At the not-inconsiderable risk of overwhelming our visitors with new music, I’m following up yesterday’s two-part round-up of music from the black(ened) realms with another collection of new tracks. One of them is yet another example of black metal, but the songs that follow are much more wide-ranging in their styles — I made a conscious decision to compile a varied playlist that I hope will be appealing, but will at least keep you off-balance. All the songs are from forthcoming albums.
Beginning last October, Chicago’s Of Wolves began rolling out three songs that they had originally composed as separate pieces but then, after noticing the interesting flow among them when performed live, decided to combine into a single track on their new album, Balance. The first of those, “Clear Cutting”, premiered at DECIBEL; the second, “Bloodshed”, premiered at our own site in November; and the third, “Heart To Hand”, got its debut at Sludgelord last month.
Now the band have released a combined video for these combined tracks, and as of today have made it available for download on Bandcamp.
Of Wolves have been a favorite of mine for many years, in part because of what inspires their music, and the passion that courses through it, and in part because they’re so hard to pin down in genre terms. They’ve got a lot of musical interests among the three of them, and they pull together what seems right to channel their inspirations and feelings into sound (among those ingredients are crust, punk, hardcore, stoner, doom, and sludge). These three tracks, especially when combined, are a good example of that mighty morphing quality.
The flow of the tracks carries you from the massive pulverization, cutting riff swarms, and furious vocals of “Clear Cutting”, through the bleak, corrosive, dirge-like stomp of “Bloodshed”, and into the moody picking that begins “Heart To Hand” — a song that’s soulful and sorrowful but also builds into a massively heavy, rhythmically syncopated, vocally varied, and emotionally scalding jam (and the best thing the band have recorded yet).
The video, made by Of Wolves’ Steve Sherwood (with original storm sequences by Geoff Green), was itself first released in segments to correspond with the song’s three parts, but is also now combined — and the visuals that encompass the epic “Heart To Hand” are as riveting as the music.
The single will soon become available on other digital platforms, but it’s up on Bandcamp now. The album, Balance, will be released later this year by Cimmerian Shade Recordings.
In 2016 we had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of Oldd Wvrms‘ new album Ignobilis, along with a review in which I decided that the best single word to describe the experience, if I were forced to choose one, would be “psychoactive”. That word came to mind again as I listened to the newest track from the band’s forthcoming album, Codex Tenebris — but it sounds like there have been some musical shifts along the way.
“Misère & Corde” is an occult post-metal instrumental, shorn of any of the kind of vocal additions that the band layered into Ignobilis, but it’s a powerfully seductive piece of music nonetheless, and still shrouded in an eerie gloom. The drumwork is as vividly immediate and as astutely conceived as I remember; the bass is still a gravel-throated beast; and the varying guitar permutations administer an aural drug that’s both narcotic and hallucinogenic (and more than a little sinister). It’s very damned easy to fall prey to this dark spell (and your neck will get a good workout too).
Codex Tenebris will be released on February 15th by Cursed Monk Records.
(Thanks to Conchobar for telling me about this new track.)
Thanatophobia is the new third album by the Baltimore black metal duo Unendlich, which will be released by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on February 1st. In its varying compositions, it is recommended for fans of Inquisition, Ulver, Satyricon, Marduk, Gorgoroth, Dissection, and Rotting Christ.
The track below, “Oblivion Of Time“, launches in a high-energy power surge. With big, sludgy low-end weight and eye-popping drumwork, the track also displays a lot of rhythmic dynamism, but all the movements are geared toward vigorous head movement. The scalding vocals lend the track an extra element of viciousness, but the vibrant melodies have an heroic albeit unearthly resonance, which add to the music’s magnetic attractiveness.
Pernicion is a new UK-based two-man death metal band that includes multi-instrumentalist Anil Carrier (Binah, Anaal Nathrakh (live), No More Room In Hell, Towers of Flesh) and vocalist Dan Benton. Their debut EP, Seek What They Sought, is a 28-minute offering that’s set for release by Osmose Productions on February 22nd (CD, vinyl, and digital).
What you’ll find below is “The Darkness Comes“, and so it does. The deep, death-drilling riffs and cavernous vocal monstrosity portend apocalyptic outcomes, with the tension strained to the breaking point by flaring, wraithlike leads that seem to signify a mix of misery and derangement. Anil Carrier also demonstrates his talents as a drummer with an array of electrifying and brutally crushing assaults, while giving the track added low-end heft with a deep humming bass.
The song is a muscular beast, full of physically compulsive momentums, but it’s those skin-chilling, spectral melodies that will keep you up at night.
This next track is a big exception to our rule about singing, but if you’ve heard the voice of James Fogarty before (through his work with …In the Woods and other groups), you’ll understand why we’ve made yet another exception for his music. And in this case, the exception is for Fogarty’s own long-running solo project Ewigkeit, whose new album DISClose will be digitally released on February 23rd, and in a CD edition on March 23rd.
The song presented below through a lyric video, is “Guardians of the High Frontier“. As will become evident from the lyrics and the visuals, the track is a reflection of Fogarty’s interest in UFOlogy. As he states: “We are on the cusp of the official confirmation of intelligent Extraterrestrial life, perhaps of a form that is genuinely threatening to our own – and it is this hypothetical conflict that I wrote the song ‘Guardians of the High Frontier’ about.”
But rest assured, you don’t need to embrace such beliefs to get a big kick out of this song, or from the album’s other 6 tracks of “Ambient Blackened Space Doom Metal”. The heavy, jagged riffs and darting, soaring leads in “Guardians of the High Frontier” are just too damned addictive to resist, but most irresistible of all is Fogarty’s own soaring voice (he vents some caustic shrieking, too).
There’s a big wind-up before the pitch in Laceration’s new song “Realms of the Unconscious“, beginning with dreamlike picking and then a big dose of battering and bombastic heaviness. When the song really kicks into gear, in flurries of vicious, turbocharged riffing and head-battering drumwork, the adrenaline will flow in torrents. The band switch gears a couple times, but really never ease back on the throttle very much — and the vocals are ceaselessly raw and rampant. There’s a pair of solos in the mix as well, one fiery and one steeped in misery.
This is one of two tracks you can check out below from the band’s new album Remnants, which Unspeakable Axe Records plans to release on February 7th. The other one, “Exhausted In Form“, has its own lead-in, a droning and gloomy piece of ice-cold ambience accented by the toll of funeral bells. There’s actually a full stop before the band start to rip in earnest, delivering another unmistakably savage death/thrashing attack — but this one includes a bass solo and a different kind of guitar fireworks to go along with the tempo-dynamic adrenaline rush.
Both songs are hell on wheels, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and are sure to appeal to fans of savage death/thrash.