I know it’s damned late in the day for another post — probably past bed-time for some of our readers across the Atlantic — but I’ll be damned if I let another day go by without resuming the rollout of this Most Infectious Song series. This train must keep on rolling! (If you’d like to see the songs that preceded these three or learn what we mean by “most infectious”, go here.)
I continue to have fun picking combinations of songs for each installment. The three songs in this one are musically quite distinct, although all of them display phenomenal musicianship, but they do have a few things in common. Perhaps the most obvious one is a fascination with SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE….
I assume I don’t need to provide much of an introduction to the new Mithras album, On Strange Loops. Nevertheless, I assume I’d have to pay some wretched price if I mentioned Mithras without quoting from my friend Andy Synn’s review, so here goes:
“Long-term fans will be pleased to know that the core essence of the band’s sound is still very much the same, still firmly rooted in the old-school values of song-craft and dynamic, still the logical evolution of the blueprint originally laid out by bands such as Pestilence and Morbid Angel, but without being married to any sort of forced, retro aesthetic.
“The riffs – of which there are more than I can count – are as punishing and technically adept as ever, while the drums (also provided by Leon Macey) deliver a furious, blasting bombardment that rarely fails to impress.
“Most importantly of course, the lead guitar work – always one of the band’s most striking and defining features – still has that same blend of otherworldly fluidity and chaotic complexity, walking a fine-line between melody and madness, while the authoritative and instantly-recognisable bark of bassist/vocalist Rayner Coss (who has since departed the band) remains as potent as ever.”
Okay, now that I’ve done that, let me just tell you that I had the devil of a time picking a song from among the many on this album that I could have put on this list without any niggling doubts. “The Statue on the Island”, “Odyssey’s End”, and still others were contenders… but after running them through my addled brain a few more times, the one I chose is “When the Stars Align” — because for me all the stars just align so well in this song, and it’s the one I find myself going back to more than the others I considered.
I again assume I don’t need to provide any lengthy introduction to Blood Incantation and their 2016 album Starspawn. If you’ve read more than one or two year-end lists, then undoubtedly you’ve seen the name, because it has been everywhere… and with just cause. It melds brutality, instrumental extravagance, and weird and wondrous atmosphere with striking success, genuinely meriting the term progressive death metal.
While I might not need to introduce the album, perhaps some explanation is in order for why I picked “Vitrification of Blood (Part 1)” for this list. It is, after all, a 13-minute-long song. “Chaoplasm” or “Starspawn” might have been more logical and perhaps more expected choices. And it’s not as if “Vitrification” has one dominant, catchy hook that it’s built around. But I picked it because within its expansive confines it includes so many memorable moments, so many instances that come back to me at unexpected times.
And so here it is… “Vitrification of Blood (Part 1)”:
Void Omnia’s 2016 album Dying Light might require more introduction than the two that preceded it in this installment of the list, though I have seen it appear on a fair share of year-end lists. Unfortunately, I don’t have a review from our own site that I can use as a summing up or expression of praise. I hang my head in shame that we didn’t write about it — I fully intended to, but as in so many other ways, I failed.
But rather than attempt late in this day to come up with words of my own — other than to say it is a damned fine record — I’ve decided to quote from Mattias A.’s review at CVLT Nation:
“Void Omnia are a new atmospheric black metal band from Oakland that feature current and former members of Mutilation Rites, Tombs, Apocryphon, Infinite Waste, Ulthar and many more local and non-local underground acts, and they play some of the most mesmerizing and shape-shifting atmospheric melodic black metal to ever come out of the Bay.
“With a sound that borrows equally from the cascadian black metal tradition (WITTR, Skagos, Addaura, Agalloch, Velnias), and from the far away, distant and more “exotic” austral hemisphere black metal tradition (namely Woods of Desolation and Encircling Sea), Void Omnia have crafted something of truly soul-shattering intensity – music that has made of sonic vastness, trance-inducing songwriting, and pulverizing buildups an irreplaceable dogma”.
Apart from how much I enjoyed Dying Light as a whole, one song in particular has continued to exert a pull on my attention, like the effect of a magnet on iron filings. And that song is the lead track on the album, “Remanence of A Ghost Haunt“. And so it becomes my latest addition to this growing list of Most Infectious Songs: