SEEN AND HEARD ON A SATURDAY (STILL TOO MANY NAMES TO PUT IN A POST TITLE)
By some kind of industry consensus Fridays have become big days for the release of new music. When you stack a Bandcamp Friday on top of that, you get a deluge of biblical proportions. In an effort to keep up with the torrent, I compiled an extra-large roundup yesterday, but even though it included 14 new songs and videos that I enjoyed it still only scratched the surface. So I decided to do it again today, and to go even bigger, though I didn’t quite make it to Z in the alphabet.
Once again, there are a lot of bigger names in this collection, and once again I’ve injected some lesser-knowns as well. I’ve also included some playthrough videos. There’s not a lot of black metal in the mix, but that’s because tomorrow is Sunday, and you know what that means. Don’t you?
A THOUSAND SUFFERINGS (Belgium)
In this first song the dark, folksy, acoustic opening grabbed me, and then I felt both swept aloft and heart-stricken by the ensuing waves of bleak but grand melody and the shattering screams. The sounds are immense, stately, and emotionally crushing, even with the softer, haunting interstitials that arrive. The music boils over into sounds of torment and fury, and becomes almost hallucinatory in its agony, which makes this rendering of black/doom even more powerful.
From this band’s third album Stilte, set for release on September 24th by Immortal Frost.
THE ABSENCE (U.S.)
Honestly, any excuse to listen to “Echoes” again… but this turns out to be a very good excuse. Watching videos like this, with drummers as good as Jeramie Kling, makes me shake my head in wonder all over again at the endurance required of metal drummers when they play full sets, mixed with wonder at how they can remember everything they’re supposed to do.
Of course, “Echoes” is off the beloved Riders of the Plague, originally released by Metal Blade in 2007.
BLOOD RED THRONE (Norway)
Time for jolting thunder and lightning flashes, and for ravenous gutturals and seething riffage. A vicious and neck-bending piece of work that will jackhammer your feeble skull into fragments, it also incorporates sinister melody and a supernatural-sounding solo. And it’s as infectious as typhus (covid is overworked as a metaphor, don’t you think?) More blood for the blood red throne….
From the album Imperial Congregation, set for release on October 8th by Nuclear Blast.
Next up I chose a video for the second single off the new Cognizance album. The band described the song this way: “It grooves hard, has brutal vocal hooks, colourful harmonies and plenty of Dethklok worship”. All true. Following that Blood Red Throne song, this one will keep your blood pumping. And man, there are more cymbals around that kit than poppies in a Flanders field….
The song is the closing track on the album Upheaval, set for release on September 24th by Prosthetic.
Whoever’s in Cognos is secretive — no idea about their names or locations. However, their motivations have been revealed: “trying to find the balancing point where Gojira meets Vangelis, Peter Gabriel embraces Coroner or even where Enya converses with Opeth… with a possible loose resemblance to Devin Townsend“.
The first song to be revealed is indeed a multi-faceted affair, both in the instrumental elements and in the vocals, and does indeed bear out some of those quoted references. Interesting, even head-spinning, proggy extremity….
From the album Cognos, set for release on October 22nd by Willowtip.
DARK SKY BURIAL (UK)
This is the solo project of Napalm Death’s Shane Embury, presenting music that’s “paranoid hallucinations for some ….therapeutic exorcism for others…”
A suitably dark and trippy video accompanies “Beware Your Subconscious Destroyer“, which is itself dark and trippy — and capable of shaking your whole body with its gargantuan grooves. The song is from the album Vincit Qui Se Vincit, which was released on August 6th and can be streamed in full here:
DEVIANT PROCESS (Canada)
Time for the last of the playthrough videos in this collection, this time featuring guitarists Stéphane Simard and Jean-Daniel Villeneuve (both of whom are also vocalists for this Quebec band). It’s a hell of an electrifying song, and watching the performers is a blast — especially when Villeneuve periodically goes berserk while the rest of the music is grooving and slashing along, and also when these two sync up to become twin spiders on their axes. Oh hell, both of them execute fantastic solos too….
From the album Nurture, set for release on October 15th by Season of Mist.
Prepare to be immediately assaulted by a tornado of fire, and by probably the most viciously unhinged vocals in today’s entire collection. But also be prepared for the tornado to become suddenly extinguished and replaced by eerie, haunting mists. The song will also rock your ass too as it swaggers and thrusts, and needle your teeth like a demon dentist. Some very cool bass work in the mix as well, the kind that makes it even harder to sit still (in the closing segment, sitting still is an impossibility).
From the debut album All This Promiscuous Decadence, set for release on September 15th by Amor Fati Productions.
I thoroughly enjoyed the gory and supernatural animated video that accompanies “Synkverving“. It suits the primitive, sinister nature of this band’s song. Even as the poor protagonist meets his grisly end, he gets the chance (if he weren’t bleeding out) to rock his balls off when the band kick the song into a higher gear.
From the album Welcome To Hel, which was released last November by Nuclear Blast.
As you can see, I felt compelled to include Daniele Valeriani‘s cover art for this one, even though I didn’t have time to present the artwork for everything in today’s collection. The music is also hellish — and hellishly good.
While being subjected to automatic weapon fire and terrorizing roars, you’ll also be shaken like a rag doll, beaten with crowbars, cut up by massed circle-saws, and have your face scorched by acetylene-torch soloing. Keyboard accents and wailing vocals also give the music an unearthly atmosphere, which becomes most pronounced at the end. Black/death madness of a very high order….
From the album The Broken Seal, set for release on September 10th by Dark Descent and Noevdia.
Look who Kam Lee surrounded himself with for Massacre’s new album: Mike Borders (bass), Brynjar Helgeton (drums), Scott Fairfax (guitar solos), Jonny Pettersson (guitars), and Rogga Johansson (guitars).
Immersing themselves in a Lovecraftian theme, this group generates a hard-charging, savage, and gruesome attack (a highly headbangable one) — and then pull back to create a mood of misery and creeping horror. Kam Lee‘s ferocious vocals are spine-tingling throughout.
From the aptly named Resurgence, Massacre’s first album since 2014, set for release on October 22nd by Nuclear Blast.
Now we have a radical change of sound and mood with a new EP by Moray from Provo, Utah. Think of it as a palate cleanser in between a couple of monstrous death metal forays. The first track is a relatively brief dose of astral electronica that’s mesmerizing but also a bit unsettling, and it’s followed by a longer immersion in something closer to dungeon synth that’s also enthralling but even darker in its atmosphere. This, by the way, isn’t what Moray always sound like. Visit their Bandcamp page to see what I mean.
The prolific Rogga Johansson makes a second appearance in today’s collection, teaming up again with Dave Rotten for the first Putrevore album in about six years. The first song is the deliciously named “With Tentacles Adorned” — and man, is it ghastly. Dave Rotten‘s abyssal vocals are completely putrid, like a bubbling vat of viscera, and the riffing is deranged — except when it becomes sickeningly abysmal.
From the album Miasmal Monstrosity, set for release on October 5th by Xtreem Music.
SPIRIT ADRIFT (U.S.)
According to the next video, waking up from the frustrations of your drab office job apparently means kissing women you don’t know, pissing on nice cars, shopping for vintage metal, wandering woodlands while shadowed by something with tentacles, and being taken up into the sky via glowing rays. The song has more hooks than a commercial fishing boat.
From the EP Forge Your Future, set for release on August 27th by Century Media.
Lots of interesting things happen in this next high-speed offering of progressively inclined death metal, but the drumming is so off-the-hook that it threatens to steal the whole show. That’s not intended to take anything away from the nimble bass turns, the writhing, whirling, and darting guitars, or the convincing monstrosity of the vocals, because they’re all pretty eye-opening too.
From the album Ylem, set for release on October 29th by Willowtip.
I decided to end this huge collection with a just-released EP, which first caught my eye because of the people involved in making it (and the label releasing it). The two core members are Greg and Chris (also bandmates in Project For Bastards), and they enlisted a hell of a rhythm section as session musicians — Kévin Paradis (Benighted, Mithridatic) on drums, and Linus Klausenitzer (Alkaloid, ex-Obscura) on bass.
Anchored by that veteran and versatile rhythm section, Vriess have created four generally fast-paced, heavy-grooved, and gripping tracks (with a few sudden twists and turns in both tempo and mood). Pile-driving and pummeling death metal is at the core of the music, embellished with screamed vocals, fleet-fingered but hook-y riffing, and hellaciously extravagant soloing. This is a quickly contagious EP, and one that will leave you a few inches shorter after it finishes jackhammering you into the ground.
I really liked Tronos, and was waiting for a new album…so now he’s calling himself “Dark Sky Burial”…works for me.
I love these huge round ups. Thanks for putting them together. These last two have been most excellent through and through.
Hopefully I can get through the shades of black tonight.
I’m glad you made time to get through these. It’s a lot to take in, and they take a lot of time to prepare, but the positive reaction provides an incentive to keep doing it.
I’m a fan of Spirit Adrift’s previous output, so this is coming from a place of love. I like the energy and the guitar hooks in the new song, but man, the lyrics could hardly be more generic.
Lucifyre is absolutely crushing. I need to revisit their previous records, maybe there was something there that I missed, it didn’t quite make the same impression. As usual, more good music out there than it is possible to fully absorb.
I recognize that the power of the riff is strong with Spirit Adrift, but I’m just never going to be a huge fan of this kind of metal. Purely a matter of personal taste. As for Lvcifyre, I do think this new album is a step up from what they’ve done before.