You wanna know how many new songs I added to my listening list over just the 48 hours since I posted the last round-up of new music? Of course you don’t, but the number was 45. Don’t even bother trying to guess how many were already on the list from preceding days. There is a reason why the category tag on these posts is “Random Fucking Music”, because there’s not much rhyme or reason to making these selections from such a large universe of choices.
Of course, I haven’t listened to all 45 of those new songs I was curious to check out. Of the ones I did hear, I picked these five, going with my gut, and of course my highly refined sense of good taste. With luck, I’ll collect some more for tomorrow, to bring the week to an end with a BANG.
From their formative years in the early ’90s through today, the Swedish death metal band Sarcasm have had their fair share of obstacles, including personal tragedies, line-up changes, and the other vicissitudes of life that have often led bands of this vintage to sink beneath the waves, never to surface again. But Sarcasm have survived, although their sound has evolved since the earliest years.
Their first album (Burial Dimensions) didn’t surface until 2016, but they followed that quickly with 2017’s Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds, and now their third album is headed our way via Chaos Records. Entitled Esoteric Tales Of The Unserene, it will be released on October 14th.
The new album’s opening track, “Vortex of the Vultures“, debuted within the last two hours, but I had a peak at it in advance and therefore made a place for it here at the top of this collection of new tracks. It hits a sweet spot where scorching savagery, battering brutality, and memorable melody intersect.
It’s also a dynamic track, one that’s both sinuous and jolting. Anchored by a blasting and booming drum performance and a heavy bass undercarriage, and with lyrics voiced with particular viciousness, the song unfurls exotic and seductive guitar harmonies with a dramatic, sinister mood, accented by shrill leads that flicker like flames and a swirling solo that enhances the song’s sorcerous atmosphere.
When the drumming slows, the music becomes almost stately and majestic, albeit melancholy in its feeling. But “sorcerous” really may be the best word I can come up with for the song as a whole.
The cover of Esoteric Tales Of The Unserene was painted by Raúl González, and Chaos Records will release it on CD, black vinyl, and limited-edition colored vinyl. For more info, check these locations:
THE GREAT OLD ONES
Lovers of Loftcraftian metal may begin salivating (again), because The Great Old Ones have completed work on a new audio opus of supernatural blackened terror. Following up on 2017’s superb EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy, they’ve made a new album named Cosmicism that’s set for an October 25th release by Season of Mist.
The album’s title refers to Lovecraft’s literary philosophy, summed up (in the press release we received) as the notion that “humans are godless creatures who are totally insignificant in the grand scheme of our cosmic universe”. The press release also included this encouraging quote from the great man himself:
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”
Delving a bit deeper into the new album, we’re told that “[e]ach song features a Lovecraftian entity and parallel the dark destiny of the protagonist [Wilbur Whateley] who meets her and in turn, slowly succumbs to admiration and madness”. The track that premiered (here) in conjunction with these announcements is “The Omniscient“, and it is centered on the Lovecraftian Outer God, Yog-Sothoth.
Don’t be misled by the softness of the haunting, reverberating strings at the outset. It’s a beguiling way to begin, though the tension begins to build as the rest of the band join in — and then a storm breaks in a fusion of writhing guitars, thunderous bass, and blasting drums. The bleak melody rises and falls as it cascades forward, an insidious and insinuating force that operates like a spell, despite the imperious ferocity of the vocals.
Other softer moments are yet to come, equally entrancing but also ominous. The tension builds again, and breaks in a jolting, jarring surge of power. Flickering strings and sweeping symphonic layers soar above, creating an air of frightening, otherworldly grandeur — an atmosphere of fear, irresistible attraction, exultation, and madness.
The cover art was created by Jeff Grimal.
In 2017 we had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of this Ukrainian band’s fantastic debut album, Futility Report. In looking back at my accompanying review, I both smiled at my words and sailed away again on memories of that record. In considering their unusual genre-splicing creativity, I referred to them as “mad scientists who are in fact visionaries”, and concluded my feeble efforts to describe what they’d done in this way:
“If you’re the kind of person who revels in finding things that don’t much sound like what you’ve heard before, who relishes the surprise of connections that you couldn’t predict, you might well conclude that you’ve found a rare gem. And you’d be right.”
Needless to say, I was thrilled to discover that Debemur Morti Productions would be releasing a new White Ward full-length on September 20th. This one is named Love Exchange Failure. To help you understand what that title refers to, I’ll share these literate words from the band:
“The idea behind this album is to illustrate the artificial conditions people created to contradistinguish themselves to nature. Being neither a separate phenomenon nor a sustainable part of the surrounding environment, we’ve pushed ourselves to a constant struggle caused by the inability to understand who we are and what our place on this planet is. Conditions we create lead to a continually rising level of fear in the minds of individuals and at the same time – the lack of love. Under the term ‘love’ we mean not a feeling in its primitive understanding but a feature that helps us to live in harmony with ourselves, other people, and the world around.
“The love exchange failure leads to an inevitable degradation and degeneration. The more hatred we push towards people around us, the deeper we fall. The blinder we are on our daily way to work, the more sufferings we leave behind. People don’t have time to talk to each other. Furthermore, obsessed by desires, they don’t even pay enough attention to their children, rising each new generation more exposed to mental problems. Blindness, indifference, and domestic abuse, bullying in schools, social rejection, and many other factors lead to many tragedies of mankind. Caused by individuals, they are our own crimes.”
As for the music, DMP refers to a channeling of “Bohren And Der Club Of Gore, composer Angelo Badalamenti, and contemporary blackened majesty into an eclectic set of visionary hymns that fuse late-night metropolitan contemplation, psychological horror, intoxicating melodicism, and primeval, animal-state ferocity… a clash between dreamworlds and harsh reality”.
The first song revealed from the album (in a DECIBEL premiere) is the title track, and it bears out these descriptions over nearly 12 fascinating minutes. The band lead us gently into the dark world they’re manifesting, with a slow, haunting piano melody and a sultry saxophone that drifts like smoke. The noirish jazz stylings of those opening minutes are indeed dreamlike, but the backing ambient sounds nevertheless create an ominous feeling.
The dreamlike sensation of the music doesn’t completely disappear even when the band launch into a black metal tirade of rampant drumming, delirious riffing, and shrieking vocals; there’s a wondrous gleam in the guitar melody that persists through the violence, and the piano returns in somber fashion. After the ebb comes another flow — of pounding heaviness and wrenching guitar and vocal intensity. Pain becomes a bright and blinding light; there is a sense of hopelessness even as the music swells in grandeur and the guitars flicker and flash. But the solos that are still to come are spectacular, and perhaps lend a feeling of uplift — and the haunting dream returns to claim us again at the end.
North America: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/band/white-ward
SIGHT OF EMPTINESS
I began following the Costa Rican melodic death metal band Sight of Emptiness way back in 2010, and from then through 2013 wrote about them frequently, including the hosting of three song and video premieres. 2013 was the year in which the band’s last album was released (Instincts), and it has been a long wait since then for something new — but finally something new has appeared.
On July 23rd the band released a single called “Utter Control“, which is taken from a forthcoming EP named Redemption — and what a blood-rushing, pulse-pounding, skull-hammering thrill-ride it is. The band introduce some accents of electronica into the rhythms, as well as start-stop jolts and soaring clean vocal melody to go along with the absolutely vicious growls and howls. It’s also a bone-breaker, possessed of giant grooves to go along with those unearthly, heart-swelling melodies and ethereal leads. Reflections of Soilwork and Scar Symmetry come to mind…. This sounds like a very welcome return by a talented band.
To conclude this round-up I’ve chosen a song that’s been fascinating me since I first heard it five days ago. The name of this surprising track is “Reta“, and it’s from a new album by a Polish band named Wędrowcy~Tułacze~Zbiegi, which roughly translates as “wanderers / roamers/ runaways”. The band was at one time known as Duszę Wypuścił, and it’s the brainchild of Sars from the excellent Polish black metal group Furia.
This new record’s title, Marynistyka Suchego Lądu, translates to the intriguing English phrase “Naval arts of dry land”. And I must share with you these words from the band about the album, which I don’t pretend to fully comprehend but which I also find intriguing:
“All around people are joining their faith. Ahead of them a procession, paupers with weathercock. Lechic runes, embroidery: God! Poland, something for so many centuries… It gets the worst stains off… Eucharist from Germany. Under the canopy, the biddies are carrying the lament. A sexton tying his mustache on the frame of the loudspeaker. The mooring lines are whizzing – it’s flagellants! The fishing boat is plowing the asphalt. A child walks along the furrow and pours lime.”
To return to “Reta“: Your head will reflexively move to the keyboard pulse and the simple yet propulsive drum pattern at the outset, and most likely your mind will be drawn further in by the mix of vocals that add their juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness to this evolving experience. There’s an otherworldly quality to the music even from the beginning, though the electronic pulse and the compulsive drum rhythms will keep your own pulse going, even as the music becomes increasingly strange and uneasy. The variety in the vocals also persists, and becomes even more diverse.
It’s the kind of song that takes you away from yourself and into something approaching a trance, as bewitching as it is perilous. There are also instrumental accents in the track whose origins I can’t quite place, but increase its hallucinatory fascination.
Marynistyka Suchego Lądu will be available digitally, and in a 12″ vinyl edition released through Devoted Art Propaganda.