Happy Friday. And if you actually happen to be happy because it’s Friday, instead of boiling with rage because you’ve just endured four-plus days of bullshit, you may not relish the music you’re about to hear. On the other hand, maybe your preferred means of matching your happiness (or your rage) to music involves abrading your ear drums, losing your mind, and mercilessly kicking open the spigot on your adrenaline glands. In which case, brothers and sisters, you’re right where you need to be — right here.
This is Part 2 of a round-up I began yesterday (here). And even though I didn’t finish this in time to post it yesterday, it’s exactly what I intended to post then. In other words, I decided to close my ears to the flood of other new songs that surfaced between then and now. There’s always time to catch up with that on Saturday, though I have a bad tendency to wound myself with intoxicants on Friday nights, so I ain’t promising nothing.
The fifth Hooded Menace album will arrive on January 26 via Season of Mist, with the title Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed and cover art by Adam Burke, who continues to kill everything this year. The first advance track, “Carnal Reflections“, debuted at DECIBEL two days ago. Or was it three?
Lasse Pyykkö says the lyrics were inspired by a 1972 horror movie named Demons of the Mind, which I haven’t seen, because horror movies scare me. He also says this track is his new favorite out of the entire Hooded Menace catalogue, which is like setting off fireworks behind it, with a jet formation roaring overhead, dropping oceans of confetti.
There’s a scene in Pale Rider when Clint Eastwood’s character beats the hell out of a bunch of villains with an axe handle and then, admiring his implement, says, “There’s nothing like a good piece of hickory”. For some reason that line popped into my head after listening to “Carnal Reflections“. It does have a certain methodically bludgeoning quality.
But there is much more to it — slow, oozing, tear-streaked melodies and massive moaning chords; bursts of thundering destructiveness; hair-raising vocals; the kind of jackhammering chug orgies made for headbanging; and vibrant episodes of wraithlike soloing.
I read Lasse Pyykkö’s words about the song in a press release before listening to the track. I don’t know if this track is my favorite Hooded Menace song, because there are so many candidates, but it really is damned good.
Last month we premiered a song from the debut album, Doomed To Chaos, by the Greek death metal band War Possession. And earlier this week the album was released by the Spanish label Memento Mori, and on tape by Screaming Victims Distro (Greece).
The main thing I want to do (and the only thing I have time to do) is to encourage you to listen to it. It really is superb… and the sound is stunningly massive.
I found out about this next demo through a Facebook post by the Italian band Cioran, who identified Radon Trench as the side-project of their guitarist Cesco. Having heard Cioran’s 2017 EP Bestiale Battito Divino, which was sort of like being caught in a cyclone while being bombarded by boulders and boiled in oil, I thought I knew what I was about to get myself into. I still wasn’t prepared.
Yes, Cioran did characterize the music as “Uncompromising war black death metal!”, and that statement is true, but it doesn’t really go far enough.
There are three tracks here. All of them are astonishingly violent and destructive, with a cacophonous, mind-mangling sound like the roiling, rock-crushing blast fronts of megaton detonations, speared by lightning strikes of freakish echoing sound, berserker soloing, horrifyingly distorted, skull-cleaving drum eruptions, and teeth-gnashing vocals that reverberate inside your head.
I guess it’s like a demon bastard child of power electronics and black/death. I feel irradiated.
I hunted all over to find out more about Radon Trench and whether there was some way to get this demo. and came up empty-handed.
1 Radon baptism
2 Hanged deserter
3 Under siege
I learned of this next track thanks to a Bandcamp alert, because I’ve bought lots of music from Dunkelheit Produktionen before. The alert linked me to a page for an album named Abominable Premonition by the two-man German band Blasphemous Putrefaction, which will be released by Dunkelheit on December 9. And on that page I found a stream of the song “Carnal Lust“.
The grisly grinding sound of the down-tuned riffs is thoroughly grim, while the growls come right out of an abyss, and the leads sound putrid as hell. The drumwork is also pretty gripping. The whole thing is rotten to the core, which of course makes it very tasty.
And now we come full circle. Yesterday in Part 1 of this round-up I began with something that included imagery of scarecrows and now I close with a band named Scarecrow.
I guess this final song might be the least metal of everything here, but I’ve become sort of addicted to it nonetheless, and it strikes me as another fitting way to begin adjusting to the imminent arrival of Halloween.
The name of the song is “Horror of the Beach Party” and it was just released through a music video that’s a lot of fun to watch, although the song itself appears on this Finnish horror punk band’s latest album, Exterminators of the Year 4000, which was released this past July.
That’s right, Finnish horror punk. And it’s horribly infectious. And plenty ugly and dirty, too (including the fact that the vocalist sounds like he’s trying to cough up clotted blood), just the way I like it.