Happy Tuesday to one and all. This makes the third day in a row when I’ve found time to round up new songs, and the third day in a row when I’ve focused on underground bands as opposed to bigger names. It’s not that I have any kind of reflexive distaste for the music of economically successful bands whose names are a known quantity world-wide (which, like the music of bands who toil in relative obscurity, is simply a familiar mix of excellence and mediocrity). It’s more that they really don’t need one more metal blog giving them a boost. And sometimes (but not always), that feeling steers me toward bands such as those discussed below.
This Norwegian duo from Trondheim (multi-instrumentalist V. Einride and vocalist K.R.) have made a big and favorable impression on discerning consumers of metal extremity in a relatively short time, through their self-titled debut EP in 2016 and their first album last year, the fantastic Dommedagskvad, both of which were released by Terratur Possessions. Now they return with a new album, NID – Hymner Av Hat.
“Hyllest” is the first song revealed from the new album, appearing just yesterday. There’s viciousness galore in this track — you’ll get your daily recommended dose and enough surplus to last you all week. The propulsive drive of the drums and bass alone will give you enough energy that you could go without food and sleep for the week as well. And the scintillating rise and fall of the febrile melody, paired with the bubbling allure of the bass, exerts a special fascination.
When the melody soars, you might feel the wings of your mind unfold and carry you aloft, in wonder at the grandeur of the sweeping panoramas it reveals. Yet the near-mythic atmosphere of the song as it crescendos (accompanied by the sound of giant booming drums) is lined with melancholy. And that’s just one of the ways in which the song provides a gloriously rich experience.
Hymner Av Hat will be released in CD and LP formats on November 30. The artwork was again prepared by Jose Gabriel Alegría Sabogal and Kontamination Design.
DISCIPLES OF THE VOID
I was drawn to the music of this Finnish duo when I learned that the session drummer was Trish Kolsvart, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Iceland earlier this year, and whose performances can be counted on to vent your adrenal glands almost regardless of what else is happening around her in the music. In the case of the next song in today’s collection, the two dudes she’s accompanying prove themselves equally proficient in provoking a hormonal fight-or-flight response.
The band make no bones about their dedication to second-wave black metal from the mid-’90s, proudly conceding that “the idea behind this project is not to come up with something new and different”. Their forthrightness is to be applauded, and so is this song “Per Aspera Ad Noctum”. It presents a familiar ice-cold savagery, and also a bonfire of rampant fury, while also delivering sensations of sweeping, keyboard-enhanced majesty.
The music burns, it sends shivers down the spine, it triggers a desire to lift your clawed fingers to the skies in ecstasy. It becomes stately, invokes feelings of awe, and channels the uncontainable chaos at the heart of black metal. And as icing on the cake, it delivers a cavalcade of changing vocal expressions, all of which are demonic.
This song appears on the self-titled debut album of Disciples of the Void, which will be released by Primitive Reaction on December 7th.
Disciples of the Void:
We’ve devoted significant previous attention to this band from Lisburn (Northern Ireland), furnishing Gorger’s review of their first EP (In Light of Dark Days), Andy Synn‘s review of their debut album (Anatomy of Loss), and Comrade Aleks‘ interview of the band’s vocalist/guitarist Andy Clarke. It was only to be expected, therefore, that I’d pay attention to the first advance track from their new album, Wolves and the Hideous White.
My colleague Andy described the music on The Crawling‘s first album as “a rawer, deathlier Paradise Lost, or a grimmer, less gothic Novembers Doom“, but the band have reported that the new one is an evolution from the debut, in which the music has moved “from misery to disgust”.
The new song is the title track, and it’s a massively heavy, brutally bone-breaking, and convincingly cold-hearted juggernaut. Filaments of eerie, dissonant melody ripple outward from the enormity of the music’s destructive, mid-paced machinations. Deep, buzzing riffs and ponderous, groaning chords convey hopelessness and, yes, disgust, while Mr. Clarke’s bestial roars are heartless enough to congeal the blood in your veins. And you’d best loosen up your neck muscles, because this grim and gruesome music is also a massive head-mover. Damned catchy, too.
To conclude today’s collection I decided to defile the Rule enshrined in our site’s title, which is not something I do frequently or easily. This next song, however, dug its hooks into my brain from the very first listen and hasn’t loosened its bloody grasp in the many sessions I’ve spent with it since then.
I’ve actually been meaning to include the song in a round-up of new music for many weeks, with the idea of packaging it with other songs that gripped my attention that also involved, to varying degrees, actually singing. But for various reasons I kept getting diverted from doing that, and finally decided to just put the song right here without further delay (and hopefully come back to the others in the near future).
The song is “Blood For Walpurgis” and it comes from The Nekromant Lives, which is the new album by the Swedish trio Nekromant. The song is so damned heavy that you’ll feel the lead-weight bass lines and gut-busting drum blows deep in your body’s core, and the riffs are to die for. The music is cloaked in darkness, with the aroma of an occult ceremony, and the vibrant guitar solo seems to have psychoactive properties.
And I will say, as someone who obviously has a low tolerance for clean vocals in heavy music, that the singing is a critical factor in why I’ve become so addicted to this track.
The Nekromant Lives will be released by Ripple Music on November 9th.