Editor’s Note: NCS patron HGD, who has been kind enough to send us recommendations of new music in the past, prepared the following round-up of new music, which we’re presenting here with his own introductory comments, and with our thanks. As he wrote, “The overarching theme here is death metal of the old school variety, but having said that there are still significant differences from song to song.”
Deicide are the highest profile group amongst the bunch included here so it’s best to start with them. NCS has already covered the announcement of their new album Overtures of Blasphemy, due out September 14 on Century Media. The first single from that album, “Excommunicated“, was released last Friday.
The main thing of interest to me prior to hearing the single was how the music was going to hold up. Deicide have a reputation of being an inconsistent band when it comes to their musical output, and with their last album In the Minds of Evil staying mostly on the positive end of that spectrum I was looking forward to seeing if they could build on the momentum it created. If “Excommunicated” is any indication the answer is trending towards a yes.
With Deicide you already know what you’re going to expect in the lyrical department, and Glen Benton‘s anti-theistic fervor is on full display here. His vocals sound as vicious as they ever have. Instrumentally though, it seems the band as a whole have stepped it up a gear.
There’s an undercurrent of thrash that certainly brings to mind their early works, and the melodic, almost neoclassical soloing echoes the late Ralph Santolla‘s efforts on Stench of Redemption. The addition of Monstrosity’s Mark English on guitar appears to be an inspired choice: the interplay between him and Kevin Quirion is really the main highlight here.
Carnation are a fairly new arrival on the old school death metal scene. Hailing from Antwerp, Belgium, they released an EP titled Cemetery of the Insane in 2015 before signing to Season of Mist. Their debut album Chapel of Abhorrence is set for release on August 17 and was mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound.
So far they have released two songs from the album, the title track and a second single called “Hellfire” which premiered a couple of days ago. Carnation’s sound invites comparisons to the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Monstrosity with vocalist Simon Duson’s roars bearing a striking similarity to those of one George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Nonetheless, Carnation to me are much more than a mere clone of those acts, as this new single proves.
“Hellfire” opens with a classic Cannibal Corpse-inspired barrage before locking into a groove that’s hard not to headbang to. From there the song takes detours into old school Swedish death metal territory and later erupts into some old fashioned machine gun riffage that would make Bolt Thrower proud, finishing proceedings off with a solo that reminds me of the great leads from Those Once Loyal.
Carnation seem to have a firm grasp of how to write old school death metal that’s fresh, memorable, and most importantly, fun.
Baest are a band that I’ve been returning to quite a bit recently, and my interest in their debut album continues to grow. Last Friday they released a second single, “Vortex“, from their upcoming album Danse Macabre, and I enjoyed it so much I had to include it here (in fact I also previously mentioned it in a comment on one of he NCS round-ups). Baest are just pushing all of the right buttons for me in terms of what I look for in old school death metal.
“Vortex” is the polar opposite of their first single, “Crosswhore“. Whereas that song was an exercise in the sort of crawling, sludgy, groove-oriented heaviness perfected by Morbid Angel on Domination, this one just goes for the jugular from the opening seconds and never lets go. It’s also a testament to Baest’s song-writing that they can write something so unrelenting and yet still maintain a sense of catchiness. Eerie, serpentine melodies are woven throughout the whole song, especially from the 2:20 mark onwards.
NCS wrote about the title track to the debut album from Innumerable Forms, Punishment In Flesh, a few weeks ago. The band released another single from the album, “Purity’s Demand“, a few days ago.
Many of the words that Islander used to describe “Punishment In Flesh” are applicable here. The vocals (which also include guest vocals from Ross Sabourin of Blessed Offal) are cavernous growls from the depths of some long-forgotten abyss, perfect for the funeral dirge that they accompany. The oppressive heaviness of the drums and guitars makes you feel as if the life is being squeezed out of you. Bleak melodies underpin the equally bleak atmosphere that Innumerable Forms create here, underlined best by Arthur Rizk‘s guest guitar solo, which takes a page out of the Gregor Mackintosh school of northern misery.