Here’s a lucky 7 songs and videos I picked out after wading through a lot of new music that surfaced in the last few days. There’s no particular rhyme or reason to the way I’ve arranged them — no two songs are alike.
I needed this new song from Anaal Nathrakh. I’m so angry at the brain-dead walking corpse that passes for the United States these days. The video sums up some of what’s wrong, but so much is wrong that it only scratches the surface. Still, it proved cathartic, as did the viciousness of the music. And the brilliance of Dave Hunt‘s soaring voice in the chorus is a fuckin’ wonder.
I guess we won’t be seeing this version of the album cover displayed at Target or Walmart.
The song, “Endarkenment” (which stands for the opposite of Enlightenment), is the title track to Anaal Nathrakh‘s new album, which Metal Blade plans to release on October 2nd.
There’s not as much humppa in this new Finntroll song as in the first single from their new album, but folk influences are still present, along with an air of menace, majesty, and mayhem… and plenty of hooks. The animated video (made by Jan Andersson and Jessica Koivistoinen) is fun to watch too.
“Forsen” is from Vredesvävd, which will be released by Century Media on September 18th.
There’s a comfort in continuity in these ruinously turbulent days. I suppose that’s one reason I was so happy to see the news that Benediction would be releasing a new album. The first single, “Rabid Carnality” (presented through the video below), breaks no molds, but that’s also part of its appeal (because this band played a big role in fashioning the mold in the first place). The chance to hear Dave Ingram‘s roaring growl, those cold and cutting trem-picked riffs, the rapid d-beat rhythms and pounding stomps, the sparkling solo — it’s all reaffirming.
Benediction’s new album is named Scriptures. The release date through Nuclear Blast is October 16th.
After beginning with three well-established names I thought it was time to sink way deeper into the underground, and way deeper into music that’s much more likely to shove you out of your comfort zone. I thought Sentient Ruin did a nice job describing the music of this tri-state U.S. group: “Abhorrent and dismembering megaton death-doom industrial noise – highly unclassifiable and aberrant”.
In my own words: This is a malignant mauler, spiced by dissonant chords that spurt like blood from a neck wound, berserker leads, and demon voices from the crypt, and finished off with nightmarish ambience.
The band’s line-up features members of Filtheater, Calques, Maltheist, Uzumaki, and dozens of other projects. The song below is “Regurgitated Existence“. The album is Ulcerous Dimensions. Sentient Ruin will release it on September 3rd.
The next song is easier on the ears than the last one, but not too easy. Like the album cover, it shines and soars like a brilliant sunrise, but hurtles and hammers too. There’s harmonious singing, and also savage snarling, plus a proggy, mesmerizing interlude. The crescendo near the end is downright spectacular.
“Summit” is the first single from Glow, the second album by the UK’s Countless Skies. It will be released by Willowtip on November 4th.
“Black Core” is a new stand-alone single by this French band. It’s a high-energy ravager that entwines crazed dissonance, throat-ripping vocal intensity, bludgeoning and battering rhythms, a moody and mercurial instrumental break, and a sense of frightening grandiosity.
“Black Core” was digitally released by Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions on July 28th. It’s the follow-up to the band’s 2019 debut album Brutalism, which you should check out if you haven’t.
Very cool video too.
To close things out I picked some symphonic metal. This kind of music isn’t normally my kind of thing, but this single stood out for three reasons. First, it’s a cover of “Spirit Crusher” from The Sound of Perseverance by Death (there’s a reason why this Russian collaborative project is called DeathOrchestra). Second, the symphonic parts were performed by a live orchestra (the Olympic Symphony Orchestra) rather than synthesizers. And third, the band themselves — the four-person death metal group Buicide — are very, very good.
This really is a winning collaboration, a beautifully arranged, beautifully performed, and expertly engineered recording that doesn’t wear out its welcome. The integration of the metal performances (all of which are top-notch) and the orchestra is just excellent. I don’t know if the collaborators plan to do other DeathOrchestra covers (just doing this song must have required a tremendous amount of work), but this one is so magnificent that I sure as hell hope they do!