I admit that I went berserk posting about new music this past weekend. Pretty sure that I set a weekend record for our site in the number of releases I included in those five posts between Saturday and Sunday. You’d think I would have exhausted what I found last week that got me excited — but no, not even close.
I really like all three of the songs I’ve collected here, and I also think they complement each other when heard one after the other, even though the genre styles are different.
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery”.
Those words, written by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy almost 700 years ago, begin the video that you’re about to see. Powerful words, and profoundly true. There’s also tremendous power in this video, and in the song for which it was so beautifully made.
“Misery” is the name of the song, and it comes from a new album named Surrounding the Void by the Swiss band Palmer, which will be released in a CD edition and digitally on February 24 by Czar of Crickets, with a vinyl LP coming on March 24.
The video (produced by Afrox Film) is one of the best I’ve seen in months, not only because it’s so beautifully conceived, so artfully filmed, and so engrossing to watch, but also because it meshes so well with the song.
“Misery” is heart-wrenching music. It achieves that soul-shredding effect through a blend of punishing heaviness and mesmerizing melody, alternately coiling the tension and releasing it, putting you in the crosshairs of a rumbling avalanche and then sending you aloft like desiccated leaves in a soft wind.
Much of the music’s agonizing force comes from the intensity of the vocals expressed by the shaggy man-mountain of a vocalist (Steve Diener) glimpsed through the shadows, and the video creates a visual contrast just as the music does, juxtaposing the grace and beauty of the aerialist Tina Weber.
Pre-orders via Plastichead:
P.S. If you like what you hear in this song, I’ve also included two lyric videos previously released for the album (and the second one is a 360° video, which I think you can explore through the YouTube app for your phone).
I’m beginning to think that Jonny Pettersson is on a mission to challenge Rogga Johansson for the greatest number of bands with his name attached to it — and more power to him! The latest one (that I know of) is Pale King, and in this endeavor he’s joined by his Wombbath bandmate, guitarist Håkan Stuvemark, as well as his Ashcloud bandmate, drummer Jon Rudin, with Hannah Gill on bass.
This new band has recorded a debut album named Monolith of Malign that’s set for release by Soulseller Records on April 21st, and the next song in this little collection of mine is the album’s title track, which appeared over the weekend.
We’re witnessing a seismic event here. The enormity of the drums, bass lines, and riffs in this juggernaut of a song resemble the enormous movement of tectonic plates far below the earth’s surface, while the forlorn, echoing guitar melody moves like a wraith through the tumult. Pettersson’s growls, as usual, display range and, in this case, grim and frightening ferocity, while the joinder of the guitar and the voices in the majestic chorus really cause it to stick in the mind.
This is doom-influenced melodic death metal that really does merit that overworked term “epic”.
Nordland is a one-man black metal project from the UK that I’ve written about before. The latest Nordland creation is European Paganism, which will be co-released on March 25 by two Russian labels, Satanath Records and More Hate Productions.
Yesterday I received a Bandcamp alert about this three-track release, and the link afforded the opportunity to listen to a song called “Rites At Dawn“. And not long after that I discovered that a video for the same song had become available; both are embedded below.
The bleak guitar melody in this mid-paced song’s opening seconds sinks its hooks in your head immediately, and as the music moves forward, elaborating on that theme, it becomes more and more compelling. Bursts of blasting and ripping explode in a fury, increasing the depth of unease that emanates from the song. The vocals are vibrantly savage, and the song is produced in a way that causes it to hit with the force of a sledgehammer. Blood-chilling music, and highly infectious as well.
To pre-order, visit this location: