SHORT BUT SWEET (PART 1): HERESIARCH, ANTEDILUVIAN, VEGAS, LIKTAL
I’m way behind in compiling round-ups of new music and video streams, but nevertheless I thought I’d use this time to recommend a collection of recently released EPs, and to offer a few words about a forthcoming split. All but one of the EPs are debut releases; the one that’s not is actually a preview of a forthcoming album. The split comes from two well-known bands (at least in the underground) whom we’ve written about extensively in the past. Sadly, I don’t have any music streams from the split that I can share with you at this point, which makes its inclusion here a rarity.
As you can see, I divided this collection into two parts, with the second half coming later today.
HERESIARCH / ANTEDILUVIAN
The split I just mentioned is entitled Defleshing the Serpent Infinity. It will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on July 31st. New Zealand’s Heresiarch contributes three tracks to the split, and Canada’s Antediluvian joins in with two.
“Lupine Epoch“, the first of Heresiarch’s tracks, is Heresiarch-ian warfare as we’ve come to expect it, a savage assault of percussive mortar fire, thickly distorted guitar obliteration, and roaring vocal cruelty, infiltrated by squalling leads and shrill quivering arpeggios that add to the feeling of blood-lusting derangement. It’s barely more than two minutes long, but it’s a furious warzone nonetheless, the sound of massed military weaponry overheating in their discharge and the madness of slaughtering combatants.
The second track, “Excarnation“, is twice as long and therefore twice as destructive. The percussive jolts are spine-shaking, the hammering snare is skull-splitting, and the riffing is a dense, roiling morass of toxic noise that also flares and blares. Accented by bursts of machine-gun drumwork and head-moving, heavy-caliber fusillades, and driven into the red zone by fast-moving fretwork, the music builds toward a searing crescendo of blast-beats and soaring leads that sound like wretched desperation.
To conclude their portion of the split, Heresiarch have crafted a five-and-a-half minute ambient piece entitled “No Sanctuary“. It’s an ominous and chilling composition in which horn-like tones slowly moan over distant windy sounds and deep reverberations. Violent percussive detonations, hammering timpani, and gargantuan roaring intrude upon that ghastly reverie, creating a mood of fear within a shroud of doom. It ends with something like the wail of a far-away siren, coupled with the horrifying voice of the Beast.
When Antediluvian take their turn, “Slipstream of Leviathan’s Wake” wastes no time teleporting the listener into a sonic vortex of yowling, pulsating, jabbing guitar (heavily distorted of course), pummeling drums, and grotesque, cavernous growls. Boiling leads surface in a semblance of lunacy, but the pace also drops, and a collage of weird and warped sensations carry the music into a hellish dimension. The music becomes hallucinatory and unnerving. Echoing voices seem to carry on a preternatural dialogue. Skittering strings and mutated chords add to the feeling of inhuman horror. And thus Antediluvian’s version of black/death, while evidencing kinship with Heresiarch’s, is less a sonic warzone than it is a blood-freezing other-world.
Like Heresiarch, Antediluvian also created an ambient track for the split, a six-minute piece entitled “Prelude” (though it’s the final track on this release). Weird warbling sounds and a deep hum provide the backdrop for abrasive gun-shot cracks, the mangling of sheet metal, discordant piano reverberations, and other unidentifiable noises, all of which together create an unsettling sensation, just as paranormal in its own way as “Slipstream of Leviathan’s Wake” is.
Iron Bonehead will release the split on 12″ vinyl and CD. Check out the following locations for info on how to get it as the release date draws nearer. Whenever stream premieres happen (if they do), I’ll do my best to include them in a round-up of new music.
When I first began listening to the music of VEGAS half a dozen years ago I read that their name stands for “V.ermouth E.quilibrium G.hanoush A.sphyxia S.onata“. Their members are scattered around the globe, but I couldn’t tell you their names because they don’t exactly publicize them. They trace their musical inspiration to such bands as Japan’s G.I.S.M., hardcore heavyweights Integrity, and the ’80s punk band Life’s Blood, although VEGAS mastermind T has also named early influences such as Paul Young, Negative Approach, Depeche Mode, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Infest, Hammerhead B.T., Born Against, and Acme.
VEGAS’s latest release is a two track blast named …not ever. Though I’ve called it an EP, because you can download it now, it’s actually two tracks from a full-length album by that same name that VEGAS will release in August via Iniquity Recordings.
“Et cetera” is a mid-paced head-mover, with highly infectious but palpably vicious riffing, gut-slugging drumwork, and raw, wailing vocal wretchedness. The song has a grim mood, but its primal appeal is undeniable — it will put your whole body into a lurch.
While the first track is vicious and grim, “Saraph” kicks open the door with a hell of a heavy metal riff. It’s darting vibrancy is glorious and highly infectious, and paired with the compulsive thump of the bass-level tones and the rocking snare, the music will kick your pulse-rate into a higher gear. But the riffing also takes darker turns, and those howling and wailing vocals aren’t ever going to let you get too comfortable.
In short, this is a damned fine way to spend three-and-a-half minutes. But if you’re like me, you’ll spend a lot longer than that as you put this EP on repeat — and you’ll be eager to hear the rest of the forthcoming album. The great cover art is by Give Up.
“Deathpunk from hell” is how Sweden’s Liktal short-hand their music. Morgondagens Öde seems to be their debut release. It consists of eight compact tracks.
Liktal‘s musical weaponry consists of neck-snapping punk beats, head-hooking riffs with chainsawing tone, and red-throated growls and howls. They occasionally down-shift the raucous pacing for the purpose of pounding the listener with sledgehammers or jackhammering your spine, while also inserting bits of dismal or delirious melody that help stick these songs in the head, and the closing track “Vaknatt” is a serious soul-crusher, a slow, calamitous stomp that ends in a chilling spectral melody.
The heavyweight meat-cleaver grooves in the music are irresistible, and so are the riffs. The combination of rough, raw rage, bleak, bruising meanness, and emanations of despair, all of it delivered with a powerful production, makes a damned strong. impression for this new band.
P.S. Although the record is available now as a digital download, Coop Records (Gotland, Sweden) will release it on vinyl, CD, and MC. Follow Liktal on FB to find out when that happens.