I got a spike of excitement from a couple of of Bandcamp alerts, only to feel letdown after clicking them. One was for a new Cantique Lepreux release, but none of the songs are streaming there yet. The other was for a new Wormlust release, but there’s no page for it yet, or maybe there was and it got pulled. But it’s just as well, because I already had more to write about for this week’s column than time to write about them.
What you’ll find below are six advance tracks from forthcoming releases and then a pair of full releases that surfaced from the same band within the last couple of days.
Ofermod wasted no time returning with a new album, just a year after 2020’s Pentagrammaton (which was itself a double album). The new one is entitled Mysterium Iniquitatis, and it sees the original lineup joined together once again – Belfagor on guitar and vocalist Nebiros (Malign, Mephorash) – with session bass by Magnus “Devo” Andersson (ex-Marduk) and session drums by Calle Larsson.
The first “single” from the record is the title track, and also the song that begins the album. After a slow, solemn, and mournful cello instrumental, the song unfolds in similarly funereal fashion but then begins to race. As the drums thunder the writhing main riff sears, and as the riff morphs it loses none of its fiery and forlorn power. Nebiros‘ caustic snarls are feral and ferocious, and the male choir that joins in adds to the music’s air of solemn and sinister grandeur.
The song is produced in a way that gives it clarity — but not too clean — and that enhances the magnetic power and troubling allure of the riffing and the swirling, soaring, and feverish leads.
The new album is set for release on December 3rd by Shadow Records.
Profeci‘s new song is a sublime combination of shattering grief and visceral strength. The distortion is just enough to make the music scrape like sandpaper, but the melodies still ring and ripple, and they pierce like arrows; the rumbling and thrusting rhythms (which feature a heavyweight bass that scavages on its own near the end) pound the pulse; the vocals, which are both harsh and nearly clean, channel passion just as intensely as the music. There’s no escaping how beleaguered the song is, but it’s grip is so tight that if you’re like me, you’ll want to return to it quickly.
The song is “Bojaźń i Drżenie“, and it’s from an album named Aporia that will be released by Godz Ov War Productions on September 24th.
Harrowing intensity has been the hallmark of the first two songs in today’s collection, and the next track is in the same vein — maybe even more intensely harrowing than the two which preceded it.
At the outset, the raw yet ringing melody wastes no time establishing a distraught and despairing mood. The drum cadence plods and lurches ahead in a staggering march as the vocalist screams from some distant subterranean sepulcher of skulls. Mania rises in the music as the riffing reaches a boil and the drums pummel, rumble, stomp, and blast. There’s still a feeling of desperation in the music, but madness reigns.
Briefly, the drumming vanishes, allowing the layered guitars to wail in misery, and then the march resumes, but the music builds again to pinnacles of pain. The burning intensity of the riffing and the unhinged nature of the screams are relentless, permitting not even a glimmer of hope.
The song is the title track to Sorguinazia‘s debut album The Negation of Delirium, and it premiered at Metal Bite, with a detailed write-up which noted that as fraught and foreboding as the song is, it’s capable of creating an “ethereal trance”, with “a touch of the esoteric in the atmosphere”, and thus becomes “an odd mix of raw ferocity and ponderous spirituality”.
The album will be released by Iron Bonehead on October 15th.
Well, I’ve gone so far down the road into dark and harrowing moods that I don’t see any reason to turn away yet. The next song is definitely a dark work, with more overt manifestations of doom metal than the preceding tracks, but as it evolves the music becomes more dissonant and unnerving. It claws at your sanity, in manifestations of misery that are unsettling. The lead guitar wails and weeps, and the vocals are frightening in their throat-lacerating expressions of torment — it’s shocking to hear how they become completely unhinged, pushing the song to a crescendo of terror, even as the deleterious riffing works its way deeper into your head.
The song is “Hueste“. The album is Camino de agua, and it has a release date of October 10th.
I’m still not turning back from the dark and thorn-shrouded road I’ve been on, but this next song by Indiana-based Truus does turn up the destruction factor considerably.
“In Thrall To” is massively crushing at the outset and then becomes a decimating assault of shrieking guitars, mangling bass lines, crashing drums, and thoroughly crazed yells. This hurricane-like assault also includes cranium-hammering grooves, brazen and blaring chords, and bursts of darting fretwork that resemble the dance of a dervish. It rocks with feral abandon as well as rampages with remorseless ferocity, but man, it’s the bone-smashing, skull-scouring impact of those rampages that take your breath away.
The track is off a debut full-length named ...Of Days Gone, which is set for release on October 11th.
I guess I don’t really need to tell you by now the nature of what comes next, given the path we’ve been on since the beginning of this compilation.
This latest track from Flesia‘s debut LP Trost shows no mercy — none. It’s still surprising to hear the array of sounds that Flesia are capable of extracting from nothing but a bass and an array of amps, coupled of course with hard-driving drums and cruel, nasty-as-hell vocals. In this case, all of those ingredients combine to create a storm of frenzy. As the riffing changes, incorporating healthy doses of dissonance and discordance, feelings of fruitless yearning, severe pain, abandonment, and violence merge together.
Flesia explain that in “‘Liebende‘ the character of the story falls in love with nothingness and the fearsome surrounding in the absence of light”. Trost is set for release on October 1st.
LAMP OF MURMUUR (US)
I put Lamp of Murmuur last, not because I think it’s the least good of what I’ve compiled today but because I’ve barely made it through these two new releases. I could have waited until I felt capable of reviewing it in more than slap-dash fashion, but outside of album premieres I rarely find time to do that for anything. I thought it better to mainly just alert people to these new things now.
Both of the releases surfaced just within the last couple of days. One is a new album named Submission and Slavery, and the other is an EP entitled Punishment and Devotion; the latter consists of two songs that (as the band explain) “were received and interpreted during the same sessions as Submission And Slavery, but due to conceptual reasons were left out of the record. These tracks act as a counterpart to the aforementioned album”.
This band has experienced a meteoric rise over the last year, which is not to say they were unheard-of before then, but last year’s debut album Heir of Ecliptical Romanticism opened a lot more eyes. There’s no let-down on the new album. It’s as fierce as rabid wolf packs running wild, capable of drenching the senses in the sheer knife-sharp intensity and wide-ranging dynamism of the riffing, coupled with rabid, bestial vocals and ghostly wails that all sound truly possessed. The music blazes and slashes, and it rocks, whirls, and levitates too. It partakes of heavy metal anthems, and shimmers like moonlight on flowing water.
You’ll also find dungeon-synth-like interludes, tracks in which bouncing post-punk (or maybe they call it dark-wave these days) makes a pronounced appearance, another that sounds like a glorious war march accompanied by a golden solo, and a fine cover of Christian Death‘s “As Evening Falls”. In other words, listening to the album is like being a fortunate child again, opening presents in the holiday season — you never know what you’re going to get but everything presents its own kind of thrill.
The EP is also well worth your time, and shouldn’t be neglected just because it was released the day after the new album. The second track seems more ferociously scathing and incendiary than anything on the album, and the first one is a vicious assault too, but a grim and grievous one — yet it includes some glorious and defiant melodic soloing and a couple of attention-grabbing, anthem-like segments in which a big bass takes the lead.