Imagine that you like chocolates (might not take any imagination). Imagine finding yourself in a giant chocolate store that’s offering free samples of hundreds of confections. No way you can try everything, and your stomach would explode even if you could. And then some friends walk in who’ve already tried a lot of what’s on offer and point out the really good stuff. Problem solved!
That’s kind of how today’s two-part round-up came together. Enjoy all the chocolates!
DESTROYED IN SECONDS
Here’s a band that most of the core group of hooligans at NCS really like, I think due in part to the band’s performance at Maryland Deathfest 2018, which most of us got to see. I received or saw messages from a lot of them soon after Destroyed In Seconds previewed the title track from their new album Divide and Devour, which they’re releasing on April 24th. It kicks a lot of ass.
I’ve always been pretty warm toward Swedish-influenced d-beat hardcore, but after witnessing the pack-leaders Wolfbrigade at Northwest Terror Fest last year the temperature went up even more. That’s the same musical arena in which L.A.-based D.I.S. strut their stuff. It might be too reductive to call them an American Wolfbrigade, but if you’re a fan of those Swedes you’ll most likely also be a fan of these Angelenos (whose line-up now includes bassist Kyle Hertz (Temple Of Dagon, State Of Defiance) and lead guitarist Christian La Rocca (Ruin, Gravehill, Cobra Venom).
You can probably figure out what “Divide and Devour” (the song) is about, just from the title. If not, just read some political news on any given day of any given week. There’s fury in the music that befits the lyrics, channeled through battering drums, spine-shaking bass, heavy mauling and pulsing riffs, and flesh-scorching, throat-ripping vocals. The song is electrifying as well as bruising, and catchy as well as pile-driving. You might not expect the guitar-solo fireworks that explode early on, but now you’ve been alerted. Also be alert as you approach the 3:00 mark, because your neck muscles are about to get a serious workout.
Credit for the awesome cover art on Divide And Devour goes to Mark Richards (Heavy Hand Illustration). It will be released digitally and on limited edition cassette tape. A vinyl edition is also expected to follow. There’s one more track from the album out in the world, but you’ll have to go to The Obscene Extreme website (here) to check it out.
DESTROYED IN SECONDS:
HEAD OF THE DEMON
Erstwhile NCS contributor BadWolf (aka Joseph Schafer) briefly reviewed the self-titled debut album of this Swedish band way back in 2013, but we somehow failed to pay attention to their second album, 2016’s Sathanas Trismegistos. Without hurrying themselves, they now have a third one headed our way four years later, with the literal-minded title of Deadly Black Doom.
The vocals on the first advance track, “Dawn Walker“, don’t arrive until two minutes into the track. Before then, Head of the Demon practice a form of potent necromancy, the rhythms moving at a slow and steady pace and the guitars weaving an exotic Eastern melody with the allure of a swaying heavy metal cobra. When the vocals do appear, they’re demonic, but they disappear quickly, yielding the field again to the ringing yet vaporous guitar interplay.
It’s a sinister but highly seductive spell these demons weave, and although there aren’t any fireworks in the performances of the rhythm section, they’re very good at what they’re doing — which is seizing control of your body (especially your neck) and bending it to their will (some excellent drum fills in the song too).
Deadly Black Doom will be released by Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive on April 30th.
HEAD OF THE DEMON:
The last two songs in this first Part of today’s round-up would have easily fit in the now-moribund Eye-Catchers series I used to write, because the wonderful cover art by Helsinki artist Roni Ärling had a lot to do with why I made time for it. And the rest of why I made time for it was because Rennie of starkweather recommended it, and he never steers me wrong.
The name of this Finnish band, Korgonthurus, sounds like the scientific appellation for some massive armored dinosaur whose strides shook the earth. And if you didn’t know better, the name might suggest lumbering, crushing doom. But instead, the band use majestic black metal to channel hatefulness of mankind and anti-Christian vehemence (among other misanthropic and satanic inspirations). They’re a venerable band, having arisen in 2000 under the name Soulless, but are only now on the verge of releasing a third album.
That album, Kuolleestasyntynyt, will be released on March 13th by Woodcut Records (CD/LP/MC/Digital), and below you’ll find a player that includes the two tracks revealed so far — “Kuolleestasyntynyt” and “Riivattu“.
The first of those immediately creates an ominous atmosphere of menace and horrid majesty, but after that grim and gut-punching intro the pulse of the music intensifies. The blaring chords and writhing arpeggios still channel a kind of terrible grandeur, but together with the shrieking vocals they also manifest a kind of savage ecstasy. The rhythms are also pleasingly variable — the song rocks damned hard, in addition to slowing into a crushing calamity, cutting loose in a blood-rushing frenzy of hammering drums and wild riffing, and jackhammering the skull with jabbing fretwork.
That title track really is spectacular, but “Riivattu” is also a multi-faceted and thoroughly gripping song. It creates moods that are bleak and despairing as well as defiant and exultant. The vocals are again absolutely insane, and the sharply executed and highly variable drumming is again absolutely riveting. The guitars ring out, pulsate, and swirl in electrifying fashion, and there is again a sense of fearsome and exotic grandeur that courses through the music.
With two tracks as stunningly good as these, I have very high hopes for the album as a whole.