I decided to give the “Seen and Heard” caption a brief rest, but that’s basically what this post is — a round-up of new songs and videos. It just happens that everything in this round-up is the sound of slaughtering, though translated through difference metallic prisms. In essence, we’ll do a death metal/black metal back-and-forth, though you’ll hear differences even within those broad genre umbrellas, and the boundaries blur as well.
Over the weekend Sinister released an official video (created and directed by Sebastiaan Spijker) for a song called “Neurophobic” off their new album Syncretism, which will be released on February 24 by Massacre Records. This is the 13th studio album by these Dutch death metal veterans, and judging from the new song, it’s going to be lethal.
A swelling symphonic overture launches this new song, and when the band kicks into gear the effect is no less bombastic. If a thundering, savage rampage is what you’re after, one that’s conjoined with passages of infernal grandeur, this electrifying track will fix you right up. The horrifying video is a blast to watch as well (possibly NSFW, depending on where you work).
Syncretism features cover art by Alex Tartsus. It’s available for digital preorder on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, and CD editions are being sold via such places as the Nuclear Blast online shop and the Napalm Records store.
Earlier this month Sinister also released a lyric video for another new album track called “Blood-Soaked Domain“, and I’ve included that one as well.
Next I’m pairing two songs by the French black/death band Svart Crown off their new album Abreaction, which is set for release by Century Media on March 3 in Europe and March 17 in the U.S. The first track, “Transsubstantiation” appeared in mid-January, and the lyric video for the second one, “Khimba Rites“, debuted late last week.
A sense of dark grandeur and a poisonous, near-hallucinatory atmosphere emanate from “Khimba Rites”, augmented by vocals that range from demonic growls to ritualistic chants and soaring choral voices. “Transsubstantiation” is equally dramatic, almost theatrical in its presentation, though more frenzied and ferocious, and also more doomed and dissonant. Both songs are unsettling, yet viscerally thrilling.
Album pre-orders can be placed here.
In case you missed the announcement, Svart Crown is also embarking this week on a U.S. tour with Marduk and Incantation. Here’s the schedule, followed by “Khimba Rites” and “Transsubstantiation”:
02/07/17 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
02/08/17 Atlanta, GA Heaven @ Masquerade
02/09/17 Dayton, OH Oddbody’s
02/10/17 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
02/11/17 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
02/12/17 Fort Worth, TX Rail Club
02/13/17 Austin, TX Grizzly Hall
02/14/17 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
02/15/17 Phoenix, AZ Joe’s Grotto
02/16/17 Las Vegas, NV tbc
02/17/17 Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater
02/18/17 Oakland, CA Metro Opera House
02/19/17 Portland, OR Bossanova Ballroom
02/20/17 Seattle, WA Studio Seven
The next song I’ve selected for this round-up is “Infestation – Manifestation – Possession” by the Belgian band Possession. It appears on their debut album Exorkizein, which I’ve been awaiting with great eagerness. The album will be jointly released by Invictus Productions and Iron Bonehead Productions on April 7. There’s a new vocalist and a new bassist in the line-up since the band’s last release, 1585-1646, and Chris Moyen did the thoroughly metal cover art.
This first advance track is described as an explanation of the three step of demonic possession: “As written in the holy book of exorcism, demoniac possession comes by progressive steps …when the last one is complete, it is already too late…”
The music captures the song’s thematic inspiration in gripping fashion, with eerie, pestilential melody, deranged vocal extremity, and riffs that slash and strike with barbarous intent. It hits like a combination of thunderstorm and cyclone, devastatingly grim but adrenaline-triggering as well.
Doedsvangr is yet another group formed and fronted by Norwegian artist Doedsadmiral. His other groups include Nordjevel, Svartelder, and Enepsigos. For Doedsvangr, he is joined by Finnish guitarist Shatraug (Horna, Sargeist, ex-Behexen, Nightbringer) and drummer Anti-Christian (Tsjuder, Beaten To Death), and that’s a line-up that ought to peak your interest immediately.
Doedsvangr’s debut album is named Satan Ov Suns and it will be released by the Belgian label Immortal Frost Productions on March 27. The first advance track from the album, “Rituals“, appeared on Bandcamp just days ago.
Doedsadmiral’s vocals are wild and ugly, conjuring images of a great horned beast loosed from its cage, while the torrent of sound surrounding his voice pulses with infernal energy. Ranging from frenzies of seething ferocity to passages of grim melancholy, it’s a dynamic track that packs a lot of texture into a relatively short space of time.
Pre-order via the link below:
Doedsvangr on Facebook:
I discovered the Spanish death metal band Morbid Flesh in 2014. During that year we had the pleasure of premiering a stream of their EP Embedded In the Ossuary, which I described in this way:
“Morbid Flesh have a potent ability to unleash rampaging death metal in the vein of Dismember, Entombed, and Grave, with huge grinding riffs, punishing percussion, spitfire soloing, and cruel, savage vocals — all of which unite to create an atmosphere of dread and menace. But the band bring something more to the table as well.
“They also have an ear for memorable melody and a knack for changing course within the songs in ways you may not be expecting. There is an air of enveloping sorrow, doom, and decay in many of the guitar leads, even when the titanic riffs are doing their damnedest to smash your bones into dust. They wield their giant smoking chainsaws with skill and a vicious attitude, but they can serve up crushing melancholy with equal aplomb.
“In a nutshell, this is first-class, old-school, Swedish-style death metal that deserves to be heard far and wide by discriminating fans of the genre.”
Morbid Flesh are now returning with their second album, Rites of the Mangled, which will be released by Unholy Prophecies on April 24 (CD), with a vinyl edition to follow. “Circle Cursed” is the first track to be revealed from the album.
The song is less an example of classic Swe-death than a firestorm of disease and destruction, its riffs and pacing turning from rapacious savagery to festering decomposition, and back again. And you’ll get a good headbang going as the song romps and gallops. Like the previous song in this collection, “Circle Cursed” packs a lot of dynamic twists and turns into its run-time (the dynamic vocal turns are riveting — and horrifying — as well).
To conclude this slaughtering round-up I have a new video from the French black metal band The Negation. This video is for a song with the thoroughly badass title of “A Prayer For Those I Will Have To Kill“, which appears on the band’s most recent album, 2015’s Memento Mori. The video was directed by Guilherme Henriques (Belphegor, Helheim, etc.).
We’ve already enjoyed a fair amount of bombast in this collection of songs, and “A Prayer…” has its fair share of bombast as well, beginning in a mid-paced rhythm with riffs and leads that cast a thoroughly ominous and otherworldly aura, and eventually exploding in a barbaric attack full of incendiary guitar work and pummeling percussion. Heads will bang hard in the song’s final minute, too.
The very well-made video is just as murderous as the music.