SEEN AND HEARD (PART 2): ÖRMAGNA, RODENT EPOCH, OCCELENSBRIGG, DISCRVST
Most of the bands in Part 1 of today’s round-up (here) have become well-known globally. Most of the ones in this Part are newcomers, and all are far deeper underground. And while most of the songs in Part 1 were hard-rocking, I think it’s fair to say that these are more vicious.
I haven’t yet tried to ferret out who is behind this new Icelandic band, though it’s probably fair odds that whoever’s behind it is also involved in other groups whose names would be familiar to those of us who follow Icelandic metal — because that seems usually to be the case in the small but incredibly fertile circles of extreme metal musicians in Reykjavík, and also because this first single doesn’t sound like anyone’s very first effort.
“Háskinn í Seljunum” is almost nine minutes of cold, lead-weighted, lurching punishment, speared by spiny dissonance and spine-tingling, blood-raw vocal agony — married to surges of blasting tumult in which deep, roiling leads play as great a role in the shattering delirium as those shrieks of dissonant melody. This is heavy, harrowing music which succeeds in becoming both emotionally super-heated and oppressively desolate.
Örmagna’s debut release will be released at some point soon by Signal Rex (CD and LP) and by Vangandr (cassette tape).
The next song, “High on Hades“, comes from the first full-length by the Finnish black metal band Rodent Epoch. The album — Rodentlord — will be released by Saturnal Records on October 12th.
This track absolutely RIPS. Filthy, wild, and murderously vicious, it punches out explosive, hard-driving black/thrash that’s a huge adrenaline rush. When the band ease off on the gas for a bit, it becomes a big headbanger as well as high-octane mosh fuel, and it’s as catchy as [insert name of favorite highly communicable disease]. It damned well does make you high on Hades.
Occelensbrigg is the black metal project of someone connected to the Portuguese Aldebaran Circle, and The Quest For Star Mountain is the name of Occelensbrigg’s first album, consisting of four tracks and 40 minutes of music.
“The Falling Guardians of Death and Life” is the first track to be revealed. Listening to it, the adjectives spilled from my fingers in a flood. Almost bereft of drumming (aside from brief unpredictable bursts) — this is an immense roiling wash of dense, enveloping sound. Abrasive and yet soaring, the atmosphere is malignant, menacing, mystical, and majestic. The cold, unearthly sensations of the music are joined with ugly serrated vocals delivering, chants, roars, and howls of anguish or anger, alternately frigid and fiery.
If you can imagine a million tiny demons simultaneously lighting matches beneath each of your nerves, that might prepare you for “The Falling Guardians of Death and Life”
The album will be released on vinyl by Harvest of Death on August 8, 2018.
“Post-doom-sludge” and “grimcrust” are the genre descriptions chosen by this band from Montreal. Their MMXVIII demo/album was released via Bandcamp on July 24th. It’s the kind of dead-eyed, bare-knuckled, hard-muscled, blood-boiling assault that gets its hands around your neck and just shakes and chokes and will not be pried loose.
Discrvst prove themselves very adept at mercilessly pounding and crushing, and equally effective at braying and brawling, and the music is pretty damned bleak at all times. The sonic weaponry consists of a
gravel-chewing bass, skull-busting drumwork, brutish riffs, and changing arrays of yowling, boiling, shimmering, vibrantly pulsating leads. The vocals are absolutely incinerating in their intensity.
Slow, pile-driving rhythms are entwined with hard-charging, piston-pumping ones, and these tracks further include magnetic reverberating melodies laced with dissonance — they gleam, glower, and give way to mortifying grief, and they elevate these songs to a higher level.
More great music from Iceland. Not the least bit surprising, but, of course, always welcome.
Örmagna sounds a lot like Naðra. And Örmagna’s vocalist sounds like Örlygur Sigurðarson (the vocalist of Naðra), so I’m guessing that’s him. There doesn’t seem to be much info about Örmagna online, but Instagram suggests that their drummer is Hilmar Gylfi Guðjónsson, a previous drummer of Naðra.
Thanks for these insights — they make sense, and I should have made the Nadra connection myself.
Örmagna’s singer sounds a lot like the guy from Nadra.
Yes he does.
Thanks for the heads up on Discrvst. I’m really digging it!!!
Discrvst is exceptionally good. Bought the rehearsal cassette too.