I guess you noticed that we didn’t post anything new at the site on Saturday or Sunday. In 12+ years of our existence that has happened only a couple of other times. I went to holiday events on Friday and Saturday nights, got trashed at both of them, and spent the days after in a state of crippling mental and physical disability. So that’s the explanation in a nutshell.
There’s obviously a lot of catching up to do in the race for staying on top of new songs and videos, which explains why I’ve resorted to this OVERFLOWING STREAMS format. I made a conscious effort to include a fair share of black metal since I failed to post a SHADES OF BLACK column yesterday. Speaking of which, if you haven’t noticed I’ll mention the good news that a new Funeral Mist album is set for release on December 17th HERE (it appears that it will be released in its entirety that day, without any advance song streams).
I thought about alphabetizing this collection, as I usually do, but I have to begin with Immolation. Last week one of the best death metal bands of all time divulged a video for the first single from a new album, and it’s a breathtaker — explosive, blazing, bludgeoning, exotic, and crazed. Here’s a band who seem immune to the deleterious effects of aging.
“Apostle” is from the album Acts of God, out February 18, 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records. The tremendous cover art was painted by Eliran Kantor.
ABYSMAL DAWN (U.S.)
Abysmal Dawn are returning with a four-song EP, Nightmare Frontier, that’s set for release on February 4th by Season of Mist. The first single from it, “A Nightmare Slain,” was inspired by the Lovecraftian video game Bloodborne. I don’t play video games, but maybe that will mean something to you. What matters to me is that the song (which comes with a lyric video) is a high-speed battering and boiling adrenaline rush. And holy shit, the soloing is brilliant….
AUTHOR & PUNISHER (U.S.)
Here’s yet another vaunted name returning with a new record in 2022. This new album, Krüller, includes collaborations with Perturbator’s James Kent and Tool’s Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor. The first advance track, “Drone Carrying Dread“, is a panoramic futuristic soundscape with distorted singing. After the first two tracks in today’s collection I was hoping for an outbreak of violence, but while disappointed in that respect I did become enthralled with these vast sounds.
Krüller will be released by Relapse on February 11th.
WHITE VOID (Norway)
I remember New Model Army, and I remember their song “The Hunt“. That alone might have induced me to check out the cover of the song by Norway’s White Void, but a more significant inducement was the prospect of seeing Greg Mackintosh perform as the band’s guest in the socially-distanced video for the song. Well, that plus the fact that the band was founded by Lars Nedland from Borknagar and Solefald (and includes drummer Tobias Solbakk from Ihsahn, Vegard Kummen on bass, and Elvin Marum on guitars). Now I can’t get this song out of my head.
LUNAR TOMBFIELDS (France)
This new band’s debut album The Eternal Harvest is described as “an ode to the glory of the stars, the strength of the elements and the tragedy of human destiny”. It includes four long tracks, and the first one publicly revealed, “A Dialogue With the Wounded Stars“, hooked me hard (as did the cover art by Denis Forkas).
It has a sweeping and cinematic impact (complete with a sonic manifestation of glittering stars), but with thunderous drum upheavals, episodes of bracing riff intensity, and larynx-rupturing vocal extremity (mixed with solemn near-sung pronouncements). I found it spellbinding.
The album is set for release on February 4 by Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions.
I thought this next song would make a good segue into increased intensity. Like Lunar Tombfields‘ track, it also has a sweeping breadth of sound and scale, but is an order of magnitude more desperate and deranged. The rhythm section delivers a turbocharged performance, the blazing riffs and madly flickering leads light a fire under the nerves, and except for a few spoken words the vocals are thoroughly unhinged. Electrifying….
The song, “Valtakunta“, is the title track to an album set for release on January 14th by Void Wanderer Productions and Humanity’s Plague Prod.
HELLFROST AND FIRE (Int’l)
I think it’s time to move back into death metal with “Legion of Hellfrost and Fire” and “Black Secrets in the Splintering Walls“, two songs now streaming from the debut album of this new UK band led by David Ingram (Benediction, Down Among the Dead Men, etc.). The album’s name is Fire, Frost and Hell.
The first song is a massive jackhammering juggernaut, brutish and blaring (with bits of dismal melody in the mix and a supernatural solo by Scott Fairfax from Memoriam UK), and of course Ingram’s vocals are tremendous. The second song is… more of the same. No bones will be left unbroken.
OK, here’s a new single, a death metal cover of a Dead Can Dance song by Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum. Brace yourselves for thunder and heat lightning (and gargantuan roaring vocals), harnessed within a vision of towering majesty.
This single was released on December 9th by Willowtip.
SILENT LEGES INTER ARMA (Germany)
Wikipedia tells me that Inter arma enim silent lēgēs is a Latin phrase that literally means ‘For among arms, the laws are silent’ but is more popularly rendered as ‘In times of war, the law falls silent.'” A variation on that phrase is the name chosen by a German band who have a 2012 album to their credit and another one named Ad plures ire that’s projected for release next year.
The song below, “The way off all flesh (winteredition)“, is thoroughly exhilarating, a combination of melodic black and death metal ingredients that really gets the heart pumping. It includes absolutely ravaging vocals, spine-shaking rhythms, turbulent riffs, beautifully glimmering leads, and evocative melodies that seem to channel turmoil, anguish, and defiant resilience.
The next song, “Incantations of the Crimson Twilight“, is one of two long ones recorded by Vermisst for a forthcoming split release with the Danish band Skinliv. It’s definitely raw black metal, with murky scathing riffage and gargoyle vocal extremity. But the ritualistic drumming (which includes inventive variations) is transfixing, and despite the abrading nature of the guitars the music (enhanced by astral keyboards) still manages to sound ethereal and transportive. The harshness doesn’t prevent this icy song from being mystical and hypnotic. It levitates as well as scathes the senses.
The split will be released by Nebular Carcoma Records.
The next song, “Cavernous Shrines“, is off the forthcoming second album by this Arizona band. Entitled Yawning Depths, the album will be released by Chaos Records on February 4th.
The song is a ravishing combination of sensations. It will bludgeon you senseless, but also creates an atmosphere of otherworldly mystery and poisonous fascination. It’s discordant and grinding, cruel and even hideous, but mercurial and mesmerizing. The song is so engrossing that it seems to end right after it begins. I would have been happy if it had lasted twice as long.
KRALLICE / GERYON (U.S.)
I’m concluding this massive round-up with something I’ve only barely started listening to. But I feel the compulsion to spread the word, because how could a split by these two intersecting bands not be worth your time?
Each band recorded a long song for the split — “Wolf” by Krallice and “Astomatous” by Geryon. The official release is December 21st, but it began streaming in full quite recently.