To all of you who may be celebrating this day, for whatever reason, all of us here at NCS hope you have a joyous Sunday.
Actually, I have no idea whether any of the other miscreants at NCS hope that. For all I know, they hope you contract leprosy. And I’m just saying that because I’ve seen other people say it. So I said it.
With that out of the way, let’s move right into the main objective of this post, which is to put this holiday to the torch, musically speaking of course. And perhaps these gifts will also add to your joy.
DEATH LIKE MASS
The first track in this collection comes from a new EP named Jak Zabija Diabeł by the Polish band Death like Mass. Their debut EP Kręte drogi was released in 2015.
This title track from the new EP begins in unsettling fashion with a sequence of ugly distorted notes, and then hellfire blooms. Horrifying shrieks and murderous howls rise above a truly incinerating assault, which then pauses to seethe, stalk, and pour poison into your ears before the band ignite a final conflagration. A truly vicious, and truly electrifying, piece of music.
Jak Zabija Diabeł will be released in the winter of 2017 on CD and vinyl by Malignant Voices and Under the Sign of Garazel, though I’m unsure of the exact release date.
Pure Wrath is the solo project of Januaryo Hardy from West Java, Indonesia. He has recorded a debut album named Ascetic Eventide that will be released in early 2017 by the Indonesian label Hitam Kelam Records. The first advance track to be released is “Colourless Grassland”.
If you didn’t know this music originated in Indonesia, you might think it was born in Cascadia or perhaps the northern climes of Europe. It’s both chilling and vibrant, both melancholy and sweepingly beautiful. Near incessant blast-beats provide the driving propulsion at first, with hard edges furnished by the acid shrieks and the abrasiveness of distortion, yet the powerful melody is gripping.
When the pace slows, piano keys and warm bass notes surface, backed by a variation on the song’s trilling melodic theme, which is heart-aching but glorious.
The Ukrainian black metal band Kaosophia released their debut album The Origins of Extinction in 2013 and are now about to follow it with a second full-length named Serpenti Vortex. It is embellished with cover art by the very talented David Glomba (Teitan Arts).
What I’ve embedded below is a video (and a Soundcloud stream) for the first single from the album, “Enter the Devotion” — which is tyrannical and magisterial, doom-shrouded and savage, hallucinatory and harrowing. The somber melody of the song’s introduction gives way to frenzy and unease in equal measure, with furious assaults trading places with slow, dissonant arpeggios.
The changing dynamics of the song and its success in generating both blood-rushing energy and brain-twisting psychosis are to be applauded. This should be an interesting album to explore in full when it comes.
Serpenti Vortex will be released on vinyl, CD, and tape by Lamech Records, and more info is available through these links:
I discovered this Quebec duo fairly recently through an EP named Délivrance that they released last April. It’s very good, and I’ve included a Bandcamp stream of it below. But the focus here is on a new song named “Sur tes ruines“, which comes from a forthcoming album entitled Culte Funèbre (“funeral cult”), which is planned for a free release on January 13.
The song joins together the cracked, caustic ugliness of the vocals with powerfully seductive melodies whose depressive air encompasses both passages of sublimely beguiling beauty and moments of wrenching despair. There’s surging power in the song, but the instrumental interlude that comes in its first half is almost meditative and self-reflective. It proves to be a haunting piece, one that continues to haunt the mind after it ends.
Next I’ve chosen to include the full stream of a four-track EP named Burning Prayer of Infinite Hatred by a one-man project called Infernal Coil that’s based in Boise, Idaho. The creator, Blake Connally, is also a member of Dead in the Dirt.
The EP was released last May, but I just stumbled upon it. The songs move in unpredictable and harrowing directions. One moment you’re engulfed in terrifying, berserker onslaughts of murky, grinding, hate-filled black/death, the lyrics voiced by monstrous roaring. The next moment you’re head is being hammered by huge, pile-driving chords and ripped to shreds by clawing shrieks. And in another moment, a cacophony of demented voices mutter at you through a slow, twisted, dissonant tour of an asylum.
The entire EP is pitch-black at its core, with an overarching aura of pure, hungering malignancy, but this unnerving trip is an ever-changing one that reveals imagination in its conception, and it’s very well-executed as well. I’m late to the party, but this is one of the best releases of its kind that I’ve heard in this rapidly-dwindling year.
To conclude this holiday playlist I’ve chosen the second EP by the French duo Nyss. It’s a nearly 13-minute song called Abandonné 2 that was released on December 10. As the title implies, it’s the second in a series of three EPs planned for release; the band say that all of them were “recorded in various abandoned buildings throughout our little urbexing tour of Europe”.
The first section of the song is a long, droning drift of spectral ambient waves and disturbing sounds of varying kinds, pierced by boiling banshee shrieks that tear at your sanity and soaring choral voices. It would be hypnotic if it weren’t so eerie and unsettling.
And then about halfway through, the guitar that surfaced periodically through the first half begins growing in presence and intensity, giving the music a more corrosive and unhinged atmosphere. But don’t wait for a drumbeat; one never comes. You’ve been abandoned in this shadow realm, though left transfixed by the nightmares around you.