SEEN AND HEARD: POISON BLOOD, JUSTINHATE, MOLOCH LETALIS, DEATH’S COLD WIND, INCINERATOR, CRAFTEON, MADROST, BLK OPS, CAVE BASTARD
Well, that didn’t last long. Two days ago, when I posted the last SEEN AND HEARD round-up, I announced a plan to post other shorter-than-usual compilations of new music both yesterday and today. Having failed to post one yesterday, that means I’m now back to serving up a more typical groaning smorgasbord of new stuff, enough to challenge the most gluttonous of listeners. Et voila, music from nine bands!
Poison Blood is a collaborative effort by Jenks Miller (Horseback) and vocalist Neill Jameson (Krieg), the latter of whom is a valued contributor to NCS. We’re told that these two came together as fans of each other’s work and a mutual appreciation for Beherit’s classic Drawing Down the Moon LP and the experimental deathrock of cult UK act Rudimentary Peni“.
I confess that I haven’t yet listened to all of their self-titled debut EP — which will be released on August 11 by Relapse — but I’m really enjoying the two tracks that have surfaced so far in the run-up to the release date. The first of those is “The Scourge and the Gestalt” and the second is “Deformed Lights“.
The little mewling sound at the start of “The Scourge and the Gestalt” is unexpected, and kind of unnerving. When the bleak and bloody-minded main riff of this stripped-down track kicks in, and Neill Jameson’s hair-raising howl makes its presence known, it only becomes more unnerving. As the pace quickens, a kind of vicious delirium takes hold.
“Deformed Lights” kicks into high gear from the start on the back of a galloping drum rhythm. It rocks hard for sure, but Jameson’s vocals and the timbre of the riffing and soloing cast a shroud of ominous, occult peril over the blood-pumping energies in the track.
We recently posted the third installment in a column by the afore-mentioned Neill Jameson focusing on dark, negative hardcore. I thought of that column when I listened to the new album by Justinhate from Copenhagen, Denmark, because it seems that it would slot right in there quite comfortably — though the music is anything but comfortable.
The album’s name is Marrow and it was released on June 16th. The album may not be metal enough to satisfy the overlords at Metal-Archives, but it hits really fucking hard nonetheless.
The opening track “Infantem” was the first single, released separately back in May, but remains my personal favorite — in part because of the big, craggy bass line that takes center stage briefly in the midst of the bleak, butchering riffs, the bone-breaking rhythms, and the vocalist’s impersonation of a man being consumed by flames. The haunting, somber clean vocals that come in behind those wretched shrieks are another memorable touch.
“Infantem”, of course, isn’t the only stand-out track on this powerhouse record. The whole ride is blacker than brain cancer and as brutal as the clubbing of harp seals on a barren ice floe, pitching between near-berserk levels of destructive violence and slower, more methodical applications of cold cruelty. The riffing is also cruelly addictive.
In a nutshell, this is a 2017 highlight for sure.
MOLOCH LETALIS / DEATH’S COLD WIND
September 9 is the date set by the Polish label Old Temple for release of a split by Moloch Letalis from Września, Poland, and Death’s Cold Wind from Quito, Ecuador. Both bands have been around for more than a decade, but the two songs below have been my first exposure to their capabilities, and they both sound damned capable.
The name of the split is The Devil’s Whisper – Apeiron. The first song below is a Moloch Letalis track called “Czarci Skowyt“, which seems to be the title track to that band’s side of the split. It meshes together an irresistibly compulsive bass pulse and attention-grabbing drumwork with white-hot guitar frenzy and feral vocal madness. Extremely catchy, and extremely savage.
The song from Death’s Cold Wind that you can stream below is “Miasma“. This song, like the one from Moloch Letalis, manages to be both very catchy and mercilessly rapacious. It surges in the red zone almost the entire time, bursting with demonic fury and teetering right on the edge of unhinged frenzy, but with dynamic tempo shifts into queasy slithering as well as bursts of punchy thrashing that help keep a tight grip on the listener.
Moloch Letalis on Facebook:
Death’s Cold Wind on Facebook:
I can’t say enough good things about the The Stench of Distress, which is the debut album by Incinerator from Frater in the north of The Netherlands. It was released on June 17th. The band claim influences from ’80s thrash traditions an ’80s and early ’90s death metal, whipping up an electrifying storm of sound in the name of bands such as Slaughter (Canada), Frost, Dismember, Kreator, Bathory, and Grave.
The opener “At the Gates” is already a candidate for our list of this year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal songs, but it will be vying for a place with almost all the other tracks on this record. It’s a galloping rush of adrenaline, with a palpably murderous atmosphere, augmented by the vocalist’s distinctively raw howling voice, and it also raises specters of the walking dead in its preternatural soloing and gruesome melodic currents.
Fans of both old-school death metal and savage old-school thrash ought to eat this up (or be eaten by it in a feeding frenzy).
You will know immediately from the eye-catching cover art created by Nick Skochev ( a.k.a. SHadoW-Net @ Deviant Art) that Crafteon are devotees of Lovecraft. And indeed, the band say this about their debut album Cosmic Reawakening:
“This recording prudently recounts an antiquarian bundle of peculiar short stories authored by the famed American horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, featuring a blasphemous potpourri of amorphous black metal enmeshed with spurious, assonant passages of hope juxtaposed and vanquished by discordant strains of utter despair and madness….
“Lyrics are an attempt to remain as true as possible to the original text of each H.P. Lovecraft short story (via excerpts from the Public Domain), and where such attempts prove difficult, Lord Mordi has supplied lyrical contributions and revisions while striving to at least mirror Lovecraft’s style and diction.”
The album releases on August 25, and yesterday the band unveiled a lyric video for a track named “What the Moon Brings“. The lyrics are indeed Lovecraftian in their evocation of blood-chilling horror. And the music effectively captures the terrifying and grandiose drama of the words, with a pulsating, yowling riff that gets its hooks in fast and cracked, strangled vocals that are monstrously ugly and rise up in flames of delirious anguish.
Yet the song has a death-rocking rhythm that gets the head moving, too, even as it builds toward ever-greater heights of insanity.
Though we premiered a song from the last album by Madrost in 2014, we somehow failed to give them their due in the run-up to the June 27 release of their new full-length, The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh. Though the album represents some notable stylistic shifts from their last full-length, it is to these ears a positive step ahead. The album opener, “Eyes of the Deceit“, is a good example of the album’s many strengths.
It’s also one of many tracks collected in this post that have become candidates for our year-end Most Infectious Song list. It’s plenty vicious, but it also contorts and cavorts through a range of interesting fretwork machinations and rhythmic acrobatics, fusing together death metal, thrash, and prog tendencies and spicing the mix with a savory cascade of near-crystalline notes that comes and goes like a phantasm, while topping off the whole feast with a remarkable guitar solo.
Many more such delights are to be found in the tracks that follow that wonderful opener.
BLK OPS / CAVE BASTARD
To conclude this ginormous round-up, I’ve selected the two tracks now streaming from a split release by BLK OPS from Austin, Texas, and San Diego’s Cave Bastard. The split will be released on August 25 by Portland (Oregon)-based Accident Prone Records.
The first of those tracks is the beautifully named “Hallucinogenic Bomb Vest” by BLK OPS (whose three-man line-up features members of Kill the Client, Clrvoyant, and Pornohelmüt). True to its name, it’s explosively battering, yet the memorable strands of desolate melody in the song also have an un-real quality, like the soundtrack to a waking nightmare. Terrifically grim, but terrifically vibrant stuff here.
Cave Bastard’s ranks include former members of Cattle Decapitation, Bridge Jumper, and Ritual Torture as well as members of Gutrot and Age of Collapse. Their slice of audio punishment in the stream below is “Violent Perpetuator“. This makes a good complement for that BLK OPS track. It throbs with lethal energy, hammering and buzzing, brawling and mangling, remorselessly rampaging through a hopped-up dose of death metal, hardcore, and sludge that spikes the bullseye.
BLK OPS on Facebook:
Cave Bastard on Facebook:
Nice mix of genres..I can’t even count how many great bands I’ve discovered here..literally some of my favorite bands
That is a very good thing to read! Thank you.
The band’s called “Justinhate”? From Denmark? Damn it, Max, if you want to fire me, just say so.
Boom! I can hear Max stammering and stuttering from 3000 miles away.
Man that Crafteon sounds fucking killer!