SEEN AND HEARD: NECROPHOBIC, DEMONICAL, PROFANITY, GAEREA, APPARITION
This is pretty much a DGR round-up, since it was he who urged the first three new songs and videos in this collection. They’re all from bands who’ve been around for a long time, from 14 years to more than 30 years (but are still kicking ass). To justify my own existence, I picked two more, one from a more obscure band than those first three but whose name is rising fast, and a second from an even more obscure name that I suspect will soon become better-known.
I have approximately 53 other new songs I’d also like to share with you. Maybe later. There’s a fly that’s making the rounds on the morning news interviews, so I need to check that out.
“Devil’s Spawn Attack” is the closing track on Necrophobic’s new album, Dawn of the Damned. I smell a review simmering in the NCS mess hall that questions the wisdom of that choice — not a question about the quality of the song (which is damned good), but about its position in the running order. But I’ll let that writer speak for himself in due course; maybe he’ll change his mind. Meanwhile, I’ll speak my own mind.
“Devil’s Spawn Attack” features a two-pronged vocal attack, pairing the band’s frontman Anders Strokirk with Schmier from the German thrash legends Destruction, and in the video below you can watch them go at it in the recording studio, along with the other members of Necrophobic.
As mentioned, it’s a damned good, hard-driving, pulse-elevating song — maniacal but memorable. What really sealed the deal for me on the song was the sequence launched by a terrific solo and completed by a dual-guitar melody.
Dawn of the Damned is being released by Century Media today.
Speaking of new music from well-established Swedish bands, Demonical released another single from their new album World Domination a few days ago. This one, which was presented through a lyric video, is named “Aeons of Death“.
World Domination marks the debut for vocalist Christofer Sätderdal, and his inflamed growls work very well for Demonical. Everything else about the song works well too, from the massive, bone-grinding impact of the HM-2-powered riffing to the preternatural freakishness of the leads and the squalling misery in the extended guitar solo. The music mauls, mutilates, and crushes, and simultaneously generates an utterly hopeless mood.
The new album also marks the return of original drummer Ronnie Bergerstål. It will be released on October 23rd by Agonia Records.
This next song, “Towards the Sun“, is also presented through a lyric video. It’s a bit older than the first two singles in today’s collection, having surfaced during the last week in September. The first single from Profanity’s forthcoming fourth album, it features guest solos by Decrepit Birth’s Matt Sotelo and guest vocals by Dima from Fetal Decay.
Prepare to have your brain scrambled by rapid tempo shifts, morphing drum patterns and vocal expulsions, and a cornucopia of darting, flickering, noodling, and nefarious guitar acrobatics. The guitar solo is a shrieker, and suits the savage craziness of the song quite well. It’s an exhilarating experience, though you’ll have to set aside some time to un-knot your brain afterwards.
The new album is named Fragments of Solace, and it’s projected for release in late November or early December. “Towards the Sun” is available at Bandcamp as a single.
You want a grim message? How about this one:
“The Only theme is Human Suffering as Life is hollow and useless. In a very practical way, some would claim there wouldn’t be such worse ending than death. Yet, the Nightmare of Existence itself is as unbearable as pure extinction.”
Those are among the words with which Gaerea introduced their new video for “Urge“, a track off their July 2020 album Limbo. The video continues the band’s productive partnership with director Guilherme Henriques. My first crippled thought was that it’s easy to maintain social distancing when you have an entire opera house to yourself, and of course the band members are all masked. Yes, there is something wrong with my mind.
The band may have been safe in the filming, but there’s nothing safe about the song. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a conflagration of fury, but one that also manages to incorporate a heart-breaking melody that’s just as striking as the bonfire around it.
Limbo is out now on Season of Mist.
To close, I’ve selected Granular Transformation, a two-track EP that appears to be the debut release of this Los Angeles band. It was just released today, and I only learned about it thanks to an automatic e-mail alert when Profound Lore launched the Bandcamp page for it. Beyond that, I haven’t discovered any other info about the band or its members
Both songs are riveting upheavals, punishing in their power and morbid in their mood. Heartless roars echo from within mausoleum walls, drums boom like mortar fire, chords viciously vibrate like bone saws doing their work on living meat, melodies ooze from within like the spread of gangrene, solos go off in deranged fireworks displays. The band attacks with vicious abandon and then drag broken listeners by their hair through the suppurating thickness of charnel house viscera.
In other words, this is a damned good offering of scabrous, doomy death metal, thrilling in its frenzies and soul-crushing in its crawling miseries. Profound Lore is releasing it digitally and on 7″ vinyl.
I can’t get over that goddamn Gaerea video. They are masters at emoting behind masks. The Necrophobic song is a hell of a lot of fun too.
“…masters at emoting behind masks” — that is definitely true and something I should have noted in what I wrote. Just as important as that gorgeous setting in the video.