Roadburn Redux is going on right now. It should be a “must watch, must listen” event for me (and for you), but I’ve had too many distractions the last few days to glue myself to my computer and take it all in. Sadly, I can’t do that this weekend either. All I’ve done so far is to check out a few songs and videos, and I’ve included two of those (which were premieres) at the front of today’s round-up — along with a bunch of other good stuff I discovered over the last 24 hours.
To see the full line-up of events at Roadburn Redux go HERE. You’ll see that it includes both live and pre-recorded music, some of it full sets and some of it individual songs and videos, including premieres. You’ll also see that if you have missed something, the streams and videos will remain on-line at the Redux site until the evening of April 20th.
AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN (Netherlands)
Next month this excellent Dutch band will release their ninth album, As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes. At Roadburn Redux they premiered one of its songs along with a video for it. That song, “Melancholia“, is true to its name in some of its moods (which have a wistful quality) — but the rambunctiousness of the rhythm section, the vibrancy of the gleaming guitar harmonies, and the soaring brilliance in the high end are bursting with life (and the strangled harshness of the vocals are vicious).
To watch the video, go HERE. A music-only stream of “Melancholia” is below, along with a video for a previously premiered track from the album, “Carefully Breathing“, which is perhaps more gloomy and angst-ridden than the newest song, but still has an invigorating pulse, and the chiming and swirling melodies are (pardon my cliche) life-affirming.
As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes will be released by Prosthetic Records on May 21st.
THY CATAFALQUE (Hungary)
I’m hoping we will have a review of Thy Catafalque‘s new album Vadak from our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, whose adoration of the band is perhaps more intense than my own (and mine is pretty intense). But that won’t stop me from offering a few words about the latest song premiere from the album, which debuted at Roadburn Redux with an engrossing video.
That song, “Szarvas“, is the album opener. Its long opening movement is heavy on electronics, a blend of spritely darting tones and punchy percussive beats. When the pulverizing distorted chords intrude, it’s a bit of a shock. And although the flickering keyboards persist, the blasting drums and scathing riffage make the song much heavier and more harrowing. The rhythm guitar and the hammering snare set up a compulsive pulse while the lead guitar is a scintillating (and increasingly feverish) spectacle.
The scathing vocals don’t arrive until nearly three minutes into the song, later joined by chant-like male and female singing. The song’s rushing, pulse-punching momentum never really slows, and there’s a great guitar solo lying in wait as well.
To listen to the song and watch the wonderful Guilherme Henriques video, which is mysterious and fascinating, go here:
Vadak will be released by Season of Mist on June 25th.
Although the NCS in-box has been peppered with press releases about the new album from Akiavel (I count 15 of them since the end of February), I still neglected to check out the music until my friend and fellow blogger Justin C. urged me to do so, offering special mention of the singer Auré’s impressive harsh-vocal range. Having now taken in the two tracks from the album that are currently out in the world, I agree that her vocals are indeed attention-grabbing
The first track, which came out with a video, is “Frozen Beauties“, which takes as its chilling subject matter the cannibalistic mother-daughter serial killers Ivanova and Olga Tamarin. The memorable opening riff (which digs in its hooks every time it reappears) creates am anguished mood, but the song builds tension, and savagely batters, jolts, and swarms too.
Continuing to mine the horrors of serial killers (as does the album as a whole), the second song premiere from the album, “Pentagram Tattoo“, concerns Richard Ramirez, who drew pentagrams on the flesh and bedroom walls of some of his victims. After a ghastly bit of distorted vocals, the song kicks in the turbochargers and flies in an electrifying burst of vicious, adrenaline-fueled mayhem. It includes some jackhammering, spine-shaking grooves to go along with the mad and mauling ferocity.
The name of the new album is Væ Victis, and it will be released on April 23rd.
This Slovenian band produced their earliest releases under the name Teleport but changed that to Siderean for the release of their debut album, Lost on Void’s Horizon. The new album’s title track really popped my eyes open, which is why I’ve chosen it as the next item in today’s collection.
Prepare for a labyrinthine nine minutes of progressive death metal that features mesmerizing guitar work that’s both eerie and serpentine as well as jittery and frenzied, plus relentlessly exhilarating drum and bass performances and rabid vocals. The music is often disturbingly hallucinatory in its mercurial, minor-key guitar maneuvers, but also viscerally compulsive. When the spirited energy of the song diminishes, the swath of ambient sounds is both abrasive and astral, and from there the band seamlessly transition into more aggressive territory, but manage to maintain the chilling air of mystery and peril while getting the listener’s blood pumping and head spinning again.
Lost on Void’s Horizon will be released by Edged Circle Productions on June 25th (with cool cover art courtesy of Fernando JFL).
VIOLATED GRAVE (U.S.)
AvantCore Anonymous is a recording project based in Asheville, North Carolina, organized and produced by local musician and producer TJ Burns. The objective, as disclosed on AvantCore’s Bandcamp page, is to provide a means “for Asheville musicians to anonymously recording extreme genres of music ranging from Death and Black Metal, grindcore, hardcore, blackened post-punk, and more”. What I’ve heard so far is a self-titled debut EP by Violated Grave — and it’s really good.
It makes a good follow-on to that Siderean track because although the music is a savage death metal attack — complete with bearlike roars, leonine howls, skull-busting drumwork, and bowel-loosening bass — it’s loaded with inventive (but infectious) fretwork machinations and compulsive, turn-on-a-dime rhythmic variations that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as eye-opening guitar soloing that varies from progressively inclined exercises to supernatural radiations and white-hot fret-melters.
No idea, of course, who’s in this band, but coming straight out of the deep blue sky they’ve landed a very impressive EP that I’ve quickly become addicted to.
Violated Grave was released on April 14th and is available as a “name your own price” download.
This Polish band are celebrating their tenth anniversary with a two-stage sequence of releases. For Stage I they recently made digital releases of songs from a forthcoming split with Moupoger, and those songs feature Marcin Brzeźnicki from Mass Insanity on vocals, plus a 6-track EP entitled [mind] that had previously been available only as a YouTube stream. Honestly, I’m not entirely clear whether the songs on [mind] are also part of the Moupoger split or not. All the music has also now been made available on a multitude of streaming services.
I’m afraid I don’t have time for even a moderately detailed dissection of everything here (it took me one very long paragraph just to grapple with the inspired madness of the single track “[Zero Sum Game]” when I came across it last month. I’ll just urge you to set aside the time necessary to absorb these two EP-length releases, plus some additional time to recover from the music’s brute-force bludgeoning and its manifold mind-mangling qualities (which include thoroughly deranged vocals). And don’t be surprised if a lot of this unpredictable, riotously multi-faceted lunacy gets stuck in your head.
WINTER ETERNAL (Greece -> Scotland)
For the closing song in today’s round-up I decided to get a head-start on tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column, with the title track from Winter Eternal‘s third album, Land of Darkness.
I get wonderful Dissection vibes from the icy yet blazing, sweeping yet dancing, melodic riffing in the song (and from the album art), but the bass work (which actually begins the song) is worth close attention too. The music has the capacity to sweep a listener off their feet — it seems to channel both fiery triumph and wrenching anguish, and the harsh vocals are frighteningly furious — but it ends in a softer, layered instrumental harmony that’s simply sublime.
Land of Darkness will be released by Hells Headbangers on June 4th.