Earlier today one of our writers, purporting to speak for all of us, asserted that we at NCS are not perfect. I disagree. I, for one, am perfectly aware of my inability to keep up with the release of new music.
Last night I did manage to plow through the last two days of e-mails in our bulging in-box and checked a few other valued sources. From that effort I added roughly two-dozen new songs to check out, on top of a similar number I had identified the last time I went exploring just a couple of days ago.
A laughable thing to do, of course, given there’s no way I could make my way through all of that in time to write anything for today. So I threw mental darts at the list, with some hits and some misses. The following eight new songs were among the hits. I’ll pick some more for your listening pleasure on Saturday.
DARK TRANQUILLITY (Sweden)
In “Phantom Days” Dark Tranquillity launched the run-up to their new album Moment with a sure-fire crowd-pleaser — nothing terribly different, but capable of stimulating the pleasure centers of fans. I confess that I felt stimulated, though not to the point of tumescence. Will I remember it? That’s a different question.
The whole song has a darting quality, pulsing with liveliness, and it gives the band a chance to let their two new guitarists — Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz (Nonexist) — shine. But the song is layered with dreaminess as well, particularly in the long, fluid guitar solo. The band also do throw in some elements of jolting menace, and of course Mikael Stanne‘s vicious vocals keep one fond, gnarled hand on the beast of death metal.
Moment will be released on November 20th by Century Media.
Now this next song did excite me. It combines gloriously delirious ferocity with hook-heavy riffing, skull-busting grooves, and the voice of a goblin roasting in the depths of hell. Such a thrilling combination of unchained wildness and beautifully thought-out songwriting structure. Hugely eager to hear the rest of this album…
…and that album is named Black Abomination Spawn. It will be released by Invictus Productions on November 13th.
This next song is pretty damned exciting too, thanks to the maniacal quality of the blaring and boiling riffs and the brutalizing, jet-fast drumwork. The song does have its ugly aspects as well, chiefly in the sewer-dwelling vocals and the grisly, filth-encrusted slower movements (after all, the song is called “Mouthful of Untreated Sewage“). And at the end it soars in a blaze of glorious derangement.
This Danish band is new but includes members of Taphos and Hyperdontia, who are expressing their fondness for early Carcass and aspects of current Finnish death metal very well. Their debut EP of death/grind, Septic Decadence, will be released by Me Saco Un Ojo on October 16th.
WATASHI DAKE (Romania)
Next up is a track off a debut demo named Feral by an experimental black metal project from by Transylvania, Romania named Watashi Dake (which translates to “Only Me” or “Just Myself”).
The piston-driven drumming moves the music in an enlivening torrent, and the whirring riffs move in mesmerizing yet threatening waves, while the vocals are the screams of a damned soul. When the cadence slows, and eerie wailing tones rise up like cemetery mist, the mood becomes hopeless and harrowing. There’s a feeling of mental and emotional devastation in the song as the drums begin to drive again, a feeling that strengthens in the song’s mid-section, when it sounds like we’re being exposed to a field recording made in an asylum for the criminally insane. Even the murmuring of the bass sounds like a childlike murderer pulling the wings off flies in the corner while the other inmates cavort, cackle, and scream.
You’ll be glad to know that after that diversion into madness, the music again becomes mesmerizing, even if the trance might lead you into a cloud of despair.
Feral will be released on October 25th by Inferna Profundus Records. It includes a cover of “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by Dead Kennedys.
The Mammoth Lakes monster has risen from its lair again, with a new single that’s both frightful and mesmerizing. Anchored by hard-driving drum rhythms and accented by truly abyssal vocals, the song creates an amalgam of Lovecraftian grandeur and voracious menace. It seems like an anthem of interdimensional evil, capable of provoking awe and freezing your blood at the same time. Valdur never seem to disappoint….
The song, “Molted“, was recorded in the winter of 2016 but was just released on September 9th and is available as a stand-alone single.
HOLY DEATH (U.S.)
Next up is a heaving and bludgeoning leviathan of sound. This moaning and malicious beast brings chainsawing heaviness measured in tonnage, whether it’s crawling or pummeling like a pile-driver, and the vocals are a manifestation of ghastly madness. Is that inconsolable crying I hear at the end? If so, it makes perfect sense, given how ruinous the song is.
“A Crown Grows out ov His Head” is off this terrifically talented Nevada band’s new EP, Deus Mortis, which fittingly includes a cover of Entombed’s “Wolverine Blues“. It will be released on October 30th.
After that last block of tracks I thought I’d give you a chance to catch your breath. The depressive and almost hallucinatory opening of “Broken Blue Cascade” will let your pulse rate come down, but it’s not a soothing experience by any means. Eventually, Josh Graham‘s singing voice becomes more disturbed and the music pounds, seethes, and rings in the rhythm of spurting blood from an opened vein. Plenty of chances to move your head, and an equal chance to feel like you’re on a bad acid trip.
Novarupta is the work of Alex Stjernfeld, a former collaborator of The Moth Gatherer and Terra Tenebrosa. As noted, this song features vocals by Josh Graham (A Storm of Light, ex-Red Sparowes). Five other vocalists also appear on the album, including members of Besvärjelsen, Skraeckoedlan, Magna Carta Carte, Inter Arma, and Greenleaf. The name of the album is Marine Snow, and it’s set for release by Suicide Records on November 13th.
DEAD SHAPE FIGURE (Finland)
It’s been a while since I’ve thought of this Finnish band, but the memories are good ones, and their new song also provides some symmetry to this collection, linking back to the melodic death metal with which I began. The song, “Composition X“, sparkles and bludgeons in equal measure, its high-spirited momentum is contagious, and the melodic hooks are damned sharp. Moreover, there’s a pleasing proggy quality to the sinuous and scintillating solo, and the two-tone vocals work well (but the bestial ones work especially well).
“Composition X” was released as a single by Inverse Records on September 9th.