Nov 202021

Dormant Ordeal


I didn’t completely neglect NCS during the 10 recent days when I was in Iceland. I did write some premieres, though not as many as usual, and I did regale readers with tales of my Ascension Fest adventures. What I did not do was pore through the several hundred emails that hit the NCS in-box every day, looking for new music that might be worth writing about, or searching for new tracks and videos through other usual sources.

And I spent almost no time actually listening to anything other than the sounds that bombarded me at the fest for four days and nights, not for lack of interest but because I forgot how little sitting-in-my-room-time-with-nothing-to-do I actually have at festivals, especially when every other day I had to make time for a covid test.

So here I am at the end of the first (partial) week following the return home from the land of fire and ice. The thought of trying to completely catch up with all the new songs and videos that surfaced since my vacation began two weeks ago is a ridiculous one, especially because a sister-in-law and brother-in-law are house-guests this weekend. I did a little trolling through the waters yesterday, and had saved a few links from before I left, and from that I still had too much to listen to this morning. I did the mental equivalent of throwing darts, and this is where they landed:



In a group chat my NCS compatriots Andy Synn and DGR have been raving about Dormant Ordeal‘s new album The Grand Scheme of Things. I haven’t heard it yet (see above for excuses), but did check out the latest single from the record, which emerged yesterday.

If you’re feeling sluggish today, “Sides of Defence” will fix that feeling in short order, in part because it’s an experience in utter guitar derangement and percussive assault-and-battery. The fear factor in the music is significant, from the howling savagery of the vocals to the crazed writhing and blaring of the riffage and the earth-quaking low-end turbulence. It seems to create a conjunction of mad violence and paralyzing hopelessness, melded with rhythmic grooves that will get you moving.





Next up is Noise Trail Immersion‘s video for “Eclissi Unanime“. The slowly twisting half-naked bodies in the video create an unsettling vision, and thus pairs very well with the unsettling music, which is composed of dissonant ringing notes, subterranean bass movements, gut-slugging drumwork, and wretched roaring, wailing, and snarling vocals. Eerie rivers of quivering melody course through this hellish soundscape. Fevered fretwork and increasing rhythmic tumult dial up the intensity as the bodies begin to spasm mindlessly. It’s hard to take your eyes off the visuals. It’s hard to banish the hallucinatory sounds from your head even after they’re silenced.

The song comes from NTI’s new album Curia, which is set for release by I, Voidhanger Records on November 26.




CELESTE (France)

Last week also brought us a video for a new song by Celeste, and both are gripping. The rumble and tumble of the rhythm section will grab you quickly, surrounded by a dense swath of riffing that channels feelings of despair, accompanied by flashing visuals of ghostly submerged bodies and shadowed band performers. The lyrics are expelled in scathing tones; the drum and bass are bone-smashers; the enveloping sea of riffing veers from fiery frenzy (fightinng for breath) to sounds of fervent beseeching and abject surrender. It’s all harrowing and haunting….

Des Torrents De Coups” is from the band’s new album Assassines, coming our way on January 28th via Nuclear Blast.





This mysterious metallic hardcore punk band continues to churn out unpredictable new music, pandemic be damned, and the latest discharge is a single named “Abhorring the vacuum“. It doesn’t last long, but fills the vacuum with scampering beats, bubbling bass tones, furious acidic howls, and effusions of exultant guitar mayhem. The piercing guitar leads wail within the riff-paroxysms, and then become superheated (you can feel them turning to steam). I wish the song were longer, but I’ll take what I can get.





These long-lost Finnish favorites have returned, releasing a sequence of singles over the last year which I wrote about here, and a couple days ago they premiered a lyric video for another one. The words here are terrifically bleak and nihilistic, but not foreign to reality. Meanwhile, the music is an exercise in furious insanity made of hyper-speed drum fusillades, growling and screaming vocal rage, and guitars that dart, shriek, slash, and quiver in mad spasms of sound.

But the song abruptly changes, rising in a semblance of terrible, ominous grandeur above a spoken-word dialogue from a dystopian, politically charged Twilight Zone episode that’s the source of the song’s title — “Obsolete Man“. The lead guitar still convulses, and eventually propels the song back into a final explosive discharge.

“Obsolete Man”, like the other singles, will appear on an album named Beyond.




FARGUE (Switzerland/Finland)

To close today’s round-up I’ve chosen a new song named “La masse noire” by this part-Swiss, part-Finnish band. The music creates a sensation of vast and perilous sweep, softens and becomes celestial in its sheen, and then begins seizing control of your reflexes with its drum patterns. Deep low-frequency tones hum as the music glistens and entrances. The sounds become increasingly vibrant, flickering and swirling, increasing the track’s spellbinding effect and giving it a feeling of uplift (or levitation). It seems to gaze into the wonders of the cosmos, though only waters ripple around the naked form in the video.

Fargue is Samuel Vaney and Eeli Helin. Session drums and percussion were performed by Lee Fisher. “La masse noire” is the first single taken from Fargue’s upcoming debut album Ruines, Irradiées, out on December 17 via Cavsas.

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