If you’re a fan of Enslaved, Pallbearer, Kataklysm, Black Crown Initiate, Oceans of Slumber, surely you know about the new singles they released over the last few days from their next albums (most with videos), and if you didn’t know, now you do (just follow those hyperlinks to listen and watch). You probably also saw the announcement of a new Napalm Death album and Decibel’s “Get Behind the Mask” feature with photos of 140 masked-up artists.
But rather than provide commentary about those widely touted events I decided to turn my piggish snout toward the sniffing out of truffles your own snouts might not have detected yet, which is mainly how we use our olfactory organs at NCS.
Rebel Wizard‘s new album Magickal Mystical Indifference was just released yesterday by Prosthetic Records, and to celebrate the occasion they’ve also just released a colorful, metal AF new video (made by Exotic Corpse) for an album track named “raiseth up all those that be bowed down“.
It really is a great video, and so’s the song — a blazing, dragon-winged heavy metal anthem that’s also the stuff of sinister sorcery (with a bit of Rebel Wizard philosophy at the end).
KÖRGULL THE EXTERMINATOR
Now it’s time to thrash your reproductive organs off to some new music by the Spanish speed/black/thrash band Körgull the Exterminator. This next song is the first single off the band’s forthcoming fifth album Sharpen Your Spikes.
A brazen, ripping attack, accompanied by panther-in-heat vocals and augmented by blaring chords that sound like hellish trumpets, the song is pure sonic electrification — and about mid-way through it segues into a burst of galloping heavy metal gold.
The great cover art for the album was created by Alastor Nihilosatan. It will be released by Xtreem Music on September 9th.
Even if they played it straight down the middle of the road, Mexico’s Infesticide would be a very good death metal band — but they’ve got a lot more on their minds than that, and they’re all the better for it (and so are we).
The two tracks below, their new album’s title song and “Magma Blood“, are evil and savage, but in addition to delivering berserker mayhem they’re packed with tempo and riffing changes, spasms of wild, cavorting fretwork, and fantastical soloing. The songs prove to be impressively intricate, technically eye-popping, and thus head-spinning as well as ferocious.
These two songs are from the band’s forthcoming second album Envenoming Wounds, which will be released on September 25th by Blood Harvest Records.
I had some good things to say about this part-Spanish, part-British band’s second EP, 2016’s Redemption, and now they’re following that with a debut album named Existential Horror.
The high-tempo song below, paired with an official video, is “Haunted By Hate“. A barbaric race from beginning to end, though interspersed with bouts of pounding groove, the song quickly lights a fire under the listener’s pulse rate, and both the demonic vocals and buzzing tremolo’d riffing are nasty as hell. I only wish it were longer.
Existential Horror is due out on September 25 via Kadabra Music and is recommended for fans of Morbid Angel, Protector, Sadistic Intent, and Hellhammer.
I loved the concept of this anonymous UK band’s self-titled first album (and the cover art). As the band explained then:
“Bull Elephant is the story of a slain African elephant that occultist Ahnenerbe SS attempted to bring back from the dead as a new form of battle asset. However, before re-animation could be completed it was intercepted by a mysterious witch-shaman, pursuing her own agenda and redirecting the undead creature’s purpose.
“Think of the background concept as Raiders of the Lost Ark set to a progressive doom soundtrack where Judeo-Christian mythology is replaced by the even more sinister universe hinted at in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft… with Nazi assault wolves.”
The music was also crazy good. As my friend Mr. Synn put it in his review, the album was a “potent slab of proggy/sludgey, subtly doomy and ever so slightly thrashy metallic mayhem”. He also threw in references to Yob, Byzantine, Entombed, and Devin Townsend.
It’s thus good news that Bull Elephant are returning with a new album, named Created From Death. I can’t resist quoting at length their description of the story told by this new record:
“Part two in the Bull Elephant trilogy mythos, picks up where the debut album ended. The eponymous creature, originally resurrected to fight occultist Ahnenerbe SS just before the outbreak of world war, has been destroyed and reconstructed into human form; then placed into the care of a renegade ape. The child’s witch-mother sacrifices herself so the duo can escape and they live in exile for several years, attempting to remain hidden from the enemy.
“Meanwhile, Nazi Germany and Allied forces fight battles on two fronts: in conventional theatres all over the world and as a secret war for control over supernatural powers that neither fully understand.
“Eventually after being discovered, and temporarily under siege, our heroes are compelled into action; launching a campaign to harness nature against the worst of mankind’s impulses; which now includes reanimation at a mass grave site of an undead legion in service of the Reich. The ultimate renewable human resource”.
Even if the new music sounded like the dry hacking of a Covid victim badly in need of a ventilator I’d be inclined to pick this up just to reward the story-telling. But the two advance tracks that are out at this point in fact sound like a very strong follow-up to the first record.
Once again, the band pull from lots of different genre wells, both instrumentally and in the vocal department, and both the multi-faceted song-writing and the varying vocals are tremendous. If you’re not familiar with the first album, you really won’t guess all the places where these songs go. And with that, I think I’ll save any further commentary for the review that either Andy or I will surely write.
Now for a big change of pace. The first part of the concluding item I’ve picked for this collection is a new video for the first track off the new EP by the Finnish one-person pagan metal project Vermilia.
If you’re familiar with Vermilia’s previous releases, then you’ll know that her music is many-sided. The song in the video, “Hauras, Kuollut, Kaunis“, which opens the EP, is a side that’s relatively soft, melancholy, and enthralling. Backed by the booming sound of something like a failing heart beat, Vermilia accompanies her haunting and entrancing voice with acoustic guitar, piano notes, and somber strings. Although it is spellbinding, the song is also mysterious, and menacing.
The EP reveals the other sides of Vermilia, too. Though tragic in its mood, “Taivas Hiljaa Huutaa” is sweeping and grand, the drumming blasts and rocks, and the vocals range from heroic, impassioned singing to vicious growls and howls. It’s the kind of music I think of as both heart-breaking and heart-swelling.
“Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita” seems to borrow from both of the first two tracks. It’s tremendously sad; it again incorporates soulful and sorrowing violin tones as well as Vermilia‘s beautiful singing voice (which rises with spine-tingling intensity); and it’s also heavy and harrowing, with harsh vocals in the mix again, but no sense of uplift despite how enthralling and often majestic it is.
The closer, “Pimeä Polku“, elevates the energy immediately with blasting percussion and a prominent bass pulse, but surrounds that hurtling and throbbing energy with cascades of melancholy symphonic sound and forlorn piano notes. It will get your head moving too, and like “Taivas Hiljaa Huutaa“, the song also soars to glorious (though grievous) heights, driven toward those rarefied elevations by the union of bestial growls and stricken wails.
The name of this stunning EP is Keskeneräisiä Tarinoita, and it’s out now on Bandcamp.