SHADES OF BLACK (PART 1): WESENWILLE, DAI-ICHI, LAMP OF MURMUUR, PAN-AMERIKAN NATIVE FRONT, QWÄLEN, SURUT, NAARKAS
What you have before you is a selection of advance tracks from forthcoming releases and, at the end, the stream of a new EP. If that weren’t enough to occupy you (and it probably is), I have in mind a second part to this column that includes a bunch of complete new releases, most of which I found stupendously unsettling but also fascinating. Since I haven’t put that Part together yet, I can’t confidently say when you’ll see it, but by tomorrow at the latest.
The first track I’ve picked, “The Descent“, exhibits some favorable developments as compared to this Utrecht duo’s first album, which caught our attention in 2018 and is still worth your time. The new song is a scorcher but also adventurous, creating moods that are dismal and twisted, as well as maniacally glorious and chillingly hallucinatory. The tempos and riffing are in constant flux, while the vocals are perpetually unhinged in their fury. The blazing yet bleak finale is downright breathtaking.
Photo by Hugh Jansman
The song is off Wesenwille’s second album, II: A Material God, which will be released by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions on March 12th.
(My thanks to both eiterorm and Jelmer for pointing me to this track.)
DAI-ICHI (?) / LAMP OF MURMUUR (U.S.)
Next up are two songs from a forthcoming split named Virgin Womb of Eternal Black Terror, one track by each band.
dai-ichi‘s song, “Pesuto no jidai no ai” is a full-throttle discharge of jet-fast drums, agile bass lines, ravenous shrieks, and raw, ravishing riffage that channels a kind of blazing grandeur. The band break into an ominous, stomping, neck-bending march accented by a screaming solo, and then throw open the door to their adrenaline-fueled blast furnace once again. Take deep breaths before you listen.
The song from Lamp of Murmuur‘s side of the split, “Curse of Silent Thunder“, is longer and more diverse than dai-ichi‘s tirade. It follows a scampering beat and a fast-pulsing riff at first, but after a feverish bridge it becomes battering and crazed. The bass relentlessly bubbles, the drumming hammers and then canters, the riffing swarms and blares, the vocals are a scathing terror. In the middle, when the pace slows, the music becomes cold, supernatural, and haunting, yet full of menace. You should take breaths before you listen to this thriller too.
These songs premiered exclusively at The Call of the Night, along with some well-written impressions, so for now you’ll have to go there to listen to them. Virgin Womb of Eternal Black Terror will be released on April 1st in different editions by a trio of labels.
US cassette: https://www.folkvangrrecords.com/
EU cassette: https://www.bilenoire.com/
Digital (upon release): https://folkvangrrecords.bandcamp.com/album/virgin-womb-of-eternal-black-terror
PAN-AMERIKAN NATIVE FRONT (U.S.)
The next song, “Battle of the Wabash“, commemorates “the greatest indigenous military victory against a United States army at the Battle of the Wabash under the valiant leadership of Little Turtle and Blue Jacket.” The opening riff rings with penetrating impact, seeming to channel intense anguish. After a dead stop, the drum cadence follows a militaristic pattern and the riffing becomes more immersive and magnetic. There’s a sense of tragic grandeur in these sweeping sounds, as well as sensations of torrential conflict and grim, defiant determination. The vocals , meanwhile, are absolutely shattering, and the song will also get your head moving.
The track comes from Little Turtle’s War, an album that’s projected for release on vinyl by the band on February 28th and through a consortium of labels that includes Les Fleurs du Mal Productions, Stygian Black Hand, Charon’s Bell Curations, Eye And Ear Control Records, and Death Kvlt Productions. Pre-orders will begin on February 5th.
And in other welcome news I saw that Pan-Amerikan Native Front will be releasing a split named Immortal Ceremonies with Kommodus. That’s anticipated to happen in the spring or summer of this year via Goatowarex.
PAN-AMERIKAN NATIVE FRONT:
STYGIAN BLACK HAND:
“Unohdan sinut” is the title track to this Finnish quintet’s forthcoming debut album. With very little warning the song leaps forward in a mauling storm of sound, frenzied and frantic and destructive. The shrieking vocals are intense enough to strip paint from walls, which is fitting, given how feverishly intense the music is. The band do pick a moment to hammer your skull, and there are others in which their punk influences come to the fore, but they never really restrain the track’s energy, which is ferocious.
Unohdan sinut will be released by Time To Kill Records on February 19th. We will be premiering a full stream on February 17th.
The Petrichor label describes Surut as “Intoxicating, energetic, experimental and emotional Blackened Hardcore/Blackgaze from Tampere, Finland! Harder than nails, colder than winter.”
The Surut song below, “Vihollinen“, definitely includes a vibrant, intoxicating drum-and-bass rhythm, one that’s guaranteed to get your body moving. And around those compulsive beats, the guitars deliver clanging chords and rippling leads that are themselves seductive — though the screamed vocals are ear-shredding. The rhythm section eventually morph in different ways, but they remain a riveting presence, and the song also brings in elements reminiscent of crazed, noisy math rock.
This track comes from a self-titled EP, set for a vinyl release on February 12th.
Hammerheart Store: https://bit.ly/36bKJ8e
Napalm Records Europe/World: https://bit.ly/39gJuqf
Napalm Records USA: https://bit.ly/2MoNVGm
To conclude Part 1 of today’s column is the EP I promised. The band is a Danish duo consisting of Danni Storm (of the punk band Ond Tro) and Olle Bergholz (who also seems to be a member of Ond Tro but is probably better known to metalheads as a member of Slægt).
These four songs are a blend of raw black metal and crust punk, heavy as hell, dirty with distortion, and also highly infectious. It’s not happy music by a long shot (the reverberating shrieked vocals alone banish any such thought), but as persistently bleak, bruising, and gut-rumbling as the songs are, the band do bury their riff-hooks pretty deep, and they pick their moments to erupt in displays of violent rampage (as at the end of the second track) and pulse-pounding ebullience (especially in the third track). The closing track incorporates all these sensations, and includes a surprising (and dour) piano outro.
The name of the EP is Slangen, and it was released on January 29th (vinyl and digital) by Strange Aeons Records.
Wow. “Pan Amerikan Native Front”. What a bizarre, almost divisive and seditious thing to build “art” around these days. The battle of the Wabash was a fluke, an ersatz triumph over a fledgling, under-equipped, under trained, underfed, small US Army detachment.