Portuguese black metal isn’t a monolithic or monochromatic sound, any more than black metal is in any other country. But it seems undeniable that one of the strongest and oldest strains of the black arts in Portugal is a particularly raw and hostile form of black metal. Among the progenitors of that movement are the two men behind Morte Incandescente, whose veteran talents have been built through involvement in an extensive array of bands over more than two decades.
They are perhaps best known from the work of their principal bands — Vulturius with IRAE and Nocturnus Horrendus with Corpus Christii — but Morte Incandescente has been much more than some side project. Indeed, on October 31st the band’s fifth album will be released through Signal Rex. What it shows is the benefit of veteran talent.
To be honest, a lot of raw black metal seems mainly calculated to inflict ruin, in the most ruinous ways possible, and that in itself can become monotonous and un-memorable. Morte Incandescente‘s new album, on the other hand, is definitely neither of those, as you’ll learn through the song we’re premiering today. “Nós Somos O Underground” (“we are the underground”) is primitive, feral, vicious, and viscerally gripping, and yet also remarkably dynamic and laden with many hooks.
The song falls just short of 3 1/2 minutes, but a lot happens in that compact time. In its tone, the music deploys beefy prominence in the bass guitar and bass drum, and a sharp clatter in the snare and cymbal attacks, all of them sounding natural and immediate. They change the pacing and rhythmic patterns frequently as the song moves — hammering, lurching, thrusting… and rocking out.
The guitars change just as often and just as sharply, with a dual-toned tandem that combines raw abrasion in one and more piercing clarity in the other. Together they create sensations of vicious derangement, occult menace, and feverish misery — and when the band rock, it comes with a pulsing riff that’s immediately head-hooking. There’s also a supernatural-sounding solo near the end that’s sinister and seductive.
Not surprisingly, the vocals also change, ranging from venomous serrated snarls to caustic screams, and ultimately to cacophonous eruptions of sheer wailing madness, and everything sounds as if the words are being furiously expelled through a throat that’s constricted with barbed wire.
Signal Rex is releasing Vala Comum digitally and on vinyl, including an exclusive Bandcamp “Blood” edition in red/brown/black marbled vinyl, featuring an exclusive patch and a A2 size poster, and is signed by the band members (strictly limited to 50 copies worldwide).
After the links, also be sure to check out the previously released track, “Cerra os Dentes“.