Maybe I should have divided this round-up of mostly new music into multiple parts in an effort to reduce the sensory-overload risk. But I was so happy with the range of diversity in this collection that I decided to leave it alone. Hope you find some things to like in here.
Haeresis is the name of the new album by one of our site’s favorite bands, the Iberian horde known as Noctem. They’ve been dribbling out tracks from the album since August, with “Through the Black Temples of Disaster” and “The Submission Discipline” having been previously released, and yesterday I discovered a third single, “Pactum With The Indomitable Darkness“.
Collectively, these tracks demonstrate some positive evolutions (or deviations) in Noctem’s sound, causing me to kick myself for not yet diving headlong into the album as a whole. After an ominous, strummed acoustic intro, savagery reigns on “Pactum With The Indomitable Darkness”. The fireball drumming alone is reason enough to hear the song, but the riffs and caustic vocals are seething and superheated as well.
The acoustic guitar returns later to good effect, by the way, and not long after you get an absolutely berserk finale.
Haeresis will be released by Prosthetic Records in North America and Art Gate Records in Europe on September 30.
This next song hit me like a bolt out of the blue last night, and I’m still reeling from the impact. The name of the track, which has arrived in the form of a lyric video, is “Viriglio Mago” and it was created by a one-man Italian band named Scuorn. The album from which it comes is entitled Parthenope, and it will be released by Dusktone early next year. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered at the 16th Cellar Studio in Rome by Stefano “Saul” Morabito (Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour Of Penance). Here’s Scuorn’s introduction to the song:
“The legend of ‘Virgilio Mago’ is based on the famous poet Publius Vergilius Maro, arguably believed to be a visionary clairvoyant by the neapolitans, who later proclaimed his pagan legendary figure as spiritual patron of Naples. His obscure magic was always used to benefit and help the city and its population, and invoked in times of famine, drought, plague and disease, and thus his mysterious oracle was never forgotten.”
With that introduction, I’ll say this about the song: It’s a truly eye-opening offering of epic symphonic black metal — majestic, bombastic, ferocious, theatrical, panoramic, richly textured, richly rewarding. I felt like giving a standing ovation at the end.
The video below was produced by the Italian artist Goffredo Passi at EstremArte videoproduzioni. It features guest orchestrals by Riccardo Studer from the Italian band Stormlord and guest narrated vocals by Daniele “Ogre” Cristiano in the role of Publius Vergilius Maro.
After listening to this new song, I discovered a second one from the album that was released earlier this year as a Bandcamp digital single, and I’m including that one below as well.
(Thanks to Tito V. for the tip on this one.)
I spilled a lot of gushing ink over the debut EP (Yearwalker) of Sweden’s Gloson, including a review and full-stream premiere, and I included a song from the EP on our list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I am, therefore, delighted to report that Gloson have a new album named Grimen that’s headed our way… and that the band released a digital single from the album a few days ago.
The song’s name is “Cringe“. It comes with very creepy-cool artwork by Seiya Ogino at Ogino Design and it’s available as a “name your price” download at Bandcamp. It’s a long, dark track, and well worth all of its minutes.
Anchored by a huge, gravel-textured low end that shivers the spine and tumbling drum beats that rumble the guts, the song spins out streamers of ethereal guitar melody and pounds with hammering riffs, building an almost hallucinatory atmosphere even as it gets your head bobbing. It also includes contrasting vocal textures as well as an extended instrumental section in the back half that’s spellbinding.
(Thanks to Miloš for making me aware of this release.)
UPDATE: I’ve just discovered that Art of Propaganda released a lyric video for “Cringe”, and so I’ve added that below.
The fantastic cover art by Joe Petagno for the new album by the Spanish death metal duo Necroven caught my eye immediately. The album’s name is Primordial Subjugation and it will be released by Memento Mori on October 24. So far, I’ve heard one song from the album, which I’m sharing with you below, and it’s a killer named “Sacrificial Deliverance“.
Seriously, strap yourselves in for an electrifying ride. This is grim, morbid death metal (with monstrous vocals) that has a very high viciousness quotient, yet the swarming guitar melodies that seethe through the deep, bone-splintering blood-work have a kind of melancholy beauty and memorable appeal that you might not be expecting. But mainly, the song will gut you and then incinerate the remains.
Negative Symbols is the name of a new solo project by Berlin-based Benedikt Willnecker, a creative force in the group Ära Krâ and a former live bassist with Der Weg einer Freiheit. If you know anything about the music of those groups, then you’ll understand why I investigated this new project.
Negative Symbols has recorded a debut album named Without Voices that’s scheduled for release on November 30. The tracks have no names, distinguished only by Roman numerals. The one you can check out below is “III“.
When I tell you this is instrumental black metal, you may be skeptical about its appeal, but I think if you allow yourself to be immersed in the track you’ll find it transporting. I certainly felt that way. It’s a dynamic and vibrantly melodic track, one that moves from blazing drumwork and intense, boiling riffs on one end of the emotional scale to soft, layered guitars that seem meditative on the other. The time passes before you know it.
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX
I’ve always loved the evocative name Crippled Black Phoenix, though I confess that I haven’t dug into the group’s extensive discography. That’s about to change, because I’ve been hooked hard by the first single from this band’s new album, Bronze — which will be released by Season of Mist on November 4.
I guess I may not have delved into the band’s music because it’s less extreme than my usual audio fare, but this song “No Fun” is so damned catchy that I’ve put Bronze on my must-listen list. The fuzz-bombed central riff is a hard-driving machine I can’t get out of my head, but it also provides the foundation for a lot of other cool happenings along the way. The haunting vocals are an exception to our “rule”, but they’re a gem, one of many in this dark diadem of a song.
To conclude this round-up, I’m moving from the least extreme song in this collection to the most extreme one. It’s a song I’ve featured before on our site, but I have an excuse to share it again because it’s one of three recordings that collectively make up the soundtrack to the new movie Blair Witch.
The song is “Hakmarrja“, which is the title track to an album released in 2014 by the industrial black metal band N.K.V.D. It would scare the shit out of most people. I have to temper how often I revisit it, because it unnerves the fuck out of me, too. The vocals are terrifying, and the huge heaving chords that give the song shape within the hellish inferno of black sound apply a constricting grip on the throat.
P.S. I have no intention of seeing Blair Witch, or of ever going back to watch The Blair Witch Project that preceded it. I scare easily.
Hakmarrja has recently been re-pressed by Avantgarde Music and is available through the links below.