Those of you who stopped by today expecting a SHADES OF BLACK column may be disappointed. For the second Sunday in a row, unforeseen but self-inflicted mishaps prevented me from getting it done. Like last week, my plan (I should say my hope) is to complete it in time for posting tomorrow.
Unlike last Sunday, however, I’m not going to leave a gaping hole in the site today. To avoid that I’ve prepared this very small round-up of new songs and videos, chosen in part to keep you off-balance. The first selection will put a big jolt into your cranium and nerve endings. The second one will help you calm down, and might even put you under a spell.
Here’s the part of this short post that will stab a high-powered voltage generator into your neck. The video is a mind-exploder too.
Both the video and the song just premiered today. The track, “[cluster_B]“, includes vocals by Łukasz Myszkowski from Antigama and Dante, and it’s destined to appear on ’s upcoming sixth album, [paradigm_blindness], which is projected for release in late 2022, assuming the world lasts that long.
The music is vicious and wild. The riffing and drumming sound like the high-speed discharge of automatic weapons in the midst of deranged blaring and swirling dissonance and the avalanche that’s happening in the low end. The guitars clang and clobber, leap about with angular momentum, peal and scream… and go silent without warning to make way for little burbling bass notes and pulsating astral electronics.
Meanwhile, Łukasz Myszkowski’s screaming vocals channel unhinged fury, as if the song weren’t unhinged enough already (there’s also near-singing that sound extremely ominous)
As mentioned, the video is wild too. It was produced by SickStudio (directed by Przemysław Trzaskowski and edited by Artur Ostrowski). According to , it took six months to make and involves more than 5000 frames of stop-motion animation.
Now to slow your heart rate down…
“Plainsong” appeared on The Cure’s Disintegration album in 1989. The wonderful Belgian band Hemelbestormer recorded a cover of it, one that’s included on The Celestial Vault, an extra disc that comes with the CD edition of their latest album, Collide & Merge (released by Ván Records last month). The original song is tremendously good. So is the cover, which I just discovered.
Hemelbestormer‘s cover is a great heaving and crashing beast of sound, a distressing but grand creature slowly bestriding the earth. As it moves, an ethereal wailing melody drifts around it (the one you’ll know immediately if you’re familiar with the original), shining and hypnotic. Vocals surface as well (courtesy of Tijs Vanneste), deep and haunting, but they soar in ethereal tones as well. It’s a mesmerizing rendition of an unforgettable song.
If you haven’t listened to Collide & Merge yet, I urge you to do that. I’ll make it easy for you (look below). The album’s stunning cover art, by the way, is a photo of the Romanian Rodna Mountains, taken by Arthur Kornovics. Hemelbestormer explain why they chose it:
“Collide & Merge narrates on the thought of multiple black holes colliding and merging into an endless void. When we saw this picture… we instantly knew: this is the one! Not only does it look unearthly, with its alienating stones and structures, it also fits the thought of sunlight fading away for the last time as Earth will disappear into nothingness. It also keeps the Hemelbestormer tradition of showing rocky landscapes, feeding our connection with Mother Earth, alive. Only this time, the picture is for real…”
P.S. “Plainsong” isn’t the only cover track on that extra Celestial Vault CD. Among other things it also includes the band’s performance of Mayhem‘s “Freezing Moon“, with vocals by Pede from Alkerdeel. I’ll make it easy for you to listen to that one as well.