The effect of my vacation on this Saturday round-up is a good-news/bad-news story. The bad news is that I haven’t had time to sift through as many new songs and videos as I usually do before making my selections. The good news is that I found a lot to like anyway.
In May of this year we had the great pleasure of premiering a song called “Faith of Savagery” from the hell-raising fourth album by the South Korean thrash band Sahon. The album was subsequently released by Transcending Obscurity Records on July 15th, and now Sahon have just released a music video — and it happens to be for the same great song we premiered.
If you’re feeling sluggish, sullen, spiteful, or have an itch in your brain that you haven’t figured out how to scratch, this video is what the doctor ordered.
Goddamn, but I still love the out-of-the-ordinary artwork for this Sahon album, Chanting For the Fallen. I’m still taken with this song, too.
As I wrote at the time of our premiere, Sahon kick up a righteous fury, but in a way that isn’t a formulaic re-treading of what a long line of other thrash bands have done before them. I’ll continue to quote myself:
“Faith of Savagery” is a huge power surge. The full-throttle, battering-ram force of the jabbing riff and hammering drumwork that launches the song gets the adrenaline flowing, and the ferocity of the vocals adds to the music’s savage appeal. But what really lights up this song like a nuclear flare are the blazing, swarm-like, buzzing riffs that trade off with that pneumatic jolting. There’s an undeniably vicious, unhinged quality to those attacks that really gets the blood rushing through the veins.
But wait… there’s more: The solo in the song is an unexpected delight, first slow and slithering and then swirling and shrieking like a demon, with hints of the band’s Korean heritage in the melodies.
The very well-crafted video also does a hell of a good job channeling this fire-breathing and highly addictive song through the sights of Sahon ferocious, slashing and battering performance too. Kudos to the Sahon trio of Yongho, Chang myung, and Kyoung hong and their filmmakers– a very good way to start the day,
“Dark River” eases back on the throttle from where I began this round-up, but the track is no less electrifying.
The song is the first to be revealed from Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction), the second album by the Spanish doom/death band Onirophagus, which features artwork by the incredible Adam Burke. It will be released on February 19th by Xtreem Music.
Over the winding, nearly 11-minute course of this “Dark River”, the band move from slow, crushingly heavy crawling and slithering, with a tremendously dire and dismal atmosphere, through turns that become increasingly harrowing and pestilential, with a hauntingly beautiful interlude in the back half
The cruel, belly-deep vocals are frightfully good from the very beginning, and the song’s moaning and menacing melodies are insidiously memorable. This is a skull-smasher and a heart-breaker that’s hard to forget..
Many things make me smile about this next item. First, this Lithuanian band’s name. Second, the name of their debut album (Rope, Soap, Tabouret). Third, and most of all, the song itself — “Morgue Surgeons“, which is sure to please fans of Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, and early Carcass.
“Stranguliatorius are thirsty for blood, and hungry for flesh… ready to bash your brains in, then deliver your corpse to the surgeons of the morgue, to be gutted and buried in an unmarked grave!” So says Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, and they ain’t lyin’.
I’ll add that this monster of a song is red meat for a hungry headbanger, a massive, mauling juggernaut of sound that makes room for bursts of punk-like scampering and moments of Frankenstein-ian lurching are no less destructive (and no less neck-wrecking). The vocals are also tremendous, in a tremendously horrifying kind of way.
Rope, Soap, Tabouret will be released by HPGD on December 28th.
Anathema is the third album by this Japanese band, who are known for their technically adventurous approach to brutalizing death metal.
“Impure Confrontation” is the first advance track, and what an eye-popping amalgamation of sounds it is. The fleet, insectile fretwork has the capacity to twist your brain neurons into a big mass of knots; meanwhile, the explosive drum- and bass-work (which races just as fast to keep pace with the mad guitar performance) is bent on disjointing all the long bones in your body; meanwhile the barbarism of the vocals and the cruelty of the riffing gives the song a merciless quality, to go along with all of its mind-bending permutations. What a wild trip it is!
Anathema was mixed and mastered at Unisound Studio by the mighty Dan Swanö. It will be released on January 25th by Willowtip Records.