The music in the first Part of today’s round-up of new music leaned into the deathlier side of the metal spectrum, but this second Part is more all-over-the-place. Once again, I’m starting with the announcement of a new album, even though I don’t yet have music from the record to share with you.
We don’t make a habit of simply posting announcements of new releases because there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for that kind of thing. Plus, our main mission is to recommend music we enjoy that we’ve actually heard. But this week I’ve made several exceptions to that rule based on the eye-catching nature of cover artwork, coupled with high levels of confidence that the music is going to be exciting. I’m doing it again here, in the case of funeral doom icons Esoteric and Lisa Schubert‘s cover artwork for their new album, A Pyrrhic Existence.
The new album, which is arriving a long 8 years after Paragon of Dissonance, is going to be massive in size — a two-CD release that collectively totals almost 100 minutes of music. As for what it holds in store, I’ll share this comment from the band:
“A Pyrrhic Existence is an album that deals with some of the darkest sides of the human psyche and the harsh realities of existence. The concepts of the lyrics deal with death, suffering, tragedy, lies, and the breakdown of the human psyche. The title is a reference as to how existence can be perceived as something that inflicts so much devastation on the survivor, that it becomes tantamount to defeat. The music is a progression from previous albums, and is of an extremely psychedelic and experimental nature. It can be likened to a vicarious journey through the twisted passages of the broken mind.”
A Pyrrhic Existence is set for release on November 8, via Season of Mist. Hopefully, audio excerpts will surface soon.
Yesterday the venerated Norwegian black metal band 1349 released a new song from their forthcoming seventh full-length, The Infernal Pathway, which again features performances by Seidemann (bass), Ravn (vocals), Archaon (guitars), and Frost (drums).
“Enter Cold Void Dreaming” is a fine example of the aural hellfire that has become their hallmark. Frost’s drumwork, as expected, is breathtaking, and the riffing is super-heated, super-fast, and both chaotic and cruel, while Ravn’s venomous snarls are downright carnivorous. The overarching feeling of the music is one of savage delirium. Laced with crazed, swirling leads and blaring chords, it also features intricate changes and even moments of potent groove. It gets the adrenaline pumping in short order.
The cover artwork of The Infernal Pathway was created by Jordan Barlow, and it will be released by Season of Mist on October 18th.
I’m grateful to our supporter Roel for bring this next item to my attention. It’s a new EP by a new black metal band named Dodenbezweerder from Friesland in The Netherlands. Although the band may be new, it includes guitars and vocals by Maurice de Jong (Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak of Altering, and more) and drumming by “S. vander AA” (who might be Santino van der Aa from Hypothermia).
The new EP (released on July 26th as a name-your-price download at Bandcamp) consists of two songs, “Verstenigd en Verdelgd” and “Zwarte Sluiers Over Dode Gezichten“. Both are indecently creepy and suffocatingly oppressive. Waves of glimmering melody eerily swirl through a dense miasma of deep, heaving bass tones and corrosive haze, while the nearly submerged vocals vent caustic snarls, shrill, ear-abrading shrieks and wild lunatic yells. The dense, gloomy hurricane of these sounds takes place over a relatively slow, measured drum cadence, creating a contrast between steadiness and madness.
There’s a queasy and hallucinatory quality to the music, like a really bad drug trip, but it also rises in demonstrations of frightening grandeur, and the immense crashes of sound near the outset of each song are powerful enough to dent your skull. Terrorizing and hopeless music for sure, but absolutely riveting.
It appears that Dodenbezweerder are working on a debut album for release in 2020. There’s another track from the proposed album on Soundcloud, and I’ve included that stream along with the tracks from the EP.
I first stumbled across the Swiss band Matterhorn in the spring of last year when they had two songs up for streaming in advance of Iron Bonehead‘s CD release of their debut album, Crass Cleansing, and came away very impressed. I had a tough time categorizing the music, describing it then as a stew of extremity that included elements of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal, and death metal. I further wrote:
“The overall impact is electrifying, not merely because of the speed and explosive energy of the tracks, but also because of the band’s skill in shifting gears on a dime, which they do frequently. The intricacy of their movements and the songwriting skill on display here, coupled with their palpably feral ferocity, set this apart from the vast majority of debuts.”
Now, Crass Cleansing will be reissued on November 1st by Redefining Darkness Records (U.S.) and Dying Victim Productions (Europe) on CD, and in a new vinyl edition that has been remixed and remastered. The new edition also includes two new live recordings as bonus tracks, as a sign of what the band have been working on for the second album. One of those bonus tracks surfaced on Bandcamp yesterday.
“Bydying” is still tough to pin down stylistically, but man is it a powerful kick to the nerve endings! The riffing is often faster than bats out of hell, and just as unpredictable in their rapidly veering course. The thunderous rhythm section provides the foundation for the guitar to fly through more permutations, both angular and freakishly fluid, than it’s possible to keep track of, as well as warped, reptilian displays that are easier to stay with, but thoroughly venomous. When the pacing of everything slows even more, a big growling bass pairs with the mercurial squall of the guitar in a way that becomes sinister and sorcerous.
This evil, extravagant song really is a guitar tour de force, but the vocals (which remind me of Bölzer’s KzR) are also really good. And it seems the same person, who goes by “Morbid“, is responsible for both.
UPDATE: I’ve now added the video for this song, which premiered at Deaf Forever.