(Here’s another Friday round-up of new music compiled by Seattle-based NCS contributor Gonzo.)
I, for one, am looking forward to cooler weather.
Not only will cooler temperatures bring about an overdue ending of the wildfires currently making life miserable for the Northwest, but also an ideal environment for listening to your audial brutality of choice.
And while it’s certainly kvlt as fuck to stand in the middle of a Norwegian forest in corpse paint and spiky gauntlets while cranking up the lo-fi black metal, it’s by no means required. Some of this week’s new releases may inspire it, though.
TOMORROW’S RAIN: “MISERY RAIN”
I guess I can’t get away from weather references this week. Overuse of metaphors aside, Tel Aviv’s Tomorrow’s Rain have just released their debut album, Hollow, and it’ll immediately appeal to fans of Draconian and early Paradise Lost.
Listening to this track reminds me of “10 Silver Bullets” by Swallow the Sun. Slow, thick grooves carve their way through themes of loss, depression, and suicide, with some quieter moments laced in throughout.
DARKENED: “1000 YEARS”
Melodic death metal has had a banner year, and there might be no better example of that achievement than Kingdom of Decay, the debut album from the Swedish machine known as Darkened.
With members having names such as Dismember, Memoriam, Bolt Thrower, Grave, and This Ending on their resumes, this band fuses everything that made their previous outfits so essential and blends it with a ferocious new-school approach to songwriting. Tempos twist and turn over the course of each song while being driven by pounding staccato riffs and absolutely killer production value, with vocalist Gord Olson’s throaty roar sounding like it could peel the paint off a bomb shelter.
Really, I could’ve picked any track from Kingdom of Decay, because this entire album is a fucking tour de force, but “1000 Years” is as good a place to start as any.
The Colorado post-black metal unit sound refreshed and rejuvenated with their newest track. The first half of this one reminds me of a more upbeat version of Watain’s “They Rode On,” with the second half cascading into something that sounds like vintage Agalloch.
Call it post-black metal, call it “frontier metal,” call it whatever you want, but “Vaudeville” might quietly be this band’s most ambitious work yet. One listen to this 10 minutes and 17 seconds of a journey is most definitely not enough; put this one on repeat and I can all but guarantee you’ll catch things you didn’t on the previous listen. The song is taken off the band’s upcoming album A Romance With Violence, due on October 16.
CARCASS: “THE LONG AND WINDING BIER ROAD”
While COVID-19 delayed the release of the UK legends’ new album Torn Arteries indefinitely, Jeff Walker & co. threw together four new songs for an EP called Despicable. “The Long and Winding Bier Road” is part of that release, and though it’s not the galloping beast that “Under the Scalpel Blade” is, this track is just as solid as everything the band offered on 2013’s Surgical Steel.
I’m not going to tell anyone anything they don’t know about Carcass here, but it seems the band have taken their time with new music since Steel, and the results are exactly what you’d expect: some of the best riffs and songwriting you’ll hear anywhere in modern metal. I have a feeling Despicable is destined to hit the top of “EP of the year” lists.