As you can see, I found time to stitch together another round-up of new music today. As usual, it barely scratches the surface of new songs and videos I’ve spotted this week, but I thought the choices would collectively give our visitors whiplash, and it pleased me to think so.
The music I’ve chosen for today comes from three pre-established personal favorites and one newcomer that’s already made a very positive first impression.
GOAT TORMENT (Belgium)
We begin with a supercharged adrenaline rush, a track that delivers storming, Marduk-like sonic warfare which marries bullet-spitting and bomb-throwing drums, wild, incendiary riffing, dominating vocal savagery, and an exotic wailing solo with an Arabian flare.
“Forked Tongues” is the name of the song, and it’s the title track from an album by these formidable Belgian black metallers that’s set for release by Season of Mist on October 29th.
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The next song, which marks the eagerly awaited return of these Olympian death-dealers, is morbid and miasmic, spine-shaking and skull-splitting. The riffing maniacally roils and brutally pounds, with both febrile and fluid guitar accents that radiate vicious cruelty and wailing misery from beyond the grave, and scream in lunatic ecstasy. Capped by hideously abyssal gutturals, this is the stuff of thrilling nightmares.
“Eternal Procession” is from the album Preserved In Torment, which is set for release by Profound Lore on November 5th.
The first of the three public songs that I sampled from this Wisconsin band’s forthcoming debut album was “The Observable Universe“, and it knocked me for a loop. The drumming gallops like wild stallions and blisters like a machine-gun while the guitarists blaze and freakishly dart about with angular abandon. Little tinkling tones surface and then turn into ear-abrading screams. Eventually, a scorching, bestial voice joins the fray, just as the music becomes more vast and eerie above gut-busting bursts of weaponized percussion. Woozy and wriggling solos flare in the music, backed by brutish pile-driving grooves, which seems to cause the vocalist to completely lose his mind.
The other two tracks now available for streaming, “Lurking in the Boötes Void” and “Planet Storm“, display a similarly head-spinning, head-butting mix of crazed yet catchy technicality, punishing grooviness, captivating keyboards, and overarching off-planet atmosphere, but each of those nevertheless includes its own distinctive accents. The former, for example, brings in an enthralling, swirling, guitar melody near the end that leads into a grandiose theatrical finale, while the band intersperse the racing momentum of the latter with a sorcerous guitar melody and companion solo that get stuck in the head immediately.
The album is itself named Planet Storm, and it’s set for release on September 17.
TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER (UK)
In today’s previous album premiere I made an attempt at humor by referring to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster — not the band who took that name in 2008 with the aim of “creating epic soundtracks for terrible events”, but the terrible event itself. And if you don’t know anything about the event, let me explain:
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a twin suspension bridge that crosses Puget Sound south of where I live, connecting the city of Tacoma to the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, as a single suspension bridge, the third longest suspension bridge in the world at that time. Only four months later, on the morning of November 7, it collapsed under high wind conditions. The collapse was caught on film, and the sight of a large concrete and steel structure twisting like a rubber band is still a freakish thing to watch. The bridge was replaced 10 years later, but the collapse still resonates as an example of man-made creations succumbing to the power of nature.
So, that’s why I used the incident as an exaggerated reference point for what might have seemed to be our own ineptness, but in doing so I was reminded that I hadn’t yet written anything about this UK band’s newest album, The World Inside, which was released on August 19th. Now seemed like as good a time as any, especially since it provides another twist in this twisty-turny musical collection.
The band offer a linguistic introduction to the album, and I quote it here not only because it’s depressingly true and provides an insight into the songs, but also because it displays an intelligence at work that carries over to the music:
“Whether biologically or socially, we seem to be trapped, each of us, in our own little subjective fantasy that leads to post-truth phenomenon, that leads to tribe-against-tribe political systems, and that facilitates chaos and its journey throughout our lives.
“Socially we seem to project our interpretation of the world around us, onto everyone else, and we expect them to think and feel the same things. And if they don’t, we judge them defective or deficient in some way. There’s a lot of talk in the air about tribalism and post-truth era and all that kind of thing. But essentially whatever it is… we’re doing it to ourselves.”
In keeping with that preamble, the six songs on The World Inside, most of which are much longer than average, are shadowed by a recurring atmosphere of downfall that’s often ominous and frightening. But having said that, they are also overflowing with delights, from the rhythm section’s ever-morphing and tightly executed grooves, which irresistibly lock arms with our reptile brains like the best of funk and prog combined, to the sparkling fretwork and the sweeping synth uplifts.
The dynamism of the music is perpetual. It all hangs together (there are in fact hooks galore), but every song is a mind-bending excursion. It’s easy to be drawn in, and then carried away through the ebbs and flows, through the glittering lightness and the jolting heaviness, sailing away on brilliant seas, jumping like grease in the fryer, becoming awe-struck by cosmic wonders suddenly made closer, being thrown off-balance by earthquakes, and feeling the sweating seizures of some… contagion.
Many of the extremists who visit our site no doubt have a low tolerance for instrumental music (and I count myself in that number), and this album does have very few vocals (sung vocals, to be clear). But I knew from past experience with this band’s music that it would be surprising if I lost interest — and indeed I did not (lose interest). The collage of experiences woven together (intelligently) within each song is so involving, so discursive, and punches so many buttons that it’s easy to get lost in the wondrous worlds the band are creating from sound.
No, it’s definitely not nearly as extreme as the vast majority of music we share with you, but for anyone with a taste for prog- and post-rock (or Pink Floyd at their spaciest), especially with a strong ’70s vibe, just know that Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster are operating on a very high plane of excellence.