Here’s the second Part of our Thursday round-up, which digs a little more deeply into the underground than Part 1, and which is more heavy on very heavy death metal (as well as some Grade A grindcore), with a big change of style at the end.
To begin, I’ve chosen Track #5 from the upcoming Human Annihilation album, which is the forthcoming second full-length by the California death metal band Ruin. Their debut album Drown In Blood from last year was a ravaging implement of sonic torture, and it sounds like this one will be quite good as well.
“Savage Mutilation” is the name of this first single — but it’s far from mutilating at the start, and the fact that it isn’t is one reason I like this song so much. Granted, there’s a bit of foreshadowing behind the lilting acoustic-guitar opening, but it still doesn’t really prepare you for the brutish, pounding thuggery that follows those sublime early reverberations, or the brawling, scampering mayhem that also ensues. I think this thing loosened one of the fillings in my teeth, dammit.
Human Annihilation will be released on October 22nd by the Spanish label Memento Mori.
This German death metal band’s name perplexed me at first, for there is nothing weak about their music. And then it dawned on me that the name more likely reflects their determination to cast the weak aside, though it seems even more likely that they would just run right through the weak and leave crushed and broken bodies in a bloody trail behind them. Or maybe [as HGD points out in the Comments below] it’s just an homage to Bloodbath.
Forward Into Darkness is the band’s third album, and the most recent sign of what it holds in store is the video released yesterday for a track called “We’re All Condemned“. This track has a cool wind-up — a beefy bass line and a darting riff giving way to a wailing lead — and when the pitch arrives, it’s a giant, body-mauling, bone-mangling tank attack augmented by a flame-throwing solo and emotionally evocative melody. The vocals are insanely good, too — bringing both gut-level, monstrous depth and blood-freezing shrieks.
I mentioned that I’d chosen some Grade-A grindcore for this collection, and now we come to it.
It’s amazing to me how many sensations can be packed into a track that’s little more than a minute long, but since guitarist Takafumi Matsubara (Gridlink, Mortalized Grindcore) is the driving force behind Retortion Terror, that’s not at all surprising. The track in question, “Choke Pear“, comes from the band’s self-titled EP, which follows their 2017 split with Invidiosus. It’s set for release on September 14th (CD and digital) by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, and includes monstrous vocals by Kiyo from World End Man…
It’s definitely maniacal and marauding — and apocalyptically doomed — and as eerie as snakes from space.
I don’t know if there are snakes from space, but this track makes me think there might be.
Retortion Terror is recommended by HPGD for fans of Assuck, Discordance Axis, Gridlink, Insect Warfare, Mortalized Grindcore, Noisear, and Wormrot.
Holy Blasphemition is the name of the new EP by the Russian brutal death metal band Ossuary Anex, whose influences include the likes of Suffocation, Disgorge (U.S.), Skinless, and Pyrexia. They released two albums before this EP, but the first single from the EP happens to be my own first exposure to their sound.
“Revelation of the Inquisition” is the name of that first single. Like the first two tracks in this collection, “Revelation…” has a cool intro, one in which the lowly bass gets a chance to glimmer, if not shine. And what eventually comes after that is a hard-charging, mercilessly palm-muted and down-tuned piece of savagery, one that’s spiced up with high-powered jackhammering, unexpected changes of pace, jolting stops and starts, and a berserker solo.
Holy Blasphemition is set for release by Xtreem Music on September 26th.
And now for that big change of pace I mentioned, which is also a big exception to the rule in our site’s title.
I’ve found myself drawn back to “Gone” at least every other day since I first heard it, despite the fact that it’s not nearly as extreme as most of the music I allow to eat my brain every day. It’s slow, heavy, and deeply sad — and it’s sublimely beautiful; much of the beauty comes from those rule-violating vocals.
Listening to it, the album art makes perfect sense. There’s a feeling of solitude and wistfulness in the music, like wandering the countryside at night under a vast starlit sky, and then encountering an old seemingly deserted farmhouse — and watching it begin to glow with unnatural light, watching slow streamers of phosphorescent light rise up from its peaks, catching glimpses of doves on the rise. There’s something similarly wondrous about this song (the drumming is very cool, too).
“Gone” comes from this L.A. band’s new album, Suspended In Reflections, which will be released by Pelagic Records on August 24th.