I hope your weekend is treating you well. Because I didn’t over-do things during my usual Friday night virtual happy hours, I was able to spend some time catching up with new songs and videos this morning, and I picked these to share with you. It’s an eclectic mix, even by the standards that I usually apply to these round-ups in an effort to ensure variety (and to keep our visitors off-balance). Lots of videos in this particular collection, too.
To lead off, here’s a video of a live performance by Triptykon of “Rex Irae” from Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium. The song is the first movement in the “Requiem” trilogy, which also includes “Grave” (performed for the first time at the same concert where this video was filmed) and “Winter” (which first appeared on Monotheist).
The performance of all three movements of “Requiem” took place at Roadburn 2019, and Triptykon was accompanied by the Metropole Orkest, by Hannes Grossmann on drums, and by vocalist Safa Heraghi. The orchestration was composed by Alkaloid and Dark Fortress frontman Florian “Morean” Maier, working with Tom G. Warrior.
The recording of this performance has just been released under the title Requiem – Live at Roadburn 2019. The video and the music are fantastic, and about as vivid a reminder as you could have about how wretched it is that the pandemic has closed the door on festival performances.
ORDER REQUIEM LIVE:
Mystras is a new medieval black metal project created by Ayloss of Spectral Lore fame. The debut album is named Castles Conquered and Reclaimed, and it will be released on July 17th by I, Voidhanger Records. Two songs are now publicly available for streaming.
For most of its duration the first song, which is the title track, is a mad, breathtaking race, a flash-flood of hurtling drums, maniacal high-pitched riffing with a raw tone, crazed fret-melting leads, rocketing flights of otherworldly synths, and flesh-scorching screams and howls. It spawns a vision of chaos and possession that’s pure sonic adrenaline. Near the end it morphs into a metallic version of what seems like a medieval peasant dance, a kind of spinning and whirling sensation of ancient folk music.
The second song, “Storm the Walls of Mystras“, is equally bursting with energy, but its beautiful guitar melodies more quickly and persistently evoke that feeling of ancient folkloric music, and the song as a whole (which includes heroic choral vocals as well as sounds of savage extremity) is just glorious — and mythic in its atmosphere. An incredibly vibrant, head-spinning, and heart-swelling experience — though it too changes at the end, and descends into a plague-like gloom.
The press material I’ve received says that it was Ayloss‘ intention through Mythras “to shed some light on unsung acts of valour and bravery from the Middle Ages, but subverting the tropes by focusing on common folks instead of kings and nobility”. “The album tells the stories of those downtrodden under the shiny heels of knights and lords,” he explains; “those who chose to rise up for freedom against innumerable odds and that most often perished, sacrificing themselves for the well-being of the next generations. Mystras is Medieval Black Metal against Empire and Aristocracy.”
Not long ago our ally Speelie contributed a guest NCS post (here) devoted to Métal Noir Québécois. In that post he introduced me to a new band named Serment, which is the solo project of Forteresse guitarist Moribond. Since the time of that post Serment has released the first two tracks from the debut Serment album, Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté, to be released by Sepulchral Productions on June 24. These two tracks — “Ouverture” and “Sonne, le Glas Funèbre” — open the album and they’re presented together in the video below.
The overture consists of wind-sound and owl-hoot, and the intermittent swelling of symphonic melody. What also swells within the video stream is the sound of battering drums, gravel-chewing bass, and wretched screams. The synth melody is of the slowly cascading and panoramic kind, the kind that evokes feelings of mystery and wonder, contrasting with the tumultuous nature of all the other ingredients in the music. That majestic and mythic sheen of sound continues flowing throughout the track, though Serment does give us chances to rock out, and Moribond wails, nearly singing, but without losing the sensation of passion and pain in his voice.
The Dutch death metal band Disavowed are returning after a very long hiatus. Their debut album Perceptive Deception was released in 2001, their second one (Stagnated Existence) was released in 2007, and there has been nothing since. But that’s about to change. The Brutal Mind label has announced that the band’s third album, Revocation of the Fallen, will be released later this year.
The new song that premiered a few days ago through a lyric video, “The Enlightened One“, is a hell of a good sign for the new record. It delivers full-bore brutalizing mayhem, with penetrating rhythmic hooks to go along with blazing drumwork, viciously jabbing and swarming riffage, murderous guttural bellowing, and a demented darting melody. It’s a hellishly thrilling experience.
(Thanks go to Vonlughlio for tipping me off about Disavowed and this new song.)
To Be Announced
SEWER TRENCH (UK)
Sewer Trench are a London-based multinational death/crust band. They have a 7″ split release coming up with the Brazilian death-grind band Ressonancia Morfica. The split will be collectively released by Two Beers or not Two Beers Records, Sangre, Monstro Discos, Sounds Of The Rising, Passione Nera Records, and Abyssal Cult.
A Sewer Trench song from that split was released a few days back, along with the lyric video you’ll find below (created by Motim Underground). The song has a very long name: “The Streetlights Were Alive That Night, I Swore Blind I Could See My Spirit Leave My Body“.
It’s a dynamic, unpredictable, and intriguing song whose moods range from hallucinatory and eerie to menacing and marauding, capable of sending chills across the skin and getting the blood pumping too. The blaring chords and bounding, pounding rhythms turn out to be pretty addictive as well (and I’d like to give a special bow to the bassist, though everyone else does a fine job too).
“Gruzja and Neon Scaffold hop on a 12” carousel. Direction: east. Thou shalt keep the Spinning day spinning. Spinning ’till you puke.”
So said the e-mail I received about a new 12″ split release by Devoted Art Propaganda. It also included a link to a video for one of Gruzja’s songs on the split, though I’m not sure of the title. Based on a Facebook post by the band, it might be “nawet mi was nie żal” (“I don’t even feel sorry for you”).
The video is wild, and bewildering in its montage of imagery. The music is also a bit bewildering, but completely enthralling. There’s an almost new-wave feel to the compulsive drum-and-bass rhythm, and a feeling of seductive fantasy in the keyboards, while the wide-ranging vocals lend a feeling of menace and mayhem.
If you don’t know about Gruzja, they’re a Polish band whose music is hard to pin down (which is one reason I like it so much) and whose line-up includes members of Furia, Mentor, and Biesy (among other groups). Their latest album appeared last fall, and it’s great. You can read my review of it here.
DEVOTED ART PROPAGANDA:
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT (Netherlans)
Things are about to take a comical turn, in the video for a new song by the Dutch death metal band The Monolith Deathcult, whose sense of humor is already well-established. As best I can tell, “Feet of Jeremiah” actually does have lyrics that make sense. However, the following video includes a “misheard” version of them, which will clearly go down in history as… well, they’ll go down as something, perhaps even a “time capsule” of shut-in life during the pandemic, and the mental ruination (and freaked-out humor) it is capable of producing.
But the video is hilarious for a bunch of other reasons, and you’ll probably have to watch it more than once to catch everything. As for the music, it’s definitely not funny, but it is a hell of a lot of fun to hear. And with that, I’ll leave you with TMDC’s own words of introduction:
“Watch the video, which is THE antidote to all the moronic Facebook challenges, well-meant online junk, wailing grant guzzlers and the cohorts of conspiracy thinkers to seize the COVID-19 crisis to showcase their awesome nonsense online.”
“Feet of Jeremiah” is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, and other digital services.
LORD OF THE LOST (Germany)
Although the music in this next song is much less heavy than the TMDC song above, the video is also comical. The song is a ballad named “A One Ton Heart“, and it comes from Swan Songs III, a new album by this “dark metal” band that will be released by Napalm Records on August 7. The video has nothing to do with the lyrics or the mood of the song, it’s just something the band say they always wanted to do and got tired of waiting for the right song for which to do it.
The opening quotation tells the tale of the video.
SCARY BUSEY (U.S.)
And here’s another video, though not a humorous one. The song, “Profundo Rosso“, appears on an EP entitled Tower Peeler by the blistering noise-rock band Scary Busey from Bend, Oregon. The EP was released in April by Forbidden Place Records.
In the song, wailing vocals are combined with kidney-punching bass, mad drum clattering, and fuzzed-out riffing that’s both torqued with tension and displays a kind of grandiose dementia. It should get your head pounding too.
in keeping with the often demented nature of the rest of the music in this collection, I’ll leave you with “Silver Dollar“, a bewildering instrumental composition by this Chicago band, performed with guitar, drums, and bass clarinet.
As you might expect from the presence of the clarinet, there’s a component of jazz in the track (of the discordant, avant-garde variety), but there’s a grim buzzing undercurrent in the music that just seems to make it even queasier in its feeling, and the track also features an increasingly acrobatic drum performance. It’s not metal in any conventional sense, but I don’t think it’s out of place in today’s collection, and it’s a fascinating listen.
“Silver Dollar” will appear on a new Threadbare album of the same name, which will be released by NoBusiness Records on May 29th.