After I finished today’s first post I spent almost two hours just going back through e-mails we’ve received over the last three days pushing new music upon us, and recent messages from some friends with their own recommendations, and then creating a list of links to everything that looked interesting. Some of these were new songs or videos and some were complete new releases.
When I counted up the number of links in that list, I found that there were 80 of them. Eighty of them, from just three days of new releases! I’m sure the Bandcamp thing on Friday (where they didn’t take their cut of sales) spurred a lot of this output, but even considering that it’s still insane.
Needless to say, I’m going to be resorting to the OVERFLOWING STREAMS format, in which I pare my own verbiage back to the bone (though I did include artwork this time). Also perhaps needless to say, I’ve barely made a dent in listening to those 80 items. But I’d like to get going with what I’ve found so far that I think is worth recommending, so here’s some of it now, and more will come in the next few days. (By the way, a ton of that new stuff was black metal, so I’ll have my hands full trying to figure out what to put in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column).
Who would not want a new Katatonia album in these dark, isolated times? The timing is indeed fortuitous, because a new Katatonia full-length will be released by Peaceville on April 24th. The title is also fortuitous: City Burials.
photo by Ester Segarra
The new single and video, released a couple days ago, is “Behind the Blood“. Oh, but it’s not a gloomy smoldering track but a hard-rocking, gut-moving, head-hammering one that launches with a scintillating solo (and another one arrives later) — though the song does become kind of eerie, haunting, and ominous in the middle. Jonas Renkse‘s voice is of course silky and soaring, and there’s a bit of grit in it too,
“Hail of Steel“, the new song and video from Finland’s Wolfheart, puts the band in territory we’ve seen before — surrounded by flames, and with crossed axes. And so although the song begins with the kind of wintry, melancholy melody that the band do so well, you have a pretty good idea this one is going to turn into a ravager, and so it does, reaching heights of berserker frenzy while remaining memorable. An air of bleakness verging on desolation still hangs about the song, but it’s hard-charging.
The scenes of warfare interspersed with shots of the band performing aren’t exultant or romanticized, but spattered with blood and pain. When the bullets run out, the men advance to the slaughter with axes, reminding us that it has always been this way.
Yesterday New York’s Krallice released a new digital single named The Wheel on Bandcamp. It’s from a new album that’s coming at some point later this year.
The long groaning bass tones in the song’s opening create an interesting contrast with the flurries of crazed fretwork and fusillades of percussive mayhem, and its moaning and mewling exhalations remain a transfixing part of the song, but not the only element of the song that seizes attention. From the raw, roaring vocals to the ever-changing guitar acrobatics and the start-stop drum munitions, it really is a riveting experience. It will be good to have more Krallice this year.
OLD MAN GLOOM
Thanks to a Bandcamp alert I found in my e-mail from two days ago I learned that Profound Lore will be releasing a new album by Old Man Gloom on May 22nd.
The song that accompanied that alert, “EMF“, is reverse-glooming us! It’s odd at first, almost like sounds from a barnyard. Something is moaning and bellowing. When the song kicks into gear that bass tone makes the earth quake, and the drumming begins doing its dirty work on your spine, while the freakishly seething and buzzing guitar begins playing games with your mind. It’s an eruptive experience, all screaming vocals, skull-cleaving rhythms, and abrasive guitar mutilations. It will get your pulse kicking into overdrive. I sure wish I knew what that weird distorted sound is, which comes back at the end.
And to finish this first installment, I have a bit of madness from the French black metal band Mésalliance, the title track to a new album called Crasse de Fer. It’s absolutely wild and thrilling to hear, a combination of riotous drumming, feverish bass-work, and riffing that leaps and darts, spins and whirls, gleams and burns, in a fireburst of inventive instrumental extravagance. There’s pure throat-lunging fury in the vocals, but the music has its mesmerizing moments (interspersed with all the mind-bending ones) — and almost five minutes in, we abruptly shift into what sounds like an excerpt from joyful French popular music from the interwar period. It’s a sharp change, but may have something to do with the album’s concept. Regardless, it just increased the song’s attraction for me.
I heard two other tracks from this album two-and-a-half years ago, and wrote about them then, back when it seemed that Mésalliance would be self-releasing the album. I don’t think that ever happened, and now the album will be released by Antiq Records on March 28th.