A few other countries besides the United States have a Thanksgiving holiday, but not many, and none of them except the U.S. celebrates it today. So I guess in the vast majority of the world it’s just another day — and so it is at NCS. We do take a certain amount of pride in refusing to take time off for holidays. I mean, we mention them, and some of us partake of them in our non-blog lives, but at NCS they’re all just days, like all the other days, that give us a chance to give thanks for metal.
The following seven new songs flowed together very well in my head last night. Together they make one head-wrecking playlist of slaughtering sound. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
BLOOD RED THRONE
The Norwegian wrecking crew Blood Red Throne, whose latest album (Union of Flesh and Machine) our Andy Synn called “yet another top-tier terminator of crushing, grooving, blasting belligerence and cold, calculated aggression”, recently discharged a lyric video for a new song from their next album, Fit To Kill, and that’s how we’ll begin today’s blood-letting.
“InStructed InSanity” is the name of this beast. Dismal notes ring out; thunderous low-end weight descends; further fretwork generates chilling wails; and then the slaughtering begins in earnest. A militaristic drum assault commences, backed by a vicious, seething riff, and then deep, horrid roars and putrid shrieks drive the music into a spasm of bone-breaking, brain-slashing destruction, laced with ghoulish, slithering melody.
Blood Red Throne are firing on all cylinders. In its changing phases the song creates sensations of dictatorial dominance, murderous delirium, and otherworldly frightfulness. We await Fit To Kill with hunger and fear.
Fit To Kill will be released at some point next year. No further details are yet available.
I’ll quote my friend Andy again, who characterized the last album by Altarage (2017’s Endinghent) in this way: “Dealing in a brand of pitch-black sonic horror that goes beyond the realms of ‘dissonant’ into ‘utterly disgusting’, the second album by these Spanish sadists is a collection of foul, filth-encrusted riffs, vile, vomitous vocals, and lurching, staggering drums, all coagulated into eight tracks of horrifically dense and devastating Death Metal whose atmosphere is so thick and choking that this album isn’t recommended for anyone who suffers from even a hint of claustrophobia.”
On January 25th Season of Mist will bring forth another Altarage album, this one fittingly entitled The Approaching Roar, which features cover art by the great Nick Keller from New Zealand. Yesterday the label released the first advance track, “Cyclopean Clash“.
All of Andy‘s quoted words ring true of this new song, which is a cold-blooded conjoining of massive pile-driving blows, eruptions of destructive chaos, and the boil of disease vectors spreading like wildfire. The song’s overarching atmosphere channels a mixture of pestilence, oppressiveness, and unchained violence. It takes your breath away, and makes you fill queasy in the pit of your stomach. Excellent work gentlemen!
Plague is the name of the new album by the British sludgecore sadists in Mastiff, and “Hellcircle” is the name of the next song in this playlist, which premiered on November 19th.
These dudes chose a good name for the song. One imagines it easily triggering a brawling circle pit from the first seconds, the kind of circle pit that demons might ignite in the depths of hell. Its sound is massively destructive and brazenly corrosive, augmented by harsh, braying vocals that sound crazed and blood-thirsty. The initial attack is a juggernaut rampage driven by romping rhythms and vicious riffing; it segues into a brutal but highly headbangable chug-fest; and it finishes with a doom-drenched breakdown that’s absolutely staggering. Bravo!
Plague will be released by APF Records on the 1st of February, 2019.
I was compelled to check out this next track after seeing the names of the people involved with this new band: Chris Grigg (Woe) on drums; Doug Moore (Pyrrhon) as vocalist; Matt Mewton (Woe, Belus) on guitar; George Paul (Mutilation Rites) also performing guitar; and John McKinney (Cleanteeth) on bass. Their new project is named Glorious Depravity, and on November 19th they released their first single, a track called “Hospital Incinerator Blues“, which is part of a live recording they did a few weeks ago.
The track turns out to be a display of old-school death metal barbarism that’s thuggish, gruesome, skull-fracturing, and brain-boiling. With vocals that combine horrid, belly-deep growls and sickening screeches, and changing musical sensations that conjure visions of turbocharged tank attacks and dervishlike frenzies, brute-force clobbering and ghastly golem-like lurching, the song leaves me with one urgent request: More please!
You can acquire this single for your continuing diseased pleasure at Bandcamp. And be sure to go there to check out the song’s rhyming lyrics, which are delightfully disgusting.
Dead Tongue hail from Padua, Italy, and have embraced the likes of Autopsy, old Carcass, Abscess, and Necrophagia as their musical brethren. Their new album, Disgorge Through the Eyes, is a 16-track manifestation of diseased old school death metal, and I’ve chosen one of those 16 as the next items in this playlist.
“Ethics of the Jugular” is a great song title, and it’s also a great song. It got its hooks in me from the first listen, and I’ve probably become more addicted to it than anything else in this playlist. It’s a suitably grim and gruesome gallop, with really nasty, livid vocal ferocity and a freakish and fiery solo that help make the song stand out, but it’s the lead riff that’s gotten its claws stuck deep in my brain.
Disgorge Through the Eyes was released on numerous digital platforms (including iTunes and Amazon, but not Bandcamp) on October 31st, and a CD edition is expected either this month or in December. I’ve bought the album, and eventually I may be able to move on from “Ethics of the Jugular” and listen to the rest of it.
ECHOES OF DEATH
I found this next song because it automatically began playing on YouTube as soon as Dead Tongue‘s track ended. It proved to be a great follow-up. With a little more searching I found the entire album on Bandcamp.
The album, …In the Cemetery, was released on November 9th by Echoes of Death, a group of old-school death metal practitioners from Forteleza, Brazil. The opening track, “Hanged On the Cross” is the one that first grabbed me. If the rest of the album is as good as that one, which I intend to determine later today, I’ll be buying it.
Echoes of Death aren’t breaking any molds, but they’re sure as hell comfortable in the mold they’ve chosen to inhabit, which in the case of this track is a highly addictive blend of mid-paced chugging and scampering mayhem, anchored by the crushing tone of HM-2 distortion and gut-busting drum work, and elevated by raw, wretched, high-pitched vocals.
Old-school Swedish-style death metal has a promising new standard-bearer from Brazil. Loosen your neck muscles before you press play below.
To bring this grisly Thanksgiving playlist to a fitting conclusion I’ve chosen “Umbilical Cord Of The Purulent Planet“, a song by the French death metal band Rotten off their forthcoming self-titled album.
There is indeed something foul and festering about this song, and there’s a weird buzzing sound in the opening (which continually resurfaces) that will put your teeth on edge. But the band also hammer like a giant die-stamp machine. They also brawl and batter, and crawl like some rotting thing that has just emerged from the grave, oozing putrescence behind it. I also really enjoyed the weird, quavering clean vocals that emerged in the song’s slowest and most grisly movement (the rest of the time they’re a putrid howling and retching sound).
As in the case of other tracks in this Thanksgiving collection, Rotten will make your head move, and might make you feel sick to your stomach too.
Rotten will be released by Bleed Records, a division of Internö Records devoted to supporting old-school death metal and such other extreme genres as grindcore, hardcore, and crust. I haven’t yet found a precise release date or pre-order info.