SEEN AND HEARD ON A SATURDAY: TRIBULATION, DDENT, TRESPASSER, CAVEMAN CULT, LEFT ALONE
It seems that the four-day Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. has made mincemeat out of our site’s traffic, and while we don’t depend on traffic for money, it’s not much fun to put a lot of work into a post and then realize that few people will see it. It’s a test of the severity of my own blog compulsion. As you can tell, my compulsion passed the test with flying colors.
These are a few recent things I enjoyed last night and this morning, and hope you will enjoy too.
Well, this is sort of recent. I somehow missed it when it came out 8 days ago. Not sure how that happened, but anyway, I found it last night. It’s a video for a new song named “The Lament” off the next album by Sweden’s Tribulation.
The new album is Down Below, and it will be released by Century Media on January 26th. The video was directed and produced by Robert Piel, with cinematography by Christian Edgar Scholz and editing by Piel and Daniel Schlichter. I mention all those credits because the video really is very well done.
The song is also a very damned catchy piece of haunting, vampiric rock ‘n’ roll. And the dudes do now convincingly look like they spend their days resting in coffin earth while feeding from opened throats at night.
In other Tribulation news, Century Media will be releasing a 7” Tribulation EP on December 22 entitled Lady Death, which will include a song from the album called“Lady Death”, as well as a B-side piece entitled “Skärselden”.
I’ll crib from our premiere and review of this next band’s last album in February 2017:
The Parisian band DDENT began as the creation of multi-instrumentalist Louis Lambert and drummer Marc Le Saux. They released their debut EP Chien Noir in 2014. With Louis Lambert continuing as the sole composer of the music and the guitarist, DDENT has since expanded into a full four-person band. Their debut full-length (the one we premiered) had an Arabic title — آكتئاب — which means ektiheb, referring to melancholy, depression. The names of the eight album tracks were derived from Arab psalms, with words such as “Habouz”, “Arzel”, and “Houri” describing “the melancholy and depression of a horseman, a poet”.
I thought that album was great, and so I perked up at the discovery that DDENT have a new album named Toro that’s set for release on February 23rd of next year. According to a press release:
The song’s titles all refer to Federico Garcia Lorca’s volume of poetry “Llanto“, as well as the underlying concept of “duende” – the creative force that possesses the artist and against which he is forced to battle in order to give life to his art. The album’s main character is on a quest to find truth, in a creativity-free world. Nevertheless, without creation, truth can’t be, without creation, spiritual death is inevitable.
The first single from the new album is a track named “Dis à La Lune qu’Elle Vienne“. Gloom hangs heavy over the track, and it’s also just plain heavy, like a towering monolith made of granite that blocks the sun — one erected by entities that aren’t human, because this music also has a mesmerizing, unearthly glow.
Toro was produced by Chris Fielding at SkyHammer Studios in the UK; mixed by Chris Fielding and Louis Lambert; and mastered by James Plotkin.
Trespasser hail from Tasmania, with a line-up featuring members of No Haven, Départe, and Speech Patterns. Their debut EP, Suffer Alone, Suffer Together, was released by Art As Catharsis on November 16. When I read that the music “work[s] through the sludge-ridden hardcore of Trap Them and Old Man Gloom, the immensity of Amenra, and the bleakness of Cult Leader“, I was compelled to investigate further.
And I’ll say that these name-dropped references aren’t out of line. The music here is almost physically palpable in its bone-fracturing, head-crushing impact, and although it’s tremendously bleak, wrenching, even catastrophic music, it’s electrifying in its intensity and quite absorbing in its interweaving of dissonance and dramatic melody, and in its movement between phases of apocalyptic doom and feral, juggernaut destructiveness.
Caveman Cult are from Miami and they released a debut EP named Rituals of Savagery in November 2014. Though the band were then a relatively new one, their line-up included Rick Smith, who has been Torche’s drummer since 2004; bassist/vocalist Alvar Antillon, who has been involved in some other projects as well, and guitarist H. Bosch, and he didn’t sound like Caveman Cult was his first rodeo either. I wrote about that EP:
Speaking of rodeos, Rituals of Savagery is one hell of a bull ride, including the part where the bull throws the rider and then proceeds to gore and stomp the shit out of him while he’s squirming in the dirt and praying for rescue by some clown.
In 2016 Caveman Cult released a debut album named Savage War Is Destiny, which prompted me to spew forth such words as these:
It’s a goddamn war zone, teetering on the edge of utter atonal, hyper-distorted sonic chaos but tethered to something resembling solid ground by the rhythms of bone-smashing bass and gunshot snare bursts. To stitch together some apt words from the song titles, this is an iron scourge of bludgeoning barbaric bloodlust that demands death before surrender.
P.S. I’m pretty sure that the vocals at the end of “Ceremonial Disembowelment” are the actual sounds of someone being disemboweled, unceremoniously.
Okay, with that build-up, the news here s that Caveman Cult have recorded a new EP named Supremacia Primordial. It will be released on 10″ vinyl by Larval Productions and on tape by R.C.P. Tapes.
“Impaled Humanity Ablaze” is the name of the one song streaming on Bandcamp (I don’t know how many songs are included on the EP). Yes, it’s primitive and it’s ugly, but that’s the point. The reptile part of your brain will be made gleeful.
I picked this last music stream as a change of pace — an enormous one, in fact.
This is an album named As the Birds Still Fly, originally released in 2015 by Depressive Illusions Records and re-released on November 24 by the French label Distant Voices. The band is Left Alone…, and it seems that the same sole creator (now based in Illinois) is also behind the depressive black metal band Sadness as well as many other solo projects.
The four songs here are long ones — two of them between 13 and 14 minutes each. The first track (an instrumental one) is dreamlike and hypnotic in its effect… slow, melancholy, and glimmering. It induces a meditative and reflective state, opening the doors in your mind to the places where memories of people and opportunities you’ve lost have been secured in the shadows. With those sensations in mind, it’s fitting that the album is being re-released by a label named Distant Voices.
In addition to that soft, haunting sonic spell, however, the album also vibrantly bounces and cavorts while the vocals emit cauterizing shrieks of pain (“Candacensling”). And in those two extra-long tracks that follow, Left Alone… incorporates both more of those slow, soft, sad, spellbinding passages, along with movements that convey shattering anguish in abrasive, distorted tones, and glimpses of mystical beauty.
Favorite track: “These grey feathers…”
I’m a bit underwhelmed by the Tribulation. I know people will disagree, but I think they are musically to the point that the vocalist is starting to sound really out of place.
It is undoubtedly a function of the vocal biases that led me to choose the name of this site, but I’m pleased that they haven’t abandoned the harsh vocals, though I think you’re right that they now will seem unusual to many, given the style of the music.
It’s interesting watching bands progress their sounds…In Solitude and Tribulation are two bands that I can’t help but hear the now-defunct The Devil’s Blood influence. I’ve heard it in other groups that have gone from extreme to that style as well.