SEEN AND HEARD BY DGR (PART 1): MISERY INDEX, DEMONICAL, LECHEROUS NOCTURNE, ROTTING CHRIST
(DGR compiled a round-up of new music to launch our Monday at NCS, an eight-song collection that we’ve divided into two parts, with Part Two slated to come very quickly after this first installment.)
I’m not going to lie to you all, I’ve been pretty distracted around the NCS office as of late. Usually I’ve unleashed a handful of ridiculous-length reviews by this point, but so far the beginning of 2018 has had your buddy here firmly ensconced in the news trenches, freeing up some of the other folks around here to fully dive into the deep and murky waters of all things underground and unlistenable.
It doesn’t help that I’ve also had tabs open alongside the news haul consisting of album streams from Dagon’s victorious return on Back To The Sea, Bloodshot Dawn’s surprisingly tech-death oriented Reanimation, Afgrund’s mean and urgently-now The Dystopian, and even the occasional leap back into 2017 with Ireland’s Weed Priest and their stoner doom throwback; all of which are seeing constant listens and hopefully time to deep-dive in the near future. Shit, there is even a new Apophys disc entitled Devoratis that we covered very briefly but need to dive back into.
Of course, now that all of that has been written down, the news flood will get worse and I’ll get something done just in time to watch the moon finally escape Earth’s gravity and go sailing off into space as we’re devoured by the Sun’s outer layers as it goes red giant.
But enough jokes about things that seem preferable to going outside and facing the world. Let’s get on with the music.
Misery Index – I Disavow
Misery Index finally returned to us a few days ago, ending the long drought of material from the death-grinder band since they last unleashed 2014’s The Killing Gods and then later a cover of Sepultura’s “Primitive Future”. The crew have kept themselves busy with a massive slate of side-projects, including the more hardcore-punk fueled grind of Jason Netherton’s Asphalt Graves and Adam Jarvis popping up behind the kit for a handful of groups, but if any band were needed more than ever to yell at us about the state of the world, it’s the united force of Misery Index.
On the new single “I Disavow“, the group don’t disappoint. Returning to the Traitors-era songwriting style and backed by some very loud drums, the vocal attack of Jason and Mark both unleash some very thinly veiled hostility at today’s political climate, and the song itself is as vicious as the group’s lyrical bombing run. It’s probably perfect that the band are releasing this on Vitriol Records, because “I Disavow” is just four minutes and twenty seconds of absolute venom.
On top of that, the group have included on this 7″ single a cover of Nailbomb’s “Wasting Away” — and Misery Index have a history of fantastic cover songs – to make this a two-song holdover while the band work on their next full length, which will be out in latter 2018 via Season Of Mist. Personally, if they want to dive back to the Traitors and Heirs To Thievery eras for inspiration, I’m all for it. Both of those albums were a perfect one-two punch of utter ferocity that really cemented Misery Index’s sound and made them one of the groups to watch. It seemed like they had perfected the art of putting just enough hook in their brand of death and grind to keep you locked in while they seared your face down to just a skull via a combination of lyrical spite and high tempo. Here’s to “I Disavow” hopefully serving as a good portent of things to come.
Demonical – Towards Greater Gods
Swedish death metal band Demonical (a group sharing heavy DNA with re-activated death metallers Centinex, given that its founding came after Centinex initially split) are gearing up for the release of a new disc entitled Chaos Manifesto through Agonia Records. The disc has a somewhat staggered release date, hitting on March 23rd over in Europe and then April 17th in North America. The band, whose lineup includes the aforementioned Centinex crew of Martin Schulman, Kennet Englund, and vocalist Alexander Högbom, are completed by guitarists Eki Kumpulainen (Skulldrain) and Johan Haglund (Ikhon, Spasmodic).
Alongside the announcement of the Chaos Manifesto album the group unleashed the song “Towards Greater Gods“, which is a track built specifically for the art of head-smashing. The song is constructed around one thick, melodic guitar lead and a huge-sounding double-bass roll that has the group treading into some well-lit Amon Amarth pathways at times, including an almost victorious atmosphere in the song every time Alex yells “Fire!” at the top of each chorus.
“Towards Great Gods” is a skull-crushing battle anthem of a track that will be interesting to hear along with the rest of Chaos Manifesto’s songs, which includes track titles like “Torture Parade” and “Death Unfaithful”.
Lecherous Nocturne – Quantum Mysticism
South Carolina’s Lecherous Nocturne will return to us after a five-year gap following their 2013 album Behold Almighty Doctrine with a new disc entitled Occultaclysmic, which will see release on April 6th through Willowtip Records. The manically grinding brutal death band are pulling no punches either, as evidenced by the first new song from Occultaclysmic, a three-and-a-half-minute descent into madness known as “Quantum Mysticism“.
From moment-zero of the song, “Quantum Mysticism” is a highly technical mess that sounds like three seperate bands sharing the same rehearsal room at parts, with one dude desperately trying to yell over the top of it, being flung from trying to match his vocal lines to the drums, to attemping to hang on every time the guitars buzz back and forth and then jam their way through another wall of riffs. It is intentionally abrasive and purposefully violent in its opening minute, really only coalescing after its first thirty seconds or so to become a sandblaster of a death metal song with an insect-crawling guitar segment around a minute-thirty. The back bit of the song returns to the shrine of madness before suddenly ending, giving the whole event of “Quantum Mysticism” a whirlwind feeling. You can experience the maelstrom yourself, just below.
Rotting Christ – Societas Satanas Live
It isn’t too often that we get to post live videos around these parts, so when a group like Rotting Christ uploads a professionally shot live video themselves, as opposed to a more common well-shot bootleg or someone recording a festival stream and uploading it onto their personal page — we tend to jump on it.
The group, who have an upcoming slate of releases that includes their 7″ The Call single on February 9th and a greatest hits collection entitled Their Greatest Spells out March 23rd, uploaded an offical live video that was filimed on June 30th of last year in Athens Greece. It shows the band tackling their take on Thou Art Lord’s 1996 song “Societas Satanas“. Given the shared history between the two bands — including vocalist/guitarist Sakis Tolis — the song making the leap between the two groups makes sense.
Rotting Christ, of course, cranked up the pyrotechnics for that particular live show and it is a lot of fun seeing the group apply their miliaristic and percussive-march songwriting to it, making the whole performance exciting to watch.
goddamn I love Misery Index. This sounds great. They haven’t made a bad album so any songwriting direction they pick will probably be the right one.