(DGR once again takes over round-up duties at our metallic fortress, presenting news and new music from six bands.)
This weekend was glorious if you were in a death grind sort of mood, as it felt like Friday was the first crack in a dam about to burst from a small handful of bands. Austria’s Distaste put out a new EP entitled Todt (which is curently name-your-own-price), and Belgium-based grinders Leng Tch’e and their fellow countrymen in the restless Aborted both began streaming new songs from their upcoming releases.
In fact, in compling this roundup I felt I had to temper the blade a little bit by tacking on something that wasn’t just raw fury from front to back, so Samael find themselves paired up alongside an EP announcement for Australian tech-death wonders The Ritual Aura and an ambient teaser that, were we not aware of just how heavy those guys can get, would be fairly calming. So, if you were looking to start your day without a massive pile of non-stop guitar batterings, relentless drumming, and vocals fired at the speed of a machine-gun, my friend…you’ve come to the wrong place.
Distaste – Todt
It’s not often that we lead off one of these with a full release, but Austrian grinders Distaste’s brand new EP Todt is good enough that it needs to be here. Clocking in at a little under seven minutes, Todt represents a new footing in Distaste’s history — the addition of a new band member in drummer Florian Musil and the shifting of former drummer Lukas Haidinger (of NCS faves Genocide Generator) to guitars and vocals alongside longtime guitarist/vocalist Armin Schweiger.
Also with a redone logo, Distaste have returned — somehow even more furious than what was reflected on the 2013 release Black Age Of Nihil or the new batch of songs that accompanied last year’s split with Rotten Cold. Long story short, Todt is a violent and thrashing beast, an experiment in how white-knuckle furious the Distaste crew can push their sound.
The songs on Todt actually increase in track length as the EP goes on, but none clears the two-minute mark — in fact, EP closer “Maulpfaffen feilbeten” clocks in at 1:59, with the rest of the songs coming in at a minute-thirty, minute-thirty-five, and minute-forty-five, respectively.
Having two guitarists present in what was formerly a three-piece allows the Distaste guys to actually break out some guitar leads, alongside the chainsaw buzz that has become part of their sound — something that is made apparent in the second song on Todt, “Diarrhetorik”. It contains a shredded-out lead that would be perfectly at home in a death metal song, one that pops up twice over the gatling-gun blast drumming — once in its opening segment and once closer to the end, one of the few times on Todt where Distaste break for the traditional verse-chorus song structure, instead of going with endless pit riffery like opener “Vater” does.
None of the songs on Todt is particularly slow by any means. Track three, “Grubenhunt”, really gets its track length by containing a pulverizing, start-and-stop groove that tosses itself back and forth between being a forthright death metal grinder and the blast-fest that Distate make their home.
Either way, Distaste come across like utter havoc for the slightly under seven minutes that Todt asks of you. They’re an angry bunch and seem pitch-perfect and purpose-built for the turbulent times we exist in. The Distaste guys are at war with existence on Todt and it is a release that, upon witnessing, almost blinds you with how bright its explosions are. It’s the way the band have done things for some time now, but the Distaste war machine have gained some new weaponry for their armory and are putting it to full use on the Todt EP, releasing hellfire blast after hellfire blast. It’s a stunningly fast seven minutes and one that you should not pass up.
Leng Tch’e – Cirrhosis
Two months from now we will see the release of Leng Tch’e‘s new album Razorgrind via the Season of Mist label, after a seven-year gap since their last disc Hypomanic. Leng Tch’e have become something of a status symbol; at the very least, if you want to get your point across in one go, you could do worse than rocking the Leng Tch’e shirt. If your goal is to proclaim to the world that you want your grind to feel like the auditory equal of flossing with barbed wire, rocking the Leng T’che shirt is the way to go.
The deathgrind crew specialize in auditory beatings of utter abrasiveness, so it would be expected that the group’s weekend unleashing of the song “Cirrhosis” fills that role rather well. The song snaps back and forth amongst a variety of different grind riffs, its opening segment especially favoring a snappy start-and-stop mechanic in its vocals for a few brief moments before the group go for a more traditional and braindead slam and shriek to make up the bulk of the song’s midsection.
The group pack enough fiery blasts on the drums in “Cirrhosis” to burn the ground down to the bedrock. It’s only two minutes and thirty-some-odd seconds long, one of the shorter tracks in the back half of an album that has a six-minute-long closer, yet it feels like an assault that will be difficult to turn away from. (There’s another song named “Gundog Allegiance” that was released earlier, and that’s down below, too.)
Aborted – Fallacious Crescendo
It wasn’t all that long ago that we were posting about the upcoming two-track Bathos EP from Aborted — then again, we’re also not that far out from its June 30th release — and now here we are with one of those songs, entitled “Fallacious Crescendo.” “Fallacious Crescendo” is the first song released to feature Aborted’s new bassist, Stefano Franceschini, who also handles axe work for Hideous Divinity.
Aborted have made a habit of never, ever slowing down and as a result have had a run of albums that have felt like minor variations on an overall sound — one that, granted, for the most part works. However, Retrogore saw it stretched a little too thin at times, and so Bathos has the potential to be a more focused effort from the band, giving them two songs to really hammer down and hone in on.
“Fallacious Crescendo” is a percussive song, and yes, leans heavily on its rhythm section for its driving guitar part and there is plenty of bassist in the mix just to highlight the fact that they’re willing to let things get a little more complicated on that front. It’s still recognizably Aborted, very high-speed, quickly shredded guitar parts and rapid-fire vocals that seem keen to hang with the drum work in order to fire off just one more segment. The band go full-blown apocalyptic a minute into the song, and that segment of the track makes this song worth it on its own. Usually Aborted are a very sleek beast, and hearing them fill out the room sound-wise for a bit is an awesome experience.
The Haunted – Brute Force
It will be interesting to see what The Haunted do with their new album, Strength In Numbers. This being the second disc for the group with the same lineup from Exit Wounds, the initial expectation might be that the album would be a little less scrappy and the group, now more familiar with each other, a little bit more willing to explore musically. While the band have owned up to the recording sessions for Strength In Numbers being more relaxed than for its predecessor, you couldn’t really tell by the release of the song “Brute Force” — which is about as up-front and violent as The Haunted have ever been.
“Brute Force” picks up right where Exit Wounds left off, with seemingly none of the fury of that disc having been tempered — if anything it seems to be a little bit more blunt in its anger. Vocalist Marco Aro has never been shy about lyrically distributing an ass beating; between his work with both The Haunted and The Resistance (for that group’s brief run) there have been plenty of opportunities for caving someone’s skull in musically. “Brute Force” is one of those tracks, an under-three-minute fight song that is basically the most The Haunted song the band could’ve concocted.
We haven’t heard Strength In Numbers as a whole on this end, and we’re two months out from its release date at this point, so it’s going to be a long wait until then. Still, “Brute Force” does a good job showing (so far) that The Haunted will not be slowing down.
Samael – Angel Of Wrath
In between making a handful of festival appearances performing 1994 album Ceremony Of Opposites, Samael have somehow managed to find time to record a new album entitled Hegemony, which is due out in October (that’s right, four months from now) via Napalm Records. In the lead-up to that, though, Samael have released an industrial rock stomper of a track known as “Angel Of Wrath”, which the crew over at Invisible Oranges helped premiere.
The lyric video is actually an interesting take on the song, in part because it is very, very literal — everything vocalist Vorph says is usually demonstrated on screen. “Angel of Wrath” is indeed a stomper of a song, something vastly different from the death and grind that I’ve filled this post with — but honestly, I’m something of a sucker for the metallic, industrial stomp that Samael have long specialized in since their genre-shift ages ago. While a handful of the albums in this post have a two-month lead-up time, the four months to Hegemony are going to be a long ones.
The Ritual Aura – Velothi
There’s no music to attach to this one, but over the weekend Australian tech-death band The Ritual Aura finally released the details in regard to their new two-song, twenty-minute EP entitled Velothi.
Every Ritual Aura release to date has seen the group change their sound drastically, as well as having huge thematic differences, and Velothi will be no different. Even their logo has been changed up for this release. The band explain Velothi as follows:
VELOTHI is divided into 2 meta-tracks; SUNDER and KEENING, each comprising of 4 interflowing parts.
These parts serve to evolve each step of the narrative over a run-time of roughly 20 minutes.
I: Lorkhan, Heir Of The Void
II: Elysian Flesh-Divinity
III: A Reasonable Amount Of Selfishness
IV: The Weight Of Falsehood
I: Psijic / CHIM
II: In My Own Parting Words
III: Dreamer’s End
IV: Red Year & The Fall
On top of the two-song EP, the band have had some lineup shifts as well, including the addition of vocalist Drew Griffiths of Ur Draugr fame, and the drum writing on Velothi is being handled by KC Brand of Sacramento’s own The Odious Construct.
So far, there’s only been a teaser for Velothi released, but if you’re interested in seeing why we’re so excited about an upcoming Ritual Aura release, feel free to float on over to their Bandcamp page and you can start there. Between the double-album Taether and the tech-death blaster of Laniakea there’s plenty of stuff to like.