I’m continuing to make my way through some of the songs and videos that have come out since I basically checked out of NCS to work on Northwest Terror Fest. Especially because I’m getting a slow start on this Friday, I decided to put together this pair of good ones I found last night, and if the day goes right, a couple more pairings before we hit the weekend, rather than compiling another overstuffed SEEN AND HEARD post.
I hadn’t encountered this UK black metal band before last night. Metal-Archives (which lists them as “Shadow Flag”) identifies two albums released in 2013 and 2015, and today they’re releasing a third one named The Delusion Machine. I can’t comment on the whole album yet, but I sure as hell have fallen hard for a song called “Singularity 45“, which is the subject of the lyric video I saw last night. That’s the first item in this pairing.
I decided to watch the video because of a PR missive that recommended the band for fans of Satyricon, Imperium Dekadenz, and Blut Aus Nord — of which I’m one. I always cringe a bit before watching lyric videos because even when the music is outstanding the lyrics of most metal songs really aren’t worth splashing in front of the listener, proving to be more a distraction than an interesting enhancement. But not in this case. Here, the lyrics are quite well done — and the visuals accompanying the words suit the subject matter.
According to what I’ve read, the subject matter of this song is connected to concepts underlying the entire album, which relate to the increasing emptiness and purposelessness of humanity’s existence. As the band’s guitarist Carp has stated about this particular song:
“When we wrote it, we attempted to capture the endless repetitions of existence. Recent times have demonstrated that the destruction of this planet has become indoctrinated, undervalued and inevitable. The void is growing, and has sucked more and more colour from every single aspect of life. Now, the more we find, the less we become; the more we repeat, the more we diminish. ‘Singularity 45’ is a warning to us all.”
The dark melodic core of the song has the kind of grandeur and sweep that builds a sense of dramatic tension, though it’s also a hard-driving and ferocious affair, with a rhythmic pulse that’s almost industrial in its compulsiveness. And those interesting and poetic lyrics are expressed with a cold and tyrannical savagery that suits their bleakness.
The Delusion Machine is available on CD. The band say it will also be available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon Mp3, Deezer, Spotify, Google Play and Tidal.
Unlike Shadowflag, I’ve been evangelizing Devil’s Force since discovering the band’s first single, “The Devil’s Force”, which I wrote about on the first day of this year. A second single, “Let It Burn”, appeared in February, and now we have a third one. All of these will eventually be included on an album entitled Black Heavy Metal.
For those who missed my earlier showerings of praise, Devil’s Force is the solo project of Helltrain frontman Pierre Törnkvist (previously also a member of such bands as The Everdawn, Scheitan, and The Moaning). The latest single is “Unholy Night“, and it’s further confirmation that the power of the riff is strong with Mr. Törnkvist.
The song is such a rush… an adrenaline-triggering rocket ride of black speed metal and thrash, fueled by viciously addictive riffery and piston-driven drumwork, and augmented by flesh-eating vocal nastiness. It hits a lot of the sonic pleasure centers that made so many of us steadfast fans of heavy metal, and does that with flair and unusual vibrancy.
I’ve included all three singles below. They’re all on Spotify, as well as other digital platforms (though it doesn’t appear there’s a Bandcamp page yet). If you’re not on board this train yet, get a running start and jump on….