SEEN AND HEARD: WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR, EMPTINESS, GAEREA, MOHICANS, TRUE WIDOW, JASSA, REVEAL, ANGELA MARTYR
Well, here we are on a Thursday and this is our first new music round-up of the week. I suppose it goes without saying that, four days into the week, I now have a very long list of songs and videos I’ve found that I like enough to recommend — but don’t have time or room to mention all of them.
I’ve made some choices that range far and wide in their musical styles, but because I have a hard time making choices, this is still a big post despite the fact that I haven’t been able to include everything. Stay with me though, because there’s a lot of good music below.
I first heard of Wędrujący Wiatr through an enthusiastic recommendation by Austin Lunn, the man behind Panopticon. When he first told me about the band, word had surfaced that a new album would be coming out this fall, but no music was yet available; Austin‘s enthusiasm was based on the band’s debut album, 2013’s Tam, gdzie miesiąc opłakuje świt, and after I listened to it, I understood his passion for the music.
Well, now we have a song from the new album, and it’s pretty magnificent.
The album’s name is O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach, and it will be released on October 31 by Werewolf Productions. The song that appeared recently through a YouTube video is “”Wołanie Z Granitowych Twierdz”, and it’s an emotionally powerful experience, to say the least.
In one dimension, it’s fierce and flaming, driven by torrential percussion, seething riffs, and wild, barbarous, heart-bursting growls and cries. In another dimension it’s stately, majestic, and melancholy, with impassioned clean vocals that soar into the clouds. And in yet another dimension, it’s filled with a sense of both mystical grandeur and all-too-earthly desolation. And about seven minutes in, before a sweeping climax, the thunderous storm of music falls away. A campfire crackles, and a guitar rings out a slow, plaintive, reverberating melody that becomes mesmerizing.
Here’s the new album’s track list:
1. Ze szczytów i z toni
2. Wołanie z granitowych twierdz
3. Ja, Wiatr
4. Gdzie wiatr tka makatki nocy
5. Na łańskam jyziorze
6. U stóp śniącego króla Tatr
When I last wrote about Belgium’s Emptiness a week ago, I did it despite the fact that the only music I had to share from the band’s new album Not For Music was a 33-second teaser. I suppose that was a sign of how much I liked the band’s last album (2014’s Nothing But the Whole) and how eager I’ve been to hear the new one. Well, once again, now we have a song.
What you’re about to hear, through a new video, is a track named “Meat Heart”. It begins with a shimmering ambient introduction pierced by a slow, haunting guitar melody that’s part heart-aching and part chillingly, made even more chilling by the vocalist’s deep growled words. And from there the unsettling aspects of the music intensify, propelled by a gut-rumbling bass and eerie guitar vibrations, and a voice that conjures images of some great and formless beast rising through the shadows.
There’s a mystic beauty in the song’s ambient melody, and a physical connection through the booming drumwork, but the overarching aura of the musc is shadowy, ominous, and hallucinatory. Mesmerizing stuff.
Not For Music will be released by Season of Mist on January 20, 2017. Those interested in pre-ordering can do that here.
A couple of days ago CVLT Nation premiered a song called “Void of Numbness” from the self-titled debut EP by a mysterious band named Gaerea. You might remember that name because in early August we premiered a teaser for the EP consisting of a four-minute excerpt of a single song.
And now you can listen to all of “Void of Numbness”. It’s a dark, lumbering goliath of a song with flashes of guitar lightning, lyrics voiced in scalding shrieks and ghastly roars, and alluring melodies that slither like a massive python and rise up with the shimmering appeal of an oasis mirage in a wasteland. A baleful and forbidding, yet thoroughly beguiling, piece of music.
I still don’t know who is in this band or where they’re from, but now I do know that Gaerea is 27 minutes long and will be released in CD form on November 11, with vinyl coming in mid-2017. it was produced, mixed, and mastered by John Bart Van Der Wal (Aborted) at Hewwtower Studios in The Netherlands.
P.S. We will be bringing you the premiere of another new song from Gaerea in the near future.
This next item isn’t one song, but three songs, which together make up Bombay, the new digital EP by Northern California’s Mohicans. This is the second time in as many years I’ve written about three songs by Mohicans. The last time (here) was about a new video called “Room 69” that included three songs.
This is a concise one-two-three punch, but man, what a punch it is. As they have before, Mohicans display sure-handed riff mastery, marrying thick, ropy monsters of guitar melody with skull-clubbing drum and bass work and raw, vicious vocal savagery. I can’t imagine anyone remaining motionless through this steamrolling, pile-driving barrage.
Bombay was recorded with Scott Goodrich at Nutone Studios and is being released by Creator-Destructor Records.
The next video is for a song by Dallas-based True Widow that pulls us way off the course we’ve been on up to this point in today’s collection of music. The song is “F.W.T.S: L.T.M”, from the band’s new album Avvolgere, which was released by Relapse last month.
I didn’t expect to include the song here, because it wouldn’t conform to most people’s definitions of metal and it’s definitely an exception (well-earned) to our “rule” in the vocal department, but it has become so stuck in my head that it would be hypocritical of me to ignore it — and it’s desolate and heavy in its own way.
The song is accompanied by a video filmed and edited by Mats Eks in Dallas and Terlingua, Texas, Big Bend National Park, Mexico, Sweden, and Norway. The video beautifully complements and enhances the music, and it’s eye-candy all by itself.
Jassa are a band from Vyritsa, Russia, whose members include Vladimir from Sivyj Yar. Their second album, Lights in the Howling Wilderness, is slated for release on LP later this year through Amor Fati Productions and Fallen Empire Records.
Two songs from the album can be streamed via Bandcamp — the title track and “Breath of the Most Ancient God”. The former is a seering conflagration of blasting and booming drums and surging tremolo riffs — ineffably grim but highly energizing — and as the song progresses, the riffing becomes even more vibrant and deranged, more chaotic and sinister. The music seeps into the skin like a penetrating ichor, both poisonous and intoxicating.
The second track is no less of an adrenaline rush, but there is a kind of panoramic sweep and majestic grandeur to the vibrating melody in the song’s opening minutes, yet the song also hits a hard-rocking groove without losing its undercurrent of predatory menace, and then becomes increasingly chaotic and ferocious. It’s a riff monster of a track for sure — immensely powerful and appealing.
The next song in this collection, “Stale Smoke”, was my introduction to the Swedish band Reveal. It’s a hell of a nasty greeting.
The main riff in the song is as catchy as chlamydia, and the track also includes crazed, invigorating guitar flurries and the raw, abrasive, echoing vocals of a man who sounds drunk on blood and booze. This infernal rock rock ‘n’ roll is like a drug that makes you feel you’re capable of moving mountains, but might instead just start cutting motherfuckers.
“Stale Smoke” appears on Reveal‘s debut album Flystrips, which was recorded with Tommie Eriksson (Saturnalia Temple). The artwork and layout were created by Crack, Pelle Åhmann, and Erik Danielsson. It will be available as a jewelcase-CD and on 12 vinyl on Nov. 4th 2016
1. I Am Going To Eat You
2. Leopard Cunt
5. Comes Crashing Down
6. Stale Smoke
7. Old Speckled One
8. Tame Your Neighborhood (with knives)
To conclude this big collection, I’m turning to something heavier with a song called “Carsleeper” from the debut album of Italy’s Angela Martyr, named The November Harvest. It will be released on November 25 by Avantgarde Music.
Angela Martyr appears to be a project created by Morgan Bellini of the band Vanessa Van Basten (along with bassist Stefano Parodi and drummer Roberto Della Rocca). I’m not familiar with that band and so can’t compare Angela Martyr’s music to it, but standing alone, “Carsleeper” is very attractive.
Huge, heavy, and pounding, with a somber melody, it’s doomed and dirge-like from the outset, and soon begins to spiral off into a grim nightmare realm with haunting clean vocals. The song is powerfully addictive, and if you’re not really fuckin’ high before you listen to the song, you will be by the time it ends.
I freaking love Emptiness. I love them even more for making me think I’m listening to This Mortal Coil before the vocals kick in! This is a surprisingly guitar-light song, but the darkness prevails. Can’t wait for the new album!
I don’t know what the rest of the album sounds like yet, but I have a feeling the songs are going to be different from one to the next (with the darkness prevailing in all of them).
I’m seriously digging the Gaerea video, a killer track 🙂
Glad you dig it — we will have more of the music soon.
Wędrujący Wiatr is great. Lucky I can just copy/paste their name, because I doubt I could ever recommend it to anyone – I wouldn’t know how to spell or pronounce it 😉
I’m also clueless about the pronunciation and rely entirely on copy/paste for spelling — but I can’t get enough of the song.
More or less, like “Vendrooyontsee Vyatr”.
Gaerea still sounds fucking wicked, and if I don’t say the same thing tomorrow, it’s because I don’t feel an urge to repeat myself.
🙂 Said to say, you will have to wait a bit longer than I originally thought to hear the next Gaerea premiere.
Booker mentioned “attention span” in conjunction with Deralized the other day, and waiting till the “memory span” of a grown man has reached its limit (i.e. two days) before striking again, may actually provide a more hard-hitting effect 🙂
Oh yeah, I’d forgotten I’d said that 😉
There you go, we’ve reached your recollection span. 😛
I would have pushed the like-button, but there was non.
One of the guys behind the Wędrujący Wiatr (aka Wandering Wind in the language of Shakespeare) is also responsible for Stworz – here’s a link to their latest LP (probably a fan stream):
Thanks for that.
Flystrips is actually Reveal’s second album.