, featuring the talents of Shawn Priest. This should get your head banging and your blood pumping, especially when the extended guitar solo erupts at about 2:20.
Earlier this month we premiered a full stream (with a review) of the fantastic new album Exegeses by New York’s Anicon, which was released by Gilead Media on July 8. If you haven’t yet listened to the album, I strongly encourage you to do so. A couple days ago Noisey hosted the premiere of a video for one of the songs from Exegeses, “The World As Will”. Watch it below.
And I’ve also included a Bandcamp stream of the album, because — to repeat — you really should listen to all of it.
I quite enjoyed this Vancouver band’s 2013 debut album Heart of Oak, and yesterday Season of Mist announced that they will return with a new full-length named Voice From the Void on October 14. We also got the unveiling of the cover art, plus a new song named “Following the Voice”. I found it electrifying.
Brain Tentacles is an improvisational and experimental metal band whose line-up consists of Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest, Corrections House, etc.) on horns, voice, electric piano, and synth; Dave Witte (Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste, Deny The Cross, etc.) on drums; and Aaron Dallison (Keelhaul) on bass, voice, and synth. Their self-titled debut album will be released on September 30 by Relapse Records. Earlier this week, the first advance track from the album appeared — “The Sadist” — and it’s a jet-propelled piece of head-spinning jazz/metal ferocity (the bass and drum work alone make this well worth a listen).
As we reported previously, Brain Tentacles will be touring North America in October with Gorguts and Intronaut. Hell of a tour.
I’m planning to pull together a Shades of Black post for tomorrow (because I’m going to be out of town and out of computer contact from Saturday afternoon through Sunday), but I thought I would include some black metal with this round-up in addition to what I have planned for tomorrow.
This is a song called “Phantom Horizons Beyond” from the forthcoming fourth album by the multinational band Battle Dagorath. The album’s name is I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos, and it’s the first part of a two-part release, with the second album coming later this year. Part 1 will be released by Avantgarde Music on September 30. The cover art is by Irish illustrator Glyn Smyth.
“Phantom Horizons Beyond” is nearly 14 minutes long, and merits the extended run time, delivering a flaming vortex of absolutely ravaging barbarity, malignant yet majestic atmospherics, and unhinged, bestial vocal extremity. At around the 7:30 mark, there is a gorgeous melodic guitar solo that seems to echo off the vault of the heavens, and near the end the music transforms into something nightmarishly hallucinatory. Intense, and intensely captivating.
Feral Light is a Minnesota-based three-piece formed by ex-members of Wolvhammer, Empires, Manetheren, and Finger of Scorn. Their debut album A Sound of Moving Shields will be released by the Bay Area’s Sentient Ruin label on August 19. Below you can listen to the first advance track from the album, “Baptized In Shellfire”. If you like what you hear, you can pre-order it via the Bandcamp link below.
I’ve heard the whole release and I really, really like it. It is reminiscent of Wolvhammer’s debut The Obsidian Plains, mixing together black metal, crust, and post-punk. It rocks really fuckin’ hard.
I’m going to switch gears with the last two songs in this collection. The first of them is a track from the new album Become Zero by Helen Money — which is the solo project of cellist Alison Chesley. It will be released by Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records on September 16. On this new album Chesley is joined again by drummer Jason Roeder (Sleep, Neurosis), who also contributed to her 2013 record Arriving Angels. The new album was written after the death of both of Chesley’s parents, and the heartache of that experience is reflected in the music.
The song below is the title track, and it’s mesmerizing.
I’ve been following Sweden’s Vanhelga since the release of their wonderful 2013 EP Sommar (reviewed here). On October 1, Talheim Records will release their fourth album Ode & Elegy, and below you can listen to one of the new songs, “Förstörd” — which is achingly forlorn, chillingly haunting, and beautiful in its depressive despair.
The album can be pre-ordered here. It will also be available on Bandcamp:
Enjoyed Brain Tentacles quite a bit. Dave Witte kills it yet again.
His performance on this song really is riveting. Really anxious to hear the rest of this album.
I can’t be anymore excited about the new Anciients. Heart of Oak was truly breathtaking for me!
Same here man. I don’t think I’ve listened to any album over the past three years more than Heart of Oak.
Heart of Oak is great, but I have to say, I am REALLY digging Following the Voice, which is at least as strong as any song from Anciient’s debut album. I think that we are in for a tremendous treat come October…
Awesome Arsis track! Drum playthroughs are so fun to watch, almost as fun as live drum cams 🙂
As a non-musician, I’m constantly amazed by playthrough’s of high-speed extreme metal in general (regardless of the instrument) because I can’t wrap my mind around what it takes to do this stuff, but drum playthroughs always seem to take the cake for me too.
I can play drums but nothing like the kids you see in these videos, they’re just amazing!
I had already commented on the new Anicon album during the feature published on this site at the beginning of the month, and at that time I was floored. Three weeks later, now that I own it and have listened to it several times more, I am floored even further. Some of the best that 2016 has to offer, without a doubt.
And Anciients…this has me pumped like few other albums this year. It is good to be alive.
It is good to be alive! And with some time having passed after first discovering the Anicon album, I still feel as you do — this is one of the best albums of the year.
I have just discoverd Battle Dagorath lately and they are real masters at what they do, which also happen to be my favourite black metal sound/style/theme/…etc; could not get enough of Cursed Storm Of The Ages, and now i learn that not only a new album is about to come out.. but two; so i’m in great perplexity here wondering in awe and terror, why would The Nightspirit treat me with a similar indulgence!
as for this advanced track; i am in no grade to try to elaborate a description of its majesty anymore than what was said above.
I have only discovered them through this one song just in recent days. Amazing music.
Do the both of you get a strong Darkspace vibe from this album? This is not a complaint – quite the contrary, as these guys do a more militant, and (slightly) better-produced form of Darkspace’s work.
Battle Dagorath completely overshadows the others here. Nerve wracking, formidable sounds coming from those guys.
Agree with all features but Vanhelga do not deserve to be reviewed. Terrible band with even worse live performances and a complete rip off of other DSBM bands. Not to meniton the astonishing rudeness and lack of morals of the founder/lead singer/asshole