(DGR steps in for round-up duty with a collection of deathly advance tracks from forthcoming albums that detonated late last week.)
2017 has been a year that has moved in fits and starts, with huge batches of releases and then a period of calm, then another huge batch and so on. It’s a different feeling from last year’s torrential flood, but it also means that promotional stuff moves in fits and starts as well — which is how we wound up with the back half of last week bringing one big release after another from some fairly recognizable names for those who love their death metal and high speed.
It was a pretty intense flood of death metal washing over the metal community, much of it coming from some fairly big names — a hefty collection of mainstays, old guard, and standard-bearers. We tried to collect some of them into our usual three-to-four part series of bands, but eventually it seemed like everyone wanted to get in on the game, and that’s why you have a SEEN AND HEARD headline with five recognizable names within it, all deploying material virtually at once.
Kansas tech-death metal titans Origin released a new song complete with 360 video last week entitled “Accident and Error” from their Unparalleled Universe album, to be released on June 30th.
I was a fan of the group’s 2014 album Omnipresent, and more specifically a fan of the songs where the band seemed to throw all caution to the winds, retaining only the barest semblance of form in their music — “Thrall: Fulcrum: Apex” and “Source Of Icon O”. “Accident And Error” follows a similar pattern, though the band do their best to pack as much stuff into the time you spend with them as they can, which means that there’s even more shrieking, lightspeed blasting, and guitar bashing in this one track than Origin have done in some time.
The opening of “Accident” is high-speed mayhem for the first minute or so, and the back of the song plays into the “Error” aspect of the song name, in part because from about three minutes forward, “Accident and Error” just becomes a glorious musical mess. It’s like a competition to see how far the band can push themselves in the back half of that song, going ever faster and faster, stacking more on top of more on top of more.
It’s what you want from Origin, complete with a video that allows you to spin around the album art every once in a while — once you’re able to stop your own head from spinning after the initial launch of the track.
THE LURKING FEAR
I wonder what the gulf is between what people expect from supergroup The Lurking Fear and what the band are actually doing. Given that the group’s lineup is composed of musicians from such bands as At The Gates, Edge Of Sanity, Disfear, The Crown, and Skitsystem, they are bound to have a lot of eyes looking at them. Having both Adrian Erlandsson and Tomas Lindberg in a lineup no doubt immediately ratchets up a band’s profile a few notches.
Even after the revealing of the logo treatments and artwork, I haven’t gotten much of a sense of the general opinion on the group yet. The Lurking Fear have been pretty honest about their desire to be a death metal band, especially given the proclamations by some of those other bands about how they love “old school death metal” before launching into older material during their live shows.
They are one of the few bands I can think of in recent times where the announcement of the group’s existence and their intention to enter the studio was put out there under the “pretty big news’ column, even if they hadn’t announced that it would be for just a three-song EP at the time. They have since completed that EP, which will be a self-titled affair, and have further announced that they aim to have an album entitled Out Of The Voiceless Grave released by August 11th on Century Media.
Last week the band released a new song entitled “Winged Death“, which will be appearing on the EP, and it is pretty much musically exactly what the band said they would do. It’s death metal. It’s got that cavernous mix and thudding bass, on top of some razor-sharp guitars and Lindberg rotating his mid-tempo yells with some hefty lows. It doesn’t really aim for a more modern production, instead feeling like a piece of time, though without going into full-blown tribute territory. You know within the first twenty seconds what type of band The Lurking Fear are — now I’m curious if they’re what people expected them to be.
If that video isn’t enough, there’s also some recent good-quality bootlegs of the band’s show at Sticky Fingers in Sweden that took place on May 13th. You can check those out here and here while they last.
History Channel luminaries Suffocation return this year with what will be the earliest release amongst their brethren in this post, …Of The Dark Light, coming on June 9th. The band have slowly been releasing songs from it, and prior to last week’s reveal of the song “Return To The Abyss”, they had put out the hammering meat tenderizer of a track, “Your Last Breaths”. “Return To The Abyss” is the one we’ll be featuring here.
It’s a fast-moving bear of a song, driven forward by an ultra-tight blast and a bass guitar that climbs its way up in the mix and at the end of each sentence, making the vocal work sound perfectly in sync with the rhythm section for a large part of the track. The band also have a grindier riff that pops up briefly before the song’s chug-and-slam-for-brutality chorus.
“Return To The Abyss” starts out high-speed but quickly plays to Suffocation’s strengths in making death metal for the caveman crowd, appealing strictly to the animal side of the brain, where the instinct to beat the hell out of everything isn’t as repressed. It’s always been part of the draw to Suffocation as a whole as longtime standard-bearers for the brutal death crowd.
With a little under a month to go before the album’s release, hopefully we’ll be able to touch base with you guys with our impressions of the album as a whole. Initial impressions with the two songs out so far have been pretty good.
San Diego’s Pathology are returning this year with a new self-titled disc due in the back end of July; it’s their ninth album overall and arrives three years after the group’s last album, Throne Of Reign.
Last week this “about as heavy as they can get” death metal band released a new song entitled “Lamentations” — which like every other song on the newly announced upcoming album is only one word long, fitting for the brutal death brand of Pathology as a whole. It keeps things simple and violently to the point. Chock full of a low and layered vocal attack, stacking brutality on top of brutality as if they were plates to be put back in the cupboard, “Lamentations” is three and a half minutes of super-low growls backed by non-stop slamming guitar chug and double-bass pedal action that seems determined to pound its way through your eardrums.
It is partially proof of concept and partially the welcome home that fans of Pathology should expect, because it is as relentless as the band have ever been, with Matti Way’s vocal work proving to be as gross as ever, challenging the strings and rhythm section at times to see who can get lower and heavier throughout the song. With this song, Pathology keep their reputation intact as one of the bands for the bruisers out there, and likely have made the wait for the July 21st release of that new disc seem even longer for the fans.
It is fitting that we follow Pathology with another band obssesed with the bending and carving of flesh this time around, which actually has started to become a theme this year, given that Hideous Divinity’s recent release also contains some big body horror elements; it must be that death metal is in a mutation-of-flesh mood this year.
You may have already crossed paths with Broken Hope’s new song “Mutilated And Assimilated“, between its premiere over at Decibel and its inclusion in our latesy “Blog Break” post in which the bossman announced that he is out actually performing the all too infrequent act of taking some time off to enjoy life. “Mutilated and Assimilated” comes off of the band’s upcoming June release (via Century Media), which bears the same name and also includes some wonderful song titles such as “The Meek Shall Inherit Shit”, “Malicious Meatholes”, “The Necropants”, “Outback Incest Clan”, and the more subdued “Russian Sleep Experiment”.
“Mutilated And Assimilated” (the song) is a burly beast, full of nigh indistiguishable growls paying tribute to horror classic The Thing — its lyric video being more explicit about that fact. It’s three and a half minutes of gross groove and super-tight drumming, complete with a snare-drum tone that makes me jealous as soon as the blasting parts start kicking in. “Mutilated” is an intentionally ugly song that sounds like it crawled out of the sewer. Given its horror film roots, it is only fitting that Broken Hope’s new song is a musical monster.