As forecast in Part 1 of this round-up (here), Part 2 goes in very different directions from the four songs I chose for the opening installment yesterday. Hopefully, you will find the variety appealing. I’ll forewarn you (though it’s really intended as an enticement) that despite the variety, it’s all pretty damned destructive.
Just a few hours down the highway from the NCS headquarters in the Seattle area is Portland, Oregon, home to many sources of potent metallic extremity, including Witch Vomit. Originally a two-man operation, the band eventually expanded, and the current quartet includes people who are current or former members of other Portland death- and black-metal decimators. Witch Vomit‘s new album, Buried Deep In A Bottomless Grave, will be released by 20 Buck Spin on August 30th. The great cover art is again the creation of Matt Stikker.
The first advance track from the new album, “Dripping Tombs“, does not drip. Rather, it batters and mauls, gallops and thunders, stomps and shrieks. The toxic buzzing riffs come in waves of viciousness, rising to heights of blood-lusting delirium, punctuated by booming rhythmic detonations and shrill, freakish, whammy-barred string torture. The vocals are cavernous, tyrannical horrors reveling in the mayhem of rampant cruelty.
In other words, it’s a full-throttle thrill-ride of noxious, festering death. More please!
The next track I chose for this collection, “Scorched Earth“, comes from The Call of the Void, the third album by the New Jersey band Anticosm. It makes for a fine follow-on to that Witch Vomit track, with its own portrayal of fire-breathing ferocity and demented delirium. The combination of roiling riffage, a pulse-pounding rhythm, and a shrill, swirling arpeggio immediately create those sensations, which are then underscored by wild, howling vocals as the band take off in an addictive black/thrashing gallop. The song further includes glorious heavy metal soloing, which gives this piece of hellish, racing barbarity a further jolt of electricity.
Anticosm will release The Call of the Void through their own label, Hell Kill Destroy Records, on August 16. The memorable cover art is by Metastazis.
P.S. Shortly after making this post I discovered that there’s a second song out in the world from Anticosm’s new album — “Somewhere Between Life and Death” — and I’ve now added that stream below.
ENEMY OF CREATION
We’re told that the members of Indiana’s Enemy of Creation are veterans of the underground hardcore scene, and you can tell from listening to the music that they didn’t abandon those roots. But on their debut EP Victims of the Cross they’ve spliced them with different forms of metal — mainly thrash, but with (as their label says) “the occasional nod to death metal greats Obituary and Bolt Thrower“.
The song below, “Paradise Is Punishment“, sets the hook quickly and simply with a dismal, sinister little guitar melody, which the band then carry forward as the bruising embellishments of the rhythm section come in. The song proves to be a big mid-paced neck-wrecker, but many other things as well. It thrashes, it seethes sadistically, it jolts like a pile-driver, it sends off fanfares of grim melody, it shivers and squirms like a lunatic mind. Meanwhile, the hardcore yells and gang shouts add to the song’s fury, and there’s also a swirling, screaming, fret-burning solo to cap things off.
What a wonderful amalgam of stylistic influences this is; it leaves me eager to hear more. Victims of the Cross will be available on cassette and as digital download via Camo Pants Records on August 30th.
The first three songs in today’s collection deliver mayhem in various metallic forms, but this next song turns in different directions. Enticingly entitled “An Oceantomb of Centipedes“, it’s the first advance track from Four Kings, which is the second album by the Minneapolis sludge heavyweights Grogus.
To be sure, there’s an air of mayhem about this song, too, especially in the rapidly changing tempos and rhythmic patterns early on, and in the unhinged extravagance of the vocalist’s roars and yells. But it’s also brutally destructive. The distorted chords have a deeply corrosive sound; the drummer pounds hard enough to loosen the fillings in your teeth; the bass sounds like it’s grinding concrete slabs into dust. The chugfests in the song will give your neck a severe work-out.
However, in the middle of the track, the band create a sharp contrast, silencing the rhythm section to clear the stage for an eerie duet in which gleaming notes chime over the oppressive buzz of a second guitar. Of course, the song gradually ramps up again. A syncopated, head-nodding drum rhythm comes in, joined by those corrosive, hammering and seething chords, and by the vocalist’s insane shrieking — yet it’s that spooky yet seductive refrain which ends the song.
Four Kings has a July 31 release date, digitally and on cassette tape via Tridoid Records. The eye-catching cover art was created by Stephen Wilson.
To conclude, we’ll take a very sharp turn in a different direction.
“No Princes In Hell” is a new Caïna song, presented through a video last week. It’s the first excerpt from a new album named Gentle Illness that will be released at some point in the coming autumn by Apocalyptic Witchcraft. It was a matter of considerable curiosity for me, because predictability has never been a hallmark of the music of Andy Curtis-Brignell and friends. For that same reason, of course, it’s probably a mistake to take “No Princes In Hell” as a template even for the rest of the album. So let’s just take it as it is, on its own.
In the seething, hazy, miasma-like sound of the riffing and the ear-lacerating impact of the lyrical shrieking, it has the quality of raw black metal, but with currents of icy melody that create chilling, vampiric sensations. The pulse of the electro-beats borrow from other traditions. And then there’s a break — after which spacey synths and a vibrant rhythmic pulse provide the backing for slow, jazzy chords, together creating a hallucinatory atmosphere. But the maw of hell opens again at the end. The video accompanying the track is as unnerving as the music, well-tuned to its emotional disturbances.
As a footnote, here’s an explanation of the song title from Andy Curtis-Brignell: “The title refers to the Goetic hierarchy of demons, but used as a contrast to the song’s real subject, which is my personal experience of Hell as a physical dimension of total chaos within the realm of hallucinatory psychosis”.
(Thanks to Rennie from starkweather for alerting me to this new song and video.)
not yet available, but soon