I’m not as prone as some writers around here to make exceptions to our rule about singing (I’m looking at you Mr. Synn), but I fell prone before all the singing voices in this selection of songs, and the music that accompanies them. But don’t worry… in the next installment of this post I’m sure I’ll revert to the usual nastiness.
OCEANS OF SLUMBER (U.S.)
I guess most people know by now that Cammie Gilbert has a stunning voice. If you don’t know, you’ll find out through this first song and video. You’ll also find out she has some very talented people behind her, including drummer Dobber Beverly, who plays in a lot more extreme bands than this one and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance.
I’ll also mention that the song becomes crushingly heavy, and after an astral interlude it gets a crashingly intense climax. Even Dan Swanö said, “The end section is most likely the most bombastic thing I have ever mixed…”
“A Return To the Earth Below” is from Ocean of Slumber‘s self-titled album, which is set for release on September 4th by Century Media.
ABYSMAL DAWN (U.S.)
Abysmal Dawn recorded a wonderful cover of “Bewitched” by Candlemass, and they played it straight — it turns out that Charles Elliott has a fantastic singing voice. Maybe others already knew that, but it came as a big surprise to me.
At the moment, “Bewitched” is exclusively available on Flexi-disc format via New Noise Magazine.
DAWN OF SOLACE (Finland)
Tuomas Saukkonen is the main man behind Dawn of Solace, but in this new video we watch and listen to the performance of his song “Ghost” by singer Mikko Heikkilä (Kaunis Kuolematon) and pianist Saku Moilanen (Red Moon Architect). It’s such a tremendously sad song, maybe the saddest on the album that includes it, but it’s also sublime.
“Ghost” appears on Dawn of Solace‘s new album Waves, which is out now on the Noble Demon label.
EXECUTIONER’S MASK (U.S.)
Get ready to move, and to have your head swirled. The pulse in this next track is potent, and what happens around it is surreal. Jay Gambit continues to nail the kind of vocals that this kind of dark post-punk needs.
The album that includes the song is Despair Anthems, and it will be released by Profound Lore on July 10.
KAIRON; IRSE! (Finland)
Until yesterday I had no idea that Kairon; IRSE! existed. But this first single from their new album opened my eyes wide. It’s a trippy experience, delivering waves of slippery and shimmering, warbling and gleaming, sound around a body-moving rhythmic undercarriage. High up above a voice sometimes wails in haunting tones, adding to the song’s psychedelic allure, and the drums and bass grow increasingly animated… until they vanish from this ethereal soundscape… and reemerge just as strong as before, anchoring the swell of those blissful but increasingly intense lights transmuted into sound.
The song is “Bat None“. The album that includes it, Polysomn, will be released on September 11th by Svart Records.
I’m thankful to Miloš for telling me about this song. He also pointed out that Oranssi Pazuzu guitarist Ikon is in this band, which makes sense.
The final song and video in this segment is a song of healing, a story of climbing high within Lyfjaberg, the Healing-Peak, a place known from Norse mythology and the Eddic poem Fjölsvinnsmál where all ailments may be left behind. To get there requires both mental and physical perseverance. I don’t know about you, but I could use some healing, or at least a distraction from the hell around us. This song helped with both needs. All the voices are magnificent.
Gorgeous video too, and if you go to YouTube you can read the English translation of the lyrics.
“Lyfjaberg” was released as a single on June 5th. Wardruna also have a new album named Kvitravn that’s on the way via By Norse Music (U.S.) and Sony Music / Columbia Records (everywhere else).