VIDEOGRAPHY (PART 2): DAWN OF DEMISE, SÖNAMBULA, MAIRU, CHILDREN OF BODOM, THE KRONK MEN
This is the second Part of a round-up of new videos that I began yesterday. The usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column will be coming a bit later today.
DAWN OF DEMISE
We’re about 2 1/2 years down the road from the last Dawn of Demise album, and on April 19th we’ll get to see what these Danes been up to since then, because that’s when Unique Leader Records will release their fifth album, Into the Depths of Veracity. We have an early glimpse of what they’ve been up to through the first item in this collection, a lyric video for the first advance track from the album, “In Silence He’ll Arise“.
Brutality is, of course, the name of the game here, the kind of brutality inflicted by dismal, drilling riffs, militaristic drum fusillades, horrid guttural growls and rancid howls, and an array of braying, shrieking, and darting melodic accents. The song does its fair share of trying to flatten the crest of your skull, too, through the discharge of jackhammering groove.
The wonderfully macabre cover art makes for a suitably nasty backdrop for this very nasty song.
This next video was my first exposure to the Spanish death/doom band Sönambula. The song in the video is “Huesos” (the Spanish word for bones), and it comes from the band’s second album, Bicéfalo, which was released in December of last year by Xtreem Music (with cover artwork by Igor Mugerza).
“Huesos” has a primitive and gruesome atmosphere — the croaking vocals are particularly ugly, and the riffing (channeled through HM-2 levels of distortion) seems coated with toxins. When the pacing of the song slows down after its rampaging start, the music becomes a crawling, festering monstrosity, with the bass getting a chance to really vibrate your guts, and at the end it starts jackhammering with a will.
The video intersperses the band’s performance with a tale of a murder investigation in which the band’s members play themselves — as corpses — and includes a twist at the end.
I’ve also included the complete album stream, which draws influences from such bands as Winter, Autopsy, early Asphyx, Celtic Frost, Nihilist, and Coffins.
The music in this next video will be familiar to fans of Russian Circles and Pelican, and the band also claims inspiration from the likes of Cult of Luna, Mastodon, and Neurosis. The band in question is Mairu, from Liverpool, England, and the song is a new single released on March 1st named “Dawn Creature“.
There’s gut-churning heaviness and juggernaut momentum in the early stage of the song, with thick woozy riffing segueing into searing, tremolo’d fretwork that builds a feeling of tension. As the song further unfolds, it becomes slower, and the music transforms into something mysterious and hauntingly beautiful (that sequence really is mesmerizing). The feeling of peril and tension returns as the rhythm section pounds on your bones and the riffing burrows like a parasite. You’ll get a reprise of that big head-moving sequence from earlier in the song — and then the music falls into a trough of oppressive gloom.
The video is a beautiful match for the moods of the music, though it depicts only scenes from a forest in late fall, with leaves falling… and rising… and burning.
“Dawn Creature” is taken from Mairu’s forthcoming debut EP, The Sacred Dissonance, which was produced by Tom Dring (Venom Prison, Dawn Ray’d) at Vagrant Recordings.
CHILDREN OF BODOM
Well, I guess it’s finally time we gave some attention to the new album by Children of Bodom — their tenth. Hexed is its name, and the video below is for a track called “Platitudes and Barren Words“.
Children of Bodom broke no molds in the making of this song, but since they made the mold in the first place, it’s a little tougher to fault them. The song is, in other words, a Children of Bodom song, replete with dancing and darting keyboards, swirling fretwork, Alexi Laiho‘s caustic snarl, and plenty of head-nodding beats. It is, of course, also catchy as fuck.
There’s a tale being told in this video, too, along with scenes of the band performing — a tale of kidnapping, murder, and perhaps revenge.
Hexed will be released on March 8 by Nuclear Blast Records.
THE KRONK MEN
To conclude this two-part collection of new videos I’ve decided to turn from one of the best-known extreme metal bands in the world to an instrumental trio from the unincorporated community of Terrebonne (population 1,257) near the town of Bend in central Oregon.
I learned of The Kronk Men through some very enthusiastic comments by Ryan Schutte of Pound, who knows a thing or two about creating wild, brain-scrambling instrumental music, and he pronounced The Kronk Men‘s music really cool and truly unique. The band’s Bandcamp page includes three releases, two of them dated in February 2018 and the third from July 2018. They describe their music as “doom surf chaos”, which, as descriptors go, is unique in itself.
The video below was filmed by James Applewhite Gilchrist during a multi-song performance by the band on February 24th at The Domino Room in Bend, and I got a supercharged kick out of it. Speaking of kicks, the drummer seems to be playing a pair of hybrid kick-toms, and man does he put on a show. But his bandmates put on a show too. You can feel those manic and mountainous bass rhythms somewhere down in your lower colon, while the wailing guitar leaps way up high and spins off into space (and spins your head all the way around on its way into the stratosphere) or channels some kind of psychotic paranoia.
The music is intricate, exuberant to the point of verging on chaotic (or going all the way into shrieking chaos), yet the performances are remarkably tight. It’s as if there were a single mind controlling all three of these lunatic wizards, keeping everything on course, even as you think everything is about to explode and leave naught but smoking wreckage in its wake.
The Kronk Men are: guitarist Jake Spece, bassist Dirk Spece, and drummer Charlie Cook.
P.S. You may have to use your mouse to turn the volume on in the video, which I embedded from its appearance on Facebook (I haven’t found it on YouTube).
This probably seems strange to say in a post filled with a whole bunch of death metal and the post wherein they’re probably the lightest item in here but people who’ve enjoyed Children of Bodom in the past and have sort of shrugged them off in the last three discs (relentless, halo of blood, i worship chaos) may want to keep an eye on this new one. What I’ve heard so far makes it feel like a weird off-shoot relative to the hatebreeder-follow the reaper-hatecrew era of the band, they even resurrected and re-recorded Knuckleduster as a closer from the looks of it, which I had never noticed has never been on an album since it was on the trashed, lost, and strungout EP. It’s not a huge evolution but its a lot less chug-heavy and simplified than previous discs were.