It’s been one of those weeks. As usual, I accumulated a big list of new songs and videos I wanted to recommend, but just didn’t have time to post any round-ups. And now I don’t have time to play catch-up either. I’ve made some fairly random choices from my list to include in this post, and will have some others in tomorrow’s weekly SHADES OF BLACK installment (we have a couple of Sunday premieres lined up as well).
I say “fairly random”, because in making these choices I did try to provide a variety of metallic sounds, and I also decided (with one exception) not to write about new songs that I think have already gotten plenty of attention elsewhere around the web this past week. And so, for example, other than the following links, I won’t be writing about the new songs and videos by Solstafir, Wolfheart, Svart Crown, Havok, Valborg, Vanum, or Windswept (among others) — though they’re all worth checking out if you haven’t done that.
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). Their debut album Satan Ov Suns will be released by the Belgian label Immortal Frost Productions on March 27.
Last month I wrote about the first advance track from the album, “Rituals“, and another excellent track named “Black Dawn” is now also up on Bandcamp (here). But what I’m featuring here is an official lyric video for a third song named “Back Sun Nimbus“.
This one swings and lumbers, thunders and boils, wreathed in the occult aroma of sulphur, ominous and threatening… and eventually orgiastic. As before, the vocals are insane. And the video (made by Moornebeyhm) is appropriately creepy and demonic.
Last month I also wrote about an intriguing new band named John Frum, whose line-up consists of these gentlemen:
Matt Hollenberg (John Zorn, Cleric)/guitar
Eli Litwin (Intensus/Deveykus/Knife The Glitter)/drums
Derek Rydquist (Ex-The Faceless)/vocals
Liam Wilson (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Starkweather)/bass
Their debut album, A Stirring in the Noos, will be released by Relapse Records on May 12. When I first wrote about this news, we didn’t have any songs to stream, but now we do, and it comes in the form of a music video.
The song is “Presage of Emptiness“. Part malignant hammering, part dissonant delirium, it’s a kind of death metal hallucination. The performances are technically extravagant, the vocals bestial and often unhinged, and the whole thing is both viscerally powerful and thoroughly head-spinning.
On March 17, Throatruiner Records will release an EP named Pourrissoir by the French band Fange, which follows by only a few months the release of their debut album Purge. The song from the EP you can hear below is a harrowing piece of sludge/death named “Ressac”.
Be forewarned, this thing is massively destructive, on a bunker-busting scale, and thoroughly disturbing. The supremely crushing riffs have got that HM-2 distortion dialed to the max, and the drumming is straight-up bone-smashing. It romps and chugs, rampages and rips, and lumbers like a leviathan bent on stomping big craters into the pavement. The trio of vocalists all sound like they were being boiled in oil while expressing the lyrics, after having lost their minds. The end of the song sounds like the end of the world.
CULT OF EIBON
Cult of Eibon come from Greece, and their new six-track EP, Lycan Twilight Sorcery, will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on CD and vinyl on April 28. Their debut EP, Fullmoon Invocation, came out last year but I managed to miss it.
“The Dweller of the Woods” provides the first peak at what the new EP holds in store. The rocking heavy metal riff at the beginning of the song is a throwback to another time — and it’s immediately addictive. But don’t get too comfortable, because the song slashes and thrashes in a fury, too, and choral voices and spooky keyboards give the music an occult aura to go along with the elemental viciousness of the growls and the shrieks.
Occasional NCS contributor KevinP recently called me a bitch for not having written about the new album coming our way by Vancouver’s Infernäl Mäjesty. Not wanting to be called any more names, I decided to include a couple of songs from the album in this post. Besides, what I’ve heard from the album is really damned good.
As you may know, this band have been around (off an on) since the mid-’80s, though their last full-length (One Who Points To Death) is now 13 years old. The “comeback” album is named No God, and although the recording line-up included a new drummer and bassist, original vocalist Chris Bailey and original guitarists Steve Terror and Ken Hallman are still in harness together. No God will be released by High Roller Records on April 14.
A couple of songs from the album were released as singles last year, and I’ve embedded both of them below — the title track and “House of War”. Both songs are thoroughly sinister but also multifaceted. They’re skull-splintering in their heaviness, capable of gouging grooves in your spine; they thrash with the kind of grim ferocity that seems to have fallen out of favor with a lot of modern thrash bands; and they include sinuous, reptilian melodies and diabolically inventive soloing that slither their way into your head. Amazing vocals, too!
I’m very high on the two songs that have become publicly available from In Passing Ascension, which is the debut album by a Minnesota band named Suffering Hour. It will be released by Sweden’s Blood Harvest Records on May 26.
The band have referred to their music as “cosmic blackened death metal” that draws influence from such diverse bands as Mgla, The Chasm, and Dead Congregation, which are damned good sources of influence.
And these two songs do indeed meld together galloping/swarming black/death savagery with a sense of otherworldly menace. Freakish, dissonant melodies, alien-sounding arpeggios, and pestilential riff swarms infiltrate the music, which also includes plenty of dismembering death metal might. And on top of all that, the songs are elaborate in their composition and technically impressive in their performance. This is a great new discovery… very anxious to hear more.
To conclude, I’d like to share a new video for a song called “Smoke From Distant Fires” by the UK instrumental band Telepathy. The song appears on the band’s new concept album Tempest (their second full-length) which will be released on March 31 by Golden Antenna Records (which has been home to such excellent artists as Phantom Winter, Fvnerals, Sun Worship, and Planks).
Tempest is described as a depiction of “the harrowing journey of a person beset with grief and faced with total isolation after awaking from a great flood”. “The album guides the listener on a journey through awakening, desolation and finally acceptance”.
The music itself is an amalgam of elements one might slot into post-metal, doom, and black metal. It includes enormous, girder-thick riffs, crushing drum work, bursts of poisonous guitar frenzy… and entrancing melodies that are as light and shimmering as gossamer webs vibrating in the moonlight. The intensity of the music ebbs and flows, but its atmosphere is mainly dark and ominous, reaching climaxes of pulverizing destructiveness.