We have been clamoring about what a great year for death metal 2019 is turning out to be, with many strong releases already behind us and still more to come — and the forthcoming second album by the Greek band Ectoplasma is definitely one of those. Of course, death metal has morphed into many shapes over the decades since its earliest origins, some of them shiny and ornately filigreed, but Ectoplasma are devoutly dedicated to the old foul, fetid, and ferocious sounds, rooting their music in early ’90s death metal from both sides of the Atlantic, but also injecting it with a black magic devilry of their own conception.
Paranormal horror has played a significant role in the band’s inspirations, and that fixation persists in this new album, White-Eyed Trance, a concept record organized around lyrical themes threaded through the songs. And speaking of devilry, today we present another new song from the album, the seventh in the running order, named “White-Eyed Trance: Ensnared in Devilry“, in advance of the album’s CD released by Memento Mori on October 31st.
Moody and magical guitar reverberations echo through the opening of the song, and that simple motif persists, but becomes more cruelly frenzied and poisonous when the bass and drums kick in and Giannis Grim‘s monstrous voice roars his depredations. The rhythm section clobbers and thrums and the fleet-fingered riffing cuts like a maniacal circle saw through stacks of bones, splinters flying. The berserker, rapidly-cutting quality of the riffing is crazed and vicious, but briefly slows to allow room for a slow, miserable lead which becomes a flickering, ghostly, dual-guitar harmony.
The nuanced bass- and drum-work add to the intrigue of the song, which depends on more than a riveting display of gruesomeness — though it definitely is gruesome. The song really does have an eerie, sorcerous quality, and is crafted in such a way that it lingers after it ends.
“Psychomanteum Immolation“, the track released before this one, only adds to the album’s advance appeal. Armed with impressive technical skill, the band throw themselves into a high-speed assault that doesn’t take long to get the listener’s pulse jumping, and they marry slower horror-prone movements with eye-popping flurries in which the drum rhythms and riffs are in constant flux. The slowest of the interludes, near the end, creates a truly ghastly atmosphere before a final eruption of mayhem — and a last chance to bang your head with vigorous determination.
You’ll have a chance to listen to both songs below. As mentioned, White-Eyed Trance will be released on October 31st by Memento Mori, and a vinyl edition will be forthcoming through Repulsive Echo Records.