For the second weekend in a row I made no NCS posts, and this time I didn’t even explain why. The reason was that I took a short vacation with my spouse and friends and spent the weekend in the beautiful wine country around Walla Walla, Washington. There was copious drinking, eating, and sleeping. The covid-related opportunity to average 80 mph (129 kph) driving the 260 miles there and back again was kind of thrilling all by itself. Everything we did was socially distanced (and with only one exception our eating and drinking was done outside), everyone there was masked up, and it felt safe. It was all great, but the weekend left no time for listening to music or writing.
I got back home in one piece late Sunday afternoon, and to extend the holiday my wife and I went out to dinner at a restaurant near where we live that had just re-opened for in-door service. We were the only customers in the entire restaurant, so that felt safe too, though I was sad for them.
With all that behind me, I felt compelled to start this new week at NCS with a selection of new music. Having spent no time this weekend digging deep into what has surfaced over the last week, I made some truly random choices based on some very scattered listening early this morning. But of course I really like what I found, especially because all the songs serendipitously fit together so well.
You can count on Undergang. You can count on them to get your head bobbing like a cork in a vat of filthy, frothy sewerage while a monster growls and roars at you from abyssal depths. This devouring new song is uglier than a gargoyle, but it has visceral rhythmic power, and the squirmy leads, while unmistakably diseased, seem bizarrely joyful. It’s a great way to jump-start your pulse at the beginning of another work-week in a dismal epoch.
The song is “Menneskeæder“. Google Translate renders it from Danish into English as “human-eating”, which sounds about right. (I admit that I searched for the meaning before inserting the word “devouring” in the last paragraph.) It’s the first advance track from a new album named Aldrig i livet (“never in my life”, according to Google), which will be released on December 4th by Dark Descent and Me Saco Un Ojo Records.
And it comes with a nasty, blood-soaked video filmed and edited by Martin Goltermann/Muskerdonner Medier.
I picked this song to follow Undergang in part because of the similarity in the guitar tone — which is grotesquely distorted and gut-churning — and because it will keep your pulse rate at a high level as it assaults the senses. The sharp tone of the clattering snare creates a good contrast with the roiling, gravel-chewing immensity of the riffage, as does the bizarre shrieking sound of the freakish leads. Speaking of freakish, the hideous roars and howls that pass for vocals are thoroughly crazed. The whole song is crazed, and ruinous in a very good way, right up to the gruesome miasma of musical misery that ushers the track to a close.
The song is “Partitioned by Severity“. It comes from an EP by these terrifying Texans named Scythe Wings of Poisonous Decay, which will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on December 4th.
KAAL AKUMA (Bangladesh)
I think you’ll be able to quickly guess why I picked “In the Mouth of Madness” to follow the first two songs in this collection. Again, the distortion in the guitar tone is pleasingly massive and mutilating, creating visions of a giant excavating machine quarrying rock with jittery, maniacal energy. The screeching string mutilations that spear out of that rampaging destruction, and the rumbling riot of the rhythm section, add to the feeling of madness, while the vocals channel sadistic cruelty.
When the music becomes less frenzied, it becomes more gruesome and pestilential, dragging itself forward like a suppurating beast moaning and gurgling its last breaths (the vocals are especially grotesque in that sequence). The slow wailing melody that eventually wafts upward like a narcotic vapor adds a dimension of exotic, spectral atmosphere before the band give you a final dose of rampaging lunacy.
There’s another song from the same album in the player below — “Black Death Sacrifice” — and it’s also tremendously good. Among other things, it includes a brutal, pile-driving sequence that’s a real spine-smasher, as well as especially horrifying vocals, riveting work by the rhythm section, and episodes of guitar torture that are blood-freezing. Both tracks come from an album also named In the Mouth of Madness, which is the debut fulllength of this Bangladeshi band. It will be released by Dunkelheit Produktionen on December 24th, just in time to ruin Christmas.
(Huge thanks to Miloš for pointing me to this deliciously terrifying music.)