I probably should have dug deeper into my ever-expanding list of recent music to check out, but instead spent my latest listening time focused only on what I added to that list over the last 48 hours. With so much new stuff coming out every day, sometimes music that’s even a week old becomes a casualty, rudely shoved aside by newer interlopers. That’s what happened here.
Unfortunately, because I happen to be hurrying at the moment, I won’t have quite as much to say as I usually do about what you’ll be hearing — but you really should listen to all these tracks anyway, even without detailed impressions from me!
WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA
If you haven’t heard of Waste of Space Orchestra, perhaps you’ve heard of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. If you haven’t heard of them either, checking out their music should be on you to-do list just above “see a doctor about that gangrenous toe”.
Waste of Space Orchestra is a collaboration among the ten combined members of those two other bands, and the project made its first appearance at Roadburn 2018, which is how I learned of them through one of Teddie Taylor’s Roadburn photo essays for our site (here).
They’ve now made a studio recording of what they did at Roadburn, under the title Syntheosis, and Svart Records will release the record on April 5th. The first item in today’s collection is a video for a song from Syntheosis called “Seeker’s Reflection.” It’s a twisted trip of shape-shifting psychoactive doom — groovy and heavy, heaving and harrowing, foreboding and strange, spacey and occult. The video is a mind-bender, too
This next song is the first of two in succession which include clean vocals, though this one also includes the kind of shrieking that might make you want to jump out of skin.
The song here is “Vacuüm ≠ Behoud” by the Dutch band Laster off their new album Het Wassen Oog, and I found it fascinating. Even with some past experience with the avant-garde post-black-metal machinations of this band, I found myself disoriented, disturbed, and thoroughly captivated in equal measure. It’s remarkably eclectic and ever-changing, yet surprisingly cohesive for such a mercurial display of inventiveness.
The clarity of the production is a big plus, because it enables your mind to follow, and marvel at, the contribution of each instrument — though it’s not as if the normal human brain will completely grasp what’s happening, at least not the first time through. Yet the music really is fascinating in the way it creates an experience that’s both destabilizing and dreamlike, strange and alluring.
Het Wassen Oog will be released by Prophecy Productions on April 5th.
Man, this Finnish band’s music has changed a whole hell of a lot since I first encountered it in 2012. I didn’t realize just how much it had changed until checking out this next song, which is included on a vinyl compilation album entitled Fortuna/Kevät, which combines two digital-only EPs recorded during the last couple of years.
This particular song, “Metsätie” is so hypnotically alluring at first, with a simple pairing of heavy, ominous, shivering chords and a waif-like feminine voice. Through the gradual accretion of new sounds, it becomes something much more intense, and beginning about 3 1/2 minutes in, it becomes a roaring avalanche of extravagant sound — an incredible drum tumult, slashing sheets of lightning-like melody, and maybe a bellowing voice in there, too. Don’t know what the rest of the album will be like, but I’m hooked by this track.
Ektro Records has set April 5th as the international release date for Fortuna/Kevät.
Hybrid Nightmares hail from Melbourne, Australia, and their second album, Obelisk, is coming later this year. The album track below has been my first exposure to their music, which as displayed here seems to be a progressive-minded hybrid of black and death metal.
“Star Fortress” proves to be a ravishing amalgamation of storming sounds — vivid drumming (with an interesting tone), dense cyclonic riffing, an avalanche-strength low end, battering chords, sorrowful fluid melody, flashes of scintillating fretwork, an atmosphere of ominous majesty, wild barbaric vocals — and some beguiling picking at the end. Good stuff.
MORO MORO LAND
It’s been a while since we checked in with these Russian extremists from Nizhny Novgorod — 2016, to be precise, which was when DGR gave a resounding review to their furious EP, Through. I just discovered that they released a new single on January 13th, which might be the first new recording since that EP.
“Atmospheric/post-metal/blackened hardcore” is their mouth-filling description for the music. I would call “Сами не уйдут” a volcanic eruption — a hammering and maniacally changing drum attack; mountainous bass rhythms; searing tremolo guitar; slashing and pounding riffs; scalding vocals. The song delivers brutal destructive power and a bleak but also blindingly intense atmosphere, with waves of gloomy yet gleaming melody cascading over your senses at the end, anchored by that remarkable drumming and booming bass.
Based on the number of views for the YouTube video below, I think it’s fair to say that this London-based duo — guitarists Alexy Khoury and Jeremy Pringsheim — have rocketed to popularity in very short order, no doubt due in significant measure to the fact that Kerim “Krimh” Lechner does the drumming on this track.
I don’t mean to suggest that Khoury and Pringsheim aren’t good, only that Krimh’s got a giant fanbase, which makes for a good launching pad for Lokust. And in fact, those two guitarists can riff up an unholy storm.
“Guiltless” is just full-bore, turbocharged electrification. The riffing veers from bursts of rapid-fire militarism, to scampering, insectile lunacy, and the sound of giant detonations. The song has immense grooves, exultant fretwork, and appealing melody — and of course the drumming is off the charts.
I’ve included a second video for the same song, which focuses entirely on Krimh in a drum play-through. These guys are looking for (you guessed it) a bassist and a vocalist.
SECOND TO SUN
To conclude, here’s a new single by the Russian band Second To Sun, whose music I’ve covered quite a bit over the years. This track, “Monster“, will be released as a digital download on February 28th, and is introduced by the band in these words:
“Probably metal community believes that black metal cannot have social topics, but that’s not true. This gruesome story is based around a child left by his mother in a local cemetery and then found by a mentally unstable local resident. Welcome to Russia, we don’t even have to burn churches here!”
It’s a powerhouse song, titanically heavy in all its pounding and stomping, with savage vocal extremity, and a sweeping and soaring melody that’s grand and glorious — and full of bitterness and pain. It will bend your neck to its will, and it sends chills up and down the spine.