SEEN AND HEARD BY DGR (PART 2): CYNIC, TYRANT OF DEATH, BENIGHTED, IN VAIN, BODY HARVEST
Robert Venosa: “Ayahuasca Dream”
(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 1 is here; Part 3 will be presented on Monday.)
Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve managed to the get ourselves into gear as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us in the new year.
I, your ever-faithful servant, have also been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some.
Cynic – Humanoid
I may/may not have chosen to put this next segment right here to serve as a complete contrast to the previous expulsion of gutteral inhumanity listed in Part 1 of this round-up, which is how we drift from the graveyard wanderers of Of Feather And Bone to the magical space hippies who constitute Cynic.
The series of events surrounding Cynic has proven to be a marked curiosity as the name came under dispute between vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert. That resulted in a period of silence from the band in the time since the prog-rock experimentation of 2014’s Kindly Bent To Free Us, yet recently that changed as the argument was settled and resulted in Cynic continuing with Paul at the helm.
Thus, 2018 brings us a new Cynic song in the form of “Humanoid”, and boy, does it sound a whole lot like Cynic have on the past few discs, packed into a pretty compact four minutes. The lineup, completed by Sean Malone and Matt Lynch, cover a lot of ground during “Humanoid”, including a bass guitar brought right up to the forefront for most of the song. And this Cynic return a bit to their technically-minded metal routes, as the low end being up-front makes the song come across as far heavier than one would’ve expected.
The guitar work remains intricate, and Paul sings over the entire song, sans most vocal effects, and the song basically demonstrates that Cynic will likely be picking up right where they left off. It’s a bit more up-tempo than Kindly Bent, but still just as complicated and musically impressive as the band have ever been. The mid-section build a little before two-minutes into the song seems like a whole lot of fun, as they go from wall-to-wall notework into an extended solo section. The new Cynic track certainly shows itself to be an event.
Tyrant Of Death – Anchorite Demo
Canadian musician Alex Rise has quite the body of work attributed to his name, including his drumming for the speeding groove of Psychotic Pulse, the industrialized carnage of Kunstzone, and the focus of this section, the electrified guitar carnage that he’s steadily been releasing over the years under the name Tyrant Of Death.
While the a lot less active than in the past — the most recent full-length album was 2015’s Ion Legacy — the Tyrant Of Death project has continued to be a hotbed of experimentation and generalized guitar mayhem, fused with enough electronic works to make it sound like each half is in a fight with the other.
The new demo track he just unleashed upon the world, “Anchorite”, proves to be no different. As loud and boistrous as the project has ever been, “Anchorite”– even in demo form — shows that the continuing philosophy will be to use the musical instruments to inflict pain upon the listener; that the song contains massive groove segments meant to leave a listener with headbanging whiplash seems like a happy accident.
Tyrant Of Death has been a lot less prolific in recent times, but “Anchorite” is just enough to get the tastebuds interested in whatever may be coming in the future.
Benighted – Leatherface music video
Some of us at this here site are on record as having enjoyed the manic deathgrind of France’s Benighted and their early 2017 album Necrobreed enough to jam onto year-end lists. Thus, the band’s release of a new music video from the album, this time for the song “Leatherface”, is enough to make the news icon light up around here.
The video, which focuses heavily on a gorgeous lady — model Cecylia Suicide — writhing back and forth in various states of dress and un-dress, replete with plenty of twisted imagery (and a change itself at the end, telegraphed super early on), includes interspersed scenes of the band hammering their way through the track itself. The titular Leatherface mask even makes its own murderous appearance toward the end of the video.
If, by some means, you still haven’t given Benighted a chance yet despite our love for them and their love of high-speed songwriting and more vocal attacks than you can shake a stick at, the “Leatherface” video proves just as fun as the song is. “Leatherface” is part of a massive run of songs on Necrobreed that leads to a first half that feels almost breathless, so if you enjoy this one you absolutely need to make a run at the full disc.
In Vain – Soul Adventurer
The last time we dedicated words to Norwegian prog-metallers In Vain was four and a half years ago, way back yonder in the ancient age of 2013 when a fellow NCS compatriot did a deep dive into the band’s discography, ending with a review of the group’s latest album at the time, Ænigma, as well as interviewing guitarist Johnar Håland. Our attention to the band will likely see an uptick in the near future, not counting this blurb here, as the January 26th release date for the band’s new album Currents draws ever closer.
In that leadup, the band have released the first two songs from the disc, Seekers Of The Truth, and more recently the one that you see here, “Soul Adventurer” — which recently recieved a music video treatment showcasing the whole band, complete with drummer Baard Kolstad sitting behind the kit and Trivium’s Matt Heafy making a hefty guest appearance.
The song itself is mostly clean-sung, and it showcases the more angular and exploratory aspects of the band’s sound, alongside a couple of really good lead guitar solos interspersed throughout. “Soul Adventurer” gets harsh in the back bit, but for the most part has In Vain in full prog-rock mode, with the video casting the band awash in a variety of colored lights.
As mentioned above, Currents will grace us with its presence on January 26th via Indie Recordings.
Body Harvest – Hierarchy Of Grief
The UK brutal death maestros of Body Harvest return with a new release entitled Parasitic Slavery following up the group’s last album, a 2014 release entitled Futile Creation, and from that new record we are gifted the four-minute fire blast of “Hierarchy Of Grief” — for which the band released a music video early last week.
“Hierarchy of Grief” is a monstrous grinder of a song that is as gore-soaked as the group’s name and chosen genre would suggest. The video is a live shot showcasing a whole lot of drumming interspersed with the long hair of its stringed warriors up front sailing gloriously back and forth. But the song itself is chainsaw grindingly fast and features massive vocals occasionally doubled over and distorted into oblivion, much like what will happen to listeners of the song.
Body Harvest practically flay their listeners within the first minute and a half of the song, flying through buzzing riff after buzzing riff, tightly packing a death metal song so full that it is bursting at the seams. “Heirarchy Of Grief” is an ugly monster of a track that never lets up for the four minutes it asks of you, remaining violent from its first assault all the way up to its last breath, raging the whole way through.
While Parasitic Slavery has seemingly been a long time coming, it also seems like that time has been well-spent; if the whole abum proves to be as much of an assault as “Hierarchy Of Grief”, we may find ourselves well pleased around these here parts.
That Body Harvest track is killer! Nice Hour of Penance leanings and positively unrelenting vibe. Can’t wait for the album!
I didnt know Body Harvest before. Since listening to this review I checked out their first album–killer. Made me realize how much I miss death metal (been listening to too much black metal lately)!