I meant to finish this post and launch it yesterday, but as you may have noticed, we had a flood of premieres (all of them worth checking out if you haven’t), and time ran out. So I’m not quite as fast in turning you onto these things as I’d like, and with the delay I’ve accumulated even more good things that I’ll need to throw at you this weekend.
To begin, I have a piece of news that perked me right up, from a fondly remembered band whom I haven’t had an excuse to write about in a few years. They are Of Wolves, and they are of wolves.
This band’s last album was 2013’s Evolve, about which I vomited many words in my review, but still failed to capture the breathtaking and breathless variety of music in that album. Four years later, and I still can’t remember encountering a trip quite like Evolve.
The mantra of these three pissed-off working men from Chicago was, “Life has been rough, the music is therapy,” and the therapy apparently consisted of taking a whole kitchen sink’s worth of musical influences and interests (not all of them metal) and letting them spill out in a flood of exuberant musical creativity and politically charged lyricism.
And so I really was very excited to discover that Of Wolves are coming back with new music, and that it will be released by Cimmerian Shade. And I have a teaser to share with you, though it’s a really frustrating tease. I mean, really frustrating. I’m sharing it anyway, because I don’t see why I should be alone in my frustration. Like misery, it loves company.
P.S. After you’ve gotten frustrated by this teaser, do yourself a favor and take your head on a real unpredictable trip and listen to Evolve, a stream of which I’ve conveniently embedded below.
DEATH LIKE MASS
On Christmas Day, 2016, I wrote about the title track from a new EP named Jak Zabija Diabeł by the Polish band Death Like Mass. Now the whole EP has finally been released by Under the Sign of Garazel and Malignant Voices.
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. It’s a truly vicious, and truly electrifying, piece of music — and so is the savagely storming track that follows it, “Fausta Clemna Noc Duszy”. Laced with dissonant guitar leads and demonic vocal torment, it’s pure pandemonium, but with a rhythmic dynamism that includes a driving groove, cascades of unearthly delirium, and a kind of doomed and terrifying grandeur.
The final track, “Abominacje”, is the shortest of the three outbursts, and perhaps the most deranged and incinerating, an overpowering blast of ripping chaos that never relents.
This EP detonates like a fireworks display right inside your head. Do not miss it.
I began to figure out that this next track was something I should listen to when I saw cryptic Facebook posts about it by several excellent bands I follow. It’s a word-of-mouth thing so far, but probably will rise to something more than that before long.
As best I can figure out so far through my sleuthing, Maliblis is a Colorado band whose line-up includes Primitive Man’s bass player (Jon) on guitar, the drummer for Khemmis and Vasaeleth (Zach), and one or more unidentified members from Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice. For now, they’ve put up one demo track on Bandcamp (where it can be ordered on tape), and it’s really nasty.
“Fiery Seer” is the name of the song. It’s a murky, gurgling, seething piece of foulness and bestiality, the vocals ranging from gruesome, cavernous roars to boiling-in-oil shrieks, and the pace moving from murderous mayhem to a mix of lurching and oozing laced with solos that are freakishly demented and then queasy and dismal, with a final eruption of torment and terror to cap things off.
Longhouse are based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Their second album, II – Vanishing, will be released on April 14. I remembered their name from the impact of their debut album Earth From Water, which I wrote about too briefly back in 2015.
Based on what I’ve read, the lyrics of the new album draw on bassist/vocalist Josh Cayer’s interest in “Indigenous culture and ways of knowing while drawing attention to historic and current issues affecting Indigenous populations such as the Indian Residential School system and murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls”.
The one song from the album released for public listening so far is “No Name, No Marker“, and if you guess that refers to graves, you would be correct. It’s a riveting mix of doom and post-metal with blackened shrieking in the vocal department. After a haunting, grief-stricken opening, the track becomes heavier and more intense by orders of magnitude, eventually becoming a big juggernaut of earthquaking chugs and groaning chords, with guitar leads that shimmer, flicker, and spiral around the powerful rhythms like ghost lights. The wrenching vocals add to the music’s intensity, and the grinding bass solo is a nice touch as well.
The song is guaranteed to get your head moving hard, especially when it hits its main groove and really drives relentlessly to the end.
Animus Mortis come from Santiago, Chile, and they’ve recently posted a song called “The Pilgrimage” from a 7″ split with the U.S. band Kommandant that was released in January by Behold Barbarity. I checked it out because they’re a metal band from Chile, and that’s usually a good sign, at least for people with my tastes.
“The Pilgrimage” is a strange and powerful amalgam of head-clobbering heaviness and unearthly melody, esoteric atmosphere and unnerving intensity. The variations in the vocal delivery are attention-grabbing, as is the drum performance, which provides a physically compelling drive while the dissonant guitar machinations twist and turn in displays of alien ecstasy.
Undergang push all sorts of my buttons — the ones labeled “kill”, “maim”, “bleed”, and “cannibalism”. There’s a button labeled “ram your head into the wall at high speed”, but this is a public site so I’m not saying anything about what they did to that one.
The song below just appeared on Bandcamp, and the Bandcamp page explains that it was recorded back in 2011 and released on a 10″ vinyl split with Anatomia by Saco Un Ojo Records much later. I hadn’t heard the song until it hit Bandcamp. I thought you might want to hear it, too, to figure out which of your buttons it might push.
“Graven som fængsel” is a long track by Undergang standards, and so it ranges and changes. It opens in galvanizing fashion with a riveting drum performance and then collapses into a sinkhole of doom and desolation. But fear not, before they succeed in completely sucking all the air from your lungs, Undergang kick the pace into marauding gear again, the acrobatic drumwork and furious riffing juxtaposed against the slow, abyssal vocal horrors.
And so it goes, back and forth between rampaging and festering, with bouts of chugging and methodical clobbering thrown in for good measure. Love it.