SEEN AND HEARD (BY DGR): DYSCARNATE, BROKEN HOPE, HIDEOUS DIVINITY, ARCHSPIRE, VOLTURYON, FLESHKILLER, THE RITUAL AURA, SEPTICFLESH, THE HAUNTED
(DGR has again stepped forward for round-up duty and has pulled together 9 new songs and videos that caught his eye between last week and yesterday.)
Last week saw a tremendous on-rush of heavy metal news, and of course, since many people knew that we here in the States (or at least many of us) would get a long three-day weekend, a lot of it hit in the back half of the week. As the site’s resident hoover vacuum, I’ve compiled an itemized list of nine… items… that caught my interest over the course of the week that we didn’t get a chance to cover that I will now lovingly shove right into your faces.
If you’re a big fan of death metal and its chugging ilk, this roundup is mostly for you, as it seemed like a large chunk of what I found came from that sphere of influence. There’s definitely the requisite world-traveling element as well, as we go from England to Canada to Italy to the States to Greece to Sweden (twice), and you can see where this is going from here. So let’s quit goofing off and get to the fun stuff.
Dyscarnate – Traitors In The Palace
The release of Dyscarnate’s long-awaited new album With All Their Strength is fast approaching and last week saw the band disclose another song in the form of “Traitors In The Palace“. The song follows the previously released track “Iron Strengthens Iron” in the tracklisting and is very different from the song before it.
Like most Dyscarnate tracks, it is recognizably beefy and also has a hefty moving groove to it, but it is also slower moving than the hefty chug of “Iron Strengthens Iron”. “Traitors” has both vocalists going at once for much of the song, playing off of each other and making the vocal march through the dirge-like segments of the song sound massive. It helps that there’s a quiet and very subdued symphonic line, which basically consists of a church-bell like “toll” to help punctuate the end of each particular segment. “Traitors” is thus the slower moving grinder versus “Iron’s” bouncier groove, although “Traitors” definitely has a fantastic chugging section in its back third where the bass guitar really comes to the forefront.
With All Their Strength will release September 15th via Unique Leader, and judging by the two tracks that have hit so far, the other six that lie in wait are going to be just as murderous.
Broken Hope – Outback Incest Clan
The next two are probably the most fortuitous news pairing that we could’ve asked for here, as both bands are currently on tour alongside the monsters of Cattle Decapitation and Gloryhole Guillotine as they rampage their way across Europe via the Hell On Earth tour.
The Broken Hope crew released a music video for their song “Outback Incest Clan“, a two-minute grinder from Mutilated And Assimilated that will in no way result in a billion weird google hits for this site in the years to come now that I’ve typed it out. The song is the perfect encapsulation of Mutilated And Assimilated, nigh intelligible lyrics, a guitar riff the equivalent of a caveman dragging a club on the ground, and a wall of gunfire masquerading as someone sitting behind the drums.
Even the video, simple as it is, is kind of perfect for summing up what the song is like. You never see the full band, you don’t even really see Broken Hope’s mainman on the microphone, all you see is a gurgle and growl machine issuing another series of inhuman noises claiming to be lyrics to a song inspired by The Hills Have Eyes, perfect for a disc of death metal songs based on a variety of horror movies.
Hideous Divinity – Feeding Off The Blind
Hideous Divinity bring us the second of the pair of new videos, now pairing a performance video with the song “Feeding Off The Blind” from the group’s 2017 body-horror death metal album Adveniens. If you haven’t caught up with Hideous Divinity’s brand of hyperblasting death metal, then “Feeding Off The Blind” will be a very intense first taste for you.
While the whole album is a wall from front-to-back, “Feeding Off The Blind” is one of the songs that starts incredibly fast and does not let up. There’s more dynamic tracks on Adveniens, like the percussive “When Flesh Unfolds” or the epic-length “Pathways”. “Feeding Off The Blind” scoffs at that idea. It’s the blaster song, living up to its credo as a brutal death metal track, and the video, epilepsy warning and all, sticks to it, the camera changing constantly trying to hold on to the song as it throws itself back and forth like a thrashing beast in chains. The one quiet moment happens only because the band choose to punctuate a massive riff change in its closing third.
If “Feeding Off The Blind” works its charms on you, then we do highly recommend you check out Adveniens, as that disc has quickly shown itself to be some of Hideous Divinity’s best material to date.
Archspire – Human Murmuration Guitar Playthrough
It’s more likely than not that you’ve already crossed paths with Archspire’s song “Human Murmuration” in the past few weeks; following the track premiere, the band uploaded the video that we’re now posting a little under a week later. It’s a full guitar playthrough.
The band actually gained a lot of traction with multiple playthroughs of songs from their last album Lucid Collective, so it makes sense that they would do so again, starting with a focus on their guitar work. As someone who pretended to play drums for a span of time, watching what goes into this type of guitar playing fascinates me, and since Archspire spend about ninety percent of their music time with their accelerator set to “ludicrous speed”, you get the opportunity to watch some very quick-moving hands. It’s also a change of pace after hearing the full song, with the guitars brought up-front so that you can see just how much goes into one of their songs.
We’ve been covering the group’s upcoming release Relentless Mutation, and with a little under three weeks to go, we’re eager to hear what the rest of the disc has on offer — and maybe see what other songs get playthroughs along the way.
Volturyon – Unnamed New Song Playthrough
Since we’re wandering the jungles of guitar playthroughs at the moment, Volturyon recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of their release Cleansed By Carnage. While currently frontman-less at the moment, the chainsaw-death-metallers haven’t slowed down one bit, having been working on new music since the moment the last disc released. The group recently uploaded a full playthrough of a currently unnamed song, recorded directly from the practice space.
It’s reassuring to know that the Volturyon crew have decided to take the “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach with their initial song release. The currently unnamed song lines up right where Cleansed By Carnage left off, meaning it’s got just the right amount of meat-tenderizing, guitar-chug-and-groove death metal that we’ve come to know the band for. While obviously in the very early goings of a new release, it’s good that the Volturyon guys decided to check in and show that nothing has slowed them down (literally) yet. Here’s hoping they find themselves a good vocalist to help continue with the slow-but-steady burn that the band have been building upon to date.
Fleshkiller – Salt Of The Earth
The hype for Fleshkiller has been growing quietly behind the scenes at NCS for some time now. The death metal group featuring Extol guitarist Ole Børud within its ranks have a new album releasing September 15th entitled Awaken.
Just before the weekend last week, the Fleshkiller crew released a lyric video for the song “Salt Of The Earth“, and you can definitely hear the progressive death metal guitar tendencies that Ole contributes to the song, shifting from heavy and angular guitar riffs to quieter moments at the drop of a hat, meaning that the six minutes of “Salt Of The Earth” aren’t the most conventional out there. “Salt” changes form constantly, so that there’s always some new path to approach it from, at first appearing like some sort of mutated beast with a billion points sticking out of it but quickly revealing a bunch of different elements to discover.
The Ritual Aura – Keening III: Dreamer’s End
If you missed it last week, Australian tech-death group The Ritual Aura finally unleashed a song from their upcoming release Velothi. The premiere, which was posted at Metal Injection as part of their tech-death Tuesday column, was for the song “Keening III: Dreamer’s End“.
While only four minutes long, “Keening” nevertheless plays up to Ritual Aura’s calling card of packing a tremendous amount of music within it, from the group’s own whirlwind playing styles to the number of appearances by guest guitar soloists and vocalists spread throughout the song. There’s even guest string-instrument appearances, because when your song is already like a coked-up cheetah chasing prey in circles for hours on end, why not add a few more elements to the sonic festivities? The “Dreamer’s End” video helpfully includes credits of who is in this song and also has a small area where the lyrics are scrolling by.
Velothi, which was first described as an EP, has obviously expanded in size, and judging by the fact that the group’s last disc Taether was a double album, it makes sense. The Ritual Aura are big fans of jamming a ton of music into each release, and Velothi has now been transformed into a full-length album, with a release date delaying it into 2018. Yes, that means the wait will be that much more painful, as I was relying on having new Ritual Aura stuff to listen to in 2017 as well, but the group has fast shown that they’re one of the more interesting acts in the tech-death scene to watch.
SepticFlesh – Portrait Of A Headless Man
Regardless of how you feel about their recent output, SepticFlesh have certainly developed themselves an aesthetic since the time of The Great Mass. Having fully given themselves over to a combination of occult-like robes and human musculature suits, the band have become the incarnation of the B-horror-movie aesthetic (by way of Satan) that they’ve morphed their music into.
The group’s newly released album Codex Omega is still due for a full review here at NCS, but in advance of it, I can say that it is pretty good, and the song below, “Portrait Of A Headless Man“, is one of the better songs on the disc and probably the one best qualified as an earworm candidate. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the band would choose it for the visual treatment, and did they ever pack some dollars into it.
In between shots of the band playing in full regalia plus tubes tying them into the rooms they’re in, the video follows the story of a near-zombified individual as he is worked into a faceless mass in a thinly veiled Big Brother political allegory, screaming head on the TV screen and all. Despite the presence of a symphonic mass behind the band, “Portrait Of A Headless Man” is one of the more subdued ones on Codex Omega. It’s one of a small collective of high-energy, no-compromises death metal tracks that slot in alongside the group’s mad orchestra experiments.
Codex Omega was released on September 1st, via Season Of Mist.
The Haunted – Monuments
It’s not often you see the closing track and slowest song on an album becoming one of the ones given the lyric video treatment, but The Haunted have been pretty freewheeling after the success of Exit Wounds in reaffirming their place in the metal scene. Recently, The Haunted put out a video for the song “Monuments“, the aforementioned closer of Strength In Numbers, and you can check it out below.
It’s been a while since The Haunted have gotten a little slow and brooding, buoyed by a crawler of a riff for the whole runtime. There’s a couple of slower moving tracks on Strength In Numbers, but “Monuments” is the one where you really get to hear the whole band being driven forward by the rhythm section, especially the bass guitar that rumbles its way through the opening segment. The Haunted have scant few songs that stomp around like “Monuments” does, and at the very least, it shows a band unafraid to change up the sound a bit — especially when you can use it to close out the disc.
Fuck, that Traitors In The Palace is one mesmerizing song!