Well, my fine fiends, yesterday was a very interesting day (and no, I’m not talking about the bizarro-world mind-fuck of American politics at its zenith of gob-smacking grotesquery). I’m talking about the flood of new metal, at least one wave of which proved to be crashingly controversial, and I’ll get to that.
Damned hard to figure out what to shovel into this round-up, which is a big reason why it’s so voluminous, but really not voluminous enough even though it comes in multiple parts today. As usual, I just let my mind percolate a bit, and trusted that whatever twisted thing lurks within it would make the right choices.
I have a tendency to organize these posts in order from bigger names to lesser names, and sometimes because my subconscious mentation perceives a certain pleasing flow from one to the next, but this time I’m starting with a song by Uniform because last night it pounced on me like a wolf appearing in Aisle 9 in the grocery store — about that surprising, and about that effective in triggering a fight or flight response. The video is a mind-fuck too.
“Vicious post-industrial dystopian cyber-punk” is how the music on Uniform’s new album The Long Walk was described in yesterday’s press release accompanying the promo for their new album. That was a titillating come-on for yours truly, as was this (I read the book a long time ago):
“The title The Long Walk comes from a Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) dystopian novel about an oppressive government that forces some of its children to endure a grueling game where there is only one survivor. In this case, it’s an allegory for an extended march away from comfort, family, and faith, and eventually into an amorphous sense of spirituality that can be understood on a personal level.”
Still, I resist downloading promos if I’m not already a fan of a band until I listen to some of it first. And the press release included a link to a video made by Danny Perez for a single from the album named “The Walk“, so I checked it out, and there I got the adrenaline rush, delivered in part by the video (which I won’t spoil with a linguistic preview) and in part from the music — which delivers a mix of stomping and thundering percussion, bleak rising and falling guitar and synth distortion, urgent pulsating tones, and wrenching cries. The music rakes at the brain and gets the whole body moving.
The Long Walk will be released by Sacred Bones on August 17th.
And now we come to the controversy.
I happen to have a lot of Facebook friends who are fellow music writers, or musicians, or other die-hard metal fanatics, in addition to my own NCS comrades. And it seemed like a whole hell of a lot of them had something to say about this new Anaal Nathrakh song “Forward!“, which comes off their new album A New Kind of Horror. I feel comfortable introducing the song by quoting a selection of their comments without asking permission, because I’m concealing their identities (and by the way, this wasn’t one discussion thread — I just stitched together different things from different discussions):
Well, someone’s been listening to a lot of “Puritania…”
Haha, this song uses gunshots as its beat… also there’s so much industrial and electronics samples working its way through the song, it’s basically one giant chugging breakdown and groove.
WHO GIVES A FUCK IF THE ENEMY’S STARVING? FORWARD!
I am thinking it’s going to be more “Passion/Desideratum” than… one of the good ones.
LOL this is some embarrassing stuff right here
Finally, that new lifting soundtrack I wasn’t hoping for!
This band has been pretty obviously shot for a while but now everyone who was in denial about it is gonna have to face the facts.
One thing that most everyone is missing is that AN’s lead-off single has never been a full indicator for how good/bad the rest of the album was in the past. I don’t mind the song myself, actually.
Haven’t we accepted that Nu Metal is just coming back as the reigning king of sales?
The hot takes on it being “nu-bro metal” are partcularly amusing. I mean, did they even pay attention to the lyrics at all? If there’s one thing which is ALWAYS on point with AN it’s Dave Hunt’s lyrics (and his delivery).
I like this. I like everything they’ve ever done… Ok I tried again and I’m downgrading this to “I can tolerate this and really hope it’s the worst song on the album”. Further listens may prove hazardous to my enjoyment.
I wouldn’t give a crap that they’re so awful now if I didn’t love the early stuff.
Even nowadays Fear Factory would throw this song out for being weak and lame.
Hey, I like bad Fear Factory albums just as much as the next guy that likes bad Fear Factory albums, but this stinks!
Oh, cool. The vocalist of Bleeding Through guests on this album. A Metalcore vocalist that owns a gym and works as a fitness trainer. I’m sure he’ll fit in well.
I’d listen to this over Godflesh.
Anaal Nathrakh tryna catch up with Code Orange Kids right now.
Needs DJ Lethal on samples.
Was there a fart noise at the 41 second mark?
There was one that started at the 0:01 mark and ended at the 3:29 mark
These guys got the same powerade shipment as Pig Destroyer, it would appear.
It’s funny, because they’ve been doing this sort of song for at least 4 albums now. So either the critics haven’t been listening or… it’s become “cool” to shit on bands you previously liked (I mean, to be fair, it’s always been “cool” to do that).
Fuck critics, if they are staying true to themselves then who cares about anything else…
The hate is pretty recognizable as some hyperbolic bullshit but that’s some hyperbolic bullshit, as someone who grew up in and legit loved a lot of nu-metal/Fear Factory. I’ve since come to the conclusion though that it was never Fear Factory that sucked for me, it was always their vocalist. That said, I’m still going to laugh about the machine gun sample over the drums anyway.
And believe me, there’s a shit-ton more where that came from, but now let’s listen to the bullets flying, shall we?
Season of Mist‘s press release yesterday announcing Vreid’s new album, Lifehunger, and the debut of its title track suggested that Vreid might also be diverging at least somewhat from where their music has been in the past: “Vreid’s new album sees the veteran quartet champion the majesty and tradition of melodic black metal, with a unique rock edge…. Lifehunger is truly extreme metal devoid of genre convention, and redefines darkness within its metallic grandeur”.
But let’s leave to another day how the album, or even this one new song, compares to what has come before, and simply say that “Lifehunger” is an irresistible head-mover, which also has its moments of scathing ferocity (and of course the vocals are scathingly ferocious at all times). The song thrashes, and yes it rocks, and yes it’s melodically dark, and there’s some gripping soloing in it as well. Good stuff!
SoM will release Lifehunger on September 28th.
What people won’t realise is that ALL of those comments about Anaal Nathrakh were left by me or by one of my many dummy accounts.
Well, I enjoy the new Nathrakh song. Bet the album will be as consistently batshit as the others, and if they decide to go the Desideratum route, that’s fine too – because I love that album for the dumb hyperspeed chug-fest that it is.
I can verify that, since you yourself are merely a figment of my imagination.
We’ve discussed this before.
You’re all fragments of MY fractured psyche. Get it right!
What if You and Islander are just the same person?
I, as one third of the fragment of us, don’t understand
That’s because I’ve been drinking tonight. When I’m sober in the morning you’ll be thinking more clearly.
I liked that AN song, sue me. That said, I came into metal through the industrial door (Skinny Puppy, FLA, Combichrist, etc.), so I’ve got a soft spot there to begin with.
Same, but I’m the self professed industrial/electronics softie on the site anyway. Not so much Combichrist though, more KMFDM and Ministry. Converging with a whole lot of ‘classic’ era metal and 90’s/early 2000s metal.
That Uniform track is savage. They also recently released a collab record with The Body (a band that definitely meshes well with what Uniform does):
Crap. I meant to write about that and then forgot. You’re right that they mesh very very well.
Until recently it was part of my job to keep up with what the Body did (even so, some releases slipped through the cracks). Michael Berdan does some vicious vocals on the most recent Body record too; though I can’t remember which songs off the top of my head.
Goddamn that new Vreid is clicking ALL THE BOXES! Stoked for the full release.