The Path of Memory
On we go with today’s three-part mega-roundup, though it’s already late enough in our posting day that Part 3 will slip over into tomorrow.
As explained in Part 1, I alphabetized what I picked by band name, so we’re rolling on into the Ps and Rs in this segment (and in case you’re confused, I’m following the Chicago Manual of Style rules for alphabetization, in which introductory articles such as “a”, “an”, and “the” are disregarded).
THE PATH OF MEMORY (Switzerland)
The shimmering melodies in “Rancid Song” sound despairing, but that effect may also have something to do with the deep gothic vocals and the moody bass notes. The music is also haunting in its atmosphere, but don’t be misled — the slow-rocking, hard-hitting rhythms and that big bass tone will get you moving. A soundtrack for wandering alone, lost in gloomy memories, through vacant city streets lined with tall cold steel….
From the album Hell is Other People, set for release by Iron Bonehead on June 19th.
THE PATH OF MEMORY:
A PREGNANT LIGHT (U.S.)
I and I is a new six-track EP by A Pregnant Light that was released by Colloquial Sound Recordings on April 17th. It was written and recoded by Damian Master while in quarantine. Despite the division into tracks, it was meant to be listened to as a single piece of unbroken music. I saw a comment about it from Lars Gotrich on the record’s Bandcamp page, and will share that first:
“Damian Master‘s second multi-part metal-punk epic. Like 2016’s Rocky, this one feels personal. Dusky riffs, blackened shoegaze and acoustic passages break up the emotional gut-punch.”
I’ll add that Master‘s intense, wretched vocals make a stunning impact, and that in this time of contagion these songs are contagious. There is a striking and often electrifying vibrancy in the tracks, and the riffs and leads have a piercing sonic and emotional power, as well as a way of getting their hooks in your head.
But even though the wonderful acoustic instrumentals (the third and fifth tracks) sound bright (but wistful), and the last track includes a, ecstatically darting lead, don’t be expecting sweetness and light from this EP. Expect instead the enthrallment of dark moods that might make you think of shuttered dreams and shattered hopes blowing away like scraps of paper down desolate sidewalks.
An extremely engaging EP that does indeed bear listening to straight through, and don’t think that will be the only time you’ll listen to it. The closing track, “I’ll See You Tonight” is especially good, but I like everything that happens here.
And now for something new from the Finnish death metal band Purtenance, whose first album released in 1992 and who then went silent for roughly 20 years before their next album. Their newest one, Buried Incarnation, will be released on June 23rd by Xtreem Music.
The first teaser track, “Deathbed Confession“, is a heavy, stalking death metal beast, and within its hulking form lurks a sickly, quivering worm. And after that opening, as the drums begin to hurtle and the ravaging growls emerge from their lair, that beast becomes vicious and on the attack. The pacing of the song moves back and forth, kicking your pulse into gear and then clamping down on it, but the mood is persistently sinister and dismal — and it includes some damned potent grooves (and a big welcome bass presence).
We’ll close this segment by victimizing you with “Victimized“, a song by a Vancouver B.C. band who draw heavily from the toxic well of ’90s sludge, as formulated by such bands as Grief, Noothgrush, and Corrupted, but “drag it further down into the putrid filth from which it was spawned, with the entire record reaching the despairing lows of the nastiest, bleakest moments of Meth Drinker“.
There’s enough noxious distortion in the stringed instruments here to crack and shiver the paint off your walls, and the oppressiveness of the chords may also abrade any sense of well-being you might have like heavy-grit sandpaper, and leave it in mounds of dust at your feet. The song is merciless in other ways too: It pounds hard enough to crack your skull and punches hard enough to rupture your spleen, while the vocals are terrifying in their larynx-ripping intensity. Cool vocal samples too.
From the album Crosshairs, due from Dry Cough (UK), Nerve Altar (USA), and Rope or Guillotine (EUR) on May 1.