Man, my head is spinning once again over how many new songs and videos I want to recommend from the week that’s now ending. There are only six of them in this roundup, and there’s not much rhyme nor reason about why I picked these — other than the fact that I like ’em — because they provide a pretty wild series of musical twists and turns rather than some kind of cohesive flow from one to the next. But I am smiling at the whiplash it’s going to give you. I guess I should add that in different ways they’re all pretty fuckin’ intense.
I’ve got a very busy weekend ahead, but I hope to collect a few more new things from the past week’s deluge in posts on both Saturday and Sunday.
I’m beginning with a couple of very dark and (as promised) very intense songs, the first of which is 1914‘s “Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)“. If you’re not already familiar with the horrific World War I event that’s the subject of the song, you’ll learn about it in the prelude to the animated video.
In its music, the track pairs grim, sweeping symphonics and bullet-spitting drums, scourging riffs and lycanthropic vocals, and an atmosphere of ominous encroaching cruelty, harrowing devastation, and haunting horror. The song does a chillingly effective job of capturing the atrocities of war.
The song comes from 1914‘s new album Where Fear And Weapons Meet, which is set for release on October 22nd by Napalm Records.
EREB ALTOR (Sweden)
Ereb Altor‘s new song “Vargtimman” is a wrenching song — explosively heavy, soaring in its melodic and vocal intensity, and calamitous in its atmosphere. There’s one soft reprieve, and a brief reprise of that at the end, but otherise the song is a shatterer of souls, a representation of the anxiety, anguish, and resignation that comes in the last hour of life. It’s fitting that the accompanying video portrays a rural laborer afflicted with a pulmonary disease preparing for his meeting with Death.
The track is a stand-alone single that’s being digitally released.
COLONY DROP (U.S.)
This next song represents a sharp turn from the two that precede it in this collection. I would have included it here even if the band didn’t include good friend and ex-NCS writer Joseph Schafer behind the mic, and I wouldn’t have included it if “The Guillotine” didn’t kick ass — but it definitely does.
The song is a rumbling, hard-charging rhythmic bulldozer, with riffing that’s jolting and slashing, grim and furious, all of it augmented by berserker soloing. Schafer’s vocals are both vitriolically brazen and brooding in his discharge of disgust and rage, but that doesn’t keep the chorus from being a catchy sing-along — to the contrary.
Besides Joseph, the band includes the twin guitar team of Benjamin Burton and Ryan Moon (also of noise rock powerhouse Turian) as well as drummer Eric Harris and Ari Rosenschein (also of drone-doom solo outfit STAHV).
The track is one of two on Colony Drop‘s debut demo, which is coming out on October 1st. Check the links below for more info. For now, “The Guillotine” is exclusively streaming at No Echo (here), so you’ll need to go there to check it out, and as a bonus you can read Joseph’s commentary about the politically charged subject of the song while you’re there. I’ll include some further details from a press release:
“Colony Drop’s music fuses the intensity of contemporary hardcore with the melody and catchy songwriting of traditional heavy metal. The Demo features two songs rooted in Bay-Area thrash, accented with hints of Swedish Death and Roll, Japanese crust and of course British Steel, all tempered by grind’s penchant for concise songwriting. The result is five minutes of punishing grooves, twin-guitar leads and shout-along choruses.
“Colony Drop take their name from the classic animated science fiction series “Mobile Suit Gundam,” but interpret the name as a general declaration of war against the forces of oppression. They take thematic cues from post-apocalyptic science fiction and high-concept comic art. Imagine if the biker punks from Akira listened to Sepultura, or if Celtic Frost took their cues from Noriyoshi Ohrai instead of H. R. Giger.”
FILTH IS ETERNAL (U.S.)
Can Rah Davis‘ bass sound any heavier or any more capable of gouging through granite? Based on peer-reviewed scientific study, the answer is No. But the massive and mangling sound of his bass isn’t the only thing this next song, “The Ritual“, has going for it, as you’ll discover from the new video for the track that surfaced a couple days ago.
Lisa Mungo’s vocals are utterly scorching, the radioactive riffing of guitarist Brian McClelland is itself a bleak and bruising experience, and Mathew Chandler’s drumming is punishing. The song doesn’t last long, but long enough to get its point across.
“The Ritual” comes from the new album Love is a Lie, Filth is Eternal by this Seattle band (formerly known as Fucked and Bound), which was released on August 27th by Quiet Panic on
And last I’m turning to two powerful songs from Nonconform, the forthcoming fourth album by the Polish doom-influenced death metal band Wingless.
The first of those, “Imperceptible“, is an emotionally mauling experience. It’s ice-cold in its hopelessness and catastrophic in its seething and assaulting savagery, yet also steeped in misery. The vocals are terrorizing; the drumming is obliterating; the bass sounds like a subterranean upheaval; and the lead refrains are as contagious as they are anguished.
The second track, “Constellations“, is even more wildly destructive in its attack, and maybe even more crushing. The music rips and jolts, but the long, moaning, fanfare-like melodic motifs and weeping leads are utterly doomed in their feeling, and delivered in a way that creates an atmosphere of tragic grandeur.
Nonconform will be released by Selfmadegod Records on October 1st.