(This is the second part of a new-music round-up compiled by DGR. You can find Part 1 at this location.)
The Kennedy Veil – Bloodletting North America Full Set Live
We ended the first part of this collection with a live music video from Rotting Christ, and speaking of live shows, let’s check in with a Sacramento death metal crew who also wound up with a recorded live show in 2017. This one is courtesy of The Kennedy Veil, whose label Unique Leader recently uploaded the twenty-some-odd-minute full set from when the band were on opening tour duties for the tech-death-packed Bloodletting North America tour, which saw them playing alongside the likes of Origin, Archspire, Dyscarnate, and Defeated Sanity.
This run has death vocalist Darren Liwen (Dismal, recent live duties for Cognitive as well) at the front of the band, as vocalist Monte found himself busy elsewhere. So you do have an immediate shift for a slightly different take on the material, as Darren goes less for the sudden brutal-death approach and stays in a heavy low for much of the set. Still, you also get to watch the band absolutely rip through their set — including Gabe making sitting behind that kit look effortless — save for the one breather they give themselves during the slower movements of “Hunted To Extinction” from Imperium.
The Kennedy Veil will be hitting the road again soon, including a brief string as openers for the California branch of fellow Sacramento tech-death crew Alterbeast’s headlining run in latter February.
Memoriam – Bleed The Same
The Benediction and Bolt Thrower crew of Memoriam are returning to us in 2018 with a new album entitled The Silent Vigil, nearly a year after the release of the group’s debut disc For The Fallen in 2017. Memoriam have unleashed a lyric video for the seven-minute slow-grinder of a song called “Bleed The Same” ahead of Silent Vigil’s March 23rd release date.
The video, which I’m sure has already sparked some very intelligent debate within its comments (which I might see were I not using the add-on that turns all YouTube comments into variations of “HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR”), focuses heavily on its socio-political lyrics alongside heavy imagery of battles with authority figures over the years, including a sampled Martin Luther King Jr. speech. Karl Willets treads a fine line between a grunt and a half-yell during the nearly seven-minute dirge, returning repeatedly throughout the song to the same line, “We are as one, we bleed the same”.
It will be interesting to see how Silent Vigil holds up as a whole when March 23rd rolls around, because despite the band’s short existence Memoriam have pumped out a pretty healthy amount of material with (now) two discs and a small collection of singles/demos under the “Hellfire Demos” banner. Turning out a second disc in such a short span of time since the first album is a feat that I envy no-one; the turnaround on studio time alone must be maddening. Either way, we’ll see if Silent Vigil is able to stand arm-in-arm with For The Fallen soon enough.
Necrophobic – Tsar Bomba
Necrophobic unveiled a new lyric video for the song “Tsar Bomba” from their upcoming album Mark Of The Necrogram, due out on February 23rd. The last time the band put out a song from Necrogram, the group had just missed me writing a news roundup, and our loving editor had to step in and get one in for the guys… but not this time.
The Necrophobic crew go for the full melodic-black-metal gallop on “Tsar Bomba”, wrapping some intricately written guitar lines around a double-bass roll that sees the band yelling, “Tsar Bomba, Behold the star”, and gazing into the realms of apocalyptic warfare implications that a being such as that bomb could possess. Blissfully wrapped in a layer of Satan to top things off, “Tsar Bomba” hits well within the landscape of Necrophobic’s death and black metal hybrid. Hewing firmly to Luciferian lyrics, painting the tale from the viewpoint of a being possessing the power of the Tsar Bomba is an intriguing lyrical exercise. It also helps that amidst the wall of death metal in this two-part roundup, so far this track is one of the catchiest.
Mark Of The Necrogram, as mentioned above, will hit on February 23rd through the folks over at Century Media. If you missed Necrophobic’s thrashier and slightly more traditonally black metal title track, you can check that one out here.
Darkest Hour – Enter Oblivion
We close this roundup with Darkest Hour, a band that a handful of us at NCS have a soft spot for. Now nearly a year out from the release of their vicious 2018 disc Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora, which we enjoyed a ton here, the group have a new music video for the song “Enter Oblivion” — that album’s ninth song — filmed in the Rainbow Basin just outside of Barstow, California and directed by the group’s vocalist.
The video is a performance clip, setting the band up in the deserts of California to play for us, with John Henry yelling the song into the camera. “Enter Oblivion” is a solid mid-tempo groover that pops up on a disc full of differing explosions of violence, helping to add to the dynamics of an already heavy disc that presents a healthy swath of its material (including the opening tracks) in more high-speed territory.
Godless Prophets proved to be a surprise in 2017, with Darkest Hour unleashing one of their fullest realizations of the melodeath/metalcore hybrid to date. If you haven’t had the chance to listen to the album yet, Godless Prophets is absolutely worth a spin. If you need further proof, I personally recommend the seething rage of Another Headless Ruler Of The Used.