SEEN AND HEARD: ERDVE, AMENRA, BLACK ROYAL, SARINVOMIT, BLEEDING MALICE, SORROW ENTHRONED
Last night I had time to bounce around among the links I had saved to new songs, but still only scratched the surface. I decided to select these six recent tracks, five of which come with videos, in anticipation that they will bounce you around too.
My friend Rennie exclaimed this on starkweather’s FB page about the first item in today’s collection: “Erdve and Season of Mist have launched another video attack. ‘Sugretinimas‘ is obscenely heavy. Something like Cop era Swans crossed with a death metal guitar tone pushed to Endon levels of noise. Jesus fucking Christ.”
I don’t personally know what it sounds like when giant excavating machines scour stone from quarries and titanic processing machines then grind the chunks into rubble, but I’m guessing this song comes close to that experience. You can also imagine the tortured inner screaming of the protagonist in the excellent video by listening to the song. He escapes, but there’s no sense of escape in the music.
Erdve’s new album is entitled Savigaila (“self-pity”). It will be released by Season of Mist on July 23.
Now for your first bounce, or more like a dose of sonic whiplash, a shift into moody, meditative, and mysterious softness, accompanied by ingenious and enthralling imagery (infuriatingly interrupted by the insertion of ads when viewed on YouTube — shame on Relapse Records for doing that). More than six minutes in, a slow drumbeat emerges along with distant ringing keys and the ethereal tones of singing. At eight minutes in, finally, things get massively heavier and more searing, and then more bereft (the video imagery is still fantastic).
Amenra’s new album is De Doorn, with a release date of June 25th via Relapse.
BLACK ROYAL (Finland)
The last song was intensely immersive, the next one (also paired with a video) rocks out. But make no mistake, even with the big, thick, head-moving riffs and body-battering drums, the song also delivers ominous coiling tension, bludgeoning bleakness, wrenching massed vocal intensity, and haunting melancholy (it is named “Seance” for a reason). Not sure I will ever get to see Black Royal live, but at least from the video I have an idea how much fun that would be, even in an old barn.
“Seance” is a new single being released today, originally recorded during the Firebride sessions. It’s available on Bandcamp.
The next song switches gears again, at first stomping and swaggering and then flying like a glorious bat out of hell. When the band accelerate, drums hammering and vocals spewing vitriolic fire, the riffing rises high in savage ecstasy and dips low in cold cruelty. A swirling melody channels fear and anguish; a wild, fret-melting solo sends the music soaring again; and the super-heated, adrenaline-pumping extravagance of the song then stays in the red zone ’til the end. A ferocious, thrilling, and quickly addictive track from a band I’ve learned to seize upon whenever they come out with something new.
“Impaling the Pilgrims on Stakes” comes from Sarinvomit’s forthcoming second full-length, Awaken Ye Impious Hordes of Shaitan, to be released by Blasphemous Art Records.
BLEEDING MALICE (Belarus)
For the next selection I chose another song that’s paired with a video, this time a lyric video. “Stillborn Hope” is as bleak as its title suggests. Clanging discordant guitars convey hopelessness; roaring, scalding vocals radiate frustration, fury, and pain; writhing riffs and moaning reverberations manifest turmoil and madness.But with jolting, start-stop percussive attacks and bullet-spitting blasts the song also inflicts a severe beating.
This one is the second single from an album named The Kingdom Come, which will be released on August 6th.
SORROW ENTHRONED (U.S.)
One more twist in the road. In its mercurial maneuverings, this final song is sinister, hallucinatory, and populated by demonic and vampyric vocals. Dismal and demented at first, it gradually spins up into episodes of hellish carnival ebullience, squirms and quivers like a madman feverishly pulling the wings from flies, and seems to wander through a labyrinth of horrors. The strange riff that opens the song flows through it in various mutated forms, and manages to get under the skin.
As you can see from the accompanying video, the lyrics of this Connecticut black/death band’s new single speak of the dead rising from their hellish pits and feasting upon the flesh of humankind. The song appears on a new album named The Grave of Endless Writhing that’s being released today, though I haven’t yet heard it.