If you’re seeing this before seeing the first two Parts of the round-up, I hope you’ll check out Part 1 and Part 2. After a lot of singing in Part 2, we’re moving back into music that’s more in line with the site’s name.
BLACK CROWN INITIATE (U.S.)
The kaleidoscopic opening track in this collection moves from mystical and mesmerizing sounds into the embrace of humming low tones and head-hooking beats (and singing), and from there into a grim, ravaging, bullet-spitting attack, augmented by doses of vocal ferocity (as well as flaring melody and soaring song). Skittering, darting, and delirious fretwork and blaring chords propel the song to fiery heights, and the singing becomes spine-tingling. A welcome return from these talented dudes….
“Sun Of War” is taken from the album Violent Portraits Of Doomed Escape, due out on August 7th on the Century Media label.
Like the first track above, this next one also begins in mystical and mesmerizing fashion, but its transition is more shocking. Without much warning (but now you’ve been warned), the song explodes in a storm of riotous drumming, blast-furnace guitars, and scalding screams. Rapidly scissoring fretwork and barbaric vocals further kick the adrenaline levels into the red zone as the drums methodically hammer our necks.
But it’s a long song with numerous progressive accents, and reveals other dimensions through the pairing of riveting kit-work and swirling guitars, spiraling and soulful solos, and a seductive acoustic interlude that includes singing — capped by an electrifying conflagration of sound.
“Lily” appears on this Swedish band’s third full-length album, entitled The Deviant. It’s due for release on June 26 via Aftermath Music. I’ve also included a Bandcamp stream of another song from the album.
The third single from this inventive band’s new album is wild and wondrous. It does a fine job hammering the listener’s skull, but an equally fine job spinning the mind into perilous, otherworldly territory through blaring chords, maniacally screeching arpeggios, sorcerous bass lines, and unhinged serial-killer vocals. Entrancing sequences of chiming melody that unfold over jaw-dropping drumwork, coupled with eruptions of berserker fretwork, add to the song’s atmosphere of eye-popping wonder, without detracting from its aura of mystery and menace. And the finale is fantastic. The whole song is fantastic.
“Rat King Lifecycle” is from Pyrrhon’s new album Abscess Time, which will be released by Willowtip on June 26th. Visit Bandcamp to catch two more previously released tracks.
Now shifting gears, it’s time for Grade A mosh meat. This next song is a goddamned riot of blackened metalpunk from a Central Texas band who know how to put the spurs to your pulse rate. There’s so much feral energy in the music, and such a plethora of head-hooking riffs (some of which have an anthemic quality) and body-moving rhythms , that it quickly becomes addictive.
“Mark of Death” appears on Skeleton’s self-titled debut album, which will be released by 20 Buck Spin on July 10.
THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (France)
This next selection is just one song from an album named 7-Year Epilogue that will get a physical release on August 14th by Throatruiner Records but is digitally available now. The song, “Free At Least“, is the one that opens the album.
There’s a frightening quality to the dissonant guitars, the warping bass, the pulverizing drums, and the vicious howls. Together they build a mounting sense of tension and fear, which then boils over into a torrent of blasting drums, crazed riffing, and equally frantic bass-work. The singing that comes in as the music soars and pounds is unexpected, and creates a duet with the deranged screams in a way that channels anguish verging on devastation. That feeling of hopelessness deepens, and becomes shattering, with long wails of intensely forlorn guitar melody over booming drums. The finale is downright explosive… and wrenching.
Of the album as a whole, Throatruiner writes: “With a highly-twisted baseline that blends the most intricate tendencies of dissonant black metal and metallic hardcore, the band marks their difference by emphasizing their melodic side, not afraid to inject screamo-inspired chord progressions or powerful vocal hooks next to cascades of drums and bileful screams”.
TORTURE TOMB (U.S.)
This three-track EP, Killing To See How It Feels, is a ten-ton mauling machine. The music does its level best to beat the listener senseless, and the gnarly, filth-encrusted riffs are uglier than road-kill, while the mix of gruesome roars and macabre screams are authentically sadistic. But the music is also tempo-dynamic and poisonously contagious, thanks to brutish, pile-driving, neck-ruining rhythms and spurts of queasy and crazed soloing. After this thing finishes with you, you’ll be a foot shorter than when you began and missing chunks of your meat — and smiling through broken teeth.
The EP was released by Transylvanian Tapes on June 6th.
To close this gigantic three-Part round-up we’re revisiting our old friends in Volturyon. To be clear, we don’t actually know them, but we’ve been avid fans for a long time. Their new album, Xenogenesis, features a new vocalist, with Mikko Voutilainen replacing the departed Alexander Högbom, but otherwise it seems the line-up is the same one that was responsible for Cleansed By Carnage four years ago.
The song below, “World Pandemic“, certainly has a timely title, and the riffing does have a fearful and frantic quality that’s quite suitable for the current plague. But the song is also built around massive, jackhammering grooves, with bits of dismal and degrading melody in the mix as well as bursts of blasting drums and deranged riffage. The new vocalist has a powerful bellowing growl and a demented scream in his arsenal, both of which amplify the song’s scourging power. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this record….
Xenogenesis will be released by ViciSolum Records on July 24th.