I’m not sure how many Parts I’ll finish for this Sunday’s column. I have three in mind, even though that may amount to overload for most readers.
There may be some explanation out there in the interhole about how to pronounce this band’s name, but because I’m hurrying I haven’t looked. As I read it, it resembles the sound I make when clearing my throat upon awakening after a night of too many cigarettes and too much booze. Fortunately, the music on the band’s debut album sounds much better. In fact, it’s so good that it’s startling, and often stunning.
The sound is absolutely wild, like a loud, torrential storm, like the opening of immense roaring thunderheads from a roiling black sky, with flashes of lightening. It’s often near-cacophonous in its intensity, yet it doesn’t take more than one listen to perceive the technical intricacy of the instrumental performances, from the constant surprises offered by the rhythm section to the extravagant inventiveness of the guitarists. The ingenious production quality permits all these components to shine through while still allowing the combination of them to strike with shuddering power.
The vocals are no less extravagant and no less shattering in their intensity. They push the overall impact of the music to heightened levels of terrifying effect. And the terrors of the music often seem completely unearthly, despite my allusions to thunderstorms and lightning strikes. The eerie dissonance of the melodic accents and the unpredictable, labyrinthine quality of the music’s movements portray the opening of vast arcane dimensions and glimpses into the paranoid hallucinations of insane minds.
And yes, there is often a panoramic quality to the music. The thundering destructiveness is never far away, but the band choose their moments to create impressions of jaw-dropping wonder, though even then the effect is otherworldly and chilling, a blending of spectral and astral sensations that’s deeply perilous and unsettling.
I fear that coming so late in the year, and appearing without any kind of PR apparatus behind it, the album won’t get the attention it deserves. It really is extraordinary.
Hwwauoch’s debut album is self-titled and just became available as a Bandcamp download via Fallen Empire Records on November 16th. It’s also now available on cassette tape through Amor Fati Productions, and that same label plans to release it on vinyl early next year.
I’m unsure who is behind Hwwauoch, or where they’re located, but they seem to be part of the ПРАВА Коллектив (Pràva Kollektiv), which also includes members of Arkhtinn, Voidsphere, and Mahr. (Arkhtinn themselves released a new album simultaneously with this one, through the same labels, though I haven’t yet listened to it. You can find it here.)
Like the first band in this collection, Sielunvihollinen’s name challenges my pronunciative capabilities. Unlike that first band, this one is a known quantity. Their previous appearance in SHADES OF BLACK was in February 2017, when I came across a track from their second album, Ruhonkantaja, which was subsequently released in April of that year by Darker Than Black Records. I summed up that song (“Maamme Hauta”) as “a raucous piece of work”, but one that was as “highly infectious” as it was “feral and ferocious”. The album as a whole also proved to be excellent.
Sielunvihollinen now seem to be at work on a third album, entitled Kuolonkylväjä, and a couple weeks ago they released a demo version of a song from it named “Loputon Viha“. It’s a vicious attack, to be sure, especially in the throat-ripping ferocity of the vocalist’s shrieking, but once again Sielunvihollinen prove their ability to craft highly infectious riffs, both fiery and moody, and to switch up the drum rhythms to add further dynamism to the experience, without ever really diminishing the adrenaline-triggering effect of the song.
(Thanks to eiterorm for alerting me to this track.)
Ayyur is the black metal project of Tunisian musician/vocalist Angra Mainyu. On Ayyur’s newest release, an EP named The Lunatic Creature, he’s joined by guitarist Dagon and drummer Shaxul (a former Deathspell Omega vocalist). The first advance track from the EP is “He Who Dwells In the Trenches“.
The music here is mid-paced and both dismal and strange in its atmosphere; pure agony pours forth from Mainyu‘s throat, and soul-splintering desolation from the melody. Eruptions of drum thunder amplify the intensity, and chiming notes gleam like shards of doomed beauty in the midst of this wretchedness. When the drums disappear, we seem to enter a void populated by spirits, or perhaps a windswept North African desert in which djinns sparkle with unearthly light in the distant dunes.
The Lunatic Creature will be released in the U.S. by Sentient Ruin on November 30th (vinyl, tape, and digital download), and in Europe by Vendetta Records.
READY TO FUCK
Bear with me now: Yes, the band’s named is Ready To Fuck, and the name of their new compilation album is Ready To Fuck In the Name of Satan. Given my juvenile sense of humor, I laughed when I saw it — but I really wasn’t expecting anything worthy of serious attention from the music. And so I was really surprised when I began listening.
Ready To Fuck In the Name of Satan was released on November 5 by the Brazilian label Deathcamp Records, and it includes this Brazilian band’s three demos, which were released from 2005 through 2015. The first four tracks on the compilation are the ones released through the third of those demos, in 2015, and they’re the best ones on this comp, but the others are worth a listen too.
Despite what you might be expecting, the opening track (“One Kiss In Satan’s Ass”) is incredibly dramatic. The riffs are deeply moving and intensely memorable in their bleakness, and the leads flare like the yearnings of souls on the brink of despair. The vocals are equally intense, explosive in their displays of heart-rending and furious passion.
The remaining songs from that first demo also have an overarching atmosphere that’s charged with the gloom and frenzies of despair, and with a larger-than-life scale to their portrayals of torment. I don’t think it goes too far to say that the music is often majestic, often heart-swelling in its power, and ravaging in its impact. And, as proven by the electrifying, dervish-like third track (“Noltes em Sodoma”), Ready To Fuck know how to fuckin’ rip, too.
The two previous demos in this collection (which includes some live tracks) are more primitive, more bestial, more overtly demonic and barbaric in their moods, and more ear-abrading in their production quality. But you can hear the seeds of the talents that flowered in the latest demo (there are some damned good riffs within these tracks, even if they’re the more black-thrashing kind).