As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.
Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages.
Isn’t that a handsome group of grim visages? In case you don’t recognize all of them, here’s the Just Before Dawn line-up that has been assembled for live performances:
Dave Ingram – Vocals
Anders Biazzi – Guitar
Gustav Myrin – Guitar
Jonny Pettersson – Bass/backing vocals
Jon Rudin – Drums
JBD hasn’t yet announced specific performances yet. I suppose it’s too much to hope that they will visit my backyard in the Seattle area.
And in other JBD news, the band’s new compilation On the History of Destruction is now available for order on CD at this location. It includes three brand new tracks, re-recordings of two old tracks, a Bolt Thrower Tribute, two unreleased tracks from the archives, and a Hail of Bullets cover. The participants on the album include Jonny Pettersson, Brynjar Helgetun, Marc Niederhagemann, Rai Wolters, Kam Lee, Rick Rozz, Håkan Stuvemark, David Nilsson, Mathias Nastolin, Eric Cutler, Jörgen Kristensen, Anders Biazzi, and some hidden guests.
Here’s the track list (not including two hidden tracks):
1. Ghosts of the Eastern Front
2. Lower Dneiper Offensive
3. Ordered Eastward
4. Fortress at Lorient
5. As Death Breaks the Surface
6. Under Wheels of Death
7. Panzerkampfwagen IV
8. Tribute Medley (We Will Remember Them)
We premiered the Bolt Thrower cover last fall, and I’m including that stream again below, because it’s so good.
For more info about the live gigs, watch this space:
For those of you who have had to content yourself with endless repeat plays of the remarkable 2011 debut album Griseus by the Australian project Aquilus (reviewed by me here), I have some good news to share, i.e., this brief but exciting announcement that appeared yesterday on the Aquilus Facebook page:
“An update: Two full albums are currently in production, the first of which will be released late this year, and part two should be released sometime in the following year…”
Griseus was the solo work of Horace “Waldorf” Rosenqvist, but Aquilus has been performing live more recently, and we will find out whether one or more of these two new albums will be more of a band project than the solo work of Mr. Rosenqvist. Regardless, it is HIGHLY anticipated, as the old saying goes.
Enjoy the wonders of Griseus below (for the 1000th time, or the first time).
REEK OF MARTYR
I was dismayed to learn not long ago that the excellent Swedish death metal band Blood Mortized (whose ranks included the afore-mentioned Anders Biazzi) has disbanded. On the other hand, I am buoyed by the news that two of its members are moving on in a project called Reek of Martyr.
The line-up of Reek of Martyr includes vocalist/guitarist Wolfgang Bothbauer (Zombie Inc.), guitarist Gustav Myrin (Just Before Dawn, ex-Blood Mortized), and drummer Pelle Ekegren (ex-Blood Mortized, ex-Grave). The group’s debut EP Heretic is a four-song demo that will be released later this year, and they recently debuted the first teaser of music in the form of an in-studio video for part of a track named “Of Aeons and Blood“.
And holy shit, even this small excerpt, bookended by some relatively tranquil sounds, is a scorching piece of destructive death metal lunacy. Want more!
A few days ago I received a Bandcamp e-mail alert about a forthcoming release from Naturmacht Productions by a French band named Lying Figures. Entitled The Abstract Escape, it’s the band’s debut album (after a previous EP) and it’s described as music “inspired by tortured art as well in music, cinema or literature. From Saturnus to Katatonia, from David Lynch to John Carpenter, Edgar Allan Poe to Lovecraft and through Silent Hill or Alice in Wonderland“.
The song below is “The Mirror“, presented in both a Bandcamp stream and a new official video. Doom is the primary anchor of this powerful track, manifested in both massive dark riffs coupled with gargantuan growls and more subdued and somber melodic passages paired with a desolate clean voice. It heaves, rumbles, swings, and even briefly races… and gets its hooks in the head the more it goes.
The album is set for release on May 7.
I have so many more new songs I’d like to recommend, but I need to bring Part 2 of this round-up to a close so I can turn to some other things I need to post today. And to do that I chose the following advance track by the Swiss band Darkreverie, which premiered a couple days ago at Truemetal.it. The song is “Lupus (Hymn To A Wolf Goddess)“, and the EP on which it appears is Isis – Lupus – Brigit, which will be released by Via Nocturna on May 31. The EP is adorned with a creation by the great Italian artist Paolo Girardi.
The craggy, lumbering, ominous riffs are redolent of doom metal, but the tinkling piano keys and scarring vocals are harbingers of something more demented to come… and come it does, in a chaotic torrent of howling and swarming guitar frenzy. Back and forth the music goes, accented by a striking clean guitar solo and brief clean vocals, building to a final blaze of chaos.
Unconstrained by rigid genre boundaries, this turns out to be a very interesting and slightly disturbing piece of dark art. Pre-order information will become available at these locations: