VIDEOGRAPHY: ISKANDR, GRAFSTROEM, EXISTENCE:VOID, OLYMPUS, THRAXAS
As you may have gathered from my two weekend posts, I spent a lot of time listening to new metal over the last 48 hours. I watched videos for new songs too, and have collected five of those here, which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.
This first video is a fascinating collage of images, with credit for the film going to Teresa Elizabeth Lobos. The music by Iskandr is equally fascinating. It’s the sound of a sinister dream, an embroidery of acoustic chords and ringing guitars, of gritty gargoyle snarls and flesh-flensing screams, of shimmering synths and eerie, mercurial arpeggios. It includes a slower and spellbinding break near the end that features choral vocals and a feeling of rising, ominous grandeur.
But the song has tremendous visceral appeal too, thanks to M. Koop’s simple but compelling drum rhythm, accented by bursts of rumbling double-bass.
The song is from this enigmatic heathen black metal project’s third full-length album, Vergezicht, set for release on September 24 by Haeresis Noviomagi and Eisenwald.
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I heartily welcome the return of Grafstroem, the solo project of Norwegian musician Marco Storm, who was a member of the much-missed Benea Reach (and other groups). Grafstroem’s 2019 debut EP, Chapter One, is well worth tracking down if you haven’t heard it. The first single from a new release, which is the subject of the next video, sounds extremely promising too.
“Eliminare” is also dreamlike — but it’s a tense and harrowing dream — and the rhythms are titanic. Marco’s howling vocals are scarring, and the guitars become searing, yet the song is powerfully immersive. It includes a slow and soft instrumental break too, one which brings together celestial guitar, a smoky saxophone, and a big humming bass. From there, the song unfolds into a magnificent finale.
Like the first offering in today’s collection, this one is accompanied by a fascinating video collage which includes beautiful interpretive dance. It was created by Marco using material from pexels.com. Bravo!
We follow Grafstroem with a video for the song “Old Saint” by the Portuguese avant-garde black metal band Existence:Void. In the video the band members’ faces are mostly obscured, and the faces we can see clearly are adorned by an array of eye-catching masks.
As for the music, it has a changing rhythmic foundation — rocking and skipping and frantically surging — and the music and vocals morph as well. With penetrating power, it sounds brooding and ominous (with ravenous growls) as well as fiery and feverish (with scorching screams and wild yells) — and ultimately deranged. But really, everything sounds menacing, sinister, and otherworldly. On top of all that, the multiple melodic hooks are sharp, and make this a memorable song.
The song comes from an album named Anatman that was just released on July 30th by Nox Liberatio, and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest.
Next up is “Poseidon“, the first lyric video from Gods, the debut album by this French band, which was first digitally released in December of last year but is now getting a physical editions with the help of Heart Of Metal Production.
“Poseidon” is a fashioning of melodic blackened death metal that pummels like hammers, whines like maddened hornets, and growls with the voice of a furious bear, but includes gloriously sweeping synths — the song is about a god, after all. You’ll also reach a point when the song punches in highly headbangable fashion, and then fires like heavy-caliber weaponry as the backdrop for a swirling solo.
The video was directed by Paul Thureau and produced by Obliviart.
And last we have a song by these Australian hard-grooving thrashers that didn’t grab me at first but grew on me more and more as it charged ahead and as I watched all the lovely performers do their thing in the video (which was filmed and edited by Aleks Rad).
It’s a thunderous song that punches damned hard, in a way that provokes a head-moving, toe-tapping, pulse-pounding response, and the guitar soloists get their chances to shine as well. And near the end, you’ll enjoy a jackhammering of your skull, which makes for a fine denouement.