I hope your weekend is off to a good start. As you can see, I managed to start mine last night without allowing the demon alcohol to inflict obliterating damage on my brain, only moderate damage (it feels like there’s a tiny man, center-right in my skull, repeatedly jabbing with an ice pick). And so I decided to pull together four of the better songs I heard over the last 36 hours and one I discovered about a week ago. All of them are from forthcoming albums.
BLOOD RED THRONE
September doesn’t seem as far away as it did when I wrote about a new song from Blood Red Throne‘s new album back in June. That album, Fit To Kill, is the ninth full-length in a career that began in 1998, and it will be discharged by Mighty Music on the lucky 13th of September. Now there’s a second song from the album out in the world, a track named “Requiem Mass“, which premiered this week at DECIBEL.
This new song’s name suits the slow, stomping cadence and funereal melody at the outset of the track, but — this being Blood Red Throne — they don’t stay in the slow zone for long. Soon enough, they launch a barbaric battle-charge of hammering, bullet-spitting drumwork and crushing/grinding riff ferocity. The dual vocals in the song (gruesome roars and incinerating shrieks) amplify its feeling of murderous rage, while the sparkling leads and sinuous soloing add a different, almost mystical, dimension of sound. The song will give your neck a good jolting too.
Fit To Kill‘s cover art was designed by Giannis Nakos.
I was tempted to leave this next song for tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column, but that column is already looking so stacked that I decided to make tomorrow’s task somewhat easier by putting it here. The song is “They Crawl From the Broken Circle“, which premiered at Metal Hammer UK‘s website. It is one of nine tracks on this Dutch band’s second album, Dawn of Infinite Fire, which is set for release on September 13th by Edged Circle Productions.
There’s a cruel and feverish quality to the heavy-weight riffing and scorching banshee shrieks in this new song, a spectral quality to the chiming guitar melodies, and an oppressive and menacing feeling in the track’s pounding slower movements. In the song’s second half, it becomes even more memorable thanks to a soaring, sweeping melody that seems both bleak and majestic, and a head-moving, hard-rocking sequence that’s also melodically memorable.
The cover art for Dawn of Infinite Fire is amazing, and credit for it goes to Bahrull Marta.
I’ve been a drooling fan of this band from Worcester, Massachusetts since 2016 when I heard their debut EP, The Secartha Demos (reviewed here). I did some further drooling in print when they released their next EP, The Primordial Void, in 2017. At last, High Command have completed work on a debut full-length. Entitled Beyond the Wall of Desolation, it will be released by Southern Lord on September 27th.
Two days ago we got a taste of the record through the debut of “Visions From the Blade“. The guitar reverberations in the track’s sorcerous opening are soon joined by grand, bombastic chords, and then you can really get your head moving when the band kick into a menacing riff and a killer rhythm that’s part gigantic caveman stomp and part nerve-jangling jitteriness. The shrieking, swirling, channel-shifting solos are a thrill, while the screaming, throat-scraping vocals are unhinged in their ferocity.
As they say in the trade, you’d better get your neck muscles loose for this one. Prepare also to become quickly addicted.
HAUNTED BY SILHOUETTES
I’ve listened to this next song often enough over the last week, after receiving an advance stream of it, that I’ve put it on my burgeoning list of candidates for this year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs”. The song is “Jakta“, and it’s the second single released so far from the second album by a group from Trondheim, Norway who call themselves Haunted By Silhouettes. That album, The Last Day On Earth, will be released by Rob Mules Records on October 4th.
I found a lot to like about the song, from the light, rippling melody at the outset to the way the band crash into that without warning — and basically everything else which happens after that. The melody intensifies, and then the band really begin to fly. The vocalist’s cavernous growls remind me of In Mourning’s Tobias Neztell, and there are other stylistic aspects to the song that put me in mind of The Weight of Oceans, which is a very good memory indeed.
The song is a pulse-pounding ravager, but periodically creates brief breaks for that light opening melody to surface again. The music in the choruses is glorious, and the clear, ringing guitar melodies that take the spotlight in the less full-throttle passages are sublime. There’s a gorgeous solo near the end as well, capping a dynamic trip that stays with you.
The previous single from The Last Day On Earth, “Deadlock“, includes some clean singing, and has more of a metalcore feel to it than “Jakta“. I’m not as enthusiastic about it as I am about “Jakta“, but I’ve included it below as well so you can form your own impressions. I don’t know how the rest of the album sounds, but am curious to find out.
To conclude today’s round-up of new music I picked “Bone Collector“, the first streaming song off the debut album of Pinewalker from Salt Lake City, Utah. That album, Migration, is described as “a cathartic concept, an homage to loved ones lost to cancer”. It will be released on September 6th.
To borrow the band’s own words, “Bone Collector” is “a crushing display of thundering, groove-heavy doom/sludge metal”. The grooves in the song really are massive, primitively appealing, and physically compulsive. They provide a gigantic drive train, and just do not relent. While your head is hammering away like a piston controlled by the music, the guitarist erupts in bursts of braying chords, and the soloing that comes in over the crush-fest is both psychoactive in its trippy freakishness and, later, narcotic in its wooziness.
The wailing clean vocals add to the music’s psychedelic dimensions, but this is mainly an instrumental bone-smasher and brain-bender. Like some of the other songs in today’s collection, it’s also highly addictive.
The eye-catching cover art for Migration is the work of Charles Bogus.