As you can see, this is Part 2 of the weekly column I began yesterday. Because I’m hurrying to finish it before turning to the usual Monday flurry of activity at our site, I’ll dispense with any further introduction and get right to the music.
On August 10th this Greek black metal band will commemorate its 20th anniversary of existence by releasing a new album named Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind Will Follow Part II, which arrives a dozen years after Part I. It consists of two long songs, the first of which premiered yesterday at Metal Addicts through a video made by Nikolaos Stavridakis (VisionBlack), which builds upon artwork created by Georgios Gyzis (aka Bacchus of the black metal band Grab).
The opening song, “Suicide And The Rest Of Your Kind Will Follow: The Red Lake Of Your Innocence”, begins with an intense inner monologue, whose words of disgusted realization are shadowed by sounds of distant thunder and drizzling rain and by a sad but enthralling acoustic melody. What happens next is a night-and-day change in intensity. The voice of Dødsferd‘s main man Wrath pitches into the kind of shattering agony that makes one imagine vocal chords exploding into bloody shreds, and the cascades of fuzzed riffing and glimmering leads channel wrenching heartbreak.
As this long song flows on, surging and ebbing over rhythms that amble and race, the music morphs through moods of wistfulness and pain, grief and despair, accented again by somber acoustic melodies, harrowing spoken words (which point the way to a hopeless but determined revelation about fake idols and false hopes), thrilling leads, and mystic synths. When the sounds soar and sear, feelings of yearning and maybe even triumph also emerge. As ravaging as the vocals are, it’s easy to become immersed in the song and enthralled by it, falling prey to the rocking and ravishing rhythms and to the “warm” embrace of the soulful yet desperate music.
The second song on the album, “Servants of Ego and Filth: The Bastard Sons of Nature“, brings into play similar ingredients, with similar emotional impact, but adds mournful cello melodies to the acoustic strumming and picking, as well as heavier, more abrasive riffing, drumming that seems to pack a heavier punch, and beautiful, heart-felt singing. Inviting and enthralling melodies (albeit very dark ones) are still abundant, along with those soul-splintering vocals, but the music is also more discordant in its renditions of downfall and despair.
As downcast as the song is, it also seems to fight — the feelings of yearning and determination come through again — and the music also glitters like stars, accompanied by an entrancing flute melody that adds sensations of wonder. The song is elaborate in its musical textures, which include a musing bass solo and saxophone accents, and formidably plotted so as to keep you in thrall to it as it tells its bleak and haunting tale. The refrain of the closing sequence is especially compelling, and the layered guitars in the finale are gripping — but so is the whole song.
In a nutshell, it’s easy to fall headlong into this album and to lose yourself in it — not something to be sampled or explored if you’re in a hurry, but instead to be experienced thoroughly and deeply. Both disturbing and mesmerizing, it won’t leave you as it found you, but instead becomes transformative.
On the new album Wrath was accompanied by Sarvok (Bass, Solo and Lead Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Feedback, Cello, Keyboards, Flute, Saxophone, and Sound Design) and by drummer N.D.
TUMBA DE CARNE (Argentina)
If you listened to Dødsferd‘s music, it might be best to take a break before experiencing “Odian“, because the transition is jarring. There’s something about the continually changing drum patterns and constantly twisting guitar work that’s destabilizing and frighteningly hallucinatory. The separate instruments sometimes seem to have minds of their own, each pursuing their own paths in ways that create odd contrasts while the vocalist roars and screams his (their?) tirades, occasionally brought back together to inflict severe beatings on the listener.
The moods of the music are in constant flux. When the cavorting and careening maneuvers of the instrumentalists become less frantic, the sounds become dissonant and discordant, creating queasy feelings of tension and derangement, augmented by eerie, theremin-like vibrations. The whole thing is so weird and yet paradoxically entrancing that my first impulse after hearing it was to track it a couple more times — which was a good decision. It repays further attention.
The song is from this band’s debut album Decatexis // Perpetuo Altar, set for release on September 24 by Lavadome Productions.
(I learned about this single thanks to a recent post on starkweather’s Facebook page, which included these words: “Pure fucking mayhem. Mylingar styled vomit vocals over an almost teched out war metal hybrid.”)
And to close, I’ve chosen a lyric video for a powerful new song by Waldgeflüster named “Im Ebersberger Forst“. This long song is full of contrasts. It includes riotous drumming, scalding screams, and cold growls, but also vast cinematic waves of melancholy melody, ringing, head-moving chords, and somber spoken words. It mounts surges of hammering and bracing intensity coupled with spine-tingling singing, and softens through combinations of acoustic guitar and gossamer, celestial keys. There’s beautiful, though despondent guitar soloing to be found, and flares of shimmering though tragic glory, as well as moods of stately, gloom-shrouded reverence.
Much like the music of Dødsferd that began this collection, “Im Ebersberger Forst” is a wholly immersive and enthralling experience that’s capable of taking you out of yourself for as long as it lasts.
For those who don’t read German, an English translation of the lyrics accompanies the video at YouTube (here). They provide an interesting meditation on the value of the “old world”, the pagan world of myths and legends, of spirits and beings that you might still feel lurking in ancient forests, but also on the need to make a new world, as stated in the closing stanza:
Because a corset too tight never suited anyone
it’s up to us not to forget but to also build something new
Who only lives within the past loses tomorrow
and eternal standstill can rip off the strongest home
This is the first single taken from the upcoming album Dahoam, to be released on September 24th by AOP Records.