I’m trying to get back into the more normal swing of things after some recent disruptive events I’ve already written about. I made a start yesterday with a two-part SHADES OF BLACK, and am continuing today with this round-up of other music I’ve recently been enjoying. As you’ll see, I probably could have made this Part 3 of yesterday’s column, because it does lean pretty hard into blackened sounds.
If you suspect, or perhaps have already concluded, that metal made exclusively with trumpet, trombone, and drums isn’t your kind of thing, I urge you (again) to reconsider. And if you’ve already embraced what Ottone Pesante do with those instruments, the first track in this collection will cause you to squeeze them harder to your chest (figuratively speaking, of course, because hugs may be disease-riddled these days).
The band describe “Serpentine Serpentone” as “the fastest and most aggressive song of the whole album, with a vaguely Black Metal sound”. Skeptics might not even realize they’re hearing trumpet and trombone on this latest single from the band’s new album DoomooD (which features guest vocals by Silvio of the doom/sludge band Abaton). The music is wild and wicked, but also eerie and menacing, and the skittering and shivering melodies do resemble tremolo’d riffing. The drumming, as usual, is an electrifying riot.
I’m very eager to dive all the way into the album, which I stupidly haven’t done yet, based in part on this description of it by Ottone Pesante:
“The parasite inside us proceeds slowly, inexorable, unstoppable; it can change skin or face, it can deceive us to stop for a moment, but it will continue unabated in a dark, devastating spiral, annihilating us. The entire album was composed in a palindrome manner, like there’s a mirror on the pentagram at about half of it, that overturn the composed sequences. The climax is a ‘reverse canon superimposed’ and from which the main voice comes down in a reverse motion, sometimes strictly, sometimes changing rhythm or changing role from trumpet to trombone. Brass and drums are, as usual, the only sound source. All noises and concrete sounds come from them”.
DoomooD will be released by Aural Music on September 18th. Also below you’ll find the video for a previously released album track, “Tentacles“.
“Conjuring Traces“, the first track off the forthcoming debut album of this Belgian/Dutch/French black metal quartet, lit me up like a Roman candle. Lo and behold, the second single has had the same effect.
“The Numinous Loom” does sound numinous, its silvery tones creating extravagant gleaming and glimmering vibrancy over the irresistible momentum of the rhythm section and the vocalist’s scorched-earth shrieking. The music feels ebullient, like a joyful whirling dance, and also falls into a wide-eyed reverie, as if we’ve suddenly been teleported up into the midst of sunlit clouds. The extravagant energy does briefly dissipate, making room for an entrancing instrumental interlude that offers a stylistic departure from the heart-on-their-sleeve atmospheric black metal at which the band excel, though even at full power the music brings in elements of shoegaze and post-punk.
Silver Knife‘s members come from the ranks of such groups as Cult of Erinyes, Hypothermia, Laster, and Nusquama. Their debut album Unyielding / Unseeing will be released by Amor Fati Productions and Entropic Recordings on August 18th. If you haven’t heard that first single, “Conjuring Traces”, you really should — and I’ve made it easy for you.
(Thanks to Rennie from starkweather for alerting me to the release of this newest song — in his message he made reference to “Raise-era Swervedriver” and to “vocal torture on par with Cancer (Australia)”.)
This Norwegian band seem to have rocket fuel for blood, and a pronounced taste for the influence of South American devil-thrashers. You listen to the title track of their debut album Seeds of Death, and it will feel like they’ve transfused some of that rocket blood straight into your own veins. It sure as hell had that effect on me. And speaking of hell, the vocals sound like a mad lord of the underworld bellowing and screaming his blasphemies in the midst of a seizure.
It really is a terrifically exhilarating experience, loose and wild but technically impressive and capped by maniacal soloing, though the band do ease back on the throttle in order to layer on some extra menace.
Seeds Of Death will be released on September 18th by Pulverised Records (CD, LP and digital).
On July 24th this Brazilian project released its first output, an EP named The Shamanic Trilogy Part I – Nihility Ascetics. As the title suggests, it’s the first part of a conceptual work, which the band describe as follows: “It deals with the notions of inexistence, nothingness, void and all absence of being but in a shamanic way. It is a paradox per se: it portrays what is not from a conscience perspective”.
The music is inventive and unpredictable. The opening track (“I, the Void, Embrace“) combines massive low-end rumbling, darting symphonic strings, shrill guitar torture, and muttering growls — along with arpeggios that resemble a child’s music box gone mad, vast heaving tonal waves, pneumatic drum rhythms, a brief acoustic guitar accent, and a mercurial yet mesmerizing guitar outro.
The follow-on piece (“The Airless Cold Presence“) eerily quivers like a mellotron or a theremin, periodically explodes in mauling juggernaut rampages (complete with violent blackened shrieks), slithers in reptilian maneuvers over neck-bending drum rhythms, and drifts away into fields of sparkling evanescence — among other audio phenomena.
A few gravel-toned bass notes are all the warning you get before the final track (“I Call Myself Agony and Torment“) begins hammering and harrowing in a grinding and battering ferocity. Vividly darting bass notes, those weird theremin-like vibrations, and dancing calliope-like melodies enter the picture — along with a string quartet playing a waltz. It seems like a madhouse, but will get your head moving too.
Weird and wondrous stuff — and I hasten to add that even my fairly detailed descriptive references don’t exhaust all the sensations you’ll encounter. I can hardly wait for Part II.
(Thanks to Miloš for pointing me to this EP.)
There’s not much music in this last selection, just a snippet coupled to a video made by Guilherme Henriques, but the announcement of a new album by Mörk Gryning seemed important enough for me to include it.
Their history is well-known by now, and so is the fact that they’ve released no new music since 2005’s self-titled album. The fact of their return is noteworthy, but so is the news that the record was made by original founding members Goth Gorgon, Draakh Kimera, and Avatar. I’ll conclude by excerpting this passage from a press release by Season of Mist, who will be releasing the album on October 23rd.
Translating into ‘otherworldly wrath’ or ‘wrath of the world beyond’, Hinsides Vrede represents the doom of pre-historic cultures as well as our impending doom while the world is cracking at its seams. It is a furious assault upon the civilized world and a descent into the nether regions of the world beyond. Join us into the maelstrom!
Pre-sales will be announced soon.